Ask The Designer: Design without Content?


We are reminded by Joe Pulizzi of Content Marketing Institute that content without design is just stuff! But, we should also note that design without content is hardly more than an empty page.

So, when the client asks to design a layout for content to be inserted later, you might consider the following responses.

The designer is thinking – “Of course, not a problem at all. You have no content whatsoever, no idea about colors, not a slogan and not even a title idea. I’ll have absolutely no idea what it should look like. Maybe I could insert some doll faces and curly cues and mock up the text in Comic Sans. I’m sure that will work perfectly with what you had in mind, Right?”

What we really want to say is, “Go elsewhere and stop wasting my time!”

However, to be civil and polite, “I do need to know what the content will be and what objectives you have in mind before an actual layout template can be designed.”

#makestuffbeautiful #dinasdesktop

Be Inspired… Designer Quotes


“Design is the application of intent – the opposite of happenstance and an antidote to accident.”

Robert L. Peters



Ask The Designer: Color Choices?


Choosing a graphic design project’s colors in 3 steps.

1. DEFINE the project and the audience.

  • Consider the elements within the project such as typography and graphic icons or shapes.
  • Consider the viewing location and the demographics of the audience.

2. DISCOVER colors relevant to the industry represented by the project.

  • Resource sites such as and offer a plethara of color schemes for inspiration.
  • Seek inspiration from images related to the project to visualize color schemes in real life settings.

3. DEVELOP the color scheme by styling the project with sample palettes.

  • Sort and cull the sampled color combinations to narrow down the selection to the best 3-5 possibilities.
  • Refine the combinations using a color wheel to define complementary color groups, compound color groups or contrasting color groups.

Sampling the best picks and experimenting with a few combinations will help find the one that feels right.


Design Know How – Budget Brochures


A brochure is second only to business cards. Every business needs to showcase their goods and services in a well crafted brochure. Even if you are on a tight budget, the brochure is an important part of your marketing collateral.

Now, the local print shop can put one together for you at a fair cost and there are an abundance of qualified freelance graphic designers available at great rates. Myself being one, and I’d love your business, but I also understand that sometimes there is just no room in the marketing allowance to hire out.

So, with no further adieu, here’s a step-by-step guide to help you put together a brochure template in Microsoft Word. I hope you have fun with it!BrochureMSWordBrochureMSWord2

Or try a template – there are many freebies available.

NOTE: It is always recommended to also save the document as a PDF (Portable Document Format) for printing and email. The PDF is recognized by most email clients and printers.

#brochuredesign #dinasdesktop

Design Know How for Social Media

Posting regularly to social media is great for keeping your business on top of the search engines.  Did you also know it’s impressive to coordinate visual elements of your profile?


Visual principles should be applied in social media just as with all your collaterals.  Color matching your page header with your profile photo is a great example.  Creative shapes and styling can also make a profile pop. Check out the examples below.
Read more design hacks over at
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#visualdesign #dinasdesktop

Design Know How…


The Value of Graphic Design

Small businesses tend to undervalue the need for professional graphic design. Understandibly, their resources are limited, so branding design fits low on the list of priorities.

Trying to do-it-yourself is usually where it begins. Seasoned designers recognize that well-planned and sharp graphic design makes a big difference to businesses, big and small. They can make magic happen for your brand, too. So next time you think of trying it on your own, consider these reasons to put more value on your business brand.

1. First Impressions Matter.

You only have one first chance. The potential customer will judge a business in a split second based solely on visuals. High-quality graphic design gives your business priceless credibility.

2. Design Tells A Story.

A thoughtful design concept will evoke just the right image in the customers’ minds. Brands that reflect tradition and artisanship are illustrated much differently than those for youthful audiences or for market investors. Tell your story with the right imagery.

3. Branding Is Memorable.

Professional designers will use precise typefaces, imagery and colors on all related projects. This allows the customer a similar experience whether visiting a website or reading a brochure. Keep consistency across collaterals to portray professionalism and trustworthiness.

4. Creativity Is A Game Changer.

All businesses have one thing in common, that’s competition. The things that set most businesses apart might be price or service. Stand out with a creative visual plan that will make your business more unique. 

5. Good Design Makes Sales.

A nice layout is great. A nice layout that is a page turner is even better. An enticing and pursuasive design takes nice to the next level. Use professional design for potentially measurable results.

6. Spend Now Or Pay Later.

Spending on great graphic design up front is no more expensive than paying out for multiple redesigns. Avoid the stress and the detriment to your brand.

Looking for a bargain when it comes to graphic design actually starts with looking into the value of good graphic design.

#graphicdesign #dinasdesktop

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Good To Know…

A good design tip to know.



I came across this tip in my travels through cyberspace and put it to use in an informational layout with a free generic stock image found at

Happy lazy days of Summer!

#designknowhow #gooddesign #dinasdesktop