Be Inspired… Designer Quotes

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

Robert L. Peters

 

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Ask The Designer: Color Choices?

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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 colourlovers.com and color.adobe.com 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.

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Design Know How – Budget Brochures

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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 postplanner.com.
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Design Know How…

PayPeanuts

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.

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Good To Know…

A good design tip to know.

 

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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 pixabay.com.

Happy lazy days of Summer!

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Things To Know…

5 Key Visual Design Trends

Excerpts from CreativeBloq writer, Tom May. Images through random Google search.

1. Real Women

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Depictions of women are moving away from the old stereotypes in both media and marketing, featuring a diverse array of women with dynamic careers, lifestyles and looks. A variety of body shapes and ages are being celebrated in popular branding, reflecting female leadership in contemporary work and life.

2. Modern Families

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Big brands are changing the way they portray the modern family in order to remain relevant and engaging. Marketing advertising now commonly features single parents, stay-at-home dads, blended families, alternate lifestyles and persons living active lives with disabilities. This imagery isn’t about shock value, its about reflecting a wider range of human stories and experiences in the 21st century.

3. Creative Point of View

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Mainstream content reflects an increased first-person point of view as more consumers are creating their own images and sharing them digitally. The trend draws in the viewer by offering a more intimate and involved lifestyle that feels authentic and believable and suited for social media.

4. Supersensory Imagery

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There has been a rise in imagery and video that expresses a rich sensual feel, creating a more immersive experience for the viewer. The textural detail found in these visuals works hard to engage the senses. Techniques like macro photography used to capture scenes of food and nature can evoke feelings of taste or smell and heighten emotional engagement.

5. Letterbox Dimensions

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New technology has inspired widescreen imagery for use on smartphones and tablets. Designers are actually designing mobile first. The panoramic visuals look great on your apps and bring an epic cinematic feel to design.

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Ask The Designer…

Why Not Do It Myself?

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Do-It-Yourselfers know that changing the oil in the car isn’t all that complicated.  But, how many of us maintenance the air conditioning or the brakes?  And what about balancing those tires?  At some point, we need to take the car in for service by a professional mechanic.  They have the technical skill and the equipment to get the job done right and done in a timely fashion.

Graphic design can easily be compared to automotive repair.  In the long run, you will save time and money investing in the services of a professional graphic designer.  The pros can get it done in half the time as most layman and they will also create the artwork in the correct formats for print, video or web.

Do yourself a favor, hand over your next design project to a professional graphic designer.  Your customers will take notice and so will your pockets.

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Ask The Designer…

How important is layout in the design of your publications?

In English, we read from the top left of a page to the bottom right.  Layout of your pages should keep this in mind and present the information just as the reader expects.  Making elements big or bold can interrupt the usual flow causing the reader to re-track.  But, there are a few tricks to keep the reader engaged.

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Adding color can redirect the reader’s eye.  Using a grid can provide rhythm to the information which also prevents elements from competing for attention. Grids also allow you to present a lot of information without it being overwhelming, but adding breaks to the grid can add visual interest.

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Styles of typography, color and layout usage have historical ties that cannot be ignored.  Lawyers, doctors and accountants usually want to show a sense of steadiness and conservatism such as with centered layouts reading top to bottom.  A similar layout will not work as well for a Rock band.

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Design is also limited to the assets given.  Images should be high quality rather than clip art.  Copy writing should be effective with succinct, easy-to-read and appropriate tone of voice.

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Excerpt and images courtesy of LinkedIn SlideShare / Visible Logic / Graphic Design 101 for Marketers and Business Professionals.

Ask The Designer…

copyrightShould you ask to see your graphic designer’s inspiration?

By all means, yes! Picasso was quoted as saying, “Good artists copy, Great artists steal.” Most doubt if he meant that literally, though Steve Jobs may have took the quote to heart. Copyright infringement, nonetheless, can make or break a new product release and it pays to fend off potential losses right from the start.

Look at this great example from a blog post by the “North Carolina Beer Lawyer.”

 

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NCBEERLAWYER.COM

The client learned almost too late that the design for their new brew’s label was all too similar to a specific comic book illustration. The product was about to be released to stores when the issue was realized just in the nick of time. It cost them in new labels, but they were saved from potential legal fees.

 

 

The new label does still bear some similar characteristics to the illustration in question. However, the idea in itself cannot be copyrighted, while the artistic expression of that idea certainly can. detective-saison

This story demonstrates why it is important to ask for the graphic designer’s inspiration. Ownership for any copyright information and indemnification against any copyright infringement is usually assigned through the design contract. Save yourself some hassle and a bit of money by handling these matters  up front before the design is ever even drafted.

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