18 August 2007
15 August 2007
Every May design students exit the great halls of their university with high expectations of the job market. Many find work within a month or two, becoming an employee of where they previously interned, or some through some other connections. Many others discover that competition is fierce and jobs may be few, many very talented individuals are turned down because of their inexperience or portfolio. When you go out to interview make sure that you and your work look their best. Here are some portfolio tips and tools I’ve used in my job hunt and have seen work for others.
There are several methods to show your work, whichever you choose, be sure to print and present with the best quality available to you. Do not let your craft abilities be your crutch, many art directors will be looking at your trimming and matting skills as much as your design ability. I suppose that’s why many job postings ask candidates that ‘pay attention to detail.’
Boards: This is the method we used in school, and some people prefer to use in their interview process. If you don’t mind the bulk of carrying around boards, then remember these few things when preparing your portfolio.
1. Maintain a uniform size and orientation on the boards. Choose something that is large enough to showcase the largest piece with enough margin, but also make sure the smallest pieces don’t become lost on the board. Make conscious choices on layout, if your showing a brochure, maybe have an open piece as well as the cover. Or show the front and back open, but overlapping one another.
2. Color. Choose a color that is subtle and enhances your work, rather than something that drowns it out. The most used color is black, since colors jump out the most from this background, but if you have pieces that are heavy with black print...consider a medium gray. I’d keep the color of the boards all uniform as well.
3. Carrying Case. Keep your board in immaculate shape, this is very important in presentation. Make sure you have a case, a professional one, that will not let the boards shift to much getting curved edges or water damage.
Boards are a good method if you want to keep your mounted pieces on a good firm backing that will not fold or easily break. The do get heavy though, especially when your using so many for a reasonable size portfolio of 10-14 pieces. They probably are the easiest for switching out pieces as well, but storage may also be a problem if you have limited space. I think boards might be better to show to a client rather than to a prospective job.
Book with Pages: This is my favorite method of presentation, I believe it is the most manageable and maintainable method of presentation. A book presents a few options as well, you can mount actual pieces of work or present photographed samples. Whole design sets can be shared on a spread as well, doubling your presentation space if needed. There are some things to consider when using a book as well.
1. Color – Most books come with black pages, as with boards…this will be your call. Be sure that anything you use is ‘acid free’ and archival quality so your prints don’t yellow too quickly.
2. Glare – Most books use clear plastic sheets to hold the pages. The clear plastic sheets do produce glare on pieces though, if you buy a book that uses punched boards you can mount directly on pages without using the plastic holder. I personally don’t mind the glare, but it could present problems.
When using a book, purchase something that will last you a good long time. Use a size suitable to hold your largest flat pieces with no problem. Consider photographing 3-d pieces and placing these on pages within the book. If you have two focuses in your portfolio, i.e. Illustration and Design, I would keep two separate books.
Design and Bound Book: If you want a more unique and creative portfolio you may design a personal book unique to your tastes. This could be something you layout like a scrapbook, a magazine, or a unique portfolio case. This is an exercise of your imagination.
Slides: An antiquated and unflattering method of making a portfolio, not really needed when we have computers and other means of file transfer. Color correction and photo retouching on slides simply isn’t an option.
CD: A digital version of your portfolio is a good method to leave something behind…or to send some of your work abroad for consideration. The method of delivery will be up to you, something as simple as PDF samples, or a little more complicated such as a self contained website or flash intro. Let the CD make an impression, if your sending the work to far off locations, try sending small post card samples, or design a self promotional kit to go with it. Having something physically printed with your work will make it more memorable. When using a digital medium also remember that you are not there to explain your work or answer questions, so be as informative as you can with descriptions of your work.
I hope these methods help you consider your portfolio carefully. The advice is given as guideposts to help find your own unique method of showcasing your work. As with any design project, consider the why behind each design decision…including your portfolio.
About the Author - Carl Grivakis - Graphic Designer and Production Artist as well as a design ethics enthusiast. Located in the Massachusetts he is the founder of PowderKeg Graphic Design and Tapp-d, which can be found online at www.grivakisgraphics.com/html/wordpress
Copyright © 2007, Carl Grivakis, All Rights Reserved
his is a fail-safe approach to communicating the product message in advertising. Brainstorm a list of product benefits and focus on the benefit your reader will find most appealing.
For small businesses, creating a logo is one of the most important stages of a company’s infancy. A professional image can take you a long way, distinguishing your company from the competition. Unfortunately, not everyone is a stellar graphics designer. Even if you choose to outsource your logo project, you’ll still need to provide a minimum level of guidance to the design firm. In light of this, here is a concise set of design tips written to ensure your logo perfectly suits your needs.
1. Keep it Simple!
These are probably the best words of advice, and it ties into almost all of our upcoming tips. A complicated design will not only make your logo difficult to reproduce and maintain, but you will also fail to engage your audience. The logo is the ultimate ‘elevator’ pitch to your potential clients and business partners. You don’t have time to recite your entire business plan in an elevator pitch, and the same concept applies to corporate logo design.
Sometimes when a design isn’t working out right, there will be an inclination to add elements and complexity. Often times, it’s better to start over with a new concept or remove distracting elements rather than add them.
Simplicity isn’t always an easy thing to ahieve, as you don’t want your logo to appear too boring or conservative. This is why at the end of the day it’s best to leave it to logo design professionals.
2. Engage your Audience
The good logo should above everything entertain and engage your audience. Your design should not be so literal that the message is spelt out for them. They should be given the opportunity to discover the meaning and intention of your logo themselves. If people are able to discover the ‘trick’ of your logo within a reasonable amount of time, this will help to create a memorable and entertaining experience between you and your audience.
Too much abstraction will on the other hand work against you. If the logo is too obscure, the message that you are attempting to communicate will be lost, and so will your potential client. Remember, today’s consumer culture is accustomed to very intense and stimulating media, and therefore you cannot be too demanding on your audience.
3. Logo Longevity – Think Ahead!
The durability and longevity of a logo is worth considering. Although it’s impossible to see into the future, it is useful to picture your company 10-15 years down the road, and think about what kind of products and services it will offer, if any at all! Even the strongest companies update their logo every 15 years or so, but often the changes will be subtle in nature. Very seldom will they take on a radical re-design.
For small start-up companies, it may not be the end of the earth if you decide to change your logo after even a few years, depending on what transpires with your company. But it’s always nice when a logo design is able to stand the test of time.
4. Vector is Better
Although it’s tempting to use detailed illustrations and complex 3d effects in a logo, chances are that it will not serve you well. Clean, crisp lines with very limited colors are almost always more effective than an illustration or complex 3d rendering. A well-drawn vector-based logo will provide you with the contrast and balance that is so important in logo design. New capabilities in vector based programs can now give you the illusion of a 3d effect without losing contrast, using tricks such as the canter effect.
5. Adaptability - Be Ready for Change
Your logo should be flexible enough to adapt to every business situation. If a logo is too literal or specific, you may have a hard time using it when catering to different markets.
Generally speaking, the best thing for small business start-ups is to have an icon and logo-type designed at the same time. This will allow you to use the logo as a stand-alone image, or use it along with the type-font name as well. Often times, companies will use only the icon on its products and packaging materials. This is a common practice among software companies and book publishers.
6. Make it Memorable
A great logo design will imbed itself into ones sub-consciousness. This can happen for a variety of reasons, but for a logo to be memorable it needs to use simple lines and be very easy to recall from memory. A good test to ensure that your logo design is memorable is to show it to a friend and ask him/her to retrace it a week later. A good design should use a recognizable shape or element for it to be easily remembered.
7. Relevance – Keep your Products and Services in Mind
A memorable logo is great, but it should also get your customers to start thinking about the products or services that you offer. You should ensure that the logo relates to your business in some shape or form. Yes, the monkey can sell just about anything from cigarettes to cell phones, but there’s a limit! Isn’t there?
8. Choose your Colors Wisely
Colors can play a very important role in logo design as they can illicit different feelings and emotions from us. Interpretations of color may vary depending on age, gender, and cultural demographics. Your choices of color should therefore be considered carefully depending on your target market. Also, colors tend to follow trends, just like in fashion. A new, vibrant company may want to follow the current trends, whereas a bank may want to stay with a more conservative color set that will serve then well for them over a long period of time.
Try to keep your selection of colors down to two or three. Too many colors will increase your cost of production and make it more difficult to reproduce.
One interesting idea that we’ve seen used is to change the color of the logo on things like business cards and stationery depending on the market segmentations of the clientele.
9. Uniqueness is Key
This should be straightforward. You want to be sure that your company is easily identified among your industry and competitors. Be sure to carefully research your industry and target market before embarking on a logo design. You need to know and understand the common styles of your industry, but you also need to make sure that you don’t infringe on anyone else’s trademarked logo.
10. Versatility Pays Dividends
One of the most important attributes of a good logo design is versatility. You want to portray a consistent image across all of your marketing materials, including signs, letterhead, business cards, products lines, and web sites. Often times, a complicated logo design will work fine on a website or billboard, but when you shrink it down to fit on a pen or coffee cup, the illustration or lettering will become illegible. Your logo should also work well in black and white.
You may often find that many start-up companies and even well-established law firms will not consistently brand their logo across all their marketing materials. They may have their logo on the front door of their office, but will end up using something different (or nothing at all!) on their website. In order to build brand recognition you need to market your logo and image as consistently as possible. Be sure that when you’re having your logo designed that you receive all the file formats necessary for use in your various marketing channels.
Russell Arsenault is the Marketing Director and Editor at LogoBee.com. LogoBee has been in logo design industry for over six years, providing custom logos and stationery to businesses around the globe.
13 August 2007
By Andy Eaton
You’re almost set. The content of your website, e-book, or software is complete. Ready to put together your e-book or software on the market. In order to turn your prospect into buyer, the look of your e-cover is just as important as the content. What to do? If you’re adventurous and seeking the how-to's of self-design below is a short list of graphic design terms you’ll need to know. If you’re considering having your e-cover professionally designed (smart move) the terms below will help you talk intelligently about your project.
Aliasing happens when a computer monitor printer, or graphics file does not have a high enough resolution to represent a graphic image or text. An aliased image has the “jaggies.”
Anti-Aliasing is smoothing or blending the transition of pixels in an image thus making the edges appear smooth, not jagged.
A banner is a graphic image placed on a web site as an advertisement. Banners are commonly used for brand awareness and generating sales.
A beveled effect to a graphic gives the image a raised appearance by applying highlight colors and shadow colors to the inside and outside edges of the graphic.
Bitmap Image (bmp)
A graphic defined by specifying the colors of dots or pixels that make up the picture. Common types of bitmap graphics are GIF and JPEG
A cast shadow creates added emphasis on perspective. Cast shadows can be stretched, rotated, and skewed to create a realistic 3-D effect
CMYK stands for the colors Cyan-Magenta-Yellow-Black. In print design colors are defined as a percentage of each of these 4 colors. For example, the color black would be 0-0-0-100. Display devices usually define colors using RGB.
Using a color cast will change the hue of a selected part of an image, while keeping the saturation and brightness intact. Looking at an image with a color is like looking at it through colored glasses.
Dithering is combining pixels from a 256-color palette into patterns that approximate other colors. At a distance the eye merges the pixels into a single color. To display a full-color graphic on a 256-color monitor, computers must simulate the colors it cannot display.
DPI stands for dots per inch. DPI specifies the resolution of an output device, such as a printer.
A drop shadow gives an image depth by creating shading offset behind the image.
The application of two colors to provide richer tones than a single-color image.
Embossing a graphic image adds dimension by making the image appear as if it were carved as a projection from a flat background.
Feathering the edge of a graphic gradually diffuses the edge, making the edge look blurry.
A font is a complete set of characters in a specific size and style of type. Some examples are Times New Roman, Arial, and Century.
GIF stand for graphic Interchange Format. GIF images are the most widely used graphic format on the web. GIF images displays up to 256 colors.
A glow creates a surrounding highlight of an image. A high radiance creates a soft, subtle, glow and a low radiance creates a hard, bright glow. An example of a bright glow is neon.
A gradual transition of colors.
The bottom layer on a web page, usually with either a design or color that highlights the copy above.
An application of the color black that simulates a range of tones. Grayscale images have no hue.
A numbering system using a base of 16. The first 10 digits are 0-9. The next 6 are A-F. Hexadecimal numbers are used to define colors on the web. For example the color white is hexadecimal #FFFFFF.
Hue is the actual color of an object. It is measured as a location on a color wheel, expressed in degrees.
JPEG is the abbreviation for Joint Photographic Experts Group. JPEG images allow for more colors than GIF images and are usually smaller in size.
Kerning is the horizontal spacing between the letters in a word.
The vertical spacing between lines of text.
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Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/
Like many forms of communication, graphic design often refers to both the process by which the communication is created, and the final form that it takes.
In its final form, examples of graphic design are everywhere:
- Print Design – magazine & newspaper layout, posters, corporate logos and identity systems (like letterhead and business card design), book & album cover design, package & label design.
- Interactive/Motion Design – Web page layout, Web animation, the design of film/video title sequences, software interface design.
As a process, graphic design is complex and multi-faceted.
Detail of how graphic design links to other topics such as those described in the opening para, and including clear links to other major topics and important relevant articles in Wikipedia. This may supercede the need for "See also, internal links to other Wiki articles" at the end of this article, which may be closer to the Wiki style (that the dialogue in short paragraphs is sprinkled with links to other articles, rather than point form throughout).
This high level overview may describe how Graphic Design plays a part as a sub-topic within other higher level articles such as Graphic Arts, Communication, Advertising, etc.
Elements of Graphic Design
Graphic design incorporates forms and techniques from a wide variety of visual skills and media. These include:
- Typography - how this element is used in graphic design
- Page Layout - how this element is used in graphic design
- Photography - how this element is used in graphic design
- Illustration - how this element is used in graphic design
- Animation - how this element is used in graphic design
- Themes & Metaphors - how this element is used in graphic design
- Basic Composition - how this element is used in graphic design
The Process of Graphic Design
- Planning - how this works and the function this serves in the process of design
- Problem Solving - how this works and the function this serves in the process of design
- Research - how this works and the function this serves in the process of design
- Conceptualizion - how this works and the function this serves in the process of design
- Mockup - how this works and the function this serves in the process of design
- Layout & Revision - how this works and the function this serves in the process of design
- Production - how this works and the function this serves in the process of design
Principles & Theories of Design
This section should explain the role of graphic design in society, guiding principles, and speculation on the future of graphic design.
The Business of Graphic design
This section should explain how the business of graphic design has evolved, the designer/client relationship, maybe some wage data, the life of a professional designer, how design works within the overal marketing strategy of a company, what kinds of skills a good designer should have, etc.
We better not snub anyone! This list should link to a seperate page for each designer, but there could maybe be a brief description of their work. A short list to start:
- Internal links to other category pages in Wikipedia where lists of designers are being grown.
12 August 2007
Graphic design in the 20th century > Graphic design, 1945–75 > The International Typographic Style
After World War II, designers in Switzerland and Germany codified Modernist graphic design into a cohesive movement called Swiss Design, or the International Typographic Style. These designers sought a neutral and objective approach that emphasized rational planning and de-emphasized the subjective, or individual, expression. They constructed modular grids of horizontal and vertical lines and used them as a structure to regularize and align the elements in their designs. These designers preferred photography (another technical advance that drove the development of graphic design) as a source for imagery because of its machine-made precision and its ability to make an unbiased record of the subject. They created asymmetrical layouts, and they embraced the prewar designers' preference for sans-serif typefaces. The elemental forms of the style possessed harmony and clarity, and adherents considered these forms to be an appropriate expression of the postwar scientific and technological age.
Josef Müller-Brockmann was a leading designer, educator, and writer who helped define this style. His poster, publication, and advertising designs are paradigms of the movement. In a long series of Zürich concert posters, Müller-Brockmann used colour, an arrangement of elemental geometric forms, and type to express the structural and rhythmic qualities of music. A 1955 poster for a concert featuring music by Igor Stravinsky, Wolfgang Fortner, and Alban Berg demonstrates these properties, along with Müller-Brockmann's belief that using one typeface in two sizes (display and text) makes the message clear and accessible to the audience.
The programmatic uniformity of this movement would be widely adopted by designers working in the area of visual identity systems during the second half of the 20th century. Multinational corporations soon adopted the tenets of the International Typographic Style: namely, the standardized use of trademarks, colours, and typefaces; the use of consistent grid formats for signs and publications; the preference for the contemporary ambience of sans-serif types; and the banishment of ornament.
Publisher by : http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-242773/graphic-design
Posted by GRAPHIC DESIGN at 11:26 PM