18 August 2007


Tyler Houts

A company logo can be an invaluable marketing tool if created and used correctly. The logo is a

memorable and meaningful representation of your company. It is important that you do not just

blow off the design of your company logo. Hiring a professional design firm is well worth the

money. Read these benefits of having a logo with superior design and you’ll see why.

First Impressions

First impressions are key in several areas of life. Think about how you wanted to make a great

first impression anyone who has ever interviewed you. In the same way, your company logo is

out there making first impressions to potential customers. For this reason you want your logo to

represent your company in the best way possible. And the last thing you want is for your logo to

turn people away from your business.

Professionalism and Credibility

A company without a logo just doesn’t look professional, that’s all there is to it. Would you do

business with a company without a logo? How would you know they were established and

professional? A well designed logo establishes the credibility your company needs to gain and

retain clients. Also, a logo will make you look like you’ve been around a long time, even if you


Trust and Memorability

To be successful in the business world, you must have the trust of your customers. In the mind of

consumers, a good logo helps to build trust. Customers can confide in a company with a good

logo to represent their company. Along with trust comes memorability. People remember

trustworthy company’s and want to do business with them more often. They will also refer friends

and family to your business as well.

Confidence and Brand Value

A good logo is one of the key elements in starting a successful business. Not only does a

successful logo look good to potential clients but it also can help to motivate employees. Working

for a company that is well represented by a logo can help employees realize company goals.

And if your logo and brand becomes extremely well known and valuable, you can start to market

it even more with merchandise like clothing, coffee mugs, stickers, etc.

With all of these benefits, how can your company afford to not have a logo? Don’t be afraid to

spend some money for a professionally designed logo, either. It will more than pay for itself in

time. So do your company a favor and get a great company logo today!

About the Author: Tyler Houts is the Public Relations and Online Marketing Director for Kinetica

Media, an internet marketing company that works to harness the power of the internet for

businesses of all sizes. Visit www.kineticamedia.com to see how their proven online marketing

campaigns can enhance customer loyalty and attract new clients.

15 August 2007


Carl Grivakis

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


Shaun Crowley

Freelance designers who produce marketing materials will know that design and copy should be developed together to work well.

But sometimes there isn’t enough budget for teaming with a copywriter. Or the client needs a project in a hurry. That’s when being able to produce concept and copy in addition to design can be a powerful business advantage.

It goes without saying that an ability to write is fundamental. But you don’t have to be a copywriter to produce strong concepts and write copy for many smaller projects.

Think of the concept as a hook, a lead-in that will grab readers’ attention and persuade them to read on. Think of the copy as a fulfillment of the concept’s premise, the fleshing out of the product story.

Avoid trying to do too much, bombarding readers with multiple copy and visual messages. For any piece to be persuasive and memorable, its design, headlines, visuals, and copy must work together to communicate one single and strong message.

As idea starters, below are thirteen simple concept/copy approaches. Each has been proven to help deliver sales results.

1. Focus on a particularly persuasive benefit.

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.

Product: Beds. Headline: “Turn your back on aches and pains”. Visual: Profile of woman, back to camera, lying comfortably on a mattress.

2. Create a need—then show how the product fulfils it.

A proven way to position a product is to show how it solves a need or a problem. The problem can be real…

Product: Kitchen appliances. Message: “Everyone knows showers are more efficient than baths. So why do dishwashers work like baths?” Visual: Photo of shower cubicle alongside product.

Or the problem can be imagined…

Product: Teaching (recruitment drive). Headline: “Children have an energy and spontaneity that just aren’t found in many office jobs”. Visual: Happy child contributing in a classroom activity.

3. Focus on the product’s Unique Selling Point.

The product you’re selling doesn’t need to fill an obvious gap in the market to have a Unique Selling Point (USP).

A USP can be a fact about the product (such as sales history, brand reputation, or product origination)…

Product: Muesli. Headline: “The original Swiss muesli”. Visual: Idyllic Swiss landscape.

A USP can be a product feature (something the product has that no other product has)…

Product: TV. Headline: “Color like no other.” Visual: Bright-colored paint splashing across a television set.

Or a USP can be a product benefit (something a product does that no other product does)…

Product: Educational text book. Headline: “At last, a coursebook that puts you in control of your lessons”. Visual: confident looking teacher walking into the classroom..

4. Associate the product with a connected idea, feeling, or emotion.

Metaphor is commonly used in consumer advertising, corporate-identity, and brand-building publicity. It can be particularly effective in activating an archetype that connects an emotion with the brand.

Product: Cognac. Headline: “Let the conversation flow”. Visual: Glass of cognac in focus; a group of people in conversation after dinner out of focus.

5. Prove how popular the product is.

People trust popular products because they are seen as reliable and imply good quality. Popularity messages also respond to deep emotional needs to feel part of a community.

Product: Telecommunications. Headline: “Thousands of people are coming back to XYZ Telecoms”. Visual: Woman opening door to friendly telecoms engineer.

6. Use a case study.

Case studies prove validity by showing how people have already benefited from the product in the past. They are particularly useful for highlighting success stories, before-and-afters, or for demonstrating the versatility and universality of the product.

Product: Weight-loss milkshake. Headline: “I lost 18 pounds in just one month on the ThinQuick Plan!” Visual: Before and after photos of individual alongside close-up of product.

7. Endorse the product.

People trust respected figures in society. Your lead copy could be a published testimonial—or have the client pay a respected figure to put his/her name to the product.

Product: Rowing machine. Headline: “The Gold Standard”. Visual: Snapshot of Olympic rower presenting product, with his signature.

8. Tell the product’s story.

A product with an interesting background has real news value, and news makes for an attention-grabbing message, appealing to the reader’s sense of curiosity. Product stories can also initiate desire for the product by developing the reader’s emotional attachment to the brand.
Product: French Beer. Headline: “When Edmund Willims created Bertillon Noir, he didn’t just break the mould. He broke the law.” Visual: Melodramatic black-and-white photo of character nervously hiding behind a door.

9. Put the product to the test.

You can ‘test’ the product to highlight its key features such as convenience, strength, versatility—or to show how the product compares with the competition.

Product: Battery. Headline: “Duromax lasts up to three times longer than conventional alkaline batteries”. Visual: Battery-powered toy rabbit beating his competitors in a race.

10. Announce something new.

The word ‘New’ is one of the most powerful words in advertising copy. Sometimes the most effective message is simply to announce the product’s newness.

Product: Cat food. Headline: “Introducing new finest cuts from Feleba”. Visual: Plate of gourmet cat food hidden by a silver cover.

11. Guarantee the product.

A guarantee quickly dissolves any scepticism your reader has about the reliability of the product. Guarantees can be based around results, quality, durability, strength, customer satisfaction, a commitment on behalf of the company, fixed price promises, and lowest price claims.

Product: Golf clubs. Headline: “Guaranteed! Cut six to eight strokes off your game… or your money back!” Visual: Product photo overlaid with guarantee stamp.

12. Announce how much and where to buy.

If the product is particularly good value for money, you can’t go wrong with “the three Ps”: show the Product, show the Price, and show where to Purchase.

Product: Clothes. Headline: “Back-to-school sweat-shirts from just $4. at Berkleys (opposite MacDonalds)”. Visual: Photo of mothers and children choosing sweatshirts in-store, with map of where the shop is.

13. State the offer.

People are always looking for a bargain, which is why the word ‘Free’ is another powerful word in the advertiser’s lexicon. If you have a good offer to tell readers about, lead with it.

Product: Newspaper. Headline: “Get a free Mozart CD in tomorrow's Sunday Bugle”. Visual: Huge ‘FREE’ flash alongside product.

This list of advertising concepts is hardly exhaustive, but can be used as a framework for brainstorming ideas. Whatever your concept, ask yourself this: “Am I effectively communicating the product message through my headline, visual, and body copy?” If you’re not, the chances are your concept is too complicated—you need to strip it down and focus on just one thing.

Shaun Crowley is author of 100 Copywriting Tips for Designers and Other Freelance Artists, available at www.copywriting-designers.com

© Shaun Crowley 2006. The content of this article is lifted from 100 Copywriting Tips for Designers. (Article first published at www.creativebusiness.com)


Russell Arsenault

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

Cast Shadow
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.

Color Cast
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.

Drop Shadow
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.

Graphic Backgrounds
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.

Andy Eaton has created a 10 day ecourse, which includes informative articles, training videos, special offer discounts, plus lots more - finally learn to create your own amazing ecover graphics. simply send a blank email to arpgraphicslist@graphicsecretsexposed.com or visit http://www.graphicsecretsexposed.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/


Opening Paragraph

Graphic design is a form of communication in which visual information is used to convey a message. Unlike fine art, it is normally used for commercial purposes, to convey a specific and persuasive message to a large audience. Graphic design often incorporates typography and page layout, photography, illustration, dimension|3D design, animation, and branding, but it is not limited to these elements.

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.

Notable Designers

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.
publisher : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Graphic_design/article_candidate

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

09 August 2007


As a graphic designer, you can quickly become a salesperson's best friend. By creating a graphic design label or logo through digital media, you utilize your creative expertise in providing companies with the visual tools that help them sell their product. Digital design creates communication with the consumer through eye-catching and though-provoking advertising. In addition to being creative and adept with graphic design software programs, you will be called upon to create print collateral for a client's sales and marketing needs. Print collateral includes:
  • Creative sales brochures
  • Visual aids used in presentations
  • Web content
  • Posters and signs

Growing Industry
Because of the marketing success that digital media has enjoyed in promoting businesses and products, graphic design is growing and generating incredible interest as an industry. While no academic program can guarantee future salary prospects, this is excellent news for entry-level or staff-level graphic designers, who are reported to make an annual salary of $40,000, according to the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics. With high competition for these jobs, it is important to gain as much experience and education in digital media and layout design as possible. Attending a campus-based academic program in digital media means taking classes in computer systems and software development. These classes will provide you with a wide range of graphic design and digital media knowledge.

U.S. Department of Labor Designers
"Marketing Collateral": Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia



By Mike Schultz and John Doerr

Dither n: A state of indecisive agitation: Company management was in a dither about the new round of graphic designs. Everybody had strong opinions on what they liked and didn't like.

Dilatory adj: Tending to postpone or delay: The graphic design process had a dilatory effect on our ability to do anything in marketing besides work on designs. Could this drag out any longer?

Delusion n: Psychiatry. A false belief strongly held in spite of invalidating evidence, especially as a symptom of mental illness: The team seemed under the delusion that choosing between possible brochure trim colors of papaywhip, peachpuff, or peru* would make any difference in marketing results.

* Three actual colors. Who knew?

The Long and Winding Road

When many people think of marketing, they think of ads, logos, taglines, brochures, and (nowadays) websites. It's understandable. Ads and brochures are what we see everyday, and we all have opinions of what we like and don't like.

So when we build new websites, brochures, and logos for our organizations, we scrutinize them with fanatical zeal. Everyone is going to see them and form an opinion about us based on them. They must look…they will look…perfect! (Even if the process of doing so kills us.)

This intense graphic design scrutiny is especially true in service organizations. Why?

  • Aggressive, proactive marketing is new to many service industries. Up until a few years ago, marketing was done by answering the phone when it rang.

  • Besides answering the phone, service firms have always put great stock in very nice brochures. Thus, much of the marketing attention was focused on them.

  • Service businesses are run by experts in their field. They are not typically schooled or focused in the more mundane parts of marketing such as new lead generation and retention of existing revenue.

  • The people who deliver the services tend to associate themselves personally with any ad or graphic design that depicts their service. Thus, they identify the quality of the marketing piece as a reflection of the quality of their own work.

  • Service firms are filled with smart people. They all have opinions and, indeed, would consider it a failing if they didn't add intelligent constructive criticism to everything. Graphic design is simply an easy target.

As a result, when a service business decides it's going to ‘really do some marketing' everyone gets overly caught up in the graphic design process.

Pathology of Design Monomania

The same pathology happens over and over. It goes something like this:

  • Marketing initiative is kicked off with vigor and enthusiasm
  • New design of something—branding, brochures or website—becomes a central component of the marketing effort
  • Large group of ‘stakeholders' becomes part of the design review team
  • The process takes forever
  • People lose energy as the process drags on
  • Nobody focuses on the ‘lets get new customers' part of marketing with the same vigor they do when choosing website trim colors

The purpose of marketingthe end prizeshould never be anything but the following: Attract and retain profitable customers. All too often we see companies getting so caught up in the visible and sexy part of the marketing process (design, copy), they forget about the important-but-mundane part (lead and revenue generation).

Graphic Design Advice that Could Save Your Life

Here are five pieces of advice that could save your marketing initiatives from the graphic design pit of despair.

  1. Keep Your Eyes on the Prize: Is it possible that you should disregard this article and pour over your designs and copy for months, all the way down to the last comma, pixel, and Pantone color? Sure—if you're about to spend tens of millions on an advertising campaign that will create hundreds of millions of impressions.

    You can be sure that companies executing campaigns this large are also doing the following: extensive market research, testing each ad for customer response, researching each market, and many other steps before the launch. And they're prepared to turn on a dime if they find new creative that will work better to help them win the prize: attracting and retaining profitable customers.
  2. Collaborate with Care: Most design processes have too many people involved. In the name of collaboration, companies make the design process muddled and painful. Balance the benefits of collaboration with the knowledge that too many cooks make for bad soup.

  3. Apply Ockham's Razor: 12th century philosopher William of Ockham is famous for a statement known as Ockham's Razor: Plurality should not be posited without necessity. In other words, unless proven otherwise, less is more. Apply this to your creative process by asking yourself questions like:

  • Do we need 8 people here when, in the end, the design will be just as good (if not better) with 3 people involved, and we will get finished two months earlier?

  • Do we need another round of design edits in order to help us attract and retain profitable customers, or can we stop now and move on?

  • Do we need more design features such as Flash on our websites and a 6 color processes for our brochures when it won't make a difference to our customers?

Applying Ockham's Razor to the design process will help you save time and money and prevent a good deal of heartache.

  1. Don't Rewire the Network Yourself: Let's say you are a sales person and your company is re-planning its technology infrastructure. Would you tell the technologists where to put the wires? Whether to use fiber optics or something else? Whether version 6.3 of one software package is more robust than version 3.2 of another? You'd be laughed out of the room. If the technologists don't do a good job of listening to your business needs and implementing technology that will help serve those needs, get new technology people. Don't try to fix it yourself.

    If you are not a designer, ask questions like “We're going to use this at a trade show. Will this help us attract attention and generate leads? How so?” instead of questions like “Don't you think a hunter green would be better?” In the end, if you don't think your designers are doing a good job, get new designers. Don't try to be one of them.

  2. Stop the Insanity: If you find yourself spiraling into design process despair, stand up and say—with Susan Powter vigor—“Stop the insanity!” Either that, or appropriately but clearly engage a discussion about what matters most: getting more revenue. If the current discussion is either overkill or distracting you from that goal, put an end to it. Do what you must to save yourself and your company from wasting time and energy on discussions that won't make a difference in results.

Dither n: A state of indecisive agitation: We don't dither about design. We run the process well, have the right people and skill sets on the team, and make decisions that help leverage graphic design to grow our revenue.

Dilatory adj: Tending to postpone or delay: Others tried to slow us down by distracting us from our marketing goals and focusing too much on superfluous discussions. Their dilatory tactics won't work on us!

Delusion n: Psychiatry. A false belief strongly held in spite of invalidating evidence, especially as a symptom of mental illness: I drank the punch and no longer operate under the delusion that marketing equals graphic design. Marketing equals growing our revenue. Graphic design is a great tool in the process, but not the process itself.

The definitions are the same, but you have the power to change how you use them in a sentence.


‘Must-Have’ 6 Elements of an Effective Brochure

by marketing@brochures.com Curry

Most brochures that businesses put out today end up doing little to impact the sales of that business। By applying the 6 must-have elements listed below you will transform you brochure from trash can lining into a powerful sales tool.

1. A Benefit-Filled Headline.

On the cover of most brochures you’ll usually find nothing more than the company name, logo, and maybe a quick slogan like “committed to excellence”. This isn’t horrible, but there is a much better way to enhance your brochure. If you want to turn your brochure into a powerful sales tool you need to grab your prospects attention immediately. You do that through a benefit-loaded headline. A benefit-loaded headline is a headline that clearly and powerfully communicates a desirable benefit that your product or service offers your customers. For example a benefit-loaded headline for a heating and cooling company would be “How the New XYZ System Can Shave $800 Off Your Utility Bill This Year”. This headline is clear, specific, and powerful. If a customer were in the market for a new heating or cooling system this headline would draw the prospect into the brochure.

2. Educational Content.

Prospects read brochures because they want to make the best possible buying decision. Usually when someone reads a brochure, they are hungry for knowledge about your product or service. Make sure your brochure is written in such a way that your prospects will know more about your product or service after they read the brochure than they did before.

3. Unique Selling Proposition (USP).

A USP is something that separates you from your competition. To be ultimately effective you want your brochure to cause prospects to lean toward your company instead of your competitors. Your USP is a statement that either your competitors can’t, or aren’t saying. A popular old USP that you’ll recognize is “Delivered in 30 Minutes or It’s FREE!” This USP was effective because nobody else was saying it.

4. Proof.

Anytime you make a statement regarding the benefits that your product will bring, you need to back that statement up with proof. Testimonials, quotes, charts, graphs, pictures, endorsements, and articles are great ways to prove your claims and cause your prospects to believe what you are saying. Remember that most people are skeptical initially, but you can overcome that skepticism with proof.

5. A Low-Risk Offer.

After a customer has read your USP, your educational content, and your proof, you need to encourage them to take the next step in the buying process. The next step could be to make a purchase, to call for more information, to set an appointment, or whatever. Whatever the next logical step is you need to invite your prospect to take it, and make them feel comfortable about taking it. If you want them to make a purchase, mention a money-back guarantee. If you want them to call for more information, reassure them that they won’t be pressured. You need to try and remove all of the possible barriers that would prevent a person from taking the next step.

Incorporate as many or these design elements as you can to ensure your brochure leads your prospects closer to making a buying decision.

Brett Curry is a Professional Marketing Consultant and Marketing Director for Brochures.com. Brochures.com is the home of top quality, full color brochures, business cards, postcards and more at up to 70% off of retail. http://www.brochures.com marketing@brochures.com