Noticing “Big Business” trends….

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More business are changing their logos. Some of which are so iconic, that the subtle changes will be just enough to make us take notice. Olive Garden is taking their likeness and making a major change, as is Staples. And both brands are making changes to their taglines while they are at it. And whether you like these new designs or not, they are giving us a glimpse into a trend.

At http://www.creativebloq.com/branding/biggest-logo-designs-march-2014-31411168?utm_content=4640123&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook, we can see 5 classic brands change before our eyes. And I have noticed a theme. If a logo was  squared off, and more vertical in design, they are going more horizontal in the lines now. Also, the complexity of each design is becoming more streamlined and simplistic. Flat. This was something that we brought to attention in March in the article http://nancykimberlin.wordpress.com/2014/03/04/flat-design-trendtypography/. Flat is in. Making things more simplistic and streamlined is in.

Take some time to look around at your favorite brands. Any changes? Share them with us! We’d love to see them.

Is print dead?????

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Print isn’t dead. Wanna know HOW I know? I work in an office document creation business. We print all day long. We print posters. We print documents. We make copies. We print pictures. We print reports for businesses. We print reports for schools. We print calendars. We print off your USB. We print off your sim cards. We print from your email attachments. We PRINT all day long. We print because no matter HOW much you LOVE the web, you are not likely to sit down in a class or meeting with people staring at a screen while you “share” your information.

While the web is great to reach the masses- it misses the mark in groups that are sitting together and sharing. You can email a picture, but hanging it on the wall and looking at is less likely from an email- unless you are full of money and able to have you pictures electronically showing on your T.V. when you aren’t watching Netflix.

Print is amazing. It gives us a feeling. It gives us something to touch- without smearing for the next person to look at(when we allow the ink to dry). It allows us to share things in “unique” ways. Although it’s been around since…Anyone? Anyone? Does anyone know when print was first “invented”? I’ll tell you when: the year 618 during the T’ang Dynasty – the first printing is done in China using ink on carved wooden blocks begins to make multiple transfers of an image to paper. And if you go to http://theweek.com/article/index/250984/no-print-isnt-dead, you will receive a more in-depth explanation of print and when it really started , which is even earlier than what I just referenced! It’s been here for at least 1,396 years. We, as a race of human beings, have been communicating with ink and paper for almost 1,400 years! Has it really dissipated so much that it is disappearing? Nope. It is evolving. It has become “more personal” and “unique” and more “rare”.

Reasons that print is not dead are numerous.  (Found list at http://www.forbes.com/sites/thesba/2012/06/28/print-is-dead-not-so-fast/) Let’s list them:

-Tangible: it is something you can see and feel. No question if you clicked the right link to get the sale price, you know when and where the sale is, and YOU plan to go to it! Newspapers and magazines can sit in offices for years, giving a long term appeal  for ads and columns.

-Credibility: You are overwhelmed with popup ads on the web. Facebook and other social sites are bombarding your eyes with flashing lights, trying to beckon you to click “here!” Print, on the other hand, can give a more concrete sense of legitimacy.

-Branding: Print ads allow for a more consistent look and theme for you brand. The color, fonts, and types of images used can be seen more tangibly and side by side, allowing for you to see the consistency.

-Target Marketing: Placing ads in specialty magazines and areas that target your consumers, without them getting lost on the web and loosing interest or becoming distracted in their search.

-Less Print Ads: I know this one sounds odd, until you think about it. If there are less print ads, then there is MORE space for your ad to shine!

-PR Codes: Of course this one links paper and web experiences. Which is just nice.

-Variety: There is large format printing, vehicle wraps, substrates, packaging! Even printing for cakes!

And please, visit here: http://www.creativepro.com/article/print-dead, to read even more great things about print! I mean, who would have thought of print (“You’re killing trees!!!!” Gasp) as more green then the web?

Paper books still run the market of reading by holding tight at 75% of sales, even though Kindles and other reading tablets are popular. It is even said that by reading and FEELING the book, one is able to map out the information and retain the information better.

Of course, the best method in design is to find the perfect balance between both web and print. So, don’t forget to grab some flyers and market yourself, or send Thank you cards, or postcards to consumers you are hoping to sway in your direction.

Choosing what field of design to go into…

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This can be a difficult choice for many designers. I chose to go into Graphic Design because I love to create, and I love seeing peoples’ satisfied looks on their face when the mark is hit. When I am able to create a piece for a customer that brings their idea or thought out into the open for them to share with others, I feel an immense amount of pride and joy for them.  The killer is that I chose print design and logo/branding. Print can be a killer to get into. Web is where the money is at. If you know how to code, and can learn the tricks to manipulate and have some creativity a designer can really do great financially. I know how to code, but it’s not my cup of tea. It is not where I choose to focus my creativity at. And in doing so, I may have taken a more difficult road to travel. Everyone is into the web. Everyone seems to use it to advertise, to search, research, check into other people and business. The yellow pages are truly a touch away, and your fingers still do the walking. And print is now the “non-traditional” route for advertising.

I have questioned my desire, which is huge, to be in print, logo and branding. I know what the “norm” is. I have looked into my past and really thought about what it is that  draws me in this direction. It is the enjoyment I receive from pleasing people, and the enjoyment I receive from tactile reinforcement. I enjoy reading. A REAL book. I like to hold the book in my hands and feel the weight of the pages the author has written and poured their soul into. I don’t mind the “junk” mail I receive. I open, almost, all my mail, just to check it out, to feel it, read it…and oddly enough- smell it. There is nothing in the world like a freshly printed piece. Well, to me, there isn’t.

I suppose, what I am trying to convey here is that – you, as a designer, should really take a look at what is motivating your choices. Is it that you want to create beautiful sites for the masses to enjoy? Do you wish to make those frustrating website truly more functional? Do you smile every time you see a hidden message in a Logo? What is it that has inspired you to design, and in the way you design? Do you enjoy the feel of pages in your fingers? Or prefer the glow of a monitor?

I started questioning the road I took, because the job I am at is not focusing on my talents. I am frustrated. And I started questioning the road I have taken. But when I sat back and thought really hard, I realized that while it may take some time, I am on the right road. I am confident in what I do. I just crave to do a LOT more of it. So when you are questioning what you are doing, in general, or even just starting to wonder what type of design work you would like to focus on- sit back, relax, and think about the things that made you smile and start down the path of being a designer in the first place.

Business Card design

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I have long stated that I am entranced by typography and hand lettering. I could research and look at examples all day long. I have found a new infatuation. One that supports my love for typography. It is the business card.

Many of you may think, “A business card? As an infatuation?”. Yes. Yes it is. There is so much creativity out there. And a business card is a way to communicate your availability and specialty. It is a way to market. One of the oldest and most traditional ways. But the card in itself does NOT have to be traditional. And when you are a designer, your ability to stand out can be put in the spotlight. The design of your card can be the one thing that stands out against the masses in a company who has stacks of cards from other designers. Is it the texture, the color, the words, the graphics or something else that makes it stand out? Is it the shape, maybe? Who knows.

In this little understood world of business cards, where tradition rules, and rule breaking is usually either ignored or celebrated (depending on how great your originality is) are hidden gems and hidden talents that many people over look. Please, enjoy this link to the site: Business Card Design Inspiration at Cardnerd (http://www.cardnerd.com/). There are some truly amazing business card examples here. Some ideas may grab you and make you wish you had thought of it first (like the person who used a Google search bar on his card). Some will make you wonder if paying an extra huge fee for a special cut card is worth it. Others will amaze you with their use of white space or color. Any way you look at it, business cards do NOT have to be white with black imbossed writing in 8 point font. There is so much more out there.

Flat design trend/typography

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Flat design. It rolled in with iPhones and Windows 8. It’s been here for a bit, and  it’s starting to gain some speed and acceptance. So what is flat design really? Well, we’ve talked about shadows, and beveling, and perception (maybe)…Flat design is the exact opposite. It is literally just the text/image without shadows, depth, 3D, or extreme gradients. It pulls from typography, grid, and color.

Flat design is taking off because it is multi-platform friendly.  It works. It works on print, web and responsive design. It transfers well between all. It uses white space to make things easy on the eyes, and easy to read.

Here, in this article- http://www.hyperarts.com/blog/the-life-and-times-of-flat-design/ – flat design is better defined.

What has me excited, is that typography is becoming a staple for this form of graphics, and by having that happen, typography is taking off again! I enjoy typography so!

Where do trends come from? 2014 and beyond.

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Where do trends come from? What is it that influences what people are drawn to? Is it media? Fashion? Interior design? Web? Graphic? Print? Where do the influences for THOSE come from? And how is it determined what influences what? Is there a rhyme? A reason? A pattern?

All of this should start with the general definitions of the words trend and influence.

trend  (trĕnd)

n.

1. The general direction in which something tends to move.
2. A general tendency or inclination. See Synonyms at tendency.
3. Current style; vogue: the latest trend in fashion.
intr.v. trend·ed, trend·ing, trends

1. To extend, incline, or veer in a specified direction: The prevailing wind trends east-northeast.
2. To show a general tendency; tend: “The gender gap was trending down” (James J. Kilpatrick).
influence
in·flu·ence  (ĭn′flo̅o̅-əns)

n.

1. A power affecting a person, thing, or course of events, especially one that operates without any direct or apparent effort: relaxed under the influence of the music; the influence of television on modern life.
2. Power to sway or affect based on prestige, wealth, ability, or position: used her parent’s influence to get the job.
3.a. A person who exerts influence: My parents considered my friend to be a bad influence on me.

b. An effect or change produced by influence.
4.a. A determining factor believed by some to affect individual tendencies and characteristics understood to be caused by the positions of the stars and planets at the time of one’s birth.

b. Factors believed to be caused by the changing positions of the stars and planets in relation to their positions at the time of one’s birth.
tr.v. in·flu·enced, in·flu·enc·ing, in·flu·enc·es

1. To produce an effect on by imperceptible or intangible means; sway.
2. To affect the nature, development, or condition of; modify. See Synonyms at affect1.
Now that we know the basic definitions of these words…HOW do they apply to what we, as designers, do? Where do we pull the “power” (influence) to affect the “general direction” (trend)? Do we pull from fashion designers who are considered forward thinkers? Do we pull from the movies, or books that are “popular”? Do we pull from the big companies (Pantone) that predict what should be popular? The resounding answer is “YES“.
We ALL pull our ideas, our creativity, from what is influencing us already. For one person it may be color from the latest fashion designer, while another is pulling from deep in the sci-fi genre. Some pull from what they believe will be futuristic, while other are pulling from vintage, the romantic past.
Basically we are talking about cross-media pollination. We are talking about everything influencing everything. We all influence each other, we are all influenced by different medias. Hence, we are influenced by each others’ original ideas.
One article I read was able to explain this idea, and a few others, much more clearly. Please enjoy the article here: http://www.popmatters.com/post/129550-where-do-trends-come-from/.