Before you go to print..



Spelling. It is such a basic thing. We are taught to spell the moment we enter school at 5 or 6 (or younger) with small, basic words, and work our way up each and every year through the most difficult. Then we were privileged enough to be given the gift of spell check, which makes all of us lazy. Or better spellers. It depends on who you are talking to and if you remember to use the spell check in the first place. Then, through the miracle of technology we started texting. In the world of text…spelling just doesn’t exist. And now, if we weren’t lazy before with our spelling, we are.

I went shopping with my daughter today. As we pulled out of the parking spot, what do we see? A very nicely printed, colorful, flyer that was very professionally printed. This was for a tattoo company opening in a neighboring city. The colors were amazing. Really. The artwork was actually quite beautiful. It was on heavy stock paper, with a UV lamination coating. No expense was ignored in preparing for this opening, or promotion. I was intrigued, to say the least.I don’t have any tattoos. I have played with the idea of designing one and actually getting it. Honestly, though, I am my own worst customer, and have never agreed with myself on what I would like to have permanently on my body.

All truth be told, the  moment I noticed what is in the picture above, I lost all interest. How in the world could I be expected to trust a person to permanently mark my body if they could not remember to spell check their promotional material?  This is the kind of mistake that causes companies to loose business. Really. Think about it. This is company that thrives on producing amazing artwork that people will live with for the rest of their life. A lot of the amazing artwork will depend on their spelling, as many customers request quotes, names, and more. And here, in one of their marketing strategies is a glaring mistake that has lost them a customer. Or, at least, someone who could have been a customer, maybe, one day.

The basic lesson here is: Always prepare your files weeks, if not months, in advance of going to print. Run them through spell check, and have many eyes look them over. If the company you choose to use for the print service offers a service to not only proof your work, but to edit or check for spelling, please pay the extra fee, even if you are positive that you have no errors. The worse that will happen is that you spent a little extra money to guarantee a print ready piece in every way. If this special consideration is not taken, you could be out money and product when you receive the piece back and notice spelling mistakes yourself before you hand the marketing material out (I have learned this lesson the hard way) or even worse: you loose the customers you had hoped to gain by launching such an expensive campaign to begin with.

A mistake like this, if caught by the consumer, can cost you not only customers, but cost you the professional image you are trying to build. Good luck to you all!


Marketing can be HARD…


As the title states, marketing can be hard. A person can get lost in the maze of choices, trying to find which niche will work best for them. Facebook, blogging, twitter, placing ads, flyers, direct mail, community bulletin boards… Then as a person is thinking and trying all of these out (and more), they are also fine tuning their work, portfolio, and always putting their best foot forward.

Do *I* have the answer? No. No, I don’t. Marketing myself is hard, one of the hardest things I have personally done. So, here are some great articles to get us all on the right foot….


All of these articles have great points, and some repeat themselves (only because they are worth repeating!). The point is that we must all organize (eek, not my favorite to do, but LOVE when it is utilized), plan and follow through. Plan for the best and prepare for the worst, and always learn from mistakes…then move on!

Graphic Design Trends part 10

castle_1000Big and bold…


Let’s be real everyone. There’s been a lot of doom and gloom out in the world. One of the new trends for this year, hopefully, would be big and bold. The brighter, more eye catching, the better.

As stated, rather than this being a trend, this is a hopeful trend. One that hasn’t occurred yet, but that may just slip in.

What better way to lift people spirits than to bring color and brightness in? As stated before in many ways, Graphic Design is a way to bring a message across subliminally. When we are hired to work, we should always listen to the clients, but if there is way to keep the message upbeat, bright, and fun… Well, then maybe, just maybe, we can have a positive impact on the consumers. Quietly bringing a smile to their lips. And isn’t a smile a great way to start bringing cheer and good feelings to the forefront? Big and bold. Bright! Try it.

Off topic from trends 2013..But on color!

I started this blog with my love of color, and color psychology and the role it plays in design. I know I am supposed to be writing about the third trend out of ten, on a list, but I saw this article on color and how color affects a shoppers mood. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to guide you all to one of my passions: color.

To refresh everyone’s memory, color affects us in ways that only our sub-conscience can determine. We are not usually aware of HOW it affects us. Colors can change a mood, cause a mood, influence how much we eat, or, as the following article reminds us, affects what we spend. From how the packages are colored, to the signs of the shops that we frequent color is used to influence us and move us, whether it’s in a direction we want to go in or not. Enjoy the following link, and please share if you find any other similar information!

Moving on…A way to stay fresh with ideas…

Well, the series on horoscopes and colors was interesting. But it was off track for me. To bring things back down to a different level, I am revisiting an old friend, so to speak. I have enjoyed, for many years, a site called Illustration Friday ( ). Illustration Friday is a wonderful website that, every week, challenges artists to be creative. It gives a word, just one word, for you- the illustrator- to work with. How you interpret it, how you display your art and design… Well, that’s all to you. The word every week is meant to challenge you. Every Friday a new word is submitted for you to work with. What better way for an artist, any artist, to keep up on their skills? I ask you all now, to join me in joining this artist guild and seeing what magnificent art we are all capable of? You never know. Your next great idea may just come from trying these exercises. This is a wonderful way to practice all things design, from letter play, negative and positive space, to color theory, and hierarchy.


Topic Archives

Illustration Friday topics archived by date:

This list is just a SMALL example of the word that is used every week to challenge you. Please join me, as I embark on this journey.

Came across this…

I receive wonderful emails everyday from various places. Some are about color, design, working, working in design, designers helping designers and so on. I clicked on link earlier today and was just awe inspired by this persons journaling of their thoughts about working in a “big box” creative company, compared to being a creative person. His words just sucked me in. Although I have yet to finish school and embark on my journey in this career, I can absolutely see and understand every word this person wrote. I ask you, if you find yourself curious, to please go read this article :

Color Schemes…and combinations

Color is so important and many times, it is overlooked. The way a designer brings color together in their projects can literally make or break the deals. Just as much, if not more so, than typography and a well thought out design.

There are many things to take into consideration when a designer is picking colors for their projects. And although the customer and boss are #1 for input, a smart designer will play with the colors that these people ask him or her to use. Which color should be predominate? Which color will work better as an accent? Is the design to be classy? Or is the design more relaxed? Color plays into each and every one of those questions.

Another important question to take into consideration is: Are the color predictions of the year, or upcoming year, important enough, classic enough, to be worthwhile to bring into a design. Let’s face it. Color predictions are fun and interesting, but they are only a snap shot of what is current. They come in and they go right back out quickly in their popularity. A good designer will point that out to a customer, if the customers color picks are trendy. What is popular and eye catching one year can be tired and boring the next. That is why it is important to understand classy and traditional color schemes for the jobs. And why it is important to understand the trends going on – so that you, as a designer, doesn’t get “pulled” into the hype of the newest and greatest color schemes.