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.

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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/.

2014 New trends are popping up!

Beards

 

What is popular? What is going on out there in our world that is visually captivating us, in general? As a society, we are seeing a shift, a sweeping change. Things are becoming a little more grungy (not in the 90’s styled way, either), a little more realistic, and a little more accepting of things and people as they truly are. We are not judging as harshly or quickly as we used to. Stories and images of single fathers (or attentive fathers), women models who are being embraced for their true body image, celebrities speaking up about being airbrushed. Lens flares are accepted as authentic rather than mistakes. Things are changing! People are changing! And that means NEW TRENDS. The same old question follows, as does with any trend: Which will stay trends and be overused, and which will stand the test of time…???

Visual trends are HUGE in our industry. It’s what grabs a consumer and pulls them in. It is what we count on and use  to it’s highest degree. At iStock (http://www.istockphoto.com/article_view.php?ID=1619#.UuWSN_Yo4zY) there is an interesting infographic on some of the “newest” trends that are to be predicted for 2014. Listed, if you’d like a sneak-peak of what’s there, is diverse women, hands-on Dad’s, and beards. Just to name a few. What caught my eye about this infographic, and the few trends that are shown, is that most of these trends seem to call out timeless (well, except beards, those always come and go- at least it seems that way to me, and witches).

Our society is starting to change. There is a major shift going on under the surface of the “fake” that is put out there by the so-called “Reality TV”, and other “reality” fakes. One that we should be VERY sensitive to. We, as a society in America, want REAL. Real images of real people. Realistic women portrayed. Realistic, more positive, fathers portrayed. REAL stories. Authentic type pictures that have lighting that makes our minds wander to more simple times. We should be listening to the rumbling of the public, under the surface. There are waves being made, and people struggling to be heard and represented. We can help them. We can bring things to the forefront for them, with them. And we should be grasping that opportunity.

Wow…Loving Artists & Graphic Designers Market 2014….

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Let’s touch base, for a moment. I FINALLY received my copy of Artists & Graphic Designers Market 2014 book. I love, love, love it! The ideas! The resources! The listings of companies and more that a person can submit to, to get their work shown! The freedom of freelancing at it’s best!

Personally, I have had ideas upon ideas flood my head, as I scan the listings of companies for different freelance opportunities. The possibilities are endless. Only a persons’ fear could hold them back if they have this book! Or their lack of organization!

Aaahhh…there it is…Organization. We need it as artists. It goes completely against our nature, yet it is the one thing that will help us propel forward. Take heed and proceed with caution. If you choose to purchase this book, or purchase a membership online, then take the time to read HOW to use the book/website to the best of it’s ability, or all that wonderful information can become overwhelming and lost in translation!

Now excuse me while I hunker down and use this reference to it’s highest capabilities!

And the “winner” of Pantone’s color of the year 2014 is….

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Here it is! After waiting with bated breath… the color of the year is… Radiant Orchid…!!!! A stylish purple to say the least. If this is a favorite color of yours (as any purple is for me), we should “rehash” what purple can represent and mean for a person on a personal level.

  • Having either purple or violet as your favorite color means you are sensitive and compassionate, understanding and supportive, thinking of others before yourself – you are the person others come to for help – being needed motivates you but sometimes people take advantage of you.
  • You are a gentle and free spirit. Your feelings run deep and you can be quite sensitive to hurtful comments from others, although you would never show it.
  • Being a personality color purple, you have a peaceful and tranquil quality and a quiet dignity about you. People are drawn to your charismatic and alluring energy.You are usually introverted rather than extroverted and may give the impression of being shy although this is not the case.
  • You are creative and like to be individual in most of your endeavors, including your dress and home decoration – you love the unconventional.
  • You are idealistic, and often impractical, with a great imagination, dreaming of a future in an ideal fantasy world where you exclude the ugly side of reality – you tend to look at life through rose-colored glasses. People who don’t understand you sometimes think you are eccentric because you spend so much time in your fantasy world.
  • With your personality color purple you inspire others with your creative thinking and your ability to deal positively with adversity.
  • You are very intuitive and quite psychic or at least interested in spiritual growth or the occult – you seek spiritual fulfillment. You look for the meaning of life.
  • As a personality color purple, you are a generous giver, asking for little in return except friendship.
  • You can be secretive, with even your closest friends not really knowing you well.
  • If you constantly surround yourself with too much purple you can become moody. If this is the case, balance the purple with some magenta.
  • You dislike responsibility and have difficulty dealing with real day-to-day problems.
  • You dislike being part of the crowd, wishing to stand apart from the mob – you like to be noticed for your individuality. You don’t like to copy others and you don’t like them to copy you.
  • You are a visionary, with high ambitions, dreams and desires, and a compulsion to help humanity and to improve the planet earth. You often hold positions of power because you are visionary, but you delegate to others all the minor details that you aren’t interested in.
  • With a personality color purple you like to have the best of everything, so you aim high.
  • Being the free spirit you are, you love to travel to experience different cultures and meet new people.
  • You are a good judge of character and sum others up quite quickly and accurately, although you usually see the best in everybody.
  • Time means little to you and you are often late for everything. You trust the flow of the Universe to take care of everything.
  • You need to be careful not to take on too many projects at a time as you can become quite scattered in your thinking, resulting in stress and confusion.
  • Meditation is a good activity for you to help you become centered and balanced.
  • You can sometimes appear arrogant and conceited if operating from a negative perspective.
  • You can be selfish and self-indulgent as you don’t like being imposed upon by others beliefs and regulations.

Now… What does purple mean for businesses? For logos, brand identity and so on?

At http://www.empower-yourself-with-color-psychology.com/purple-in-business.html purple can be considered a definite power color! As stated:

In using purple in business applications you need to understand the traits, qualities and mood of the color along with the psychological meaning. The messages the color sends to your customer base can have a major impact on your business success.

Purple suggests wealth and extravagance, fantasy and the world of dreams. It enhances spiritual pursuits and enlightenment.

 Physiologically, it heightens people’s sense of beauty and their reaction to more creative ideas.

It is often used to denote a high quality or superior product, such as Cadbury’s chocolate or some women’s cosmetics.

If you are in a service business, use some purple in your marketing to denote your premium service.

Purple is often connected with the 18 to 25 year old market as they see it as sexy and rebellious, while innovative designers connect it with sophistication and power.

It is most often used by businesses in creative fields -designers, psychics and cosmetic manufacturers are common users of it.

Purple is a color that works well with gold, taupe, turquoise, jade green, deep red, magenta and yellow. Combined with orange it creates a unique contemporary look.

The keywords most associated with purple?

Positive Color Meanings in Business:

unusual and individual, creative and inventive
psychic and intuitive
humanitarian, selfless and unlimited
mystery, fantasy and the future

Negative Color Meanings in Business:

immaturity
impractical
cynical and aloof, pompous and arrogant
fraudulent and corrupt
delusions of grandeur and the social climber

What does all this mean for us? BE CAREFUL with this color. Play with it. Use it, enjoy it. But be careful of the hidden meaning this color can portray when used wrong! Also, watch out for this color being overused in trends to come!