Before you go to print..

badspelling

*Artists*

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!

Is print dead?????

is-print-dead

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.

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.

Top ten lists… Here’s another!!

I was pleased to check into my Facebook account today to find that one of my friends had re-posted this from another blog. It is a list of top ten skills all Graphic Designers should have to be successful. And once again, this author hits on every skill and nails it. Each of the items on the list is a hit. It is a need that any good Graphic Designer should have within themselves to be successful.

http://blog.logodesignguru.com/skills-graphic-designers-cannot-do-without/

Imagination, ability to sketch, aesthetic, techie, knowledge, hard work, originality, humble, positive attitude, and being able to take “a chill pill”.

This author has made great points.

Imagination: the ability to think originally and freely.

The ability to sketch: to be able to get the idea from your head onto paper in some form before going all in with a design.

Aesthetic: to be able to see the beauty in things and make them appealing to consumers.

Techie: to be able to use the required technology in Graphic Design and continue to learn more.

Knowledge: the ability to use the graphic concepts taught.

Hard work: the knowledge to know that every job that is presented will require hard work, and the ability to put that effort in.

Originality: Knowing that being a copycat is cheap (and can be illegal, not to mention poor character), and that originality a huge key to success.

Humble: to never stop learning and believing you are the best. Once you stop being humble and stop learning you have fallen into a trap leading you down a path where your creativity is sapped.

Positive attitude: taking on projects that are challenging with confidence, and the ability to handle and accept criticism.

“Chill Pill”: The ability to handle stress, and be able to keep your creative juices flowing.

Not one of these skills are disagreeable, and this is a great “beginners” list. Can you think of anything you would want to add to this list to make yourself a good designer?