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!

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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 https://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?????

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.

Where do trends come from? 2014 and beyond.

spring-summer-2014-print-trend-report

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.

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!

 

2014 Artist’s & Graphic Designer’s Market

graphicartistmarket

Every year this reference book for Artist’s and Graphic Designer’s is released. It is a book full of information on how and where to submit work as a freelance artist, whether you work digitally, in paint, pencil, or ink. This book is in the 39th edition.

As described on Amazon:

Build a Successful Art Career!

2014 Artist’s & Graphic Designer’s Market is the must-have reference guide for any artist who wants to establish or expand a career in fine art, illustration or graphic design. Thousands of successful artists have relied on us to help develop their careers and navigate the changing business landscape. The 2014 Artist’s & Graphic Designer’s Market introduces a whole host of new features and guarantees the most up-to-date, individually verified market contacts possible.

This book is much more than just a book. It gives advice and guidance. It tells you (when available) who the person will be that you are contacting within a company. It gives you the address, and information on how to submit the work. It even tells you how many freelancers the company usually works with every year, so you have an idea of your chances; you can understand the amount of competition there is for each company. But! Don’t let those numbers discourage you from attempting to send in your work and land a paying gig!

Make sure to also check out ArtistsMarketOnline.com and ArtistsNetwork.com for more helpful resources. These are two great sites that give great advice and information for artist’s and graphic designer’s alike!