Monthly Archives: April 2011

Choosing the Right Font for the Right Project

Choosing fonts is an important part of graphic design. Understanding some of the history of graphic design and fonts can help you achieve interesting text effects in your designs.

Knowing the history behind various typefaces and why they were originally used can be a graphic design education in and of itself. If you how typefaces were originally used, choosing fonts is an art form that not only builds on the past successes but will make your project stand out in today’s world.

  • At the beginning of the computer age, typefaces needed to be machine-readable, and in 1966, OCR-A was adopted as the standard.
  • For those of us who can’t imagine getting hints about what’s going on inside a computer or interacting with it directly, it might seem incredible that computers originally didn’t have monitors. But when monitors became standard, a typeface that actually looked readable on-screen was necessary. Hence New Alphabet, designed to avoid the traditional curves of the traditional alphabet.
  • Reinventing classic typeface designs is another way of producing modern fonts: ITC Galliard is a reinvention of a 16th-century French typeface designed by Robert Granjon.
  • HTF Didot, designed in 1991 by Jonathan Hoefler, was commissioned specifically for Harper’s Bazaar magazine as a throwback to the magazine’s style in the 1930s to 1950s. […]

Knowing how to spend your graphic design dollars

In most businesses, finding efficient ways to get rid of unnecessary expenses is part of what makes a business successful.  But most business owners know there are just certain things you should not go cheap on. They know that sometimes going the cheap route or trying to save money on certain things can actually set the business back.

 

It’s hard at times to find the line between what to skimp on and what to save on.  For example, you may think that you can save by designing your logo yourself using some $20 software but this is an example of skimping on something that in the long run is going to hurt you.  Hiring someone cheap or using this cheap software instead of hiring a reputable professional graphic designer is going to cost your business success.

At first, your logo design may just seem like a fun and non-important item for your business. But when it comes down to it, no other component of your business gives more disclosure to current customers, potential customers and business partners.  Think about it. Your logo is going to be on your business cards, your letterhead, your marketing collateral and your website.  It is going to be on anything that represents your business and venture.  This in itself should relay the importance of creating a logo that will make an impression on those who come in contact with it. Working with a graphic design agency like Moonstruck Marketing Group to create a design for you can save you time, money, and strong results. You will soon see that your business will thank you for spending some money into a professionally designed logo.

Photo by nikkinoguer on Flickr

 

All About RSS

So as a graphic designer I am constantly combing the web. While surfing, I’ve begun to notice this orange icon with RSS next to it shown at the beginning and the end of the pages I’m viewing. So what exactly is RSS you may ask? RSS, also known as Really Simple Syndication, is a web based news feed that is used by millions of people on the web to stay up-to-date with their most viewed websites, blogs, news headlines, audio, and video. Many people refer it as “data feed” that you subscribe too. Before RSS hit the scene, many people simply used bookmarks to check up on their most popular sites, which consisted of manually going into your browser’s bookmark page and finding the bookmark. Although it does the trick, having an RSS feed takes away all the manual work so you don’t have to spend time searching and you won’t miss out on valuable updates and news. It’s almost like subscribing to your favorite magazine, but instead of having to pay and wait for the mail each month when the magazine is published it is delivered to your ‘RSS Reader’ whenever your favorite website updates.

All About RSS

When you begin to subscribe to sites via RSS you should get yourself a RSS Feed Reader. There are many effective feed readers you can find with many styles and features, however a good place to start is with a couple of free web based ones like Google Reader and Bloglines. Both of these are easy to use and can help you understand how RSS works. RSS readers operate pretty much the same way as emails. […]

By |April 21st, 2011|Marketing|1 Comment

What you need to know about SEO

I still remember the day Google came out! I was fascinated by just the thought of what it was capable of. I mean you type in a name, question, company, and boom there’s your answer. But have you ever wondered why Google can provide you with such good feedback? Or how it magically knew the rest of what you were typing in?  Although Google provides us with millions of hits and pages of information we all typically check out the first ones we see. These sites are at the top because they are considered to be the most beneficial to your Google search. Well the magic behind ones site getting a higher ranking than another is a little something called SEO.

 

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a powerful web marketing technique that helps search engines like Google find and rank your website higher than the millions of other websites while trying to reply to your single search. SEO thus helps you get straight to the top so your site will be first to be noticed and will drive traffic in your direction. Having your site in SEO friendly format unfortunately wont just give you instant results over night. It’s often a long process and for many businesses it involves several components. Let’s take a look at some of these components.

  • Assess and identify weaknesses for your website
  • Work to rectify these problems as quickly as possible
  • Decide on and form a long term strategy for increasing rankings, targeted traffic and finally conversions to your site from searches

Remember your company is only as good as the implementation of the changes for SEO. A solid strategy means nothing unless it is implemented and executed properly.  If you have […]

Key Tips in designing great layouts

One of the most important characteristics of a successful graphic design piece is its layout. When you think about it, the layout helps move the customer’s eyes around the piece and helps deliver your message in a clear and professional way. So what exactly is a layout you may ask yourself? A layout is the arrangement of graphic elements (such as text, color, shapes, images, and scale). A good layout should create the overall look, meaning, and relationships between the designer and client.  The layout should also give the viewers a path to follow and be attracted by.  There are many approaches you may want to take when designing the overall layout of a piece. A graphic design company can help you make the best selection for your design project.

Key Tips in Designing Great LayoutsHere are a few tips to keep in mind that are useful when designing a layout:

  • Always know what the purpose of the project is.
  • Know the primary message you want to convey and plan and design your layout around that.
  • Chose the media you want to approach the layout with. For example, webpage, printed book, brochure, newsletter or presentation as examples.
  • Know your target audience: educational levels, background, and interests…

A high-quality layout will be well organized and give the reader a clear direction throughout the project. If the layout has too much going on then the viewer may become confused and disregard the message. So make sure the layout is cleared up and simplified. So make sure you start off your project right: with a innovative and creatively designed layout.

Rich Black vs Pure Black: What you need to know

Have you ever wondered what is the difference between using rich black versus pure black is? If you answered “yes” don’t feel bad because this is a very common question (out of many) designers have. I must admit that I used to think that 100% CMYK was the same thing as #00000. On a computer screen, the only one way to display black is when there is no light coming in from the monitor, however in print there are multiple ways to show the color black. There is the standard default black, also known as pure black and there is rich black, which is also known as jet/super black. Although these look very similar at a glance, there are many differences all good designers should know.

Rich Black vs Pure Black

It may vary case to case but most all CMYK programs will use pure black as the default black color, which is traditionally composed of 100% black and no other inks used. Then we have rich black. Rich black is often regarded as a color that is “blacker than black”. Although it varies between printers, rich black  is an ink combination of the following ink percents: 50% Cyan, 50% Magenta, 25% Yellow, and 100% Black. However, there are many different possible ink combinations that create colors such as “Cool Black” (60% Cyan, 0% Magenta, 0% Yellow, 100% Black) and “Warm Black” (0% Cyan, 60% Magenta, 30% Cyan, 100% Black). So now that you know what they are,  you will need to know when and when not to use them.

When to use rich black:

When you have a large area of black to […]

Top Reasons To Work With A Graphic Designer

Let’s face it; in today’s economy everyone is doing what the can to save on money. And to save money, many businesses have tried to take on designing their own marketing collateral to help promote their business. Unfortunately, in effort to save a few bucks you may find yourself spending more time, more resources, and more money with only lackluster results.  When you think about it, a professional graphic designer plays a vital role in branding a business, regardless of its size. A graphic designer has the knowledge and tools to provide you with a variety of options and a wide range of services including marketing collateral, brochures, journals and publications, logos, business cards and web design, just to name a few. Here are some top reasons on why to work with a graphic designer.

They can save your business time and resources

No matter what type of design service your business needs, a professional graphic designer will have the time to provide you with multiple branding  concepts for you to choose from. A well-trained graphic designer should be able to provide you with a quick turn-around on a logo or brochure in just half the time or less than it might take you to do the same thing.

They can simplify your business message to help target your audience

While thinking of needs for promoting your business you may have multiple ideas for marketing collateral. It may be difficult for you to determine which are practical and which are just creative. A graphic designer will be able to provide your company with a branded look that will get your message across to your key audience.

Web and Print Design

In our modern society, technology has greatly changed the way in which we do things. It has even changed the way we create our art.  In the past we relied on materials such as paper, paint, and pens to create art. Today, computers have opened art into a digital world and now what used to be done by hand can all be accomplished by the click of a mouse.  However, the way something appears on the computer screen may look entirely different when you see it on paper, so knowing the difference between web and print design is a key tool to have.

When you design for a print ad you know that when it’s printed it should look exactly as you intended it to. Meaning, the size, colors, and text when printed will look the same. However, when you design for web, its appearance can change drastically depending on the browser type, screen size and operating system that it is being viewed on.  Web pages are multi-functional and can be very interactive while with print, what you see is what you get.

Web and Print Design

Most all graphic designers know that .TIFF and .EPS are the professional graphics standards for print design, but they won’t work with web design. For web design you will need your images to be in a .JPEG, .GIF, or .PNG file format in order to function properly. Also web images use a lower resolution, 72dpi to be seen clearly and print design needs to be at least 300 dpi so it won’t look pixilated on paper.

When it’s time for a clients marketing collateral to go to print, the files […]