Archive for the ‘Graphic Design’ Category

Design Genius: The Best Examples from the World of Design

Designing a product, place or concept is all about creativity, and the ability to be open minded. The aesthetic make up of something is incredibly important to attract people but design runs much deeper than the appearance of something; it is about practicality, usefulness and the ability to improve life.

 

Brilliant design is something that should be recognised and celebrated because it takes just one moment for an ingenious concept to be born, but it also takes years of hard work to physically implement. Institutions such as the London Design Museum and awards ceremonies such as Design Week exist because the recognition of truly inspirational design is important. Good design should facilitate, inspire and entertain people, as well as be future friendly, and not impinge on the earth’s delicate environment. Below we explore some examples of excellent design and discover what a Design Genius really means.

 

Fashion

Burberry is one of Britain’s most successful and precious exports: it has won prestigious fashion awards and is a FTSE 100 company. Founded in 1856 by Thomas Burberry, the company made fine tailoring from the outset and throughout their 156 year journey Burberry have gone from strength to strength. Although they started out focussing on practical clothing for outdoor professionals, they employed check patterns as early as 1910, which has become iconic symbolism of the brand. A Burberry coat is recognisable from meters away due to the sleek checked designs and the quality is such that an item can last a lifetime.

 

Packaging

It’s imperative for packaging to be just right as it’s the first impression of a product. Nick Cave & The Bad Seed’s “Push the Sky Away” a Super Deluxe album was a packaging and presentation triumph. The ingenious box set, manufactured by custom packaging experts Think Tank Media comprised a CD, two heavyweight vinyls, a 7 inch vinyl of an exclusive track, and a beautiful hardback book, which replicated Nick Cave’s musical notebook, which explored the journey of the album’s creation. Packaging like this creates not just a brand, but a story that consumers can feel involved with.

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3 Top Tips For CD Packaging

There is an old adage that taught us: ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’, however, in a world where there are hundreds of competitors for any one specific product, this does not hold true. According to many marketing experts, consumers generally tend to automatically go for a product where the packaging is most intriguing or attractive. So, how should you think on the outside of the box and make your CD packaging stand out?

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Simplicity
According to Nick Tomino and his article ‘Gigwalk Product Design: The Power of Simplicity’, available at www.perceptive.ly/post/44550619050/gigwalk-product-design-the-power-of-simplicty, the majority of the products we love and use in our everyday lives today have one major characteristic in common: simplicity. For instance, Apple’s “Home” Button for the iPhone, and Google’s single “Search” bar are the two products that immediately come to mind when thinking about this phenomenon. Time and time again, simplicity of product design wins, especially in technology. So, make your CD’s design simple! Remember that simplicity or minimalism, as the name suggests is the art of reducing many elements while maximizing the output. So, go for a minimalistic approach and create something really simple but yet very expressive and aesthetic!

Colours
There are no doubts that colour is a strong influencing factor in design and in the world around us. Each colour has its own meaning to us based on our culture, and personality, thus colours can strongly influence us in subconscious and natural ways. Brant Wilson in his recent article, which you can read at www.dzineblog.com/2011/01/38-bright-color-web-design-inspirations.html, argues that some individuals may trust a company more simply by their brand colours. Also, he states that certain emotions and feelings can be evoked simply by seeing colours, such as danger for red or tranquillity for blue. Therefore, when designing CD packaging, use warm and bright colours like orange or yellow, as it can help you to evoke feelings of happiness, optimism and energy! Also, it will make your CD’s packaging look more interesting and exclusive!

Text
Your text plays a major part in making attractive and memorable CD packaging simply by playing with your album’s title and band’s name. Less can often be more in these circumstances, so it’s important to remain concise and punchy to have a lasting effect.  According to CD packaging specialist www.keyproduction.co.uk , the great thing about this is that it is very cost-effective. For example, you don’t have to hire a photographer or a Photoshop expert to make this. All you need is a little designing and Photoshop skills! Back this up with a memorable album title and you’ve given yourself the best possible chance of people paying attention to your CD packaging and grabbing a copy of your album! Their years of experience in the industry mean that they know what works, so it’s well worth checking out their service if you’re looking to make your CD stand out from the crowd.

Composition
Blending all the above elements together successfully is the key to your composition. After all, there’s no point having brilliant text, images and a simple design if the message is mixed, or even worse, lost. That means carefully considering how each element is going to be placed on your cover so that it’s best displayed through or on the CD case. Think of it as your own personal polaroid, a chance to show your best picture to the world, and that means adhering to photographic and artistic rules to present the best picture you possibly can. Check out the ever resourceful www.digitalcameraworld.com to see exactly why adhering to photographic rules can be a major advantage in making your album cover look as professional and glossy as possible.

It can be hard to makes waves in a hyper-competitive market such as this, but the main thing to remember is to be creative! Use bright colours, catchy phrases, and interesting, well shot images to achieve your goal.

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5 Top Tips For Creating Effective Leaflets

When you see some of the leaflets which you are handed on an almost daily basis as you walk through town; there’s no surprise that a lot of them simply aren’t effective and most likely fail to generate much new business and many enquiries at all. If you’re going to spend time and money designing and printing leaflets to advertise and promote your business, brand or product…make sure they look great! That’s not making sure they look good; that’s making sure they look great! When you think about it, what’s the point of putting together a leaflet which just doesn’t cut it against your competitors?

As such; we thought we’d put together our 5 top tips for designing and creating effective leaflets for your business:

  1. Make Sure Your Leaflet Ties In With Your Branding
    If you’ve already got a strong brand image and logo; make sure that your leaflets are centred heaving around these. At the end of the day; you’re wanting to promote your brand or business and as a result, it’s vital you use your brand image; that’s everything from colours and fonts to logo’s. When carrying across branding in this way, it ensures people recognise the leaflet’s purpose and will be more likely to take a read than one which looks completely unconnected with your current business brand.
  2. Keep Things Brief
    No one wants to read a 500 word essay on a leaflet or flyer they’ve been handed! Keep things clear and concise and where possible, use images and calls to action as opposed to large blocks of text. You generally only have a couple of seconds to get your message across so keep things brief and easy to understand by readers. Trust us; less really is more in many cases!
  3. Include A Special Offer
    You need to have a reason for readers to act upon your leaflet. It’s no good simply giving a leaflet saying ‘here’s our business…come and visit.’ You need to give people a reason to visit you or buy your products and including a special offer coupon on a leaflet is a brilliant way to do this. For example; you could offer 20% off a purchase when presenting the leaflet. That way, the reader holds onto the leaflet and it gives them a reason to visit your store in the near future.
  4. Include Happy Customer Testimonials
    Readers want to know that other people love your products too; especially if its a product or brand they’ve never come across before. Take some happy customer testimonials and add them onto the leaflet. That way, readers can see what other people are saying about your offerings and it’ll hopefully sway them to give it a try or to come and visit you!
  5. Ensure The Printing Is Of High Quality
    It’s all too easy to be tempted by the cheapest option available; however quality is of uttermost importance. What would you do if you were handed a low quality, almost photocopied leaflet? Probably throw it in the nearest bin! You need to take time to find a leaflet printers who can offer leaflets of the very highest quality! That way; you can be sure the stand out from the crowd and  have a better chance of actually being read!

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Concious Design Choices

Being a designer isn’t necessarily about having certain skills or talents, or even practicing until you have the ability, it is simply about changing your perspective slightly when it comes to looking at the world around you. To design, you also need to be able to deconstruct the world around you, like the techie who used to pick apart old electronics as a kid. Once you start looking at your surroundings as a series of conscious design choices you see that you can often split things into the aesthetic and the functional. Have your surroundings been designed to look good, to function well or to reduce the cost of production. If it’s done well, it might just be a combination of all three.

Functional Design

This is a process that is used to determine the ‘human factor’ of all of the things we use everyday and when examined, there is so much more of this consideration in every aspect of daily life. If you look at the door handle of your house, you can ask several ‘human factor‘ design questions to determine how ergonomic it is. Is it a handle or a knob? How high is it from the ground? As you stand, where is it on your body? Can everyone use it perfectly? When you start to ask these questions you notice all of the key decisions that went into the creation of such a simple object and it is important to remember that the very pinnacle of success in this field of design, is to go unnoticed. Not noticing the design of a functional object means it is working so naturally and intuitively that you never consider it. The same is true of course when it comes to website design and user interface online.

Reducing Costs

This element of design is fairly self-explanatory, but is still an art form of a type because designers have to work on how to reduce the cost and increase the value of a product in a way that isn’t noticeably trying to achieve these things. From a design point of view this relates to materials used, product shape and size but it can also relate to aesthetic design. The most effective way to reduce costs is to do so in a way that combines with an aesthetic decision.

Aesthetic Design

This is the most enticing and attention commanding form of design and is usually what a lot of people think of when they try to imagine ‘good design’. Products and design evolve over time and these aesthetic decisions can be very related to style and personal taste. That being said, there is no greater joy than surrounding yourself with well designed, aesthetically pleasing items as they leak into your home and your life. Designer wallpaper, attractive technology, matching kitchen sets, these are the types of products that create and individualise a home that owners are proud of.

Whether you created it or not, it can be an incredibly enriching experience to deconstruct the environment around you and re-populate it with a world of conscious design choices.

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What Does it Take to Become a Graphic Designer?

Interested in a Career in Graphic Design?

These days, talented and creative graphic designers are in high demand as more and more people are creating their own websites. Whether it be a personal website, business website, or anything in between, people are constantly looking for designers to come up with site designs, banners, and other images. And with society’s dependence on the internet only projected to increase over time, graphic design is a booming field to get into and offers a promising future.

However, not just anyone can become a graphic designer; there are various skills and qualities that one must have in order to be successful in the field. So if you are interested in a career in graphic design, what should your next steps be?

Graphic Designer

How to Become a Graphic Designer

Perhaps the first and foremost quality that a great graphic designer should have is creativity. Everything else that is needed to work in this field can stem from this quality alone, but it is difficult to be successful if you do not possess this. Creativity is vital because, as a graphic designer, you may very well be expected to come up with various concepts of a graphic for your clients. For this reason, you need to be inspired and have the ability to come up with various ideas to suit your client’s needs.

Aside from creativity, however, a graphic designer must also possess self-discipline and motivation. After all, many design jobs these days are freelance, which means that you may not necessarily be working 9-5 in an office setting. Instead, you will find that you must work on your own time in order to meet deadlines. In addition, you may be working from home, so being able to overcome distractions and get your work done is vital. For this reason, many graphic designers (especially freelancers) set up their own home office.

Of course, as with many other jobs, there are technical skills involved in becoming a graphic designer. At the very least, you will to be proficient in the latest Adobe Photoshop program, as this is what you will likely use to create your images. In addition, you will probably want to learn how to use other popular design programs, such as Adobe Illustrator.

How to Pick Up the Technical Skills

There are many different ways to go about learning these programs, depending on your ideal learning style. Many people who want to be graphic designers go to a design school. There, not only do you learn everything you need to know about the programs you will be expected to use as a graphic designer, but you can also build a portfolio and have an official degree in the field, which is appealing to prospective clients and employers.

GIMP

However, you do not need a degree or official schooling to become a successful graphic designer. In fact, many designers teach themselves the skills they need over time and never set foot inside an art or design classroom. There are a variety of books available out there for those who want to learn how to use the programs necessary to become a successful designer. In addition, you can find all kinds of written and video tutorials online, so there is never a lack of helpful information.

Overall, becoming a graphic designer takes hard work and dedication, but if you are a creative and hard-working person who wants to get into the field, keep the above information in mind as you build a portfolio and work your way up in the design world. Good luck to you!

Tips by NicheDesign, web design agency from Cairns, Australia.

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