Cut. When creativity fails, I turn to the custom shapes in Photoshop. Sounds lame, but I've been pretty pleased with the results. Smashing Magazine issued a challenge to designers for the new year, and I’m on board! I tried to decide what type of design I’d want to do and could stretch my boundaries as a designer. So in answer to this Challenge, I will be designing and posting a new Bookmark design each day on this blog. The Designs will link to a downloadable file that you can feel free to download, print out and share as desired.
If you’ve been asked to create a newsletter for your club, group or business and aren’t sure where to start, look no farther. Today, rather than just "telling" you about the principles I've decided to do an in-depth tutorial to help you create a cohesive and concise newsletter design. In this tutorial we’ll layout a basic newsletter using InDesign, but keep in mind that the same principles of good newsletter design could be used in any program.
creative director/graphic designer
Jones is currently the Creative Director at Kenneth Hagin Ministries a.k.a. RHEMA Bible Church in Broken Arrow, OK. She is also the owner of Paige1Media, a graphic design firm that works with domestic and international clients on projects ranging from basic logo development to magazine and book design. Her firm is also contracted in conjunction with Collipsis Web Solutions. In her spare time she serves as an adjunct instructor at Oral Roberts University, teaching classes for the Communications Department. Jones has been designing professionally for over 8 years and immerses herself in the current trends and technologies emerging in the industry.
Collipsis Web Solutions
Early interest in application programming developed into a love for all things web driven. Nicholas Clayton has created and managed internet marketing sites, delving into CGI and web application programming, developing fully integrated database driven web applications for over 10 years and has spent 6 years as a web master. Meanwhile, he has an incredible eye for creativity and has had the opportunity to work with branding specialists on a variety of projects.
After using the technical side of his brain as a Systems Administrator for 10 years, working with companies such as the University of Houston and M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Jason Holland decided to develop his creativity. 3 years later, Holland's photography speaks for itself. With an eye for design, Holland's portfolio boasts images that are both inspirational and pensive. Holland's photography can be viewed here.
senior graphic designer
Kenneth Hagin Ministries
With a solid degree in Communications, Amanda King found herself exploring her creative nature through an internship with a ministry in Tulsa, OK. Quickly her innate creativity was revealed as she was assigned more and more tasks and today, the rest is history. King's responsibilities include creative branding for a variety of groups and ministries. She frequently finds herself working on print projects ranging from letterhead to magazine layout.
As a professional proofreader and writer, Jeff Bardel is in the unique position of watching the design team develop ideas around his copy. This gives him the opportunity to participate and redirect the flow of the piece with a few simple words. In the industry for over 8 years, Bardel has worked with ministers across the United States.
Networked with ministries and companies around the world, Mark Burleson has had the opportunity to analyze and critique branding solutions, network systems and marketing operations throughout the industry. Owner of Redeemer Consulting, Burleson is also a Network and Systems Administrator at LifeChurch.tv. in Edmond, OK.
People ask me what the best part about being a designer/marketer/wearer-of-all-hats is—normally I stare at them blankly through a lack of sleep and coffee induced haze—however, when I do have time to formulate a response it’s generally this: the profession is always learning and as a professional I am always learning.
That’s it in a nutshell. Regardless of how long you’ve been designing, how many products you have successfully marketed, ultimately, you will never get to stop learning. So, if you’ve never liked school, bow out now. But, if you love a good challenge and like pushing the envelope, you’re in the right place.
Last week I was asked to speak at a conference. The conference, specifically a Tech Fest, was geared towards programmers, developers and system support gurus, but there I was teaching two sessions in the Design track. Between my sessions, I looked forward to attending a “Tips and Tricks” of Photoshop class. The room was full, attendees were beginning to fidget and I realized the speaker was AWOL. As the only approved conference speaker in the group I felt a responsibility to step up and do something.
After checking with the event coordinator and confirming that they could not in fact, locate the speaker, I was asked to step in. YIKES. Not, that I haven’t been using Photoshop for years. Even back before there was such as thing as “Creative Suite”, but to approach a room full of Photoshop users armed with questions was a humbling assignment. No prep time. No prepared files. No idea what I was going to talk about.
I announced that I would be filling in for the speaker, who was MIA. I invited the attendees to leave and check out another session in one of the other tracks. To my astonishment, only two people got up and left. I asked if anyone had any Photoshop tips they’d like to share with the others. No one said anything.
So, I did the unthinkable: connecting my laptop to the overhead projector I opened Photoshop CS5 and asked if anyone had any questions. A few timid hands came up. And then in rapid fire succession questions began coming from all over the room.
If you’ve ever tried to work with someone over your shoulder, you’ve probably experienced a very common designer ailment: STUPIDITY. Try as I might, with my screen broadcast before the entire room, the shortcuts my brain had memorized didn’t want to work. I did the only thing I could—laughed it off and used the menus for EVERYTHING. From questions ranging about resolution to text paths, we covered a wide gamut of Photoshop quandaries in that hour and a half.
Did I have all the answers? Certainly not. In fact, I even walked away with added knowledge about Photoshop that I didn’t possess previously. ALWAYS LEARNING.
This would be a good place to insert that old adage, “If Life Gives You Lemons—Make Lemonade” but instead I’ll leave you with this. In the creative industry, we can never afford to think we have all the answers. As soon as we do, we’ll be asked to do the unthinkable— and in front of witnesses no less. Regardless of your level of competence you can always learn from others. That’s what truly makes this profession so great. We’re ALWAYS LEARNING.
Getting your work noticed and bursting through the door of opportunity is one of the biggest challenges for student designers. With that in mind, In Search of Design is proud to announce that the Student Identity Package Design Competition has officially began. Online entry will be available before the day is over!
In the meantime, read the entry details and check out the awesome prizes being offered. If you are in school ANYWHERE. . . you're eligible to enter. Show us your creativity!
All the information you need to enter can be found here! Good luck!
As designer's, particularly in the print world, we all know that often our job hinges on our ability to think outside the box. To stay inspired, I'm constantly looking for creative ideas. . . . ABOUT ANYTHING!
My most recent find is a company that prides themselves on their environmental contribution. Have you ever wondered what happens to a vinyl billboard once it's taken down? Well, if your a customer of Vy and Elle (say it fast=vinyl), a Tuscon, AZ company, that prides themselves on their recycling.
Yesterday evening, while sitting with a relatively new client I was a little anxious to finally show off my concepts that my partner and I had created. Though the two of us had done a lot of brainstorming, ultimately it was me, "the designer" who had to interpret everything the client had said and create a logo and web presence that would ultimately serve her needs.
I go there early, so that the two of us would have time to go over the proposal one last time and prepare to make our pitch. As I pulled in, I parked right beside the client. SHE WAS HALF AN HOUR EARLY!!!! Since I had only met her once previously, I hoped against hope, that it was just someone with an uncanny resemblance to her. I hurriedly rushed inside, my nerves getting the best of me each moment. She walked in right behind me. After initial greetings, she mentioned running to the restroom quickly before the meeting began. Perfect! That gave me the chance I needed to allow my partner to double check everything.
For a graphic designer faced with the decision of getting things printed, dealing with print houses can seem like a daunting task. There are so many to choose from and tons of things to take into account, when selecting a good one.
What should you look for in a printer?
1. Request Samples. If you've never used the company before or seen their work elsewhere, request samples of their printing. This is fairly common and shouldn't cost you anything. Nearly every day I get sample printing, papers or packaging in the mail from companies that are competing for my business, and you should too!
2. Check the weight. Make sure the printing will be done on a nice weight paper. Not to heavy and not too light for the job. If you are getting business cards printed, you don't want a lightweight card that will be easily crumpled. Instead, you want a sturdy card stock that will stick with your customer for at least a couple of years.
3. Color matching. Does your printer have a disclaimer on their color matching? If they do, be wary. Printing in color is a tricky process, so be sure your printer will back up their products. If their ink comes out the wrong color, you and your clients should NOT be left holding the bag!
4. Logos. Some printers, especially the cheap ones, give you a cheaper rate if you allow them to print their logo on the backside of your piece. Depending on your client, your job, or your budget, this may or may not be an option for you. But, it should be a question you ask as you are getting quotes and selecting printers!
5. Finishes. Ask whether or not your printed pieces will have an UV coating on them, a gloss or other finish. This addition will drastically change the way your final print turns out, so you need to be ready for anything!
My favorite printer?
I love OvernightPrints.com. They are fast and affordable for excellent quality.
I've got a confession to make. Of all the pieces that make up an identity package, my favorite by FAR is the business card. Why? The sheer flexibility it offers. There are NO limitations to what you can DESIGN with a business card. Any style, any shape, any color, and outlandish thing you can imagine can actually WORK as a business card. There is no other single design piece I've found that offer's so much flexibility. We've talked before about fake finishes design tricks and cheap ways to make a big difference, but let's look at some ideas that you can use to display your text. Text. We know that a business card HAS to contain information, and more often than not, it has to contain LOTS of information. Information that is ESSENTIAL to a strong business card. This alone, may sound like an overwhelming task, but what it REALLY is, is an overwhelming opportunity to do something great. Let's look at some inspiration for just such an occasion:
Smashing Magazine issued a challenge to designers for the new year, and I’m on board! I tried to decide what type of design I’d want to do and could stretch my boundaries as a designer. So in answer to this Challenge, I will be designing and posting a new Bookmark design each day on this blog. The Designs will link to a downloadable file that you can feel free to download, print out and share as desired.