Category Archives: Graphic Design

How Design Matters–More Than Ever–In 2014

designmattersLately the word going around is “design no longer matters” and, that in today’s world, the words and content on websites means more for supporting SEO and overall online business strength.

Here are some valid reasons why this is no longer true………

Quoting New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in a recent interview in the annual design issue of Fast Company magazine, he noted, “Design does matter. And not necessarily in a way that people realize.”

The principle applies to individual business as well as on a city scale:

“If good design is doing its job, it is managing your perception of an experience in many ways—both obvious and not so obvious. How you feel, and therefore if whether you’re going to engage and buy, is directly influenced by the design of a website, a package or a business card.”

-Randall Smith, founder of Salt Lake City brand management agency Modern 8

Smith agrees with the comment of Forbes contributor Mike Myatt: “Why present a content vs. design argument? The Holy Grail is found in nesting great content within brilliant design—don’t think ‘either/or,’ think ‘and’.”

Myatt continued, “Being found is nice, but it’s the experience and engagement that occurs (or not) that really matters. There are many ways to get eyeballs to your content, but what really matters is what happens when you get there.”

To that end, here’s how design will matter most in 2014: in the creation of responsive web design—design that adjusts itself gracefully for an optimum experience on desktop, tablet or smartphone OS. As contributor Josh Steimle recently reported in Why You Business Needs A Responsive Website Before 2014 even if you have only a “brochure” website right now, it is possible to spend as little as several hundred to several thousand dollars to overhaul your site to a format that exemplifies the best principles of responsive design.

As Steimle reported the world is rapidly moving to mobile. Ninety one percent of adults keep their smartphones perpetually within arm’s reach. Nine out of ten mobile searches lead to action, and more than half lead to sales. More than 5 billion people will use mobile phones by 2017, according to Statista. In fact, there is close to a 50% chance you are reading this article from a mobile device even now.

Yes, quality content matters, but superb design matters as well. Most importantly, the design that optimizes perception and experience to whatever medium the viewer is participating within will be the greatest winner in 2014 and beyond.

So design really matters. With this in mind, are you ready for 2014? How well does your site accomplish the goal of nesting great content within brilliant and responsive website design? I welcome your thoughts.

 

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Parts of this Article sourced from Forbes.com written by

Cheryl Conner

Cheryl Conner, Contributor – writes about communications, business and the ways the two intersect

Founder, director, brand strategist and design genius all rolled into one fun, crazy, sassy, no BS, surfer chick that LOVES branding, strategy and OOZES mad design skills.  I’m a master at bridging the gap between YOU and your business to create a ‘stand out’ brand that makes an impact, attracts your dream clients, positions you as an expert that can charge premium prices so that you can become the amazing leader you were born to be.

Time for a new look?

Do you currently have a WordPress website?  Are you bored with the design / theme of your site? Well, if you are then you need to read our post.  We have a new service where we design you a brand new custom theme for your WordPress site, upload and configure and you can switch to it anytime with the click of a button!  Now that is just COOL!

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Our designers will get together with you and go over some design ideas in order to custom design you a new look for your website.

Once we design the theme (home page, inner pages, blog post page) and you love it, our crafty developers will turn those designs into a new WordPress theme for you.

We will upload and configure the theme and install it so you can switch to it anytime with the click of a button.  NO need to do anything else.  It will be just like any other theme that you can install except this one will be completely unique with no other websites using the theme because we have custom designed just for you and your business.

How COOL is that?

If you are interested in discussing this option or would just like to jump right in and get a new theme for your website, then please call us on +61 7 5571 5779 or contact us here.

 

Founder, director, brand strategist and design genius all rolled into one fun, crazy, sassy, no BS, surfer chick that LOVES branding, strategy and OOZES mad design skills.  I’m a master at bridging the gap between YOU and your business to create a ‘stand out’ brand that makes an impact, attracts your dream clients, positions you as an expert that can charge premium prices so that you can become the amazing leader you were born to be.

The Perfect Match

The Perfect Match.

Do all of your branding materials match?

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It’s not enough to have your business card match your logo. Any and all handouts should be branded to match. This could be as simple as creating a universal color scheme that unifies all materials or incorporating your logo into the design. You can also design specialty marketing materials that stand out. Some examples include: custom stickers & decals, QR codes, unique shaped business cards and creative mailers or flyers. The more freedom you give your designer the more creative they will be. In turn the marketer will have an easier time getting their message to stick in customers minds and not be lost in the shuffle of other companies.

Also be careful of those template websites where you just plug in your logo and go. This can also create a disconnect and look unprofessional especially if your other marketing is top notch.  Just inserting your logo into all of your materials will not cut it.  The entire piece as a whole whether a website or a brochure must send the right message and be consistent in it’s design.

Founder, director, brand strategist and design genius all rolled into one fun, crazy, sassy, no BS, surfer chick that LOVES branding, strategy and OOZES mad design skills.  I’m a master at bridging the gap between YOU and your business to create a ‘stand out’ brand that makes an impact, attracts your dream clients, positions you as an expert that can charge premium prices so that you can become the amazing leader you were born to be.

Mixed Messages?

Mixed Messages.

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Does your branding match what you are selling? For example: if you are marketing cutting edge websites but your website looks likes it’s from the 90?s, you are not going to impress potential customers. If you are marketing yourself as a modern company don’t use Comic Sans on your flyers. It’s really important that the personality of the brand and the marketing message work well together or you are going to have confusion and a disconnect. Clearly defining your brand personality can eliminate any gaps between branding and marketing messages.

With the web & social media, chances are the customer will see your brand before meet you. Having solid branding is no longer a luxury but a necessity in staying competitive with the market. You should most definitely invest your time & money in to both or you will send mixed messages!

Contact Jungle Design Studios TODAY to discuss your business image if you feel that there is disconnection between your marketing and branding.

Founder, director, brand strategist and design genius all rolled into one fun, crazy, sassy, no BS, surfer chick that LOVES branding, strategy and OOZES mad design skills.  I’m a master at bridging the gap between YOU and your business to create a ‘stand out’ brand that makes an impact, attracts your dream clients, positions you as an expert that can charge premium prices so that you can become the amazing leader you were born to be.

3 helpful tips for working with your graphic designer

When you work with your graphic designer (which should be Jungle Design Studios of course) you should keep this tips in mind.

1. Good design takes time.

You can’t not design. Even styling text in a word document involves making design decisions. Perhaps not good design decisions but design decisions all the same. And because everyone can do it, it’s assumed that people with a design background can do it more quickly, and more efficiently. All of the time.  This is not true. Typography for a designer can be very complex and time consuming because words in an ad or marketing piece are extremely important.

Making considered decisions will always take time.

2. Strategic design is better than pretty design.

There are three types of designers: those who make the complex clear, those who make things stylish, and those who combine the two to make a very effective design. Our studio and thinking falls directly into the third category. We believe design’s most important role is to prioritise information so the key message is communicated and understood quickly yet looks pretty and eye catching so as to grab the readers attention in the first place.

If we understand a client’s objective, the design will be better value. The more strategic the brief, the better, and more measurable, the result.

3. A good design brief includes boundaries.

We’re not fine artists. While I do enjoy doing something of my own free choice so a client can see something to make up their mind about what they want/need, I do not enjoy when this creates hours upon hours of revisions because the client was not clear in the beginning.  This creates extra costs which are definitely fair, but can make things uncomfortable. Graphic design – formerly known as commercial design – has limitations/boundaries – and I enjoy that. It’s fine if clients don’t know exactly what they want but they should expect to be questioned so thoughts can be organised into a cohesive brief. The more that is communicated early, the less revisions and the smoother (and more enjoyable) the design process will be.clientdesigner

Doing this will make the whole project smoother and more pleasurable for both parties.

If you would like to discuss any design needs or a new project that you have in mind, please contact us today so we can get started.

Founder, director, brand strategist and design genius all rolled into one fun, crazy, sassy, no BS, surfer chick that LOVES branding, strategy and OOZES mad design skills.  I’m a master at bridging the gap between YOU and your business to create a ‘stand out’ brand that makes an impact, attracts your dream clients, positions you as an expert that can charge premium prices so that you can become the amazing leader you were born to be.

Tips for working with a DESIGNER

Sometimes, we are mistaken for being the people who just “make things look pretty” and while that’s (kind of) true, we possess a multitude of skills and talents beyond the ability to pretty things up.  A graphic designer is an important member of your marketing / PR team.

It’s important to know how to work with a graphic designer and these tips will help someone like me help someone like you deliver the exact product that you want—the perfect picture that isn’t just pretty, but serves a purpose, communicates a clear message, sells an idea, and reaches a target audience.

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What you may think is “quick” or “easy” is not always.

It’s “easy” to use terms like “throw this together” and “simple” when referring to a specific round of edits/revisions and a turnaround for a project, but you may not be aware of all of the “behind the scenes” work that takes place for that to happen.

Finished logos, brochures, or booklets may look simple, clean, and straightforward as finished products, but they took more than just two to three hours to create. Keep in mind all of the creative brainstorming, sketching, drafts, revisions, and more that were required. Good designers are equipped with the talent and skills to work quickly and efficiently, but not lightning fast, 100 percent of the time.

Take these thoughts into consideration the next time you’re thinking of putting together a budget and timeline for a project. Most people know that it requires significant time and effort to turn nothing into something—and anything worth doing is worth doing right. The same applies to graphic design.

Think about the point you’re trying to make, to the audience you’re trying to reach.

What is your vision for your piece? You don’t have to picture it perfectly in your mind, but do have a general sense for what you like (or don’t like). Think about colors, available logos, basic layout, a page count, document size, the use of graphics, pullout info or quotes, and the messaging that you will be trying to communicate.

Remember that less is always more. No matter how great your content is written or the terrific meaning behind it all, nobody is going to endure an entire page of nothing but words. Everyone is drawn to visuals, colors, and pretty pictures—so consider the use and placement of these, as well as call-to-action items, to break up your copy. You want to engage an audience immediately and keep them there, not make them run away. Remember, white space is a good thing.

Avoid terms such as “make it pop” or “surprise me.”

During brainstorms and pre-design conversations, it’s common for a designer to hear these words, but not gain anything useful from them. Maybe you don’t know exactly what you want, but try to be somewhat specific and organized with your general thoughts and ideas.

Do you want your piece to resemble something else you’ve seen or done? A designer loves to have “creative freedom,” but he or she also needs a few limitations, or at least what the client doesn’t want. They may seem like little things, but let the designer know colors you hate, types of photos to avoid, or fonts that you don’t like. This will help the designer in a few small ways, which will result in less wasted time later.

Give the designer final copy and usable images.

Basic design and copy edits are a given with any design job and a couple extra rounds of revisions are normal and expected, but try to limit it to no more than two to three. Also, try to collect and send revisions in one email, or discuss during one phone call. Avoid sending John’s revisions separately from Jane’s, not to mention the other three people’s changes involved in the reviewing and approval process.

Try to avoid grabbing a logo or photo off of a company or organization’s website. Images pulled from the Web are low-resolution and do not reproduce well on printed pieces. They may be OK to use in a digital piece, like an HTML newsletter, but not in a print product.

Trust us.

Most of the time, a designer has a good reason for doing something. Maybe you never considered the effects that certain typefaces, colors, space and photos have and the way they all work together in design, but they’re the basic ingredients that a designer cooks with every day.

Put trust in the designer and give that person creative freedom—but don’t send the designer into battle unarmed and unprepared. Communicating your basic ideas, visions, and target audience, and giving him or her a few references will benefit both of you.

Understanding and respecting what a designer does, the time and effort that goes into what they do, and speaking (just a little bit of) of his or her language will result in a better quality end product, which will only make both of you happy.

Portions of article sourced from Jessie Ford a graphic designer at CMA (@CMABuildsTrust), a national public relations agency based in Kansas City, Mo

Founder, director, brand strategist and design genius all rolled into one fun, crazy, sassy, no BS, surfer chick that LOVES branding, strategy and OOZES mad design skills.  I’m a master at bridging the gap between YOU and your business to create a ‘stand out’ brand that makes an impact, attracts your dream clients, positions you as an expert that can charge premium prices so that you can become the amazing leader you were born to be.

Branding Style Guides..

Branding style guides… what are they?  and how can they help you?

If we are creating a logo and visual identity for you we recommend producing a brand guidelines document.
This illustrates to other designers and graphic professionals the importance of maintaining a consistent brand image for your company through careful use of the logo, typefaces, colours and placement of elements on a page.

A document such as this often covers do’s and don’ts and provides an incredibly helpful resource to others. It also demonstrates a level of professionalism within your company that marketing and brand image is an important asset you maintain and protect.

These documents can be as short or as long as you want.  Sometimes they are simple in that they only address logo, font, and colour requirements while others are more in depth and go into application uses, logo misuses, sizes, styles and an assortment of other issues.

If you do not have a style guide for your business branding and marketing, you should seriously consider getting one. Brand identity is directly related to your reputation and recognition in the marketplace.

Call us today if you would like us to create one for your business on 07 5571 5779 or email us!

Founder, director, brand strategist and design genius all rolled into one fun, crazy, sassy, no BS, surfer chick that LOVES branding, strategy and OOZES mad design skills.  I’m a master at bridging the gap between YOU and your business to create a ‘stand out’ brand that makes an impact, attracts your dream clients, positions you as an expert that can charge premium prices so that you can become the amazing leader you were born to be.

Digital Artwork: Who Owns It?

This is a very good question that can have varied and complex answers, ranging from copyright issues to clients’ rights. To keep things simple we’ll stick to these two main areas: concept design and digital artwork. (For websites and copyright, keep on reading!)

1. Concept Design

All concepts developed in order to produce a design are the copyright of the designer or company who produces them. The client who’s paying the design firm or graphic designer has the right to use the final product only, not the concepts developed along the way. The concepts developed to create one final piece is the designers’ Intellectual Property (IP).

Usually when a design is finalised, copyright is assigned to the client.

2. Digital Artwork

In general terms, the digital artwork (the working files) belongs to the design firm or designer. The working files contain expertise, the ‘know how to’ of putting together all the pieces that make up a design.

The client has the right to use the final product, usually a Page Description File (PDF), which is a digital file. But it’s important to understand that PDFs are not working files.

PDFs are good as a ‘final product’ but not if a client wants to be able to modify the graphic designer’s work.

For example, let’s say a client called Brian engages a graphic designer called Tom to design a brochure for his new business. Brian provides Tom with the logo, photos and text.

Tom presents two design options for the brochure concept: option A and option B. Brian likes option B… so what happens to option A? Well, as part of the design concept Tom’s provided that won’t be used, concept A remains the property of Tom.

Brian then signs off on the brochure and Tom sends it to the commercial printer and 1,000 brochures are printed.

Brian has paid Tom and the printer. Brian gets his 1,000 brochures and asks Tom to give him the digital artwork for future use.

Tom now sends the PDF file to Brian, but Brian is expecting a working file, so he can make future changes himself. Tom refuses to give his working file and Brian is upset: “I’ve paid for the job”! he says. But Tom knows that giving away his working file means, giving away his Intellectual Property (IP).

In this case, the brochure’s IP is:

1. How to prepare the photos for commercial printing:

a) what software

b) what resolution

c) what type of file they need to be in order to be used effectively.

2. How to prepare the digital layout.

3. How to prepare the final prepress file for the commercial printer.

All of the above is the expertise Brian expected from Tom, but he shouldn’t expect to receive the ‘know how to’ as well as the design work.

If you imagine Brian going to the commercial printer and asking for the film or plates used to print the brochure it’s the same scenario. Brian is paying for the printed brochures, but not the technology/hardware used to make them.

Think about Coca-Cola and its famous secret formula. When you buy a Coca-Cola drink, you’re purchasing the drink, not the formula that creates that drink. Or imagine going to a restaurant and paying for the meal then asking for the recipe because, after all, you’ve paid for the meal… Well, you get the idea.

The same principle applies to design work. You engage a designer to provide you with a solution for a specific marketing problem or need. If you also want to access the working files, that’s another issue.

So what happens if you need the working files for your art work?

Graphic designers need to lay out clear terms and conditions for their work so that their clients know what to expect.

If you need the working files for the design commission just let your graphic designer know in advance that you’d like the working files as well as the completed product, they can then charge you accordingly. Usually an extra fee is charged for giving away working files.

When you contract a graphic designer to create a design for you do you sometimes need the working files? Or would you prefer to ask the graphic designer to look after them for you so if you need to make changes in the future they can be done with the same professional care as the original version?

Websites

Copyright laws where created long before the internet. The “All rights reserved” is a myth on the internet because people share content freely (let alone, copy and paste stuff they shouldn’t!)

Your web developer, web designer or even you, can not claim ‘ownership’ because whole websites are not protected by copyright. This is because websites are made out of several components: text, photos, images, logos.

Generally speaking, Websites involve 3 main areas:

  1. Site Architecture
  2. Web Design (this can be done by a graphic designer)
  3. Web Development

Each of the above components has its own implications regarding copyright. For instance: Web development.

If the site is done using a Free Open Source application, ie: Joomla, WordPress; the client is paying for the expertise of putting the site together, but not really paying for the application that runs the website. All free open source applications are that: FREE for the world to use! So neither the client nor the web developer can claim ownership of the systems used to run the site.

If a client is paying for a  Custom Made Web application to run the website, then, the copyright remains with the web developer, but the client gets exclusive or limited rights to use it.

In the case of the Web Design, the design can be based on a template or custom made exclusively for the client. Either way, all digital files must be given by the graphic designer to the web developer. Sharing native files such as layered Photoshop files is a very common scenario and graphic designers must consider this when offering such services.

Communication between developers and designers is the most important part when developing a site, keeping the client’s best interests must be main priority for both developers and designers.

I’d personally recommend anybody that is engaging somebody for the creation of a website, to get it all in writing and ask questions:

What if I want to host my site somewhere else, can I take the site and do it?

What if I want to use a different web developer? Can I take the files somewhere else?

For more information on Websites and Copyright, visit the Australian Copyright Council website.

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original article written by Taty Hindes.

Taty holds a Masters degree in Art and Design (Boston, Massachusetts, USA) and a Bachelor of Graphic Design.

With over 27 years of international experience in Art Direction and Graphic Design, Taty has also lecturer about Graphic Design and Typography at universities in America and Sydney. Taty is also a Fulbright Scholar.

Founder, director, brand strategist and design genius all rolled into one fun, crazy, sassy, no BS, surfer chick that LOVES branding, strategy and OOZES mad design skills.  I’m a master at bridging the gap between YOU and your business to create a ‘stand out’ brand that makes an impact, attracts your dream clients, positions you as an expert that can charge premium prices so that you can become the amazing leader you were born to be.

New photography site coming soon

we are currently working on a brand new photography site for www.dusk-studios.com!  Gonna be a wicked wordpress portfolio gallery type site to showcase the photographer’s gorgeous model photography photo shoots.  stay tuned.

here is the full screen coming soon page!

Founder, director, brand strategist and design genius all rolled into one fun, crazy, sassy, no BS, surfer chick that LOVES branding, strategy and OOZES mad design skills.  I’m a master at bridging the gap between YOU and your business to create a ‘stand out’ brand that makes an impact, attracts your dream clients, positions you as an expert that can charge premium prices so that you can become the amazing leader you were born to be.

Image IS Everything

When it comes to your image and your marketing, good professional branding matters, and that rings true for both companies and individuals.

The way you present yourself has a profound impact on your how you and your business are perceived. And it’s not just your body language or how you dress, the Internet has presented folks with countless new ways to bolster their personal brand — or completely ruin it.

Putting an amateur or poorly designed website out there so prominently makes it easier for people — and potential customers and clients — to judge you by your cover.  Do not skimp on your website or buy the cheapest that you can find. It will show and it will hurt you.

We get clients contacting us all the time saying that they got a cheap site a year or 2 ago and it just isn’t cutting it for them. They are losing business because their site makes them look unprofessional.  In the end, they have essentially paid twice for a website and it cost them more in the long run when they  should have just gotten it done properly from the start.  Not only would it have saved them money,

it would have prevented 2 years of potential customers judging them incorrectly

which cannot be reversed.

Do it right the first time and contact us for a consultation to design or make over your website or brand or click here to send us a quote request.

Founder, director, brand strategist and design genius all rolled into one fun, crazy, sassy, no BS, surfer chick that LOVES branding, strategy and OOZES mad design skills.  I’m a master at bridging the gap between YOU and your business to create a ‘stand out’ brand that makes an impact, attracts your dream clients, positions you as an expert that can charge premium prices so that you can become the amazing leader you were born to be.