Category Archives: Printing

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.

graphic design
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.

Using QR Codes for Marketing

Using QR Codes for Marketing

What is a QR code?

They come to us from Japan where they are very common. QR is short for Quick Response (they can be read quickly by a cell phone). They are used to take a piece of information from a transitory media and put it in to your cell phone. You may soon see QR Codes in a magazine advert, on a billboard, a web page or even on someone’s t-shirt. Once it is in your cell phone, it may give you details about that business (allowing users to search for nearby locations), or details about the person wearing the t-shirt, show you a URL which you can click to see a trailer for a movie, or it may give you a coupon which you can use in a local outlet.

The reason why they are more useful than a standard barcode is that they can store (and digitally present) much more data, including url links, geo coordinates, and text. The other key feature of QR Codes is that instead of requiring a chunky hand-held scanner to scan them, many modern cell phones can scan them.

There are a number of practical ways QR codes can be used for marketing and promotions in a many different settings. QR Codes can be integrated into just about any type of printed materials, including:

  • Event Displays
  • Print Advertisements
  • Business Cards
  • Brochures, Posters and Flyers
  • Postcards and Mailers

How could you use a QR code?

Your business, no matter how small or large, could use QR codes in a number of ways. You might auto generate one next to every product on your web site containing all the product details, the number to call and the URL link to the page so they can show their friends on their cell phone. You could add one to your business card containing your contact details so its easy for someone to add you to their contacts on their cell phone.

Add them to any print advertising, flyers, posters, invites, TV ads etc containing:

  • Product details
  • Contact details
  • Offer details
  • Event details
  • Competition details
  • A coupon
  • Twitter, Facebook, MySpace IDs
  • A link to your YouTube video

How do you generate a code?

You can easily generate a QR code using a site like Kaywa.com or you can use the Open Source code to generate codes for you if you have a smart developer on hand. Google also has a tool.

What next?

Generate your QR code for your business or contact us and we can do it for you.  Then we add it to your next piece of marketing and advertising material!

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.