Tag Archives: graphic design

Room to Breathe

One of the most common pitfalls in design occurs when text is squeezed into borders and boxes, or wrapped too tightly around illustrations or silhouetted photographs. Next time you are faced with the challenge of creating sufficient breathing room in your designs, remember: there is beauty in simplicity.
Compare the following examples of crowded vs. comfortable designs:
Here are some simple solutions on how to avoid the claustrophobic, unappealing feel of crowded design:
  • Increase the size of the border or box.
  • Increase the size of the margins on the edges of the page.
  • Add more breathing room around individual elements by increasing the white space in text wraps.
  • Decrease the font size, or cut back on text when possible.

http://www.ParagonPress.net – #1 in Shreveport, LA for printing, direct mail, graphic design, marketing services – 318.868.3351

What is a Creative Solution?

The Creative Process
Graphic design brings together two different things: artistic creation and the practical world of commerce. Put simply, it is intelligence made visual. A designer is a creative artist who deals with the realities of planning, from assessing client needs and crafting a solution to selecting appropriate materials (papers, inks, glues, and varnishes), maintaining strict budgets, and understanding visual communication.
Creative Solutions
A designer must make connections in the mind between creativity and process in order to successfully communicate a message to an audience and answer a client’s needs.
What Is a Creative Solution?
At its core, a creative solution solves a client’s problem through the design medium/language. It is…
  • appropriate for the client’s product, spirit, and objectives.
  • communicated clearly.
  • functional. A package has to open. A pictogram has to identify. A map has to direct.
  • impactful.
  • memorable.
  • original.
  • fresh, stimulating, exciting, and stunning.
  • executed appropriately and well.

http://www.ParagonPress.net – #1 in Shreveport, LA for printing, direct mail, graphic design, marketing – 318.868.3351

Eye-Teasing Design

When working in graphic design, making things look good may seem like the right thing to do, but perhaps making things attract attention should be your goal. Attracting attention can often be done by creating tension in the eyes of the viewers. Tension is defined as balanced relation between strongly opposing elements, or the interplay of conflicting elements. This tension or conflict will cause viewers to stop and take a closer look at your design in hopes of uncovering what is making them subconsciously uncomfortable. Here are a few tension creating tips to intrigue your viewers:
  • Barely touching elements tease the viewers. Their eyes are drawn to this point of almost intersection, and they keep checking to see if the items really touch.
  • Design decisions that appear tentative, such as elements that are off-kilter, can cause conflict because the viewer will naturally want things to be straight and orderly. Deliberately placing images off balance, as long as it isn’t overdone, can help capture a viewer’s attention.
  • Using complementary colors next to each other, especially when there is a shared edge, can cause a vibration in your design. This is because each color is vying for dominance in the eyes of your viewer. Choose your colors to attract attention.
Using these techniques at some of the focal points of your piece, such as the center, and the corners, will retain the viewer’s interest as they digest all that your piece has to say.

http://www.ParagonPress.net – #1 in Shreveport, LA for printing, direct mail, graphic design, marketing – 318.868.3351

Creative in Black & White

With the extreme popularity of high resolution computer screens on the desktops of designers everywhere, it is easy to forget that simple black ink on white paper still provides an economical and extremely creative approach to design.
If you’re on a limited budget, need something printed fast, or need an alternative idea, why not design your next project in black and white?
  • Consider the following ideas from Give Five, an outreach organization that unites adults with children in need:
  • Consider creating an ad with screens (gray shades) — these are easy and inexpensive to reproduce in a variety of media.
  • Strive to create a layout that draws attention to the ad and also helps it stand apart from the (inevitable) crowd.
  • Cheap art: The hands featured in these ads were photographed using a desktop scanner and then manipulated in Adobe Photoshop. Keep ideas like this in mind when looking for budget solutions for a project.
  • This spread: Ads that call for attention through a variety of easily produced black-against-white illustrations and graphic styles.
There are endless ways to display an ad’s content, even when restricted to a single color of ink. Explore.
Explore and Consider:
  • Hand-drawn elements
  • Cartoons
  • Unusual border treatments
  • Linework around and/or inside the ad
  • Interesting, bold typography
  • Sideways elements
  • Reversed text/graphics

http://www.ParagonPress.net – #1 in Shreveport, LA for printing, direct mail, graphic design, marketing – 318.868.3351

Paper Potential

Paper is often taken for granted. Even by designers.
Older than Jesus
The first sheets of paper were made in China in about 200 BC. Since then, it has become indispensable. Paper was originally intended to be purely a carrier of images and scripts, but because of its natural properties — strength, flexibility, and durability — and its low costs, it has subsequently been developed and exploited to produce a vast variety of items from disposable clothing to loudspeaker cones. However, the main use of paper continues to be as a surface on which to print information.
It Doesn’t Have to Be White
In recent years, there has been an encouraging increase in experimentation with different sorts of papers and in the diversity of techniques, both traditional and new, which designers apply to them. Whereas in the past there may have been some resistance to this, both printers and manufacturers are now becoming increasingly accommodating.
The Choice
For designers, choosing the right paper for a job should be just as important as choosing the right typeface — both decisions are part of the designer’s creative input. However tight the brief, however demanding or restricting the client, the choice of paper is generally made by the designer.
At our print shop, we specialize in searching out beautiful, alternative papers. Would you believe we have over 463 different papers available, over 86 different kinds of white paper, 200 different colors, and 31 different textures?
We care, because paper matters.

http://www.ParagonPress.net – #1 in Shreveport, LA for printing, direct mail, graphic design, marketing – 318.868.3351

Creative, Low Budget Design Tips

The low-budget project can be the bane of a designer’s existence, or it can be an exciting challenge. With a low-budget project, the client usually has everything to lose. This letterhead project is probably all he or she can afford, perhaps for months or even years. It has to do the job right, or there may never be a second chance.
You will find that it is possible to do a lot with a little.
  • Make a low budget into an asset by producing a package that’s stylishly down-at-the-heels.
  • Spend the bulk of a client’s budget on one expensive but attention-getting element: a heavy paper, a die cut, engraving, or embossing.
  • Rely on a strong design in one or two colors, with ordinary offset printing on common paper stocks.
Producing nice layouts and stunning graphics is only half the battle. Solving your client’s design problems is the other half. As a designer, you must try to create practical and aesthetic designs targeted to your client (and your client’s clients). Here are a few tips for achieving those goals:
  • Printing
Most letterhead is printed with offset lithography, which offers more options than most people use. Die cuts, foil-stamping (a specialty printing service), varnishes, and a variety of other printing tricks can help make a piece stand out.
  • Logos
Most established companies have corporate logos that must be included in their printed products. While corporate identity design goes far beyond the scope of this article, even an outdated or downright ugly logo can, if used creatively, be part of a fresh, new design.
  • Artwork
Artwork gives a piece personality. It communicates without words and targets the emotions. Using scanners and laser printers, even clients with small budgets can reproduce personal photos and copyright-free images for their printed pieces.
Use these tips, and represent your client, not as you think they ought to be, but as they are. Your work is sure to do its job. Then you will, indeed, be a great designer.

http://www.ParagonPress.net – #1 in Shreveport, LA for printing, direct mail, graphic design, direct marketing – 318.868.3351

Eye-Teasing Design Tips

When working in graphic design, making things look good may seem like the right thing to do, but perhaps making things attract attention should be your goal. Attracting attention can often be done by creating tension in the eyes of the viewers. Tension is defined as balanced relation between strongly opposing elements, or the interplay of conflicting elements. This tension or conflict will cause viewers to stop and take a closer look at your design in hopes of uncovering what is making them subconsciously uncomfortable.
Here are a few tension creating tips to intrigue your viewers:
  • Barely touching elements tease the viewers. Their eyes are drawn to this point of almost intersection, and they keep checking to see if the items really touch.
  • Design decisions that appear tentative, such as elements that are off-kilter, can cause conflict because the viewer will naturally want things to be straight and orderly. Deliberately placing images off balance, as long as it isn’t overdone, can help capture a viewer’s attention.
  • Using complementary colors next to each other, especially when there is a shared edge, can cause a vibration in your design. This is because each color is vying for dominance in the eyes of your viewer. Choose your colors to attract attention.
  • Using these techniques at some of the focal points of your piece, such as the center, and the corners, will retain the viewer’s interest as they digest all that your piece has to say.

http://www.ParagonPress.net – #1 in Shreveport, LA for printing, direct mail, design, marketing – 318.868.3351

More Bloggers

As we work to become smarter about blogging, I’ve invited my co-workers and my boss to start blogging as well…join the party, right? Erin, Tina and Macy should be joining us soon. I’m excited about the steps we’re taking and initiatives we’re doing to try to become smarter social media marketers and smarter inbound marketers and smarter modern marketers (as our friends at HubSpot call it). We want to take things to the next level here at Paragon Press and become more than just a printing, direct mail or graphic design vendor to our customers. We want to become marketing PARTNERS to them, so the more we can add incremental value about marketing initiatives and strategies, the better, right?