5 Tips to a unique Business Card!

Business cards are a reflection of you and your business. When designed effectively they can help make a great first impression and seal the deal between you and a client. Here are a few key tips to take into consideration when designing a unique business card!

 Orientation and Shape

Most business cards orientation is horizontal. However, by changing it to a vertical orientation, you can make your card stand out from the crowd. In addition, experiment with a different business card shape. Most business cards are in a rectangular format, however a square is an elegant shape that presents an original business card format. You could also place it on an angle like a diamond, to generate a more original design.

2016-newest-designer-font-b-die-b-font-font-b-cutting-b-font-font-b-customizedContrasting Colours

By implementing contrasting colours within your design it allows your business card to  remain simple and interesting.

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Transparency 

Transparency paper adds an effective and unique touch to your design. Either overlapped or seperate, it allows light through to reveal what appears underneath. Another effect you can create using transparency paper is to apply ink on the card to generate windows. You could do this with either your type, logo or graphic.

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Interchangeable Graphics

Interchangeable Graphics associated with your business adds variety to your cards. The designs will still remain cohesive, however create more interest and fun with your design.

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Clarify your message

Implement Graphics that display the service you or your client provides. Make sure the message is clear to the viewer.

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There you have it, a few tips to keep in mind when designing business cards! Happy Designing!

 

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Design Trends 2016!

Design Trends don’t simply appear! They become popular gradually over time and disappear slowly without people even noticing. As designers you should become aware of these shifts coming and leaving the design industry.

Here are a few possible trends to keep an eye out for in 2016!

Geometric Shapes!

Geometric Shapes and patterns are constantly seen as a motif within designs popular in 2016! This trend can be applied in various ways including graphic elements, backgrounds and illustrative techniques!

Hint: Check out “Low Poly” which was derived from the 3D Modelling technique implemented in video games. It is used outside of the gaming world now in web and print designs.

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Figure and Ground!

 

Figure and Ground is implemented within any successful design! Negative and Positive Space can add double meaning to your design, and is used mainly in creating logos and branding projects. It also allows your design to look simplistic and minimal.

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Minimalistic and Abstract Styles!

This trend portrays designs that present aspects of minimalism, focussing on deconstructing and distorting graphic forms, rearranging them to create new designs. Using geometric shapes and bold colours is an effective way of creating a minimalist design.

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Custom Illustrations and Graphics!

Custom illustrations and graphics are regularly replacing stock photos and images. As designers we want to remain original and ensure our work is not generic. How embarrassing would it be if the same image you used in your design was on a competitor’s website or poster. Therefore, it is important to do the extra work to make sure your graphics and illustrations stand out from the crowd.

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Dramatic Typography! 

Typography isn’t all about the legibility! Obviously it is important that the audience can read it, but it is much more than that. Typography makes a statement! You can create character and give your text personality through size, colour, texture, arrangement and pattern.

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Make sure you don’t just implement a trend in your design to look trendy! Ensure it fits the project you are completing and be original!

How to Create an Effective Layout!

It is important when designing layouts for print or the web that you ensure you communicate information clearly and effectively. To create a successful layout, it requires placement, arrangement and formatting of elements. You may find yourself at times placing elements on a page, just because you think it looks good, however cannot explain why! Well here are some top tips to help create an effective Layout.

1. Create a focal point

It is important to have a focal point within your composition to draw interest in your layout. Make sure you chose an element that communicates the message you are conveying within your design, whether it be an image, graphic or text. Some ways to create a focal point is through the principles including scale, contrast and repetition.

2. Rule of Thirds

Rule of Thirds is an easy and effective technique that divides your design into three rows and three columns. Where the horizontal and vertical lines meet is where the focal points should be located. This allows for an effective and striking layout.

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3. White Space

You don’t always need to fill every segment of the design for it to feel finished. White space when used appropriately can enhance your designs clarity and ensure it is balanced correctly, allowing it to breathe.

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4. Scale and Hierarchy

Scale and Hierarchy can be either the make or break of your design. It is important to arrange the design elements in order of visual signal importance. This is where scale is necessary, you can enlarge and make an element bolder or reduce and make an element faint to create an effective hierarchy within the design.

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5. Alignment

It is important that you align all elements on the page. Don’t just throw them on page and call it finished! Alignment between elements creates a sharp, neat and effective layout that is easy to navigate and is legible.

6. Repetition

Repeating an element within your design can provide a strong sense of cohesion and display a balanced composition. To create a consistent layout, you could repeat specific elements in your design. This could be a typeface style, a graphic motif or an image. Repeating an element within a multi page layout allows each page to flow effectively.

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There are many things that must be taken into consideration when designing a  composition. Keep persisting with you designs, you may not get it the first or second time, but you will get there!

How to create Successful Stationery!

Ever wanted to know how to design effective stationery for yourself or a clients business? Well here are six important tips to keep in mind when designing stationery.

Colour Scheme:

Colour is important in making sure your stationery stands out from the crowd. Make sure you consider the colour you use; does it match your logo design? Does it reflect the business you are designing for? Does it draw the audiences attention in a positive way? These are important questions you should ask yourself when designing stationery for a company.

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Paper Stock quality:

The paper you chose to print your stationery on can influence how cheap or expensive your business is perceived through your clientele. If you are designing stationery for a business that is known for it’s ‘low prices,’ you might stick to photocopy paper, as the consumer understands it is cheap. However, if you are designing for a high premium company it is essential to use high quality paper, for example, glossy or textured paper.

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Contact Information:

Always include the correct information on all elements of your stationery. You should include:

  • The company name
  • Mailing address
  • Phone number
  • Fax number
  • Website
  • Email
  • ABN Number

Make sure you check the Australia Post website to ensure all measurements are up to standard for posting your stationery.

Fonts/Typeface

Make sure your design is legible! The information you present in your designs must be clear and easy to read. Stick to two fonts at the most. Remember you can use a family of fonts to show contrast and variety in your design, without cluttering it.

Imagery

If you do use imagery on your stationery make sure it is consistent across all designs. Good imagery to use in your designs could include:

  • An image of the CEO of the business.
  • The building of the business.
  • An image or graphic closely aligned with your logo.

Do not use clip art or similar imagery! It looks tacky and unprofessional.

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Spacing:

You may feel the urge to fill the design with imagery and text so there is no white space. This will aid to a cluttered design that will distract your client from the important things, like contact information. It is important to know as designers that less is more when creating stationery! White space is important and should be used to create a successful design.

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Five Visual Branding Tips your business should know

Creating an effective visual brand is important when developing your business! Here are a five key tips on how to build a professional visual brand for your business.

1.Consistency

It is very important that businesses remain consistent in their branding. If you chose a colour or a typeface that does not meet the businesses style, you can confuse your target market with other brands, even your competitors. To ensure you do not become inconsistent with your branding, it is a good idea to establish a style guide.

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2. Be Original

Don’t be tempted to copy other buisnesses branding! It is so easy to want to use and adapt other successful designs. Don’t! You will lose trust with your audience and can end up in all sorts of illegal trouble. Push yourself to be original and your business will defiantly benefit from it.

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3. Chose a Target Audience

It is important to pick a specific demographic for your brand. Although you may like the idea of appealing to everyone it is very challenging and almost impossible to archive this. So pick a niche and portray a visual brand that reflects the values of your target audience.

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4. Select appropriate visuals

Ensure that the visuals including fonts, colours and imagery, appeal to the target audience! Stay away from the cliche and stereotypical images, they will make your company look unprofessional and degrade your brand.

5. Your Brand isn’t all about the logo

Your brand doesn’t revolve just around your logo! It is important to have an application friendly logo that can adapt to imagery and other colours within your brand. As well as work towards creating your brand style.

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Print vs. Web Design

Have you ever thought what are the key differences between print and web design is? Maybe you thought they were fairly similar. That print design is presented as a hard copy and can be physically held, whilst web design is viewed on a screen. This is true, however there are a few important differences between the two that people in industry often don’t know, including workflow and file formats and terminology.

How does your design engage the users senses?

Print and web design share a visual quality in common.

Static vs. Interactive

Print design is static, because after it has gone to print it can not change, unless you update it and reprint it again. This costs time and money and is not ideal. However, web design is interactive and can be changed and updated regularly without spending too much money. Therefore, web designers must consider the continuing functionality of the website.

Are you able to navigate through the design?

Navigating through a print design is fairy easy as you usually flip or unfold a page. In comparison the web is not so straight forward. There are many different layouts, that are not necessarily viewed in chronological order, like a book. A menu widget is often helpful in allowing the user access what they are looking for efficiently.

What is a responsive design?

With the amount of new gadgets being released it is important that our web design adapts to the different screen sizes and how it changes when the user interacts with it (e.g. zoom in and out). We must consider how we need to change the design to function best for each device as well as ensure the aesthetics are read clearly.

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Resolution:

Resolution is really important to understand in print and web design, as it determines the image and graphic quality within the design.

Have you ever heard the term ‘DPI’ (dots per inch) or ‘PPI’ (pixels per inch)? Some people get them confused and think they are interchangeable, however this is not the case.

DPI is implemented within the printing process. It is the density of the dots of ink printed every inch on the surface. It has nothing to do with the dimensions of a printed design like PPI does. Furthermore DPI has nothing to do with web design, as it is specifically for printing purposes.

PPI is the number of pixels displayed in an inch of screen space. If you want a higher quality image it is important that you use a high number of pixels.

When creating websites the standard resolution is 72 PPI, in comparison to print which is 300 PPI (Please note that most designers refer to this as 300 DPI).

What colour do I use for print and web/screen design?

The colour for print and web design is the same right? Actually, the colour display is different. CMYK is used for Print, whilst RGB is used for the screen based designs. It is important that the designer ensures that the colours remain consistent within their designs. How do I achieve that? You may ask. The Pantone Matching System, provides you with a reference number for each Pantone colour. This is different to the colour codes used within CMYK and RGB.

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There you have it, some of the main differences between Print and Web design that you must take into consideration when designing.

The 5 Main Types of Logos..

It is important to understand that a logo is the visual representation of a company and needs to symbolise their values and beliefs and must appeal to the target market.

Here are some important questions you can ask yourself when creating a logo:

  • Who is the target market?
  • What is the company or businesses emphasis?
  • What is the logo trying to communicate?
  • Will the style appeal to the target market?
  • Does the logo look aesthetically pleasing?
  • Is the logo legible when I increase or decrease it’s size?

 

Symbol or Icon

The logo is portrayed in a simplistic manner, focusing on the main attributes of the image that is being represented. It is important to design a conceptual logo, rather than a literal illustration of the image. Most people remember simple icons or symbols rather than detailed illustrative artworks. Here are a few examples of successful Symbol or icon logos below:

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Word Mark

These logos display the company or business name. To create a word mark logo a customised typeface is created to advocate the business brand. Here are some examples of Word Mark logos below:

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Letter Mark 

Letter mark logos are typographical in appearance and are stimulated by the initials of the company brand. They are used to represent a company if the name is too long, or is to hard to pronounce, or not distinct enough in weight. Here are a few examples below of letter mark logos.

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Combination Mark

So what is a combination logo? If we think of the word combination it usually means merging two elements together. Therefore a combination logo would be a letter mark logo and icon or symbol logo combined together. Combination logos provide flexibility for companies as they can use them together or by themselves and still be well recognised by the consumer. Here are some great examples of logos below:

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Emblem Logo

Emblem Logos include the company name within the design. The elements can not be used separately like Combination Mark logos. Here are some good examples below of Emblem Logos:

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So there you have it, the 5 main types of logos created in industry!

Happy designing!