Tagged: Design

Starting a Design Business

Tips for Starting a Graphic Design Business
The UPS guy was just here. I now hold in my hands new business cards for Piksl Design. Now in business for over ten years, this is the third iteration of Piksl's cards. When the business celebrated its tenth anniversary, I developed a new Piksl Design logo. And while I integrated the logo into all my online and social media outlets, I held off on printing new letterhead and business cards because honestly, how often do I use letterhead? And in this digital age, do I really need business cards? But Read More

Drop (the) Shadows

When to use drop shadows
Drop shadows. They're a very common element in the world of graphic design. And they're very easy to implement, from the high-level design packages to software for beginners. As a result they get used a lot. The reasoning goes something like this: "I need to typeset a headline. There we go. I sure did pick a nice font. But it's not special enough. It's not eye catching. What can I do to give it some oomph? I know, I'll add a drop shadow! There we go. Now my headline pops and my layout looks designed." Look, Read More

Laws Concerning Stretched Logos

Laws concerning stretching logos disproportionately
Regarding the marks of man, I have heard your cries. You say, "The space allotted for the mark is tall like the heavens. It springs up like a tree and my hand cannot move the heights. Yet the mark is as the hair on the lip: wide and glorious." Your complaints I have heard and I regard them not. For who are you to change the hair on the lip? Is it not the identity of the man? You shave the ends of the hair and the man is no more. Will you allow your heights to bring low the man? Alas, this should Read More

Logo Tutorial #10: Forget Design

Logo Tutorial #10: Forget about the design
When it comes to logo design, the design itself isn't vital. "What?" you ask! "After writing nine posts in this series on logo design, you're going to end it by saying the design isn't important!?" Growing up, there was this local carpet store that ran a series of television spots featuring a guy named Lou. I assume he was the owner. Every spot featured the phrase "Hey Lou, what's new?" He would then launch into something ridiculous. I remember a spoof on Billy Crystal and his "You look mahvelous" Read More

Logo Tutorial #9: Client Headaches

Logo Tutorial #9: How to avoid client headaches
As this logo design series winds down, we now make the jump from discussing the design process to discussing communication and collaboration with your client. I say collaboration because they will play a large part in the process. This is more than a one-time ad or flyer—this is their identity. You will notice them being more hands-on than normal. And understanding how to work with your client will be the key factor in making your experience positive (for both parties) and not a lingering headache. Read More

Logo Tutorial #8: One-Hit Blunder

Logo Tutorial #8: Don't go with your first idea
People think alike. That's the whole premise behind the Family Feud game show. They survey one-hundred people and typically fifty percent of those surveyed will respond with one of the top two answers. Those answers are easily guessed. The answers that fewer people give are much more difficult to figure out. My pastor has said that the key to creativity is not going with your first idea. And that concept stuck with me. In his case, he follows this rule when coming up with sermon illustrations. Read More

Logo Tutorial #7: Never Clever

Logo Tutorial #7: Don't get too clever with the concept
You get an idea stuck in your head. It's an interesting idea. It's a clever twist on a concept, but can you make it work visually? You play around with it and it starts to come together (or so you think). You really want it to come together and you tell yourself that it looks better than it really does—or that its visual shortcomings are compensated for by the cleverness of the concept. We get these brain children that we foster and come to love. We look past their faults and don't want Read More

Logo Tutorial #6: Single Concept

Logo Tutorial #6: Limit your logo to a single concept
We love to overthink our logos. They're very important, and they do deserve a lot of thought. But we like results. We feel like the amount of thought and time we put into something needs to be apparent when looking at the final product. It's a trap! Overthinking in itself is not bad. The problem is when it leads to trying too hard. Don't be deceived. Creative simplicity is difficult. It takes work to come up with something straightforward and clean that's unique, identifiable, and able to stand Read More

Logo Tutorial #5: Black & White

Logo Tutorial #5: Design logos in black and white first
Blueprints have been used by architects, engineers, and many areas of industry since the 19th century. They provide information detailing how a structure or object needs to be assembled. As we usually think of blueprints in terms of houses, let's use that as an analogy as I ask a question. As the architect begins a new home design, does he immediately start picking out carpet and curtain colors? Does he jump right to the shutter style? Does he research what types of ceiling fans are available? Of Read More

When to Use Bold Text

Bold text works best when used in moderation.
Making text bold is possibly the most common typesetting/design practice. Even the most computer illiterate person will either know or want to know how to make text bold. It's so common a practice that we sometimes forget the reason for it. And after dealing with clients and hearing their requests for making certain things bold, I think it's time to back up and consider the purposes and uses of the bold style. One clarification before I dig in. What I'm about to say is in reference to basic paragraph/list Read More