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Archive for February, 2009

In this day and age, everybody has a computer. Everybody has access to fun fonts and colors. And everyone has a nephew, brother, aunt, cousin, or friend who can make a logo for their business. So why pay a professional to design one for you? The answer is simple. You want results.

I, for example, went to a 4-year art school and graduated with a BFA in design. I had the advantage of learning from some of the best in the industry all about branding an image, the correct use of typography, and the effects of color in design. I know the subtle insights that will make your logo effectively portray the style and mission of your company. It’s not simply a matter of picking out a piece of clip art and trying on some fonts until you get something you like. It’s about creating an image that will be recognizable, memorable, and reach your target audience. Whether the company is a home improvement contractor or a venture capitalist, a florist or a college, the key is to develop a look that perfectly suits the client’s needs.

Everybody wants to be the next Nike, Google, or McDonalds. With all due respect to all of the nephews, brothers, aunts, cousins, or friends who have computers and are willing to “put something together for you”, if you want to brand your image and company, hire a professional. The right designer, amply educated in results oriented design will make a world of difference between THE PLACE that people go to for that service, or just another ‘joe schmo’ in the phone book.

Post written by KRSmith at www.khrysser.com.

ABOUT PROJECTCENTER:

ProjectCenter is a single-source service company providing marketing and document solutions to small, medium and large-sized businesses in the U.S. area. ProjectCenter is based in Phoenix, Arizona and its services include graphic design, web design, printing, copying, scanning and mailing. For more information, please call (602) 252-6655 or visit www.makepapereasy.com.

So, how much is a logo worth? Can one be designed for $50 or less (or for a “prize” amount as discussed in a previous post)? The answer is simple. It’s worth a lot. To the client and to the artist.

Your logo is the first and foremost piece of communication for your company. It will be on everything you produce in the future. From the sign on your front door, to your website, to your brochures, and even on administrative items like your fax sheet, paychecks and invoices. It’s just that important, so it’s certainly worth more than $50 prize.

By hiring the right designer, you will also take advantage of their knowledge of branding, typography, color theory, and marketing skills, which they surely paid a lot of money to achieve. When I design a logo I don’t simply “try on” a bunch of fonts until one looks good and slap a generic symbol on there for good measure. I want to delve in deep, get to know your company, it’s goals, it’s personality as well as your likes and dislikes. I design solutions that will meet your needs, speak to your intended audience, and fit the personality of the company.

So it takes time to properly develop a logo, and that is what you are paying for – the artists knowledge, talent, and time. Anyone can slap together some type and a piece of clip art with minimal time invested. But without the underlying branding support it will probably fall short of being successful and not hold up over time. Would you rather pay $50 and have to redo it again in the near future? Or pay a bit more for something that is on mark and will last?

 

Post written by KRSmith at www.khrysser.com.

ABOUT PROJECTCENTER:

ProjectCenter is a single-source service company providing marketing and document solutions to small, medium and large-sized businesses in the U.S. area. ProjectCenter is based in Phoenix, Arizona and its services include graphic design, web design, printing, copying, scanning and mailing. For more information, please call (602) 252-6655 or visit www.makepapereasy.com or follow us at http://twitter.com/ProjectCenter.

I recently saw an opportunity via a LinkedIn group, where a seeker of printing services asked if the responder of her request was a broker. When the responder said “yes”, the seeker said “I already have one of those”. 

Hmmmm……”those”. An interesting statement.

I had been in the technical reseller business for 11 years, and can tell you through experience that resellers are sometimes the only people you can rely on in tough times. I’ve seen manufacturers of products come and go, while the resellers is always there to help the client. End users believed for a long time that the best service was through a direct relationship with the manufacturer, and the result was that a client would eventually become disenchanted, or the manufacturer would make changes to their product line, or the manufacturer would simply go out of business. Who was left? The reseller who was nimble enough to have different but equivelent solutions.

So the big questions are…..

Are brokers all that bad to have during these economic times?

Is it possible that we will see printers go out of business?

Is the printing business somewhat economy-proof?

 

ABOUT PROJECTCENTER:

ProjectCenter is a single-source service company providing marketing and document solutions to small, medium and large-sized businesses in the U.S. area. ProjectCenter is based in Phoenix, Arizona and its services include graphic design, web design, printing, copying, scanning and mailing. For more information, please call (602) 252-6655 or visit www.makepapereasy.com or follow us at http://twitter.com/ProjectCenter.

So you want to create an ad, postcard, or brochure for your business and you don’t have any pictures you can use. You have a few options depending on the number of images you need and your budget for acquiring the images.

Hire a photographer.

Your location, image needs, subject matter, model needs, and timeframe will all be factors in deciding the price of custom photography. Most times, product still-life photos can be done in a photography studio quickly without a rush status for a reasonable fee. And it will save you the headache of doing it yourself.

Take the photos yourself.

If you have a digital camera that you know how to correctly use it, then go for it. Have the patience to adequately light your images, or better yet, take them outside in natural light if you can. If you are taking photos of a product outside, be sure to do it in a setting that will look nice when placed in your brochure. Don’t take the photos of your product in the grass then ask an artist to retouch the photo (photo retouching can greatly increase the cost of your project). Be mindful of reflections on glass – it can be costly to accurately retouch those as well. If you are taking a photo of a location, be sure to do it on a nice sunny day and when the sun is overhead, not directly shining into the camera. If you have the patience and know how this can be a super cheap option for you!

Use stock photography.

Sometimes artists and agencies can offer stock photography for free, but this is often very limited in subject manner. Instead I encourage you to check out the numerous options online for stock photography subscriptions. In some cases for a few hundred dollars you can get unlimited downloads from a stock site for a limited period of time. If you only need a few really good photos check out some of the pay per image services where individual images generally cost about $10 each. You can often find highly specialized and creative images on these sites for a low standard cost.

Ask your manufacturer.

Many manufacturers of things like windows and siding (to name a few) will allow you to use their corporate photography if you are a dealer or reseller of their products. This is often free and can yield some excellent custom photography images, all you need to do is ask them for it!

One thing you generally can’t do is take images off of published websites. Not only are these images too low res for your printing needs, but they are almost always copyrighted. So when in doubt, just steer clear of these or you may end up ultimately paying the price with a lawsuit!

Post written by KRSmith at www.khrysser.com.

ABOUT PROJECTCENTER:

ProjectCenter is a single-source service company providing marketing and document solutions to small, medium and large-sized businesses in the U.S. area. ProjectCenter is based in Phoenix, Arizona and its services include graphic design, web design, printing, copying, scanning and mailing. For more information, please call (602) 252-6655 or visit www.makepapereasy.com or follow us at http://twitter.com/ProjectCenter.

PMS stands for Pantone Matching System. Sometimes clients prefer this type of printing to either save money, guarantee color consistency, or to print with speciality colors like metallics.

 

Often times, clients will prefer to save money on certain printing items such as envelopes, letterhead, an business cards and turn to 2-color PMS printing instead of the traditional 4-color printing.

 

A PMS color is an actual ink that is purchased in the desired hue – not mixed from the traditional cyan, magenta, yellow, or black inks. Think of it it terms of nail polish or car paint. You don’t buy a blue color paint and try to mix it with a yellow paint in order to touch up your green car. instead, you buy the manufacturer paint for your exact vehicle and color, so when you do the touch up it matches you car perfectly. Likewise, when you print a PMS color it should match perfectly from the first print to the last, even if you print at different printers, and even if you print your pieces at different times.

 

In some applications such as packaging, a client may choose to add a metallic color to a four color project, which in turn makes it a 5 color printing job. PMS inks come in a variety of metallic colors and can really make a great design shine!

Post written by KRSmith at www.khrysser.com.

ABOUT PROJECTCENTER:

ProjectCenter is a single-source service company providing marketing and document solutions to small, medium and large-sized businesses in the U.S. area. ProjectCenter is based in Phoenix, Arizona and its services include graphic design, web design, printing, copying, scanning and mailing. For more information, please call (602) 252-6655 or visit www.makepapereasy.com or follow us at http://twitter.com/ProjectCenter.

 

 

 

 

It’s best to consider this when your logo is first designed if at all possible. In most cases, embroiderers require a clean, vector version of your logo- free of gradients and fine lines. I approach logo design with all type of applications in mind.

I begin with vector.

Vector art is designed in a manner that is highly reproducible. Raster art, like photographs is made up of tiny blocks of color. When those blocks are greatly increased in size, you will begin to see jaggedness to your image. We’ve all seen this before. With vector art, the lines and curves are actually mathematically calculated. You have two points with a line or curve in between and the program calculates the exact dimensions and curvature. Therefore, with vector art, when you increase the size -even to fit the side of a blimp – it will be perfectly clear because the program recalculates the math to your new dimensions. This precise approach allows an embroidery machine to most accurately reproduce your logo.

I also begin my logo designs in black only.

It has been said that if your logo looks great in just black it will look great no matter what. There is some truth to that. Narrowing the color to just black causes a designer (and a client) to focus on the actual design of a logo. Forcing them to create solutions that will stand up no matter what the situation is. Have you ever seen a logo used in a way that was not appealing or easy to read? If so, I’m willing to bet they didn’t start with a black only logo. The other bonus to beginning this way is that you will have an advantage when it comes to the number of colors in printing or embroidery. You will be able to embroider it in a single color that compliments your product. Say your company logo is blue and black. Blue lettering might not look good on a black shirt, and the black lettering would be lost completely…vice versa on a blue shirt. With a one color logo option, white lettering would look great on either color, be highly readable and would still keep with your corporate colors!

This doesn’t mean you can’t have your logo with all of the bells and whistles. By beginning with a basic black vector design and elaborating from there, you end up with a logo that will be reproducible in a variety of uses. After all, if you are going to pay for a logo to brand your company, it would be a shame to have to redesigned it or be forced to deviate from your branding image when you come across a situation where it doesn’t work!

Post written by KRSmith at www.khrysser.com.

ABOUT PROJECTCENTER:

ProjectCenter is a single-source service company providing marketing and document solutions to small, medium and large-sized businesses in the U.S. area. ProjectCenter is based in Phoenix, Arizona and its services include graphic design, web design, printing, copying, scanning and mailing. For more information, please call (602) 252-6655 or visit www.makepapereasy.com.

How would you like your 120 x 60 ad to appear at the upper left of this site (http://www.makepapereasy.com/blog) for the months of  March, April and June? We’re giving away ad spots (valued at $20.00 per month). We will give away a maximum amount of 3 ads for 3 different winners for the 3 month time period.

Contest ends on February 28th.

Requirements to be entered to win:

1) You and/or your business needs to be in the graphic design industry.

2) Comment on this blog. Include your email and blog/website address so we can contact the winners.

3) Twitter about it and comment with the link to this blog. Make sure to copy @ProjectCenter (there will be a RT link on our tweet).

4) Blog about it and comment with a link to our main website at http://www.makepapereasy.com.

5) Winners must provide ad to be placed in ad space at the upper left of our site, but if you don’t have a banner, we can design one for a small fee.

ABOUT PROJECTCENTER:

ProjectCenter is a single-source service company providing marketing and document solutions to small, medium and large-sized businesses in the U.S. area. ProjectCenter is based in Phoenix, Arizona and its services include graphic design, web design, printing, copying, scanning and mailing. For more information, please call (602) 252-6655 or visit www.makepapereasy.com or follow us at www.twitter.com/ProjectCenter .