How not to design! The Biggest mistakes that designers make | creativebloq.com


All designers make mistakes. Craig Minchington examines the most common howlers, and how to avoid them.

Although we don’t like to admit it later on in our careers, when we start making our way as designers, we make a lot of mistakes. Once you’re working in a creative agency you quickly learn that there are a lot of things you should not do. Here I’ve compiled a list of 10 common design mistakes for you to be aware of. Although I’ve committed most of these crimes myself, I have learned from them and hopefully they can help you too…

01. Not understanding the brief

Get as much detail about what the clients wants and needs, as early on as possible

Without a clear idea of what the client wants you can end up making matters complicated for yourself. A lot of time can be wasted procrastinating, or working up design ideas that may not be relevant to the client’s needs. Instead, you need to read and understand the brief carefully from the start, make notes, brainstorm and try to keep in contact with the client to ensure that what you are working up is heading in the right direction.

02. Not saving files correctly

In general, save your designs as CMYK for print, RGB for web

Knowing how to set up your files correctly from the start is vitally important. There are many things to consider depending on the output of the work.

Print work is generally set up as CMYK and at 300dpi, whereas work for the web should be RGB at 72dpi. Remember to consider bleed, trim and safety areas. Before sending to print, think about your file formats, outlining fonts and colour profiles.

This may all seem like a lot to take in but learning these processes will save you time in the long run, ensuring your work is reproduced correctly and keeping the client happy.    >>>>>    Leer más “How not to design! The Biggest mistakes that designers make | creativebloq.com”

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Designing and Producing Creative Business Cards: Techniques and Details

No one knows more about the techniques and materials available—and new ones come out all the time. Generally, printers are more than happy to give you all the industry news and advise you on techniques and materials. (If yours isn’t, you might want to look for a new printer.) If you learn a little about how they operate, they will appreciate it and be even more willing to help.
Size

While this article focuses on custom shapes and sizes, keep in mind standard sizes, too. Card holders are made to fit standard size cards, and I have often heard comments like, “If a business card doesn’t fit in my wallet, I don’t care how beautiful it is, it’s going in the trash.”

The standard sizes are 3.5 x 2 inches in the US and Canada, 85 x 55 mm in the European Union and 90 x 55 mm in Australia, New Zealand and Scandinavia. Or you could use a standard credit card as a reference, which about 85 x 54 mm or 3.34 x 2.25 inches.

Unless you have some other use for your cards in mind (for example, a bookstore’s card that doubles as a bookmark), you’ll want to stay within those dimensions. Smaller is okay, but anything too big won’t fit in most pockets, so consider going bigger only if you have reason to believe your cards will not be stored in wallets or holders.

Do you have the perfect idea but don’t know what to do with it? Maybe you’ve heard about die-cutting, varnishes, metallic inks, letterpressing and special materials but are unsure what they are exactly or which one is for you? Let’s jump into the different techniques!
Die-Cutting

Any card (or any printed material for that matter) that isn’t a standard rectangle or that has holes in it is created by a technique known as die-cutting. A metal template is prepared and is used to cut the paper in the given shape. The easiest way to think about this is to picture a giant hole-puncher, except that the holes are not necessarily round, but rather whatever shape you want them to be.

This means that, in addition to the artwork, you will need to provide the printer with a custom shape to “punch out” your cards.

The result can be as simple a round hole in the center of your card or as complex as a three-dimensional pop-out.


Plenty of creative business card showcases are available out there. Many of these are beautifully done and well thought out, and they serve as inspiration for those who would like their business card to be more than the standard rectangular piece of paper. Yet little explanation accompanies these examples, and figuring out just how to bring your idea to life can be overwhelming, to say the least. This guide is meant to help you decide which technique is right for you, how to correctly prepare the files and what to look for in a printer.

General Advice

Content Goes First

I never tire of repeating this to anyone who will listen. Don’t base your business card design on the fact that your printer has a special limited-time offer on round corners or metallic inks.

Think in terms of what the design will add to your message. Tempted to use rounded corners just because the cool kids are doing it? Maybe your card would stand out more by not using this technique.

Why do you want metallic ink? Do you think your name would really stand out in gold, even though your message is all about technology and recent code developments? You may want to rethink that. Or do you sell hand-crafted jewelry and want a design that reflects your latest silver creation? Then the silver ink might be the perfect solution for you after all.

The back of a business card is often ignored, but it can be a great place for extras that make your card even more memorable. Make it relevant to what you do, and make it useful if you can. You could include tips or a quick how-to guide relevant to your product, offer a free consultation, add a reminder for a date when you will offer discounts, or invite loyal customers to collect a stamp every time they purchase from you. Think of something that would make them want to hang onto your business card and consult it often. If you think the back should be reserved for note-taking, why not mark a few dotted lines, titled “Notes,” rather than leave it blank?

Talk to Your Printer

No one knows more about the techniques and materials available—and new ones come out all the time. Generally, printers are more than happy to give you all the industry news and advise you on techniques and materials. (If yours isn’t, you might want to look for a new printer.) If you learn a little about how they operate, they will appreciate it and be even more willing to help.

Size

While this article focuses on custom shapes and sizes, keep in mind standard sizes, too. Card holders are made to fit standard size cards, and I have often heard comments like, “If a business card doesn’t fit in my wallet, I don’t care how beautiful it is, it’s going in the trash.”

The standard sizes are 3.5 x 2 inches in the US and Canada, 85 x 55 mm in the European Union and 90 x 55 mm in Australia, New Zealand and Scandinavia. Or you could use a standard credit card as a reference, which about 85 x 54 mm or 3.34 x 2.25 inches.

Unless you have some other use for your cards in mind (for example, a bookstore’s card that doubles as a bookmark), you’ll want to stay within those dimensions. Smaller is okay, but anything too big won’t fit in most pockets, so consider going bigger only if you have reason to believe your cards will not be stored in wallets or holders.

Do you have the perfect idea but don’t know what to do with it? Maybe you’ve heard about die-cutting, varnishes, metallic inks, letterpressing and special materials but are unsure what they are exactly or which one is for you? Let’s jump into the different techniques!

Die-Cutting

Any card (or any printed material for that matter) that isn’t a standard rectangle or that has holes in it is created by a technique known as die-cutting. A metal template is prepared and is used to cut the paper in the given shape. The easiest way to think about this is to picture a giant hole-puncher, except that the holes are not necessarily round, but rather whatever shape you want them to be.

This means that, in addition to the artwork, you will need to provide the printer with a custom shape to “punch out” your cards.

The result can be as simple a round hole in the center of your card or as complex as a three-dimensional pop-out.

Optimum in Designing and Producing Creative Business Cards: Techniques and Details
This simple and effective design makes use of the round hole on both sides of the card.

Bizcards03 in Designing and Producing Creative Business Cards: Techniques and Details
This card takes the shape of the product. Instant recognition!

Leer más “Designing and Producing Creative Business Cards: Techniques and Details”

How to Calibrate Color for the Web


a photo with varying degrees of color adjustment When is orange more like red? Web designers, even picky ones, sometimes ignore color shift across monitors.

How is a web designer to manage color when the screens of their users could be any size or color or could be viewed under any lighting conditions?

Unlike fixing HTML errors, which affect browsers as the page is loaded, getting accurate color is part of the designer’s work process.

Maintaining colors across projects is possible once the problems are understood. Read on for the challenges—and solutions—to getting consistent color on the web.

Can you spot the difference between the photos below?

two slightly different photos

One of the images is slightly more blue than the other. This “color shift,” or overall tint of a particular hue, might go unnoticed by the casual observer. After all, a slight change in hue doesn’t make this any less of a flower or detract from the dewdrop’s detail. It’s a cumulative change.

Over time, maximum-quality JPEG images and 256-color PNG icons eat up precious bandwidth. Complexity in HTML increases the browser’s workload with each page load. Unlike these problems, which add up as visitors browse the website, color management is a problem with the design process. Images created on an uncalibrated monitor become inconsistent over time.

Color shift could go by another name: inattentiveness.

When can we say that a graphic’s color matches the page close enough? At what point is a photo’s color too inaccurate? What details don’t matter to the project as a whole? Everyone may have different answers, but no one who takes digital images seriously can ignore color calibration.

The print industry has struggled with getting accurate color for decades. Ensuring that the exact same colors appear at all stages of production—including in various monitors, office printers and high-end presses—has spawned its own industry of calibration devices, software solutions and even ISO standards.

The web design community generally doesn’t worry about press checks. But maybe it should.

The Web Has Had Color Issues Since It’s Had Color

In the 1990s, getting accurate color on the web meant using a palette of 216 “web-safe” colors. These hues and shades were (mostly) guaranteed not to dither when displayed on monitors that could not handle more than 8-bit color.

illustration of a dithered image

Above is a gradient with and without dithering. Today, the vast majority of computers can show 24-bit color or better (according to these browser display statistics and Google Analytics tracking of websites, including Webdesigner Depot). That is, each pixel can show one of millions of colors, making calibration both complicated and more critical.

The web has long relied on hexidecimal codes, like #F35C23, to define colors. These six-character strings can display a wide variety of hues and values with great precision. An image that has #F35C23 and a CSS background in #F35C23 will match perfectly.

The problem is that the code defines a combination of red, green and blue but does not always result in consistent color. Display screens account for the difference.

White Is White, Except When It Isn’t

Many factors affect color accuracy when creating and editing digital images. As with print, color on the web depends on the environment in which the image is created. Unlike print, web-based images can change every time they’re displayed because the monitors of users will vary, and no press check can catch problems that crop up.

Although many modern web browsers can display CMYK images, most images for the web are based on the additive RGB color model. This model applies a mixture of red, green and blue to each pixel.

But not all monitors are built the same, and so a particular shade of orange could be inconsistent across different screens. Here are some of the causes of color change:

  • Slight changes between manufacturers and models account for slight inaccuracies in shade and hue.
  • Many screens (especially CRT monitors) change color over the years and even as they warm up over the course of a day.
  • Until recently, Mac OS X and Windows used two different “gammas,” which meant that images on Macs appeared brighter than ones on PC. Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) uses the more common gamma of 2.2, which is the same as Windows and many televisions and camcorders.
  • People browse the web from many different locations and in many different lighting conditions. The effect of overhead lights and the amount and color of natural light all affect the appearance of color on the screen.

simulated color shift across different displays

Above, different calibration shows that “white” is often an assumed color:

  1. The original image, shot under fluorescent light with a point-and-shoot camera.
  2. Approximate color shift on a Mac before Snow Leopard.
  3. Approximate color shift on an aging CRT monitor.
  4. Close to true color, as seen on the laptop on which the photo was processed. Leer más “How to Calibrate Color for the Web”

Anatomy of Colors in Web Design: Yellow and the Sunshine Feel


Today’s article will explore the use of the color yellow in Web design.

Anatomy of Colors in Web Design: Yellow and the Sunshine Feel

Vía Onextrapixel.com
Color is everywhere! Although it wasn’t too long ago that we lived in the era of black and white television and film, color has always and will continue to play an important role in our lives. The color yellow is most commonly associated with our sun. It’s bright, striking and sometimes overpowering rays is a symbol of our earth’s humble beginning. With this article, we take a look at the impact the color yellow has made in our lives.

Some painters transform the sun into a yellow spot; others transform a yellow spot into the sun. – Pablo Picasso

Definition of Yellow

Yellow is the color evoked by light that stimulates both the L and M (long and medium wavelength) cone cells of the retina about equally, with no significant stimulation of the S (short-wavelength) cone cells. Light with a wavelength of 570–580 nm is yellow, as is light with a suitable mixture of somewhat longer and shorter wavelengths. Yellow’s traditional RYB complementary color is purple, violet, or indigo, while its colorimetrically defined complementary color in both RGB and CMYK color spaces is blue.

Different Yellow
Image courtesy from Wikimedia Commons

Why Choose Yellow?

Yellow is often represented as the color of sunshine, sunflowers, and all else related to the sun. It is a color associated with joy, happiness, intellect and boundless energy.

The color yellow gives one a warm and cosy effect. It also arouses cheerfulness, stimulates mental activity, and generates muscle energy. Yellow is also often associated with food. Pure yellow is very bright and often attracts one’s attention. This is probably one of the reasons why taxi cabs are often painted bright yellow. However, when over used, yellow can create a disturbing effect; in fact, those of you planning to paint your baby’s nursery room yellow because it’s a gender neutral color, think twice because babies cry more in yellow colored rooms.

Yellow Person

Ever notice that most warning signs are often a combination of yellow against a black background? The yellow and black combination produces the best contrast compared to any other color. Thus, this combination is often used in warning or danger signs. In heraldry, yellow is the color symbolising honor and loyalty. Ironically, yellow is also a color associated with cowardice.

Often chosen to promote children’s products and leisure or entertainment items, yellow evokes a pleasant and cheery disposition in people. Because of yellow’s talent for attracting one’s attention, it is often used to highlight the important elements in your design. Commonly perceived by men as a light hearted and childish color, yellow is not a recommended color to use when trying to sell prestigious or luxurious products – which rational man would buy a bright yellow business suit or a yellow Mercedes?
Seen as spontaneous and sometimes over the top, avoid using yellow if your underlying subtext is to portray stability and safety.

Yellow is at its best when used in its purest form and at its brightest. Add too much white and it because pale and sickly. Muddy it too much with black and it becomes dingy and dirty-looking. As such, tints and shades of yellow are often visually unappealing because it loses its best quality; its innocence and cheerfulness. No matter, remember to use a dark color as a contrast to yellow especially since pale yellow tends to bleed into a white background.

The Benefits of Yellow

The color yellow can affects us mentally and physically which includes stimulating our mental and nervous system, activates our memory, and encourages communication. Golden yellow carries the promise of a positive future, and spreads its cheer. Especially since yellow shines its optimism, enlightenment, and happiness upon us.

Yellow stands out from other colors, and with the support of other lively colors, it can spark one’s creativity while invigorating one’s spirit. In fact, people who suffer from mild cases of color blindness can usually see the color yellow more easily than other colors.

Although yellow symbolizes wisdom and wealth, and is full of creative and intellectual energy, it can also create feelings of frustration and anger as well. People are more likely to lose their temper if they are in rooms with yellow colored walls. The color yellow also increases one’s metabolism. Being one of the most visible colors, it is attention grabbing and often used on traffic signs or advertisements to attract people’s attention.

As with any color, there are both positive and negative effects, but put some yellow into your life if you want a little clarity in your decision-making process, ‘burnout’ relief, sharper memory and better concentration skills. When you’re in a panic, exhausted, or depressed, and you’re in need of a pick me up, yellow’s your color.

The Effects of Yellow

Too much or too little of anything can have an adverse effect. Yellow is most stressful on the eye because of the high amount of light that is reflected off its color. The use of yellow as a background on paper or computer monitors can lead to strain and stress on the eye and in extreme cases, even vision loss. Too much yellow can cause the inability to focus or complete one task at a time as it can be too distracting. And the lack of yellow can give one the feeling of being isolated, resulting in low self esteem, insecurity and even depression. Also, not having a sufficient amount of yellow can result in a person becoming rigid, cunning, possessive and even overly defensive.

Different Types of Yellow in Web Design

Although yellow works well on its own (it is after all a primary color), it also works very well as a companion to other colors. Use bright yellow to create excitement if red or orange is too strong or too dark for you. Yellow is the right kind of perky!

Amber

Amber is a fossilized tree resin that has been appreciated for its color and natural beauty for centuries. Amber is also the name of an orange-yellow color. In fact, was named after this fossilized tree resin because it shares similar shades it. Shades of amber can range from orange to reddish-orange and even light yellow. This is why amber often refers to a series of orange shades.

Danilo Freitas
Danilofreitas

Goldenrod Yellow

Goldenrod is a color that resembles the goldenrod plant, hence its name Goldenrod Yellow.

Dhanesh T.K
Dhaneshtk

Chartreuse Yellow

Chartreuse (the web color) is a color halfway between yellow and green that was named because of its resemblance to the green color of a French liqueur called Green Chartreuse. The traditional color Chartreuse is a yellow color mixed with a small amount of green and named because of its resemblance to the yellow color of a French liqueur called Yellow Chartreuse. The web color chartreuse is precisely halfway between green and yellow; 50% green and 50% yellow. It is one of the tertiary colors of the HSV color wheel. Leer más “Anatomy of Colors in Web Design: Yellow and the Sunshine Feel”