Graphic Design: Business Ideas

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Companies use Graphic design to communicate visually with people, and there are several ways to do that – poster, advertisements in newspaper, website, mobile app, album cover, business logo, and more (and graphic designers are involved in creating all of these).

Why Shout?

TV, internet, books, magazines, there are so many places where you see designs that are designed with the intention of catching your attention.

But only a few manage to successfully stand out and catch the attention of the audience!

The multiplicity of graphic designs and the elements that make up the designs themselves sometimes seems overwhelming.

Well, every designer would want their creations to get noticed.

You want them to Shine, Be noticed, & Attract the attention of those who pass by it. You want your target clients to come looking for you. That’s what you want for your product or service.

But how do you attain that?

How to Create Graphic Design That Stands Apart

Create Graphic Design
Create Graphic Design that stands out and attract the viewers attention. Here are useful tips on how to create campaigns that gets noticed. These tips will help your creative designs stand out and shout at the audience.

You make your graphic designs stand out by making them shout (to the customers they are supposed to reach).

If your graphic designs shout, then they attract attention in an already over advertised world. Today every prospective customer sees at least thousands of messages a day.

So which one will they remember? They’ll remember the ones that:

  • Rises above the others
  • Has the most to say
  • That speaks the loudest to them
  • And once it has their attention, the one that engages them the most.

And how to achieve that? Here are some ideas that you can use.

  1. Evoke an Emotional Response
    Take the time to look at their work and see how it affects you.

    • Do you like it?
    • Does it make you want to know more, buy more?
    • Do you respond in some way?

    It is usually an effective emotional response that make us want to act or buy. In the graphic design you are reviewing you want to assess the degree to which the pieces initiate an emotional response.

  2. Avoid Clutter
    Probably the first and foremost consideration is the use of white space in the graphic design.

    Is the message presented simply with lots of surrounding space, or is the space cluttered and you don’t know where to look next.

    Examine a number of the graphic design pieces in the designer’s portfolio. Knowing how and when to use white space is a talent and an art. Does this designer have it?

  3. Make it Easy to Understand
    Just like white space, the message should be simple and easy to understand.

    Complex messages usually don’t get noticed, when it comes to graphic design.

  4. Importance of Using the Right Visuals
    The human brain is visual, so visuals are crucial to making graphic designs more appealing.

    So use visuals that make a lot of noise!

    Wild vibrant color attracts the eye. Use visuals and color to make a statement that is loud and bold.

    Visuals come in a lot of forms:

    • Original hand done illustrations
    • Stock illustrations
    • Original digital illustrations
    • Stock digital illustrations
    • Original photography and
    • Stock photography.

  5. Use Distinct Bold Graphics
    Our brains process visually, so the visual message is very important, often more important than the words. Things to ask here:

    • How clear and bold are the graphics in the work of the design you are considering.
    • Do you get the message immediately?
    • Are the visuals different and unique or do you have the feeling that you’ve seen them before.
    • Is the designer using the same “stock” images as everybody else or do they find new and unique ways to present their message?

  6. Ask the Right Questions
    You always need be careful with the use of Stock Photography and Illustrations as they could have already been overused.

    You also need to keep abreast of the various looks and images used in the graphic designs found in books and magazines and even on the internet. You need to avoid those looks and images, or you’ll blend in with the rest.

    Remember you want to Stand out!

    Ask Bold Questions
    Ask bold questions in your graphic designs. Questions engage the mind, pull people in, and bold ones stay in the memory. Loud, memorable, engaging – that’s what you are going for.

    Engaging questions often remind the potential client of their pain, the problem they need to solve. Of course the solution is the product or service for which you are designing.

    What are the Benefits?
    Speaking of what you need your graphic designs to say, be sure that your end statements are benefits, benefits, benefits.

    What’s in it for the customer or viewer. That’s what the whole game is about.

    If you don’t speak to how you can solve the customer’s problem, how you can bring the client value, then no matter how loud it is, they won’t remember or pay attention. It just won’t interest them.

  7. Effective Use of Type or Fonts
    More things to look for:

    • Does the type style match the emotional feel of the piece?
    • Does it help the message to stand out.
    • Is it readable?

  8. Make it Bold
    And use bold and relevant type to ask the questions or provide solutions. Make it easy to read, and be sure that it visually and emotionally matches the message, the audience you are attempting to reach and the product or service that is being sold.

    Don’t use garbage type in graphic designs intended to speak to a more sophisticated audience, and don’t use sleek elegant type to talk to the younger crowd.

  9. List the Benefits
    While benefits are a selling point and not really a part of the design itself, they are a very important part of what makes a piece sizzle, because it’s the benefits that bring the clients to you.

    So be sure your designer has included the most important benefits in the design.

  10. Spice it Up
    You also need to add spice to the overall piece.

    • Does their graphic design work have drama?
    • Drama engages the reader, involves the reader, keeps them looking and then remembering long after they’ve seen the piece.

    This is another part of what creates magnetism.

Graphic Design Software: Take a Look at the Best Ones

Graphic Design Software

Graphic Design Software: Learn about the various programs used for desktop publishing, web design, illustration, and photography, and how to select the right one for your needs.

No More Pencils & Brushes
I don’t know when you were born but I do recollect seeing artists using pencils and brushes to show their talent. however, with digital technology becoming accessible to many, the pen, pencil, brush, knife and illustration board has been replaced with computer and graphic design software. In fact the designers nowadays rely heavily on these tools.

There’s Always a Learning Curve
At some point or other, the designer has to decide to upgrade his or her present software or change to another brand. And, then the designer must learn all the new functions of this version of software.

If the program interface changes then the learning curve for the design professional can be very steep and costly.

On top of that, there’s different graphic design software for desktop publishing, web design, illustration, and photography.

Desktop Publishing
For much of the last decade, the desktop publishing arena was ruled by Quark Express. However, over the past few years, Adobe has been making a serious bid to regain its prominence in desktop publishing with In-Design.

If Adobe squashes Quark it will pretty much have a monopoly in graphic design software, having already swallowed up Macromedia and much of its other competition.

Web Design
Adobe acquired Macromedia at the end of 2005, and with that acquisition, it has attained a semi-monopoly here as well.

Dreamweaver is considered as one of the best (and sometimes the most difficult to use) professional web design software available. Microsoft’s Front Page still provides services for non-professionals and some professionals who are old-time PC users.

Design Software for Photography
In graphic design software for photography there’s only one acknowledged leader – Adobe Photoshop.

While other programs exist for the casual user, for the professional photographer Photoshop is the one to use. Other companies exist by producing supporting “plug-ins” for Photoshop, until Adobe buys them.

Design Software for Illustration
What about graphic design software for illustration? Again, Adobe is the leader. Adobe Illustrator is used by most professionals and it wins hands down against the competition. And, is it because it is easy to use or has more features? Not really!

When it comes to software, it’s usually the programs which are the most compatible with other products that go on to win.

The perfect example is that of Corel Draw, a Canadian competitor to Illustrator, and acknowledged by many to be easier and comes with more functions, but scores low on compatibility. The files have to be used mostly with Corel only and that limits its popularity.

One of the reasons InDesign is gaining so much ground is its easy compatibility with other graphic design software programs in the Adobe family, and now Adobe packages them all as its Creative Suite and so it does become a one-stop shopping. But is it a good thing for one brand to be the monopoly? That is a matter of debate but it seems, without any serious challengers, Adobe is going to be the king of all Graphic Design Software.

Why You Need a Graphic Design Portfolio and How to Develop One

Graphic Design Portfolio: You need to build one so that you can show it to prospective clients and get more work. Here’s how to develop yours.

Graphic Design Portfolio

Why You Need One?
Having a Great graphic design in place is important if you want to convince clients that you can make a kick-ass design. That is why you also need to have a good graphic design portfolio in place.

Other questions that you need to ask:

  • What is it that sets one apart from another?
  • How do you judge graphic design for yourself?

It’s not an easy task, because it also involves personal taste.

A graphic design portfolio is the best way to display and showcase your past projects, creativity, and talent.

A graphic design portfolio is vital when trying to pursue opportunities as a graphic designer within a company or as a freelance graphic designer pursuing clients.

The graphic design portfolio can contain any number of items, in several different formats.

What to Include?
The first important step in developing a graphic design portfolio is deciding what work to include.

You should only include your highest quality work in your graphic design portfolio. If you include mediocre work in your graphic design portfolio simply because you are concerned about not having enough pieces in your graphic design portfolio, you will lose important job offers and clients.

It is better to have a few pieces in your graphic design portfolio that really showcase your talent and creativity than have many pieces that do not help you build a solid reputation as a graphic designer.

What Type to Create?
You also need to decide what type of graphic design portfolio you want to create. There are four main types of graphic design portfolios:

  • Printed pages in a binder
  • Online graphic design portfolio
  • Images copied on a CD , or
  • Slideshow of images on a DVD.
  • Really, it is best to create one of each type of graphic design portfolio so that you are fully prepared to offer whatever your prospective employer or client is prepared to look at to judge your talent and creativity as a graphic designer.

    Include the Best
    To create a graphic design portfolio of printed pages, you should choose only your best work, and only the best quality printed copies.

    If you are unsure of the quality of your home printer, put the images on a disk and have them printed for you at a print shop. The best quality and most creative pieces can look mediocre if not printed with high quality printing.

    You should then present the pieces in a professional manner. The best color for a graphic design printed portfolio is black, and the most professional style is leather.

    This should be something that is spiral bound, a book, or a case so that you can add or remove pieces from your graphic design portfolio easily as you progress in your graphic design career.

    DVDs, CDs
    These are still the easiest way to share your digital stuff.

    To create a graphic design portfolio on DVD or CD, you must have a computer with a DVD or CD burner, which allows you to burn images onto the top of the CD or DVD and create labels for jewel cases.

    You can either save individual pieces on the CD or DVD, or you can simply save a copy of your website (if you have one) on the disc.

    Putting it Online
    This is the easiest way to reach across a lot of people. Get hold of a website designer or do it yourself if you understand the details. It is not difficult to know the basics of making a website.

    Website hosting and domain registration is quite cheap and most of these guys also give you free website building tools so that you don’t have to know HTML.

    However, make sure that you sign up for website hosting with enough bandwidth to handle all of the images and potential traffic.

    Once you have your website set up, you’ll want to choose your pieces carefully. Display them as thumbnails on one page, with each full scale piece appearing on another page when the thumbnail is clicked. This will give people with slower internet access easier access to your online graphic design portfolio.

    Most Popular Graphic Design Magazines

    There’s no doubt that Internet rocks, but the power of the printed word still remains strong and popular. Here are some amazing graphic design magazines thats recommended to help you keep updated with the latest trends and news in the design industry, and also to boost your productivity and to expand your design knowledge. Most of these include interviews with the designers, graphic designers, graphic design news, events, content and everything related to graphic design.

    Any serious graphic design student or graphic designer should subscribe to at least one graphic design industry magazine. Graphic design magazines give graphic designers and graphic design students the ability to keep up with current graphic design trends, learn about new or coming graphic design technology, and discover new graphic design opportunities. Graphic design magazines can also give graphic design students information about graphic design scholarships and graphic design competitions.

    1. Web Designer
    2. Layers Magazine
    3. Photoshop Creative
    4. .Net
    5. Print
    6. I.D.
    7. How
    8. Communication Arts
    9. Digital Arts
    10. Before & After
    11. CMYK
    12. Computer Arts
    13. Computer Arts Projects
    14. Advanced Photoshop

    One of the best graphic design magazines is HOW Magazine. This graphic design magazine allows graphic designers to find information about graphic design technology, freelancing as a graphic designer, and graphic design career opportunities. Students of graphic design will find this graphic design magazine helpful in its showcases of graphic design career opportunities, graphic design schools, and graphic design events. Of interest for all graphic designers and graphic design students is the stress that this magazine puts on not just the how, but the why and the creativity of graphic design.

    Graphic Design USA is another fabulous graphic design magazine. This graphic design magazine has technology information for serious graphic designers to keep up with industry news. Graphic Design USA magazine also has resources for students of graphic design, as well as contests and scholarship programs. The online version of Graphic Design USA magazine also has opportunities for free graphic design stuff, and a graphic design online newsletter that can be emailed to your inbox weekly.

    Print Magazine is yet another great graphic design magazine. This graphic design magazine seems to tend more toward the creativity side of graphic design. With regional and nationwide graphic design contests, student graphic design contests, and other graphic design competitions, this graphic design magazine is a must for students of graphic design or those just starting a career in graphic design. The online version of Print Magazine offers graphic design forums, a free graphic design newsletter, and other free graphic design stuff.

    DT&G, (Design, Type, and Graphics) Magazine is an online only publication for graphic designers. This graphic design online magazine offers the option to read on the web site, or on a text only email edition that is sent out around the first of every month to subscribers. Not only does this online graphic design magazine offer industry news, graphic design technology information, and other graphic design features, but it also offers reviews of graphic design software, graphic design books, and other graphic design resources. Anything graphic design related, big or small, might be included in this online graphic design magazine.

    There are many other graphic design resources and graphic design magazines that can be found both on and off of the internet. Serious graphic designers and graphic design students should subscribe to at least one graphic design industry publication in order to keep up with the latest graphic design industry news. If you would like to find more graphic design magazines and resources, do an internet search for graphic design magazine and be amazed at the wealth of graphic design information available to you in this type of graphic design forum.

    Graphic Design Videos

    The Learning Center and reviews of some of the best products.

    Outsource: Hiring the Services of a Professional Graphic Design Studio

    Hiring a Graphic Design Studio Hiring a Graphic Design Studio: Hiring for your firm can save you a lot of hassle provided you select the right one. Here’s how to choose the right designing studio to do logos, stationery, web design and brochures for your firm.

    If you are self-employed or run your own business, you’ll need to have a company logo, maintain stationery and brochures, and also design your web site. Hiring full time employees can be expensive, but outsourcing is still an option.

    Why Outsource?
    The very short answer to this is to manage costs, especially if you are a growing firm. It makes sense to focus on your core competencies and hire external vendors to do some of your other tasks.

    Here is the best way to hire a professional graphic design firm for all your designing needs.

    • Doesn’t Have to Be Local
      Just do a search for graphic design studios, and even localizing it for your area, there will the tons of responses. And, in today’s internet world, it’s not necessary for the firm to the local.

      That only broadens the scope of what’s available to you and increases the difficulty of making a decision.

      However the ones that come up first in your search know how to optimize their web sites and if you are working on a web site, this may be important to you.

    • Be Clear About Your Needs
      So, how do you choose? Look first at what you need and it will be much easier.

      Being clear about what you want and need, and able to clearly communicate that, will make it much easier to see which of the graphic design studios is a fit.

      • Are you looking to focus your marketing efforts on print or the web
      • Do you already have a logo or do you need one?
      • What about CD or DVD production? and so on

      Make a clear list of what you want.

    • Be Clear About Your Target Audience
      Your prospective graphic design studios will need to know all about your target audience, so be ready to answer questions related to Who, What, Where, Why, How

      Professional Graphic Design Firm
      Define your potential and current clients in terms of their demographics such as age range, income range, ethnicity, lifestyle, professional focus (if applicable), education, home ownership, and mobility.

      What are the reasons they buy your product or services. What pains or problems do they experience and what solutions does your product or service offer? What are the inherent benefits to the customer of buying your product or service?

    • Who are Their Clients?
      Look at their current position in the market.

      • Who are their clientele?
      • What size firms are they servicing?
      • What services are they providing for those companies?
      • Do the services they provide cover a full spectrum of graphic and marketing services?

      Professional graphic design firms will already have these listed on their websites, and also have access to a wide variety of resources. You can ask for their list of services if it’s not mentioned online.

    • Full Range of Services
      A professional graphic designer will have a full range of services available to meet your needs. These include:

      • Print and web design
      • Flash and video work
      • Photography and illustration
      • Resources for quality and affordable printing, and
      • Other marketing services.

      These firm also use professional tools such as:Adobe In Design or Quark, Photoshop, Dreamweaver, just to just name a few.

    • More Questions
      Dig in more to know about the target audience:

      How does your target audience use your product or service? What were your past marketing efforts?

      Why did your past marketing efforts work, and why not? If you don’t know, that’s okay. Bring along your past marketing materials and ask your candidates what they think. This is another way to assess whether or not you want to work with a particular studio.

      Knowing your product or service, your market and what it is you want is just half the equation. The other half is what you are looking for.

      Here are some more questions to ask.

      • Do they have access to all the services you need? You might want to make a list of the services and then rate the graphic design studio on each one
      • Does the style of their designing work meet your criteria?
      • Do they have experience with your product or service?
      • Will you enjoy working with them? (This may not seem as important until you’re in the middle of a project. Then it will be crucial.)
      • Will they give you references? (you need to check if the references are happy with the work they received)

    • Get Feedback
      Once the list is narrowed down to two or three firms, ask for references and call each one of them personally.

      Getting your business off on the right foot is at stake here. So take the time to really understand what their clients think of them.

      Here are a few questions you might ask. This is not an exhaustive list, so before you start calling add any additional questions you can think of to it.

      Did the services they provide include the following: Logos, stationery, business cards, marketing post cards, advertising concepts and print advertising, brochures, newsletters, press releases, marketing CD’s or DVD’s, web design, web optimization and market research.

      • For each of the services that were provided ask how happy the client was with the end product?
      • Was it delivered on time and within budget?
      • Did it produce the desired results?
      • What were the downsides of working with the firm from this client’s point of view?
      • What were the upsides?
      • All in all, how happy were they with the products produced? Would they call this firm a professional graphic design firm? Why or Why not?

      Once you’ve done the cross-checks, take the time to look at the results of each interview. If you rate each of your potential firms on a 1 to 5 scale on the above elements, you’ll find on that a leader begins to emerge.

      Then ask yourself some additional questions as well.

      • Which of the professional graphic design firms you are considering has experience in your field?
      • Which one does work that you like and feel is effective?
      • It’s time for your personal taste to be brought into the decision making considerations.
      • On a more personal front, which of the people do you think you’ll like working with more?

    • Go Ahead and Hire
      If you are going to hire someone to do your designing work, spend some time analyzing with their online portfolio. Talk to the graphic designer. Ask for references and then, talk to their clients to get a feel for how well their work has produced results. So in summary, design to have your graphic designs shout to their prospective audience. Make sure they can be heard above the visual and verbal din of today’s commercial world. Be bold, use color to make noise, engage the mind and talk benefits to make your Creative Graphic Design stand out.

      With all this information, finding the right graphic design firm should be easy and with the ideas listed here, you can create graphic designs that really sparkle.

      Once you’ve considered all of these factors, a clear decision should emerge and you should be able to choose a Professional Graphic Design Firm for your needs. The above analysis will provide you with enough information so that you can choose from the various graphic design studios.

    History of Graphic Design

    History of Graphic Design Lets take a look at the history of Graphic Design and how computers and technology have played an important role in expanding its reach.

    Graphic Design & Art
    Most of the terminology surrounding graphic designers has come into being in the twentieth century. However, Graphic design has its roots in the same rich cultural history of all arts. Art has been a part of cultures for ages, even before the written word.

    The history of graphic design stems from these ancient beginnings. The history of graphic design is, in a sense, the history of art and its applications and methods, as well the various reproduction techniques and technology.

    Importance of Printing Press & Photography
    Like all recreational and applied arts, graphic design got its real beginning with the invention of the printing press.

    Previously in the history of graphic design, art and other creative works had to be hand copied. The ability to print copies of art and other creative works was a huge step toward the graphic design that exists today.

    Another large step in graphic design history was the development of photography, and later film making. These important steps at the end of the nineteenth century were the stepping stones to creating the graphic designs that we have today.

    This era also marks the beginning of the separation of creative art, or art for entertainment, from applied art, or art that was used for a purpose such as conveying a message, advertising, and other graphic design purposes.

    Computer Expanded it Further
    The next largest step in graphic design history was the development of the computer, and more significantly, the technological wave that led to a personal computer in every home as we have today.

    Graphic design would not be as popular, nor would it be as effective, creative, and reproducible without the invention of computers. Therefore, the history of graphic design is closely tied with the history of:

    • Computers
    • Software, imaging software
    • Scanners
    • Printers
    • Digital photography

    The internet and graphic design software are perhaps the most important of these technological advances that are a large role in the history of graphic design. Without all of these important technological advances, graphic design would not be what it is today.

    Here’s a video showing how Graphic Design has developed over the last 15,000 years.

    Important Landmarks
    There are many other important landmarks in graphic design history. Here are some:

    Graphic Design History

    1. In 1919 the first union of art and industry was put into place.
    2. In 1929 commercial artists, advertising designers, and illustrators became common place.
    3. In 1970 mega computers allowed for more advances in graphic design with companies like IBM.
    4. The development of the micro processor, allowing for personal office and home computers, came in 1980 and was marketed with Apple computers in 1984.
    5. Finally, the now common place technology of internet access in 1993 tops off the graphic design history that has lead to the graphic design industry we know and recognize today.

    To learn more about the history of graphic design, you can search the internet or your local library. Many colleges and universities offer arts classes and history of graphic design courses. Community education programs also often offer summer classes or work shops on topics of interest such as the history of graphic design.

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