GRAPHIC DESIGN BITES FOR MARKETERS

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1 GRAPHIC DESIGN BITES FOR MARKETERS VOL DESIGN EVALUATION Giving design feedback p3 HIERARCHY Learn why and how the hero leads the page p7 EPS What exactly is an.eps file? p5

2 More Maki COMING SOON INSIDE 2 HIERARCHY Learn why and how the hero leads the page 4 EPS What exactly is an.eps file? DESIGN PRINCIPLES White space Icons, logos, and infographics Powerpoint design basics Cover design Widows and orphans En, em, dashes and hyphen Rivers and justification Cropping images Layout Limitations of design (photography, copy) Stock vs custom photography TECHNICAL GUIDANCE PRINT PRODUCTION Bleeds Offset vs digital printing RGB vs CMYK color Why page count is in multiples of 4 Coated vs uncoated paper Obtaining print quotes Pantone colors TYPOGRAPHY Serif vs sans serif fonts Web fonts Leading Text alignment Kerning and tracking 6 DESIGN EVALUATION Giving design feedback POWERPOINT Managing fonts Setting up master pages Saving color palettes DESIGN MANAGEMENT Branding Concept vs execution Design Process (it s not magic) Providing edits PDF mark up Choosing a design firm DESIGN INSPIRATION Binding options Fold options Finish options Websites Infographics Publications DESIGN RESOURCES

3 MAKI GRAPHIC DESIGN BITES FOR MARKETERS Fonts, hierarchy, whitespace, bleeds designer talk! Understanding basic graphic design vocabulary and principles will help you create effective pieces on your own and enhance the way you work with professional designers. Why is there a food theme? The whole team at Opus is big into food. We enjoy gardening, cooking (and eating), making chocolates, and we LOVE sushi. Selfishly, we decided on a food theme for this book. We hope our delicious design examples will make you hungry for more!

4 DESIGN PRINCIPLES Hierarchy Design hierarchy guides the viewer to the most important information, the hero. When reviewing the content for any type of marketing communication, a designer needs to ask what is the most important piece of information? The answer to this question reveals hierarchy the weighted chain of command that sets up relationships between the various elements of the content. The headline, photo, call to action, date, body text, logo the size and placement of these elements, are informed by the hierarchy, which is led by the hero. OPUS DESIGN LLC

5 SQUINT NOW What stands out on this page? HOW HIERARCHY WORKS When you look at a page, you can t look at everything at once, consciously or unconsciously, you choose what to look at first. Your eye will automatically look at the most prominent item, the hero, because it stands out visually as the focal point. WHY CHOOSE A HERO? Everyone is busy and overloaded with marketing messages. In order to reach your audience, you need to speak to them quickly and clearly, and this is where the hero comes in. If your viewers are intrigued by the main message (represented by the hero), they continue to read the secondary information as well. If all the information is treated with the same level of importance, nothing stands out, and you lose the readers attention. Selecting a hero also provides helpful direction to your designer if you discuss how the other pieces of content are related (or distinct) from it. Natural groupings, or tiers of information, are revealed. The designer responds by using visual tools (scale, color, type, placement) to promote or demote, commanding the information into a hierarchy that works. HOW DO YOU CHOOSE THE HERO? What is the most important piece of content? Sometimes clients state that it s their logo. Others believe the call to action is the most critical. Some might argue the copy hook or a provocative photo should be the hero. Any of these could be the most important, it depends on the audience, function and goal of the marketing piece. You need to choose. WHAT IF I CAN T DECIDE? If you think selecting the hero is as difficult as choosing your favorite food, ask yourself Why? It might be that the three most important things are critically important but for 3 different audiences and it might be more appropriate to create 3 different pieces with one hero targeted to each audience. The Squint Test To test if your design has a hero, look at the piece and squint. What stands out in the layout? If nothing stands out, you need to add hierarchy. If something does stand out, make sure it s the hero you intended to emphasize and not a piece of secondary information. Great examples HERO: logo and search bar annual-report-final-small HERO: artwork HERO: product and name HERO: logo & search bar HERO: artwork HERO: product MAKI GRAPHIC DESIGN BITES FOR MARKETERS 3

6 TECHNICAL GUIDANCE What exactly is an.eps file? An eps file is a vector graphic which is scalable to any size without a decrease in quality. CLOSE UP VECTOR You can see the nodes and control handles in Illustrator When a printer asks you for an eps file, you may know that they are looking for a high resolution image but there s a little more too it. It s helpful to understand that there are two main types of digital image files: bitmap and vector files. BITMAP IMAGES are made of tiny squares, called pixels. Lots of these pixels together create the image you see on your screen. VECTOR IMAGES consist of scalable objects. These objects are defined by mathematical equations rather than pixels. Objects may consist of lines, curves, and shapes. An object is shaped and transformed using nodes and control handles. VECTOR FILE (EPS) SCALING Bitmap images are resolution dependent. Resolution refers to the number of pixels in an image and is usually stated as dpi (dots per inch). The higher the resolution, the better the image quality. If you scale a bitmap image up you decrease the dpi and your image will appear jagged. This image loss is called pixelation. The more you scale up the image, the worse the image will look. Because vector graphics are defined by mathematical equations, they are resolution independent and scale perfectly whether it s for a large banner or for a business card. Scalability is the primary benefit of vector graphics. CLOSE UP BITMAP When zooming in, you can see the pixels in the bitmap image. BITMAP (JPG, GIF) OPUS DESIGN LLC

7 RESOLUTION Bitmap images display best on screen at 72dpi on screen and at 300dpi when printed. With some of the new high resolution devices you might need a higher resolution for screen display, but this is a good rule of thumb. For vector graphics, resolution doesn t really apply. They can be converted to bitmaps at any resolution if necessary. WHEN DO I USE WHICH TYPE OF FILE? Use bitmaps when you need photo-realistic images or when you place images on the web. But remember, resolution is very important to a good looking image without pixelation. The larger you need your image to be, the higher the resolution needed (and your file size will increase as well). Vectors are often associated with logos. With a vector logo file you can scale the image up to any size without worrying about resolution. Vectors are also considered the source files for the logo. They are used to manipulate the original design of a graphic or logo (for example changing the color, font, etc). If you only have a bitmap of your logo, it will be difficult to manipulate or revise because the vector information is no longer stored within it. Conversion Vector images are created with drawing software, such as Adobe Illustrator. You can t take a jpg and save it as a vector file without redrawing or tracing the graphic. But converting in the opposite direction (vector to bitmap) is easy. Save the file as a.jpg or.png, and specify the output resolution that you need. This process is known as rasterizing. SIDE BY SIDE COMPARISON BITMAP consists of pixels (small squares) on a grid) resolution dependent, you can t increase the size of the image without losing image quality, causing pixelation manipulate in software like Adobe Photoshop, create with digital cameras, phones, computers, etc produces photo realistic imagery file extensions:.bmp,.jpg,.png,.gif examples: photos, scans, screenshots, web images EPS stands for encapsulated postscript VECTOR consists of scalable, mathematically defined objects resolution independent, you can make it as large as you want without losing quality of the image manipulate/create in software like Adobe Illustrator can t produce photo realistic imagery, but rather solid shapes or cartoon like illustrations file extensions:.eps,.ai,.svg,.swf examples: eps of your company logo, computer drawn artwork You need a vector version of your logo! When we work with clients on their brand and develop their company logo, we always provide vector file types as part of the final deliverable. Only a vector file will provide the flexibility needed to apply a visual brand across all media going forward. Keep an eps of your logo accessible, it will come in handy! MAKI GRAPHIC DESIGN BITES FOR MARKETERS 5

8 DESIGN MANAGEMENT Design Evaluation Productive design evaluation focuses on the goals of the marketing piece & answers the question Does the design work for the intended purpose? Client feedback is an essential part of the design process. Designers need to hear what clients think in order to improve the work. Avoid subjective judgments, and focus on objective evaluation based on your goals and audience. While personal likes and dislikes are inevitable, sometimes they can be misleading. (You can love a design, but find out that it doesn t work for the intended audience.) Instead of asking the question Do I like the design? ask the question Does the design work for the intended purpose?. EATING SOUP It doesn t matter which utensil you like, you need to use the one that works. OPUS DESIGN LLC

9 Does the design work? leads to objective responses because it removes the personal aspect and allows the team to focus on the purpose of the design. Back up your answers with criteria or other reasons. For example, the background color of this poster doesn t work, because it s not specified in our style guide and is therefore diluting the brand. PDF MARKUP pdf-markup/ PROCESS Design evaluation starts at the beginning of a project by clearly stating the purpose, audience and other specifications for the marketing piece. This initial outline serves as criteria for evaluating the design later in the process. When you evaluate the work your designer created, refer back to the purpose and specifications set in the beginning. Determine if the designer achieved the goals you set and provide feedback accordingly. The best design is achieved when the client and the designer openly discuss and implement objective feedback and work as a team. Expect to go through 2-3 design iterations before completing the design project. STATE THE PROBLEM, NOT THE SOLUTION When providing feedback, state the problem you see with the design rather than providing a possible solution on how to fix it. For example: The logo needs to be bigger provides a solution, but doesn t state a problem. Consider this statement instead: The design doesn t work because 1. my company brand isn t strong enough, 2. the emphasis is misplaced/wrong hierarchy, or 3. the audience doesn t instantly recognize that the message is from me The solution to the problem might include increasing the size of the logo, but the designer might have other suggestions for how address the concern while still achieving your goals. If you simply give the solution you have in mind, you miss out on better ways of solving the problem that your experienced designer might have. Analogy: Tell your dentist that your tooth hurts rather than suggesting that you need a root canal. The dentist will figure out the best possible way to fix your toothache which may or may not be a root canal. FACILITATING FEEDBACK Experienced designers facilitate the design feedback process. If clients provide solutions rather than state problems about a design, the designer asks follow up questions to reveal the underlying problem. Understanding the actual problem is key for the designer to revise the design and make it work. Feedback vs. Edits Design feedback evaluates the design based on the goals set at the beginning of the project and points out success or failure to meet these goals. Edits are specific changes to the content of the piece such as Use Robert instead of Bob or Change data from 2.13 to 2.0. One of the easiest, most efficient, and most accurate ways to communicate changes to the designer is by using PDF markup. Instead of sending a long with changes, or printing out the piece and using a red pen and sticky notes, you can utilize Acrobat s commenting tools (like a red pen, and post-it notes) directly on the pdf page. Don t Hold Back A well-trained designer has been through hundreds of critiques and won t take negative feedback personal, so don t hold back. The designer needs to know if a design is not working in order to improve it. Feedback works best when both parties are honest and objective, and take the time to listen to each other. MAKI GRAPHIC DESIGN BITES FOR MARKETERS 7

10 DESIGN FOR EDUCATION MAKI GRAPHIC DESIGN BITES FOR MARKETERS SIGN UP to receive Maki quarterly We would love to hear from you! Let us know what you think about Maki. What can be improved? Which topics would you like to see?

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