Do you know…why your business needs professional graphic design?

Do I look Professional?

Your first clue that your graphic design efforts might not be “professional” could be as simple as a friend asking what program you used to create your flyer. Yes, unfortunately, your friend has pegged your flyer as a DIY project, in other words, not professional. How this happens is a topic for several blog entries. But, fact is, you want your customers/clients to know that your skills are competent and up to date, that the services you offer meet your customers’ needs and that your experience and expertise allow you to deliver a superior product or service at a competitive price…in short, that you are a professional. Unfortunately, using marketing tools that are clearly not professional, effectively counters your claims of professionalism.

The example below demonstrates what I’m talking about. The flyer on the left (BEFORE) was created in-house using MS Word. It’s well organized and easy to read…not a bad job. On the other hand, the flyer on the right (AFTER) was created by Art of Communication using professional graphic design software and professional design expertise to generate the energy and attention needed to actually increase service sales.

You use professional services in many aspects of you business. Professional graphic design is simply another critical service to add to your arsenal of business tools.

Do you know…why your logo should be a vector graphic?

There is a World of Difference between Graphic File Formats

If you want your logo to be reproduced in a large-print format…say a vehicle wrap, signage, banner or billboard, you definitely need to develop it as a vector-based graphic.

This is because a vector graphic can be hugely enlarged (up scaled) with no loss of resolution. That means the exact same vector graphic file can be used on a postage stamp or a billboard. Vector graphics are made by using points (vectors) and paths to create expandable shapes. Typically, vector graphics are created using Adobe Illustrator (my preference), Corel Draw, Freehand…think “drawing” program. Look for an .eps file format extension.

On the other hand, creating a logo in PhotoShop, for instance, will create a pixel-based graphic file, which cannot be enlarged beyond the standard for which it was created. So, for example, if a four inch by four inch pixel-based file is created for the web it will need to have 72 dots (pixels) per inch (dpi), while that same file created for print production will need at least 300 dpi. Any attempt to enlarge a pixel-based file beyond those parameters will cause the resulting image to look “pixelated.” PhotoShop is the most common application used for creating pixel-based file formats…think “paint” program. Common file formats include: .psd, .jpg, .gif, .png. The last two are web-based files.

The following graphic illustrates the basic difference between vector-based and pixel-based graphics.

 

Do you know what a “bleed” is?

To the edge and beyond!

 

If you want to have your artwork (or background color) extend to the edge of the paper, it’s necessary to set up the print file with a “bleed.” That means if the final print size will be 8.5 x 11, for instance, then the file will be printed on a larger size sheet of paper and trimmed.

If you are printing the document or file on a desktop printer, you will have an unprinted area along the edge of the page. If you don’t want that unprinted border, it’s best to have your print piece set up by a professional graphic designer. Or…integrate the border as a creative aspect of your design. Again, the services of a graphic designer in this instance are helpful.

We’re here to HELP!!

Do you know when to use CMYK?

It is all about color

Do you know what file format is used for the web?

This is not a trick question