Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Spring Gallery Walk Postcard

I found this gem at a local coffee house. It, as you can tell, is for a Spring Gallery Walk. I'm guessing, it's going to be like bar hopping, except instead of walking from bar to bar, you are going gallery to gallery.

First thing is first. What is with that drop shadow? They used a very thin swashy font that is hard enough to read on it's own, so they decided to make it "pop" with a dramatic drop shadow. What I would recommend, is to find a slightly bolder type face, or make the drop shadow a lot smaller and closer to the letters. See Below.
The next thing is the logo. The leading and alignment is all over the place. It looks like there is more space between "independent" and "galleries" than there is between "Bristol" and "independent". I would make sure that the leading is even, and make sure the lighter weight type is all aligned to the left. The letters in bold, I would make sure are all aligned to one side, or are centered. It may be difficult for the letter "i" to making things look even, so try finding a font where the letter "i" has arms. Possibly something serif.

Next up is the color. I am a HUGE fan of the color green. It's been my favorite for as long as I can remember, but the array of greens here looks a little, shall I say, sickly. I'm guessing since it's spring time, they were supposed to be spring green. I would get rid of the yellow-green gradient in the background and make it all one solid color, or if you really want the gradient, set it at a 45 degree angle and make it fade to a slightly darker color. I would then use no more than two different shades of a darker green, or even a dark grey green, for the logo and body text. I think that "Spring Gallery Walk" would be good as a brighter, not as dark green with a tiny hard drop shadow (if any at all) so it stands out. The logo, date and time would do well in the darker of the two greens, and make sure that everything is properly aligned.

Finally, I would do something with the thumbnails of the paintings. I think to make them pop a little more, I would add a medium sized white border around them and possibly make the document's margin a little smaller so the images can be spaced out, giving room for the border, and breathing room for the rest of the design elements.


Friday, April 9, 2010

On the right track...

First off, sorry for the example's quality. My scanner at work is MIA, so my iPhone had to make due.

I was walking out of my local music store the other day, and stopped at the bulletin board where people can post fliers, ads, business cards etc. when I found this.

I really like it, I like the concept and idea that the designer/photographer went for, what I don't care for is how it was executed.

First off, I LOVE the idea of the of making it look like a Polaroid. It's pretty cool, and I haven't seen this format used for a promotional handout before.

Now for I don't care for. First off, photography -- or lack there of.

This is for a promotional piece designed to show off and advertise for someone's freelance photography business. So, naturally you would think of putting your best/ favorite photo or a collage of your work on it. This does neither. Here they have the PERFECT opportunity to show off their photography in a creative way. I would have loved to see a photo put in place of the black void, and make it look like a real Polaroid.

Onto type now... Okay, so you need something that reflects you, and reflects your type of work and it's image. But please lay off on the arches and the mixed bevel and embossing. ("Kiss" is flat, "Ass Photography" are embossed). While they may look "cool", and "trendy" Photoshop layer effects and styles should be used lightly, and only when appropriate. Overusing them, or using them often tends to make things look a little cheap and tacky, and that is something we don't want out business to come across as.
I would stick with one or two fonts, keep things uniform and mix them well with your logo. I would make the web address stand out, as well as any other contact details. You shouldn't really make them dark, and lay off on the pattern fill overlay.

The back of the card is pretty simple and made to look like the back of a Polaroid. The main concern here is the misspelling. "There" is spelled wrong. It should be "Their". The Oatmeal has a nice comic on 10 words to stop misspelling. "Kiss" is okay in red, however I would suggest that it be solid and the underline taken out.

Over all, I think it's pretty good. Just a few changes to make. I now wish I had thought of using a Polaroid-like design for a photography promotional item.

I know that photographers are not graphic designers, nor the other way around, so we all have to do the best we can.

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Friday, January 22, 2010


Just wow...

Where shall i begin? The Comic Sans? The scattered navigation? Mixed fonts? Drag-and-drop styled layout? The company's name/ logo?

As I browsed this page, a few of the sub pages looked similar, however the buttons switched places and position as did the logo and content.

This, is an okay website, if it were created using Geocities drag-and-drop page designer back in 1999. But for a small company/ organization, you should probably learn the basics of Dreamweaver and make the site a bit more... professional.


Friday, January 23, 2009


What is a widow? An Orphan?
No they are not a woman who lost her husband, or a child with out parents.
A widow is two things. One, a line of a paragraph that appears at the top of a page and two, am uncomfortably short line at the end of a paragraph. Usually a word or two short words.
An orphan is a line of a paragraph appearing at the bottom of the page. The opposite of the first definition of widow.

How do you fix these problems?
There are a few ways to fix this problem. You can try adjusting the leading (space between lines of text), adjust the tracking (space between letters), rewriting a portion of the paragraph, hyphenating words or adjusting the margins and or columns the text is in. If you are working on a newspaper, magazine, text book (for learning) you may also consider including pull quotes, or adding in an image, diagram, or figure.

Why do I bring this up?
Well, I was going though the Christmas cards my company received and I found this one card that caught my eye and made me die a little bit on the inside:

Click to enlarge

This goes along with the second definition of "widow". There is NO reason that "Year" should be on it's own line. It looks highly unprofessional and unfinished. This could have been fixed by staring a new line break:

Wishing you Peace and
happiness during the holidays
and throughout the
New Year

That wasn't hard at all. Now was it?

Definitions and information are from my knowledge and this Wikipedia page.

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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Be Careful With Drop Caps

This gem I found on Flickr. It is from a school of some sorts... the big problem is their drop cap and line breaks. If you look at it, it looks like "Step" and "Slaughter".

What to do differently? Think about re-wording the first sentence, or starting the second line with "and...".

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2 Bad Things...

I haven't updated in a while... so these 2 things hopefully will make up for that!

First is a tear flyer for a "busy local graphic design and printing company". This is full of well thought out Times New Roman type, extra exclamation points, and perfect spelling!
(found on a google search)

Next up is a wonderful portfolio webpage design. This one has 3 images for that roll over for the different aspects of Design this person/company does. You click on the images and it brings you to a page with the small "over state" image from the main page that has different parts of it clickable so you can view a small sample of their work.

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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Kidz Klozet - Put this sign in the closet.

Click to enlarge.

I took this picture today when I stopped by a local convince store. It's a resale boutique, for kids, much like a Salvation Army or Savers that has only children's clothes.

What's wrong with this sign? Right off the bat it's Comic Sans. Even for a children's store this font is tacky and terrible. Second, each letter is a different color. Very distracting, and down right annoying. Brings me back to the day we opened up Word and discovered the word art feature. At least there are no dropshadows or gradients. And then there is the thick black outline around the letters... well it does make it stand out a bit more...
And this isn't graphics related, but what is up with the spelling? The spelling of the words "kids closet" is kind of juvenile and not really in anymore...

Oh, the the lettering on the door (not pictured) was just "Kidz Klozet" in plain Arial bold.

Again, there are many many other "kid friendly" or "fun" fonts to use instead of Comic Sans. Kid Print is a nice one. Easy to read, and has the child like interity you would probably need for a children related store.

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