by Claire Jariss Manlapas Designers have their own language. There are words that only we understand. Sometimes we don’t really know their exact definitions; we simply use them out of familiarity. It’s about time someone put them out there. The YTD team updated this glossary of graphic design terms for design newbies and experienced artists alike. A Acrobat A product developed by Adobe systems to create PDF (Portable Document Format) files. Acrobat is an independent means of creating, viewing, and printing documents. Airbrush A propellant using compressed air that to spray a liquid, such as paint, and ink. Often used in used in illustration and photo retouching. Alignment The adjustment of arrangement or position in lines of a text or an image — left, right, centered, etc. Alpha Channel The process of incorporating an image with a background to create the appearance of partial transparency. Alpha channels are used to create masks that allow you to confine or protect parts of an image you want to apply color, opacity, or make other changes. Analog Proof (Prepress Proof) A proof that uses ink jet, toner, dyes, overlays, photographic, film, or other methods to give a an idea of what the finished product should look like. Anchor Point
by YouTheDesigner …That even your grandmother can do. 1. Organize your Files It’s very easy to let your computer files get out of control. Keeping them organized in appropriate folders will save you many hours over time and will make it much easier for you to complete projects efficiently. Organizing your files should become second nature. 2. Organize your Emails Emails should also be organized into appropriate folders. I always save my emails including sent emails in case I ever need to refer back to them. I like to dedicate a folder to each client or project and I also have folders for other thing such as receipts for items I purchase for work. 3. Organize your Paperwork Having your paperwork organized will make your life easier as well, especially during tax season. Get a file cabinet or two and organize all your paperwork once a week into labeled folders. Printing out your emails is also good idea just in case you accidentally delete an email and can’t get it back. 4. Clean your Computer Apple computer users may have it a little easier on this one but regardless everyone should be keeping their computers in tip top shape.
howdesign.com 1. Know who you’re designing for. You are not the client; your client isn’t the client either. Understand who the end users are, the people who will interact with your work every day, and design to those users. Your goal should be to inspire the loyalists and convert the detractors. 2. Stay true to the brand. It’s rare to start with a blank slate; there may be visual elements that already exist and simply need to be dusted off and updated. Ask yourself if there are any visual elements worth keeping. If there are, don’t stop till you find a fresh, new way of expressing those elements. 3. Ideas come first. Push yourself to generate ideas—lots of ideas—don’t get caught up iterating on a single concept. Don’t fall in love with the first idea that pops into your head. Always question if you can push the work further. Focus on the craft only when you have some solid ideas. 4. Stick to the process (don’t take shortcuts). For most clients, going through the process of creating a new logo is an uncommon and unfamiliar activity. They need to be educated and brought along as you progress. Take the time to do
By HOW CREATIVE Idea-generation is the linchpin of our work. So why are many of us terrible at it? Experts offer tips for improving your creative sessions. Illustration by Oivind Hovland The team gathers in the conference room, white board at the ready, pumped to come up with some cool new ideas. Ten minutes into the session, the group’s strongest personality starts to dominate the conversation. Ideas get dissected, evaluated, kicked around, criticized. The quietest staffer shuts down. The creative director loses energy and relinquishes control over the meeting. An hour later, the team leaves the room deﬂated and unconﬁdent in any of the concepts they shared. Why do most brainstorm sessions resemble this scenario? Brainstorming is supposed to be one of the activities that we love most—and that our friends in non-creative professions envy most—about our jobs. We think of brainstorming as the wild-blue-yonder, out-of-the-box, free-ﬂowing development of ideas—a literal turbulent storm of creativity. And this, according to the experts, is exactly the problem with most idea-generation sessions: They lack focus, structure, discipline. We’ll take a look at what typically goes wrong with brainstorming and learn ways to improve this essential element of our work. WHY IDEA SESSIONS
This post has been contributed by Andrew Graham. Since photographers usually work as solo artists, they often don’t think of themselves, or market themselves, in terms of corporate branding. However, building a strong brand in the mind of your audience/potential clients is probably the most important thing you can do to take your career as a photographer to the next level. And your lack of a strong personal brand could be the only thing standing between you and that next big client. Here are some basics on personal branding for photographers. What is Personal Branding? Personal branding is all about creating a unified image/feeling/experience of yourself in the mind of the consumer. It’s about taking your already unique and interesting personality and style, and distilling it into an easily recognizable identity. Find Your Niche Specializing can be a particularly quick way of developing a style and brand for your photography. It’s easier to gain quick recognition as a specialist, so whether it is landscapes, portraits, food, or fashion, find a niche that you enjoy and really go for it. Creating/Designing a Photography Logo Using a logo is a matter of personal preference. Some photographers have logos, others use a certain
Visual Hierarchy This might be the most important design concept to teach. I’ve personally seen a huge shift in attitudes during design projects when a client understands that I’m structuring a hierarchy in the design to achieve a very specific purpose. Explaining it as follows has worked well: Every single piece of a design has a relative importance. On every page of a website, for example, there is 1 thing that is more important than anything else or that the visitor needs to see first. Then, there is also a second important item, and so on. This is called a visual hierarchy. To create one, I make a list of all the items on the page in order of importance. Then, I use visual hints to present that relative importance. An example of this is a headline font size, which is bigger than a subheader font size, which in turn is also bigger than the paragraph font size. This is a simple visual hierarchy, and applying the same strategy to every element in a design works the exact same way, except that I’ll use a variety of tools beyond size, such as color, contrast, or space. How visual hierarchy matters