Interview with Marcelo Schultz: How Drawing Video Game Characters Led to Projects for Nike

I always liked to draw things. When I was a child I used to draw video game characters, cars and objects, always exploring the depth, perspective and stuff like that. I didn’t know what I would be when I was adult. I almost tried Architecture, I researched about the profession and not liked it. The only choice I had was Graphic Design. I’m happy to have chosen it because there are many fields that I could work using my skills!

Viking Illustration
Viking Illustration

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The Ebook Cover: Graphic Design for the Under-Confident

Graphic Design

Books get judged by their covers. One cannot over-stress how important visuals are for making a sale. Are you a graphic designer? How many clients have contracted your services? Unless your answer to this question is a non-zero positive integer, you might want to find someone else to help you.

Of all the aspects of producing an ebook as an individual who is self-publishing or as a small business, this is the one thing you really should consider outsourcing if you do not have the skills ready at your disposal. The human beast is a visual animal. It doesn’t matter what the inside of your book is like–nobody will see it if the outside screams unprofessional and low-quality product.

That’s an exaggeration. Actually professional publishers put out a lot of mediocre covers, and those books still sell. The cover is less-than-optimal because they are keeping production costs down, while the book still makes it into consumers’ hands because they have a great big marketing machine at their disposal. The difference between you and them is that you don’t have the goliath marketing machine. A great cover can only help you overcome this handicap.

The Blue Fox by Sjon (Bjartur, 2003)

A fine cover in my opinion. Anybody else get the sense Sjón is attempting to make a brand of himself? (Image: Bjartur)

For the bold DIYer who is not frightened by this attempt at intimidation, a few basic design guidelines can help you out. Like guidelines in any artistic medium, they are meant to be broken and fudged, but in general:

  • Title font = BIG. Want that attention? Grab it by the horns and look it in the eye. I don’t know why I am suddenly thinking about bull fighting.
  • Well, actually let me qualify that: whatever has the strongest brand (or branding potential) should be the largest / most conspicuous element. If that’s the title, make that the biggest type on the cover. If it is the author’s name, make that bigger than the title. (This happens with popular authors like Stephen King a lot.) If the strongest selling point is the series to which it belongs (think Harry Potter, Tweenlight, Fifty Tones of Dull Colors) then make sure that this element is very visible. Heck, if you are a periodical putting out an anthology or a special monograph, the name of the periodical or publisher could even be the most important element.

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Do you get more freelance work as a jack of all trades?

freelancing jack of all trades

What’s better, being an expert at one thing or not too bad at a few things?

By being a jack of all trades, would you get more work?

Yes and no.

Yes, because you’ll be more capable to take on projects you normally wouldn’t.

And no, because if you focus your strengths and become an expert at it, you’ll get more quality leads.

Either way, would you get more work?

Probably not. At least not quality work.

You might get a lot of diverse projects as a jack of all trades, but as an expert you’ll get more leads for the work you specialize in.

So… should you become a freelancing jack of all trades?

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The basics of graphic design in promotional products

Promotional products are crucial when it comes to marketing strategies and giveaways. They are often given out at conferences, shows and other events in order to increase brand awareness. They are normally marked with a company’s logo or name and details. This is a very effective way of increasing brand recognition because, unlike flyers and business cards, useful items like key-rings and stress balls are likely to be kept around for some time.

When it comes to companies sourcing promotional merchandise or products, the quality of the packaging is crucial. The design can go a long way in catching a customer’s eye and making an impact on them. In the case of promotional products especially, a great design and logo are two of the first things a consumer will look for.

Promotional products and their uses

Companies always have one main goal: to gain the interest of as many consumers as possible. Promotional products are one way to refresh a brand and try something new, as almost anything can be customised with a company logo and used to raise awareness. Everything from t-shirts to pens can be used as free gifts or special promotional products.

The main goal of any promotional product is to increase the awareness of a brand and its identity. They can be used for both profit and non-profit organisations, but are usually given out as specific events or made available for purchase for a limited period of time.

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Best Graphic Design Schools in the World

Great-Design-SchoolsWhen was the last time you did an online search for: Best Design Schools in the World? Most likely it was many years ago. Design schools provide an important formal education, but great designers know the value of continuing their education long after graduating.

HOW Design Live is one of the best graphic design schools in the world. Why? Each year, thousands of the world’s most influential designers, creative directors, brand strategists and web designers meet at this event to learn about the newest technology and get tutored by pioneers who are not only working in the field, they are influencing it. There is no better way to meet and network with potential mentors and industry peers than to spend a week immersed in the community.

Quotes that Make Great T-ShirtsDo you ever feel like you know everything there is about design? It’s not about ego, you’ve just been doing it a long time and you don’t really need any outside advice. Team Ferrari’s Formula One race car driver, Kimi Raikkonen, was heading to a victory when he was told he was five seconds behind. His reply has become historic, “Just leave me alone; I know what I’m doing.”

It’s hard to imagine that one keynote, a conference or workshop could make a difference, but to the attendees at HOW Design Live, that is what it offers.

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