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The smart way to design a website

There is web design and there is graphic design. These are two completely different disciplines! Avoid melding the two.

Consider the definitions of the word, design:

1. to prepare the preliminary sketch or the plans for (a work to be executed), especially to plan the form and structure of,

2. to plan and fashion artistically or skillfully,

3. to intend for a definite purpose,

4. to form or conceive in the mind; contrive; plan.

If you’re thinking about or are in the process of getting a new website designed, you need to focus on…..

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Graphic Designer jobs are on the rise

Employers in August posted more than 28,000 online job ads for graphic designers, an increase of 15 percent year over year and more than 80 percent over the past four years, according to Wanted Analytics. The number of job ads for graphic designers reached a new four-year high earlier this year, when job availability surged to more than 30,000 ads during April and May.

However, advertising, marketing, and other design services companies experienced an 8 percent decline in hiring from last year as many of these jobs move in-house.

Metropolitan areas with the highest volume of listings for graphic designers included New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and Washington, D.C. The New York area had the most available positions at 3,638. However, the San Francisco area posted the greatest growth in demand over the past year with the number job ads rising 17.8 percent in August compared to the same month last year. Read the rest of this entry

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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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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