Otherway is a global creative company. We believe great brands are defined not just by what they say, but what they do.
The mailer I designed worked. I have now been working for this incredible creative agency for the past 6 months and get paid to work on exciting projects with a great team of people.
I was recently contacted by Shillington College for a testimonial having studied there a year and a half ago. If you haven't heard of them, they are a Graphic Design School that has a short intensive Graphic Design Course where you can study for 3-months full-time or 1 year part-time. Starting up in Australia, they expanded over the years to New York and over here in the UK (London and Manchester). This course has especially recently been gaining lots of attention, and rightly so.
After graduating from Architecture and deciding that I wanted to steer my direction towards Graphic Design. Shillington was a god-send and provided the perfect opportunity to launch my career in the design industry.
Be sure to check it out here.
In order to heighten my chances of standing out from hundreds of job applications, I decided to create this little mailer package which includes my CV, portfolio sample & business card and hand-delivered these straight to the companies I yearned to work for.
Business cards: 540gsm / GF Smith Ebony / white hot-foil
CV: 120gsm / uncoated / A3 double-sided
Envelope: 180gsm / GF Smith Ebony
And, it worked.
Ever printed something out and have it not look anything like you wanted it to? Even worse, ever printed 100 copies of something to have only wasted your money because it didn't turn out how you imagined?
As a designer, there are a set of printing rules we should stick by in order to prepare our files for print correctly. Hopefully, some of these tips can help both designers and non-designers prevent these easily avoidable mistakes. Some are tips I've learnt at the beginning of my career, and some are what I've learnt along the way.
So you have your file ready for printing... here is how to correctly prepare it for print:
1. Set your bleed/slug
A good amount to go by is 3mm bleed and 8mm slug. To do this on inDesign, select File > Document Setup > 'More Options'. Add these values for all sides of the document. All you have to do now is make sure you drag any images that touch the edge of the paper into the bleed area.
Bleed = The area where the image needs to run off from the edge of the paper before trimming. It allows for any movement or inconsistencies of the paper when printing. Slug = The area outside the page and bleed that contains printer instructions or job sign-off information (not entirely essential, but useful to include).
2. Convert to CMYK
All images should be converted from RGB to CMYK. To do this, open the image on Photoshop and select Image > Mode > CMYK Color. Then re-save the image. When working in Photoshop, it's always best to work in RBG for as long as possible and then convert to CMYK when you are ready to print. Tip: Keep a RGB copy of the file so that, if needed, you can modify the image with its maximum colour information.
3. Outline your text
When printing or saving a PDF for print on Illustrator, make sure you 'outline' any live text. On Illustrator, simply select the text and use CMD + Shift + O, or select Object > Expand. Doing this avoids fonts to be replaced when sending the PDF to the printer if they do not have the font on their system. Alternatively, you could embed your fonts to the PDF. Tip: Be sure NOT to re-save outlined version of the file over your previous editable version!
4. Image Resolution - 300dpi (dots-per-inch)
Always remember: 72dpi for web, and 300dpi for print. Even if you have to convert an image from the internet from 72dpi to 300dpi when printing, it will still look much better than not converting at all! To check/change dpi in Photoshop, select Image > Image Size. Then adjust the 'resolution' number (and make sure it's set to Pixels/Inch).
5. Check image links
Ever noticed any images in your PDF or your print are low in resolution or completely blank? Make sure you check your 'links' on inDesign to see that none require updating or are missing.
6. Avoid small text on black
Small white text on a black background can print out blurred due to possible misalignment of printing plates. It is recommended that you use bold fonts for very small text sizes if need be.
7. Check your blacks
There is a clear difference between black and rich black. However it may be hard to tell the difference on your monitor screen depending on your monitor type and calibration – this is due to richer colours being shown in RGB than on print in CMYK. Often when you print something out using 100% Black, it may still appear a bit dull/grey. To achieve a rich dense black, you have to add small percentages of the other colours in the full-colour set. Add some CMY to the K - in other words, try setting your values to C:70 M:20 Y:20 K:100.
8. Save B&W Images in Grayscale
A common mistake is not saving any black & white images in Grayscale, rather than RGB or CMYK. Do this in Photoshop by selecting Image > Mode > Grayscale. This needs to be done otherwise b&w images will still print with some colour.
9. Test print
It's good practise to test print as many times as needed before your final print. Colours appear much brighter on-screen so it's almost impossible to accurately predict how it will turn out when printed – it can also be very hard to spot little mistakes on the computer, so printing a proof can be a life-saver.
10. Find a good printers
Gaining a good relationship with a good printers will only bode well for you. I have tested many upon many printers before I found one that was of the quality I wished for. There needs to be a level of trust, from the handling of your files, to completing your project on time – once you hand your files over to your printer, you are at their mercy. Being a loyal customer also has it's perks when things go wrong.
And there it is! Those are just some of my tips – I hope this post has helped you out a little.
Got more tips to share? It'd be great to hear your experiences.
Photoshop shortcuts can be incredibly time-saving as you will know, however, there are some that I didn't know of until many years after I first started using it. This list of Hidden Photoshop Shortcuts will help you become a more efficient Photoshop user and save great big chunks of your time when working on your next project.
1. Ctrl/Cmd + Enter
When using text, instead of clicking the arrow key on the tool menu to apply the text, simply press Ctrl/Cmd + Enter when you're in the text box.
2. Numbers (opacity)
Use the numbers on your keyboard to change the opacity of an object. 1 = 10%, 5 = 50%, and so on.
3. Ctrl/Cmd + Alt + Shift + E
To flatten layers without losing them, open a new empty layer and press Ctrl/Cmd + Alt + Shift + E. This is an incredibly useful one!
4. Ctrl/Cmd + 0
Fit to window. This immediately scales the canvas to fit as large as possible in the window.
5. Ctrl/Cmd + Click
To select layers quickly, Ctrl/Cmd + click will select an object and its layer. Alternatively, Ctrl/Cmd + drag to create a box that selects multiple objects and its layers.
6. Alt (in brush mode)
Press alt when in brush mode to switch to the eyedropper tool, in order to sample a colour from your image.
For a larger workspace, press tab to hide/show menu and layers.
8. Shift + (shortcut letter)
To quickly toggle through tools that have more than one tool palette position, press the shift + (shortcut letter) until the desired tool is selected.
9. Hold Alt/Option + Click
To hide all other layers apart from one, hold Alt/Option + click on the visibility icon (the little eye next to the layer name, in the layers palette.
10. Drag to hide/unhide
Drag your mouse over the visibility icons you want to hide/unhide. (Much quicker than clicking each icon!)
11. Ctrl/Cmd + Tab
Ctrl/Cmd + Tab to quickly switch between documents windows.
12. Alt/Option + Shift + Drag (when transforming)
To scale proportionally from the centre of an object, hold Alt/Option + Shift + Drag when using the free transform or marquee tool.
Hopefully you have learned some new shortcuts from this list. Have any others you can share? I'd love to put some more into use!
This little project has been under wraps for a while now... This is Dogfella – a creative studio that provide video solutions for start-up brands. They aim to produce talked about, written about content.
So I went through the motions: I started off doing tons of research, mood boards, mind maps, sketching and then provided logo options. With such a playful name, the client wanted something that had character, but was also bold and timeless. With logos, it's always good to strive for timelessness – logos that follow trends tend to result in constant rebranding when the logo starts to look out of date (as trends do). So, I try to ignore trends like wildfire.
The client liked both logo option 1 (top-left) and option 3 (mid-left) the most. Both had the 'personality' he wanted. In the end, the client opted for logo option 1. We mutually agreed that it felt more timeless and bolder than option 3. Also, by having the logo in lowercase, it made the company seem much more welcoming and less corporate, which the client stressed a lot on.
Colour was a big debate. Did we want something that was loud and fluorescent? Intriguing and quirky? Bold and innovative? In the end, we opted for a dark turquoise colour that was bold but somewhat subtle, along with a palette of greys. We felt this colour complimented the round edges of the logotype as well as the chosen Opificio typeface used for large copy throughout the brand.
Once we established an agreed look and feel for the brand, it was rolled out onto the stationery, business card, website, environments, etc, and is now ready for launch at the end of this month. We aimed for a certain playfulness, and focused on tone of voice & interactivity within the website.
Definitely one of my favourite projects I've worked on so far! Below is a sneak peek. It would be great to hear what you guys think.
What I've been listening to recently... I have only recently discovered The Neighbourhood, which seems crazy as they are incredibly popular over in the states. Definitely a new favourite.
Listen to this mixtape on Spotify here
- "Sweater Weather" – The Neighbourhood
- "The Motion" – Drake
- "Ready For Your love" – Gorgon City ft MNEK
- "Sapphire Blue" – Katy B
- "Magic" – Coldplay
- "Changes (Sax-Mix)" – Faul & Wad Ad vs Pnau
- "Cavalier" – James Vincent McMorrow
- "Full Circle" – Half Moon Run
- "Help Me Lose My Mind" – Disclosure ft. London Grammar
- "Deeper Devotion" – Chase & Status ft. Ed Thomas
So Squarespace have recently sparked a little bit of controversy over their $5 Logo Service... although, they have since responded saying that this feature is not intended to replace designers. This lead me to question cheap logo services and the clients that were falling for its trap.
So what happens when clients opt for these cheap services? It's clear: cheap design that looks cheap and is less effective.
The Importance of a Good Logo
A logo is the first point of contact between a company and it's customers – that crucial first impression needs to be a good one. Clients should invest in a good logo designer in order to reap the rewards for the future success of their businesses.
It seems the Squarespace Logo Service, and others services like these (see fiverr), exist for those who need a quick solution, or don't yet have the budget to hire an experienced designer. I'm sure both designers and services like these can co-exist without causing harm to each other, it's just whether you would like to invest in something that brings quality and new life to your business. Then the choice should be clear.
How Much Should Logo Design Cost?
It's a difficult question to answer. More details about the project are needed – How many concepts need to be presented? How many revisions are required? How much research is needed? And so on.
A customised quote can then be drawn up for each individual.
Find out in more detail what is involved in the The Design Process Of Creating A Logo.
Time To Invest?
So, how much have you paid for a logo? Was the logo what you had hoped for?
So it's been around 6 months since I uploaded this little Drive creation, and it has become a best-seller on my Society6 store.