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Month: May, 2013

Branding

Photo is png because of transparency.

My own branding for myself as a designer. Photo is png because of transparency.

Branding is a very important part of being a graphic designer. In order to be a successful designer, you have to know what you represent and what your identity and “brand” is all about. Clients looks for designers with an established identity so they will becoming aware of who they will be working with and most importantly, if the designers aesthetics fits with their needs.

 

Photo format is jpeg

Photo format is jpeg

We see companies, large or small, branding their business almost everywhere. From billboards to indoor coffee shop walls, if your logo can be seen by the public, chances are you will catch some curiosity, and even better, hopefully some future clients. More businesses or going identity crazy and branding most of their products and stationary sources so they can get their name out there. And it’s not a bad thing at all!

So if you’re starting to create a brand or logo for yourself, here’s a short tip: keep it simple and keep it you. That’s it!

Photo format is gif because of flat color

Photo format is gif because of flat color

Symbols and Symbology

An example of my designs of symbols and symbology. Photo format is gif because of flat color

An example of my designs of symbols and symbology. Photo format is gif because of flat color

Symbols. We see them everywhere and sometimes they’re universally understandable or just down right confusing to understand for some of us. But what we all know about symbols is that they are graphic that are representations or hold a certain meaning of something without using type.

Ying yang symbol. Photo format is png for transparency.

Ying yang symbol. Photo format is png for transparency.

There are symbols that we can tell by just looking at it since it is universally seen and recognizable all over the world. These signs can also be use in sign systems, transportation, and recreational sources since they are meant to be recognizable universally so most people can make out the meaning. Universally known symbols are especially good if you’re traveling to a foreign country and don’t speak the main language spoken there.

There are also symbols that are harder to understand unless you get to know what the meaning is all about. For an example, the below image is of the Superman logo from the new Superman film, “Man of Steel”. The logo may just look like an “S” and many people believe it just stands for the hero’s name “Superman”, but in a clip of the 2013 film, it was revealed that the symbol stood for “hope.”

Superman symbol for the "Man of Steel" film. Photo format is jpeg.

Superman symbol for the “Man of Steel” film. Photo format is jpeg.

Symbols, there are very fun to find the meaning of them, but even more fun to guess the meaning.

Calligraphy

Photo format is png because of transparency used

Photo format is png because of transparency used

Calligraphy has been one of the first type of typography form used in history. With its elegant and easy flowing strokes, there’s no doubt that calligraphy will be disappearing anytime soon in history.

Brief history on calligraphy:

Calligraphy derives from the Greek works “kallos” and “graphe” meaning “beauty”and “writing”. A contemporary definition of calligraphy practice is known as “the art of giving form to signs in an expressive, harmonious and skillful manner.” Modern calligraphy can range from technical hand-lettered inscriptions to very abstract, expressionistic handwritten marks.

Photo format is jpeg

Photo format is jpeg

Calligraphy can be seen used in a lot of formats and in different art forms nowadays, not just for writing. A common place to see calligraphy being used in modern day is in script tattoos. There are even calligraphy pens that incorporate ink cartridges right into the pen for easy and convenient way for practicing calligraphy.

With technology constantly growing in the art and design world, older forms of design are becoming a part of history, but it definitely doesn’t mean they are going to die out. It just means they are going to be iconic and inspirational for future artists to use.

Playing around with a cursive script calligraphy. Photo format is gif.

Playing around with a cursive script calligraphy. Photo format is gif.

Stefan Sagmeister

Photo format is jpeg

Photo format is jpeg

I’m a sucker for any artist and designer who likes to be whimsical and quite wild with their work. Stefan Sagmeister is the perfect example of a designer who inspires me that way. Don’t know who Stefan Sagmeister is? Here are some quick facts about the designer below:

Photo format is png

Photo format is png

  • Stefan Sagmeister is a Austrian born designer
  • He is known for his ‘out-there’ graphics and handwritten typography
  • He owns his own design firm — Sagmeister & Walsh Inc.
  • He has designed many CD covers for many class rock musicians and bands such as The Rolling Stones and Lou Reed
  • He received a Grammy in 2005 for his packaging of Talking Heads’ limited edition album

You can check out more information on Sagmeister and his work on his website http://www.sagmeisterwalsh.com

Photo format is gif

Photo format is gif

Subliminal Messages in Design (and Advertising)

Toblerone with a bear hidden in the image logo. Photo format is png

Toblerone with a bear hidden in the image logo. Photo format is png

There are all sorts of hidden messages in art nowadays, even dating back to Renaissance art. And with graphic design being closely related to the world of advertisement, it’s common to see many subliminal meanings and messages within a marketing design. So why do designers and advertisers like to slip in these hidden messages? Here are some examples why:

Symbology – The use of hidden/subliminal messages can be used to represent the idea of what the whole design without being flat out clear in saying it.

Two wine glasses hidden within the logo. Format is gif because of flat color

Two wine glasses hidden within the logo. Format is gif because of flat color

Rebellion – There are a lot of stories of designers who were fired from their jobs, but were under contract to finish their work even if they were let go. So it was said that these designers would rebel back to their former employer(s) and would hide unrelated and quite crude messages within the design. A lot of would include messages about sex and other explicit content.

Example of a crude, rebellious type of subliminal messaging in advertisments. Photo format is jpeg

Example of a crude, rebellious type of subliminal messaging in advertisments. Photo format is jpeg

Money – Hey, advertisements and marketing lives to make a profit. So it’s not so surprising to see hidden messages that indicate signs of money or fortune.

Sustainable Design

Photo format is png because of transparency used

Photo format is png because of transparency used

Let’s face it, the world isn’t getting any younger. And even though technology is bigger than ever, the use of paper and other environment based sources is still around. We need to do everything we can to make sure our Earth isn’t polluted and fill with toxins and as designers, we have to create pieces that won’t harm our environment and can set good examples for great, sustainable work.

Here are some tips and that can help you out in keeping a sustainable design ethic:

  1. Make your own sketchbooks – it saves you money and plus it gives you practice on your craftsmanship!
  2. Reuse paper – we make mistakes in printing, but one way not too feel bad on your bad prints is to reuse the paper scraps
  3. Choose your ink wisely – some ink can be very toxic, so be sure to research on the content of ink you think you’ll be using (soy ink is a good example of an Earth-loving ink)
  4. Practice on freelance clients – you’re not going to keep up with sustainability if you don’t practice it often, so when you have some freelance clients, this is your time to test out your skills in sustainable design!
An example of sustainable design work. Photo format is jpeg

An example of sustainable design work. Photo format is jpeg

The Earth is what we all have in common and most importantly, our home. So remember everybody:

Photo format is gif because of flat color process.

Photo format is gif because of flat color process.

For more information on sustainability and sustainable design, you can visit http://www.fsc.org or http://www.re-nourish.com

Helvetica: A classic or just outdated?

Helvetica font in regular in blue, red and yellow. Photo format is png for transparency.

Helvetica font in regular in blue, red and yellow. Photo format is png for transparency.

50 dollars says that whenever you walk around town, campus, etc. for a day, you’ll at least run into one sign that uses Helvetica. Helvetica is the most used typeface word wide.

Here’s a little history on Helvetica:

Photo of Helvetica in a print booklet. Photo format is jpeg.

Photo of Helvetica in a print booklet. Photo format is jpeg.

Helvetica originated from Switzerland and was created by Eduard Hoffmann in 1957. It was originally called Neue Haas Grotesk and made to be a contemporary version of the typeface Akzidenz Grotesk. Helvetica was created to be used in a variety of situations without appearing inappropriate. Since the positive feedback of the typeface, Helvetica has been developed in multiple forms such as Helvetica Light, Helvetica Bold and Helvetica Black.

Since Helvetica is so simple in it’s form, it can found almost everywhere because of it’s flexibility in form. You can find Helvetica being used on products, advertisements, way finding, and many more formats. Large company such as Apple and Toyota use this typeface in their products.

With Helvetica being literally almost everywhere we go, we’re probably getting really tired of its appearance being, well, almost everywhere, right? Not exactly. Though Helvetica is used quite often in marketing and advertising, it looks like this typeface is not going to be going on hiatus any time soon. Helvetica has been around for almost six decades and has also won many awards including first place in FontShop Germany’s “Best Fonts of All Time” list. There has also been an amount of typefaces coming into the scene that have been inspired by Helvetica.

Helvetica in light (white), bold (red) and regular (blue). Photo format in gif because of flat color image.

Helvetica in light (white), bold (red) and regular (blue). Photo format in gif because of flat color image.

Like it or not, Helvetica is here to stay and you will have to learn how to get use to seeing it almost everywhere if you’re not fan of the typeface. Helvetica may still be seen as a new age type of typeface in the history of typography, but for one thing we know is that Helvetica is continuing to grow dramatically and will be an iconic form for future typefaces to live up to.