Category Archives: newsletter

Why Does my Downloaded Image Look Terrible in Print?

As a graphic designer,  I often have people send me images to include in a newsletter or brochure.  As soon as I see the size of the file, I know that it looks perfect on their computer monitor, BUT what they don’t realized is that if that same image is printed, it will not have the same crisp, clean look.

The beauty of that online image is that at a very low resolution (generally 72 dpi), it can look great and displays quickly. However when it comes to a printed image, it needs to be in the neighborhood of 300 dpi (dots per inch….that’s dots of ink) to display well.

For example… Here is an image at 300 dpi, perfect for printing purposes. 

If you took that same image and downloaded it off a website, the resolution would be around 72 dpi; and although it would look fine online, in print it would look something like this. 

So now when your graphic designer asks for a high resolution image for your next printed piece, you can impress him/her with your knowledge and understanding of why the 300 dpi image is necessary…And go ahead and throw out terms such as 300 dpi vs 72 dpi…Then ask about CMYK vs RGB files….It’ll freak ’em out!

 

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Graphic Designer – PATIENCE is my Middle Name

The graphic design process is not simple.  It is not something that is quickly accomplished.  It is just that….a “process”.  And many times in that process is a lot of trial and error…Well, not really “error”… The process is one of getting inside your client’s head…Figuring out what floats their boat!

Many times in the “process”, I have clients apologize for saying, “yeah, that’s close, but not quite what I was looking for.”

I’ve also heard “I have NO idea what I want but I’ll know it when I see it.”

Well that opens up the entire world! As I said, the process becomes one of getting inside the client’s head, evaluating their personality, their likes and dislikes, their sense of humor (which I LOVE to work with!), their target market, the marketing approach, their expectations, etc.

It is only at that point that the physical design begins. If for instance you need a concept for a marketing campaign but have no idea what you want…As a graphic designer, I would go through the “get to know you” process mentioned before and then provide you with 2-4 quick concepts. They would be varied. At that point, we as a team begin to narrow down your likes and dislikes. This is where the fine tuning begins.

This is also where I usually hear the apologies for my client’s “picky-ness” and the fact that I’m “so patient.”   Yes, I am patient, but this process is part of the graphic designer’s job. Apologies are not necessary!!!

The creative process is actually quite fun…And the reward is when the final concept is “just what the client wanted.”

So don’t hesitate to work with a graphic designer because you have no idea what you want for a concept. We will work together and come up with something that will hit the mark and bring in more clients.

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Photo Editing Test…Was this Person Added to the Photo or Taken Out?

It’s amazing what can be done with Photoshop. You truly need to question any image you see.

So here’s your test…Between the following two photos, there is one extra individual..Was this individual ADDED to the photo or REMOVED?

I’d love to hear your your comments! I’ll let you know the answer in about a week.

In the meantime, if you are in need of some photo editing or photo restoration, get in touch!!!

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QR Code – The Print/Online Promotion Connection

You know, I thought most people knew about QR Codes. But apparently not.qrcode

I presented this image at a weekly networking meeting and got enough questions that I am compelled to discuss this further.  There are great opportunities for using a QR Code. Want someone to view your website? Want to send a text message? Want a phone call? A QR Code can prompt all of these and it’s SO SIMPLE!!!  Google “QR Code generator”, find a resource and take it from there.

You can put a QR Code on the back of your business card or on a newsletter prompting someone to visit your website or blog.

A realtor can place it on a “for sale” sign. If you drive by a home and would like a look inside, this code could take the visitor to a website that provides photos and more information regarding the property OR it could place a phone call back to the realtor.

Have a discount offer? How about utilizing the QR Code to send out a text message for your 1/2 off deal?

As I said originally, the QR Code is the print/online connection. You need the printed image on your promotional materials — business cards, flyers, newsletters, signage, etc. — Via your smart phone (yes, you need a smart phone), this image transports you online “for the REST of the story”…
That is what Paul Harvey would have said….For those of you who don’t know who Paul Harvey is, pull out your smart phone and click here.qrcode

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It’s Story Time – Colliding Photos Tell the Tale!

As I’ve said before, graphic design is the art of visual communication.  Here is a sample of the combining of two photos into one to tell a story.

The Orange Chamber of Commerce is celebrating their 90th anniversary this year and needed an image that reflected that message for the annual installation dinner artwork.

First, the VERY OLD photo of the historic City of Orange Plaza.

Next, a current photo of the Plaza.

 

 

 

 

And finally, a merging of the two.

You finally get the full impact of the message once the text and logos are added, so here is that final image.  This concept will be used for invitations, programs, slide shows, posters and more!

If you need to promote an event or convey a message, consider the impact of a single image and its ability to tell a story! A professional graphic designer can help you get your message across!

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How come the photo I downloaded looks so blurry in print?

Have you ever copied an image off a website , pasted it into your file, printed it and were disappointed with the blurry results?

It looked fine on my computer monitor!!!

Well, there’s a reason for that…Online images look terrific at 72 dpi (dots per inch). This is fortunate, because the lower the resolution, the smaller the file…The smaller the file, the faster it displays online. If you’ve ever waited for a huge file to display on a website, you know what I’m talking about. Generally, unless it’s REALLY important, you don’t wait…You move along to another site.

When it comes to print, though, a crisp, clean image needs to be at least 300 dpi. 

As a graphic designer, I often receive “artwork” from clients that appears fine on their computer screen. They assume I’ll just be able to drop the image provided into a layout and go from there…If the image came directly off a website, chances are it is a very low resolution and will need editing.  Sometimes simply increasing the resolution and sharpening the image will do the trick; but in most cases, the original file is your best bet.

Bottom line, your graphic designer will be able to determine the quality of the image and the potential printed outcome before you go to expense of printing….so NO SURPRISES!

Surprises are great when it comes to parties, but when it comes to a print project, you want “WYSIWYG” (“What you see is what you get!”).

So work with a professional graphic designer. Take advantage of their knowledge and experience. It’s possible that individual learned the hard way and wants to save you that experience!

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Friends Don’t Let Friends Do Their Own Graphic Design

graphic designerI am part of a networking group that is full of smart, creative people….all promoting their businesses. Every week we have our turn to give our 30-second commercial. Every so often as we go around the room, the commercials take on a theme that everyone picks up on.  One week, the printer said “friends don’t let friends do their own printing.”   Well, that started it….Everyone was following that theme…”friends don’t let friends represent themselves in front of the IRS, do their own computer repairs, make their own chiropractic adjustments…you fill in the blank…We all know that surrounding ourselves with experts rather than attempting to do everything ourselves helps us move forward!  It’s an issue of working ON the business rather than IN the business….It’s a entirely different perspective.

Well, friends don’t let friends do their own graphic design and there’s a good reason for that.  We’ve all been handed a business card or brochure that screams “homemade”!….thin paper stock, microperfs, text running across the fold, etc. A graphic designer has an eye for color and layout. They know the correct color formulas, file formats and resolution for print vs. online display.

Plus, hiring a graphic designer to produce your marketing materials saves you time to focus on your core business, thus saving you money!!!  You can spend HOURS creating your marketing materials or you can spend that same time doing what you do best and leave the task of promoting your products and services to the marketing professional.

Success happens when we surround ourselves with the right people that have the right skills and allow them to do their job! Don’t allow your friends to develop their own marketing materials unless that is their core competency….And don’t! don’t! do it yourself either…Guaranteed, you’ll save money and time by hiring the right individuals who will take you and your business to the next level.

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