Tuesday, September 30, 2014

7 Fonts That Brands Need to Avoid

When creating a logo, the font choice is one of the hardest things to figure out. Why? Well, there are lots of rules when it comes to using fonts; you can't use certain fonts and others are out of style. On top of that, you have to choose a font that matches your style, brand, and reflects the type of company you are.

As a Chicago graphic designer, some of the fonts on this list make my skin crawl *shivers*.

  1. Helvetica. See what I did there? This is often ranked as one of the best fonts around and don't get me wrong, it's a very nice font. It is clean, precise, evenly weighted, and popular. However, the fact that it is so popular is why brands should try to move on. It has worked for so many companies that choosing this font will only make you another small fish in a densely populated pond. Major brands can get away with switching to this font if they don't use it already because they're a major brand. Until you become a Walmart, Coca-Cola, Nike, etc. then you have to abide by the rules of design
  2. Papyrus font. Unfortunately, Papyrus is not available in Blogger, which might be a good thing. This font is often considered one of the worst to be created, ever. Brands do not love this font, and they shouldn't. 
  3. Futura. It is indeed a nice looking font that speaks of progress. It has good weight that varies among the letters but is still easy to read. However, much like Helvetica, it is used by A TON of brands and using it will not allow you to stand out. As a graphic designer in Chicago, I like this font (and Helvetica) but I also like to allow brands to stand out from the crowd. 
  4. Arial. I did it again! Mwuahaha. Ok, so yes, this font can look clean but in the graphic designer world, it is somewhat of a joke. Remember the days when you'd type a document in Microsoft and it'd be in Arial unless you changed it? I do too. The problem with this font is that it has no attraction. 
  5. Jenna Sue. This is one of those fonts that makes me want to run away. It is just way too playful and not in a good/fun way. It has long, stick-like letters and it is often not modified to fit the brand. Yes, it is friendly but it is not a font to use if you want to be seen as professional, it is very forgettable. Very few brands use it that get away with it. 
  6. Gill Sans. This one always makes me think of Gill from The Simpsons because of the name "Gill" being in it. It is a nice font for presentations because it encourages relaxation instead of tension; however, it is forgettable and way, way too easy to get your hands on (this is a problem for unique branding). 
  7. Comic sans. Ahhhh this one is the worst of the worst. I once went to a company and they had their manuals printed in Comic sans. This is definitely a font that we all love to hate. No professional graphic designer will use this font unless you paid them a lot of money. In fact, there is a movement to get it banned from use. 
Because you were a good audience, we also say you should avoid the Lobster font. You'll see that at as "fonts" in our graphic up there. 

It sounds trivial to hate fonts but that is how design is. Just like in fashion, certain designs and styles are hated, it is no different here. If you are designing a logo and need help then contact Integraphix

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

What Type of Graphic Designer Do You Need?

Graphic designers do a ton of stuff. There is a whole buffet of duties and possibilities that a graphic designer in Chicago can do for a business. When it comes to finding a graphic designer for a business, it can be difficult to find the one you need if you are not familiar with the kinds of graphic designers out there.

So what kind of graphic designer do you need?

  • Package designer- a package designer designs and creates the packaging. 
  • Brand identity developer- This person will develop brand identities for a variety of organizations. 
  • Visual image developer- They create images and designs through 3D modeling techniques, photography, and and editing images. 
  • Visual journalist- They create info graphics that can be used for print and digital applications. 
  • Broadcast designer- They create visual designs and electronic media that is used on TV. 
  • Logo designer- They create the logos- these are the visual representation for a business. The logo is the key to a brand and their identity. 
  • Interface designer- They develop graphical user interfaces that coincide with work from a web developer. This is how a website functions and things interact. 
  • Illustrator- A person who is great with art and drawing but also has a design background. They create illustrations that stand for an idea, message, and perhaps 2D/3D images for stories. 
  • Web designer- The creator of graphics, layouts, and pages for websites, the front end of websites. 
  • Content developer- They create the written, graphical, sounds, videos, and other forms of media content. 
  • Multimedia- They create the graphics for sound and motion. 
What are the head positions with a graphic design firm
  1. Creative director- This person is in charge of a creative team that produces visuals for advertising, branding, etc. 
  2. Art director- This person manages and coordinates between production artists to create illustrations for projects. 
  3. Art production manager- This person manages the production such as efficiency and costs. 
Need a quality graphic designer for your business? Then contact Integraphix; we have graphic designers for each of the needs listed above. Get your business noticed! 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

6 Common Advertising Mistakes to Avoid

Doing great advertising takes knowledge of what to do and what not to do. Here we have 6 advertising mistakes that need to be avoided. As a graphic designer, there is a good chance you will work in advertising and here are some tips to help you make sure you don't make classic mistakes.

  1. Piggy-backing off interest. This one seems like a smart move, to capitalize off of the success of another concept. However, it will not work out. It is not smart to try and associate yourself with things that have no relevance to your business. If your business is selling coffee, then don't try to place ads that feature puppies because we all know everyone loves puppies. As a graphic designer in Chicago, I have seen this done by some companies and it never looks good. 
  2. Event sales opportunities. While it might be the anniversary of some huge event in history, if it has no relevance to your business, then don't try to capitalize on the day. For example, the anniversary of D-Day will not tie into your business that sells flooring. It just won't. 
  3. Growing a large ego. Even if you are the company's CEO, President, CMO, placing yourself in the ad only shows desperation and lack of originality. Luckily, in my time as a Chicago graphic design firm owner, I have not had to place myself in any ads so I practice what I preach. Unfortunately, this is an all too common practice. 
  4. Running different ads that bear no resemblance. Sometimes, one might think that since ads are running on different media channels, they should be different. While that is a good idea, there should be consistency; something about the ads during an ad campaign should let people know that they are from the same company and related. 
  5. Running ads anywhere & everywhere. Place your ads in specific areas and media channels; you want to make sure your target market sees them effectively and efficiently. When you hire a graphic designer and they spend hours creating a print ad and you blast it everywhere, that gives the impression that the ad is just "whatever". Make the ad work for you. 
  6. Doing too many ads. Go with quality over quantity. Nobody likes the company that has ads going 24/7 and are literally everywhere! Overexposure is never effective and can even create a boomerang effect; the boomerang effect is when the response to something is opposite of what was intended. 
Do ads that you are proud of and will actually generate ROI. Hire an advertising agency with a great graphic design team. If you need great designs, then contact Integraphix

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

5 Tips for Fantastic Graphic Design

There are a lot of things about graphic design that make it great. What makes a great graphic designer truly great is their ability to see designs and concepts that others have not seen. You have to be able to think about great, artistic ideas that flow and stand out.

There are lots of things you can do to improve your stylish eye, here are 5 tips.

  1. Believe in contrast. Contrast is a simple yet aesthetically appealing concept. A simple use of contrast in your design is a great way to help it stand out. Using contrasting colors with background and graphics or font can make it pop; use a light background and a dark font or vice versa. From this platform, you can make it your own by adding in your creativity. 
  2. Make good choices with fonts. One of the worst things a designer can do is make a bad font choice. Do a Google search for "logo fails" (after reading this post) and some of the logo fails you'll see are because of poor font choices. You need to have a font that looks good, that furthers the message you're conveying, and is consistent. Have you ever looked at the font choices some companies use for things? It's pretty off-putting when they have a bad one, right? Have a good one for headings, then a subtler, complimentary one for body and subtitles. 
  3. Choose good colors. The color scheme is a large. large part of any design. Ask any Chicago graphic designer, New York graphic designer, or Los Angeles graphic designer and they will tell you that color schemes are major; they make or break a design. You can choose to go with color schemes that are popular or you can go with what speaks to you. 
  4. Don't let images go naked. A great tip for images is to add in some sort of frame or put them in a grid with other images. Using a single image with no sort of border can look amateurish. 
  5. Simple is always good. If you are not confident about using intricate designs or you prefer something simpler, then go with simple. No one will look at a good, simple design and think, "I wish this was busier." However, how many times do we look at busy designs and think, "Calm down!"In light of the Apple event, look at the difference between iOS 6 and previous with iOS7 and now 8; Apple went with simple, matte/flat designs over the previous designs that used lots of depth, bubbles, and busyness. 
If you are in need of great graphic design work, then contact Integraphix. We are a quality graphic design firm in Chicago and have offices in LA, NYC, North Carolina, and Phoenix.