Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Does Image Size Affect Page Load Speed?

When you put stuff on a web page, it will slow down the page, the more you add on. You can't help it, you have to have text on a page and you have to put images on the page.

However, how can you make sure to have images on a page but still have a web page that loads in an efficient time frame? Does that matter if it loads slowly or not? While this post is inspired by our Chicago SEO squad, it matters for us professional graphic designers, such as our Chicago graphic design team, because we make images for websites-- images, graphics, logos, etc. So we need to know this stuff too!

Well, to start, it does matter for two reasons. Humans hate slow web pages. When you have a web page that loads slowly, a person will wait only a couple seconds before they bail. This will increase your bounce rate for search engine optimization rankings. Also, search engine crawlers hate slow web pages because that makes them do their job slower. A slow page will get penalized by search engines.

So what can you do to keep a page optimized with images, graphics, and such while keeping the page quick? Keep you images to a smaller file size, while keeping them at a good resolution. Images consume the most download bytes on a web page and take up the most amount of visual space. 

Optimizing images is both a delicate science and an intricate art.

Do you have questions about the information here or would like to hire a graphic designer? Then contact Integraphix, a Chicago marketing firm 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

6 Things to Consider When Designing a Business Card

While the role of business cards have changed over the years, websites, social media, and other factors have taken over many of the responsibilities, a good business card is a must. It is what you leave with clients, connections, potential clients, etc. and it is how they remember your name and that they met you.

A bad business card will still accomplish those things but in a negative way. People will remember they met you but they'll see your card and have a poor association with you.

Here are 7 things to consider when designing a business card, according to the graphic designers at our Chicago graphic design agency 

  • The size of the card and the colors used. Decide how large you want the cards to be before you think about what the design will look like. If the card is too small for the design, then you will have a smushed card. Remember that the size of the card has to accommodate Bleed. For color, you can choose between RGB (red, green, blue) basis or the CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, and key/black) basis. It is often better to work in CMYK because it can mask colors better on light backgrounds and reduces the amount of color reflected by the paper.
  • Prepare the bleed area. If you are using a white background, then you do not need to worry about the bleed area. To prepare for this, you need to highlight the area surrounding the document. This is often about 3 mm thick of space but this will often depend on the printing company. 
  • Avoid the borders. This looks less classy when you use this method of design as well as it runs the risk of having lop-sided edges. Printers have a margin of error when cutting cards and having borders on the cards emphasizes any mistakes. 
  • Use colors that compliment each other. Colors that compliment each other will be aesthetically pleasing. You want to have colors that are consistent with your branding (colors on your site, social media, etc). 
  • Make sure it is readable. If you use fonts or font sizes that are too hard to read, then guess what? People will not read your card and it is rendered useless. When designing business cards, this is something that people forget to consider. 
  • Include important info. These days, that important info can be different than what it was in the past. Have your name, position, contact info (number, email, and social media), and possibly a QR code (be careful with these). 
Using a good business card is important. Make sure that your card is something you can be proud of. This means hiring a graphic design agency that knows how to make your designs to be proud of. Chat with Integraphix about your next design need! 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

How to Make a Pinterest-Worthy Graphic for a Blog

There are lots of ways to create a graphic for your blog; however, for those who are not astute in Photoshop and Illustrator or those who have five minutes to create a blog graphic, here is a quick way to get the job done, according to our Chicago graphic design team.

  1. Find a great image to use. You need to start with an image that is worth using. This is perhaps the most important part. If you do not have a good image, it makes the whole thing hard to accomplish. Avoid images that are blurry, stretched, too dark or light, and other faults. As a graphic design firm in Chicago, we have a particular set of standards that a photo must meet but we trust that you can spot basic faults such as those. 
  2. Use an overlay. This is often done by adding in some shape (often with text) that is placed over the image. Colors like white, gray, or shadows are great for this; if you want to pick another color, as long as it matches, then go for it. A good trick here is to make the overlay a bit transparent so you can still see some of the image behind it. 
  3. Use a headline. If you have read previous posts on this blog, you may have read that it is good to have some contrast in images… that applies here as well. You can have the font color contrast with the color of the overlay.
  4. Add in your URL or logo. Having some way for readers to see your image and know it is you, just from the image and not the blog as a whole, is to add in your URL (site or blog) and/or your logo. Make them small and in a bottom corner but have them there. 
Having a good blog can be hard to do and maintain. Creating images for a blog can be even harder. That is why a Chicago marketing company like Integraphix exists! We have a whole team of copywriters and graphic designers that can help you get the blog you need! See what Integraphix can do for you!