Tuesday, March 31, 2015

10 Common Mistakes Graphic Designers Make

It can be easy to make a mistake as a graphic designer, especially when you are not a very seasoned graphic designer. As a Chicago marketing company with a team of experienced graphic designers, our team put together a list of 10 common mistakes that are made by designers to help you grow as a designer with excellence!

  1. Having Multiple Typefaces. Never use more than three fonts per layout; in fact, our team doesn't advocate using more than one or two, just to be safe. If you use a logo in a layout, you can have continuity with the logo by using the typeface from the logo with other copy. 
  2. Abusing Emphasis. Use font tricks carefully to create emphasis, don't use too many or it can be counter-productive. 
  3. Double Spacing. If you have a habit of hitting the space bar twice after a period, you'd better nix that habit. It can be distracting and is often considered taboo by typesetters. 
  4. Using All Caps. Using all caps in a design can look amateurish and be distracting. 
  5. Underlining text. Underlining text is only okay when showing there is a link. Underlining text was originally created as a way to show there was special text when bolding wasn't around (with typewriters). 
  6.  Not Knowing where commas and periods go with quotes. The comma and the period will  always go inside the quotation marks when using a quote. Other punctuation marks, such as question marks and exclamation points, will go outside the quotation marks unless they are part of the quote.
  7. Not Knowing Dashes. There are three types of dashes. You can use the hyphen or minus sign, which is used for breaking apart words and to prevent weird spacing. There's the en dash ' ' ' which is called that because it is often wider than an "n" and should be used to replace "to", such as 9'12 p.m.. Finally, there's the em dash, which is the longer option of the dashes here and is used to split up sentences, much like a semicolon. 
  8. Ladders. These are multiple hyphenation that appear on consecutive lines. Do not put more than two consecutive hyphens or it will steal the spotlight in your copy. 
  9. Rivers. If you really want to justify your type, be on the look out for big spaces and gaps, which appear vertically in your type, these are called "rivers of white space". You generally see these in newspapers. 
  10. Special characters. We are talking about things like the copyright, registered trademark, ™, and ellipses. Use these when using a brand's name or something that has one of these connected with it (except for the ellipses). Use an ellipses when omitting part of a quote. 
Do you want to know more trips that can help your career as a graphic designer? Then email Integraphix, a Chicago graphic design company

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Do Images Matter with Digital Marketing?

Almost 85 percent of Americans describe themselves as visual learners. This is a significant amount of people who need visuals to truly understand a concept. As a Chicago graphic design agency with a social media marketing department, we realize the collaboration between graphic design and social media is more important than ever. Think about the social media posts (especially Facebook & Twitter) that grab your attention, they are likely ones that have images and possibly a link as well.

Images attract our eyes and thus, our attention. When you have a post on Facebook that has an image, it is 7x more likely to get shared compared to a post that is pure text. Twitter encourages people to post with an image or graphic as well, such as an infographic, if the time calls for it.

Psychological tests have confirmed that when we are shown an image and text, we spend most of our time looking at the image, which is wonderful news for a Chicago graphic design studio; however, that does not make the text useless, text with an image gets more looks than text with no image.

The incredible growth of visual-based social media platforms such as Pinterest, Instagram, and Snapchat is a true testament to the power of visuals in social media. Know what's one of the most popular and impacting features of Facebook? The images option. This is why Facebook and Twitter have made such great efforts to encompass images (and video).

Images work. Images sell. They grab attentions, which are getting shorter and desire more appealing objects. Sometimes an image is able to have the call-to-action that words just can't convey. Images stick in our memories longer, this is why having a great logo design is so important, too. The visuals improve our muscle memory, aiding content associated with that image to be more memorable as well.

However, using or creating images for social media posts have to make sense and be appropriate for the platform it is posted on; a blog post about baseball and showing a photo about your dog will not work. Another thing to remember is that you need to have appropriately sized images that are also cropped and not distorted.

It is time to make your social media posts, blogs, and website design stand out and use great images. Email Integraphix - a Chicago graphic design agency - about your graphic design needs and tips about images.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Will the Trend of Misspelled and "ly" Brand Names End? Probably Not.

Startup businesses have a lot of things on their "to-do" lists. They have to get their structures in order, their processes in place, and just about everything else is needed, too. Of course, they need great logo design and branding, which includes the challenge of creating a unique business name. Businesses have to create names that are both memorable and meaningful.

Regardless of an industry, businesses have the desire to come across as innovative, creative, and forward. This has launched the trend of creating business names that end in "ly" and "fy", such as Bitly and Spotify. Aside from that trend, companies are often omitting the vowels from their names; this allows companies to take average words and create a unique business name, such as Tumblr. This can also create a fun and unique logo design and other designs for their graphic design work.

There are over 100k domains registered every day. That is a lot and forces businesses to think outside of the box when it comes to a domain URL they can secure, which affects the business name. Could this by a reason for all the funky business names? Possibly. Look at the music sharing app, nwplying, which is "now playing" sans most vowels and spacing. The CEO wanted to describe the business's purpose in a simple form but "now playing" was too generic & would not make a unique name or hashtag; they removed the vowels and boom, done. Also, it was a shorter, very easily attainable URL to buy.

While the ease of securing a domain can impact a spelling of a business name, it also helps brands stand out in a business world where startups are common, especially when you look at the SXSW. It helps businesses sound edgy; consider the business name, "Unbxd". The founder of the business describes the name as a way to describe the business's mentality that it isn't confined by any boundaries; it describes the business's vision instead of just its product.

Of course, a unique, perhaps strange sounding name, can arise from what is meaningful to a business; the name is not always limited by available domains, a fun trend, or appearing edgy. Tech startup, Tiinkk, an iPhone app, created the name after the founder had a conversation with an Irish friend who said, "I tink you should call it…" and there you go!

Creating a business name can be difficult and creating a logo for it can be even harder. Does your business need assistance creating a name or logo? Then email Integraphix, a Chicago graphic design agency.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

5 Things Your Logo Needs to Be Successful

Before a business can even think about a business cards or finding an office to have office space, a business needs a logo design. The logo will compliment the business name, feature your business's color scheme, and have important design elements. It is the base upon building stationary, packaging, any advertising, or signage.

A logo needs to reflect the image that the company wants to convey. As our Chicago graphic design agency has stated before, your logo will be how people form an impression about your business before engaging with it directly and it will be how they remember your business.

The best logos in the world have these five design concepts in place. 

  1. They are simple. The best way to think about simplicity is how many components there are to the logo. Look at the logo for the Chicago Cubs or Apple. Apple's logo is a simple apple shape (with the bite out of it) and is shown in black or grayscale; the Cubs logo is a simple, red "C". The simplicity of these logos makes them easy to look at. The easier information is to process, the likelier we are to remember and like that information. 
  2. They are brand consistent. Your logo constantly speaks about your brand and vice versa. If there is a mismatch here, it will stand out. Your logo needs to fit with your company's overall message. Look back at the Apple logo, it speaks about the brand being innovative, futuristic, and sleek. All of these things are seen when you look at Apple's products and business operations. They pride themselves on making great tech that is easy to use, so their logo is easy to understand. Any great professional graphic designer will mention Apple's logo when they talk about brand consistent logos. 
  3. They are memorable. Remember when we said that people will remember your brand from your logo? Well, that is hard to do if your logo is far too complicated and/or makes no sense. Logotype or word mark, a stylized version of your company's name (think Coca-Cola) is much easier to remember than an abstract logo
  4. They are remarkable. This is your logo's ability to cut through the noise. This is more suitable for startups than established brands. 
  5. They are market tested. While our minds and our gut can produce some good logos, no good logo hits the market without being tested, first. Getting feedback about a logo is necessary and will help you find any possible flaws. The logos that we see and think, "Who approved that?" Chances are, those logos were not put through any market tests. If your business designs its logo on its own, then this is a very crucial step, even if you think you have a good eye for design and colors. No matter what, even if a logo is designed by a professional logo designer, it is still market tested. 
Does your business need a logo? Then email Integraphix - a Chicago graphic design company with over two decades of logo design experience.