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Sunday, July 26, 2009 - 12:30

After a recent round of computer problems I found myself in the Apple store purchasing a 30-inch monitor that I didn’t really want. I’ve got a 2½-year old Mac.

A few months ago Apple changed the monitor connections to all their computers. This meant that I was not able to simply replace my 23-inch monitor with one off the shelf. The only monitors that they had on hand that would work were their 30-inch monitors. They still had some with the old-style connection. I wasn’t too happy about this. I ended up spending $1,000 more than I had anticipated.

Thursday, July 23, 2009 - 12:30

You’ve OK’d the ink jet proof and said go to press. Now what?

After you approved the proof, the make-ready process started. Printing plates were burned from your file and mounted on the press.

The correct ink and paper was loaded onto the press. The press was adjusted to assure the correct ink density and register. At this point, they probably called you and said, “We’re on press, come on down.”

Tuesday, July 21, 2009 - 12:30

The great thing about today’s office color printers is that it is inexpensive to get printouts at any stage of the design process.

As you get close the completion of your project it’s important to print out your project and mock it up to check for color quality and content, plus technical factors.
What to look for on your color mock-up:

  • Check that the colors are consistent throughout all pages.
  • Check memory colors.

Sunday, July 19, 2009 - 12:30

On your next project try this experiment. Try limiting yourself to only type. Yes, type for your headline and body copy, of course, but also for your image.

Sometimes I find that the more limited I am in scope, the more creative I become. I remember when I was first starting out as a designer.

Sometimes I was so overwhelmed by the possibilities that it was hard for me to narrow down the elements that I wanted to use, and it took me longer to find a solution.

Graphic designers work with type day in and day out. Sometimes I think we stop seeing the beauty in its forms.

Thursday, July 16, 2009 - 12:43

Digital images contain a certain number of pixels. The dimensions at which it will be printed define its resolution. Photoshop allows you to resize photos.


Resampling happens when you change the number of pixels in a digital image, changing the file’s resolution and, of course, its reproduction size. When an image is scaled, interpolation is used to create the color levels for the pixels in the new file.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009 - 12:36

This is a story that I like to tell my first year students. It illustrates the importance of seemingly unimportant activities and how they can help you later in your career.

Sunday, July 12, 2009 - 13:15

New input equals new experiences. I’m always on the hunt for new experiences, new materials and new ideas to replenish the well. Recently I visited my local corrugated box manufacturer.

Believe it or not, I had to ship a 70-pound child’s peddle tractor and needed a heavy duty box. The box manufacturer has a showroom — yep, a showroom. The variety of paper products that they produced was amazing. Everything from mailing tubes to custom die-cut mailing boxes.

Thursday, July 9, 2009 - 13:09

Are you in the midst of a job hunt? Don’t forget the importance of an outstanding cover letter. Here are a few points to consider:

  • Appearance. Keep your cover letter clean and concise. It should have a similar look as your resume. Use the same kind of high-quality paper. Also, in my opinion, it shouldn’t be longer than one page.
  • The addressee. It is always a good idea to target your resume to the person who will actually be reading it.
  • Wednesday, July 8, 2009 - 01:07

    There is a stretch of interstate that I always look forward to on the drive to my sister’s house. She lives in suburban Chicago. The trek is usually a pain because of road construction and toll booths.

    (Man, I’ve really got to get an Easy-Pass.) If you are thinking pastoral beauty or breathtaking downtown views, think again. Only a fellow design geek would enjoy this stretch of road. So what’s the attraction you ask? The simple answer­ is billboards; mile after mile of glorious innovative billboards. Yes, I know what you are thinking — get a life.

    Sunday, July 5, 2009 - 12:41

    As we all know, designing a brochure can sometimes be like trying to hit the ducks with a poorly aimed toy gun as they file by on a mid-way carnival game. Moving targets are always harder to nail down.

    With a little planning up front, you can get a bull’s eye every time.

    Thursday, July 2, 2009 - 12:30

    The name of the game here is presentation. What you are really designing is packaging. How do you make your envelope stand out in a pile of mail?

    Like a letterhead, envelopes say a lot about the company. An envelope’s message is shaped by its color, size, format, type, graphics, seal, contour, paper and texture. They may be minimal or elaborate, simple or sophisticated. How we respond to them is determined by the design.

    There are many standard sizes.

    Tuesday, June 30, 2009 - 12:30

    Many times letterhead is the first contact that your audience gets or possibly the only contact that they have with your company.

    Therefore, your letterhead has got to communicate your product or service, company name and a bit of your personality. It should be simple, but yet unique.

    Typically, a letterhead is created along with envelopes, business cards and other company forms. Consider presentation when designing letterheads. Should the letterhead be formal or informal? A formal design might suggest tradition, longevity in the marketplace or heritage.

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