Archive for the ‘Graphic Design’ Category

Aug 29

Millennials Infographic

Being a huge fan of gaming and coffee, I was intrigued by this fascinating infographic that says that if I gave up Costa for 25 years, I would be able to afford a deposit for a house. However, if I also give up my cheeky Nandos, Spotify and PlayStation Plus, I could get a deposit together much sooner… Food for thought eh?

Sources can be found at Just Mortgage Brokers

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Aug 12

How influential are graphics to the success of a game?

Graphics have moved on since the days when I was a kid. The high-end, graphics-card-melting PC titles and the previews of the PS4 and Xbox One games show just how far we’ve come in terms of creating beautiful virtual visuals. The current games are so far removed from the early Sega releases and even the Playstation 2 games that it’s hard to imagine how we could have ever enjoyed them; but enjoy them we did. So, it begs the question: is it all relative or are graphics really not that important?

Minecraft is a great example to bring up early in the debate. In 2011, only a month after entering its beta phase, the game sold one million copies and by 2012 it was the 6th best-selling PC game of all time (It now ranks at number 5). All this, despite its having blocky graphics (not without their charm) that seemed in direct opposition to the more realistic game worlds offered by blockbuster titles. It shows that graphics come second to gameplay and propelled a game with low production values past the likes of Battlefield Two and Starcraft. Good gameplay can definitely make up for relatively poor graphics.

The converse cannot be said to be true. Graphics are important at initially attracting players to a game and their level of realism can help provide an immersive experience, especially in First Person Shooters and horror titles. But graphics don’t give a game longevity. What makes players come back to a game five or ten years on is the gameplay. Quake III, Counter Strike and World of Warcraft will stand the tests of time without having the most mind-blowing graphics for this simple reason. Multiplayer and socially orientated games will win loyal followers because they provide the essentials of what gaming is really about: not escapism but competition. Pitting yourself against other real opponents is always preferable to single-player modes with dubious computer AI, which partly explains the popularity of the Call of Duty franchise.

And of course it all depends on what you’re aiming to get out of the game. Not everybody plays games for the conviviality and competition of multiplayer modes or the narrative of a single-player campaign; others play games because there’s a possibility to win money. If you want to gamble online, whether it’s playing poker or blackjack, or just hitting the slots, there’s an enormous choice these days. And because the gameplay is effectively the same across all Texas Hold ‘Em games, for example, graphics can really make a difference to your enjoyment. Also if you’re going to be spending an hour or more on a virtual poker table then a good-looking backdrop is going to enhance the gameplay ever so slightly. Take the graphics of CasinoEuro games as an example: they pay a lot of attention to detail, especially in slots games where the action can be quite repetitive, from the striking simplicity of Starbust to the colourful artwork of Hall of Gods.

This age old debate will no doubt rage on with the uptake of 3D graphics and virtual reality devices. However, there will always be those of us who will dust of the old games console and play those classic games whether they’ve got great graphics or not.

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Large Format Printing

Jan 21

Designing Artwork for Banner Stands & Large Format Printing

Large format printing is essential for creating banner stands and other large marketing banners that make a real impact. However, designing the artwork for large format printing is often a challenge for designers, especially those who do not have much experience in this area. So what should you know about designing for large format printing and bannerstands before you have a go yourself?

Use Vector Images

Most readers of this blog are already involved in vector design, and this experience will be a huge advantage if you attempt to design artwork for large format printing. Using vector images allows you to work with smaller size files that will not slow down your computer, and they also scale up easily. There is no point attempting to design a huge banner to scale, so instead work at a smaller size to make things easier.

 

Font Issues

Fonts can become a big issue when you are designing artwork for large format printing. You must ensure that the words can be read from far away without becoming illegible. For this reason you should avoid using fonts that are hard to read, and make sure when you are designing the artwork that the text does not get lost in the design but stands out.

You may find that your letters are affected by kerning, which is where the letters look closer together when viewed from a distance, and this can affect the legibility. You may therefore need to add some extra spacing between the letters before sending the work to the printer.

 

Less is More

The aim of artwork for banner stands is to get a message across as quickly as possible. No matter where the banner is appearing, assume that you only have a few seconds to capture the attention of passers by. You need to make the message clear and simple to understand, and this typically involves using as few words as possible, and making sure that the image captures attention without interfering with the message.

 

Are Contact Details Necessary?

When you have the final say in the design, try to avoid squeezing in unnecessary information. For example, you may not need to insert contact details in your design because people may be able to get these from the company in the form of a brochure or business card at a trade show. However, in other forms of large-format printing, including the contact details may be more important so you have to make a call here.

 

Before You Send It to the Printers…

Large format printing is expensive, so you want to ensure that you get everything right before you send off your design. One trick is to step a few metres back from your monitor to see how the design looks from further away. It is easy to get so involved in the finer details that you forget to check how well the message comes across from a distance.

You could also print out a few sections of the design at the larger size, especially the font, in order to see what the final version will look like. Simply print off a few pages in your own printer and then stick them to the wall at the end of the room to see if there are any noticeable issues.

It’s also a good idea to print out a small version before you print out the final version. This won’t show you exactly how the final version will look, but you may be able to pick up a few errors and any issues with misalignment.

 

Experiment with Large Format Printing

If you do not have much experience in large-format printing then keep the above tips in mind. Designing for large format printing is a very different skill and takes some getting used to, but it is all a matter of practice. It may take a while to perfect your skills, but get the design right and the result will be a stunning banner that captures attention and generates interest.

Jan 15

Top 5 Must Have Apps for Graphic Designers

Colors are all around us. Most graphic designers are skeptical about the use of mobile phones for their nature of jobs. What however most designers will not know is the power of the latest market mobile applications in the graphics design industry. Here we analyze some of the most powerful mobile we have in the market that you can get a hold of lest you left behind! After all mobile technology is the fastest growing technology in the world… you surely have nothing to lose! Here are some of them… check them out!

Task Cards

For any busy graphic designer, having to juggle between different jobs for various clients is no news. This is what makes most if not all graphic designers understand the importance of planning ahead and prioritizing. Time management is crucial in every aspect. A task card is therefore a visual application which shows you your tasks in a plain but easily understandable manner. A well laid out task card will help you to keep up your daily plan effectively. Additionally, a task card will remind yourself of any unfinished jobs as well as prioritize your jobs.

Palettes

A color palette is not a just a requirement, its a necessity too. To find a perfect color for a certain project could be a daunting task, sometimes taking you days. The need to have a tool that can help you choose colors on the go is therefore a necessity for you as a designer. Several apps will have the option of color creation but a pallet is among the highly regarded. Have color schemes, websites as well as other sources of colors around you to achieve that off the hook designs.

Thinking space pro  

We all need to think out of the box. Having to remain relevant in the graphics design world is a must forcing designers to have Brainstorming sessions. Thinking space pro is an awesome app that allows one to think and brainstorm on their mobile devices. This great app will act as a thinking aid for graphic designers while they are on the move.

What the font

A well thought of font for a logo will distinguish a professionally done logo from a cheaply designed one. For most accomplished graphic designer, collection of fonts s a hobby. It could be compared to a stamp collection hobby. A whattheofont app is one of a kind. With an ability to distinguish different fonts based on the ability to snap with your mobile phone will never let a font slip by you. Fonts are the forces behind some of the most magnificent art works.

Adobe Photoshop Express

Adobe Photoshop is a program that has transformed photo editing as well as graphic design. For the longest time it had no mobile version until lately when they released a mobile version. This app has rapidly been appreciated among graphic designers. In as much as the mobile version has limited capability when compared to the desktop version, adobe Photoshop express has undoubtedly transformed how graphic designers carry out their day to day business when on the move.