Graphical Design

Graphic Design Inspiration

While you may be one of those individuals who seem to have the natural gift of creativity continuously flowing in their veins, there will always come a time when you will experience creative block. This is the time when you struggle to figure out what to make next, design or draw. Regardless of what creative genre you belong, you all need some graphic design inspiration to keep those creative juices flowing.

In this technological age, you have numerous resources for such inspiration right at the tip of your fingertips, the internet. You will discover unlimited sources of graphic design inspiration on the internet. These sources range from a wide array of fashion, artwork, crafts, photography and illustrations by artists – both popular and relatively unknown yet are graphically marvelous and astounding.

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However, the internet has amassed a large selection of these sources that finding the best graphic design inspiration blog or site can be quite perplexing. Hence, to help you find the best source of inspiration without having to dig deep into the internet’s wealth of data, here are some of the sites and blogs that hopefully will help you with that much-needed boost of graphic design inspiration.

Pinterest – It is a useful visual tool for finding amazing creative ideas and other graphic design inspiration for your interests and endeavor.
Illustration Age – One of the amazing creative blogs that regularly feature fresh, new and artistically inspiring artwork from expert illustrators from all over the globe.

Ads of the World – If you are looking for some advertising inspiration, you may want to visit this blog, which showcases all the hottest ad campaigns. You can talk about these campaigns in the site’s forums and rate them according to your judgment.

They Shoot Film – This is a blog that is dedicated to a collection of amazing photos by two rising photographers, Garrick Fujii and Patrice Esser. Although hailed from Los Angeles and San Francisco respectively, they have united their artistic endeavor through this marvelous blog that will inspire everyone, especially aspiring artists.

Arrested Motion – If you like to feed your eyes and mind with contemporary art based on scenes of daily life you get to see in urban and low brow places, you have to see this online magazine. Filled with a daily dosage of artistic endeavors covering areas all over the world, you will be inspired by what you will see on this site.

Habitually Chic – If you are looking for a graphic design inspiration for interior designs, you need to visit this blog which has been regularly featured in well-known magazines all over the world such as Domino, Elle Décor, Fast Company and House Beautiful, to name just a few.

Little Green Notebook – Another blog that does not fail to inspire would-be interior designers or designers experiencing creative block, is this blog by Jenny from New York City. You will also get to discover a lot of DIY home projects and flea market finds in this blog.

Colossal – A very interesting blog that you need to visit to discover other facets of visual culture. Just browsing through the blog’s collection of artistic works will give you that much needed graphic design inspiration.

A Beautiful Mess – If you are looking for some inspiration, you need to visit this blog and be inspired by the wide array of craft projects that are not only a feast for the eyes but can also enhance your mind about the myriad of styles and creative endeavors.

Graphic Design Questions to Ask Your Client

Tired about designing without a good direction? Tired of asking yourself what’s the purpose of the design? Well, you are not alone. Without having a clear and accurate graphic design in mind, you will not get what the client wants. The only way for you to come up with a concrete design is to ask questions to the client. After all, it’s not their fault if you are missing the mark. It’s going to be your fault especially when you haven’t asked any question. What are the different graphic design questions to ask your client?

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This article lists down some of them:

1.    Ask the clients to tell more about their companies. Usually, clients think that you are already familiar with their brand and their business type. When working on a graphic design, don’t hesitate to ask questions about the company history and other relevant things. The main idea here is to hear stories and background information from them. That way, you can start coming up with a design that will certainly fit their brand.

2.    Ask them about what they want to achieve. Of course, they will not hire a graphic designer for nothing. If not for achieving something, probably they could’ve just done this on their own. Ask the clients about their goals and the purpose of the design.

3.    Ask who will be their target audience. Finding out the target audience is an essential tool for building an accurate design. It will help you out in determining the best and suitable way of communicating and interacting with them.

4.    Ask what needs to be produced. Too much design ideas can be confusing especially when coming up with what the clients exactly want to see. Ask them if they have some idea in mind and make sure to incorporate them. Also, ask about the distribution details, cycles of the design etc.

5.    Ask about their criteria for assessing the design. It’s important to know the things that they look for in a design. That way, you already have an idea how your graphic design will be assessed.

6.    Ask about their budget on the design. Even if it’s just an estimated budget, you can already provide a realistic design based from there. By knowing their budget, you can also offer alternative solutions to the problems that you might encounter along the way. It’s also essential to know the timeline of the project so that you can already plot what needs to be done at a specific date and time before the given deadline.

7.    Ask what particular designs they like. Propose preliminary works to the clients and discuss which design admired them the most. Or better yet, let them submit a set of designs that you may use.

8.    Ask what designs they do not like. It’s also important to ask clients if they think that the design is inappropriate or done in bad taste. Figure out why they didn’t like it. Their answers may sound arguable to hear, but this may help you in coming up with future designs.

9.    Ask about the project workflow. Determine the number of hours or days required to finish a particular phase. Discuss the ways on how you can communicate with each other during the whole project duration and who has the final say when the design is ready for approval.

By remembering the different graphic design questions to ask your client, you can never go wrong in producing a design that’s sure to establish not just the company’s brand but your professional experience as well.

Designing For Apps 101

Whenever you visit your smartphone’s app store (Google Play Store, Apple store), did you notice just how many apps there are on your fingertips? It’s because there is a market for good apps and if you are thinking of creating your own application or designing for apps, you can definitely make big money if you do it right.

Just How Large is The Demand?

According to mobiforge.com, there are 4.4 billion worldwide users who use smartphones to download apps. The number is staggering and it’s going to get bigger and bigger. App development is poised to continue being a big business opportunity. Now, getting into web development is easy in that you do not need a sizable investment. However, you still have your work cut out for you.

Developing your first applicationWhat You Need When Designing For Apps

Developing your first application has never been so exciting. Imagine getting to create that app that millions of users are going to pay for! Before that happens, you must know first how to design your first application, and then develop it from the ground up. You will, of course, need the right equipment; more importantly, you need to be equipped with knowledge of certain programming languages.

Let’s say you decided to build an app for Android Jellybean 4.1, you are most likely dealing with Java as it’s the primary Android development language. You also need to get the ADT (Android development tool) and Eclipse as the IDE (Integrated Development Environment).

You also have to test your app for bugs. Android debugging can be a pain if you don’t have the device to test it. This is especially the case if you are not using third party software like GenyMotion. Debugging in Eclipse IDE can take as long as an hour even on high-end computers. You will need a lot of patience if you happen to choose to develop in android.
IOS application development requires Mac devices with XCode installed. It also requires knowledge of Objective-C language.

Depending on the intended functionality of your application, whether it is an application for calculating your calorie intake or an RPG game for kids, the guidelines are still the same. For starters, the outline of the buttons or the controls should be easily understood or intuitive. The color of your app should also set the right mood. Also, the text should be easy to read. Most of all, the application should be really doing what it is supposed to do. Also, the layout of your application must be user-friendly. It will also help if your logo is eye-catching and easy to remember so it would stand out from most of the applications available on the playstore.

To develop your app, you may need knowledge of how to construct storyboards and there are applications that can help with that too. This is especially the case with apps for RPG or adventure gaming.

Right Gadget, Right Apps, for the Right People

Developing application must not be taken off lightly. Your choice in target device will also affect your target customers, and, therefore, your profits. If you choose to make an app for android kitkat 4.4 for example, not only you will lose potential profit from IOS smartphone users but also lose potential profits from Android phone users with lower versions than 4.4.

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Every aspiring developer must know this remember creating an application for only one device can result to compatibility issues on other devices especially on lower end versions. Your decision should be based on application capability, statistics, compatibility, users and legalities of the software product you are developing. You need to do market research before deciding on a specific target market.

Uploading Your App on App Store

Uploading an android application on Google play store is not free too. You will have to create a merchant account, and registration for that can cost you a $25 fee. The price may vary depending on your country.

Uploading IOS application requires apple id that cost 1 $ deducted from your credit card plus an ample upload fee depending on your application targeted device.

So What if you want to make Mobile applications but you don’t Know How to Code?

Learning programming languages is a must when developing mobile applications or any applications at all. However, you shouldn’t worry because android and apple companies have online libraries and tutorials that you can easily access. They will help you develop your very own application.

If you’re looking to develop Android apps, you can visit http://developer.android.com/
If you want to develop IOS appls, please visit https://developer.apple.com/

It is advisable to master these programming languages to become a better mobile developer
Java
Objective C
Python
C++
C#
HTML5 / PHP (for web based mobile applications)

Dealing with the Heat of Competition

So you have created an app for editing pictures but upon searching, you find out there are already tons of them in the play store? Don’t get discouraged; remember there are 4.4 billion smartphone users (or possibly more) in the world. There is always a chance that there is one person who will try your application and possibly buy.

You just need to offer something unique, such as additional features that other apps don’t have. For example, instead of making a standard castle defense app, why not make a mash-up of castle defense and real-time strategy?

How to Benefit from your Passion on Graphic Design

Graphic design can be considered as a diverse field of work as it encompasses advertising, clothing, web design and much more. Since many people share the passion for graphic design, most people utilize their love for graphic designing through different ways. Others have transitioned from being just a hobbyist to taking graphic designing as a career.

Although graphic design is rewarding enough as a hobby, many people make use of their talent by providing graphic design services to various businesses. This article will discuss more how you would be able to take advantage of your natural ability in graphic design both as a hobby and a career.

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1.    Express your natural creative ability
One of the great benefits of having a knack for graphic design is that you can express your creativity while earning a decent living. Many artists prefer graphic design over other art forms as it is easier to earn a living with it. If you are one of those people who love computers and making art, you can pursue a career in graphic designing as you can do both at the same time.

2.    Availability of different media
The great thing about graphic designing is that you can utilize different media for your skill. The two main media used in graphic designing are print and web. Print media have been in existence for many years, but web graphic designing is something that started only upon the arrival of the internet.

3.    Huge client base
Many businesses have a limited client base. As a graphic designer, your skills are in-demand as most businesses are needing graphic designers from time to time. Some businesses house their team of graphic designers while some hire freelancers or even outsource the work to other countries.

4.    Working comfortably at home as a freelancer
Another great benefit of having graphic design skills is the different opportunity of securing a graphic design career online. There are many places on the internet to find freelance work which enable you to provide graphic design service to various clients from the comfort of your home.

5.    Few expenses
Unlike other traditional art forms wherein you need to keep your art supplies consistently in check, graphic designing does not require many overhead expenses given that you already have a computer and the necessary graphic design software. If your client requires some printing job, you will need to work this into the total project quote. The same can also be said for other necessary aspects of the project such as purchasing stock images or hiring additional people to give you a hand. If you are going to promote yourself as a graphic designer, additional budget for web hosting and marketing may be needed. However, overall costs should be low in the event you are working as a freelancer.

Final Thoughts

People have different passion. Some are into writing, sports, and other worthwhile activities. For people with passion on graphic design, they can freely express themselves through their work. Many people have already become successful just by providing graphic design services to various businesses while some were able to branch out into other fields such as web designing and programming.

Is Print Design a Dying Art?

With the emergence of digital advertising, the web and web-based design has reached a whole new frontier. Collaterals for advertising campaigns now have the capability to reach a much broader audience in a much shorter time span. So with this new digital revolution, where does that leave print?

ad campaignUnderstanding Paper and Ink

Everything included in an ad campaign has had a designer working on it. Print design is a subset of graphic design that is purposely made for printing. The output varies by medium and by purpose. The most basic examples are the well-established printed posters and billboard ads. There are also marketing collaterals like business cards, letterheads, envelopes, and resumes, and branding materials for product labels and packaging. Designers need to understand their medium, their audience, and their message to create a successful, memorable design.

Print Design in the Digital Age

With each new hashtag, mail blast, viral marketing campaign and social media outlet, it cements the effectivity of online advertising. Marketing teams focus more on social media campaigns than printed ads. Posters and banners can be optimized for the web. Company letters framed by letterheads are sent through email. The future draws that much closer, shiny and chrome in all its technological glory. What use is there for print and paper in this shiny new world?

Truth be told, the print design market is no longer as strong as it used to be. With the continuing shift to digital, designers had to compensate to stay afloat. Printed design skills had to be supplemented with some skill in web design. It wasn’t enough to simply complete a magazine spread. It may also have to be optimized for online viewing. Print ads had a web-based counterpart. Printed marketing collaterals may need an accompanying website. It is not just print anymore.

online advertising
Print vs. Web

The main reason online advertising–and by extension web design–has become so popular is because of its ease and sheer scope. The global social media agency WeAreSocial reports that as of early 2015, there are around 3.010 billion active internet users worldwide, a 525 million user increase from last year’s report. This is in conjunction with wireless technology becoming more available and devices becoming more user-friendly. With the aid of mobile, the number of people who go online will keep on growing, and WeAreSocial predicts that by mid to late 2016, digital penetration will go beyond 50% of the world’s population. Companies would be fools not to take advantage of those facts.

It is much faster and cheaper to reach an audience online than doing it through print. Marketing campaigns also allow their audience to get more involved, by the use of hashtags and word-of-mouth.

Another, much more technical advantage web has over print design is color management. Computer monitors use the RGB, or Red-Green-Blue color model to display colors. They take a certain amount from each color and mix them together to make the colors people see onscreen. Print media, on the other hand, makes use of the CMYK, or Cyan-Magenta-Yellow-Black color model, which cannot match some colors created by the RGB model. They also cannot take advantage of the backlighting properties of screens, so, as a result, the colors appear duller. That is why designers have to compensate for color depending on what mediums will be used.

With those being said, understand that print isn’t rendered completely useless. One of the advantages print has is its longevity, both physically and mentally. While digital ads do have the ability to be long-runners, they can also disappear at the slightest provocation. So while digital advertisements may reach a huge audience, they have to clamor for attention alongside dozens and dozens of other ads and content. Just because an ad reaches more people, it does not automatically mean that it has made its mark on them.

Printed designs like magazine advertisements leave a more lasting impression because the readers’ attention is more fixated and linear. Also, according to the 2013 Trust In Advertising study by Nielsen Holdings N.V., despite the continuing reign of word-of-mouth advertising, the audience still find it easier to trust printed advertisements compared to their online counterparts.

Finding that “Golden” Ratio

There will be no shortage of studies supporting print or online advertising over the other. The reality is while printed advertisements are becoming less and less of a priority, that hasn’t halted their effectiveness at all. After all, companies wouldn’t invest in printed ad campaigns if print was dying.

The key is finding ways for online campaigns to support printed campaigns and vice-versa. It is a matter of handpicking the best qualities of both to create a good synergy.