Lookbooks seem to be the latest craze for fashion start-ups and clothing lines. I can attest to this statement because it’s been our hottest selling product for the 3rd and 4th quarter of 2013 and probably would have been for longer than that… had we paid more attention to this trend earlier in the year.
The difference between a lookbook and a catalog is in the content. Lookbooks showcase your fashion/clothing line’s look and style and doesn’t get into too much detail because it’s all about imagery, hence the name “Look” book.
A lookbook design sets the stage for your target market and with these tips you will be able to create an environment that they can relate to and see themselves in it.
Simple and Subtle Imagery
Lookbooks are made for looking. Simple as that. No need to create distraction with overwhelming amounts of text or disruptive graphics that take the focus away from your product.
You may opt for a solid color background usually gentle whites or light greys that contrast with the colors of your models and clothing. Even shadows can draw the eyes away from the target, make sure your lighting conditions are optimal.
Use Your Environment
For the seasonal or niche fashion-eers, the background can be used to your advantage. Create a habitat where your fashion lives, where you target market finds themselves. Help them envision how your style fits their lifestyle.
Gloss, Gloss… Gloss.
The paper you select for your lookbook printing can really influence the outcome. In my opinion, nothing makes photographs POP like a glossy finish, the good news is most small runs of lookbooks are printed digitally…
Digital printing uses toner which has a glossy finish anyway so basically you can print on uncoated or matte paper and still have a glossy finish. I’ve seen this used to give the printed areas a 3D type effect or can be comparable to Spot UV coating.
We're Here to Help
We understand how busy you are taking care of your business and you may not have the time to spend creating a design for your lookbook. That’s what we’re here for! Give us the photographs and we’ll take care of creating an amazing lookbook for your fashion/clothing line. Request A Lookbook Printing Quote Now!
This post is best suited for graphic designers who will be working on a die cutting project and/or those of you who simply like to know how to do stuff.
Creating a die line for die cutting can be pretty simple or can be quite difficult, all depends on your design and some planning beforehand can come in very handy later on.
First, I want to make it clear that die cutting thin lines is not always a good idea. Thin lines in a die create thin cuts in the paper that can easily bend or rip off. Sometimes it’s unnavoidable such as die cutting hair or thin fonts but if possible, always try to use thick locks of hair or bold type if your die cut is typography-based.
Custom Die Cut Hang Tags
For this tutorial we are going to create a Die Cut Hang Tag. Many clothing manufacturers use hang tags to brand their merchandise and sometimes include information about the product or the company on the back or inside if it is a folding hang tag.
For this tutorial, we will use a fictitious Clothing Brand called mmprint.
Our goal is to have a finished hang tag where we will die cut the mmprint with the white Stroke around it. Leaving the grey area (which for purposes of this tutorial is simulating the paper) by using a die cutter such as our Heidelberg Windmill Letterpress.
The Right Tools
The die line must be made using a vector design program such as Adobe Illustrator or InDesign. A die maker uses a CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machine which uses CAD software to send the design commands to the CNC machine.
Preparing the Artwork
Creating the die line for the mmprint hang tag should be rather straight forward and simple. We used Century Gothic Bold for the text and made an offset path to make it thicker, then added a 3pt. Stroke around it. All we really need to do is make a line that goes around the entire perimeter of the white Stroke.
Sure, you can show off your Pen tool skills and trace the whole thing but working efficiently is key for a designer and when you have other projects to move on to, time is important.
At this point in our design, our stroke is an effect applied to the object. When you select the object with the black arrow, you will see that the selection line is located within the stroke. Since we need the die line to be the outside edge of the stroke, we have to make the stroke an object itself.
Select the mmprint object then click Edit>Copy then click Edit>Paste in Front
With the new object selected, click Object>Expand
While still selected, click the Unite button in the PathFinder tab (Window>Pathfinder)
Now you should have the outline of the object that is completely white, which notably is the shape that will remain in the sheet of paper once the mmprint is die cut out…
Now just 2 more steps.
While our new white object selected, all we need to do is give it a 1pt. stroke (I chose orange so it stands out) and remove the fill color.
Here is the result:
The final step is to convert the orange color we selected into a PMS color that we will call “Die Line”.
The purpose of making the die line its own PMS color is so that it separates correctly when making plates. The CMYK parts separate accordingly for printing and our “Die Line” PMS will separate as one separate plate for the die.
Here is how it’s done:
Tips and Tricks
It’s always a good idea to consult with the printer/die cutter before you spend a lot of time on your design. Discuss and if possible, show a sketch or basic artwork of your die cut to get feedback on what may or may not work.
As a graphic designer/consultant, you are hired to be efficient and work within budgets.
To save on die charges, you can always use a pre-made Die Cut shapes and customize only the printing.
We offer a nice selection of pre-made die cut shapes:
Take the Design Even Further
When budget is not an obstacle, take your creativity to the next level with Foil Stamping and Embossing.
At this point you can design a hang tag with all the bells and whistles that people may possibly keep. Hang tags create an amazing opportunity to spread your branding with the very merchandise that you sell. Make your hang tag reflect the quality of your company and your product.
So how do you prepare the design for foil stamping and embossing?
After you have read our latest posts about Typography, I am sure you are ready to get out there and start practicing and coming up with new Typography concepts for use in your designs. Now that you understand the difference between Serif and Sans Serif fonts, Kerning, Leading and Tracking and the principals of choosing fonts, we want to offer you a collection of websites that serve or link to [free] commercial-use fonts. The following 5 websites carry a vast array of fonts that you can use freely in both personal or commercial projects.
Download Some Nice Fonts, Create Amazing Typography and Share them with our Readers!
Remember, sharing is caring! Please feel free to link to your own typography tutorials or graphics that you made using fonts from the sites mentioned here today. Other designers may benefit or be inspired by your work so please share.
Kerning and Leading are ways to manipulate the spacing between characters. Spatial manipulation in type can be a very important tool. Some fonts need to have individual characters adjusted to help create better readability and a more aesthetically pleasing layout. Changes to kerning and leading often go unnoticed, but in most situations that is what the designer will only want a subtle change that fixes readability.
Leading is the spacing between the baselines of type. The term leading is derived from the practice of placing lead strips between lines type on older hand set printing presses such as a letterpress. Adjusting the leading is also a very useful way of saving or using space on a page. Leading can also be used to change the aesthetics when dealing with a typographical design.
Kerning is the spacing in between individual characters. Most fonts will have specific default kerning for individual character sets so that the spacing in between the letters in words feels more natural. The image below has a sentence with and without custom kerning applied in 5 different spots to show how subtle the change is. Most of the time, people will not realize that kerning was included to change the type of the design.
Another adjustment to type that hasn’t been mentioned is Tracking. Tracking is very similar to kerning in that it is the spacing between individual characters, but tracking is the space between groups of letters rather than individual letters. Tracking affects the overall character density of the copy. Other than the actual effect that it could have on readability of type, tracking would be used to make lines of type even. Tracking will help to eliminate widows and orphans in paragraphs. Widows are when the final line of a paragraph begins a new column or page. Orphans are when paragraphs end in single words, part of words or a short phrase that seems out of place.
Kerning and Leading are important in typography and should not be ignored. It is the finishing touch on the type that makes everything read and flow properly. The design is not really complete until kerning and leading have been considered, but that doesn’t mean that they are always necessary. It shouldn’t be forced upon a design, but it should look natural.
Which do you find yourself adjusting the most when creating typography – Kerning, Leading, Tracking or all of them?
Noun: The character or quality of a musical sound or voice as distinct from its pitch and intensity.
Choosing an appropriate font for a design is very important. Like sounds, I believe that fonts have timbre. They can be described as having intangible properties that normally wouldn’t be associated with type such as being dark, violent, happy, sad, rugged or loud. With that in mind, a design will benefit by choosing fonts which possess the appropriate timbre or tone and will help set the mood the overall design is meant to convey.
The First Step to Choosing the Right Font
Once the idea is established, a designer will need to understand how that idea needs to be conveyed. A few points will have to be established in order to do this:
Who is the target audience?
What is the idea?
Where will the design be?
These are just a few of the questions, but much will need to be determined. Sticking with the standard who, what, when, where and why will be the simplest way to deduce the how.
Excellent Font Inspiration – Movie Posters
One of the best examples of both appropriate and inappropriate typefaces would be movie posters. Movie posters need to grab attention and convey the timbre and idea of the movie very quickly. The posters will also have to be aesthetically pleasing at the same time. Since the movie itself already is the idea that needs to be conveyed, the imagery and timbre are already set. The layout and fonts are what need to be established. The design just has to focus around has already been established.
The “Cloverfield” poster has fonts that are similar to one you would find in a case report. It supports the idea that there is a mystery or something can be classified. The colors and blur on the text make it foreboding and also give the idea that this is science fiction and could be frightening. After we switch the font to Comic Sans, it turns into the box for a breakfast cereal; presumably one that is full of mystery.
I picked two other posters that I felt had appropriate font choice and design. The “Australia” poster has a turn of the century feeling to it. The colors give off a very rustic feeling and communicates the idea of being outdoors and limited to technology. The font itself expresses some sort of entertainment or adventure. It is the type of font you would have found on an old show poster or travel poster. This typography brings you to the outback or the wild west and prepares you for adventure. The “Transformers” Poster’s typography is sharp and looks like cut metal. The font is strong and bold. The combination of the colors and font give it a serious timbre and express action. The typography tells you “Hey, we got robots.” without actually saying it.
Typeface Lost and Found
Understanding the project and a clear statement is what is needed in choosing the correct typeface. Once determined, the designer will be able to feel what would be right. The typeface is chosen before the search begins.
Do your designs match your Fonts or do your Fonts match your designs?
As printers and print designers we are constantly submerged mentally and physically in the realm of CMYK. These four letters are the rule of the print industry and the basis for almost everything that we print. To increase your understanding of the CMYK color mode, please read our popular Colorful Guide to Understanding Color which explains color mode differences and why CMYK is used in printing while RGB is used for the web.
Corporate logo designers know very well that a complete logo design package requires both PMS and CMYK versions of a logo so that all advertising mediums such as print and web are covered. This has mostly to do with color consistency. CMYK values that represent the PMS version should be determined to keep this consistency throughout all marketing campaigns (not to mention RGB for web graphics).
As we grow as designers and printers, our love for the CMYK acronym grows and for those of you out there who know the feeling, we have come up with this collection of beautiful CMYK inspired vector logos from all over the world for your design inspiration:
Sometimes a business card just isn’t enough to leave behind when you visit a potential customer. Sometimes, customers come into your facility and want to learn more about your products or services while they wait or to take back to the office or home.
Sure, you can tell them to visit your website; there’s a lot of information and pictures there. But how sure are you that they will actually visit your site? How do you know that they will remember to do so?
Well by furnishing them with a printed brochure, you can rest assured that they have the information they seek, in their hands, ready to read. No computers to turn on, no website addresses to type, just a simple informative brochure in their hand ready to be read.
Online and Offline go hand-in-hand
Your brochure is a selling tool, it serves as a convenient hub to introduce your service or product, it can contain information about you and/or your business and a way to contact you. Now here is the way to extend the power of your brochure to actually make the sale for you: add a QR Code. Yes, by adding a QR code to the inside or outside of your brochure, the potential customer can scan the QR code with their smart phone, go to a mobile-ready website that is formatted to make it easy for them to actually place the order for the product or schedule an appointment for the service you offer.
Brochure Inspiration for Advertisers and Graphic Designers
Printed brochures come in many sizes and shapes. Of course we have to offer you a nice collection of beautifully crafted brochure samples to get your creative juices flowing and to end this post with some motivational visual inspiration.
April is an inspiring month full of colors and new beginnings. A month to celebrate All Fools day, Arbor day and Earth Day as well as a variety of holidays held by many different religions.
It is the month where small animals that hibernate through the winter break out of their slumber, bees and butterflies begin collecting the first drops of nectar made available by early-season flowers and the birds embark on their Northbound journey to settle and mate.
As a tribute to our Earth and the trees that provide us with Oxygen to breathe, remove Carbon Dioxide from the air and give us paper to print and archive beautiful art and genius design with:
Please enjoy this collection of Earth Day art and graphics from talented designers and artists:
When promoting a new product, service, music album, a band, a company, a brand, creating a media kit is essential to a successful marketing and/or branding campaign.
A media kit is an informative resource like no other since it can include so many different types of media, all packaged into one convenient place we like to call Presentation Folders.
Pockets and Slits, Media Kits!
Presentation folders are incredibly versatile because of the fact that they can hold so many types of media with simple pockets and slits made into the paper. Presentation folders can hold marketing materials such as:
If it is not too bulky and it will help promote your service or product it should go in your media kit presentation folder.
A Customized Presentation
Presentation folders come in many varieties to fit the purpose and can be completely customizable. Here are a few samples of standard “extras” that can help you create the perfect media kit:
Standard Business Card Slits
Optional Business Card Slits
Expanded Box Pockets
These are only a few of the most common features found in Presentation folders for Media kits. Customize them with your own ideas to fit that marketing materials and their purposes. Feel free to contact Marsid M&M if you have questions or to request a quote.
For your Design Inspiration, here are some of the best Presentation Folders and Media Kits made by awesome designers:
[Disclaimer: The folders in this post were not printed by mmprint.com, they are used for demonstration and inspirational purposes only]
As designers, the key is to keep the creativity fresh and inspired. Thinking outside of the box and out of the ordinary.
Harry Houdini was a creative innovator. His public acclamation came from showing people what they had never seen before, making that which was thought impossible seem possible. Although, for him it was a daily routine. He said it best:
“My professional life has been a constant record of disillusion, and many things that seem wonderful to most men are the every-day commonplaces of my business.”
Yet his inspiration is suggestive of the inspiration that drives a graphic designer to keep designing whether for profit or not: To go beyond the norm and create or build fantasy where none is found.
Here are some fascinating designs inspired by or dedicated to Harry Houdini:
The Great Houdini
Harry Houdini by Derkert
Houdini by Google
The Handcuff King
Magic by Cruenta
A Kind of Magic by ReptileCynrik
Have any Magical Design Tricks to Share? Please do so in the Comments Below