More Than Words: An Introduction to the Art of Typography

Typography: an introduction

 

 

ty·pog·ra·phy:

Design or selection of letter forms to be organized into words and sentences and printed or displayed electronicallyEncyclopedia Britannica

When a person thinks of typography, what would immediately come to mind? Thoughts of different fonts, editorials and designs involving typographic elements would most likely be the first to come to mind. All of these possibilities are both synonymous to and would each be a part of what is considered typography. Typography is anything having to do with typefaces and their arrangements; more specifically it would refer to creating a functional design using type in an aesthetically pleasing manner.

Typography in our Surroundings

Everyday we are bombarded with typography. Every street we walk down, product we use, and every program we watch on television. It is found everywhere and in everything we do.  Right below we have some prime examples of typography that are all from different times and very different places.  Finding new typography everyday can be quite fun.  It is truly interesting to see how a designer decides to accomplish a task using the layout of type.

Typography in Design

Typography has become an important element in both print and web design. It allows designers to mix shapes and placement of letters and words along with the meaning that these characters represent in order to reinforce design and concept in a clever and unique way.
The type will be manipulated to convey specific points while moving your focus in a specific way around the design.  Typographic design is clean and direct.  Below I have a few found examples of typographic design which are aesthetically pleasing and display a point in a creative way.

 

 

Typography has existed for a long time and is in everything we see. It is both useful aesthetically and practically for conveying an idea.  Using typography for these means just requires some imagination.
The art of typography has many facets, please subscribe to our RSS Feed or follow us on Twitter to stay updated when new typography articles become available.

After reading this post, what typography are you going to now notice today?

Please tell us in the comments section below…

One Critical Component Missing from your Brochure Design

brochures by mmprintSometimes 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.

Read more about how to properly execute a QR Code campaign to get the best results from your efforts and save money on postage when using direct mail services.

 

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.

 

Brochure by Brandzigners

Brochure by deviantonis

MSC Brochure by SherifShaaban

MineralKat Brochure A4 by pho3nix_bf

 

Brochure by ksteward

CropLife Brochure by jpz001

 

brochure by SeventhDesign

brochure by Amy Moen

 

How to Design an Efficient Business Card

In today’s hi-tech, fast-paced business environment, your business cards need to impress, facilitate and communicate all within the first few seconds. There are a couple of ways you can make sure your business cards are up to par with today’s technology and forms of communication.

The Complication

While the internet offers an assortment of ways to communicate , it also creates an almost endless list of email addresses, website names, handles, tags, user names and ID’s that only a web-browser or a smart phone can remember.

social media icons

The Scenario

It’s a fact that some people – by preference or circumstance – will only communicate through certain channels. Therefore, it is crucial to your business to be available in some form. By having only certain contact information on your business card, you might not get contacted by those who prefer to communicate through a method not listed on your business card.

Forms of Contacting a Business

The Solution

Consolidation, accessibility, retention.

The back of business cards usually go unused or used ineffectively. It is open real estate on your business card that can be used to include more, if not all, of your contact information. Use the front as an introduction to your company, it’s logo, your name and standard contact information.

 

Effective Business Card Design

Include a QR Code to make it easy to save the information on your business card to a smartphone. For more about QR Codes with a list of free QR Code generators and free apps to read them with your smart phone check out our blog post about QR Codes.

The easier you make it for people to communicate, the sooner they will.

 

Have you ever entered an important number in your phone but forgot to save it?

Please leave your comments below

Easy Photoshop Color Splash Tutorial for Photos and Images


Color Splash Black and White Photo - Plant through Brick

Color Splash Photos with Photoshop

Photoshop Color splash is a method for emphasizing areas or objects inside of black and white photographs, with color. Very popular with wedding pictures and vintage photography, color splashing gives images an extra dimension of beauty: Color can be used creatively to change the perception of the image.

 

Step 1: Duplicate the Layer

Duplicate Layer in PhotoshopPhotoshop has several different ways to duplicate layers. The one in the image is probably the easiest:

Right-click on the layer and click “Duplicate Layer…”. This will make a duplicate layer above the original.

As you become more familiar with Photoshop you will find that keyboard shortcuts make certain actions faster to do than going through the menus and right clicking. With some practice it becomes a reflex such as typing; you know what keys to press without even thinking about it.

Duplicate Layer Keyboard Shortcut: CTRL + J (PC) or Command +J (Mac)

Step 2: Desaturate the New Layer

Desaturate Layer in Photoshop

Desaturation is a different process in comparison to converting an image to grayscale or a black and white yet renders the same visual effect. Desaturation occurs by pushing the CMYK values of the image towards their respective grey tone.

Photoshop automates this function for us using the Desaturate Adjustment

The two easiest ways to Desaturate a layer are as follows:

*Make sure you have the new layer selected in the Layers palette.

Click: Image>Adjustments>Desaturate.

Desaturate Layer Keyboard Shortcut:

Press Shift + CTRL + U (PC)
OR Shift + Command + U (Mac)

 

At this point you should see a black and white photo like this:

Desaturated Flower Girl in Photoshop

Step 3: Adding Color with the History Brush

Photoshop History Brush Tool

The History Brush Tool can be used to restore color and other attributes to an image from an earlier state in its history.

Once we desaturate the image, the original color becomes part of that image’s history. By using the History Brush Tool we can then selectively restore parts of the desaturated image to its original color version. In short, we are erasing the desaturation back to color except only where we want the color to appear.

Select the History Brush Tool by clicking on it in the tools palette.

*Make sure your new desaturated layer is selected in the layers palette.

History Brush Tool Keyboard Shortcut: Press the letter Y (Mac or PC)

Begin by setting the brush size to 200px and 0% Hardness.
This gives us a large brush size to work with and the 0% hardness creates a faded finish around the edges of the brush so that we do not end up with a hard edge:

 

Photoshop Brush Hardness Comparison

Now you can begin coloring in the parts that you would like to have color. Adjust your brush size accordingly to get into those tight spaces and remember that you can zoom in to make sure you add nice clean details to your image.

Brush Size Keyboard Shortcut:

  • Increase Size = [ (Mac or PC)
  • Decrease Size = ] (Mac or PC)

Take a look at the Color Splash I did in Photoshop for this tutorial, it took me less than 10 minutes:

 

Color Splash Using Photoshop History Brush

Experimenting with the history brush and different brush shapes for that matter can result in some unique and/or abstract photo manipulations.

 

Show us your skills! Tell us about your color splash project below..

Valentine’s Day Design Inspiration and Free Downloads

Valentine’s Day is here and you know some graphic designers out there are scrambling to complete – or start! –  their Valentine’s Day design projects. Whether it’s for a company promotional project or simply to impress your Valentine with your awesome romantic design skills, everyone needs a breath of inspiration sometimes.

I present to you an inspirational collection of Valentine’s Day art to give your designs a little Heart & Passion:

 

Be Mine by : Q. Cassetti

Valentine by Alexandra Zaharova & Ilya Plotnikov

Valentines by kwedo

Valentines by Peeewax

Vector Valentine by HyperCannon

Valentine’s Heart Brushes

Hearts Brushes by Hawksmont [Photoshop] – Commercial use: yes

Love Icon Brushes [Photoshop] – Commercial use: yes

Heart Brush Set by Robert Redwood [Photoshop] – Commercial use: yes

Balloon Heart Brushes by Daniel Jordanov – [Photoshop] – Commercial use: yes

Valentine’s Vector Downloads

HQ Heart Illustration [.eps] – Commercial use: yes

Floral Heart by VectorCity [.eps] – Commercial use: yes

Glossy Hearts by OpenGraphicDesign [.eps] – Commercial use: yes

Will you or did you create your own Valentine’s Day Greeting cards this year?

Please leave your comments below…

10 Free for Commercial Use Vector Graphic Galleries for Designers

Looking for a good source of free vector illustrations to throw into your designs can be frustrating sometimes. You find something you like or that has an object in it which you could use only to find out that you cannot use it in a commercial project. Well, I’ve done my share of digging through hundreds of search engine results and decided to put them in one place where I can share these favorites.

I chose these sites because I found that many – if not most – of the vector objects are available free for commercial use. It’s important for designers to respect the copyrights of the original authors. Many of these guys and gals make a living from producing quality graphics and illustrations.

Before proceeding, here is a little more information about the Creative Commons Licenses and how they work:

Creative Commons License LogoThe Creative Commons copyright licenses and tools forge a balance inside the traditional “all rights reserved” setting that copyright law creates. Our tools give everyone from individual creators to large companies and institutions a simple, standardized way to grant copyright permissions to their creative work. The combination of our tools and our users is a vast and growing digital commons, a pool of content that can be copied, distributed, edited, remixed, and built upon, all within the boundaries of copyright law.

These free downloads can be fully modified to conform with your project and can also serve as inspiration. Many of the sites have a link back to the original author so that you can explore more of their work. Some of the authors offer tutorials on how they designed the vectors on their own sites or blogs. It’s worth a look.

Here we go:

1. EZYVectors

Great collection of free downloadable vectors, 1000s of free vectors and downloads that they are updating every day for all users. Another amazing perk about this website is you can access it even without a login as well. Their customer service also outstanding and seem to have an extremely friendly staff.

2. Vecteezy

Vecteezy - Free Vector Art
One of the best sources for free vectors. The community behind them is extensive and growing on a daily basis, not to mention the many currently popular designers that contribute to it. They also have a blog with tutorials and you can join the community for free. You can even upload some of your own work if you wish to share.

3. Pixeden

Pixeden - Free Vector Art Downloads
Great collection of vectors and much more! Definitely worth the visit. Each free vector set and free vector art is supplied in adobe illustrator AI and EPS.

4. Free Vectors Daily

Free Vectors Daily - Free Vector Art Downloads
This site updates their collection daily (as the name suggests). They have a big selection of vectors and the website is not crowded with ads. Sign up for their RSS feed to keep updated on their daily new vectors.

5. Vector4free

Vector4free - - Free Vector Art Downloads
You can find vector graphics files in many formats here: AI, EPS, PDF, SVG, CDR. Each thumbnail displays the formats available. Their free vectors are classified by “Tags” so make sure to check out their “Tag Cloud”

6. FreeVectors

FreeVectors.net - Free Vector Art Downloads
Large inventory of vector artwork with an easy to find search bar. I like that they link back to the original author and the license type is displayed under the “More Info” button.

7. Brands of the World

Brands of the World - Free Download Vector Logos of Brands
This website has an amazing collection of Major Brand logos in vector format. They also have a huge collection of designer uploaded vector logos for inspiration. Requires you to sign up (free) to download vector logos.

8. Vexels

Vexels - Free Vector Art Download
Very nice website, it features a voting system and a “Top 20” section of most popular files. You can also find many downloadable files contain more than one vector object inside.

9. VectorArt

VectorArt.org - Free Vector Art Download
Colorful, nice looking website. Has a filter in the Gallery that lets you break down your results by Category, File type, License type, and Sort by. Part of the Open Source Design Network

10. Vector Portal

Vector Portal - Free Vector Art Downloads
This website has a large variety of vector art for free. From backgrounds to packaging templates, they even have company-specific design guidelines in PDF format for download.
Do you use stock vector art in your projects or do you custom design 100% of every aspect in your projects?

Please comment below

 

If you are using these vector graphics for a Print Project, feel free to call us at 1-877-mmprint or visit www.mmprint.com for a quote. We offer free shipping with all orders!

Refreshing and Tasty Design Inspiration

Art is a fruit that grows in man, like a fruit on a plant, or a child in its mother’s womb.
Jean Arp

When in need of inspiration I always turn to nature. Curves, colors, shades, reflections, beauty; You name it, she’s got it.

Here’s a healthy dose of inspiration:

INDIVIDUALISM POSTER by fatihtokoz

Rebuild the Aesthetic Poster by gomedia

poster by solo designer-d32lw4j

Killer Grapes Poster by GraphZ

Tropical by Creatunco

Print Infographics by Rhysbol

Fruit by sweetchantal1989

FRUIT RAIN by illugraphy

cherry stick heart-shape by dkraner

updated fruit poster by sweetmisery11

Becoming Reality vII

 

Quick Fun Fruit Facts:

  • Avocados are commonly used as vegetables. Botanically they are fruits.
  • Very few fruits contain fat: avocados, olives and nuts are the only ones with significant amounts.
  • Cranberries, Concord Grapes and Blueberries are the only major fruits native to North America.
  • Strawberries, bananas, grapes, apples and oranges are Americans favorite fruits in that order (2008).
  • The Red Delicious is the most widely grown variety of apple in the world.
  • There are 3,236  people in the U.S. listed on whitepages.com with the last name ‘Orange’
    (Mark Morton, ‘Gastronomica’, Fall 2010)
  • Grapes are about 80 percent water.

 

Is there something in nature that you find inspirational to your design?