Magical Graphic Design: Houdini

Harry Houdini with his mother and wifeHarry Houdini once said:

My brain is the key that sets my mind free.”

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

The Great Houdini by Tena Letica

 

Houdini Records

Houdini Records

Harry Houdini by Derkert

Harry Houdini by Derkert

 

Houdini by Google

Houdini by Google

 

The Handcuff King

Houdini - The Handcuff King

 

Magic by Cruenta

Magic by Cruenta

 

A Kind of Magic by ReptileCynrik

A Kind of Magic by ReptileCynrik

 

Have any Magical Design Tricks to Share? Please do so in the Comments 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…

The Need to Bleed


Bleeds and crop marks business cards
I recently asked my production manager and the graphic department manager here at Marsid M&M:

– What is the most common mistake that you find in artwork submitted by customers?
Answer: Missing Bleeds.

They also added that it is one of the biggest causes of delays in the customer receiving their order. It’s a fact that many businesses hire outside designers and when we contact the customer about the missing bleeds, it can take a matter of minutes to a matter of days to get the adjustments made by their designers.

Unfortunately our graphic department cannot always add the bleed because the file is not editable which is a whole other blog post (coming soon).
If we can add the bleed ourselves, we do it free of charge as a courtesy to our customers.

Bleed and Crop Marks

What is Bleed?

Some designs contain graphics or solid backgrounds that reach the edge of the paper as shown above. Printers require an additional stretch of these graphics or solid backgrounds, usually about 1/8th of an inch called a “Bleed” in order to guarantee the edges are not left without ink when the paper is cut.

Stack of paper showing bleed being cut

Quick tutorials: Adding bleed to your artwork

The easiest thing to do to prevent forgetting to add bleed is to simply make a bleed guide as the first thing you do when beginning a new design. Some professional design software makes this incredibly easy to do, some you have to do manually (still pretty easy).

Adobe Illustrator LogoAdobe Illustrator:

Illustrator offers one of the easiest and most convenient ways of adding bleeds to your documents from the start. In the “New Document” dialogue, under “Bleed” enter 0.125 in to any of the columns. If the link chain is selected already, then it will populate all 4 fields with 0.125 in automatically.

Add bleeds to an Adobe Illustrator Document


As you can see below, your bleed lines are added automatically. Shown as a red frame around the artbox…

Adobe Illustrator Bleeds


Adobe InDesign LogoAdobe InDesign:

In the “New Document” dialogue, make sure the “more options” button is pressed and at the bottom has a “Bleed and Slug” section. In the bleed box type 0.125 in and if the the link chain is selected it will automatically add it to the other 3 boxes.

Adding Bleeds in Adobe InDesign

Similar to Illustrator, InDesign automatically adds the red frame around the artbox as a guide for bleeds…

Adobe InDesign Bleeds

Adobe Photoshop LogoAdobe Photoshop:

In the “New” dialogue window, add 0.25 to the desired finish size. For example, if your designing a postcard that has a finish size of 5 x 7, then you would enter 5.25 x 7.25.

Add Bleed to Photoshop

Once you click OK, your empty canvas will appear and we will use the Rulers (View>Rulers) to use as guides to center our 5 x 7 within the 5.25 x 7.25 canvas and therefore make the bleed areas visible. Pull a guide from the ruler for each side of the canvas and drag it until it is 1/8th” inside the canvas from the edge.

Adding Bleed Guides in Photoshop

Photoshop Note:

We do not suggest using Photoshop for layout and typesetting of print projects. For best results use Photoshop for image manipulation and special effects. Import or place the image or object in Illustrator or InDesign for layout and typesetting.

Photoshop is a raster design program which uses grids of pixels to compose an object. Illustrator and InDesign create vector art which is composed of lines and curves or “Paths” to create objects and therefore create sharp edges and lines for both objects and text. Vector can also be scaled to extremely large sizes without losing quality.

Bookmark Worthy: Print-Ready Design Checklist

Use the checklist to double check that every requirement is already in your artwork to avoid any issues or delays!