Taking Great Pictures for Use in Print Design

At Hotcards, we do a lot of design work for the customers we print for. Photography, on the other hand…

Getting your designing, printing, and even mailing (if you're running a direct mail campaign) done in one place is a relief for many people, but coming through with high-quality images that are specific to your product, service, or event.

On the other hand, we're also living in an age where, thanks to rapidly evolving design technology, many individuals and small businesses do their own design work. And that's just great. Unfortunately, sometimes it can be hard for a DIY designer to turn their ideas into the kind of print designs that act as effective marketing tools.

Around here at Hotcards, one of the biggest DIY mistakes we see involves the use of low-quality photography. Nice pictures are essential to great print design, but pictures that aren't so nice, or that aren't used properly, can really hurt the quality of your print materials.

Glen, who is one of our amazing graphic designers, makes the point when he says that you've only got about 1 second to capture attention with a print design. By using too many pictures, or by using low-quality, blurry pictures, you run the risk of instantly turning your audience off, and relegating your postcard or flyer to the trash.

Whether you're creating your own print design, or bringing photos to your designers for them to use, you'll want to either hire a professional photographer, or use a high-end camera to ensure the quality of your images.

THE camera to get, if you have any intention of taking more than a handful of pictures for the promotion of your products or services, is a digital SLR. Digital SLR cameras take amazing pictures, and they beat the pants of the average digital camera for several reasons:

  • They're fast. Being able to zoom and focus quickly means that your shot won't disappear while you wait.
  • The SLR viewfinder shows you exactly what the camera sees, very unlike the average digital.
  • They can be used with a variety of different, interchangeable lenses.
  • They're extremely light-sensitive, which means you don't need to always be using a flash to take great pictures in low light.

Most DSLRs run between about $600.00 and $2000.00. But don't roll your eyes just yet! The consumer favorite when it comes to SLRs is the handy-dandy Canon EOS Digital Rebel. You can come by a very basic one of these babies online for as low as $500.00. And you'll be hard pressed to take a bad picture ever again.


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