graphic design

Types of Designers to Avoid

Types of Designers to Avoid

There are innumerable reasons for not hiring a particular designer, but these we can reduce to warning bells which can typically warn an employer (or contract employer) that a particular designer will be more trouble than he, or she is worth. LUCKILY, Hotcards doesn't have any of these types of designers, which means you're pretty much assured an awesome experience if you hire us to handle your next design project! (Shameless plug 😉 The Deity – designers of this type simply can't do any wrong. Everything that they do is like manna from heaven, regardless of what your impression of it is. Arrogant doesn't quite cut it, as that's a personality flaw that can be overcome if there's adequate talent on display.This is more akin to a kind of deluded arrogance that is inexplicable. Certainly not someone who you'd like to collaborate with given a choice. The Safe-player – These are designers who don't stand out much. They have basic […]

They’re Weird, But These T-shirts Actually Have a Point, Usually.

They’re Weird, But These T-shirts Actually Have a Point, Usually.

The world is positively swimming in people who see themselves as t-shirt designers/ illustrators. Ads for their puntastic-abominations are everywhere on the internet, and in most cases, the stuff is pretty much… well, you get it. One exception is a chap from Malaysia by the name of Chow Hon Lam aka Flying Mouse, who lets people have it with both barrels when he unleashes a t-shirt design. There’s an element of absurdity as there pretty much always is with this stuff, but the concepts and illustrations go farther than the usual pun stuff. They’re pretty funny!

The Gift of Printing, Part 2

The Gift of Printing, Part 2

Unique holiday goodies at your printer's! Today, our printing gift list continues with some of the most one-of-a-kind gifts money can buy, at prices that fit a recession-conscious holiday season. 5. Graphic Design Whether it's a wedding invitation or a business card, everybody needs print design services at some point, and a gift certificate for graphic design work might be the most unique gift of all. Even better, it's one of those gifts that you actually get to do something fun with after the holidays, and that's the best kind of gift to receive. 4. Hang Tags For the crafty soul. We all know someone who makes everything from clothes and purses, to salsa and fudge. Personalized hang tags can be used to attach a stylish signature to all those homemade items. Whether your loved one sells their work at craft markets or gives everything away as gifts, printing hang tags lets them attach their name, and a unique flair, […]

Should There Be A Law Against Digitally Altered Images?

Should There Be A Law Against Digitally Altered Images?

We were just trying to have a good time, Photoshop, but you went too far! Weren't we just talking about how to avoid designing controversial print ads? Ah, if only more of you would read the hard-hitting editorials I put up here (Ralph Lauren, I'm looking at you). The designer's label is increasingly under fire due to a recent print ad that had been photoshopped to show a model so freakishly thin that her head appeared larger than her body. There was an enormous outcry, of course, as people who viewed the ad were reported to have fainted, become ill, gone completely mad, and in at least one instance, slipped into a coma. And the uproar is only getting worse, as the Ralph Lauren label fired the model in question. Jilted beauty Filippa Hamilton chose today – Lauren's 70th birthday – to reveal that she lost her job for being “too fat.” You have to wonder if the graphic designer […]

Best Disney/Marvel Mashup Galleries

Best Disney/Marvel Mashup Galleries

Now your childhood IS just one big jumble of images! As my many thousands of readers know, I like to keep things fresh around here, so while yesterday we discussed the future of the printing industry, today we'll have a look at some hilarious graphic design awesomeness brought to you by yesterday's announcement that Disney acquired Marvel Entertainment and the 5,000-or-so characters of the Marvel Universe. Intending to write a little post speculating on the design of a Disney/Marvel logo, I was blown away to discover that the web is already awash with hundreds of pieces of Disney/Marvel mashup art. This has got to be the corporate merger that has generated the most design inspiration in history. Sketchers are sketching, painters are painting, and even writers are fast writing out new crossover storylines. You can check out some of the best Disney/Marvel mashup galleries on Super Punch, BleedingCool, The Fire Wire, and of course, flickr and DeviantART. No word yet […]

The Politics of Un-Design

The Politics of Un-Design

Does the border signage controversy risks destabilizing our national brand? It's not always election campaign season, but that doesn't mean that printing and graphic design ever stop being political. One of the single biggest challenges any creative team faces in today's communications climate is how to produce collateral – in print, online or anywhere else – that's going to make everyone absolutely happy. Over the last couple of years, it's become abundantly clear that an overly in-your-face print ad, or an ill-conceived package redesign, can cause the kind of upheaval online – on blogs and in forums – that can damage a brand severely. And even when a brand responds to criticism, and changes or apologizes for a controversial campaign, let's face it, you can't make a design decision disappear. A very big example of this causing a stir in the design community right now is the dismantling of a piece of federal graphic design. A Canada-U.S. border crossing station […]

You Suck at Photoshop

You Suck at Photoshop

A Tutorial Even if you don't suck at Photoshop, these videos can be very instructive. It's not often that graphic design genius of this caliber comes along… Continue reading to see more videos… Isn't Donny helpful? And the best part is that his tips apply to both print design AND web design!

CNN/YouTube Republican Debate

CNN/YouTube Republican Debate

The line between political printing and video begins to blur… Over the last week, I've been poking around on the websites of Presidential primary candidates, both Democrat and Republican. I've been searching for more direct mail booklet designs to critique. What I've discovered is that, although not every candidate has a booklet PDF on their website, every candidate does have a ton of political print designs available for their supporters to buy and/or download. It's interesting to see how the internet – a medium that represents the frontier of communication, networking, and campaigning – isn't working to reduce the amount of political printing we are seeing in this campaign, but rather to increase the range and distribution of print materials. The Mitt Romney campaign, for example, has got a page of various handouts that supporters can download and have printed to distribute to their friends. Fans of Mitt can also download a little email signature that looks like a yard […]

Graphic Design of Yesterday and Today

Graphic Design of Yesterday and Today

As it turns out that artists through the ages have a lot in common… Whether we're working with paints and brushes, or computer programs and tablets, the creative impulse is always to push our medium to the furthest reaches of our imagination, which turns out to be…a land where beautiful women frolic in fantastic settings? Wow, who'da thunk it? I came across a nice post in Smashing Magazine today compiling the work of a bunch of really brilliant graphic designers. Although none of our Hotcards designers are on there, it's still worth checking out. SM has framed the post as a great source of inspiration for other designers. The first thing I noticed when scrolling through the images was that 60 – 70% of them are built around scantily-clad women. This, I think, is a fairly good indicator of what the truest source of design inspiration is for many graphic artists. The pattern-based vector art trend seems to get the […]

New Macs!

New Macs!

The thrills! The chills! The size scandal that's rocking the nation! It's a great day in the design world whenever a new Mac comes out, and the introduction of the newest round of iMacs today is no exception. But some critics are asking: has Apple gone too far? It's on the cover of all the tabloids, and insiders say that friends and family of the iMac are worried. The iMac's new, stick-thin look is generating rumors of drug abuse and secret surgeries. Worst of all, many parents are asking Apple what kind of example the iMac is setting for our nation's children! With what some are calling the 'fourth generation' of iMacs, Apple seems to be sending a message: You can never be too rich, or too thin! Apple has gotten rid of its 17 and 19-inch models and replaced them with a 20-inch model, which is the new minimum standard. “It's appalling,” says Mavis Bickle of Sioux City, Iowa. […]

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