You asked! Recently, several blog readers have asked the same question: what do I need to do to put together a print campaign? What kind of collateral should I design? To provide you with an in-depth answer, and a walk-through of all the different pieces a strong campaign needs, we put a feature article on the subject up here. Enjoy! And if you have any other questions about designing for print or printing, in general, don't hesitate to ask!
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 […]
…are we headed for a new, web-wide world? There seems to be little point in fighting it. Every day, web design and print design are coming closer together. Elements are jumping the fence, experts in one field are being asked to design for the other, and any printer or advertiser claiming to provide a 'complete' service has to create collateral that transfers effectively over both media. And perhaps this Vulcan-esque design meld is never more obvious than when we look at logos. A recent feature in The New York Times points out that many major brands are redesigning their logos in favor of a “friendlier, more approachable” style. As author Bill Marsh suggests, colors are getting lighter, edges are getting rounder, and warm, gentle touches of sparks and greenery are replacing harsh power-symbolism. Huge brands like Wal-Mart, Kraft, Packard-Bell, and Target are making the change. Why? According to Marsh, it's because the recession is the key issue of 2009, much […]
Movin' on from 'I'm Lovin' It' to 'It's good for you'??? There are a lot of companies out there worrying about the economy right now, but McDonald's is not one of them. Because what happens during a recession? Fewer people go out to eat at fancy restaurants, and more people eat fast food. Cheap, fast, greasy, salty – who could ask for more? The only thing standing between McDonald's and an even larger drooling customer base is its reputation for being, well, incredibly bad for you. The task of McDonald's branders has always been to distract attention from this fact, however, the fast food giant has still suffered long and hard for having a reputation for being synonymous with 'bad for you.' Hence, while other major ad-spenders are cutting back, McDonald's is undergoing a major rebrand of all its print collateral – from packaging and placemats, to billboards and vehicle wrap printing – it's all changing to send a fresh, […]
The Hotcards list continues: 6 – 10 More shameless self-promotion techniques for creative risk-takers who know how to turn downtime into opportunity. 6. Design Cool Websites and Print For Free The worst thing you can do after you lose a job is sit around and mope. You're depressed, but acting depressed just makes you more depressed about being depressed. Give yourself a week or two, and if that new job doesn't come rolling in, get out and put your skills to work pro bono. If you're a tech person, there's probably a million people who've been asking you to help them with building a personal website or solving their computer problems. If you're a design person, how about putting together that CD artwork for your friend's band, or that print collateral you've been promising for your aunt's small business? The logic behind this is that if you keep working, eventually, someone's going to start paying you for it again. By […]
What worked last year, and what will work in 2009. Often, commercial printing involves being part of a large-scale branding effort. Our print design and web design departments also need to stay up to date on the latest trends. So when Advertising Age came out with its list of brand winners from 2008, it seemed like the perfect time to do a little trend tracking… Balanced Ad Channels One thing that really stood out for me was the balance popular brands seem to be maintaining between different forms of advertisement. TV commercials are almost always accompanied by outdoor print buys, while direct mail printing channels consumer attention towards a website with games or video to created extended brand engagement. Brand Activism The biggest trend, in print, online, and on the air over the last year seems to have been brand activism. Companies as diverse as Jim Beam, American Express, and Haagen-Dazs launched campaigns to raise brand appeal and awareness through […]
…and how it could improve the effectiveness of print design. I read an old interview with sign and symbol expert Mies Hora where he was describing the ideal sign system. And I'm not talking about astrology or any other esoteric art here. Sign systems, for our purposes, are things like road signs, the signs that direct us around public areas, and signs that provide warnings. Hora says that the ideal sign system includes no words, and can be standardized universally. For example, if we wanted to create a set of symbols that could be used to direct people around every airport in the world, it would have to use no words, so that it superseded language barriers, AND include images universally relatable enough so that anyone can understand them. Creating sign systems is kind of like the science of creating effective communication. I wonder, how difficult would it be to communicate using only images, and no copy or words of […]
Make a powerful visual statement, again and again. The future of advertising may be online, but that doesn't mean the end for print advertising. In fact, it just means that print campaigns will be able to reach that many more viewers! It's unfortunate that some forms of print media have suffered due to the advent of, most recently, online advertising. Print advertising designers have also felt the shift as more money has gone into advertising online and smaller percentages of ad budgets have been allocated to advertising in newspapers and magazines. Poster, flyer, brochure, banner, and postcard printing – just a few of our specialties here at Hotcards – have, fortunately, experienced no such slippage. In fact, video advertising just added to print advertising's visibility. Today, a print design is seen not only in the locations where it is placed for promotional purposes, it's also reproduced over and over again in video – if advertisers know what they're doing, that […]