print design

Corporate Logo Changes For 2014, Part 1

Corporate Logo Changes For 2014, Part 1

As always, there are a gaggle of companies who felt the urgent need to make their logos fit into what they perceive to be the current landscape, if you will. Some are stunning improvements, while others fall under the category of no one cares but the company itself.  But nothing scares the bejesus out of businesses like change does, so I suppose that they all should be applauded for putting on their big boy pants and doing a little bit of it. Olive Garden made a drastic change to their logo. Can't say that it's a bad thing as their old one seemed like the kind of craptastic fake sign that you'd pick up for $4.99 in the bargain bin at a Marshalls. Their new one isn't exactly a textbook display of design prowess, but is simple and basic. If only Olive Garden could similarly tweak their menu and add a heaping helping of culinary competence.   Bacardi's former logo […]

Long-Format Print Advertising

Long-Format Print Advertising

…and a new Design Idea of the Week! A recent article in AdAge looks at the growing popularity of the long-format ad. “Branded content,” in the form of short films and music videos created by advertisers are the sexiest, if not the newest, high-end promotional tool going these days. People want entertainment, not advertising, so why not provide advertising entertainment? In response to commercials and online ad spots becoming increasing brief and punchy, many advertisers have recently gone in the opposite direction, producing 3-minute, 10-minute, and even 30-minute film-style commercials. The products being advertised act as props or storytelling elements in these long-format ads, which advertisers say are engaging consumers on whole new levels. All of which got me thinking, why can't the same principles of long-format, narrative-based advertising be applied to print? A brochure could be a novella. A catalog could be designed as a comic book. The difference in production costs should be negligible, if anything, so stop […]

Positively Print: The Print Campaign to End All Print Campaigns!

Positively Print: The Print Campaign to End All Print Campaigns!

Or, er, to kickstart a new era of print campaigns, as it were… What's so great about print advertising? If you had to explain printing's role in the publishing, advertising, news, and events worlds to, say, someone from another planet, what would you say? That's the question the bigwigs over at (deep breath) The Printing Council, Printing Industries of America, The Association for Suppliers of Printing, Publishing and Converting Technologies, and the National Association for Print Leadership are asking. All these elaborately-acronym-ed print associations have come together to host Positively Print, a contest/campaign “designed to promote the power of print in the media mix.” Positively Print asks companies involved in print production (printers, designers, marketers, creatives of all types!) to create and finance a campaign that promotes the awesomeness of print as an essential element in any advertising campaign. Positively Print is looking for “generic advocacy of print as a communications medium,” however, entries can be part of a branded […]

Print Politics: Huge Ad Spend in California Gubernatorial Race

Print Politics: Huge Ad Spend in California Gubernatorial Race

The flyers are flying! The mailers are mailing! The posters are posting! After two glorious, rock 'em sock 'em terms with the Terminator, California is looking for a new governor. And at a time when the state is as hard-hit by the recession as anywhere in the world, candidates vying for a spot in November's gubernatorial elections aren't sparing a dime on campaign spending. Under particular scrutiny, Meg Whitman, former eBay CEO turned politico. She's running for a chance at the Republican candidacy, and so far, her campaign has spent almost $60 million ($49 mil of it Whitman's own) blanketing the airwaves in commercials and the streets in political printing. She's pulled ahead of Democrat Jerry Brown and Republican rival Steve Poizner in the polls, but at a cost that makes this the most expensive nonpresidential campaign in U.S. history. The Whitman campaign has been distributing a series of direct mail pieces slamming Steve Poizner, accompanied by a URL to […]

Friday Print/Design Roundup – March 26, 2010

Friday Print/Design Roundup – March 26, 2010

Posters! Poetry! iPads? It's Friday! Here's a roundup of some of the week's best, worst, and wackiest print and print design news from around the web! Check out the always lovable Print Magazine for a rundown of the 50 Best Color Sites For Designers. Sure, y feature the usual old saws like ColourLovers and Adobe Kuler, but then things get weird… Ryan over at M-Bossed talks the problem with variable data printing, and offers some thoughts on bringing this weak technology into the future, which, seriously, folks, is where we're living. Beyond talented artist, designer, illustrator, comic nerd Neill Cameron will blow your mind with his A to Z of Awesomeness – an action hero typography of 26 poster-worthy letters complete with fabulous illustrations. H is for Hagar the Horrible Hacking Hello Kitty in Half! MSNBC hostess with the mostest Rachel Maddow took out a full-page ad in today's Boston Globe to put to rest rumors that she'll be running […]

“Power of Print” Campaign Seems to Question its Own Message

“Power of Print” Campaign Seems to Question its Own Message

Magazines, you're making a scene… “This business is perfectly legitimate.” “All my transactions are totally on-the-level, completely above-board.” “Trust me, baby. Would I lie to you?” “I am 100% confident that this is the edgiest new product on the market.” “I know your part seems small, but it's really important.” What do all these lines have in common? The fact that they are never true, and that just speaking the words actually serves to render them less true. For example, if a business is “legitimate” you don't need to call it “legitimate.” If a person is actually trustworthy, they don't need to say “trust me.” We've all dealt with people who love to throw around this type of language, but it never gets more believable. Unfortunately, these are the one-liners brought to mind by the new “Magazines, The Power of Print” campaign announced last week by a group of five major magazine publishers. The focus of the campaign is to […]

Green Printing Practices: Direct Mailing List Management

Green Printing Practices: Direct Mailing List Management

Be green! Scrub that list! For a long time, list management has been an important part of the direct mailing process. List management means to carefully oversee and thoughtfully edit the list of recipients for a piece of direct mail. The process was created to make sure that mailings were targeted, relevant, and easy for USPS to deliver. Now list management has a new responsibility: environmental stewardship. For too long, direct mail has been listed as 'junk' because poor list management leads to the wrong people receiving mailers, mailers being delivered to out-of-date addresses, and too many mailers being thrown out, unread. And that's a recipe for waste paper disaster. According to the Direct Marketing Association, these practices are no longer acceptable, particularly from an environmental perspective. However, the alternative is not necessarily to stop printing direct mail, but to maintain rigorous list management practices. Keeping clean mailing lists is an eco-must, because it ensures that campaigns do not get […]

What Has the Last Decade Taught Us About Print?

What Has the Last Decade Taught Us About Print?

That it needs to get to the point! This week, Communicate – a London-based publication that looks at the ways in which corporations conduct public and internal relations – posted an interesting article on the decade in print. Communicate asked industry types to identify their favorite pieces of print material over the last decade. And the results were very interesting. Overwhelming, respondents favored print that prioritizes readability and information quality, integrating these elements with other aspects of visual design in order to create a uniquely easy-to-use and straight-to-the-point experience. Normally, terms like “usability,” “accessibility,” and “functionality,” are used to describe web design, but in the case of the last decade's standouts in print, it seems like these same terms apply because the priority remains quality of information. So what does this say about the future of print? As print vies for consumer attention and marketing dollars with digital communication, the tendency – throughout print design – seems to be to […]

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 […]

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