web design

Can Print Be For the Web and Survive?

Can Print Be For the Web and Survive?

Check out For Print Only to find out! Life is funny. Just a couple of years ago, it was hard to find information about printing online. Web-to-print services were just starting out, and there were only a handful of real 'print authorities' contributing to a web-based print discussion on anything like a regular basis. Most interestingly, there were very few print designers talking about and showing off their work on the web. Today, as print struggles against the looming threat of extinction (and I mean threat not so much in the 'impending' sense as in the 'receiving death threats on a daily basis' sense), all of a sudden, everybody's online. And all of a sudden, printers and print designers are using the very medium that menaces our future to communicate the enduring vitality of our craft. Like I said, life is funny. As a perfect example of this emerging trend, take a look at the fabulous new branch of UnderConsideration […]

Print Design Posts of the Week 3

Print Design Posts of the Week 3

Inaugural printing, old stuff, etc. We've got a good collection of links this week. Don't forget to submit anything interesting, informative, or surprising that you'd like to see on this list! Print in the Communication Ecology is a great blog by print expert Michael Josefowicz a.k.a. dr. droock. The good doctor writes eloquently on the future and history of the printing industry, and he's even talking about how Print is the Next Big Thing – kinda like Don't Stop the Presses. The Beauty of Urban Decay on Smashing Magazine is a gorgeous collection of textures and design inspiration that would bring color and pathos to any print design plan. Vintage Record Labels. It's funny. We talk about mixtape cover design and album art, and lament the death of vinyl and the loss of large-format album cover art, but how often do we think about the label printing that used to adorn records? Gorgeous stuff. The magazine-style websites of magazines. Bringing […]

2008 Branding and Marketing Trends

2008 Branding and Marketing Trends

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 […]

Capitalizing Titles And Headlines In Print And On The Web

Capitalizing Titles And Headlines In Print And On The Web

What your copy choices say about you. A common debate came up around the office today. We were working on some mockups for a web design project (Yes! Hotcards does web design!), and when it came to putting in the page headers, no one could agree on what words should be capitalized. A Google search shows that this happens all the time. And according to various sources, there is no one right way to capitalize a headline on the web or in print. The important thing for a copywriter is to be consistent with capitalization, both within the body of a single document (i.e. a blog post or article) and throughout a publication (i.e. an entire website, book, or magazine). However, each different style of headline capitalization sends a different vibe about its author. Once you become consistent in your capitalization, you're going to be sending a strong message, kind of like your favorite cologne, your vintage sport coat, and […]

Print Design For Web Designers

Print Design For Web Designers

Is it one of those things that's just not done? Even ten years ago, it was unheard of, but nowadays, there are a ton of graphic designers out there who have almost zero experience with print design. People work with web design and motion graphics, not with inks and textiles. In the past, the challenge has been for print designers to transition to the web, but now the tables have turned. Web designers need to be able to work with print media, but the transition can be difficult. Not only is print a whole other medium, there is a serious shortage of information about print design on the web. As I've mentioned before, I think this has something to do with a far-flung conspiracy amongst print designers, who are reluctant to give up their ideas and trade secrets to the webosphere that so rudely took their place in the spotlight. But that's just me. I'm bring this subject up again […]

Designing for Everyone

Designing for Everyone

The right design strategy can make people really happy. This morning, I got an email for Bill Clinton. He was all like: “Dear Anne, The Obama campaign is already on the air with their first ad in Pennsylvania, putting their fundraising advantage to work.” That was basically the gist of the whole email, that Obama was winning because he's got more fundraising dollars than Hillary. Bill said that if I gave him five bucks, it would help Hillary catch up. I tried to email Bill back to disagree, but the address name turned out to be “Senator John Glenn,” and the actual email address was “info@hillaryclinton.com.” That's when I realized that Bill Clinton wasn't actually writing to me at all. As silly as this may sound, it's a great example of where Clinton's campaign is faltering, while Obama's is succeeding. The Obama campaign's marketing and design people are breaking their backs to make voters feel included by designing specialized web […]

John McCain’s Eerily Quiet Campaign

John McCain’s Eerily Quiet Campaign

Is he out of ideas, or is he holding back for a reason? Last week, I was wondering what John McCain was going to do to keep his campaign exciting and relevant now that he's got the Republican nomination in the bag. He certainly hasn't been showing us much on the full color printing front, and the same has to be said about his web presence. In fact, as of today, his blog hasn't been posted to since he won the nomination! As it turns out, John McCain and me have been thinking the same thing. Last week, he told reporters that he's not sure what his campaign is going to do, either! He turned this race around for himself by getting personal with NH voters and journalists, but he can't use this same strategy while running a national campaign. The thing is, it's not actually as hard as McCain is making it out to be. With the flexibility and […]

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!

Smearfest 2008 Begins

Smearfest 2008 Begins

Websites reserved exclusively for opponent-bashing come into vogue this week. Those heady days of Dems campaigning based on principles of fair-minded togetherness are officially at an end. Not only have democratic primary candidates begun to tear each other to pieces, they're keeping score in the form of detailed blow-by-blow websites dedicated exclusively to chronicling each other's slights and failings. But it's not fair to say that all candidates are getting fierce. So far, I've only seen sludge-shoveling URLs from the Clinton and Obama camps. I guess strategists have decided it's time that at least one of these front-runners takes a serious dive. After all, if one succeeds in seriously ousting the other, the champion will come out of the primaries that much stronger, right? Erm. Maybe campaigners should take a minute to consider this perspective on changing courses (a.k.a. getting nasty) midstream. Clinton's mudslinging site is called, modestly as ever, “The Fact Hub.” There, curious voters can get the 'facts' […]

Check Out the Brand-New, Redesigned Hotcards Site!

Check Out the Brand-New, Redesigned Hotcards Site!

It's been in the works for a long time, and at last it's here, and better than ever… Welcome one and all to the new, improved online home of Hotcards low-cost printing! Have a look around, get to know the place, and let us know what you think. One of the most exciting new features on the site is the overhauled Political and Union Printing section. Here, we've compiled a library of articles that offer tips and insights into printing for political campaigning. In this same section, you'll also find links to our Political Printing blog, where we track trends in the current election campaign season and discuss hot political topics of the day. Another cool feature that you might want to learn more about is the Hotcards widget, which allows Mac users to track and manage their Hotcards orders from the comfort and convenience of their desktop. If you're just poking around online for some inspiration, have a look […]

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