Friday, February 20, 2009

12 Tips for Great Graphics, Please!

Graphics Gotta be GREAT! by Pam Perry

I see so many people with computer programs that "do" graphics making a mess. Just because it comes on your computer or you can buy it at Best Buy does not mean you are a great graphic artist. It will look "home made" - and trust me - you don't want that. Not if you want to look PROFESSIONAL> SO, at least do these things if you're going to compose a brochure, flyer, postcard or book cover!

1. Chose the right paper
by thinking about the purpose of the document. Will it be mailed, handed out or distributed some other way? The weight and texture of the paper speaks volumes and should be practical for its use.

2. Maximize your impact by using "white space"
effectively and creating balance to your layout. Professional designers are experienced in making the simple look elegant.

3. Create a look that commands attention
and invites the reader into a document by using the proper size and style font. Minimize the use of multiple font styles in one document to avoid creating the look of a "ransom note." Less is more. Simple is best.

4. Communicate through color by supporting the theme and essence of your corporate ID. The printing process will impact your design and affect the budget. Make sure your printer understands the purpose and intent of the document.

5. Maintain a consistent look
in multiple media by using the same fonts and colors, and placing your logo and address in the same location. This means your website, print ads, postcards, flyers, and anyplace else your ministry’s brand is presented.

6. Select a designer after reviewing their portfolio. Look for a variety of projects and products. The better designers can create completely different looks and avoid delivering "cookie-cutter" designs. Check out Juan Roberts, Bob Ivory or Tyora Moody. I love them!

7. Spend the extra money for proofreaders. It is easy to become familiar with your own work so you read what you expect to see. A trained objective eye avoids costly and embarrassing errors. It is not the graphic designer's job to catch text errors. (Pay them well, I love Leah Hubbard)

8. Produce a "print spec" form with the assistance of your printer to correctly write out the specifications for printing. This tool communicates exactly what you expect. It can be used to administer print quotations to compare print job costs.

9. Deliver powerful presentations
with exciting documents that have multiple uses in a power point slide show. Whether a presentation is being projected from a laptop computer or from a presentation folder, the layout, graphics, photos, charts, and all elements of your presentation must articulate your message in an easy-to-understand format.

10. Generate effective impressions with photos or art in any printed item by having the appropriate artwork. Most printers require 300 dots per inch (dpi). This specification is essential for delivering images with clarity. Use professional photos, especially for head shots!

11. Use clip art sparingly. It can be helpful. Apply caution to keep your material from looking too amateurish or dated. A good designer has the eye for knowing the limits.

12. Inspect what you expect. Price is often the determining factor for finding a designer. Invest in first-rate talent to reflect a top-rate ministry. It may cost a little more. "You get what you pay for" in most cases.

See too and!

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