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What is Graphic Design
File Formats
Graphic design
Concept...... What it is all about


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Be your own Boss


What is Graphic Design

Design is all around, from the packaging on ur favorite sack to the poster for that party, said to the weekend hit,design and its various concepts can be seen everywhere we go. Some  of these designs are very catchy  and portray their intended message perfectly, whilst some are just a bit much and tends to stray from its intended meaning.
Whilst design is a bit subjective, there are a few rules which if followed ,will help differentiate the  difference between good and great design and what works for the desired product.

Good designs should clearly  conveys ideas and information, the design should emphasize the message.
Good design conveys information and communicates ideas. Poor design impairs this communication by getting in the way. 

Balance is based on the notion, "the whole is the sum of its parts." Using balance, design elements or the "parts" are organized to create a whole that has equilibrium.

Proportion- Similar to balance, good proportion maintains an agreeable relation of parts within the whole. It's the consideration of parts in relation to the whole.

Contrast- Contrast, created when elements are combined, provides necessary variety. Without contrast, even good design can be boring (or worse, ineffectual). While balance and proportion help to maintain cohesiveness, contrast adds interest.

Economy- Economy is the same as the "less is more" principle. On average, simplicity tends to emphasize a design's intent more powerfully than complexity.

Direction- When elements are arranged well, "movement" or the illusion of direction is created. This helps lead the viewer's eye and can emphasize the design's intent.

Emphasis- Also known as dominance, this condition exists when design elements are arranged to create a hierarchy of visual importance. For example, the cover of a book might include a title, subtitle, and the author's name.

Space- Perhaps most important to overall quality of design — as important as emphasis, but overlooked by many designers — is space. Including space (often called white space) in a design provides its other elements with all the characteristics listed above. More often than not, a design fails without space.

While the principles listed above are vital, they are not comprehensive. Thousands of books have been published on the subject of graphic design; depending on your interests and needs, seek out one or more of these for study.

File Formats

In a recent conversation at my workplace, it came to my attention that common file formats are not such a common knowledge. I have therefore composed this blog to provide an explanation based on information found online. This is just a few of the more commonly used formats in Graphic design.

Joint Photographic Experts Group(JPEG) is a Compressed, lossy file format, for raster (pixmap) data only. it is  mostly for photo-type images on the Web.  This format can hold RGB data; many compression levels and other options available.

The Portable Network Graphics (PNG) file format was created as the free, open-source successor to GIF. The PNG file format supports 8 bit paletted images (with optional transparency for all palette colors) and 24 bit truecolor (16 million colors) or 48 bit truecolor with and without alpha channel - while GIF supports only 256 colors and a single transparent color. Compared to JPEG, PNG excels when the image has large, uniformly colored areas.

Portable Document Format(PDF), also known as “Adobe Acrobat format.” Not really a “graphic file format,” since it’s designed to contain entire pages including graphics, type, vector shapes, and overall layout; but I include it here because it can, in fact, be used purely as a graphic file format (to contain one or more images).

Graphic Image File format (GIF) Indexed color file, for raster (pixmap) data only. Primarily for synthetic, somewhat flat images such as logos, diagrams, navigation buttons, etc. Graphic Image File format uses a CLUT (color lookup table) to define the colors as though they were individual color chips, and only supports up to 256 colors per image. Although it can simulate continuous-tone colors by dithering, that’s generally best left to the JPEG or PNG formats. GIF is rarely a good choice for non-Web use

Scalable Vector Graphics(SVG) is an open standard  created and developed by the World Wide Web Consortium  to address the need (and attempts of several corporations) for a versatile, scriptable and all-purpose vector format for the web and otherwise.

Photoshop Document(PSD) Photoshop’s native file format.

The Tigged Image File Format(TIFF) format is a flexible format that normally saves 8 bits or 16 bits per color (red, green, blue) for 24-bit and 48-bit totals, respectively, usually using either the TIFF or TIF filename extension. TIFF's flexibility can be both an advantage and disadvantage, since a reader that reads every type of TIFF file does not exist.

I know there are many other file formats available and a lot more explanation will be needed in other to fully understand this formats in its entirety. I hope however, that this introduction will be someone helpful in giving you a basic understanding of this subject.

Graphic design

This post will be focusing on other blogs from which i draw my inspiration.

Concept...... What it is all about

Conceptualization  can be seen as the inventing or contriving an idea or explanation and formulating it mentally. Building a concept to achive a particular design is not a simple task but they can be achieved by understanding the particular goals and objectives of the project that you have been given. 

Once we have gathered this information, we will need to decide on the best way to get this message communicated to the target audience. This is very important because if the Target Market is a group of kids one can not design a product that they can not understand. The message has to be designed in such a way as to ensure that the message is fully understood. Thus the importance of conceptualization. If the original intent of the client is not captured  in the Conceptualization stage, the entire design may become faulty.

Design Brief

I was reading an article resently concerning tips on how to be a great Graphic Designer. I found this article to be very interesting so i desided to repost to my blog. It was take n from a site called Justcreativedesign.com. Hope you enjoy.
The Design Brief
How do you get the design you want? The perfect design you envision in your head? … The design brief is the answer.
Whether you are a designer or a client, an effective design brief is the single most critical factor in ensuring that a project is successful.
This article will tell you how to write an effective design brief that will be both beneficial to the client and the designer.
This article will be based from the client’s perspective.
What Is A Design Brief?
First off, you may want to know what a design brief is. A design brief is something that is vital to any design project as it will provide the designer(s) with all the information needed to exceed your expectations.
A design brief should primarily focus on the results and outcomes of the design and the business objectives of the design project. It should not attempt to deal with the aesthetics of design… That is the responsibility of the designer.
The design brief also allows you (the client) to focus on exactly what you want to achieve before any work starts on the project.
A good design brief will ensure that you get a high quality design that meets your needs, providing you have  chosen the right designer.
How To Write An Effective Design Brief
If you answer these questions below in an ordered and detailed fashion, your design brief will be 90% done… the other 10% will come from further questions from the designer after you submit your brief.
Have fun answering the questions and remember, provide as much detail as possible! This does not mean one line answers.
What does your business do?
Tip: Never assume that the designer will know anything about your company. Be clear and  concise  and avoid jargon when replying.
  • What does your company / organisation do?
  • What is your company’s history?
What are the goals?  Why?
  • What is the overall goal of the new design project?
  • What are you trying to communicate and why?
  • Are you trying to sell more products or get awareness of your product / service?
  • How do you differ from your competitors?
  • Do you want to completely reinvent yourself or are you simply updating your promotional material?
Tip:  You should also provide old promotional material to assist the designer.
Who is the target market?
  • What are your target market’s demographics & phychographics? ie. the age, gender, income, tastes, views, attitudes, employment, geography, lifestyle of those you want to reach.
Tip: If you have multiple audiences, rank them in terms of importance.
What copy (text) and pictures are needed?
Tip: The copy and pictures used in a design are as crucial as the design itself and you should clearly state who is going to be providing the copy and pictures if needed.  You may need to look into getting a professional copywriter / photographer – ask your designer for some recommendations.
  • What copy needs to be included in the design? Who is providing the copy?
  • What pictures / photographs / diagrams etc need to be used? Who is providing these?
What are the specifications?
  • What size is the design going to be?
  • Where is it going to be printed / used? The web, business cards, stationery, on your car?
  • What other information should the designer know in regards to specifications?
Have you got a benchmark in mind?
  • You should provide the designer with some examples of what you consider to be effective or relevant design even if it is from your main competitors. This will set a benchmark for your designer.
  • Provide the designer with things not to do, and styles that you do not like or wish to see in your design. This will give the designer an idea of what to avoid and will avoid disappointment on your behalf.
What Is Your Budget?
  • Providing a budget prevents designers wasting valuable time and  resources when trying to maximise your budget.
  • Providing the budget upfront also allows designers to know if the project is going to be worthwhile to complete. Make sure you are worth their time.
What is the time scale / deadline?
  • Give the designer a detailed schedule of the project and set a realistic deadline for the completion of the work. You should take into account the various stages of the design project such as consultation, concept development, production and delivery.
Tip: Rushing design jobs helps no one and mistakes can be made if a complex job is pushed through without time to review, however, there are times when a rush job is needed, and in these cases you should be honest and upfront about it.Tips For The DesignerAs a designer it is important to have a template such as this one to give to clients as clients will not always come to you with a design brief – feel free to use this one as you please. By having a template ready, it shows them your professionalism and ultimately saves them (and you) a lot of time and money.Do you have any more tips of what should be in a design brief? Leave them in the comments below

Multimedia Graphic Design

Recently I  joined a creative agency as a new Production Artist. For the first couple of weeks, I was in complete disarray. Being relatively new in the professional field, I was unaccustomed to working in an office environment, work for me was always freelance.  
Here are a few insightful tips that I picked up during my short time working in the field. This not only applies to Graphic Design but to any field that one may deside to venture into.
The dilemma of not being able to adjust in a new working environment is what every newbie faces. Newly joining designers constantly face issues in adjusting to the new set-up and fail to deliver their true potential. This happens especially when you don’t know what the tools of the trade are. Today I would like to assist my newbie graphic designer friends in adapting to the new environment with these valuable career advices:
1. Learn From Others- many of the individuals who you will be working with will have a bit more experience in the field than you. It is totally ok to"bug' them(if they are as cool as the persons in my office)you will be fine.
2. Ask questions- there is nothing as a dumb question. Questions were meant to be asked and only be asking will one truly learn what is there to be learnth.
3.Be a Team Player- work alongside individuals to make the team be better at what they are doing
4.Keep Your Stuff Organized- it is good to know where everything is, so that when it is needed, it can easily be found.
5.Improve Via Criticism- individuals tend to be very fond of there own work(even if its crap). Learn from individuals who have been in your shoes and know a little about what they are talking about.
6.Don’t Make Enemies- you will not like everyone in your office, but plz try to get along with everyone. This is may your work a bit easier and enjoyable
7. Defend your work- stand up for your work as long as it is in a respectable way.
These are just a few tips that helped me at my new job, hopefully it will be useful to you.

New Venture

This a an example of a cards that Smalz will be designingWriting has always been a great part of my life, now with my  new found love of design, I have decided to make both work together. Therefore, Smalz Design is now creating Greeting Cards for any occasion. If you are tired of the same dull, boring cards and just want to get that special touch for your someone special, Smalz Design is the one for you.

If you have any suggestions on topics you would like to see featured, please feel free to ad your comment.

This is a Graphic Design element of the Cards that Smalz will be making

Follow the lead

With the competition we face every day it is very important that as a small business, you will know how to have the lead. This 6 steps with be the important steps you will take in life.
  • Get some experience
  • Build a winning team
  • Fight inexperience with advice
  • Write a bulletproof business plan
  • Raise money
  • Follow the money

Advantages of Being Your own Boss

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Advantages Being Your Own Boss
http://www.FollowMyFormula.comAdvantages Being Your Own Boss! No dress code or office hours required. Work when and where you want to work. Work around kids schedules. If you are tired of being told...

Tips for young Professionals

A habit is something that you create by repeating a particular behavior. Do something over and over and it will become a habit. Having done this habit fro a particular time period it becomes a attitude.
An attitude is a habitual way of thinking. You can develop an attitude by taking conscious control of your way of thinking. By constantly reinforcing your way of thinking, you develop an attitude. Habits and attitudes can make you or break you. Many a hapless business has been broken by the habits and attitudes of its owners. Here is a compilation of the common habits and attitudes of successful entrepreneurs.
  • Focus
  • Think
  • See the opportunities. Opportunities are everywhere. They really are. It's just that most people can't see them. But you must. Most of us expect opportunity to beacon to us with flashers and sirens, but that isn't how it normally works. If opportunities were that easy to see, everyone would flock to them.
  • Don't let criticism crush you. Everyone is an expert on your problems. Realize that you're probably the best person to evaluation your own problems. Listen and give consideration to the inputs you receive, but remember, you're the person who will rise or fall on your decisions, policies, and habits
  • Don't overcharge. Customers are quick to recognize value and quick to go elsewhere if they feel they are being overcharged. You're goal should be to make them customers for the long term. If the software makes it quick and easy to perform a particular service (and it should), don't charge too much for it. Consider using it as a promotional service. For instance, if you software makes it easy to generate a custom report based on the client's current body weight that shows your client how many calories she or he will burn in performing any of dozens of exercises for 30 minutes, provide it as a freebie for an initial consult. Or offer to provide these for the new members of all your local health clubs... the owner gets to provide a professional report as an incentive for joining and you get to meet every new club member when you present them with their report and explain it to them. This gives you the opportunity to get acquainted with the new member, win her or his confidence, and to leave the door open for any questions they may have. Leave them with your card. Trade a report with high perceived value for the opportunity to meet a new prospective client.
  • Don't make the mistake of figuring out how to do something after you get a customer who wants the service. Allot a week or so to learn everything your software can do for your clients. By performing the operation with your software, you'll learn how much work is involved and how long it will take you. This information will determine how much you must charge for each service.
  • Never forget why you're doing this. Sometimes, we lose sight of what we are working for. We get sucked into the day-to-day activities that we have to master to keep the show going and forget why we're doing all of this rather than something else.
  • Be willing to take calculated risks. Evaluate the benefits of doing something and compare it to the benefits of not doing it. If you can afford the consequences of failing, then do it. Wayne Dyer wrote that there were two things you needed to consider when making an important decision: One, think about how long you were going to be alive... 30... 40... another 50 years? Then think about how long you're going to be dead. There is never a better time than now to do anything... in fact "now" is the only time you can do anything!
  • Ask for business. So many things are lost to us for want of asking. Don't make the mistake of thinking that you can succeed in business without asking for it. Let everyone know what you do. Give everyone a card. Let everyone know that they can call you for a free initial consultation that may include a Calorie Expenditures Report custom-tailored to their body weight. Or offer a free six-page Initial Assessment Report. After you've done so much for the prospect up-front and without charge, they will feel somewhat obligated to work with you to some degree. Spending time with prospects is a good avenue for acquiring new business... but don't forget to ask them for it!