I’m Pat Creedon, owner of Pat Creedon Design, Inc. I work with clients that want a consistent, strong branded look to their ads, posters, ebooks, white papers, web and social media images, emails, signage, logos and brochures. I work full time as a Senior Graphic Designer and so am always doing similar projects on the brand of the company I work for. In the header above you can see that there are stacks of the 300+ page style book I helped to design featured in a new Manhattan location. To see more of the work I do for for this brand, other major brands at a previous company I worked for, as well as my own clients, go to Work or Services in the navigation above.
Changing tab stop types
When setting tab stops in the Tabs panel, you can cycle through the four kinds of stops (Left-Justified, Right-Justified, Center-Justified, and Align to Decimal or Specified Character) by simply Option/Alt-clicking on any placed stop.
To create a set of repeating, equally spaced tabs across a paragraph, right-click on the tab stop and select Repeat Tab from the contextual menu.
I was in a coffee shop the recently where I picked up this little flyer for a flea market.
I like the colors and the fun design. But as I read it I realized it’s missing a vital piece of information. Where is this taking place? There’s only a photo and the town name on it to give me a clue. I don’t know the building in the photo though so there’s no way for me to get there even I wanted to. That made me think about why just having pretty type, pictures and color on a page is not enough. For graphic design to serve its true purpose, it must communicate effectively. If this had that piece of information it would have been very effective because the design got my attention which is half the battle.
Do not get distracted from this topic by going to check out that message that just popped up or seeing what’s going on at Facebook! I have found a way to streamline my thoughts so they stay on topic for the length of time I need to get things done. The best way I do that is to time activities. I literally set a timer in my smart phone and work on say a client project for a set amount of minutes. Then I take a another timed interval to do something business-related like filing jobs such as I mentioned in last week’s blog. Of course I also need a fun break because all work and no play makes for a dull day! This way to reduce distractions works for me. What works for you?
I keep a special file folder for ongoing work, trying always to put in what’s latest. That way when a client refers to something like that last PowerPoint or the white paper I did for them I can find it right away, even if they reference it by some other name.
I file using job numbers and I invoice that way too. I don’t expect my clients to name things the same way I do though. So by keeping up with my filing of what’s latest, it helps me keep from spending more time trying to track something down than actually working on it. (Which used to happen more often than I care to admit!) But it can take time to file and when I’m busy it’s not a priority. However, I can do it in short spurts between other things to keep it from being too tedious. Then when the effort pays off with time savings later it reinforces the motivation to keep on top of it. Well, I’ve got to get back to filing now!
I sometimes buy items simply because I like the graphic design. I’ve been known to wear T-shirts from teams or places I have no relationship to. Here are some examples:
It tends to cause the occasional awkward question, like “Did you play Lacrosse at Middlebury, Vermont High School?” (No, not even in New York State where I grew up…) “No, I just liked the design so I bought it as a souvenir on a trip up there.” That causes a confused look and the person usually moves on. But I love design and show my appreciation of it this way, even if it might be hard to explain to passers-by!
Have you ever seen something printed that looked jagged and strange? Here is an example from a flyer I got a while back:
It was an obvious mistake since we all know that logo is not supposed to look like that. But what caused it to print like that? The problem was it was too low resolution. There are two types of images used in printing, vector and bitmap. Vector is done in programs like Adobe Illustrator and it can be resized up and down with no issues. Bitmap images have to have a certain number of dots per inch to reproduce correctly. Many people pull a logo or other graphic off their website send it to their graphic designer and say here, put this on my print materials. They don’t realize that the resolution on the web is much lower than what is required to print something with ink on paper. Of course why should they know that? It’s a piece of knowledge we graphic designers need to do our jobs right but other business owners know their own industries not ours. So I tell my clients to get me the original or something as close to the original as possible so it can look as good as possible. I’ve gone as far as recreating graphics and logos from scratch to get the quality needed if they couldn’t find or otherwise access better images. It’s part of being the best partner to my clients as I can be in my area of expertise.
If dpi, vector, bitmap, resolution etc. are like another language to you then allow us to keep your print materials looking as perfect and professional as your small business deserves!
I’ve never written a song. I wouldn’t know where to begin. Well maybe I’d try to learn an instrument first or learn to read music! But without even some rudimentary knowledge like that I doubt a song will be penned by me anytime soon. If you’ve never designed a brochure, logo, website or similar where would you start? You have a computer and know how to use it, but is that enough to start designing your business materials? Maybe not. If I needed a song written I would not rely on myself to do it. I’d definitely find an experienced songwriter. If you need a design to promote your business or brand then find an experienced Graphic Designer. It’s worth it!
I used to try running for exercise. It didn’t really take. I got as far as running a 5k once and not walking at any point during it, which was my goal. Once I accomplished that I no longer kept running as much and finally not at all. If I were to try a 5k run now there’s no way I could keep from walking a lot of it! Why? Because I’m no longer training to go that far. But I am keeping in design practice. I have a job designing every day plus I add to that with short learning sessions almost daily on Lynda.com. This keeps me ready for the next design project to come along. I’m in practice and have kept up design skills and an ever-growing knowledge of the programs I use. It gives me the confidence that I can take on any new project and run with it!
Smart business owners have both a blog and a website. Often it’s combined in an easy-to-update WordPress website. I brand these for some of my clients and they love them. They have built-in SEO and can easily have a custom URL attached to them. The great thing about these sites is that it’s something the site owner themselves can update.
There’s a bit of a learning curve to get used to the interface on the “dashboard” of WordPress. But once you get the confidence in your own ability to update your website it will only help your business. That’s because search engines are always looking for new content to rank websites higher. In other words, if you have a WordPress website and blog, keep it updated and you will have a definite edge for business growth!