Archive for March, 2012

Typography:This is how you apply and produce your text to appear with a final result that complements your images and design of the total media material, whether it is for print, web or mobile.

S long serif et sans serif

S long serif et sans serif (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dealing with typography, here are some of the common rules to abide by.

Rule # 1- Don’t use all the fonts in one document.

Most designers have his or her own accumulation of fonts, which he or she applies to each design project. Apart from the fonts in the software program being used, virtually all designers possess their own lists that are expanded to the already existing list. And since because of the availability of so many fonts, one perhaps may be lured to use as a lot of, if not all of the fonts that he or she has. Remember that simple is to a greater extent more attractive than confusion and disarray. Once you begin employing a lot of different fonts in a document, the content becomes lost in the clutter. Additionally, too many fonts can distract the reader from the real aim of the design to get a message across. All the same, this does not mean that you have got to be boring and tiresome by adhering to the established “two-font rule”, which says that you had to accept one font for headings and a different one for text. So where’s the creativeness in that? Make sure to have a reason why you prefer to deviate from the rule and decide to employ fonts.

Rule # 2- “Serif fonts are easier on the eyes than Sans Serif.”

SANS-SERIFS MOURNFUL LETTER

SANS-SERIFS MOURNFUL LETTER (Photo credit: Nick Sherman)

Sans serif type is frequently applied for headings and short numbers of text. All fonts can be made clear with a good design. With sans serif though it calls for further leading than serif type, it can present your documents with a very modernistic appearance, and is the most popular body text.

Rule # 3- Positioning two spaces after a period is a no-no.

In the past when typewriters were the thing for writers, two spaces after a period was the rule to show the close of a sentence. The onset of technology, have fonts making characters of their own, with different widths, that placing two spaces after a period is no longer needed. Occasionally, this rule could produce a quite irritating defect that makes a stop instead of helping you pinpoint the close of every sentence.

Rule # 4- Don’t use all capital letters.
One person said that while employing all capitals in the text, there are no ascenders or descenders. The two are what makes it easy to distinguish the anatomy of a word. “The anatomy of just about every word converts to a rectangle, and it’s tougher to read.” This does not mean that you can’t use capital letters. Short words or headings do appear attractive in all caps. Sans serif also acts better entirely in caps.

 
Rule # 5- Don’t center large amounts of text.
The eyes move from left to right while reading. They quickly glance over one line, then move from the right side of the page back to the left side of the page. Once the text is centered, it makes it more difficult for the eyes to find where the next text starts over again on the left side of the page, and makes it easy for the reader to skim down the lines of text. The most effective method is still to save centering to headings that do not go further than several lines deep.

Using proper typography methods can greatly enhance the look of any printed piece, web site or mobile application.

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We’ve all heard it before, the person who claims to be a graphic designer because they know Photoshop. Or how about the small business owner who creates his own website to save on costs. Maybe you know someone who printed their own business cards off a graphic design template they downloaded online. Anybody who wishes to call themselves a graphic designer these days can, they just have to buy a computer, the latest Adobe Creative Suite and give themselves the title. Does that mean they are a good graphic designer? Without any training, probably not. It doesn’t mean they can’t be good over time, but graphic design is an art form that communicates an idea or a thought with visual clarity. It is a skill. A hard skill to master. Sure, it’s a skill that can be learned.

These Common Mistakes Should Be Avoided

Too Much Stuff – Poor design is usually cluttered design. Good graphic design communicates in a clear manner, and when there is so much stuff on the paper (or screen for websites) then the message gets lost. It’s one of the most common mistakes, to keep piling on elements to the design that aren’t necessary. One of the best tips I ever got was to strip away everything that isn’t necessary to the message and that is usually the most effective design.

Bad Type – Graphic design is so much more than just pretty pictures. One of the most important, if not the most important, piece of graphic design is typography. A huge mistake graphic designers make is poor font choices and poor type layout. Typography is not just picking a nice font either. It’s the relationship of the characters to each other, to the design piece, and to the message. The shape of the font, the size of the type, the color, all these things fall under the typography category and make or break your design. Study up on typography and try not to use too many different fonts in one design. One or two fonts is usually plenty, (sometimes three). I try to keep them clean and in relation to the design.

Effects – Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign and QuarkXPress all have preset effects in the program. Some are nice, some are not so nice. Using a bunch of them together usually results in a disaster. There is a time and place for drop shadows, and even glows, but most of the other effects look pretty cheesy.

Trendy – The best graphic design transcends time. Take a look at the work of Paul Rand, http://www.paul-rand.com, his designs from the 1950’s, 60’s, 70’s and 80’s still look great today. Trendy design for the sake of trendiness is not good design. Unless you require a trend in your graphic design try to communicate with good design principles and your own creativity instead.

While working with these common mistakes in mind you’ll be able to further enhance your graphic design skills.

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Horse etched wineglass back-lighted on black background.

Photographing glass objects can be quite challenging, but there are some basic techniques that can be used to achieve fantastic results and with limited effort. Photographing glass doesn’t require expensive equipment for backdrops or even cameras themselves; it simply takes a basic understanding of how light disperses through glass and the best techniques for capturing that light in the most flattering way possible.

Graduated Background


A continuous tone background, also known as a graduated background, is a method for photographing glass objects that is popular with many industry professionals. A close examination of  any trade magazine or other publications will reveal how effective and simple this technique is. The continuous tone background allows the photographer to create an illusion of light fading into darkness as it moves away from the glass art piece. These backgrounds can be created or used independently, but they are most effective when used in conjunction with an art photography cube. The glass object is placed within the cube among the background that is curved outward and upward to create the deeper illusion of surrounding the glass object itself. These photographic cubes are relatively inexpensive and make the process of photographing glass art much more effective.

Under-lighting for Special Effects


Using a light panel beneath the glass art will have a dramatic and lasting impact on the images that are created of the glass object. This technique is ideal for clear glass objects that allow light to penetrate and travel up and through the glass to illuminate the artwork evenly. A panel light can be used independently of a cube, but is recommended that the two be used harmoniously. Under-lighting will create a natural graduated background that will bring out the natural tone and texture of the clear and transparent glass object.

Back-lighting with a Black Background


If the glass object that you have is clear, then a strong back-lighting with a black background (see photo of the Horse Etched Wineglass) will highlight the sensitive textures, cuts, and lines of the glass-work. Again, a photographer’s cube is the best solution for bringing this technique to its highest measure and achievement. Place a small black background strip in the center of the cube and add a strong lighting source behind it. Within the cube, the light will capture the best essence of the glass art. These are just a few of the techniques for photographing glass objects that I’ve tried.

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English: A portable folding reflector position...

Image via Wikipedia

Today we’re gonna talk about space in photography, Rules of Space. Everybody needs space, so does the subject in your photos. This is a rule in photography more commonly known as the rule of space. This rule states that if the subject is not looking directly to the camera, or looks out of the frame, there should be enough space for the subject to look into. This technique creates intrigue in the minds of the viewers. Studies show that people viewing this kind of image will naturally look at the area where the subject is looking at.

If you are taking pictures of moving objects like bicycles, cars, running animals and people, the image should present the moving object with more active space and less dead space. The active space is the area where the object is facing and the dead space is the area behind the subject. This strategy builds impact, shows the expression that the object is actually moving and has a destination. This also enables viewers to instinctively look to where the object is heading, thus, building excitement within the image and sets its mood. Not only does it add dramatic accents in your photos, but it also creates a flow to naturally drag the attention of viewers to the direction of the subject.