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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Video Tutorials Added

I added a few more video tutorials for Adobe Illustrator.  More drawing and working with type that you might enjoy.  Just go to the Illustrator link found under Tutorials to view.

Working on the next book and more tutorials; much more coming soon!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Raster vs Vector

If you are a graphic designer or maybe having some design work done you will hear the terms “Raster” and “Vector” at some point from a designer, printer or agency so it is good to understand what each means.  
Raster is a bitmapped digital image where all elements of the image are broken into tiny pixels.  Digital photos are raster images and composed of millions of little tiny dots or pixels when put together show off all the detail that you see with the naked eye.  These bitmap images will take the format of .gif, .jpeg, and .png to name a few.  You can enlarge and shrink raster files a small percentage but for the most part resizing an extreme amount will cause the pixels to become distorted which in turn makes the image fuzzy. 
Vector is also a digital image but unlike raster details can be edited like text and lines when saved properly.  Unlike raster these images can be resized more dramatically and still hold their integrity.  Since vector is so versatile it is typically used more for line art and logos.  Adobe® Illustrator® documents end in the format of .ai but .eps or .pdf files could also be used for a vector format as well.
At times you may start out with a vector image and have a need to convert it to raster.  For example if you create a logo in Adobe Illustrator but need to use it for a website.  Web browsers can’t read raster file formats so it needs to be converted.  Make sure you save a copy of the vector file since it is not possible to convert from raster to vector.
**This is an exerpt from book "Your New Business Logo". There are more helpful tidbits just like this one. Check out the ebook link to find out how to get your copy.**

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Enlarging the workspace in Adobe Illustrator

When working in Adobe Illustrator there are times when you need to pan out to see your entire creation and times when you need to zoom in close dramatically enlarging your work space.  There are three ways you can do this in Adobe Illustrator.
  • On the keyboard hold done the CTL key (for PC) and hit the + sign until the page view is the desired size.  To decrease you can use the same technique but use a – sign instead.
  • Click the Magnifying Glass from the Tools Palette then click it anywhere on the page. Notice the contents of the page become larger with each click. 
  • At the very bottom left corner of the window there is a number, that is the magnification percent of the page.  Click on that number in the bottom left corner and a box will open with numbers to select.  Or you can type a number in the box for a custom percent magnification.
Using one of these methods for quickly enlarging or decreasing the page while you are working in Adobe Illustrator can help your design process flow smoothly.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

25% OFF

Now get 25% off 'Your New Business Logo' ! Just use coupon code JX44Ewhen purchasing on Smashbooks to get your discount!  Offer expires 10/9 so redeem now before it goes away.

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Monday, September 5, 2011

How to hire a designer

At some point every business can benefit from hiring an in-house designer or a freelancer for random projects. Typically a Graphic Designer job posting will get resumes from print designers, where as a Web Designer posting will get resumes from just that web designers.  So for starters titling the position correctly will get more relevant applicants.
Whether you have had good, bad or any experience using a designer the truth is you want to know how capable the designer is for your needs and how much they cost. 
First to find out how capable a designer is you need to know what software they work in, the standard design software is Adobe; Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, etc.  Anyone that works in Corel or other programs is not going to deliver an industry standard product which will cost you down the road.  The industry used to be Mac only but PC is just as capable these days with no difference in software capabilities. 
Second you need to see a portfolio to truly understand the capabilities of the designer.  If a designer doesn’t have a portfolio then pass, even a student will have some sort of portfolio to showcase their work.  In addition to asking to see the portfolio ask how the designer participated in each of these projects.  At times there are collaborative teams and the designer was part of a team.  They do have the right to show the piece since they participated on the team but does that mean they can handle your project, not always.
When examining a portfolio look for balanced design with clean layouts.  Does the color scheme work well?  Are the designs organized in a way the creative is easy to read? is there a visual hierarchy that sells the product.
Finally you need to know how much the designer charges.  You can go by an hourly fee or after discussing the project you can ask for a quote for the entire project.  It does depend on the type of project and the part of country you are in but expect to pay $25 to $60 an hour for graphic design.  Find out if the designer has any specific payment terms.  Usually smaller projects are billed at the end of the project and larger projects are billed out in phases.
Remember you get what you pay for.  If you choose to go cheap and hire a student to do the job of a professional you will get student work for your final product.  Which could cost you more in the long run.