Graphic design is taking your image or logo and making it visually appealing to your audience. A complicated process, graphic design involves resizing, enhancing and tweaking an image, wrapping text around it, cropping it and incorporating it with other elements to make it just so. It is an art form that takes time, patience and high levels of skill. In business, it is a type of art that can help you sell. Unless you're prepared to invest in design, you will be wasting your money on paying for brochures or branding.
Many times, people with Photoshop or other design programs, think that they can do their own designs. These designs might look great in theory, but in practice, they usually don't work, resulting in deliverables that reflect badly on the branding company. It usually requires much time from the graphic designer to edit images to ensure that they are print-ready. It is usually better to simply give your designer a list of ideas and leave him/her to get on with it. Companies that are faithful to their brands are prepared to spend money on them - their company image is at stake here.
Qualified designers know the latest trends, ink colours, end application, DPI of images, and what is appealing to your target audience. Just because you like a specific design, does not mean it will work in practice. That's why, for best results, you should rely on a qualified graphic designer, who will take the necessary steps to ensure that you get the best result.
Some of the other mistakes people make are:
Using Stock Images
Qualified designers use stock images, however, clients are not always prepared to pay for them. Stock images are better than simple snapshots; they are taken by professional photographers who know what they are doing. Stock images are also not as expensive as you may think, we use sites which have great images for $10 each.
Working with a qualified designer also means that they are building a brand for you - not just an image or a brochure. Your company emerges with a better identity.
The end application determines the size and resolution used. While you can put a smaller, lower quality image on a coaster or flyer, you need a much better quality image for a billboard. Certain images work in certain applications, for instance indoors or outdoors, on a vehicle or on a wall. This does not only apply to image size and quality, but also to the theme of the images you plan on using.
Differences Between RGB Images and CMYK Images
RGB stands for Red, Green, Blue, and it is a computer screen colour.
CMYK stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Key (which is black). CMYK mixes ink, which is seen on a white background, whereas RGB inserts light. When the colours mix, you get white and where there are no colours, you get black.
Due to these different colour standards between a computer screen and printed image, the colours will not be the same.
If you have a picture taken of a cellphone, it is in RBG format. We convert it into CMYK, and the colours change completely. It is therefore important, when supplying a document, to convert all the images into CMYK. It takes us as long to rework and repair artwork as it would to simply let us handle all of it on your behalf. Therefore, you are incurring additional costs and end up with an inferior product. The image printed on your desktop printer will never match the design you are trying to achieve. It requires a professional setup.
Not only is there a difference between the inks and the colours, but also between the different types of printers, namely inkjet, laser, litho and digital.
Don't waste your time trying to design images. Rather speak to your graphic designer right from the start, and if you are particular about your colours, make sure that your designer gives you colour references, namely pantone and CMYK breakdowns. That way, you know which colours you are supposed to get. The pantone colours are vital when you want a specific colour, and you should ensure that you get the right colour across your brand.
Bonus Tip: It would be worth investing in a one-colour version of your logo in addition to the full-colour version. While the full-colour version is important for your website, etc., you should have a one colour version for your corporate gifts.
We would like to encourage you to implement the guidelines in this article straight away. If you are not sure how to get started or how it best applies to your business, please contact us and we will be happy to share some further thoughts with you.