22 October 2010

DIY?

Today, there was an article by CBS Moneywatch.com about when to call in the pros to do something. The number two item on the list was Formal Printing Jobs. I love this! I feel like everyone these days is going cheap on their printing. For some reason people think they can do a better job than someone who actually knows a thing or two about printing. Only with the rare exception do I relate to this logic. If you actually know what you're doing and it's a small quantity, go ahead Joe and give it a shot.

If you're trying to go cheap on something that you shouldn't be, reconsider. One of my best friends was about to get her wedding invitations for free (gasp!) before I stepped in and saved her from utter humiliation. That's one place I will never understand the logic as a girl's wedding day is one of the most important days of her life. The invitation for your wedding (or any event) sets the tone for the entire affair.

Commercial printers know their stuff. They can help you out and provide valuable insight on your specific job. Most people on the whole, I think, know little to nothing about commercial printing. Don't get me wrong, every job should not be commercially printed, but some things should. And you should not go cheap on them.

Read the article here

14 October 2010

Mad Men, Mad Props


I realize this is old, but none the less it is a great nerded-out article on typography. What surprises me the most by this is that when Mad Men first premiered there were a lot of articles talking about the extensive research done by the crew to show authentic (or authentic looking) props for everything from vintage Tanqueray labels to the Slinky that the kids play with in one episode.

Read the article here

02 October 2010

Not My Type

NYC has been mandated to change all of its street signs. Why? Because they are in all caps. The Federal Highway Administration has determined that a mixed case of uppers and lowers are easier to read. Which they are. It looks like the FHA is just now catching on to what typographers have known for ages. Of course a mix of uppercase and lowercase are easier to read. In this day and age, most people equate all caps to someone yelling.

In printed matter, serif typefaces have more readability than sans serif. On a computer screen, most would argue that sans serifs are easier on the eyes. I wonder if they thought about this before deciding to keep these signs in sans serif fonts. The new font that will adorning these new signs is called Clearview and these new signs will cost the city approximately $27.5 million.

It seems fitting to me that, in NYC especially, there was always a sign that appeared to be yelling at you.

01 October 2010

A Quick Lesson In Color

Yesterday I heard a "graphic designer" say, "Really there's no reason why you should ever design in CMYK." I almost burst out laughing.

For those of you who may not know, or haven't figured it out yet, I have a heavy printing background. I studied printing prior to studying visual communication. And all of the knowledge that I have gained about printing has helped me immensely in becoming a better designer... that's another post though.

First off, let's talk about my four favorite colors--cyan, magenta, yellow and black... otherwise known as CMYK. These are the primary pigment colors in which most everything you see printed in full color is comprised off. They are also the four toners in your inkjet/laser printer.

These differ substantially from the primary colors of light, otherwise known as RGB (red, blue, green). CMY are considered subtractive color and RGB are additive color. If you add R+G+B, you get white. If you subtract 100% C&Y&K, you get white. If you add C+M+Y, you get a muddy brown. Black is the key (K) to achieving a better spectrum.

If you are looking to design something for the web, use RGB. Anything for print should be CMYK. I realize that pre-flight software will adjust colors and even your printer will print and RGB image, but shouldn't you try from the very beginning to get the best color in the end?

My guess is that at some point in time the logo you designed will in fact, be on press utilizing the CMYK color space. You should plan accordingly.