Considering branding a vehicle? Great! In the ever-crowded, noisy world of marketing and advertising, branded vehicles are still pretty unique—grabbing the attention of passersbys wherever they go. However, the success of your vehicle wrap is contingent upon capturing the right brand imaging and message to not only get the attention of the outside world, but inspire them to act as well. To make the most of your wrap, consider the following 5 helpful branding tips:
1. Create messaging using the 3 second rule
Remember that your vehicle will likely be in motion for the better part of its interaction with others. Excessive text or messaging that requires reading for more than 3 seconds will get lost in translation. You need to shape your message to have an impact at three stages 1. when flying down the road at top speed (this will be largely the prominence of your logo) 2. when cruising at a moderate speed (a tagline) and 3. when stopped in traffic or at a light (the gimmick or promotion). Ideally, your design will capture all three points to communicate with others regardless of the vehicle’s moving status.
2. Place your logo or mark on every side
Ok, no, it isn’t a racecar and you can’t just slap logos on the side. But making sure to incorporate your logo on to as many sides as possible will help all eyes to register the brand.
3. Make contact information the 2nd priority
After your logo, consider what action you want viewers to take. Do you want them to visit your website? Follow you on Twitter? Call you for an appointment? Whichever your most important goal, provide that relevant contact information on your vehicle. Keep it within reason though—if your Twitter handle is impossible to read or remember, consider choosing an alternate goal for this marketing tool. Remember, your contact information is only as good as what can be remembered in passing, so keep it simple.
4. Do something remarkable
Full vehicle wraps can be pretty inventive—consider translating your brand into a “scene”. For example, if you’re a moving company, consider designing your wrap as the inside of a packed moving truck. An IT solutions provider? Depict the inside of a major server. Just make sure it is an accurate representation of your actual services—you wouldn’t want to be called for moving services if you just rented trucks.
5. Keep it the spirit of interaction
You’re going out of your way to get attention—now encourage action by getting people to do something when they see you. Consider a call to action to snap a picture of the vehicle and post it to Twitter to win a prize or text a certain number to enter a drawing. Just skip the QR code—no one can scan your moving vehicle and it makes it look half-developed.
Print advertising doesn’t have to be boring. Penguin Audiobooks demonstrates how creative visuals can grab your attention and reel your mind in to think about the products or services being pitched.
The recently launched Penguin Audiobooks campaign doesn’t, at first glance, seem like the type of thing that would immediately skyrocket into popularity. The campaign features famous literary figures in acrobatic poses on the cover of each audiobook. Mark Twain, Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde and other well-known literati don the cover of each audio book in mirrored backbends that form the appearance of a headphone.
Why a headphone, you ask? Well, what else comes to mind when you think of audiobooks? Penguin, and other publishers, have had a difficult time with sales of classic literature books in an audio format. Customers who read classic novels tend to be old-fashioned. They love the smell and the feel of old books and have a hard time transitioning into the modern technological world.
Hence, Penguin hired the McCann Worldgroup ad agency branch based in Mumbai, India in order to conceive and execute a new campaign that would both appeal to a younger audience and not risk alienating their older audience. The Penguin ad campaign was headed by creative directors Rohit Devgun and Talha Nazim and illustrated by Lamano Estudio. The goal was to get the recognizable faces of these brilliant writers depicted in a quirky, funny way that also evoked the idea of listening to audio books.
Thus the designers decided to mimic the shape of a headset by depicting the authors in funny, cartoonish backbends so that their faces act as a headset and their bodies are wrapped back into what would be the plastic headband.
The campaign was a huge success, increasing awareness of Penguin audiobooks by 15%. Further solidifying the affect of this campaign, 7% more audiobooks sold in a matter of days and the campaign won a Gold Press Lion at Cannes International Festival of Creativity!
In addition to the brilliance of blending the wisened, iconic depictions of these authors into a modern contraption, the design works so well because of it’s extreme minimialism. Besides the authors themselves, there are no other design elements on the covers besides the tiny Penguin logo at the bottom center. This creates visually appealing design that pops out of the whitespace and brings the viewers attention directly to the material itself, rather than distracting marketing lingo or clever design.
Print has seen some awesome new design trends in the last few years and 2014 has great changes in store as well. It’s always exciting to see which trends emerge and take hold and continue to redefine the world of print design. You can expect to see everything from updates in typography to new printing methods. Here are some of the trends to look out for this year.
Type Only Flyers and Brochures
Flat design has taken over the web this year and the sparse and careful use of design elements is becoming more prominent in print as well. Many companies are switching from image-heavy marketing materials to clean and minimalist designs that feature just black and white text. Choose an interesting font and let the words speak for themselves.
Image Only Design
Alternatively, some companies are opting for a single, eye-catching image to grab the attention of consumers, without cluttering it with text. This effect can be very striking and if you choose an image that conveys information about your brand, you can accomplish a lot! Sharp, pretty Instagram-esque images are going to continue to trend in 2014.
Along with crisp, simplistic photos, people and other subjects photographed in interesting, real-life settings are also gaining in popularity these days. Stay away from stock photos as the idea is to elicit stronger emotional connections in your marketing material.
Purple seems to be trending as one of the most popular colors in print design this year. Whether it’s a radiant orchid, lavender or violet, purple is a favorite for print. It seems to express sensitivity and compassion as well as stylishness and individuality. Consider a purple background or font in your design schemes this year.
Type-Lock refers to the recent method of organizing text into easily readable blocks by using different sizes, colors and weights to differentiate ideas, sentences or words. It has become an immensely popular way to convey and show the words that have the most meaning within a block of text. It’s used in many ways and blended into it are design elements like arrows, swirls, logos, etc.
Pepper some of these new design trends into your next print job for marketing materials that will make a lasting impression!
These three tips will set you up for sure fire design success!
It can be tempting to make your ads – be they print or digital – as bright and eye-catching as possible by using bold colors and crazy fonts. But take a moment to consider the most iconic brands and how they use color: Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Apple, Nike. They use simplicity and consistent colors surrounding a simple design, to make their point and communicate their message. The human eye is drawn to white space and by surrounding a simple, striking image or brand with a clear color or two, you can capture people’s attention. Resist the temptation to overwhelm your audience with colors, Instead focus on attracting them with its careful use. You may also want to run your color choices through a color palette to ensure they are complementary. Such clean, smart, and eye-pleasing design naturally gives your audience a positive sense of your company and your culture.
Message Through Design
Just as clean, consistent color can convey that a company is full of organized, intelligent, and serious people, a well-designed logo can also give customers a sense of your values and your product or service. Spend some time brainstorming a great logo and brand name representation, then bring your ideas to a graphic designer to see if he/she can help refine your concept. This process will likely take a few weeks and you’ll go through many iterations. This is definitely something worth bringing to an expert to help you refine and perfect.
Emotion in the Tagline
Many companies master the importance of color and strong design, but forget to perfect the tagline. A tagline is a great place to tap into the power of human emotion and convey a defining quality of your company, your personnel, and your ethos. Consider how McDonald’s built the value of their tagline “I’m lovin’ it.” Not only does it focus on a positive emotion, they turned a customer testimonial – a powerful tool in its own right – into a tagline. So be creative and bold, with your own.
Remember, too, that it is okay to periodically revisit all of these design elements, even if you are an established business. Launching your new look, logo, tagline, or color scheme is a powerful marketing tool, and one that people respond to with enthusiasm. You don’t want to rebrand every year, but it is fine to update your look every 7-10 years. In fact, investing in improved design for your business is a subtle way of showing your customers that you care to stay up-to-date, are aware of what is going on around you, and you’re focused on them. It’s a win-win, so take advantage of it!
An effective brand image requires strong visuals that connect with your customers. Consistency is key, that imagery should be clear through both your printed and digital marketing materials. The vision that you craft to represent your company should resonate with your customers and inspire positive perceptions about your organization.
Graphic design plays a crucial role in business marketing and too often the basics are overlooked. Your logo is your brand. If it’s catchy enough, people will remember it without even remembering the name of your company. It makes a statement and defines who you are and what you want your company to represent.
Your brochures and web site give you a chance to tell your story and build upon that image that you want to convey about your business. This is your chance to shape the way your customers view your organization. Do you want them to think “premium quality” “family values” “community-centric” “value-priced”? Each of those ideals can be conveyed using well selected photos and graphics.
Don’t overlook the power wielded by your visual marketing tools. Customers migrate to bold, funky design, or unique themes that pack a powerful punch. Great graphic design can immediately boost your sales, get your phones ringing, and drive traffic to your web site.
You want an attention-grabbing image that will command eyeballs. Even a well-written headline can serve as a strong focal point. Make it count – your image and headline should make people stop, think and act.
Clear and crisp fonts work wonders in a graphic design. Don’t use too many fonts or fonts that are outrageously ornate making to the point where they are hard to read.
Colors make a huge impact on your image and presentation. Colors also help influence buyers to make purchases. Make sure your printed materials are colorful and engaging.
White space will make your message stand out. It can be used to direct the viewers eyes and attention. Your materials should have depth, but enough white space to emphasize the focal points.
All of your marketing materials should have a consistent theme and color scheme. People should know they are looking at an advertisement for your company even when certain elements change. This applies to every piece of collateral you produce in print and online.
You always want to leave a great impression, so take advantage of creating a unique and memorable visuals. Your brand and image are the lifelines of your company, so make your materials count!
Posters are an excellent way to put your marketing chops to work for your business, no matter if it’s a product, service, person or event you are marketing. We’re all familiar with posters for concerts, movies, theater and other popular entertainment events but don’t forget about billboards, subway ads and other types of big design posters that work to catch people’s eyes and insert a message into their minds. It’s important to get high quality poster prints and also to have a great poster design. Here are some things to keep in mind when designing your posters that will boost your marketing strategies.
1. Consider where your poster will be hanging
Will your poster be on display in a public area, like a trade show or business office? Or will it be hanging in your retail windows or somewhere else? When you’re designing your poster, make sure to take this into consideration as it might be competing with other surroundings and other posters, in which case you’ll want to take extra measures to make sure it stands out.
2. Simplify your information
Posters aren’t meant for people to stare at and peruse tons of information. They should be quick, eye-popping statements or images that get a message across immediately. You have a very short amount of time to communicate your message so don’t bog it down with a bunch of info they can find when they visit your website. Keep it very clean.
3. Embrace white space
When printing posters, many companies are tempted to fill the space from corner to corner. This isn’t always the most effective use of space. Consider Oreo’s new highly effective ad campaign. One word and their recognizable product says more than any amount of text or jam-packed poster could have done.
4. Narrow down your fonts
Don’t overdo it with different typefaces unless you are doing a “Lock-Up” Type design. In most cases, it’s best to stick with only one or two typefaces so that your content doesn’t get too complicated and difficult to read. Remember to take a step back from your design during the process to ask yourself “Can I read this?” Try your best to convey the information clearly and to get rid of any elements that aren’t helping to push the message to the forefront of the design.
Remember, the message of the poster should be the number one purpose of the design. In terms of poster advertising, the methods that worked back in the 1800s still apply today – keep it short, simple and straightforward and you’ll get the most traction from your marketing posters.
Packaging designs can dramatically increase the value and desirability of a product. Every year, new packaging trends emerge as consumers begin to favor certain design elements. Keeping up with these trends can help ensure your products stay in high demand. Here are 8 current packaging trends for 2013:
1. Clean designs and powerful fonts
Many companies are finding success by simplifying their designs. A less cluttered design sends a clear and bold message. This can be amplified by the use of vivid typography. Notice how the authors’ names command presence on the cologne bottles below.
2. Use the product as a design element
If your product already has visual appeal without packaging, there’s no reason to cover it up. Use transparent panels or partial packaging when appropriate to highlight the look of your product.
3. Find creative ways to incorporate product information into the design
Most products have necessary information that must be included on the packaging. These data elements are not always attractive on their own but some clever designers are finding unique ways to include them in the flow of the packaging art.
4. Create attractive packaging with low environmental impact
Using biodegradable materials including unbleached and recycled paper in your packaging is much better for the environment than the traditional plastic cases. Designing efficient packaging with less materials is also a great way to decrease environmental impact. The packaging below is a great example of both concepts.
5. Mix modern designs with natural elements for a stylish and memorable look
Industrial inspired designs are currently in high demand so it’s no surprise that these concepts have spread to packaging design. Your packaging can greatly benefit by juxtaposing deliberate and colorful designs with natural tones and textures (woods, metals, textile fibers). These type of packaging designs are often seen as luxury items because of their high-artistic value.
6. Create interactive packaging to add a fun and personable element to the product
Interactive packaging designs offer a fun way to build a relationship with consumers. These interactive elements are simple ways for the customer to personalize their purchased items or further connect with the company (through social media, surveys, or contests). The example below is a “Wine Kit” that lets the consumer vent their frustrations in an amusing sort of mad-lib while receiving a supporting statement from the company.
7. Use artisan-level packaging to boost the perceived value of your product
This type of packaging is usually costly but it can separate your product from the rest of the competition by adding an element of unique sophistication. Often, consumers will keep the packaging long after the product has been used because of its artistic value. This feature creates a whole new selling point for your products.
8. Incorporate multiple textures in the packaging to add tactile intrigue
An easy way to create “shelf-interest” is to increase the tactile qualities. Physical elements of packaging design can make consumers want to pick up your products off the shelf just to feel and examine the item. The benefit of this concept is that a consumer is more likely to purchase an item that they took the time to pick up vs. an item that they just glanced at as they walked by. The image below shows products that have multiple textures (matte foil, elegant papers, smooth glass, string, and cork).
Typography is an incredibly expressive art form. The shape, size, direction, and color of the font can radically alter the meaning of a phrase. These factors can help the visual flow of a design as well as assign a mood to the piece. Here are 10 impressive examples of typography designs:
1. Mr. White’s Fav Type
The blue waves, clean white lines, and hook-like points give this font a very nautical atmosphere. The phrase seems like a playful characterization of the shark (Mr. White – Great White).
2. The slanted and sharp cornered font is bold. The triangle designs and the almost monochrome color scheme in the background adds a heavy atmosphere. The result is a definitive and punchy statement.
3. The elongated lines in the text and the heavy shadows falling in this image give a very ominous feeling. The red adds a sinister vibe to the statement as well.
4. Each letter is represented by a set of repair tools which illustrates the content of the phrase in a fun and playful way.
5. The black-and-white image of the Panda against a black background offers striking contrast. The letters detailed into the fur are clever without being intrusive.
6. Quite the opposite from the last image, the text almost entirely composes the main character in the image. It’s impossible to notice the design without reading the text but the result is cool and calculated.
7. The shaky and huge font provides a humorous form of visual shouting. It’s hard to read this without imagining someone yelling it.
8. The neon theme against a brick wall is definitely a classy look. The soft glow from the lights is very pleasant while the skewed text and playful font style keeps up the energy.
9. The lines, reflections, and perspective make this a very stylish image. The typography is powerful enough to stand on it’s own without other design elements in the background.
10. The clever use of raised lines gives this image an active feeling. The fluid lines between the letters gives a cascading motion to the image as well.
There are so many options to chose from when beginning a print project: size, color, paper stock, texture, ink type, ink effects, offset / digital, folding, binding, etc.! It can be very difficult to decide what combination is best for your project. If you’re stuck and can’t decide what to do yet, just research some print inspiration. With a quick Google search, you will find some really amazing examples of artistic and professional-looking printed products. Hopefully one of these ideas will embody what you’re hoping to achieve with your own product. Even if you don’t find an example that matches your exact designs, the examples are great inspiration to get you to think creatively and arrive at the perfect way to print your project.
Below are 10 beautiful examples of inspiring print products that successfully utilize neutral tones and natural elements. Take time to notice the fine details of each and determine what factors of each piece stands out most to you.
Hopefully these inspiring prints were just what you needed to bring your print project to life. Contact United Reprographics to get started!
The stock brushes that come with Adobe Photoshop are useful and well-designed but they don’t work for every application. Have no fear! It’s easy to create your own custom brushes that are perfect for your projects. Here is a quick 10 step Photoshop tutorial to show you how:
Open a new Photoshop document. For this project, create a page that’s 2000 x 2000 pixels at 100 pixels per inch. You will be creating a custom brush so you want to make sure you give yourself plenty of room for detail so that you have the option to use this brush for any size of project. Small brush sizes look blurry on large design projects so avoid starting small here. Click “Ok” when you’re done setting up the parameters.
Next, use the pen tool to draw a shape. It doesn’t have to be very complicated at all. In fact, the simpler the design, the better your brush will look down the line. In the example below, I activated the grid which helps if you want to make sure your design is symmetrical. To activate the grid, go to View>Show>Grid. Be sure to also click View>Snap To>Grid so that your lines magnetically “snap” to the grid marks. Don’t feel obligated to use this design either. Get creative and have fun with it!
When you’ve finished your line(s), you’re ready to turn it from a path into actual pixels (a path is just a map to tell the program where you want your designs to show up).
*A quick tip – go to your brush icon on the sidebar and make sure your current brush is the right size and color for your design. The next step will rely on these settings. For this project, I chose a round brush at 7pt size and 100% hardness.
Create a new layer by clicking Layer>New Layer or by pressing Shift+Ctrl+N. With the Pen Tool selected, right-click on the path you’ve created and click the “Stroke Path” option.
A dialog box will appear asking what tool you want to use. Select “Brush” and click “Ok.”
After the previous step, you’ll notice that your path has been traced using the brush settings that you selected earlier. We will no longer need the path so feel free to hide or delete it. With the Rectangular Marquee Tool selected, highlight the entire design you created.
With the Move Tool selected, either grab the line and move it slightly press one of your arrow keys to select only the pixels used in your design.
Now that your design has been isolated, click Edit>Define Brush Preset.
Another dialog box will appear with a thumbnail of your new custom brush design. Select a name for your design and click “Ok.”
To test out your new custom brush, select the Ellipse Tool and draw a large circle in the middle of your page. You can hide your previous layer and create a new one to avoid having a cluttered page.
Click the drop-down arrow next to your brush settings at the top-left side of the page. Scroll down to find your new custom brush design and select it.
Go to Window>Brush or click the Brush Menu icon highlighted below. In this menu, you can alter the visual details of your brush. Change the direction if necessary to make sure your brush flows cleanly. I would also recommend opening the Shape Dynamics tab and changing the Angle Jitter control field to “Direction.” This will make your design turn with your line for a much more cohesive appearance. Try adjusting all the settings to familiarize yourself with the menu. Make sure you choose a size appropriate for your page since we made a large brush size to begin with. I scaled mine back to 302 for the example at the end.
When you’re happy with the way your new custom brush appears in the preview display, select your Pen Tool once more, right click your path, and click “Stroke Path.” The dialog box will appear again asking what tool you want to use. Select “Brush Tool” and click “Ok.”
Depending on how you created and set up your brush, you may have wound up with an interesting design like this. There’s no wrong or right way to do this. Just keep trying until you find one that works for your design projects. Thanks to the incredibly diverse options in the Brush Menu, each custom brush design can be used for an infinite number of purposes.
Have fun and enjoy using this process on your next design project!