Adding visual interest to your next print project could be as easy as using a new and exciting font. Here is a collection of 6 free line-based fonts that create captivating designs through bold use of lines:
The lines are clean and carry a lot of motion through the text. Some characters have unique spacing so kerning (adjusting letters left and right to eliminate unwanted empty space) may be necessary.
Prism is a similar font to Paralis but the character shapes are more traditional making it easier to use them for designs.
This font has a certain retro charm to it (maybe reminiscent of a vintage movie theater).
Lovelo is a fun font that can be very easy to work with. The rounded corners make it convenient for design work like the neon sign picture above.
Iron is a classy font that has elements of modern and vintage style.
Libre is an adventurous font design. The multi-level lines give it a three-dimensional appearance and the slight lean gives the text a feeling of forward motion.
United Reprographics was commissioned by Inflatable Film LLC to print promotional materials for an exciting new film included in this year’s SIFF (Seattle International Film Festival), Finding Hillywood.
We would like to share a little about this inspiring movie:
“Set amongst the hills of Rwanda, Finding Hillywood chronicles one man’s road to forgiveness, his effort to heal his country, and the realization that we all must one day face our past. A unique and endearing phenomenon film about the very beginning of Rwanda’s film industry and the pioneers who bring local films to rural communities. A real life example of the power of film to heal a man and a nation.” - www.findinghillywood.com
For our readers in the Seattle area, there is a showing of Finding Hillywood at 4pm tomorrow afternoon at the Egyptian Theater (Wednesday, June 5th 2013). We highly recommend viewing this uplifting film! Tickets and information can be found here: http://www.siff.net/festival-2013/finding-hillywood
The nation of Rwanda suffered through a horrific genocide in 1994. Over 20% of the nation’s population were killed during a 100 day period. Almost 20 years later, this heavy event still burdens the hearts of Rwandan citizens. The film Finding Hillywood centers around a man, Ayuub Kasasa Mago, and the developing Rwandan film culture. The prime concept of this documentary is exploring the use of film to help Rwandans cope with events of the past, understand current issues, and provide the ability to move forward in a positive direction. Ayuub says, “we have so many stories that haven’t been told, and we can make them in movies!” (For even more motivation to see the film tomorrow, Ayuub will be attending the Seattle screening too!)
We had the opportunity to speak with the director, Leah Warshawski and learn more about the project:
What is “Hillywood”?
Hillywood is an annual traveling film festival in Rwanda started in 2004. Featured work by local filmmakers provides a positive way to express and understand current and past issues experienced by Rwandans. The name “Hillywood” comes from the description of Rwanda as “the land of a thousand hills.”
What meaning(s) do you hope people will take away from watching this film?
“We hope this film can give people a new way to look at Rwanda and the history of that country. Most people hear ‘Rwanda’ and only think of the past: genocide, guerillas, and war. They don’t know that Rwanda is green with lakes, trees, hills and volcanoes. They don’t know about its unique culture and arts.” said Warshawski. The Finding Hillywood crew also hope that people will see the talent and potential in the Rwandan film culture. “Money and donated cameras are good but those donations don’t always go to the right places.” Ideally, they would like to see the local filmmakers and production workers hired to work on more projects (local and international).
Does your crew have any plans to work together in the future? If so, are there any upcoming projects we can look forward to?
We’ve already signed a contract for a new documentary to be filmed in Uganda where we will be working alongside the key character in Finding Hillywood, Ayuub Kasasa Mago. This time, Ayuub will be a member of the film crew instead of the subject of the film. This is exactly the type of partnership that the Finding Hillywood crew hope to promote.
Here’s a picture of the director in front of the theater for tomorrow’s screening:
Most people use a business card as a simple means of delivering personal information. The standard rectangular business card is professional, effective, and affordable. However, sometimes it’s the cards that break conventions that really get noticed. Here are 10 great examples of odd yet memorable business cards:
1. Locksmith Tools
This card is certainly interesting and could come in handy if you manage to lock yourself out of a room/vehicle. They may or may not unlock the door but at least you have the number of someone who can.
2. Bike Multi-Tool
In a bike-friendly city like Seattle, this card would find plenty of use. It won’t fix a flat tire but it might be able to hold your bike together long enough to get to the nearest repair shop.
3. The Shoehorn Card
For expensive shoes or shoes that are a little too tight, the shoehorn card can help you out of a jam!
4. The Comb Card
Windy days can turn your hair-do into a nightmare! A comb business card could be the solution you need.
5. The Bobby-Pin Card
This creative card is fun, interactive, and can also tame unruly hair.
6. The Rubber Band Card
Rubber bands are infinitely useful but never seem to be around when you need them. You could be the hero when you pass out your business cards!
7. The Clothes-Pin Card
This “card” can be used for all sorts of tasks like holding paper together or keeping chip bags closed. This would be MacGuyver’s business card of choice.
8. The Bottle Opener Card
This amusing business card can be a life-saver in casual environments like a bar or barbecue. Thirsty clients will be glad to hold on to your information.
9. The Meat Card
Business cards can be informative.. and tasty? Edible business cards are funny and clever. Just hope people save your information before they get hungry.
10. The Catapult Card
This may not be useful for a specific purpose, but it looks like it would be a fun break from daily routine. Admit it. Your inner-child thinks this is awesome.
Black and white images are used in print quite often. Sometimes they are used to provide a sophisticated or nostalgic quality to the print. Other times, they are used because printing in color is more expensive. Either way, black and white images can look very professional if processed correctly.
Converting images to black and white is an easy process. There are two main ways to achieve this effect: Converting to “Grayscale,” or applying a “Black and White” adjustment layer. Using the “Grayscale” option is the easiest process but it removes the color information from the image, thus limiting your ability to edit the image. The best option is to apply a “Black and White” adjustment layer. This will allow you to non-destructively edit your image and have much more control over the conversion quality. This process uses the color information of the original image to help you shape the highlights and shadows of the black and white image. This tutorial will show you the difference between both processes:
Start with a colorful image that hasn’t been edited too much:
Converting to Grayscale:
Go to Image > Mode > Grayscale. A message will appear asking you if you want to discard the color profile information. Click “Discard.”
The result is a black and white image that looks decent but you can no longer edit the color information from the original image. This means that you will have to rely on brightness and contrast to edit your image which can be much more harsh. This limits the amount of changes that you can apply to your image.
“Black and White” Adjustment Layer
Select the image layer and go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Black & White
A prompt will appear. Leave the mode on “Normal” and the opacity at “100%.” Click “Ok.”
Your image has been converted to black and white. The color information is still present behind the adjustment layer and can be viewed at any time. To do this, toggle the adjustment layer off by clicking the eye symbol next to the adjustment layer in the Layers Panel. Notice the highlighted panel at the right-hand side of the screen. The sliders in this section will allow you to adjust how the color of the original image affects the black and white conversion. These controls can add very clean and non-destructive contrast and depth to the image. Begin adjusting until you are happy with the result.
The sliders have been adjusted to add heavy contrast and a slight glow to the onions. The green slider was pulled back to darken the leaves in the background while the yellow slider was pushed forward to increase the effect of the sun on the onions. Now you can convert your image to grayscale for printing without losing the changes you’ve made. (Converting to grayscale ensures that no color tint will be added during the printing process
The black and white adjustment layer is on the left and the grayscale conversion is on the right. Both images would work fine for a print publication. However, the adjustment layer method gives you much more control over the image and allows you to go back and edit the image without losing any data in the process.
If you are just getting into graphic design, creating rich images with exciting dimensions and details can seem daunting. However, there are plenty of tricks and convenient tools that can help you add depth to your compositions. One of the most useful tools that Photoshop provides is the Clipping Mask. Clipping Masks allow you to “wrap” one layer with the details from another layer. You can add textures to objects, cut words out of a page and even weave layers together. Here are six easy steps to help you start using Clipping Masks:
Open a new Photoshop document and type a brief word or phrase. It’s best to use a thick-character font so that the texture we will apply can really show through. The font can be changed at any point during this process so don’t worry about picking the perfect font just yet.
With your text layer selected (notice the highlighted layer at the lower right-hand corner of the screen) go to “File” > “Place.”
Select an image you wish to use. Large, high-resolution “texture” type images work very well for this application. When you find the file you want, click “Place.”
After clicking “Place,” the texture will load over your text layer. Resize and/or reposition your texture image to make sure it completely covers your text. When you are satisfied with the positioning, click the check-mark icon at the top right of the screen to accept the changes.
Go to the Layer menu and click “Create Clipping Mask” or use the quick command “Alt+Ctrl+G”
Inspect the results. You’ll notice that the texture layer icon has an arrow pointing to the text layer to indicate that it is a clipping mask. This effect can be removed at any time by going to Layer > Release Clipping Mask. The text and font can still been changed. The texture layer can be re-positioned as well. The result is a highly flexible edit that really adds a lot of dimension and interest to your images. Clipping masks can also be applied to objects as well allowing you to add textures to every part of the composition.
With the help of clipping masks and interesting textures, your images can gain a lot of character and depth. Get creative and try it out for your next design project!
PDF files are a very accessible file format. They can be opened in many different design programs which is highly useful in the print industry. PDF files allow items on the page to be edited after the page has been removed from the original design program. The separate layers (text, page, images, effects) can cause problems on occasion though. Unflattened files can cause visual discrepancies, changes in page content, and performance issues. Flattening your PDF file is a quick and simple solution to the problem. Flattening PDF files can achieve the following:
1. Protects sensitive content such as signatures from being easily tampered with.
2. Ensures that layer content remains in the exact place you intended.
3. Prevents the disappearance of layer content and special characters.
4. Displays visuals more accurately.
- Unflattened files may cause images to appear darker or lighter than how they will print.
- Unflattened files can also cause drop-shadows, gradients, and other layer effects to display incorrectly when printed.
5. Helps increase computer performance during the uploading and editing process of PDF files.
The easiest way to avoid these problems is to flatten the page in the original design program you used (InDesign, Photoshop, etc). If you need to leave the layers intact for editing purposes, Adobe Acrobat provides ways to flatten the PDF files later as well. There are different methods for each release of Acrobat so the best way to find the correct technique is to look up “flatten” in the “Help” dictionary of your program.
Technology has made some amazing advances in recent years. The print industry has always been a tech-centered culture so it’s only natural that we get excited for new printing and design concepts. Here are some of our favorite new technology concepts from recent weeks:
1. The RGB Color-Sensing Pen or ”Color Picker” by Jinsun Park
It’s only a concept right now but this would be an amazing tool for designers and artists. Choosing the correct colors for a project is an art that takes years to learn and even longer to perfect. This device would allow the user to “scan” or “sense” an object and make an exact replica of its color by mixing ink from the contained RGB tanks. A further improvement to this design is the ability to change the opacity of the ink for smoother color transitions. This device isn’t exactly print technology, but the idea of sensing and instantly replicating a color could be very helpful in color-matching print projects as well.
3. RGB Spray Paint
This spray paint can would also create a wide spectrum of colors by mixing wells of RGB inks. This could be used for a number of construction and artistic endeavors. Color-coding building areas would become extremely easy. Artists who use spray cans would only have to carry one can to achieve any color they need. Hopefully the ink wells would be refillable so the product would qualify as eco-friendly. Once again, this is only a concept design right now.
2. The CMYK Pen by Roma Lyubimov and Sergey Safronov
We often deal with transitioning on-screen RGB colors to CMYK colors for printing. This pen does not include the “color-sensing” ability of the RGB pen above, but it’s nice to see the other ink spectrum represented in such a useful format. This pen could be very helpful in making notes on test-prints as well as understanding how the CMYK colors will react on new substrates.
4. The Leitfaden Sewing Machine by Monika Jakubek and Anna Müller
Sewing enthusiasts rejoice! With this concept, carrying a massive box of assorted-color spools would not be necessary. The machine could scan the color you need from an object or color swatch and dye the thread to match. Finding the correct thread has always been difficult and expensive. It’s rare to get an exact color match unless you place a custom order. This machine would only require ink and opaque thread, saving you time and money.
The Seattle Center Monorail recently partnered with The Seattle Foundation and Wellspring Family Services to support their local charity initiative, Give Big on May 15th. They hope to raise significant support for non-profit charity organizations through this effort. The Seattle Foundation will even “stretch” your donation up to $25,000 per donor. That means for every dollar you donate, the non-profit receives an extra percentage of the overall stretch fund! Wellspring Family Services provide aid to over 5000 homeless children and families each year so your donations will be supporting a very worthwhile cause.
United Reprographics was given the opportunity to print the promotional signage including vinyl banners and double-sided vinyl window clings for the project.We are thrilled to be able to contribute to a movement that directly benefits a local charity and local families.
The promotional signage features the adorable “Monorail Bunny.” This stuffed animal was accidentally left on the monorail by a passenger last year. The Seattle Center Monorail organization has kindly posted notices trying to return the bunny to its rightful owner. Although nobody has claimed ownership, the Monorail Bunny has become a popular mascot for the Monorail’s events and social media campaigns. Check out the Seattle Center Monorail Facebook page to see more Monorail Bunny adventures.
Many people assume that printed marketing and online marketing have to be enemies. In actuality, they work quite well together. Print and social media can reach very different audiences so it is highly beneficial to combine the two marketing strategies to increase the effectiveness of your own advertising campaign. Here are three ways to integrate print and social media:
1. Improve communications within your marketing departments.
Online media and print media may be handled by different teams but they should be working together to keep campaigns cohesive and provide the company with a unified appearance.
Focus on providing an interactive and entertaining marketing campaign to keep readers engaged both in print and online forums.
Use both formats to lead the audience towards the end goal: the purchase of your goods and services.
2. Utilize the strengths of print and online media to build your brand.
The point of using social media sites for business is to increase awareness of your brand and boost your status on search engines. Use print ads to drive traffic to your social media and your website as well.
Take advantage of the comments, messages, and surveys online to determine the effectiveness of your print campaign.
Use printed media like banners to bring your brand to events where social media is less effective.
Print ads can also help less tech-savvy readers understand how to reach your online resources.
3. Keep your integration as clean and simple as possible.
URL’s can often be lengthy and difficult to remember. Sites like Facebook allow you to customize your URL to make it shorter and more user-friendly.
You may be tempted to list all of your registered sites and social media accounts in your contact section but it’s best to only list your most popular pages. This makes the contact section less daunting for new readers.
When using icons to represent social media sites, stick with recognizable images and always provide the link as well (print readers do not want to log in to Facebook or Twitter and then search for your page).
Use Icons like These:
It’s better to go with more established icons because people are more likely to follow links that appear authentic.
Print ads and online ads are tools to help drive business and improve brand recognition. Learning how to use them together can make a huge impact in creating effective marketing.