Speckyboy Design Magazine » Graphic Design http://speckyboy.com Web Design News, Resources & Inspiration Sun, 20 Apr 2014 18:20:38 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Proofing Tips for Print Design Perfectionhttp://speckyboy.com/2014/02/14/proofing-tips-print-design-perfection/ http://speckyboy.com/2014/02/14/proofing-tips-print-design-perfection/#comments Fri, 14 Feb 2014 13:34:31 +0000 http://speckyboy.com/?p=46809

Many of the articles on this site are aimed at the digital space, such as design for the web, mobile and apps. And let’s face it, most design in general is done in the digital...


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Many of the articles on this site are aimed at the digital space, such as design for the web, mobile and apps. And let’s face it, most design in general is done in the digital space, much of it never makes it on to paper. But what about when you do want to take your designs from the virtual to the physical world – from digital to print?

It can take a lot of tinkering to get your print designs to look right. Though your designs may look great on the screen, that might not be the case once it has been printed. A thorough proofing process is essential for getting a print piece that looks just as you expect.

Misprinted work is costly. If it’s a problem with your file, you will likely have to fork over more money to fix it. If you can’t afford reprints, you may have to keep the incorrect piece or wait until you can afford to reprint. If it’s a client project, the mistake could put a dent in their plans, your bank account, and your business’s reputation.

A thorough proofing process can head off most print design issues. Though nothing is foolproof, keep the following proofing tips in mind with your next print project:

Words, Words, Words

Spellcheckers are unreliable. Read every word in the piece several times before sending it off for printing. Check your work, make corrections, recheck it, and then have someone else review it.

Words, Words, Words

When working really closely on a project, your brain can fill in letters and words where they don’t exist. Having another pair of eyes check it over can eliminate these mistakes.

By Accident or by Design

During the process of creation, sometimes something important can end up being left out. Some of the most common mistakes include inconsistency of fonts, colors, shadows and other minute details. If you made a big change in multiple areas, such as font or color, evaluate each element carefully to ensure that the change was made every place it needed to be changed.

By Accident or by Design

Additionally, if you’re creating something for a client, compare the design to the original specs to make sure you’ve included all of the necessary features.

True Colors Shining Through

Matching colors on the screen to colors on the paper can be difficult. From the design program, to the final digital file, to the print provider’s presses, each could affect the final results. Though many graphic designers and photographers like to work in RGB, digital printing is often carried via a CMYK process. Some printers will print from your RGB file. Otherwise, you can convert the design to CMYK yourself, though it may take some knowledge and adjusting to get the colors to look right.

True Colors Shining Through

How your monitor is calibrated may also affect how you see the colors on the screen, versus how it will look in print. One way to get an idea is to print a test image and compare it to what’s on your screen. You may find you need to make adjustments to your design’s colors.

Resolution, Baby!

For small print jobs like business cards, brochures or booklets, it’s recommended that images be saved at 300 DPI. There’s more flexibility for image resolution with large format jobs, such as banners and signs. For photographic images on canvas, 100 DPI is considered plenty. A good rule of thumb is to always save your design image files with the highest resolution possible. Though you can scale the image down if you must, it is impossible to add pixels after the fact.

Resolution, Baby!

Bleeds, Crops & Cuts – Oh My!

A bleed is part of the design that extends beyond the crop marks and is cut off in the finishing process. Crop marks indicate to the printer where to cut the design to get the size and shape you desire. Cutting tolerance is the small variations that occur when sheets are cut down to size by machine. Setting up your design file to suit your printer’s bleed, crop mark, and cutting tolerance requirements is essential to getting the final printed design you expect.

Bleed and crop mark expectations vary from project to project and printer to printer, but many small format jobs require 1/8″ bleeds, while many larger format pieces may need a 1/4″ or larger bleed. A high quality printer has a cutting tolerance that measures no greater than 1/16″.

Pick the Perfect Paper

How the colors look for the final printed piece will depend on the substrate you choose. Coated paper has a smooth, satin-like finish that is somewhat resistant to dirt and moisture. A coating will restrict how the paper absorbs ink, which helps to maintain clarity and is desirable for printing photographs and other sharp images.

Resolution, Baby!

Uncoated paper is generally not as smooth, with a slightly rough feel. It has a tendency to be absorbent, like a sponge, which can cause ink to spread on the paper and result in less crisp lines. Work with your printer to find the right substrate if you’re not sure which to use.

Fit to Print

Use your home or office printer to print it out with standard paper, cut it down, and fold it, if needed. This will give you a glimpse at how your printed project will look, giving you the chance to refine your design if needed. Once you’ve sent your design file to the printer, you will also get a digital proof to approve.

Fit to Print

Go ahead and print the digital proof, too. Although this in-house test print won’t necessarily show exactly what you can expect, it will give you a good idea. Evaluate your digital proof very carefully because this is often the last step before your order is printed.

Proof is in the Proof

Digital proofs are ideal due to the ability to create and send them quickly and cheaply, but there are times when it’s best to get a hard proof. If the substrate has distinctive properties, such as metallic paper or synthetic materials, or you’re trying a new printing technique such as white ink printing, request a hard proof to see the design on the medium.

You may also want a hard proof if you have precise brand colors to replicate. There is usually a cost to ordering a hard proof, but it’s a small price to pay to know what to expect when your order is delivered.

Concluding

After stepping through this checklist and ensuring that the interested parties are happy with how the proofs look, the final step is approving the project for printing. You’ve made the effort on your part to make sure it goes off without a hitch; the rest is up to your printer. If you’ve done your homework to find a quality printer, you’ll know that when you receive the final product it will be exactly what you want. But that’s another checklist for another article on another day.

Image Source: Graphic Design Icon Set via Shutterstock.

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Raposters – A Classic Rap Music Poster Everyday for 100 Dayshttp://speckyboy.com/2014/02/02/raposters/ http://speckyboy.com/2014/02/02/raposters/#comments Sun, 02 Feb 2014 12:58:17 +0000 http://speckyboy.com/?p=46506

Last year French designer Zaven Najjar set himself the laborious task of redesigning, in his own unique style, a classic rap music poster everyday for 100 days. Dr Dre, Snoop Dog, Eminem, Jay-Z, 50 Cent,...


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Last year French designer Zaven Najjar set himself the laborious task of redesigning, in his own unique style, a classic rap music poster everyday for 100 days. Dr Dre, Snoop Dog, Eminem, Jay-Z, 50 Cent, Tupac, and many, many more are all in there. He has inventively called the completed 100 poster series Raposters, and they can all be found here.

Below we have highlighted our favorites:

The Raposters Poster Series:

Dr. Dre & Snoop Dog - Still Dre Rap Poster Series
Dr. Dre & Snoop Dog – Still Dre

Tupac Shakur - Changes Rap Poster Series
Tupac Shakur – Changes

Grandmaster Flash - The White Lines Rap Poster Series

Booba - Ma Definition Rap Poster Series
Booba – Ma Definition

Cypress Hill - Insane in the Brain Rap Poster Series
Cypress Hill – Insane in the Brain

Eminem - Lose Yourself Rap Poster Series
Eminem – Lose Yourself

DMX - Where the Hood At Rap Poster Series
DMX – Where the Hood At

50 Cent - 21 Questions Rap Poster Series
50 Cent – 21 Questions

Run DMC - My Adidas Rap Poster Series
Run DMC – My Adidas

Wu Tang Clan - Protect Ya Neck Rap Poster Series
Wu Tang Clan – Protect Ya Neck

Beastie Boys - Intergallactic Rap Poster Series
Beastie Boys – Intergallactic

Snoop Doggy Dog - Who Am I Whats My Name? Rap Poster Series
Snoop Doggy Dog – Who Am I (Whats My Name?)

Jay-Z - Picasso Baby Rap Poster Series
Jay-Z – Picasso Baby

Nas - I Can Rap Poster Series
Nas – I Can

Public Enemy - He got Game Rap Poster Series
Public Enemy – He Got Game


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Great Names in Graphic Design: Anton Stankowskihttp://speckyboy.com/2013/11/01/graphic-design-anton-stankowski/ http://speckyboy.com/2013/11/01/graphic-design-anton-stankowski/#comments Fri, 01 Nov 2013 10:22:26 +0000 http://speckyboy.com/?p=45083

Anton Stankowski (1906 – 1998) is universally acclaimed as one of the greatest and most influential names in late-modernist art. Alexander Eckstein explains why. Anton Stankowski was an eminent late modernist designer who created revolutionary...


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Anton Stankowski (1906 – 1998) is universally acclaimed as one of the greatest and most influential names in late-modernist art. Alexander Eckstein explains why.

Anton Stankowski was an eminent late modernist designer who created revolutionary concrete art, memorable corporate identities, and highly innovative information materials. His influence on typography, photography and graphic design was international in scope and Stankowski’s name is also connected with the origins of the Constructive Graphic Art.

Early Life and Career

Great Names in Graphic Design: Anton Stankowski
A highly influential German graphic artist and photographer, Anton Stankowski had a huge impact on the visual world.

Born in Gelsenkirchen, Westphalia on June 18, 1906, Anton Stankowski spent his formative years (1921 – 1926) as a decorator and church painter. He joined Folkwangschule, Essen – one of Germany’s most prestigious institutions at the time – in 1927, where he studied graphic design, typography and photography under the celebrated Elberfeld-born photographer Max Burchartz. Stankowski excelled in his studies and, even as a young student, he incorporated his exceptional creativity into his designs.

His early work for the Canis Advertising Agency in Bochum was highly praised and, in 1929, the 23-year-old Stankowski was invited to work at Max Dalang’s far-famed design studio in Zurich. It was there where he met and worked with fellow graphic artists such as Heiri Steiner, Richard Paul Lohse, Max Bill, and Hans Neuburg. This period of Stankowski’s life was deeply impactful and truly inspirational to him as he perfected his design skills and formulated the basic doctrines and forms of expression that would influence his later work.

Great Names in Graphic Design: Anton Stankowski

When his Swiss residence permit was withdrawn in 1934, Stankowski returned to Stuttgart, Germany and started working as an independent graphic artist. Unfortunately, his military services substantially interrupted his career. He was inducted into the German Army in 1940 and served in the World War II. Captured by the Russian armed forced, he was held a prisoner of war.

Stankowski was released after the war in 1948. He returned to Stuttgart and over the next decade, he further honed his skill by creating visual masterpieces for the “Stuttgarter Illustrierte”. He was a versatile and prolific artist during the 1950s, and his subsequent groundbreaking work in graphic design, typography and photography revolutionized the scene and set standards for future generations.

In 1951, Stankowski established his own design company in the Killesberg in Stuttgart. His circle of friends and associates included Willi Baumeister (the famous expressionist painter and Städel professor), Max Bense (noted literary figure and philosopher), Mia Seeger (the award-winning artist, educator and author), Egon Eiermann (the legendary functionalist architect), among others.

Anton Stankowskis legendary and highly collectible victory poster
Anton Stankowski’s now-legendary and highly collectible “victory” poster for the 1955 Mille Miglia sponsored by Mercedes-Benz.

Stankowski was famously hired by Mercedes-Benz in 1955 to design artwork for their entire racing series. He still remains one of the few independent designers to have worked for the company. Stankowski once told an interviewer that the then-head of advertising at Mercedes used to be his neighbor and lived across the street. It was pure coincidence that Stankowski was contacted by the automaker. In the 1960′s, he designed the highly acclaimed “Berlin layout” which was to be used as the city’s own visual identity.

Anton Stankowski headed the committee for the visual design of the Munich Olympic Games from 1969 to 1972. Later that same year, noted lithographer, graphic artist and writer Karl Duschek began the collaboration with Stankowski. Duschek played an important role in the development of the corporate identity program for the German Stock Exchange. He also took over the management of Stankowski + Duschek and became CEO of the Stankowski Foundation.

Great Names in Graphic Design: Anton Stankowski
11th Olympian Congress (1981) [Image Source]

Throughout his career, Stankowski noticeably drew inspiration from his vast experience in the fields of painting and photography. His commercial art always reflected the various styles that he had employed earlier in his work. His body of work, based on his masterful use of color and sophisticated technique, is extremely subtle, profound and expressive.

He created iconic logos and visual identity programs for various corporations and cultural institutions, including Deutsche Bank, Viessmann, Iduna, SEL, and the Süddeutscher Rundfunk Television.

Great Names in Graphic Design: Anton Stankowski
Deutsche Bank Logo (1974) [Image Source]

Stankowski and the Constructive-Concrete Style

Stankowski’s devotion towards the art of painting significantly increased during the mid-1970s, although he was always seen as one of central figures in the Constructive-Concrete style.

Great Names in Graphic Design: Anton Stankowski

He had a prolific career as a painter and filled about 116 sketchbooks, experimenting with color effects, behavioral adaptation, and textural directionalities. His work as a photographer was also exceptional and influential in its own right. Stankowski’s unique contribution to typography, especially the book jacket he designed for Magdalene Droste’s book on Bauhaus, earned him an unforgettable place in the annals of history.

Final Years

In 1976, Anton Stankowski was awarded an honorary professorship at the HfG by the federal state of Baden- Württemberg. He founded the Stankowski Foundation in 1983.

Stankowski has numerous awards, honors and accolades – both national and international – to his credit and his work has been exhibited widely in various art galleries and museums throughout the world. He received the City of Stuttgart’s Molfenter Award in 1991.

Stankowski died on December 11, 1998, in Esslingen am Neckar. He was posthumously awarded the honorary Harry Graf Kessler Award by the German Artist Federation for his amazing lifetime achievements and contributions.

Learn More About Anton Stankowski

Books:

Web Resources:


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Flat Design Superheroes from Jeffrey Rauhttp://speckyboy.com/2013/10/10/flat-design-superheroes-jeffrey-rau/ http://speckyboy.com/2013/10/10/flat-design-superheroes-jeffrey-rau/#comments Thu, 10 Oct 2013 07:59:13 +0000 http://speckyboy.com/?p=44513

If you love minimal design or superheroes (who doesn’t?), you are really going to love this gallery! Comic book fan Jeffrey Rau, a graphic artist from Lincoln, Nebraska, has recently released an impressive collection of...


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If you love minimal design or superheroes (who doesn’t?), you are really going to love this gallery! Comic book fan Jeffrey Rau, a graphic artist from Lincoln, Nebraska, has recently released an impressive collection of superhero illustrations designed in a flat and minimal style.

Popular characters from The Avengers, the Justice League, the Fantastic Four, and even Hellboy are all covered. Check these out:

Flat Design Superheroes

flat design superheroes minimal Captain America
Captain America

flat design superheroes minimal Iron Man
Iron Man

flat design superheroes minimal Black Widow
Black Widow

flat minimal superheroes Thor
Thor

flat minimal superheroes Hulk
The Hulk

flat minimal superheroes Aquaman
Aquaman

flat minimal superheroes The Flash
The Flash

flat minimal superheroes Superman
Superman

flat minimal superheroes Batman
Batman

flat minimal superheroes Wonder Woman
Wonder Woman

flat minimal superheroes Green Lantern
Green Lantern

flat minimal superheroes Mister Fantastic
Mister Fantastic

flat minimal superheroes Invisible Woman
Invisible Woman

flat minimal superheroes The Human Torch
The Human Torch

flat minimal superheroes The Thing
The Thing

flat minimal superheroes Abe Sapien
Abe Sapien

flat minimal superheroes Hellboy
Hellboy

flat minimal superheroes Liz Sherman
Liz Sherman


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20 New and Amazing Photoshop Text Effect Tutorialshttp://speckyboy.com/2013/06/26/20-new-and-amazing-photoshop-text-effect-tutorials/ http://speckyboy.com/2013/06/26/20-new-and-amazing-photoshop-text-effect-tutorials/#comments Wed, 26 Jun 2013 11:05:32 +0000 http://speckyboy.com/?p=38011

For all you Photoshop fans out there we have a collection of Photoshop text effect tutorials that will make your eyes pop-out with delight. There are many tutorials that will teach you the basics of...


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For all you Photoshop fans out there we have a collection of Photoshop text effect tutorials that will make your eyes pop-out with delight. There are many tutorials that will teach you the basics of typography, but sometimes you just want something more, something that will guide you to something truly unique.
The tutorials we have for you below will do just that. These tutorials may look amazing, but they are all fairly easy to follow.

What are you waiting for? Go on and get designing!

New Photoshop Text Effect Tutorials:

3D Typographic Illustration

3D Typographic Illustration - Text Effects for Photoshop

In this tutorial, João Oliveira creates a 3D typographic illustration using initially Cinema 4D for building the 3D, followed by Photoshop for the post-production.

3D Typographic Illustration →

Number Candles Text Effect

Number Candles Text Effect - Text Effects for Photoshop

This tutorial explains the techniques for creating the 3D number candles above without using any 3D tools. It will then guide you through the other sections of shaping the candles, adding lights and shadows and finally placing the candles on top of a cupcake.

Number Candles Text Effect →

Electrified Metal Text Effect

Electrified Metal Text Effect - Text Effects for Photoshop

In this tutorial you will be shown the steps to recreate the Electrified Metal Text Effect above. It will cover a number of selection techniques, as well as how we to use the right textures to create this unique text effect.

Electrified Metal Text Effect →

Striped Road-Inspired Text Effect

Striped Road-Inspired Text Effect - Text Effects for Photoshop

This tutorial will show you some tips on how to use the Pen Tool, along with some Brushes and Blend Modes, to recreate the striped road inspired text effect above.

Striped Road-Inspired Text Effect →

Autumn-Themed 3D Text Effect

Autumn-Themed 3D Text Effect - Text Effects for Photoshop

Using CS6 Extended all-new 3D interface, this tutorial will explain how to use those new 3D features to create an amazing autumn-themed 3D text effect.

Autumn-Themed 3D Text Effect →

Chalk Ornament Typography

Chalk Ornament Typography - Text Effects for Photoshop

This tutorial will show you how to create a stylish ornament typography and then apply a chalkboard effect using Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and some vector ornaments.

Chalk Ornament Typography →

Magical Fire Energy Text Effect

Magical Fire Energy Text Effect - Text Effects for Photoshop

In this beginner tutorial you will be shown the steps to create the 'Magical Fire Energy' text effect you can see above. You will be tackling painting, layer blending, and image adjustments.

Magical Fire Energy Text Effect →

Valentine's Day-Inspired 3D Text Effect

Valentine's Day-Inspired 3D Text Effect - Text Effects for Photoshop

In this tutorial, you will be combining Photoshop and Filter Forge to create a wood textured 3D text effect with a simple red glass heart.

Valentine's Day-Inspired 3D Text Effect →

The Great Gatsby Art Deco Style

The Great Gatsby Art Deco Style - Text Effects for Photoshop

In this time consuming tutorial you will learn how to create an Art Deco image and text effect based on the poster of The Great Gatsby movie, using Illustrator and Photoshop.

The Great Gatsby Art Deco Style →

Fluid Typography

Fluid Typography - Text Effects for Photoshop

In this beginner level tutorial, using custom brushes and the liquify tool, you will learn how to recreate the beautiful fluid typography you can see above.

Fluid Typography →

Scrabble Tiles Text Effect

Scrabble Tiles Text Effect - Text Effects for Photoshop

This tutorial will show you how to create your own scrabble tiles set from scratch, so that you can use them anytime with any background you like.

Scrabble Tiles Text Effect →

Tufted Pillow Text

This video tutorial will show you how to to create a text effect that look likes its been tufted into a pillow or cushion.

Tufted Pillow Text →

Chocolate Text Effect

Chocolate Text Effect - Text Effects for Photoshop

This Valentines themed tutorial will show you how to create a scrumpicous chocolate text effect using Layer Styles.

Chocolate Text Effect →

Glowing 3D Text Effect

Glowing 3D Text Effect

In this tutorial, you will be shown how to combine Photoshop with Filter Forge to create a glowing 3D text effect.

Glowing 3D Text Effect →

Simple Bokeh Text Effect

Simple Bokeh Text Effect - Text Effects for Photoshop

This tutorial shows you an easy method for create a beautiful bokeh text effect, using a simple brush and a layer effect.

Simple Bokeh Text Effect →

Rock Text Effect

In this fairly simple tutorial you will be shown how to create a realistic rock text effect using only two images of realistic rocks.

Rock Text Effect →

Old Signage in Photoshop 3D

Old Signage in Photoshop 3D - Text Effects for Photoshop

In this tutorial you will learn how to create an old signage text effect using stock photos. As a bonus you will also create a simple animated GIF.

Old Signage in Photoshop 3D →

Computer Chip Text Effect

Computer Chip Text Effect - Text Effects for Photoshop

Using basic shapes, Layer Styles, Layers Masks and a few Filters, in this tutorial you will how to recreate the Computer Chip Text Effect you can see above.

Computer Chip Text Effect →


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