Renew, Refresh, Rejuvenate…Redesigning Your Ads

When is it time to consider a redesign of your company’s advertising material? Some may answer, “when its effectiveness drops,” or “when the competition does,” or “when we hire a new marketing director.” We agree that these are good reasons, but we also would add that periodic redesign should be part of your regular advertising cycle. A good redesign will refresh your ads and renew them for your loyal customers and your prospects alike.

Signs That a Redesign May be Needed

Your company’s advertising material may need a redesign if any of these conditions exist:

  • It has been more than five years since you first developed the advertising material.
  • Your company today is much different than it was when the advertising material was developed.
  • The target audience for your product or service has changed since the advertising material was developed.

Your advertising material may also show signs of aging in the selection of typeface, the layout, or the color palette.


Ten Things You Need to Know About Typography

TypefacesTypography — both the design of letters and characters and the process of arranging type — is a central component of any graphic design project and is integral to communication. Good typography reinforces the meaning of the text, puts the reader at ease, allows the reader to devote less energy to the mechanics of reading, and causes the reader to pay more attention to the message.

Typeface or Font?
The terms typeface and font are used interchangeably today. However, in the days of metal type, there was a distinction. Font meant an alphabet (i.e., the upper and lower case letters, numerals, punctuation marks, and symbols) in a single size, weight, and style; while typeface meant a family of fonts in various sizes, weights, and styles.

• Size is the height of the alphabet and ismeasured in points (print) or ems (web).

• Weight; such as medium, bold, light, or black, is the thickness of the alphabet relative to its height.

• Style is the slant of the letters. Upright letters are known as roman, slanted is called italics or oblique.

When type was set by hand, all the letters and characters representing one font were separately stored in the drawer of a job case. Then technology replaced metal type, and changes in size, weight, and style were made by simple keyboard commands. The distinction between a typeface and font subsequently blurred to what it is today.


The PDF Standard… Preparing Files for Print

Adobe_AcrobatColorOriginally developed for office communications use, the PDF file format is now the world standard for electronic document exchange. A PDF file’s unique characteristic — the ability to exist independent of the hardware, software, and operating system used to create it — allows file creators to share documents and to keep them secure from modification.

PDF version 1.0, an internal project of Adobe Systems conceived by founder Dr. John Warnock and based on the page description language PostScript, was first announced at Comdex Fall 1992 where it won the “Best of Comdex” award. After years of continuous improvement, and in recognition of the power of PDF for document exchange, Adobe relinquished control of PDF to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in 2008.

For printers, PDFs solve many problems associated with using customer-prepared files. Before PDF, printers had difficulty opening and preparing files that were created using many kinds of software programs and containing fonts not owned by the printer. This led to delays in getting on press, extra cost for file repair, and frustration for both customers and the printer.

By using PDF as the standard for submitting files, customers can use any platform and their favorite software program to create files. Printers can accept the files and prepare them for output to press plates or for digital printing knowing that the finished page images will be what the customer expects.


Printed Brochures… How to Make Them Effective

Consider the elegant simplicity of a printed brochure – it is a concise, attractive, and versatile compilation of information about a company, product, service, event, or location.

It can be handed out during a person-to-person sales call or distributed as direct mail; made available in a literature rack or on a table at a trade show; sent in response to an inquiry or left behind on a cold call. It can be economically printed in both small and large quantities. As a sales tool, a brochure is appropriate for almost any selling situation.

Planning a brochure
A brochure is made up of three elements: the copy; the design; and the physical specifications. All are equally important for creating an effective brochure.


Using Microsoft Publisher

For some graphic arts professionals, Microsoft Publisher is the software program they love to hate. It’s not just that the program is only available on the PC platform, and most graphic arts professionals prefer Macs. It’s also that in its earliest versions, Publisher did not support many of the essential functions of prepress – principally, color separations.

Today Publisher is getting a second look, in part because of its continuing popularity with printing customers. It is a good alternative to high-end design programs like Adobe PageMaker and Quark XPress, both in price and ease of use. And according to a Microsoft survey of Publisher 98/2000 users, half of the eight hundred respondents use Publisher for business.

applications – business cards, newsletters, flyers

and brochures.