What Makes For Great Retail Signage?

It’s something that’s often underestimated or forgotten about, but the sign you choose to advertise your physical place of business can actually have more of an impact than you might think. Here are just a few ideas which may help you stay on track with your signage, whether you are a retailer or any other type of business with a shop front of some sort.

Use professional shop sign makers

Firstly, remember that dedicated business sign makers will be able to create something really special that’s much more impressive than something you can throw together yourself, so don’t go for the false economy option. Using retail signage professionals to dress the front of your shop gives you scope to use much more advanced features, such as illuminated shop signs and custom made lettering, which you wouldn’t be able to achieve with a basic DIY approach.

Make a great first impression

An ineffective sign is sometimes even worse than not having one at all, because first impressions really do count. Perhaps when business owners become too familiar with their own premises, they stop noticing their sign altogether, but this is missing something crucial New customers will probably see your sign every day, and each one of those people could represent a missed opportunity if you fail to impress them.

Keep it snappy

Don’t feel the need to explain your entire business model on your sign. You just need to make it clear who you are and what you’re offering. Once people are hooked and you have their attention, they will be more receptive to learning more. A jumbled message won’t come across when someone looks at your shop for just a couple of seconds.

Make it smart and up-to-date

Unless it’s completely intentional to suit your branding, the vast majority of old-fashioned, overly fussy fonts and styles tend to look messy and create a poor first impression. Simple lettering that’s easy to read from a distance should be a high priority. Your colour scheme and any logos used should also be modern and professional looking. If your sign looks old and weathered, you’re making it look like your business is on the way out.

Express your brand’s values

If possible, you will want your brand’s core values to translate in everything that you do. This includes your retail signs, which are an extension of how you communicate with your potential customers. Therefore, everything here needs to be consistent. If you want your brand to come across as exciting and fun, you might be better off with a very bold sign and illuminated letters could be a good way to grab attention. For more serious businesses you may want to keep it more classy, but still make sure your branding stands out for the right reasons.

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Graphic Design for T-Shirt Screen Printing

Getting your own t-shirts printed is a great way to express your individual creativity and get one of your own designs made into a real life product, usually at a cheap price. Some of the quality of the finished article will undoubtedly come down to the actual materials used, including the method of printing and the quality of the t-shirt itself. However, with most professional t-shirt screen printing companies in the UK, anything is really possible. Graphic design for t-shirts means everything, so where you can influence the end results is through your artwork creation.

Here are a few tips that should help you get the best outcome.

1) Select your software – If you’re using software to produce your design, which you almost certainly will need to, there are a few options. Adobe programs are most likely the best choices, and Illustrator is the most appropriate for designing from scratch. Photoshop’s emphasis on layers rather than vectors can make it more difficult to increase the size of your design elements later, if needed.

2) Get your settings right – Once you’ve chosen your program, ensure your document is set up correctly. Use RGB 8-bit colour mode to accurately plan what your colours will look like. A resolution of 300 DPI is a good minimum to maintain, so make sure your canvas is big enough for this. An all-over image for screen printing should be about 40” by 35”. Continue reading

How to implement your branding effectively

After you have gone through the process and finally arrived at the final design for your logo, typesetting, overall visual style and everything else, the next question becomes how you are going to apply it to your benefit. The simplest but most expensive method is to have it printed everywhere, but a more effective strategy could be implemented which will be more effective and save you money.
The key is to know your audience. For example, a tailor who makes custom-made suits can use his logo on business cards and letter heads which will be exchanged among his corporate clients.

However, a summer and beach clothes shop could display their logo on exhibition stands and tags, which would require an entirely different implementation strategy. Similarly, for those with a focus on digital marketing and web design, the way you would roll out your branding would be different.

If you have gone down the route of a professional graphic designer, you have probably already discussed how your branding requirements are going to be met by the actual design process, and you have should have some options, for example different forms and versions of your logo and style for different purposes. “Designs for digital and offline marketing should be in harmony,” says Colchester graphic and web design company, Luminous Design. “Professional designers will ensure that the client’s branding and corporate identity can be applied seamlessly on all mediums.” If you’re handling it all in-house or you’re still at the ideas stage, this might be the next thing to consider. Continue reading

Graphic design trends 2017

2017 has finally begun which means there will be new trends emerging in the world of design. So the question is what trends will we be looking out for? The trends last year has made significant changes and impact in graphic design. Hopefully, 2017 will bring us more surprise and an ultra-modern trend! While we look for what’s new, we may find that some trends remain very popular at this coming year.

So to see what trends to look out for, we’ve gathered the following articles that contain an in-depth collection onto what’s new this coming year.

7 Big Graphic Design Trends to Watch for in 2017

Material design may just be the biggest and boldest of design trends to really try to grasp and understand. This style guide was created by Google to try and simplify the way designers design and users interact with the Internet. The core concepts of this trend are “material as a metaphor; bold, graphic, intentional; and motion provides meaning.”

Be bold with your colors, contrast, and typography. Don’t shy away from imposing a strong hierarchy. Your design should guide the user’s behavior. Utilize motion in your designs—literal and implied—to communicate with your users. Always be thinking: How can I influence my audience to act the way I desire? Google’s Material Design aesthetic is very similar to Flat Design 2.0, but it takes intentionality to another level.

In terms of designing with color, choose loud and deep colors—not necessarily bright. Look for colors that are heavy on the hue rather than brighter in lightness. In your graphic designs, utilize contrasting colors similar to what is suggested in material design. Allow each color to fearlessly draw attention to specific areas of your design. read more at blog.graphicstock.com

8 New Graphic Design Trends That Will Take Over 2017 – Venngage

Now, in 2017, there will be a shift away from neutral colors like whites, grays and black, to bolder and brighter colors. Some companies are already doing it and have been for a while, like the music wizards over at Spotify. In fact, they are already leading the pack, using bold colors mixed with professionally edited photos to create in-your-face designs. This kind of color usage has become part of their brand, which means that their images are instantly recognizable. And when you are fighting for real estate on social feeds, powerful branding like this will help you win 2017.

Just because many companies will be ditching their boring color schemes in 2017 doesn’t mean there needs to be a color revolution in your company. Some companies will be adding just a bit of color, and it will make all the difference.

Using bold color accents will also help many brands cling to their minimalist roots. By infusing bright colors with traditional neutral backgrounds, companies can give their branding a fresh new look without straying too far from what made them great. For example, we already saw this type of redesign from Instagram a few months ago.

This simple redesign helped bring them into a whole new era and unified all of the different apps under one color. And just like with Spotify, this type of bold color usage is recognizable across the web. read more at venngage.com

Top free graphic design software

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Why pay for a premium design software when you can use some for free? There are tonnes of options available on the internet. Most of them are good enough to create a stunning graphic. As much as Adobe Photoshop is a great tool, there are others that you can use as well.

My Paint

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My Paint is an easy to use software for designers. So if you aren’t the technical type, then this software is the one for you. It contains an interface that solely focuses on art such as switching to different brushes and colours. The programme is great for designers who works on digital painting and drawing. It is available on Windows and Linux.

Inkscape

Inkscape

For many vector designers, many would tend to use the Adobe Illustrator or the CorelDraw. However, Inkscape is a free alternative which is somewhat similar to both software. It offers many powerful features and an excellent SVG integration. It is also ideal for printing high-quality graphics. In addition, the software has a great simple layout that is easy to use. You can find many tutorials online to help you master the software. Inkscape is available on Mac, Linux or Windows.

Sumo Paint

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Sumo Paint is another free software that is available for use in any browsers. There’s no need to download unless you are looking to use it offline. It is a great alternative to photoshop as it contains a very similar interface and features. However, to use this software your desktop will need to be running on Adobe Flash.

Blender

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If you are a 3D designer, we highly recommend Blender. It’s a free 3D graphic software for animations and more. It is available on all platforms including Mac, Windows and Linux. Like many other 3D software, we know that they can sometimes be too technical to use. But don’t worry! Blender provides hundreds of video tutorials on their website. They also have a community where you can ask or discuss any topics you like with other users.

Typesetting and Branding

Ever notice how some text looks much more appealing than others, even though the content is the same? Well, chances are the text you liked better had some typesetting work done on it to make it look better. Typesetting is the process where the size, weight, alignment, spacing and other aspects of text are modified to make the entire block of text more readable and attractive.

Nowadays, there are several software options you can use for typesetting text and make it more personalised to your needs. Some of the software such as Groff, Troff, LaTeX, Lout and Scribus can be downloaded for free while some of the more premium software such as Adobe InDesign have to be purchased.

Whichever software you decide to use; there’s no question that typesetting is important on some level for every company. It is a subtle way of distinguishing your company from others, but beyond the distinctions you have to remember that everything you choose to show the world is representing you visually and conveying a message about everything you offer or stand for. Whether you want them to or not, potential customers and business partners (as well as everyone else) are going to be making a judgement about your company whenever they see a piece of your visual marketing or branding. Your typesetting choices, and everything else about your graphic design, has to be saying the right things if you want it to be successful.

Once you find a typeset that works for you, based on whatever you need to say about your overall brand, you can use it in books, letter heads, brochures and even web design to create a uniform brand for your company. Your signature typeface and every aspect of it can become synonymous with your brand eventually, and this can be an easy way to unify all your visual branding efforts.