Magazine Cover Design

Magazine Design

Magazine Cover DesignHave to brag on my students for their latest work – Magazine Design.  They were given a lot of freedom.  I wanted them to be passionate about the subject matter.  That said, they needed to produce some authentic looking designs, and I think they did a fantastic job.

From image(s), to typography, color theory, to content matter – they had free reign based on what they have learned these last 9 months.

I so glad that a number of students have chosen to pursue careers in the creative fields.  Expect to see some great designs in the near future.  Heck, here are some great designs.

Design Dictionary

Graphic Design Is Easy

As a graphic designer, seems my most frequent hurdle are those that think graphic design is easy.  Armed with Microsoft Office and some clip art, one is ready to take on the world.  Reasoning with these people is futile at best so, “Let them design,” as paraphrased by Marie-Antoinette.

So, when I came across this blog post by Igor Ovsyannykov (http://inspirationfeed.com), it put a smirk on my face.  This list is a small fraction of what professional designers keep in mind when designing. Take a quick read, it’s very interesting.

As you journey through the intricacies of becoming a designer, you will learn that design, like any other field of expertise, uses a special language that allows people within the industry to understand each other.

These terms are also a great resource for marketers simply because design work is one of the most important aspects in their discipline. After all, branding relies on design decisions, and not being able to communicate effectively with your own designers could jeopardize the success of any marketing campaign or project.

You will find a description of some of these key terms below. Test yourself and check if you understand all, or at least most of them. See how far you still have to go as you work towards becoming a great designer, or in your attempt to communicate effectively with one.

  • Alignment. This dictates how images, texts, and shapes are arranged and positioned. It is usually defined by setting it as left aligned, right aligned, centered, or justified.
  • Bleed. The bleed is the part of the page that gets trimmed off once the image is printed. In case there are important aspects that are part of the page’s bleed, then the document should be printed on a larger sheet of paper and trimmed down from there.
  • Camera Ready. When a document is declared to be camera ready, this means that it is ready for reproduction and could now be printed out or sent to the printers.
  • CMYK. CMYK stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Key (black). These are the basic colors used for documents being sent to the printers (newspapers, magazines, flyers, etc.). On a traditional press, the first three colors are aligned or ‘keyed’ to the black plate, which explains why black is also called Key. If there is a need for a fifth color to be added, these are created as separate plates.
  • Crop Marks. These are often seen on the outside of printed pieces. They are guides used as each piece is cut to its final size.
  • Die Cut. Die cuts are used to print documents that require unconventional shapes. It is a metal ruler that can cut shapes on different kinds of materials.
  • DPI. DPI stands for dots per inch, an acronym used to measure resolution. Based on the name itself, this measures how many dots there are for every inch of printed space. As you increase the number of dots, the image quality improves. For images to be printed, 300 DPI is usually the standard resolution.
  • Export. This means that you are saving the file in a format that can be used by a different program. The Export function often allows you to open the file in computers that do not have the same design software that you do.
  • Font. A font is an element of typography that dictates the style and size of displayable text characters under a typeface.
  • GIF. A common format used for images, it can either be static or animated.
  • Grids. Grids are a series of horizontal and vertical lines that intersect and allow a designer to add structure and organize content. It helps to balance and lay out the entire composition.
  • Gutter. The gutter is the space created when a book or magazine is bound. It is the blank space between two pages facing each other.
  • JPEG. This is short for Joint Photographic Experts Group. One of the most common image formats used, it is best used for images that contain gradients.
  • Kerning. Kerning is the spacing between characters to make the pairing of every two letters more balanced. For example, if an A and a V were placed beside each other, the top left corner of the V will often be aligned with the bottom right corner of A so that the text, as a whole, appears more balanced.
  • Layers. Layers are tools within design software that separate tiers of information, shapes, and images from each other. They allow effective organization and editing of the design work done on the specific software used.
  • Leading. Leading is the vertical space that sets each line of type apart. As a general rule, the leading used should be 1.25 to 1.5 times bigger than the font size to make lines of text easier to read.
  • Logo Design. Logo design is the process of creating a visual identity that represents a company, brand, or individual. It is important to understand what logo design really entails because many people interchange the terms “logo design” and “branding”. Logo design is actually just a single process that contributes to the more complex realm that is brand development.
  • Measure. Measure is used to define the width of a text block. This is important if you want to give the audience an optimal reading or viewing experience.
  • Negative Space. This is the amount of space around the shapes and words used in a design piece.
  • Orphan. This is a term used to describe a group of words or a short line towards the end or at the beginning of a paragraph. These can create an unwanted focal point as they become isolated from the rest of the content. While an orphan is a lonely word at the end of a paragraph, a widow is a short phrase or word that lies at beginning or end of a column. The result is similar: orphans create too much white space between paragraphs, while widows make sentences within paragraphs seem disjointed.
  • Pantone System. This is a color matching system used in the printing industry. It uses the number system created by Pantone to effectively identify the colors used.
  • PDF. Short for Portable Document Format, it is a popular format used for documents that are being sent for printing.
  • Pica. It is a unit of measurement used in typesetting. One pica is 1/6th of an inch. It is a measure used by different design software such as InDesign.
  • Pixel. A pixel is the smallest element on a single raster image. Each image is made up of small pixels that, when grouped together, form vivid objects in the eyes of the viewer.
  • PNG. This file format is short for Portable Network Graphics. It is great for web design, and supports transparency around images.
  • PPI. Another measure for resolution, PPI stands for Pixels Per Inch. Using the same concept as the one used in DPI, the more pixels for every inch, the more detailed the images are. The standard is 72 PPI for digital images.
  • Proof. This refers to a copy or preview of what your design will look like. Another term used for this is ‘mockup’. A proof is often printed out or sent to a client so that they can review the material before having it printed.
  • PSD. A format used for files that come directly from Adobe Photoshop.
  • Raster Images. Raster images are also known as bitmap images. They are made up of thousands of pixels that dictate each image’s form and color. The best example of a raster image is a regular photo, and the most common tool used to edit a raster image is Adobe Photoshop.
  • RGB. This stands for red, green, and blue, and is a color mode used to display vibrant images on screen. Designing for print often requires switching to CMYK color mode (described above). Failing to work in the right color mode will result in “automatic” conversions, leading to loss of quality and fidelity.
  • Sans Serif. A common typeface style where letters don’t have small lines (serifs) at the ends of each character. Some popular examples are Helvetica and Gotham.
  • Slug. A slug is an optional space that a designer adds to a document to display information that won’t be part of the final product. It often contains copyrights, notes, or other information that is part of the proofing process.
  • Tracking. Tracking is similar to kerning, but tracking applies an even amount of space between characters.
  • Typeface. A typeface is the entire design set for a group of fonts. These often come in families that contain similar attributes.
  • Typography. Typography is one of the basic fundamentals of graphic design and allows the designer to arrange the type used on any composition.
  • Vector Images. Instead of having pixels like the ones used in raster images, vector images use points that have X and Y coordinates. The points are then connected to form shapes, and colors are applied within each shape that is formed. Vectors can be resized endlessly without quality loss. A popular tool to create these vector images is Adobe Illustrator.

Although there are already a lot of terms on this list, know that there is much more out there that you’ll eventually have to learn. Work on understanding these terms and knowing where and how to use them. Try to read about emerging terms and tools that affect your industry. An exciting design career awaits!

Source: https://creativemarket.com/blog/graphic-design-diagrams

BOSS JAZZ

New Jazz Concert Program

I’m always looking for something unique with every new jazz concert program.  BOSS (Bands of Santiago Sharks) put on 4 multi band concerts every year – 2 Jazz and 2 Band. 3 Penguins Design has been fortunate enough to design the programs for the past couple of years.

The fun is always coming up with a cover design that new, fresh and eye-catching.

For this cover design I chose Spring colors.  The valves (yes I know a trumpet only has 3 valve) create a nice symmetry and a backdrop for the word JAZZ.

We have one more program to design this season.  Stay tuned.

FestivalOfGold-1

Festival of Gold – t-shirt

t-shirt designGot a last minute call to create a shirt for a school field trip entitled Festival of Gold.  How much time did I have? About 4 hours.

I needed to incorporate two elements: something musical and something iconic relating to San Francisco.

This is where I landed.

Beat the deadline.  Mission accomplished.

Screen Shot 2016-07-19 at 4.16.09 PM

BOSS Website Redesign

Screen Shot 2016-07-19 at 4.16.09 PMThe BOSS (Bands of Santiago Sharks) just got a website redesign. BOSS consists of four concert bands, three big band jazz ensembles, a 220 piece marching band of musicians and a Color Guard. As time goes on, all websites need changing.  As such, the BOSS website needed some updating in both look and feel, information and images.  Few websites do not have to do some regular work, whether it’s a complete makeover or some updating and/or additions, i.e. social media integration.

I was fortunate enough to have spent the entire 2015-2016 season shooting photographs of all the BOSS events, including parades, Disneyland and concerts.  Thus, I had plenty of photographs to choose from.  Furthermore, the old site had most of the information already on it, although some needed updating.  The biggest challenge was organizing the large number of pages that the site contained.  At the time of writing this, we are still flushing this out.

Social Media

The other challenge that we are currently working on the BOSS website redesign is the integration of the website to social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  Throughout the years multiple accounts have been set up on various platforms. We want to integrate them is such a way that current and future users can easily find BOSS.

In addition, BOSS started using Charms Office to communicate and manage all the students and parents within the program.  It is very important that these two platforms work in conjunction with one another.

eCommerce

There is also an online Spirit Wear store coming to the site, where parents and student can purchase shirts, sweatshirt, hats, etc. We are creating a seamless ecommerce store so ordering and fulfillment does not require additional work for the BOSS Boosters.

Finally, at the time this was published the BOSS website redesign is nearly completed.

For a FREE assessment of your website please contact us.

No Whining Poster

No Whining Poster – FREE

No Whining PosterI posted this No Whining poster on social media and it got some attention, especially from teachers.  So, I’m offering a FREE download of this 18×24 inch poster for those who want it.  Simply click on this link to download the PDF.  Save it to your computer and take it over to Kinko’s, Sam’s, Costco, wherever you want to print it.

This is not my original thought.  No sure where it came from, but I thought it was really cool.

Also, want to remind you that if you are in need of any DESIGN work, please consider us.  We do graphic design for print and Internet, video and presentations.  In addition, we do web design, website maintenance and social media marketing.

For more information on what we (3 Penguins Design) do, explore our website at www.3PenguinsDesign.com.

 

bandcamp logo - joe randeen

Band Camp Logo

The Bands of Santiago High School (BOSS) is an award-winning music program that, every year, conducts a Band Camp just prior to the start of Marching Band Competition Season, and they needed a new logo. Over the last season I took photographs of nearly every event that BOSS participated in.  Thus, I had plenty of pictures to select from.

Initially, we considered using a collage of pictures in a set frame that could be used in print and on the web.  We had done this before and it worked quite well but, we needed something different.  Instead, I took a number of photos that I thought would work well and used a TEXT CUTOUT to create the final logo.

I also thought that the logo needed to communicate ‘education’ so I selected a font that had a collegiate feel to it.  This font is similar to other communication mediums used by the school and is also similar to the LETTERS that the students can earn.

If you are in need of a logo please contact us.  We would love to serve you.

Content Management

Content Management – Keeping Your Website Up To Date

content managementDo I Really Need To Keep My Website Up To Date?

Some of us invest large sums of money in building a website.  We realize how important a strong web presence is to our business or organization and we don’t want to leave that in the hands of some well meaning nephew, IT employee or DIY website builder, of which there are many.  We want to maximize our invest and make sure that the website does what we want and need it to do.

But, yes there is a “but” – why do so many of us have a “build it and they will come” attitude?  Obviously, we hired a very capable web designer and thus people would flock to our site to see what is being offered – right?  Doesn’t work that way.

Your visitors will NOT COME BACK without you having new content.

Some of us have heard of SEO and SEM, Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing, so we do one of the following: 1) get a book and try to do it ourselves; 2) tell one of our employees to get a book and give it a try; 3) take an online course and try it ourselves; 4) hire our web designer to do but quickly fire him/her because you can’t believe that it would cost that much so you go back to trying it yourself; 5) give up and blame the designer for not building a site that attracts more visitors.  Laugh all you want, I’ve seen it time and time again.

So many of us have a “build it and they will come” attitude?

SEO and/or SEM are both important aspects of driving traffic to our websites but so is CONTENT.  You can have the prettiest site in the world and the greatest widget or service but one important aspect about managing traffic is creating consistent, relevant, interesting and engaging content.  That means both copy and images.  Even if you spend tons of money on SEM, your visitors will NOT COME BACK without you having new content, all the time.  Imagine if you picked up the morning newspaper, and it had the same stories day after day.  How long before you stop picking up the paper?

Content Management System vs. Content Management

There are some semantics that we need to briefly talk about.  First, there is something called CMS (Content Management System). “A CMS is a computer application that supports the creation and modification of digital content using a common user interface and thus usually supporting multiple users working in a collaborative environment” (Wikipedia). This is your WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, etc.  [Note: we build on the WordPress Platform in case you are interested].

We generate fresh, unique, relevant content for your website.

What we are offering you is Content Management.  This is where we generate fresh, unique, relevant content for your website, and social media, on a regular basis.  We also search out content that can be linked to and/or re-posted on your website and social media platforms.

How often and how much?  Truly depends on your specific needs. A church will have much different needs than a trailer company, for example.  We address all our clients needs individually.  No cookie-cutter services.

So, where to begin?  Give us a call and we can discuss a strategic plan to move forward.  Plans are usually set up on an ‘hour per month’ basis.  We look forward to hearing from you.

Graphic Design by Joe Randeen

Graphic Design for BOSS

Programs All - webThe 2015-2016 BOSS (Bands of Santiago Sharks) Season offered some wonderful Graphic Design opportunities. The goal was to expand the design aspect of the programs and offer a keepsake versus just an informational piece.  This was achieved by creating unique, professional looking covers as well as filling the program with candid photos (3 Penguins Photography) of the musicians performing throughout the year.

The programs ranged in size from 18 to 22 pages.  The covers were all 4/4 with grey-scale content.

BOSS comprises 8 different bands plus the Marching Band. These award-winning bands have performed at Carnegie Hall, Pearl Harbor, marched in the Rose Parade, and competed in numerous Jazz and Band competitions. They have set a high standard for music and their print should reflect that same high standard.

Pictures of BOSS Joe Randeen

Whether you’re an award-winning band, dance troupe, theater group, sports team or any other type of organization, you shouldn’t have to skimp on quality.  How you communicate in your graphic design, logos and branding serves an important role in how you are perceived.

Do you represent yourself as a professional or as someone who doesn’t really care? What I mean by “not caring” is – if your graphic representation is sloppy with poorly designed programs and/or ads, filled with inaccurate or misspelled information – you come across as not caring about quality.  If that is how you are perceived, then the logical next step is that people won’t want to join you.

We would love to help you raise your standard.  Give us a call today. 714.225.7674