10 Inspiring Printed Designs

A guest post by Paul Kilminster who has worked in the printing industry for several years and has seen how the industry has evolved to meet the challenges of digital marketing. He is currently the Technical Services Director for Print and Digital Associates.

From full-on works of art to professional business cards, print is an incredibly versatile medium. Since we know you can’t get enough of looking at beautiful designs, we’ve found ten fabulous examples of striking and innovative prints for you to enjoy. Check them out below!

1. Lumadessa – Night Owl

1. lumadessa - night owl

The simple geometric design of this stunning owl illustration really catches the eye. The use of colour to suggest shadow gives a three-dimensional effect, bringing the owl to life despite the highly stylised nature of the image.

2. A Single Man

2. a single man

This striking film poster may look simple, but it’s amazing how evocative a design with so few elements can be. The positioning of the glasses and tie make it look as though they are being worn by an invisible man, while the combination of colours suggests sadness and loneliness.

3. Paris Traveler Series

3. paris traveler series

We love the play on perspective in this poster. It adds an element of fun and really gives you the feeling of sitting outside a Paris cafe. The merging of the champagne bubbles with the stars in the sky is the finishing touch in bringing both elements of the design together.

4. Superhero Noir Posters – Dark Knight

4. superhero noir posters

A world away from the usual bright colours associated with comic-book inspired art, the use of silhouette in this poster makes for a sophisticated twist on the theme.

5. Seed Vibe (Business Card)

5 - SeedVibe

These business cards give a holistic, refined impression. An ingenious idea combining the simple white text against a resplendent, strong green background; these cards would be perfect for a savant or sophisticated business.

6. JS3 Design (Business Card)

6 - JS3 Design

Another creative business card idea, the vibrant colours are made substantially more noticeable as they contrast with the staunch black backdrop. The trio of colours on the front of the card offers simplicity but is still inspiring. These business card are ideal for an inventive company and would be sure to intrigue your clients.

7. Behance Poster

7 - Behance

Vivid, explosive colours and graceful designs make this poster a beautiful piece, the overlap across the white diamond gives the impression that it is a 3D poster; the thick white line of the diamond also centres your focus due to the variation in colour. The detail in this design is uplifting and makes for an eye catching bit of art.

8. Verbana (Business Card)

8 - Deskfolio

This cute business card idea is deceptively simple. We love the way the design is replicated on the reverse of the card, subtly inviting you to turn it over and see the contact details. The reversal of the pink and white colours finishes the design off nicely.

9. Cuben – Colour Shambles

9. cuben - colour shambles

Many of the designs we’ve chosen feature just two or three colours that enhance the striking simplicity of the design. This poster, on the other hand, is a glorious riot of colour, and it works just as effectively. Celebrating the cube, the colours draw in your eye and add elements of depth. The longer you look, the more cubes you see.

10. Literature Quote Illustrations – I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.

10 - literature quote (Edgar Allan Poe)

The simple but striking monochrome design of this poster beautifully illustrates the quote from poet Edgar Allan Poe. By waking up to this poster every morning you’re sure to have an interesting day ahead!

That’s the end of our list. We hope you enjoyed discovering these stunning examples of printed design as much as we did!

 

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planning pod project management software

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Check out Planning Pod’s project management software app here.

To enroll in the contest, just leave a comment below and provide one way in which you would like to be more productive or efficient as a designer.

Closing date for entry July 15th 2013.

The winner will be announced on July 19 2013.

10 Cool New Brochure Designs

A guest post by Brian Morris, who writes for the PsPrint Design & Printing Blog.

Brochures can be some of the most powerful marketing tools you ever deploy, so long as you incorporate a strategic approach to planning, designing and distributing your brochures. Start with a goal for each brochure you create. Your goal could be to educate, to increase brand awareness, or to motivate a specific action such as visiting a URL, downloading an app, calling a phone number, or visiting your location. Once you have your goal in mind, you can draft copy and craft a design that together to achieve it. Understand your target audience, and you can then distribute your brochures to locations and mailboxes that reach your customer base. Thus, you’ll have a brochure that’s primed for success.

One of the best ways to ensure your brochure is a success is to craft a unique and original design that commands customer attention. Here are 10 cool new brochure designs to inspire you to craft your own winning brochure.

1. Werewolf Museum by Bruce Ting-Yu Chen

Possibly the coolest museum in the history of all man (and wolf) kind. If you’re going to San Francisco…

Werewolf brochure

2. Bike to School and Work Day by Tiffany Hsu

This unique and attention-getting brochure folds out into a map demarcating “celebration stations.”

Bike to School Brochure

3. Columna America by Studio Rockiki and Sciborowski

A clean, elegant brochure with a bold interior layout for a corporate, yet cutting-edge, look.

Columna Brochure Design

Columna America Brochure

4. Hough Waves Brochure by Hanne Svensson

No matter your industry, if you’re a designer then your marketing collateral should conform to high standards.

Hough Waves Brochure Design

Hough Waves Brochure Design

5. FujiFilm Brochure by Eleanor Nelson

Some brochures have to relay a lot of complex information. This designer was able to make all that copy manageable through intelligent use of visuals and white space.Fuli Brochure Design

6. Chameleon Brochure by Adela Rinadi

I love how this brochure design maintains its theme with a textured background and large chameleon images.

Chameleon Brochure Design


7. Hufschmid Guitars Brochure by Jeffrey Cajucom

Promoting your brand image with your brochure design is important, and the designer for this brochure nailed the attitude of a guitar company.

Hufschmid Guitars Brochure Design

8. Cedar Point Locomotive Anniversary Brochure by Erin Gray

This brochure design features a vintage look for the 45th anniversary of an amusement park icon.

cedar Point Brochure Design

9. Kidrobot Promo Brochure by Jewelyn Butron

I like how this brochure retains the service theme with a graph paper background, yet makes the product seem fun and inviting with bright colors and images.

Kidrobot flyer design

10.VESPA Brochure by Justin Quitevis

Another fun and light brochure design, lending the essence of zipping through town on your scooter. It’s a perfect design for this brand.

Vespa Brochure Design

Which is your favorite brochure design?

Author’s Bio: Brian Morris writes for the PsPrint Design & Printing Blog. PsPrint is an online commercial printing company. Follow PsPrint on Twitter @PsPrint and Facebook.

Inspirational Paper Engineering

A guest post by Susie Francis who writes for affordable leaflets

Paper engineering is something you might only think is relevant to children – for example, in the form of pop-up picture books or basic paper aeroplanes. In actual fact, paper engineering can be a spectacularly creative art form, with the power to create a real wow factor.

Paper art originated in Ancient Japan as origami, but is getting more and more popular in today’s world. It can be seen all around the globe, and is even on display in some of the most prestigious galleries and museums.

The things a talented paper engineer can do are extraordinary – ranging from minimalist artwork, to exquisitely detailed designs. Below are 5 unique, interesting and frankly amazing examples of modern paper engineering.

Benja Harney

Benja Harney is an artist located in Sydney, Australia, his work above is simply stunning. Based on a traditional English tea-party it is realistic and looks delicious, despite being wholly created with paper. His impressive work is funky, unique and literally appears good enough to eat… even the paper tea in the cup looks drinkable.

Benja Harney paper enginnering

Lydia Crook

Lydia Crook, based in Lewes, Sussex, creates pop-up books and paper carvings. Her work above is original, illustrative and looks as if it has just popped out of a story book. The subtle blue silhouette creates lovely shadow effects because of the cut-out technique used by the artist.

Lydia Crook paper engineering

Su Blackwell

Sue Blackwell is based in London and she clearly takes the term ‘pop-up’ book to a new level. As the image shows, she is able to turn the book itself into a work of paper art. This work, entitled “The Fairy Tale Princess: Seven Classic Stories from The Enchanted Forest” is altogether magical, mysterious, and intricately designed. You can almost imagine a tiny paper princess locked away in the turreted castle.

Su Blackwell paper artist

Jen Stark

This magnificent, brightly coloured piece by American artist Jen Stark is undeniably eye-catching. Made with paper, wood, glue and foam board, and entitled Cosmic Distortion, this is a more abstract paper-engineered creation. It is frankly amazing how Stark produces such exquisite yet vibrant sculptures with paper.

Jen Stark paper sculpture

Love Paper Flowers – Jennifer Bennett

Artist Jennifer Bennett from Blackpool, UK, creates more practical art which is equally stunning. She uses paper engineering to make bridal bouquets and gifts inspired by flowers. This delicate bouquet of purple, yellow and cream flowers is created entirely using paper-based products. Each one is realistic, imaginative and made with undeniable patience.

Jennifer Bennett Paper flowers

As you can see, paper engineering requires infinite amounts of skill, patience and most importantly imagination. Creations range from wall art and pop-up books to huge sculptures. No doubt the popularity of this impressive and exciting form of art will continue to grow, pushing boundaries by challenging the limitations of paper as a material.

This post was written by the content writers at affordable leaflets.

How to set up an InDesign file for print

A guest post by José Calvo, writing on behalf of South East Labels

Creating media ready for professional printing is something that many vaguely wonder about, but never actually do. While it’s all well and good having the skills to generate eye-catching posters or super-slick brochures, to make them pay you also need the ability to set up the files properly. Happily, for users of InDesign, this process is relatively easy.

Getting the colour right

Start by choosing CMYK colour mode when creating a document. This is necessary because many of the colours created in RGB mode aren’t achievable using the standard four-colour printing process. Using CMYK thus gives a more accurate representation of the final printed product.

In dealings with a printer, designers might hear the term ‘four over four’ or ‘4/4’. This simply refers to four colours on the front and four colours on the back – a typically request for a flyer. A poster on the other hand would typically need 4/0 as there are no colours on the back.

Those new to the printing game would be wise to avoid lavishly coloured designs for their first few jobs. It’s far cheaper to create 2/0 sheet labels or business cards, and there’s consequently less to lose if something goes wrong.

new indesign document

Press “Ctrl + n” or “Command + n”. Within the new document dialog box, choose the “Print” option

Variations on black

There are two types of black that can be used when printing black. The standard ‘Rich black’ is defined as 40 C 40 M 40 Y 100 K, and should be used for printing blocks of black. ‘Black’ is 0 C 0 M 0 Y 100 K, and creates a flatter tone more suited for body copy and barcodes.

black and rick black for print

Important: Some print shops specify a different mix for the Rich Black

Understanding layout

Printers like to be given a margin of error, which is known as ‘bleed’. It’s an extension of a design that is intended to be cut off. Artwork should extend into the bleed area to ensure that no unprinted edges occur when the document is finally trimmed to size. The minimum bleed needed for a printed piece is 0.125 in (1/8in), but check with the printer beforehand.

Within the bleed area is the ‘live area’. This is where the essential body of the artwork is placed. Anything beyond the edge of the live area may or may not be lost, so make sure to stay within the boundaries. The trim line is between the bleed area and the live area, and indicates where the final cuts will be made.

The best way to become familiar with the terms described here is to play with some of the various templates that can be downloaded for free.

bleed and slug in print

The “bleed and slug” option becomes available when you click on “More options”, within the “New document” window. All these settings can be adjusted later wshortcut CTRL + Alt + P).

Choosing images

While getting the aesthetic right is obviously important, don’t be tempted to opt for images with a low resolution just because they look good. Commercial printers typically require higher resolution images than those viewed only on a monitor. It’s best to err on the side of caution and only deal with images of at least 225 ppi. Use the ‘Info panel’ tool to check image resolution.

Making a package

To package files using InDesign, go to ‘Package’ in the ‘File’ menu (shortcut Alt + Shift + Ctrl + P). This will make a summary screen appear, where the designer can check the colours, image sizes, fonts etc. If all looks well, click on the ‘Package’ button. All that’s left to do then is zip up the folder and send it off to the printer.

package in Indesign

Final words

The printing process is initially often nerve-wracking, as mistakes can be costly. First-timers should contact their printer from the outset to clarify exactly what’s required. Companies such as South East Labels are happy to offer pre-press advice.