A guest post by Susie Francis writing on behalf of RODD Industrial Design
Over the past year we’ve seen a new trend of invites to social events like weddings and birthday parties being made from beautifully engraved, smooth cut outs of wood. For this article, we look at the processes involved in the design and manufacture of the ‘woodcards’, taking in some examples, and giving tips on how you can design these fantastically imaginative items to suit your purpose or event.
The first time I had a woodcard delivered through my letter box, it was to invite me to a friend’s wedding, and the first thing I thought was, ‘crikey, they must have spent a fortune on just the invitations’.
The quality of design and the craftsmanship is fantastic and gives the impression of an expensive product. Considering your typical wedding has over a hundred guests, I was thinking they’d must spent several hundred pounds. I was right, prices range from £3 to £7 per invitation depending on the design work required, so they’re most definitely a luxury.
How are they made?
The cards are made using a combination of laser-cutting and scoring the design onto a thin slice of wood or veneer using a laser printer. Laser printers have dropped in price massively over the past decade, which has allowed savvy entrepreneurs to produce the products themselves rather than outsourcing.
A great thing about this process is that it gives the impression of a handmade product, rather than a batch-produced item.
Cut-to-size pieces of the chosen wood are loaded onto a jig in the laser printer, and the printing itself is remarkably quick, anything between 1-5 minutes for a design of less than 1 foot squared.
The main wood used for cards and invitations is birch ply. Being a softwood, it’s lightweight and easy to machine. However, many other woods are used, including ash, oak, maple and poplar.
It hasn’t taken long for a wider range of products to become available from business cards to birthday cards. Recently producers have started treating the wood to ensure it lasts longer.
Who does the Designing?
A lot of the stock designs offered by retailers are great; they simply place your names and details in to their existing templates. There are a lot of options for having a bespoke design made, and often for a reasonable price. Many of the online retailers have an in-house designer for any of their design requirements.
The friend I mentioned earlier happened to be marrying a freelance graphic design expert, so he was well covered there, but I’d say that you really can’t go wrong sticking with a stock template.
Considering the price of production, and the importance of the occasions they’re used for, it’s fair to say it’s better to outsource the designing, unless you’re an accomplished graphic designer of course.
Some of the Best
(Source: Serendipity Beyond Design)
(Source: This is why I’m Broke)
If you’ve recently used a wooden style product, whether it was for a business car or a wedding invite, we’d love to hear how you chose a design and how they were received by people.
Susie Francis writes articles for RODD Industrial Design, a Design and Innovation Agency working with international clients delivering strategic design solutions. Based in Hampshire, UK, with clients including Motorola, Panasonic and Transport for London, RODD are focused on delivering the highest quality creative work and commercially effective design.
A guest post by Luke Clum
Now that everyone from your favorite author to your dog sitter has some sort of website, most designers have learned that the old, static layouts and pages just don’t cut it anymore. In order to really get the attention of your viewer you have to stay ahead of the trends; a great way to do this is embrace interactivity. Static pages just don’t stand out to visitors anymore, as they are now used to animation, parallax scrolling, and other interactive elements.
But don’t fear, interactive pages don’t have to be complicate, as you can see in this example. Below we outline other great examples of interactive pages and discuss how emulate a similar style on your own.
Examples of interactive sites
SimpliSafe does a great job of showing their customers the length they will go to protect their property. Moving from inside to outside of an animated house as the viewer scrolls down the page, they teach their customers what they can do to ensure safety and peace of mind.
YouTube pulled out all the stops when they created One Hour Per Second, a microsite that makes great use of animation, creative controls and provides links to some of the most popular clips from their website. When the user starts the presentation, easy to follow examples roll down the screen, providing the viewer with context to understand what it really means to have one hour of video uploaded to YouTube every second.
Life of Pi was recognized as being a visual masterpiece at the box office and numerous award shows upon its release. With a mix of film and animation shown in 3-D, it’s no surprise that fans wanted to know exactly how the movie was made. This website uses lots of cool navigation and superimposed sketches of set designs with images from the film. Visitors can watch videos of some of the trickiest scenes filmed and provides before and after images that show exactly what the special effects provide. It’s a great way for fans of the film to get in on the movie magic.
If there is one thing every James Bond fan enjoys it’s all of the extraordinary tools that he gets to use in the films. And the coolest of all the unattainable items might be the cars he gets to drive. A very clever used car dealer caught on to this and decided to break down all of the Bond cars and let customers choose their favorite. With color palettes that match every decade, swirling backgrounds zoom in and out to reveal the next movie’s car. They obviously know the value of an older car and do a great job of pointing that out to their customers as well.
The Dangers of Fracking makes great use of visual elements to educate viewers on how wasteful and harmful fracking can be for the environment. With easy to follow graphics that take you from start to finish and navigation that makes you feel as though you are flipping through a book, they put everything you need to know about fracking in one place. It’s a great way to inspire visitors to react to the information instead of just reading it.
Luke Clum is a graphic designer from Seattle who specializes in print and web development. He loves coffee, hiking and alpine climbing in the mountains. Follow him on Twitter @lukeclum
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Possibly the coolest museum in the history of all man (and wolf) kind. If you’re going to San Francisco…
This unique and attention-getting brochure folds out into a map demarcating “celebration stations.”
A clean, elegant brochure with a bold interior layout for a corporate, yet cutting-edge, look.
No matter your industry, if you’re a designer then your marketing collateral should conform to high standards.
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.
I love how this brochure design maintains its theme with a textured background and large chameleon images.
Promoting your brand image with your brochure design is important, and the designer for this brochure nailed the attitude of a guitar company.
This brochure design features a vintage look for the 45th anniversary of an amusement park icon.
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.
Another fun and light brochure design, lending the essence of zipping through town on your scooter. It’s a perfect design for this brand.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A guest post by Josh, the social media marketing guru at DBP, a printing company specialising in banners, stickers and labels based in the UK.
There must be thousands of varieties of wine and usually, when you’re looking down the aisles at the supermarket, very few of the labels really stand out. They’re usually quite generic and uninspiring.
However, there are a handful of wine companies who really go that extra mile when it comes to designing and printing labels for their bottles. Here are some of those more creative examples for your inspiration.
1 Oggau Estate
Oggau Estate is one of the most well known wineries in Austria and it’s easy to see why. At Oggau estate, they don’t just make wine, but also add a huge amount of personality to their labels by adding a different character for each bottle. According to Oggau Estate, each character is based on a certain family member (e.g. children, grandparents etc).
Source: Oggau Estate
This minimal, yet hugely creative design from the team at /M/A/S/H is named “Return of the Living Red” and it’s easy to see why. Although it might appear quite minimal, the blood-like seal over the cork combined with the attached envelope is all it needs. The envelope contains details about the wine inside the bottle as well as a horror story.
3 – Matsu
Matsu are creators of fine, organic wine and their label designs are certainly creative. There are three designs for each of the three different wines produced by Matsu and the labels each feature a family member (grandfather, father and grandson), portraying the history of the company and its family values without a single word.
4 – Logan Weemala
Logan Weemala is an Australian winery based in the Weemala region and their labels have been designed to represent the region where the grapes are grown. Each of the birds on the five variants of wine are common in the area and therefore, portray the history of the wine in a minimalistic, beautiful style.
Source: Logan Weemala
5 – Segreto
These beautiful looking wine bottles are the result of an anniversary label design for the Segreto company. The bottles were very limited in their production but if you were lucky enough to purchase three of them, you can pair them together spell out the name of the company (as pictured). Such a beautiful design.
6 – Boarding Pass Shiraz
Many people indulge in a bottle of wine during a long flight and this exceptionally creative label design makes that experience even more fun. The wine label is essentially designed in the style of a boarding pass with essential boarding information replaced with wine information. It looks great and no doubt goes down well onboard.
Source: Boarding Pass Shiraz
7 – Delhaize
These wine labels were produced by a Bulgarian supermarket and were created to reflect the wines country of origin. Corks were used as part of each design and decorated accordingly to represent the various countries with a recognisable icon. For example, South African wine features a cork decorated like an elephant.
8 – B Frank Wine
This label is only half designed for you; you have to do the other half yourself. B Frank Wine allows you to fill in the label yourself and let your co-drinker know why you’re drinking with them. For example, “I’m only drinking with you because…I’m about to fire you and you don’t know it yet”. The design is minimal and makes drinking a great wine even more fun!
Source: B Frank Wine
9 – Lazarus Braille Wine
Although this design might look like nonsense to most people, those that can read Braille will have absolutely no trouble understanding it. The label is printing almost entirely in Braille (although there is an English description near the bottom of the bottle) and although it might look quite mysterious and strange, the design is cool and certainly stands out from the crowd.
Source: Lazarus Wine
10 – TwentyFour
The label for TwentyFour was created by artist, Ben Schiller. Ben is known for creating interesting designs from regular objects and in this case, it’s rubber bands. The result is a minimal, cool looking label that is certainly one of the more creative out there. The name TwentyFour is derived from the circumference of the bottle at exactly 24cm.
Source: Ben Schiller
Author Bio: Josh is the social media marketing guru at DBP, a printing company specialising in banners, stickers and labels based in the UK.