Neil Tortorella is a graphic designer, writer and marketing consultant with over thirty years experience. He is the author of Starting Your Career As A Freelance Web Designer and a frequent speaker at conferences and business organizations. His site can be found at www.neiltortorella.com.
Easy. Have you ever looked at a picture of yourself taken several years ago? Odds are, you thought, “Oh geez. Look at my hair and clothes. What was I thinking?” When we look back at our Web work it’s a similar scenario. Animated gifs doing goofy things and other strangeness. Then, along came Flash. Whoa. Flash opened the doors to the additional dimensions of movement, time and sound. Motion designers, such as the late, great Hillman Curtis , showed... CONTINUE READING
Whatever the medium, it’s blank as blank can be. You’re idea-less. For a graphic designer, finding yourself creatively challenged is akin to stepping into the void, lost and floating aimlessly in a dark netherworld. You need a spark. A jumpstart. Something. Anything. But first, where the heck does creativity come from? Is it inherent – a talent and ability within a person from birth? Or is it a learned ability? That question has raised more than a few opinions... CONTINUE READING
From the 30,000 year old prehistoric wall art in France’s Chauvet Cave, to the ad you just saw in a magazine or logo emblazed on a product, graphic design permeates our lives. It’s been a part of the human experience since that first primitive person discovered they could make marks on the walls in their cavernous home. A complete, detailed history of graphic design has filled numerous volumes and neither you, nor I, have that kind of time. So,... CONTINUE READING
Those are the obvious choices. But, there are also subjective issues to consider when selecting a font or set of fonts. These include kerning and letter-spacing, line spacing or leading for those of us who remember a life before the Web. What about the font’s emotional value? How well does it align with the project’s goals and audience? Then there’s always the design’s delivery media to consider. Will it be print or digital? If digital, will it be desktop... CONTINUE READING
The social media is one of those rapidly evolving environments where what’s hot today is passé tomorrow. We’ve all seen Facebook become a communication staple of modern society and also an ever morphing entity. Twitter isn’t far behind. In fact, the recent Twitter redesign incorporates several elements that are reminiscent of Facebook and Google+. A focus on visuals is apparent, including a large header image and stepping away from its strict vertical layout. I hooked up with Jay York... CONTINUE READING
These less-than logosmiths tend to make the same mistakes over and over. At least they’re consistent. When it comes to art and science of logo design, there are cardinal rules that should be followed if a design is to be successful. Let’s have a look at a few of these all too common faux pas, blunders, solecisms and erroneous outcomes. Mistake #1: Giving the client too much authority I can hear it now. “Giving the client too much authority?... CONTINUE READING
Part two will give you practical insights into the process, typical elements of an infographic, such as headlines, context and the all-important story, or narrative, your infographic tells. Plus, I’ll share some tools for creating infographics, use of color and typography and more. This two-part article is just the tip of the info-iceberg. A web search will yield many more resources, tutorials and articles about the topic. Add in a bit of playing around with a pencil, paper and... CONTINUE READING
Like the Swiss Army knife of graphic design, infographics can be used for myriad purposes beyond research data such as recruiting employees, comparing various items, way finding design, educating an audience and more. This new tool is handy and agile. It’s the perfect way to display information on the Web. Why? Internet users tend to have short attention spans. Also, The National Assessment of Adult Literacy found that 43 percent of Web users are low-literacy, reading at a 6th... CONTINUE READING
These days, graphic designers also have patrons. They’re called clients. But, for all intent and purpose, it’s pretty much the same thing. Graphic designers have an insatiable desire to create. Clients have an insatiable desire to have things created. It might be to sell stuff or promote an idea, cause or other type of communication. Whatever the reason, it’s a symbiotic relationship based on the idea that client types need a and they... CONTINUE READING
They can major in graphic design at a traditional college or university. They might opt for any one of various other educational choices, either on or offline. But, the education of a graphic designer involves more than honing an ability to create a pleasing printed piece, logo, website or other communication vehicle. It involves an understanding of people – what motivates them, resonates with them and determines their behavior, often on an emotional level. Graphic design requires a keen... CONTINUE READING
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