biog gallerycontact


THE PROCESS

What to Expect How to


What to Expect

The creative process

You’ve made business critical decisions, and now you’re ready to go to market, or upgrade your look. You need an identity fast, but it was the last thing on your list.

The beginning.

The creative process is unlike any other. It relies on intuition and other intangibles and is difficult to quantify. Most artists can’t even tell you how it works universally, but they can tell you how it works for them. Most processes work on a schedule and graphic art is no different, except you never know when inspiration will strike. The hardest thing you have to do is be patient. It is usually well worth it. Anyone can slap out a serviceable logo with little thought, and cheap to boot. There are many web sites out there that do this, many times using a collection of clip art they have developed. 

If you are reading this, you are probably looking for something more. Try to allow two weeks for the creative process if at all possible. This gives the artist time to work, put it aside and look at the work fresh. It also allows for those “ah ha!” moments. All that said, if you REALLY have to have it sooner, we can do that. It will cost you a little bit more.

The middle.

This stage is where vital communication must occur between you and the designer. A logo is a distillation of everything about your company in a graphic form. For product marks, it can be fairly straightforward. For services, it gets more complicated. If you have samples of things you like, that can always help the designer. Any preconceived notions (positive or negative) about color, style, logotype vs. mark, can be very helpful. We may do 20 or more concepts and variations, but normally we present only the top three, with a recommendation. In most cases, the concepts will be presented in black and white. This assures you that a monochromatic version will work on any application you may have down the line, such as on a box, or napkin, or embroidery on a garment, etc.  Additionally, we remove the possibility of color swaying the decision on the design. You may already have in mind whether you prefer a logotype, like the ExxonMobil logotype or more of a symbolic trademark like the Nike swoosh. Both are valid. In most cases we present both types. The presentation is most productive in person rather than over e-mail. After the first presentation, we either go to finished art or modify one of the concepts. Occasionally we start from scratch, but that is fairly unusual if we establish parameters going in. The second round is usually where the logo is nailed down and then we go to finished art.

The end.

Once you have your new identity, what happens next?

You will be provided with files you can use at the very least. Some companies move on to application projects such as a brand book (or corporate identity manual), an identity summary, stationery, brochures, websites, etc. We can do those applications, but so can others. We do recommend at least an identity summary which lends guidance to anyone else down the road who might do application work.

Now we’re down to some nuts and bolts questions like, “How do I put my logo in a Word document?” See the section called “How To.”

How To

THE LOGO IS APPROVED, NOW WHAT?

Most people need their logo in a variety of formats most of which may be unfamiliar to them.

LET’S START WITH THE MOST FAMILIAR MICROSOFT PRODUCT APPLICATIONS

For Word, PowerPoint, and Excel a JPEG or .jpg works well but it is opaque (you’ll have a white box around it). A PNG or .png offers the same quality, but also can be outlined or transparent around the logo. You will likely need only a medium resolution for output on inkjet or office printers. 240 dpi or ppi usually does the trick. This keeps the file relatively small, but not so small that the pixels show up.

YOUR WEBSITE WILL NEED PARTICULAR FORMATS

Similar to the above a JPEG or PNG is the most suitable in the end. Sometimes a GIF or .gif will allow for the smallest file. Some webmasters prefer to start with vector files or Postscript (.eps) and work downward from them to produce a PNG.

YOU MAY NEED STATIONERY OR BROCHURES PRINTED. THIS CALLS FOR A SPECIAL FORMAT.

Commercial printers can’t depend on Microsoft products for final output, and prefer pieces to be built in professional design applications. The most ubiquitous output, even for Word, et al, is Adobe Acrobat. It is possible to export a PowerPoint, etc. into Acrobat and get a clean file.

Apart from that, you may have the printer, design firm, or ad agency produce work for you. They will ask for a format which they may call a variety of names: Adobe Illustrator, FreeHand, vector, vector-based, Postscript, encapsulated and postscript (.eps) files. This is the best format for commercial offset printing.

What we will normally provide you:

PNG (low resolution and fast)

EPS (high resolution, for commercial purposes)

Color and Black and White of both.

Additional formatting will add a minimal cost to your project.

HOW TO USE THESE FILES YOURSELF WITH MICROSOFT APPLICATIONS:

How to insert a graphic into a Microsoft application:

The graphic must be saved out of e-mail onto your hard drive, preferably in an easy place to find it like the desktop.

In the menu at the top, go to “insert”. Then choose “Picture”, the choose “From File” When the dialog box comes up, browse and find the graphic. Choose the “Insert” button. This will embed the graphic into the document. Do NOT choose “link” unless you want the graphic separate from the document. The graphic then appears in your document. You can then place and size the graphic by right clicking on it, or using the Formatting Palette.

HOW TO USE FILES FOR COMMERCIAL PRINTING:

If you thought that last part was too technical, this will make your head explode, so stop now.

VECTOR FILES

If you are familiar with the term “vector” disregard the rest of this. If not, please let me explain. Vector files are made of mathematical formulas as opposed to “bitmap” images, which are made of pixels. That means they are resolution independent, in other words, they remain smooth at any size they are produced, no matter what kind of printer is used. Vector files are Postscript in origin, but not to be confused with a bitmap ‘eps’ file that Photoshop can generate.


Home | Biography | Gallery | Contact | Legal