Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Magazine Publication Advertisement

When designing a magazine publication ad, first take the time to study what ads have been the most successful. What kind of magazine would you see them in? Does the advertisement use images or words to convey the message that they are trying to get across? For this project we were handed the task of designing a large and small publication for a company, campaign, or product of our choice, and our goal to to convey a message using similar styles to the most successful advertisements we have viewed recently. Some important aspects we had to consider for this design were:

  • Size
  • Bleeds
  • Color Mode
  • File format desired by publisher
  • Live Area
  • Trim Size
For my publication I chose to advertise a business located in my area called Fastlane Performance. This business specializes in customization of vehicles, tires, graphics, stereo, window tint, etc. So in return I need to design something that will speak to a mid to high class audience, that enjoys or desires top of the line vehicle care and show quality customization while using minimal text and majority photographic.

My small publication is designed with no bleeds and stands vertical at 2.31" by 9.75". For this ad I chose to use text rather than a photograph due to the smaller live area I had to work with.
Thumbnail sketches for the small publication ad
Rough sketch of the final small advertisement design.

For the large version of my publication I chose to do a full page ad using a strong photograph to emphasize the capabilities and style that the business has to offer. This particular ad has a full bleed at 0.25 inches and the full live area is 8.875" x 11.375".

Thumbnails for the full page version of the Fastlane Performance ad.

Rough sketch of the full page ad design. For those that are unfamiliar,  a box with a large "X" indicates in image area in a rough sketch design. This ad will display a full page, full bleed photograph.

Small screen shot of the final product proof.

Screen shot of the full final proof.

Collegio (Newspaper) Advertisement Process

Designing an advertisement piece for a newspaper poses some different challenges compared to the average ad design. Some the things that are absolutely the most important to consider while planning for this project are the following:

  • Size
  • Target Audience
  • Budget
  • Call to Action
  • Production Schedule
  • Black & White ONLY
Budget is the most important overall due to the fact that it will determine the size and run time of the advertisement. For this particular project our budget was $100, which allowed me to choose one 5x5 (9.67" wide and 5" tall) advertisement for one run. Considering the audience that will be viewing this advertisement I chose to design my ad for a Trunk Show hosted by an area Optometry office and the call to action was a special that they would run for Pittsburg State University students seeking the most fashionable eye wear.


Rough Sketch of the final design. Also includes notes on fonts that will be used, specifications for the fonts, and changes that will be made.

Monday, October 25, 2010

{ Photo of the Week }

In honor of the amazing Neewollah festival that has begun this last weekend, I am making my photograph of the week a snapshot that I took while at dress rehearsals for this years play The Music Man.
A view from a photographers eyes.

Recruitment Notepad Project

For the first project in Digital File Preparation this semester, we were given the task of designing recruitment scratch pads that were aimed to catch the attention of high school students considering the Graphics and Imaging Technology program at PSU. Here are some images below that chronicle my process of designing this project.

Word Matrix: The word matrix is used as a tool get get the creative juices flowing. Begin with target audience and work your way out with different traits that your target audience would have, be interested in, buys, etc.
Thumbs: Thumbs are the second step of this design process. Drawn out closely to the same scale as the final project, these are where the ideas get plotted out in order for the designer to begin the process of elimination. Most designers just draw out their thumbs, but I enjoy doing some digitally for a different aspect of inspiration.
Roughs: Once the thumbs are narrowed down and redesigned, next comes the roughs. Drawn out to exact scale, the roughs include visible margin and bleed lines and display a more detailed (but still rough) rendering of what the final design will portray.
PDF Proof: As part of the final packaged file, the PDF Proof is used to display the design as is, with color bar at the top for printing purposes. 
The initial guidelines that we face in designing this project were easy but still restricting. This design can only use black ink in order to stay within budget, size is unspecified (however we once again had to consider the budget), must have 50 sheets, and be perfect bound with chip board backing. After studying my target audience, I decided to go with the distressed punk theme. I used the reversed border to create a style while designating the scratch pad area. Overall the design of this project was enlightening mostly in the printing aspect of the assignment. It truly is very crucial to have the correct packaged file prepared before going to print, which includes all fonts, the correct instructions, dimensions, file format, and absolutely nothing extra that could possibly cause confusion in the long run.

Monday, October 18, 2010

My take on the GAP logo fiasco

Which is better?

Recently the popular clothing outlet Gap, decided to quietly change its recognizable logo over the worldwide web. However, they were quickly met with a backlash from customers demanding the old logo be returned. After one week the company ultimately made the decision to return the old logo. Gap North America president Marka Hansen said in a statement that "--the company realized how much people like the old logo after they put up the new one -- Gap didn't handle the change correctly and missed a chance to have loyal shoppers offer input until it was too late.

According to Gap they decided that the new design was supposed to represent the new updates styles that Gap now has to offer, but after the change they realized that they should have considered their consumers opinions first. From what I myself have gathered so far on the situation, the company confined the big change to its official website before making the move to clothing labels, bags, tags, signage, etc. Which in the long run was a "smart" financial decision considering the dramatic failure of the move. I believe that Gap has learned that rather than making such an abrupt change, that they should consider the designs, opinions, and commitment of their consumers first and foremost.

As for my overall opinion on the "New Gap Logo", my initial emotions when looking at it did not say "style", "hip", or "modern" to me. I honestly find its design to be reminiscent of the outdated and old look of Windows or Microsoft programs and packaging. The black type is boring and not remotely unique, and the blue box in the corner does nothing to please my eye. The old (and now current) Gap logo conveys symmetry, simplicity, and flow that is familiar and comforting to consumers. All of which to me, are components of a true iconic brand.