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letterpress dingbats

KCCIPA – KCDesignCore recap

Letterpress, lead type, screen print, saddle stitching, corner rounder, litho, calligraphy – just a few of the terms that were thrown around last night at Adobe’s KCDesignCore meetup. Our small group of designers were taken back in time as Calvert Guthrie graciously gave us a tour of his community print shop, Kansas City Center for the Ink & Paper Arts (KCCIPA). Calvert’s space, rented to local artists, comes fully equipped with everything a printer needs, including quite the collection of antique and modern printing presses. He also teaches classes, which include letterpress printing and calligraphy. Calligraphy is something he specialized in when he worked on greeting cards for Hallmark. When I was in Typography class in college, we practiced calligraphy, which has become somewhat of a lost art since the age of computers. We were also required to learn and identify over 100 fonts. Being able to instantly identify a font really speeded up my workflow as I was designing graphics. Since then, I’ve forgotten some of the characteristics of many fonts and the number of fonts I immediately recognize…

Signs, Signs. Everywhere a Digital Sign

Menu boards and posters are so 1980s that they still go roller skating. Not to mention you have to keep updating the content on them and hope that you don’t misspell Worcestershire again, which will most assuredly garner some laughter from your employees. Why not use something more engaging that can be reviewed and edited, scheduled, even animated to cater to your specific audience? Digital signage is nothing new, but it keeps gaining momentum as it reaches new eyes in stores and at events around the world. If you’re considering adding this type of marketing tool to your store, there are a few things you should know before jumping in. Be Consistent The first thing people often overlook with digital signage and its content is consistency. There’s nothing more off-putting than an unreadable font with a bright, abrasive background that makes someone feel as though they’re going blind. Keeping a simple theme throughout your digital campaigns can help to keep the attention of those in your store and will also prevent them from screaming in pain as your neon-green banners…

Tyler Kimball's shuttlecock glass art

Creative Mornings: Transparency

At the last Creative Mornings presentation, Tyler Kimball from Monarch Glass Studio in the 18th and Vine District, spoke on Transparency. We were mainly treated to a digital display of many of his amazing pieces of art made from blown glass. But a couple quotes from him were good takeaways. When people ask him, “What is your favorite piece to make?” his response is, “Because I’m constantly growing, I answer, ‘The next one.’” He also said, “Glass is very reflective of the past, […] it harps on the present state-of-mind [… but also sees into my future.]” To watch Tyler’s presentation, go to Tyler Kimball Talk.

Photo of trendy female riding a white kitten.

Picture perfect: Choosing images that get results

Last week Getty Images hosted a webinar by Creative Research Expert Jacqueline Bourke on how to select images what will increase engagement. In 2015, there were 1.5 trillion images were shot. That number will only continue to increase. The quality of those images keeps getting better and better. Consumers now expect high quality images in all their content. It is important that you select images that engage your audience’s emotions and senses. We are visual creatures. Ninety percent of information is transferred visually. Our audiences are being bombarded by an ever increasing amount messages. Visual images are processed 60,000 times faster than text.  A strong visual image will allow for our content to stand out from the crowd. Images are obviously crucial on platforms like Instagram and Snapchat, but tweets and Facebook posts with strong visual elements have more engagement than text only counterparts. Below are some trends and examples of how they have been used:   First person: This perspective pulls your audience in and makes them a part of the image. It is much easier for them to envision whatever you are pitching…

Sliders: Grow Bigger & More Important

Photo sizes for digital marketing has grown dramatically. For older websites, photo size requirements were smaller, so some images must change or they will become blurry after enlarging. Not sure what I mean? Take a look: Why’s This Happening? 1. Retina screens: Even when 2 screens are the same size, the number of pixels increased in devices with retina screens for a more detailed image. 2. TV screens are used more for online viewing. 3. The pixel count for TV screens and desktop computers continues to increase. 4. Cameras on mobile phones take bigger and more detailed photos. Why do responsive images need to be bigger when mobile screens are smaller? One image needs to meet all requirements for all devices. While mobile screens are still smaller than desktop screens they could be viewed on a retina or tv screen. What should your sliders be about? Anything in your store that you want customers to know about: Community/Charity events: Food drives, employee athletes/heroic acts or awards, sponsored school events, fundraisers, holiday events, open house, apples for students, fund raising coupon books, hot dogs in the parking lot,…

What do your customers see when they look at your website?

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text] You see it every time you walk into a grocery store, people roaming the aisles while holding their phones. What do they see when they look at your store’s website? If you haven’t updated your site to be responsive, about 20 seconds of pinching and zooming in and out will happen before they give up and leave your site. What is a responsive website? A responsive website changes to fit the shopper’s device of choice, whether it is a laptop, tablet or smart phone. The site can detect what kind of device is being used, then changes the layout so the site doesn’t get cropped and text is big enough to read. Photos get re-sized, text gets re-sized, and multiple column layouts get stacked into one column. This happens so the site is easier to navigate by just using one hand and your thumb. Pinching the screen to zoom in and out takes two hands, so how’s a customer supposed to push the cart too? The “hamburger” icon For easier navigation, the ‘hamburger’ icon is used a lot. This…

Adobe Color CC

Adobe Kuler is now Adobe Color CC

Adobe introduced Kuler’s new name last month to better align the tool with the rest of the Creative Cloud family. In addition to saving your color themes to a URL, you can also save them to Creative Cloud Libraries, where themes can be shared among other designers. A mobile app is available for iPhone only but Adobe should be coming out with an app for Android also. Some retailers I have designed for have an eye for color and design and they have been involved in the selection of color themes during the design phase of their website. I have suggested to them to use what at that time was called, “Kuler”. Although this tool helps you match up colors that look good together, the user still has control over fine-tuning the palette of colors. Adobe Color CC mobile app allows you to use your camera viewfinder to detect colors in your surroundings and create a palette based on those colors. This would be helpful in a grocery store where there are certain colors more dominant than others. Because our…

Graphic of Web Traffic painted on road that turns into an arrow pointing up in the horizon.

Customers won’t go if they don’t know about it.

Do you have a website? If so, how many of your customers know your domain name? You have lots of opportunities to let your customers know about your website, some not as typical as you would think. Many stores will put a websites domain name on a weekly ad then expect the customers curiosity to make them go look. Customers EXPECT stores to have websites; the question is why should they look? Do you post your ads on Tuesday afternoon even though the prices take effect on Wednesday? Let your customers know they can get a sneak peak of your ad before your competition, ON YOUR AD. Does your website have coupons, recipes, shopping lists or cooking tutorials? Tell them ON YOUR AD. Maybe even add a graphic of a computer screen with your domain name on the screen to get some visual attention. Ask us to make a QR code for your ad. If anything customers will ask “what’s that?” Examples: You say you don’t have an ad or share one with an ad group? We have ways to…