Tag Archives: graphic designers

Infographics Part II

Read infographics part 1 here.

Today, let us talk about the different types of infographics that exist. Infographics can be classified based on the nature of their usage or the type of content (information) they present.

Based on the nature of usage, one can classify infographics as

  • Static
  • Dynamic
  • Interactive
  • Animated or motion

Static infographic:

  • Relatively easy to design
  • Relatively cheaper
  • Can be printed
  • Easily shared (since it is just a picture) – In other words, anyone can access it without having to go to another link whereas interactive infographics may need the user to come to the place where it is hosted (not always)

Example:

Dynamic infographic:

  • Almost like a static infographic but has elements that move (GIF images)
  • Great to watch on the web but cannot be printed
  • Costs higher than a static and lower than an interactive/animated infographic

Example:

Interactive infographic:  

  • Interactivity makes it really interesting and informative
  • The user will see what data he wants
  • Usually coded in html/css/js or Flash
  • Tougher to make
  • Expensive and cannot be printed
  • May have browser and/or device compatibility issues
  • But totally worth it!

Example:  

By Movoto

Animated/Motion infographic:

  • Videos are always great to watch
  • Buffering problems in slow internet connections
  • Tough to make
  • Expensive
  • Of course, cannot be printed

Example:

Based on the type of content, one may classify infographics as

  • infographics that deal with data (numbers, statistics, charts and the like) – Lets call them data graphics
  • infographics that deal with general information – Lets call them creative infographics
  • combination of the above

Data graphics:

  • Deals primarily with numbers
  • Contains different types of charts and graphs to depict the numbers in the data

Example:

How big is BIG?

 

Creative infographics:

  • Presents information in a creative way that doesn’t really deal with numbers
  • Creates an interesting story using graphics

Example: 

Dismal state of Engineering in India

Combo:

Infographics can be a combination of the above two types.

Example:

How To Lose Your Hearing

 

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Our first Infographic

This is Ravi, Co-Founder and Head, Creative Design, Desto Creative Solutions.  At Desto, we are constantly trying out new genres of design. This week, we are into designing infographics. The following is my own resume and our first infographic.

Comments welcome 🙂

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Graphic design 101

As a graphic designer, the first thing you need to know is about color modes. There are various types of color modes and the most frequently used are RGB and CMYK.

We hereby present the differences between these two color modes.

RGB = Red Green Blue

CMYK = Cyan Magenta Yellow Black

RGB is used for digital media while CMYK is used for print media. What do we mean by digital media and print media? Well, whatever you see inside a screen is digital and whatever you see on paper is print. All printers use CMYK colors for printing. If you pull open a color printer, you can find 4 color cartridges containing the C,M,Y,K colors in that order. All colors in your print document are obtained by mixing certain percentage of each color.

What happens when you print an RGB file? Well, the printer converts it into CMYK and you will see a drastic color difference. For example, look at the following images. I applied the same color #00FF00 in both but the first one is in RGB and the second one is in CMYK. Notice the difference? So, if you print the first image, you will be actually getting the second image!

So, whenever we design any print media stuff (poster, brochure, visiting card and the like), we do it in CMYK mode.  That way, we will be working with the exact colors that will appear after printing. When we are designing a website or a web banner etc. we would do it in RGB mode since we are not going to print it.

CMYK consumes more space than RGB. The source files can often go upto 1 GB for one single A2 poster!

There are a lot of software packages used for design. One should also have a detailed understanding of pixels and vectors. More on these topics on a future post. Stay tuned. 🙂

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Hyper realistic icon design

The following are the icons designed by us for one of our ongoing projects. This type of design which resembles reality is called “Skeumorphic design” or “hyper realistic” design. We have something more awesome than these to show! Stay tuned.

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Print design tips #2

continued from Print design tips #1

#3 (Hoardings | Billboards | Posters)

The main point about the items in this category is that they are OOH (Out of Home) media.

They are different from the above 2 categories in a way that the items in the first two categories are given to a person. The person will take them in his hand and read them. Whereas in this case, be it banners or billboards or hoardings or posters, they are fixed in one position; People will come and read it or have a glance while travelling on road.

So, the focus is to divert the eye onto the hoarding! Another important aspect is that these hoardings, billboards etc. should not be information heavy. People don’t have time or patience to stop and read information heavy banners. Even if they do, they don’t remember. Hoardings are usually put at places where we just have a glance at, as we are travelling by the road. In this case, information-heavy banners are not needed. In fact, they should not be used! A good, clean design immediately attracts attention. Simplicity is the key here!

Look at the following hoarding of Dr. SRK Next Generation school, Nellore district.

It is simple and conveys the information that there is a school coming up and it is different from others. This small bit of information is enough to create a buzz among the town. Word of mouth publicity occurs best when such ads are placed. This way, people who are interested will naturally come to visit the school or call the concerned people. After a month or two, once this concept of a new school is well-known in the town, then a new information-heavy banner can be designed and put up.

This is what some famous companies do in their ad campaigns. First, they create an awareness and a buzz. After it gets popular and things get moving among their target audience, they start to convey the actual information.

Ask the client what is the most important feature that needs to be conveyed in such works and try to design accordingly. You should also find out the goal of this hoarding. Is it to make people contact the client? If yes, the contact number should be highlighted. Is it to convey a sales promotion offer like 20% off? Then highlight it in the design.

 

#4 (Packaging | Business cards | Letterheads | Merchandise)

All the items in this category can be attributed to the brand image of a company. One has to understand the client`s business thoroughly to come with a design theme in his publicity material. Ask the following questions to the client –

What is your business?

What are your products/services?

What is your USP?

Who are your competitors?

Describe the mood of your organization?

With all these inputs, develop a theme in terms of design and all materials such as business cards, calenders, mugs, t shirts etc. should be in coherent with the theme. Make your client`s image different from that of his competitors. For example, if the competitor uses a blue colored theme everywhere, make your client`s theme red. This will basically differentiate him from others and make people aware of a new brand in the making.


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Print design tips #1

Print design includes design of brochures, flyers, letterheads, business cards, merchandise, banners, hoardings, billboards, paper ads etc. At Desto, we divide these items into different categories and follow some guidelines in the design process for each category.

Category 1: Brochures | Booklets | Catalogs | Prospectus | Magazines

Category 2: Flyers | Pamphlets | Leaflets | Paper Ads | Yellow Pages

Category 3: Hoardings | Billboards | Posters

Category 4: Packaging | Business cards | Letterheads | Merchandise

#1 (Brochures | Booklets | Catalogs | Prospectus | Magazines)

The items in this category are primarily information conveyers. For example, a School prospectus will convey what is special about their school, what facilities are available, what are the timings etc. If you look at the Asian paints catalog, it has numerous colors and a photograph of a room with those colors painted on its walls. A hospital may need to display its facilities in its brochure. An event will need a brochure to attract sponsors. The placement team of a college will need a brochure to attract companies. So as you can see there are numerous examples in almost every industry.

source: http://www.johanprag.com/print/print.html

source: http://www.designbrochure.net/catalog-designers/

As a designer, to get the best output, you need to know some important information such as the following –

  • What is the purpose of the brochure? Is it to provide information regarding the products/services? Is it to showcase/demonstrate any item?
  • Who will read the brochure? Is it the customers of your client? Is it advertisers/distributors/media etc.? Details about the people who are likely to read the brochure you are designing for such as their age group, gender, qualification etc.
  • What do you expect from the brochure? Do you expect an increase in sales? Or do you expect more walk-ins into your company?
  • What are the highlights you want the brochure to convey and why?

Some more questions regarding the design of the brochure can be asked. Look at the following questions for reference.

  • How long should the booklet be? And why? Note: Usually, the number of pages should be a multiple of four (for print purpose). Convey this to the client beforehand.
  • Will the client provide the content? Or is it left to the designer or content writer to do so?
  • What type of pictures should be present? Real photographs / illustrations / cartoons / drawings / clip art etc. Will the client provide any real photographs if necessary or is it left to the designer or a photographer to do so?
  • For design patterns, show the client some sample templates and ask him what he likes the most. You can assess the client`s taste and proceed accordingly.

#2 (Flyers | Pamphlets | Leaflets | Paper Ads | Yellow Pages)

The items in this category are short forms of the items in category 1. For example, a school prospectus will convey information regarding the school in detail. But it cannot be given to everybody because printing a brochure itself will cost a lot and giving it for free is not an affordable option for many schools. So, they instead opt for a flyer which does the same job as that of a prospectus by providing the same information but with fewer details.

Therefore, similar questions as presented in #1 need to be asked here as well.

  • What is the purpose?
  • Who are the target people who will see this flyer?
  • Inputs on content/pictures/design patterns

Most important element when it comes to the design of such hand-outs is creativity. Booklets are something which a person voluntarily reads while one has to do something to make a person read a pamphlet. Getting his attention is the key!

So, a good pamphlet is the one which is different from others and immediately attracts the eye. For example, imagine a road where pamphlets of various companies are being distributed to the pedestrians. Suppose there are five companies that offer training in multimedia and their USPs are almost the same. One of these five companies is your client and you need to design a flyer that will get him more people than his competitors. What usually happens on the road is people take whatever pamphlets they are given and throw them away or worse, use them to wipe off sweat! So, a good designer`s job is to do something different and make a person think for a moment to know what the pamphlet is all about. To do this, you can either think of a new shape may be like a circular pamphlet? Or you can give it a custom shape or you can make a trifolded pamphlet etc. You can think of making inserts! The whole idea is to make the customer use his hands or mind to understand or read your hand out. It is left to the designer`s creativity. Think out of the box!

(source: http://www.dzinepress.com/2010/08/call-to-action-brochure-designing/)

If you are designing an ad for your client in yellow pages, most important criteria is to project the client`s USPs because his ad will be placed among those of his competitors. Let us say your client is a shampoo company and his shampoo is extremely good for preventing dandruff. If the ad just talks about a good shampoo, it will not serve the purpose because all other shampoo ads in the page also tell the same. So, the client`s USP which is ‘being anti-dandruff’, has to be given more importance.

(to be continued)


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