Category: tips & tricks

The ULTIMATE designer’s guide to using Typekit

Get ready to embark on a splendorous journey. A journey to a world that includes matching typography on both print and web, without having to resort to Verdana or Helvetica. Now there is nothing wrong with either of those fonts, but on this particular journey, you’ll encounter multiple weights, faces and type families. It’s a journey that is sure to bring more awesome to every web project. The journey of topic here is non other than TYPEKIT. Read More »

Properly using and distributing Typekit fonts on print files

Typekit Rocks!

Since the latest release of the Adobe Creative Cloud, designers a plenty have rejoiced at the fact that, since the purchase of Typekit by Adobe, they can now take advantage of the font libraries available for use under the Typekit fonts license. Being able to use and package Typekit fonts on print files, fonts which were originally only available for websites, means you can now use the same fonts on print and online, and preserve branding consistency across mediums and platforms.

Of course, these same rejoicing designers consequently poop their pants when they realize they can’t collect the fonts for output, since these are subscribed to fonts as opposed to the downloaded files that we are all accustomed to. What do you do? There are several workarounds to using and distributing Typekit fonts in print files: Read More »

Design a portfolio that will land you the job.

Sumo's challenge each other in the ring. I challenge you to improve your portfolio every day.

So you’re ready to hit the pavement running looking for a graphic designer job, but do you know how your design portfolio is going to stand up? A good resume will always make a great impression, but the reality is your portfolio is probably going to be reviewed first. With a portfolio that is designed to win jobs, you’re increasing your chances of getting your foot in the door for an interview.
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Optimize your workflow

OK, so I’m back. It has been a minute since my previous blog post, but hey, we’ve got bills to pay. Although I love writing these, clients take precedence.

Enough of that. Today we are talking about optimizing our workflow. Now I am not going to go too deep into how you get your projects done and what kind or project management software you are using to manage your projects.

I want to get a bit more “low-level” with it if you catch my drift. Because it all starts with the basics. Your computer and how you interact with it. Read More »

make an awesome pdf… every time…

As we all know (hopefully), PDFs have become the standard in just about any field of presenting a digital document. It is cross platform and browser compatible, and it serves as a great tool for presenting a multi-page document, including websites. Of course, Acrobat is much more robust than this of course, with capabilities for form creation, interactive PDFs, video and audio, annotations, digital signatures and even capable of starting a meeting with a slideshow. Unfortunately, we will not being going that deep into Acrobat’s awesomeness, but rather stay with the basics. A PDF to send a file to press.
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How to deal with the“unexpected end of file” error in Photoshop

At one point or another, we have all encountered this dreaded and nauseating error that Photoshop can lay on us at the last half hour of a sixteen hour work day (wait… don’t you work sixteen hour days?). The problem is that there is no real easy or reliable way to fix this error. There are some solutions out there like the PSD Extract/Repair plugin which lets you open your Photoshop file one layer at a time. This is extremely cumbersome and not always reliable, since with the corruption of the file also comes corrupted layers.
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Good Practices for Delivering Print Files

Currently there is an overabundance of web designers out there that are extremely talented and can create some really cool stuff. But in my twelve years of experience designing for print, on both the Printer and Agency side of things, I have encountered multiple cases where people fall short in the delivery of their creative when it comes to print work, sometimes causing unnecessary charges from the printer to fix their mistakes. Add to that the fact that I have been approached by more than a few of my friends and colleagues with a “deer-in-headlights” demeanor when it comes to creating or delivering stuff for print.

For this, I have compiled a list of good practices and basic guidelines to ensure that your jobs are delivered efficiently. This is, of course, assuming that you are using InDesign as your final delivery vehicle (which I recommend) regardless of which application you used to design the piece.
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Designing in pixels in InDesign

Now hold on… Don’t get your diapers in a bunch! No, I am not claiming to design in pixels, nor am I designing a website in InDesign, what do I look like? An amateur? I was recently confronted with a project, which I had done once before, but approached it a little different this time around. Let me give you some background.

The project involved creating some web pages based on pre-existing landing pages, for the purpose of some focus group research. What basically had to happen was that there would be a few variables that changed over the design of a few ads. On some the laptop screens or the products changed, on others, maybe the copy changed, or a logo was added. The end result was like 4-5 different versions of the same web page, which would then be used for the testing.
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