Friday, December 30, 2011

What Exactly is Graphic Design?

Suppose you want to announce or sell something, amuse or persuade someone, explain a complicated system or demonstrate a process. In other words, you have a message you want to communicate. How do you “send” it? You could tell people one by one or broadcast by radio or loudspeaker. That's verbal communication. But if you use any visual medium at all-if you make a poster; type a letter; create a business logo, a magazine ad, or an album cover; even make a computer printout-you are using a form of visual communication called graphic design.
Graphic designers work with drawn, painted, photographed, or computer-generated images (pictures), but they also design the letterforms that make up various typefaces found in movie credits and TV ads; in books, magazines, and menus; and even on computer screens. Designers create, choose, and organize these elements-typography, images, and the so-called “white space” around them-to communicate a message. Graphic design is a part of your daily life. From humble things like gum wrappers to huge things like billboards to the T-shirt you're wearing, graphic design informs, persuades, organizes, stimulates, locates, identifies, attracts attention and provides pleasure.
Graphic design is a creative process that combines art and technology to communicate ideas. The designer works with a variety of communication tools in order to convey a message from a client to a particular audience. The main tools are image and typography.

Image-based design
Designers develop images to represent the ideas their clients want to communicate. Images can be incredibly powerful and compelling tools of communication, conveying not only information but also moods and emotions. People respond to images instinctively based on their personalities, associations, and previous experience. For example, you know that a chili pepper is hot, and this knowledge in combination with the image creates a visual pun.
In the case of image-based design, the images must carry the entire message; there are few if any words to help. These images may be photographic, painted, drawn, or graphically rendered in many different ways. Image-based design is employed when the designer determines that, in a particular case, a picture is indeed worth a thousand words.

Type-based design
In some cases, designers rely on words to convey a message, but they use words differently from the ways writers do. To designers, what the words look like is as important as their meaning. The visual forms, whether typography (communication designed by means of the printed word) or handmade lettering, perform many communication functions. They can arrest your attention on a poster, identify the product name on a package or a truck, and present running text as the typography in a book does. Designers are experts at presenting information in a visual form in print or on film, packaging, or signs.
When you look at an “ordinary” printed page of running text, what is involved in designing such a seemingly simple page? Think about what you would do if you were asked to redesign the page. Would you change the typeface or type size? Would you divide the text into two narrower columns? What about the margins and the spacing between the paragraphs and lines? Would you indent the paragraphs or begin them with decorative lettering? What other kinds of treatment might you give the page number? Would you change the boldface terms, perhaps using italic or underlining? What other changes might you consider, and how would they affect the way the reader reacts to the content? Designers evaluate the message and the audience for type-based design in order to make these kinds of decisions.

Image and type
Designers often combine images and typography to communicate a client's message to an audience. They explore the creative possibilities presented by words (typography) and images (photography, illustration, and fine art). It is up to the designer not only to find or create appropriate letterforms and images but also to establish the best balance between them.
Designers are the link between the client and the audience. On the one hand, a client is often too close to the message to understand various ways in which it can be presented. The audience, on the other hand, is often too broad to have any direct impact on how a communication is presented. What's more, it is usually difficult to make the audience a part of the creative process. Unlike client and audience, graphic designers learn how to construct a message and how to present it successfully. They work with the client to understand the content and the purpose of the message. They often collaborate with market researchers and other specialists to understand the nature of the audience. Once a design concept is chosen, the designers work with illustrators and photographers as well as with typesetters and printers or other production specialists to create the final design product.

Symbols, logos and logotypes
Symbols and logos are special, highly condensed information forms or identifiers. Symbols are abstract representation of a particular idea or identity. The CBS “eye” and the active “television” are symbolic forms, which we learn to recognize as representing a particular concept or company. Logotypes are corporate identifications based on a special typographical word treatment. Some identifiers are hybrid, or combinations of symbol and logotype. In order to create these identifiers, the designer must have a clear vision of the corporation or idea to be represented and of the audience to which the message is directed.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Ad Spot

If anybody would like an ad spot on my blog it is $30 for 6 months or $18 for 3 months. Just email me at

Featured Etsian: Country Connection

I own Treasure Seekers a family owned and operated multi-vendor market. I have a booth within that I sell primitive and country items in. I also own Treasure Seekers Estate Sale Professionals. I make plasctic canvas items, soap and knitted items. I also play with photography. My daughter, Brooke, wants to be a professional photographer. I will also be selling her photography.

Join my frequent buyers club!!! Buy from me 10 times and you will receive a promo code for a special discount on your 11th purchase!

Find Country Connection on facebook at

How long have you been creating?

I have been creating about 10 years.

What inspired your works?

My ispiration comes from things I see at craft shows and now here on Etsy.

Which of your pieces is your favorite?

So far, this Eternity Scarf is my favorite

What would you call your style?


Did you ever feel like giving up?

Several times

To see more items from her shop visit: Country Connection

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Etsy Blog Party

Hello everyone!!!

I thought it's time to know all the blogging Etsians out there better so I am hosting a link party!

All you have to do is follow these steps:

1. Have a blog.
2. Link your latest Etsy item in the Linky tool below
3. Make a post about this with a link back to my blog so you can promote yourself and help promote the others.
4. Leave a comment with your blog post so we can come visit you.
5. Display this badge:

6. Share some love to the other participants by visiting their shop and blogs.

:) Let's party!

My latest item:

Click here for the original post
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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Featured Etsian: David Irwin


Once I retired it became a passion of mine to be productive in that same retirement. A background in wood working led to making all kinds of wood products. I finally settled on making these fine wooden locks and intarsia. They are made from various hardwoods including Rosewood, Ash, Walnut and many others. The contrasting clear white pine shackle and core accent the various hardwoods. All of my items are hand crafted in the USA. 

To see more from his shop visit: ClassicWoodTreasures

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is creeping up so here are some items from my etsy shop:

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

More Than Just a Logo

“I want to build a brand for my business…all I need is a logo.” This is the common misconception running in the minds of many clients who are looking to brand their business. They misconstrue a brand for a mere symbol, logo or a trademark used on a signboard outside the company gate. However the reality is otherwise…the logo designing is just a minor part of entire branding process. A brand is what separates large corporate giants from their small scale competitors.
The biggest dilemma that graphic designers face nowadays is clients with acute brand knowledge. Sometimes a graphic designer creates a logo design for a client that fails to establish its business presence in market. The client throws all the blame of failure on the faulty logo design. However, in reality, it was not the logo that fell short and the brand that failed.

Picture this…you have never heard of McDonald’s before (just assume for a moment). You are unaware of the corporation and what it has to offer to you. Now imagine… if you pass by a ‘Golden arches’ logo in an ad or a billboard, would you be amazed by it?…Certainly… not I presume? Now coming back to reality, since famous brands like McDonalds has actively communicated their logo and established its connection with the company, which is why you have a strong awareness about it. That strong perception created in the minds of customers is the brand that has been established.

Brand is not a mark, it leaves a mark
This is the biggest fallacy of branding made by many business owners and entrepreneurs. Brand is not just a mark or a symbol that you put on your company sign board. On the contrary, a brand LEAVES a mark on your customer that is eternal and everlasting.
If you think that you can make a brand by designing a logo, then I’m afraid you’re mistaken. Brand is not a tangible thing that can be built hypothetically. A brand encompasses whatever its customers think about it. In short, you can build a logo, but it is customers who build a brand. Big Ten logo redesign is a living example of this. The company decided on their logo, but in the end it was the Big Ten fans that decided the fate of the brand.

Another major distinction between a logo and a brand is their focus span. Logos illustrates what a company stands for, what it has to offer and what is its purpose of existence. In contrast, a brand has strategic focus. It depicts a vision of the firm as to what the brand will be and what it promises to its customers in the future.

A logo design is a visual representation of any company or business. It vividly projects the mesas age of the company’s existence in the industry. A brand goes one step further in protecting the image of the firm. Whatever you establish through your logo design is protected by your brand. The gap logo fiasco is a perfect example in this case. The company decided on a redesigned logo but failed badly in front of their customers. However, their longstanding brand power protected them from severe damage.
To wrap it up in a nutshell, logos lay the foundation of a brand but are not entirely sufficient to establish their presence. Brand marketing does not simply end on a logo design. They must be thoroughly communicated and inculcated in order to be recognized.

5 Things Graphic Designers Can Learn From Computer Hackers!

I know what most of you might be thinking…what in the world can a respectable graphic designer learn from a notorious hacker? But hold you horses everyone, don’t jump to conclusions just yet. Let me explain the purpose of my topic. I’m not implying that you go rogue and turn into a design outlaw. What I wish to establish is that “You can learn from anyone…even your enemy.”
We all are familiar with hackers and their work. A hacker is someone who thinks unconventionally and works with curiosity and ambition. He is someone who perceives rules as barriers to innovation. A hacker is a person who tests the freedom and limitation of systems to satisfy his curiosity. Now we don’t need to emulate the notorious actions of hackers, but we can surely learn from their positive points. Here are 5 things that graphic designers learn from hackers:

1. Think Outside the Box:

The first thing that graphic designers can learn from hackers is to think out-of-the-box. Hackers are people who wish to make a name by achieving the impossible. They desire accomplishing those feats that no one has ever achieved. In order to make that happen, they think out of the box and develop new tricks and techniques to tackle any barriers coming in their way. For them, creativity has no limits. Similarly, graphic designers should also come up with out-of-the-box solutions for their graphic design problems.

2. Break the Rules:

Now don’t get me wrong here, I don’t mean that graphic designers should go around breaking signals and others laws of the society. What I mean is that you should not blindly follow the conventions and trends prevalent in the graphic design industry. This doesn’t mean that graphic designers can go around stealing others work. On the contrary, it means that you don’t bound yourself with design trends and should strive for uniqueness. This reminds me of the theme of the movie Men of Honor…“History is made by those who break the rules.”

3. Curiosity to Explore:

There is one thing that you will find constant among every hacker…the curiosity to explore. It is this curiosity that drives them to explore the loopholes of the system and exploit them to their requirements. Arnold Edinborough once said, “Curiosity is the very basis of education and if you tell me that curiosity killed the cat, I say only the cat died nobly.” Graphic designers should also learn to be curious and inquisitive in nature. They should learn to explore every areas and realms of graphic designing in order to keep themselves up-to-date.

4. "Never Say Die" Attitude:

As I mentioned earlier, hackers have a “never say die” attitude. No matter how strict the security controls are used, they will always find a way in. Hackers are constantly updating themselves with the latest security features searching for loopholes and walkthroughs. This similar approach should also be adopted by graphic designers in their field as well. They should also keep themselves well apprised of the latest events in the graphic design and stay updated with the latest software and techniques.

5. Desire for Information:

We have learnt from Julian Assange, owner of and one of the people to revolutionize internet, that hackers also desire information. After the advent of WikiLeaks, a large vacuum of information has been filled, courtesy the hackers who wanted to expose the ‘real information’ to the world. For graphic designers, the desire for information is essential as well. Some graphic designers avoid obtaining information from their clients regarding the project. In the end, the client shows his dissatisfaction with the work. Hence, information collection is critical to the success of any venture.

22 Great Examples of Street Art

One of the most controversial forms of artwork is street graffiti. It has been prevalent since centuries and has matured and refined over the years. It was used by the Romans as a sign of protest and criticism against their rulers. Street graffiti is still a common way of expressing political and satirical remarks on the walls of both public and private property. But conversely, it is also considered as a devious and notorious form of art as it exploits and harasses public and private possessions.
As graphic designers, graffiti is always an inspiration point as it helps in learning new and innovative ways of expressing feelings and emotions in the form of art. This technique of artwork has swiftly crept into the field of design including logo design as well. Today, I have collected a fresh compilation of 22 street graffiti artworks that will leave you amazed. I personally enjoyed each and every one of them thoroughly and hope that you will also like them.

Featured Etsian: Mary Rose

Not that long ago I discovered etsy, the most artsy friendly e-platform of grand dimension! I found items I loved and ideas that inspired me. After a few months, I found myself wishing to be part of this community. I thought of what I had to offer; bought materials and stringed away; picked a name; took photos; went online and asked more experienced etsians for advice; until finally I re-did the whole thing! Being on etsy has been a new and thrilling experience and one am happy to share!

►Who's behind the scenes and where the name comes from

I'm most inspired by colour, movement and the sweet & salty traits of striking personalities! I have experienced life in quite a few different towns (from Lisbon to Florence, Warsaw, Amsterdam and New York) BUT (or maybe because of that) I've also come to love the distinct beauty of nature.

I'm fascinated by the colours of trees and animals, as well as by the incommensurable services provided by nature. The honesty that nature portrays is what I wish to bring to my jewelry pieces -- I want to substitute the industrial careless and repetition for organic, more original, elements, while still embracing all the great things brought on by human development.

I have a sweet spot for everything FOLK, whilst understanding society and the rules needed to promote progress. Such are the reasons which have led me to thecityfolklore ♥.

► Supplying with conscience

I work primarily and preferably with recycled materials and buy from fair trade partners. I'm aware of my responsibility to ensure social and environmental practices across the value chain. Even though most of the supplies are eco-friendly and buy from socially responsible partners, I have not yet managed to find everything needed from reliable sources. However, I promise to keep searching and improving.

►Your feedback matters

I'm determined and motivated to help you find what you're looking for. I believe I have rather original items that fairly represent my folksy yet urban influenced spirit!

If there is something specific you need and cannot find, PLEASE DO NOT HESITATE TO CONTACT ME and I'll do my best to match your needs.

1. A little about yourself

Hello, friendly folks! My name is Mary Rose (a Portuguese sort of version to be precise) and am 20 going on 30 years-old. I live in Lisbon, Portugal, where I was born and raised. I graduated in Political Science and have a Masters in Global Governance from a dutch University.

When my friends think of me, this is what comes to mind: my wholehearted opinions which I stand by to extremes and which I debate ‘til am left with no voice (others might call that being stubbornness but keep in mind am portraying my friends’ view); my dedication to everything family related; and, last but certainly not least, my will to travel and the never ending curiosity for anything out of the ordinary – I’ve been lucky enough to live abroad in quite a few places: Florence (Erasmus), New York (interning at the UN), Warsaw (interning at a Portuguese company) and Amsterdam (studying).

At the moment I’m back to Lisbon, but I reckon I have not yet seen the last of my travels! I like Lisbon and I love being around family and friends, but I can’t help felling drawn to new experiences and challenges. I’m working full time at a non-profit and I’m perfectly happy with my job so I’m not looking for a change at this particular time. However, one can never predict what’s ahead and I can definitely think of a few cities I would never dare to say no to!

You should also know about me that I’m that type of person with a million ideas per second but very rarely persistent enough to get things done. I’ve had tons of hobbies throughout my life and a few of them lasted more than a couple months! Dancing is probably the one that has lasted longer. And now beading, of course!

2. What do you create?

I make jewelry using mostly recycled glass beads from Africa (mostly Ghana). I found these beautiful beads while looking for African fabrics and I rapidly developed a passion for using them in jewelry. I would also very much like to experiment with African fabrics (they have such beautiful colors & unique patterns) but haven’t had the time yet.

I make necklaces (entirely of beads as well as using metal chain and suede), bracelets and earrings.

As I don’t make the beads myself, I try to make the pieces as unique as possible and to introduce my own style which is very folksy and hippie. My creations are also very colorful, which is something I find hugely important!

3. How do you get inspired?

I’m inspired by everything around me. I reckon if you pay enough attention you’ll find tons of worthy stuff around you. For what am creating for thecityfolklore, I’m most inspired by the beads themselves which are quite unique and very beautiful. Am also inspired by color and a folksy lifestyle (mostly music and books).

4. Seen any good movies lately?

Quite a few, yes. More recently, I was absolutely mesmerized by Drive, the movie from Nicolas Winding Refn with Ryan Gosling and Carey Mulligan. It’s a rather unusual film among what’s being released. It’s a simple storyline but a very complex take on human behavior. The actors’ interpretations are fantastic and the soundtrack is just perfect. I really recommend it!

5. Read any books lately?

I have, yes. Unfortunately, I don’t have the same time as I once did, but there’s also where to read up on some chapters. I’ve been reading a lot of classics later (re-reading Franny and Zooey for the hundred time, American Pastoral and such). Not quite sure what I could recommend from what’s been recently released.

6. What are your traditions for the holidays

Our holidays revolve mostly around family and food, as they do for most Portuguese families. I spend Christmas holidays running around Portugal in order to meet everyone. The 24th I spend with my mother’s family and the 25th with my father’s family, both at the respective grandparents’ houses with all the cousins, aunts etc.

On the 24th is served codfish for dinner. Not long after, around midnight for some and at one o’clock (after mass) for others, a big supper is served, with loads of sweets and turkey. At the same time, kids get their Christmas gifts, which they will usually find by their sock or shoe. Adults also exchange gifts among themselves.

The 25th is also traditionally celebrated both at lunch and dinner, around the table! For me, I usually head back to Lisbon, with my parents and sisters, right after lunch (which is not very elaborated as at that point everyone is pretty much racing to get somewhere else). We always meet with my father’s extended family for dinner and usually have turkey with chestnuts, rise and spinach. Gifts are exchanged afterwards.

With family and great food, can there be anyone who does not like the holidays?

For new years’ I don’t really make big plans. If I happen to be invited for a friend’s house for a long weekend or so, I might go ahead and do that. Otherwise, I’d rather stay at home by the fireplace with a nice glass of wine than make extravagant plans to go to an overpriced place with lousy loud music and bad drinks! Clearly, I don’t care much for New Year’s Eve, although I will certainly take up any opportunity to spend quality time with friends and family.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Featured Etsian: Anoushka Alden

 To see more items visit:
My name is Anoushka Alden, I live in Los Angeles with my husband and 2 dogs, and we're both Christian. I studied Fashion Design at LA Trade Technical College and got my Associate's Degree there. I just started making jewelry. Mostly I make cocktail dresses and gowns. I am inspired by vintage fashion, beautiful fabrics, the excitement of going to parties, and magazine tears of dresses. If I'm feeling uninspired, I might just imagine what I'd want to wear and try to make it, or I might look through older magazines for ideas. I really love photography, so going to Flicker or checking my favorite blogs is my other source for inspiration.

Recently, my husband, sister, and I saw The Muppets, and loved it! That was one of my favorite shows when I was younger, so it was fantastic to see it done well. I just finished reading The Help, which had such a good message. Also, I'm working my way through Eat, Pray, Love.

Our traditions are to spend time with family on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and of course to go to church. My mom's new tradition is to drive down to Newport Beach and walk around Balboa Island. My in-laws tradition is to have Christmas Eve dinner and open presents. Erik and I have started to make gifts for everyone and it might become a permanent tradition.

Featured Etsian: Jerrika Schwandt

A few months ago I was making a necklace for my boyfriend out of hemp and I though why not open a shop. Of course I plan on selling a lot more than just hemp jewelry. I like to work with polymer clay, metal, hemp, ribbons, etc. My newest element is gel candles because they are easy and fun, but they can be so elegant. I hope to have a lot of success on Etsy and a lot of fun.Everything, of course, is hand made with lots of TLC. Thanks for reading!

I am a full time college student going for a Bachelors of Social Science. I split my time up between school, my Etsy shop, and my grandfathers house so it can be challenging to get things done sometimes. I make a verity of items and I do a lot of custom work. I feature hemp in my shop right now, but I hope to add a lot more items soon.

Hemp jewelry, earrings, and rings for right now. My earrings and rings are mostly made out of beads and polymer clay. I do a lot of custom work and OOAK items. I love custom orders because they a special and made special for someone. I also do commission work, but that is mostly through another website.

Deviant Art is one of my biggest inspirations. There are so many great artist on there with beautiful works it is hard not to be inspired. I also like to look through blogs and things like that to see what others are making. A lot of inspiration just comes to me when I least expect it.

Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 2. Such a great movie and a wonderful end to an epic series.

Recently I read Janitors and it was pretty good. Though it doesn't get interesting until the middle of the book. Read the latest Monster High and it was ok, it seemed a little rushed. I am working on Octavian Nothing Traitor to the Nation Kingdom on the Waves right now.

Traditionally for Christmas we eat and open presents and play with what we got all day. Our family keeps shrinking so we do less and less these days.