The Campus Arboretum of HCC Celebrates First 50 Years with Beautiful Print Exhibit

HCC display

Celebrating the beauty of a “living laboratory” calls for a beautiful exhibit. The Haywood Community College Foundation in Clyde, NC is doing just that for the anniversary of the HCC Campus Arboretum and “First Fifty Years of Stewardship” in their exhibit Forest, Farm + Garden, 1966 – 2016. Through a mix of print, mounting and lighting techniques, the exhibited historical information and images combine to engage and inform visitors in a museum-quality experience. Visiting is a great way to learn more about local landscapes and horticulture – as well as check out in person some quality print examples, substrates and display ideas.

The landscape, gardens and collections of Haywood Community College and its Campus Arboretum are recognized as “one of the most beautifully landscaped areas in Haywood County.” The current exhibit honors the original vision of landscape architect Doan Ogden as well as the years of continued stewardship over the campus and its collections: greenhouses, a dahlia garden, orchard, working vegetable gardens, rhododendron garden, mill pond and grist mill. The HCC campus today stands as a “tapestry of landscapes that together capture the heritage of he Southern Appalachian Mountains and its people.” This HCC display is made possible through generous gifts from the Charitable Foundation of the International Dendrology Society and individual society members. Proceeds from the sale of exhibit catalog, photos and posters will be used to further education, outreach and stewardship of the Campus Arboretum.

HCC Mill Pond
Photo by Benjamin Porter

The exhibit is located in the Mary Cornwell Gallery of the Creative Arts Building on the HCC campus, and will be open from October 1 through November 19, 2016.

Forest, Farm + Garden, 1966 – 2016 employs a blend of different print, mounting and display techniques to tell the story of 50 years of stewardship on the HCC campus. New photographs by Benjamin Porter as well as historic plans, photos and maps from the founding director John Palmer’s records bring to life the history and achievements. Check out below some of the print techniques that can be used for any permanent or temporary display to engage viewers.

Campus Arboretum HCC display

 

Dye-Sublimation Fabric Printing – colorful graphics and text come alive on the rich texture of fabrics through a process known as dye-sublimation, or “Dye Diffusion Thermal Transfer Printering.” This “soft signage” preserves the drape and texture of fabric, and has the bonus of being lighter in weight and less expensive to ship than heavier traditional signage.

Mounted, Adhesive Vinyl, Wide Format Prints – sharp photographic quality prints on glossy vinyl are great for any large-scale display. The adhesive vinyl substrate provides high quality, colorfast output with vibrant colors. Mounting the finished prints onto foam core, corrugated plastic, or PVC backing provides depth and relief to a wall-mounted display in the same way traditional framing does, but without the expense or hardware.HCC display

Flatbed UV Printing – signage can also be printed directly onto substrates up to 6 inches in depth on a flatbed printer, eliminating the need for mounting. UV print bonds directly to the surface of the substrate and provides clear, full-color output in one step. Print pre-mounted plastic, wood or metal surfaces or even pre-stretched canvases for a stand-out wall display.

Contour Cut Vinyl Lettering – for a great visual display of the written word, contour cut vinyl lettering combines great typography with mountable adhesive for an exhibit with a  museum-quality finish. Letters are laser cut from any color of adhesive vinyl, the excess areas “weeded” away, and the text can then be mounted directly on a wall or display. Printed in reverse, the letters can be mounted on the back of glass or other clear substrates for a see-through effect as well.

Talk to your printer about these and more great ideas to create your own one-of-a-kind exhibit or display for everything from an event or opening to a tradeshow or retail window or lobby display.

 

Call us at 828.684.4512 for any marketing needs. As a printer, we understand communication and design. Your printer should be able to provide you with the latest information, inspiration, technical advice, and innovative ideas for communicating your message through print, design and typography, signage, apparel, variable data printing and direct mail, integrated marketing and environmentally responsible printing. If they can’t, you have the wrong printer! The best advice, always, is to ASK YOUR PRINTER!

ImageSmith is now partnered with Extreme Awards & Personalization – our in-house partner providing custom engraved trophies and awards for employee recognition programs, sporting events, and promotional needs. With our new sister company, we will be sharing space, resources and expertise in a collaboration designed to further provide you with one place to meet all of your marketing needs… Under One Roof! Visit them online at www.extremeae.com or call direct at 828.684.4538.

 

 

Call us at 828.684.4512. ImageSmith is a full-service print and marketing provider located in Arden, North Carolina. Contact us at ImageSmith for quotes on all your print and marketing projects, and more useful tips on how to create custom, effective, high impact marketing solutions.

Print Housecleaning: Stirring Up the Digital Divide

 

Office cleaning

The turn of a new year is always time for some housecleaning here at ImageSmith. And, as usual, amid the dust, paperwork and clutter that accumulates in any production environment we always find a few surprising reminders of how quickly and drastically times have changed.

The print and marketing world found itself on the cutting edge of change very early in the desktop computer revolution of the 70s and 80s. As prepress and print digitized – altering the methods of how print had been produced for centuries – the ensuing communications revolution altered the very core processes of how businesses function and market themselves. The speed of that change, in hindsight, is truly astounding.

Zip Disks stored digital print jobsZip Disks: remember these? From the iOmega company in 1994, Zip disks were a removable, read and write storage device – the successor to the floppy and the short-lived Syquest disk – that held 100MB of data. Print jobs were still in the process of becoming all digital (no longer relying on physical photography, paste-up, or typesetting for plate-making), and the resulting were increasing rapidly as computer graphics software grew more sophisticated. Floppies were no longer big enough to hold even one job. You needed an external (or for a time, built in) Zip disk and drive. iOmega was proud to tout the drag-and-drop storage capability: “Share large files with co-workers, friends and clients” and “Consolidate 70 floppies onto a single Zip disk.” Before CDs, DVDs, zip drives and cloud storage, we gladly adopted the Zip disk as a storage device, and it was common for customers to bring in their work on a Zip disk. (Just remember, they wanted it back.) They also fit neatly into a CD holder.

Dynamic Graphics magazine and CDs, circa 2000Before online subscription services and Google searches could bring you almost any image or artwork imaginable, Dynamic Graphics brought art departments out of the days of clunky clip art to a more modern world of increasingly sophisticated digital graphics and stock photography. In the 90s, that process happened through the US mail – with a monthly CD of artwork, and a printed catalog/index that showed you what the CD contained. Without an online search function, how else were you going to find the right photo to use on your ad layout? Flip through the monthly magazines searching for your keyword – think manual, and time-consuming, Google search. The photo to the right is of the January 2000 cover from Dynamic Graphics publication Concepts & Designs. 2000 doesn’t seem that long ago but the dated layout and imagery in this cover design reveal how quickly styles and the times have changed.

Finally, we found our company Christmas card from 1996. No digital version existed – it was tossed out in the great floppy disk purge of a few years ago or possibly during this year’s Zip disk purge. But one lonely print copy remained. Santa at his Mac (the Power Macintosh 8500) is checking our old America Online email address under the heading “High Tech Solutions.”  For the inside of the card, we used PhotoShop (version 4.0 had just come out) to impose our Christmas card message onto Asheville illustrator and artist Orrin Lundgren’s original elves-on-the-press artwork – a very high-tech maneuver for us at the time.ImageSmith christmas card, circa 1996

Can’t help but wonder how quickly and how far out of date our email, mobile app and online communications will appear after the next fifteen years. Back to housecleaning.

 

Here’s a link to some helpful tips on how to properly dispose of old computer equipment and other e-waste from the National Resources Defense Council. If you live in our local Asheville area, here is a link to Asheville Greenworks schedule for Hard-to-Recycle events in 2016.

 

Call us at 828.684.4512 for any marketing needs. As a printer, we understand communication and design. Your printer should be able to provide you with the latest information, inspiration, technical advice, and innovative ideas for communicating your message through print, design and typography, signage, apparel, variable data printing and direct mail, integrated marketing and environmentally responsible printing. If they can’t, you have the wrong printer! The best advice, always, is to ASK YOUR PRINTER!

ImageSmith is now partnered with Extreme Awards & Personalization – our in-house partner providing custom engraved trophies and awards for employee recognition programs, sporting events, and promotional needs. With our new sister company, we will be sharing space, resources and expertise in a collaboration designed to further provide you with one place to meet all of your marketing needs… Under One Roof! Visit them online at www.extremeae.com or call direct at 828.684.4538.

 

 

Call us at 828.684.4512. ImageSmith is a full-service print and marketing provider located in Arden, North Carolina. Contact us at ImageSmith for quotes on all your print and marketing projects, and more useful tips on how to create custom, effective, high impact marketing solutions.

Beyond Emoji: A Need for New Punctuation?

Artwork for new punctuation

 

Our language is constantly evolving regardless of how many grammar and standardized rules we define. Typography, in time, evolves as well under the influence of both the spoken language and the newly emerging digital modes of interaction. Digital communications have inspired an increase in some new experimental punctuation marks – attempts to bring more clarity to non-verbal, non face-to-face conversation.

Is New Punctuation Needed?

Digital communications have run into a few unforeseen limits. Have you found yourself being more easily misunderstood in email and text messaging than you are face to face or by phone conversations? So much of our communication actually occurs through physical cues, expressions, body and hand gestures, intonation and vocal signals – none of which are accessible in a text message or a 140 character tweet!

Whenever a limitation arises in communication, language begins to morph and adapt to overcome that difficulty. It’s inevitable. Currently, emoticons or emoji are an attempt to “add on” a little explanation or commentary with unspoken cues in symbolic form. They are often used in a playful way – perhaps more as decoration, personalization or humor than a standard punctuation mark. But recently a few nominees have emerged for induction into our standard set of periods, commas and semicolons.

The Exclamation and Question Commas

exclamation comma and question commaThe Exclamation Comma, and its cousin the Question Comma (or Quoma), are attempts to move emphasis from the entire contents of a sentence to a phrase within the statement or question. The Grammarly blog cites the Exclamation Comma as an invention from 1992 that was patented in Canada, and then largely forgotten. The pressing need for either of these marks might be debatable, but they do serve a clear purpose as in the examples below:

“While I love your new outfit (exclamation comma) I’m certain the invitation called for formal attire.”

“Who do you think you are (question comma) a winner or a loser?”

SarcMark, Interrobang, Irony Point

SarcMark: to denote sarcasmA more formal attempt to alter the written language is an attempt at a punctuation change called the SarcMark: a registered trademarked symbol that you can purchase to use in order to denote sarcasm or irony in a statement.The SarcMark is the creation of Paul and Doug Sak who started Sarcasm Inc. They saw the need (and business opportunity) for a punctuation mark that denotes sarcasm, especially in a digital communication. As their video says, “Only $1.99 for lifetime use… and never be misunderstood again.” It works on both Mac and PC platforms, and has both a font option for type or texting, or a graphic option if you know the person on the other end has not downloaded the symbol as well. Smark marketers, the Saks have also created branded apparel and other items to encourage the use of their new punctuation.

Punctuation marks for Sarcasm and irony

The Interrobang is a combination of question mark and exclamation point, and is used by some to mark a rhetorical question that does not require an answer, or to show excitement or disbelief in the form of a question (“Did you just do what I think you did?!) The irony point (a backwards question mark) is a French attempt to create a punctuation mark to indicate there is a second meaning to what is being said.

Perhaps the proof of whether any of these marks have a lasting place in our typography will be when one or more of them make it into the standard set of glyphs for our most used font families – or even onto our keyboards. Time will tell.

 

 

 

Call us at 828.684.4512 for any marketing needs. As a printer, we understand communication and design. Your printer should be able to provide you with the latest information, inspiration, technical advice, and innovative ideas for communicating your message through print, design and typography, signage, apparel, variable data printing and direct mail, integrated marketing and environmentally responsible printing. If they can’t, you have the wrong printer! The best advice, always, is to ASK YOUR PRINTER!

ImageSmith is now partnered with Extreme Awards & Engraving – our in-house partner providing custom engraved trophies and awards for employee recognition programs, sporting events, and promotional needs. With our new sister company, we will be sharing space, resources and expertise in a collaboration designed to further provide you with one place to meet all of your marketing needs… Under One Roof! Visit them online at www.extremeae.com or call direct at 828.684.4538.

 

 

Call us at 828.684.4512. ImageSmith is a full-service print and marketing provider located in Arden, North Carolina. Contact us at ImageSmith for quotes on all your print and marketing projects, and more useful tips on how to create custom, effective, high impact marketing solutions.

Great Balls of Fire: Two Great Stories on the Longevity of Print

Civil Defense brochure found in Dictionary

Print has a way of sticking around.

And while it can often be neglected in the excitement surrounding digital and cutting-edge communications today, print continues to thrive and surprise. It’s very physical, tactile nature is the reason for the powerful impact and longevity of print. Two great illustrations of that popped up on the same day.

Here at the print shop sat an old dictionary from the mid 1950s, purchased at Good Will, and gathering dust. Yesterday our bindery manager discovered, tucked back inside the pages, a Civil Defense brochure from 1959 outlining the emergency drill in case of a direct nuclear attack on Asheville or Buncombe County. Seems our proximity here to the Oak Ridge facility in Tennessee put us in harm’s way. Interesting reading – a great insight into the mindset of the Cold War days. The brochure, printed in patriotic red and blue, had hardly ages at all, well preserved between the dictionary pages.

Great Balls of Fire Brochure

And the same day we stumbled across the story online of a rediscovered typeface – Doves Type – that had spent almost 100 years at the bottom of the Thames River in London. Designer Robert Green led the search for the type which had been thrown off a bridge into the Thames in 1917 in an attempt to settle a dispute over it’s usage. Green’s team retrieved about 150 metal type  pieces, rediscovering what was once a lost typeface. (Watch a short BBC film about the story below.) And to bring the story totally up to date, you can now follow Doves Type on Twitter @thedovestype.

So you never know where you might find a lost piece of print history – tucked in the musty pages of a forgotten book or at the bottom of a river. Either way, print can surprise you, proving itself to be influential long past your wildest expectations.

Doves Typeface on Twitter

 

Call us at 828.684.4512 for any marketing needs. As a printer, we understand communication and design. Your printer should be able to provide you with the latest information, inspiration, technical advice, and innovative ideas for communicating your message through print, design and typography, signage, apparel, variable data printing and direct mail, integrated marketing and environmentally responsible printing. If they can’t, you have the wrong printer! The best advice, always, is to ASK YOUR PRINTER!

ImageSmith is now partnered with Extreme Awards & Engraving – our in-house partner providing custom engraved trophies and awards for employee recognition programs, sporting events, and promotional needs. With our new sister company, we will be sharing space, resources and expertise in a collaboration designed to further provide you with one place to meet all of your marketing needs… Under One Roof! Visit them online at www.extremeae.com or call direct at 828.684.4538.

 

 

Call us at 828.684.4512. ImageSmith is a full-service print and marketing provider located in Arden, North Carolina. Contact us at ImageSmith for quotes on all your print and marketing projects, and more useful tips on how to create custom, effective, high impact marketing solutions.

Why We Started Double Spacing after Each Sentence, and Why Typography Says “STOP!”

 

"One day, we will not have to separate sentences with two spaces."

 

The first thing I was told years ago on my very first day of work in prepress was to forget the old rule from high school typing class about using two spaces between sentences. When you learned to type on a typewriter, that became second nature and it was a hard habit to break in the beginning. But I only recently learned the reason WHY two spaces are no longer used, thanks to an excellent history of the phenomenon by Farhad Manjoo over at Slate. He makes a convincing case for why today you should “never, ever do it.” Knowing the reason always beats the the standard justification of “because that’s how it’s done today.”

First, rules in typography really are rules! Of course there are exceptions where rules are broken for good reason, but “that’s how I was taught” is not one of them! The rules of typography were agreed upon over years and years of professional development of “best practices.” In the early days of typesetting – so they tell us – the rules had not been developed yet. Printed material might have one space between sentences, it might have four. What was a “space” anyway? The size certainly varied. But as time rolled on, typesetters standardized their work and one space became the rule. Enter the typewriter.

Monospace type examplesTypewriters revolutionized business communications, and also created the need for the now outdated 2-space rule. Typewriters before the 1970s were monospaced – each letter the same width as any of the other letters or characters, unlike the type you are reading right now. Typewriters had no kerning or tracking capabilities and the result was difficulty in distinguishing sentences from each other because of all the “loose” spacing between letters. Two spaces between sentences proved to be generally more pleasing to the eye and easier to read.

So that’s the reason. But we aren’t using typewriters anymore! Even the later typewriters employed proportional type, ending the need for any extra spaces. Two spaces make an unpleasant gap in blocks of type. In the prepress department, the first step to placing and laying out a customer’s text is to do a “Find – Replace” for two spaces.

If you are still dropping in those extra spaces between sentences, you are not only saying that you are most likely over 40 and learned to type on a typewriter, but that you don’t like change very much! It really isn’t that hard a habit to break. Some specific workplaces or disciplines still cling to the two-space rule… I’ve heard the legal world is one of those. If you earn your living in one of those fields, you have an excuse. Otherwise, if you choose to hang onto the old 2-space rule, just be aware that the visual text you are creating in your emails and documents is saying things about you which you may not intend!

…and one more unbreakable rule: no indenting paragraphs with FIVE SPACES! Still see that typewriter holdover from time to time as well.

 

 

Strive to buy your print locally! A community printer will understand communication and design, with a special emphasis on your local market. They should be able to provide you with the latest information, inspiration, technical advice, and innovative ideas for communicating your message through print, design and typography, signage, apparel, variable data printing and direct mail, integrated marketing and environmentally responsible printing. If they can’t, you have the wrong printer! The best advice, always, is to ASK YOUR PRINTER!

Call us at 828.684.4512. ImageSmith is a full-service print and marketing provider located in Arden, North Carolina. Contact us at ImageSmith for quotes on all your print and marketing projects, and more useful tips on how to create custom, effective, high impact marketing solutions.

Remembering Massimo Vignelli – One of the Greats of Graphic Design

 

Massimo Vignelli dies at 83

One of the giants of 20th Century design, Italian-born Massimo Vignelli passed away on Tuesday (5/27/14) at the age of 83, after an extended illness. Credited with bringing the European modernist aesthetic to American design, Vignelli created memorable work for clients as diverse as the National Park Service, American Airlines, Bloomingdales, the New York City Subway – he even designed an entire church in New York.

Hear him in his own words below:

A hero of graphic design, Vignelli considered himself to be an “information architect” – yet his work resides in museums around the world. For a great overview of his life and work, check out the New York Times article on his death, Fast Company’s obituary tribute and of course the Vignelli Associates own website, where you will no doubt discover many familiar creations of this visionary graphic designer.

 

Your printer should understand communication and design, with a special emphasis on your local market. They should be able to provide you with the latest information, inspiration, technical advice, and innovative ideas for communicating your message through print, design and typography, signage, apparel, variable data printing and direct mail, integrated marketing and environmental responsible printing. If they can’t, you have the wrong printer! The best advice, always, is to ASK YOUR PRINTER!

Call us at 828.684.4512. ImageSmith is a full-service print and marketing provider located in Arden, North Carolina. Contact us at ImageSmith for quotes on all your print and marketing projects, and more useful tips on how to create custom, effective, high impact marketing solutions.

OUCH! ANSI Safety Signage & Graphic Design Basics

 

Warning Sticker Hair Caught in Machine

Yes, I will keep the cover closed!

Not a very attractive image but it certainly makes me want to stop and consider how not to wind up in that position. The graphic design of workplace safety signage is built around the need to be instantly understandable, not subtle or creatively compelling. They want you to get your hand out of the way – NOW! – not necessarily admire the design of the warning itself. Good design in the safety sticker world is less about aesthetics and more about what speaks universally in a loud and direct way.

So we took a look around our shop: presses, cutters, folders, inserters, laminators… all with their own safety manuals and inherent accident risks. Finding a few warning signs was no problem. As the machinery is manufactured in various places both in the US and internationally, the signage varies somewhat although most follow the recognizable ANSI guidelines. ANSI, the American National Standards Institute, is a non-profit organization that oversees standards and guidelines in nearly every economic sector.  Their work helps ensure consumer safety, environmental protection, and promotes the US position in a global economy. Their standards for safety signage in the workplace were adopted by  OSHA (the Occupational Safety & Hazard Administration) in 2013. These ANSI Z535 safety sign standards strive to make all safety signage more instantly understandable by combining standardized headers with explanatory text and an increased use of pictograms.

Judging by the warning signs in our shop, hands seem to be in the most danger.

Warning stickers in the workplace

 

Workplace warning stickers

 

Workplace warning stickers

 

Workplace warning stickers

 

Know Your Objective

Safety signage is graphic design at it’s most elemental: get instantly noticed, understood and influence behavior. Pain and the avoidance of bodily harm are generally easy selling points, so ANSI signage relies on the basics of color coding, bold typography and straightforward text. When evaluating more complex, sophisticated design projects, discerning the objective and the most straightforward means to relay that can often be a good starting point to both begin the design and later to evaluate it’s effectiveness.

Of course, there’s always that one that could use a little more work:

Warning sticker on machinery

 

 

Adhesive vinyl labels, contour cut lettering, wide format printing, removable wall graphics and murals, floor graphics, window signage: all available from Imagesmith.  ImageSmith always provides you with the latest information, inspiration, technical advice, and innovative ideas for communicating your message through print, design and typography, signage, apparel, variable data printing and direct mail, integrated marketing and environmental responsible printing. We work with you to solve any marketing problems. The best advice, always, is to ASK YOUR PRINTER. Ask Imagesmith!
Call us at 828.684.4512. ImageSmith is a full-service print and marketing provider located in Arden, North Carolina. Contact us at ImageSmith for quotes on all your print and marketing projects, and more useful tips on how to create custom, effective, high impact marketing solutions.