Another year in the rearview mirror. Imageblog – our online newstand of conjecture, knowledge, experience and opinion about print, design, marketing, technology and sustainability – takes the last day of a busy year to glance back at the topics we touched on in the past 12 months. Editorially, we strive to cover topics of interest to graphic designers, print buyers and small business owners involved in empowering their brand through effective marketing. With a year-end overview, we notice a few trends in our blog:
Creative Cloud: Adobe’s Cutting Edge
Adobe moved us all to the cloud in 2014 with new versions of all our favorite software programs, new features available only in the cloud-based apps, and new ways to share, collaborate and learn interactively. Keeping up with the CC innovations could be a time-consuming job this year, but thankfully Adobe did it’s typical stellar job of integrating new tools and features in an intuitive, user-friendly interface. In June, we discussed issues relevant to print designers when Upgrading to Adobe CC and settling into the new stand-alone versions of InDesign, PhotoShop and Illustrator. Another article focused in on the changes for Illustrator, which included a reworked pen tool, pencil tool and “Live Corners.” For InDesign, we took a look at how to Auto Generate QR Codes with Data Merge (which seemed unthinkable a few years ago), the wonderful new Color Theme tool, and the evolution of Kuler into Adobe Color.
Graphic Design Tips & Tricks
As always, we love to share ideas that might make the life of a graphic designer or busy business owner a little easier when preparing files for print or marketing projects. This year that included blog posts on How to Properly Create Bleed Area for a print project, an easy strategy for using layers to keep auto page numbering on top of other elements in InDesign, and how to design and create mock-ups of product labels. We’re always on the lookout for blogs featuring great prepress tips, and are happy to share new ideas and secrets as we learn them.
Multichannel, Integrated & Diverse Marketing
Successful marketing relies more than ever on using multiple channels to reach your audience with your message and brand: print, mail, web, social media, signage, promotional products, and more. Posts this year included tips on creating engaging video content, promoting small business online, custom embroidery and screen printing, and some interesting stats on the profitability of multichannel marketing. Another post covered the importance of logo design with versatility in mind – because that logo has to work across every marketing channel.
Time flies – and as it does we note the passing of great leaders in the design and print world, as well as the passage of trends and techniques in a quickly changing field. This past year, ImageBlog posted a remembrance of Al Feldstein, the well-loved and long-time editor of MAD magazine, as well as one on the great Massimo Vignelli, who almost single-handedly brought the European modernist aesthetic to American design. We also took a curious look back at some vintage artifacts from our own pre-digital Prepress Department.
Who’s Doing It Right: Great Design in the Real World
It’s always fun to discuss and learn from great design and marketing out there in the big leagues. This year we highlighted how the Traveler Beer company is using some quirky mustaches and our love of selfies to promote their Shandy beer beverages in the US. We also too a SFW look at Showtime’s “Masters of Sex” logo and the potentially touchy subject of sex, typography and marketing. In other posts we looked at the clever and controversial nature of magazine cover design, trends in choosing an actual brand or company name, and a list of design blogs that we have found inspiring.
Cheers to a great and exciting 2015 ahead. We wish you enormous success with your small business marketing ventures as we all continue to learn and innovate.
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.