Quick guide to your first website

multiple devices showing generic web site

I often get asked what is needed to make a new website and it seems like every time I start rambling on with a list of things and prices. For someone who’s never done a website it probably seems a bit daunting really, just having 300 words thrown at them that don’t really make any sense. So, today I while responding to a friend’s request for information, I thought that I might as well just create a handy post for everyone.

Domain

This is the address to the site. Or rather it’s a reference that then points to a location on a server. Without one you’d have to type in some vague IP address every time you wanted to visit a site. (anywhere from $3.99 – $40/yr)

Hosting

The hosting includes two parts, ideally both would live on the same server but, this isn’t always the case. First is the the files just like your own computer, second is a database where almost everything that contains text should be stored. This allows someone to make edits to menus and pages without having to know how to write code and dive into the under-workings of the site. ($4.99/mo – $10/mo)

SSL

Anytime you’re dealing with people’s private information you should have an SSL certificate. Specifically, if you’re taking credit cards online you MUST have one. The way around this is to send a user off site to pay, I send them to PayPal, and then once they’ve paid they’re directed back to your site. This works well but, sometimes people are a bit put off by going off site. I’d rather pay with PayPal than use someone’s on site thing. ($70/yr)

Platform

This isn’t really necessary. You can have a static html page or even hand code something to do what you need. But, there are quite a few great platforms for completing large projects quickly. The most popular is WordPress, which now powers 30% of websites, it’s easy to setup and manage as well. You simply download it from WordPress.org, create a database, upload the files, navigate to the site and it’s like, 1 click later and you’re up and running. Then you track down a theme or create your own, track down some plugins, and start putting pages and posts together and hope for traffic. The second most popular platform is probably Joomla. Both have their strengths and weaknesses and have large developer communities and plugin/theme repositories. Personally, I like WordPress more. (Mostly free)

Now, that probably seems like a lot to digest but, the good news is many hosting companies provide great support and some even have one click installers that can have a site up in under an hour. Now, the only thing holding you back is getting started. Go pick your new domain name, and build something awesome!

Current Reads, Resources and Inspiration

Current Reads, Resources and Inspiration

 

I was asked via Facebook for suggestions on reading and listening material. As I started collecting links and things I realized that I should probably make a new post about it.

First off, I really like this weekly series by John McWade. It’s not software specific. He covers layout, typography, color and walks through building something new every week. If you enjoy this one, he has many other courses available that are equally fantastic.
Graphic Design Tips and Tricks – John McWade
https://www.lynda.com/Color-tutorials/Graphic-Design-Tips-Tricks/365959-2.html

This is more of a personal one, I started watching this during my winter slump and the little tidbits of happiness and time management. This weekly series has benefited my personal happiness, and that of my family.
Happiness Tips – Chris Croft
https://www.lynda.com/Business-Skills-tutorials/Happiness-Tips/426767-2.html

Especially for you web designers/developers, anything from Morten Rand-Hendriksen is fantastic.
Morten Rand-Hendriksen
https://www.lynda.com/Morten-Rand-Hendriksen/725535-1.html

This course is more about branding and self promotion for your design business. Sean is very insightful and gives tips for getting and maintaining clients, getting published and staying relevant.
Running a Design Business – Sean Adams
https://www.lynda.com/Design-Business-tutorials/Running-Design-Business-Self-Promotion/432563-2.html

Another weekly series, I listen to web career clinic every week where Lauren interviews a new designers.
Web Career Clinic – Lauren Bacon
https://www.lynda.com/Web-Design-tutorials/Web-Career-Clinic/432037-2.html

I just started listening to this but, I caught up with all of them within the first day (I think we’re only on 6 weeks or something). They just kind of talk about a different design challenge every week.
The Honest Designer – Ian Barnard, Lisa Glanz and Dustin Lee
https://www.designcuts.com/tutorials/honest-designers-podcast-ep-1-developing-your-style/

Creative Workshop – David Sherwin
Creative Workshop – David Sherwin

To be honest, I only did one exercise out of either of these exercise books. They’re time consuming but, fantastic I’d imagine if you’ve got nothing to work on or need pieces for a portfolio or stuff for a blog post.

Business and Legal Forms for Graphic Designers – Crawford & Doman Bruck, Graphic Artists Guild
Business and Legal Forms for Graphic Designers – Crawford & Doman Bruck, Graphic Artists Guild

An absolute must have, anytime you’re in need of a form open this book and find an example of a form already being used. It includes a disk with all of them on it if you’re in a hurry but, personally I just build my own version of what I need.

Print Magazine http://www.printmag.com/
Print Magazine

I just like these, they’re full of inspiration and entertainment.

 

How to be a graphic designer without losing your soul – Adrian Shaughnessy
How to be a graphic designer without losing your soul – Adrian Shaughnessy

This book is fantastic, Debbie interviews a handful of fantastic successful designers and helps put some of the issues that we all face into perspective. A must read if you’re going through a slump or something.

 

Handbook of Pricing and Ethical Guidlines – Graphic Artists Guild
Handbook of Pricing and Ethical Guidlines – Graphic Artists Guild

This is a resource, it’s full of information. I doubt I’ll ever read it cover to cover, and I don’t think it’s meant to be but, for any new designer pick up this book. It’ll prove invaluable as you start facing new challenges.

The Graphic Design Exercise Book – Carolynn Knight & Jessica Glaser
The Graphic Design Exercise Book – Carolynn Knight & Jessica Glaser

Another exercise book. Maybe I’m just terrible at them or something. I’ve only worked through one of these exercises as well. However, if you’re just starting out, or just want to make things. I’d imagine this is a great resource.

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Working With Color

working with color

working with colorWell, the office is done … mostly … most of an entirely brand new computer, a new printer, bookshelf, desk … life is kind of back to normal. Our new house is coming along nicely due to Khristine’s hard work, though the girls ensure that it is always a mess and Karli’s decided that it’s really neat to take off her diaper and pee on the floor. Anyhow, I’d put this post off for a while when trying to get everything together and do some extra research, and then I’d lost it somewhere in the piles of boxes of (mostly garbage) treasures. Today we’ll be talking a bit about the deep subject of color and color schemes.

Monochrome

Monochrome is simply one color, sometimes with shades of. While somewhat boring, monochrome can be the boldest of the design world. For instance, a good logo should be recognizable in one single color, not even shades, it should stand alone and be interpreted to represent a company or brand through a graphic and a name. Something I often say is that if a logo doesn’t work in black and white, it doesn’t work at all. While I’m not really a logo designer (I’ve done a few), that same theory works with many advertisement designs as well. At The Reaper I’m bound to monochrome (black and white, or a gross version of grayscale) a good 80% of the time, when not, there is almost always photography or something to determine the color scheme of my work to some point … Also, with our printing capacity we’re pretty limited to what colors actually work. When I first started at the reaper I struggled a bit transitioning to the black and white world (I think there was some free advertising given just to cover my mistakes) but, now it’s kind of second nature.

Analogous

According to Merriam Webster

showing an analogy or a likeness that permits one to draw an analogy

Analogous color schemes can sometimes be a very safe route in design and … it is the using of a primary color, and neighboring colors on the color wheel. The results can sometimes be … boring.

Reaper Wrap published May 2015
Reaper Wrap published May 2015

I suppose if you’re familiar with our Reaper Wrap you could say that this is Analogous (with black). The reason for this is that we’re permitted to us only 3 plates for the wrap … one of those plates being black obviously … in CMYK using cyan and magenta we get purple, and derivatives in between.

The color of the wrap has been something that we’ve been experimenting with a bit for the last … year or so and it’s a once a month debate on what color it should be.

Sometimes, even when we shoot for a specific color, we get something a bit different. For instance, this May Wrap we wanted a light, springy sort of purple … and got this heavier more … saturated look. For Junes wrap, the shades of Orange that we decided on, printed much more red than I’d imagined.

Complementary

Complementary are colors opposite each other on the color wheel. Complementary color schemes carry the most contrast and have been said to cheapen a design when used poorly. People have different reactions to different colors for instance, blue for me is peaceful … calming, my wife doesn’t like blue … This could be because she is weird, it could be that she’s always grumpy so just prefers reds and blacks … I really can’t be sure. Green the color of spring renewal and hope; combined with it’s complementary red, can can be Christmas, stop, go, at the right shades; or a million other things to a million other people. Just remember to keep complementary schemes balanced, and by that I don’t mean cover your design equally in directly opposing colors. 😉

 

 

Triad

Triad color schemes are three colors equally distanced from each other on the color wheel, they are quite vibrant. For me triad can provide the most balance between busy, heavy contrast and cheapened designs. To be used successfully one color should dominate pretty heavily while the others are sprinkled for emphasis. Which generally works out well because I’ll pick out a dominant color in the graphic or photography being used and work around that.

Adobe color scheme tool
Adobe color scheme tool

There are a million online tools available to help build color schemes for instance before discovering this Adobe one pictured above I would use the very nice tool available at paletton.com

Tetrad

I suppose I couldn’t finish without touching on the tetrad color scheme, sometimes referred to as square or rectangle, these are either 4 colors split equally apart on the color wheel (square), or a rectangle using two colors and their complementary colors. While tetrad schemes open up the door for a lot of variation in your design, it should be noted that this will also be the most busy scheme, and possibly have the heaviest contrast. To pull off a Tetrad color scheme, let one color dominate while using the other colors for emphasis. Used properly your design should carry a proper visual balance (as with any of the schemes) and not have the appearance of a pile of Skittles.

Tetrad color scheme using the tool at paletton.com
Tetrad color scheme using the tool at paletton.com

As noted above, no two people see a single color the same way, and each will have different emotional and psychological ties to any given color. There are though, some generalities that tie with each color:

  • RED Courage, strength, warmth, energy, stimulation, masculinity, excitement.
  • BLUE Intelligence, communication, trust, efficiency, serenity, duty, logic, coolness, reflection, calm.
  • YELLOW Optimism, confidence, self-esteem, extraversion, emotional strength, friendliness, creativity.
  • GREEN Harmony, balance, refreshment, universal love, rest, restoration, reassurance, environmental awareness, equilibrium, peace.
  • VIOLET Spiritual awareness, containment, vision, luxury, authenticity, truth, quality.
  • ORANGE Physical comfort, food, warmth, security, sensuality, passion, abundance, fun.
  • PINK Physical tranquillity, nurture, warmth, femininity, love, sexuality, survival of the species.
  • GREY Psychological neutrality, lack of confidence, dampness, depression, hibernation, lack of energy.
  • BLACK Sophistication, glamour, security, emotional safety, efficiency, substance.
  • WHITE Hygiene, sterility, clarity, purity, cleanness, simplicity, sophistication, efficiency.
  • BROWN Seriousness, warmth, Nature, earthiness, reliability, support.

 

Now I’ve just skimmed the surface of color and the ways that I approach color in design. If you’re looking to explore more about color try

That’s all for today, If you liked this post be sure to follow me on your favorite social media channel, subscribe via e-mail and share, or all of them for that matter! Thank you for stopping in!

Sources:

http://www.colour-affects.co.uk/psychological-properties-of-colours.

Great Design Starts with Great Imagery

My old GE X400. Decent little camera for the price.

I love photography. I’ve enjoyed taking photographs since probably around High School/College time. I took a course at UVU (Then UVSC) called Digital Photography for Beginners. Which was amazing … I don’t recall if we were taught much about composition but, we did learn to use our cameras and it seems like one of the requirements was that we had to take like 2,000 shots over the course (a ridiculously low amount now but, seemed like a ton then) … I remember taking mini road trips with my friend Cody up the canyon, down the canyon … everywhere we could think of, (I don’t even remember where we went the one day to try and take some wildlife shots). Heber and the surrounding area had a ton of opportunity for great photography. Sadly, even though cameras were only 4-5 megapixel then, I don’t have any of the pictures to show. When the class ended I had to turn back in the rental camera (I believe it was a FujiFilm).

I went quite a while without a camera at that point, I got a nice consumer video camera to keep up with my (then baby) son (I was at a point in school that I was working heavily with video and audio also, this could have helped influence the camera choice), phones were starting to have cameras built in, later my ex-wife had I Nikon Coolpix that was amazing for birthdays and whatever so it really wasn’t the first thing on the agenda.

My old GE X400. Decent little camera for the price.
My old GE X400. Decent little camera for the price.

Seems like maybe Mother’s day 2011 or 2012 that my wife bought me a new camera, one with some manual settings and decent resolution. I loved it and was out taking pictures of kids, flowers and about anything that I could see. After some time I began to get frustrated with the amount of grain in my shots as well as the fact that it would go through batteries faster than … well, we’ll just say faster than anything.

 

My daughter Layla acquired my old camera when I upgraded. She instantly ran the batteries dead and nearly filled the 8GB SD Card.
My daughter Layla acquired my old camera when I upgraded. She instantly ran the batteries dead and nearly filled the 8GB SD Card.

Fast-forwarding a bit … I frequent a ton of groups, if I were to guess a number I’d put it somewhere around 50 groups that I visit weekly (on Facebook, LinkedIn, and G+). I’ve got a handful of photography groups on Facebook that have been extremely helpful, supportive and engaging as well as design groups, business groups, illustration groups, blogging groups and well …. a bunch of groups. Though the wife let me upgrade to a Nikon D3200, this old GE can’t retire. I’ve found great little hands for it and it’s already paid off with some awesome, and sometimes hilarious photographs.

 

(I wanted to include links to the photography groups on Facebook, because the image below is from one of them, and I can’t remember which)

Sevier County Photographers

Photography for beginners!

Symbiostockers (this one is more for people looking to sell their content, still very engaging and supportive group)

Photography

Photoshop Showcase

 

Mock advertisement for the 2015 Ford Fiesta ST. Photograph by Nathan Holder. Driver, Matt Benham.
Mock advertisement for the 2015 Ford Fiesta ST. Photograph by Nathan Holder. Driver, Matt Benham.

In one of the groups this image came across the feed, I think Nathan Holder was talking about how he had to hang out the window of his friends car, to shoot the other car … and that he wanted to try a longer shutterspeed. I thought it was awesome work and told him that it’s definitely something that you’d see in an advertisement. I toyed with the idea a minute and went to find the MPG’s (one of the things this car boasts) and whatever from Fords website and in fact found the exact same sort of image being used. Granted, the ford image was probably taken with a camera that costs as much as my new house … or it might be entirely rendered using computers and software (worth approximately the same amount)  … It’s hard to say but, it brings up a fact about design. Great Design Starts with Great Imagery.

Screenshot from the Ford website of the same type of shot being used for their advertising.
Screenshot from the Ford website of the same type of shot being used for their advertising.

 

Classic Motors advertisement by Dallas Price. Published in The Richfield Reaper 4/8/15.
Classic Motors advertisement by Dallas Price. Published in The Richfield Reaper 4/8/15.

In fact, for many designers this is exactly the starting point. They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, and while … I know clients who would love to stick 1,000 words into a design, most I think understand that it isn’t going to be beneficial. I know that sometimes before I even start to break up a design task I’ll open my browser to our stock agency (Creative Outlet) and start looking for something that fits the theme. For smaller areas or spot colors I aim for an illustration but, a nice big photograph will make your designs much more … relatable, even better … a nice big photograph with people doing something will not only make your design more relatable, it will be personable. People look at these and subconsciously think, “that could be me” (sometimes it’s not even subconsciously). This Classic advertisement could have been significantly better, better images and less junk but, it illustrates a grid … and is an example of what I get to do.

 

I know that not all of us are designing advertisements, and we’re not all trying to shove products at consumers but, the same rule applies to logo design, poster design, billboards, album covers … and really everything that you see. In fact, even while reading this you are seeing design. Most of my favorite books have massive full page photographs and art sprinkled throughout. The best logos in the world have the perfect balance between graphic and text. These brands are so recognizable that after a time you don’t even need to see the logo, or only partially, to know their products and promotions.

 

There really aren’t many exceptions to this, unless you’re going for an extremely simplistic look. As a designer it’s your job to know when an image isn’t going to work, or isn’t fitting to the message but, most of the time. You’re going to be hunting for that perfect image that communicates your message, supports the theme, and fits the style.

Anyway, I suppose that’s all that I’ve got for today. Thank you for visiting!

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The 5 Elements of Great Graphic Design

Advertisement designed for Ogden's Superstore by Dallas Price (starburst compliments of Jennifer Dorgan) background vector art by Creative Outlet. Published in The Richfield Reaper 11/12/2014.
Advertisement designed for Ogden's Superstore by Dallas Price (starburst compliments of Jennifer Dorgan) background vector art by Creative Outlet. Published in The Richfield Reaper 11/12/2014.
Advertisement designed for Ogden’s Superstore by Dallas Price (starburst compliments of Jennifer Dorgan) background vector art by Creative Outlet. Published in The Richfield Reaper 11/12/2014.

It’s been a while since I have posted, as the holiday season grows nearer other priorities keep getting in the way of writing a good post :(. So I did a bit of searching for something to post today and stumbled upon this great read by Kimming Yap just for fun I’ll add some images and stuff:

Great graphic design consists of so much more than imaginative color schemes and fashionable layout; exceptional graphic design possesses five essential elements to give a supreme balance of creativity, clarity and impact, as will be demonstrated by the deft yet free hands and minds of the best creative agencies in Singapore. Below we will discuss these five elements and cover the integral parts of each, providing you with a much more concise understanding of what connotes a great graphic design masterpiece.

The 5 Elements of Great Graphic Design

Visual Hierarchy

By definition visual hierarchy in the graphic design context consists of manipulating visual content by prioritizing it and subsequently organizing it in a manner that will effectively get a point across. Visual hierarchy is one of the backbone principles of graphic design, and applies to every form of media you can possibly experience. This element is not simply about the image content; any text which is being considered for use is to be part of the arrangement process as well.

It is important to pay close attention to contrasts when being attentive to this element. Contrasts in color, context, size, and shape need to be closely monitored and anything which distracts from the key point should be properly adjusted.

Balance in Design Layout

Have you have ever looked at an advertisement of any medium and found a specific area of the visual that continually takes away your attention from the main focus? Empty spaces in some areas and overcrowding in others can throw the brain’s ability to retain attention into an uproar. Great graphic design will have all visual content and text arranged in a manner which is balanced evenly, and complimentary visuals or text will not crowd or distract from the point of the design. Each design will have a main point of reference and all other content is supportive, thus, supportive content should bring the point more clearly into focus rather than fog things up for the viewer.

Grid Use

A grid is made up of intersecting lines, horizontal, vertical, and/or angular, which can be straight or curved in appearance. Grids are two dimensional, and to the layman resemble nothing more than a bunch of tiny little boxes.

Grid use in graphic design will contribute greatly to the effectiveness of the design produced. Use of a grid assists in proper content placement, helping to achieve balance and providing depth and an essence of tangibility to the design. Because grid use assists in effective content placement its use contributes to the greatness of any design in which it has been implemented.

Proper use of White Space

The use of white space in the graphic realm can make or break the design and any potential it has for greatness. White space is any area free of markings or content of any kind, including margins and any areas of space between groups of text or other content. White space can be used effectively without the viewer even being aware of it; this is graphic design genius. White space can also undermine an entire concept, consequently destroying what could have been a great design. Proper use of white space should allow the viewer to breathe while drinking in the design; it should not complete the piece, rather it should dance with the content in unison.

The Marriage of Positive and Negative Space: Visual Harmony

The essence of using white space properly is the mastery of balance of both negative (white) and positive (content-filled) spaces. You cannot master white or negative space use without having used positive space effectively as well; this is the balance that needs to be achieved in all your designs.

To achieve great masterpieces of Graphic Design Singapore, creative agencies must have the entire world in their mind’s eye, and they must be able to express that effectively through their medium. The above five elements will encompass any great piece of graphic design, and it will not be difficult to identify each element with a trained eye. The intended viewer, on the other hand, will see nothing but symmetry and aesthetic perfection which is compelling in its purpose. Sharpen the attention you pay to the five elements, and begin to produce great graphic designs today.

 

 

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Isolating photos, the right way

Dallas Price - Isolating photos, the right way. Lion photo from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_five_game

Today I wanted to write about a common topic that many artists, designers and photographers seem to struggle with … Isolating photos.

Quite often I see over-feathering, poorly drawn traces from using Photoshop’s lasso tools, jagged edges from the wand tool, and even missing appendages. The process that I use is a careful trace using the pen tool, this will give the artist or designer the maximum control over their photo isolation and ensure that it looks great (or at least better).

Isolating photos, the right way - Dallas Price
Isolating photos, the right way – Dallas Price

We’ll use this photograph of my Lucas from Rocktober in Richfield, UT. Your workspace isn’t going to matter too much, in fact anyone who’s ever tried to work on my computers knows that I really mess up my workspace. Quite often getting rid of all of the toolbars to open up additional real estate and use the hotkeys to accomplish most things. If there’s one tip that I can give to any artist or designer to increase productivity is LEARN YOUR HOTKEYS, I promise you’ll be at least twice as productive.

 

My Wacom intuos 3 - Isolating photos, the right way - Dallas Price
My Wacom intuos 3 – Isolating photos, the right way – Dallas Price

Another big increase in productivity is to get yourself a Wacom tablet. I don’t care if you never have to draw, paint or you spend all day in Microsoft Word; the increase in productivity that I’ve seen in everything from building pages in InDesign to illustrating speaks for itself. Even a cheap or older tablet will increase your speed, guaranteed. Drawing a line is faster and much more natural than clicking and dragging a mouse (plus, you might notice your hands and wrists being less sore at the end of the day. I use an Intuos 3 at home and a Bamboo Pen & Touch at The Reaper (I’m sure you can get an Intuos 3 for under $100)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Isolating photos, the right way - Dallas Price
Isolating photos, the right way – Dallas Price

The first thing we’ll do is jump into fullscreen (ff). I have my first button set to pan/scroll so I can move around the photograph quickly and easily. Switch to your pen tool and create your first point either at the edge of the photograph or if there are no edges I start at the straightest line.

Remember that if you click it creates one point, if you click and drag it creates what’s known as a bézier curve, a point with “handles” that create a curved line. While drawing your path focus on making frequent, shorter curves, this will make it easier and your isolation will look more natural.

 

 

 

 

Isolating photos, the right way - Dallas Price
Isolating photos, the right way – Dallas Price

Hair will take up a majority of your time, sometimes it’s important to just focus on the larger clumps that are sticking out. Don’t worry about them all, as long as you get a majority of them your isolation will look pretty natural.

 

 

 

 

 

Isolating photos, the right way - Dallas Price
Isolating photos, the right way – Dallas Price

One thing worth noting is that most consumer cameras are going to shoot in a compressed .jpg format. This is going to create some extra dithering around edges. Notice in the photo here that there are maybe 5-6 pixels that are neither the background grass, or his ear. Try to create your path where the pixels are mostly the object you’re isolating. That green would not look good around the edges of my buddy where he’s about to go.

 

 

 

 

Isolating photos, the right way - Dallas Price
Isolating photos, the right way – Dallas Price

When you get done close your path by tapping on the very first point you created. With the pen tool selected right click (my top pen button) on the photo … at this point I almost always make selection but, for many artists it would be more appropriate to create a vector mask. I’m going to make selection by right clicking (my top pen button) and then duplicate layer (cmd/ctrl+j) then I’ll delete the background layer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Isolating photos, the right way - Dallas Price
Isolating photos, the right way – Dallas Price

To get Lucas to Africa I’m going to select all (cmd/ctrl+a) and copy (cmd/ctrl+c) switch to the lion photo from wikipedia and paste (cmd/ctrl+v).

 

 

 

 

Dallas Price - Isolating photos, the right way. Lion photo from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_five_game
Dallas Price – Isolating photos, the right way. Lion photo from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_five_game

Obviously these two photographs were taken under extremely different lighting conditions, environments and cameras, so it’s not going to look very natural. To get this to … kind of work I flipped the lion photo so that the light was going at least somewhat in the right direction. Played with the hue and saturation (cmd/ctrl+u) and levels (cmd/ctrl+l) to get the lighting and color cast to look a bit more natural. Then used a lens blur because as far back as the lion is and as far forward as Lucas is, there is no way they’d both be in focus. Then I selected the transparent pixels on the layer with Lucas with the wand tool (w) and feathered him (shift+f6) by 2 pixels because the edges didn’t look very natural. I always feather AFTER placing the photo where it’s going, that way you aren’t going back 30 times when you realize that you feathered too much or too little.

 

There are quite a few things you could do to make this look more natural with multiple layers and some adjustment masks but, that is outside of the scope of this tutorial. Please leave any questions or comments below, and like/share this if you found it helpful. Thanks all!

Have fun with borders

I was looking through last weeks advertisement designs today and noticed a theme, each one has the main graphic or headline integrated into the border. Thus tying together the advertisement as well as making the main idea instantly absorbable for the reader.

Advertisement design by Graphic Designer Dallas Price for Rotary International. Published in The Richfield Reaper 07/23/2014.
Advertisement design by Graphic Designer Dallas Price for Rotary International. Published in The Richfield Reaper 07/23/2014.

For Rotary International‘s “End Polio Now” trail ride I was going for almost a punkish exciting feel, narrow crop on the photos and information presented in boxes. I wish I could have gone with fewer boxes but, they had a lot of information to present.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisement design by Graphic Designer Dallas Price for Sandy Phillips. Published in The Richfield Reaper 07/23/2014.
Advertisement design by Graphic Designer Dallas Price for Sandy Phillips. Published in The Richfield Reaper 07/23/2014.

 

This advertisement celebrating my friend Sandy Phillips‘ grand-babies birthday turned out well. I was playing with some font choices and decided on “Santa Fe” (I think, hope I’m correct there) gave them kind of a “Beach Boys” look, which fits the twin boys kissing in a swimming pool in this photograph. After getting the font down I realized that I needed to do something with the border. Since I was already in InDesign I just used white boxes and lines to create this beveled puzzle piece effect.

The rest of these advertisement designs I literally just made the graphic or headline part of the border or ad.

 

 

Advertisement design by Graphic Designer Dallas Price for Butch Cassidy's Hideout. Published in The Richfield Reaper 07/23/2014.
Advertisement design by Graphic Designer Dallas Price for Butch Cassidy’s Hideout. Published in The Richfield Reaper 07/23/2014.

While I think that they’re all probably pretty effective, I think the Butch Cassidy’s Hideout ad is the most effective. That ad is about Ice Cream and you know it. Where the hell do you get the ice cream, well that’s obvious.

 

 

 

 

Advertisement design by Graphic Designer Dallas Price for Andy's Market. Published in The Richfield Reaper 07/23/2014.
Advertisement design by Graphic Designer Dallas Price for Andy’s Market. Published in The Richfield Reaper 07/23/2014.

I think Andy’s Market would have been more effective with some better photos (and color ;). I might be looking too critically at it but, to me that hamburger is the heaviest thing on there … and that looks like a pretty good burger.

This post is part of a series of posts dedicated to getting my graphic design portfolio out of my desk and into the world. Want to start from the beginning?

 

Advertisement design by Graphic Designer Dallas Price for Riverstone Contractors. Published in The Richfield Reaper 07/23/2014.
Advertisement design by Graphic Designer Dallas Price for Riverstone Contractors. Published in The Richfield Reaper 07/23/2014.

Create your own vector rope brush in Adobe Illustrator

create your own rope brush
create your own rope brush
create your own rope brush

This brush makes handy “western” style text, borders and other things (it’s actually quite versatile). I always forget to save them and end up rebuilding them every time, so today upon a social media request I thought I’d do a short tutorial of the process that I use to create a rope brush

create your own rope brushI usually work with a pretty big canvas, and sometimes end up making it bigger depending on how well I’ve set up the brush. For this I’ve set my canvas to 30″ by 30″

 

 

 

 

create your own rope brush
create your own rope brush

Take your rectangle tool (M) make a rectangle, and then adjust two points so that it looks something like the image here.

Duplicate your rectangle by holding alt, clicking and dragging it so that it slightly overlaps itself. Then repeat that transformation by ctrl/cmd+D

 

 

 

create your own rope brushLine up your rope with the center horizontally button and a guide if needed, drag it into your brushes window and select “art brush.”

 

 

 

 

create your own rope brush
create your own rope brush

These settings can be a bit tricky, you can either stretch the rope or scale it proportionately (which will be large on longer strokes.) Depending on what you’re working on “Stretch to fit Stroke Length” works well.

Select your brush and grab your brush tool with (b), have fun creating 😉

Advertisement design by Graphic Designer Dallas Price for Monroe Cities 24th of July celebration. Published in The Richfield Reaper 07/16/2014.
Advertisement design by Graphic Designer Dallas Price for Monroe Cities 24th of July celebration. Published in The Richfield Reaper 07/16/2014.