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Hints & tips for specifying colour #FIVEOFFIVE

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What does CMYK stand for?

C = Cyan
M = Magenta
Y = Yellow
K = Black (Or key colour)

The problem comes from technology when we all started using computers – computer screens are RGB.

R = Red
G = Green
B = Blue

The RGB color model is an additive color model in which red, green and blue light are added together in various ways to reproduce a broad array of colours.

CMYK are printing colours – All colour photographs are made up of CMYK. The majority of printing these days is CMYK or other wise known as ‘full colour printing’.

That’s simple enough! Well lets make it more complicated.

Pantone Colours

There are over 1,000 Pantone colours, these are special colours that are mainly asked for when we’re designing logos or we want a consistent colour throughout a particular project. It is more expensive but it gives you a better job at the end. e.g. Alfa Romeo have a special Pantone Red, you would print a brochure CMYK + Pantone Red. It adds to the quality and design of the brochure. You can read more about the Pantone Color Matching System below.

Pantone Color Matching System

The Pantone Color Matching System is largely a standardised color reproduction system. By standardising the colors, different manufacturers in different locations can all refer to the Pantone system to make sure colors match without direct contact with one another.

One such use is standardising colors in the CMYK process. The CMYK process is a method of printing color by using four inks—cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. A majority of the world’s printed material is produced using the CMYK process, and there is a special subset of Pantone colors that can be reproduced using CMYK. Those that are possible to simulate through the CMYK process are labeled as such within the company’s guides.

However, most of the Pantone system’s 1,114 spot colors cannot be simulated with CMYK but with 13 base pigments (14 including black) mixed in specified amounts.

Hints & tips for sourcing imagery #FOUROFFIVE

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Find free-to-use images

When you do a Google Search, you can filter your results to find images, videos, or text that you have permission to use. To do this, you’ll use an Advanced Search filter called “usage rights” that lets you know when you can use, share, or modify something you find online.

Note: Before reusing content, make sure that its license is legitimate and check the exact terms of reuse. For example, the license might require that you give credit to the image creator when you use the image. Google can’t tell if the license label is legitimate, so we don’t know if the content is lawfully licensed.

How usage rights work

Usage rights help you find content that you can use above and beyond fair use. Site owners can use licenses to let you know if and how content on their sites can be reused.

The usage rights filter in Advanced Search shows you content that is either labeled with a Creative Commons or similar license, or is in the public domain. For images, the usage rights filter also shows you images labeled with the GNU Free Documentation license.

Report incorrect usage rights

If you find content with the wrong usage rights in the search results, let us know in the Google Search Forum.

Freestocks.org

A good collection of high quality images, all free Creative Commons licensed. Plenty of categories to search and find the kind of image you’re looking for.

Unsplash

Updated frequently with new images, and you can do whatever you like with them.  Browse through the collection is enjoyable in its own right.

StockSnap

All Creative Commons licensed so no attribution required – and here the search function is more advanced giving you a better chance of finding that prefect image.

Tookapic Stock

This site has both free and paid-for stock pictures.

Rio 2016 is on fire

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Your mind may still be just on the Euro’s, but let’s look a bit further – this year Rio de Janeiro is hosting the Olympic games.   

            The Olympics is a unique event that allows for designers to crack their knuckles and explore their creative sides – with some interesting results. One of the central focuses of the Olympic games is the torch, whose design changes for each game. For Rio 2016, the design by Chelles & Hyashi will have a significantly more interesting, technical aspect to it. When the flame is passed from torch to torch, in the so called “kiss of the torches”, the torch will open up, revealing a resin lined inner, in the hue of the colours of the Brazilian flag. Each colour is said to symbolically represent aspects of the Brazilian lands – green for the mountains, light blue for the sky, dark blue for the seas, and the yellow tip for the sun.

            The torch itself is reminiscent of Barber and Osgerby’s design for London 2012, with a triangular shape and finish, supposedly representative of the three Olympic values of excellence, friendship and respect.

            On the torch’s journey through the Brazilian land, it will cover a distance of nearly 12,000km around the coast and through the Amazon Rainforest, passing through 329 cities, giving 90% of Brazil’s population the opportunity to see the torch.

Crazy requests #TWOOFFIVE

We’re very lucky to have worked with a wide range of great clients, but every so often we get a crazy request. Below are a few we’ve heard over the years.
  1. I don’t really have a design idea yet, but can you tell me how much it would cost?
  2. Can you just make the black a little lighter? Not grey though, just a lighter black.
  3. I know it’s gone to print, but can we just make one more change?
  4. Hey I’ve got Photoshop, should I just do the design and then you make it more professional?
  5. Why don’t you give me 5 different looks and if I like them, I’ll pay.

If you’ve got your own stories of crazy client requests, we’d love to hear them. Send them our way and we’ll pick a few for future mailers.

Send to: info@co2design.co.uk

File formats #ONEOFFIVE

Formats explained for non graphic designers

We often get a call or email from a client worried that they can’t open the provided files or they don’t know what the file type is for (.ai, .eps and/or .psd.).

Are you in the same boat? Fear not, the average person won’t be able to open said files as each of these require a special software program used by designers, and other professions alike.

Below is a list of different file extensions you may come across when working with graphic designers, if you’re still bamboozaled just give us a call.

AI: Adobe Illustrator

Adobe Illustrator Artwork (AI) is a proprietary file format developed by Adobe Systems for representing single-page vector-based drawings in either the EPS or PDF formats. The .ai filename extension is used by Adobe Illustrator. The AI file format was originally a native format called PGF.

EPS: Encapsulated Postscript

Encapsulated Postscript Vector graphics (Adobe Illustrator) EPS is a file extension for a graphics file format used in vector-based images in Adobe Illustrator. EPS stands for Encapsulated PostScript. An EPS file can contain text as well as graphics.

PDF: Portable Document Format

PDF (Portable Document Format) is a file format that has captured all the elements of a printed document as an electronic image that you can view, navigate, print, or forward to someone else. PDF files are created using Adobe Acrobat , Acrobat Capture, or similar products.

PSD: Photoshop Document

A .PSD file is a layered image file used in Adobe PhotoShop. PSD, which stands for Photoshop Document, is the default format that Photoshop uses for saving data. PSD is a proprietary file that allows the user to work with the images’ individual layers even after the file has been saved.

JPEG: Joint Photographic Experts Group

JPEG – Joint Photographic Experts Group. (.JPG file extension, pronounced Jay Peg). This is the right format for those photo images which must be very small files, for example, for web sites or for email. JPG is often used on digital camera memory cards, but RAW or TIF format may be offered too, to avoid it.

GIF: Graphics Interchange Format

Bitmap (CompuServe) GIF, or Graphic Interchange Format, is a file extension for an often animated raster graphics file and is the second most common image format used on the World Wide Web after JPEG. GIF uses the LZW compression algorithm and is owned by Unisys.

TIF: Tagged Image File Format

TIF is an image format file for high-quality graphics. TIF files are also called .TIFF, which stands for “Tagged Image Format File.” TIF files were created in the 1986 as a file format for scanned images in an attempt to get all companies to use one standard file format instead of multiple.

PNG: Portable Network Graphics

Portable Network Graphics (PNG /ˈpɪŋ/) is a raster graphics file format that supports lossless data compression. PNG was created as an improved, non-patented replacement for Graphics Interchange Format (GIF), and is the most used lossless image compression format on the Internet.

13 Unlucky for some!

CO2 Design was established in Paisley 13 years ago by husband and wife David and Colette Atkinson producing all things promotional from brands and business cards to websites. Now a team of 7 with offices at 33 Glasgow Road, Paisley business has never been better, employing local talent and servicing businesses across the Renfrewshire area, Glasgow. This digital era enables us to work with clients from Glasgow to Dublin and across the world. David Atkinson qualified as a Graphic Designer in 1985, worked in several agencies in London before settling in at Sebastian Conran PID; initially running the design department with four designers and then gaining promotion to Associate Director. In 1993 he moved to Glasgow working in a few agencies before starting CO2 Design in 2003.

accord_brand

David has always embraced technology as avenues for new income streams. He started before Apple Mac’s were mainstream, using magic markers and drawing boards. So, when the Internet and emails surpassed fax machines David embraced this new mode of communication, enhancing his knowledge and CO2 Design. There’s one constant in this ever changing world – creativity and ideas. CO2 breathe life into creative ideas. Proud to be based in Paisley, it was a milestone for CO2 to design and oversee the new Accord Hospice brand.

The Accord Hospice has been caring in the community for over 30 years and is a respected organisation that has helped many families through difficult times. Discussions, ideas and concepts for the re-brand started as far back as 2012; there were so many considerations. Like all companies the Accord needed to change with the times, the old brand had changed little since day one, but so much has changed in 30 years with the advent of computing, the internet, CDs, DVDs, memory sticks – I could go on.   Research – first things first, we research the old brand/logo and look into the charity market in the 21st century. The Accord Hospice should be mentioned in the same breath as leading Scottish and UK charities.

Print

A team consisting of board members, employees and CO2 discussed the possibility of a new brand –it was far from a certainty that the project would ever get off the ground. We started by creating sketches, nothing is discarded at this stage and everyone’s ideas are considered. After months of discussions and exploration of creative ideas the new brand starts to take shape, we present every stage of this process to the Client, in this case Accord Hospice. At every stage budgets are also discussed with the idea of a ‘soft launch’ –meaning the new brand would replace the old brand naturally, so when shops needed refurbished the new brand would be used, when new vans were ordered the new brand would be applied. Almost 4 years later the brand is launched, here we are today:

http://www.paisleyfirst.net/project/accord-hospice-case-study

So what do CO2 do?
We meet, talk, advise and swap creative ideas helping you produce better, professional, more cost-effective marketing and promotional material than your competitors. We make it easy and fun, so if you want to sit down with David for a coffee and a chat, have a look at our website www.co2design.co.uk and give us a call on 0141 404 1199.

5 Steps to a Successful Business

Running any business you will eventually have to deal with the grey area of ‘Marketing’. Every successful business  – small or large – needs to market the company’s products and services. You can have the best products and services in the world but if you do not market them, your competitors will generate more sales. Have you ever found yourself pondering, “How come I lost that contract? Our product is superior and better value for money?” The classic case is in the video market: Betamax were in competition with VHS, we remember Betamax fondly, it is universally recognised that they were of higher quality than VHS but VHS were soon in every household because Betamax didn’t market their product.

In this blog we plan to take you through five simple steps; these steps must be done for every marketing product – from a simple leaflet, to the most complicated website.

STEP 1 – Plan it out.

This step can be carried out in several ways; brainstorming, concepts, ideas, every conceivable thought related to the project, it gets put on down on paper. It is good to sit down with a few colleagues, a blank sheet of paper and write down everyone’s ideas. This is sometimes referred to as ‘on the back of an envelope’ planning. For example we’ll look at promoting a new charity ‘Cards for African Relief and Development , “C. A. R. D.”;

mindmap

C.A.R.D. Charitable organisation:
Name
Logo
Posters
Advertising
Leaflets
Tickets
Programmes
T-shirts
Website
Banner Stands
Further PR / Marketing

Even if we were just doing a simple A5 leaflet, still do a mind map. Do not dismiss any idea and include everyone, the more of your colleagues that get involved, the more likely that they will support the project and will ultimately help sell the product or service as well as have a clearer understanding of how your company works.

By clearly planning your project and objectives you will be in better control of the budget, no hidden costs, and more importantly can stick to your deadlines easier. As for deadlines, be realistic. We give a ballpark figure to a client at the earliest possible stage; many small costs add up, commercial costs for good quality design, artwork, production, print and delivery. For example it’s almost impossible to give a cost for a website without a detailed brief and then a client often would like changes and additional work.

TIP: Get a copy of all the marketing material you have produced for your company over the last 6 months lay on a table, business cards, leaflets, newsletters, e-newsletters, advertising, brochures, advertising, banners, posters, banner stands, review your activity and ask yourself; does it a have a consistent message? Is it good quality? Does it reflect the standards of your company? Are you proud of every single item? You’re only as good as the weakest item on show! Is there enough variety to promote your company? What did it cost and what was your return? Continually ask yourself this, that is how you ensure you are taking your company or your project in the direction you want.

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If you have any comments or questions please get in contact, your views and feedback are important. Log on next month to read about step two.

STEP 2 – Research
STEP 3 – Thumbnail Sketches
STEP 4 – Mac Visuals (What is this?)
STEP 5 – Finished Design and Artwork