Thursday, August 28, 2008

How do I use that logo I had designed?

IGNORANCE WHEN INSERTING GRAPHICS INTO FILES

This particular problem keeps arising when I give someone their artwork or logo on a CD or other media to use for various things such as on their fax sheets, invoices, or whatever. I considered adding a disclaimer with the CD explaining that I (the designer) am not liable for the customer's lack of understanding simple computer techniques.

And again, I got a call today from a customer asking why they can't use their logo in MS Word? They accused me of giving them unusable artwork.

After several run-arounds on how they are inserting the artwork in question and two people taking a stab at me for injuries they think I have inflicted, it was finally understood that they had "misunderstood" the inserting procedure.

PEOPLE -- You can't open any file directly if you "DO NOT HAVE THE ORIGINAL PROGRAM" in which it was designed or produced with. Since you had not PAID for that program, you do not have the right to use that program for any reason! You PAID for the logo design or file production, NOT FOR THE RIGHT TO ANY PROGRAM YOU DIDN'T PURCHASE.

So, how do you use that file or artwork you paid some designer or anybody for that matter?

STEP 1: PULL THAT ARTWORK FROM WHATEVER MEDIA YOU GOT IT IN AND SAVE IT TO YOUR DESKTOP OR INTO YOUR DOCUMENTS FOLDER. MAKE SURE YOU KNOW WHERE YOU SAVED IT SO YOU CAN FIND IT EASILY.

STEP 2: OPEN THE PROGRAM YOU WISH TO WORK IN
EXAMPLE: YOU HAVE A FAX SHEET YOU WISH TO PLACE YOUR NEW LOGO ONTO. THE FAX SHEET WAS SETUP IN MS WORD. SO, YOU OPEN THE MS WORD PROGRAM FIRST, THEN FIND THE FAX SHEET IN YOUR DOCUMENTS.

STEP 3: PLACE YOUR CURSOR WHEREVER YOU WISH THE LOGO ARTWORK TO BE ON THE FAX SHEET, THEN GO TO "INSERT GRAPHICS/PICTURES" IN THE MENU BAR.

STEP 4: MS WORD WILL PROMPT YOU TO "BROWSE" FOR THE ARTWORK YOU WANT. THIS IS WHERE SAVING THE FILE SOMEWHERE YOU CAN FIND EASILY BECOMES IMPORTANT. PJ'S NOTE: I generally use the Desktop to hold these kinds of temporary files until I am done with these files.

ANOTHER INSIDER TIP: If you made that cool new logo with dark colors, you really should pay a few dollars extra for the designer to give you a BLACK & WHITE version of that logo so it will look better and be more readable when printing. Artwork printed on most printers will look cheesy if you designate a black & white print when the original is a full color.

Until next time,
PUBLISHING 101
PJ Hultstrand
azpublishingservices.com

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Calling Web Designers

After writing several books in my "Time" series, I had decided a website would be a good idea. Having been a graphic designer for 18 years I also decided I wouldn't let someone else design the site for me.

Why? Three reasons really.

1) I've been avoiding delving into the web design part of marketing. Telling myself that I didn't want to get into that type of design. I finally had a reason, so I went back to school and updated my education.

2) I'm very capable of learning new things. Thrive on it even. And programming is completely out of my comfort zone. So, I dived in and I'm floating most of the time.

3) I've been hearing stories from some of my customers at the print shop, that they had a web designer drop the ball on their project and either didn't finish it, or even start it. And then there's the frequent one I hear about the designer having purchased the domain name and then hadn't renewed it or hadn't told the company it needed renewing. The customer had lost the domain name to someone else who bought the rights to use it and this let to unnecessary costs when the company had to buy all new invoices, business cards and all marketing materials that had the old domain name that went to someone else.

Then of course, they had to choose a new domain name and pay another web designer to fix their website with the new domain path.

Is it just business when a web designer decides there's no money in continuing to service the customer so they drop the ball? or don't finish a job they were probably paid for? or take a job they are underqualified to perform so they never finish the job.


WHAT HURTS ONE -- AFFECTS US ALL
There was this local vendor who fulfilled design services in Phoenix. (Just one example: drum scanning a slide for high resolution magazine printing.)

Anyway, this vendor quoted a price for a high end design service job for a graphic designer friend I know. The friend didn't get this job and was told by his potential customer who had underbid him. The vendor had taken the information on the job they quoted and underbid that quote in order to get the job themselves. They had stabbed the graphic designer in the back and had alienated not only that graphic designer, but every other designer he had told about the unethical practices of said vendor.


My point:
I don't use the services of that vendor because they had ruined their reputation for the sake of money. Just as I'd rather do my own web design than to farm it out to someone who may or may not be more qualified. And now I'm being paid by some of these customer's to fix, finish or at least start their companies' websites.

I would love to get help with especially PHP programming of databases, but it seems everyone is busy on other projects. Even if they weren't busy, I'd be wary to work with anyone who I was not certain of their business ethics.

So, how's your reputation standing?

Until next time,
Patti Hultstrand
AZ Publishing Services, LLC

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

JPG Files

Understanding JPG files: When can you use them for printing your projects?

Having worked at a print shop for over 10 years, I can't tell you how many times customers have come to me with pictures or artwork they got online, expecting me to use them on a print project.

When a JPG is used on a website it needs to be crunched down to maximize the speed in which the pages upload onto your computers. The resolution on web artwork JPG's are typically 72 dpi (dots per inch).

What looks great on a website, doesn't convert to what you need for PRINT MEDIA projects. ALL artwork used for print projects needs to be 300 dpi resolution in order to maximize the look and appeal for your printed piece. The smaller the dpi resolution, the more pixelated the artwork appears. Pixelated will look either fuzzy, grainy, or the edges of the artwork will look more boxy.

Honestly, there is absolutely nothing a graphic designer can do with a 72dpi piece of artwork that needs to be stay the same size or larger than the original file.
TIP & TRICK: If you must use that artwork you got online, it must be approximately 4 times larger than what you will be printing that artwork or picture at. In other words, if you want to use a logo on your business cards, the file needs to be the size of a 4x6 inch postcard or larger in order for the designer to convert to 300 dpi resolution.

If anyone has further questions about this, please blog me.
Until next time,
Patti Hultstrand
AZ Publishing Services, LLC

Friday, August 1, 2008

Wedding Shower Book

This is a 5x7 hardcover book designed by me through Heritage Makers. Check out my website: www.azpublishingservices.com for more information.