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For all the branding -- the advertising, the marketing, the social networking, the public relations, and so on -- it is critical to remember that (except for a small few) virtually no one has ever heard of your organization. Nothing personal, its just the reality of the numbers. And, if they have heard of you, many probably made a single contact or purchase and don't remember the name of your organization or the particulars of their relationship with you.

What brings this to mind is the emails I get from companies who address me as if I were completely familiar with what they provide and the history of how they provide it.

It strikes me as important to remember that most of us are only reaching a tiny percentage of our potential customers. And that, because of this fact, marketing a small organization is very different than big-time consumer branding.

Be well, 

Have you seen my InDesign Ideabook?

315 template files in 19 different categories -- Everything from brochures, newsletters, and direct mail to packaging, calendars, and books (one CD works with both Mac and PC). Use two or three files and you'll pay for the entire book and disc...

For Adobe InDesign  Here 

For QuarkXPress  Here 

Geeks only:

I found this interesting. Bob Levine pointed out in InDesign Magazine, that Word's DOCX file format is a glorified ZIP file.

"Change the extension to ZIP, unzip it, and you'll find all of the document's original assets, including the images as individual files in a folder. More importantly, InDesign can access the original high-resolution images when you place a DOCX file, even if they're CMYK. The older DOC format converts all images to RGB PNG files."  Here

Meet illustrator Mikael Eriksson

I love the stark, simplistic illustration style that is so popular these days, but my heart is warmed by Mikael Eriksson's wonderful old school, realistic illustrations. He makes it seem new doesn't he?

Example 1...  Here 

Example 2...  Here 
Example 3...  Here

Mikael Eriksson's portfolio...  Here 

Ouch -- the danger of being a graphic designer

In the last few weeks a team of designers at the University of California have received a painful lesson in brand ownership. It's called "don't mess with my logo".

It's a fairly common problem: branding works. If you spend a lot of time and effort building one, you must understand that you can't just barge into the room and change the wallpaper. You've got to be diplomatic about how you make the transition. In some cases people simply don't like change. In others, a majority of those effected might not like the new solution.

In this case, it appears, the reaction was negative on both fronts. I even saw a comment from an internationally known type designer on one blog that simply said, "The new logo sucks" - that hurts.

The design aside, you'll see one seemingly silly, actually serious mistake was made in the video used to roll-out the design: they show the existing University of California seal unceremoniously wiped off the page. That was a very bad idea.

A monogram is "a mark composed of one or more letters". Ironically, in defense of the design it was later argued that it wasn't the seal that was being replaced at all, just the university's existing monogram. Oops. Ouch. Over.

The new monogram for University of California...  Here 

From Brand New...  Here

A sample of the banter...  Here 

From the blog of Vanessa Corrêa, Creative Director at University of California...  Here 

The end of the new monogram for University of California: The brass bails out...  Here

For purchasing fonts...

I use The most comprehensive, diverse collection of typefaces and foundries on the web...  Here 

A big collection of free, subtle background patterns

Designer Atle Mo created Subtle Patterns as a way of giving back to the web community at large. He curates a large collection of free background patterns that that can be used for both personal and commercial work. Very nice.

The Subtle Patterns website...  Here

Instructions for customizing the patterns in Photoshop...  Here 

Atle Mo's website...  Here 

Is graphic design art?

It is a long standing question and I believe the answer is your's alone to decide. But few would argue that art is not the foundation of design and therefor, we can gain great insights and inspiration by studying those roots. The Google Art Project is a wonderful resource for doing just that.

As they explain it, "The Art Project is a collaboration between Google and 151 acclaimed art partners from across 40 countries. Using a combination of various Google technologies and expert information provided by our museum partners, we have created a unique online art experience. Users can explore a wide range of artworks at brushstroke level detail, take a virtual tour of a museum and even build their own collections to share."

Example 1: From Alte Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, In the Conservatory by Edouard Manet...  Here 

Example 2: From Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Narihira and Nijo no Tsubone at the Fuji by Tsukioka Yoshitoshi...  Here 

Example 3: From Centraal Museum, Tobacco Tin...  Here 

The Google Art Project website...  Here 

The Google Art Project YouTube channel...  Here 

Meet illustrator Lisa Haney

There aren't many illustrators who can claim both the Wall Street Journal and MAD Magazine as clients. But Lisa Haney's style somehow manages to bridge that chasm.

"It's a circus out there" for the Chicago Tribune...  Here 

The ideas she pitched...  Here 

"Housing tilting economy down" for the Chicago Tribune...  Here 

The ideas she pitched...  Here 

"What's the matter with David Brooks" for The Common Review...  Here 

The ideas she pitched...  Here 

"Pulling Together" for The Christian Science Monitor (no sketches)...  Here 

Haney's website...  Here 

You can license many Lisa Haney illustrations here...  Here 

Using light and shadow to emphasize dimension

Andrés Moncayo is an Art Director at McCann in Colombia. I particularly like his dimensional illustrations for Mareol: a nonprescription motion sickness remedy.

His use of light and shadow made me do a double-take. Honestly, I wondered for a moment if I was looking at a paper model.

An illustration from the series...  Here 

In detail...  Here 

Nope, this GIF animation reveals the story...  Here 

A second illustration in the series...  Here 

The series...  Here 

Moncayo's flickr feed...  Here 

For learning virtually any software program...

I recommend A huge library of top-quality, design-oriented tutorials. Click here for a 7-day free trial.  Here 

Meet illustrator Steve Simpson

There should be terms for distinguishing between an illustrator who modifies their style for each project versus an illustrator who is sought out for one particular style. Something like an "interpreter" versus a "stylist". Clearly, Steve Simpson is the latter.

Be sure to take a close look at the details of his larger illustrations - there are many stories within stories.

In the bio from his website, Simpson offers this introduction to his work, "Steve takes an organic approach to his projects, blending the disciplines of design and illustration. He spends a great deal of time on construction, shape and problem solving at the pencil stage. Continuously re-drawing until a balance of aesthetics, key brief considerations and client satisfaction have been realized. Approved pencils are then worked up in Photoshop using a limited palette of carefully chosen colours."

Brilliant stuff.

Example 1...  Here 

Example 2...  Here 

Example 3...  Here 

Steve Simpson's website...  Here 

And his blog...  Here 

Simpson names Jim Flora as an influence...  Here  
About this newsletter

I try to remain as objective as possible about the information I share here. Unless I tell you otherwise, I receive no compensation from the organizations and people mentioned except for occasional product samples. I am an affiliate of and -- that means, if you purchase something from them, I get a small commission. Comments? Suggestions? Write me at [email protected] -- Chuck Green