This Mother’s Day, Give Mom Flowers—By Design

harlanwestblogphotoBy Harlan West, Design and Marketing Professional with more than 25 years of experience designing materials for major healthcare organizations, municipalities and large corporations.

 

The other day, I was at the car wash and discovered an interesting photography effect using closeups of flowers which appeared on greeting cards. I felt that this effect could be duplicated and modified using layering effects from Adobe Photoshop. It gave me an idea for this coming Mother’s Day.

Here’s (3) samples of what I came up with…

Yellow-Mothers-daypattern Pinkflowerpattern Purple-flowerspattern
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Marketing Materials are More Effective When you “Paint” with Your Content

harlanwestblogphotoBy Harlan West, Design and Marketing Professional with more than 25 years of experience designing materials for major healthcare organizations, municipalities and large corporations.

This week I met an interesting landscape designer who creates drought-tolerant gardens with a wilder more natural feeling. While we were discussing a new garden at my home, she made a very interesting point. She arranges plants or as she says, “I paint with plants.”  In short, she creates a visual masterpiece by painting with the subject matter.

With respect to corporate communications, we basically paint with a non-paint medium. As designers, we paint with puzzles and pieces and patterns. You can try this by finding a natural resource that is related to the theme of your product or service and then “painting” or designing with it to give a lush feel to your publication.

PAINTING WITH PATTERNSPatternsSMALLER

Here’s some elements that provide great design enhancements:

 

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Make Your Newsletter Soar to New Heights

Have you ever tried adding architecture to your newsletter? Architectural elements such as columns, archways, gables, pedestals and vaults, can be great additions to any publication.

We created three samples of newsletters that use architecture for graphical treatments.

In the first sample below, we combined renderings of two downtown skyscrapers with actual photos.

Moving-Up-newslettrer

In the second example below, we used closeups of the structural beams together with a transparent boxes to create a more dramatic eye-catching effect.

Big-Events-newsletter

In the final sample, we used our type treatment as a graphic shape for our our skyline.  This is a special effect, whereby, a photo takes on and fills the shape of a type treatment, otherwise known as a mask.

Skylinesnewsletter

This approach works well for newsletters about architecture, interior design, conventions, tourism, corporate leasing, corporate real estate, travel, city living, construction, and business news.  Sleek clean lines and dramatic curves can make for an elegant publication.  Your clients will love it.  Even if the newsletter does not involve real estate or construction, these angled lines, perspective views and window panes can be screened back as visual enhancements.  Indeed these elements can help to promote an image of stability, strength and resiliency and are great graphics to use when creating publications for stockholders.

Go ahead build your newsletter with buildings! What a great way to enrich your corporate newsletter.

To find out more about how we can help create an effective newsletter, e-publication, or invitation for your firm or organization, contact HWDS at hwdesign@west.net.

Have You Seen Your Shadow Lately?

Shadows make beautiful patterns and graphics.  Shadows have truly interesting shapes and make great silhouettes for wrapping text around and can really spice up the graphic design of a newsletter, collateral or event promotion. Just head outside on a sunny day and snap away.

Here’s three examples of shadows that we used to create interesting patterns for newsletters, either online or for print. In all cases, we colorized the images and did some quick manipulations using our image-editing software.

Jumpstart-your-summer1) Flower treatment—these are the shadows of the  Lily of the Nile, summer flowering perennials. This is a great effect for newsletters or publications dealing with gardening, planting, spring and summer and outdoor living.

Out-in-the-Wild2) The Scary animal—this is actually the shadow of my Alaskan Husky on his daily walk.  Pretty scary huh? I can see why a groundhog may be scared of his shadow but this one takes the cake.  This is a great effect for newsletters or publications dealing with Halloween, scary movies, wolves or wild dogs or life in the wild.

Ferns

3) Palm Trees blowing in the wind—These are shadows created from the leaves of the palm tree. This is a great effect for newsletters or publications dealing with recreation, the outdoors, summer fun, travel or leisure.

OriginalsAbove you will see the original photos that we used in our designs.

Come out from the shadows and see how beautiful life can be!  Add some shadows to your newsletter, e-publication or invitation.

To find out more about how we can help create an effective newsletter, e-publication, or invitation for your firm or organization, contact HWDS at hwdesign@west.net.

Pixels Made Perfect

Many of our readers sent us e-mails giving us a thumbs-up on our last blog post, Jumping Off the Edge. As a result, we have decided to create another blog post about unusual border treatments. This time, we used pixels as our special effect.

A pixelated border treatment is a great special effect for newsletters on communication, technology, the Web, and electronics. It can also be used for other topics such as automobiles, sports, transportation and corporate communications. Used in the right combination, these graphics can help create successful corporate communications.  Take a look at our masthead. It employs a pixel treatment.

The newsletter below uses a unique pixelated reverse fill. Digital-Newsletter

Here’s some examples of different pixelated border effects.

cubiclesdigitized2

Ipadandiphonepsd

traintracks-digitized

keyboard

cardigitized face-digitzedTo find out more about how we can help create an interesting edge effect for your company’s newsletter, collateral or e-publication, contact HWDS at hwdesign@west.net.

After all, we live in a digital world.  Why not make your newsletter pixel perfect?

Jumping Off the Edge

At HWDS, we often like to break out of the box. Recently, we have been adding unique edge treatments to photos.  These border effects can spice up any publication. Our goal is always to remain fresh, especially when creating monthly newsletters.

Too often we see photos with the standard rectangular or square shape.  As a result, we started jumping beyond the edge and adding an unusual graphical element as a border.

Here’s some examples of special effects that we created for the edges of photos.

1) The Curve Effect.  Here a curved band of color defines the bottom edge of the photo.  This is a great technique for newsletters on tropical vacations, beaches or summer fun.

curveborder

2) The Bubble Effect. These bubble shapes define the edge of photos.  This is a great technique for newsletters or publications on water issues.

bubbletreatment

3) The Star Effect.  These star shapes create an interesting edge for any photo.  Stars are wonderful elements to use for newsletters or articles that require a celebratory theme.

starborderpsd

4) The Type Effect. Here, the type is filled with the image and is actually an extension of the scene.  This is a great technique for newsletters on travel, tourism or special events.

typeborder

For the newsletter below, we used the bubble effect. This effect works well when the newsletter has lots of white space.  A fun type treatment that works well with the waves in the water was also used for this design.

We believe that it is best not to mix to many special effects in the same publication. Consistency and simplicity of design is critical to creating a successful corporate communication. In fact, we adhere to this approach with all the designs we create for our clients.

Newsletter sample using the bubble effect

Newsletter sample using the bubble effect

To find out more about how we can help create an interesting edge effect for your company’s newsletter, collateral or e-publication, contact HWDS at hwdesign@west.net.

Go ahead take a risk and straddle the edge!  You’ll be glad that you did.