Branding, Graphic Design, Logos, Papercut, Typography

What is Visual Communication

This month at Papercut we’ve been talking a lot about branding, and how essential brands are for businesses of all sizes.

It’s been good to be reminded of those key elements that make up a brand identity toolkit, components that supplement your logo and form the graphic ‘face’ of your business.

It might help to think of your logo as the ‘boss’ of your brand, and the visual communication elements as the ‘employees’. In most of your communication materials, your logo won’t appear by itself, it will have the help of all of these visual elements to accomplish its job of communicating and connecting with your target market.

Some of the key design elements include font styles, colours, shapes and layouts.  They all work together to create the impression of your business, and the way your business presents to your customers.

Visual Communication Poster

Your Visual Communication can include design elements such as:

  • Font styles: You should have a small collection of typefaces, font weights, and styles that you use regularly in your materials. Consider fonts for both print and web use, and specify styles for headlines, subheads, and body copy in each case.
  • Colours: Creating a colour palette for your business can add flexibility to your marketing materials and give you an easy resource to go to when choosing colours for illustrations, graphics, or any other part of your Visual Communication. If you keep your colours consistent and limited, then you’ll develop a more focused palette that will be easier for your audience to associate with your business.
  • Shapes: The shape that you use for your bullets, break-out boxes, colour-blocked areas, and even borders in your materials can create a strong visual component that will contribute to your brand memorability.
  • Layout: The layout of a marketing piece covers elements like the number of columns and the placement of all of the other Visual Communication elements. Remember that white space allows the eyes to rest, white space in any layout is crucial.
  • Backgrounds: Using background screens or shapes, or even a specially designed watermark, can give your materials extra flair. You can also develop a special background that will make your materials stand out.
  • Photographs: Photos can add a lot of personality to your materials and really help you to connect with your target audience. Stock photography is easily accessed; buy a few shots that are compelling and really match the rest of your Visual Communication. Make sure that you buy the highest resolution and the largest possible size to ensure you have images for both print and web.
  • Paper type: Printing your materials on a special type of paper can make them look even more interesting. Papers come in different colours, textures, and thicknesses that can contribute to the uniqueness of your brand.

Crafting a tool kit for your visual communication and then using it consistently will define your business in the marketplace and create a strong brand.

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Graphic Design, Inspiration, Papercut

Inspired by pictures

Instagram sky photos

I am a graphic designer, but these days running my business means doing everything but design. To stay inspired and maintain some form of creativity I’ve discovered ‘Instagram’. I’ve always enjoyed taking photos and I’ve found the perfect medium to do this with my iPhone, whenever and wherever I happen to be. Instagram has some simple editing choices to change the look and feel of the image without going too far. Some basic lighting effects, a blur, and a few frame choices to finish the photo – then you share your image with your followers!

I love that I can view images taken by people all over the world. There are some amazing photographers who have mastered this medium with a snap of their phones. I am inspired by real home style images of other countries, cities and people that are not glossed up for the tourist industry.

I particularly like taking photos of the sky because it’s an ever changing canvas of colour, light and movement that never bores me.

By Claire

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Branding, Graphic Design, Logos, Papercut

What is Visual Communication?

Visual Communication PosterYour Visual Communication is an essential tool in your business’s brand identity toolkit. It is made up of all of the graphics that supplement your logo, forming the graphic “face” of your business and anchoring your brand identity.

Think of your logo as the “boss” of your brand, and the Visual Communication elements as its “employees”; in many design applications and finished materials, your logo won’t appear by itself. It will have the help of all of these visual elements to accomplish its job of communicating and connecting with your target market.

Your Visual Communication can include design elements such as:

  • Font styles: You should have a small collection of typefaces, font weights, and styles that you use regularly in your materials. Consider fonts for both print and web use, and specify styles for headlines, subheads, and body copy in each case.
  • Colours: Creating a colour palette for your business can add flexibility to your marketing materials and give you an easy resource to go to when choosing colours for illustrations, graphics, or any other part of your Visual Communication. If you keep your colours consistent and limited, then you’ll develop a more focused palette that will be easier for your audience to associate with your business.
  • Shapes: The shape that you use for your bullets, break-out boxes, colour-blocked areas, and even borders in your materials can create a strong visual component that will contribute to your memorability.
  • Layout: The layout of a marketing piece covers elements like the number of columns and the placement of all of the other Visual Communication elements.
  • Backgrounds: Using background screens or shapes, or even a specially designed watermark, can give your materials extra flair. You can also develop a special background that will make your materials stand out.
  • Photographs: Photos can add a lot of personality to your materials and really help you to make a connection with your target audience. You can purchase stock photography inexpensively these days; buy a few shots that are compelling and really match the rest of your Visual Communication. Make sure that you buy the highest resolution and the largest possible size to ensure you have images for both print and web.
  • Special textual treatments: For very special text that you want to highlight, such as your tagline, marketing bullets, sidebars, or bullets that detail your specialties, consider specifying a particular typeface, size, and colour to use in all of your materials.
  • Paper type: Printing your materials on a special type of paper can make them look even more interesting. Papers come in different colours, textures, and thicknesses that can contribute to the uniqueness of your business marketing material.

Crafting a tool kit for your visual communication and then using it consistently will define your business in the marketplace and create a strong brand.

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Graphic Design

Chocolate cake and drawing games

The Papercut team had a planning day a few weeks back that was spent at the lovely Olims Hotel in Ainslie. The whole day was devoted to creating a vision and purpose for the business and setting some major goals.

One of the ideas that came from the day was a team inspiration session every week. Currently a team member is responsible for the house duties each week and part of this is to provide afternoon tea.

Last week it was Tamar’s turn and she provided home baked chocolate cake (gluten free) and coloured textas to draw pictures – using the Samitomoto drawing game.

The cards are such fun allowing an easy transition into drawing. As you throw the dice and turn over each card you reveal another word to form the image. The first drawing we all did was that of a ‘determined purple snail drinking tea’ and the second was ‘a noisy hot pink dolphin in a hammock’!

After our initial inhibitions, we finished up laughing and sharing our silly drawings and feeling very relaxed. We enjoyed so much this creative process that took us away from our computer screens, that we agreed to make it a weekly event. I think wine and cheese on a Friday afternoon would work equally well.

It’s very important for designers to have regular creative time out. Another idea that stemmed from the planning day was to take a two-hour block once a month where we down clients work and produce an inventive piece, purely for creative indulgence, with no limitations or restrictions. I believe a US design company started this idea and called it the ‘Fedex hour’, so everyone has to deliver in the given time frame, but there is no brief so you can go creatively crazy.

This is the sort of stuff that keeps our designs fresh and nourishes our creative right brains. If we allow ourselves to be inspired and free to imagine, then when we come back to our computers we can continue on because we’ve had a creative fix.

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Branding, Graphic Design

The Influence of Colour in Marketing Materials

colour graphic design canberra

Colour can attract consumers

Red means danger. Blue means creativity. Green is nature.

“Red means danger” is drummed into us at an early age. Why don’t we use red ink for medication warnings, or better still, enclose medications in red packaging? And if blue signals the freedom of open skies and unlocking creativity, shouldn’t we be brainstorming in a room painted blue?

The subconscious effect that colour has on customers is a growing area of psychology research.  Some marketers are taking advantage of colour psychology and use the following colours to generate these responses:

  • Red, orange, black and royal-blue: good for impulse buyers
  • Dark-pink, teal, pale-blue and navy: good for planners and strict budgeters
  • Pale pink, rose-pink and sky-blue: good for traditionalists

What other subconscious behaviours are consumers displaying? Consider your corporate colours and decide on whether they evoke the expected response. Think of how an accounting firm would be portrayed by using bright yellow and red in their brochures and on their website, as opposed to using black and silver, or navy-blue and white. Your chosen colours may not be sending the right message!

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Branding, Graphic Design

Colour Psychology and Graphic Design

Subliminal messages using colour

Subliminal messages using colour

We can’t escape colour. But does colour really affect our behaviour? Researchers claim that people feel more relaxed in green rooms and weightlifters train their hardest in blue gyms. Colours also play a significant part in our decision-making behaviours.

Colour psychology is a marketer’s dream. When marketers carefully weave the right colours into product displays, logos, advertising materials and websites – there is a subliminal effect on a customer’s purchasing decisions.

One thing to consider is that colours mean different things in different cultures. White means purity, right? Actually, the colour white signifies death in China. Before you build your website, or think of designing a brochure, ensure that you consider your target audience first. If you can define your target audience, then your Graphic Designer will be able to advise you about the use of colour psychology.

Auspicious use of colour can add impact and clarity to your message. However, when colour is used the wrong way, it can compromise your message and confuse your target audience.

We’ll go into the specific subliminal messages and interpretations in the future, but if you need any advice before then – please give us a call.

logoTel:  02 6162 4045 

www.papercut.net.au

Papercut is your affordable graphic design studio with an environmental conscience in Canberra, Australia.

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Graphic Design

What does a Graphic Designer do?

Graphic designers have an eye for detail

Graphic designers have an eye for detail

Graphic Designers communicate visual messages. This involves understanding both the customer’s message and the audience (demographic), then bridging the two in a visually compelling way.

Your company logo is often a customer’s first impression of your business.  A Graphic Designer crafts a visual branding presence for your company, with a consistent look and feel that portrays what your business stands for.

Graphic Designers know what shapes, colours and logos will work in print or in other media. They enhance the look of websites, magazines and corporate stationery with eye-catching design, attracting customers to your business and providing brand recognition.

Their ultimate goal is to produce an aesthetically pleasing design that is persuasive, memorable and trustworthy.

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