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13 Popular Print Design Trends (That Make Us Cringe)

13 Popular Print Design Trends of 2013 (That Make Us Cringe)

Nobody wants to be the one person to miss out on the latest trends, but keeping up with fads isn't always an indication of quality. If it were, people would still be dancing the Macarena and playing pogs. Likewise, many of the popular print design trends of the past just end up making artwork look dated and unprofessional by modern standards. But not every printing trend is a relic from the Clinton era. Some are relatively new fads that are so widespread and standard that nobody really stops … [Read more...]

The 16 Best Free Adobe Photoshop Alternatives for Mac & Windows

The 16 Best Free Adobe Photoshop Alternatives for Mac & Windows

We recently took a look at the Adobe Creative Suite, breaking down when to use Photoshop vs. Illustrator vs. InDesgin, but there's one glaring fact we didn't mention: not every designer has access to these programs. For designers who are just starting out, still in school or operating on a tight budget, Adobe Photoshop might be a luxury that you just can't afford. But if you find yourself in one of these categories, breathe easy; there are several free photo editing programs out there that … [Read more...]

Adobe Illustrator vs. Photoshop vs. InDesign – Print Design Guide

Adobe Illustrator vs. Photoshop vs. InDesign - Print Design Guide

Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign represent the “big three” of the Adobe Creative Suite—but never assume that one is interchangeable with another. Use the wrong design program to create a certain element of your artwork, and you might end up with blurry text, sloppy layouts, or a logo that you can never resize without turning it into a pixelated nightmare. Using all three programs together, however, turns them into the ultimate dream team. You can maximize the strengths of each Adobe … [Read more...]

Folder Case Study: Portsmouth Peace Treaty Forum

When you're dealing with one of the most significant symbols of peace in the Northern Pacific region, it deserves the proper package. Several years ago, the Japan-America Society of New Hampshire needed presentation folders in which to insert copies of the Governor's Proclamation of the Portsmouth Peace Treaty, which formally ended the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-05. These illustrious documents would be presented by hand to visitors from Nichinan, Japan (both political officials and … [Read more...]

The Top 8 Free Font Sites for Print Designers

The Top 8 Free Font Sites for Print Designers

Some would say that finding the best fonts for your print media project is like looking for a needle in a haystack, but it's actually more like trying to find a needle in a stack of other needles. Just when you think you've conquered this herculean task and discovered the one font that seems to perfectly encapsulate your vision, you'll find that the font is outside your budget range, unsuitable for print, or not safe for commercial use. To help out, we've written reviews of the best free … [Read more...]

The 17 Best Stock Photo Sites Every Designer Should Bookmark

The 17 Best Stock Photo Sites Every Designer Should Bookmark

Nothing makes a print design pop more than exciting visuals that engage the audience, but you may not always have the time or budget to create original photographs or illustrations. Stock art is a quick and easy way to add a visual component to your designs; just remember that not all stock image websites will have the print-ready images you need. Any artwork you plan to incorporate into a printed image should be: High resolution (300 dpi or greater) Properly licensed for your use … [Read more...]

Worst Fonts Ever! 11 Examples of Bad Typography in Print

Worst Fonts Ever! 11 Examples of Bad Typography in Print

Fonts are like celebrities—some are famous, while others can be downright infamous. When an audience sees a font in your print media design that they just can't stand (be it overused, ugly or unreadable), you can lose their attention in a heartbeat. We've already discussed how to properly use typography in your print media project, but there's one more rule that print designers should take to heart: avoid using notoriously bad fonts in your designs. To that end, we've provided you with a … [Read more...]

Are These 18 Presentation Folder Mistakes Costing You Money?

Are These 18 Presentation Folder Mistakes Costing You Money?

When you make one mistake while designing and printing presentation folders, you're likely actually making over 500 mistakes—because the error will show up on every folder you print. To save yourself the cost of an entirely new print job, be sure to avoid these common design mistakes and printing pitfalls to produce the best folder possible. Creating a Design 1. Using two PMS colors when one will do If your PMS design uses different tones of the same color, you'll save money by using a … [Read more...]

9 Stylish Folder & Brochure Folds for Print Designers

9 Stylish Folder & Brochure Folds for Print Designers

The reason paper makes for such a versatile medium is its ability to transform into something entirely different. As a child, you probably created airplanes, miniature footballs, or fortune tellers through paper folding techniques. Likewise, with a wide variety of folder and brochure folds, a single sheet of paper stock can become a cool tri-panel folder, a fancy multi-page brochure or practically any other form of print marketing. When creating marketing media, there are many different types … [Read more...]

RGB vs CMYK vs PMS: Deciphering Design’s Confusing Color Jargon

RGB vs CMYK vs PMS: Deciphering Design’s Confusing Color Jargon

Every industry has its own unique lingo that can sound like complete gibberish to the uninitiated. The print design industry is no exception to the rule. You may have heard the terms RGB vs CMYK vs PMS in relation to color when designing for print, but you may not know what each acronym stands for—or, more importantly, why you should care. However, if you want your final design to look the way you intend, it's imperative that you educate yourself on each of these color profiles and the … [Read more...]