FAQ - Design

1. Making your brochures different from the others
2. Royalty-free stock photo
3. Visualize varnish
4. White space
5. Clipping paths
6. Eliminating widows and orphans

Making your brochures different from the others

Tips for making eye-catching designs that will make your marketing piece that much better One way to make your company, or a client of yours stand out is by designing an eye-catching brochure. Brochures are excellent marketing pieces-they explain what your company does, put a face to your company, and give you a chance to provide important information in an easy-to-handle, interesting, and informative package.
But, brochures should be more than just eye candy. They should inform your potential customer and hopefully give them a reason to call. Here are some ideas for making your brochures successful:

• Include a full set of contact information and double-check it to ensure accuracy. There is no better way to lose a potential customer than to not give them a way to contact you, or to give them a wrong number. You should include the following contact information: phone number, address, fax number, email address, and Web site URL.
• Give potential customers a reason to call. Coupons for free gifts or an amount off of their first purchase are excellent ways to influence customers.
• Explain the product or service fully yet briefly. Pretty pictures may attract someone's eye, but customers want to know what they are getting for their money.
• Bring the reader into the brochure by placing an attractive, yet informative, graphic on the front cover.
• Don't use more than three or four different fonts. You want to catch someone's eye and then use appropriate typography to inform them. Making them dizzy will not attract most people to your product.
• Color is a significant design tool. Use it wisely. Color should make the brochure more attractive and communicate information. Don't use color simply because you can. For instance, coloring descriptive text can look either busy or informative, depending on how you do it.
• Make the photography interesting. Try to show people actually using the product or service instead of just pictures of buildings or things. People want to see other people using (and hopefully enjoying) the product.

Royalty-free stock photo

Using and purchasing stock images is a lot faster, cheaper and easier with the rising popularity of royalty-free stock and Web access.
What used to be a maze of confusing contracts, convoluted research and slow turnaround times has drastically changed. Royalty-free stock has made finding, purchasing and using stock photos considerably faster and easier than even a couple of years ago.

Traditional Stock
Typically, a designer would call a traditional stock agency on the phone. Either by flipping through stock image books or calling a researcher, the stock agency would mail a selection of slides to the designer.
Then, after deciding which image to use, it had to be scanned and then all the slides had to be mailed back to the stock house or severe fees would be imposed. Prices for licensing traditional stock were usually determined by a formula that factored in the print run and usage. For print buyers and designers, using traditional stock could be tricky.

Royalty-free stock
Today, with the widespread acceptance of the Web, agencies that offer viewing and purchasing of their collections online make it very easy for designers. Images can be purchased and downloaded immediately and low prices and unlimited usage make using royalty-free stock very attractive.
But there are drawbacks to royalty-free stock. Images can become over-exposed. An example of this is if you see the same image used by different companies in their advertising. This problem is exacerbated due to the popularity of royalty-free images and the limited amount of stock available.
To avoid this duplication, reputable traditional stock houses offer "rights protected" stock. These traditional stock agencies track information about sales, including the purchaser, when it was licensed and for what purpose and will not license an image to just anyone. For example, if a political candidate licenses one of their images, his opponent would not be allowed to license the same one.
When deciding between using traditional stock photography and royalty-free, you need to ask yourself and your client some questions. Is price the biggest issue? Then use royalty-free stock. Is it important if someone else, maybe the competition, uses the same photo? If yes, use traditional stock that offers rights protection.
Although royalty-free images have unlimited usage rights, there are restrictions on the type of use. Most if not all royalty-free agencies restrict the use of their images on items for resale. Products like CD covers, calendars, book jackets and greeting cards are usually prohibited. But check with the agency because many will allow you to upgrade by paying a licensing fee.
Using royalty-free stock that has identifiable models (people) for sensitive issues is a problem that designers and clients should be concerned about. Any topic that might be embarrassing or defaming to the character of a person or product in an image could lead to legal problems. Check the fine print for information about getting express written consent.

Visualize varnish

While it is one of the best ways to protect a print piece, using a varnish can make your designs more memorable
There are a lot of things that go into making a print project look great. From design to photo selection to paper weight and binding, everything is important to the look of the final printed product.
But there is one thing that can make your printed piece shine-a varnish. Used to protect a page or print product from scuffing, wear, ink rub or smearing, a clear varnish coating can really enhance photographs or graphics and focus your reader's attention.
Typically added to a finished print piece, a varnish can be applied in two ways. An overprint or flood varnish needs no special preparation because it is applied over the entire printed surface. This application is good for protecting projects that may be exposed to moisture or just used a lot. Plus it makes your project look great.
A spot varnish is applied to selected parts, like photos or graphics, and is mainly used for aesthetic reasons. Spot varnishes can make color photos jump but they can be tricky to prepare because they need to be made in your page-layout or image-manipulation program.
Print buyers should be aware of the increased cost of using a spot varnish. While a flood is easy to apply, a spot varnish requires additional film, stripping and a plate. This translates to additional costs.
Varnishes can be applied with a gloss or matte finish. The gloss varnish reflects more light and adds to the sharpness and saturation of images. A matte or dull varnish is used on a page that has mostly text. It increases readability by diffusing light and reducing glare.
Some designers spend a lot of time applying a glossy spot varnish to images. This can make photographs, especially those using clipping paths, really jump off the page and make a design more memorable.

White space

What to do with the areas not taken up by photos and text

For some designers, a blank page is a hole to be filled. For others, it is a battle to give their design some breathing room. However you view white space or negative space, it is just as important to the design of a piece as the size of a photo or what kind of fonts you've selected.
Most white space can be found in gutters and margins and good use of it makes your documents cleaner and easier to read. If you have ever seen an advertisement that was filled to the top with text, it probably looked cluttered and maybe even hard to read (or maybe really hard to read).
After black space (graphics such as photos or illustrations), it is white space that draws the reader's attention. Large blocks of it give breathing room to design elements and can show up in many forms on a page (not just margins and gutters).

• Headlines: A good way to attract attention to a headline is to skillfully apply white space instead of just increasing type size.
• Margins: Large margins from the edge of a page or the edge of an advertisement draw attention to the center of the page or ad.
• Leading: If the lines of type are packed too close together, it can detract from legibility and darken the page. At the same time, lines that are too far apart can make reading from line to line confusing.
• Indents and space between paragraphs: By breaking text blocks into digestible parts, it improves readability and makes text more inviting. Otherwise, your text will look like a great gray wall.

Clipping paths

Say goodbye to backgrounds and hello to good-looking silhouettes by using clipping paths

When printing to a PostScript device, a picture is always a rectangle. If that's true, you might be wondering about all those round images and precisely outlined catalog shots you have seen.
The way around the rectangle restriction is to tell your printer to only print the part of the rectangle inside a path. This path clips the rectangle to its shape, hence the term clipping path.
One of the lesser-known tricks when using clipping paths is that your output device has to read the whole image before it can clip it to the path. Therefore, when you are creating a clipping path, crop the image as close as possible to make a rectangle around the area where you will be putting your clipping path. This will speed up importing and printing the image.
There are several ways to create clipping paths. You can draw them in Photoshop or in a page-layout application. The preferred method is to draw them in Photoshop, because it zooms in to precisely draw a complex path around hair or other tiny details. However, if you need to rough out a clipping path to show a client, it is quick and easy to do so in Quark or InDesign.
Here are some basic guidelines when using clipping paths:

• Clipping paths are always hard-edged, so they look awful if they cut off a shadow or other soft edge.
• When you save a drawn path in Photoshop as a clipping path, put the number three in the Flatness setting. This will make the clipping path easier and faster to draw at high resolution without affecting the output quality.
• Try to zoom in on your pixels and cut your path through the middle of a pixel. This will eliminate edge splash (when a little bit of adjacent color shows through around the edges of your clipping path).
• If you are creating a final-quality clipping path (as opposed to a comp), make sure to print it out at as high resolution as possible and check it carefully for edge splash or weird shapes. These are much easier to catch on a proof than on screen.

Eliminating widows and orphans

When there is just one word too many

When typesetting your design, sometimes words don't always cooperate. Move an image a little to the left and the whole paragraph re-wraps and looks awful. Two of the more mischievous problems facing typesetters are widows and orphans.
A widow is when a word or part of a word is alone on a line at the end of a paragraph. This especially applies to hyphenated words.
An orphan is when the last line of a paragraph is carried to the top of a new page or column.
Both are undesirable and should be eliminated by either adding or subtracting words. Designers can also adjust the tracking of the line but it is better to tinker with the wording of the text than play with typesetting controls.
Wait to edit text for widows and orphans until late in the design stage because it is very annoying and time-consuming to edit them out only to change a graphic element that recreates them.

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