Check out of the daily art I have been producing for the last crazy 12 months. It's probably been the most creative time of my life. The pandemic has put a damper on things but certainly not my creativity. Enjoy!
To make life a little easier for us designers; here are some recommended Facebook image sizes for 2021:
A quick tip: The attention span of the audience is extremely short on social, so try to keep Facebook videos as short as possible. While the maximum video length is 240 minutes, Facebook recommends keeping them as short as 15 seconds.
I had the pleasure to design 17 of the National Hockey Leagues outdoor games. I spent 10 years designing the graphics for these games which were mostly played back East and in Canada. I'm from California so I did not really follow hockey nor did anyone I knew but they were interesting projects to say the least. I became an expert of hanging the graphics on the portable ice rinks each were a bit different configuration depending on if they were playing in a baseball or football stadium. It was a new thing for a boy from Cali to experience sub-30 degree weather while trying to take measurements of a stadium. This meant being out in the cold sometimes for 3 entire days! At the time I had wished we could get the NFL Super Bowl account back which our design firm had lost a few years before. The article above references many of the games I had worked on. Our small sports design firm called, "Flying Colors' had been sold to a Chicago-based printing firm who ultimately didn't know how to sell or manage a business like we were in. On an end note, our small design team would watch every game on TV not for the game it's self but to see our designs on the small screen!
I have been a professional Graphic Designer for more years than I would like to admit. I got into this business because even as a little kid, I had the gift to draw, the gift to quickly come up with some brilliant, creative ideas and execute them on paper.
The ad/marketing agency world they always want to see your creative portfolio and I wonder why some times. More and more the work at these agencies is not creative but following a brand style guide. There is no room to be creative. Everything is spelled out from "x' space around the logo the (5) possible images you can use for variation. It's very "dry" work at times.
I was hired by an excessive creative director at one ad agency because he loved my illustrated posters. In the year I was there I did not drawing a thing, instead I had to study and be the expert on two large tech company's branding. There was no room to do any variation to the branding.
Is it more important you know the ever-changing graphics software than coming up with an original idea? Designers now regurgitate concepts that other designers post on Pinterest and call them "mood" boards. Where is the creativity in that? Of course knowing the software you are using can broaden the possibilities for you but do you need to be a creative person to be a graphic designer? When I started in this business I assumed all designers knew how to draw. I have learned that is not the case...
You won't be sorry...
You can now purchase t-shirts, dresses, shower curtains, mugs and posters of Ian Ransley's work at Red Bubble. com. Just search for "Designdog".
Getting color right in printing can be a real challenge. Consistency means the ability to get color correct “the first time, every time” (to quote the famous rice commercial) — and also to get color that matches throughout a print run and from run to run.
Discussing color can get very involved very quickly. Hitting correct colors can be a real challenge. There are many factors that can effect the colors you as a designer are trying to hit so it is always preferred if you can start with a constant or the universal language among designers and printers; the Pantone Management System (PMS).
The precision begins with the printing ink manufacturers who are licensed by Pantone to manufacture inks for mixing PANTONE MATCHING SYSTEM Colors. To retain their license, they must annually submit samples of the 18 basic colors for approval by Pantone. Printers can then order the colors by number or mix it themselves according to the ink mixing formula in a PANTONE® FORMULA GUIDE. A PANTONE Chip supplied with the ink and/or job ensures that the printer achieves the color desired by the customer.
Each color in the System has a unique name or number followed by either a C or U. The letter suffix refers to the paper stock on which it is printed: C for Coated paper and U for Uncoated paper. Also created without screens, PANTONE metallic and pastel colors are considered part of the PANTONE
Due to the gamut of the 18 basic colors, some spot colors will be cleaner and brighter than if they were created in the four-color process described below. Spot colors are commonly used in corporate logos and identity programs, and in one, two or three-color jobs.
I use the PMS coated colors as a content when working with environmental files. This is what many printers request when working with PMS colors.
There are a few print vendors who do take RGB files as those files tend to be smaller and the color gaumet is much larger than the CMYK palette. I personally have never sent files as RGB.
Colors created without screens or dots, such as those found in the PANTONE MATCHING SYSTEM®, are referred to in the industry as spot or solid colors. From a palette of 18 basic colors, each of the spot colors in the PANTONE MATCHING SYSTEM is mixed according to its own unique ink mixing formula developed by Pantone. You probably mixed yellow and blue paint to get green in your youth. Creating a PANTONE Spot Color is similar in concept, but with the added need for precision.
The most common method of achieving color in printing is referred to as CMYK, four–color process, 4/c process or even just process. To reproduce a color image, a file is separated into four different colors: Cyan (C), Magenta (M), Yellow (Y) and Black (K).You can convert your PMS spot colors to process color (cmyk) but if you do this, convert all your colors you are working with. For example, PMS123C will print differently as spot and as process.Gradations: you will have to convert your PMS spot colors to process to get a smooth gradation otherwise it might be muddy. There are some vendors who do not like vector gradations because they might tend to ‘band”. This also might happen if you create a gradation in a small area in your design.
I have spent many, many hours creating colors tests. Using Adobe Illustrator I would set-up 1”x 1” squares of PMS colors. If I was trying to hit PMS 186C red I would add squares of 186 and all surrounding colors and similar looking colors. I would sent this file with the date and vendor name on it to have them print it on all the substrates I was working with. I would send this same color test to other print vendors as well. After getting the physical color test back on different fabrics, adhesive vinyls and perforated vinyls I might have to change my red PMS 186C to 185C when using adhesive vinyl so it visually prints like 186.Things like weather, ink levels, how long the print is and the actual printer can effect the color but technology in the printing industry has gotten quite good these days and I tend to put it on the printer to match my colors accurately.It’s always good to have an office printer that prints colors accurately. This way you can send the print vendor that printed piece on paper to match.In the last few year’s more and more print vendors print from high quality PDFs which makes the designer’s life much easier. We don’t have to send links and fonts BUT I personally am skeptical getting accurate color with PMS files. The printer can’t do tweaks like they can if you send them Illustrator files. I do prefer sending an Illustrator file with with the fonts as objects and including a lo-res PDF file with “FOR REFERENCE ONLY” in the title.
For the past 18 months I have been contracting at various creative agencies in the Bay Area. I work with a lot of younger designers and the comment that keeps coming up is "print is dead". These designers are shying away from print and don't seem to know what a Pantone color is or what a bleed or die-line is. I have always felt digital design and web graphics very easy compared to print production. There are so many things that can go wrong with a print file that can be costly from wrong substrates to photo resolutions. I like these challenges and contrary to the common beliefs of the creative community, print his very much alive! It is striving in the events world. Maybe way-finding meter boards are being replaced for digital signage in places but there is still a place for the foam core meter board placed outside a break-out room. Fabric banners, adhesive vinyl and large-scale static signage is still used in corporate conferences and meetings. I preach to the longer designers to learn how to set up print files, it will set you a part!
Ian Ransley DESIGN
Ian Ransley is a Bay Area Graphic Designer and Illustrator who has designed some of the most popular large-scale sporting and corporate events in the world.