Neil Tortorella is a graphic designer, writer and marketing consultant with over thirty years experience. He is the author of Starting Your Career As A Freelance Web Designer and a frequent speaker at conferences and business organizations. His site can be found at www.neiltortorella.com.
Beyond that, having the ability to back up your designs with solid research enables you to offer authentic solutions that are truly strategic. Clients tend to like that. It moves your work from the “pretty pictures” arena into the world of sound, effective business tools. It helps to position you as a valuable partner rather than simply a rented pair of hands and a keyboard. The information you gather will allow you to much more accurately make sound design... CONTINUE READING
For the uninformed, an ambigram is a word, art form or other symbolic representation, whose elements retain meaning when viewed or interpreted from a different direction, perspective, or orientation. There are various forms of ambigrams including rotational, mirror-image, chain, symbiotograms, 3-D and perceptual shift among others. The earliest known non-natural ambigram dates back to 1893 in works created by artist Peter Newell. Newell published two books of invertible illustrations, in which the picture turns into a different image entirely... CONTINUE READING
Business Cards The days of being locked into the typical 3.5” x 2” horizontal business card are pretty much over. Sure, there’s still a bunch of them out there, but graphic designers have learned to spread their wings and take a few risks when it comes to card design. Vertical designs, die-cuts and embossing are often used to separate a company, independent professional or freelancer from the rest of the pack. Others opt for unique materials, CD business cards... CONTINUE READING
Have you ever noticed how the older one gets, the faster the years seem to blow by? It’s one of those time-relativity things. When you’re five, a year represents 1/5 of your life. When you’re 50, it represents 1/50. Each year, our perception of time compresses, so the years roll by, seemingly faster and faster, until the next thing you know, AARP is filling up your mailbox with membership invitations and you find yourself considering which Medicare plan is... CONTINUE READING
As we move from 2012 into 2013, it seems to be an appropriate time for reflection. What were the top design books and trends for the year? Let’s have a peek. Each year, logo design trends abound and 2012 was no different. LogoLounge.com provided some insights as to what designers were up to this past year. Report author and LogoLounge frontman, Bill Gardner, had this to say. “There’s plenty to be learned here, but you need to be looking... CONTINUE READING
The Internet is a wonderful thing. I pretty much live on it. It puts the collective knowledge of mankind at your fingertips. It also makes it very tempting and easy to lift a logo, art, image or some prose. It happens all the time. There’s a myth floating around that if something is on the Net, it’s in the public domain. Not so. Even if it doesn’t carry a ©, it’s probably still protected by copyright. But, stuff still... CONTINUE READING
As graphic designers, we deal in concepts and ideas. But, we also deal in intellectual property. Intellectual property (IP) is the area of law that addresses intangibles such as copyrights, trademarks and patents. For designers and other visual artists it concerns protecting the work we do, for both ourselves and, often, our clients. And herein lies the problem. Most designers don’t think about rights, unless they’re a Landor or some other huge design firm. That is to say, they... CONTINUE READING
For many graphic designers, “sales” is a four-letter word. Okay, it’s five, but you get the idea. It gives them the heebie-jeebies and they often feel as though they need to take a shower after a sales-e encounter. That’s if the encounter ever takes place. Designers are notorious for avoiding sales like the plague. It conjures up visions of the stereotypical, checkered jacket with plaid pants, cigar-smoking car salesman. Nonetheless, sales is a necessary function, just like designing, marketing,... CONTINUE READING
September 27 marked the start of the 2012 HOW Interactive Design Conference in Washington, D.C. On that day several hundred designers, programmers, SEO specialists and other Web workers descended upon the U.S. Capitol, eager to learn emerging Web technologies and techniques from each other and also leading industry experts. This year, the conference was divided into two tracks – one for designers just moving into web design, with sessions on transitioning print design skills to the Web and getting... CONTINUE READING
Art school was a wacky, wild and totally weird time for me. That was back in the 70s when we still used press type, rapidographs, markers and 360 layout pads. Another thing I never quite understood was who had the brilliant idea to put an art school in the back of a Holiday Inn, on the beach in Fort Lauderdale, with a bar in the front and another one across the street. It was the notorious Elbow Room. I... CONTINUE READING
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