6. Is print dead?
– A question that has been continually posed since the outbreak of the digital age. The answer is no. Most of us are warmed to all things printed whether they are books, note pads, favorite journal, magazine or a newspaper. As humans we like the tactility and sturdiness of the printed matter. If you’re a designer, you’d appreciate the careful choice of stock and the quality of printed ink, especially if it’s lithographic. A printed piece gives certain reassurance of an “actual” object as opposed to a digital file or a web link.
On the other side lays convenience, speed and reduced cost. Digital design has become the leading creative tool in marketing today. More and more clients have restricted budgets and want to spend those effectively and efficiently. There is a great push towards the idea of integration – all in one solution: eDMs, landing pages, drivers to social media, mobile and tablet optimisation.
However, there seems to be a gradual return to traditional DM pieces. The people at the top are constantly targeted via email receiving more information than they can digest. It becomes harder to reach them and grab their attention that way. A physical DM landing on their desk has a better chance of attracting attention than another “junk” email.
7. Digital platforms
When designing for digital one must consider the usability on a number of different platforms. It has been revealed that a large proportion of people would use their smart phones and tablets to browse internet and apps in the morning, during the lunch hour and in the evenings, as opposed to using a desktop machine. This means that from both the client and the designer perspective these need to be considered in order to keep up with the public’s demand for a more flexible and easy access to all the things digital. This means a clever use of the screen optimisation and formatting in order to get a desired response.
8. User experience or “form over function”
Following on from the multi-platform optimisation demand, there is a question of “What do we actually want the user to do?” Whether it’s an eDM, a landing page or an app we need to think carefully about the User Interface (UI) and the User Experience (UX). Good examples of this can be found in Legible London signage by Tim Fendley and Henry Beck’s London tube map design. An effective user experience comes when the user does not immediately notice the form but focuses on the function of the carefully engineered piece that helps them get from A to B with ease. It’s about clever, sleek and clear design of the journey for our user to take.
9. Web fonts
There are some limitations when designing for web, including the small number of web safe fonts available such as Georgia, Arial, Helvetica, Tahoma, Geneva and Verdana. The majority of large companies have brand guidelines that include their own corporate fonts to be used in any artwork or print job. Arial is normally a default option for online typography. There are a lot of web safe fonts out there developed by type foundries like Monotype, Linotype or FontShop, just to name a few key contributors. Despite those innovations not many companies are ready to invest or experiment, as a result, defaulting to slightly tired and overused options. It is also important to consider readable point size that can be adapted to mobile devices such as smart phone or a tablet.
10. “Less is more”
– the words of the revolutionary architect Mies van de Rohe. He believed that simple forms and open spaces meant clutter free, pure architectural forms. This is also true in any discipline of graphic design. The ideology of justification of every element on the page. Everything should be considered and executed with thought – in particular with new and wonderful ways of touch screen interaction. It’s easy to use a feature just because “it’s cool” (and there is a time and place for that too!) but that could lead to confusion in navigation and general distortion in the overall aim of the piece.
Panovus Creative Team