Preparing your artwork - preparing to save you money

Whether you’re wanting a business card, newsletter or website, here’s a few tips to save you money. No matter what your budget everyone wants to get value for money and ultimately save a few quid - here’s how:

Firstly, do you already have a logo? If not, contact me and I can get you one sorted. If you have a logo I’d prefer a hi-res vector - this will usually have a file extension name ending in ‘.ai’ or ‘.eps’. If not, a ‘.tif’ or ‘.jpg’ will do. More often than not a ‘.gif’ won’t do for print as the resolution is too low. Right click on the image and get ‘properties’ (Command I if you‘re on a Mac) - if the file has got less than 100kb then it’ll have to be re-drawn. This isn’t a problem but can slow the timescale down a little. Of course, you may just want to leave it completely up to me.

Have you seen a design, style or even a font that you particulary like?

This could be something you’ve seen in a magazine, the internet, telly etc.If I familiarise myself with what you like from the start then that’s a great time-saver.

Of course, you may just want to leave it completely up to me.

Similarly, let me know if there’s something that you don’t like: fonts, colours etc.

Any colour you like, as long as it’s black. There was an important reason for Henry Ford stating this and that’s cost - mainly if you’re having stationery printed.

In print, ‘spot’ colours can be used (see Print Guide) which are like the individual colour you see in the Dulux (other manufacturers are available) colour guide.

Pantone book displaying colours>

The Pantone Colour Matching System swatch book

These are premixed colours in many different colours (usually using the internationally recognised Pantone Matching System). Printing in 1, 2 or 3 spot colours can be:

So, if you’re on a tight budget and intending to have your stationery printed, try and restrict your colour palette

Is your copy prepared all ready? If you’ve got everything pre-prepared in a Word document, text file or even the back of a fag packet then that’s great for moving things on quickly.

If it’s copy for a website, we can go through your copy and outline what would make great headers (H1 tags) which is what you need for good SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). What this means is that your chances of being found on the internet are vastly increased. Just ask about how I can help you with SEO.

If you’re after a booklet do you know how many pages you require? Most small brochures (up to 50 pages) will be saddle-stitched so will have to be divisible by 4, ie., 4 pages, 8 pages, 12 pages etc., - as opposed to 14 pages - that just won’t work out correctly.

If you’re after a leaflet do you know the sizes ie., A5 (148.5mm x 210mm), A4 (210mm x 297mm) etc. Do you want landscape or portrait? Would you like it folding like a small booklet, ie., in half so you get 4 separate pages. Would you like you A4 leaflet folded into 3 (DL)? If so, how? The list is large - see below!

Possible ways to fold a leaflet

Possible ways to fold a leaflet.

Images - a picture is worth a thousand word (well, some of them are).

It can’t be stressed enough how good imagery can enhance any design. In fact, some designs are just images with a little text thrown in. As much as I like to use real people/objects in real situations a line has to be drawn here. No-one wants to see dark, blurry, pixelated and out of focus images taken with an early Nokia ‘phone or a Box Brownie.

However, good mobiles these days give excellent results if used correctly. I can enhance darker pictures etc. in Photoshop but even I can’t make Lazarus walk again!

If images supplied are just not up to scratch or there are no images then I subscribe to some of the best image libraries around. I can source these images or you can look and find your own (I can supply the URL’s for these sites). If there are many images to source then I will charge for my time but you will get an image that will look superb on your design.

Finally, as always, the less alterations and amendments, the lower the costs and the quicker we turn your design around.