Taking it to the next level.

 

The Creative Waffle podcast is something I'm working hard on behind the scenes. It's been a weekly podcast for over 2 years, with other 100 episodes. I'm now stepping it up. From a weekly podcast to a twice weekly show with killer branding.

Here is a look at the new branding...

I really wanted to give the show a high end look, we me pouring more time into the show now I felt that I needed to take pride in how it looks. So with this new more polished rebrand I hope to create a more well rounded show. Big guests, great conversations and lots of great advice shared.

Please do take a look at the podcast creativewaffle.club

I'd love to know what you think of the rebrand, let me know your thoughts. Thanks for viewing.

 

Top 10 Creative Waffle Podcast Episodes of 2018

We kicked off the year with Aaron Draplin on the 50th episode. On this show I tried to ask Aaron a few questions that you’d typically not hear him answering. It was a really relaxed show, more of a normal chat. Definitely one to watch.

On episode 90, I chatted with Col Gray. We talk the controversial of the design world. How much should you charge for a logo? Should you put prices on your website? Experienced designer Col Gray has the answers and more. This is a fantastic episode for you younger/newer designers.

Laura has a really unique story, we talk about her recovery from glandular fever and anorexia. How she was inspired by the likes of Draplin and Ian Barnard to pursue a career in design. I’ve become good friends with Laura since recording this podcast and meeting at Birmingham Design Festival. Her mental strength and will power is amazing, a truly lovely person. Also a great podcast guest.

Episode 63, I chat with Austin based designer and creator Steve Wolf. Steve has built a huge following of 102k on Instagram making him one of the most influential designers in the community. On the show we discuss his work, how he deals with clients, working with his wife and how to go about employing people.

I was lucky enough to chat with Paula Scher on episode 56. On this show we talked about some really important topics… We chat about women in design, characteristics of a top designer and how we can encourage female designers. I really enjoyed chatting about this with a leader in the industry.

Want to get into podcasting? Checkout my chat with Diane Gibbs. Diane has hosted the successful creative podcast, 'Design Recharge' for 6+ years now. She digs deep into the stories of designers and creative people from all around the world. On this episode of Creative Waffle, we discuss everything you need to know about starting a podcast. Hope this chat helps and you enjoy the show.

I’ve chatted to a few sports illustrators as I continue to explore that avenue in my own design work. It’s been great getting to know the industries top players. We’ve discussed everything from working with the biggest sports teams and organisations in the world to working 2 jobs to help support your design work. Here are the sports illustrator interviews…

This year I also managed to chat with a designer that goes under the radar a little bit. Miles Newlyn is behind some of the world biggest rebrands. This is the only in-person interview that i’ve done since starting the podcast, so it was great to do it with a real design legend. We go into depth and the process behind these huge global rebrands.

After getting into the logo lounge book 10, I was lucky to be able to record this podcast with Bill. I then managed to meet him at Creative South, he is a true gentleman. This is a really awesome fun podcast we chat about how logo lounge was created, the 10 books, the process of choosing a logo for the book, along with the ultimate logo, atom bomb logos and how he want's to be remembered. bill also shares his top design tip and favourite books.

Want to get fired up? These two podcasts with Tom Ross were really valuable for me and many other listeners. Over the two episodes we talk about the truth of being a young entrepreneur, the voices in our head, self doubt, patience, going deep and talking to our current followers rather than being fixed on numbers. The business of design, growing an a real audience that care through relationships & podcasting. Ones to listen to for sure.


Hope you’ve enjoyed the podcast this year, we’re going harder next year with 2 episodes a week. We will also be hosting a Creative Waffle Live event in July of 2019. Very exciting time ahead. Thanks for your support this year. Have a great holidays and new year.

Join the club

A typical design process

 

Here is a rough outline and a few pointers for new designers when fixing your design process. Every project can have it’s own challenges but here is a typical guide that maybe useful to follow…

Getting the client.

An email or message comes in. Look for red flags, making sure that you’re going to work well together. Respond with a thank you and ask to meet up, a call or if you can ask them some questions.


Outlining the project with your client.

Once you’ve both established that you’re a good fit, you need to set a game plan. What is the project going to look like. Plan this with the client and get them involved in the process, make them have a say. They’ll feel like it’s their project too. Once everything is in place and you’ve set out the working terms/contracts or agreement. How much you’re getting paid and any deadlines you can move onto the research.


Research.

Find out as much as you can about the client when meeting them and then after. Watch videos, read their blogs and website. Understand their company and how it works. Visit their offices. Put yourself in their shoes.


Look at previous branding and print materials, colours, company values, competition, competitions branding. What they have done in the past and where they want to go in the future.


With the research and looking at competitors we’re looking for a POD, point of differentiation, something that sets the client in front or away from the competitors. This maybe something to utilise in the final outcome.


Understand their clients/target audience - what they do, where they are, how much they earn. Who are you designing for?


The research is the most important bit when it comes to the project and creating a symbol that defines the company. If the research has been done properly then the final outcome will be stronger. It will come from a genuine understanding of the brand. Also if you’re really trying to understand what they do it will give the client a lot more confidence in you.


Brainstorming/Ideas.

This is the start of the creativity. Getting all of the ideas down onto paper. Good, bad or ugly. They may become useful in the future. Just writing out anything that could play a part in the outcome.


To generate ideas you could use word association, mind maps, focus groups, role play, venn diagrams or other methods.


Sketching.

This comes just after the brainstorm, now we’re thinking about how the ideas and research looks in the outcome. Again, it’s good to sketch anything that comes into your mind as it may become useful.


This should be quite a free flowing part of the process, lots of ideas down on paper.


You can start to take a route and evolve some of the sketches, combine ideas, make it a really free and exciting part. We need all of the ideas down so that we have as many routes open as possible.


Building the Design

Now you can start to look down one of these routes. Building upon a sketch/idea from before. Iteration upon iteration. Thinking about what the client wants and what the consumer needs. How will it look in this style, with curves or stripes, or outlined. Still on paper until you get to a point that it’s a strong enough route to take onto the computer.


On a computer you’ll start to build it up. start off in black and white, copy and pasting as you make each change. Leaving the artboard with all of the different styles, ideas and progressions. This is great to do as you can see where the design started and finished. It’s not only nice to look back on but it’s handy to have all of the process incase you with to go with something from earlier.


Top Tip. Remember that you’ve got a brief and you’re designing for the audience rather than the your portfolio.


Presenting and Refining the Work

It’s important to keep the client involved throughout the hole process. Share the direction and thinking behind it with them. This way you’ll know if they like it. But also if you need to go down another route or make some early changes.


When presenting the chosen route be sure to use mockups to bring it to life. This will help the client get a better understanding of how it will work in real life.


It’s really important to communicate the meaning and features of the outcome. The best way of doing this maybe a video presentation. Not just a PDF in an email. How about giving them a video with audio of you explaining why and what the outcome includes.


Changes and revisions will most likely happen. The process with these needs to be clear. I would give the client 2 clear rounds of revisions. Really make sure that they take time to think over any feedback. They should already know how many rounds of revisions they’re getting from before. So explain to the client that this is the time to make changes.


After the 2 rounds are up then it’s time to charge by the hour or a set fee for extra revisions.


Once they’ve agreed on the outcome then you can charge the final percentage of the project fee. Making sure that you get paid before sending over the final useable files.




Putting the Design Into Production

Congratulations you’re ready to put the design into the real world. Ideally you’ll help the client in this stage too. This will make sure that the client uses the work in the correct way.


I’ve had clients in the past take something and use it in a way that I wouldn’t be happy with, it then looked cheap. I put this on me, it’s my responsibility to show how the design should work.


Maybe you need to source a few printing companies to get their materials created. This is great as you can have control over the final product. Working with the printer to get it exactly how it should be.


If you’re doing this extra work and haven’t factored it into the cost, I recommend adding 20-30% on to the printing costs and charging this to the client. Otherwise you’ll lose out.


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Ending.

Hope this has helped you get an understanding of a typical designers process. As you become a better designer you’ll find certain ways of doing things benefit you better than others. It’s a flexible process that each designer uses differently.


If you learnt anything new please do like this video, leave us some feedback or any questions. Thanks.

 

26 Graphic design Jargon Terms Explained

 


1. CMYK

This is the 4 colour print process. It stands for cyan, magenta, yellow and key, which refers to black. There are the 4 ink colours that are used when printing. Even your standard office printer will use CMYK. The combination of these 4 inks, make up your picture or logo on the printed material. You can even look the dots individually if you put a magnifying glass over a takeaway menu or anything printed. 


2. RGB

RGB is basically the opposite of CMYK. It stands for red, green and blue. It’s a colour mode for all images shown through an electronic display, such as a computer or television.


3. Crop Marks

Crop Marks are fine horizontal and vertical lines that define where the page should be trimmed. You’ll find these in the corners an middle edges of print material before its cut.


4. Bleed

Bleed is used on printed material. Before a designer sends the printer a file they’ll add bleed. This just increases the background 3-5mm typically, this will allow for any movement or errors when being cut, otherwise, we could have a white outline. The bleed goes past the crop marks.


5. Kerning

This refers to the amount of space between to individual letters or characters. 


6. Typeface or font.

Typeface refers to the actual look of the characters. Whereas the font refers to the digital file that contains all of these characters and allows you to write words. 


7. Legible

How easy it is to read to see something. For example, “the text on that logo isn’t legible”. This means that the words on the logo aren’t readable.


8. Serif

A serif is the little extra bit added onto the letterform. This a little tail or curve at the point of a character. Some examples of serif typefaces include Times New Roman, Georgia and Garamond.


9. Sans serif

Coming from the French word ‘Sans’ meaning without, so without serifs. These typefaces are more common and tend to be easier to read. Common sans serif typefaces include Arial, Helvetica and Verdana.


10. Lorem ipsum

Lorem ipsum is a Latin placeholder text that designers use if the client hasn’t sent over the paragraph text or actual wording. This gives the designer an understanding of space and hierarchy.


11. Hierarchy

The order of importance. It’s how you look at an advert and what you look at first. What stands out and catches your eye. So ideally the most important information will be the first thing you look at.


12. Resolution

Resolution refers to the quality of a picture. The higher the resolution, the clearer the photos will be. For printed use, it is preferred that the artwork is at 300dpi (dots per inch) but this depends on the scale and size of the final product. As this will be different if you compare a banner to a logo on a letterhead. 


13. Grid

A designer can use a grid when designing to create more of a structure to the outcome. Using columns, rows and rulers to layout the type and images.


14. Vector graphic

A designers favourite file type. Vector files are scalable and won’t lose quality, as they are made up of paths and curves rather than pixels. Vector file extensions include .EPS, .AI and .SVG.


15. Bitmap

A bitmap file displays small dots (pixels or bits) in a pattern that, when viewed from afar, creates an overall image. A bitmap image is a grid made of rows and columns where a specific cell (the pixels) is given a value that fills it in or leaves it blank, thus creating an image out of the data.


16. JPEG

A JPEG is an example of a file type that is a bitmap image. This is one of the most common file types. If scaled, a jpeg image will lose quality as it used the bitmap form. You should check the image resolution when using JPEGs and bitmap files in large format print.


17. Pixel

A pixel is the smallest part of an image, many pixels make up an image or a digital display. Pixels are often referred to as dots. 


18. Tracking

Tracking is similar to Kerning. However, instead of the space between two letters, tracking refers to the space between letters in the full word.


19. Saturation

Saturation is the intensity of colour in an image. High saturation can make the colours seem hyper-real and low saturation will dim the colours, even make it grayscale.


20. Tone

Tone is the lightness or darkness something. For example with colour, you can have tones to create a contrast and a difference between design elements.


21. Style guide

A style guide gives you a specific way to use your branding or design. Typically this document will outline how to use your logo, how much space should be around it, along with scale, colours, imagery and type as a minimum. They are really useful to create consistency in your identity.


22. Widow 

A widow is a very short line at the end of a paragraph or column. A widow is considered poor typography because it leaves too much white space between paragraphs or at the bottom of a page. It just doesn’t look great.


23. Orphan

Like a widow, an orphan is a single word, part of a word or very short line, except it appears at the beginning of a column or a page. This results in poor horizontal alignment at the top of the column or page


24. Mock-Up

Designers will use mock-ups to show clients what a design will look like without actually making the real thing. Mock-Ups are typically used to present an idea to a client. To give them a real-world view of the outcome without the expense of creating it for real. 


25. Negative space

The space surrounding the words and shapes in your design. Negative space helps to define the boundaries of positive space and brings balance to a composition. It can be used to create awesome features in a design. For example, the arrow found between the “E” and the “X” of the FedEx logo.


26. Typography

Typography is the art of letterforms and how they are used as typefaces and fonts. It can be used to display a message or purely for aesthetic reasons.

 

Questions that I like to ask potential design clients.

 

Here are a few of my favorite questions to ask a client before we start a project. This normally takes place via email or on a discovery call. 

It is really important to ask as many questions as possible, you want to put yourself in the shoes of the client. Really get to understand the business so that you can design from the correct angle. 

Start off with the basics, get to know the name, what they do, how long they have been around, who are their main competitors, why was the business started, it's goals... once they are out of the way you can dig a bit deeper with these 6 questions...

 

1. Describe your business in 3 key wordsThese keywords will become vital to the project, base all of the ideas and work on these values.

2. Who is your target audience? and what are their demographics? By asking this you will understand fully who you are designing for. You can then look into what specific groups of people tend to like and what brands they use. Then base your research on that information.

3. How do your customers find your business? By asking this you can design for a specific place, making sure that the identity will fit onto and look correct on that platform and be versatile enough to work elsewhere. 

4. What are you hoping to achieve with the new look? Asking this will give the project a goal, and give you a reason to design. Rather than it just looking pretty it gives it some meaning. 

5. How do you want to portray yourself? This will give you an indication of what colours, typefaces, layouts and boundaries to set yourself when designing.

6. Are there any logos that you really like or dislike and why? By asking this you will get an understanding of what the client likes and dislikes. However, you are not really designing for the client, you are designing for their target audience. So be careful with these answers. If they contrast what the audience likes then have a quiet word with the client.

 

Thanks for reading this blog post... if you want to say hi or have a project to discuss please email hello@bluedeerdesign.co.uk or use the contact page. I would love to hear from you.

 

Also, check out some more client questions over at Creative Boom.

 

The Blue Deer online shop!

Breaking News:

This week, specifically on wednesday the 14th of march the blue deer online shop will go live. With 2 posters going live right away. The New York poster took over 24 hours to illustrate, this was the first in the a2 poster series. This week, I also completed a tokyo poster, approaching it with the same style but with perspective in mind. 

These are limited edition posters with only 50 of each in the world. The new york edition has only 32 left to purchase with the others being sold on original release back in December 2017.

The Tokyo poster will be a first release item, coming out this Wednesday at 7am UK time (GMT)

I'm really looking forward to another chapter and another web page on the blue deer site. Last year selling a few New York posters and seeing them in people's houses, it was an amazing feeling of pride. Hoping to do more of the same this time. 

Please let me know if you have any questions (hello@bluedeerdesign.co.uk), thanks so much, Mark.

What is a logo? What does it do? How important is it?

Logos! Why do we need them? 

 

A logo encapsulates everything we know about the brand. When you see a logo you instantly are reminded of the associated products, prices, packaging, service and the past experiences you have had with the business. Good or bad.

If you have never seen the logo before and are viewing it for the first time it is a deciding factor. If it is the first interaction with the brand it can be the difference between clicking on the profile and finding the business, or clicking away and never looking at it again. An appealing logo can be the deciding factor.

A logo is the face of a business. It is a bit like meeting someone for the first time. If they are pleasant and you come away smiling then you may want to meet them again and have another convocation. If you come away from the first interaction upset and unhappy, you probably won't talk to that person again.

A professional logo, designed with meaning and the target audience in mind will give off that happy feeling and attract the viewer. However, a poorly designed logo, that has been quickly put together will be just like the weird and unhappy feeling that you felt when having that bad interaction. This may even be a subconscious thought but you can get put off by a brands frown.

If a potential client is looking at your logo next to your competitors (this often happens when looking at social media). Then they will go with the one that looks the most trust worthy, the one that appeals to them and feels the most open to them. If your identity is stronger than your competitors then you are much more likely to win the work. 

 

Thanks for reading this blog article highlighting the importance of a strong logo and brand. If you have any questions regarding logo design or branding then feel free to email hello@bluedeerdesign.co.uk thanks. 

 

 

 

 

 

Gary Vaynerchuck's advice for young entrepreneurs. patience!

 

Gary Vee talks a lot about patience in his videos. Usually, he is giving the advice to a young wannabe entrepreneur. As one of those people, I feel that writing this as an important reminder for me and others in a similar position, too stop wasting time. A reminder too look at where we spend our time currently and how we can get more of a return on it...

I like to think of time as a currency, we choose to spend and invest it in different places, just like money. The majority of people don't throw away money, so why throw away time?

Here are a few of my favorite quotes and sayings from Gary about time...

"patience, It is the imperative foundation of anything that is long-term success. Because when you are an impatient person or organization you tend to make short-term decisions which have been proven historically as something that creates a vulnerable, usually to long-term growth."

"You need to be optimistic and patient, and everything will work out.If you're not, it won't. The end. You're fucking 21. Lack of patience, bro. Wrap your head around not giving a fuck about any advancement until you're 29, but then every day trying to get better, you will fucking win. Just close your eyes until you're 29. Patience, man, patience."

"gotta keep putting the work, everyday. One is better than zero, got to keep putting in the work. The hard work matters and the patience is what overrides it."

"you have to basically take a step back and say, okay, Gary wants me to put out a ton of content for free, he wants me to be super patient, he wants me to put all the money back into the business, he wants me to spend tons of time and hours figuring shit out that's actually current, which takes away from leisure time. Basically, I want you to eat shit for the next decade."

So whats the conclusion? 

I think we could all do with a bit more patience. In business and in life. From sitting in that traffic jam, losing your keys, getting mad at others to thinking long term business wise. Gary also has another saying... "micro speed, macro patience". In other words think and act quickly in the present time but always think about the long game, the bigger picture. What is the end goal?

I hope this article helped you think a bit more about patience, writing it definitely helped me. Let's all go out and crush it! 

 
Source: patience

a chat with jony

 

What is your favourite logo and why?

When you ask a Designer about his/her favorite Logo, you will probably get as an answer Nike or Apple. Yes, those two Logos are perfect, beautiful and timeless, but I won't give you that same answer. 

I personally love the Oculus Logo. I loved the research they did and of course, the final result the team achieved for the rebrand. Anyone could have delivered a mathematically perfect "eye" as the new symbol, but the Oculus team did the right research based on not only the name, but also on location, history and limitations. The Logo is so simple and it works so perfectly well that, I can’t take my eyes away from that symbol. 

What is your number one place for research when designing?

The world around me. We as Designers tend to go to Design sites to get the inspiration, but this could deceive us, confuse us and we could even end up copying other Designer's solutions. 

A perfect example can be found in the Video Game industry, those creators make their research in the real life to create the virtual world. They go to locations, record videos of real life actions, they leave the chair behind and go to the outside world.

That's one of the problems with some Designers nowadays, they want to charge 3 to 4 figures for the service, but they go to Dribbble to check others Designers work, it doesn't work that way.

When did you first get into design?

It’s funny because I actually come from a Computer Science background, but honestly, I got bored of coding and numbers and, one day, I visited Amazon, bought about $3000 in Design-Marketing books and, that's how the game started for me. 

I didn't go to a Design school, I already knew how the College world worked because of my Computer Science background so, I decided to go on my own way this time.

What is your most used font?

I love Futura, it just works anywhere you use it. It's simple, minimal, it has a ton of "versions" and it's readable at any size. Futura is so well designed, so powerful and bold! That's precisely I use it on my own website. Also, it’s free with the Adobe Membership :D

Who is your logo design idol?

David Airey. The first Design book I read was Logo Design Love and that smart guy gave me my first and most important lesson in Branding: "Keep it Simple”.

What is the most valuable design book you have read?

Paul Rand. That's an awesome book, it's not about Design strictly speaking, but it teaches you that Design is more than a beautiful Logo, Design is about business, Design is about relationships, research. Brand broke the rules of his time, he was not a follower, he was a Designer. 

What is your number one design tip?

Do the research, seriously! I mean, you can see every designer giving the "easy solutions" as a solution to the client. 

This is a big problem nowadays, especially with social network, specifically on Instagram. You see a business with the name "Smart Light" and then you see the Logo as a bulb with some smart symbolism. Anyone that can draw can do that, but you are not an artist, you are a Designer and the Designer's job is to offer a solution to the client. 

It's like if Mark Zuckerberg come to you today and tells you, hey! I have a business called Facebook, can you give me a Logo? and then you design a face on a book.

This is actually being celebrated, you can see several Instagram pages about Logo Design, sharing these types of Logo and those pages have thousands of followers. That’s an enormous problem, when you see that Logo shared from a "big" page, you try to imitate that method because you also want your work to be shared. Don't do it, it's wrong and it won't take you out of the $200 Logo project, yes, you may build a huge following, but the followers won't pay your bill. 

Remember, Design is not an art, it's a business tool.

Where can people find you?

I have three main social networks, Instagram (@jonystudio) Facebook (thejonystudio) and LinkedIn (Jony), being the most actively updated by me Instagram. 

You can also find me on my website jony.studio, write me using my email: hello@jony.studio or checking some pics on my Instagram Photo profile: @jonywashere

You will also find me walking on the streets of New York, wearing black, always :D

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Jony - Aspire to Inspire
jony.studio

 

medium rebrand again!!!

 

the online publishing platform, medium was created by twitter co-founder evan williams in 2012. medium is a host amateur and professional people's publications and blogs. 

they rebranded in 2015 with a more flexible interchangeable identity, with the idea of the “overlapping strains of a conversation”. the identity worked well and gave the site a fresh and creative look. 

however, medium has done it again. the third logo in three years. the new identity resembles their original identity, but with a less bold serif typeface. 

the new mark looks more like a traditional publishers identity. i really liked their original 'm'. even their second change gave a strong identity system. i feel like their 2017 identity takes them a few steps back to where they started. 

if they are going for a more timeless look then this maybe a better option. although i personally will miss the creativity and freshness of the bright green identity system. 

what do you think of the new 2017 medium logo? comment below. thanks for reading.

 

scroll down for extra content and information.

original identity 2012-20 

previous identity and word mark 2015-2017

previous identity and word mark 2015-2017

identity options for the 2015-2017 logo

 

An interview with designer Lucas Fields

1 - What is your favourite logo and why?

 

My favorite logo is Nike for sure. It's so strong and memorable, that's why they have never changed it. When I'm starting a new project, my goal is to achieve this level of simplicity, but obviously the logo needs to be strong enough too.

 

2 - What is your number one place for research when designing?

 

Well, I don't have my number one, actually I have multiple places for research, they are already part of my design process. For inspiration I go to: the-brandidentity.combpando.org; dribbble and some books, specially Michael Evamy books.

 

 

3 - When did you first get into design?

 

When I finished High School, I started a course focused on 3D, my dream job used to be to work for Pixar Studios. But we started the course learning 2D design, and that was enough for me to fall in love.

Then I found out what Brand Identity Design was, and decided to learn everything I could about it. I finished the 3D course but, as you can see, Graphic Design was the right path to follow.

 

 

4 - What is your most used font?

 

Montserrat, Gotham and Helvetica family. Minimalism and simplicity defines me and my style, they are the best ones when it comes to these aspects. When a project needs to be simple, one of them may be the right fit.

 

5 - Who is your logo design idol?

 

I guess this might be yours too haha the great Aaron Draplin. He is the best inspiration in our field nowadays, he's an awesome Graphic Designer, Entrepreneur and person. I'm very inspired by George Bokhua too, people should check him out.

 

6 - What is the most valuable design book you have read?

 

I think it's Designing Brand Identity by Alina Wheeler, it's a great source, either if you want to be an independent designer or start your own studio. It's helpful not only regarding brand design, but marketing, clients, relationship, management, etc... It helps you to understand every aspect of Brand Identity Design.

 

7 - What is your number one logo design tip?

 

It may be too obvious, but it's: Keep it simple. This idea has to be your main goal when designing a logo. I like to ask myself: "How will this logo look as a stamp mark?" it's important that your design works as a stamp, in small sizes, monochromatic. In other words - it has to be SIMPLE.

 

8 - Where can people find you?

 

Online, my presence is stronger on Instagram (@_lucasfields) and also on Dribbble. You can google my name and find my website and all my social medias.