Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Thumbnails at Work

Imagine that you hire a tile setter to retile your bathroom. And you have him spend the whole day laying out and grouting a pattern of his choosing based on a brief discussion in the morning. Then at the end of the day he presents you with the finished product. The pattern is precise and the craftsmanship is stunning. But something isn't right. There are four white tiles in a row followed by a black one. You thought it would be the other way around, and consider this pattern bad luck. He must tear it out and start over. If only he'd have spent a few minutes sketching out the design, you could both have been (literally) on the same page. 

It's hard to envision a situation where this would happen, but it seems to be the norm in graphic design world. Designers routinely spend hours digitally rendering, refining and tweaking beautiful, elegant things. The problem arises when the design direction, no matter how awesomely executed, just isn't right. Often this means a day is wasted. And the everyone, not least of all the designer, is frustrated.  

I'm pretty sure our designers sometimes get annoyed about this, but we have a have a "sketch rule" in our shop. That means the designers sketch out their ideas on paper before executing anything on the computer. When you sketch, you are thinking, and solving a problem. And putting those ideas directly on a page without being encumbered by software, fonts or whatever other distractions are coming across your screen. I love, love, love what computers can do, but they shouldn't be used at this stage. That's for later, when you know what kind of pattern you're going for at the end of the day.

Sketching. It's fast, fun and anybody can do it. And it will save you a lot of money.

Copyright 2010, Bremmer & Goris Communications, Inc.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Line Up Folks...Single File!
Copyright 2010, Bremmer & Goris Communications, Inc.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Pictures Trump Words

When you get an email or Facebook post about a cool video, article or website, what do you do?

A.) Read the whole message and then decide whether to click through.
B.) Read the subject line and then click on through
C.) Just click the link.

In an imprecise survey, my conclusion is that most people go with "C" and just click on the link. And they are more likely to do so if it has a picture. 

It's no secret that people don't want to read things, especially when there's a good chance that they are seeing them on a three-inch smartphone screen. We want the quick hit, the photo we can forward, or better, the video we can link to before everyone else does. And this almost always involves an image -- the more compelling, the better. None of this is a revelation, but it bodes well for designers, photographers, videographers and other visual thinkers. 

The key to success in social media? My money is on pictures...the new currency. But for me, it's always been that way.

Copyright 2010, Bremmer & Goris Communications, Inc.