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Brochure Design 101 | Designing Brochures

Let’s just begin with stating the undeniable fact that a brochure is a final document that organizes all the details about your business/company. It is the handout that you provide to the client to spread awareness about your product or service. A poor brochure design would drive away potential clients to the greedy hands of the competitor brands.

A brochure is necessarily a single leaflet that combines and portrays every detail about the company, product, service, event, a campaign or any other vital information. It is usually a bi-fold or tri-fold piece of paper. Still, some other designers also experiment with z-fold, c-fold or any other customized fold, substantially increasing the cost of design and production per fold.

For designing an impressive brochure, there are specific key points that need to be kept in mind before settling on a design and giving it for print. While most of the companies now pay for a digitized version – rather than print media – a brochure can prove to be essential lead-nurturing marketing collateral.

A well-designed brochure is a reminder to the client – and other people who might not be from your field – of what your business is all about; it sets you apart from the competitors out there.

TIPS TO DESIGN A BEAUTIFUL BROCHURE:

An expertly designed brochure can educate its viewers, convey a sharp image and credibility of the company, increase the target audience and persuade clients to take actions. Creating the perfect brochure might turn out to be challenging – even for graphic designers, but worry not – here are some tips and tricks to come up with beautiful advertisements that leave a mark!

1. Know your objective:

Brochure Design 101- Know Your Objective

A brochure is one of the most direct ways of communication you can have with a client/customer. It is a part of communication design that attempts to have an immediate effect on the other person. This is why it is necessary to know what idea is that needs to be put forth precisely. Is it a benefit concert, an event, campaign for a cause, or merely an informing technique?

In either case, it is a direct conversation between you and the audience, so it must be crisp and to the point. Whatever is in the mind of the designer should translate as it is on paper.

2. Knowing the customers:

Knowing the customers

Since brochure design is a communication tool, it naturally becomes more important to target the right kind of audience for your collateral. That way, it’s easier to capture their common interests and use them as a USP for your business as well. For example, if you wish to target acts for an open mic event, naturally you should choose a design that has something to do with singing, poetry or maybe even a comedy action!

The more accurately you position yourself in an interest group; more it would trigger a response to the brochure. In case you are unaware of the kind of information you need to place your business in the market, you can always take time and talk to salespersons or maybe even directly to the customers to map out a practical design to offer.

3. Decide on a Fold:

While designing a brochure is simply a creative process, it is almost inevitable to decide the number or type of folds you would want it to be accompanied with. This mainly depends on the amount of content you want to include as well as the design you select for your brochure – considering the white spaces, images and aesthetics. Following are the major types of folds used commonly by graphic designers:

1. Gatefold:

Folding Techniques - Gatefold

Gatefold is a kind of handout design primarily used for high-end marketing purposes. It is a corporate design, and when done with minimal aesthetics (a perfect balance of colour, typography), it can work wonders. This kind of fold is composed of an 8-panel structure for a maximum display of information and graphics; the “gates” of the design are side-by-side and create a compelling effect – often giving a more luxury feel to the brochure if done with a premium quality paper.

2. Bi-fold:

Folding Techniques - BiFold

Just as the name would propose, this kind of brochure has two folds and four panels. Primarily used by organizations, a bi-fold brochure has a front cover, back cover and two internal panels that consist of all the information a company has to put forth about its products and services. With a unique eye for graphic details, a bi-fold brochure can easily be converted into a booklet.

3. Tri-fold:

Folding Techniques - TriFold

This type of brochure is called tri-fold – it has three-fold and six panels, ample space to present all the essential information about the products and services. A tri-fold brochure is one of the best marketing techniques – for presentation purposed and other necessary information. While designing this type, the graphic designer must be aware of its structure, the opening side as well as how to emphasize more on particular things. For all the mentioned reasons, a tri-fold is a superb way to present, even with minimal composition skills as well.

4. Z-fold:

Folding Techniques - ZFold

While a Z-fold can easily be confused with a tri-fold, this brochure features an exciting look exactly like its name. It consists of 3 panels, with six sides with giving ample space to compose information. What’s more – this design challenges the designers with its visual hierarchy pattern that is almost like an accordion (musical instrument). It has an extravagant look that appeals to the eye quickly and is even easier to work with for hierarchy of content.

There are more exciting ways to settle on a fold for your brochure – depending on the intricacy of design and amount of content you wish to put out there. While an intricate design may have to be created from scratch, these basic template styles can go a long way with a maximum result if composed with the right key points in mind.

 4. Be Creative and Unique:

Brochure Design 101

In this age of digital ease, it is tough to stand out in the print media. Creativity becomes paramount when you are fetching for reasons to stand out from your competitors. An aim for such times must be to create a design that is so unique and functional that even in a stack full of leaflets and tabloids, your brochure would be the first to stand out.

The brochure has to be such that everyone must get message spot on – both visually and through the content representation as well.

5. Chose Fonts Wisely:

Brochure Design 101 - Choose Font Wisely

While selecting a large number of fonts for a brochure might sound tempting, settling on the ones that belong to a similar family is always a wise choice. Make sure that you’re not creating a blunder with several fonts on the same page unless all of them are from the same font family – even then, don’t go for more than three typefaces.

A change of font wherever a visual hierarchy is expected is a must as it only enhances the aesthetic as well as the visibility of important points/words. If your company/business has a signature font, stick to it as it helps with the branding and portrayal of a brand image.

6. Get to the Point:

Brochure Design 101- get to the point

There is no better way to say this, but – get to the damn point! It’s a brochure that you are making, not a book! So the more precise it is, the more space you get to play with graphics and make it enjoyable.

Too many achievements and successes about your company can confuse the readers/customers, and in return, that can pose out to be an issue. Instead, focus on the main points that highlight your company’s product or service and stick to it until the end without introducing more unnecessary topics.

7. Say no to Big words:

While jargons might sound impressive, sometimes, the brochure is not the place to display your vocabulary. A brochure is a piece of information about the company in the pure, nascent form. Even for a person with the most primary knowledge about the language to understand. In other words, you reduce the credibility instead of increasing it. The safest rule for brochure design is sticking to basic English and make it through with ease – for both, the designer and the customer!

8. Design for your Readers:

Brochure Design 101- Design for your Readers

One of the top-notch rules for graphic designers is to prioritize the design from their reader’s point of view, and just let their opinion take a back seat meanwhile. As a designer, it becomes vital that you see the brand from the shoes of a potential client. If the readers love to see pink on a fashion brochure, even if you strongly dislike the colour, you would have to incorporate it in your design.

9. Choose the right colors:

Brochure Design 101- Choose the right color

Much like fonts, settling on particular colors can always be a challenge. Sometimes the audience reacts to a specific brochure positively due to its bold choice of colors, while some people ignore the colors from plain sight as well. It becomes crucial to take note of the mood and tone of the brochure in such cases – for example; you would never go for a chirpy color like yellow for a topic such as blood donation.

If your company or organization has signature colors, make sure to use them wisely in your design. You can also create a color palette accordingly with the signature colors to suit the design.

10. Choose a High-Quality Paper:

Brochure Design 101- choose a high quality paper

 In terms of marketing, a flimsy paper is equal to a weak handshake. If you wish to set an impression on the client/customer, it is imperative to choose the right quality of the paper. Make sure you go for a high-quality sheet, even though it means more expenses. A good quality brochure not only attracts attention but should also urge the reader to keep it as a memory.

Going for a good quality paper conveys the message that your company cares about the readers and makes an effort of quality towards them, quickly building a brand image in their minds.

11. Add appropriate images:

Brochure Design 101- add appropriate images

Imagery often attracts more audience than a small set of headings put up in flashy fonts. Visuals also stick in the memory longer than sentences or keywords, so it is always wise to make your brochure a string quartet of imagery! A brochure without a single image is more like a boring leaflet that eventually dries off.

Make sure you use striking images that attract the audience and surround your visuals with furthermore beautiful colour palette and texts. Also, while at it, make sure all the photos are relevant to the theme of your brochure – if you can attempt a shoot, especially for the brochure – nothing like it!

12. Give an Option:

give an option

If you have the freedom to make use of your ultimate design skills and develop multiple brochures, you must dive in and give it your best shot. Today’s market explicitly asks for change, and one way to use a traditional advertising tool like a brochure is by providing more options with the same opportunities than only just one.

This choice gives the audience an option to chose which one suits their personality, likes and interests – which can also prove to be a study for your next projects.

13. Make the Brochure worth Keeping:

make the brouchure worth keeping

Essentially, this means try to make a brochure that would last long. Use the best quality of paper available keeping in mind the purpose of the brochure, use the right colors and fonts and add valuable, relatable content. Apart from just the visuals and information, the brochure needs to have the ‘feel-good’ element that makes the customer want to hold onto it, even if not use it.

While brochure designing can prove to be a fun task, at the same time, it is daunting since it is the most official document about a company or business. It must be authentic in a real sense, unique and creative. Before beginning the process of design, make sure to have all your content and visuals sorted and a rough grid planned to ease the graphic juices a bit. Hopefully, these tips would help you come up with some striking brochure designs!

  Image Inq   Jan 24, 2020   Design   0 Comment Read More

15 Things NOT to Do While Creating Your Design Portfolio

As a Graphic Designer, your Design portfolio is your identity- at least during the initial process of recruitment. Recruiters and Hiring Managers only spend a few minutes on your portfolio. It is extremely crucial that you present your work in a simplistic manner, which portrays you as a talented designer.

Therefore, the purpose of creating your design portfolio must be singular – that of showcasing your best work and skills, through the collection of curated samples of your past work. This can be easy to understand and even follow. However, many designers fall into the several traps and gimmicks of the portfolio, which can divert you. Here’s what you need to avoid, in order to make an impactful portfolio.

1. Using Generic Introduction:

Introduction - Things Not To Do While Creating Your Design Portfolio

Steer clear of the buzzwords and the typical jargon. Ask yourself whether you would hire someone using this statement or not, before adding it to your portfolio. It is crucial to remember that your portfolio would be one of the tens, or maybe hundreds, for the person wanting to hire a designer. Your introduction should be meaningful and make you stand out. The introductions do take up a lot of space- so ensure that you use this space wisely, to communicate your skills- what have you done, what you can do, and what you can offer as a designer.

About Page - Introduction - Things Not To Do While Creating Your Design Portfolio

Even if it is one of the most important details, it is easy to miss out on this one. While your designs can be excellent, and your previous work can impress the reviewer, you need to get yourself out there. Your portfolio should be discoverable to the public and must connect to your profile. Your portfolio needs to have your basic information, such as your skill set, education, social media platform links, and contact information. Refer to the work of the renowned international award-winning designers. Not only would you have the design inspiration, but you will also find the effective ways of displaying the contact information- which would be showcased multiple times in their portfolio.

3. Complicated & Cluttered Layout:

While it is certainly difficult to compile all your work and details into the concise format, it is a must. In this process, designers often end up having an extremely ‘crowded’ portfolio. Avoid having an overly designed layout. Your portfolio has a singular purpose- to highlight your best work, in the best way possible! Consider this while planning the layout and designing the portfolio. Focus on the user experience, just like you would in any other design. Make it easy for viewing and understanding. Let your work do the talking for you.

4. Lack of Balance:

Lack of Balance - Templates - Quantity over Quality - Visually Appealing - About Page - Introduction - Things Not To Do While Creating Your Design Portfolio

Designers generally are caught between this dilemma- either too much work is displayed, or too little of it is displayed. Too much work displayed can be overwhelming as well as confusing for the reviewer, while, too little of the work can defeat the entire purpose of the portfolio. The key is to find the right balance, a sweet spot, which will reflect your identity, and add up to the narrative you are trying to create. Avoid the temptation of including every single and small projects you have done. Instead of doing this, strategize. Choose the niche you want to go into and choose the projects accordingly. Present the work which resonates with the work you want to be hired for.

5. Setting No Context:

Ensure that your portfolio isn’t full with blocks of text. However, it should not also be without the text either. Just like striking a balance in displaying the projects, you need to strike it right here too! Setting the perfect context in your portfolio is necessary, especially for potential clients or employers. With this context, they will be able to understand your portfolio in a better manner. Write a brief about the project. Include your design approach, thought process, and your working style. Don’t forget to include the basic details, such as the company name, the goal of the design, the goal of the design, and most importantly, your specific role and responsibility in the particular project.

6. Using Portfolio Templates:

Templates - Quantity over Quality - Visually Appealing - About Page - Introduction - Things Not To Do While Creating Your Design Portfolio

An ideal portfolio, above and everything else, will create a lasting impression on the minds of those who see it. At times, this is mostly due to the fact that it is particularly unique, and the work is presented very effectively and is visually appealing. Make your portfolio unique and memorable. For this, avoid stock photography as well as the clichéd templates. Using these two creates a very negative impression on the potential client and/or employer. In any case, you have to use the template, then go for something which is minimal, and has a greater scope of modifications.

7. Too Many Redesigns:

Unsolicited redesigns may be a great tool for displaying your design skills, especially when you have just started out. It is also a great way to create hype and gain attention in the design community. However, as a designer, the core purpose is to create solutions to the problems, or at the very least, attempt to do so. Attempting a quick visual redesign of a successful brand or a Fortune500 company may not be a great way to showcase your skills. Doing so, you are doing it for a company that is already successful, and has amazing products or assets to showcase. It is best to keep them as an exercise, rather than including them in the portfolio.

8. Flat & Dry Portfolio:

It is vital to consider that your portfolio is very important and a prime part of your professional identity. Amongst the hundreds of the portfolios, yours needs to stand out. Add your personality to your portfolio. Ensure that you add a personal touch, and design it in YOUR own way, using your signature style. Avoid having a monotonous feel to your portfolio- avoid exporting images directly from the Illustrator or Sketch. However, like in other aspects, here too, balance is the key. Keep it professional and quirky. Strike the right balance and have your own personal branding in place.

9. Lack of a Narrative:

Lack of Narrative - Lack of Balance - Templates - Quantity over Quality - Visually Appealing - About Page - Introduction - Things Not To Do While Creating Your Design Portfolio

A portfolio is not just about showcasing your work- it is also about portraying yourself as a skilled and qualified Graphic Designer, who is perfect for the job, in the eyes of the employer/client. It is advisable to build a narrative as you go along and create an identity of your own. Include the portions of your resume in the portfolio. Mention the projects you have had, the struggles you faced while accomplishing them, and the solutions you provided or came up with. Don’t forget to mention and give credits, wherever you have worked as a part of a team, no matter how big or small. In such cases, you can also mention how you contributed towards the design. This will help you gain trust, with your portfolio, and create an impact. Remember- do not sell yourself short.

10. Displaying Visually Appealing Images:

Visually Appealing - About Page - Introduction - Things Not To Do While Creating Your Design Portfolio

Yes, the portfolio is certainly about establishing yourself as a skilled Graphic Designer. High resolution, polished, and edited images do surely have a place in the portfolio. However, one must be cautious of relying on them too much. What is important is how you got to the final design. Evaluate what you can include. You can also include the project briefs, mockups, as well as the results from the user-testing. Strategize the projects which you wish to include, and include the details as well, along with the images, explaining the project.

11. Making Portfolio an ‘Art’:

Yes, portfolios are meant to portray you as an artist, but be careful of making your portfolio into an art piece! Portfolios are more often than not, mistaken to be a creative outlet, with the freedom to design it however you want. It is worth noting that the core purpose of the portfolio is not this. It is to communicate and express your skills and qualifications. Making it too artistic and creative would only result in the usability being affected. In the end, it is the usability and compatibility that also matters. A lot of portfolios are rejected often due to the reason that it is difficult to navigate to the actual work, within the limited time frame. Keep it minimal, simple, and check for compatibility on all devices, especially phones.

12. Lack of Social Media Presence:

While this may strike as an obvious to-do, plenty of times, this factor is overlooked easily. The power of a strong social media presence can make a huge difference in your career. Your website is surely important, but so is having a social media presence. You can keep your portfolio content on these platforms as well, and keep it updated too! Set up profiles on LinkedIn, Behance, Google+ and Pinterest profiles. People can discover your work and then can view your website as well. Other platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter can also help you get visibility among different audiences as well.

13. Using Similar Approach for Every Project:

Each and every project is different- be it the sector, niche, scale of the business, and type of the work done. Think about how you will present your work, and each and every project in a compelling manner. Not every project will fit perfectly into the same template- due to the differences. Think about what all steps you want to include the design process and what to exclude. Consider representing each project in the best manner. At times, just the brief explanation would serve you better than the image of a whiteboard with ideation on it. You can also showcase compilation of your sketches, and explain the direction which you opted for with it. Focus on presenting your work in the most convincing way.

14. Quantity over Quality:

Quantity over Quality - Visually Appealing - About Page - Introduction - Things Not To Do While Creating Your Design Portfolio

This is an area where a lot of designers often make a mistake. Always remember, QUALITY over QUANTITY! Choose the projects carefully after having a strategy in place. It is recommended to show a variety, but you don’t need to show everything. Focus on creating a diverse portfolio, covering the range of the work you have done, without being repetitive. Be selective with the pieces you wish to include. If you have managed the end-to-end project, right from conceptualization to the development, then you can include it in the form of case study as well. Don’t just go on filling up the portfolio. Just go with the work you are most proud of.

15. No Labels:

Each and every element and work in your portfolio should be perfectly and clearly labelled. The recruiter or the client would not be familiar with the processes and the nuances of your work. Hence, you need to show them exactly what you did, and how what you did is a crucial part of the design. For example, you may display the designs of marketing collaterals in your portfolio, but you need to specify whether the collaterals were your design, or the logo and collaterals were both yours. This will help the reviewer navigate through your portfolio easily, that too, with a clear understanding.

Your portfolio is the testament to your skills and qualifications. It is your portfolio which would be viewed first, by your potential clients or employers. It is important to remember that no portfolio would ever be complete. It is constant work, which you would have to keep doing. Keep updating your portfolio as you go along, and build it up. Your portfolio will, too, evolve along with you. It would surely seem like a lot of work, but it is just the beginning. If you want to be different and stand out from others in this competitive field, you got to take the time and sweat the details. Your portfolio will not only help you in getting your foot through the door but will also prep you for the presentation of your work in person. Make a strong mark in the design world with the perfect, effective, and a flawless portfolio.

  Image Inq   Jan 22, 2020   Design   0 Comment Read More

18 Best Photoshop Filters All Designers Should Use

Adobe Photoshop has undoubtedly proven to be one of the most efficient photos editing software. It has varied effects and features. However, due to its many customization options, Photoshop can feel a little overwhelming for people with zero or limited experience in photography and editing. However, with practice, you will become more relaxed and comfortable with Photoshop. Even with the wide range of available features that Photoshop has to offer, it can, at times, become redundant or monotonous. To help with that problem, there are some amazing Photoshop Filters that allow innovation in the editing process while they ease the editing process for beginners.

There are many Photoshop filters that one can benefit from. Some of them are free, and some of them charge a premium. However, both kinds are worth the value for money as they change the mood of your picture as per your liking in seconds. Some of the best Photoshop Filters that all designers can benefit from are mentioned below:

old photo

There are two strong ways to create a sense of nostalgia in an image. One is using a sepia overlay; the other is targeting tones and moods of the photo to give it a nostalgic vibe. Old Photo is the ideal free Photoshop Filter for creating a nostalgic and vintage-looking feel to the images. It mainly adjusts the contrast and color aspects of the image to get the right feel. It adds a bit of a greenish-blue tint to the colder regions of the image.

nightmare- Photoshop Filter

As the name suggests, this filter gives the pictures a haunted and dark effect. It is ideal for pictures that are clicked to showcase horror and creepiness in a picture. For instance, it is ideal for Halloween themed picture or a movie poster for a scary movie. It uses a lot of vignette and shadows to give the picture a right look.

HDR tools- Photoshop Filter

HDR stands for High Dynamic Range. It enhances the picture’s dynamic range in an aspect of Brightness.  This concept adjusts and compensates the light between the lightest and the darkest region of the photograph. HDR tools work similarly. It is a set of four actions that help transform any dull backgrounds for an attractive, detailed photograph. The natural grey tones can be turned to beautiful backgrounds to create a nice contrast with the foreground. This Photoshop filter adds depth and dynamic field to a dull image.

Vintage- Photoshop Filter

Vintage is a great Photoshop filter that not only adds a vintage tone to the image but also adds a unique neon effect. Hence it is ideal for images that are meant to convey a back to old times and groovy vibe. For instance, it is ideal for a college reunion poster, where the models can be wearing old fashioned clothes and have this neon effect on top of them.

lithprint photoshop filter

This filter is a great Photoshop filter. It imitates the vintage look that is produced by a black and white lith printing process. However, as compared to other vignette effect filters, this one has more drama in it. It doesn’t only adjust contrast, highlights and shadows to the images; it also adds a gritty texture.

This is a great Photoshop filter for easing the process of adding complex effects to an image. It has a wide range of filters for various looks. Some of the filters present in this effect pack are Vignette, HDR look and adjustable contrast. These filters can be used alone for a particular look or also layered on top of each other for more options and moods.

Dream Blur- Photoshop Filter

Dream Blur is a great filter for creating a subtle dream-like atmosphere. Adding this filter would darken the image, adding a blurry vignette effect around the edges, and increase the saturation level of the image. It is a very subtle yet effective filter that hits the right balance. It doesn’t look overly edited and yet creates the desired look.

Dramatic Sepia- Photoshop Filter

Adobe Photoshop already has a dedicated filter called Sepia for the classic reddish-brown effect images.  However, Dramatic Sepia tends to do more of a better job when you want the image to have a sense of dynamic range and intensity. It is ideal for anyone who is trying to recreate a nostalgic moment or give the picture a retro era vibe.

Comic Oil

This is a great Photoshop Filter pack that converts any image into a comic book styled painting. 10 different variations can be easily applied with a single click.  The quality is high enough to be used in web and print media both. The filter comes with an instruction document for easing the process of installing and using. Each layer is editable and customizable.

Dessert Dust

Dessert dust is an ideal Photoshop Filter for creating a dry and hot atmosphere in the pictures. It tones down the overall color saturation of any image and gives it a hazy effect. You can apply this filter to the whole image or apply to a specific region and mimic it on the rest of the wanted areas of the image.

underwater luxe- Photoshop filter

This is a great Photoshop filter for underwater photography. Generally, the cameras aren’t optimized for clicking great pictures underwater. They create images with a hazy overlay that reduces the details and sharpness of the image. Underwater Luxe helps to remove this haze, sharpens the image, and also warm-ups the skin tones by removing blue tones specifically from those regions. Such a filter is ideal for editing underwater portrait pictures.

Color Pop

Color Pop is an ideal Photoshop filter for adding life to any washed-out images. It adds a certain contrast and pops to any image.  It enhances the image details and adds punchier effects. The image feels closer to life, and it increases the dynamic range of the image as well. It adds a bit of vignette on the edges of the photo and makes use of shadows as well the highlights. This is ideal for creating an emotional vibe image.

Bella

Bella is a beautiful Photoshop filter that allows the user to add a certain warmth to their photographs. It brings out the rich tones in skin and hair, also softens the colors with a pink cast effect. The theme is ideal for any romantic, nostalgic feel effect. It softens the image a little, to create a dreamy and lovely effect.

2 strip technicolor

There is nothing better than recreating a major era’s vibe using the 2-strip Technicolor Photoshop filter. It recreates the 2 strip Technicolor film that was popular during the 1920s and 1930s. It used a 2-strip Technicolor film exposed b&w film behind a red and a green filter. The filter merges the blue and green in different layers.

portrait

Portrait is a great portrait Photoshop filter that gives any portrait a retro vibe. It desaturates the colors to give the portrait shot a moody vignette look. The filter increases the sharpness and decreases the saturation to achieve this look. It is ideal for portrait photographs that need a bit of an old vibe. For instance, it is ideal for making a grid of cowboy pictures or horse race competitors list.

bold b&w hdr

This is a great Photoshop filter for applying the HDR-inspired look to Black and White images. It certainly adds a whole new level of depth and dynamic range to a black and white photograph that looks aesthetically appealing. The attention to details and the correct balance between the whites and the blacks make this an interesting filter.

infrared

To achieve the right infrared photo effect, you often need to use an infrared film or lens. However, this Photoshop filter is the closest way to providing similar results, in post-production. It helps the user capture a surreal essence of false-colour infrared photography that looks out of the world. The filter is flexible and can turn any normal picture into an interesting one, by its application.

duotone

Duotone is a great Photoshop filter to give your photographs a different kind of look. It uses two tones of colors; however, the image still looks colorful. The filter is ideal for creating a rock and punk vibe. It is ideal for rock bands and fans alike. The filter can be used on a rock show invite, banner or website banner image.

There are many advantages of using a filter for editing images on Photoshop:

1. Saves Time:

By using Photoshop filters, you can save massive time in the editing process, as it allows you to have a great start by applying the filter with a single click. If other adjustments need to be made, they are still quick and easy to tweak around. The essential vibe that you want of the image would be set on applying the filter. This proves particularly useful when there are too many photographs to edit and less time.

2. Adds relevant context:

Each Photoshop filter available in the market is made to achieve a specific effect. Hence this makes the filter suitable for a particular niche, and if the brand that is using these filters knows their niche, they can quickly look for filters that complement their niche. This helps create an overall mood board for the brand that helps them connect to the right target audience.

3. Makes editing easier for all:

Generally, people perceive filters to be used by only amateurs who are starting in Photography and editing process. This isn’t true as filters are used by professional photographers and designers as well. These filters are created by people who have mastered the art of editing over the years. Hence it helps the beginners to achieve a professional look in no time. Also, it eases the process of professionals to edit bulk images in batches if they have the same niche or mood.

4. Gives more time for other activities:

If you are a photographer or editor by profession, then it makes sense that you might want to invest time to edit the pictures manually. However, for a business person or a startup that needs to focus on all aspects of business, using photo filters doesn’t only allow the user to edit the photographs with ease, it also gives them time to shift priority and focus on more critical aspects of the business.

5. Non-destructive editing:

This is a great feature that is known to have marked its presence in Adobe Lightroom and Darkroom. However, with filters, there are many filters created in a way to replicate this powerful benefit and implement it in Adobe Photoshop while using that filter. This helps the original image to remain untouched in case applying the filter or making adjustments goes wrong.

These were the 18 Best Photoshop Filters all designers should make use of. Using these filters would help enhance the image, repurpose the image and make all necessary changes to capture a mood of the image that matches the imperative mood of the business/brand. Make use of these filters and create the perfect look for your images.

  Image Inq   Jan 17, 2020   Design   0 Comment Read More

Photoshop Replace Color Tutorial

Photoshop is one of the most known and used software for photo editing and other graphical requirements. It has tons of options for image correction, editing and other related activities. One such feature Adobe Photoshop has is its Photoshop Replace Color feature. As the name suggests, the Photoshop Replace Color feature allows the user to replace the colors of the objects in a picture.

The Replace Color feature works similarly to the Background Eraser tool from Photoshop. It uses the same method for detecting pixels in an image that need to be altered/changed. Background eraser just erases those pixels, whereas Replace color changes the color. Having said this, the replace color feature from Photoshop isn’t the most professional approach to change the colors of an image and doesn’t always give the best results. However, it is a quick and convenient method for simple tasks and gets the work done efficiently for such tasks.  Here is a detailed tutorial on how to use the Photoshop Replace Color tool effectively:

1. Select the Replace Color Tool:

Select the Replace Color Tool

You can access The Color Replacement tool by clicking the Brush Tool icon, from the Tools panel. To get to the replacement color tool, you can right-click the Brush tool and choose the Color Replacement Tool, when the popup menu appears.  Once you select the color replacement tool, the mouse cursor would change in a circular shape with a central crosshair. This cursor is similar to the cursor you would get when you select the background eraser tool.

2. Brush size adjustments:

Brush size adjustments for Replace Color Tool

The image you are dealing with could have a large section of the color you want to change. For instance, the color of the sky needs to be changed. Here if the brush size is big, you would be able to cover more area in a shorter time easily. However, if the color you want to change is minute and requires more accuracy, the brush size would need to be smaller and more refined.  Hence having the flexibility of changing sizes of the brush is essential.

When you pull the Color Replacement tool over an image, Photoshop would continuously sample any color under its crosshair that replaces it with the current foreground color.  If you press the left side bracket key continuously, the cursor gets smaller, and if you press the right bracket key, it gets bigger. Another control you get over the color replacement tool is adjusting the hardness of the brush edges. To do this, press the shift key with the left bracket key to soften the edges, and shift with the right side bracket key to make them harder.

3. Understanding the functioning of Replacement Color Tool:

Understanding the Replacement Color Tool

The basic functioning of the replacement tool is such that when you move the tool over a part of your image, Photoshop would continually sample the color that is right under the crosshair of the centre portion of the cursor. Hence it would replace this color with the color you have set as your foreground color. Also, any pixel of that original color that gets covered in the cursor’s range would be changed to the foregrounds color.  For instance, you can pass the crosshair over an area of the image with the color blue in the photo.  If the foreground is set to green, any pixels under the cursor that are blue would atomically convert to green. To check the foreground color, you can check it in the color swatch situated in the tools panel, bottom portion.

4. Adjusting tolerance for edges:

adjust tolerance for edges

The process is relatively easy when you’re covering such a large subject by pressing down the mouse key and dragging the foreground color over the color you want to change. However if you zoom in to the object you are changing the color for, you can notice the edges of the object would have a blurry blue line that the Photoshop Replace Color tool is not picking up and changing.

Here we make use of the different options for customization available for replacing color tool. The tolerance level for the brush is 30 percent as default. However, if you need to work on edges, you might want to increase this value to 50 per cent. Now the tool would be able to manipulate a broader range of colors. Now if we color the blue balloon again with the changed tolerance settings, you would see that there is no blurry blue line that remains once we are done replacing the color with green. However ensure you use one tolerance level throughout the object, first doing it with 30 percent and just the edges with 50 percent might result in irregularities of the color shades, hence start over with 50 percent tolerance.

5. How to Sample Colors from the picture itself:

sample color from the image

Many times it is possible that you want to replicate the color from a different area of the photo itself, and not use a new color from the color palate. For doing this, select the Replace Color Tool and press the alt button on the keyboard. This would temporarily activate the eyedropper tool. Now select the area which has the color you want to use for replacing the other color. This would change your foreground color to the color you just selected. Now let go of the alt button, and you would switch back to Photoshop Replace Color Tool. Since the foreground color has changed to the color you selected earlier; now you can easily replace the area you want to change color for like you would typically do. Hence now, the balloon is pink since we selected the color from the girl’s jacket.

6. Understanding the different blend modes in the Replace Color Tool:

blend modes in Replace Color Tool

You might have noticed by now, that both the times we changed the color of the balloon, the shine and reflective nature of the color remained intact. Had we used the basic brush tool and changed the color, the balloon would have had a flat color overlay, with no life in it whatsoever. This is because the Replace Color Tool comes with various blend modes that allow it to retain such characteristics of the area we change color for.  Four parameters can be changed in Replace Color Tool- Color, Luminosity, Hue and Saturation. To choose between these, go to the Options bar. The default mode would be set to Color.

Any image makes use of Hue, Saturation and brightness as far as the colour of a particular object is taken into consideration. Each blend mode available in Replace Color Tool affects one or more such property of color. The Hue blend mode changes the primary color of the object. It wouldn’t alter the brightness or saturation of the original color.  This is ideal for images with colors that aren’t too intense, and subtle changes need to be made.  The saturation blend mode, on the other hand, would change the saturation of the color without affecting the Hue and Brightness. This helps to reduce the color’s intensity or to remove a color entirely if needed.

Color blend mode is the default setting mode that affects both the hue and saturation of an image. It still wouldn’t affect the brightness of the image. Lastly, luminosity blend mode would bridge the gap between the brightness of the previous color to the brightness of the new color. It would not affect the saturation or the hue of the image.

7. Using the Sampling Options in the Replace Color Tutorial:

sampling options in Replace Color tool

When you have the options pop up menu opened, you would be able to see there are three small icons right next to blend mode options.  All three icons are different forms of sampling method for the Color Replacement tool. The three options are Continuous,  Background Swatch and Once. You can click between the three sampling options to switch between them.

These sampling method options help Photoshop control how it samples colors in the image when crosshair moves over them. Continous sampling method would make Photoshop keep looking for new colors to replace as the Color Replacement tool would be dragged around. Any color that comes under the crosshair would become the new color to be replaced. Such a setting is ideal for projects where the image has many colors in the object you want to change color for.

Once sampling tool would only sample the color, click on initially no matter how many of the other colors the cursor drags over. This is the best sampling method for filling a large area of a solid color. It is also a great alternative for continuous replace colour tool if using continuous is leading to much bleeding into nearby areas. Lastly, the Background Swatch sampling method would replace the color that is set as a background color currently.  This is an ideal sampling method when the other two methods don’t seem to be working for your requirement.  You can click on the background color swatch from the tools panel and then select a color by using the color picker that matches the color you want to replace in the image. If both the colors have a visible difference in shade, try increasing the tolerance level to reduce the gap.

8. Using Limits aspect of the Replace Color Tool:

Changing Limit modes- Replace Color Tool

This works similar to the Replace Color Tool. This tool controls the places Photoshop can look for colors for replacing process. It comes with three modes- Contagious, Discontiguous, and Find Edges. Contagious is the default setting.  If you use this, the Color Replacement Tool would only be able to change the pixels that are in the same area of the crosshair’s central area where the cursor is touching. It wouldn’t affect the matching pixels of the sampled colors that are blocked by an area that has a different color.

The discontiguous mode would allow the color replacement tool to replace any color and any pixel that matches the sample color and is under the area of the cursor. It doesn’t matter if the pixels are in the same area as the crosshair or not.  Lastly, the Find Edges option is very similar to Contagious tool when it comes to the aspect that it can only change the color of the pixels in the same area as the crosshair. However, it is more accurate at detecting edges. There can be a sharp and well-defined object that the Color Replacement tool is having difficulty with.  Using tolerance settings isn’t helping either. Here, Find Edges would be a great solution.

These were the 8 essential steps and considerations for using Photoshop Replace Color tool. This tutorial covered the important aspects of using each of the elements of the Replace Color tool for getting the desired results. Each project and object has different characteristic and requirements, hence making necessary changes to the blend modes, sampling methods and limit aspects become essential to get the right feel of the replaced color, to match the client’s requirement. Make sure you practice changing the colors enough with each style to understand their relevance and where to use what.

  Image Inq   Jan 15, 2020   Design   0 Comment Read More

12 Business Card Design Trends in 2020

Business Cards remain timeless in their utility and relevance in any professional field, irrespective of technological advances and modernization of business spaces. Previously, business cards used to be the first point of communication between a brand and a potential customer. They were was used as an introduction tool and were looked at as a more informative document rather than a potential creative design element. Those business card designs were fundamental. The information put on them was also the bare essentials like name of the company, address, email address and possibly a fax number.  However, with changing times, today’s business cards are often used to add additional valuable content in many creative ways. A business card isn’t looked at as just an informative piece; it is used as a tool of advertising and brand promotion as well. There are many developments in business card design trends.

An effective business card design has contact details of a company, and in addition, conveys the brand message of the company as well. For any business card to have such an impact on the receiver, it has to be unique and easy to remember. Many designers have experimented with different styles, and many printing companies have created different effects (such as embossed business cards), breaking out of the box at times to create business card designs that stand out. However, a delicate balance between innovation and utility is a must to maintain. Keeping this in mind, here are a few important business card design trends in 2020 that are most likely going to change the game:

1. Minimalism in Business Card Design:

Minimalism in Business Card Design

The successive years a design trend stays relevant, shows its effectiveness and strength.  This stands especially true for minimalism in business card design.  The trend for minimalism initiated during the 20th century, and it is still strong. Minimalism is the art of delivering more using lesser elements. Generally, it is perceived to be easier, as it looks effortless once finished. However, to showcase an entire brand and summarize their brand message using minimal elements, is often more challenging.  Hence minimalism in business card design refers to not just making the design look easy, but making the design look impactful without depending on any superficial elements.

Using minimalism in business card design makes the business card look modern, clean, and clutter-free, and the focus shifts to the content on the card, rather than the design. It is possible to create a great complex design business card that looks visually pleasing. However, the main takeaway from the card needs to be the content of the card that people might miss out on, with too many distracting elements.

Business Cards with Interactive Designs

Business card Design Trends in 2020 is all about getting experimental. One such experimental design element that is likely to gain popularity is using interactive designs on business cards.  Many graphic designers are attempting to get this right with business cards. Generally, they try using dual or triple layered cards to give a sense of more dimensions to the card. Carved or stamped business cards would look more detailed and interactive. There are easier ways to do this too.  The only thing to be kept in consideration is that the elements of the design elements used in the interactive design should complement elements of all other marketing materials and business stationery materials.

By using such interactive designs, the receivers would get a perception about the attention paid to details by your company, and the dedication behind making a great first impression. Translating the efforts and results of the business card design into many serious projects, they would be able to judge your commitment and dedication to your work better.

3.  Business Cards as Smart Card:

Business Card as Smart Card

Entering 2020, would not be complete without bridging the gap between the real and digital world. QR codes have become more are more compatible and have eased the process of linking or redirecting customers to relevant sites and places important to the company. 2020 would witness the implementation of QR codes on business card designs. Due to the flexibility of size of them, this would not only save space on the business card but also act as a clutter-free solution of providing additional information without stuffing the space.

By adding a QR code to your business card receivers would be able to go through your website quickly and check out the content and services you have to offer. It is a minimal yet impressive thing to have on your business card that would ease and reduce the time for them to go back and check your website. If they had to search for it manually, most people would not, hence this increases website traffic and chances of them availing your services as well.

big and bold fonts in business card design

Nothing shows confidence and assertiveness, as much as big and bold fonts and typeface do. This is a prominent Business Card Design Trend in 2020 that encourages designers to use the majority of the card space with bigger typefaces.  Using bigger typefaces redirects the receivers’ attention to the business name and tagline if they have one.  This is an excellent way of ensuring the receiver remembers the name of the company as it is so direct and assertive. Generally, such business card designs that use bold typefaces make use of a single solid fill background color that gives the design a unique appeal. However, the color of the typeface and background should complement or contrast each other in a way that it looks visually aesthetic. It is also essential that the color schematic is uniform through all other business stationery products as well.

If you are confident about your company’s name and the tagline to be enough CTA for people to find out more about it, you should try this business card design trend for your card. It shows confidence, assertiveness and a sense of leadership to the receivers.  It is the same philosophy of minimalism, where the brand that uses this trend showcases confidence that their name is enough to market their services.

5. Clever use of Symbols in Business Cards:

clever symbols

Another innovative and valid Business Card Design Trend in 2020 is going to be using clever symbols in business card design. Symbols as an individual element hold significant value in communicating brand/product value and purpose. Symbols are also a great way of putting across what target audience the brand is catering to and what industry it belongs to. Hence, using clever symbols in business cards gives it more personality as well the receiver appreciates the genius behind it.

This doesn’t mean that you use any symbol just to have a taste of it in your business card design. The symbol has to be relevant to the niche and the target audience and should emphasize on both these aspects. A poorly designed symbol might create more confusion in place of adding value. Hence choosing the right symbol at the right place is vital.

6.  The simplicity of Design:

The simplicity of Design

Simplicity isn’t to say that the business card should not be stylish.  It just focuses on the importance of serving the primary purpose of business card across clearly. Designers need to keep in mind that a business card needs to put across the brand’s name, address, telephone, and email and fax number across in a way that it is legible and easily visible. This information needs to be presented in a simple way. The viewer’s eye should be first driven to these vital information bits and not be distracted by other design elements. Hence, keeping the business card relevant and informative while keeping it stylish- is a business card design trend in 2020.

7. Branding Elements in Business Cards:

branding elements in business card

Moving towards 2020, designers realize the need of creating an ecosystem of uniform design elements across all their business stationery material.  There are different ways to put your branding elements across to the viewers. The reason for using similar branding elements is to reemphasize the brand message to the potential clients to get them more acquainted with the company. Various ways of putting across your brand message are through using different distinctive design elements such as colors, symbols, images or only the slogan you use across all products.

Business card design trends in 2020 are all about reinforcing the brand image and brand story.  How you do it most subtly is what makes the design stands out. The idea is to make the potential client relate the design element you are choosing to be consistent across all your business stationery line.

8. Business Cards with Experimental Shapes:

business cards with experimental shapes

When it comes to being experimental, 2020 is full of surprises as designers are now breaking the trend of sticking or restricting design possibilities to a rectangular shaped card.  The standard shape for business cards generally is 3.5 by 2 inches in the US.  The average business cards also have sharp corners. Many designers are experimenting with different shape cards or merely changing the traditional layout a little to give it a minimal yet different look. What approach you want to take should depend on the brand and the relevance of the shape you decide.

Many designers are using square or rectangular business cards with rounded or soft edges; some are using the shape of their logo, while some businesses try to shape their business card in a way that it represents the products they deal in. Hence with experimental shapes, one thing is sure, that is no limitation to creativity with business card design trends in 2020.

9. Business Cards with Colored Edges:

Business Cards with Colored Edges

Colored edges are one such business card design trend in 2020 that might not sound like much; however, can have a significant impact on how business cards have looked before this trend. This design element would add a sense of depth and three dimensions in business card design trend. When the business cards would be stacked together, the colorful edges would catch the eye of any viewer. For this design to have more impact, the business cards would also be thicker in width to give better results of the colorful edges.

10.  Business Cards – Hand-illustrated:

business cards with hand illustrations

Business Card Design Trends in 2020 would also focus on using unique illustrations. This would be to personalize the feel of a transactional object. Since business cards are meant to be a summary and introduction of your business to your potential clients or customers, a hand-drawn illustration on top of it would show efforts and sincere approach towards delivering excellent work. The illustrations could cover the surface of the card or used at the centre depending on the overall design. More than anything, illustrations help ease the conversation and approachability as it demonstrates care.

Hand-drawn illustrations are often paired with pastel tones, serif fonts and motifs that represent nature. Such business cards feel delicate and are ideal for small businesses. Especially for ones that would have many ones on one interaction with customers.

11. Neon business cards:

neon business card

Neon business cards are something traditional designers would have never thought would be a thing in the past. However, business card design trends in 2020 accept and embrace neon business cards.  Such business cards are ideal for people who prioritize boldness over subtle nature. This, in a way, would reflect on the company’s approach to work and their niche as well. For neon business cards, the main design elements to focus on are colors. Such business cards are ideal for companies that deal with technology and modern industries.

12. Monochrome business cards:

monochrome in business card design

The classic combination of B&W is a timeless design trend, especially for business cards. The modern business card design trend in 2020 adds a little twist to this design approach.  It updates the classic black and white style with modern approaches. Use of minimal design elements, effective typography and gradient fall would make the classic black and white design more alluring and appealing.

These were the 12 Business Card Design Trends in 2020. They would make any business card stand out from the rest. Business cards are going to remain relevant even in the era of digital marketing. Hence, it is essential to stay updated about the trends to ensure your design doesn’t go obsolete.

  Image Inq   Jan 13, 2020   Design   0 Comment Read More

Gimp Vs. Photoshop – Which is Better for Designers?

Photoshop is the most preferred software for many designers. Any designing course has to learn Photoshop as a pre-decided element of the syllabus. Many professionals and creative individuals have been using the software for all of their graphic design needs. However, this power tool is not as easy to access and make use of for most people, as there’s a high cost factor involved.  Professional photographers and designers can yet consider it as an investment. However, amateur or freelance graphic designers can’t always invest such a heavy amount into the software. The internet has the solution for all, and hence there are many free Photoshop alternatives available in the market. GIMP is one such alternative that has gained much popularity over time. It is an open-source program that is easy to customize and can be used for image retouching and editing, converting images in various formats, free-form drawing and other specialized tasks.

It is essential to understand the uses and potential of Gimp to evaluate how it stacks up against professional software like Adobe Photoshop, as it would help photographers and designers understand the potential of this software in a better light.

Following are a few points to consider while comparing both GIMP and Photoshop.

1. Budget Consideration:

Budget Consideration

The very debate of GIMP vs Photoshop starts with financial limitations. Photoshop is a much powerful tool overall; however, if as a photographer you are just beginning to learn photography or making a career out of it, you are better off with an open free source software like GIMP.

Adobe Photoshop used to charge a one-time $700 fee earlier; however after Creative Cloud took over, it gave the user the liberty of using the software they want to for a fee of $10(approx.) a month. While the pricing has reduced and become much more flexible, it is still pretty expensive as compared to free software such as GIMP. There is no licensing fee ever. GIMP comes with free updates as well.

2. Flexibility in versions – GIMP:

flexibility in version- Photoshop vs GIMP

If you need to edit your images using a mobile or smartphone, you need to stick with Photoshop. Adobe Photoshop has Photoshop Express that allows the user to edit the images on the go.  GIMP has no such mobile version and is unlikely ever to introduce one too. Hence, when you are always on the move and need a quick editing tool at times, Photoshop would you be your go-to software.

3. Laptop Space Constraints – GIMP:

laptop space constrains- GIMP

Not everyone is equipped with the latest laptops or the latest software, specs and ram optimized laptops as well.  If you are using an older laptop or desktop to edit your images, installing huge software like Photoshop itself could be very challenging. It won’t just take up too much space; it would also be problematic as you’d need to keep a big buffer space for editing your images.  If the RAM isn’t strong enough, the software would not perform smoothly and crash as well.

GIMP, on the other hand, is 20 times smaller in size and hence easier to download and setup. It would take up lesser space and would run smoothly as well.

4. Write off as Business Expense- Photoshop:

write off as business expense- Photoshop

GIMP is free; no doubt using it for personal and professional jobs makes more sense if the requirement is not very detailed or feature-oriented. However, if you are working for a company or even freelancing on some project that requires the special additional features that Photoshop has, you can use Photoshop. This is because you’re using the software for a particular client or your company, and hence they can pick up the tab, or you can write it off as a business expense and include it in the cost deliverables for the project.

5. Speed and Stability – GIMP:

speed and stability

GIMP is photography specific software that is made for image retouching, digital photography and other such functions. While Photoshop also has all the features for image processing, it has capabilities for other aspects of designing as well, like illustrating, sketching and other disciplines. This makes Photoshop filled with too many tools and features that you’d never use if you’re strictly looking for software for just photography requirements.

GIMP is a photography-focused product; it cuts out any additional tools from its interface and thus acts faster and is easier to learn as well.

6. All other requirements, except Photography – Photoshop:

typography, layering, masking

GIMP is photography based and hence has some cool features like Droste Effect and turning images to tiny worlds. Hence it is invaluable for many creative projects. However, there would be times when you’d want to use your images for different purposes than merely just the photograph.

Suppose you’re doing a food photography shoot, just clicking an image and retouching it wouldn’t suffice most of the times. You might need to add Layers for adding typography, or any other graphical elements to create a wholesome product. For this, you would need to rely on Photoshop as GIMP doesn’t come with support for any of these elements.

7.  Flexible Interface – GIMP:

flexible interface-GIMP

GIMP works on the UNIX system, and it is entirely customizable. It allows you to push away tools or move them around, or even remove the tools you don’t need frequently. This ease of customization helps to tidy up the interface and also speeds up the workflow process. The software also allows the user to assign new keyboard shortcuts as per their preference.

8. Convenience and harmony across other apps – Photoshop:

sense of harmony- Adobe Software-Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is a branch of a much bigger Adobe Family. Just like all other adobe programs, Photoshop also works seamlessly with the other Adobe software. It allows you to shift your image from Photoshop to Lightroom and vice-versa with a click of a button.  It also keeps the file resizing and editing changes smartly across all platforms.

GIMP can open PSD files however the user would need to export and save images on desktop and then reopen them in this software. Here editing and saving images can be troublesome.

9. More color mode options – Photoshop:

More Color Modes- Photoshop

GIMP only allows processing colors in RGB format. If you need to use any other color mode, like the CMYK you would have to use Photoshop. Till the time you’re working on web content, RGB works just fine as it is an excellent format for web. However, if you are working on a beautiful print, having the CMYK format becomes an absolute necessity as most printers still use CMYK to recreate the colors.

10. Open source and easy to modify – GIMP:

open source

GIMP is open-source software, and it doesn’t only allow you to change the operating code, it encourages the users to do so. It was built as an open platform for this purpose. For instance, the Content Awareness Fill feature of Photoshop doesn’t come with the standard GIMP features. However, using a plugin can allow the users to download the Heal selection plugin that works as good as Photoshop’s Awareness Fill.

11. Non-destructive editing – Photoshop:

Non Destructive editing

This is a major reason for using Photoshop or Lightroom. Both of these Adobe software allows the users to edit a photo without affecting or permanently modifying the original picture.  This is crucial when you’re working on a professional project and can’t afford to lose the original picture in case the edits end up deteriorating the image. GIMP also can change its original destructive nature to non-destructive, but it requires a few techniques to be followed that can be tiring to remember each time.

12. Continuous Development – Photoshop:

continous development- Photoshop

Photoshop is a bigger platform and part of a bigger franchise-Adobe. Since it has been used worldwide for photo editing requirements, the team behind the software is continuously working on tweaking and upgrading the platform. Similarly, Adobe is known for excellent customer service, with a dedicated team that keeps enhancing the user experience and benefits of the software.  GIMP also offers upgrades every few months, but the scale isn’t nearly as much as Photoshop.

13. Better Batch Processing – GIMP:

Better Batch Processing- GIMP and photoshop

Adobe Photoshop can batch process images; however, it takes users a little time to get acquainted with. After spending an hour of setting everything up, the software could fail to process the batch as something or the other might not have been set up correctly.

GIMP, on the other hand, is better at batch processing. It allows the user to repeat actions on a large group of images, much easier.

14. Better Tools – Photoshop:

better tools- gimp and photoshop

GIMP has excellent tools, especially considering it is a free open source software; however, if we put both the software on a pedestal, Photoshop outweighs GIMP. The similar tools that both software have to perform better on Photoshop than they do on GIMP. Photoshop is bigger software and hence has stronger processing tools.

Both GIMP and Photoshop use curves, masks and levels; however, the true pixel manipulation quality is better of Photoshop as compared to GIMP.  A good instance of this is that Photoshop has four variants of healing tool with many sub-options for each to use it exactly as a user might want to. On the other hand, GIMP has one healing tool that allows user to remove odd spots.

15. More Portable – GIMP:

more portable- GIMP and Photoshop

The small size of the open-source software GIMP does save up space on the device, but it also benefits the user in a way that its small size allows it to be portable. The entire program can be transferred to a pen drive and taken anywhere needed. You can plug it in another computer temporarily and continue your editing projects.  This is ideal for saving luggage space while travelling.

16. RAW Images – Photoshop:

RAW images- GIMP

Photoshop is such strong software that it can convert RAW images. RAW images are essential at times when photographers want to bring out the most out of an image, in terms of details like highlights, shadows, saturation, vibrancy, mid-tones and much more. However, such files are large. Hence they need to be converted at times. When you open a RAW image on Photoshop, the RAW editor pops up. You can edit RAW images in GIMP, but you would need to use a special plugin, and that could lead to confusion and consume more time.

Both GIMP and Photoshop offer similar features. However, GIMP doesn’t have its entire potential out of the package to use. For some of the features, you might need to install plugins, or need coding knowledge to change the core code. Photoshop has stronger tools and has better pixel manipulation as compared to GIMP.

Overall the price of the software becomes a strong determinant as to what software would be right for most people. To honestly use Photoshop, paying $10/month is sustainable if you have regular use of the software. Even if you feel like stopping the subscription thinking you don’t need it as frequently right now; Photoshop lets you pause and continue later.  GIMP is free and pretty consistent with their free updates too. For most cases, GIMP might be more than enough to get the work done until you are an expert who needs to deal with heavily processed images.

GIMP is software that continues to grow steadily; however, it is a leap behind Photoshop in term of capabilities; however, it is more than enough for photo editing and retouching purposes for most cases. Also, since it is open-source software, some people are continually trying to bring Photoshop’s premium features in GIMP for no additional cost.

  Image Inq   Jan 09, 2020   Design   0 Comment Read More

20 Children-Oriented WordPress Themes You Can Use Today

As a website designer, you have to be ready to create websites of any niche. Not always, a single web designer can know all sectors well. Building a theme website itself can be very difficult. The visualization needs to be as warming and comforting as possible. It has to feel safe and welcoming. Many different segments can fall under a WordPress theme that is geared towards children. Some of them are websites for babysitters, schools, art and craft classes, training centers and education-related websites. Hence, if you use a WordPress Theme that has a child-oriented design and functionality for your website, you’d have a basic framework of WordPress themes that are specifically made for children.

Moreover, it can also be a kids clothing store, healthcare or a daycare website. A critical aspect of creating a website for a services for children is to make it as genuine as possible. This can often be challenging.

Below are 20 WordPress Themes that you could greatly benefit from using when you are building a website that either offers products or services for children:

Miuzin Themeforest Theme

Miuizin is a Children-Oriented WordPress Theme that specializes in kids’ apparel. Since it is an apparel website, it has the powerful WooCommerce plugin. WooCommerce eases the process of setting up an online store significantly. It has an Elementor page builder that allows the user to design the website without having to write code. This eliminates the need for experience in website designing or coding. As a result, even people who are initiating in designing can easily make their first website with Miuzin.

The theme comes with nifty features such as footer styles, blog pages and smooth transitions. Moreover, it has a parallax effect and layout customization options. There is support for all devices, cross-browser performance and retina screens. It is also ready for many powerful plugins.

20 Children-Oriented WordPress Themes You Can Use Today- Tabula wordpress theme

Tabula is an excellent Children-Oriented WordPress Theme. It specializes in creating nifty first school experience websites. There are three demos and twelve home page variants to choose from. Since it has so many variants, you can mix-match different layouts and use the theme as it comes. However, if you wish to fine-tune and personalize further, it allows you to customize to a significant extent. The theme looks professional and appealing.

Tabula has all modern design trends and guidelines, making sure the user gets a smooth user experience. It is entirely mobile friendly and has support for cross-browser compatibility. The website loads fast and is retina ready. It has animations like parallax effects, countdown timer, Children-Oriented WordPress Theme and smooth transitions.

20 Children-Oriented WordPress Themes You Can Use Today- bebio wordpress theme

Bebio is an excellent Children-Oriented WordPress Theme focused on kindergartens and baby care services. The theme comes with all required inner pages and sample content for such services. It helps a designer create a website without wasting any time. Simply rearrange the elements available in the manner you like, and you are set. The theme comes with the Elementor Page Builder that eases the process even more. You need not have any knowledge for coding to customize this theme. Bebio also has capabilities of acting as an eCommerce store with five shop pages. There are many transition effects, parallax background effect, blog pages and optimization for SEO.

20 Children-Oriented WordPress Themes You Can Use Today- Pappory

Pappory is a nifty, trendy and modern Children-Oriented WordPress Theme. It is built especially for being a kindergarten website. The theme has all the necessary elements for a kindergarten website. It makes use of all modern rules and regulations to ensure smooth user experience. The designing process is also user-friendly, that makes building and maintaining the website easy.

The theme has five creative home page variants. It is easy to install and implement. The theme has WPBakery page builder that allows visual customization of the theme. You need not have any coding skills or expertise to build with this theme.

20 Children-Oriented WordPress Themes You Can Use Today- Juno

Juno has a colorful eCommerce theme design. It is ideal for selling toys and gifts, baby clothing, kids fashion and any accessories store. The framework is strong and allows the user to have a highly functional website. It is fully responsive; hence can be viewed on any device with ease.  Many predesigned pages are inclusive of this theme. You have dedicated pages for main services, gallery, and news and store range. There is support for some premium plugins like Essential Grid and Visual Composer. Juno also supports WooCommerce, which makes setting up a store very easy.

Kids Care WordPress Theme

Kids Care, as the name suggests a daycare Children-Oriented WordPress Theme. However, it can also be used for healthcare, education, training, toy stores and other such purposes. The theme comes with four skins. There is an endless possibility for customizing the header. Not only can you put your logo on this theme, but you can also place it where you like. The user panel is also highly customizable. The theme has three portfolio styles: grid, masonry and classic. For these three styles, there are fifteen variants available. Even for portfolio post, you can choose between full screen and standard.

BamBoo Themeforest Theme

BamBoo is a Children-Oriented WordPress Theme catered towards child care websites. It is suitable for nannies, professional nurses, daycare, babysitters, mom blogs and even educational purposes. The theme has the capability for WooCommerce and hence setting up a store with this theme is also super easy. It comes with premium plugins like Essential Grids, Revolution Slider, Visual Composer and PO Composer. Using these plugins enhances the website and makes customization easier. The theme is both SEO and Retina ready.

20 Children-Oriented WordPress Themes You Can Use Today- Little Birdies

Little Birdes is an ideal Children-Oriented WordPress Theme for any website requirement regarding children. From daycares to preschools, kindergartens, craft school, education and nurseries, this theme can handle it all. It is a multipurpose theme. The theme comes with three homepage layouts. For each layout, there is a Revolution Slider plugin. Each layout also has a special space to showcase achievements and skills.

Little Birdies also has support for Visual Composer that allows the user to create unlimited page layouts.  It has a mobile-friendly responsive design, many blog variations and a wide range of colors to choose from. The theme has predesigned essential pages like a gallery, news, main services. The theme is retina ready and compatible with some premium plugins.

20 Children-Oriented WordPress Themes You Can Use Today- White Rabbit WordPress Theme

White Rabbit is a Children-Oriented WordPress Theme that can be used for kids related eCommerce websites. There are predesigned pages that highlight the main services, gallery, news and store range. The theme is highly responsive and retina ready,  which makes it optimized for all screens and devices. There are premium plugins build in like Visual Composer and Essential Grids. Since it’s an eCommerce WordPress website, it also has support for WooCommerce.

Kiddo Turf Themeforest Themes

Kiddo Turf is a Children-Oriented WordPress Theme for a daycare centre and kindergarten websites. This theme is designed beautifully to make an impression on the visitor’s mind. It is responsive that allows it to be optimized for various devices and screens. There are one slider and cool HTML 5 animations. There are many unique illustrations to make use of as well.

20 Children-Oriented WordPress Theme You Can Use Today- Kids Play WordPress theme

Kids Play has a joyful and colorful design aesthetic. It is best suited for any kid-related website. From schools, parties, kindergartens, craft and toddler day centres this site has potential to host any service. The theme is made on Unyson framework and has support for great plugins like Visual page builder that allows the user to drag and drop elements in a few minutes. The typography used is also a hand-lettered font that makes it more genuine and relatable to a kid’s website. There are hand-drawn icons that complement the theme’s aesthetics and make the website more authentic.

20 Children-Oriented WordPress Theme You Can Use Today- Kids World

Kid’s World is a great Children-Oriented WordPress Theme that is colorful and responsive. There are nine home page layouts to choose from. This eases making a unique website that stands out from the crowd. There are many hand-crafted elements all over the site that allows easy customization and flexibility to the user. It also has dedicated shop pages with many attractive variants. There are twelve header types and social integration.  There are more than 10 demos that are all vibrant and energetic.

20 Children-Oriented WordPress Theme You Can Use Today- Happy Kids

Happy Kids is a clean and simple Children-Oriented WordPress Theme. It is catered to kindergartens, preschools, daycare and other such sectors. It is an HTML5, and CSS3-built website. There many unlimited color options and nine appealing background patterns.  There are relevant and helpful sections like Recent Projects, Posts and more. The entire design approach is very pastel, and the website has subtle yet effective animations. The layout is not very structured and that works in benefit to the child based theme look.  There is also a nifty calendar, twitter plugin at the bottom of the page.

20 Children-Oriented WordPress Theme You Can Use Today- Kid's Planet WordPress Theme

Kid’s Planet is a Children-Oriented WordPress Theme that has a colorful and bright layout. It can be used for preschool, daycare centres, childcare, children art and craft school, education and training centers. There are also various other purposes this theme can solve. It comes with three homepage layouts. There is a Revolution Slider and a custom area for highlighting your skills.  The website is highly responsive and has unlimited color options to choose from. It also has compatibility for WooCommerce.

20 Children-Oriented WordPress Theme You Can Use Today-Kindergarten WordPress Theme

Kindergarten is a great Children-Oriented WordPress Theme. The theme is multipurpose and has many cool features such as blog styles, multiple headers, beautiful sliders like Revolution, Royal and Flex. It also has a content manager that allows the user to arrange the content as per their convenience and liking.  The customization panel can be tested in the demo itself, where you can tweak the menu to be line or block. Moreover, the body can be wide or boxed. You can also tweak the background color or add a background image by clicking a single button.

Littledino Themeforest Theme

Littledino is a Children-Oriented WordPress Theme that is adorable and cute. The website works best for preschool activities, daycare and babysitting. There are four spectacular home pages, twenty inner layouts and fifteen blog pages. This theme is loaded with options that make it easy to find a unique style for the user’s website. There are over thirty custom elements. This allows you to make an appealing online presence in no time. There is no need to have any prior experience with coding to customize this theme. It has a drag and drop page building tool.

20 Children-Oriented WordPress Theme You Can Use Today- Tediss Park WordPress Theme

Tedious is a colorful, fresh and responsive Children-Oriented WordPress Theme. It is useful for child care centres, kindergartens and daycare facilities.  There are many features such as Elementor Page Builder, custom shortcuts, Book Appointments and much more. The typography is apt for children’s website with rounded edges and smooth texture. It has some beautiful inner pages. There are many font options as this theme utilizes Google Fonts and Font Squirrel both. Tediss also has a customizable Google Map and is translation ready.

20 Children-Oriented WordPress Theme You Can Use Today- Lighthouse

Lighthouse is a gorgeous Children-Oriented WordPress Theme. It is optimized for mobile devices and adjusts for all screens. There is also an option for selling your products or services. There is also support for accepting donations. It is compatible with Slider Revolution, Events Calendar and Contact Form 7. The theme has a majority of yellow color in its design, but it still feels subtle and not overwhelming.

Hayden is an appealing, colorful theme for kids fashion apparel. The theme is WooCommerce ready and is tailored for children’s fashion. It comes with a variety of eCommerce options to help you generate sales. Hayden empowers users to create a great first impression on visitors that lead to higher chances of conversion. It comes with three home page layouts and many additional inner pages.

Melokids Themeforest Theme

Melokids is a great Children-Oriented WordPress Theme for a child care program. It is easy to navigate, design, and stay updated with the latest version. It has a clean, responsive and elegant design. The attention to details on this theme can make it stand out from the competition. It comes with WPBakery page builder, and this helps for adding extra layouts if needed. It has a very minimal and modern design approach and uses much whitespace. There’s support for setting up your store as well.

These are the 20 Children-Oriented WordPress Themes You Can Use today for your next Children-Oriented WordPress Theme website.

  Image Inq   Jan 06, 2020   Design   0 Comment Read More

Using Adjustment Layers in Photoshop

Photoshop is the go-to software for all designing requirements, be it individual projects or professional assignments. Many features help transform an image into a more usable version of itself. One such modification option is Adjustment Layers in Photoshop.

Adjustment Layers refer to the process of using a powerful set of a group that is useful for non-destructive image editing. Moreover, it allows you to add color and make tonal adjustments to an image. And it doesn’t even make any permanent changes to the picture’s pixels.

The most known advantage of using Adjustment Layer is using it; you don’t need to worry about losing the original picture.  It allows you to edit, discard or restore your adjustments at any given point of time. This helps to make the workflow more efficient and flexible.

Other than this, it helps fix exposure and brighten portraits.  If the image is underexposed, you can correct it using adjustment layers by brightening the shadows on a subject’s face. On the other hand, if you need to recover details from slightly overexposed skies, adjustment layers can be used to.

Adjustment layers are also used for advertisement for web and print.  Adjustment layers are used in several instances to create layouts for posters and ads. You can use it to change the color of anything. Other than that, you can use adjustment layers to correct and color grade.

Now that we have briefly covered the benefits of using Adjustment Layers in Photoshop, let us understand how to use them:

1. Adjust Contrast/Brightness:

Brightness and Contrast slider in Photoshop

By making adjustments to the contrast and brightness of the image, you can affect the tonal range of the image. Brightness Slider helps to adjust the highlights of the image, whereas the Contrast Slider helps to make adjustments to shadows of the image. Changing these helps set different moods to the image.

2. Use Levels:

Using levels adjustment layer in adobe photoshop

Levels let a user modify the tonal values of an image further. This is done by adjusting the levels of mid-tones, shadows and highlights. Levels are often the most frequently used tool in the adjustment layer panel. Using a hint of levels can also bring significant changes to your image.

3. Understand Curves:

Understand cuves in Photoshop

Using Curves is one of the strongest and most flexible methods of adjusting the tonal range of an image. It allows you to add as many anchors as needed throughout the image.  The Curves tool is also one of the most precise tools for tonal range modification. Pressing on curve adjustment would show you a diagonal line on a graph. This graphic representation of your image’s tonal range helps understand the image much better.  On the x-axis, it shows the original values of the image, whereas the y-axis shows the new adjusted values. Both axes have a gradient strip from black to white that represent the tonal range of the image.

You can increase the overall contrast and quality of the image by clicking to add points on the line of the graph. After adding a point, you would be able to drag it up or down using your mouse. If you pull it down, it darkens the image, whereas pulling it up would brighten it.  You can add two points and use one of them too bright out the highlights and the other to pull out the shadows of an image by pulling one point up and other down.  This would create a slight S curve.

4. Set the right Exposure:

Exposure adjustment layer in photoshop

For any image to look good, its exposure needs to be right. Depending on the mood, the exposure should be set in a way that brings out that mood. A well-exposed photo doesn’t necessarily mean a neutral image; it can be manipulated to be a low-exposed picture or a high-exposed picture. The only thing is to be cautious about the detail of the images. Ensure it isn’t compromised upon when we experiment with exposure.  Adobe Photoshop allows setting or adjusting Exposure with three sliders- Offset, Exposure, and Gamma.  Offset focuses on mid-tones, Exposure would modify the highlights and Gamma helps to adjust the dark tones specifically.

5.  Changes in Vibrance:

change vibrance in photoshop

Vibrance is changing the tones for the muted colors, skin tones and already saturated colors alone.  Using the Adjustment Layer allows you to modify the vibrancy of an image in two methods. There is a Saturation slider that affects all colors of the image.  The other Vibrance Slider is more accurate to its name; it also affects the saturation of the colors. However, it is more selective and focuses on the least saturated colors, also avoids oversaturation of skin tones.

6. Changes in Hue/Saturation:

Hue and Saturation slider in photoshop
Hue and Saturation allow you to adjust Hue, Saturation and lightness of the entire image. You can also use it selectively for a specified of colors in the image.  You can adjust the sliders to either increase the saturation of the entire image or use a preset from the drop-down menu. One of the options, for instance, is Greens. If you select greens, the tool would look for all green color elements in the image and reduce the saturation of those elements specifically. Green is generally not very soothing to the eye; hence lowering its saturation can give the overall image a better feel.

Generally changing the overall saturation of the image is not a good idea. It reduces the overall tonal range. Targeting the saturation of specific colors gives you greater control of the image editing experience. This can also help to colorize the grayscale images.

7. Color Balance:

Color balance enhancements in adjustment layer photoshop

Color Balance allows the user to manipulate the mixture of colors in an image. For instance, in this image, the selection of the butterfly’s wing and adjusting the color balance sliders brings out the red and magenta tones in its wings.

8. Adjustment in Black and White:

adjustment layers in black and white image using Photoshop

Black and White adjustment option allows you to make grayscale versions of the images. The left image is the default setting. To the right, the image preset is changed to Custom. This allows changing sliders that in turn gives more control over how the reds in the wings of the butterfly were converted to black and white.

9. Using Photo Filter:

Using photo filter in photoshop

Photo Filter adds a different color filter as a layer on top of the original image.  Keep the Preserve Luminosity box is kept checked. Just by adjusting the density slider, the intensity of the effect filter on the image would change. Another option is to customize an individual color filter. To do this, you can double click the color swatch from the properties panel. Then you can adjust it by the Color Picket window that would pop up.

10. Understand the Channel Mixer:

channel mixer adobe photoshop

Channel Mixer helps the user to modify the colors of the image.  It can be used for creating grayscale and tinted images. To the image on the right, the red channel is used for bringing out a red tint in the image. For the image on the left, the Monochrome box is checked.  Then adjustments are made to the sliders for ensuring better color conversion to grayscale. Keeping the channel on 100% gives you the best results.

11.  Color Lookup:

color lookup adjustment layers

Color Lookup is an adjustment that has many prepackaged looks for you to apply to the image you’re working on. There are three different options- Abstract, Device Link and 3DLUT File. All these options load the image in a different look. Each look is made by remapping the colors in the image with the help of a lookup table (LUT).  This creates pretty exciting effects, and Photoshop allows you to make your LUTs if you use Adobe Speedgrade.

12. Making use of Invert:

Invert adjustment layers in Photoshop

Inver adjustment layer helps bring out the negative effect by inverting the colors of the image. Inverting color is essential when you’re working on client projects at times. To invert the color of an image, simply open the window menu, select layers and reveal the layers panel. Now using any selection tool like Marquee, Magic Wand or Lasso make a selection that you wish to invert. If you wish to invert the entire image, you need not make any selection. Now you can click on create new fill or adjustment layer button and choose invert from the drop-down menu. Now you can drag the inverted layer up or down the layers stacks to bring it to a new position.

13. Posterize effect:

Posterize effect in Photoshop

Posterize effect helps produce a flat poster-like appearance.  It does so by reducing the brightness value numbers in the image.  To posterize photos on Photoshop, you can go to the adjustment panel. Using Posterzie effect allows you to specify the number of brightness value using a slider.

14. Changing Threshold:

Threshold adjustment layers in photoshop

The Threshold tool converts the image to black and white. For instance, the flower is selected individually to change the threshold values of the flower only. Increase or decrease the Threshold controls, for manipulating the number of pixels turning black or white.

15. Using Gradient Map:

Making use of gradient map photoshop

This tool allows the grayscale range of an image to a custom gradient fill. It comes with different gradients that you can adjust as per you want, by using the gradient editor window. If you check the reverse box, it inverts the colors of your gradient.

16. Selective Color Adjustment Layer:

selective color adjustment layer photoshop

Selective Color adjustment layers allows to selectively modifying the amount of a single primary color without affecting the other primary colors in the image. For instance, there is a lot of red in the image , hence if we select red in the drop-down menu as the color that we want to change; it would adjust the values for that color. Then you can drag the slider around properties panel for decreasing or increasing the components for the reds in the image.  Hence you can change an image’s reds without changing greens of the photo. This is a very specific tool for precise editing and is generally used for skin tones corrections.

These are the several tools for adjustment layers that you can use to refine images in greater depths to bring out the true potential of an image or to change it in a way that suits the purpose. Each of these techniques is great to master, as all of them are non-destructive editing techniques.  With repetitive practice, you can master each adjustment layers to their full potential. There is a lot more to do with adjustment layers that you can explore as you practice.

  Image Inq   Dec 31, 2019   Design   0 Comment Read More

20 Awesome Font Pairing Tools for Designers

Paring the right fonts in the designing process can really make your website or any graphic design project stand out. It is important to choose the right fonts combinations according to your project’s overall look and feel.

When you need to use more than one font for a project, it may be difficult and time-consuming to find other fonts to pair it with. This is where font pairing tools come in handy! Designers always appreciate tools to make their lives easier, such as coding tools for designers or font pairing tools featured in this article. These amazing tools are project-savers and will help you find matching fonts quickly and easily.

These tools will give you various font paring options to choose from and are very easy to use. All you need to do is to select the primary font that you are using and you will be given many similar fonts to choose from to pair with your primary font.

Browse through this selection of font pairing tools that have only one purpose, to match your chosen typeface. You can use one or all of these tools to help you achieve great results in your design project. Enjoy!

Google offers lots of beautiful fonts available for free download. By using Google Type, you can easily pair typefaces and make the designing process easier.

google web fonts typographic

Type Genius is, as the name states, a genius tool that helps you correspondent matches for your font. It is very easy to use, all you need to do is to select your font and press ‘find matches’. Enjoy!

adelle font matches

Mixfont is a fun and simple way to discover and visualize new fonts. You can test different fonts or just choose to see the most popular font combinations that you can pair.

Mixfont _ A modern font generator

Typotheque is a great tool that helps you pair various fonts from Latin, Greek, and Cyrillic types. It is perfect for graphic designers to use in their projects.

font combinator

Type Connection is very easy and fun to use and  it offers great results when it comes to paring fonts. By using this neat tool, you can find matching fonts for your font and make your job easier.

type connection

Font Pair offers a great way to find pairing fonts based on a series of filters: sans serif, serif, cursive, etc. It is a very useful tool for any designer and it will definitely help with the designing process when it comes to matching fonts to the overall look of your design.

font pair helps designers pair

Type Wolf is a neat selection of gorgeous font that blends various fonts. You will find specific information on each font along with great suggestions on how to find your matching font.

typography inspiration

Typ.io helps you match you selected font with tons of other fonts to help you chose the best one. It also gives you examples of various font combinations to see other combinations and to choose your favorites.

typ io

Font Combinator makes your job easier when it comes to matching fonts. You can select some parameters such as font, size, and color.

the web font combinator

Adobe Typekit is an easy and rapid way of finding matching fonts. You need to select your font and it will suggest paired Webkit fonts that you can use in your projects.

typekit

Typespiration lets you search through lots of websites with gorgeous fonts and color palettes. Below each example, you will be given a list with each font that was used, color combination and more information about the site.

typespiration com a showcase of web typography designs

Fonts in Use offers a nice and easy way of finding matching fonts for your design project. Take a look at its full features and start using it today!

fonts in use type at work in the real world

Mixing Typefaces is actually a PDF file that gives you font matching possibilities. You need to choose a font from the vertical axis and cross-reference it with a font from the horizontal axis.

mixing typefaces

Here is a nice tool that helps you pair various fonts in a very easy way. Take a look and use it for your design projects. Enjoy!

the art of combining fonts

This is a nice font pairing tool that is very useful for any designer. It offers an infographic on how to combine Google fonts in the best way.

the art of mixing typefaces

This is a set of 10 rules that stat how it best to use and to match various fonts. This is a real time-saving tool and it will help you achieve great results.

infographic the 10 commandments

Typecast helps you pair different fonts and it can really make the designing process faster and better. It is a useful tool for any designer. Take a look!

design with web fonts in the browser

Mixing and Matching Fonts is a neat infographic that gives you some useful information on how to choose and to combine various fonts.

fontaholic mixing and matching fonts

Matcherator is an excellent tool that helps you identify any font from an image that you have. If this great tool can’t determine the exact font, it will give you a selection of matching fonts that you can use.

fontspring matcherator

  Image Inq   Dec 30, 2019   Design   0 Comment Read More

10 Steps to a Perfect Restaurant Menu Design

Restaurant Menu Design is essential for creating a great first impression on the customers. When it comes to a dining experience, many factors affect a potential customer’s decision of choosing a restaurant. It is a given that the food needs to be good. Also, the ambiance and service matter. If you have these two sorted, you know you’ll at least have customers who’d sit down. Now the next interaction they’re going to have is with the menu to order. This is a crucial stage that could make or break the deal.

A well-designed menu helps people feel a sense of comfort and trust in the standards of the restaurant. On the other hand, a shabby or unorganized menu might throw people off judging the quality of food by the quality of menu design.

A well-designed restaurant menu would not only ease people into eating at your restaurant, but many times, it can also justify the price of the items in your restaurant if the menu is well designed. It plays a psychological factor that makes the potential customer see the worth of the money they’re spending. Hence it is crucial to design an excellent restaurant menu.

Here are 10 essential steps you should follow to design your Restaurant Menu Design:

1. Learn about the different eye scanning patterns:

Eye Scanning Patterns for Restaurant Menu Design

Most designers still believe that the natural trajectory of the eye goes from top right to bottom left of a page. Especially restaurant owners believe so. Hence they try placing their most valuable items on the top right spot hoping people see it first and order it. However, from recent studies, it is evident that people read a menu like they would read a book.

Hence their focus goes from top left to the rest of the page. It is said that an average customer spends only 109 seconds to scan through the entire menu. Hence a menu has minimal time to make a positive impact. For this designing a menu in a way which has clear and bold section headings, effortless dish finding titles and using more visual techniques or eye scanning techniques becomes essential.

A restaurant menu designer would know what portion of the menu is the hottest spot in terms of profit. A tip for vertical layout menus is that customers usually scan through such menus looking at the topmost and bottom-most menu items. Hence you should place your bestsellers on these spots if you’re designing a vertical menu.

2. Use Eye Magnets:

Make use of eye magnets for ease of reading the menu

If you read newspapers, you might have noticed they have certain excerpts or sections of content as call-out quotes. The purposes of these are to provide either a gist of the article or highlight one interesting point. This would entice the reader to know more about the article. Similarly, restaurants also use a concept known as eye magnet that functions similarly.

Restaurants usually have a particular section of items that they think you’d want to order. They design it with some extra efforts as compared to the rest of the items on the menu. This helps it stand out and draw the customer’s attention to it first. Almost anything can work as an eye magnet for the menu. It can be a picture of the dish, an illustration, a graphic or even differently colored box. Anything that attracts the customer’s attention or catches their eye can be called an eye magnet.

Make use of colors in restaurant menu design

Colors have always had a noticeable impact on any design requirement. This is because color can often evoke an emotional response in people, subconsciously. Hence by using color theory, you can direct your customer’s mind to your convenience to a great extent.  Though there are many colors options, for restaurant menus, red and blue generally are known to induce a feeling of appetite.

However, you don’t need to stick only to red and blue. Another approach can be to select colors based on your target audience and also to match with the theme of your restaurant. Since different colors have different psychological effects on potential customers, you can set a mood according to your cuisine with restaurant ambiance and menu design alike.

Using relevant images in menus

Images are the closest way to show your customers what they would be getting. It takes away the need to imagine or paint the picture for them. A good picture of your food items would entice the customers to try it. However, you cannot have images for every dish on your menu. It would get too extensive and lengthy. Hence use relevant images on the items you are confident about and want to sell more than others. This could be a great way of setting a first good impression. Now for the image to work, it needs to be great.

Don’t use stock images of the item you’re selling from the web. While a great picture of your actual product can draw more potential customers, a great picture from the web can push them away. This is because, you’d set a high expectation of your customers with the web image, and when they see the difference in appearance and presentation, they’d feel cheated. Hence, ensure to use your product’s photographs and get them clicked as close to perfection as you can. Put an overlay of the menu design color and graphics to blend it with the entire restaurant menu design.

Using typography for restaurant menu design

Typography plays an important role in Restaurant Menu Design.  You need to use the best possible font for your menu. To decide on this crucial decision, you need to keep two parameters in mind; relevance and readability.  You need to keep your typography in sync with your brand aesthetics. An ideal approach would be to maintain the same font you use for your logo into your menu to reemphasize your brand in the customer’s mind.

Generally, bold typography is well-conceived in restaurant menu design. Apart from telling the customers what the available items are, it also is an art element for your menu design. Other than this, you could also experiment with using optimized font pairs that would create a nice contrast and visual points on your menu. You could go big with a novelty typeface for menu headers and something more standard for the rest of the content of the menu.

6. Effective use of Special Elements:

Make use of special elements

Generally, all menus have specific information about each product that is on it. The name of the product is given, and a short descriptor below about the preparation or ingredients behind it. You could take your restaurant menu design one step higher by providing additional information that adds value to your customer’s dining experience.  There are different ways to approach this.

For instance, consider you are a restaurant that has to tie up with a gym, or your target audience is health-conscious people. You could include the calorie value of each item which would act as a helpful insight about the nutritional value of the meal for the potential customers. It is a small added element that doesn’t take much time on your behalf yet increases the value of your menu ten folds than the rest of the competitors.

Another way could be to demarcate your food into vegan, vegetarian and non-vegetarian food. There might be people who fall into either one of the spectra. They usually are reluctant to try an item from the other two. For them to have always to ask the waiter if a particular item is vegan, could get annoying. Hence help them out by creating a visual representation of vegan, vegetarian and non-vegetarian items on the menu. This would save time and effort, and they’d appreciate it. Similarly, you could also make icons for the level of spiciness for each item. Create an icon stack that has a natural feel and ensure it works in small sizes.

7. Cautiously Strategize Prices:

Strategically Price the items in restaurant menu design

Many customers, when they first visit a restaurant, like to quickly scan the menu to get an overall price idea of the restaurant. If they feel it’s expensive, they might walk away or order the essential item on the menu. You might think it’s best to not mention the price on the menu to avoid this. However, that is not the way; you need to have prices included in the menu. The way you put them can be strategically planned for it to have less visual impact. Certain aspects you need to keep in mind for putting prices on the restaurant menu are:

Don’t use currency symbols on the menu. It is given that you’re mentioning price next to a product on the menu. Avoid aligning the prices vertically and horizontally. Make use of non-traditional pricing and use one decimal point instead of two. Suppose an item costs $12.40, mention it as $12.4. This creates a psychological effect as you’re not misleading them, yet creating a sense of lesser pricing by eliminating that extra decimal point.  Also, use a slightly subtle tone of colors and typography for pricing. If your menu text is black for the items, use a grey shade for the prices. This would create less visual importance for the prices. Also, don’t align items of the menu from lowest to the most expensive item or vice-versa. Instead, mix the prices up.

8. Organize the menu with lines and boxes:

Organize the menu with proper lines and boxes

Your menu is going to have much information. To ensure that it doesn’t look overwhelming to the potential customers, you need to organize it. You can use lines and boxes to keep similar items together on a menu with many options or a variety of food.

It is essential to divide the menu in a logical manner that is easy to understand for the customers. Generally, the segmentation is done by the kind of food, like appetizers, desserts, entrees and drinks. Another approach could be to group the items by meat dishes and pure vegetable dishes also. Any kind of grouping is acceptable as long as it is connected by strong characteristics that are easily comprehendible. If your grouping is logical, and you use design elements of lines and boxes, it would be beneficial to your consumers.

9. Experiment with cross-selling items:

use cross-selling for selling more products

Cross-Selling is something you would have seen often in online retail websites. Whenever you click on a product to buy it, there is a frequent bough together line that mentions one or two more products that people generally buy with the product you’re looking at to provide a wholesome value. This is helpful for the person who’s buying the product as these products would add value to his original purchase. It is also beneficial for the seller as they are getting in the eye of the potential customer. This is called cross-selling.

Such habits can be used for restaurant menu design. You would have data about your items that are sold frequently together. For instance, customers might be buying a specific wine with individual dishes. Identify such pairs from the menu. Now group the complimentary items. Check if these items make economic sense to group together. Now highlight these complimentary dishes for cross-selling.

Suppose you have a main dish and a descriptor about the main dish below it. You could add a suitable wine below that items description by saying frequently complemented with, or any such appealing copy. This eases the decision-making process of your customers and helps you sell more items from your menu.

10. Plant decoy dishes:

plant decoy dish in restaurant menu design

This is a rather exciting approach to restaurant menu design. You would want to plant a decoy dish as the first attraction on the menu. This means using dishes to lure people away from the intended course. Hence place an expensive dish on top the menu. This would create an impression that the other products on the menu have better value. This would lead to the customers feel they found a bargain, and hence they’d spend more on those dishes. Customers feel great about grabbing a bargain and end up spending more to maximize the benefits of that bargain. Hence it would be a win-win as they’d feel accomplished and you’d get the products you want to sell, sell better.

These were the 10 essential steps you can follow for Restaurant Menu Design that you should keep in mind while designing your next menu for a restaurant, cafe or any other food establishment. Keep these elements in mind and keep practising to attract your customers in a better way.

  Image Inq   Dec 27, 2019   Design   0 Comment Read More
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