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Graphic Design

Graphics Recap-December 2022

Here are a few of our favorite graphic design projects from local Acadiana businesses & organizations from this past Fall!

Krewe of Rio is a staple of Lafayette Mardi Gras. They organize events year-round in preparation for the Mardi Gras season, and Procept Marketing is proud to play a part in their festivities. Through social media marketing, Procept has created engaging content to increase engagement, while also having a little fun as well. Which float rider are you? 

Pour Decisions is a local event organizer and promotion company, with a focus on the bar and alcohol industry. Procept Marketing was given the opportunity to design a T-shirt for them. The design was so popular, that it was picked up by Legends and has been sold at a number of events throughout Lafayette! 

Acadiana Dream Home is a custom home-building company that specializes in creating luxury homes from scratch. They approached Procept Marketing looking for a logo and a website. After they sat down with our graphic designer and web designer, we got to work to produce content they would be proud to show potential customers. 

Black Child Thrive

Black Child Thrive is an apparel brand with a focus on catering to black children in pursuit of proper representation in an industry where there is little in the way of black models or clothes designed with black children in mind. Procept Marketing is proud to have been able to create a stunning logo for Black Child Thrive. 

Acadiana Haul Away & Junk Removal contacted Procept Marketing looking for a logo design that would represent the company in a professional way. After sitting down with our graphic designer, we were able to design a professional logo based on their wants and needs for their business!

Want vibrant graphics made by cool people who get you? Let’s talk!

What is Color Theory?

What is Color Theory? It’s a collection of rules and guidelines which designers use to communicate with users by creating appealing color schemes in visual interfaces. To make sure they are choosing the best colors possible, designers will use a color wheel and other collected knowledge we know about human optical ability, psychology, and culture. The color wheel was invented in 1666 by Sir Isaac Newton. He defined color into three groups, Primary (red, blue, yellow), Secondary (mixes of primary colors), and Tertiary (Mixes of primary and secondary colors). Objects reflect light in different combinations of wavelengths and our brains pick up on those combinations and translate them into what we call color.

 However, colors can look different to our eyes if they’re on a screen or printed out on paper. Screens use red, green, and blue as their primary colors and mix them to create other colors. Let’s say you have a distinct brand with a bright yellow logo. When you go to post that logo on a social media platform or maybe a website but you don’t use the correct color process, your logo will look muddy and dull compared to that bright yellow. Whenever you’re working with files that are meant to be displayed on screens, you always use RBG and not CMYK. 

What about Color Schemes?

Using the color wheel, a designer can develop a color scheme for marketing materials. We break these down into complementary, analogous, and triadic. 

Complementary Colors

Complementary colors are two colors that are on opposite ends of a color wheel. Using Complementary colors is an excellent way to make certain images very vibrant and visible. You need to be careful not to overuse them, however. Think red and green, they offset each other well, but overusing them could cause people to think of Christmas. 

Analogous Colors

Analogous colors are colors that are right next to each other on the color wheel. For example, red, orange, and yellow. In this scheme, one color will dominate, one will support, and the other will accent. In business, analogous colors are not only pleasing to the eye but can effectively instruct the consumer where and how to take action.

Triadic Colors

Triadic colors are evenly spaced around the color wheel and tend to be bright and dynamic. This scheme also creates visual contrast while at the same time harmony.

You can dive deeper into color theory with UX design (the process of defining the experience a user would go through when interacting with a digital product or website) as well. The right contrast is vital to catching users’ attention in the first place. The vibrancy you choose is very important in provoking the desired emotional responses.

For example, Blue- an industry standard for banking in the West- also has positive associations with other cultures. However, some colors can evoke contradictory feelings. Red is seen as good fortune in China, mourning in South Africa, and danger or attention in the US.

Just like fashion, color schemes can be trendy, with new schemes popping up every season. Designers should consider this by thinking: will it date the brand in a year? Meaning, will this color scheme make the brand seem out of touch and not with the times. Understanding the theory behind the color can do wonders for how you actually use them.

What is the Rule of Thirds?

The rule of thirds is a method used to divide images by creating an evenly spaced grid with three columns and three rows. Mainly used by designers and photographers, the rule of thirds creates guidelines to arrange the elements in their design or to position the view of the photo they’re about to take. The rule of thirds allows you to create guidelines to help you make a more engaging image. 

Using photography as an example, if the main subject in the picture is directly in the middle, the image looks static and has no motion to it. Symmetry suggests stasis, rigidity, and even confrontation which is why in some pictures the figure almost seems to “stare you down”. If you position the subject closer to one of the edges, your eye moves with the picture creating more dimension. You can think of it as giving you crosshairs to target a shot’s most important elements.

Why would you use this?

By balancing your main subject with negative space you will draw the viewer’s eye. John Thomas Smith coined the term “Rule of Thirds” in 1977 with his work “Remarks on Rural Scenery.”  He acknowledges the power of dividing paintings up using this grid technique to maximize the effect on the viewers’ eye. In web and app design, you can use the rule of thirds for calls to action or to highlight key elements of the website. However, it’s important to note that these sweet spots also differ in their appeal to the eye. 

With this in mind, there are sections that you want to highlight more based on how much it holds a viewer’s attention. The top left corner holds 41% of the viewer’s attention, the top right holds 20%, the bottom left holds 25% and the bottom right holds 14%. What this means is that most people are going to look at the top left corner first before anything else.

How can you use the Rule of Thirds?

Here is an example of how to use the rule of thirds in graphic design. The most essential pieces of the design are laid out to hit all the intersecting points to guide the viewer to what information is most important. 

As you can tell even though the information doesn’t hit the points exactly, your eye is still drawn to those areas. We have the seminar title as being the most viewed point of the design. The call to action to register now for the seminar hits the next viewpoint. The doctor’s name, the date, and the time fall onto the next section. And finally, the picture of the doctor is positioned to hit the last viewpoint. (Tip: adding faces into designs helped give it a more personal connection as people are more likely to interact with the graphic when they see a face.) 

As already stated the rule of thirds is less of a “rule” that is supposed to be strictly followed, but more a general guide to creating movement and flow of all the important aspects of the design.

Can you break the Rule of Thirds?

If your intention is to break the rule of thirds, there are some ways that you can still create dimension and have symmetry in your photographs. One way is to pull back from your subject. Pulling away from the subject allows the background to really show through. It almost switches who the subject is supposed to be. 

The second way of breaking the rule is to fill up the frame. (opposites) When you fill-up the frame, you’re creating that image that “stares you down”. Filling the frame is really helpful in adding a serious tone to your images. Architecture is a little different to photograph and almost always requires the images the be shot head-on. In this case, you can use the gridlines to match up with the vertical and horizontal lines in the pictures to make sure it’s completely balanced and the picture doesn’t turn out lopsided.

The rule of thirds is also one of the best tools to use to help figure out how to use an asymmetrical balance to your advantage. Having a design that is imbalanced throws off the entire layout and makes it less likely for a viewer to want to react to it. While a lot of design trends come and go, the rule of thirds is here to stay, but it’s up to you how you use this tip to create balanced designs.

Graphic File Formats

When designing graphics, you always want to ensure that you have the best quality across all devices without slowing down the page load time. Thankfully, there are so many formats to choose from, but which ones are suitable for logos, print material, etc.. let’s find out!

Before we get into file formats, let’s discuss vector vs raster. Raster images are made up of pixels to form an image. JPEG, GIF, and PNG are all raster image extensions. Pixel proportions are defined based on their resolutions and can become distorted and blurry if stretched to fill spaces they weren’t intended to fill. Vector images are a lot more flexible. They’re made using proportional formulas rather than pixels. EPS, AI, and PDF are perfect for creating graphics that require frequent adjustments.

Now let’s talk file formats. JPEG (JPG) is the most common format. They are known for their “lossy” compression, meaning the images lose their quality when edited and saved multiple times. You can use JPEGs for projects on the web, in Microsoft Office documents, or for projects that require printing at a high resolution. Paying attention to the resolution and file size with JPEGs is essential to produce a nice, quality project.

PNGs are great for interactive documents such as web pages but are not suitable for print. While PNGs are \”lossless,\” meaning you can edit them and not lose quality, they are still low resolution. With PNG files, you can save your image onto a transparent background which makes for a sharper, web-quality image. PNG and JPEG do not differ much in quality when it comes to detail-rich photographs. However, the file size of PNG is much bigger. PNG is, therefore, best used for images that contain areas with a lot of solid colors and sharp transitions.

GIFS are most common in their animated form. Due to the 24-bit RGB color support (up to 256 colors), the GIF-extension isn’t suitable for color-rich photographs. Graphics with solid colors are recommended for this file type. Since the GIF extension is pretty old, it’s not suitable for modern usage.

TIFF, a popular file format amongst graphic designers, is a large raster file that maintains its quality regardless of how often you compress or re-save the original file. It’s often referred to as a lossless compression because of this. Since TIFF extensions are big file sizes, they are less suited for web usage and are therefore better for editing and preservation. 

A PDF file is an Adobe invention and a great universal tool for sharing graphics. If a designer saves your vector logo in PDF format, you can view it without any design editing software (as long as you have downloaded the free Acrobat Reader software), and can use this file to make further manipulations.

EPS files are in vector format and are designed to produce high-resolution graphics for print. It is a universal file type that can be used to open vector-based graphics in any design editor.

PSDs are files that are created and saved in Photoshop. They contain layers that simplify the process of editing images. They only work with raster images as opposed to vector graphics.

AI, an Adobe Illustrator file, is the image format most preferred by designers and the most reliable for images in different types of projects. Illustrator produces vector images and is the easiest to manipulate. It’s the industry standard and more than likely where your logo was originally rendered.

SVGs are vector based images that are great for infinite scaling without losing quality. It’s a very versatile format and is good for the creation of print materials and logos.

Working with images is a lot more complicated than you\’d think. Hopefully this guide has provided a better understanding of the standard file types and which are most appropriate for your design needs.