April 21, 2018

S is for serif

Filed under: Design & Art — lidia @ 10:00 am

S is for serif

Serifs are the small lines or flourishes that extend from the beginning and end of a stroke on a letter or symbol. Serif fonts have this decorative element, while sans serif fonts do not.

Serif fonts are usually easier to read in printed works, which is why most books are typeset in a serif font. However, sans serif fonts can be more readable online, due to the lower resolution of computer monitors and digital devices, which can make thin serifs difficult to see.

April 20, 2018

R is for resolution

Filed under: Design & Art — lidia @ 10:00 am

A to Z of Design: R is for resolution

Resolution is a way of measuring the quality of an image. In general, the higher the resolution, the higher the quality. A high-res image will be sharp and detailed, while a low-res image will be pixelated or blurry. A high-resolution image results in a larger file size due to the larger number of pixels captured within the image.

For print projects, 300 dpi (at 100% of the desired size) is usually the minimum resolution recommended for quality output, while for online images, 72 dpi is recommended.

April 19, 2018

Q is for quote (or pull quote)

Filed under: Design & Art — Tags: , , , , — lidia @ 10:00 am

A to Z of Design: Q is for Quote

A pull quote is a quote or excerpt “pulled” from the main text to set it apart or highlight it in some way. Pull quotes are usually styled differently (i.e. bold, italic, color) and larger in size to stand out from the body text. They are commonly used in magazine and brochure design.

A pull quote may be a sentence that has been removed from the main text, or one that has been repeated for emphasis.

Personally I’m a big fan of pull quotes, especially in blog posts. They help to keep the reader’s interest and move the eye along the page.

See all of the A to Z of Design posts here.

April 18, 2018

P is for print

Filed under: Design & Art — Tags: , , , , — lidia @ 10:10 am

A to Z of Design: P is for print

Print is not dead! In fact, there are more ways to print affordably now than in the past.

Offset printing is a method that transfers ink from a plate to a rubber blanket then to paper using a different printing plate per color. It is best used when precise color and print quality are needed. If Pantone colors are used in a design, offset printing will assure the most accurate color match.

Digital printing is method where a digital-based image is printed directly to paper (or another substrate such as plastic or metal). It is useful when quantities are low or a quick turnaround is needed, as there isn’t as much set-up required as for offset.

Letterpress printing is a type of relief printing where an inked raised surface (printing plate) is pressed down onto paper in a printing press. This results in a slight indentation of the paper, so heavier and higher-quality paper stock should be used. Letterpress is best used for fine line work and typographic designs.

See all of the A to Z of Design posts here.

April 17, 2018

A to Z of Design: O is for orphan

Filed under: Design & Art — Tags: , , , — lidia @ 10:00 am

An orphan is a word or short line of text that appears by itself at the top of a column (i.e. when a paragraph flows onto the next column). Similarly, a widow is a word that appears by itself at the bottom of a text block or paragraph.

It’s always a good idea to manually adjust a text layout to avoid orphans and widows as they can distract the reader and create spacing issues.

See all of the A to Z of Design posts here.

April 16, 2018

A to Z of Design: N is for negative space

Filed under: Design & Art — Tags: , , , , , , — lidia @ 10:00 am

A to Z of Design: N is for negative space

Also called “white space,” this refers to the areas of a design that are empty, or don’t contain any design elements. Negative or white space gives a design “breathing room.” Using adequate negative space allows design elements to stand on their own, prevents a design from looking cluttered, and helps to guide the viewer’s eye successfully around the design.

See all of the A to Z of Design posts here.

April 14, 2018

A to Z of Design: M is for monochrome

Filed under: Design & Art — Tags: , , , , , , — lidia @ 10:00 am

M is for monochrome

Monochrome refers to a design that only uses one color, or shades of one color. A grayscale (or black-and-white) design is considered monochrome, as well as a design printed using one Pantone color (see example above). Monochrome designs are sometimes chosen to keep printing costs down as only one ink color (and related printing plate) is required.

See all of the A to Z of Design posts here.

 

April 13, 2018

A to Z of Design: L is for leading

Filed under: Design & Art — Tags: , , , — lidia @ 10:00 am

L is for leading

Leading is a typesetting term that refers to the vertical space between lines of text. Leading is measured from baseline (the line the text rests upon) to baseline and is calculated in points, i.e. 12 point leading. Leading is used to avoid letterforms from touching and to make text more legible, especially in large blocks of type. The term leading comes from the early days of metal typesetting when small strips of lead were inserted between lines of type.

See all of the A to Z of Design posts here.

April 12, 2018

A to Z of Design: K is for kerning

Filed under: Design & Art — Tags: , , , , , — lidia @ 10:00 am

A to Z of Design: K is for kerning

Kerning refers to the space between characters (letters, numbers, etc.) as well as the process of adjusting that space to make words more legible or pleasing to the eye. Most fonts require at least some kerning to avoid awkward gaps or spaces. These gaps are more apparent in larger text such as headlines.

Kerning is more art than science. A designer usually adjusts a word’s kerning by sight rather than specific measurements. Bad kerning is usually a designer’s biggest pet peeve.

See kerning in action in my Kerning Design Demo:

April 11, 2018

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