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Top 10 Things Designers Hate, Number 6: Speaking of Fonts…

Welcome back to our Blog series, “Top 10 Things Designers Hate!” We’ve covered ads with too much text, “Borrowed” images, reading the rate card and, most recently, the impact of fonts on your advertisement. It’s hard to over-emphasize how much fonts affect your ads. So, speaking of fonts, our number six thing designers hate is…

6) When You Don’t Embed Your Fonts

Imagine this familiar scenario: You have a font you want to use. You type up your copy in Microsoft Word, save it as a .docx document, and send it to your designer. Unfortunately, your designer doesn’t have that font on file, which means that when the document is opened on your designer’s computer, it defaults to some other font…like maybe Wingdings 3.

Wingdings: Cute on dogs. Not on your ad. Image courtesy of cafepress.com.

Wingdings: Cute on dogs. Not on your ad. Image courtesy of cafepress.com.

The formatting you worked so hard on is ruined, and your designer has no idea what you were trying to send. Time to start over.

All this trouble can be avoided by the simple process of embedding your fonts. What does that mean?

“Embedding” fonts means including the font you want to use as part of the document when you send it to your designer. This can be done quite simply: often, when saving ad document as a PDF you will be prompted to embed the fonts. That’s about as easy as it gets!

If this doesn’t happen (like if you’re using an older version of Word or Adobe Acrobat) you can follow these simple instructions here or here.

And voila! This simple process avoids confusion and keeps communicating with your designer clear and efficient. Everybody wins!

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Top 10 Things Designers Hate: Number 7

Welcome back to our blog series, “Top 10 Things Designers Hate!” If you haven’t already, definitely go check out our previous posts in this series, about “borrowed” images, rate cards, and ads with too much text! Today’s post will cover another topic that is near and dear to the hearts of many designers: Fonts.

Specifically,

7) You say, “Let’s use something fun, like Comic Sans!”

One of the most important things to know about design is that Comic Sans is not your friend. Nor are Papyrus, Times New Roman, or any other over-used fonts that can be found in Microsoft Word.

This is a good example of a poor font choice. The font is cutesy and fun, but the Harley-Davidson Riding Club should seem cool and tough! Image courtesy of  bonfx.com.

This is a good example of a poor font choice. The font is cutesy and fun, but the Harley-Davidson Riding Club should seem cool and tough! Image courtesy of bonfx.com.

Designers see fonts like this as a “lazy” design choice. Since they are so frequently used, they are perceived as all-purpose fonts. That means they are not going to provide that specific, individualized tone that you’re hoping to achieve with your ad. There are even websites devoted to pointing out bad uses of popular fonts.

Not that we don't love the funny papers! Image courtesy of listpod.net.

Image courtesy of listpod.net.

Your designer likely has a stockpile of hundreds of fonts that aren’t immediately recognizable by the average person. They will certainly have something with the feel you’re looking for, but with the added advantage that clients will not recognize it. That means that they’ll think of the font as unique, and associate it with your business—instead of with the Sunday funny-papers.

A great font can help send the message that you want to send, and tell your story, visually. Instead of asking for a specific font you already know about, try focusing on a general look and tone that you want for your ad! It may help to bring in examples of ads you like, and explain what about them works for you. With that information, your designer will be able to generate a design (with a font) that is perfect for you and your business.

This Kodak ad makes great use of typography! By using a font that evokes an old typewriter, they emphasize the comparison they’re making between pictures and words. Image courtesy of 1stwebdesigner.com.

This Kodak ad makes great use of typography! By using a font that evokes an old typewriter, they emphasize the comparison they’re making between pictures and words. Image courtesy of 1stwebdesigner.com.

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The Taco Bell Chihuahua Campaign

In September 1997, Taco Bell introduced the dog in one advertisement. The advertising campaign began during a peak in the “Burger Wars,” in which several fast food chains engaged in large advertising campaigns against each other.  The dog was made to speak through special effects. Her advertising catch phrase was “¡Yo quiero Taco Bell!” (“I want Taco Bell!”). The figure grew popular, so much that toy figures were produced and the commercial became a recognized piece of popular culture. In July 2000, Taco Bell ended the Chihuahua advertisements, ended its relationship with their creator TBWA, and replaced the company president after the biggest decline in Taco Bell history. Whether you loved the Chihuahua campaign or not, this commercial was very memorable…and THAT’S advertising that works!

TacoBell


This day in history Steve Jobs unveiled the new iPhone!

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You may not realize the iPhone is only 7 years old, but yes, it is. Apple introduced the iPhone, combining three products–a revolutionary mobile phone, a widescreen iPod with touch controls, and a breakthrough internet communications device with desktop-class email, web browsing, searching and maps–into one small and lightweight handheld device. “iPhone is a revolutionary and magical product that is literally five years ahead of any other mobile phone,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO.


The “Big Easy” with Easy Mac ‘n Cheese

Are you a Macaroni and Cheese fan but have a short lunch hour? Kraft Macaroni and Cheese has got the “big easy” for you with this advertisement for Easy Mac ‘n Cheese.

ad-47-500x248 ad-48-500x256


Musical Annie Closes January 2, 1983

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The Broadway production of Annie first opened at the Alvin Theatre on April 21, 1977. It was nominated for 11 Tony Awards and won 7, which included Best Musical, Best Score, and Best Book. The show closed on January 2, 1983 after a total of 2,377 performances, setting a record for the longest running show at the Alvin Theatre until it was surpassed by Hairspray in 2009.

About the Broadway Annie

Annie is based on the popular Harold Gray comic strip “Little Orphan Annie” and the book by Thomas Meehan. The original production opened in 1977 and ran for almost 6 years. It launched numerous productions in many countries, as well as national tours. The musical’s songs “Tomorrow” and “Hard-Knock Life” are among it’s most popular musical numbers.


Golden Ratio and Layout Design

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For nearly 2,400 years the golden ratio has fascinated Western intellectuals. It fascinated a whole community of mathematicians, biologists, artists, musicians, historians, architects, psychologists and even mystics. Ancient Greeks first studied the golden ratio because of how frequently it appeared in geometry.

Book Design
There was a time when the 2:3 proportions were so exact that they were only half a millimeter off. This was most prominent in books produced between 1550 and 1770.

Design
The golden ratio is even used in everyday design such as the shapes of postcards, playing cards, posters, wide-screen televisions, photographs, light switch plates and cars.

Nature
Adolf Zeising found the golden ratio expressed in the arrangement of branches along the stems of plants and the veins in leaves. It is also found in the skeletal make-up of animals, the geometry of crystals, and the human form.

The golden ratio appears everywhere and is utilizes as a tool to help produce aesthetically pleasing designs and layouts. You can use this ratio to equally or unequally divide on purpose to get the effect you’re looking for in your design in order to tell a story or invoke an emotion.