Bleeds. You’ve heard tell of them but you’re not really sure what they are, when they are used and how they are used or why. Sit back, relax and Lisa will explain it all (with Pictures!). Referring to the diagram below, (figure 1) this spiffy pink flower bud “bleeds” off the paper. The over hang is the bleed. It is the printer’s margin for error. If the image went only to the edge and unless the printer trims the piece exactly there is the risk of having the image not meet the edge of the paper, not good. (Figure 2.) For the next bit, refer back to figure 1, is the safe area. No text should ever run right up the edge of the paper, otherwise you run the risk of information being cut off. How much? Depends on the size of the overall piece, the more safe area the better. My diagram shows 1/8 inch or .125 but that is for small pieces like business cards and postcards. Whenever possible wider is better.
Your logo says something about you. It can’t say everything about you, well it could but it would probably be big and wordy. Think IBM as opposed to International Business Machines. This isn’t about how it looks, this is about how it’s used, how it appears. If you do not have a black and white version of your logo, stop, go get one right now. That’s alright, I’ll wait. Got it? Good. It’s a real black and white version, you didn’t open it in something and just grayscale it did you? You didn’t, good. When it comes to your logo be a logo cop. If it is being used in a publication that cannot produce your color version, then use the black and white version don’t let your blue logo be printed red, no, no, no. Ford Blue is Ford Blue, no tints, shades, or textures. Be consistent across letterhead, business cards, envelopes, etc. It’s important, you’re being identifiable, hopefully at a glance. Consistent does not mean exactly the same. Many companies have versions of their logos for different uses. I use a black stamp for my envelopes. My invoices feature the green and blue square and Lb but not the phone number. Make sure everyone in your company knows how to use your logo, what versions, logo alone, logo with taglines? Be vigilant, it makes you look professional and competent.
So it comes to this, you need a logo. Your old logo needs updating. Great news! You’ve expanded and now it’s time for that revamp starting with–a new logo! Whatever the reason there are a few things to consider when designing a new logo. First, don’t design your own logo unless you’re a designer or your cousin’s kid is a designer (a real one–schooled and experienced and all that), otherwise hire one. It will be well worth the money. Here’s a few things to consider to make sure you and your new identity will be a match made in heaven.
- Designing a logo takes time. Your designer should ask you a whole pile of questions. In a later entry I will provide a questionnaire that can be filled out and given to your designated design professional.
- Be certain your logo can be enlarged and reduced in size and still be readable and printable.
- Make sure it is unique, you can’t write out cake in Coke™ script.
- Your logo should work in color and black and white.
- Keep it simple enough that it can be used in different ways, T–shirts, binders, cards, signs, etc.
- If you use art, keep it simple so it is recognizable.
The United States Government requires all government sanctioned printed material intended for those sixty–five years or older be printed in a font no smaller than 12 point. All government forms for Medicaid, Social Security and the rest has to be in 12 point type. And you ask, “Lisa, why do I care about that?” You care because that’s not a bad rule of thumb. Even if your audience is far younger using 12 point type is going to go a long way towards making sure your message comes across loud and clear. Once type begins to get smaller, it well, gets smaller. Try reading the text on the bottom of a tube of lipstick some time. Even my 17 year old niece can’t make it out. I know, everything can’t be 12 point. All I’m asking is to start with 12 point and keep readability in mind. Speaking of readability let’s talk about reversed type. Don’t. Okay fine, but only a little, no whole paragraphs or pages in reverse type, please. And please, follows these tips for reversed type.
1. No smaller that 10 point.
2. Use San Serif typefaces.
3. More space between lines (leading).