Monthly Archives: September 2011

To space or not to space, that is the question and the answer is an emphatic NO!

No, no,–no double spacing after periods. It did not begin with typewriters. It was way before that. Once upon a time em space was used after a period. This is a hyphen – this is an em –. It’s longer. The topic is space after a period not hyphens, ems or ens. One space after a period, period. The exception is if you are typing on an actual typewriter, that is if you can find one. If you are typing on an actual typewriter you may double space after the period. If you do it on a computer you look like you’ve made a mistake because you have.

A picture paints a thousand words

Brochures, are they passé? Is everything electronic now? The answer is yes until it’s no. Here’s a two-fold, sometimes referred to as a tri-fold, brochure laid out. The tricky thing about folded pieces is they have to be thought about. I’ll write about different folds in future posts but right now here’s brochure 101.

Smile and say cheese

The group photo. The group photo for the retirement party, for the award ceremony, the accounting department, the company picnic. There are a thousands reason to take one and one thousand and one ways to mess it up. Take a great group photo and you make the cover of the company newsletter. Chances are really high if you are in charge of the company newsletter. The group photo can be difficult. It can be especially difficult if you are the one taking it. There are few things you can do to make it better.

  1. Look over the site. Find a nice place or at least a plain backdrop that isn’t back lit or shiny. No paneling, please. And a podium may not be the best spot.
  2. Think ahead, arrange the photo in your head. Who’s in the middle, shorter people in front.
  3. If you can, take the photo at the beginning of the event. That can’t always happen if there is an award involved, but if you can …
  4. If it’s a large group, are there stairs to arrange them on?
  5. A great way to take a photo of a large group of people is to photograph them from above. They arrange themselves in a circle or tight formation and look up and then they are photographed from above.
  6. No staircase? No place for you to shoot from above? Then try an assistant and a ladder. Ever see a photographer at a wedding shooting from a ladder? Do the same. (The assistant is to hold the ladder.)
  7. Be in charge. I don’t care if it’s the president of the company if she needs to turn to the left direct her to do so. Don’t lose control.
  8. Don’t feel the need to get full body shots, waist or even shoulders up works nicely.
  9. Inform your subjects you will be taking multiple photos and then do so. If you can, try at least two poses, if you can get three poses you’ve got a bunch of hams. Work it.
  10. This one may seem odd, but smile. If you are smiling chances are your subjects will too.

A couple of other things: use a tripod if you can, natural light is better than flash, and never shoot up at anyone. Shooting up makes everyone look terrible and they will not like you.

To mock–up or not to mock–up

First, what is a mock–up? It is a model of the work that is to be printed. It might be a 8.5 x 11 color print out of a 24 x 36 poster. It could be a folded and taped together facsimile of a booklet. Do you need a mock-up for a single page document? Not really but it’s a good idea. For something with multiple pages, absolutely. Nowadays lots of things are printed via online printers. It’s often cheap but, and that’s a big but, they print what you send them. If you made a mistake it’s your mistake there’s nothing to be done. You also likely cannot send a mock–up since all is done electronically. If you use an online printer I still advise you print out and assemble a mock–up for yourself to try to catch any mistakes. Me, I find local printers can be competitive and having a relationship with a printer can save you time and money.