Monthly Archives: June 2012

Doing it old school, illustration

Are you using photographic images in your work? Do you only use photos for newsletters and web sites or anything you use images for? Have you considered illustration? No, you have not. Maybe it’s because you think it means paying for expensive art. I mean, why would you pay for art for a newsletter? You wouldn’t. But what if you could add some illustration elements to a photograph to add interest? Would you do that? There are lots of photo editing software that comes with a software package or resident on your computer that allows you to add lines, or change colors of photos. There are even free web sites online that will allow you to alter a photo. Just remember to make sure that it is a photo you own. If you Google, free photo altering sites, you will find a plethora of options. Spend a little time, get creative, it will provide interest to your regular missives and a bit of creativity is good for your mind.

What you need to know about email blasts

Forget the details of why or why not. These were the questions I had and here are the answers I found.
How often should I send out an email blast? Twice a month, have real content. Don’t fill it with fluff.
When should I send it? Tuesday or Wednesday around lunchtime.
What about content? Include text and images. Lot’s of email programs filter out images. Make sure you have text and be sure your content has interest and something to click through to.
This I will tell you, the number one reason for unsubscribing is too many emails.

It was right there a second ago!

Have you ever lain in bed and have a great idea and then the alarm goes off and along with it your great idea? Three times this morning and all were ideas for this blog. I can’t say they were great ideas, because you see, I can’t remember them. If nothing else it got me thinking about generating ideas. I promised three pieces of art for a gallery exhibit next month. I’m having trouble, my great ideas are not working out. Yesterday I was mulling over my lack of ideas and wondering if the others who have been asked to participate in this show are having the same trouble I am. I decided they are not bereft of ideas and I’m panicking. The theme is churches. And I don’t want to paint a church. But I’m digressing; I was talking about generating ideas. How do you do it? Is there a sure fire way? There are lots of ways but which one will work for you? I use two that generally work well for me. I like to think about my project while I’m out running. I get a lot of good ideas that way. So I suggest a walk, alone, no headphones, no phone just you and the project. The other is a pad and pen. I put the project at the top of the paper and start writing or listing what I know or think about it. I try to relax; I try to let ideas come. Now this is the important part, no censoring. No idea is too outrageous. Go big, go silly, go way, way out there. Play make it fun. Think of impossible things, think of a marching band at the annual meeting. Next, take those ideas look them over. Some of those far out ideas will generate other ideas, and from there, another idea. See how it works? You don’t even have to start planning a field trip to the moon, just begin to think.

Not too big not too small, just right

You know, of course, from your diligent and loyal reading of this blog about type size. What size is the U. S. government’s print standard (ahem—12 point). You also know that sometimes you have a to go bigger or smaller depending on space. How big is too big? How small is too small? How do fill a space when you don’t have enough copy? What about when you have too much?

Making type really big makes it look childish
Making type too small and no one will bother to read it
Consider the following to make type not just fit but look right
Do you have an image you can make larger or smaller? If you are going smaller
instead of shrinking the image can you crop it?
Can you make the margins wider, narrower?
Can you make the space after the paragraph larger or smaller? There should always be a designated space after paragraphs and the space is not an extra return.
If your software allows it can you make the line spacing wider?
Can headers be larger, smaller?
Drop cap?
Can the article or paper title be larger, smaller?
I am sure you may even be able to think of some others.