need help with the design of this postcard for an NPO

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  1. #1
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    need help with the design of this postcard for an NPO

    Okay, right off the bat, yes it's incredibly simple. Part of the reason for this is because I am making two versions, and one of them (this one) needs to be printer-friendly, so it can't have much color at all. The 2 designs are going to be printed on glossy postcards and most of the info will be on the back but I haven't been emailed that yet. The biggest challenge with this thing is communicating almost everything the charity does while making the design simple and printer friendly.

    I don't have so much of an issue with the concept, but I think the design sucks and kind of just lays there. There's got to be a better way to present this. There's a dreadful feeling in my gut that some might initially want to see this as a comic strip or something like that. That would be bad.

    What do you guys think? How can I make it something that immediately grabs the attention of the viewer while using little color AND showing all of the services that the charity offers (of which are all pretty much laying there on the page)???

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  3. #2
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    Is this an actual design or a sketch?
    Right now it looks like clipart.

    The way to go is to make research about pleasing designs, analyse the principles and use them
    Right now this is lacking in absolutley every design-aspect...
    so there are a lot of ways to go, wait, lemme get my flickr and DA favorites open...

    Arrangement:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/marcian...94881/sizes/l/
    note how the food is arranged in lines

    Using simple symbols that are arranged in an appealing and rythmic way, the artist Hedof is good at this:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/hedof/7...in/photostream
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/hedof/5884769450/sizes/l/ note how the elements of a party are arranged, while there is still a line of action in this picture: The view goes from the strange stalker on the left to the two young girls

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/hedof/7189258225/sizes/z/
    The elements are pouring out of the screen, controlled by a line of action

    http://fav.me/d4uqhoo
    Big shape (girl) with smaller shapes. The beige shape of the bag unites the picture.
    there's a whole meme going on with those bag portraits:
    http://fav.me/d4c15w6
    http://fav.me/d4qxmzf
    But there are not a lot of Deviant artist who are good at this...

    http://fav.me/d4l7qp7
    Unit through color and line

    http://fav.me/d2ef84k
    Note how text is handeled as a graphic element

    http://neverrider.deviantart.com/art...2320111&qo=785
    A gradient in the elements

    http://fav.me/d479fez
    The shape of a house is used to hold the different elements.

    http://fav.me/d2y42m3
    unit in the elements because they all look like sticker designs




    Grit:
    Swiss posters, arranged in a grit:
    http://www.jannuzzismith.com/images/...icdesign-1.gif

    influence maps by different people, note how they use the arrangements:
    http://fav.me/d3bqyqz
    http://fav.me/d2wi4rw
    http://fav.me/d2xnpsy

    Grit with comic and different shapes
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/lukepea...91701/sizes/l/

    and more...
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/guimtio/6120713323/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/kolchoz/7038336327/
    http://mumblingidiot.deviantart.com/...sium-215594851
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/brecht_...20017/sizes/z/
    http://fav.me/d4kvq80
    http://fav.me/d3kcy1v

    oh, and of course:
    http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/mondrian/ryb.jpg

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  5. #3
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    While I like some of those and the design on many of them is nice, the purpose of the postcard is to convey the services that a charity offers. Also I can't use nearly the amount of color that is in almost every one of those images. Many of those designs seem to have a bunch of random shapes or objects aranged in a fun, snazzy and fabulous way. I dig that, but I feel like this charity graphic should convey at least a small serious element to communicate that there are people suffering that need aid.

    Clip art! Why I oughtta...


    I was thinking more along the lines of this:

    need help with the design of this postcard for an NPO

    I was thinking about simple images that speak to children and adults that communicate everything the charity is about. Drawn in a freestyle, slightly decorative way. I'm not concerned as much with flamboyant style as much as just making it look less like a pop-up ad or a cartoon. I'm scared that it might be a tad too..."animated". My other graphics weren't like that at all but this is the first time I've attempted this style seriously (at least, that's the goal).

    This is what I think of when I see clip art:

    need help with the design of this postcard for an NPO

    goofy, corny and lame.

    The ultimate question is this:

    How can I arrange the design in a less boring way?

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    Well, I believe what Kiera was attempting with that post was to give you a very concentrated course on graphic design through visual examples. You don't need to use the colors in those examples, in fact a good design should work well in black and white or color. What you have now is ok, but for a design piece, it isn't utilizing enough of the basic principles that could make it more meaningful and give it staying power with the viewer. I know this isn't supposed to be the most exciting and dramatic piece ever, but a piece shouldn't be so perfectly symmetrical and centered unless there is a good reason (other than "a rectangle looks good"). A good book to check out for some basic principles of design is Design Basics Index - it's small, with lots of graphics, so a quick read. Just a thought, if you or your client care to take this to the next level.

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    The ultimate question is this:

    How can I arrange the design in a less boring way?
    Are you kidding me? Don't you see what you are doing?
    Or did I step on your foot after I wrote that the symbols look like clip art?
    It's because they look like clip art: flat, random, most obvious picture-choice, without any design, without any wit, without any style.
    The yellow character you've used as example for corny and lame looks about a billion times better than the symbols because it still uses design-principles to make things appealing:
    line-of-action, big elements and small elements in a hierarchical order, line follows form

    The example pictures have design in the composition that goes beyond the most obvious surface things:
    rhythm, grit, line of action, big shapes and small shapes, clever use of color..
    Oh, accidentally they show the same thing you've asked for: how you can arrange a billion elements on a flat surface in an appealing and even meaningful way.

    Eh, I give up explaining this, especially after the lame internet ate the whole explanation post behind this.
    Gist is: The card looks mediocre, it's because the symbols are bad and their design is random. The composition is a train wreck. Learn design. Use references. Think.

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    Okay, here's my attempt at salvaging the illustrations by taking an entirely different approach to designing the postcard. I can't tell if it is too complicated or if it doesn't make sense or if i'm on the right track. What do you think?

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  9. #7
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    Oh god, why the purple and yellow colours? I once heard that people generally find the mix of those two complementary colours together as one of the most unsettling combination and whether that's true or not, the colours you're using look plain awful to me.
    If you want a printer friendly colours, why not settle for couple pastel colours etc and use those as shadows and background or something?

    As an composition idea I think that's nice, but I'm pretty certain that that tiny font will become unreadable if this will be printed in the usual postcard size. Seriously test print this with any printer in the real size to make sure it can be read. But even then there's no reason to have such huge gaps between the texts when that space could be used to have larger font. Same goes for the images too.

    "I eat comics and poop stylization"
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  10. #8
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    Probably shouldn't do this but here, a little idea:
    Name:  cartd.jpg
Views: 245
Size:  103.3 KB

    You have space, use it. There's lots of free fonts, use them. And consider those with crappy eyesight too with the font size, bit too large is usually safer than bit too small.
    Also unless that's the official statement of the group, I'd re-think about the quotation marks around the word distressed, as it kinda comes off as unnecessary scare quotes http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scare_quotes

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  11. #9
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    update:

    p.s. I am not bothered by the purple and yellow, though I admit my knowledge of use of color in design is small. What are some ought combinations to try? I thought of red and blue, orange and greed, etc and those seem worse. Think blue and yellow might be better?

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  12. #10
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    "Everything must serve the idea. The means used to convey the idea should be the simplest and clear. Just what is required. No extra images. To me this is a universal principle of art. Saying as much as possible with a minimum of means."
    -John Huston, Director
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