Tag: Graphic design

BlackArt Album Cover and the design process

I recently acquired some freelance work via Twitter from across the Atlantic where a Philadephia up and comping rapper required a digital painting for his new album. It was the first time I had really considered using Photoshop for digital painting and I knew how difficult painting faces can be using normal acrylics or oils but always up for a challenge and with nothing to lose I gladly accepted the challenge and began discussing the design brief that Max required.

Conversing over Twitter

Being in different countries and a few thousand miles apart separated by an ocean communicating through Twitter and email was a breeze. Max knew exactly the style of album cover he wanted, he had a vision and he explained to me what it was. Continue “BlackArt Album Cover and the design process”

Desinion get others opinions about your design

When creating design elements everyone, no matter who we are has their own opinion of what works and what doesn’t, what is beautiful and what is ugly. Visual cues and hierarchy feel different for different people but you will find that the majority of people will be biased to one way of thinking or another. When you are just working between yourself and a client it can be difficult to reach agreements on what is beautiful and thus you need a third party to help make final decisions, that is where Desinion comes in.
Continue “Desinion get others opinions about your design”

The colour green and its meaning

The colour green and its meaning tend to be associated as a colour that brings a sense of wellbeing and balance to our lives. It is a colour that is evident in nature and allows a balanced view of things and then allow things to grow.

In this post, I will look in-depth at the meaning of green, how different shades have different meanings to us and when we should consider using the power of green in our branding. Continue “The colour green and its meaning”

Free images for blogs and websites no catches!

Not everyone is a graphic designer and not everyone can create something from nothing other than a reason but we all know image are important in illustrating our work. As a graphic designer I realise stock images have their benefit but can be quite expensive to the newbie blogger or start up company, but there is a solution!

Free images website

When I allowed my first guest blog onto my websites blog I was made aware of smartphotostock. You can use any of the images as long as you provide a link on the blog back to the original source, in effect, adding a new back link to the website and improving the SEO of the free image site.For the new designer/blogger this isn’t a problem, offering this small link is a small price to pay compared to a stock image fee.

Making eye catching images from scratch takes quite some time, and an understanding of a graphic design program such as Photoshop or free product GIMP to name but two is necessary, as well as having to find the right images/photos to put together the perfect aesthetics and if you are not the creative type then this website will be a perfect solution.

An alternative way to gain free images

For a long period of time people have been using Google Images to high jack the hard work of digital and graphic artists saving and copying the perfect image easily. Basically you are being a bit of a naughty boy or girl because this is against copyright, naughty naughty! But you can still use google images to find pictures for ‘commercial use’ by going into an advanced search ( see image below. )

Screen Shot 2013-10-29 at 12.55.48

Where else do you get free images? Do you know of any great places to gather resources? Please  comment in the box below.


7 Ways To Get An Affordable Business Logo Design

Setting up a new venture? You’ll need to get a logo for your project. Even trial businesses need a visual identity, and a logo also benefits the most basic of blogs. Some of the biggest companies in the world are known for their iconic logos.

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If you can’t afford to hire a professional designer for a full branding strategy, there are other ways of getting a logo on the cheap, providing you don’t mind making a few sacrifices. Here are 7 sites to try.

1. Fiverr

Fiverr is a freelancing site where any advertised task is completed for just $5. The low-cost nature of the site means it’s worth giving it a go for a logo, particularly if the final version will appear on a throwaway site or test blog. If the results aren’t great, all is not lost.

Bear in mind that established designers charge much more than beginners, so sites like Fiverr will rarely throw up the most experienced designers in the world. In some cases, you may be really unlucky and get a ‘designer’ who has never worked a day in a design job. But sometimes you’ll stumble across a designer who comes up with the goods for a remarkable price.

2. BrandCrowd

Looking for a logo design that’s ready to use? BrandCrowd is a website selling logos and brand names as a package. If your project isn’t yet titled, BrandCrowd could present the ideal package.

Note that some BrandCrowd logo designs aren’t just design jobs; they’re complete marketing packages, since you also get a domain name. From basic to complete solutions, the sky’s the limit.

3. LogoMaker

LogoMaker’s no substitute for a professional designer, but if you need a basic logo fast, it’s unbeatable because it’s free. Simply browse through the LogoMaker vaults, choose your logo and customise it to fit.
LogoMaker’s logos aren’t the most versatile in the world; the free version restricts the size and format. For the JPG, EPS or GIF at full resolution, you’ll have to pay.

4. Elance

Elance is a freelance marketplace where professionals gather to bid on jobs. Many professional designers use Elance to kick off their freelancing career, or to top up work from bigger designers.

When looking for help on Elance, choose professional designers that have a reasonable portfolio and good testimonials. The cheapest bids may not always be the best. In addition, check that your logo’s not ripped off: feedback is always helpful.

5. DesignMantic

Designing a logo with DesignMantic couldn’t be easier: just type in your business name and submit. The site automatically generates a page of logos. You can then choose your industry to narrow down the results, and add a slogan, if you use one.

Customisation options are plentiful, and the site is really easy to use, making logo design accessible to all. You can download the logo for free in PDF format, or optionally pay for a larger version.

6. LogoYes

Need to gather feedback on your new business logo? LogoYes allows you to gather feedback on your design once it’s finished. It’s not the most modern website in the world, though, but it’s OK for basic tasks.

While its features are nothing to write home about, the collaborative aspect of LogoYes is quite useful when you need to share your ideas.

7. LogoMoose

LogoMoose is a design community where professionals showcase their design work. Designers can create a portfolio of their logo designs, and interested businesses can get in touch and request their own logos.

There’s no established bidding or purchasing platform on LogoMoose – it’s simply a showcase website. However, designers are encouraged to add their contact details so businesses can contact them directly.

Getting a Business Logo

Affordable business logos are easy to come by, particularly now that freelance websites are so popular. If you can’t afford to hire a professional designer, you can always create your own logo in the cloud. The results may not compare to a full branding campaign, but it’s a good way to kick off a new venture with a brand new image.

Featured images:

By Sam Wright

Sam Wright is a professional writer working with Brand Republic. Click here to visit the website.

Stock images can damage your business

If I see another little 3d white man with a huge spherical head on a website or as a Twitter profile image I think my head will explode with creative madness ! This little man is soooo over used by small businesses that it shows a lack of understanding of just how important branding and graphic design plays in your potential customers decision making.

Why stock images are bad for business

This may sound like I am being extremely harsh on the little white man and please don’t suggest I am bullying him but your business is a unique entity, unlike this little fellow. By using common stock imagery you are : –

  1. saying that you are just the same as the next business.
  2. you don’t care about your company’s image and marketing message.
  3. and worst of all you are also saying that your service is cheap and untrustworthy!

Consistent brand message

Most medium sized to large corporations will have what is called a branding style guide and it must be adhered to at all times. Some of the elements in the guide can include what fonts should be used, their spacing & curning, the exact RGB, CMYK colours of the brand and the typical images and marketing message that should be considered as part of the overall look and feel of any marketing collateral whether digital or offline.

I realise by using stock images that look the same you think you are being consistent but if that image is seen again and again throughout the web on different websites that aren’t your own business then you are damaging the possibility of selling your product or image to the target market.

When I see people using unaltered stock images online it really disheartens me and puts me off using that business service or product, it makes me feel I can’t trust them and I will disregard them from my retail choices.

Alter the stock images

hills are alive

Don’t get me wrong stock images are great in helping graphic and digital designer gather elements you need to create unique graphics but if you use them as the sole way to “picturize” your website you will simply be putting your potential customers off doing business with you as although may you think the images you have chosen look good the majority of people will see an unprofessional website that shows lack of care, does that really reflect your business goal? I doubt it, your business has personality so show it off to the world!

Other stock images to avoid

The little white man doing various activities is my no.1 thing that makes my creative blood boil to see people using on their digital platforms, I mean, why!?!

But it also gets worse, pictures of random actors trying their hardest pretending to be business people standing in line are common place, avoid them or use sparingly and never use them for your main brand image that is simply a big no no!

Hire a designer

It is probably better to have no images at all if you are going to use unaltered stock images that are damaging your online reputation with potential customers. If you need unique images communicate your message verbally through correct use of heading styles, and contextual information and then hire a graphic/digital designer when your business budget can afford it.

It may seem like an extra expense your business doesn’t need and maybe the cost will seem heavy at first but if the graphics communicate your business message in a unique and imaginative way compared to your market rivals then when people are looking for your service/product they will remember you and see that you are indeed a very highly professional business worthy of doing business with as well as increasing the worth of your business.

I am JAWILSONDESIGN a branding, web and graphics specialist that can help you improve your company’s image in a unique and imaginative way if you should need any help updating, improving or creating a new brand image please don’t hesitate to contact me.

A timeless logo is not important

I recently read an article on the web about 5 principles to making a good logo design one of which one was that it is important that a logo is timeless. To quote

Nothing about your logo should be trendy or connected to the style of the time. The best logo designs are iconic …” Indelible Branding

In my opinion nothing could be further from the truth and here is why.

Continue “A timeless logo is not important”

How to create your own Photoshop Brush

Photoshop comes with some fabulous brushes but did you can you make your own? In this blog post I help you in learning how to create a Photoshop brush so you can create your own.

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Create a Spiral Photoshop Brush


Create anew document and then a new layer. Draw a black object. We produced this one by creating Bezier curves using the Pen tool and then filled in the path. Ctrl/Cmd-click the layer to select the object and choose Edit > Copy. Select File > New and change the background contents to Transparent.

Define your Photoshop Brush


After the new document has been created, select edit > paste and the shape you copied will appear on the transparent background layer. Choose Select>All and then edit > Define Brush Preset. A brush name window will appear for you to name your brush. Enter the text in the name box and click OK.

Time to experiment


Create a new document. Choose the brush tool and select a colour by clicking on the foreground colour swatch in the tool bar. Select Window > brush preset. Scroll to the bottom of the brush presets palette to find your new brush. Click it to select it. Now make alterations to the size, opacity and flow of the brush using the top toolbar options. See what kind of patterns you can create!

Save the Photoshop Brush day


Finally make sure you save the photoshop brush. To do this simply select the brush > then press the dropdown next to the small image of the brush > then the arrow pointing right in a circle and a drop down will appear. Next click save brush…a file save as will appear, give your brush a good name, jobs a gudden!

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In my next post I will discuss how to create retro 3d photographs so they really do stand out!! Free 3d wallpapers will also be available for free!



5 things to think about when designing good digital artwork

Last year I started rebranding an IT company that had two sectors, a data centre consultancy & a state of the art Colocation Data Centre. Both had been branded with separate identities due to the fact the consultancy was very well established and a recognized brand and the investor didn’t want to damage the brand recognition. Considering this the rebranding of the company had to be carefully thought out and the Digital Artwork to be displayed on the walls of the data centre was no different. In this post I discuss 5 things that I feel are important to consider whenever you design some digital artwork for a corporation. Continue “5 things to think about when designing good digital artwork”