A bit too close for comfort maybe?

Great design, looks good but is it fit for purpose?

Do you find it frustrating when you have looked forward to receiving a purchase and find it doesn’t work?

How annoying to find a product looks great and feels great and then turns out to be so badly designed it is just not fit for purpose. It may be a great design but it may just be how it has been installed or used. Not only does this happen with products but very often literature or branding is designed without actually understanding were it is going to be used or how it will be seen.

It’s all about Suitability and Usability…

A great logo and branding with no guidelines can end up looking dreadful in the wrong position or on the wrong background and with the wrong words!

A great ad can appear in the wrong magazine and be useless.

Usability has to be considered in the graphic design world as much as the product design industry. The most powerful carpet vacuum cleaner will be no use if it can’t go through doors. I remember in 1992 the new tube trains for the central line had to be rebuilt as someone hadn’t measured the size of the tunnels in some stations!!

Where is your design going to be used?

It is very rare that a piece of design is only going to be viewed on the internet but so much is only designed with the web in mind and cannot be used afterwards due to the quality and resolution. Good web designers will know this, but lazy ones won’t care. Finding yourself with an unusable design that can’t be used anywhere else except on screen will be frustrating and costly.

A good designer will ask you where you may need it to be used in the future, an even better designer will create it so you can use it anywhere in the future as a standard practice. Understanding the limitations of resolution and file size is a sign of an experienced graphic designer.

So you have great logo – it looks great on your website and your business card looks fab. An exhibition is round the corner and you decide you need a pull up banner…. The printer you engage from the online ‘create-a-banner’ website delivers your 2 metre banner to your door two days before the exhibition starts and its a funny colour not quite the red you see on your screen, there is a white stripe down one side and the logo and image looks like a mosaic!  

This is why…

  1. The file sent to the printer was in the wrong colour format for printing, probably RGB not CMYK
  2. There was no bleed or crop marks on your file so the printer could not tell where it was to be trimmed.
  3. The logo was too small to print properly, the resolution was for screen not print.
  4. When you complain the print company refuse any responsibility – the files are printed without checking, its your responsibility to supply print ready files.

Just a few good reasons to use an experienced designer and a good printer even if it costs a bit more than online bucket shops.

– Any good printer will check your files and contact you if they think there could be a problem. You may be charged for this service but it is better than receiving useless products.

– A good designer will know the correct colour formats to use and that a file to be printed needs bleed and trim marks to help the printer produce an accurate representation of the artwork file and allow it to be correctly trimmed in the right place.

Designing a book cover that can’t be read from a book shelf, a podcast that is so small you can’t read the author, creating an advert with no headline, or a leaflet with no contact details is a sign of inexperience.

Take time to think about where it is going and how will it be displayed before engaging a designer, it will help them give you a better service with no surprises at the end of the job.

 

angie phillips Written by Angie Phillips, Design Consultant - Helping you create business by creating effective design with expertise and efficiency. Personally committed to my clients and always happy to offer advice. Promoting and helping you to grow through strategic introductions even after our work is done. More design tips and useful information here