Over many years and 1000s of publications, I have worked on and designed many different magazines including black and white, full colour, saddle stitched, perfect bound, A4, A5 and custom sizes. Magazine work requires my exceptional skills including an eye for detail, clean layout and/or striking, specialised design work.
Magazine requirements ranged from initial layout design, individual chapters, complete start to finish, corrections/amendments, working with other departments for approvals, to producing the final production ready digital files (PostScript/PDF), using specific colour settings and/or Adobe PDF presets all of which I have experience in.
I have also been responsible for project managing the set-up and design, or redesign of the total look and feel of a single magazine title, ready for handing over to other designers for them to set thereafter.
Business branding requires working with a client/company to formulate an overall logo and experience across multiple plaforms including physical and digital. The physical world may require business cards, letterheads, brochures, leaflets, signage, gift vouchers and many other products. Digital content may be required for websites, email/newsletters, social media (Twitter, FaceBook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn), advertising/marketing/promotions, user interface (UI/UX) and software/applications.
Considerations have to be taken into account for cultural and social differences which can include simple, but highly recognisable mistakes, like US versus British English e.g. color / colour, number delimiters e.g. 100.000,00 versus 100,000.00, physical sizes e.g. business cards in different countries (United Kingdom versus Czech Republic).
I have much experience in these areas and recently worked with a local hair stylist and salon in Prague to design a new look for their business and created multiple physical products for the salon, their marketing along with digital graphics for their website and social media presences.
Event branding requires good design skills and the ability to take the same creative style and make it available across physical and digital mediums. For instance, weddings may need invites, order of service, thank you cards, place holders, gift lists, menus, graphics for email, social media and possibly website. Physical items may need guidance with hands-on fabrication.
Event branding can include corporate, weddings, birthdays, christenings, parties, Christmas and specific cultural moments e.g. bar mitzvahs. I have personal experience in many of these areas.
The World Wide Release Database (WWRDB) has a network of websites covering many different music genres. Logos were needed for each site/brand along with related digital assets. I helped design, produce and repurpose the assets as required, a few of which are presented below.
Designing any promotional materials has to reflect what is being promoted, to whom and on what platform. Design aesthetics need to take into account what is being sold, what the call to action is and the target audience. It is important when designing promotional assets in the modern age that consideration is given to multiple platforms from large scale physical posters down to small mobile banners and buttons (UI/UX). Below I present a concept design for one of my favourite bands, Steel Panther, and the release of their 2019 album "Heavy Metal Rules". The 80s colour palette with the hair metal, in your face eye-draw, is also combined with symbolic, modern requirements such as standout website address and streaming music service logos, offering important calls to action. And then the design is repurposed and mockups produced for multiple platforms, large to small.
As one example of my work on banner advertising, over a period of a few months, an online music store (Lexer Music) needed some banner adverts for their website to advertise special music releases and promotions. I helped design these banner adverts to size specification, some of which are presented below.
These are usually completed with a process similar to:
I have an extensive portfolio of promotional competitions design of which some examples are presented below:
Carrier sheets are promotional material that are included with printed magazines when they are sent out to subscribers. Working with a marketing department brief, the carrier sheet is designed and a proof file e.g. JPEG/PDF for checking is provided to the client. Then, working with the client on any amends, a final design approval is obtained from them. I have extensive experience of working with this process.
Carrier sheets can come in all shapes and sizes, can be colour or black and white and may need to be carefully designed with the possibility that they will be folded and/or printed double-sided.
Calendars can be popular promotional tools or gifts and so good design is very important. They can come in many custom shapes and sizes requiring attention to detail and layout, especially taking into consideration different types of binding including comb, spiral and thermal. I have produced calendars in the past for several clients.
Subscription adverts are featured in each issue of a magazine to entice readers to subscribe to the title. They can come in all shapes and sizes and can be colour or black and white. They usually involve working from a marketing brief to produce strong and compelling designs, on a regular basis, focusing on drawing the eye of the reader to the advert so that they subscribe.
Subscription adverts can require a high level of project management due to the complexity of the publishing portfolio combined with tight production schedules. Often there is a need to manage comprehensive information from a database/Excel spreadsheet that might include important target dates, pricing, savings, offers, promo codes and internet links.
Every subscription design that has gone through the approval process with the marketing team may then need to be repurposed and resized to be used across multiple titles and products including the digital space for website, adverts and social media.
Along side the internal subscription advert found within the main pages, there can sometimes be a supporting subscription cover advert that is placed on the inside front/back or back cover, advertising the main subs page inside the magazine. Although these are based on the design of the internal subscription advert they are usually in full colour and require tweaking to fit the inside cover slot more effectively.
Finally, subscription adverts can be used on printed inserts that are placed loose within the magazine's pages.
I have worked on subscription advert designs for many years and have an extensive range of all kinds of designs – some examples are shown here.
Brochures are an important marketing impression for customers, highlighting what a business has to offer or working with partners to promote brands. They can come in all shapes and sizes but usually consist of highly imaginative covers with valuable content on the inside.
Working with multiple people that can include company executives, sales, marketing and editorial, good project management skills become critical. Correctly licensed fonts, images and photos may need to be sourced from reputable libraries e.g. Shutterstock.
Once the product has been checked and final approval obtained, the production ready digital files (PostScript/PDF), using specific colour settings and/or Adobe PDF presets, are created and supplied to the client or directly to the printer.
I have produced many brochures including these specially branded, souvenir pantomime brochures, the design of which was the colourful puzzle pages for children and their families to enjoy.
House adverts are branded marketing materials that advertise anything across the business spectrum. Often, they are designed with the aim to promote and sell what the business is currently offering. Eye-catching designs that are on-trend, popular and relevant to the target audience are paramount.
House adverts need to be designed with flexibility in mind, so that they can be used across multiple products and formats including both physical and digital. Designs that can also work for social media are essential.
The design process will usually require good management skills to bring the project together. Sourcing assets from across the business and communicating with company executives, sales, marketing and editorial, become significant skills, along with knowledge of obtaining correctly licensed fonts, images and photos for use in the design.
In the following examples, I designed house adverts for a puzzle publisher to include on the inside front/back or back cover within their range of magazines. These include striking adverts to promote their special puzzle magazines, downloadable printable puzzles from their website, physical mail-order products to buy and on-trend colouring magazines.
I am familiar working with official barcodes and ISBN/ISSN numbers. Barcodes usually require specialist software/plug-ins to create but I know that they always require special attention in terms of both creating it and double checking them. I'm particularly familiar with the EAN 2/5/8/13 and UPC-A/E versions. With many years experience in print publishing I am also familiar with the International Standard Book Number (ISBN) and International Standard Serial Number (ISSN).
There are multiple types of 2D matrix barcodes but the most common is the QR Code. Quality QR code creation is vital in the modern world for marketing with billions of mobile devices in use every day. I have created and used QR codes in products that I have designed. I understand there are different types and the requirement for size and error correction level (L/M/Q/H) depending on the usage requirement.
Apple should be introducing their own 2D matrix barcode in 2021 called the "App Clip". This will primarily be used to scan links to mobile applications for their iOS (iPhone/iPod touch) and iPadOS (iPad) devices.
I am knowledgeable in using third party logos in the products I design. Using third party logos is not always simple as many have special (legal) requirements such as: