July 4, 2013 Leave a comment
All the best for a happy Independence Day from Affinity Express to all our clients and colleagues!
Tips for Marketing and Design
April 26, 2013 Leave a comment
World Communication Design Day has been celebrated on April 27th since 1995. The International Council of Graphic Design Associations (ICOGRADA) designated the day to recognize the role of communication design and the graphic design profession around the world.
Though graphic design is often thought about in relation to advertising and marketing, the uses are extensive. The fields of administration, education, entertainment and many others use graphic design on various levels to convey information. Graphic design affects our understanding and opinions and shapes our actions and decisions. It determines the impact of information, whether it be through color, form or type; including the smallest street sign, the websites we browse, the products we purchase and the books we read.
Graphic Design is an interdisciplinary, problem-solving activity which combines visual sensitivity with skill and knowledge in areas of communications, technology and business. Graphic design practitioners specialize in the structuring and organizing of visual information to aid communication and orientation.
–The Association of Registered Graphic Designers of Ontario
Graphic Design Process
The graphic design process is a problem-solving process, one that requires substantial creativity, innovation and technical expertise. An understanding of a client’s product or service and goals, their competitors and the target audience is translated into a visual solution created from the manipulation, combination and utilization of shape, color, imagery, typography and space.
–Australian Graphic Design Association (AGDA), Profile/Purpose
World Communication Design Day is an important occasion for Affinity Express and our more than 1,500 employees. We salute our team for their hard work for clients and their commitment to delivering high quality work on time, day in and day out!
What does graphic design mean to you? If you submit pictures of online or offline designs that have affected you in some way, we’ll share the best entries in our next blog post.
January 2, 2013 Leave a comment
With 2012 coming to a close, many of us look for ways to thanks our clients. It is an opportunity to stand out with special offers, interesting designs and strong messaging. As usual, our team also got quite a few design projects with a New Year’s Eve theme and we completed them fast and got positive reviews. Here are a few of our favorites from this season.
There is no doubt this is a New Year’s ad. The font is festive and it is complemented by fireworks, the single most used graphic element for this holiday. The result is an ad that gets viewers thinking about their plans for the big night!
An ad for a New Year Eve’s party from the Ramada Palms is designed to make the party look exciting and fun with playful fonts. Champagne glasses are another traditional New Year’s graphic and the ad carries over the color of the champagne to the year, prices and the special offer.
Another ad by Kim Roberts & Allen Title Company also incorporates fireworks in a simple design. It uses yet another festive font that you might see on a party invitation. The content of the ad stresses safety, which is a smart strategy for a company in the business of reassuring clients by providing title insurance and closing services for real estate transactions.
This New Year ad by Peerless Products is beautiful and also ties in well to the company’s business: windows. This simple black and white design gets the point across that you can trust Peerless Products to keep you warm and safe in the winter but there is no sales language or any products listed. The magical letters appearing in the sky make it look like a page from an old storybook.
If you are working on an ad to tie in with the New Year’s holiday, you can’t go wrong by choosing a creative, script font, incorporating fireworks or champagne and using a black, white and gold color scheme. And be sure to keep it simple and uncluttered. This is a time of celebration and looking ahead to what we hope is a bright future.
Have you seen any great New Year’s ads yet? Do you remember any from previous years that resonated with you? What other graphics have you incorporated in your holiday ads?
Affinity Express wishes you all the best in 2013 and beyond!
May 12, 2012 Leave a comment
Because Mother’s Day occurs in spring, ads for this holiday often feature pastels and tend to be heavy on the pinks and purples. The fonts tend to look like script or fancy calligraphy and flowers are commonly used.
I didn’t know until I started doing some research, but Mother’s Day is one of the top sales opportunities for salons and spas–we all want to pamper mom because she takes care of everyone else the rest of the year. So it wasn’t surprising when I asked our team for ads designed for this holiday that this one turned up. It gets your attention with the bright, feminine colors and uses the same light blue in the logo to highlight the sale price effectively.
April 5, 2012 Leave a comment
Easter comes early this year and brings quite a few ads to our designers from companies eager to tie into the holiday and generate revenue. But not all ads at this time of year focus on business and festivities.
As with most holidays, there are traditional colors and images for Easter. Typically, we are asked to feature colorful eggs and the Easter Bunny. The desired colors are almost always pastels: pink, blue, purple, green, blue, yellow and orange.
A case in point is this ad for Pharmasave, complete with a bunny, eggs and pastel colors. What I find interesting is that the retailer is not promoting any products or prices but they are likely to get good traffic by offering free photos with the Easter Bunny. Kids for miles around will be lining up for a turn and the parents will probably pick up “a few things” while waiting. Pretty smart!
March 17, 2012 Leave a comment
Because my first name is Kelly and I was born and raised in New York (where the first St. Patrick’s Day parade was held), I feel eminently qualified to review these holiday designs. So before you go out for a green beer (or many), take a look at these ads our team designed. It’s no surprise that many are for bars or clubs.
This one trots out all the standards for St. Patrick’s Day. You have the leprechaun, the beer, clovers and several shades of green. There are not one but two glasses of beer, in the event you didn’t already associate the beverage with the holiday. What works especially well is the bar’s logo–you can’t miss the red among all that green.
This one has everything you want in an ad for the holiday. The theme is obvious, the information is easy to find and there are no extra elements. The large beer screams, “drink me!” As a result, the message is clear: come party and have fun with us at Hooligans.
February 14, 2012 Leave a comment
Whether you love it or hate it, Valentine’s Day is here once again. From a design perspective, this can be a challenging holiday, as there are a limited number of symbols or images and colors used. And we recently heard a bit of proactive advice from one of our clients: we should be careful not to overdo a theme because it can undermine the effectiveness of an ad.
Below are some of the designs we completed for clients in anticipation of this day dedicated to showing those we love how much we care.
Flowers are one of the most common gifts given on Valentine’s Day. I just heard a statistic on the news that two-thirds of the flowers purchased by men are given to their wives or girlfriends. One-third are given to their mothers! Anyway, featuring the flowers in this ad makes it eye-catching and bright. You can see here the typical approach of using reds and pinks on this holiday (purples are also seen although less frequently).
December 27, 2011 Leave a comment
What comes to mind when you think of New Year’s Eve? Based on the ads we create at this time of the year for our clients, it is fireworks, balloons and decorations, and champagne. Unlike Christmas, there isn’t a wide variety of iconic images from which to choose, which means it can be challenging to stand out in a crowd of New Year’s promotions.
Nevertheless, I think this ad for Jaguar is successful. It gets your attention with bright fireworks that lead the eye to look down at the cars. Wouldn’t it be nice to ring in the new year with a new luxury car? Well, it’s nice to dream . . .
December 24, 2011 Leave a comment
It’s a holiday tradition at Affinity Express to recreate a well-known piece of art using embroidery digitizing. This year, the pressure was heightened since last year’s design just won us two awards: the Stitches Golden Needle awards for Design of the Year, Technical, Corporate and Design of the Year, Artistic, Corporate.
The subject we chose this year was a Renoir painting. And regardless of whether we win an award, I think we can be proud of this year’s design as well! What do you think?
December 6, 2011 Leave a comment
Every season brings on a slew of new products that need to be promoted. Smart marketers and business-owners also find ways of packaging existing products for different times of year to inspire customers to buy. As winter sets in, let’s take a look at some of the ads our team has designed for our clients while the temperatures drop and the snow starts in North America.
The easiest way to work make an ad seasonal is when there is a natural fit with the products, such as these ads for winter boots and slippers that will keep you dry and warm.
November 24, 2011 Leave a comment
Happy Thanksgiving! It’s the most anticipated meal of the year, but what is important for us is that many businesses have special promotions around Thanksgiving and rely on our advertising and marketing production to meet deadlines and increase revenue. For retailers, they are already deep into promoting holiday sales and hoping to make the most of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Restaurants and other businesses food-related try to get people to their doors or to buy their products (as wells as to advertise in their dining guides).
Here are just a few of the many print ads our team has created this time around.
October 31, 2011 Leave a comment
With Diwali celebrations in India last week and Halloween today, it seems like a special time everywhere! Diwali is the festival of lights and if you’re in India at this time, you can expect to see every window in every home or shop lit up with traditional oil lamps or the equally ubiquitous strings of electric lights. If you’re in India, happy Diwali!
To the rest of you, happy Halloween. Have a terror-filled, dark and gory holiday and (if you aren’t busy setting out candy or making last-minute adjustments to your costume) check out these designs created by our team. Pretty creepy, huh?
October 11, 2011 Leave a comment
When the weather is warm, the sun is shining and kids are out of school, I think about . . . the winter holidays. It sounds counterintuitive but this is the best time to put together plans, place orders and get ahead of the requirements of the season. I realize the summer has already passed, but hope this post will help you catch up!
The best advice of all is to start as soon as possible. These days, holiday decorations go on sale the day after Halloween with good reason—many people start planning and purchasing early. That’s why, whether you are a B2C or B2B company, it pays to have a roadmap for the holidays before you start hearing carols and seeing inflatable snow men on your neighbors’ lawns. Read more of this post
June 21, 2011 3 Comments
Today is the summer solstice, the longest day of the year. And as usual, we celebrate it on the Affinity Express blog by sharing a few summer-themed designs from our team.
What are you doing this summer? (Actually, I’m going away this weekend, to a cottage in a forest–glad you asked!)
Going on a vacation? Going camping, maybe? You’ll need a tent. Read more of this post
May 25, 2011 Leave a comment
Star Wars may have passed me by, but I’m a self-professed geek. (In school, I had thick glasses and reading was my favorite past-time, unlike my more cool friends.)
So let’s wave our geek flags high today and catch a Hitchhiker’s movie tonight (or get in bed with your favorite Terry Pratchett, whatever grabs you.)
And of course, check out these embroidery digitizing and vector artwork designs from our team.