Adobe: The brand of the software your designer should be using. Founded in 1982, Adobe is the maker of many professional graphic design programs. Some of Adobe’s most popular design programs are Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign and Dreamweaver. Of course there are many other makers of design software, but it’s our opinion and the opinion of most professional designers that Adobe is the very best. Adobe products tend to cost quite a bit of money, but the cost is well worth the investment. Adobe’s file formats are universally supported by printers, vendors and other professional designers.
Brand: A brand is not a logo, name, typeface or color. You can’t find a brand on a business card, a website or in a brochure. A brand is the sum total of how the public feels about a particular something or someone. It’s the emotional response that people have to a product, company, or even a person. A successful brand is one that forges a strong emotional connection with its audience. When you think Volvo, you think safety. When you think Mercedes, you think luxury. You can’t just dictate how someone will ultimately feel about your brand, but as you can see from our examples, you can do a lot to influence popular opinion. Your brand will be built with or without your participation, and 3thought recommends you take an active role in shaping people’s opinions.
CMYK: An acronym for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Key (Black). CMYK refers to the colors of the ink used when you’re printing and is also called 4 color process printing. Mixing together these 4 primary colors to create other colors like purple, green and orange is know as subtractive color. Think of this process like mixing paints as you did as a kid in art class. Red and Yellow = Orange. Yellow and Blue = Green. Blue and Red = Purple. Mix all these colors together and you’ll eventually lose all color and end up with a muddy black mess. If you’re going to be printing your designs, working in CMYK format is preferred because it’s easier to match the colors to your printer. Don’t believe us? Go open your desktop printer, because the chances are it uses CMYK ink cartridges. Same goes for those big industrial printers, but on a much larger scale.
Leading: A typography term that refers to the space between lines of type. This is also known as “line spacing” too. Leading is generally measured as the distance from one baseline of type to the next. The term dates back to days of manual typesetting (ancient, we know) when strips of lead (yes, actual metal) were inserted between the rows of set letters to create distance. Type that’s set “solid” and “really open” can be difficult to read. There’s typically a sweet spot between too tight and too loose. View an example.
PDF: Originally created by Adobe in 1991, PDF is short for “Portable Document Format”. A pdf is a file format that works on Windows, Mac, Linux, IOS and Android operating systems. In other words, it’s a universal file format, so it’s great for sharing between operating systems and devices. PDFs are how designers typically send proofs to you, our clients. Much to the dismay of FedEx, UPS and the USPS, the pdf has revolutionized desktop publishing. In a time not that long ago “pre-pdf”, image files would need to be printed, mounted and shared via snail mail. The process of proofing could take days. Today, pdfs allow nearly instantaneous sharing of proofs. When approved, many printers even accept pdf documents for quick and easy printing.
Resolution: All images have a resolution. Whether that image is displayed on a tv, computer, phone or printed in a book, brochure or magazine. Resolution refers to the detail of the image. Images with low resolution have less detail and images with high resolution have more details. Resolution is typically measured in pixels per inch (PPI) or dot per inch (DPI). These two measurements determine the amount of information displayed within a certain area. As a rule of thumb, screens use graphics that are 72 ppi and printed materials use 300 dpi. That’s why when you pull images off the internet and try to print them, the quality usually looks terrible. Printed materials require about 4x the amount of detail to look crisp. Check out the image below for an example of resolution. The image to the left is crisp and looses resolution to the right.