Brushing up on designs for 2018

We are at the end of 2017. Some of us have gotten stuck on certain designs and we need to get out of the "box" and think more creatively. Please use this post to get inspired and think of more original designs of your own.

Example designs on the site are just to give you a STARTING POINT for a design. After that, try to think about what the client will want to see and be creative, while still following the Global rules of course. Go on Google images and search for "wedding album design" and get more design inspiration from there. If see something nice but doubt if to do it, ask me first. I'm always here to help.

I will now take some of OUR designer's work and we will analyze it and see how we can make it better. We will look at spreads that have problems like "too many images - what to do?" and see how we can make this a beautiful spread despite the problems. I will also use nice design examples from the web so you can see how THEY implemented what we need to do.

  • First example of VSA SPREAD:

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First spreads in an album should be the nicest. It's the first thing a client sees when he opens the album. If we don't "WOW" them from the start, we might lose them, even if the rest is nice. The first spreads are the ones that need the nicest cutouts, nicest blends and nicest design.

Let's first see the negative things we can find in the above spread:

  1. The small images look like the designer just didn't have where to put them so he just threw them in a box with rounded corners, stuck it on the spread and called it a day.
  2. The middle box just has a plain, boring stroke with a drop shadow. The sunset is so beautiful but they are all small images stuck in a box. You get a feeling "more could have been done here".
  3.  The center curved line, while nice, leaves a space on top right and bottom left, that the designer just filled with some background graphic.

Now let's see how we can improve this.

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Just a few brushed up masks, in a few minutes we made it nicer.

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  • Second example of VSA SPREAD:

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Negatives:

  1. Strokes don't look good. Plain.
  2. Generic. Repetitive to other spreads.
  3. No wow factor.

Now let's see how we can improve this.

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Just a few brushed up masks, in a few minutes we made it nicer.
You don't always have to use boxes and strokes.
Notice how I still kept the LEFT border box.

  • Third example of VSA SPREAD:

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Negatives:

  1. Strokes don't look good. Plain and not "flowing to the eye."
  2. The curved line is same size as all other strokes and plain.
  3. Generic. Repetitive to other spreads.

Now let's see how we can improve this.

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Notice circle stroke is wider and not as opaque.
Notice how it just has a more appealing look to the eye.
It's still not the best design but it's making a bad one a little nicer when using different stroke sizes, opacitys and different corners (round, non-round)

  • Fourth example of VSA SPREAD:

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Negatives:

  1. Left stroke doesn't make sense.
  2. Not a BAD spread but more can be done.

Now let's see how we can improve this.

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All we did here is make the OUTER part of the LEFT big stroke lowered opacity. Then the STROKE BOX makes sense and it gives a reason for it to be there. (VSA graphic designers have done this on their own in many spreads - even in the next few examples - you will see they did this)

More can be done to improve this album (mainly to the strokes) but I was tired and it will pass.

  • Fifth example of VSA SPREAD:

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Negatives:

  1. Strokes are plain and generic.
  2. Not a BAD spread but more can be done.
  3. Images that look duplicate were used right next to each other.

Now let's see how we can improve this.

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I didn't remove duplicates (I was too tired) but just by changing the corners, width and opacity of the strokes, it already helps.

NOTE ABOUT DUPLICATES:

Although we have a policy to use ALL images, even if they are very similar, if you see two images that are EXACTLY THE SAME like this:

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Then USE YOUR LOGIC and don't use both. And if you DO use them both - don't put them right next to each other! You can use one with a lowered opacity for a background, or SCALE it and use only PART of the image - like the flowers in her hand. Or flip it vertically, or make it B&W, do something to be creative.

  • Sixth example of VSA SPREAD:

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Negatives:

  1. Not a BAD spread but the three small images block the main one.
  2. BIGGEST image doesn't have the nicest smile. When you make a large image and a small image, always use the nicest one for the large one.
  3. Two small, left images are EXACTLY THE SAME (like previous example).

Now let's see how we can improve this.

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As you can see, I used one of the smaller ones to be the big one because he had a nicer smile.
Also, I decided to get rid of the smaller images (against our policy) because they were all too similar and were messing up the design.

You have permission to go against VSA policies if you have a good reason.
But you DON'T have permission to go against the client rules and instructions - no matter what.

  • Seventh example of VSA SPREAD:

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Negatives:

  1. Strokes don't look good. Plain and not "flowing to the eye."
  2. The middle box doesn't fit well with the design.
  3. The curved line is same size as all other strokes and plain.
  4. Generic stokes and lines. Repetitive to other spreads.

Now let's see how we can improve this.

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More could have been done but just by fitting the middle box better and adding some different curve on right, it already looks better.


TOO MANY SMALL IMAGES!

If you have a spread (for example dancing) that has MANY images on one spread (like more than 10) - than do NOT make ONE or TWO large images and the rest TINY! Here's an example that is VERY bad because the images are WAY too small because of the big image:

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This is the solution:

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  • FINAL WORDS

  1. When in doubt - DON'T DO IT.
  2. Cutouts and nice ideas should be MOSTLY on first spreads of albums.
  3. Designs should look like they belong. Don't just throw images around that look like they just didn't have a place to go. Fix this issue with lowered opacitys, background and fades.
  4. Strokes are VERY important. Don't just use a 2-3 pixel white stroke or glow on every spread. Plain strokes look boring. Change corners and thickness from spread to spread so you get different design looks throughout the album.
  5. Think about the ORDER of images on a spread! Most albums (unless specified otherwise in instructions) will be opened and looked at from RIGHT-TO-LEFT. So you are telling a STORY (like a comic book) and chronological order of images should go RIGHT-TO-LEFT.
  6. Always ASK QUESTIONS. If you have an idea or problem and don't know what to do, ASK. I am always here to help.
  7. Try to be CREATIVE! Don't just copy other designs. Use them for inspiration to come up with your own ideas.
  8. Don't be REPETITIVE! Don't use same strokes and designs on every spread. Get creative.
  9. CUTOUTS and FADES are your SAVIORS!!!  No one will ever complain when you fade two or more images together of when you make a cutout. These are your best options to use when having issues.
  10. USE IMAGES (or PARTS of images) for Backgrounds! Filling spaces or backgrounds with other images are great! You can lower the opacity and even give a little Gaussian blur to them.
  11. MAKE IMAGES LARGER. Graphics and borders should never be a reason to make smaller images. Make borders smaller and images larger - always. There should NOT BE EXTRA, UNNECESSARY EMPTY SPACES (even if you fill it with a color) unless you have a good reason.
  12. DON'T USE GRAY SOLID color to fill a space unless you have a good reason. Gray is a SAD and depressing color (like gray rain clouds).
  13. If you use flourishes or stock images for backgrounds, they must be VECTORS or high quality images.
  14. If you have a spread (for example dancing) that has MANY images on one spread (like more than 10) - than do NOT make ONE or TWO large images and the rest TINY! Just fill the spread with all the images.

EXAMPLE DESIGNS FROM THE INTERNET:

Here are 35 examples from the internet. Look at my comments on WHY and WHAT is nice about them. Again, like mentioned before, this is not for COPYING EXACTLY but for inspiration to create new and exciting designs.

These examples are mixes of out styles (classic, elegant, modern etc...).

It's very important that you read my comments on EACH IMAGE to understand WHY it's a nice design.

Comments are UNDER each image. So when you read a comment, it's talking about the image ABOVE the comment.

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1. Nice strokes.
2. Nice use of background and blends.

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1. Nice strokes.
2. Nice use of background and blends.
3. Notice how layout of images are with purpose (and have a "STEP" design) and not just all put in a box.

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1. Nice design.
2. Nice use of background, cutout and blends.
3. Notice how layout of images are with purpose and not just all put in a box.

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1. Nice strokes.
2. Nice use of background and blends.
3. Notice how layout of images are with purpose and not just all put in a box.

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1. Nice strokes.
2. Nice use of background and blends.

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1. Nice strokes.
2. Nice use of background, cutouts and blends.

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1. Nice strokes.
2. Nice use of background and blends.
3. Middle image box has nice curve to it on one side. Makes it different.

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1. Nice strokes.
2. Nice use of background and blends.
3. Notice how layout of images are with purpose and not just all put in a box.

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1. Nice strokes.
2. Nice use of background and blends.
3. Notice how layout of images are with purpose (and have a "STEP" design) and not just all put in a box.

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1. Nice layout.

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1. Nice strokes.
2. Nice use of background and blends on right side.
3. Nice additional design boxes and lines on left side.

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1. Nice strokes.
2. Nice use of background and blends.
3. Notice how the box on left side gets CUT INTO the RIGHT BOX.

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1. Nice and different strokes with fades at the edges and matching colors to spread!
2. Nice cutouts and use of background and blends with a Gaussian blurred background image as well..
3. Notice how layout of images are with purpose and not just all put in a box. RIGHT side, they were separated into FOUR groups. Very nice idea.

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1. Nice strokes!
2. Nice use of background and blends.
3. Notice how layout of images are with purpose and not just all put in a box.
4. Nice idea to put that overlapping fadded opacity box over the main big image.

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1. Nice blends.
2. Nice circle.

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1. Nice design.

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1. Nice design idea.

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1. Nice strokes. They match the design and color of the spread.

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1. Nice strokes.
2. Notice how left small image box fits nicely in the curve! and how the whole middle thing has nice curves and strokes.

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1. Nice strokes and layout of small images. Not just all images in one box.
2. Nice use of background and blends.

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1. Nice use of background and blends.

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1. VERY Nice strokes!
2. Nice use of background.

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1. Nice elegant strokes.
2. Nice use of background and blends.
3. Notice how layout of images are with purpose and have a unique setup and not just all put in a box.

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1. Nice use of blends.

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2. Nice use of blends.

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1. VERY Nice strokes that match the colors of spread.
2. Notice how ONE image (second from right) is a little different. EXCELLENT IDEA!

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1. Nice strokes that match the color of spread.
2. Nice design idea.

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1. Nice strokes on LEFT side and nice SPACES WITH NO STROKES on right side. NICE IDEA.
2. Nice use of background image and blends.

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1. Nice strokes on small images and NICE circle stroke in middle.
2. Nice use of background and blends.
3. Notice how layout of images are with purpose and not just all put in a box.

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1. Nice strokes (except plain white one on right circle).
2. Notice how the small images have a CURVE to them - to match the right circle.
3. Notice how the stroke on right images are thinner than the ones on the left.

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1. Nice blends.

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1. Not for everyone but nice design idea as a starting point for something better.

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1. Nice stroke in design.
2. Nice use of background and blends.

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1. Nice idea on left side. (circle stoke could have been nicer).

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1. Nice blends.
2. Notice how the water horizon line match up on all images.

So that's it for now my friend designers! I hope this post helped you to get better at your designs. I am very greatful to have you as my designers and hope you stay with me and surprise me with new ideas every day.

Your boss, your "sir", but most importantly, your friend.

Zvi Twersky

Level A\B Holidays explained

HOLIDAY LEVELS EXPLAINED

There are two kinds of Jewish Holidays - Some are like a Saturday - where religious people are not allowed to drive, work, make fire, etc... and most stores are closed. Of course non-religious people will still drive but they won't go to work and will spend the day with their family or just rest (like I do). I'll call this kind of Holiday Level A.

The other kind is like you ARE allowed to drive and do anything except work. There are exceptions that allow people to work but one must try not to. I'll call this Level B.

Some Holidays are 1 day long, some are two and some are 7 or 8.

There are TWO Holidays (one in winter and one in Summer) that are each 7 days long - where the first and last day are level A and the middle days are level B. note: Fridays are half days, where people get home from work at noon so they can cook and prepare for the Saturday. Any day before a level A Holiday will be like a Friday - people get off at noon to prepare for the Holiday.

October has FOUR Holidays:

  1. "Rosh Hashana": (TWO LEVEL A DAYS) The Jewish New Year festival. It is marked by the blowing of the shofar horn, and begins the ten days of penitence culminating in "Yom Kippur" (day of atonement).
  2. "Yom Kippur": (1 LEVEL A DAY) The most solemn religious fast of the Jewish year, the last of the ten days of penitence that begin with Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year).
  3. "Sukkot" (7 DAYS - TWO LEVEL A and 5 LEVEL B) A Hebrew word meaning "booths" or "huts," refers to the Jewish festival of giving thanks for the fall harvest. It also commemorates the 40 years of Jewish wandering in the desert after the giving of the Torah (Bible) atop Mt. Sinai.
  4. "Simchat Torah" (1 LEVEL A DAY) "Rejoicing of the Torah" (Bible). On this day we conclude, and begin anew, the annual Torah reading cycle. The event is marked with great rejoicing.

WELCOME

Welcome to the new BLOG for Vinewood Studios graphic designers!

 

In this blog I will post news, information, rules, upcoming Holiday's and events, and anything you need to know about working for my company.

Every designer MUST read these blog posts. You will be notified when new posts are posted and you will also see a summary of the latest posts on your que page.

Feel free to comment on posts in the comment section.

This blog will help us be united as a work-force and help us achieve uniformity in our designs.

I wish you all the best!

Zvi Twersky