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An Insight into Augmented Reality Window Displays

What is Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality, AR, is a technology which combines virtual images and elements with reality to create an altered reality. But what exactly is an Augmented Reality window display?

Augmented Reality

AR Window Displays

As a window display, AR can help provide interactivity and improved connection between window shoppers and your product. One example of this, which we will go on to talk about later, is John Lewis’s interactive window display which showcased its range of Smart TVs by using their displays to transport customers on the street into virtual scenes.

AR window displays

Why are AR window displays more engaging and attractive for users?

AR window displays are eye-catching and grab the attention of prospective customers quickly because of moving and interactive elements. Often they will automatically become involved in the display, forming part of the reality that the display augments. Once you have the attention of passers-by, the AR displays offer an interactive and personalised experience that can deeply connect with shoppers. Personalisation has been a retail trend for some time now, and AR is really taking it to the next level.

 

How can AR Window Displays link to mobile devices

If you wanted to showcase particular products through the use of an AR window display, one way to increase interactivity would be to provide additional information to a user’s mobile. AR displays can be created so that passers-by can scan the screen and access extra information about products, such as technical specifications, video tutorials, prices and special offers. It also becomes easy to convert that attention into sales, by linking to a website where purchasing is made quick and easy. Enabling customers to purchase from a screen in their hand there and then makes impulse buying easy.

mobile window displays

How are window displays with AR likely to increase sales

Consumer buy-in is enhanced by the level of interactivity and personalisation that AR offers. An in-store transaction is more likely once this connection has been made. As well as offering easy ways to learn more about products, and shop through mobile devices, the AR window display can itself be used to purchase a product. A recent award winning campaign by Debenhams saw a display used as a look-book for a fashion collection, with customers able to buy from landmarks round London. AR displays are also particularly useful for niche products, as the display provides additional information. Alongside the increased likelihood of sales, customer interactivity offers a unique opportunity to collect data on browsing and user habits, which can give key analytical insight.

John Lewis Augmented Reality Experience

Earlier this year, John Lewis used an AR display to showcase its Smart TV’s. Passers-by at the Sloane Square and Oxford Street stores were able to see themselves on screen and choose an experience to be overlaid, to create the virtual reality. Glass-mounted speakers were also used to provide sound for a more immersive experience.

Window Displays

 

AR marketing methods are changing retail as we know it and AR window displays are one exciting way to engage with customers this season. With increased interactivity, personalisation. AR offers greater convenience for business to customer communication, we are excited to see how AR takes shape in the very near future.

 

 

7 Game Changing Graphic Design Blogs in 2017

What Makes Graphic Design Blogs Effective:

Whether you're seeking out inspiration or you're after some technical information, Graphic Design Blogs are a great place to start. We've sought out seven of the best blogs online, so the next time you hit a creative brick wall, or you're struggling with a particular process, be sure to check out one of these for help:

 

1. FormFiftyFive

FormFiftyFive is an excellent blog if you need to get your creative juices flowing. Initially created by designers along with illustrators and coders, the Graphic Design Blog scours some of the best and most current work from all over the world, bringing together designs from both well-known sources and young up and comers in the design industry. Constantly on the lookout for new and intriguing designs, the blog is also a great place to go if you want to study some of the most current trends. With occasional features that delve deeply into current happenings in the design industry, if you're serious about design, you shouldn't give this one a miss.

 

2. Abduzeedo

With daily design inspiration and series looking at everything from individual illustrators to typography and beyond Abduzeedo has become an essential reference for graphic designers all over the world. Taking an analytical look at design, the blog regularly celebrates designers and firms for their work, so whether you're working on a large project as part of a brand identity redesign, or you've been asked to come up with a new logo, you're bound to find something helpful on Abduzeedo.

graphic design blogs

 

3. Creativebloq

Creative Bloq has been firmly established for several years now and offers a mix of inspiration combined with advice. With advice on pretty much everything from dealing with difficult clients to technical tutorials, if you ever feel like you're getting nowhere then Creative Bloq is a great place to go to make you realise that you're not alone. There's also a healthy dose of the latest trends, so you're likely to come across some inspiration while you're there.

 

graphic design blogs

4. Ucreative Design

 

UCreative is the perfect place to go if you're in need of a quick inspiration fix. With most posts readable in a minute or two, if you're short on time and inspiration, then it's the ideal blog for you. There are also plenty of handy links to free software, fonts and photo-shop plugins.

graphic design blogs

 

5.  LogodesignLove

Whether you're a freelance designer or you work as part of a firm, chances are that during your career you've been tasked with designing a brand logo. The fact is that a logo is never just a logo, it becomes a firm part of the brand's identity and shapes how it talks to its clients. Logo Design Love understand that and bring together some of the world's best brand marketing and design work. So, if you want to be sure that by the time you use IPW1 Instant Print to print a brand's logo for their office, that the logo is going to say everything your client wants it to about their brand, check out Logo Design Love.

 

 

6. Upwork- Freelance Graphic Design Blog

As the world's leading site for freelancers, Upwork has become an essential source of income for designers the world over. As with every pretty much every industry, however, it can be incredibly competitive and if you're a freelancer, you're going to have to do whatever it takes to make your work stand out. Thankfully Upwork has taken the time to put together a guide to creating the perfect designer profile. With simple but effective tips including prioritising your most important skills, even if you don't use Upwork, it's well worth studying if you're looking to improve your profile.

 

graphic design blogs

 

7. Design Shack

If you're in the midst of designing a website for a client and are struggling to see how the project is going to come together, then you might want to check out some useful articles in the graphics section of Designshack. The above one highlights the importance of design consistency. In order to create a fluid and accessible customer journey through the site, consistency is key. Head over to the article for tips on the relationship of elements on the page as well as dominant and secondary colours.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 tips and tricks that will make you a better designer

If you are a good designer, you will constantly be looking for ways in which to better your craft, and in doing so, you will have enhanced and harnessed your skills enough in order to please clients, resulting in repeat bookings.

If you haven't been doing this, then what are you waiting for?

We have put together 5 top tips and tricks that are guaranteed to make you a much better designer.

 

how to design

 

1. Welcome and provide feedback

By allowing other designers to look at and critique your work, you are only going to make it better using their feedback. To the untrained eye, your design could look great, but with a professional nip and tuck, it could be perfect. Sharing and receiving feedback is pivotal to a progressive career in design, so get talking.

2. Study your craft

Graphic design is not a trade, it is a profession, so you need to study it in order to excel. Although there are plenty of books and articles available online, look out for free and fee paying courses available in most major cities. Paying attention in class and geeking out will have a huge impact on the quality and professionalism of your designs going forward.

3. Listen to your client

There is nothing worse than providing a brief, for it to be met with something that seems to have been plucked out of the sky. By listening to what your client wants, you are guaranteed a happy customer. There is no harm in providing suggestions using your expertise, however. After all, that's what you have been hired for.

4. Work on something for you

Although you might think the last thing you'll want to do when you get home is to start work on another design project, it is guaranteed to keep the creative juices flowing and help to avoid feeding your personal preferences into client designs during the day. So choose a project and get to it. It doesn't have to be a lonely endeavor, either. Make it something for the home and get your housemates or better half to pitch in too.

5. Source inspiration

Whether it is an exhibition at your local art gallery, an image in your favourite weekly glossy or the decor at your best friend's wedding at the weekend, simply stepping outside and sourcing inspiration from the world around you will feed greatness into your designs. Keeping your eyes shut to the outside world will shut off any kind of creative flow and will cause your work to become repetitive. Grab a fellow designer or friend and take a walk. No excuses.

 

design inspiration

 

Instant Print W1 are based in Fitzrovia, at the heart of London. Get in touch with us today for a quote.

How to prepare a design for the Printers

How to prepare a design for the Printers

At Instant Print, most of our clients will make sure their designs are shipshape before sending them over, but over many years of trading, we’ve seen our fair share of howlers. We will always check our customers’ designs to ensure that they look shipshape before sending a job to print, but the end of the day, the job of the printer is to print, not to check, so we can’t always check thoroughly.   This means that if a bad design is sent through to us, sometimes it will go to print anyway. Be...

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How to design the perfect business card

As the saying goes, you don’t get a second chance at a first impression. In a business setting, a business card is part of that first impression, so you have to make sure your business card is up to the task. At Instant Print, we go through thousands of business cards every week, so we’ve got a pretty good idea of what works and what doesn’t. When you’re designing your next business card, follow these tips to make sure it gets noticed for the right reasons.

 

Get the size right

business cardIn the UK, business cards are typically around 85mm wide and 55mm high, intended to mimic the size of a credit or debit card. This is so that they can be easily popped into a wallet or purse after they’ve been handed out, making it easy for your new contacts to keep them safe. Your business may prefer to do things differently, but it’s best to stick to the standard on this one.

 

Be aware of design best practice

business cardYou could have a great design in theory, but if you don’t follow best practice, you could end up red faced when it doesn’t quite go to plan. Learn about print bleed, and incorporate it into your design so that the printers don’t cut off any necessary sections. You can learn more about bleed here. On top of this, basic design necessities such as using a grid on your design will help make your design as good as it can possibly be.

 

Keep it informative

 business card

Most times you’ll be giving out your business card because you think the recipient could be a worthwhile contact for the future. You need to ensure that when they dig your card out to get in touch, it has as many points of contact as possible. Phone nunber, email address, and professional social media links (such as LinkedIn or Twitter) are typically included as standard. The important thing to remember though is to include modes of communication you actually use.

 

Pick a fitting colour scheme

business card 

In any branding exercise, you’ll have to decide what kind of colour scheme suits your business. If you’re a creative business, something bright and playful will be suitable, while a cleaner, more conservative design will suit a more traditional business. Neither approach is wrong, but just make sure you pick the one that suits your business. If in doubt, follow the colour scheme that your business uses in the rest of its branding.

 

Consider paper thickness

business card 

A thicker paper will make your business cards more robust and professional-looking, while a thin business card will not only fold and crease more easily, but will also look and feel less professional. It will cost more, but it’s worth splashing out for thicker paper. Also, if you go for a thick paper, you can choose to emboss words on the card, which will make it look even more professional.

 

Don’t overcomplicate it

business card

When designing a business card, the temptation can be to cram as much information and design into the space as possible. This is especially tempting as the space you’re working with is so small. On the contrary, you should ensure that some white space is left. Not only does this leave room for the designs to ‘breathe,’ but it also ensures that anyone you hand out your card to has space to write extra details on it. They may, for example, wish to write down the reason they’d like to contact you in future.

 

INSTANT PRINT W1 ARE BASED IN FITZROVIA, AT THE HEART OF LONDON. GET IN TOUCH WITH US HERE TO GET A QUOTE.

How to pick colour schemes like a designer

How to pick colour schemes like a designer

If you run – or work for – a small business, purse strings can be tight, so bringing in a designer can be an unattainable luxury. Sometimes, you’ll have to roll up your sleeves, learn the tricks of the trade, and do it yourself. We have previously written a guide to picking fonts, and in this week’s blog we’re going to teach you how to pick colour schemes. This is an aspect of design that can be catastrophic if done wrong, but thankfully there’s one very simple tool you can use to help you; the ...

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How to pick your font like a designer

How to pick your font like a designer

  Any designer knows that font choice can make or break a design. Font choice is a bit like body language and voice tone when you’re talking to someone; it’s not just about the words that you use, but how those words are presented. Most people by now will know that you should never, ever use comic sans (and if you don’t know why, please click this link and read up on comic sans immediately) but what fonts should you use and when? Read on for a basic guide to the world of fonts. Learn your ...

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Five videos that teach you everything you need to know about printing

If you work for a business that commissions printing jobs, you may be interested to find out how certain types of printing are done. Here are five video clips that show you how five popular kinds of printing are carried out.

 

Gutenburg printing

 

If you want to learn about printing, the first step should be the Gutenberg printing press. Essentially, this was the world’s first printer, and it helped ideas spread throughout Europe in the 15th Century. Here’s a video showing how the press works. Give it a watch and see how it all began!

 

 

 

 

Business cards

 

This is one of the most common requests we get in, and it’s easy to see why. Every business needs business cards, and a good business card can really help to cement a good first impression. But how are they made? And how do they end up so perfectly cut? Watch on to find out.

 

 

 

T-Shirts

 

Businesses might want printed T-Shirts for a variety of reasons. If your business is particularly casual, staff uniforms may include a T-Shirt, with the company logo printed on it. Companies may also wish to have T-Shirts printed if they’re doing a team run, or some sort of external team marketing activity. Here’s how the process of printing T-Shirts works.

 

 

 

 

Mugs

 

It’s a proud day for many fledgling businesses when they get their first set of branded mugs. For a business owner, the first sip of that morning coffee tastes all the sweeter when it’s from a mug with the company name on it! Here’s how mug printing works.

 

 

 

Vinyl printing

 

You may be interested in vinyl printing if you’re looking for a banner, to promote your company at a conference or event. To all intents and purposes, a vinyl printer looks like a regular printer. The key difference is the vinyl printing material that is used instead of paper.

 

 

INSTANT PRINT W1 ARE BASED IN FITZROVIA, AT THE HEART OF LONDON. GET IN TOUCH WITH US HERE TO GET A QUOTE.

 

 

 

Guide to design for businesses that can’t afford designers

Good design is absolutely vital for any business; whether you need a new website, a neat new stack of business cards, or an advert. Top designers are expensive, however, and small businesses don’t always have the capital at their disposal to hire or commission them. Because of this, small business owners may have to get creative and do the design work themselves. The benefit of this approach is that it cuts out the financial cost of hiring a top designer, but the major downside is that designs put together by people who are not design-minded can turn out pretty poorly. Here are a few tips you can apply to your designs that will help even the worst designers create killer designs.

 

Use grids

sunglasses-apple-iphone-desk 

If you just take one thing from this article, make sure it’s this. Grids can make the difference between a good designer and a great one, or a bad designer and a passable one. Most good design and photo manipulation software will allow you to place a grid over your design, which will allow you to ensure that everything is in line properly. Nothing will give the game away that you don’t know what you’re doing quite like a design that doesn’t line up.

 

 

Utilise space

 edwhitefirstamericanspacewalker-1965-ws

If you’re not particularly design-minded, the temptation can be to fill all possible white space on your design with pictures and words. This is actually the opposite of what you should do; when utilised effectively, white space can really help a design stand out.

Filling all possible white space will make your design look cluttered, and people looking at it won’t know where to start. The whole point of design is to display information in an aesthetically pleasing and simple way. Filling all possible white space is – if anything – just providing the viewer with information overload. Embrace the white space, and you’ll be surprised how much cleaner and more professional your designs look.

 

Choose the right fonts

1280px-ornamental_alphabet_-_16th_century-svg

We all know that Comic Sans is to be avoided at all costs (and if you don’t, you can brush up here), and this just highlights the importance of selecting the right fonts. Every font has its own unique character and ideal usage, and will look out of place if you use it incorrectly. The correct font to use all depends on what kind of business you run. Fun, playful fonts can look great, but if you run a law firm you’re not giving off the right impression. On the reverse, if you run a hip creative agency, you shouldn’t use a serious, business-like font.

It may seem like a small detail, but you should really agonise over which font you choose. The words you use on your design will lose all their impact if they’re presented in the wrong way.

 

Maintain brand consistency

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Your company branding is important, as it helps create a cohesive identity. Your brand identity must run through everything that you do like a stick of rock, and that goes for every piece of design you do. It’s best practice to have a universal company colour scheme, logo, and possibly even a company font.

 

If all else fails… use a template

pen-933150_960_720 

Design isn’t for everyone, and if you’re banging your head on your keyboard trying to make your original design look even halfway passable, it may be worth using a template. Whether you’re designing a poster, business card, flyer, or something else, there are many templates online that you can tweak to make your own. Just be sure that you add enough of your own flair to it that it doesn’t look like the original template.

 

What you should do here is directly crib the layout, but change the colour scheme, fonts, and pictures. That way all you have to do is drop in your copy, images, and company colours, and you’re away! Don’t worry, we won’t tell anyone.

INSTANT PRINT W1 ARE BASED IN FITZROVIA, AT THE HEART OF LONDON. GET IN TOUCH WITH US HERE TO GET A QUOTE.

What is print bleed? A definitive guide

If you’re sending a print job to a printing company, chances are you’ll be asked to leave some space on the design for bleed. But what is print bleed, and how can you avoid getting caught out? Read on for our definitive guide to print bleed, and how to ensure it never becomes an issue.

 

Print bleed explained

Put simply, bleed can be defined as ‘excess’. It is the area on a design that can be trimmed off after printing without negatively impacting the design by cutting bits of it short. No printers have the capability to print right to the edge of the page, so the print design must specify three zones.

The simple design below illustrates how to best set up your bleed on a design.

 

screen-shot-2016-09-27-at-10-28-14

An example of print bleed

The Safe Zone

Firstly, you need to have a line surrounding the ‘safe zone’. On the above design, this is the red line. This line is the innermost cut that the printer could make.  This should be placed around all the important information and imagery on your design that you absolutely cannot have removed. So, for example, the safe zone would have to surround all of the holder’s information on a business card.

The Cut Line

Secondly, you need a cut line, the line where you’d like the cut to be. On the design  It is best practice to allow for 3mm either way, so this should be 3mm away from the safe zone.

The Bleed Zone

The third, and final, zone is the bleed zone. This is between the edge of the design – shown here in black - and the cut line. This needs to be two things. Firstly, it needs to be expendable, containing no important detail or information. Secondly, it needs to contain colour and design, so that if the cut occurs in the bleed zone, then you are not left with white space surrounding your design.

 

Potential pitfalls (and how to avoid them)

To print industry folk, bleed is a fairly simple concept, though it can be confusing to those outside the industry, and people will frequently make mistakes. Here’s a few potential print bleed pitfalls to avoid.

 

Important information outside the safe zone

If you place important design flourishes or information outside of the safe zone, they could get axed. Even if you place them inside the cut line, you could still end up with important parts of your design being cut. Best practice is to draw your safe zone line around all of the vital information, and place your cut line 3mm outside it.

 

Bleed zone differs to the rest of your design

Some people choose to mark out their bleed zone by leaving it white, or filling it in with a colour. This is a bad idea, as the bleed zone is there to provide a bit of extra design, as the cut can occur within this area. Take a look at our example design above. If we were to fill the bleed zone with block yellow colour, we could end up with a yellow border around the final printed design. Not a great look.

 

No bleed zone or safe zone specified 

Warning, you’re playing with fire if you do this. If you’re leaving it to the printer to decide where to cut off, don’t be surprised if the final result doesn’t look exactly how you’d hoped it would.

 

Instant Print W1 are based in Fitzrovia, at the heart of London. Get in touch with us here to get a quote.

 

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