May
03
2010
0
POST
HERE

Converting Print Publications to a Digital Realm. Where to Begin?

When considering migrating a print publication into the digital realm there are a few basic things to consider.

1. The intent of the digital publication.
2. Your audience and how they are currently interacting with the print piece along with how that will change when moving to a digital version.
3. The format you will use: Flash, Blog- and Website-based, Flip book, or a Hybrid approach.
The Intent.
Some print publications can transition into digital formats very successfully, offering viewers more benefits such as: a larger source of visual elements through photo galleries, more timely updates through social media such as twitter and RSS feeds, opportunities to provide feedback, and opportunities to engage with the community of readers through blogs and share-based avenues.
Your Audience.
Switching a publication to a digital format should not always be about reducing your costs, you need to consider what is right for your audience. It can be more difficult to attract and retain readers in the digital rather than the print medium, so you may want to consider either doing both print and digital, or consider slowly phasing out the print version. Whichever path you decide to take, you need to consider that all audiences interact with digital media in a very different way than print, so you will need to evaluate such elements as: typography, images, article length and content flow (navigation).
  • Typography: Traditional digital unlike print has more limitations with regards to size and font style, however if you have a highly designed publication you may want to consider producing it in flash as this will give you the most creative freedom out of all the digital mediums.
  • Imagery: Unlike typography, digital mediums offer more flexibility and freedom when it comes to images. It opens up opportuities to create large galleries or use more engaging background photography. Video can also be used to bring your site to life.
  • Article Length: People often read more quickly online versus print, so realize that a viewer is more likely to become bored faster. To combat this, we suggest using shorter paragraphs and breaking up longer articles into multiple pages. You can even offer a condensed version online with the opportunity to download a longer version in PDF format.
  • Content Flow (navigation): The No. 1 rule related to navigation is that it should be easy to find whatever you are looking for within the content of an online publication. Across the design, the navigation should be consistent, concise and helpful. We suggest engaging the reader with snippets of content to encourage them to flow through the site.
The Format:
There are generally four interactive formats that can be used for online publication each having their own pros and cons.
  • Flash-based: This is a great format for image and interactive heavy publications. This format can be more customized with graphics and typography compared to traditional web-based media. It offers extensive engagement through the use of animation, video and games. Social media can easily be used and re-distribution is very useful. A flash based publication can be portable by creating an application that allows a view to interact with the site without being connected to the internet. The main disadvantages of  using Flash are the limited use it has on smart phones (smart phones don’t support Flash) and search engine optimization will be more difficult. It is however a terrific solution for non-consumer based publication and ones that are created for a limited distribution.
  • Blog- and Website- based: This is a good solution for a publication that will be discarding the print version. Distribution is simple, and if a content management system is set-up then updating the content will also be easy. Unlike Flash if you want a highly visual publication then this may not be the right solution, or at least more consideration has to occur in the initial design. One major drawback to this option is the security, because of the ease that a viewer has to use the cut-and-paste functions, your copyrighted content can easily be stolen.
  • Flip Book: One of our least favorite options because it is the least interactive. Visually, it is no different than a print piece.The file size can be excessive, and on smaller monitors it is difficult to read.
  • Hybrid: This format is the combination of any or all three approaches above and also the one that we at Soloflight suggest to all our clients because: it gives the reader the best of both worlds and uses all the content generated for a traditional publication to its fullest potential while offering more substance to engage and build reader loyalty.

See below a sample of a Hybrid publication that we just created for AutoTrader.com or go to www.atcaboveandbeyond.com

Autotrader_home

Autotrader_championsAutotrader_champions2Autotrader_galleryAutotrader_volunteering

Share
Sep
28
2009
0
POST
HERE

A publication doesn’t need paper to be a publication.

When clients have limited distribution budgets, sometimes the best way to deliver the content is via the web. For those who prefer printed publications over interactive publications, we suggest including a downloadable pdf version. However, Soloflight’s  philosophy is that design for interactive and design for print should be parallel but not mirror each other. A designer should respect the differences between the two media and how audiences interact with each.

A perfect example is The BeltLine…Its Journey produced for the BeltLine Partnership.

The prospect of a larger audience and greater longevity pleased the Beltline, and we were able to implement design aspects that would have been impossible to print. Focusing on issues like usability, content sharing through social bookmarking sites and repurposing on social media sites a rubost site was created. Awareness and support for the BeltLine project has increased dramatically since the site’s launch. Check it out »

Story Telling Interactive Publication

Story Telling Interactive Publication

Traditional Supporting Print Piece

Traditional Supporting Print Piece

Share
Sep
02
2009
0
POST
HERE

How A Change In Packaging Can Change Perception

Original Forester Whiskey packaging

Original Forester Whiskey packaging

Old Forester is one of those brands that have been around forever, almost literally. Back in the 50s, they did a lot of advertising (see the ad below). Since then, not much has changed packaging-wise. So I was quite surprised when I saw the brand’s new look.

Until the refreshed design, Old Forester was most likely the inexpensive bourbon your grandfather would drink. Now, young drinkers might mistake it for a higher-quality bourbon such as Booker’s or Woodford Reserve. And all it took was a fresh look at packaging.

Rebranding of Old Forester Whiskey

Rebranding of Old Forester Whiskey

For more insight on the new design, visit oldforester.combetternewlabel.aspx.

Share
Written by soloflight in: Design Insights | Tags: , ,
Oct
31
2008
2
POST
HERE

Tips For Achieving The Right Hierarchy

I recently saw an AARP publication sitting on my 78-year old mother’s coffee table and was estatic to see designers successfully using large fonts without compromising good design. I believe it’s all about having the right hierarchy of font sizes, which can be achieved by following these four techniques:

  1. Choose your primary typefaces wisely.
    Select a legible type family with enough weights to give you options.
  2. Use a contrasting typeface.
    If your primary typeface is a serif design, choose a contrasting sans serif font to help prioritize information. Don’t select more than two families though. When you have more, you run the risk of making your design too busy.
  3. Vary your font sizes.
    Changing the point size will draw attention, but be sure to make it noticeable. A one-point change won’t create enough contrast. Instead, try two points or more.
  4. Vary the weights.
    Adjusting the weight is a great way to draw attention, especially with lead-in type.

Michelle Ducayet | Creative Director | Soloflight Design

Share
Written by soloflight in: Design Insights |
Oct
30
2008
2
POST
HERE

Animated Logos | The Next Trend

Have you noticed that interactive design has become an essential component in corporate communication? I have and believe the days of 1- or 2-color logos are no more. There is enormous opportunity for companies to bring static one-dimensional logos to life with animation. Just think of the endless possibilities, such as websites, Power Point presentations, banner ads, etc.

Take a look at the one we did for The Arthritis Foundation. Cool, huh?

lets_move_together

Michelle Ducayet | Creative Director | Soloflight Design

Share
Written by soloflight in: Design Insights |
Oct
29
2008
0
POST
HERE

Packaging Trends

As we do more and more packaging assignments, we’re having to stay on top of the trends. What’s below are 9 of the hottest trends we’ve seen emerge this year.

Keeping it simple.
Simplicity in design implies elegance. This approach avoids gratuitous embellishment in favor of focusing on conveying key ideas. And I’ve seen many big brands adopt this trend, effectively selling everything from food to electronics. In fact, Soloflight just used this approach for a high-end cosmetics line we recently helped launch.

Looking back in time.
By leveraging elements from the past, you can create a feeling and speak to a prospective buyer’s emotional past. This trend isn’t exactly retro though. Instead of a complete use of old designs, we’re seeing brands pick up certain elements (type, colors, etc.) and use them to create a more contemporary look for today’s customer.

Showing the product in use.
For years, advertising has been showing customers enjoying a product. But this is something packaging is just now starting to do, whether it’s literally with photos or figuratively with illustrations. The intent of this approach is to give prospective buyers something to aspire to, helping them feel a bit closer to achieving the lifestyle they want. Which is something we tried to achieve with our recent FlatWire packaging.

Making it look handmade.
Handmade products are viewed as special and people are certainly willing to pay more for them. Even if a product is mass produced, having packaging that appears handmade adds a certain cache and allows a premium to be charged. It’s important, however, for consumer to feel a level of genuineness. From hand-drawn art to tactile elements, the packaging needs to look like it was made just for them.

Showing not telling.
Too often packaging works too hard to sell and just ends up confusing the consumer. You don’t need copy for every single feature and benefit. Instead, employ eye-catching photography that clearly conveys what’s being sold and, if possible, what the benefit is. When the latter isn’t possible, let the copy convey the key benefit…just remember to keep the messaging brief.

Being bold.
Pop Art inspired this next trend, which favors a bold look that presents itself uniquely on the shelf. Fonts are chunky, colors are typically bright and geometric shapes are often used. While simplicity in packaging is on the rise, a bold approach can be especially useful for product categories where shelves are cluttered with too many competing SKUs.

Adding a bit of whimsy.
When a brand has personality, it’s engaging, captivating and fun for the consumer. Capitalizing on that, more and more companies are incorporating lighthearted visuals and copy into their packaging. Which is exactly what we did for Pressto! custom cookbooks. By bringing an element of entertainment to the product, consumers are given a reason to connect with it beyond its benefits. Whimsical touches are also a great way to keep simple from becoming boring.

Telling a story.
Conveying the origins of a product gives it more credibility. In fact, this can be very powerful in establishing a relationship. The storytelling trend has grown from using snippets of stories on the backs of packaging to printing these tales on the front of the package. Narrative copy, when well done, can be engaging enough to slow consumers down and emotionally involve them. And once that connection is made, products can become irresistible.

9. Going green.
As consumer commitment to the environment grows, so has companies’ commitment to creating packaging that’s more eco-friendly. Visually, the green trend manifests itself in a variety of ways, from incorporating obviously earthy materials to choosing simple containers that use less materials. Shipping methods and recyclability are also important concerns. Above all, embracing the green trend is all about being honest and truthful regarding your motives, so if you’re not ready to fully commit to being green, wait until you can.

Michelle Ducayet | Creative Director | Soloflight Design

Share
Written by soloflight in: Design Insights |

Powered by WordPress | Aeros Theme | TheBuckmaker.com WordPress Themes