How to choose the right Graphic Designer

by Admin 21. July 2010 07:02

Selecting the right woman for the right job at the right time is an extremely difficult task. Clients, who are looking for graphic designers to do their work, often do not know how to select the appropriate graphic designer. Since the selection of a graphic designer is a very daunting and tiring process, clients tend to get frustrated and select the graphic designer they can easily locate.

There are several ways that clients go about searching for a graphic designer. Some of these include:

   1. Checking design companies and freelance graphic designers.
   2. Contacting established companies and their hired graphic designers.
   3. Asking your business associates and relatives who have previously hired a graphic designer.
   4. Posting free classified ads on online design forums.
   5. Selecting a graphic designer through an online design contest

Criteria for selecting the graphic designer:

While there are numerous people who are offering their services as graphic designers, they differ in the level of experience, skill and professionalism. Searching for a suitable graphic designer can be quite a cumbersome process and cause an awful confusion for clients. Therefore, look out for the basic attributes of a graphic designer before selection. I have listed some of them below

   1. A Strong and Dynamic Design Portfolio:

A strong portfolio is the foremost attribute that you should look for while choosing a graphic designer. An experienced and talented graphic designer can be judged by their design portfolio. Graphic designers who have a weak design portfolio or simply don’t have one are signifying their low level of experience. The more dynamic the portfolio will be, the more versatile the graphic designer will be.

   2. Good Interpersonal Skills:

A very important quality of an experienced and adroit graphic designer is the ability to interact with their clients. Good interpersonal skills include listening intently to the clients and then suggesting ideas to spell out that they understand what is required from them. Graphic designers who cannot place their ideas clearly to their clients demonstrate their lack of experience.
   3. Strong Marketing Skills:

While it is not necessary for a graphic designer to possess a degree in Marketing, but to be able to market the clients’ products and service efficiently is important. While choosing a graphic designer, always ask for the ways in which the graphic designer will promote your products and services through his design work.
   4. Say No to Nepotism:

One of the most common practices prevalent in corporate hiring process is the nepotism. Many a times, designers are hired on the basis of favoritism, which is bad for the corporations. Selection of graphic designers should be made purely on merit basis. Hence, when you are hiring a graphic designer, you should set aside personal issues. It doesn’t matter to which ethnic, religious or political orientation the graphic designer belongs to as long as he/she is talented and qualified.
   5. Professional Approach:

An expert and experienced graphic designer can be identified by the way they talk, the way they walk and the way they deal with their clients. An able graphic designer will work with professionalism. They will work with contracts to safeguard the clients’ and their own interests.

   6. Impressive testimonials and referrals:

Another factor that is crucial in determining the ability of a graphic designer is the testimonials and reviews from previous clients. If majority of his previous clients are happy and content with his design work, you can rest assure that you will also get a     similar treatment.

In the end, I would recommend that no matter how you choose a graphic designer make sure that both you and the graphic designer are on the same wavelength. Choose wisely or you will lose badly!




Articles | Graphic Design

Why Online Marketing is important

by Admin 13. July 2010 05:45

The www as we know it has had phenomenal growth in the past 11 years. During March 2006 the Internet community was estimated at over 1Billion users . Of that total figure South Africa represents 5 million users . These figures in itself is very impressive, but let's compare these figures to the alternative marketing options available to business in South Africa.

Alternative marketing options

Television in South Africa is the largest possible source for advertising and at a Combined 17.5mil viewers including SABC Africa, also the most expensive form of advertising. The result is a marketing strategy that is far above the budget of the average business.

Known issues with these types of marketing is to a great extend your return on your investment as these marketing options can be compared to shotgun marketing. The viewers are not targeted audiences and the basic demographics are known by a small sample made by the media company for costing purposes. The main factor that determines your audience is costs. You need to fit a tight budget and compare it with estimates of expected reaction to decide what timeslot your advertisement should be broadcasted. The broadcast usually last for a period of between 5 to 45 seconds and every time it is broadcasted you pay additional costs.

Online Marketing

Online marketing to a great extend has become a science, in that the website that you are able to make live at a very low cost is available to over 1 Billion viewers at any given time. Visitors that end up on your site can be tracked and very accurate user behavior can be drawn up, allowing you to apply improvements to your marketing strategy in a short period of time and then successfully track changes made for further improvements.

The accurate tracking and monitoring of website visitors is what makes online marketing so unique and beneficial. It is to great extend impossible to accurately track the sources of your marketing campaigns with conventional methods but with the online marketing sector you can track successful traffic sources as far as conversion rates and value per visitor is concerned. This enables you to tweak your marketing campaign in order to get better-targeted audiences that increase ROI.

Search Engines

Search Engines are in general compared by to the yellow pages. However this type of comparison is an injustice to the success that are accomplished by a proper search engine marketing strategy. By not being visible on search engines your site virtually becomes like having the Menlyn shopping center in the middle of the Kalahari. People don't know about it nor do they go there. SEO is a vital part of your online marketing strategy because it delivers highly targeted audiences with excellent conversion rates. People that visit your site from a search engine were looking for your services or products.



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Articles | Online Marketing & SEO

The importance of an e-mail signature

by Admin 12. July 2010 07:55

An often overlooked, but extremely important part of an e-mail is the signature block. Your e-mail signature should be the final section of each e-mail that you send. It acts as an information and marketing block that provides pertinent and important information about you or your company to anyone that corresponds with you via e-mail.

There are several aspects that you should be aware of when creating your e-mail signature that we’re going to look at:

- Your contact information

- Your name
- Your title

- Company name

- Phone number(s)

- Fax number(s)

- Physical address

- Website address

- E-mail address

- Logo


These are the basics of what you need to communicate in your signature. They allow anyone that receives an e-mail from you to quickly locate an easy way to contact you or your business. Be sure to include your e-mail address as well in the signature, even though it may seem redundant or not make much sense to include it.


Keep it short and simple


The shorter the better. Keep it simple. Remember, your e-mail signature is for branding and allowing the ability to quickly contact you. Short and simple.


Make it look professional


Although it’s fun to throw in animated .GIFs, purple backgrounds and ants marching in a circle around your name, those don’t exactly convey professionalism. You want your signature to be aesthetically pleasing and project the image of reputable and professional.




As mentioned above, aesthetics and the ability to easily read and locate contact information is of the utmost importance. With that being said, keep in mind the following:

- Avoid small fonts

- Avoid extra large fonts

- Avoid lengthy sentences and multiple lines

- Avoid multiple colors

- Avoid multiple font types and sizes

- Remember, just keep it simple and elegant.




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Articles | Graphic Design

Brilliant Packaging

by Admin 30. June 2010 04:31

The function of retail packaging in the modern world is mainly to encourage consumers to purchase and use the product. In our consumerist society people have also developed a tendency to purchase products that are more cleverly packaged and presented. This article showcases a handful of innovative contemporary packaging designs for everyday products.

Experimental Milk Carton

A stunning milk carton concept design by Julien De Repentigny & Gabriel Lefebvre.


 Mr Clean

 A multi-purpose container for cleaning detergent products, water, and can be used as a dumbbell. Designed by Tommaso Ceschi.



Yoplait® 360 

 Award winning Israeli designed yogurt bottle with the hole intending to increase the height of the bottle yet maintaining the required 100 ml capacity.


Salt&Pepper Cell

Salt and pepper shakers shaped like D-Cell batteries. A vertical transparent strip along the side indicate the amount of spices left in the shakers. Created by Antrepo Design Industry.


Banana Juicce

 A brilliant packaging solution for banana juice – it even imitates the texture of a real banana skin. Designed by Japanese Designer Naoto Fukasawa.







The importance of a well designed Corporate Identity

by Admin 28. June 2010 04:11

Corporate Identity is "persona" of an organization that is designed in accordance with your business objectives to facilitate the achievement of your actual goals. In general, it includes a logo and supporting elements commonly assembled within a set of rules. These rules administer how the identity is functional and confirm approved color palettes, typefaces, page layouts and other such methods of maintaining visual stability and brand acknowledgment across all physical, web, and electronic manifestations of the brand.


Corporate identity is composed of three parts:

• Corporate designs (logos, flyers, brochures, business cards, and stationary)
• Corporate communication (commercials, public relations, and information)
• Corporate behavior (internal values, ethics and norms)

Corporate designs have become a worldwide procedure for promoting companies and improving corporate culture. Logo, flyers, letter heads, company brochures, executive's business cards and other stationary like envelopes and things determine your corporate identity.

Your Logo is the illustration of your business. It gives the first impression of a business. Before starting a business, much stress is given to a perfect logo design. Our logo design experts understand the importance of logo for your business identity as well as its impact in your business. They design your logo according to the name of company and the business product or service you are going to offer.

A perfect logo gives unique identity to the business and, it is as important to the business as the business name.

Brochures Design - Brochures usually come into play so one can make a smart buying decision. Someone selling a product or service, knowing what type of brochure you need to advertise your products and services is critical to turning your prospective customers into paying customers.

The organization has to focus on these small yet important aspects of identity. This is very much important in marketing prospects, because at that time you interact with people using your stationary only. The most important thing your marketing person carries with them is your name and business card, so these things are important and should be taken care of properly.


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Articles | Corporate Identity


by Admin 23. June 2010 10:14

Specials on the following design work:


3 Concept Logo Design: R1450

Business Card Design: R500

Letterhead Design: R400

Flyer Design:  R550

Half Page Advert for Magazine or A5 Newspaper:  R700


Contact Xplore Studio before the end of June 2010 for these amazing specials.

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Introduction to SEO

by Admin 23. June 2010 04:54

What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

SEO is the active practice of optimizing a web site by improving internal and external aspects in order to increase the traffic the site receives from search engines. Firms that practice SEO can vary; some have a highly specialized focus, while others take a more broad and general approach. Optimizing a web site for search engines can require looking at so many unique elements that many practitioners of SEO (SEOs) consider themselves to be in the broad field of website optimization (since so many of those elements intertwine).

Why does my company/organization/website need SEO?

The majority of web traffic is driven by the major commercial search engines - Google, Bing and Yahoo!. If your site cannot be found by search engines or your content cannot be put into their databases, you miss out on the incredible opportunities available to websites provided via search - people who want what you have visiting your site. Whether your site provides content, services, products, or information, search engines are a primary method of navigation for almost all Internet users.

Why can't the search engines figure out my site without SEO help?

Search engines are always working towards improving their technology to crawl the web more deeply and return increasingly relevant results to users. However, there is and will always be a limit to how search engines can operate. Whereas, the right moves can net you thousands of visitors and attention, the wrong moves can hide or bury your site deep in the search results where visibility is minimal.
In addition to making content available to search engines, SEO can also help boost rankings so that content that has been found will be placed where searchers will more readily see it. The online environment is becoming increasingly competitive, and those companies who perform SEO will have a decided advantage in visitors and customers.


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Articles | Online Marketing & SEO

The benefits of Print Advertising

by Admin 22. June 2010 01:50

Advertising comes in many forms from billboard and television commercials to newspaper and web ads. Print advertising is the term used for any type of advertising on physical paper. Newspaper or magazine ads, brochures, flyers, newsletters, postcards, and booklets are all considered print advertising. Even business cards, promotional folders, and any other imprinted business literature are advertising material because all contain company information and are distributed to clients.

Printed marketing tools still need to be major part of any advertising campaign for several reasons.

Canvas View

Readers are able to glance quickly at print ads in one view. Headers and subheaders in this canvas view allow for easy skimming of information on paper.

Easy to Read

Many people simply react better to physical ads. They enjoy the feel of paper in their hands, the ability to see it all in one glance. Reading online can be more difficult and provide for a shorter attention span, which means that web ads must say it all in even a smaller amount of words than print ads.


Another reason that print ads are so vital is they can include graphics alongside the text allowing the reader to reference the image while reading. Many web advertisements must be scrolled to view both the picture and text, which can cause disinterest.

While setting aside part of the marketing budget for online ads is important, most companies still need to produce printed marketing campaigns for the best results. Even online businesses could benefit from print advertising because of the ability to reach clients who may never be exposed to the company page when online. The bottom line: the more avenues of advertising a company uses, the better the results. So continue mailing those postcards alongside posting those online ads and see why advertising is so important for business.

This is still my favourite print advertisement:

Small screen, small movie

For Megastar Media


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Advertising | Articles

Tygerberg Plumbing Logo Design

by Admin 21. June 2010 04:13

The corporate image is by far the most important single asset a company has.

A good corporate Identity allows your company to convey its purpose and message and sets it apart from the competition.

Tygerberg Plumbing realised the importance of a well designed logo as part of their corporate identity and contacted us to give their image that corporate and professional look and feel.

Now they can use their revamped logo and pull it through to their stationary design like business cards, letterheads and invoice templates.



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Clients | Corporate Identity | Graphic Design

Funny Print Ads that will Make You Laugh

by Admin 17. June 2010 05:09

In the world of print advertising, there’s a small window to grab the audience’s attention. Being restricted to a still image means the message must be very strong and catchy. Ad agencies often rely on humor to achieve this. A humorous print ad campaign starts with a funny idea, but must be brought to life with clever art direction and great visuals.

For this post, we’ve rounded up 7 funny print ads that’ll make you laugh.

8in1 Dental Snacks: Bad dog breath

 Rowenta: 2100 Watt Vacuum cleaner 

 Duende Azul Costumes: You, but funnier than you


Juicy Fruit: There's a much juicier chew

Hyundai Coupe. 0 to 100km/h in 8.4 sec

Dog Toast: You eat what you touch

Wide-angle lenses


For more of these genius ads, please visit

Xplore Studio gives credit to Web Design Ledger.


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Advertising | Articles | Graphic Design

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