Absolute Blog

  • Posted 29/06/2017 by Will Nuttall

    Brochure fold types – a reference guide

    brochure-fold-types

    As a graphic design business that specialised in brochure design, one of the conversations that we regularly find ourselves having with clients concerns the form that their printed brochure might take and how it might be folded. Fold types can be very effectively used to gain more interest, to better support the main selling proposition, or to simply sidestep the norm.

    So, to help ourselves as well as to provide a handy reference guide for our clients, we’ve gathered together a selection of the most popular fold types used for printed documents with four, six, eight, ten and sixteen pages as a convenient list for anyone considering sales leaflets, brochures, direct mailers or newsletters.

    The Half-fold, also known as the single fold or book fold, is mainly used for brochures and newsletters, and works well in both landscape and portrait formats. The most common instances are as A4 portrait brochure, opening up to a landscape A3 size, but it can be used at many varied sizes and is still most commonly seen in newspapers.

    The classic Tri-fold, also known as a letter fold, roll fold or c-fold creates a six panel format and presents a great, compact document with good surface areas both inside and out, making it easy to read and fold back together again. These are particularly effective because the three-page centrespread provides a great space with which to communicate your key messages and make serious impact. We often consider ‘the larger the better’ and these work really well at A4 portrait size (when folded), but can be commonly seen at DL size (folded) which opens out to a horizontal A4 sheet of paper. The outside right panel can often be used to great effect too with a sales proposition or conceptual focal point, or by trimming the front cover right edge to reveal some of this page, which sits beneath the cover when folded.

    Roll folds can be also be effectively used for eight, ten or more pages if desired, as can the below z fold. Having more pages enables these types of documents to carry more text or communicating info heavy designs so are perfect for promotional leaflets, programs, tutorials and step by step instruction guides.

    The Z fold, also known as a zig-zag, fan fold or accordion fold is simply a different way of scoring and folding a tri-fold. Instead of folding the third panel in from the right, it’s folded out, making a z shape with the top edge. It is commonly used for flyers, mailouts and brochures, and of course for folding letters so that they fit into a DL envelope.

    Die-cut z fold. Take the flat z fold artwork, cut a horizontal angle from left to right and then fold it together to create a document with an angled front panel which is shorter in height than the middle and back panels. Simple difference, great impact.

    The Gate fold, double fold or window fold format is perfect for graphically-heavy designs. Gate folds also create a six-panel document but, with the two outer panels being narrower than the central panel, the format presents a brilliant way to tee-up then present the message by the reader having to open up the document like a pair of saloon doors.

    Double gatefold brochures constitute four panels, so eight pages. The two ends of the sheet are folded to meet in the middle, and the document is then folded in half again. They are ideal for large presentations and for small format product sales brochures or catalogues with limited but numerous products.

    Double Parallel folded documents have four panels, which creates eight pages. Whilst they may sound confusing, the quite simply consist of an often wide and short flat rectangular sheet, which is first folded in half, and then in half once again in the same direction.

    French folds are made by folding a sheet in half vertically, and then horizontally. The two folds create eight panels, four on the front and four on the back. This enables a document which when folded is the size of a booklet or brochure, which when opened expands to a final size that feels like a poster. This format is most commonly seen with maps and charts, and can be used to great effect with newsletters or for promotional items for where many individual products or events need to be included.

    We hope that you now feel fold-enlightened but if you still have questions about a format that we haven’t explained – think origami – we’re only too happy to help, so drop us a line or call to discuss.

    View the project here.
  • Posted 22/06/2017 by Will Nuttall

    Mipela GeoSolutions new website

    mipela-website

    Mipela GeoSolutions are a young systems and software design company. In just under ten years have grown to become one of the premier Location Information Management and GIS companies in Australia. With a suite of software products that are designed to help companies be more efficient and productive, they use their product suite to integrate existing business systems, creating workflow automation software solutions, enabling mobile data capture and collection, and introducing stakeholder management solutions. Predominantly they deal with the energy and infrastructure sectors to help enable large scale asset management solutions. A very smart and IT savvy bunch, they had in recent years designed, produced and maintained their own perfectly coded website, but had concluded that their best use of resource was to focus their developers on customer specific solutions. They had already asked Absolute Media to help out with some modifications and updates, but following a competitive pitch, we embarked upon the process of improving their bold online presence, and making it more straightforward for other members of the team to add to the site by building it on the Wordpress Content Management System platform. Our approach in redesigning their site was to create a more professional site whilst deploying their already strong brand which needed honing to promote their status as pioneer in their industry. Introducing a responsive design layout, and making the site much easier to navigate, particular emphasis went into the structure of their product pages and variable support content, with their being lots of media available for some X-Info products, and others having much less to communicate their benefits. View the project here.

    View the project here.
  • Posted 17/05/2017 by Anne-Marie Kelly

    Logo design: important considerations

    logo design considerations brisbane

    It's back to the design school drawing board! We decided that it would be beneficial to revisit the key logo design considerations if you are planning to have a new logo developed, both as a refresher for us and as a guideline for you if you're after a distinctive and individual result.

    The logo design process is regularly a very emotive journey where the outcome has to satisfy the needs of both you - the client - and your customer audience, even though you may have differing subjective viewpoints.

    Fundamental to this is a good understanding between you and your designer, because ultimately it could take a lot of work and revisions to get the across the finish line. Without a good rapport the result will most likely end in compromise.

    What's the point? Logo design considerations

    Effective logos allow clients to connect with and recall the values of a business and brand. To be successful a logo should be recognisable, and therefore needs to factor colour, style, typographic and size considerations into a unique device. Establish a concept and find an individual and original way to visually communicate it.

    Avoid overused imagery

    It's VERY difficult to communicate your individuality with a jigsaw puzzle piece (i.e. 'we are the missing piece' concept) when it's one of the most overused graphic images EVER. There are many established themes in logo land and you would be wise to avoid having something that you like re-worked because you think it's a good fit. Instead consider the basis of your business, its unique qualities, its personality and individuality, what it means to your customers … and question how this might be communicated with graphics and words.

    Don't just decide on price

    You know we would say this. Corner cutting is a necessity in the first months of any new business, but we (as almost certainly every other design agencies has) have seen clients who unfortunately have realised that their off-the-shelf, cheap-o design doesn't meet the needs of the business 18 months in. A lot of clients already know this, and are acceptant of the fact that someday soon they'll get the logo redesigned. What they don't always comprehend are the implications of not just reproducing new materials, but the problems of having to effectively communicate the update to their customers with the new identity, especially if there is a new name too.

    Consider scalability and reversal

    With a mind-blowing plethora of media to apply your logo to, it's important that a design is legible in the smallest available space (think web page favicon)  and that it will look schmicko on that Flinders St digital advertising space that you've been promising yourself once you've make your first million. So don't just look at your prospective logo design in isolation. Question where it's most likely to be seen and how it might look in those environments. The perfect result will provide you with a seamless translation of your brand across a wide variety of different platforms

    Simplicity is the key

    A famous designer once wrote that 'Design is so simple. That's why it is so complicated.' In light of each nugget of advice that we've outlined above, the overwhelming opinion is that simplicity really is key when it comes to recalling your logo design.

    There are of course an infinite list of considerations when navigating the logo design process and these are just some of them, albeit the most important ones. To discuss your logo design Brisbane needs, call us now on 07 3300 6308 and we'll take the journey together.

    View the project here.
  • Posted 17/04/2017 by Will Nuttall

    Infographics: making data meaningful

    brisbane infographics design

    The process of creating and visually representing information, once known as data visualisation, has recently become more popularly known as 'infographics' or 'data viz' if you're really cool. These intriguing visual representations of report findings, data or knowledge have become very popular in the business world, and when you examine the various reasons why, it’s not surprising.

    Infographics allow complex content to be communicated quickly, clearly and often memorably.

    Far more eye-catching, interesting and visually engaging than pages and pages of data, their rationalisation down to a number of key indicator statistics, combined with the use of images, and brief bursts of summary text, done effectively, can give an injection of life to even the most snore-inducing report findings.

    So if you are considering using your latest report findings to create a stunning graphical representation, exactly where and how can your business benefit from this investment?

    1. Searchability

    In a world where we now use the internet to constantly search for answers to questions, detailed information neatly packaged as an infographic is hugely eye-catching. Having made your content easier to identify, examine and digest, especially for a search hungry public with a very short attention span, infographics are search result gold, guaranteed to get click-throughs to YOUR site, rather than to your more verbose, less visually striking and possibly even boring competitors.

    2. Shareability

    By being attractive eye candy, easy to find on the web, and extremely helpful, infographics are also immensely shareable. An extremely effective way of driving traffic to your website, they are great attractors of backlinks from online articles, promoters of link sharing, and generators of embedded links to other websites. People that find them, talk about them and share links to them with their social networks, the net result of which is increased traffic to your website and improved search engine ranking.

    3. Credibility

    The businesses that create and publish infographics increase the stature of their own corporate profiles by doing so. Companies that publish and promote industry specific information are perceived as credible authorities by their peers. Doing this with meaningful and reader friendly visuals generates credibility … with bells on.

    4. Printability

    Data visualisation has always been popular in corporate annual reports, in the form of graphics such as bar charts and graphs. Infographics are becoming even more so; representations of data as meaningful graphics make report content far more communicative, and even more impressive and, dare we say it, put a positive spin on results which might suggest otherwise.

    Such has been the impact of infographics originally commissioned for digital use, that we get also regularly get requests to produce the artwork as posters and graphics for boardrooms, offices and exhibitions.

    The long and short of it is that infographics rock. They're the zeitgeist, they're here and now … and they work wonders.

    Contact our Brisbane office today and we'll gladly email you examples of the infographics we’ve produced for the likes of Intel, NineMSN and GE.

    View the project here.
  • Posted 17/08/2016 by admin

    Six tips for great website content

    Why is it important to write your copy in a specific style for websites, as opposed to print or other media? It has been shown that reading habits on screen vary greatly from reading habits off screen. People are much more task-oriented online, and read at least 25% slower on screen. It's a good idea to write about half the amount of text for a web page that you would ordinarily write for an offline document.

    Successful website copy is about keeping all your information organised in bite-sized chunks, tailoring your content to your audience, and presenting information in a way that can be easily scanned and searched.

    1. Present Information Concisely

    Visitors want information in bite-size chunks, and they want it now. Usability studies have shown that very few users (around 15%) actually read the text on a web page word-for-word. Rather, the vast majority of users scanned the content looking for keywords or phrases that either contained the information they wanted or possessed some relevance to their interest.

    Page titles and meta descriptions are used by people and search engines - make sure they are relevant and concise and help to lead the user to the information they're searching for.

    Here are some tips for keeping your content brief:

    • Write concise sentences.
    • Keep paragraphs short.
    • Use subheadings to break up content
    • Provide a summary or overview of key points for longer articles before providing the details.
    • Provide clear, concise calls to action.

    2. Use Bullet Points

    Titles and bullet points are the most-read copy on the page. Lists are preferable to paragraphs because they are easier to read and scan, and also carry an implication of succinct information. Make sure that your bullet pointed information is concise, and not just your descriptive text with bullet points applied!

    The following list shows which words tend to be read on a bullet list ("word" is read content; "ignored" is ignored content):

    • Word word word word ignored
    • Word word word ignored ignored
    • Word ignored ignored ignored ignored
    • Ignored ignored ignored ignored ignored
    • Word word ignored ignored ignored
    • It makes sense to write your bullet points then reorganise their placement according to importance.

    3. Write Search Engine Optimised Copy

    The content of your website is critical to its success on many levels; it can have an effect on your website Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) rankings (Google places emphasis on sites with well-structured content). Search Engine algorithms are made up of many factors and complex calculations. Why not make the most of the one factor that you have complete control over - your content?

    Overall, good SEO copy has:

    • A minimum of 300 words per page.
    • Between 7% and 9% keywords per page.
    • One principal topic per page.
    • Links to other relevant pages on the website.
    • Succinct, page and paragraph headings that are also rich in keywords.
    • Summary bullet points.

    4. Formatting

    Keep your formatting clean and tidy. Most users want to find information succinctly and won't have time to appreciate a plethora of font styles, colours and sizes.

    • Use the same font across all pages. A web-standard sans serif font such as Arial or Verdana is easy to read and ensures that your text will be viewable across all browsers and to all users.
    • Underlined text is the standard convention to differentiate links form other text. Don't underline text if it isn't a link as this confuses and frustrates users.
    • Use bold text to highlight important words or phrases.
    • Avoid using all capital letters, even for headings - it is the web equivalent of SHOUTING!
    • If you intend to use images or graphics in the content area of your site, make sure they are of a consistent style, and do not detract from the content itself.
    • It's a good idea to ensure images are resized so that they don't increase page download times. If you want users to have an option to view a full size image, have the low resolution web version on the page, and then link that image to the higher resolution version.
    • Remember to use a caption for each image - alternative text is an important usability aspect for users who have images turned off or who are using assistive devices (such as screen readers).

    5. Provide Content For Offline Reading

    Sometimes you may have a lot of information that your users need to read in full: case studies, white papers or reports for example. Allow your users to choose whether they want to read it online or offline. Rather than uploading the content of a long document, you can create a link to the document so it can be downloaded for offline reading. PDF documents are generally accepted as the web standard - they also look more professional and Acrobat Reader is free to download. Finally, ensure the document is titled appropriately for your website (rename the working file title if required).

    6. Check Speling, Grammer And Punktuation

    A website with content that contains grammatical and spelling errors can lack credibility and doesn't cast the business in a favourable light. How thorough and focused on quality do your potential clients think you will be if you haven't taken the time to check your website copy that is made public internationally?

    For any further information or resources about content writing for the web, please contact Will Nuttall on 07 3300 0494 or solutions@absolutemedia.com.au

    View the project here.
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