February 1, 2014

How Well Do You See Gradations of Color?

Try this interesting color test.

January 2, 2014

FAQ: What is RGB color versus CMYK color?

I'm going to start a series of articles on various subjects that are common knowledge to graphic designers but not to businesses that hire them.

Let's start with colors.

Most people think of light being composed of red, green, and blue. And that is a useful model for colors of light. Cameras and computer screens use this model, and call it RGB. It's an "additive" model - colors of light are added, and enough of them add to make white light. Here's a picture of how RGB colors combine.


But printers don't print with light; they print with ink. Usually you start with white paper, and add ink, which effectively subtracts (reflective) light. So it's called a subtractive process.

The most common model for representing printed colors is called CMYK, for the four colors used: cyan, magenta, yellow, and black (the "K"). This is call "process" or "four color process" printing. Black is used because without it, you get to a muddy, dark gray, not a crisp black color. CMYK colors look like this:

So who cares, right? Well, if you take an RGB photo and print it on a CMYK printer, you will, if the colors change in the conversion process. And they often do. And some RGB colors cannot be exactly converted to CMYK (and vice versa). And finally, when you review a design sent from your graphic designer, looking at it on your computer monitor, remember that you are looking at RGB colors, no matter how the design was made. Getting a test ("proof") print is essential if you want to make sure you are satisfied with the colors it will print in.

Professional graphic design software can work in either RGB or CMYK color mode. Which one is chosen depends on the application the designs are intended for (web use or print).

Your graphic designer can help ensure that your images look as good as they can, given these color complexities.

>Please suggest other topics for explanation by using the on my main website.

December 4, 2013

2014 Aurelian Design Calendar Available

Want a handy and stylish 2014 calendar? Just send me your name and contact information, and I'll pop one in the mail to you (US companies only please).

July 11, 2013

Aurelian Design has a New Logo

As you can see at the top of the page, Aurelian Design has a new logo! It's not fundamentally different from the old one, but it's cleaner, and scales to different sizes better. The font has also changed.

Aurelian Design joins Greater Bothell Chamber of Commerce

Aurelian Design is now a member of the Greater Bothell Chamber of Commerce. I've been to a few meetings and events the group has put on, and met many nice business folks. They are doing outreach in Kenmore, so if you are there, feel free to ask me questions about the group (or any graphic design questions, of course).

June 26, 2013

Kenmore Art Show - June 27-30

The 15th annual Kenmore Art Show starts tomorrow!

This juried show includes original works of art in these categories: paintings, drawings, sculpture, photography, digital new media art, artisan works, youth art, and art made from repurposed materials.

There are also a few musical performances, and a couple talks on digital photography.

June 18, 2013

Website Design

For the first few years of Aurelian Design, I've mostly done print design work.  But now I've been working on websites, too.

I can design all sorts of websites:  from a couple pages for a small business, to ten or more for a larger one.  I can add galleries of photos, and proofread your copy text.

If you need a website designed for your business, contact me for a quote.

February 28, 2013

Aurelian Design News

Like many blogs, I've settled into a slow cycle of new postings.  But that doesn't mean things have been slow at Aurelian Design.

Recently clients have included an activity center (designs for gift cards, rack cards, and direct mail cards), a non-profit (logo and invitation designs for a fundraising event), and some website changes for an engineering company.

When not working on graphic design projects, I'm helping the Arts of Kenmore as a new Board member.  Their big art show is at Bastyr in late June.

September 10, 2012

FYI Poster Contest Entry

Here's my official entry to the 2012 AIGA "FYI is a Poster Show" contest. You can see a higher-resolution version here.

June 22, 2012







I'm working on a recreation and historical map of northwest King County (Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Kenmore, Bothell, Woodinville).  If anyone has suggestions for particular sites to include, please comment or send e-mail.

June 14, 2012

Product Illustration

I've put up another example of a product illustration done entirely with "vectors" in Adobe Illustrator. No photographic elements are included in this illustration. Because it uses vectors and not bitmaps, it can be re-sized and not lose any detail.

May 9, 2012

Handmake book design and construction

The marbled paper design below was for a book design and construction project. Just about everything was done by hand. The end product is shown below. The rough steps involved are listed afterwards.
Here's what it took:
  • Write the text.
  • Setup layout in InDesign. Type and edit the text.
  • Select and add pictures to the layout.
  • Print signatures (groups of pages) in booklet order. I printed them on 24 lb. laid paper. I ended up with three signatures of three sheets (twelve pages) each. Also save two extra blank sheets for the end papers.
  • Tear the pages to size. This gives a rough, handmade look.
  • Fold the signatures and the end papers.
  • Sew the signatures of the book block. Describing this process could be a separate post.
  • Glue on the mull to the spine of the book block.
  • Sew two headbands onto some extra mull in two colors. Glue them onto the ends of the spine.
  • Glue on the end papers to each side of the book block. Perhaps this should have been done before gluing on the mull, but it seems to work out.
  • Cut the spine and cover boards from some 2mm paperboard.
  • Design the cover marbling pattern in Illustrator (see post below). Add title block on front cover and spine area. Printed on the same linen paper used for the pages (not ideal for a heavily used book). Trim.
  • Glue spine and cover boards to the back of the cover paper.
  • Fold over edges of cover paper and glue.
  • Glue the end papers of the book block to the inside of the cover boards. Done!