Big and Little

A caution as you embark on adventures of the graphic design kind ...

On several recent projects, I've struggled with the way artwork looks on a piece when it goes from a large image on a letter to the teaser on a #10 envelope. Or when it gets translated from print to web.

Detail is lost. It looks too dark. Or else images that look glorious in their behemoth state tend to look a little busy and stuffy when they are morphed into daintier versions across other media.

And here's the thing ... I don't think there are any hard and fast rules. It just needs to get added to the list of things you check as you move a project through.

One thing that does seem to save time - and make your designer happy – is if you can take the time to decide how and where graphics will be used at the beginning of a project rather than piecemeal it as you go along. This way the different applications can be taken into account before everyone falls in love with a letterhead design that will look stank elsewhere. The heartbreak. The gnashing of teeth.

Also, we've had great luck borrowing elements from a parent design and using them in an abstract way across collateral rather than being super literal about consistency on every piece. (Can I get an AMEN! and a No Doi! from the graphic designers in the house?) It bears mentioning though.

And it lends a sophisticated air to even the most humble project. I would like to hear how you're tackling this type of thing in your design ...