Concept and Roles of Posters and How To Design Them Effectively

A poster written or printed notice of a fairly large paper, displayed on notice boards or walls to communicate to the general public. A Frenchman by name Toulouse Lautrec is credited as the father of poster designing. There are two main types of posters. They are words or text poster and pictorial poster. A written or text poster contains text only while the pictorial poster contains largely illustrations with few texts or without text.

Poster as a communication tool plays a vibrant role in the activities of members of the society. Some of these are:

1. Posters are used to inform members of the general public about societal issues such as health issues, political issues and also about the civic responsibilities of societal members.

2. Posters educate or warn us against any social vices and other negative tendencies such as smoking, alcohol, etc. that can erode society and its members from peaceful and good communal living.

3. Posters advertise products and services in the society.

4. Posters are used for announcing events, ceremonies and programs to be held or organized in the society.

5. Posters are used for inviting members of the general public to organized occasions and events.

6. Posters are used to persuade people to do something or take a certain course of action.

7. Posters are used to praise or popularize some good behaviorsour patterns or people who demonstrated that attitudes and to criticize or condemn wrongdoings.

There are several features of posters effective in the playing of their roles. These qualities make a designed poster a powerful educative tool.

1. The colors used for the execution of posters must be bright and attractive to be seen from afar and must receive the attention of passers-by.

2. The typeface selected for the designing of posters must be legible. It must be a typeface that is bold and clear so that it can be seen and read from a far distance.

3. A good poster must carry a brief message or information. The information on it should not be too many neither should it be ambiguous and confusing.

4. The design employed for the production of posters must be simple in design. The design should not be distractive. Its description must be easily digested by all categories of people, despite the difference in their age groups, sex, occupation, and educational background.

5. Good illustrations must be used for the production of posters. The illustration must relate to the text or the message written on the poster. It must harmonize with the message the poster carries.

6. The information written on the poster must be clear and self-explanatory. It should be very understandable. It must be written in plain and straightforward language.

7. A good poster must have an effective layout. The arrangement of the text and illustrations must be pleasing and attractive to the eyes of viewers.

Designing a poster

The following steps outlined explain how good posters can be designed by graphic artists.

1. The first stage of poster designing is the making of thumbnail sketches. This is the putting down of ideas in the mind on paper. This includes indicating the space for photographs, text, etc.

2. This is the next stage of poster designing is the making of the rough sketches. One of the sketches is selected and expanded with the text and illustrations neatly drawn.

3. The third stage is the comprehensive sketches. This is the making of an accurate layout showing type and illustration which is suitable as a finished design.

4. The last stage is the camera-ready stage. The layout is painted in its respective color schemes and it is ready as a presentable design.

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Designing Your Own Hoodie? Here Are 4 Great Design Tips You Need

If you are looking to design your own hoodie, whether for a sports team or just for a social occasion, there are many custom clothing providers on the market today all offering easy-to-use and affordable services. In fact, it has never been easier to design your own clothing online, exactly to your tastes and specifications.

With that said, it can actually be quite difficult to go about the design process, no matter how simple and intuitive the online design tools are. This is because designing takes a lot more than a few vague ideas in your head order to come up with something that looks fantastic in real life; Here are four useful design tips if you find yourself stuck when you design your own hoodie.

First of all, remember that the key component to any custom clothing item is color – this single factor can make a huge difference to whether people will want to wear it or not, and how it will reflect the spirit of your team, company or the group that will be wearing it.

To choose the right color, you will need to consider whether you will have to include any team colors or company colors, or if you are trying to reflect the spirit of a special occasion such as a hen party or a birthday party. Thinking carefully about this will help you come up with a few viable ideas to try out.

The second tip is to take your time coming up with a few concepts for the design. A valuable piece of advice here is to come up with a few ideas – even ones that initially you may decide that you are not too keen on.

Designing several options – even if you have one particular one in mind – will help get creative ideas flowing, and then you will be able to look over all of your designs and find the good and bad points about each one. Comparing several designs at once will help you pare down your ideas and refine that one design that you had your heart set on – or even choose something different altogether.

The next tip is to not be afraid of going elsewhere to find inspiration for your designs. This does not mean copying the designs of others, but simply means that you are a lot more likely to be inspired if you take your time to discover creations by professional designers first.

This can provide you with useful fuel regarding colors, styles, logos, patterns and much more. Whilst looking through catalogs or online portfolios of clothing items, make notes of what you like or do not like, and save images as examples of these. You can then show these to your custom clothing company to show them what you have in mind.

Our fourth tip to bear in mind when you design your own hoodie is to remember that complicated is not always the best route to go down if you are embarking on an endeavor for the first time. Although some complex designs can look really stunning, you should be aware that you may not yet have the skills to create such a design.

Furthermore, your custom clothing company may not have the equipment to produce such a design for you within your budget. Instead, focus on simplifying your design and making it striking. You can often take style elements from more complicated designs and turn them into something more simple and very striking indeed.

These are just a few handy tips to bear in mind when creating a custom hoodie design. Do not be afraid to seek inspiration for your designs elsewhere, and take your time to create a few different concepts to select your final design from. Think carefully about color too, and finally remember that simple designs are often the best – so no need to complicate things to make a good impression.

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An Unfolding of Robert Frost's "Design"

"I always wanted to be very observing," Robert Frost once said, after reading his poem "Design" to an audience. Then he added, "But I have always been afraid of my own observations." What could Frost have observed that could scare him? Let's observe the poem in question and see what we discover.

Starting with the title, "Design", any reader of this poem will find it full of meaning. As "Webster's new world dictionary" defines "Design", the word can denote among other things, a plan, or "purpose; intention; aim". Some arguments for the existence of god (I remember from Sunday school) are based on the "argument from design"; That because the world shows a systematic order, there must be a designer who made it. But the word design can also mean "a secret or sinister scheme" – such as we attribute to a "designing person". As we shall see, Frost's poem incorporates all of these meanings. His poem raises the old philosophic question of whether there is a designer, and evil designer, or no designer at all. Frost probably read William James on this question, as a critic has shown convincingly.

Like many other sonnets, "Design" is divided into two parts. The first eight lines draw a picture centering on the spider, which at first seems almost jolly. It is dimpled and fat like a baby, or Santa Claus. It stands on a wild flower whose name, heal-all, seems ironic: a heal-all is supposed to cure any disease, but it certainly has no power to restore life to the dead moth. In this second line we discover, too, that the spider has hold of another creature. Right away we might feel sorry for the moth, were it not the simile applied to it in line three: "like a white piece of rigid satin cloth." Suddenly the moth becomes not a creature but a piece of fabric – and yet satin has connotation of beauty. Satin is luxurious material used in rich formal clothing, such as coronation grows and brides' dresses.

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Why Should You Invest in Logo Design?

It represents you.

Like mentioned earlier, you have to understand that you do not represent your business. Your logo does that, since you cannot be present in all marketing materials every time. Your logo sends out information about your company by means of fonts, lines, colors and image, s so all things should be designed to convey the right message.

It can be used for every market material.

It is fundamental for your logo to be used in all marketing items – like brochures, business cards, banners, commercial ads, websites plus mobile application. If your logo does not look interesting, your marketing materials will be undesirable as well. That is the disadvantage of first impression.

It shows commitment.

When your logo has a professional design, it show that you are committed to achieving the mission and vision of your company. When a person with a lousy outfit comes unprepared for a job interview, and says he will be productive and stay committed to the company, will you trust him? For this reason, your logo has to be designed to show your commitment to customers.

It is your brand's foundation.

Your logo is among the most critical branding elements that enhance your brand, since a brand is all about customer experience. Your logo should be able to say the right message, at the right time, and in the right manner. It decides on the words you will say, and how it will be said.

Keep in mind that every time people see your ads, you don't provide them with a persuading sales pitch. When you make an ad, viewers interpret it. Just make sure they get the message you want to convey.

It will be around for quite some time.

You do not just change a logo every time you want to, since it is just like changing your identity. When you change your identity, you have to exert a lot of effort to educate your target audience and clients again. You need to press the reset button for the company awareness. Therefore, it is best to invest in a logo that will stay long with you.

Your Business and Logo Grow Together

Your logo identifies you. It remains the same, but only becomes older and wiser. If you want to start with a beautiful face, use visual materials that could give a good first impression.

It builds loyalty.

All industries are a battlefield 24/7. The market size has been consistent for quite some time, so in order to grow, you should attract the customers of other companies. Likewise, other companies will try to capture your clients. Good customer service is effective in protecting your customers.

Caring for your customers only every now and then can be too costly. If they are convinced to stick around, you can consider them as loyal customers.

It is hard to keep your logo if competition is cooler than you. The time may come when you also want to be cool, but you are stuck with your cheap logo that was designed by some Indian dude, whom you paid a number of hundreds.

Your logo will appear on every marketing material. You will ruin a Ferrari when wrapping it with a number of cheap stickers – they don't make it cooler.

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What is Hospitality Interior Design and Who Uses It?

In the hospitality industry, interior design performs a similar function. The layout of a lobby or guest room in addition to the color scheme, lighting, and furniture choices, greatly affects how a guest feels and how they view their surroundings.

Hospitality interior design covers a variety of different venues. It is used in restaurants, hotels, even retail stores. Every design aspect from the floor plan to the color of the walls and the style of furniture makes a difference in affecting a certain tone or atmosphere. Depending on the tone a business wishes to set, an interior designer might choose a bright, vibrant color pattern paired with modern furniture and innovative decorative accents or he might select a subtle, more muted color palette paired with plush furniture and simple wall decorations to inspire feelings of calm and comfort.

Lighting and color palette go hand in hand when it comes to hospitality interior design. Most interior designers have been educated to know what types of lighting to pair with bright color schemes versus those which are more subtle. The lighting of a venue may also be affected by furniture choices and the actual architecture of a building. Rooms with vaulted ceilings might require wall fixtures which direct the light upwards while smaller rooms might utilize overhead lighting or corner lamps. Not only does the type and placement of lighting affect the atmosphere of a room or building, but the degree of illumination is also important. A soft glow is more relaxing while bright or colored lighting inspires feelings of excitement and energy.

In addition to lighting and color palette, several more factors come into play within the realm of hospitality interior design. The type of furniture selected dictates whether a room is meant to be more decorative or functional and the arrangement of said furniture plays a role in establishing atmosphere as well. An open floor plan into which the furniture is sparsely placed induces an airy, free atmosphere while small groupsings of furniture might incite feelings of intimacy. When considering different styles of hospitality interior design there are myriad factors to think about but the most important decision to make is what kind of atmosphere should be affected. A good interior designer will be able to make all aspects of hospitality interior design work together in order to create a cohesive feel the subscribes to a certain tone or atmosphere.

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Competencies, Attitude and Behavior of The Graphic Design Learner For Employment and Customers

The Graphic design learner has to develop some competencies, attitudes and behavioral traits that would enable him or her to be very proficient in his chosen career or field of study. These attitudes and behavioral patterns do not come by chance. The amateur Graphic artist or learner has to cultivate these traits as he undertakes his projects patiently and with the greatest care. Some of these competencies, attitudes, and behaviors have been discussed below.

1. Ability to observe- The learner has to develop the ability to make critical and serious observation and examination of things in the environment with the view of making an accurate or accurate representation of the object or form. It includes the critical observation of linear patterns, variations of shapes, textures, gradation or tones of colors of natural and manmade objects found in the environment.

2. Ability to use memory and imagination to derive and develop ideas- This is the learner's ability to use his or her own imagination to create things without resorting to copying from already existing items. He should cultivate the attitude of brainstorming new and relevant ideas that can be used in creating useful graphic products.

3. Ability to pre-image / visualize and make designs of items- The learner should be able to use his senses especially the sense of sight to foresee or visualize how the idea imagined can be used in creating designs which in turn can be translated into items.

4. Ability to translate ideas and paper designs into three-dimensional items to solve problems or satisfy an identified need using the design and technology process- Designs are two-dimensional in form or flat. These paper designs are often generated into three-dimensional forms. The learner has to be able to meticulously follow the steps in the design and technology process to produce functional items. He should have the mastery to be able to translate designs on paper into free standing items.

5. Dexterity and creative use of tools, equipment and a variety of materials- This refers to the efficient use of the tools and materials. This involves the correct handling of the tools to execute the work. The learner has to understand the nature and feel of the tools and materials so that he can use them appropriately to give the right effect in the artwork.

6. Application of knowledge and understanding to constant practice for proficiency and perfection- The learner should ultimately aim at achieving perfection in the various techniques of artistic production. He should be able to consistently apply the knowledge that he had acquired through constant practice to produce items with great proficiency or skill.

7. Creativity, originality in thinking and end products- The young Graphic artist must make it his or her hallmark to produce items that are original in design, form, color etc. His ability to create new things should be evident in his thinking as well as in the final products he makes.

8. Ability to respond to an artwork by using knowledge and skills in perception, appreciation, criticism, judgement, evaluation and aesthetics- The learner must have the ability of quickly responding to artworks he comes into contact with. He should be able to apply his senses well in talking intelligently about the aesthetic qualities of the work. He must be able to evaluate, appreciate and criticize an artwork using the knowledge and skills that he has amassed.

9. Critical thinking and problem-solving skills, healthy competition, good human relations, etc. – The learner must also be able to think in concrete terms and always ready to bring out ideas that can solve pertinent problems faced by individuals in the society. He should be able to engage in competitions and exhibitions of Graphic arts held in the school, society or country. He must partake with a clean and clear motives of improving on his skills while learning and taking inspiration from the works of other graphic artists.

10. Demonstration of human and moral behavior in thinking, feeling and acting eg honesty, commitment, self-discipline / respect, diligence, patience, tolerance, teamwork, etc. – There are some moral or behavioral traits that the learner must strive hard to cultivate. These include honesty, respect, diligence, patience, tolerance, and teamwork. People would like to have business transactions with an honest and respectful person. The learner has to be patient and tolerant to be able to absorb the pressures from clients which may sometimes be irritating or annoying. As a learner, he must also be ready to work with other people to achieve the same goal. This quality would enable him to work in a broader working environment such as in an industry or factory. In today's working environment, teamwork is really essential for the success of any enterprise.

11. Portfolio of works- The learner has to cultivate the attitude of keeping a portfolio of his creative works either in hard or soft copies. This would enable him to enhance and improve upon his creative works every time.

12. Ability to perform tasks with little or no supervision- The learner should be able to perform his assigned work with little or no supervision. He must strive very hard to work independently with or without a tutor around. This would assist him to develop his skills at a relatively faster rate.

13. Self-learning / evaluation for improvement- The learner must be experimental, trying to learn new things on his own without being instructed to do so by a teacher or supervisor. He should explore new methods and techniques of achieving already existing production methods and techniques. It should be his or her attitude to try using the tools and materials readily available in the environment to produce meaningful and useful artefacts. Also, he should periodically self-evaluate himself by comparing his previous and current works for the purposes of knowing the mistakes in them and improving upon them.

14. Perseverance – The learner must show fighting spirit in attending to his creative works. He shouldn't give up in his attempt to produce a difficult product or challenging exercise. He must not shy away from handling difficult artistic Graphic design products.

15. Time-management- The learner must be able to manage his time very efficiently. He should be time bound or time conscious in producing his artefacts. He should be able to meet deadlines set for producing works.

16. Work ethics- This refers to the accepted work behavior and attitudes expected of a Graphic artist. These accepted working behaviors include neatness, cleanliness, accuracy, and precision which are the hallmark of a good Graphic artist. The learner must be determined to display these work ethics in his artistic productions.

17. Self-confidence- The learner must be very confident when attending to his duties. He must not exhibit signs of fear. He should trust in his abilities, qualities or ideas. This would make it easier for him to gain the mastery over his artistic creations.

18. Communication skills- The learner must know how to communicate well with people. Cultivating these communication skills would enable him to communicate effectively with clients. People will certainly like to do business with people who speak politely than those whose manner of communicating pierces as if with a sword.

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Has BIM Changed MEP Design Workflow?

The MEP design and installation workflow involves a number of citizens and parties that are collectively responsible for overseeing a series of stages that will result in the building engineering (or building services) to be planned, designed, spatially coordinated, fabricated, installed, commissioned and maintained. Typically, the building services design stage follows the initial architectural design, from which point it can usually be designed in parallel with further architectural as well as structural design changes.

The engineering teams that typically design building services solutions are usually in one of two groups. The first group is typically the building designer, also known as the consultant engineer or the design engineer. It is the role of the design engineer to work closely with the architect to develop the overall building engineering elements including lighting, cooling, heating, drainage, waste, fire prevention and protection services. Traditionally, the design engineer will not be involved in the detailed spatial design of these services. Instead the detailed spatial design and installation would normally be handled by the second party, known as the MEP contractor (M&E contractor) or trade contractor. The MEP or trade contractor is responsible for evolving the initial consultant design into a workable and installation-ready building services solution.

In some instances, there is also a third party involved – the fabricator, who will be responsible for creating MEP components such as ductwork or pipework elements or in some cases pre-fabricated solutions that consist of pipework, electrical ladder, plumbing, ductwork and sprinkler Within a frame (module) that is delivered to site for installation in risers, plant rooms and corridors.

This article is concerned with the role of the MEP designer and MEP contractor, specifically, the focus for this article is to discuss how BIM (Building Information Modeling) has influenced the MEP design workflow between the designer and the contractor.

Current MEP BIM Workflow Options

Essentially there are five different MEP design workflow scenarios that currently exist and these will be discussed in the article. They are as follows

  1. Traditional 2D design and 3D BIM coordination
  2. 3D MEP design and 3D BIM coordination
  3. Designers 3D BIM design and coordination
  4. Contractor 3D BIM design and coordination
  5. General contractor 3D model coordination

Traditional 2D Design and 3D BIM Coordination

Considering the traditional MEP approach first, this is where a consultant will create 2D design outputs, which include 2D plan layouts, 2D sections and MEP (M&E) schematics. This will indicate the design intent for the building based on the use specified by the architect. Once the consultant has completed this design information he will pass on the information to an MEP contractor who will be responsible for creating the MEP coordinated solution. This article assumes that the contractor will create a spatially coordinated 3D BIM model using BIM tools such as Revit MEP and Navisworks. The contractor will use the design information and create an installation-ready solution which takes into account installation, efficiency of pipe runs or duct bends, space for lagging and hanging the services, access for post install maintenance and so on. This traditional MEP approach, from a 2D design to a 3D model has existed for the past couple of decades and allows the contractor to add additional information into the model that can be used by him and by facilities management companies after the installation. The use of the 3D tool such as Revit is of course useful as it is an intelligent model, with parametric components and therefore, as well as allowing the contractor to identify and resolve clashes before any time is spent on site, it has other uses and applications where model 'information' is used and relied upon.

3D MEP Design and 3D BIM Coordination

The second workflow method is more directly influenced by BIM. As the MEP designer, one will use BIM tools to create a 3D model and associated drawings during his initial design phase (rather than a 2D design) before this information is delivered across to an MEP trade contractor. The MEP design engineer will typically create a 3D model due to customer specifications and requirements for a BIM model, as in many cases a federated model (which combines the other disciplines in a single model) is needed by the client for a weekly review and hence the MEP consultant cannot simply provide a set of 2D drawings. In this workflow, the BIM model is effectively a 3D representation of what would otherwise be a 2D deliverable. It will therefore consist of areas where further changes are still needed by a trade contractor. Such examples include the use of library items rather than specific MEP trade contractor procured elements that may be used in the model. The creation of a 3D BIM model at this stage by the consultant is also subject to multiple architectural and structural model changes. These have a knock-on effect on the MEP solution as it is effectively a work-in-progress model for MEP with constant architectural and structural changes and therefore will never have the same level of efficiency, in terms of layout of services, compared to an MEP model where the architectural and structural models are frozen. The downside of this workflow method is of course the extra time taken to create a BIM model by the consultant team. Added to this issue is the fact that 3D modeling expertise and skills within a consulting engineering team can sometimes be limited. Once the consultant completes his model and passes it to the MEP contractor, the decision as to whether the contractor should adapt the model or start the modeling process from the start is really based on the quality of the model to start with. In reality both scenarios will exist, in some cases the MEP trade contractor is better off starting the BIM model again using only the 2D design drawings that are created by the consultant from his BIM model, while in some rare cases the trade contractor will use the consultants MEP BIM model and adapt and modify it with his changes, to make the model ready for installation. In both scenarios, the MEP contractor will always look to make value engineering additions and changes to the model as well as procurement led model changes.

Designers 3D BIM MEP Design and Coordination

The third MEP design workflow method is a more pure and direct consequence of BIM and it actually also starts to promote the benefit of BIM more significantly as it gets closer to 'virtual design and construction' aims of the industry. In this workflow the approach of design engineer is to create a BIM model that is spatially coordinated and that is using the actual specified components for the project. Typically, the consultant during this phase will have a longer period of time to create the model, allowing him to absorb the changes from structural and architectural disciplines as they progress through the detailing stages. The fact that the model is then coordinated with the structure and architecture as well as other MEP services allows the consultant to create a model that is being created according to an installation standard that is now more usable by an installer or fabricator. When the model in this workflow method is passed on to a contractor, the contractor may still wish to make final changes and adjustments in a round of value engineering. Typically, the contractor will use the same model in this workflow and make changes to the model provided by the MEP design consultant. Additionally, it is probable that the consultant engineer will not have provided invert (height) levels or dimensions from gridlines and walls for the MEP services on his drawings. In such cases the contractor will therefore have to create more detail in the drawings, but again contractor could use the consultant's drawings and progress them in more detail for his / her use.

Contractor 3D Design and Coordination

The fourth workflow method involves MEP contractors (or trade contractors) taking on the design responsibility as well as the coordination responsibility. Whilst the coordination responsibility is an established skillset with experience of developing detailed and comprehensive vertical and horizontal strategies for coordination being part of the contractor's core skills, the design responsibility is a new element for the contractor. This was traditionally known as a design and build approach; However, it is now becoming increasingly common especially in cases where companies are seeking to have rapid design and detailed coordination completed. Typically, the components to be used will be specified by the end client, allowing the contractor to design and model before creating his detailed coordinated drawings from the model, to allow installation and fabrication if needed. The reason that this particular workflow method is not the most popular at present is simply due to the volume of work in the market and also the design responsibility that also has to be assumed as in most cases, contractors may not wish to accept this risk or Indeed they may not have the resources to complete the design work. For this workflow method to exist at all means that the contractor has to employ design staff directly and provide design liability insurance to allow him to design the MEP solution as well as install it. The benefit of this workflow option is obviously the time efficiency that is realized and therefore the cost benefit, as the cost of utilizing contractor resource will usually be lower compared to expensive design engineering firms. However, it does come with some risk as the design expertise that design engineers possess cannot be easily replicated by contractors, even if they do employ in-house teams.

General Contractor 3D Model Coordination

The fifth variant of MEP design workflow is based on creating coordinated MEP models similar to the traditional 2D to 3D approach but for a different customer group. In this workflow method a 2D architectural, structural and MEP design that is to be used by a main contractor (or general contractor) is then progressed into a 3D BIM model by the contractor to assess the validity and completeness of the model. In some cases, some of the design elements from the different disciplines may be presented in 3D while others may be in 2D. It is also possible that different disciplines may provide models in different software that may or may not present software interoperability challenges. In such instances, a team will typically be employed to use the design data from architectural, structural and MEP designers to then create a 3D BIM model based on actual data. The aim is to identify any inconsistencies in the design data by identifying any clashes in the model, allowing the contractor in such a workflow method to effectively mitigate his / her potential risk. Any problems found within the model are usually passed back to the designers to make amendments to their 2D design for subsequent changes to the 3D BIM model which is ultimately owned by the main contractor. This BIM workflow solution is becoming less common now because MEP contractors and designers are creating BIM models themselves.

In summary, BIM has introduced a number of new workflow variants to the MEP design services sector. The previously tried and trusted method of a 2D design, from a designer, that was developed into a 3D coordinated MEP model by contractor is no longer the workflow solution used as firms now have many other variants and alternatives available. Along with BIM Modeling, other developments in the construction sector, including collaborative online working and work sharing have also contributed to the uptake levels for BIM and impacted the changes to workflow.

In terms of the MEP design workflow options, the most popular of these as we move forward will be the third option, which is the consultant creating a BIM model that is spatially coordinated, or the fourth option which is the contractor taking on the design responsibility as well as creating the coordinated BIM model. Both options are effectively a change to the traditional approach for MEP design and both point to a single source for the model and drawings as opposed to the historical two-tier design approach. All options discussed will require competent BIM coordination and MEP modeling teams and resources. XS CAD, with its large MEP coordination team and MEP engineering design team, which consists of mechanical and electrical engineering professionals, is well placed to deal with such projects for companies based in the USA, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. As all are regions where BIM is now the preferred solution, XS CAD, with more than 16 years' experience and a presence in each market is an ideal option for such companies.

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Competitor Analysis – A Graphic Design Perspective

You probably already know all about SWOT analysis. You might even have your oppositions target demographics, market share and sales figures on hand. But have you ever applied the same type of stringent methodology to analysing your competitors' visual presence in the marketplace? A graphic design audit is a fantastic and relatively easy way to get a clear picture of how your competitors are perceived, what key messages they are communicating and how you look when placed alongside them. It's also a valuable exercise that informs you about the type of communication your customers are receiving on a regular basis from your key competitors.

So how do you do it?

The first step to a graphic design audit is to compile every piece of sales and marketing collateral you can find from the competition. This includes trawling through their website and taking screen grabs of key pages, subscribing to their mailing lists, getting your hands on their brochures, purchasing their products so you can have a look at packaging etc. etc.

According to Peter L. Phillips author of "Creating the Perfect Design Brief – How to Manage Design for Strategic Advantage", one of the best, least expensive and fastest methods is to attend all industry trade shows. There is nothing illegal, unprofessional or immoral about this practice. Business is merely a game we are playing to win after all!

Mr Phillips also suggests using your sales force members to find out what the competition are up to.
As they come into direct contact with customers every day, they can often pick up competitive literature from the customer. They only need to know what you need and of course why you need it.

So once you have compiled the information, what do you do with it?

The best way to start is by putting your competitors' information up on the wall and analyzing them one by one. Invite as many people as possible from your sales, marketing and business teams to give their individual opinion on what design elements are working very well for the competition, and what weaknesses they can see. By starting your analysis on your competitors first, you will build up a bit of objectivity so you can then turn the same harsh critique onto yourself.

Look for ways the design and language make a document unique. Do they have a friendly look and feel that express more personalized service? Do they look more professional than you? Why? Is it because the page is less cluttered, the colors are more toned down or some other reason? Is their website easier to navigate than your own? What do you think their reasons behind these choices were? Is there anything you can learn from them? Most importantly, how are these competitors using design for competitive advantage?

Now for the hard part – using the same analysis on yourself. Reassure your staff that this is not an exercise where they need to defend their work, it is merely a way of gaining useful information that could give you a competitive advantage that improves your bottom line. This aspect of the audit sometimes proves a bit tricky so you might need an independent opinion from a graphic design firm that understands the process to help you out.

It is amazing how much strategic information this process can generate. It will give you new ideas and a fresh perspective that can influence the entire way you approach your marketing for the year. And considering a lot of businesses think of graphic design as an annoying inconvenience, if you are the first to use this more strategic approach you will find it is another tool to help you stay one step ahead of the competition.

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5 External Climatic Factors That Affect an Interior Design Project

Dear friends, the emergence of architecture in human society
has taken a wide and distinct role in itself. Starting from
early eras where man used to live in caves, we have seen a
remarkable growth in architecture and allied fields, which
includes landscape and interior design

The recent being the use of computers and "Computer Aided Design"
in architecture, which allows a kind of perfection in design
and execution process of any building and its interiors.

In spite of all the technological advances, the primary function
of any building structure remains the same, protection from
outside environment and natural calamities.

Starting from a place to "protect yourself 'from nature, interior
design has become a "status symbol". Today's interior spaces have
a two way channel, first and the obvious one is the function and
second one is aesthetical, which is a little complex one.

It is quite obvious that the interior design of a space is directly
related to the function of the space. This means that two spaces
like a home and an office have two well defined functions, hence
It will reflect in every aspect of the interior design solution.

But apart from the there is one more important factor that
will affect each and every aspect of the final design solution,
and that's the geographical location of the architectural structure.

A hotel building at seashore and the other one at a hill station
will have a completely different sets of problems to deal with.
Lets see in a short way what are the external factors that can
affect an interior design solution

1) Amount of direct sunlight.

Locations on the far northern or southern hemisphere receive less
% of sunlight than those at the equator. That's why here the
building with more use of plane glass are used. Also artificial
lighting is given much importance.

2) External temperature.

External temperature directly affects the comfort level of internal
spaces. Since external walls act as a "buffer" between internal
and external climate, it is necessary to use the right construction
material for walls. Depending upon the wall material the internal
finishes also have limitations. This is especially true for
structure that face extreme climatic ups and downs, such as
locations in the gulf countries.

Hence selecting materials that can sustain heavy climatic changes
on a daily scale is challenging.

3) Humidity and Rainfall.

Because of the salty nature of air around coastal areas extra care
is taken for building construction materials, which can directly
affect the entire budget of the project.

4) Wind direction.

Wind direction and wind speed also has direct affect on the interiors.
Heavy winds exert a load on the external walls of the structure,
thus affecting the construction technology.

5) Land Structure and Topography.

Land structure is the nature of land on which the structure stands.
Various types of land structures include rock solid, marshy land,
etc … Topography of land is classified as plane or a site with slope.
If the site of the structure is on a hill slope, extra precautions
are taken to allow the natural flow of rainwater that the structure
might block. Depending upon the quality of land surface the construction
technology will change.

As far as interiors are concerned a well planned structure with
Properly thought spaces is a must because internally the spaces
get divided into various floors.

From the above short discussion it can be said that external factors
and environment greatly affect the way structures are built and thus
directly affecting the interior qualities of the structure.

Technological advancements have allowed us to artificially control
the internal environment of a building irrespective of what's
happening outside. But a carefully studied and well planned
Architectural space can easily cut the extra cost of air conditioning
and other ventilation services.

I hope this article was informative to everyone.

Copyright Shrinivas Vaidya

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Fashion Designer Training Positive Aspects

There are many positive aspects to fashion designer training. Individuals that have a background in this particular industry are able to make a major impact on the clothing that people wear. These individuals also have an opportunity to create trends for entire groups of people.

Individuals that have this type of learning opportunity should only take advantage of it. These people will learn about what colors compliment each other. They will also learn about how to connect with the public so that they will purchase new and exciting clothing. People also learn how to create products that people will definitely want to buy.

Understanding about supply and demand is another aspect of the learning experience. When people understand how to connect with their customer base they will be able to maximize their profit. They also will learn about different kinds of fabric and how to connect with the right products. Many individuals can use this opportunity to learn about ways to break into the industry.

Making connections is also very. Networking with other individuals is imperative so that people can maximize their earning potential. When an individual has a wide network of colleagues they can create new products that will take the masses by storm. This is the main goal of a person that is involved in this industry.

Sometimes people have the option of getting involved in modeling. This is advantageous for people that enjoy the opportunity to be on stage. When people are comfortable on stage they can open all of the options that come along with being involved in the entertainment industry. People also have the option of learning to write about clothing.

When people write about clothing they can help to influence public perception. When people have the ability to influence public perception they will become successful. Individuals that are interested in this line of work must be capable of following what is popular within the culture at all times.

There are many advantages for the person who completes fashion designer training. Individuals that have this type of educational experience will have a myriad of career opportunities ahead of them. They also will have the flexibility to know that they can create and put together complete ensembles of clothing. This is a very valuable thing for anyone to have the ability to do. When people have this opportunity they can enjoy their line of work and make a decent living at the very same time.

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