job well done…

in our industry there are two camps… creative and production. production prepares graphics for press that have been designed by someone in a creative capacity. having done both i can say that although they both have their pros / cons i prefer the creative department… let me explain…

production graphics or pre-press is mechanical… assess it, fix it, set it up, print it… it’s a “no news is good news” occupation… like dusting… if you do a really nice job no one notices… screw it up and all eyes are on you…. now creative is a different animal… creative is where the glory is… come up with something from nothing, breath life into it, make a connection with a client on a personal level and they’ll rave about you for weeks…

I had one of those good connections with a client… cam mccarroll from harbour front properties in hamilton… i did a logo and we’ve just finished his website … this is what he had to say about me on his facebook tonight…

“Each and every time I connect with this person I receive a gift of some form. A true artist in business. Thank you Lucas Duguid of Octopus Red.”

cheers cam, very much appreciated.

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empirical photographic arts…

once in a while if you’re lucky enough you get a chance to make friends with some truly selfless and talented individuals. a few months ago my wife and I met d’arcy and angela of empirical photographic arts… outstanding photographers who not only have a depth and range to their talents but are the two most generous and approachable human beings we’ve had the pleasure of meeting…. among the litany of good deeds they’ve done…. introduced us to old friends, a mayor, took breathtaking portraits of our daughters, shot my portrait, shot our wedding as a wedding present and been there to offer advice, an ear, a shoulder, a drink and some truly amazing home cooked meals.

thank-you d’arcy and ang… great friends and amazing parents-to-be.

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graphic designers — clients and their criticism…

For graphic designers, clients are everything. And why shouldn’t they be? They are the chief source of revenue and income for designers.

But no graphic design is willing to sell his pride and prestige for any amount of money. Designers get paid to work on graphic design projects and not listen to demeaning comments from clients.

Although client criticism is part and parcel of the game, let us be clear on the two aspects of criticism.

The first aspect is the constructive criticism and the other is pessimistic criticism.

Constructive criticism is always helpful for graphic designers as they help them identify their loopholes and strengthen their areas of weakness. Sometimes clients criticize simply because they want the designer to work with optimum efficiency.

read the rest of the article from

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from the office of Frank Chimero…

Anonymous asked: What advice would you give to a graphic design student?

Design does not equal client work.

It’s hard to make purple work in a design. The things your teachers tell you in class are not gospel. You will get conflicting information. It means that both are wrong. Or both are true. This never stops. Most decisions are gray, and everything lives on a spectrum of correctness and suitability.

Look people in the eyes when you are talking or listening to them. The best teachers are the ones who treat their classrooms like a workplace, and the worst ones are the ones who treat their classroom like a classroom as we’ve come to expect it. Eat breakfast. Realize that you are learning a trade, so craft matters more than most say. Realize that design is also a liberal art. Quiet is always an option, even if everyone is yelling. Libraries are a good place. The books are free there, and it smells great.

If you can’t draw as well as someone, or use the software as well, or if you do not have as much money to buy supplies, or if you do not have access to the tools they have, beat them by being more thoughtful. Thoughtfulness is free and burns on time and empathy.

read the rest of the article

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no name…

on the subject of the No Name branding… I was really impressed with Loblaws for re-releasing the original look and feel of their packaging for the 30th anniversay of the No Name brand… there is something about the starkness of the packaging that has a very strange and inexplicable appeal… beyond the obvious black copy on an open field of yellow there is something almost gritty and Orwellian about a two litre bottle of pop that just says “cola”… it’s the identical product that Coke puts out but for all of the branding incarnations that the major labels roll out they place a distant second when it comes to the strange attraction I have to something bright, stark, minimal & ultra-simplified… i’ve told my wife on numerous occasions I’d like to do a complete grocery shop with nothing but yellow labels in the cart and then shoot it…. why not a line of shirts? bright yellow with the word “shirt” halfway up and slightly to the left… I’d wear it… patent pending 😉 did a good article on the subject… they got a great quote from a Loblaws official on the subject… “refocusing on a no-frills value brand at a time when the economy is in freefall is obviously prudent.”

here’s the whole article

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advice for a rookie designer…

it can be tough to break into the graphic design business… I’ve had a few people ask me “what’s the best way to get started?” I’m not sure the method I suggest is the best but it worked for me and I’ve been in the business for over fourteen years… here is what I e-mailed out a few nights ago…

the first thing your friend should do is focus on getting a portfolio together… if she’s having a hard time finding someone to hire her have her make up company names, bands, organizations etc and do designs for them… this is how I got my start… I had 10 “fake” designs, (they’ll always look better because you have the final say in the art direction) I started shopping them around and eventually started to get real orders… over time i removed the fake designs and replaced them with real ones…

tell her to go to every business networking event she can find, meet as many people as possible, volunteer her services to charities, get involved in events where newspapers / tv will be present.

tell her to always try and be as original as possible, don’t get stuck in a creative rut where everything starts to look the same… explore design communities in other countries online to see what’s hot in other parts of the world… portugal, hungary, russia and japan always have something cool on the go

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principles of design…

In design, balance is best understood when compared to the physical world. Think of a physical object, such as a glass of water. When the glass is tipped or off balance, it falls over and spills. To keep a scale in balance it must have equal weight on both sides. Note that the weight does not have to be made up of identical objects. Similarly, if an object placed on a page fails to fulfill our “visual equilibrium” the design will appear off balance. When a design has balance, all of the elements appear grounded. This can be achieved through symmetry or asymmetry. read full article

(courtesy of

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your suppliers are a gold mine…

great article by Mark Dollan, Founder/CEO of Creative Briefcase

When it comes to building a referral network, many business owners look to networking groups, the local chamber of commerce, referrals from current clients, online networking sites, and their own industry associations. But one area that is often overlooked is your current supplier base. With a little effort and some pre-planning, you can turn your vendors into a gold mine of referrals that generates a flurry of sales. Here are a few of the ways you can go about building solid referral partners from your current vendors…


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well said sharron, well said…

“Designing a masterpiece graphically is the art of combining text and graphics to communicate an effective message. It is primarily used in the design of logos, brochures, newsletters, posters, signs, and other type of visual communication. Graphic design is the use of words and images to pass on information or to create a certain visual effect. This art form is sometimes referred to as commercial art because of its application to advertising and its vital contribution to business function.

Graphic design practice embraces a range of cognitive skills, aesthetics and crafts, including typography, visual arts and page layout. Graphic designers have a unique ability to sell a product or idea through effective visual communications, and are asked to perform the difficult task of being creative every single day.”

– Sharron Nixon

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the man is a giant…

Below is a link to my friend Steve Mcghee’s blog site… he is considered to be one of the premiere digital / photoshop artists in the world… his work is nothing short of outstanding. his piece titled “Last Flight Home” won Best Digital Art, Active Webdezign Annual Design Aawrds 2010… can’t wait to do a project with Steve!

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