Inspiration: 6 great tips on how to prepare artwork for t-shirt printing

Doing graphic design and doing graphic design for printing is not actually the same. Sometimes we get different outcomes, and we always need to make sure that a printing company prints the same one that we want to have.

The article gives a guide of graphic design for t-shirt printing. First suggestion is using PMS colors to get more accurate colors with a silk screener, and the article includes a link of how to use Pantone in Illustrator. Second, the text needs to be changed to outlines so that the artwork can show the text as an image. Third, we better use the actual size of the printing. Forth, vector artwork can makes the print cleaner. Fifth, the strokes need to be expanded. Lastly, using half-tones will save the amount of colors and may reduce the budget.


Inspiration: The best websites in the world do these 6 things

The best websites in the world do these 6 things

  1. The best websites unify the experience (e.g. Lego and Abercrombie and Fitch)
  2. The best websites emphasize content (e.g. Facebook and Pinterest)
  3. The best websites deliver a custom user experience (e.g. ‘Amazon pages’ service)
  4. The best websites are flexible
  5. The best website streamline process
  6. The best website integrate social (e.g. Pepsi’s spanking new homepage)


The author presented how the best websites work. Lego and Abercrombie and Fitch were successfully designed unifying the user’s experience both on the Internet and off site stores. The design of Facebook and Pinterest are well designed emphasizing user contents. Even though I’m not into Facebook design, I agree with this point since I see some websites are more focused on contents with simple designs.  Again, the author addresses the best websites deliver a user’s experience. For example, Amazon provides recommendations, wish lists, etc. by personalizing web shopping experience. Depending on devices, the sizes of screen vary. This requires the web design to be flexible, which works properly either on the computer monitor or on a small smart phone. The best websites allow users to follow the path easily so that the users can achieve what they are looking for. Lastly, the good websites provide social media which users can interact.


Inspiration: hidden meaning inside logos

It’s fun to find hidden meaning in logos. This article introduces several examples with each logo’s hidden meaning. For example, an arrow can be found in the FedEx logo, which makes sense since an arrow can represent speed. In Basin Robbins, people may easily find the number 31 referring to the kinds of ice creams that the company is providing.


Inspiration: Grids

hierarchy grids – John Roach

Retrieved from:

While I was reading this week’s article, I also searched some designs, especially hierarchical grids since I did not clearly understand about this. Still I’m not sure if I can say that using some odd grids in order to emphasize a certain element can be a hierarchical grid. Hopefully I could learn more in class.

This pdf file introduces more about hierarchy grids, but it also includes grid samples similar to this week’s reading article. Some samples using various grids can be found in the page eight to ten. One of the designs actually shows the grid lines vaguely, and the letters are located inside of each module. The same typeface is used for all the letters, but due to the thickness, color, and size, the letters look floating and rather than static. I was looking at the grids, but now I also tried to criticize the letterforms! The other example shown in the page ten has a very different grid layout, which the grid layout is tilted, not straight in horizontal or vertical ways. I guess I can categorize this as a hierarchy grid.

Inspiration: Wallet


I never paid attention with my small wallet. I just bought it a couple of months ago because I thought it looks very simple and pretty. As a decoration, there are some letters scattered and engraved on the outside of the wallet. I thought those letters indicate a brand and tried to find the name just for fun. But I couldn’t get any clue of how to make a word using the letters because the letters are not consistently arranged. I gave up finding the word and started looking at the name of the company or brand inside the wallet. If there were no name inside, I couldn’t find the brand of my wallet. I thought it might not be a good marketing strategy because it’s hard for people to find the brand on the product. However, people may remember the design, the way the letters are arranged, as a kind of logo or symbol. Probably people who know this brand recognize this wallet immediately, which is different from me – I just pick a pretty one if the design is attractive rather than trying to look at the logo.

Weekly Inspiration: Typography (cover page)

Cover page of the UMBC magazine for Winter 2013

Cover page of the UMBC magazine for Winter 2013

When I saw this cover, the letter “O” with an image of film caught my eyes. I immediately thought it must say something about movie. And then I read the word “PLUTOPIA.” Since we are currently working on letter forms, the graphic design of letters drew my attention. Using a symbol can be very attractive if the shape of the symbol is close to the letter and is related to what the content wants to talk about. Also the word is designed using 3-D and a shape, which looks one of the “envelope wrap” options in Illustrator. That make the title stands out and it looks more active.

On the other hand, it’s nice to have cursive words for “greeting from” and “Richland USA, Orersk USSR,” but I just ignored this, considering it as decoration. I was thinking if target population of this magazine is non-Americans and if the school wants to send this magazine to other countries, probably many people whose native language is not English may have the same idea with me. So, choosing between print and cursive forms may also need to be taken into consideration when we design letters.

Weekly Inspiration: Logo

The photo was taken on the Internet.

The photo was taken on the Internet.

The logo of LG group, a multinational conglomerate in Korea founded in 1947, looks cute and friendly. I think the strength of this design is its simplicity and the design of human being’s face using two letters “L” and “G.”

The current logo has been used over 20 years. I remember that the old logo looked very conservative and showed authority with a design of a gold crown and the letter “L,” making a square outside. When LG changed its logo, I wondered how the group could change the logo in a casual way. However, once it’s been used, I saw the logo could be easily remembered and the group could approach more closely to their vision, which emphasizes the creation of customer’s value.