• Creative Myth #5 Stock Images – fact and fiction

    On: July 19, 2017
    In: Art, Marketing, News, Photography
    Views: 1543

    Myth:  If I pay for a stock image from a stock website, I own the image.

    Well, yes partially.  You have paid for the licensing rights to use an image or in other words you have paid for royalty free copyrights.  However, that image is still available for anyone else to “buy” and use.

    Why this is important…if you are creating a key marketing campaign around a single image or small packet of images and have only invested in the rights for usage, your competitor or someone else in your industry might also love and use them.

    Images are so critical to tell stories, based on shorter attention spans and massive amounts of daily messages.  If your image or images are critical to your “story”, hire a photographer or purchase full rights for the images.


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  • Debunking the Graphic Design Myths

    On: July 20, 2016
    In: Art, Design, News
    Views: 1163

    Myth #1: Graphic Design Is Completely Done On Computers
    It is true that today’s designers perform their work on computers; however, even the most seasoned designers begin the process with pencil and paper. Many clients don’t realize this because sketches aren’t usually what is presented in the online portfolios. The final outcome tends to be what is seen or featured and not the process that leads to it.

    After researching for the project, designers will often sketch a lot on paper which can be the most efficient way to brainstorm as many ideas as possible. The goal is to put all your creative ideas on the paper because it is better to have more ideas to chose from than a handful. Sketching is what opens us up to a greater number of possibilities to explore and to develop further. Ultimately, the process results in a great design solution that is aesthetically pleasing and meets the criteria set forth in the creative brief.

    Some projects require the building of physical mock-ups or prototypes. This is true for product designers, packaging designers and print designers. Sometimes, these mock-ups are built to give clients a sense of size or function before moving forward with the design. Other times, physical mock-ups help a designer grasp the dimensions of the object and allows for modifications to be made for a better finish.

    We build mock-ups from paper to help us ensure that the die-cuts for a certain package make sense and will be cut, scored and folded properly. This can also apply to mock-ups for other things we design like folders, direct mail pieces and a variety of other printed media.

    Yes, we do use computers to create our designs, but computers are not the only tool in our arsenal.

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  • Why Design is Necessary for Marketing

    On: June 8, 2016
    In: Art, Design, Marketing, News
    Views: 1118

    Design is a broad term and has many definitions; however there is a science to it. There are psychologies and strategic principles that designers use to ensure an engaging experience for the intended audience. The designer must know what the audience wants to see and how the product or service will sell to them. Designers use visual storytelling to market a product or service to an audience which is increasingly using social media and mobile browsing. This recent wave of social media and mobile browsing use is forcing companies to up their content marketing game.

    The better the designer understands core design principles and psychology, the better they can connect with the target audience and potential consumers. Designers are able to choose every font, color, and shape used in a marketing design to communicate a subconscious message evoking human emotions and connections to the product or service.

    The logo design is pivotal for the branding of the business. When you look at a logo you think about what it is conveying about what the company does. For instance, when you see the Whole Foods green logo with a leaf attached to the ‘O’ you think peace, growth and health. The logo can say a lot about a company, which is why the design process is so important.

    When it comes to marketing through your company’s website, content drives people to your website while design enhances that content. When design is done well, it helps potential customers navigate through the website easily and quickly. Design can organize content giving visitors a pleasant experience, which keeps them on your site longer. The connection on an emotional level to your audience is important, but it also must be functional. A successful designer can establish a strong emotional connection wile communicating the intended message for the audience.

    Now you can understand the true importance design has over the intended audience, consumer actions and overall brand experience. These principles can be used over many forms of marketing designs, such as, logo, website design, infographic, video, or content for social media. It is important to establish the goal and intent of the project being used. Once you know the message you want your brand to convey to the audience, you will be on the right track to finding the right design direction for success.

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  • Artist Spotlight: Christian Suarez

    On: October 6, 2015
    In: Art, Character Development
    Views: 1951

    CSZ logo


    Name: Christian Suarez
    Hometown: Nogales, AZ
    Where You Live Now: Tucson, AZ



    KO: How long have you been drawing?
    CS: Well I first showed interest in art / drawing since I was about 8 years old. I started drawing more throughout middle school, but really started taking it seriously once I was in high school. I enrolled in all the art classes I could every year I was there and my teachers encouraged me to look into art schools once I graduated. After I graduated I moved to Tucson where I enrolled in the Art Center Design College.

    Frida Bruce Lee

    KO: What inspires you?
    When I was young I looked at comic books and a lot of animation. I always wanted to work in those fields and would get inspired by them. Nowadays I look at other artist’s work for inspiration. it helps to see what else is out there and I learn a lot by watching these men and women drawing amazing things. I also get inspired by music, movies, every day people and just experiences through out life!

    Flowers     City by the Ocean

    KO: How long do you usually spend on a piece?
    Depending what I’m working on it can take from a couple hours to a full day! I usually draw on my sketch books which are 8.5 x 5.5″. Since I don’t do this for a living yet I practice on these smaller books so I won’t spend too much time on one piece, but to draw as much as I can. Occasionally I’ll work on bigger pieces.

    Shamanbot Death

    KO: What is your favorite medium?
    I have more than one favorite medium. I really like ink, graphite, charcoal, and water colors. I really like the comic book style drawings and I try to go for that with my pieces. The thing I don’t like about it is that you can’t make realistic renders with ink. When I want to create something more realistic I use graphite and charcoal. I also do watercolor paintings from time to time. I find it to be very relaxing and it forces you to be creative in a different way that a pen or pencil doesn’t allow you to be. I also like digital art. It’s very different than traditional pencil and paper, but it is an amazing tool to use and the possibilities are endless!


    KO: Tell me about your favorite piece.
    I don’t have one favorite piece haha. I like them all the same as if they were my “kids”. I learn every time I draw something. The ones I enjoy a lot and get more response from people are the realistic portraits. Of course the take more time to finish, but the end result is something really rewarding. I have one here called “Su-Metal”. She is a young Japanese singer from a band called Baby Metal. I enjoyed drawing that one because I only used a red color pencil. it was challenging to get that realistic look, but I liked the finished piece. The other one that I liked a lot was “Fly”. I had just purchased a piece od software called Black Ink. That was the first thing I created with it. I had no idea what I wanted to do so I just started painting and painting. One thing looked like a bush and another like a branch and I just started feeding off of that and eventually ened up with a fly as a focal point. I loved it haha.


    KO: What advice do you have for other artists or those wanting to become one?
    My advice for young, up and coming artists is simple. Draw as much as you can! Draw every single day! It doesn’t matter what it is. It’s good to draw everything from people, animals, plants, buildings and pretty much anything you see. Once you decide what kind of artist you want to become you can narrow it down to a few things, but practice everyday! At first it’s a little overwhelming if you’re not quite sure what direction you want to go in, but eventually you will find something that you make a connection with.


    Kristen Oaxaca, Senior Graphic Designer

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