A Q&A from the eyes of our Creative Director
What are the most important practices for successful graphic design?
MG: It’s always smart to conduct a creative kickoff meeting to hear the needs and goals directly from the client. I’d ask questions such as:• Who is your audience and what is your goal?
• What is the message you are trying to convey and in what format/shape/size?
• What has/hasn’t worked for you in the past?
• Can you direct me to other samples, websites that you like/dislike, so I can determine the look and feel?
• What is your timeline and budget?
How has the world of graphic design changed since you began your career?
MG: Since I entered the industry, the creative the process has changed immensely — the biggest change being the Internet. Research is at your fingertips within seconds. No more spending the day at the library deciphering the dewey decimal system!
Technology has changed the review and approval process significantly. Emailing PDF proofs has reduced the review and approval timeframe from days or weeks, to hours or days. In our current environment, we’ve eliminated the need to produce color prints on boards or mockups for every round of design. However, this is still an important step in our best practices.
Research shows that people comprehend more from a physical printed piece versus a PDF onscreen. We encourage clients to review and approve physical proofs for color, illustrate their variable data, and to have a better understanding of the size and format of their final product. Whether it is the texture and weight of the paper or testing finishing techniques — the process of providing hard proofs will never change in the printing industry.
What design and print innovations have you seen?
MG: Paper continues to evolve. The misconception is that paper is wasteful, when it truly is not. It can be manufactured from multiple sources, materials and methods; and is perpetually recyclable. People love the tangibility of paper, and that is why print is still relevant and it is a very real joy in what I do — I love paper!
There is not enough space to write
Digital Printing… the speed of the presses, the vast array of papers and substrates available, and variable data capabilities — are all very strong points that will take us into the next generation of design and print. The combinations are infinite!
What do you love about your job?
MG: Interaction. I love taking a client’s vision and making it a reality, and into something one can touch. There’s nothing like seeing your work on a truck, on a billboard, in a newspaper, in the mail. Education. There is always something new to learn — not only from a Michigan Avenue art school, but from flipping burgers, to drawing dog portraits to a prepress house — where the true essence of printing lies. Inspiration. Who doesn’t love an ‘Aha Moment?’ It can strike at any given moment from, sometimes, very unlikely sources. Listen closely and embrace it then bring it to life!
Monica Grier is the Creative Director at Quantum Group.
An award-winning designer, Monica serves as the Creative Director at Quantum Group. She brings over 25 years of creative expertise across a variety of industries. The depth and breadth of her experience allows her to bring a fresh perspective to her clients when developing creative concepts.