How to talk to a graphic designer

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How to talk to a designer

 

If you are beginning a business, or want to “spruce up” the one you already have, chances are you will end up using a graphic designer. What do we designers do? In a nutshell,  we make things look pretty!

Be it a logo, a brochure, a website, etc… we designers make things look clean, orderly and all around pretty for our clients. Those of you who have dealt with designers before, you are familiar with some of the lingo we designers use in order to talk to you about a certain project. If you are contemplating hiring one of us to help your business succeed, then this guide will be a good stepping stone.

Ready? here we go…

Initial meeting: When you meet with your designer either in person, on line or though a phone call. I always find it best, if meeting in person, to meet at a neutral location such as a Starbucks or local cafe.

High Res images: An image, or picture, used for your brochure or any printed material. This is always the best option.

A high res image can be either purchased or taken by a good digital camera. Images from a phone do not work. Images downloaded from the web, without permission from the owner of such image, does not work. Images that are 2″x 2″ ( inches or centimeters) and are high res, do not work. Here is the reason why: Digital images, or scanned to become digital, work in pixels. Pixels are tiny little squares that make up an image in the digital world. The more squares (or resolution. ex: 300 dpi) the better the image. Images used on the web are at their lowest resolution (72 dpi) possible, making them look VERY fuzzy when printed. They are also VERY small physically speaking. Phone images are the same way. Downloads from the web without permission are a total no-no. You would be placing yourself under legal harm’s way for using an image that doesn’t belong to you. Also, Images can not be pulled out of thin air. Meaning, if you have a photo of the “top” of an apple, the designer can not “turn the apple” to show the “side” of it on your project.  You would need a new picture.

Copy: This is the “TEXT” need from you, the client.

Unless the designer will be writing everything for you, a very unlikely scenario, you need to write all the information needed yourself. This includes addresses, emails, phone numbers, etc… Please spellcheck your work. Designers should not be accountable for your spelling mistakes. When drafts are given to you, check and double check everything written on your project.

Drafts: Ideas and layouts given to you before the final material. Drafts are usually emailed to you.

Logo Design: A logo is probably THE most important piece to your business branding. It is important, for your success, to be recognize among the plethora of businesses just like yours. A logo will give you that recognition.

How much should you pay for a logo? well, that will depend on your designer. Just so you know, the “Graphic Artists Guild” suggests that a logo should be between $50,000 and $2,000 dollars. This all depends in the size of your business. If you are just starting and are working from your garage, chances are that the designer will give you a good price.

Live Area: This is the area you can physically SEE on a print.

When images are printed, they get to be printed on really large sheets of paper and then trimmed, or cut, to the final size of your piece. It is very important what part of an image you see on your product.

Printing Process: How your project will be printed. 4 color, UV, 1 Pantone color, foils, emboss, deboss, etc… all done by a printing house, or vendor.

Small quantities can be printed digitally. Large quantities should be printed on an offset printer. ONLY offset printers can accommodate 1 color Pantone, foils, funky inks, etc… Also, be very aware that the color on your screen might not be the colors on the final print. This is because all computer monitors and phone screens are not created equal. You can either cross your fingers that things will look great when printed from a file onscreen or get a “paper proof” of your project. Now a days, you’d do well practicing your faith that all will turn out alright!

Common Misconceptions: Things that designers can do only in the client’s imagination.

Designers Are Not/Do Not/should Not:

Make things bigger by the push of a button, take calls in the middle on the night, read the client’s mind, robots, add to the “image” of something you made without the original files, participate on the client’s desperation and/or emergencies, make up a new day in the calendar, work as fast as superman, be in two places at once.

Designers DO however listen, work hard, show patience, guide, are professionals and need to get paid in a reasonable time.

I hope all these lingo from designers make a bit more sense to you now. There are plenty of other things to consider when hiring a designer to make a business shine and look pretty. It all depend on the communication you and them have. Mutual respect is the key.

Do you have any other questions about designer’s lingo? What has your experience been so far?

Have a creative day,

Belle signature ok

Surviving the first day of Kindergarten

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1st day of kinder

I have two little girls, Fia is 7 and Isa is 5 years old. This week was Isa’s first day of Kindergarten. I was worried about her happiness and how well she was going to adapt to a new school, a new teacher and new friends.

The week prior to the beginning of school, we had the chance to meet the teachers and see the classrooms. Isa freaked out! she begun crying and not wanting to be anywhere near her teacher. It broke my heart to see my daughter so stressed out about school. Not fun! Not fun at all!!!

I spoke to several friends who either have experience as a teacher or children psychology. One of them gave me the best idea ever! She told me to “pave” the going to school by “acting out” the day. brilliant! For those of you who do not know what “paving” is, “paving” is a way to prepare a person by talking about what is going to happen when… we go to the store, go on vacation, meeting a new person, explaining a job, etc…

So, off we went to pave the way for Isa. On Sunday, we decided to have Family Home evening, which is like a family night but with a spiritual focus, and taught about the importance of learning both spiritual and secular things, and moved on from there.

This is how we survived the first day of Kindergarten:

  1. We talked about how God wants us to learn about him at church and “seek learning, even by study and also by faith.” (Doctrine and Covenants 88:118)
  2. Asked the girls to put on their uniforms
  3. We had a “pretend” breakfast and made their “pretend” school lunches
  4. We “pretended” to be in my car and went for a “pretend” ride to school. I had them kiss me goodbye. My husband was waiting for them at the gate of the “pretend school”.
  5. Then pretended to have a full day at school with classes included.
  6. At the end of the “pretend” day at school, my husband “drove” his “pretend” car to pick them up from school and I welcomed them home with open arms.
  7. My husband gave them a Father’s Blessing for the upcoming year.
  8. Finally, we drove to the actual school and dropped the girls and husband off at the gate, drove around the block and picked them up.
  9. Had watermelon at home as refreshment.

I am very happy to inform you that this little “paving for school” worked like a dream! Fia and Isa were so happy to go to school. Isa was still nervous but not nearly as stressed out as before. To this day, day 4 of school, Isa is very happy and wanting to go back to school with her teacher and her new friends. I feel very blessed!

ART & Dine in Las Vegas

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I know what you were thinking this morning, you thought, “Belle, how can I make the month of June more fun for me? I wish you knew how.” Well, I do! Come join me for an ART & DINE at Rachel’s Kitchen Restaurant on June 5th from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. You will get to create something unique you can take home and brag about… for years to come. We will be painting with acrylics on canvas. Ages 12 and up are welcome. No experience necessary, just your willingness to have fun!

Also, don’t miss ART CAMP for this summer. Kids 5 yrs. old and up can sign up.

8.5 x 11 poster

10 Things to do in Las Vegas with little kids

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So, you have decided to come to Las Vegas with little kids. There are plenty of attractions for teen age kids and older. However, as a local, I can give you a few ideas on what to do and where to go with little kids while visiting Las Vegas. In no particular order:

1- Discovery Children Museum
360 Promenade Place
Las Vegas, NV 89106
(702) 382-3445

We love this museum. It is very kid oriented and teaches children a plethora of really cool stuff like: how sound works with our ears, science, art, dress up areas. The first floor is our favorite! It has a huge room were kids can play with water, a pirate-dress up ship and an area for little toddlers. A must do to give the little ones a break from the strip.

2- Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat
The Mirage Hotel and Casino
(702) 791-7188

The coolest thing about this place, aside from the amazing dolphin show, is the zoo. They have white tigers and white lions on display! They are gorgeous! It’s not San Diego Zoo by any means, but nevertheless, a very well kept and big enough zoo for a couple of hours of entertainment. Your kids will love it.

3- Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay
Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino
(702) 632-4555

This place is amazing!! They have a gi-normous main aquarium you can walk through it in a tunnel. You can see all the sharks, different fish and turtle swim all around you. it is a great experience. It’s the closest you could get to sharks without getting wet. they also have exhibits on many different kinds of fish, a hands-on manta ray area, jelly fish, octopus, etc… This is an aquariums that you’ll be talking about for years to come.

4- The Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Garden
Bellagio Hotel and Casino
FREE – 24 hrs. a day/7 days a week

I love this garden. It is truly a magical place to visit! It is an exposition with live, natural flowers from around the world. It changes according to the seasons through very whimsical themes. The attention to detail is astounding. The passionate display of nature in all its awe-evoking glory – quite simply, sensational! You will be pleasantly surprised at its size and the wonderful aroma you can detect as you approach it.

5- Tournament of the Kings at the Excalibur
Excalibur Hotel and Casino
(702) 597-7600

Haza!!!! This is probably one of the most entertaining things to do in Las Vegas, even without kids. It’s a dinner show with Invading armies! Dancing maidens! Jousting! Fireworks! And eating with your fingers! Its true, you don’t get silverware, LOL. We usually dress up our kids in princess costumes to make it more fun for them. There are horses, live music, cheering, singing… a great night in town!

6- Gondola Rides at The Venetian
The Venitian Hotel and Casino
(702) 414.4300

A more romantic and low-key place to visit but still fun! I have been to Venice, Italy, and I can honestly say that they did a fabulous job replicating the scene. Piazza San Marco, at a 10th of its real size, is extremely cute and a very pleasant walk to let your kid run a bit. The Gondola rides are great because each gondolier sings to you “opera style”! you don’t necessarily need to ride a gondola to enjoy the music, but it adds to the magic of the moment. When there, make sure to get some gelato as well.

7- Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area
3205 State Route 159
Las Vegas, NV 89161

(702) 515-5350
Location: About 20 miles from the Vegas Strip

Nature lovers, Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area presents awe-inspiring views most wouldn’t expect to see near a major metropolitan city. In contrast to the bright lights and hype of the Strip, Red Rock offers desert beauty, towering red cliffs and abundant wildlife. Our favorite hike with our kids is Lost Creek/Children’s Discovery; however, here is a list of hikes for all hiking levels.

8- Hoover Dam
Boulder City, NV
(702) 494-2517 or (866) 730-9097
Location: The Dam is 35 miles south of Las Vegas on U.S. 93

This dam is huge, dam huge!!! LOL It is a wonder of engineering that should not be missed. They have tours where you can see the power plant, or if you feel like spending a little more money, you can venture into the Dam Tour for $30. Due to 9/11 attack, security is tight, so be prepared for a car check. $7 for parking.

9- Wet n’ Wild Water Park
7055 S. Fort Apache Road
Las Vegas, Nevada 89148.
(702) 979-1600

Las Vegas can get HOT! very hot! and there is nothing more refreshing than cool, fun water. They have rides for all ages and “darers”. Its a little pricy if you ask me but very entertaining for the whole family. It’s true you’ll have a pool at your hotel, which you should take plenty of advantage of during the summer. However, this place is just fun! plain and simple.

10- Las Vegas Mini Grand Prix
1401 N. Rainbow Blvd
Las vegas, NV 89108
(702) 259-7000
Location: About 20 minutes from the Vegas Strip

My kids LOVE this place. We go here often for mommy/daddy daughter dates. You can drive carts with your kid next to you or they can drive their own little carts. They have a small roller-coaster and other “fair-like” attractions. the best deal is a wrist band and pizza. You can get a wrist band for your little kid and ride with him/her for free. Granted, this is not an available feature for ALL the rides but it is worth the money.

So there you have it, 10 things you can do with your little kids in Las Vegas. Have fun and enjoy the city that never sleeps.

 

Easy school lunches

My oldest daughter is going to 1st grade this year. I have been freaking out, not about her teacher or her school, but about her lunches. What should I use as container? making it fun, healthy, good, something she’ll eat….

I have been doing so much research, you have no idea. Totally freaked out, right? LOL

After so many worries, pictures and materials I have come to a decision, I can only give her what she will eat, everything else is just for show! So here is what I came up with, any combination of the following would be just fine and she would love them too:

lunch box stuff

Now, these are all based on what my kid likes. I am planning on adding to this list as time goes by. Shoot, I might just give her money to buy her lunch at school on Fridays, it’s pizza day . You can do something similar for your child with all the things that she/he likes. Of course, making the lunch look cute is up to you.  Here are some of the things I think are useful to me which you can find in Amazon under lunch:

Cookie/veggie/cheese cutters

Disposable container with three areas for food

Rectangular silicone baking cups

Thermos for hot meals such as soup, pasta, etc…

    • Contigo Autoseal Kids Trekker Cup, 14-Ounce, Magenta

      Water cup with lid. I like the ones without straws.

    •  
    • Lunch box. This is actually really firm inside.

      Ice coolers. to keep things fresh

       

ART CAMP 2014

SAM_3224_2OMG! Did I have fun doing art camp this year? YES. Yes I did. I have been extremely impressed with the quality and talent the children brought to these classes. THEY WERE AMAZING!!

I had 5 different sessions during the 2014 summer. I taught 5 yrs old and up. they created and learned all kinds of things. The classes begun with an introduction to “liquid watercolors” and water color paper. Learning about the differences of “tooth” or “roughness” of different paper. They also learned about perspective and how objects seem to change in size when seen from a distance.

We also talked and learned about making prints with ink and foams on paper. Learned about the differences between watercolors and acrylics. The Final projects were done on canvas with acrylics. This was their favorite project through out the week of camp. Here are some examples of the work done or you can always visit my “Arts and Crafts with Belle” website to see more. Maybe if you are in the Las Vegas area you might want to join in.

Acrylic on Canvas

Acrylic on Canvas

Masks done with papier mache and acrylics

Masks done with papier mache and acrylics

pen and ink mermaids

pen and ink mermaids

Print making with ink and foam

Print making with ink and foam

Acrylics on canvas

Acrylics on canvas

Party special: Halloween

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It is that time of the year again when I begin to get ready for parties. We have a Halloween party coming up, “my little pony” birthday party for my oldest turning 6yrs old, Thanksgiving and then Christmas. All within two months, more or less.

So, I will be presenting my preparations for each as they come.

This year’s Halloween party will be goth. I don’t want to make it bloody or scary. Last year my kids could hardly sleep with a giant spider hanging from the balcony. This year I will concentrate on bats and goth with a touch of whimsy.

This is what the invitation looks like. To save on postage I will hand deliver them. I’m just going to print them at Costco 4×6. Nothing complicated.

halloween party for blogI used old Victorian ornament clip art, same for the bat. For fonts, I used Sabon bold for the regular copy, Shipped Goods (from dafont.com) and Roman Antique for the title.

I have found the following pictures as inspirations for the decor:

Candelabra

15 Cute Halloween Food Ideas

I’ll show you how the decorations progress as I go. The only question is, where do I get candelabras from? Wish me luck!

Belle

Arts and Crafts: July 2013

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We had a blast during July. We explored the artists Eric Carle and Paul Klee, as well as line and form. The kids were so excited to participate and are very much looking forward to my August class. We will be focusing on Picasso, one of my favorite artists, as well as line and form. There is just so much to learn about it.

Here are a few examples of what we did during our July class:

The little kids created these caterpillars and butterflies using their hands body and wings. We used tempera as medium.

Little painted hands created these cute little guys.

Little painted hands created these cute little guys.

SAM_2573

Painted tissue paper

Painted tissue paper

Painted tissue paper

Painted tissue paper

Painted tissue paper

SAM_2567 SAM_2568 SAM_2569 SAM_2570We created our own patterned paper a la Eric Carle. You do this by painting tissue paper and then cutting the paper out to create a picture. It was so much fun. After words, we made either bugs or animals. I have very creative students. SAM_2576 SAM_2577 SAM_2578 SAM_2579 SAM_2580 SAM_2584 SAM_2615SAM_2618  SAM_2620 SAM_2623 SAM_2625 SAM_2626 SAM_2628

Arts and craft classes

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Arts and crafts topI decided to open up an arts and crafts class/school for children, so, in my way of just doing things, classes begin the first week of July. I will be teaching children from the ages 3-12 years old. I’ve had a few teenagers interested in my classes as well.

For the month of July, I will be teaching line and form. Since the ages of each one of my classes vary, this is how I will break it up:

We will be reading the book “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”.

With this book, we will learn about color, shape and form as well as about the artist behind this book, Eric Carle, during our first two weeks of class.

3-4 and 5-6 class — Will learn about hand painting and cutting with scissors. We will be making the following projects:

7-9 and 10-12 class — Will learn about the process Eric Carle uses in order to make these fabulous illustrations and will be making our own bugs. Here is the process of his genius. we will end up with something like this:
Abdulla's Flying Insect
The last two weeks of class we will learn about line and shape. To this end we will study Mr. Paul Klee. He is famous for his simplistic yet evocative art.
The work I am most interesting in sharing with the students is this one, Du gris de la nuit surgit soudain, 1918:
Based on this work, the children will learn about line, color and negative space.
We will also be working, on the last two weeks of July, with the book The Dot, by Peter H. Raynolds.https://abelledesignblog.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/47c70-thedot.jpg

The US Constitution and me

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I became a citizen of the United States in 2010. I have been in this country since 1993. It took me 10 years to become a legal resident, and 7 more to be a citizen.

I remember, several years ago, I was talking to some friends about how me and my family celebrated Thanks Giving. Being from Chile, I had to learn the meaning of this American holiday and how it was celebrated. Believe it or not, other countries do not care about what holidays the United States celebrates or its history.

I was about to tell my friends that we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving as most Americans do, when a very rude person, completely out of nowhere, just busted out loud “WELL, IF YOU DON’T LIKE IT, THEN GET THE F_ _K OUT OF HERE“.

I was shocked. I would have thought that a country that lets you burn the flag as a sign of political disagreement would let me, little old me, finish a sentence. Life in the USA has been extremely better for me that it ever was back in Chile. Only the rich live the way I do here. And I’m just a middle class person.

In retrospective,  I wish I had had the presence of mind to say something like…. “No. Stop. You are misunderstanding my meaning. While there are several things that I do miss from Chile, food and people, life is better here. Here I can say and do almost whatever I want. Here I can speak freely of any topic I wish. Here I don’t have to be scared for my family. Here I can agree or disagree with everyone and everything. So, as you can see, if YOU don’t like what I have to say, you can get the flip out of here yourself.”

It is not easy to be an immigrant in the United States. I get discriminated all the time. Funny, but terrible really, I get discriminated by regular folks for being Latina, Hispanic, a woman, a mother, my accent, and some ordinary ideas.

Being a citizen makes me feel more secure and sure of myself. I watched a PBS show about the United States Constitution that really helped me understand a few things about my rights.

I wish that “rude person” had let me finish my sentence that day. She would have learned that “we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving like most Americans do. We eat a turkey, which we bake in the oven, butterfly style. This way it takes a lot less time to cook. My dad would spice it up with several condiments of all kinds. We would then have several salads and cooked potatoes. After lunch, we would watch movies ALL DAY LONG, “picking” at every scrap of food left from the feast.”