What's In Our Toolbox, Part I

Ever wondered what tools and applications a graphic designer uses? The list is longer than you'd think. This week I'm listing the "retro" tools; next week it'll be the hi-tech stuff.

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White Tuesday: Eighth in a Series

"I used to be Snow White, but I drifted." white cloud – Mae West

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Creating a Sports-Oriented Website

We just developed a new website for, a triathlon coaching site. The owner, Joe O'Gorman, is a coach and trainer based in Northern Virginia. Joe wanted a site that showcased his services and client results, and that imparted information such as upcoming race events and training tips. Joe's client territory is in Northern Virginia – Reston specifically.

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Black Monday: Seventh in a Series

Black is the absence of light, and therefore of color. The eyes and the brain translate light into color. Whhow we see colorere there are no photons of light, there is no color. However, when we're talking about pigment and coloring objects, black certainly exists as a color.

How is Black Pigment Made?

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Trademarking Your Logo

Make It Part of Your Business Strategy
The first step in branding is developing a corporate logo. Many companies jump into that process before thinking it through, and one of the risks of not planning ahead is the possibility of trademark infringement. Have you researched your choices for company name? It’s entirely possible someone else already has that name, is doing business in your market space, and exists in the same geographic area.

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Anatomy of a Logo

We recently designed a corporate logo for Compel Visuals, a medical-legal illustration company that provides custom illustrations of surgical procedures, disease and injuries to medical malpractice attorneys. These drawings are are fully researched and highly detailed; they're usually presented in the courtroom to a jury.

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Planning Your Collateral: Start from the End

Marketing and branding collateral should be treated as tasks with pre-planning and schedules, Start from the endjust like other tasks the company is performing. There will occasionally be projects where everyone has to turn on a dime, but that can't be the normal way of operating. It's dysfunctional and the product gets stiffed – every time.

Determine the End Use

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Pink Tuesday: Sixth in a Series

Psychologically, pink is nurturing, calmiPantone Honeysuckle swatchng, hopeful and passionate. Pink is made by mixing red with white, and the resulting shades vary from light fleshy tones to hot pink. The color wasn't associated with femininity until the early 20th century; before that, pink was preferred for boys because it was viewed as a stronger color than blue.

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Medical Illustration: An Art Discipline Like No Other

Who is responsible for the molecular illustrations in pharmaceutical ads and medical journals? Who drew the anatomical poster in your doctor’s office?

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When Do You Need a Tagline?

Companies often want a tagline added to their logo and brand. But is it a good idea to have one? Will it add value to your brand? When is a tagline necessary? And most important: How do you get a good one?

For insight into these questions, we reached out to Sharon Ritchey of Home Row Editorial, a Northern Virginia-based writing, editing, and content consulting company with clients across the United States.

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