Blog Archives

Introducing The Dog Studio

Introducing The Dog Studio

AJ-MT-Shopped-SMA fresh approach to greeting cards and social stationery for dog lovers.

I’m excited to finally share my big news with you! For the past few months, I’ve been working hard at starting up an exciting venture with my sister, renown dog photographer Amanda Jones, and my brother-in-law Chris Jones. Our new company, The Dog Studio, pairs Amanda’s stunning dog portraits with my enthusiasm for beautiful design to create contemporary stationery and cards — and eventually gifts and home items. Very soon we will be releasing products that dog lovers (and lovers of dog lovers) across America will go crazy for! We hope.

Ultimately, we want to influence the quality of dog imagery used on products everywhere. And make beautiful cards and gifts. Our goal is to create products that are unique, smart and beautiful while giving back to the dog community. For that, we have created a “Royalties to the Rescue” program that makes financial and product donations to groups that help shelter dogs.

Here’s an example of our cards…

The Dog Studio Greeting Cards

The Dog Studio Greeting Cards

We will be launching to the resale trade in May at the National Stationery Show in New York City. In September we hope to launch our online store so everyone can buy one! Or two or twelve.

We hope you’ll come along for the ride! Learn more about it and how you can keep up with us at www.thedogstudio.com.

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Working with Images: Hi-Res vs. Lo-Res

Lots of times, we get sent images that are too small, or “lo-res” (short for low-resolution) to use for print. Here’s a helpful guide to understand the difference between using lo-res and hi-res images.

The first step to knowing the difference between high-resolution and low-resolution images is to understand what DPI means. DPI stands for ‘dots per inch’ which is a measure of the individual dots that can be placed in a line within the span of one inch. When viewing an image on your monitor, the dots are referring to “pixels”, or “picture elements”, which are the smallest visual elements (tiny little rectangles) on a display screen. When viewing a printed image, the dots refer to the actual dots of ink on the page. The more dots per inch, the higher-resolution the image. Think of it this way; what would make a clearer image? Ten dots of color per inch or 100 dots per inch?

Lo-res to hi-res

Low-resolution → high-resolution

So, when does an image become high-res?

300 is the magic number! Anything under 300dpi is considered low-res and anything 300dpi or above is considered high-res. 72dpi is the standard for low-res.

Keep in mind…

When you have a seemingly large image (dimension-wise) that is lower-res, the dimensions decrease greatly when bumping up the resolution. For example: If I have an image that is 10×10” at 72dpi and I resize it to 300dpi, the dimensions decrease to 2.4×2.4”.

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Why shouldn’t I just use high-res images all the time?

High-res images are great and designers love them. They’re clear, sharp, beautiful files and when you are printing anything it should always be high-resolution. But believe it or not, there are some reasons to use low-res images.

Internet browsers

The standard resolution for internet browsers is 72dpi, so anything you see online is automatically low-res.

Smaller file size

It makes sense that low-res images are smaller file sizes than high-res images; they have so much less digital information. This means they take up less space, load much quicker, and are easier to send through email.

How do I tell the difference?

If you know how to use Photoshop you can check out an image’s size under Image>Image Size. Otherwise, generally, the larger a file size is, the higher-resolution it will be.

What’s the deal with vector art?

Vector based files are information based, rather than pixel based. They use points, lines, curves and shapes that are based on mathematical equations to produce images. Because they are not made up from pixels, the dots per inch measurement is not applicable for vector files and they can be scaled up to any size without losing quality. Vector files are typically used for line art such as logos, digital illustration and typography, whereas photography is always pixel based.

vector

When in doubt, always send your designer the high-res image.

These can always be cropped down to the correct dimensions and dpi, whereas a low-res image’s resolution cannot be increased any higher than it currently is — once an image size is decreased, that digital information is lost. You cannot create a high-res file from a low-res file.

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Niice: In Search of Inspiration

The very best thing about the Internet? It’s so easy to find inspiration! When beginning a new project, I usually start clicking around to find inspiration around the ‘net. Well now it will be even easier with the launch of “Niice: A search engine with taste.” Instead of Googling a bunch of jimbo-jambo images and endless pages, this site actually curates content from other visual sites on the web. It’s beautiful, and robust…and a little too easy to go down the rabbit hole of endless clicking! If you click on an image, it takes you to the source site (of course), where there is tons more inspiration! Also, it’s always changing, so if you click on one of the sample searches below, yours will look different than mine!

Here are a few searches I just tested:

Niice search: "green"

“green”

Niice search: "kitty cat"

“kitty cat”

Niice search: "nature"

“nature”

Go ahead: try your own. And enjoy!

via DesignTaxi

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Stock Photography: New “Lean In” Collection

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Courtesy Getty Images

There’s been a lot of chatter in the last week about the new Lean In stock photo collection on Getty Images. Co-curated by Getty Images and LeanIn.org (Facebook exec Sheryl Sandberg’s non-profit), the collection is meant to impart a “powerful depiction of women, girls and the people who support them.” Presumably to combat images like this that proliferate weird, dated stereotypes of women.

“The stock imagery around women is embarrassing,” Jessica Bennett, contributing editor at LeanIn.org, said in a press release. “You can’t be what you can’t see, so if women and girls are not seeing images of powerful women and girls who are leaders, then they may not aspire to become that.”

I love this! Stock images get stale so quickly, and almost never appear authentic. I am hoping this is a step in the right direction for the advertising/marketing world, that it will bleed into the depiction of the rest of the world according to stock photography.

Here are some selects that show the diversity of the collection:

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Courtesy Getty Images

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Courtesy Getty Images

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Courtesy Getty Images

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Courtesy Getty Images

Check out the complete collection of 2,500 images here »

PS: If you were interested in knowing what is currently the top downloaded image of “woman” from Getty, it’s this…

Top downloaded woman image from Getty

On a train. Huh.

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Fun Friday: Totally Weird Stock Photography

I’m not being judgmental here — this is TotallyWeirdStock! If you were wondering what Twitter is good for, here’s an example: enabling interesting people to post interesting things. In this case, @StockFinds has been posting some really strange stock images. From actual stock photo sites. I do always stress the importance of using professional photography. In this case, it’s good for a belly laugh! For me, I can’t imagine what kind of brochure I’d use the following photos for. Can you?

13-1213-ArtificialIntelligence

Artificial intelligence.

13-1213-Banana-Shades

Um, sunbathing banana.

13-1213-Food-Head

Head on a platter. What?

13-1213-Laptop-w-Finger

I might be tempted to try this in a tech brochure some day…

13-1213-Melon-Hat-Bandaid

The watermelon helmet…the bandaid? Huh?

13-1213-Money-Surfer

Ok, no-brainer: hedge fund brochure!

13-1213-Pasta-Lady

“Hello, I love macaroni. Don’t you?”

13-1213-Removable-Face

It’s…indescribable.

13-1213-Small-Mind

Get me out of here!!!

13-1213-Smile-Sideways

Now, how did he do that?

13-1213-Twins-Of-Pear

Not sure where to go with this concept…

13-1213-Zip-It

Ah, zip it!

Enjoy many more here »

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