Charting a New Course for Your Publication

Why not add credibility to your publication with some great visuals?  Indeed, charts and graphs offer great ways to increase the effectiveness of your publications. Through the use of data, charts and graphs support the arguments or positions that you are advancing. These graphic enhancements are commonly used in corporate annual reports for the financial section or to illustrate services, accomplishments or goals.

Infographics are graphical representations that are used to make complex data easy to understand. The idea here is to make the data user-friendly by distilling it down though the use of simple graphical symbols rather than lengthy technical texts.

Here are four ways to make effective charts and graphs:

1) Build elegant charts and graphs. Go beyond the usual.  Add depth, color and shape to your charts and use colors consistent with the rest of your design.  The three samples below shows a very cleanly designed chart that we created for the State of Commute Report for the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments.  We created nearly 150 charts and tables for this lengthy report.  All these graphics had the same font, same color scheme and same dimensions.  This definitely makes for a more harmonious design and hence a successful corporate communication. Continue reading

Creating Effective Newsletters: Tip #11—Leaf it Alone

Original-photo-of-leavesLeaves can be great stand-alone graphics to add visual interest to an otherwise static layout. Try adding a leaf or two to your article. The topic does not necessarily have to focus on gardening or nature. Instead it could be an article or newsletter on spring, fall, healthy living, outdoor living, recreation, housing, recycling, real estate or clean air.

Furthermore, leaves can serve as interesting patterns behind text and great shapes for wrapping text around. Try experimenting with the different shapes by clipping out the background in Adobe Photoshop.

Leaves also add much color to a page layout. The intense green, brown and yellowish hues can really “warm up” a page. Try using the eyedropper tool in Photoshop to extract the colors for use as solid backgrounds behind text or for the borders of photos. Whatever the use, you will be pleased with the result. This type of graphical treatment is  fun, colorful and easy to create.

Next time you are in a pinch don’t be left hanging from a branch without a design approach.  Try “leafing” it.

Sample newsletter article with leaves

Sample newsletter article with leaves