By Stephanie Design

dec 2016

New In The Shop: Newborn Photographer Marketing Set & Studio Magazine

ShopStephanie HamiltonComment

I'm really excited to add these NEW photographer templates to my collection - allowing you to save time and energy in Photoshop while giving your studio a complete branded look and feel! The marketing set & magazine template are now available in my shop, and each can be purchased separately as well. 

 

photographer marketing set - photographer templates  - by stephanie design
photographer marketing set - photographer templates  - by stephanie design
photographer marketing set - photographer templates  - by stephanie design
studio welcome magazine template - by stephanie design
newborn photographer studio magazine template - by stephanie design
newborn photographer welcome magazine template  - by stephanie design

View the Marketing Set & Magazine 


Customer Reviews

"Great customer service. Visually pleasing design. Thank you!" -marina4615

"Love the professional look it provides to my guide...and such a timesaver! ❤️❤️❤️" -stephanierhodes30

Review by hello950

This is a lovely design. Really elegant, clean and crisp which was exactly what I was looking for. The editing is very easy and straight forward to follow. It saved me a lot of time and mean that I was able to focus on other areas of my business, without having to spend lots of time Photoshop creating my own design. Thank you for making life easy Stephanie. Great value for money.

Review by Emily Chappell

Needed something quick, easy, and minimalistic to display my increased pricing - this did just the trick! Simple to customize. Thank you!

Review by Erin Richard

Love this template. I'm not extremely keen on photoshop (I typically stick with Lightroom) but this template was easy to work with and each customized item was labeled and well organized! I even easily added a white screen behind the words for some images that needed the contrast.



Follow me on Instagram where I hold giveaways of the photographer templates! 

 

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Photoshop, Illustrator or InDesign: Which One Is Best for You?

DesignStephanie Hamilton4 Comments

Most bloggers and business owners know how useful the Adobe Creative Suite is for their creative projects - their simply is no other program that offers as many benefits. On the other hand there are times when clients ask me which program is most suitable for carrying out their creative project, and since I know the programs inside and out, I'm quick to explain why.

So, I thought it would be helpful to discuss the important similarities and differences of each program so you can easily pinpoint the best solution for your next project. 

 

Should I use Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, or Indesign - By Stephanie Design
Should I use Photoshop, Illustrator, or InDesign? - By Stephanie Design

Photoshop 


Let's start with Photoshop - a program I utilize a lot! Photoshop is best for editing and modifying photos, so if you use many photographs in your work, whether taken yourself of purchased from stock photo sites, this is the best option for you. 

Beyond the advanced photo editing features, Photoshop is also known for it's many unique filters, special effects, and product mockup capabilities. Is also the tool most commonly used by Web Designers, making it a great option for creating digital artwork along with website needs such as blog post graphics, social media images, and social icons.

Photoshop can be used to: 

  • Correct exposure or modifying color
  • Crop, align, and rotate photos to achieve better compositions 
  • Restore and retouch images
  • Combine multiple images into composites
  • Simulate a variety of photographic lens effects
  • Create textures within images or backgrounds
  • Create comps of websites and mobile applications
  • Apply special effects like blurs and lighting effects
  • Repair videos
  • Create 3D shapes for use in other applications

 

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Should I use Photoshop, Illustrator, or InDesign - By Stephanie Design

Illustrator


Illustrator, on the other hand, is an excellent choice if you have several graphic and branding design needs. This software creates vector images, which deal with mathematical logarithms.  So, if you ever intend to print your documents, you're in luck as you can scale them up to any size without sacrificing quality or resolution. This is why Illustrator is a perfect fit for logos and light print material. Heavy photo editing? Leave those tasks to Photoshop. 

Illustrator can be used to: 

  • Create clean visual compositions that can be scaled infinitely without losing quality
  • Create freehand drawings and illustrations
  • Trace and recolor scanned-in artwork
  • Create logos, icons, and other complex shapes
  • Create website mockups and graphics for use across multiple screens

 

should I use adobe photoshop, illustrator, or indesign? - by stephanie design

InDesign


Lastly, InDesign is the industry-standard software for publication design, interactive pdf documents, digital magazines, and e-publications. So if you have any document that requires several pages of text, you'll find this program the most useful. Think of it as the last stop in the creative process after you'd edited your images and created your graphics but need to tie everything together into an attractive layout design. 

InDesign can be used to:

  • Create rich typographic layouts
  • Assemble photos and artwork into designs quickly and easily
  • Create styles to change the look and feel of their document
  • Package files for commercial print in a quick and organized manner
  • Create rich interactive documents
  • Build interactive PDF forms to collect data from customers

As you can see each program has its own unique functions and capabilities and since they're all apart of the Adobe Creative Suite, are compatible with each other and many times go hand-in-hand. If you're a blogger or business owner with reoccurring marketing needs, I highly recommend checking out the Adobe Creative Cloud, which can be subscribed to for a reasonable monthly price. You can learn more here. Each application puts it's own unique world of opportunities at your fingertips! 

 

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Do you use Adobe Creative Suite for your blog or business? Which programs do you use most often and which are you favorite features? Do you work more with photos or graphics? 


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My Advice for Aspiring Graphic Designers

Business, DesignStephanie Hamilton2 Comments

Many of the posts on this blog are geared at potential clients, such as How to Make a Media Kit That Sounds Out, How to Choose the Perfect Color Palette for Your Small Business, and How to Create Your Signature Brand Style, but I thought it would be beneficial to share little bit of my own background in the field of design for those new to the blog and may be interested in transitioning into a creative role. 

Upon graduating from design school I immediately accepted an internship at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia in their design/production dept. It was my first taste designing a cohesive visual identity across all platforms and mediums for a large brand.

After that I held at role at a marketing agency, working on various campaigns for small to medium-sized businesses before starting my own freelance business for small business owners in need of graphic design services for their brand. 

Whether you hold a 4 year degree or are self-taught, I really think there is room for everyone with a passion for design to pursue it. So if you're just starting out in the field of graphic design and looking for some advice, I'd come up with a few key takeaways from my years of experience in the field you may benefit from.. 

 

My Advice for Aspiring Graphic Designers - By Stephanie Design

Always Start With the Fundamentals 

Design is all about communication. You should always strive to effectively communicate the right message to a viewer, foremost. 

With the technology right at our fingertips, it's easier than before to dive right into these programs in hopes of creating pretty things we think will resonate with our ideal customer.

Before you get occupied trying to learn the latest version of Adobe Creative Suite, it's really important to have the basics of design in your back pocket. 

Have you ever viewed a magazine and thought the layout just didn't 'flow' in a way that is natural, or thought a logo or website didn't accurately reflect a business' mission? 

Designers solve complex problems visually through the use of fonts, colors, graphics, illustration, and patterns. 

If you're interested in learning more I suggest starting with the principles of Visual Hierarchy, Color Theory, and Typography to hone your skills. One you understand the reason why certain colors work together, why a pair of fonts compliment each other so nicely, and why certain layouts contribute to a better user experience for a website, you'll be able to clearly communicate your design decisions to clients and build credibility with clients. 

Related Posts: How to Chose the Perfect Color Palette For Your Small Business


Foster Postive Client Relationships

When a customer takes the leap to invest in their business with me, they are entrusting me to help establish their online presence. I don't take that investment lightly. whether it's a purchase in my shop, or a brand design package

Clear and easy communication is therefore essential. In order to clearly visually communicate the mission or purpose of a brand, I have to understand the business behind it. The best way to do this is to ask as many questions as you can upfront before the design process begins, ensuring you and the client are both on the same page. 

I have an in-depth questionnaire I give to all branding design clients, and I make sure to check in with them throughout the design process for feedback and input. Once the project wraps up clients are welcome to email with with any questions about their brand or advice, as well. 

With my online store I've gotten numerous requests for tutorials to walk customers through how to edit the templates in Photoshop, so I've since implemented a video tutorials section that helps them easily navigate Photoshop and make adjustments to their template. 

Listening to customers can take many different forms for your business, but I'd start by clearly laying out your design process, create in-depth questionnaires, and being receptive to feedback throughout the process. The more clarification you have upfront, the more the design process and client relationship will the built on trust, honesty, and respect. 

Want to make sure you're hitting every mark of the design process? Download my FREE design process cheatsheet below and make sure you're including them in your brand design process. 


Build Your Portfolio 

If you're just getting off the ground, utilize the time you have building up your business by developing a portfolio of the work you'd like to do. If you don't yet have paying clients, create your own hypothetical design projects. I'd suggest sticking to a timeline when creating these projects, that way you have a realistic picture of how long it will take you to complete and can accurately estimate when your paying clients come. Don't be afraid to put these projects in your portfolio, as these self-initiated projects are still an example of the quality of work you can deliver. 

Related: Mark Bowley has penned an excellent article on preparing and talking about your design portfolio.


Done is Better Than Perfect


As designers we tend to be perfectionists. While this can be an asset, it can also hinder you in many ways, too. If you've ever struggled with finding a stopping point with a project because you think there's something missing or it can be better, you know what I'm talking about. 

This is another benefit of adhering to a timeline and having designated steps within your design process - it forces you to utilize your time wisely, do a great job, and leave the endless tweaks and adjustments by the wayside. 


Show Confidence 

It's important to note that even designers that been through rounds of critiques in design school, have field experience, and hold a degree even have bouts of self-doubt at times. This uneasiness can show through and affect how seriously a client takes you.

This feeling of uneasiness will dissolve with time and experience. Looking at the examples above of how to foster a positive client relationship is one jumping off point. You should do everything you can to show the client their in good hands, including educating them throughout the process, explaining your concepts, and helping them through decisions, showing confidence in your own abilities even in times when you're not 100% feeling it yourself. 


Continue to Learn 

The only constant about the design field is change! Just when you think you've learned every software, tool, or trick of the trade, something new comes along to keep you on your toes. By staying up-to-date and adhering to these new methods of learning it's so much easier to stay inspired and avoid burnout. So subscribe to design blogs, take a class and learn a new skill, or simply update your software or download that new app to keep your skill set current.

 

I know I only brushed the surface of what being a Graphic Designer entails, so I'd like to take some of my own advice and ask fellow designers if you have any advice of your own you'd like to add? 

 

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