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Graphic Designers

The following are tools, solutions, tips, tricks, secrets, and best practices for graphic designers like you. Be sure to share this page with your colleagues so they can benefit from them as well.

Graphic Design Web Resources

Graphic Design Knowledge

Graphic Design Document Do-It-Yourself Resources

Design: Talkboard
Graphic Artists Guild
Seneca Design and Training
International Paper Knowledge Center
How Design
All Graphic Design
99 Useful Resources for Graphic Designers
Before and After


Microsoft PowerPoint Tips
PowerPoint PlugIns

Graphic Design Resources

Business Graphics Library
Stock.XCHNG (Free Picts)
PicFinder (Free Picts)
Get My Graphic
Wikipedia Public Domain Images
Visual Literacy Periodic Table

Graphic Educational Resources

Billion Dollar Graphics Training
Learn more about turning your ideas, text, and solutions into powerful solutions.

The Influence of Graphics
Graphic designers don't need to be convinced about the influence and importance of graphics. We create graphics everyday to help sell a product or idea or to communicate a company's identity. We've studied design and worked for years to master our skills. We know that people think using pictures because we do it everyday. However, many of our clients need to be sold on how visual communication can improve their business before employing our services. Have your potential clients (and any naysayer) consider the following studies if they doubt the importance of compelling visuals:

  • Professional, visually appealing graphics increase your likelihood of success by 43% (3M-sponsored study at the University of Minnesota School of Management).
  • Research at the 3M Corporation concluded that we process visuals 60,000 times faster than text.
  • 83% of what we learn is through our eyes according to a study by the United States Armed Forces.
  • With visuals, it took 40% less time to explain complex ideas. (Wharton School study)
  • Visuals improved retention by 38%. (Harvard University study)
  • Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab asked 2,440 participants how they evaluated the credibility of websites they were shown. Almost half (46.1%) said that the website's design look was the number one criterion for discerning the credibility of the presented material.
  • Behavioral Psychologists agree that most of our decisions are based on intuitive judgment and emotions. Herbert A. Simon, Nobel Prize winning scholar at the Carnegie Mellon Institute in Pittsburgh, studied corporate decision-making and found that people often ignored formal decision-making models because of time constraints, incomplete information, the inability to calculate consequences, and other variables. Intuitive judgment was the process for most decisions.
  • According to studies performed at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Minnesota Management Information Systems Research Center, and 3M:
    • People agree more with a position when presented with visuals.
    • People will pay closer attention and react more positively when visuals are used.

This does not mean that graphic communication is better than text. However, the combination of graphics and words has a communicative power that neither singularly possesses. J.R. Levin said it best in A Transfer of Appropriate Process Perspective of Pictures in Prose: 'Pictures interact with text to produce levels of comprehension and memory that can exceed what is produced by text alone."

Creating Graphics
When creating graphics, remember to ask yourself the following:

  • What is the most important idea or concept this graphic should relate?
  • Who is your audience? Would they understand specific terms or prefer an overview?
  • How do you want to say it? What form of graphic (area chart, illustration, timeline, photograph etc.) will best reach your audience and help them to understand the idea/concept?

Seven Rules for Creating Graphics

  1. All graphics should play a specific role and have a reason for being chosen and incorporated.
  2. Stay consistent.
  3. Show or say it correctly. Don't try to be original.
  4. Keep it clean and simple. Too much visual clutter can be overwhelming and lose the primary objective of your message.
  5. Label elements directly to avoid confusion. This rule is especially true if you are introducing new image and ideas.
  6. Use recognizable imagery. Seeing a familiar face evokes trustworthiness in your audience. This is one reason celebrities are used in advertisements.
  7. Focus on your audience. Show your audience in your graphics. Allow your audience to see themselves learning, applying, and benefiting from your product/service.

Using a Template and Database of Graphics
Consistency throughout your communication materials is the main reason to create a template for your company (and main clients), build an identity guide, and maintain a database of frequently used graphics. You don't want your client wondering why different graphics are used to explain the same concept or the wrong logo is placed in an ad if the project is handed over to another designer who can't find the correct pieces on the server.

To maintain a database of frequently used graphics, consider the following:

  • On your server create a folder specifically for graphics (primarily photographs, illustrations, charts, and logos). Ideally, you should have one folder for every client and another for your design firm. Of, if you work for an in-house design department, a folder containing company and division logos and graphics.
  • Create subfolders for each graphic type (i.e., Stock Photos of Business Professionals, Stock Photos of Teenagers, Illustrations from Brochures, Floorplans, Charts, Logos). You can even purchase software, which serves as an archive for all your photos and graphics.
  • Inform everyone in your organization of the availability of these images and encourage them to add to the folders as new visuals are created for clients/your company.
  • Create a standards guide to inform your associates when, where, and how they can use these graphics. Include the following:
    • Photo or illustration size limitations
    • Color palette
    • Font choices
    • Type of communications in which to use the graphics (e.g., newspapers, magazines, brochures)
    • Logo guides for size, colors, and style
    • Stationery guides (e.g., margins, text styles, logo placement, and fonts)

To create a template for graphics in any software package, use the following guide as a starting point and then build upon it as necessary. Open a blank document and then populate it with the following:

  • Colors
    • Primary color
    • Secondary color
    • Tertiary color
    • Color palette of boxes tinted with your chosen colors
  • Font and text styles
    • Font style (may include a couple of font families)
    • Preferred minimum font size (For graphics, use at least 12 pt. for best visibility if projected on a screen in a presentation)
    • Font color
    • Bullet styles
    • Labeling styles
    • Caption styles
    • Paragraph styles (In a layout package, make sure to label the paragraph styles so anyone can understand what they mean: Main Heading, 1st Level Heading, Body Text, etc.)
  • Box styles (different boxes for org charts, flow charts, benefits boxes, etc.)
  • Arrow styles
  • Line style (width and color)
  • Logos for your company/clients
  • Samples of graphic icons/photos used in other graphics (e.g., blue cylinder equals main database)
  • Samples of graphic styles (area charts, bar charts, etc. used in previous design materials)

If you maintain one document for each client from which anyone in your organization can pull graphics and styles, it will save time and money when designing new graphics and marketing materials.

Graphic Design Solutions
You need powerful graphics for your next project. Unfortunately, you have to make it happen with very little time, money, and resources. You know you need your project to look great, communicate your client's solution better than anyone else, and leave the best impression. You know you need your graphics to blow everyone away. What do you do? Great news, you have a choice:

1. Do-it-yourself business graphics guide
2. Ready-to-go business graphics on DVD
3. Graphic how-to training
4. Fast Class seminars (1 hour quick classes)
5. Business graphic library

Graphic designers use Billion Dollar Graphics solutions to help conceptualize amazing graphics. Successful graphic designers use the easy-to-learn processes to turn their client's ideas and words into clear, communicative, compelling:

  • Presentation graphics
  • Brochure graphics
  • Marketing graphics
  • Logos and identity graphics
  • Business graphics
  • Proposal graphics
  • Web graphics
  • Multimedia graphics
  • Explanatory graphics (information graphics)
  • Any visual solution needed

Imagine being able to turn even the most static text and ideas into graphics like this...

Don’t waste anymore of your energy and time designing graphics that don't make your client or boss jump up and down. Make your client happy. Blow them away by making graphics that better communicate solutions, concepts, data, processes, and ideas. Influence and motivate the audience to take action. Use these books and learn to quickly communicate your ideas effectively. (Learn more about the book.)

Kick start or add to your existing graphics library. The Billion Dollar Graphics Master Collection DVD contains 111 editable graphics (Illustrator and Photoshop CS2 or better for Mac and PC).

All graphics are professionally conceptualized and rendered at print resolution. (Learn more about the DVD.)

Billion Dollar Graphics training/workshops will show you how to use visual communication to reach your goals. The training is applicable to anyone who wants better graphics for their clients. Visual communication training will help you and your organization succeed. Ultimately, you will be sought out for your uniue abilities and your compensation will go up. (Learn more about the Training and Workshops.)

Learn to quickly make graphics like these...

Custom Solutions for Design Professionals
Your challenges are unique. Perhaps your goal is to increase the quality of your visuals or analyze your existing process and develop a better system for generating clear, communicative, compelling graphics. Allow Billion Dollar Graphics to be of service. We are available for consultation. (Learn more about custom solutions.)

Graphic Design Services with 24 Hour Company
Feeling overwhelmed? Need help? Billion Dollar Graphics and 24 Hour Company work together to provide quality, professional graphic design services. If ever you or your team is over-tasked and could use additional support on a project, call 24 Hour Company for:

  • Graphic production (conceptualization and rendering)
  • Desktop publishing
  • Editing

(Learn more about 24 Hour Company.)

Click on the solutions below to purchase...

BDG Master Collection ($549)
FREE Book + 111 ready-to-use, editable business graphics + 41 bonus graphics + FREE tools and resources on DVD.
Only $4.95 per graphic.

More Information
Is the BDG Master Collection for your company or organization? Choose the best option for you:
Single License = source art installed on one computer
Limited Site License = source art installed on up to 5 computers (per site)
Unlimited Site License = source art installed on unlimited computers (per site)

Click here to download a fax order form, if you have a PO# or prefer not to order online.

Other services are also available:

Conceptualization Training and Workshops

Graphic Conceptualization Online Training
(coming soon)

Custom Solutions for Graphic Design Professionals

Design Services
(through 24 Hour Company)

Fast Class Seminars
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