Thursday, March 5, 2015

Printing - Behind the Scene.

Difference between Digital and Litho printing and
why the big difference in pricing from printer to printer.

Over the years Fdesign has done thousands of print jobs.
We always try and give our clients a quality product that fits their needs and also their budget. The old classic conversation that usually starts with something like "WOW, Why are you guys soooo much cheaper than Zprint down the road... " and of course also the
" This is a rip off, last time you charged me so much less when I did a different job... " 
is something we have with our clients from time to time.

It is important to get more than one quote for a print job. Especially when you are printing thousands of an item or if your printing requires special finishing. The most important thing though is not to compare apples with meatballs. Not all printers are equal in all areas of printing. Even though most printers will offer all types of printing and finishing it is not to say that they do everything in-house. In fact there are only a hand full of printers in South Africa that does.

Digital printing
The most common form of printing that you get is digital printing. This is usually the method used by all your local print shops. The printer itself will typically be the size of a washing machine and on small runs they'll be able to print your job while you wait.
The quality of digital printing varies. The most common brands out there are Xerox and Minolta and they too offer a wide range of machines of which the quality might differ.

Why does 2 digital printing companies with the same machine give different prices on the same job?
Most print companies do not actually buy the printers that they use. They rent them from the suppliers.The deal they have with the supplier will vary. Sometimes it is a straight monthly rental and other times there will also be a "per click" price which means that the print company needs to pay a certain amount per print that they do. This once again varies depending on the deal that they have with the supplier.

Litho Printing

A litho printer is about as big as a small bus and you rarely see them standing around in commercial print shops. The printer around the corner will usually outsource their litho print jobs or have their own litho printer somewhere in a warehouse.

Whether the quality of litho prints are better than that of digital prints all depends on the sales person that you talk to... If they want to push litho jobs they will tell you that litho is definitely the way to go quality wise and the same goes for digital. In my opinion a good quality litho printer and a good quality digital printer can print the same quality product when it comes to standard full colour prints.

Litho printing will be used when doing larger print runs. The reason for this is that the main cost when doing litho printing is the setup cost. Print plates have to be made and the machine needs to be set up. Therefor it is not advisable for smaller print runs. But the cost per print is very low and therefor the unit cost drops drastically the more you print.

Digital printers will also give you a better price when you print more but their cost does not necessarily go down so the difference will not be that great.

Litho machines are also used where you need perfect registration on your prints.
This is usually needed when fine finishing like foiling etc will be done after printing.

 If you have a pantone colour as part of your corporate identity you will also have to make use of litho printing when printing anything with your logo or corporate colours on.
Although there are digital printers out there that claim that they can match up your pantone colour 100%, they usually cant.

Hopefully this will give you better insight on what goes on behind the scenes at your local printer.

For me the most important thing is great service and a quality product and for that I have no problem paying a little bit more from time to time. But that said, if the printer that I've been using charges me three times more than another printer down the road I have to asume that the type of printing I require is definitely not something that they specialise in.

- the guy

Thursday, February 13, 2014

dabb-ling-do Driekie

I've been in the design industry for more than 7 years now. During this time I've met and worked with hundreds of Cape Towns creatives. Each one adding their own little bit of magic to help build our reputation as the design capital of the world.

None of them quite inspired me as much as creative rockstar Driekie van Biljon.

I met Driekie a couple of years ago and even though she stands out as a graphic designer in the corporate industry ( proven by some well known companies fist fighting to acquire her talent ) it was the designs that she did at home that made me realise that I was in the presence of a truly talented artist. 

We asked Driekie a couple of questions about her inspirations, loves and food preferences ( just because we can ).

F ) Who are you and what do you do?
D ) To pay the bills, I am a graphic designer from 7 to 3. Any other time I can find I would love to be known as an artist! 
So I like to call myself an artistic graphic designer.

F ) How long have you been drawing / designing / illustrating / making pictures?
D ) Since primary school my favourite subject was art. In high school I attended extra mural art classes. 
And after school I studied graphic design. 

F ) What inspires you?
D ) Everything!!! A new set of pencils. Weird, interesting people. FEET. Children’s drawings. Blogs. Cool paper. OWLS. A blank canvas. TATTOOS. Art galleries. Nail polish. Nature. Textures.

F ) What are you working on at the moment?
D ) Paintings about phobias... I find phobias super exciting and interesting.

F ) Top 5 projects that you’ve done.
D ) 
a) I helped design the South African coat of arms. It is super cool to know that I was part  of such a major design that would be part of history one day. 
b) I participated in a First Paper House paper sculpture competition and I was one of the winners. 
c) I participated in a Red Bull sculpture competition and I was one of the winners. 
d) I participated in a herb garden design for a extra small kitchen and I was one of the finalists. 
e) My Toothmonsters!!! I came up with the toothmonster idea and made the monsters myself. 
Each one has its own look and personality and before I start I have no idea what the final character would look like. 

F ) Your favourite artists?
D ) Anyone with a twisted life story or weird personality. 
Someone who is not influenced by society and mass production.

F ) What wouldn’t you do without?
D ) Music!

F ) What kind of music do you listen to?
D ) My favourite cd at the moment is “The perks of being a wallflower”... 
I am totally in love with it. And if I have to list any of my other favourites, the list would be endless... Postal Service, Joy Division, The Velvet Underground, Sonic Youth, Two Door Cinema Club, Young the Giant, Bob Dylan, REM, Mew, John Lennon, Editors, Mark Knopfler, Death Cab for Cutie, Pearl Jam, Archade Fire, The Cure, The Shins, Mumford and Sons, Eddie Vedder, New Order, David Bowie, The Smiths, Cracker, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison... And that is just to mention a few...

F ) Favourite medium to work with or favorite style?
D ) I like mixing mediums. Acrylic - glue - charcoal - paper - more glue - varnish - pencil...

F ) Pizza or Sushi?
D ) Pizza

F ) What do you dislike about the art/design world?
D ) Copy cats. It doesn’t really matter in design as everyone steals ideas from everyone anyway!

F ) What makes you angry?
D ) Unfairness. 

F ) What superpower would you like to have and why?
D ) I would love to be able to teleport. Imagine... Shopping in New York in your lunch hour. 
No traffic. Never late...

F ) Professionally, what’s your goal?
D ) I would love to teach art and design to school children.

F ) Something you love?
D ) My husband... for giving me a beautiful child.

F ) What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
D ) Solve any problem today, the quick and easy way. Worry about the consequences another day.

F ) Cream Soda or Slush Puppy?
D ) Cream Soda

F ) Paris or Disney World Orlando?
D ) Paris

F ) Where would you like to be in 5 years from now?
D ) I am not planning anything hectic for the next 5 years. If I can be happy, healthy and surrounded by special friends and family I would appreciate it. (BE FAMOUS!!!)

F ) Anything else that you would like to mention.
D ) Make time for creative projects even though you don’t think that you are creative. 
You will be surprised!!!

We've had the privilege of having Driekie as part of the Fdesign team on numerous projects. From event poster designs to corporate and wedding invitation and stationery design. 

You can also find one of her other projects/hobbies on the Skribbel site

We're always looking forward to see what she comes up with next. 
Be sure to keep an eye out for one of the many projects of this award winning artist. 
Somehow you always walk away feeling like a better person.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

NightshadeBerry Illustrations

It is on rare occasions in life that you come across people that are truly magnificent 
and talented at what they do.
GForceDesign Angel

In our industry we are truly blessed to be able to meet these kind of people on a regular basis. We do not only find this in our clients, each one off on their own journey, but also in the amazing people we get to work with on a daily basis.

One of these amazing gems we found in the young illustrator, Gabby Correia - NightshadeBerry.
I met her a couple of years ago and since then she has evolved from a great illustrator to a magnificent artist.

Gabby is a digital illustrator and painter based in the Northern Suburbs of the Western Cape, South Africa.

she's only been working as an illustrator for the last 3 years her work has already been admired all over the world.

A quick search on Google for NightshadeBerry, reveals that samples of her masterpieces can be found all over the web.

We asked Gabby about her inspirations, current projects and tried to pick her brain a bit to get to the inner secrets of what makes a great artist.

F ) What inspires you?
G ) I find inspiration in everything around me. 
Just about anything that gets my imagination flowing. Books, Movies, Inspirational artwork.
Sometimes when I fall out of inspiration I try to learn working with a new medium or style, that usually gets me excited again.

F ) What are you working on at the moment?
G ) A comic book for Trolyhood productions Called 'HASH, I can't reveal too much about it just yet. 
"Featuring a curious weave of mostly true and largely unknown accounts of human trafficking, drug smuggling and gun running in Africa."

F ) Your favourite artists/illustrator?
G ) Almost too many to mention. I'm a huge fan of Norman Rockwell's paintings and illustrations. 
The character and expression he portrays in his paintings are so inspirational. 
Digital artist I like are Serge Birault (AKA Papaninja), I love his modern take on caricature art, also Dave Rapoza, Stanley Lau (Artgerm)
F ) Favorite medium to work with or favorite style?
G ) My main medium I work in is digital. I work in photoshop with a graphics tablet. 
When I paint in this method I have a wide variety of styles, realistic, caricature, comic, 
cartoon, horror, fantasy, etc. From time to time I like to break away from digital and get 
back to my roots which is sketching with graphite pencils and charcoal, with this medium I like to get as close to photo realism as I have patience for.

F ) What superpower would you like to have and why?
G ) Super Speed! Sometimes there's just not enough hours in the day, you know?

F ) What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
G ) Observation is key. You can draw anything, but you must observe it first.

F ) What wouldn’t you do without?
G ) Coffee, chocolate and a sketchbook.

F ) In your oppinion, what makes illustration different to graphic design?
G ) Illustration is telling a story or communicating an idea through art. 
Graphic design is for the masses, drawing in the target market and describing 
the product or look and feel of a company. Illustration is emotional and 
decorative while Graphic design is functional and practical 

From cartoons, professional adverts, book illustrations, band logo designs, coporate id designs to t-shirt designs this innovative and still evolving artist is quickly starting to cement her name in the industry.
Working mostly behind the scenes and letting her creations do the talking for her, this modest artist remains an inspiration to all that have had the priviledge to view her work. 

If you need a illustration or design that is truely unique and stands out above the rest be sure to contact us with your brief.
To view more of her work go to the illustration page on our website.
 - the guy

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Hair Rescue - Hair and Beauty Bar - Uitsig

There I was ... "Stuck between a rock and a hard place"! 

Spring has sprung and it was time for a change. 

Guess I felt like many of our own clients when they have a need to
change their company image or create something new for marketing their

I needed a new look but who to choose?! 

Change can be quite the tricky business when in the hands of someone else, 
especially when it is a BIG change. It is important that whom ever you choose 
can identify with your needs and can share in your vision for the end result.

After some thought I decided to contact one of our own clients, Hair Rescue 
now known as Hair and Beauty Bar in Uitsig. 

Fdesign was approached by Hair Rescue's owner back in the day to help her
with redesigning the salons image when she took over the salon at 
Cape Garden Lifestyle Centre and also assisted in the design and printing of 
several other marketing material that was needed to create awareness. 

Knowing the owner of Hair Rescue as a very precise, no nonsense lady, 
the call was made and the date was booked ... Change was inevitable!

... and what an experience!!!

From the moment I arrived for my make-over till the second I left 
I felt like part of the Hair and Beauty Bar family. A morning filled with
coffee, pamper, laughter and good old fashion gossip, definately the most 
comfortable I have ever been in any salon. Hats off to the ladies!

Starting with my bright pink nails topped with purple daisies, 
moving on to a hair colouring session of mixing and matching funky pink, 
purple, red and black and ending with cutting my long hair to a messy 
short style ... Well worth every penny. 

I can with great pleasure recommend these ladies to any one in need
of a change or even just a quick pamper, I know they will definately see
me again ... in the words of Winston Churchill "To improve is to change; 
to be perfect is to change often"

- The Girl.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Fdesign Referral Program - Make Some Cash

Another new feature that we have added to our site is the Fdesign Referral Program. 

Over the years we have had many referrals from existing clients, friends and even suppliers. So we've decided that it's time to give a little back. 

With this referral program we offer an average of 25% commission on design and 10% commission on printing.
The cost on jobs vary and therefor the commission will also vary per job. 
Most of our design services will pay out the full 25% commission though.

For more information and to sign up for this please go to the following page on our website.

You need to fill in the form on this page to be added onto our list. If you're not on the list 
you'll not receive any commission so sign up today. 

From there all you have to do is to get potential clients to go to our website and fill in one of our enquiry forms.
Make sure that they put your name into the "Referred to Fdesign by" field. Otherwise we wont know that you referred them.
We'll handle the rest.

Sign up today and lets make some money together.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

NEW Fdesign Website Templates

So with our 10th birthday around the corner and a new year approaching fast we have decided to give our website a fresh new look.
We've introduced two new sections to the site.

The first one is our website templates.
We've realised over the last couple of years that even though we provide quality websites at an affordable rate, there are a lot of clients out there that does not necessarily just have R2000 - R3000 to spend on a website. Especially when starting a new venture.
We also know the important of establishing an online presence.

So we decided to design 3 website layouts for you to choose from. You will then be able to get online with a once off payment of R500 and then R150 a month there after.
This will include the following :
- setup of your website in one of our templates
- Domain registration for the first year ( Account set up and registered in clients name )
- Website hosting including email addresses for one year. ( Account set up and registered in clients name )
- Up to two changes to content of website per month.

After the first year the hosting company will just invoice you directly for the next years hosting.

For more info on this have a look at this page on our website

We'll be celebrating our birthday with some crazy design, print and website specials so be sure to keep an eye on our home page banner for those.