Archive for July, 2009

Business card sizes around the world

July 30, 2009

Who knew? Business card dimensions vary around the world. Designing for a foreign land? Here’s a quick guide, thanks to Nigel French, via the InDesign Magazine Tip of the Week newsletter:

TIP: Sizing Up Business Cards Around the World
Are you creating business cards for other regions of the world but don’t know the standard card sizes for those regions? Well, now you do!

Australia, New Zealand (1.636 aspect ratio): 90mm x 55mm / 3.54 inches x 2.165 inches
China (1.667 aspect ratio): 90mm x 54mm / 3.543 inches x 2.125 inches
Czech Republic, Hungary (1.8 aspect ratio): 90mm x 50mm / 3.543 inches x 1.968 inches
Europe (1.545 aspect ratio): 85mm x 55mm / 3.346 inches x 2.165 inches
Japan (1.655 aspect ratio): 91mm x 55mm / 3.582 inches x 2.165 inches
US, Canada, Netherlands (1.75 aspect ratio): 89mm x 51mm / 3.5 inches x 2 inches

– Nigel French

Remember to keep in mind that these are trim sizes—make sure to add a bleed! Check with your printer for specifications.

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Lazy days of summer?

July 29, 2009

Oh, my poor neglected blog! What can I say? Mix Creative has been busy this summer!

A good kind of busy. Here’s a summary:

• Completed an ad campaign for Drymate: Surface Solutions (see our blog entry about a kitten photo shoot)

• Designed two new website refreshes (links coming soon!)

• Designed our first wedding invitation—we’re excited for your big day, Samantha and Joe!

• Provided ongoing marketing and design support for our loyal clients

• Created a new logo for Darn Knit Anyway!, a new knitting, stitching, and indie craft store opening in Stillwater this fall

• Integrated two blogs onto client’s sites

• Added detailed products information pages and pdfs to www.chromisfiber.com

I cannot say enough how excited we are to get to know our clients and help them with their marketing/design objectives. Thank you for the opportunity!

Sincerely,

Katrina Hase, principal of Mix Creative

Kittens and Photo Shoots

July 9, 2009

I’ve art directed a lot of models in the past, from babies to middle-aged men, but a recent photo shoot with kittens was a real eye-opener!

Our client, Drymate (R) Pet Mats, was seeking a photo to include in the last of three ads we did in a series of “Drymate Surface Solutions” ads. They already had a great photo for their Dog Food Place Mat—a Mastiff lying in front of a very messy bowl. And they had staged a beautiful shot of their Grill Mat protecting a wooden deck surface. But a search through stock photography featuring cats and litter boxes quickly made it clear to me that: 1) Cats and litter boxes are not cute. 2) Adult cats usually look ticked off in photos unless they are being pet or fed.

Kittens were the obvious choice. Kittens can make anything look cute, even cat litter.

So Drymate set out to find kittens to borrow for the shoot, and I called on my frequent collaborator, Rod Wilson of Andrews Photography, to do the shoot at our new home.

The day of the shoot, Rod arrived early and we did some test shots for lighting. Our cat, Fred, graciously stood in:

fred

When the kittens arrived, they were a bit shaken from the ride over. Ruth, from Drymate, picked up the little white one and made instant friends with the little gal. The other two eventually zipped out and hid behind our couch. The shoot was getting off to a slow start!

Eventually, we placed the kittens into the frame and began photographing like crazy. We quickly learned to photograph the kitten who was currently the most at ease, art directing his movement with a green feather wand.

(By the way, that’s a funny story. . .I walked into the reptile and pet shop off of 280 and University Ave about 9am the day before, in full business dress and soaked from rain, walked over the to pet wands, grabbed one, and immediately went to the counter to check out. “Needed your morning cat wand fix?” the shop employee asked. I suppose it look really weird!)

Over time, the kittens warmed to their environment and we started getting some fun, playful shots. We quickly swapped out the different product versions—including their Cat Food Mat— and just kept shooting and waving our little wand like crazy until we got the right shot. The shoot was part art direction and part kitten wrangling. At one point, the president of the company, his assistant, and myself were all on our hands and knees, trying to coax the kittens from behind couches and under our entertainment center.

In the end, we got some great shots (photos: Rod Wilson):

kittenBox1

kitteneating

CatMatC1