Are you ready for your exhibitions this year?

[metaslider id=54035]


Castle Chemicals were promoting their exhibition for 2018 in 2016, that’s how organised they are, with Fox Graphics help and design, all these things are in place.

We can help you plan and think through what is required, when it needs to be designed and put in place, all those little things take away the worry and pressure. We like working as part of your team and are happy to project manage.

Exhibition stands, brochures, marketing material, press releases, social media, websites, uniform or corporate shirts/dresses for the exhibition stand all help to make your company look professional, branded and competent.

Please phone or email for a chat and see if we can help

phone Kate Fox on: 07923 131600 or email:

please like and/or share, thanks


Design checklist: What clients should provide their designer

Design checklist:

What clients should provide their designer preparation
is key to successful management of any project, and design projects are no different. The more preparation that both client and designer do right at the start, the more smoothly the work will go. Checklists can be very useful, so the following checklist of things that clients should provide their designer at the outset. To follow this list will ensure the client and designer are dealing professionally as well as creating an efficient workflow.

A budget

Knowing the client’s budget allows the designer to establish what they will be able to realistically achieve for the money, and to perhaps suggest a range of options. A complete list of the client’s design requirements the client must make clear at the beginning just how much design work they will require, e.g. layout for a business card, letterhead and envelopes or logo design plus web design plus email marketing template. Occasionally unexpected new design needs emerge for the client when a job is well underway, but any “extras” which are requested after work has commenced will involve more time and money, and should be bound by a new contract.

An example of what clients may say “We don’t know yet how many layouts we want, so can you just give us a rough quote estimate in the meantime?” How can a designer quote on an unknown quantity or scale of work?
That would be like asking an architect to quote for designing your house but not telling him how many rooms you want. It’s impossible.

A clear outline of why the design work is necessary and what the client expects to achieve. Whether it’s a print campaign, posters for a conference or a multimedia presentation, every design job involves a goal to be fulfilled.

It’s good for the client to think through precisely what that goal is when preparing to meet with the designer. Equally, it’s important for the designer to ask questions about the client’s objectives, because the designer’s job is primarily about meeting the client’s needs.

An outline of who the target market or audience is for the design work This is very important information which will guide a designer in all aspects of the work they do. An advertisement or poster aimed at teenage boys will look vastly different to one designed to catch the attention of their parents. Look at a well-designed promotional campaign and you will easily be able to tell who it has been designed for. A client who has a detailed understanding of their target market will get the design which best suits their needs.

A deadline

Even if the work isn’t urgent, a deadline is important for effective time management. Unless the scale of the design work is small,  it may be useful for the client and the designer to negotiate a series of deadlines for stages of work.

High quality images

If the client has an existing logo to be used in the design work, it should be provided in vector format.

The most common vector formats are Postscript (.eps) and Illustrator (.ai). A vector format allows the logo to be made bigger or smaller without losing image quality and clarity.

A jpg file is not a vector format and may not represent a client’s logo at its best, depending on its size.

Any photographs provided by the client should have a high resolution. The best resolution for photographs is 300dpi (dots per inch). I always recommend this to my clients even if the photographs will go on the web.
Although the final photo will be published on the web at the lower resolution of 72dpi, it is best to use a higher resolution image to begin with. This enables me to better optimise any photographs (where necessary)
and there is greater scope for resizing. Images and text in their final form

Any text, photographs, illustrations or other material provided by the client should be given to the designer before work commences. It can be a drain on time and resources if a designer is left waiting for these things halfway through a project. All materials provided by the client should be in their final form with no future revisions necessary.

Any changes which have to be made after the design work has been done will cost time and money. Ownership info for third party images and text When the client is providing images or text sourced from someone else,
it’s crucial to also provide information on the legal permissions which have been obtained for the use of the material (if any are required). If attribution is required, the details should be provided to the designer before
any work commences.

This also applies for any other material (e.g. music or video) obtained from a third party. Samples of previous design work (where applicable) If a client has a seasonal marketing campaign, or their corporate identity needs to be revised, it will help to provide past design samples to the current designer. It’s useful to discuss what worked or didn’t work for the client last time, particularly in terms of customer/audience response or the direction which the client and/or their organisation wishes to take in future. This may seem like an extensive list but all of the above can easily be covered during the first meeting to discuss the design brief.

50 Top Graphic Designer Tips

Graphic Designer Hints & Tips (1-50)

  1. Never fear the white (empty) space.
  2. There is no such thing as creative block only fear
    & frustration in disguise.
  3. When a client say’s the brief is ‘open’ it rarely is.
  4. There are no rules to design only personal gut instinct.
    Following rules prevents progression.
  5. Designers are the only other force in the universe aside from black holes that can distort space-time (some clients think).
  6. You cant teach someone to have talent but you might be able
    to open their eyes a little.
  7. Never send your design CV out as a word document in times new roman thats akin to playing Beethoven on a kazoo.
  8. Never ever give a quote on the spot (not even ballpark).
    Take at least a day to figure it out properly.
  9. If you dont fully believe in your work NO ONE else will!
  10. A great font choice can always turn the bland into the grand.
    Always go experi-mental as it can totally flip a piece.
  11. Whatever the project always start with a pen and pad.
    Not a mouse!
  12. DONT follow trends, your work will not stand out and will date quickly (although sometimes its unconsciously unavoidable).
  13. Any networking is good networking.
  14. Never leave it at just an email. People dont mind pestering
    AT ALL. Pestering is passion.
  15. Never discourage odd or abstract initial ideas as they usually blossom. Embrace stream of conciousness.
  16. Be yourself not your peers.
  17. You are only as strong as your portfolio not your grade.
  18. work hard play harder.
  19. Follow your heart and not your head. Emotive not emancipated. Passionate not preconcieved.
  20. There is no such thing as good or bad work artistically,
    just peoples opinions (often biased through exposure).
  21. Opportunities.. grab them!… or even better create
    them then grab them.
  22. Garlic will not subdue the time vampires.
    Be prepped for a lorra late nights.
  23. Vectors are upscalable, bitmaps are not. Vectors are made
    of maths, bitmaps pixels. Remember that!
  24. Teaching others will help you learn.
  25. Start any new doc at 300 dpi, even online jobs as you never know when you gotta print that tinker out.
  26. Use sign off proofing stages with clients otherwise you will be doing a merry samba back and forth for all time.
  27. Too many cooks want too many broths. Designate a client project contact so they act as a filter of feedback not you!
  28. If someone tell’s you work is bad it doesn’t mean it is. If your work pleases everyone your doing something very wrong
  29. Aim high score highish, aim low score no
  30. A brand is not just a logo, a brand is people, perception,
    reputation and more.
  31. Always, always, always carry your business cards with you.
  32. Public health warning… photoshop filters are bad for
    your wealth.
  33. Magic wand is the poor mans pen tool. Learn pen tool or be laughed at in the street by strangers.
  34. Always pen tool a few pixels in from where you think
    to avoid background bleed.
  35. For best results if an image looks like it has <256 colours (ie monotone) make it a GIF, more than that a jpeg/png.
  36. To avoid gamut muck up try to always start in CMYK.
  37. #photoshop, press ‘f’ then ‘f’ again. This allows you to concentrate on the work at hand and remove ‘faff’ and ‘faff’.
  38. #photoshop, never flatten any layers til the final piece.
    Constructive destructive.
  39. EVERYONE can draw.
  40. Beware a nasty case of feature creep. The only known
    antidote is a contract.
  41. White space is not uncolourful but the very
    definition of colourful.
  42. The meaning of life… would probably be found in sketch
    books not hard drives.
  43. Save all your notes/ doodle/sketches/prep like a rabid binman.
    Never discard!
  44. Build/design a website like you’d make love to. Passionately,
    then clean up afterwards.
  45. For true feedback never ask friends or family.
  46. Always try to carry a notepad for those impromptu ideas.
    Failing leave yourself a schizophrenic voicemail.
  47. Try to always push out of your stylistic comfort zone.
    Otherwise you’ll end up more typecast than Hugh Grant.
  48. If the paper stays blank… draw a line anyway.
  49. The customer is ‘sometimes’ right… no, really.
  50. All the design tips in the world can’t beat plain old experience.

Creating a visual identity

Creating a visual identity

This section will help you to make a graphic that acts as a visual identity for yourself. This will help you to communicate certain qualities to your audience and present a more professional and creative appearance.

Planning First – Step one

Think about what qualities you want to portray. Write down a list of 4-6 words that describe the type of company it is and how you want it to be presented  to clients and or customers. Try to balance the unique qualities with the things you think clients and customers want to see. You want to stand out as an individual and set yourself apart from the crowd but at the same time be relevant to your audience. What makes you special? What makes you stand out from your peers?

Colour scheme – Step two

Consider about the words you just wrote down and think about what colours come to mind.

The meaning of colours:
Red: energy, strength, power, passion (also fire, blood, love and romance;
often used to highlight or emphasize key information)

: enthusiasm, fascination, happiness, creativity, determination,
attraction, success, encouragement, stimulation

: hope, joy, happiness, intellect, energy

: growth, harmony, freshness, stability, renewal, health, endurance;
also associated with nature and money

: trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, faith, truth (blue is the most popular colour in web design –
use it with a contrasting accent colour to make your scheme stand out)

: wisdom, dignity, independence, creativity, mystery, ambition,

luxury Brown
: credibility, stability, reliability, earth

: security, maturity and reliability (also gloominess and sadness;
useful for unifying a contrasting colour scheme)

If you aren’t sure what colours go together, choose one colour and use it with black and white.

Fonts – Step three

Find a unique font that suits the qualities you listed in step one. To play it safe, you’ll probably want to choose something from the sections under Basic or Script (but not the Handwriting, Trash or Graffiti sections!).

Types of fonts:

Type Attributes Examples Meaning Has little stokes called “serifs” extending from each letter –
Times New Roman, Georgia, Book Antiqua traditional,

formal Has no serifs Arial, Verdana, Tahoma modern, informal Looks like handwriting –
Brush Script, Lucinda Handwriting,

dramatic; may be formal or informal Looks like typewriter text- Courier New old fashioned, newspaper feel Very distinctive and creative

Anything that doesn’t fit in the other categories anything! (use with caution, and never for body text)

DandAD Awards

Two category nominations accepted for the DandAD Awards – we will know in April 2012…Centura Pearl

The Brief…

To create a conceptual design to launch a new section of an existing range. To be used in a new presentation swatch wallet, exhibitions, advertising, marketing and business/sale development. The paper range – Accent, looks like 5 sheets of white paper until you put them in sunlight or strong lighting. We needed a way of demonstrating their qualities and being unique in the concept.


The Solution…

Printed samples of the new product and the display has been designed for presentation, impact and individuality. 2 ft wide origami glitter ball, used on the exhibition stands and art directed photography with product shots. Exhibited in Frankfurt with Product swatch wallets January 2012. Flapping origami birds as giveaways, used to display and enhance unique aspects of the product with samples.

Related Blogs
Centura Pearl – Slater Harrison
David Brill – Origami specialist

The Business Network Chester

The Brief…

Design an original, classy, unique invite that will entreat and entice Blue chip companies, or similar MD’s to accept and attend an event.


The Solution…

Designed to catch their attention and adopt a special feel with paper quality, design presentation, layout and typography. Illustration denotes pattern and behaviour of peoples movements traced ‘when working a room’ in a corporate business. Quality Testimonials.

Centura Pearl – Slater Harrison – Frankfurt launch January 2012

‘Slater Harrison needed a striking way to
show the new Centura Pearl range of decorative paper and card to customers.

The innovative nature of the product
demanded original thinking, and
Fox Graphics did not disappoint.’

‘The strapline ‘Just Add Light’ captures the essence of the product, and encourages the customer to take time and evaluate the benefits of Centura Pearl properly. The inclusion of finished printed products in the presenter draws the customer in, and makes him think about how he can use them to add value for his business.

Please visit –
to see their full product range.

Distributors who received the swatch on the first mailout have come back, demanding as many as possible, so that they can use them to promote Centura Pearl to their customers.‘

‘It’s early days, but the reaction suggests we have a winner.‘

Brian Bogie
Sales Director, Slater Harrison & Co Ltd

Frankfurt launch January 2012

Related Blogs
David Brill – Origami specialist
DandAD – Awards

David Brill – International Origami specialist

I first met Kate Fox in July ’11 to discuss the launch of Slater Harrison’s Centura Pearl paper range. Her idea was to display the new paper using large origami stars and balls. 

Eventually, we agreed on two of my existing designs: these were to be made with lots of folded units techniques: the units are connected to form a large stable construction. Normally I try to make the results stable enough to hold together by folding alone, but it was soon clear that at the larger sizes required, they would need to be glued together to be made more secure. I hate glue! My hands get covered with the stuff, and it somehow always gets on the outside of the piece. More importantly I find that I cannot rework any errors I’ve made, once the glue has set. But my wife Assia, who is a lot more patient than I, helped me and gave me her views about how we could finish the job.

For strength, I decided to build a larger card armature over which the finished units could sit. We spent a couple of weeks in November working hard on the project, and the finished pieces were delivered on time. I’m relieved that the pieces traveled to Frankfurt without disintegrating! I was pleased with the result, and I think so were Kate and Brian Bogie (Slater Harrison). 

Some pictures of the project in progress here.

Try your hand at some origami yourself here: You can even try to build your OWN Centura Pearl ball which is here entitled 30º Fuse ball.

David Brill
February 2012

Visit David’s website at

Related Blogs
Centura Pearl – Slater Harrison
DandAD – Awards