Digital Art

Digital art can be regarded as original, creative work developed on a digital computer and created and/or presented by some form of digital technology. The term digital art extends to a wide variety of works and ways of working. Digital art can be generated completely by a computer, derived from a previously existing source, or exist as an image. Digital art is developed by using digital hardware tools such as, a mouse, a graphics tablet, or a projector and software such as, Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and FinalCutPro. From a technical standpoint the term digital art might also be used to describe artwork accomplished using traditional media as in paint, wood, metal and or processes as in painting, printmaking, sculpture which are then scanned, photographed, or videotaped to make a digital replica. However it is accomplised, the term digital art is most accurately applied to artwork that has been created through computing technologies.

Traditional vs. Digital Art

Traditional Art

The term ‘traditional arts’ refers to fine arts that use the old methods for creating artwork, such as pens, brushes, clay and other tools. Although traditional arts have different techniques than digital arts, the different forms of art are still related to each other by the same concept. There are two elements that all traditional artworks have in common: It can be touched — it’s made of physical materials and It’s “one of a kind”— it can’t be copied without creating it all over again.

Digital Art

In the digital environment we don’t have wood, charcoal, or paint. Everything is the same — just in a combination of 0’s and 1’s translated to a visual form on the screen. These 0’s and 1’s can simulate any medium you can imagine. Allthough digital art is not bound by the rules of traditional art, it often simulates it to give the user something familiar and to make the whole process more intuitive for the artist. Early digital painting programs were based on coloring the pixels with a mouse, but today they offer much more. The digital paint blends naturally and can be mixed and is usually applied with a special stylus on a graphics tablet.

The History Of Digital Art

“The Era of the Pioneers” (1956 to 1986)

In this time frame are many of the earliest known experimenters in digital art. Many of these investigators were not artists by training, but engineers and scientists. It is certain that their collective visual explorations were essential to what was an emerging medium literally outside of the attention of the general public. At this point in the development of digital art the experimental writing of computer programs was central to most of the work produced during this era, as “off the shelf” software simply did not exist. Computer displays were monochromatic and computer-based printing technologies were nearly non-existent.

“The Paint Box Era” (1986 to 1996)

It is in this era of digital art that commercial software became available to the general public. The release of these applications did not create an immediate flood of graphics programs into the market, but there was a slow and steady development of consumer software that had never before been available to the non-programming public. These early commercial applications attracted artists to the field of computing who were not trained primarily as programmers or engineers. It was these “early adopting” visual artists who had the vision and the experimental fortitude to create electronic works that could be accomplished without deep programming knowledge. It is during this era that the “paint program” made its first appearance bringing with it the introduction of the pixel to visual artists. Additionally, this is a time when the first affordable computers were introduced into the market. An example of this was the Apple II computer (sold in 1976 for $1300.00 US) developed by Steve jobs and Steve Wozniak is considered by many researchers to be the first true personal computer brought to the general marketplace. Finally, this era also saw the introduction of devices such as the scanner and the mouse. In this time frame the computer became part of society throughout much of the world. The personal computer, the software, and some useful and interesting devices were now in the hands of artists.

“The Era of Multimedia” (1996 to today)

Within this era digital artists were moving deeply into new forms of imaging through the GUI (graphical user interface). The application “Photoshop” came into being in the early 1990’s and photography has never been the same. Along with the general public, artists also entered the exciting new space offered by the Internet, and interactive art, and the countless options offered by other commercialized forms of digital media became a significant focus for many creative investigations. During this period digital art became more and more of a common area of study in academic art programs, in museums, and into the public consciousness. In the early 21st century it is clear that the great expansion of computer gaming, online art forms, digital media, digital photography and videography, web design, and virtual worlds have opened the public and media consciousness in various ways and forms. Digital art in its many forms is now available to anyone with an Internet connection, and has in this way become nearly present everywhere.

How Has Digital Art Revolutionized Art?

In the 21st century digital technology has become a powerful force in nearly every part of life, from art to science, to communication, to entertainment, and to navigation. The impact of various digital tools and techniques has also spread to the art world internationally as well. Within this technological revolution, digital art has become a necessary part of some institutional and educational environments. In art culture, work made through digital means has had a dramatic impact over the last 15-20 years and will continue to make an impact for years to come.

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A-Frames and Sandwich Boards


Do you want to inform your customers about the latest and greatest news that is going on with your business? A-frames and Sandwich Boards can come with changeable letter sets that allow you to change the written message as many times as desired. If one week you want to promote a sale and the next week a special coupon, A-frames and Sandwich Boards make it simple.

Benefits
A one-time purchase of an A-frame or Sandwich Board is an excellent solution to advertising different messages every day. Affordable A-frames and Sandwich Boards are geared towards helping your business get noticed! These signs fit any business type, whether it’s a restaurant that is advertising happy hour, or a retail store promoting a sale. You can reach multiple target markets with unique messages using a one low-cost investment.

  • Versatile and portable
  • Lightweight
  • Double-sided
  • Creates impulse sales
  • Attracts more foot traffic and vehicle traffic
  • Changeable letter sets

These signs are designed to be able to handle all weather types so they are perfect for the great outdoors. Businesses can put these signs outside and be confident that they will not be destroyed. They are a very smart investment when it comes to advertising, guaranteed to be durable and capture attention.

Maximum Marketing, Minimum Dollars
Advertising messages go anywhere and everywhere people do. The industry calls this alternative out-of-home or placed-based media, and it’s a bonanza for small businesses because there is something for everyone. While there are virtually limitless places to put your ads, here are just a few ideas to get you thinking:

  • Shopping cart returns
  • Dry-cleaning bags and hangers
  • Commercial restrooms
  • Vending cart umbrellas
  • Campus laundry rooms
  • Health clubs, spas and salons
  • Public tennis courts and swimming pools
  • Stadium and arena food carriers

Did You Know?
Businesses need to understand that impulse shoppers are out there and therefore, they should be merchandising their displays to target this audience. Keep in mind; if the impulse shopper is happy with their purchase they will be back and maybe even become a loyal customer. With A-frame signs and Sandwich Boards, you can be furthering your business and creating a prosperous future for yourself, as well as, attracting consumers who may not have intended to visit your store. If you put the time into using the right displays to get people excited about your offerings, increased sales are sure to follow.

Don’t Forget!
For your next project, let professionals help with concept development, execution, and installation!

Like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/GraphicCom

Visit our website at http://www.graphiccom.com


 


 

Reflective Advertising


During the night road signs, police car, fire trucks and ambulances are highly visible because their graphics are reflective. You can have the same extremely noticeable graphics on your business vehicles. The nighttime reflective graphics stand out at night and sparkle during the day.

Reflective Vinyl
Reflective vinyl is similar to standard vinyl because it can be cut to shape & applied to any non-porous surface but it has a metallic, reflective base that causes it to reflect back light when light is shone at it. Here are some advantages of using reflective vinyl for your vehicle signage:

  • Highly visible after dark
  • Captures attention
  • Long lasting premium vinyl
  • Able to cut vinyl to shape
  • Applies to almost any surface

Depending on your type of business, vehicle fleet travel, it’s locations and hours of operation, reflective vinyl may be an excellent advertising decision and investment.

Did You Know?
Not only does reflective vinyl graphics  decorate vehicles and promote businesses but, they also help prevent accidents. Reflective graphics will reduce the chances of collisions during the night by increasing visibility.

Don’t Forget!
For your next project, let sign professionals help you with concept development, execution, and installation!

Like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/GraphicCom

Visit our website at http://www.graphiccom.com

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More is More

 


If two competitors are selling the same priced product how does the customer choose between the competitors? Whichever company is offering something extra will most likely receive the sale. People love incentives and perks, so ensure the sale by offering your customers monthly, weekly or even daily specials. 

Customer Incentives


Free Shipping
If your company offers online shopping, go one step further and offer free shipping. Everyone loves the convenience of online shopping but hates paying the costs of shipping. Free shipping can actually  generate more sales than you would lose in shipping costs. Consider offering free shipping on a minimum order amount, such as all orders greater than $50.

Discounts/Specials
Discounts can help establish long-term customers the easy way. Provide customers with valuable incentives that they’ll appreciate. They will most likely repeat their business. Offer different specials each month and season. This will give customers more of a variety and new reasons to come back.

Gifts/Free Samples
Offer promotions for new products. Customers do not like to invest in a product that they do not know. If they are given the opportunity to try a sample of the product for free they are more likely going to buy it. Another option is to include a free gift to go with their purchase of a minimum amount.

Easy Billing
Another simple offer is financing or a delay on a payment for a period of time. Establish easy billing where customers can split their payments in installments for those more expensive purchases. This is a great way to attract people. Be sure that you have proper financing restrictions and policies in place before offering these options to your customers.

Giveaways/Sweepstakes
Everyone loves to win prizes. Giveaways and sweepstakes will drive people to your store with little or no cost to you. Find a prize that interests your target audience and hold a contest. 


Sales
People are more likely to buy a product if they see a certain four letters, S, A, L, E. The most basic way to advertise is to hold a sale. Having a sale is a good way to get customers to flock.

Don’t Forget!
For your next project, let sign professionals help you with concept development, execution, and installation! 

Like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/GraphicCom

Visit our website at http://www.graphiccom.com



 

One Way Advertising


If you have visited our shop lately, you may have seen our storefront window and door graphics, if you haven’t visited then what a great excuse to stop on by! The custom graphics showcased on our storefront are colorful, eye-catching, see-through graphics that result in maximum visual impact that is not the ordinary opaque signage.

One Way Vision Films
The latest window graphic solutions by One Way Vision films allow stunning graphics on one side of a glass surface and a clear, unobstructed view from the other. These films are ideal for producing decals, vehicle window graphics, P.O.P. (Point of Purchase), commercial window signage, retail signage, and building wraps. Expanding your company’s image to the outside of windows and doors improve brand marketing, corporate identity and much more.

Benefits:

  • Creates new, innovative media space
  • Uses cutting-edge graphic technology
  • Allows premium ad placement
  • Permits unobstructed view
  • Increases security

Features:

  • Reduces heat and glare from the sun
  • Easy to install and remove
  • Available for exterior or interior applications

Product Overview
How does One Way Vision film work? This special film is made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) with up to 50% of the film micro-perforated to achieve the desired image resolution and one-way visibility. The black (non-imaged) side of the film, through which people see, maximizes its transparency. Lighting is the final ingredient: for optimum effect, lighting on the graphics side must be brighter than the non-imaged side. One Way Vision film can be used for either exterior or interior mounting. Depending on the usage, these films are available with variations of size and amount of perforation.

Did You Know?
When using One Way Vision films, avoid using dark colors (dark purple, navy, brown, black) for backgrounds or other large areas. Bright colors (e.g., red, yellow, orange, bright green, and blue) provide the best results because the eye tends to focus on the graphics, whereas dark colors allow the eye to see through the graphics. The perforating process reduces the reflectivity of an image. We suggest increasing the image contrast by 10%-20% to compensate for this effect.

Don’t Forget!
For your next project, let sign professionals help with concept development, execution, and installation!

Like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/GraphicCom

Visit our website at http://www.graphiccom.com

Graphic Communications, Inc. Shelby Township, MI

Graphic Communications, Inc.
Shelby Township, MI



 

Fresh and New


What better way to celebrate the spring season than to do some cleaning? With the warm weather arriving, now is the perfect time to freshen not only your closet but also, your business’ look. Whether it is inside or outside there are so many ways to give your business a spring-cleaning.

Revamp To Revive
After the harsh winter your outdoor signage is beginning to look outdated, faded, cracked, peeled or dirty. Instead of giving off the impression of rundown or careless, new signage will imply, fresh, pristine, and inviting. Revamping the outside look of your business will help to revive your business. With new outdoor signage helping to draw customers inside, new secondary signage will help sell your product once your customers are inside. Point of purchase displays, banners, and event signs are great ways to highlight your latest promotions. Another impressive way to generate an influx of business without breaking the bank is with new posters and cutouts. To get the most out of your new advertisements, keep in mind placing the signs in optimal viewing places with great light. Phenomenal signage plus amazing products equal guaranteed success.

Elements of an Exceptional Sign
An exceptional sign is an important part of a prosperous business. It will increase your company’s visibility, answer customers’ questions and provide cohesiveness with a sense of identity. Incorporating the important elements of a sign will improve business and most importantly make you more money. To successfully create an exceptional sign you must keep in mind these four different elements:

Message
Make sure your sign has a reason to exist and is not just taking up space. An exceptional sign only has one purpose: to deliver a message. This message can be anything meaningful but in some way it must inform, alert, or direct your customer.

Comprehension
Keeping the sign simple and direct will allow customers to easily understand an exceptional sign. A sign that reads, “50% Off All Items” immediately tells consumers that all goods in your store are half-priced. Another effective way of sending your message is adding imagery. A sign with a picture of a mouth-watering ice cream cone will signal to everyone that tasty frozen treats are available at your store.

Speed
An exceptional sign rapidly sends its message to customers. Humans lack patience; they don’t want to take time to study a sign with lots of words or pictures trying to figure out what is being said. Therefore, use just enough text and images to effectively communicate your message, in the shortest time possible.

Attention
People pass by hundreds of signs everyday but only exceptional signs will capture the attention of potential customers and cause them to stop and read your sign. It is important for your sign to stand out and make sure it is seen.

Did You Know?
Whether you’re opening a new business, or expanding a current one, it is important to be aware of the zoning ordinance that governs commercial signage. Compliance with these regulations will help ensure safety and appropriate aesthetics…and will ensure that the money you spend on your signs won’t be wasted in the case of violations that require the sign(s) to be taken down.

Don’t Forget!
For your next project, let sign professionals help with concept development, execution, and installation!

Like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/GraphicCom

Visit our website at http://www.graphiccom.com


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Digital File Formats – When and How to Use Them

Here at Graphic Communications, we’re often asked by our customers which is the best file type to use when providing artwork for Hi-Res digital printing. The truth is, digital files can be saved in a number of different file formats, and can be moved between different imaging and page layout applications. Preparing your digital files for submission to a printer or service bureau involves many steps, but the first is understanding which digital files are suitable for each particular project.

Digital File Formats

EPS (Encapsulated Post Script) These types of files are used for placing images or graphics in documents created in word processing, page layout, or drawing programs. EPS files support both raster and vector data. An explanation of raster and vector data can be found below. An EPS file can contain any combination of text, graphics, and images. Since it is actually a PostScript file, it is the most versatile file format that is available.

GIF (Graphics Interchange Format) An 8-BIT, low memory option for posting images on the web. GIFs are used for raster or bitmap images. GIF images are limited to 256 colors, making them unsuitable for most print applications. They are well-suited for images containing large, flat areas of one color and are often used for graphics such as logos and line art.

JPEG or JPG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) JPEG files use a compression technique for images. They are used for placing imagery such as photographs in websites and online applications where high resolution files aren’t necessary. Because it is a “lossy” compression format, image quality is sacrificed to conserve disk space. JPEG images have a low resolution (72 dpi), therefore they are unsuitable for high quality print output.

PDF (Portable Document Format) PDF files are used for desktop printing or on-screen viewing. They allow documents to be viewed and printed independent of the application used to create them. Often used for transferring printed pages over the web, either for downloading existing publications, or for sending documents to service bureaus, or commercial printers for output.

TIFF (Tagged Image File Format) TIFF files are used for placing images or graphics in documents created in word processing, page layout, or drawing programs. Supports raster data and converts vectored images to bits. TIFF files can be cropped or edited. TIFFs are similar to EPS, but the smaller file size saves memory over an EPS format.

Raster Images   In computer graphics, a raster graphics image, or bitmap, is a dot matrix data structure representing a generally rectangular grid of pixels, or points of color, viewable via a monitor, paper, or other display medium. They cannot scale up to an arbitrary resolution without loss of apparent quality. This property contrasts with the capabilities of vector graphics, which easily scale up to the quality of the device rendering them.

Vector graphics is the use of geometrical primitives such as points, lines, curves, and shapes or polygon(s), which are all based on mathematical expressions, to represent images in computer graphics. Vector graphics are based on vectors (also called paths, or strokes) which lead through locations called control points. Each of these points has a definite position on the x and y axes of the work plan. Each point, as well, is a variety of database, including the location of the point in the work space and the direction of the vector (which is what defines the direction of the track). Each track can be assigned a color, a shape, a thickness and also a fill. This does not affect the size of the files in a substantial way because all information resides in the structure; it describes how to draw the vector. Vector graphics are infinitely scalable.

Source: Poppy Evans., Forms, Folds and Sizes, (Rockport Publishers, 2004)., Wikipedia.