Illustration: Drawing on Design

Optimal Workshop

The use of Illustration in design can add freshness and energy to the work. It can also be used to convey complex ideas in a more accessible manner. GSM takes a look at one such project that makes great use of illustration. with Chris Flack @strategycreative, Optimal Workshop, and Loryn Engelsman @lorynengelsman Illustration as a Communication Tool Wellington-based company Optimal Workshop specialises in card-sorting. This is a data information service delivered via a web-based subscription system, OptimalSort. This data guides clients in improving their website’s User Experience (UX). Currently, customers in more than 105 countries subscribe to OptimalSort. In 2021,...

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Letterpress – Creating Artwork

Creating artwork for Letterpress is reasonably straight forward with a little understanding of the process. In conjunction with our article "The Art of Letterpress Printing"  GSM looks at the basics... Artwork It is best to create Artwork using a vector based design program like Adobe Illustrator or InDesign. Avoid using Photoshop. Colour Letterpress is effectively a one colour per pass process. This means that for every colour, we require a new plate and print pass. Therefore, limit your range to one, two or three Pantone Spot Colours. Do not use Process / CMYK colours (and definitely do not use RGB...

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Letterpress – A Timeless Print Form


GSM takes a look at the timeless print form that is - Letterpress Letterpress is an old-school form of mass-printing. It dates back almost 600 years to when German-born Johann Gutenberg printed 180 copies of a 1,282 page Bible on his new invention. In it’s most basic form, Letterpress employs individual letterforms, or ‘moveable type’, that are ‘typeset’  within a frame or ‘Galley’. The printer loads the Galley onto the Letterpress and proceeds to ink and ‘press’ it onto the paper. When the printer has finished the job, he breaks up the Galley and the cleans the letterforms for reuse...

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The Lost Time Project – Will we ever catch up?

The Lost Time Project

Disparity in pay between men & women within the design industry equates to a staggering 15.5%! Two kiwi creatives decided that if numbers weren't enough to initiate change, then maybe a more graphic approach would. The ‘gender pay gap’ describes the difference in median hourly earnings between men and women. This gap currently sits at 15.5% for the design industry. These confronting stats, along with their involvement in the exhibition ‘Present Tense: Wahine Toi Aotearoa’, inspired Alice Murray (associate partner at Pentagram) and Lauren Priestley (Creative Director at Redwood BBDO) to take action. They got together, over a Friday night...

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Best Awards Purple Pin Winner 2020 – Extended Whanau

purple pin extended whanau

Despite interruptions, 2020 was a stellar year for the Best awards. GSM takes a look at the 2020 Supreme Purple Pin winner... The prestigious Purple Pin is the Designer's Institute of New Zealand highest honour in the Best Awards. In 2020, DINZ awarded it to Auckland studio, Extended Whānau, for their project, Ōtairongo. Extended Whānau created the work to promote and support the exhibition,  Ōtairongo, by kiwi sound artist Maree Sheehan. The Brief The brief was to design a visual identity for the exhibition. The design needed to reflect the aim of the artist. This was to interpret and represent...

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i_consignment & Harcourts partner together

Harcourts i-consignment

For Digital In-House Printers—The Supply of consumables such as paper can be a headache — but Harcourts Gold Real Estate discovered a solution with i-consignment. GSM investigates... Harcourts gold are a busy real estate agency, servicing 5 offices and 90 agents. Their design team are responsible for the output of a wide variety of marketing materials. A significant amount of which they digitally print in-house. This provides both cost savings and improves time efficiencies. However, one of the challenges for an in-house printery is securing a reliable supply of consumables —with paper being a central requirement. Having experienced issues with...

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Case Binding – how are hard-backed books made?

case binding

At GSM, we've written a few articles on the various methods of binding. In this article we look specifically at the craft of case binding... Case binding is the method of binding ‘hardback’ books or documents. Unlike ‘softback’ binding methods, such as Perfect / PUR / Burst or saddle stitching, Case binding involves a significant amount of manual work. This extra work reflects the higher cost of this binding method. There are, however, many advantages with Case binding over the softback methods. Hardback documents can often be opened flat—which is not possible with a large Perfect / PUR or Burst...

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Compostable Courier Bags – Send Plastic Packing

HCF courier bag

We all know that we need to reduce our consumption of single use plastics. But what are viable alternatives? Here's a new product that will send plastic packing! Here at BJ Ball, we send out a significant number of courier parcels per year. Like many businesses, smaller sized parcels make up the bulk of our outgoing deliveries. Historically, these went out using custom printed plastic courier bags - something we were not overly thrilled about. Wanting a greener solution, we put our feelers out through our global supply network to source an alternative. Here it is! The new BJ Ball...

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The BJ Ball Student Design Contest – From Brief to Print

Student Design Contest

The BJ BALL Student Design Contest is back - and better than ever! Designing for print is an essential skill for graphic designers in the commercial world. For design students, however, the complexities and costs involved mean that gaining real world experience is often prohibitive. Cue BJ Ball, who last year resurrected their Calendar Design Competition. For those of you too young to know, this was a staple event within the extended Vis Com curriculum many years ago. Their aim was to give design students an opportunity to have their creations brought to life using real world print. From Brief...

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Understanding Onscreen Colour vs Printed Colour

Working with printed colour requires not only creative flair, but also some technical knowledge about how colour is produced in print. In this article GSM takes a look at getting the most from CMYK colour. In the world of offset print, CMYK stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Key (black). It is also known as process colour. What is important to understand with offset print is the difference between onscreen colour and printed colour. There is nothing worse than seeing that the colours of a freshly printed piece don’t look anything like they did on-screen. This is not the fault...

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