Design 101

2 years ago | by

coffs coast magazine design


Some of our basic rules we commit to memory while designing anything… that said,
design rules like most rules are there to be broken! (insert evil laugh)

Producing a well designed and communicated piece will make a significant mark in your brand story, so it is paramount that you understand your brand and think about your specific user or customer before opening anything in Adobe.

The right program for the right design piece is a given, however we all have that one friend who “Knows photoshop”, and may be emotionally obliterated when you decide to go with a studio designer, but with reason – designers are designers, your friend is your friend. Keeping protocol with design is actually about the purpose of your design, which is where design discipline comes into play. Photoshop is for editing imagery and creating effects on graphics it is most likely the first base for most designers skill set but it is by far the least frequent program we use, illustrator is used for creating logos and one page flyers, posters and for packaging design where there is need for die line printing. Indesign is best used for multi page print docs like mags, books etc. Each system has it’s own set of rules, how you use a program and set up your design is essential to ensure an easy workflow and also so that you can effectively print/share/use your design in the format you need. This is also the reason why your designer NEEDS to know the use of your collateral. Screens have different colours to print, res is different for uses and a brand logo should never, ever be created in photoshop.

1. Kettle kern
Quick tool for practising ->

A dodgy kerning job is one of the cardinal sins in the world of design, so it’s an important skill to nail down early on. A good designer will pick up on bad kerning with a simple glance.

Kerning is the adjustment of space between characters. It doesn’t sound like much, but a good kerning job can make a world of difference. The ultimate goal of kerning is to ensure that the space between each letter is visually even to make for a neat and orderly piece of text. It is also used to create space for reading quickly, as a printed word doc and an advertising poster have differing user view points, i.e. in your hand vs on the wall.

design rules 101
design rules 101

2. Harmonious fonts
Fonts need to be harmonious, on any given design stick to a maximum of three fonts! That’s an appropriate rule of thumb in certain applications (and is common in editorial designs like magazine spreads), but it is by no means a hard-and-fast rule. Take a considered approach to your design, and as always – think about your user.

3. Size matters….
We’ve all struggled to get through an otherwise interesting magazine article and definitely lost our way when a column of text is as short as a short piece of string. Faulty structured line lengths are everyone’s problem, but a great designer will be able to fix that up.

Body copy golden rules are applied with 6 words minimum line lengths and a maximum of 13 words per line and an average of about 30-40 characters (including spaces) on each line. Ok, hard to remember? here’s a quick visual I created earlier.

Simply put, less words = choppy sentences that shout, more words = feels like tedious university lecture on quantum physics.

design rules 101
design rules 101

4. Care for the widows and orphans
A widow is a single word at the end of a paragraph. An orphan is a word or short line at the beginning or end of a column that is separated from the rest of the paragraph.

Widows and Orphans create awkward design rags, which interrupt the reader’s eye and affect readability. So please, care for the widows and orphans in your design!

They can be avoided by adjusting the type size, leading, measure, word spacing, letter spacing or by entering manual line breaks (soft returns)

5. Always Use A Grid
Developing some basic grid skills is probably one of the first steps any designer should undertake. It can be used as the foundations for a layout and create
A well-implemented grid is a bit like a fairy godmother, it can transform your design from something average to something clean, clear and effective.

design rules 101
design rules 101

6. The F word
Every font used evokes different emotions, so it’s important the font you’re using matches the message. Wrong font, wrong message. Right font, clear message.

7. Whitespace 
The age old saying less is more is something we stand by in the studio. Whitespace is our best friend and can be more powerful than flashing buttons, headlines and bold colours. Whitespace reveals what’s important, and gives your user the ability to understand the essential in your design.

design rules 101
design rules 101

8. Hey Grandma!
Who is your audience? While your design may look good, it might not be the best possible communication for your audience. When in doubt, always refer back to the brief. This point may need to be placed back at number one on this list, but we’ll keep it here for now because this should always be at the forefront of your mind!

9. Who’s the boss here?
Greater size indicates greater importance. Decide what the most important elements of your design are, and consider increasing their scale for emphasis.

design rules 101
design rules 101

10. Black is the not the new black
Love black but your audience are pre-schoolers? Colour theory should be understood, are your audience young and fresh? Should you use the product colours to communicate the message?

11. Don’t be stupid!
If you’re designing something that will eventually be printed, print it. Even if it’s black and white on the back of phone bills through your nan’s dusty Xerox, printing it out will give you the clearest idea of what works and what doesn’t.

design rules 101

We are live!

2 years ago | by

coast new site design

It’s official… we’ve sort-of-kind-of rebranded!

Why? A few reasons, but mainly…

1. We’ve grown up.
We are no longer a one location studio.

2. It was time to freshen things up.
While still holding true to our ethos and culture.

3. We want to be at the forefront of what our clients experience.
You are our heroes, be want to be well versed and seasoned in the challenges that you face today with change in the digital and brand world. What better way, than to painstakingly do it ourselves!

We have been servicing customers as an agency and not a one-time-visit studio with more and more clients on coast. credit. We had also garnered the attention & reputation with Queensland clients desiring our services.

Brisbane was a natural fit for our next studio and the switch from studio to agency.

What’s in a Name?

If you’ve ever done a naming strategy session with us, you’ll know we pay particular attention to tone of voice in language. The new name resonates our growth and our capabilities. The new name “we are coast.” is about what collectively we can do for you : Design, Brand Management, Content, Photography, Videography, Social Media Strategy, Web Design and Development, Full Stack Development.

You know what they say : A change is as good as a holiday!
We spent over 200 hrs on rebranding, designing & building what is now, we are coast.

What does this mean for you?

We’d love you to share the news by liking, sharing or commenting on social media! Know a business in Queensland that could do with the coast experience? Share the love.

Essential Shopify Guide: Sell more with Shopify Websites!

2 years ago | by

fromzion website design

Shopify is a brilliant platform to set up an online store without all the fuss of merchant accounts or bank fees. We’ve put together a list of the benefits of Shopify Websites Brisbane and also the possibilities we can help you with.

Whether you’re just getting started with Shopify or looking at updating and expanding your Shopify site, our team of designers and Developers for Shopify Websites Brisbane can help you create an amazing custom website that will help you grow your business.

fromzion shopify websites brisbane

New to Shopify?

Shopify started an online store to sell snowboards to their customers. From there they created a simple and effective web based ecommerce online platform to make it easy for any start-up or serious retailer to sell products online stress-free!

It’s a stress free, turnkey solution
There’s no need to worry about bank fees or merchant setup stresses, you can get a good ecommerce platform in less than 10minutes!

Keep track of orders
Shopify makes it easy to keep track of which orders have been paid for, and their shipped or delivery status.

Safe and secure
Shopify provides a fast and reliable, secure shopping cart solution for your ecommerce website. You can accept Visa, MasterCard, and also PayPal.

Inventory management
You can manage your entire inventory with Shopify. Keep track of your stock levels, and automatically stop selling products when items sell out.

Flexible shipping rates
You can set up shipping rates by fixed-price, tiered pricing, weight-based, and location-based rates.

Automatic taxes
Based on where you are, Shopify will automatically handle major country and state tax rates.

Manage your store on the go
Shopify makes it so easy to manage your store right from your phone! You can use their app to update your store, manage inventory, fulfil orders, and contact customers.

Easy to process refunds
You can refund some or all of an order to the payment method used, and when you do your inventory is then updated automatically.

fromzion shopify websites brisbane

Why build your Shopify website with COAST?

Brisbane Shopify Developers – Shopify Websites Brisbane

We are experienced custom Shopify website designers and developers!

You don’t need to be locked into a standard Shopify website theme… we create beautiful unique and custom Shopify sites that offer visitors a specialised buying experience. We take care of all the web stuff so you don’t need to worry. You can focus on getting that business started and get selling online!

It doesn’t matter where you’re at with your website, whether you haven’t started yet or are looking at updating and expanding your Shopify site, we are the developers for you.

Just because your Shopify website is live, it doesn’t mean you’re left in the dark. Our Shopify website experts will provide you with in-house and/or remote Shopify website training so that you can confidently use and operate your store.

We set up all your bank and payment systems to ensure payments flow in easily. Should you ever need help we are only a phone call away!

Some of the ways our Shopify website developer experts can help you.

Shopify FAQ’s
Sometimes you just need help answering everyday questions about Shopify. Payments, shipping and configuration or GST. Whatever your Shopify Websites Brisbane needs, we can help!

Design Updates
Perhaps you want to update your site because you have had a business rebrand, or maybe your site’s looking a little 90’s and you want to re-design it… We can help!

Shopify App Setup
Whether it’s an accounting integration, currency converters, sale pop-ups or mail-chimp newsletter signup apps, we can install & configure for you.