Creative Annual Reports Make People Want To Read Them

Creative Annual Reports Make People Want To Read Them

Creative Annual Reports Make People Want to Read Them

Hard to believe?

It all depends on who is designing them.

Yes, I know it must have all the important numbers to give stock holders and the public a sense of the health of the company or organization but, does it have to be so dry?

Creative Annual Reports Make People Want to Read Them
Creative Annual Reports Make People Want to Read Them

I take no greater challenge than to take something that is made year after year and make it stand out.

Creative layout, graphics and photography will do just that.

I like to do a lot of research on a company to find out what will best present them in the best light possible.

I follow their brand as far as colors, logo, text usage and many other special things that says who they are but what else can I design that has not been done before?

Creative Annual Reports Make People Want to Read Them
Creative Annual Reports Make People Want to Read Them

The Salvation Army Annual Report was something of a challenge.

Red was the dominant color for them but it does not take much of the color before it becomes over powering.

Red does that!

Creative Annual Reports Make People Want to Read Them
Creative Annual Reports Make People Want to Read Them

I used some color photographs but I also used black and white and then added some images that had been colorized.

What is colorized you may ask?

It is a Photoshop technique where you turn a color image into black and white and then paint back just a few places in the B&W and return it to its original color. It makes the image stand out.

Some images I turned into sepia tone to tell a different story.

Other techniques were used on the layout itself to make the report more appealing and enjoyable to read.

Creative Annual Reports Make People Want to Read Them
Creative Annual Reports Make People Want to Read Them

In the end, the annual report gave the needed information but it was also eye catching to were someone might just want to pick it up and flip through it.

If that is what happened, then I succeeded in having it stand out.

Creative Annual Reports Make People Want to Read Them
Creative Annual Reports Make People Want to Read Them

Creative Annual Reports Make People Want to Read Them

How To Turn Color Photographs Into Beautiful Black And White Images

How To Turn Color Photographs Into Beautiful Black And White Images

How To Turn Color Photographs Into Beautiful Black And White Images

I learned photography by taking nothing but black and white images.

My junior year of high school back in Waukegan, Illinois in 1969, I enrolled in a photography course.

It changed my life.

I have never been the same since.

How To Turn Color Photographs Into Beautiful Black and White Images

Four of my Grandchildren.

I learned to shoot, develop film and print in B&W. I learned to navigate a darkroom from top to bottom.

I picked up some amazing techniques.

Getting so close the process helped me to understand the language of photography inside out.

Sometime later, I graduated to shooting color. I shot a lot of transparency images on slide film for myself and  I shot color negative film for wedding and portraits.

But, my heart always longed for B&W.

 

How To Turn Color Photographs Into Beautiful Black and White Images
How To Turn Color Photographs Into Beautiful Black and White Images

I remember a professional photographer once asked me if I knew how you could tell a good image from a great image?

He said, if you striped all the color out it would then give you an idea what was essential. Color tends to hide the emotion and the sheer story telling ability of a image. The elements are left on their own to speak for themselves

B&W has a way of explaining things in stark terms with nothing to hide behind.

I have always viewed things from my view finder on my camera in Black and White terms. That was how I started in school and have continued to process things in my mind’s eye for the rest of my life.

 

How To Turn Color Photographs Into Beautiful Black and White Images
How To Turn Color Photographs Into Beautiful Black and White Images

I love sepia tone images as well as B&W. 

Going digital has been amazing. I have brought some of those old black and white techniques into a new platform.

It’s not simply striping the color out when you desaturate an image but something far more creative from the days of film.

How can I make certain elements “POP” within that black and white digital image?

Photoshop. Thats how!

 

How To Turn Color Photographs Into Beautiful Black and White Images

Photoshop control and tool panel.

If you would like to see a short step-by-step process and the Photoshop tools that I use to bring back the old film days, go to my how-to video below.

 

How To Turn Color Photographs Into Beautiful Black and White Images

 

Designing Amazing Newsletters and Magazines

Designing Amazing Newsletters and Magazines

Designing Amazing Newsletters and Magazines

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Designing newsletters, magazines and books for print and digital.

I am a photographer first and always and have been for 40+ years.

I started out as a wedding photographer back in the early 70’s but found out I had curiosity and ability to photograph many things on planet earth.

I have a library of images that I have taken on landscape, wildlife and close-up macro photo’s that I think are very good.

Designing Amazing Newsletters and Magazines
Designing Amazing Newsletters and Magazines

Through wedding photography, I learned people skills. My dad had this skill also so have much to thank him for. Photography also taught me how to look at the world in very creative ways.

Later in life I turned my creative bent to the graphic design world. I went back to college and received a graphic arts degree. Soon after starting school I learned many of the same basic artistic skills I learned in photography would help me in BIG ways in the area of graphics. They are so related like kissing cousins so to speak.

 

Designing Amazing Newsletters and Magazines
Designing Amazing Newsletters and Magazines

While still in school, one of the first projects I started working on was a newsletter for a prison ministry that was called “Inside Out” and was sponsored by Central Christian Church in Mesa, Arizona.

The program I use to design the newsletter was on a program by Adobe called InDesign. Adobe is also the maker of Photoshop, Illustrator, Premier Pro and many other visual programs for professional designers and photographers.

Designing Amazing Newsletters and Magazines
Designing Amazing Newsletters and Magazines

Designing Amazing Newsletters and Magazines

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InDesign is an amazing program that lets you design multiple page layouts that are used on books, magazines and newsletters for print but also can now be turned into a eBook.

It can be a complicated program if used to its full potential. I belong to a local InDesign user group in the Phoenix area that meets every other month to help keep professional designers up-to-date on the new features Adobe is always adding to its program.

Designing Amazing Newsletters and Magazines
Designing Amazing Newsletters and Magazines

I not only did the layout of the newsletter but I also designed its logo that sits at the top of first page but I made the graphics that you will find through out every page.

I was able to experiment with many types of font usage and “call outs” and tried to improve each issue over the years.

Our newsletter staff produced 20 issues over a 5-year period.

Designing Amazing Newsletters and Magazines
Designing Amazing Newsletters and Magazines

I do miss the editorial staff that helped me collaborate on this by-monthly project.

We did it all!

From article idea’s to the writing of these article’s to the layout and finally of the printing and mailing of the finished newsletter to individual prisoners.

Thank you to Kim, Nancy and Rosie whom made this project possible on every issue. I try and stay in touch with them on a regular basis.  

Designing Amazing Newsletters and Magazines

 Click the cover to down load a PDF of that issue of the newsletter.

Graphic Design That Grabs Your Attention

Graphic Design That Grabs Your Attention

Graphic Design That Grabs Your Attention

Graphic Design That Grabs Your Attention

 This was a three generation photo I took of me with my son and grandson.

Photographing or Designing something that grabs someone’s attention has always been and is my goal.

All the graphics on this article were also photographed by me.

I was a photographer for 40+ years but at the age of 58 I went back to school for a graphic arts degree.

I soon learned how to design and build WordPress web sites because I realized right away web sites were the best way to show off my work

 

I found I was very good at web design especially when I combined my graphic skills with web work.

Match made in heaven so to speak.

Do I only use my photography on the graphics that I make? NO!

I will many times use a photo stock agency if I need something specific either for a logo design, website layout, printed material such as a newsletter or social media graphics.

Graphic Design That Grabs Your Attention

             My son dancing at a wedding with three of his four daughters.

Graphic Design That Grabs Your Attention

My wife enjoys having time with each grandchild and getting to know them. This was a photograph I turned into a painting in Photoshop.

I found that by combining photographs or graphics with text was a very powerful tool to get a message across fast. This is graphic design that grabs your attention!

People do not read so much anymore because we are bombarded with so much information that if they can see something with text and visuals that is short, clear and concise it will hold our attention far longer and look more inviting.

A cloud formation just before a big storm in the Phoenix area taken on my iPhone.

The image on the right was a photograph I took of my grandson and his girl friend on the 4th of July.

Graphic Design That Grabs Your Attention

The graphics on this page were made for social media. Some graphics are religious in nature and some are funny and others have just a positive bent to them.

I get my inspiration not only from the Bible but also great thinkers that said amazing quotes like Mark Twain and CS Lewis. I sometimes find a photograph and look for a quote to match or I run across a quote and hunt down an image that ties it all together.

Some are fast and others are amazingly slow to design. I want the message to be just right.

Graphic Design That Grabs Your Attention

My wife with three of her granddaughters enjoying a hot afternoon in the pool.

Graphic Design That Grabs Your Attention

My son is a great and patient teacher to his son.

Graphic Design That Grabs Your Attention

My son actually took this shot of both him and his son going down the slide together. I have no idea how he took such an amazing shot while being in the image!

I will have more blog posts in the future with these short inspiration graphics so check me and my blog out again. 

Graphic Design That Grabs Your Attention

Salvation Army Christmas Dinner

Salvation Army Christmas Dinner

Salvation Army Christmas Dinner

Salvation Army Christmas Dinner

Salvation Army… What an amazing organization.

I organize and direct a group of 10 photographers and about 50 helpers photograph portraits for the poor and needy on Christmas morning just before the Christmas dinner at the Phoenix Civic Center.

For an hour and a half, each photography booth will shoot a new family portrait every 3-4 minutes.

Runners then takes the digital photo card from each camera to a room that has two professional printers and about another 20-people handling and printing the photographs and putting the 11 x 8 portraits into beautiful cardboard frames.

Each family will receive two of these portraits. It’s amazing how fast these printers work.

They are usually done printing about 20-30 minutes after the last portrait is shot. Hundreds and hundreds are passed out the morning.

While these portraits are being shot another group of photographers are shooting children as they sit down with Santa Clause.

Refreshments are served to everyone while the first professional band is playing Christmas music in the background.

FREE haircuts are being cut by a group of 15-20 professional hair stylists in a side room and in another room people can call anywhere in the world and talk to family for 10-15 minutes.  

Salvation Army Christmas Dinner

Salvation Army Christmas Dinner will feed over 5,000 at the dinner itself and then another 3,800 meals go out by car to those who can not making it to the Civic Center.

It takes about 1,000 people to volunteer in various capacities to make this successful.

This is the most amazing event I have ever participated in. Salvation Army brings in professional chefs to cook the turkey dinner and all its fixings.

The dinners are served on china, silverware and fancy table cloths with 10 people per table while professional musicians playing holiday music in the background.

They are the second band to play that day. Presents are handed out to the children when the guests have been fed.

Salvation Army Christmas Dinner

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This will be my 8th year…I think, I have lost count. 

When you love doing something that happens.

The main husband and wife team that organize the whole  Salvation Army Christmas Dinner have been doing this for over 20 years but I think its closer to 30. They seem have lost count also…

Salvation Army Christmas Dinner
Salvation Army Christmas Dinner

Salvation Army has hundreds of these celebrations and dinners going on ALL across the USA and the rest of the world on Christmas.

God bless them and how He has used them to bless so many of His people.

I think I am far more blessed by my participation in this annual event than the blessing I give to others.

God works like that…

Salvation Army Christmas Dinner Phoenix Arizona

Salvation Army Christmas Dinner

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