Object May Be Smaller Than They Appear….

Are you planning to wear an 8″ lapel pin?  Did you want a keytag the size of a your laptop?  No?  Then why did you create your art so big??  Of course we know the answer to this question.   Most of the time clients create art for other media – then wish to use it for emblematic items.    That sounds like a good idea – but squeezing an 8″image onto a 1″ lapel pin usually doesn’t work. 

So how do you know which is the right size?  

  1. Image is everything.  Consider the impression the item makes.  Is this a prestigious award for achievement? if so you probably want an understated look.    Are you introducing a new product or service?  Now is not the time to be subtle – don’t be shy -make it bigger.  Understanding where you need to be along this continuum is an important first step.  Is your client leaning toward a bigger, bolder item or toward a smaller, understated appearance.
  2. Be practical.  Big keychains are bulky and don’t fit easily in your pocket.   Women however, tend to keep keys in purses and want to find them quickly.   An Inn or Bed & Breakfast will often prefer big keytags because they don’t want guests walking off with keys.   Think through the practical implications of size.
  3. Test it.  Sometimes I’ll be discussing the size of an item with a customer and I can just tell by their reactions that they’re not getting it.  To them  1 3/8″ is just an esoteric number that doesn’t have meaning.  It’s the same way with mechanics.  A mechanic can look into a tool box and spot which nut is 15/16 and which is 7/8.  Don’t rely on the numbers when picking a size.  Pull out your pencil, paper and ruler and sketch the item at the size your considering.  Now cut it out.  If it’s a pin, hold it up to your lapel – how’s it look?  It may seem silly, but it works. 
  4. Reality check.  Using the “ballpark” dimensions you’ve selected, scale your art to size and print it out.  You can’t tell how something will look on a computer screen – you must print it out.  If you can’t figure out how to scale the art before you print it – then print it and use a copy machine or scanner to reduce it to size.  Now that you’ve got your design on paper at actual size – look at it.  If you can make out the details and read the text at actual size you should be ok. 

The next time you find yourself struggling with a design – try some of these techniques.