Print is (not) dead.

Fun, Real life

Recently when I met someone I told them I’m a print designer. They replied with “I thought print was dead”. They were a print designer and now focus on Web and other screen based media. I pointed out that surely they don’t really think print is dead, after all, they were holding a printed magazine and travel guidebook when they spoke to me.

It’s easy to see just the big bulky printed items like books and magazines. We all try to ignore advertising covering all the surfaces of the cities public transport network or the local shopping centre. So I think all this big stuff printing is overlooked.

Public transport media buy-out for reams of paper!

I’m still regularly asked for smaller printed items. Like an easy to pass out sales sheet. Or an ad that gets published in a newspaper. I like to make these be both for printing and for electronic sending. Two birds one stone. Better value for my client. More consistency.

I was walking around a major shopping center and found this area completely covered in printed materials. I see this and think, surely people can’t really think print is dead.

Pop up ads, product packaging, magazines style catalogue, small banner/large poster, point of sale advertising. These products are still being designed, printed and used today. In fact, this is some of the most fun items to be making!

Sorry, but print is not dead.

Digital letterheads for a paperless office

Branding, Business Administration, Templates

I know paperless offices are becoming more of a trend. To be honest, my office has always been paperless. But there are new ways of doing things now with electronic/digital publication of things like letters, invoices, contracts and any other paperwork. You might have a printed letterhead and use it sometimes but how often do you send Word docs or exported PDFs to people these days? Make sure your company still looks good when sending PDFs from Word.

A really simple way you can incorporate digital-ism is to have hyperlinked company logos in all documents pointing back to the website. If you chose to have the whole email address written out anywhere, make sure you can click it. Where possible, even edit what the subject is so your customers will simply click it and their email is mostly already done for them. Don’t make your customers copy and paste, or worst, type it themselves. Make links!

digital letterhead made in Microsoft Word to easily make the page look more professional easy template for a paperless office all digital with hyperlinks and social media icons

People are not necessarily connecting with you in the old methods. They may never call you. Instead they might Tweet, or Facebook or Email you. If you are a professional they might find you on something like LinkedIn or Behance. This is the way now. So my digital letterhead has these icons which are so instantly recognisable that everyone knows what to do with their one they are familiar with. I have given my customers options. And see what I did there? I didn’t make anybody hunt for these contact details, or type them or copy and paste them. These are all clickable hyperlinks because I value my customers time and this makes life easier for them.


My digital letterhead is made in Microsoft Word. Simple reason why: it is easiest to type there, export a PDF and send. The spell check and everything are all available. But I don’t want my Word doc to look like a standard Word doc. So there is my “letterhead” stuff — logo at the top, social media icons at the bottom. The document is all set up with my fonts, colours, headers (three levels of course). Page two looks different to page one. All those things that save time and make all my documents consistent are all set up in a template. When I want to type a letter. All I do is open a blank template and it is ready to go. I just type. All my formatting options are available one click away.

If you want a digital letterhead in Word so all you have to do is open your template and type and always get a good looking letter, contact me today about your specifics. Let’s make you more efficient and professional looking. Prices starting at $200.

Travel Calendars

behind the scenes, Digital Nomad, Fun, Real life, Travel, Uncategorized

I am a digital nomad. This means I travel alot. Before my very first big overseas, multi-destination trip, my parents asked me to make them a calendar they could use as the background on their tablet devices. As a graphic designer, this task is super easy. So I made some backgrounds in Illustrator. I figured they need to know city and flight/bus details. I thought I would throw in the visual reference of flags.


The desktop size of my laptop is much greater and I really liked these calendars as a way of knowing where I was now, and what was coming up. I used the additional widescreen area to put some key photos (found on Google) that inspired me about visiting these locations.


This year when going on another long-extended multi-destination trip, I did the same travel calendars for friends and family. I was super glad to have made it easy to work with as I went through adding the new flags and locations. This time the trip was a lot slower so there is lots of duplication. (I walked 500km on the Camino de Santiago).

desktop wallpaper travel holiday calendar infographic design by lakazdi freelance graphic designer specialising in books and documents

But at  the end of this trip, I had no home base to go back to and so many choices of my next adventure, I wasn’t sure how to express this. So I used fades and question marks.


The artboard in my Illustrator document has all the various goodies or elements to drag around as I need them. Super easy.

The desktop size of my laptop is much greater and I really liked these calendars as a way of knowing where I was now, and what was coming up. I used the additional widescreen area to put some key photos (found on Google) that inspired me about visiting these locations.

If you want something similar, contact me and we can discuss your specifics.

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It’s all Greek to me.


This is a very well known phrase now. I’m traveling in Greece and while I might not be able to read words spelt with math symbols, all the visual clues are there to help me make sense of the world around me. No spoken language or reading required.


Even though this has Φ (phi) in the name, since the word feta comes from Greek it is easy enough to read. The type of packaging gives it away as well as the photo of the product.


Even when it comes to instant coffee, the packaging and images gives it away instantly. It doesn’t matter that I can’t read the Greek. All the instant coffee containers have to keep the product dry and have room in the lid for a spoon to fit in. They are usually glass, and we can actually see the product to see how dark roasted and finely powdered this exact product is. However, in Greece they have something entirely different to this as their usual coffee they make at home.

Even at a coffee shop you might see italian words and think you know what you are buying and be wrong. The common in Greece Cappuccino Freddo is more of a direct translation from the Italian (coffee with milk, cold) than what we are used to in Australia.


Image source:


The milk, despite not being able to read anything was also easy to spot. This time it was product context. It was in a fridge at the supermarket. There are lots of similar looking bottles and tetra paks, where possible, you can see that the product is white and liquid. The packaging has Arabic numerals with 1% or 3.5% so if you know what these numbers mean in this context you know if it is full cream or light milk. The almond, soy and coconut milks, available in the same fridge, has pictures of the ingredients.


Now when box is not see through and nothing is recognisable… context. This package is cardboard. The opening is a semi-circle on the side of the package at the very top, spout like. It has sparkles and drops/bubbles/movement. It was found at the supermarket with laundry powder, liquids, bleach etc and was next to Tide a very famous and recognisable product. We have laundry powder.


Washing machines are very hard to deal with in a foreign language. I used Google translate to work out the text written for the settings. When the machine didn’t work, the product manual, also in Greek, was not helpful. But again, despite not reading the language it is fairly easy to get a washing machine to do what it needs to do.


While looking at toys, puzzles,  books and games (a few of my favourite things) I noticed most board games use the English name. Up Words however went for a Greek name. Familiarity with the game and this packaging helps me to know what this is and even guess what the name might translate to. I don’t think I’ll be able to play the game though, those Greek math symbols look too tricky to write words with.


My favourite instantly recognisable Greek alternative was the Mr Men books. It is always fun to see translated copies of wonderful books! And even though I’ve seen these translated into many languages, I’m always happy to see that they always look the same (same pictures, margins, fonts, spacing, size etc).

Graphic Design mockups

behind the scenes, Showcasing

It has been really interesting for me to see how much the trend of print mockups has been on the internet as a way to showcase your work. Not so long ago when I first was adding portfolio items to behance I was using just screenshots of my files and now I take the time (which is getting quicker and quicker) to make mockup images. They really do tell the story better and are instantly recognisable. It is not until I see the two side-by-side that I realise this is a trend that will not be going away and this is something I am very happy with.

It certainly makes a difference when showing spreads of a book. Previously I felt the need to show the spine and edges otherwise there is no context.

using photoshop photo realistic mockup files to showcase your printed design work

I really do not think the difference is as profound with the cover but certainly, it is more obvious that this is a book cover and not a flyer or something else.mockups2But when showing something really quite big, like a billboard, the mockups are simply wonderful because it is so much easier to understand the scale in this context.

using photoshop photo realistic mockup files to showcase your printed design work