Friday 23 January 2009

Helping Small Businesses

Welcome to Contrast Web Solutions design blog. We are a small business based in Sheffield that has experience of producing professional designs on a tight budget. We plan to use this blog to share our experience and provide lots of tips, together with links to useful resources and tutorials that will help you produce artwork for yourself rather than using expensive design services.

Small businesses are often tempted to produce their own low quality designs for websites, business cards, leaflets, price lists etc. However, they fail to realise that potential customers will be judging the quality of their company based on these designs.

If your budget can cope, the easy answer is to use a design service. If your time is easier to come by than money, then you can learn to produce professional looking designs yourself. You may even enjoy it!

The Right Tools for The Job

We made the decision to use open source or freely available software to produce all our own artwork. This has two advantages:
  1. Our costs are kept to a minimum which means we can be more competitive.
  2. We can document our experiences with the knowledge that all the software we have used is available to you too.
Here is a summary of the core software we use:
  • Inkscape for producing vector based graphics (logo / non-photographic artwork).
  • GIMP for photo editing and more complex images.
  • Blender for complex 3d modelling and lighting effects.
  • Scribus for publishing designs.
That's it for this brief introduction we will be back soon with our first tips. If you run a small business and want to benefit from more free information, please visit our Business Guide.