Category Archives: Graphic Design

Print is dead! Long live the print!

Recently I’ve found myself doing more and more print work. This is scary as I’ve never had any formal training in all things print  related (or not print related for that matter) so I’m always slightly nervous. Especially so when the adverts are half page adverts.

Sunday Business Post Blacknight Office 365 pub

Still I think that they’ve been coming out rather nicely even if I am biased.

The above is currently running in the Sunday Business Post and it’s for Office 365 through Blacknight.

The below was running in one of the supplements recently

Thanks to Gianni for the photos ( You just can’t seem to pick up copies of the Irish papers here :P )

Blacknight Sunday Business Post Open For Business Pub

They seem to be turning out quite well so far. Let me know what you think in the comments below! ( oooh I went there )

Blacknight Open for Business Advert

Game Of Domains

The Blacknight SME Awards Design

SME Awards Design

You know when you can only say for so long that you don’t do print design? :)

I guess I can’t say that anymore.

This weekend saw my 4m x 3m baby unrolled at the Blacknight SME Awards in Cork. I have to say WOW it’s a nice feeling to see your work at that size. Mental note … check check and quadruple check your work zoomed at max. That awkward moment when you see a small issue after everything has gone to print = ARGH

Oh well you can see the stage design (Though it’s rather dark) as well as a few of the popups / swords and other props I put together. All in all it was pretty great to work with Gianni Ponzi on this. Good feedback / Great ideas (could we do cutouts) and even if he was screaming for Blood … we left that out.

Personally I think with the launch of the recent season of Game of Thrones my Game of Domains concept was rather fun. It’s always tough to make domains “sexy” and to make people think outside of the .com or ccTLD ( .ie / .fr )

Game Of Domains

PS: In case some people ended up with some bizarre heat sensitive mugs, they weren’t meant to be given away at the awards. They were concepts / experiments I was running. ( le sigh )

Year Of The Cloud 2

Branding your blog posts

We all know that content is king. We’re continually bombarded by the message on all the SEO sites we visit. I am however one of those people who need both written content and visual content.

A few years back I sent on Michele a silly graphic relating to a dot EU promotion that Blacknight was running. I’d been taking pictures of the cat with my new camera and working as a freelancer from home always means that a slight cabin fever situation kicks in from time to time and hey presto he loved the graphic. Personally I don’t think it’s that great today but it was a start.

Kitty needed the munnies

I think a week or two later and Michele used another picture on the site (he had been adding stock images to all his posts to make them as I said a bit more visual) and this time I ended up branding up that image a little bit and changing the size to fit in with the blog design. I came up with the slogan as well which I was rather proud of. Again it was for a domain promotion.

To .Be or not to .Be

Shortly after that I ended up coming up with a standard design we’ve used on most of the blog graphics (not all the time … time factors into things sometimes) and also started sourcing most of the images we use on the blog graphics and not to mention coming up with silly captions and marketing ideas for them.

Standard Blacknight Blog Graphic Format

Well it’s a while on and I’ve ended up making a lot of these graphics taken a few photos .. used pictures of the cat as well :) The big question sometimes for me is just how much time do you invest in them. For us the answer seems to be a bit sometimes it’s a 5 minute job other times it takes quite a bit more time.

Blog Graphics

It can be a pretty time consuming process sourcing images. Coming up with an idea. Finding an image within the budget. Trying to make things fun bring a smile to peoples faces and ultimately we hope lead to the Blacknight brand becoming stronger. Personally it’s something I enjoy a lot and we’ve gotten good feedback in the past whether it’s for the blog images the newsletters or adverts we run.

So what do you think is it worth the effort we put in? Do you even notice or care?

The recent Year of the Cloud promotion for example starts as a “I need a blog graphic for a promotion promo code cloudyear

O … K … ? :) (generally my usual response to these kinda requests)

Moving on and I have a think about it while doing a few other bits and pieces … and we get to this stage … still a mockup

Year Of The Cloud

Obviously I’m thinking Chinese new year here which is I think on the 23rd of January. Bit boring it’d be fine liked where I was going with the Year of the Cloud / Dragon thing … BUT Michele says … can we get a dragon in there somewhere and hey presto I go searching for a bit sourcing imagery … another iteration / idea … scrap that another idea … nope and … finally and we end up with

Year Of The Cloud 2

Add in a silly byline and people seem to love it big question for me is will it convert to sales and make our brand stronger. I’d love to hear some peoples thoughts. Is it worth the effort we go to?

(By the way shameless sales pitch why not get a great discount on cloud hosting over on the Blacknight Blog)