Put Your Cell Phone Away… Grab Your Camera For Some Fun!

Put Your Cell Phone Away… Grab Your Camera For Some Fun!

I know, I know, I am dating myself when I say I love a camera… film, processing, heck even my digital gets me excited to be outside shooting photos. So put away your cell phone and dust the camera off. It’s time to get out there with your camera wrapped around your neck and summer to shoot.

Do you know one of the biggest printing issues comes down to good photography? I can’t tell you how many times resolution of a photo has destroyed a print project. So, make sure your files are high resolution and that you provide at least 300 dpi resolution for your next project.

Did you know the 15th of June is Nature Photography Day? So with that in mind, I thought it might be nice to provide a few “tips” for taking good nature photos. Of course, these principals also work for other photos (even a selfie on your cell phone). So here are a few things to remember:

  • Don’t Forget About Depth of Field. Remember the smaller your aperture the greater the depth of field and when it comes to landscapes and the great outdoors this is one not to forget.
  • Rest. Your camera that is on a tripod. To get clean pictures use the tool that will give you a steady hand each time.
  • Get Creative. Where is your focal point? What is happening in the foreground? Are there natural lines that make the shot interesting? Is the sky adding to the shot? Consider these questions so your shot doesn’t become boring. And don’t forget that you don’t need Photoshop® after you get the shot home, try a filter or two to give differing results.
  • Grab Their Attention. Capturing movement in a nature shot can be dramatic. Play with your shutter speeds and aperture you never know what will transpire.
  • Get Out and Have Fun. Change your landscape. Take a drive to the lake, to the golf course, at dusk, at dawn and just have fun being behind the camera.

For some amazing Michigan nature photographers, here are some of my favorites:
Monte Nagler https://www.montenagler.com/
Carl Sams and Jean Stoick https://strangerinthewoods.com/carl-sams-photography/
Dale Fisher

Find Your Inspiration!

Find Your Inspiration!

In such a digital age where we can find answers in 4 seconds, text to get a pizza, take pictures of our checks and not walk into a bank – it makes our lives a bit isolated. So how can we get inspired when we have so much at our fingertips? I was thinking about this the other day and asked some folks around Compton, where do you find your inspiration – and the list and suggestions were as differing as our team! Here is what they explained:

  • Think! Listen to your thoughts and write it down. Everything can be inspiration. By looking around, you ask yourself questions – why did the waitress bringing me my coffee start working at this restaurant? Does the man in the next booth always wear strips and plaid when going out? Even the most mundane things can lead to a great story or concept.
  • Remember the past. Drag out the old yearbook, pull out those old photos, tell stories – one memory can lead you down a road to a lot of inspiration.
  • Travel! Get involved with other cultures and places. Always inspiring! According to some – a beach, the sand and good sunset will inspire EVERY TIME!
  • Read and listen… put on some new music, read a new book – be bold go outside your comfort zone – in fact, you might just like opera.
  • Dare! Don’t play it safe – go out on a limb. Do something you have not done before and GO FOR IT!

For me, I like interaction… I love sitting with people and just asking the question. I find working with a creative team helps inspire me each day and also gives me answers and solutions.

Wimsatt Building Materials

Wimsatt Building Materials

“We’ve used Compton Press for many years and they continue to provide consistent quality results. We have a monthly newsletter that requires a quick turnaround, and we can always rely on Compton to produce it on-time and on-budget. All Compton’s employees, from ownership and sales to prepress and delivery, are always a pleasure to work with. From regularly produced pieces to custom jobs, they’ve always worked hard to earn our business, provide expertise and advice, and produce quality work, and we appreciate it!”

Dave Karras | Wimsatt Building Materials

Remembering.

Remembering.

At Compton Press, we have worked with a lot of military service men and women, veterans and families and we are always a bit awestruck. So, on Memorial Day we look back in remembrance of some of our military friends, colleagues and family members who served and did not return home. We thank you for making the ultimate sacrifice.

Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day started on May 5th, 1868 by General John A. Logan, leader of an organization for Northern Civil War veterans. He designated the 30th of May for “strewing flowers, or decorating graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion…”. The day was picked because it was not an anniversary of any battle.  Memorial Day, as Decoration Day became to be known continued to be observed on May 30th until 1968. On that day, Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which established Memorial Day as the last Monday in May and declared Memorial Day as a federal holiday.

So during the month of May, remember those who have served and thank those that continue to do so on our behalf!

Grab A Pencil and Get Coloring!

Grab A Pencil and Get Coloring!

Stressed at work? Anxious about a looming deadline? Don’t fret – get out your coloring pencils and a coloring book! Yes, you heard me right! According to the American Art Therapy Association, “coloring definitely has therapeutic potential to reduce anxiety, create focus or bring more mindfulness”. Just like meditation, coloring allows us to switch off our brains from other thoughts and focus only on the moment, helping to alleviate anxiety.

So how do you get started? Well, don’t raid your kids Crayola® boxes, according to ColoringBooks.net you should skip the crayons and go right for the colored pencils (as precision is everything when it comes to tuning in). And let’s not forget the coloring book – here are some of the most popular adult coloring books you can find on Amazon.com: Enchanted Forest and Secret Garden by Johanna Basford, Color Me Stress-Free, Color Me Happy and Color Me Calm by Lacy Mucklow and Angela Porter.

Now on to coloring! Here are some tips I find helpful:
• Make time to color every day. Even doodling is coloring!
• Inside the lines. Outside the lines. It is your masterpiece do what you want!
• Have fun! Try new techniques.

Even the most creative need some downtime to recharge our minds! Take some time for you today – and color!

Where Did We Get Such a LOVE for College Hoops?

Where Did We Get Such a LOVE for College Hoops?

Technically it all started in 1939 at a game between the University of Oregon and The Ohio State University – welcome to the first ever NCAA men’s basketball tournament! Now as we start talking trash and filling in our brackets – here are some fun facts that might impress your friends…

  • Originally there were only 8 teams that participated in the tournament – a far cry from the 65 teams we see today
  • The most successful team in NCAA men’s tournament? The UCLA Bruins with 11 championships.
  • Most Outstanding Player in history? Lew Alcindor, later Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, won the award three times in 1967, 1968 and 1968
  • Brent Musburger was the first to use the term “March Madness ®” on air
  • The NIT used to be the premiere basketball event
  • Austin Carr has the record for the most point in a game 61!
  • LMU has the record for the most points by a team in one game- 149 and it was against Michigan, who by the way scored 115 points that game – and YES it was the game that holds the most points scored between two teams

So if you love college hoops like we do – fill out that bracket, pull up a chair and enjoy – there is nothing like it… until April… and Tigers baseball!

Don’t Wait For The Light To Go On

Don’t Wait For The Light To Go On

People always ask me, where do you find your inspiration, and I tell them that not everything is sitting in a meadow and waiting for creative idea to hit you. There is actually so much more in what goes into a design, and especially logo design. Here are some tips I have gleaned from my years in pre-press and as a designer – that might help, or get you to your AHA moment!

  • Understand Competition
    • Who does the company compete with? Look at all their logos – you don’t want something you create to look anything like the competition.
  • Why?
    • I always ask a company – why they want to do the change? Do they feel the culture of their organization has changed? Has the competition changed? Do they feel dated? Whatever the answer, it will help drive you to the result.
  • The Customer Is Always Right!
    • You need to be flexible as a designer. If a customer wants purple and it is in your best design judgement that it won’t work – say your piece and try to move the decision to your way of thinking – but in the end if they want something – try to figure out a way for it to work.
  • Respect History
    • Every logo and company has a past. Remember it is your job to create a new look but respect the road the company has traveled to get it to where it is today. Embrace it!
  • A logo is just one part of the puzzle.
    • How a logo works with other printed pieces and digital pieces needs to be thought of – the logo is just a piece and needs to be brought into bigger picture thinking to make it work!

And, if none of those things work for you … crank up the tunes, fine a quiet place, banter with other creative people and find your groove… the idea will come to you! Good luck!

Pre-Press Moment, With Mary

Pre-Press Moment, With Mary

Good morning! My name is Mary and I am the pre-press queen for Compton Press. The guys thought that it would be a good idea to share some tips and tricks with designers out there. So look for tips from me on our web and also on our social media!

Today, I would like to talk about “bleed”. The term “bleed” is used for all objects overlapping the border of your document. After your piece is printed, it will be cropped to its correct size – the bleed in your document give the cropping some room for error. Yes, there are errors when a printed piece is cut – like the machine moves slightly when it runs, paper expands and contracts – so you want to make sure your piece is set up correctly.

In your InDesign® file the settings for a bleed are in the new file dialog box. You need to hit the “more options” button and the bleed and slug will become visible. Standard measurements for the bleed is 1/8” in the US, but sizes may differ per printer, if you’re not sure about the bleed – just ask, any printer will be happy to tell you what they prefer.

Don’t forget to add crop marks to you document too. InDesign® will automatically set the crop marks for you – so make sure they are there.

AND if you have any questions, about how to set up a file with bleeds and crops – just call our team! Our pre-press team will be happy to assist you in getting your file set up correctly.

Not a Printer or a Card Designer? We have you covered!

Not a Printer or a Card Designer? We have you covered!

Happy Valentines’ Day! They say to way to someone’s heart is showing them that you care and although a printed card and flowers is the “typical” way to go (and we would encourage a printed card) we wanted to give you some ideas for personal messages that you can do at home. Our friends at Better Homes and Gardens have provided a few great ways to make handmade Valentine’s Day Cards. Just follow the link and let the creativity take over!

AND if you want to have someone who LOVES printing help you with your next project – give us a call, we are here to help!

Happy Groundhog Day!

Happy Groundhog Day!

Will Punxsutawney Phil see his shadow today? How about a young person in your office or community, let them be your shadow today! The Groundhog Shadow Day aims to provide students with an up-close look at what a “real-job” is like, it helps subtends see the connection between what they learn in the classroom and what they will need to achieve their goals, it will show students that they have choices and we hope it motivates the next generation into the careers we love.

Did you know that Compton provides shadowing during the year to some of our leading graphics programs in Metro Detroit? We are thrilled to show upcoming designers and printers how it all comes together! We are a proud supporter of local schools and programs of the arts! If you would like to tour our facility with your school or program, please don’t hesitate to call Brian at our office.

Happy Groundhog Day!