Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Size Matters

A fair portion of my business is creating expressions for homes and businesses.  People tell me what they want it to say, but feel intimidated by the actual creation of the project.  Let's talk about that for a minute or two.  I don't have a degree or special training in graphic design, but I do have a good eye for it.  That's mostly come through practice and being honest.  

Practice is easy to get.  Just do it.  Over and over and over again until you are satisfied with the result. I must say that sometimes I have to set a time limit or I will work for 4 hours on something that I will only make $10 on.  That's not working smart, but the perfectionist in me wants to keep trying different things.  Being honest takes a bit of practice, too, but people always tell me they appreciate when I'm honest.  That doesn't mean that I am brutal or cruel to them.  It just means I tell them I don't care for that combination as much because of _____ reason.  I use that a lot at my day job, too. During the day, I am an optician.  (I'm not an eye doctor--that's optometrist.  They're often confused.)  In addition to doing repairs and adjustments, I help people pick out the eyeglass frames that they will wear for the next year or two, or more.  No pressure.  If they change their mind later on their frame choice, I will either hear about it for the next 2 years, or they won't come back to see me again. Either is not an appealing choice to me.  That honesty thing is critical.  If I tell someone that something fits well and looks nice when it really doesn't, then I'm doing them and me a disservice.  If I tell someone a color combination looks good on their wall and it really doesn't feel good, they won't recommend me to their friends and I will not continue to have a business.  So let's look at some guidelines I use when helping someone design an expression.

Size.  Size matters, no matter what men say, size matters.  Here's a picture of an expression I have over my couch.


This is one of my pre-designed expressions.  My size choices were 12" x 18", 16" x 24", or 21" x 31".  I went for the large size on this one.  There are a couple reasons.  First, I wanted to make a bold statement of our faith.  Guests see this wall right when they walk in the door.  If I would have chosen the 12 x 18, it wouldn't have been a big, bold statement.  It would have been a nice little picture sized expression and not a bold statement.  There's nothing wrong with being more subtle--it's just not what I wanted for this expression.  

My rule of thumb for size is to look at the whole wall space.  Are there going to be other pictures around this expression, or will it stand alone?  Do you want it to be the focus of the wall space or just an accent?  If you want it to stand alone and be the focus, then you want to go bigger, but not too big.  Leave room around the expression or expression & pictures for there to be a "frame" of wall color.  Too small and it will get lost, especially if it's by itself.  Usually, up to about 2/3 of the space can be used for one picture or expression.  If it's over a bed, don't go the whole length of the headboard.  Leave space on either side.  If it's over a door way, don't go the whole 36 inches wide, Go about 24 inches wide leaving 4 inches on either side to provide balance and a "frame."

I know all that seems pretty simplified, but it doesn't have to be complicated.  KISS!  Keep it simple, Sweetheart!

In the meantime, what message or feeling do you want to convey when people enter your home?  Comment below.


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