Learn About Design: Designing with Type

Learn About Design: Designing with Type

Typography is a crucial element of good design. It is the visual voice that directly communicates to the reader and bridges imagery and meaning together. Three points to consider when incorporating text are Relevance, Readability, and Placement. Relevance Type can portray a sense of personality. Themes can feature sharp or rounded corners, thin or thick strokes, swooping or jagged embellishments that contribute to an overall look and feel that represent your words and message. Is your message meant to sound modest, loud, happy, or smart? Is your goal to display a primitive, modern, or futuristic motif? Historical and geographical relevance is something to consider as well. The origin and associative use of certain fonts can have an impact on your audience. Serif and San serif Typefaces can reflect different moods and resemble designs of the past, present, or future. Script fonts can have accentuating flourishes to over emphasize formality or tradition. Thinner strokes can feel more elegant where bolder strokes may emit strength. Some typefaces have recognizable character inspired by creative methods and stylings of specific regions or cultures. And many others are developed specifically to represent a desired look or emotion. Choosing a typeface with a lot of distinguishable character may appear interesting, but be aware of fonts that are recognizably over used or commonly associated with a specific brand as it may dull your creative impact. Find a fitting balance between an interesting look that works well within your layout. Using multiple typefaces might clutter up a layout and create a conflict of style. A safe practice to avoid such disarray, is to stick with two fonts...
Keys to the Capitals board game makes positive impact on Autism community

Keys to the Capitals board game makes positive impact on Autism community

A dream nearly 25 years in the making.  What started as a basic idea with a simplistic prototype grew into a successfully launched board game, and is helping spread an important message: no matter the circumstances or obstacles in life, inventing a new concept is a real possibility for everyone. Keys To The Capitals, a board game now selling through Amazon, was invented by Tony Tinervia in 1991 when he started with just a basic prototype.  For many years Tinervia worked on different game ideas, having to do with sports and sports teams, but eventually changed his focus to geography games. He would sit down and focus on creating games for hours, and he still has many of the original game designs today.  Keys to The Capitals is a simple and fun board game created to help kids as young as seven years old learn all the names of the states and their capitals in the United States, all while enjoying time with friends and family. He built and tested Keys To The Capitals with family members on a model made from National Geographic maps until 2015, when he reached out to Enhance Product Development to help him build a retail-ready version of the game. “Getting my prototype built with the Enhance team, and having that in hand to play and test, was my favorite part of this process,” said Tinervia.  Working collaboratively with Enhance Product Development, he could see how the game would look and feel to an average player.  As a first step, a patent search was completed on this game to determine the patentability of the...
Learn About Design: Photo-Realistic Rendering or Virtual Prototyping

Learn About Design: Photo-Realistic Rendering or Virtual Prototyping

Rend – er – ing: a work of visual art, especially a detailed process drawing which uses color and shading to make it appear solid and three dimensional. For most, this is not a familiar term, despite the fact that we observe renderings on a regular basis. Renderings are the photo-realistic images of many of the products found on the market today. The idea here is to have full control to manipulate lighting environments, textures, and depth of field of CAD models to make them nearly indistinguishable from the real thing. There are many rendering programs that exist today, including Vray, Maxwell, Octane, and Keyshot, that industrial designers use to produce these renderings. After first making a CAD model of a product, these programs allow users to select specific surfaces to apply textures and colors on. Once all of the surfaces have been placed appropriately to each piece of the model, it is now time to select a lighting environment. Environments range from a variety of photographic-studio lighting options, to offices, to outdoor scenes, each with unique lighting attributes that can be adjusted to get the perfect image every time. The obvious advantage to this is the maximum range of adjustability designers have over the appearance of products in a matter of minutes. Whether it’s changing a product colorway or placing it in the middle of a grassy field, computer rendering programs allow for quick, convenient changes prior to making a prototype of the same quality or materials. ——- Enhance Product Development is a professional design firm that specializes in launching new products for inventors, entrepreneurs and start ups. ...
Learn About Design: Prototyping and 3D Printing Options

Learn About Design: Prototyping and 3D Printing Options

3D printing is a manufacturing process that allows for the construction of a three dimensional solid object from a digital file. A 3D printer works by laying out successive layers of material, one on top of the other, until the entire form is constructed. 3D printing can be a great and economical resource for creating a physical prototype of your concept. There are a variety of 3D printer and software options on the market today and a wide array of materials can be 3D printed, from ABS plastic to rubber, precious metals, or even chocolate! Not all 3D printers use the same technology. Here at Enhance, our 3D printer uses the Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) method. In order to get a part 3d printed, you will need to have a virtual design of the object you intend to create. This CAD (Computer Aided Design) file is sliced into hundreds of horizontal layers and uploaded to the 3D printer which will read and process each slice. Once your CAD file is uploaded to the printer, ABS plastic is unwound from a coiled spool of material and then melted and dispensed through an extrusion nozzle. Each layer of plastic hardens immediately, once it is extruded from the nozzle. The printer continues to blend each layer on top of the last, resulting in one three dimensional object! 3D printing has many advantages. It allows for levels of complexity that often could not be produced through traditional manufacturing processes. 3D printing does not require any additional tooling, which is typically the most cost, time and labor intensive stages of product development. 3D printing...
Learn About Design: Engineering/CAD Programs | Solidworks

Learn About Design: Engineering/CAD Programs | Solidworks

CAD or computer-aided design is the act of using computers in creating, modifying, or optimizing a design. There are a variety of CAD programs used by industrial designers, engineers, architects, draftsmen, video-game developers, and digital artists depending on what kind of model is to be created. Some CAD programs available are used to create purely visual models while some are used to create models of products that are to be machined/injection molded/printed and everywhere in between. At Enhance, we use Solidworks and sometimes Rhino, to create 3D models and sometimes 3D printed prototypes of our clients’ concepts. Solidworks allows a user to create 3D geometry through a variety of different tools and commands for example: the extrude command elongates a shape from a plane based on a contour drawn by the designer to a desired length on one or both sides. Extrude-cut does the same but takes away from the solid instead of adding to it. Each of these features in Solidworks can have multiple options/parameters, giving its user thousands of different ways to build a model. Once a model has been finished in Solidworks, we use a stand-alone rendering software to apply textures/materials/lighting to make photo-realistic renderings of what the finished product might look like. If the product is to be 3D printed to test its functional aspects, the designer will build the correct tolerances allowed by our 3D printer while modelling the product as to make sure all of his parts move freely/snap closed etc. the way that they should. CAD software is a valuable tool for a designer because allows one to quickly see and make...
Learn About Design:  Ideation and Concept Sketching

Learn About Design: Ideation and Concept Sketching

Each month our designers will be including an article to the Enhance blog on design related topics. This month, we are featuring the concept sketching process we utilize at the front end of each project. IDEATION Ideation is the development stage where our design team visualizes concepts; categorizes key features that contribute to a possible solution to the presented problem. This process is both abstract and concrete. Laying a solid foundation to build and develop innovative concepts. Drawing from your research to make informed design decisions and roughing out ideas, this process uses sketch models (made from paper, cardboard, tape, foam core, etc.) and sketching rough ideas (pen to paper, whiteboard drawings and digital sketching). Sketching has taken to new platforms ranging from iPads to Microsoft Surface Pro tablets. The sketching tablet is the designer’s choice in sketching tools. Our design team uses Wacom Cintiq to discern and explore colors, textures, forms and features. Using a sketch tablet produces a higher fidelity concept and better allows our clients to visualize what the final product might look like. We love working with innovators who are passionate about their ideas. Having clients involved with every stage of the development process is extremely important. So often, it is our clients that have experienced a problem, and so their invention is a response or solution to the pain of that problem. In that same way, it is important at the Ideation stage to take on physical experiments, setting scenarios and quick role playing can be useful for building empathy for the user. Only by doing so can the solutions that we design for,...