When It Comes To Providing
Information and Education,
Design Matters.

Check out the latest news and happenings at BG Communications.

Take a seminar with Brian

Brian teaches the popular half-day course Taking Up Space: Basic Lessons in Graphic Design. The principal focus of the course is looking at documents from the reader’s perspective. Theoretical as well as practical tools for effective design and layout are discussed. Brian illustrates design principles using numerous examples drawn from all kinds of documents. Questions are encouraged, and course participants are invited to submit their design challenges for discussion.

The content includes the following objectives:

  • The stages of the production process
  • What makes good design
  • How to better plan your design
  • Designing as you write
  • Using fonts as elements in good design
  • Using graphic elements to improve design

The diverse groups that have enjoyed this course include the Toronto and Southwestern Ontario chapters of the Society for Technical Communication, the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, the Toronto chapter of the Editors’ Association of Canada, and the trade-magazine editors at Rogers Communications.

For more information on this seminar or to book it, contact us.

Other resources

Articles written by Brian on Design Matters

Brian has written articles on design issues for the Toronto branch of the Society for Technical Communication and for his own e-newsletter called Taking Up Space. We have collected them below as separate Acrobat files.

Getting the most from your graphic designer (268 kb)

Are your documents "design-challenged"? (100 kb)

White space: The initial frontier (100 kb)

They don't call them characters for nothing (96 kb)

Body copy punctuation (100 kb)

Character analysis (140 kb)

Graphic enclosures (96 kb)

I don't want to read a grey page! (92 kb)

Big little letters (88 kb)

Just my type (92 kb)

Pull quotes, breakouts, readouts, pullouts, quoteouts, and shootouts (?) (88 kb)

Stand tall! (88 kb)

Symmetry vs. asymmetry (84 kb)

What does it take to design…A book (96 kb)

LinkedIn involvement

Brian is very active as a resource with the business networking site, LinkedIn (www.LinkedIn.com), especially with the following groups: Book Publishing Professionals, Book Design, Book Cover Designers, BookLink, Creative Design Pros, Graphic Design Professionals, Editors' Association of Canada, Graphic Design Professional Group, Creative Design Professionals Worldwide, Freelance Creatives in Toronto, and the Print Designers Network.

Some people with whom we have enjoyed working

Writer: Paul Keyes

Photographer: Stephen Edgar

Copy editor: John Eerkes-Medrano

Useful web sites

Information about design

Creative Pro: a wonderful resource for graphic artists

Great marketing info

Marketingprofs: a great forum for exchanging marketing ideas, resources and tools


Doodle: a free tool for scheduling meetings with a number of potential attendees

You Send It: a great way to send large files (up to 100mb)

How to convert a .pdf to .doc: a free service that for converting .pdf files to Word files

Convert Files: another free resource for converting image and text files to different formats

Free Fax: a free service for sending faxes and attachments anywhere in United States and Canada


Book Crossing: what to do with all those books that you've finished reading and are willing to part with

Chocolate Cake: how to make a chocolate cake in 5 minutes!

Paper Airplanes: how to fold an award-winning sky king paper airplane