Just as the name suggests, Pods CMS is a content Management plugin for WordPress. Gone are the days of people using WordPress for your blog alone. It’s fast becoming one of the industry’s standard CMSs, and if you’re thinking about using it for this purpose, then this plugin is possibly the most powerful of all.
Ok, so it’s been a long time coming, but I’ve finally managed to find time to read my copy of LogoDesignLove by David Airey… and I have to say, it was a really great read. I think that anyone in the creative industry could learn from it, whether you are a logo designer, web or graphic designer, copywriter, photographer, whatever, there is something for everyone to take away to make them better at what they do.
The first three chapters which fall under the title ‘The Importance of Brand Identity’ are obviously completely focussed on branding and logo design, however, chapters four onwards could actually be applied to many creative industries and this is why I think that it’s an essential read for anyone starting up in business. In fact, I’d even go as far as to say that even the most established freelancers could gain from it…
One of my pet hates is when designers preview the websites they’re working on as an emailed .jpg, rather than as an HTML file within the browser (which usually results in it being printed by the client). A design looks completely different when it’s printed out to how it does on the screen – not only are you printing a 72dpi / RGB design, but a printer renders text and images completely differently to a monitor. A website is a piece of interactive digital artwork and so should be shown in this way, even in the first stages of it’s development. Seeing as though 1024 x 768 is still the most popular screen size, when presenting your designs you should obviously make sure they work at this resolution, but by putting your design in a HTML file you are able to present it in any number of resolutions – Go on, impress your client by going that little step further and help them see that their site will look different, but just as great, on their computer compared to your 27″ iMac! ;-)
Convert Your Non-Purchasers To Purchasers With Great Email Marketing
Getting your non-purchasers to buy from your email can sometimes prove to be challenging – you may have a lot less information gathered on them, you may not know who has and hasn’t purchased, or the recipients may simply not be interested in purchasing. To know is to understand, and although you may not have a magic ball to predict your non-purchasers’ behaviour, there are a few tricks to improving your non-purchaser conversion rate.
First, segment your list
Splitting up your purchasers and non-purchasers is one of the easiest list segmentations you can do. By separating your lists, you can begin to monitor how each group behaves like for like.
In the world of email marketing, I think it’s fair to say, that far too many people fail to take into consideration the importance of good design and perfect cross-compatibility within email clients. I receive emails which ‘break’ in my chosen client, or have missing links much too frequently – a bad email has exactly the same impact as any other bad marketing; it lowers the values of that company in the eyes of the recipient.
A friend of mine started this blog recently titled Email Fail which perfectly illustrates the lack of attention-to-detail in this area.
In this post I’m not going to do a step-by-step guide to creating an email from scratch (it assumes you already have basic knowledge), instead I will give you a few pointers to overcome some of the most common and annoying problems that you face when designing and building for the most popular clients: Hotmail, Gmail, and Outlook 2007.
Before we get started I’ll quickly outline the problems that each one of these clients cause:
Hotmail (or Windows Live as it’s now known) frequently ‘breaks’ the layout of image heavy emails, misaligning table cells and causing big gaps all over the place.
Gmail insists on removing all CSS from the <head> and hence you cannot style a:hover or anything similar. (Now as far as I know there isn’t actually a way to stop this, you simply have to cater for it).
Finally, Outlook 2007 ignores various styles such as line-height and uses the Microsoft Word rendering engine, rather than IE or any other option that might be considered logical.
There are many things that must be considered when creating a logo. Whether it is for yourself, or a client, there are key steps that you need to take in order to get the most out of your design.
The purpose of a logo is to represent the company that it stands for. In many respects, the logo becomes the ‘face’ of that company, and thus it must tell you all about that company, and give off the right impression, without actually explaining anything at all.
The best logos are simple, memorable, smart, and timeless. I especially like logos with hidden images or messages. They always add another element of interest once you have discovered them and provide a talking point among prospective customers.
Below are my 6 tips on how to create the perfect logo:
Step 1: Talk to the client
You need to find out about the company that you are designing for. Their motives, their aspirations, their operations, goals, competition, target audience, and overall, what type of image they would like to portray.
On top of this you need to know about their existing brand, their brand colours (if they have any), their strap-line and if they have any specific fonts that they use. Once you have collected all of this information you can start drawing!
Step 2: Sketching your ideas
The vast majority of the best logo designers out there start off with a trusty pencil and paper. In my opinion nothing can beat drawing out your ideas first. It’s much less restricting that beginning work on your computer and it’s much quicker too! It allows you to get all of your thoughts down, whether good or bad, and no matter where you are, if you suddenly get a flash of inspiration there’s no stopping you. Sometimes I’ll even draw a couple of scribbles while I’m with the client if ideas pop into my head!
Here are some of the sketches from one of the latest logos that I’ve worked on. It’s for a company called Muddy Faces and I’ll be using this as an example for the rest of this article so that you’ve got something to relate to…
Based on all of the information that I had gathered from the client, I managed to come up with several pages of very rough sketches in only an hour or two. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, or draw something that might not be very good – at least half of my sketches were terrible! You can’t fail at this, and if you really are that self conscious, just hide your sketchbook so no one will ever see!
Make Your Images Curl Off The Page : Photoshop Tutorial
In this quick and easy tutorial I will show you how to create the ‘lifting corner’ effect that you can see in other areas of this website in 10 simple steps.
It’s really easy so even beginners can do it, and it adds a nice effect that’s a bit different from your standard Drop Shaddow or Outer Glow solutions to making images stand out.
Create a new document in the size that you want, remembering that the final area of the image will need to be about 10px from the bottom. For this example I will be using a document size of 250 x 250px.
Open your selected image, Select All (cmd + A / ctrl + A), select your new document, and paste it inside (cmd + v / ctrl + v).