Category Archives: Design Tips

When it comes to copywriting….The creative process starts in marketing.

Start by answering the question, “What am I selling?”

You need to first:

  • Learn everything you can about your product and/or service.
    • What does it do
    • How does it function
    • What problem does it solve
  • Use it (read back issues, take a demo, see how easy it really is, check out the competition).
  • Talk to current or past buyers, subscribers, donors and/or members
  • Talk with telesales, service, tech-support reps
  • Analyze: why and how is this going to help me? What problem is it going to solve?

 

Project into the mind of the user what the experience will be like with your product!

The importance of Benefits….

The more you talk about how your company, product or service will improve the life of your customer (“you” copy), the higher the response.

….vs. Features

The more you talk about the company, the product, the service (“we” copy), the lower the response.

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There’s an elephant in the room…and by elephant I mean your website.

I was recently looking through many of the non-profit industries websites online. Just a random google search of about 200 sites. What I found was pretty disturbing. Of the roughly 200 sites I viewed I found only two that were designed well and had content that even applied to the services they were intending to push out. So what’s up with that? Do they not notice…that big elephant? If your in the non-profit industry and your website isn’t bringing in donors, then what is the point?

When you think about what type of content to put on a non-profit website, first consider this:

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Your location can be pinpointed by what photo you post on the internet

Did that title scare you? I know when I first found out this I was very worried. I mean…who doesn’t post photo’s online to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and any other social media outlet? I know I do. I love sharing my day with friends. Well I got an email last week that had this little newsclip in it, watch it by clicking here..In the clip they say uploading photo’s to the internet can be a ROADMAP to your location. My first thought was this is a hoax…So I investigated further by contacting someone who I deem as the expert in everything technical…My sister! Guess what she had to say? Continue reading

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Filed under Design Tips, Facebook, Photoshop CS5, Uncategorized

Facebook…for developers

Want to know about all the changes that Facebook is constantly making? Here is a great link that will keep you updated.

http://developers.facebook.com/roadmap

The link includes box sizes, iframes, and more. Have fun!

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Camera Raw – Adobe Photoshop CS5 makes me wanna dance!

How many of you have ever wanted to do some cool editing of photo’s like the professionals do? Well, Adobe CS5 has given us the tools to do it without all the techy stuff! And OOOO EEMM GEEE it is so cool, you are going to want to keep this such a secret! You know how I am though, I love giving as much information away to my readers as possible. So when I saw this one, I had to post up right away. Okay, here’s how it works. Open up your version of Adobe Photoshop CS5. Continue reading

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Filed under Adobe, Design Tips, Photoshop CS3, Photoshop CS5, Uncategorized

Creating a Mask in Adobe Illustrator CS3 or CS5

Masking lets you create a stencil effect. You can cover an object with a masking object, so that the image only looks through the shape of the masked item. You can have many paths as masks and can have multiple masks on a page, although, multiple or complex masks could cause printing problems.

Making a mask:

Draw the item you want to mask

Now place on top of these objects your masking object (or mask)

Select both the objects and the mask.

Go to the Object menu and choose Clipping Masks, Make:

You can use your selection tools to move your mask or the objects around and change how the mask looks.

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Job hunt got you down? Try a new resume design

It may sound crazy, but sometimes when you feel that you have done all you can do, as far as finding a new job, you’ve got to try something different. That something, may be to simply have your resume professionally designed. Some people can do this themselves, and some may need to hire someone, or ask a good friend in the design industry to help them out. With the economy at such a volatile level lately, you may not have the funds available to get a swift design done.

So what kind of designs are Human Resource departments interested in? Well, that depends on Continue reading

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Twitter background tips for business

If you are trying to create a Twitter background for your business, then there is help! You can hire me! Just kidding. As much as I would LOVE your business, it’s really not that difficult. I have given steps in previous posts, but I keep getting folks asking me for more tips. So here you go guys:

  1. If you have a website, you need to make sure the basic design of that site is followed through on your Twitter background before you even think about starting. (remember, consistency is key)
  2. It’s fairly important to have a good photo editing or paint type of software. I use Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, but any will do such as Corel, Paintshop Pro, etc. I have even heard of people using Paint (yes, the free thing that you get with windows!).
  3. You’ll want to keep the design easy enough to understand what it is you do or what your product is by just glancing at the page. The same rules apply on Twitter as they do on a website. You’ve got about 4 seconds to hold a persons attention before they’ll move on. So, be clear on what your purpose is.
  4. Use a photo of yourself, your business, or your products within the design. People on Twitter have gotten “hip” to spam, and we know that if there isn’t any photo of yourself..well…you’re probably spam. So if you wonder why folks aren’t following you back, try adding a photo..if it works, leave me a comment please.
  5. If your business is to sell apples, then SAY THAT! Don’t have a design with hearts and balloons. Remember, you’ve only got 4 seconds, use them wisely.

If you’re still having trouble, you may want to consider hiring someone who can lay your page out for you. Keep in mind the prices can range from $20 – $200. But what I always say is you get what you pay for, however, if you can find the right starving artist…you might just end up with some of the best designs you ever saw! (No, THAT is not a shameless plug for me!) If you need some inspiration, visit my portfolio and feel free to be “inspired!”

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Filed under Design Tips, Internet Marketing, Twitter

How to get people to your website…and keep them there!

When it comes to a website, sometimes the hardes part is not how to get them there, but how to keep them on your site longer than 2 minutes. Well, for me anyway. So, I thought I would share some techniques that have worked for me.

First things first
Your content should be the first thing you consider during a redesign. You need to make sure that you CALL THINGS WHAT THEY ARE!! Don’t use words like “surrogated-liner impact sealer” when its really just a door knob. If a search engine is trying to help a potential customer of yours find a door knob…do you think they will know your Continue reading

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Creating 3D Type in Adobe Illustrator

On a new document type your text. Select the type with the Direct Selection tool (this is the second arrow on the pallet over on the left hand side with the arrow tip filled in white). Go to Effect, 3D, Extrude & Bevel. Check the preview box and move that big box around. You’ll be able to see how your text will look without accepting the changes this way. Choose a custom color and you have just created your Custom 3D Text! See examples below:

Click to enlarge

And here is the final(Click to enlarge)

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