What is Content Marketing and How To Use It

What Is Content Marketing Content marketing is a type of writing that allows you to gain customers and make more money as a business. It is a way of using content to drive people to your website or make them interested in your products and services. Some companies choose to hire professional writers to do content marketing for them and others are capable of handling this task themselves. Content marketing is an easy and successful way to get your business name out there and get people interested in your company. Why Is It Useful Content marketing is useful because it is simple advertising. People are always looking for information online and if they happen to stumble across information or content that directs them to your website or offers information about your company, they are likely to become interested and willing to learn more. This could also lead to them telling others about your website or business and eventually, you begin to gain more customers as a result of the content marketing reaching so many people. How To Successfully Use Content Marketing The best way to create successful content marketing articles is to give the readers useful information while connecting it to your business, website or company. The content should not only inform the readers, it should explain to them how your products or services can help or benefit them. At the end of your content you should include a link to direct them to your website. When a reader is genuinely interested in what they are reading, they will be anxious to learn more or take action for or against what they read. If you offer a link or a next step, they are likely to click on it. Content marketing doesn’t have to be complicated or confusing and you don’t have to be a professional writer to master it. Focus on providing useful information as well as information about your company and your content marketing will be successful. You may also choose to have someone create the content for you. No matter what you choose, content marketing can help you business grow.

File Extensions…What Do They Mean?

If you are planning to hire a designer to create or plan the layout for your website, you will likely receive many documents and images in a variety of file formats. It is important to know what these formats are and how to use them. Once you understand what each format does and how it can best be used, you will be able to use them to build your website the way you want it. GIF GIF stands for Graphics Interchange Format. These types of files are used for both websites and emails and are able to minimize files, making transfers easier. GIF format can be used for website logos, buttons, banners and clickable icons. EPS EPS stands for Encapsulated Postscript. This format is used for high-resolution images that are can or will be printed. EPS is versatile and can open and edit vector images. It can protect images and but does not require any specific software to open images. AI AI stands for Adobe Illustrator Document. It is a popular image format that is used by many designers and editors. AI is used to create logos and banners and can also be used to create vector images, which are easy to edit. AI is preferred because it is easy to use and is a versatile tool. PNG PNG stands for Portable Network Graphics. These files are fully interactive and often large files. Websites are an example of a PNG format. PNGs can be changed and do not lose their quality because they are low-resolution files. PNG formatted files are not suitable for printing. JPG JPG or JPEG stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group. This format is a popular one and is used for images. The images lose quality as they become smaller, but print well and in high resolution. PDF PDF stands for Portable Document Format. PDFs are used for sharing and viewing rich information from any application. PDFs can be viewed on any computer and by anyone but can also be password protected. PDF documents can also be edited and resent and are a way to exchange information. TIF TIF stands for Tagged Image File. These files are photographs and images and are suitable for printing. TIF files are large files. Trying to understand the many types of file formats and extensions may be confusing, but is simple. Learning how to use these formats will make you a better designer and editor or can help you better understand how your designer creates websites and files.

Effective Resume Design

When it comes to getting hired for a job, most people do everything they can to present themselves properly and show off their skills. Your resume is the best way to do that, but did you know that the design of your resume is just as important as the information it contains. A resume with a good design could help you get a job just like a resume with a bad design could prevent you from getting hired. Readability Does the font and format you have chosen for your resume make it easy to read and appealing to the reader. When someone reads a resume, they almost instantly decide how it makes them feel, sometimes just by looking at it. Your resume should be simple, clean and easy to read. It should make the reader feel relaxed and comfortable and should not require them to work hard to understand it. Information Overload It can be hard to figure out exactly what you should or shouldn’t put on your resume, but too much can be worse than not enough. The reader doesn’t want to feel overwhelmed by the amount of information they read. Your resume should include basic information about your education, experience and goals and highlight some of your skills. Anything else can be discussed during an interview. Keep It Simple You might think that fancy font or those cute images make your resume stand out, but they could get it noticed in all the wrong ways. Instead of decorating your resume, use information and organization to make it stand out and catch the attention of the reader. Fancy fonts, strange formats and images are just confusing and distracting. You have worked hard to gain the education and experience needed for a job. Make sure you resume demonstrates all of your amazing skills and personality, without confusing the reader or make it seem like you are trying to hard. Don’t let your resume design stop you from getting a job. Take your time, proofread and think about the point you are trying to make and get across. Your resume is a way for you to sell yourself.

6 Tips to Design on a Budget

Watching pennies is important for every not-for-profit organization; those that are creative in nature need to be especially vigilant. It can be difficult to create beautiful work when you are working with a tight budget. However, it is not impossible. Keep reading for some tips on how to create beautiful work on a tight budget.

Use free stock photos  Using the best images in an important aspect of creating the perfect design. Although there are many online avenues to stock photos, many of them come with a cost. However, there are many lesser-known free sites as well. These sites have great photos to choose from that don’t cost a dime. Use free fonts  There are as many free fonts available as there are free stock photos. Although it can take some time to look through them all to find the perfect one, it is possible. Borrow from yourself  Do not forget that you are a creative person. If you have already designed something that you really like, reuse it. It is easy to swap out colors, fonts, or make some other minor changes. Once the original design has been repurposed, it is ready to use in another way. Use a template  Using a template is a great way to get started on a project without having to spend any money. Most templates give the user control to change an aspect of it, so creating something completely original by using a template as a base is completely possible. Go for high impact rather than high concept  Don’t forget the standard rule of advertising, “sell the sizzle, not the steak”. Spending an exorbitant amount of time creating designs with lots of ornate flourishes can cost you money in the long run if it doesn’t sell the product. Sticking to the basics and creating simple yet effective designs can save both time and money. Do not try to please everyone  Agreeing to make every tiny change everyone involved with the product asks for costs time and money. When you get into this habit, a project that should have been finished quickly can end up sitting on your desk for weeks. Decide on a design, have it approved (if necessary), and complete it. Not only will you save money, but you will also be happier in the long run. Saving money on design projects ultimately means a not-for-profit will have more money to allocate to other areas of the organization. Creating fabulous designs on a tight budget definitely take some patience and skill. However, making the effort is well worth it.

Guide to Client Pitches

Knowing how to correctly and efficiently pitch your design ideas to clients is an extremely important skill to have. In order to get work (Repeated work, at that), as a designer, you have to be able to get the client to see your vision as you see it and make them fall in love with it, as well. Minimally, it’s necessary to convince a client that your design fulfills their needs and serves their goal better than any other design could. In the interest of moving forward with a client, your pitch must stand out and be persuading. Doing such things as having a thoroughly structured and thought out presentation and extensively researching your client and their needs will get you ahead of the game.  
  1. Have a strong presentation
When delivering a pitch, it is important to have some type of idea about how you will go about presenting it. HOW Design University instructor Douglass Davis has devised a seven-step plan to help with the delivery of the pitch to subtly sell it without it being obvious. Such steps included in Davis’ plan are insight (Share an observation), therefore (Explain your conclusion), concept (Present your idea), execution (Explain how your design will meet your client’s goals), benefit (Explain how your design benefits the client), message (Explain what the consumer gets out of it), and objective (Briefly come back to the client’s goal).  
  1. Know the client
Being that your client is the one who makes the big decision on whether your design fits their goals or not, it is extremely vital to know as much about your client’s needs, wants, and interests as possible. Talk to them about their vision. Check out some of their past projects. Try to get a feel for what your client wants by looking at the project from their perspective. Getting to know more about your client will allow you to tailor your design and pitch to fit their goals accordingly.  
  1. Do your research, extensively
When you present your design idea for the first time, your client will naturally have questions. Even so, it’s key to do your research so well that you answer all of their questions within your presentation or leave your client with a minimal amount of questions to ask. Be the answers man. Ask yourself all the questions your client would ask while researching so you’ll have a solution ready for them. This makes you look efficient and quickly calms any concerns your potential client could have. Not to mention, you’ll increase their confidence in your designs.

Graphic Design: What is Negative Space?

No matter what art form you are working in, the composition of a piece is of utmost importance. Knowing how to properly balance artistic elements to reach a harmonic and satisfying whole is one of the primary challenges of becoming a great artist and producing marketable and engaging works. When creating any composition, the use of negative space will often make or break the piece. Simply put, negative space is the space that surrounds the elements of an image. For example, if you were looking at a painting of column against a white background, the negative space would be the white background. Having the proper amount of negative space, and placing the elements within it appropriately, have a major impact on how a viewer engages with a piece. From corporate logos to high end art, improperly applied negative space will make it difficult for your eyes to focus on the piece as a whole. In films, the use of negative space can be particularly important. As the amount of space kept relatively “empty” in a frame will help guide your eye from one image to the next in a way that helps Hollywood perform its “invisible” continuity editing style. In fact, films can be a great way to see the use of negative space in action when first becoming familiarized with the concept. Negative space not only affects how a viewer will engage visually with a piece, but it can also help in communicating an idea. An off-center element within a negative space, for example, can provide a sense of unbalance or confusion. If you were trying to provide a commentary on the instability of an object, the use of negative space could provide a helpful tool in achieving your goal. Although negative space is more often focused upon in minimalist works and designs, the importance of it extends to every art form, and every piece. It is practically impossible to escape negative space when creating art. From the actual space inside of the canvas or medium, to the location something such as a sculpture may be presented in, the negative space will affect the overall impact a piece has on an audience. Once you begin appreciating what purposefully implemented negative space can accomplish, you will start to gain much more from the objects around you.

Meaning of Color Part 1: Blue

Colors play a big role in how we see the world, not only physically but emotionally as well. Whether you notice it or not, certain colors can affect your mood in certain ways. Some colors might make you feel sad, and others can make you feel excited or even anxious. The interesting thing about colors and emotions is that many colors affect people the same way. . Since colors are so important in our daily lives, it makes sense for businesses to use colors in their advertisements and marketing to evoke feelings and help customers remember logos and brands. All About Blue One of the strongest colors and one that many businesses use in advertising is blue. Blue is a dominant color. When a person sees the color blue that often feel safe, calm, relaxed and secure. Blue is often used in company logos and brands. Blue is a dominant color and is often used to show that a company is reliable, trustworthy and professional. How Colors Affect Us Colors can affect everyone differently, but in many cases they don’t. Most people have the same reactions to certain colors and there is a scientific reason for it. When a person sees the color blue, the body begins to produce chemicals that are soothing or calming. The body literally relaxes, and the person may feel content and safe. This is because so many blue elements in nature are also calming and relaxing. The sky and water are both represented by the color blue and are associated with feeling relaxed and peaceful. How The Color Blue Can Help You If you are looking for a color to add to your business logo, website design, and advertising, think about what you want your customers to think and feel as soon as they see your marketing materials. Most people react to color without even realizing it, so before a customer even reads your materials, he or she has already formed somewhat of an opinion about your brand. By choosing the color blue to represent your company, you are telling your customers that they can be safe and confident with their decision to do business with you. You are telling them to trust you and to relax and allow themselves to be “taken care of” by the company. Color is an important part of our lives. Not only do we enjoy colors, but they can affect how we perceive things. If you want your company or business to be associated in a strong, dependable and professional way, you may want to consider including blue in your logos, brand, website design or marketing materials. How do you feel when you see the color blue?

How do designers pick typefaces?

Designers seem to be able to always choose the perfect font from a huge selection with seemingly no effort or error. Is it creative intuition? Or is there a science behind why it is better to use Arial or Calibri instead of Lucina Handwriting and Comic Sans? The answer is: it is a little of both. A designer likely goes into their field based on their strong sense of creative intuition, and slowly learns that there is, in fact, a theory behind the creation and use of typefaces. Consider Readability Back in the old days when papers were written by hand, it was important for the writer to use a nice, neat handwriting. Just because they might have the ability to pen a great bubble font did not mean that they necessarily should use it. It isn’t much different on the computer. Fonts with lots of sheriffs, blocks, shadows and curls look pretty and artistic, but should be limited to the headers and highlights of any document or web page at most. Professional works should be sans most font quirks, no matter how esthetically pleasing they might be. Fonts’ Contribution to Theme Now that you have limited your palette of potential fonts down to those in the class of Arial, Helvetica and Tahoma, it is time to narrow them a bit more. Uniformity is very important in contributing to a great theme, especially on a blog. While we may not think of the font as much as we think of the color and shape of the decorative images around the border, it is still very important. In fact, most internet pages and documents are primarily made up of words, and having a font that you use consistently can only help your theme become more memorable to readers. A General Tip: If it makes your eyes jump, or if it is difficult to focus on reading a whole line, then it might be a sign to change your typeface. A font with generous spacing between letters and words is better than a narrow font where everything blends together. Overall, if you have found a font that is a little more on the funky side than it is on the traditionally readable side, don’t worry. If you can read it with ease, chances are your readers will, too. The most important thing is to consider the rules and use your gut to make the final decision.

How to deal with the “I don’t like it” statement

The worst words a designer can hear are “I don’t like it.” When a client doesn’t approve of a design or a portion of it, it can be frustrating and disheartening. How you react to the client’s comments can make or break your career and instead of feeling discouraged when a client request a revision or new design, you should learn how to ask for feedback so you can give the client exactly what he wants the next time around. Apologize It’s always a good idea to apologize for the confusion and reassure the client that you want to satisfy their needs and are willing to make changes to the design as needed. The client may be just as frustrated as you, but the reassurance will put them in a better mood and allow them to communicate clearly with you. Request Feedback Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback or direction. As the client what he or she didn’t like about the design, what they would like to see changed or how you can make it better. It may be something small, or you may have to create a new design. Let the client direct you, so you can meet their needs. Don’t be afraid to ask for question or clarification of requests. Your client may think he or she is being clear about their wants and needs, but they can really be making requests that are confusing. When you know exactly what the client wants or needs, you can deliver better work for them. Inform The Client In some cases, the client may not know what they want or need. They may make a request that seems ridiculous to you or that could have negative effects on the message or character of their company. You can always politely question your clients on their requests and redirect them if necessary. If they request a font that you feel is too small or color that you do not think work well together, you may bring up your concerns and present them with other offers. In the end, go with what the client wants. The next time a client tells you he or she does not like a design or an aspect of your design, don’t get discouraged or feel bad. Just find out what you can do to make the design better and learn from your experience and feedback.

Importance Of Visual Content On Social Media Marketing

Social media is one of the most effective and popular ways to market your business. You can reach millions of people on social media networks and over time, build your customer base. Social media is all about communication and visual content. Social media users will determine if they want to read an ad or visit a website based on the images and brand representation in the post. If you are going to use social media as a way to market your brand and grow your business, it is essential that you understand how to use visual content to make your brand more appealing. What Is Personal Branding? Personal branding is a way to present yourself or your company to others. Your personal brand should describe your company and tell prospective customers why you offer certain products or services. A personal brand should show what makes you different from similar companies, the name of your company and an image that represents it well and catchy theme title or byline. Your brand should be recognizable, meaning that when someone sees a certain phrase, color, image or name that they relate it to your company or products. How To Use A Brand As Visual Content On Social Media Before you post your advertisements or links on social media websites, think about how much more appealing and attractive your post will be if they contain images and visual content. Add your personal brand to your posts, and you will not only attract more readers and customers, but you will also make more people aware of your brand. Social media users will soon relate your brand images to the type of content and information you post on the social media sites, and both your brand and your business will grow. If you want your social media audience to engage in your posts and be genuinely interested in the products and services you offer, you have to be able to explain what your company is all about by using your brand and visual content. By combining your personal brand with an image or images that represent your company well, you can create an exciting and appealing ad for your customers that will likely get a lot of clicks, comments, likes and shares across all of the major social media platforms. Get started on your personal brand and visual content right now.
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