Tag Archive: web design


Branding is a complex process that involves a number of people and trial and error.  However if you are a small business start up you likely do not have funds to hire professional branding firms or to undertake extensive market research.

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Techsnoop is a comic geek among other things.  Justice League, Superman, Iron Man and Avengers are among my very favorites.  So, you may imagine that this is a bonzai summer for me and other comic, sci-fi, and action geeks.  With the advent of Avengers, Prometheus, Battleship, Spiderman, Batman, and MIB3, this will be one busy box office season.  Techsnoop cautions to go easy on the popcorn, pop and nachos so as not to end the summer with “movie gut”.

Tony-AvengersAvengers not only set some box office milestones, but one of the lead characters has proven to be a great story of rising from the ashes.  Mr. Downey is a classic case of learning life lessons from comic characters.  Robert Downey, Jr. was once an unemployable has been.  But due to hard work and taking necessary small steps toward success, he became not only a superstar, but a great ensemble actor.  He works well alone and in teams.

How many designers and developers can say that?  Achieving such versatility brings success in any field and requires the incorporation of many “soft” skills that technical experts often do not value.  Teamwork (Justice League, Avengers), attention to detail (Batman) and ability to meet deadlines are critical skills for entrepreneurs.  Being able to network and describe in non-tech language (Spiderman) what you can bring to a client is what brings in cash for your business.  Techsnoop is convinced that the great effects and artwork achieved in Avengers movie did not happen with designers and techs coming in “whenever” and zoning out in meetings.

Design is hard work and continuous education on the latest technology and techniques.  One small image can take days to create with the right mood, lighting and effects to fit the scope of the project.  This is not done by slackers.  Designers may be creatives, but we are creatives on a deadline and with tight budgets.  The trade off for flexible hours and working in jeans is being able to deliver high-quality product on demand and in budget.

Anyone who doesn’t take designers seriously should take a moment and try to create just one of the thousands of images from any hit movie.  Let me know how easy that is for you.

Designers and comic geeks unite, our superheros have taught us well so let’s “Assemble”.

If editing hair in Photoshop gives you fits, take a look at this use of the refine edge tool.  Many thanks to LordReserei01 for the help.

Take a little time this weekend to work on your craft and also view the Supermoon and meteor shower.

Happy Designing!

Design Greatness

Smutty WorksResponsive, HTML5, CSS3, mobile-optimized.  If these terms mean nothing to you, you must not be a web designer.  If you are a web designer today is a fantastic day to start logging resources.

If you have not bookmarked the Unstoppable Robot Ninja, go do it now!  Brilliant, easy reading details for getting your sites optimized for responsive design.  Another great resource is Web Designer Wall.  This site provides freebies and great tutorials to get you kick-started in leveling up your designs.  And here is a Smutty approved site; Cats Who Code.  This is a must read for anyone who dreams of being a designer or developer.

And the ultimate must-have for responsive design; a FREE responsive slider.  Many thanks to Smashing Mag for coming through as usual.

Need to create a WordPress site, but don’t know how?  Visit ThemePURE, a great site with low cost templates for WordPress designs.

Once you have your responsive design created, test it out at responsive px.  Make sizing adjustments accordingly and publish!

Network with great people like my Cybermap.  And if you need inspiration on starting a freelance design business, click here.  The story will inspire you to get up and get started now.  If not now, when?

Techsnoop wishes you great design.

skylineGood Morning!  Ready to roar into 2012?  Well, if you’re looking to start or increase a small business for the New Year, here are some great tools.  Better, some are FREE!

Yep, that’s right.  You can still get help for your design or development business for free.

First up, GetJar.  A great collection of apps for your Android devices that are always free.  Some are normally paid apps, so before buying, check GetJar and find out if you can save a few bucks.

Next, Web Designer Depot, a great blog site with tons of free brushes, templates, fonts and other tools necessary to any Graphic Designer.  They are launching a new feature called Zero Bundle soon, so get to their site and sign up quick!

Site Grinder is not a completely free service, but they do have a 30 day free trial that is most worth checking out.  This is a plug in for Photoshop that automates creating your web pages.  Increase productivity and make money for 2012!

Then there is Template Monster.  While many of their templates are paid, they feature free ones all the time.  They also offer blogs and tutorials for free to get your skills polished up.  And if you’re a seasoned developer, you can sign up and sell some of your own templates and make some merry New Year cash.

Finally, there is good old DKemp Designs where tips and freebies are listed every day.  If you appreciate the help, donate $1-100 to keep the site going.

Have a Very Productive New Year!

No matter what business area you are in, you need a website.  Web presence makes your business larger and global immediately, for a relatively small cost.  Factors to consider are cost to build and set up, hosting fees and maintenance of the site.  Maintenance is the area least considered by small businesses.  Everyone knows that Google analytics exist, but few understand that fresh and updated content factor into your search rankings.

If your business is very small and service oriented, you may make do with one of the free template sites until you can afford a web designer.  Keep in mind that you won’t be able to develop a “brand” look with this, but it can quickly get you up and running so that you can market yourself.

Next, learn how to use social media for your business exposure.  If y0u have a Facebook page, you will need a new one for your business with only business related p0sts and commentary.  Invite your friends and family to “like” your page, but hide their posts unless they are responding to your business comments.

Find meaningful tips and content to share on Facebook and Twitter.  There is a wealth of information on optimizing your social media.  Google “how to use Twitter” and see how many listings come up.  Search the Twitter listings by tag or topic and find specialists in your business area.  Follow them, converse with them and mention them.  You will gain knowledge and followers.

Part 3 coming soon.  Missed part one?  Find it here.

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