Monthly Archives: April 2012

Top Tips For Naming Your Business

Deciding on a good brand name for your business is imperative when starting up your business. The best brand name is the one that can travel around the world easily and without any language or trade names problems. You need to choose a name which is broad enough to give your business enough room to grow and expand. And most importantly a brand name should convey you business message is an understandable and clear way.

So here are some great tips to keep in mind when naming your business or product or service.

Make it easy to spell

Ideally your name should only need to be spelt once to a new client. Names that are difficult to spell should be avoided especially when you communicate with clients. Clients may mistype when searching, emailing or worse, recommending you. Don’t frustrate your client by spelling your business name in an unusual and weird way just because the URL is available.

Make it easy to pronounce

A name that is easy to pronounce is inherently more memorable and your clients won’t feel like they are saying it wrong when they recommend you. So make your name easy to say.

Relevant domain name

Since the website element is so important for marketing and branding, make sure you can find a relevant domain name before deciding on a business name. While you don’t need anything extravagant, it should still be related and reasonably short.

Reasonably unique

The less common a brand name the better. The whole point of a brand is to stand out from the crowd and become recognizable. Before making your final decision, search for similar business names in your industry and or profession. If another business has a similar or identical name, you may want […]

The Best Graphic Design Tutorials

Whether you’re an experienced professional graphic designer or just beginning your way into the industry, tutorials are always a great way to raise your intellect. Photoshop and other software knowledge is something you will definitely need to know if you plan on making it big. One of the easiest ways to get started with learning new graphic design tricks and tips is to follow online guides and graphic design tutorials.

Here are a few of our favorite sites that the tutorials are easy to follow and provide both basic and advance skills for the designer in you. Hopefully they help to inspire and better yet, help build your design skills!

Lynda.com

The lynda.com Online Training Library is a educational platform that teaches a growing range of computer skills in video format to members through monthly and annual subscription-based plans. Learn anything from graphic design to web design instantly.

Adobe Layers Tutorials

Layers magazine and their website is overflowing with powerhouse tutorials for Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop, GoLive, Acrobat, After Effects, Premiere Pro, Dreamweaver and Flash – all the secret Adobe techniques that design professionals need to quickly and easily produce dazzling results.

How Magazine

HOW Magazine is a great reference to almost anything you want to know design wise. They also have an online learning program called “How Design University”. HOW U offers in-depth learning opportunities for busy creative professionals, on your own schedule and in a variety of formats including design courses & workshops, Independent Study & DesignCasts.

 

Facebook Timeline Cover Designs that Your Business Needs

You all may be aware of the latest Facebook buzz is all surrounding the new “Timeline” profile designs. Through this feature, Facebook allows its users design and personalize their profile picture, page, and cover photos. This allows people to be creative with their profile Page and  support their brand and spread their business message.

We recently re-designed the Facebook page for a company called “Shelter”, an urban real-estate company. Since his Facebook page reflects his brand is strengthens the credibility of the company, helps drive potential customers, and grows SEO. Check it out here: http://www.sheltertampa.com/

Here are some truly amazing Facebook Cover pictures that I found and the links to check them out.

 http://www.techomag.com/15-cool-facebook-timeline-cover-designs-that-will-blow-your-mind-pics/

http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/creative-facebook-timeline-covers/

http://maheinfo.blogspot.com/2011/12/amazing-facebook-timeline-covers.html

So if you are wanting to grow your business and use your unique Facebook design to lure in new clients than look no further. Moonstruck Marketing Group can give your Facebook page a fresh new look and help you with all your other marketing needs. But in the mean time, here is a Facebook timeline template to guide you in creating your new page.

The Latest Apps for Graphic Designers

Looking for some great new apps to help boost your creativity on the go? Well, we previously posted a blog filled with some of the top apps for the iPhone but with new apps coming out faster and better we wanted to share some of the best of 2012. Check out the apps below that can help any graphic or web designer feel like they have their office in the palm of their hands.

Typography Manual

The Typography Manual has several useful features and resources for designers, including a visual type anatomy glossary, a font size ruler, an em calculator, and enough content to fill a 60-page book. It has all the essentials of a desk reference in a regularly updated pocket resource.

CliqCliq Colors

Colors is an easy-to-use color picker for discovering, converting, and managing colors and palettes. If you’re a designer or developer working with CSS, HTML, Flex, Flash, Objective-C or other media-centric technologies, you’ll spend a good amount of time finding the exact colors you want to use and converting between various scales and formats. With cliqcliq Colors, you can create palettes based on colors you like best and quickly convert between RGB, HSB, and CMYK as well as integer and floating point scales.

ColorToy

The color scheme generator for iPhone and iPod Touch. Whether you’re a web designer, interior decorator, artist or just a lover of colors, ColorToy can help you find your ideal color scheme. This simple, flexible app lets you generate, modify and store complementary color palettes.

Paper Sizes

International Paper Sizes is an ideal resource for looking up a variety of paper standards. It’s ideal for those working in graphic design, illustration, printing, export and packaging.

iBlueSky

iBlueSky is a brainstorming and mind-mapping solution for the iPhone […]

Top Graphic Design Challenges

As a graphic designer, we face challenges with each and every project we deal with. But the true test is how we handle and overcome these challenges. And we all have our pet peeves that goes along with each, like when we’re asked if we can design something in Publisher or Word so it can be edited. Below is a funny list of shared opinions from designers expressing their “graphic pet-peeves”.

Too much text:

If I’m designing a postcard or flyer, more often than not, clients give me way too much text. Four paragraphs of text plus headings, dates and locations cannot fit on a postcard.

Clip Art:

People who use clip art to design logos. Please note that clip art should not be used to design your logo and it should not be designed in Photoshop, Paint, or Word.

Too Much Clutter:

Too often have clients asked me to fill in blank space on a design. White space can add a lot to a design, making it look clean, simple and emphasizing what’s in the white space. By filling it, the design becomes busy and cluttered, and the audience wont know what to look at first.

Bad type-setting:

Widows and orphans–those single words or sentences that end up hanging at the bottom of paragraphs or at the top or bottom of columns of text.

Non-vector logos:

If it’s not a vector that it won’t be easy to edit. Meaning having it re sized, change the color, or modify it in any way will become a challenge. So having a graphic designer create a vector logo will help you with all your marketing materials.

Social Media Giant Facebook Buys Out Instagram

In recent news, the top-dog of social media sites, Facebook, bought out Instagram. And for those who aren’t aware of what Instagram is, it is a fast growing popular mobile phone app that allows users to share and edit photos. So how much did Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg cough up for this deal?? Turns out that $1 billion in cash and stock was the offer on the table.

Even though the amount seems high, Facebook did what most other mega-companies would do if they felt threatened by a smaller company. And Mark Zuckerberg is no fool when it comes to investing in something with a massive number of followers.

However, there is a lot of controversy surrounding the issue.  Many Instagram users had a negative reaction to the news and have even threatened to cancel their accounts. But there are many benefits Instragram now has with its new owners. Facebook has the power and the technology to turn this “13 employee” company into a massive social media giant like itself. The popular app would have faster advancements, rapid updates, new releases such as the new Android and iPad versions, and other improvements.

Whatever happens, Facebook is definitely not treating Instagram in the same manner as its other high-paid purchases.

With a user base rapidly growing with more than 30 million people, Instagram is something to be seriously reckoned with and the changes are about to come.

Need a Social Media Package?

In today’s society almost everyone seems to have access to social media sites. From business executives to grandmothers. Today you can’t even turn on the TV or radio without hearing about Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn and how these sites have altered the way people connect and share information. Many businesses have also joined the trend and participate in social media and even understand the benefits. Are you a small business facing this problem? Look to your local graphic and web designers to help you manage your social media accounts? And better yet, have them create a customized Social Media Package to help your business thrive. Below are a few examples of packages a professional graphic designer can help you with.

 Facebook Packages

Typically Include:

-Facebook Account

-Facebook Fan Page Creation

-Facebook Profile Design

-Facebook Timeline Design

-Facebook Apps Integration

 

Twitter Packages

Typically Include:

Twitter Page Creation

Daily Updates

Twitter Background Design

 

Google+ Packages

Typically Include:

Google+ Page Creation

Daily Updates

 

LinkedIn Packages

Typically Include:

Linked In Account (Personal Profile)

Profile Keyword Optimization

Linkedin Company Page Creation

Great Business Tips for Facebook Success

Facebook is a great way to connect with friends, family, and co-workers around the world. Although it was designed as a top social media site it has become a highly effective business tool.

According to BizBest.com, an estimated 42% of small businesses in the U.S. now have a Facebook page.  And about 70% of small businesses overall plan to use social media this year. It’s great for marketing your products and services, share contacts, and connecting with your customers. Here are some smart ways your business can use Facebook to their advantage.

 

Avoid the “business hours” trap

Most businesses post content to their Facebook pages during the middle of the day (roughly 10 am to 4 pm).  But that’s not when most people are listening. New research shows that businesses posting content to Facebook either before or after those hours get 20% more responses.  Your goal is to have your posts appear at the top of fan news feeds at a time when they are most likely to be looking.  Services such as HootSuite, TweetDeck and others let you schedule your posts to appear whenever you want.  Don’t post just because it fits your own schedule.

 

Day of the week matters

But it’s different for different types of businesses. Saturday is the worst day, followed by Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.  Most content is posted on Mondays, creating more competition and ”noise” to break through. Research conducted by Facebook shows that people are happier on Thursdays and Fridays (you can probably guess why), so engagement rates on those two days are nearly 20% higher overall.

 

Industry matters

Best days to post will also depend on what type of business you have.  For example, weekends are for autos, and peak customer engagement for […]

Top Things To Know About Pinterest

There’s a new web phenomenon going on and it’s all to do with Pinterest. Over 15 million people have signed up for it’s virtual “pinboard” that lets you organize and share all the share-worthy things you find on the web.

Pinterest allows it’s members to use their pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, dress in cute new styles, learn arts and crafts, and cook their favorite recipes. The best part is, you can browse pinboards created by other people with similar interests.

Browsing pinboards is a fun way to discover new things and ideas. Pinterst is especially useful for graphic designers and web designers so they can get inspiration for their next project or site.

Here are a few things you can also find on Pinterst I found from TotalPinterst.com

1. Expert Advice – Pinterest is not just for amateurs. Many professionals have Pinterest boards you can follow for up to date trends and information.

2. Shopping Links – Any pin that has a price in the top left corner will also show on the Gift page for you to buy. You can also click through to the selling site from the pin.

3. Content for Presentations – when preparing a presentation, just enter your topic into Pinterest’s search bar to find a range of photos and links to related information.

4. Traffic – you can find out what content is being pinned from your website by going to http://pinterest.com/source/YourWebsiteAddress. This will help you see what is popular, and help you drive traffic more effectively.

5. Customers – Pinterest is a really effective way of generating traffic to your blog or website. Pinning from your own site enables people to click through. Make sure you have a ‘Follow Me On […]