April 5, 2017

A to Z of Design: D is for DPI

Filed under: Design & Art — Tags: , — lidia @ 10:38 pm

D is for DPI

DPI (or dots per inch) is a way to measure the resolution of a printed digital image. The higher the DPI, the higher the detail and quality of an image. For most print projects, 300 DPI is optimal.

When an image is enlarged, its DPI and resolution become reduced so it’s best to use an image that is 300 DPI at actual size or larger than it will be used. This also means that you can’t “size up” or take an image of lower quality, say 150 DPI, and make it 300 DPI. (Note: vector images don’t apply to these rules as they can be enlarged without losing quality.)

To learn more, read Creative Bloq’s post, The ultimate guide to image resolution.

See all of the A to Z of Design posts here.

April 4, 2017

A to Z of Design: C is for Color

Filed under: Design & Art — Tags: , , , , , — lidia @ 10:11 pm

C is for color

Designers use a variety of color systems, based on the project’s needs and goals.

CMYK is a color system in which colors are created using a combination of cyan (C), magenta (M), yellow (Y) and black (K) inks. CMYK is also referred to as four-color process printing.

PMS (Pantone Matching System) is a standardized color system in which each ink color is assigned a number, i.e. PMS 179. This allows print vendors to assure color accuracy. PMS colors are often used for branding projects (usually 1 or 2 colors) in which color match is crucial. PMS colors are also called spot colors.

RGB (red, green, blue) is a color system used by computer monitors and video screens. RGB colors are difficult to match as brightness and quality can vary by monitor.

Hex is a six-digit color system used for web applications (i.e. HTML and CSS). Colors are specified like this: #CD5C5C.

See all of the A to Z of Design posts here.

April 3, 2017

A to Z of Design: B is for Bleed

Filed under: Design peek — lidia @ 7:21 pm

A to Z of Design: B is for Bleed

If a design prints to the edge of the paper, it must be extended slightly past the page—this is called bleed. A standard bleed is 1/8–¼” past the actual page size (also called trim size) but varies by print vendor. A design with bleed is printed on a larger sheet of paper and trimmed to the correct size.

See all of the A to Z of Design posts here.

A to Z of Design: A is for Alignment

Filed under: Design & Art,Uncategorized — Tags: , , — lidia @ 5:07 pm

A to Z of Design: A is for Alignment

Alignment is the positioning of text, images or design elements in a layout.

Items can be left-aligned (also called flush left), right-aligned (flush right), centered or justified (when text aligns on both left and right edges).

Justified text can cause strange gaps, so extra attention must be given to line breaks and spacing.

See all of the A to Z of Design posts here.

April 1, 2017

A to Z of Design: a daily blogging challenge [intro]

Filed under: Design & Art — lidia @ 5:49 pm

Today is the first day of the 2017 Blogging from A to Z Challenge, a daily blog challenge I’ve been participating in for the last three years. (See my A to Z of Being a Mom in Business and A to Z of Branding)

This year’s topic is A to Z of Design, basic design terminology that will come in handy if you work with graphic designers.

Follow along here during the month of April or on twitter at #atozdesign

See all of the A to Z of Design posts here.

March 15, 2017

RECAP: SheSays Chicago’s International Women’s Day panel discussion

Filed under: Creativity — lidia @ 3:16 pm

SheSays Chicago's International Women's Day

Last week, I attended SheSays Chicago’s International Women’s Day panel discussion at Leo Burnett. It was a lively discussion on creating a more gender-inclusive world, filled with inspiration and humor.

Below are a few top quotes from the panelists and audience members:

If we apply innovation and startup principles, we can create solutions to our problems.

Keeping it inside yourself, not moving forward, is he problem. 

I want to get to the point where we’re not criticized for the choices me make.

Karen Gordon, Founder, Chief Design Facilitator, WE Design Think

 

You can balance being who you are, but remind yourself of your intention.

Be opinionated when you need to. 

–Pooka Merai, Design Strategist, Salesforce
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It would be hard to do a day without women because women can’t NOT do.

There’s a business cost when you don’t bring your whole self to the table.

We show up not just for ourselves but for he thousands of other women behind us. 

My goal is to help all these guys become advocates for women.

Sandee Kastrul, President and Co-Founder, I.c. stars

 

It’s important that [men] are actively involved in the conversation and listening. We don’t always know what we’re doing. 

Britt Nolan, CCO, Leo Burnett

 

Leaders who can balance EQ and IQ with loving kindness will succeed, whether male or female.

Andrew Swinand, CEO, Leo Burnett
@swinand

At the end of the event, there was a challenge presented to all of us to spend more time mentoring other women. 

How will you #BeBoldforChange?

February 28, 2017

What the kerning? Why spacing matters.

Filed under: Design & Art — Tags: , , , , — lidia @ 3:07 pm

What is kerning and why does it matter? Kerning is the process of adjusting the space between characters to make it more visually-pleasing. More of an art than science, it makes a typographic design look more professional and polished.

Watch this 45-second video and see why kerning matters.

February 25, 2017

A to Z of Branding: a guide for nonprofits and other small organizations

Filed under: Branding — lidia @ 1:42 pm

A to Z of Branding book

AVAILABLE MARCH 1

A to Z of Branding is an easy-to-understand guide for nonprofits, associations, entrepreneurs and other small organizations who need to improve their branding. The book features the ABC s of branding, along with simple activities and worksheets to make your branding more targeted and effective.

Get on my email list to be the first to get a copy!

February 17, 2017

10-Minute Marketing: Update your LinkedIn profile

Filed under: 10-Minute Marketing — Tags: , , — lidia @ 10:00 am

10 Minute Marketing_update your linkedin profile

Many of us probably haven’t looked at our LinkedIn profile since we created it. However since its gain in popularity, it’s a good idea to get reacquainted with LinkedIn and spruce up your profile.

A few things to keep an eye out for:

  • Headline: Does it accurately state what you do? (keep relevant keywords in mind)
  • Skills: Can you add or delete any? (again, keeping keywords in mind)
  • Headshot: Do you have one? Should it be updated?
  • Posts: Have you written a recent blog post that your network would be interested in? Here’s how to publish it on your LinkedIn profile.
  • Summary: Does it speak to your target audience and how you can help them? Should you update your work samples?
  • Recommendations: Are they recent? If not, reach out to recent clients for recommendations. Here’s a how-to.
  • Organizations: Update to include new memberships or delete old ones.
  • Groups: Delete those that are no longer of interest or relevant.

This week’s 10-Minute Marketing task:

Tidy up your LinkedIn profile.

10-Minute Marketing is a weekly series featuring short, easy-to-accomplish marketing tasks. Follow along with past posts here.

February 16, 2017

If you don’t ask, you won’t know

Filed under: Client Communication — Tags: , , , — lidia @ 12:21 pm

If you don’t ask, you won’t know

Recently, my 5 year-old was dressing in short-sleeve shirts, even though it was cold outside. Day after day, this kept happening until I finally asked: “Why don’t you put on a long-sleeve shirt?” And he responded: “Because I can’t reach them in my closet.” Problem solved, all because I asked.

When is the last time you asked your clients what’s on their mind? The answers may be simple but powerful. By taking the time to reach out, it shows that you care about what they think. Plus, hearing their thoughts will offer insight into how to make your projects—and working relationship—better.

What should I ask?

I recommend starting with a few simple questions like:

  • What are you struggling with right now?
  • How can I help you?
  • How can we improve our working relationship?
  • What else can I help you with?

Once you start the conversation, more questions (and answers) will inevitably come to the surface. It’s a good idea to keep these notes with your client project files for future reference.

5 ways to ask your clients questions:

  1. Call them (have a few questions ready)
  2. Invite them for coffee
  3. Email a few questions
  4. Send a client survey (I like SurveyMonkey or Typeform).
  5. Check past emails for questions they have asked

I recommend starting a file to keep track of the questions clients often ask of you for easy reference (I use Evernote).

Need some help brainstorming questions to ask your clients? Let’s chat!

 

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