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

UPDATE: Now avaialble in the Amazon Kindle store!

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 easy-but-effective activities and worksheets to make your branding more targeted and effective.

Order your copy of A to Z of Branding for $2.99

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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February 10, 2017

10-Minute Marketing: Survey your clients

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

10-Minute Marketing: Survey your clients

How often do you ask your clients or supporters questions? I know how easy it is to get caught up in projects, but if you stop to ask questions it can offer insight into how you can enhance your projects and relationships.

Here are a few questions you can ask your clients:

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

To get your answers, you can simply call or email them, or send out a short survey (I recommend SurveyMonkey or Typeform). I also like to keep a running list of client inquires or pain points in Evernote so that I can refer to it them often.

This week’s 10-Minute Marketing task:

Prepare a client survey or simple email with a few questions.

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

 

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January 13, 2017

2016: a year to REGROUP

Filed under: Featured Design Project — lidia @ 1:00 pm

2016 was a great year for Lidia Varesco Design—both for my personal goal of continuing to grow my design studio, as well as my professional goal of helping as many organizations as possible share their story and mission.

For the last few years, I’ve chosen a word to set the tone for the year. Last year’s word was REGROUP. After my kids were born, it took some time to adjust to my new life as a mom in business—and admittedly it was sometimes difficult to juggle it all. But last year I made an intention to REGROUP and get my business back on track.

Below are a few highlights from 2016, click on each to learn more.

2016 Year in Review

10 new clients   1 podcast   10 email newsletters
judged communications awards   published 57 blog posts   exhibited at nonprofit symposium
10-Minute Marketing series on Faceebook Live   36 Biz Mama Interviews   #the100dayproject art journal

I’m grateful to everyone who has provided work, support, inspiration, opportunities—or just an ear to listen. Here’s to a great 2017!

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