October 22, 2014

Feeling stock photo research overload? Try this…

Filed under: Design & Art — Tags: , , , — lidia @ 4:23 pm

Anyone who has researched stock photography knows that it can be really time-consuming—not to mention, mind-numbing. Here are a few expert tips to make the search go smoother and faster:

  1. stock photo - orange orchids

    iStock #2734373

    Know what you’re looking for: make sure you specify if you are looking for royalty-free or rights-managed* BEFORE you find that perfect image

  2. Start specific: instead of “family”, search “mother and daughter”
  3. Specify a wide age range: age specifications can vary based on photographer or website—use a somewhat wide range (and be prepared to be shocked by what is considered “elderly”)
  4. Pair them up: when searching people photos, pair it with an activity (biking, reading, canoeing) or place (park, lake, mountains) to narrow the choices
  5. Go with what’s popular: checking the “Most Popular” box usually gets you the best images first
  6. Step away from the computer: when you start to feel stock photo overload, stop and clear your head. Or close the search window and start from scratch.

*Royalty-free (RF) = you pay once for unlimited usage (subject to the stock house’s agreement). Rights-managed (RM) = you pay based on specific usage rights (timeframe, usage types, number of pieces printed). Rights-managed images are a good choice if an original or exclusive image is needed.

Need stock photo website suggestions? Shoot me an email!

March 16, 2011

How to rock your business card

Filed under: Design & Art,Marketing & Promotion — Tags: , , , — lidia @ 9:38 am

some of my favorite biz cards

Recently, there was a segment on CBS News about the importance of business cards. It got me thinking: what makes a business card effective?

I host networking events, so I see a lot of business cards (not to mention designing quite a few for my own clients). I’ve noticed that some of them just naturally stand out from the others. So, what makes a business card rise to the top of the stack?

Qualities of an effective business card

  1. It’s unique and memorable. Whether expressed through format (size, shape, folds), paper stock (heavy, textured, plastic, wood) or design, a memorable business card will stay in your recipient’s mind—and on their desk.
  2. The contact info is clear and complete. Ever received a card without an address or URL? It’s frustrating—and makes you less likely to keep that company in mind. Make sure your business card includes the basics: name, address, phone/fax number, email, URL. Then consider adding “extras”: twitter username, blog URL, hours of operation, product offerings
  3. It expresses your business. Incorporate an aspect of your business or personality into the card: if you’re a home builder, print your card on wood. If you sell a product, include a photo of it. Remember: this little piece of paper is selling for you long after you’ve walked away—so make the space count.
  4. It doesn’t overwhelm the recipient. Nowadays, many of us wear multiple hats—but don’t cram everything onto a 2″ x 3-1/2″ card. Consider creating a second business card for your ancillary business offerings.
  5. It’s well-designed and thought-out. A good business card—just like a good business—is not thrown together quickly, but thoughtfully considered, planned and executed. Need help? Talk to a graphic designer experienced with branding and identity (and I just happen to know one!)

View the CBS news segment “The Business of Designing Business Cards” here.

Seen examples of effective business cards? Thoughts about business cards in general? Share them in the comments!