SEO Success: Step One is Good Web Design

SEO Success: Step One is Good Web Design

by: Chesa Keane

Creating a welldesigned website is the first step in your internet marketing strategy. Once the website has been created and optimized, there are further techniques to employ that will drive traffic to your website for successful, longterm results. You wouldn’t consider opening a retail store in a major shopping mall without signage and you shouldn’t consider having a nice looking website designed without expanding your web presence in order to be found on the internet. But unless the website is designed correctly to begin with, followon SEO efforts will have limited results at best. The following strategy overview is designed to bring about productive SEO results:

Create an attractive website that is complementary to your company image and provides your targeted audience with information about you, your company and your products and/or services.

Design a website that has a calltoaction in the form of a purchase or providing you a contact, subscription or other commitment from your visitor.

Create a successful marketing arm for your overall business promotion and marketing campaign to promote your business, products and/or services with the many followon strategies that drive traffic to your website.

Become competitive in your industry and marketplace by meeting or exceeding the industry marketing standards and attracting a qualified audience for your products and/or services based on a strong reputation.

Generate and maintain or grow internet traffic to your website resulting in a conversion of traffic into sales of your products and/or services by evolving as your market demands.

This search engine optimization (SEO) strategy is composed of several processes in three stages: 1) Good web design, 2) Attracting attention from search engines and directories, and 3) Creating longterm popularity on the internet. However, it all starts with good web design. Website design is the foundation and beginning of a successful internet marketing strategy. It is true that there are websites on the internet that are unattractive but somehow seem to work. If there are aspects of these websites that work, imagine how well they could do if they simply followed basic design implementation tactics that resulted in a good image as well as simply pushed information out to the viewer.

These basics are essential for Tier 1 success:

Good web design will complement and enhance the company image and offline marketing campaign products creating a corporate branding if done well.

Easy, logical navigation that leads the viewer deeper and deeper into the web of information provided by the website will keep the visitor on your site longer and give you more time to sell your products or services.

Attractive but quickloading graphics that are pleasing to the eye and meaningful to the website will guide the viewer along the route you decide is important for explaining what you offer.

Keyword usage that is search enginefriendly depends on how the keywords are utilized, the placement of the keywords, the frequency of the most important keywords and their relevance to the website.

Website coding that is lean, clean and without errors will keep the search engines happy and your viewer seeing exactly what you intended to offer.

Relevance of content to the theme of the site is essential. Be concise, to the point and focus on your goals. If you have multiple themes and offerings, consider multiple websites to address the different markets, then tie each website back to the others by linking.

Changing content that changes frequently and stays fresh keeps your viewer returning and prevents the search engines from treating your website as if it were stale news. A stale site will be ranked lower by the search engines.

Content is king itกs all about content, content, content. But how that content is presented is what makes the difference.

(c)2005 TAO Consultants, Inc. All rights reserved.

About The Author

Chesa Keane of TAO Consultants has been involved with the internet for 10 years through internet consulting, web development and search engine optimization. Go to for a free Search Engine Optimization Checklist.

This article was posted on September 14

by Chesa Keane

A Crash Course on Graphic Philosophy 101

A Crash Course on Graphic Philosophy 101

by: Lala C. Ballatan

Novice and professional graphic designers, we are aware that you know the basic principles of graphic philosophy. But then, as workers of art – though digital and graphic art already borders in commercial arts, there’s no harm in continuously improving our craft through constant study and practice, is there? Really great graphic designers I know have come to their status because of painstaking application and study of their past works.

We’ll review the theoretical concepts of graphics and graphic forms as a foundation on how we have to go about our graphic designs. To begin with, a graphic form is the shape that embodies a certain idea. We can take a tree and use it as an example. How many ways can we depict a tree? We can depict by a photo of a tree, or the silhouette of a tree, or even its outline. By having these forms that represent a tree, we are therefore conveying the idea of a tree.

A word of caution, though, the effectiveness of which the idea is communicated depends upon many levels of context.

The abstraction of an idea into a flat space, to make it a graphic form, is an integral part of Graphic Design. Usually, the goal is to communicate the idea as clearly as possible. So why not depict the apple as close to reality as possible with a photo? This clearly depicts an apple and leaves no room for misinterpretation. So why not use photos of everything?

The idea is usually not as simple as just an apple. The graphic form is merely a component of an entire design. In a design of a poster for example, the existence of multiple forms and large amounts of text can compete with one another for the reader’s attention. To increase readability, graphic forms are usually simplified into basic shapes, and flattened into a limited amount of color. They are made to work with type more harmoniously and further refined to convey the layers of information with clarity.

The concept of contrast also defines the graphic form of an idea. In a field of 10 squares and 1 triangle, the form that will be noticed is the triangle. A design placed on a wall, on a billboard, or on the internet, are usually lost in a field of other designs. In order to help define your idea over the others, forms that contrast those around it are effective. Basic factors such as typeface, color, scale, and form are elements that can easily help get a design noticed.

The representation of an idea goes beyond its place on the page or its place on a wall. There is the larger context to consider the audience. The ability of the audience to interpret your design is based on the ability of the audience to understand the forms in which an idea is embodied. Preferences of form, and the ability to understand form, can change by age group, location, and through time. We all understand the representation of dollars by a symbol: $. Though symbols universally communicate, they are become ordinary by usage. As the audience becomes visually educated and aware of these forms, the visual language of graphic design expands. However, the evolution of forms must also take place in order to keep interest.

In the overall scheme of things, fresh ideas and interesting graphic forms have always been able to attract attention. New ways of representation strike curiosity. But the goal is to communicate and the form is part and parcel of visual communication.

About The Author

Lala C. Ballatan is a 26 yearold Communication Arts graduate, with a major in Journalism. Right after graduating last 1999, she worked for one year as a clerk then became a Research, Publication and Documentation Program Director at a nongovernment organization, which focuses on the rights, interests and welfare of workers for about four years.

Book reading has always been her greatest passion mysteries, horrors, psychothrillers, historical documentaries and classics. She got hooked into it way back when she was but a shy kid.

Her writing prowess began as early as she was 10 years old in girlish diaries. With writing, she felt freedom – to express her viewpoints and assert it, to bring out all concerns imagined and observed, to bear witness.

For comments and inquiries about the article visit

[email protected]

This article was posted on March 29

by Lala C. Ballatan

Creating A Network That Works

Creating A Network That Works

by: Diane Hughes

Do you ever stand in awe of those people who seem to know everybody and everything? I know I do! Regardless of what you’re looking for, these people have their finger on the pulse of the กNet and know where to find it. Their network of resources and people is incredible! Yours can be, too. Itกs actually very simple to create a network that works to bring you business, offers feedback and provides those resources that we all need to have.
Make A Wish List
The first step in creating a network that works is making a list of what you want. Go ahead, think of the perfect situation where you would have anything you needed at your fingertips. For example, if you have a Web design business you might find it very helpful to create associations with people who offer services that compliment yours. Why? Because if these people are heavily involved with the process of getting a Webbased business up and going, they could send you many leads and that could turn into paying clients.
What else might you want? Perhaps free advertising or publicity to bring more business your way? Sure! Write it down on the wish list.
Making Wishes Come True
Now, the next step is to find the resources you need in order to make those wishes realities. Itกs not as difficult as it sounds. Just expand on your wish list a bit in the following way.
We mentioned needing associations with service providers that compliment our example of Web design. So write down companies that provide: Web hosting, merchant accounts, shopping carts, autoresponders, Internet checks, copywriting, graphic design and scripting/programming.
We also said we needed some advertising or publicity. So add to the list the following: ezine ad swaps, banner ad swaps, local newspapers, local TV and radio stations, Chambers of Commerce.
Finally, itกs time to go to work. The best way to start is to alert your friends and associates of what you are trying to accomplish. Itกs simple to send a quick email that states something to the effect of, กIกm in the process of expanding my resources and find Iกm in need of the following [provide the list]. If you know of anyone who you highly recommend in one of the above areas, please offer them my phone number and email address. I am interested in arranging a joint affiliation with them in order to increase both our businesses.ก
You can also send the same message to any lists or bulletin boards you frequent. Most people are more than happy to refer those they have had pleasant working relationships with.
Final Decisions
Lastly, once you get the results from your search back, contact the ones you feel most comfortable with. Again, honestly explain what you are doing and that you would like to create a joint partnership with them in order to exchange leads, prospects and services.
Even if someone does not suit your needs at the moment, enter them into your database for future reference. I once had a graphic designerกs email address and samples for 6 months before having a need for them. However, because I had already established contact, once my need arose it was smooth sailing!
When you are ready to begin your projects, just contact those on your list who can fill a need. Perhaps you want to advertise your Web design services. You can ask someone in your network (a Web host, a graphic artist, etc.) to participate in joint advertising with you. This will allow you to get excellent exposure for ½ the price because those costs are shared with your กpartnerก.
You can also set up a referral process. I have several arrangements with others in where we exchange referrals. Some do it for a fee, others just do it on a oneforone basis. You and your network member can decide what works best for you.
The results of this simple process are normally tremendous. The majority of small business owners are always looking for ways to expand their businesses. Exchanging leads with one another, creating joint affiliations and bartering are great ways to create a broad network that truly does work!
Copyright 2004 Diane Hughes

About The Author

Diane C. Hughes *

FREE Report: Amazingly Simple (Yet Super Powerful) Ways To Skyrocket Your Sales And Build Your Business Into A Tower of Profits! ==>>

This article was posted on May 31, 2004

by Diane Hughes

Developing a Winning eCommerce Strategy

Developing a Winning eCommerce Strategy

by: Lee Traupel

One bright spot on the economic horizons around the world seems to be continued consumer spending and ecommerce is clearly a part of this, with sales estimated to be in excess of $9.9 billion in the next three months according to ACNielsen. But there is a dark cloud hovering over this sunny ecommerce landscape called poor web site design. Letกs explore some of the reasons why consumers are not reaching for their credit cards after perusing an ecommerce web site.

There is a huge knowledge gap about how the web is really driving online and offline commerce. A recent eCommercePulse survey of more than 33,000 surfers conducted by Nielsen/Net ratings and Harris Interactive indicates ecommerce sites are driving more purchases offline (phone, catalogue, retail store sales) than online. Many consumers are using the web to effortlessly compare features and pricing, then calling the company or visiting their local retail store to make a purchase. Clearly many companies need to factor this information in when analyzing their online and offline marketing expenditures and related ROI.

According to a recent Zona Research and Keynote Systems Report released earlier this summer, over $25 Billion (USD) was lost in ecommerce due to users abandoning the web site prior to a purchase being made or during the process. The users just gave up because the load times (the amount of time it takes a page to be displayed in a browser) were painfully slow. Todayกs online shoppers aren’t a real patient group; they want information presented in 1218 seconds or they are off to another site that works.

Unfortunately, many firms have allocated a disproportionate amount of resources for advertising and not enough on good web site design and backend infrastructure. Itกs critical to make the market aware of a site, but if the potential customers are not presented with the right navigation and menus (read information architecture), they will not buy. Case in point: according to recent Dataquest surveys (and others), between 2040% of most users don’t purchase because they can’t figure out how to easily move around the web site.

Many firms fail to properly integrate their ecommerce components with the overall site design. The inhouse developers or the outside design firm concentrate on the sexy parts of the web site design process (the graphics, branding, look and feel) and only focus on the ecommerce process after the primary web site design is completed, making ecommerce an afterthought.

A large number of ecommerce web sites don’t even list a phone number, arbitrarily forcing people to contact the company electronically, This is a real problem, as many people don’t want to use email or forms as their primary means of communicating. They want the immediacy of the telephone.

Itกs very surprising, but approximately 30% of ecommerce sites don’t have a search capability that actually works. In many cases it just returns gobblygook. This is a real irritant for many online shoppers who want to find goods and services quickly and efficiently. The need for speed should be the ecommerce merchantกs marketing mantra and a good search capability gives users a way to quickly find products.

One of the most important parts of any web site is the home or index page, as it aggregates the design elements and information architecture. So many index pages are cluttered and poorly designed, loaded with poor graphics, bad menu structures, oddball words, or my absolute least favorite … 3060 second Flash animation sequences which force the user to sit and stare at a blank screen while the animation loads.

Privacy statements are about as exciting as filing taxes (unless you know you’re getting a refund). They are out of necessity filled with legal terminology that needs to be addressed succinctly and in a way that makes a consumer feel comfortable about doing business with an ecommerce web site. Unfortunately, many ecommerce web site privacy statements look like an afterthought, or are so กattorney drivenก (three pages who has time to read this?) that people are turned off by them. Itกs very important that a privacy statement be a compromise document brokered between legal and marketing.

We are a full service ad agency so I don’t mind shooting arrows in the direction of my peers. Too much attention is being placed on web site advertising metrics (clickthrough rates, certified traffic to substantiate ad rates, etc.) and not enough on how people find and use an ecommerce web site. The industry standard web site analysis tool is Web Trends, but one of the least understood aspects of this product is tracking how people find and move around a web site via reports which can be pulled from the server log files; i.e., where did the visitors come from, what pages do they visit, how long do they stay, what are their traffic patterns, etc.? eCommerce companies should be analyzing these กdigital customer tracksก to better understand how to improve their frontend marketing processes and backend web site design.

About The Author

Lee Traupel has 20 plus years of business development and marketing experience he is the founder of Intelective Communications, Inc.,, a resultsdriven marketing services company providing proprietary services to clients encompassing startups to public companies. [email protected]

[email protected]

This article was posted on July 25, 2002

by Lee Traupel

9 Tips for Great Design of Your Marketing Material

9 Tips for Great Design of Your Marketing Materials

by: Neroli Lacey

1) Don’t just hire a good designer. Hire someone who has had plenty of experience designing business collateral. Your designer needs to ask you the right questions about the project. And he/ she needs to be able to turn the design round reasonably fast too.
2) Write the copy first. I believe the copy drives the project. (Unless this is a print ad, in which case the visual and headline will often dominate).
3) Read your copy word for word to your designer. You’d be amazed how often designers don’t understand the project because they haven’t been properly briefed. Your designer is going to be expressing in design the same persuasive arguments that you / your writer will be articulating in words.
4) Ensure that your designer communicates your branding i.e. the values you are trying to communicate.
5) Check that the copy is easy to read once it has been laid out by your designer. If the design takes too much attention to itself, then your readers won’t be following your arguments.
6) A professional designer will give you a creative brief: he sets out on paper the brief as he understands it. This includes the brand and the benefits of the offer in question. The creative brief means misunderstandings get cleared up before it they are too expensive to change.
7) He’ll then present you with 23 design options for your review, about 3 weeks later.
8) Remember, you aren’t choosing the color for your sports car, you are choosing the piece that best reflects the brand and personality of your company or offering.
9) Finally your designer brings you the finished product. He instructs printers and oversees production.
How clear and persuasive is your website, brochure copy or direct mail? Call Neroli Lacey NOW to win more business TODAY.
CALL ++ 612. 215. 3826 or email: [email protected]

About The Author

Iกm Neroli Lacey of Beyond Communications Inc. in Minneapolis, MN. I’ve been helping executives transform their businesses and their lives with outstanding marketing materials since 1995. VISA, 3M and Perot Systems are some of my bigger clients. I have worked with clients in Boston, San Francisco, Dallas, Austin, Minneapolis, London, Paris, Amsterdam, Dublin and Delhi. I used to be one of the top journalists in Britain writing for The Times, The Sunday Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Independent, The Guardian, The Evening Standard, New Statesman, Vogue and Tatler.
Before newspapers I was an investment banker. I grew up in London, England, studying Latin with Greek at Bristol University.
Please visit my website:

Or contact me at: [email protected]


This article was posted on April 30, 2004

by Neroli Lacey

A Successful Link Exchange

A Successful Link Exchange

by: Michael McLaughlin

Interested in boosting your link popularity, raising your Google PR, and improving the amount and quality of your traffic? Then discover the ancient secrets of a successful link exchange!

The practice of effective link exchanges has nearly been extinguished by the extensive amount of spam email. I plan to help webmasters who are interested in real effective and professional link exchanges reach there goal.

What is going to make you the most amount of sales if you are trying to sell fishing equipment? A link from an outdoor hobby website or a link from a bubble gum corporation? I think the answer is straightforward, the outdoor hobby website. The trick is to know your market and understand your customer. What age group would your customers be, and what other type of website would they look at if they were interested in your product?

Now, put yourself in your customer’s feet, what would you search for if you were interested in your product? Type that search phrase into a search engine now and look at what results come up. Disregard the competition and look at the other websites.

I suggest you rate these websites in your head on the following criteria: relevance, design, content, and navigation. I ordered them by how heavily you should consider them. I already discussed relevancy; because of course you want to bring customers to your website instead of clickhappy people.

You may be asking yourself what a website’s design has to do with a link exchange. Well over the years I have noticed one trend, which is that websites with a very nice design tend to prevail faster than others. Know one wants to visit a website and have to wince to read the text. Content on the other hand is what brings the readers. Content can substantially improve the quality of your website because the internet is about information and if you have what people are looking for they will find you! Not the other way around.

Content is king, how many times has that been said? And it still holds true, content is what get websites links back to them, which in turn raise a websites presence on the internet. So why not have a link from a content website, in opposition to just another website trying to sell something?

And of course a websites navigation must be search engine friendly, because you will prefer to have the location of your link to be indexed by search engines.

Basically you should try to pick your link partners by first eliminating the irrelevant links, and then choose a website that is search engine friendly and has the potential to grow! And remember look for quality websites not high PR websites.

One of the first signs of maturity in a person’s life is to be able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. For example you hit a car in the parking lot and don’t leave insurance information, you later feel bad because you know if that was your car that got hit you would be angry about it. Get the point? Good now apply that to writing emails; put yourself in your reader’s shoes.

Do you want to open another email that is titled ขlink exchangeข or would you perhaps prefer to read something a bit more refreshing and alluring entitled ขour partnershipข or ขlink opportunityข be creative but don’t stick with the old link exchange title that is highly overused.

The content of this email, however you entitled it should be very professional and businesslike. Use proper punctuation and complete sentences, also remember to compliment part of there website that is distinguishable so they identify that you actually visited it instead of simply finding there email address in cyberspace.

Don’t trust what mom says ขit’s what’s on the inside that counts.ข True content does help a website grow, but rarely do I trust a websites content if its design is pitiful. Remember be picky when choosing a link partner, personalize your letter, and be professional. As a final point do not partake in spam email!

About The Author

Written by: Michael McLaughlin at – webmaster forum, for more articles by this author please visit:

[email protected]

This article was posted on February 27

by Michael McLaughlin

Use Feng Shui Techniques To Design a Harmonic Webs

Use Feng Shui Techniques To Design a Harmonic Website For Your Business

by: Jakob Jelling

By following feng shui guidelines and techniques, you can build and design a business website that is not only visually attractive but also attractive to wealth and prosperity. The elements that are part of a business website are somehow equivalent to the objects distributed through a working space since the website is the electronic version of the actual businessก offices. Therefore, the website design and the elements that will be in it should follow feng shui guidelines in order to be properly balanced.

The colors used to design your website are very important and you should choose it carefully. If you want a website which feels lively and active, it should contain yang elements, while if you wish it to be quiet or passive, it should have yin prevalence. Yang colors are all the bright and cheerful ones, while ying colors are all the dark shades. Therefore, a website with predominance of a light and bright color would be more yang than a dark or off colored one where yin would have prevalence.

It is important that you keep your businessก website general appearance clear and tidy. A messy or cluttered website would not only make the user feel overwhelmed but it would also be an obstacle for your business prosperity. Your business website should be designed having its graphics and written content clear and organized. Besides this, the general appearance should be as natural and easy to follow as possible. Anybody who visits your business website should feel welcome and comfortable in it, and this should be achieved by providing a clear and welcoming main page and allowing an easy navigation through the entire website.

The lines you use for your business website and its graphics are also important regarding feng shui harmony. Straight lines and shapes with cutting edges are not natural and when having too many of them it can be harmful for your businessก prosperity. Therefore, you should try to use as many curved and smooth lines as possible, since this would not only help you adding nature inspired elements to the website but also bring wealth to it.

About The Author

Jakob Jelling is the founder of Please visit his website and learn all the feng shui tips youกll ever need!

This article was posted on November 29, 2004

by Jakob Jelling

My Identity Crisis

My Identity Crisis

by: David Leonhardt

When we are young it is all so simple. We know exactly what I want to กbeก when we grow up.

You know what itกs like: กI want to be a fireman.ก I want to be a ballerina.ก กI want to be a movie star.ก กI want to be a nuclear physicist specializing in embryonic schisms in postmenopausal subatomic particles.ก

This aspect of growing up came back to haunt me recently when reading a magazine article by someone working in television who had always wanted to be a celebrity. To paraphrase her words, กIt never occurred to me that I might have to actually do anything.ก

Well, here I am, a fullygrown adult. Or perhaps I am no longer fully grown – Iกm not sure at what age we start shrinking! But I do have a confession to make; I never knew what I wanted to กbeก. I knew only what I wanted to do.

What I wanted to do was design cities, urban spaces, bus routes. No, thatกs not true. What I really wanted to do was design maps…but most map companies want map designers to simply mimic the cityกs existing design. Geesh, whereกs the creativity in that?

So I was led astray, falling in love with politics instead. For a while I worked as a political aide, plotting to become King of the World. Amazingly, it took only five years for reality to grind my idealistic innocence to sawdust and send me on a frantic search for a doityourself lobotomy kit. (I never did get to be King of the World, nor did I ever find that doityourself lobotomy kit.)

I spent the next decadeandahalf as a consumer advocate and lobbyist, doing media relations, government relations and industry relations none of which are technically verbs that one can actually กdoก.

At social events, the accountants and lawyers had it easy. กI am an accountant,ก says it all.

I was not so fortunate.

กI am a consumer advocate,ก I would say.

กSo what do you do?ก

กWell, I talk to the media and to the government and to industry,ก I would explain.

กAhaaa… and I talk to the tooth fairy. So what do you do?ก

Now, I have an even harder time when somebody asks what I do. Most people have no clue what search engine optimization is, which is my main กcareerก. Few people really understand what freelance writing is, except if they read a freelance writerกs article in a magazine . I don’t even try to mention that I run three websites and do affiliate marketing. But people do understand what it means to be an author.

กWow, you wrote a book on happiness? Congratulations. So whenกs your next book coming out?ก

Which is when I have to explain how a book really doesn’t feed a family, and if I took the time to write a second book, it would take time away from search engine optimization and affiliate marketing…

กHuh, whatกs that?ก

กNever mind,ก I answer. กIกm a stayathome dad.ก Which also is true. People might look at me weird, but at least they understand me. Or, so they think.

All of which brings me back to that question I never answered when I was young: what do I want to be when I grow up? I guess Iกll just have to wait a little longer to find out. Like when I grow up.

About The Author

David Leonhardt is author of Climb Your Stairway to Heaven

Read more personal growth articles:

Visit his liquid vitamins store:

Or his happiness website:

[email protected]

This article was posted on January 30

by David Leonhardt

Shameless SelfPromotion

Shameless SelfPromotion

by: Janice D. Byer, MVA

Hi! My name is Janice Byer and I am the owner of DocuType Administrative & Web Design Services ( I am the winner of several prestigious awards (information is on our website) and have a slew of happy customers, as the testimonials on our site will attest to. My services are professional, creative and in demand.

Now, wasn’t that easy? In one small paragraph, I have shamelessly selfpromoted my business and it’s success.

I’ll admit it, I am addicted to shameless selfpromotion, and why not? Who better to promote myself and my business than me? And, the opportunity to talk about your business should be the root behind every marketing effort you undertake.

Networking utilizes shameless selfpromotion almost constantly. After all, when you visit a networking event, why are you there? To promote your business of course! And, when you are at a designated networking event, it is not the time when you should hold back. Be shameless yet professional, and also be considerate of your fellow networkers. They are there for the same reason you are. So, give them the opportunity to shamelessly selfpromote themselves.

Networking is the ขright timeข to shamelessly selfpromote. But, there are times when it is not appropriate. There is a time and a place for everything, including promoting your business.

For instance, if you are a member of a news or discussion group, there are generally rules against promoting your business, unless that is what the list is for. So, don’t take advantage of the captive audience or break the rules. That can actually be bad for business.

However, some lists have designated days of the week or month when you can shamelessly tell the world about what you do and what you have to offer. This is the time to show them what you’ve got.

Opportunities arise at various times when it is good to promote yourself and your business. For instance, I was with my daughter at the library yesterday and the woman there asked if I was excited about my daughter going into grade one and the fact that she will be in school all day. This was the perfect opportunity to tell her that I run my own homebased business and what I do.

Also, a few weeks back we had our water supply guy here filling up our well and we talked about his father’s business. Well, I didn’t give up the chance to say, ขDoes your father have a website? I can design one for him.ข Well, the conversation went from there and I ended up giving him several of my business cards.

My husband is also the owner of a small business; a tow truck and storage business. Well, the other day we had a fellow here delivering gravel for our driveway and, as he is always on the road, I asked him if he sees accidents and such. So, my husband gave him some of his cards and it has paid off already. Yesterday this dump truck drive called to tell my husband about an accident that he had just seen.

And, don’t forget your existing clients. Do they know everything that you offer? I have a wonderful steady administrative client that I told a few times about some of the websites I am designing. Well, he was impressed and now we are in talks to design his website. He didn’t know I did website design until I told him. And, this may be true for you as well. Your clients won’t know everything that you can do for them unless you tell them. They may not need any of your secondary services right away, or at all, but they may know someone who does.

My administrative client, which I mentioned above, has now given my name to some of his customers who need help with their office tasks and web design needs.

As I said before, there is a time and a place for shamelessly selfpromoting yourself and your business. Be careful not to sound arrogant and don’t be pushy. But, as a small business owner, you are the best person to tell others about what you offer and you should take advantage of situations that will allow you to do so.

About The Author

Janice Byer is a certified Master Virtual Assistant and owner of DocuType Administrative & Web Design Services ( See this and other articles on her website.

[email protected]

This article was posted on December 18, 2002

by Janice D. Byer, MVA

Graphic Designer: Four Color Postcard Making

Graphic Designer: Four Color Postcard Making

by: Marlon D. Ludovice

Being a graphic designer is not an easy job. You cannot just enter the scene and do the job instantly. It needs a lot of positive characteristics to fit for the said endeavor. But you may ask, what is a graphic designer? What do graphic designers actually do? Iกm pretty sure that most people can name at least a few things, but the graphic design spectrum is perhaps broader than you think.

ขGraphic design is the process and art of combining text and graphics and communicating an effective message in the design of logos, graphics, brochures, newsletters, posters, signs, and any other type of visual communication including post cardsข. So usually they are the one who formulate and create four color postcards for their clients. They are the one who has a greater knowledge and skills in art, computers, and problem solving and even designing creative works.

One task of a graphic designer is lay outing, it is usually a large range of work, but generally a layout artist is dealing with the structuring and laying out of images and text in a pleasing format for printed media. They transport the idea of your project in a software application, then after some creative works they are the one who gave you a final output or your project itself.

They choose the right blend of color for your postcards, the design and everything that must be included to your postcard. They are responsible that’s why creating a four color postcard is now a piece of work without much time and effort to take. With their computer skills in different printing programs the quality and service of the four color postcard is guaranteed.

About The Author

Marlon D. Ludovice is a graduate of Bachelor of Arts major in Political Science at Bicol University College of Arts and Sciences. Well actually iกm not fun of writing, i dont write at all. i am not expecting that i will be in this field. But i love to read books…almost everything interest me. reading is my passion! but now that i am in an article writer team, writing gives me an additional thrill in myself…Before i love to read books but now im also in a writing stuff. I can say that im not a good writer but i am trying to be one.

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This article was posted on April 04

by Marlon D. Ludovice

Basic Design Principles Part 1

Basic Design Principles Part 1

by: Kelly Paal

There are some very basic design principles that are important to know whether you’re a graphic designer, web designer, or even a photographer. Certain very basic design principles apply to all artistic fields and are necessary for the artist and valuable information for the consumer.

Line (s)

The world we live in is three dimensional but when we try to represent that world in art we use lines, a very simplistic way of trying to represent the three dimensional world around us. But by knowing how to use lines in art we can make a very good sometimes great representations of the world around us.

Lines of Direction

Horizontal, a horizontal line usually represents a feeling of rest or relaxation, think of a puppy asleep on the floor. That is a horizontal line. Stability is also conveyed through a horizontal line, think of a table or a large building.

Vertical, a vertical line usually brings to mind strength and sometimes action. Think of a tall tree, its strong vertical line shows strength. A vertical line can show action especially when it’s compared to a horizontal line.

Diagonal, a diagonal line always suggests movement. Imagine a football player running if you draw a line from the top of his head to his heel you will see a diagonal line. Diagonal lines always get our attention for the action they imply.

Curved, a curved line can suggest many things. The curved line of a sagging roof can indicate weakness and a curved line of a dancers arm can indicate gracefulness.

Remember lines convey thoughts and feelings and every line you use in your design helps to convey your message.

Shape (s)

Lines form shapes and from those shapes we get positive and negative shapes, or spaces.

Positive shapes are always the objects in an image or design. It’s important to pay attention to your positive shapes their size, placement, and their balance in reference to:

Negative shapes, these are always the shape formed from the space around your object.

By paying attention to the balance of your positive and negative shapes you can make sure that your designs or images have good balance.

If you have some specific questions please visit my Photography and Design Forum at: and post your question there.

About The Author

Copyright 2004 Kelly Paal

Kelly Paal is a Freelance Nature and Landscape Photographer, exhibiting nationally and internationally. She owns her own business Kelly Paal Photography ( She has an educational background in photography, business, and commercial art. She enjoys applying graphic design and photography principles to her web design.

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This article was posted on December 14, 2004

by Kelly Paal

Varnish Your Printing and create New Dimensions

Varnish Your Printing and create New Dimensions

by: Robert Kennedy

Offset Printing Varnishing techniques

Think for a moment. Is there a particular brochure or printed piece that stands out in your memory? Can you recall what feature or features have kept it with you!

Could it be graphic design? Photo placement? Typography or layout? Unusual format or innovative printing affects?

Learn the many techniques for incorporating varnish into your next printed piece. Varnished continues to be a great way of protecting and enhancing printed matter, but many graphic designers miss this in the element of design.

So you have that special promotion you are working on. It really needs to ‘stand out from the crowd’! One of the easiest and effective ways is to do it with varnish! You don’t get a second chance to make of first impression.

What is varnish?

Varnish is a variation of printing ink. It can be clear or tinted, glossy or dull, and it performs on a printing press as normal ink.

>From the production viewpoint, varnish is a sealer that overprints ink and paper helping to protect the finished printed piece from being scratched and scuffed. From a design viewpoint, dull varnish is sometimes used to reduce glare on glossy paper and thus increases readability.

For design effects, gloss and dull varnishes are used independently or in combinations. They can make a sheet glisten or make it appear smooth and shiny. Try spot varnish to add an enhanced appearance to photography, increase vibrancy of colors, or add interest and clarity to charts and diagrams.

Independent varnishes can run ขin the backgroundข and will attract the reader, in a very subtle manner to their presence.

Varnish does not always need to be combined with conventional printing inks. Varnish is interesting and appealing when used on its own. To create a tinted appearance you can add a small percentage of ink to varnish. This will print with a tinted transparent look that cannot be easily duplicated adding a dimension that is simply not achievable and any other way.

What are your options?

Ink, paper type and type of varnish (Matte or gloss, tinted or nontinted) must all be considered when deciding on the varnish effect you are trying to achieve. Sales, design and production staff should discuss these projects in the estimating/ production planning stage to ensure desired results are printed.

For most printed matter where varnish is being applied coated (glossy) paper is your best choice. Uncoated papers tend to absorb more of the effect and have a rougher surface.

Whether you use gloss varnish, dull varnish, tinted varnish or play one off against the other your viewers will enjoy the uniqueness of the design and print. Your printed piece will be remembered by a higher percentage of you audience and in some cases kept just as a collectors item.

I have been in the printing industry for many years. In 1986 I read many of the varnishing techniques that I employ in catalogue sent by one of our paper suppliers, entitled ‘Varnish Techniques’ by SD Warren Company. I have kept this catalogue and used it as a tool to help illustrate the finished results of various varnishing techniques. Yes, this catalogue is varnished. It is 2005 now, and I have decided to scan the actual pages that demonstrate and explain varnishing techniques used by commercial printers today.


About The Author

Robert is the marketing director of an online print and design firm Robert covers all aspects of graphic development, deployment and digital media design services.

This article was posted on January 09

by Robert Kennedy