Pandas, Penguins… Smart content drives SEO strategies

The goal of the major algorithm updates of the past few years, which Google Google engineers named Penguin and Panda, respectively, is pretty specific: 

  • To show high-quality, highly relevant search results to consumers. That means web pages that have original and valuable content show up higher in search engine results and consequently get more attention and clicks from consumers.
  • Web pages that the algorithm deems less valuable show up lower and get less attention and clicks.

It is about building great content, creating something that people want. That is the stuff search engines are looking for.


IR Jan, 2013

Social Media is not free

“To use social media effectively today takes strategists, writers, community managers, graphic designers, app developers, and customer service reps. It all costs money, even before you throw in funds for brand monitoring and analytics tools, publishing and promotions software, buzz-building prizes and giveaways—or for paid social media advertising.” (Advanced Social Media Marketing)

  • Purchase likelihood increases 51% after a customer clicks the “like” button
  • 90% of consumers trust product reviews from people they know; 70% trust reviews from people they don’t know
  • 40% of social media users “like” businesses in order to receive special discounts and promotions
  • Facebook fans of a brand spend twice as much as those who are not Facebook fans

IR Jan 2013

Portfolio Review

The Dos and Don’ts of Portfolio Presentations

  1. What to include – your full portfolio should start off strong, followed by work that relates to the potential job, followed by designs that will show you have other abilities and talents.
  2. Avoid mistakes – too large in size, too many pieces, nothing related to the position, etc.
  3. Communication and creativity rule
  4. Be sure – keep it clean and simple. Be very critical of the pieces you choose.
  5. The Resume – it is just as important as a portfolio because it’s the first impression.
  6. Be aware of conceptual work
  7. Highlight your skills
  8. Keep the work is organized in somewhat of a chronological order, grouped by place of business or work history
  9. Sloppy Presentation
  10. Don’t try to fill your portfolio to make it look big 
  11. Jack of all trades, master of none-don’t try to show everything to everyone. 
  12. If you’re a digital artist or Web designer, an online portfolio is a must. 
  13. Add Words and description – just leaving images on a blank page with no information can leave one with more questions than answers.  Who was it for? How long of a timeline was there? What was your role in the image?

Full text in Layers Magazin, Sep-Oct 2010

Broken Logos

How to avoid common logo design mistakes:

  1. Typographic Chaos – don’t use too many fonts or weights (two maximum).
  2. Poor font choice – … also, keep in mind how the logo’s font could be used across the rest of the brand identity in conjunction with other fonts and imagery.
  3. Too complex, too abstract – … simplicity makes the logo more versatile, meaning it can work over more mediums. For example, a logo should work on something the size of a postage stamp and on something as large as a billboard.  Don’t make your logo too abstract either.
  4. Relying on special effects or color – don’t use drop shadows, embossing, or other layer styles to gloss up logos-a good logo will stand on its own. To get around this, work in black and white first and then add the special effects or color later.
  5. Using raster images
  6. Copying, stealing, or borrowing design – … do not use stock or clip art either- the point of a logo is to be unique and original.
  7. Using visual cliches
  8. Settling for a monogram
  9. Getting too much client input – do not let client direct the project (entirely), but  you as a designer should also realize that you’re not always right, so try giving the client’s suggestions a go-who knows where it will lead.
  10. Providing too many concepts – once you feel confident enough as a designer, these one to three concepts should nail the project on the head every time
  11. Not cleaning up logo files – Logo files should be one of the cleanest files you ever deliver a client. Make it perfect.
  12. Not delivering correct files to client – You should give your client four high-quality files per logo variation–this means providing a spot-color file, a pure CMYK (no spot colors), a pure black file, and a pure white (knockout) file. These should generally be in EPS, TIFF, and JPEG formats. You can provide a favicon too, if you’re feeling nice.

Full Text in Layers Magazin, Sep-Oct 2010