Happy 2nd Anniversary!

Just a celebration post to mark the second anniversary of this website.  Just wanted to say thanks to all my visitors. Those who have left insightful comments and posted likes. The traffic for my Youtube channel has grown as well and we’re really pleased with all the views and growing subscribers.

It’s almost funny looking back at the trickle of traffic I received when I first started this website as compared to what it is now.  The site has seen an enormous amount of growth and hopefully we will be able continue to churn out quality posts through the holidays and beyond.  Thanks again for stopping by!

Wishing You A Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving-memo

Another year has rolled in and this is just a short note to remind you that I hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving!  I certainly was busy eating turkey and gravy, green beans almondine, cornbread stuffing and parmesan mashed potatoes among other things. Throw in a few more calories that I don’t care to mention and it was all good. Mmmm. Mmmm.

I certainly am grateful for a lot of things.  I appreciate all the visitors to my website and the additional subscribers and views on my Youtube channel.  This has been a tough economic year for many, and I hope some of the  instruction I provide in my free videos is building  your graphic design skill set.  Thanks again and again for all the visits as this website nears it’s second birthday.

Tomorrow is the start of all the  Black Friday Sales and the preparation for the Holiday Season, so hope you all are enjoying your holiday!

How to Create Buttons in Photoshop CS5

Twitter-button-denim-pocket

Buttons are probably one of the most used and functional web graphics that are designed for web pages, landing pages and your typical website.  So, I developed a psd vid tud (Photoshop Tutorial) for all you graphic designers who want some quick tips on how to design a Web 2.0 button.

The video has a 4 minute introduction to what buttons are, how they are used and why you need to know how to design them.  It covers how popular website such as Disney and the NFL use clickable image and buttons as web graphics that lead you to landing pages or other sources of information.

Related Post:

5 Tips to Make Your Online Banner Ad Design More Attractive and Effective

Halloween Greetings And A Marketing Reminder!

halloween-haunted-house

Well, it’s that time again.  That time where the ghosts and goblins start appearing on your marketing materials and not to mention those that will be appearing at your door begging for treats, not tricks!  Halloween begins the flurry of end of the year holidays that marketers can incorporate into their marketing campaigns.

So, this is just another reminder that as we gear up for the holiday season, all your marketing materials should be planned, set up and ready to go! And, yes, this is Rich Media Design Productions’ annual friendly reminder.  Although, for next year we well have to probably start a little earlier to give one time for the planning and decisions that need to be set up for online and offline (print media) marketing plans..

 But it’s just not your print media, marketing that needs to be planned.  It also includes your web content, email templates, and other online marketing campaigns.  You might want to check out The Email Guide‘s article about email marketing templates for Halloween and for more information about the nuts and bolts of email marketing.  The website covers email design, best practices, list building, email testing and metrics.   The information and tips you’ll learn will get you geared up for your next holiday themed campaign.

Are we sounding a tad bit redundant, well we think for good reason.

But, we won’t sign off without wishing you a Happy Halloween!

Halloween-Greetings

Related Post:

Reminder: Prepare Your Marketing Materials for the Holidays!

Image Credit: Courtesy of digitalart at Free Digital Photos

Adobe Software and Apple Computers : A Graphic Designer’s Tools of Choice

Apple-Macintosh

A Star is Born: First Apple Computer

As Apple announces the release of it’s  new mini-ipad , there are several reports that the iPad mini has a 7.9-inch non-Retina 1024×768 resolution display!  It is just 7.2mm thin, 23 percent thinner than the regular iPad, yet many industry watchers believe that Apple will have an asking price of $329.   The scheduled release date is November 2, 2012.

I have always been a fan of Apple products, especially as a work and productivity tool.  I know this sounds  a lot like the making of a glowing testimonial, but I have been a satisfied customer with the brand.

I can remember getting into heated discussions with PC users at a previous  place of employment, it was the PC end users that were cranky.  It’s really too funny.  But in my opinion, most graphic designers agree that Apple computers and Adobe software are the industry’s tool of choice.

I can barely remember the first day, I started using Apple products.  As a graphic designer, it has always been the graphic design’s industry top tools to use,  so there hasn’t been a day in my working life that I have thought of or used any other product as my workhorse computer.  As a matter of fact, I believe the Adobe software was created initially for Unix computers.

However, Photoshop’s ( Adobe software) developers, Thomas and John Knoll began development on Photoshop in 1987. Version 1 was released by Adobe for the Macintosh in 1990 exclusively.

The software program was developed in order to enable users to manipulate images that were digitized by a scanner.  Check out this article on The First Version of Photoshop, if you are curious to know the history of this software.

Yes, I know the PC platform is quickly catching up, but I think I’d still be loyal to the Apple brand.  So, in the spirit of all things Apple, I created this Photoshop CS5 video that gives step by step instructions on creating a modified morph using the Apple logo to show the transition of Apple’s brand.

Related Post:
How to Morph A Face Using Photoshop CS5

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

Photo Credit:  Wikipedia Commons

3 Awesome Online Infographic Design Generators

business-graphic

Infographics are a new form of business graphic that are fast becoming the latest content item to share via social media, to post in your blog or provide a visual graphic of data for a powerpoint presentation.  According to a recent study conducted by Emarketer,  many in-house marketers, as well as marketing agencies , are using infographics as part of their content marketing plans.

What are they?

Infographics are a graphic representation of data.  The buzz word is “data viz” short for data visualization. They are very similar to the business charts and graphs that are available on Microsoft Word, or Excel; however, that’s where the similarity ends.  They are usually much better designed and graphically more aesthetically pleasing.    There are many businesses and companies that are requesting these designs to educate their audience, build their brands and create awesome linkbait.

Tips for Graphic Designers

As a graphic designer, you should know by now that these graphics can be labor intensive design projects to plan, collect data and design.   You might want to check out these sites and see if these tools are products that you will be able to use to improve your design production. Or, perhaps you can use them to create an infographic, show off your design skills and share via social media.  I believe the free version of these software tools will have the company’s logo watermarked on the graphic but it seems a great tool to utilize to refine your design skills.  However, I would suggest that you use serious design tools like Photoshop for design projects provided to clients.  For further information, there is a lengthy but  great article, on Smashing Magazine that gives you plenty information about  The Do’s and Don’ts of Infographic Design if you are still puzzled as to what they are.

Tips for Business or Website Owners

As a business owner or website owner, you might want access to infographic tools to create simple business graphics for your presentations or that you can use to construct a design that your in-house designers can later refine.

Easel.ly

Awesome tool to create infographics online.

easelly-screenshot

Infogram

It’s going to be tough choosing between which tool you want to use to create your designs.

Infogram-screenshot

Piktochart

Nifty tool with a great video demo available on Youtube.

piktochart-screenshot

Richmediadp: We Have Set Up Our RSS Feed

rss-button

Here at  Rich Media Design Productions, we are always tweaking the website in order to improve our reader’s experience.   I have had  a few requests for finding my RSS feed and realized, I had not activated our RSS feed button on our header.

However , setting up the RSS feed has since been attended to.  Even though there are rumors on the Net that Google will be phasing out the feed burner service.  In my opinion, that would make a lot of angry customers and end users furious.  So we will see what the future holds.

Or you may decide to wait until the dust clears and there is official word from Google as to whether they will keep the service.

In any case, for those of you who asked…

The feed address is  http://feeds.feedburner.com/RichMediaDesignProductions or you can subscribe on the RSS chiclet in the above header.

Why Storytelling Videos Are Popular Ways to Advertise Small Businesses

Video Production

When it comes to online web video content, “Once Upon A Time” is not the phrase you usually associate with small business online marketing. But the growth of online video content and popular “storytelling” videos are providing growth for this part of the industry even during  a downturn in the economy.  Interestingly enough, according to a recent  Web Video Marketing council’s article, the development of  web video content for advertising has contributed to a growth in jobs for 2011.  Their study, commissioned by the IAB found that…

“Research from the Harvard Business School claims that the entire ad-supported ecosystem of the Internet contributed $530 billion and about 2 million U.S. jobs to the economy last year. The work was commissioned by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), a global non-profit representing over 500 media and technology companies.

The IAB claims its members collectively sell 86 percent of all online advertising in the U.S.

The Harvard Business School research notes that much of the growth occurred among small businesses, in reference to the job creation figure.”

father-daughter-ballerina-video

While many types of video content is being produced, videos with storytelling from the customer’s point of view are becoming a more popular way of associating a brand with its product.  What are these videos exactly?   Whether it’s an auto manufacturing company showing customers reflecting on past memories of when  they bought their very first (insert brand here) car, or a mom reflecting on the cupcakes she baked from a brand mix and how it made her feel, in essence brands are encouraging consumers to be a part of the story by recalling their own experiences.

These videos are showing up on corporate websites to humanize or personalize the corporate website’s brand.  Most of these human interest stories are so popular that they show up on Facebook, Twitter and other popular social sharing sites.  Take for example, Dollar Shave club’s popular video that went viral and ended up with 5 million views.

According to a Search Engine Watch blog post , what Dollar Shave Club achieved  was nearly phenomenal!  Search Engine Watch calculated  how much this type of advertising coverage was worth to the startup business in terms of its potential advertising costs via a traditional medium.  They compared it to the results that Dollar Shave Club would have gotten had they chosen to go down the more traditional and less creative way of competing within the market.

“ The average CPC (cost per click) for a group of “shave” related keywords is currently around $1.

If you’re a start-up, you don’t really want to be spending $5,140,887 in PPC within your first month. You’re unlikely to make it past the end of your first week at that rate!

But what Dollar Shave Club has achieved is to get in-front of just as many people/eyeballs, but without the associated costs that come with each click.”

Another example of an engaging small business Youtube hit, and this in the UK, was the one pound fish man as seen in the video below:

This is the power of compelling video and stories that have do to with the customer or client interacting with the product in a positive way.

The three reasons these videos are successful and what you need to consider and apply when producing your video content are:

  1. The videos come across as authentic if they are not done in a salesy or corporate speak way.  The subject matter is believable and  the informal way the person shares his memory makes the video content a lot more authentic.
  2. The endorsement is provided by the customer in a warm, friendly manner. When the subject in the video is telling a compelling story the endorsement seems credible even when he or she is recalling a 10 year old memory of interacting with the product.
  3. This type of “storytelling” video content personalizes the brand. They bring the brand down to the consumer level, which is appreciated by a prospective consumer, and proves to be very motivational.

And what small businesses and other advertisers have found is that these videos are a lot more shareable.  You are not likely to send a friend or loved one a traditional commercial; but a video that is either funny, or tells a unique story with subtle branding is more likely to be socially shared.

It will be interesting to see more small business success stories as they find ways to incorporate “storytelling” videos in their small business marketing.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Photo credit: Design by Itzik Gur

Photoshop CS5: Mastering the Pen Tool in Photoshop

This is the second installment of my first video regarding Mastering the Pen Tool in Photoshop.

I get into the reasons why this tool is so important and why learning this skill and gaining mastery is transferable to many other software applications.

Related Post:

Photoshop CS5 Photoshop Secrets and Tool Tips – Exploring the Pen Tool

6 Reasons to Begin Blogging for Your Graphic Design Business

3D Bloggers

Most graphic designers, freelance workers or entrepreneurs know by now, that blogging is quickly becoming an important and relatively inexpensive tool for online marketing and self promotion.  Back in the 90s, in the early days of internet marketing, web designers and graphic designers were busy designing and creating mostly static websites for their clients.  However, blogging and the use of blogs has grown exponentially with the development and refining of blogging platforms such as Blogger, Tumblr, WordPress, Joomla and Drupal.

These blogging platforms have made it much easier to develop and set up a website (or internet presence) for a variety of purposes without requiring advanced technical and programming knowledge.  According to Technorati (in their annual  2011 State of the Blogosphere Report),  3 million blogs come online per month!

When blogging became popular, around July of 2004, there were about 3 million blogs online and as of the end of Dec 2011, there were approximately 178 million blogs on the internet!  Please see chart below, designed by Invesp. Read the rest of this entry

%d bloggers like this: