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7 Useful Tips For Building A Design Portfolio As A Student


Why do students take a separate class to learn the skills of building a portfolio? Is it really worth it because you can always rely on some online service that offers you to buy assignments and receive good writings? Well, the truth is that you always have an opportunity to opt for online companies like Australia PapersOwl that will create a proper paper, but you can do it on your own, thanks to the classes you can take and a few tips that you need to have in mind. Building your graphical showcase of personal skills and work experience should be eye-catching, innovative (in terms of design) and interesting to your potential employers from the niche you want to develop a career in. Let’s say a few words on the most useful tips you can learn to tailor the perfect presentation for your job-seeking adventures!

design

Review other design online portfolio examples

The best way to start is to see what other students did, just to see how they think. This is a good tip to remember, especially for later job searching adventures when you are entering the more specific industry. Their design introduces you a gap that no one filled so you can use that as an advantage. Avoid plagiarism and copying other’s design portfolio examples, but rather be creative by designing something that you haven’t seen yet. This way you attract the attention of potential employers who will see that you have a talent and ability to distinguish yourself among others.

Alternatively, use services like Portfoliobox where you can create and customize a site according to your preferences. This way you can quickly and easily set up your website to show your skills. You don’t need to code complex structures just for a kick start but rather to quickly land somewhere and use your skills.

Show internships, side-projects, and assignments

Internships are the fantastic way to boost your knowledge, experience, and paper and try to get on board during summer to experience a bit of work atmosphere and students that work on many side projects are busy all the time but also potential targets for employers. The experience is the key to the development, so make sure you collect it as much as possible. Sometimes is hard to get the project as you have no experience, so you should start your own one to show your skills and decisiveness. Include all of these in your portfolio and if needed buy assignments from professional writing services that will enrich your vocabulary. Assignments are the legit way to prove your qualities and skills so make sure you include them in the design.

Do not be afraid of mentioning every project that you participated in. Whether is a social science project or a small startup plan for sustainability in fashion, you must include it. The employers care about your design, thinking and developing, but less about how you use natural and recycled materials to create a trendy and fashionable piece of clothes. It is all about the involvement and role, so make sure you precise your project roles and assignments.

Buy a domain, design a logo and make it personalized

Web presentations are one of the most common ways in the online world. If you are wondering how to make a graphic design portfolio unique, then you should start with buying a domain and getting things on a higher level. Once you buy it and set everything ready, make your own logo to make things more serious. Learn CS Photoshop or other program and model your logo for the website that shows your job skills. If possible, code a unique theme for the website and hire Australia assignment service to write a personalized and high-quality content.

social networks and linking

Use social networks and linking

The social strategy is important as it confirms your identity and integrates you with the rest of the world. It is recommended to use two online platforms that you should according to your skills and affinities. For example, if you are a graphic designer, you should use Instagram as it more illustrative tool. Good backlinks are a fantastic way to make you more appearing on Google especially when you link social accounts in your portfolio. After all, the better everything is packed and connected, more likely is that you will catch someone’s eye.

Explain your affinities and wishes

Why do you present your knowledge? What do you want to achieve with it? Explain how and why you and your projects are different, and how they can be useful to someone use. The relation to personal and real-world experiences is a good link to explain what you are looking for. Present useful facts that back up your claims and intentions, as well as reasons for designing a portfolio.

outside the box

Balance colors

This is especially important for those who want to be graphic designers. Practice on many projects before until you learn and get the feeling of color setting. Do not make very colorful portfolio as the neatly balanced, graphically precise template of your presentation is all you need to be interesting to companies. You can use Paletton to design a color palette that has a balanced spectrum and make everything more personalized and unique.

Mobile-friendly and content-related

A lot of people are searching for projects and workers via mobile devices, so keep in mind that you must optimize portfolio so the Android or iPhone users can easily navigate it and browse. If you don’t, more than 50% of users will just close when sees content and design that are not optimized. Depending on the industry and jobs that you are looking for, you should find online Australia buy assignments service to proofread and optimize your content. Student portfolio websites often recommend some good team of writers that tailor your content to be optimized and well-suited for the niche. Keeping both things optimized, you are building yourself a concrete pavement to the job you want.

 

Author’s bio: Becca Stickler is a freelance writer with a focus on sustainability and eco-friendly living. Now engaged in travel around the country and writing.

 

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Why is Great Photography Crucial for Your Website?


creative designer

Did you know that 38% of visitors will stop engaging with your website if your content is visually unattractive, or that 48% deem good website design to be the number one sign that a company can be trusted? When it comes to aesthetics, in addition to choosing the right colors, fonts, and artistic style, your choice of imagery is key. This is as much the case in your opening page as in your About, Products/Services, and even your Blog sections. Find out how to present your photography in an artistic, efficient, dynamic way.

High Resolution for Picture Perfect Images

Photographs displayed on your website should contain a significantly high resolution so as to offer your readers greater clarity and crispness. Your audiences should be able to zoom in enough to check out one part of the photographer in minute detail, particularly when it comes to product images. The higher the resolution the slower the page load time. Make sure your images are not so large that users struggle with viewing them. Use JPEG images (which are faster to load than PNGs and other formats), don’t upload images weighing more than around one megabyte, optimize your images (don’t scale down large images as this make your page take very long to load) and test your website load speed through dedicated web page test sites that will run optimization tests and make suggestions for improvements.

Capturing Hearts with Your Photo Display

Some pages will contain a blend of word and text. Templates work well to help you position each accordingly. However, if parts of your website are composed almost exclusively of imagery (for instance, a photography blog or memories section), you can present various pictures at once, cropping and resizing pictures so the effect is similar to an online collage. For instance, the screen can be divided into two, with one large landscape photo taking up the entire left page, and a blend of landscape and square images occupying the right-hand side. Presenting images this way highlights their beauty, since images can be used to contrast shapes and colors in a visually arresting manner.

Relying on Professional Photography

Depending on the industry you work in, it may very well be worth investing in the services of a professional photographer. Ideally, your chosen photographer should be able to provide a blend of video and still images, for use both on your website and your social media pages. If you work in media, for instance, and you cover local social events, restaurants, prominent people etc., the photography should have the correct lighting, resolution, and background. If your industry is less visual in nature, you can probably get away with using quality stock photography by companies like iStock or Shutterstock, both of which offer a bevy of professionally taken photos for a relatively small subscription fee.

Because modern day consumers have so many audiovisual temptations, any company wishing to be a standard bearer needs cutting-edge photography on their website. Templates will help you lay out standard articles, but especially if you work in the media or an artistic field, an in-house designer will ensure your images are set in an appealing, proportionate manner that is true to your brand and style. It all begins with the source of the photo, of course. Everyone may have a camera on them at all times, but taking a cracking photo is an art that requires training and of course, the talent that only one who is truly passionate about photography, has.

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Beautiful And Original Product Designs


product design

One of the great aspects of technology is that we now have access to more products than ever, no matter where in the world they are manufactured. In fact, all it takes is one click for many of these products to arrive at our doorstep days later. There are some that believe that one of the most important aspects of a product is the way that it is designed, and there are others that even believe that product design can affect human beings to the point where it can change the world. Either way, here are some of the some of the most incredible and original product designs in the world.

 

Dyson Air Multiplier

 

There are few individuals that are as respected in the world of design as Sir James Dyson, and that is one of the reasons why his company, Dyson, has been so successfully, consistently generating billions of revenue every year. The company shocked the world in 2009 when it introduced the Air Multiplier, the futuristic circular orb that marketed itself as the world’s first “bladeless fan”. The product works thanks to forcing air through a circular aperture, and it has an impressive air flow - while still arguably being the most futuristic and original fan design ever created. There’s no question that the Air Multiplier has cemented its place in history.

 

Ember Mug

 

One of the reasons that the Ember Mug is so revolutionary product-wise is because of the individual behind Ember, and that would be Clay Alexander. There are certain individuals that are simply meant to create, and one could certainly argue that Alexander is one of them. This is hard to deny, especially when one considers that he is an American inventor and entrepreneur that has over 100 patents, and started his own company - still active to this day - at the age of 23.

 

One of the greatest things about modern design is that it allows the user to personalize and customize as much as possible. With Ember - you have a coffee mug where the user can actually control the temperature. For coffee lovers, users can actually set a precise temperature that they prefer, and the Ember mug can ensure that temperature for at least two hours. It truly is remarkable how much we can personalize our lives, thanks to technology.

Seiko Presage SARX055

The truth is that there are more smartphones in the world than ever. Specifically, there are well over 2 billion smartphones in the world, which shouldn’t be surprising, considering that technology continues to get more affordable. As a result, many people use their phones to tell time. However, this certainly doesn’t mean that a watch isn’t a necessary part of our wardrobe. It certainly says a lot about a young professional, no matter what gender they are, if they are wearing watches that compliment their clothing, or the situation, as much as possible. It shows a keen attention to detail, and that they care about their appearance, as well.

 

Since smartphones are more advanced than ever, and can do everything from make sure that we stay as fit as possible, as well as a device that we can watch movies on - why not make sure that our watch is as minimalist as possible? Of course, for an executive or a boss - maybe your watch can make a certain statement. There might be a need to show off your own personality or individuality, and you can opt for an interesting design or color. However, one classic option is the Seiko Presage SARX055. The beauty of this watch is that it is simultaneously modern, but also seems timeless because of how incredibly simple it is. While there are some that might worry about a watch being “too simple”, it somehow seems to be modern while still paying homage to the past. The minimalist design has been influenced by none other than the Japanese cocktail bar scene, believe it or not. Either way, the Seiko Presage SARX055 is a great way to make a statement without being desperate for attention.

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16 Design Ideas for Student's Dorm


dorm decor

Nothing entirely comes close to the excitement of packing off to campus for the first time, and it gets even better once you realize that you now have your private space-with no parents around!

Unfortunately, though, university bedrooms are not a sight to behold. Not only are most of them dull, but also unfavorably drab. Nonetheless, don’t let it dim the light of your spark! With a few easy tips, you can transform your otherwise dull dorm into a stylish and dashing new abode in no time!

Below are some easy hacks to decorate your student dorm room and make it picture worthy.

  1. Light it up!

What is perhaps among the easiest ways of making your room extra cozy is the use of fairy lights in brightening up your space. For more adventure, you can go with neon lights. With the fairy lights, you can drape them around your room or use them to hold up photographs with pegs.

  1. Create your own deadline board

It is no brainer that as a student, you have a lot of things to remember including exam dates, essay deadlines, and even class hours. Even so, while you could have your room stacked with post-it notes, you can go the relatively neater option of creating a deadline board.

  1. Customize your bookshelf

If you only get a little more creative, you can transform virtually anything to hold your possessions. For instance, you can modify a small stepladder to a delightful storage feature with some attention and love. If you have a bookshelf with a plain panel, you can customize it by adding some of your photos into the empty spaces behind your books.

  1. Don’t forget your drawer space

Simple, innovative measures can transform your drawer space to make it look both attractive and organized. You can take dividers for instance and quickly spice up a sock or underwear drawer instantly.

  1. Make your own removable wallpaper.

dorm design

While this one sounds quite ridiculous, take a moment and understand what it means for you. Word is that you can create temporary wallpaper by using just plain fabric sheets and liquid starch. Imagine that! Surprisingly, all you need to do is pick your favorite material (choose a wacky color) and get a sponge roller to stick it up using the liquid starch! Luckily for you, in case you need to move out, all you need to do is peel it off!

  1. Poke holes in lamp shades

dorm design

You can personalize virtually anything-including plain lampshades. Once you poke holes in the lampshades, you can project any pattern you wish across your room.

  1. Make your own headboard

While it is exciting to get a room on campus, the disappointing thing is that you can have an awfully dull bed staring at you once you arrive there. However, if this is the case, you can create your own headboard to give it a light touch of personality. Luckily, all that is required of you is to make a trip to the closest hardware outlet and pick up a plank of wood. You can decorate this plank with fabric, light, or anything else you fancy.

  1. Use a Washi Tape on Everything…

If you don’t know what a Washi Tape is, it is a remarkable Japanese masking tape which is not only reusable but also removable!  These characteristics render it suitable for numerous diverse roles including creating removable wallpaper, design photo frames, not to mention what is perhaps the most captivating functions, creating pineapple-themed wall art!

  1. Spice things up with cozy cushions

Spice up your bed by pilling up some cozy, patterned, and colorful cushions on it. Any cushions with quirky or eccentric design or slogan cushions can spark some life to your bed area. You can also get adventurous with shapes, prints, or even sizes which contrast against your bedding to make your space pop up with a remarkably cozy bed! You can check out Etsy for these and much more selections to suit any student room.

  1. Personalize your hangers

dorm design

If your room has an open wardrobe that features a visible hanging rail, the whole setup can look quite messy in an instance especially if you are using a load of mismatched hangers. Alternatively, you can decide to purchase a set of relatively cheap hangers and proceed to tailor them to match your room. You can add sequins, and either spray paint them with gold to a chic touch or cover them with fabric.

  1. Add some greenery

While there is nothing much to this little trick, adding some plants across your room is a simple way to spark some life into your room. What’s more, this trick comes with a surprising assortment of health benefits such as making the air cleaner as well as enabling you to study better (for real!). Jade plants, rubber trees, not to mention rubber trees are some few examples of simple to maintain plants you can start with.

  1. Paint your own rug

One of the simplest ways to land a personalized, unique rug is just to paint one. You can find an assortment of cheap rugs in thrift shops as well as numerous other secondhand outlets which you can use. However, for the best results, go for one with a relatively low pile.

  1. Use your furniture to break up space

If your room is a studio apartment, it can give you problems thinking about how to work on the open space. However, there is a simple fix to it! You can make use of your furniture pieces to establish different ‘zones.' As a first, you can set up your working desk along the living room side to separate the living room from your sleeping area. There are multiple ways you can do it… Be sure to visit Houzz to get some inspiration or

  1. Make your desk a creative hub

As you will discover from various sources and surveys, college life is quite a buzz and crucial, and the load you get in school in order to enroll can be so enormous that it’s difficult to keep up. That' why students turn to numerous online essay writers who can get your assignment done for you with ease and on time.

Nonetheless, this is not to say that you still can’t invest in a desk to do your research or review your custom essay.  If you have a desk in your dorm room, it does not hurt to make this place worth sitting at. You can spruce up the desk area with photos, colorful lanterns, or even plants. If you want to attach items to your room wall, you can try the UHU white tack as it doesn’t leave any stains.

  1. Switch your handles

Are you fed up of the fittings which came with your dorm room? If so, there are numerous easy ways you can follow to spice up things a little bit. To start with, you can unscrew handles on old furniture such as your drawers and screw in some new ones of your choice. The options are unlimited, but be sure to put back the old handles once your tenancy is over to avoid getting in trouble!

  1. Organize messy wires

It is no brainer that you, of course, have a phone, or even a tablet and a laptop…right? Each of these gadgets needs to charge regularly. With such a tangle of wires, it is very easy for the electronic cables to pile up and become unsightly. However, we have a solution to it; create your own charging station. It is surprising how easily things get tidier without all these wires entangled around the room.

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7 Ways to Boost Your Brand Identity Online


brand

Before you can take steps to boost your online brand, you need to know what you want it to be. Your brand identity is akin to your personal identity.

 

The characteristics and traits that differentiate you from others constitute your personal identity. Your brand identity is made up of the look and feel of how your company presents itself including your:

 

  • Logo
  • Tagline
  • Jingle
  • Slogan
  • Typography
  • Packaging
  • Content

 

Your brand identity includes any visual or audio representations that others recognize as your company.

Be Consistent

Brands that consistently and honestly promote their message are powerful. Think about some of the most famous brands. What is it about them makes them recognizable to you?

 

Is it their logo like McDonald's golden arches? Or their slogan like Verizon's "Can you hear me now"? What do you think of when you hear "Good to the last drop?" That's right, Maxwell House coffee.

 

How did these major brands gain such recognition? By consistently and repeatedly exposing the public to their visual, audio, and content-related brand identity.

 

The more consistent you are in your branding, the more familiar your target market will become with your business.

Create a Brand Book

Once your company has established your brand identity and chosen your logo, tone, typography, and design styles, you want to be sure all employees and departments consistently speak in one voice.

 

Creating a professional brand book will keep your entire team on point with your brands message. Also, being able to align your business strategy with your brand position is facilitated by the creation of a brand book.

 

It also saves time for companies of all sizes if you add staff to your team or replace a designer. New employees can get up-to-speed very quickly by referring to your brand guidelines.

Speak with One Voice

Your brand is also reflected in what you do and don’t say on social media. Part of your brand identity is to know your target audience and to speak to them on all relevant platforms in the same voice.

 

Spend more time on the social media platforms where your target audience hangs out. For example, if you are selling clothes for teenage girls, your social media focus should be on Instagram and Tumblr as opposed to Twitter or LinkedIn.

 

Be sure that the type of language you use, like your captions on Instagram or your Facebook posts, speak directly to your audience.

 

All content you publish and share, such as blog posts or social media stories, should reflect your brand and be consistent.

 

Whether your brand voice is humorous, makes use of colloquialisms, or is more fact-based and diplomatic, as long as you "speak" consistently and authentically, your audience will feel a connection to you and be more likely to trust your brand.

Use an Emotional Appeal

Did you know that most purchase decisions are based on emotion? For brands who are trying to get more buyers, understanding this concept can help.

 

Your brand story should communicate feelings by appealing to the emotions of your target audience.

 

Even if someone in your target audience sees an online video, image, or post, and they are not ready at that moment to make a purchase, they will feel a connection to your brand.

 

If they consistently see the same or similar messaging that elicits an emotional response, when they are ready to make a purchase, guess whose brand they will remember? The one they feel an emotional connection to and the one they trust is the brand they will purchase from when ready.

Be Creative

When you are developing your brand strategy, be creative so that your online voice and content is unique, engaging, and compelling.

 

It is vital that your brand stand out from your competitors. So when deciding on your company logo, the fonts you use, the colors you choose, and your overall style, make sure they all resonate with your prospective customers.

 

To determine your correct voice and identity, study the demographics, preferences, and needs of your target market.

Understand Your Competition

For your target market to purchase from you and not your competitors, you should know who is competing with you in the same space and what they are doing to attract customers.

 

Do some research to find out where they are hanging out online and be sure you are there, too. Your goal is to do what your competitors are doing - only do it better.

 

Also, try to identify gaps in what your audience needs to see or hear and develop your brand strategy around what your competitors are not doing.

 

You want your brand to fulfill needs, be the solutions for any problems, and be memorable and recognizable.

Show Some Personality

Some companies decide to create a fun and humorous brand identity. If you are in a niche where being comedic is appropriate, give it a shot.

 

Some major brands create silly or outrageous online campaigns that work. A few examples are:

 

  • Charmin: Using cute and silly campaign strategies, like the hashtag #tweetfromtheseat, help to keep Charmin a leader in the toilet paper industry due to their creative marketing strategies.

 

  • Old Spice: Historically known as your dad’s aftershave, Old Spice chose to rebrand in unusual and humorous ways, including using sassy social media strategies to remain relevant and memorable.

 

  • Squatty Potty: This brand utilizes unusual and comedic marketing to promote a rather bizarre concept. But it works. After receiving financial backing from appearing on Shark Tank, Squatty Potty enjoys market dominance in a somewhat sensitive niche.

 

Creating and building a brand identity is a process, and it is often not a finite one. In the case of Old Spice, they needed to rebrand to remain competitive.

 

Continue to study your market and your competitors. Measure the success of your current branding initiatives and marketing strategies.

 

Make changes where needed and test branding strategies frequently to keep your brand in the minds of your target audience.

 

Image Pixabay CC0 License

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Things to Keep in Mind to Make Your Website Look More Attractive


website design

All the web designers wish that they work on a well designed and formatted website. However, it doesn't mean that the website has to look all glitter and flawless. It means that how professional and sophisticated your site looks. Reason being, a number of websites are available online that are attractive but are unable to enchant and captivate potential customers. Therefore, web designing is crucial if you want your business to grow when it comes to web designing.

 

This article has clubbed together some of the top ways in which you can make your website look more attractive.

 

  • Keep the basic design simple

You must have noticed that certain websites have dozens of highlights, drop shadows, borders, and colors over the webpage. This would look colorful but might often fail to attract the customers. If you are planning to create a web design that it is loaded with colors and lines, this might be the right to drop it. Reason being, visitors will find it really hard to hunt for the relevant information and might consequently drop the idea of visiting your site.

 

In this era, minimalism in everything is becoming more and more wanted. Therefore, you should adopt a more sophisticated design that looks neat and tidy when approached. Adding tons of flashy elements will ultimately turn off the impression of your content and services provided.

 

  • Make the navigation over your website easy

An ultimate goal that every skillful web designer aspires to achieve is to give the best customer experience. A responsive web designer will make both the ends meet to get the best out of what is available. One of the awesome ways by which he can achieve this is causing the navigation over your website simple. Customers are in a great hurry to hunt for the required information.

 

Therefore, the website should look clean, neat and well organized so that the customers can get what they want easily with just a few hits.

 

  • Use the white space thoughtfully

Having a cluttered website design makes it tough for any visitor to be able to differentiate between various thoughts and ideas. It is necessarily the empty space that is devoid of any text or image and is strategically used to give a neat layout to the site. Moreover, white space determines the readability of the content published on your website along with deciding how appealing it looks to any visitor.

 

  • Use big and high-quality images

Using high-quality images may take a bit of time to get loaded, however, will make your website appear one in a million. Using these high-quality images will enable your site to look more professional. This will attract customers and eventually increase the traffic on your website.

 

Therefore, factors like choice of font, quality of images, use of CTA buttons etc. are essential when it comes to web designing. The first impression over your potential customers must be great. This will make them to visit our website more often.

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Lighting Colour And The Effect On Our Sleep


lamp shade

Sleep is one of the most important activities that we engage in and it’s essential to ensuring optimal health. Lack of sleep can compromise your ability to perform even the most basic mental functions like focusing on a task or processing thoughts clearly. That’s why it’s paramount to not only focus on the quantity of sleep but on the quality as well.

According to experts, light exposure can have a tremendous effect your body’s internal clock. This is what makes us feel sleepy when it’s dark and energized when the suns out. New research suggests that it’s not just the presence or absence of light that affects our circadian rhythm, but the color of that light as well.

This might explain why we feel a certain way when we see a beautiful peachy sunset or the blue light emanating from our electronic devices.  Read on to find out how lighting color can affect your sleep.

 

Blue Light

It’s a well-known fact that the blue light coming from our laptops and smart devices can have a detrimental effect on our circadian rhythm. That’s because it suppresses the body’s ability to produce melatonin and this gives rise to problems like insomnia and restlessness. That’s also why we tend to have a harder time falling sitting in front of a laptop or smartphone screen.

The PLOS Biology journal published a 2015 study which was aimed at understanding how mice responded to light color exposure. What makes this study unique is the fact that it focused on the effect of light color on suprachiasmatic nucleus. This is the part of the brain that regulates time through chemical signals. As such, the researchers checked the mice’s mental and physical chemical reactions to light color changes.

During the research, the mice were exposed to different levels of light intensity and darkness while measuring their suprachiasmatic nerve signals. To achieve this, the researchers used a “fake sky” setup, kind of like in the Jim Carrey movie The Truman Show. The researchers also tested the mice’s response to different light colors like the purples and peaches that you get during sunrises and sunsets.

The data showed that the mice reacted normally to regular light exposure. However, the response of their suprachiasmatic nerve signals showed a 30 minute delay whenever they were exposed to conditions that went from light to dark without any changes in color hue. This is like working on your laptop all night and being exposed to its blue light and then suddenly switching it off without any sort of transition light color.

This research also shows us that the mice actually needed changes in light color to help them transition from light to dark. So the intensity and color of light has a strong correlation to our sleep patterns because science has shown us that there is a strong link between humans and mice in terms of suprachiasmatic nerve signals.

It’s also interesting to note that LED light bulbs may affect our ability to fall asleep because they emit more blue light than other light bulbs. But, according to the Elektra lighting design team, light fittings with specially engineered LED light can actually facilitate better sleep by emiting a unique amber glow.

 

Rectifying the Problem

The good news is that there are certain methods that we can apply to correct the problems caused by blue light exposure. The most obvious solution is to work on drastically reducing your exposure. This is understandably difficult for anyone living in the 21st century because we conduct most of our lives through a screen interface.

But, even if you can’t eliminate the use of blue light emitting screens during the day, you may do so at night. Try and read a book instead of looking at your cellphone, resist the urge to check emails or texts before bedtime, and avoid watching TV for at least two hours before you sleep.

If you can’t completely avoid blue light exposure at night, then wear orange tinted sunglasses while looking at the screen to reduce its effects on your biology. Orange tinted glasses help to block the blue light, thus making it easier to fall asleep afterward.

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Why Every Business Needs a Style Guide


style guide

Photo by energepic.com from Pexels

Whether you’re a big believer in marketing, or you think that if you build it people will buy it, the fact is that your business is a brand. Your brand is like your business card, and it’s what people will experience long before they actually do business with you. It precedes you, and it’s something that you need to fine-tune constantly if you want to be able to stand out from the crowd.

 

To give you plenty of food for thought, we’ve put together a simple 5 minute read that will tell you everything you need to know about a commonly overlooked creative tool: the style guide. Have a read, sit back and reflect, and then put the hints and tips into action. Your brand will be all the better for it in no time at all.

 

A style guide saves you from wasting time discussing tangential ideas

The first thing to note about a style guide is that it will always save you time in the long run. People will probably think you’re indulging in a drawn out needlessly creative endeavor when you suggest creating a style guide, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

 

It will take some time to get it right, but that’s just the cost of building a brand that actually stands for something. Commit to finishing your guide no matter what, and always remember that it will save you plenty of time later on. It’s there as reference material for the lifetime of your business, and it will prove invaluable when it inevitably comes time to rebrand, or when you’re launching a new product or service. The more you put into it now, the more it will give back when you need it.

 

It will ensure you stay ‘on-brand’ at every creative turn

Staying true to your brand is easier said than done. When you’re in the thick of it and faced with half a dozen mounting deadlines it can be all too easy to churn out a logo that’s okay, and a tagline that you think is ‘good enough’. The problem is that once you launch them into the market they’re now the face of your brand. If they don’t fit with what you’ve done before then they’ll just confuse people.

 

You could always retract them, but then you just look like you’re chopping and changing the offering based on negative feedback. And that’s a surefire to lose your voice of authority and open yourself up to further criticism. Your audience doesn’t want to believe that you’re just telling them what they want to hear. They want to believe that you’re the authority, the thought leader, and the trendsetter that they’ve been waiting to buy into.

 

They connect your brand to your target audience

If you want to know why style guides matter, all you need to do is think about the last bad branding exercise you saw. It could be a website, fashion label, home collection, or anything that left you speechless. With so many different creative threads to play with, you’ll probably have been confused at how they could have got it so wrong.

 

The issue will, more than likely, have been that there was no style guide in place. The style guide is what you use to ensure there is uniformity and a common thread running through every aspect of a marketing campaign. It’s easy to copy and paste the same old tagline, but there’s a lot more to uniformity than that. You need to tailor each offering so that it’s suitable for every new platform and setting, but in a way that’s sensitive to the core of your brand. Which leads us nicely onto the next point on our list.

 

 

You can express your brand’s core ethos in a variety of different mediums

Your brand needs to have something at the center of it if it’s going to connect with the people you want to do business with. It’s an emotion that it evokes in people, and it will be far stronger than their memory of your latest tagline, sale, or discount offer.

 

The problem with tackling different promotional mediums without a style guide is that most of the time a different person will have input into each platform. You may all be working for the same end goal, but unless there is central creative guide you can all refer back to then it’s unlikely you’ll end up pulling in the same direction.

 

Your customers will actually know what you stand for

Businesses like the The Word Point work in a very specialist niche, and so need to target a specific section of the online market. This means that they need to stand for something, and just as importantly, they need to ensure that their customers know they stand for it.

 

By compiling a style guide that focuses on precision, flexibility, and knowledgeable input they can build a creative framework around their brand. If you can do the same, you’ll be able to tell a potential audience of millions what your business stands for.

 

What should your style guide include?

The specifics will depend on the size of your brand, and what industry you work in, but there are a number of core features every style guide must have:

 

  • Your logo, along with alternative forms that are used in specific settings, or on specific platforms
  • Guidelines on the position, sizing, and background colors of all content pages and their contents
  • Base typography that will be used for all of your content
  • Your core color palette that can be referred to when designing new content
  • A list of things to be avoided at all costs as they are not in alignment with your brand’s ethos

 

Static or dynamic style guides?

A style guide has to be a dynamic document, but one that is governed by a certain set of creative rules:

 

  • Guides need to evolve with the times so that they reflect the changes businesses undergo as the years go by
  • They must adapt to the launch of new sections of the business, but do so in a way that brings the new ventures under the same core brand of the business
  • Style guides cannot be chopped and changed purely because a new idea doesn’t fit in with them. Think about whether the new idea has had anything like the degree of thought put into it as the style guide, and then decide which one you’re going to keep

 

Getting the balance right between process and creativity

The final thing to say is that a style guide is a great way to help you find the right balance between process and creativity. If you have a deadline, it can be all too easy to submit something that does the job and be done with it.

 

What the style guide does in these instances is keep your output honest so that you can see whether your new content actually adds anything to your brand. Often you’ll find that referring back to the style guide points you in a subtly different direction that makes all the difference to the finished article. Ideal if you want to enhance your brand every single day.

 

pauline farris

BIO: Pauline speaks Portuguese, English, Spanish and Italian. She travelled the world to immerse herself in the new cultures and learn languages. Today she is proud to be a voting member of the American Translators Association and an active participant of the Leadership Council of its Portuguese Language Division.

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Ideas For Amazon Product Design


ideas

There are two main ways you can boost sales of your products on Amazon: drive more traffic to your listing, or increase conversion rates, that is the percentage of visitors who actually make a purchase.

When it comes to improving conversation rates, one of the essential elements to consider is great product design. Check these tips and ideas for great Amazon Product Design which will help you to improve conversions, boost sales, and grow your business.

Start With More Ideas, Not Less

When designing a product it is best to start with as many ideas as possible: you can narrow them down later, but the more ideas you start with the more likely you are to have that one winning idea. Start by brainstorming as many product ideas as you can. Conduct research – talk to previous customers and your ideal target customers to see what they’re interested in buying. Be as creative as possible to come up with a long list.

Conduct Market Research

Once you have a healthy ideas bank, you can start to narrow down that list to things you think will sell. A good place to start with this is to conduct market research. There are many ways to do this – surveys, trade shows, online trend tools and industry news and blogs, to name a few – and all are important to gauging the market to get a feeling for the kinds of products customers will be looking to buy. Knowing and listening to your existing customer base is also key in this process – they can give you great insights. Of course, you should simply look to designing a product simply because of sales potential, but you also don’t want to design something no one will buy because there is simply no market demand.

Consider Your Brand

As an Amazon seller, your store is your brand. Branding is incredibly important in any kind of business: it tells your customers who you are, helping you build relationships and trust with your customer base. When designing products for Amazon always keep your brand in mind. Will the product be in line with your brand as a seller? Does it appeal to your target customer? Most successful Amazon stores have cohesive ranges of products which reflect their strong brand.

Look To Your Competitors

Competitor analysis is an important tool in product design. Look at what products your competitors are selling, what is successful and, even more importantly, what isn’t. Read the negative reviews which customers have left on similar products to see what features you could add to address these concerns. Better to learn from your competitors’ mistakes rather than make these mistakes all over again yourself!

Don’t Forget Legal Concerns

This will not be necessary in every case, but in some cases it is advisable to patent new product designs. A patent can be advisable if you have created a new manufacturing process as part of your product design, your product relates to a discovery in a new field, or if you are looking for external investment. Patents can be expensive, so if you are unsure a good middle-ground could be to file a provisional patent application.

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Top 5 VR Designing Software


As we mentioned in our previous article, the thing with VR software is that everybody has a preference and each company is developing new features every day. Here are top picks from designers around the world, and some of their main features.

 

1. Unity 3D

 

Researching many different tools, Unity still stays our number one for all purposes - gaming, real-time film, architecture. If you are already familiar with C# or JavaScript, scripting with Unity will be easy to adapt to and prototype your virtual reality apps real quick. There is a large community built around Unity technology and your design is easy to export to any platform you want.

 

2. Forge

 

Developed by Autodesk, Forge represents a great platform with team management features. Their great toolkit enables you to merge your design with engineering and enable you tools such as Model Derivative API, Reality Capture API and many more.

 

how to make an amazing VR experience

 

3. SketchUp

 

This modeling application was developed by Google, with excellent tutorials to get everyone to model basics quickly. This is an absolute winner for beginners, to get you used to the language quickly before you move on to modeling on some more professional platforms. There is a free trial for this software, so see for yourself.

 

4. Blender

 

Blender is a perfect example of what you can move on from SketchUp, although you can also dive into it straight away. Blender is open source and free for all, which makes it favorite for many developers. This software uses Python and it is compatible with Linux, Windows, and Mac. Another great advantage is the ability to export your work in many different formats, including a format for JanusVR with a free open source plugin FireVR.

 

5. Unreal Engine UE4

 

UE4 is the main competitor to Unity 3D, also a leading gaming software with many integrations, wide store, and good support. It is comparably good as Unity, although some say the results are much more realistic and with better navigation. Unreal Engine also allows you to export to various formats, although not as much as Unity.

 

which VR software to use

 

These are our current top five picks of software to design an awesome virtual reality. Their abilities range based on their target groups - some are more basic like SketchUp, and some way more advanced like Unity 3D and UE4. What software do you prefer for designing and modeling virtual reality? What are the most important features for you, how important are the learning materials and the community?

 

Tell us more about your experience in the comment section below.

 

Author:

Nina Petrov | @fusion_writer | www.ninapetrov.com

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