Our team of writers brings you daily trend coverage, new products, inspiration, information and fun ideas. With an archive of more than 2,023 articles, you're sure to find something you love. Or if you have a great idea, let us know!
If there is anything most students dread even more than writing essays and term papers, it's giving an oral presentation. Almost nobody likes it and it can be very nerve-racking. You are being judged and critiqued in real time by both your professors and your classmates. It can make you feel like you're in a pressure cooker that's just about to blow.
The good news is that the anxiety and fear associated with giving an oral presentation doesn't need to cripple your performance or your chance to get a good grade. If you take the advice ahead and implement these seven ideas into the writing and delivery of your presentation, you'll do just fine.
#1 – Start With Good Writing
One of the advantages of presentations is that you don't have to be an expert essay writer or any kind of writing professional to stand out amongst your classmates. The language of a presentation is less formal, so you can write your script in a way that is more conversational than an academic paper. The freedom to do that should, in and of itself.
A well-drafted script, formatted like an essay or term paper, can help you get more comfortable with the information and its delivery. Start by drafting a comprehensive outline and build a script around that. It will help you organize your information and will decrease the likelihood of forgetting to include key details.
#2 – Study Your Draft
Once you have a solid draft written, read it over and over again. Resist the urge to make too many changes unless you spot some glaring errors or misinformation that needs to be revised. Getting familiar with the salient points in your script, along with the supporting details, will make it easier to transition to the next step.
#3 – Use Icons to Fortify Key Points
Remember that you are giving this presentation to a largely millennial audience that grew up on visuals as part of their overall communication style. Graphic interpretations of key concepts or those that accentuate your description or explanation of them will get you far. Make good use of icons in your visuals. They are a popular addition to many written conversations, so leverage them as powerful visual aids. Some great examples can be found here.
#4 – Make Good Use of Color in Your Visuals
Color is also a vital part of any visual presentation. Don't go the fast and easy route. Select templates and color schemes that accentuate the tone, mood, and feelings you are attempting to convey. Colorful visuals add an extra dimension to your presentation and can often go far toward clarifying key concepts or making your own thoughts and opinions clearer.
#5 – Use Your Personality to Your Advantage
Now comes the part where you need to deliver your presentation and you want that delivery to be as strong as possible. Stiff, practiced, monotone presentations are boring. They become interesting when the presenter adds his or her own personality to the delivery. Walk around, use your hands, use appropriate facial expressions. All of these things will help accentuate your message and keep your audience engaged.
#6 – “Um...” Don't Get Stuck
The curse of “um...” has taken down many a presenter. This is why you want to be as familiar as possible with your material and the structure of the presentation ahead of time. Silent pauses are much preferred to a nervous “um” so work those pauses in ahead of time.
#7 – Relax and Enjoy
Try to approach your presentation from an angle that personally interests you and organize the information in a way that is easy for you to understand. Doing so will boost your confidence along with the quality of your presentation. Don't try to impress with lofty details or ideas that are beyond the scope of the class. Stick with what you know and are being taught. It will earn huge points with your prof.
While we can't make the experience of giving a college presentation less scary, we hope that the above advice will help you at least feel more prepared when the time comes. Remember, out of all the things you'll be asked to write during your college career, this is actually one of the easiest so don't be daunted by the task. You've got this and we've got your back.
I’ve been working as a self-employed creative person for about 6 years. I say "creative person” because, even though for most of the time I worked as a graphic designer and illustrator - I had about 2-3 years when I also worked as a UI/UX designer for mobile apps and websites, which at the time seemed like a dream job for me. I know, you’re probably thinking it’s a big gap between designing apps and drawing things for a living, and you’re right, but I was always attracted to exploring different visual creative fields and I like how they can co-exist.
In all this time I’ve been working as a freelancer, which involves the whole package of finding clients, doing a briefing, planning a project, doing research and finally starting work on the actual designs. The process is pretty much the same for every new project I take, but of course it wasn’t always like this. Since I’m self taught, I didn’t always have a structure and I used to play it by the ear a lot back when I started, so I made many mistakes that in time helped me optimize the process I have now.
First of all, a little background. When I started, I had no experience as a designer, my background was in communication and a little marketing, so I had to learn Photoshop and Illustrator from scratch. It helped that I was always passionate about drawing, but not by much, since graphic design is pretty technical and I was very new to all of that. I also had to learn to find my first clients, deliver the work and get paid, even if I had no portfolio and nothing to show for my work. So I did the easiest thing at the time: started by using freelance platforms like Fiverr or Elance (now Upwork), asking for very little money (yes, I did logos for $5) and pitching my design skills to clients who had no idea who I was. It was hard work and the satisfaction of earning the first money on my own was incredible.
It took me a few months to become a decent designer and increase my fees, after which I started to find clients on my own, among my network. Ever since then, I never actively searched for design jobs, because I would always have people recommend me to other people or, once I got a little exposure on social media, I started receiving many emails from people who just happened to see my work and had a design proposal for me.
I would sometimes become so overwhelmed with the amount of work that came my way, that I would have to say no. That’s also when I learned another thing: as long as the demand for what you do is high, you can raise your prices and filter the projects you decide to take. I realized it's better for me to work on one big project that pays well, instead of working on 4-5 small projects that pay little money and take the same amount of energy as a big project, if not more.
So, after the first year in the business or so, I never had trouble finding clients. But I would say that I did two things from the very beginning, that I think helped me get clients in the long run:
Once a client approaches me for a job I’m interested in, the process usually goes like this: we have a first meeting where we both determine whether or not we can work together, and if everything goes well we exchange a few emails where I ask many questions, in order to create a brief and see what exactly my job will be. Based on that, I estimate the budget and I send them a quote. I usually like to work with project based fees as opposed to hourly rate, because I feel like the value of what I’m offering isn’t always about the hours I put in. Sometimes I might spend 3 hours to reach a concept, sometimes it might take me 20 hours, depending on the project. But the value for the client is always about the end results; and the amount of time I spend getting there isn’t always a good indicator of that value.
If the client is ok with the price, we sign the contract, I usually get an advance of 25% (or 50%, if it’s a smaller project) and I start working.
My favorite part, the creative one, usually starts later in the process. I first need to dig deeper into what the client needs. In my experience, there’s almost always a difference between what the client says they need and what they actually need. So it’s my job as a designer to do my homework and make sure I ask as many questions as possible in order to get the bigger picture.
If it’s a visual identity project, for example, there is a lot to figure out before I start to design. I usually start by doing research about the brand, get as much info as possible on their core values, their goals, how their customers perceive them vs. how they want to be perceived (many times there are surprises here), I do research on the competition etc. This is very useful in order to offer the client a real solution, other than just execute what they say they need.
Once I have everything clear, I usually start by defining the brand’s personality, along with the client, and creating a tone of voice for the brand, which are the base for everything that follows. All the designs, communication, vibe of the brand, everything relies on these things we define. Ideally, these should be done by an agency, if the client has one, but if they don’t, these are steps you shouldn’t skip, if you want to offer quality work that will last in time. Your client will appreciate you more for it.
Once we have this structure, it’s a lot easier coming up with a concept and creating the graphic standards around it. Because once you can define “who is the brand?”, “what is it like?”, “what adjectives you can attribute to it?” and other such questions often used in branding, it’s easy to come up with fonts, the color palette and so on. If the brand is formal and conservative, you go with a certain font and choice of colors (taking into account what services they offer, also). If the brand is playful, innovative and cheeky, you might choose a friendly font, you might use hand lettering, playful illustrations and so on.
So design has very much to do with context. This is why it’s always a red flag for me when a client says they want their logo in blue because it's their wife's favorite color. Or that they want something similar to someone else’s design (and send me a picture). I can always do that, it’s the easiest thing for me to execute and take the money, but I never do it, because: 1. they probably won’t be happy and will keep coming back for revisions, since that wasn’t what they “really” wanted; 2. because I love what I do and a big part of that is knowing that my work has real purpose.
Here’s a story on that subject. I once had a client who hired me to design his upcoming online teaching platform. When I asked him what kind of logo he wants, he told me he loves the Apple logo and wants something like that. Of course, my designer mind immediately went to the bitten apple symbol, used mainly on grey or black, with a super simple font assigned to the brand. I could do that. But was that what he really wanted? So I started asking question after question, trying to understand what exactly about the Apple logo he liked. Ten minutes later, I got to the conclusion that what he actually wanted was a brand that was "as respected and desired as Apple is". So what he wanted was not the logo, but rather the character of the brand, and he subconsciously associated that with the logo ?
This is why you need to ask questions beyond what the client claims they want.
Creating the logo and everything else involved usually starts once all this is made clear. And I usually put all this in a document and send it to the client to confirm.
Back when I started out, I would usually create 3-4 concepts of a logo and send them to the client to choose which one he liked best. Now, I prefer to work on just one concept, which I consider to be the best solution, and work from there. I always explain my point to the client and I always have objective arguments, so that they can make a decision taking into account my expertise. Many times, the client doesn’t agree with you, but when you explain it to them, they might change their mind and trust you more because of that.
When I pick a color palette, I start from all the above, but once I have it narrowed down to a few color ideas, I start looking for inspiration. I like using color palette websites (colourlovers.com has been my go to for years), but also Pinterest or Instagram accounts like @designseeds. Another favorite is Dribbble, where you can enter a color code and see all the combinations of colors used containing that one color (you can even filter according to the percentage of color present in each composition). It’s an amazing tool when you’re in search of ideas.
In this stage, I always like to create a moodboard of imagery that speaks to me, like a collage of color palettes, fonts, patterns, illustration styles and so on. They can be images I find on Pinterest, Instagram, photos I take on the street, images of other work I might have done before, anything that catches my eye. The purpose of this is to immerse myself in the atmosphere of the project and get a better idea of what I want to create. This moodboard, along with a list of keywords that are assigned to the brand, are the starting point to my design process.
Once I have the visual style ready and approved, I create a visual identity manual where I write down how everything should be used. Things like versions of the logo, dont’s of the logo with examples like: never stretch the logo, never place X version on a black background, never use the typeface without the symbol or whatever etc, so basically graphic rules. I state what the main font is, what the secondary font is (for both digital and print), what the color palette is (with all color codes), what is the minimum size for the logo in print and you should never make it smaller than that, what kind of imagery is associated with the brand (you might notice there are brands that always use sepia or black and white photos, or brands that always use photos from an up close angle, very detail focused) - all of this is stated in the brand manual.
You usually learn all these specifics over time and after doing many such projects, but it doesn’t hurt to take a look at other brands’ manuals and study how they do it (you can usually find them to download online, or if you have friends who work in advertising or print, they have easy access).
This is pretty much the whole creative process. Once all these rules are set (and verified, because you must be sure it all works together the way you designed it), I design all the materials needed. That’s usually divided in two: digital materials (website, social media etc) and print materials (which can vary from stationery to promotional materials or packaging). When I do print I always use a Pantone color code in order to check that the colors I pick are true (and even then, it depends on the type of paper they print it on, but that’s a long discussion). The deliverables can include editable files or not (depending on what we previously agreed on) and I like to use Dropbox to share them.
What is something I know now and wished I'd known before?
That the more time I put in improving the brief and narrowing down all the info, the more chances are that I will come up with a design that my client is happy with from the start - and therefore they won’t ask for many revisions, which I know is a nightmare for designers in the early stages of their careers. This is something that used to frustrate me a lot too, and sometimes I felt like the client is capricious and can’t make up his mind.
The truth is, if you communicate well and you spend time listening and asking questions, you will more likely be on the same page with your client. I used to be afraid to do that, because I thought if I asked too many questions they will lose patience and become annoyed. But on the contrary, they will end up trusting you more, because you help them define what they want. And right there is why they pay you their money, that’s the value you provide for them.
What do you think about Miruna's story? Did you learn something from her experience? Did she inspire you? Let us know in the comments below.
It is very popular these days to use web resources and services to deliver better quality and save time or even money. I dare to say that it is a damn fine idea. Why build from scratch rather than let the web tools or services do their magic?
You can focus on delivering quality and increasing the user engagement, while the web tools and services can help you with your daily tasks. Below there are many WordPress professional plugins, themes and a managed hosting solution; website builders, a fmarketplace with thousands of digital products and many useful services.
Check the reviews below and share your thoughts.
Selling and sending tickets online is now easier than ever. Tickera is a highly appreciated WordPress plugin which will help you have your own online ticketing system. It is fully compatible with all WordPress themes which respect the standard and will blend perfectly into your new or existing designs.
Everything you need can be done with Tickera, it is packed with tons of features and options. You can use their ticket builder to fully customize and differentiate your VIP and standard tickets. You can put barcodes, use discounts to boost sales and much more. Much more can be done, check their website.
The pricing starts from $49 per year and there is a one-time installment fee of $70. Keep in mind that Tickera does not take a cut of your profit, they have fixed, transparent costs. It is probably the most affordable and professional solution on the market.
See Tickera in action! Here are some examples of the most used scenarios for ticket selling. Whether you are hosting single event or having website with multiple events or decided to harness the power of Tickera and WooCommerce fusion via Tickera Bridge for WooCommerce - it is all there for you to try out in "real life" examples! If you need a demo account go here.
With more than 1.5 million active sites daily, LayerSlider is probably the best premium multi-purpose animation platform which will help you build sliders, gorgeous image galleries, animated landing pages and even full websites in record-time.
LayerSlider is the complete solution, being packed with tons of features and options. It has versatile layouts where you can select a full screen, full width, full size or hero scene display mode. It is fully responsive, looking great on any device: smartphones, tablets and desktop computers. LayerSlider is having the best drag and drop editor on the market. It is super simple to use, you don’t need to have coding skills or previous experience and it has everything included to help you: live preview, undo-redo, keyboard shortcuts, Photoshop-like image editor which works excellent and much more.
The version for WordPress costs $24 and for jQuery is just $15, both having lifetime updates with regular new great things included and 6 months support. On their website you will find all the documentation you may need and a dedicated support team to help you.
Beyond being the first Managed WordPress hosting solution, Pagely is committed to creating a company that values employees and customers first. They work hard, are kind to everyone, and act with a conscience. It's these values with which they’ve built a best-in-class service with the industry's top engineers who care about the communities they serve on a human level. This, along with an innovative and proprietary tech stack built on Amazon Web Services makes them the market leader in managed WordPress hosting for enterprise.
Pagely utilizes a partnership with Amazon to deliver the best-Managed WordPress hosting services on the market with the most experienced technical staff in the industry. They are focused on enterprise and the public sector but any WordPress website which needs speed and availability will benefit from having Pagely on their side.
Check Pagely and pick the plan you need, if you don’t know what fits best you can discuss with their friendly and professional support team.
Goodie is a professional but with a different approach web development service which will build you the website you dream for. The price is starting from $999 and if you need more features, Goodie will send you an affordable quote for the additional options. If your website is super-simple, they will add value, so your website will worth the money you have paid.
Upload your projects details and get in touch with Goodie.
Ultra is a powerful WordPress theme made by the well-respected developer Themify. It includes a brilliant and easy to use drag and drop builder, 11 bonus add-ons and the possibility to create unlimited websites with the license.
WPKube has a small, yet a premium collection of WordPress themes which you will find very interesting. All their themes are pixel-perfect, multipurpose, load extremely fast and are SEO friendly. Check their portfolio.
Apply is a gorgeous, free one-page theme which is having a modern and clean design. It can be used showcase your mobile app, but also for other scopes. The free themes are having lots of features and options which normally can be found in the premium templates.
Postcards can be quickly used to create professional emails without writing a single line of code. The powerful drag and drop builder and the 70+ elements will make your life easy. Keep in mind that the elements are retina-ready, you can choose from 800 Google Fonts and more customizations can be further made.
Slides is a premium website builder which will help you have your own gorgeous website in minutes, without having any previous experience or coding skills. You can choose from 180+ beautifully designed and fully functional elements that in combination with the drag and drop builder will create you a gorgeous websitE.
Codester is an excellent marketplace which is quickly growing from one month to another. Web designers, developers and everyone looking to buy PHP scripts, app templates, website themes and much more. If you are looking for an additional income, you can sell your products on Codester, they are not requesting your products.
MeridianThemes is a powerful WordPress theme developer which is creating pixel-perfect, free and premium templates. All of their products are having gorgeous designs, load extremely fast and look great on any device your website visitors may have.
uiCookies is popular for delivering awesome free themes which can be easily fully customized to fit any project. Frame is a free one-page theme with a modern and clean design, fully packed with features and options that are giving this theme a premium touch.
FreelanceLogoDesign is a platform which lets graphic designers compete to send their best logo design. Enter a simple logo design brief and pay $19, the platform will assign 3 designers which will be creating 6 custom logo concepts for you. You will receive the logos in less than 6o minutes and after you pick the one you like, you will pay $49 for the copyright.
Working on all websites and all e-Commerce platforms, MailMunch is a popular way to increase conversions on your website. Create beautiful opt-in forms without writing a single line of code, starting from the professional included themes.
WhatFontIs will quickly identify the fonts you are looking for from any URL or image which you will upload. What is even greater to this platform is the fact that you will receive free and premium alternatives, most of the times saving you money. Start using it, you will find it very useful.
Pixpa is a powerful and popular portfolio website builder, packed with an excellent drag and drop builder, beautifully designed themes and much more. You don’t need any coding experience or previous experience, anybody will obtain great results.
Try it for free for 15 days.
SuperbWebsiteBuilders is a decent choice for users, who intend to find the best website builder to complete particular tasks. The website provides the reviews of the top rated website builders, their characteristics, and list of pros and cons users should know when selecting the best platform. Due to the professional approach of Howard Steele, the owner and the chief editor of the website, it has become a decent information source for professional web designers and newbies.
uKit is a robust website builder for business owners that have an edge over other site-building solutions due to its solid functionality and easy to use interface. The brings over 350 designer-made themes encompassing 38 business categories to suit just any kind of website. The platform offers everything you might require to set up your own professional digital presence and go online in a matter of minutes.
uCalc.pro is a free online service that lets you create a custom embeddable calculator in a matter of minutes. Start by choosing a template (there’s a good collection of modern, designer made layouts), add the input fields you want and you’re all set to go live. Your visitors will be able to calculate mortgage, loan payments, interest rates and much more directly on your website.
20 .IM XPRS
IM XPRS is a decent choice when it comes to selecting a functional and affordable website builder. This cloud-based system is free, yet it offers a broad spectrum of web design options and tools needed to create websites of diverse specialization and complexity level. The service comes with the Polydoms technology, responsive templates subdivided into thematic categories, design customization tools, White Label solution and WYSIWYG visual editor that ensures intuitive, quick and safe web building process.
Looking for a complete, simple to use and budget-friendly invoicing platform? InvoiceBerry is what you are looking for, is a perfect fit for small companies and freelancers. Sending fully customized invoices takes less than 60 seconds and the platform can also help you track expenses and payments, create reports and much more.
InvoiceBerry is having a free forever plan, start with that one and you can upgrade anytime.
Being used by more than 1,500 companies, SalesMate is a smart and powerful CRM software that will help you better organize your work, have a clear pipeline, increase email productivity and much more. Try it for free for a period of 15 days and check all the features and options that SalesMate is having.
Ucraft is a cloud website builder, which is in demand with experienced web developers and newbies, who are just making their first steps in the web design niche. The system allows creating and customizing websites of different types. There is even a Free Landing Page Creator, which makes to possible to build landing pages in minutes and connect them to any domains you wish or get the new one from the system in no time. It’s also possible to launch a functional web store here due to the integrated eCommerce engine the system can boast.
Controlio is a professional computer and internet monitoring software which is loaded with tens of great features and options. You can have live surveillance, continuous screen recording and much more. Prices start from $7.99 per user per month.
EvergreenFeed is a great way to put on autopilot your social media channels. This way you will save a couple of hours every week, hours which may bring you money by taking new projects. They are having a free plan which you should start with.
With Uncode you can take the building of an website using WordPress to the next level. It has a tailored version of the popular Visual Composer with advanced techniques, massive features and options. Everything you can thing for is included in Uncode.
RumbleTalk is a popular choice to implement a web chat to any website. Using this webchat you can discuss with your website visitors but many other things can also be achieved. Audio and video calls can be made, image, video and youtube sharing and even more.
Up to 5 seats and 1 room is free. Try it.
Whenever you are looking to get things done quick while having excellent results, any of the above web resources are great options. Some of them are having free trials or even free forever plans, testing them is easy and free of cost.
As a final note, these web tools and services were manually selected and represent the best 26 web resources in the first quarter of 2018.
Please share your opinions and tell us what web tools you are using.
There are different principles when choosing a color scheme. Based on these you can put together color combination for any type of website. It is essential to know the purpose of the website right at the start. It’s obvious that you would pick different colors for outpatient clinic, for a restaurant etc.
Proven color combinations
The basic know-how of every designer is the ability to sense which color scale to apply when creating a website. There is a large number of variables involved in the website building process which can limit the designer’s creativity. One of the factors mentioned previously is the purpose of the website. There exist proven color combinations in this regard. What does it mean?
That they simply fit together.
On the one hand the individual colors and shades blend in. They may be monochromatic or complementary; or opposite. Simply these are any colors which fit into standardized color schemes.
On the other hand there are color combinations that users subconsciously associate with certain type of industry. Furthermore, the right selection of colors increases the click rate and page conversion.
As such color combinations are universal for certain website types, they became a guide or an aid for designers. Why to think of something that has already been invented and already brings the results?
Why all medical websites are white
Proven color schemes become a must-have for specific types of WordPress templates and websites. The associations these colors invoke for the users are the reason why these color scales can be recycled and repeatedly used for the given industry. And these color combinations will never go out of fashion.
White color will always be the designer’s first choice for creating medical websites, websites for doctors or dentists; because it is associated with the cleanliness, airiness and sterile environment (which is characteristic for hospitals etc.).
In addition, white color is absolutely perfect for any minimalist business webpage.
Also, it is not accidental that you come across a blue color whenever you open a bank or insurance website. Blue color (especially in dark shades) combines respectability, reliability and strength - the attributes that clients expect from financial institutions. But also from companies. Blue color will therefore always be a good choice for corporate websites and for Directory portals.
Analogous to white or blue color, there are also other colors that call up certain associations. Green color is related to environment or healthy lifestyle websites, black color to luxury product pages and so on.
How to choose the right color for the layout
Another factor that affects the use of a particular color scheme is the template layout itself. Not all the color schemes can be used universally for each layout type - the arrangement of individual elements can limit the color selection.
There are 2 completely different approaches to layout creation - Grid layout (or Card design layout) and Broken Grid layout.
Grid layout allows you to experiment with images
When working with Grid layout, you can choose from several color scales depending on the website type. For the presentation and business websites you can use more bold color combinations and shinier shades.
Apart from presentations, Grid Layout is often applied for websites with large amount of photos and content, such as portfolios, blogs and case studies.
If the Grid layout is used for portfolio, website color scheme should be simpler. Images in portfolio are highly colorful. Neutral colors should be used as a base, so that portfolio items can stand out. Thanks to simple colors it is possible to add and combine different photos - both color and type. Beware, however, of their composition.
You have to anticipate when using Broken Grid layout
Broken Grid layout is a new approach that violates the rules of organized boxy layout design. Since the main principle of Broken Grid layout is seemingly random placement of elements on the website and their overlapping, the selection of right colors is essential.
Therefore we recommend to sensitively consider color scale and ask yourself if it is suitable for this layout type. Will it visually fit together with other graphic elements, embedded pictures or typography?
Source: Multimedia Guides in Culture.pl
Where to find inspiration for your next website?
Even though design blogs and portals can be a good source of inspiration for color scale selection, WordPress themes as such often use proven color combinations therefore can provide useful guidance too. It requires some sense for colors, but remember that sometimes less is more, especially if you’re a beginner.
You will certainly pick your design WordPress template from 70 unique business and directory templates made by Ait Themes.
If it was a Jeopardy question, would you be able to identify the present status of the national terrorist threat level without guessing? That’s what we thought. As presently configured, this color-coded warning system seems to have all the gravitas of the flag rotation at the beach that advises of strong undertow or the presence of too many jellyfish in the water. Actually, the resemblance is uncanny. Each has a five-color system that seems to randomly land on a selection depending on what a lifeguard or the Director of Homeland Security had for breakfast. Is it time to simplify our terrorist warning system from five flags to three?
The History of the Flag System
Color has a powerful influence on humans, shaping our moods and having a larger than you might imagine effect on your personal opinion of any particular day. In the wake of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York on September 11, 2001, officials in the newly created Department of Homeland Security decided a color-coded system was the best way to gain the attention of the average citizen, enabling them to discern at a glance the prevailing overall threat level, ranging from Green for “low risk of terrorist attacks” to Red for “severe risk of terrorist attacks.” In the near two decades since its establishment, the Threat Level Advisory System has been adjusted 17 times, the last in 2006 when it settled on Yellow, a “significant risk of terrorist attacks.”
Recently, the Homeland Security Advisory Council decided there might be a few too many flags and they may drop the bottom two, presumably on the theory that there’s a good chance we’ll never have a “Low” or “Guarded” state of affairs again. We can look to Israel for guidance here. Think they ever let their guard down? We’re guessing not. And presumably, five flag colors upon which our life depends is deemed more than the average citizen can keep up with
Stay Out of the Water and Watch for Madmen in Trucks
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano received the bad news from her council in the form of an official letter describing the current public indifference and lack of confidence in the Threat Level Advisory System. Though some panel members were in favor of scrapping the colored threat system entirely, the current non-binding recommendation is to move to a simplified three-color system that includes:
Yellow: A “guarded” state in the nation that urges all citizens to assume “standard” vigilance against potential terrorist action. This would be the new lowest threat level.
Orange: An “elevated” suspicion level in which protective measures are implemented upon the basis of specific information regarding a terrorist plot. An example - Johnny Jihad gets on Facebook and threatens to blow up the Super Bowl.
Red: This “high” alert level is intended to exert maximum protective measures against an ongoing or imminent terrorist action.
Keep the Politics Out
One of the compelling reasons to change the color-coded threat system, according to the council, is a recent revelation in former Homeland Security head honcho Tom Ridge’s book, The Test of Our Times, that members of George W. Bush’s cabinet urged him to increase the national threat level in the days leading up to the 2004 presidential election, theorizing that the move would go a long ways towards securing a second term for the sitting president.
Obviously, this kind of political chicanery doesn’t do much to increase public trust. Now the politicians at Homeland have decreed that the new system, “for reasons of public credibility,” won’t be politicized. They go on to assure us in the most insistent of terms that the new threat level will be changed only when public safety and security compels it. Riigghht. We'll believe it when we see it.
The Bottom Line
Ultimately, the world is a squirrelly place; it doesn’t seem we’re safe online or off. For the former, there are legitimate security steps you can take to protect yourself. With the latter, it may very well make all the sense in the world to simplify the Threat Level Assessment System, but the way to gain credibility is not to claim there will be no politics involved. That’s an insult to Americans everywhere. Of course, there will be politics involved. Politicians can’t help themselves. The best we can hope for is that, along the way to politicizing this new system, they might inadvertently do a good thing for the rest of us.
I was working as a graphic designer in 2006. I was fortunate enough to work in a small company with a very good boss. He employed me as a designer but he knew I liked to draw and gave me a chance to learn more about it at work place. Even if I had something to design he was always giving me free time to experiment with drawing anything no matter if that was related to the current project or not.
At that point I was sort of searching for myself in a wrong way, and also experimenting with drugs. My drawings looked like this:
I keep this artwork that dates to the beginning of my career as a reminder and a storyteller of my artistic and personal development. I also use it to see how much I've grown as an artist. It is still available in my portfolio at Behance. What you'll see in this folder is not something we can call illustrations that you could sell for big money. So, the first piece of advice would be: if you want to become a successful illustrator, don't try to draw like this.
Well… I think there were a few people and things combined together that made me successful.
It may sound unreal but it's actually logical. You are the center of everything in your life. What you think and feel, the way you perceive reality... it all influences the way you see the world and how you react to it. If you are at peace with yourself, you will be in harmony with the outside as well. Your attention and how to what you choose to dedicate it can transform your life.
For sure it was worth it! The only thing I would have done differently would be not taking up a couple of orders that I knew from the start would be a lost cause. I am talking about the ones where the customer didn’t know what they wanted nor why they wrote to me.
What do you think about Fil's story? Can you identify with it? Does it make sense? Do you have a story you'd like to share for COLOURLOVERS blog?
Tell us about it! We're dying to hear.
You need a very good downloader to download YouTube video safely. Even though there are hundreds of such downloaders available, finding the right one can be little time-consuming and you may need to do some good research. The best downloader will have some definite advantage over the general downloaders which are available today. The following factors are very important in choosing a downloader which will help you to download you Tube video safely.
Speed of the downloader is very important. There are some downloaders which are very sluggish and they need few hours to download a simple video. You cannot wait hours for the downloader to download a video. You need a downloader which will download your videos with a fast speed. There are some YouTube video downloader apps which will download a two-hour full HD video in just four minutes. Such fast downloaders use the multithread technology and as a result of that you get the benefit of getting your video within few seconds.
Find a video downloader that will allow you to download You Tube videos in any format. Which should download the videos in MP4, WebM, 3GP, FLV formats. You should also be able to save any YouTube music as MP3 files. Such a downloader should be able to rip web links to AVI, MKV, WMV, iPhone, PSP, Android, phones, etc.
Your downloader should allow you to save several videos at once. There are many downloaders which does not allow this feature. Would you like to keep downloading videos one by one doing everything manually? Definitely not. You need a downloader which will help you to save time by saving several videos at once as you want.
Just make sure that the downloader you are using preserves the original quality of the videos. If you get a low quality video that you cannot use or which is very much pixilated, what is the use of downloading the video? It is just a waste of your time and Internet. You need a downloader which will preserve the original quality. Some of the downloaders may even help you to improve the quality by allowing you to download in a higher resolution. It is also important that your downloader allows you to download 4k and full HD videos. With time, the quality of the videos in you Tube and other sites are increasing and so you downloader should be able to handle the latest type of videos and download it for you within a short time. Find a downloader that supports different qualities such as 4K, 1440p, 1080p, 720p, 480p, 360p, 240p, 180p.
It is important for people with slow Internet connection to limit the download speed. However, most of the downloaders are not sophisticated enough to allow such ability to limit download speed. However, there are some very good downloaders available which will allow you to limit download speed according to your wish. Choose a downloader which has this facility.
There are some downloaders which will allow you to download videos only from a few sites. On the other hand there are downloaders which will help you to download such videos from 10,000 sites. Which one will you choose? You should be able to capture online videos easily from YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo, Dailymotion, Twitch, LiveLeak, Veoh, local and adult sites.
Freemake Video Downloader is a downloader that have all the above mentioned features. It lets you download YouTube videos and 10,000 other sites; save videos, playlists, channels in HD, MP4, MP3, AVI, 3GP, FLV, etc. It is absolutely free. Download it here
Searching for that right image for your creative project can be tiresome. You put in a lot of time, patience and dedication, and when you finally find the perfect one, it is copyrighted and you cannot use it for your client or your friend’s commercial project. On the other hand, even worse, the resolution is so bad that you can barely see the shapes as soon as you zoom. Sounds familiar?
Well, struggle no more; you have come to the right place. Today we list ten of our favorite photo directories whose photos you can use stress free. They are all high quality and free from copyright restrictions. They all fall under the CC0 – creative commons license that allows you to use them without the previous permission of the photographer for both commercial and personal projects.
We list them in no specific order, as they are all special in their own way. Tell us which one is your favorite!
Unsplash is fueled by a community of generous photographers that give away their high-resolution photos free of charge. The site’s main values are sharing, caring and creating. Even the big companies like Squarespace, Medium, Slack and Trello use these photos. On Unsplash you can find different categories of photos ranging from landscape to business and food photography. Alternatively, you can explore their curated collections.
All of the photos you find here are high-resolution images placed under sixteen curated categories, which makes it easy to find exactly what you are searching for.
If you are searching for royalty-free stock photo database, you have come to the right place. Kaboompics is currently a photo directory containing almost 6000 images, with more than 80.000 users visiting it every month. All the photos are presented together with a 6-colours palette that is generated from the image itself followed by HEX codes and ready to be used instantly. A great thing you find on Kaboompics and do not see on many other photo directories is the data about the details of how the photo is taken: aperture, ISO, exposure and the lens type. These options and their blog can be of great help to everyone learning photography.
Stocksnap’s photos will surprise you. You will be able to find various imagery from animal photos to business and fashion. Many already have applied filters so if you like them as they come, you can use them without additional editing.
Besides by using the search bar, you can search through images by categories, number of views and downloads, date or how a photo is trending and you can see the most favorite photos on the directory.
Ryan McGuire created and curates the awesome directory that is updated once a week with creative, fresh images. Gratisography is very specific in its content as all the photos are unpredictable, quirky and funny. You can search through six categories (animals, nature, objects, people, urban, and whimsical) or subscribe to get weekly bundles. He also offers bundles containing an unpublished bonus photo which you can buy for as low as 5$ to help him cover his expenses.
Pexel is a directory with a goal to empower the creators giving them the freedom to use not only CC0 licensed photos but also videos. They currently have over 40,000 photos and upload around 3,000 high-res photos per month. Another awesome thing you can find on Pexels is the design break, a website that helps designers take five and amuse themselves by stumbling upon random inspirational stuff: watch topical videos, discover new websites, guess colors and much more.
If you are blogging about food or you need high quality photos of food for a cookbook for instance, you can find those on Foodies Feed. There are plenty of food images to choose, whether you are searching for indoor or outdoor images, with or without people in the shot. The website was founded three years ago and it had more than 1 million downloads since.
“Free pics. Do anything. Make magic.” is how the founder and main contributor, Jay, welcomes you to the site. You can choose from various content, including videos and quotes. Seven new photos are uploaded every Thursday.
Bucketlistly is actually a platform where you can list your bucket list goals and become inspired by the goals of other travelers, but its photo gallery is still an invaluable asset with more than 5000 images shot at different locations around the world. It is the go-to photo directory for travel bloggers, travel companies and guides. You can search by simply clicking on the world map or selecting the country tags below it.
And last but not the least, Life of Pix is a platform that promotes one photographer/collaborator each month on social media and website. This directory, besides offering royalty free high quality photos, lets you be a part of a big community of photographers: customize your public profile to create an online portfolio, follow favorite photographers and have a look at all the photos you have liked.
It also offers CC0 video content.
Let us know which one you like the best. Is there any other CC0 directory you would like to add to the list?
Startups, entrepreneurs and company owners are spending a lot of time to grow their businesses. It’s not an easy task, the competition is strong and efficiency is something you wake up and go to sleep with. Luckily, there are premium solutions that can help you achieve awesome results.
After a couple of months of research, we are ready to share with you this showcase of 5 premium web tools and services that will help you cut costs, deliver on time and get new customers. You will find a logo and brand design service, two solutions for better-converting visitors into customers, a highly respected supplier of Premium Bootstrap themes, templates, and UI Kits. The 5th tool is Themify Ultra Theme, it is a powerful WordPress theme packed with everything you can think for.
Please share the article with your friends and leave your comments below.
When you first use Tailor Brands, it’s easy to miss out on all the amazing processes going on behind the scenes as the platform creates a logo for you. The company’s full-service branding suite delivers unique results and graphics that look professional, at a fraction of the cost. It starts with a few simple questions designed to help the company’s advanced AI match your preferences with its vast library of designs, color combinations, texts, and logotypes. Once it has uncovered a good match, Tailor Brands’ logo maker delivers a final product that becomes the basic building block of your branding.
The company’s full-service suite includes several other complementary tools like fully branded business materials. These include branded letterheads, presentation templates, business cards, and full EPS files to create branded swag and gifts for clients and visitors. Moreover, Tailor Brands produces a brand book for your company, making it easy to manage your strategy and ensure your logo and brand always shine through in the best possible light.
To get started on the social media front, the company provides a practical toolkit to boost your efforts. This begins with a weekly planner for posting that comes with ready-to-upload ads, posts, and covers that can be fine-tuned as needed. For flexibility, you can add your own posts or manage the planner as you see fit. Tailor Brands also includes a Facebook ad creator to help you gain exposure if you’re using a paid traffic strategy.
If you’re looking to get online quickly and have a polished, but simple presence, you can also use the company’s landing page maker, which presents you via a one-page introduction for potential clients and users to visit alongside a way get in touch with you.
For a $2.99 basic monthly subscription and a $10.99 monthly full-service branding suite, Tailor Brands offers you beautiful designs and branding at a fraction of the cost of a professional designer.
Price: Starting from $2.99 / month.
Convertul is highly appreciated, including by the marketing guru Neil Patel, for quickly converting visitors into leads and customers. It works with all website and eCommerce platforms, but also with all major email marketing software. In short, it works for anyone.
They are offering 50+ responsive and beautifully designed templates, a powerful drag and drop builder with whom you can easily add, move, and delete each form’s element, such as text, images, buttons, videos, follow buttons, page sharing controls, and countdown timers.
Convertful is packed with a lot of useful features like A/B testing, real-time analytics, dynamic data capture and much more. You should check their website for more info.
Sign-up for free and convert „cold” site visitors into leads.
Price: $29 / Year
Creative Tim is a highly appreciated place for web designers and developers where they can find Admin themes, Dashboards, UI Kits, Landing Pages, Free and premium templates and much more, everything based on Bootstrap 4, Vuejs, React and Angular. All their products have a great quality and were made with huge attention to details. Save time by having everything at your disposal and have a quicker and easier web development process.
It is already used by more than 300,000 happy people and numbers quickly increase. Their freebies are under the MIT license and they are offering 3 bundles with lots of things included. The Big Bundle has everything Creative Tim is offering and costs $249 for the personal license, the price being 80% reduced.
Browse Creative Tim and pick what you need.
Price: Depending on the product.
Amazon is one of the best-invented things, it helps us a lot to quickly sale and buy items. LandingCube is used to create highly engaging and converting Amazon landing pages that can be fully customized with branding, product images, descriptions, videos from YouTube, Vimeo and all major providers, FAQ, 5-star reviews and much more.
LandingCube gives you the option to capture emails in exchange for coupon codes. Once you capture someone’s email, you can market to her in the future. The possibilities are nearly endless: create your own product launch list, drive sales or stay in touch with customers using a weekly newsletter.
Sign-up for a free 14-day trial and check all the features they are offering. Having more sales is easy and it will greatly help you on the long run, as you will drive external traffic (Facebook, blogs, Pinterest etc), separate from what Amazon is pointing to you.
Price: Starts from $19 / month.
Ultra Theme is a powerful WordPress theme packed with tons of features and the latest technologies. Ultra now comes with design skins and pre-made demo sites! The skin not only transforms the site's design appearance but can also help you to set up a real sample site within minutes. With just a single click, you can import the demo setup that includes the theme settings, content, menus, widgets, etc., exactly like our theme demos. This is a time saver for creating client sites.
Price: $49 – Standard license.