Go Media™ · Creativity at work! http://gomedia.com Cleveland Graphic Design, Website Design & Development, Thought Leadership & Inspiration Wed, 18 Jan 2017 17:29:08 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://gomedia.com/zine/podcast/feed/ Go Media's Bryan Garvin sits down with members of the Go Media team and community to discuss the business of design and how to improve the quality of your work and life. Go Media no Go Media websites@gomedia.us websites@gomedia.us (Go Media) Go Media Real-world advice from working artists and designers. Go Media™ · Creativity at work! http://s3.gomedia.us/wp-content/uploads/powerpress/gomedia-podcast-300x300.png http://gomedia.com Cleveland, Ohio Monthly Where Can I Learn Graphic Design? – A Newbie’s Guide http://gomedia.com/zine/insights/graphic-design/where-can-i-learn-graphic-design/ http://gomedia.com/zine/insights/graphic-design/where-can-i-learn-graphic-design/#comments Tue, 17 Jan 2017 14:15:36 +0000 http://gomedia.com/?p=64036 Where Can I Learn Graphic Design? Are you new to the world of graphic design and wondering where you can find resources to further your knowledge on the subject? You’ve come to the right place. Today, we’re sharing some of… Continue Reading »

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Where Can I Learn Graphic Design?

Are you new to the world of graphic design and wondering where you can find resources to further your knowledge on the subject? You’ve come to the right place. Today, we’re sharing some of our favorite online resources with you. Some of them are free, others require payment. We hope you find them helpful as you begin to develop your career as a kick-ass graphic designer. We believe in you!

Learning graphic design online

What this will entail: this will include one-of-a-kind artwork – including business stationery, brochures, packaging, illustration, infographics, typography, posters, prints, t-shirt design and more. Skills needed: Adobe Creative Suite, illustration, communication skills, understanding of printing practices, business prowess. How? Learn the technical skills through online sites. Have the opportunity and funds to learn in a classroom setting? We highly recommend it! But you can learn a wealth of information on the web. Here are some places we recommend checking out:

Read Blog Posts:

Watch Documentaries / Movies / TED Talks:

Design is One: A movie about Lella and Massimo Vignelli, the famed couple who brought us their New York subway map and other numerous graphic design projects.

Helvetica – a feature length independent film about typography, graphic design and global visual culture

Milton Glaser: To Inform and Delight – Glances into the everyday moments of Milton Glaser, the brain behind the iconic I <3 NY logo and New York Magazine.

Sign Painters – Sign Painters explores the history of the time-honored craft of sign painting.

Start Learning Online:

Adobe – Where better to learn Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator?

Go Media’s Arsenal – We can’t go without mentioning our tutorials! Do not miss our best-selling series on Adobe Illustrator, including Adobe Illustrator 101 a Tutorial for BeginnersAdobe Illustrator 102: Illustration Using Vector Art, and Adobe Illustrator 103: Texturinzing Vector Illustrations, Modifying Type, T-Shirt Design

Creative Live – Creative classes, inspiration, and tips in photo and video, art and design, and more. Classes priced individually.

Skillshare  – “Bite-sized” classes in not only design but business, technology, photography, film, writing, crafts and more. Classes are $12 billed monthly or $8/mth billed annually.

Lynda  – Courses in business, technology, and creative skills taught by experts. Free trial available. Starting at $19.99/mth.

Udemy – Course in development, business, IT and software, personal development, design and more! Check out the platform’s biggest and most popular PS course by Manfred Werner.

Phlearn – Aaron Nace’s site is a lively and engaging place to learn about all things design. Check out his free tutorials or head directly to his YouTube channel.

Proko – Beef up your illustration skills over at Proko’s YouTube channel.

Ledet – Offers 2 to 5 day hand-on Adobe training classes (in person). Watch and enroll for them here on their site.

The Illustration Academy – intense, immersive illustration experiences. Online workshops available.

Skillcrush – Becoming a better designer means learning to communicate with your colleagues. Hit up Skillcrush’s 10-day bootcamp and become better friends with your developer. If you like the course, you can further explore the world of web design throughout Skillcrush and on sites like Code School.

eBooks, Books and online resources on design and business:

How to Draw the Marvel Way by Stan Lee
The Elements of Graphic Design by Alex White
Designing Brand Identity: An Essential Guide for the Whole Branding Team by Alina Wheeler
Thinking with Type by Ellen Lupton
Logo Lounge by Catherine Fishel and Bill Gardner
Type Matters by Jim Williams and Ben Casey
Drawn to Business by William Beachy
Thread’s Not Dead by Jeff Finley
Graphic Designer’s Pricing Toolkit by Go Media
Making and Breaking the Grid: A Graphic Design Layout Workshop by Timothy Samara
Above the Fold: Understanding the Principles of Successful Web Site Design by Brian Miller
Logotypes and Letterforms: Handlettered Logotypes and Typographic Considerations by Doyald Young
What to Do When It’s Your Turn (and It’s Always Your Turn) by Seth Godin
All Marketers are Liars: The Underground Classic That Explains How Marketing Really Works — 
And Why Authenticity is the Best Marketing of All by Seth Godin
Package Design Workbook: The Art and Sciences of Successful Packaging by Steven DuPuis and John Silva
Lean Startup by Eric Ries
Book Yourself Solid by Michael Port
Authority Ebook by Nathan Barry
Trust Agents by Chris Brogan
Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink
How Pleasure Works by Paul Bloom
The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
Design Currency by Jenn and Ken Visocky O’Grady
The Voice of Knowledge by Don Miguel Ruiz
Getting Things Done by David Allen
The Art of Non Conformity by Chris Guillibeau
Mindfulness in Plain English by Gunaratana Bhante Henepola
Rework by Jason Fried
Brains on Fire by Robin Phillips, Greg Cordell, Geno Church and Spike Jones
The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle
Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
How to be a Graphic Designer Without Losing Your Soul by Adrian Shaughnessy
Good to Great by Jim Collins
Built to Sell by John Warrillow
Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
Hiring the Best by Martin Yate
SEO Quickstart Guide by Go Media
96 Great Interview Questions to Ask Before You Hire by Paul Falcone
The Talent of Edge by David S. Cohen
Accounting Made Simple by Mike Piper
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
The Advertising Effect: How to Change Behavior by Adam Ferrier
Decoding the New Customer Mind: How and Why We Shop and Buy by Kit Yarrow
Growth Hacker Marketing: A Primer on the Future of PR, Marketing and Advertising by Ryan Holiday
Free: The Future of a Radical Price by Chris Anderson

What resources have you found helpful in your journey to becoming a graphic designer? Please share with us in the comments section below!

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The Biggest Surprise When Starting My Design Business http://gomedia.com/zine/insights/the-biggest-surprise-when-starting-my-design-business/ http://gomedia.com/zine/insights/the-biggest-surprise-when-starting-my-design-business/#comments Thu, 12 Jan 2017 16:05:47 +0000 http://gomedia.com/?p=63616 Today, we’re talking with some of our friends about the surprises they have faced owning their own company. We hope you’ll weigh in down in the comments section below. What surprised you most about starting your own design company /… Continue Reading »

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Today, we’re talking with some of our friends about the surprises they have faced owning their own company. We hope you’ll weigh in down in the comments section below.

What surprised you most about starting your own design company / freelance business?

“I think the biggest was surprise when starting out my own graphic design business was that the phone wasn’t ringing on its own. I had wrongfully assumed that just because I had all of this cool personal work (or at least what I thought was cool a decade ago) that people would be knocking down my door to work with me. That wasn’t the case at all though, I had to cold call and email businesses and people I had never met and ask to work for them in way I could to get my foot in the door and get real world experience. I had to learn that what was cool to me wasn’t necessarily what was cool to everyone else, and could be entirely different than what actually paid the bills. I feel like a lot of young designers don’t understand that design is not always (and in some cases rarely is) a synonym for “artist”, that alone could be a quite a shock.” – Jason Carne, Lettering Artist and Graphic Designer

 —

“The importance of being massively different.
Before I started RetroSupply Co. I worked for a little business in Portland, Oregon called Paid to Exist. I worked closely with the owner. And one of the biggest lessons I learned was that you have to amplify what makes you different to rise above the noise.  So find the stuff you love about your discipline. Then amplify it. Be unapologetically weird. You won’t be the right fit for everyone. But you’ll gain the loyalty of a group of clients that love you.” – Dustin Lee, Designer and Creator of Retro Supply Co.

Retro Supply Co.

Advice on Starting Your Own Design Company

Lunchbox Love by Lenny Terenzi

“Approaching this from someone who worked from home for many years then transitioned to a large studio space I think I unprepared for what that would bring. Even though I am essentially still a one-man shop that amount of tasks that I have to do to stay on top of things has increased ten-fold. I just didn’t expect that and it took me awhile to adjust to that. Bringing in some tools to help automate tasks (like social media, financial etc.) has started to ease the burden.”  – Lenny Terenzi, Owner, Hey Monkey! Design and Print Graphic Design, Branding, Illustration and Screenprinting Studio

 —

“I was surprised at how much pre-gaming design requires before garnering work: setting up accounts, creating paperwork for billing, proposals, cold emails, and research for marketing, etc. I was told to expect a loss for the first four months depending on experience and notoriety. I had none of both, so I worked at a loss for eight and almost gave up. I hated the responsibility falling entirely on me, spending hours trying to meticulously craft an email while tracking follow ups. My workspace was so unglamorous – I got my start working on top of a trashcan next to my desk – and I felt constantly uninspired.

However, I studied every interaction and made slight adjustments, whether to the hour of publishing work, language in emails, tweaks on fine print in contracts. Eventually my feedback became fruitful, and I saw better engagement on posts. I saw business as a puzzle, one that could propel me to a career, and did my best to solve it.” – Danielle Evans, Lettering Artist, Designer, Stop Motion Animator, Illustrator, Creator of Food Typography and Dimensional Typography, Creator of Marmalade Bleue

 —

“I started my business right out of college after freelancing nights for about 6 or 7 years. The thing that really knocked me on my ass about operating a full time studio was how much discipline I realized I needed to get things done. Working part time was easy. I knew I had a set amount of hours to get a few things done and my life didn’t really hinge on it. Once everything relied on paying bills and growing the business, it felt like the weight of the world was on my shoulders. I knew that I really had to hustle, show the world I was getting better at my craft with each project, and that I was a capable of truly understanding how the market worked. I needed to prove that my work was actually worth paying for and that it was an asset to have for someone who wanted to grow their business with a smart identity. It all seems so obvious, but when I was first starting, I just assumed things were going to naturally work out. I didn’t realize how much work it actually took to make a full time design studio viable as a career business.” – Jon Contino, Creative Director, Founder / Creative Director of both Contino Brand and CXXVI Clothing Companies

Advice on Starting Your Own Design Company

Vosay Web Development Project by Go Media

“I was surprised to realize how challenging this question was for me to answer. I think it is because I had already been in business long before I started my design firm. My first foray into real “business”, was when I was 17. I grew up in the college town of Kent, Ohio and had friends attending the University before I was done with high school. The guys I grew up with were almost all musicians. When a friend of mine began tending bar at a place called the Europe Gyro, he encouraged me to host a club night. He put a good word in with the owner and invited me to come meet him. I was a minor going to pitch a college bar on hosting a dance night. I nervously told him what we’d like to do, what we would provide and how we’d charge at the door. He agreed to give it a shot, on the spot. We settled up with a handshake. In many ways, the rest is history. I guess the most surprising thing about opening my business was that, in many ways, there would be countless more handshakes to “give it a shot”. At the end of the day, so many people in business will look past your age and experience and be willing to give you a shot if you’re offering something they might want. Of course, you’ll face rejection too. That old sports adage, “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”, applies here. Take the shot. You may be surprised how many times you’ll end up scoring.” – Wilson Revehl, VP, Web Developer at Go Media

Work by Just Curious

“What surprised me the most when starting my own design business was the variety in the work. I went to school, got my degree, worked in a print shop, and when I decided to go out on my own, the job inquiries that I received were nothing like what I had learned about or dealt with before. But even though it’s the most surprising part of it, it’s my favorite part. The variety in work means I’m always learning from my clients and learning how to adapt better to new situations. There is always room to grow in this industry, but I never realized how much room there was. It’s amazing.” – Brittany Barnhart, Owner, Just Curious LLC | Illustration and Design

“The thing that surprised me the most when I started my freelance business was how necessary setting a schedule and sticking to it was—at least for me. I always dreamed of having the freedom and flexibility to work whenever I wanted, but once I got a taste of that freedom it was enough for me to realize how detrimental it can be for my productivity. That’s not to say that I don’t love being able to work from anywhere and that it’s wonderful to have the flexibility to take a random weekday off, but sticking to a set schedule 90% of the time (or more) has been the key for me to staying productive and also locking down a good work-life balance.” – Shannon Blaz, Web Designer and Developer, Owner of Blaz Design

“Honestly, I think the answer for me, back in 2004 when I went full-time, was, ‘Holy sh*t, I can’t believe this worked out so easily!”

But for something more fit to print, I just recall spending about three months stressing out, looking for clients and then when that wasn’t working, looking for jobs again. I think I gave it two weeks, the looking for clients part, before panicking and going back to looking for an employer. I had a few small gigs rolling in, but by the end of the three months, I had job after job flowing in…it took a ton of work at first, like, 60 – 80 hour weeks, but once I had my website built, my brand out there, and had given some of those initial clients enough time to get back to me, well, it was like magic!

There was less real competition in Pittsburgh back then, though. The big agencies I was competing with then, most of them don’t even exist today. So, I think I got in during a sweet period of the death of the old but before these new whippersnappers could get together.

After that initial shock of downs and straight up, though, the biggest thing I fell in love with was the location independence. After about two years of freelancing from Pittsburgh’s coffee shops, I bought a van and hit the road, traveling full-time ever since. To me, that’s the best part about being a designer.” – Nathan Swartz, Web Designer, Owner ClickNathan

Your turn! What surprised you most when opening your own design firm or freelance business? Share with us in the comments section below!

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Chrome Extensions We’re Addicted To Lately http://gomedia.com/zine/insights/best-chrome-extensions-2017/ http://gomedia.com/zine/insights/best-chrome-extensions-2017/#comments Tue, 10 Jan 2017 14:00:31 +0000 http://gomedia.com/?p=63987 Here at Go Media, we’re all running on Google Chrome and rely on lots of extensions to make our days a lot more productive (and fun). Here are some of our favorites. Have any to share with us? Please do in… Continue Reading »

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Here at Go Media, we’re all running on Google Chrome and rely on lots of extensions to make our days a lot more productive (and fun). Here are some of our favorites. Have any to share with us? Please do in the comments section below!

Best Chrome Extensions 2017

Awesome Screenshot – screen capture for all or part of any web page. Add annotations, comments, blur sensative info, and share with one-click uploads.

Clear Cache – Clear your cashe and browsing data with a single click of a button.

Colorzilla – Advanced eyedropper, color picker, gradient generator and other colorful goodies

DO IT! Add Shia LeBeouf on web pages! He delivers the most intense motivational speech of all-time.

Untitled-11

Eye Dropper – an open source extension which allows you to pick colors from web pages, color picker and your personal color history

Google Keep – Easily save the things you care about to Keep and have them synced across the platforms you use.

Best Chrome Extensions 2017

Hootlet – Post to multiple social networks with one click, saving time and extending your reach.

Jot – Quick note taking extension to replace the new tab page.

Best Chrome Extensions 2017

Muzli 2 – Stay Inspired – the freshest links about design and interactive, from around the web. A designer’s must!

Page Analytics (by Google) – The Page Analytics Chrome Extension allows you to see how customers interact with your web pages.

Panel View for Google Keep – This extension serves as a shortcut to keep.google.com, but also much more.

Untitled-9

Rather Nice – Receive a wonderful compliment, each and every time you open a new tab in Chrome

Sortd Smart Skin for Gmail – Effortlessly organize emails and tasks in a simple Gmail workspace

Tracking Time – enhance your preferred web project manager with the time tracker button, track working times and get automatic timesheets

Tupacsum – a lorem ipsum generator for the web designer that keeps it real

font

WhatFont – the easiest way to identify fonts on web pages

Window Resizer – resize browser window to emulate various screen resolutions

WiseStamp – Email Signatures for Gmail

…how about you?

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Keys to Launching an Online T-Shirt Business http://gomedia.com/zine/insights/graphic-design/how-to-launch-an-online-t-shirt-business/ http://gomedia.com/zine/insights/graphic-design/how-to-launch-an-online-t-shirt-business/#comments Tue, 03 Jan 2017 13:45:06 +0000 http://gomedia.com/?p=63839 How to Launch an Online T-Shirt Business Here at Go Media, we receive many fantastic emails from fans and friends who are creating their own online clothing businesses. They write with many questions for us – everything from how to… Continue Reading »

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How to Launch an Online T-Shirt Business

Here at Go Media, we receive many fantastic emails from fans and friends who are creating their own online clothing businesses. They write with many questions for us – everything from how to get started through how to launch with a bang. We thought we’d take this opportunity to address some of these great questions and give some advice to the best of our ability. Ready? Let’s get started!

Brand, brand, brand.

To have a successful business, you need to build a strong brand. You need to come to understand what you offer that is unlike any other apparel line, who your target customer is and what makes you stand above others. Keep in mind that there are millions of apparel lines out there. Until you have a compelling story line, you’ll be on a road going straight to nowheresville.

Once you have gotten real with yourself, identified your brand and developed your vision, you can begin to create the assets needed for your business, including your mark, logotype, truly unique apparel, ad material, etc.

Pick your pleasure.

Do some research and choose a site (or multiple sites) where you’ll post and sell your designs. Sites like Teespring, Fabrily (Teespring Europe)FreshMonk, Gooten, GearBubble, Teechip and Teezily are ready-to-use platforms that will help you launch your own web-to-print ecommerce business.

Teespring

Prefer to run your own store? Try to create your own eCommerce website through sites like Shopify, Wix, Squaespace or Weebly. Fulfill orders through a trusted printer (like Jakprints) or fulfillment sites like Printful.

Another option is to work with marketplaces such as Big Cartel, EtsyRedBubble, Amazon, Cafe PressSociety6 and Zazzle. The benefit of this is that the marketplaces have not only tools set in place to get you going in a jiffy, but pre-existing customers who are ready and waiting to take a look at (and hopefully purchase) your work.

You can also try submitting a design to a site like Cotton Bureau, but understand that the acceptance of rejection of your design is solely at the discretion of the site.

Email Marketing Platform MailChimp

Set up all of the accounts.

Stake your claim on all of the social media accounts associated with your new brand. Yep, a Facebook page and Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat accounts, a blog – you name it. You will need these to advertise all of your awesome designs and connect with your ever-growing community, so set them up now and get to work on them when the time is right. Depending on which platform you use, you will also want to set up a Mailchimp account. This will be vital in collecting information from and keeping in contact with customers. Email marketing, after all, is free and one of the best, most targeted ways of marketing available.

In order to keep your finances in order, you may need to get set up with accounts such as Stripe, Square or Paypal.

Nail your photography and copywriting.

Should you need to take your own product photography, make sure it’s on point. Do your research on where it’s being sold, as many retailers will ask for your product to be shot on a plain background. Make sure that you shoot all sides of your product (front, back, various angles and close up shots as needed), so that your customer gets a real life, intimate view of it. Not a professional photographer? iPhones work miracles these days, especially when partnered with time and care.

Template_HeroIMG_Arsenal_Mockups-Pullover-Hoodie

Better yet, use pre-existing professional, high resolution mockup templates from the ArsenalMockup Everything or Shirt Mockup, to ensure that your customers are seeing your designs displayed on the best of the best.

When writing product descriptions, know your stuff. Order the apparel you’ll be selling and give it a test run. How does it feel in the real world? Is it true to size? Does it shrink after washing? What does your design look like on a classic tee versus a tri-blend tee? Do they fade differently? Is it truly something you’d want to wear?  If not, start from scratch until you find the perfect t-shirt. You know, the one just like your favorite tee you can’t help to wear over and over again.

You’ll need to test your product on family and friends of all sizes and shapes, so this is a great opportunity to get some modelshot photos in. We suggest taking these photos on both white backgrounds and out in the real world.

Do your research! This will take time, but will pay off in dividends.

Once you’ve nailed the best product and understand how it feels, you’ll really need to sell it in your product description. Read other product descriptions until you’re blue in the face. What do they include that appeals to your senses? Include not only a detailed description of your product, but what makes it unique, how it will benefit the user and how it will improve their life. American Giant is doing a fantastic job of this with their “World’s Best Hoodie” campaign. Consider using testimonials here as well.

MensCrewNeck_Triblend_Ghosted_Front

Ship it out, keep in contact.

If you’re responsible for shipping out your own product, do so without hesitation. We suggest using a scale and label printer from stamps.com, where you can also print labels. This makes things incredibly simple and allows for the shipment of product immediately. Should you have any difficulty with fulfilling a product or need to delay shipment for any reason, get in contact with your customer immediately and be honest. Customer service is key.

While we’re on the topic of shipping, consider adding your own personal touch when your product is on its way out of the door. Write a personal thank you note to your customer and stop and take the time to make your packaging something to remember.

Get your work out there.

While you’re getting up and running, get your gear out in the real world. Share samples with friends and hit the streets with your designs by participating in flea markets, art shows and other community events where you can sell your merch. Getting your name out will start the momentum you need and can give you some immediate feedback as well.

Be relentless.

Starting any new venture takes tenacity. Instant success isn’t guaranteed. You may fall more times than you’ll step forward. The more you count your failures as learning moments, the more you keep pushing towards your goal, the greater the chance you’ll become known. So keep narrowing in on who you are, what unique gifts you can bring your audience and put your best foot forward always. We believe in you!

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Inspiration of the Day: Here’s to Princess Leia http://gomedia.com/zine/insights/princess-leia-fan-art/ http://gomedia.com/zine/insights/princess-leia-fan-art/#comments Fri, 30 Dec 2016 13:00:14 +0000 http://gomedia.com/?p=63901 Princess Leia Fan Art Our hearts are broken over the loss of Carrie Fisher, so today we’re honoring her in today’s Inspiration of the Day post. Please enjoy this work we found on Dribbble and Behance created by artists we admire, which honors… Continue Reading »

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Princess Leia Fan Art

Our hearts are broken over the loss of Carrie Fisher, so today we’re honoring her in today’s Inspiration of the Day post. Please enjoy this work we found on Dribbble and Behance created by artists we admire, which honors her and the characters she played so eloquently.

Hero image, Princess Leia, by ttya on Dribbble

Animated Leia Illustration by Rogie

Animated Leia Illustration by Rogie

A litttle princess leia love by Angie Jones

A litttle princess leia love by Angie Jones

Princess Leia by Crystal Kung

Princess Leia by Crystal Kung

Ms.Leia by Konrad Kirpluk

Ms.Leia by Konrad Kirpluk

Princess Leia by Adam Grason

Princess Leia by Adam Grason

You Are Sorely Missed by Jake Bartlett

You Are Sorely Missed by Jake Bartlett

Princess Leia by Dustin Spence

Princess Leia by Dustin Spence

Princess Leia by Marta Waterme

Princess Leia by Marta Waterme

Star Wars Poster (Return of the Jedi) by Juan Esteban Rodríguez

Star Wars Poster (Return of the Jedi) by Juan Esteban Rodríguez

Leia by solo artwork

Leia by solo artwork

Лея и Джабба by by Natalia Dekalo

Leia by Natalia Dekalo

Princess Leia by Iratxe lezameta

Princess Leia by Iratxe lezameta

The Endor Trail by Jimena Sanchez S

The Endor Trail by Jimena Sanchez S

Princess Leia by Oliver Sin

Princess Leia by Oliver Sin

Organa by Leonard Peng

Organa by Leonard Peng

Princess Leia by BRÄO .

Princess Leia by BRÄO .

Kawaii Star Wars - Slave Leia and Jabba by by Jerrod Maruyama

Kawaii Star Wars – Slave Leia and Jabba by by Jerrod Maruyama

Star Wars Uncut by Oliver Sin

Star Wars Uncut by Oliver Sin

Princess Leia by Dave Bardin

Princess Leia by Dave Bardin

Princess Leia on the Blockade Runner by Jason Yang

Princess Leia on the Blockade Runner by Jason Yang

Princess Leia Mermaid by Christina Sanchez

Princess Leia Mermaid by Christina Sanchez

May The Force Be With You, Always. by by Casey Yoshida

May The Force Be With You, Always. by by Casey Yoshida

Princess Leia by Milton Nakata

Princess Leia by Milton Nakata

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How to Promote a Positive Work Environment and Increase Revenue http://gomedia.com/zine/insights/business-philosophy/how-to-promote-a-positive-work-environment-and-increase-revenue/ http://gomedia.com/zine/insights/business-philosophy/how-to-promote-a-positive-work-environment-and-increase-revenue/#comments Wed, 28 Dec 2016 14:15:07 +0000 http://gomedia.com/?p=63826 The concept of positive thinking has been a popular practice for decades. Commonly used to treat depression and reduce stress, this seemingly debatable mentality actually has some scientific value behind it. Although individuals have been applying it to their personal… Continue Reading »

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The concept of positive thinking has been a popular practice for decades. Commonly used to treat depression and reduce stress, this seemingly debatable mentality actually has some scientific value behind it. Although individuals have been applying it to their personal lives in ever-increasing numbers, business leaders have begun introducing the strategy to their workforce.

Engaging in Team Building and Development

How to Promote a Positive Work Environment

Meant to encourage consistency and productivity across the board, team building is critical to those who want their company to reach its fullest potential. As this has become a popular method of introducing co-workers, strengthening collaboration and heightening profitability, there are a plethora of proven exercises that focus on building teams and instilling a positive mindset.

The desert island survival game is one of the most basic and straightforward brainteasers. Ask your staff members to create a list of 10 or 12 items that they’d want to have if they were stranded on a desert island with their fellow co-workers or teammates. Afterward, ask each employee why they chose their specific items. You can take this exercise one step further by having them rank each item in order of its importance, as well as those of their peers.

If you have access to an empty room or large outdoor clearing, the minefield exercise can be used to develop stronger relationships and enhance communications amongst teammates. The premise is simple: one blindfolded teammate has to traverse a minefield that is littered with (harmless) objects using only the words, suggestions and guidance of their team. Playable with teams of two or more, this is an incredibly fun exercise that is quite useful at building positivity and increasing revenue.

Those who are working with larger teams of 10 or 20 members can use a fun concentration game to renew their energy levels, boost their memory and show them the importance of paying attention to details.

After dividing the team into two equally sized groups, have both lines face each other. Employees in the first line then turn around, which gives those in the remaining line a chance to change several features of their own appearance. At the completion of 30 – 60 seconds, the two lines once again face each other. Those who just turned around now have to identify as many changes as they can before the timer runs out.

Feel free to get creative with your games. Remember, they don’t necessarily have to relate directly to the job. As long as these exercises promote team building and positive thinking, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying a positive work environment and increased company revenue.  

Integrating Corporate Culture

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Business leaders who want to maintain an even greater focus on positive thinking can integrate their company’s culture into the new way of thinking. This process begins during the initial recruitment and hiring process, where you’ll need to filter out any applicants that don’t match your standards, expectations or mindset. Remember: a great leader needs great people to lead in order to be successful.

According to experts on the subject, a company’s culture revolves around their organization’s beliefs and core mission, internal controls and power structures, rituals such as regularly scheduled meetings and special events, overall workflow and even the brand’s logo or likeness. Maintaining consistency across all these areas is the key to establishing a positive corporate culture has the potential to impact long-term revenue.

You’ll also want to ensure that your culture is fully scalable to match a growing staff, increased workflow and any forecasted profits. By ensuring the framework is already in place to accommodate the greater revenue that comes with a stronger corporate culture, you’ll be better equipped to handle the growth as soon as it occurs.

Developing a culture that revolves around positive thinking can also boost employee engagement. Some companies are able to utilize an open work environment to ensure their organizational leaders and figureheads are accessible by every employee. Not only does this ensure quick and thorough communication, but it can even lead to an increased sense of solidarity amongst staff members.  

Tackling Issues Head-On

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A number of issues need to be addressed when considering the impact of positive thinking on your workplace. While those who pressure their employees into the performing better will often see improved productivity, studies show that healthcare costs can be 50 percent higher for these companies when compared to those who assume a laidback, stress-free approach.

Undue stress, pressure and a negative company culture can even lead to increased disengagement amongst your employees. According to the Queens School of Business, disengaged staff members experience higher rates of absenteeism, workplace accidents and lower profitability. Considering the fact that 7 out of 10 people across the U.S. report physical or emotional stress, we could be talking about millions of employees throughout all industries.

Workplace stress can also lead to a lack of employee loyalty. As approximately 40 percent of all U.S. workers consider their job to be extremely stressful, it’s easy to see how an otherwise dedicated staff member could be lured away by the promise of higher wages, greater benefits or a friendlier work environment.

Reaping the Benefits for All

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Those who embrace the power of positive thinking in and around the workplace are bound to see changes that benefit themselves as well as others. We can look at the recent actions of other companies to find evidence of the effects that positive thinking can have on corporate culture, teamwork and even customer service.  

Increased sustainability in productivity and, as a result, organizational revenue, is one of the biggest and most obvious advantages of a motivated and positive-minded workforce. Employees who are happy with their roles are far more likely to meet production quotas and maintain standards in quality as opposed to those who are overworked, burned out or otherwise unmotivated.

Your company’s standards in customer service are also likely to improve in the wake of a successful positive thinking campaign. With renewed motivation, desire and enthusiasm, your public-facing staff members will find their daily interactions are easier than ever before. Moreover, their newfound methods of stress management and mitigation will help them overcome even the most difficult of customers.

Maintaining Your New Corporate Culture and Profitability Into the Future

Instilling a positive mindset amongst your workforce and increasing your company’s revenue is only half the battle. Once you have a strong corporate culture in place, the challenge only intensifies as you’re tasked with maintaining your momentum in the days, weeks, months and years ahead.  

Lexie Lu is a freelance UX designer and blogger. She enjoys researching the latest design trends and always has a cup of coffee nearby. She manages Design Roast and can be followed on Twitter @lexieludesigner.

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Design Tip of the Day: Creating your own Coloring Book in Photoshop http://gomedia.com/zine/tutorials/creating-your-own-coloring-book-using-photoshop/ http://gomedia.com/zine/tutorials/creating-your-own-coloring-book-using-photoshop/#comments Tue, 27 Dec 2016 15:14:03 +0000 http://gomedia.com/?p=63683 Creating your own coloring book using Photoshop > It’s time for the holidays! That means lots of relaxation time, including time spent curled up by the fire. If you’re like me, it’s hard to keep still when all you want… Continue Reading »

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Creating your own coloring book using Photoshop >

It’s time for the holidays! That means lots of relaxation time, including time spent curled up by the fire. If you’re like me, it’s hard to keep still when all you want to do is create all the time. This is where coloring books come in. They’re perfect for cold winter nights when you need to keep yourself busy without going into full work mode. 

Let’s create our own!

Here’s what you need:

Super Simple Method One

STEP ONE:

Open a new document in Photoshop. I sized mine 8 inches by 10 inches.

STEP TWO:

Build your coloring page using any of our vector packs. I made mine from our Cute Monster vector pack. Make sure that your fill color is white and stroke color is black. I sized my stroke at 1 pt. Feel free to download and use my coloring page when you need to escape family time here > Go-Media-Cute-Stuff-Coloring-Page

Go-Media-Cute-Stuff-Coloring-Page

Super Simple Method Two

STEP ONE:

Open a new document in Photoshop. I sized mine 8 x 10 inches. Then, File > Place your image or photo into the new document.

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STEP TWO:

Go to Image > Adjustments > Desaturate.

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STEP THREE:

Next, Filter > Sketch > Photocopy. Here, I have set my detail to 3 and darkness to 20. Set to your desire.

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STEP FOUR:

Next, in order to remove my background, I will head to Select > Color Range. I will touch my eyedropper to the gray line art, which you will then see selected on screen.

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STEP FIVE:

Next, Select > Inverse (Shift + Ctrl + I) to remove the red background.

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STEP SIX: Ctrl + D to deselect.

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STEP SEVEN: In order to darken the lines, head to Image > Adjustments > Levels and darken your black levels.

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STEP EIGHT: Add a white solid color background and you’re done!

8 Creating your own coloring book using Photoshop Creating your own coloring book using Photoshop

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Download of the Day: Snowflake Brush Freebie http://gomedia.com/zine/downloads/snowflake-brush-freebie/ http://gomedia.com/zine/downloads/snowflake-brush-freebie/#comments Thu, 22 Dec 2016 14:00:03 +0000 http://gomedia.com/?p=63658 Free Snowflake Brush Freebie Join us every Thursday, when your friends here at the Arsenal take over the Go Media blog to share insights, tips, freebies or other fun to brighten your work day. Today we’re releasing snowflake brushes free for your use… Continue Reading »

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Free Snowflake Brush Freebie

Join us every Thursday, when your friends here at the Arsenal take over the Go Media blog to share insights, tips, freebies or other fun to brighten your work day.

Today we’re releasing snowflake brushes free for your use in any personal project. In order to use your new brushes, open PS, then head to Edit > Preset Manage > Load. Next, navigate to your new brush file. Open a new document, select one of your new snowflake brushes and get to work! Enjoy!

Love our products? Access our huge product library ($11k in resources) and exclusive content for only $15/mth. Yes, seriously. Learn more now.

Download it now: Go Media Snowflake Brush Freebie

Snowflake Brush Freebie

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Holiday Haul ’16: Complete Vector & Brush Bundle http://gomedia.com/zine/news/holiday-haul-16-complete-vector-brush-bundle/ http://gomedia.com/zine/news/holiday-haul-16-complete-vector-brush-bundle/#comments Wed, 21 Dec 2016 14:15:58 +0000 http://gomedia.com/?p=63668 30 Best-Selling Packs, Only $24.99 Did you take advantage of our Cyber Monday deal, which hooked you up with the majority of vectors in our library? This haul gives you the rest of them, as well as our 756 of… Continue Reading »

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30 Best-Selling Packs, Only $24.99

Did you take advantage of our Cyber Monday deal, which hooked you up with the majority of vectors in our library? This haul gives you the rest of them, as well as our 756 of our vectors, brushes and textures, and 8 mockup templates thrown in for good measure, too. All of this through 1/1/2016, so hurry! 

Learn More Now

Here’s what Complete Vector Bundle 2 provides you with:

Vector Packs:

Vector / Brush Packs:

Vector Design Elements / Mockups:

= 764 elements in total, including 756 vectors, brushes and textures and 8 mockup templates

Please note that there are 2 duplicate vector packs within this bundle due to the sets included. The duplicate files are not included in the grand total of elements.

Check out this goodness!

mktg-preview-all

Buy the Bundle

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In Defense of the Dreaded Cold Call, Part 2: Get On The Horn http://gomedia.com/zine/insights/tips-for-cold-calling/ http://gomedia.com/zine/insights/tips-for-cold-calling/#comments Mon, 19 Dec 2016 15:42:20 +0000 http://gomedia.com/?p=63650 The Eccentric’s Guide to Cold Calling in 5 Simple Steps…. Last month we discussed the oft forgotten virtues of peddling your wares door to door, a daunting enough task to be sure. In this installment we’ll explore the redheaded stepchild… Continue Reading »

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The Eccentric’s Guide to Cold Calling in 5 Simple Steps….

Last month we discussed the oft forgotten virtues of peddling your wares door to door, a daunting enough task to be sure. In this installment we’ll explore the redheaded stepchild of marketing, the black sheep of self promotion, the dreaded cold [phone] call. They don’t call it the COLD call for nothing either. It’s true. Everybody dreads it. You do. They do. I do (And I love to “BS” with people).

There’s something about the process that feels unnatural for both persons on either end of the line. It’s cold, indeed. Cold enough to give both the caller and the person being called the shivers. It’s the Mt. Everest of sales tactics. You could be the most outgoing, confident person in the world, but picking up that phone and finding the strength to dial that number takes some doing. Here at Go Media, Cleveland’s premier Design firm, we believe in you. Your will is strong, and you’ve already got the know-how. You just need some motivation. So here we go…follow our lead!

Today we’re going to add warmth and personality to the cold call process in 5 simple steps. We’ll debunk some of the mysteries behind it, get the skunk on the table, look it in the face, and overcome our fears together to help you get your foot in the door and grow your business.

Fear is the optimum word here, people. More specifically, fear of rejection. It’s at the core of our collective dislike over cold calling. That, and it just seems unnatural. No one likes to have their day interrupted with a phone call from someone they hardly know. Being the person who has to make that call can be intimidating. If you’re like me and you hate being solicited, then you’re going to hate being the solicitor. You’re bound to feel some bit of self loathing, maybe even self hatred. To this I say, resist the temptation. Keep your chin up. You’ve got something valuable to share. And, besides, it has to be done. You can hide behind a smokescreen of emails forever. But pretty soon you’ll find that your business is suffering. There’s always room for some good old fashioned one-on-one conversation with people to perk things up a bit. We’re only human after all. It’s okay to feel some trepidation with the process. But it’s that personal touch (the very humanity of it all, if you will) that makes it such a reliable form of communication.

Step 1: It’s all about overcoming objections. Cold calling is a contact sport. You’re going to run into a lot of resistance. Just remember that you’re not a shyster, and you’ve got something important to offer.

Q: How does one overcome objections?
A: With confidence.

Q: How does one gain confidence?
A: Well, you either got it, or you don’t.

But if you’ve got it, and it’s hiding under a layer of uncertainty, then do your homework. Learn as much about the company you are attempting to reach before you make that call. Seek to understand what it is that the company does. Get to know them inside and out. Identify possible needs that they may have, and fill in the gaps with the value that you bring to the table. This will help build confidence. And nothing thwarts resistance more than exhibiting confidence.

Step 2: Develop a personal approach. Conversation is an artform. You can talk AT people, past people, or wait until the other person is done talking, so that you can start talking too. None of this makes for good conversation. Be prepared to let people speak. Learn to savour the silences and pauses in a conversation. They’re gifts. In a world full of noise and distraction, it’s nice to let things fall naturally. Resist the temptation to fill in the gaps, and don’t worry if the person on the other line is about to interrupt you or dump you down the booby hatch. Throw caution to the wind. You’re not a snake oil salesman. You’ve done your homework. You understand their business, and you’ve identified a need. Share it, naturally. And, by all means, let the other person have the last word.

[Note: Here’s an extra bit of oddball advice for further instruction…Check out some old Youtube videos of the great talk show hosts, like Johnny Carson, Dick Cavett, or Tom Snyder. This may sound highly unorthodox, and it may even strike you as being a bit silly. But, fact is, these were three of the world’s’ greatest conversationalists, able to naturally shift gears and effortlessly follow the rhythm of any conversation with just about anyone. And how did they achieve this? By being genuinely curious about other people. So open your mind. Get over yourself. And get ready to do more than just talk. Get ready to listen, learn, and share. Before you know it, you too have become a brilliant conversationalist.]

Step 3: The yogic approach. No kidding. One of the biggest hurdles to the cold call is physical tension and nervousness. Nothing calms the nerves more than simple breathing. And nothing jumpstarts breathing more than a little physical activity. Try doing some stretches before you call, some forward bends. Get the blood flowing, and let it rush to your head. If if helps, and you have the mobility, get up from your chair, and walk while you talk. It’s more natural than sitting at a desk with a phone glued to your ear.

Step 4: Get passed the gatekeepers. You will encounter them over the phone. Some of them are downright suspicious of everybody. Most of them, however, are ordinary people just doing their job. Don’t be discouraged. And, for goodness sake, don’t be rude. Talk to them the way you yourself would like to be talked to. Show them the same courtesy you would to the receptionist at your dentist’s office. Chances are they’ll warm up to you.

Come clean with who you are and why you’re calling. You’re seeking a moment of someone else’s time. Be up front about it. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. The gatekeepers are trained to sniff out the sneaky ones. Don’t be sneaky. And most importantly, always remember, before they connect you, to ask for the direct extension of the person you are trying to reach. That way, next time you call in, you can bypass the gatekeeper entirely. Unless of course you hit off. If so, more power to you.

Step 5: So you’ve had a nice brief chat with the gatekeeper/receptionist, and it has been determined that you do not pose any imminent threat of wasting anyone’s time. Congratulations! The finer attributes of your personality have really shown through! “I’ll connect you now,” says the receptionist. And just like that, you’re in.

That went well. Before you know it, you’re on the air. And it’s not a voicemail, but an actual person you’re speaking with. Remember to pace yourself. Your cold call is getting warmer. Speak in a manner that reassures the person on the other end of the line that you’re not a kook. Tell them upfront, right out of the gate, who you are, why you’re calling, and ask them if now is a good time to talk. Regardless of their response, this is your cue to provide a little bit more detail behind who you are and the purpose of your call. The person on the other end of the line is listening. You’ve got their attention. Deliver a short pitch, ask a question or two about their business, and settle in for the conversation.

At this point the conversation could go just about anywhere. If they insist on speaking with you at another time, accept it. Be prepared to offer a specific alternate date & time to follow up with them. In the meantime, offer to send them more information on your business. This will illuminate your next conversation.

So there you have it. You’ve cleared the biggest hurdle in the process – finding the motivation to pick up the phone, get passed the gatekeeper, make that personal connection, and establish familiarity with your clients. The rest is up to you. Good luck!

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