5 More Mockups to Make Your Designs Look a Million Bucks (minus PS)

Hello Go Media Faithful,

We’re back, as promised, with more of the world’s best mock ups from your friends here at MockupEverything.com!

As always, we are here to help you to mock up your most-awesome designs in minutes (without even having to load Photoshop). You can choose from our free mockups or upgrade your experience to access our full and ever-growing template library.

Or, stick around for a glance at the goodness you can expect as a Pro Member of MockupEverything.com >>

This Month’s Mockups

Here are this month’s newest releases. Pro Members, please head to MockupEverything.com to enjoy using these templates immediately.

Go Pro, Free for 7 Days

Women’s Triblend Short Sleeve Deep V-Neck – Ghosted, Back

Womens_Triblend_Short_Sleeve_Deep_VNeck_Back_Mockup_Preview-mockups

Buy my product

Women’s Triblend Short Sleeve Deep V-Neck – Ghosted, Front

Womens_Triblend_Short_Sleeve_Deep_VNeck_Front_Mockup_Preview-mockups
Buy my product

Women’s Triblend Three Quarter Sleeve Raglan – Ghosted, Back

Womens_Triblend_Three_Quarter_Sleeve_Raglan_Back_Mockup_Preview-mockups

Buy my product

Women’s Triblend Three Quarter Sleeve Raglan – Ghosted, Front

Womens_Triblend_Three_Quarter_Sleeve_Raglan_Front_Mockup_Preview-mockups
Buy my product

Curved Shop Sign

cm1

Buy my product

Wrestling Singlet – Ghosted, Front

Wrestling_Singlet_Ghosted_Front_Mockup_Preview
Buy my product

What are you waiting for? Let’s go Mockup Everything!

Why We’re Totally Geeking Out About This Year’s Weapons of Mass Creation Fest

WMC Fest 2015 is next week!

Weapons of Mass Creation Fest is so many things to so many people. At its core, it’s a three day design conference created and sponsored by creative agency Go Media. But it’s also a family reunion and a huge opportunity to just shamelessly geek out with like-minded, kindred spirits. We cannot wait and are counting down the moments ’til we kick off on August 7th.

Here are some reasons why we’re totally geeking out about this year’s WMC Fest – the best design conference ever!

Tickets to WMC Fest 2015

“Two words: Michael Bierut.” – William Beachy, Go Media President, Ink Wars participant

wmc-fest-2015-7

“I’m really looking forward to seeing a part of Cleveland that didn’t exist when I left town 40 years ago. Also, I’m looking forward to feeling like the oldest person in Cleveland and perhaps getting a tattoo.” – Michael Bierut, WMC Fest speaker

“This will be my third consecutive WMC Fest and what a journey it has been. From curious onlooker in 2013 to vendor in 2014, to event sponsor AND vendor in 2015, The energy, inspiration and community gives me the recharge I need without fail.” – Lenny Terenzi, Screen Printer and Graphic Designer, Ink Wars Host and Sponsor of WMC 2015

“We’re most excited to get face time and one-on-one interaction with other designers. If there’s one thing we’ve discovered, creating a network of common minded people is essential, and showing the work at WMC Fest is just a way to start that conversation.” – Christopher Gray, Half Hazard Press, WMC Fest 6 Sponsors

wmc-fest-2015-lauren

“I’m most exciting to meet and mingle with all of the great folks that will be at the fest! This year, we have a great mix of WMC veteran supporters and fresh faces. To watch people from all over the country with different backgrounds create an amazing energy together is truly inspiring.” – Lauren Hudac, Director of Happy Relations at Weapons of Mass Creation Fest

“I get amped anytime I have the opportunity to go to a new place, and meet new people. At WMC Fest, I can’t wait to talk to some of the industries most innovative creatives, and hear people speak such as Mike Jones of Serve Studios.” – Wesley Hoffman, WMC Fest Workshop leader

wmc-fest-20150mike

“Because it’s going back to its roots – not trying to be something everyone thinks it should be – but is going back to what we all want to show up to! I am excited to be back in Cleveland – to hug necks with everyone!” – Mike Jones, WMC Fest Sponsor and Speaker

“I’m so pumped to see some familiar faces from last year and some brand new ones! I can’t wait to check out the new venue at Playhouse Square and see how the fest has changes from previous years. Mostly, I’m excited to recharge my creativity with everyone!” – Olivia Arnette, WMC Fest Intern

wmc-fest-2015-iw

8 artist on 8 feet of canvas with a mystery theme, man what is better than that? Create on the spot within a time limit! Can’t wait!” – Will Kesling, Lean Dog, WMC Fest Sponsor

Tickets to Friday’s Festivities, including Ink Wars

“We are looking forward to exploring, supporting, and connecting with creative minds whose stories we’re excited to celebrate and share. Creativity is raw, emotional, and vulnerable and this event brings people together through those experiences – making WMC very different from a standard stuffy conference.” – Miranda Boisvert of Rebel.com, Sponsor of this year’s Ink Wars

“The Widen team can’t wait for the creative invigoration that awaits us at WMC. What could be better than spending three straight days with hundreds of conceptual thinkers who all want to solve a problem?” – Nina Brakel-Schutt, Widen, WMC Fest Sponsor

wmc-fest-2015-6

“We are “geeking out” about WMC Fest because this year we have created an interactive augmented reality video booth.  If that’s not geeky enough sounding it’s better to hear what it does: Pose with your friends and custom AR props based on the WMC. We are excited to see people interact with the booth and share their video clips on social media with friends. We also look forward to all the inspiration that the festival brings every year. Between all the speakers, art, meeting new creative people, some drinks….  I always walk away feeling re-charged and very inspired.” – Ian Ziegler, Photonic Studio, WMC Fest Sponsor

“We’re excited to be a part of this epic, energizing event and hope everyone has a wonderful time.” – the PSD2HTML team, WMC Fest Sponsors

“We are incredibly excited for this weekend that will inject innovative ideas and creative energy into our community.” – the City of Cleveland Dept. of Economic Development, WMC Fest Sponsors

wmc-fest-2015-2

“There is a buzz in the air, an energy that is palpable. I can’t wait to soak in all the positivity and authenticity that WMC Fest was founded upon.” – Heather Sakai, WMC Fest Co-Director

“I’m looking forward to meeting everyone in person that I’ve talked with Google Hangouts during the last 8 months. So many new faces join the community this year. So many positive vibes coming out of everyone we’ve talked to.” – Bryan Garvin, WMC Fest Co-Director

wmc-fest-2015-4

Why are you amped to come out to this year’s WMC Fest? Share with us in the comments below!

And if you haven’t purchased your tickets yet, come and experience 3 life-changing days with us August 7 through 9th at Playhouse Square’s Allen Theatre. Saturday tickets are sold out, and Friday and Sunday tickets are on their way to selling out, so hurry and grab those.

Tickets to the Event

Tickets to the Workshops

Stop Everything & Implement these Top 10 Web Conversion Strategies

Top 10 Web Conversion Strategies

Here at Cleveland web design firm Go Media, we’re always being asked what we can do to help a website succeed. Online, success hinges on a very simple trifecta: people must find your site, people must use your site, and people must return to your site. Conversion is about people successfully using your website, and returning again and again to go through an additional transaction or sign-up.

Think about it this way. When you are driving your car, you follow the road. You know to obey predictable patterns like traffic lights and stop signs. On a clear, sunny day with little traffic and some amazing tunes, driving is a breeze. You get where you want to go efficiently and actually enjoy yourself. Now, let’s add in a snowstorm, bumper-to-bumper traffic, a screaming toddler who needs to go to the bathroom “RIGHT NOW,” Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star on repeat, no snacks in the car…and no rest-stop signs in sight. We’ve just sucked any possible fun out of that that car.

A website is no different. You want people to get to their destination (i.e. a conversion) as effectively as possible. You don’t want them to turn around mid-way through the ride, and you’d really like for them to enjoy themselves so that they come back again. To accomplish your goal, you need to provide your user with strong, clear messaging and cues. Get them to their destination quickly, with no traffic, snowstorms, screaming toddlers (we do love kids, we promise!), or diversions along the way.

Below are our Top 10 Website Design Conversion Tips:

Cleveland Web Design   Branding Firm

1. Keep it simple.

Remove any unnecessary clutter on your site. Pay particular attention to your form fields–removing irrelevant messaging means your user focuses on the end goal: the sale or sign-up. Please note though, removing fields does NOT mean confusing your user. Be sure to maintain a sense of sequence and order.

Adobe Illustrator Vectors  Mockup Templates  Tutorials    More · Go Media™

2. Be bold.

Make your call to action pop with color and language. “Click here” within the body copy is so…unclickable. “Sign up now” in a red button, “Start free trial” in a green button, “Add to cart”  in an orange button –these are some examples that blow hidden copy out of the water.

T Shirt Design Domination   Thread s Not Dead Book by Jeff Finley

3. Put your call to action (CTA) above the fold.

Users can’t click what they don’t see. Ensure your CTA is easily accessible as soon as your user lands on the page. What if a user isn’t ready to click immediately upon landing on your page? On the off-chance they need more time to digest your information, put your CTA handy for them so that they can click when ready. Try keeping your CTA on the page as they scroll or add another area for a CTA below the fold.mymedhousing

4. Size doesn’t always matter.

Yes, your CTAs should pop. But here’s some news– bigger isn’t always better. There are other elements that contribute to a visual hierarchy, such as product placement, white-space, expectations for where buttons will be on the page, etc. Even if your CTAs are large, if they are hidden or don’t follow the flow of the page, your users won’t know where to click.

hero1

5. Say what you mean.

Headlines tell your user exactly what they need to know. You want to use your headlines to encourage your desired behavior on the site. Be relevant, show your value proposition, and be clear. If you can do all that and have a sense of humor, we’re hiring.

Homepage-alt

6. Be real.

Ditch the stock photos and invest in real people. Consumers want to trust you, and they don’t trust what’s fake. A warning: make sure your photos contribute to your work. If they clutter or confuse your key message, remove them.

RUSTBELT RECLAMATION

7. Be real x 2.

Add video to your site–short video! Explain your product as concisely as you can, because a video can actually hurt you if it is poorly done or is far too long. Remember to be approachable in the video. You want your users to aspire to be you, the you that is holding your amazing product. Bonus points if your video is sharable or you utilize user-created content to highlight your product.

JAPO_Carousel_Awards

8. You’ve got it? Flaunt it.

Has your company earned an award of any kind? Highlight your awards prominently on your website. Consumers will naturally trust the best in the business.

9. Encourage Trust

Use a security seal if applicable to your business. If a user feels secure on your site, chances are they’ll happily shop. (The keyword= applicable. Don’t just add seals if they aren’t appropriate to your site).

waterloo

10. Read Tip 1.

A clutter-free, straightforward website is really the absolute best way to encourage conversion. Keep your website’s hierarchy clear, use graphics and/or video to further your mission, and ensure that its easy for your customer to convert.

So there you have it! Follow those ten strategies and you’ll be on your way to website success. And remember, your friends here at Cleveland web design firm Go Media are always here to help create the award-winning websites – then maximize the conversions – we all deserve.

2 WMC Fest 2015 Speakers Unite: Mark Brickey’s AID Podcast 221 Featuring Mike Jones

AID Podcast 221 Features Mike Jones

World’s collide when the next episode of the world famous Adventures in Design (AID Podcast) features 2 WMC Fest 2015 Speakers, AID host Mark Brickey and WMC Fest faithful family member Mike Jones.

Episode 221 is entitled “The Supper Gospel Hour”

aid-podcast-mike-jone

Co-founder of Creative South design conference and owner of Serve Studios Mike Jones hangs out to talk about running his business, being a devoted christian and what makes southern BBQ.

Tickets to see Mike Jones at WMC Fest

Check out more of the WMC Family, also featured on the AID Podcast, here:

Using Keyboard Shortcuts | Design Tip of the Week

Using Keyboard Shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts are truly a wonderful thing. With quick pecks at the right keys (at the right time), designing and illustrating becomes faster, more efficient and enjoyable. Imagine if you had to keep laboriously clicking around to select a new tool or option. Ugh, how strenuously horrible. Well, okay, maybe I’m being a bit dramatic. Regardless, keyboard shortcuts are great, making one’s workflow a lot smoother.

This Design Tip of the Week is not going to focus on listing out all of keyboard shortcuts. (There are tons of resources on the internet for that.) Instead, I will focus more on process: how keyboard shortcuts can be used in combination with each other and how you can use them strategically. The following are a few that I personally use along with how they help me in my workflow. Let’s roll.

Zoom In and Out

DTOTW_7-27-15_Article_Images-1

I am very detail-oriented and like to spend time making things perfectly lined up and flawlessly spaced. It’s not uncommon to find me working at 6000% zoomed-in. But I need to also step back and see everything working together. Unfortunately, constantly zooming in and out can be really time consuming. Good thing there is the Z key and CMD + 0.

Hitting the Z key immediately equips the Zoom Tool, which can pinpoint and zoom in on areas that need to be looked at with relentless scrutiny. While being able to quickly hone in is useful, having the ability to zoom out just as fast is super crucial. This is where CMD + 0 (CTRL + 0) really comes in handy, zooming out instantly to a nice, encompassing view of the artboard (Illustrator) or canvas (Photoshop).

*In Illustrator, use CMD + OPT + 0 (CTRL + ALT + 0) to see ALL artboards in one view. 

I know it seems kind of elementary, but using these two keyboard shortcuts, especially in combination with each other, greatly help with refining details (kerning, adjusting curves, erasing, aligning elements, etc.) AND stepping back to see how those refinements affect your design overall.

Selection & Direct Selection Tool

DTOTW_7-27-15_Article_Images-2

Using the V key (Selection Tool) alongside the A key (Direction Selection Tool) allows you to not only easily move, rotate and scale elements, but also distort and transform them*. When working on a complex illustration that has many anchor points formulating numerous shapes, lines and curves, toggling between the Selection and Direct Selection Tool definitely speeds things up.

*These two keyboard shortcuts refer more to working in Illustrator.

Fill and Stroke

DTOTW_7-27-15_Article_Images-3

Using the X key allows you to switch back and forth between Stroke and Fill in Illustrator, which is especially useful in making color choices and creation of shapes (solid vs. outlined). You can also use Shift+X to invert a shape’s Stroke and Fill color.

In Photoshop, the X key shifts between the foreground and background color. This becomes extremely useful for erasing (Brush Tool set to black) and restoring (Brush Tool set to white) parts of an image in a Clipping Mask.

Adding and Subtracting Anchor Points

DTOTW_7-27-15_Article_Images-4

Creating excellent vectors requires a great amount of attention to their anchor points. Whether it is plotting new points on a path or taking some out, using the + key and – key streamlines that process. I use these two keyboard shortcuts constantly when working intensively on linework.

And Finally…

DTOTW_7-27-15_Article_Images-5

DTOTW_7-27-15_Article_Images-6

The two most common keyboard shortcuts.

We all make mistakes. Thankfully we can undo (CMD + Z) them in a blink of an eye, so we may move on to a better solution without losing time. Then there are those moments of brilliance. Don’t let lose them in the digital ether. Save (CMD+S) them.

To wrap this all up, the point is not to remember every single keyboard shortcut. Instead, think about your process. What actions are constantly being made? Is there a way to make that particular step easier? After all, a major part of design is not only the creation of a visual, but the thinking that goes into it. Save yourself time with a more efficient process, then use the time that was saved to focus on things like conceptualization that require incubation and development.

Work smarter, not harder.

Thanks for reading!

7-27-15

Get Psyched for the Battle of the Century: Ink Wars Presented by Rebel.com

Ink Wars Time: Let’s Get Ready to Rumble!

Are you ready for the Battle of the Century? It’s almost time for the next round of Weapons of Mass Creation Fest’s Ink Wars – presented by our friends over at Rebel.com!

Ink Wars

Our friends at Rebel, experts in domain names and the products that make the most of them, have a tagline perfectly paired with our Ink Wars artists: “Make your mark.”

Our artists – armed with Sharpies and ready to take on the world – will certainly make their mark when they take the stage at 8 pm on Friday, August 7th.

Ticket to Friday’s Event

Get Psyched for Ink Wars 2015 by checking out past video of the event and by getting ready to root for your favorite artist!

logo-tag

Top 10 Vector Packs of All Time: WMC Fest 2015 Limited Edition

202 of our most popular vector graphic elements of all time

+ 24 brand new bonus vectors

It’s almost time for our annual 3 day design conference, Weapons of Mass Creation Fest 2015!

To celebrate, we’ve put together a bundle jam-packed with the top 10 vector packs of all time – including the Abstract Halftones, Destroy Grunge, Flock of Birds, Flourishes and Hooladanders, Hand Drawn Wings, Heraldry 1, Heraldry 2, Ornate Patterns, Ornate and Tattered Scoll Banner packs – (that’s 202 vectors in total).

As a bonus, we’ve had some of our WMC Fest 2015 artists add new vector elements to each of these packs – (for an additional 24 elements)

That’s a grand total of 226 vectors!

And wait for it – the final bonus:

It’s so much goodness, how could you resist?

Buy the Limited Edition Bundle – 75% off

WMC Fest 2015 Limited Edition Vectors included:

Previews---All

Learn more about our Featured Artists: Mike Jones, Jeff Finley, William Beachy, Lenny Terenzi, and Jordan Wong

Grab the Bundle Before it’s Gone!

WMC 6: Meet Jay and Nathan from Cotton Bureau

Jay & Nathan from Cotton Bureau

InternalImage1

We are thrilled to introduce our friends Jay Fanelli and Nathan Peretic, co-founders of Cotton Bureau.

They are sponsors of our WMC Fest Vendor Village, as well as speakers at the Fest.

Sunday Tickets to See Jay and Nate

We sat down with Jay and Nate to take a peek into their world and discuss what we should expect to see out of them at this year’s WMC.

Jay: I’m Jay Fanelli, and the other guy here is Nathan Peretic. We are the co-founders of Cotton Bureau which is a community for designers and illustrators to sell t-shirts and other kinds of apparel to everybody around the world.

Bryan (of WMC Fest): So obviously you guys are involved in the overall design community, what brought you to it? How did you start your general design careers?

Jay: I’d say both of our careers are a result of many accidents that have accumulated over a lot of years. Personally for me, I started as an account manager at a web design shop back in 2002, late 2001. And over the course of the next 7-8 years, I became a sort of designer, I guess. I’ve kind of always been a designer in my spare time but never professionally.

Nate and I worked together at another Web Design shop here in Pittsburgh, and became pretty fast friends and learned that we thought we could make a better web design agency than currently existed in Pittsburgh. So we bailed on that place and started our own web design shop in 2009.

InternalImage2
United Pixel Workers, Jay and Nathan’s previous t-shirt store/web design community

Nathan: I think my story goes back to high school. Like a lot of people, building websites for myself, for friends and family. Even through college, trying a lot of other things and ultimately coming back to the web design industry as a profession after college, despite not having any professional training. When I got my first job I told them that I loved design, and I thought design meant industrial design, Jony Ive style, you know, functional, how can we make this object more useful. I had no experience as a visual designer, so the rest of my career people wisely pushed me away from visual design and into the more practical aspects of building out the designs. So, my background and my current position is not really on the visual design side at all.

Bryan: As far as what you guys are doing, it’s obviously a little bit different. The t-shirt market overall is really saturated. There’s a lot of different t-shirt press companies, you guys are taking a little bit of a different approach to it. Why did you go the route you did?

Jay: Making t-shirts is a big pain in the ass. We learned that, kind of the hard way when we started United Pixel Workers back in 2010. It was just kind of an idea that we had on the side of our web design business for something we wanted to try for a variety of reasons. Over the course of the ensuing 4-4.5 years, we learned the best way to sell t-shirts online, the best way to print t-shirts, the best way to ship t-shirts, the best way to deal with customer service.

And we were constantly being asked while we were doing United Pixel Worker t-shirts, ‘Hey, can you guys do my t-shirts?” And the answers were almost always no. Enough of those things accumulated and we decided that Cotton Bureau might be a worthwhile business to try to chase down. That’s sort of the functional side of things. We knew how to make t-shirts, and other people didn’t, or they did, and they knew how tough it was. And we thought that by both creating a community that curated great t shirt design but also provided the functional part of things, you know, the shipping, the printing, the fulfillment, the customer service, all that stuff. You know, we thought it would be a sustainable business. And now 2 years later, I think that we now know that it is.

InternalImage3
The official Cotton Bureau website

Nathan: Our background is of a web design services company. When we left our previous company, it was to build websites for people. And I think naively at the time, I expected by leaving a company where I had a lot of responsibilities that were not making websites and starting our company together, I thought I’d have a lot more time to work on websites. And as everyone else may have already guessed, that’s not what happens when you start a business. There’s a lot of administrative stuff, there’s a lot of just tedious paperwork and things like that, and chasing down potential clients.

So that experience gave us some perspective as we went through our t-shirt sales phase, and we saw how half of the job at least is repetitive, not particularly glamorous work. And some people may really enjoy that hands in the ink, romantic, do it yourself model, but a lot of people who have the ability to design great things don’t necessarily have the time to put those things into bags and deal with what happens if they get lost in the mail. So we thought it made a lot of sense for us to try and take that part of the problem out of the equation.

Bryan: So your overall participation at WMC fest obviously shows that you value being able to contribute to the design community the way that you are. Why is it important for you to be involved in WMC fest or another event like this, and contribute in this way?

Jay: T-shirts are obviously a big part of what we do. And when we look out on the sort of general marketplace of t-shirts, there’s a lot of beautiful stuff out there, and there’s a lot of crap. And we’ve sort of made it Cotton Bureau’s mission to only contribute to whatever degree we are able to putting beautiful work out in the world. To create an experience we can be proud of, to create a product we can be proud of. And we need the design communities help with that. That’s sort of the selfish part of it.

The other side of it is that without this design community, I don’t know that our company would exist, Cotton Bureau certainly wouldn’t exist, Pixels Pusher, the parent of Cotton Bureau wouldn’t have existed. We might still be working for some crappy agency here in Pittsburgh. I know I can speak for Nate when I say that we’ve met countless friends that have helped us personally, have helped us professionally, and the ability to kind of give back and support a conference like WMC, especially one an hour and half to two hours away from us up the road in Cleveland, it’s the least we can do.

InternalImage4
Cotton Bureau’s Wall of Fame t-shirt portfolio

Bryan: So you guys are speaking Sunday at 11:15 AM, what can we expect from you guys?

Jay: This is subject to change, as all of our conference talks usually are, but we are probably going to be talking about what it’s like to sort of be in an accidental business. You know, 6 years ago Nate and I started a web design shop, and here we sit six years later exclusively making t-shirts for a living. And that wasn’t the plan, we can assure you. And who knows what’s going to happen in the future, but I think Nate and I learned a valuable lesson a couple years in with Full Stop, our web design shop, that we started a web design agency because we knew web design and we had a unified idea for what a better web design agency could look like. And a couple years in, we learned that we liked being in business more than we liked being in a web design business. And I think our companies since then, and probably continuing in the future, will continue evolving into the right kind of business for our company. Whether it’s me and Nate and our other partner Matt, or whoever gets added to the organization’s future. We are kind of in a constant state of trying to find the right business for us, and we like where we are at but like I said, it certainly wasn’t part of the plan. So I think that’s primarily what we are going to be talking about at WMC.

CottonBureau_Logo

Thanks a million to Cotton Bureau for sponsoring this year’s WMC Fest! Check out our full list of sponsors at wmcfest.com and buy tickets for Cleveland Design Conference Weapons of Mass Creation Festival now!

Sunday Tickets to See Jay and Nate

Listen Now: Adventures in Design Podcast with WMC Fest 2015’s Dustin Lee

Adventures in Design never fails to disappoint.

Today’s episode, number 218, is full of goodness so juicy you’ve just got to tune in now.

It’s got everything we love, all jam-packed into one episode. Featuring:

Learn more about Dustin’s WMC Fest Workshop

  • and more Adventures in Design goodness!

Come see Mark and Dustin live right here in sunny CLE, August 7th thru 9th when you hit up the best design conference ever – our very own Weapons of Mass Creation Fest!

Buy Friday Tickets

Buy Sunday Tickets

(Sorry friends, Saturday is all sold out!)

Watch our WMC Fest 6 Hype Video >> “The Road to WMC – Our Host’s Journey”

Behold the Weapons of Mass Creation Fest Hype Video

…a little video inspiration to hold you over ’til we meet in 17 days…

Watch Now >>

Then purchase one of the last remaining tickets to one of the best design conferences in the world, Weapons of Mass Creation Fest. Yes, we are almost completely sold out.

logo-tag

gma-arsenal-logo

LeanDog_1000x250_logo

BIG-LOGO-2015

Sharpen Images in Photoshop | Design Tip of the Week

Sharpen Images in Photoshop

It was actually Carly, one of the wonderful designers here at Go Media, who showed me this tip: using the High Pass filter to sharpen images in Photoshop. It’s real easy and super quick. Check it out!

DTOTW_7-20-15_Article_Image_1

Who doesn’t love red pandas? We’re going to be using this little guy for our example.

*Note: I just borrowed this image from a Google search for this example. Make sure you always use your own images or ones that you have purchased from a stock photography provider.

DTOTW_7-20-15_Article_Image_2

We’re going to duplicate the layer.

DTOTW_7-20-15_Article_Image_3

On the duplicated layer, apply the High Pass filter (Filter>Other>High Pass).

DTOTW_7-20-15_Article_Image_4

Select a Radius value. You’ll want to keep this value towards the lower end of the spectrum, but may even have to go back and play around to see what value best enhances your photo.

DTOTW_7-20-15_Article_Image_5

Once you have chosen a Radius value, set the layer to Overlay.

DTOTW_7-20-15_Article_Image_6

Voilà!

DTOTW_7-20-15_Article_Image_7

*Click on the image to see a larger version.

The left is the original photo, while the right is with the High Pass filter applied. Notice how the right is crisper and has more definition.  So if you find yourself with some not-so-sharp images, you can now give ’em a little boost!

Cheers!

7-20-15-01

Line Variation in Illustrator | Tutorial

Line Variation in Illustrator Tutorial

In a previous Design Tip of the Week, we mentioned the increasing trend of icons and simplistic, geometric illustration. While their minimal, clean aesthetic is perfect for some situations, there are other times when an illustration needs to have more personality and be more dynamic. Line variation can add that extra flavor.

Line Variation Example-01

In this tutorial, I’ll show you how I personally add line variation in Illustrator (there are, however, many different approaches and methods). Let’s begin!

Line_Variation_Tutorial_Article_Image_1

We’re going to use this guy for our first example. (He may look familiar, but he is in fact a different blob-person than the one I previously introduced in an other tutorial.)

Line_Variation_Tutorial_Article_Image_2

Take a look at the Stroke Panel, you’ll notice that the (line) profile is uniform – consistent all the way through. (Also the line weight is 3 pt. – this will come into play later.) We want to change that. After all, our friend here has some lovely curves that need to be accentuated. With a monotonous line weight, no wonder his expression is rather plain.

Line_Variation_Tutorial_Article_Image_3

Illustrator offers an array of line treatments.

Line Profiles-01

We’re going to select one that has more variety.

Alright! Now we have something going on. However, I am not so sure if I want the line to be as thin as it is where it tapers.

Line_Variation_Tutorial_Article_Image_5

This is a crucial part in fixing line weights that are too thin. You’ll want to…

1. Click on the original line
2. Copy it
3. Paste IN PLACE (Shift+Command+V or Shif+Ctrl+V).
4. Set the newly pasted line weight to a lower value (than your original, dynamic line). Our original line was at 3 pt., so I’ll make this one’s line weight set to 1.5 pt.
5. Change its Profile to Uniform

Line_Variation_Tutorial_Article_Image_6

Ta-da! Just by those simple changes, our blob friend now has more personality. He even now has a charming mustache!

Now let’s take a look at an example that is a more complex illustration. And what better imagery than a pig with a jet booster strapped to its back!

Jet_Booster_Pig_Comparison-03

Jet_Booster_Pig_Detail

As you can see, the illustration on the right has more complexity and character with its linework than the version on the left. The varying thick-to-thin lines play off the curves of the rounded forms and the angular lines of the more streamlined shapes.

Now give it a shot! Go transform those boring vectors into lively illustrations! In addition to this one, we have TONS of tutorials on illustration in the Arsenal. Check ’em out and start creating masterpieces!

Thanks for reading!

WMC 6: Meet Moonshot Lab from Barkley

Moonshot Lab from Barkley

We are thrilled to introduce our friends from Barkley, a fiercely independent advertising agency in Kansas City, Missouri.

They are sponsors of this year’s Weapons of Mass Creation Fest and an integral part of WMC Fest’s schedule.

The team will be hosting a workshop on Sunday called Prototype as Pitch and will be taking part in Saturday’s portfolio review – definitely not to be missed.

We sat down with some of their team to discuss their involvement in the fest. You can catch our chat over on our design podcast feed or the transcript below. And be sure to meet the whole team live at your favorite design conference, Weapons of Mass Creation Fest, August 7 – 9th at the Allen Theatre!

Tickets to WMC

InternalImage1
Mark: Hi, I’m Mark and we are Moonshot, the innovation lab at Barkley Advertising Agency in Kansas City. And we help clients explore the future and design new experiences and products using sort of a combination of human centered design practices, emerging technologies, and just the right amount of weirdness.

Joe: I’m Joe, I’m the programmer kind of guy in the lab. My background is in software development and I do electronics and stuff like that.

Ricky: My name’s Ricky. I am the industrial designer and maker of the lab.

Katy: I’m Katy, I lead our experience design practice. I have an interaction graphic design background, and I also worked in education.

InternalImage2
Moonshot Lab staff in a meeting

Bryan: Alright, so it sounds like a wide range of different things that you guys do. Can you tell the WMC community just a little bit about Barkley, the Moonshot lab and the role that design plays there.

Mark: Yeah, for sure. So we started Moonshot about 4 years ago, really with the intent of exploring emerging technologies and accelerating their adoption both within the agency as a whole and throughout our clients work as well. Very quickly we became not only a lab doing experiments with emerging technology, but we became sort of a cultural catalyst as well. We learned it was really important not only to have cool toys and do interesting experiments with them but to really propagate ideas, share awareness of possibilities, both inside the agency and with our clients as well. Pretty early on we started doing things like classes, workshops and other experiential learning events, and that became a real pillar of what we do. So we’re grounded in human centered design and innovation, we tackle problems from an end user perspective, and try to cultivate empathy and the feeling of what the end user is feeling when they encounter a problem, or what we want them to feel when they experience whatever we are designing for them. A design really plays a lot of different roles here at Barkley, not only experience design which is sort of our practice, but of course, graphic design, motion design, there’s really design throughout the entire agency.

Katy: We are excited to get up to Cleveland and check it out, but Kansas City is one of those interesting medium sized American cities that’s really beginning to understand design and innovation as a change agent even at the city leadership level which is really exciting to see. Barkley is situated in the downtown crossroads Arts district, and we are two blocks from Kansas City Center for Architecture and Design. It’s just a real thriving hub, and there are certainly times of the month and times of the year where that energy is really palpable inside this building and inside the city that surrounds us.

barkley
Advertising Agency, Barkley, located in Kansas City, Missouri.

Bryan: You talk a lot about the energy that your company has about design as well as these workshops you guys are doing. So overall, this seems to really fit in line with WMC Fest as far as sharing that knowledge you guys have and sharing passion you guys have. Why do you guys value contributing to the design community as you have been so far, as well as joining us here at WMC Fest?

Katy: I think that we are just interested in contributing to the ways design is practiced in Kansas City. It is just increasingly diverse, kind of the traditional modes of practice but all of those disciplines are interesting moments of flux. So there are traditional print broadcast, motion work being done by graphic designers. There’s great industrial design and architectural talent; we are a block from an annual fashion design show that happens every year that’s really fantastic. And we love to occupy a space thats a little more fringe, a little more experimental. We are really interested in the intersection of digital and physical and it’s a bit of a green scape, an unexplored territory here, at least regionally, so we are excited to push those boundaries and lead that charge and introduce those kinds of perspectives to the community at large.

Mark: I’ll add a little bit to that. Katy mentioned the notion of boundaries, I think one of the things we like to do in the industry is break the boundaries of what the agency typically concedes its job to be. So when we introduce the practice of experience design, and the idea of going beyond story telling and creating both tangible products and experiences that people can use to really feel the brands that we work for. That changed the way the agency sees itself and see what it’s capable of doing. And in a similar fashion, we like to break beyond the boundaries of our everyday experience and sort of go out and encounter new communities and bring back new ideas. So for us, participating in Weapons of Mass Creation is an opportunity to break the boundaries as well. Sort of import ideas that we might not normally get here, even when we are a part of a really vibrant community.

Bryan: So you guys are going to be doing a workshop, can you tell us a little bit about what we can expect there?

Ricky: The workshop’s name is called Prototype as Pitch and through the workshop we are going to try and show you the power of making your ideas instead of just talking about your ideas, because we believe making your ideas gets you the most excitement and the biggest possible buy-in.

Learn More about Prototype as Pitch

InternalImage5
Moonshot lab prototyping

Joe: Yeah, we came up with this idea for the workshop because we’ve had a lot of luck, or not a lot of luck, we’ve practiced this process of making prototypes and then getting budgets for it. A lot of times people say, “I know it when I see it“, or “I don’t know what you’re making until I see it“, or “I know what I like when I see it“, so what we do is we let them see it. And when they do, they’re like “Yes that’s it! Or they’re like “No… that’s not it.” So yeah the idea for the workshop just came out of our everyday workflow.

Mark: And I would say that for us, this philosophy of prototyping to pitch is different from doing spec work because it’s not our intent to deliver something that might look like the final piece. We are not invested in dazzling potential clients with a logo or design per say, we are trying to give them a feel for what the solution might be and get them excited and inspired. That’s an important distinction to make, between prototype and spec work.

Bryan: So Barkley, overall as a company, you guys were voted one of the best places to work by Ad Age, you’ll also be recruiting at the event, you’ll be apart of our portfolio review on Saturday, so why do you guys love working at Barkley? What’s the best part of your job there?

Mark: For me, I think the best part of my job is that I literally invented it. Four years ago Moonshot didn’t exist, and I went to the senior executives and pitched them the idea of building a lab and to my great surprise they said yes, and said go out there and do this. And I think that kind of speaks to the kind of freedom and flexibility that we enjoy here, which is not common in agencies. And that probably stems, at least in part, from the fact that we are employee owned. So there’s just a different underlying vibe to the culture. I think in terms of the best things about Barkley, for sure, is the people. I love my team and the people I get to work with everyday, and I know other people apart of the agency probably feel similarly, but clearly, not as strong as we do because this is the best team. But as Katy mentioned, we live in this really vibrant cultural hub in Kansas City, the crossroads to Art district. It is the center of Kansas City’s creative community and it’s just a cool place to be. You can walk down the street and get inspiration and encounter people from other creative fields that kind of fuel your thinking and work.

InternalImage3
Moonshot Lab Rotation Week

Ricky: Yeah, Barkley as a company really does put a lot of effort into developing great culture. And that goes all that way to obvious things like happy hours to really communicating to us visions of adding good to everything you do and practical things like employing diversity of people and encouraging us to explore outside of what we do and who we are and typical agency life and that’s really great.

Joe: I really enjoy the fact that our team is so diverse, I come from a background where things are more siloed and in your groups are people who think like you, and we have a team where we all think radically different and I think that kind of carries over to the entire agency. So any person you approach, they are going to think a lot differently than you are which is really cool.

Katy: Yeah I want to just echo what Joe said. Silos are not as predominant here, but there is still expertise in the building in a lot of different and necessary categories. There is always somebody to go to and kick around an idea with but the idea really is keen here, so it’s kind of open door policy. If you have a really great idea and some ambition and some passion to run with it, you’ll typically find a yes here at Barkley and a pretty long road to run with it, which is just really refreshing and really energizing as this point in my career personally.

Mark: I’ll throw in one more thing. I’ve been at Barkley for 10 years and I can say that categorically this is a really good time to be a Barkley. There’s just a ton of momentum right now. We’ve had some nice new business wins, picked up a lot of new clients, we are starting to get a lot of national buzz, you mentioned the Ad Age recognition as one of the best places to work. There’s just a sense of energy and momentum right now that makes it a great place to be and a great time to be here.

Buy Tickets to WMC Fest

Cleveland Design Conference WMC Fest is sponsored by our friends at Barkley

Barkley_Logo
moonshotlogo
Thanks a million to Moonshot Lab and Barkley for sponsoring this year’s WMC Fest! Check out our full list of sponsors at wmcfest.com and buy tickets for Cleveland Design Conference Weapons of Mass Creation Festival now!

Show Barkley some love over on Facebook | Twitter

Why You Should Use WordPress

Why You Should Use WordPress

So, you want to build a killer website. Great. Here are three questions for you before we begin:

  1. Do you want your website to work?
  2. Should it be easy to use?
  3. Should it be easy for you to update?

Wow! What a surprise! You answered, “YES!” to all three questions.

Obviously, these are three fairly basic–but absolutely fundamental–requirements when building a website.

We’re a transparent, upfront team here at Cleveland Graphic Design and Web Design Firm Go Media. Our goal is to save you time, money, and make your web presence as awesome and lucrative as possible. And that’s where our love for WordPress comes in.

Yes, WordPress is a blog platform. Your Aunt Linda may use WordPress to share her drool-worthy, double chocolate chip cookie recipe with her knitting club, but that’s the beauty of WordPress. Everyone from your Aunt Linda to your nephew Joey can use it. That means once the site is established, you will easily be able to edit content from any computer with Internet access. No paying for a designer or a coder for an additional page of content–you’ll be able to efficiently add copy and an image, publish the updates immediately or schedule them whenever it’s most convenient for you. WordPress can save time, keep your website consistent, and give you the freedom to do the other million things you need to do to keep your business thriving.

InternalImage_1_a
WordPress can cater to a wide variety of businesses. Pictured above are Laurenco Waterproofing and Makeup Academy Pro.

Let’s be clear here: WordPress is not just for recipe swaps. WordPress powers over 100 million sites! From the site you are looking at now to these other fine websites Go Media designed: Makeup Academy Pro,  Laurenco Waterproofing and Summit Developmental Disabilities Board we can help your site represent your brand at it’s finest. We’re early adopters of WordPress with over fifteen years of WordPress experience — our expertise means that we can offer custom your business WordPress themes AND unique Go Media WordPress plugins. Looking to add custom posts, special theme options, or unique pages targeted for your business? Look no further. Why bother building cookie-cutter websites when our expertise with WordPress and its Open Source platform provide the flexibility to basically build whatever you are dreaming of?

This carte blanche extends to e-commerce. Cleveland Web Development firm Go Media has been integrating e-commerce with WordPress for over ten years. Our platforms have processed millions of dollars throughout the years. We’re comfortable working with small retailers to national conglomerates. Here’s a short list of what we can do for you:

  • Organize and present products by categories, attributes, tags, price and more.
  • Product feature images and slideshows with large image viewer.
  • Supports a retail price, sale price, special customer pricing, variable pricing and more.
  • Product details tabs with descriptions, customer comments, reviews and additional information.
  • Related and cross-promotional products can be associated with any item.
  • Currency, taxes, shipping fees, and many related extensions to integrate with 3rd party systems like Fedex & UPS.
  • Inventory counting with Out of Stock settings.
  • Dozens of payment extensions with multiple checkout options such as Credit Cards on most major merchant gateways, Paypal, Amazon and many more.
  • Advanced control panel dashboard with sales updates, reviews, stats and more.
  • Marketing & Promotion tools like coupon code management and sales alert banners.
  • Hundreds of extensions for 3rd party integration like QuickBooks, TradeGecko,
  • Veeqo and countless more.

InternalImage_2_a
Cleveland Public Theatre: Responsive WordPress site that caters to any gallery, social media or blog themed need.

Above all, each transaction is secure, reliable, and easy for the customer. That means your front-end of your WordPress looks flawless for your user, encouraging them to purchase from your site. A top-notch experience builds confidence for your customer, which builds a repeat, loyal user. The back-end of your e-commerce site will also be clean, a snap to manage, and will make the selling process…well, easy. And isn’t that the point?

If you haven’t figured it out already, WordPress should be your go-to platform for dependable, user-friendly, creative, world-is-your-oyster websites. If you still have questions, or just want to chat about why you love WordPress too, get in touch! We’d love to hear from you.

Hanging Punctuation in InDesign and Illustrator | Design Tip of the Week

Hanging Punctuation in InDesign and Illustrator

This week, we’re getting into a nitty gritty aspect of type: hanging punctuation. For those who do not know, hanging punctuation is a method of typesetting punctuation marks (and bullet points) to preserve the ‘flow’ of a body of text and avoid breaking the margin of alignment. Let me show you what I’m talking about. While there are options that include hanging punctuation in InDesign AND Illustrator, I’ll show an example in InDesign. (Don’t worry, I’ll touch upon Illustrator towards the end.)

DTOTW_7-13-15_Article_Image_1

As you can see, the quotation marks are tucked inside next to the “M”, throwing off alignment.

(Side Note: I decided to use pirate ipsum for my copy. I mean, why the hell would you use boring lorem ipsum when things like pirate ipsum exist?)

DTOTW_7-13-15_Article_Image_2

You’re going to want to go to Type>Story.

DTOTW_7-13-15_Article_Image_3

Check the box next to “Optical Margin Alignment” and change the value below until you’re happy with the alignment.

DTOTW_7-13-15_Article_Image_4

There we are. Donezos.

For Illustrator, it’s actually one option, which is Optical Margin Alignment – right under “Type” in the top menu. When I tried this out in Illustrator CC, the results were pretty good. However, I wasn’t satisfied with how Illustrator CS5 handled the alignment. If you think it needs some tweaking, I suggest making those adjustments using Tabs (Window>Type>Tabs.)

Thanks for stopping by! Hope this was helpful!

7 - 13 - 15

WMC 6: Meet Ian Zeigler from Photonic Studio

Ian Zeigler from Photonic Studio

InternalImage_1b

IZ: My name is Ian Zeigler with Photonic Studio. I went to CIA, and actually all the guys here went to CIA, but I run Photonic Studio with Matt and Tony. We have a little studio in Bratenahl, where we do art and make creative shit. Can I say shit? Stuff, creative stuff. We make animations, interactive content, and renderings and anything people pay us to make, websites, or whatever.

Jobs_Ohio_960_480_2
Reception_Large_960_480
Selected projects from Photonic Studio’s portfolio.

HS: We are going on a little Cleveland design tour, and we’re actually not making it up to your space in Bratenahl this year, but I was able to visit your space maybe a month or two ago and you guys have a really unique space out there. You told me a little about how you actually ended up there and about your space in general, but can you share with our listeners a little bit about your cute little unique spot you have there.

IZ: Yeah, it’s pretty cool. We are in the middle of the woods in a converted greenhouse and it’s just very peaceful, there’s a lot of natural light and it’s a big change from working in a typical cubical with no windows, which I did for many years before we started Photonic. But yeah, it’s on an old estate, an actual old Holden property, just some old greenhouse. We were just lucky, because I was from Cleveland Heights originally, found a rental place kind of by the lake, and it happened to be this old Holden property and it had a greenhouse and we were always peeking in the windows at it, and we thought it be so cool if we could run a design space out of there. You know, we were all working for different companies and we all talked about running a studio together and it just actually all worked out. Eventually, I had to move out of living in Bratenahl but you know, still renting the space, it’s been awesome. We have turkeys, foxes and deer and lots of animals and lots of nature. You forget you’re in Cleveland.

5
Inside Photonic Studio

BG: So this is going to be your debut at WMC Fest, as well as the debut of what we are trying to do with the maker space and that second level. Can you give us a little taste of what we can expect out of you this year?

IZ: We are always experimenting with technology and visualization, usually for architecture and products and industry type stuff. But from experimenting with all this stuff, we kind of stumbled upon, wow, you can do a video booth or a photo booth with all this augmented reality stuff were doing to visualize architecture and products. So we kind of started experimenting with just making props, masks, beards and just all kinds of funky stuff and just realized we could make a video booth and it could probably be a perfect opportunity for Weapons because we always wanted to be a part of it, so then that’s why we reached out to you guys.

It was just kind of funny that we happened to run into Jordan at the AIGA thing and just tried to network with other creatives and we hit it off with him and just started talking about designing the video booth a little bit. Then we had a meeting and he started sketching ideas, and we started sketching ideas and it was just cool that Matt came up with the idea that Weapons of Mass Creation should be props of giant weapons and have it be a theme kind of thing.

And that’s when Jordan started designing some ideas based off of that, and we started 3D modeling them and integrating that and it’s been a cool workflow, sneaking these little side projects into our normal work flow. It kind of helps change up the pace of the monotonous day to day stuff. So once we realized we could do this augmented reality, we also thought, man this would be cool to do videos to share on instagram and twitter, so we might as well just record little 15 second clips of people wearing these custom props designed for WMC fest this year, and they are all animated props and kind of branded with some creative stuff. We might have some secret stuff sneaked in too, so we will see.

13
Photonic Studio’s augmented reality presentation book.

HS: Yep. Don’t want to give all of the secrets away. But it’s going to be pretty amazing.

IZ: So if you visit our video booth upstairs at the festival, you can jump in, get a short video of you and your friends with funny hats, oversized art supplies and custom props created specifically for WMC Fest. And we might have nerf guns up there too.

HS: Perfect!

BG: That’ll come in handy. So what’s on the horizon for Photonic?

IZ: For us, we’ve just been moving more and more into the creating interactive communication stuff, so utilizing unity, game engine, our modeling skills, our design skills, some animation stuff to make these 3D apps to help people communicate whatever they need, if it’s architecture, exteriors, interiors, trade show product stuff, I don’t know. We are excited. We just reached out recently to EventWorks 4D in Cleveland and we got caught up with them networking and we might be doing some holographic stuff with them so we are pretty excited about that.

Want to check out Photonic Studio for yourself? You won’t regret it.

Thanks a million to Photonic Studio for sponsoring this year’s WMC Fest! Check out our full list of sponsors at wmcfest.com and buy tickets for Cleveland Design Conference Weapons of Mass Creation Festival now!

Logo