Articles by: Heather Sakai
Seeking employment in the field of graphic design? When you’re looking for a new start, LinkedIn, Indeed, Simply Hired, Glassdoor, and Monster aren’t your only options. There are several sites that can connect you to your next freelance gig or running into the arms of an agency that will appreciate your talents. But where do you start looking? We are here to help!
Here are some sites you may find helpful:
AIGA Design Jobs: Professional Jobs and Internships courtesy of our friends at AIGA.
AngelList: Positions offered by Tech and StartUp Companies
Authentic Jobs: Design opportunities for graphic designers, developers and other creative professionals
Behance: Design Jobs, Internships and Freelance Work
Coroflot: Jobs in the areas of Graphic Design, Product Design, Creative Direction and more
Creative Hotlist: A creative job-board featuring categories like design, illustration, art direction and more
Design Milk: Design, Art and Architecture positions
Dribbble: Jobs for Designers
Higher Ed: Graphic Design Faculty Positions
If You Could: A site covering a myriad of creative jobs
Krop: A multitude of creative positions
Media Bistro: Creative Jobs in areas like Graphic Design, UX & UI, Video, Web Production and more
Smashing Magazine: Jobs for Designers and Developers
The Dots: Creative jobs covering a range of roles. Some prestigious companies list here.
The Drum: Jobs in Marketing, Design and Creative Position, as well as a range of others associated with this field.
For Freelancers Specifically:
DesignCrowd: Freelance Design Jobs in areas including logo & branding, web design, print design, graphic design, product & merchandise, art & illustration
Freelancer.com: Post your skills/capabilities and get hired.
The Creative Loft: A premium job listing website for jobseekers and professionals of creative industries.
Upwork: The largest & most trusted freelancer site. Post your skills and clients will find you.
Make sure to check out our other posts related to job hunting!
Good luck everyone!
Follow these Illustrators on Instagram
Hate social media bringing you down? Hate scrolling and slowly feeling down about yourself as the posts roll by? Follow these ten illustrators on Instagram we suggest below and you’ll perk right up. We promise!
We are all about inspiration these days. We have started a Facebook group for creatives and hope you’ll join. Head to the We Are Weapons – Go Media Creative Crew on Facebook and request to join in on the conversation.
A few more notes before the inspiration begins:
- If you love this post, check out our post entitled: Girl Power: Follow These 34 Female Creatives Now
- Make sure to follow Go Media on Instagram!
A space that honors the importance of choosing self-care over self-harm.
Empowering creative ladies! Started by @jessicavwalsh
powered by awesome ladies worldwide in over 200 cities.
THEY/THEM pls | queer trans artist & activist
A way of being | A space for embodied wisdom
Original artwork © Dani DiPirro
DC-area artist + author
illustrator trying her best
infamous anti-socialite and pug lady
London Based Artist & Social Issues Advocate
70s Graphic Design: Ideas from our Pinterest Board
As you may have noticed, companies and designers have been drawing inspiration from of our favorite decades lately. Graphic design inspiration from the 1970’s is all the rage. There is something about the thick lines, bold color choices and simple layouts that really speaks to us still. So today, we are throwing down some vintage inspiration from this decade in hopes that it inspires your next project. Enjoy!
For more 70’s graphic design and 70’s inspired design, head to our Pinterest board.
For more 70’s graphic design and 70’s inspired design, head to our Pinterest board.
How to Become A Professional Artist with Lindsey Jo Scott
Have you had to urge to leave your full-time position and pursue your love of art full-time? Today, with the help of local artist, Lindsey Jo Scott, we explored what it means to be a professional artist and what taking the plunge involves. Here are some lessons learned from both our and her experiences that we’d like to share with you. Make sure to take the time to watch the Facebook Live chat with Lindsey Jo before you leave, as well as to follow Lindsey Jo on her official site, Facebook and Instagram.
Understand that there may not always be a clear path.
It’s romantic to think that there will come a day when you’ll know it’s time to burst out of the office and into your new creative career. But things aren’t often so cut and dry. Some artists blindly take a leap when they feel inspired, while others are much more cautious about transitioning to full-time artist. The recommend is often that you hold onto your day job until your client base is so full that it forces you to quit. The more cautious you are with your business moves and finances, the better off you will be in the long run.
mural work by http://www.lindseyjoscott.com/
And while you’re still employed full-time, take notes.
You may very well be working ten jobs, counting down the moments until you can go off on your own and “do this thing,” but until then, you have a golden opportunity. You are working for another entrepreneur / business owner, so take notes. Be mindful of how they are running their business. What is working? What is a big old disaster? If your boss or manager tasks you with some big responsibilities, take them and run with them. This is a fantastic chance to get in the trenches early and learn what it means to run a business before having full responsibility. Whatever you do, do not waste this time simply hating on your job and watching the days pass you by. Ask if you can learn about how your boss runs their metrics, how they invoice. Ask if you can sit in on the hiring process and if you can try your hand at designing some of their social media graphics. They’ll be impressed and you’ll be learning on their time. Win, win.
Reach out to other artists for support, to share resources and to mentor/to receive mentor-ship.
Once you’re out on our own, it is important that you reach out to other artists in your community for support, to give and receive resources, and to mentor or receive mentoring. Here in Cleveland, our artistic community is thriving and events pop up every other evening for artists, designers, dancers, musicians, poets, writers and more! Look out for these resources in your city on sites like Meetup.com. You can, of course, also find them online – Facebook is a great place to start.
In a pinch, as Lindsey Jo will mention below, podcasts are also a great way to find inspiration without even leaving the house. Some of favorites include:
Art + Biz type Podcasts:
Podcasts she listens to while working:
Good luck, friends! Now, let’s meet Lindsey Jo!
Starting your own firm or freelance business? Have your own small business, but looking for a boost? We here at Go Media, your favorite Cleveland design firm, are here to help by providing you with 14 fundamental questions that will have a big impact on how you grow your own company or freelance business.
Whether your focus is creative in nature like ours or whether you are a small business of any kind, we believe that answering these questions will give you some much needed inspiration. While some of these questions may seem obvious, we implore you to take time to answer them fully and honestly.
These questions were taken from our Drawn to Business Design Firm Business Plan Workbook. For the full list of 75 questions, head to our Arsenal and purchase the full workbook. Although design-focused, the workbook will assist any small business owner looking for encouragement to start making positive changes in their company.
Let’s dive in.
- Visualize your ideal firm. What does it look like and how does it operate?
- How will you know when you need to hire a new staff member?
- What do you look for in a new employee? What traits will they have? How will you know a great employee when you see them? How will you assess their character? What does the hiring process look like? Will it look different for each role you’re hiring for?
- When you are hiring, where are you looking for candidates? Will you have any assistance finding candidates? What is the process candidates will go through before they walk through your doors for an interview?
- What is your plan to utilize interns? How many interns are you looking for at any given time? Who will be in charge of your interns/internship program? What value do you hope your interns add to your business? What value will you bring to their experience?
- What kind of systems, policies and traditions would you like to see in your company? For example, what kind of monthly metrics will you run? What will your billing structure look like? Will you throw a killer Christmas party every year?
- What kind of perks do you offer in addition to salary for your staff? What kinds of benefits will you offer (bonuses, profit sharing, medical, life insurance, paid vacations, company holidays, personal days, free PB& J?)
- For creative firms: What is your policy on employee freelancing? Do you allow it?
- How do you plan on keeping your best employees? List all the ways you can show your employees they are appreciated – both monetarily and otherwise.
- When the time comes when you have to fire or let go of an employee how will you handle it? What does a worst case scenario look like? How would you handle it? Best case? What practices would you put into place to guard yourself again many negative experiences?
- What do your employees love about working for your company or what will they love about working for you? What are your strengths as a manager?
- What do your employees dislike about working for your company? What are your downfalls as a manager? How can you improve these things?
- What are some companies you admire for their culture? How can you borrow their ideas?
- What has been the hardest part about growing your company? What are your current pain points? How can you improve?
Go Media is a Cleveland Creative Agency that specializes in web design, graphic design, print, logo design, and web marketing. We’d love to provide you with any and all of these services to help you grow your small business. Contact us for a complimentary review of your brand and to discuss how we can discuss your website, branding, logo, packaging design or other graphic design needs.
Welcome to Designer Face Off, where we ask two designers to go head to head, asking one another burning questions about their shared passions for design, entrepreneurship, and all things creative. Facing off today are designer Mike Kluk of Stuffed Brain Studio and John Lee Clair, designer, videographer, photographer and owner of Big Shot Photo Booth.
Mike Klok is a freelance designer and the brains behind Stuffed Brain Studio, a creative studio specializing in branding, design, and illustration. They provide, “Quality Guts and Goods.” Mike is based out of Kalamazoo, Michigan. He met John Lee at last year’s design conference WMC Fest, where they became fast friends.
John Lee is a long-time friend of WMC. As mentioned, he is a talented videographer (check out one of these hype videos he shot for us!) He is constantly working on multiple projects down in Charleston, South Carolina, where he is based. He specializes in design for both print and digital, along with photography and video production.
Let’s listen in on two amazing designers talking about their work and gaining insight from one another!
Watch last month’s Designer Face Off.
For the full Designer Face Off series, head to our YouTube Channel.
Want to get to know Mike and John Lee a little better?
Some of our most popular posts have included our posts about who we suggest you follow on Instagram, such as our recent post entitled, “21 Hand Lettering Artists to Follow on Instagram.” Today, we thought we would recommend our favorite graphic design agencies to follow on Instagram. We hope you enjoy!
“Brooklyn’s freshest little creative agency.”
A branding studio from Austin, Texas.
Only is an award-winning branding agency based in Manchester.
Huge Inc. is an experience design and digital marketing agency that provides strategy, marketing, design, and technology services to Fortune 100 companies. They have offices in Atlanta, DC, Detroit, Brooklyn, London, Singapore, Toronto, Los Angeles, and more. Follow them.
Design, illustration and animation team based in Los Angeles, California.
Design studio based in Novi Sad, Serbia.
A Chicago, Illinois based brand identity, package design and graphic design studio.
A creative agency in Melbourne.
Hey Studio is graphic design studio based in Barcelona.
A graphic design firm in Miami, Florida
A brand consultancy & design studio in Detroit.
Impero is an independent creative agency based in London and Buenos Aires.
Flourish is an Award-Winning brand and digital agency based in Surrey and London.
and don’t forget to follow us – your friends at Go Media, a creative agency in Cleveland, Ohio.
Hey Designers, one of our most popular posts is about Top Social Media Hashtags for Designers. We thought we’d continue to shed light on this topic, this time focusing on the best hashtags for creative business owners. We hope that these hashtags enable you to expand your audience. You deserve it!
Now onto the hashtags…
Top Social Media Hashtags for Creative Business Owners
Use a mix of broad and specific hashtags.
Posts with broader hashtags like #Art and #Design will compete with millions of others.
Specific hashtags like #WatercolorArt will afford your post the opportunity to stick around longer.
Are you following your favorite influencers on Twitter and Instagram?
Take tips from them on which hashtags they are using!
Question: How many hashtags should I use?
TrackMaven did a study, and found that posts with nine hashtags received the highest engagement.
Instagram allows the most hashtags, at 30. It’s best to use minimal hashtags on Twitter due to the
Consider coming up with a hashtag that is specific to your company.
Some examples from companies here in Cleveland are Destination Cleveland’s #thisiscle
and Townhall’s #TownhallorNowhere. Keep clearly using your brand hashtag and your customers just
may join in on the action, too.
Ways to Speed Up Your Website
In the dog-eat-dog, scrappy world of gaining and keeping online traffic, a slow-loading website can crush your chances of making a mark before you even get started. The statistics are frightening. You have about four seconds to get your page loaded in front of a visitor before their itchy mouse finger sends them clicking away to find a faster solution. A single second’s delay yields:
- 11% fewer page views
- 16% reduced customer satisfaction
- 7% drop in conversions
Those numbers are bad enough but the more seconds it takes, the worse they get. For a fighting chance to stay competitive in the game, check out these 8 Steps to a Faster Loading Website and More Money in Your Pocket.
#1. Minify Your Files
When it comes to designing a fast-loading website, being stingy with the actual number of elements is a good way to start the process but, when there are certain things you want to accomplish with your online real estate, you’ll be left with some elements that you simply must include to maintain a professional level of functionality. That’s when it’s time to minify files. This wonky little word is just a techie way to express removing unnecessary formatting, white space, and characters in order to reduce the physical size of files. It sounds complicated and time-consuming, but there are a variety of free online services to help accomplish this. A few to try are Minifier.org or the WordPress plugin WP Rocket.
#2. Choose Asynchronous Loading for Files
#3. Find a Fast Server
Some servers are faster than others. That’s an undisputed fact. While there is plenty of advice floating around the internet about how to make client-side tweaks to speed up your website, don’t forget to pay attention to the server side as well. The company you choose for your Domain Name System (DNS) has a lot to do with how quickly a website appears. When you type a name into the URL field of a browser – say widget.com – the server has to match that name with the corresponding IP address, which is simply a sequence of numbers, and go find the right website content to display. Take a look at this DNS speed report to see where your server ranks.
#4. Choose Your Hosting Type Wisely
Note we’re not telling you to choose your web host wisely, though that’s a good idea too. No matter which host you decide on, it’s probably even more important to choose among shared, dedicated, or virtual private server (VPS) hosting. We’ll end the suspense and tell you that for anything but a hobby website, shared hosting is liable to leave you frustrated with your website loading speed. The reason is that a low-cost, shared plan typically piles dozens or even hundreds of website together on a single server and makes them share resources. With either of the other two choices, you have specific amount of resources set aside for you.
#5. Fewer HTTP Requests Means Happier Visitors
Downloading text on a web page takes hardly any time at compared to the other elements dedicated to supporting the page. We’re talking about stuff like images, videos, CSS sheets, and scripts. In fact, Yahoo says that around 80% of the time it takes for a website to appear is taken up by these “extraneous” elements. Every element entails a separate server request, which takes up bandwidth and uses time. By designing your website lean from the start – meaning to only include elements absolutely necessary – you keep server requests down and are able to push your website out to a visitor that much faster.
#6. Consider a Content Delivery Network
The idea of a choosing a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to distribute your website has gained popularity in recent years. You’ll still need your regular ISP but the capability a CDN brings to the table is to store copies of your entire website on various servers around the world and then serve the closest copy to wherever the demand comes from. How much difference does it make? Enough that CDNs are exploding in popularity.
#7. Browser Caching? Yes!
This server setting allows certain web page elements to be stored in a browser’s temporary memory the first time a visitor arrives so that they page can be reloaded faster on return visits. How it works is that files and elements that haven’t changed are called from memory and displayed almost instantly. Dynamic content takes a little longer but at least a visitor has something to look at in the meantime.
#8. Reduce Image Size
Images are a critical part of today’s internet but, unless properly sized, they can slow down loading speed to that of an elephant slogging through quicksand. Luckily, there’s an easy fix. Before you put an image on your website, run it through Photoshop or Pixlr (an online free equivalent) to reduce its file size to under 100 kb if you can. Images that come out of your phone’s camera or off an image repository site are often many megabytes in size. That’s. Simply. Too. Big. Make them smaller.
If you get the idea from reading this article that there is an easy one-stop-solution to speeding up your website, you haven’t been paying close enough attention. The process is iterative – make a change, gain a little speed. Make another change, gain a little more speed. The suggestions in this article are a great place to start. If you find yourself confounded by one or more of them, call or chat up your web host’s tech support. That’s what they get paid for. Good luck!
Design Conference 2018 – WMC: Off-The-Grid by Go Media
We here at Go Media (your favorite design shop in CLE) are thrilled to introduce a new event to our community this year, an offshoot of our annual design conference Weapons of Mass Creation Festival, called WMC: Off-The-Grid. WMC: Off-The-Grid is an all-inclusive three-day weekend retreat aimed at YOU, the designers, illustrators, small business owners and other design-minded creatives looking to step away from the screens and social chatter that pull you in a million different directions daily. You will come away with tangible tools and action steps you can use to grow your skill set, your mindset, and your business to become more confident design leaders in your communities.
The event is to take place October 5 – 7th, 2018 at Mohican Adventures in Loudonville, Ohio.
So why do we believe you can’t miss it?
Skyrocket your business & grow your skillset in order to become a more confident design leader in your community.
WMC: OTG is not just your everyday conference. The talks and workshops will dig deep, characterized by a sense of intimacy, authenticity and transparency you won’t find at just any conference. Secrets aren’t kept here, so expect to hear how our faculty made mistakes and overcame them, how they have built their own businesses from the ground up, the tools they have used, and tricks of the trade. You’ll leave with tangible skills and action steps you can use to increase profits, become more valuable to your employer and build and maintain more successul design firms.
Step Away from the Social Chatter and Focus on Your Craft
Imagine what would happen if you turned off your notifications, put down your phone and truly had time to make connections, learn from the best and focus on your craft. For two days and three nights, you will have the opportunity to truly unplug and have some serious face time with nationally recognized designers and creatives you’ve admired from afar. You will also have time to network, building relationships that have the potential to help grow your business and client list for years into the future. Friendships will be made, undoubtedly. Quiet moments will refuel us and propel us forward as we move into late 2018/2019.
Learn from the best of the best.
Speaking of our faculty, each of these incredible creatives should be a reason on their own, but we’ll group them together for the purposes of this list.
Here is our phenomenal list and a little bit about them. You can learn more about each of our faculty members here.
- Shiu Pei Luu, Art Director for Facebook and Creative Director and Co-Founder for The Beehive Society, a non-profit that fosters creativity through pop up art shows and workshops facilitated around the Bay Area. Shiu Pei Luu will be teaching a workshop on Character Design. She’ll also be speaking – her talk title is “Diversity is Design and the Roles We Play.”
- The Banner Years, a customer experience studio who has worked with the likes of NPR, Coca-Cola, Disney, Lionsgate, Sony, and more. Their workshop is on “Contracts and Collections” and talk entitled “Swimming to the Shore.”
- Tony Diaz, founder of Austin’s Industry Print Shop and someone who has undoubtedly cemented himself as an authority on all things screenprinting. Tony’s talk will be called, “It’s Not Where You’re From, It’s Where You’re At.”
- Ken Schneck, producer and host of This Show is So Gay, the long-running, award-winning radio show and podcast. Ken’s workshops will be entitled, “The Art of Shameless Self Promotion” and “Creating a Community of Individuals (AKA: Herding Cats to Do Good)”
- Marshall Shorts, award-winning entrepreneur, owner of Soulo Theory Creative and co-founder of Creative Control Fest. Marshall’s talk is called, “This Moment On.”
- Dylan Menges, owner of Menges Design, who has a client list including Subaru of America, Mozilla, Sherwin Williams, and more… Dylan will be teaching a workshop entitled, “Finding Your Wild.”
Lenny Terenzi, designer and illustrator of Hey! Monkey Design will be our host. Lenny will be teaching a workshop entitled, “Self Compassion for Creatives.”
You’re going to love Mohican Adventures.
Mohican Adventures, located at Mohican State Park in Loudonville, Ohio, is partway between Cleveland and Columbus. If you’re driving or flying in from either of these cities, it will take you about 1.5 hours to arrive to the destination. You won’t be able to to miss Mohican Adventures, a vacation destination that offers cozy cabins and vacation homes (each with their unique charm), as well as adventure activities we will have access to (think: kayaking, tubing, ropes courses, hiking, rafting, fishing, and more.)
We will be staying in beautiful homes/cabins, which you can preview here:
Ink Wars is returning to WMC! Ink Wars is one of the most popular events in the history of Weapons of Mass Creation Fest. This eight-person illustration just gets everyone’s blood-pumping and hearts racing. After all, when do you get to witness so many illustrators going toe-to-toe before your very eyes under some very strict time, material and thematic restraints? Interested in competing in Ink Wars 2018? Please fill out this form by August 31, 2018 and you’ll be considered for this year’s event! Special note: We will not be using the usual 8 foot canvases this year. A surprise medium will be announced at a later date. This will indeed change how this year’s Ink Wars will go down.
The little touches.
Did you know that all of your meals will be covered during your time at WMC: Off-The-Grid? We can’t wait to fill your bellies with some amazing meals, including our special Saturday BBQ entitled, “Mike Jones and Friends “Big Southern Lovin’ BBQ,” which is sponsored by the one and only Mike Jones and the team from Creative South out of Columbus, Georgia!
You’ll also get some swag from our incredible sponsors. Plus, more surprises await you!
We need YOU!
We need you add to the conversation, to help paddle our canoe. And don’t worry. If you don’t have a buddy coming to WMC: OTG, you mustn’t worry. Most of the attendees enrolled thus far are coming solo, so you won’t be the odd woman or man out. After an hour or so, we’ll all be as thick as thieves.
There is still time to enroll, so head to our official site to learn more about the event and to our ticketing page to grab one of the last flying blind tickets, or to put down a deposit if you can’t pay for a full price ticket now.
Have any questions? Email me at [email protected] and I’d be happy to answer anything!
Hope to see you there!
Interested in sponsoring or giving us an in-kind donation, such as items for our awesome SWAG bags? Contact Heather.
Here are five links, images or videos from the web that stood out to us this week. We thought we’d pass them onto you and share the love. We hope you enjoy them. Please tweet us and let us know what caught your eye or inspired you.
Best Ways to Market Yourself as a Graphic Designer
Whether you are a freelancer or head of an advertising agency, there is always an opportunity to gain more exposure for your personal brand, your products and services. Here are 28 ways we think may help you.
- Create a product for Go Media’s Arsenal, gaining you excellent exposure among the design community.
- Create a “mini” version of your work and carry it, along with your business card, wherever you go. For example, a tiny photo book of your illustrations or a flash drive with product freebies on it.
- Pay it forward. Add value to someone else’s business and you’ll be rewarded handsomely. Comment on your favorite designer’s blog, share their content, link to their work. You never know, they may return the favor (think: retweet and mega exposure!). Or, another connection, like a click through from your blog comment, could end in an awesome relationship.
- Take a deep breath, then apply to be a guest speaker or artist at a conference. What? You’re not Michael Bierut? It’s okay. Some of the very best speakers are new to the field or facing challenges in their career.
- Direct Message someone you admire on Twitter and start a real conversation. Right now. (We’ll wait for you to return).
- Email a fellow designer friend and ask them to give you honest feedback on your portfolio. Heed their advice.
- Create a epic freebie or some other truly authentic content. Offer it on your site in exchange for a tweet or newsletter sign-up.
- Find a fellow designer/entrepreneur with similar goals. Meet up with them on Skype, have a coffee date regularly. Keep each other motivated and accountable.
- Identify a mentor. Treat them to lunch every month. Pay them back in whatever way you can.
- Ask for referrals and refer when necessary. You’ll build great partnerships that way.
- Shout-out new and loyal customers, send small gifts or notes to random fans. It not only builds faithful followers and connections, it’s all kinds of fun.
- Set up customer chat. Connect with your customers and clients on an authentic, emotional level when appropriate. Take the time and let them teach you about where your company or freelance business needs to go.
- Get in the habit of posting a piece of work, sketch, behind-the-scenes image on Facebook or Instagram. Remove any posts where blatant advertising is involved and replace them with personal posts. Show your followers who you really are.
- Create fun, branded stickers or pins. Spread ‘em like sunshine.
- Open your own Etsy or Society 6 shop. Make cool stuff and get recognized for it!
- Offer your expertise to fellow bloggers or podcasters. Offer to guest post or guest host.
- Start a meet-up group in your area. This could be as simple as gathering some friends with pencils and pens and a bar.
- Start a podcast or put yourself out there. Volunteer to go on one or start your own. It’s as easy as ordering some equipment on Amazon, you know.
- Write a really amazing tutorial or blog post (Hey! We’re looking for writers! Email us). Get that content out there!
- Get your personal brand nailed down. It’s really all about authenticity. Be yourself everyone else is taken.
- Start saying yes to everything you are afraid of. If you do, I will.
- Start participating in your local AIGA.
- Offer your services to your local college or university. Host a porfolio review, for example.
- Answer questions on a site like Quora. You never know who will go there to find an expert opinion.
- Learn SEO. If your website and blog aren’t optimized, you may be working hard but hardly working.
- Sponsor a design conference, set up shop there and start meeting people who will support you and help push you to greater heights.
- Come to WMC: Off-the-Grid. Learn, adventure and create some incredible relationships with creatives just like you (shameless-plug!)
Good luck friends!
How to Design an Inspiring Poster – 5 Tips from Go Media
Hey designers, one of the topics you come to us most about is finding inspiration for your next graphic design poster. So today, we are giving you five of our favorite tips for those of you scouting ideas for your next great design. Inside are a few freebies from our Arsenal – home of the World’s Best Design Resources – that will help you along the way – keep your eyes peeled.
Before you start design, ask yourself a few questions:
- What size will the poster be?
- Do I need to design for multiple sizes?
- What restrictions do I have?
- What’s my budget?
- What, if any, are the brand standards I need to follow?
- Where will the poster live?
- Who is my audience?
Tip #1: Find Image Inspiration from Sources Related to Your Poster
Designing a poster for an 80’s throwback band? Gain some color inspiration from 80’s mix tapes, cassette tape art and posters. Let Jesse and the Rippers be your guide. Start a Pinterest board and collect all the reference material you can and get loaded up with inspiration!
Example: 80’s Poster – Inspiration Examples
Product Example – 80’s Inspired Posters
Tip #2: Play with Color
A poster is an opportunity to work with color in a new and exciting way. Instead of starting with a white canvas, how will you explore color as it relates to your theme? We love using tools like Adobe Color CC to begin to explore color themes and combinations. You can go three ways here – go high contrast / try a color combination that may be considered “out of the box,” go strictly black and white, or explore muted tones. Here are some of our favorite posters which explore each of these three options.
Stick to Black and White
Muted Color Palette
Tip #3: Find a Really Great Focal Image
As you’ll see on our Posters Pinterest board, many of our favorite posters have one really great focal image that draws the captivates the viewer and delivers a strong message about the posters theme or message.
Here is a great example that reminds us to keep the poster simple in order to make it easily digestible for the viewer.
We can help:
If you’re not an illustrator, you can create your own poster design using royalty-free vectors and fonts (from the Arsenal). You can gain access to our entire product library for only $15 now by the way.
We have vector packs like this one, Karamit, that provide you with a full vector design – as well as its individual elements, that easily assist you in creating your own original design.
Feel free to play around with creating your own focal point using this vector sample from the Karambit Decorative Illustration Vector Pack provided in the download below.
Here are a few additional simple designs that have inspired us lately:
Tip #4: Use Texture to Add an Extra Layer of Intrigue
Texture adds an extra layer of depth to a posters. We love to add texture for a little extra grit, to age the poster a bit, or just to add that extra bit of rock and roll.
You can find more outstanding textures on our Arsenal.
Here are some posters where texture was used really nicely:
Tip #5: Use Your Sense of Humor/Subtle References to Make an Impact
Posters should be enjoyable – both for the designer to make and the viewer to take in. Use your sense of humor and references from the movie or tv show you are highlighting (or from song lyrics, etc.) to engage with your audience and make the poster memorable and impactful. There’s nothing better than seeing a poster for a movie or band you love and thinking that the designer totally gets you.
Now go have fun!
Simple Packaging Design Inspiration 2018
When you are designing packaging, you want your customer to feel like they are opening a present on Christmas day. But over design and you’ll take away from what’s inside. Here are some simple yet pretty sweet looking packaging designs that are making us smile today.
From Need Supply Co.
From Lately Lily
From Princess Polly
From Aura Box
From Justessence Perfume
From Chokolat Pimienta
From Parasol Co.
From Cafe Tontuu Tea
From Kokeshi Matches
From Soul Spice
From this corn
From Babbee’s Honey
Happy packaging everyone!
Your client’s website may be aesthetically-pleasing and ranking on top positions, but does it provide a good user experience?
This is one of the things that digital marketing agencies need to understand and an important task that any white label service provider needs to fulfill. You can’t get away with simply making a website attractive. Your client’s website needs to serve the purpose of their visitors, create an emotional connection when they interact with it, and take them on the journey from being someone who’s simply browsing the website to becoming a customer. And if you’ve done it right, visitors will return to it. More visitors can lead to more business for your clients, and this means plus points for your agency. That’s what a great user experience is all about.
The moment customers lose interest in your client’s website is the moment you should start thinking about changing things up. Not only in how the site looks, but in how it makes visitors feel. Everything you do to be successful in your online marketing efforts must focus on your users. To do that, here are a few things you need to understand first:
User Experience is not All About Usability
“My website has a two-step sign up process that’s easy for visitors to use; therefore my website has a great user experience.”
Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way.
It’s common for some to think that making it easier for visitors to navigate a website means having a great user experience. But here’s what you need to know about user experience: usability is not equal to user experience. It’s one aspect that affects the entirety of user experience.
To fit usability into user experience, you need to answer the following:
- Is it easy for visitors to familiarize themselves with the website the first time they land on it?
- Can users move through the sequence of actions seamlessly?
- Is it easy for visitors to achieve their goals by using the website?
- Does the website prompt user recall the next time visitors use it?
If your answer to these questions is “No”, you need to analyze the website’s usability and fine-tune it to provide a better user experience.
Don’t Just Focus on SEO
Because search engines know when you do.
One of the things Google believes to be true is you have to “focus on the user and all else will follow.” And this is why the old ways of SEO—stuffing a page with as many keywords as possible—won’t work anymore. Google knows when you’re just in it for the rankings, not for the users.
This doesn’t mean you’re going to abandon SEO altogether. You still need to optimize your client’s website to be found by customers.
When I say that you don’t only focus on SEO, what I mean is you should focus on an SEO strategy that marries well with user experience. At the end of the day, you need a strategy that brings results and will make your clients happy.
A solid SEO and user experience strategy focuses on: who the target users are, what motivates them to interact with the site, and what their intentions are (or what they hope to accomplish on the site).
1. Knowing who the users are
SEO allows you to drive traffic to a website. But, here’s the catch: you don’t just drive any traffic. You need qualified traffic. How do you go about this? By better familiarizing yourself with who the target users are.
In fact, knowing your users is not just an important step in SEO and user experience design—it provides you with a springboard for your entire digital marketing strategy. You start knowing who your users are by identifying the following:
- Site usage patterns: Do users have a pattern they follow when they visit your client’s site? Hotjar allows you to check for a pattern that users take when they’re on a website. By knowing this, you can configure your client’s website to match user interaction.
- First click habit: What’s the first thing they click when they land on the site? If users are able to complete one task after the other from that first click alone, you can discern that pattern and identify more opportunities from it.
2. Identifying their intent and optimizing for it
A sound SEO and user experience strategy is not just about making a website rank, but actually getting users to click. And you do this by identifying the intent behind a user’s query. After all, what good will it do if your client’s site is ranking but isn’t aligned with the intent of their target users?
How do you identify and optimize for user intent?
- Top queries: If you haven’t dived into Search Console, now’s the time to do it. Looking at the top queries that your client’s site is getting allows you to understand what their target audience is searching for. Once you have a better grasp of this, you can start tweaking on-site elements (well-written headings, CTAs, and Meta tags) to match user intent.
- Content: As user experience is all about making visitors feel good about the website, having content that speaks to the intent of users is crucial. Think of it this way: when a user clicks on a link and finds that your content doesn’t match their expectations, you’re bound to lose them right from the start. Just like Rand Fishkin said, content that addresses the needs of users shouldn’t get buried under tons of content that’s talking about something completely different from what they’re looking for.
- Segmented landing pages: You can’t direct a user intending to purchase to an informational page, and you can’t direct a user looking for information to a checkout page—that simply breaks the funnel. When you’re optimizing for user intent, be mindful of where you’re directing users in the website.
The User Experience Journey Doesn’t Always Start from One Point
Most websites are designed with user experience starting at the homepage, and that’s where the problem lies. A user’s initial entry point isn’t always the homepage. If you’ve designed the user experience journey in a way that only caters to the homepage, you’re missing tons of opportunities.
This is where your creativity comes in. You need to map the flow and think of the different ways that will lead users to their goals. Combine what you’ve learned previously – who the target users are and what are their intentions. Using this as a guide, you can then determine the following:
- Where they come from (can be through organic search results, banner ads, emails, etc.)
- Where they will land on the website
- What processes are needed to fulfill their goals
By mapping out the user experience flow, you can fix what’s broken in the funnel and create a solid framework that offers maximum conversions.
Why do we optimize for the best user experience? We go back to the statement: everything you do for your online marketing efforts should focus on the user. It’s not all about the brand, but what users expect from that brand. And brands have the responsibility to meet those expectations. At the end of it, the “me, me, me” strategy isn’t going to cut it if your clients are seeking more attention from their audience.
Download our Free Feminist Vector Pack!
It’s International Women’s Day, which means it’s time to “celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women” – which we should be doing every day if you ask us. But the fact that women get this extra special day is pretty awesome anyway, so we’ll take it! We wanted to do something special today, so we are releasing a Free Feminist Vector Pack by one of our favorite female designers!
This pack is totally free and totally awesome, so we hope you enjoy it.
The Feminism Vector pack was created by Shelby Criswell, an independent comic book maker, trouble starter, freelance illustrator, and bluegrass lovin’ dork (her words!) straight outta San Antonio, TX that loves to play around with funky linework and strange fonts. Shelby is an artist who creates a lot of cool products for us for our Arsenal, home of the best vectors, textures, mockups, and tutorials in town.
Hey, speaking of awesome women, do us a favor and give Shelby credit for being a kick-ass female…
[Tweet “Hey @shelby_criswell, You’re the coolest! Thanks for the Feminist Vector Pack!”]
Now, onto Shelby’s Feminist Vector Pack – go download and do great things!