Thursday, October 30, 2008

Tell your boss: social networking sites are "good for businesses"

Good news for workers addicted to Facebook - a British think-tank says bosses should not stop their staff using social networking sites because they could actually benefit their firms.

See the Reuters article for full details.

Monday, October 27, 2008

8 Reasons Why Designers Should Blog

Maintaining an active design blog has been one of the best professional decisions I ever made. I feel that every designer could greatly benefit from running blog and below is a list of reasons why. Please feel free to comment and add to the list.

1. Increased exposure
Cinnamon Creative gets far more exposure as a result of this blog than it would from any other method (outside of spending a sizable amount on advertising). There’s obviously no shortage of designers and design firms out there and the blog is an excellent way of driving traffic to my main portfolio site.

2. The learning experience
Writing new blog posts constantly builds your knowledge and abilities as a designer, and if you are researching or experiencing this stuff anyway (which is often the case), it takes hardly any extra time at all to package it into a blog and share your knowledge or create a discussion.

3. Networking
Whether you design for a firm or whether you freelance from home, networking with other designers, SEOs, marketers, and potential clients comes easily through a blog. It's a forum for a natural exchange of ideas.

4. Helps clients to find you
A blog can bring potential clients to you in a number of ways. They could come to your site through search engines, through social media, or through a link to one of your posts. They could even be one of your subscribers that follow you on a regular basis. Publishing a popular blog will bring plenty of new people to your site that can potentially turn into new business.

5. Improved content on your site for search engines
As I just mentioned, potential clients may find your site through search engines. With a blog you will have far more pages indexed than you would otherwise, and it is likely to be fresh content that covers a variety of design-related topics and draws search traffic for a much greater number of keywords and phrases.

6. Demonstrate your knowledge
When prospective clients visit your blog they will be able to see that you are an insightful, intelligent designer - it creates the impression (whether true or false!) that you actually know what you're talking about. While a portfolio can demonstrate your creative and technical design abilities, a blog will allow you to put that knowledge into writing and go a step further towards showing clients that you are the one for the job.

7. Potential promotion when needed
Once you have built up a decent number of subscribers you will have the ability to promote your work to an interested audience. If you are having a quiet period, you could publish a blog post that announces a short-term discounted price to your blog readers, for example. Rather than spending considerable time and money to find a new project you may be able to get quick results by simply reaching out to those who subscribe.

8. Variety of work
One of the nice things about blogging is that it can break up the working day / week. Whilst we creatives obviously enjoy designing, sometimes it's nice to mix in a bit of writing too.

What’s your experience? Please share your thoughts and add to the conversation.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Do we heart this logo?

It doesn't really make that much sense but it's a cute and very apt spin on the legendary I heart NY logo by Milton Glaser.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Nice logo design

Designed by Morvil Design Group, this logo is for Talk, a marketing, advertising and PR firm.

The name stemmed from the idea that they get people talking about their clients’ businesses.

If, at first glance, you don't see the logo icon as quote marks, you may see it a mask, a martini glass, or maybe even a mouth, but whatever you see, it's great fun,and a clever logo.

See more clever logo designs here.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Drop-dead design

Take a look at the stunning work of French graphic designer, Fabien Barral. There is a real sensitivity to his work.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Adobe Illustrator CS4 review

Top line new features include multiple Artboards (essentially multi-page documents) and transparency in gradients.
Click here for a complete Illustrator CS4 review.

Adobe InDesign CS4 review

Every release of InDesign has brought new and improved features, but none have brought more than Adobe’s latest offering of its flagship page layout application. New features include a new graphical user interface, rotatation of page views, smart layout features, Flash export, and more. Read on for a complete review.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

TouchType makes iPhone email better with landscape mode

For whatever reason, Apple decided not to allow “landscape mode” on iPhone email. If you want to turn the phone when the web browser is open and get the larger keyboard that makes two thumb typing realistic, no problem. But the email app is portrait only.

Now a new iPhone application called TouchType fixes the problem. When you open the application you get a landscape mode keypad. type an email, press the send button and it goes through the Mail application for dispatch

The application costs £0.59 / $.99 from iTunes (iTunes link here)

Worst music video ever?

Thanks to Justin for this truly inspired music video.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Great vector resource

A really classy stock library of vector images - perfect for graphic designers. Many of them are free to download.

Bookmark it now:

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Great web design

I think the design of this website is spot-on. It is for Tibits - a new vegetarian restaurant, bar and food-to-go venue that opened in London this week.

It is the first British outpost of this Swiss chain which explains the excellent site design. It is by famed Swiss design agency, Feinheit (which incidentally means 'elegancy' in German).

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Wedge-proof underwear

A designer at Saddletrout Studios has invented some really weird and wacky mechanisms like these wedge-proof pants.

"This simple, yet effective, device prevents "wedging" of undergarments. It is effective for all types of "wedging", from natural "ride-up" to sudden bully-induced trauma wedging.

Fully adjustable and machine washable, wedge-proof underwear lets you stroll confidently, even when there are large groups of dim-witted, attention seeking bullies lurking about.

Surely the TV Dragons won't be able to resist sinking their cash into these.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Scrabulous has been reincarnated as Lexulous

So one of my lovemarks, Scrabulous, has already been axed...

First it was removed from Facebook but I managed to overcome the situation by continuing games with my two deadliest opponents via email Scrabulous.

Then, without prior notice, a week ago the website came down and was replaced with a placeholder page, as a result of the ruling by Delhi High Court. It was ruled that the Agarwalla brothers retain the right to post their word game online, but are not allowed to use Scrabulous, Scrabble or any other “similar sounding” name.

So now we have, that is exactly like that game we won’t ever mention in the same breath.

Oh the joy!

I have to say though, I think the new site could do with a bit of a design spruce-up... it's looking a little uninspiring. I hope those brothers know where to come for some design direction!