Archive for August, 2012

8 Ways To Drive a Graphic Designer Crazy

Before reading this article by a graphic designer from Canada, Ghislain Roy, please, take into account that it is NOT a guide on how to communicate with a designer, who is working on your project. The article is funny and ironical, and we would appreciate if you could draw correct conclusions!

Alright, so here are 8 ways to drive a graphic designer absolutely mad:

Microsoft Office

When you have to send your graphic designer a document, make sure it’s made with a program from Microsoft Office. If you have to send pictures, you’ll have more success in driving them mad if, instead of just sending a jpeg or a raw camera file, you embed the pictures inside a Microsoft Office document like Word or Powerpoint. Don’t forget to lower the resolution to 72 dpi so that they’ll have to contact you again for a higher quality version. When you send them the ‘higher’ version, make sure the size is at least 50% smaller. And if you’re using email to send the pictures, forget the attachment once in a while.

Fonts

If the graphic designer chooses Helvetica for a font, ask for Arial. If he chooses Arial, ask for Comic Sans. If he chooses Comic Sans, he’s already half-insane, so your job’s half done.

More is better

Let’s say you want a newsletter designed. Graphic designers will always try to leave white space everywhere. Large margins, the leading and kerning of text, etc. They will tell you that they do this because it’s easier to read, and leads to a more clean, professional look. But do not believe those lies. The reason they do this is to make the document bigger, with more pages, so that it costs you more at the print shop. Why do they do it? Because graphic designers hate you. They also eat babies. Uncooked, raw baby meat. So make sure you ask them to put smaller margins and really, really small text. Many different fonts are also suggested (bonus if you ask for Comic Sans, Arial or Sand). Ask for clipart. Ask for many pictures (if you don’t know how to send them, refer to #1). They will try to argument, and defend their choices but don’t worry, in the end the client is always right and they will bow to your many requests.

Logos

If you have to send a logo for a particular project, let’s say of a sponsor or partner, be sure to have it really really small and in a low-res gif or jpeg format. Again, bonus points if you insert it in a Word document before sending it. Now you might think that this would be enough but if you really want to be successful in lowering the mental stability of a graphic designer, make sure to send a version of the logo over a hard to cut-out background. Black or white backgrounds should be avoided, as they are easy to cut-out with the darken or lighten layer style in photoshop.
Once the graphic designer is done working on that bitmap logo, tell him you need it to be bigger.
If you need a custom made logo, make your own sketches on a napkin. Or better yet, make your 9 year old kid draw it. Your sketch shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes to make. You don’t want to make something that’s detailed and easy to understand, because the less the designer understands what you want, the more you can have things changed afterwards.
Never accept the first logo. Never accept the 9th, ask for different modifications regarding colors, fonts & clip art. Ask to add a picture in the logo. Bevels. Gradients. Comic Sans. And when the designer is at his 10th version, admit that you like the 2nd one the most. I know, it’s mean but remember: graphic designers are the cause of breast cancer among middle aged women.

Choosing your words

When describing what you want in a design, make sure to use terms that don’t really mean anything. Terms like ‘jazz it up a bit’ or ‘can you make it more webbish?’. ‘I would like the design to be beautiful’ or ‘I prefer nice graphics, graphics that, you know, when you look at them you go: Those are nice graphics.’ are other options. Don’t feel bad about it, you’ve got the right. In fact, it’s your duty because we all know that on full moons, graphic designers shape-shift into werewolves.

Colors

The best way for you to pick colours (because you don’t want to let the graphic designer choose) is to write random colours on pieces of paper, put them in a hat and choose. The graphic designer will suggest to stay with 2-3 main colours at the most, but no. Choose as many as you like, and make sure to do the hat thing in front of him. While doing it, sing a very annoying song.

Deadlines

When it’s your turn to approve the design, take your time. There is no rush. Take two days. Take six. Just as long as when the deadline of the project approaches, you get back to the designer with more corrections and changes that he has time to make. After all, graphic designers are responsible for the 911 attacks.

Finish him

After you’ve applied this list on your victim, it is part of human nature (although some would argue whether they’re human or not) to get a bit insecure. After realizing that he just can’t satisfy your needs, the graphic designer will most likely abandon all hopes of winning an argument and will just do whatever you tell him to do, without question. You want that in purple? Purple it is. Six different fonts? Sure! You would think that at this point you have won, but don’t forget the goal of this: he has to quit this business. So be ready for the final blow: When making decisions on the final details, tell him that you are disappointed by his lack of initiative.
Tell him that after all, he is the designer and that he should be the one to put his expertise and talent at work, not you. That you were expecting more output and advices about design from him. Tell him you’ve had enough with his lack of creativity and that you would rather do your own layouts on Publisher instead of paying for his services. And there you go. You should have graphic designer all tucked into a straight jacket in no time!

P.S. To make your project completed in time successfully, as well as to avoid any misunderstandings in communication – please, follow carefully what a designer proposes and advises you. And you will be completely satisfied with result!

E-commerce Solutions

So you have already purchased an e-commerce template from us and start building your online-store.

Or you just plan to buy any Magento, Virtuemart, Prestashop, Opencart, osCommerce or Zencart template from our customization studio templatetuning.com.

Obviously, you want your online-store to be profitable and successful, and to be placed in top Google search results, don’t you?

I want to give you some tips, which will help to make your web-store successful.

Here we go:

1. Contextual advertising (for instance, Google AdWords) is way too important.
This is a powerful tool, which configures your promotion campaigns according to specific search queries of users in search engines. But you should use this tool carefully, in order not to overspend money on non-targeted users/customers.

2. SEO. I guess there is no need for comments. You can learn yourself the website optimization methods, or order SEO services from professionals.

3. Advertising banners. They are used as a branding tool. Customization studio Template Tuning provides the service of unique banners creation. You can check the details and price in our Live Chat!

4. Social Networking. Nowadays advertising in social networks (Facebook, Linkedin, Google+, Pinterest, YouTube etc) is one of the most effective ways to “convert” a user into your regular customer. Do not underestimate the real influence of social networks on a user.
We will gladly assist you in integrating social media into your template. A nice offer is still valid: 5 social media icons for just $29. Check now!

So, this is the basic stuff to know for an online-store owner.
Always feel free to contact us, if you need customization services. We will be glad to assist you!

Your Color Palette

Today I want to bring up a colorful topic for discussion on our blog. Well, to cut the story short, I want to talk about colors and our service of template color scheme change that we offer.

The service of color scheme change is rather popular – it is obvious that you, guys, want your website to be designed according to your corporate colors. And this is a right decision, indeed.

We gladly help you with color customization, but very often on the stage of project discussion we hear the things like: “I want the background to be nice blue” or “This section should be plum violet“, or “It should be red, but not too bright“.
That’s nice – you guide us in the right direction (thank you!), but our designers will not accept such color “descriptions”. There are so many shades of colors! You should realize that we can guess endlessly what you mean by “nice blue”: baby blue, Celeste, cyan, turquoise, dodger blue or maybe sapphire?
In order to avoid any misinterpretations or delays in project result delivery, we strongly recommend you to provide RGB (red-green-blue) color codes!

Recently, I came across a very useful website, which is helpful for those who face color-choice dilemma! Check it out: Colors on the Web.

The website is dedicated to color theory and the use of colors in design. There are several tools, which might help you to make a good choice: Color Wizard, Color Wheel and Contrast Analyzer.
The Color Wizard lets you submit your own base color, and it automatically returns matching colors for the one you selected.

A spinning Color Wheel will give a selection of three random colors (basically, it gives endless combinations, which is great indeed).

This Color Contrast Analyzer is a tool to help you identify good color combinations from an accessibility standpoint.

Check the tools and make sure they help a lot!

I also remind you that color scheme change can be ordered in chat room at templatetuning.com
Our managers will assist you with a quote and consulting about other customization services.

Stay with us!

Get Everyone Involved!

Today I want to draw your attention to such notion as customer’s “involvement”.

This post might be useful for everyone: for those who just plan to build a website, as well as for guys who already run business online or simply have a personal web page.

As a website owner, of course, you want your website “one-time” visitors to become your regular customers (which will obviously benefit your business). This is a key point. You should focus not only on attracting Internet users to your webpage, making them eager to visit it. To be noticed you need active SEO optimization and contextual advertising to work for you. But to make a visitor your regular loyal customer – you need to work on many things!

So, here we go – the tips to make a customer “involved”:

  • Make the most of the website design! A customer will never get back to your online-store to make a purchase, if you have a dull, poor design of the page.
  • “Study” carefully your consumer. To make a website popular, you need to know the needs and interests of your potential customers. Your website should be customer-centered, customer-oriented.
  • Recently we published a post about the importance of publishing high-quality content. We remind again that dull and duplicate content will never work for your success and getting a high page rank in your professional niche. When Google bots find more than one piece of identical content on the web, they can hardly determine which version is more relevant to a given search query. This can result in ranking and website traffic losses, which of course will do no good for your business!
  • Be objective when you estimate the website usability. Is your navigation user-friendly? Is it easy for a visitor to find a needed product? Is the shopping-cart or categories section easy to be reached? Be honest with yourself. The customer will be thankful, if he saves time and effort while using your website.
  • Call for action! Special buttons will help you to lead a customer to a right direction: “Order Now!”, “Check the Offer”, “Add To Cart”, “Read More”, “Sign Up for News” and etc.
  • Organize events: create attractive offers, give bonuses, promo-codes and nice discounts. Your customers would be pleased to get nice service and friendly treatment.
  • Enjoy your business. I guess there is no need to comment this statement. It speaks for itself!

Consult us and use our customization services to make your website catchy and user-friendly.
Stay with Template Tuning!

Comments Off on Get Everyone Involved!

$1 Opportunity To Get Your Website Live

We are glad to announce a new offer, guys!

Are you going to build a website? Have you chosen us as a customization studio with a nice collection of amazing templates? Great!

We offer a nice opportunity for you to save money, and at the same time – get your template installed.
Judging from our rich experience in the field of web-design and website customization, we can tell that template installation can be a real problem for a website owner.

At first sight, the installation seems to be a really easy procedure – just a few manual operations and you get your website live…
But as a result you see a completely broken web page.

You will never face such issue, my friend. Installation is more than affordable now.
If you purchase a template from CHAT room at templatetuning.com, you can order the installation service for just $1! Unbelievable?

But we are serious (no kidding!): choose a template, click orange button Get Customized/Chat with Manager, order the template from one of our managers and get installation for $1 as an awesome bonus to your purchase.

Good luck!

The Internet A Decade Later

Recently a trusted web source published a very nice and informative graphic: “The Internet a Decade Later”.

The creators introduce us a graphically arranged process of rapid Internet development during the past 10 years.

The journey to past is very enjoyable indeed! The guys compare the “old” web and the modern one.
You’ll be amazed of the fact how rapidly the changes happen and how progressive we are today.

The creators are right – the growth of the Internet in the past 10 years is staggering!
In 2002 the users spent online 46 minutes a day on the average. In the current 2012 an average user spends 4 hours a day on the web!

There are 555 million of websites today, compared to 3 million in 2002! It takes 6 seconds for a webpage to load nowadays (compare to 16 seconds ten years ago!).

Please, check this nice graphics yourself! Go to http://www.bestedsites.com/the-internet-a-decade-later/ and enjoy!

How Our Good Name Gets Ruined

One should always keep in mind, that the way you are today influences your tomorrow.

Tomorrow cannot wait, which means that you should be concerned about creating positive reputation at this very moment (of course, if you want the positive reputation to work for your success).

Information – positive and negative – is accumulated in web spaces flash-like and, what is sometimes really sad, can remain there forever. Very often objective, trusty information can be completely absorbed by great number of comments, reviews, opinions and etc.

It is not possible to win absolutely positive reputation all over Internet, do not be wide-eyed, my friend! Be ready to fight against it with dignity.

Basically, there are three types of negative information that can be distinguished: a so-called “natural” negative info (in most cases, can be regarded as objective negative info), a pointed attack/criticism and trolling (the off-topic comments to provoke readers into emotional response, very often leading into pointless war of words). The last one is the easiest to overcome: trolls do not make fun of your business, they make fun of human’s psychological and emotional weakness! Therefore, the more you ignore them, the less interesting is for them to troll you.

To avoid distressing consequences of natural negative information flow, always react promptly, immediately. If you happen to find a negative comment or a harmful for your business review, respond to it: address an author and try to resolve the issue, make a compromise! We all are humans, we make mistakes, and it’s very important to consider opinions of others. Never forget, that criticism can be constructive!

I am not able to conceal a disagreeable fact, that a pointed criticism, I would even say “dead set”, is the most harmful phenomenon for your business.

Your business competitors are in a constant search for weak points of your business (thank you, Cap!, – shall you say). When they are lucky to find a flaw, they trumpet about it everywhere. When they are not lucky to find it, they make up something!

You cannot foresee when such attack will explode and how serious it can harm your business. But you can counteract! Try to identify and get in touch with an author of a negative comment/review and find out the aim and purpose of posting bad things about you and your business. This move will favor you and might help to solve conflict.

In any case, do not let the situation take its course! Take care of your reputation, do not let anyone ruin your good name.

Be successful!

NEW OFFERS. Part 2

Recently we announced in one of our posts the upcoming new offers, which will be released in August 2012.

The first one is conversion of any Joomla, WordPress, Drupal or Website template into responsive theme for a reduced price. The second one is a brand new unique service, which will help you to protect your website from hacks.

Here we go:

After a long testing and accurate research, we are glad to introduce a Joomla package, which will care about your security and increase the level of anti-hack protection.

What we offer:

  • integration of CAPTCHA protection (challenge-response authentication test, if we talk in computer terms)
  • installation of a security-module
  • database prefix change in order to avoid the standardization, and as a result – to protect your website from standard scheme of hack-attacks.

Do not forget to check the price and availability of the service soon.

We stand behind our products and we are glad to offer unique services, which will make your website better.

Stay with us, guys!