Monday, August 31, 2009

Now is the best time to start a business

This press release originally written by Puts into words what I have been thinking since the recession hit.

I think people are beginning to rethink ways to make money. I think we realize that no job is really "stable" and the only real guarantee or security we can really count on is one we create for ourselves.

I am hoping that we can all get are businesses in order while the economy is down, so that we have a firm foundation in place when the economy picks up.

I know for my business I was too busy doing client work that I never really had a marketing plan or strategy. I have since changed my focus in a dramatic way, and have looked at all that I have done for clients in the past making sure I am doing the same for my business, along with a few new things I am trying.

This in itself is an almost full-time job and I am realizing that the biggest challenge is maintaining this marketing campaign while business starts to pick back up...

targeted portfolio websites

What I love about this collection is that it's not your typical collection of cool looking sites. Actual direction is provided that I think is spot on. It's one thing to have a website that looks cool and showcases your ability, but it has to function on a business level. this showcase does a great job at demonstrating different approaches you can take with your portfolio site

Friday, August 28, 2009

Content Site vs a Brochure Site

Practically every prospect that comes to no pun undoubtably will ask at some point in the planning process, "will I be able to edit the content?".

I am quick to answer yes we can enable a feature to the site that will help you do this.

I begin to question the question, why do clients ask about this, and as I try and put myself in their shoes, I believe the reason why I would ask that is because I wouldn't want to have to go to a design firm anytime I want to make a change to the website, due to every change will entail a new bill.

In reality most clients after they get their site launched, rarely see the need to change the content, most changes that come up get dealt with in the revisions phase of the project.

So I would like to throw this out there.

What type of site will you want to create, a content site or a brochure site.

A content site is for the companies out there that will be updating changing and adding content on a daily basis. This type of website definitely needs a content management system, that will enable the client to maintain the site internally.

However, if you want an online presence to act as a sales tool, then a brochure site is all that is needed, and the reality is that after the site is completed their will be minor tweaks that wouldn't warrant the need of a content management system...

The amount of money spent on making these minor adjustments, is actually cheaper than the development of a major content management system.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Website for your home business

The recession has forced many people to financial refuge by launching that pet project or "muze" project. The type of business that won't make you quit your job, but will bring in some revenue if it takes off.

The first place launch your home based business is through launching a website.
Websites come in many shapes and sizes. you could first start by launching a blog similar to this one use the templates that are available and go for it. You can then step it up a bit with customizing a word press theme/blog to appear more custom.

Even with custom websites you can get a fully branded concept for a low price if you trust the designer you hire and let them do their work, the cost go up with the multiple rounds of revisions and tweaks. But if you let the designer have creative freedom you will usually get work you or the designer never expected...

Aside from the first option you will need to consider maintenance. At no pun we try and tie web maintenance in with a weekly session with google analytics we look at the traffic and other key data and make suggestions to try and increase this data. This type of weekly maintenance helps keep your site fresh. By hiring an outside firm to do this maintenance enables you to focus on the logistical side of your business, instead of wasting your time trying to learn HTMl and CSS

Leave it to the pro's!

Next you need to get a hosting account, this is different from registering your domain name, once you register your domain name you need to point that name to a space on the internet. For most if not all sites don't spend more than $10 bucks a month.

Be sure that even if you hire a designer to do the work for you, you personally should set the domain name and the ftp yourself so you have ownership of this vital information, Its ok to entrust your information with your designer so they can hook up the connections for you.

Graphics, This is the most fun part designing a website for your home business, this is where you will put a face to your concept. Do not this is the most important aspect of the project being this is the first impressions your customers will have on your company, so make sure you do it right. But try not to get to "personal" with what the designer shows you, trust their instinct and launch the site, if something isn't working it will show in your analytic. I personally believe, I want a site that performs well, more than personal preference of how I want something to look.

The last element "aside from promoting your website" is content, content is king, and is usually the needed asset that prevents many great website design projects from launching. This content has to come from you, its your business its your passion, designers like offer copy writing services as a way to earn more money on a website design project, but even when we get the opportunity to do the writing, we usually need something to start with. So bite the bullet and pull it together, don't simply push it off or say just grab content from your competitors (that' not even legal).

Once you have all of your elements and assets in order you will be in a better position to hire a designer or even attempt to setting your site up yourself.

Google luck and we hope to see you on the other side of this recession!

innovative web design development

What makes a website design innovative?

How about a site that not only ranks well in google but speaks to your customers as well.

A stunning website that is chock-full O desired keywords, without seeming to be hitting the website reader over the head, making it obvious that the content they are ready was written more for search engines instead of the reader.

Also a website design that not only looks outstanding but is compliant and looks the same no matter which browser or operating system the visitor is using.

Adding the "wow" factor to your site is apart of making your website innovative but so is the download time, making sure that the content loads first and parts of the "wow" factor is loaded before the visitor leaves, remember the average time anyone will ever spend on your site is about 2 minutes!

And lastly don't look like everyone else, be innovative and try and break away from the norm, at the same time keeping familiarity, if users are used to seeing elements in a certain way don't innovate there, innovate with your design not on the usability...

SEO Competitive keyword search

Here is a great little "vlog" on some competitive keyword research.
The presenter presents a few websites that can really open your eyes, on what keywords are working and for who.

You can see what is working for others then figure out what they are doing to get that traffic...

This site lets you compare your site with specific competitors

And finally Alexa
You will be amazed at how much information Alexa can give you on your site and your competitors

This site shows you what keywords the company is using and how much they are spending

Wanna know how much a person spends on their PPC campaigns?
Which keywords, and ad variations?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Your Vision or Ours

Which kind of client are you?

Someone who hires a design firm to act as the technical know how, who can get your project done the way you have it visioned in your head.

Or are you someone who hires a professional design firm because of their expertise, experience and knowledge of what makes a design successful?

In all my years of designing I have finally realized that clients fall into these two types of clients.

I believe both types would like to say we want to see what you can do, but most are saying to themselves boy I hope it looks like what I am thinking.

I think a client knows how subjective design is and they realize that you as the designer are doing the design and they don't want to offend you, by saying I don't like what you did so they try and make nips and tucks along the way to try and get their vision done.

I hope to educate all clients out there that they can't say anything to us either what we don't already say to ourselves while designing the site, or the kind of criticism we give each other when showcasing our work with other designers.

So please feel free to say this didn't "hit" or you missed with that, we understand and can roll with it, but please refrain from saying "did you think of doing such and such with that element?" because chances are we either did and realized it didn't look right, or there is no way I would have done that because it that would never look right or if I did and thought it would look right we would have done that.

Don't get me wrong we want to hear your feedback, I subscribe to the thought to not jump down a clients throat when they add a comment to a project I just bled, sweat and cried over, because they might actually have an idea that could push the design even better. Which happens more times than a designer would like to admit.

But this post wants to set the type of client straight from the beginning. Designers want to do good design, but we also want to get a project completed, so if you are looking for someone who knows the software and is capable of illustrating your vision, please be explicit in saying this from the beginning of the project, minimizing multiple rounds of revisions, to a designers design, because your afraid to hurt their feelings.

But if you truly want to go with whatever creative vision a designer has then go with it. Trust their instinct, you will get much better work that way...

Hope this helps

iphone apps process

Here is a great process to follow when developing an iphone app

it was written by

icon best practices

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Friday, August 21, 2009

Motion Graphics Process

I have been excited about the completion of my first of what I hope to be many Motion Graphics Video Loops for PR Newswire...

This project came out really well, and was a blast to do.

But this type of project is not yet my "Bread and Butter"
So I wanted to outline the process and steps that went into making this project a successful one, while the project is still fresh in my mind.

hoping we can pick up where we have left off when the next series becomes active and or a similar project is engaged by another client.

First Step is to develop the script.

This step should be left to the professionals.

A professional copy writer should be able to interview your key staff and develop a powerful script that will cover all aspects the piece needs.

I do know that PR newswire uses a script when doing their product demos, and this was a jumping off point for this script, they also gathers a list of frequently asked questions from past presentations to be sure to include all hot topics.

The next step after the script was approved is to get a voice over completed.

There are many ways to approach this, one you can do it in house. just be sure to take many takes and edit the voice over to not have any unnecessary pauses or hick ups in the delivery.

An approach I would prefer to use is to hire a third party vendor
They have a wide variety of talent and I like the ease of use.

Once the voice over script is completed and approved then it is time for us ( to do our magic!

The magic starts with the music and pace of the project...
An Idea to putting original music with musicians you know is an awesome idea to try

or a quicker easier way could be to use getty.

Once we have a piece of music we would like to use we add it to an after effects timeline where we tweak the sound levels to make sure the music sets the tone without over crowding the voice over.

Then its time to start adding the visual tone.

One of the most challenging aspects of designing a motion graphics piece is to get the "timing right" all the effects in the world and cool transitions don't mean a thing if the timing is off...

One of the best ways I like to set the timing and tone of a motion graphics piece is to take snippets of inspiration... and edit these snippets to the voice over to see if the tone and timing is right...

A great collection of where you can see some great Motion Graphics Inspiration can be found at

Once you have the audio and inspiration in place

Its time to get to work.

Here are the elements I used for the PR piece that I believe could work for basically any piece

1) 3d in After effects
After effects has added a new property to its timeline, and that is 3d,

Although you are changing the properties of a 2d image, these effects can be used to really ad a great dimension to the project.

2) Reveal the Design
This is taking a well designed "frame" and letting the elements of the frame appear at different times. This is not the same as animating each piece into focus, but rather breaking up a static image and revealing these elements at different times.

3) Next is the animating each element.
Now this is one of the most time consuming parts of the project but well worth the effort.
You take a well designed frame, and you think of how these elements can be animated into focus through non traditional ways, through 3 spinning in, through a completely different shape, through breaking up an element into multiple layers then animating each layer, the ideas are limitless, and can be the fun-nest part of the project, just know you are going to be working on these elements a very long time, probably a good 12 hours or so per segment, so watch the budget!

4) Reveal Elements,
If you have simple screen shots, product shots or imagery to hep get a point across, think of interesting ways these elements can be presented.
Ie: a hole in the canvas that the piece come flowing out of, again the ideas can be limitless, but the point here is to go beyond a simple fade in trasition

5) Focus attention to,
This is where you have a screen shot or a layout and you want to put the viewers attention to a specific area, its a simple formula that seems to do the job. Simple screen capture that frame blur it out then scale the section to blow up and add a drop shadow, by doing this effect in after effect you can actually animate how each of these effects come in, which looks really cool, my only suggestion is that when you scale the piece you should only scale about 50-60%, anything bigger than that looks really obnoxious. But by doing this it may be hard for the viewer to zoom in so adding a text call out can help drive the point home.

6) Maya Scale, spin effects.
This is the fun part and yet again a very time consuming part.
Maya is great but it has a steep learning curve, and has a ton of variables that make you project look bad. It also needs the right timing which you should be able to track by viewing after effects timeline by frames instead of seconds. Then you have the actual material, and texture, then you have the lighting and the rendering, not that a lot of times rendering out animations can be very time consuming, you could spend hours doing and animation to then only wait hours before seeing, and this process continues throughout while tweaking...

I highly recommend for their tutorial on maya, the guy gives a great foundation on how to use maya...

Basically this step or element of style, is to take a scene and do simple Maya animations to create a wow, effect.

Things like rotating the abject or scaling the elements. Keeping it simple with no or little camera animations.

Not you will have to use the image plain to match up the 2d graphics from maya to the 3d environment, Take your time on matching this up.

7) Maya Write in,
This is the more complex aspect of maya, and the most time consuming, But probably the highest form of "wow" factor.

Maya has the ability to animate a shape in. through using a "partial" Nurb Extrude, loft, or planar effect added to a curve. (unfortunately this has taken me years to figure out and I can only wish you luck on learning how to do this, or at least until I get the chance to put together a tutorial video!)

The biggest challenge to this process, is the camera movement, I have discoverd that the best way is to start with the aim, up camera, this allows you to control where the carea is aiming and can control the tilt of the top of the camera.

You can try and attach the camera or the aim object to a path and control that path t create a smooth animation.

You could also animate the camera's movement manually by looking through it as you move around, I believe this was the approach I decided to go with for the PR newswire piece, its kinda hard to remember because this was definitely one the 14 hour work days.

Then when it comes time for the extruded shape, draw the curves with the cv tool (its the smoothest and you can control it with the vortex's)

Draw the shape as you animate through the camera view, adding points, deleting points, and inserting knots where compositionally you see fit. Tweak the curves until you are happey before extruding the shape, its easier to manage this way.

No matter how you look at it this will be a very time consuming part and will take the most effort in tweaking.

But the final result will make you proud...


Once the animation is worked out and you are ready for the clients to either love it or hate it

render out the entire moving then take each section piece by piece, if something doesn't "feel" right work on that one section until it does then move in the next.

once you have the final piece use sorensor squeeze to render out a f8_768K flv file.

Then go directly to dreamweaver to import the flv media, there you will be able to choose the type of playback skin you'd like and save the files out.

To present the movie you can simple have it load as soon as the url loads.

Or you can take the extra step and design an awesome splash page that invites the user to "launch video"

This is a cool script I use to open a window to show the piece.

Thats all for now.

Hope it helps not only you but my future me as well

Writing your press release for SEO

It is no surprise that I have a Company Crush on Creare Group from the UK
Specifically because of their PR campaign and their focus on promoting their studio.

One of their secret weapons is the fact that they consistently launch a press release through practically every other day, that gets indexed by Google every time.

I have been trying to add a press release project to my marketing campaign for No Pun for a while now, but wasn't too sure where to start or on how to do it.

But Wouldn't you know it, the Creare Group has adding a two part series to their YouTube Channel further proving how cool these guys are...

Now its time for action and try and get this project going.

First step in writing Press Release is to develop Topics

be an expert

feature guest writers

summarise or re-visit old content

feature case studies

discuss hot topics

want to know more?

Which can be Company Related or Industry Related

Secondly is "Newsworthy"
Current Events Related to Your company's
ie:Promotions, Products and Services


Current Affairs,
Industry Relevant News
And explain how you could provide solutions to these situations

following these points you can write or research
including what you want to achieve


First thing to develop is the title and your headline

1) attention grabbing and concise (Short and snappy)
2) Keep it relevant (If you promise something in your title, deliver it in the body)
3) Then keep it key word rich (Especially in the title, and the main body)


Structure the press release with the 5w's
1w) Who 2w) What 3w) Where 4w) When & 5w) Why

Then give an overview of your product and services and how it can be beneficial to your customers

Make sure it is punchy and avoid technical jargon that people outside your industry wouldn't understand with out sounding patronizing


Quotes and Statistics (Be sure that the statistics are from relevant sources not opinions from blogs)

Create a human element to the release that people can relate to
Quotes taken from specialist in the industry


Incorporating SEO

Take your two most desired Keywords

title = 1x

headline = if fits

lead in paragraph = 1x preferably at the beginning of the sentence

body = 5x for about 3 paragraphs with about 2 to 5 sentences per paragraph
second key phrase at least 2x in the

Be sure to add tags to the key words (make sure the places you submit your releases to allow tags)

Distributing your press releases
How to distribute your press releases online to help your SEO listings

Now that you have written your press releases with SEO in mind

Be sure that the sites you submit your site to have these 3 elements.
1) A high page rank
2) Relevant Categories
3) The ability to include links

first you should distribute to Google News
Then submit to Digg

Here is a list I ( have been gathering to help get a start with online sites to submit to.
This first one is a paid service but is kinda the authority in press release submissions.
What I like about this is that they cover print in addition to online. It cost but if it pays off then why not?

Next are a few that I want to look into but don't have any details as of yet...

here is a list of over 70 sites !

Then update your facebook, linked in and twitter status with links to these articles

Thanks Creare Group this should give me some time to start writing my releases

You tube shows off their Google Optimizer Experiment

You Tube demonstrates a before and after and the actual element they recently tested on their homepage.
Proving that little tweaks to the home page can make a big difference in conversion.

There are three things we can take away from this article.
1) That testing is important
2) There is no detail to small to test
3) The actual results they found to be true.
If you don't have the time and resources to test your own page out then why not use what they have found which is...

a) sign up button text, simple and to the point "Join YouTube Now!"
white text inside of a red speak bubble

b) next have a call to action description box, white with a simple message graphic Spelling out the benefit, "Don't Just Watch. Participate" Sign in or Sign Up now, note they Claim this works best inside a white box no colors

I could see this for no pun as "Don't Build it Yourself, Hire the Pro's" Tell us about your project
or "Don't Struggle, Hire No Pun" Get Started now

or a combination of the both, (uh oh) I see a google optimizer experiment emerging for no pun!

The biggest idea here is using Google Optimizer to guide your design decisions opposed to your instinct is a great way to go.

My only concern with this approach for client work is that this will increase the budget of a website production 3 to 5 times the amount and would make the client feedback less important, because we would be launching optimizer test(s) then tracking the results until we zero in on the final design.

Which both money and the clients desire to add their input into the design will be a hard sell.

I think I will do it for No Pun First before offering to clients

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Press Releases for SEO

Once again the Creare Group Strikes again!

I so want to be like these guys when I grow up.

I am convinced that they have the winning formula on how to make a design studio successful.

This press release talks about the need for press releases.

Especially for SEO purposes.

It seems as though they write a press release a day! or At least it gets indexed by google every day. In many cases they are saying the same thing with a little spin on it. But the key is that they are consistent with pushing content out-there.

They go even further with their you tube video blog. (Vlogging)

It makes me wonder how they have to time to do client work but I am sure they will eventually publish a press release on how they do that...

Photoshop tutorial for "Ice"

There are a million and one "more" photoshop tutorials out there.

This one came to my attention at a perfect time.

I have a local ice distributor wanting to do a website, and what he has now is horrible, but what I envision will be fantastic.

Although the example in the tutorial could be done better the actual steps outlined is a good starting point.

Stay tuned if I end up getting the project I will post my version of this tutorial at this post...

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Advertising on your website

There is a new trend emerging with big billboard banner ads on popular websites.

I gotta say it looks really refreshing.

And I would love to see the bigger named websites follow the lead of

I don't think advertising is bad, if I did I don't think I would be doing what I do.

But I do realize that there is a lot of bad advertising out there (

But I have to say's approach is refreshing, enlightening, and classy.

This approach could be beneficial to advertisers for the exposure, while websites like that where typically not designed at all can benefit from a professional look and feel.

I hope to see more of this in the future.


There are a million and one suggestions on how to prepare your website for good search engine placement...

There are a lot of crossovers, and there are a few basic strategies that become common place...

I want to start this post to be collection of thoughts ideas and strategies.

Here's the first

effective ways to write SEO titles

tool by nopun that helps you write keyword rich and feature driven online copy

Enough talk and more work

We would love to have every project that comes into the studio be

There is nothing brief about a creative brief, you need to look at the project from many different angles and try and have enough foresight to make sure you accommodate every aspect of the job before the designer begins.

We have many forms, tools and questioners to try and help clients get the bottom of a creative brief and allows them to consider everything needed for the project before we begin.

What we have found is that although these briefs make it easier for the designer or a design studio to do great work, it really isn't necessary, with a bunch of work for the client.

Hiring a studio that can do great work but needs to be led by a creative brief vs. a studio like no pun who you can call up tell us you challenge and we will deliver you a solution. Usually before the other studio would even begin.

do great work vs. doing work they think is great

In my design career I am mostly concerned with getting clients and doing work they think is great so I get sign offs. This chap seems to have been able to great work and got clients because of it... --

Google is changing their search engine algorithm

"Google has unveiled Caffeine, a "next-generation architecture" for its Web search platform. The retooled search engine is said to be faster, more accurate, and more comprehensive than the current Google search setup."

Google's test site for their new system can be found at

Any time Google changes this system it shift all the placements around. If your site was on the first page of a key phrase before this change you may not be after the change.

So all that hard SEO work you did has gone to waste!

For example I recently discovered was placing Fourth from the top on the second page for the search term professional graphic design (which is awesome)

However it is nowhere to be found on their test site!...

But on the other hand if after the change I show up closer for the word "design" which is my most optimal key-phrase from my PPC campaigns then the change will be great.

I won't hold my breath on that one thought...

One thing is for sure with this change will come a change to your keyword positioning...

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Things to Consider when Hiring a graphic design firm

funky lunch

Now here's a sure-fire way to be a hit at your next party or BBQ.

If your kids just won't eat, it will take more time to create, but will be worth the effort.

So what's for lunch?

Web Maintenance fees

This is an interesting billing model for web maintenance.

I believe that billing time and material for web edits is fair.

However, it isn't consistent income. An edit here and there at variable prices can often leave the studio scrambling to make ends meet, or rushing projects and late hours trying to meet expectations when multiple clients hit at once.

This article gives a good analogy as to how paying the same price for maintenance throughout the year can benefit both the client and the studio.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Photograopher's Blog vs. Designer's Blog

Having a blog in a photography site is getting popular and commonly known as photoblog. Not only could visitors admire the visual aspect of the photographs, they can get the latest updates and happening of the photographer or read through the story of your composed photos. It’s also a great way for the photographer to build up your brand, create a relationship of trust and credibility with potential clients and be located by the search engines.

I think this is a great idea for photographers, and has me thinking about using this technique for my graphic design studio. For example one of the most desired keyword for my business is the single word "design" the top of the organic listing for this word is and when I took a look at why, I noticed the long scrolling page with tons of examples on one page.

Typically designers like to keep thing compact and neat and would never consider just grouping all of the pieces together on one page. We would rather come up with some cool navigation and display the work in some type of creative way.

But the benefits to doing a design like this is that it would be;
1) easier to maintain
2) easier for the visitors to view being they wouldn't have to click anywhere they would just scroll down.
3) This approach would be great for search engine optimization because of the amount of content in can crawl.

Controlling SEO through CSS

Its always amazing to me how much there is to learn with SEO and website design in general. This may be the reason why I love being a graphic designer, the technology is always changing, keeping me on my toes.

Lately, I have come across an idea of how to control the order that your html page is indexed by google. I already know that creating a page with css and div tags instead of tables helps with SEO efforts. This tip provided by the Creare Group is a great one, its a simple technique to try and manipulate your code to where your most important content gets noticed first by the SEO spiders...

Friday, August 7, 2009

The importance of being validated

I recently was asked by a client why it was important that their website be validated.

The errors appeared to be programming technical terms that didn't really seem to influence the functioning of the website.

My response was if you want Google to index your site you should fix all errors.

If you would like to know how to check your website for validation errors.

If you are wondering, the w3 is the organization behind the www. inform of every URL so it is kind of like you are checking in with the internet "itself."

Simply plug in your URL and it will print out all errors that it finds.

If you get a green light with no errors "fantastic" you are fully accessible and not only will the search engines find your site and index it properly the handicapped folks out there will have a pleasurable experience with your site as well.

If you would like to learn more about this subject I refer you to an article written by a reputable design company based out of the UK

Open source vs custom work

Here is a n interesting read about using wordpress as a solution for your small business.

I am anxious to get to the bottom of how to design a wordpress template, because I also agree that this solution is a good one to use, But it seems like the concept to word press is that it is designed for the non technical person to get online quickly.

Which in my opinion is no different than using the typical solutions offered by typical web hosting companies.

I would like to be able to add customization and to be able to develop the sites from scratch using word press. So I can use my expertise in designing a well designed website that fits your company and communicates well to your target audience, without using a template that any and everybody else could and does use.

I am hoping to get to the bottom of this soon, and when I do I believe we will have an entirely new service offering to out clients that will be easy to maintain look great functions well and be able to "connect" with potential clients...

There are a tremendous amount of ways a company can get their business online.

To generalize all the possibilities into two distinct options, one is an approach or using open source solutions like WordPress or Joomla while the other is a completely custom approach.

My take on this is that a custom approach is always the best, I say this because I am a professional graphic designer who believes in designing any marketing piece (online or off) tailored to how it will best relate to the targeted audience.

This approach puts the customer first then fits all design decisions around this customer.
While this approach can be effective it is extremely time consuming and costly. This approach will usually range from $10,000 to $20,000 and in some circumstances can go even hier than this.

So what is a business owner to do when wanting to get their company online and can't even fathom spending that kind of dough?

The second solution would be right for them.

Open source solutions such as WordPress and Joomla are free or low cost solutions that a company can utilize right away. the draw back is that these solutions are limited in terms of targeting their branding to a specific audience. Another draw back is that these designs typically follow the same layout. Making it hard to separate your website from another.

Before you through in the towel and say well I'll just wait until I have the 20 grand laying around before I get a website, I would suggest looking into this article, that showcases all the ways you can "pimp out your website".

You can use plugins to add value rich featured to these otherwise dry websites to try and increase the overall impression of your site.

Which I would recommend doing if a fully branded website is above your current budget...

but of course if you would like to get that fully branded website started please don't hesitate to click on this get started link.

Its the first of many steps we can take to design something really special, together.

Tutorial on how to set up and develop a WordPress Website

how to design cool post headings

Showcase of a site that used a traditional wordpress solution then "upgraded" its designs and features to keep up with the times,

they point out their improvements which could be considered when starting a new blog design

Heres an interesting article on what should go into a good blog design

Image Gallery

As the owner of a graphic design studio ( I often am faced with the delima on how to present my past work.

I love flash and motion graphics and would prefer to do exciting animations to reveal the design in a clever way.

This approach to showcasing the work can be quit time consuming.
Even if I use a "templated" base approach where I set up a few stock animations and simply swap the example out of the animation, it is still time consuming and can look predictable.

My struggle with how to showcase my work often lends to a select few pieces being showcased or non at all.

I am always looking for an innovative way to display the work but that isn't a bear to keep current.

I recently used a jquery plug in to handle the image gallery solution for a client project for Bayshore Brightwaters Ambulance and Rescue's website this effect has a subtle transition that is nice and is easy to maintain.

I recently came across this tutorial that was not only helpful in showing how to get the effect to work but also give a great demo of the effect as well.

I will most likely take a look at how this effect could solve my portfolio updating problem.

Stay tuned.

You can check the effect out for yourself by visiting

here are a few more

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Altruistic Superhero

If at first No Pun can’t meet a client’s needs, we will try and find the person who can, or we will learn what is needed so that we can help the client achieve his goal.

Here are two situations that illustrate these points.

Going the Extra Mile
Recently, No Pun Intended was invited to place a bid on developing a website for a local rescue ambulance company. The organization was about to do a major fundraiser and wanted to get a new website up and running in time for the event.

After a few discussions we knew what was needed and what it would take to get the job done. But there were two glitches.

  • The site would require back-end programming (the coding that gives our design life on the web page) that we did not usually handle.

  • In addition, the site needed additional programming for a complex calendar of events, an image gallery and a few other things that went beyond our standard offerings.

The client liked a past project we did for Pro Art’s Jersey City in which we had collaborated with an outside programming company. Why not take that approach again – and keep the client happy?

But nothing is ever simple. All details must be spelled out when subcontracting with another firm. If there is not full understanding at the start of the project about what is to be included – and what is not – there can be unpleasant surprises, also known as “out of scope” charges.

So we carefully outlined the scope and confirmed it with the client. Even though we spent hours in developing the proposal, one necessary feature was omitted. Unfortunately, it turned out that the feature could not be easily or inexpensively added. With the No Pun reputation on the line, we decided to learn how to add the feature ourselves and within two weeks we were able to give the client what was needed. And as a bonus, we learned a new capability that we can now offer future clients.

Getting the Job Done, Even if Someone Else Does It A prospect came to us with a $30,000 project within a six--week time frame. Now in this economy who wouldn’t love that!

However, the client was committed to using a programming language we had not yet used. It was clear there was no time for us to learn it. Through our professional associations and personal networks, we were able to find two separate experts to work with the prospect to achieve the goal.

No Pun wants to become a trusted business partner and we’ll go to great lengths to demonstrate our commitment. Send us a note at 631 942-4884 or email us at and let us know how we might help you with your next challenge.

Tremendous example of how this company utilizes the web

Don't just launch your site and fix it later

Its important to get the design right

and make sure that the design is speaking properly to the target audience

Mega Menus

if you have a ton of content that needs to be organized for easy access.

Check out mega menus

its the latest craze and after you see the samples you'll know why.

Because they look good and they work!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

go green by the design company you choose

There are several ways a company can go green, and even in this digital world there are going green efforts that can be in place...

This design firm if portland showcases a few way they go green

but i'd like to push it one step further by referring you to the latest craze of "blackle" doesn't matter if your black or if your white debate.

Is it better to have a site that is visibly appealing or environmentally friendly

personality of a website

I added this link to the Branding Metrics Post for easy reference.

I thought this was such an interesting approach to putting a face behind a website.

Or adding a new question to the quick assessment form.

of ...

if your company or website was a famous movie character who would it be?...

This could really inspire some great design ideas.

I can't help but to be impressed by the connections of the personalities of these famous icons along the side of the actual website...

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

60+ Most Beautiful and Creative Business Cards Design

How to put together a design brief or a request for quote.

If every client could take a look at these steps before we begin a project the better of we'd all be...

The outline is for designing a website but the points can be applied to any type of design project...

The more we iron out before starting the project the less surprises during and after the project has been completed

The only fonts that should be installed on your machine

9 Marketing Tips from a Six-Year Old

Having my own business is stressful, when its suppose to be freeing... Trying to tap into the mind of a six year old and letting me start having "fun" would be a great change. These are some great tips to consider...

Struggling with content?

Need content...

It doesn't matter if your black or your white

There is an emerging trend in website design...

Research shows that most people actually prefer a mostly white site design.

Mainly because of its legibility.

However, google has unleashed "blackle" under the pretense that a black background saves energy.

Hence, going black is also going green

I wouldn’t be surprised if everyone starts wanting their websites to be black.

At which point I will be reviewing these points and topics very closely, so we can get the best user experience while going green

Open source CMS

I personally am excited about the development of Adobe's In-context Editing (ICE)

It brings all of the editable featured most clients want out of their content management system (CMS)

However there may be times when your needs will out grow what ICE can do...

Here's a list of some open source CMS's to consider

Test the designs before they go out to the client for review

This is a tremendous resourse...

Thanks for the post, I have always thought it how great it would be, to add a step in the design process where we take a comp that is pushed as far as we can push it, then pass it along to complete strangers as a sorta focus group to see if the piece hits the way we think it hits...

Social Media Metrics

I have recently been given the opportunity to design a flash presentation for A Social Media Metrics from PR Newswire

And I got to say that its an amazing program...

As I am designing the assets for the loop I am learning a lot about how the tool works and what it can do.

In a nutshell you would need a staff of about 20 people to try and retrieve all the information this thing can do. And even then you wouldn't be able to "tag" the tone of the articles ie: positive or negative, nor the geographic locations, nor the demographics (such as age, and gender)

It really is an awesome tool.
I hope I do it justice with the revamped presentation...

Monday, August 3, 2009

not online?

A recent survey shows that approximately 55% of small businesses in the United States still do not have any sort of valuable online presence to speak of.

That is unheard of...

It is so easy to get a simple presence online.

We recently helped a small client launch a professional online presence for under $1500

check out the work in progress here

get a similar quote for your business here