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Simple but stylish! 1??2??3?? Rate 1 to 10! ? ———————————————————————— ? – Credit ? ~ @gracecallidesigns . . . . . . . #calligraphy #lettering #art #arty #arts #crafts #handlettering #design #type #arabic #typing #handwriting #typography #typographical #calligraphydaily #calligraphyvideo #letters #font #fonts #illustration #graphicdesign #calligraphylove #sketch #lettered #handwritingchallenge
Update: February 26, 2019: After nine years of the digital-only edition, the Big Book of Font Combinations is available in glorious, full-sized print editions: paperback and hardcover. Learn more!
Update: April 5, 2016: I recently compiled a list of the 19 most popular fonts according to usage by graphic designers from all over the web. I could have had 100, but I got it down to under 50, and from there whittled it down to just the 19 best fonts. Why 19? Because at exactly 20, the “long tail” shot right out and the differences in tallies became negligible. Take a look at those top fonts if you want and come right back because now we are going to have a little typography fun.
If you’ve just now published your first book, you are FINALLY ready to move on to the next big task: marketing and promotion! There are many proven methods when it comes to marketing your book. If you’ve published through IngramSpark or Amazon’s KDP, you’re off to a good start with world-wide distribution to retailers and wholesalers. Congratulations! Now what? What can you do in addition so you can sell more books directly and cut out the middle-man to reap a better profit? Lets take a look at a few possibilities.
If you’re a soon-to-be first time self-publisher, one thing you need to know upfront is how crucial creating good metadata is for the discoverability of your titles in the book industry. If you do not have good metadata, you simply will not sell your books. You may have valuable content and extensive inside knowledge about a subject, yet your title will go unnoticed if this step in the publishing process is neglected or overlooked – which unfortunately happens quite often by authors.
Once you’ve obtained your ISBN numbers, you may be interested in getting a Copyright for your book. This is another important step in the publishing process and can be done while you’re in the process of or even after you’ve received the printed book from whomever your publisher might be. You can relax, however, because any manuscript you produce is automatically protected with the first stroke of a pen. The benefit of registering your work with the Copyright Office is streamlined legal protection should you actually have to contend with a naughty manuscript thief.
If you’re an author who is looking to self-publish a book you’ll need to understand some of the industry standards necessary for successful publishing and distribution. Purchasing an ISBN number is one of them. In this article we’ll cover all the basics you need to know to get going, so let’s get started!
In doing the research on self-publishing for print, it didn’t take long to get thoroughly overwhelmed. POD Publishers are a dime a dozen, each with an onslaught of details, numbers, packages and options to consider. Of course, there’s a lot of great blog posts out there, but as you compare one author’s experience with the next, you’re left scratching your head at the contradictions as the industry expands leaving a trail of information obsolete.
The good news is with the current resources available it has never been easier for an author to self-publish professional quality books and sell them globally with ease and total control from beginning to end. There is a way to succeed that fits your unique situation so long as you first define your needs and goals.
In this article, we’ll focus on the two 800 pound gorillas in the room for POD and global distribution: IngramSpark and Amazon KDP.
The harvest is in and it’s a big one! If you were looking for vat full of ripe wine bottle label graphic design ideas, you’ve come to the right vineyard. Roll up your pants and start stomping through this list. You’ll be inebriated with the ideas that flow out, and inspiration will be the least of your worries. There is more incredible design here than you can imbibe in a month!
Marketing wine is all about perception
Ok, down to business regarding what we have picked out for you. First, great wine bottle design is essential for the success of any winery. It’s all about the image. The labels have to be eye-catching and superbly produced in order to stand out with the overwhelming surplus of competition lining the shelves at any given store. The designer must be exquisitely attuned to the top competitors, consumer desires, and market trends in the industry. A great designer for this niche also has to have a good understanding of wine varieties, culture, and region. Being a wine drinker will also score you some points!
Once again it’s that season where we round up the best graphic design blogs of the year! And per usual, there are some perennial favorites, and really not much in the way of surprises.
If you are new to the graphic design community on the web, you will find this list instructive. You’ll quickly find your favorites among them, and become devoted fans for sure.
And speaking of favorites, we’d like to give a shout out to David Airey for helping us get going on blogging way back in 2009, and for being an example of what focusing on a niche looks like both theory and practice.
BONUS! Be sure to check out David’s logo-focused blog, Logo Design Love — always a treat!
And without any further delay…the list!
You’ve probably noticed the trend for bigger, bolder visual elements on websites. There are several reasons for this trend, and one of the biggest is that visual elements catch the attention of the reader. A picture really is worth a thousand words, and it grabs the reader above the fold. That means you have them, at least for the moment, and can then keep them engaged with your amazing content.
One way to incorporate large images is with full-screen website backgrounds. However, a full-screen background can be done really well, and it can also be done really wrong. The last thing you want is to make your website cluttered or the text difficult to read. To make sure you’re using a full-screen background in a way that will entice readers to hang around your site, try these best practices:
When it comes to using larger images in the background or anywhere on the page, you have to stop and consider what you want your priority to be on the page. Compelling images can be engaging and inspiring to your audience. However, those same images can also fall flat if placed incorrectly on the page. … [Read More]
Back in the day, we’re happy with drop-down menus and simple HTML markups for web design navigation patterns. Now that user experience is an invaluable criterion in designing a web site, web designers are on their feet, thinking of ways on how to integrate better functionality that promises a good effect on the visitor’s user experience.
Aiming for user experience does not solely rely on one page. In creating a website, we should keep in mind that the main goal is to get the visitors navigate through your website and spend more time on your website. Why? When people leave your website, it increases your bounce rate. As it increases, it is found out that it affects your conversion rates negatively.
One of the reasons why people leave your website is that they can’t simply find what they are looking for. If you notice that the main page of your website has a high bounce rate, you need to look into it as soon as possible. You can blame poor navigation practices implemented on your website as the number one culprit.
In this post, we’re going to share some tips and inspiration for web designers in designing fundamental navigation patterns they can apply in their web design concept.
From the dawn of civilization, there have been commercials. If you look close enough at the Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics, you’ll likely find an ad for a chariot dealership mixed in with the picture stories. (Seriously, though: papyrus wall posters in Ancient Egypt were some of the earliest advertisements.) Flash ahead to our modern age and you’ll find there could never have been television without commercials. Now that the world has truly become Internet-centric, businesses want to utilize your time by offering some form of advertisement.
At first, it was a banner ad dropped onto a website. The clever marketing device soon evolved into the popup. Today, tech savvy websites generate popups in hopes of capturing an email address or providing a direct click-through to sales.
As a web designer, your goal is to create popup tools that will make the client happy and not annoy the user. Too tall an order? Perhaps it’s not as challenging as you might imagine. Before getting to the gorgeous graphics that you’ll create to go with it, you might want to consider some functionality.
When considering modern web design, you want your site to not only look good but perform well too. By that, I mean a site should load in a decent amount of time, offer a pleasant user experience and have as few bugs and errors as possible.
One of the most important elements of a well-performing site are the page loading times. Speed can really suffer when you spend more time worrying about the aesthetics of a site by trying to add slick functionality, animations or content. Some administrators even overlook slow loading times because they care more about the way their site looks than how using it feels.
In truth, page loading times should always be one of the first things you work to improve. Speed now factors heavily into search engine rankings, but consumers want to see speedier sites too. According to an infographic from Kissmetrics, 40 percent of people say that they leave a website any time it takes more than three seconds to load.
Furthermore, an additional one-second delay in page loading time can lower your conversion rate by seven percent. If this happens on an e-commerce site that brings in $100,000 per day, that page delay translates to a loss of $2.5 million in sales each year.
Page loading times matter — there’s no question about that.
What can you do to ensure that your site is streamlined and doesn’t run into these performance issues? It depends on what kind of content you have on your site, how well it has been put together and how many plugins or add-ons you have loading at one time.
We’re going to take a look at five general ways you can improve site loading times. Keep in mind that these tips may not apply to every site, but they offer a good place to start with improvements.
1. To Speed up Loading Times, Use a Content Delivery Network or CDN
A Content Delivery Network or CDN is not the same thing as a Content Management System (CMS). They can actually work in tandem to deliver a fully optimized site.
A CMS is a platform that can be used to create, schedule and publish content. It includes services like Magento, Joomla, Drupal, WordPress and more. It can also include a custom-made CMS designed with PHP or HTML.
A CDN, on the other hand, is a server-based system spaced throughout various data centers across the internet. It can essentially be used to store files and data from a website — like your web server — and deliver these files to visitors. It works better than a traditional server system because it takes into account a person’s geographical location. It delivers content and data from a local server, so the site is rendered much faster. When used in combination with a CMS, the system drastically improves page loading times for a site.
The other benefit of using a CDN is that it alleviates some of the load on your actual server. This doesn’t necessarily make a difference if you’re using a third-party hosting provider, but if you’re running the site from your own servers it can give the hardware a break.
2. Enable the Apache “KeepAlive” Feature
Apache is a server platform that is one of the most commonly used by most providers. More specifically, it’s deployed for a lot of shared hosting setups and can be run for a relatively low-cost. It also happens to have a feature that can increase HTTP request limits for visitors.
The feature is called “KeepAlive,” and it allows multiple HTTP requests for a single connection, a process that allows a website to load much faster for visitors because it relies heavily on HTML.
You’ll need to check with your host provider first to see whether or not they have the feature active. If they do not, you’ll also need to make sure you have access to the httpd.conf file in your Apache setup. The location of this file will differ depending on what kind of server system is running (Windows or Linux).
If you do have access, open the file and check whether or not “KeepAlive On” is located somewhere within. If it is not, don’t worry: You can activate it using your .htaccess file. Include the following piece of code in your htaccess to turn the feature on:
Header set Connection keep-alive
The KeepAlive feature is great for improving performance on all sites, but works miracles if your site is running WordPress or a similar CMS.
If you cannot use this feature for whatever reason — perhaps your server is not running Apache — then consider minimizing the amount of HTTP requests your site calls for. This is also a good general maintenance task, as it can speed up load times.
3. Optimize Your Images
This next bit of advice shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone who has worked with websites or web development. The bigger your images are and the higher their quality, the longer they’re going to take to load. It doesn’t matter if you resize them using HTML or shortcode, because they still have to load in full.
Use a photo editing tool like Photoshop, GIMP or even something simple like Microsoft Office Picture Manager to resize them. Try to not to keep images on your server that are bigger than what you need. For example, there’s no reason to keep a raw image file in excess of 5000 pixels if all you’re doing is displaying it within your content. Three online tools that work great for resizing include Optimizilla, Kraken and Free Image Optimizer. They work by compressing an image in size, essentially making them smaller so a site can render them faster.
If you’ve already resized your images and just need to cut filesize, you can try running them through JPEGmini or TinyPNG. These tools cut out colors and meta data to shrink the space an image takes up without making its dimensions smaller.
Ultimately, you’re looking to trim down the overall size of the image itself and the storage size. Anything 2MB and above is pushing the limits, especially when you have a ton of images that your site needs to load.
4. Enable Caching for CMS
If you host a WordPress powered site — or a similar CMS — then by all means, look into a cache plugin or add-on. Caching works pretty much as you’d expect: The plugin builds a cache file of your entire site server-side and then delivers it to a client for faster loading times.
When caching is enabled for a CMS, it builds a cache file of your entire site — or select pages — and every time a new visitor arrives it sends them the cached content. This is so that the site doesn’t have to be generated in full every time someone new lands there. Any time you make changes to the site, you’ll need to refresh your cache, but this is usually handled automatically by the plugin.
If you’re using WordPress, recommended plugins include W3 Total Cache, WP Super Cache or WP Fastest Cache. These are by no means the only ones out there. Have a look at the WordPress plugin repository and you’ll see at least a dozen more.
You can ensure this happens by including a cache command snippet in your .htaccess file.
Other Ways to Speed up Your Site
This list is merely a handful of techniques you can use to boost loading times on your site. There are hundreds — if not thousands — of other things, large and small, that you can do to both improve performance and make your site look more professional.
You can do a simple web search to find more information. If you run a WordPress powered site, a ridiculous amount of guides and resources out there can help you boost performance, like Gregory Ciotti’s.
One thing to make a habit: checking whether or not your site meets Google’s webmaster guidelines. Sites that don’t follow the guidelines will often experience performance issues. You can check up on this using Varvy’s tool.
With a little invested time, you can have your site running in tip-top shape. Eventually, this should translate to lower bounce rates and more visitors!
Web design is always on the flux, the shape of the web changing as leading companies have major redesigns or new toolsets like Bootstrap make web development more accessible.
In 2016, we’ve got faster connections and more variety in screen sizes than ever before. More users are browsing on the go, but still expecting media-rich, tailored experiences.
The following ten web design trends are all either making an explosive rise to popularity, or the technology has finally solidified and become advanced enough for them to be in full swing this year. You probably will recognize a number of these features from the websites you use every day.
1. Background Video
How many times have you found yourself scrolling through your Facebook newsfeed just to stop at a quick video?
Video draws attention. This is important in today’s Internet of short attention spans. Having a background video playing on your home page draws the attention of the user and makes them stay on your website.
Background video is also very effective at quickly establishing a mood. For example, a background video going through shots of your employees collaborating, hard at work, and then relaxing after work over a couple beers gives off the vibe of a fun office that works hard and plays hard.
When you go to IUQO’s website, you are immediately greeted with an enchanting background video of the sky. The video is high quality, interesting and immediately establishes a peaceful atmosphere.
So you want to get a handle on the main types of fonts used by graphic designers and typographers every day. We have a list of the 17 of most used kinds of typefaces in general order of their usage and popularity. The most elementary and different kinds of fonts are here listed for you, so look no further!
We’ll look at all our examples using the same format: the name of the font, a basic description, and an example so you can see each one in action. Here we go!
Serif fonts are typefaces composed of lines with their ends embellished with small marks or strokes making them easy to read. Serifs originated in the Latin Alphabet. An example of classic serif fonts are Times Roman, New Century Gothic, and Palatino.
BonFX has spun off a child company: Oxbow SEO! If you need qualified search engine optimization services, please visit Oxbow SEO here! You might also pop by our SEO Meetup in Providence for high-value content, networking, and killer coffee. We have a very cool space to meet in for the first few Meetups, thanks to very cool art gallery ArtProv. We’ll take you from the humble example from antiquity of how to stretch pizza dough up through the most cutting edge SEO methods that work today.
So, check out OxbowSEO when you need a local SEO consultant in the Rhode Island area!
“Graphics Sifu” – Everything you need from a squeeze page templates package
Every now and then I come across a crazy deal as owner of this design blog. I don’t know how people make money on some of these packages they put together, but this one is LOADED to capacity! Let’s not ask how they make money, but rather, how can we take advantage of their hard work to put this together.
If you are like me, you are tired of wasting time 1) searching for the right product and 2) discovering you bought the wrong one.
The best product for something like putting together squeeze pages is one that has EVERYTHING you need in it, and it shows you in a transparent way. Fonts, graphics, templates, HTML snippets, buttons, dividers, text-effects, ribbons, etc. In short, all the standard items you know you have seen on squeeze pages (that YOU yourself have bought things through!) are right here and you can “see what’s in the box” before purchasing! Boom! Transparency works for you in this case.
Look at all the value they packed in this deal! If you need all the pieces to slap together a squeeze page template or a landing page template, this one dinky purchase will save you a ridiculous amount of time. Here is a list of what it contains. It’s too long to read so just skim it. Basically, it’s in there:
Number Displays 1
Number Displays 2
Minisite Template (Wood)
Minisite Template (Futuristic)
Minisite Template (Plain)
Minisite Template (Envelope)
Minisite Template (Grunge)
Squeeze Page 1
Squeeze Page 2
Squeeze Page 3
Squeeze Page 4
Squeeze Page 5
Squeeze Page 6
Squeeze Page 7
Squeeze Page 8
Squeeze Page 9
Squeeze Page 10
3D Text Effect
Photoshop Text Styles 1
Photoshop Text Styles 2
Photoshop Text Styles 3
Web Ribbons 1
Web Ribbons 2
Order Buttons 2
Bullet Point Graphics
Minisite Template 1 (Health)
Minisite Template 2 (Dating)
Minisite Template 3 (Money)
Minisite Template 4 (Secret)
Minisite Template 5 (Real Estate)
And look at these previews! Yep, it’s all there and then some. Click below to see them all:
So, take a look at this deal up close. You can download all this for HOW MUCH? How can this be possible? Click through for the price (we hid it because you have to see it to believe it…and you’ve read this far!).
P.S.: Remember, in the time it took you to even READ this article, much less read another, what, 20 more, you can download this sucker and start playing with it. Don’t waste any more time: this is the squeeze page templates and landing page templates package you were looking for 🙂
P.S.S.: Click the “instant access button” and stop looking for “better” free ones. You haven’t even seen the price yet! Once you see it, you’ll regret having wasted time looking in other places. Click above!
UPDATE: 12/14/2105: Big updates and price drop – head right over to Oxbow Domains to check it out!
Elliot and I have been working on “Ox” for months! From concept, code, logo and brand identity, to typography and e-commerce! There are a lot of disciplines all wrapped up in our beta release of Ox, our expired domain scraper. The free period is only during beta, but check it out and get on the list for updates on the commercial release. Note that every beta will have a free trial period! Whatever expired domains you find you get to keep! So check out the latest entry into the realm of expired domain software with a modern, clean-design, cross-platform twist.
..Current release is 0.9.3. This is the free (as in beer!) beta release of Ox, our standalone domain scraping app, which can find hundreds or even thousands of expired domains in just hours. Ox supports proxies and automatically returns DA and PA for each available domain, and domain availability checking is provided by Namecheap (you can check their supported TLDs page to get an idea of what’s available. Basically, just about everything).
Ox is in beta so it’s a totally free expired domains scraper during this time. But when it goes on sale…[s]ay goodbye to subscription payments–Ox will pay for itself the very first day. No caps: Since Ox is running from home, you don’t have to worry about arbitrary limits being placed on your searches. Run it as long as you want! Searches 1m+ are quite easy and you can find thousands of domains from one URL.
Oh, and the beta expires June 7th, so don’t waste time and free domains. Give it a shot now!
Source: Ox Expired Domains Scraper
An Inspiring Collection of Fonts
FontShop sold a typeface collection called “100 Best Fonts” for a limited time in Germany a little while back. The website for this special promotion generously listed the names of all 100 best typefaces for graphic design with background information in German. When the typeface collection was no longer available, the promotional site itself retained a life of its own, serving as a go-to reference for graphic designers looking for inspiration. The PDF on the promotional website is a beautiful piece of design work, a nice visual resource, and just plain fun to look at even if you don’t read German. (NOTE: You can click the typeface names for more info)
How could this great list be improved? I was interested into what categories and classifications these classic fonts were placed, what foundries they were from, and what interesting insights might avail themselves if I could see all the data in one place. I also wanted one place to see examples of all these great typefaces, so I put those together too. Enjoy, and leave a comment!
If you do a google search for “what fonts go with…”, you’ll see Futura, Century Gothic, Bebas, and a few other suggestions pop up in the auto-suggest tool. We just did a post on fonts that look great with Futura, and now we are continuing on to Century Gothic.
Century Gothic is similar in some fundamental ways to Futura, but has some very unique differences that clearly set it apart. For instance, notice how the terminals of the letter “C” (and other letters) differ from each other in this illustration (which I reconstructed from an uncredited source on Pinterest):
The perpendicular cut of Futura seems to make it feel more “serious”, where Century Gothic feels a bit less formal. If you compare Century Gothic and Futura in a variety of settings, you’ll see that to a large degree they can be used interchangeably. So, let’s see what fonts work with Century Gothic, pulling from a list of classic typefaces we keep handy, and see what kind of look and feel we can get going.