Reinvent Your Photographs with the Pixel Is Data App

Reinterpreted images of the Jennifer Smith Design Logo created using the Pixel Is Data App

Reinterpreted images of the Jennifer Smith Design Logo

Are you tired of the same old selfies, blurry pets and food pics?

Check out the free Pixel Is Data app that allows you to adjust the pixels of your photos with options like density, pattern, size and noise, or you can reprocess your images using the presets.

After you have created your masterpiece, share it on Facebook or Twitter.

All of the reinvented images above were created using the same Jennifer Smith Design logo shown in the middle.

Warning:  So many options make the Pixel Is Data app extremely addictive.

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Has the Digital Age Created a New Demand for Tangible Marketing?

Cupcake Illustration

© 2013 Jennifer Smith

I saw something interesting while watching footage of the last X Games. Freestyle Motor Cross Rider, Todd Potter interacted with his fans by handing out paper mustaches that resembled his own—a great real-world example of marketing without technology. Every time the cameras panned the audience at the Staples Center, viewers could see hundreds of people wearing his signature mustaches.

While interactive marketing efforts are based on the ability of consumers to converse with advertisers and affect branding, this occurs electronically, and though social media is used as a platform that allows businesses to have human relationships with their customers, it is rare that an actual human is presented.

We have become desensitized to the real world to such an extreme, that we actually socialize with our mobile devices, but this has created a new opportunity for clever marketers to provide an old-fashioned-turned-fresh experience for their audiences by, once again, giving them things they can touch, taste and smell or people who they can interact with face to face.

Our obsession with technology has made physical and personal seem new and exciting.

Since the inundation of digital everything has left us craving anything genuine, now is the perfect time to be extraordinarily creative and interject something uniquely human, into our marketing campaigns.

Have you seen any new marketing strategies that don’t rely on technology?

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What Can Your Business Do With Vine?

Image of Vine Logo by Jennifer Smith DesignIt’s easy to become obsessed with Twitter’s mobile app, Vine. This nearly effortless video tool that only records six-second movies, lets its users capture small and shareable pieces of their everyday lives.

For those who tend to be more creative, Vine facilitates collage-style filming or stop-motion animation, allowing the user to start and continue recording by tapping and holding on the screen or to stop recording upon release, as many times as the six-second format will accept.

While I’ve had a great time experimenting with the Vine app personally, its potential to serve as another excellent social tool for businesses cannot be ignored.

Video continues to be a powerful instrument for online marketing efforts. With Vine, businesses can take advantage of the effectiveness of the medium with free, simple and concise clips to share on Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms, as well as their websites and email.

How can your business use Vine?

Here are twenty examples of how you can make Vine work for your business.

  1. Restaurant Daily Specials
  2. Retail Sale of the Day
  3. Introducing Your Employees
  4. Employee of the Month
  5. Customer Vine Video Contests
  6. Event Image Montage
  7. Quick Tips
  8. 360 Degree Views of Products or Locations for Sale or Rent
  9. Campaign Tool for Political Issues
  10. Non-Profit Donation Appeals
  11. Churches–Bible Passages
  12. “Get to Know Your” Candidate, Pastor, Butcher, Printer, Barista, Radio DJ etc.
  13. Fitness Demonstrations–Yoga Poses, Exercise Techniques, Martial Arts Moves
  14. Teasers for Bands, Theater Companies, Other Live Performances
  15. Testimonials
  16. Product Demonstrations
  17. Before and After Process Videos–Hair Styles, Nail Styles, Home Decorating, Fashion, etc.
  18. Food or Beverage Preparation from Start to Finished Product
  19. Clever, Soap-Opera-Style Advertising Series
  20. Jokes

The possibilities are only limited by your imagination.  Use Vine today to give your business more personality and to show instead of tell your potential customers.

I have started a hashtag on Vine to show examples of how some businesses are using their Vine videos. Use #vinebusiness if you would like to see them or tag your own examples.

How are you making Vine work for your business?

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Size Does Matter

Size Does Matter Social Network User Infographic

Size Does Matter
© 03/16/13
Jennifer Smith Design

Do you want to make your Social Media Sites look unique, consistent and professional? Use this Info Graphic to get started with up-to-date image sizing for your custom designs. All of the layout information you need for Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and You Tube One has been consolidated so you can stop googling dimensions and start creating.

If you have a fabulous, customized profile that you want to show off, post a comment so we can all check it out.

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Does Your Business Have a Social Media Marketing Strategy?

Cartoon Image of a toilet with Twitter birds by Jennifer Smith at Jennifer Smith Design

copyright 2013 Jennifer Smith

Social Media can no longer be dismissed as a trend. People of all ages, backgrounds and cultures are engaging. They are using desktops, laptops and smart devices. They do it while watching TV, while they work and even in the bathroom according to Nielsen’s 2012 Report.

Social Media is not going away. Whether your business decides to leverage social platforms or not, it is inevitable that a Social Media presence will materialize as employees and customers talk about their experiences with or without your permission.

Since people are going to be talking about your business anyway, doesn’t it make sense to become an active part of that exchange?

Where do you start?

As with any marketing strategy, your first steps are going to be figuring out what message your business wants to send to the world and gaining an understanding of who your customers are. If your business is established, congratulations that work is already done.

Next, you will have to decide what platforms you want to utilize. It is easiest to start with popular choices like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube. After you become comfortable with those, start exploring the multitude of other options and add platforms that you find interesting and relative to your business.

Block out time to dedicate to your Social Media Marketing. Small businesses are spending approximately sixty to ninety minutes per day interacting. It is important to make sure that you or your employees who are assigned to this task are keeping up with content on a daily basis.

Your Social Media Marketing Strategy should be in sync with all of your other marketing strategies. It should include an outline of how you or any of your employees will interact with customers via Social Media networks in a way that is consistent with your business’s message and how you wish to convey that message.

CRM policies should be outlined for consistent response and procedures to handle customer complaints or offensive posts. Even if only one person is managing all of your Social Media, guidelines will facilitate quicker responses that continue to reflect the message your business has worked so hard to develop and promote.

What should you talk about?

Remember, you are being SOCIAL so keep it fun and genuine. Don’t try to push people to purchase your product or services. You wouldn’t do that to your friends. Simply engage and form a personal connection with your customers. They are more likely to remember a friendly conversation than a sales pitch.

Listen carefully to what people are talking about but don’t forget to initiate conversations yourself. Make sure to post meaningful content, whether it is informative or just entertaining. Social Media has been around long enough now that people can tell when you are posting randomly just to have something to say and they can sense insincerity.

Does your business have a Social Networking Policy?

Now that we’ve covered the fun stuff, there is something else to consider. Social Media can make your business vulnerable.

Whether or not your business uses Social Media, your employees do. They may do this in their off time or on the job which can often help but sometimes hurt your business, depending on the conversation. A Social Networking Policy should be implemented to inform your employees, to protect your business from possible lawsuits, to keep proprietary information secure and to ensure a relationship with your customers that is both professional and in alignment with your standards and message.

Why wait any longer?

Start your Social Media Marketing adventure today.

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Capturing the Elusive Favicon

It seems that more web designers than not have given up on trying to make the favicon work for them.  After more attempts than I can count, I have finally found the correct process and code to ensure that my favicon will appear consistently across browsers, and will not disappear intermittently from Internet Explorer.

Following is a quick tutorial that will simplify using a favicon on your sites.

1. Create the image you want to use for your favicon.  This should be a square image that is larger than 16px square and can be a jpg, gif, png or bmp.

2. Use a favicon generator like this one offered at dynamicdrive.com to convert your favicon into the favicon.ico format you will need.

3. Insert the following code into the head area of your html.

<link rel=”icon” type=”image/gif” href=”/yourdir/filename.gif” /> <!–[if IE]> <link

rel=”shortcut icon” href=”/favicon.ico” type=”image/vnd.microsoft.icon” /> <![endif]–>

4. Replace /yourdir/filename.gif with the location of your original favicon (before conversion).

5. Save the favicon.ico that was created in the favicon generator to your root directory.  This is very important; If it is not placed in the root directory, it will not work in all browsers.

And that is all there is to it.  Good luck with your favicon.

 

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Getting Started

As a newer graphic designer, I spend countless hours searching through tutorials and books and code.  I’m usually looking for a way to implement a specific idea that I have or just the tools to use something that seems standard.

I am always so grateful when I find the one piece of information that tells me, in simple terms and organized copy, exactly what I have been searching for.

That is exactly what I hope to bring with this blog to any of you out there searching.

So, when I figure out those bits and pieces that I find so valuable, I will share them with you and hope that you might save a little time by finding it here first.

I look forward to sharing what I find with you all in future posts.

Jennifer Smith

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