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Design Masterclass: From Zero to Hero

By Jae Aquino


High-quality resources for aspiring and experienced designers (This course will still be updated from time to time.)

Jae Aquino — Author & Visual Designer at Envato

1 Dieter Rams 10 Principles of “Good (web) Design”

Back in the early 1980s, Dieter Rams was becoming increasingly concerned by the state of the world around him - "an impenetrable confusion of forms, colors and noises". Aware that he was a significant contributor to that world, he asked himself an important question: is my design good design? As good design cannot be measured in a finite way he

3 Here Are The Hard Skills You Need To Succeed As A New Designer

Here Are The Hard Skills You Need To Succeed As A New DesignerMany of my friends either manage or mentor teams of designers. Their main complaint about new designers? They're unprepared for the real world of interaction design. There seems to be a disconnect between what they did in college versus the nuts and bolts of interaction design that need

4 13 Ways Designers Screw Up Client Presentations — Medium

The hardest part of design is presenting work. You can't even argue about this. I've seen people who did amazing work get up in front of a client and lay eggs. I've also seen people do alright work and work clients around their little finger. Optimally, you want to do good work and present it well. But I'd rather have

5 Nine skills that separate good and great designers

~ 29 September 2006 ~ Last Friday I had the pleasure of presenting "Essential Web Skills" at Webmaster Jam Session in Dallas, Texas. It was a veritable blast, and the conference organizers were certainly a pleasure to work with. I won't delve into a lengthy play-by-play coverage of the proceedings; Andy Budd seems to have done so nicely. Without blatant

7 What I Learned In My First Year as a Product Designer

What I Learned In My First Year as a Product DesignerFor the past year, I've had an incredible experience contributing to the design team at Edmodo, a K-12 education startup backed by Greylock Partners, Benchmark Capital, and Union Square Ventures. While I wasn't new to building stuff, having hacked projects together with friends in college, the last twelve months have

8 Infographic: 10 Commandments of Logo Design

September 5, 2014 A comprehensive visual about the basic principles of logo design.We previously posted an article about two absolutely clever infographic featuring the 10 Commandments of Typography and Color Theory. The designers at DesignMantic created a sequel - this time, they're focusing on the 10 Commandments of Logo Design. This visual presents some essential principles to keep in mind

9 How to Create Patterns in Design Projects | Design Shack

Think of how many patterns you follow in your daily routine. From waking up and getting ready for work to falling asleep each night, the day is filled with these small repeating elements that create order and calm. Patterns in design do the very same thing: These repeating elements can bring order to a project and create a sense of

10 Hatch's 10 Quick Design Tips To Improve Your Website

We see it all the time. Websites that have so much potential but fail on the design basics. Some of our client websites that we can't wait to put on the portfolio often end up being changed to the point of embarrassment; bigger fonts, more content, glow in the dark spinny things, garish icons...the list goes on. These 10 quick

11 SAP Design Guild -- Introduction to Design Thinking

The SAP Design Guild is a website in which SAP offers its interface design tools and methods to the user interface community at large. It is also intended to serve as a forum for active and open discussion on user- and business-related topics.

12 SAP Design Guild -- SAP'S Visual Design Vision and Mission

Vision The vision of the SAP User Experience - Visual Design team is to extend the SAP brand to the user interface and bring retail quality experience to our software. We aim to make the product attractive and desirable by rooting the visual design in the tradition of product design excellence.

13 Gestalt Principles and the Psychology of Design

The word "gestalt" gets thrown around a lot in design. Taken from the German word for "form" or "shape," it often refers to the overall look of something that is greater than the sum of its parts. In psychology, gestalt refers to the basic principles that allow us to visually perceive order. These principles are fundamental building blocks for creating

14 How to be a creative director

We asked a selection of creative directors to share their insights and the benefits of their experience. It's many designers' ultimate goal to become the creative director of a successful agency. But the stark truth is that not everyone gets to achieve their dream. So what kind of qualities do you need to become a creative director, and how do

20 Do you have what it takes to be an art director?

When I first set out to find a standard definition of art direction, it took me three sessions - not search terms, but sessions - to dig past fluff (articles that use a lot of words to say very little), self promotion ("art direction is hey I'm really special and you should hire me"), and general writings about creative leadership

21 Don't Fall In Love With Your First Ideas

The most important thing to remember when starting a new corporate venture or startup business is not to fall in love with your first ideas. What you really want to do in the beginning is to rapidly explore different alternatives. Don't spend time agonizing over the perfect solution and don't expect to get everything right all up front. Use the

22 BenBlog

In a startup, your product is everything. It is why you start your endeavor. It defines your culture, the way you work and it builds your brand - especially in the early days. You hire people based on your product vision and you find costumers that understand why they need your product and pay you money for using it. The

24 Off To The Races: Getting Started With Design Sprints - Smashing Magazine

Many modern software development best practices draw on influences from the industrial era and concepts like specialization, where individuals with specialized skills worked in an assembly line to mass-produce physical products. These practices from the world of manufacturing have come to influence how things are done when designing and building software products as well. Lean thinking is one of the

26 Designers are Tech's Newest Superstars

Yes, the headline's a little glib- superstars exist in every profession and superstar developers are still of paramount importance. That said, there are notable trends and forces further elevating the importance of design talent to a technology enterprise: Software is easier than ever to build and distribute hence the buyer has more choices so it's a quality game and good

27 Why I design at Facebook

Why Design at FacebookThe most classic story of Facebook, in my opinion, has nothing to do with its humble beginnings in a dorm room. It has nothing to do with Justin Timberlake swigging booze at a club and rhapsodizing about making a billion dollars. In fact, it has very little to do with the story of any individual. The most

28 Five Principles to Design By

Five high-level principles that guide my design. 1. Technology Serves Humans.Too often people blame themselves for the shortcomings of technology. When their computer crashes, they say "I must have done something dumb". If a web site is poorly designed, they say "I must be stupid. I can't find it". They might even turn to a book for Dummies to get

29 'Origins of Common UI Symbols' by Shuffle Magazine

They are road signs for your daily rituals - the instantly recognized symbols and icons you press, click and ogle countless times a day when you interact with your computer. But how much do you know about their origins? Originally published by Bryan Gardiner (http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2010/08/computer-symbols-history/all/)

30 The Shape of Design by Frank Chimero

Frank Chimero and I came together over a shared commitment to jazz. But not only exchanges of music. We emulated the form. He would write a blog post. I would respond. I would improvise one of his hunches. He would iterate one of my posts. A call-and-response approach to a developing friendship. We wrote like this alongside one another without

32 Story-centered design: hacking your brain to think like a user

When I first started designing interactive products, it was a struggle. Small projects were fine. But when the interactions got more complex, I noticed that tools, team communication, and even my own thinking started breaking down. I see many startups facing these same problems today. So I wanted to share some of the ways that I've changed my design process

33 A Guide to Optimising Photoshop Performance

Many of us have a love hate relationship with Photoshop. It's an incredibly powerful tool that helps us get stuff done, it is however also undeniably temperamental. At times it can slow down or become unresponsive. So today I'm going to try and help you optimise Photoshop based on your needs. Taking the time to tweak a few performance settings

34 Behavior Design

A lot is written about User Experience design, but today, let's talk about Behavior Design-specifically how to use Motivation, Ability, and Triggers to shape your users/customer's behavior. First things first: What is User Experience Design?UX (or User Experience) design is just that: proactively and thoughtfully designing the way your user interacts with your product. But it's also much more than

36 Google Ventures On 8 Shortcuts For Better, Faster Design Research

I've been doing design and UX research for almost 24 years. In that time, I've learned a lot, and I hope I've gotten better at it over the years. One thing is certain: I'm more productive now than when I first started. I'm not any smarter (just ask my co-workers). I'm not working more hours. So what's my secret? Shortcuts.

37 Focus on Methods, Not Process

At a glance, method and process may seem like the same thing, but a closer look reveals their distinct differences. A method is a how you do something, while process is putting methods through an established routine. Don't get stuck thinking a process will solve your problems because without effective methods, you're likely to end up with an uninspired result.

38 The Transformative Power of Personal Projects

Bored with his ad agency gig and the uninspiring work he was producing, Ji Lee - now Creative Director of Google Creative Lab - decided to take matters into his own hands in 2002. The result was the ad-spoofing Bubble Project, in which Lee placed blank speech bubbles on ads around New York City. The masses responded and the project

39 Design Team of One

(This article was ported over from Stemmings.com) For the last year and a half I've been the only designer at a startup. Super fun, right?! Well, yeah, actually. But it's not without it's challenges, too. When I accepted the job, I had a lot of excitement about the opportunity to build out the design from the ground up, but also

40 Why Design Methods Matter

Getting stuck thinking about process is an easy trap for designers to fall into. Sure you'll solve problems, but without effective methods, those results will be ' well, uninspiring. That's why at ZURB we focus on methods, not process. Methods are the backbone of the design process. It's deadly tough to build products effectively without developing a few design methods

45 5 Rules for Designing Like Apple

We bet there was a time when a lot of us refused to buy an Apple product. A time when we were steadfast in our commitment to PCs. Too expensive, some of us probably said. But slowly we started making the transition. It may have started with an iPhone. Maybe the earliest Macbooks. Soon, we were hooked. Although, some of

46 Apple's design process

Posted by: Helen Walters on March 08, 2008 Interesting presentation at SXSW from Michael Lopp, senior engineering manager at Apple, who tried to assess how Apple can 'get' design when so many other companies try and fail. After describing Apple's process of delivering consumers with a succession of presents ("really good ideas wrapped up in other really good ideas" -

47 MCSV | MailChimp

You probably found this page because one of our subscribers used MailChimp to send you an email campaign, and you traced a link in the email back here to investigate. MailChimp is an email-marketing service that serves more than 8 million companies of all shapes and sizes, from all over the world.

48 Good Design is Innovative (Part 1) - The Industry

The following is the first in a ten-part series exploring legendary industrial designer Dieter Rams' ten principles for good design as they relate to digital products. Good design is innovative. The possibilities for innovation are not, by any means, exhausted. Technological development is always offering new opportunities for innovative design. But innovative design always develops in tandem with innovative technology,

49 Good Design Makes a Product Useful (Part 2) - The Industry

The following is the second in a ten-part series exploring legendary industrial designer Dieter Rams' ten principles for good design as they relate to digital products. Good design makes a product useful. A product is bought to be used. It has to satisfy certain criteria, not only functional, but also psychological and aesthetic. Good design emphasizes the usefulness of a

52 3M: Don't Let Efficiency Ruin Your Creativity

For an innovative company like 3M, who invented masking tape, Thinsulate, and the Post-it note, stifling creativity was a major concern after a series of "efficiency boosting" techniques were implemented. On BusinessWeek, Brian Hindo discusses how they've struggled since with balancing creativity and productivity. As 3M's past CEO George Buckley elaborates: Invention is by its very nature a disorderly process.

54 Golden Ratio in logo designs

Golden Ratio in logo designs. Beauty and aesthetics have been praised from time immemorial. But little did people know that the most effective, perfectly balanced, and visually compelling creations followed the tid-bits of mathematics. At least not until 1860, when German physicist and psychologist Gustav Theodor Fechner proposed that a simple ratio, an irrational number defines the balance in nature.

55 Illustrator Trick: How to avoid blurred Pixel Fonts & Shapes

Have you ever used a pixel font? If so, have you experienced the text looking blurred, unsettled, not sharp? This Illustrator tutorial will help you avoid this hurdle! Pixel fonts are quite popular these days. It all started in Flash: these developers have been using pixel fonts for some time now. The trend soon swopped over to static design, and

57 Principles of Good Design (Non-Dieter Rams edition)

After designing many apps and websites for both ourselves and our clients over the years, I've come up with a loose framework on how I determine what is good design. It is in no way rigid or written in stone but rather constantly evolving as we get better as designers, as the industry changes, and as we get more feedback.

58 I Only Work On Shiny Products

I'm hiring designers right now for an unshiny commercial real-estate/tech startup. I've been talking to friends and candidates. As soon as I say "real-estate," their eyes glaze over, and they start pondering their grocery list. What's going on here? A friend explained, "My designer friends only work on shiny products." Well put, friend. And I know what you mean. Why

62 Designing Style Guidelines For Brands And Websites

A website is never done. Everyone has worked on a project that changed so much after it launched that they no longer wanted it in their portfolio. One way to help those who take over your projects is to produce a style guide. Edward Tufte once said: "Great design is not democratic; it comes from great designers. If the standard

63 Blueprints For Web And Print: Specctr, A Free Adobe Illustrator Plugin

Have you ever submitted design files to a development team for production and a few weeks later gotten something back that looks nothing like your original work? Many designers and design teams make the mistake of thinking that their work is done once they've completed the visual design stage. A design is more than a simple drawing on a canvas

64 Unveiling Photoshop Masks

Design is a fluid and shifting process in which layers are constantly modified and tweaked. As complexity builds, so does the need for preserving data in a flexible way. Learning non-destructive editing techniques helps you produce documents that bend along with your creativity. Photoshop Masks are the cornerstone of this process. Not only do they preserve important pixel data, but

65 Genius Ways To Use Photoshop Smart Objects

What They AreAdobe says: "Smart Objects are layers that contain image data from raster or vector images, such as Photoshop or Illustrator files. Smart Objects preserve an image's source content with all its original characteristics, enabling you to perform nondestructive editing to the layer." I say: Smart Objects are magical containers. They can hold an image, a vector graphic, or

66 Secrets of a branding agency's website redesign

At branding, design and communications agency Wemakedesign, bringing to life a brand's story is what we do best. But what about when we decided to turn the spotlight on ourselves, and redesign our own website? It's often hard to have a clear vision of who you are, what you do well. You often cannot see the woods for the trees

68 The Benefits of Sketching by Hand

When it's time to prototype your new idea, you may want to hold off on firing up Photoshop right away. Over at Smashing Magazine, author Laura Busche highlights the benefits of hand sketching as opposed to digital sketching: Extends memory: "The better you become at translating imagery from your mind to paper, the more visual resources you will have to

69 Positioning

The definition of marketing will vary depending on the professor, depending on the age of the marketer, and even depending on the book you read. However the bottom line is marketing is the "positioning" of a product, name and or service in the mind of the consumer. It's all about positioning. Some may ask well what is positioning? And why

70 The Ninja Skill for UX Designers

We've seen one big trend in how startups interview UX designers: companies want to know how designers think through a problem. There are multiple ways to do this of course. You can ensure your UX portfolio demonstrates your work, and more importantly your process. You can develop a slide deck walkthrough of specific design projects. But the technique that works

73 15 Design Tips to Learn From Apple

There is no shortage of companies that follow popular design trends to appeal to a mass market. Much more rare is the breed of company that actually sets design trends. Today we'll examine the techniques of a company that occupies the top of the design food chain: Apple. Below you'll find 15 practical ways to follow Apple's example in creating

74 UI Design Dos and Don'ts

iOS 7 raises the bar for excellence in user interface design and offers great opportunities for you to deliver engaging and unique user experiences. Consider these common design concepts before you start coding to enhance the usability and appeal of your apps. To see more recommendations for great interface design, read the iOS Human Interface Guidelines.

76 Invisible Design

By PoL Úbeda Hervàs flickr.com/photos/polubeda/Invisible Design"Good design...Is as little design as possible" - Dieter RamsPeople often expect designers to have a certain sensibility towards well-crafted interfaces. And that's not untrue-a brief perusal on dribbble, for instance, reveals no shortage of beautiful pixels. But some of the best-designed experiences require little to no new pixel work. Why? Because any new interface

77 Google's Material Design

At Google we say, "Focus on the user and all else will follow." We embrace that principle in our design by seeking to build experiences that surprise and enlighten our users in equal measure. This site is for exploring how we go about it.

78 Forget about Results, Just Create

Inspiring Creativity is a short film created by Liberatum featuring 21 creative minds across multiple disciplines and what inspires their work. Although the film interviews some of the most talented individuals in their fields, architect and designer Karim Rashid argues that everyone is naturally creative: When I meet someone who is thirty or forty years old and 'Oh, I'm so

79 Visual Design Basics

Visual design focuses on the aesthetics of a site and its related materials by strategically implementing images, colors, fonts, and other elements. A successful visual design does not take away from the content on the page or function. Instead, it enhances it by engaging users and helping to build trust and interest in the brand. Basic Elements of Visual DesignThe

80 Elements and Principles of Design

The elements and principles of design are the building blocks used to create a work of art. The elements of design can be thought of as the things that make up a painting, drawing, design etc. Good or bad - all paintings will contain most of if not all, the seven elements of design. The Principles of design can be

81 Jay Doblin's Seven Levels of Design

While we think about design thinking as being something of a modern day phenomenon, it’s really as old as the hills. I’ve recently been combing through Doblin’s archives-and I came across a piece written in 1978 by the company founder Jay Doblin.

82 Craftsmanship in Designing Websites

By Shawn Borsky With high pressure from clients and crazy development schedules for web designers, it is easy to forget to spend the proper amount of time crafting a design. In the interest of speeding things up, it's tempting to skip over small details. This is an easy pitfall to which to succumb, but in the end, it can hurt

84 Design Process is a Myth

@HEMEONDesign Process is a MythTypically, when a product design falls flat, people want to insert a design process to fix the bad design. However, much like the Ancient Psychic Tandem War Elephant, a one-size-fits-all design process does not exist. Don't force a process on a design team that everyone must follow. Every designer has their own unique way of solving

86 Reimagining Codecademy.com

We have recently launched a considerable redesign of Codecademy.com, which you can read about in detail in our blog. Now, we would like to take this opportunity to expand on the main design principles that helped us guide through this 3-month undertaking. Our UI toolkit covering every element, such as header, footer, form fields, button styles, sign up modules, grid,

87 How to Work with Designers

Photo by Rasmus AnderssonHow to Work with DesignersA Cheat Sheet for Engineers and PMsOnce, a long time ago, I was a product manager. Then, I was an engineer. For the past seven years, I've been in design. Every single day, I work with people in all of these roles. Every single day, I find new ways to appreciate the responsibilities,

88 14 Things Learned Designing at Disqus

A few weeks ago I worked my last day at Disqus, the number one commenting system on the internet. My time with the company was the most exciting and educational two years of my career. I never thought it was possible to learn so much about something so seemingly simple as comments. Disqus is now used on millions of websites

89 Design for Delight

I had the privilege of visiting the Intuit campus yesterday, thanks to my friend, Vince. Over lunch, he began to explain to me the background of the company in regards to design. Intuit used to be just your regular Silicon Valley tech company until they made a change. The company's leader decided to start pushing design in the forefront, and

90 What I Learned About Design at Squarespace

As I began to clear out my desk that last week at Squarespace and thought about saying goodbye to my colleagues, I realized I felt the same way I did my last week at college, knowing the end of my time on campus was drawing to a close. It was just as difficult to mentally prepare for my move back

91 Test Your Creativity: 5 Classic Creative Challenges

Fascinated by how brains and creativity work, we frequently share new research on the 99U twitter feed, showing how everything from drinking alcohol, to taking vacations, to moving your eyes from side to side can make you more creative. What's particularly interesting, however, is that most of these studies rely on just a small group of core creativity tests -

93 11 Sneaky Psychology Tricks Restaurants Use To Make You Spend More Money

Flickr / Ian T. McFarlandEating out is so common we don't really think about the work that goes into creating a fine dining experience. Yet behind the scenes, menu engineers and consultants put careful thought into the way you choose what foods you eat. Here are 11 of the sneakiest psychological tricks restaurants use to make you spend more money:

94 The 90 best Tumblr blogs for designers

Tumblr is a micro blogging service and social network that makes it mega-easy for anyone to set up their own blog. Tumblr blogs can be set up in a matter of minutes - get some pro tips for creating a design blog here - and having a Tumblr account also enables you to 'follow' other people via their Tumblr blogs.

95 Objectified


Amazon.com: Objectified: Paola Antonelli, Chris Bangle, Andrew Blauvelt, Anthony Dunne, Dan Formosa, Naoto Fukasawa, Ideo, Jonathan Ive, Hella Jongerius, David Kelley, Bill Moggridge, Marc Newson, Fiona Raby, Dieter Rams, Karim Rashid, Alice Rawsthorn, Smart Design, Davin Stowell, Jane Fulton Suri, Rob Walker, Gary Hustwit: Movies & TV

97 1.2 Making the Transition from Development to Design

A couple months ago, a person emailed me asking for tips for transitioning to design from a development background. As someone who had loosely gone through the same path (from programming to design to programming then back to design), I wanted to share any advice I could possibly give. After writing the letter, I thought it may be useful to

98 1.3 We're Not Unhappy, We're Designers

Discontented observationalism is the designer's modus operandi. Design is fundamentally about improvement. To be ever heedful takes a special mind. One that observes in great detail to the extent of scrutinizing the subject, sometimes to the... | Morgan Knutson | Polarizing.

99 1.4 Complete Beginner's Guide to Interaction Design

Web design has followed a long and winding road from it's rather modest beginnings. Initially, the term "web designer," described something much more akin to that of a graphic designer: a designer who concerns themselves with the presentation of text and pictures. Today, however, the majority of websites and applications online are interactive. In turn, modern web designers are called

101 2.1 Typography Essentials - A Getting Started Guide

What is typography? And why is it so important to graphic designers? As long as you spell everything correctly and make sure the message is what the client wants to see, why does the font style make any difference? Because everything you touch, see and create is impacted by the use of writing styles and techniques. There are a lot

103 2.3 Better web typography in 13 simple steps

Now that web fonts are natively supported in most browsers and more and more typographic features are implemented in the latest versions of HTML and CSS, a bright new era of increasingly sophisticated web typography is upon us. This means web designers need to get (re)acquainted with the rules of classic typesetting - but it doesn't end there. Whereas print

107 4.1 Colour management and UI design

Most people who design web sites or apps in Photoshop will, at one point or another, have had issues trying to match colours in images to colours generated by HTML, CSS or code. This article aims to solve those problems once and for all.Colour management attempts to match colours across devicesIn the printing world, colour management typically involves calibrating your

108 Chapter 1: Marketing Strategy Defined

Too often, we skip past things... like titles - and nod our heads, assuming we know what they mean or even how they´re defined. But let´s slow down.The term "marketing strategy' might sound broad or vague to many, so let´s take the mystery out of it. Then you can understand, devise and implement your own marketing strategy - one that

109 Chapter 2: Two Step Marketing

When it comes to marketing your products or services, there are 2 basic challenges: How do you obtain new customers or clients? (By survey, this is the biggest concern for small businesses.) How do you get your existing customers to come back for more? (This is not given nearly the importance it deserves by small business owners.)The direct mail postcard,

110 Chapter 3: Attention Grabbing Marketing

When we got old enough to go to school, one of the first lessons we learned was NOT to draw attention to ourselves. We were taught a variety of ways to ensure we didn´t stand out in a crowd: Don´t slouch. Stand up straight. Use your inside voice. Smile for the camera. Wear what´s in style. Well, it´s time to

111 Chapter 4: Overcoming the 4 Marketing Obstacles

It is a time-tested truth in marketing that regular, repeated mailings are the way to create big, predictable results. When you mail every 30 days for a year, you will cause a dramatic growth in your business.I've explained why it is important to have a first "warm up" step incorporated into your marketing plan. And I have pointed out that

112 Chapter 5: Email Lead Generation is NOT the Answer

The optimal use of email marketing is to follow-up with leads you generate through outlets like direct mail or television, etc.Why can't I just use email?This is a question that I hear all the time from business owners, and I understand why - email is cheap, and so are business owners! I know because I am a business owner. We

115 Chapter 8: Marketing to Customers

Over the years one thing I've seen over and over again from small business owners is a failure to manage their customers properly from a marketing perspective.I look at customers as an investment, accruing a lifelong balance in the account of relationship-building. Don't create a sale; create a relationship. Customers have given you their ultimate vote of confidence: their money!

116 Chapter 9: Marketing to Follow-Up List

The second group you need to market to is what I call your "House Prospects" list. These are prospects that have actually contacted your business.Every time someone contacts your business, you absolutely need to get his or her contact information. If you make a rule out of this, you will, over time, grow a huge list of prospects that are

117 Chapter 10: Marketing to Targeted Prospects

The last group of people you should market to are those who have never purchased anything from you before, but can reasonably be expected to be interested.Some companies term this the "perfect audience" because these people are those who should be the most interested in your product or service - people that will BUY. Are you a brand new business?

118 Chapter 11: Targeted Mailing Lists 101

So, how does one go about finding the right mailing list? Once you know exactly who your market is, you can begin researching.Your list is an extremely important part of your mailing. It helps you match your product with your customer, one of the most basic factors in successful marketing. Again, I know it still seems complicated, but it's actually

119 Chapter 12: Targeted Mailing Lists 102: Keep Them Fresh

If you follow my advice and start mailing to the same list more than once, at some point you will find lists that produce returns (undeliverables) continually. You may notice you start receiving more returns than when you first started mailing to those lists.You may begin to see things like "Undeliverable as Addressed" or "Forwarding Order Expired." Every time you

120 Chapter 13: How to Design an Effective Ad

Which came first: the words or the design?Inquiring marketing minds want to know, but as is the case with so much of marketing, there is no single - let alone simple - answer. Words and design blend together to form what we in the industry call "impact." Impact doesn't happen in a vacuum. People respond to words and designs that

121 Chapter 14: 10 Elements of a Effective Postcard Design

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but an effective postcard design is worth a thousand prospects.The design of your postcard is almost as important in eliciting a response as getting a good list - it runs a very close second. Much as in deciding on a list, there are definite rules you should follow when designing a postcard.

122 Chapter 15: Writing Effective Ad Copy

Words are more than just letters strung together to convey meaning; words are powerful, living, vital things that create responses in your listener.Since what you say, who you say it to and how you say it are key parts of designing effective direct mail pieces, you need to know the words that sell. Naturally, I'm going to share them with

123 Chapter 16: Crafting a Successful Marketing Offer

It may seem counterintuitive to give your customers a price break when you are struggling with your revenue, and it may seem crazier to give them one when they are lining up to pay your normal rates, but there is more to it than meets the eye. Allow me to explain...There are two major functions that an offer (special rate,

125 Chapter 18: Building an Integrated Marketing Plan

So you've got direct mail postcards and all this new-fangled internet technology, but how do you integrate them to get the most for your money?Interesting you should ask, because actually using both mediums WILL get you the best results, and I just so happen to know how to do it. The key is to be in control of the process.

127 Chapter 20: Setting a Marketing Schedule

The optimal use of email marketing is to follow-up with leads you generate through outlets like direct mail or television, etc.So when planning your business marketing strategy, start thinking about your Valentine's Day Promotion or your Fourth of July promotion early - very early. Say - on the day before Thanksgiving. When scheduling your promotions, it's kind of like a

128 Chapter 21: Marketing Repetition is Crucial

Kids are instinctive about something I like to call The Rule of Repetition. It's a marketing secret that every child knows - and you should, too.In its least scientific - but most effective - form, The Rule of Repetition sounds a little something like this: "Mom, Mom, Mom, Mom, can I have an ice cream? Can I? Can I? Can

129 Chapter 22: Tracking Marketing Campaigns & Improving Results

How do you know your campaign is working?Some people just assume the card they like best is working - or the longest list is paying off with bigger profits. But that's assuming, not tracking. If you try to gauge results based on intuition versus information, it could cost you more than just the price of an ad campaign - it

130 Chapter 23: Lead Follow-Up Process

How many leads have come into your business that did not close? How many leads have come into your business since the beginning of time that never closed? I bet there are a lot.Whether you are a small company or a large one, the best leads are always the ones that are easy to close. But what about the prospects

131 Chapter 24: Complete Marketing Process Overview

That's it! You have the tools you need to implement (and maintain!) a successful postcard campaign. Enjoy a few moments of self-congratulatory high-fives.Alright, now get to work growing your business! Here's some refreshers to guide your way. 1: Target Your MarketRemember, your marketing will produce the best results for the lowest cost when you target prospects who are already interested

132 Chapter 25: Postcard Marketing Case Studies

Knowledge comes from a wide array of sectors. Books, magazines, seminars, classrooms and The School of Hard Knocks.We learn from others, from ourselves, from mentors, from coaches, from colleagues and competitors; if we are receptive to knowledge, they all become our teachers. In this chapter I have highlighted sixteen different industries through case studies of a few of our most

133 Chapter 26: Key Marketing Terms Defined

In this manual I've tried to include only those industry buzzwords I felt would be helpful to you.As a parting gift, and in recognition of the fact that you are soon to hold an honorary degree in PostcardMania (which makes you an honorary "maniac"), I wanted to share some more technical terms with you that you might come across as

136 The 10 Commandments of Outdoor Advertising

The commandments within assure a firm foundation when designing a billboard. It's up to you to decide what your message is and the concept that will deliver it, but if you follow these guidelines, you'll be a lot better off than 70% of outdoor advertisers. This is hard, I know. But not a single driver in the world will be

137 Remarkable Billboards Defined

You've probably already seen some of these examples* on the Web before, since their very outrageous creativity compels commentary and sharing. And if you're the advertiser, those are very good things! What most people don't realize is that the vast majority of these outstanding advertising billboards all follow or use one of Three Design Principles - principles that can easily

138 Billboard Design Tips

"Out of home" advertising may seem like a wild and untamed medium but when it comes to designing billboards there are a few rules you need to follow in order to maximize your outdoor advertising return on investment. Embrace these design tips and your outdoor advertising response is sure to improve. Billboard Design Tip #1 Simplicity rules! FACT: Uncluttered billboards

140 50 Style Guide Tools, Articles, Books and Resources

When you get started with the process of creating and applying your own Style Guides, be aware that you're not on your own. Style Guides have been around for a while now so there is a mountain of useful information available. You can learn a tremendous amount from examining what's already out there. There are also several great tools and

141 (free) Type Classification

Just Creative Design has just released their first eBook and it is only available to Just Creative Design subscribers - ensured by a password hidden at the

143 15 Best Places for Designers to Get Free Stock Photos Online

By Alex Cleanthous I'm not sure if you've ever had a look at the prices on some non-stock photography sites (pictures of Gummy bears for $769.00 anyone?), but they reach far beyond the budget of the typical designer/developer. However, many places online allow you to obtain high-quality stock photos for free, giving the average starving artist a chance to create

146 ConversionXL

You want to speed up your testing efforts, and run more tests. So now the question is - can you run more than one A/B test at the same time on your site? Will this increase the velocity of your testing program (and thus help you grow faster), or will it pollute the data since multiple separate tests could potentially

147 FontFeed

FontShop's David Sudweeks sat with type designer Mark Simonson at TypeCon 2014 "Capitolized" in Washington, DC to talk about Mark's work from the early days, submitting his first design to the ITC review board by mail in the late 1970s, to his ways of perceiving and working with original design ideas. With Typographic Dialogues, the theme of their 58th conference,

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