Friday, December 16, 2011

WORD - 10 Steps to an Engaging Interactive User Experience

So what can you do to make your user experience a pleasant one for your audience when creating interactive media?  You definitely need to keep your user in mind when designing your masterpiece.  Get others involved in critiquing your work.  Get feedback from all sorts of people and see what they have to say about your project.  Check out this great article on 10 Steps to an Engaging Interactive User Experience.

WORD - 10 Steps to an Engaging Interactive User Experience

So what can you do to make your user experience a pleasant one for your audience when creating interactive media?  You definitely need to keep your user in mind when designing your masterpiece.  Get others involved in critiquing your work.  Get feedback from all sorts of people and see what they have to say about your project.  Check out this great article on 10 Steps to an Engaging Interactive User Experience.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

WORD - 12 Design Features Web Designs Should Avoid

I constantly send out links to articles showcasing proper design techniques.  Today, let’s take a look at what you should avoid doing.  Check out this link to 12 Design Features Web Designs Should Avoid.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

WORD - Twitter

Have you set up a Twitter account yet?  If not, you’re missing out on the power of social media!  Many people don’t really know how Twitter can really benefit them because they don’t understand how to tweet properly.  Check out this link to Twitter Tips:  Everything You Wanted To Know But Were Afraid To Ask.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

WORD - 25+ Helpful Photoshop to HTML/CSS Tutorials

Web designers often start creating their designs in Photoshop, then convert them over to layouts that are optimized for web browsers.  Check out this link to 25+ Helpful Photoshop to HTML/CSS Tutorials.

Monday, December 12, 2011

WORD - Wordpress, Joomla, & Drupal: What Makes These CMS Different?

Have you tried installing a content management system (CMS) yet?  Wordpress, Joomla, and Drupal are all content management systems for the web.  They offer a template-like starting point for creating dynamic websites with lots of interactive features.  I encourage you all to set up a CMS site and use it as a blog or an outlet for creativity.  Check out this interesting article on Wordpress, Joomla, and Drupal:  What Makes These CMS Different?

Friday, December 9, 2011

Thursday, December 8, 2011

WORD - 10+ Beautiful Textured Website Layout Photoshop Tutorials

Adding textures usually adds appeal to an overall design.  Make sure to add subtle textures to your projects to enhance the aesthetics of the designs you create.  Check out this link to 10+ Beautiful Textured Website Layout Photoshop Tutorials.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

WORD - Tips on Designing Layouts Focused Around Content

Did you know that designing layouts for a web site involves much more than just adding cool graphics and trying to be unique with your artwork?  You should always consider designing your layouts around the content you’re showcasing for your target audience.  Check out this link to Tips on Designing Layouts Focused Around Content.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

WORD - Infographic: Google It

How many times have you heard the phrase, “just Google it!”?  Google often responds with thousands of possible answers every time we use it, but how do we filter out the junk from the gems online?  Most people don’t have the slightest clue of how to conduct research on Google.  Many times, we just put in keywords that we think will lead us to the webpages and answers we need.  There are many other ways to find content through Google with the right shortcuts and tricks.  Check out this interesting infographic:  Google It.

Monday, December 5, 2011

WORD - 20 Fabulous Free Christmas E-Greeting

Have you ever tried creating a holiday e-greeting for your family or friends?  As designers and developers, you should all try to create an e-greeting that would put a smile onto someone’s face.  It’s not very difficult to do.  Check out this link to 20 Fabulous Free Christmas E-Greetings to get some inspiration!  I challenge you all to create a unique e-greeting for the holidays!

Friday, December 2, 2011

WORD - jQuery & CSS3

If you’ve been reading through the latest WORD emails, you’ve noticed that I’ve been showcasing lots of links to jQuery and CSS3 tutorials.  These are definitely trending topics in the world of web design.  If you haven’t jumped on the bandwagon yet, I welcome you to check out the following resources.  First, check out the Mouthwatering Collection of jQuery Plugins and CSS Tricks article where you will see some exciting examples of how these techniques are incorporated into websites.  Next, check out this article about Adding a Beautiful CSS-jQuery Mega Menu on your Blog.  The more you can implement new technology into your portfolio sites, the more noticed you will get as a designer and developer.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

WORD - Web Redesign - Tips and Techniques To Do So

How many times have you been asked to redesign a website?  What should you make sure that you focus on in your redesign?  People always want their websites to remain fresh with the latest trends on the internet, but there are many other factors that you must consider when working on such a project.  Check out Web Redesign – Tips and Techniques To Do So.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

WORD - 23 Websites with Full-Screen Photo Backgrounds

Always push boundaries when developing content for the web.  Create websites with unique backgrounds that complement the site (and not distract the audience from the content its presenting).  One effective style developers like using  includes full-screen photo backgrounds.  Check out this link to 23 Websites with Full-Screen Photo Backgrounds.  Take the time to seek great designs to gain better insight of what techniques work well.  If you’re not sure how sites like this are created, “right-click” the web page and “view source” to see the code that makes it all happen.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

WORD - Adobe Muse

Have you heard of Adobe Muse?  Muse is currently still in its beta stage, but you can download it for free to play around with and learn about how websites can be constructed with minimal use of code.  Muse uses design features similar to those in InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop.  It’s meant to be an easy way to layout webpages and add content meant to be displayed on browsers.  I personally think that you should still spend time learning HTML and CSS code (because you’ll have more freedom in what you can create), but Muse offers non coders an easy and visual way to create sites for the web.  Check out this article called, Under the Hood:  Three Websites Built with Muse.

Monday, November 28, 2011

WORD - Fundamentals of Object-Oriented Programming

ActionScript 3.0 is an object-oriented programming language, but do you really know what that means?  There are many other programming languages that are object-oriented.  If you familiarize yourself with what object-oriented programming languages are, then you’ll easily be able to understand other OOP languages like JavaScript as well.  Check out the great resources that Michelle Yaiser (Sr. Content & Community Lead at Adobe) provides for explaining the fundamentals of object-oriented programming.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

WORD - Using CSS3 for Mobile Web Design

With smartphones like the Iphone and Android devices so popular now, you’ll definitely want your websites to be presented well when viewed on a mobile device.  CSS3 offers media queries that can help you quickly adjust your designs for mobile.  Check out this article called, Use CSS3 Media Queries To Create Mobile Version of Website.

Monday, November 21, 2011

WORD - 45 New Digital Media Resources You May Have Missed

Want to catch up on the latest Digital Media buzz?  Check out 45 New Digital Media Resources You May Have Missed!  This is a link to a bunch of trending articles from  There’s plenty of useful information to read on that site while you’re enjoying your holiday break.

Friday, November 18, 2011

WORD - HTML5 Cheat Sheets

There are so many new features with HTML5 coming out, that it’s tough to keep track of them all.  Check out this link to a bunch of random HTML5 Cheat Sheets that you can reference when building a HTML5 website.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

WORD - Creative Google+ Business Pages

Have you jumped on the bandwagon and created a Google+ account yet?  The business pages are a completely new feature on Google+.  The sooner you start experimenting with them, the soon you’ll know how to make Google+ business pages work for your company.  Check out how a few companies are already getting creative with Google+ Business pages.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

WORD - Affiliate Marketing

Have you ever heard of affiliate marketing? Did you know that you can make money on the web by helping sell products that you never have to own, stock, or ship? Read up on how affiliate marketing can help you generate some cash! You’ll definitely need to have a website with all sorts of traffic coming to it for you to make some money, but why not try it out? Check out the following two links to learn more about this lucrative opportunity:

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

WORD - Fancy Drop Down CSS3 Menus

Have you been learning web design and CSS lately?  Do you constantly go online to see what’s new and what’s changed with the coding languages?  If not, you should!  Web languages are always evolving.  Do your best to keep up with the rapid changes of the web.  Check out this cool link to fancy drop down CSS3 menus.  There are many awesome resources out on the web that can help you learn and stay ahead of the curve.

Monday, November 14, 2011

WORD - Survey Your Audience

How often do you survey your target audience when working on a project? You should always keep your audience in mind when working on anything that’s for a specific market. Use tools like Survey Monkey or Poll Daddy to help you get some valuable data that can help drive the effectiveness of your projects/designs.

Check out this poll:

Friday, November 4, 2011

WORD - Flash Preloader Museum

When working on a Flash project, you should always consider adding preloaders to your files so that your project’s content will load completely before your audience starts clicking around through your creation.  People often add a visual progress bar with a percentage before displaying the entire project.  Try to go above and beyond and create a preloader that has more of an aesthetic appeal that works with your project’s overall theme.  Check out!  It’s a website that serves as a preloader museum curated by Big Spaceship (Ad Agency).  It will give you lots of inspirational ideas for creating custom preloaders.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

WORD - Social Media Saftey Infographic

Social media has grown exponentially over the past few years.  Many people are jumping on the bandwagon while not realizing the security risk that they’re facing when they publicly post information.  Make sure that you don’t publicly post information that can be harmful to yourselves.  Check out this infographic, Does Social Media Use Compromise the Security of Your Home?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

WORD - What I Learned From Four Days With the World's Greatest Entrepreneurs

Do you consider yourself an entrepreneur?  Intensity plays a huge role, but many say that kindness and empathy are fundamental to entrepreneurship.  Check out this great article titled, What I Learned From Four Days With the World’s Greatest Entrepreneurs.

Monday, October 31, 2011

WORD - What People Love and Hate On Twitter

Do you have a Twitter account yet!?!?  Do you know what people like and hate on Twitter?  It’s important to know what trending topics are on social media sites if you wish to get people to interact with you in online conversations.  Check out this infographic about What People love and Hate on Twitter.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

WORD - Flash's Underrated "Graphic" Symbol

For those of you who have been learning Flash, how often have you used “Graphic Symbols” as opposed to “MovieClip Symbols?”  Most designers who start out using Flash aren’t aware of the differences between a “MovieClip” and a “Graphic” Symbol.  People often dismiss the graphic symbol as having no practical purpose.  Check out this article on Flash’s Underrated “Graphic” Symbol to learn some cool  features this symbol can provide when animating in Flash.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

WORD - The Art of Critiquing Ideas

How good are you at critiquing an idea?  Critique is a skill.  Effective criticism is a difficult art.  As designers, we’re often faced with having to critique our own (or other’s) work.  It’s useless to criticize something if you can’t follow up with an alternative idea.  Check out this article on The Art of Critiquing Ideas.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

WORD - Comprehensive Review of Usability & User Experience Testing Tools

Do you ever take the time to have your target market test your website or interactive project before finalizing it?  If not, you should!!!  Usability and user experience testing is a must when creating a successful interactive project.  When dealing with projects that will demand a ROI (return on investment), you will want to use tools that can gather real-world data to see what works and what doesn’t.  Many of these helpful tools are free!  Check out this great link to Comprehensive Review of Usability & User Experience Testing Tools.

Monday, October 24, 2011

WORD - Google Web Tools You Should Know

No matter what industry you are pursuing, everyone needs to learn a little more about the web to calculate a ROI (Return on Investment) for online marketing.  Google is the best known search engine.  You use it all the time, but did you know that Google provides really handy tools that can help you gain extremely valuable information about the audience visiting your websites?  Check out this article on Google Web Tools You Should Know.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

WORD - 6 Ways Small Businesses Can Win With Facebook

I know that most of you are already surfing the web and spending numerous hours on Facebook.  Have you ever tried to promote your business or your skills on Facebook?  Businesses are definitely taking advantage of this social media channel to promote their businesses and sell more products/services.  Check out this cool article on 6 Ways Small Businesses Can Win With Facebook.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

WORD - 10 Essential Differences Between HTML4 & HTML5

How familiar are you with the changes that took place with HTML5?  Check out this informative article about the 10 Essential Differences Between HTML4 & HTML5.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

WORD - The Great Tech War of 2012

How much do you know about Amazon, Apple, Facebook, or Google?  Since you’re in this field of study, you should really keep up with what’s happening with these HUGE companies!  Where did these companies come from?  What issues do they currently face?  Many of these companies are ruthlessly at each other’s throats trying to fight for patents and claim technology.  Check out The Great Tech War of 2012.  Make sure to know all about the movers and shakers of your industry. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

WORD - 35 Sources to Download Free Vector Art

Do you sometimes spend numerous hours working on something that has already been created by someone else?  Why waste your time working on something that you can quickly download for free and quickly implement into your designs?  There are numerous websites out there that offer royalty free vector art and graphics!  Check out this link to 35 Sources to Download Free Vector Art and Graphics.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

WORD - Showcase of Vibrant Colors in Web

When working on a new website project, it always helps to look at other websites for inspiration.  By constantly checking out what others are creating, you can gain better insight on industry trends and new ideas for layout.  Try to stay away from basic table-like formatted arrangements.  Remember that your website should be more of an experience for your user rather than a place to dump content.  Check out this Showcase of Vibrant Colors in Web Design for inspiration.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

WORD - Common Mistakes Designers Make with Clients

How often do you deal with clients?  As designers, typically we all take on side projects as freelance work.  Many of us seem to learn from the mistakes we make early in our careers.  Mistakes can definitely prove costly.  Check out this article on Common Mistakes Designers Make With Clients.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

WORD - 10 Ways to Make Money With Your Blog

Have you ever tried making money with any of your web sites?  Did you know that bloggers can definitely generate some income with their websites and articles?  It typically helps if you can bring a lot of traffic to your site, but it’s not always necessary.  Check out this article on 10 Ways to Make Money With Your Blog.

Monday, October 10, 2011

WORD - CSS Typography: The Basics

Have you tried creating a website with HTML & CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) yet?  It’s very important to understand CSS when creating or modifying websites.  If you are a bit confused about how CSS works, or if you just need a basic refresher on it, check out this helpful link, CSS Typography:  The Basics.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

WORD - R.I.P. Steve Jobs

Many of you have probably already heard of what happened yesterday, and there’s a good chance that you heard this news through an Apple device.  Innovator, Steve Jobs has passed away at the age of 56.  I myself heard of this news on my MacBook through Twitter at least 20 minutes before it broke out on national television.  It’s a sad day, but we should really focus on and learn from all the great things this man had contributed to our world.  Read more about Steve Jobs here and take a minute to see his inspiring commencement speech at Stanford University titled How to Live Before You Die

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

WORD - 10 Characteristics of Badly Designed Website Logos

I constantly send you all messages about what good design or good practices are when working on a project.  Today, let’s shift gears and check out what could be bad about a certain design.  Poor decisions in design can include a poor selection of fonts, use of too many fonts, being too complex, or even looking very amateurish.  Check out this great article on the Ten Characteristics of Badly Designed Website Logos.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

WORD - 10 Tools to Create an Amazing Twitter Presence

Have you set up a Twitter account yet?  If you haven’t, you’re really falling behind the times!  Twitter can really help you develop your own personal brand, offer you instant insight on current events and trends, and can even help you develop contacts and grow your business!  Twitter can be very time-consuming, but with the right tools, you can become much more effective with your tweets.  Check out this article on 10 Tools to Create an Amazing Twitter Presence for You!

Monday, October 3, 2011

WORD - 10 Examples of Interactive Websites

It’s very helpful to check out what other designers are doing online, especially when seeking inspiration to create a website.  Check out 10 Examples of Interactive Websites.  Take notice how these designers are pushing the envelope of what’s possible for the web.  Stay away from creating boring and mundane box-like websites and focus more on making your site an experience to your audience.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

WORD - Rise and Fall of Advertising Media

Mobile marketing has become a very hot topic lately.  While there’s been a 32% rise in spending for social media advertising, there’s been a 75% increase in spending to advertise for mobile (2009-2010)!  Now’s the time to consider adding pieces to your portfolio that are created specifically for mobile.  Check out this infographic on the Rise and Fall of Advertising Media.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

WORD - Client Logo Pricing & Deposits

Have you ever been asked to create a logo for a client?  Do you understand how you should charge your client when doing freelance work?  Check out this great article on Client Logo Design Pricing and Deposits.

Monday, September 26, 2011


Do you ever get asked to create a logo or work on a company’s branding?  There are numerous resources on the web that will give you a better idea of how to approach projects like this.  Check out to read up on some of their informative posts.  The website offers tutorials, freebies, and a bunch of helpful links when trying to learn more about brand design.

Friday, September 23, 2011

WORD - Most Powerful Social Media Site That Drives Traffic

Do you know which social media site is most powerful for driving traffic?  Hint…  Have you set up your Twitter account yet!?!  Check out this great article about What is More Powerful For Traffic:  Twitter, Facebook, or Google+?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

WORD - Managing Challenging Productions

How many times have you managed a large production or had to deal with delivering your production on time and on budget?  Freelance designers are often faced with this task.  It’s difficult to learn project management skills unless you’re somehow involved in projects.  Organization is key!  Today, is offering a free webinar on Managing Challenging Productions (and Clients). 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

WORD - Google Places

Are you doing any freelance work on the side?  If not, you should!  Many designers that are just starting out take on various side projects to develop their skill sets and portfolios.  How does one go about making themselves known to the community as a designer?  Market yourselves!  There are many places online that can help you establish a presence.  A good place to start would be on Google Places!  Check out this article on Teaming Up with Google Places to Dominate Your Local Listing.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

WORD - Detroit Design Festival

Are you aware of what’s going on in Detroit this week?  The Detroit Design Festival is happening from 9/21 – 9/28!  Be sure to make it downtown to check out some creative work!  Our own IADT students have their work titled “Distinctively Detroit” displayed at 14 East Café!  Come out and show your support!

Monday, September 19, 2011

WORD - First 7 Items on Your SEO Audit To-Do List

SEO has been a huge topic lately.  The web is constantly changing and many people are often finding themselves relearning new processes and techniques to get their content to the top of a search query.  Make sure to read the great articles on to stay abreast of the changes that constantly happen in this industry.  Check out this informative article about the First 7 Items on Your SEO Audit To-Do List.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

WORD - Power of Social Media in Marketing

Do you understand how powerful social media is in marketing?  Check out this 18 minute video of Social Media Evangelist:  Robert Scoble (Stanford Graduate School of Business) speaking about the power of social media in marketing.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

WORD - Growth of Social Media Infographic

Sometimes it’s better to understand data and statistics visually.  Have you ever tried creating an infographic?  Infographics are really gaining popularity on the internet.  Check out the Growth of Social Media:  An Infographic.  Think of what type of infographic you can make to add to your portfolio!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

WORD - 7 Deadly Sins of Self-Promotion on Twitter

Are you using Twitter yet?  If not, you’re falling behind in the world of social media.  Twitter has a lot of great stuff to offer, however some people’s habits are holding them back from reaching their full Twitter power potential.  Check out this great article on the 7 Deadly Sins of Self-Promotion on Twitter.

Monday, September 12, 2011

WORD - Flash Media Server 4.5

Over the past year there’s been a lot of talk of how Flash may be fading away from the Internet since the introduction of HTML5.  Although Flash offers rich interactive media content for the web, people like Steve Jobs decided not to include its support on Apple’s mobile devices like Iphone & Ipad.  Now, Adobe has figured out a solution to getting their Flash content viewable to every smartphone user (even Apple devices), Flash Media Server 4.5Read more about this great innovation here.

Friday, September 9, 2011

WORD - Good SEO Tactics

Are you having trouble getting your web content noticed?  Good SEO (Search Engine Optimization) tactics offer plenty of ways to gain exposure on the web.  You should be reading articles on sites like and to gain a better understanding of SEO.  Check out this great article on Successful SEO Tactics.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

WORD - Adobe TV

How often do you try to keep up with Adobe’s updates?  Do you try to learn something new each day?  If not, you should!  Did you know that Adobe has a channel on the web called ADOBE TV?  Adobe TV offers numerous video tutorials and learning resources for free!  They update this site all the time.  Start using this great resource DAILY!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

WORD - HubSpot

Are you into internet marketing?  Are you familiar with  They offer all in one inbound marketing software.  Many companies are now turning to Web 2.0 tactics for more leads and sales.  This means that companies are just now starting to take advantage of social media to grow their businesses.  You can sign up for a free trial at!  Try it out!

“The internet disproportionately favors small businesses since it enables them to position their niche goods to people shopping for that particular niche good regardless of the numbers of degrees of separation from their rolodex.” – HubSpot

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

WORD - 50 Amazing Photo Effect Tutorials

Have you been busy taking photos lately?  Photos are cool, but they can look much better if you add a little effect to them!  Many photographers like to show their original photos with zero retouching applied to them.  That may be cool, but photos can look MUCH better with a little bit of post-production work.  Check out this link to 50 Amazing Photo Effect Tutorials in Photoshop.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

WORD - Interactive Videos

Interactive web videos are gaining great popularity!  Many companies are now turning to rich media like video and using the internet to their advantage to market their products/services.  Companies are now marketing with video that’s interactive!  Have you ever heard  They provide many free webinars on various topics for film makers.  Check out their free upcoming webinar on “How to Create Interactive Web Videos in Adobe Encore CS5.5!”  The webinar is 90 minutes long and starts at 1pm today!

Monday, August 29, 2011

WORD - Social Media Recruiters

Are you into social media?  Did you know that you companies now pay head hunters to use social media sites as a recruiting tool?  With this being the case, many job seekers are now creating expressive digital resumes that can include visuals, audio, or video to make their resumes stand out from the rest.  You should be doing the same thing!  Check out this cool infographic that shows statistics to employers looking for talent using social media sites.

Friday, August 12, 2011

WORD - SEO Infographic

As designers, we’re very visual people.  It helps to see information presented to us visually.  Search Engine Optimization has been a very popular topic lately.  Many companies are now hiring people to get higher rankings for their web pages through Google and Yahoo searches.  There are a variety of ways to make sure that your web pages rank higher.  Check out these cool infographics about SEO.  Infographics are a great way of showing important information visually.  Create an informative infographic and share it on the web!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

WORD - Find a Job on Twitter

Are you using Twitter yet?  Using social media tools like Twitter can give you an edge when hunting for work!  Check out this great article about HOW TO:  Find a Job on Twitter.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

WORD - Lint

Have you heard of HTML Lint?  Lint is a tool that makes sure that your HTML code is compliant.  Nowadays, Validating your code through W3C is just not enough.  With Lint, you can even set up options as to what you want it to check for.  It’s still rather new and in development, but offers a great way of checking for errors in your code.  Check it out!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

WORD - 100 Free PSD files for Web Designers

Today marks the 100th WORD email sent to you this year!  In celebration of our 100th WORD, I’d like to share with you a link to 100 Royalty Free PSD Files Every Web Designer Should Have.  Enjoy!

BONUS:  Also, please check out this link to a free webinar where Rich Harrington will discuss DSLR Workflow for Adobe Production Premium CS5.5!  You’ll need to register right away if you want to be a part of this webinar.  It will start tonight at 7:15pm.

Monday, August 8, 2011

WORD - Prefixr

When we create CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) for our websites, we also have to take into account that our website might look a bit different on various browsers (like Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera, Safari).  To keep a consistent look among various browsers, we have to either create multiple style sheets or add extra code to our CSS file to make everything look right.  To help developers save extra hours of coding, Prefixr has just created a website where you can submit your W3C compliant CSS code into their site, and they generate a CSS file that is cross browser compatible in seconds!  Try it out!

Friday, August 5, 2011

WORD - Business Card Tutorials

Having trouble deciding on what type of business card to create for yourself?  Always strive for creating something “different.”  Here is a link to a collection of 20+ Business Card Design tutorials for you to check out.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

WORD - Illustrator Text Effects

Adobe Illustrator primarily focuses on creating vector based art.  It’s also a great tool for creating some great looking typography.  Check out this link to 15 of the Best Illustrator Text Effects!  Try to make the extra effort in making your text look just as good as your designs!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


Have you tried creating a project that helps out the community as a whole yet?  You will gain much more respect and recognition from the online community if you can produce work that not only looks great, but teaches others at the same time!  Check out  It was created by a Brooklyn designer, Jessica Hische.  She created this as a side project and its gaining her lots of popularity!  I challenge you to manifest creative side projects on a consistent basis like Jessica

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

WORD - 24 Photoshop & Illustrator Tutorials

How often do you go online to find random tutorials to sharpen up your skills?  You really should try to take the time out to complete at least one tutorial a day to build up your arsenal of skills.  Check out 24 brand-new Photoshop & Illustrator tutorials from the design community.

Monday, August 1, 2011

WORD - Adobe Edge

Have you heard of Adobe Edge?  Adobe Labs has been working hard on HTML5 implementation with its products.  Adobe Edge is a new tool focused on bringing animated content to the web in HTML5 format.  With Edge, you’ll be able to add rich motion graphics to new or existing HTML projects.  Download the beta now and check it out!

Friday, July 29, 2011

WORD - Twitter Faux Pas

Not sure about what not to do on Twitter?  Many people starting their Twitter accounts aren’t really sure what to and what not to do with it.  Check out this great article on “Seven Twitter Follow Faux Pas.”  Always try to tweet something of value to others!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

WORD - Business Cards

Do you all have a business card yet?  If not you really should consider getting one made.  Many places like Vistaprint offer free business cards, you just have to pay for the shipping.  Your business card can say a lot about you.  Try to create something unique and different so that people will really remember you when you hand over your card.  Check out this article on “4 Excellent Ideas for Business Cards.”  Also, here are “15 Tutorials for Designing business cards.”  

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

WORD - SEO & Flash

Many designers like to put Flash websites together for their portfolios because of the ease of adding animation, sound, and video to your site.  Did you know that it’s a little tricky to get search engines to find your Flash sites?  It’s not at all impossible though.  Check out this great article about optimizing your Flash site for SEO (search engine optimization).  Be sure to read up on the other articles on the site too!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

WORD - Film in Michigan

Despite all the fighting going on in Michigan’s legislature about the film incentives, movies still continue to get shot here.  Raleigh Michigan Studios in Pontiac is still continuing its productions despite setbacks to Michigan’s film incentives.

Monday, July 25, 2011

WORD - Learn from Google+

People are using new social media sites like Google+ to share useful information that everyone can learn from!  Check out Christopher O’Donnell (landscape photographer) on Google Plus for some cool photo tips!

Friday, July 22, 2011

WORD - Thinking Mobile for the Web

When creating your website, do you consider the importance of thinking mobile?  More and more people are now buying smart phones and surfing the internet from wherever they may be at.  Many phones are restricted from displaying flash and other content on their browsers.  Make sure that you include a CSS (cascading style sheet) that can optimize the display of your site for mobile when needed.  Check out this great article on the Importance of Thinking Mobile When Building Your Website.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

WORD - Google+ Stats

Have you checked out Google+ yet?  Did you know that Google+ is on the verge of becoming the next FaceBook?  Google+ is still in its beta version and only accepts members by invite.  It is still in its infant stages, but has the potential to become the next big social media platform on the internet.  Check out this cool article on the numbers driving its growth (stats).

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

WORD - Text Effects Tutorials

All too often I see students create masterpieces with Photoshop and Illustrator, but then they tend to completely ruin their designs by not giving any focus to the text/font in their body of work.  Remember that when including text in your designs, you need to treat the text as part of your design!  Adding text to your design that just doesn’t fit well with your image can completely ruin the effectiveness of your work of art.  Check out this cool link to 37+ Fresh Photoshop & Illustrator Text Effects Tutorials.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

WORD - 5 Things Agencies Are Looking For

Do you know that design agencies are looking for people with creativity, experience, time, rates, and communication when trying to hire freelance artists?  Check out this article on the 5 things a Design Agency looks for when hiring freelancers.

Friday, July 15, 2011

WORD - Freelancing Infographic

In our field, people tend to do a lot of freelance work.  Check out this cool infographic that shows the appeal of freelancing.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

WORD - Fount

Not sure about a particular font on a webpage?  Try using FOUNT!  Fount will tell you which font in your font-stack you are actually seeing.  It’s a cool plug-in for internet browsers that will allow you to highlight some text and it will display everything from the font type, size, weight, and style.  It’s a useful tool for designers when trying to quickly find out what type of font they are looking at while browsing through a web page.  Try it out!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

WORD - State of the Internet in 2011

Take a minute to check out this informative interactive HTML5 infographic that that shows the state of the internet in 2011.  Did you know that our internet browsing habits are generating quite a noticeable economy?  There’s plenty of money to be made on the internet!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

WORD - Psychological Manipulation in eCommerce

Sometimes we don’t realize the importance of general education classes when we attend a design school.  Did you know that there is much more thought other than just design that goes into creating efficient eCommerce websites (sites you shop on)?  Check out this interesting article about “Psychological Manipulation in eCommerce Design.”  Psychological manipulation is about as old as commerce itself!  Don’t think that your Gen Ed classes are a waste of time!  Every class you take while pursuing a degree is always connected to your field in some way.  Learn as much as you can from every class you take!

Monday, July 11, 2011

WORD - 25 Great Restaurant Website Designs

As freelance designers, we’re often asked to help create a website for a restaurant, café, venue, or any local company.  Just because a company sometimes doesn’t seem very creative doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t produce something spectacular to help them sell their product/service.  A well thought out design always goes a long way when helping a company market themselves.  Always create mockups of websites in Photoshop first before trying to design a website from scratch.  This will save you a lot of time when it comes down to actually creating one.  Check outthese 25 well designed restaurant websites for some inspiration!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

WORD - Swiffy

Did you that people are working diligently on creating converters for Flash files that will output them to HTML5?  This is HUGE because it means that developers will still be able to create their work in Flash and if needed, and can convert their projects over to HTML5 so that even mobile devices (like Ipad and Iphone) can display them.  Google Labs has created a converter called, Swiffy.  With Swiffy, you can upload an SWF file (flash file) to the web and it will generate the HTML5 code for you.  Swiffy is still in its infant stages, but still works well with Flash files that are coded in AS2.  Try converting your Flash files now!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

WORD - Color Space

Did you know that most digital SLR cameras can typically capture photos in different types of color spaces?  The most common color spaces for cameras are sRGBAdobe RGB (typically on Canons), and ProRes RGB (typically on Nikons).  The most common of all would be sRGB.  sRGB was originally created in 1996 by HP and Microsoft to develop a universal color space for the web as well as for digital displays and printing.  Adobe RGB and ProRes RGB have a wider gamut of colors that can make your photos look better.  sRGB might make your photos look a bit more dull, but typically we have to convert them to sRGB (or embed color profiles) in Photoshop when sending them to print.  Check out these two links to learn more about setting your color space for your digital camera:

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


When creating a webpage, do you typically go online to check out what your competition is creating?  The creative industry is an extremely competitive field.  You should constantly check out what everyone else is creating when you initially start your projects.  You definitely want to have some idea of what the current trends are and how your peers are thinking outside of the box.  You really need to stand out as a designer if you want to become successful.  Always do your research when starting a new project.  Remember, your competition isn’t only local, but worldwide.  Check out this creative one page website created in Flash.  This designer (singleknight) spent the extra effort on creating something completely unique. 

Monday, June 27, 2011

WORD - 100 Free Vector Maps

Sometimes it’s much smarter to find free resources online to incorporate into our designs, then it is to create something time consuming from scratch.  Why draw a map of the globe, if a whole bunch of people already did this and are providing you their work for free?  Many designers use royalty free stock photography sites to incorporate images into their designs.  There are websites out there that share content in an effort to drive traffic to their site and to help out the design community as a whole.  You should be using this type of marketing to gain traffic to your website as well as using sites that offer free content for you to use.  Check out this site where you can download over 100 Free Vector Map Files.

Friday, June 24, 2011

WORD - 50 Inspiring Art & Design Related Quotes

Sometimes we just need a little extra motivation to spark creativity.  Many famous designers have offered their two cents on art and design.  Check out these 50 inspiring art and design related quotes.

“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” -Scott Adams

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Have you read up on what’s new with HTML5?  HTML5 is not yet an official standard, and no browsers have full HTML5 support, but all major browsers (Safari, Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Internet Explorer) continue to add new HTML5 features to their latest versions.  Many new features of HTML5 allow for easier handling of multimedia content like video, audio, and graphics on web browsers than ever before.  Be sure to read up on the new tags and elements that they’ve introduced into HTML5.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

WORD - Web Safe Fonts

Did you know that when creating a webpage, you should typically only stick to certain fonts?  Browsers are only capable of displaying a few certain types of fonts.  They refer to these fonts as font-family when implementing them into your CSS (cascading style sheet) file.  People typically only have certain fonts installed on their own personal computers.  If someone were to put some type of funky font on their site that you do not have, their webpage would look very different to you than originally intended.  That’s why people tend to stick to a few basic fonts for the web.  If you do want to use some type of different font, then you should consider placing it into an image or flash file that you can embed onto your page.  Read more about web safe fonts here.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

WORD - Sell Stock Photography

Have you ever tried to sell your photography online?  Did you know that there is money to be made as a stock photographer?  To become a successful stock photographer, you’ll need to take photos that the market wants and you’ll also need to know how to use the online system to market them.  This great article will teach you some helpful tips and methods on how you can successfully sell your photos online.

Monday, June 20, 2011

WORD - Google 1+ Button

Have you heard of the Google +1 button?  “If your site contains +1 button, the person who will appreciate your content can recommend it for the Google search, just by clicking on the button. The ‘Google +1’ button appears just like other social media buttons, but the purpose of this feature is substantially oriented around the search engine.  This button helps the content in its visibility on the search engine.”

Friday, June 17, 2011

WORD - Effective Tweeting

Have you started using Twitter yet?  Did you know that there are proper ways of posting content on Twitter that will make your tweets much more effective?  You can only write 140 characters per tweet.  How do you tweet louder?  Use the tips on the following two links below to become an effective social media guru.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

WORD - 10 Things you should know about Adobe Illustrator

Have you worked with Adobe Illustrator yet?  It’s a great vector based drawing software created by Adobe.  Check out this article on Adobe Illustrator 101 : 10 Things You Should Know About Adobe Illustrator.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Are you ever curious as to how a website or web page might look (size wise) on other devices like an IPhone, IPad, MacBook Air, or any other laptop (when comparing it to your screen)?  There is a site called that helps you see what you’re pages look like on other devices that have different resolutions.  It’s a really cool because you can even create custom presets that will allow you to check on the sizes of your own random devices. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

WORD - Production Premium CS5.5 - Adobe Audition Webinar

Tonight is the second motion+connect in our four-part summer series.

“It’s time to take a look at the latest addition to Production Premium CS5.5 - Adobe Audition. Now available for both Mac and Windows. In this session we’re going to take a look at how we can roundtrip edit using Adobe Premiere Pro and Adobe Audition. We’ll also touch on OMF integration with third party applications like ProTools or Apple Logic.”

Click HERE to RSVP for this free online webinar!
Click Here for the schedule of upcoming webinars.

Monday, June 13, 2011

WORD - Are you on the web?

Do you have an online presence on the web?  Have you ever tried searching for your own name on the web?  If so, what types of sites do you see when searching for yourself?  You definitely want to brand yourself with some type of online presence on the web so that people will know and remember who you are.  It’s tough to sell yourself as a digital freelance artist when people can’t instantly see your work or what you do.  Make sure to brand yourself with some type of logo (keep it simple) and make sure that you reuse that logo in everything that you create.  This will make people associate your logo with your work.  Logos are much easier to remember than a name, especially a good one!  Start writing on blogs, post photos/videos to online social media sites (like Facebook / Flickr / YouTube), make your own website (like a WordPress site), and make sure that you’re fully taking advantage of the web for your own success.

Friday, June 10, 2011


Have you ever heard of  Did you know that there are many sites out there that allow you to create free websites using a template editor.  I don’t really recommend you ever create a portfolio using a template, but it’s a good way to start learning about web design.  If you’ve never created a fully functional site on your own from scratch, then try creating one using a template first to see what you’re able to produce.  You can always learn from using templates or online website builders.  Try creating a flash based site using WIX for free, today!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

WORD - Writing for the Web

Did you know that when creating a website, you’ll need well written content to present?  You shouldn’t only take info from a company’s brochure and assume that a web audience will want to read it.  The content you write on your site should be full of target keywords (to help with search engine ranking) and written in for a lower literacy audience.  Writing for the web is definitely different than writing for print.  Check out this great article on 10 tips for writing for the web.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


Do you shoot photos with a DSLR (digital single-lens reflex camera) camera?  If you do, you probably don’t yet know the full potential of that camera.  Check out DSLR Tips!  It’s a website that provides lots of useful product reviews, tips, and tutorials on DSLR cameras.  There’s lots of informative reading on this site!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

WORD - Motion Conference

Are you into motion graphics and animation?  Did you ever hear of the Motion Conference?  It’s an annual conference where some of the best and brightest creative minds in the field congregate and discuss new trends, tips, techniques, and innovations.  You’ll want to attend as many conferences as you can to educate yourself about the industry.
“Motion is known for bringing together the brightest and most creative minds in the motion graphics, visual effects {VFX}, and animation industries.”

Monday, June 6, 2011

WORD - Tim Berners-Lee

Have you ever heard of Tim Berners-Lee?  He’s the inventor of the World Wide Web!!!  Did you know that the world wide web is only about 20 years old?  Tim Berners-Lee wrote the first web client and server in 1990.  The internet has grown immensely since its inception.  You should definitely learn more about great innovators like Mr. Berners-Lee.

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Sometimes we get stuck in our ways and feel the need to jumpstart our brains.  Have you ever heard of  It’s a seminar of some of the world’s greatest leaders and achievers that gather to share their experience on one platform.  Get Motivated is coming to Michigan this year on Wednesday, June 29, 2011 and will be held at the Palace of Auburn Hills from 8am – 4:45pm.  The cost is only $1.95 per person or you can send your entire office for only $9.95!  Some of the speakers include Bill Cosby, Rudy Giuliani, General Colin Powell and Joe Montana!  Click this link to check out all of the speakers that they have lined up.  Consider going to this great seminar!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

WORD - Flash vs. HTML5

Did you know that there is a battle going on between Flash and HTML5?  Many say that HTML5 will eventually be the end of Flash, while others stand firmly behind Flash.  Flash has the ability to still do many things that HTML5 can not yet do.  HTML5 can do much of what Flash can do, but with many limitations because it’s still in its infant stages and many web browsers still don’t support it.  Either way, it really doesn’t matter which one will prevail in the end, because new technology is constantly getting released.  It’s always best to keep up with new technology as it comes out.  This is a constantly evolving field where you need to keep up with the changes, or get left behind.  Read more about this argument here.  Check out this article too!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

WORD - Drop Shipping

Have you ever heard of a drop shipping business?  Did you know that people sell products online and never have to deal with the hassle of storing the products they sell?  “Drop shipping is a method of retail merchandising which allows business owners to sell products without first purchasing and stocking the items they sell.  The arrangement is made between the seller and the supplier.  The seller would display a product on their site and never really have it in inventory.”  This is a unique way to make money.  Amazon offers this type of service.  Try setting up your own drop shipping website through Amazon at this link here.

Monday, May 23, 2011


Have you ever checked out  If not, do so right away!  This is probably one of the best resources for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and Wordpress on the web today!  This is a site created by a 28 year old web developer that has made a big impact on the web.  Make sure to check out the latest posts and podcasts on this site!

Friday, May 20, 2011


Interfaces 2011 is tomorrow!  If you have not yet received your tickets, please do so here:

You will not want to miss this very informative and inspiring conference!!!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

WORD - jQuery

Have you ever heard of jQuery?  It’s a current trend in web design that focuses on using a new kind of JavaScript library along with HTML to create visually appealing content for the web.  Developers typically use jQuery to create content for the web that resembles Flash, but doesn’t use a Flash Player.  Read more about jQuery at

Monday, May 16, 2011


Have you ever heard of the Web Designer Wall?  This is a great site with numerous tutorials and general info that will quickly catch you up on the latest and greatest web design/development trends.  Be sure to bookmark this site and read it daily!  You may even want to follow the creator of this site, Nick La on Twitter@NickLa

Thursday, May 12, 2011

WORD - Color

Do you know much about color?  Color is a very important part of the design process.  Color can define emotions to your designs.  If you want a refresher on color, please make sure to check out this link.  Make sure to read up on to learn more about color.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

WORD - Ajmal Zaheer Ahmad

Did you know that production companies in Michigan are still busy making films?  Someone that you might want to check out is Ajmal Zaheer Ahmad at Exxodus Pictures.  He is a true visionary when it comes to anything multi-media related.  He created a script for a movie called Jinn, that will be released this year.  He also has been meticulously involved in the whole production and post production process of this movie.  He even created a car for the movie called the Fire Breather and raised funds to have the car built for the film.  The car will be on display at Interfaces 2011!!!!

Ajmal will be presenting at Interfaces 2011 this year!!!  Be sure not to miss his extremely motivating lecture!  Interfaces is May 21, 2011.

Students, be sure to register HERE for Interfaces 2011.  It’s free for all IADT students to attend, but you MUST register right away!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

WORD - Megabyte

Do you know what 1 MB (Megabyte) represents?  Did you know that 1 MB = 1,024 kb (kilobytes) or 1,024,00 b (bytes)?  This is very important to understand when dealing with file sizes, especially when you are trying to export your files to some type of media. 

Did you know that a 4.7 GB DVD actually only holds 4.38 GB of info?  This is because everyone tends to round the number 1,024 kb to 1 MB.  Read more about the Megabyte here.

Monday, May 9, 2011


Have you ever tried to find freelance projects online?  Did you know that you can find and complete work for clients online all from the comfort of your own computer?  Typically, on sites like this, you never even meet the client in person.  Check out websites like to bid on projects and start making money now.

Friday, May 6, 2011

WORD - Formating External Drives

Have you ever bought an external hard drive only to figure out that it doesn’t work on a Mac?  Did you know that you can re-format the hard drive so that it can be read and written to on both Mac and PC computers?  It’s rather simple to do.  Check out this great article on reformatting your external hard drive to work on both Mac and PCs.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

WORD - Codecs

Do you know what video codecs are?  They are a way of compressing your audo/video files.  You need to understand what types of codecs to use on your audio and video projects.  Codecs are a way of  representing a fundamentally analog data set in a digital format.  Without adding compression (codecs) to your audio or video, your project’s quality would be the best, but your file size would become too large to distribute.  When adding codecs, you must make a choice between file size and project quality.  Many codecs like H.264 offer great quality with minimal file sizes.  You can read more about codecs and compression here.

Monday, May 2, 2011

WORD - Adobe Shortcuts

Do you ever try to remember Adobe shortcuts when working on projects, but sometimes forget what some of them are?  You can download a free app that shows all of Adobe’s shortcuts and will help speed up your workflow.  Download Adobe Shortcut today!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

WORD - 50 Tips for Graphic Designers

Do you ever wonder what it takes to become a successful graphic designer?  Check out this awesome website with 50 things that every graphic design student should know. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

WORD - Firefox Add-Ons

Have you installed and started using Firefox yet?  Firefox is a free web browser that enables you to download a whole bunch of great plugins that can help you with your web development process.  Check out this great article about the top 10 Firfox Add-Ons for Web Designers.