I’m trying to post more frequently on this so I got the WordPress app for Android there’s also one for iOS and it’s super easy to post from your phone. Here’s the latest site I’m working on:
I’ve been reading the book, “To Sell is Human,” by Dan Pink. It’s an awesome book and talks about the role of sales in the world economy today…and in all of our lives. Whether we think we’re sales people or not, we are. At some point we all have to sell a teacher on giving us an A, a child on eating their vegetables, a boss on upping our pay, or even a customer on buying web development and marketing services.
One section of the book tells the story of a marketing executive and his friend who were walking through a park in the city. They came across a blind, homeless man, sitting and begging for money with a cardboard sign that said simply, “I am blind.” Unfortunately for the homeless man, his sign wasn’t stirring the sympathy he had hoped it would as his empty cup testified.
The marketing executive looked at the man, his sign, the empty cup, then at his friend and said, “I bet I can fill his cup by adding just four words to that sign.” His friend accepted the wager. With the homeless man’s permission, the marketing executive took out a pen, and in front of what was there, wrote, “It is springtime, and…” The sign now read, “It is springtime, and I am blind.”
What was once a typical plea for sympathy, was now a visual, concrete reminder to all passerby’s of how lucky they were and how unlucky the homeless man was. Reminding people of the beauty of spring alerted them to the stark contrast between their reality and the homeless mans’. Needless to say, his cup was filled.
In his book, Pink says, “Clarity depends on contrast…We often understand something better when we see it compared to something else than when we see it in isolation…that’s why the most essential question you can ask is this: Compared to what?” So, whether it’s an everyday case of persuasion at the dinner table or a corporate sales meeting, remember those four simple words that made all the difference to the homeless man.
I’m always on the lookout for more web development resources and recently came across the web designer depot. They have a bunch of awesome resources but the two I’m sharing today are their collection of free WordPress Templates and 500 vector icons (sample below).
And while there are definitely other places that you can find free vector icons, it’s nice to find a quality set of 500 that you can download and have ready for use. Anyway, take a looks at them here.
Free WordPress templates are usually pretty worthless. Sure, you might find the odd template here and there that’s worth playing with, but for the most part, they’re a no go. This collection (while it does have some of those not so great templates), which is mostly free, is definitely worth sorting through as it contains quite a few gems so take a look by clicking here.
Here’s a few of my favorite themes from the set:
(Product is a paid theme, $25…not bad)
A lot of touristy Hawaii web sites have hokey, touristy fonts that conjure images of coconut bras, grass skirts, and Elvis with his slicked black hair leaning against a coconut tree at the PCC. I’m not too into those. However, we recently completed a series of beach towels for a local company where “Elvis” was our template customer and hokey Hawaii was in every picture and font we used. (i.e. –
While we’re grateful for the work and sure the towels will sell, it’s nice to move past the hokey.
To do so, I’ve been reading up on fonts in general with Ellen Lupton’s “Thinking With Type” (awesome book) and searching the web for cool fonts. Anyway, I recently came across this collection of pretty awesome (and free!) fonts at CreativeBloq.
Anyone who’s interested in design of any sort should take a look as your font’s often make or break the look of a website, magazine, packaging, or whatever else you’re working on. To download fonts, click on the orange title’s. Here are a few of my favorites:
Coming up with great design ideas isn’t always the easiest. Sometimes, clients have a clear idea of what they want and are able to express themselves clearly…but that’s a somewhat rare sometimes. Most times, coming to an agreement on a design is a back and forth process that can take a while. And most times, this can get frustrating for both sides.
One of the best ways to get around this is very simple. Get great ideas from already existing, successful designs. There are plenty of great design ideas out there and so long as you aren’t outright, stealing the design, there’s nothing wrong with using someones design as a template and building on or changing it to make it your own.
A great place to get your design brain running is Web Creme. Web Creme has been around for years and is great about consistently updating their site with award winning web design complete with color schemes and links to the sites.
There are other sites out there just like web creme for every element of web design and development be it fonts, layouts, color schemes, coding and all it takes to find them is are a few quick Google searches.
The main point of this post though, is don’t feel like you have to come up with everything from scratch. Whether you’re a client or a designer, somebody else has been in your shoes and has figured out a great solution so make use of it. Even if it’s just to get your brain running.