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Re Logo Design Advice

Logo DesignNot all rebrands are successful. Do you remember New Coke, for instance?

While it’s impossible to know for certain what the outcome of a rebrand will be, you certainly can put yourself in a position to be successful by making solid decisions, beginning with building a Logo Design planning team. Trusted employees should be included, and perhaps even some valued customers, so you can receive external input.

Next up is reviewing the way the company operates, to ensure that internal processes and procedures are appropriate given the new brand messaging, or determine that they need to be altered in some way. Following that exercise, an exciting rollout needs to be orchestrated; employees must be passionate about the new brand, so they can generate passion in the marketplace. Every department should be involved, since rebranding is not merely a marketing function, but a companywide endeavor.

Once the initial excitement dies down, it’s important to sustain the new brand by instituting an ongoing program for measuring employees’ consistent and complete use of it. Maintaining brand integrity within a company puts you on a path to market buy-in, which is the very reason for Logo Design in the first place.


April 30, 2009 Posted by | logo design | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Royalty free blues Free Sounds loops

Blues has always been one of the most favorite streams of music all around the world. Due to its multi-textured styles, it has been incorporated into a variety of projects, both audio as well as video. These have been films, presentations, college projects, etc. Varied musical forms such as jazz and blues rock evolved from this genre of music and has also been in use by presentation developers, film makers and project managers for the need of Free Sounds effects and music cues in their respective projects.

Blues, with its fine tuned guitars and throbbing baselines can create a ripple of interest among the audience, no matter how vague or how tranquil your project presentation might be. This has made blues music loops a favorite among people who regularly incorporate music into their projects as background music,  music cues or simply as a stimulant for the audience. But for small scale projects and presentations, acquiring authentic blues music loops can be a pretty bad headache, with all the licensing and copyright worries attached. Monetarily too, most of these authentic music loops and sound effects are out of bounds for these projects or presentations.

Free Sound

Royalty Free Sounds portals, usually is the place where finding authentic blues music loops and many other varied styles of music can be found, albeit at an affordable range of prices. The fact that such free music  portals have mushroomed all over the web has left a multitude of avenues open for people requiring stock music and stock audio clips, especially of blues music. But the conventional free music sites offer inferior quality music, due to the average pricings and absence of licensing fees. Here is where Audio Micro stands out as an exception.

We, at Audio Micro, believe that with the availability of quantity, quality should also be given equal importance, as the latter is the primary concern for customers worldwide. Our quality check assures that only best music tracks are filtered through the host of free music submissions at our site. We also have a team of Stock Photography and audio engineers who work in tandem to produce and master stock music tracks respectively. With so many strict procedures in place, quality automatically scores over any other entity at Audio Micro.

Not only this, we also provide free music samples for download, which has been kept especially in place keeping in mind the interest of the clients. Once the client is convinced about the quality and the style of the stock music or Stock Photography downloaded, he/she can make the actual purchase without worrying about depreciated quality of the track.

Blues music loops has always been a favorite among free music users, and its potential to influence all has been tagged as the reason projects with blues music loops and  sound fx have succeeded better than the others. And with Audio Micro, you get what you desire  blues music with a genuine authenticity, yet light on your pocket!

April 30, 2009 Posted by | Free Sounds | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Art of Re Logo Design

Logo DesignThere are just about as many reasons to Re Logo Design companies as there are ways to do it. Some of those reasons are positive two organizations have merged or a company has significantly expanded its offering while others are less rosy the current brand has been tainted in some way or has become outdated.

Regardless of the reason for Re Logo Design Tutorials, there are right and wrong ways to go about it. The first step is determining the extent of the rebrand, and that will typically be determined by the reason for wanting to change market perception.

Partial Rebrand. In situations when a brand has been firmly established yet is simply outdated or needs to be refreshed due to the addition of new products or services, tweaking is required, rather than a full-blown rebrand. In these cases, you don’t want to eliminate the brand value that’s been developed over the years, but merely make subtle changes to update it or make it representative of an expanded offering.

Aunt Jemima is a great example of tweaking a well-established brand to update it. The image used for years on its products an African-American “blue collar” woman was simply out of step with today’s mores. Rather than completely change the brand, Aunt Jemima updated the woman to reflect a more professional image.

Total Rebrand. Corporate mergers will often result in complete rebrands. When organizations have failed to establish a Logo Design, or have been through any kind of scandal, total rebranding may also be in order. In these cases, the intent is to erase any previous brand identity and replace it with completely new imagery and messaging.

Sprint is an excellent example of a total rebrand, necessitated when the company merged with Nextel. The company eliminated the angular logo (and red corporate color) that seemed indicative of inflexibility and replaced it with a more fluid logo placed on a cheerful gold Free Background that reflects the company’s friendliness and flexibility.

April 29, 2009 Posted by | logo design | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Royalty Free Sound Suspense Music

What was so special about Hitchcock’s films that made you sit clutching the edge of your seat? What made the climax of a classic thriller like  Psycho  such a hair-raising experience? Yes, you guessed it right  the Free Sound effects  and the music! Had there een no implementation of such loud sound effects and orchestrated music ensembles, a suspense film would have resulted in a dull affair, and the protagonist’s antics may even seem funny. This is the influence that suspense music and similar music cues as well as sound fx have over the viewers  minds. And the correct use of it may infuse life and most importantly the  fear factor  into these films, resulting in success. Free Sound

Suspense music in films have two major types  First is the intense and dense dynamic music during the course of the suspense scene. The other is more of the power ballad kind, with music building up from naught to a crescendo and then coming to an abrupt stop as the scene ends. Usual instruments used in composing suspense music include electric guitar, bass, drums, piano and even complete symphony orchestras that provide the Free Sound effect of the lull  as well as of the  storm! But hiring such professional musicians or acquiring licenses for authentic suspense music is out of bounds for people in charge of small scale projects or presentations.

Here is where royalty free music  steps in. With hundreds of free music portals providing Stock Photography and sound fx at within an affordable price range, these smaller presentation makers or project managers can breathe easy with the budget. But the quality provided by these sites is much lower than what is demanded by the users. This is where Audio Micro scores over the other sites. We too, provide authentic royalty free music and stock sound effects, but our quality is much superior to what you are used to get at other regular free music sites over the net. This is because we not only run a quality check on our free music submissions but also have a skilled and experienced team of stock musicians. They churn out authentic music tracks to be mastered by our equally deft team of audio engineers. Not only this, we also provide free sample stock audio tracks for download. This enables us to convince and convert the user with the quality of our quality!

Royalty Free Suspense music is also used in production music  and several other presentations, especially the ones which uncover some unknown detail or fact to the audience. The popularity of royalty free music as a hassle free way of acquiring and using authentic music for personal purposes has helped make small scale projects be effective and lively. At Audio Micro, no matter how vast your range of requirements for suspense music is, we have answers to all. From melodic music to hardcore percussion and bass thrash, our huge reserve of stock music and Free Sound fx can cater to all your needs. And the right implementation of music in your project will help your project do what it had intended make the viewers jump at every turn and twist in the plot!

April 29, 2009 Posted by | Free Sounds | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Stock Photography – Part 2

In an earlier article, Stock Photography – Part 1, I discussed the basics in getting started in business of stock photography. Deciding what topics or areas in which you what to specialize, and the requirements around performing commercial or editorial photography.

Here in Stock Photography – Part 2, I will cover how you may want to provide and control the use of your images, Royalty-Free (RF) or Rights-Managed (RM). Naturally, you want to make the most from your hard work and effort so make this decision wisely. RF and RM have many differences, be sure you understand the distinctions.Stock Photography

Should you decide that Royalty-Free is the route you prefer then here’s what you need to know. Unlike many professionals, I have no problem with RF licensing, long as you price the image properly. In the RF model, you will normally set the price by the size and resolution of the image. Small, low-res images which are used typically for websites are priced at the lowest rate. These images run in the sub-1MB range at 72 DPI, with longest side somewhere in the range of 6 inches. High-Resolution licenses will provide your customer with a image that is somewhere in the 8-20MB or larger at 300 DPI with the longest side being whatever your camera produces.

Royalty-Free licenses for stock images are normally used for commercial purposes and you will be required to produce the proper releases. Also be aware that when your client requests an RF license, they can basically use that image in any manner that they wish and can publish it as many times as they desire. As long as you understand that in essence you have lost a good deal of control and potential revenue from that image, then providing RF licenses is a good way to go.

Let’s take a look at a few pro’s and con’s of RF license.

Pro’s: With RF licenses you have the ability to re-license a stock image as many times and as often as you like. There are no exclusive rights issued, so a image could be used by several publications or people at the same time.

Con’s: Since you cannot provide any form of exclusivity with RF, the amount you can charge for a license is normally much less than what you can for a Rights-Managed license. So, as I indicated earlier, be sure that you price appropriately. Lack of image control is the main con for RF licenses. One other con, once you have decided that you are going to offer an image as RF then you cannot at a later date decide to make it Rights-Managed. How come? In most cases, RM licenses provide some form of exclusivity. Your client would rather upset if they paid you for rights to usage, then saw the image in another publication. Remember, in RF, anyone could have downloaded the image many months prior to use and can publish it as many times as they want.

Moving on to Rights-Managed licensing for stock images. Pricing is quite a bit different in this model. RM can be used for both commercial and editorial. Where RF is normally priced by image size, RM on the other hand is priced by type of usage and production run. You can provide special usage rights to your client, exclusive or non-exclusive, in the case of editorial usage a release may not be required. Typically, most professionals will use some form of RM calculator to determine the proper rate to charge for a license.

For a example, the rate you would charge for a publisher wanting to use an image exclusively for 6 months, ¼ page, with a production run of 50,000 would be much higher than a publisher having the same requirements with non-exclusive rights. Why? That image is now locked up and cannot be used by anyone else for 6 months.

This is the biggest difference between RF and RM, you have much more control in the manner in which your image is used and you can charge more for the license.

So, here’s the decision you will have to make, offer up your Stock Photography at a lower cost via RF in hopes that you can license the image multiple times or be select on how the image can be used, charge more, but license less.

For the most part quantity does not always win out.

In the final two installments, I will be discussing workflow and how do you plan to go to market.

April 28, 2009 Posted by | Stock Photography | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Walking the Line: Should Your Personality Influence Your Logo Design?

Logo DesignI once had an entrepreneurial client who requested an ad campaign for his new business. After much research and competitive analysis, we recommended that he Logo Design his company using a compelling shade of green. He immediately rejected the idea because, he said, “I hate green.” That same week the founder of another small business saw the designs we had prepared for the other client. The second company’s founder insisted we use the green to brand his company because, he said, “I love that color!”

Neither entrepreneur used objective strategy in their decision. Both relied on their own personal preference. Was this a mistake? Maybe – but probably not. After all, as the founder of a new small business, you are your brand to some extent. Your preferences matter. New companies are strongly identified with their founder, and strong Logo Design often begin with strong personalities. That said, however, you may have certain biases that could impede your company’s success. So when does personal preference get in the way and when does it pave the way?

This is a difficult question to answer, and entrepreneurs would be wise to ask themselves it when making branding decisions for their company. Here are some guidelines:

  • Whenever your personal preference is so strong that you can’t “live with” doing things in opposition to it, don’t even try. My experience has been that while not all of a founder’s personal preferences become enmeshed in the brand, all strong personal preferences both strategic and arbitrary – will become part of the Logo Design Tutorials one way or another.
  • If strategy or objectivity points one direction, but personal preference points another, weigh the strength of both. In my example above, if the first client had listened carefully to our rationale for using that shade of green, he may have decided it outweighed his initial resistance to the color. Or perhaps he just knew that his hatred of green would far outweigh any objective rationale.
  • When you’re unsure, get feedback from potential customers. Show an example to them in way that makes them feel safe responding positively or negatively (removing your personal bias). Keep in mind, however, that customers also fight personal bias and may offer subjective reasoning.
  • When intuition plays a role, consider your intuitive “batting average.” In other words, if following your gut has paid off for you in the past, you probably can trust it. Entrepreneurs with a lot of experience in their industry often have great intuition when it comes to their verbal and visual identity. When they are instantly attracted to something – like a color, photo or font – they go for it.
  • Know that it’s okay to defy conventional wisdom, as long as there’s strategy involved. After all, the point of branding is differentiation. Just beware of rebelling without a cause.
  • If you are working with a freelance designer or agency, make a non-negotiable list of design elements to which you are opposed and present it to your supplier at the beginning of the project. This list might include colors and fonts to avoid. It is vital that you do this upfront or you may face extra charges for “changing direction” down the line.
  • Don’t compromise. If you hate the idea of tugging on heartstrings by using big Stock photography of puppies in your ads, don’t compromise by using small photos of them. Choose one direction (advertising wisdom: heartstrings) or another (your preference: direct sell), but don’t mix the two.

Successful entrepreneurs build their brands on the same things that have helped shaped their personalities: their experience, insight and values. Be true to yourself, and you’ll be true to your brand.

April 28, 2009 Posted by | logo design | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Royalty Free Comedy Sound

Free SoundIt is often said that comedy is not about the perfect punch-line or the perfect protagonists, but about perfect timing. But what many experts miss out while emphasizing is the importance of music in achieving the best in the comic business! Can you imagine a stand-up comedy show without the back-up band? Or even imagine a sitcom without intermittent bursts of simulated applauds and laughter? That is the importance that the right kind of music and  Free Sound effects has on helping the show achieve what it has set out to do  make the audience roll with laughter. Comedy music and sound fx can comprise of several genres  such as jazz, rock, orchestra or a simple cacophony of  sounds, depending upon the need of the project or film at hand.

But the availability of authentic music tailor-made for comedy is rare. Moreover, hiring professional help would also be a tad too expensive on your budget. These factors, paired with the high licensing fees for any of the authentic music tracks, well placed music cues (which are vital, especially to the comedy script) and sound fx have made them a strict no-no for people who have short-term requirements or needs such music for small-scale projects such as school presentations, office projects etc.  Royalty Free Sound hence has become a rage among such small-scale project developers as well as larger organizations. But what has been needling the users is the lack of quality on the online free music portals. Affordable prices have been compensated with a dire lack of quality in such stock music sites.

But at Audio micro, we specialize in offering our clientele the optimum quality stock music and stock sound effects at an affordable range of prices. This guarantees a great value-for-money for our users, a rarity in this free music industry. We ensure quality to be of the standard that matches your demands in two ways. Firstly, our experienced and talented bunch of stock musicians prepare the stock audio tracks and sound fx for your comedy project endeavour, which is then mastered upon by our well-equipped team of audio engineers. Our free music submissions are also scanned and filtered for quality content. Not only this we also offer sample free music tracks for download, which are actual samples of the quality and diversity of our reserve of stock music and sound effects.

Therefore, be it a parody or a slapstick comedy-oriented project, be it satirical or a sitcom, we have all the royalty free music tracks that you require and demand for your comic caper! You have always wished that you had the right mix of content and music to charm your viewers. Well, with Audio Micro, at least the need for the perfect comedy music has been realized, albeit at a very economical price. With our Stock Photography tracks, you can rest assured that while your project or presentation takes centre stage, our free music tracks and sound fx will complement it perfectly, and will help it become a success among the viewer group.

April 27, 2009 Posted by | Free Sounds | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Freres-Jones, Tobias

Desing TutorialsHow did you get involved in type Design Tutorials?

I went to RISD in their undergraduate program. I finished in 1992. It became difficult there for me, because I wanted to learn to design type, which was hardly the focus at RISD. We were taught to use type, how to think with type, but not how to design type. There’s no place really in this country where you can do that. Inge Druckery and Matthew Carter’s course at Yale is good, but it’s for grad students only, and it’s just one course.

When I was 16, there was a competition sponsored by the Type Shop in New York. It was open to 6- to 17-year olds. The assignment was to draw a typeface Free Fonts. I was aware that type existed, but I had never tried it myself. I went with the first idea in my head, and I won in the best-of-age category. I did it all with a radiograph and a drawing board. The competition was in 1986. After that I had a couple of other ideas that I chased down through high school—I designed 8 or 9 “fonts” while I was in high school. One of them survived. It’s Armada, distributed by Font Bureau.

I was thrown out of French class for a day because I was in the back of the room drawing a lowercase k. It was then that I knew I should go to Design Training school.

April 27, 2009 Posted by | Design Tutorials | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Future of Stock Photography is on the Internet

When my brother John started his Stock Photography business about 35 years ago…there was no such thing as an answering machine! Nor did individuals have fax machines…He remembers being very excited about getting a fax machine…because now an Art Director could send him a layout without using a bike messenger or Fed Ex!. Now, here he is shooting without film, digitally enhancing his images on a computer and delivering them via the internet.

For twenty years he shot assignments. A huge part of the business was marketing him self to ad agencies and design firms. Thanks in large part to his foray into digital manipulation of his images; he was very successful at his marketing. He was selling stock photos through “Tony Stone”, later to become Getty Images, and through “The Stock Market” along with my line of greeting cards being sold through Portal Publications. He was shooting assignments, but he was very picky and only took assignments that really interested him.Stock Photography

If you were an advertising agency you went to Tony Stone, The Stock Market, or a tiny handful of stock photography houses. There was no internet and thus no way for small businesses to easily purchase stock photos for their advertising needs.

After the dot com bubble burst he found him self without assignments for a couple of months…but it didn’t matter because he was making plenty of money with Stock Photography. One gig ended and another took over. Of course, today that industry is in turmoil…first royalty-free stock photos impacted the business…and now micro-stock. I even see pay per click ads that cost the advertiser money…advertising free stock photos! I guess he doesn’t have much to worry about that now because the prices can’t go any lower than that free!

I remember when it took a week and buckets of money to get a good print from a photo lab! Now, if I want to print a funny animal picture I just hit command-p on my keyboard and get almost free prints that are of far better quality than anything I used to get from the lab! I can make fine art prints that are even more archival than what the labs could offer right in my own office…and these prints are in my hands in just a matter of minutes.

A few years ago my brother bought a house…a beautiful house on a hillside overlooking a valley. He was surrounded by horses, deer, wild turkeys, and even bobcats and coyotes! He planned living in that house till the end of his days. A close friend cautioned him though, that he should not count on living there forever. “One day you will sell that house” he said. My brother laughed. As I write this He is planning on selling the house in the spring.

John’s greeting card business was growing like crazy. Each quarter his royalty checks were getting larger and larger. People loved the cards…the company was thriving and he was their number one greeting card artist. Still, a business consultant friend of his suggested that he create a worst-case scenario plan for his business just in case something went wrong. John found it difficult to do because he could not possibly see any worst case scenarios on the horizon. Eventually he forgot about the backup plan for his stock photo business.

Fast forward five years…the greeting card company no longer exists. It was purchased by a venture capital firm that made some bad decisions and the business for all practical purposes died. He is now with a different greeting card company and they are slowly rebuilding the business. One thing is different this time…he no longer assumes that the greeting card business will be around forever.

Two new 35mm digital cameras have just been announced…one by Nikon and one by Canon, that both shoot, in addition to extremely high quality digital stills, HDTV motion. Videos are becoming increasing popular…as evidenced by Youtube and other internet sites for sharing video clips. There is an emerging market for stock video clips.

The stock photography business is changing rapidly. More and more small business’s are turning to the internet and purchasing their stock photos online and even getting free stock photos! Digital cameras are not only prolific, but producing better images and in some cases they produce images of higher quality than you could shoot with a film camera.

I believe the future of Stock Photography is online. Photographers need to adapt to changing times and learn to market their work on the internet.

Who was it who said the only constant is change? That is so true…but he does have a method for coping with all this change. His secret is a good attitude and continuously reminding him self of the need to stay open and flexible.

April 24, 2009 Posted by | Stock Photography | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Print vs. Web: What To Know About File Formats (EPS vs. JPG vs. GIF)

If you’ve ever had anything professionally printed, you’ve probably been asked for an “EPS” of your logo. Ever wonder why you can’t just use a JPG, like on your website? What is the difference between an EPS (Encapsulated PostScript), JPG or JPEG (Stock Photography Experts Group) and GIF (Graphics Interchange Format)? Design Tutorials

In brief, an EPS is the standard file format used for printing (e.g., business cards, brochures, signage, etc.), while JPG and GIF files are the most common file formats used on the Internet. Here’s why:

An EPS file contains vector information, which means its resolution is not determined by pixels. As a result, an EPS can be made as large or small as necessary without compromising print quality or losing design detail. There’s a good chance an EPS file will display poorly on your computer screen, but this does not mean it will print badly. Regardless of how it looks on your screen, it is the file you need to produce professional-grade printed materials. It is NOT recommended for use on your website Design Tutorials.

A JPG is a compressed image file suitable for use on the Internet (e.g., your website). It contains raster information, which means that its resolution is determined by the size of its pixels. A JPG can display images consisting of millions of colors over 16 million, actually. As a result of its powerful compression capabilities, JPGs are good for displaying photos and images with complex color schemes. You can place a JPG in a Microsoft Word document and it may print to a laser-printer well, however, you should never use a JPG when professionally printing documents.

A GIF is another popular choice for the Internet. It is a bit-mapped graphics file format that supports a maximum of 256 colors, making it practical for almost all Internet graphics except photos. A GIF is the only option for animation online (unless you use Flash or other expensive vector-based Flash Animations formats). GIFs also support transparency, which means if you place a transparent GIF over something red, the background color of your GIF image will appear red.

Both JPGs and GIFs are meant to be displayed on screen but NEITHER is meant for professional printing. If you try to print using one, the image will most likely appear blurred or jagged (“bit-mapped”). Compared to EPSs, they are much smaller resolution files and cannot be enlarged without losing detail.

April 24, 2009 Posted by | Design Tutorials | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment