40 Creative Postage Stamps for Your Inspiration

Did you know that a person who collects stamps is called a ‘philatelist’? The first pre-paid postage stamp was issued in 1840. Since then, people all over the world have collected stamps, even presidents, royalty, and heads of state. They say that the largest collection of stamps is held by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.

The main purpose of a stamp is to prove the payment of postage. Every country or region in the world has its own stamp design and specifications. Usually, stamps have some graphic design on them so that their location is easily recognizable. From textures to flat design, stamps are a great canvas for illustration work.

Designers worldwide use stamp to celebrate famous landmarks, destinations, sports, holidays, and put their own spin into the design. In this showcase, we have picked 40 creative postage stamps for your very own collection:

Canada 150 Stamps by Tierra Connor

Postage Stamps

Postage Stamps Mock-Ups by Kheathrow Graphics

Postage Stamps

Wedding Stamp Icon by Nick Slater

Stamp : Cities by Elen Winata

Postage Stamps Postage Stamps Postage Stamps Postage Stamps

TBSC by Cris Ruiz

Postage Stamps Postage Stamps Postage Stamps

36 Days of Type 2017 Stamp Collection by Meroo Seth

Postage Stamps

Postage Stamps

Destination: Greece | Stamp collection by Mike Karolos

Hello From Blumenau! by Vitor Hugo Japa

Postage Stamps

eBookers by MUTI

Postage Stamps

Commissioned Works / Early 2017 – Mid 2017 by Kuocheng Liao

Postage Stamps Postage Stamps Postage Stamps

Summer trip by Andrey Gargul

Postage Stamps

“Re” Series Icons Stamps by Sean Heisler

 

Escape, Relax and Explore by ∆ Studio–JQ ∆

 

Headstart for Happiness by Dream Giant

 

STAMPS 2016 Vol 1. by Kuocheng Liao

 

Stamps by DTE

 

Stamp Revamp by Bailey Sullivan

 

Bermuda Triangle stamps by Josh White

 

Stamp Design by Szu-Yu Lin

 

stamps by Bailey Sullivan

 

Are you a philatelist? How large is your stamp collection? Tell us in the comment section below. Also, share this post with your fellow stamp collectors.

Don’t forget to subscribe for more daily snippets of creative designs!

Read More at 40 Creative Postage Stamps for Your Inspiration

from Web Design Ledger https://webdesignledger.com/40-creative-postage-stamps-inspiration/

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The Best Design Collaboration Tools for You and Your Team

Design/development work is seldom a solo effort. Even when that is the case, collaborating with those offering feedback is still a good idea. For teams, effective collaboration is often key to a project’s success. Without it, cost overruns and missed deadlines can be commonplace.

Setting up a manual system for team collaboration is a sound policy. But the effectiveness of manual systems can be difficult to maintain. This is especially when large or multiple projects are involved.

Tools provide a better approach. Once in place, collaboration tools like those discussed here make team collaboration easy. This is especially true when collaborating can be done from a single platform.

 

  1. Mason

When was the last time you were able to design, build, and deploy a digital product from a single platform? If the product was in any way complex, your answer is probably “never”. A similar answer might apply if you were asked how you went about making changes to a deployed product without having to wait until the next deployment cycle.

That’s where Mason is different. From its front-end-as-a-service platform, you can design, build, and deploy in real time. What Mason does is to take a digital product and break it down to its constituent parts (its so-called “atomic” level). The product is then re-assembled and ready for additions or changes and deployment.

It’s basically a process of drag and drop, design, and publish, plus many changes can be made, some by non-tech users, without having to repeat a deployment cycle.

Collaboration? Doing everything on a single platform and in real time promotes collaboration and makes it a no-brainer.

 

 

  1. monday.com

monday.com may be one of the most versatile team management tools on the market. It’s equally suitable for a team of two or a team of thousands, it’s used by agencies, startups, and Fortune 500 companies, and it doesn’t matter whether your team is high-tech or non-tech.

Non-tech oriented teams, which make up about 70% of monday.com’s users, like monday.com because it’s not only intuitive, but it relieves team members of having to sit through long whiteboard presentations, attend one meeting after another, or spend time sifting through Excel spreadsheets in search of nuggets of useful information.

monday.com provides colorful and informative displays, it helps teams manage every detail of their work from high-level planning to daily tasks, while promoting team transparency and collaboration.

 

  1. Fleep — Collaboration Software

Fleep provides the type of administrative control over teams, their conversations, and their accounts, under a centralized management system that leads to peace of mind. All that’s needed to set up and use a Fleep account is an internet connection.

Once that is done, you can securely store information associated with conversations on the cloud and pin important messages on the side of each conversation where everyone can see them. Fleep conversations are text-based, but this application interacts with appear.in to enable audio or video calls.

Fleep operates on PC, Mac or Linux, and a mobile app is available for operating on Android, and iPhone platforms. Sign up for the free Basic Plan account, or for a 30-day Business Plan account trial.

 

  1. Visual Inspector

If you’ve been struggling to collaborate website design issues, collaborate website copy with copy writers, or coordinate changes with team members or clients, Visual Inspector could be exactly what you need. Visual Inspector is a feedback collaboration tool for designers and developers that allows changes to be made to live websites without the need for coding.

Visual Inspector has a user base of 40,000 users representing many of the top design/development agencies.

 

Conclusion

Perhaps you already have a manual collaboration system in place. Such a system is often easy to set up and get running smoothly. But over time manual systems tend to become less effective. This is especially when complex or multiple projects are involved.

Use the right tool to manage your collaborative efforts. You will be able to avoid degradation or breakdowns and you’ll find it’s worth its weight in gold.

Read More at The Best Design Collaboration Tools for You and Your Team

from Web Design Ledger https://webdesignledger.com/the-best-design-collaboration-tools-for-you-and-your-team/

Virtual Reality is Helping to Replace Opioids at this New York Hospital

virtual reality

The Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, New York, is changing the way they treat pediatric cancer patients. Instead of administering addictive opioids, they are hoping to relieve anxiety and stress. How do they do that? They give their patients the opportunity to explore a virtual reality. The Virtual Reality Fine Arts program (VRFA) commissioned renowned artist Tom Christopher to recreate a sensory-rich, virtual New York City neighborhood that patients can explore. Moreover, the virtual reality experience is an immersive, abstract take on urban life. The project is a new look at how we can use art for modern medicine.

Virtual Reality as Medicine

The Montefiore Medical Center is a research university hospital, meaning they teach and practice innovative techniques. Their mission is to explore new treatments and to advance the health of their community in the Bronx. Therefore, they reached out to Tom Christopher, known for his urban expressionist paintings, and the Fashion Institute of Technology to help their patients in extreme pain. Montefiore told Forbes that “The Virtual Reality Fine Art Program at Montefiore seeks to diminish anxiety, pain, and opioid addiction through stimulus-rich and curated artistic environments. These experiences will serve as ‘immersive analgesics’ allowing physicians to treat their patients more effectively. Also, it will improve patient’s health and hospital experiences and reduce reliance on pain medication, especially opioids.”

 

 

Tom Christopher is a classically trained artist famous for his distinctive and beautiful murals of urban life. He originally began as a courtroom artist and even designed ads for Disney, CBS, and motor companies. He made a transition to fine arts in the 80s, where he was featured in many exhibitions and galleries. When he was approached by Montefiore and FIT for the virtual reality project, he was ready to attempt something new artistically. Christopher told Forbes that “Even though I knew nothing about VR, I recognized this was a rare opportunity for an artist in his 60s to discover a new medium.”

 

A Walk Through the Neighborhood

Christopher uses Google Tilt Brush to recreate an abstract virtual reality of the South Bronx. He first draws on location, using his signature style with Google Tilt Brush. Then, he transfers the illustrations to the virtual reality technology. You can see people busily walking around the streets, cyclists moving, and familiar street signs. Cars and buses pass by as the user marvels at the contrasting colors. The project was such a success that FIT and Christopher are now working with the New York Botanical Gardens. They are creating another virtual reality world with Google Tilt to illustrate the floral masterpieces that exist within NYBG.

We love that new technology and art blend together to help advance modern medicine. The immersive virtual reality experience is a mesmerizing way to reduce stress and anxiety. Furthermore, walking through the colorful streets of the South Bronx from a hospital bed is revolutionary. It is an experience you must see to appreciate. The concept of virtual reality to help alleviate patients in hospitals has swept the nation. Hospitals in LA fare using virtual reality for relaxation games and walks through nature. Even though it doesn’t work for every patient, for those that it does work on, the results are outstanding.

Read More at Virtual Reality is Helping to Replace Opioids at this New York Hospital

from Web Design Ledger https://webdesignledger.com/virtual-reality-is-helping-to-replace-opioids-at-this-new-york-hospital/

How to Get over Perfectionism (and Execute on Your Ideas)

As marketers, we’re all too familiar with putting off executing on an idea.

There’s always a perfectly good reason for this: the end goal hasn’t quite crystallized yet. The resources and budget need to be better thought through. The analytics systems in place don’t seem up to par. …you know how the rest goes.

The underlying problem?

We badly want to “do it right” so much that we end up not doing it at all. Perfectionism paralysis at its finest – and ironically, the higher the stakes are, the harder it hits.

At Ahrefs, we’re definitely no stranger to this. But when your marketing and content strategies trend towards conducting multiple experiments, you pick up certain ways to trick your mind into letting go a little.

We do a ton of experiments. Some succeed and some fail. What’s important is that they get done.

We’ve learned lots along the way, through trial and even more error – and now, we’d love to share some key points of our journey with you.

Ready? Let’s go.

3 social media experiments and their results

Our CMO, Tim Soulo, believes that a huge chunk of marketing ROI simply cannot be measured. And things get done a lot faster when the people up top aren’t pressuring you to predict ROI, set specific numbers to hit and track data for every step of every process.

In fact, we often do things because our gut feeling tells us it’s the right thing to do, rather than because the numbers say so. In short, we believe that it’s better to do something than not do anything at all – simply because it doesn’t seem perfect. If we have a cool idea and some spare resources, we take action…and quickly.

Let’s dive into some examples that illustrate this. We’ll be exploring the thought processes behind three Twitter marketing experiments that have varying degrees of polish to them.

1. The 1k retweet growth hacking experiment

Starting off quick and easy: in February, we attempted to get 1k re-tweets on Twitter in order to loosen up a data limitation on one of our paid subscription plans.

Here’s a little secret: we were going to loosen up the limit either way, but we also wanted to draw some attention to that fact. Hey, no harm having extra toppings on our ice cream.

In terms of measuring success? We didn’t even bother.

This is a fantastic example of doing something because it feels right, not because we expected or were aiming for a specific outcome. It could just have easily turned into a monster of an experiment – calculating the rate of visibility spread, analyzing data on the users who retweeted, attempting to measure the value of publicity generated…so on and so forth.

Instead, we decided to simply jump into it, then collectively nodded when the experiment succeeded and called it a day.

The story: Our initial, “raw” tweet collected about 100 re-tweets (Dmitry doesn’t have a large following on Twitter.) To give it a little boost, we pushed it to our users via Intercom announcement and also shared it in our private Facebook Group. This boosted the retweet count to nearly 700.

Funnily enough, at this point our counter leaped another 500 re-tweets in no time at all to total almost 1.3k; we suspect that someone lost his or her patience and purchased re-tweets on a service like Fiverr. So we gave up on our goal of 1k re-tweets and rolled out the update – we’d reached our goal of more publicity for this plan upgrade, and that’s all we needed.

(Looking at the tweet now, we’re back to 800. It looks like Twitter deleted the bot accounts and removed all retweets from these bots.)

2. The recirculation experiment

Sometime in March this year, we decided to run another experiment. Granted, this one’s actually more of a best practice, or highly-adopted technique, in social media marketing: content recirculation.

We have tons of well-researched, in-depth blog posts that we go to great lengths to create. Most remain highly relevant months after their initial publish date, but traffic soon starts to dwindle when compared with newer posts – mostly due to an increasing lack of visibility as they get pushed further down our archives.

Solution? We decided to dust off our previously underutilized Twitter account (due to lack of resources on our end) and kick off a more regular content schedule. This included lightly repurposing our existing content into catchy tweets.

We love to make things easier, so we didn’t set any hard KPIs or goals. Our followers on Twitter are a cool bunch; engaged, receptive and fun. We just wanted to highlight cool stuff that they might have missed and see how things went from there.

Turns out, plenty of these tweets were really well-received:

Initially, we were simply aiming to see if there were any changes in the number of people who liked, retweeted or replied to our tweets. Then a peek at our Twitter analytics a week later showed these trends:

Above: red lines mark when we began the experiment. Engagement rate, link clicks, retweets and likes all showed a noticeable upward trend.

Pretty cool, we thought! The charts instantly confirmed what we were hoping to see: a definite boost in overall engagement and link clicks.

We’ll probably pop into Google Analytics in a couple of months’ time to confirm that our blog is indeed seeing increased traffic from Twitter. But in the meantime – success, and on to other things!

The custom Twitter header experiment

Now for a more complicated example – we went into this one with more planning in place.

A header image is the first thing you see at the top of any Twitter profile: 1500 x 500 pixels’ worth of it, to be exact.

Given their prime position and reach potential, we were seeing companies invest efforts into making custom twitter backgrounds for every occasion, from event announcements to highlighting important news, to more targeted offers and call-to-actions.

Here are a couple of examples:

It got us wondering – just how effective are these header images? Do many people see them? And if they do, do they actually act on them? Most of all: since creating cool images can be costly in terms of resources, does it make sense to start investing in them?

Experiment time!

The concept was simple: use our Twitter header image to announce a flash giveaway, then monitor responses and engagement levels. We kept the mechanics easy. The first 10 people to send in an email with the message we specified would be granted a free month’s worth of access to Ahrefs.

We had ~19.3k followers at the time and were excited to see how this would translate into entries for our giveaway. Before we began, we checked where the Twitter header could be seen from:

  1. Results page upon searching for “ahrefs” in Twitter’s search bar;
  2. Ahrefs’ Twitter profile page;
  3. On hover of a direct mention (@ahrefs) or on Ahrefs’ name on Twitter timeline (not applicable on mobile devices)

Pretty promising, right? We also came up with a couple of potential cons to the experiment:

  1. A single person could abuse this pretty easily by sending in multiple entries to get many accounts;
  2. Or, a person could spread the word to others through other (non-Twitter header) channels, effectively defeating the purpose of the experiment.

What we learned

We ran the header image on January 16th and reached our 10th entry on January 24th, over a week later.

Here’s the breakdown:

Overall, the response was curiously slow for an instant win giveaway like the one we were running. In fact, although we were hitting an average of ~45k impressions per day, we only saw our very first entry two full days after launching.

The lukewarm response continued until there was a spike in entries on the 24th. After some digging, we discovered two big occurrences on that day:

1. We experienced a power outage for a period of time. People were coming to our Twitter profile to send us direct messages and tweets asking about the downtime. Presumably, many spotted our header image along the way – one existing user sent in an entry;

2. Ahrefs picked up a direct mention and article plug from the @growthhackers Twitter account with 187k+ followers. We can assume that some of their followers decided to follow Ahrefs on Twitter (or visit our profile to learn more about us) after reading the article. These people would have been exposed to our Twitter header and we suspect this is the main reason why we had an influx of entries.

Going by the trend seen in the final spike in entries, we can conclude that new leads are probably generated from our content marketing efforts: Twitter users enjoy an article, decide to follow us on Twitter, see our header and decide to write in for a free account.

On the other hand, entries from existing Ahrefs users are likely a result of users visiting our profile to either tweet at us or send us direct messages – whether to lodge a complaint or ask a question. While on our profile, they may have come across the header and had a “why not?” moment.

In other words, without big external factors, our presence on Twitter seems to do an equally good job of engaging both new leads and existing users.

The conclusion

Overall, the response to our giveaway was poor until some ‘special circumstances’ occurred.

Our takeaway: customizing multiple high-quality header images and expecting huge results is out of the question. But considering that header images can be designed pretty quickly or outsourced for cheap, even a really low conversion rate might justify the cost of creation in order to complement an existing marketing strategy.

In short, we decided that investing our efforts in customized banners is a pretty low-priority effort. It may produce some results, but they aren’t likely to be exceptional. Experiment concluded!

Over to You

I hope the contrast in these stories help to highlight what we’ve learned:

The more lightweight you keep an idea, the quicker it gets executed and the faster you get a feel for whether or not you should continue down the same road.

Remember:

  1. Keep things simple! Run experiments for the sake of learning, even if you haven’t quite nailed down how to best track results.
  2. The more effort you put into the planning and analytics stages, the more resources you’ll need to execute. It will always be “cheaper” to just throw things at the wall.
  3. Put cool ideas on hold if you don’t have the resources available at the time. You never know when you can work on them, or if an alternative execution method will spring to mind.

I’d love to hear your thoughts – how do you strike a balance between shipping experiments while avoiding getting mired down by the technicalities involved? How long do you keep tracking your results, and how do you use this information moving forward? Are there any other tips, tricks or hacks you’d like to share?

from Social https://blog.bufferapp.com/twitter-marketing-experiments

12 Stunning Handwriting Fonts To Spice Up Your Projects

handwriting fonts

Who doesn’t love a good, ol’ handwriting font? The meticulousness designers create handwriting fonts that surpasses our expectations all the time. Gyula Ju from PeachCreme, has diligently design twelve stunning fonts for fastidious designers.

 

Every now and a while, our projects require a handwriting font to add a plus of beauty to them. When choosing the font, we need to activate our “designer eye” and pick the best out of the best. There are a few criteria we need to check when we do it:

  • the font must be legible;
  • it must be suited for the message of the text;
  • kerning, leading, and tracking must be on point.

stunning handwriting fonts

 

Gyula Ju’s fonts meet all these criteria, and the result is, as already mentioned, stunning. Her work can be purchased on Creative Market, for amazingly good prices. Moreover, all the designer’s handwriting fonts feature the following:

  • uppercase and lowercase letters, numerals, multilingual symbols, a large range of punctuation and ligatures;
  •  all UPPERCASE letters include beginning and ending swashes which gives your text a realistic hand-lettered style;
  • all lowercase letters include ending swashes which spice up the looks of your project;
  • easy to use in Adobe Illustrator CS, Adobe Photoshop CC, Adobe Indesign and Corel Draw.

As you have probably noticed already, for this week’s Font of the Week article, we chose to showcase more than just one font. Usually, we don’t feature the same designer more than one time, therefore only one font of that designer is featured. Gyula’s fonts are so amazing that we couldn’t decide only upon one. Check them out:

1. Eternal Paris Script

Handwriting fonts

2. Oh Darling- Ethereal Script Font

handwriting fonts

3. Wild Moon – Casual Script Font

handwriting fonts

4. Adora Bouton-Luxury Script

handwriting fonts

5. Maison de fleur_Luxury Script Font

handwriting fonts

6. The Styled Edit- Chic Ligature Font

handwriting fonts

7. Floral Hearts-Luxury Script Font

handwriting fonts

8. Beloved Gray -Fine Art Font

handwriting fonts

9. Sophia Ronald // Lovely Script Font

handwriting fonts

10. Blush Society // Editorial Vol.10

handwriting fonts

11. Darling Modern // Luxury Font

handwriting fonts

12. Santorini // Luxury Signature Font

handwriting fonts

We love the elegance, the versatility, and the actuality of these stunning handwriting fonts. They would all look amazing used for wedding invitations, packaging, book covers, branding, and so much more! We invite you to stay updated with the designers work on the following platforms:

Facebook: Peach Creme Company

Instagram: peachcremebranding

Personal blog: peachcreme.com

Also, if you are a font designer and you would like to be featured on our blog, drop us a message @ webdesignledger.blog@gmail.com and we will make sure that your work becomes known.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read More at 12 Stunning Handwriting Fonts To Spice Up Your Projects

from Web Design Ledger https://webdesignledger.com/12-stunning-handwriting-fonts-to-spice-up-your-projects/

5 Best Practices for Mobile Friendly Websites

Mobile Friendly Websites

Google no longer is suggesting that our websites be mobile-friendly, it is now a requirement if you want your site to be indexed and found.

They made it very clear that those sites that are not mobile-friendly will be penalized. Luckily technology has kept up with the demands from Google by removing the barriers that used to exist.

In the past, websites needed to be hand-coded in order to be mobile-friendly. This process was costly, unavailable to non-technical people, and took a long time.

Today there are a multitude of templates and frameworks that make it easier to make your site friendly to mobile users. If your website is not currently mobile-friendly, you will need to learn how to make a mobile friendly site.

What is a Mobile-Friendly Website?

If all your website content such as your videos, links, text, and images are easy-to-read and readily accessible on smaller screens like tablets and smart phones, it means your site is mobile-friendly.

This means that your website literally shrinks down to be small enough to display on a mobile device and looks like a smaller version of your site as it appears on a desktop computer.

Mobile Friendly Websites

Think Mobile First

Before the mobile revolution it was well-known that websites should place the most important information above the fold. What that meant was to have the most important or relevant information located in a top position on your website where your visitors could see it without having to scroll.

As time moves on, more not less people will be accessing your websites via mobile devices. It is therefore crucial that your content be mobile ready. This includes your navigation, calls-to-action, and contact information.

It becomes even more important to place the most essential content in a place where it can be easily found without scrolling or searching when one is looking at an already small screen.

Site Navigation and Home Page

When designing your home page for a desktop, you have much more flexibility with regards to real estate. This means that you have more space to brand, promote, or explain to your website visitors.

On a mobile device, space in general, and homepage space in particular, is at a premium. Keep in mind that everybody is in a hurry these days and they don’t want to waste their time searching your site from their phone to find anything.

It is best to give priority to calls-to-action and the most essential navigation items. You can hide less important or secondary navigation behind menu buttons to save precious real estate.

Mobile Friendly Websites

Font and Button Size

Because mobile devices are already small, you want to make sure the font size you choose is large enough for users to read. It’s best to set your font size to 14px so that your users don’t have to zoom in to read your content.

Another factor to consider are your call-to-action buttons. Make sure they are large enough to reduce the changes of your website visitors either missing them or pushing the wrong one.

Layout for Cross-Platform Compatibility

For your website to be mobile-friendly, you have to use a layout that is not only logical, but also aesthetically-pleasing. A few of the ways you can accomplish this are:

  • Don’t use popups
  • Use icons instead of words where possible to save space
  • Fonts should be legible and large enough to read

Keep in mind that your website visitors will be coming from a variety of devices. You want to make sure your content is consistent across all platforms.

Mobile Friendly Websites

Think About Speed

If your site takes too long to load, you will lose your mobile device visitors as they leave your site to find one that loads faster, possibly to your competitor’s site. Some of the things that can slow down your load time are excess code, too many images, and images that are too large.

When you are designing your website for mobile users, remember that it has to look nice and be easy-to-read on small screens. Keep the following points in mind when creating your mobile-friendly website:

  • Screen space is much smaller than on desktop devices
  • People’s attention span is short
  • Mobile users are goal-directed and expect to find the most important information quickly and easily

 

Read More at 5 Best Practices for Mobile Friendly Websites

from Web Design Ledger https://webdesignledger.com/5-best-practices-mobile-friendly-websites/

Newsletters Designers And Developers Should Be Subscribing To

Every now and then, we have to take time and clean our inboxes of the useless emails we get daily, but we never read. What do we replace them with? We have come up with a list of the most helpful, good content newsletters designers and developers should be subscribing to. 

 

I have many times been overwhelmed with the amount of emails I would get daily from all the writers I subscribed to. Postponing to delete them does more harm than good. In such situations, the only option you have is to take that time you tried to save and start deleting and unsubscribing to those emails you know you’ll never read. As designers and developers, we have to stay constantly connected to the newest “everythings.” We draw our inspiration and knowledge from the world around us. One simple thing we can do to not miss crucial news, tools, and gadgets that could make our lives easier is to subscribe to high-quality content providers.

Do you need a new, refreshed list of email newsletters for designers and developers? Check the list below and let us know which you consider to be the most helpful of all.

 

1. LAYOUT LAND

Jen Simmons is the Mozilla Designer and Developer Advocate and her knowledge about CSS Grid is fantastic. Not only that, but she also makes sure that once a month she shares it with us in a newsletter. The main purpose of her mails is to announce the subscribers about new videos available on the Layout Land YouTube Channel, but the editorial notes carry a lot of value in themselves. She’s funny and she does a great job at explaining!

2. WEB DEVELOPMENT READING LIST

Anselm Hannemann, the founder of Colloq and certified Scrum Master writes design and dev news, commentaries, and techniques every week. He keeps the editorials short, but the message is clear and extremely helpful. His articles are highly read due to his out-spoken, powerful narrative voice. Just as we all like it.

 

3. UI ANIMATION NEWSLETTER

Val Head keeps us up to date on the best motion design, web animation, and UX resources on the internet. The author is an interface animation consultant, designer, and a highly recommended speaker. She is also a design advocate for Adobe. She diligently finds time every week to create tutorials and write articles where she passes over her wide knowledge in web animation.

4. REALLY GOOD EMAILS

I found myself skimming through their amazing content while writing about them. Really Good Emails is a team of seven talented people who bring to the table the best information you can get about literary anything. Their 3,300 gallery showcases excellent resources about design, including links to other amazing resources.

 

5. FRIDAY FRONT-END

Author of the book “How to Find a Better Job in Tech” and CSS developer Scott Vandehey tweets daily a link to an interesting front-end article. Every Friday, these links are nicely wrapped and sent via email accompanied by a short description. These links might look randomly chosen, but they are thoughtfully mixed.

This list includes only five of the thousands of good newsletter designers and developers should subscribe to. We plan on sharing more of such lists, but we would like to involve you, too. Therefore, feel free to share with us your favorite authors you read daily, weekly, or monthly. Or if you are writer and would like to see your content featured on our blog, do the following:

  • drop us an email at webdesignledger.blog@gmai.com
  • tell us what you usually write about
  • and lastly, visit us daily for amazing snippets of inspiration.

Also, check out these 8 Useful WordPress Themes for Building Great Portfolios in 2018!

Read More at Newsletters Designers And Developers Should Be Subscribing To

from Web Design Ledger https://webdesignledger.com/newsletters-designers-developers-subscribing/

Google has a handy new job search tool for UK users


Google isn’t just about websites. The world’s largest search engine now shows everything from cinema times to flight statuses, and in the UK, is about to get even more useful with the introduction of job openings. Here’s how it works: next time you’re looking for a new job, you can just ask Google. Typing simple queries like “teaching jobs” or “jobs near me” will let you browse listings pulled from a variety of sources, including Gumtree, TotalJobs, Reed, and The Guardian Jobs. Google’s new tool shows you salary information, as well as the rating of the employer. If you’re logged…

This story continues at The Next Web

Or just read more coverage about: Google

from UK – The Next Web https://thenextweb.com/insider/2018/07/17/google-has-a-handy-new-job-search-tool-for-uk-users/

Helms Workshop Studio Gives Your Brand an Identity With Personality

Helms Workshop

You are currently reading our sixth article in the Agency of the Week series, where we are shedding a light on the amazing Design Studio, Helms Workshop

 

 

Who are they?

Helms Workshop is a Texas based strategic brand design studio. They are not your usual design studio due to the following reasons:

  • they proved their talent and hard work numerous times, fact that brought them the Communication Arts 58th Design Competition Award;
  • they are a relatively new studio but with many important completed projects under their belt;
  • they treat their clients with trust and respect;
  • Helms Workshop never lacks creativity;
  • they always do what they promise making their clients part of the creative process;

The Helms Workshop Team:

Helms Workshop

Helms Workshop

What do they do?

Helms Workshop has gained a reputation as identity creators, job they are the best at. Tell the studio your idea and they will make it countless better. Helms Workshop promises:

  • to bring “big ideas to life through design with wit, heritage and humanity;
  • to build, amplify and revitalize remarkable brands with an authentic voice;
  • to create identities with personality, living, working brands with a point of view, and with character.
  • to connect the brand with the people;
  • to bring joy, and drive business.

What do they clients say about the studio’s services?

Helms Studio has affirmed that they have a close relationship with their clients, based on trust and respect. They also work diligently to give identity with personality to their clients’ brands. Do they manage to do so? Let’s find out!

We had a unique and difficult challenge in refreshing our 25-year old brand, one that required a distinctive touch and experienced approach to find the right solution.

There was only one choice for me. With the Helms team we instantly found the right chemistry, enthusiasm and outside perspective we needed. They listened with patience and quickly helped us envision our future while respecting our past, leaving us feeling empowered and excited.

Brent Anderson
CREATIVE DIRECTOR, BOULEVARD BREWING

With no ego or hierarchy, the team finds what is right- both for a brand’s short term performance and future potential- and they go above and beyond to deliver. Southern Comfort is a great illustration of how true partnership can yield proud results.

Lena Derohannessian
VP GLOBAL MARKETING DIRECTOR, SOUTHERN COMFORT

The Helms team knows how to ask the right questions, and maybe even more importantly, they know how to listen – really listen – and use insight and magic to build a brand story better than I ever imagined.

I don’t know how they do it, but I am humbled and damn honored to be someone who’s experienced the excellence and fearless creativity in the minds and hearts of the folks at Helms Workshop.

Leigh Oliver Smith Vickery
CEO, QUESO MAMA
Helms Workshop’s work include projects for important brands such as Toyota, HBO, Facebook, MTV, The New York Times, Native Boutique Hostels, Pabst Brewing, Pinthouse Pizza, etc.. Are you curious to see some amazing design projects? Check them out!

1. CHINOOK SEEDERY BRAND REFRESH

Helms Workshop Helms Workshop

 

2. Boulevard Brewing Co.

Helms Workshop

3. Pinthouse Pizza

Helms Workshop

4. Howler Bros

Helms workshop

5. Queso Mama

Helms Workshop

Stay updated with the studio’s work by following them on their blog, on Instagram, Facebook, and Dribbble.

If you liked this article and would like to see your studio featured on our blog, drop us an email at webdesignledger.blog@gmail.com and we will tell you what you have to do.

Read More at Helms Workshop Studio Gives Your Brand an Identity With Personality

from Web Design Ledger https://webdesignledger.com/helms-workshop-studio-gives-your-brand-an-identity-with-personality/

How to Sell on Instagram Like the Pros [Proven Tips & Strategies]

By now, you’ve most likely heard that the Instagram platform has surpassed 1 billion monthly active users worldwide and that 400 million+ people are using Instagram Stories on a daily basis.

But, did you know that Instagram now makes up more than one-third (36%) of Facebook’s total ad revenue? A revenue number that is expected to grow to $5.4 billion in the U.S. alone in 2018 and $9 billion globally by 2020.

Needless to say, Instagram advertising is becoming a huge deal  for Facebook and an even greater opportunity for business looking to diversify their advertising channels and reach new customers.

In our latest episode of The Science of Social Media, we’re exploring tons of detailed tips, strategies, and best-practices for how businesses can sell on Instagram like the pros.

Let’s dive in!

How to listen: iTunes | Google Play | SoundCloud | Stitcher | RSS

How to Sell Your Product on Instagram Like the Pros - Proven Tips and Strategies

What you’ll learn in this episode

What follows is a lightly edited transcript of the conversation between Hailley Griffis and Brian Peters. Short on time? No worries! Here are four quick takeaways:

  • Instagram Shoppable Posts: How they work, how to set them up, and how to get started
  • Our top dos and don’ts when it comes to how to sell on Instagram
  • Why UGC (user generated content) and influencer marketing are a few of our go-to Instagram marketing strategies
  • How to create an Instagram business profile that doubles as your business’ home page
  • Measuring the ROI of your Instagram advertising efforts

Must-read resources on how to sell on Instagram

How to sell on Instagram [complete podcast transcript]

Hailley: Hi everyone! I’m Hailley Griffis and this is The Science of Social Media, a podcast by Buffer. Your weekly sandbox for social media stories, insights, experimentation, and learning.

Brian: Welcome to episode #103! I’m Brian Peters and this week we’re exploring the exciting world of Instagram advertising. There are many opportunities for brands, businesses, and entrepreneurs to sell on Instagram – and all they need is a solid place and guide to get started.

Hailley: And what do you know – we’ve got that (and more) in store for you today. Let’s kick off the show!

Brian: In September of last year, Instagram announced their business community has grown to 2 million advertisers, up from one million advertisers back in March of 2017.

Now in 2018, that number is rapidly growing, which means 1) it’s a perfect opportunity for your business to jump on this exciting advertising trend and 2) two million advertisers might seem like a lot, but in reality, competition is still fairly low and return on investment remains high compared to other platforms such as Google and Facebook.

Hailley: Instagram is a very promising platform in terms of both organic posting AND advertising in 2018 and beyond.

Learning how to promote your products on Instagram without seeming sales-y offers businesses of all shapes, sizes, products, and services some incredible opportunities to reach their target audience and drive sales.

Get this, KeyBank analyst Andy Hargreaves recently estimated that Instagram could generate nearly $9 billion in revenue this year – and one The Street analyst believes that Instagram could hit 1.1 billion monthly active users by the end of 2018.

Meaning, your target audience is likely on the Instagram platform… or will be very, very soon.

Brian: Very soon!

However, being that Instagram is a visual platform first and foremost, the rules of the game are a bit different than you might be used to with other forms of social network advertising and posting.

Businesses and advertisers need to take a different mindset going in. Instagram is all about inspiration, discovery, branding, and what AdWeek calls the “continuation of customer journeys”

Hailley: Exactly. And, of course, the tradeoff with ads focusing on inspiration, discovery and branding is that there tends to be less drive for users to click directly on the ads, since their engagement is more likely to be about simply viewing what ads are offering to them than, say, purchasing a product.

But! this doesn’t mean that Instagram posts and ads aren’t valuable—in fact, it can be quite the opposite.

Instagram is one of the best platforms for brands to engage with customers who may not have intended to purchase a specific product.

Brian: So with that. What we have for you in today’s episode is a list of best-practices, tools, and key data points that you’ll need to know to be successful with Instagram posting and advertising, and ultimately, selling your product or service on the platform.

And remember, every successful content marketing and advertising strategy contains a willingness to experiment a TON, analyze results, and learn quickly.

The best top-level advice we can give you right off the bat is to take a growth marketing approach to your Instagram sales efforts.

HailleyAlright, right off the bat lets cover Instagram Shoppable Posts.

You might have seen these in your feed over the last few months, but essentially Shoppable Posts allow eCommerce and others businesses to tag and add products directly to an image.

Users can then click on a specific product within an image and purchase the item directly on Instagram. So from discovery to checkout, users never have to leave the Instagram app which is pretty incredible.

Brian: Yeah I’ll admit that I’ve been hooked by several Shoppable Posts over the last few weeks. The experience is pretty seamless and fun actually.

However there are a few eligibility requirements you’ll need to check off before you can get started with Instagram shoppable posts:

  1. You must be located in one of the following countries: United States, Canada, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, or Australis
  2. You need an Instagram business account
  3. You must be on the latest version of the Instagram app on either iOS or Android.

Hailley: Yeah, all pretty easy to that point. But there are two more steps to get started which can be a little tricky.

The first is that your business must sell physical goods that comply with Instagram’s merchant agreement and commerce policies. You can find these on Facebook’s website by searching “Facebook commerce policies” in Google.

And then second, your business profile must be connected to a Facebook catalog. This can be created and managed on Business Manager, directly on your business’s Page on Facebook, or through a 3rd party tool like Shopify.

Brian: I know it’s a bit hard to demonstrate how to complete the steps that Hailley just mentioned, however, be sure to check out this episode’s description in iTunes, Google Play, or wherever you get your podcasts and we’ll include a great resource that HubSpot recently created on getting all of this stuff set up.

Anyhow, as soon as you’ve completed those steps, your account will be reviewed by Instagram before you can access their shoppable posts feature. And once you’ve been approved, you will receive a notification letting you know you’re ready to start selling on Instagram. Boom!

Hailley: And that’s where the fun begins!

Whether you have access to Shoppable posts or not, there are some must-dos (and donts) when it comes to selling your product. And these apply to both organic posting and advertising on Instagram.

The first is that while selling on Instagram is easier than ever, it’s important to remember your audience shouldn’t feel like they are being sold to.

One way to think about it is that you as a business should aim to maintain your current content strategy, and only incorporating shoppable tags on photos that are a natural fit for your profile. The same goes for organic content as well.

Brian: Great point, Hailley. In other words, you’re going to have a lot more success by doing what’s already working for you rather than completely changing your strategy to try and sell products.

For example, a great way to organically sell your products through your posts is by leveraging high-quality user-generated content in your content and ads.

Here’s a fun fact, Millennials trust UGC 50% more than other types of media, so it makes sense that these images would work well for selling your product as well.

One of my favorite brands on Instagram is a outdoor retailer called Huckberry. They do a great job of incorporating UGC into their content naturally. Definitely go check them out for inspiration.

HailleyYeah and somewhat in the same realm of UGC is that you can also optimize your Instagram sales strategy by using influencer posts.

According to HubSpot, Instagram influencer collaborations and sponsorships have nearly replaced traditional ads and are a huge part of a social media strategies today.

One cool example of this is when Herschel Supply (a brand many of you might have heard of) featured a popular fashion model (Michelle Dee) using one of their suitcases on their profile. They of course tagged the suitcase allowing users to instantly purchase it.

Brian: Such a good example, Hailley, and so easily replicated as well.

You can quickly identify several influencers in your space and offer them some sort of compensation for capturing themselves using your product or talking about your product in some way.

Then, you can feature that post on your profile. And for a double win, you can also have them post it to their profile as well.

Lots of fun and creative ways to go about it.

Hailley: Switching over to some quick-fire tips and strategies for selling on Instagram like the pros.

First and foremost, and we’ve chatted about this before, is to treat your business profile as if it were your website’s homepage.

Think about this, there are currently about 3.2 billion internet users in the world.

1.1 billion of those people use Instagram. Meaning that more than one-third of the earth’s population of internet users are on Instagram searching, exploring, and connecting with brands and influencers.

It’s time we start treating social media profiles as more than just a means to an end. They are becoming the end!

Brian: Perfectly said, Hailley. Love that.

So what does this mean for you, you might ask?

Well, this massive shift in behavior means you should be spending as much time and effort curating a beautifully-designed Instagram feed as you would creating your website.

Yup, I said it!

Your Instagram Business profile is your first opportunity to make a great impression and entice people to follow your business. By creating a consistent brand story and aesthetic, you can turn new customers into devoted followers – taking one giant leap closer to making a sale.

Hailley: Another quick tip, along with doing what already works, is to use one of the most effective strategies out there for Instagram advertising and that’s promoting posts you’ve shared on Instagram.

Once you have a Business profile set up on Instagram, you can decide how much you want spend, where you’d like the ad to be seen, and how long you want to run it for.

What we do to decide which posts to advertise with is focus on engagement rate, rather than guessing or randomly picking posts. You can quickly calculate engagement rate for posts by going to your Business profile analytics and dividing the total engagement by total reach.

We also offer many of those same Instagram analytics and data points within the Buffer product for marketers managing Instagram from our dashboard.

Brian: Yeah, I love using Buffer to quickly figure out which posts to boost on Facebook and Instagram. Super easy.

One pro tip is to make sure that you’re using Facebook Ads Manager to manager (instead of just using the Promote button. This will give you a lot more options when it comes to audience targeting, creative, budgeting, and placements. So just a quick heads-up there.

HailleyYeah and, this is material for a separate episode entirely because there’s a ton to cover, but a lot of what we’re talking about today applies to Instagram Stories as well.

So, the basics like making sure you have a complete business profile, not totally changing your strategy just to sell, experimenting a ton, and promoting what works instead of guessing are all applicable to Stories.

However, I know I glossed over that part a bit, so stay tuned for another episode in the near future about using Stories, videos, and multimedia to continue to sell your products on Instagram.

Brian: Good call, Hailley. We could easily turn this episode into a 4-hour deep dive into Instagram advertising. Which we might have to do at one point!

But one more thing that I wanted to mention before you go is measuring the success of your Instagram content and Ads.

Be sure, be sure you have some sort of attribution model or tracking set up for your Instagram content, particularly with ads.

Hailley: Yeah, one of the biggest frustrations we hear from businesses is that they aren’t able to track the success and ROI of their advertising content.

Ensuring that your Instagram ads get credit for their role in any conversion is paramount to painting a clear picture of the full customer purchase journey.

And it has other benefits like making you look like a genius as well as justification for increasing your advertising budget in the future.

Brian: Yeah so first and foremost, use some sort of doc or spreadsheet to keep track of the links you’re using, the copy and image that was used with those links, and how they performed.

It’s important to keep experimenting with images, copy, shopping tags per post, or any other factors that may contribute to your Instagram sales success and have a system in place to track all of that will only make your job easier.

Hailley: No matter what type of products you sell, delving into your Instagram analytics allows you to understand your audience’s wants, improves your content, and ultimately helps you drive more traffic and sales.

Brian: Thank you for tuning in to the Science of Social Media today. The show notes for this episode are available in either iTunes, Soundcloud, or wherever you get your podcasts. We’ll include links to all of the resources we covered into today’s show.

If you ever want to get in touch with me or Brian, we’re always here for your on social media using the hashtag #bufferpodcast. You can also say hi to us anytime and hello@bufferapp.com.

Hailley: As always, thank you so much for your iTunes reviews! We see more and more pouring in every week and we can’t tell you how much they mean to us.

Our goal is to get to 200 reviews by the end of the year and we’d love for you to help us make it happen!

How to say hello to us

We would all love to say hello to you on social media – especially Twitter!

Thanks for listening! Feel free to connect with our team at Buffer on TwitterBuffer on Facebook, our Podcast homepage, or with the hashtag #bufferpodcast.

Enjoy the show? It’d mean the world to us if you’d be up for giving us a rating and review on iTunes!

About The Science of Social Media podcast

The Science of Social Media is your weekly sandbox for social media stories, insights, experimentation, and inspiration. Every Monday (and sometimes more) we share the most cutting-edge social media marketing strategies from brands and influencers in every industry. If you’re a social media team of one, business owner, marketer, or someone simply interested in social media marketing, you’re sure to find something useful in each and every episode.  It’s our hope that you’ll join our 15,000+ weekly iTunes listeners and rock your social media channels as a result!

The Science of Social Media is proudly made by the Buffer team. Feel free to get in touch with us for any thoughts, ideas, or feedback.

from Social https://blog.bufferapp.com/sell-on-instagram