Category Archives: BLOG

WordPress Website . This One

BRIEF

Freshen up this portfolio site. Use WordPress to make it sing.

Category = Graphic Design / Web


 

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CLIENT

Myself

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PROJECT TITLE

Marta Victoria’s Portfolio

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DESCRIPTION

WordPress Website

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ROLES

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ART DIRECTOR
GRAPHIC DESIGNER
PHOTOGRAPHER
WRITER
WEB MASTER[/list][/column]
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TOOLS

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WORDPRESS,
DREAMWEAVER,
MYPHPADMIN
PHOTOSHOP,
LIGHTROOM,
ILLUSTRATOR
CANON DIGITAL REBEL SLR[/list][/column]
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LINKS

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Marta Victoria
WordPress Theme
Inspiration
Host
Laughing Squid
*Courtesy Link
More on WP eCommerce[/list][/column][/columns]

SOLUTION

ANATOMY OF MY WORDPRESS SITE

WordPress is a great tool for designing websites. Statistics put WordPress at about 25% of all sites on the planet. Which means, it’s not just for bloggers any more. Built on a MySQL database frame that’s perfect for managing content, WordPress offers more and more users a place to coordinate their information. From *retail storefronts to engaging portfolios; there’s a theme out there for everyone.

And, as an engine with a back-end that’s constantly being updated; WordPress is ideal for people who want to leave the coding to brainier folks, and get straight to the fun of designing. WordPress themes come in many shapes and sizes; many are free, other “premium” ones can be purchased for reasonable prices. The premium theme for this website is Inspiration. It was purchased for a one-time charge of $35. I have access to the designer for that, too. He writes back, even.

Web design skills are still probably necessary, however, if you want a WordPress site that is going to be more complex than a blogging platform. It is also helpful to have an understanding of how to create web standard graphics, as one or more graphics tend to accompany every post these days.

Setting up a WordPress site is not for everyone, though; and that’s where a good designer comes in. They can help a client get a domain set up, along with a web host. They can recommend themes with the functionality a client requires, and lay out the design according to a company’s style guide. WordPress sites can be self-hosted by that designer, or placed on a testing server, until they’re perfect — then migrated online all at once. This avoids that awkward “under construction” phase.

After the WordPress site is designed, a client can take over; and, with light training, they can maintain that site from then on. I think WordPress is perfect for small business owners — who often have the talent and desire to run their websites — but, being time-starved, need a graphic designer to midwife the delivery of those sites.

Wishing you always-perfect pixels,

Marta Victoria

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Social Media

SOCIAL MEDIA

We All Interact, Now

It all happened so fast, didn’t it? The near explosion of web 2.0 and social networking sites galore? Like one of those graph lines that slowly inches upward over time, then, seemingly out of the blue, curves up fast, then shoots to the stars?

The momentum of all that sure could be consuming.

Good thing we were taught “mediation in all things”, huh?

This maxim holds especially true for social media. Social media shouldn’t be consuming. It should be crafted, so that those who do consume it might be enlightened by it in some small way.

And it’s a different menu list for every company.

After all, jumping into every new social media brand, for many, just ties up resources while delivering a disappointing ROI. Business-to-business operations, for example, may derive little from chasing after the public’s engagement. The public is not their audience. However, the public is the perfect audience for, say, film retailors. For these folks, time-is-of-the-essence messaging must be public and top-of-search.

Conversely, business-to-business operations probably do want to reach their Rep force and/or end users using a different voice — through a limited range of mediums.

In both cases, heck, any case; choosing the right social media outlets, and choosing the right voice should be well-considered. If possible, analytics should also be brought into the conversation.

BE THE TWEET

Don’t send messages just to be messaging, either. “Be the tweet” sounds funny, makes you smile, but it also conveys a truth. People know when they are being “sold” versus “engaged.”

If you want their attention, be real with them. Find out who they are, and what they need — and give it to them. They will engage, and will even help you motivate them.

We’re all interacting, now.

So, it’s all about how.

Wishing you always-perfect pixels,

Marta Victoria

Above image from free fonts by Dawghouse Studio.

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Trade Shows

TRADE SHOWS

Before, During and After should NOT be the Three Stages of Grief

Everyone does a fairly good job, I’ve found through the years, of putting together and setting up their trade show areas. Graphics aside (a subject for a different day), execution of booth set-ups is something that many companies get mostly right.

That being the case, I do confess to being a bit bemused at why the middle part — the “during”, if you will — often the most difficult part, is the part that does get handled. When you think about it, that’s where all the expenses are.

Conversely, however — where the payoff lies — the “before” in preparation, and the “after” in follow-up — these are the areas that so often get neglected. Why is that?

Maybe your company should change that. Even if it cut a couple shows, and funnelled the money into the befores and afters of the ones that it kept; it would probably realize improved returns.

And it’s only the first time, that’s the hardest. The second time, the set-up, lists, announcements, traffic coding and check-backs all get easier.

Companies should really consider making the befores and afters a priority. Or bring someone in who can.

And in the smartest companies, this wouldn’t be a goal of Marketing’s, but of Management’s as well. Otherwise Accounting will nix the trade shows because the returns were wasted. Trade shows are up (did you know that?). They’re productive and valuable. Execute all three stages of them right, and you pocket the cash, and avoid the grief!

Wishing you always-perfect pixels,

Marta Victoria

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My First Blog Post

TAKING THE LEAP  

Greetings and welcome to my new world!

What a fortuitous day to launch one’s website on — I couldn’t think of any day more apropos for taking a leap, than Leap Day itself. Such a lovely metaphor — and us graphic folk are big on metaphors.

Hard to believe that, well into the second decade of my art-directing-graphics career, it’s taken until now for me to finally buckle down and produce a website for myself. Guess it’s great that I’ve been too busy to; but still; I’m glad to have finally made it happen.

You see, I’m really excited to have this place in Digital Land to call my home. Welcome to it!

Please make it yours, too. Obviously, right now, it’s mostly a fancy resume; but with this blog and the ever-increasing possibilities that WordPress offers, I will be expanding this site with advice, tips and motivating inspirations.

So I hope you’ll pull up a chair and enjoy some good reading. Let me know what you think from time to time, too, and I’ll respond.

And don’t be a stranger? I don’t want to just see you on Leap Days.

Wishing you always-perfect pixels,

Marta Victoria

* If you like the image above, more flying humans can be seen here.

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