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Design Tools

Posted by on 4:48 pm in Design | 0 comments

There are so many Design Tools on the market today it can be a bit overwhelming. Here are a few Design Tools that really stand out! 1. Pencil and Paper – Grab your sketchbook and Go! Getting out into the world and observing people, places, and things as they are used in everyday life helps us to see how we may be able to design a better version, upgrade, or a whole new product all together. 2. Take a Class – Learning a new Design Tool that can enhance your work flow or add value to your existing toolkit can be fun and exciting. Checkout d.school from Stanford or head on over to the ever popular Linda.com and learn something new. 3. Streamline Your Work Flow With Apps – You can find some really amazing tools online through the app store. Checkout this list from Hack Design. 4. Design Strategy – This is one of the biggest tools designers have to create something that people will resonate with. “Today’s dynamic markets and technologies have called into question the sustainability of competitive advantage. Under pressure to improve productivity, quality, and speed, managers have embraced tools such as TQM, bench-marking, and re-engineering. Dramatic operational improvements have resulted, but rarely have these gains translated into sustainable profitability.” – Mark Dziersk With information streaming to us through the internet, marketing a product or service has to be about the people. While creating a Design Strategy we must recognize the need and fill it with authentic and sustainable design. This is a very exciting time to live and create in the world because there is so much opportunity for improvement. We have the Design Tools to meet the needs of the people and the planet, so lets make a commitment to designing a better way of doing things.   Resources: http://www.fastcodesign.com/3025596/head-before-hands https://hackdesign.org/toolkit/ http://www.creativebloq.com/design-tools/best-iphone-apps-812522...

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Recycled Plastic in Design

Posted by on 9:39 pm in Design, Products | 0 comments

America Recycles Day is on November 15th it is one of the many ways we can celebrate our recycling efforts and Plastics Makes It Possible is going on tour with their “Recycling RV” to bring awareness to all of the amazing things we can do using Recycled Plastic in Design. “Most people know it’s important to recycle everyday plastics, but many have questions about which plastics to toss into the recycling bin—and then what happens to them,” said Steve Russell, vice president of plastics for the American Chemistry Council, which sponsors the Plastics Make it Possible® initiative. “The Recycling RV is a fun, interactive way to help people better understand the central role they play in the recycling loop.” The tour and Recycling RV are designed to inspire people to recycle more plastics by demonstrating the recycling process. For example, the interactive RV includes hands-on demonstrations and displays that illustrate key steps involved in one example of recycling plastic bottles and caps: Grinding bottles and caps into small flakes; Using a float-sink tank to separate specific plastics. Plastic flakes are submerged in water to separate them for recycling—due to different densities, the bottle flakes sink to the bottom while the cap flakes float to the top; Heating plastic flakes and forming them into long, thin strands that are cooled and chopped into small pellets; Using pellets to make a wide variety of cool and innovative new products: clothing, furniture, vehicle parts, packaging, and more. Checkout this video from Dwell on Design featuring recycled plastic chairs! Also take a look at all of the ways plastic is used in our everyday lives at Plastics Make It Possible! You would not believe how many things we can use recycled plastic for in design. Please spread the word about recycling and the many benefits it has in design. Resources: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/plastics-make-it-possible-launches-dont-be-trashy-recycle-tour-281960591.html http://plasticsmakeitpossible.com/category/plastics-in-your-life/in-the-home/ Logo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20111114/LA05519LOGO...

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What is an Ecopreneur?

Posted by on 3:48 pm in Inspiration | 0 comments

An Ecopreneur is someone who is an environmental entrepreneur! We are people who believe that working with the environment instead of against it is the most sustainable business model. We use environmentally sound products and services that create synergy between business and the environmental. We can no longer take without replenishing, we must give back, reclaim, re-use, and re-design many of the process and business practices that have contaminated our food supply, our water supply and that have created an over abundance of trash. We can all be Ecopreneur’s by supporting people, products, and services that do good everyday and strive to build a more sustainable future for us all! Live Inspired! Devany...

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What’s The Greatest Challenge For Your Business?

Posted by on 4:59 pm in Inspiration, Small Business | 0 comments

I am sure that we can all agree that if we are not challenged we will never grow! Most small business owners say their number one concern is sales. Needing more sales or having a strong pipeline to rely on is important and is often one of the biggest indicators of success or failure. Is this one of your greatest challenges? (leave a comment below) Another great challenge for small businesses today is the fact that the economy has not fully recovered. We have acclimated to the fact that banks are not lending money so we are becoming more inventive but there is still not enough confidence in the economy for Main St. employer’s to higher more people and to expand their business models. Statistic: “Consistently three-quarters of small businesses feel they’re operating in a stagnant economy. At this stage of a recovery, the economy should be growing at 4%. But when you see this response from the sector that creates over half of U.S. GDP, it’s not difficult to understand why the economy has barely averaged 2% growth per year.” This is evidence that we no longer rely on Wall Street and the banking system to be an indicator of success so it has been difficult for us as small business owners to feel confident that their is steady growth. “Wall Street, once the leading indicator of the economy is now merely a leading indicator of itself. The new leading economic indicator is Main Street. If you want the economy to grow, create conditions that foster small business growth” This is the truth and no matter what your challenges are right now it is important for all of us to push forward, start your small business, expand. Big business took over Main St. and now it is our time to take it back! There are so many jobs out there and just as many if not more qualified people to fill them. But for some reason we are still weary of the talent making it difficult to want to invest in them. Instead we opt to do what most small business owners have done for so long and that is to just do all the work ourselves. In the end that hurts our productivity and the economy. “Some sources estimate there may be 4 million positions wanting qualified candidates.” So start hiring, work with talented individuals to expand and watch your sales increase as your products and services get better and your business practices become more automated and streamlined. Make a commitment to: -Work More Efficiently -Automate & Streamline -Nurture Relationships -Higher New Talent Your business can and will grow if you focus on these things and then you will have new challenges to overcome because as we all know life would be boring without a challenge.   Reference: http://www.forbes.com/sites/jimblasingame/2014/04/17/the-greatest-challenges-of-small-business-owners-today/...

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Website Design For Small Businesses

Posted by on 5:12 pm in Design | 0 comments

Every small business should have an online presence. This means you should have a website that is up to date and follows a few key guidelines. The new small business website should be responsive, simple, and above all should tell your story. – Responsive Design: is critical for small business, because it is becoming the standard, and if you don’t comply, it will negatively affect your Google ranking. This means that your site should be able to be accessed from any devise including computers, smart phones, and tablets. – Simple Design:  this refers to making it easy for your visitors to get what they need seamlessly without complication. This does not mean it is generic, it should be dynamic and should directly reflect your companies ideals.  “Yes, to powerful images. Yes, to meaningful content. Yes, to sleek and purposeful navigation.” Work with your designer to come up with a design and an experience that matches your customers expectations. – Storytelling Design: tell your visitors a story with concise and compelling. Always use strong imagery because people respond to images first and then to words. People should be able to scroll down the page and discover who you are and what your company does. The most important thing is not to take yourself to seriously and always make it fun.  Show them how you started and what you have discovered along the way. Reveal to your customers the process and why you they can be confident in hiring you. “Gone are the days of “I am so great” over and over again – in every nook and cranny of your site.” Set goals and work with your designer to come up with a compelling story and tell it through responsive and simple design. You want visitors to get all the information they need by scrolling down the front page and you want repeat visitors to easily find where they can make a purchase, visit your blog or contact you for assistance. The Basics: If you don’t have a lot of time or money make sure that your website has at least the following pages available to customers. –Home Page: with detailed description of your business –About Page: include interesting facts about you and your team don’t gloat show them who you are and what you like –Products and Services Page: make a detailed list with descriptions, prices, and pictures –Testimonials Page: people like to know what your customers are saying so make sure to list these with peoples names and locations –Contact Page: have a form that people can fill out to request more information or a quote and make sure to list your address, phone number, and email contact To learn more or to get a free online web presence analysis contact us at info@alliancedesignstudio.com Reference: http://www.forbes.com/sites/thesba/2014/02/10/top-web-design-trends-in-2014/...

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What is an API?

Posted by on 4:19 pm in Resources | 0 comments

API stands for “application programming interface.” This Wikipedia article covers APIs in more detail, but it can be helpful to think of the API as a way for different apps to talk to one another. For many users, the main interaction with the API will be through API keys, a way for other apps to access your account without you giving out your password....

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3 Tips for Successful Logo Design

Posted by on 9:54 am in Design | 0 comments

“For a logo to be successful it should have a simple, yet appropriate form that conveys the intended message of the business to the intended audience.” Seems simple enough right? But in fact it can get really complicated so here are a few tips that will hopefully help you when your working to create or re-design your logo. 1. Keep It Simple – This is the most important rule because simple logos are more memorable. Look at Apple and Nike! These are memorable logos that also aid in brand recognition. If you have a bunch of lines, shapes, colors, and different fonts you, the less serious your brand seems. Keep in mind that your logo isn’t there to tell the complete story of your brand it is meant to be one unifying thought. 2. Know Your Audience – If you don’t like your logo, it is comfortable to assume your customers won’t either. The key is to do know your target audience and position your logo appropriately. For example you would not use the same whimsical font for a doctors office that you would for a flower shop. 3. Use Color Carefully – The colors in your logo can serve as mighty psychological triggers to make customers believe your services are the best choice for their business the second they lay eyes on them. The key is using the colors that evoke remedying feelings people desire when looking for those types of services. Choosing a color palette is one of the most crucial parts of logo design. Avoid bright, flashy colors – there is an explanation why you don’t see very many logos that are neon orange and yellow. Typically designers stick with three or four primary colors, and assign each main element of the logo its own color....

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