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Posting Team Portraits

A client asks: How important is it to show ourFrank Ockenfels' portrait of Mad Men's Don Draper faces on our website? Should we post photos of the executive team? I always answer "yes" to this question. Viewers like to see the faces of the company leadership alongside their biographies.

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Planning for a Website

laying the groundwork“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”
– Thomas Edison

Thinking about a new website, or doing an overhaul of an old one? If it's a first website, it's not unusual to be unprepared for the groundwork that needs to be laid before development and design begins:

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The Business Card: Alive and Well

While a lot of marketing collateral has moved from printed to online, the business card remains a staple. Priceless when networking in the real world, an effective business card is also a must in branding. Yet they're often overlooked as a marketing tool. Sure, we can all bump our phones to get contact info, but just how memorable is your phone's contact list? I have a bowl of business cards that I've collected from contacts (the Rolex bit the dust long ago), and they feel like treasure.

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The Case for Making Sketches

"Drawing is thinking." – Milton Glaser

My natural tendency when starting to design is not to fire up Illustrator or Photoshop, but to make a sketch. Once I grab some random scratch paper, there's no hesitation. It's like a brain-drain onto paper. Milton Glaser, one of our most famous graphic designers, wrote a great book about the importance of sketching and how it enhances creativity.

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You Gave Me Homework!

I have a client (a CEO) who once exclaimed, "You're always giving me homework!" And it's true. There's not a design project in the world that doesn't require client input. You could pay a designer extra fees for time spent guessing exactly what is needed, but why would you?

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7 Ways to a More Effective Email Campaign

1. Have a well-designed custom email template. It's not enough to place your logo on a pre-existing template. Decemberists emailTo avoid confusing viewers, brand it to be consistent with your website and collateral.

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The 5-Minute Website

How much time do you spend on any given website? The attention span of the average user is getting shorter (5.23 minutes per website, down from 5.49 minutes in 2009). It presents a great exercise in condensing your website's marketing message. You have five minutes! Plus, you want users to come back.

Here's five for five:

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A Word about Word

May I say something about Word? It is not a layout program. No designer wants to produce collateral in Word. It may be in their tool kit, but it's located at the very bottom.

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Why You Need Website Maintenance

We see it all the time: A dynamic, great-looking website is launched, and then . . .  sits there. Why have a website if it's not being used to bring in new customers or service the current ones? It's a head-scratcher for any web developer, and certainly for any marketer.

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7 Tips for Effective PowerPoint

The word "PowerPoint" elicits groans from those who have to create presentations and those who have to sit through them. Just say "no" to the torture, and follow these seven tidbits of advice to keep your audience responsive.

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