Friday, March 28, 2014

Graphic Design 101: Vector and Raster Images

Are you wondering why your company logo image doesn't look right when you enlarge it for use on a big banner? When speaking to a graphic design professional, do you get confused by her use of the words "vector" and "raster"? If these circumstances sound familiar to you, then the explanation below should clear things up.
What Is a Vector Image?
Vector images are made up of points, lines, and curves which are represented as mathematical equations. When a device displays a vector image, it makes graphs of the equations of the points, lines, and curves. When you view these, your brain sees this as a picture. Vector images can be scaled as much as you like without distortion or loss in quality.
What Is a Raster Image?
Raster images are made up of lots of colored squares that when viewed from a distance, appear to look like an image of something. The pictures produced by your digital camera are raster images. The colored squares, however, are extremely small and can't be seen individually. They are perceived together as a picture by your brain. If you magnify the image enough though, you will be able to see the squares.
When Should a Vector Image Be Used?
Vector images should be used for anything that will be scaled up, such as banners and signs. It is also used for logos, icons, drawings, and promotional posters. Because of their flexibility and versatility, vector images are used in a wide variety of applications. They are not used for photo realistic images, however.
When Should a Raster Image Be Used?
Raster images should be used when you are dealing with photography or are depicting an image with a lot of subtle detail and color shading. They should be used if there are subtle effects such as blurring, or subtle textures. The same is true if you intend to add such effects to the image. Raster images are also used to publish a final design onto a website. The popular web browsers support raster image file types but have very limited support for vector file types.
Raster images have two main disadvantages. One, is that they can't be scaled to any size you want because the small squares or pixels will become noticeable, and edges will lose their distinctness. The other disadvantage, is that big raster images with high resolutions require very large files.
If you have questions about graphic design and its marketing uses for your business, please contact us.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

What Social Media Is Doing For Small Business

Today, social media is the great equalizer when it comes to business. Small, medium, and large businesses alike can use social media to expand their reach. It is a good idea to use these networks in order to find new potentially interested customers as well as simply expanding the audience of your message. 
Starting Out In Social Media 
When one begins to use social media for business, it is important to do it right. You may not think that there is a right way and a wrong way to do something like this, but there is. It is important to build an audience base and also to interact with that audience. They want to know that they are being heard and that the business cares about them.
Which Networks To Use
Each business has to decide for themselves which networks they will or will not use. The more networks the better is not always true. The optimal amount of networks to use is actually just the amount that you are able to manage. If you feel that you have too many on your hands, then you probably need to cut back some. It is best to not have social media accounts that you are not maintaining. This deters people from paying attention to what you do have to say. 
Hiring A Social Media Staff 
Perhaps in some cases it is prudent to hire a social media staff to manage your accounts. These are professionals whose only job is to maintain your social media accounts. They monitor them and make sure that they are properly maintained. This is what may be needed if you care about the image that you make with your followers. 
Contact us if you have questions about how to use social media power to your advantage. 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Why Branding Is About Getting In The Brains Of Customers

Your brand is what people associate with your company in their mind. It is obviously to your advantage to work to make sure that brand is positive. Branding efforts should promote all of the great things about your own company while at the same time potentially talking down about the things that the competition brings to the table. 
How To Work In Your Branding Efforts 
The start of your branding must begin with working on getting your portion of the mind share of your customers. Consider what has to say about mind share, 
Business is built on capturing the market share. But the most successful individuals and organizations know that before they win market share, they must capture the mindshare of their customers – that is, their heads, hearts, trust, and loyalty.
You see, the more that you are able to get inside the minds of the customers. 
Showing Others As Inferior 
The other part of the equation that you have to consider when doing your branding is that you will want to show your potential customers that the competition is inferior to what you are able to offer. You want to push that their products are simply not going to provide people with what they need from the product. 
Get The Brand Out Far And Wide 
Your biggest challenge is to make the brand spread as far as possible. Remember that you are the one who is responsible for making this happen. You have to think of creative ways in which you can spread the word. Putting your logo on as many things as possible is a great step in the right direction. Beyond that, it is up to you to make sure that you can your brand to the customers who will help make it great. 
Contact us for more tips on how to create a brand that you can be proud of.

Friday, March 14, 2014

How Bad Bookkeeping Brings Down Small Business

Anyone who is of the belief that they can get away with lazy bookkeeping and still manage to keep a small business above water is fooling themselves. Time and time again small businesses fall victim to owners who are unwilling or unable to keep good accounting figures.

A Major Failure In Business

The New York Times made no bones about it, bad accounting is a top 10 reason small businesses fail. They said this about it specifically,

With bad numbers, or no numbers, a company is flying blind, and it happens all of the time. Why? For one thing, it is a common — and disastrous — misconception that an outside accounting firm hired primarily to do the taxes will keep watch over the business  

There you have it plain and simple. You cannot rely on outside accountants to keep track of things for you. You have to maintain your own books, they are mostly just there for the tax side of things. 

How Accountants Do Help 

Now, you may be wondering what good accountants are if they are not able to even keep track of something as simple as this. Well, if you hire outside accountants, just make sure that you hire ones who are there to do more for you than just taxes. If you get accountants who are willing to help you with all of the bookkeeping aspects, then you are in good shape. 

Get The Books In Order Now 

It is time to bring the books to order as soon as possible. There is no reason to let this slide any longer. Companies that wait around until the problem has gotten too bad are the ones who fall by the wayside. You need to make this happen right away. 

Contact us if you would like more details about how to get your books in order and why you should do it.