Simplicity makes a great logo.

Both simple text designs and simple graphics can serve as a foundation for a good logo.  The goal is RECOGNITION. The Olympic Rings icon is one of the oldest and best examples of an instantly recognizable graphic logo and demonstrates how simplicity is a key component of success in logo design.

First created in 1912, this minimalistic ringed logo, features rings in blue, yellow, black, green and red on a white background, hasn’t changed much the last century.

Though it’s incredibly simple, this graphic is perfectly effective.  You know what it stands for when you look at it. When you examine the backstory you find that there’s symbolism everywhere.

  • The interlocked rings represent unity between continents.
  • The colors represent the colors in nearly every nation’s flag that participates in the games.

The graphic doesn’t have anything to do with sports and isn’t trying to describe what happens during the game.  But even without knowing the details, just seeing the rings makes one instantly think of the Olympics. It’s also a logo that is recognizable in any language or culture.

When designing your logo you will likely discover that effective, stand-out simplicity can be quite a challenge.  Think ABSTRACTION: use simplified visual elements relating to the brand and abstract those to create a strong minimalist graphic.

#HashtagConfusion

#RightAsRain” is a hashtag – RightAsRain” is not a hashtag.

A hashtag is simply a # sign followed by sensible words.  It’s a digital tool used to organize, filter, and advertise a thought. The hashtag itself isn’t the message, it’s only a tool that allows other people to share the message.

Understanding how hashtags work, you can greatly increase the odds that your ad campaigns on hashtag-friendly platforms will be seen by the search engines actually be served in search inquiry results. I’ve added a list below to help clear up any confusion about how hashtags work.

TGTips Happy Thought1. Make your hashtag Informative and relative to the subject matter.  People won’t respond to hashtags they don’t understand.

2. If a hashtag can be misread, it will be.  Proofread thinking like a 10-year-old. The classic example of this is the 2012 hashtag campaign to launch a new Susan Boyle album using #susanalbumparty.

3. No one owns a hashtag. By definition, hashtags can be created and used by anyone so it’s all to easy for them to spin out of control as marketing messages. It’s always good to test a hashtag before heavily marketing it, and equally important to have an alternative hashtag plan.

4. Most search engines are now indexing hashtags. So, incorporate hashtags into other channels. It works. By incorporating your hashtags into your traditional media and online campaigns, you’ll be able to brand the hashtag’s core idea more clearly with your customers.

5. Live tweet during big events. One of the most effective ways of using hashtags is to live tweet from your company Twitter account during a major event. DiGiorno Pizza captured plenty of attention in 2013 when it began live tweeting event commentary during the #TheSoundOfMusicLive event.

6. Keep it short. The longer the hashtag, the more hassle it is to use, understand, and follow.  Limit yourself to three hashtags per tweet, don’t overdo them.

7. Monitor a hashtag conversation is an extremely effective means of keeping track of the “tag” trends.  You can gain insight into what your competition is doing, what the influencers are saying, and how customers are reacting.

8. If you can use a hashtag in place of a word without the sentence becoming confusing, do it.  “Having a great time at TAG! #TAG2017” is grammatically correct, but it’s no more effective than “Having a blast at #TAG2017!” which gets the point across in fewer words.

TGTips Do Not Go There9. Capitalize multi-word hashtags for clarity. The longer the hashtag, the more likely the message is to be misread.

10. Stay away from banned hashtags.  A poorly proofed hashtag can easily trip these filters, resulting in content that doesn’t reach the audience. Some sites, like Instagram, filter out popular or generic hashtags like #iphone and #popular to avoid flooding cyberspace with irrelevant posts.

 

Greek style light lunch.

Saute’ed Spinach and Cherry Tomatoes

Spinach and Tomatoes in Olive Oil.

People assume a Greek Diet and Mediterranean Diet are synonymous. Turns out there is a significant difference between the Greek Diet (which is generally much more healthy) and the more talked about Mediterranean Diet.  In simplistic terms, the Greek Diet, which really is more a “style” of eating, can be described as Mediterranean flavors with great emphasis on words like “uncomplicated”, “fresh from the ground”, “fresh from the sea”, “green”, “quality”, and “lots more vegetables than meat”.  Most notable about the Greek Diet, with the exception of desserts, is there is very little sugar used and very little red meat.  Almost all meals are dominated by the vegetables.

The photo above shows one of my favorite lunch dishes.  Spinach and tomatoes saute’ed in olive oil topped with a squeeze of fresh lemon and a sprinkle of oregano or marjoram.  The recipe could not be more simple and can be prepared in less than 15 minutes.

The finished dish will have only about 20-25 gm carbohydrates and a whole bunch of anti-oxidants.

Spinach and tomatoes, saute’ed in olive oil.

  • 1 (one) large bunch of small leaf long stem spinach. Wash and leave whole. Do not dry. (the Greeks often use dandelions for this dish).
  • 6 (six) whole cherry tomatoes, cut in half.
  • 1+ (to taste) Tablespoon top quality olive oil.
  • Dried oregano or marjoram flakes.  Sea salt and pepper.
  • 1/3 (one-third) Whole fresh medium sized lemon.
Preparation
  • Heat a large frying pan to medium to medium high heat.
  • Add olive oil and heat to coat pan.
  • Add all of the spinach and toss to begin cooking.
  • Moisture should not pool in the pan. The pan must be kept hot enough to produce steam from the vegetables’ released moisture but not so hot as to brown the dish.
  • When the spinach is about 1/2 cooked toss in tomatoes and continue cooking until it looks like the photo above.
  • As the cooking finishes, remove the heat; add the lemon juice, salt and pepper, and toss.
  • Serve in a large shallow bistro bowl.  Eat like spaghetti, twirling the greens on a fork.
Parings: Feta cheese, Crusty bread, Viognier and Sauvignon Blanc.

Unique photos tell your story better.

These “before & after” photos show the effect of Photoshop’s OIL PAINT FILTER. Filters are one of the fastest ways to add pizazz to common photos.

 

The crown jewel of recently created websites are the graphics.  Today’s websites are often about communicating through the graphics and the site’s visual appeal.  Gone are the days where reader’s interests were piqued by the occasional photo scattered among paragraphs of text.  The photos and graphics of today are a big part of the story telling.  So, the graphics publisher’s focus must be on telling the story.  

Unless you are quite lucky, a simple photo will not tell your story the way you intend. Fortunately there are hundreds of easy to use photograph manipulation tools for web publishers to choose from.  

When creating a web photo there are many factors to consider: finished size, shape (cropping), resolution, subject matter, color pallet, digital file format, camera to use, lighting, visual texture, finished file size, and special effects.

Of course, it’s only digital so it’s cheap to experiment and the possibilities are endless!

How to fail at blogging (and social media posting).

Tip: People are only going to read your blog if you write about what is interesting! The truth about how most people feel when reading any blog but their own: “If I’m going to use(waste) my time reading a blog; it had better be interesting reading.

Before you begin blogging, examine your true motives and be honest with yourself also.  Why do you want to write a blog?  It takes time and its work…so be sure it’s going to be worth the effort.  Decide what you hope to accomplish with your blog.

The three best ways to FAIL at business blogging…

First way to fail. Don’t post regularly.  Nothing says apathy like an out of date, abandoned blog.  Post on a regular basis. If you do not post it, they will not return.

Second way to fail.  Don’t write original content, simply copy someone else’s work and post it as your own.  Plagiarism is a crime.  See the US Copyright Laws ->

Third way to fail. Write about what makes you emotional, angry or sad.  Don’t worry about subject matter.   Write about what you find interesting (note: this is most likely not the same as what others find interesting).  Become a place blog site where people bitch about their daily activities which nobody is interested in. Topics like why bloggers argue with boy or girl friends, details of daily tasteless activities like drinking blended organic fruits and vegetable for breakfast, lunch and dinner, or bitching about their shopping activities and what they got.  For very many people, and too often blogs are just another way to seek attention and sympathy from other people.

Actual quote of a really bad blog post:
Today i argued with my babypooh [sic], he got mad a me just because justin asked me out for lunch, he ended up ignoring me and not calling me. i don’t know what i’ve done wrong and why am i crying over it right now. it’s just stupid, he’s not the man that he used to be, i still remember how he treats me when we first started, it was all so nice and perfect. but now, we’re like arguing over small matters almost every week. i don’t think i can take this anymore, i’m just tired of this relationship.
Don’t be guilty of bad blogging.
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