Web Dummies: Things Are Getting Pinteresting!

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If you’re not on the social media giant Pinterest, then you’re missing out!

Let’s begin with the basics: I started pinning in what feels like forever ago, but it was probably some time in 2010. The site wasn’t what it is now – granted, the design has stayed pretty much consistent and the user-interface has always been very friendly; yet, the following that Pinterest has now is just enormous. Individuals to major brands are all utilizing Pinterest to share ideas and connect information.


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{ My Pinterest Profile }


With Pinterest’s immense growth comes innovative ideas for sharing and reaching more people. I love the Pinterest App on my cell (available for Android and iPhone) because I love to pin while I’m waiting for anything. It’s a sweet way to pass the time; looking up design inspirations or delicious recipes. But what matters most is what you have for later – Pinterest gives you the satisfaction of knowing that all of that information is stored there, in an organized and conveniently-linked manner.

Now for the goodies – literally. They’ve got a whole page of Pinterest Goodies where they’ve created some fantastic tools for business’ and personal brands:

Buttons + Widgets: Integrate the Pin It Button, Follow Button, Profile Widget, and/or Board Widget to get more engagement from pinners and traffic back your site; Plus, don’t forget to Verify Your Site.

Also, if you’re a WordPress blogger – like me – then you’ll love this plugin that adds a “Pin It” button as you hover over blog images. Recently, I stumbled upon another plugin called Alpine Photo Tile that showcases your most recent pins on a site page.

By simply searching online, you’ll find an endless list of plugins and widgets for Pinterest + WordPress.


Now for some visual fun. Here are a few examples of the Board Widget being integrated into a post. By clicking anywhere on the images below, you’ll be directed to any of the following boards: Design + Typography, Home + Garden, or Delicious Delights; yet the best part is that it’s constantly going to showcase the most recent pins. It’s sheer awesomeness:





It doesn’t seem like the Pinterest trend will subside anytime soon. Which is why I’m recommending you to jump on board, if you haven’t already! There’s lots of help on the Pinterest site to get you started. Plus, it’s truly one of the most user-friendly websites out there. The inspirations are endless and the organization is perfect.

{ Check out Pinterest and be sure to follow me when you get there! }

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Design Love: Top Web Design Trends for 2014

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I recently read the “Top 10 web design trends for 2014” by at 99designs.com and I have to admit – I immediately fell in love with his post. Maybe it’s because I’m a web design junkie, or maybe it’s because when it comes to blogging, I’m all about beauty and clarity. Regardless of why, I truly enjoyed his straight to the point content, with great visuals and linkage. Barin, you got it down-packed.

Below are my comments on my favorites of his noted top trends for 2014.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

 

“Flat design thrives”

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Wistia.com is a great example of flat design.”

Oh my, how this makes me swoon. Flat design is minimal but has all the potential in the world to be colorful, strong, and even interactive. Lately, when I create website designs, I’ve been finding myself leaning towards incorporating flat designs throughout. As Barin so perfectly stated:

“The reason why everybody is using flat design is because it makes sense. We have less clutter, more use of white space and overall a better user experience. It forces designers to achieve more by using less and for that, I consider it the number one trend for 2014.”

 

“Websites showcase better images”

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Portraits does a great job elevating an apparent simple image to a central point of a website.”

Imagery is everything! From product sales to general branding, if you use powerful images then you’ll get the best response from clients. Even a stock image – edited correctly – can work perfectly for a brand’s look. I adore photography, so I’m very glad this trend is in for 2014. Actually, soon I’ll be updating my site with some seriously awesome photos – stay tuned! For now, make note and add strong images to your site; Barin informs us why better images are being found more and more on the web:

“2014 will bring higher quality, more creative and unique images because of multiple reasons: pricing is affordable; loading speed is faster than ever; access to high quality images is everywhere.”

 

“Infographics remain the best way of representing data”

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Gabriel Gianordoli did an excellent job with this amazing infographic.”

If you follow my blog category, “In The Know,” then you definitely know of my love for infographics. I mean, they’re pure awesomeness! Lots of information fits perfectly in a small space while the reader get’s to use photographic memory  to retain it all. Plus, they’ll usually visual beautiful. Barin notes why infographics work so well:

“They present a lot of information in a small space, they’re eye-catching and they don’t cost the world. That’s why business owners are asking for them. The end-user likes infographics because each of them has its own personality — they’re a bit quirky, they combine typography, bold color schemes and shapes in a way that intrigues viewers.”

 

“Typography takes center stage”

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Crop The Block is a prime example of mix and match typography.”

Hellooooo Typography! Last, but definitely not least, in the list of great trends for 2014 is typography’s take over. Last year I started re-branding my site with custom type, throughout the images and page headers, and I only want to get further into it this year. Type helps shape brands and express personalities; it’s multifaceted, something that the world of plain text just doesn’t offer. Barin explains how we’re saying goodbye to the old type and welcoming new type throughout different platforms:

“Goodbye Georgia, goodbye Times New Roman, goodbye Helvetica! Welcome to 2014 — the year where typography gets serious. Actually it was always serious, now it’s just arriving at mainstream status. The avalanche of mobile apps we’ve all been swimming in has exposed our eyes to all sorts of typography goodies and that has had a major factor in our font usage expectations.”

 

View all of ‘s “Top 10 web design trends for 2014

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Branding 101: Getting Down to Business

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New Diamari Torres Biz Cards

Business cards rock! Plus, they’re pretty important to letting people know what you do and how to reach you; so, it was due time to print new business cards.

Design wise: I decided I wanted to keep the consistency of my blog’s minimal design through incorporating the sites colors and simple type. Personally, I like the whole “no BS” approach – especially when handing out your card. People want to be reminded of what you do and how to contact you quickly. Yet, the card has to be impressive and actually kind of fun! Remember, the design and texture of your cards is what really sells it.

Printing: On that note, the print quality is the first and lasting impression. Quality is most definitely triumphant over quantity. This is a trend I’ve seen in business card printers. Sites like Moo.com – which don’t get me wrong, they have awesome pre-designed templates and materials – can charge you over $100 for a measly 200 business cards.

In my case, I luckily got both quality and quantity. Printed on 16pt cardstock paper, my cards are coated in a very smooth Silk Lamination. It actually seems to make the card thicker and stronger; I love it. The final touch though is the Spot UV, which creates a slightly-visible rise of gloss over whatever you choose to highlight. Logo. Name. Info. Background. Whatevs!

Spot UV on Biz Cards

I chose to Spot UV the words “hello there” on the teal-blue side and my entire logo on the white side. It feels very interesting and different from the traditional card design. I’m truly very happy with the results. Probably even more so because of the price: 1,000 cards for $145! (shipping not included, I picked ’em up) You can’t beat that. I have cards for – like – ever now! The service was great and the turnaround time was about a week. I recommend Elite Flyers for printing business cards – especially their Silk Laminated and Spot UV ones, of course.

Biz Cards in Card Holder

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