Optimizing images for the web using Facebook…

Optimizing images for the web using Facebook…

Facebook automatically optimizes images. We posted a 410k image on Facebook and then we downloaded the image. The original was almost 10 times the size of the Facebook-optimized version with little loss of resolution when viewed at 100%. Images for websites should always be optimized so they’ll load faster, but not everyone owns image editing software like Photoshop.

How to optimize images for the web without Photoshop:

First: Post the images to Facebook
Second: Download the photos from your Facebook post to your computer
Voilà—the images are now optimized for the web and can be uploaded to your website or blog.

Be sure to re-name the image, because it will now have a Facebook designation, like 11890922_464771667027316_n.jpg.
Search engines like names that mean something, like gardening-with-wheelbarrow.jpg

Email signatures: best practices

Email signatures: best practices

Guidelines for email signatures:

  • Text only works best
  • Avoid images (logos, social media links, photographs, etc)
  • Avoid HTML formatting — some recipients will see a text-only version
  • Avoid wise sayings and witty aphorisms

The email signature in the illustration shows how confusing images (logos, social media links, etc) can be. The sender, in the illustration below, believes that he is sending a message with no attachments, but the receiver sees five attachments. If there were an attachment, how would he know which of the (now six) attachments is the one he needs? In addition, attachments in emails may be viewed with suspicion by spam filters and security software.

One thing that this sender did correctly was to make the contact portions of the signature live text. If that information is part of a logo image, it can’t be copied and pasted. He also used web-safe typefaces (Georgia and Tahoma). There is simply no guarantee that the recipient will see your message in the type you specified, but the chances are increased with web-safe fonts.

Aphorisms and wise sayings have no place in business correspondence. It may seem innocuous or well-intentioned, but you risk offending people, and there is nothing to be gained.

Keep the signature on your professional emails attachment-free and text only.

 

 

 

Tips on Facebook page content

Tips on Facebook page content

  • Don’t hire a third party to post for you.
    Nobody knows your business like you do.
  • Vary your posts.
    Facebook is a great place to showcase your business. Combine a mix of content about your business (product info, trade shows, behind-the-scenes images, sales events) with other content, such as links and shares of third-party posts. Be a resource to users.
  • What seems dull to you may be of interest to followers.
    A vineyard owner may see after-harvest pruning as a mundane chore, but for others it may be interesting. Every business has compelling aspects.
  • Create regular features.
    A “sale item of the week,” or a regular event will bring people back to see what’s new. The Humboldt Bay Tourism Center offers a regular “Meet the Humboldt Maker” event which they announce only on Facebook. Locals check Facebook to see what’s coming up.
  • Make it pithy.
    Keep it brief.
  • Encourage comments.
    Treat your followers like friends — respond to comments regularly.
  • Follow other pages.
    By following pages associated with your business, you’ll build a strong newsfeed — free of the selfies and photos of pets  you see on your personal profile newsfeed. Follow this streamlined, rich newsfeed and share posts that might be of interest to your customers.
  • Tag other businesses — they’ll appreciate it.
    To tag other pages in your posts, type “@” and follow with the name of the page you wish to tag. Facebook will autofill the name and when you select it, it will be a link.
Be specific in your blog posts…

Be specific in your blog posts…

Searching for the term for the horizontal and vertical supporting strips between panes of glass (“muntins”) we came across a blog with a napkin sketch of a window. The author claims “It’s become .. the number one driver of traffic to this blog.”

Searches that bring users to websites often include esoteric terms and trade jargon, thus, if this were a post on a window company site, we would recommend mentioning any and all related words (mullions, rails, etc). Linking to other resources (in this case to a glossary of window anatomy for example), is also good for users and won’t hurt your search rankings. Precise terminology in your posts and pages make your site easier to define for search engines, and thus more likely to be served up in searches.

 

 

Why Facebook memes all look the same

Why Facebook memes all look the same

One of the reasons that Facebook memes have such a clichéd similarity and uniform typographic ugliness is that many of them are created with meme generators that use the typeface Impact — usually in all caps. The white type with black outline ensures sufficient contrast so that the type can be applied to any background. The templates offer users top and bottom message areas. Some meme generators allow users to upload their own images, but a surprising number of meme creators are unambitious enough to be satisfied with ready-to-use photos that are offered on these sites. The result is now ubiquitous on Facebook.

Graphic designers generally avoid outlining type, preferring more elegant solutions for a lack of contrast. All upper case and bold face messaging is also avoided by designers because upper and lower case, and lighter weight typeface are easier to read.

 

What makes white on the screen?

What makes white on the screen?

In a discussion of screen colors, a client asked us “how is white created?” In print, white is simply a lack of color, but on a computer monitor, the opposite is true.

Additive color on screens and monitors is created by mixing red, green and blue light — referred to as RGB. Two additive primary colors produce a secondary color: red and blue make magenta, red and green make yellow, blue and green make cyan. Where all three overlap we see white. Turn the colors off and you have black. The black type you are reading here is where the red, green and blue screen pixels are turned off. The white background is the result of all three colors on.