Twitter 101

If you’ve been neglecting Twitter (or were intimidated by it), here are some very basic tips for getting started.

Pick your username carefully. The @username you select can’t be changed, so avoid @partyallnight or @myoffensivepoliticalviews, unless that’s what you want to convey forever. Here are some examples of what not to do. You can adjust the name next to your @username whenever you like.

egghead

Post a picture – any picture – right away. Users with no pictures are known as eggheads because of the placeholder image that is the default. Besides missing out on your primary branding opportunity, eggheads are often fake accounts or spammers, so you don’t want to be in that company.

You’ll be asked to follow some popular accounts based on your interests. These can be adjusted later on, so don’t stress too much over this. Getting a stream of content that you’re interested in will take some time, and you can do this later.

 

Find the people you already know who are on Twitter and follow them. Look at their followers, and if they’re interesting, follow them as well. It’s not as personal as Facebook, where you are supposed to actually know them. Hopefully they will follow you back!

People will follow you – you can’t really stop them but if they’re offensive you can block them. If you don’t follow them back, their content won’t show up in your feed. If they’re not offensive but you’re not interested in their posts, don’t follow them back but keep them around while you build your numbers of followers.

Get started posting! To get your feet wet, choose some interesting posts to retweet. Write a post or two of relevant content, and reply to any responses.

This will get you started – find your niche among Twitter users and find your unique Twitter voice, and I’ll be writing more soon!

Oh, I’m on Twitter @CEMDsocial. Follow me!

WordPress.com vs WordPress.org

There are two WordPress protocols – WordPress.com and WordPress.org. How do you decide which to use?

Wordpress_logo_8

The critical decision factors revolve around hosting, your comfort with technology, how much you’d like to customize your site, and how much you care to spend.

WordPress.com is hosted for you by WordPress, and the basic package is free if you don’t need a custom domain, don’t mind if ads are posted on your site, and use under 3GB for your files. There are extra costs for a custom domain, having no ads, and maintaining a larger site.

By using the WordPress.org framework, you can host wherever you like with your custom domain, and a larger variety of themes and functional plugins to choose from. A hosting account will usually offer email hosting and large or even unlimited storage.

If you are just getting started and your funds are limited, the basic WordPress.com package will probably be enough to get you going. However, the extras (domain mapping, no ads, extra storage, additional costs for email addresses) make it less competitive with self-hosting. If you think you might upgrade from the basic package, my recommendation is to keep your site very simple and put extra effort into your WordPress.org site when you’re able.

Here is an infographic from an excellent comparison of the two products via WPMU DEV, a premium WordPress.org theme developer.

wp-cost-comparison-2015-2-448x513

My mission is to help you at whatever stage you’re at in your business, so get in touch to discuss what platform is right for you right now!

Older posts below

You may notice a huge time lapse between old and new posts – I kept a typography blog for a class I was taking, and imported those posts over to this site. Some of the formatting may be wonky, and I’m sure there are many dead links. But there is some fun and interesting stuff if you feel like marching back through the archives.

I’m cuckoo for…

I’m not sure how I ran across this post, but it led me to all kinds of other archives of vintage cereal boxes.

If you spent as much time as I did staring at sugary cereal boxes every morning, you might want to check out this movie about cereal-obsessed slackers who operate rival cereal bars. Zooey Deschanel is the instigator who is trying to get her boyfriend to leave the cereal netherworld to pursue his musical ambitions, and hilarity ensues.

 

Find many more vintage package designs here and here, and most of all here.

Via Now That’s Nifty.

Inventor of the modern album cover

Via Cool Hunting, a new Taschen book celebrates the designer who revolutionized music packaging, Alex Steinweiss. In 1940, at 23, Steinweiss proposed using original artwork instead of kraft paper for Columbia’s “albums” of 78rpm records. Sales increased 800%.

With the advent of the 33rpm LP format, he invented the “album” sleeve that came to be the industry standard. But it is his iconic cover art for Columbia, Columbia Masterworks, Okeh, Decca Records (among others) that made Alex Steinweiss “the man who made music for your eyes.” His signature style was modern and playful, with geometric shapes and many type influences, including his own curly hand-drawn type (“the Steinweiss Scrawl”).

 

 

 

 

 

 

In case you don’t have $500 for a signed copy, look inside the Taschen book Alex Steinweiss, Inventor of the Modern Album Cover.

AIGA biography and slide show.

Interesting history of Remington Records’ design, under the direction of Alex Steinweiss from its launch in 1952.

InDesign by trial and error

My InDesign education was all of about 1/2 hour at the end of a course, so almost everything I know I learned by trial and error. For my most recent assignment, that isn’t enough, but I found this series of tutorials on line that helped immensely.

Creative Mentor > Practical Learning for InDesign Users

Neil Oliver is an Australian designer and Adobe consultant who has made these 3-minute video sessions available on his website for free.

By following some of his lessons, I’m slowly putting together paragraph style sheets to imitate the New York Times editorial pages. Fun!

Stalking typefaces

Stalking the New York Times typefaces and fonts:

For a class assignment, I have to mock up a NY Times Op-Ed page. I could have asked my friend who works there what fonts they use, but thought that might defeat the purpose a little.

For the headline, I went through every font I have and compared this lower-case G until I found the right one – Cheltenham Book.

For the body text, I wasn’t as lucky. I had to refer to articles on the web, and it’s a typeface I don’t have: Imperial

Along the way I found a lot of discussion about the Times’ redesign in 2003, and how previous redesigns had been received.

The Times announces its redesign, October 21, 2003.

Slate deconstructs the changes, November 5, 2003.

A history of the New York Times nameplate on Typopedia. In 1967 a redesign of the logo removed the long-standing period after the name, and a thousand horrified readers dropped their subscriptions!

Gigi Gaston, The Black Flower

Ran across this on The Daily Beast –

The Steven Kasher Gallery just closed an exhibition by Josh Gosfield: Gigi Gaston, The Black Flower.

The elusive 60’s French pop star is commemorated with magazine covers, album art, photographs, and even a music “video”. What a treasury of vintage type!

You might wonder, like I did, why I hadn’t heard of a world-famous singer who had a music video directed by Jean Luc Godard, and who disappeared after being acquitted of murdering her husband in a jealous rage. I won’t spoil the story for you…you’ll have to check it out for yourself.

Steven Kasher Gallery website.

Daily Beast’s Rachel Wolff reviews the show in this blog post.

Josh Gosfield’s website, with a long trailer of Gigi’s story.

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