Tag Archives: graphic design

Why Learn Publisher?

Microsoft_Publisher_2013_logo_svg_With Microsoft Publisher now included in Office 365, small businesses have a tool that allows them to create many graphic projects easily and quickly in-house. That’s great, not so?

Well, there is a danger lurking there. And that is the reason to spend some time learning Publisher properly.

What is Publisher
Publisher is a powerful, easy to use page layout program. It allows one to easily lay out graphic projects like flyers, adverts, newsletters and more.

While one could do similar things in MS Word, it was much more difficult. Objects that you had carefully placed on the page, seem to move without apparent reason. Publisher uses frames to place objects and they stay put no matter what you do elsewhere.

The Danger
Graphic design is an art. Publisher is easy to use and so it is also easy to make a mess of a graphic project if you ignore graphic design principles.  Your project can end up looking “home made”!

There Is a Way
We have created a fun course, Flyers with Publisher. In this course we take you step-by-step through the design of two typical small business flyers. In the process you will learn the most frequently used tools and concepts of Publisher.

What is unique, however, is that we teach the basic concepts of graphic design in the way these two flyers are structured! This alone is worth its weight in gold.

This course is part of our Office 365 for Small Business series.

To learn more, visit the course home page


What Does It Cost?

dollar signI am often asked, how much does a “small”  or “basic” website cost? This seems to be a valid question. I know I would to know the cost of something before spending my hard-earned money!

But it is in fact an incorrect question to ask and it is symptomatic of an underlying omission as I will try and explain in more detail in this post.

Show me da money!
This is a quote from a famous movie where the football player says to the agent “show me da money!” I usually follow up the question with “show me da business plan!” – and so often there is none. That is the omission, The real question should be “what will the website do for your business/organization?” If the website will enable you to earn $100 000, does it matter if you have paid $100, $1000, or $10,000 for a website!

But a website is not a commodity with a fixed price, but rather it is a solution designed to meet a business need. Any new venture should start with a business plan in which you identify your target audience for your products or services, and includes an implementation plan, a financial plan and a marketing plan.

The website component is but one component of the project, marketing is an even bigger component. This involves a wide range of technologies including video, email marketing and social media.

Content creation is another huge component of an Internet-based project. A thorough knowledge of the target audience, the desired outcomes, and available resources all have a role to play as we discussed in a previous post.

I want to charge a lot!
That is why I can never answer the question, “how much does a website cost?” I would like to charge you much more than what you think a website should cost! No, I am not trying to be funny, it is true. I would like to use my skills as a designer to make your venture successful. This takes more than just building a website. I would like to be involved early on in the planning of your venture.

It is actually free!
In a strange way it is mostly free, as the costs incurred in your project for graphic design is largely a tax write-off.



The Non-Designer’s Design Book

When I discovered this fantastic book by Robin Williams (not the actor) several years ago, it opened many doors for me into the world of graphic design. She covers design concepts that are basic but so essential.

A lot has happened in the world of digital design since the first edition of this title was published, but one thing remains true: There is an ever-growing number of people attempting to design pages with no formal training. This book is the one place they can turn to find quick, non-intimidating, excellent design help from trusted design instructor Robin Williams.
Humor-infused, jargon-free prose interspersed with design exercises, quizzes, and illustrations make learning a snap–which is just what audiences have come to expect from this best-selling author!