Author Archives: Kathy Kinney

WordPress Image Insertion & Optimization

Wordpress: Martha's Landing Condo's

WordPress: Martha’s Landing Condo’s

Several of my clients use WordPress as their website content management system, as do I. Depending on your comfort level with technology, WordPress can have a steep learning curve especially if you have a day job.

Here are 3 excellent resources you can use to make your posts more effective on your WordPress site. Study the optimization notes provided as this will greatly help your site function at it’s optimal speed and efficiency. I’ve seen clients take down their website’s server every-time they upload an image because they refused to optimize images (usually these are people with semi-professional camera equipment but no idea why they would need to downsize their images for the web).

  1. Wordpress: Edmonds Adventist Church

    WordPress: Edmonds Adventist Church

    Images are a vital part of grabbing a visitor’s attention but they can also slow down your website if not optimized properly. See these tips on optimizing images for your WordPress site. (Read more)

  2. So you have a WordPress site and a determination to learn how insert your own images into your posts. Here’s the tutorial for you! (Read more)
  3. This is the most thorough explanation of how and why you should optimize images for the web. So What If You Don’t Have Photoshop? See item 4! (Personally, I have used GIMP before with satisfactory results.) (Read more)

I hope this helps you to become more comfortable with your WordPress site and one of many things you can do with it to attract visitors!

Productivity Tool for Large Screens

Screen Shot 2013-05-22 at 4.40.24 PM

Screen Shot of Spectacle

Who doesn’t like those massive monitor screens? Then comes the desire to use all that screen real estate to its optimal productive level.

Check out the free open source app from Spectacle. You’ll have to remember a few keystrokes to use it but it’ll give you a flashback to those, oh so technically savvy days of shortkeys like Ctrl +Z or Alt +Tab among others. Just don’t flash back too far, you may have gone too far if you start remembering command-line prompts.

Spectacle works on Mac OS 10.7+ platforms to tidy up your desktop by constraining windows in a neat grid based layout so you can focus on the task at hand with all your tools in plain sight — and that means a lot if your office looks like a complete wall of monitor screens or closely resembles the “Bat Cave” setup.

Ok, this might be productivity on steroids for most people, but you never know how useful a tool can be till you try it, right? Comment if you found this helpful.

Check out Spectacle here.

Edmonds Waterfront

The Concept of “Why”

It’s important to know why you do what you do. No, not for the money. It should never be all about the money!

It really is this simple:

I am in the business of helping small businesses, nonprofits, and individuals who want to effectively communicate with their clients and still maintain a thriving family life.

As a business owner you don’t have time to become a dynamo at design, advertising, marketing concepts and tools, what not to do, where your business needs to be online to create buzz for your business or even where not to be, how to present a cohesive message that creates urgency in your client quickly — ultimately leading to sales.

Of course, this is what everyone says they want. But we are really stubborn and we think we can do it all and be everything to all people. Well… how is it working for you so far.

I vow to cut out anything that doesn’t align itself with the above statement. Because it really boils down to these two things: serving others and nurturing relationships — so this should be the underlying purpose or “why” anyway right? No one ever got to the end of their lives and said, “Gee, I wish I had made more money and spent more time at the office.”

Take a moment to share the “why” that drives you and/or your business.

The Wow Factor

There are so many inspiring things out there in the world, especially in the design community.

My experience putting together event and wedding invitations has been exciting, though nothing compared to this unique wedding invitation with a paper record player! I sometimes wish I had time to just stroll around the various paper stores and soak up all the newest trends or pull things apart and figure out how they are supposed to work.

Paper Record Player from kellianderson on Vimeo.

Another idea I stumbled upon today was a philanthropic effort that began with a simple coat-sleeping-bag concept from a design student that became The Detroit Empowerment Plan by housing and employing homeless women to create the new product at no cost for homeless people who wanted and needed it.

Sleeping Bag Coat

Design students idea for the Homeless becomes The Detroit Empowerment Plan

 

Of all the cool things that can be done, the “Wow Factor” of all these neat ideas and revolutionary concepts seems so empty if it doesn’t solve a problem or have a lasting effect on the society around it. The ideas and trends which constantly shape our world, politics, the way we communicate, and do business  is … dare I say, fun to explore; yet I recognize that I simply want to have made some good effect on the world around me when I am gone. I don’t want my life to simply be the selfish acquisition of status and stuff! There’s nothing wrong with having nice things or creating a good life … but I desire something so intangible that I find it hard to see the purpose in just a decent design.

Is anything we do helping anyone in a lasting way? Maybe we aren’t supposed to know or maybe the true purpose hasn’t been revealed yet. So I continue, each day doing whatever I can and seeking… ever seeking a better life. No, perhaps not the “American Dream”, but perhaps the life you imagine you would have peace about in your final moments.

Never take yourself too seriously

I stumbled across a flash tutorial that I put together while in school, about the one thing that has helped keep me perked up all these years… espresso. It’s actually a somewhat humorous little interactive illustration of how to make your own espresso at home.  Thought it would be worth sharing. It’s always funny to see where we started out, isn’t it?

How to Make Espresso

Switching email address to reply from in Outlook

The quick and dirty manual way to change which email address you reply from in Outlook 2007…

When you click Reply or Forward from an email you received from, hypothetically, your “old email account” …in your new message window, below the large Send button you will see a drop down list called Account with all your email accounts managed by Outlook.

change email account

Switching email address to reply from

Click on the email account you would like the reply to come from if other than the original account it was sent too.

That’s the quick and dirty way… I hope this helps.

Inspirational Design Figures

There have been many great designers who have gone before me; Cipe Pineles, Saul Bass, Paula Sher, and so many more. Some were self taught while others were highly skilled and educated in their craft. They were and are so artistically endowed. Personally, I have always found more inspiration from creating clarity in visual communication and balancing creativity and supplemental information.

I recognize that the best service I can provide includes communication for business and the ever changing economic environment. I focus on listening, and strategizing with my clients to meet their goals.
animatedgif