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Favicons – Making browser thumbnails

One of the easiest ways to make you website professional is with a custom favicon.  If you’re like me, you’re first question is – what the hell is a favicon?

A favicon is a little icon that shows up on your browser’s tabs.  Youtube, for example, has a little red play button.  While you might not notice these, a lot of people who come to your website might be slightly less trusting if you haven’t taken the extra step of getting a custom favicon.  It sounds silly, yes, but I’m sure you have your own “sketchy visual checklist” for new brands and sites.
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Photoshop Shortcuts

If you’re working as a millennial in ANY job in entertainment, chances are you’re using photoshop.  I don’t know what is about older people, but they all assume we use photoshop and have been since we were babies.  I started in using photoshop in college because my band and other bands were always needing flyers for their shows.  Actually, come to think about it, if you’re in a band now, you probably use photoshop all the time!

The good news is there are thousands of really helpful tutorials for learning all sorts of “looks” and tools, but there isn’t much to find about the SUPER important time-saving tricks to get a decent workflow up and running.  (said in a dramatic movie voice) Until Now.

Web Designer Wall – a great resource in general – has a pretty awesome rundown (AND EXPLANATION) of some really important short cuts.  These helped me save a lot of time AND look really good at photoshop when someone looks over my shoulder!

http://webdesignerwall.com/tutorials/photoshop-secret-shortcuts

Twitter Bootstrap

Website Building Part 1 – Responsive Front End Frameworks

I try to keep this blog organized in such a way that the tools here can help anyone – a secretary, receptionist, DIY band, young entrepreneur, etc.  One of the big issues I see happen is a nice go getter such as yourself pays a lot of money for someone to make a website, only to have it become impossible to maintain and nearly as impossible to update.  Many people end up getting frustrated at the whole process and decide to build their own website.

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Subtle Patterns – Simple, Elegant Backgrounds for Everyone

Sometimes in design you want texture, but not too much texture! Just a little “something-somethin'” to fill out the design.  Like throwing a little B3 organ into a mix…a little goes a long way.  With that in mind, I give you SubtlePatterns.com – a veritable treasure trove of “barely there” textures and patterns.  These work great on band posters, websites, resumes, etc.

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Email Address for Download Exchange – How To

One of the most important things for a young musician (or brand) to do is build a following, and one of the best ways to do that is with compelling and relative email content that brings fans closer to your brands.  That way, when you announce the big run of shows or the new single, you’ve got a captive audience that is used to opening and reading your emails!

So how do you build a fanbase?  One of the most common ways is to ask fans to give their email address in exchange for a piece of content, such as a song.  Marketers call this “Email-For-Content”.  I’ve got three great tutorials for doing so!

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CSS Box Shadows – Code Generator

“CSS Box Shadows? Who has the TIME hahaha!”

We’ve all heard lines like this at fancy dinner parties (right? or do you guys talk about something else at dinner parties?!).  Well with this simple box shadow generator, you’ll be the hit at the party.  Type in a few values of the kind of box shadow you want and VIOLA – you’ve got code! If you don’t like typing in values, then just move the slider around until you find one you like!

http://css3gen.com/box-shadow/

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Surveys, Contact Forms, and Submissions – Easy!

If your site is taking email addresses, has a contact form, or asks people to submit content, you’re using HTML forms.  Forms are just like paper forms (think an insurance form at the doctors), you need someone to fill out specific information.  Creating forms used to be a nightmare: form building, field validation and and databases, oh my!

Continue reading Surveys, Contact Forms, and Submissions – Easy!