Recent Articles

An Italian Inspiration: Luxurious White Bedrooms

An Italian Inspiration: Luxurious White Bedrooms

| October 11, 2013 | 2 Comments

For those of you that can appreciate the bigger picture of art and design, the following images will blow you away. And if you happen to fancy the Italian take on design, then this post is going to make you giggle like an anime cartoon girl.

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How Secure Is Your Design Business?

How Secure Is Your Design Business?

| September 25, 2013 | 2 Comments

If one of your clients was livid about something you did and then sued you, what kind of security do you have against that attack? If another business deliberately set out to destroy you, how long could you last?

We all know we should have some sort of protection when it comes to our business but many of us, especially start-ups, don’t worry about having any sort of protection should the sky come raining down on us – at least initially. Do you think you could afford a brute-force attack from another person or business without protection?

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Japanese Garden Decoration Tips

Japanese Garden Decoration Tips

| September 2, 2013 | 2 Comments

Today, my words will take you on a mind blowing trip to the orient. We are going to be discussing the fine design of Japanese gardens.

I had recently gone on an excursion to Japan, and while there I took some time to visit a few of the gardens in Tokyo. I must say that it was an eyeful to see the beautiful landscaping, the way they take care of the rock gardens, and even the well kept structures, possibly tea houses.

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Environmentally Friendly Designs in Modern Structures

Environmentally Friendly Designs in Modern Structures

| January 25, 2014 | 0 Comments

There is always a challenge on how to incorporate current technology in the design of modern houses and commercial buildings. There has been enough of a concern for the governments of more than 132 countries to promote Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), a system for rating the features of green construction in both residential and commercial developments.

LEED is based on the recognition that all development profoundly affects the natural environment. In turn, there is an effect on the population’s health, the economy and even productivity. Now architects and developers have access to advanced green technology so there is opportunity to incorporate the key elements of environmental sustainability into all aspects of building design and construction. Although some of these innovations are more costly than regular material and processes, they are considered to be a long term investment. As LEED standards are more generally accepted and followed, demand for green products and services will increase the supply and the price will start to move down.

A LEED rating assures property owners and tenants that the buildings are constructed according to strict guidelines for environmental sustainability. Ken Dart of kennethdart.com, whose real estate development projects are based in the Cayman Islands, is just one of the developers who had passed and complied with the LEED standards. Dart says compliance with this prevailing international standard in regards to structural design and development enables a company to develop projects within the restrictions of the most environmentally governed policies.

One good example is Dart Realty’s development project in Camana Bay, in the Cayman Islands. The Cayman Islands is one of the places in the world protected by the United Nations as a world heritage site. Every inch of development there is strictly monitored and evaluated to conform to LEED standards.

Real estate developers who want to start projects in such places must meet the following guidelines included in LEED regulations. Most countries have several levels of certification, often determined by the kind of use and location. For example, an apartment building, church, office building and warehouse might fall into different categories with different guidelines. Each governing agency is very clear on its policies so any interested party would do well to research what applies to his situation.

The policies include standards for the kind of construction materials, equipment and processes used. The goal is always to have the least impact possible on the environment. Just a few examples include using wood from a sustainable forestry business, installing super energy efficient windows and doors, and using insulation with the highest rating.

By implementing a LEED policy, governments have sought to reduce the use of energy and minimize the carbon footprint of all the companies and trades involved in building development. However, it is not just a one time benefit. Any building complying with LEED standards will maintain its green benefits for its lifetime, resulting in a more sustainable and healthier environment for everyone.

The Car You Drive Matters

The Car You Drive Matters

| December 10, 2013 | 0 Comments

I was talking to one of my new clients through last week and our conversation was really thought-provoking and provided the impetus for this blog post.

We were having a discussion about client meetings and pitching for design jobs and what it takes to win and the comment this client of mine, who is a key decision maker by the way, made was how the car I arrived to our initial meeting gave an incredibly professional image (combined with my amazing design presentation of course!).

He mentioned how the prospective designer prior to me had arrived in an inferior vehicle and that the overall impression between myself and that designer, simply due to the car we drove, was that I was more successful and therefore a superior designer.

My car is a good car, not super-expensive, but it gives a great impression. The model, for those of you that care, is an 2008 Audi A4 B8 (image below). You can pick them up nowadays for under $30,000 but it looks far more expensive than that.

Audi_A4_B8_front

For an ambitious entrepreneur having a classy car could just be the little bit extra to land that next client. Below are a selection of vehicles that you could consider when looking to give that amazing first impression.

1. BMW X5

This is a hot seller. Its sleek design makes it an object of awe and envy alike. Sizing considerations classify it as neither too big or too small. It can be used by any gender and matches up pretty well in terms of price with similar SUV models on the market.

2. Ford Eco sport

Few S.U.Vs can match on and off the road maneuverability like this model. It has terrific set of accessories that allow it to exude a chic lifestyle easily. Weekend and less formal settings require a car that is able to deliver a casual feel but still remain very neat and respectable. An entrepreneur comes off as a likable character who is unafraid to show off their laid back side.

3. Jaguar F-type convertible

High value deals require a strong image and a show of complete grasp of the set of business etiquette and style. Its supercharged engine allows an unmatched speed dash in real time.

The price tag of over $75,000 is a gamble that the potential client will indeed take you seriously. Dominance and power come into play and could well sway the prospect into playing to your tune.

4. Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG

Impeccable craftsmanship and solid engineering concepts define this car choice. These features are easily transferable to the upcoming individual who wants to display great skill and reliability. The price point is in the mid sector of the high end vehicle category.

It is not my intention to have you spend all your spare cash on a hot new car, or to re-mortgage your house. However, it is food for thought and the underlying message is that first impressions do count. Keep that in mind.

An inexpensive alternative would be to periodically hire out these cars from local dealerships.

3 Tips for Storing Your Junk While Renovating Your Home

3 Tips for Storing Your Junk While Renovating Your Home

| November 25, 2013 | 0 Comments

A home renovation project is surely an exciting activity.  It is during such projects when homeowners are given the liberty to implement pretty much whatever they want for the beautification of their home. However, there may be some issues along the way. One problem is the storage of belongings during the entire renovation process. Where will you put items you will not be using and maybe some of your junk temporarily? Is it safe to keep them somewhere outside your house?

 

Many people end up putting off renovations because of such issues. Furniture needs to be moved. Precious items need to be boxed and kept. There is no specific time for the renovation to take place. It may turn out to be longer than expected. Following are three tips for storing your junk while renovating your home

 

Find Available Storage in a Friend’s Basement

Check with your friends and relatives to see if there is convenient space in one of their basements. As long as your items are contained to one area and there is a definite deadline for retrieval, such an arrangement should not be a strain to the relationship. Just make sure that everything is neatly boxed and labelled so there will be mess in your friend’s space.

Consider Private Storage for Better Protection

While a friend’s basement means a good price and convenience in case you want to access anything, you might want to consider a storage company. There are different sizes of storage units so you can choose what work best for you. Some companies will even deliver a container to your door for you to fill at you’re your own pace. Then, they will pickup and take to their storage warehouses.

 

Such storage is generally secure and clean. The private storage Toronto offers is widely available and offers other services. For example, they do not only deal with the actual storage, but they also handle checking up of the items in store. A good company also takes care of basic maintenance on the items you keep with them.

 

Make Use of Bank Vault Boxes

Perhaps you have only small items to place in safekeeping during a renovation with its many trades people in and out of the house. Consider bank vault strong boxes for jewelry, important documents or even small pieces of art. It is likely the safest place for valuables.

 

Unlike the storage facilities mentioned above which has the capability of offering big spaces, bank vault boxes can keep smaller items and precious belongings such as jewelry, extra cash, etc. These items should not be just stored anywhere. A bank is the safest option to leave your assets with high value. You only need to pay for the facility, enter into the terms and agreements as stipulated by the bank and hand to them your precious belongings.

 

Indeed, your home renovation projection should not be postponed and delayed just because you cannot find a place to store your precious items and junk at home. With the help of www.publicstoragecanada.com, you will be given options to consider. Public Storage Canada is a dependable provider of safe, clean, affordable, and flexible storage for all your personal, as well as business storage needs.

Great Local SEO Tips For Design Business Owners

Great Local SEO Tips For Design Business Owners

| November 24, 2013 | 0 Comments

The design industry is extremely cluttered and competition for top rankings in Google reflects this.

In order to get your personal or company website to rank high in Google, one thing that is well worth focusing on is the Local SEO.

Given the importance of this topic, I have invited leading Australian SEO firm, KaizenSEO to provide some basic SEO tips.

The team at Kaizen specalise in helping Melbourne businesses with their SEO needs and they have a knack for helping Australian websites out-rank their competition.

Amoung their list of clients is www.homebusinesshub.net.au which ranks on page one for a host of important home based business keywords. This page for example, receives hundreds of hits per month from people looking for home based business ideas due to the assistance provided by KaizenSEO. They really do know what they are doing. Here are their top tips:

Ensure The Technical Setup Of Your Website Is SEO Friendly:

In most cases, certain website owners can do this naturally. In case you are having a custom built website, it is important to think of your HTML, folder structure, site map readability. Normally, most web designer will always spend much time making websites graphically great, but search engine check the technical aspect as required. In case your site is flash or heavy, it is better to keep space for the HTML text to help in the booting process. You can remove your welcome or splash page and fit in the home page with points to describe the content perfectly.

Create A List Of Keywords For Your Website:

This idea will help greatly when talking about local SEO tip for your small business. It is better to select keywords that can help to rank your website easily and quickly through the operation of search engine. You will have to do it in way that users can find easy. Following Google algorithm process will help your keywords rank perfectly without stress. You can even gain a first page ranking if your website keywords are perfect. On this note, it is important to select keywords that can easily be found on search engine.

Write Blog Posts Regularly On Your Selected Keywords:

One big method of increasing your website ranking through local SEO operation is writing regular blog. Blogging is an act of writing content based on your website operation. You can write blog based on your selected website keywords. This will help to keep your website update always. This process can also help in the ranking process of your website through search engine operation. Ensure to pick a perfect time to update your website based on your keyword selection. Some website owners can decide to write blogs on a weekly basis or monthly. Do research on your selected keywords so that your site users will get the deal about your service.

Past Links To Your Website And On Social Media:

Provided you are able to write quality blogs, you can insert links to join your website for more elaboration. You can even go ahead to past links of your selected keywords on social media. This will help increase the visibility of your website service and operation. You will gain quick traffic and good ranking on search engine properly. Applying this local SEO strategies to your small business will bring positive result as required.

Portable Building Design

Portable Building Design

| November 19, 2013 | 0 Comments

More and more people are finding uses for portable buildings. It’s a demand that has created a movement of small efficient design. What’s great about small buildings is they can be designed for many different purposes. Some people use them as sheds, some people use them as work studio, some people even use them as the basic building structure for their house.

The article will go over the design of portable buildings, some of the best options out there, and what to look for in your own design process. As we stated earlier portable buildings can be designed for almost anything, but the following information focuses on the most popular uses.

 

Office Space

We are not talking about the comedy, but about using a portable building as somewhere to work. For example, let’s say you decide to remodel your office. The construction is eventually going to get to a point where it’s going to be very difficult to work, so you are going to need somewhere to go. Using a portable building will allow you to design an office away from your office. Some people have liked portable buildings as their office space so much, they have made the transition permanent.

 

Food Services

More and more you are starting to see these small food stands no the side of the road and in parking lots. Startup businesses realize the cost effectiveness of starting their food business with a portable building. It is a great option for a would-be restaurant owner just getting started, especially with a street food business. Although portable does not mean it can be driven, a small building can be moved fairly easily on a flat bed truck. The owner is then able to take advantages of events such as local fairs or car races where another food service would be a welcome attraction.

 

Housing

As we mentioned earlier some people will even use portable buildings as a form of housing. There is an entire industry devoted to small houses. They are designed so everything is multipurpose and super efficient. Typical features are built in beds that fold into the wall, sliding walls to increase the illusion of space and kitchen space that can be hidden behind doors. The bathroom might look like the compact ‘head’ in a boat where the entire room becomes a shower stall. Such houses are often environmental statements as they leave a small footprint on the earth. Obviously, though, they are not meant for families with several children and/or large pets.

These are the most popular reasons you for using a portable building, but don’t be afraid to get something customized to your own personal needs. The first step is to find a good company you can work with. PortableBuildingPros.com has many excellent designs for portable buildings you can browse on the internet. Check them out for more information.

Why Shopping for my New French Doors Was Easy

Why Shopping for my New French Doors Was Easy

| November 9, 2013 | 0 Comments

There is no doubt that a home improvement project is both an exciting and stressful adventure. It’s exciting because I’m the one to plan the details of the improvements that need to be done, including the selection of new furnishings and fixtures. It’s stressful because I have to deal with contractors and designers who want to implement what they think is best.

 

Thankfully, my designer is a personal friend and we agree on most ideas. For this year, I am interested in achieving a classic appeal to my home. So I decided to get new French doors for the entrance of my home. I have recently read a home improvement magazine and these types of doors are really attractive and are trending these days.

 

During the planning process, I have already laid out what I expected. Now, the hunt begins. I did not depend on other people to research the item for me. I don’t want to end up blaming other people for wrong decisions later on. I also want to take things slowly and surely. At the end of the home improvement project, I can say that the selection was a success.

 

Here’s why shopping for my new French doors was easy.

 

There are So Many Styles to Choose From

My designer friend offered some of her advice, as did a few other friends owned homes. I also read a few online forums on French doors and learned how to maximize their use. I was even able to get the best sources in my area, both physical stores and online retailers.

 

The decision came in when I had to choose between ordering a customized door, or a readymade one. In the end, I chose a readymade one, since it is more easy to find, and is already available, unlike the customized ones, wherein I need to wait for a month to have everything ready.

 

Shopping Online Makes Window Shopping a Thing of the Past

Before I even ordered my new doors, I did some product hunting. I browsed several websites offering doors, to make sure I was getting reasonable quotes. I even talked to local manufacturers. Though the local suppliers were willing to give me a discount, I was able to get a good deal from the online sources.

 

The online retailers of French doors offered me several incentives. Besides free shipping, they were also ready to provide maintenance solutions to my door for 2 years. Window City also made sure that pre installation checks are done before bringing the door to my home. They have sent representatives to check everything out. The best part is that they are also a local company, but are selling their products online. Contacting them was very convenient and easy.

 

Upon receiving my new French doors, installation went on smoothly. After the entire home improvement project, I was right with what I expected. My new door became a conversation starter and a head turner for every visitor. Boy, I was glad I did everything right.

Why You Need to Get Home Insurance from Grey Power

Why You Need to Get Home Insurance from Grey Power

| November 9, 2013 | 0 Comments

Home insurance is a very important factor that needs to be focused on in your monthly budget. After all, the money used in investing in monthly premiums may still be reasonable compared to paying for accidents which may happen to the home. As a result, protection is necessary at all costs. This protection can only be achieved if you secure your assets with the help of a reliable home insurance company.

The Need to Search for the Best Company

Select the best insurance company that can provide you several options. The insurance company should be able to provide you with a quote including all the discounts available for you. These days, there are numerous home insurance discounts that are available, as well as several home insurance packages offered to homeowners.

A good company often creates a package combining the insurance services for home and auto insurance. This will eliminate the need to pay multiple companies for different insurance premiums. Among the best companies in Canada is Grey Power. To learn more about the insurance it offers, you may visit the website at greypower.com.

Grey Power and You

Grey Power believes that there is no other place like home. Therefore, it is the company’s goal to provide the protection for you and your home. That is what you deserve. At the same time, they also offer several discounts and benefits by being insured in their company. The home insurance offered by Grey Power covers the following:

  • Lightning or Fire
  • Explosion
  • Damage due to smoke
  • Malicious acts and vandalisms
  • Water damage
  • Hair or windstorm
  • Breakage (glass)
  • Theft and robbery
  • Collapse due to several factors, such as sleet, snow and ice
  • Fuel oil leakage

There are also certain events which may be included in the list. However, aside from the coverage applied on the walls and roof of your home, and everything in between, coverage is also offered to the garage and the fence, as well as the risk of getting sued. The following structures are covered in the home insurance policy of the company:

  • The physical building of your home
  • Attached structures (outdoor pool, carport, garage, hot tub, etc)
  • Detached structures (shed, garage, fence, etc)
  • Personal properties, such as appliances, furniture, electronic, clothes, and other things inside the house.
  • Loss of home use (like cost of food, accommodation, transportation), in situations wherein the house is not fit for occupancy, or if there is a need for you to transfer to another home.
  • Personal liability (protection provided against the possibility of being sued due to injury to someone, as well as property damage)

Additional coverage:

  • Lock replacement and repair, in cases wherein the house keys are lost or stolen
  • Removal of debris from the structures of the home
  • Spoiled food inside the freezer
  • Charges coming from the fire department, and more

Grey Power is no doubt the most reliable home insurance company in Canada. Contact the company for your inquiries and questions regarding the policies they offer.

Looking to Buy in The Toronto Area?

Looking to Buy in The Toronto Area?

| November 8, 2013 | 0 Comments

So today I came across this great site, I was actually searching the Internet in an attempt to find a mortgage rate calculator, and this was one of the first results that popped up.  The site is called Zoocasa, and if you’re interested in checking it out, this is their online portal for real estate.  If you’re looking for a home in or around the Toronto area, I would give them a call, they were happy to meet up with me and discuss my options to upgrade to a larger home.  Not only that, but when I was talking with them, I didn’t feel like they were pushing me into anything, you know, when you get that broker who you feel like wants you to get the house more than you do.  With Zoocasa I didn’t feel any of them, the guy that came out was very friendly, totally put everything out on the table for me since it had been a while since my last purchase.

We went over the value of my current property, as well as payment options, and he even showed me this tool they have to calculate the mortgage rate for a new home.  With all of this I felt like I was actually a part of the sale, and all these things that were unfamiliar, all started making sense to me in a way they never had before. So if you haven’t already, I would open the Internet and check out Zoocasa and see what they have to offer in the areas you might be interested in.  I found their site pretty easy to navigate, and they had some cool rebate options, it wasn’t too much, but something is better than nothing right?  They even offer their own free app so incase you come across a for sale sign, bust out that iPad or iPhone, and their location-based app will bring it, as well as any surrounding properties that listed for sale.

It’s always important to explore your options to make sure you’re getting the most out of everything.  Get an appraisal or two, a lot of places offer them for free, so if you haven’t already, it’s something great to take advantage of.  If you haven’t already locked in on an area, might I suggest Brampton real estate.  Every time I go on, there seems to be more and more properties popping up in this area, and it’s actually quite nice.  Check out the area and see if you could see yourself settling down there.  Could even drive around with the app open and see what properties are available, browse pictures, listing prices, and home specifications without ever stepping foot outside of your car.  Or if you’re not a tech nerd like me, you could stick with the traditional open houses and viewing appointments, but hey, I’m just throwing some options out there for you.  Anyways, if you haven’t already, I’d highly recommend giving them a call, they were more than happy to help me out in my move to larger home.

Boost Your Design Business With These Social Media Platforms

Boost Your Design Business With These Social Media Platforms

| November 6, 2013 | 0 Comments

Social media has exploded. There is no doubting that and today I have invited Greg from the Australian Business Hub (www.australianbusinesshub.com.au) to cover the five core social media marketing platforms that you need to be active on.

 

Now, when I say active, I mean that you should have a presence on at least one of these platforms. Without that online presence, you are killing your business. Let’s dive in.

 

Twitter

One of the best social media platforms to utilize any business, Twitter allows members to connect with the right people, including industry professionals, and members of staff. Twitter has changed the game for small businesses, allowing them to communicate much more effectively, seek new clients, and make use of hash tags in order to drum up more business.

 

With millions of users, every business should have at least one Twitter account, in order to boost their online presence. Frequent tweets should be promotional in nature, using an effective hash tag, which can attract new customers who may be searching for a particular item in Twitter’s search function.

 

LinkedIn – Perfect for designers!

Sell your key skills and industry experience to more people than you ever thought possible with LinkedIn. Registered members can maintain a database of industry contacts, and professionals who they would like to work with, or employ the services of.

 

LiknkedIn is a social network platform which can be used to network and build contacts within the small business and design industries and help to find a new job. It can even be used as an effective research tool when checking the credentials of a client or potential member of staff. Upload your resume on the website, and let the world know your experience, your skills, and what drives you to succeed in business.

 

Digg

A social news website for people to share online content with business partners and clients, Digg allows users to submit articles and web links and comment on the latest developments in your chosen field. Users can then “digg” or “bury” this content, using the website’s built in voting system.

 

Share articles of importance with members of your staff, or highlight a story which features research that inadvertently promotes your product or service. The possibilities are endless. What’s more, the website is easy to navigate, and is becoming increasingly popular among business professionals.

 

YouTube

Almost everyone is at least aware of the marketing opportunities that YouTube can bring for any business, small or large. Users can upload, share and comment on videos, and the website has become one of the most important promotional tools for posting a video testimonial, commercial, or how-to-guide featuring your service or product.

 

To get more people to view your videos, share them on other social networking websites, or use the website’s effective tagging system to attract more watchers.

 

Facebook

The mother of all social network sites now offers a “business page”, where companies can highlight and promote events, as well as promote their services and attract new clients and customers. If you are launching a new design product or design service, consider creating a new Facebook page with photos and videos, and a detailed description of design services, contact details, prices, and promotional information.

 

Once the page has a core group of loyal members, you can send discounts via private message, or notify users when a new product has launched. As Facebook remains one of the most used websites in the world, increasing your business presence on the website is imperative, allowing you to appeal to a wide demographic.

How to Find a Front Door Design that Works for You

How to Find a Front Door Design that Works for You

| November 4, 2013 | 0 Comments

One of the most customizable parts of a house is the front door. The front door is the first thing people are going to see before they walk into your house and this is why you should pick the design of it carefully. This article will go over some of the best practices for choosing a front door design that you will love. Obviously when you are first looking at front door designs you should keep the existing theme of your house in mind. You don’t want a door that’s going to look ugly and completely stand out from the house. Look at colors that work well together. You wouldn’t want a contrasting door standing out too much. A good example is if you have a brown house it might look odd to have a bright yellow door. To see some good examples of colors check out http://boulevardexteriors.ca

The area you live should also have an affect on the door design you choose. For example, if you live in an area where there are high winds then you might consider avoiding doors that are made out of materials that break easy. You wouldn’t want something being blown through your front door made out of glass and shattering it. There is more than just the weather to think about, if you live in an area with a high crime rate than security would be an issue. If you want the most secure door possible then go with something that’s solid wood. A great place to learn more about door security is Calgary door company.

When you actually have a design in mind and start to go shopping you might be a little overwhelmed by all of the designs that are available on the market. You can get a door in almost any style. Most of the time doors are categorized by the area the design is modeled after. For example, you would have modern doors and victorian doors.

One of the most popular designs with today’s world is modern or contemporary. If you like this look then you should look for doors that are simple and don’t have too many lines. You want a minimal clean look.

Just remember when looking for a door to not stress too much. If you end up completely hating the door you chose it doesn’t have to be permanent. Just keep looking around and you are bound to find something you will like. To learn more about doors and designs visit http://boulevardexteriors.ca. They have lots of great information and examples of door designs.

5 Ways For Designers To Keep Fit & Healthy

5 Ways For Designers To Keep Fit & Healthy

| October 23, 2013 | 0 Comments

Long hours at work and work stress can all too often play the most prominent role in deteriorating health for graphic designers, architects and other individuals who spend prolonged periods of time seated.

The stress of running a business or meeting design deadlines can damage our health without meaning to, from skipping meals and exercise routines to excessive hours behind a desk or staring at a computer screen. But there are ways of incorporating efficient means of staying fit and healthy without jeopardizing the success of your client work.

Here are five easy ways to stay balanced and healthy.

1. Integrate Exercise into your Day
It often seems that exercise drops off the map of a busy schedule. Going to the gym before work, on a break, or at the end of the day may work well for those who are highly disciplined, but it does not work for everyone. Search local fitness providers in your area at a popular gym directory such as www.GymsGuide.com.au and consider finding a personal trainer to keep you on track.

Aside from joining a gym, try staying active throughout the day. Try walking around while on the phone or taking frequent breaks to do a brief bit of cardio, strength training or yoga in between calls and emails. This will keep your energy high after lunch, and keep your senses sharper.

2. Drink Fresh Juices
It can be time consuming to toil in the kitchen with a blender. That is the reason juice shops have sprung up everywhere.

Drinking a fresh juice or smoothie can be filling and healthy for the professional on the go. It’s so much better than fast food. You can fill up on the best nutrients without overeating and gaining unnecessary weight. You can just sip on your breakfast and lunch without being distracted from your work.

3. Take Breaks Away from Social Media
Too much time is spent under the guise of productivity while browsing the Internet or navigating our labyrinths of social media and newsfeeds.

Remember that there is fresh air and light outside. Remember to breath and stretch. Sitting in front of a computer screen is not really a break for your mind or for your body. Get away from Facebook and Twitter during your break time. And definitely take those breaks!

4. Meditate
Meditation can be interpreted to mean a variety of different things, from being spiritual in intent to simply focusing one’s mind and bettering the body through calm breathing exercises, but one thing all who meditate can agree one is that it compliments how well we conduct ourselves when we’re not meditating.

Meditation can help you make those heavy decisions. It can assist with clarity and focus. It is well known to alleviate stress, to broaden your perspective, to let go of unhealthy attachments and thought processes that do not serve your success.

Even two minutes of meditation is better than zero. And those who continue to meditate often do so for short spurts throughout the day. If you are not sold on the concept of meditation, read this article.

5. Stay Connected Socially
In the din of a busy life real-life social connections can be sacrificed. This is a mistake. Business connections may become friends, but it is important to have friends outside of your client work.

If you have friends, keep them. If your social connections have withered from too many hours at work, vivify them again. And try to talk about things other than work!

May you be prosperous and live long with a high quality of life!

New iPad Designs Stirring Up A Commotion

New iPad Designs Stirring Up A Commotion

| October 11, 2013 | 0 Comments

This news is near and dear to my heart so read intently. Apple’s design has hooked millions of people and lured them into their cool-kids club (i’m a member). What’s amazing is not only is their physical design sleek, well-built, and professional, but the software itself is a step above almost anything in the market.

WINDOWS USERS: Now, yes I know my Windows users are screaming at the computer and about to click that naught “X” button at the top right of the tab, but calm yourself as this is a strictly professional observation… and a little jab to the stomach. *wink wink*

Now we have that out of the way, let’s get to what we were getting at — Apple iPad new design.

So rumor has it they will be releasing a new iPad (when will they ever stop?) and it’s going to be a duzy. Based off previous launches we can hopefully expect it to be smaller, lighter, and faster. At least that is what all these tech-guru’s are saying. My personal opinion is that they don’t need to make it any smaller. In fact, if they shrink it too much, it would be an iPhone.

ipad-conceptSide Rant: Since we mentioned the iPhone, I really hope this next launch isn’t going to be like the iPhone 4 to iPhone 4s launch. It’s pretty much the same damn phone with a bit more processing power. It’s absolutely mind numbing how the littlest improvements on the internals can spark ridiculously huge sales. I want this new iPad to be fresh, with a new design, and hopefully some fun new toys!

Okay, time to segue back to some of the news about toys! Just like the new iPhone 5c launch, some are talking about fingerprint security built into the new iPad. There are a couple of modes of thought on this: One, it’s pretty awesome how far we have come along in technology to have fingerprint scanners in out pocket!

Two, with all the talk about the NSA spying on everyone, this just adds to the multiple ways the government can track us. And we are not just talking about the US government.

While I understand the uses for marketing when it comes to GPS and fingerprint scanners, I am still a bit leery about the giving away too much information about me and my whereabouts. Maybe that’s me just being paranoid but it’s something to think about.

A few other rumors that are making their way around the internet is that the new iPads will have a new, higher definition screen. It seems like tech companies are starting to reach their pinnacle for screens. They already look absolutely amazing today. How much better can they really get?

I should bit my tongue when I make those kinds of comments. It makes me think of when everyone was saying the same thing about tv’s with flat screens, “How much flatter can these tv screens get?” *scoff*

Time will only tell as Apple is going to unveil the new iPad on October 22, 2013 so keep an eye out as i’m sure ads will be plastered on every billboard in your town.

If you have heard of any other rumors, make sure to leave a comment and keep us all informed. If there is any new information before the release date I will make sure to post to keep everyone up to date. Cheers!

Russian Designer Wins Subway Design Competition

Russian Designer Wins Subway Design Competition

| October 8, 2013 | 2 Comments

America truly is a melting pot! It’s always exciting to hear about foreigners taking on native Americans (not the Indians) in competition. What caught my attention and inspired me to write a post about this particular champion is that not only is he Russian, but the competition was in the thousands!

So lets do a quick break down of exactly what happened, and why it’s so impressive to me. First off, as a designer there is a plethora of talent in the world and it can be intimidating. When a person from any walk of life says, “Yeah, umm, I think I will take part in this competition against thousands of people… and win” it shows the world they have a serious pair of cojones!

This guy was banking on his design to be the most attractive and easy to read subway map among the pool of thousands of other maps. When you take a look at any map what do you see? To the average person they might see a bunch of lines, colors, and words mashed into a paper with a little speech bubble that says “you are here.”subway

That’s perfectly all right because not everyone can appreciate the time and thought that goes into a piece of work like this– And i’m not trying to bust anyone’s chops. Seriously, the colors that are chosen need to have a contrast that is pleasing to the eye.

The lines need to have a certain thickness so that it is easy to read, but they can’t be too thick as to cause confusion. The font needs to be familiar, and easy to read as well. What size font should be used on a subway map? Do you have any idea? Because I don’t.

I suppose the point i’m trying to draw for you, the reader, is that this Russian dude is just like any other professional.

He has learned and perfected his craft so much that it influenced 17,000 people to say “yes Michael Kvrivishvili from Moscow, you are clearly the bee’s knees. Here is your trophy and have a nice day.”

Something else to take note of: The parameters for this contest was not to make the coolest looking map, but the most readable map that people would want to look at every day.

Kelly Smith, a MBTA spokeswoman said: “We weren’t asking people which one they thought was the coolest, we were asking them which one they would actually want to use on a daily basis.”

Another interesting factoid about this master designer is that he entered in a different subway drawing contest previously and lost… to his employer! It turns out the design company Michael works for has a set of Jedi powers that trickles down from the top. My money is on Michel being the “Luke” of the graphic designer family over there in good ol’ Russia.

Have you heard of any other master designers winning any competitions lately? If so, make sure to leave a lengthy and drawn out comment below. I love to hear from my readers!