Blog - Jesse Thomas Design
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What is a “Responsive” Website?

I create beautiful Responsive Websites in WordPress. Which, when interested, leads people to ask me, “What is a Responsive Website?” and “What is WordPress?”.

WordPress is a content management system (CMS). It keeps track of all the information on your website and organizes it in a way that makes it easy to use and manipulate. If I’m wondering, “Where did I put that file?”. It can tell us.

The thing you really need to know about WordPress is that it’s the best and most widely used CMS in the world. So that’s what I use to build your website vs. some silly template website that get’s advertised on the radio.

The Responsive part is important to anyone interested in owning a website. “Responsive” means that it responds to the user, kind of like how a surfer responds to a wave. So when the website pops up onto a tablet or a mobile phone it reacts to that differently than it does a laptop or desktop computer. The information, images and navigation adapt to the users device to provide the best possible user experience.

Surf’s up!

How does your website look on mobile devices?

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5 Types of Websites

“I want to build a website” can mean a lot of things. Here are five basic types of websites that you might be interested in creating.

Brochure
Most company websites fall into this category. The goal is to showcase what your business is all about, make it easy for users to get information and to connect. There may or may not be some products for sale or a blog section but the main focus is to inform.

Blog
This is a website who’s main focus is to continually provide news or current content. Writers, news sources and content creators of all sorts use this type of website. Where other types of websites might have new content tucked in the back somewhere, a Blog puts the new content front and center.

Community
A community website is one where the users provide the content. Think Facebook or LinkedIn. These sites are mostly focused on connecting people and helping users share their own content.

Shopping
This is a website who’s main purpose is to provide goods or services for sale. Amazon is by far the biggest of this type. Shopping websites are making it easier and easier to send you products and collect your money.

Service
Some websites exist primarily as a service to it’s users. You probably use Google, Mint and several other service websites. These help you to accomplish particular tasks the same way you would use an application on your computer.

Are there any other website types you can think of?

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Authentic graphic design

Graphic design is a “tricky” business. The specific goal is to visually communicate with an audience using a combination of imagery and language. Pretty straight-forward.
But based on what we see in the market, it appears as though the main goal of a designer or advertiser is to mis-inform, trick or appear to be something that they are not. A pristine stock photo here, ambiguous buzz-words there and pretty soon you have an ad that no one can say “no” to.

Unfortunately for them as advertisers (and us as viewers) that’s not what people are looking for. You may trick some of the people some of the time but what people really want is the truth about whatever you are offering. And the truth is beautiful.

That’s where we come to authentic graphic design. Authentic graphic design uses imagery and a message that connects us with the actual products or services offered.

Authentic graphic design relies on the strength and uniqueness of the whatever is being advertised rather than what is the most popular or most shiniest.

It’s more difficult, requires more thought and less shiny stock photos but in the end everyone gets what they want.

What would you consider to be in-authentic graphic design?

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12 Characteristics of a Good Logo

Looking at a logo is like peering through a keyhole into the soul of a company. A logo says a lot about a company so I have identified 12 characteristics of a good logo:

 

1. Unique
2. Readable
3. Simple
4. Stands out
5. Smooth lines
6. A limited color pallet
7. Visually balanced
8. The colors contrast well
9. Works on any medium
10. Scalable (looks great at any size)
11. Uses imagery familiar to your audience
12. Clearly says something about your business

 

What do you think makes for a good logo?

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Google Ads Campaign

Google is the expert at getting people to come and see your website. If you need a lot of people to come to your website there is no more effective way to get them there than through Google ads. The good thing about Google ads is that it’s pay-per-click so you only have to pay when someone clicks on your ad and visits your website. The bad thing about Google ads is that it’s pay-per-click so you have to pay when someone clicks on your ad to visit your website.

The way to make this type of advertising work for your business is to stay focused. Make sure your website does a great job of turning visitors into customers and be very clear about who you want to click on that ad. Use the tools that Google provides to limit your ads exposure to a very select audience and write your ad to only attract people that are very likely to use your service or product.

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Flyer Design

A great way to put valuable information literally into the hands of your customer is to print flyers. The challenge with flyers is that it needs to attract and inform in a very limited amount of space. Your flyer should stand out so people notice it but most importantly be very clear on what you are offering. Typically the front side of the flyer is for drawing people into your offer and the back side is for providing all the details needed for that offer.

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