Adding a bit of color to your QR Codes

12-16-2009-10-52-25-AMThe possibilities for QR Codes to help increase the impact and effectiveness of printed materials continues to increase.

 Of course, the QR Code is not the one and only solution. For a marketing or educational effort to work, you still must consider the message, the design, and the target audience.

 To help you with the design portion, we recently released an enhancement that allows to generate QR Codes in various colors.

 For example if you are creating a QR Code for your company, make it the company colors. Or if you are designing a holiday card you can make your QR Code red or green.

 Standard black-and-white QR Codes may allow people to respond to your printed pieces – however, adding color to your QR Codes may be necessary to ensure your creative design can truly come to life. A QR Code in the right color(s) can enhance a printed piece and complement it. Designers put a lot of thought into the placement and colors in their designs and this is just one more way the QR Code can truly be incorporated as part of the design.

 Check out how you can make your own QR Codes today at QReateAndTrack.com.  And while you are there check out some of the other useful tools that we just added like the ability to make QR Codes  all different sizes and at 300 DPI high-resolution image.

 Be creative, you have a lot of colors to choose from.

New QR Code Screencast Up on YouTube

QReateAndTrack.com’s QR creator application has added some new options for you to play with when creating your next QR Code.

QR Codes now have a simpler look, can be any color you desire, and can be downloaded as 300 DPI high-resolution image, all for free!

Check out the video below to see how or head over to app.qreateandtrack.com to try it out for yourself.

For more information on QR Codes please visit www.QReateAndTrack.com

Cross-Selling in your Marketing Campaigns

There are very few marketers out in the world that will confess to having “enough time”.

Marketing departments are typically full of ideas and excitement – but they face the same clock as the rest of the world.

Their file cabinet may have marketing strategy documents… their whiteboard full of plans and action items…. and their desks may be covered in sketches.

However, the best intentions in the world do not always mean those projects will see the light of the day. Thus, when you do get a project done, you need to capitalize. Take full advantage of the content that you are pushing to the world.

Here is an example.

Contact Form and Newsletter Subscription Option

Contact Form and Newsletter Subscription Option

A customer recently launched a campaign that primarily consisted of a landing page with a quiz. All respondents that successfully answered the quiz were eligible for a prize.

Well, at the very bottom of the quiz, they asked people for their contact information (of course), but they also asked if people wanted to subscribe to their newsletter.

Yes, they certainly may have had other ideas for campaigns that would specifically drive newsletter subscriptions. But here, they took advantage of a campaign that did see the light of the day, and used it to also try to get people to subscribe.

Capture Screenshots Quicker and Easier with "SnagIt"

Since I’ve been working with computers I can’t imagine how many times I’ve hit that “Print screen button”… if I had a nickel ;). The print screen / screen shot key is probably one of the best features on the key board (except for Ctrl + Alt + Del of course). But as helpful as a screen shot can be to show off your software product, latest pc error message to send to IT, or your high score in Tetris it can also be time consuming to bring it into paint, photoshop, whatever you use to edit and crop it down.

So I wanted to bring attention to a piece of software I started using a few months ago to speed up my production on producing screen shots for emails, powerpoints, ect.

A program called “Snag It” by Tech Smith.Snagit_icon

Snag It allows you to capture content on your screen in an easier way. You can select the area you want to capture by drawing a square around it instead of capturing the whole screen and cropping it down. Or select the one of your six windows open on your screen you’d like to capture. Even capture a scrolling window instead of piecing it together in an editing program.

Snag It has more options than that and you can see them in the image below but those are the most common functions I use.
Snagit_menu

Everything is also stored in your Snag It library so if you hit your screen shot key a 2nd time it won’t over ride your first screen shot. The software also allows you to do some minor editing of the images by adding drop shadows, arrows, text, call outs and more.

But you can check out all these features on their website – http://www.techsmith.com/screen-capture.asp

Tech Smith offers a free trial download so test it out and see if you like it – if you do let other’s know about your exspeirience by posting in the comments section below.

How LinkedIn Has Helped Me

Recently I was on a quest for a set of icons to use in powerpoints, software, advertisements, everything. I needed something that was sleek, up to date, descriptive but most importantly worked with print as well as web.

Finding an icon set that both offered Print and Web formats is what really was holding me back. On top of that I had no idea where to start searching. Google is always an option but I was getting sent to hundreds of sites most which kept lacking the print formatting.

So I ended up heading over to LinkedIn. I posted the following message:

LinkedInPost

This was one of my first times posting my own discussion. I posted on a Monday night and when I checked back Tuesday morning I was overwhelmed with the information I received. Not just by the large amount of comments but I received over a few dozen of personal emails with suggestions of websites, freelance designers, references, links, and more.

I was really impressed by the LinkedIn community they were kind, polite, and full of information and opinions about how they went about finding their own icon sets. I even ended up making a few LinkedIn connections in the process!

LinkedIn has completely helped me in this search I’m in the final stretch on determining where I will purchase the icons from (A site that was recommended by three responses to my posting).

On top of that LinkedIn ended up boosting interlinkONE.com’s site hits!

When taking a look at the Google Analytics for the month of August LinkedIn ranked number 3 in the “All Source Traffic” report (Right behind direct traffic to the site and google searches).

Google_Analytics

It also ranked number one in the “Reference Sites” report – Surpassing other social media sites like Facebook and Twitter that had recently been leading the pack.

So LinkedIn has helped me in two ways – Its users have educated and supported me in my journey for icons but it has also been a great way to drive traffic to interlinkONE’s website.

So if you’ve been weary of LinkedIn in the past I suggest you give it a shot for yourself and for your business.

And if you’re unsure on how to get started or what other features LinkedIn has to offer feel free to check out the “How To: LinkedIn” screen cast below.

LinkedInVideoThumb

Web Safe Fonts – Jazz them up

I was reviewing my work emails last night and I saw an email had come in for me to take a look at changing the type face for a certain webpage. I didn’t give much thought to it other then how it should only take about 5 minutes of my time to pick a font and plug it in.

But as I sat down at my desk this morning I realized how small the universal type face world is.

My best comparison for people who don’t work in design is it’s like this…

You’re heading to a birthday party and uh oh. No card. So you pull into a gas station – you see a rack with about 25 cards. However, you walk over to it and only five of the 25 cards are suitable for birthdays. And guess what? They’re pretty generic —“Happy Birthday Pal!”, “It’s your special day buddy!”, etc… They typically contain phrases that do not reflect your personality, or words that you would ever use when talking to your friend.

There are hundreds of font faces that may exist in the design world. However, when it comes to using fonts that are safe for the web, you only have a handful to pick from.  Here’s a sampling of those popular safe ones:

WebSafeFont

It’s frustrating but sometimes you have to make the best of it. Add your own little flare to take away from how drab it is.

So here are a few suggestions from my experience today that you can keep in mind when trying to jazz up your generic type face for your emails, web pages, powerpoints, and more.

Serif vs. Sans Serif

For me to expand on Serif and Sans Serif fonts would require me to write a few books so here’s the most general way I can explain.

Serif_san_serif

If you’re trying to be a bit more scholarly Serif is the way to go. You can see in the image above that serif have little hooks or feet. Serifs go way back and you will see them almost everywhere – mostly for lengthy readings or more professional letters anything that’s printed.

Serif is a bit more fun and casual and is seen a lot on the web and emails. Why’s that? Well it’s easier to read on a screen. This is because print resolution is higher than a monitor’s resolution so those serif feet start connecting resulting in difficult reading.

Color

Don’t go overboard on your color – mix and matching too many colors and font faces can become a disaster. But! A little variation may be nice.

If you have a white background try out a gray coloring. Gray text is becoming much more common on the web and in emails.

Try making your headers a different color. Look for a color that compliments the rest of your design. If you’re having trouble finding a color check out Kuler http://kuler.adobe.com/ they can be a big help.

JPG time

I don’t suggest this for blocks of text but if you just need that header text to grab attention to your block of text below go into your design program and pick from one of the forbidden web fonts and save the header as a .jpg and add it in to your design it can be a quick fix if the suggestions above can’t help you out.

ComicSans

I have one final suggestion – but it’s more of a favor I ask.

Please don’t use ComicSans –  http://bancomicsans.com/

😉