Tag Archives: logos

Tips for Making Your Website Look More Custom

imageAnyone can launch a website these days, but not everyone can successfully make their website resemble a custom-made one. This becomes a problem when you’re trying to set yourself apart from the hundreds of other stock websites that all have a similar version of the same theme as you. If you want people to take your site seriously, it’s imperative that you make your website look as professional as possible. Luckily you don’t have to be a computer genius or spend thousands of dollars to make this happen; you just need to implement a few changes.

  1. Simple, sleek logos

Far too often people get caught up trying to make their website’s logo as fancy and flashy as possible. Unfortunately these types of logos don’t do much for you because too much color and graphics are distracting. The best logos are the ones that have clean lines and a simple look. Think of all the successful companies and their logos; they almost all have one thing in common: they have one basic and unpretentious graphic and a nice, easy to read font. Retaining a minimalist look is more appealing to the majority of consumers.

  1. Avoid overusing colors

Less really is more, and is important to keep in mind when you’re designing your website. Don’t go overboard with several competing colors; instead stick to a neutral color palette with a few accent colors thrown in to give it a breath of life. Having too many colors thrown together cheapens the look of your website.

  1. Skip the website intro

Website intros have a tendency to make people click off of a website rather than be interested in learning more from it, so don’t make interested consumers sit through a Flash intro to get to the information they originally came to your site for. And if you do insist on putting one up then at least give them the option to skip it.

  1. Be smart with your text

The font on your site needs to be easy to read so it’s best to stay away from weird colors and unnecessary underlining of words. It can be frustrating and difficult to read when you’re on a website where the font or text color is inconsistent throughout the site, and it’s misleading to underline words because that usually indicates a link to somewhere else on the web.

  1. Use high quality graphics

Skip the stock images when you’re adding graphics onto your website and use high-quality, high-resolution images. These are the most visually appealing to people and make your website appear much more professional looking. They also give a nice visual complement to text, as people sometimes are turned off by text-heavy websites.

When it comes to professional looking website design the key is to keep everything as simple and sleek looking as possible, from the fonts to the pictures to the logos. When in doubt, err on the side of conservatism.

Author Bio:

This is a guest post from Laura Backes, she enjoys writing about all kinds of subjects and also topics related to internet providers in my area. You can reach her at: laurabackes8 @ gmail.com.

1 Comment

Filed under Digital Media, Guest Writers

Serif DrawPlus SE – Outstanding Free Vector Graphics Application

image SerifSoftware puts an interesting and unusual twist to the common “try this application for free for 30 days”, something with which we are all pretty familiar.

Serif releases free, older versions, of their current software for download – to entice at least some users to upgrade to current versions of their popular software. In my view, this “creative marketing” is something more software developers should consider.

I have used, and tested, Serif’s free editions for 10+ years now, and I have found that even their older software is more than up to the tasks I set.

Sure, the applications may be older than the current versions, but in terms of functionality and features, generally you are not missing much. In these older free versions there are not as many tools as one might find with more recent versions of Serif’s products, but those that are there, tend to be the ones that are most used by typical users.

Despite the slightly “older” appearance of DrawPlus SE , this is not an old program that’s been revived just for give-away. DrawPlus SE is still an amazing free drawing and graphic application, with which you can turn out vector graphics, high-impact graphics, and even web animations with tools usually only available in high end applications.

Serif SE

On top of that, DrawPlus SE is also a graphics design program that allows you to create logos, high quality print graphics, artwork, drawings, animations, labels and more.

Serif SE 2

The straightforward and intuitive interface is simple, but surprisingly powerful, so even first time users will get professional quality results.

If you like special effects, DrawPlus SE is loaded with them, so it’s easy to create high impact text for headlines, logos, banners, Web pages, or wherever your imagination takes you. You can add bitmap, conical, ellipse, plasma, radial and linear fills to your creations to produce spectacular results.

DrawPlus SE supports industry standard bitmap and vector formats including: JPEG, BMP, EMF, WMF and PNG for the Web.

Fast facts:

Drawing & Sketching – Say goodbye to complicated tools and ‘shaky hand’ drawings. DrawPlus makes drawing simple with easy to use Quick Shapes, Natural Curve Editing and Curve Smoothing.

Export Optimizer – Easily export your drawings and images optimized for email, websites, printing, or to your specific requirements in any supported image format.

Studio Resources – Choose from hundreds of pre-set lines, fills, transparencies, fonts and Wizard elements from the Studio tabs to save yourself time and still achieve amazing results.

Color Selection – Apply color fills to backgrounds, shapes and your own drawings from the simple on-screen studio palette.

Animation Mode – Bring your designs to life with the fun animation tools, which include easy-to-use, yet advanced features like onion skinning, backgrounds, overlays and frame management.

Blends – Use the blend tool to automatically ‘morph’ two images into one another. You choose the number of steps and let DrawPlus do the rest – easy!

If you’re looking for a free drawing and graphic application to test your creative skills, then DrawPlus SE will fill the bill admirably.

System Requirements: Windows XP (32 bit), Vista

Download at: Download.com

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6 Comments

Filed under Arts and Crafts, downloads, Drawing Software, Free Full Versions, Freeware, Photo Tools, Productivity Software, Software, Windows Tips and Tools

Simple/Wizard Driven 3DPlus 2 Design Software Free

serif3dplus2 As I’ve mentioned before on this Blog, SerifSoftware entices you in an unusual way to buy, or upgrade, to their latest software offerings. They will give you, free of charge, an older version of any of their software packages. An interesting twist on the usual “try it for free for 30 days” we are all pretty familiar with.

Having used and tested, Serif’s free editions for 10+ years now, and I find that even their older software is more than up to the tasks I set.

Sure, the applications may be older than the current versions, but in terms of functionality and features, generally you are not missing much. Most software today, tends to be overblown and bloated with features that many users have little or no need of. So, in these older free versions there are not as many tools as one might find with more recent products, but those that are there tend to be the ones that are most used by typical users.

serif3dplus2screen3

(Click pic for larger)

Despite the slightly dated appearance of Serif’s 3DPlus 2, this is not an ‘old’ program that’s been revived just for give-away. 3DPlus 2 is a very functional and easy-to-use tool, capable of producing great 3D graphics, logos, headlines and 3D animations.

Serif keeps things simple by offering template-based wizards for still and animated graphics, combined with preset controls and 3D content. The gallery of ready-made objects, from basic shapes to clothes, household appliances, sports equipment and more, is designed to save you time. As well, 3D Quickshapes gives you an easy shortcut to stars, arrows, speech bubbles and other basic shapes.

It won’t take you long to become familiar with keying in text, extruding it to create a 3D object, adding texture and lighting, dropping in a background image, adding other 3D objects from the library and changing the camera position to get a better view from above, below or behind.

There’s something pretty neat about being able to build a solid 3D object, move it around and view it from every angle. Serif 3DPlus 2 lets you do just that, without anything getting in the way of the fun.

Quick Facts:

Easy-to-Use Interface

• With its simple interface and intuitive tools, 3DPlus makes creating any 3D design a breeze. The new Wizard interface and convenient tabbed Studio Bar mean it’s easier than ever to get exactly the 3D effects you need.

Automated Wizards

• Get the precise result you need with 3DPlus 2’s collection of over 300 automatic Wizards. From designer logos and Web buttons to animated greetings, 3DPlus has a Wizard for every occasion.

Bevels and Extrusions

• Add a new dimension to your text and designs. Choose from a range of customizable bevels, apply to your objects and watch as 3DPlus creates professional quality effects.

Web Impact

• 3DPlus is the perfect tool for creating 3D logos, banners, Web graphics and animations. With 3DPlus you can add a 3D look that will really make your site stand out.

Automatic Animation

• With 3DPlus, 3D animated graphics are easy Object and lighting effects can be applied with a single click and easy-to-use yet powerful 3D animation tools and instant special effects allow you to create animations in seconds. Export your work as an animated GIF to your Web site or presentation.

Camera Control

• View your scene from any angle with six preset camera positions and freeform orbiting.

Lighting Effects

• With full control over the lighting of your scene and a gallery of preset schemes, 3DPlus allows you to add drama or subtlety to your scene with a single click. You can create and save your favorite lighting schemes for future use.

Models/Materials Gallery

• Personalize your work. Choose from over 600 3D Models and over 500 backgrounds, textures and fills, all easily accessible from 3DPlus’s easy-to-use gallery.

Text and Effects

• Add text and apply textures, bevels and shadows to create effects. Whether you need a new logo for your company, product or club, or a new graphic for your Web site, 3DPlus makes it easy to get the look you want.

3D Objects and Materials

• Creating 3D Objects is easy with 3DPlus. The materials, patterns and textures in the 3DPlus Library provide all the power and flexibility you need to create 3D elements, 3D worlds, scenes, and animations.

3D QuickShapes

• Can’t draw? 3D QuickShapes work like intelligent clipart, no need to draw at all, just select and customize.

System Requirements: Windows 95/ 98/ 2000/ XP

Download at: SerifSoftware

2 Comments

Filed under Drawing Software, Free Full Versions, Freeware, Productivity Software, Software, Windows Tips and Tools

Serif DrawPlus 4 – Draw Like a Pro for Free

If you’re looking for a free drawing and graphic application to test your creative skills, then DrawPlus 4 will fill the bill admirably.

With this free drawing and graphic package from Serif Software, you can turn out vector graphics, high-impact graphics, and even web animations with tools usually only available in high end applications.

DrawPlus 4 is a vector drawing program, much like the very expensive CorelDraw, which means the drawing is in editable layers.

On top of that, DrawPlus is also a graphics design program that allows you to create logos, high quality print graphics, artwork, drawings, animations, labels and more.

The straightforward and intuitive interface is powerful yet simple, so first time users, (like me – with limited graphic skills); will get the professional quality results they want – fast! I’m told by friends that are users, as well as readers who have commented on a previous review of this program, that DrawPlus 4 is great for making avatars.

If you like special effects, DrawPlus 4 is loaded with them, so it’s easy to create high impact text for headlines, logos, banners, Web pages, or wherever your imagination takes you. You can add bitmap, conical, ellipse, plasma, radial and linear fills to your creations to produce spectacular results.

(Click pic for larger)

DrawPlus supports industry standard bitmap and vector formats including: JPEG, BMP, EMF, WMF and PNG for the Web.

Serif’s objective in releasing older versions of their current programs, at no cost, is to entice users to upgrade to current versions of their software. An interesting twist on the usual “try it for free for 30 days”, we are all pretty familiar with.

I have used, and tested, Serif’s free editions for 10+ years now, and I have found that even their older software is more than up to the tasks I set.

Sure, the applications may be older than the current versions, but in terms of functionality and features, generally you are not missing much. In these older free versions there are not as many tools as one might find with more recent versions of Serif’s products, but those that are there, tend to be the ones that are most used by typical users.

(Click pic for larger)

Serif describes the features of DrawPlus 4 as follows:

Drawing & Sketching

Say goodbye to complicated tools and ‘shaky hand’ drawings. DrawPlus makes drawing simple with easy to use QuickShapes, Natural Curve Editing and Curve Smoothing.

Backdrop Wizard

Easily add abstract or themed backgrounds to your designs. From dazzling presentation backgrounds to outer-space style backdrops, start your drawings on a ready-made designer canvas.

Studio Resources

Choose from hundreds of pre-set lines, fills, transparencies, fonts and Wizard elements from the Studio tabs to save you time and still achieve amazing results.

Color Selection

Apply color fills to backgrounds, shapes and your own drawings from the simple on-screen studio palette.

Animation Mode

Bring your designs to life with the fun animation tools, which include easy-to-use, yet advanced features like onion skinning, backgrounds, overlays and frame management.

Blends

Use the blend tool to automatically ‘morph’ two images into one another. You choose the number of steps and let DrawPlus do the rest – easy!

Transparency

Easily create sparkling photo-like realism and quality in seconds with no experience required.

Watermark Wizard

A notoriously difficult effect to create is now a total breeze, with a wide range of customizable watermark designs on hand.

Border Wizard

Choose borders from the extensive library for your objects and pages or let the Border Wizard help you.

Color Schemes

Define new color sets as shades of a base color, and then simply apply your color scheme to your design instantly by editing the original base color.

Editable Envelopes

Stretch and squeeze objects or text into whatever shape you choose. Select from the range of special outline shapes or customize your own!

Text

Create high-impact text for headlines, logos, banners, web pages and more. Convert your text to curves to bring fonts to life.

File Size: 19 MB

License: Free

System Requirements: Windows 95/98/Me/NT/2000/XP

Download at: FreeSerifSoftware

1 Comment

Filed under Drawing Software, Freeware, Graphic Software, Multimedia Tools, Photo Tools, Productivity Software, Software, Windows Tips and Tools

Draw Like a Pro – Free Serif DrawPlus 4

If you’re looking for a free drawing and graphic application to test your creative skills, then DrawPlus 4 will fill the bill admirably.

With this free drawing and graphic package from Serif Software, you can turn out vector graphics, high-impact graphics, and even web animations with tools usually only available in high end applications.

DrawPlus 4 is a vector drawing program, much like the very expensive CorelDraw, which means the drawing is in editable layers. On top of that, DrawPlus is also a graphics design program that allows you to create logos, high quality print graphics, artwork, drawings, animations, labels and more.

The straightforward and intuitive interface is powerful yet simple, so that first time users, (like me – with no graphic skills), will get the professional quality results they want – fast! I’m told by friends that are users, that this program is great for making avatars; although I haven’t tried this myself.

If you like special effects, DrawPlus 4 is loaded with them, so it’s easy to create high impact text for headlines, logos, banners, Web pages, or wherever your imagination takes you. You can add bitmap, conical, ellipse, plasma, radial and linear fills to your creations to produce spectacular results.

DrawPlus supports industry standard bitmap and vector formats including: JPEG, BMP, EMF, WMF and PNG for the Web.

Serif’s objective in releasing older versions of their current programs at no cost is to entice users to upgrade to current versions of their software. An interesting twist on the usual “try it for free for 30 days” we are all pretty familiar with.

I have used, and tested, Serif’s free editions for 10+ years now, and I have found that even their older software is more than up to the tasks I set.

Sure, the applications may be older than the current versions, but in terms of functionality and features, generally you are not missing much. In these older free versions there are not as many tools as one might find with more recent versions of Serif’s products, but those that are there, tend to be the ones that are most used by typical users.

Serif describes the features of DrawPlus 4 as follows:

Drawing & Sketching

Say goodbye to complicated tools and ‘shaky hand’ drawings. DrawPlus makes drawing simple with easy to use QuickShapes, Natural Curve Editing and Curve Smoothing.

Backdrop Wizard

Easily add abstract or themed backgrounds to your designs. From dazzling presentation backgrounds to outer-space style backdrops, start your drawings on a ready-made designer canvas.

Studio Resources

Choose from hundreds of pre-set lines, fills, transparencies, fonts and Wizard elements from the Studio tabs to save you time and still achieve amazing results.

Color Selection

Apply color fills to backgrounds, shapes and your own drawings from the simple on-screen studio palette.

Animation Mode

Bring your designs to life with the fun animation tools, which include easy-to-use, yet advanced features like onion skinning, backgrounds, overlays and frame management.

Blends

Use the blend tool to automatically ‘morph’ two images into one another. You choose the number of steps and let DrawPlus do the rest – easy!

Transparency

Easily create sparkling photo-like realism and quality in seconds with no experience required.

Watermark Wizard

A notoriously difficult effect to create is now a total breeze, with a wide range of customizable watermark designs on hand.

Border Wizard

Choose borders from the extensive library for your objects and pages or let the Border Wizard help you.

Color Schemes

Define new color sets as shades of a base color, and then simply apply your color scheme to your design instantly by editing the original base color.

Editable Envelopes

Stretch and squeeze objects or text into whatever shape you choose. Select from the range of special outline shapes or customize your own!

Text

Create high-impact text for headlines, logos, banners, web pages and more. Convert your text to curves to bring fonts to life.

File Size: 19 MB

License: Free

System Requirements: Windows 95/98/Me/NT/2000/XP

Download DrawPlus 4 for Free at: FreeSerifSoftware

1 Comment

Filed under Drawing Software, Free Full Versions, Freeware, Graphic Software, Productivity Software, Software, Windows Tips and Tools

Free Graphic and Drawing Software – Serif DrawPlus 4

If you’re looking for a free drawing and graphic application to test your creative skills, then DrawPlus 4 will fill the bill admirably.

With this free drawing and graphic package from Serif Software, you can turn out vector graphics, high-impact graphics, and even web animations with tools usually only available in high end applications.

DrawPlus 4 is a vector drawing program, much like the very expensive CorelDraw, which means the drawing is in editable layers. On top of that, DrawPlus is also a graphics design program that allows you to create logos, high quality print graphics, artwork, drawings, animations, labels and more.

The straightforward and intuitive interface is powerful yet simple, so that first time users, (like me – with no graphic skills), will get the professional quality results they want – fast! I’m told by friends that are users, that this program is great for making avatars; although I haven’t tried this myself.

If you like special effects, DrawPlus 4 is loaded with them, so it’s easy to create high impact text for headlines, logos, banners, Web pages, or wherever your imagination takes you. You can add bitmap, conical, ellipse, plasma, radial and linear fills to your creations to produce spectacular results.

DrawPlus supports industry standard bitmap and vector formats including: JPEG, BMP, EMF, WMF and PNG for the Web.

Serif’s objective in releasing older versions of their current programs at no cost is to hopefully convince at least some users to upgrade to current versions of their software. An interesting twist on the usual “try it for free for 30 days” we are all pretty familiar with.

I have used, and tested, Serif’s free editions for 10+ years now, and I have found that even their older software is more than up to the tasks I set.

Sure, the applications may be older than the current versions, but in terms of functionality and features, generally you are not missing much. In these older free versions there are not as many tools as one might find with more recent versions of Serif’s products, but those that are there, tend to be the ones that are most used by typical users.

Serif describes the features of DrawPlus 4 as follows:

Drawing & Sketching – Say goodbye to complicated tools and ‘shaky hand’ drawings. DrawPlus makes drawing simple with easy to use QuickShapes, Natural Curve Editing and Curve Smoothing.

    Backdrop Wizard – Easily add abstract or themed backgrounds to your designs. From dazzling presentation backgrounds to outer-space style backdrops, start your drawings on a ready-made designer canvas.

      Studio Resources – Choose from hundreds of pre-set lines, fills, transparencies, fonts and Wizard elements from the Studio tabs to save you time and still achieve amazing results.

        Color Selection – Apply color fills to backgrounds, shapes and your own drawings from the simple on-screen studio palette.

          Animation Mode – Bring your designs to life with the fun animation tools, which include easy-to-use, yet advanced features like onion skinning, backgrounds, overlays and frame management.

            Blends – Use the blend tool to automatically ‘morph’ two images into one another. You choose the number of steps and let DrawPlus do the rest – easy!

              Transparency – Easily create sparkling photo-like realism and quality in seconds with no experience required.

                Watermark Wizard – A notoriously difficult effect to create is now a total breeze, with a wide range of customizable watermark designs on hand.

                  Border Wizard – Choose borders from the extensive library for your objects and pages or let the Border Wizard help you.

                    Color Schemes – Define new color sets as shades of a base color, and then simply apply your color scheme to your design instantly by editing the original base color.

                      Editable Envelopes – Stretch and squeeze objects or text into whatever shape you choose. Select from the range of special outline shapes or customize your own!

                        Text – Create high-impact text for headlines, logos, banners, web pages and more. Convert your text to curves to bring fonts to life.

                          File Size: 19 MB

                          License: Free

                          System Requirements: Windows 95/98/Me/NT/2000/XP

                          Download DrawPlus 4 for Free at: FreeSerifSoftware

                          16 Comments

                          Filed under DeskTop Publishing, Drawing Software, Free Full Versions, Freeware, Graphic Software, Multimedia Tools, Productivity Software, Software, Uncategorized, Web Development, Windows Tips and Tools

                          Free Serif 3DPlus 2 Design Software – Simple/Wizard Driven

                          As I’ve mentioned before on this Blog, SerifSoftware entices you in an unusual way to buy, or upgrade, to their latest software offerings. They will give you, free of charge, an older version of any of their software packages. An interesting twist on the usual “try it for free for 30 days” we are all pretty familiar with.

                          Having used and tested, Serif’s free editions for 10+ years now, and I find that even their older software is more than up to the tasks I set.

                          Sure, the applications may be older than the current versions, but in terms of functionality and features, generally you are not missing much. Most software today, tends to be overblown and bloated with features that many users have little or no need of. So, in these older free versions there are not as many tools as one might find with more recent products, but those that are there tend to be the ones that are most used by typical users.

                          Despite the slightly dated appearance of Serif’s 3DPlus 2, this is not an ‘old’ program that’s been revived just for give-away. 3DPlus 2 is a very functional and easy-to-use tool, capable of producing great 3D graphics, logos, headlines and 3D animations.

                          Serif keeps things simple by offering template-based wizards for still and animated graphics, combined with preset controls and 3D content. The gallery of ready-made objects, from basic shapes to clothes, household appliances, sports equipment and more, is designed to save you time. As well, 3D Quickshapes gives you an easy shortcut to stars, arrows, speech bubbles and other basic shapes.

                          It won’t take you long to become familiar with keying in text, extruding it to create a 3D object, adding texture and lighting, dropping in a background image, adding other 3D objects from the library and changing the camera position to get a better view from above, below or behind.

                          There’s something pretty neat about being able to build a solid 3D object, move it around and view it from every angle. Serif 3DPlus 2 lets you do just that, without anything getting in the way of the fun.

                          Quick Facts:

                          Easy-to-Use Interface

                          With its simple interface and intuitive tools, 3DPlus makes creating any 3D design a breeze. The new Wizard interface and convenient tabbed Studio Bar mean it’s easier than ever to get exactly the 3D effects you need.

                          Automated Wizards

                          Get the precise result you need with 3DPlus 2’s collection of over 300 automatic Wizards. From designer logos and Web buttons to animated greetings, 3DPlus has a Wizard for every occasion.

                          Bevels and Extrusions

                          Add a new dimension to your text and designs. Choose from a range of customizable bevels, apply to your objects and watch as 3DPlus creates professional quality effects.

                          Web Impact

                          3DPlus is the perfect tool for creating 3D logos, banners, Web graphics and animations. With 3DPlus you can add a 3D look that will really make your site stand out.

                          Automatic Animation

                          With 3DPlus, 3D animated graphics are easy Object and lighting effects can be applied with a single click and easy-to-use yet powerful 3D animation tools and instant special effects allow you to create animations in seconds. Export your work as an animated GIF to your Web site or presentation.

                          Camera Control

                          View your scene from any angle with six preset camera positions and freeform orbiting.

                          Lighting Effects

                          With full control over the lighting of your scene and a gallery of preset schemes, 3DPlus allows you to add drama or subtlety to your scene with a single click. You can create and save your favorite lighting schemes for future use.

                          Models/Materials Gallery

                          Personalize your work. Choose from over 600 3D Models and over 500 backgrounds, textures and fills, all easily accessible from 3DPlus’s easy-to-use gallery.

                          Text and Effects

                          Add text and apply textures, bevels and shadows to create effects. Whether you need a new logo for your company, product or club, or a new graphic for your Web site, 3DPlus makes it easy to get the look you want.

                          3D Objects and Materials

                          Creating 3D Objects is easy with 3DPlus. The materials, patterns and textures in the 3DPlus Library provide all the power and flexibility you need to create 3D elements, 3D worlds, scenes, and animations.

                          3D QuickShapes

                          Can’t draw? 3D QuickShapes work like intelligent clipart, no need to draw at all, just select and customize.

                          System Requirements: Windows 95/ 98/ 2000/ XP

                          Download at: SerifSoftware

                          5 Comments

                          Filed under 3D Tools, DeskTop Publishing, Drawing Software, Free Full Versions, Freeware, Graphic Software, Multimedia Tools, Productivity Software, Software, Windows Tips and Tools