Thanks for Your Patients?

This is one of the funnier typos out there and quite common.

Do not say “thanks for your patients” unless you are a medical doctor and I am referring sick people to you for treatment. Then you may thank me for those patients I’m sending your way. If you want to thank me for being patient with you, the correct spelling is “thanks for your patience”.

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Job Interview Feedback

There are many “sorry” emails sent out for every one “congratulations” email after a round of job interviews. If you get one of the “sorry” emails, wouldn’t you want to know why? Perhaps it is poor form to ask why, but the feedback – if you get it – can be priceless. So write a polite reply, thank them for the opportunity to attend an interview and invite their feedback/suggestions for improving your future job applications. You may just get a goldmine of information back.

Here are some basic interview pointers, collected from my notes made during interviews:

1. An experienced interviewer can tell when you are simply giving answers that you think they want to hear. That’s very, very bad as it reflects on your honesty. For example, if I ask you where you see yourself five years from now, “right here” is the wrong answer unless you can convince me.

2. I love asking people what they consider to be their own worst attribute. It’s a trick question that tests honesty. Most candidates fall over this one with an answer like “I’m a perfectionist” or “I am a workaholic”. Wrong answer. Those are positives. That is not what the interviewer wants. Come up with a true negative. Honesty outweighs everything else in an interview.

3. Tell yourself that you will get this job if it’s the right job for you. Then relax. Treat the interview like a friendly discussion. If you are super nervous it is very hard for the interviewer to connect with you and see a potential co-worker behind the wall of nerves. If you appear desperate, that also raises questions.

4. Do not interrupt the interviewer. Seems obvious, doesn’t it? In my experience, about one in four candidates will answer before I finish the question – and sometimes end up answering the wrong question. In the workplace this habit will likely lead to misunderstandings and frustration. No thanks.

5. If you’ve had a bad experience with a previous employer, that is something you want to handle delicately. Every story has two sides. If you tell me that your previous boss was an inflexible and unreasonable troll, I have to wonder what she would say about you. After all, no employer would be mean to their superstar employee. If she was hard on you, I have to assume that you probably deserved some of it.

6. Read up about the company beforehand and prepare a few questions of your own. Trust me, this will lift you head and shoulders above 90% of the other candidates.

Bottom line:
You were invited to the interview, so you already have a thumbs-up from the company. Relax and go have an honest and open chat with the interviewer. That’s usually all it takes to land the job.

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Logo Colors

When clients ask us to match the colors in their logo design to colors on their web site it usually points to a fundamental misunderstanding of the role of color in branding.

It’s not about colors that look nice. It’s certainly not about taste. Color is an integral part of the message of your logo and brand. It pays to do the research and get a basic understanding of colors and their meaning before you go any further.

You must also consider the impact of your colors on the distinctness of your brand. If every one of your main competitors use blue, using green might be the perfect way to distinguish your brand. Using pink might be even better. My favorite surface cleaner comes in a pale pink bottle. They don’t have a catchy name, but they have this pale pink that makes up for it. Nothing else on the shelf has that color. It’s integral to their brand.

There are no rules here. There might be a good reason why everyone in your industry use blue. The point is, you have to think about, research and understand colors so that your final color choice is an intelligent, considered decision based on factors that will give your business the best chance of success.

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Nice Spam

It pisses me off even more than regular spam. It pretends to be nice. “I’m sorry for contacting you in this manner…”

No, you’re not sorry.

Nobody believes that you are.

Get a real job before you loose what self-respect you have left.

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Fat, Lazy and Stupid

Apparently the most searched for term in Bing is “Google”.

Why?

Most searched for term in Google? “Facebook”.

People open their browsers which default to MSN, where they use Bing to find Google to find Facebook.

“Fat, lazy and stupid” holds true.

I’m no longer sure about “stupid” though. I actually saw someone doing this. She has a degree in accounting, so “stupid” does not apply in her case. It comes down to it being easy enough and what she is used to. It works. Who cares if there is a better way. It’s only a few seconds that she wastes. She did not calculate, despite being an accountant, the total time wasted doing this three times a day, every day for the next 50 years.

So I’ll do that calculation for her, despite being a designer. Say it takes ten seconds and she goes to Facebook three times a day. Assuming she does this on weekends too, she will spend ±152 hours of her life between nowhere and Facebook. If a billion people did this, that’s 57,000 years wasted every single day.

But back to the point:
For those of us trying to sell to this group, assume that your site visitor could not find your site again and probably does not understand or care that you are better than your competitors. On average, she is just glad she found what she wanted to buy. Don’t give her obstacles. Give her a big order button and a pat on the back.

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Finding Clients

Online graphic design is becoming ridiculously competitive. Those who go out in search of clients have an uphill battle, trying to sell something that can probably be bought much cheaper elsewhere.

So stop trying to find clients. I think the future – in any online industry – is in giving clients a reason to find you. Not the means. I don’t mean “SEO” or ads or any other online marketing widget. I mean making them go “A-ha!” when they arrive on your site.

How you blow their socks off is the million Dollar question, but don’t focus on the value for money that you offer. That’s the most traveled route and it does not make people go “A-ha!”. It makes them go “Hm, not bad. I wonder if I can get this even cheaper.”

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Google & Privacy. It’s Bad.

I’ve been using the “incognito” mode in Chrome lately, hoping to restrict Google’s spying on my every move. I also have my search history turned off in my Google account. So I was puzzled when I saw dentist’s ads all over the web today. I searched for local dentists a few days ago.

Right at the bottom of Google’s page explaining search history, they claim that they store searches in a separate system in order to prevent misuse and “to improve our services”. Even if you delete your search history.

Oh, OK. My bad. So no matter what, Google may pull up a chair and take notes when I browse the Web. To benefit their advertisers. I see.

I’ve mentioned duckduckgo.com before. They now have image search too. It’s a nice alternative to Google. There is also startpage.com. I’ve never been a Microsoft fan, but even Bing is better.

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Logo Search Keywords

I pulled some stats from our Biz-Logo.com site today. Here are the 100 most searched for keywords on the site, each with the number of searches:

1. globe 15259
2. business 6416
3. company logo 4212
4. company logos 3672
5. ss logo 3653
6. business logo 3540
7. e design logo 3368
8. M Design 3365
9. construction 3355
10. bus logo 3340
11. a company 3324
12. g logos 3318
13. g logo 3240
14. LOGO M 3234
15. logo U 3232
16. m company logo 3225
17. business logos 3220
18. mp logo 3213
19. letter logos 3176
20. ny logos 3166
21. c d logo 3164
22. logo 3161
23. logo d 3124
24. logo h 2959
25. medical 2940
26. sign company 2890
27. r o logos 2863
28. design logo 2845
29. company 2769
30. s logo 2729
31. r g logo 2727
32. p design 2684
33. r o logo 2679
34. logo o 2665
35. financial 2631
36. IT company 2521
37. real estate 2489
38. AT Logos 2469
39. design logos 2459
40. it 2456
41. it logos 2417
42. consulting 2392
43. logo t 2382
44. m b logos 2382
45. busines 2381
46. a logos 2379
47. star 2340
48. logo P 2305
49. SE logo 2262
50. logo f 2242
51. it logo 2092
52. Ti logo 2059
53. F logo 2041
54. ac LOGO 1987
55. k h logo 1953
56. sh logo 1913
57. w logo 1906
58. house 1889
59. leaf 1879
60. IT company logo 1874
61. letter 1862
62. ra logo 1811
63. Eagle 1795
64. ro logo 1769
65. Rs logo 1760
66. h c logo 1740
67. CHURCH 1731
68. ic logo 1723
69. RI Logo 1722
70. sun 1721
71. red a 1696
72. computers 1692
73. gn logo 1687
74. a logos 1664
75. water 1661
76. sine 1637
77. logo b 1625
78. f k logos 1613
79. ct logo 1608
80. li logo 1572
81. sign 1555
82. letter logo
83. AP logo 1525
84. h company 1502
85. tree 1487
86. building 1482
87. cross 1473
88. Blue P logos 1471
89. f h logos 1463
90. roof 1451
91. Letter Logo M 1445
92. m m logo 1435
93. red logos 1432
94. logos of s 1429
95. Red p 1429 358
96. RC logo 1427
97. M logo blue 1417
98. Circle 1413
99. logo of s 1407
100. green 1406

What do we learn from the list?

Apart from the never-dying popularity of globe logos, we would have to be blind or stupid to miss the need for letter logos. Single letters are pretty much covered, but most companies don’t have single-letter initials. They want AA or AB or AC etc.

We also learn that we logo designers in general are blind and/or stupid. When I saw this list I checked GoDaddy for “globelogos.com” and it was available. Really? Does nobody in our industry have access to keyword stats? Needless to say, globelogos.com isn’t available anymore.

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Nofollow is Stupid

I find myself “nofollowing” every link I make. Even perfectly “natural” links. It has become a habit and I suspect I’m not the only one.

Google is so touchy about unnatural linking that it seems risky to link without the nofollow attribute firmly in place. As the nofollow epidemic spreads across the Web, normal links will become so rare that Google will have to consider nofollow as dofollow. I’m sure this is not what they intended, but it is frighteningly shortsighted of them to advocate the use of something that will inevitably become useless through over-use.

Nofollow is in the same league as spam filters. It’s old-school problem solving not unlike wrist slapping or patching a buggy piece of software that should never have made it out of beta.

Can we outgrow this mentality at some point, please? True problem solving means aligning your desired outcome with the user’s desired outcome, changing habits so that natural behavior achieves the desired outcome or making the desired outcome profitable.

Or just keep patching that algorithm and hope it holds.

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