The finished product!

Tutorial: Create a simple glossy text effect in Illustrator

Hey there fellow designers! Are you looking for a quick and easy way to jazz up that logo you just finished, but aren’t sure what you can really do to help it? Look no further! The following tutorial will allow you to add a subtle but classy gloss effect to any text (or object!) in just a few simple steps. Please note that this tutorial assumes you know the basics of Adobe Illustrator, but if you have any questions, feel free to comment and I will be more than happy to help you out! Continue reading “Tutorial: Create a simple glossy text effect in Illustrator”

Quick Tips for Navigating Our Online Galleries at Instaproofs

Interested in buying photos via our online galleries? Here are some quick tips to help you find and order your photos!

  • Our online galleries are searchable by your exhibitor number. Simply select your event (SOEE, NYSQHA, etc.) and then on the following page, type your number into the search box in the upper right hand corner of the page and ALL photos tagged with your number will be displayed! If you can’t find your photos this way, it is possible we couldn’t see your number when we tagged the photos. Try typing “unknown” instead.
  • You can also search for things like “dog,” “judge,” and “leadline,” among others. While we do not use every tag at every show, if you are searching for something in particular, it is worth giving it a go!

Trying to order a Create Your Own CD? The following tutorial should help you out.

  1. Select your event (SOEE, NYSQHA, etc.)CD1
  2. Select “Digital CDs” from the product list at the top of the gallery.CD2
  3. Choose your preferred CD option (Facebook, Medium Res, or High Res) and add it to your cart.CD3
  4. Return to the event page and select a gallery or photo.CD4CD5
  5. Once you are viewing an enlarged photo, click “Buy This Image” and a new menu will appear.CD6
  6. Select “Add to CD” at the top and change the QTY to the number 1 (you only want 1 copy of that image on the CD).CD7CD8
  7. Our Facebook and Medium Resolution CDs allow up to 20 photos. High Resolution CDs allow up to 10 photos. Continue through your photos and repeating steps 5 & 6 until you have reached the maximum quantity of images. It will alert you if you have reached the limit.
  8. Click on your “Cart” icon in the upper right to view your list of images and check out! The arrow in the following screenshot is a count of how many images you have used of the allowed 20.CD9

6 Quick Tips For Cleaning Your DSLR Camera

Camera Cleaning

1. Invest in a cleaning kit

DSLR cleaning kits can be found relatively cheap on Amazon.com, and because they are not highly technical in nature, buying an off-brand is usually acceptable. This one should suffice.

2. Clean all your gear at once

Cleaning all your bodies and lenses at once will save you time, and will ensure a freshly cleaned body is not being recontaminated when a dirty lens is attached.

3. Bodies and lenses down!

Always clean camera bodies with the lens mount facing down, and always clean your lenses with the rear glass aimed downward as well. This will prevent dust and debris from falling into the mechanism and potentially causing problems in the future.

4. NEVER touch the sensor

The sensor of your DSLR is equivalent to your own optic nerve. Don’t poke, prod, brush or otherwise come into contact with it. If there are spots on the sensor, try to remove them with an air puffer first. If they don’t come off, send your camera to a qualified service technician to have it professionally serviced in a dust-free environment. It’s worth the extra cost to ensure your camera can still see when all is said and done!

5. Use lint-free cloths to clean glass

I once read an article suggesting I use a tissue to wipe my lenses clear. I swiftly decided against this, since the amount of lint they leave behind is infuriating. Lint particles on a lens can cause shadows, spots and focusing issues, which could cost you that perfect shot. Also be sure you are using an appropriate lens cleaning solution as well.

6. Utilize lens and body caps

Even a camera housed in a bag can fall victim to dust if the lens is left attached. Zoom lenses in particular are prone to sucking in dust and debris since the act of zooming itself creates a vacuum inside the barrel. This dust can then fall into the camera body during transport. Keep both the front and rear caps on your lenses, as well as the body cap on the camera, and if you want to be extra safe, use an additional bag around each piece of equipment within the main bag. I have been shooting in dusty indoor riding arenas for years, and precautions like these can mean the difference between a camera that lasts and one that seizes up.

4 Quick Tips to Maximize the Benefit of Client Testimonials

Client testimonials are a powerful tool in obtaining additional projects.  I’ve often heard from individuals that are uncomfortable asking their customers for testimonials, and so, they tend to have more difficulty getting their business to grow.  I cannot stress enough how big of a loss it is for a business to lack visible client testimonials on their website or on any marketing materials.  In this post I will briefly cover some tips on how to not only gather endorsements, but how to maximize the benefits of having such testimonials displayed where potential customers can see them.

1.  Create a customer experience survey

If you are bothered by the prospect of asking a client to write a testimonial for your business, consider writing up a customer experience or customer satisfaction survey and emailing it to your client following the completion of a project.  Include a question that lets the customer choose whether or not their responses can be used as a testimonial for marketing purposes.  Try not to wait too long after a project to send the survey to them, as they may forget key details of their experience that might just mean the difference between a good testimonial a great one.

2.  Pay attention to their emails

If you have a really happy customer and they have told you so through email, make use of them!  Arrange the words into something from which your business can benefit if they are not already in such a form, and then send them to the client for proofing and permission before using them.

3.  Get their endorsement on camera

Video testimonials are a growing trend, and with good reason.  They are less likely to be perceived as something the business itself staged, and adding a face to any recommendation is beneficial.  Well-presented videos may also strike customers as more professional and give the impression that you are willing to spend the time necessary to achieve quality results.  Asking your client a few short questions (perhaps the same ones you used in your email survey) will help keep things on track–just make sure they are tying the question into their answer so your viewers understand what was being asked.

4.  Make sure they are visible

Video testimonial or written testimonial alike, neither will do your business any good if they cannot be easily seen!  Ensure you are placing them in strategic locations that are not too overwhelming for potential customers, but that they are able to easily see.  In short, websites that place a testimonial in 70pt font on their homepage may be seen as more annoying or desperate than the company that places their endorsement in the sidebar.

What sort of methods does your business utilize when trying to attract customers with testimonials?  Do you agree with or can you expand on the tips listed above?  Leave us a comment!