Lucy Nguyen

How To Make Your Stroke’s Corner Not Sharp

Sometimes when you are making your outline, you can sharp corners. To change it to make it more rounded is simple!

  1. Select your path with the sharp corner.

2. Go to the stroke panel by clicking Windows > Stroke, or go to the menu bar at the top and find stroke. Click the second option in the corner section.

3. That’s it! It is now rounded instead of sharp.

Happy Creating.

How To Create an Infographic

Infographics are one of the richest pieces of content out there. It is informative and is more easily digestible to the reader. Here is a simple guide to creating one.

Choose a topic

Some suggestions for topics are:

  • Statistics on a problem and how to solve it
  • Historical
  • Categorization
  • and more!

Gather actual stats

This can be found in various places, such as google scholar, other reputable sites, and universities.

Layout the information in a logical order

The purpose of an infographic and much visual content is to tell a story. Storyboard it out and see where the stats fit into it. It should flow in a natural order.

Create a draft

Time to design the infographic! Gather any illustrations you need, and this is the fun part.

Refine

Gather feedback and make the adjustments.

Promote

Let the world see your infographic. You can post them via social media, use them in your portfolio, or whatever else is appropriate.

Here are some inspirations from Lemonly, a company specializing in designing infographics.

Happy Creating!

Reddit Subreddits Artists Should Be Aware Of

Reddit is a fantastic place. It has something for everyone. Without further ado, here are recommendations for subreddits I think artists should be aware of.

Crappy Design

https://www.reddit.com/r/CrappyDesign/

This one subreddit honestly makes me laugh when I have a terrible day. Not everyone hires a designer, and we get some pretty funny moments. I suggest checking the top of all time for the top-rated laughs.

SketchDaily

https://www.reddit.com/r/SketchDaily/

Suppose you can’t think of what to draw visit SketchDaily. They give daily prompts, and it’s incredible what people think of on the fly.

I Can Draw That

https://www.reddit.com/r/ICanDrawThat/

You can visit this subreddit if you feel charitable with your time and are in a giving mood. Here you can fulfill the requests of Redditors.

Art

https://www.reddit.com/r/Art/

This one is pretty much on the nose. Art is posted here daily, and they are amazing. I go here to get inspiration.

Crafts

https://www.reddit.com/r/crafts/

For the DIYers of the world! I love seeing people creating amazing things.

Graphic Design

https://www.reddit.com/r/graphic_design/

Graphic Design is a worthwhile subreddit to look into if you are starting in it.

Low Poly

https://www.reddit.com/r/low_poly/

3D is everywhere, and low poly is one of the most popular styles! It has a charm that I can’t explain.

Imaginary Slice of Life

https://www.reddit.com/r/ImaginarySliceOfLife/

People love art because it can ‘paint’ a picture of a moment from this reality or imaginary!

Art Fundamentals

https://www.reddit.com/r/ArtFundamentals/

Get started in art if you are a beginner!

Alternativeart

https://www.reddit.com/r/alternativeart/

Fandoms spark people’s creativity! See alternative styles of your favourite tv shows, movies, comics, etc.!

How to add Zoom ICS in Hubspot Email

There are always finicky things about using other different platforms together. Zoom and Hubspot are one of them. Despite putting the zoom URL link into Hubspot, I had the problem that it didn’t download the ICS immediately. Instead, it sends them to the Zoom page to create a login or sign in. Then they can download it.

This isn’t the worst way to go about it, but it isn’t the most intuitive and friendly user experience. There is an alternate way to have the ICS calendar link in your email.

Step 1: Download the ICS link yourself.

Step 2: Upload to Hubspot by going to Marketing > Files and Template > Files

Step 3: Hover over the file click details. It will open up in a new pop-up. Then click Copy URL.

Step 4: Go to your email and insert the link via a button or a regular text link.

Test the email. It should now download automatically, and they can add the ICS calendar to their teams or outlook.

On another note, you can download zoom integration that gives other functions in the Hubspot marketplace.

Happy Creating!

How to Edit, Compress, Convert, Sign a PDF without Adobe Acrobat

You have a PDF and want to manipulate it but don’t Adobe Acrobat. It’s pricey, and it seems not worth it if you don’t have Adobe Creative Suite. No fear! Here are my two online recommendations!

Smallpdf.com

This site is fantastic. The only limitation is you can do two tasks a day. Other than that, it’s free and easy to use. Here is the list of the functions available. Visit the site https://smallpdf.com/.

iLovePDF.com

My second recommendation! They also have processing limitations like Smallpdf. Other than that, it is also free and comes with basically these same functions. So if you hit your limit on smallpdf, go to https://www.ilovepdf.com/. Here are their capabilities.

Let me know if there are other free options out there. Happy creating!

5 Examples of Personalization in Marketing

As technology gets better, tracking a user has become more accessible. Companies can now gather an insane amount of data to tailor the user experience. Here are five of my favourite examples of personalization.

Spotify Wrapped

Each year Spotify creates a customized slideshow for users to see unique stats about their usage on Spotify. From their most listen to artists to their top genres. It has become event users look forward to. Users can also share their unique taste in music and celebrate their time on Spotify. It gives another reason for users to stick with their platform.

TikTok Algorithm

TikTok is the newest social media platform on the block. What sets them apart is their ‘algorithm,’ which has been said to be scarily accurate. They have a section called the “For you” page where TikTok will show you videos they believe you will like or find interested in. The more you interact with TikTok, the better it gets. Their personalization has shot them to one of the biggest social media platforms. It has become addicting when you see content that is catered to you.

Reply all even did a podcast episode on this topic: https://gimletmedia.com/shows/reply-all/z3h78d6

They discussed how Tik Tok showed the guest a video with a specific body anomaly she had. How does Tik Tok even know this?

Coke Name on Bottles

One of the most successful campaigns Coca-Cola has ever run was “Share a Coke.” They printed numerous names on Cokes, and people scrambled to find theirs or others they knew. They cleaned out shelves, and Coke even had a custom machine to print a lesser well-known name. The campaign increased sales across all age groups, and the social media chatter was terrific.

Netflix’s Thumbnails

It’s no secret that Netflix tracks its customers’ usage to recommend shows they may like. Netflix takes it a step further by customizing the thumbnails of shows to appeal to users based on the types of shows they like. Vox did a great piece on this!

Nike’s Custom Shoes

Nike stays on the cutting edge of technology by offering customized shoes designed by its users. Not many shoe companies can boast this capability. Allowing customers to choose how their shoes look gives them the sense that Nike cares about their individuality and wants to celebrate it. More companies are jumping on this trend of personalization and customization.

https://www.nike.com/ca/nike-by-you

How to Use the Star Shape Tool in Adobe Illustrator

1. Click on the star tool on the side menu. You can click on the small triangle to open up more options.

2. Then click and drag on the artboard. The default shape is a star.

3. To add more points, while you are clicking and to drag the default star, press the up arrow ↑. If you click the down arrow ↓, fewer points will appear.

4. To change the distance of the inner points to the endpoints. When you are clicking and dragging, press CTRL simultaneously, move your mouse towards for a small distance or away for a pointer star.

You can use the star tool to create many different shapes cleanly.

Note: If you have other Adobe programs such as Photoshop and Indesign, you can copy and paste these shapes into there.

Hope that helps! Happy creating.

Ideas for Marketing & Graphic Portfolio if you have nothing

If you find yourself in the unenviable position of having no work for a Portfolio, there is a solution. Do fake projects. Here are some ideas you do yourself to start building your portfolio.

Social Media campaign for a brand you love

Pick a brand that is in the industry you want to work in. It can be makeup, fashion, construction, etc. Whatever you want you can build a social media campaign.

Examples are:

  • New or Relaunch of a Product
  • Contest
  • Spotlight on the company
  • Awards

Influencer collaboration strategy

The influencer economy is growing and you can show you have your finger on the pulse. Choose a well-known influencer in your industry and create a fake campaign collaboration. For marketing, you can outline a strategy to generate leads through the use of discount codes and show a fictitious strategy.

Develop a business pitch for stakeholders/clients

This can be a presentation deck you would create to show how you would pitch a fake company to an investor, partner, supplier, etc.

Make a hypothetical business plan

Use a fake company. There are many business case studies you can use to base one off of. Here is one https://guides.library.ubc.ca/businesscases/free

Rebrand an existing business

This can be a fake company you made up or an existing one. You can go on Behance, and many people have done.
Examples are:

  • Redesigning packaging
  • Redesigning their website
  • Redesigning their logo and branding

Target market consultation pitch

  • For marketing show how you would break down a target audience and your outreach plan for them.
  • For a graphic designer, design for example a post for three different target audience.
  • This shows you understand personas.

Video campaign plan

This can be a variety of things. For example

  • Tutorial
  • Commerical
  • Company spotlight
  • Social media videos

Plan a seasonable/national awareness day campaign

You can use http://unescocenterforpeacenys.org/international-days-celebration/ or https://www.daysoftheyear.com/ to pick a day and build a campaign around it.

Develop your own personal brand

This is your chance to show who you really are and articulate it.

Hope that helps and I wish you the best of luck!

Tips for University Students in Graphic Design or Marketing

Setting yourself up for success in school is difficult. No one talks about it in high school or university. However, the internet is an excellent resource to help steer you in the correct direction. Here are my four top tips to help you do just that.

Get an Internship, Co-op, or Work Study

When choosing a university, many make an obvious consideration is to look at who offers the best program for their desired major, such as the best teachers, equipment, facilities, etc. However, many fail to consider choosing a university if they have an internship, co-op, or work-study for their major. I think this is a significant consideration. Getting experience early is critical in building up your resume and your expertise.

Bonus, you will make some extra money and get a reference. A tip for this also is to look at the internship/co-op/work-study requirements. I had to be a third-year student at my school, have a certain grade average, and take specific courses. It varies, of course, but you need to keep that in mind to qualify.

Some may argue you can get one outside of school. You can, of course! However, there are extra benefits. The schools have agreements with these companies that often, they have to fill those positions with students from a specific school. Your odds of getting that position increases significantly. They also sometimes offer help in interviewing writing resumes and cover letters. Either way, you need to build up experience.

Start a Portfolio

This may be common sense, but it bears repeating. I would advocate having a physical and online portfolio if possible. There are many free websites you can take advantage of. Such as Google websites, Wix, and more. Here is where you can brand yourself, set yourself apart from others, look professional, and a side benefit-you get experience in building websites.

You may find yourself lacking projects. My answer, make fake ones. There are a lot of great ideas online for fake portfolio ideas. However, make sure it relates to your industry. Building a body of work will take time, but it is well worth it.

Start a social media

This is an easy and cost-effective method to get your name out there. Again, it’s building your brand a secondary way to show your portfolio and participate in the community.

Another benefit is that you will become familiar with social media management. This is a skill many companies are looking for in regards to marketing.

Join a reputable registered group/certification

There are many organizations out there that offer certification. Bonus, they often a reduced price for students. Many companies specify a destination or certification for their candidates. Go on Linkedin, indeed or another job board and search for what kind they are looking for.

One I recommend for graphic designers, specifically in Canada, is RGD – https://www.rgd.ca/

It will be a boon for your professional if you can get it. It will increase your prestige, validate your experience and skills, and you again can connect with like-minded individuals.

Volunteer (Optional)

This one is optional because I understand not everyone can pursue it due to financial situations. This is a way for you to build experience, build a portfolio, and a network. I would recommend trying to find a contract or project-based position. Short term is better, allowing you to make a clean break.

These are my top tips. If there are any I’m missing, let me know below. I wish you all the luck in your future development.

How To Add A Countdown Timer in Emails

To further excite your email subscribers, countdowns are an excellent visual tool. However, many email platforms do not have this function built-in. If you google “Email Countdown Timer,” there are many online tools to help you. My recommendation, however, is Sendtric! Here’s how simple it is to implement it.

How To Add a Countdown Timer using Sendtric

  1. Go to Sendtric
  2. You will see the following section. It is straightforward.
  • Background: The colour of the background will be a rectangle.
  • Labels: It will be the words below the numbers. Days, Hours, Mins, and Secs are the labels.
  • Digits: This will be the colour of the numbers.

Add your email. Then choose the correct time zone, date and time, and language. Agree to their terms and conditions. Click the GENERATE.

3. A preview and code will be generated to the right of the inputs. COPY THE CODE.

4. Go to your preferred Email platform. I’m using Hubspot. In the email, add the HTML module.

5. Add the code that you copied from Sendtric.

6. You may notice that the width is not what you wanted. To change the width, add the following to your code.
<img src="https://gen.sendtric.com/countdown/n4uzw9rba3" width="700" style="display: block;" />

You can see width=”700″ is after the URL. It is in pixels.

I hope that helps, and happy creating!

The Top 5 PR Diasters of 2021

There have been a lot of PR blunders in 2021. Here are the top 5, in my opinion, and no particular order.

The Mass Firings at Better.com

On December 1st, three weeks before Christmas. Vishal Garg, the CEO of Better.com, got on a pre-recorded video call with 900 employees and terminated them immediately. Although the mass layoff was bound to get attention, what stirred people was what he said in the recording, which you can see below.

The PR blunder was how he made about it himself—stating that this was the “second time he had to do this and hopes to be stronger this time around.” He stated how he wished the company was thriving, but the reality was different. Better.com had gotten an infusion of USD 750 million, and the company itself was valued at around $7 billion. Not the mention the millions the CEO Vishal is worth himself.

This comes as a surprise to no one who has worked with the CEO. He has been noted as a particularly mean and nasty person. In a Feb 2020 email, he called his employees “a bunch of dumb dolphins.”

The video has since gone viral, and he has issued an apology on how he handled it, but it felt insincere. In the wake of it, five senior employees quit. The future for Better.com doesn’t look better.

The Chanel Advent Calendar

The fashion giant Chanel took a dip into the world of luxury advent calendars for Christmas this year. This year’s advent calendar celebrated the 100 years since the launch of their famous perfume, Chanel N°5. What Chanel didn’t count on was Tik Toker Influencer Elise Harmon. She was excited to open the Calendar, but her mounting disappointment was evident as the boxes were opened, which you can see here.

The Calendar comes in at USD 825, before taxes and shipping. The Calendar was filled with a few samples, but the most disappointing items were the stickers, the dust bag, and a few cheaply made trinkets. The commenters were angry and flabergasted at Elise’s videos, and we’re along for the ride. They lambasted Chanel’s TikTok and other social media. They figured out the Calendar itself was valued to be around $200.

The company itself closed their Tik Tok account and reportedly blocked Elise Harmon. They did issue a response “We are committed to sharing our creations with our followers on all social networks we are active on. Our pages are open to everyone, and our followers are free to express their feelings and opinions, whether they are enthusiastic or critical.”

The $4,400 Tip

Working in the service industry is often a thankless job. Many are often treated as less than human and are often paid less than they deserve. In North America, tips are often the only way many workers make up for being paid a low hourly wage. Some are even paid as little as $2.85.

Twp waitresses in Arkansas were tipped $4,400 this year for her service. It should have been a heartwarming moment, quickly becoming a gut-reaching nightmare. Her boss demanded he shares the tip, with the majority going to management. The waitress pointed out that they had never shared tips before, and it was not restaurant policy. She was fired after three years when she wouldn’t give her rightful tip.

The silver lining was supporters started a GoFunMe and have raised well over $15,000. The restaurant has been bombarded with 1-star reviews and has received extra scrutiny into its labour practice.

Amazon’s Warehouse Exposed

The monolith that is Amazon has been criticized rightfully for their mistreatment of their workers. From unreasonable expectations, workers peeing in bottles, and mass firings of the bottom performers. It’s a capitalist nightmare, but the nightmare got worse this year.

A hurricane hit an Amazon warehouse in Illinois. Sadly, six workers died. The immediate question was how could Amazon let this happen? There were weather warnings in Illinois that day, and they chose to ignore it. Instead, they sent workers in regardless of the danger, choosing productivity over workers’ safety.

Amazon responded to the tragedy by donating to the Edwardsville Community Foundation and providing relief supplies. However, it is not enough. An inquiry has been demanded into the incident.

Kellogg’s Boycott

Giant corporations which exemplify the worst of Capitalism seem to be the theme for this year. This year Kellog failed to give their union a fair deal. The tipping point was the deal would create a two-tier system that would pay new workers less (Truthout, 2021).

Kellog announced that it would hire scab workers to replace 1,400 workers who’ve been striking since October 2021. Once this news hits the internet, people from all walks o life chime in. From politicians to celebrities, everyone shames Kellog for their behaviour.

The subreddit Antiwork took an active approach and sent hundreds of applications to Kellog’s website, causing it to crash. Multiple petitions have sprouted up, and many have signed a petition to boycott their products. There is a clear, united message, treat your workers better.

  • Sources:
  • https://truthout.org/articles/calls-for-boycott-grow-after-kellogg-says-its-permanently-replacing-strikers/
  • https://people.com/human-interest/arkansas-server-says-receiving-tip-from-big-party-led-to-firing/
  • https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2021/12/15/amazon-warehouse-collapse-tornado/

How to Get a Feather Effect on Multiple Sides in Adobe Indesign

The feather effect is a subtle addition to any image. Unfortunately, it’s not easy to feather on more than one side in Indesign compared to Photoshop. Here are two options to get it on multiple sides.

OPTION 1

This one is for a very soft feather effect.

Step 1

Click on the image to get the bounding box to appear.

Step 2

Right-click on the image and click Effect Gradient Feather.

Step 3

Make sure the Gradient Feather and Preview are checked. To create the feather effect on two edges, make the gradient stop like the one below. The first one is 0%, the middle 100% and the third 100%. You have to click on the gradient stops bar to add the third. The type should be linear and angle 0 degrees. You can choose radial, but it would make a circle feather effect rather than a hard edge.

You can do just one side or two sides, and it’s up to you!

You can see the EEffectbelow.

Step 4

Now we got it on two sides. To do the top and bottom double click the image. The bounding box should now be a different colour. Repeat Step 2. Which was right-click go to EEffectGradient Effect.

Below are the numbers. Again make the GrGradienttops the same as before, but the angle is 90 degrees.

You can see the result below! A soft feather effect on four sides.

OPTION 2

This one will give a tighter, hard feather effect.

Step 1

Double click on the image to get the image’s bounding box. Right-click and select Effects > Directional Feather

Step 2

Make sure Directional Feather and Preview are both checked. In the feather widths section, you control how many feathering you want on the four sides.

The Noise option will make the grGradientrainy.

The choke option will determine how soft the feather is.

The shape of the edges doesn’t matter too much.

Here is how it looks! It gives a harder feather effect. It can also be used with Gradient Feather to create some cool effects.

Hope that helps! Happy Creating.