Fancy Facebook

I’m offering customized Facebook Profile Pictures at $50. See an example live on one of my Fan Pages at: http://www.facebook.com/GstudioStyle. When you go to my page, you’ll see that I used a secret little trick that makes the image seem to extend up into the blue area. Cool, huh? Contact me for more info. [Note: this article is out of date, and my Facebook graphic has changed on the link provided.]

Customizing your profile picture is a good way to make your company, product or service on Facebook stand out, and look professional. You can also have a custom picture for your personal Facebook page… why not? No one’s stopping you from getting Fancy on Facebook!

By the way, if you visit my Facebook page, you might like the handbags I make. If so you can click Become a Fan for news and updates on my upcoming designs. Thanks!

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Its Like Christmas!

Fresh Out of the Box…

Gstudio Business Cards

I’m excited this evening because I came home to find that the UPS driver dropped off a special package for me. My new business cards for my bag-making biz, Gstudio – yippee!

Design Tip

I got them done at www.PSPrint.com, they often have great sales on business card printing (40% off this week) and other products. So far I have used them for two jobs, and have not been disappointed.

Something’s Happening

Its been a while. I’ve been doing my thang — designing graphics, creating pretty social networking pages, tweeting… but this time, its all for my new venture, Gstudio — and I simply have not had the time, nor the mojo to write about it. A list will do:

  1. Decided to get back on track with making more of the handbags I designed earlier this year…
  2. Opened a new shop on Etsy.com where I am listing the bags, and hoping it will fly!
  3. Started a new Fan Page on Facebook for my new bag business. People can sign up there to receive my news about new designs, sales, events, etc.
  4. Make sure I Tweet once in a while about bags or bag-related business…
  5. Designed and built a website for my new handbag business, which is, at the moment quite small, but will grow in my spare time.
  6. Just today set up a much-better-than-it-was studio in which I can make these magical items!

So, as you can see, not many thoughts on blogging about graphic design, but I will tell you that all of the above items are completely related to branding, so I’ll just ask you go to each of the links up there to see how I integrated my graphic identity throughout!

Hi-ho, hi-ho, its  off to work I go…

4 Lessons on Changing Your Twitter Name

Stamp___Twitter_by_shadowed_light_wavesWhen I signed up on Twitter, I found out that someone was already using “my” name, (heathergraef), so I had to choose an alternate (heathergraefcom). So what happens if I want to change my name in the future? Will everything get messed up? The answer is yes…and no. Read on to for 4 stories about how people lost — and found their Twitter identities.

1. Problem

Blogger Ernesto Burden addresses how squatters can took his Twitter name:
http://ernesto.burdenfamily.net/2009/05/ever-wonder-what-happens-if-you-change-your-twitter-username-a-cautionary-tale%E2%80%A6/

2. Solution

Jon Bishop explains how he changed his Twitter name without losing followers:
http://www.jonbishop.com/2009/01/how-to-change-your-twitter-name/

3. Warning

Brad at Powered Production warns us on what NOT to do:
http://poweredproduction.com/news-events/how-to-twitter-name-change

4. Hope

TheNextWeb.com explains how to get a Twitter name that is already taken, but is currently inactive:
http://thenextweb.com/2009/01/08/how-to-snap-up-that-twitter-username-youve-always-wanted/

Social Networking Tips

Stamp___Twitter_by_shadowed_light_wavesNew to Social Networking?

Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social networking sites can be quirky to figure out, but the more you dig, the more you can learn how to make these sites work best for you. For example, you may want more followers, or maybe you suddenly have too many! What do you do? What if you don’t like the name you chose? How do you post only the tweets you want on your Facebook page? Don’t like the Twitter background you got when you signed up? Are you aware of the privacy settings on Facebook? There are ways to deal with all this, and I am continually learning more.

Within this blog you will find tips on using social networking sites

Select category “Twitter Tips” or “Facebook Tips” in the the “Blog Article Topics” menu in the sidebar on this blog to find my posts on this subject. I share my own ideas about how to create great-looking pages from a design standpoint, and I post links to what others have to say about social networking practices.

Share Your Tips

If you have any Twitter secrets or tips to share, your comments on this blog. Simple, easy-to-understand comments are a big plus for readers who are new Tweeters. Thanks!

What is personal branding?

“Personal branding is the process of how we market ourselves to others.”

This was quoted from the website of Dan Schawbel, who “is the leading personal branding expert for Gen-Y”. I have been following Dan on Twitter, and have read several features on his blog, which are very informative.

“Dan established the first 360 degree personal brand website, DanSchawbel.com, creating a new standard for career development.  Also, he engaged and facilitated collaboration around a standard definition of personal branding and created the first template for a personal press release, focusing on promoting individuals through new and traditional media streams.”

Social networking: the new staple

Due to the buzz about social networking, my goals and views as an designer are changing. Its become abundantly clear that business cards and websites are no longer the main ‘staple’ of a marketing campaign, at least for millions of people and companies. In August 2009, Facebook hit 100 million users, and Mashable reports that Twitter reaches 14 million people each month.

This means that not only should your logo, or overall graphic id need to exist on your stationery, print and websites, but should also carry throughout each of the social networking profiles you manage. You can use a custom background (on Twitter), or in other cases upload a customized graphic where your profile photo belongs (on Facebook). Most blog templates have a customizable header, where you can upload your own banner graphic.

Tune in to my blog for more on how to integrate your graphic identity into your social network.

Its a bouncing baby blog!

I was recently helping a musician friend, Emily Bonn finish up the Photoshop artwork for her new CD cover. Afterwords, we went out for pizza and beer, and the subject of turning 40 came up. We were talking about a whether we’ve had a change in attitude, or different goals at this age than we had before. For me, ’40’ and ‘personal branding’ seemed to collide this year, and social networking is a big part of that. As the world population becomes obsessed with blogging and tweeting, I decided to jump on the bandwagon. After updating my website, and getting my feet wet on Twitter, I knew it was the right time for me to have a baby blog.