Small businesses are the backbone of America’s economy, but taking the step towards going it on your own can be daunting. In this month’s round up of the best content on the Web, we’ve winnowed out the hucksters and quick-fix marketing gurus, to leave you with some solid advice from smart people about how to get started, keep things running smoothly, and get the word out. And, as is our wont, we’ve included some of the cooler art and design related imagery we’ve encountered this month towards the end. We hope you find some actionable insights here. Enjoy!
The economy is still struggling and many people have found themselves without employment over the last few years. Those who have lost their jobs often decide that it’s the perfect time to make a life-change and strike out on their own in business. There’s a great deal of satisfaction to be had from running your own business. It’s incredibly fulfilling to take an idea you developed yourself and turn it into a force in the world that also brings in a great income.
However, starting a new business is not as straightforward as it might be, and there are many pitfalls that, if not avoided, will set the new entrepreneur up for a bumpy journey. Unfortunately, there are also plenty of people who will take advantage of inexperienced business people and sell them advice that is next to worthless. Business owners need information and guidance, but they also need to be very skeptical about whose guidance they take. To that end we’re going to get you started with 10 of the best online resources for small businesses and startups.
As the evenings draw in and the leaves begin to turn, one of the best nights of the year for kids is on the horizon. Halloween, which will be here at the end of the month, is a great opportunity to spend some quality time with our children. To that end we’re going to share with you some of our favorite printable activities and projects from around the web. We hope you find them as much fun as we do, and that they’ll help you create a the perfect spooky atmosphere for Halloween fun.
We all like to express our individuality through the clothes we wear, and one of the quickest and least expensive ways to create unique and original clothing is using an ordinary inkjet printer. The techniques we are about to discuss work brilliantly for making personalized t-shirts, but there’s no reason that you can’t apply the same ideas to decorating other items of clothing.
There are a couple of techniques that are frequently used to print designs onto fabric: the freezer paper method, and using transfer paper. We’ve found that the latter method is more reliable and results in images that last longer, so that’s what we’re going to focus on here, but we’ll give a brief explanation of the freezer paper printing method for those of you who want to try it out.
Whichever method you choose, you’re going to need a design. You can use any graphics applications you like to create the design. If you haven’t got the appropriate software, take a look at this list of great online art applications to get you started.
Just a few years ago, much of our computing activity was carried out on desktop and laptop computers. In recent years, the computer industry has undergone a radical transformation. We are now more likely to grab an iPad or Nexus 7 for casual tasks. Printing from such devices is less necessary than from larger computers, because they are portable; documents come with you. But, there are plenty of occasions where it is convenient to send documents to print directly from mobile devices. Printing tickets, photos, receipts, presentations and PDFs should not involve having to email them to our ourselves before printing them from a desktop or laptop. The obvious solution would be to plug your printer into your mobile device via its USB port, but that won’t work; the USB ports on most mobile devices aren’t smart enough to do that. Today we’re going to look at a few methods that make printing from mobile a breeze. Continue reading “Printing from Tablets and Smartphones” »
The Internet is full of great resources for people who love to create and print beautiful things. This week we’ve collated the best design and printing resources of recent weeks for your enjoyment. Have fun!
It’s about the time when many of you will be heading back to college after the summer, or enrolling for the first time. One of the least enjoyable parts of college is learning the proper format for your papers. It’s a tedious process, and no one really wants to wade through the dry-as-dust pages of the APA or MLA style guides. So, for those of you who inevitably put off this important but insipid aspect of education, we’ve prepared a quick cheat sheet that hits the main points you need to keep in mind when you’re getting your magnum opus ready for printing. Be aware, the advice below is based on the standard requirements for the MLA and APA methods of formatting academic papers; your professors may well have their own idiosyncratic approaches and you’ll lose out if you don’t stick to them. Use what follows as a reminder rather than a strict set of rules.
As we’ve discussed in previous articles, the basic concepts behind inkjet printing can be applied to many areas outside of document printing. You’ll already be familiar with the concept of 3D printing, where small amounts of material are laid down in layers to form three dimensional objects. This technology is already available for consumers to buy, and many hobbyist 3D printing kits are on the market. In a recent development, scientists in Glasgow, Scotland have devised a method that, in the future, will allow drugs to be printed in the same way.
Web applications have come a long way in recent years. With the introduction of HTML5 (in addition to existing Flash technologies) the complexity and feature-richness of online applications has come on leaps and bounds. Just a few years ago the idea of doing a quick photo touch-up or drawing online was unthinkable, but now we have a plethora of available services to choose from. There are numerous advantages to using web-based applications. They tend to be less heavy on resources than their desk-bound cousins and they are cross-platform, meaning they can be accessed from any of your devices that are capable of running a browser. This week we’re going to look at 8 applications or resources that you can employ in your artistic endeavors.
In the last final entry of our short series on fonts, we’re going to have a look at an aspect of typography that most people are likely to have practical use for at some point: font combinations. Whether you are printing a memo, a label, an essay, or any other document, choosing the right combinations of fonts can make the difference between an aesthetically pleasing read and an eye-watering mish-mash.
Combining the right fonts can be tricky, there are many thousands of fonts out there to choose from. There are, however, a number of principles that you can apply which will almost always result in visually pleasing combinations. Keep in mind, these principles are not rules by which you must abide under penalty of being arrested by the font police. Choosing fonts for a document is an art, it takes a delicate discernment of the overall appearance of the page, but, you won’t go far wrong if you stick to these basic guidelines.