All posts by Steve Hart

Leo Laporte discusses his website design cost and development time

On a recent episode of The Tech Guy (Show 865: http://twit.tv/show/the-tech-guy/865 at the 34:50 mark)  Leo Laporte discusses the wide range of website costs, development time and the price he’s paying for phase one of The Tech Guy Labs website’s redesign.

reference:
http://techguylabs.com
http://techguylabs.com/radio/ShowNotes/Show865#toc13

Understanding the files we send when your logo job is wrapped

A Guide to your Logo Files

About your logo’s color models

  • RGB is for web and email and should work adequately for things you plan to print on your printer. RGB is what your computer monitor understands best.
  • CMYK is generally for full color ads and press.
  • Spot Color logo files have PMS match codes that allow an exact color to be mixed to formula before printing. Some spot colors can’t be produced accurately with CMYK printing and will be visibly different. Consequently, we are not big fans of selecting spot colors for logos that will not reproduce reasonably well with full color (four color or CMYK) printing. Spot color printing can save money over full color printing.
  • Grayscale and B&W, of course, will be handy when color printing is not an option or in the budget.

About the types of  logo files we provide

  • .AI and .EPS are the native design files and are typically opened with Adobe (or other professional) Design Software. These are the best files to use in your designs intended for press.
  • The JPGs and PNGs are files you would most likely use for Web and Email. Also, these are the easiest files for the layman to use.
  • The TIFs are higher resolution files you could use in, for example, MS Word or MS Publisher if you were unable to work with the EPS files.
  • The PDFs are good for viewing the logo at its best or sending to press.

Types of art in the files

  • Vector Art – this is scalable without loss of quality. For enlargements, signs, banners… It also provides the crispest, truest text rendering. Your AI, EPS and PDF files contain vector art.
  • Raster Art is comprised of a bunch of little dots of various colors. Your JPG, PNG and TIF files contain raster art. Raster art does not enlarge well. It is good for the web, email and other lower resolution purposes. The TIFs we’ve provide could go to press in a pinch, but would generally not deliver the text as crisply as vector art.

We send our clients quite a lot of files when we close a logo job. Native design files, EPSs, JPGs, TIFs, PDFs and more… containing both raster art or vector art. While some of the files aren’t of immediate use to the client, usually they don’t have the software to open many of them, their service providers always love the huge selection of files we provide to cover a variety of needs.

MAD House Graphics has designed many logos over the years. You can view a few of them online at http://www.madhousegraphics.com/services/logos/

Google Voice now has global spam filtering!!!

I’ve been putting my google voice number out there to clients for sometime via my email signature. It is by far the best way to reach me. I actively route it to wherever I am. However, I haven’t publicized via online listings, ads, literature and business cards, because I don’t want it bombarded with phone SPAM. My verizon numbers, that I’ve been using for 15 years, sometimes get as many as 10 unsolicited calls per day in spite of me telling everyone to take me off their calling list and being on the national do not call list.

This is exactly what I needed to start pushing our google voice number in everything and all mediums.

Why can’t verizon evolve more rapidly and put customers first? You know they used to charge $49 to 200 for DSL 10 0r 12 years ago (historical ADSL pricing screenshot below). My SDSL was $199 for years then I got it for $99 through a subcontracted reseller. At the time, I couldn’t get the $99 “deal” by buying it through Verizon. They sat on their hands and watched nearly every one of their home customers go to comcast for just $29 per month, because they wouldn’t lower their price. Their historic behavior is the whole reason I haven’t switched to FiOS.

So in conclusion, “Yeah Google!!!” and “Verizon Hurry Up”. You need to change faster because the world will move on without you… just like they did when you were providing DSL for more than the competition!

I try not to be a google evangelist but sometimes can’t help myself 🙂

ref. http://www.google.com/support/voice/bin/answer.py?answer=115089

Verizon aDSL pricing circa 2000

Verizon aDSL pricing circa 2000

Google+ gets a +1 after first day of using it

About Google+

I’ve only had one day with it but I like it a lot better than Facebook and I trust Google with my information more than facebook. The circles feature is something that FB has needed for a long time. The easy way to have a post public or just for select circles is great. The integration with other google products like gmail, picasa, youtube works well for me since I’ve become such a google tool 🙂  It seems like I’m using just about everything they put out. 
http://www.google.com/intl/en/about/products/

http://www.google.com/intl/en_us/services/index_con.html

The drawbacks:

  • The big community is at already Facebook and most are just fine with that
  • Will google be able to get people to switch? that’ll be tough
  • How much of my internet presence do I want dependent on google

For our clients I’ll be recommending Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Many aren’t crazy about having to keep up with what online presence they have now. Hopefully products like Hootsuite will ease the pain of another social media outlet to manage. The benefit for them should make the extra work worth it. I expect google+ will end up tightly integrated with most of google’s stuff… like the google places page for businesses.

The Social Media Balancing Act

I recently made this comment to an old friend on LinkedIn and thought I would pop it up as a brief post since it distills an issue we are all facing in just a couple words:

For business, we are most active on Twitter (@mad_house) and Google+ (www.bit.ly/madplus). At the moment, MAD House Graphics just uses LinkedIn and Facebook  for personal use.

I love the way social media sites let people connect/reconnect, but they really can eat up a lot of time. I’ve been working to find a balance between being an accessible communicator and a productive worker. It can be a small challenge at times.

For many who make their money by communicating (sales/account reps/customer service/public relations) social media is less of a distraction and more of a valued tool, but for those of us who build things the balance can be harder to strike.

updated 2001-0822 to include mentions of Google+ & Heello.com http://heello.com/madhouse … we’ll see where this new contender from the twitpik people goes

The Phantom Lab’s Newly Redesigned Site is Live

The Phantom Lab

The Phantom Lab Website

MAD House Graphics was very please to have had the opportunity to work with Fabbros Design of Yorklyn, DE and The Phantom Laboratory, of Salem, NY on this beautiful new website. The Phantom Laboratory produces dependable, high-precision phantoms and innovative custom solutions for the medical imaging and radiation therapy fields.

Noteworthy aspects of this job: Attractive and simple flash-free slide shows throughout the site on the product pages, W3c validated html coding, modern css techniques, extensive jquery use and an apple inspired navigation/search bar. The large thumbs at the bottom of the homepage maintain the hover text even after mousing away, the document library has some beautiful collapsing lists and there is a handy Additional Products Carousel at the bottom of each product page. MHG also set up redirects for the search engines so the pagerank earned by their old site’s pages would not be lost in the transition.

How are you getting online content to your TV?

I have a Sony Blu-ray (view at amazon.com), a Wii and the Xbox that can all get netflix and other services. The Sony is pretty cool and I use it pretty often. However, I primarily use an Acer AspireRevo (view at amazon.com) with a cool Lenovo Multimedia Remote (view at amazon.com) to push Netflix, Amazon, Pandora, Hulu, Podcasts and other online content to our 42″ Toshiba TV (view at amazon.com). The revo even has an HDMI out.

I use wifi to stream my online content and have been typically very happy, but I’m sure if I bothered to run a CAT5 it would be even better. Oh and I shouldn’t forget to mention that my Tivo Series II(s) can also connect to many of these online services but they are way too tedious.

Why are registrars allowed to prospect for domains?

I recently saw that mhg.org was available from godaddy for $8800. Does anyone else see the conflict of interest here? The organizations that control the domain registry are also domain prospecting. Do you think they might have a unique advantage over the masses? I do! Shouldn’t their position involve a trust that excludes them from owning domains (other than those needed for their core business)?

related terms:
domain kiting, domain tasting, domain prospecting

Registrars have a uniquely unfair advantage when domain prospecting.

Madhouse’s great big list of important domain extensions

In order of importance to US businesses

.com  –  The gTLD (Generic Top Level Domain ) the park avenue address
.net   –  gTLD originally meant for groups and communities
.org   –  gTLD originally for non-profits and still best-practice to reserve it for that
.us    –  ccTLD (country level domain extension) for United States
.mobi  –  TLD meant for mobile … future prospecting may not end up that important
.biz   –  gTLD meant for Businesses
.pro   –  gTLD (Top Level Domain) for professionals
.co    –  ccTLD for Columbia… or “company
.ws    –  ccTLD for Western Samoa… or “website”
.tv    –  ccTLD for Tuvala… media publishers might move this up to position #2 after .com
.cc    –  ccTLD for Cocos (Keeling) Islands
.info  –  gTLD could be moved up for informational sites
.name   –  gTLD could be moved up for a personal site
.me   –  as in “myself” and “I” (ccTLD for Montenegro)

NOTES:
1)  source: the sometimes foggy brains at mad house graphics
2)  non-profits should move .ORG to the top of the list
3)  list based on importance to US companies

Would you move .CC down? Would you put .CO before .PRO? Have you seen many companies snapping up .CO’s? Is .CO a rising star? Maybe we need to rethink our .CO position 🙂