Archive for February, 2012

Type
Mon Feb

When Is Envato Going to Conquer the Typography Market With Their Awesomeness?

Today I watched a collection of videos recorded in late 2009 that featured Collis and Cyan Ta’eed answering questions about their company Envato. Having spent the past two years routinely…

Today I watched a collection of videos recorded in late 2009 that featured Collis and Cyan Ta’eed answering questions about their company Envato.

Having spent the past two years routinely visiting their sites I was very familiar with both the Tuts Plus network and the Envato marketplaces. However, while watching the collection of videos I couldn’t help but question one of the things Collis mentioned in the video below.

As a designer I got really excited about the mention of a possible Type Tuts wing, and even more excited about a possible Typography based marketplace.

I think that Envato could stimulate the font community massively if they opened up a marketplace dedicated to typography. I think it would be great for both designers, and the Envato community as a whole.

Like Collis highlighted, Typography is a higher level topic that could work interchangeably with a variety of the other Envato network sites.

I remember filling out a form previously this year in which I was asked what I would like to see out of Envato in the future. If I could change my answer… I would say unequivocally TYPOGRAPHY.

To help lubricate the process our team here at Pulp and Wire brainstormed a couple of names for Envato in the hopes that if we give them a name they will have no other choice but to open up another set of sites.

POSSIBLE NAMES

Type Tuts would obviously be the name of the tuts wing, but what about the marketplace for high quality fonts? Here are some ideas for you Envato.

Let us know what you would want Envato to name a possible Typography site below!

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Type
Sat Feb

Anatomy of a WordPress Theme by Yoast [Infographic]

This is a fantastic infographic for gaining a basic understanding of the continuously evolving WordPress template heirarchy. However, this infographic came out a while ago and some of the more…

This is a fantastic infographic for gaining a basic understanding of the continuously evolving WordPress template heirarchy. However, this infographic came out a while ago and some of the more complex features of the WordPress template heirarchy aren’t covered.

Post format templates and other template variations have yet to be covered in their entirety. It would be interesting to see how Yoast would cover some of these new topics.

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Type
Sat Feb

20 Places to Find FREE Fonts

Most people don’t truly grasp the importance of choosing a dinstinctive font to represent their company. In fact, most small business approach the decision very casually.

Most people don’t truly grasp the importance of choosing a dinstinctive font to represent their company. In fact, most small businesses approach the decision rather casually.

Don’t make the mistake of choosing a cliched or hackneyed font to represent your company. This is one of the worst decisions you can make when trying to brand your company.

To help, we’ve compiled this list of font providers that you can browse. Take a look through their archives, look at their new fonts, and try to find something that really captures the essence of your company in type form.

THE TOP 3 FONT PROVIDERS

Font Squirrel

Font Squirrel is fantastic because they provide both regular fonts in addition to @font-face kits which will allow you to use your company’s font on the web as well as traditional print materials.

Many small businesses neglect to think about how their font will be used in the web arena. Using font squirrel you will be able to see if there is an @font-face kit available for the font you choose.

Smashing Magazine

Smashing magazine isn’t entirely oriented around fonts, but they do routinely provide roundups of the freshest and most appealing new fonts. For this reason I’m going to list them in the top three. I find more fonts on Smashing than I do from most of the other venues listed below.

dafont

Dafont has an expansive collection of fonts, but unlike Font Squirrel it doesn’t provide @font-face kits or another way to easily transfer fonts to the web.

If you are looking for a font that you only intend on using on your computer you will likely be able to find something on dafont.

OTHER FREE FONT PROVIDERS

IF YOU THINK WE MISSED SOME LET US KNOW IN THE COMMENT SECTION BELOW!

 

Gracian Creative

Gracian Creative is a web design company based in Needham, MA.  They specialize in creating visually appealing websites that inspire visitors to become consumers.  They provide a range of design services, seo services, sem services, and internet consulting services to Needham, Newton, Wellesley, Dover, Natick, Framingham, Brookline, Cambridge, Allston, Brighton, Fenway, Back Bay, Sherborn, Sharon, Walpole, Canton, and a range of other areas in, surrounding and part of the greater Boston area.

Feel free to contact them for a quote on your next web design project, or for a comprehensive plan of attack for how to make a name for your business in the online space.

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Type
Fri Feb

10 Tools For Generating Kick-Ass Brand Names

Coming up with a name for your company, product, or brand is possibly one of the most challenging aspects of starting a business. It may seem like an inane detail…

Coming up with a name for your company, product, or brand is possibly one of the most challenging aspects of starting a business. It may seem like an inane detail to some, but the “NAME” is the single most important characteristic any company, product or brand can have.

Here are 10 ways that we have used to brainstorm brand names. Some of them are more conventional than others, but they all provide valuable information and insight into the process of naming your company, brand, or product.

GOOGLE TRANSLATE

Do what JK Rowling seems to do every time she comes up with a new spell. That is, plug the core word, phrase, or concept into Google Translate and look for meaning in other languages. For Rowling the spells usually adopt a latin root.

You can use Google Translate to explore your brand, or words associated with it in languages like  Latin, Spanish, Italian, Greek, and Turkish.

The point of doing this is that sometimes a foreign word or phrase can be more alluring than one in your native tongue. Using Google Translate can help you come up with the perfect name for your brand using a technique called foreign branding.

For example, you would assume that Haagan Dazs  was started by some Scandanavian company making kick-ass ice cream. NOT AT ALL. In fact, it was started by a Jewish couple in the Bronx.

The Spell Avada Kadavra is derived from both Turkish and Estonian.

VISUAL THESAURUS

Visual Thesaurus is a fantastic tool for visualizing words, their meaning, and how they relate to their synonyms and antonyms. Use the web of words it creates to explore all of the possible mental synapses that could fire off upon the sight of your campany’s brand name.

PHONETICS , PORTMANTEAUONOMATOPOEIASPOONERISMSMIMETICS AND OTHERS

There is a long list of companies who have used these word combining and altering  techniques to create their brand name. Some of these include:

  • eBay (Echo Bay)
  • Intel (Integrated Electronics)
  • IBM (International Business machines
  • FedEx (Federal Express)
  • Groupon (Group Coupon)

You can use a cool website called DOT-O-MATOR to do a number of these things.

ASK A TODDLER

If you can’t come up with anything by using the above word altering techniques, or you are just lazy, ask a toddler. They have an extreme penchant for onomatopoeia spoonerismsportmanteauneologisms and and other phonetic bastardizations. Additionally, they also have the remarkable ability to pinpoint the exact functionality of a product of service.  All of these things, believe it or not, make for phenomenal brand name generation.

Brand names that I imagine were thought up by toddler include Fcuk, Snuggie, Flip Flops, and Hipmunk.

SCRABBLE TILES

Break out the scrabble set gathering dust in your game cabinet and dump the tiles out on a table. Shuffle those suckers around and see if you can’t come up with a completely new word.

Sometimes it is hard to defy the language that’s been hardwired into your brain, but you will eventually come up with some very interesting words. I promise.

CROWD-SOURCE IT ON ASK REDDIT

Something I do occasionally when I am trying to come up with an answer to an especially hard questions is I pose it as a questions on Ask Reddit. Despite what some may say about the Reddit community, I find them to be highly creative and intellectual. Take this Reddit thread for example. While it is wildly inappropriate, it still shows you how creative the Reddit community can get.

Provided the Redditers don’t shun your submission, chances are that you will get a good number of answers.

POINT TO SOMETHING ON A MAP, USE THAT

There are plenty of brands (mostly food and drink products) that have done this. Take for example, Fiji water, Poland Springs, Sierra Mist, Arizona Iced Tea, and many others.

One of my favorite examples is Envato’s online marketplaces. Since the launch of their flagship marketplace Active Den (previously Flash Den), they have extended the line to include:

  • Audio Jungle
  • Graphic River
  • Theme Forest
  • Video Hive
  • 3d Ocean
  • Code Canyon
  • Photo Dune

Envato chose to use distinct geological structures, but this doesn’t mean you can use the name of a region, state, or other area.

THOSE WEIRD THINGS THAT THEY KEEP IN THE LIBRARY – BOOKS

History, literature, mythology, and focklore have been the source of more brand names than you can even fathom.

  • Nike – Greek Goddess
  • Yahoo – Term from Jonathan Swift’s novel Gulliver’s Travels
  • Google – Mispelled mathmatical term Googol

Pick up a book and start to read. I challenge you not to find something that could be used as a good name for your company, brand, or product.

URBAN DICTIONARY

Use Urban dictionary for all the latest neologisms and slang. You can log in and just surf for a while. You will likely come up with a number of great ideas.

It’s also a good idea to look up potential brand names when you think of them. You never know when your brand name might mean something terribly inappropriate.

A MIRROR

If your toddler, the Reddit community, Google Translate, Visual thesaurus, and the entirety of human history can’t provide you with a great brand name you can always do what Martha Stewart, Donald Trump, and others have done to great success. That is, be a vain ass-bag and name it after yourself.

CONCLUSIONS

Now that you have come up with the best, most awesome-est brand name ever you get to go through the process of checking if it is already in use, if there is a domain available, and if you can even use it. If not, you’re back to square one. Sorry man.

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