Retweet to Win: Inkbug Instagram prints!

If you’re an Instagram user, you’ll love this giveaway. We’re giving away a £20 Inkbug voucher, an opportunity to get your Instagram prints for free!

Instagram Prints by Inkbug

All you need to do is tweet about this blog post. You can either write a tweet yourself, include this URL (http://circleboxblog.com/2014/articles/retweet-to-win-inkbug-instagram-prints/) and the hashtag #inkbug or simply click on the tweet button below. We will pick a winner at random on Friday 21st March 2014.


That’s all there is to it! Retweet and cross your fingers. You can enter as much as you like between now and midday on the 21st March 2014. We’ll be in touch with the winner via Twitter shortly after. Good luck!

Why designers need SEO

You may be a great graphic designer and you may be able to come up with breathtaking designs in a few hours and draw illustrations from scratch, but do you have the means to sell your skills online? Can you market your designs and acquire new customers every single day? Do you have the means to expand your business so that you can reach potential international clients? Do you know how to use SEO to help people find your business on search engines?

You may be the only person holding yourself back. For all you know, you might already have been able to make it big in the design industry, if only you had known how to use SEO when you started out. Yes, even graphic designers need to learn SEO. The sooner you accept this, the faster your business will grow.

What is SEO?

If you’re still reading this, you have probably decided that you wanted to learn SEO. I know that this term may be unfamiliar to many of you, which is why I included the following explanation.

SEO stands for “search engine optimisation.” Simply speaking, it is a process that helps you optimize your website and links, so that search engine robots believe your site is about a particular keyword.

This process came about due to the fact that most people use Google and other search engines to discover new websites. When searching for something, you key in a particular keyword in the search bar. The process of getting your website to appear on the front page of search engine listings became known as search engine optimization.

I know that some of you may be thinking SEO sounds a little complicated. That’s okay. After all, I’m still trying to explain why you even need it.

So, why do you need SEO (even as a designer)?

You can get repeat clients from the quality of your designs alone, but you can get new clients using SEO.

First of all, I’ll state the most obvious, you can create amazing designs, which may win you some referrals and some repeat clients, but you have to realize that a lot of new clients come from SEO. Why? You need to be ranked highly on search engines if you want to have an online presence. It isn’t good enough to have wonderful designs if nobody can find you.

If you think that SEO is way too technical or not your cup of tea, you can always outsource the process. It is a worthwhile investment, as it can get you more clients. But if you have the time, try your best to learn SEO yourself, as it will pay off more in the long run.

You cannot do SEO friendly designs if you don’t know anything about SEO

Let’s face it. Webmasters no longer require mere designs. Usually, they need a designer who also understands how SEO works. Why is this the case? Well, they are hiring designers to help boost their business, so they want a designer who won’t hurt their rankings. Sure, they need your design, but you need to convince them that it can easily bring in sales. Forgetting to use SEO in the design process is a detriment to your business.

Now, if you’re more of a designer and you don’t have the time or patience to learn SEO, you can always work with a SEO company or team to help make your designs search engine friendly before submitting them to your clients. This extra feature will require extra money, but it’s definitely a feature worth paying for.

It is best not to put all your eggs in one basket

You may be a master of design, but, as every business owner knows, you should never let your business revolve around only one type of service. If you can learn SEO, link building, and even computer programming, then you should absolutely do so. Always diversify your services so that you can make more sales.

Now if your design team has too much on their plate, you can always work with an independent SEO team. The good thing about this is that you’ll be working with people who already know SEO. You no longer need to train them. You just need to create a deal and you’ll be ready to attract some clients.

It’s time to end your solitary love affair with Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator, and spend some time with Google, Yahoo, and Bing. It is just a matter of learning basic SEO.

If you chose to outsource your SEO needs, make sure to use a trusted SEO provider that has been in the business for a long time and knows what they are doing. This way, you’ll know that your design firm is in good hands.

iOS Icons: Sketch to Design

When a user first comes across a new mobile app one of the first things they will notice is its icon. It’s the tiny picture that gives an intuitive graphical representation of the function the app will perform and visually explains what a user can expect from it. Icons need to work hard to communicate all of this information, especially when you consider the limited space that’s available to play with. What’s more, different operating systems all impose different specifications. This means that the quality, scale and shape of the icon may vary depending on whether it’s being viewed on a desktop computer, an iPhone, iPad or other mobile device. To cope with these demands some designers prefer to keep their icons as simple and minimalist as possible, whereas others will push the boundaries of small-scale creativity to the max. Either way, the icon design process is one that inevitably keeps designers on their toes. Here is a collection of creative iOS icon sketches plus their finished version, a behind-the-scenes sneak-peak at the first and final stages of the creative process.

Working on grid paper will enable you to make sure you’re artwork is to scale and stays within the appropriate dimensions. It’s amazing how much personality is imagined in the first sketch and then brilliantly brought to life in the completed version.

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