Small biz how-to : Designing a knock-out business card {Part 2}

Business card design tips:

Your business card is a bit like a PR manager – they can do a fabulous job of introducing you and making you memorable…. or not. {Did you catch Part 1 of “Designing a knock-out business card? It takes a journey through how to choose colours, fonts, images, textures and more so you can figure out how to best convey your business’s style. You can find Part 1 here.}

Today’s post covers the practical aspects – graphic design basics, and the technical stuff you need to know to get the result you’re after. But first up, here’s a bunch more inspiration to get your creative juices flowing (again,they’re all standard size business cards to prove that you’re really only limited by your imagination).

 

 jan sabich

make your card useful like this one from jan sabich

 

collage-style from jean ming (front & back)

show off your skills like this collage-style from jean ming (front & back)

 

 Melody Nieves - pirate-style treasure map

make it fun – pirate-style treasure map from Melody Nieves

 

scratchie-style

add some whimsy and mystery with a bit of scratchie-style

 

tiny twiggette - letterpress

tiny twiggette – gorgeous in letterpress

 

show off your surface design portfolio - the beginnings

show off your surface design portfolio – the beginnings

 

involve your customers - fill in the blank for kim bost

involve your customers – fill in the blank for kim bost

 

Size

As I mentioned in the last post, the standard size for a business card is around 55mm x 85mm (2″ x 3.5″). These vary a bit from printer to printer, so always check.

Other sizes or shapes can be very attractive and certainly make your card stand out, but they’re usually much more expensive, AND if it won’t fit into a wallet or business cardholder, it’s probably less likely to be kept in a usable spot by your potential customer.

 

Printers

Now, of course you can make your own business cards, especially if you’re involved in the handmade industry. However, if you’re not careful these can very much end up looking home-made and cheap. So unless you’re feeling particularly confident about your abilities, I would avoid them.

There are two other ways to go – if you’re not confident about making the images yourself, you can take your ideas along to your local printer (who usually have in-house designers to put your design ideas into a finished printable format), or you can use one of the many online printing venues (such as MOOSaltprinttinyprints, JukeBox, GotPrint, or google one in your area) who will let you upload your own designs and they print them for you. Most of these also provide you with a downloadable template that you can use in your favourite image editing software,and they will also give you some tips on what to do and what not to do.

When you’re designing your own images to upload you need to also include a small amount (about 3mm) around the outside for bleed. These also vary from printer to printer, so do check.

 

Letterpress

Letterpress has a wonderful texture as the process results in embossed card which adds a high-end handmade feel. They’re most often handprinted by small workshops, and are therefore much more expensive, and you are also limited to one or two colours. However, good letterpress looks absolutely fabulous and is definitely worth the money if you can afford it.

 

Digital Printing

When you’re printing from digital files, you need to work at around 300dpi (dots/pixels per inch = about  72 pixels per cm) or higher to ensure a crisp image. So, if you’re designing a card that is 85mm x 55mm plus a 3mm bleed on all edges = 91mm x 61mm, you need to work on a canvas that is around 6550 pixels x 4390 pixels.

In Photoshop, pull out some guides to show you where the bleed area is.  Go into “View/New Guide…” and then enter the positions of your guides (here the guidelines are shown in turquoise). You can go further and add in some more guides for the ‘safe area’ of where to put text so that it doesn’t look squished in a corner.

 

inserting guidelines in Photoshop

inserting guidelines in Photoshop

 

It’s important that you also work in CMYK colour, as that’s what the file will be printed in. If you work in RGB colour (which is what is used by monitors), when it gets converted to CMYK for printing some colours can end up looking very murky.

 

Graphic Design Basics

– Contrast. Use visual contrast to provide focal points in your design. Contrast in size, texture, colour, direction or shape can turn something monotonous into something interesting and beautiful. Don’t get carried away with too much contrast though; it can just end up looking messy.

Contrast is also important so that your contact details are easy to read.

When choosing fonts, the rule of thumb is to use only two fonts on any one document, three if you absolutely must. You can vary the size of the same font to provide interest and hierarchy.

Alignment. Alignment is about building visual relationships on the page or frame; making sure everything in your design relates to something else on the page. If it’s out of alignment, it looks messy and ill-considered. It’s really as simple as making sure all your text is lined up (either centred correctly, or justified to the left or right) – break out some more guidelines to help you with this, or you can use the Alignment tools in Photoshop.

If you’ve got a layered image in Photoshop, alignment is simple. In the first image there are three layers plus background. To centre align them with the background, you need to select all layers. Select all your layers by holding the shift key down and clicking on them all.

Then, click on the Move tool in the top left, and then the ‘centre’ icon on the top bar.

 

biz cARDS - ps ALIGN

 

To distribute them equally down the page, you need to only select the layers you’re moving, so deselect the background. Then click on the ‘Distribute’ icon in the top bar.

 

biz cARDS - ps ALIGN2

 

Alignment can also be used with text to indicate a different level of information. By indenting text from the line above it, we indicate that it’s a different type of information.

 

THIS IS A HEADING

This is the explanatory text.

 

– Hierarchy. Creating a hierarchy in your design is helpful in communicating what is the most important information. We can do this in various ways – through the use of different font styles and sizes (e.g. italic and bold, or all caps), and through Alignment (as above).

When you’re using small fonts though, make sure you don’t go so small that it’s hard to read. Legibility is vital! Don’t make your potential customers work too hard to get your contact information.

 

RepetitionRepetition of font styles, colours, shapes, etc., creates continuity and cohesiveness. Make it fit with your brand.

 

Space. DON’T crowd your cardLeave space – it looks better. Less is more.

Space can also be a useful thing for either your customers to write notes on about you and your goods and services, or for you to write a short thank you to your customers.

 

FINALLY.

DOUBLE CHECK EVERYTHING before printing. Get someone else to proof it too.
It’s embarrassing and/or expensive to find that typo after they’re printed!!!

 

*

 

Have you got a great business card already? Or you’ve got an okay kind of business card but you’re not quite sure what you can do to improve it? I’d love to see! Feel free to hop on over to my Facebook page and post a pic of your card and promote your biz at the same time!

Or have you got a burning question about business card design (or any other kind of graphic design or branding question) pop a comment below and I’ll get you an answer. Your question might just be the one to help another small business too – share the love! 

Julie x

Small biz how-to : Designing a knock-out business card {Part 1}

Business card design:

It’s an exciting thing when you give your card to someone and they say, “That looks great!! Can I have another one to share?” Or they turn to the person next them and say “Hey, look at this!”

Awesome, huh!?

 

duct tape and glitter - via businesscarddesignideas.com

duct tape and glitter – via businesscarddesignideas.com

 

Have you kept other people’s business card just because they look great? Get them out and have a think about why that is.

A while ago, I came across this trick to help you figure out some things about effective business card design. Find all the business cards you can and lay them out on the table. Close your eyes for a few seconds and then open them. Guaranteed some of them will grab your attention straight away – pick those ones out and analyse what it is that grabbed you. Colour? Images? Great font or logo? Vertical layout? Texture? What else?

 

patterns via anamublog.com

patterns via anamublog.com

 

 rio mas by melisa sceinkman - via pastemagazine.com

rio mas by melisa sceinkman – via pastemagazine.com

 

angela and evan photography - via factorynorth.com

angela and evan photography – via factorynorth.com

 

candle belle by alan cheetham - via pastemagazine.com

candle belle by alan cheetham – via pastemagazine.com

 

david and claire wedding invite - via fellowfellow.com

david and claire wedding invite – via fellowfellow.com

 

making lemonade - via designrfix.com

making lemonade – via designrfix.com

 

jane lindeman - via moo.com

jane lindeman – via moo.com

 

thedarlingroom - via webdesignerdepot.com

thedarlingroom – via webdesignerdepot.com

 

{Except for the last one, I’ve chosen the above examples for their simplicity and effectiveness on a standard size business card. Click the images for the original source.}

 

Business card design can be a fabulously effective tool for your business. Or not. Remember ever tossing a boring business card in the bin? Sure you do. You don’t want yours to suffer that fate, do you? So, make it interesting. And remember, your business card is NOT there to show and say everything about who you are; it should be a introduction, a conversation starter. Use them to showcase your work and style. And it DEFINITELY needs to fit with your brand. {Have you got that sorted? Here.}

 

Your Layout.

– The weight of card makes a big difference to how your business is perceived. Heavier card sends a message of quality; flimsier cards send a message of cheapness. Don’t print your cards on anything much less than 300gsm (grams per square metre) – anything thinner feels like throwaway material.

– The texture of your card can add another level of class – of course there is the standard choice of matt or gloss, but you can also get textured cards, or even letterpress embossed.

Other materials:  If you’re prepared to pay, you can get cards made out of lots of different things, for instance wood, metal or transparent plastics.

– Special sizes and cuts:  A standard business card size is 84mm x 55mm (3.5″ x 2″). You can really make your card stand out by making it an unusual shape or size, but that will add to the cost. Simple rounded corners on a standard size card don’t usually cost much, but I’ve also seen circular ones from a smallgoods store that look like a slice of salami, and one from a furniture maker that folds out into a miniature chair. Another trade-off to consider is that it’s harder for your customer to carry or keep if they have a standard business card holder (although, is your ideal customer likely to have one of those things?).

– Readability is important. Overly fancy or stylised fonts, or even something that is too small…. don’t use’em. You want to communicate clearly.

Images: Especially useful if you’re a photographer, artist or a maker. Great images of your work can act like a sneak peek into your portfolio. Cover one side of your card to serve as the main ‘face’, and print your details on the other side.

Borders: Don’t use a layout with a border; even a tiny shift in alignment of the cutters at the printer will result in lopsided borders (which is why when you’re designing a card, they usually allow a ‘bleed’ area of around 3mm).

 

It’s For More Than Just Your Contact Details.

If you make your card useful, people are more likely to hang onto it too. Include a discount code towards the next purchase, include a map, a ruler, or handy reference info that is relevant to your work.When you make your card useful AND pretty, you send a message about your business as a provider of useful stuff.

 

What to Put On Your Card.

It’s so easy to connect with people once you have a website. And when you overload your business card with too much text it looks messy and yuk. So keep it simple, and remember that “Less is More” (my fave quote from one of my fave architects).

Absolutely essential:
– business name.
– website (preferably just the one – don’t confuse people).
– contact details eg email addy.

Possibly:
– business tag line or description (if you think it’s necessary to explain what your business is about).
– an image of your work.
– further contact details if it’s appropriate – a street address, phone number, your name, your job title.

Probably not: {because don’t clutter your card with unnecessary information.}
– social media. It’s not what your business card is for; if people want to connect with you, they’ll find the info when they go to your website.
– multiple web addresses. don’t confuse people. One, or two at the most.

 

*

 

 

So get designing!! In Part 2 of this post, I will go through some basics of graphic design so that you get a REALLY fab looking card, and some of the technical stuff of printing so that you get exactly the result you want.

See you then!!
Julie x

 

LAUNCH!! Visual Business : Small Business Branding

YAY! It’s here!

After months of preparation, this is it; ready to take you to the next level in your business.

It’s my new e-book, “Visual Business”, and it’s aimed specifically at people like you with indie businesses, who want to improve their online presence, but don’t have the time to research all the stuff you need to make it happen.

When you’re not quite sure where to start because we humans are a walking bundle of quirks and contradictions. How do you get clear on who and what you are? When you know you’ve got style, but you don’t know how to convey that in your website/shop banner/business card/product photos/whatever. AAARGH!

When you’ve bootstrapped yourself this far, and you want to get professional-looking without having to sell off your first-born.

You want to communicate your style to the world. You want to be able to deliver a consistent message about who you are and what you do. You want your customer to want you, because you and only you have exactly what it is that they need.

 

visual business bookcover 2 final 350x306

 

page excerpts 3 turquoise

Here’s what’s inside.

– Getting started – your introduction to Branding for Small Business, and instructions on how to get the best value out of the book and its worksheets.

– Identifying your Business Personality in words AND in images, and sending a clear message about who you are.

– Identifying your ideal customer so you can speak their language

– Perfecting your products and identifying your Point of Difference

– All about colour and how to choose the right ones for you

– Choosing the right fonts for your business

– Graphic design basics : how to put your ideas together in a professional way and make them look fabulous

– A list of resources that you can use now, and for when you’re ready to grow in the future.

 

Each of the six chapters comes with its own worksheet, designed to engage and enlighten you, and to equip you with the knowledge and confidence to bring your own brand to life.

I wrote this book because creating a cohesive shopfront  and brand is the one thing that small business owners like you identify as their biggest problem. “How does my shop look?” “How can I improve my product images?” “I’m not sure about my shop banner – what do you think?”

I wrote this for small business owners because I truly believe everyone is capable of good design when equipped with the right tools and knowledge. I draw on many, many years of experience as a qualified teacher, designer and artist so that you get the skills and the thought-provoking prompts to build your business and your brand step by step to reach your right people.

You can do it. You’re ready to shout your brand to the rooftops! Get started NOW.

 

click here:25 LAUNCH DISCOUNT

SPECIAL!! Everyone gets a 25% discount for the launch, with the code 25BRANDME at checkout –
that makes it $30 instead of $40!

 

(OR you can join the mailing list and get a 40% DISCOUNT CODE. Available for a very limited time only!! $24 instead of $40)

SUBSCRIBE FOR 40

Design fundamentals: Gestalt (rhymes with Salt)

Well OK OK OK, Gestalt NEARLY rhymes with Salt, but it depends  a bit on where you live in the world and who taught you about it.

Anyway the question really is, what IS Gestalt and why is it important to design?

Gestalt theory came about in the 1920s when a group of German psychologists realised that our minds love to organise things because it makes them easier to understand. We tend to look at the whole rather than the individual parts, and compensate for missing information. We tend to group things together if we can, and we’re pretty good at recognising differences and similarities within a group.

These ideas are absolute gold when it comes to graphic design, but they are also fabulous for other types of design when you want to create something that’s very satisfying to look at and use.

There are five main principles – Similarity, Proximity, Closure, Continuation, and Figure and Ground.

 

similarity

When we see objects that are similar, we tend to see them as a group, like in these ceramic teacups. We also tend to appreciate the small differences between them more – I love these beautiful textures and small, delicate patterns.

{all images are linked to their respective sites]

tisaneinfusion -ceramic cups (unfortunately the site is all in japanese)

tisaneinfusion – ceramic cups (unfortunately the site is all in Japanese, so I can’t give you any more information)

It’s also a perfect principle in graphic design; for instance, using the same font throughout a piece gives it cohesion.

 

When there are multiple elements that are very similar and one element is obviously different this creates a disruption, which is useful for creating an interesting focal point, as in this necklace.

Kaspia Gasparski - necklace

Kaspia Gasparski – necklace

 

proximity

When elements are close together, we often perceive them as a single object, even if the elements are not the same. The effect is heightened here because of the obvious reference to another, different object.

yetiland - sweet music

yetiland – sweet music

Likewise in graphics, you can group different types of information together. For instance on your business card, you would group all your contact information together, and separate it from the logo/company name.

 

continuation

This is where your eye is drawn along a line or curve, and even if there is a gap or interruption your mind will project that line and connect it to any line or object beyond to form a continuous flow. Kind of like how you see leaves along the length of vine, or a teeny weeny flower at the end of a stalk, or your eyes follow a dashed line across the page.

 

figure and ground

Figure and ground refers to how we interpret the 2D shapes in front of us. In most instances, we see objects (figure) on a background. However, sometimes these can be cleverly swapped to become an alternative image. Often, we can’t see them both at the same time so we constantly switch between the two.

I love this poster for its succinctness. I certainly don’t condone smoking, but Jim Jarmusch is pretty cool. And I do like coffee.

 jim jarmusch poster

jim jarmusch poster

 

closure

This is definitely where our head fills in the gaps, so it can make sense of what it sees. In this wonderful illustration by Emiliano Ponzi the missing person is obvious, as is the emotion of the situation.

emiliano ponzi - divorce with regret

emiliano ponzi – divorce with regret

 

 

There’s heaps more to Gestalt of course, it’s an absolutely fascinating area of design, and so so useful in helping you make designs that are satisfying, interesting and very appealing!

 

I’ve written more about Gestalt in my new book on branding for small biz, due out shortly… If you’d like to get onto the early birds list and nab yourself a copy REAL cheap (like around half-price), REAL soon (like about a week!), just jump on board with your email address below (and you’ll get your bonus Biz Style workbook too). I’ll be sending out all the details in the next newsletter.

 *

Do you have any burning questions about Gestalt or about branding? Or you just don’t know where to start? Leave me your questions in the comments below – I’d love to hear!

Julie

Repeating Patterns in Illustrator Made Easy: The Pattern Making Tool (CS6 & Newer)

Repeating Patterns : tutorial by Sew Heidi

Repeating patterns in Illustrator used to be a very manual process and more than a little bit frustrating. With the introduction of the Pattern Making Tool in CS6 (if you’re in CS5 or earlier, you won’t have access to this feature), patterns became simple to make and included amazing features such as live preview and half drops.

To make a pattern, start with an assortment of motifs that you want to use. Select those motifs with the Selection Tool and choose Object > Pattern > Make.

 

01_illustratorstuff com_pattern_making_tool

 

Upon choosing Object > Pattern > Make, 3 things will happen:

A dialog box will appear (unless you have done this before and previously checked “Don’t Show Again”). This dialog essentially says that you have created a new pattern swatch, and that any changes you make to the artwork will be applied to the swatch until you exit Pattern Editing Mode (see #2). Click OK.
You will enter into Pattern Editing Mode (if you are familiar with Isolation Mode, this is similar to that). This means that you are working inside a pattern, making edits to it. You will know you are in this mode because of the info along the top of the document (and all other artwork besides the objects in your pattern will not be visible or editable).
The Pattern Options panel will open (#3). There are some basic features in here we’ll cover shortly.

 

02_illustratorstuff com_pattern_making_tool

 

Your pattern will now be shown in repeat, giving you a preview of what it will look like. Depending on settings, you may have fewer or more tiles and they may look dimmed or not. We’ll go over those settings shortly, but for now you should see some sort of repeat.

 

03_illustratorstuff com_pattern_making_tool

 

Now let’s review some of the tools and settings in the Pattern Options panel.

Pattern Tile Tool: Click this to manually change the pattern tile size (the single tile of artwork that repeats to create the pattern). You will notice the box around the pattern tile (blue) will change to look like a bounding box which you can manually drag to resize (occasionally the Pattern Tile Tool is buggy and gets stuck, not allowing for resizing – if this happens, you can input measurements in the Width/Height fields in the Pattern Options panel). Once you are done editing the tile size, click the Pattern Tile Tool again or switch to any other tool on the main Illustrator Tool Bar.

04_illustratorstuff com_pattern_making_tool

 

Tile Type: By default this will be set to Grid (also known as a straight repeat) where the tiles repeat in a grid. Click through these to see how different tile types change your pattern. The most common besides Grid is Brick by Column (also known as a half drop). NOTE: If you choose a Brick by Column or Row, you can choose what the offset is. Default is 1/2, meaning each repeating tile is offset by half.

 

05_illustratorstuff com_pattern_making_tool

 

Copies: This controls how many copies of the pattern you will preview. If your repeat is really large, you may want to set this to a smaller number, and if your repeat is really small, a larger number may work best.

Dim Copies to: This is a setting I frequently turn on and off. Dimming copies can be very helpful when manipulating artwork so you can see which motifs are copies and which are the actual editable motifs, but previewing the repeat may be best done with this turned off so you can see the artwork in full opacity.

 

06_illustratorstuff com_pattern_making_tool

 

Now that we’ve gone through all the basic settings, play around with your pattern. I’ve added some more motifs (you can use tools and edit artwork inside Pattern Editing Mode just like you would work normally in AI) and adjusted the tile size to create a nice repeat.
NOTE: You cannot use a pattern within a pattern. If you try to create a pattern with an object that has a pattern, you will get a dialog box advising this cannot be done. To get around this, you can add an object with a pattern while inside Pattern Editing Mode, but understand that the pattern will be expanded within the artwork. Complex visual attributes such as pattern brushes and effects will also be expanded if used inside of a pattern. A dialog box warning you about this will appear upon exiting Pattern Editing Mode.

 

07_illustratorstuff com_pattern_making_tool

 

Once your pattern looks good (don’t worry you can always go back and edit it), you can exit Pattern Editing Mode one of 4 ways.
Click “Done” in the top left corner of the document
Click the arrow in the top left corner of the document
Double click anywhere except directly on an object (careful not to do this accidentally while you’re editing, or else you’ll have to re-enter Pattern Editing Mode)
Hit Esc on your keyboard

07-1_illustratorstuff com_pattern_making_tool

 

Upon exiting, you’ll be taken back to your Artboard where your original motifs will look the same as they did before making your pattern, and you’ll notice your swatch has been added to the Swatches panel.

08_illustratorstuff  com_pattern_making_tool

 

You can now use the swatch like any other swatch within your artwork.

 

09_illustratorstuff com_pattern_making_tool

 

If you want to edit the pattern, double click on the swatch thumbnail from the Swatches panel. This will put you back into Pattern Editing Mode where you can make any changes. NOTE: Changes made to this pattern swatch will affect all instances of the swatch in your artwork. If you want to make a new swatch, duplicate it and edit the copy.

Much easier than doing it manually, the Pattern Making Tool released in Adobe Illustrator CS6 will allow you to focus more on making awesome designs and less on fussing over repeats. Enjoy!

Repeating pattern artwork & romper illustration compliments of Illustrator Stuff.

 

+++++

Sew Heidi is a fashion tech evangelista focused on using Illustrator for fashion.  She also is co-founder of Illustrator Stuff, an online marketplace for vector fashion flats, repeating patterns and more.

Small biz how-to : HTML basics ~ 5 commands you should know

HTML BASICS
headless chicken by barbaranashop on etsy

headless chicken – artwork by barbaranashop on etsy

{here}

 

Do you look at other people’s blogs and sites and sigh wistfully at how fab they look and wonder how they get it looking like that? Are you scared witless by all the techy stuff, and just go with whatever the program spits out for you? What the hell is “html” anyway?

 

You don’t have to be scared of html – the basics are easy peasy! And a few simple words of code can really make your text
pop.

 

There’s lots of places you can use tags – in your blog posts or websites (if you’re in Blogger, there’s an “HTML” button at the top left of your “compose” screen, or if you’re in WordPress, use the “text” tab at the top right of the screen), on your emails and so on. You can also use it in a lot of the comment boxes that are on other people’s sites (you can do it on my blog here – read the rest of this post and then go ahead and leave me a formatted comment, I dare you! 🙂 ).  Once you know what to look for, you’ll find lots more places to use it too!

HTML stands for “hypertext markup language” and is basically a coding language that tells the computer how to format your screen page – where to put images, and what your text should look like (big, small, colourful). It operates with a system of tags that are used within a very specific set of rules, or syntax.

Tags are the various commands you can use in html and are always written inside the symbols “<” and “>”, and syntax is the order they are required to be written in for them to work properly. Each tag has two parts – one to show when the special formatting starts, – <command>, and one to show when it ends – </command>. For instance, when I’m writing something and I want to make the word “large” bigger,  I would write the html like this :

<big>large</big>

and it would look like this – large.

Easy, right?

 

So here are my absolute favourite tags that I use all the time.

1. Bold or italic :

In lots of places, changing your text to bold or italic is as simple as clicking on the “B” or “I” button at the top of your page. But what that actually does in html is insert tags – for bold, html uses the tags <b> and </b> ; italic uses <em> and </em>.

 

2. Text size :

There are a few different ways to change the the text size (including using headings of course!), but at its simplest, you can make the text small by using the tags <small> and </small> (great for subtexts); and making it larger by using the tags <big> and </big> for something that’s important, but not quite worthy of bold or capitals.

<small>little</small> = little
<big>large</big>         = large

 

3. Centre, left and right.

Again, often these formats are easily managed with the on-screen text editor, but it’s still useful for those times when it isn’t available, like when you’re loading widgets into your side bar. Usually, the default is left-justified text. But there may be occasions when you need to actually specify it.

It all starts with the paragraph tag. This is shown as <p> (insert your choice of text here) </p>.  This will insert a paragraph break after the closing  tag.

The obvious reason to have centre, left and right in with the paragraph tag is because you can’t centre one word in a sentence, unless it’s on a different line to the next words. So, the tags become

<p style=”text-align: center;”>centre</p>

which looks like this;

 

<p style=”text-align: left;”>left</p>

which looks like this, and

 

<p style=”text-align: right;”>right</p>

which looks like this.

There are many other “style” tags to choose from too.

 

4. Colour

Colour is another very favourite thing. Sure, in many instances, your editor will have a built-in colour option, but it may only offer you a limited range of colours. You can get any colour you want by editing the hex key part of that tag – that’s the 6-letter/number combo that appears after the # in the colour tag.

The tags for crimson look like this – <span style=”color: #e31e3c;”>crimson</span>

And yellow looks like this – <span style=”color: #f9d53f;”>yellow</span>

 

5. Hyperlinks

This is THE beauty of html!!! Hyperlinks allow just about anything – images OR text – to be clickable – speeding you through the interwebs as fast as your carrier will take you….

Want to find more about nudibranchs? Click here!
Want to find out how to service your sewing machine? Click here!
Heck, do you want to find out more about tractorgirl? Well then, click here!

Hyperlinks are the bread and butter of the internet. They take the format

<a href=”[site address here]” target=”_blank”>[text]</a>.

I KNOW that looks like a big slab of stuff to remember to write, and don’t you dare get even one character in the wrong order or your link won’t work… 8(

So here’s my secret – copy and paste the hard stuff!! When something else is doing what you want it to (like a hyperlink, or some of the trickier text formatting), copy and paste the whole lot of the html, and then just edit the bits you need.

To produce the hyperlink to my Facebook page, I would write

<a href=”https://www.facebook.com/tractorgirlmakes” target=”_blank”>Facebook page</a>.

If you want to make the image clickable (like the fabulous Headless Chicken at the top of this post {btw, </head> means “the end of the head section of text”}, then you need to write this string of code, which firstly tells the editor the site address to go to when it’s clicked (shown in red), and then where to find the image (shown in green. It’s stored in my WordPress files, hence the ‘tractorgirl.com.au’ at the beginning of the address). It also tells the editor how big to make the image (570px wide x 570px high).

<a href=”http://barbarana.etsy.com” target=”_blank”><img class=”aligncenter size-full wp-image-11790″ src=”http://tractorgirl.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/html-basics-barbaranashop-etsy-headless-chicken.jpg” alt=”headless chicken by barbaranashop on etsy ” width=”570″ height=”570″ /></a>

Like I said, when it gets complicated, just cut, paste and edit – it’s absolutely what I do! So go and set up a few draft posts on your blog and have a play; the more you practise, the more sense it will make. Trust me.

 

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OK!! got all that? Now, I want you to leave me a comment using tags. For instance, if you write <i>fabuloso!!</i> it will look like this – fabuloso! (Hey, you could even just copy and paste that red bit…) Don’t worry if you don’t get it right the first time – have fun and experiment! And if you use the tips above to make your blog prettier, tell me about it, and leave a link 🙂

 

Julie X