Sunday, April 30, 2017

The Best Horror Movies On Netflix

The Best Horror Movies On Netflix

Netflix and chill? More like Netflix and… kill. Okay, now that we’ve got that out of our system, let’s talk about how the red-colored streaming video service has become an incredible destination for […]

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Saturday, April 29, 2017

Mitsubishi Celebrates 100 Years Of Automaking By Electrifying Its First Car


Way back in 1917, the Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Company built its first — and only — car: the Mitsubishi Model A. Now, 100 years later, Mitsubishi Motors is paying homage to the vehicle that […]

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The Best Sci-Fi On Netflix Streaming

The Best Sci-Fi On Netflix Streaming

Being able to press a button and get a movie instantly sent to your TV is sort of the stuff of science fiction anyways, so it’s not surprising that Netflix has a pretty […]

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Get Into the Drone Game With These Entry Level Options


Drones are one of the latest gadgets that modern geek culture has sort of glommed onto. And what’s not to like? They’re basically the ultimate RC, and we’ve been tinkering for those for… […]

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Friday, April 28, 2017

‘Doctor Who’ Underrated Villain of the Week: Lake Ghosts


You know Daleks and Davros and Missy the Master, Angels and Silence hell-bent on disaster. But do you recall the most underrated Doctor Who villains of all? Each week, I will dig into […]

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The Handmaid’s Tale Shows How Easy It Is for Fascism to Become Normal


The Handmaid’s Tale premiered on Hulu on Wednesday, and it is hard to watch. Make no mistake though; you should absolutely watch it. It’s a masterful piece of television. I honestly can’t think of […]

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Matt Miner Unleashes Gwar-Mageddon Upon Us All…And It’s Bloody Good


Forged in 90s hellfire, the Gwar mythos is a violent, ongoing fart joke starring a crew of space orcs known as the Scumdogs of the Universe. Gwar fight, freebase, and fornicate their way […]

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The Game of Thrones Funko Pops!


Game of Thrones’ popularity has only skyrocketed in the last couple of years, and as such there have been a healthy smattering of new Game of Thrones-related figures, merchandise, and items for diehard […]

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High-tech Coffee Table Hides A Beer Fridge And A Huge Bluetooth Speaker


Most coffee tables stick to the time-tested formula of slapping a tabletop onto four legs. StoreBound thinks that you deserve something a little more high-tech than that. They’re crowdfunding a more modern take […]

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Parents Go to the School Dance in Riverdale and Ruin Everything


Last episode of Riverdale, we had an out-of-control teen kegger. This week? The big school dance. We are burning through teen drama set pieces like the season’s about to end. That’s appropriate, considering […]

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MovieBob Reviews: THE CIRCLE


Well, this really sucks. The Circle is the kind of bad movie that only be made by a talented cast: You have to be good at your job and committed to the craft […]

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11 Exercises You Can Do While Playing Video Games

Video Game Exercises

Summer’s on the way, and you might want to start thinking about your beach bod. But that doesn’t mean that you need to neglect your valuable geek hobbies. It’s totally possible to burn […]

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3 Ways to Fund Your Professional Website Development Project


You’ve launched a business but you still need a website; however, you’re not sure how to create one. You’ve seen DIY platforms like Wix, Weebly, and WordPress, but you also know people who have had a custom website developed.

Which route should you take? Though many people are perfectly happy creating their business website on free DIY platforms, going that route may come at a huge price you won’t notice until later on.

First, if you ever decide to switch platforms (and almost everyone does, to be honest), it’s almost impossible to export the data in a way that makes it easy to transfer. Instead, you’ll have to re-create your entire website from scratch.

Also, DIY platforms are severely limited, and when you’re a business owner it’s difficult to see why. The design may look great to you from the outside, but it might not have the functionality you need.

Plus, you won’t know until you start creating it. These are just some of the reasons people hire professional developers to construct a custom website they know will serve their needs from start to finish.

The biggest objection that keeps people from hiring a developer is the cost. But if you want a professional website that performs, there’s no way around it.

The good news is there are plenty of ways you can fund your website. Here are a few.

1. Find a developer who’s willing to accept monthly payments

It’s not unheard-of to find a website developer who is willing to accept monthly payments to develop your website. You’ll almost always have to provide 50% of the website cost up front in cash before the project begins, though.

Some developers will request that you pay the remainder on a timely schedule; others will request the remaining 50% at the conclusion of the job. Different developers will have different ways of charging for their work so it can vary greatly.

DavidAirey.com published an article with examples of 20 different developers who charge clients in different ways, with explanations for why they structure their payment schedules the way they do.

Since website projects generally take several months to complete, you could set aside a certain amount of money each month while the job proceeds, even if your developer doesn’t require monthly payments. That way, you’ll have a fair amount of the funds at hand by the end of the project.

Don’t be afraid to ask for a payment plan if you need one; just remember that developers sometimes put in hundreds of hours of work between payment cycles, so if you default on your side of the agreement, you could be leaving the developer high and dry.

2. Take out a small personal loan

If you haven’t filed the necessary paperwork to incorporate your business, you can’t take out a business loan. However, you may want to consider taking out a small personal loan to pay for your website.

Here are some things to keep in mind if you apply for a personal loan:

  • Lenders will use your debt-to-income ratio to determine whether you’ll be able to pay back the loan. So it’s a good idea for you to do the same. According to Personalloan.co, even when you have a high income that could more than cover your requested loan, if you have a disproportionately large debt level as well, then the lender might conclude that you would be a financial risk.
  • In this case, you’ll want to reduce the debt you owe; such as reducing your credit card balances to between 10% and 20% of the total limit on each card. You could also apply for a smaller loan and scale back the features of your website, or at least save the more elaborate items for a future update.
  • 3. Get status as a corporation

    Another way to fund your website is to get official status as a corporation. This will give you (as your business) access to lines of credit. The difference between taking out a business loan as opposed to a personal loan is that if you default on the former, you cannot be personally sued.

    Avoid negotiating the cost of your website

    Whoever said that everything in life is negotiable was probably not a website developer. The cost of building a website might seem high, especially if you’re getting quotes for a site that requires custom functionality.

    But if you add up all the time spent meeting with clients, making adjustments, taking phone calls, troubleshooting, and testing the project thoroughly, many website developers end up earning less than their hourly rate.

    Attempting to negotiate a lower price for a website isn’t the same as negotiating a lower price for a car. With a car, you can look up the value and know what it’s worth, so it’s fair to negotiate. You can’t do that with a website, which by definition, will be one of a kind.

    Instead of viewing a website as a burden of an expense, try to see it instead as the machine that will power your business and your brand, and generate your audience and platform.

    That’s what you’re actually paying for when you hire a professional developer.

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Thursday, April 27, 2017

ISS Solar Transit 2


The Dos and Dont’s of Newsletter Design


The important role newsletters play in attracting attention has really come to light in recent years. Not only is email supposed to have a larger reach than most social media channels, it also encourages a loyal following and is very action oriented.

Although social media is of course king for engaging with potential customers and maintaining relationships with current ones, its algorithms are becoming increasingly more complicated and difficult to stay on top of. Email marketing has remained constant and steady with email analytics easy to obtain and understand. Standing out from your competitors not only comes from a well-designed site with companies like this one, or from a steady social media presence, but also from going that extra mile with your marketing strategy.

In saying that, just how effective your business or organization’s newsletter really is, comes down to both the design and the content. With an abundance of newsletters arriving in our inboxes on a daily basis, the design of the newsletter is the first factor that will either grab a reader’s attention or lose it during that initial moment. Below are some tips to keep you on the right track.

Don’t use oversized images

The most common mistake seen in email marketing is the use of oversized images. Large images take a long time to load, and that leads to placeholder wireframes filling a large part of the newsletter when it’s first opened. That lack of content is not only frustrating to the viewer, but damaging to their perception of your communication. Make sure to use tools like TinyPNG to compress your images, and don’t use images with overlarge dimensions to begin with.

Do keep consistent branding

Whether designing for your own project or some clients of yours, if there is a clear corporate identity (CI), make sure to stick to it. For example, if a well-established company has a certain logo, typeface or color scheme, it’s crucial to adhere to this scheme. Not only does it reinforce the brand in the reader’s mind, but it makes it clear who the newsletter is coming from and conveys a sense of professionalism and capability on the part of the designer.

This still allows room to play around with design and messaging, but don’t let that get in the way of clearing expressing your client’s branding. Also bear in mind here the seasonal or festive timing of your newsletter.

Do create a sensible layout

Newsletters with a confusing or unappealing layout can be disastrous. They’re hard to read, and that means they’re hard to click on, reducing click-throughs and client traffic and making the campaign less effective as a whole. A good layout should evoke a pleasant reading experience and a desire to find out more.

Always make sure your design is responsive and flows cleanly onto different display sizes, from mobile to desktop.

Text must always be easy to read. Use a background color that complements the text color and ensures enough contrast for legibility, avoid dense blocks of text, and choose a font that’s well-suited to body copy. If your setting headings, make sure you pick a display font that’s legible but approachable.

Always be sure to set the call to action sections apart from your regular text – these parts must attract the attention of your readers. This is the perfect place to use a button or a linked image to emphasize the element in the reader’s mind.

Finally, if you’re specifying pixel sizes, keep your newsletter’s maximum width under 650 pixels. That’s the cut-off point for most email readers, and exceeding this will result in a truncated newsletter.

Don’t bury the lead

Every newsletter is sent to make the recipient do something. Whether shopping a new sale, checking out the latest news, downloading the newest version of your app, donating to a worthy cause or purchasing tickets to the next big show, newsletters exist to make people do something.
In most cases, this call to action takes the form of a link that the reader should click. That link should be incredible simple to find. It should be visually and thematically prominent in your newsletter’s design, using larger text, a colored button, a linked image, or something else visually attractive. No one should ever wonder why they received your newsletter.

Don’t go on too long

Lengthy newsletters are no one’s friend. In should be immediately obvious to your reader why they’ve received your message, what you want them to do, and why they should do it. Information should be organized in a clear and obvious hierarchy, using text and images to organize your narrative and make your intentions clear. Users also shouldn’t have to scroll too far to view the contents of your newsletter. A long table is not welcome, and most of the included content will often be ignored or glossed over, even if it’s something the reader would normally want to see.

Do use engaging imagery

Run-of-the-mill images won’t cut it for newsletter design. You need attention-grabbing images and make a reader look more closely. Keep in mind that you’re competing against an enormous volume of other emails, both commercial and personal, and yours needs to stand out from the crowd. Seek out professional, interesting and engaging imagery that will drag a reader’s attention to your call to action.

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Early Human History Gets Curiouser and Curiouser


For some time, experts have thought people first arrived in the Americas from the so-called “Old World” around 15,000 years ago. Early explorers would have come across the Bering Land Bridge from modern […]

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Best Star Wars Posters and Illustrations


Star Wars Day is just around the corner and I’m excited to share with you some of the best Star Wars illustrations and posters I was able to find on the Web. Enjoy and don’t forget to have a great Star Wars day this May 4th.

Star Wars Trilogy Posters

Star Wars Poster

Created by: Marko Manev / Las Vegas, NV, USA

Found here: Behance

Marko Maven is a conceptual mixed-media artist and illustrator born in Skopje, Macedonia. His work comprises print, editorial, and comic illustrations. His Star Wars Trilogy posters have a raw, detailed look. The design mixes realistic and minimalist elements to create a whole new concept. Each one of the Trilogy posters is tinted in separate color that aims to best represent the atmosphere of the movie.

Star Wars Tribute

Star Wars Digital Art

Created  by: Alessandro Pautasso / Turin, Italy

Found here: Behance

The digital illustrations of Alessandro Pautasso are a unique twist of modern, abstract realism that creatively mixes geometry with a complex color palette. His Tribute illustration series follow the same concept. His digital art is infused with a splash of rainbow colors. The main elements elegantly pop up on a clean black background.

Star Wars Ships Poster Series

Star Wars Posters

Created  by: Vesa Lehtimäki / Helsinki, Finland

Found here: Flickr, The Geek Twins

Vesa Lehtimäki, also known as The Avantaut, is a Helsinki-based photographer, illustrator, and a HUGO Award 2017 finalist. The creative work of this artist has influenced the visuals in The Lego Movie. Vesa’s work is on the Star Wars ship poster series is inspired by the work of popular artists like Justin Van Genderen and Sana Sini, but it also has its own unique twist.

Star Wars Digital Art

Boba Fett digital illustration

Created by: Dan Luvisi

Found here: Ego Alterego

Dan Luvisi is an accredited digital illustrator and concept artist with a vast resume of projects. His graphic novel, named Killbook of a Bounty Hunter, was sold to Paramount Pictures. His illustrations are realistic and unique in their own way. They have a high level of detail and use a complex combination of colors that create an immersive appearance.

Star Wars Insider Cover Illustration

Star Wars cover art illustration

Created by: Roberto Campus / Florida, United States / Copyright: LucasArts

Found here: DeviantArt

Roberto Campus is a Florida-based illustrator who has worked with various famous publishers, like Lucas Arts, Marvel, DC, and Penguin Books. His artwork varies from ultra realistic to anime style. The book cover illustration featured in this post was commissioned to him by Lucas Arts for the Star Wars insider magazine. The cover illustration shows Obi-Wan Kenobi in front of a wall filled with wanted posters.

 

Retro Star Wars Illustrations

Star Wars Poster

Created by: Markus Jansson / Falun, Sweden

Found here: Tie Fighters

These stunning retro Star Wars illustrations wonderfully combine the roaring 60s with the futuristic beauty of the Star Wars characters. The two posters feature R2D2 and C3PO in a matching style. Both characters have a vintage hero posture that bravely stares towards the sky. The blue background ideally matches with the bright yellow headings and makes the main elements of the design pop up.

 

Boba Fett Digital Illustration

Star Wars Grunge Poster

Created by: thedigitalnursery

Found here: Pinterest / Etsy

The Digital Nursery is an UK design shop hosted on Etsy. Pete, the shop’s owner, describes himself as a solo creative that works in print in packaging. His printed posters shop was inspired by the need to decorate his own walls.  All posters follow an Illustrator-based creative pattern and feature a rich color palette. This particular Star Wars poster has a grunge vibe and mixes textures with modern sans serif typography.

Alternative Star Wars Movie Posters

Star Wars illustration

Created by: Olly Moss

Found here: Booooooom

The creative artwork of the British designer Olly Moss has found its place among many bestselling books, movies, and games, like Harry Potter, The Firewatch, and others. His alternative Star Wars poster features an illustration of the silhouette of Dart Vader which frames a lonely forest scene with futuristic elements.

Star Wars Identities Posters

Star Wars Identities: The Exhibition

Found here: Star Wars Identities Exhibition

The Star Wars Identities Exhibition features different characters from the all-time popular movies by displaying them in a unique and creative way. The exhibition invites fans to find out their true Star Wars identity while exploring a fan world of 3d, mixed media, and digital art. This particular poster shows storm trooper’s silhouette formed by a group of storm troopers viewed from a top-down perspective.

 

Related articles:

Inspirational Showcase of Three-Dimensional (3D) Movie Posters

Evolution of Animation Film Posters from 1937 to Present

 

 

 

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