It’s been a while since I’ve shared some favorite fonts around here, but when I saw this bundle I had to share immediately! This gorgeous bundle of 20 fonts comes packed with beautiful typefaces worthy of any design work. 20 fonts for $20, can’t get much better than that! All the fonts in this bundle are fully PUA encoded meaning all the extra glyphs are available via Character Map and Fontbook (free programs on your PC/Mac). Below are a few of my favorites from the bundle. What an incredible bargain for only $20. This bundle will be available for a limited time only until April30th. Grab the Spring Fonts Bundle today and save a huge $280.
As you may already know, one of the most flexible, powerful, and smart ways to publish content online is by using WordPress software. And you may also already know that an even smarter way to use WordPress is with a framework… Frameworks are basically feature-packed parent themes. They are used as foundation blocks for custom made child themes that are powered by all the functionalities and features of the core theme/framework.
What good is a theme framework?
When you are on a time crunch but refuse to compromise with your theme’s code quality, that’s when you need a framework. So when you’re developing WordPress themes with a framework, almost half of your work is already done, and you have neatly arranged tools to help with the rest of front-end design.
Here’s what Studiopress has to say about frameworks: A theme framework (ours is called Genesis) is a robust WordPress theme that acts as a platform on which your WordPress website can be created. The Genesis Framework integrates all of the SEO, security, and performance features needed to help you have the best site possible. You can build your site on the Genesis Framework using the included sample child theme (it’s easy, flexible, and powerful enough for that), or you can purchase one of our many beautiful turnkey child theme designs to help you accomplish exactly what you want. It also “future-proofs” your site customizations, so there’s no hassle when it comes time to upgrade your software with one click. A child theme is the pure design element that rests on top of the framework — the cherry red paint job on that car. Or blue. Or black. Pink. Green. You get the idea. StudioPress has a great analogy based on automobiles to explain how frameworks work:
Why you’ll like the Genesis Framework:
Genesis by StudioPress is by far one of the most popular theme frameworks for WordPress. It’s perfect for WordPress developers of all levels of expertise. The Genesis Framework empowers you to quickly and easily build incredible websites with WordPress. Whether you’re a novice or advanced developer, Genesis provides the secure and search-engine-optimized foundation that takes WordPress to places you never thought it could go.
Genesis isn’t like other commercial themes; filled to the brim with features and options you aren’t likely to choose. It has clean code and necessary features which make it lightweight and quick-loading. This gives you an automatic advantage in SEO through better performance.
There is a $59.95 one-time purchase fee that includes the framework, unlimited updates, support and access to detailed tutorials. They also have a Pro Plus All-Theme Package which includes instant and unlimited access to every theme currently available in the StudioPress theme shop (plus support and updates). Get every theme they make, now and in the future, for ONLY $499.95 That’s a savings of almost $1200!
HTML5 is the latest markup standard across the web: Website’s built on HTML5 are responsive, cross-browser compatible, easily extendable (3rd party tools and services integrate better with a markup that’s universally accepted), and effectively future proof.
- You don’t have to buy themes from StudioPress when it’s super easy to create a WordPress child theme yourself. But you have the option available; there are hundreds of gorgeous ready-made child themes available for Genesis framework. You are limited only by your scope of knowledge in CSS, but the customization possibilities with child themes are still immense. And if you are a site-owner who cannot find the right child theme, you can hire developers from StudioPress to create one for your specifications.
- The framework lets you widgetize almost every part of your theme. It also comes with some very interesting widgets built in like User Profiles, Featured Posts, Featured Page, social media icons, etc, all easily available within frameworks or through plugins.
- Genesis lets you break the default layout confines and gives you half a dozen built in post/page layouts to implement on different pages as you see fit. This inventory of layouts can be extended through David Decker’ Genesis Layout Extras plugin.
The free plugins built especially with Genesis in mind really make it even easier to work with. They are all listed here. There is Genesis Simple Hooks for the meticulous developer, Genesis Sidebars, Sliders, Tabs, Menus and more for super-easy addition of interactive elements. Genesis Connect for WooCommerce makes all your Genesis themes WooCommerce compatible in few clicks. Few frameworks can boast of such a huge show of support in the form of dedicated plugins created by awesome developers.
Genesis itself follows WordPress standards all the way through. This makes it impeccably secure. The framework is also audited by core WordPress developer Mark Jaquith, who calls it “top of the class” in following all security practices recommended for WordPress themes, right down to consistent updates (we’ll get to that in a moment).
The Big 3 Search Engines (Google, Bing, and Yahoo) are in cohorts with Schema.org. And Genesis’ code works in tune with Schema.org markup. This helps search engines recognize and categorize your content easily: giving you relevance and visibility where it’s due (organic search results).
Community and Resources
There are over, 200,000 live websites powered by Genesis. Those are not the numbers you gain from being useless. Genesis has a huge community of developers, designers, and users who rely upon the framework to create and provide the best in class WordPress websites. They are also generally helpful and can be found helping out others in need on various social media platforms and community forums.
While StudioPress covers a great deal of the framework’s possibilities in their documentation and guides, other users haven’t been far off in creating some amazingly helpful tutorials too.
Configuring Genesis Framework Theme Settings:
These control the general configuration of your theme. Here’s how to set them up for maximum advantage:
This is straightforward. Information screen gives you the details about your current Genesis version and lets you enable automatic updates. Since you’ll be working with Child Themes anyway (your appearance changes won’t be lost) , it’s good practice to check the auto-update box.
When you check the boxes and enter your custom feed URLs, your traffic will be directed to the URLs you specify here instead of WordPress-default feeds. These options are only available if you’re using a custom feed via Feedburner or Feedblitz.
This is where you set the default layout for all pages on your site. This option is also available in WordPress Customizer. Keep in mind that child themes can contain as many of these options as you like, and more with custom coding. You can also add more layouts with Genesis Layout Extras plugin (as mentioned previously). Child themes with a widgetized home-page layout will work autonomously, regardless of this setting.
Breadcrumbs let your users keep track of where they are in your site’s navigation and how they got there in the first place. Example: Home >> Products >> Women >> Jackets >> Navy Blue Military Jacket
You can tinker with this setting through Genesis Theme Options or WordPress Customizer. The answer to “Where to enable breadcrumbs” depends entirely on how many pages your site has, content organization and hierarchy, and navigation.
Comments and Trackbacks
This is where you define the global settings for comments and trackbacks. Note that if you disable comments/trackbacks here, you can’t enable them on specific posts/pages.
Here’s a quick overview:
- Display: This has two options, Entry Content and Excerpt. The next setting is only applicable if you choose Entry Content. The Excerpt will be shown at WordPress default 55-words length.
- Limit Content to: Note that this specifies characters (including spaces) and not words. Again, this setting only applies if you choose to display entry content.
- Featured Image: Allows you to display a set featured image or the first image of every post. You can set the dimensions and alignment. Tip: Featured Images shouldn’t be shown if you are displaying entire content.
- Entry Pagination: This has two options, Numeric and Previous/Next. You can set archives and listing navigation to one of the two settings. Example, Google search results show up with Numeric pagination.
Blog Page Template
These are configuration settings for any page using “Blog” template. You can display a specific category or all of them. You can exclude categories (by ID only). And you can define the number of posts to show on each page.
Header and Footer Scripts
It’s just as easy to work with as it was to set up. More than a few of these settings are also added to WordPress Customizer, but Genesis has an ace up its sleeve: SEO settings, unique only to Genesis Framework and all subsequent child themes, but that’s a different topic altogether.
Remember to have fun with the framework, and if you get stuck, laugh it off. Everyone is ready to help you on Genesis and WordPress.
Author Bio: Tracey Jones is well known as a professional WordPress developer and writer by hobby who works for HireWPGeeks Ltd., a leading custom WordPress theme development company across the globe. When she is not busy with coding she loves to write useful blogs and articles about WordPress and new web design technologies.
*affiliate links used
A few weeks ago I was looking through my blog archives and noticed that I hadn’t shared photos of my office in over a year! I realized it was because my workspace was no longer inspiring and decided to do something about it! A home office upgrade, starting with a unique home office gallery wall, woo!
I didn’t want to do anything major, but I knew I needed to reorganize and maybe add a few new things. And that’s where Fab.com came to the rescue! I picked 5 new items (focusing on bright and modern styles) and everything else I already had. Fab.com is the ultimate source for vibrant, fresh and functional items from tech, art, home goods, accessories, and beyond. It was seriously hard to keep myself from buying everything on the site, but it’s crazy how just a few new items can really transform a space. Check out the rest of my office make-over and be sure to scroll all the way down for a $1,000 Fab.com giveaway!
c/o Fab.com: Palm Leaf and Sun Poster “Whoa” by Wacka | Bright Coral Storage Box Set of 2 by Present Time | Elephant Bookend Set by Design Ideas | HiRise iPhone/iPad Power Dock by Twelve South | No.5 Backpack Microstripe Denim by Proper Assembly
Books: 100 Habits of Successful Graphic Designers | Worn Stories | The Graphic Design Exercise Book | Graphic Design The New Basics | Big Magic | Blog, Inc. | The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up | The Meetup Guide
Looking to upgrade your every day? Fab.com is giving you a chance to win a $1,000 shopping spree! To qualify for entry, fill out the entry form over on Fab.com. The contest runs through March 15th, 2016. Winners will be chosen at random and announced on March 16, 2016. Fab will reach out directly to the winner via email to send $1,000 site credit.
I’m sure you’ve heard about how important having an email list is. Maybe you have one, maybe you’re waiting to come up with a plan before starting one, or maybe you have one set up, but are not sure how to get people to subscribe. There are tons of resources out there about growing your list, but today, in addition to giving you some tips, I also want to share my personal story. Specifically, how I increased my email subscribers by 600% in 1 month by changing just one thing. I implemented content upgrades.
So, you may be asking: what the heck is a content upgrade? It’s a pretty simple concept; content upgrades are free, bonus downloads relating specifically to your blog post. A content upgrade is different from a generic lead magnet, in that it’s directly related to a blog post (the content your readers are engaged in at that exact moment), which is why they are so effective. Here is an example:
You can use content upgrades to grow your email list by requiring visitors to enter their email in order to access the bonus content. It feels a little silly that it took me so long to figure out, but good news for you, I’m sharing the step by step so you don’t have to go through all the trial and error. I’m going to break down my four year journey in adding content upgrades to my blog, then explain how to approach yours in some simple steps.
My Personal Story of Content Upgrade Discovery
Let’s start from the beginning shall we?
- 2012: I started an email list with no rhyme or reason other than the fact that I was supposed to have one. It sat there slowly gaining anywhere from 0-20 subscribers a month.
- March 2014: I implemented a general lead magnet, but I’ll admit, I did not do it strategically. It was a collaborative ebook that I wrote an article in. I promoted the freebie to my blog and added a little blurb in my sidebar. I was happy to have a spike in subscribers that month and then I just forgot about it.
- March 2015: It wasn’t until over a year later, that I realized this very passive way of gaining subscribers was not enough. I actually started offering content upgrades to blog posts in 2012, but did not require people to sign up for my email list prior to downloading them. What was I thinking?! Looking back at it now, these worksheets have over 12,000 downloads. It almost makes me want to cry thinking of all those subscribers that I missed out on. Not all 12,000 downloads would have converted to email subscribers, but a lot of them would have!
- July 2015: I came up with a plan. I decided to create a private resource library to house all of these content upgrades. I went back and made all of these resources available only to those with access to the library (aka my email subscribers). I also continued to publish new posts with content upgrades.
Now that you know my story spanning over an extensive period of time, I’m going to show you how to implement this yourself. What took me years to slowly figure out, can be implemented in a few days by following the simple suggestions below.
How to Get More Subscribers By Using Content Upgrades
Create valuable content on your blog
This should be a blog post that is helpful to your audience. Figure out the types of problems that your readers are having in your field. What do you know that can benefit other people? Turn your readers problems into solutions. Amazing content is what will attract people to your site and keep them coming back.
Write evergreen content
Evergreen content is quality, useful content that will retain its value for a long period of time. Much like the timeless trees, your posts should be relevant for an extensive period of time. You are putting a lot of effort into this content, you don’t want it to become obsolete too quickly.
Create the upgrade
Create a resource that would make the content better. When you offer your visitors something that’s a perfect fit for what they came to your site for, they’re MUCH more likely to opt-in. Need some content upgrade ideas?
Add the resource to your site
Personally, I create a VIP library, where subscribers can access upgrades past and present, all in the same place. All they need is the password, which I send out in all of my emails. You can also deliver these upgrades individually through platforms like ConvertKit or Leadpages. I just switched to ConvertKit and am loving it!
Revisit your archives
Go back to high-traffic pages from your archives and add content upgrades to those evergreen posts that are still getting traffic.
Create shareable images
Pinterest is a top traffic source for many blogs so make sure to create a bold, vertical image that will stand out and give a clear picture of what the post is about. You can also highlight the content upgrade in the image to give people even more of a reason to click through!
Promote your posts
It’s not enough to just publish the post, you have to get some eyes on it. You really need to sell your content upgrade.
This strategy of content upgrades works much better than having a generic opt-in. You can see my stats below for proof of that. Aa generic lead management alone generated an increase, but my exponential growth cycle was prompted by the addition of strategic well-promoted posts that all had strategic content upgrades for readers to download.
An exponential increase in subscribers as noted above is something to consider when evaluating blogging strategies. To revisit our content upgrade strategy we: create valuable content, ensure we have evergreen content, create upgrades, add the resource to your site, revisit archives, create shareable images, and finally promote our new content enriched posts! I’m hoping that you too can find value in producing content upgrades for your blog. I know I have.
And what would a post about content upgrades be, without a content upgrade? Stuck on what your content upgrade items should be? I created a helpful list of 10 content upgrade ideas to help add value to your blog posts!
This is a fun post that I like to do at the beginning of each year before I start sharing some new favorite fonts. I have already featured a few of them here over the past year as some of my personal favorites. Did you have a favorite font in 2015? Without further ado, here are the most popular font releases in 2015 according to MyFonts.
As usual they waited until the very last moment to put the finishing touches to this list, giving the faces released during the last months of the year a fair chance to make the cut. Unlike most other Best-of-the-Year lists, this one is based on sales. Not simply the total sales volume across the year, as that would give the oldest font families an unfair advantage. They’ve looked at average sales over the year and during the successful introduction period; we made sure popular genres are fairly represented and they included no more than one font family from each foundry.
Hey y’all. I’m back from my little blog break. I hope that you had a wonderful holiday season and that you did something super fun to ring in the new year!!
I just want to say a big thank you for reading my emails and showing such amazing support. It was a pretty major year for me both personally and professionally, full of incredible opportunities and growth.
LOOKING BACK AT 2015
Here are some highlights in no particular order:
- After a full year of planning Kristy, Justin, and I produced the inaugural VenturePOP, the first ever creative entrepreneur conference in New Orleans.
- Launched a new ebook called Blogging With Intention
- Introduced the VIP Resource Library for email subscribers
- Got a puppy named Scrappy
- Continued to grow my product line.
- Worked with some amazing clients like New Orleans Film Society, Kelsey Berry Event Company, Race and Religious, Ellen Dolgen, Touro Infirmary Foundation, The Green Project and many more!
- Got married
- My design work was published on 100 Layer Cake, Hostess With the Mostess and 100 Layer Cakelet.
- Saw No Doubt play at Jazz Fest
- Regina interviewed me as a part of her Go Independent series and I wrote an article for her Blog In Print Magazine
- Celebrated 6 years of blogging and published over 60 blog posts with the help of my amazing contributors. Here are some of your faves:
LOOKING FORWARD TO 2016
I love helping people to grow their businesses whether it’s by sharing my knowledge through blog posts and e-books or creating brand identities allowing businesses to fulfill their greatest potential.
I want to help YOU and YOUR business! In 2016 I’ll be writing more about freelancing and design because it’s what I love to do and it’s what you’ve said you really want from me. If you have any design or biz struggles that you’d like me to go into on the blog or in a course, just let me know!
This year, I also decided I want to give my email subscribers some extra inspiration, so I’ll be including a new design each month that you can print yourself and display in your home or office (wherever you need a little encouragement). January’s already went out (see image above) but you can still purchase the design. It also comes on a mug so you can get your morning started right with this encouraging message.
Can you believe we are halfway through December! With all the holiday prep and business planning for 2016 this time of year can start to feel a little overwhelming right? Sometimes a simple desktop organization and wallpaper update can help me feel more focused and on track so I decided to design these two inspirational desktop wallpaper freebies for your computer and iPhone wallpapers.
This design uses one of my new favorite fonts, Fratello Nick. It’s a hand-lettered text with 1160 glyphs to play with. There are 15 fonts in the family. Both the Regular and Pro come in a variety of weights: Regular, Bold, Italic and Bold Italic. Also included are fun accessories like Initial Caps, 94 ornaments, 82 frames, two sets of Initial Caps (one allows you to insert special ornaments in the side insets!), a 3-letter Monogram font and three different Split Monogram fonts! (Each one has two different options when you type using upper or lower case… plain, flowers, bunnies, birds and butterflies!)
It can be simple and sweet or bring a touch of flair and whimsy to your project with any of its fun alternate letters. There are nine different uppercase alphabet sets! Check out Fratello Nick and, while you’re at it, browse the 49 other trending typefaces on the Hot New Fonts list. Annnnd the sweet Debi is offering you guys a special 50% off discount with code “cieradesign” when you purchase directly from her site through December 25.
There are so many great blogs out there full of amazing design resources, tutorials for hand-lettering and freelance business advice, but sometimes don’t you just want an old-fashioned book? I still love flipping through and bookmarking pages for inspiration. I’ve included some of my favorite graphic design related books here, all of these graphic design books would also make amazing gifts for the creative types in your life!
The Best Graphic Design Books:
- Type Rules: The Designer’s Guide to Professional Typography
- Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative
- The Anatomy of Type: A Graphic Guide to 100 Typefaces
- Work for Money, Design for Love: Answers to the Most Frequently Asked Questions About Starting and Running a Successful Design Business
- Creative Lettering and Beyond: Inspiring Tips, Techniques, and Ideas for Hand Lettering
- How to be a Graphic Designer, without Losing Your Soul: Straight-talking Advice on How to Establish Your Design Career
- Freelance Design in Practice: Explaining exactly what it takes to create a full-time freelance business
- Creative, Inc.: The Ultimate Guide to Running a Successful Freelance Business
- Little Black Font Book: the go-to resource for designers and typographers looking for the perfect font
- In Progress: See Inside Jessica Hische’s Sketchbook and Process
- Logo Design Love: A Guide to Creating Iconic Brand Identities
- Thinking with Type: A Critical Guide for Designers, Writers, Editors & Students
Thanksgiving is this week (I really can’t believe it!), so it feels like the perfect time to release the 2015 Ciera Design Studio greeting card collection! For 2015, I’ve continued with many of the best-selling designs from previous years, in addition to 6 new designs (seen below) which I am so excited about! These designs are all live in my Etsy shop and ready for you to send a happy holiday greeting to family and friends, include with that perfect Christmas gift or you can even frame and hang on your wall for some festive decor! I’ll be having some amazing sales each day from Black Friday through Cyber Monday. It will be a different sale each day so make sure to follow me on Instagram where I will be announcing the promo codes each morning!) Don’t want to wait? Head to the shop now!
Dear type lovers, meet Lifehack – a casual script with a huge personality. Warm, amiable and organic, yet elegant, it is perfect if you want to convey individuality and style. The Lifehack family consists of the original Lifehack script, an Italic version, a narrow handdrawn Sans and a Basic version of limited glyph set with letters that do not connect.
All fonts in the Lifehack family work easily together to create visually appealing logos, packaging, presentations, headlines or editorials. The combination of casual sans and a script has proven useful many times and thus preferred both for print and web.
When it comes to OpenType features, Lifehack comes with swashes, stylistic alternates and initial/terminal forms for you to give a custom flare to your designs. All fonts have several weights and a lovely collection of goodies – various ornaments, borders and ribbons that complement the fonts’ charm and uniqueness. And of course, I have a sale for y’all, Lifehack casual script font is a whopping 65% off until December 5, 2015!
If you follow me on Instagram, then you already know that I went to Tulum, Mexico for my Honeymoon last month! I had been hearing a lot about Tulum lately and had to check it out for myself, and well, it totally lived up to the hype, I definitely want to visit again! I have so many photos it was impossible to narrow it down even this much! While it’a all fresh in my brain I wanted to write a guide of our favorites things from the week we were there!
There are really two separate areas to Tulum, the town and the beach/jungle. The beach area is one long road with small boutique hotels, yoga, spas, swanky restaurants (with $100 dinners), shops and a bohemian feel.
Then there’s the town, which is more authentic with local hole in the wall restaurants (with $10 dinners), dogs roaming around, hostels and gift shops.
Food + Drink Tulum – In Town
Batey – Our first day in Tulum we stumbled into Batey after seeing that they had wifi – we didn’t really know our way around so needed to look a few things up. After we ordered our drink, they brought us some little bruschettas which were amazing, then our cucumber and basil mojitos arrived, complete with a fresh piece of cane sugar, oh, my – so good! They have an awesome courtyard, live music, movie nights and Zander became besties with our waiter. We found ourselves back at Batey a few time on this trip including for Halloween night!
Pollo Bronco – A little casual corner spot with yummy whole chicken with rice, cole slaw and cokes. They are all “Mexican Cokes” in Mexico!
El Tacoqueto – It felt more like I was walking into someone’s home, rather than a kitchen and that made it even more intriguing! No one was speaking English so we stepped up to the counter to see what they were serving. There were huge serving dishes full of juicy, delicious options. We pointed to the one that looked the best, pollo en adobo, and moments later they brought a huge plate to our table. Sooo amazing and authentic.
One Tulum – If you want mezcal, this is the spot. They had unique cocktails and such nice bartenders.
Antojitos La Chiapaneca – You have to go here! It was full of locals and they had the BEST el pastor tacos! Zander and I ordered a bunch of different tacos and they have all kinds of topping out to add whatever you like to your dish!
El Camello Jr. – When we sat down they brought out chips, pico de gallo, habeero salsa and “special beans”. We ordered a small shrimp ceviche for an appetizer but even with two people we didn’t finish it. I’ll admit, I was scared to order the whole fried fish, but that’s what everyone said to get, so we did it, and it was surprisingly easy to eat and was so amazing!! It came with rice, beans and steamed veggies. Zander and I split everything and had a few beers for a total of about $15, that’s my kind of meal!
Food + Drink Tulum – Beach/Jungle
While in the beach area, we mainly just relaxed at spots and grabbed cocktails as we slowly wandering down the road, so I don’t have much to say about the food along the beach road.
La Zebra – we didn’t think it was the best food but it was a nice view on beach and had good cocktails, I heard it’s a good place to go dancing at night!
Taqueria La Eufemia – grabbed a quick beer on the beach, loved the casual, relaxed atmosphere
Zamas – Nice atmosphere and view of the water. Good drinks, awesome guacamole and nice people. Will definitely go back.
Things to do in Tulum
Beaches – I’m totally a beach girl, I can lay there for hours listening to the waves. Along the beach roads each hotel has there own area with lounge chairs and some even have fancy beds! Unfortunately, the water was not very nice when we were there, so we didn’t get into the water as much as I’d like.
Cenotes – Guys, I want to go to ALL of the cenotes. A cenote is a natural fresh water pool and they are gorgeous! We only had time to go to one, but if I ever go back, it’s on the top of my list to go to more. We went snorkeling in Dos Ojos and the Bat Cave through a local dive shop that we found in town. Truthfully, the bat cave was scary! We had to snorkle through this tiny tunnel with only a few inches of air above our heads. I almost didn’t do it, but after the fact, it’s a fun story and a great experience! We borrowed a GoPro and took a ton of photos but unfortunately couldn’t get in touch with the dive shop after we left to retrieve them, total bummer.
Tulum Ruins – The Tulum ruins were nice and had a really cool view down to the water. But it was SO hot on the day we want it was hard to take our time and read all the info.
Wander – One of my favorite things was to wander around with no destination. When walking around the small streets of the town we found markets, soccer games, teenagers fishing, local music, cool building, restaurant prep, kids going to school, Chihuahuas on roofs, men making tortillas and the local Halloween… we would have never seen these cool local things if we were sticking to a strict itinerary.
I really loved everything about Tulum, but in the end, I preferred eating in town. I liked the more hole-in-a-wall spots and the homemade style of food. And I liked the beach area for a nice breeze and for fancy cocktails on the beach. Hope you enjoyed this Tulum Mexico Travel Guide and let me know if you have any questions or favorites from your trip to Tulum! And don’t forget to pin this post if you are thinking about traveling to Tulum in the future!
Revista typographic system brings together all of the features you could ever need to undertake any fashion magazine-oriented project.
Revista harmoniously blends 26 different styles into a single family consisting of:
- a Didone uppercase and small caps family including variants ranging from monolinear thin to black with italics with an inline black variant that works as a decorative alternative
- a script family that includes 5 weights ranging from thin (monolinear) to black
- 2 sets of dingbats & complimentary ornaments in 3 different weights
I’m going to be totally honest with y’all here today… my goals for the Ciera Design Studio have been totally off track for the past few months. I got distracted by VenturePop and my wedding, and while those were two of the best days of my life, the studio is my livelihood and my passion and MUST move back up to the top of the priority list!
For the past few days, I’ve really been thinking about the future of the studio and what makes me happy – the simple answer is: helping people.
I love helping people to grow their businesses whether it’s by sharing my knowledge through blog posts and e-books or creating brand identities allowing businesses to fulfill their greatest potential.
All of this leads to one simple point: I want to help YOU and YOUR business!
In the next few weeks, I’ll be working on design packages, course plans and an editorial calendar for 2016 and want to know – what can I do to help you?
- What are your plans for growing your business?
- What is holding you back?
- How can I help make your goals a reality?
- If you could only choose one thing – how would you grow your business in 2016?
Just click the button below to fill out the survey. You can answer all of the questions or just one, if that’s all you have time for!
I’ll be taking every single response into consideration while I make business plans for 2016 because I want to help as many of you as I can! And if there is a specific product that you’d like to see from me in 2016, just let me know friend!
Earlier this year I was asked to participate in a styled shoot at The New Orleans Pharmacy Museum and I was SO excited. It’s a gorgeous and intimate venue right in the middle of the New Orleans French Quarter. Passing by you might not even notice it’s there, but once inside, you find a beautiful courtyard of greenery and old brick. Local event planner, Roses and Lace had the vision of a dip-dyed aqua and gold wedding and pulled together a team of some of the best in the New Orleans wedding industry. It was a true honor to get to work with them. The experience alone was a rewarding one but now I’m even more thrilled that our work was published on 100 Layer Cake! Here are a few highlights and I’ll be sharing more photos of the invitation suite later this month!
Concept and Styling: Roses and Lace / Photographer: Tasha Rae Photography / Location: New Orleans Pharmacy Museum / Flowers: Poppy & Mint Florals / Graphic Design & Paper Goods: Ciera Design / Hair & Makeup: McKenzie Hawkins / Calligraphy & Dessert Banner: SmallChalk / Cakes: Sweet Elizabeth Cakes / Vintage Furniture & Other Décor: Pret a Fete Event Rentals / Favors & Drinks: Locally Preserved / Dress: Blush Bridal and Formal Salon
Mirador is a powerful neoclassical font family designed for various usages — ranging from editorial and corporate design to web, interaction and product design. It is a contemporary take on high contrast typefaces that have never gone out of style — defined by elegance, tradition and timelessness. Although Mirador seems to be a display font at first glance, its proportions and design reveal a powerful and characteristic workhorse when set in smaller sizes. Mirador comes in 10 weights with matching italics. It is equipped with ligatures, a large set of alternative glyphs and many more opentype features. Y’all know I love to share a font sale and this one is big! Mirador is 86% off until November 1 so grab it now!
When my best friend told me she wanted to host a bridal shower for me I was so excited. Normally, I would design my own invitation, (because hello, that’s what I do) but with so many other wedding things going on, I forced myself to take a back seat on design and instead turned to Minted. I started by choosing an invitation design that I liked and my friends and mom went above and beyond with all the other details. My new last name is going to be White so my mom even made me custom “Mrs. White Wine” labels, how cute and clever! I’ll let the photos do the talking but everything was amazing, the decor, the food, the games, the company. This shower was so special to me, I’m a very lucky lady!
- Floral Canopy Bridal Shower Invitations
- Foil-pressed Table Confetti
- Foil-Pressed Table Runners
- Wanderlust Food Labels
- Paper Straws
Floral Canopy Bridal Shower Invitations, Foil-pressed Table Confetti, Foil-Pressed Table Runners, Wanderlust Food Labels and Paper Straws courtesy of Minted. Wine labels, signage and other decor courtesy of Graffiti Graphics and Crescent City Graphics.
Kelsey came to me looking for a chic, sophisticated and bold look to represent her high-end event company on Martha’s Vineyard. She wanted her brand identity to showcase what makes her company special, which is her deep dedication to each of her clients and a commitment to execute each event as if it was her own. Kelsey has strong community ties and a drive to make each event completely unique with very meaningful and personal touches.
After I collected inspiration on Pinterest, we moved on to finalizing the color palette and designing the main logo along with a few variations for different applications. As you can see from the moodboard we decided to go with a neutral color palette so that it leaves room for growth when the company starts to expand.
If you need a new logo, brand identity or a refresh for your business I only have ONE space left for this year and then I’ll begin booking for 2016.
I’ve got some fun news today! Remember these DIY Geometric Coasters that I created a while back? Well, now you can grab all of the supplies, templates and instructions right from my Darby Smart shop and get them sent straight to your door! And more great news, I’m offering this kit for 25% off for the next 7 days, just use code “npucuc25” at check out.
Jenny came to me after seeing my safari themed baby shower invitation on Etsy. Shed loved the look but needed it customized for her son’s first birthday party. She also needed some matching items, like signage and labels for party favors. Jenny had so many great ideas for the party, and well deserved, it was just featured on Hostess with the Mostess! I’m so happy to have played a small part in making Jenny’s dream party for her son a reality. Here are a few details of items I worked on and you can see the full feature over on Hostess with the Mostess today!
Photos by: Dowoo Lee
Running a blog can be a lot of hard work, so today I’m sharing my favorite WordPress tools and plugins to help improve your site and simplify your life!
This is the easiest way to get more shares for your content! This free plugin allows you to easily create tweetable snippets for your readers right from WordPress. Whoever clicks on the link will have the message automatically added to their Twitter status box. This makes it easy for people to share your content and grow your traffic.
The Genesis Framework empowers you to quickly and easily build incredible websites with WordPress. It’s well-coded and well-supported. The Genesis framework uses child themes so you can update without losing your customizations. It’s inexpensive with tons of possibilities and dedicated plugins. It comes with built-in features like multiple layouts, custom body post classes for each post, breadcrumbs and numeric navigation. Unlike other theme companies, StudioPress’s Pro-Plus Package is a one-time fee for life-time membership. You’ll get every theme they make, now and in the future.
I know I’ve mentioned CoSchedule here before, but it is one of my favorites and worth mentioning again. CoSchedule is a drag-and-drop editorial calendar for WordPress. With it, you can schedule blog posts and automatically send messages to your social. You can use this plugin to view the posts you have published for the month, posts that are in the works, and the posts that you have planned. My favorite part is that you view your content and social media schedule all on the same calendar.
Ever wish the visual editor in WordPress offered more options? Well, this plugin is for you! It will let you add, remove and arrange the buttons that are shown on the visual editor toolbar. It includes 15 plugins for TinyMCE that are automatically enabled or disabled depending on what buttons are chosen. I’ve had this one installed for so long I can’t even remember what the original Tiny MCE looks like.
If you’ve been blogging for a while, I bet you have tons of broken links in old posts. Dead hyperlinks are not just annoying to your website visitors – their existence can result in a negative impact on your website’s SEO rankings. This plugin will monitor your site (blog posts, pages, comments, etc.) looking for broken links and let you know if any are found.
Google Analytics Dashboard gives you the ability to view your Google Analytics data right in your WordPress dashboard. Sure, you can open up Google Analytics every time you want to look at your stats, but if you just want a quick glance, this plugin is certainly convenient. You can also allow other users to see the same dashboard information when they are logged in.
Optimized WordPress is a new hosting platform from HostGator that is specifically built for an optimized WordPress environment. Packages will come pre-loaded with PHP 5.6 by default (the most recent PHP version offered). HostGator will handle all of the core, theme, and plugin updates without the need for any action on your part. In other words, you won’t have to worry about logging into your WP-Admin panel to handle common updates. Additionally, Optimized WordPress does not provide cPanel access, allowing you to install and access your WordPress sites without needing to access or navigate an extra control panel to do the things you want to do.
I hope these resources enable you to simplify your processes and improve your site!
Thank you HostGator for sponsoring this post and thank you for supporting this blog by allowing me to post occasional sponsored content. All sponsored posts feature products or services that I truly feel would be of interest to you. I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.