BENEATH THE CLOKE

17hats Review

August 11, 2017

The Good, The Bad, and 17hats

After using 17hats for more than a year now, we decided it was time to take a step back and review its pros and cons. Check out our thoughts below to see if 17hats is the right tool to manage your small business.

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Home Office Rhythm

July 20, 2017

Bring Rhythm Into Your Home Office

Working remotely or having a home office seems natural for most independent contractors and freelancers. It easily cuts down on operating costs related to your business and eliminates the annoyances of commuting to work or office drama.

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Website Navigation

June 27, 2017

Keep Your Website's Navigation User Friendly

Have you ever visited a company's website and wondered what industry they represent, what they do, or how to navigate through their website? When building a website, keep your navigation user friendly with these three easy guidelines that are designed to engage viewers.

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Font Families

June 13, 2017

Keep Your Fonts in the Family

When designing a digital or print advertisement, brochure, or even a logo, remember to limit the number of fonts you use. Having multiple fonts may distract your audience from identifying relevant content.

According to an article from ThoughtCO., the key to ensuring a clean and polished-looking design is using fonts from the same font family. This means if you’re using a popular font like Calibri, stick to its bold, italic, and bold italic versions for variation in the text and to create hierarchy. This will ensure better readability and eliminate clutter from your design.

Twin Cities

June 09, 2017

Clokendagger's Trip to the Twin Cities

Last week, Clokendagger traveled to the Midwest to visit the Twin Cities. While there, we checked out some local businesses and nearby attractions that placed Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, at the top of our list for best places to explore and grow a business.

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Designer At Work

May 23, 2017

Do Not Disturb: Designer at Work

It’s easy to get distracted by incoming email, text, or social media notifications on your smart phone. But when you’re working under a tight deadline, these distracting notifications prevent you from focusing on the task in front of you.

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Reclaim Your Time

May 11, 2017

Reclaim Your Time by Reorganizing Your Project Calendar

Whether you use an online scheduling system or a notebook, or maybe a mixture of both, it doesn’t take long for your calendar to get jumbled with overlapping meetings and project deadlines—causing you unnecessary stress throughout the day. The secret to maintaining a well-balanced calendar is to avoid cluttering up your workweek with unrealistic goals and timelines that prevent you from accomplishing important tasks.

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Website Radar

April 18, 2017

Have You Checked Your Website’s Radar Lately?

Websites are like seasons; they change, take on different characteristics, and create new experiences. A great way to ensure your website is staying active and advancing with its competing environment is to update its content on a quarterly basis.

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Design Proposal

March 30, 2017

5 Things to Include in a Design Proposal

Every now and again, a client requests a written proposal before considering you for a project. If you’ve never had to design one, this may seem like a daunting task. In fact, you may decide to skip this client altogether. It’s no secret that proposals are time consuming, repetitive, and often useless if the client is only interested in seeing your price options.

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Live Design

March 16, 2017

The Who, What, and Why Not of Live Design

Communication is key to successful project management. No argument there, right? As we shared in our last post, communication is all part of the creative workflow process. But consider the following: how often are you in contact with your clients and how much of that interaction is helping you enrich their brands?

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Creative Workflow

March 07, 2017

The Essence of Creative Workflow

You’re a creative designer, and you’ve just landed a new assignment that has the potential to jumpstart your professional career. To ensure that both you and the client share the same vision and that no time is wasted, you first need to outline your creative workflow.

By mapping out the path to project completion, you and your design team stay focused and on schedule.

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Shop Locally For Design

March 01, 2017

Top Three Reasons to Shop Locally for Design

Whether it’s Small Business Saturday, Record Shop Day, or a weekend farmer’s market, patrons are encouraged to trade in their trips to big retail franchises and, instead, visit their local shopping areas, eateries, and downtown market streets. The desire to shop local and support your community’s farmers, craftsmen, antique dealers, and other product providers continues to grow, and why not?! There are numerous benefits to supporting local entrepreneurs in your community.

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Corning Museum of Glass

February 01, 2017

Corning Museum of Glass

Last week Clokendagger explored the open road and headed south toward Corning, NY for an afternoon with the marketing team for Corning Museum of Glass. The museum has been through a huge expansion as of 2015 with the addition of a new Contemporary Art and Design Wing and a newly renovated historic glass factory ventilator building used for live glassmaking demonstrations.

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Professional Photography

January 19, 2017

Tell The Story of Your Brand with Professional Photography

Recently, we published a blog on the importance of custom-designed websites. But in order to ensure your website looks original, aside from the design and layout, the photos you use need to compliment the genuine style of your brand. Let’s face it. Most viewers can tell the difference between stock photography and authentic photographs. In fact, if you rely on generic photos, you run the risk of people thinking that you are also generic.

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Color Palette

January 11, 2017

Choose Your Website's Color Palette Wisely

When building your website, remember to combine neutral tones with subtle splashes of color. This will give it a clean and modern look. By adding vibrant colors to graphics or headlines within the webpage, you help guide your audience to the key components of your website, thereby making the user's experience more enjoyable and pleasing to the eye.

Custom Website

January 05, 2017

That Website Looks Just Like Yours:
3 Reasons Why Writers Need Custom Websites

As a writer in the 21st century, you understand the importance of maintaining an online presence. And you’ve heard time and again that to land your dream writing gig, you need a website. But like many starving artists, you’re not a web designer, and you don’t know the first thing about creating an original, attractive-looking webpage. So what now?

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Clutter

January 02, 2017

Make a New Year's resolution that will help your small business.

Make a New Year's resolution that will help your small business grow. Eliminate excessive photos, long paragraphs, and distracting GIFs that compete with your website's main objective. This will allow you to narrow your website's focus and simplify the user's experience.

Stay tuned weekly for more tips and ideas from your friends at Clokendagger.