Branding yourself or your company

November 4th, 2016

Someone I know called me today to talk about branding themselves and wondered if this was something I could help them with. During our short conversation, she asked “How come you don’t promote your other business [on social media], or is it that I just don’t see it?” I wasn’t sure as I don’t know if she has liked or follows my business profiles and pages on my various social media channels. She was right, though, I don’t promote my “other business”—this one, which is actually my main business—nearly as much on social media as I do my secondary business (which is the one she knows me through). Afterwards, realizing I was not being consistent with my own branding, mainly due to having too many options and not knowing which one to focus on (among other reasons which I won’t go into here), I was compelled to write this post on branding. Some of it is a reminder to myself. Some of it, I hope will help you if you are reading this.

Branding 101Kaz Design Works’ role in branding is to help you, the entrepreneur, the business or the direct sales associate, communicate your brand. I am not a brand strategist or a brand marketing agency, but I am happy to chat with you to learn about your business goals and your brand (if you already have one) or ask questions to help you define your brand (if you don’t), before I begin creating your marketing pieces. Read the rest of this entry »

Fall 2016 Colour Trends

August 4th, 2016

For a while now on Pinterest, I’ve been sharing the predicted colour trends for the upcoming seasons (you can see the ones I posted for 2016 here). Sometimes, I’m a little late sharing, so this year I thought I’d get a head start and share what I’ve found so far right here on Kaz Talk instead. Read the rest of this entry »

Life is less boring in colour, eh?

May 19th, 2016

Not everything is black and white. Life is less boring in colour, eh?

Not everything is black and white. Life is less boring in colour, eh?

I was looking through the new photos from yesterday, and got interrupted by work (like you do). When I opened up my browser this morning, this photo was staring me in the face, so I was inspired to create the above message with it. It must be lovely to work in or pass by this building with glass the colour of a rainbow…it would make a dull day less boring, don’t you think? And of course, as a website designer, it’s a great way to get colour inspiration.


Incredible Paper Busts and Other Mesmerizing Sculptures

March 21st, 2016

If you’re like me, you’ll be mesmerized by these paper busts and other sculptures that are made out of thousands of sheets of paper. These are incredible works of art. I’m guessing they took weeks to create. No wonder they sell for the price they do.

If I had one, I’d want to play with it like you do a slinky. Question is, how well do they withstand all that handling? (I wonder if it would go downstairs like a slinky?)

6 tips to make your web content and blog posts easier to read

March 5th, 2016

Last week, I came across a blog post by someone new to blogging. I had a hard time reading it because there were no sub-headings or paragraph breaks. It was just one big chunk of text and the text was so small and the line space so tight I had a hard time taking my eyes from one line to the next as I read.

As a website designer, constantly on the lookout for web design inspiration, this wasn’t the first time I’d come across this either, so I decided I would write the following six tips in the hopes of helping others make their blog posts and web pages easier to read. Read the rest of this entry »

Graphic Design Terms 17-18: Tracking vs Kerning

February 28th, 2016

Tracking: the consistent increase (or decrease) in the amount of space between letters that alters the density in a line or block of textSimply put, in typography, tracking is a consistent increase (or decrease) in the amount of space between letters so as to alter the density in a line or block of text, whereas kerning is the process used to adjust spacing between a pair of individual letters to achieve a more visually appealing effect.

In other words, with tracking adjustments, letter spacing is even whereas with kerning adjustments  spacing may vary between individual characters. To make manual adjustments, tracking is done across 2 or more letters, whereas kerning is done between 2 letters. Read the rest of this entry »

Make your website visitors feel more valuable instead of feeling like click bait

February 16th, 2016

Like meIf you’re a business owner looking to grow your online audience, adding social connect and sharing functions to your website are great tools. They enable your visitors to connect with you on your social media channels or to share your web content with their own audience.

However, these tools need to be added discretely. By that I mean, your content should be the main focus of your website, not the social functions; collecting followers and likes should not be to the detriment of your web content and should not be annoying or frustrating to visitors to your website. Read the rest of this entry »

Just Breathe

January 28th, 2016

Yokaha Beach, near Ka'ena Point, Oahu, Hawaii with the wording Just BreatheSo, I had great expectations and intentions of updating my blog every other day, preparing my posts and creating graphics ahead of time. And then stuff happened the second week of January.

A lot of clients seemed to need things doing earlier than usual this year, so where I thought I would have a quiet January with a fair bit of spare time to write my 52 Graphic Design Term Comparison posts, I suddenly had a lot of work. Added to that major changes in another business I’m part of, and I totally felt overwhelmed and unable to fulfill this challenge I set myself. Read the rest of this entry »

Graphic Design Terms 15-16: Point Size vs Pixel Size

January 18th, 2016

When I first started in the typesetting and desktop publishing business we talked in picas and points and all ads were created using these units of measurement to specify size and placement of individual elements. As I moved onto creating graphics and enhancing photos in Photoshop, I learned about pixels. But what is the difference between point size and pixel size?

Point size is a unit of measurement used for fonts. Pixel size on the other hand, is a unit of measurement used for images. Pixel size is also used to measure screen widths and heights on any device on which images and videos are viewed or printed.

A point is the smallest size in a font and, in digital desktop publishing, it equates to 1/72 of an international inch. One point, or 1 pt, is 1/12 of a pica, and there are 12 picas to an inch. Thus, when I was coding ads in the early days of my career (see my post on My journey to becoming a graphic designer), I learned how to accurately measure both the height and width of ads and position individual elements in picas and points, a much finer unit than regular inch increments (sixteenths).

A pixel refers to the smallest point (or dot) in a raster image (photo, jpg, png etc.), as well as videos, since they are graphics based. Each pixel is a sample of the image. The size of the actual pixel depends on the number of samples per inch and the device on which it is viewed and/or printed. The more samples, or pixels, per inch the smaller and finer the sample, thus the better quality the image.

PS: I had a really busy week with clients and other business operations last week so I’m a bit behind on my blog and do not have time to create or find graphics to accompany this post.

Graphic Design Terms 13-14: x-height and cap height

January 14th, 2016

Example of x-heights in different type stylesIn my previous post, I mentioned x-height. Were you wondering what it meant?

It sounds pretty obvious, right? And it is. So is cap height.

In typography, the x-height is the height of lowercase letters that do not have an ascender or descender, represented by the lower case letter x. It is the distance between the baseline and the mid line of a font. (Picture those middle lines in your cursive writing exercise book or see the first image). Read the rest of this entry »