Saturday, December 12, 2009

Women in Business, This Ones For You in 2010!


As another year comes to a close, we make resolutions or promises to reach new goals or to renew ourselves in business. 2010 can be a great year ahead but there is only one way to make it happen.......
Open the doors to experienced business women willing to give their expertise to guide you and your business. Women Business Owners is a fantastic group of educated and empowered women willing to give away some secrets to running into success!
Check us out at www.womenbizowners.org
Join us for the 2010 WBO Annual Convention in Napa Valley, CA. Read our online magazine for more information:
Wishing you a happy, healthy and successful holiday and New Year Ahead! The Merry Bird Designs, Kristine Sheehan

Friday, November 20, 2009

Pointers for Business Savings


Every business big or small has seen customers gone MIA. Due to less consumer spending business owners are forced to learn how to hold down the fort. With a few adjustments to the mother ship, the mother load can be made lighter during the economy recession.

Simple changes can make small businesses (and large ones!) save a few dollars throughout the year and relieve monthly pressures. Contact your electric service provider and take on a new one. Find a service provider that offers cheaper provision costs. One phone call and a switch in electric service provider can save you several hundred dollars per year. Let’s keep the change in your pocket…Why not? It’s easy enough!

Travel less and have online video/phone conferences more. Your business won’t
miss luggage charges or/and lost luggage hassles. By traveling less business expenses and high fees for plane and train tickets will be eliminated. And there won’t be any delays or “waiting” to get where you want to go.

Slash your ad budget and step up your internet presence. With the loss of customer spending selecting the best place to advertise to entice your customers is paramount. For print ads – popular newspapers and magazines are still key – but be choosy – take on only the most successful papers and magazines for your business. Big and small businesses alike know where their customer base is and how to reach them. By scaling back printed ads and utilizing FREE social media such as Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin etc. can open new doors near and far while exposing the business brand as much as possible.

Taking on a new view of your product and its worth may help sales. For example luxury product producers are now down playing their logos and focusing on the ”Quality” of their items vs. the old consumer thought “let’s purchase an item for the FUN of it ". Another way to tap into your customers thoughts is to use Amazon.com Community Reviews which tells us about consumer desires/opinions. It’s now the top source of product reviews.

If there’s a will there’s a way. Find it and keep up the good work. We need businesses to stay afloat in this economy especially if we business owners plan on winning the recession war.

Kristine Sheehan
TheMerryBird.com
“Your Stationery in Flight”

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

New Wedding Stationery Rules for 2010


Times are a changin’! So long white and ecru wedding papers! The stationery industry is moving forward by utilizing its staple Wedding Invitations to create a stir. Today’s brides are requesting hot colors and bold styles that reflect a personal destination.

Top stationery designer Anna Griffin clarifies that texture is hotter than ever. The Merry Bird can attest to this style as Merry Bird stippling is a texture that is unique and everlasting in black/white or bold colors. Look for jewel tones, navy for winter themes, tangerine and aqua for spring. Get the point? Stipple!

Brides will find pocket invitations are still on the forefront as each piece of Wedding Day information has its own card and a place to keep. “Tribal prints, outdoor chic, and seasonal styled” invitations are what makes today’s bride tick.

Wedding invitations are now expected to be delivered in/on the unexpected. Invitations mounted onto wine bottles or cigar boxes make a memorable statement…. the fee is, well, worth it!

Ref: Joanne Fink, Design Drive, Wedding Invitations Nov/Dec 2009

Kristine Sheehan
TheMerryBird.com
"Your Stationery in Flight"


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Festive times approach!






Even though today's slower economy keeps many peoples spending at bay, local festivals are still active. I consider festivals the best place to shop and find an interesting gift!

Recently working at the Plasko Farm Festival, CT (Oct. 12th to be exact )- in my cozy tent, (of course!) the farm fresh air set the mood for pumpkin picking and corn maze walking. Many vendors set up and were eager to sell their wares to the many families that ploughed through the trail. Families seemed just as eager to take part in the 25-30 vendor event.



Smaller venues are not a bad idea when the economy holds products hostage for the season. Exposure for business is great and word of mouth - "that old fashioned grass root marketing" helps!



This season TheMerryBird was able to create an addition to its product line and display holiday tags in new wall pouches which make it easier for customers to view and choose the right tag. Two walls, soon to be three and four!




It's only $7.50 for an 8 pack of gift tags! These high quality, sturdy, gloss stock of Gift tags can be placed not only on boxed items but tied around bags of cookies, wine bottles, written with a special note can be hung as an ornament for the tree, or kept as a momento from that special gift giver. I like to let my customers know that CUSTOM images can be illustrated, created or printed exclusively for them if they wish!








As Festive Times Approach - remember to recognize that holiday spirit and love is in the air.

Let the festivities begin!
























Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Art Festival Success!






September is the perfect time of year for an Arts Festival! The sun was shining, a cool wind was blowing and people were ready for fun!






Early as 7am TheMerryBird Tent was set up and ready for business! By 10am, the hustle and bustle of people walking through the tent lined yard of the town green and the scent of sweet popcorn were floating in the air. Giggling children and creative adults that were looking for that "special" gift or momento had all vendors on their toes!


Next door to me, a fine watercolor artist had his easels up with lovely landscape art, across the way another fine artist had paintings and collage type works ready to hang. As we round the bend of the town green craft artists and music lured people to explore the magic of ART!











I'm happy to report that TheMerryBird had an exceptional day for Pet Portrait requests and notecards! 10% of Festival earnings and earnings up until Oct. 31, 2009 will be donated the JDRF - now customers know they are contributing to not only a happy feeling for themselves but to the research of Juvenile Diabetes.

With the future in mind - and business concepts in development, new images will appear on cards, holiday wrapping and tags will be on the forefront! See you next festival!



Keep in touch and fly in soon to support the JDRF!
Walk in Newburgh NY on Sept. 27, 2009 with "Christians Crusade"!

Kristine Sheehan
TheMerryBird.com
"Your Stationery in Flight"


Tuesday, September 01, 2009



2009 summer season flew by!


Today, business is in full swing again starting with AD design for WBO Magazine and its upcoming Convention in October 2009. Below are some recent Ad designs created by TheMerryBird. No Doubt climbing the ladder of success through WBO networking group!





Look for other Merry Bird AD design in the WBO Magazine and WBO Convention Booklet this October 2009!


Sunday, July 26, 2009

Grass Root Marketing Gone Wild! (a.k.a. Social Media)


By now the words "Social Media" are in your vocabulary and you are aware of the hype and worth of it to you and your business. It truly is a wonderful thing that has happened to small businesses across the globe. Here are a few reasons why it's so powerful and why you should take part:


1: Social Media Creates a larger COMMUNITY from the roots up! It allows portals of contact all over the globe to open. These portals allow businesses (big and small) to learn from one another at a faster rate, while virtually marketing for FREE.


2: Businesses become more ACCOUNTABLE for the products and services they offer. One mistake could be deadly to a campaign or products future. Social Media forces businesses to face the music or makes them worthy of more customers - vital to the company's existence.


3: The availability of custom items are more readily available and easily attained via social media - Grass Roots Gone Wild! Artists, custom manufacturers have a greater, wider audience then ever


4: Where grass root marketing once would move a campaign slowly from location to location - businesses can market by word of mouth in virtually one day!


Check out Twitter.com, Facebook.com, Wiki, tons of smaller niche groups can be found easily via google search! Open those portals and let Grass Root Marketing Go Wild for your business today!



Kristine Sheehan

TheMerryBird.com

"Your Stationery in Flight"









Monday, July 06, 2009

5 Reasons to Logo Your Business

1 - A logo creates VISUAL RECOGNITION of a BRAND

2 - A logo creates CONSISTENCY FOR MARKETING PURPOSES

3 - A logo PORTRAYS PROFESSIONALISM

4 - A logo MAKES A BUSINESS UNIQUE

5 - A logo REPRESENTS WHAT YOU VALUE ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS


http://www.themerrybird.com/logodesign.html

Thursday, June 04, 2009

"Your Online Business Manager"


These days if your are looking for an office assistant you no longer have to look beyond your desktop pc or PDA. Virtual Assistance is a rapid entity on the internet. Need an assistant to take care of your accounting? Letters and legal documents? General Management of your office? Look no further than your PC internet connection. Your assistant can be found in a virtual world that has been growing and booming for many years online.

VBS Virtual Assist, LLC is one of the best companies you can find on the net to support your business. Dubbed as “Your Online Business Manager”, Brenda Violette takes the role of office manager, assistant and contact all from your desktop email and web.

With her recent brand change she has a new VBS business logo (created by TheMerryBird) and new website which is under construction to fit the role she plays for her virtual clients. If you are in the market for a new office assistant why not try a virtual one?
Contact:
Brenda Violette, President
VBS Virtual Assist, LLC



Author: Kristine Sheehan, TheMerryBird.com

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

3 Common Characteristics of Type

Recently I was reading about the evolution of typefaces. I thought this was an interesting piece of information to share from Designing with Type, by Craig. It is how we identify Old Style, Transitional and Modern Typography.


Variation in Stress

From the early pen and ink fonts drawn by scribes, a distribution of weight in the letters which creates “ STRESS” can be seen. The example of the letter “O” is shown here to illuminate the differences of Old Style fonts to the most Modern fonts. See the diagonal stress line as it changes over the centuries?

















Variation in Strokes

“The degree of contrast between the thick and thin strokes of letters is VARIATION.”
The example below shows Garamond which has little contrast between the weight of the thick and thin strokes vs. Helvetica which has no variation at all.




























Variation in Serifs

Serifs are the ornament that decorates the stroke of a letter. Serifs vary in the way the serif meets the vertical stroke of the letter. You can see the weight difference in the example here:













Next time you choose a new font – ask yourself -- about the subtle differences that make the Characteristics of the new font stand out. Is it easy to read and comfortable to follow across the page? Is it Old Style, Transitional or Modern?


Kristine Sheehan
TheMerryBird.com
“Your Stationery in Flight”
203-551-1155

Friday, May 15, 2009

A Logo: Empower U Academy


Marketing mentor Denise Michaels has started a new division of her business, Empower U Academy. Dealing with mostly women and home based business owners, Denise guides those that she mentors to be more successful and to feel empowered about themselves.
Her new logo, designed by TheMerryBird (me:) represents a place of learning and a place where the goal is for the mentored to change the way they see themselves while embracing empowerment. "This belief in self causes them to be more effective at achieving their goals."
Providing a credible source of honest learning that is genuinely about helping people in a way that is fun, fast and based on reality, Denise mentors those to channel empowerment into business and into life!
The laurel wreath gives this logo an Academic flare while it's leaves guide the eye toward the word "Academy". The letter U represents the learner being born at the top of the academy class! Her choice of colors are gold, bluish purple and a touch of vine green, all of which represent goals, strength and life. Feel the empowerment!
Her new website is presently under construction but will be up and running full force soon!
Kristine Sheehan, TheMerryBird.com
Read Denise's and other Merry Bird design Testimonials here:

Sunday, May 03, 2009

A Basic "Quick" in Design Theory

So little time and so much to soak in! Ok design sponges - here are 3 Theories all Designers depend on. Most of these tips should be in your design background already but it never hurts to revisit them to awaken your inner designer again and again:


1: A Brief on Color Theory

Every designer has at some point in time seen a color wheel. It is basically the history of color making in one place.




It starts with the Primary Colors: Blue, Red and Yellow. Strong and versatile each color when mixed with one of the others creates a Secondary Color. i.e.- Blue + Red make purple, Red + Yellow make orange, and Blue + Yellow make green. My child loves to mix colors – it’s amazing to him. If I stop to think about it, color creation by mixing is Amazing!

The next step in mixing colors brings in a series of color hues that depending on saturation can be a darker or lighter version of the original color.

Ok – You get the idea.

Now there are Complimentary colors. These are the Colors that sit opposite from one another on the color wheel. When these colors when placed together tend to “vibrate”
i.e. Red and Green, Purple and Yellow etc.

Analogous colors are three colors next to each other on the wheel. i.e. Blue Violet, Violet, Violet Red.


2: Basics of Design

Learning how line, color, shape, texture, scale and space work together is where design basics begin. Ask yourself some questions and you will see the psychology on a design page.

Line is an important piece of design. It sets a tone to the image or design page. Are the lines straight and organized? Wavey and smooth? Jagged and pointy? Line sets the stage for the feeling in the design.

Color is the mood descriptor. Are you feeling blue? Are you feeling Red Hot? Friendly yellow?

Like line, Shape also sets a stage for a feeling. Does the square design on the page exude safety? Does the circle create fluidity, natural curves? Triangular balance?

Texture in a design is a nice way to bring a tactile sensation to a design. Basket weaves, ropes, satin, wood. Textures that people understand can enhance the mood of the design.

Scale is another point in design that cannot be ignored. Size matters! Are you looking at a business card or a billboard?

Space, use it wisely and there are not limits!


3: Typography

Here is a “Quick” on a very extensive topic, Typography.

To begin, typography is everywhere! It is an arrangement of fonts designs that you see in the newspaper, a magazine, on a billboard or a logo.

Typefaces are fonts like Arial, Times Roman etc. Fonts are a specific size or style of the typeface, i.e. Arial Narrow, 14pts.

Two types of font styles are Serif and Sanserif fonts.

Serif fonts are those with curls or ornate d├ęcor on the end of the letter stem:




Image Ref: www.ilovetypography.com/2007/08/26/who-shot-the-serif-typography-terms/



SanSerif fonts are Basically a Serif Font without a serif! Which means there isn't any flare or decoration on the letter stem.



How to utilize typography is up to the designer. But Typography involves other important elements to consider too - spacing, kerning, sizing and arrangement. Check out the link below for futher info!

Check out http://www.observin.com/ for more info. On typography.


Utilize theory to make your designs the best they can be. Theory is the basis of all design.


Kristine Sheehan
TheMerryBird.com
5/3/09

Monday, April 20, 2009

5 Book Cover Tips for Self Published Authors

There are endless details writers must consider before having their manuscripts produced in printed book form. From page one to the end, whether the story line is fact or fiction, a well presented book won’t be a best seller unless it is noticed on the store shelf. Therefore one very important detail is the Cover Art or Book Cover Jacket.

Self published authors, or any writer planning on having a book produced in printed form, need to know a few tips to help them manage working with book cover design.

First, authors must write a short, concise synopsis of the soon to be published work. This synopsis will allow the designer to be image inspired. Image inspiration often depends on the printed word of the author but if there is no time for the designer to read the book in it’s entirety the synopsis will give enough information to create workable cover art as well as a nice inside sleeve. A synopsis is also important for the potential buyer. Buyers often read the short on the book sleeve before making a purchase.

Second, have a review of your work to include on the back cover. Have your friend, a newspaper editor or someone you respect write a review of your work. A good testimonial, reference or review will always entices more readers!

Third, have your ISBN/barcodes ready to place on your cover! All published books need a tracking method for sales in the USA and abroad. Barcodes and ISBN numbers are necessary for sales of the finished book. A book cover designer will ask you for the barcode to include in the layout of the cover design. Here is one resource that can help you get your ISBN and barcodes. http://www.publisherservices-us.com/

Fourth, remember all worthy design isn’t cheap! Covers design can run from $350 - $1500 and up. Keep your eyes open for a designer that fits your style. Forward a design brief to the designer or ask to have one sent to you to work out design details. Sign a contract to ensure your design is yours to keep!

And finally, choose a designer that is as enthusiastic about your work as you are! And cheers for having another feather in your cap!


Contact Information: The Merry Bird…pen, ink and design
“Your Stationery in Flight”
Kristine Sheehan
203-551-1155
http://www.themerrybird.com/

Company Bio:

The Merry Bird....pen, ink and design company of Connecticut has officially been in business since March 2006. Kristine Sheehan, the owner, began working in the design/art industry because her passion is drawing with pen and ink, painting and photography. Her company offers logo design, book cover design, and a line of pen and ink motifs on stationery, cards and invitations. The Merry Bird…pen, ink and design is ever changing and adding more beautiful ideas to choose from, come take a peek,
Fly in! http://www.themerrybird.com -Follow me on Twitter! @themerrybird.*********************

Saturday, April 04, 2009

5 Kick Ass Blogging Tips




Are you are a blogger with a great blog but have little or no success in capturing steady readership? You must already know that Blogs are great tools that accent your existing business or maybe you write solely as an expert sharing information for those seeking it.

I’ve been around for a couple of years and haven’t focused solely on my blog but with all the recent social networking available I felt it was important to wake up my blog link as much as I could. I began by having a cup of java and simply used these few tips:

5. Get your link out there! You’re on the social network scene right? Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc….. why not provide all of your friends a chance to comment on your blog! Ask and you will receive! http://www.themerrybird.wordpress.com/ or http://www.the-merry-bird.blogspot.com/ comments welcome!

4. Comment on other Blogs: If you want your business or blog to get noticed, notice other blogs that interest you. Sign in, say hello, don’t be afraid to leave a decent opinion or comment along with your name and URL. Always be cordial! No one needs a spammer or negative bite.


3. Write Respectable, Informative Articles for your blog. Make them interesting, happening and relative to your business. I like to write up articles regarding The Merry Bird customer experience, “how to” articles, updates in the industries related to my business etc. Basically I build on being an expert in my field.

2. Submit your Articles to Blog Carnivals. By doing this you expose your blog, your writing skills and your opinions all in one spot. This all informs the mass of people looking for the subject you just wrote about and submitted. It’s a big world out there!

1. Regularly contribute articles to your Blog. We spend an aweful amount of time projecting our businesses, bogs and urls. Don’t forget to have fresh content on your blog. Most expert bloggers say write daily but I’m fine with weekly or bi-weekly content. My RSS feed readers don’t feel bombarded by my blog notices on a daily basis and they look forward to my posts when they happen!


I hope this helps! Good luck! And please feel free to comment or leave a tip you have to share….

Kristine Sheehan
TheMerryBird.com
“Your Stationery in Flight”

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Swimming with Logo Design


The vast sea of logo designs found on the web today can be extremely intimidating. Some Logo’s of course are better than others and some just plain Rock!

While researching this ocean of design for inspiration, I realized that comparing logo designs was like comparing sharks to whales. I went surfing the web for logos in which formal training in design could be detected. I hold the logos I found in some galleries in high regard. But, I reminded myself that many logo galleries presented online are “mapped” out to the advantage of the designer. This is a shark pool. Logos are put together for the purpose of learning and displaying expertise. Many logos found in these galleries are made up for a fictitious client, with parameters that fit the designers need and wants. A “real” client logo design would never fit a mold and is often the reason for a design challenge, therefore I see it as the Whale.

Keep swimming.

Coming up for air, I read a great article by Graham Smith, 9 Solid Logo Design Tips for Beginners. Although I’ve been a freelancer for years, his check list for logo design reminded me how to paddle my logo board and catch the next wave with confidence.

The Two Tips that I like best are:

---Be sure the Logo design is flexible and can be printed on big and small mediums. ie. Key chains or a BillBoard.

---Design the logo in Vector format. An Illustrator file makes it easy to increase or reduce the image size with ease. You won’t have to deal with pixellated images later!


Keep pace and follow your instincts. The next wave is rolling in – Catch it! It could be a Whale of a day! :)


Author: Kristine Sheehan
TheMerryBird.com
"Your Stationery in Flight"

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

10 Habits That Will Open Your Creative Stream of Consciousness

Being creative isn’t just an innate gift. Although some people and designers have the knack for being open to a creative stream of consciousness, others have to work at opening the flood gates of their creativeness. Believe that having a few good habits produces a good flow of ideas and allows the mind to prosper creatively.

Here are 10 Creative Habits will help you open your stream of creativity. Just apply them in your daily routine – go ahead – give it a try! You can only become more creative!

1.) Curiosity is a natural characteristic in human beings. From the time we are born our minds open and grow through being curious. So whether you are 2 or 92 years old, NEVER STOP BEING CURIOUS!
2.) Hold onto your ideas – you never know which one could be “THE IDEA” you need for life creativity or your next project, so jot ‘em down in a journal!
3.) ACCEPT CHALLENGE with enthusiasm – Every creative knows that all of life’s projects are a challenge, big or small, a challenge connects the neurons in your creative stream of consciousness!
4.) Don’t fall in love with your first idea or any! It most likely has been done before or a client may have a different view about it then you do – be open to many ideas as being the best!
5.) READ, VIEW and LEARN from others! This is a great resource for inspiration.
6.) Listen to music and allow natural energies to flow through you.
7.) Laugh often, ENJOY THE FLUBS of life as those are the gifts that propel fun, curiosity and challenge and sometimes a winning IDEA!
8.) Think about your favorite place to be, your backyard, Europe a tropical island or the local beach. Go there! Breathe and listen to your inner creative.
9.) POSITIVE THINKING
10.) Being you is the most different and creative thing that can ever happen to your creativity – think about it! There’s only one you.


Go ahead! Get creative!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Logos have Rules and Rules are made to …..

Step back a moment and think about the process of designing a logo. Designers create a logo idea from a business name or a product/service a business sells. From the inception of the logo idea, it is broken down into smaller parts. It is researched, sketched, colored, brought into technological format, glued (or should I say pasted) back together, refined and completed. The final output of the logo may be the Mercedes of all logos but the designer has gone through a series of Rules to create it properly.

For starters, the rule of scalability arises with the initial logo idea. How will the logo appear on business card vs. a Billboard? This is an important question as it will affect the “aura” of the logo. The “aura” as I like to call it must emit the same feeling whether its size is big or small. Another words it must have a consistent message.

This consistent message is the rule of Recognition. Will the logo give instant recognition of the product or business every time it is seen? Logos are designed with this purpose in mind. The logo must create a personality or “aura” to tell the viewer who and what is speaking to them. And next time it is seen, the viewer will remember what it represents.

History may have dictated some rules because of technological limitations. For example, the use of Color has a rule. Usually, no more than 2 -3 colors are used in a logo design. Printing has or had its limitations and cost factors as well. Today we can take leaps because of online viewing and advances in printing techniques. So who says only 2-3 three colors are acceptable now? I say once in a while Break this Rule but only if it works for the design.…

Be sure a logo designed in color also works in Black and White. This allows much more usage of the logo, as well as shows the same integrity the logo in color does. Explore the options of special effects. The options for logo design are really limitless. Maybe, break ALL logo rules and say there are none! Creativity has jumped out of an old box. Logos have rules but rules are made to be broken!

Kristine Sheehan
TheMerryBird.com
"Your Stationery in Flight"

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Future of Stationery

The way the economy is shuffling priorities these days is prompting consumers to step back and re-evaluate what they spend their money on and Stationery has taken a hard hit at the register. Many reports indicate that stationery purchases have gone down and photo cards from shutterfly.com, sendoutcards.com and other online “do it yourself” creators are high on the holiday card list. The downside to these cards is they aren’t seen as “quality” cards and have been referred to as flimsy and poorly printed.

Hallmark stats show that boxed cards are still selling well around the holidays but it’s not your imagination that fewer store bought holiday cards are making it to the mailboxes.
The fact is that cards are priced higher and the increased price for stamps (to be raised to .44 cents this May ’09) is killing any plans for the future of store bought stationery.

I’m not a pessimist in any sense of the word but reality is setting in that a new era for stationery is before our eyes and the internet has taken over! How will designers face this situation? Will print technology cease to exist in the next 10 years? Will the coldness of the web be the only thing the next generation experiences? And will the warmth of humanity as we understand it disappear and leave a robotic foot print on hearts? I’ll be looking up to the “Big” Stationery guys to direct me in how to go with the flow of the down turn of the stationery industry.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

A Unique Artist Novel

http://www.lookatbook.com/flash/shell.html

Flying around on the web I came across this site that featured an artist book that traveled many a mile before it's completion. What was so cool about it is that a group of artists created this book in a unique manner. They never met one another and only mailed the book with their completed creative pages to the next artist on the list. Each artist had it in their possession for one week, made creative page contributions that played off the artist before them and then mailed the book to the next artist and so on until it was completed.

The compilation of pages is an amazing work of art. I love the fact that the book traveled from country to country, city to city and artist to artist. Unique styles made an amazing book and exhibition.

Yes, even an exhibition! I'd love to add art work to a book like this! Any artists want to create an artist mailing list and create another amazing artist novel?

Sunday, February 08, 2009

"Fair Use"


A recent article in USA Today prompted me to research the copy right laws for "fair use" of a work of art. The USA article referenced Shepard Fairey's "Hope" poster of President Obama, which was widely circulated on posters, stickers and canvases across America.

"The image is the subject of a copyright dispute with The Associated Press. Fairey argues his use of the AP photo is protected by "fair use", which allows exceptions to copyright laws based on how much the original is used, what it is used for and how the original is affected by the new work."

The following points of section 107 was listed in the copyright law here: http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl102.html

Section 107 contains a list of the various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered “fair,” such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Section 107 also sets out four factors to be considered in determining whether or not a particular use is fair:

1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;

2. the nature of the copyrighted work;

3. amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and

4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

Keeping all of this information in mind do you think Shepard has a "fair use" case?

Monday, January 26, 2009

Twitter : What’s it worth to ya?

Well, let’s see….. twitter is fast becoming the new social forum of the year 2009. So I’d say it’s pretty darn important to jump on the bandwagon and count yourself in.

Twitter is a unique kind of communication and once you’re INTO it on a daily basis you’ll understand how amazingly fast your messages can be put out there. Not only that but you will receive blasts of information that may be useful for you.

Take it from me, I like the old style forums where you answer and receive messages in a “Word doc” like thread from others that you have waited for a reply. It is a great way to bond, swap ideas and do business. But with twitter you can achieve the same results… but faster.

For one you can use #hashtags in your tweets. #Hashtags mark any topic you want to tweet about and give others a place to tweet information or comment back about a specific topic. ie. > #design or #iphone Just try typing in your twitter search box #design and see what comes up… amazing! An entire conversation of individual tweets that you’ve been directed to by entering a #hashtag.

#Hashtags are only one way you can communicate to other tweeple. An easy and obvious way to tweet is right from your home tweet page. You have the option to “directly reply” to another tweeter by using their tweet name ie. @TheMerryBird (that’s me!)

Gaining more followers is the goal on Twitter. I’m finding the top tweeters that have thousands of followers often RT. RT is short for Retweet. When you RT you are basically reading information from another tweeter and think it’s important enough to share with other tweeters, so for example if you like this very article link -- RT @themerrybird Twitter: what’s it worth to ya? -- you RT it so another fabulous twit can have the information. RT basically moves the first twit with the idea around but also lends to exposure of your own Twitter page where tweeple will most likely want to stop in and read your bio. (don’t forget to fill in your twitter bio!) Try following top tweeters and see what they are up to. The number one tweeter is @BarackObama – over 150,000 followers.

There are many facets to twitter but some handy dandy tools like mycleenr.com can take an overview of your followers and tell you how often they tweet and the last time they tweeted. If you see a follower in your list that hasn’t tweeted in months then…delete them as they are only dead wood, of no use, incognito, Finished!



Another useful place I’ve found on twitter is their very own HELP button! Once opened you can see a list of useful places to visit that will inform you about the ups and downs of twitter. For one, status.twitter.com is a worthy stop as it informs you to what is happening with twitter on a technical level. The issues that may arise in front of you may really happening everywhere so don’t think your PC/mac is the only one with a whale of a day. For example, the latest crush on twitter was the follower counters weren’t registering new follower numbers or losing thousands of them all together. Devasting to the twitterer that built thousands of followers… hey it’ll come back!

Twitter can be used in a multitude of ways you only need to open a twitter account and explore – I’ve just brushed the surface… go follow me and tweet me a message. Let me know what you find! @themerrybird

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

2009 Stationery Trends


While taking some time to read about TRENDS in stationery design, it was brought to my attention that even in the worst of economic time’s stationery can thrive. New paper products, colors and themes set a tone and provide the least expensive way to “give” a tangible thought while keeping a consumer budget in check.

The following trends as quoted from Greeting’s etc. magazine forecast the upcoming year of successful buys. Items with environmental “emphasis” and papers that save our world are very popular for the "green movement". Stationery will have edgier designs, urban and bolder appeal. Patterns will be more evident and graphic patterns that “bleed” off paper edges will still be successful.

Of course, technology and the digital revolution is only touching the surface of what will be available. Color Gray is gliding into the room as a backdrop for design elements. Simplicity will take the forefront in elegance.

Organized consumers will reach for funky designs on file folders, calendars and journals. Items that scream fun or funny will be a fine catch to the consumer that is on!

Bring on 2009!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

A Short on The Latest Trend in Logo Design


Did you notice Wal-mart, Pepsi and many other companies out there are changing the face of their product logos? It’s not uncommon to change or re-brand a product image and today the logo trends are moving fast and furious.

Clean lines and more intense colors are being used in the upcoming year. I would go as far as to say 80’s electric colors and geometric figures are returning but will appear in new millennium forms and shapes.

Give photoshop a pat on the back for their filters but the present logo trend will be moving away from “filtered” images and tricks of the trade. Get creative!

Patterns are still popular as ever and will continue to be.

Shades of recycle “green” I believe will continue to be popular as the world is ever “greening” – though no one here said it would be that unique anymore!

The Merry Bird features hand drawn technical, graphic, and typography logo’s. When you are in the market for a new logo Choose wisely and Know what’s going on in world of design!


Ref.: logolounge.com