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1 Minute Workshop-Stylized Pumpkin

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Create a Stylized Pumpkin in Adobe Illustrator

Step 1

Begin by selecting the Ellipse tool in the tool palette. While holding down the Shift key (to constrain proportions), create a circular shape and fill it with orange (100Y, 50M).

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Step 2

Select the circle and go to Edit > Copy. Then go to Edit > Paste in Front. You have just copied the circle and pasted it directly on top of your first circle. Now select that circle, hold down the Shift key (to constrain it) and drag it to the right. You should end up with an image like this. At this point, you can change the color of the second circle.

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Step 3

Double-click on the Blend tool in the tool palette. Under the dropdown menu for Spacing, select Specified Steps and enter a small amount, such as 5. This will create three additional circles between the two original circles. To create the blend, select a point on the first circle and a corresponding point on the second circle. Then click on both of these points with the Blend tool.

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Step 4

With the blend created, go to Object > Expand to create individual shapes. Now you need to split all the sections of the circle into individual pieces. To do this, select all and go to Window > Pathfinder. Under Pathfinders in that dialog box, click on the Divide button.

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Step 5

Now that you have individual shapes for the pumpkin, you can go in and select each shape individually to assign it a different color. You may want to delete some of the shapes to make it look more like a pumpkin. Add a basic green stem shape and you have a colorful stylized pumpkin.

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Why Inbound Marketing Strategies Succeed

Inbound Marketing

How is it different from traditional marketing?

BusinesswomanTypingOnLaptopComputer86544707_S_72_C_R_pngWe must first know what traditional marketing is to understand inbound marketing. Traditional marketing includes advertising a product or service in a TV commercial, email, direct mail or through telemarketers by cold-calling. While this fleeting tactic has worked in the past, it’s become less effective in recent times because people have learned to tune out the messaging. People mute commercials, throw away direct mail without opening it, delete emails and block telemarketers. Traditional marketing can also be costly, especially for start-ups.

Inbound marketing has become a necessity for businesses to hook prospects and keep them coming back. It’s a longer term solution that takes more effort than traditional marketing but can actually cost less if carefully managed. Inbound marketing is a data-driven approach. It’s not about sales messages that simply state how great your product or service is, but instead it offers information that gives value. It’s about content creation and includes blogging, SEO, public speaking and social media marketing. The idea is to get people to see your brand as a thought leader in the marketplace by providing them with content they are genuinely interested in. This way, your brand will be the first to pop in their head when they are ready to buy.

What are the benefits?

One of the great aspects of inbound marketing is that it’s cost efficient. Many avenues for inbound marketing are of  little to no cost. Even optimizing content for search engines isn’t always costly. There are factors that play into cost such as audience size, your goals and targets, the nature of your business and more. SquareSearch was able to grow their client, a nationwide funeral plan provider, from 907 visitors per month to 2,127 per month over 6 months, thanks to a 190% increase in organic traffic (traffic generated using SEO). Learn more about SEO here.

Another benefit to inbound marketing is that it’s more targeted to a specific audience. Inbound marketing strategies identify the target audience and then put the right tools in place to help members of that target audience find the products or services that are being advertised. For example, a Pew internet study shows that Twitter is largely used by non-white users, particularly Hispanic and African American users, between the ages of 18-29. The study also suggests that more males than females use the channel. Therefore, if a company has a product or service that appeals to young African Americans, they would benefit from using Twitter to target that audience.

Inbound marketing makes it easier to track ROI (return on investment). Software such as HubSpot lets businesses have access to metrics that span contacts databases, marketing content and website traffic to see how well the marketing channels are performing.

How can you use inbound marketing?

Prospects don’t want to be “sold” to with traditional marketing messages. The foundation of inbound marketing is providing free information to people. You have to become a trusted guide and partner that helps them make purchasing decisions. This can be accomplished by cultivating a relationship with the prospect. Provide useful and appropriate information at each stage of the buyer’s journey to attract, inform and eventually convert them into leads. The only “cost” that prospects have to pay is giving you their contact details so that you can follow up by phone, direct mail or email.

 

 

Discover 10 Little Known Facts about Halloween

Halloween is celebrated by millions of people and is considered one of the highest grossing holidays. But we bet that you didn’t know about these fun and uncommon facts about it…

1. According to Huffington Post, Halloween is the second highest grossing commercial holiday after Christmas.

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2. Candy corn has been made with the same recipe by the Jelly Belly Candy Company since the early 1900s.

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3. Huffington Post states that chocolate candy bars top the list as the most popular candy for trick-or-treaters, with Snickers being #1.

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Image from Google

4. Illinois grows more pumpkins than any other state in the country. The Illinois Department of Agriculture declares that Illinois harvests nearly 12,300 acres of fruit.

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5. Dracula has won the Guinness World Records title of  overall most portrayed literary character in films.

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6. Ireland is believed to be the birthplace of Halloween, according to About Travel.

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7. Orange and black are traditional Halloween colors for a reason. Colour Lovers explains that orange was chosen because of its association with the fall harvest and black was chosen due to its association with darkness.

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8. Among all Halloween costumes, Anytimecostumes.com states that a witch is the most popular Halloween costume of all time.

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9. About News says that in Great Britain, Jack-O-Lanterns are traditionally made from turnips. Today, pumpkins are used instead of turnips.

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10. A full moon on Halloween is very rare. Business Insider reports that the last one happened in 2001 and the next one is expected in 2020.

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Free Boss Graphic

National Boss’ Day is the perfect opportunity to give your boss the appreciation that they deserve! Celebrate the holiday on October 16th with this free boss graphic download from Creative Outlet!

 

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FREE DOWNLOAD: (300dpi RGB jpg) (300dpi CMYK jpg)

Only available for free from October 6th, 2014 through October 13th, 2014.

Miss this free graphic? Search for it on Creative Outlet!

1 Minute Workshop- Enhance Vectors

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Enhance Vectors in Adobe Photoshop

Step 1

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to use the Layer tool to quickly enhance a shape. To begin, create a Photoshop document with square or rectangular proportions and fill it with the color of your choice.

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Step 2

Copy and paste the object you would like to enhance into your Photoshop document. In this example, the face of a Halloween-inspired pumpkin created in Adobe Illustrator was used. The color of the face is black but to create a more dramatic effect, use a lighter color. The face will need to be a lighter color in the next steps. Select the face and go to Image>Adjustments>Invert.

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Step 3

This step is where the fun begins. Select the layer with the pumpkin face and go to Layer>Layer Style. Within this menu are a variety of interesting and unique effects that can spice up your projects.

Select Inner Shadow. This will create a dark shadow inside the shapes.

The next effect is Outer Glow. This will create a soft glow around the outside of the shapes. The color of the glow looks more realistic if you choose a color that has similar hues to the background color. For example, if the background is orange, choose yellow as a glow. If your background is red, you might choose pink as your glow.

The final effect is Satin. This effect will make your shape look smooth and slightly darker. Adjust the opacity to allow the Inner Shadow effect to show through.

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Step 4

When happy with the settings, click OK. You can remove or adjust the effect by going back into the Layer Style menu in the top navigation bar or in the Layers window.

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