pin carefully

Over the last several days, there's been a tremendous about of buzzing about Pinterest's Terms of Service and the language therein granting Pinterest rights to use, sell, etc., images posted by users. In light of this, below are more must-read articles for businesses considering or currently using Pinterest.

For some, this isn't a concern; it all depends on why and how you're using Pinterest. For others, there's a good reason to be concerned. For example, if I were to design a logo or a mockup of a website for a client and then upload the images to Pinterest for my client's viewing, upon uploading those images I have granted Pinterest "a worldwide, irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, royalty-free license, with the right to sublicense, to use, copy, adapt, modify, distribute, license, sell, transfer, publicly display, publicly perform, transmit, stream, broadcast, access, view, and otherwise exploit such Member Content only on, through or by means of the Site, Application or Services."

Terms of Service are generally written with the best interest of the entity that generated those Terms, as opposed to the individuals agreeing to abide by them. Before you click the "I Agree" box, always be certain that you know what you're agreeing to.

Worried about Pinners pinning images from your website? In the interest of avoiding copyright infringement issues, Pinterest has introduced a simple metatag to be added to the head of websites that will disable Pinterest's "pinning ability" on that particular website:

Before you grab your ball and head home, check out these articles as to why Pinterest is still deserving of all the hype it's received over the last few months and why it may still be valuable to you and your business. Facebook's founder has joined Pinterest. That certainly gives its cred a major boost, right?


put a pin in it.

If you haven't used it, you've no doubt heard or read about it recently: Pinterest. The social media site gained serious momentum in recent months, with 7.51 million unique visitors in December alone. The site's closed beta launch happened in 2010, with its open beta launch following in the fall of 2011. Around that time, it was named one of The 50 Best Websites of 2011 (in the category of Social Media) by Time magazine. Yep, it's a big deal.

With a concept similar to that of Polyvore.com, users tack tear sheets, photos, quotes, videos, etc., to a virtual bulletin board (or "mood board") that is shared with other users. However, unlike Polyvore, Pinterest isn't exclusive to fashion-related interests; the site's categories include most mainstream interests- fashion, fitness, decorating, cooking, and architecture. There's even a "geek" category. Hmm.
Pinterest is super hot right now, but does it have staying power? Does it matter? Social media sites soar in popularity before they fall hard. When they fall, they don't take you with them. If you're a retailer already using the free perks of Facebook and Twitter to market your business, now's the time bring Pinterest into your circle. For a brilliant explanation as to why you should be on Pinterest, check out this article. The author mentions that utilizing Pinterest could be especially beneficial if your target market is women between the ages of 25-44, because that particular group makes up more than 60 percent of Pinterest's users. If that's your target demographic, that's information you can't afford to ignore.

But before you become a "pinner" and start curating your virtual gallery of beautiful things (If there’s one thing interactive marketers should take away from the current Pinterest mania it’s the enduring appeal of beautiful imagery.), I strongly urge you to read this article on best practices for businesses on Pinterest. It will also give you the lowdown on how other businesses are using Pinterest to their advantage and how to be savvy about it. One final must-read: 4 Rules for Retailers to Use Pinterest, because not all rules were made to be broken.

Happy pinning!


when a thousand words aren't enough

Before MySpace stopped being "a place for friends" and became the estranged, less-educated step-sister to Facebook, its users (n/k/a Facebook users) had free reign over the look and layout of their pages- except for that area at the top of the page reserved for advertisers. Sure, users could tweak the CSS to cover the ad space, but at the risk of being forever banned from Myspace. (Life without Myspace? How does one carry on?)

Enter Facebook and its timeline everyone loves so much (wink, nudge).  I won't address the negatives of the timeline, but I will address two of its better features: the ability to add milestone events to your timeline (you know, in case you won the Nobel Peace Prize or America's Next Top Model before you joined Facebook) and the ability to have not one but TWO profile pictures.  That real estate that Myspace labeled as hands-off is all yours on Facebook, and using it is as simple as uploading a photo.  No CSS, FMBL, etc., required. But ensuring that your image appears exactly as you intended requires a bit more effort on your part than clicking the upload button.

You want this:

But you have this:

For help with perfecting your image, see this article on best practices.  Also, a PSD template is especially helpful in sizing and optimizing your image.

If you want to take things up a notch and get creative with your cover photo, check out these covers (here & here) for some inspiration.  Enjoy!


why i ♥ and hate photoshop

I love Photoshop. I love that it can be used to create beautiful and surreal imagery, add amazing effects to text, and help restore old photos. The possibilities for creating are endless. What I hate about Photoshop, however, isn't so much about Photoshop as it is about its users, particularly the ones using it to "fix" people.

I realize that few of us object to having an occasional blemish brushed out of a photo, but what about when someone decides to Photoshop more than a blemish and ends up Photo-Chopping all of you?


Props to Louis Vuitton for having selected a woman over 50 as the face of an ad campaign! Then again ....

When working on an image of a person, it's all too easy to get carried away correcting perceived flaws. But it seems as though Photoshop has become the software equivalent of a plastic surgeon's table-- a mad plastic surgeon.

A collection of Playboy images reflecting handwritten instructions by Playboy's art department made the Internet rounds after being listed for auction with Christie's. The handwritten notes included the following requested photo edits:

kill veins, kill stretchmarks, kill large pores, soften laugh lines, kill [arm]hair, smooth heels, [add] better butt curve, soften lines [in feet], kill bruises, kill stubble, soften lines under eyes, kill veins in feet, kill mole, slim tummy, soften hands, smooth skin on face, whiten eyes, etc.

And all this time I thought it was up to a dermatologist to decide when to "kill" a mole.


Of all these things, the most upsetting is the overuse of Photoshop in ads for cosmetics. I don't care so much if the girl in Playboy has lines under her eyes or if the celebrity on the cover of a magazine has been Photoshopped to hell and back, but I DO care about whether or not the mascara that promises beautiful lashes delivers.

And THAT is why I am happy about THIS: dailymail.com


a stylish endeavor

Web + Print Work for Fashion Stylist, Courtney K

When Courtney originally approached me, she was ready to take her styling expertise to the next level. She had an enormous amount of material for a portfolio- but she had no portfolio.

We compiled all of her published works and pieces where she was recognized for her fashion sense and created a digital portfolio (PDF & Flash). The PDF was viewable via the CD enclosed in the media kit designed for her.

Soon thereafter, we launched her fashion blog, thestylimiste.com.

Time for a logo, Part I

Fast forward to 2012. We discussed a few concepts before landing on this one.

We liked it, but we weren't in love with it.

Try again ....

Time for a logo, Part II



We love it!

The cards to the far left measure 3.30" x 2.16", the standard European size. The smaller ones to the right measure an adorable 2.75" x 1.10".