An Education in Wide Format Printing from the Nations Top Experts
On day 1, Shelby Sapusek with ColorCasters will give you insights into using Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign for creating great layouts. Then Mark Rugen with MUTOH will show you the right way to tweak and use FlexiSIGN & Print for the same reason. Day 2 will bring the design together with color printing using the talents of Jim Raffel with ColorCasters. These are three of the top experts in the US!
MacPapers has agreed to host the event at their wide format digital demo room, so you’ll see the latest in wide format printers from Dye sublimation to flatbed. why not see some of the latest printers in the wide-format market as well as the media they use?
In all, you’re going to get over 14 hours of intense design and wide format printing training, but only if you attend.
Seating is very limited so get the full picture including agenda. Click here…before there’s no room!
LUNCH PROVIDED BY
I’m pretty sure it’s safe to say that we all use Google services numerous times per day. Perhaps you look for images, or technical support or even potential clients. No matter, the display of google.com results is changing and you need to be aware of those changes.
Why your Google search results look different
Have you been on Google lately? If so, do not adjust your set — nothing is wrong with the website. Google is unrolling a brand new look for its search engine results, and not everyone was prepared for the change.
This isn’t the first time Google has deployed a major change to the way it serves up results to visitors. Recently, the company integrated a state-of-the-art AI called BERT with its search engine to understand natural speech and writing even better. Tap or click here to learn more about these changes.
But this time around, Google’s new changes aren’t just going on behind the scenes. Users will see visible, graphical tweaks next to their search engine results — and Google thinks it might help combat misinformation from spreading on its platforms. Here’s what you need to look out for next time you search on Google.
Google adds website icons to its search results. Every single one.
If you attempt to look up something on Google today, you may be surprised to see changes to the way your results look. Starting this week for desktop users, every result will include a small icon indicating the source website. Ads will feature bolded text and an “Ad” icon to stand out from ordinary results.
This follows search engine changes for mobile users, who began seeing similar icons next to search results as recently as last year.
As an example for our readers, if you looked up The Kim Komando Show on Google, it would previously show results in the traditional, list-like fashion Google became famous for.
But now, as you can see, each result comes with a small icon that shows the branding of its source. The Komando.com results feature our website’s icon, while the YouTube channel and Wikipedia page for Kim feature their website’s respective symbols.
But why the sudden change?
Google actually has reasons for making this move. According to the company, this is a direct effort to combat misinformation spreading around the web, and will help searchers make better decisions about the sites they visit.
The implications for this are huge — and potentially helpful in terms of cybersecurity. Fraudulent websites and shady sources will stick out like sore thumbs compared to their mainstream counterparts, which will help users avoid the pitfalls of malicious websites and fake news.
That is, of course, until the scammers behind these sites figure out the power of graphic design. And decent spelling, for that matter. Tap or click here to see a perfect example of a shoddy scam site that won’t pass the smell test.
Of course, there is a chance this change could backfire on Google. The company has already been criticized for playing favorites with search results, and fledgling websites that don’t have adequate graphics or resources may suffer as a result of these changes. Tap or click here to see some of the accusations.
Ultimately, this may prove to be a benefit to Google users, but it’ll be a while before we know whether the changes were worth it. In the meantime, make sure to scan your search results carefully. Fake and malicious sites will be easier to spot now, more than ever.
Thanks to Kim Komando f0r a great article!
Learn how to make your business even better with training & education from MUTOH!
I’ve seen so many shops use copyrighted materials. Here is a great article from Sign & Digital magazine that will cover the topic properly. Please subscribe to their electronic magazine for numerous articles such as this one.
Time to break the bad news on copyright and trademark
You start to explain to them why they can’t use an image off of the internet in that way, for reasons explainable by an attorney specializing in copyright law, like Alex Johnson of Hamilton IP Law, PC, in Davenport, Iowa. Hamilton IP Law is a “boutique intellectual property law firm” specializing in patents, trademarks, copyrights and other related intellectual properties. As Johnson explains, a common misconception that people have is that simply making some changes to an existing image will mitigate the issue of copyright infringement. However, that is not how the law looks at the use of images from the internet, and understanding the legal issue of copyright infringement is quite complex.
“Not only is each image protected by copyright law, but the image could also be subject to trademark law, too,” Johnson says. If the original is someone’s business trademark, there may be visual elements including colors, fonts as well as wording that are part of that company’s brand. In that case, he says, the consequences of the illegal use of the image could run afoul of trademark law for likelihood of confusion (a topic beyond this article) on top of the potential copyright infringement like the kind you were wary of when this couple showed you the original image.
“But look, the text is different, the shape is a lot different and the colors are totally different,” your couple pleads. They really feel it has been altered enough to be different, but as Johnson explains, it’s a contextual analysis that is very difficult to determine. As a general rule, merely changing a couple of aspects to that image is likely not enough; unfortunately, and as is often the case, the answer is that “It depends,” and it just is not a good idea. If the image, even after making changes, is found to be “substantially similar,” then it is likely to infringe the original image’s copyright.
So you explain to them that the question is difficult to answer, and rarely worth the risk of using an image that was not your original design, especially to be the face of their business.
Even though you only have a little familiarity with copyrights, you know that there is a simple rule that you can safely recommend to this couple: if you made it from scratch yourself, and did not merely re-draw preexisting ideas you saw elsewhere, you have done what you can to avoid copyright infringement (but as we all know, someone might still find a reason to sue).
Johnson recommends a rule of thumb to follow when it comes to creating a logo for your business: create a unique image from scratch. If hiring a designer, have a written agreement where the artist represents and warrants that it’s an original and that you own it. He also says that if you’re going to use an image you have found, you need to be sure you can verify the owner of the copyright and purchase a license or assignment from them before adopting it.
Johnson added that this goes for everything and anything found on the internet, and that most people don’t understand that ownership and copyright of an original image is automatically given to the person who created it, without the need for paperwork, filings or legalities. That being said, considering the thousands of images available online, it’s easy to see just how difficult it can be to create a truly original design, but the results are worth the efforts. As Johnson advises to his clients, from a foundational basic business perspective, having your branding be based off the image of someone else makes your brand subject to the impression that company has–and impressions change, so it’s best to control your own image and make your brand an original. Why would you want to be a knock off?
How does one use the images from the internet?
Inspiration only. That’s exactly what you use the internet images for, inspiration. It’s not about copying the way the fonts interlock or what the mountain graphic looks like, or even the layout of those visuals. In researching the Web for ideas, you are paying close attention to the visual emotional triggers that make some logos inspirational and others not at all. Professional designers know how to create the right feeling through the use of flow, shape and the arrangement of original images and designs.
Working with someone who understands how copyright law affects all aspects of logo design and the consequences of using a copied image for signage is probably the most important reason for your customers to use a professional in the sign business. It is also why it is important to consult with legal counsel. Knowing the trigger and what to look for is key in the sign industry.
So how do you help your customers who run into possible legal issues?
Contact a copyright and trademark attorney like Alex or the other intellectual property attorneys at Hamilton IP Law, PC at www.hamiltoniplaw.com or 563-441-0207.
Learn about MUTOH wide format printers: www.mutoh.com
We Need Data for 2020 Trends
To properly plan for 2020 we need to have data that will give us some idea of the trends for the year. Here are some cool trend tools you might like to use:
17 Retail, Decor & Fashion Trend Forecasting Sources for Creative Entrepreneurs
Color, decor, and fashion trend forecasting blogs to help you create on-trend products shoppers want to buy. Plus, free sources for consumer behavior and retail industry trends, so you’ll know when, where, and why your customers are shopping.
Designing handmade products with future fashion and home decoration trends in mind isn’t for everyone. Some people like to follow their own style and instincts. But for many owners of creative businesses, designing on trend items is part of their company’s identity. It can be an important selling feature for both retail and wholesale customers.
Clearly, if you aim to create items that are on trend, you need good trend forecasting sources. You’ll need to know what styles will be hot well in advance to have time to design items, order appropriate supplies, create your products, and create promotional materials.
Checking out your favorite stores each season or reading popular fashion and decorating magazines will only tell you about what is popular at that moment. What you really need is a way to discover the trends you’ll be seeing several months in advance, so you have time to prepare.
Luckily, there are a lot of free home and fashion trend forecasting sources online – A lot more than there were when I was starting out!
It’s easier than ever to find that information for free.
Plus – Retail Industry Trends
I’ve added a few sources of retail market trends reports to this page. Those reports go beyond what customers are buying. They’ll give you important information such as: when your customers are shopping, what they expect in a shopping experience, how much they will spend, and how they research products.
Color, Home Decor & Fashion Trend Forecasting Sources
This list is not an exhaustive inventory of every trend forecasting blog out there. There are loads of blogs that specialize in forecasting trends. You could spend hours searching through all of them.
But you don’t have hours to sift through trend reports. You have a business to run! So I’ve stuck to the trend forecasting blogs that are I like and follow.
Many of these sources offer paid future trend reports which tend to be quite pricey. However, every resource linked below also has a lot of free information. As long as you don’t need your trend reports several seasons in advance, I believe you could find everything you need within the free trend reports.
1. Fashion TRendsetter
Fashion Trendsetter is a great, free source for all kinds of trend reports including:
2. We Connect Fashion
This site has a lot of information as well as a fun little search tool. Go to their trends page and browse all kinds of reports on color, decor, textiles, accessories, and apparel trends.
There’s a handy tool on the trends page that allows you to filter the results by season, market, industry and category, so you can quickly find the type of information you need.
3. Pantone Color Trends
Pantone is the leader in color trend forecasting for design, home interiors, and fashion. They don’t publish as much free information as some of the other blogs listed on this page. However, Pantone is so influential in the use of color in design that they must be included in any list of design trend sources.
The link above takes you to Pantone’s Color Intelligence articles, which do provide some information about using color trends in design.
4. Emily Kiddy
Emily Kiddy is a fashion design consultant and blogger I love who posts lots of trend research with a special focus on trends in children’s fashion. Her whole blog is fabulous, but you can go straight to her fashion trend posts here.
You can also follow Emily Kiddy on Pinterest to get her beautiful trend reports in your feed.
This site offers information for the fashion and design sector. They have a paid service, which, I hear is quite pricey. But there is also plenty of free fashion and interiors trend information on their blog.
6. Trend Bible
Trend Bible is another great blog full of helpful trend reports. Most of the blogs on this list focus on fashion trend forecasting, but Trend Bible’s primary focus is home decor trend reports.
If you make handmade products for the home, and you want to embrace trends in your designs, you need to follow Trend Bible.
The Trendstop blog’s primary focus is fashion trend forecasting, but you’ll also find some color, lifestyle, and consumer trends information on the blog.
8. WWD (Women’s Wear Daily)
The WWD (Women’s Wear Daily) site has loads of fashion industry information, including fashion trends.
Facebook, Pinterest, and Etsy Trends
9. Etsy Trends
On Etsy’s blog, you’ll find reports on searches that are trending on Etsy. Those reports are filed under the category trends.
Keep an eye out for their holiday gifting trends report, which is usually published in late September and their trends report for the upcoming year, which is published in mid to late December. Those reports will give you some insights into what shoppers on Etsy are searching for going into the Christmas shopping season and what craft trends may be hot for the coming year.
10. Pinterest Trends
The Pinterest 100
In mid-December, Pinterest publishes The Pinterest 100. It’s a report describing 100 searches that are trending on Pinterest and will likely be hot topics going into the coming year.
Pinterest also publishes monthly reports on searches trending on Pinterest. You’ll find them all on the blog filed under Pinsights.
11. Facebook Trends
Facebook publishes reports that explore insights into consumer behavior, including a holiday marketing guide with data on trending consumer behavior and an annual Topics and Trends report which shows international trending topics on the platform.
REtail Shopping Trends
Every year, in October, I dig into retail shopping trend predictions for the upcoming holiday season. Here are some of sources I use for my research.
12. National Retail Federation
The National Retail Federation is a trade association for retailers. Their site full of information, including retail shopping trend reports.
Criteo publishes consumer behavior trend reports with a focus on ecommerce and holiday shopping trend forecasting. You’ll need to provide an email address to download any of their reports.
Tinuiti is another company that focuses on online retail sales. While a lot of their reports are focused on topics like buying ads on Google or Amazon, they also produce consumer behavior guides that provide insight into the mindset of shoppers. You’ll need to provide an email address to download any of these guides.
Trend Reports on Craft Professional
I review retail sales predictions and design trend reports in September / October before the busy holiday shopping season begins and again in December when trend forecasts for the coming year are published. I look at that information from the perspective of a craft business owner and report on those trends that I believe are most relevant and impactful to my readers.
You’ll find links to those reports below.
15. My Design Trend Report Articles
Every December, I review Pinterest’s and Etsy’s predictions for the coming year and report on trends that are most relevant to craft artists. I also review Etsy’s holiday gifting trend report in September or October.
You can check out those DIY trends reports for craft business owners here. Rather than linking to individual articles, the link above sends you to a section on the page that has links to all of my design trend reports, so you’ll always see the newest articles on the topic.
16. My Retail Trend Articles
In October, I review several sources of retail trend information and holiday shopping predictions for the upcoming Christmas shopping season with a focus on trends relevant to handmade product sales. You’ll find links to all of my retail trend articles here.
17. My Pinterest Boards
If you prefer to access your information on Pinterest, I keep several boards on fashion trend forecasting that I update frequently. I follow most of the sources mentioned above and pin articles about new trends as they are posted online.
You can keep up with my trend research by following me on Pinterest.
I create new trend boards for each season as new information becomes available. If you follow all of my boards (not just the trend ones), you’ll get the newest trend boards in your feed whenever I start pinning for a new season.
Be sure to find out more about MUTOH printers and how they can be used for printing on just about any material! MUTOH MAKES IT POSSIBLE. www.mutoh.com