A Few of Our Favorite Things: LL’s Illustrators

Jim_Madson

Jim Madsen

http://www.shannonassociates.com/artist/jimmadsen

Madson has been illustrating for the past 15 years, and has 75 illustrated books to show for it! His work has a soft, dreamlike quality. He uses subtle humor which brings charm to a lot of his pieces. There’s warmth through his color palette that helps create a sort of comfort to the characters he constructs. I really enjoy his work, and he is fantastic to work with.

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Personalized Learning in Practice: How a Risk-Taker Tailored Learning in Her District

Wales, Wis.

A magic wand sits high on a shelf in Patricia Deklotz’s office. It was a gift in 2005, the day after she accepted the Kettle Moraine school board’s challenge to “transform the educational delivery system to better and more efficiently meet the needs of all children.” But the board had just cut about $1 million from the budget for the 4,100-student district.

What “transform” meant was undefined, except Deklotz knew that they needed to do something different for less. Innovate on a dime.

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A Few of our Favorite Things: LL’s Illustrated Children’s Books

oliver_jeffers

The Great Paper Caper by Oliver Jeffers

Described by Oliver Jeffers as “A thrilling tale of mystery, crime, alibis, paper planes, and a bear who wanted to win.” This book is illustrated beautifully through humor, Jeffers ‘childlike’ type and lovable characters. I love the animals stick figure legs and the sky always changing bold colors. It was nearly impossible for me to choose a favorite among Jeffers books-so I must cheat my “3” favorites list here and mention two more titles by Jeffers, The Incredible Book Eating Boy and This Moose Belongs to Me. Though lets be honest, they are all great!

Purchase here!

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A Few of Our Favorite Things: KR’s Type Artists

Christopher WoolChristopher Wool

Wool is an American artist famous for his black and white stenciled letter word paintings, Wool forms words and phrases in a grid style that breaks typography and word pattern rules, removing space, punctuation and vowels leaving the viewer to make sense of it. Known also for his abstract work, Wool pushes the limits of painting using of a variety of mediums and tools for mark-making. I am inspired by his ability to move beyond the standard rules and create art that grabs your attention and requires thought to decipher the work.

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Generating Effective Website Content

Regardless of the size of your company, having a functional website is a critical foundation. Whether you’re working on a redesign or developing your website from scratch, you should pay attention to and focus on the content of your site. Having a functional and attractive website will only get you so far. People often neglect the importance of having pertinent and well-written content.

What you should write—be clear and quick

When writing for your website, make sure it is clearly written and conveys consistent messaging for your brand and personality. Although it’s important to incorporate a personal touch, you should avoid getting too wordy. People have a short attention span when it comes to browsing a website versus reading a blog or online article. With articles, people have a preconceived idea of what they will be doing and expect to dedicate some time to reading. With most websites, on the other hand, people want to be able to get in and get out. It has been reported that people will spend as little as 20 seconds on your site to determine if it’s worth their time or not. If they can’t find what they’re looking for quickly, they will move on and look elsewhere.
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The Time is Right to Redesign Your Website

There may be existing features in the company’s current site construction that were optimal at one point, but that now may be working against you. There may also be new strategies that simply work much better in achieving desired results.

Get back to basics…Ask yourself if you need a redesigned website.

  • Is your site responsive?
  • Has your company evolved and your website needs to catch up?
  • Does your website show up on Google?
  • Can your client easily contact you from your site?
  • What is the first impression your potential clients get from your current site?
  • Does your current site accurately represent your company?
  • Can you manage the site content?
  • Is the user experience a positive one?

Let’s give your visitors exactly what they are looking for. First, step back and think about what your goals are. Let’s lay down a path to follow. Second, look at the content you already have on your site. What can you use for the new site and what new material will be needed? What information can we leave out? Third, let’s sit down and talk about your site history, performance, goals and viable directions. It may just be the right time to redesign your website.

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A Few of Our Favorite Things: Mural Art

191st
Photos by Plotr Redlinski for the NY Times

191st Beautification Project/NYC

Check out more mural art images here

Six artists out of hundreds who applied, were selected to turn one of the longest (a 5 minute walk) and scariest tunnels into a beautiful, colorful work of art. Once dark and dirty, the city decided to turn this tunnel leading to a subway entrance into an inspiring, eye-opening walk. The walls went from a pale yellow to a colorful, geometric mural. Andrea von Bujdoss, the art duo Jessie Unterhalter & Katey Truhn, Nick Kuszyk, Nelson Rivas, and Fernando Carlo, Jr. were the selected local artist chosen for this project, and they did not disappoint.

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Inspiration at Work

Inspiration is all around us every day. It may be something as simple as a pattern we see or something more complex and integrated. Inspiration can strike at any time, and we don’t often realize how it is affecting our work. How do you keep your creative juices flowing? Lets take a look at a few things that can help.

I know when I first heard people tell me this; I had no idea what they were talking about. Once I understood that designing in a vacuum was like designing in the dark, it all made sense. Designing without inspiration (or vision) IS designing in a vacuum.

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How to Avoid Drowning in a Sea of Ads

The over-abundance of advertising is now commonplace and you’re being inundated with holiday promotions. This shift is causing marketers to adapt a “more is more” approach. Ads can now be seen almost everywhere and on almost everything. Traditionally, ads were featured in newspapers and magazines, but due to decreasing reliability of those mediums and movement into the digital age, advertisers are now trying to reach people everywhere. Because of this, consumers are tuning out and ignoring traditional ads.

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