June 12, 2017

Heather Picken’s hot tips to teach yourself graphic design

 Heather Picken’s hot tips to teach yourself graphic designGraphic design is something that many people will assume has to be outsourced to professionals, but that doesn’t always have to be the case. In a digital world full of online tuition and video tutorials, it’s now easier than ever to teach yourself new skills. If you want to reduce costs and learn how to create the type of graphics perfect for your brand, then this guide will show you how to learn the design skills you need.


The online video library has millions of self-help and tutorial videos that teach just about anything you can think of. Taking advantage of this vast catalogue of information is essential if you want to teach yourself graphic design. There are numerous channels run by professional designers who give free lessons, ranging from basic beginner skills to advanced techniques. A quick search will provide you with plenty of videos that teach skills in a variety of design platforms such as Photoshop and Illustrator. Unfortunately you may have to sift through a few videos of lower quality to find what you need, but overall YouTube is a valuable tool that should be utilised on your journey to becoming a graphic designer.

Online courses

There are online courses available that will take you, lesson by lesson, through the necessary steps needed to become a graphic designer. A lot of these can be found for free but you may have to pay for more advanced lessons.

Get Inspired

If you’re looking to reduce the need for outsourcing, so you can create your own style of graphics, then it is important to develop your own style. Doing research on already existing graphic styles from similar brands will give you a better idea of the kind of image you’re trying to create. This will make it easier to figure out the specific techniques and skills you need to learn.


Just like any other skill, graphic design is not something that can be perfected overnight. It will take a lot of practice and perseverance to master, but can be useful even in the early stages of learning. Starting with the basics will help you develop a solid foundation for your new skills. There are a lot of beginner techniques that can be useful when designing brand graphics or layout templates. Master one thing at a time and before you know it you’ll have a repertoire of skills that would match any graphic designer out there.


June 8, 2017

New TEXStyle fabric displays from Printdesigns offers exhibitors a fresh way to stand out from the crowd

TEXStyle fabric displays Exhibition experts Printdesigns have released a ground breaking new range of fabric display units, which look to be overtaking traditional roller banners as the go-to product for businesses all over the country.

Printdesigners director, Charlotte Thompson said, “It’s easy for brands to get lost in the crowd at big expos and trading events when most stalls are using similar setups. The innovative design of our TEXStyle fabric display stands offers an eye-catching alternative with unique styles and distinctive shapes.”

The versatile TEXStyle range comes in a variety of 3D options, designed to cut through the sea of generic displays. There are nine different styles in total; Surge, Straight Banner, Icon, Swirl, Curved Fabric Display, Straight, Fabric Display, Concave, Giant Curved Display and Giant Straight Display.

Options include the statement making TEXStyle Surge fabric banner stand which boasts an attractive S Shaped frame for a welcome alternative to conventional banner stand. The utterly unique TEXStyle Icon is another example of next generation display stands. The double-sided three dimensional banner is available in both curved and angular profiles, making for a distinctive silhouette in even the most crowded of halls.

The TEXStyle system can be mixed and matched and additional graphics swapped in or out on demand to provide a whole new look for each event.

All TEXStyle displays are made from lightweight aluminium frames which can be assembled by hand and covered with a custom-designed stretch fabric in a matter of minutes. The display can be broken down just as quickly and stored in a carry case for use at the next event.


June 5, 2017

5 easy ways to create a great first impression

first impression As a business person or brand representative it is vital that you make a good first impression when meeting potential clients or associates. If you often attend networking fairs, or stage promotional events, then you’ll know the importance of putting your best foot forward. Here are some tips that will help to ensure that you make a lasting impression and develop long-term connections.


Being prepared is key if you want to make sure you’re ready to impress. If you’re attending an event, then be sure to do some research beforehand so that you’re clued up on the people you will be meeting and the topics to be discussed. This will give you confidence and make sure you feel comfortable when meeting new people.


It may seem superficial but the way you look can have a big impact on people’s initial impression of you. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to wear really expensive luxury clothes. Be aware of your surroundings and dress appropriately. For example if you are going to a casual event, then dress smart but casual.


It’s very important to be on time if you want to make a good impression. If you arrive late to an event or meeting then it creates a bad image and people may get the impression that you don’t value their time. Trying to arrive early will show that you are eager and reliable, giving a much better impression of yourself.


A simple smile can have a big effect on people’s attitude towards you. If you present yourself in a natural and friendly way then people will be more comfortable when engaging with you. Body language is also important when it comes to making people feel at ease. Let your posture open up and greet people with a friendly handshake to make them feel relaxed and welcome.


No one likes to be ignored or to feel like they are not being taken seriously. It is important to be confident and show that you’re capable and enthusiastic, but be careful not to talk over anyone. Asking questions is a great way to engage people and give them the opportunity to share their thoughts. What’s more important is that you listen and reply. Just by listening to people and responding to them you will instantly start to develop a rapport.


May 19, 2017

The introverts guide to networking at a trade show

 The introverts guide to networking at a trade showTrade shows are a great opportunity for any business or entrepreneur to interact with others in the same industry, and to make mutually beneficial connections. These events often draw in hundreds of people, which can be a daunting concept if you’re not very experienced in networking. Whether it’s your first time at a trade show and you are unsure of the procedure, or if you’re naturally shy and aren’t used to talking publicly, these tips will help give you the confidence to go out and make a great impression.

Be prepared

Preparation is very important if you want to get the most out of a trade show event. If you are naturally uncomfortable pitching to new people, then it can help to practice before hand. Put yourself in a situation that you’re more comfortable in and practice communicating your message accurately, perhaps to a friend or co-worker. It’s also important to remember that the trade show starts well before the event itself. Make sure to contact other attendees that you’re interested in talking to prior to the event. This will generate dialogue and establish a pre-existing relationship, taking the pressure off when you meet them in person.

Be presentable

Creating a good first impression is important, and that will depend on how you present yourself and your brand. This doesn’t just mean you have to dress smart, your visual setup is very important when trying to draw people in. Using high quality graphics and promotional material will create a professional image reflective of your brand. Try to think outside of the box when planning your presence. Using things like interactive digital screens and unique display solutions will draw people’s attention and help you stand out from the crowd. It can also be a natural talking point and conversation starter, which can help to combat nerves!

Be yourself

Remember that everyone is human and you’re all at the event for the same reason; to meet new people. Act naturally and allow your personality to come across. People can tell if they are being sold something or if you are simply pushing an agenda. Being friendly, authentic and interested in what the other person has to say will create more genuine and long-lasting connections. It’s also important to leave people with something to remember you by. Try being more creative than simply handing out business cards that are easy to lose.

May 17, 2017

5 Cool marketing ideas for your next trade show

trade show ideas Trade show events are often packed full of other businesses and companies trying to make an impression. With such high traffic it can sometimes be difficult to stand out from the crowd. It is important to get your brand ideals across to other attendees and show them how much more you can offer by using unique and interesting marketing techniques. Here are some creative ideas which can help generate more interest in you and your brand.

Interactive exhibit

A great way to keep people’s attention is to get them involved by creating an interactive exhibit. For example, why not create an interactive quiz or challenge which offers prize to successful participants?


People love getting free stuff, especially at events like trade shows. This opens up the opportunity to promote your brand by offering unique, memorable or unusual gifts. By giving away practical gifts, such as bags, USB drives, mouse mats, calendars and pens that carry your brand logo, visitors will have something to remember you by.

Use technology

The world has become a much more digital place over the last decade and you can use that to your advantage when setting up your exhibition stand. Featuring a tablet display or interactive screen in your stand design gives you bags of creative potential on the day. You could set up a photograph app that lets people take funny selfies, or perhaps use the digital display to live stream over your preferred social network. You could even get an app designed specifically for the event to engage with visitors and capture lead info.

Unique design

It goes without saying that professional graphics are non-negotiable but you are only limited by your imagination when it comes to what you should actually display. Why not incorporate a unique design such as a ceiling mounted display? You’ll also want to use strong, bright graphics that stand out. Also consider using interactive displays such as whiteboards for people to draw on, or for your staff to present to visitors as they discuss how you can help.


Hiring a professional entertainer or celebrity lookalike can be a novel way to increase foot traffic and draw in a crowd. For example, you could employ a circus performer or a magician who can make a pen, with your company logo printed on it, appear from nowhere.

The exact entertainer or performer you hire will depend on your brand itself.