Best Premium Themes Club for WordPress

These days it is becoming harder to find original, high-quality and inexpensive themes. There are many theme clubs and theme frameworks that charge hundreds of dollars for an elegant theme. In this post, I am going to review / talk about a WordPress theme shop called Elegant Themes, which provides the best premium themes for a very reasonable price.

The elegant theme shop is owned by Nick Roach. For $69, you get unlimited access to 86+ premium WordPress themes, and every theme that is released for the next year.

If I had to choose between Elegant Themes or any other theme shop, then it would definitely have to be ElegantThemes.

For just $69, you’re getting access to 86+ extremely original WordPress themes and each theme comes with different styling and functionality.

Best WordPres Theme Club – Elegant Themes

1. Features Overview !!

General Settings: Lets you change color schemes, layout of your blog, control your featured articles, and more. This page gives you control over the basic functions / features of your theme.
Layout Settings: Easily enable / disable thumbnails, comments, and post-info section, on posts and pages, via the layout settings page.

Element Colorization: Using the quick and easy jQuery color selector, you can easily customize the colors of various elements of your theme at the click of a button, without any existing web design experience.

Integration Tab: This is where you will add third party scripts such as Google Analytics code or any other tracking code, that you’d normally have to add it in footer.php.

Advertisement Management: Use the built-in module to place banner ads on your site, you just need to add the destination URL and banner image.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Fully optimized and compatible with all the SEO plugins such as WordPress SEO by Yoast and All-in-one SEO.

Advanced Search: Improves the default WordPress search, allowing users to search particular categories, tags, time frames, and custom post types.

Contact Form: Contact Form function allows you to easily add a contact form without installing a new plugin like Contact form 7 or Gravity Forms.

Image Gallery: Create a beautiful image gallery using the built-in gallery template. This allows you to create page with image posts from any category. The template also comes with some great animations and lightbox effects.

Member Login: Easily lets you add login & registration forms. This feature can be pretty useful, if your site requires visitors to sign-in for content. And it is much better than the standard unbranded login form.

Blog Feed: Displays a list of recent posts in a Blog-Style format, populated with categories of your choosing, no matter what theme you are using.

2. Support and Updates

A well coded WordPress theme is of no use, if you do not get regular updates / support. This may be the case with many theme shops, but not with ElegantThemes.

As long as you are a member of ET, you can be sure that your theme will always be compatible with the latest version of WordPress.

While you are a member of the Elegant Themes you get access to their premium support channels. While we can report our experiences of using the Elegant Themes support service has been positive, we recently published a detailed article on this topic. To find out how the company fared read our Elegant Themes support evaluation.

3. New Stylish Themes every month

Every month Nick adds a theme or 2. Visit Elegant Themes Blog to see the updates about themes. This is one of the most awesome things I like about Nick’s themes, he doesn’t just release the same themes with different designs again and again. If you take a look at their theme collection, you will find they have every type of theme, each with a stylish look.

4. The Price

Wouldn’t you love to get access to 80+ themes and plugins for just $69.! This is the most awesome benefit of using Elegant Themes, if you don’t like a theme then user another….. So many themes to choose from.

If you look at other theme shops or marketplaces (ThemeForest & Mojo-Themes), you will be lucky to get a theme or two for $69. This is one of the reasons why I love Elegant Themes.

If you want to save a lot of money then you better become a member now, because Elegant Themes may increase the price to something like $69 in the near future. ElegantThemes has finally increased the price to $69.

5. Responsive Design

Most of the Elegant Themes have a fully responsive design that adapts to your user’s variable screen size. If you choose to install one of the Elegant’s responsive WordPress theme, then be prepared to see a nice looking design of your website on your smartphone and tablet.

Now your website will display beautifully and intuitively no matter what type of device is being used to browse it.

30 Of The Most Creative Business Cards Ever

A good business card definitely won’t ensure your success, but it sure can help! It can make all the difference in the first impression that you have on someone, or whether or not you leave an impression at all, so here are 30 cleverly-designed business cards that will get you thinking about how you might want to present yourself!
Many of us are probably guilty of accepting business cards out of politeness and then just throwing them away or forgetting about them (I know I am). These cards, however, stay with you – psychologically or physically. Some have been cleverly designed to double as useful tools, product samples or funny little toys, while others manage to make a point about the person on the card that will stick more than just a name and an address.
With the emphasis placed on networking these days, it’s more important than ever to stand out of the crowd – and here are a few good ideas for how to do it!


1. Cosmetic Surgeon Business Card

Advertising Agency: Demner, Merlicek & Bergmann, Vienna, Austria

2. Yoga Trainer Business Cards

Advertising Agency: Marked for Trade

3. Cheese Grater Business Card

Advertising Agency: JWT, Brazil

4. Tearable Divorce Lawyer Business Card

Notice that the card has contact information on both sides.

5. Yoga Mat Business Card

A simple, yet very creative business card for Vancouver yoga center. The card rolls just like a yoga mat.

6. Fitness Trainer’s Tearable Business Card

Zohra Mouhetta helps you strip away your belly! (Advertising Agency: Leo Burnett, Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

7. Designer’s Seed Packet Business Card

Designed by Jamie Wieck

8. Circumciser’s Business Card

Advertising Agency: Agency: Healthy People by Grey, Istanbul, Turkey

9. Event Photographer’s Viewfinder Business Card

10. Dentist’s Cavity Business Card

Designed by Michael Häne & Remo Caminada

11. Stretchy Personal Trainer’s Business Card

If you want to see the text on this business card, you have to do a little stretching exercise.

12. Hair Dresser Business Cards

Designed by Igor Perkusic

13. Cigarette Filter Business Card

Advertising Agency: Bos, Toronto, Canada

14. Buy/Sell Investment Representative Business Cards

Advertising Agency: Rethink, Canada

15. Yoga Center Straw

Advertising Agency: Leo Burnett, Shanghai, China

16. Sommelière Wineglass Business Card

Designed by Caserne

17. Your Own Personal Lego Agent

18. Picture Frame Business Card

Advertising Agency: Piko, Moldova

19. Stylish Transparency Business Card

Designed by Dario Monetini

20. Makeup Business Card

Advertising Agency: OpusMúltipla, Curitiba, Brazil

21. Toy Chair Business Card

Advertising Agency: DDB, Brazil

22. Miniature Plumber’s Plunger With Contact Information

Designed by Indelible Design

23. Seed Packet Business Card

Advertising Agency: Struck, USA

24.Bike Multi-Tool Business Card

Designer: Rethink Canada

25. Classic Rock Theme Business Card

This groovy hair salon comb plays a classic rock theme when rubbed by fingernail, using the same principle as a musicbox comb. (Advertising Agency: Fabio Milito design, Roma, Italy)

26. Transformable Cargo Box Business Card

Advertising Agency: Y&R, São Paulo, Brazil

27. Restaurant Salt Shaker Business Card

Designed by flux

28. Survival Training Dried Meat Business Card

Advertising Agency: Rethink, Vancouver, Canada

29. Tennis Business Card

Advertising Agency: Publicis, Brazil

30. Grillable Business Card

Image credits:

7 Killer Tips for Logo Design

Designing a logo is simple, right? Think again. There’s more to crafting a brand’s visual identity than just placing a name in a square and calling it a day. Logo designers are in high demand, and it’s for good reason — a logo is often a company’s first impression, one that can impact a customer’s brand perception, purchase decisions and overall attitude toward a product.

We live in a society painted with brand logos. Even toddlers who can’t yet tie their own shoelaces recognize many logos or are able to deduce what a company sells just by looking at its brandmark.


1. Be unique and clever

A logo is what helps distinguish a brand from its competitors, so it’s important that the image stands out from the rest — something many brands struggle with.

In many cases, imitation is the best form of flattery — with logo design, this is not the case.

“What’s important is to create something that you believe is different from anything already out there,” David Airey

“What’s important is to create something that you believe is different from anything already out there,” David Airey, a graphic designer and creator of website Logo Design Lovesays. “It’s highly unlikely (some say impossible) that what you create will be original, but that should be the goal.”

Deborah Harkins, creative director at crowdsourced design website 99designs, reiterates the risk of plagiarism. “Once something appears online, there’s simply no way to guarantee it won’t be used in some shape or form in another forum.” Designers who are unsure of the originality of their design can actually check for plagiarism on sites such as Logo Thief.

Creating a unique design isn’t all about avoiding imitation, but also about designing something out-of-the-box. It’s tempting to just throw an industry icon on the page, but it’s important to think creatively. “The Mercedes logo isn’t a car. The Virgin Atlantic logo isn’t an airplane. The Applelogo isn’t a computer,” Airey notes in his book.

SEE ALSO: Branded Viral Videos: The Secret Marketing Weapon

2. Understand the brand

Yes, a logo is an image, but it’s also an introduction to a brand. The logo must reach a specific audience and when designing, you must keep this in mind. Write down what you think about the brand; perhaps even create a mood board with imagery that reminds you of the brand’s ideology — check out websites like Niice for some inspiration. But be wary of becoming inspired by only aesthetics rather than deeper meaning. “Researching other visual brands can be helpful, but designers need to be careful not to take the inspirations too literally,” Harkins says. “Any design work must be original and map directly back to your client’s unique brand attributes.”

Is the brand utility-driven or is it more focused on evoking emotion? Is it contemporary or quirky? What does the customer care about, and what does the brand aspire to be? While it is helpful to stay up to date on design trends, it’s more vital to stay true to a brand’s overarching personality.Here’s a quick brand personality evaluation that can help you along the way.

More than anything, know what your logo means. Every logo has some kind of a history, filled with meaning and purpose. Take Apple, for instance — the fruit is missing a “byte.” OrWikipedia, an unfinished globe of puzzle pieces covered with glyphs from different writing systems. Both logos are simple, but have an added twist that circles back to brand ideology.



Harkins echoes the importance of understanding the brand. “Since a logo is the brand’s visual keystone — the most concise expression of its personality — an honest approach to defining its DNA is imperative to a successful result.”

3. Color is key

colors image


When taking the brand’s personality into account, you have to think about every aspect of the image. Bright and bold colors may grab someone’s attention, but could also seem brash; muted tones exude sophistication, but could be overlooked. Every color has a different implication and can bring nuance to your message — don’t fall into the trap of conveying the wrong message because of a simple brush stroke. The Logo Company released an article “The Science Behind Colors” and an infographic displaying The Psychology of Color in Logo Design. Here’s a quick break-down:

  • Red: energetic, sexy, bold
  • Orange: creative, friendly, youthful
  • Yellow: sunny, inventive, optimism
  • Green: growth, organic, instructional
  • Blue: professional, medical, tranquil, trustworthy
  • Purple: spiritual, wise, evocative
  • Black: credible and powerful
  • White: simple, clean, pure
  • Pink: fun and flirty
  • Brown: rural, historical, steady

4. What’s in a name?

According to Airey, a logo consists of two elements: A wordmark and a symbol. Before a company can think about solely representing itself with a symbol, a great deal of advertising must be done (think: Starbucks or Mercedes). Some companies choose to stick to Logotype entirely, like Ray-Ban, Coca-Cola and IBM.

logos 1


Whether your brand can use a Logotype depends on the kind of name the brand has. “If your company has a unique name, then you could get away with a logotype. But if you have a generic name, then you’re going to need something to identify the company by, which can be achieved by using a logo mark,” logo design blogger Jacob Cass told Mashable in a previous article. And when considering typefaces for your text, be sure to avoid gimmicky fonts, utilize negative space and perhaps tweak an existing font — websites like Font Squirrel or HypeForType are helpful. Some logos even become recognizable because of their custom fonts. Coca-Cola originated the slanted font and now others try to rip them off.

When all else fails: Turn to your friend Helvetica, a simple font that has been utilized well by many popular brands, such as Nars, Target, Crate & Barrel, American Apparel and JCPenney.

5. Keep it easy and flexible

It’s important to have a balanced combination of simple and quirky — you want your logo to be interesting, but you don’t want someone to have to sit and stare, analyzing the logo. A good example is FedEx’s logo, a simple Logotype with a twist. The image utilizes negative space to create an arrow which connotes speed, precision and direction. Additionally, the company changes the color of the “Ex” in order to classify the type of shipping. Amazon, too, uses just its name, but also refers to its wide inventory with a small arrow pointing from a → z.

logo 2


In the digital age, where logos will appear on multiple devices and across social media, you must design something that transcends paper. It must look great on different backgrounds, work for apps, icons, avatars and print, and it must be flexible in size. Take Adidas, a brand that incorporates the same motif of three parallel bars in all of its designs. The visual changes slightly depending on where you see it, but it always contains similar components.



“Finding a logo that can still be relevant (or not feel outdated) in a matter of years, or even months, when we don’t even know what the web will feel like, seems to be a bit more of a challenge,” Raj Abhyanker, CEO of Trademarkia says.

You want to design something that will last through the ages, but you must be open to small iterations along the way.

You want to design something that will last through the ages, but you must be open to small iterations along the way. Most, if not all, brands will create a style guide that lays out exactly how the company should present itself across the web — here are some examples of great design guidelines.

6. Don’t expect instant success

Nike; Puma; Audi — all iconic logos, but like with anything successful, it took time for these to gain popularity. Logos won’t become instantly iconic, even if you’ve designed the most beautiful combination of vectors. It depends on the product’s success and the market in which it exists. “What you think is your best design might very well be for a local craft store that only people in the nearby area ever see. And the design won’t be classed as iconic because it doesn’t have the reach of multinational businesses,” Airey says.

“Ultimately, iconic design status can only be achieved if the client fulfills their potential, too.”

“Ultimately, iconic design status can only be achieved if the client fulfills their potential, too.”

But what made those iconic logos so wonderful? If you look at how they originated, you see that they derived from a great understanding of brand principles. Nike designer Carolyn Davidson was told to create something that displayed motion and would look good on a shoe — hence, the swoosh; Audi represents the company’s four marques linked together; Puma, a simple visualization of the name, along with a leaping puma.

It’s important to be patient and not rush to make changes with your design just because you haven’t gotten the reception you initially expected. “Don’t change your logo just because you’re tired of it, or because your competitors have,” Harkins says. “If the time has come to evolve your logo, look for elements that can be carried forward.”

7. Use online resources and tools

There is a vast sea of information online for those who need some inspiration, collaboration or assistance when designing a company logo.

99designs offers both a Logo Store equipped with unique, hand-vetted logos for those on a tighter budget looking for off-the-shelf ideas, and the site provides an opportunity for more personalized contests where customers are integral to the outcome from the beginning. The website also helps clients make the tough decision between loads of logo submissions. “99designs customers can create a poll of their favorite submissions, and share a link via social networks and email inviting people to vote,” Harkins says. “Often they’re surprised when the design they were leaning toward doesn’t come out on top! But ultimately, they need to own their decision.”

For those who want to design on their own, sites like Logomaker and LogoYes are logo design interfaces that are easy-to-use and free — although, there is a fee to download higher quality versions for print.

Payoneer – The Best Way to Get Paid

Is Payoneer good for freelancers and affiliate marketers? Find out in my hands-on Payoneer debit card review


In this Payoneer review I will be explaining how the Payoneer MasterCard Prepaid Debit Card works and give a little honest feedback, based on my own personal experience with Payoneer over the course of one year and counting.

We’ll cover questions on how it all works, what are all the fees, and other important details that are easy to miss at first glance.

If you’re a freelancer or affiliate marketer like me, you’ve probably got enough to do right now — so let’s get on with it.

What is the Payoneer MasterCard Debit Card?


Payoneer MasterCard Debit Card: Facts

I’ll start off with the basics here. As their name implies, Payoneer are true ‘pioneers’ in the Payoneer global payment processor sector and there isn’t an easy comparison to be made between Payoneer and other services like it.

To save you time figuring it all out, here’s what they can do for you.

What is Payoneer?

Payoneer is a global payment processor similar to PayPal which promises a safe and affordable online payment solution  for international freelancers, affiliate marketers, and others who make money online and need to get paid in their home country.

The Payoneer prepaid MasterCard works like any other re-loadable MasterCard prepaid debit card that you can get at your local bank branch, though it isn’t a typical local debit card account.

Here’s a quick summary of how the card works.

What do you get with the Payoneer MasterCard debit card?


  1. A physical MasterCard prepaid debit card.
  2. An online account linked to your MasterCard card which you can use to view your balance and transaction history, as well as manage your account and personal details.


How can you use it?


  • You can receive credit/debit card payments from anyone with Visa or MasterCard, from anywhere in the world. This service comes with a small processing fee per payment, and the maximum amount you can receive from a single credit card payment is $1000.


  • You can receive Direct Deposit payments from US-based companies such as Amazon and PayPal through Payoneer’s US Payment Service. The transaction fee for using the US Payment Service is 1% of the total amount transferred. You’ll then get paid directly onto your card, rather than having to wait for an international check and paying exorbitant clearing fees on your earnings.


  • You can receive online payments in USD from Payoneer-approved partners (for example: Elance, Fiverr, MediaWhiz, Media Shakers, and dozens more). Receiving payments this way is free for most partners and takes two days to load, although you can also pay an extra $2.50 if you need the cash within 1-2 hours of requesting it.


  • You can pay for goods and services online as well as in brick-and-mortar stores. It has the convenience of a credit card for online payments, with the beauty of a prepaid debit card since you cannot spend more money than you have in your account – i.e. you can’t get into debt! There is no extra charge added to your purchases when you use the Payoneer card directly at a point-of-sale machine.


  • You can withdraw cash in your local currency from any ATM with the MasterCard logo visible on it somewhere – there are more than 1 million of these ATMs worldwide. The fee for a standard ATM cash withdrawal is around $3. This fee might sting a bit, but it helps me keep disciplined with my spending habits so I don’t mind it too much.

If you don’t already have an account with one of Payoneer’s partners, you will want to sign up for your Payoneer card directly from the Payoneer website. The yearly card fee is $29.95, which is deducted from your balance automatically so you don’t have to worry about renewing it. There are no monthly maintenance fees when you sign up for your card via Payoneer’s website.

Please note that Payoneer does provide a few other services such as Global Bank Transfers and the US Payment Service; however, I will not be covering these in this review as I do not use the Global Bank Transfer Service and have only recently been approved for the US Payment Service.

Once I have more experience with the US Payment Service I may write another review detailing how I have found it. [UPDATE: I just received my first Direct Deposit payment from Amazon Associates using Payoneer’s US Payment Service – everything came through without a hitch and I’m smiling from ear to ear!]

My payoneer experience – One year and counting

If you’re still reading this far, you probably want to know if Payoneer is any good, or maybe you would just like to know “how legit” they are. Before I get to that, allow me to give you a short explanation of how and why I started using Payoneer.

A little over a year ago, I was unemployed and having no luck finding a job in my local area, somewhere south of the equator. I mused about the possibility of using my skills online as a freelance writer – but my main obstacle, of course, was getting paid. PayPal wasn’t an option because until recently there was no way to withdraw PayPal funds in my country. Nevertheless, I was sure there had to be a way, and after many weeks of hitting dead-ends, I finally found Payoneer.

Fast forward through a fruitful year of freelancing and some dabbling in affiliate marketing… Well, I’m still using my Payoneer card, and not a day goes by where I’m not thankful for the freedom it gives me to earn money no matter where I am. Although I mainly use it for receiving my freelance earnings on Elance and some affiliate commissions (e.g. Amazon, ClickBank, LinkShare), I have been thoroughly impressed by both Payoneer as a company and the Payoneer prepaid debit card itself.

My major concern when signing up with Payoneer was how long the payments would take to clear, but as it turns out I was worrying for no reason. I have never had a problem with my payments coming through; they have been processed and loaded into my account within the promised two-day waiting period each and every time.

As for paying for things with my Payoneer card, so far I’ve yet to come across a checkout method that prevented me from purchasing – i.e. it just works. I’ve bought goods online at both local and online retailers with no problems, and it’s as easy as a credit card transaction.

Whenever I have a question regarding the service or my account, I simply search the Payoneer forum and usually find that my question has already been answered, straightforwardly and in sufficient detail, by one of their community managers or support representatives. I can’t vouch for the live support because I’ve never used them, as I prefer email correspondence when dealing with official matters.

With that said (I mean, what more can I say?), if you’re an online freelancer, content producer, or affiliate marketer looking for a better alternative to PayPal for getting paid over the internet… This is it.

Verdict: 100% legit and highly recommended.

Here’s how to get your own Payoneer card + $25 bonus

Payoneer is running a special ‘Refer-A-Friend’ promotion for a limited time, meaning that if you sign up through an existing cardholder’s referral link now (like this one) you get $25 added to your Payoneer account when you’ve transferred over $100 in earnings or deposits to your card.

Deposits that qualify towards the $25 bonus include loads from your PayPal account to your Payoneer card using the US Payment Service, as well as from any other company on the US Payment Service Whitelist.

Applying for your card is quick, easy, and you don’t even need an existing bank account. Once you sign up online with Payoneer, your card is shipped to you at no charge.



How to design a poster

Want to know how to design a poster? Three top poster designers offer advice to help you perfect the art.

If you want to know how to design a poster, then you can do no better than turn to the experts. With that in mind, we’ve quizzed three top illustrators and designers on their poster projects and got them to offer tips on how you can design better posters.

Whether you’re doing client work or creating a collectors’ series to sell on the likes of Society6, your poster design needs to convey information at the same time appealing to the aesthetic tastes of your audience. But where do you start and what do you have to bear in mind? Read on to find out how the pros do it…

01. Find a focus

 Pulp Fiction
Find a good idea for a poster, or poster series – like this one focused on cars in movies – and you’ll already be halfway to a great design

“Behind a good poster should be a message or idea,” says Jesús Prudencio, the illustrator/designer behind the fantastic Cars and Films series of posters. “It must communicate something and should reach everyone.

“One of my passions is movies,” Prudencio explains. “I saw that there were many people making alternative movie posters,” he says, “but I tried to give another approach. I wanted to create a series, which I’m still working and I hope to grow, but not only legendary films, but also films that I admire and where cars are not as well known.” It’s a great example of a personal project that can generate some serious cash (A3 prints are for sale for €21 each – and great for film fans).

Make an impact

“I like to follow the trends, but do not usually apply them to my designs,” he adds. “I like minimalist design and simple lines. I try to convey what I want with a few elements that make an impact and have a lasting message.”

In other words, before you design a poster make sure you have a good idea, so it will not only appeal to designers due to the aesthetics, but will also appeal to fans through the focus.

02. Be consistent with details

 Taxi Driver
Consistency of detail is key to a great poster design

Prudencio’s next piece of advice is especially important if you’re doing a collectable series – that details should be consistent.

“I’m primarily a graphic designer so I’m used to working with fonts,” continues Prudencio. In the case of my Cars and Films project, the most important aspect was obviously was the car.

“I chose the same font for the titles of all the series for consistency. And I used a contrasting font for the detailed information accompanying the car. But for me, just as important as the font is the background color. The background colour I chose was based on what I felt the film symbolized and what would combine well with the other elements.”

03. Choose references carefully

Not going for the obvious choices will help your poster design stand out

“I saw that there were many people making alternative movie posters,” he continues “but I tried to give another approach. I wanted to create a series, which I’m still working and I hope to grow, but not only legendary films, but also films that I admire and where cars are not as well known.”

“My process for this project was as follows: I did a sketch and then vectorised using Illustrator. My references were obviously the pictures of the cars and watching the the movie. I didn’t go into too much detail – analysing particular frames – for example to see what was on the label hanging on the chair of the Mr Bean car.” It’s about balancing artistic interpretation with authenticity, in this case.

04. Have fun, but be tight on the details

 90s actioner
A sense of fun married by attention to detail is a powerful combination

Sam Gilbey’s stunning illustration work – particularly his recent painterly interpretations of film characters for the likes of Virgin Media – have brought him much critical acclaim within the poster design world. He was recently commissioned by Picturehouse Cinemas to design and illustrate a poster to promote a ’90s action movie all-nighter featuring Die Hard: With a Vengeance, Speed, The Last Boy Scout and Con Air, as part of the Scala Beyond season, at the Duke of York cinema in Brighton.

“Originally I was planning to do a collage-style piece, featuring the protagonist from each film, but this was scuppered by the fact that Bruce Willis in the star of both Die Hard: With a Vengeance and The Last Boy Scout,” he explains. “I then remembered reading once that Under Siege, the Steven Seagal vehicle, actually began life as a Die Hard script.

“Basically the wise-cracking heroes – and antiheroes – of so many action films, and especially from that era, are pretty interchangeable. I love the genre, and in way that’s part of the fun, but I then figured it would be fun to illustrate this literally, and have an action figure with interchangeable heads.”

Factually correct

“When creating an image like this, with such a clear inspiration point, it’s all about having fun with it, but making sure there are plenty of interesting – and factually-correct – details in there,” he continues. “For instance, I included the actual guns from the films as accessories, and of course the Con Air bunny had to be in there!”

For a promotional piece such as this aimed at true fans of a genre, it’s a great idea to put some in-jokes in there – thus confirming the fans’ knowledge and giving them a bit of a chuckle at the same time.

05. Balance the composition

 90s actioner closeup
Use a grid to ensure everything is visually balanced

“The core skill is learning how to balance a composition, and looking at how the viewer’s eye will – ideally – bounce around the image, rather than being taken out of it,” adds Gilbey. “That’s no different to creating any other artwork, but if you’re including type as well, then the challenge to weight everything just right can be tougher.

“Use a grid wherever there’s a significant amount of type to include, Other than that, it’s about finding your own style, and then within that, trying to find a way to tell a bit of a story with your image.”

06. Balance type and images – but sometimes go crazy!

 closeup of type
You need to know the rules. Then you can break the rules!

“Balancing the type and images is essential in that first up you want people to notice the image,” continues Gilbey. “But then, if the actual event is of interest, the info needs to be easy to understand too.

“Of course restraint with type is normally advisable, but in this case it was time to let loose. That said, it’s all set in Garage Gothic, so it’s only the style that varies for the different areas of info.”

07. Mix up your typography

 Montreal Meets
Mixing fonts is tricky, but can give great results if you pull it off

Radim Malinic is one of the UK’s best-known and established creative forces. With clients including Acer, Arts Council England, BBC and The London Film Museum, he is known for his incredible use of colour and composition and his straining photo-montage work, but turns his hand to just about anything. He recently completed this stunning poster to promote the designer’s talk at Montreal Meets 2013.

“This was a personal piece to promote the debut of my latest talk – When Worlds Collide,” says Radim. “I wanted to do kinda of a gig poster, which was only available on the day/night of the event at Montreal Meets Three.


“Ever since I’d discovered the font Graphik, I wanted to use it and this was the right opportunity,” adds Radim. “Graphik possesses a beautiful combination of boldness and elegance.

“To illustrate the contrast, I used SF Movie Poster [a free font from] for the super condensed font. Then it was a question of mixing the two fonts to find the right result.” Be playful but considered is the message here.

08. Spend a day with it

 Montreal Meets closeup
Go back to your design later and you’ll see it in a new light

“Even though deadlines can be pretty tough, it always pays to spend a day with the design,” Radim continues. “Especially when you create both image and type.

“This poster looked a lot different the night before I finished. The overall design can become better and more complete.” It’s essential to do this for any design – not just a poster – and if you can try and get some feedback from your peers as well.

09. Theme = composition

“The backbone of my presentation was about stepping into the different worlds of interest and adding them to the our creative worlds,” adds Radim. “Therefore I wanted a focal point, albeit a bit abstract, to be a huge letter W which is fragmented to symbolise everything that goes on within one discipline. The other coloured fragments represent the outside influences.

“Before print supply, I added white border within the canvas to make elements ‘spill’ out, to once again emphasise the crossover of ideas and styles.” The lesson here is to draw your composition ideas from the theme your design around.”

10. Further reading

Looking for further advice on poster creation and sources of inspiration? Then check out these articles:

A New Use for Your Smartphone: Create Stock Photography

As cell phones continue to get smarter, so too has the way in which we use them. The latest innovative development for taking advantage of your smartphone’s features is the ability to monetize the photographs you’ve taken with your iPhone.

“Now, anyone can capture a moment wherever they are and cash in on their amazing shots,” says Leon Hudson of the popular royalty-free stock imagery site, which recently launched the mobile microstock photography app 123RF On-The-Go. The new app allows users to monetize those images, directly from their iPhones, by uploading them to the 123RF website as royalty-free stock that users can browse and purchase.

Simon Dayton is a San Francisco-based creative manager who has been selling his images as stock photography through and now with the new 123RF On-The-Go mobile app. “I initially started selling my photographs around five years ago when I realized that instead of just keeping the photos on my hard drive, I could actually monetize the images by selling them via stock libraries,” he says.

Since then, he has seen his shots end up in print and magazines. “The biggest thrill was seeing one image I took of a female model holding a flower, blown up to around 12 feet tall in a shop! It gives you a great deal of satisfaction when you see your images being used.”

What started out as a way to make additional income has proved to have other, unexpected benefits, too: Dayton has found that shooting stock has also stoked his creativity. “I enjoy shooting now more because of the variety of imagery you can create, especially some of the more conceptual shots.”

To encourage and celebrate that dedication to creativity, 123RF On-The-Go users can also participate in contests that award cash prizes to the most creative submissions. That’s on top of the revenue users generate by selling their stock through the site.

Because with more than 20 million unique visitors frequenting the website each month, there’s plenty of potential for profiting from the service, whether you choose to upload only occasionally or take it more seriously as a business venture because there’s no limit to how much you can make off your images. Plus, even though all the images sold on are sold under a royalty-free license, you still retain the copyright to any photographs you sell on the site.

You can download the 123RF On-The-Go mobile app for your iPhone from the Apple App Store for free, and start turning your smartphone stash of snapshots into cash.

3 bulletproof techniques for creating memorable logo designs

Which one of the logos above is easier to remember? If you’re like most people, you’ll probably have no problem recalling the logo design on the left, even after months pass. However, memorizing the second logo will be much more difficult.

Why is this so? The answer comes in one word — concrete logos.

What is a concrete logo?

A concrete logo features an object you can easily recognize — a man, woman, cat, mouse, house or anything else you’ve seen a million times before. Your brain already knows what it’s seeing when you look at logos such as the bear above, and all it has to memorize is the specific details and intricacies so you don’t mix up the bear in the logo with an actual bear. This process is simple and very fast.

On the other hand, abstract logos are very hard on our brain because there is nothing we can compare them to.We either have to memorize them in full or forget them altogether — there is no middle ground (remember how it was to learn alphabet?). Since we are all stretched for time and attention, you can imagine how many abstract logos get remembered.

Here are the top three techniques you can use to design a concrete logo, as well as the challenges that are involved.

1. Pick an animal


Some of the most iconic brands are actually rooted in animal symbols. 

Throughout history, animals have always been a source of inspiration for artists. An animal can be an excellent way to represent a company, product or service because it has a personality and specific traits.

To design a successful animal-inspired logo, first consider what type of animal is the best metaphor for your client  A lion can stand for courage, strength and determination. A dolphin makes us think of friendship and joy. Puma signifies speed and sophistication. The options really are endless.


These animal-inspired logos look great, but they are also an excellent example of how style can make the logo stand out. From top to bottom, there are only three animals in this collage — an octopus, a peacock and a fox. However, the style of each logo varies so much they all appear unique.

Once you’ve picked an animal, figure out what style you’re going to use — as you can see from the image above, different artistic approaches can make two logos look completely unrelated, even though they are inspired by the same animal character.

2. Celebrate nature


Probably the most famous logo from this category.

Flowers, leaves, trees and places always attract our attention — we are creatures of nature. This is why subjects like these can make a beautiful and memorable logo.


Consider how Spice Mountain and Kiwi Diamond tell two stories in one. That’s what you usually want in logos like these.

This approach works best for food, travel and restaurant industries, but it can do wonders even in places you least expect (just think of Apple Computers).

For best results, go beyond simple decoration and try to tell a story. Plants and places don’t carry a strong meaning like animals do, so it’s your job to make an interesting point with your design.

3. Put a face on it


KFC and Starbucks are two of the most recognized face logos.

Since the dawn of humanity, people have relied on each other to survive and thrive. No wonder we remember and recall faces best, no matter how similar or different they are.


All of these logos are based on a face which is characterized by one important detail. Can you tell what it is?

Our brains memorizes face and character logos very easily which is why they work so well.

To create a successful version of this logo, make the face as distinct as possible by focusing on a certain detail — eyes, hair, hat or something else. This will give the face special character so it can be easily remembered and recalled later.

A word of warning

Concrete is great for our brains but can be bad for originality. So, don’t take concreteness too far. For example, hundreds of companies use lions in their logos. If you draw an ordinary lion or use some stock illustration, your logo will end up looking uninventive, boring and impossible to separate from thousand others.

The art of interpretation is your best friend here. You have to put your own spin on how familiar objects look, and design them like a true artist. A face can be made of petals. A peacock can look like a diamond.

For inspiration, study book illustration and surrealist painters and see how other artists use imagination and fantasy to interpret everyday objects. Then go make a great logo.

Recommended resources

What techniques do you use to create memorable logo designs?