Good information on learning graphic design

Although you might not be a professional designer, you will likely come across many scenarios where a basic comprehension of graphic design can be beneficial. But can you really study the fundamentals of design all on your own? This document will provide you with some tips you may utilize to start learning more about graphic design.

Design can be very complex. In reality, many people even obtain advanced diplomas in this field. Hence, it is advisable to have reasonable expectations. You simply will not have the ability to become a professional in this field until you spend many years of extensive study. Having said that, graphic design is still a rather accessible topic, and should you dedicate some time and effort, you ought to become fairly competent in less than a year.

You will be happy to discover there are a lot of books on the subject of graphic design. It's advisable that you check out the contents of the book before purchasing. As you can imagine, design is a very visual discipline, so a book with lots of pictures will be appropriate. Also, it is smart to check Amazon ratings to get an idea of what many of the top graphic design titles are.

You may as well head over to design web sites and make use of web based lessons. There are many free training materials on the internet that you can take advantage of. One problem is that a lot of information online is obsolete or not high quality. However, when you adhere to well-known graphic design sites like About.com, you ought to be in good shape.

Utilizing training videos can be yet another good approach. One good, free site is Youtube. While you are going to be learning design a little at a time, you'll still discover a lot of excellent information when you spend sufficient time. However, a much better resource is Lynda.com, which has a huge selection of instructional videos by experienced, knowledgeable educators. Many lessons have exercise files you can use also, which makes it a hands-on way to learn new things. Having said that, Lynda.com is not a free site, but the fee for becoming a member is only $25 a month, which is a great deal in light of the variety of lessons you will have access to. Below is a sample video that shows you the quality of videos that you'll find on Lynda.com:

Should you have the time and money, you might also want to think about taking a class at a nearby community college.

You may not become a top-notch designer but if your aim is to gain a basic understanding of graphic design, these ideas will help you out greatly.

Small Business Tips for Saving Money

One of the biggest challenges for small and new businesses is finding a way to get the necessary services and products while not going broke in the process. Having started a successful business myself, I'd like to share some of the things I did when starting out to save money.

small business

1. Work from home, or use coworking space.
Office expenses can get quite high. While it may be tempting to get a fancy office, the fact is that many businesses will function just fine with a home office. If you need to use meeting rooms and the like, consider renting out some coworking space as opposed to getting an individual office. This will save you some money while still making many of the amenities of an office environment available to you.

2. Use online contractors to get things done at low cost.
Everything from web design to logo design can be done by someone you hire online. Yes, you do need to exercise caution when hiring someone you don't know, but many sites like Fiverr and Odesk make the process pretty straightforward. Also, many such sites have ratings of people on the site, and I've found that in general, you won't go wrong if you hire someone with a lot of positive ratings.

3. Buy used items.
You'll get better deals on things like desks, chairs, bookshelves, etc., if you buy them used. Some companies sell their old furniture and I've found some great items at rock-bottom prices by purchasing used furniture.

4. Rely on online services as much as possible.
As you may already know, online vendors on the whole offer more competitive prices. Buy all your office supplies online if possible, from stores like Quill.com, and make sure you use online coupons to get the best deal out there. For customized products like branded bags, boxes, or packaging materials, online vendors like Bags and Bows can often be a great option. I use Bags and Bows coupons from Business-Reviews.com all the time when I need to buy packaging materials for my business.

5. Market yourself online.
One of the most efficient and cheap ways to market your business is to do it online. At a minimum, you should have a website that you can refer potential customers to. Building a website used to cost a lot of money, but today, there are numerous ways to create a website for free using tools like Wordpress. If you are computer savvy, you should have no trouble putting up your own basic site.

Video Gaming Options for the 21st Century

Gamers a living in a great time, when the option for playing video games are more numerous than any time before. Today, just about everyone with a computer has access to hundreds of different games, many which can be played for free. But not everyone is aware of all their gaming options. In this article, I will cover some popular methods for playing games in the modern age.

gamers

1. Play games on your computer.
This seems to be the cheapest option for most people. Most of us already own a computer, so why not use it as a gaming platform as well? This is not an issue if you want to play relatively simple games like poker or blackjack. You can usually play some of the less complex massively multiplayer online games as well. But to play any new releases, you'll typically need to upgrade your computer. This usually means you need to purchase a powerful graphics card. To get a decent graphics card, you should expect to spend over $100. So while playing games on your computer is a great option, it does cost you money if you want to play the best games.

2. Play games on a game console.
This is still the gold standard for avid gamers. But consoles aren't cheap and usually requires you to spend $300 or more. The good news is that you'll typically have access to the greatest number of games by owning a console. One way to save some money if you own a console is to rent games from a service like Gamefly. This allows you to play a greater number of games while paying less than you would if you were to buy new games on your own. A Gamefly free trial is available at this link to anyone who is interested in trying out this service.

3. Play games on your phone.
This can be a great time-killer, but when you have the option to play games on a console or computer, there's no question you'll have a better time playing on those platforms. That said, many times you are stuck somewhere (like the Dentist's office) and need a way to divert yourself from the boredom you're faced with. Playing games in your phone is a good option in these situations.

Slot Machines Online

slot machineIn my last post, I talked about options for playing video games in the modern age. And while video games can be among the most enjoyable games you can play online, they aren't your only option. More and more, people are discovering the joys of playing casino games over the Internet. If you haven't tried this out yourself, you may want to explore this exciting way of playing games of chance.

Traditionally, fans of casino games have had to go to local casinos (if they lived near a casino) or take trips to Las Vegas or Atlantic City. While there were many software programs that allowed you to play casino-style games on your computer, betting money was typically not an option. This changed over a decade ago, when online casinos started to proliferate the Internet.

There was a problem with this, however. Most gambling regulations were murky at best, and several governments, such as the one in the U.S. actively tried to shut down online gambling. Around 2006, a law was passed that made it illegal for credit card companies to process transactions to online casinos.

The long and short of it was that while the technology existed for people to enjoy casino games online and to place online bets, financial regulations made online gambling unpractical for most people.

But not long ago, a new type of payment method has opened the doors for online gambling to many people all over the world. This new payment method is bitcoin, a digital currency that allows people to transfer funds peer-to-peer. There is no bank or credit card company as the middle man, so that also means nobody can block the transaction. What does this mean for online casinos?

It means that people can now play bitcoin slots, bitcoin poker, bitcoin blackjack, and many other games by using this payment method. It also means consumers can play at online casinos regardless of where they live. For more, check out this list of casinos where you can play bitcoin slots.

Of course, this doesn't mean you should ignore local laws. But as mentioned earlier, many laws are murky at best. You can therefore use your own discretion and place bets if you believe you live in a jurisdiction that allows gambling. In other words, you aren't at the mercy of the decision credit card companies or financial institutions may make on your behalf.

Good Places to Have a First Date

Going on a first date can be nerve wracking in itself, but if you choose the wrong venue, it can really make things go south fast. Contrary to some peoples' opinions, I tend to think that playing it safe is a good idea for first dates. Here are a few of my favorite first date ideas.

first date

1. Have Dinner.
It's probably the most boring idea, but in many ways it makes the most sense. Everyone loves a nice meal, and you have plenty of time to talk while you wait. I like to pick restaurants that also have a bar, since this gives you the option to extend the date by having a drink afterwards.

2. Meet at a Cafe.
While more casual, meeting at a cafe is a great way to get to know your date better through conversation. Try to pick a nice cafe with a romantic atmosphere, however. I would avoid commonplace settings such as Starbucks.

3. Go to a Museum.
This is a great option if you and your date share a common interest, such as art or history. A museum will offer plenty of things to talk about. The good thing is that whatever your date's interests are, be it music, science, or anything else, there is usually a museum you can take them to that will align with their interests.

4. Take a Cooking Class.
Engaging in an activity like taking a class together can be a great way to gain more insight into your date's personality. Cooking classes can be a lot of fun and will give you the opportunity to interact with your date in a different environment than what you'd find on a typical first date.

Or course, step 1 is to actually find a date. In the modern world, this is not as hard as it once was. Things like online dating faciliate the process of finding someone you click with. I like to recommend Match.com to people who are new to online dating. (You can get a free trial for Match.com by going to coupon leaf.com.) The site is pretty easy to figure out, even for newcomers to online dating, and there are a ton of people on the site. Although at its core, online dating isn't complicated, many people do it wrong. For this reason, if you're new to onlne dating, it may be a good idea to read some articles or even books on the subject, just to make sure you have all the bases covered and don't make any newbie mistakes.

Modern Day Checking Products to Consider

Checks have come a long way, but I can easily see a day where they become unnecessary, given the strides that are being made in digital cash. Some people even think that banks and other middlemen such as credit card companies will eventually disappear, being replaced by digital currencies like bitcoin (you can read more about bitcoin here). I personlly believe that while such scenarios are possible, we are still years or even decades away from that.

The fact remains that as of today, checks are still widely used, and continue to be one of the safest and most effective ways to exchange money. Part of the reason for this is that checks havet evolved with the times. Below are some of the more modern types of checks you might want to consider using. All of them can be purchased at Deluxe or other premium companies that offer checks.

business checking products

1. High-Security Checks.
These types of checks are ideal if you are in an industry where fraud is rampant. The do cost more money than your standard checks, but the security features in these checks have come a long way, making them virtually 100% fraud-proof.

2. Laser Checks.
These checks are highly convenient since they can be used with your printer and software program that you use for accounting or finance. At Deluxe, you can choose laser checks that will work with just about any kind of bookkeeping or accounting program a business may be using.

3. eChecks.
I don't think these types of checks are being that widely used, but they can really cut down on the amoount of work your accounting staff does. These checks can be sent by email too, so your customers or vendors will receive their payment without having to wait days for the check to arrive in the mail.

The best way to obtain any of these checks is by using a company called Deluxe Checks. Make sure you use these Deluxe Checks coupon codes as well: http://freebiebulletin.com/coupons/deluxe-discount-code.php. The coupons allow you to get pretty significant discounts, especially if you are a first-time customer. As of this writing, first-time customers get 40% off their order!