Three Reasons to Learn Something New

In my own business, I have to be open to learning something new pretty often. It’s because opportunities come up that require a different skill than I have but that I can acquire without much effort if I want to. That brings me to this blog post on three reasons to learn something new. The first is below. The next will appear in my next two posts so stay tuned.

1. It opens up new opportunities

Like I said, sometimes I get offered a new assignment that is not something I’ve done before. So I open up my Lynda.com account and search for the courses they have on it if available. Then I start learning!

Learning by doing

I just got a job revising an ad created by another designer in a program named Sketch. It’s a program I’d learned about once and knew would be a good one to add to my skill set. I would need to get the program to do the job and luckily my client agreed to pay for half of the cost. Then I dove into the online course on it and learned enough to do the project.

Sketch welcome

Sketch, a Mac-only program

Learning has career benefits

Up until 2012, I had only a beginner’s knowledge of Adobe InDesign. In a past job, I worked in QuarkXpress. That was great because it helped me land a job at a corporation’s in-house advertising department that used that program. In my business though, I knew I needed to get up to speed on InDesign, which seemed to be becoming the industry standard. So I learned it by doing all my client work in it. As it happened I was getting several projects that involved longer documents like white papers and ebooks. That helped me at the day job when they gradually switched over to InDesign. I was quickly becoming the go-to expert my co-workers relied on when they couldn’t figure something out.

Thanks in part to the way learning something new opened up opportunities for me I was able to take on the challenge of growing my business, enough to do it full time now!
(To be continued.)

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One critical fact most business owners don’t know

And it may be the difference between gaining business and losing out.

There is a fact that most business owners don’t know that is critical to their marketing. I have an example below from a major company that should know better.

Have you ever seen something printed that looked jagged and strange? This is from a flyer I got a while back:

pixelatedLogoIt was an obvious mistake since we all know that logo is not supposed to look like that.

But what caused it to print like that? The problem was low resolution of a bitmap image.

Bit-what?

There are two types of images used in printing, vector and bitmap. Vector is done in programs like Adobe Illustrator and it can be resized up and down with no issues. Bitmap images have to have a certain number of dots per inch (or resolution) to reproduce in print correctly (usually 300 dpi or more). Many people pull a logo or other graphic off their website send it to their graphic designer and say here, put this on my print materials. They don’t realize that the resolution on the web is much lower (usually 72 dpi) than what is required to print something with ink on paper. Of course why should they know that? It’s a piece of knowledge we graphic designers need to do our jobs right but other business owners are very often not aware of it.

Why is this important to any business?

It’s important because knowing the difference between vector and bitmap can make or break your marketing materials. With the wrong type of image or the wrong dpi in logos and images your print materials and ads can go out looking very unprofessional, hurting your image and potentially hurting your bottom line!

If dpi, vector, bitmap, resolution are like another language to you then allow us to keep your print materials looking as perfect and professional as your business deserves!