Pencil Sculptures

The amazing detail in these pencil carvings are courtesy of a Hungarian artist nicknamed Cerkahegyzo.

See more at his DeviantArt gallery.


Source: http://www.designer-daily.com/

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The Blue Ocean in RED

Watch full screen.

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Face Your Fears and Overcome Them

Learning Ski Jumping takes courage and this 4th grader has what it takes.

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Dark Pattern Trickery Hurts Us All

Can We Undo It?

Do web designers, specifically User Interface Designers, have an ethical obligation to users?  What if our client asks us to do something that we find unethical, such as tricking users into unwanted services or blatantly misleading them?  What if our client wants a design that doesn’t have their own best interests in mind?  Do we refuse the work?  Should we walk away?  Harry Brignull of darkpatterns.org believes that we should educate clients, spread awareness, and to name and shame the sites that use Dark Patterns.

A Dark Pattern is a type of user interface that has been carefully crafted to trick users into doing things, such as buying insurance with their purchase or signing up for recurring bills.

In 2011, ten60six exposed the damaging effects of black-hat SEO, a practice that will get you banned from Google.  As opposed to white-hat SEO, black hat tries to trick search engines into ranking their content.  It almost always fails.  As we’ve shown, organic search results are Google’s bread & butter.  Without credible search results, Google’s reputation and ultimately its business model would suffer.  The same holds true for websites that use deceptive design to trick people.  As humans become more aware of Dark Patterns in manipulative interface design, they shun the shady tactics and look for honest, credible businesses.  It’s a web designers duty to help our clients build a brand that is trusted by users for years to come, not to build a misleading website that will just scam them once.

http://darkpatterns.org/

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The Key to Brand Success? Trust.

Entrepreneur has listed the 10 most trusted brands and shows how they got their ranking.

The most trusted brands don’t always have the most sales or biggest market share.  What they do have is a relationship with their customers that was created over time through personal experiences and two-way communication, a new study shows.  The Values Institute, which conducted the study, identified five values that influence trust in a brand: ability (company performance); concern (care for consumers, employees and community); connection (sharing consumers’ values); consistency (dependability of products/services); and sincerity (openness and honesty).

In successful companies, such as Amazon, Coca-Cola, and Fed-Ex, a stronger emphasis is being made on building emotional relationships with consumers.  “When you do it, you have a much stronger affinity, a much stronger business, much stronger growth and much stronger results,” says branding consultant Jim Stengel, former global marketing officer of Procter & Gamble.

Source: Secrets of the 10 Most-Trusted Brands at Entrepreneur.com

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The Microscopic Art of Nikolai Aldunin

How many camels can fit through the eye of a needle?

Nikolai Aldunin is a Russian artist who has become well-known for his microscopic sculptures made of pure gold.  From camels traveling through the eye of a needle to T-34 tanks  arranged atop a sliced apple seed, his detailed works must be created with the aid of a microscope.

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Top 10 Tips for a Successful Small-Business Website

Just about every company wants an attractive website that performs well, attracts visitors and converts them into customers.  Good design is important, but there are several other factors that make a successful small business website.  Today we’ll explore the top 10 tips for creating a web presence that satisfies customers and delivers a real return on your investment.

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World Photography Awards Announced


The World Photography Organisation received 122,000 entries from 170 countries and announced its shortlist of winners to the 2013 Sony World Photography Awards.  The overall winners won’t be announced until April 25th, but the Atlantic has a nice gallery of contenders.

Source:
World Photography Organisation
The Atlantic “In Focus”
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Where’s ten60six? A 2 Year Hiatus From Blog Posting, Social Media

ten60six, the web strategies company, is now based in Tampa, Florida.

Sitting on a Florida beach, staring contentedly at the tip of a fishing pole, the only concern is the almost imperceptible twitching of the shrimp dangling at the end of a line.  No phones, no email, no facebook.  For lunch a grouper is grilled and served on a toasty bun.  The smell of citrus is even in the beer and the February day’s thermostat is set at a perfect (cloudless) 75 degrees.

On Monday morning we meet in our tee-shirts and flip flops and brainstorm a web campaign for one of our favorite clients.  We look out over Tampa Bay and power-up photoshop and illustrator, finishing revisions of a logo design while Harley, our Boston Terrier, stretches out for a nap on a cool tile floor.  We get approval for the design at 3 o’clock and finish our work day uploading files and downloading traffic reports for the sites we manage.  Life is good.  We watch the sun set and have a cheeseburger.  Life is really good.

We have a handful of clients that we keep happy – no matter what.  We’re not giving this up. An exciting new location and new business opportunity presented itself in the sunny Tampa Bay area, and after 5 beautiful and productive years in Columbus, Ohio, we moved our global corporate headquarters to the beautiful and sandy beaches of the sunshine state.  The past 2 years have been transformative for our lives, and for our business.  We’ve been building alliances, consolidating resources, and finding new ways to “help our clients establish an effective and professional web presence.”  We’ve been building websites.  We’ve been enjoying the Tampa Bay area:  the beaches of St. Petersburg and Clearwater, the arts districts in Gulfport and Dunedin, and we’ve enjoyed building websites for the unique local businesses that surround us.

Of course, we’re still serving our clients around the country, and our friends in Ohio will always have a place in our hearts.  As always, our clients can rely on ten60six as a dedicated creative partner and as a technical resource for their small business websites.  We’re happy to say that our clients haven’t had a single issue with the relocation and many wouldn’t even know had we not invited them to come and visit us! Bring sunscreen!

The by-line of the ten60six /blog mentions something about “daily hypertext deliveries,” and since the spring of 2011 we’ve been anything but daily.  We’ve been chastised by more than one astute reader: “Your /blog hasn’t been updated since March of 2011!!  23 months!!”  It’s true.  A quick glance at the dateline of posts shows that our last posting was, in fact, dated March 2011, and it’s also safe to say that postings had been sporadic at best for the previous month.  We were busy!  ;)   In all honesty, we really missed the connections made through the blog and through social media.  It was a conscious decision to ignore our blog, we have clients to serve and those websites won’t build themselves!  It was really a case of the cobblers children going barefoot!  At the same time, we also missed out on our own search engine rankings, and the only way to build a client base is to connect with prospective clients!  We weren’t AWOL, we were balancing workloads.  We haven’t disappeared, we’re growing.

Welcome, welcome back, and watch this space for our return to daily postings.

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For Japan

In a random search for carved crayons I stumbled across one of the most inspiring and touching things I’ve seen in ages.

A sculptor and mixed-media artist, Diem Chau, has set a goal of donating 10,000 USD to the Japanese Red Cross Society to benefit the people of Japan in the difficult weeks and months ahead.

And she’s using her artistic talents to achieve it.

On March 16th, she announced that she will raffle off a crayon family portrait and that 100% of ticket sales will benefit earthquake and tsunami relief efforts in Japan.  Tickets are $10 and the drawing is scheduled for midnight on March 23rd.  So far, she has raised more than $4500 for the Japanese Red Cross Society!

Go buy a ticket (or 10!) and support this worthwhile endeavor.  You should also  pass the word by blogging, tweeting, and informing your friends on facebook!

http://tinyhaus.blogspot.com/2011/03/for-japan.html

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