Graphic Design Services – A Hiring Guide

You most likely can’t afford not to hire a graphic design service. You may have a great product or service but if your branding and marketing material is glaring “homemade”, getting a sale will be harder. First impression of your company is conveyed by the visual impact of the marketing collateral, including print advertisement, brochures, catalogues, packaging and web site design. Updating or creating new marketing collateral can be an effective way to create new excitement around your company and its products. If you already have a graphics designer, it is natural to go back to him or her for new designs. But if you want to infuse new thinking and a fresh look, it is advisable to consider new designers.

How do I select a graphic designer?

Search for graphic designers on the internet at places like Google, B2B marketplaces or the yellow pages. Also ask your business associates and friends for recommendations. Shortlist about four designers for further evaluation. There are a number of things to keep in mind before hiring a graphic design service.

  • Check the portfolio: First step in evaluating a graphics design service is to ask for their portfolio and review specific projects that are of the same category as your design project. A graphic designer’s style is evident from the portfolio. The material she creates for you is likely to be in the same style, so it is important to feel comfortable with it. If you are going to hire a design firm, insist on reviewing portfolios of specific designers who may work on the project.
  • Check for expertise in web design: If your project includes web design, make sure the graphic design services company has software developers familiar with good web design principles. Don’t be impressed with snazzy web designs that use a lot of multimedia, heavy graphics and advanced features. Such designs usually raise a lot of challenges, crash often and are frustratingly slow.
  • Agree on the number of concept designs: A good graphic designer will create several concepts for you to review before finalizing the design and creating the final product. What would happen if you don’t like any of the concepts?
  • Graphic Designer should be a good listener: If you want to provide input before the design process, make sure the graphic designer is willing to spend the time to listen and consider your ideas. She needs to strike a good balance between soliciting input from you and using her creativity and imagination to develop the concepts.
  • Check references: It is important to check references before hiring someone for the project.  Specifically ask if the graphic designer is good at understanding the requirements, incorporating your feedback and providing revisions.

Here are some tips regarding working with a graphic designer.

As with any other project, it is important to define the scope of the project and definite milestones with expected deliverables. Also agree on the number of expected revisions.

In what shape and form are you going to receive the graphic design? Clarify file types, sizes and preferred color scheme if any. It is generally a good idea to take ownership of the soft copies of the design. They will come in handy if you want to make minor tweaks later or reuse the design. To avoid any future conflict, also take copyright ownership of all material developed for you.

Communicate frequently with the graphic designer and provide continuous feedback. If the project is not going as expected, meet and resolve issues without any delay.

How much does it cost to hire a graphic designer?

Good experienced designers can be expensive. It is best to get a few competitive quotes before hiring. If you are on a budget, it does not hurt to look for up and coming graphic designers who are eager to get established and may offer substantial discounts.

Many graphics designers charge by the hour. Avoid such a relationship unless you have worked with her in the past and are comfortable with such an arrangement. Instead ask for a project based quote. You will pay above and beyond the basic charges if you use licensed material like stock photos. Payment for the project should be tied to the milestones.  Be wary of graphic designers who ask for a large and non-refundable upfront payment.

High Speed Internet Services

The ever-increasing demand for fast-paced Internet access has resulted in new cutting-edge technologies being offered by various service providers. Apart from being fast, these Internet services are cost-effective, user-friendly and hassle-free.

Choosing the right type of Internet service primarily depends on which technology is available in the area. The major types of high speed Internet access services include cable, DSL, wireless and satellite.

Cable Internet technology uses co-axial or fiber optic cables for accessing the Internet speedily. Apart from delivering television channels, cable wires are capable of handling Internet connections as well. Splitting the cable wire into two, with one connected to the television and the other to the computer, facilitates faster connectivity and access. Cable Internet service is extremely fast compared to traditional dial-up, is unlimited and reasonably inexpensive, as there is no cost for extra phone calls.

DSL Internet or Digital Subscriber Line Internet makes use of the existing bandwidth in telephone lines for Internet connectivity, as the telephone wire is capable of carrying data on varying frequencies. For using DSL Internet, it has to be ensured that the DSL signals do not interfere with telephone signals. Some of the prime advantages of DSL include being able to use the phone line while the Internet is on, a much higher speed than regular modems, and no requirement of fresh wiring.

Satellite Internet uses the technology of connecting to the Internet via satellites. The signals travel between the computer, satellite and ISP source. This technology is mostly used in areas where terrestrial Internet access is not possible, or in places which require frequent movement. Whether vessels at sea or remote military locations, satellite connections are available globally.

Wireless Internet access facilitates accessing the Internet while on the move, through mobiles and pocket PCs. This latest technology is still being improvised at various technological research centers. Based in areas which are frequented while traveling, like airports, hotels and restaurants, this service works on a wireless node.

All these technologies have succeeded in providing an impetus to communication via the Internet, by ensuring access at unprecedented speed.

4 Benefits of Online Computer Support for Small Business

If you have never explored the benefits of online computer support, you are missing out on a great deal. Whether you are a novice, somewhat experienced or a small business owner, getting online computer support is quick and efficient. Highly skilled technicians offering computer support online can troubleshoot, repair and install programs as well as increase computer speeds over the internet. Discover four reasons why your small business can benefit from online computer support.

Quick Response/Availability

Online computer support services are highly competitive, usually offering more days and hours of service than local computer shops or in house technicians. Since the concept of repairing personal computers via the Internet is relatively new to many people, online services make a point of being open for the small business owner who has computer or network trouble.

Perform a quick search on the Internet and you will notice that a great many computer support companies are open 24 hours a day and seven days a week. It is rare to find this kind of service down the street at a local computer repair shop, much less from an internal IT guy or that guy who knows a little about computers.

Convenience/Quick Repairs

You know what a hassle it is to lug your personal computer into a repair shop, or calling and waiting for a technician to arrive. Older computer models are especially heavy, and hooking them back up becomes a nightmare. To make matters worse, scheduling a tech visit may cost your hundreds or even thousands in terms of downtime.

Delighted small business owners love getting their computers back up and running, without worrying about transporting computers, closing down their offices for PC repair, or waiting for that technician to arrive. With these services, small businesses with large networks do not have to worry about paying for an extra service call when their network needs repair because it is all done instantly through the Internet.

To find help for your small business, just search the web using “computer support,” or “online tech support”. Technicians work remotely from their PC to your computer using the Internet. They can easily scan the components of your computer, run virus scans, execute tests and make repairs almost instantly.

Savings

Small business taking advantage of online computer support save money, time and effort. Most computer shops are not even open on weekends, which means taking time off during the work week for repair services or paying extra for a service call to your office during off hours.

Shop for computer support services online, and you will see that many companies do not charge by the hour. Instead, they charge a flat monthly fee for unlimited support. This means real savings compared to the hourly charges that most computer shops bill.

Watch the Experts Work

Online computer support gives small business owners the opportunity to watch technicians work and make repairs. You can see each operation technicians are performing and even converse through live chat.

Watching a pro run tests and repairing a computer system is very impressive. They work unbelievably fast to fix the problem, and you are likely to learn a bit about computers while watching the repair. In addition, some companies record the repair session for your review.

Ways To Get The Most Out of Your Computer

Many people spend hours of every day wasting valuable time on a computer. It’s not that using a computer is a waste of time; in fact, it’s the opposite. Sometimes it’s easy to just jump on a computer and deal with whatever it throws at you. Using a computer this way permits you to quickly jump on the internet and search for something. However, you might not be doing things the wisest way, because you might be spending additional time doing things you don’t really need to do.

In this article, I’ll go over a few ways to better use your computer. It doesn’t matter if you’re a sound engineer or a person who just uses email: there are always better ways to use your computer and increase your efficiency.

My first tip is to not clutter up your machine. Many companies make money by loading software on your computer when you don’t actually want it. These companies install their software with other software, and by moving too quickly, you don’t realize that you are actually agreeing to install it. When you install a program, please be very careful when you quickly click next.. You might accidentally install something extra that will slow down your computer. As long as you are aware of what you are installing and read the fine print, you will not have these issues when dealing with software applications.

My second tip is to figure out your workflow. How are you using your computer? What are your goals? How does each software application work with another? Many pieces of software will integrate with many other applications and streamline your productivity.. Find out whether or not your software can be a plug-in in another program. You might be able to open a menu within your favorite program that operates some secondary programs with ease. I highly recommend that you do this research, because it will save you a lot of trouble in the long-run.

My third tip is to get your computer looked at if it is having problems. If you aren’t a computer expert and things are very slow or running poorly, you absolutely need to get your computer looked at. Don’t deal with a machine that takes 15 minutes to start up. In many cases, that may mean that your hard drive is dying. Losing all of your personal data can be a traumatic experience.

My fourth tip is to purchase a backup computer if you can’t go without yours in the case of a repair. Very frequently I run into people that have a dying computer, but cannot afford to go without it for a day or two. If this is you, get a backup computer and make sure your most important data is on both computers so you can get your computer fixed properly without rushing the technicians.

My final tip is to enjoy the technology that you have. Computers have come a long way since they were first introduced. It’s possible for your computer to become very slow if you don’t take care of it. If you follow these simple steps, you’ll avoid having to fix your computer over and over again with no results.

Can A Good Registry Cleaner Improve The Performance of a Sluggish Computer?

By far the most prevalent complaint I hear about in regards to computer problems is the fact they are slowing down, becoming sluggish or stalling. In other words, the computer has gotten to the point where it is slowing down production. We who are operating computers absolutely hate this. We want to click the mouse button and have something happen. When instead we click and the computer just sits there we become very upset. So, the question is can a good registry cleaner take care of this problem for us? In this article, we will examine this question.

You Need the Right Tool for the Job

To get right to the point, cleaning the registry can resolve the problem of the computer that is performing poorly. However, there is something we should be aware of. Cleaning the registry will only get a computer’s performance back to normal if it is registry problems causing the problem. This is true because there are other things that can slow down your computer’s performance. Some of these things are:

· spyware or viruses present in your system

· device drivers that are mismatched or corrupt

· a hard drive badly in need of defragging, or defragmenting or

· even some computer problems

There are not many people who run their computers very long without protecting it against viruses and spyware. If you are one of them, you should seriously consider getting a good spyware/virus cleaner installed on your PC. As well as doing many things that could be an assault to your identity, spyware and viruses could make your computer run very poorly.

Driver Problems

Sometimes, after I’ve checked everything else on a computer and have found no viruses or spyware or registry problems, I find an outdated, mismatched or corrupt driver is causing the computer to behave poorly. When this happens, I use a driver scanner to take care of the problem for me. Driver scanners have become mainstream these days. They’re easy to find and easy to use. Fortunately, it is not too often driver problems cause computer sluggishness when compared to the number of times it ends up being registry corruption behind the slowdown.

Disk Defragmentation

Defragmenting your hard drive can also make your computer perform better. Fortunately, all Windows operating systems come with a disk defragmenter. In Windows Vista it can be found in “start – accessories – systems tools.” Unfortunately, defragmenting a disk takes a long time with the built-in defragmenter. Because of this many people turn to commercial defragmenters which tend to do the job a lot more quickly.

Yes, computer problems or, problems that are not related to the Windows operating system, can cause your computer to slow down. However, this is not usually the case. Gone are the days when adding more RAM to your computer solves all your problems. Usually, slow computers need the assistance of one of the afore mentioned computer tools; namely:

· a good registry cleaner

· a good spyware cleaner or

· a disk defragmenter

Of these three things, it is the registry cleaner you should try first. Most times, from my experience it is corrupt registry files that are slowing down the computer that has lost its edge. Still, you cannot be sure in every case it is the problem behind the unresponsive computer. However, most times registry corruption is the problem that causes a computer to be slow and only a good registry cleaner can fix this type of problem.

Ways on How to Speed Up Your Computer

When you bought your computer, you were probably very impressed at the speed at which it accomplished tasks. However over the years, your computer seems to be slowing down in performance and you may be baffled at the reason why this is happening. The slowing down of a computer may be due to a number of issues and here is how to make your computer faster.

When you browse the Internet, there are a number of viruses and adware that can enter your computer undetected. These programs are designed to steal personal information from your computer. In order to do so they may need to alter some of the settings of programs installed in your computer and some of the registry settings. This will, in turn, slow down the computer. The removal of such viruses and adware will result in faster speeds for your computer.

The arm of the hard disk is the one that reads information from the hard disk. It has to swing all over the disk in search of information required in order to complete the tasks you are assigning it. If the information is scattered in fragmented files all over the disk, then the computer will have to labor harder to access this information. If the files, however, are contiguous, the computer will not labor hard to access them and this will increase its performance.

The registry is the one that stores crucial information that determines how a specific program will behave. When you uninstall some programs, some redundant entries are left in the registry. This clogs up your registry and the computer has a hard time reading keys that are valid for installed programs. When you clean up the registry, you remove the redundant keys, leaving valid ones and this will improve the computer’s performance. The same case can be said of cleaning up your hard disk space. It will allow the computer to keep track only of valid in formation and improve performance.

When your computer suddenly crashes, or runs out of power, certain errors occur on the disk, and this make it harder for the computer to operate as it should. When you perform a disk error repair, you recover crucial files that may have been altered or damaged by the power outage, or crash. These recovered files allow the computer to perform as it did before.

It is also a good idea to ensure that you uninstall unused programs. These programs take up crucial hard disk space that your computer may need to work better. Some of them run background services that take up some of the computer’s random Access Memory (RAM). This will definitely slow down the computer. Remove such programs. On the same note, it is important that you remove start-up programs that you do not need. These are programs that run automatically, when you switch on your computer. If there are many, the computer starts up slowly, and will perform poorly.

Protecting Your Computer

Computer cabinets are enclosures with fitted or sometimes removable side panels and doors that are used to house your computer (industrial or personal) and protect it from the elements. In fact the term computer cabinets and computer enclosures are frequently used interchangeably.

Although most computers, especially desktops and industrial computers, are made and designed in such a way that ensures that they are able to withstand harsh conditions, these electronic devices are still in need of proper computer cabinets for added protection, especially if they contain important information in the correct running of a business (factories for example). Finding quality computer enclosures are one of the primary concerns of business owners or manufacturers in order to prolong the life of the electronic machine.

Business owners should take various pointers into account before purchasing enclosures for their business computers. Price for example, should never be a question when buying an enclosure so long as it will be able to serve the primary purpose of protecting the computer from moisture, dust, and any other elements that may prove to be detrimental to the computer’s overall health.

Each business or factory has their own level of harsh conditions to consider, with each using different structures making it impossible for standard cabinets to be enough to store and keep your computer secure. There are various types of computer enclosures available in the market with regards to portability, ability to keep the machine well ventilated, and even being endowed with shelves for storage.

You should remember that your computer would be unable to work in its optimum capacity if the adequate temperature is not maintained. Therefore, you should get enclosures that are able to maintain a constant temperature that will be good for your computer. You should also care to choose an enclosure that will be able to protect your computer from any sudden change in temperature, moisture content, and even protect your computer from dust accumulation. Keep in mind that the idea of getting an enclosure for your computer is to increase the performance as well as the endurance of your computer amidst the harshest possible working condition.

Getting enclosures will also be able to ensure the security of your computer, because they come with tabular locks, lockable keyboard compartments, and even sealed rubber gaskets that keep your computer and the information it contains from any possible theft.

Protecting your computer and the vital information in contains from harsh conditions should be an incentive enough to invest on a good, high quality enclosure. Although some enclosures may come as a bit pricey, they will be able to ensure that it will be able to protect your most valuable machine for many years to come. So if you feel that your computer is in need of protection, do not hesitate to get yourself an enclosure or cabinet.