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A Time for Thanks

A Time for Thanks

With Veteran’s Day passing this week, honoring our heroes has been a resounding theme on every tv screen, social media outlet, and paper. It’s got me thinking about heroes. As for veterans, I think of my grandfather who passed in 2011. In light of the draft, he volunteered his 17 year old self for WW2 with the GI Bill in his sights. He was stationed in the South Pacific for three years with the U.S. Army Air Corps. Following his service, he attended LSU (Geaux Tigers!), married my grandmother in 1952 and fathered two children, then in 1984, decided to help raise a granddaughter (me). He never spoke much about the war. And rightly so, it was a dark and difficult time, a truly a morbid existence that any current American has real difficulty understanding. Thanks to service men such as him, then and now, many Americans don’t experience the evil that resides in war times. What sacrifice, I thought, and how easy it is to go underappreciated because of the lack of our understanding.

That got me thinking about the word sacrifice, which seems to go hand in hand with the term, hero. Because to me, a hero is someone who chooses other’s well-being before their own, often times sacrificing their time, money, or health, etc. for the betterment of others. Sometimes a hero is someone very close to us, maybe a parent, a teacher or mentor. Sometimes, a hero is not in our personal circles, but rather a hero for the greater good, such as soldier, a fireman, or police officer. Even still, a hero may come in smaller packages, such as our children as we live for their unbiased faith in humanity and passion for life. In other words, we draw from their strength and great imaginations as it gives us something to live for and makes us want to be better.  

As far as my professional life, which as a creative is quite personal to me, I thought about our clients. So many of our clients are small business owners. They are the very stitches of the American dream. They are interesting and original. The courage it takes to follow your dreams and do what means most to you is inspirational. What it gives to our community is unmistakable and special. Many of these small town heroes don’t realize the great contribution they make as they are blind with the love for their passions. But, we see it. We see and appreciate it. It inspires us all to follow our dreams, better ourselves and our community and live for each other and the future.

It’s important to take the time to appreciate all the heroes in your life, large or small, personal or impersonal. So much hard work goes unnoticed and underappreciated. November is a time for thanks, let us not forget to give it.

graphic by Dawn Skinner

As Ubiquitous as “Google it”

As Ubiquitous as “Google it”

I have decided to share this blog post in light of a recent problem shared by a handful of our clients. All of these business minded individuals are well educated, good at their trade, and computer savvy (well enough). However, they seem to have a disconnect in understanding the difference between a web browser and a search engine. For example, Chrome is a web browser, while Yahoo! is a search engine. This got me thinking. Where did the confusion happen, why did these lines blur? This is nothing new. Since the introduction of internet to the public, surfing the web has required the use of a web browser coupled with the convenience of a search engine. So why the confusion now?

I believe the answer is in the pinnacle of branding. Before we delve into the genius of Google, let’s look at some other companies who achieved this first. I think it will help us to better understand our problem at hand.

KleenexKleenex = Brand

Tissue = Actual Item

 

 

Band Aid LogoBandAid = Brand

Bandage = Actual Item

 

 

So the next time someone ask you for a Kleenex or a BandAid… remember that these are actually the brand name, not in fact the name of the actual item. This is what I mean when I say, “the pinnacle of branding.” These companies have marketed themselves so well that they’ve actually made their brand name and the name of the item interchangeable. Amazin’.

2000px-Coca-Cola_logo.svgAnother fun time that an incidence such as this happens… especially in Texas, is the almighty interchangeable term, “coke”. When one asks for a coke, they may mean a Coca Cola, or in fact, any soda available. Once again, we have the pinnacle of branding. Gorgeous.

So back to Google. While there are other search engines available on the web such as Yahoo!, Bing, MSN, and Aol, to name a few, Google is by far the most widely used. Even when questioning something, anything, the term used for searching the web for the answer is usually “Google it,” not “Yahoo! it”, not “bing it”, or “MSN it”, but “Google it.” Bravo, Google, there’s that pinnacle again. Now here’s where Google really got smart, and that’s with implementing Google into other platforms that we already use regularly… such as our smartphones and our browsers. For example, you may use Internet Explorer to access internet from your computer, but the last time you went to Google.com they asked you if you wanted to add Google to your browser… half reading half not, you click yes. Now, you can search terms actually up in the rectangle at the top of your screen and not have to go to Google.com. However, the opposite is not necessarily true. If you go to Google.com and put in a URL, you will see a list of most related domains display in your Google search… possibly even the URL you’re searching for, but you will not be immediately taken to the website you are seeking.

So, here we go folks.

A Web Browser is reached through the icon on your computer or your phone that you tap to access the internet. Examples of these include Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. When you get there you will see a search bar at the top of the page that looks like this.

Screen Shot 2015-07-14 at 4.34.04 PM

 

This is an example of “Googling” a subject within your browser bar.

Screen Shot 2015-07-14 at 4.21.06 PM

 

This is an example of simply heading to the domain you are looking for by inputting it into your browser bar.

Screen Shot 2015-07-14 at 4.20.22 PM

 

This is going to Google.com and searching any subject… the old school way.

Screen Shot 2015-07-14 at 4.22.17 PM

 

So there you have it. Google is amazing and we all use it multiple times a day. She as useful as she is ubiquitous. Just don’t be confused by all her glory. Still head to your handy old web browser if you already know what domain you are looking for. Just input that in the little box at the top of your screen and you will be taken straight there. Wolla! Mystery solved, I hope this was as interesting and entertaining for you folks as it was for me.

Sweet Summer

Sweet Summer

Summer is in full swing at enVision. Everything in Texas is moving a little slower and the invitation of the cool water from the lake is so inviting this year. A spring full of rain has been an exciting moment for our lake front community. Things have finally started to settle down. The last year brought a great deal of excitement to our little office. One wedding, two babies, and a new office later… I am here thinking how relaxing this summer has been without planning a wedding, also, our two new mamas are adjusting to the balance family, and we have officially moved into our new office complete with light fixtures and decor on the walls. While I love the moments of work that are fast paced and exciting, I also enjoy the time to just be creative and free. We are ready to begin the next publication design, writers are finishing up stories, photographers are clicking away, and our advertisers are all set. So, just for a moment while writing this post, we are going take a moment to celebrate a sweet summer.

Welcome to Your New WordPress Site

Welcome to Your New WordPress Site

Your new WordPress site requires two parts to achieve success.

  • A fresh and intriguing design
  • Relevant content

At enVision Creative Services, we help businesses build visually pertinent and interesting websites.  In addition, we provide content strategy.  These two tactics are most important when building a successful website for your business.

Our clients range from small businesses, to restaurants, retail, municipal entities, health care, real estate, travel and event planning.  Part of my job is meeting with each client to better understand their business and assist them with a proper content strategy.  We pinpoint your demographic and hypothesize how your users will navigate your new site.

The benefit of utilizing WordPress as our content management system is that WordPress is founded on the idea of self publishing.  This allows our clients to input their content and keep it consistently updated and relevant.

For some clients, this is very exciting news.  It allows them to really tailor their site to showcase the business in the most personal way.  With a scheduled, in-house tutorial, they are able to complete and manage their site, as well as save some dollars toward the cost of a brand new site.  For others, this task seems quite daunting.  And it can be, many of our clients at enVision have questions about content placement, understanding SEO and most importantly, how to show up on Google first.  There are many strategies to achieve these goals.  However, each client is different and as such, each requires their own plan.  Our team can give you the site and the tools to do this.  We are successful web designers, we make it our business to stay on top of trends and we are here to answer your questions.