Fonts I have loved

Mrs.Eaves This month’s blog is a contribution from Robin Wasteney, Senior Art Director at Cooper Smith & Company. Robin is a huge fan of typography. This is part one of a two-part series on the fonts she loves. Check back in August for part two: the fonts she loves…to hate!

You don’t get to be a designer without developing some kind of love, or at least respect, for typography. My love for type goes more into the geek range. It’s often the first element I choose when I begin to put a layout together on my screen. And despite all the options out there, every designer has a handful of ‘go-to’ typefaces they use more often than any others, whether just for a few years, or for some, across their career. Mrs. Eaves—an Emigre font designed by Zuzana Licko in 1996 has hovered around the top of the list for most of my career.

For me, Mrs. Eaves is to typography what FRIENDS is to sitcom television—a college favorite that never disappears. Friends is still always on some channel somewhere, and if there’s a project that doesn’t involve monster trucks or retirees, Mrs. Eaves is probably on my screen for consideration.

Most recently, I have been using Mrs. Eaves as the body copy for YogaIowa. Since we had free reign on this project to do what we wanted, I don’t believe I even considered another serif option.

Can we make it bigger?
Mrs. Eaves is a serif typeface that has a lot of unique quirks. The letterforms are slightly wide, with delicate serifs and beautiful ligatures (those characters that connect two letters together). It’s a little feminine but friendly and elegant. What’s also unique is that the x-height (the height of the main part of a letterform) is short, which causes some people find it difficult to read.

I fell in love with Health® magazine years ago because the whole magazine was set in it—I actually subscribed for a year or two until they redesigned, no doubt in part because the editorial staff had too many complaints that the font was hard to read.

Almost without fail, there is a ‘can we make the body copy bigger’ discussion when I use it with a client over the age of 30. But it’s worth the battle over appropriate point size every time.

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Pinterest Best Practices

Pinterest_blogThis month’s blog is a contribution from Julia Duvall, Account Services Coordinator at Cooper Smith & Company.

 

I love Pinterest. I find browsing on “Pinny” or “Pinster”, as I like to call it, to be such a pleasant experience. The user interface is seamless, to the point that each click feels native and intuitive. I personally started using Pinterest to organize my recipes, and have since fallen in love with the platform.

Working Account Services on the Cooper Smith & Company team, I have honed my love of this social media tool to implement Pinterest best practices for our clients. Social media is all about increasing brand reach by making meaningful connections with both loyal fans and new customers, and Pinterest is no different. Below are five tips I use to connect with both new and existing followers when managing Pinterest accounts.

Find Friends
Link your social networks together to help build a stronger Pinterest base. Under “Settings”, navigate to “Social Networks”. Options are available to connect with Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Gmail, and Yahoo. Once connected, “Find Friends” will show fans from other social networks that also use Pinterest.

Make It Easy
I hate to find a really cool recipe/blog post/etc. but no “Pin It” button. Sometimes I’m too lazy to copy the URL and paste it into Pinterest, so I don’t pin the content. Don’t lose lazy pinners! Adding a “Pin It” button to various pages on your website will increase the likelihood that followers will pin content.

Be Strategic
As tempting as it might be to pin 500 images in one day, this will clog your followers’ feed and likely be annoying. Create a few pins on a consistent basis, rather than in huge spurts. Don’t have the time to devote daily to Pinterest? Facebook recently added a scheduling tool for posts, so hopefully Pinterest will follow suit soon. In the mean time, there are a variety of pin scheduling tools available, such as Go Pixel or ViralWoot. Check out Viraltag’s free 14-day trial, no credit card required, to determine your best time of day to pin.

Curate
Arrange boards with the most popular or eye-catching at the top. A follower might not identify with the brand as a whole, but perhaps will be intrigued enough to follow one board. Periodically comb through pins and boards to ensure pins are up-to-date.

Get Real
Followers understand that a real person is managing a Pinterest account, and want to see some personality! Keep it classy, but don’t be afraid to have fun.

Pinterest has become an important tool to the social media strategy of any brand, and shouldn’t be ignored. If you’re new to Pinterest, start smart. Focus on just one or two of these tips as you begin to grow your follower base, and watch your “Pinny” presence grow!

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Hashtag Hate Mail

 

2COOL4WORDS

Have you noticed how hashtags seem to be how all the cool kids are posting?

Status updates, Instagram posts and tweets end with hashtags meant to clue the reader into the mood or meaning behind a post. Such hashtags are called asides—and in my opinion, they are way overused.

For instance this week, a friend posted a lovely Instagram photo of a lap pool with the caption: Early morning workout #anklealmosthealed.

I’m delighted. My friend is recovering from injuries and still managing to stick to a workout regime. But why not say “Early morning workout. My ankle is almost healed”?

The hashtag was designed to unite conversations around topics. Hashtags like #feelingblessed can be searched to read dozens of feel-good posts. But the hashtag #anklealmosthealed gets me very little. In fact it wasn’t mean to. The author was using a currently hip style of posting, not employing reader-service.

Writing what you mean, authentically, is never not “hip.”

Though asides are useful for adding insight to a post, use them with forethought.

  • Look up your hashtag. Check to see if your post truly belongs in a hashtag conversation.
  • Add hashtags on purpose. Add hashtags so your readers can follow converstations to learn more or read about what others are saying on a subject.
  • Don’t use hashtags as a posting style. Say what you mean. Use words and language. Not code words.
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