Posts tagged ‘Ligia Bermudez’

Be a smart shopper this season

It wouldn’t be the holidays without family, lights, gifts, and of course, massive sales.  The second that Halloween and Thanksgiving are over, we are bombarded by an unbelievable amount of specials — just look at Black Friday. Retailers know that consumers are on a mission to do most of their shopping during the month of December, so they will flash as many signs and ads as needed to lure you into their store.

Once you’re in, it’s going to be difficult to walk past the “2-for-1” or “75% off” signage without grabbing something — no matter how trivial it may seem. Through this process, are we really saving money? The answer is, most likely, no.

Holiday sales give us the illusion of saving and we end up overspending on items we don’t need. The trick is not to get into the competitive shopping mode; that’s where you would sidekick anyone who is in the way of those boots you already have in black, but since they are on sale, it would only be fair to get them in gray.

The point is to always be a smart shopper. No matter what sale is going on you have to ask yourself  “Do I really need this, or can it wait?” If you really are honest with yourself, you’ll find that you can live another day without the boots, or that fabulous new jacket that just got marked down.

Although you’ll leave that store empty-handed and thinking to yourself “I would look so good if I had that right now,” you’ll soon feel proud of the money you saved. In these tough economic times — though they are looking brighter everyday — saving a few dollars here and there can make a big difference.

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12/16/2009 at 4:41 PM Leave a comment

Lessons Learned, Part 4

LigiaSix months ago, I graduated from TCU and jumped right into this internship; I didn’t know what to expect, and I definitely did not anticipate how much I would learn.

Working here at Zag is not like your typical internship. It’s a real job and everyday is a learning opportunity, and more importantly, a chance to get better at what you do.

Here are a few of the many things I have learned at Zag:

Control your stress, don’t let it control you. As a designer, some days the stress can be overwhelming.  You have to meet a deadline by a certain time, and your design ideas don’t seem to work. These days, stress can start to control you. Once that happens, you’re not focused anymore and your work suffers. So even on those high-pressure days, take a moment to step away and take a deep breath. Give yourself a pep talk or take a short walk. I’ve learned that just 5 minutes is enough to calm down and get back to work.

Inspiration is everywhere. Sometimes, your mind is exhausted and it’s hard to come up with ideas and/or designs. You feel like you hit a wall and a project suddenly starts to seem impossible. I have learned that ideas and designs don’t always spontaneously appear — sometimes you have to look for them. Talk to people around the office; look at books; browse the Internet or just stare outside the window (my favorite). If you give it a little bit of time, one of those things will trigger a good idea instead of settling for a mediocre one that you forced out of yourself.

Lastly, I’ve learned that it’s okay to ask for help. Here at Zag we are very lucky to have GCG and Site Smart Interactive employees as resources. Their opinions and guidance have been crucial to our success, because we are all very young, and most importantly, we are all still learning about this business. I’m the kind of person that when I run into a problem, especially in web design, I want to figure it out by myself no matter how long it takes so that I can truly learn how to fix it. Unfortunately, I don’t always have the time to do that, so instead of spending over an hour figuring out a code, I can just walk down the hall and ask someone from Site Smart Interactive in a matter of minutes.

Don’t forget to come back tomorrow to see what my fellow designer Rolando has to say!

11/13/2009 at 2:15 AM Leave a comment

The other side

LigiaLast time I wrote about a photo shoot, I was behind the scenes watching how a photographer worked with a camera and interacted with his subjects. Last week, I was given the opportunity to participate in another photo shoot, this time as the subject.

I was asked, along with Kelsey and Kalyn and Megan of GCG to be part of a back-to-school photo shoot for one of GCG’s clients. I immediately said yes, and my secret fantasies of being on billboards all over the Metroplex ran wild.

The day of the shoot, we arrived bright and early at Geno Loro’s photography studio with all of our wardrobe and makeup in hand.  After deciding who wears what, what colors look best and applying an insane amount of make up, we were prepared to shine.

During the first 30 minutes it was all good and fun. We were fake-smiling our heads off, laughing at non-existent jokes and pretending to walk around a location that only existed in Photoshop.

But after several hours of basically doing the same thing over and over, the glamour faded and we became exhausted. Who knew? Posing and modeling is tiring. We were only there for about three hours and were about to fall over; I can’t imagine doing photo shoots that are about 12+ hours long like the pros. That made me realize that I was not meant to be famous, and so I put those dreams to rest…for now.

One of the perks of working at Zag IMC is getting the chance to participate in these kinds of experiences. It was definitely something new to the four of us and really gave us an inside look into photography.

In our line of business, it is important to be knowledgeable in as many aspects as possible, photography included. Now that I’ve been on both sides, the photographer and the subject, I feel like I have a better understanding of how it works and that will probably be beneficial at one point in my career.

(Don’t worry, photos are on the way!)

11/06/2009 at 2:29 PM Leave a comment

SEO is the way to go!

LigiaWhat is SEO? No, it’s not internet chat lingo that makes you feel “uncool” because you don’t know what it means (ROFL     anyone?).  SEO means Search Engine Optimization, and it’s a very simple tool that is often overlooked. When used correctly, it can do wonders for your Web site and business.

The best way to define it is, “SEO is the business of getting found, even if the users did not know that they were looking for you all along.”

Unless you are a recognized brand, like Nike, people are usually not going to search specifically for your business. Let’s say I create a Web site for my dog-walking business called “Walk & Bark” (hold your applause for my creative business name).  When somebody goes to search for a dog walking business in Fort Worth, that’s exactly what they are going to type into the search engine, “Dog Walking in Fort Worth”. Unless they specifically have my business name, they are most likely to use generic search terms and click on whatever comes up in the first page of the results. If those generic key terms aren’t built into your Web site, the chances of you being found are slim to none.

It takes a while to get onto the front page of search engines but you can increase your chances by utilizing SEO. So here are a couple of tips to get you started on SEO ASAP:

» Add in meta tags into your HTML code. To learn how to do this, check out this article, “How to Use HTML  Meta Tags for SEO.”

» Keywords and SEO are best friends. Incorporate them into your written content in order to increase your chances of being found. Need help with keywords? This article is a good resource, “How to Pick Your Keywords.”

» Fresh and updated content attracts search engine spiders to your site, so keep it updated often. An easy way to do this is by having a news section or a blog section that gets updated regularly.

» Get other sites to link back to you. It lets the search engines know that your site is relevant since people are linking to it.

» Google Business Solutions offers useful features such as keywords suggestions, analytics, Google maps, and much more that help with SEO.

» There are countless articles, books and professionals that can help you with SEO. Remember, you can have the best web site in the world but if nobody can find it, then what’s the point?

TTYL! (This one took me a while to figure out too)

09/21/2009 at 2:37 PM Leave a comment

Zag Recess: We met Tim Love!

collin-polaTo work at a marketing agency, you need to be ready for anything. Quick changes, deadlines, last minute meetings; it’s a stressful world we live in, but it’s a world in which we thrive.

However, sometimes we just need to kick off our shoes, get out of the office and have fun as a team. These outings have become known around the office as “Zag Recess.”

Today for recess, we went to the grand opening of The Love Shack in the new So7 development.

First off, may I suggest to anybody reading this blog that you should go ASAP. The food was delicious and original (which is kind of hard to do with a burger).

The most exciting part though had to be when we met celebrity chef Tim Love. For those who don’t know, Chef Love is the owner and executive chef of The Lonesome Dove Western Bistro in Fort Worth. He has also competed on Iron Chef America (which he won) and Top Chef Masters, so to steal from, Ron Burgundy he’s kind of a big deal.

Chef Love was nice enough to chat and take a picture with us. I’m pretty sure Alex, the office chef, was about to pass out from excitement like one of those girls who saw The Backstreet Boys for the first time (just kidding Alex).

All in all, great outing, but we’re already looking forward to next week – G.I. Joe Friday here we come!

Also, the blog Fort Worth Renaissance was kind enough to feature Alex’s post about The Love Shack (like I said, Backstreet Boys fan. Last time Alex, I promise) on their Friday web links. Thanks guys.

08/01/2009 at 4:17 AM Leave a comment

Web design made easy

LigiaI recently attended a seminar called “Web site Design Made Easy” taught by Smat Webdesign and was inspired to share some of the things I learned, as well as some tips of my own.

As an up-and-coming Web designer, you have to know the good, the bad and the ugly of the field.

Let’s start with the bad: Murphy’s Law is the reality of web design. The law states that if something can go wrong, then it will. From experience, when you first start in Web design, you’ll find that about 97 percent of the time, nothing will work the first time around. Now here’s the good news: Web design is all about practice, patience and most importantly, learning from mistakes.

Before you run and scream at the sight of HTML code, relax, grab some coffee and start by reading the tips below.

  1. Plan out your Web site on paper. What will be its purpose? Who will your audience be? Write down the pages you will include (i.e. About, History, Products, Contact, etc.).
  2. Once you have an idea of what the content will be, start to plan the layout and look of your site. I highly recommend to research, research, research! Go online to different Web sites so you can see what you like and what you don’t. Inspiration is the key ingredient to web design.
  3. Draw a rough sketch of each page and try your best to be as detailed as possible. It isn’t necessarily how your Web site has to look in the end, but it will serve as a guide. This step is crucial because it will save you time later.
  4. Now you’re ready to get on the computer and work your heart out. There are countless resources that will guide you through HTML and CSS – I’ve listed some of my favorites below. Start with HTML, which will be the basic structure of your Web site. Learn what the basic tags are, what they do and how they will look on a browser. Then move on to CSS, which will control the design of your Web site.  After you have a basic knowledge of what to do, it’s all about trial and error.

Here are some useful resources to get you started:

»             http://www.w3schools.com/html/default.asp
»             http://html-tags.info/
»             http://www.websitebeginner.com/
»             http://htmldog.com/

The last piece of advice I can give you is don’t be afraid to start! Begin with the most basic designs and you’ll see that, as long as you keep using your resources, you will keep learning and most importantly, improving.

You can’t expect to build a beautiful Web site overnight. It’s going to take time, research and dedication.

Good luck!

07/17/2009 at 10:55 PM Leave a comment


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