A few months ago I ordered Branding Matters by Jason VanLue. I figured it’d give me a few pointers and, hey, who doesn’t want to support a nice guy self-publishing his first book? A few weeks ago I finally got around to reading it and it’s pure gold. It’s helped me understand what branding is what it is not.
Branding isn’t just a logo, color scheme or font. Branding is who you are, how you work, and what you want to be. It’s also is the way people [customers] feel about you. Good branding is when you can effectively tell people what to believe about you such that their ensuing decisions accomplishes your goals.
I’m a tinkerer. I’m also an idea person. I have more ideas than I ever have time for and I tinker too much on the ones I do pursue. I also suck at branding. Since I fail to establish goals and direction for things, when it comes time to make a big decision, I can’t make up my mind. My decisions are usually based on how I’m feeling at the moment (which, incidentally, is always changing).
See, that’s where branding comes in. Branding provides a direction. It’s what you are and what you want to be. When you’ve got that down, making decisions gets whole lot easier. Make the one that takes you where you want to be. And since you’ve branded, you know where that is.
It’s complicated, but simple.
I know it’s not a new idea by any stretch of the imagination, but I decided to start a series of posts giving everyone a bird’s eye view of the blogs I subscribe to and why. Nothing fancy, just a list of five or so at a time with the whats and whys.
Anyway, here we go.
This is David DeSandro’s Tumblr for front-end development tricks and resources. Though I admit some of it goes over my head, there is some great stuff in there.
I really like this idea — a thought a day from 30 of the web’s top movers and shakers. Some posts are quite long while others are just a paragraph, but you can always count on them to be thought-provoking.
Shawn Blanc is my favorite voice in the tech/Apple/coffee arena. He’s positive, insightful and most of all, a great guy. I don’t read everything he posts, but I happily give him $3/month as a member.
Paul’s blog is a recent discovery, but a favorite non-the-less. He writes about everything from freelancing to WordPress techniques to UX and I’ve yet to be disappointed. He was also on my podcast once.
The Industry is fast becoming one of the best voices in the design and startup world. They’ve got a lot of good reviews and and a lot of awesome people write for them. Also, they let me be on their podcast.
That’s it. Let me know what you think of these and what I should add next time!
A couple of weeks ago I launched BrandColors, a side-project of mine that is best described as a collection of major online brand hexadecimal color codes. The project has received a lot of positive attention, so I thought I’d give you guys a quick rundown on the idea and the build process. In typically me fashion, this is happening far too late, but as they say, better late than never.
Before I tell you about how I built it, I want to throw out a little disclaimer — the idea for a site like this was not mine. Actually, I’d seen a page like this that I really liked but forgot to bookmark. I spent nearly a half-hour looking for it several days later and after I still could not find it, I said, “To heck with this, I’ll just build my own.”
Oddly enough, it would take me building my own to find the original Color Reference by @chris_frees. Props to him for coming up with the idea and then not getting mad at me when I built something like it.
One of the things I knew I wanted to do from the start of the project was make adding and maintaining colors super crazy simple. If the process was complex, time-consuming or boring, I knew I would never add enough colors to make it much of resource.
My solution was simple — a static HTML file with each color represented in the markup as a
<li>. Using the power of the HTML5 data attribute, I added
data-hex attributes to each of the
<li>s. Then, using jQuery, I appended
<h2>s for the brand names and
<span>s for the color values and filled them with the
data-hex values. I also used jQuery to set the background color of the
<li> to the value of
data-hex. The copy to clipboard functionality was easy as pie with the zClip jQuery plugin.
As result, adding new colors was as simple as adding a new
<li> to the page, setting the proper values in the
data attributes, and publishing.
I know this was a pretty brief write-up, but I wanted to publish it anyway. I hope you enjoy the tool!
In my opinion, the Dashboard is probably the stupidest feature in OS X. It’s ugly, clanky and somewhat useless. It also takes up valuable system resources that would be better used elsewhere. I did a bit of research and discovered that it’s actually pretty easy to turn off.
Simply open up Terminal and type:
defaults write com.apple.dashboard mcx-disabled -boolean YES
For the changes to take effect you’ll need to restart the Dock:
If you ever change your mind and want the Dashboard back, simply type:
defaults write com.apple.dashboard mcx-disabled -boolean NO
Again, you’ll need to restart the Dock: