How I Reached the 2nd Page of Search Results | The basics of SEO, and some easy-to-implement tips for your own website or blog | Jenn Wells Design

After years of hanging out on the relative obscurity of page 5, I’ve finally bumped my search rankings up to page 2! Obviously, there’s more to do. I’m still working to attain that desirable first page spot, and to achieve it for a wider range of keywords. But I thought I’d take this opportunity to celebrate and to tell you which SEO techniques worked for me.

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Defending Comic Sans | Why Comic Sans doesn't deserve the amount of negative attention it gets and which fonts are just as bad | Jenn Wells Design

You don’t have to be a graphic designer to know there’s a widespread hatred of Comic Sans. It’s become the martyr of the typography world, suffering more than its share fair of abuse.

Which is not to say I don’t understand the dislike of this particular font. I do, and for those who might not, I’ll explain.

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Mosho Investigative Group Website Design Process | The design process for a private investigator website from initial concepts to final site development | Jenn Wells Design

The Client: Mosho Investigative Group

Mosho Investigative Group needed a new website design. The old one was outdated and incomplete, and MIG’s owner was looking for something that would better showcase his services. He was also looking for a more professional feel, the ability to handle future maintenance on his own, and a method to create password-protected pages.

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Graphic Design Feedback: a How To | Things that are useful and not so useful when giving feedback to your graphic designer | Jenn Wells Design

While admittedly a self-serving one, the topic of graphic design feedback is one that benefits everyone. And it’s not about being nice, though obviously we appreciate that! It’s about the kind of constructive feedback that accurately conveys your intention.

Let’s start with some things that aren’t helpful.

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Maria's Italian Restaurant | Restaurant branding design process from initial website concepts to final site | Jenn Wells Design

The Client: Maria’s Italian Restaurant

Maria came to me looking for a website design that would accomplish several needs:

  • Improved usability
  • Modern design
  • Responsive for mobile

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Doing Business the Un-Businesslike Way | A less traditional way of doing business that doesn't involve cold calls or hardballing customers | Jenn Wells Design

We live in a world of cold calls, automatic email subscriptions with every purchase, and formal networking events fraught with the frenzied exchange of business cards. We’re told that the “new, exciting” way to do business is really just the way we’ve always done business, but with higher confidence, savvier tactics, more pizzazz.

Ramit Sethi is a great resource for this type of business success. In his blog, books, or workshops, advice can be found for scripting the perfect responses, handling negotiations, and providing exactly the right amount of information at the right times. His success is proof that this style of business can and does work.

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I tend to be a bit overzealous when it comes to bookmarking anything that might possibly prove useful at some point in the future. What that results in is a huge stockpile of resources, most of which I never look at again! Instead of sharing all those with you, I’m going to share the tried and true. Most of these resources I don’t even need to have bookmarked because I know the urls by heart.

Here’s my top tools for graphic and web design!

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Turning Down a Client | As a service based business, how do you know when a client is a bad fit? Sometimes turning away clients is not only easier, it's better for your business | Jenn Wells Design

In the world of small business, it can seem almost criminal to send away a potential customer. And it can be all too tempting to accept work, any work, based on your financial needs rather than the project itself. But there are times when it’s better for everyone, including the client, when you don’t.

5 Reasons for Turning Down a Client

1. Different Financial Needs

Setting prices is a daunting task in its own right, but how do you handle customers that complain or haggle? It depends. If your price structure is flexible or you can cut costs in exchange for limiting services, you might be able to make it work. But in my personal experience, attempting to work for an amount that won’t adequately cover your time and expenses will only foster resentment. And that’s not a healthy working environment for you or the client.

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Deanna Zions's Art | The website design process for an artist's online portfolio from initial concepts to final site | Jenn Wells Design

The Client: Deanna Zions

At the risk of sounding cheesy, I am very excited to share this website with you! Deanna is a local Delaware artist and does some absolutely gorgeous things with antiques, cameos, and shadowboxes. Being lucky enough to know her personally, I had a head start with the project. For example: the color scheme was never anything but red, black and cream.

Artist Website Design Process

1. Design Options

Contrary to my typical approach, I was hesitant to make a logo, because I know Deanna has business cards, and a couple other branding pieces that I wouldn’t get to redo that have her name with different fonts and styles. So while I wanted to use fun, artsy fonts, I didn’t want anything that would obviously be a mismatch if, say, a different script font were used elsewhere.

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