Holiday Greetings from the St Louis Web Designer.

I like to produce a digital holiday card for my customers each year and this year have spiced it up with a custom video produced using xtranormal. “If you can type you can make movies”. Its a great application and easy use. You can select from a whole bundle of characters, give them different accents set the background, camera angles, make them move and apply ambient sounds… and all for FREE. What’s not to love about that.

So sit back and enjoy my little message from this fabulous green robot ( he has an English accent of course). I think I may have to make him my mascot!

ipod earbuds fall out of my ears. Do yours?

Music can often be a great inspiration to me when I am in designing and my ipod is always on my desk. However, hands up if your ipod earbuds fall out of your ears? Mine do, the standard ipod earbuds were swiftly replaced with an in-ear pair but I still have problems with “fall out”.

A St Louis company, Yurtopia™ has come up with a fabulous novel product to end this misery: the yurbuds™. They convert the standard ipod earbuds to custom fitting earbuds which are not only more comfortable but they DO NOT FALL OUT!

A pair costs just $19.99


and get free shipping with this code: QF5SG

2009 © St Louis Web Designer

Free Credits for istockphoto

Here is a great tip if you are looking for free credits for

I regularly use them to source images for web and graphic design projects. They have a wealth of very reasonable priced images which is always popular with my clients. The cost of stock photography can really rocket if you are not looking in the right places.

Their stock is priced in terms of credits and they offer three options to purchase these credits via “pay as you go”, subscriptions or via a corporate account. Pay as you go works well for me.

However there is also a way to earn free credits. If you have incorporated some istockphoto stock into a project you can submit it via the Designers Spotlight page, you do need to be a member but membership is free. Every piece goes through an approval process but if it is approved it gets added to the new projects album and you are awards five free credits.

Don’t you love free stuff!

View My Portfolio

Generate revenue from your websites: AdSense

Looking for an easy way to make some additional revenue from your web site? Try Google AdSense.

A small snippet of code placed on your web site will generate Goggle ads earning you revenue based on a cost per click or cost per impression basis. You can fine tune the look and feel of the ads to compliment your site, have control over the size and shape and even block competitors ads from appearing on your pages. It is completely FREE .

Is Adsense right for your website? Here are a few things to consider

  • What levels of traffic does your site experience? Sites with a high volume of traffic will bring in more revenue.
  • Does your site rank highly for any popular keywords or phrases? Our site on counterfeit detection ranks very highly for the key phrase “counterfeit detection”. Due to the popularity of this phrase there are plenty of Google advertisers bidding on this phrase for the display of their adverts and hence no shortage of ads to display on the site.
  • Are you comfortable having advertisements on your site? Despite the high traffic and favorable key phrase ranking Indigo Image gets, we are not comfortable having Google Ads featured on our site. They could offer our visitors a reason to leave and explore the services offered by another web design/ graphics arts company. It is possible to block competitors sites but blocking all advertisers bidding on a generic key phrase, e.g. in our case something like logo design, is not feasible.
  • Do you have a suitable area on your site to display ads? To get the most out of the ads they need to be placed in a prominent place. Does the design of your site accommodate this?

I have a couple of personal site with pretty high traffic and excellent rankings on the search engines that are a perfect platform to display Google ads. The ads were configured to compliment their color schemes and feature prominently at the top of each site without being too intrusive. They provide a steady stream of revenue.

Free Vector Art Brush set for Adobe Illustrator.

During this recent project, I made good use of one of my favorite tools in Adobe Illustrator – custom brushes.

In under ten minutes I have produced this complicated graphic, simply by designing a set of custom brushes and applying them to a circle.

Here are the brushes I generated:-

They are yours for free. Download the zipped file Here

To install

  1. unzip the file
  2. Copy the file to your Illustrator > Presets > Brushes folder
  3. Restart illustrator.
  4. Illustrator>window>brush libraries>indigo_image_1

The brushes will now appear in your brush palette.


St Louis web designer tip of the day: Give your blog a boost

Blogs are a great way to promote your services, improve your search engine ranking and provide a great way to interact with your readers.

Here are some quick tips to give your blog a boost and grow your readership

  1. Write it regualry – at least twice a week.
  2. Comment on other blogs- in the comments box there is often an opportunity to include your own website or blog URL.
  3. Title your blog posts with keywords you are targeting.
  4. Submit your blog to a blog directory such as blogcatalog
  5. Give your readers different options to subscribe to your content. e.g. sign up through a reader – try Goggle Reader or sign up to receive via email.
  6. Start a Twitter account and use it to promote new blog posts.
  7. Use a free pinging service such as Pingoat

St Louis web designers tip of the day!

Twitter experiment

Are you using Twitter yet?

I have had a Twitter account for quite some time now but only really started using it recently. Twittering is like micro blogging; you have 140 characters to have your say. It is quick, easy and free.

As with any social networking tool there is a time commitment, albeit relatively small for Twitter, so I have set myself a number of goals to see if it is really worth the effort.

To follow me on Twitter click here