Category Archives: Design

Moodboard: Desert Oasis | The Native New Yawker

Earlier this month I decided to limit my design services to the food, retail and luxury hospitality industries. Since then I’ve been really trying to get my act together, but most importantly finalize my personal branding & new portfolio that I’ve been ‘working on’ for the last two years now. A majority of the work that is going into my new portfolio is self-initiated work that I plan on pitching to the companies once done.

This moodboard is for a complete rebranding project I’m pitching to a wonderful luxury hotel located in Canyon Point, Utah. This resort was designed to blend into its dramatic surroundings where deep canyons and towering plateaus create a remarkable landscape. I’m ditching my normal black & white aesthetic for a more calmer, peaceful palette of beiges, pinks and oranges. Currently, there’s a real disconnect with what the resort has to offer vs. how their actual branding speaks to their target consumer. With this rebrand project, the main objective is making the new brand feel as peaceful & tranquil as the resort is. Stay tuned.

I Don’t Want To Design For Everyone

I Don't Want To Design For Everyone | The Native New Yawker

I’ve had almost every client under the sun—from your up and coming start-up to your well-established brands—for almost any type of design project you can think of. Branding, app design, blog design, package design… I’ve done it all.

For the last five years, not only did I get to see what fields of design I thoroughly loved, but I got a chance to see what types of clients I did and didn’t enjoy working with.

While I work with mostly fashion and beauty brands at work, there’s no telling who my next client can be or what industry they are apart of. One minute I could be finishing up a campaign for Roxy only to be thrown on designing the UI for a fashion game app a few days later. An although I don’t mind the new challenges of being a general designer that can take on any type of work, the more I’m getting into my profession the more I’m realizing that I only want to cater to a specific type of client in a specific industry.

Since my freelance time is limited due to my full-time job, I’ve been really trying to make sure that any projects I take from here on out are projects that I’m truly passionate about. It was time to narrow down my niche.

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The Blog Critique 12 | The Native New Yawker

The Blog Critique #12: Gaining Followers & Promoting Engagement

It has literally been months since I’ve done a blog critique. Let me just thank all the bloggers that are still submitting their blogs for critique even after this series has gone on a mini hiatus. I’m slowly but surely going to make my way to everyone’s site.. eventually.

I’ve been thinking about switching the medium up for this post and turning it into a video series instead. I feel like some points could come across better via video than text, so we’ll see. So just don’t be surprised if you see one of the next critiques a video. Moving right along with today’s critique.
Dating & Relationship Blog

Veronica is getting ready to approach her first full year of blogging as of March. When first setting up her blog, Veronica had two goals in mind: build traffic and reach out to women everywhere. Since she started blogging last year, she’s managed to pull in over 2000 unique visitors, but like all bloggers, she’s facing some challenges. Deeming me the “godmother” of better blogging, Veronica submitted her blog for critique to not only get my feedback on the aesthetics of her blog, but she wants to know what she can do to gain a following as well as promote people to leave comments on the site. Like I always say, *that default Godfather accent* you’ve come to the right place.

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2014 Blog Action Planner On Sale Now!

2014 Blog Action Planner, $12 | The Native New Yawker

First, let me say Happy New Year. Yes, I know it’s literally 31 days into the New Year, but this is my first time blogging for 2014 so just let me rock.

I made a promise to myself to not touch this blog until I got the 2014 Blog Action Planner out, and 31 days after it was originally supposed to be released… here it is. Earlier this month the universe had played a cruel trick on me in the form of a corrupted InDesign file, forcing me to start the blog planner over from scratch. I don’t know if you’ve ever experienced completing something only to have it ruined almost immediately. Well, I got discouraged. I got upset. I took a day or two off. Had a few drinks and then got over it. Then, I started over.

After getting such a great response from the free Blog Content Planner, I was determined to create a full out blog planner to help others have all the tools they need to run a successful brand. What started out as a simple organizational planner, turned into a full on blogging workbook equipped with monthly objectives & strategies to tackle, as well as worksheets to further keep you on goal towards all your blogging goals.

So I present the 2014 Blog Action Planner!

2014 Blog Action Planner, $12 | The Native New Yawker

The minimalist 2014 Blog Action Planner is the ultimate planner–we’re talking 270 pages–for any blogger no matter your level of experience. This blog planner helps you stay on track of all your blogging goals while providing everything you’ll need to manage a blog.

This planner has a monthly breakdown of goals to attack during the month, along with list of tools & resources to help further build your blog & readers. You’ll be able to organize post & post series, create content & promotional strategizes, as well as keep track of all paid opportunities & monthly stats.

2014 Blog Action Planner, $12 | The Native New Yawker
2014 Blog Action Planner, $12 | The Native New Yawker

But wait.. there’s more!

Purchasing this 2014 Blog Action Planner will also give you access into my exclusive Google+ community where you can connect & learn from other bloggers. This community is perfect for bloggers that have been wanting to give Google+ a try, and see how they can utilize it for their blogs. Come on over, engage with other bloggers and get a feel of the wonders called Google+.

Like the Blog Content Planner, this is another printable download. You can print these pages out at home or do what I did and take it to Staples & get it printed, bounded & even tabs added for only $34. I made sure to keep the Blog Planner in B&W to cut back on cost when printing. If you purchase the 2014 Blog Action Planner, let me know how you put yours together! I want to see pictures!

2014 Blog Action Planner, $12 | The Native New Yawker

the blog critique | 11 | The Native New Yawker

The Blog Critique #11: Brand & Engagement Building

It’s been weeks since I critiqued a blog — once again.. my bad, ya’ll. This 2014 Blog Planner, on top of crazy freelance work, has consumed all my time lately. I have quite a few projects & businesses launching for 2014 that I can’t wait to share with you all, including ebooks, webinars and consultation. I’m really trying to turn it up next year and slowly make my way back over into the freelancing lane. I miss working from the privacy of my own apartment in my PJs.

I will tell you all this.. for 2014 I’m working on one-on-one blog critique sessions that will take place over Skype or Google Hangout. I’d do a live critique of your site showing you how a new user navigates your site, pinpoint problem areas and what you can do to fix them, as well as touch on any specific concerns you may have such as getting more engagement from your readers, or how to properly go about monetizing your blog. So stay tuned for that. Make sure you’re subscribe to the blog as I’ll be sending emails out for signs up a few days early. Moving right along.. let’s jump into today’s critique.
Lifestyle Blog

Ariel started her blog as a place where she was ‘testing the water’, voicing her opinions on topics, such as the latest celebrity news. But that got old real fast and she realized she actually can’t stand celebrities. So nowadays her blog focuses more on ‘girl talk’ where she offers the realness with an inspirational twist. She now wants to start using her blog as a platform to offer her services and products and figured her blog could use a critique. Her major concerns dealing with her blog are that it’s not only not visually appealing, but she’s unsure if her brand message is clear.. or if there’s even a brand at all. And, of course she’d like to improve the engagement factor with her audience. She lives for conversations and engagement and just wants to know if there’s anything she can do to turn it up. Well, Ariel.. you’ve come to the right place.

The Good

Despite not being aesthetically stimulated when first arriving on your page, you got all your vital information about the fold. You have all your social networks listed, including G+ (you go, girl!), making it easier for people to follow you. When I actually went to click they links though, it took me to the main pages of the social networks rather than your actual profiles. I can check out your YouTube videos, follow you on Bloglovin’ or find specific articles I want to read from your navigation section. When it comes to the basics of what’s need for a blog, you’ve definitely got that covered so as I say, kudos.

The biggest challenge you’re facing with your blog is the aesthetics, but before I give you some suggestions.. let’s talk about some of your other concerns.

The Concerns

I’m not sure if my brand message is clear.. or if there’s a brand at all.

When it comes to branding, I’ve noticed a common misconception. People think that once they have a site, a name & a logo, they instantly have a brand. Sure, visuals can play a large part in your branding, but that alone doesn’t make a brand–you just have an identity.

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