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The March edition of Alpaca Culture magazine is currently in the process of shipping across the United States and to many countries around the world. March 2017 marks the 20th issue, and the five-year milestone for Alpaca Culture.

Alpaca Culture began in March of 2012 and has steadily risen to be the premier print magazine in the industry. Alpaca Culture continues to expand the boundaries of the alpaca community, providing educational information and lucrative opportunities to farms and fiber mills. “We work continuously to contribute to the betterment of the alpaca world,” Says editor Jared Johnston of Sandpoint, Idaho.

Alpaca Culture magazine is published by Selle Design Group, and is distributed to more than 5,000 individuals each issue, reaching people in 10 different countries. Every issue that Alpaca Culture produces is given the same care and devotion, carefully researched and designed to offer a beautiful and visceral experience.

Here at Selle Design Group, we just want to say, congratulations — ¬keep up the great work!

Check out the new edition in digital format or order a hard copy at www.alpacaculture.com

There are many aspects to creating and developing an effective website. The decision to create a website for your business should not be taken lightly or entrusted to the hands of a friend or family member who knows “a little” about how to get your business online. This is, after all, your business and your livelihood.

Just having a website that looks good is not enough. It is important to have a well designed website that is user friendly and easy to navigate, but that is perhaps fifty percent of the equation.

The first rule of getting customers is: get them in the door. They aren’t going to find you because your website looks good. They are going to find you by searching for your type of business, then clicking through to your website. If your website is not being properly indexed by search engines such as Google and placed in the upper results of a a search result, then your potential clients are going elsewhere.

This is where using a professional is essential. At Selle Design Group, we know how to program your website efficiently keeping your website code “light” and streamlined. We also know how to arrange your code and the language to maximize the effectiveness of your website. This allows index bots from search engines such as Google to easily read and index your website properly. In turn your website will appear higher on the organic search results for the keywords and phrases you want to be found under.

Your design and navigation becomes important once a user clicks on your link in the search results. If your website does not speak to the viewer instantly and easily lead them to what they are looking for, then the viewer might move on to the next result on the search result list. Your site must be appealing and present multiple selections, or features, and a simple, effective navigation to the final destination.

People today want what they want, when they want it. It is our job to make sure that that opportunity is there. If you are considering a new website or a makeover for your existing website design, call us to see how we can make a difference. 208-263-5235.

Google announced on the Webmaster blog that they are going to be boosting the effects of the mobile-friendly algorithm they launched back on April 21, 2015. The update is supposed to begin taking place in May of 2016 and it increases the effect of the mobile ranking system initiated in April of 2015 which was nickname mobilegeddon.

Basically, this algorithm asses websites and ranks them according to their availability to mobile devices. If you haven't updated your site to a responsive template or made other adjustments to make your website mobile friendly, Google will reduce your page rank compared to other websites. This could result in loss of views to your website as over 70% of users currently use mobile devices.


Call and talk to us about updating your site affordably. 208-263-5235

Susanne! The show book is showtacular! I am so impressed with design and layout, educational articles, quality of advertisements–the best show book any of us has seen in years!

Good morning Susanne, this [show book] is “spectacular”…very well done, we love it!
 
Nice magazine Susanne, you did a spectacular job with it and it is nice to see all the farms that put ads in to support it!
 
Congratulations and THANK YOU. I know that this project was no small accomplishment.  
~ Kate (Limerick Valley Alpacas)
 
Looks great!  
~Kara (Buck Brook Alpacas)
 
Very nice book!!
~Michele (Rosehaven Alpacas)
 
Looks great!
~Amanda VandenBosch (Flying Dutchman Alpacas)
 
Thanks . . . the publication looks great, Susanne!
~David Benway
 
 Thanks Susanne! The ad looks great!
~Ann (Eastern Hay)

Posted by on in Selle Design Group

Keeping you website up-to-date is more important than ever right now. There have been many PHP upgrades over the past few years which means that the server where you website is hosted may be using a more advanced version of PHP than your website is using. This can become a problem when one is trying to communicate with the other and can even cause certain functions of your website to stop working.

We have run into this problem on occasion with e-mail functionality and in other instances with forms and interactive functionality. If you are using open software such as Joomla, Wordpress or Drupel it is best to stay current. That means if you are using version 2.5 and version 3 is available you should consider upgrading. The reason these new versions are created is to keep up with the latest version of software being generally used on servers and the internet for communication. Increased functionality is another benefit.

The second area of concern today is using a responsive template. (see Responsive Website Design) Google has begun announcing they will no longer give favorable placement to websites that do not offer a mobile friendly website. Why? Because over 80% of people using the internet have a smart phone or tablet. We are in a post PC world and more and more people are interacting with the internet using these devices. It is imperative to offer these users a reasonably easy and attractive interface experience when they visit your website. If you don't then the information on your website may not give Google's users the information they are searching for in a layout where they can access it easily. Google is a company that provides their users access to website that contain accessible information that corresponds with what the Google user is typing into the search bar. If your website cannot offer Google's users this information then Google will not give you a favorable rating or placement on the search results list. This can translate into loss of web traffic and loss of money.

Creating and maintaining a website that generates a revenue stream takes time and money when it is done right. The web is not just an easy throw a website up and they will come. Like any other marketplace you have to work for your customer base and work hard. You also have to continually invest in your website as you would a storefront or office space. The potential for the internet is still huge but it is imperative to keep current.

Posted by on in Selle Design Group
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Selle Design Group just put out another edition of Alpaca Culture magazine and this one was bit special to us. The stories combined with the imagery really came out nice and presents a very picturesque view of Peru and the alpaca industry as it exists there. We visited the largest alpaca fiber-producing companies and toured their facilities. We also were escorted through many parts of the country where we saw native people working with alpaca fiber and producing some of the most luxurious garments we have ever seen.

Later in the trip we were able to attend a full on fashion show that feature some of the more prominent designers that are working with alpaca. Set in the courtyard of an old colonial mission it was nothing less than spectacular.

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After the whole alpaca fiber experience we were able to take some time to ourselves and se more of the country. The highlight was Cusco, the old Incan capital and the surrounding sacred valley. Of course the gem on top was our visit to Machu Picchu. I have seen many pictures of this awesome place place they fail in comparison to being there. We stayed for two days and on the second day climbed the mountain behind the ancient city called Huayna Picchu. Very steep and the way down was a nail biter. But the struggle and views that followed were worth it - aren't they always!

Check out the new edition in digital format or order a hard copy at AlpacaCulture.com

Posted by on in Selle Design Group

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Is your website design responsive? That is, does it automatically adjust to display correctly on a tablet or phone? The picture at left demonstrates a responsive website design. As the website gets smaller (right) items are stacked and the menu becomes a drop down menu.

Let's face it, we are in a post PC world and a majority of people use a tablet or smaller personal device (i.e. phone or ipod) to access their digital information and the internet. Due to space limitations these devices cannot display a full webpage that offers an easy interface and interactivity with users. Often times, users have to perform all sorts of zoom ins and zoom outs just to login or access areas of websites.

Responsive website design offers a more user friendly experience. The layout of the site adjusts to a more simplified version of the website on smaller devices where a user may scroll to see individual elements. This is desired because the user will not experience hard to read text or impossible to click links.

Websites that do not adjust responsively have a couple of problems. When users come across old school websites that are not responsive they may choose not to spend much time there and move on. Also, google recently has been notifying website owners that if their website is not compliant with smaller devices they will adjust your "rank" or where you appear in google searches accordingly. This pretty much means that you will fall in the rankings.

Why is this important. Let's go back to the numbers. A majority of people use personal electronic devices to access their digital information and the web. That means these devices are more important to market to than desk based computers. All formats are important but most people are using smaller devices. If you are not offering those users an easy-to-use interface you may be loosing traffic and conversions.

If you have a website and it is not responsive please call us to determine what would be the best move forward for your personal or business website.

Posted by on in Selle Design Group

b2ap3_thumbnail_nova_20141125-213053_1.jpgWhen creating a design or marketing campaign into a foreign country there are considerations that must be taken into account. We just returned from Peru and it reminded me of an old marketing campaign that failed due to translation. The Chevrolet Nova, when marketed into Spanish speaking countries did not do well because the word NOVA translated into English means No Go. Other translation can prove to be more offensive and damaging. For instance in China, the word FOUR should never be used as it sounds like the word for death. References to ghosts, death and dying are never mentioned in this country.

Pictures and colors are another consideration. Certain colors in different cultures can be misconstrued as offensive or to strong. Just as in any campaign, imagery is very important. If you are marketing into China the color of a red bird can be seen as lucky. In Spain, gifts such as knives or scissors are seen to sever a relationship and should never be given as gifts.

So if you are planning to market internationally, which is very easy these days, pay close attention to the message you are sending.

b2ap3_thumbnail_stampede.jpgK102 Radio needed a new look for their morning talk show. They asked us to do a graphic illustration of the disc jockeys so they could make a new billboard to advertise the morning show.

This particular job was great fun for our production designer, John, who had the chance to use new techniques to create the shadow look of this illustration. Illustrating caricatures can be difficult since you are trying to capture the essence of a person in the drawing rather than using a realistic representation of expression.

This was one of those chance where we were able to break away from a more serious look and we all enjoyed the process. Look for the billboard soon.

Posted by on in Selle Design Group

Why is it so important to carefully consider who you use as your graphic designer? Graphic design isn't simply creating a digital drawing or throwing together a web design. The skill set that a graphic designer must have spans many different disciplines.

Graphic design is the methodology of visual communication, and problem-solving through the use of type, space and image. The field is considered a subset of visual communication and communication design, but sometimes the term "graphic design" is used interchangeably with these due to overlapping skills involved. Graphic designers use various methods to create and combine words, symbols, and images to create a visual representation of ideas and messages. A graphic designer may use a combination of typography, visual arts and page layout techniques to produce a final result. Graphic design often refers to both the process (designing) by which the communication is created and the products (designs) which are generated.

Common uses of graphic design include identity (logos and branding), publications (magazines, newspapers and books), print advertisements, posters, billboards, website graphics and elements, signs and product packaging. For example, a product package might include a logo or other artwork, organized text and pure design elements such as images, shapes and color which unify the piece. Composition is one of the most important features of graphic design, especially when using pre-existing materials or diverse elements.

A great graphic designer will not only be able to generate new illustrations, logos, themes and a cohesive marketing package. A great graphic designer will consider all the aspect of what they are designing and what the intended use and expected results are from their creation.

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