From Lakota’s Gifted 5th Grade Class

Today, a teacher from Lakota Schools, Christy Knopp, sent us some of her student’s questions about graphic design & animation.  We love to help the children in our community whenever we can, so we were very happy to answer their questions!  Ms. Knopp teaches the gifted 5th grade, and we were very surprised at how specific some of the questions were.  The questions were answered by one of our graphic designers.

1.  What is your favorite part of your job?

My favorite part of my job is when I get to be creative.  I usually doodle logos before I go to the computer to work out a final version.  The last logo I designed, I sketched out 3 different versions, scanned them, then went to PhotoShop to create a final design by using the sketch as a basis.  I also like it when I can use my sense of humor in our client’s social media posts.

2. Do you know how to make another person’s art into animation?

Yes I do, although I have not used that skill set in many years.  The applications and programs that are available now make traditional animation almost obsolete, so it has become very easy,  Yo can do it in PowerPoint.   I also know how to do traditional animation (like Snow White).  I went to a technical school for it in the 80s!  🙂

3. What subject would you recommend to get a head start on graphic arts/animation?

I think that if you want to have a career in graphics and animation, you should first know how to draw.  As I said before, the programs that are out now make it almost obsolete, but you never know when you may need the most basic skills, like drawing.  Remember, although some people are talented in art, drawing is a SKILL, like any other.  The more you practice it, the better you get at it.  I would also suggest taking courses in Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Flash and anything else that comes along that emphasizes graphic design and/or animation.

4. Do you use math?

As much as I don’t like Math, yes, I do.  Measurements are very important in graphic design and computer graphics.  You have to make sure everything will fit where it needs to.

5. What do you use to put sound in your animations?

Again, that is a skill set I have not used in a few years, but I do have experience with it.  Generally, we use sounds that are available online or we purchase them (as well as music) through a few different websites.  I used to do sale proposals that were fully animated with sound effects and music.

6. How is the best way to learn how to shade artwork?

Wow!  What a great question!  The best way to learn how to shade artwork is by looking at shadows.  When you see someone or an object, look at the shadows that are cast by the light source.  Shadows can be tricky, especially when they are cast on a curved or rounded surface.  Try drawing just the shadows that are cast by different objects… don’t draw the object, just the shadows cast by it.  Do that enough, and you should be able to visualize shadows, even if you are drawing from your head…   🙂

7. Does having bad handwriting hurt you in your job?

I am generally the only one that reads my handwriting and it is only the notes I take on different projects and phone calls.  When it is something that others in the office need to refer to, I usually put the info on a shared on-line notepad.

8. Do you need to be able to hand draw things to create art work?

No, you do not need to be able to hand draw, but I think that is a good foundation for graphic design.  Some of the most famous works of art in the world were created by people that may have not have any skill at drawing…  paintings by Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol and many others or anything that Pixar Studios produces, for example. The Hulk in the latest Avengers movie is a complete computer animation, and you can be fooled into thinking he’s real. All you need is a creative mind & to be able to visualize something that you can actualize, whether it is with a pencil and paper or a computer and mouse.

9. What software is best for creation? Animation?

I personally like using the Adobe Creative Suite (PhotoShop, Illustrator, etc.), but I think it’s because that’s what I know best.  I have had friends tell me that CorelDraw is also a good program for graphic design.  Maya 3D is a great program for animation.



How Video Marketing Can Boost Your SEO

How Video Marketing Can Boost Your SEO

YouTube, Vine, Vimeo…these sites are huge for a reason! Citizens of the Internet love videos.
When it comes to marketing and search engine optimization, video has evolved into a critical component for boosting search engine ratings and a higher conversion rates.
What are the benefits of harnessing video’s power? Let’s take a look!

Google Likes Videos
A 2009 Forrester study indicates that Google is 53 times more likely to rank pages with video on the first page of search results. Why wouldn’t you want to give yourself that chance?

So why do videos mean more to Google? Well, like everything about the internet – including the internet itself – has evolved. Google is smarter, according to Eric Sui of, than it used to be in the fact that

“Google now cares less about whether you’ve optimized each individual page on your site to a particular keyword and more about whether your page’s content answers the question presented by the search user.”

In short, a smarter Google now considers answers to questions somewhat more important than careful implementation of keywords.

Shares and Views = Value

When a user finds the information that gives them the answer they need, they find the information provided in your video valuable. As such, it’s more likely the user will share the valuable content, which increases the likelihood your website will rise in search engine ranks. Besides. Google owns YouTube, so does that help you see where their priorities lay?

Users Push Play
AimClear conducted a study that reveals users are 41 percent more likely to click through a web page with video rather than a page with only text.
I work almost exclusively online, so if I may, I’d like to switch my writer’s cap out for my average user’s cap. If I’m working on something – and usually I am – on the computer and I want to learn about something else at the same time, I confess I don’t have the mental fortitude to read about one subject and write about the other at the same time.
However, it’s common for me to listen to podcasts or – in this case – hit play on a video and watch and/or listen while I work.

When it comes to reading online, to me, it’s not as fast or efficient to absorb the information I’m looking for as watching or listening to a video. The more accessible your information is, the more valuable your users will find it, which will translate to higher search engine ranks.

So what are you waiting for? Get to work and plug in to the power of video today!

Social Media and Public Relations

Public Relations is the practice of managing the spread of information between an individual or organization and the public. Nowadays social media and public relations share a close relationship. In the past, managing PR has been much easier. As a company, you paid for ads on TV, radio, newspapers and magazines. Your pitch was given and your message to the public was a one-way communication. Therefore, PR was simply putting dollars behind a public persona.

Social Media has opened new flood gates.

Transparency is the new champion of PR.

Your company’s ability to both reward positive feedback and strategically manage criticism, will impact both your immediate and long-term business. Companies that effectively manage Social Media complaints are rewarded twice. When you strategically manage your complaints, you turn a disgruntled customer into a satisfied and more loyal customer. On top of retaining a greater number of customers, strangers who visit your Social Media properties are able to see you high level of customer service and satisfaction. You have the opportunity to create a company image that can’t be bought!

Visuals and Social Media Success

It is no secret that we live in an increasingly digital world.  With the constant flow of information and the stellar growth of social media, we are all exposed to a blinding array of “Likes”, “Tweets”, texts, and IM’s on the Internet.  Then along comes the rapidly growing, huge world of Mobile Apps and smart phones being used for nearly every aspect of our daily lives.  All of this overwhelming data creates the need to read or view images in just a few seconds & then… on to something else.  Plus, the mobile phone revolution means we are processing what we see on smaller screens.  When you consider how little time you have to grab someone’s attention, graphic design becomes paramount, not only in building brand awareness, but in merely standing out long enough to get noticed by viewers.  This creates the challenge of creating solid, clever & colorful graphics to entice the viewer to stop at your particular presentation over the thousands of others competing for this same viewer.  Below we’ll explore the relation between visuals and social media success.

Over stimulated Digital Natives

“Digital natives” is a term for the generation born during or after the advent of digital technology. They don’t know anything other than the instantaneous gratification that comes through the use of digital cameras, computers or smart phones. Due to the overwhelming array of stimuli that emerging technologies deliver to the consumer, this generation is becoming desensitized, according to the website, All Things CRM. Grabbing their attention takes eye-catching graphic design on both social media pages and in video. You can prove this to yourself by viewing an array of different objects or icons on a written page and see which ones quickly draw your eye & which ones are merely background clutter to the winners.  The eye is drawn to that which stands out.

Shortened Attention Span

With tweets at 140 characters and text messages often shorter than that, consumers often respond best to a first impression that includes an exciting or attention-grabbing graphic image. When a graphic is used consistently over many social media platforms, customers may view it several times over, which creates more brand recognition. Since many people are visual learners, they’ll remember your brand better when they see it visually, instead of hearing or reading about it, according to graphic designer Jacob Cass.

Increases Market Perception

According to Jacob Cass, your graphic design or logo can play a big role in how your product or service is perceived by the social media user.  Having an attractive graphic design helps to strengthens your brand, build trust with the consumer and make your business seem larger than it is. A well-designed graphic can also stir the user to post links on his own social media pages; this directs potential customers back to the company’s main website or starts a viral campaign with unlimited potential.

In conclusion, the graphic design should be large and detailed enough so that visitors to the social media page can easily recognize the image, it should not be so large as to make the load time too long. This can turn the viewer off and cause an exodus from the site before the graphic is viewed. When choosing an image for the profile picture, many companies use a corporate logo; if the profile is for a company, It is sometimes a good idea to use a photograph of the principles to personalize the social media page.

Our graphics and photography professionals here at Socially Buzzing are trained in state-of-the-art graphic design concepts and our photography is second to none.  It is very difficult for the average company, with so much on their plate, to commit the time money and effort to engage someone in house to create effective graphics & photography. This is just one more reason why we can say….Relax, we’ve got this!

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