Three More Reasons to Love Shopify for Small Retailers

We love implementing Shopify for small retailers. It was so good a few years ago that it was a slam dunk for most small-ish retail businesses that want to sell online. It’s still that, but it’s even better today. And AJ Design is a Shopify Partner with a growing base of small retail clients using the system.

Here are three quick new reasons for retailers to love Shopify even more:


1) Amazon.com Integration

Shopify is working on some seamless integrations with Amazon. Users will be able to log in with their Amazon account, and eventually Shopify merchants will be able to sell via Amazon.com. This is big. Amazon is huge, and many small retailers may not feel they have any opportunity to compete with Amazon. Shopify is taking the bull by the horns and enabling their merchants to reach that massive customer base. Don’t try to beat Amazon. Let them do what they do best, and you keep doing what you do best. And when this integration is mature, you will have the opportunity to gain sales within the Amazon market. Read about what Shopify is planning here.

2) TaxJar

Filing sales tax isn’t too tough if you don’t mind working with the month’s order data in a spreadsheet and doing some math. But that’s something not practical for everyone. TaxJar simplifies filing sales tax. You might want to look into it if sales tax is a dread for you. Learn about TaxJar in the Shopify App market.

3) USPS Shipping Integration

If you ship a lot with USPS, the new USPS integration will help you save time and money. Remember when PayPal, eBay and USPS were integrated and you could print shipping labels directly from within eBay? Yeah, it’s that cool. Read more about Shopify’s USPS integration here.


If you are looking for someone to help you establish a Shopify website or POS system — or better yet, bothcontact AJ Design. Implementing Shopify for small retailers is a joy for us, and we are excited for the growth it brings to our clients.

Designer Responds to Apple's Decision to Drop Helvetica for San Francisco in iOS 9

One Designer’s Response to Apple’s Decision to Replace Helvetica in iOS 9

I wasn’t really excited about iOS 9, but I decided to install the update anyway. There are some nice new features, really. And it is pretty cool that my iPhone now matches the ?Watch. But as soon as it was installed and I was moving in, I knew something wasn’t right. Helvetica was gone.

It took me a while to come around to Helvetica, but I’ve come to count on it. I know it’s used too often and with as little thought to typography as the elementary school teachers and healthcare professionals who use Comic Sans. But once Helvetica was the system font on iOS, it just seemed to fit. I think it worked very well, personally. I will miss it.

As a cathartic tribute to the typographic fixture that is Helvetica, now conspicuously supplanted by San Francisco on iOS 9, I submit this open letter to Apple.

Designer Responds to Apple's Decision to Drop Helvetica for San Francisco in iOS 9

How to Create a Secret Board on Pinterest

How to Create a Secret Board on Pinterest

Pinterest is a place to find creative inspiration for all areas of life. But some thing just shouldn’t be shared with the world. Are you planning to use Pinterest to keep track of ideas that are likely to cause trouble if the whole world saw them? Please. Make the board secret when you set it up.

Got a NSFW board? Make it secret. Your married friends will probably thank you.

Here’s how to create a secret board on Pinterest:

How to Create a Secret Board on Pinterest

A Cold Calling Epic Fail

There’s a place for unsolicited interruptions in marketing. But for most of us, including myself, that place is the dustbin of marketing history. The reasons people may cite for disregarding an unsolicited sales pitch are legion, but one reason may be that the person you are calling really doesn’t need what you’re selling. Case in point? Here’s a Facebook post from my personal account:

facebook-post-seo-cold-call

Business Friendly Graphic Design is what this website is all about, and search engine results reflect that.

In addition to that tagline, AJDesignCo.com also ranks well for more general localized searches like graphic design greenwood sc or web design abbeville sc.

If you’re going to employ cold calling without landing a cold calling epic fail, make sure your people are geared toward open-ended networking and discovering opportunities, not just rattling off a script hoping to capture someone with a pulse.

A Quick Lesson on Shutter and Aperture Priority

Since the advent of digital photography, I’ve become more or less addicted to photography. It’s a compulsive thing, but most of the time it’s fairly constructive. I’ve learned a lot over the last 10 years and 70,000+ photos (most of them are bad…). There are tons of helpful infographics and cheat sheets on the web. Here’s one from Lifehacker. But I had to share a quick series of images I caught tonight. It’s not as thorough as the other guides or cheat sheets, but it does illustrate some pretty marked differences at the extremes of shutter priority and aperture priority. Plus, my kid just made me laugh. Enjoy!

Adobe Creative Cloud 2015 Splash Screens

Looking for the December 1, 2015 Splash Screens?

I haven’t had time to post those yet. Got work to do and promises to keep.


 

Note: This is a follow-up to my post showing images of the new Adobe Creative Cloud splash screens back in 2014 when a major update was released.

New Adobe Apps, New Splash Screens

Adobe just released a major update to Creative Cloud, complete with new splash screens for many of the applications. Illustrator has some major performance enhancements for rendering. And there are tighter integrations with Adobe’s mobile apps. One notable addition is Adobe Stock, a built-in stock asset marketplace. Sadly for existing Creative Cloud subscribers, Adobe Stock is priced as a separate, add-on subscription that will add $30 to your monthly subscription this year. That’s a 40% savings, per Adobe. Who knows what the price will be next year? The pricing uncertainty is probably the only downside to Adobe Creative Cloud. But Adobe has stepped up their game and delivered a fantastic experience for creative professionals, despite the occasional pricing discomfort or uncertainty. In my opinion, the value is a good match for the price. Get the latest Creative Cloud pricing here.

Now, without further adieu, here are the 2015 splash screens. Click to view the full resolution image, then use your arrow key to advance.

Photoshop CC 2015 Release Splash Screen

Photoshop CC 2015 Release Splash Screen

Adobe Illustrator CC 2015 Release Splash Screen

Adobe Illustrator CC 2015 Release Splash ScreenAdobe InDesign CC 2015 Release Splash Screen

Adobe InDesign CC 2015 Release Splash Screen

Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2015 Release Splash Screen

Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2015 Release Splash Screen

Adobe After Effects CC 2015 Release Splash Screen

Adobe After Effects CC 2015 Release Splash Screen

Adobe Dreamweaver CC 2015 Release Splash Screen

Adobe Dreamweaver CC 2015 Release Splash Screen

Adobe Muse CC 2015 Release Splash Screen

Adobe Muse CC 2015 Release Splash Screen

Adobe Flash Professional CC 2015 Release Splash Screen

Adobe Flash Professional CC 2015 Release Splash Screen

Adobe Audition CC 2015 Release Splash Screen

Adobe Audition CC 2015 Release Splash Screen

Adobe InCopy CC 2015 Release Splash Screen

Adobe InCopy CC 2015 Release Splash Screen

Adobe Prelude CC 2015 Release Splash Screen

Adobe Prelude CC 2015 Release Splash Screen

Adobe SpeedGrade CC 2015 Release Splash Screen

Adobe SpeedGrade CC 2015 Release Splash Screen

Look at your phone. Creative Cloud is there too.

The iPhone apps were sadly neglected by my 2014 splash screen post. How rude?! I can’t make up for that, but I’ll make sure to show off a few of Adobe’s mobile splash/launch screens going forward. Want to see the rest of the story? Check out Adobe’s full lineup of iPhone and iPad apps.

Adobe Brush CC Splash Screen

Adobe Brush CC Splash Screen

Adobe Shape CC Splash Screen

Adobe Shape CC Splash Screen

Adobe Color CC Splash Screen

Adobe Color CC Splash Screen

Adobe Hue CC Splash Screen

Adobe Hue CC Splash Screen

Adobe Illustrator Draw CC Splash Screen

Adobe Illustrator Draw CC Splash Screen

 

Adobe Preview CC Splash Screen

Adobe Preview CC Splash Screen

Adobe Lightroom for Mobile Splash Screen

Adobe Lightroom for Mobile Splash Screen

Adobe Photoshop Mix Splash Screen

Adobe Photoship Mix Splash Screen

Adobe Edge Inspect CC Mobile Splash Screen

Adobe Edge Inspect CC Splash Screen

Adobe Creative Cloud Mobile Splash Screen

Adobe Creative Cloud Mobile Splash Screen

Adobe Creative Cloud Tutorials Splash Screen

Adobe Creative Cloud Tutorials Splash Screen

Here are the Nerdy Details

The desktop screenshots were taken on a 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display. I used the built-in feature to take a partial screenshot (Cmd + Shift + 4 then hold the space bar over the desired window). The resulting images are unedited.

The mobile screenshots were taken with an iPhone 5s.

Thanks for reading! Love them? Can’t stand them? Comment below!

Update All: Adobe Releases Major Update to Creative Cloud for 2015

Adobe just released a major update of Creative Cloud. I’m updating now, and I hope there are great things to blog about later. Looking forward to it!

creative-cloud-2015

Underpromise and Overdeliver: Scaramanga Has Earned My Respect Before I’ve Even Touched Their Product

We here at AJ Design strive to be top-shelf, but as little more than a one-person design firm, I’m no stranger to running a shoestring budget and a just-in-time delivery operation. I’m 100% mobile. My 15″ MacBook Pro is my only workstation. My Targus laptop bag served me well practically every day for the past four years or so. It was actually my laptop bag before I upgraded to the MacBook in August 2012.

I was disappointed when the shoulder strap anchor point broke this week, but it was understandable. Four years of stress and daily use takes its toll. Ouch…that kinds hits close to home!

So I did some homework and asked some friends what they recommend in the way of a quality laptop bag/briefcase. A fantastic U.S. product was available, but as much as I wanted to buy quality, I couldn’t bring myself to pay nearly $500 for a bag. I looked for a lower price point.

scaramanga-logoI had heard of Scaramanga a year or two ago on social media. I shopped them and ended up selecting a Medium Overlander Satchel. I read their shipping information for international orders, and I prepared to wait a couple of weeks.

The order was placed Tuesday, June 2. Guess what’s arriving today, June 5?

They promised 5 – 20 days for delivery, and they, well, delivered in only four days. These days, the only response that is appropriate is a #micdrop:

I will post a review of the bag once I get a chance to move in. But for now, I’m heartily impressed.