Natalie Ballard

Archive for the ‘Design’ Category

“Frog, Froggy and Froggit” by Molly Jane Watt

In Design on April 2, 2015 at 7:34 pm

“Frog, Froggy and Froggit” by Molly Jane Watt.

Thank you to Torie for this great review – and I think Kissed Off is pretty cool too!

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Great offer weekend!

In Business and Networking, Design, General on February 23, 2014 at 11:53 am

To say thank you to all our great clients as well as welcoming some new ones we’ve launched some great weekend offers.

Get Published ad

We’ve reduced all of our book packages for THIS WEEKEND ONLY! We’ve also added a Loyalty Program for our online customers, as well as a referral program for all our existing clients! We are looking forward to welcoming some great new authors! Take a look at http://www.kissedoff.co.uk for more details

We’ve also created a bit of a stir with our great LoveTwyst offer! Namely you get your first box free when you sign up as a VIP! To find out more about LoveTwyst, visit http://www.lovetwyst.co.uk

Join Up Offer

How can a book help my business?

In Business and Networking, Design, General, Technology on December 18, 2013 at 3:01 pm
  • I don’t need a book to promote my business

  • I haven’t got time to write a book

  • I want to write a book but I don’t know where to start

  • I haven’t got the resources to publish a book

The chances are if you’ve spoken to me about the title subject, you’ve come back with one of the four bullet points. However, the book/eBook/app is becoming a key marketing tool for a lot of very different businesses – and each business utilises their book in a very different way.

#1 – The marketing tool

A book is a great way of not only promoting your business, but also the service you provide and can give you the “expert” perspective. After all, people generally do not decide to publish a book without having a great deal of knowledge and research in their book. A book is also a great way to market a visual based business, and it has staying power beyond that of a portfolio you show briefly within a client meeting.

#2 – The training tool

We an supply your training material in a number of published formats for you to upsell to your students or provide as part of a seminar or course. These include printed workbooks, interactive publications and even all your coursework on a memory stick in our Twistkey format option!

#3 – The demonstration tool

With our interactive publications, you can give full product demonstrations in video, audio and animated forms. This is great for products that are new to market that people will not have seen before.

#4 – The upsell tool

A book could be the start of a subscription, with regular updates being published on a monthly, bi monthly or annual basis.

#5 – The business tool

Your book could form the core of your business, particularly for training based authors. We can help you with not just selling your book, but also with coordinating affiliate programs.

Our support

Our packages will support you from initial idea through to publishing and beyond. We have lots of bolt on options – including proof reading, copywriting, illustration, photography and augmented reality! Contact us today on how we can support your business.

Kindle Cover

How quick can you do an eBook?

In Design, General, Technology on November 12, 2013 at 11:27 am

The answer for Kissed Off Publications is in one night! We created an eBook especially for the second day of Festival of Innovation, and we featured a local musician for the soundtrack, and even an audio snippet of one of our clients doing a testimonial for our service!

The key is in preparation, we already had a design style in mind as well as all our media prepped to go. We now have an iBook we can send to clients introducing our packages, workflow and additional services. Looking forward to uploading it for free download from iTunes soon, but in the meantime you can contact us for a copy either by email or through our websites www.kissedoffcreations.co.uk and www.kissedoffpublications.co.uk

How can a USB TwistKey support your business?

In Business and Networking, Design, Technology on November 12, 2013 at 11:16 am

While at the Festival of Innovation this weekend, stands were inundated with free USB sticks to give away – either containing some custom content or blank. At the show we were displaying a product we offer, the USB TwistKey, which makes your USB a much more tactile and versatile media.

So how does this little box improve on the free USB stick? Firstly, its great at securing your stick from damage – whether that be in the bottom of your handbag or briefcase, or for mailing through our postal system.Secondly, they feel like little books (I love all things miniature) and can be printed on all faces – more space to display your message before someone even puts your USB in their computer (and you can even add Augmented Reality now if you want).

But this is not why I think the USB TwistKey is amazing… its because of what it offers to business and individuals who run seminar and training sessions. While at the Adobe event in June, I realised that 99% of the audience were utilising technology to “record” their day. Instead of using Evernote and other note taking technologies that won’t talk to each other, how great would it be to be able to run an interactive fillable PDF with coursework that is consistent across your audience – that remains valuable and perpetuates your brand on your clients desk for months and years to come. Better still, with the advances in technology, how great would it be if we could get all these PDFs talking to each other so group learning is so much easier within the theatre setup.

So if you’ve got a project or product that you think would benefit from a TwistKey, why not talk to us today!

USB TwistKey at Festival of Innovation, Malvern

USB TwistKey at Festival of Innovation, Malvern

Kissed Off Creations Ltd at the Festival of Innovation, Malvern

In Business and Networking, Design, General, Technology on November 12, 2013 at 10:57 am

Kissed Off had an interesting if quiet time exhibiting at the Festival of Innovation. Based at Malvern Theatres, this event brings together some of the most unusual blends of technology and innovation including engineering, 3D printing and innovative uses of existing technology.

We are starting to have a trickle of work coming through from the show, but where the real excitement lies is with collaboration! We are hoping to add Augmented Reality (AR) to our future print on demand titles. This means the reader will be able to scan a book (or any printed item) with their smartphone, and have additional interactive content appear. This could simply be a video, but more excitingly it could be a 3D model you can twist and turn (great for architects who are tendering or submitting planning applications), a virtual online shop or even a product demonstration! Kissed Off are looking forward to developing this with Areca Design over the next couple of weeks.

Courtesy of Twitter it also looks like we will also have the ability to run print on demand directly for our clients – which is a big step in the right direction for us!

And the best of it is this is all local! So very much in keeping with our green policy!

So while the show has not been successful as we hoped in terms of leads, it has certainly expanded our offering! For those of you who picked up a leaflet at our stand. The promotional offers are valid when you include it with your signed T&Cs upon ordering your book.

Our stand (D18) at the Festival of Innovation, Malvern Theatres

Our stand (D18) at the Festival of Innovation, Malvern Theatres

My latest thing

In Crafting, Design, General on October 17, 2013 at 2:41 pm

I’m just getting into altered canvases… I say just,… but I seem to have arranged my whole art room to sort this purpose!
Suddenly, I’m looking at all materials in a whole new light! So, now I’m only short of inspiration…
So set me a challenge and I’ll post the results on here.

Blogging for profit

In Business and Networking, Crafting, Design, General, Technology on October 17, 2013 at 2:28 pm

With more and more people seeking a second income and/or a profitable hobby, the vast majority of us are looking for something new. However, in doing so we may risk overlooking our existing assets.

You may already have an online blog, which may or may not be making a profit currently. If you find yourself running a successful blog with many followers, one route to monetise your blog may be through producing either an eBook or a printed title based on your blog’s content. This is especially true if your blog’s subject is based in either the visual or culinary arts.┬áIndeed your blog may already have effectively written your book for you and with a little creative editing form an holistic book with great content. Plus with a large fan base you will already have a direct route to market your book. The key to success is to make the book worth purchasing – add depth into your subject, tutorials that are currently not available on your site and other information that would take too long to get into on a blog. For printed books, you could include templates, charts and other printed support material as part of your content.

Here at Kissed Off Creations Ltd, we are experienced in turning a plain text document into a visually interesting, informative book in a wide range of formats and platforms. To see samples of our work, visit http://www.kissedoffpublications.co.uk

Design and Legibility

In Design on September 27, 2013 at 2:20 pm

The modern web designer now has a firm grasp of screen readability with issues such as contrast, font types and accessibility being widely discussed within design forums, educational courses and within design agencies. However, this development from the early days of web design has failed to translate to clients (other than subliminally). Designers are often requested to fly in the face of current design understanding by their client in order to maintain the visual link to their existing literature and branding. This means we either have to re-educate the client (which is the ideal option but not always possible), or go against everything we now understand about web design (and alienate a portion of your audience).

This is one occasion when your client is not necessarily right, and we need to be able to show why what we know is right by example. Too often design is looked upon as “making things pretty”, when instead design should be seen as a way to solve problems and as a key method of communication. Content needs to come first – clearly legible and logically organised within an hierarchy, with design working to achieve this and not clouding the issue – whether for web or print.

One exercise that may help is to get your client to consider his content as a newspaper with the main headline first then ordering content thereafter, with sub headings, side stories, etc. and will help not only with the visual hierarchy of your project, but also in assembly by breaking down a seemingly large project into smaller bite size chunks for your client. This is particularly good for projects based on a grid structure, where the whole project could seem overwhelming but the smaller articles make a project much easier to manage.

5 things I love about what I do

In Design on September 5, 2013 at 1:31 pm

In any business or career there are always highs and lows, the trick is to concentrate on the highs. There are things I love about what I do, and I want to share these with you.

#1 – The smell of print

This may seem odd in this day of digital publishing, but I still love the smell of print. Even if its a Blurb or CreateSpace book – nothing beats that just printed smell and the sensation of achievement when I first hold that book (or whatever else) in my hands and turn the first page.

#2 – The Client’s response

As we are starting at the end of the process, I also love seeing my client’s faces when they hold their final product for the first time. Recently, I had the most overjoyed reaction to a lovely book “Girls Who Do It” by Sophie Reynolds (Available on Amazon ), and it made me realise that what I do is not the important thing, but how I do it and what it gives my clients. A book can mark the achievement of a lifelong dream, so the sense of achievement is no longer contained to me, but also extends to my clients and their co-authors and family.

#3 – A good Client relationship

The best design comes from a good healthy client/designer relationship. My best work has been for those who not only trust me in my knowledge, but also in my respect for theirs. Some of my clients have become friends with whom we have shared interests and even lifetime goals.

#4 – The thrill of the first proof

This point is where many a design (or designer) has become unstuck. However I have received some my best praise at that initial proof stage – whether through promptness of turnaround or assessment of brief, the first proof is a crucial first step in the client/designer relationship.

#5 – The concept

Following the initial client meeting(s), the concept stage is the most free part of the process. Sometimes it is daunting to start with that blank sheet, especially if the client has given you little direction, but sometimes the best solution is to start doodling. Rough frameworks, areas of content, lists of visual priorities are all good to break that blank page fear.

So when things get difficult, focus on the positives – make lists, doodle and make mistakes – this is how we expand our creativity. If you are the client,… learn to trust your designer as long as he/she listens to you also – only then will the best design occur.