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Handicap accessible websites welcome more visitors to your business

Handicap accessible websites welcome more visitors to your business

My father was blind, which makes the topic of disabled access dear to my heart.

As a kid, I had to learn not to do things like leave things in the floor for him to trip on, so I'm naturally more aware of the ramifications of limited access and how much sighted people take for granted.

Have you ever stopped to think about what it would be like to not be able to see a website, though, or use a mouse to navigate a site? Or what you have on your site that could, in effect, trip someone up?

Collective Hub magazine coverAbout 8 million people in the US are blind or have a significant vision impairment, making it difficult or impossible for them to see your site. Another 20 million people have difficulty lifting or grasping, which can affect their ability to use a mouse or keyboard to navigate.

Recently I had a feature about accessible websites in Collective Hub magazine, which is sold in print in 37 countries and digitally worldwide.

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Why the internet hasn't killed print marketing materials

print isn't dead

When I started Glerin in 1996, many "experts" were already prediciting the death of print collaterals. While it's true that many print items aren't needed any more, the internet has actually been good for the print industry - but only for quality printers who have adapted to new markets. There's just something about holding an item in your hand that can never be replaced.

Due to advances in color printing, you're now able to use print materials in a more discerning way while using your website to present content that is apt to change. Being able to take advantage of short print runs lets you create unique, high quality pieces in small numbers and when you're ready to make a change you don't have thousands of copies to throw away.

Here are 12 tips to help you get the most out of your print marketing budget:

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#TBT 2006 artist James Dietz online store

#TBT 2006 artist James Dietz online store

James Dietz online store design

In the spirit of Throwback Thursday, thought I'd share a design from back in 2006.

Did you know we've been doing this since 1996?!?

James Dietz is an award-winning military and aviation artist whose work is collected worldwide, and even hangs in the White House. Back in 2006, our Ballowax small business division was actually a separate company (owned by Glerin and a couple of partners) that provided e-commerce order fulfillment services. We were contracted to develop a site to sell collectibles that featured Dietz's art; the new online store offered full-featured e-commerce including live interaction with for shipping, live chat customer support, and the ability for customers to manage their existing orders.

We actually developed our very first e-commerce site in 1997 and had to code everything from scratch!

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Custom illustration makes this tourism website unique

custom illustrated animated map

This is the kind of project we love.

A client that's important to the community, is fun to work with and welcomes creativity, and has ideas of their own so is able to give good feedback and guidance but knows when to turn things over to the pros.

We just recently launched the new website for Halifax County Tourism, including creating a custom illustrated animated map that displays tourism sector information and provides visual site navigation.

For as long as we've been working with the tourism office, director Linda Shepperd has wished for some type of animation that would let visitors "drive" around the county to discover things. Cost, not wishing to use Flash, practicality of the feature, and several other factors always kept us from creating it.

On this site redesign, though, illustrator Erin Kipps Brown came up with a concept to treat the project like a theme park map.

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Teamwork creates a great brochure

brochure created for Mid-Atlantic Broadband, Southern VA Regional Alliance, and Virginia's Growth AllianceA couple of months back several clients asked for a joint brochure and digital presentation to be created, one that they could take to the Farnborough International Airshow, the world's largest aerospace event. The event is held every other year at Farnborough Airport in Hampshire, England. Our clients Mid-Atlantic Broadband Cooperative Communities, Southern Virginia Regional Alliance, and Virginia's Growth Alliance were attending the show as a team, displaying in the Virginia Economic Development Partnership booth.

The clients wanted a 4-panel brochure that didn't open accordian-like, and requested a die-cut design. Printer Dogwood Graphics in South Hill, VA, advised that die-cut would add a substantial amount to the cost, so we worked with them to devise a concept for the illusion of a die-cut. Dogwood chose a hefty cardstock for printing, and the brochure turned out great!

At right are photos of notes & sketches from our initial meeting with the clients, a proof printed on plain ink jet paper to test the concept, and a proof printed by Dogwood Graphics (we'll post pix of the entire brochure later). Below are photos from the Farnborough Airshow. Click any photo to enlarge.


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