The 12 Best Fonts For Design: Inspired by Massimo Vignelli

The 12 Fonts You Ever Need

Celebrated Italian designer Massimo Vignelli controversially claimed “we use too many typefaces“. Depending on where you stand on typography/design will depend on whether you agree with the statement or not, I personally whole-heartedly agree with Vignelli and call for a greater degree of discipline in the usage of fonts. You can read an opposing article about this statement and listen to an interview with Vignelli here.

Massimo Vignelli
Massimo Vignelli: © Gabriela Herman NYC photographer [Read more...]

Cool infographics Book Review and Free Copy Giveaway

Infographics have experienced an explosive growth online in the last three years with the keyword seeing a 20x increase in search volume according to Google trends. With über cool studios such as Pop Chart Labs offering beautiful posters infographics are entering our homes and our everyday lives as a form of graphic art.

Cool infographics Book Review

I love classic data visualization which is a celebrated and well respected form of graphic design. Unfortunately due to the prolific rise of infographic spam online many people in the SEO world have turned away from the medium due to the dire quality of the cheap link building campaigns that infographics have inspired. So when i was asked to review the new book from Cool Infographics I was very pleased to get a first look.

Cool infographics Book Review

Infographic directories such as Cool Infographics were trail blazers in delivering a showcase of high-quality examples of design and very quickly off the back of this directory growth went wild as the trend became popular as marketers were willing to pay for placements (please note that CI doesn’t accept cash for placements). Cool Infographics is undoubtedly one of the leading independent authority showcases world-wide and it is with great anticipation Randy Krum has just launched a book: Cool Infographics: Effective Communication with Data Visualization and Design. I am very pleased to announce I have one copy of the book to give away. See details at the end of this article. [Read more...]

How (and why) to Curate Content

There is a mass of content crap online now. One million posts on WordPress alone are published DAILY, and 72-hours of video per MINUTE are uploaded to You Tube. Content marketing is exploding and every brand is being advised to churn out the content to engage their readers. Cutting through the noise to find the value is like trying to find a needle in a haystack unless you can find good sources. A well curated reading list via email or social media that sifts through the dross and just delivers the industry news gems is a godsend.

(I recommend this article by Carson Ward about the Content marketing crap deluge which highlights the issue well.)

Curating content done well, is a content marketing alternative to just delivering your own content. Having an audience that respects and trusts the information you deliver can raise your authority within your niche. I run a curated stream on shellshockuk with strong engagement. I might not have massive follower numbers (at this time) but I have a lot of re-tweets, favourites and replies. And we all know that it’s engagement and not followers that counts – right?

I also ran an essential Link Building reading list newsletter but put this on hold when I had to focus on client work (gotta pay the bills). I’m planning to bring back my newsletter very soon with a focus on the crossover of design, content and SEO.

Another reason content curation can help a brand is through the networking it opens up. As a newsletter gains popularity then requests for inclusions begin to roll in and this helps you to connect with industry peeps and gives you leverage in asking for ‘favours’ in return – such as shares and a little link love. It’s a great way to link build.

how to curate content [Read more...]

How To Be Better at Marketing Through Life Experience

How to be better at marketing

The diversity of Ogilvy
David Ogilvy had countless jobs before he came to Madison Avenue. Some of the roles that he attributes to his success include working in the kitchens of The Majestic in Paris under a tyrant chef, selling Aga cookers to housewives door-to-door and being a social worker in the slums of Edinburgh. These diverse roles helped shape his character and gave him invaluable life skills needed to understand how to reach consumers through his words and advertisements. Ogilvy started his agency a little late in life and in his own words

Had neither the time nor the money to wait twenty years to arrive. He was poor, unknown and in a hurry.

That drive and diversity helped him create one of the most celebrated advertising agencies of all time.

Like Ogilvy I have done lots of things, learnt as I went along, taken a lot of risks, lived hand-to-mouth and had more failures than success.

Every job I have had has taught me valuable skills: [Read more...]

Why Design Matters to SEO

what is design?
What is design?
When I refer to the term Design, in this instance I mean graphic design specifically – Design in relation to product design has other connotations and theories and is not included in this discussion.

Design is about communication. Design is the visual representation of information in a clear and structured manner. If you stop and think for one minute, without design we could not have books, newspapers, posters, road signs, maps, advertisements or websites: information would be reduced to long strings of words which would be almost inaccessible.

Design groups content logically and it creates a structured order. It creates a visual cohesion and hierarchy where the eye and brain can absorb information more quickly than if it has to waste time breaking down the layout structure.

Design means that you can drive at 70 miles-per-hour on a motorway and read the signage at a glance; that you can find your way from Kings Cross to Wimbledon on the tube map in seconds; that you can glance at a billboard advertisement and know the brand instantly; that you can read the contents label on a can of beans and that you can access a computer through its visual interface. [Read more...]

ShellShock uk – Shelli Walsh at Leeds Digital Conference 2012

Leeds Digital Conference

The Leeds Digital Festival last year was a great event and the highlight for me was listening to Ben Hammersley speak in a surprisingly intimate gathering where he blew me away with his talk of the digital revolution. An incredibly charismatic character, Ben had us all enraptured for a few hours as he told stories of wanting to be a war correspondent and being a Digital Ambassador for the UK.

The Digital Festival has arrived again this year with the bonus of Leeds Digital Conference on Friday 12 October 2012. I am very excited to have been asked to be one of the speakers and looking forward to my first appearance on stage. [Read more...]

Best Link Building Articles To Read | May 2012

I don’t know where to start his month it feels like so much has happened. We started out with the threat of negative SEO and sites being forced to wade through a toxic back link profile and begin the arduous task of attempting to remove spurious links. Then we had the big cookie debate. Sascon conference happened which was a fantastic two days out of the office and actually getting to talk to other human beings instead of just a computer screen. And of course we had the big industry blow-up of the iAcquire outing scandal.

Find below a selection of the best articles from the month which will keep you up to date with all the Link Building news. If anyone wants to suggest an article for inclusion next month just drop me an email or you can leave a comment below.

see you next month…
Shelli aka shellshock uk


>> Link Building Reading List: May 2012


[Read more...]

The best BrightonSEO Round-up articles

I made the pilgrimage this month to one of the best loved conferences in the UK. And how pleased was I to go! On first joining the scrum waiting outside the Dome to get in I unsure what to expect, it almost felt like I was queuing to see some major underground band. In the main auditorium I half expected Mexican waves to spontaneously burst out as the atmosphere rippled through the crowd with a tangible feeling of anticipation and excitement. Organiser Kelvin Newman hosted the event through the day and this guy not only has incredible energy to organise the event but he has the personality thrown in. I have no idea how they manage to put this show on for free but the fact that tickets are sold out within 13 minutes of release confirms that this is THE hottest ticket for SEO. [Read more...]

Best Link Building Articles to Read | April 2012

An exciting month with two great local conferences, BrightonSEO and Ion Search in Leeds setting the standard for out-of-London events. The  news I have been focusing on this month has been rel=author tag, suddenly everyone seems to be talking about it and has been featured at the conferences.

I have put together a special Brighton SEO reading list of all the best round-ups from the event and (*self-promotion alert*) you can see a digital version of the souvenir poster from Brighton SEO that I was commissioned to produce for the show. Only 50 copies were made and sent to the speakers and a few select industry leaders.

Enjoy the reading and maybe see you at Sascon in Manchester next month.

Shelli aka shellshock uk


>> Link Building Reading List: April 2012


>> Industry commentary:

The New Google Link Algorithm
by Patrick Altoft
The online armageddon that the latest round of blog network de-indexing has caused is sending huge ripples and implications through the agency. Moving forward we are going to see a lot of second rate agencies who can’t deliver fall away. If you have been relying on blog networks for links then you are in trouble. Patrick from Branded 3 gives an interesting insight to actual stats about what he has seen on clients sites during the snowfall of GWT unnatural links warning messages. [Read more...]

Linkpreneurs and Link Building 2012+

linkpreneur – an individual who has the ability to secure link opportunities that others could not even conceive.

I recently wrote an article at Econsultancy defining the term Linkpreneurs. The article addressed how link building has changed dramatically in the last few months and where we need to focus our attentions moving forward as quality link builders. You can read the full article here: Linkpreneurs: the new school of link building. [Read more...]