GoMediaZine » Insights http://www.gomediazine.com Design insights & tutorials. Thu, 24 Apr 2014 13:34:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Go Media owners Jeff Finley and Bill Beachy host the show and discuss the business of design and how to improve the quality of your work and life. Go Media no Go Media jeff@gomedia.us jeff@gomedia.us (Go Media) Go Media Real-world advice from working artists and designers. graphic design, artist, business, inspiration, go media, tutorials, advice, illustration, photoshop, illustrator, art GoMediaZine » Insights http://www.gomediazine.com/wp-content/images/powerpress/gomedia-podcast-300x300.png http://www.gomediazine.com/category/insights/ Cleveland, Ohio Monthly Produce an exceptional and unique t-shirt design in moments. (Yes, you!) http://www.gomediazine.com/insights/day-of-the-dead-t-shirt-vector-pack/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=day-of-the-dead-t-shirt-vector-pack http://www.gomediazine.com/insights/day-of-the-dead-t-shirt-vector-pack/#comments Thu, 24 Apr 2014 13:32:05 +0000 Go Media http://www.gomediazine.com/?p=43416 Hello Designers, If you're like me, there are a million things you want to accomplish. Like, today. But time (and frankly, a tiny bit of skill) have kept me from checking those things off of my ever-growing list. Until now. Thankfully, I have some amazing friends who have hooked me up with the tools I need to not only check off my to-dos, but look like somebody who's somebody doing them too. And they're here to help you as well. Continue Reading »

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Hello Designers,

If you’re like me, there are a million things you want to accomplish. Like, today.

But time (and frankly, a tiny bit of skill) have kept me from checking those things off of my ever-growing list.

Until now.

Thankfully, I have some amazing friends who have hooked me up with the tools I need to not only check off my to-dos, but look like somebody who’s somebody doing them too.

And they’re here to help you as well.

Introducing the T-Shirt Design Pack

Here we go ya’ll. A way to actually design an exceptional (and unique) t-shirt in moments (little design skill needed…but lots is great, too).

I don’t know about you, but I consider it a miracle.

dayofthedead-feature-images

With today’s release, the Day of the Dead T-Shirt Design Pack by Steve Knerem you’ll get everything you need to design the perfect t-shirt:

  • All 10 Haunting Illustrations
  • The Original .AI file of this design (allowing you to make it all your own)
  • A Men’s Triblend Ghosted Mockup Template to make your final design look professional and realistic
  • As well as a sample of Jeff Finley’s popular eBook, Thread’s Not Dead, the Designer’s Guide to the Apparel Industry, so that you can be on your way to apparel industry greatness

break_the_design

So, what do you say? Let’s not waste any more precious time…

Click here for design greatness, only $17.

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Connect, collaborate and be forever changed: Grab your WMC Fest 5 ticket now! http://www.gomediazine.com/insights/three-days-that-will-change-your-life-wmc-fest-early-bird-tickets-are-on-sale/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=three-days-that-will-change-your-life-wmc-fest-early-bird-tickets-are-on-sale http://www.gomediazine.com/insights/three-days-that-will-change-your-life-wmc-fest-early-bird-tickets-are-on-sale/#comments Wed, 23 Apr 2014 13:25:25 +0000 Go Media http://www.gomediazine.com/?p=43821 When your head is down and nose is to the grindstone, it's easy to feel disconnected from the world, from your fellow creatives. As projects pile up, it's easy to feel overwhelmed and to even lose that fire you once had as a designer, artist, musician, entrepreneur, maker, doer, dreamer. What if I told you you have the opportunity to breathe again? Attend our 5th annual Weapons of Mass Creation Fest (running August 15 - 17) and you'll experience three days of inspiration on overdrive: three days surrounded by folks just like you, who have all the passion in the world, yearning to become better than they once were. They'll want to hear your successes, your struggles, to collaborate and connect. They'll help you see life and work with new eyes. They'll ask nothing in return. Continue Reading »

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Three Days that Will Change Your Life…

When your head is down and nose is to the grindstone, it’s easy to feel disconnected from the world, from your fellow creatives. As projects pile up, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and to even lose that fire you once had as a designer, artist, musician, entrepreneur, maker, doer, dreamer.

What if I told you you have the opportunity to breathe again?

Attend our 5th annual Weapons of Mass Creation Fest (running August 15 – 17) and you’ll experience three days of inspiration on overdrive: three days surrounded by folks just like you, who have all the passion in the world, yearning to become better than they once were. They’ll want to hear your successes, your struggles, to collaborate and connect. They’ll help you see life and work with new eyes. They’ll ask nothing in return.

And you? You’ll leave feeling recharged, focused, energized like never before. You’ll leave with incredible bonds only created through mutual respect and understanding. You’ll be an integral part of a movement, a part of something bigger than yourself. You will be forever altered.

Promise.

If you’d like to be a part of three life changing days, you can grab your Early Bird ticket now by:

clicking here.

For more info.

The Weapons of Mass Creation Fest team is overjoyed to announce the first wave of speaker, artist and band announcements! Check ‘em out over at wmcfest.com!

Speakers include:

Jolby & Friends is a collaborative studio based in Portland, Oregon dedicated to telling stories through design and illustration.

Jolby & Friends is a collaborative studio based in Portland, Oregon dedicated to telling stories through design and illustration.

Sonnenzimmer is the art studio of Nick Butcher and Nadine Nakanishi

Sonnenzimmer is the art studio of Nick Butcher and Nadine Nakanishi

Keenan Cumming is a NYC based product designer.

Keenan Cummings is a NYC based product designer.

Cuban-American Designer & Artist. Creating culturally rooted, story-driven work in the arts, publishing, & wine industries.

Cuban-American Designer & Artist Veronica Corzo-Duchardt. Creating culturally rooted, story-driven work in the arts, publishing, & wine industries.

…more to come!

Bands include:

Mr. Gnome is a indie/psych/rock duo from the magical land of Cleve

Mr. Gnome is a indie/psych/rock duo from the magical land of Cleve

Comprised of four Cleveland rock music scene vets and fronted by Erika Lauren from WMMS’ “The Alan Cox Show” and MTV’s Real World DC, HAWKEYE has the chops and ain’t afraid to prove it.

Hawkeye: Comprised of four Cleveland rock music scene vets and fronted by Erika Lauren from WMMS’ “The Alan Cox Show” and MTV’s Real World DC, HAWKEYE has the chops and ain’t afraid to prove it.

Good driving and hard rock from Cleveland, OH

Black Puddle Noise: Good driving and hard rock from Cleveland, OH

Backyard / Suicide Pop Rock And Roll

Teddy Boys: Backyard / Suicide Pop Rock And Roll

Dolfish is American singer-songwriter Max Sollisch

Dolfish is American singer-songwriter Max Sollisch

Oldboy (not to be spelled "Old boy") is a rock-folk band whose music runs the gamut from wistful to epic folk to downright heavy rock and roll. Hailing from Cleveland, Ohio, a city known to be a part of the rust belt of America, Oldboy really shines - out loud.

Oldboy (not to be spelled “Old boy”) is a rock-folk band whose music runs the gamut from wistful to epic folk to downright heavy rock and roll. Hailing from Cleveland, Ohio, a city known to be a part of the rust belt of America, Oldboy really shines – out loud.

Texas Plant: Folk/Americana from Cleveland

Texas Plant: Folk/Americana from Cleveland

These Knees collaborates with musicians across the country incorporating acoustic and electric guitar, bass guitar, piano, and percussion.

These Knees collaborates with musicians across the country incorporating acoustic and electric guitar, bass guitar, piano, and percussion.

Midnight Passenger is a Cleveland based rock-band.

Midnight Passenger is a Cleveland based rock-band.

…and more to come!

Artists include:

JP Boneyard is a person from Boston, MA who designs, does front-end development, and produces art and music events.

JP Boneyard is from Boston, MA. He designs, does front-end development, and produces art and music events. He’ll be bringing us his National Poster Retrospecticus

The Bubble Process is a two-man design and illustration firm built on this foundation: good food, good music, good times

The Bubble Process is a two-man design and illustration firm built on this foundation: good food, good music, good times

Landland is a very small graphic design & illustration studio in Minneapolis, Minnesota that was started by Dan Black, Matt Zaun & Jessica Seamans in early 2007.

Landland is a very small graphic design & illustration studio in Minneapolis, Minnesota that was started by Dan Black, Matt Zaun & Jessica Seamans in early 2007.

Meghan Minior is an artist, event coordinator, and musician living in the woods of Leverett, Massachusetts.

Meghan Minior is an artist, event coordinator, and musician living in the woods of Leverett, Massachusetts.

Scott Williams is a Chicago-based graphic designer who has been making things around town a little more beautiful since 1996.

Scott Williams is a Chicago-based graphic designer who has been making things around town a little more beautiful since 1996.

Jason's work has appeared in numerous exhibits and publications. A selection of his posters are part of the permanent collection at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and Denver Art Museum.

Jason Munn’s work has appeared in numerous exhibits and publications. A selection of his posters are part of the permanent collection at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and Denver Art Museum.

Printmakers JW & Melissa Buchanan

Printmakers JW & Melissa Buchanan

Product designer and owner of studio and blog Pinegate Road

Product designer and owner of studio and blog Pinegate Road, Kelsey Cronkhite

…and more to come!

Learn more about our line-up on wmcfest.com and be sure to stay tuned to upcoming artist, designer and musician announcements as well as more information about workshops and events!

P.S. August 15 – 17 will be a busy weekend in Cleveland. Be sure to book your hotel now!

 

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Save the Date: Live Podcast Recording – 4/25/2014 http://www.gomediazine.com/insights/save-the-date-live-podcast-recording-4252014/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=save-the-date-live-podcast-recording-4252014 http://www.gomediazine.com/insights/save-the-date-live-podcast-recording-4252014/#comments Mon, 21 Apr 2014 13:45:58 +0000 Go Media http://www.gomediazine.com/?p=43427 Join us at 1pm ET on Friday, April 25, 2014 for the next edition of the Go Media Podcast. This episode, we'll be chatting with our buddy Mike Jones. Mike is the founder Creative South, the premier southern creative conference. Mike will chat with us about his fourth successful year as head honcho. Continue Reading »

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Join us at 1pm ET on Friday, April 25, 2014 for the next edition of the Go Media Podcast. This episode, we’ll be chatting with our buddy Mike Jones. Mike is the founder Creative South, the premier southern creative conference.  Mike will chat with us about his fourth successful year as head honcho. 

Live chat and audio feed available at http://gomediazine.com/live starting at 1:00 pm ET. If you post a question or topic in the live chat, we’ll read and respond to it “on air”.

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An Interview with Rock Star Designer Tad Carpenter http://www.gomediazine.com/insights/tad-carpenter/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=tad-carpenter http://www.gomediazine.com/insights/tad-carpenter/#comments Fri, 18 Apr 2014 13:35:32 +0000 Heather Sakai http://www.gomediazine.com/?p=43437 He'll be the last to tell you, but for us here at Go Media, WMC Fest 3 alum Tad Carpenter is a rock star. Designer, illustrator, author and teacher, Tad balances good stuff like brand identity, packaging and book design, illustration and interactive along with his role as Professor at University of Kansas. Surrounded by design (his parents were artists and his wife Jessica a designer, too), Tad creates whimsical, smart and all-around fun for clients like Macy's, Chronicle Books, MTV, Adobe and Hallmark Cards. Continue Reading »

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He’ll be the last to tell you, but for us here at Go Media, WMC Fest 3 alum Tad Carpenter is a rock star. Designer, illustrator, author and teacher, Tad balances good stuff like brand identity, packaging and book design, illustration and interactive along with his role as Professor at University of Kansas. Surrounded by design (his parents were artists and his wife Jessica a designer, too), Tad creates whimsical, smart and all-around fun for clients like Macy’s, Chronicle Books, MTV, Adobe and Hallmark Cards.

Clevelanders, be sure to catch him on Tuesday, April 29, 2014 at the next AIGA Design Speaker Series.

Now onto our chat!

Shins2_03_tadcarpenter

THE SHINS (SASQUATCH)
Poster

You’re pretty much a rock star designer in our eyes. In your opinion, why was it you who “made it”? What are characteristics that would drive someone to achieve such a status?

Complacency breeds death. I want that fire, I want the pressure, I never want to stop climbing.

I dont know how to answer that. Ha! Thank you for the compliment but I am just thankful to have work and to be doing something I love everyday. I don’t know if I have “made it” like you say. I still feel like I have so many things I want to make and so much I want to do that I’m still each day just climbing that hill. I will always be climbing that hill. The older I get at times that hill starts to feel like a mountain. I want to make more, I want to do more. The hill keeps growing. To be honest, I hope I never feel comfortable and complacent. Complacency breeds death. I want that fire, I want the pressure, I never want to stop climbing.

yeahburger04_tadcarpenter

YEAH! BURGER
Illustration, Identity, Restaurants

If you had to choose one defining moment in your career that pushed you towards notoriety, what would you say that was?

Perseverance and sweat are vastly underrated traits.

Geez, again I am not sure. I don’t know anything about notoriety to be honest. I, again, am just so happy to love what I GET to do for a living. It is important to remember we GET to do this. There sure are a lot of other professions out there and I am so lucky this one chose me. I can say this, ever since I was a little kid I wanted to be an artist, a designer, an illustrator. I got my first taste in 3rd grade and at that moment I knew this was the life I wanted to lead. I worked really hard. I still work really hard. That is what it all comes down to in my eyes, how hard do you want to work? I have never been the best draftsman, or the best with color or have the best type skills or can draw anything I look at or whatever. But I have always been willing to roll my sleeves up and work, work, work. Perseverance and sweat are vastly underrated traits.

TARGET HEARTWORK Illustration

TARGET HEARTWORK
Illustration

What is one important piece of advice you’d give a fellow designer who wanted to land a dream client, such as Hallmark – but had zero connections?

No way to fail.

Connections are important of course. I could be wrong, but to me making connections today is the easiest it has ever been. Everyone has those big pie in the sky dream clients they would love to work with. Anymore finding out their contact info is literally just a few clicks away. Never, ever be afraid to ask for something you want. If you want to work with Nike or Hallmark or Apple go make it happen. The worst that can happen is you end up exactly where you are now. No way to fail.

Have you ever broken a “rule” to get ahead in your career?

I did once go swimming 5 minutes after I ate. I regret this daily.

I also talked about Fight Club which I think might be a big no-no according to the clubs first rule.

What is your biggest fear, creatively speaking?

When I first wrote an answer down I wrote that I fear not getting any work in the future. All of it just drying up. This is a BIG fear for me but really, I would just have more time to make things for myself. That can never be taken away from you. So yes, not getting in more work and having to get a real job is a big fear but also just time passing you by scares me. I want to do this for another 70 years…can I? What will our profession be like in 10 years? 20 years? 50 years? The fear of the unknown is always present.

TRICK OR TREAT: A HAPPY HAUNTERS HALLOWEEN Illustration, Books

TRICK OR TREAT: A HAPPY HAUNTERS HALLOWEEN
Illustration, Books

What is your biggest dream, creatively speaking?

I have so many things I really want to do. A huge passion for me is writing and illustrating children’s books. I have been so lucky to work on several over the past few years. I want to keep doing this forever. My first real exposure to art (like most of us) was from children’s books. I love that maybe I, too, can inspire or get a child excited about design. That is a serious responsibility that I don’t take lightly.  Something I have always wanted to create is a clothing line. My wife and I (also a designer) have played with a few ideas over the years and I would love to work more on this one day. I love branding new start-ups too. I hope I can create more and more of these as well. Restaurants, retail, anything. It is such a rush creating a new brand and seeing the clients excitement as it comes to life.

BIKE PRINT Illustration, Prints

BIKE PRINT
Illustration, Prints

What is the biggest challenge you have faced, or face on a regular basis, to achieve success?

I guess having too many dreams, goals, work and commitments is not always a bad thing.

I am sure it is the same challenge everyone faces. Never, ever enough time. Outside of running my own studio I also teach graphic design at the University of Kansas. I love teaching. It no doubt makes me a better designer and I love working with aspiring young designers. It is so rewarding and flat out fun. But, it does add to my workload to get my “real work” completed. I feel I am pretty good with time management but could get better. I guess having too many dreams, goals, work and commitments is not always a bad thing.

For more: Tad Carpenter | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Tumblr | Flickr | Dribbble

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Your chance to win $1,000 in cash and design weaponry, huge exposure and more (in 3 minutes or less) http://www.gomediazine.com/insights/the-design-battle-is-coming-2/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=the-design-battle-is-coming-2 http://www.gomediazine.com/insights/the-design-battle-is-coming-2/#comments Thu, 17 Apr 2014 13:19:46 +0000 Mockup Everything http://www.gomediazine.com/?p=41682 Get ready for the design battle of a lifetime, from your friends at Go Media. Continue Reading »

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Arm Yourself.

Get ready for the design battle of a lifetime, from your friends at Go Media.

Head to MockupEverything.com to scope out our mockup templates and prep your original designs for battle.

PLEASE NOTE: YOU MUST MOCKUP YOUR
DESIGNS ON MOCKUPEVERYTHING.COM TO BE CONSIDERED!

 


Wanna win this thing? Here’s how:

- Choose your template wisely, mock it up and then upload your original kick-ass design above or at http://woobox.com/4mx6fa by Thursday, May 29 at 11 pm EST.
- Vote Up your design – and those you love – at our gallery!
- Keep entering! On May 29, 2014 at 11 pm ET, we’ll close voting off and choose our winner from the top 20 public vote recipients.

Judge Jacqui Oakley

Judge Jacqui Oakley

- Keep the faith. Winner will be chosen by graphic design greats Brandon Rike and Jacqui Oakley as well as our design team. We’ll announce the good news by 5pm ET on Friday, May 30, 2014.

Judge Brandon Rike

Judge Brandon Rike

- Selections will be voted upon based on Artistry, Appropriateness for Object and All-Around Awesomeness so make good choices, folks!

- Please keep in mind, those designs that have not been mocked up on MockupEverything.com will not be considered for the win.

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Mockup Templates are only $2.99 each! http://www.gomediazine.com/insights/pimp-out-your-designs-without-all-the-hard-work-and-hassle-buy-our-individual-mockup-templates-for-2-99-now/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=pimp-out-your-designs-without-all-the-hard-work-and-hassle-buy-our-individual-mockup-templates-for-2-99-now http://www.gomediazine.com/insights/pimp-out-your-designs-without-all-the-hard-work-and-hassle-buy-our-individual-mockup-templates-for-2-99-now/#comments Wed, 16 Apr 2014 12:46:28 +0000 Mockup Everything http://www.gomediazine.com/?p=42660 I know how many grueling hours you put into that design. You're so super excited that you're tempted to just send it off to the client as is, amIright? NO! You're smarter than that. Tell me that you have a few moments (and a few dollars) to make that design shine. I promise it will take your design from ordinary to extraordinary. Continue Reading »

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I know how many grueling hours you put into that design. You’re so super excited that you’re tempted to just send it off to the client as is, amIright?

NO! You’re smarter than that.

Tell me that you have a few moments (and a few dollars) to make that design shine.

I promise it will take your design from ordinary to extraordinary.

All you have to do is head over to MockupEverything.com where we are selling individual versions of our high-quality layered and masked Photoshop mockup files in categories like:

  • Apparel
  • Technology
  • Headwear
  • Food & Beverage
  • Outerwear and more!

HERE, only $2.99 each

What? You’re still here?

Off you go!

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eCommerce Nightmare: How CS-Cart handcuffed us for years and why we switched to WooCommerce http://www.gomediazine.com/insights/shopping-cart-nightmare-how-cs-cart-handcuffed-us-for-4-years-and-why-we-are-switching-to-woocommerce/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=shopping-cart-nightmare-how-cs-cart-handcuffed-us-for-4-years-and-why-we-are-switching-to-woocommerce http://www.gomediazine.com/insights/shopping-cart-nightmare-how-cs-cart-handcuffed-us-for-4-years-and-why-we-are-switching-to-woocommerce/#comments Mon, 14 Apr 2014 13:30:45 +0000 Jeff Finley http://www.gomediazine.com/?p=42123 Oh dear, where do I start? I feel like there's a huge story behind the scenes that we've never let our community in on. To be honest, we're quite embarrassed about it and we've been trying to make things right ever since. But I think it's time to come clean. TL;DR: We've been trying to upgrade our graphic design resource marketplace, the Arsenal since 2010 and have failed miserably due to working with a heavily customized version of CS-Cart which seemingly handcuffed us to their development team. 4 years, headaches, panic attacks and tens of thousands of dollars later we are FINALLY breaking the chains and getting a taste of freedom! We've switched our platform over to WordPress and WooCommerce. Wordpress and WooCommerce both happen to also be Go Media's preferred solutions for so many of our own clients... So what was the problem? Continue Reading »

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Oh dear, where do I start? I feel like there’s a huge story behind the scenes that we’ve never let our community in on. To be honest, we’re quite embarrassed about it and we’ve been trying to make things right ever since. But I think it’s time to come clean.

TL;DR: We’ve been trying to upgrade our graphic design resource marketplace, the Arsenal since 2010 and have failed miserably due to working with a heavily customized version of CS-Cart which seemingly handcuffed us to their development team. 4 years, headaches, panic attacks and tens of thousands of dollars later we are FINALLY breaking the chains and getting a taste of freedom! We’ve switched our platform over to WordPress and WooCommerce. WordPress and WooCommerce both happen to also be Go Media’s preferred solutions for so many of our own clients…

So what was the problem?

1502561_10152185611483169_1473092646_n

Some Background

Arsenal v1 – 2006 – PHP-IPN Monitor

In 2006 we launched Arsenal v1 using software called PHP-IPN Monitor. It was one of the very few tools for selling digital files online at the time. It cost a mere $99 bucks and in a few days we had our first product up for sale. This lasted a year or two until we started releasing more products and needed a way to add search, customer accounts, etc.

Arsenal v2, 2008 – Enter CS-Cart

In 2008 we upgraded to a full shopping cart platform, CS-Cart. Other major eCommerce options at the time were Zen Cart and X-Cart. CS-Cart was actually a splinter cell of the original X-Cart team. We saw progress and innovation in CS-Cart, but it didn’t support selling digital files. In fact, not many shopping cart applications at the time did. So we hired their team to develop custom features for it. They were very affordable (based in Russia) and added what we asked for. Total implementation took maybe 6 months. Admittedly, the resulting code was sketchy according to our own development review. But we were busy, it was stable, and thus didn’t spend much more time on it.

Arsenal v3, 2010 – Outsourced to Death

We designed Arsenal v3.0 in 2010 and it took us until January 2014 to finally launch. We missed our deadline by 3 years. It was a FAIL to live in infamy here at Go Media.

So what happened?!

ultimatehoodie

Failure to Launch

In 2010 we had the next Arsenal planned and designed. We didn’t have the capacity to produce in house, nor was it exactly our expertise. So we requested quotes for the web development and received estimates in the hundreds of thousands from top American firms.

We didn’t have that sort of budget for this. At the time, we were pushing our internal development resources into a design studio management app, Proof Lab. We put Arsenal v3 on hold until we could finish Proof Lab. Proof Lab ended up taking our team two years to finish. By that time, the Arsenal v3 design was tired and the user experience no longer adequately served the community’s needs.

In 2012 we had a relatively small, but workable budget to get it developed. We decided to hire CS-Cart again because they had been okay on v2 and no one knows their software better. They delivered on their commitment the last time we hired them. They had grown a lot since then. Surely they’d do an even better job this time around.

We were sorely mistaken.

CS-Cart Nightmare

We had a 6 month deadline CS-Cart agreed to. The deadline was pushed back because CS-Cart was coming out with version 3 and we agreed to wait for it. We’d all be better off in the long run. It was chock full of exciting new features. Cool. They promised it was just around the corner. They even published articles of anticipation to the public. Surely their road map was remotely accurate.

Nope.

CS-Cart v3, and therefore the new Arsenal was pushed back 9 months, then a year. Then a year and a half. The CS-Cart Developers would constantly miss deadlines. They would even claim something was done, when it clearly wasn’t. We had to micromanage every detail. We would send reminders, to-do lists and inevitably hassle them as each delay, bug and excuse mounted.

If that wasn’t bad enough, new developers kept getting assigned to our project and we’d practically have to start communication over from scratch.

A year and a half over deadline, just when we thought we were on the homestretch, some confusing conversations (there were many) lead us to discover CS-Cart was about to release an entirely new version 4.0 of their software! They never mentioned a new version was in the works. We discovered so on our own.

We asked if everything would be future proof and our store could receive updates to the software as released. CS-Cart said YEP. They would promptly migrate our customization over to v4. Promptly apparently means “drag your feet and make excuses for months and months.” Later they would conclude that a key feature we needed was entirely not able to be migrated at all. They danced around our issues for several more months before declaring we were stuck with version 3.

Stuck.

Essentially, we were locked out of receiving updates to their software even though they were still providing custom development on what was now a legacy platform with significant known bugs. Yay! At this point we had invested tens of thousands and lost countless months giving CS-Cart the benefit of nearly insurmountable doubt.

Wow, we’re fricking nice. We couldn’t turn back, right?

The Forest from the Trees

The past few years we have been developing most of our client websites on WordPress as well as eCommerce integration using WooCommerce. In 2010 we would not have considered using these applications for something as demanding as the Arsenal. But we joked that with our WordPress and WooCommerce development expertise we could build Arsenal v3 in a few weeks and be happier with the results. Even better, we would feel more in control of the situation. We hated not being comfortable editing the CS-Cart software. Even though it was a PHP core, it just wasn’t in our team’s wheelhouse. Go Media definitely employs WordPress experts. CS-Cart experts, not so much.

After CS-Cart wiped the smile from our faces, we stopped joking. The improvements and extensions emerging from the WordPress and WooCommerce ecosystem started making the switch a real possibility. Maybe a harder part was accepting CS-Cart as a failure and eating the 3 years of time and money invested in it. It was an unprecedented move to put a store the scale of the Arsenal onto a WordPress plugin. It felt like uncharted territory.

But first we still needed to deploy the “new” Arsenal as it was on CS-Cart. Just finish the job and be done with them. They seemed to be done with us anyway. Their code was our problem now. We scrapped many of the features we had been trying to implement since 2010, such as the artist marketplace. We pushed it up, dealt with the fallout and quickly froze production as we focused on testing the viability of WooCommerce.

Textures Archives   Go Media s Arsenal

WooCommerce here we come!

By this point, WooCommerce had answers for nearly every problem we were having with CS-Cart. Artist marketplace? There’s a plugin for that. Bundle products? There’s a plugin for that too. Subscriptions, digital products, product and order migration – all were completely or partially solved by plugins we could implement in short order. Less bugs than CS-Cart v3? God, we hope so! Was it too good to be true? We feared it might be, for several white-knuckled weeks, as we beat on our proof of concept. But the pressure was on for us to replace the questionable version 3 powered by CS-Cart. So we hit it hard.

WooCommerce has a very different database design when compared to CS-Cart. It leans completely on WordPress, which we all know has its roots in blogging. This turned out to be a very square peg going into a round hole when it came to moving data over (see serialized arrays). Nearly every data object was remarkably different. Fortunately, there is a nice plugin that made migrating the products a cinch.

Unfortunately, a similar Customer and Order migration plugin could not handle the volume we were trying to push into it. Because the database tables were very different, we spent days in MySQL working out the formulas. And then converting the 90,000 customers and hundreds of thousands of orders from almost a decade online, took hours of computer processing time to complete.

All said, the new Arsenal, code-name 3.5, DID NOT take us 3 years! Eat it CS-Cart. We developed the new WordPress & WooCommerce custom theme and migrated all of the products, customers and order data in about six weeks time.

We might not go as far as to say WooCommerce is better than CS-Cart, but here are a few places WooCommerce wins out:

  1. It’s truly more open source. WooCommerce has been the fastest growing eCommerce solution in the last two years with an estimated million+ deployments and counting. With this comes a larger development cadre and more users to be accountable to. This adoption and visibility means better consideration for backward compatibility and less likelihood of bugs.
  2. An already larger and accelerating ecosystem. Not only is WooCommerce the fastest spreading eCommerce application, but the fact that it is buoyed by the massive WordPress scene (20% of ALL websites!) puts the wind to their backs.
  3. The API uses PHP and WordPress best practices, as does the core implementation itself. We believe in standards and excel in this arena.
  4. The documentation is better. The community resources and knowledge base more abundant.
  5. Did we mention it is on WordPress?! There really is no eCommerce software with the publishing power of WordPress. Most eCommerce CMS features are hardly more than an after thought. The marketing and informational demands of today’s web make content king for online shopping. Marrying WordPress with eCommerce is a customer satisfaction match made in SEO heaven.
  6. We trust WooThemes. The great ladies and gents in the Woo camp are people we’ve worked with many times over the years as fellow WordPress experts. They’re good about collaborating with us to make improvements, they’re reliable and they’re in our timezone.
  7. WooCommerce is easier to customize. We discovered a lot of obstacles and had functional disagreements with how CS-Cart handled certain things, only to discover there was no clean way around them. Hence, the reason we were stuck with v3. WooCommerce sprinkles hooks and filters everywhere, making it a snap to override and add things.
  8. It’s smaller. This is a double edged sword, but we’re kinda control freaks here anyway. CS-Cart is trying to be the big-size-fits-all player, but if you’ve ever worked with, say Magento, you know that sometimes mo-features-mo-problems. WooCommerce is lean and mean and at least if you need a few specific features, you can develop or add a third party plugin that hooks right into place and probably won’t have to be thrown away when that next version comes out.

All in all, we’re thrilled and very optimistic about the results. Moreover, bye bye CS-Cart and we’re not looking back. Nothing will ever be exactly everything you want in software. We’re not naive to the challenges of building complex systems, especially for eCommerce. We’re not going to bash CS-Cart as an application, and they were very nice during all the empty promises they didn’t keep. It’s just that maybe we grew apart. Maybe we thought it best to see younger, sexier applications.

WorldsBestHeader

The future of Go Media’s Arsenal

We are very excited about what comes next to the Arsenal. What was originally a veritable clearing house for rejected design concepts from Go Media had set the stage for what is now a major segment of our industry. You deserve better from such veterans. We all do. We’re committed to restoring our position as a leader and trusted source for premium graphic design resources.

We want to make your work lives easier without compromising quality. We want to empower creatives with tools and tricks of our trade as well as provide opportunity for the best to join our efforts. We’ve been inviting our favorite designers to now sell their own resources in the new marketplace. We welcome upcoming talent to show us what you’ve got. We may be able to help you become recognized and clear a nice profit in the process.

We ask ourselves every day, what are we doing to change lives? After last year’s WMC Fest which we tagged “3 days to change your life” that’s become an overarching priority at Go Media. We are not interested in copying the trendiest products out there, but to get to the core of what designers like us are really after. We’re committed to providing the best tools, articles, ebooks, inspiration, education and other resources to become the best designer you can be. And not only the best designer, the best Self you can be. Because there’s a lot more to life than Photoshop.

We really hope you’ll join us to help make the new, new Arsenal great. If you’d please take a moment to comment, we would really like to hear your suggestions for what would help you as a designer. We all know that vectors, textures, and templates are a dime a dozen these days but we still face challenges at the helm of creative production.

Now that we have the technology completely within our control and a brand new outlook for the future, what would you like to see the Arsenal bring you?

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Packaging Design: 50+ Awesome Inspirations http://www.gomediazine.com/insights/packaging-design-inspiration/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=packaging-design-inspiration http://www.gomediazine.com/insights/packaging-design-inspiration/#comments Fri, 11 Apr 2014 13:03:11 +0000 Go Media http://www.gomediazine.com/?p=43081 Here at Go Media, we're passionate about all aspects of design: web, print, branding and illustration. Some may say we have too much fun, but we'd disagree. It's just that we believe it's really important to love what you do. Recently, we were tasked with yet another awesome project - packaging design for Dirty Energy, a brand new energy bar packed with all sorts of goodness. We enjoyed building upon its core theme, "built from the ground up," incorporating earthiness into our design. Continue Reading »

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Here at Go Media, we’re passionate about all aspects of design: web, print, branding and illustration.

Some may say we have too much fun, but we’d disagree. It’s just that we believe it’s really important to love what you do.

Recently, we were tasked with yet another awesome project - packaging design for Dirty Energy, a brand new energy bar packed with all sorts of goodness.  We enjoyed building upon its core theme, “built from the ground up,” incorporating earthiness into our design.

Berry Energy Bar

We’ve been collecting inspiration for our next design – and thought we’d share with you. Enjoy!

Packaging Design Inspiration

Click on the image for its source

Jones Holiday Bottles

Jones Holiday Bottles

Porter de Glace

Porter de Glace

Helt Packaging by Studio Arhoj

Helt Packaging by Studio Arhoj

Pour Moi Coffee

Pour Moi Coffee

Packaging Design Served' NiceFuckingT-Shirts Packaging

Packaging Design Served
NiceFuckingT-Shirts Packaging by Ilustración: Raúl Urias, Alan Guzmán

Kleenex tissue packaging: Cultures of the world by Carli Herbst

Kleenex tissue packaging: Cultures of the world by Carli Herbst

Make It Pop

Make It Pop by Farm Design

Gravity Coffee Packaging

Gravity Coffee Packaging by Matt Hammond

El Mariachi Red Wine Collection

El Mariachi Red Wine Collection by Steve Simpson

Jamie Oliver's Food Line by Pearlfisher

Jamie Oliver’s Food Line by Pearlfisher

La Vieja Fabrica Strawberry Marmalade

La Vieja Fabrica Strawberry Marmalade

Petit Natural packaging by Isabela Rodrigues

Petit Natural packaging by Isabela Rodrigues

Momiji

Momiji

Muyum Packaging by Tatabistudio

Muyum Packaging by Tatabistudio

Phin & Phebes Ice Cream

Phin & Phebes Ice Cream

Label Design Class on Skillshare by Kendrick Kidd

Label Design Class on Skillshare
by Kendrick Kidd

Jafa Cafe

Jafa Cafe

Rutt Beer

Rutt Beer

Folksaga

Folksaga

Design by Sociedad Anonima for Mezcal Manonegra.

Design by Sociedad Anonima for Mezcal Manonegra.

 

Buck O'Hairen's Sunshine

Buck O’Hairen’s Sunshine

Tokyomilk

Tokyomilk

YÜMI by Natacha Algani

YÜMI by Natacha Algani

Uinta Classic Series Cans by Emrich Co.

Uinta Classic Series Cans
by Emrich Co.

Teapee Herbal Tees

Teapee Herbal Tees

Waldo Trommler Paint Box Packaging Design

Waldo Trommler Paint Box Packaging Design

Bitches Brew

Bitches Brew

Kitten & the Bear | Chad Robert Design

Kitten & the Bear | Chad Robert Design

Williams-Sonoma packaging by Stout

Williams-Sonoma packaging by Stout

Illegal Burger Packaging Design

Illegal Burger Packaging Design

MIND by Chad Michael

MIND by Chad Michael

Half Moon Orchard Gin

Half Moon Orchard Gin

Stories of Greek Origins

Stories of Greek Origins

Nuts.com

Nuts.com

Honey Hunter

Honey Hunter

Target Gift Card | Invisible Creature Speaks

Target Gift Card | Invisible Creature Speaks

Empire Dogs

Empire Dogs

Mayrah Wine

Mayrah Wine

Santo Habito

Santo Habito

Whitebites by Cecilia Uhr

Whitebites by Cecilia Uhr

Gauss Lamps

Tacos!

Tacos!

2c8a157278eac5120871446c8bd6bea8

Sweets Packaging

Good Fizz by Lydia Nichols

Good Fizz by Lydia Nichols

Beehive Honey Squares by Lacy Kuhn

Beehive Honey Squares by Lacy Kuhn

Yahho bluing

Yahho bluing

Blackbird Tea Nº One: The Moon

Blackbird Tea Nº One: The Moon

Schepps

Schepps

Paint Brush Packaging

Paint Brush Packaging

Ginsters Reinterpretation by Charlie Davis

Ginsters Reinterpretation by Charlie Davis

Nostro by Graphasel Design Studio

Nostro by Graphasel Design Studio

Standard Dress Shirt by Jille Natalino, Elizabeth Kelley, Rob Hurst, Joanna Milewski, Mary Durant

Standard Dress Shirt by Jille Natalino, Elizabeth Kelley, Rob Hurst, Joanna Milewski, Mary Durant

Mera® Goat Cheese Packaging by Stephan Pretorius

Mera® Goat Cheese Packaging by Stephan Pretorius

KOOR - Kalev Chocolate Bar Designs

KOOR – Kalev Chocolate Bar Designs

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How to design a great t-shirt (even with minimal design skills) quickly: The Unleashed T-Shirt Pack by Steve Knerem http://www.gomediazine.com/insights/design-a-killer-t-shirt-the-unleashed-t-shirt-pack-by-steve-knerem/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=design-a-killer-t-shirt-the-unleashed-t-shirt-pack-by-steve-knerem http://www.gomediazine.com/insights/design-a-killer-t-shirt-the-unleashed-t-shirt-pack-by-steve-knerem/#comments Wed, 09 Apr 2014 12:49:46 +0000 Go Media http://www.gomediazine.com/?p=43031 In design, it seems, speed and quality rarely go hand in hand. But there are some instances when you can have it all. Introducing the T-Shirt Mockup Pack With our new t-shirt mockup packs, you can design a great t-shirt quickly. Seriously. Here's what happens: we hook you up hard core with all of the artwork and mockup files. You take those files into AI and modify the original illustration (if you so choose). Then, you mockup your design in Photoshop with some of the World's Best Templates (ours of course). Bada bing, bada boom: you've got a t-shirt to call your very own. You have ultimate creative freedom, giving both you seasoned designers, and those of you with beginner design skills, countless possibilities. Continue Reading »

The post How to design a great t-shirt (even with minimal design skills) quickly: The Unleashed T-Shirt Pack by Steve Knerem appeared first on GoMediaZine.

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In design, it seems, speed and quality rarely go hand in hand.

But there are some instances when you can have it all.

Introducing the T-Shirt Mockup Pack

With our new t-shirt mockup packs, you can design a great t-shirt quickly.

Seriously.

Here’s what happens: we hook you up hard core with all of the artwork and mockup files. You take those files into AI and modify the original illustration (if you so choose). Then, you mockup your design in Photoshop with some of the World’s Best Templates (ours of course). Bada bing, bada boom: you’ve got a t-shirt to call your very own.

You have ultimate creative freedom, giving both you seasoned designers, and those of you with beginner design skills, countless possibilities.

Today we unveil…

The Unleashed T-Shirt Design Pack

unleashed-feature-image1
This t-shirt design pack includes:

  • All 9 Vectors created by Steve Knerem
  • Both Original .AI files of this design, offering you 2 color variations from which to work
  • 2 Mockup PSDs: a Ghosted Long-Sleeve T-Shirt and Zipper Hoodie (Back Version)

As a bonus, we throw in a sample of Steve Knerem’s Video Tutorial: Hand Illustration for T-Shirts: Part 1 of 3

I want it now – $17

Take a peek at the goods

2colorvariations breakthedesign_unleashed1

Sample Included

Sample Included

So, umm. What are you waiting for?

Give it to me now – $17

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The Number One Myth of Hiring (& How You Can Overcome It) http://www.gomediazine.com/insights/how-to-hire-the-rock-star-staff-of-your-dreams/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=how-to-hire-the-rock-star-staff-of-your-dreams http://www.gomediazine.com/insights/how-to-hire-the-rock-star-staff-of-your-dreams/#comments Tue, 08 Apr 2014 13:23:00 +0000 Go Media http://www.gomediazine.com/?p=42970 Hey Go Media Faithful! Here's another excerpt from my book, Drawn to Business, about the number one myth I've found in the hiring process. For more of my insights and actual tools to help you start your own million dollar company, pick up the book as well as its supplemental materials, now available on the Arsenal. Continue Reading »

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Hey Go Media Faithful! Here’s another excerpt from my book, Drawn to Business, about the number one myth I’ve found in the hiring process. For more of my insights and actual tools to help you start your own million dollar company, pick up the book as well as its supplemental materials, now available on the Arsenal.

Start my own million dollar design firm.

When to Hire Employees

Simply put, your staff IS your company. And your relative success or failure is frequently a result of the quality of your people. If you think you can hire mediocre people and train them to be great, well, think again. Particularly when you’re small and getting started, the impact of your staff is amplified. A very small business is really more about its people and less about its systems. You need to make sure you’re finding and hiring the very best employees.

Here’s What I Had To Overcome

The Myth: more employees equals more profits.

I had this idea stuck in my head for most of my life; the more employees I have, the more money I make. Even before I was seeing any real return on the hours I was working in my business, I was anxiously trying to hire on employees. The thought was that an employee was like a little engine, churning out profits. The more little engines you have running, the more profit is pouring out onto your company floor. Well, this is a fun idea, but what if your engines produce $1 per hour in profits and what if your engines require $2 worth of gas each hour to run? Now your little money engines aren’t churning out profits, they’re burning money at a rate of $1/hour.

It’s important to blow up the myth in your head that staff will somehow magically make you money. Having an employee is not inherently good or bad for your company’s profits. They may make you lots of money, or they may cost you lots of money. The only real guarantee is that you have to pay them either way. So, before you run out and start expanding your staff…

Get out your calculators

Do the Math: hire what you can afford. Don’t be tempted by that high-priced gun. When Go Media first got started, we wanted to hire the very best employees, so we did. We paid them what they asked for. Unfortunately, we couldn’t afford the quality of employees that we hired. We never did the math. We assumed that because they were good designers, somehow their value added to what our firm would produce: the extra income necessary to pay their salary. We had a problem. We weren’t charging our customers enough hourly to cover the employee’s hourly wage. After six months, we were broke and forced to lay off our newfangled employee.

fosterscreativity

So when DO you hire?

When do you hire? A good rule of thumb for hiring is when you have enough money coming in that you can afford to pay that new employee EVEN IF THAT NEW EMPLOYEE DOES NOT CONTRIBUTE ONE PENNY TO YOUR INCOME. If you have any doubt whatsoever about your ability to afford a new employee, you probably shouldn’t be hiring them.

Before you start to scale up your business you need to ask:

  1. “Is this system humming? Am I dialed in? Are we churning out rock-solid profits every month?” Or, are you hoping to fix your system by bringing in more people? Are you bringing on people hoping THEY will be the ones who start bringing in the money? If this is your perspective, then you shouldn’t be hiring.
  2. Another question you can ask yourself when considering whether or not to hire someone is: “Is there historical precedence for their job?” In other words, are you getting regular requests for the job they’re going to do? If there isn’t a proven track record of demand, then I would look to an alternate option to hiring a new employee. Build the demand first, line up the work, and THEN hire a new employee.

bonuscontent

All in all what I’ve found is that more employees do not necessarily mean more profits. Employees are a liability. Whether you’re busy or not, you need to pay them. Wait to hire more employees until the evidence and need is overwhelming.

How about you? What have you found to be the biggest myth in your hiring process? What hurdles have you faced? Join the conversation in the comments below!

For more hiring tips, including Supplemental Materials like “How to Hire the Rockstar Staff of Your Dreams,” head over to the Arsenal, where you can pick up all of our bonus content!

Drawn to Business   How to Build a Thriving Design Firm

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