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Friday’s favorite things: July 3rd

Every Friday we round up some of our favorite finds on the web this week, from illustrations and videos to fonts and photography. In honor of July 4th, this week’s edition is USA-themed (and is also the reason, we’re posting it a day early).

American Literature
When most people think of a bookshelf’s shape, a rectangle probably comes to mind. When London-based artist and architect Ron Arad created his own bookshelf, however, he decided to use a different shape, the United States of America. The bookshelf, which he calls “Oh, the farmer and the cowman should be friends,” features the 48 continuous states, each of which is its own shelf. Unfortunately this patriotic bookshelf is not for sale, as it is solely an art piece; however, you can find it and more of Arad’s work on his website.

us bookshelf

 

American Humor
Although Saturday Night Live won’t be around to mock the presidential candidates until the fall, we can turn to this comic from The Oatmeal to poke fun at our country. The comic satirically describes how one should explain America to non-Americans by pointing out the ironic location of the Statue of Liberty and other illogical USA facts.

theoatmeal

 

American Art
Justin Tran was born in Washington, DC, which is what inspired the illustration below. Featuring key elements of the city’s culture, the picture includes a motorcade, the Capitol Building, the Potomac River, all rendered in glorious red, white, and blue. You can find more of Tran’s work on his website and, if you’d like, you can buy this illustration here.

dcillustration

What did you see this week that grabbed your attention? Feel free to share your favorite finds in the comments section below.

 

 

Friday’s favorite things: June 26th

Every Friday we round up some of our favorite finds on the web this week, from illustrations and videos to fonts and photography.

Illustration vacation
Owen Gatley’s travel-themed illustrations will inspire your next vacation. The English artist has a plethora of work, but those featuring beaches or maps make you want to escape your everyday life. Check out Twitter and Instagram for more of his illustrations.

owengatley2owengatley1

 

Childish photography
Japanese photographer Hideaki Hamada’s favorite subjects to photograph are his sons, Haru and Mina. He captures the two young boys doing their everyday activities, from climbing trees to playing in the snow to walking to school. The whimsical nature of the photographs perfectly captures the spontaneity and innocence that comes with childhood. Check out more photos of Haru and Mina here, and take a look at more of Hamada’s work on flickr and Instagram.

photographerkids

 

Alphabetical animals
English artist Alice Pattullo uses a unique pastel color palette in many of her illustrations, including those of animals around the world. She illustrated twenty-six animals – one for each letter of the alphabet. From the armadillo to the moth to the zebra, Pattullo’s illustrations include the animals’ common names as well as their scientific names. Check out all of the animals here and follow her blog for more fabulous illustrations.

abcanimal abcanimal1

 

What did you see this week that grabbed your attention? Feel free to share your favorite finds in the comments section below.

Tool tips with John Heyer

Tool tips is a regular series where Hightail employees share their life’s most essential apps, online services and websites. Next up is Network Engineer, John Heyer.

tooltipsphotoWorking tool
I’m always a fan of visual tools, and one of my favorites is Cacti. Many people may be familiar with using MRTG for graphing network traffic but with Cacti, that’s just the beginning. I’ve used it to break down wireless clients in our office by frequency and compare trends over time, which is extremely useful when upgrade planning. Last year, I wrote a Cacti template that graphs temperature on our switches. It felt a bit geeky, but when our landlord changed the cooling schedule, I could see exactly what was happening, thus avoiding having to bring a thermometer to the office at 3AM.

Playtime
You could say music runs in my family as both my dad and brother have PhDs in music. Being a former employee of both Rhapsody and Pandora, I still regularly use both, however, SoundCloud has dominated my attention in the last year. It’s very plugged in to the social media aspect and is sort of like a Pinterest for music lovers.

General resource
I’m an avid listener of several TWiT shows, and they’re a wonderful resource for anyone working in technology. Whether it’s just to keep abreast of news or deep-dive in to a subject, they have fun netcasts with great hosts and knowledgeable guests. My personal favorite is the weekly security show with Steve Gibson, who is most famous for writing the SpinRite and ShieldsUp utilities back in the 90s.

Friday’s favorite things: June 19th

Every Friday we round up some of our favorite finds on the web this week, from illustrations and videos to fonts and photography.

Bridge to the future
Dutch startup MX3D recently announced plans to create the world’s first 3D-printed bridge in Amsterdam. Dutch designer Joris Laarman is set to design the bridge, which will be fully functional and open to pedestrians. MX3D plans to begin printing this fall and hopes to have the bridge completed sometime in 2017. This project marks the first time 3D printing will be used on this large of a scale. Check out the full story here.

3D bridge

 

Light-up logs
Furniture designer Duncan Meerding integrates light and nature into his work, creating unique and stunning lamps. What makes this artist more impressive than he already is? Meerding is legally blind. Retaining only 5% of his peripheral vision, Meerding has a fascination with light and its dispersion. He combines this fascination with creativity to make a truly beautiful and functional work of art. Check out more of his work and read his full story.

loglamp2

 

iPhone Photography
This year’s iPhone Photography Awards were announced this past Monday and the winning photos are truly breathtaking. Polish street photographer Michal Koralewski won the over-arching Photographer of the Year category with the photo below. Take a look at more of Koralewski’s work on Instagram and check out the other winning photographs here.

iphonephotoaward

 

What did you see this week that grabbed your attention? Feel free to share your favorite finds in the comments section below.

 

Seven steps to happiness: how ad agencies are more productive with file sharing

“Advertising is based on one thing: happiness”
Don Draper, Mad Men

Advertising tools Every day, ad agencies across the world attempt to deliver happiness to their clients. But the modern world is much more complicated than in the days of Sterling Cooper and 21st century clients have ever-changing and multi-faceted needs.

Coming up with a great idea and transforming it into a successful campaign requires true creative collaboration amongst internal teams, partners and clients, often separated by geography, time zones and firewalls. Though there are oodles of digital tools at our disposal, they don’t always make things simpler or more secure.

That’s why, when it comes to exchanging ideas effectively while keeping information safe, many agencies rely on business-grade cloud file sharing services. Here are just seven things that file sharing has helped top ad firms to do:

1. Throw out FTP
Kelly Brady, a leading agency in the higher education space, used to share campaign files like TV commercials and print mailer designs with clients via FTP. Frequently timing out and lacking the ability to confirm delivery, the company’s FTP service was so unreliable and complex that employees required regular support from IT. Even worse, clients often needed training in order to receive these files. Switching to the cloud made sharing large files easy and reliable for employees, while clients simply had to click a link to access the content.

2. Brainstorm around the world
When you’re a large global ad firms, teams often need to work together closely despite being dispersed around the world. Many ad firms use cloud-based folders as a place for teams to brainstorm ideas, share mockups and deliver new drafts, wherever they are. Access to a shared folder can be controlled for each participant, with “edit”, “view only” and “edit, but not delete” permissions, while version control ensures the complete history of changes to any file is immediately accessible.

Awasu Design logo3. Handle confidential material
After Awasu Design signed a contract with a major national bank, the agency immediately started looking for a more professional alternative to their usual consumer-grade file sharing provider. Because leaks of confidential information can damage customer relationships and potentially lead to lawsuits, it is crucial that only intended recipients can access shared digital files. Awasu turned to a business-grade provider because it had sharing controls that allowed them to password protect files, set expiration dates and confirm a recipient’s identity when sharing files.

4. Work anytime, anywhere
Executives at global agency CHI & Partners are always on the road, meeting with current and potential clients and partners. File sharing mobile apps allow them to access the latest versions of their presentations on any device, give feedback and updates to their teams, all while keeping ideas and information secure.

5. Make email better
Creating winning campaigns requires great communication and email remains the main way that ad agencies communicate and collaborate. But email does have limitations, especially around attachment sizes, which force users to switch applications in order to share high res designs, photography and videos. Users at CHI & Partners love that their file sharing service allows them to share massive files right from Microsoft Outlook. It complements the way they already work and helps them stay focused on their clients’ need.

6. Help clients send files to them
Every day, a successful media placement agency receives new billboard ad designs from clients and, occasionally, the contracted designers working on their behalf. To ensure this process is consistently easy and reliable for all parties, they send people to a page on their website that links to the company’s file sharing service and lets clients upload large files easily and securely. An added benefit is that it helps the agency track when files were received for billing and auditing purposes.

folder_files7. Store everything
When a London-based agency took on a major rebranding project for a popular tech service, they sent four people around the world to meet users and experience the service for themselves. With each person carrying a video camera, they ended up with hundreds of hours of footage. Cloud file sharing gave them the ability to store these files in shared folders so the whole team could access, share and edit the files.

With unlimited storage and the ability to share individual files as large as 500GB, file sharing gives agencies the freedom to evolve ideas, create successful campaigns and deliver happiness to clients and their customers.

Get in touch to learn how file sharing with Hightail can help your agency deliver happiness more effectively.

Friday’s favorite things: June 12th

Every Friday we round up some of our favorite finds on the web this week, from illustrations and videos to fonts and photography.

Every kid’s dream house
Last spring, Foster Huntington decided to fulfill his childhood dream by building a truly magnificent house in the trees. Huntington calls the treehouse Cinder Cone, and is currently in the works of publishing a book that documents the building of the house. You can help him by backing the Cinder Cone Build Book on Kickstarter before it comes out later this year. In the meantime, check out Huntington’s Tumblr or Instagram to see more pictures of the impressive Cinder Cone.

treehouse

 

Take a closer look
Branding and design agency Character created this year’s San Francisco Design Week campaign, Look Closer, which encourages San Francisco residents, visitors and everyone in between to do just that – take a closer look at the elements of design that make up their surroundings. The campaign features large, intricate, hand-constructed, wooden letters with mirrored faces. They were placed around the bay and the mirrored surfaces integrate these letters – almost completely – into the surrounding environment.

sfdesignweek1

 

Don’t judge a water tower by its exterior
While it may look a little plain on the outside, the St. Jansklooster water tower in the Netherlands has an amazing interior. Created by Zecc Architecten, a Dutch company, the tower has an intricate stairwell that majorly contrasts with its monotone exterior. Check out more photos here.

watertower1watertower3

 

 

 

What did you see this week that grabbed your attention? Feel free to share your favorite finds in the comments section below.

Seven digital tools changing how ad agencies work

Productivity illustration by Luke Bott

 

One of the pleasures of watching Mad Men was stepping back into a world free of digital technology. Don Draper’s desk often contained nothing more than a telephone, potted plant, notepad and, of course, a whiskey glass. The few new technologies introduced are viewed with a mixture of awe and mistrust, like the grand unveiling of an IBM typewriter in episode one or media buyer Harry Crane’s room-filling analytics computer.

In a modern ad agency, technology is ubiquitous: from computers and mobile devices to the digital design and production tools, project management software and media buying algorithms that have transformed how ad campaigns are pitched, created and placed.

But the advances don’t stop there. Here are seven digital tools helping the Mad Men and Women of the future.

1. Resource scheduling
To stay agile, many agencies rely on freelancers and contractors for quick campaign turnarounds, which can make resource scheduling very complex. Software like 10,000 Feet or Float are great for providing an overview of what everyone is working on and how to manage and optimize resources.

2. Non-designer design tools
In the age of social media, content is king, but design is the power behind the throne. Even if your agency’s design team is engrossed in client work, standards can’t slip when you’re developing other content. Tools like Canva and Piktochart help anyone create great-looking presentations, reports and infographics.

3. Creative collaboration
A great ad campaign starts with inspiration but is built by collaboration. Feedback is essential when developing ideas, so you need a simple and secure service like Hightail to share the large illustration, photography, video and design files your creative teams have produced.

4. Digital portfolios
When a potential client wants to see specific samples of your agency’s work, you can spend hours adding and removing slides to your Keynote presentation. Or you could use a customized portfolio service like Samplr to whip up Pinterest-style pages and mood boards in minutes.

5. HD video conferencing
The ad industry is global and your next client may not even be in the same country as you, never mind the same city. Investing in a quality HD video conferencing system will help bridge the geographical gap and make collaborating with your clients a better experience for everyone.

Back to the Future 2 video call
6. Content aggregators
Catching up with the latest news and gossip at work may seem indulgent, but staying in touch could help your next campaign ride the zeitgeist to success. Use apps like Flipboard and ScoopIt to discover interesting stories and TweetDeck or HootSuite to follow topics and trends on social media.

7. Wearable technology
The demise of Google Glass suggests that wearable technology isn’t ready for prime time yet, but don’t assume the concept is going away. Check out Apple Watch and virtual reality headsets like Oculus Rift, so your agency can start exploring the advertising opportunities of wearables.

Those are seven of the most interesting digital tools transforming the world of advertising. We’d love to hear your suggestions for other apps and services in the comments below.

Get in touch to learn how file sharing with Hightail can improve creative collaboration at your agency.

Customer spotlight: Anderson Design Group


Anderson Design Group logoAnderson Design Group is a Nashville-based design firm that also runs a gallery store selling prints and other products based on their own artwork. CEO and founder Joel Anderson tells us how selling vintage art prints saved his company and why he’s interested in the emotion behind an image.

Music packaging design was our big start
After graduating from Ringling School of Art and Design, I was recruited by an ad agency in Nashville. After seven years there, a co-worker named David Thomas and I started Anderson Thomas Design in 1993. Nashville is a big music city so we started by focusing on music packaging and book covers for the city’s big publishing houses.

Universal Studios got us into products
We created artwork and licensed products featuring characters from Universal Studios’ movies like Jurassic Park 3, The Grinch and The Cat in the Hat. That’s how we first became interested in product development. In 2004 we created a calendar as a promotional gift for clients and friends. The following year we did a poster calendar showcasing Nashville, but people started asking to buy the individual posters. So we started the Spirit of Nashville collection.

Anderson Design Group - Spirit of Nashville posters

 

Selling our own products helped us stay alive
By the time my partner David retired, the economy had become volatile. Designing CD packaging paid half as much, which suited freelancer designers working from home on a laptop with no overheads. We couldn’t compete with those rates. When I took sole control of the company and renamed us Anderson Design Group, we began to focus more on illustration design and product development. We still serve clients but posters became our area of growth.

Anderson Design Group

 

We turned our building into a public gallery
We gutted the downstairs and created a studio store to display and sell our 500+ poster designs. Doing research for clients meant we had spent a lot of time in retail stores understanding how products sit on shelves and how shoppers browse. We were able to apply everything we’d absorbed into our own space, from colors and lighting to layouts and finishes.

Anderson Design Group - store lobby

 

Anderson Design Group - store poster closet

 

The early 20th century is my sweet spot
I’ve always been interested in that advertising style from the golden age of posters. Illustrators like Norman Rockwell and Andrew Wyeth, who told stories with their artwork, also influenced me as a kid. Fortunately other people love this style as well and want to decorate with it, whether it’s a modern loft or a traditional house that contains actual vintage stuff. We want our posters to look like they might actually be a great antique store find.

Anderson Design Group - Mod poster designI’m like a conductor of virtuoso performers
I come up with the direction of a new piece then give the different design and illustration requirements to the right person on the team. One person may be really good at rendering people or someone else does architecture or animals well. They take it pretty far down the road but I’ll put the finishing touches on it. Every poster has my hands on it, which helps maintain an overall consistency.

Our business would not be possible without Hightail
As well as the designers and illustrators that are under our roof, we have a team of freelancers working outside the office. We’re constantly sharing photography, sketches, paintings and drawings with them and creating Photoshop files as large as 3GB. Hightail helps us deliver final high res poster file to the printers who produce the art. We also send files to licensees that use our artwork on their products.

You can sell great art a hundred different ways
I know a lot of musicians who were on the road performing all the time. About 10 years in, they’d get tired and want to settle down, so they become songwriters. They license their music and get mailbox money so songs written a decade ago continues to generate revenue. But when you’ve finished designing a logo for a client, you have to start all over again with the next client. Selling our own products and licensing our designs to other businesses gives us more ways to turn our art into gas for the tank and bread for the table.

Anderson Design Group - food packaging designOur work communicates on an emotional level
Whatever the image, we’re interested in the emotion behind it. This is why we’ve been so successful working with artisan clients. They’ve put their heart and soul into the product so we need to convey their passion, craftsmanship and attention to detail that allows small businesses to complete with global conglomerates. We always ask if we can carry their product in our store, as part of our Music City Makers Market section.

Nashville attracts all kinds of creative people
Strong music and publishing industries means that anyone in the visual arts – letterers, typographers and designers – can find work here. The economy in Nashville is now more robust and diverse. The food scene is exploding with a lot of top chefs coming to open restaurants and develop food products, which is another boon to illustrators, designers and agencies.

To learn more about Anderson Design Group, visit their website and browse the poster collection at their online store. You can also follow them on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

GlacierNP_RGB

 

Anderson Design Group - San Francisco poster

Tool tips with David Louie

David LouieTool tips is a regular series where Hightail employees share their life’s most essential apps, online services and websites. Next up is UX Designer, David Louie.

Working tool
Prototyping is an important part of the UX toolkit. It helps in designing the ‘feel’ part of a product’s ‘look and feel’. After trying a bunch of the new prototyping tools, I decided to go deep on Framer Studio. I love how it can be used for small vignettes or full flows and how it streamlines sharing and provides full control of the micro-interactions since it’s a code-first tool. Framer was integral in prototyping the Hightail Spaces mobile and web apps.
Hightail Spaces versioning prototypes via Framer

Dylan via Everyday appPlaytime
I’m a fan of finding things people already do and then designing that thing out with intention – paving the cow paths or the adaptive path idea. Case in point are those self-portrait every day videos – but creating them, especially before camera phones, must have been a major pain. Luckily, someone paved that cow path and created the Everyday app, which I use multiple times a day to take portraits of my three boys. It’s only been a couple of months, but fast forward another couple of years and I’ll have an artifact that will be a digital treasure.

General Resource
Zite is an app that makes me feel like I learned something. You plug in your topics of interest and it feeds you the freshest content on said topic. I know the Zite brain is plugged into Flipboard now, but I still prefer the original. I’m old fashioned.

For more David, follow him on Twitter.

Friday’s favorite things: June 5th

Every Friday we round up some of our favorite finds on the web this week, from illustrations and videos to fonts and photography.

Blatt’s all folks
Valeriano Di Domenico brilliantly captured one of the week’s biggest news stories in a single image. The Swiss photographer’s shot of FIFA president Sepp Blatter being shown the door after his surprise resignation announcement is photojournalism at its finest.

Photograph by Valeriano Di Domenico

Wassssup Lady Liberty
Budweiser gets patriotic with its new summer packaging, featuring a gorgeous illustration of The Statue of Liberty by French graphic artist Malika Favre (another gift from France to the US). Check out more of Malika’s amazing work at her website. You can also read about the process behind the creation of the site, as documented by its designer, Guy Moorhouse.

Budweiser packaging illustration by Malika Favre Budweiser packaging illustration by Malika Favre

Open a box. Open a beer.
This stylish blade and bottle opener combo for your keyring is a brilliant piece of product design by Everyman. You can pre-order the Porter Key Knife by backing the project on Kickstarter.

Porter Key Knife by Everyman

What did you see this week that grabbed your attention? Feel free to share your favorite finds in the comments section below.

Five reasons why projects fail

Why projects fail
An amended version of this article was originally published in Entrepreneur.

As a founder of multiple startups and current COO of Hightail, I’ve led many projects, from launching new websites to rebranding a multi-billion dollar global company. While I’ve had some great wins, I don’t mind admitting that there have also been a few disasters.

A runaway success often seems like the result of some arcane alchemy, but in my experience failure is rooted in the same recurring problems. I’m going to highlight five of these mistakes and the lessons I’ve learned about avoiding them in future projects.

1. Eyes are bigger than your budget
We’d all love to run a Super Bowl ad but you can’t do it on a shoestring. Businesses need goals, even dreams. You just have to temper them with a healthy dose of reality and expectation setting, so that it’s clear what you can actually achieve given your available time, resources and budget.

Recognizing your constraints can lead to unexpected benefits. When the founders of 37 Signals began work on their signature product, Basecamp, they made an honest assessment of how much time each person could invest. As most of the founders still had full-time jobs, their time constraints forced them to develop a feature-lite project management tool. This simplicity turned out to be one of the major factors behind the success of the app.

To avoid misaligning dreams with reality, your business needs a culture of honest communication that encourages clear-sighted discussion across all levels instead of just having unquestioned orders flow downstream.

2. Working with the wrong talent
Whatever the project, a company’s first instinct is to put an in-house team on it. After all, that’s what they’re there for, right? But just because someone is part of your company doesn’t mean they’re the right person for a specific project.

I used to run a startup that made games and 3D animations. We had a full-time staff member whose job was solely to find external talent. If we needed CG lighting, he’d call a Kuala Lumpur-based animator because he was the best lighting guy we knew. Our aim was always to find the right person for a project and not just who was available in-house.

The key is to be honest with yourself and your employees and, if necessary, look outside your core team to find the best people for a project. Start building relationships now with agencies, contractors and consultants so you have a network ready to fulfill specialized tasks when the time comes.

3. Continuing to pursue bad ideas
In Hollywood, they say it’s easy to make a bad film from a good script but impossible to make a good film from a bad script. Though you won’t always recognize a bad idea straight away, once you do, never assume that you’ll make it work or believe that you’ve put in too much effort to change course.

I once worked with an external agency on a series of digital ads but after a number of designs, tweaks and iterations, I still couldn’t convince myself that we’d hit gold. Eventually I realized that the visual approach we had agreed upon at the beginning of the project was wrong. After we decided to start over and work with a new set of stylistic references, the project came together very quickly.

The minute you recognize that an idea won’t work, you have to pull the plug. It’s usually impossible to retrieve a bad idea and you’ll only waste time, money and energy trying to put lipstick on a pig.

4. Death by committee
A project often has multiple parties interested in its outcome and groups may even have divergent goals and expectations. I once spent weeks working with a designer and copywriter on a website home page redesign, only to have our carefully-crafted work dismantled by the company’s various heads of department demanding changes to meet their individual needs. Our problem was that we failed to establish who owned the project and therefore didn’t deal with potential conflicts and disappointments in advance.

Renowned animation studio Pixar has a large group of people it calls the “brain trust” that meets to review films at different stages of production. Though the committee’s job is to provide notes on potential problems and offer solutions, none of the advice is mandatory. The film’s director retains complete control over the final product.

Pixar's brain trust

Feedback is an essential stage of any project. But decision-by-committee rarely leads to best outcome. Every project should start by establishing clear, workable goals and give one person the ultimate ownership and accountability for meeting them.

5. Keeping the final approver in the dark
Typically the bulk of work on a project happens below the level of the final approver. You often get a situation where, for example, a freelancer works closely with their contact at a company to complete a piece of work, only to hear the dreaded words: “now I just have to run this past my boss”. I call this “the contractor’s nightmare”.

As someone who is often the “boss”, I find it remarkable if the first thing I see is the “final” version and I’m just expected to give it a thumbs-up. In reality, my first experience of a project is likely to produce lots of questions, comments and suggestions. While I don’t believe in micromanaging talented people, being able to review a project at certain set stages makes for a better overall process. I’d much rather give feedback on a plan sketched out in a day than reject weeks of hard work if it’s not good enough.

When beginning a project, establish clear checkpoints for the ultimate approver to provide feedback. This will help ensure a smoother path to the finish line.

These are the five most common causes of why projects fail. Applying these suggested pre-emptive strikes and remedies should help you avoid catastrophe on your next big project. If you have solutions to other common project mistakes, I’d love to hear them in the comments.

Friday’s favorite things: May 29th

Molly Jacques hand lettered illustrationEvery Friday we round up some of our favorite finds on the web this week, from illustrations and videos to fonts and photography.

Designed by hand
We always enjoy hand lettering, so loved the recent Influencer Spotlight post that marketing agency 360i ran with hand-letterer and illustrator, Molly Jacques. To read the interview and see more of her work, click here.

Louder than bombs
Norwegian film director Joachim Trier’s new movie, Louder Than Bombs, was in competition at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival this month. His compatriots at design studio Handverk created this fantastic poster for the film.

Handverk movie poster for Louder Than Bombs

Mountains of Mourne
Our favorite golf photographer, Kevin Murray, posted this stunning shot of the sun coming up over the course at Royal County Down in Northern Ireland.

Kevin Murray - Royal County Down photo

 

What did you see this week that grabbed your attention? Feel free to share your favorite finds in the comments section below.

A photographer’s perspective on Hightail Spaces

As part of our development process for Hightail Spaces, we invited a small group of creative professionals to test the product in real-life situations. Last week, we showed you what a typographer, publisher and video producer thought of Spaces. Now it’s time to get a photographer’s perspective.

Gary Lott - Manhattan Beach Pier

 

Gary Lott is a professional photographer based in Texas, specializing in portraiture and commercial work. His challenge was that feedback from clients came in many different formats, so he had to spend a lot of time piecing together the various comments before he could work on changes.

His clients’ technical experience varied, so any solution he implemented had to be intuitive enough for the least savvy user. Also, as a small business he feels that professional presentation is critical for proving his credibility, talent and value. After a few weeks of using Hightail Spaces, Gary found it met each of these needs.

Gary Lott Photography - Carly Space

 

“Its ease of use was intuitive,” he explains. “Hightail Spaces is a great way to get proofs to clients, receive their comments and make selections. As a professional photographer, presentation matters. Spaces allows me to easily create slideshows of finished products and it’s good for my clients, as they don’t have to download individual files, which can be cumbersome. I also use visual versioning to compare proofs to finals, providing my clients with a greater understanding of the retouching value I provide.”

Before using Hightail Spaces, Gary would have in-person proofing sessions with clients, often scheduled weeks after the initial photo shoot. Usually limited to 45 minutes, the average number of purchases after these sessions was 10. With Hightail Spaces, Gary no longer has in-person meetings with 90% of his clients and he’s not just saving time, he’s making more money.

“Now I create and share a Space,” he explains, “which allows me to show more proofs and enables clients to take their time and view the images at home. Consequently, they tend to buy more images, which drives my album/book sales. My most budget-friendly book product is $305, which is about the average sales increase I’m currently experiencing per client.”

Gary Lott Photography - San Francisco Space

 

Gary Lott Photography - McCleaod Space

 

“Hightail Spaces is a great step into the future,” adds Gary. “The design gets away from a mechanical, cold and impersonal look and relates to the people that share and collaborate on files.”

If you’re a photographer and want to see how Hightail Spaces can make your business more effective, visit www.hightailspaces.com to get started.

Learn more about Gary at his website.

Tool tips with Pia Ramos

Tool tips is a regular series where Hightail employees share their life’s most essential apps, online services and websites. Next up is Customer Support Lead, Pia Ramos.

Pia Ramos tool tipsWorking tool
I manage our Philippines-based support team and use HipChat every day to communicate with them by instant message. I downloaded the app to my phone so when I am out of the office they can still reach me.

Playtime
I recently got married and my wedding was out of the country. My coordinator and I planned my whole wedding using Pinterest. We created a Wedding Board where I pinned what I would like my wedding cake, wedding aisle, flowers, etc. to look like. My coordinator arranged everything based on what I would pin.

General Resource
I’m not always up to date with current events or things that are trending and this is why I love Flipboard. With Flipboard you can subscribe to numerous kinds of magazine and news and with a tap on the Flipboard app everything is at your fingertips. I love how you are able to customize it so you only read what interests you.

Friday’s favorite things: May 22nd

Every Friday we round up some of our favorite finds on the web this week, from illustrations and videos to fonts and photography.

Park that phone
Ad guys Fernando Barbella and Christiano Neves got tired of other people being distracted in meetings by their mobile phones and so came up with this fun solution. You can download a mobile parking lot from here and start having more productive meetings again.

Mobile phone parking lot

 

Go dancers
Filmmaker Michel Gondry has worked his pop promo magic once again with this brilliant video for a new track by UK dance music duo The Chemical Brothers. Go features A Tribe Called Quest’s Q-Tip on vocals and is a hip-shakin’ hit, but the accompanying video involving seven dancers and two poles (no, not that kind of pole dancer) is a masterpiece of synchronicity.

 

Projected sails
Vivid Sydney is a unique festival of lights, music and ideas currently being held in the Australian city. As part of a huge array of events and installations, UK-based design collective Universal Everything is projecting gorgeous animations and illustrations, like this, on the sails of Sydney’s world famous Opera House.

Opera House projections

What did you see this week that grabbed your attention? Feel free to share your favorite finds in the comments section below.