Wednesday, December 29, 2010

New logo and product designs - Sugarloaf Shop

Check out my designs to promote my community. We get overshadowed by the bear paw of Big Bear so I thought I'd design my own for Sugarloaf.

Monday, December 27, 2010

My New Years Resolution #1

Follow up with the wonderful people I've worked with in the past who may have forgotten that I'm still here and at their service.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Being Grateful

I'm happy to still be self-employed although things aren't as great as they used to be, I'm still grateful for all I DO have.
I hope YOU all HAVE a wonderful holiday season. Keep warm with the love from friends and family.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Vector Art vs. Raster Art

Whenever possible, for the best quality, send your graphic designer a vector version of your logo.

This explains it all:

Stolen blog link with permission from Attention Getters Signs and Banners. Thank you!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Emails should look nice too

Think of an email as, well, an E-lectronic piece of Mail. An E-Letter if you will. It should be formatted as such. When you write a letter do you separate paragraphs with space, or do you run all your sentences together?
Do you indent?
If you are making a point do you use

• bullets,




Well you can do all the same things in your email program, and you should.

Make it easy for someone to read the message, not just the words. How many times have you heard, “oh, you just can’t get the tone from an email.” ?? YES, you CAN! Use punctuation, formatting, even emoticons - those smiley, sad, or other faces. I use this when I feel embarrassed or confused- :/

With email being the primary way most of us communicate, we should be using it as an extension of our personalities.

Contact me if you have questions or want a quick lesson.
Thank you!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Custom Holiday Cards

The holidays are almost upon us - you KNOW Christmas begins after Halloween, right?
Think about custom cards for the holidays:
For business or personal...
  • party invitations
  • picture postcards
  • family shots to share with friends
  • thank you cards

Let me know if I can help!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Other uses for your Graphic Designer - part 1

Business just too slow to justify spending money on advertising for your business? Well, what about your personal life? If there is no work, that leaves plenty of time for playing! But your friends - and potential new friends - will want to know how to get in touch with you for parties, nights out, weekend trips, etc.

Have your graphic designer (ME) design your own personal calling card.

It can list all the regular info - your name, cell phone number, and email address - but how about adding your Facebook page, LinkedIn profile, blog and more?

Of course there should be a photo of you too, in case the person who took your card doesn't really remember you the next day.

Just call me when you are ready.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Attended Comic-Con for the first time yesterday...

Much to see. It was actually a little overwhelming, but some of the artwork was amazing and beautiful.
Saw Phil Tippett's "Mutantland". Very dark and graphic, but well done and a quite entertaining!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Business not what it used to be?

A potential client called me today (hopefully to become a current/active client!) asking about my services for marketing his business. We had so much in common. He’s been in business for 30 years and this is the first time he’s had to advertise. I’ve been in business for 14 years, and am now looking for successful advertising placement. He usually gets new business through referrals. Word of mouth used to be MY main source of new clients too. He said things slowed down for him a year and a half ago. That’s exactly when my business took a turn too. It made me feel better to know I'm not the only one.

When did your business start to fall off? – IF it has, and hopefully it hasn’t!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Excerpt from “Think And Grow Rich”, by Napoleon Hill

(This book offers a lot more than about how to accumulate money, it’s about changing your thoughts from negative to positive.)

Every adversity,
every failure
and every heartache
carries with it
the Seed
of an equivalent
or a greater

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Watching your budget, or "dollar cost averaging" your advertising dollars?

Would you rather cut your ad budget to save money now or potentially grow your business by 256-percent over the next five years? Research shows companies who maintain their advertising during a bad economy reap the rewards long after the recession is over. (taken from Not Maurice's LinkedIn post this morning. Thank you, Catherine, this is excellent information.)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

How much does a web site cost to create?

Check out this neat calculator, courtesy of an Internet find at with modifications by for Lins Graphics!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Referrals are the backbone of any business...

I'd like to recognize some of the wonderful people who are constantly referring me and keeping me afloat!:
Thank you!
I wish you continued success in your businesses!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Not much to say...

Work is slow and so I've been spending my time pounding the virtual pavement... making contacts, and hoping for more referrals. I've gotten a few - Thank you to my fans - but not all turn into paying projects. I'm talking to others who are experiencing similar extended slow times. So, I forge ahead, try to stay positive and try to stay involved.
If you have any suggestions, advice or ideas about how to market oneself in this prolonged downturn, I'd love to hear what you have to say.
Thank you!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Email formatting suggestions

I did a presentation to my networking group tonight about how to format an email so it gets read, or at least, if it only gets perused, that the main points will be absorbed.

Thank you to those who told me they thought it was very helpful and informative. I sort of got the “who knew?” response.

If you are interested, I can send my presentation via PDF. Just email me!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Drive A Lot? Take advantage of advertising real estate...

Automobile graphics. You've seen them. You are driving behind a box truck that has a fun image on the back door - it looks like the door is open and you are looking at the contents within. Or you see some nice colorful graphics on the side of a van... Why not simply advertise your business this way? Very inexpensively you can have your web site (or your logo) put on your back window. Check out this link for ideas:

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Entrepreneurs avoid burnout - tips passed on from the SBDC

Whether your company is in its fledgling stages or beyond, running a business is stressful. Many entrepreneurs suffer burnout-becoming so exhausted, they lose their entrepreneurial passion. Here are 10 tips to help you avoid burnout.

1. Keep a time log. For two weeks, write down how you spend your time. Which tasks take longer than they should? What are you wasting time on? What's consistently getting pushed to the bottom of your "to-do" list?

2. Prioritize. There's a saying that 80 percent of your results come from 20 percent of your efforts. Focus on those clients, projects and actions that give you the best return on investment.

3. Delegate. Many entrepreneurs burn out because they refuse to let go of any aspect of the business. As your company grows, you must bring on people to ease your burden. If you can't afford full-time employees, try outsourcing.

4. Set boundaries.Entrepreneurs don't work 9 to 5, but you must set limits so you're not focused on business 24 hours a day. For instance, you might set aside 90 minutes for dinner and family time every weeknight.

5. Take regular breaks. Powering through the workday without a break may seem efficient, but research shows that after 60 to 90 minutes of focus, your productivity peaks. Take a quick break to do something relaxing.

6. Take care of yourself. Proper diet, adequate sleep and regular exercise are essential to functioning at your peak. Making time for these things is an investment in your business.

7. Don't be afraid to say "no." It's hard to turn down work, but before you take on a new project, do a quick calculation of your return on investment. If the new job will cause total overload, it may be better to turn it down.

8. Hold weekly meetings. When you're swamped, meeting every week may seem like a waste of time. But that's exactly when you need to meet so you can assess, reprioritize and stay on track.

9. Make for yourself. Whether it's a long weekend, an afternoon off or an actual vacation, take time to rest and rejuvenate. Put time off on your calendar and treat it as you would any other appointment. You'll come back re-energized.

10. Get support. Being an entrepreneur can be lonely. You bear great responsibility, but often, there's no one to share your worries with. Bottled-up emotions accelerate burnout. Find someone you can talk to about your feelings, whether it's a mentor, a friend or a therapist.

Click here for PDF version

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Be grateful for each day

I know in the hustle bustle of life and work we forget to stop and actually appreciate what we have. I used to try to write down 5 things per day that I'm grateful for... this didn't last long.
I'm grateful for so much: my dog, my friends, my family, my health, a different wildflower that seems to bloom every new day on my morning hike... I just seem to forget to appreciate them consciously sometimes.
So, I'm just reminding you to look around and find appreciation in something.
In the future will you please remind me again too?
Thank you!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Love Mother Earth!

Happy Earth Day from Lins Graphics!

Happy Earth Day

Monday, April 19, 2010

Matching fonts not always easy

So, I had a challenge to match a font from an existing logo and line of copy... I tried with no luck. Then someone told me about and I couldn't find it there. I ended up posting it to several graphic design and font forums and still no luck. But I'm SURE it's a real font and not just drawn letters... However I had to end up recreating the lower case letters as upper case for the use the client needed it for. If you feel like a challenge. Contact me and I'll send you the letters in question...

Monday, April 12, 2010

Do you read my blog?

Mention this post and one other and I'll give you 20% off my services. That can be $20 off layout options for a simple business card, or $200 off a full page ad design, or more! Email me for details:

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Trying to match a font?

Here is a fun and easy way to try to identify that font in someone's logo, or in a headline, etc.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Look for my billboard and bus panel around San Diego and get free cream!

Look for these ads I designed, then go to their Facebook page and say where you saw it. They will send you a sample of their cream, while supplies last... The cream is really great.
Good luck!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Another Creative Outlet

Funny how things tend to go together and make new things possible... I mentioned that I got back into making jewelry... and that I finally got a PayPal account. Well, now I can easily post my creations, and if someone wants to buy something, they can pay online through PayPal.
Here is where I'm selling my stuff:

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Sign of the times

I broke down and got a PayPal account today. (I hate PayPal due to a bad experience 5 years ago - contact me if you want to know...)

I just had a client bounce a check on me - first one in 13 years! I understand it was an oversight. We are all tight on cash these days. The PayPal account was a way to get paid instantly.

On a good note - if you LIKE to pay with PayPal, I now have an account and you are welcome to pay your invoice that way! :-)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

I know times are tough... but COME ON!

I'm currently seeking new clients. I look everywhere, I ask for referrals, I advertise and like any modern designer, I check Craig's List postings.
I can't believe how many people ask for something for free, or close to it. It's almost insulting. "Need cutting edge, top dog designer for new logo. Will look great in your portfolio. No pay."
Do they realize that
1 - it costs us money to do our jobs - we pay thousands of dollars for our computers, our software, our high end laser printers, and most of us keep up with the technology, software updates and industry standards. This is all stuff we have to pay for - why should we hand it over for free to a complete stranger? There actually are several legitimate business people out there willing to pay for good design, so I'll skip those that aren't.
2 - do they have such a low opinion of their own worth that they don't realize the worth of another's time and talents?
3 - you get what you pay for.

Please help me spread the word that no matter what you do for a living, you are worth compensation. Even non-profit organizations respect this.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Pay for a print quote?

I had the strangest experience. I'm trying to price out the printing for a two color job - yes, old fashioned, 2 pantone colors - NOT 4 color process match.
The first printer I called said he really didn't want to spend the time but that I could pay $50 for him to estimate it! I never did find out if that $50 is then applied to the price of the printing if he gets the job...

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Get involved

I have to say - things have picked up since I’ve gotten involved...
I joined my local chamber, found some networking groups, attended meetups and mixers, etc.
You will be amazed by how many people you meet that can help you with your business/job search either by providing a service that you need to further your career, or actually lead you to work - either directly or through referrals. Remember the 6 degrees of separation game? Well it is especially important in business. They always say: it's not what you know, but WHO you know. So, get out and meet people and get to know them!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Hard times getting easier?

I'm definitely getting a little busier thanks to some virtual pavement pounding... I'm taking on new projects, but the big difference is I'm having to work for much less money. I'm not complaining - I'm happy for the work. I can still get by, so that's good, but I'm working longer hours. In the past when I got busy, I would hire one of my wonderful free-lancers to help with the work load, but I just can't afford to do that right now. I hope things change for the better, for everyone, so I can help others while helping myself. I think they already are.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Jewelry for sale

Things are slow, business-wise, so we entrepreneurs look to other ways to make money. I make jewelry. Usually I make it for fun, for myself and for gifts, but it's all on sale now!
Here are a few samples. Contact me if you are interested in seeing more.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Cross Platform font problems?

Calling all designers - I'm on a mac and sometimes my clients are on PCs and want the files to make their own changes. But if I'm using Adobe Postscript fonts, then they have problems. How do you deal with this? I'd love your input. Thanks!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Networking in a recession

I attended a wonderful seminar this morning about selling yourself in recessionary times. It was put on by the East County and Santee chambers. Great bunch of people, as usual, but more importantly, a valuable way to spend my time. Rose Avila of RMA Consulting spoke to us and gave us some tips. She also reminded us that Marketing is not the same as Selling, and what we need to be doing now is Sales. I haven't had to sell myself in 13 years. I have always gotten work by word of mouth, and a lot of repeat business. Things are a'changin'. Rose gave us the Stages of a sale, which begins with establishing a trusting relationship with someone. The new business may come from that person, or through X degrees of separation by way of a referral or other introduction. Everyone who attended shared ideas about how they are looking for new business, whether it be from social networking, to advertising, to cold calling, to offering incentives to those who refer us for new business. That will be my next email blast - some type of valuable offer to bring me a new customer. I'll let you know how it goes.

Lins Graphics is THIRTEEN!

Yesterday was the official 13 year anniversary of Lins Graphics. Established in 1997, I started providing graphic design and production services to entertainment companies. Now I support small businesses, credit unions, restaurants and anyone else who wants to work with me.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT. I couldn't have done it without my clients, friends and colleagues who were encouraging and motivational!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Help Haiti - it's easy

Text "Haiti" to 90999 on your cell. It donates $10 to the Red Cross for relief efforts.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

East County Chamber & La Mesa Chamber event last night

It was Hooley's one year anniversary at their location in Grossmont Center. The owner was honored, there was great food and music, and a LOT of people attended. I met some other members of the chambers and made some good connections. I miss the LAX chamber, but this one seems to have the same quality of people. I'm happy to be a part of the East County Chamber now.
Join your local chamber, it's great for getting involved.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Super Bowl

Which commercial was your favorite?

Friday, February 5, 2010

East County Chamber of Commerce

I attended a first Friday breakfast this morning and met some other business owners and heard some great speakers. The East County Chamber looks like it will be a good fit for me. Join me some time at an event.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Email blast scheduled for the morning!

I just sent my first official email blast. It's not working exactly as I'd like, but I'll work out the kinks as I go. I just want the links in the email to work like they do in a web browser. Any suggestions? The email CAN be opened in a web browser where all the links work beautifully. All comments are welcome - positive OR negative. Thank you!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Thank you, Universe! And Gordon at Discount Printing!

I got 3 new projects and three new clients this week. I also joined a networking group and met some wonderful people. One of them was Joan Whalen (Wedding planner/coordinator/consultant) whose wise words are holding true. She's been through 6 recessions in her career/lifetime and assures us that things will bounce back and if you stand strong and keep plugging away, you'll come out on top. Thank you, Joan! That's what I'm trying to do!

Friday, January 29, 2010

"Did you ever stop to think, and forget to start again?"
–Winnie the Pooh

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Jury Duty - waiting game today

The judge came out and told us that we should all be proud of ourselves for being part of the greatest justice system in the world. He says jury is getting so great (I'm typing this with the free wifi they are providing in the jury lounge), that soon we will have to pay to serve! Seriously, I'm happy to be doing my civic duty. I know if I have ever have to go to trial, I don't want slackers representing me.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Quote about life

I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing.


Saturday, January 23, 2010

These Really Work - Home Remedies









Thursday, January 21, 2010

Quote about patience

I can’t find the source for this one, but I think it’s often relevant...

“Patience is waiting. Not passively waiting. That is laziness. But to keep going when the going is hard and slow - that is patience.”

Monday, January 18, 2010

SAVE THE DATE! The party is ON!

My annual client-appreciation party will be Friday, February 19, 6:00pm - 10:00pm at the Castaway in Burbank AGAIN. (the only difference this year is the open bar will ONLY be from 6:30-9:30pm)

It's been a tough year, and continues to be rough, for a lot of us.
So more of a reason to cut loose, or relax, and give each other moral support!

Use it as a networking event, or a reunion, or whatever helps you have the best time possible!

If you are going to be in Los Angeles, or can make arrangements to be, let me know if I can help.

I'll be sending out an Evite for your RSVPs.

Thank you for your continued patronage!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Quote about career

My father taught me always to do more than you gat paid for as an investment in your future.
– Jim Rohn

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Quote about character

“Your reputation is in the hands of others. That’s what a reputation is. You can’t control that. The only thing you can control is your character.”
–Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Quote about wealth

“At least eighty percent of millionaires are self-made.That is,they started with nothing but ambition and energy,the same way most of us start. ”
– Brian Tracy

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Rate my site - receive a Starbucks card!

Please rate my site, my work and me here: Alexa

Thank you for your time!

Need to find a company’s vector logo fast?

I have found this site very helpful:
Brands of the World.

They have many of the most popular company brands and logos and a few of the not-so-popular.

Happy New Year!

2009 was tough for many. Me included. So welcome 2010 and let me reinvent myself. I will still give the same friendly service with fast turnaround and well-built files, but will offer more. This blog for one, and more of my time to you. I can’t promise monthly lunches, but I will follow up with phone calls to see if you need anything. I will also offer incentives for your referrals. Starbucks card? Lunch at a local restaurant? Cash? It all depends on the referral and if the business relationship continues. And believe me, I WILL do what I can to make it last.

As usual, I will be the networking queen. You may already have a link from my web site to yours. I would love for you to return the favor if it’s in your control.

Please check back to my blog periodically. I’ll send reminders and I hope to be able to make it worth your while, whether it’s valuable information, or to provide a good laugh. The world knows we can always use a good laugh.

Thank you for being part of my business and part of my life.