Lessons Learned (3/6/17 )

This past week, we have been putting together and finalizing our websites for our online business. I chose to use my music as my online business so I can learn how to market my business/music and generate traffic to my new website and hopefully generate some more fans and customers.

This past week was a bit overwhelming due to a lot of technical errors and issues with my domain name transfer and, also,  due to technicalities on the hosting end of things. But, I was finally able to fix all the problems and start building my site.

I chose to use WordPress as my website builder and BlueHost as my hosting site. Before I chose this, we were learning the differences between website builders and hosting sites. Before this topic and conversation, I didn’t know the difference between website builders and hosting sites. I always just used the website builder as the hosting site as well, but I learned you can generate a better website with less money using a different host. That was a great lesson learned that I’ll be able to use in the near future with updating my site and hopefully start building more websites over time.

  • Bluehost: https://www.bluehost.com
  • WordPress: https://wordpress.org (WordPress dot Org is what I’m using, not WordPress dot Com)

I also have been learning to use WordPress. Beforehand, I was using WebsiteBuilder which is much simpler than WordPress. It has been a stressful week trying to figure out all the tools on WordPress and trying to learn how to create and design specific pages by adding text, widgets, images, videos, etc. Over time, I really am loving WordPress because of how creative I can be! Plus there seems to be a YouTube video for everything I’m struggling with on WordPress, so that’s super nice!

  • Link to my new site: https://matthewrappmusic.com

We also have been picking up and practicing using Google Adwords. This is still pretty new to me and I’m still learning the basics, but what I have learned so far is how to set up a campaign. We are able to use a handful of “keywords” (what people can search in Google) to create a Ad Group for my specific landing page (my website). Then we are able to create Ads that will pop up when people search those keywords. I’m excited to learn more about Google Adwords so I, hopefully, can generate more fans and customers of my music.

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Web Page Mockup Project

webdesign_mockup_final

DESCRIPTION

Design a website ‘Home’ page for the company used/created for our Brand Identity Project.

PROCESS (Programs, Tools, Skills, FOCUS principles)

  1. I started looking around at other clothing company websites to look for any inspiration on how I wanted to design the ‘Home’ page for the sock company “Feck”.
  2. Then, I started sketching out wireframes to help design the ‘Home’ page.
  3. After creating the wireframe on paper, I then went into Adobe Illustrator and redesigned a similar version of the wireframe I created on paper.
  4. After designing my wireframe in Illustrator, I started designing the actual ‘Home’ page using Illustrator.
  5. My ‘Home’ page ended up being a bit different than my wireframe after all the critiques and updates I put into my design. Below are images.

wireframe_2finalwireframe_matthewrapp

CRITIQUE PROCESS

We got together in groups during our last class and helped critique each other’s draft. Everybody was super helpful and suggested good ideas and critiques to help make my site look more professional. One suggested that I made the social media icons smaller and move them closer to the logo. Another person suggested I made the background color a light gray instead of white to make it pop a little bit more. Lastly, somebody mentioned I move my logo, in my head, to the center to make it show a bit more.

All critiques and thoughts I used in my final draft.

MESSAGE

To make colorful, creatively designed socks more trendy and popular.

AUDIENCE

Anybody interested in wearing cool, colorful, creatively designed socks.

TOP THING LEARNED

Using white space to my advantage and making sure that you are able to show the purpose of your company as best as you can in the most simple way. Keeping the web site design simple, easy to navigate through, and straight forward.

COLOR SCHEME & COLOR NAMES

Monochromatic // Black, White, & Gray

TITLE FONT NAME & CATEGORY

Myriad Pro // Sans Serif

COPY FONT NAME & CATEGORY

Myriad Pro // Sans Serif

THUMBNAILS OF ANY ORIGINAL, UNEDITED IMAGE(S) USED IN THE PROJECT

hu-nh-t-n-h-u-128665jake-ingle-140416megan-lewis-204933

SOURCE OF EACH IMAGE

Logo is my own // All Images from http://Unsplash.com //

  • First Photo by: Hayun Tan Hau
  • Second Photo by: Jake Ingle
  • Third Photo by: Megan Lewis

Putting It All Together – 2

Lately, I’ve been really captured  by the topic of Repentance. During class, we really got into this subject and I’m glad we did. I think this topic is one of the most, if not the most, important subject of the Mormon religion.

In 3 Nephi 11 verse 32 it says, “And this is my doctrine, and it is the doctrine which the father hath given unto me; and I bear record of the Father, and the Father beareth record of me, and the Holy Ghost beareth record of the Father and me; and I bear record that the Father commandeth all men, everywhere, to repent and believe in me.”

This scripture alone, I think, really exclaims the important of repentance and coming unto Christ when doing so. Through Christ, we can be forgiven for anything. I truly believe that our Heavenly Father really is forgiving and that by choosing Christ and by striving to do our best each and every day, we can return to live with our Heavenly Father.

In Moroni 6 verse 7-8, it explains that we are not able to return to live with our Heavenly Father and not able to be in his presence as long as we don’t repent, but if we repent with real intent, no matter how many times we have to repent, we can be forgive. It says, “7) And they were strict to observe that there should be no iniquity among them; and whoso was found to commit iniquity, and three witnesses of the church did condemn them before the elders, and if they repented not, and confessed not, their names were blotted out, and they were not numbered among the people of Christ. 8) But as oft as they repented and sought forgiveness, with real intent, they were forgiven.” I love that scripture. God is truly a merciful God and that scripture really shows that.

“The gift of the Atonement of Jesus Christ provides us at all times and at all places with the blessings of repentance and forgiveness” (Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf). By choosing Christ we all can be forgiven of our sins and transgressions. God wants the best for us all, I truly believe that. I also believe that we can be forgiven for anything! I believe that God has already forgiven us for everything we’ve already done and everything we will do; I don’t think we would all be here, living this life, if that wasn’t the case. But I do believe that we have to want to be forgiven and that we have to truly want change and to better ourself for the mercy of God to take place. If we give our all, Christ and his Atonement will take care of the rest. I truly believe that.

And I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

 

Business Identity Project

 

DESCRIPTION

Create a logo for a business or company to help establish an identity that can that business get started and grow.

PROCESS (Programs, Tools, Skills, FOCUS principles)

  1. I first started messing around with the tools in Adobe Illustrator to help get more familiar with the program.
  2. I thought about and then picked what kind of business I am designing a logo for.
  3. I then started putting together logo ideas using several of the tools in illustrator. I came up with 3 different logos. Below are the logos I designed.

    logos_final
    Logos
  4. I then critiqued the logo myself and got some critiques from my classmates and friends to help decide what logo to move forward with.
  5. I originally chose the symbol logo, but also decided to use the type logo as well because they were both so similar and could be used at different times, depending on what the logo is used for.
  6. I, then, created the letterhead and business card.

CRITIQUE PROCESS

I met with 3 other classmates during my class for critiques. They all mentioned some great critiques. One mentioned making sure the logo has the same text on “eck” every time it’s used. Before I had the font different, a little bit, each time depending on how big or small the logo needed to be. Another mentioned adding color to the logo and I really liked the idea, but decided to keep it black and white because I wanted to keep it very simple because of what the logo is gonna be used for. Color can be changed over time depending on the background or what the logo is on. Another added using a really opaque water mark on the letterhead, which I’m glad they mentioned. I think it looks a lot better with the watermark.

MESSAGE

A fun message for a clothing company called “Feck”. This clothing company makes socks, boxers, shirts, sweaters, and jackets.

AUDIENCE

Men, ages 14-35 // Woman, ages 14-18 (high school)

TOP THING LEARNED

Simplicity within a logo & being able to use 1 logo for multiple things.

COLOR SCHEME & COLOR NAMES

Complimentary // Black & White // Logo is designed to be able to be put on all colors of clothing.

TITLE FONT NAME & CATEGORY

Myriad Pro // Sans-Serif

COPY FONT NAME & CATEGORY

Myriad Pro // Sans-Serif

THUMBNAILS OF ANY ORIGINAL, UNEDITED IMAGE(S) USED IN THE PROJECT

N/A

SOURCE OF EACH IMAGE (website name and hyperlink)

I designed the graphics.

Putting It All Together – 1

Something that really stuck with me since I started the Book of Mormon class was a lesson we had very recently on The Atonement of Jesus Christ. The Atonement has been such a huge blessing in my life and I know it will only be more beneficial in my life the more I learn about it. It is so complex, yet so simple and such a wonderful gift from our Heavenly Father and our Savior, Jesus Christ.

“There is no sin or transgression, pain or sorrow, which is outside of the healing power of His Atonement” (C. Scott Grow of the Seventy). This quote really filled me with emotions once reading it. My whole life I’ve struggled with my own conscious of feeling guilty and hopeless, but I know that our Heavenly Father would not want us to feel that way. I have loved ones who have walked away from the Gospel due to an overwhelming amount of guilt that filled their lives, but I know that’s not God’s doing. Satan has a way of making us feel unnecessary guilt, but it’s through the Atonement where we can get rid of that guilt and be wiped clean of our sins in the eyes of our Heavenly Father. I’ve also learned, through my own trials and through influential people in my life, that the Atonement is something we should use everyday. The Atonement isn’t just for repenting of our sins, but it’s also something we can lean on when having a tough time or when needing guidance and/or direction.

Alma 7: 13-14 says: 13) “Now the Spirit knoweth all things; nevertheless the Son of God suffereth according to the flesh that he might take upon him the sins of his people, that he might blot out their transgressions according to the power of his deliverance; and now behold, this is the testimony which is in me.” 14) “Now I say unto you that ye must repent, and be born again; for the Spirit saith if ye are not born again ye cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven; therefore come and be baptized unto repentance, that ye may have faith on the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world, who is mighty to save and to cleanse from all unrighteousness.” This scripture really shows how great of a sacrifice our Savior made for us. When feeling overwhelmed with my daily tasks or specific struggles I’m having, I really like to turn to these verses just to remind myself of how amazing our Savior and His Atonement is.

The Atonement, in many ways, has been my rock. The Atonement has been, in many occasions, that little hope in my life that carries me through a rough day or trail. It’s also been something I lean on in good times as well, making sure I stay humble and to always remember what’s important. Our Heavenly Father is so merciful and I’m so thankful. If he didn’t sacrifice his only begotten son to atone for us, we’d have no way to return to live with our Heavenly Father. The Savior and His Atonement is my rock and my foundation to why I live and what I live for. His example and sacrifice keeps me going when the times get rough. I truly have such a huge testimony of The Atonement. I believe that everybody can return to live with our Heavenly Father through The Atonement. I believe that anybody carrying any sin, that has a broken heart and contrite spirit, can be forgive through Christ’s Atonement. I’m truly thankful for the blessing to have obtained the knowledge of The Atonement. I love my Savior with all my heart. And I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

 

Montage Project

montagep_final_1

Description

Create an inspirational poster montage using a blend of images and type.

Process (Programs, Tools, Skills, FOCUS Principles)

At the start, I wasn’t too sure how exactly I wanted to create this montage. I love reading quotes and poems so I had a few already in mind, but then I came across this quote. I read this quote in a very stressing time in my life. As soon as I decided to use this quote, I knew I had to make this montage a bit more personal. Here is the process I went through when creating this montage:

  1. I first found the quote I really liked.
  2. Then, I searched and found a picture online that I thought related to what I wanted the montage to say.
  3. I, then, used a personal picture of myself and blended both of the pictures in Photoshop to create the montage effect. I used the brush tool and a few layering masks to get the two pictures to blend well together.
  4. After, I added the quote with text and changed the font size and style, making sure I followed the design principles I was taught in class.

Critique Process

I met with a group of guys, Luke Andersen, Nick Bojorquez, Alex Socarras and they all helped critique the rough draft of my montage. They helped in critique my montage by giving their personal opinions on how I could make my montage better, but also critiquing the typography. Luke suggested that I blend the picture of myself into the other picture a little more and to try to get rid of a lot of the picture outside of my face. That really helped clean it up quite a bit. Nick suggested that I switch the face and the quote, aligning and placing the quote on the left side and moving the picture of myself to the right side. I tried it and liked it, but the weeds really got in the way of the quote and it made the picture of myself stick out more than the quote, and that wasn’t what I was wanting the montage to do. But I really liked his critique there and I’m glad I tried it so I could really compare the two ways. Alex suggested fixing the position of the picture of myself in the montage. He thought it would look better dropping the face and aligning the picture to the bottom of the montage instead of more towards the top. I really liked it when I tried it, but the weeds were really hiding the picture and made the whole montage seem crowded. So I decided to lower it a little bit without making it seem crowded.

Message

An inspirational quote that really helped me get through a tougher time in my life.

Audience

People who really like to feel inspired and really need an uplifting message to help them get through a tough time in their life.

Top Thing Learned

Really paying attention to the opacity of the brush and how brushing a photo can really make the difference between a great montage and a bad one.

Color Scheme & Color Names

Analogous // Yellow, Orange, and Red

Font Name, Size & Category

Didot // 64 // Serif

Thumbnails Of Any Original, Unedited Image(s) Used In The Project

Source Of Each Image (Website Name)

First Image: Unsplash.com, Picture by Michal Dzierza

Second Image: RappPhotography.com, Picture by Stephanie Rapp

Lessons Learned (1/22/17)

This was the first week of Web Business Creation. Although it was an overwhelming load of information, I really learned a lot.

I am going to write on my personal reflections and what I learned about creating and running an online business.

This week we really emphasized the importance of Business Models and Ideas. We discussed whether it is better to pick a business model first or to pick a business idea first. There isn’t a right or wrong way to do it, but discussing both ways really made me come to the conclusion that I think having a business idea first would work better. First, I think it is really important to get into or create a business selling something you’d enjoy selling and being around. I don’t think a business can last long if you don’t enjoy working it. Second, I think it is easier to pick a business model based of your idea. I would have a tough time picking a specific idea based off a business model, especially picking one that I would enjoy creating and working. Below I attached some useful links to help put together a business idea/model.

I also learned a lot this week discussing Demand and Competition. Demand is “a customer’s desire and willingness to pay a price for specific good” (http://www.investopedia.com/terms/d/demand.asp). Competition is “the rivalry among sellers trying to achieve such goals as increasing profits, market share, and sales volume by varying the elements of the marketing mix: price, product, distribution, and promotion” (http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/competition.html). Both are very important when deciding a business idea. You want to study up on the demand and competition of a certain product or idea as much as you can before you decide to invest into selling that product or idea. A good way to figure out some of that information is through Google Adwords. We learned how to use it this last week and I think it will be very helpful for me and my future as an online business owner. Google Adwords can show you the demand and competition of the product by giving you statistics of people searching for that product or idea online. We learned how to use it a little bit this last week, but there are several things you can learn through Google Adwords that we haven’t touched on, yet. I’m excited to really dive into learning more of that resource and using it to my full advantage.