Word Swag Photo Quote ExampleRead Word Swag: Make Beautiful Photo Quotes In Minutes
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Word Swag: Make Beautiful Photo Quotes In Minutes

Have you ever wanted to share a beautiful quote on your blog or via social media? You know the ones I am talking about — the quote images with the eye-catching background images and cool typography…

If so, I’d like to introduce you to Word Swag, an app that automatically turns your words into beautiful photo text designs with awesome typography.

With Word Swag, you can create custom quote images to use on your blog, in print, via text, and on social media in seconds. And the app isn’t just for quotes, you can use any text you want, so it could be used to create birthday greetings, thank you notes, and more.

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Iconic Responsive SVG Icon SetRead Iconic Responsive Icon Font Set
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Iconic Responsive Icon Font Set

As part of the Bourn Creative site redesign, I created our own custom icon font set to use in the site. It was the first time I had gone through this process and it was much easier that I thought it would be. The most difficult part was selecting the final icons to include in the set.

During the research for our own custom icon font, Brian stumbled across Iconic. He sent me the link and I was enthralled. I even shared the resource as my Bar Trick on DradCast.

Iconic is billed as an icon set designed for the modern web. It’s a multi-weight, responsive, SVG icon font designed within a grid, so it produces sharp, optimized, consistent icons.

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“Users will tell you what they think they want. Users will tell you what they think you want to hear. Users will tell you what they think sounds good. Users will NOT tell you what you need to know. You have to watch them to discover that.”

Adam Judge
UX KitsRead Three Examples of Customer Service Done Right
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Three Examples of Customer Service Done Right

I’m a salesperson’s nightmare. I hate overly-forward, overly-friendly salespeople. I despise being interrupted when shopping, I can’t stand a sales woman in a clothing store shadowing me or suggesting outfits for me based on an assumption she made when I walked in the door.

Needless to say, that when it comes to customer service, I’m a little (okay a lot) jaded as more often than not I am disappointed by companies with a lack of service, poor service, or poorly trained staff delivering a service.

But every once in a while there are companies who stand out from the sea of checkbox-ticking and clock-punching — companies who go the extra mile to show you they care and invest in their relationships with clients and customers.

These companies get it. They understand what it means to deliver great customer service. They understand that they can cultivate loyalty and create raving fans with small gestures that make big differences.

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Make screenshots fast with PaparazziRead Screenshot Tool: Paparazzi!
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Screenshot Tool: Paparazzi!

Per their website, Paparazzi! is a small utility for Mac that makes screenshots of webpages written in Objective-C using the Cocoa API and the WebKit framework.

But really who cares about that?!

This program is by far one of my all time favorite and I use it almost every day. Paparazzi! allows me to quickly take screenshots of complete web pages (yes, the entire page) at any browser size I want, from desktop to iPhone. It’s not fancy, but that’s what I like about it.

Below you’ll see screenshots of how it works and the settings available.

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Brian Bourn WP Tonic PodcastRead Brian Bourn Joins The WP Tonic Podcast For A Discussion About WordPress Theme Frameworks
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Brian Bourn Joins The WP Tonic Podcast For A Discussion About WordPress Theme Frameworks

This past weekend, I was invited to be part of a live panel discussion on WordPress Frameworks “The Good The Bad And The Ugly” on the WP Tonic Podcast hosted by Jonathan Denwood and Bill Conrad.

Watch The Episode

WordPress and Jetpack

The episode got started with a conversation about what’s happening in the WordPress community, and specifically, Matt Mullenweg’s comments about WordPress and Jetpack (a single plugin with more than 30 modules built in, some of which are paid, some are free, and some rely on WordPress.com, developed by Automattic) at PressNomics.

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Making Cookies Is Like Designing A WebsiteRead Web Design: Same Recipe Different Cookie
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Web Design: Same Recipe Different Cookie

Mmmmm homemade cookies. M&M cookies. Thick, chewy cookies with lots of M&Ms. Delicious.

This past weekend, I spent three hours at Panera with my kids playing games. We had two new games to learn, so we had to play them each at least twice — once for practice and once for real — and if they are really fun, we play them a third time.

When my son couldn’t decide whether to get a chocolate chip muffin top or an M&M cookie for his game snack, I made the choice easy and offered to make M&M cookies when we got home. (If you didn’t know, they are just chocolate chip cookies with M&Ms used instead.)

But over the years I have had to tweak ALL of my recipes.

Why? I grew up in a family who liked crunchy cookies, and now I have a family who loves soft, chewy cookies. I had to adapt my recipes because over time, things change.

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“Unsolicited redesigns are terrific and fun and useful, and I hope designers never stop doing them. But as they do so, I also hope they remember it helps no one — least of all the author of the redesign — to assume the worst about the original source and the people who work hard to maintain and improve it, even though those efforts may seem imperfect from the outside.”

Khoi Vinh
Join UsRead We’re Looking For An Experienced Front-End Developer
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We’re Looking For An Experienced Front-End Developer

Have you ever checked out our site, sent a link to a site we built, or read one of our blog posts and thought to yourself, “Man, I’d love to work with Bourn Creative.”

Do you also happen to be a front-end developer who loves design, or maybe a designer who discovered that they really love writing code — one who is tired of working alone and wants to grow in a supportive team environment?

We’re Hiring!

We’re looking for an experienced front-end developer to join our team — one with a sharp designer’s eye and a keen attention to detail.

More specifically, we’re looking for a front-end developer with experience with PSD to custom WordPress theme projects who is comfortable with agile, in-browser, responsive design to work alongside Brian.

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Weclome Clients With an Onboarding ProcessRead How To Implement A New Client Onboarding Process And Set Expectations
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How To Implement A New Client Onboarding Process And Set Expectations

Yesterday I spoke at the East Bay WordPress Meetup about onboarding new clients, setting clear expectations, and creating systems.

When I published a post announcing the talk, I received inquiries — through Twitter, Facebook, direct email, and our website contact form — asking if the session would be recorded or if I would be sharing the information.

Clearly this is a topic that many in our community are interested in!

As I shared during my session with Chris Lema in the 2014 WordCamp LA business track, we have spent countless hours creating, refining, testing, and tweaking our own multi-step processes for several different service offerings.

This talk, recapped in detail below, was an overview of the new client onboarding process we use for our custom WordPress web design projects, including:

  • What new client onboarding is and why it is critical to the success of the project
  • How to create added-value for clients before even getting started
  • What components are encompassed in a successful onboarding campaign
  • Why setting clear expectations early and often will improve your client relationships
  • What most service providers overlook when creating an onboarding process
  • How to create your own process and strategies for implementation

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East Bay WordPress MeetupRead Onboarding New Clients And Setting Expectations
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Onboarding New Clients And Setting Expectations

Sacramento WordPress meet East Bay WordPress. I’m excited to share that I will be speaking at the East Bay WordPress Meetup on Sunday, January 18, 2015 about on boarding new clients and setting expectations.

Onboarding New Clients And Setting Expectations

You’ve closed the sale, landed a new client, and received the signed contract — but then what? How do you onboard new clients to ensure everyone is on the same page, you have all the information you need, and clients feel the value in your services before even getting started?

In this talk, you’ll get a first-hand look at a successful onboarding process and learn how you can create and automate your own process and set crystal clear expectations with your clients up front.

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Motherhood Simplified Video Podcast InterviewRead Motherhood Simplified: Juggling Work & Family
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Motherhood Simplified: Juggling Work & Family

Most often when invited to speak at a live event or conference, on a teleseminar or webinar, or a podcast or radio show, I am asked to speak about business related topics, including:

  • Website strategy
  • Design
  • WordPress
  • Business Systems and Processes
  • Content Strategy / Blogging

Rarely do I have the opportunity to talk about mommy stuff and the messy attempts to achieve balance between work and family, but that is exactly what I got to do with Katie O’Brien.

Katie, known as the simplicity coach for mom entrepreneurs, invited me to be a guest in her Motherhood Simplified Interview Series spotlighting inspirational moms.

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Jennifer Bourn Unemployable Woman Podcast Interview and Magazine FeatureRead Strategic TLC For Your Website
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Strategic TLC For Your Website

Recently I was invited to be a featured contributor in the latest issue of Unemployable Woman Magazine and a guest on the Unemployable Woman Podcast.

Initially I wasn’t going to say yes because I don’t identify or think of myself as unemployable, but when I learned about the premise and focus of the magazine and podcast — to provide rock-solid business building advice to strong women entrepreneurs blazing their own paths — how could I possibly say no?!

Plus, this is my 10th year in business and resources just like this helped me quite a bit as I was growing this company. So like those I learned from before, I am exited to be part of a great resource for other evolving entrepreneurs.

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Jennifer Bourn Art Institute of California SacramentoRead The Thinking Behind Design, A Talk At The Art Institute of California, Sacramento
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The Thinking Behind Design, A Talk At The Art Institute of California, Sacramento

Recently, Brian and I were honored to speak to graphic design and web design students at the Art Institute of California, Sacramento.

After bumping into my friend Bill Mead, their Director of Design at WordCamp San Francisco and chatting about what we’ve been up to, we both agreed that sharing a case study of our rebrand with students would provide them with a unique behind-the-scenes look of a redesign.

Designing from scratch is an entirely different beast, than redesigning an existing brand with reputation equity, perception equity, and SEO equity, as well as years of existing content and analytics data. With that in mind, we agreed that rather than another how-to talk, we’d focus on the thinking behind the work.

In this presentation — focused on the thinking behind our website redesign — Brian and I shared:

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"I go to work every morning with the possibility that I might learn something I don’t already know… You should look at every problem and think, 'what can I learn by doing this?' And if you think you can learn nothing, forget about doing it."

Milton Glaser
Brian Bourn Speaking at the Sacramento WordPress MeetupRead Check Out The Sacramento WordPress Meetup Group
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Check Out The Sacramento WordPress Meetup Group

Live near Sacramento and want to learn more about WordPress? Check out the Sacramento WordPress Meetup group — and I don’t just say that because Brian and I are two of the co-organizers.

The Sacramento WordPress Meetup happens the first Tuesday of every month and has grown into a great community of designers, developers, consultants, copywriters, bloggers, business owners, and end users. We meet for informal networking at 6:30 pm, get started with out talks at 7:00 pm, and get anywhere from 25-50 attendees.

The meetup operates on a four month cycle, with the general format of:

  • A developer focused talk (about 45 minutes)
  • A designer/user focused talk (about 45 minutes)
  • Lightning talks (3-4 talks, about 7-10 minutes each)
  • A happiness bar / workshop style event (give & get help)

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WordCamp San Francisco 2014Read WordCamp San Francisco Recap and The State Of The Word 2014
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WordCamp San Francisco Recap and The State Of The Word 2014

Ah WordCamp San Francisco, the mothership of WordCamps. The two-day event focused around WordPress, was the largest WordCamp San Francisco to date with about 1,000 attendees, and all three rounds of tickets selling out same day. Thank goodness that as a speaker I got to snag my ticket in advance, and that Brian got his in the first round!

Planned Beautifully

The event, organized by Andrea Middleton and her team, was planned beautifully — even with a fire alarm and building evacuation on the first day.

Registration and t-shirt pick up were both fast and easy, the schedule was kept on time and was updated when there were changes — and the food (especially the chili) was great. Thanks for the vegan/vegetarian/dairy-free options and for posting the menus in advance!

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Bourn Creative RedesignRead A Rebrand, A Redesign, And A Vision For The Future
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A Rebrand, A Redesign, And A Vision For The Future

Let’s just get it out there — I never loved our logo.

The copyediting concept was just a quick idea and great play on our name that Brian came up with when filing our business paperwork. I mocked it up and went with it to get the business off the ground, never intending to keep it. But everyone we met loved it. People raved about it at conferences and networking events when they asked for my card, they raved about it when calling about new projects, and over time, it just stuck.

For the first several years Bourn Creative existed, I was by myself. The colorful rainbow branding we’ve had for years evolved out of my love of color and my desire for something other than the logo to represent me, because at the time, I was the business. I loved the color, the positive feedback, and the praise we received from others about how much they loved it.

Then Brian joined Bourn Creative and took over the company as CEO and all WordPress development, and the brand had to evolve. It didn’t represent a company, but me and my freelance history. So we redesigned the Bourn Creative site, simplifying the rainbows. And about 18 months later, we did it again to “man up” the brand even more. But…

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Jennifer Bourn Speaking at WordCamp San FranciscoRead WordCamp San Francisco 2014: Champion Purpose Driven Design in Client Work
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WordCamp San Francisco 2014: Champion Purpose Driven Design in Client Work

WordCamp San Francisco — the event, the talks, the people, the fun — was amazing.

I was honored to be selected as a speaker for the flagship WordCamp event and to give a talk alongside some of the most talented people I know and new people I was lucky to meet.

This year, WordCamp San Francisco did something a little different. Instead of each session featuring one speaker, giving a longer talk, they peppered in lightning talk sessions throughout the event, each featuring short 5 minute talks by three different speakers. I spoke in the design and business lightning talk session with Taylor Aldridge and Tracy Levesque.

My five minutes were dedicated to designers and encouraging designers to champion their design and be the expert they are hired to be.

In a world where web design can quickly turn to web decoration, designers are problem solvers who must not only lead clients through the creative process, but protect the integrity of the solutions they deliver. With an abundance of options readily available, it is imperative that designers step up and become the voices of, and champions for purpose driven design, where each element has a specific purpose and only the elements needed to compel action are included. No more, no less.

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Prestige ConferenceRead Prestige Conference Recap: When Like-Minded People Get Honest
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Prestige Conference Recap: When Like-Minded People Get Honest

Imagine a small, intimate setting where you’re surrounded only by like-minded people willing to invest in their careers, businesses, and success. Imagine all of those people working in the same space you are, but in different capacities and different ways, with different types of clients. Imagine being able to talk with them openly and honestly, to get real feedback and fresh perspectives, and to really have the opportunity to talk shop and learn.

Sounds amazing right?

This is exactly what I experienced at Prestige Conference. Prestige is a business & career development conference geared towards freelancers, entrepreneurs, and small shops operating in the digital marketplace.

I was thrilled to have been invited to speak alongside some ridiculously talented and accomplished business owners, and I knew the event would bring the value with Kiko Doran and Josh Broton at the helm. But what I didn’t expect was how different the event felt in comparison to a large WordCamp.

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Jennifer Bourn On The Matt Report PodcastRead Matt Report: Client Onboarding, Automation, Growing a Business
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Matt Report: Client Onboarding, Automation, Growing a Business

Recently I joined Matt Medeiros for an episode of the Matt Report Podcast, where we spoke about what it takes to go from freelancer to agency and the shifts you need to make, how to leverage more of your time using automation, and we also spend some time chatting about getting new clients, payment terms, and those pesky red flags that pop up!

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"The design you are looking for is not in the portfolio. Their portfolio is a record of problems they’ve solved for other people, with those other people’s constraints, and those other people’s budgets. And it reflects those other people’s brands.

Hiring a designer is like hiring a tailor. You look at their previous work to see the quality of their work, to inspect the stitching, and you study the posture previous clients, but you’re not here to grab one off the rack. Those are all datapoints to help you decide if you’re going to let them take your measurements."

Mike Monteiro
WordCamp LA 2014Read WordCamp Los Angeles 2014: WordPress, Fun, And Learning
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WordCamp Los Angeles 2014: WordPress, Fun, And Learning

This past weekend, Brian and I drove down to LA for WordCamp Los Angeles, which included three full days of WordPress, fun, and learning — and we both presented at the event.

This sold out event with about 750 (I think) attendees ran smoothly, stayed on schedule, and provided great content, speakers, and time to network. Plus, the speaker/sponsor dinner and the after party were both wonderful, as was the food each day, and the t-shirts!

So, before I dive into a recap of the event, I want to extend a BIG THANK YOU to the lead organizers Nathan Tyler, Natalie Maclees, Alex Vasquez, and Ryan Cowles, as well as a team of volunteers that worked hard to make this event happen.

You can check out the WP Watercolor WordCamp LA recap show here.

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Jennifer Bourn Hosts Drad CastRead DradCast: The Bourn Creative Identity
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DradCast: The Bourn Creative Identity

Episode 057: The Bourn Creative Identity

Every episode of the DradCast begins with a monologue by the guest host, which means I needed to write a monologue! I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous. I wanted it to be something meaningful, something that means something, not just to me, but to those important to me.

As I was contemplating my opening monologue, I read a tweet that inspired my message:

This tweet really hit home. When I started designing websites, I had no clue what I was doing, but I learned. I learned because my friends were willing to take time from their weekends and evenings to sit at my kitchen table and work on projects with me and teach me. I learned because the WordPress community responded when I asked for help and advice.

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