Carrie’s Favorite Things

Each year around this time Oprah Winfrey holds her annual Favorite Things episode and viewers and Oprah followers rush out to buy those items featured on her show. Audience members are showered with her Favorites and everyone rejoices. Well, I have decided to announce my own Favorites. Why should Oprah get all the attention! My Favorites will NOT come in the form of gifts but rather features, programs and advertising-related Favorites. Why? Well, this is a digital advertising agency-focused blog isn’t it? 

1. Photoshop Smart Objects. Just brilliant. Copy a vector artwork from Illustrator and paste it right onto your Photoshop document. Need to scale it? Go for it. Need to edit the original? Simply double-click on Smart Object layer. Edit the file in Illustrator and save it. Go back to Photoshop and like magic it updates. SMART! 

2. Grouping Layers in Photoshop. Really? This may not seem worthy of a favorite but I just discovered that you can simply select the layers you want to group and hit Command + G and they’re grouped. Again, what’s the big deal? Well, I rejoice and welcome any feature that will allow me to design faster. Not only faster but smarter. Files are organized so I can go back to make changes easily. And in the end brochure and website designs can be taken to another level of high-end design. 

3. Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice – Garden Vegetable. Try it. It’s just divine. And, cooks up in 90 seconds.  

4. Meta Font. Designed by Erik Spiekermann. It’s a sans serif font that looks great small and comes in a wide range of weights and/or styles. It’s becoming my new go-to font. 

5. DDA’s Copywriting Dept. – When I first began working at DDA as a graphic designer we did not have a copywriting dept. This was 6 years ago. During our website design process we found many projects coming to a halt when it came time for adding content. Clients didn’t have time to write content and many didn’t have the desire nor skill to write keyword-rich, search engine optimized content. Well, say goodbye to those days and hello to well-written, keyword-rich, optimized content! 

6. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, MR. CLEAN MAGIC ERASER. 

7. Control + Shift + Command + 4. (on a MAC of course) Your mouse cursor will change to a cross-hair and you can take a screen shot of any desired area of your screen. Comes in handy when showing clients areas of their website you are speaking of or communicating with coworkers via email. 

8. DDA’s Videographers and Animators. This department has expanded tremendously in the past few years and now that we are in our new facility they have nestled in a large wing of our building. Video taping, editing and production, flash animation and digital photography projects keep that department busy every day! 

9. DDA’s Programmers. How can I highlight the Copywriters and Video Department and not DDA’s Programmers? After our Graphic Designers receive approval on website designs, we prepare them in HTML and our programmers will add that extra level of programming to many of our sites. Custom Applications, widgets and other genius pieces of programming allow us to offer yet another high-end level of service to our clients.  

10. And finally…. The Monday-Thursday 8am – 6pm work schedule. Fridays off allow the DDA Staff to recoup, regroup and ready themselves for another busy week of supplying full-service advertising services.