Friday, 22 May 2015

That dirty little word.... Copyright.

It is never a subject that clients are comfortable discussing. There is always much confusion but I cannot state clearly enough, the importance of clients understanding their responsibilities when it comes to copyright and moral rights. I make a point of writing to every single client, at the outset, and advising them to seek the advice of a specialist IP lawyer.

This blog is my attempt to simplify and clarify how the different elements of design (graphic design, copy-writing, photography and illustration) relate to copyright ownership. The simplest statement I can make is...

If you think you own the copyright, because you commissioned and paid a designer, illustrator, photographer and/or copy-writer to create a project for you, think again, you don't. You MUST get it "assigned", in writing:

This is a general, very simple overview of copyright and moral rights in Australia for clients of McCoy Design. It is not an authoritative statement. The law is subject to change. You are advised to appoint a registered IP professional. Clients - please refer to McCoy Design Terms of Trade and Service.

REFERENCE: www.copyright.com.au & www.copyright.com.au/get-information/other-rights/moral-rights

A. DESIGN/LAYOUT Copyright remains with the original creator/designer unless copyright ownership has been officially ‘assigned’ to someone else. Included content such as logos, photography, illustrations and copy-writing, still remain the copyrighted property of the original creator/designer of those individual elements unless formerly ‘assigned’, in-writing to someone else. You must have written permission to include such elements.

B. THE LOGO Copyright remains with the original creator/designer of the logo unless copyright ownership has been formerly ‘assigned’, in writing, to someone else. You must have written permission to include such elements. At McCoy Design, I provide my clients with an official transfer of copyright ownership assignment form upon completion and payment of the final approved logo.

C. BRAND STATEMENTS/SLOGANS Copyright remains with the original author unless copyright ownership has been formerly ‘assigned’, in writing, to someone else. Such an element may also be covered by an IP trademark registration. You must have written permission to include such elements.

D. PHOTOGRAPHY A COMMON MISTAKE: CLIENTS FREQUENTLY THINK THEY OWN THE COPYRIGHT TO PHOTOS THAT THEY HAVE COMMISSIONED BECAUSE THEY PAID FOR THEM - they do not. Copyright remains with the photographer unless copyright ownership has been formerly ‘assigned’, in writing, to someone else. You must have permission to include copyrighted photography. A PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER USUALLY ONLY EXTENDS A LICENSE OF RIGHTS TO USE THE IMAGES FOR THE EXACT PURPOSE FOR WHICH THE PHOTOGRAPHY WAS ORIGINALLY COMMISSIONED AND PAID FOR. Ditto any talent (model)/agency fees. They have the right to charge additional fees if the images are used outside of the scope of the original brief. It is very important to clarify this before the photo-shoot (or before using the images). NOTE: Beware of photographing copyrighted/IP registered products without written permission too!

E. COPY-WRITING/TEXT If you appoint someone to write text/copy on behalf of you/your company, copyright remains with the author unless copyright ownership has been formerly ‘assigned’, in writing.

F. FONTS/TYPEFACES Fonts/Typefaces are subject to copyright. In general, unless the font is officially specified as ‘open-source’, a commercial usage license must be purchased. Fonts cannot be transferred or distributed; each user must obtain a license. Some offer ‘multiple seat’ licences (within one organisation). Licenses vary. Some fonts can not be used in logos that will be registered trade-marks.

G. ILLUSTRATIONS Copyright ownership remains with the original creator/designer of the artwork/illustration unless copyright ownership has been formerly ‘assigned’, in writing, to someone else. You must have permission to include such copyrighted elements.

HOW LONG DOES COPYRIGHT LAST?
Copyright protection continues for 70 years after from the author/creator’s death.

MATERIALS SUPPLIED BY A CLIENT, FROM ANOTHER/PREVIOUS DESIGNER
To use any other designer’s work, the client must have legal documentation proving that the original designer has transferred ownership to the client. Verbal confirmation is not acceptable; written ‘assignment’ is compulsory under copyright law.

"IT’S OK, MY EMPLOYEE DID IT!" NOT NECESSARILY!
As a general rule, an employer will own the intellectual property created by its employees in the course of their employment. However, intellectual property that is created by an employee, other than in the course of employment, is owned by the employee, not the employer. MORE: business.qld.gov.au/business/support-tools-grants/tools/intellectual-property-info-kit/browse/employees-contractors/ownership

MORAL RIGHTS - DO NOT GET TRANSFERRED!
Moral Rights are personal legal rights belonging to the creators of copyright works. They cannot be transferred, assigned or sold; they are separate from copyright ownership. The creator of a work holds the moral rights but is not necessarily the copyright owner. With Moral Rights, creators have the right to be attributed /credited for their work; not to have their work falsely attributed; and not to have their work treated in a derogatory manner.


This is a general, very simple overview of copyright and moral rights in Australia for clients of McCoy Design. It is not an authoritative statement. The law is subject to change. You are advised to appoint a registered IP professional. Clients - please refer to McCoy Design Terms of Trade and Service. REFERENCES: www.copyright.com.au & www.copyright.com.au/get-information/other-rights/moral-rights
https://www.business.qld.gov.au/business/support-tools-grants/tools/intellectual-property-info-kit/browse/employees-contractors/ownership
© Copyright 2015 Julie McCoy - all rights reserved.



Wednesday, 20 May 2015

McCoyDesign Website Search Engine Optimisation Basic Checklist

IMPORTANT NOTICE - RESPONSIVE WEBSITES: Google are giving organic ranking priority to websites that are optimised for mobile devices, per Google’s official blog, when users arrive at websites that are not optimised for mobile devices (i.e. responsive; change format to suit different devices, from desktop, to tablet, to smart phones) it is not a positive experience and once the user has a bad experience it is claimed that more than 60% probably won’t visit that website again.

Mobile usage shows a very high growth projection, and as Google own AdWords, they want the user experience to be positive on mobile devices. FOR MORE INFO READ: "Google: Understanding the Mobile Consumer" and/or watch this Google video:


My SEO Checklist:

  1. Ensure your website responsive for smart phones or it will not receive organic ranking (this currently does not affect iPads or tablets).  Click here to test your site using Google's Mobile Friendly Test Page.
  2. !!ADD VIDEO CONTENT TO YOUR WEBSITE!! and link the videos to your own, branded, YouTube channel; interesting, relevant, informative, maybe even amusing video snippets. Tag your videos with searchable keywords. Google loves video - it owns YouTube! They give websites with video content priority, and you can be listed on both the main Google wall and the "videos" wall.
  3. Create your branded Google+ (Plus) page, along with your YouTube page. They are integrated by Google anyway as you only use a single login for both but make sure your branding is tailored on both. Ensure you add your website URL to the Google+ and YouTube listings/settings.
  4. Create a Google Places page (Map) or, if one already exists, ensure you claim ownership of it. Google currently automatically generate a Google+ page if you have a Google Places page so do not duplicate as there is currently no way to merge Google+ pages. Brand it, add your logo, images, keywords/tags, make sure you list your website URL. This will give you a better chance of Google actually showing your map/street location adjacent to your organic Google listing.

  5. Make each page 'meta title' relevant to the content of that specific page (this is the heading that appears at the top of the browser window and is listed by Google in searches). This gives you a better change of Google giving you an index of pages in organic searches. For example, "Assist A Sista Australia • News" "Assist A Sista Australia • Shop", and another "Assist A Sista Australia • Downloads", etc. presents like this (this is Google's prerogative, but setting this up correctly gives you a better chance):

  6. Make the 'meta description' succinct and relevant to each specific page content (not the same for every page of your site). This is the text that appears on the google search engine wall, under your page title heading, under the URL. This is the text that people read first before choosing to go on to your site, so it is really important!
  7. Include meta tag keywords on all pages and ensure those keywords are relevant and used throughout the text in your websiteAdding dozens of keywords is a waste of time, if they do not correlate to the content - Google will ignore them.
  8. Make all content highly relevant and customer focussed - IT'S ABOUT YOUR CUSTOMER AND WHAT YOU OFFER THEM! Incorporate all your keywords throughout the text.
  9. Use <h1> header tag for your key message. Use <h2> header tag for your secondary message Google apparently give keyword priority to h1/h2 tags.
  10. DO NOT use jpgs/png images for text headings or on slide show images. Use css formatted text that can be searched, indexed and referenced by Google. With the introduction of web fonts there is no need to create jpgs to retain brand integrity. You can use the fonts of your choice directly in your web design.
  11. Embed meta data (hidden information) into all images/photos/graphics, including heading, description, URL, email, keywords and copyright information. This enables your images to be searchable too, and they will appear in the Google "images" page and will link back through to your website.
  12. Add social media share icons with analytics so viewers can easily share your page - and you can view the demographics.
  13. Integrate your site with social media, such as incorporating a facebook like box, facebook and/or twitter live feeds (posts from your facebook wall/tweets appear on your website), etc.
  14. Integrate Google Analytics with your website so you can track incoming and outgoing links, know customer demographics, which pages are being viewed (and, more importantly, which aren't so you can tweak your website accordingly). Also add your social media links to your google analytics settings. Review your analytics data frequently to check/improve your site's keywords and content. DO NOT LEAVE THIS TO YOUR WEB DEVELOPER ALONE! As the business owner, you need to understand this data and use it to your advantage. Ensure you have full access to your analytics data with your own Google login and add key team members (with appropriate access level, i.e. they do not need to be able to make changes, just read the data). This data gives you valuable insights into your customer demographics, which you can utilise in your marketing strategy.
  15. Integrate Google Webmaster Tools this enables you to see any Google indexing issues.
  16. Submit an xml sitemap to the main search engines, especially Google. Re-submit when major changes are made, such as when pages are added or removed.
  17. Promote your website on other quality, high traffic websites that are relevant to your brand/service and assess/review incoming links via your analytics (i.e. paid advertising such as facebook ads, paid or free advertising on business directories), exchange links with your suppliers, customers, associates, etc.  Only list your website on relevant sites such as industry associations, your clients, suppliers, products/services you recommend etc., and with any paid links, keep a spreadsheet detailing your log in details, who, where, when, cost, renewal date, successful clicks/links, etc. Ensure they stay up-to-date, especially offers.*
  18. Google take up to 6 weeks to index a website. From experience (although they have denied it), if you pay for a short Google AdWords campaign, your site gets indexed with priority. One client needed to get their new website (new URL/new company) to be seen on the first page of a Google search ahead of a key business presentation, so we paid for a short term ad campaign, and their website stayed on the first page, organically after the advert stopped. Google Webmaster and Analytics integration, along with submitting an XML sitemap also appears to speed up indexing.
*Avoid pushy SEO companies who phone and email you endlessly - do your research before you sign up because there are a lot of dodgy ones. Ask who their clients are and check them out. I achieve great organic Google rankings for clients without ongoing paid advertising or using an SEO company but if you are in a highly competitive industry and feel the need, make sure they really know what they are doing. I had one client who paid $400 only to find their business had been listed/linked to hundreds of useless, irrelevant websites, with incorrect information, and we could not correct it or delete it because we did not have the login details for each of those listings. We had to search for and contact each company, claim business ownership and delete or update (if our analytics showed that the listing did give good incoming link stats).

    Wednesday, 26 March 2014

    Create a custom LinkedIn [vanity] URL

    • Move your cursor over Profile at the top of your homepage and select Edit Profile. It will be an address like "www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=000000000&" which you want to change to "www.linkedin.com/in/yourname".
    • Click Edit next to the URL directly under your profile photo (left side).
    • In the Your public profile URL box at the bottom right of the page, click "Customize your public profile URL".
    • Type the last part of your new custom URL in the text box.
    • Click Set Custom URL.
    More information from LinkedIn about URLs:
    • Your custom URL can have between 5 - 30 letters or numbers. Do not use spaces, symbols, or special characters.
    • You cannot change your URL more than 3 times in 6 months. If you've already done this, you'll have to wait 6 months before you can change it again.
    • Some URLs may be unavailable. If a member uses a URL and then changes it, the URL they first chose will be unavailable for use by another member for several months. We're unable to make these URLs available upon request. If the URL you want isn't available, please select a different one.

    Thursday, 11 July 2013

    Client Support: How to install a CSS formatted HTML Email Signature in Mac OS X Mountain Lion 10.8

    You will be supplied a ".mailsignature" file by McCoy Design. Save this file onto your desktop.

    1. In Mac Mail, go to "Mail>Preferences>Signatures>All Signatures" and click on the ‘+’ sign at the bottom to create a temporary signature. Give your signature a relevant name then click the close button and Quit Mail. This is just a temporary signature and the hidden file this creates on your hard-drive  will be the file we replace with your new signature.

    2. Open the folder where your temporary signature is stored by clicking the "Finder>Go" dropdown menu, at the same time hold down the "option" key and it will show your system's hidden files; go to: User[usually your name]>Library>Mail>V2>MailData>Signatures

    
The window you are now viewing shows all your email signatures. Sort the window into date order, with the most recent file at the top ie. the temporary signature file that you created earlier. You will see the signature you created at step 1 named something obscure like "3FEC3C02-CA26-4929-A911-4412CC6562FF.mailsignature" (Tip: The time the file was created will give you an indication as to whether you are looking at the correct file - don't accidentally replace another signature).
    
Now click on the name of that signature and copy the entire name including the .mailsignature at the end. Keep this window open.

    
3. Go back to your desktop and locate the file supplied by McCoyDesign. You need to change the name of that file to be exactly the same name as the one you just copied. Click on the name, highlight it all and paste the replacement name. It must be an exact match.

    4. Now drag the file on the desktop onto the window with the temporary signature. If you have renamed this file correctly, it will ask you if you want to replace the temporary signature file? Click "Yes".

    5. IMPORTANT: Your email signature will not work yet, you must complete this step:
 Now click once on that renamed file, then click "Command" and "I" (as in "i" for info) to "Get Info". This launches another small window and in the "General" section at the top, you will see a box labelled "Locked". Tick this box to lock this file (otherwise Mail will over-ride it with your original temporary file).


    6. Restart Mail and go to "Mail>Preferences>Signatures>all signatures" and make sure your new signature is there (linked images will only appear if you are connected to the internet). Drag the signature name (in the column above the + - symbols) onto your relevant email accounts in the left column.
Select each relevant email account in the left column one at a time, and at the bottom of the signature preferences window where it says "choose signature" - select your new email signature to appear as default (if applicable), and tick "place signature above quoted text".

    
There - clear as bloody mud. If apple had made this any more complicated I would have thought Microsoft had taken over!


    Monday, 21 January 2013

    Pantone Search Tool

    Since Pantone© took it upon themselves to re-sort all the formula guide colours into what they consider the simpler colour order, rather than the traditional number order, it has become a little time consuming and frustrating when attempting to look up specific colours; which is why I suspect they have developed this little search tool on their website, which tells you which on page the colour is located in the formula guide...
    Reference: http://www.pantone.com/pages/pantone/colorfinder.aspx "Pantone" © Pantone LLC, 2013

    Monday, 3 December 2012

    Tuesday, 3 July 2012

    Outlook emails: how to extract embedded pictures (sent from a Mac - not as an attachment)

    • Position your mouse pointer over the picture. Right-click your mouse.
    • Click the option for "Save Picture As" on the pop-up menu. By default, the Save Picture dialogue box will appear. Save the picture at this location or click the down arrow to the right of the "My Pictures Save In" box to select a different location.
    • Save the picture in the "My Pictures" location. At the bottom of the Save Picture dialogue box, next to File Name, type in the name you want to give the picture. Click the "Save" button.
    Courtesy of eHow.com
    Read more: How to Save Pictures Sent to Me in Outlook Emails Not as Attachments | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_2251249_outlook-emails-not-as-attachments.html#ixzz1zWCEvvBs

    Monday, 12 March 2012

    What is browser cache and how do I "empty" it?

    "Cache is a component that transparently stores data so that future requests for that data can be served faster." Wikipedia

    So basically, when you view a website, your browser cache stores what you are viewing on your hard drive to make it load much quicker next time you visit the same page. Unfortunately it means you are sometimes viewing old data. You need to "empty" or "clear" cache, then refresh/reload the page to view the most recent version of the website/page.

    To empty/clear cache:

    Safari:
    it is just in the drop down menu entitled "safari".

    Firefox it is in "Preferences > Network > Offline Storage > Clear Now".

    Internet Explorer  click "Internet Options > General > Temporary Internet Files > Delete".

    Sunday, 16 October 2011

    Client Support: How to install a CSS formatted HTML signature in Mozilla Thunderbird

    1. Save your email signature (created by McCoyDesign) anywhere on your hard drive. 
    2. Click on Tools > Account Settings
    3. Click on the email account in the top left corner of the screen that is your active account. 
    4. Check the box on the right side of the screen labelled "attach this signature" then locate and select the new .htm signature file that you saved on your harddrive. 
    5. Click OK.

    Client Support: How to install a CSS formatted HTML signature in Microsoft Outlook

    1. Save your email signature (created by McCoyDesign) onto your hard drive into your signatures folder: 

    Outlook 2008

    C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Signatures

    Win XP & Outlook 2003

    C:\Documents & settings\user name\Application Data\Microsoft\Signatures

    Note: user name = your windows user name (usually your actual name)

    Open Microsoft Outlook Express Select Tools > Options then select the Signatures tab.

    Click “New” then select the “Add signatures to all outgoing messages” checkbox.

    Click “File” under the “Edit Signature” section (near the bottom).

    Click “Browse” and select the .htm file that you saved to your harddrive at point 1.

    Click “Apply” (near bottom right).

    Compose a new message and verify the new signature is in place.

    *NOTE: If your files are "hidden", you will not see Application Data. "Unhide" the files and folders to see this:

    Windows XP and 2000: Open "Folder Options" from the Windows Control Panel (or from the Windows Explorer or My Computer "Tools" menu). In Folder Options, click the "View" tab and, under "Hidden files and folders", select "Show hidden files and folders".

    Windows 7 and Vista: From the Windows Start menu, click "Control Panel > Appearance and Personalization > Folder Options" (or type "Folder Options" in the Start Search box and a shortcut to "Folder Options" will appear). In the "Folder Options" window, click the "View" tab. Under "Hidden files and folders", select "Show hidden files and folders".

    You may also wish to uncheck the "Hide extensions for known file types" box, in order to see the file extensions for all files. Note: You may need to uncheck another box, "Hide protected operating system files (Recommended)", to see certain hidden Windows operating system files and folders. In most cases, however, clearing this box will not be necessary and you should leave it checked.


    Outlook 2013, 2010 and 2007 DO NOT support CSS HTML Signatures (go figure - even 2003 did!)
    so...
    Open Outlook 2013, 2010 or 2007, create a new signature, name it, leave the window open.
    Save your css formatted .htm email signature onto your hard drive.
    Open the .htm file in your web browser (ie. Internet Explorer, Firefox, etc.).
    Now you have to copy and paste:
    Ctrl+A to select all the contents of your signature in the browser window then Ctrl+C to copy it to your clipboard then go back to your Outlook new signature and Ctrl+V to paste it into the signature editing box.
    You will still have to set up the body of the email (font/colour/size) via Outlook's preferences.

    Outlook 2011 MAC

    Open the ".htm" file that you've been supplied from within your web browser. Press "Command A" on your keyboard to "Select All".
    Now open Outlook 2011 and select "Preferences" scroll down to "Signatures". Click the plus button on the lower left to create a new signature (there may be some content in the right side of the signature window after you've clicked the plus icon, delete this content. Now press "Command V" on your keyboard to paste in your html signature that you copied from your browser earlier.
    Set your "Default Signatures".
    Note: Outlook has a lot of restrictions on CSS formatting: http://www.campaignmonitor.com/css/

    Disclaimer: I am not a PC user, I am a proud Mac user of 23 years. The information above has kindly been provided to me from various sources over the years and is a guide only. Clients, please let me know if you have any corrections to the above information.

    Client Support: How to install a CSS formatted HTML signature in Mac Mail OSX (Mountain Lion, Lion, Snow Leopard, Leopard, Tiger)

    1. In Mac Mail, go to Mail>Preferences>Signatures>all signatures and click on the ‘+’ sign at the bottom. Give your signature a relevant name then click the close button and quit Mail.

    2. Open your html formatted email signature (supplied by McCoyDesign) in Safari.

    Mac OSX Lion
    *From within Safari go to File>Save As>User[usually your name]>Library>Mail>V2>MailData>Signatures

    Mac OSX Snow Leopard/Leopard/Tiger
    *From within Safari go to File>Save As>User[usually your name]>Library>Mail>MailData>Signatures

    NOTE: If you do not see your user folder, whilst within that "Save As" window click "command + shift + ." (that's full stop) all at the same time and it will show your hidden files. If this does not work, see below.*


    Sort the window you are viewing into date order, with the most recent file at the top. You will see the signature you created at step 1 named something obscure like "A8AB6CBA-DF38-4C11-8AE1-2011E8B09E8E.webarchive" (Tip: The time the file was created will give you an indication of whether you are looking at the correct file). Select this signature webarchive file to rename the html file you're viewing in Safari, and press save. An elert box will say "A file or folder with the same name already exists in the folder Signatures. Replacing it will overwrite its current contents. Do you want to replace it?" - ensure you have the most recent signature that you initially created at step one, then press "replace".


    3. Restart Mail and go to Mail>Preferences>Signatures>all signatures and make sure your new signature is there (linked images may not appear in this window, but as long as you are connected to the internet, they should appear when you create your email). Drag the signature name (in the column above the + - symbols) onto your relevant email accounts in the left column.

    Select each relevant email account in the left column one at a time, and at the bottom of the signature preferences window where it says "choose signature" - select your new email signature to appear as default (if applicable), and tick "place signature above quoted text".

    *If you cannot see this information, you have your files hidden by default. To show hidden files: Finder>Applications>Utilities>Terminal

    Copy and paste the following command into the terminal window:
    defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles TRUE

    (click return)
    killall Finder

    (click return)
    If you see all your files from your desktop disappear, this is so the finder can reboot. Once it has done so, you may see files on your desktop you hadn’t seen before such as: .DS_Store – these are required on OSX - don’t delete them.

    If you want to hide these files again (after you install your signature):
    Finder>Applications>Utilities>Terminal

    Copy and paste the following command into the terminal window:
    defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles FALSE

    (click return)
    killall Finder

    (click return)

    Saturday, 15 October 2011

    Creating CSS Formatted HTML Email Signatures

    As part of a client's Brand Development Startup Package, I create HTML email signatures. It's a tricky little job; way trickier than you would ever guess by just looking at the signature in your mail application. Designing an HTML email signature that displays the same on all of the key email applications is challenging, because they each have their own way of handling (or stripping out) CSS coding. Some even handle it differently depending on the version (especially Outlook Express).

    A client recently asked what I mean by HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) - "don't you just type it". I figure it is easier to explain with screenshots:

    Screen Shot 1: My email signature as seen in Mac Mail
    Screen Shot 2: My email signature in CSS formatted HTML
    Made just a little more complicated than website html, by the fact that you have to double up with CSS, in the head section and inline, whilst realising that certain features of CSS are completely ignored by some Mail applications (eg. floats, margins).

    For my fellow designers, you may find this blog "A Guide To CSS Support In Email" by Campaign Monitor, a very helpful insight into how the different mail applications handle CSS in email signatures.

    Also, according to MarketingSherpa Email Marketing Benchmark Report, only 33% of email applications have the default preferences set to show images in emails. That means 67% of recipients still don't automatically see images in the emails that they receive....

    Outlook Express: How To Unblock Images
    • Open Outlook Express 
    • From the Tools menu, select Options. 
    • Click the Security tab. 
    • Uncheck the "Block images and other external content in HTML e-mail." checkbox. 
    • Press the OK button.
    (Note: Microsoft states that blocking images is a security measure to prevent spammers from using web beacons from validating your email address. If you don't know what web beacons are, here is a quick summary: they're specially coded images that are embedded into emails to validate an e-mail address.)

    Now installing the signatures .... well, that's another story!

    Monday, 10 October 2011

    Create a short URL for Google+

    Go from this:
    https://plus.google.com/108333615244037599***/

    To this:
    http://gplus.to/YourName

    Makes it easier to share!

    Click here to create your short URL.

    Brand development packages to help small business owners get started.

    In the current economic climate, small business owners need to be able to incorporate brand development, basic graphic design and website development costs into their business plan. Now more than ever, it is imperative for small business owners to know exactly what they are getting for their money - up front. To help new clients, I've featured some basic startup packages on my website. Items can be added to these packages, also at "package discounted rates". Customised quotes to suit your requirements and budget are available upon request.
    www.mccoydesign.com.au/startup_packages.html