What is Fashion Merchandising?

Fashion may be considered a form of art, or strictly a way to dress appropriately in various situations that can occur throughout a person’s day. From office and active wear to evening attire, swimsuits, accessories, purses, shoes and more, the world of fashion is endless and constantly evolving.  Controversial and sometimes shunned, revered and loved by the masses, at least everyone can agree on one thing: fashion is big business.

The business of fashion happens from the original fashion design concept through its manufacturing and the process of order fulfillment, purchasing, marketing and advertising and a wealth of other business-focused tasks that surround the fashion industry. Fashion merchandising requires an in-depth knowledge of fashion and trends, colors, styles, textiles and more, combined with the business acumen needed to manage the multi-platform endeavor that brings cashmere scarves into window displays throughout the winter season. Fashion merchandising is not just about producing an end-product, but can also be any part of the chain of development of a product, from the actual manufacturing of a fabric used for a wedding dress or trendy hat, to the development of a marketing plan for the product itself, and even the mastery of technology and computers that keep the fashion industry automated.

With all of the choices available in fashion merchandising, it is important that a strong foundation in both business and fashion have been established. A degree in fashion, with a Bachelor of Arts in Fashion Design or Bachelor of Arts in Fashion Merchandising can help a career-focused fashion merchandising expert gain the necessary skills and experience to compete in a challenging, creative and rewarding field. Whether an interest in producing and manufacturing clothing, running fashion shows or advertising products to the world is of interest, fashion merchandising is a dynamic industry with plenty of room for business-focused experts.

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Online Magazine Publishing

With the increased number of publishing companies and book stores closing up shop, the digital age has come to a crossroads in the world of information sharing and literature. Accessing books and magazines no longer requires a trip to a library, or spending large amounts of money for entertainment, insight or instruction. Today’s written media is decidedly digital, a trend that many publishers and businesses are using in their own website design.

The buzz about online content generation and management continues to grow. Considerations about branding, relevance and search engine optimization are falling away as interesting and engaging articles, e-books and media are increasingly sought after. Online magazine publishing has become a way for businesses and organizations to reach audiences through a wide range of venues including newsletters, mobile devices, multimedia, social media and through a “standard” website, each relying on the other for a fully functional Internet presence that can increase the profits of a business while establishing its voice and reputation.

With the evolution of web design, online magazine publishing can be considered a combination of design and marketing, public relations and advertising careers. For a design professional, a degree in advertising, web design or certifications in Internet marketing can all help establish a strong basis to help begin and maintain the task of publishing an online magazine. Additional contributors needed may include photographers, writers, and editors, but the actual content used may redefine the standard positions within the magazine industry.

As technology continues to dominate the publishing industry and more paperbacks, novels, books, and magazine can be found in digital format only, it is becoming easier for small and large businesses and organizations to integrate niche-focused publications into an online and offline marketing strategy. Online magazine publishing can be a large part of a successful business plan, bringing the information, entertainment and overall engagement of an audience through the magic of the Internet.

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Tips on Infographic Design

Depending on your level of interest, creating infographics can be a casual pastime, a serious hobby, or even a career. As a result, the question of how to make your own infographic can range from simply using a website or downloadable infographic tool to earning a graphic design degree. These options are outlined below along with resources to help you build your knowledge base about your new hobby, or your new career!

Prior to using a website, or any other infographic tool, there are a few steps even the most experienced infographer must initially start with:
  • Research your desired subject.
  • Brainstorm some ideas, including information you want to convey and possible graphics you would like to use.
  • Form workable concepts from the ideas you have brainstormed.
  • Continue to refine your ideas until you have one coherent concept.
  • Finalize your concept, creating your infographic.
These steps can be sketched with paper and pencil, outlined graphically on your computer, or compiled in several infographics that are continually refined until your final concept is created.

There are several websites that can assist in the creation of quick and comprehensive infographics, and these are especially useful for novices, or those who just want to convey a few ideas to a particular audience: visual.ly, creately.com, or wordle.net. If you are looking for a more involved, personally creative experience, there are software programs and downloadable or online infographic tools that are available, both paid and free. Software programs include Tableau, OmniGraffle, Vector Designer, and Microsoft Office (Excel, Publisher).

Of course, for some people, casual infographing is not enough. Although with the recent technological advances a graphic design degree from a campus-based or online graphic degree program is no longer required to create infographics, careers in graphic design remain lucrative and fulfilling for those with a passion for digital creation.

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Kitchen Facelifts

Whether selling a house or looking to update its image, one of the best places to begin is in the kitchen. Kitchens are considered the “heart” of the home, where families gather and share experiences, food and an overall feeling of togetherness. It is this warmth and ability to bring people together that can make the kitchen a fun place to begin changing a home’s look and feel. The changes involved with defining a new look within a kitchen do not have to break budgets or be lengthy experiences in patience. A simple kitchen facelift can redefine these important spaces while keeping costs low.

There are several ways to approach a kitchen face lift; it can be as simple as installing new window treatments and textiles like towels or rugs. Changing the colors of a kitchen can give it an entirely different feel, helping to improve moods and appreciate holidays or seasons. For a more distinct change within the kitchen, functional changes like replacing appliances can really make an old kitchen seem new. Changing from older appliances can not only improve the visual appeal of a kitchen, but can also contribute to the energy efficiency of a home and reduce the costs associated with utility companies. Painting walls, adding back splashes or refinishing cabinets can all add a new look to a kitchen without breaking the bank. Interior Designers can also be a resource for inspiration, as well, suggesting ideas that may have otherwise been overlooked by those without the education and experience gained from a degree in interior design.

Whether a kitchen needs a little change or a lift into an almost entirely new look, the process of reinventing the room does not have to cost a lot. By using the basics of interior design, color, and smart choices with appliances and fabrics, a new kitchen can be an affordable and fun way to spruce up the look and feel of an entire home.

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