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4 Creative Ways to Design a Festive Website

4 Creative Ways to Design a Festive Website

 Image of featured betheme scaled The holidays are fast approaching. But that doesn’t mean it’s too late to get a new website online or to make your existing one look festive for the holiday season.

When it comes to decking the halls of your website with a little festive cheer, how do you do this without spending loads of money and time on it?

You’re in luck. BeTheme has a variety of pre-built websites to help you do just that. Not only that, but you can use these festive websites for a variety of occasions, like:

  • Hanukkah
  • Kwanzaa
  • Christmas
  • Boxing Day
  • New Year’s

You could also just use one of these sites to make your website feel more seasonal as the temperatures get colder and the snow starts to fall. (If that’s what your winter wonderland looks like!)

Let’s have a look at 4 ways you can bring a little seasonal or holiday cheer to your visitors with a festive website from BeTheme:

Tip #1: Use a Page Builder That Makes it Easy to Swap in Festive Content

Unless you’re running a business like the Christmas Tree Shops, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to have holiday imagery up all year long.

The only problem, though, is that it can be a real pain having to go in, find a new theme, and then redesign your site around it… For only a month or two.

That issue is easily resolved with BeTheme, which comes with over 600 pre-built websites and two page builders — Muffin and Elementor.

Because there are so many pre-built sites available, you can easily switch to a non-festive website once the holiday season is over.

In order to swap out this design with a festive website, you’d first have to reset your theme (which Be provides instructions on how to do). Then, install the new site you want to use.

Like BeXmas:

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And if you only want, say, a new hero image in the top of your website, you can cherry-pick which parts of the pre-built site you install.

Tip #2: Effortlessly Switch From One Holiday to the Next

Let’s be honest, the winter holiday season can feel a little nuts — not just because your business has to keep up with the change of pace, but because your website has to keep in step with what’s going on.

So, let’s say you have an ecommerce site that changes frequently for upcoming sales, holidays, events, and so on. For this, you could use the BeMall pre-built site (all year long, mind you):

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As you can see, it currently has a Black Friday message on the homepage. It’s not uncommon to have to transition from Black Friday or Cyber Monday into the December holidays.

Here’s how you might do that:

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The update can be as minor or major as you want. So long as you use graphics and content that stay on-brand, you can easily swap out as much of your imagery as you like.

Tip #3: Use Small Animations to Bring the Holidays to Life

Holidays should be a time to lift spirits. Having a website that’s able to satisfy your customers’ needs during the holiday season will certainly help.

You might also want to think about adding small animations to your design, too.

The animations themselves don’t have to be festive, but you can use them to call attention to holiday-themed content. Take, for instance, BeParty:

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You don’t need to have champagne bottles popping or streamers flying across the screen to get your point across.

This animation gives the New Year’s party balloons a gentle and natural feeling of bobbing up and down. An attention to a detail this small is sure to bring a smile to your visitors’ faces.

Tip #4: A Little Hint of Seasonal Flavor Can Go a Long Way

Holiday celebrations aren’t always big blowouts. Unless your entire business is going all-in on the holidays (or it’s a totally holiday-themed business), there’s no reason your site should have to go all out either.

Sometimes a more understated approach is best.

In that case, you’d keep your normal branded elements, imagery, and content in place on the website. But to make it feel a little more festive, you could infuse your site (at the very least, the homepage) with slight seasonal or festive touches.

For instance, let’s say you’ve built a website for a popular ski resort. Your website might look like the BeSnowpark site does normally:

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The main draw of the resort is skiing, so it wouldn’t make much sense to change the graphics. However, you could do something like this:

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It’s a small enough change, but the gift emoji and bigger lettering in the green button might inspire loyal snowbirds as well as first-time visitors to more quickly book their much-needed holiday getaway.

Get Your Festive Website for Christmas, New Year’s, and More

There are many science-backed reasons why a festive website is a good idea.

Holiday decorations, in general, stir up positive feelings of nostalgia for many people. They can also help alleviate some of the stress that’s built up over the course of the year:

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What’s more, holiday decorations can visually signal to others that you’re friendly and accessible, even if they don’t know you.

Sounds exactly like how you want visitors and prospects to feel, right?

As you can see, there are many ways to decorate your website for the holidays. To do it quickly and affordably — and not completely turn your regular website upside-down — a BeTheme pre-built site is the way to go.

 

[– This is a sponsored post on behalf of BeTheme –]

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How to Add Google AdSense to WordPress

How to Add Google AdSense to WordPress

Google AdSense is one of the best ways to monetize your website. In this article, I’ll show you how to set up AdSense to show ads on your WordPress website.

With Google AdSense, you can place ads in the site header, footer, sidebar or in-between. The ads that are served by Google are contextual to your website content. The concept is very simple: when someone clicks on any ad served by Google, you’ll get paid!

To set up Google AdSense on your WordPress website, there are a couple of steps that you need to follow:

  • create a Google AdSense account and connect your website to it
  • configure your ad unit codes
  • insert ad codes to your WordPress website

From the next section onwards, we’ll discuss each of the above steps briefly.

Create Your Google AdSense Account and Connect it With Your WordPress Website

To be able to use Google AdSense on your website, you need to create a Google AdSense account in the first place.

Go ahead and sign up for your Google AdSense account. Click on the Get Started button, follow the steps and fill in the required information. Finally, you’ll end up on the page as shown in the following screenshot.

 Image of how to add google adsense to wordpress get verification code

Basically, Google is asking us to verify the ownership of the website for which we want to use Google AdSense. For that, we need to copy the code as shown in the above screenshot to our WordPress website. Keep this page open in the meanwhile, as you’ll need to get back to this page once you’ve added the above code to your website.

Now, let’s see how you can add the verification code to your WordPress website. Head over to the admin side and go to Appearance > Theme Editor. On the right hand side, click on the Theme Header link under the Theme Files section. It will open the header.php template file, and you just need to add the verification code as shown in the following screenshot.

 Image of how to add google adsense to wordpress add verification code to wordpress

Click on the Update File button to save your changes.

Now, go back to the Google AdSense page, tick the I’ve pasted the code into my site box and click on the Done button. You’ve now completed the verification process from your side.

Google may take a few days or weeks to approve your account, and only after your account is activated, you can start configuring ad unit codes and showing ads on your website.

Get Your Ad Unit Codes

Once your account is activated, you can start configuring ad unit codes by accessing AdSense dashboard.

There are two ways you can place Google ads on your website.

  • by site
  • by ad unit

The By site option allows Google to display ads automatically on your website by just inserting a single <script> snippet on your website. If you want to use this method, click on the Get code button under the By site tab, and add this code to your website in the same way the verification code was added in the previous section. And you’re done, you don’t need to do anything more in this case!

On the other hand, the By ad unit option allows you to configure ad units manually, and thus, it gives you more control over how and where you want to display ads on your website.

To create ad unit codes, go to Ads > Overview and choose the ad type under the By ad unit tab. Finally, give a name to your ad, select size of your preference and create the ad unit. When you’re done, you’ll get a code which you need to embed on your website.

In the next section, we’ll see how you could embed ad unit codes on your WordPress website.

Insert Ad Unit Codes to Your WordPress Website

Once you’ve created ad units and collected ad unit codes from Google AdSense, the last step is to add it to your WordPress website.

Head over to the admin side, go to Appearance > Widgets. In our case, we need to use the Text widget as we have to add the custom HTML code. Drag the Text widget from left side and drop it onto the position where you want to show it. In the following screenshot, I’ve decided to show the ad in the footer-2 position. Next, insert your ad unit code into the editor.

 Image of how to add google adsense to wordpress add ad unit code to wordpress

Finally, click on the Save button to save your changes. And now, you’ve successfully configured the ad unit code on your WordPress website! In the same way, you could go ahead and configure multiple ad unit codes at different places like header, footer and other places on your website.

So that’s how you can monetize your WordPress website with Google AdSense. It’s very easy to use and you can get started with it right away!

Conclusion

Today, we discussed how you could monetize your WordPress with Google AdSense. If you want to learn more about WordPress, check out some of our our other posts.

If you want to learn how to make a WordPress site from A to Z, be sure to check out our complete guide.

You can also learn how to use WordPress with our free online course.

 
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How to Make T-Shirt Designs With a Cricut

How to Make T-Shirt Designs With a Cricut

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What You’ll Be Creating

Want to learn how to make T-shirts with Cricut? In this tutorial, we’ll make a Cricut iron-on T-shirt, step by step. It might sound intimidating, but using Cricut for T-shirts is simple, once you know where to start. So start brainstorming ideas, and let’s dig right into custom T-shirts with Cricut.

What You’ll Need For Making T-Shirts With Cricut:

  • a design for your shirt
  • Cricut Explore Air
    OR Cricut Maker
  • iron
    OR Cricut Easy Press
  • iron-on vinyl material
  • T-shirt
  • weeding tool

Try to make your design simple if this is your first time making a Cricut iron-on T-shirt. The more complex a design is, the harder time you’ll have later in the process.

We’ll be using a design from the Love Day Lettering Quotes from Envato Elements. However, you’re free to use your own designs too. I suggest using vector art and exporting as the SVG file format. When creating T-shirts with Cricut, complexity isn’t the only way to make something stylish and professional. Simple but well-made custom T-shirts with Cricut can be just as appealing as intricate designs.

Love Day Hand Lettering Quotes (SVG, AI, PNG, EPS DXF)

 Image of envato love day hand

For this, you can use the Cricut Explore Air or Cricut Maker. We’ll be using this for the process of cutting the iron-on vinyl material in the shape of our design.

For iron-on vinyl, you have a lot of choices when making T-shirts with Cricut. You can find iron-on vinyl in the crafts section of your local arts and crafts store. Cricut has its own brand, but there are many other choices too that will work too. You’ll want to keep in mind the color and texture of the material when it comes to your design. Try to pick a color and finish that will match the aesthetics of your design. Using Cricut to make T-shirts can be a lot of fun because there are just so many options.

For your Cricut shirts, I would suggest going with
100% cotton. You can find plain T-shirts in most clothing stores, and you can even find plenty of plain shirts at your local arts and crafts store.

Now, let’s dig into how to make T-shirts with Cricut.

1. How to Use a Cricut Machine to Make T-Shirts

Step 1

First, open up Cricut Design Space. Cricut Design Space is free software that comes with your Cricut machine, and it’s the first step in learning how to make shirts with Cricut. Once open, you will need to start a new project.

You can start a New Project by clicking the
New Project button on the top right or on the bottom left.

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Step 2

Next, we will need to select a template. Templates will let us get a feel for our design and ensure we are creating a print that’s the correct size.

Select
Templates from the sidebar on the left of your Canvas space.

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Step 3

Use the search bar to search for
T-Shirt.

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Step 4

From here, select
Classic t-shirts.

There are many other T-shirt options too. In our case, we want to simply place a graphic in the middle of the chest area, so the specific T-shirt template you use won’t matter too much. This will be mostly used for gauging the size of our print.

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Step 5

Next, we will upload our design to Cricut Design Space. Again, this software is a vital part of using Cricut to make T-shirts.

From the left column, go ahead and click the
Upload icon.

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Step 6

As you can see, you’re given two choices here. We’ll want to use the image type.

Cricut Design Space can accept a wide variety of media types. In our case, we are going to be using a transparent PNG file that we created in Photoshop. The key to creating a good cutting image is ensuring that the background is transparent or has a high-contrast background and foreground.

Go ahead and click the
Upload Image button on the left.

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Step 7

From here, you can insert your design. Cricut Design Space accepts .PNG, .JPG, .GIF, .SVG, .DXF, and .BMP file types.

I suggest using the
SVG file type as this is a great option for large files. It will retain its shape well, regardless of how much we change its dimensions once we import it into the Design Space.

You can get your artwork either by dragging your file onto this space or by clicking
Browse and selecting your file that way.

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Step 8

I went ahead and clicked
Browse. Navigate your folders to find the image. In this case, we are picking our SVG typography design.

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Step 9

If you’ve selected an SVG file, this part is relatively straightforward. You can give the image a name and add tags. This is purely for your own organizational purposes.

As you can see, our design is composed of text and a single flat color. We do this to ensure that it’s a good match for cutting. Also, we really want the start to be the material we picked for our iron-on vinyl. Select
Save to add this to your images.

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Note for Those Using Different File Types

If you’ve used a PNG or other file types which aren’t an SVG, you will have to do a little more work to prep your cut image for Design Space. (If you’re using an SVG file, you can skip down to the next step!)

  1. For PNG images or other types, we are now given various options. Select the
    Simple setting on the right, and then click
    Continue on the bottom right.

  2. For this step, you can use the Cricut Design Spaces tools to remove the background area. In our case, we already have a transparent image, so we can just go ahead to the next step. Click
    Continue on the bottom right.

  3. Now we get to choose the type of image this is. For the purposes of our project, we only need to cut it. Go ahead and select
    Save as a Cut Image.

Step 10

Now you should receive a message that your image was uploaded successfully. It will now join your gallery of images. You should now see your image under
Recently uploaded images.

Go ahead and select your image. Then click
Insert Images on the bottom right.

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Step 11

Now your image should be on your stage along with your T-shirt template. From here, arrange your design so it is placed where you want it on the shirt.

Click and drag the image to position it.

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Step 12

Note that the most important thing here is the scale. We’ll be manually ironing this design onto our T-shirts. You can use the icon on the bottom right of your image to scale it.

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Step 13

Now, before we make it, we need to ensure that our layers are cleaned up. Ensure that all of your cut images are present here. Depending on how you set up your image, you may have a single image or many different cuts.

In my case, I want to cut to cut the shape as I see it here, so let’s merge all these cuts together. To do so,
right-click the layer group and select
Weld.

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Step 14

Once you’re happy with your position and scaling, go ahead and select
Make It on the top right.

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Step 15

Now that we’re on this screen, we can see a preview of what our cut shape will look like. We will have to place our vinyl onto the board.

Very Important! Make sure that you select the
Mirror option. If you do not select Mirror, then your designs will be printed backwards onto your shirt. This is especially true if you have words in your design!

Go ahead and select the Mirror Option.

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Step 16

Now click
Continue on the bottom right.

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Step 17

Make sure your Cricut Machine is plugged in and the USB cable is connected to your desktop. You’ll now see this screen! Once your Cricut is connected, you’ll be given options for the material.

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Step 18

Now we need to change the material. We’ll be using vinyl, so we need to change it to that setting.

Time to enter the real world! Change the dial on your Cricut machine to your desired material, and it will also update in Cricut Design Space. It feels kind of magical for some reason!

Note for Cricut Maker Users: You’ll have to select the material through Cricut Design Space. Select
Expanded Materials and then select
Iron-On.

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2. How to Make T-Shirt Vinyl With Cricut

Step 1

Your chosen material is a big part of learning how to use a Cricut machine to make T-shirts. Again, in this tutorial, we’ll be using iron-on vinyl.

Now you will need to place your vinyl material onto your Grip Mat. I suggest using a
StandardGrip mat for vinyl Material, but
LightGrip can also work. I’ll be using the
LightGrip!

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Step 2

Place down your material with the shiny side facing down onto the mat. Do your best to keep it as evenly laid down as possible. This is an essential step in using Cricut for T-shirts.

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Step 3

Now open up your Cricut using the
Open button and place your mat into position. This is essentially your Cricut T-shirt maker step—we’re getting ready to cut.

Notice the two white tabs on either side—your mat should be underneath both of them.

 Image of how to make t shirt designs with a cricut 21

Step 4

Now it’s time to get cutting!

First, press the button on the left that looks like two arrows. This will pull your Grip Mat into position.

If your mat is positioned correctly, the Cricut button will begin to flash. Go ahead and press the flashing Cricut button to begin cutting!

Tip: If your Cricut button isn’t flashing, make sure to check Cricut Design Space to ensure your Cricut is still connected to your desktop.

 Image of how to make t shirt designs with a cricut 22

Step 5

It can be hard to tell when the cutting is done just by looking at it. Luckily, we can gauge the progress with Cricut Design Space.

Once the cutting is complete, you will get a message like below! Go ahead and press the flashing
Unload button on the Cricut machine.

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Step 6

Now you will need to peel the vinyl off the back. It’s important that the clear part of the vinyl stays on the Grip for now. Use your
Weeding Tool on a corner to pull the back, and then use your hands to carefully pry the material up.

Tip: It can be tricky with some materials to get started on the peel. Try bending the tip of a corner and bend it back and forth until it comes loose. Try to start at a corner away from the artwork to avoid creasing your cuts.

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Step 7

Now continue peeling slowly. Take extra care around small details. The more detailed and intricate your designs, the more care you will need here.

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Step 8

If you have a design with tiny spaces (which is very likely if you included typography in your design), you’ll definitely need to use a
Weeding Tool.

Poke these areas gently and pull to remove them.

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Step 9

Now you should be left with your final design uncovered!

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Step 10

Now you can peel the clear vinyl along with your design off the mat. Turn it over to see the results.

The next step is applying this to the T-shirt!

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3. How to Iron Your Design Onto Your Shirt

Step 1

With our iron-on vinyl design finished, it’s now time to apply this to our T-shirt!

If you have a Cricut easy press, this part is pretty straightforward. Follow the material heat guidelines, and you’ll be ready to go pretty quickly.

For the rest of us, we’ll be using
an iron. First, you’ll need to prepare a flat surface or an ironing board. Switch the dial on your iron to cotton, and ensure that steam is off. All we need is the heat!

You’ll also need a
T-shirt—I suggest using one that’s 100% cotton.

Before you touch your design, preheat your T-shirt by running the iron over it for around 10 to 20 seconds.

 Image of how to make t shirt designs with a cricut 29

Step 2

Place your design on the T-shirt with the design facing upwards. Place your
iron down firmly for about
20 seconds over part of the design.

Repeat this process until you have pressed down for 20 to 30 seconds on every part of the design.

Once you are done, flip the T-shirt and repeat the process from the back.

 Image of how to make t shirt designs with a cricut 30

Step 3

Wait for a couple of minutes until the vinyl is cool enough to touch, and then carefully peel off the plastic layer.

Now your vinyl T-shirt is ready to go! Congratulations! You just learned how to make T-shirt designs with a Cricut. You are officially a Cricut T-shirt maker. Creating T-shirts with Cricut opens up so many different design possibilities.

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Step 4

It’s also important to note some Cricut T-shirt care instructions. After learning how to make shirts with Cricut and following all those steps, we want to make sure our work lasts.

  • Wait at least 24 hours before you first wash your iron vinyl shirt.
  • When you do wash Cricut tee shirts, it’s a good idea to fold them inside out to prolong the life of your  design.

Make sure to keep these Cricut T-shirt care instructions in mind with your new Cricut T-shirt.

Cute Cricut T-Shirt Ideas From Envato Elements

Looking for some Cricut T-shirt ideas? Then check out these Envato Elements designs for some inspiration. Use them to make your own Cricut tee shirts, or mix and match them to create a custom design. Download these cute assets today and create even more Cricut T-shirt designs.

1.
Friends Are Forever (SVG, EPS, DXF, PNG)

 Image of envato cricut t shirt idea 1

Check out this stylish cursive font, which would be a perfect match for a cute Cricut T-shirt. This would look great with a vinyl Cricut material.

2.
Coffee Time (AI, EPS, SVG, PNG)

 Image of envato cricut t shirt idea 2

For all the coffee lovers out there, here’s a perfect collection of quotes for your Cricut T-shirt designs. The set comes with 24 different lettering quotes, and the SVG format is perfect for Cricut Design Space.

3.
Inspirational Quotes Lettering (PNG, AI, EPS, SVG, DXF)

 Image of envato cricut t shirt idea 3

Check out some more quote lettering that would be a perfect match for a Cricut design T-shirt. There are ten designs to choose from, and the cursive fonts would look fantastic in vinyl.

4.
Hand Lettering Quotes About Success (SVG, DXF, EPS, PNG, AI)

 Image of envato cricut t shirt idea 4

Looking to add some inspirational quotes to your Cricut T-shirt designs? Then check out these eight designs, which use blocky cursive fonts to deliver their motivational messages.

5.
36 Calligraphic Phrases about Summer (AI, EPS, SVG, PNG)

 Image of envato cricut t shirt idea 5

This pack comes with 36 different phrases! The long, swooping calligraphy lines would look great with some fun, shiny materials. It comes with lots of formats, but the SVG format makes it easy to get them into Cricut Design Space.

What Cricut Shirts Will You Make?

There you have it! We’ve explored how to make T-shirt vinyl with Cricut, using a cotton T-shirt and iron-on vinyl.

Learning how to make T-shirt designs with a Cricut can be a pretty involved process. It can take a bit of practice to get the process right, but once you have it down to a system, you can really start getting creative. You can get as intricate as you want with your Cricut T-shirt designs. You can also print on the front, back, and side with multiple materials. The only limits are your imagination and patience.

We hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Looking for more tutorials on Cricut and Design? Then check out these!

 

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Watch: Milton S.F. Curry “Paul R. Williams and the Legacy of Black Aesthetics” [VIDEO]

Watch: Milton S.F. Curry “Paul R. Williams and the Legacy of Black Aesthetics” [VIDEO]

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We are pleased to share the next rebroadcast of this year’s The Vignelli Center for Design Studies’ Design Conversations Lecture Series with Milton S.F. Curry, dean and professor at the University of Southern California’s School of Architecture. Curry’s lecture, “Paul R. Williams and the Legacy of Black Aesthetics,” was originally broadcast live on Zoom to an RIT-only audience at 7PM on Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020.

Curry is not only an accomplished academic leader, he is also the author of influential essays and articles related to architecture, urbanism, race and cultural theory. A firm believer in public discourse on architecture and culture, he has been widely published and cited in Deem Journal, Architect’s Newspaper, Huffington Post, Architectural Record and more. Prior to establishing his own design practice, MiltonCurry ProjectStudio, Curry worked at the offices of KPF Architects.

Watch:

If you liked this lecture, please go back and watch the other lectures, Level Up Design with Natalie Nixon and A Life of Firsts: Noel Mayo.

To learn more about The Vignelli Center for Design Studies at RIT, they have launched digital access to the archives through Google Arts & Culture, joining over 2000 cultural institutions from around the world. The initial launch includes nearly 900 high resolution images of artifacts from the archives so that now anyone with access to the Internet and Google Arts &amp; Culture can search the Vignelli archives or browse it by color or chronological order.

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This lecture series is made possible in part by the generosity of RIT Alumnus, Chris Bailey and Bailey Brand Consulting.

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