Tattoo Placement – Nasty Spots For Females

There are tattoos that look great on certain people and then there is that tattoo that looks like it does not belong. Below are a few tattoo placements ( in my opinion ) that women should not get:

1. Wrist Tattoos – The wrist is not a bad area to get tattooed but for women, this area is not very attractive. The inking on the wrist is usually associated with masculine.

2. Forearm Tattoos – By far, the skin of the forearm is one of the best areas on the body for tattooing. It is very elastic and healing is notably faster. However, for a female, this is not that easy to cover up for it shows almost 100 % of the time. Not very attractive.

3. Neck Tattoos – Even on the rear side of the neck or just the side, the neck tattoo is a warning sign of future remorse. The area for inking is excellent for tattooing and the ink holds well, but it is still an area of the female body where a tattoo does not blend in well with the feminine beauty.

4. Between Breast – Some of the best skin on the body is found on the chest. Yes, it may look sexy while they are young and even middle aged but I am sorry, not when they are in their 70’s.

5. Face Tattoos – Known for women in more cultural areas of the world, facial tattooing is definitely more for the men then the women. Other than woman getting eyeliner or lip liner tattooed, actual tattoo designs on the larger part of the face just do not make sense.

6. Toe Tattoos – A difficult area to tattoo well for most artists being that the skin does not stretch well and there is not much skin and area to cover. Healing for a toe tattoo usually never comes out well for the bandages used seem to cause problems leaving an ugly, permanent disaster.



How to Design Your Business Logo in No Time

It is easy to initiate a business with no logo, but success is guaranteed only with a good brand name. A logo is not mandatory, but certainly, it is most necessary for future growth of any organization. The difficulty is that people who run small business are short of time to ponder on what type of logo design to adopt for their company. I acknowledge that the logo design process is a lot of work, but if you work systematically, logo designing is not that difficult. Let us discuss what in ways we can generate inspiration for logo design.

  • Brainstorming is extremely helpful in the l. Make a note of the thoughts that arise in connection with your company logo, and then perform a thorough review later. Every bit of the puzzle is extremely vital. What may come be it right or wrong just throw it on paper.
  • Increase facts for your company logo for it define its business logic. Every small business needs a trade name, although varies in the type of logo design style. It is very important to be familiar with the nature of your business.
  • For a small business it is important to aim the intended customers with pinpoint accuracy. When you deeply study the people that you will be catering, it will help you spawn ideas for your logo design.
  • Every business must distinguish itself from the rest of the industry players and for that you require a distinctive logo. However, you should be following the common idea of the trade. So you can find a general tendency to work on logo ideas by looking at the logos of your competitors.
  • Expert counseling can be chosen to get an idea of what you need. If you do not know where to start designing your logo, you have a chat with your family and friends. The consultation will culminate with tons of new ideas for logos.
  • The key element to effectively correspond to the effect that your logo requires is to construct links. Think about all the things that unite with your business and try to integrate them into the design of your logo. However, do not over do the cake.
  • It’s always obliging to recognize the creativity of others. The countless logos around you will surely give bright ideas. At times, looking at what people have made can trigger an insight for an interesting idea of the logo design. Moreover, you can get the logos of motivation from many online businesses.
  • I know nobody is a fortune-teller, but you can try to picture how you would like your business to stand in the future. Thinking with a longer scope will improve skills to produce better logos. The design of your logo design should be adaptable enough to represent your business for a decade.



Beginning Website Design With HTML (Part 1)

I am beginning a series of tutorials on HTML, the language that makes websites possible. This is the first part of my series. Enjoy, and leave any questions in the comments!

What does HTML stand for? Hyper Text Markup Language

Ok, now we’ve got that out of the way. The first thing you need to know is how to make an HTML file. Easy!

If you are on Windows, go to Start > Accessories > Notepad. Open Notepad, then click File > Save As… and type a name to save it as (e.g website). At the end of the name include the extension.html so the name looks like website.html. Now, click the Save As Type dropdown menu and select “All files”. Then save.

If you are on a Mac, use TextEdit. Open it by either searching it in Spotlight, or going to Finder > Applications > TextEdit. Open it, go to Preferences and make it Plain Text instead of Rich Text. Go to File > Save As…, type a name, and select Web Page (.html) from the File Format dropdown.

That’s all there is to it! Your file is now ready to be made into a website! To view it in the browser (although there is currently nothing to view), just right-click the file, open with your favorite browser.

Ok, now onto the coding! First off: In HTML, everything is made up of tags. Tags consist of and everything in between. For example, the opening tag for an HTML file is. The closing tag is the same, except it has a forward slash in front of the word:. You always begin and end HTML documents with the opening and closing tags. Now, between those tags, put in the head tag. It’s the same as the html tag, except with the word “head” instead of “html”:

The head of your website is where you will put your websites title, and any files your website requires to run. We will get into most of that later; for now, let’s just put in the title. Insert the title tag (I hope you’ve figured out how to do this by now) and close it.

Now, between the title tags, add a title for your website e.g: My First Website

Now for the content. Beneath the closing head tag, make the body tag, opening and closing:. The body of your site is where all of the content that people see goes (the title only appears in the title-bar of browsers).

If you want to insert text into the body, use the paragraph tag with your text between the opening and closing tag.

Save your work, and view the site the way I mentioned above.

To add text beneath that paragraph, simply add the paragraph tags again, along with the text inside.

That’s all for today’s tutorial. By now you should know how to: Create an HTML file, add the site title, and add simple text-content. Come back to see our next tutorials!



Good Web Design

What is Web Design?

A Web site is the final output of a Web design. The Web site sits on a Web server where electronic files are stored. The Web site presents the contents and interactive features or interfaces to the end user in the form of Web pages. How the information requested is displayed to the user is par of the Web design process. Additional controls are embedded in order to display more complex media like animations, sounds and other forms.

Whats New? The Clouds of Course!

Everybody wants something new from time to time and yet some need a fix of something totally different. In the realm of the internet, that is quite a common occurrence with the many innovations that are always popping up and with all of them, none can be as exciting as the move into the clouds.

The Open Design Community: Free CSS Templates!

If youre most people out there who dont know CSS and have no time, or care, on how to do one for your blog, then the next action for you would be to find a place where you can download one for free. Thank goodness that there are a lot of sites out there that give them away for free. The only problem is, that since you were not the one who created it, you will be subject to their designs and whims.

One of the sites that give free CSS of cool web designs is The Open Design Community (TODC). The Open Design Community is a hub for open source website designers from around the world providing thousands of XHTML and CSS based free web design templates available for download. So, please feel free to take a minute or two and browse through the designs that our fabulous designers have submitted and see if one might work for you! And remember they are free!

Bad Web Design

Here are some features that can really mar the over all concept of your web design. It is important to take notice of the most common mistakes web designers commit. You might be able to use some insights into creating an effective web design which might be simple but can invoke your projected image. Backgrounds that are gray in color by default presents so many problems most especially with the pages readability. Avoid color combinations that can render the characters unreadable. Backgrounds are mostly effective when it is left simple and does not interfere with reading. Texts must be readable. Avoid small characters. Keep the links colored blue as much as possible because common users are already used with the color.

DIY Web Design

Do it yourself design projects are proliferating in the internet these days. There are a number of web sites that practically teaches you what to do without hiring a web designer. A do it yourself web site design applies perfectly for young professionals who are just starting to learn stuff in business or trying to reformat the existing business that they are running. DIY web site design offers you total control over the project and over the site that is why its simply gaining popularity. It takes the work out of dealing with consultants, designer, contractor landscaper and the likes. In DIY design, your ideas are sure to be heard and taken careful attention to. You get to express your style and personality. because at the end of the day, it still will be your website, selling your products. This has solved constant problems with web designers who are truly passionate in their work who sometime can get overly sensitive to a small correction or observation of his work. Do it yourself web designing surely saves you money and time and energy.

Benefits of Web 2.0 Applications

Web 2.0 applications are the latest trend in website design . Many Internet companies and users are turning to web 2.0 for its added features. It has also increased functionality. It has brought about a new wave in how sites are to be built, designed and applied hands-on. It makes the users enjoy blogging, download, RSS feeds etc. These developments give added excitement to online experience. It is said that Web 2.0 companies sites get higher ranking in search engines, like Google, yahoo and countless others. Web 2.0 benefits are countless. You can post photos, albums, help guides and maps for planning your travel abroad.

It has radically changed the quality of social interaction worldwide. Blogs proliferate. marketing online costs much less. And it has created networking success stories. Web 2.0 gives you full control over your business while adding smaller but very useful features to it.

Website design is of course not giving the visitors with another plain piece of text. Go as per the old saying “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. Here the beholder is the visitor of the website that you are going to design. So as a skilled website designer you should have mastered all the skills needed to create classy and attractive graphics, colors and shapes placed in perfect balance to catch the eye of the visitor together with drawing his focus to the most important sections of your website. Your job as a website designer is to make use of colors, text and graphics and translate into a visually appealing layout, logo, banner, and button system.

As a professional website designer, you need to chalk out a well-devised approach for creating the website. First, you need to understand the specific business necessities of your client and lay out the basic structure of the website. In order to minimize the cost of the set up, the website designer should be equipped with predefined web templates. Having this feature in your armory, you don’t need to go hog-wild with the designs for the reason that you are not designing a website by tinkering.

Internet Marketing (Part 2)

Start a blog. Blogs have now become a favorite for search engines. If you go ahead and launch a blog, link it into your main site, print blocks of information and float RSS feeds. If you do these then most of the search engines can locate you much faster. Design some copies of digital books that you can send out to everyone. You can write for articles or courses online that could be submitted elsewhere. Then, create your own write-up in a manner that you can use them in any possible type of media, whether online or offline.



Top Ten Fonts for Website Design

The top ten fonts for website design might change in order, but for the most part the fonts that make up this list stay the same due to their popularity. In general, the top ten list includes Arial, Frutiger, Futura, Gills Sans, Helvetica, Lucida, Optima, Palatino, Agfa Rotis, and Univers.

The reason these fonts are so popular is because they are simple and easy to read on computer screens with low resolution. As a result, most of the time fonts that are unique, wild, and distinctive are not used on web pages so as not to distract the reader from what is trying to be said and communicated through the font on the page. Since the website uses content to get the point across, it is prudent to use fonts that are easy to read. If you make it difficult for a visitor to read the content, they will more likely leave than put forth the effort. Consider the following points as well when developing your fonts for your website.

– Big Fonts

This is your web page and likely your livelihood, not a term paper or research project that has a defined style. Because of this, you can use big fonts, bold them, make them stick out and attract the reader. You can drive your point home with larger fonts and they also will be significantly easier for your visitor to read. The object of your website is to present information that is easily seen, read, and found by visitors. So, go ahead and increase the font size even in regular text that is not in a heading or title. Many of your visitors will thank you because they will not have to put on their glasses or strain to read the text. Sometimes bigger is better.

– Sans Serif

If you have no idea about fonts, how they translate to your web page, or how they will affect your visitors and ultimately sales, then you should definitely stick with a san serif font. The reason for this is that these fonts are the most legible and provide the best readability for visitors in a low resolution atmosphere. Don’t take risks with your fonts, go generic and use a sans serif font. Your visitors will thank you for it and your sales will not suffer from it.

– Simple is Safe

Again, don’t let yourself get carried away with your fonts and designs. Instead, keep the thought in mind that simple is safe. If you want to be bold and brazen in your website design then don’t take that route with your fonts. Keep it simple, basic, and easy to read, and you will benefit significantly more than if you try to mix it up.



Lifestyle Design Tips: Setting Priorities

Hey there! I hope everything’s going swell on your end as it is in mine.

Have you ever noticed how we Internet marketers forget to set priorities? Sometimes, we get so overwhelmed with how big our ventures have become, how the number of sites that we manage have grown, how many activities we need to accomplish during the day that it can be a very frustrating experience just trying to get everything done.

It’s the price that we have to pay for success. As a businessman, you have to be over and above everything in your business. You have to be in control. But you have to admit, this can be easier said than done. Priority setting is something you learn with time and practice. But if you don’t have the luxury of experience yet, then here are some tips to get you started:

Take immediate action. Procrastination is such a major productivity killer that most of us do out of sheer habit. Kick it by cultivating the practice of getting things done the moment they come to you. This is particularly true of problems brought to your attention that you can give a solution to right away. When an idea that enables you to leverage your biz comes to mind, act on it pronto.

If you need to have a list, then don’t put in more than five priorities there. Making lists can be counterproductive if you have to put every little thing you need to do for the day. You’ll end up spending more time on the easiest and most inconsequential. So take stock of your priorities and determine the top 5 most important that should be done for the day. Then, don’t stop until you’ve accomplished each one.

Divide chunks of your time to accomplish what you wrote on your list. How much time are you going to allocate, uninterrupted, to get these jobs done? Set breathing spaces every hour for you to rejuvenate, walk about or generally just relax so you get new perspectives every time you put your thinking cap back on.

Schedule routinary tasks at the beginning or end of the day. You can check emails, file away stuff or read before everything gets too hectic. Meetings with employees can be done near the end of the day once in a week or every two weeks to discuss their concerns or strategy. Unless it’s an emergency, don’t encourage the habit of interruption among your team members. Set a part of your day where any concerns they may have which were not addressed in meetings can be answered. Limit these to five minutes at most so only the most vital issues are addressed. It’s amazing how scheduling your time this way improves productivity.

Clear your desk of clutter. Too many things there distract you from focusing on what’s important. If you don’t need it, trash it. If you need to store it in a file cabinet or in an electronic file, do so.



Web Design 2011

Every year there has been significant advancement and development of website design and in 2011 we could potentially see another significant leap in website design. A combination of developments in website functionality and expansion of user platforms could produce a new wave of functionally integrated websites suitable for multi-platform usage.

What we use the web for has significantly expanded. E-commerce, telecommunications, video conferencing, social networking, video and audio media, live transmission and more have all been added to the original use as an information source. With each of these becoming more frequently used and new functions developed, websites are increasingly looking to expand the range of functions available to their users to enhance the usefulness of the site.

Current website design developments can be split into two broad areas: website interaction and website communities. Website interactions involve the functionality of the website and making the design of the website as suitable as possible to its purpose. Website communities facilitate social interactions with workers of the website and website users. Both of these areas are rapidly expanding

More and more websites are creating communities for a variety of reasons. Firstly, with the clear success of social networks like Facebook and Twitter, people like to socialise online and meet new people that are interested in similar things. Websites in general have realised that people visiting their sites share common interests, and creating communities increases the re-visit rate to their site which ultimately can increase revenues. Another important reason for communities on sites is to offer greater support to customers and users. Rather than the works on a website answering each questions individually, they can address common concerns in bulk. Also, with the massive success of Wikipedia, people have realised that far greater support can be offered as part of a community, where people can share their solutions to problems and seek out solutions that they haven’t been able to find without having to contact the people who run the site. This potential to reduce the amount of time needed to support the users of a website can also significantly reduce costs and increase profits.

The power of a good website community has lead to increased functions. Audio and visual communications within communities are highly important now, while 24/7 messenger support, either with a human helper or a computer automated help option are increasingly common. Flexibility is also now important, with the ability to communicate with many users at the same time and also interconnectivity with other social networking vital in expanding the reach and access of a website. As a result, in 2011 the community sections of websites will become increasingly required with much increased user options as the social networking phenomenon continues to grow.

The website functionality will also significantly increase throughout 2011, with the new platforms adding further complications to the website design. Websites have become more and more interactive, with users being able to do much more online. This is only set to increase in 2011, with more e-commerce taking place, greater expansion of media types and document creating. People want much more control of the websites that they use; they want to chose what videos they watch and when, increased download availability across the board and the ability to create more things online, such as produce videos, animations, official documents and much more. Websites with more user interaction options will be more successful and website designs will need to be able to integrate these effectively. However, it is not just the content that users want more interaction with, but the design of the websites themselves. Some development in this areas has occurred over the past few years, with the ability of users to customise their interfaces in limited ways, mainly changing colours and images but still limited within the options of the website. Menu bar developments have also allowed users to pull up or hide away information, giving them greater control of what is displayed on the page, while also allowing web developers to offer users more options on a single page of what content they can access. However, users are still confined to restrictions of the structure of the web design. In 2011, the ability of users to alter more features of a websites design to suit their needs, making the websites more flexible will be a significant development and could potentially open up the way we use and perceive websites and how their designs should be structured.

Website developers are also going to have to adapt to the new technologies of the decade and make them accessible to the new platforms. The standard internet browser is not as suited to the hand held mobile handsets, or the new tablet PCs. In order to make the internet more mobile, devices have had to get smaller and as a result so too have the displays. This places limitations on what can be displayed on a single page, requiring more navigation on these devices to find what they need. Suitably designed websites and apps that cater for these smaller visual displays will be much more effective, and with the seeming continual expansion of the use of the technologies development to operate on them will be increasingly important in 2011.



Cabinet Design That Lets You Shine

Wouldn’t it be nice if the world revolved around you? Unfortunately, the realities of everyday life and your lack of gravitational pull make that impossible (no offence). So when the time comes to explore the limitless possibilities of cabinet design, you should make like the sun: Consider yourself the center of the universe for a little while and choose a cabinet design that lets you shine.

But what exactly does that entail? In short, it’s about using cabinet design to showcase your strengths and mask your… well… developmental opportunities. And in the process, your choices can make some powerful statements about you.

“Look at what I’ve done”

Did you used to hate those tests where you had to “show your work”? Maybe that’s why so many of us are reluctant to showcase our work later in life. We invest countless hours and dollars amassing the ultimate antique collection or pour our heart and soul into that pottery class, only to let the fruits of our labor rot in a closet all day.

With the strategic use of cabinet design, however, those days are gone. By opting for glass doors as part of your design, you can display those treasures for all to see and let them gather praise instead of dust bunnies. By doing so, you’ll bring new life and energy to a room as your collection becomes an integral part of the d├ęcor and elevates everything around it. Now if only showing your work on that physics exam could do the same thing.

“Look at what ELSE I’ve done”

What’s the point of being an over-achiever and keeping it under wraps? Thanks to the myriad of options available to you for cabinet design, you don’t have to. If you have a number of different items that are flaunt-worthy, you can use a variety of cabinet design approaches to give them their due.

For a vintage look to your cabinet design, try leaded glass panels with some artistic detailing.

If you’re one of those people who march to a different drummer, chicken-wire door inserts are hard to beat. They still allow your items to be the focal point of your cabinet design, but in a creative way that might earn additional accolades while complementing cottage and country decors.

“Don’t look now”

As any savvy politician will tell you, image isn’t just about how they see you. More often than not, it’s about what they DON’T see.

Perhaps your precious pieces are such that they look great from afar but don’t lend themselves to closer scrutiny. In that case, your cabinet design could incorporate frosted or textured glass doors to filter out the flaws. In this way, you can downplay mismatched dishware or define open storage without the need for neatness. It’s an effective way to put your best foot forward without stubbing your toe in the process.

“Look at it this way”

So you love everything about your dream home except the long stretch of mundane cabinets in the kitchen. If you’re not ready for a complete remodel, you can still preserve your reputation as a design diva with a unique cabinet design. Switch some of your existing cabinet doors for tambour doors that slide up, creating an “appliance garage” that is easily accessible and hard to ignore. Instead of lamenting the ordinary, your guests will heap praise on the creative cabinet design and, by extension, on you. And well they should.

We don’t get a lot of chances to perform at our best and soak up the applause, so when we do, we need to make the most of it. With the proper choice of cabinet design, you can place yourself squarely in the spotlight and take a few bows while you’re there. So maybe the world won’t revolve around you, but when it comes to being the centre of attention, why should the sun have all the fun?



Web Design – You Get What You Pay For – Cheap vs Quality

Have you ever seen one of those advertisements stating that you could get a website designed for $199, or some company will create your web design for some outlandishly low sum of money? The adage “you get what you pay for” is very true, especially when it comes to web design! A cheap website is just that – a cheap website. Website design is exceedingly vital, particularly when you are advocating your company or association. Your web design will introduce your company or association to the world and I don’t believe a $199 effort would be a wonderful and effective testimony. It will have greater exposure than print would ever have an opportunity of doing and I doubt you would get far with that little sum of money in print! Web design can be and frequently is a lot less pricey than print in the end, but it is the most gainful way to promote your association in the long run.

Web design is a skill and a science that is gained over time. Not just anyone can do it and do it correctly; so it is critical that you approach your website designer and become acquainted with him or her. Some web designers are great artists, others are brilliant at code, a small amount are decent at SEO (search engine optimization) and even fewer are competent at each and every one of these areas. Most of the bigger web design companies maintain teams of individuals to make up for what each of their different designers may be deficient in. Certainly, common sense implies that the more people that are working on a web design, then the higher the cost will be. Now, just because a web design costs more than another doesn’t automatically suggest that the web design is better. This is where you want to talk to the actual designer who is designing your website and get to know them. Trusting your own wisdom and your own intuition goes a long way! You must like and have faith in your designer especially since you may be working with them for a long time. Website design is not a “fire and forget” business and it shouldn’t be; although quite a few designers these days are likely to function in that fashion unfortunately. For the majority of businesses the perfect scenario is when you have a web designer that can be close at hand anytime you need to make adjustments to your website.

The days of a stagnant website are over. In the ever-changing world of the web, a dynamic website is where the focus is. Website designs now require content that is ever-changing and continually updated. Events, inventory, images, news, blogs and several other features of your web design will need to be altered or updated frequently. The best situation is one where you have a content management system (CMS) and a website designer. The CMS will allow you to update important content without knowing any code and your web designer will be there if you need them to bail you out of something you broke or wrongly modified.

So what should all of this cost? It depends on several different factors. Several things affect this such as how many pages are needed, how much content will the customer provide and how much content will the web designer have to make and develop, how many images and graphics will have to be designed or manipulated, whether Flash and JavaScript are used or not, how many forms need to be designed and how complex will they be, and the list can go on endlessly. I would express that a decent web design will cost at least $1,000 and up. If you get a web design below $1,000 then you in all probability are not acquiring much if anything. For the most part, websites that are under $1,000 will more times than not be one page or a few pages at the most and be an extremely simple design. These extremely basic websites are what many would call a brochure site and you usually don’t attract much business from a brochure website. The majority of decent business websites will in all probability be approximately $2,000 to $3,000 and ecommerce would begin at approximately $3,000 to $5,000 and up. Larger company sites would begin at $5,000 to $10,000 and up. Thus if you spend $199, look forward to a $199 performance, if you spend $1,000 look forward to a $1,000 performance, and if you spend $3,000+ look forward to your site to appear, function and turn out like a high quality website design.



How to Design and Layout a Coffee Shop Or Espresso Bar

If you are planning to open an espresso bar/coffee shop, then developing an efficient store design and layout will be one of the most important factors in positioning your business for success.

Speed of service is critical to the profitability of a coffee business. An efficient ergonomic store design will allow you to maximize your sales by serving as many customers as possible during peak business periods. Even though your business may be open 12 to 16 hours a day, in reality, 80% of your sales will probably occur during 20% of those hours. Coffee is primarily a morning beverage, so your busy times of day (those times when you are most likely to have a line of waiting customers), may be from 6:30AM to 8:30AM, and then again around lunchtime. If you have a poor store layout, that does not provide a logical and efficient flow for customers and employees, then the speed of customer service and product preparation will be impaired.

Think of it like this; if someone pulls open the front door of your store, and they see 5 people are waiting in line to order, there’s a good chance they’ll come in, wait in line, and make a purchase. But, if they see that 20 people are waiting in line, there is a high probability that they may determine that the wait will be too long, and they will simply get coffee somewhere else. This is money that just escaped your cash register! And, if they come to your store multiple times, and frequently find a long line of waiting customers, they may decide you are not a viable option for coffee, and will probably never return. Poor design slows down the entire service process, resulting in a longer line of waiting customers, and lost sales. So in reality, your daily business income will be dependent upon how many customers you can serve during peak business periods, and good store design will be essential to achieving that objective!

The financial impact of a poor store design can be significant. For the sake of this example, let’s say the average customer transaction for your coffee business will be $3.75. If you have a line of waiting customers each morning between 7:00 AM and 8:30 AM, this means you have 90 minutes of crunch time, in which you must drive through as many customers as possible. If you can service a customer every 45 seconds, you will serve 120 customers during this 90 minutes. But, if it takes you 1 minute 15 seconds to service each customer, then you will only be able to serve 72 customers. 120 customers x $3.75 = $450.00 x 30 business days per month = $13,500. 72 customers x $3.75 = $270.00 x 30 business days per month = $8,100. This represents a difference of $5,400 in sales per month ($64,800 per year), coming from just 90-minutes of business activity each day!

So how should you go about designing your coffee bar? First, understand that putting together a good design is like assembling a puzzle. You have to fit all the pieces in the proper relationship to each other to end up with the desired picture. This may require some trial and error to get things right. I’ve designed hundreds of coffee bar over the past 15 years, and I can truthfully tell you from experience, it still usually takes me a couple of attempts to produce an optimal design.

The design process begins by determining your menu and other desired store features. If you plan to do in-store baking, then obviously you’ll need to include in your plan an oven, exhaust hood, sheet pan rack, a large prep table, and perhaps a mixer. If you plan to have a private meeting room for large groups, then an extra 200 sq. ft. or more will need to be designed-in, in addition to the square footage you are already allocating for normal customer seating.

Your intended menu and other business features should also drive decisions about the size of location you select. How many square feet will be required to fit in all the necessary equipment, fixtures, and other features, along with your desired seating capacity?

Typically, just the space required for the front of the house service area, (cash register, brewing & espresso equipment, pastry case, blenders, etc.), back of the house (storage, prep, dishwashing and office areas), and 2-ADA restrooms, will consume about 800 sq. ft. If space for extensive food prep, baking, coffee roasting, or cooking will be required, this square footage may increase to 1,000 to 1,200, or more. What ever is left over within your space after that, will become your seating area.

So, a typical 1,000 sq. ft coffee bar, serving beverages and simple pastries only, will probably allow for the seating of 15 to 20 customers – max! Increase that square footage to 1,200 sq. ft., and seating should increase to 30, or 35. If you plan to prepare sandwiches, salads, and some other food items on site, 1,400 to 1,600 sq. ft. should provide enough space to seat 35 to 50, respectively.

Next, you will have to determine the tasks that will be performed by each employee position, so that the equipment and fixtures necessary to accomplish those tasks can be located in the appropriate places.

Normally, your cashier will operate the cash register, brew and serve drip coffee, and serve pastries and desserts. Your barista will make all your espresso-based beverages, tea, chai, hot chocolate, Italian sodas, as well as all the blender beverages. If you’ll be preparing sandwiches, panini, wraps, salads, snacks and appetizers, or will be baking on-site, then a person dedicated to food prep will be necessary. And, if you anticipate high volume, and will be serving in or on ceramics, a bus-person/dishwasher may be a necessity.

After you have determined what you will be serving, the space you will be leasing, and what each employee will be responsible for, you will then be ready to begin your design process. I usually start my design work from the back door of the space and work my way forward. You’ll need to design in all of the features that will be necessary to satisfy your bureaucracies and facilitate your menu, before you make plans for the customer seating area.

Your back door will most likely have to serve as an emergency fire exit, so you’ll need a hallway connecting it with your dining room. Locating your 2-ADA restrooms off of this hallway would make good sense. And, because delivery of products will also probably occur through your back door, having access to your back of the house storage area would also be convenient.

In the back of the house, at minimum, you will need to include a water heater, water purification system, dry storage area, back-up refrigerator and freezer storage, ice maker, an office, 3-compartment ware washing sink, rack for washed wares, mop bucket sink, and a hand washing sink. Do any food prep, and the addition of a food prep sink and prep table will be necessary. If doing baking, gelato making, full cooking, or coffee roasting, all the equipment necessary for those functions will also need to be added.

After all the features have been designed into the back of the house, you will then be ready to start your design work on the front of the house service and beverage preparation area. This area will probably include a pastry case, cash register(s), drip coffee brewer and grinder(s), espresso machine and grinders, a dipper well, possibly a granita machine, blenders, ice holding bin, blender rinse sink, hand washing sink, under counter refrigeration (under espresso machine and blenders), and a microwave oven.

If serving food beyond simple pastries and desserts, you may need to add a panini toaster grill, a refrigerated sandwich/salad preparation table, soup cooker/warmer, a bread toaster, etc. If you plan to serve pre made, ready to serve sandwiches, wraps, and salads, along with a selection of bottled beverages, an open-front, reach-in merchandising refrigerator should be considered. Serving ice cream or gelato? If the answer is yes, then an ice cream or gelato dipping cabinet will be necessary along with an additional dipper well.

Finally, when all the working areas of the bar have been designed, the customer seating area can be laid out. This will, of course, include your cafe tables and chairs, couches and comfortable upholstered chairs, coffee tables, and perhaps a window or stand-up bar with bar stools. Impulse-buy and retail merchandise shelves should be established, and a condiment bar should be located close to where customers will pick-up their beverages.

A quick word about couches, large upholstered chairs, and coffee tables. Living room type furniture takes up a lot of space. If you plan to be opening evenings, and will perhaps serve beer and wine, and having comfortable seating will be important for creating a relaxing ambiance, then by all means do it. But if you have limited seating space, and are not trying to encourage people to relax and stay for long periods of time, then stick with cafe tables and chairs. The more people you can seat, the greater your income potential!

Features from the front door to the condiment bar should be arranged in a logical, sequential order. As your customers enter the front door, their travel path should take them past your impulse-buy merchandise display, and the pastry case, before they arrive at the point of order (where your cashier, cash register, and menu-board will be located). Exposing customers to your impulse items and pastries, before they order, will greatly increase their sales. Then, after the order and payment has been taken, they should proceed down-line away from the cash register to pick-up their beverage, and finally, the condiment bar should be located beyond that point. Be sure to separate your point of order from the point of product pick-up by at least six feet, otherwise customers waiting for their beverage may begin to intrude into the space of those ordering.

Don’t make the mistakes that many inexperienced designers commonly make. They arrange these features in a haphazard way, so that customers have to change direction, and cut back through the line of awaiting customers to proceed to their next destination in the service sequence. Or, wanting to make their espresso machine a focal point to those entering the store, they place it before the cashier along the customer’s path of travel. Customers inevitably end up trying to order from the barista before they are informed that they need to proceed to the cashier first. If this happens dozens of times each day, confusion and slowed beverage production will be the result.

On the employee’s side of the counter, work and product flow are even more important. Any unnecessary steps or wasted movements that result from a less than optimal design will slow down employee production. All products should flow seamlesly in one direction towards the ultimate point of pick-up. For example, if preparing a particular item is a 3-step process, then placement of equipment should allow for the 3 steps to occur in order, in one linear direction, with the final step occurring closest to the point where customers will be served.

Equipment should be grouped together so that it is in the immediate proximity of the employee(s) who will be using it. Beyond the actual equipment, empty spaces must be left on the counter top to store ingredients and small wares (tools) used in product preparation. Counter top space will also be needed where menu items will actually be assembled. Think of the grouping of equipment for different job functions as stations. Try to keep different stations compact and in close working proximity to each other, but make sure that there is enough space between each so that employee working-paths don’t cross, which could contribute to employee collisions.

Creating defined work stations will allow you to put multiple employees behind the counter when needed. When it is busy, you may need to have 2 cashiers, another person just bagging pastries and brewing coffee, 2 baristas behind the espresso machine, a maybe even a dedicated person working the blenders. If you’re preparing sandwiches and salads to order, then another person may need to be added to handle that task. Keeping your stations in close proximity to each other will allow one employee to easily access all equipment during very slow periods of business, thus saving you valuable labor dollars.

When you arrange equipment in relationship to each other, keep in mind that most people are right handed. Stepping to the right of the espresso machine to access the espresso grinder will feel more comfortable than having to move to the left. Likewise, place your ice storage bin to the right of your blenders, so when you scoop ice, you can hold the cup or blender pitcher in your left hand, and scoop with your right.

As you create your store layout, the equipment you select should fit your space and the needs of your anticipated business volume. A busy location will most likely require a dual or twin, air pot, drip coffee brewer (one that can brew 2 pots at the same time), as opposed to a single brewer. If you anticipate selling a lot of blended and ice drinks, then an under counter ice maker, one that can only produce 100 pounds of ice or less per day, will not be sufficient. You should instead locate a high-capacity ice maker (one that can make 400 or 500 lbs. per day) in the back of the house, and transport ice to an ice holding bin up front. Plan to bring in frozen desserts and ice cream? Then a 1 door reach-in freezer in the back of he house will probably be inadequate for you storage needs, so you’ll need to consider a 2 or 3 door. I always recommend a 3-group espresso machine for any location that may generate 150 drinks per day or more. And, I can tell you from experience, you can never have too much dry or refrigerated storage space!

Make sure that any equipment you select will be acceptable with your local bureaucracy before your purchase and take delivery of it. All equipment will typically need to be NSF & UL approved, or have a similar, acceptable, foreign certification equivalent. Your bureaucracy will most likely want to see manufacturer specification sheets on all equipment to verify this fact, before they’ll approve your plans.

ADA (American’s with Disabilities Act) compliance will also come into play when you are designing your coffee bar. In some areas of the country, this will only apply to those areas of your store that will be used by customers. However, other bureaucracies may require your entire store to be ADA compliant. Following are some of the basic requirements of compliance with the code:

• All hallways and isle ways must be 5 feet wide (minimum).

• All countertop working heights must be 34 inches high (instead of normal 36 inch height).

• 18 inches of free wall space must be provided on the strike-side of all doors (the side with the door knob).

• All hand-washing sinks must be ADA friendly.

• All bathrooms must be ADA compliant (5 foot space for wheelchair turnaround, handrails at toilet, acceptable clearance around toilet and hand washing sink, etc.).

• No steps allowed, ramps are OK with the proper slope.

• If your space has multiple levels, then no feature may exist on a level where handicapped access has not been provided, if that same feature does not exist on a level where it will be accessible.

You can find the complete regulations for ADA compliance at the following website:

http://www.access-board.gov/adaag/html/adaag.htm

Beyond the basic Equipment Floor Plan, showing new partitions, cabinets, equipment, fixtures, and furnishings, you’ll need to produce some additional drawings to guide your contractors and satisfy the bureaucracies.

Electrical Plan

An electrical plan will be necessary to show the location of all outlets needed to operate equipment. Information such as voltage, amperage, phase, hertz, special instructions (like, “requires a dedicated circuit”), and the horizontal and vertical location of each outlet, should all be specified.

A small, basic coffee shop might get away with a 200 amp service, but typically 400 amps will be required if your equipment package will include items like an electric water heater, high-temperature dishwasher, or cooking equipment (ovens, panini grill, etc.).

In addition to the electrical work required for your coffee business-specific equipment, you may need to adjust existing electrical for additional or reconfigured lighting, HVAC, general-purpose convenience outlets, and exterior signs. Also, have your electrician run any needed speaker wires, TV/internet cables, and cash register remote receipt printer cables at the same time they are installing electrical wires. Finally, make sure your electrician makes provisions for lighted exit signs, and a battery-powered emergency evacuation lighting system, if needed.

Plumbing Plan

A plan showing all plumbing features will be necessary. At minimum, this should show stub-in locations for all needed water sources (hot & cold), drains, your water heater, water purifications system, grease interceptor (if required), bathroom fixtures, etc.

While a typical P-trap drain should be acceptable for most fixtures and equipment, some will require an air-gap drain. An air gap drain does not go through the “S”-shaped twists of the P-trap. Instead, the drain line comes straight down from the piece of equipment or fixture, and terminates 2 inches above the rim of a porcelain floor sink drain. This porcelain drain basin is usually installed directly into the floor. The air gap between the drain line from your equipment or fixture, and the bottom of the basin, prevents any bacteria in the sewer pipe from migrating into the equipment or fixture. I drain the following pieces of equipment to a floor sink drain when creating a plumbing plan:

• espresso machine

• dipper wells

• ice maker

• ice holding bin

• food prep sink

• soft drink dispensing equipment

To save on the life of your water filtration system, only your espresso machine and coffee brewer should be supplied by with treated water. Coffee is 98% to 99% water, so good water quality is essential. Your ice maker should only require a simple particle filter on the incoming line (unless your water quality is terrible). There is no need to filter water that will be used for hand and dish washing, cleaning mops, flushing toilets, and washing floors!

Be aware that many bureaucracies are now requiring a grease interceptor on the drain line from your 3-compartment ware washing sinks and automatic dishwasher. A grease interceptor is basically a box containing baffles that traps the grease before it can enter the public sewer system.

Also understand that a typical retail space will not come equipped with a water heater with enough capacity to handle your needs. Unless your space was previously some type of a food service operation, you will probably need to replace it with a larger one.

If cutting trenches in the floor will be necessary to install porcelain floor sinks, a grease interceptor, and run drain lines, then establishing a few general purpose floor drains at this same time behind the counter, and in the back of the house, will prove useful. Floor drains will allow you to squeegee liquids away when spills occur, and when washing floors.

Finally, if you added some new walls during your remodel, you may need to have the fire sprinkler system for your space adjusted or reconfigured.

Cabinet Elevations

Drawing cabinet elevations, (the view you would have if you were standing in front of your cabinets), will be necessary for your cabinet maker to understand all the features they will need to incorporate into your cabinet designs.

These elevations are not meant to be shop fabrication drawings for your cabinetmaker, but merely serve a reference, showing needed features and desired configuration. Where do you want drawers, and under counter storage space; and, where do you want cabinet doors on that under counter storage? Where should open space be left for the placement of under counter refrigeration and trashcans? Will cup dispensers be installed in the cabinet face under the counter top? These elevations will provide your cabinetmaker with a clear understanding of all these features.

While your kitchen base cabinets at home are typically 24 inches deep, for commercial applications they should be 30 inches deep, and 33 inches if an under counter refrigerator is to be inserted. Also, when specifying the size of an open bay to accommodate under counter refrigeration, be sure to allow a couple of inches more than the physical dimensions of the equipment, so that it can be easily inserted and removed for daily cleaning.

Dimensions Plan

You will need to create a floor plan showing all the critical dimensions for new partitions, doors, cabinets, and fixtures. This will, of course, help make sure that everything ends up where it is suppose to be, and will be the right size.

A final thought about design; unless the space you will be designing is a clean vanilla shell (meaning, nothing currently exists in the space, except perhaps one ADA restroom), you will have to make sure that all the features that you are considering keeping, will be acceptable with your local bureaucracy. Many older buildings were not designed to present codes. If the business type remains the same (your space was occupied by a food service establishment before you), then some times any non compliant features will be grandfathered-in, meaning you don’t have to bring them up to current requirements. But don’t count on this! You need to check with your bureaucracies to make sure. More and more I see bureaucracies requiring new business owners to remodel, so that all features are compliant with codes. This means you may have to rip-out bathrooms and hallways, add fire sprinkler systems, and provide ramps where there are steps. Better you know all these things before you begin your store design!

I always tell my consulting clients, that if I produce a perfect design and layout for them, they will never notice… because everything will be exactly where you would expect it to be. Unfortunately, if you create a less than optimal design for your coffee bar, you probably won’t realize it until you start working in it. Changing design mistakes or inadequacies after the fact, can be extremely expensive. Not correcting those mistakes may even cost you more in lost potential sales. For this reason, I strongly suggest using an experienced coffee business space designer to create your layout for you, or at very least, to review the design you have created. Doing so will payoff with dividends.