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Modern Design for a Tech Savvy World -- Keeping Ahead of the Curve

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Trying to keep ahead of a changing art and design world while keeping your products fresh and unique is a daunting task for any designer. Color palates and trends change in the blink of an eye, and what's hip and classy today can be drab and boring tomorrow. How can designers stay one step ahead and keep building their client base while offering the kind of designs that speak to today's tech savvy consumers?

Get online!

Design studios often use social media to reach out to their audiences these days. Facebook is a great tool for jewelry designers, textile artists and even small jewelry studios. Showcasing a new line of products or sample designs to get feedback from clients has never been easier. Creating a fan page allows people to see what their favorite designers are up to in the studio, and if the designer has photos of their new work -- or the steps to finishing a piece -- can allow clients, customers and fans to get an inside glimpse of how a product goes from pre-production to a finished piece. A great example of using Facebook to interact with customers are Fablouge designers Ana Cavalheiro and Simon Cardwell of Cheeky Monkey Jewelry. Facebook also allows for custom plugins, and a way to keep ahead is to find an online shopping cart which networks with Facebook to allow for sales of your products without leaving the page.

Tweet it, pin it, tumblog or video it!

Another way to get customers talking and to network with other designers is through the other social networks. Pinterest, Twitter, Vimeo -- all offer unique tools and resources to the up-and-coming or even the well-known designer. Pinterest allows designers to pin their work on boards that can be seen throughout the Internet by users of the website and app, and they can follow others and remain up-to-date on their pins.

Twitter is the micro-blogging service which lets users follow, message and tweet short 140 character limit posts about anything that's on their mind. Italian handbag designer Alexandra de Curtis uses Twitter wisely, promoting new sales and getting customers talking about her products.

Tumblr is a site which allows users to post videos, chat logs, text, photos and more. It is a widely used platform in today's youth, and emerging designers can find a ready audience if they market their product well.

It's all only as good as you make it!

Knowing how to use tagging features, hashtags and other social media tools such as SEO are very important to staying ahead of the game in today's fast paced design frontier. If you don't know how to use SEO to see how your website ranks compared to other designers, there are many sites that can help. Check out Authority Labs for a great example of how to make your website work for you by tracking what's gaining you new clients and what isn't. A quick google search can help you navigate social media waters -- without making any blunders or stepping on toes. Overall, staying ahead of the game is only what you make of it. Gathering the skills to create a viable web presence is in your hands.

Do you have any tips for designers, fashionistas or studios? How have you set up your online profiles to work best for your company or fan page? Leave a tip in the comments below!