What does it take to design a full-functioning logo? Researching your target market is just the start. This is a list of only 50 of the numerous principles that need to be taken into consideration when designing any logo.
Below is an article I ran across on LinkedIn posted by Dave Kerpen, CEO, NY Times Best-Selling Author & Keynote Speaker.
The other day, I had an issue with my television service. As a social media author and CEO, I did the first thing that comes natural: I tweeted, and posted a complaint on the company’s Facebook page. To their credit, the company responded right away, apologizing and giving me a phone number to call to resolve my service issue. This is terrific social media practice.
The only problem? When I called up the phone number they gave me on Facebook, I was put on hold for over 40 minutes! While the guilty company eventually resolved my customer service issue, I was left as angry and frustrated as I’d been before. There was zero connection between this utility company’s social media channels and its phone customer service.
Several years into the coming of age of social media, most companies are still paying only lip service to the most significant communications paradigm shift in a century. Companies who spend millions of dollars in Facebook ads don’t allow their employees to access Facebook.com at work. Companies who dedicate full staffs to Twitter don’t have any C-level employees who even use Twitter. Companies who spend a lot of time and money on distributing content across social networks don’t use those same networks to listen to their customers.
What is the root of the problem, and how can it be fixed?
In many companies, social media is still silo-ed. In order to become successful, senior executives must go beyond social media and embrace social business.
To better explain social business, I spoke with Brian Solis, fellow LinkedIn Influencer and co-author of the brand new book 7 Success Factors of Social Business Strategy. Here is what Brian shared with me:
There’s a difference between a social media and social business strategy. Social media are the channels where information and people are connected via two-way platforms. Social media strategy defines programs specific to networks and the corresponding activity within and around each. A Social Business Strategy is one that aligns with the strategic business goals and has alignment and support throughout the organization.
Here are Brian’s seven steps to successfully champion and scale social media through the organization and earn executive support along the way:
1. Define the overall business goals.
Explore how social media strategies create direct or indirect impact on business objectives. What are you trying to accomplish and how does it communicate value to those who don’t understand social media?
2. Establish the long-term vision.
Articulate a vision for becoming a social business and the value that will be realized internally among stakeholders and externally to customers (and shareholders).
3. Ensure executive support.
Social media often exists in a marketing silo. It must expand to empower the rest of the business. To scale takes the support of key senior executives and their interests lie in business value and priorities.
4. Define the strategy and roadmap and identify initiatives.
Once you have your vision and you’re in alignment on business goals, you need a plan that helps you bring everything to life. A strategic social business roadmap looks out 3-5 years and aligns business goals with social media initiatives across the organization.
5. Establish governance and guidelines.
Who will take responsibility for social strategy and lead the development of an infrastructure to support it? You’ll need help. Form a center of excellence to prioritize initiatives, tackle guidelines and processes, and assign roles and responsibilities.
6. Secure staff, resources, and funding.
Determine where resources are best applied now and over the next three years. Think scale among agencies but also internally to continually take your strategy and company to the next level. Train staff on vision, purpose, business value creation, and metrics/reporting to ensure a uniform approach as you grow.
7. Invest in technology platforms that support the greater vision and objectives.
Ignore shiny object syndrome. Resist significant investments until you better understand how social technology enables or optimizes your strategic roadmap. Once you do, invest in the best-fit technology providers to help scale ‘social’ across your entire enterprise.
It’s time for businesses to stop paying lip service to social media and to start truly becoming social organizations – organizations at which all employees use the incredible technologies we’ve come to use and love as consumers. It’s time to create a social business for your organization. Today can be your start.
Do you tend to focus all efforts on marketing online? Perhaps you believe that print, as a marketing effort, as run its course. You might want to think again. People LOVE to be part of your marketing experience. Being able to open, unfold or tear off and mail back brings people closer to you and your business.
Most would prefer to receive a card in the mail versus an email for our birthday, right? Well, that’s marketing too. Bet you never thought of it that way, huh? Funny how greeting cards are a form of marketing. Think about it. If you were standing in front of a whole line of greeting cards, what would make you want to pick one up? A certain color? What about the way the type/font looked? What would it take to get you to open it to read the inside? We guarantee you that if you didn’t find the outside eye-catching you certainly aren’t going to open it to see what’s written inside.
Marketing (specifically printed marketing) is truly everywhere.
Are you thinking about a printed marketing campaign? You should. Read this if you’re not quite convinced.
We’ve been thrilled to be the messenger (pun intended) of such a heart-warming and bonding experience by way of family history learned first hand.
We will treasure this journey as well and look forward to her sequel to see what happens next!
It can be challenging at times for graphic designers and their clients to communicate effectively. Both parties involved are invested in the exact same outcome—a design “that isn’t just pretty, but serves a purpose, communicates a clear message, sells an idea, and reaches a target audience.”
After reading the post below, we realized it was the first time we’d read anything that remotely came close to shedding light on this topic in such a way that it wasn’t rude but rather helpful and informative. Our reason for posting this is to give you valuable information which in turn will cause less stress, cost less money and make your next design job easier to execute.
The following article was written by Jessie Ford, an in-house graphic designer at CMA, an posted online September 14, 2012.
Graphic designer: 5 tips for working with me
A graphic designer is an integral member of any PR team.
Having one on staff and in-house gives copywriters, project managers, social media specialists, and the rest of the gang in today’s fast-paced agency environment instant access to a creative mind.
Sometimes, we are mistaken for being the people who just “make things look pretty” and while that’s (kind of) true, we possess a multitude of skills and talents beyond the ability to pretty things up.
It’s important to know how to work with a graphic designer within an agency to reap the full benefits of the creative mind you have at your fingertips. Following these five tips will help someone like me help someone like you deliver the exact product that you want—the perfect picture that isn’t just pretty, but serves a purpose, communicates a clear message, sells an idea, and reaches a target audience.
What you may think is “quick” or “easy” is not always.
It’s “easy” to use terms like “throw this together” and “simple” when referring to a specific round of edits/revisions and a turnaround for a project, but you may not be aware of all of the “behind the scenes” work that takes place for that to happen.
Finished logos, brochures, or booklets may look simple, clean, and straightforward as finished products, but they took more than just two to three hours to create. Keep in mind all of the creative brainstorming, sketching, drafts, revisions, and more that were required. Good designers are equipped with the talent and skills to work quickly and efficiently, but not lightning fast, 100 percent of the time.
Take these thoughts into consideration the next time you’re thinking of putting together a budget and timeline for a project. Most people know that it requires significant time and effort to turn nothing into something—and anything worth doing is worth doing right. The same applies to graphic design.
Think about the point you’re trying to make, to the audience you’re trying to reach.
What is your vision for your piece? You don’t have to picture it perfectly in your mind, but do have a general sense for what you like (or don’t like). Think about colors, available logos, basic layout, a page count, document size, the use of infographics, pullout info or quotes, and the messaging that you will be trying to communicate.
Remember that less is always more. No matter how great your content is written or the terrific meaning behind it all, nobody is going to endure an entire page of nothing but words. Everyone is drawn to visuals, colors, and pretty pictures—so consider the use and placement of these, as well as call-to-action items, to break up your copy. You want to engage an audience immediately and keep them there, not make them run away. Remember, white space is a good thing.
Avoid terms such as “make it pop” or “surprise me.”
During brainstorms and pre-design conversations, it’s common for a designer to hear these words, but not gain anything useful from them. Maybe you don’t know exactly what you want, but try to be somewhat specific and organized with your general thoughts and ideas.
Do you want your piece to resemble something else you’ve seen or done? A designer loves to have “creative freedom,” but he or she also needs a few limitations, or at least what the client doesn’t want. They may seem like little things, but let the designer know colors you hate, types of photos to avoid, or fonts that you don’t like. This will help the designer in a few small ways, which will result in less wasted time later.
Give the designer final copy and don’t make revisions piecemeal later.
Basic design and copy edits are a given with any design job and a couple extra rounds of revisions are normal and expected, but try to limit it to no more than two to three. Also, try to collect and send revisions in one email, or discuss during one phone call. Avoid sending John’s revisions separately from Jane’s, not to mention the other three people’s changes involved in the reviewing and approval process.
Know some basic designer lingo.
While it’s not your job to be the designer, it helps when you can communicate with basic terminology. When you speak a designer’s language (even just a little bit of it), he or she is more likely to create and deliver the end product that you want, because they will have a better idea of what you want.
Having some basic knowledge about color systems and low and high resolution photo use will also help you understand what a designer has to take into consideration, sometimes before even starting work on a project.
Familiarity with the following will make a designer happy:
- Try to avoid grabbing a logo or photo off of a company or organization’s website. Images pulled from the Web are low-resolution and do not reproduce well on printed pieces. They may be OK to use in a digital piece, like an HTML newsletter, but not in a print product.
- Know the color modes that designers work in. They’re rather simple to understand. RGB stands for (red/green/blue), and it’s used in electronic or Web formats. For example, a website would be setup in RGB mode. CMYK stands for (cyan/magenta/yellow/black) and is used in most printed materials. You might also hear a designer call this “4-color process.”
- Remember that certain colors stimulate specific types of emotion. Cooler colors such as blues and greens evoke a sense of calmness. Warmer colors such as reds and oranges will make someone feel more of a sense of energy and passion. Think about these theories when considering and choosing a color palette.
- Understand that “bleeding” is not a bad thing. When a designer asks you if you want your artwork to “bleed,” he or she is simply referring to the description of images or colors that run off the edges of a page. For example, if a big photo doesn’t bleed all the way off a spread or cover it’s laid out on and is left with space around its edges, it may have a less-powerful impact on a viewer.
Most of the time, a designer has a good reason for doing something. Maybe you never considered the effects that certain typefaces, colors, space and photos have and the way they all work together in design, but they’re the basic ingredients that a designer cooks with every day.
Put trust in the designer and give that person creative freedom—but don’t send the designer into battle unarmed and unprepared. Communicating your basic ideas, visions, and target audience, and giving him or her a few references will benefit both of you.
Understanding and respecting what a designer does, the time and effort that goes into what they do, and speaking (just a little bit of) of his or her language will result in a better quality end product, which will only make both of you happy.
Everyone has failures…they are a part of life and business. How you carry on after a failure makes all the difference. Take a look… http://bit.ly/ViJPP4
If you are a small business owner you might feel you do not need a brand. We are here to tell you that you might want to reconsider. Here’s why…
What do you think of when you hear or read the words: Twitter, Facebook, Coke, Nike, or Donald Trump? What about the small business that you’ve been working with for the past few months? Do they have a brand? If so, what is it?
Your brand, personal or business, is extremely important if you want to succeed. This article will help you see just how important it is and a little trick to figure out what your brand is.
“One of the reasons I know so much about personal branding is that I did so many things wrong.” ~Julia Allison
We’ve talked before about how important resolution is. 300dpi for everything CMYK (full color process) and 600dpi for everything black and white or grayscale. We’ve come across a handy little website that will help you easily calculate image resolution for you. All you need to type in is the current size of the image you’re working with and select which resolution you need it to be. It will then tell you the proper size in either inches or pixels depending on which you prefer. Go ahead and give it a whirl, we think you’ll really like it.