How to distinguish between a Word-Mark and a LogoDo I really need a logo? I’m often asked this question and the answer can vary depending on the type of business you have. It’s good to know exactly what a logo is before making that decision so let’s talk about the differences between a logo and a word-mark. A logo is a combination of stylised text plus an icon or symbol. If a symbol or a specific shape, image or picture is important to your brand, then the answer is yes, you DO need a logo! Check out the Woolworths logo, there’s an icon representing an apple as well as the name, so that makes it a logo.Most of us recognise the Dominos logo and that's because they've been around for a while. An icon without text isn't wise if you don't have strong recognition established. A word-mark is just your business name and is designed with a chosen font that represents the personality of your business, it's then designed into a graphic and stylized to take on a unique identity of its own. There are no other elements, just the word. Coca Cola is a good example of this, you can see how the font has been embellished to make it unique and recognisable. So, do you need a logo or a word-mark? What would be best for your business?
It's all about your business attributes, once you know what they are, it's a whole lot easier. Here are seven colours and their attributes.
Red is the colour of passion, it stands for power, love, energy and fun. If your business is all about enthusiasm and action, then like Coca Cola, red is a great choice for you.
Blue indicates trust, reliability and intelligence. Think IBM; it's corporate, confident and professional. Other attributes of blue include loyalty, peace and authority.
Green is for growth, organic, natural, fertility and relaxation. That's why green is used a lot in beauty and wellness branding, it's the colour of youth, luck and healing.
Yellow is sunny, happy and bright. Think energy, joy, warmth and intellect. Yellow is often used in children's branding, it's a primary colour, the colour of creativity and light. Is your brand joyful and warm?
Purple is rich, luxurious and wealthy. Purple is also the colour of spirituality and magic, it's mysterious and inspiring with a touch of soul. Purple is a great colour for those businesses in spirituality and connect-ness.
Orange is a strong colour, its attributes are determination and potency, success and vitality. Orange is encouragement and productivity and suits businesses that are strong and proud. The French love orange.
Pink is the feminine of colours, it exudes calm, stillness, serenity and peace. It's caring, accepting and loving. That's why pink is often the chosen colour for women's health brands such as the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
So, which attributes are matched to your business? Did you find a perfect match?
I love my work and I'm good at what I do. I've spent more than 30 years and thousands of dollars learning to be good at it, I live and breathe it, and when I complete a project and hand over a brand new baby the thrill of seeing the smile on my client's face is worth all the hours of intense labour. Because together we've just given birth to a beautiful brand, a luscious logo with fitting fonts and captivating colours, something to be proud of that can grow and flourish with the business it represents.
When I create a brand, a website, a facebook cover graphic, book cover, business card or anything for that matter, it's not done lightly and haphazardly. It's created with intent, purpose and intuition. It's created to represent a business, a business that's close to my client's heart because it's their identity, the face of their business and something they're proud of. This is often a vision or a dream that's been brewing for a long time. Nothing in this world can replace the joy my clients express when they finally have a tangible identity they love. Nothing! It makes my heart sing. It's why I do what I do.
But there's one thing that makes me really really mad (and I don' get mad that often). It's when someone buggers up my design and instantly turns it into crap. It's like baking a beautiful cake, pouring all your love and energy into it to make it the best you possibly can, and just after you present it on a shiny silver platter someone comes along and stomps on it. It's like writing a beautiful letter to someone you love, carefully written, each line composed with meaningful words and hours of thought, then someone comes along and tears it up into tiny useless pieces. As Amanda Gore would say, just "STOP IT".
Bad design can devalue a brand in the blink of an eye and that's not good for business, so if you've invested serious time and money in having your branding created, don't let anyone bastardise it. Not your best friend, not your nephew and certainly not your mum (unless you're one of my kids - then it's OK).
I love to promote my clients, to show off their brands and feature them in my newsletter, on my website, my facebook and twitter pages BUT if they let an amateur bugger it up, they're off my page and my website in a flash! I am SO not proud of their brand any more. It's heartbreaking. I guess that's why a lot of designers won't part with the original artwork files, at the risk of their client or someone else messing with it.
What do you think? Does having Photoshop automatically make you a designer? I don't think so, just as owning a car doesn't make me a mechanic. Just stop it.
A few months ago I had the pleasure of Nikki Parkinson's company in my wardrobe. That's right, in my wardrobe. There's not a lot of space in there so it was a bit of a squeeze, but we had great results.
Let me explain... Nikki is a Stylist, an award winning blogger and writer. I'd been thinking about getting her to pop in and help me out with my overwhelming amount of clothing, to refine my choices, toss out the old, mix up the good and burn the ugly.
It took some courage but I finally did it and I have about one third of my clothes left, the rest were bundled into big green garbage bags ready for Lifeline. I was amazed at how much lighter I felt!
Yes, my choices are fewer but I can create multiple 'looks' by mixing and matching a few different pieces (all of which are either red, black, grey, red, white or red - I'm a self-confessed red junkie) with my growing selection of scarves (almost a fetish) and jewellery, so that keeps me looking and feeling fresh.
So if you're thinking about freshening up your look, if you're wanting more style and a desire to feel great every time you walk out the door, engage a stylist and edit your wardrobe. You'd be surprised what nuggets of gold are lurking in there!
Nikki's website is Styling You - go pay her a visit, she's very stylish!
Last week I decided to put my prices up. I was feeling frazzled, over-worked, under-paid and running around like a chook with its head cut off. So I added 10% to my normal prices and sent a quote to a lady I'd seen that morning, and I got my first rejection. Hmmm... now apparently this is a good thing, if you don't get complaints about your prices it's supposed to mean you're too cheap. So that's OK. Or is it?
I sat with it for a few days and imagined living a life of luxury, the mansion on the hill, drinking pina coladas every day and working less hours for more money, you know, all those clichés. It felt lonely. And I came to realise that none of that is what makes me happy. What gives me joy is helping other business people to make their dreams tangible, to use my skills to take their ideas and turn them into something that can be seen and touched. To give their business an identity that resonates with them and makes them proud. That, my friend, just lights my fire and gets me super excited!
So, I've decided I'm not in it for the big money. If I could afford to, I'd do this for free, seriously. Because I love it. But the reality is I need to eat and pay the bills and put fuel in my car, so I have to ask for money in exchange for my design services. This of itself is, in my estimation, an indication of the value of what I do. In return I value the services and skills that others can offer me, and I'm more than happy to pay them for it, so what goes around comes around.
I used to have a lot of trouble asking for money in exchange for my services, but as I learn to acknowledge that what I offer adds enormous value - not to mention the fact that I have years of experience and a hard-earned uni degree - it's becoming easier.
Ultimately though, the thing that gives me joy and happiness is the thing I get to do every day. I wonder how many people can honestly say that their job makes them happy? I suspect there are more of us every day as we begin to understand the importance of happiness, and that's a wonderful thing. What makes you happy?
I was wondering today, where would we be without Facebook? I don't know about you, but I think I've become quite dependent on it. One of the main reasons I use facebook is to find out about events in my local area. Gone are the days when you waited for an invitation in the mail or had to buy the paper to see what was on. I also keep in touch with friends, family and clients via facebook and it's an excellent referral tool for my business.
So, where would we be without facebook? If you're in business, are you entirely dependent on facebook for connecting with your clients, posting events and marketing your business? If so, and facebook disappeared overnight, what would you do? How would you contact your clients and potential market? Do you have a database of everyone's details so that you can contact them outside of facebook? If not, it might be time to get one together hey?
None of us own facebook, so we really have no control over it or the content we place within it. It could quite easily vanish and there's nothing we can do about it! Scary eh? The smart thing to do is make sure you have other avenues where you can build and develop your online business presence, for example; a website, a blog, and other social media accounts like Linkedin and Twitter.
So, what would you do if facebook disappeared? How would you feel? I'd love to know.
4 January 2011
You don't need that many apostrophes
There seems to be an abundance of apostrophes in the world. They’re popping up in all the wrong places. They’re in DVD’s and TV’s and CD’s. They’re even turning up in Video’s and Hot Chicken’s. The other day I saw one on a car, advertising Pizza’s.
Portraying your business as professional at all times should include some knowledge of spelling and punctuation (although these days it’s hard to know what’s right and what isn’t in relation to texting and tweeting). So check your apostrophe quota and cut back if you’re over-doing it. Be fair and share.
Hint: There are only two instances when apostrophes are grammatically correct:
1. Ownership. For example “This is John’s new car”
2. Abbreviation. For example “I can’t do that today, I haven’t got time” Can’t is a combination of two words; can and not. Haven’t is also a combination of two words; have and not joined together and abbreviated.
Oh, and here’s a grammar thing that really really irritates me to the core; instead of saying “I could have done that” I can’t count how many times I’ve heard people say “I could of done that”. Of?? No people, that is SO wrong on so many levels. Grrr…
Can you suggest any others?