- Logo – A logo gives you a foundation to build a brand on. When developing your logo, consider things like the shape and layout and how it will fit into different scenarios. For instance, will it sit well on your website header in a horizontal space, or within a square shape, like a pinterest graphic? Ask your designer to give you a selection of layouts so that you have a logo that will adapt to different shaped spaces without need to stretch or warp. Make sure you love your logo and don’t settle for something that doesn’t make your heart sing because you’ll be looking at it for a long time.
- Colour – this is probably THE most important aspect of your visual brand. Colour will dominate your brand, no matter where you put it. The colours you choose can be in the background and sit behind your logo, or they can be part of your logo. Choosing one dominant colour will make your brand powerful and eye-catching. Too many colours can be confusing and distracting, so go and google ‘colour theory’ and find out what colour would be best for your type of business.
- Font – fonts have personality and can say a lot about you and your business. The font you choose largely communicates the style of your, whether it’s informal, corporate, fun, casual, professional etc. TIP: Ask your designer to supply you with the font and to make sure the fonts are converted to paths on your logo files (if they’re not converted and you send the logo to say, a sign writer, and they don’t have your particular font installed on their computer, the font will convert to something generic like arial or courier).
- Background elements – Now that print isn’t the only way to promote and we have access to a plethora of images and backgrounds online, it means that your brand can take on a life of its own with the use of background images and designs. Subtle or strong, a background effect can impact on the look and feel of your brand and helps to create a style that’s unique and individual. Examples of backgrounds include photographs of scenery, patterns and textured images such as timber, sand, hessian or stone. You could have your designer create a customized background graphic with colour and shapes. You’re only limited by your imagination and plenty of ideas and inspiration can be found on stock photography websites. TIP: Always create your own images, take your own photos or buy stock images.
- Photograph – whether you’re a small business or larger, the relevance and importance of having professional photographs is rising. People (your clients) want to connect with people (you) and the best way to do that in your marketing and advertising is to add your photo to the mix. It may feel a bit daunting at first, but you’d be surprised at how effective it is. Including your photo inspires trust from prospective clients and also adds value so that when you’re speaking on the phone or online, that person already feels like they know you. Spend the money on professional photos and make sure you update them every year or two.
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.
The complicated process of creating a Facebook Welcome page
Over the last few days I’ve been asked to explain how to create a Facebook Welcome page. From what I understand, there are two options:
Option 1 - Static Image: You can create an image using Photoshop or another graphic program to sit on your Welcome page. The measurements I use are 520px wide x 800px tall, this converts to 180mm wide x 290mm tall. The image should show your logo or branding, useful information about your business and an offer or call to action. This type of Welcome page sits on your Welcome tab as a graphic and is designed to encourage visitors to ‘like’ your business page and go to your website or call you.
The part that confused me was how to get this image into my Welcome page. I needed the html code, which meant I had to store my image online so that I could get the html code to insert it on to Facebook (yeah I know, this part did my head in too – but stay with me and persevere!) My good friend Annie Infinite of Saucy Social Media explained that you can set up a free album on Photobucket, upload your image and then you’ll get the code you need. So I did that. TIP: make sure you get the HTML code because there are four choices and they won’t all work.
Ultimately, this version of a Welcome page is a picture only and it’s the easiest way to go, especially if you don’t yet have a website to link to.
Option 2 - Opt-In and Links: Create a functioning Welcome page with Facebook Fan Pages. Here you pay to subscribe and then you can create a Welcome panel with opt-in boxes, links, text and images using the templates provided. If you want an opt-in box so that people will be added to your database, you’ll need to already have your website set up with forms, landing page and a facility to collect a database. Links can be added and lead to your website or email. Your images can also be links that lead to your website. This option takes a bit of setting up, but in the end you get a live Welcome page that’s active and interesting, and will lead people to your website.
Below are the sources I've mentioned or used to write this post. I'd really love your feedback on this one. Would it be helpful to create a step-by-step document that breaks it down and shows you how to do it all?
Fan Page Engine: http://fanpageengine.com/
How to set up your welcome page: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RovS3ovaUl8
Social Media information: www.saucysocialmedia.com