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7 Ways to Boost Your Brand Identity Online


brand

Before you can take steps to boost your online brand, you need to know what you want it to be. Your brand identity is akin to your personal identity.

 

The characteristics and traits that differentiate you from others constitute your personal identity. Your brand identity is made up of the look and feel of how your company presents itself including your:

 

  • Logo
  • Tagline
  • Jingle
  • Slogan
  • Typography
  • Packaging
  • Content

 

Your brand identity includes any visual or audio representations that others recognize as your company.

Be Consistent

Brands that consistently and honestly promote their message are powerful. Think about some of the most famous brands. What is it about them makes them recognizable to you?

 

Is it their logo like McDonald's golden arches? Or their slogan like Verizon's "Can you hear me now"? What do you think of when you hear "Good to the last drop?" That's right, Maxwell House coffee.

 

How did these major brands gain such recognition? By consistently and repeatedly exposing the public to their visual, audio, and content-related brand identity.

 

The more consistent you are in your branding, the more familiar your target market will become with your business.

Create a Brand Book

Once your company has established your brand identity and chosen your logo, tone, typography, and design styles, you want to be sure all employees and departments consistently speak in one voice.

 

Creating a professional brand book will keep your entire team on point with your brands message. Also, being able to align your business strategy with your brand position is facilitated by the creation of a brand book.

 

It also saves time for companies of all sizes if you add staff to your team or replace a designer. New employees can get up-to-speed very quickly by referring to your brand guidelines.

Speak with One Voice

Your brand is also reflected in what you do and don’t say on social media. Part of your brand identity is to know your target audience and to speak to them on all relevant platforms in the same voice.

 

Spend more time on the social media platforms where your target audience hangs out. For example, if you are selling clothes for teenage girls, your social media focus should be on Instagram and Tumblr as opposed to Twitter or LinkedIn.

 

Be sure that the type of language you use, like your captions on Instagram or your Facebook posts, speak directly to your audience.

 

All content you publish and share, such as blog posts or social media stories, should reflect your brand and be consistent.

 

Whether your brand voice is humorous, makes use of colloquialisms, or is more fact-based and diplomatic, as long as you "speak" consistently and authentically, your audience will feel a connection to you and be more likely to trust your brand.

Use an Emotional Appeal

Did you know that most purchase decisions are based on emotion? For brands who are trying to get more buyers, understanding this concept can help.

 

Your brand story should communicate feelings by appealing to the emotions of your target audience.

 

Even if someone in your target audience sees an online video, image, or post, and they are not ready at that moment to make a purchase, they will feel a connection to your brand.

 

If they consistently see the same or similar messaging that elicits an emotional response, when they are ready to make a purchase, guess whose brand they will remember? The one they feel an emotional connection to and the one they trust is the brand they will purchase from when ready.

Be Creative

When you are developing your brand strategy, be creative so that your online voice and content is unique, engaging, and compelling.

 

It is vital that your brand stand out from your competitors. So when deciding on your company logo, the fonts you use, the colors you choose, and your overall style, make sure they all resonate with your prospective customers.

 

To determine your correct voice and identity, study the demographics, preferences, and needs of your target market.

Understand Your Competition

For your target market to purchase from you and not your competitors, you should know who is competing with you in the same space and what they are doing to attract customers.

 

Do some research to find out where they are hanging out online and be sure you are there, too. Your goal is to do what your competitors are doing - only do it better.

 

Also, try to identify gaps in what your audience needs to see or hear and develop your brand strategy around what your competitors are not doing.

 

You want your brand to fulfill needs, be the solutions for any problems, and be memorable and recognizable.

Show Some Personality

Some companies decide to create a fun and humorous brand identity. If you are in a niche where being comedic is appropriate, give it a shot.

 

Some major brands create silly or outrageous online campaigns that work. A few examples are:

 

  • Charmin: Using cute and silly campaign strategies, like the hashtag #tweetfromtheseat, help to keep Charmin a leader in the toilet paper industry due to their creative marketing strategies.

 

  • Old Spice: Historically known as your dad’s aftershave, Old Spice chose to rebrand in unusual and humorous ways, including using sassy social media strategies to remain relevant and memorable.

 

  • Squatty Potty: This brand utilizes unusual and comedic marketing to promote a rather bizarre concept. But it works. After receiving financial backing from appearing on Shark Tank, Squatty Potty enjoys market dominance in a somewhat sensitive niche.

 

Creating and building a brand identity is a process, and it is often not a finite one. In the case of Old Spice, they needed to rebrand to remain competitive.

 

Continue to study your market and your competitors. Measure the success of your current branding initiatives and marketing strategies.

 

Make changes where needed and test branding strategies frequently to keep your brand in the minds of your target audience.

 

Image Pixabay CC0 License

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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How to Handle Tough Clients (And Not Want to Punch Everything)


stress

Business can be stressful, especially when you add agitated or angry customers to the mix. Every once in a while, you’ll come across someone who is particularly vile. Maybe they call you names, refuse to treat you with respect, make lofty claims or refuse to pay for goods and services.

It’s not an easy situation to deal with, but we’ve all been there. The most important thing is to keep your cool in the moment so that you don’t lose yourself and damage the brand’s reputation. It’s almost always true that others are watching — including like-minded clientele — and if you explode, it’s not going to be good for anyone.

I’ve had my fair share of dealings with testy customers, and I’ve discovered many ways to make it through to the other side.

Relax, Don’t Do It

Frankie Goes to Hollywood said it the best: “Relax, don’t do it.” Of course, the song has other connotations when you get further in, but the hook sure fits because first, you need to relax. When emotions are running high, it’s not the time to make split decisions or react to others around you, at least not without calming down. That’s when you make mistakes, which can lead to harsh reactions or responses.

I’m not going to spill some mantra about finding your center, going to a happy place or doing yoga right then and there — although yoga and exercise can help. Instead, I’ll share a few tips that help me calm down in just a few minutes, like a spot treatment. If you’re susceptible to panic attacks like I am, you’ll want to remember these.

  1. Sit Down and Close Your Eyes

The eyes are the window to the soul, or so they say. They’re also the main point of sensory stimulation for your body. By sitting down and closing your eyes for a moment or two, you can give your brain a much-needed break, severing an endless stream of sensory input. That's likely why people who are stressed find comfort in sleeping. Besides feeling great, it also gives them a break from the outside world for a small time. And since some people are more sensitive than others, it definitely helps.

It’s rude to close your eyes without saying a word, of course, so just ask for a moment to compose yourself, then retreat to a remote office or isolated area. Sit for a moment, close your eyes, and let your body simmer down. Your client(s) can wait.

  1. Take Deep Breaths

Breathing exercises are phenomenal for reducing stress and anxiety. Close your eyes, inhale deeply for about three to four seconds — letting your diaphragm expand as much as possible — then exhale for the same amount of time. Take it slow and repeat it as many times as you need to calm your nerves.

  1. Relieve Stress Tension

Lots of people squeeze or play with actual stress balls — they feel and work great. But if you don’t always have one lying around, remember that tennis balls are just as effective. Roll it around in your hand to tighten up and stretch your muscles. Doing so will help to release tension.

  1. Use a Fidget Toy

Fidget spinners are a bit ridiculous to some, but others swear by them. I prefer something a little different. It’s still a toy, mind you, but it plays on the idea of euphoric sensory input. It’s a cube with a variety of buttons, toggles, switches and interactive elements on it. When I’m really stressed, I just palm the toy and play around with it a bit. You can use the same toy or find something different, as there are tons of options for adults.

  1. Try a Music Break

You can’t do it right in front of the customer, but when you get a moment to yourself, return to your desk or personal area and put on some of your favorite music. It’s even better if you get up and move, dancing to the beat. It doesn’t matter whether you’re listening to Beethoven, Five Finger Death Punch or Lady Gaga — just get up and move.

  1. Go for a Walk

If you’re agitated or feel uncontrollable rage, it’s probably best to just get away entirely. It's a good time to take a walk, which will increase your circulation, especially if you’ve been sitting most of the day. Walking also releases a lot of built-up static energy.

Relaxed? Good, let’s move on.

Dealing With Your Tough Clients

Since many different situations can play out — all clients are different — it makes sense to specifically look at what’s happening. For example, what you should do when a client doesn’t pay on time or flat out refuses to collaborate is different from handling a micromanager.

While freelance is one of the most frequent places to find these tough clients (and more), they exist everywhere, even in retail. It helps to know how to deal with them and proceed with your work so that you can stay focused on the finish line.

Keep in mind that sometimes it’s not worth dealing with these clients at all. If you have the power, it may be necessary to cut them loose. If that’s the best option, I’ll point it out first. Don't worry, I've sent many a client packing myself — it's something we all need to do every now and then.

Here are some of the most common troublesome clients and how to deal with them.

1. Clients Who Don't Pay on Time

The client approaches you for your help, you discuss the project and finalize a deal. Everything goes swimmingly until it’s time for the client to pay up. They flat out don’t pay, drag their feet or continue making excuses. In the end, you deserve to be paid for your work, and you invested your time, so what can you do?

  • Always draw up a contract at the beginning of the project and be sure to include a statement about late fees. Absolutely collect the fee when a client doesn’t hold up their end of the bargain.
  • For larger projects, get payment up front, or at least collect a portion of the total compensation.
  • Stop working for the client immediately.
  • Don’t stop contacting them. Continue sending emails, reaching out via direct messages, texting or even calling. The more persistent you are, the more difficult it is for the client to forget or brush you aside.
  • Find other contacts at the company or other forms of contact if you’re getting no response. Sometimes a simple callout on social media can light a fire under their butts.
  • Start factoring right away.
  • If all else fails, seek legal action.

It’s a smart idea to cease future projects with the client even if they pay well. Once they start giving you trouble with payments, it’s time to move on. There are exceptions such as emergencies or major personal events, but that’s up to your discretion.

2. Clients Who Micromanage Too Much

Sometimes, the client thinks they know best — better than you — and will lob an endless swarm of suggestions, requests and comments at you. Incorporate what you can, but remember, they came to you for help. At some point, you’ll need to use your own judgment and experience to decide what happens next. What you know absolutely trumps what a client “thinks” they want — but don’t tell them that!

Don’t placate the client every time. Follow the process that you think is best for the project and its outcome. Politely explain to the customer that you have more experience. If they do not understand or continue to fight you, it may be best to set them free.

3. Clients Who Communicate Poorly

Poor communication is never good. Whether the client is not sharing enough about what they want, sharing too much or being incredibly vague, it can certainly grind a project to a halt. Find ways to meet with the client in person and be specific when you're asking questions or trying to collect ideas. Show them visual examples or past work and try to glean their likes and dislikes as early as possible. Doing so will help you avoid major revisions later.

4. Clients Who Disappear

Poor communication is one thing, but when clients disappear altogether, that’s another. It’s even worse when they’re missing and a big decision needs to be made. That situation can result in your entire team waiting around to complete work or continue.

Of course, you won’t know the client is going to disappear beforehand but get as much information about the project as you can upfront. If you come to a crossroads and they’re not around, move to another part of the project that you do have information about.

5. Clients Who Continually Alter the Project Scope

The client seemed a dream, you’re nearly done with the project and you approach them with what’s ready. Suddenly, they decide the work you put in is not good enough and they want something entirely different. If you continue, you’ll need to go back to the drawing board.

If you made a mistake that caused the change, own up to it. If no mistake was made and they’re just being demanding — which happens more often than I’d like — make it clear that you kept to the original plans and you expect to be compensated. Be firm, be persistent, but don't be rude.

Explain to them that the costs will increase for the new approach and that the work will take longer to complete. If the client cannot understand that changing the scope near completion causes too much extra work — and may even ruin the deadline — it’s not someone you want to be working with long-term anyway.

6. Cheap Clients

I get this all the time in freelance. Clients don’t want to pay my rates and often tell me I either charge too much or have an inflated sense of self-worth. They want to pay an incredibly low price for lots and lots of work. If you’re not careful, they’ll continue to increase the workload as time goes on, but they certainly won’t pay what it’s worth.

If you notice the clients are cheap up front, just walk away. Take a moment to explain that the cost is the cost and you won’t budge. If they can't accept that they have to pay for quality work, they don’t need to be seeking help.

“I can do that in X time so much better!” Great, go do it then, bud.

7. Multi-Team Clients That Cannot Make Decisions Effectively

With larger teams — organizations especially — managers aren’t truly managers, at least when it comes to making decisions. Generally, they have to go through a system of checks and balances. This process means consulting others on their team, including alternate executives. Dealing with these kinds of clients is challenging because getting a straight answer is rarely possible.

Make time at the beginning of the project to sit down with everyone involved, get the appropriate input and collect all the necessary contact information. In some cases, it may be necessary to go right to the source, asking outright what they want or what should be done, as opposed to going up the chain of command one by one.

8. The Clueless Client

The client wants something and may even be specific, but they have absolutely no clue what kind of work, value or time is required to get it done. Maybe they want you to complete an incredibly difficult project in half the time you usually do, or perhaps they’re offering a fraction of the overall cost. Again, this is best left to your discretion. Is the compensation they're offering worth all the trouble? If not, walk away.

I have found that the best approach is to educate the client using industry-specific examples as evidence. Show them your past work and explain how long each project took. Point out the value in your efforts and politely explain why the costs are higher than what they want or why it will take longer. Smart clients will recognize right away that you know what you're talking about.

Remember to Protect Yourself and Your Team

You probably can't afford to turn away every difficult client. Sometimes, even I have to accept the undesirable client to make sure I can pay my bills on time, that’s just the nature of the business. That said, it’s not healthy to build an entire portfolio with these types of clients. Avoid working with them on future projects when you can, especially if they don’t pay, change the scope of the work entirely or remain unsatisfied with your work. Some relationships just aren’t meant to be.

When you're choosing what clients are good to work with, assess the impact on you and your team's health. If they're too difficult and it's going to cause stress for everyone, it may not be worth the trouble.

 

 

 

Lexie is a graphic designer and typography enthusiast. She spends most of her time A/B testing websites and creating style guides. Check out her blog, Design Roast, and follow her on Twitter @lexieludesigner.

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Tips for Strategic Writing for Your Brand


strategic writing

Content marketing is essential for branding. Special marketing content plays an important role to increase the engagement of customers. To get desired results, you have to create engaging web content with a tagline, a catchy message, and call to action. With inspiring stories, you can create the first impression with your customers. Consider the advice of professional writers with the story and essay help to give a different voice to your business. Make sure to engage people with your brand to drive desired behavior.

Every brand needs high-quality, original content to bring your brand to life. Here are some essential components of strategic writing:

  • Tagline (a clear message for your customers)
  • Web content
  • Brand manifestos and brand stories
  • Marketing brochures
  • Important marketing articles

Strategic writing for your brand is necessary to increase the engagement of customers on a deeper level. Feedback and involvement of people are essential to get fresh ideas to make your brand memorable. Original content is authentic and compelling for your customers.

Bring Traffic with Articles

As per Derek Halpern, you have to spend 20% of your time in writing and 80% in its promotion. If you know promotion tactics, you can bring visitors even with mediocre content. Without contagious content, your dream to get tons of traffic can’t become a reality. Communicable means engaging articles. Try to write on interesting topics that force readers to share it with other people. With contagious articles, you can naturally increase your traffic.

Work on a Proven Idea

If you want to increase awareness of your brand through your writing, you have to be shameless to steal ideas of other people. A tool like Buzzsumo may help you to find strong ideas. Type your keywords in the search field and check the most shared blogs and articles based on your anchor texts.

Check community sites to see massively contagious articles and blog posts. If you are blogging in the marketing niche, you can find great ideas from Buzzsumo. It is true that you can steal ideas, but you can’t steal words from other articles. Your readers will ultimately find that you are a copycat. This situation can ruin your credibility.

Keep it in mind that you can improve articles and an original idea so that people can’t recognize it. Here are some ideas to enhance the quality of your article.

  • Write smart articles to impress readers.
  • Articles must contain actual ideas and force people to share it.
  • The article should have practical value so people can get some credit for sharing it.
  • Make sure to create the content that people would like to read.

Before writing on an idea, read maximum articles available on the internet. Keep it in mind that stealing an idea from a person is plagiarism, but stealing from several sources is research.

Use Visual Elements in Articles

People love graphics, so include several images in an article. Make sure to create custom images to illustrate important points. Your article must have these visual assets.

  • Photos of interesting/relevant events, concepts, things, places, and people.
  • Graphs and charts to explain/illustrate the numbers behind a phenomenon or story.
  • Visuals represent concepts, elements or procedures that enable better/faster understanding.
  • Screenshots with explanations/examples/notes of different events
  • Comics, such as storyboards or illustrations that tell narratives visually

Copywriting Techniques

A story can sound completely different depending on the narrator. A few people have extraordinary talent to tell a boring story into an engaging manner. If you are not gifted to write creative stories, you can create viral headlines. A weak headline can kill your article, so create an exciting headline. Clickbait headlines aim to exploit the inquisitiveness gap to provide enough information to make readers curious.

Optimize Articles with Relevant Keywords

Without targeted keywords, you can’t optimize your articles. The Keyword Planner of Google helps you to brainstorm potential keywords. Keyword optimization is essential for link building, content creation, and content strategy.

After choosing focused keywords, you have to mention it in the title tag. Keyword optimization is essential in a link building strategy. Navigational links, breadcrumb links, inbound links, and internal links must have optimized keywords. To get a better ranking, you have to connect with searchers. Target keywords are necessary for your content.

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Logo Color: Why It Is Important


logo color

There are several factors that will be influential to the success of your business. The quality of the products and services, location of the physical store, human resources, and timing are just some of the most crucial.

 

In most cases, people tend to focus on the bigger picture when talking about business success and they ignore the small details. Among others, one that you should not miss is the importance of a logo, which should speak about the personality of the business. More than the actual design, there is another factor that will contribute to its success – the color.

 

In the rest of this post, we will discuss some of the reasons why the color of the logo is important. While we’re at it, we will also look at some of the best colors to incorporate in your business logo and their meanings.

 

Before we proceed, if you need help in designing a logo for your website, check this out - https://www.thetop10sites.com/logo-design/. You will find a variety of choices to help you in coming up with the perfect logo that will speak about your business.

 

The Importance of Color in your Logo

 

On top of the list is the obvious – aesthetics. The color is important because of the overall appeal that it provides the logo. Would you choose a color that won’t speak to your target market? Of course, not! Pick a color that will immediately captivate their attention the first time they see the logo. If they do not find the color appealing, they might not even notice that it is a company logo. In line with this, it is said that 93% of purchase decisions are based on visual perceptions, which can rely not only on the color of the packaging but even the color of the logo that is printed on it.

 

To add, the color is also critical because it will allow you to make an instant connection to your target market. Are you trying to target people who are young? Probably, you will benefit from using colors that are vibrant and energetic. On the other hand, if you wish to target professionals, you might want to choose subdued colors. Meanwhile, if the affluent market is the target, choose colors that are elegant, which will make the logo appealing.

 

In one article from Harvard Business Review, it has been noted that trust matters more than ever for brands. It is one of the most important goals of branding. How exactly can this be done? Probably through the use of the right color.

 

Aside from building trust, color also builds brand recognition. Meaning, it will be easier for the people to link the logo to your company.

 

More so, color is important for differentiation. It makes you unique compared to your competitors, and hence, will be easier to recognize. For instance, if there is a row of shops along the street, all of which are offering the same product or service if your logo color is different, you will easily stand out.

 

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, logo appeals to the emotion. It provides the business with the opportunity to develop a connection to its customers. In fact, color is the biggest emotional trigger in logo design, which is why it is critical to give this a careful thought. This brings us to the next part of this post, which will discuss the colors of logos and their meanings. If you are unsure how to design or redesign your logo, take note of the discussions in the next part.

 

Picking the Right Color

 

Now, let us have a look at some of the colors that you might want to consider for your logo, as well as their meanings or the messages that they convey.

 

  • Blue: This is the best choice for a logo color if you want to evoke professionalism. It is also often linked to trust, which explains why it is the color of many bank logos. Safety, loyalty, and power are also linked to this color, which is why governments often pick it.
  • Red: The intensity and warmth of this color make it effective if you are targeting extroverts or males. This will also be a good choice to show passion. It is also effective in boosting appetite, so there is no wonder why a lot of fast food chains use this as their logo color.
  • Green: For businesses in the field of nature and health, this is one of the most popular logo colors. It is also associated with spring and new beginnings. It is often used by businesses that would like to highlight the fact that they are eco-friendly
  • Black: For luxury, authority, superiority, and classiness, black is the perfect logo color. It is for businesses that would like to show off their elegance, making it an excellent color for those targeting the rich market.
  • Orange: You will see a lot of art and sports brands using this as the color of their logo. It is associated with energy and creativity. It is also common in restaurants because it can stimulate hunger, although, not as intense as red.
  • Yellow: Often associated with sunshine, this vibrant color will make people cheerful and friendly. In most cases, however, it is not used as the main logo color because of the lack of emotional appeal, but it is used as an element to highlight some parts of the logo.

 

For a more detailed guide on how colors will be able to manipulate emotions, check out this link - https://www.businessinsider.com/the-importance-of-a-logos-color-2014-4. This article from Business Insider also comes with practical examples that will make it easy for you to realize that the things we tackled above are indeed right.

 

Wrap Up

 

So, do you want to create an effective logo that connects to the emotions of your customers, stands out from the competitors, and captivates attention? As noted above, there is one way to do it – choose the right color for your logo.

 

While color is important, however, it should be emphasized that there are other elements that will affect the perception of the logo, including the shape and the font.

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11 Branding Ideas to Keep You Ahead of the Game


brands

Whether you have an existing company or are planning to start your own business, branding strategies are key to surviving a competitive market. Market conditions are constantly fluctuating as every industry continues to get more saturated with more competition. With that growth comes the challenge to make sure your brand and your company stand out and are capable of countering your rivals.

 

Branding initially seems like a simple idea, but it is anything but simple. Branding requires a bit of thought and intention, and more often than not, it can deliver high rewards. Branding is how you create a positive audience perception that establishes trust between you and your customer base. This trust is what keeps people coming back to your brand and that is what you, if not all, businesses desire.

 

Below, we have compiled a list of branding ideas that can keep your brand name ahead of the game.

 

  1. Upgrade Your Logo

 

When you are branding for your company or for a product, you are essentially trying to tell your company’s story, goals, and mission in little to no words and in a very concise and eye-catching design. You do not want people to feel unengaged or take your company as unprofessional because of a dull logo design.

 

Revisit your logo design to see if it is influential and effective at drawing positive attention. How does your logo look on packaging, on merchandise, and on letterheads? Does it look effective on a big billboard? What about on a laptop screen or a small cellphone screen? Could it still be clear if you put it on a moving vehicle? If not, your logo may need a bit of a refresher. Pinterest is a good place to find ways and inspiration on how to spruce up your logo. Play with your design. Maybe your logo is too busy and needs paring back. There is nothing wrong with making good use of white space in your designs. Perhaps, it needs a new color palette. For example, Colourlovers is a great place to find trendy color palettes that fit your brand personality but also draw the consumer’s eye.

 

As the market is always evolving, your logo should tweak and change with it. Whatever you do, your logo should represent the spirit of your brand so strongly that people know immediately who you are at the sight of your logo.

 

  1. Spread Your Logo Everywhere

 

logo

Once you have a logo that is fresh and unique, make sure to use a variety of ways for people to see and interact with it. If you are selling a product, your packaging should be something appealing and memorable. The first thing consumers are drawn to is the packaging and ensuring it matches the tone and personality of your product and company is important in keeping their trust.

 

Get your brand logo printed on business cards, brochures and postcards. First, it is a strong traditional move of professionalism to have business cards and brochures. Also, sometimes the best way to get your brand out there is by putting it right in people’s hands. Having something substantial to hold does bear quite a bit of meaning to people. Websites like MOO and Primoprint are online printing services that can help you get your logo out there.

 

Another great way to get your logo out there is to put your logo on the things you work with every day. Get your logo printed on your office supplies. Seeing your logo on letterheads, coffee mugs, mousepads, pens and pencils, notebooks and more show people that you are in support of your own brand. People are able to trust you when they see how much you back your own name. You should try to be your brand as often as you can because it instills a sense of confidence in yourself and in your brand. Sites like Artik and Avery can make custom office supplies and personalize your letterheads, among other things.

 

  1. Promotional Swag

 

It goes without saying that people really enjoy getting custom swag. As such, promotional products are another great way to spread your brand. T-shirts, keychains, magnets, glasses, water bottles are among some of the things you can get your logo on.

 

An interesting option is lapel pins. Vivipins is a great website where you can order customized lapel pins. Get your logo on these high-quality lapel pins and watch them end up on teenagers backpacks and bags as extra decor. You can also give them to your employees and co-workers as a sign of gratitude as well.

 

Custom swag is an effective way to create a network of people who help create interest in your brand. The people who were your logo will likely share it with other people. Thus, your consumer pool grows. Look at websites like Vistaprint  and Artik to create custom swag for your business.

 

  1. Create a Personalized URL

 

Make your website or brand standout by making a URL that features the name of your brand in the web address. It helps for marketing and search engine optimization so your website or brand name is likely to come up first when searched online rather than getting lost or overlooked.

 

  1. Identify Your Market Archetype

 

In fairytales, fables and parables, archetypes are the character types that we see so often that they become easily recognizable to us. Who knew the same concept would apply in marketing?

 

Now you do not necessarily need to blast this to all of your customers, but even on the marketing playing field, everyone fulfills a type of role. Identifying what role you play in the greater branding narrative, ensures that you create a compelling personality for your brand that users can identify no matter what.

 

  1. Grow Your Social Media Presence

social media

Social media’s importance to how people relate and connect with each other continues to grow each day. In the context of marketing, the very same still applies. You must understand which social media platform is important to your brand. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other sites all have different target audiences. Make sure you are connecting with the right audience for your brand.

 

Instagram is one of the ways brands connect with the younger generations. It can curate the best and most stunning images of your brand more than a paragraph of words can and create a spark of interest in an instant. Images give off moods and suggest a number of things to your audience. As such, you might consider investing in a social media manager or a photographer to capture the best images of your brand. Also, watermark your Instagram pictures with your logo. It will help people associate your high-quality images with your brand name.

 

If having multiple social media accounts is not doing enough for your brand, brand influencers are a good way to go. Brand influencers are social media stars who are connected to your industry. Research who your customers are following. Find the top names on social media, especially those who line up with your mission. An influencer can not only bring more exposure with their large following, but they can also help create a sense of personalization for your brand because if a person’s favorite social media star is using your brand then they gain a sense of trust in you.

 

Custom hashtags are also a great way to grow your social media footprint. Creating a unique hashtag that embraces your company’s mission is a great way to share your brand in an online language that everyone understands and knows how to share.

 

  1. Blogging

 

Blogging is a great way to better engage with an audience about your brand. Blogs usually have a very casual and personal tone, giving them a sense of individuality and personalization that maybe ads or professional articles lack. People flock to blogs because its seems like real people talking to real people. Starting a blog about your brand too will show your audience that you are a professional about your field, and it can unite text and visuals in a great engaging way.

 

  1. Create Brand Videos

 

videos

People have short attention spans so people are more likely to engage more with video content than to read a long post. The world of YouTube has quickly brought video culture to a high where being a youtuber is now a viable career. Not to mention how much of our entertainment consumption is done through videos. Videos on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, it seems like the internet is just a constant loop of videos. Just think about how quickly and easily people are likely to send funny videos over their phones or share it. Now think of how well your brand might do if its brand video was handed the same exposure.

 

Visual media is an immediate form of connection that people can understand and translate faster than reading. Beautiful graphics, illustrations, and vibrant colors present your brand in an engaging way that is easy to access, understand and share.

 

  1. Stay On Trend

 

trends

One great way to stay on track with trends is to ask your customers questions. Issue surveys and get feedback. This shows that you value what your consumers think, and it keeps you updated on what they want to see from you next.

 

On that note, stay on top of what is trendy in the world. Content Gems is a website where you can research different topics and find relevant content based on your particular field of interest of your company. Similarly, Buzzsumo is also a place to discover what people are “buzzing” about online. You can also conduct research on this website to find what people are currently sharing or talking about. It is also a great place to see where your brand falls among trending topics. In another way GoogleAdWords allow you to see relative search keywords that can help you create ads or content that target particular niche markets.

 

  1. Branding Starts At Home

 

As much as your branding efforts has everything to do with your audience, your branding efforts start from within your company. Just as you want to build a trust with your audience, build a trust with your coworkers and employees. They are your first line of action when it comes to branding, and you want to ensure that they are all on the same page as you, ready to not only support your brand but also share their positive experiences with other people. Again, it looks good when real people who work for a company or brand really get behind it.

 

  1. Get Personal With Your Audience

 

People, consumers especially, like to feel valued and wanted. People can tell when they are being sent the same mass correspondence or when they are not being treated as an individual. Give any email correspondences a sense of individuality by signing off them with your name and your logo. People want to feel like they are talking to real people. Whenever it is possible, be personal, warm and friendly with your customers. Allow the opportunity for your customers to want to connect with you and trust you as a friend.

 

Conclusion

 

These are some unique and effective ways to show off your brand to the world. The methods mentioned above strive to not only empower your logo in a competitive market, but they also bring you closer to a strong, trusting audience. Earning and keeping your audience’s trust takes some time so be patient with yourself. It is important to pick the methods that fit best with what you are offering the world. There is no one right way to do it. However, you should always remember that you have plenty of options that work for whatever stage your brand might be at.

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The Importance of Color in a Logo Design: How to Choose the Right One?


To learn the importance of choosing the right color in logo design, continue reading this post. You’ll learn the different meanings of each color and its significance on a particular logo. Here we go!

Well, the color shouldn’t be ignored, especially when it comes to designing a logo, either for a business or what. If you plan to create your own logo or even consider professional help, there is a need to make sure that you are picking the right combinations of colors. You should never ignore the fact that color plays a crucial role in designing a logo.

Don’t you know that that first two things a brain could notice once seeing something are the shapes and colors? Regardless of whether which one from them is the first to be notified, apparently color is essential. Besides, color is also rooted in emotions. And so, if you want to connect with the people through your logo easily, then work on well with the color.

So, what are the reasons for using color in a logo?

Here are a few reasons why using color in logo designs is essential. These reasons might help numbers of designers once making a color selection:

  • Color should be used to enhance the meaning of the logo
  • There is a need to use color in order to make the obvious a lot more visible and for recognition of an object
  • Use color in a manner of establishing identity
  • You should also use color to make structures in the logo design
  • Use color to express the moods of the logo design

Keep these reasons in mind before you choose the right color for a logo design. On the other hand, designers could use colors in many ways and could make more colors by using the color palettes.

Some Color Options and Their Meanings

So, to give you some idea with what color might best suit your logo, consider some color options below and their meanings too:

Red

Regarded as an intense and saturated color, red could provide feelings of danger, dominance, excitement, and power. It is also referred to as the color of love, warfare, and love. Indeed, it is an attention-grabbing hue and could even raise blood pressure, body temperature and heart rate.

Yellow

This color could be a bit conflicting, and some might find it fun and happy and others might find it too weak, or it could signify caution. Yellow creates feelings of contentment, confidence, and warmth.

Orange

Orange is also an exciting color that gives the impression of creativity, youth, and action. It could also be fun and playful or exciting and intense.

Pink

Pink is often associated with femininity, but it could be a strong color once highly saturated or could be delicate once de-saturated. Pink means sexy, flirty, romantic and fun too.

Green

This color is universally accepted as related to health, nature, and earth. It conveys renewal, peace, healing, tranquility and also prosperity. Obviously, most companies would choose this color to portray itself as being natural or environmental.

Purple

This one is somewhat polarizing color, and people seem to either hate it or love it, so you should carefully use it. There is a need for you to use this color the right way as it conveys a sense of spirituality, nobility, and luxury. If you misused this color, it could appear childish or even out of touch.

Blue

Well, this color seems to be a favorite by the majority. Blue represents confidence, peace, calm, trust, success and loyalty. It is abundantly found in nature, and it could decrease blood pressure as well as heart rate, and it could even make someone feel chilled.

On the other hand, once used the wrong way and if there is too much of it, blue could come across as cold or depressing. In most cases, a blue color is seen in law, banks, medical and government industries.

Grey

Grey is another neutral color, and it could be very respectful, calm and sophisticated. Grey commands authority, and it could look very regal once appropriately used. At the same time, the same with blue, it could appear either too corporate or impersonal.

Brown

Another earth tone, brown can inspire feelings of trust, depth, dependability, simplicity, and richness. It is also a rugged and rough color, and it looks so practical. Brown is also a very neutral color that doesn’t offend.

White

Most people would argue whether this one is color or not. However, white infers simplicity, truth, innocence, and purity. Once used in logos, it will be regarded as white space, still creating a shape that is filled with this color.

Black

Black is known to be strong, bold, classic, mysterious and formal. Though it is technically either all the colors being combined or devoid of all the color, black is still perceived as a color by the brains and must be treated as one. Black is sophisticated and simple, yet it could be boring once not used appropriately.

Those are among the colors that might be used once into planning to consider a design for a logo. There could also be DIY logo online tutorial or ideas that could help you with picking the right color for your logo.

Are Colors Categorized?

To make it a bit simpler, let us categorize the colors. Two major categories are being divided as warm colors and cool colors.

Warm Colors

This category includes yellow, red and orange. These colors typically have the meaning of some energy, passion, enthusiasm, and some excitement too. In most instances, a red color is used for some danger or a sign of alert too.

Cool Colors

Cool colors usually are all the natural colors that we could see in nature. Blue, green and purple shades all fall in this category. If you plan to design a logo, make sure that you have enough knowledge regarding its color terminology.

Professional designers could mix the different colors to make a new color for a logo. There you have it, make sure that you are well-equipped about the different colors in order to have a well-designed logo!

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Choosing The Right Font


One of the biggest challenges in designing a brand, for me, is without a doubt - choosing the perfect font. We get on well in terms of shapes, colors, intonations, volumes, images to back up our brand, but we often underestimate the role of fonts in our presentation of ourselves.

 

And when we get to it - the step often seems impossible to finish. There is an absolute infinity when it comes to choices we are offered, and even then we trouble even selecting the right type of font to begin with. Why are some fonts better than others, some more expensive, and what do they really say about us to the large audience - that is what we will try to reveal by observing these four types of fonts.

 

Serif

 

Serif stands for a bit conservative and traditional font type. It is frequently appeared in newspapers and books, while designers seem to avoid this type of fonts because it is not the most readable one. This, however, was an obstacle that high quality screens easily overcame, bringing serif back in the game. Serif font is easily recognizable by its divots on the end of the letters. These can be different from font to font, and although serif is more readable on the screen, it is not nearly as used as the sans font types, or their hybrid sans serif.

 

This font is best used for the body of the text, good to pair with a sans serif font, and not recommended in large amounts - except if you want your text to have that old-fashioned look.

 

Sans Serif

 

Sans serif is a much simpler font type than serif, and this doesn't make it dull - it rather gives it the elegance and sense of fashion, and there is a lot to experiment with these fonts. There is a reason why this font type has been dominating the visuals online, and this is mostly because of its simplicity and the fact that it is super easy to read. With different fonts from this type you can make any statement you'd like - there are tall, thick, stretched versions of the fonts among which you can find the absolute perfect one for your brand. Even when we are talking about a font of this type that is often used, you can most certainly still match it with your identity.

 

It is great for the text body, but also for your brand name. Take precautions when choosing very thin or tall fonts, because of its readability. Best part about this type is that you can match them with any other font type you choose. My personal favorite from this family is Roboto.

 

Script

 

Now, this font type gives you the chills as if you have just received a hand written letter. And just like a real letter, besides the emotion flow, they are very difficult to read. This is why these fonts are the least common in the design world. The impression this font is giving to the reader, and the emotional connection it is establishing, may often come across as a feminine writing style. But, nonetheless, this font is also messy and it is not recommended to be used in a text block.

 

old type

 

It makes good few words, titles, brand names (arts and crafts frequently rely on these fonts), it gives your website the special ingredient. It is well combined with sans serif, just like the others.

 

Slab

 

Emerging from a serif typeface, slab has become an independent font type, referring to any other type with powerful thick stroke weights on the letters. This font type came in well when it comes to big headlines and this typeface is your expert on getting attention and focus of the consumer. In small amounts, this font is perfect for advertisement, but also for the news headlines - it shouts out the message and it sticks with the readers.

 

This aggressive approach is your choice if you are dedicated to marketing of your product/brand, and seeking to attract more consumers and attract them fast. These funky fonts can be used nicely in design when combined with photos - they are bold and there is a lot of space to be filled in the body of the letters. They are well combined with sans serif or serif for the text body.

 

 

There are four main types of typefaces, and they work best together if combined well. It is important to think about combining two different font types - one for the headline and one for the body. This achieves a great effect of highlighting the important headlines, but it is not confusing for the eye as they are not similar, not from the same family of fonts. My personal advice would be to figure out which body type you would like to have in your text, and then go from there - find another typeface that will match your base font. Now, these recommendations, rather than rules, are here to guide us into the right direction, where we can experiment and discover ultimate perfect combos ourselves. Enjoy!

 

What are your favorite font combinations? Tell us in the comment section bellow.

 

Author:

Nina Petrov | @fusion_writer | www.ninapetrov.com

 

 

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Top 5 Tips for a Good Flyer Design


There is always a wonderful feeling to designing something great, having it printed, and sending it to the right audience. This is the reason designing flyers can be both a lot of fun and rewarding. Here are top five tips to designing a good flyer.

1. Have a clear target for your flyer

Before you start designing your flyer, create an effective design strategy. Think about what you intend to showcase to your audience, how the flyer will be distributed, and the level of budget you plan to work with.

Addressing these issues can help you figure out the size and shape your flyer should have. Having a good strategy and a clear goal will help you plan how to incorporate a vital message into the flyer design in a more meaningful way.

A common mistake when it comes to the creation of a flyer is thinking that you can simply fit any kind of message and graphics in. Instead, you should make a strategic choice about your key content. Keep the flyer’s key elements that correlate to your specific goals of the targeted audience.

2. Amp up the flyer’s contrast

Generally, high-contrast visuals are easy to notice at first glance and are believed to be attention-grabbing. Unlike sites, where visitors can only view visuals by clicking or even typing in a specific address, a flyer requires a strong pull to get your target audience to gravitate towards it.

Think of posters, brochures, and other materials you have ever seen from a distance and walked towards them just because they were attractive and interesting. You need to create that type of contrast to help bring your target audience to the design.

3. Don’t ignore keywords

Certain phrases or words can help you sell the information in your flyer design. Make these phrases or words bolder, bigger, and brighter than the other lettering in the flyer to create emphasis. Put more emphasis on words like ‘New,’ ‘Easy,’ ‘Save,’ and more.

4. Call to action

Though you may not click it, does not mean a call to action should not be included in a flyer design. In fact, the opposite is true. Why should you create a flyer if you don’t want your target audience to take a particular action?

Focus on creating a distinct, easy, and actionable item for every client or prospect who sees the flyer. That can be anything from calling a specific phone number to visiting a specific site. Ensure that the content is easy for everyone to read and understand.

5. Use top quality imagery

Nothing can make or break a flyer design like the quality of image and composition. Note that a perfect design must have a top-quality image that relates to the details on the page. The image should be easy to read and comprehend at a glance. It should also help your audience to connect the different elements in your flyer design. Always ensure that the graphics on your flyer must enhance the message you are sending.

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Color as a Factor in Enhancing Student Learning


Everything is associated with a particular color. For painters, marketing professionals, and designers, it is vital to use various color shades to achieve business success. But very few know that color can affect learning abilities as well.

Most educators admit that colorful desks and chairs along with glowing bulletin boards can turn a faded classroom into a bright place that holds students' attention. Colors do more than just animate a surrounding environment. They are so powerful that if used incorrectly, they can cause students to become overexcited and overactive.

The use of a particular color can greatly affect the learners' feelings and performance. Thus, when it comes to the design of classrooms, it is crucial to understand the psychology of colors so that one can find out which colors to use and which ones should be avoided.

Green Helps to Concentrate Better

You have probably noticed that by having a walk to the woods. Along with delivering fresh air, green trees make people restful and calm, boosting their creativity and increasing their focus. Therefore, this color is a great choice for sharpening students' concentration. Except for being one of the best for our eyes, it is associated with nature. For this very reason, actors relax in green rooms while not performing. This color helps learners to maintain their concentration for a long time, making it a perfect choice for school. The same cannot be said about red, which produces an opposite effect.

There is scientific evidence indicating that those who study in green classrooms show better academic performance than those who don't. In fact, the color enhances the students' mental state and thus improves their learning capabilities. It is recommended to use green in the school design so that students can always look at it for a while to revitalize and turn their focus toward educational materials with ease.

Orange Enhances Mood

Orange can enhance mood, promote comfort, and boost the brain functioning of students. There are facts indicating that an orange surrounding affects the oxygen supply to the brain and stimulates attentiveness. When learners get an increased amount of this color, they start to feel more revitalized and ready to put things straight. There are many examination halls painted in this color to improve students' results.

Schools should remember that bright orange can overstimulate those who are inherently highly energetic. This color is perfect for underlining the content presented on the screen as it draws the recipients' attention. Thus, many teachers refuse to use the usual red color in favor of this color for obvious reasons.

However, because it is very bright, it can create an overwhelming effect. In ancient China, this color was used for sharpening concentration and promoting self-discipline. But then again, they avoided bright orange as it could have caused them a headache. Taken all, it is good but only if used in small doses.

Blue Increases Productiveness

The conducted studies have shown that those with increased cognitive load, such as educators, learners, and so forth, feel better when surrounded by blue. But with all this, it is nonsense to live in a monochrome environment - cool colors should be combined with warm ones. The best solution is to balance one color with its complementary one.

The blue color helps to learn in challenging situations. It also helps readers to better assimilate information. Therefore, the use of blue paper and ink for employment is a fairly reasonable solution. While this color, especially its light shades, seems to be soothing and calming, its darker shades may cause anxiety.

As for professionals, many of them advise to combine blue with orange, especially for drawing students' attention to important educational materials. In a nutshell, blue can help teachers to engage learners in a high level of thinking, but too much of it can cause apathy and unamiability.

Classroom Design

In preschool and elementary school, it is advisable to use warm colors, which greatly complement the extroverted nature of kids. In middle and high educational institutions, cool colors can do the trick as they help students to relax and focus on educational materials better. Light shades of green will work well in libraries as they promote calmness.

Even though most educators cannot decide on what colors to use for walls in classrooms, they can choose school desks, chairs, bookcases, and wall decorations. Therefore, instructors and learners can benefit from the colors of school furniture and decorative elements. Using brightly-colored desks and chairs in places where students are supposed to acquire new information can make a difference. Cool colors will work well in areas where kids are supposed to relax and get more concentrated.

When it comes to bulletin boards, there is no need to combine too many colors; two or three colors complementing each other are more than enough. If schools overdo with colors, students can get overwhelmed and confused, and have the only desire that someone, for example, Pro-Papers, will do all the tasks for them.

Like schoolers, educators also come under the influence of colors. It is important for them to be surrounded by proper colors as they have to spend a whole working day at school too. To stay motivated and inspired, teachers should use soothing shades around their desks.

In conclusion, many studies show that every color has its effect on both the psychological and physiological states of a person. While some colors are soothing, others seem to be more stimulating. By applying an understanding of the psychology of colors to school design, one can see how vital it is to make sure that the colors used in school settings bring maximum results in terms of the academic progress of children.

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2019: New Year Resolutions for Designers


Ho ho ho... There goes yet another year of hanging out with us here at COLOURlovers.com! We do believe that this year will be even more awesome and full of breakthroughs in art and design. However, another year is an opportunity to work on ourselves and take the future into our own hands. Today, we are looking at the New Year resolutions a Colourlover would make.

 

This year I will...

 

  1. Learn something new out of my comfort zone

 

The world around us keeps on spinning and technology surprises us every day. Soon, robots and flying cars will be something we can all enjoy; but until then designers can take a great part in shaping this new world. Follow the trend of designing virtual reality, print your ideas in 3D, enjoy limitless opportunities to create and inspire millions of people worldwide.

 

  1. Balance work with my social life

 

We are quite busy little bees, aren't we? Freelancers are often known for taking on too many projects, getting overwhelmed and exhausted at times. As much as we love what we do, our creativity needs some time off, to bring even more enchanting ideas to the table. This, as well as the fact that humans are social beings, is why we need to spend more time relaxing, with friends, live. Our computers are becoming our best friends, and as much as the relationship with a machine seems easier, we all need human factor from time to time. So make that time.

 

 

A WOMAN WITH SHORT DARK HAIR READS A NEWSPAPER

 

  1. Stop procrastinating

 

Sure, procrastination is our ally when we are in the creative industry, but think about how less stressful it would be if we'd replace the time we spend doing nothing (nothing means Netflix, overeating or another season of "Friends", again), by doing something actually meaningful for ourselves. Maybe it is not just about not procrastinating, maybe it is about making that procrastination useful to our minds and our bodies.

 

  1. Only choose the work I really want

 

Sadly, humans often seem like money making machines, always wanting more and never catching a breath. Choosing to do the work you actually enjoy will help you increase the quality of your work, and make you better paid at what you do. You can replace quantity with quality, and make the same amount of money by doing less. Only thing you need to do is dare to do so.

 

  1. Organize myself better

 

Yes, I know, despite all the apps and calendars, we always seem to lack time. This is one of the burdens of living in a century with constant flow of content - too many events to attend, skills to learn, deadlines to meet. Maybe rather than trying to squeeze it all in into one perfect schedule, we should prioritize better, ask ourselves what matters to us and why. This will help clear out our to-do lists from everything we don't actually enjoy that much.

 

  1. Be optimistic even in a plane crash

 

You know the feeling very well - the whole world collapses around you, it seems like you can't get anything done in time, stress is turning you into a neurotic cookie monster who didn't sleep for days. It would be nice to take this chance and get a clean start by remembering how all those groundbreaking situations ended, and so will all the next ones.

 

  1. Play more, create more

 

Ever since we started seeing it as work, we experiment and play much less. It's good to remind ourselves that we are still artists, and we should goof around more, developing our craziest ideas, for ourselves and nobody else. Use this resolution to truly get out there, meet other artists, take a brush and a pen into your hands again, play like a child and let the creativity that changes the world come outside of your inner child.

 

  1. Travel for inspiration

 

Art residencies are perfect if you are looking to take time-off to discover something new. Get inspired by another culture, new food, different fabrics, colors and patterns; get inspired by new languages and art forms you've never seen before. Let yourself be amazed by a new continent, astonishing nature, exotic music and dance styles. Hitchhike, drive, fly. Fall in love. Create a network of people whose work you appreciate. Just take your time being a digital nomad for awhile.

 

 

2019 is the year in which we challenge ourselves in every aspect. This is the year to decide whether we will try to keep up with the rotation of the Earth, or join the movement and spin it with our astonishing creativity and humanity. This year is about being bold, breaking the borders we've created, and changing the history of mankind forever. Learn a new programming language, visit a new country, and try another art form.

Remember, you are the change you want to see in the world.

 

Happy New Year!

 

COLOURlovers team

 

About the author:

Nina Petrov is an activist, poet, performer and mathematician. She communicates with the world mostly through words, movement and equations, but sometimes also by speaking very loudly. The only truth she could say about herself is that she keeps changing every day, never stops learning and interacting with her surroundings.

 

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