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Why Every Business Needs a Style Guide


style guide

Photo by energepic.com from Pexels

Whether you’re a big believer in marketing, or you think that if you build it people will buy it, the fact is that your business is a brand. Your brand is like your business card, and it’s what people will experience long before they actually do business with you. It precedes you, and it’s something that you need to fine-tune constantly if you want to be able to stand out from the crowd.

 

To give you plenty of food for thought, we’ve put together a simple 5 minute read that will tell you everything you need to know about a commonly overlooked creative tool: the style guide. Have a read, sit back and reflect, and then put the hints and tips into action. Your brand will be all the better for it in no time at all.

 

A style guide saves you from wasting time discussing tangential ideas

The first thing to note about a style guide is that it will always save you time in the long run. People will probably think you’re indulging in a drawn out needlessly creative endeavor when you suggest creating a style guide, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

 

It will take some time to get it right, but that’s just the cost of building a brand that actually stands for something. Commit to finishing your guide no matter what, and always remember that it will save you plenty of time later on. It’s there as reference material for the lifetime of your business, and it will prove invaluable when it inevitably comes time to rebrand, or when you’re launching a new product or service. The more you put into it now, the more it will give back when you need it.

 

It will ensure you stay ‘on-brand’ at every creative turn

Staying true to your brand is easier said than done. When you’re in the thick of it and faced with half a dozen mounting deadlines it can be all too easy to churn out a logo that’s okay, and a tagline that you think is ‘good enough’. The problem is that once you launch them into the market they’re now the face of your brand. If they don’t fit with what you’ve done before then they’ll just confuse people.

 

You could always retract them, but then you just look like you’re chopping and changing the offering based on negative feedback. And that’s a surefire to lose your voice of authority and open yourself up to further criticism. Your audience doesn’t want to believe that you’re just telling them what they want to hear. They want to believe that you’re the authority, the thought leader, and the trendsetter that they’ve been waiting to buy into.

 

They connect your brand to your target audience

If you want to know why style guides matter, all you need to do is think about the last bad branding exercise you saw. It could be a website, fashion label, home collection, or anything that left you speechless. With so many different creative threads to play with, you’ll probably have been confused at how they could have got it so wrong.

 

The issue will, more than likely, have been that there was no style guide in place. The style guide is what you use to ensure there is uniformity and a common thread running through every aspect of a marketing campaign. It’s easy to copy and paste the same old tagline, but there’s a lot more to uniformity than that. You need to tailor each offering so that it’s suitable for every new platform and setting, but in a way that’s sensitive to the core of your brand. Which leads us nicely onto the next point on our list.

 

 

You can express your brand’s core ethos in a variety of different mediums

Your brand needs to have something at the center of it if it’s going to connect with the people you want to do business with. It’s an emotion that it evokes in people, and it will be far stronger than their memory of your latest tagline, sale, or discount offer.

 

The problem with tackling different promotional mediums without a style guide is that most of the time a different person will have input into each platform. You may all be working for the same end goal, but unless there is central creative guide you can all refer back to then it’s unlikely you’ll end up pulling in the same direction.

 

Your customers will actually know what you stand for

Businesses like the The Word Point work in a very specialist niche, and so need to target a specific section of the online market. This means that they need to stand for something, and just as importantly, they need to ensure that their customers know they stand for it.

 

By compiling a style guide that focuses on precision, flexibility, and knowledgeable input they can build a creative framework around their brand. If you can do the same, you’ll be able to tell a potential audience of millions what your business stands for.

 

What should your style guide include?

The specifics will depend on the size of your brand, and what industry you work in, but there are a number of core features every style guide must have:

 

  • Your logo, along with alternative forms that are used in specific settings, or on specific platforms
  • Guidelines on the position, sizing, and background colors of all content pages and their contents
  • Base typography that will be used for all of your content
  • Your core color palette that can be referred to when designing new content
  • A list of things to be avoided at all costs as they are not in alignment with your brand’s ethos

 

Static or dynamic style guides?

A style guide has to be a dynamic document, but one that is governed by a certain set of creative rules:

 

  • Guides need to evolve with the times so that they reflect the changes businesses undergo as the years go by
  • They must adapt to the launch of new sections of the business, but do so in a way that brings the new ventures under the same core brand of the business
  • Style guides cannot be chopped and changed purely because a new idea doesn’t fit in with them. Think about whether the new idea has had anything like the degree of thought put into it as the style guide, and then decide which one you’re going to keep

 

Getting the balance right between process and creativity

The final thing to say is that a style guide is a great way to help you find the right balance between process and creativity. If you have a deadline, it can be all too easy to submit something that does the job and be done with it.

 

What the style guide does in these instances is keep your output honest so that you can see whether your new content actually adds anything to your brand. Often you’ll find that referring back to the style guide points you in a subtly different direction that makes all the difference to the finished article. Ideal if you want to enhance your brand every single day.

 

pauline farris

BIO: Pauline speaks Portuguese, English, Spanish and Italian. She travelled the world to immerse herself in the new cultures and learn languages. Today she is proud to be a voting member of the American Translators Association and an active participant of the Leadership Council of its Portuguese Language Division.

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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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Ideas For Amazon Product Design


ideas

There are two main ways you can boost sales of your products on Amazon: drive more traffic to your listing, or increase conversion rates, that is the percentage of visitors who actually make a purchase.

When it comes to improving conversation rates, one of the essential elements to consider is great product design. Check these tips and ideas for great Amazon Product Design which will help you to improve conversions, boost sales, and grow your business.

Start With More Ideas, Not Less

When designing a product it is best to start with as many ideas as possible: you can narrow them down later, but the more ideas you start with the more likely you are to have that one winning idea. Start by brainstorming as many product ideas as you can. Conduct research – talk to previous customers and your ideal target customers to see what they’re interested in buying. Be as creative as possible to come up with a long list.

Conduct Market Research

Once you have a healthy ideas bank, you can start to narrow down that list to things you think will sell. A good place to start with this is to conduct market research. There are many ways to do this – surveys, trade shows, online trend tools and industry news and blogs, to name a few – and all are important to gauging the market to get a feeling for the kinds of products customers will be looking to buy. Knowing and listening to your existing customer base is also key in this process – they can give you great insights. Of course, you should simply look to designing a product simply because of sales potential, but you also don’t want to design something no one will buy because there is simply no market demand.

Consider Your Brand

As an Amazon seller, your store is your brand. Branding is incredibly important in any kind of business: it tells your customers who you are, helping you build relationships and trust with your customer base. When designing products for Amazon always keep your brand in mind. Will the product be in line with your brand as a seller? Does it appeal to your target customer? Most successful Amazon stores have cohesive ranges of products which reflect their strong brand.

Look To Your Competitors

Competitor analysis is an important tool in product design. Look at what products your competitors are selling, what is successful and, even more importantly, what isn’t. Read the negative reviews which customers have left on similar products to see what features you could add to address these concerns. Better to learn from your competitors’ mistakes rather than make these mistakes all over again yourself!

Don’t Forget Legal Concerns

This will not be necessary in every case, but in some cases it is advisable to patent new product designs. A patent can be advisable if you have created a new manufacturing process as part of your product design, your product relates to a discovery in a new field, or if you are looking for external investment. Patents can be expensive, so if you are unsure a good middle-ground could be to file a provisional patent application.

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Top 5 VR Designing Software


As we mentioned in our previous article, the thing with VR software is that everybody has a preference and each company is developing new features every day. Here are top picks from designers around the world, and some of their main features.

 

1. Unity 3D

 

Researching many different tools, Unity still stays our number one for all purposes - gaming, real-time film, architecture. If you are already familiar with C# or JavaScript, scripting with Unity will be easy to adapt to and prototype your virtual reality apps real quick. There is a large community built around Unity technology and your design is easy to export to any platform you want.

 

2. Forge

 

Developed by Autodesk, Forge represents a great platform with team management features. Their great toolkit enables you to merge your design with engineering and enable you tools such as Model Derivative API, Reality Capture API and many more.

 

how to make an amazing VR experience

 

3. SketchUp

 

This modeling application was developed by Google, with excellent tutorials to get everyone to model basics quickly. This is an absolute winner for beginners, to get you used to the language quickly before you move on to modeling on some more professional platforms. There is a free trial for this software, so see for yourself.

 

4. Blender

 

Blender is a perfect example of what you can move on from SketchUp, although you can also dive into it straight away. Blender is open source and free for all, which makes it favorite for many developers. This software uses Python and it is compatible with Linux, Windows, and Mac. Another great advantage is the ability to export your work in many different formats, including a format for JanusVR with a free open source plugin FireVR.

 

5. Unreal Engine UE4

 

UE4 is the main competitor to Unity 3D, also a leading gaming software with many integrations, wide store, and good support. It is comparably good as Unity, although some say the results are much more realistic and with better navigation. Unreal Engine also allows you to export to various formats, although not as much as Unity.

 

which VR software to use

 

These are our current top five picks of software to design an awesome virtual reality. Their abilities range based on their target groups - some are more basic like SketchUp, and some way more advanced like Unity 3D and UE4. What software do you prefer for designing and modeling virtual reality? What are the most important features for you, how important are the learning materials and the community?

 

Tell us more about your experience in the comment section below.

 

Author:

Nina Petrov | @fusion_writer | www.ninapetrov.com

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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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Powerful Tools That Will Help You In Your Daily Projects


Present day, choosing the most powerful web tools is an art in itself. There are so many options that look very similar and are extremely hard to differentiate without spending money and time to test them. The best web design tools out there help you work smarter rather than harder and achieve the desired result within a shorter period of time. We bet that you’re after such tools. However, you probably don’t feel like trying and testing all the solutions available on the web to determine the best ones among them. That’s why we bring you a collection of 39 powerful tools to use in 2019 to sizably rev up your workflow.

We covered the most popular fields for you: website and logo builders, website themes and much more.

  1. Wix.com

Creating a website in 2019 is simpler than ever. There are many ways to do it but today we will discuss the best way. WIX is a brilliant website builder packed with over 500 beautifully designed website templates that can be used by anyone. WIX is being already used by over 140 million users from 190 countries, every minute a professional and stunning website being published on their platform or on private domains.

WIX is packed with tons of features and options. You will find a friendly interface that will guide you every moment, a professional logo maker, a drag-and-drop builder that will help you fully customize everything you need, over 200 Apps designed to help you grow your business online and over 500 designer made templates to get you started.

Whether you’re a designer, developer, marketer or digital agency, you’ll get all the resources you need: tutorials, training programs, webinars, professional forum, the Wix Experts Blog and more.

Build the exact website your client needs with advanced design features and professional business solutions. With Wix, your clients can manage their entire brand or business online.

  1. EverSign - Free, Legally Binding Online Signatures

Everything matters in business and many things can and will have a huge impact on converting and growing your company numbers. Your website design, your logo but also your invoices and contracts. These are your business card. Improve your company image in seconds with the right tools. With eversign you can sign electronically contracts, NDA’s and many other document types. If you are a freelancer, you can easily get out of the crowd by using this modern and secure solution.

In a few steps, your new document will be signed electronically by all parties. The built-in document editor gives you all the tools you need to edit, send and sign documents in seconds. Use the powerful features to make your life easy. Set up templates for your most frequently used contracts or forms, share them with your team and reduce drafting time. Configured to allow for simultaneous work, eversign will increase your document-related workflow immediately.

Go paperless and register for free with eversign.

  1. Logo Creator and Branding Suite by Tailor Brands

If you’re looking for an entire collection of design tools that anyone can use, you’ve come to the right place. The Tailor Brands branding suite starts with a logo maker, which comes with preset color palettes that make any logo look good. What’s cool about Tailor is that they provide a quick solution for people who want a unique, professional-looking logo, but they give you full control over your logo design if you want to make your own changes.

 

However, Tailor’s pièce de résistance is their new and improved Master Design Tool, which comes with a studio full of top-notch, editable designs, and an intuitive editor that you can use to design anything from social cover banners to email headers. Whether you need branding materials or just want to design a nice holiday greeting, this platform has you covered across the board.

 

  1. Total WordPress Theme

Don't let your WordPress theme limit your creativity. Instead, choose Total. The Total drag & drop WordPress theme includes intuitive, built-in options to create your dream website. Use the drag and drop page builder to create custom layouts (bonus: you can even create custom header & footer layouts!). Then take advantage of hundreds of live Customizer settings for fonts, colors, backgrounds, archive pages, and more to finish your design. Total also comes with portfolio, staff, and testimonials posts types as well as compatibility for popular plugins including WooCommerce, bbPress, the Events Calendar, and WPML.

  1. Landingi – Landing Page Builder

Creating highly converting land pages is super simple with Landingi. This is the most complex, all-in-one and easy to use the solution on the market that you can use for building unlimited pages, without having any programming skills or previous experience.

Create great landing pages with Landingi.

  1. DarwinPricing

Darwin Pricing is like the swiss knife in the dynamic pricing software development field. They are an expert, a key partner that you need for increasing your sales volume, revenue, and the net profit. Darwin helped Otto Group which is a huge corporation with over $13 bn annual turnovers to do that and they will help you for the same.

Drop them an email.

  1. Codester

Codester is a huge marketplace where designers and developers will find thousands of awesome scripts, codes, app templates, themes, plugin, graphics and even more. Always check the Flash sale section where hugely discounted items are being sold.

  1. NameQL

Are you preparing to launch a new product, company or you want to buy a new website domain and you are out of ideas regarding the name? Using Name QL you will get solutions in seconds. You simply write down the base name that you like and the software will offer you lots of variations to pick from.

  1. Link Checker

Bad links (broken or malicious) are extremely bad for your company. Most of the visitors that are finding such links are never coming back to that websites. Their trust is quickly lowering, and they get angry for losing time.

Manually searching for these links can be extremely complicated or even impossible for large website which are having thousands of links or even more.

Use Dr. Link Checker to automate the scanning for you and repair the links in minutes.

  1. Rank Math SEO

Rank Math SEO is the most powerful WordPress plugin that will take care of your SEO. It is packed with

lots of great stuff while keeping the interface simple. It loads super-fast, it is easy to configure and use, and it has everything you need for on-page SEO .

Generate more traffic with this effective, yet very simple solution.

  1. Online Quiz Maker

A good-looking poll, quiz and survey will be completed and shared. How to achieve that? It’s super simple. Use the online quiz maker by Opinion Stage and you can design you own without having any coding skills or previous experience.

Join over 10,000 happy users and create gorgeous, fully customized quizzes.

  1. WP Hacks

WP Hacks is a highly respected WordPress resource website which is packed with lots of great stuff. You will find detailed tutorials, themes, plugins and deals, everything being handpicked. Check it.

  1. MeridianThemes

Meridian Themes is a powerful WordPress theme developer which is quickly becoming a top solution for many of us. In their portfolio you will find pixel-perfect themes that load very fast and are easy to fully customize for your needs.

  1. WP Review

WP Review Pro is the best review plugin for WordPress, being loaded with 14 types of rich snippets, with multi types of designs, Facebook and Yelp reviews and many more.

Build a great WordPress review website in minutes with the best solution on the market.

  1. Grace – Creative Multipurpose Bootstrap Template

Grace is a powerful HTML template that is featuring a high impact full-screen homepage header and a full-screen image slider for your projects. The theme is lightning fast, SEO friendly and it is loaded with lots of features and options that will make your website stand out of the crowd.

  1. Landing – Free OnePage Bootstrap 4 Template

Looking to build a high converting landing page for your website? Landing is a free Bootstrap 4 website template that you can use for any type of landing pages you need. This one-page theme is having a pixel-perfect designs and it features a smooth scroll, slick slider, slant sections, table pricing and a lot more awesome stuff.

  1. Photorealistic iPhone Xs PSD Mockup for Free

Presenting your website design or mobile app correctly will help you as much as creating high-quality stuff, improving your ROI. Now you can present your iOS app in a professional and easy way using this excellent iPhone X PSD mockup.

  1. NextGen Gallery

NextGen Gallery is used by over 1 million happy users, being the most complex, all-in-one and preferred solution to display stunning galleries or sell images. Make it even more powerful by getting the PRO extensions.

Use NextGen in your projects and make your website stand out of the crowd.

  1. The WordPress Photography Theme

Photocrati is building the best photography themes on the market, working closely with photographers to solve all the issues that general themes are having for this niche. These themes are pixel-perfect, SEO friendly, are super simple to customize and load extremely fast, which is very important when displaying stunning galleries with lots of images

For $99 you will get the theme plus the NextGen gallery plugin.

  1. Tesla Themes

TeslaThemes is among the few premium WordPress developers which is focused on building the best themes that man can possibly create. All their templates look great, are fully responsive, SEO friendly, and are loaded with tons of features and options.

  1. WordPress Event Themes

With over 6,000 customers worldwide, ShowThemes is building the best WordPress event themes on the market. The secret behind these awesome themes that solve all the issues that general themes have in this niche, is that they have worked closely with event professionals, knowing perfectly what and where to fine tune.

  1. uKit

Getting your website up and running has never been easier. Create your unique website today with uKit. It’s an all-in-one solution where you can browse the library of designer-made templates to choose the one that suits your needs, set up SEO, add social media accounts, and go online in a matter of minutes! Don’t wait, start your exciting web adventure!

 

  1. uLanding

uLanding is an easy-to-use, yet powerful landing page builder that has everything you need to create your professional digital identity and get online in a matter of minutes. Select one of stunningly-looking designs and customize it by adding texts and images. Custom color schemes, font combinations, and parallax effects will allow taking your landing page design to a completely new level. Fast, easy, and hassle-free.

  1. uSocial

Want your site content to go viral? uSocial offers a set of effective tools to achieve that — modern and beautiful like and share buttons. In addition to like and share buttons, you can take advantage of the Social Locker (hides your web page content behind social buttons until a visitor performs a required action) and Get More Visitors tools (an inviting pop-up window).

 

  1. Logaster

Logaster is the way to go if you are looking for a brilliant logo design and you want to keep spending at its minimum. Write the logo name and in less than a minute, the logo generator will show you lots of designs to choose from. Pay only if you find the design you like.

  1. Content Snare

Content Snare will help you get content from your client without the hassle. Create "requests" with all the pieces of information you need from the client. Use the built-in templates or create your own. 2. Send Specify a due date and a follow up schedule. Let Content Snare do all the client chasing instead of wasting your precious time. 3. Approve Content Snare will notify you when something is ready for approval. Lock it in, or request changes before checking it off.

The company is also dedicated to helping digital agencies grow through the accompanying podcast, Agency Highway.

It's as simple as it sounds, start using it. Start a free trial.

  1. Work Examiner

Work Examiner is a popular internet monitoring software that you can use to improve productivity, to prevent data theft and for many other scopes. It is loaded with tons of features and options that you should check on their website to have a better understanding.

Start a 30-day free trial.

  1. MailMunch – Create Beautiful Landing Pages In Minutes

MailMunch is a popular landing page builder that you can use to build unlimited landing and squeeze pages, without having any programming skills or previous experience.

Create high-converting landing pages within minutes using the drag-and-drop landing page builder.

  1. Invoice Berry

InvoiceBerry is a dedicated invoicing platform that works excellent for small and medium businesses. Creating and sending fully customized invoices takes less than 60 seconds and the platform can be used also for tracking expenses, managing customers and much more.

Sign-up for a free trial, no credit card required.

  1. Freelance Contracts

Bonsai Contracts is a dedicated solution for freelancers, where they can create, fully customize, sign and store contracts and invoices. It’s the most professional such solution in this niche, solving all the normal issues that general software suits have.

  1. SuperbWebsiteBuilders.com

SuperbWebsiteBuilders.com is the number one destination for users, who are searching for simple yet powerful web building tools. The website contains dozens of reviews, which provide truthful information about hosting providers, website builders, their overview, merits and demerits as well as niche specialization. Users, who have doubts regarding the best service to work with, may use the ratings compiled based on the reviews.

 

  1. Xfive – Developers Who Care

Xfive has a team of developers who care, and they can be hired as an extension of your team or separately for bringing to life your projects. They have over 10 years’ experience in web and mobile development, being a top choice for all types of customers, from small companies to large corporations.

Discuss your project with Xfive.

  1. actiTIME - Time Tracking & Scope Management

actiTIME is an online project time tracking software that allows users to track time, register leaves and add comments in a weekly timesheet. It works excellently for all kind of companies, from the small ones to Fortune 500 huge corporations.

Start a free 30-day trial.

  1. uCalc

One of the best ways to take your business up to the next level is to integrate online calculators and forms to your site. How can that be done? Easy. That’s what uCalc was created for! Allow your customers to calculate your services costs. They can also make online payments via the PayPal payment processor. Don’t wait, try it today — it’s free.

 

  1. What Font Is – The Best Font Finder

You found an awesome font, but you don’t know how to identify it? What Font Is represents the best font identifier on the market, being super simply to use and free. You upload the picture with the font or you write down the URL, and the rest is being made by the software. This web tool is loaded with over 450k fonts (premium and free) and a powerful font AI that will show you the font you are looking for plus over 60 similar fonts.

What font you looking for? Try www.whatfontis.com to get the answer

  1. Wokiee - Multipurpose Shopify Theme

Wokiee is more than a gorgeous multipurpose shopify themes, it’s a powerful design tool that is packed with lots of designs and layouts, tons of features and options and a friendly interface that will help you build a store that stands out of the crowd.

  1. Pixpa – Online Portfolio Builder

With Pixpa anybody can create an online portfolio, without having any coding skills or previous experience. It is having a powerful drag-and-drop builder, lots of gorgeous templates, a friendly interface and tons of features and options that will make your portfolio stand out of the crowd.

  1. Instant Logo Design

You need urgently a logo design, or you have a tight budget? Instant Logo Design is the best solution for you. You simply write down the logo name, you decide if you want a slogan or a symbol and then you are good to go, choosing the design you like.

  1. Gravitas

Details | Demo

 

Everyone wants to get a strong online-community around his or her services. How is it possible? When you have Gravitas, nothing will be impossible for you. This marvelous MotoCMS 3 flagship has rich functionality and unforgettable design that will make people fall in love with your website. There are several key factors that you will be extremely happy to take advantage of. As an example, you are going to get seven ready-made websites, 30+ elegant pages, social integration, Google Map, and many other excellent features.

  1. TMS Outsource

tms

Founded in 2014, TMS was built and grown around developing a powerful service to extend or back up your tech team. Since then they represent the expert solution that you need for PHP, Node.JS, React, Symfony, Laravel and many others.  Thousands of businesses and people around the world are using web applications built with TMS.

Get in touch with them.

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Which Software Should I Use For Designing Virtual Reality


Virtual Reality is a trend with exponentially-growing popularity. The possibility to experience 3-dimensional environment from the safety of your home, either to explore a game Universe or to test a product, and travel far, yet staying in one place, is a fantasy or a dream that is soon becoming available for all of us.

 

VR applications

VR is finding its applications mostly in the gaming industry, but also in architecture, where prototypes of the whole cities can be built virtually, explored from every perspective and painted up - ready to go on the construction office desk. VR software comes useful to almost every other industry as well; imagine if the test market is offered a possibility to test your product virtually before buying it - the time and money that virtual prototype would save you!

 

VR software

VR software often comes with a variety of features enabling the developers to create a full virtual experience in one place. Tools which have the feature for content management allow you to upload a 3D model to add to the VR experience or an existing VR content to the platform. These platforms let you store and manage your content before publishing. Among the most popular content management systems for VR is Contentful, which is a must for many VR professionals.

 

VR experience

The development of 360 cameras is enhancing the VR experience, giving you the genuine experience of the atmosphere and better space orientation. This reality is sometimes upgraded with other tools such as gloves which even enable you to feel the sensation of touch in the virtual world. Top products for VR development are Virtual Reality on Steam, Google Scale and Forge. Some experts use popular Vimeo360 to upload and watch 360 videos. Steam is often a good choice if you want to try it out for free, but their paid plans are well-oiled to satisfy hardcore gamers, which says it all, really.

 

If you are really into designing games, there are game engine products on the market which are among the most innovative software in information technology today. Most popular among these are 3ds Max Design, Unreal Engine, Maya, and as we already mentioned in the previous article, Unity - a top-notch fastest developing software for creating the universe that gathers everything you love in one place.

 

Since virtual reality is only at its rise and tech is developing almost too quickly to follow, there is new software on the market every day. Every designer has a preference, and it is hard to tell which ones are "top 5" for designing a reality. However, we will try to look at some features that we like and some that we don't so much, in our next article.

 

Do you have a preference? Tell us in the comment section below.

 

Author:

Nina Petrov | @fusion_writer | www.ninapetrov.com

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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!

Liked this post? If yes, hit like, share and comment now!

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Ways to Make Your Next Design Presentation Memorable


You’ve probably spend countless hours making your design. It doesn’t matter if you’re working on a new product, a website, or a logo project, your design won’t be enough to impress most clients. If you really want to be successful, then you’ll need to be a good salesperson as well. You need to share the story of your work. This means creating an interesting and memorable presentation. Keep in mind that the presentation should solely be about your design and your client; not about you.

In order to make a good impression, you will need to create a fascinating way to present your design and be attentive to all questions and concerns your client has. Doing this is the only way to create a good presentation. However, here are some great ways for you to make it more memorable.

Use Color Carefully

Color is one of the most important components of your presentation, so it’s best to use it carefully. Keep in mind that you don’t want to create something that’s too colorful or that won’t match your design. Make sure it’s in sync with what you’ve created in order to add more style to it. It’s recommended that you use only 2-3 colors throughout your whole presentation. Instead of constantly changing them up and confusing your clients, a small number of carefully picked colors will make your presentation more memorable.

Use Presentation Binders

Simply displaying your design on a PowerPoint presentation and sharing the story behind it can be enough to persuade some clients. However, if you want to ensure your designs get sold, you’ll need to get a bit more creative. Know that some clients simply won’t be listening to what you’re saying. Not because you’re boring, but because they listen to presentations countless times a week and have probably grew tired of them. Clients such as these like to focus on the design of your presentation. They want something that will make them impressed just by looking at it.

Because of this, it’s a good idea to use custom printed presentation binders as well. They will help ensure that each of your clients will be paying attention to what you’ve created. While some will be listening to the story you share, others will be looking at the presentation folders and the content inside them. No matter what your clients do, you can bet your bottom dollar that they’ll like both you and your design by the time you’re done with your presentation.

Explain Your Designs

Despite the fact that this should go without saying, many designers forget to explain their projects. This happens because they understand why it looks the way it looks and why they chose to include specific elements into the design. Nevertheless, you should remember that just because you understand your designs doesn’t mean that your clients will too. Your explanation doesn’t need to be long, but it should cover some of the most important decisions you made while creating the design.

Create a 3D Mockup

Coming up with an elegant product design might be enough to convince certain clients, but you’ll have much better chances of selling your projects if you create 3D mockups as well. After all, your clients would love to get an idea of how the product would look in the real world. On the other hand, if you’re creating a logo design, you can print it on different materials to show them how it looks when it’s not on a computer screen. In case you’re making a website design, allow the clients to visit it and go through the various pages you included.

Show Your Passion

If your clients see that you’re excited, they’ll get excited as well. Instead of being nervous before presenting your idea, you should be filled with enthusiasm to share your new creation with other people.

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