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How to Simplify Your Business Graphics using Bannersnack


Bannersnack is intuitive and easy to use online tool for streamlining your visual and rich media advertising and marketing.

Gone are the days when you could get away with using stock images and unbranded visual media. In order to elbow out the competition, your business must be producing their own rich, unique media and high-quality content.

This not only includes the branding of social media, website and third-party platforms but also media buys, advertising and banners.

Why Use Bannersnack

Bannersnack is a rich image creation and management tool that enables you to produce high-quality and branded content for your website. It can create and manage your ad campaigns, social media platforms and rich media marketing online and across platforms.

Bannersnack enables you to keep all of your visual marketing for your media advertising campaigns in one place. You can create professionally animated or static advertising banners and then export them in multiple formats.

You can also embed the banners and rich media you create directly into your website or compatible third-party websites.

Being an online tool, Bannersnack can be accessed by individuals and teams in any location. It enables collaboration and multi-user functionality.

All designs and development can be organised and catalogued across departments, industries, niches and work teams.

Bannersnack Integrations

Bannersnack works with all major advertising networks including Google, Doubleclick, Facebook and more. It provides multiple formats for exporting your rich media, banners and animated artwork.

Social Media Marketing

Status network Smith Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more.

The measurements for cover, post images, headers and banners for these social media platforms is pre-configured.

Simply drag and drop the text and features you want to incorporate into your media.

Google Advertising

Bannersnack is fully compatible with Google's advertising network and platform.  The tools within Bannersnack are compatible with HTML5 creation and include all the size variations you need for any Google advertising campaign.

You can create beautiful looking ads with just a few clicks and then either upload your banners to the Google adword manager or use the embed codes.

You can also add clickTag in order to track clicks in your Google advertising campaigns.

CMS Integration

Bannersnack works seamlessly with WordPress and all major cms platforms.

The interface includes full drag and drop functionality and allows you to create stunning and comprehensive visual media and images.

These are the kind of high converting images and banners that will enrich user experience, deliver pop-ups or exit intent marketing to your website.

AMP Compliance

Bannersnack will also create AMP HTML compliant banners and advertising material to use in the amp library.

This is a brand new feature of Bannersnack and has been built using the latest mobile-friendly technology in order to deliver the highest quality ads and banners for mobile users.

The Accelerated Mobile Page Project is a major advance in mobile technology and the delivery of high-quality media to Smartphones.

If you're wanting to ensure that your ads and which media get delivered and are seeing favourably by Google then Bannersnack is your best choice for rich media and visual creation.

Create Individual Items or Complete Sets

One of the things I really like about Bannersnack is that you can flick between a single item and the creation of complete rich media sets or responsive and animated images for your ad campaigns.

This saves a large deal of time and will enable marketers to get their campaign up and running quickly.

Basic standardized advertising images which are static to animated GIFs and fully mobile responsive HTML5, Bannersnack provides a huge number of templates and formats for you to work with.

It's not an overstatement to say that you can begin creating advertising campaigns or basic visual media for third-party sites in a matter of minutes.

Bannersnack can also be used to streamline and ensure consistency when it comes to content design across your website and business channels.

Bannersnack is helping more and more business to accomplish the development and creation of their visual marketing strategy in less time.

With Bannersnack you can give new life and vibrancy to your ad campaigns with little or no technical or coding knowledge.

The tools that enable collaboration are a big plus with Bannersnack. You don't need to work in isolation.

You can collaborate with other key players in order to track, catalogue and produce quality and consistently branded content.

Price-wise, Bannersnack is reasonable for a business of any size. Rather than paying for multiple tools or engaging designers for ad hoc and one of the pieces, your own in-house teams can take control of the quality and consistency of your branding and marketing campaigns.

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Creative Commons Copyright


By the definition, commons is a kind of resource that belongs to the whole community - it is used and improved by all. Cultural commons stand for physical or virtual cultural property which is shared within community. It can also represent an intellectual property (such as library) available to community on a certain physical or cyber space.

 

Creative Commons is nowadays a well known US based community platform, that is structurally a non-profit organization, devoted to make artwork available for sharing and define legal boundaries of creative products which are used for commercial purposes. Their licenses are enabling users to download and use their content free of charge. However, there is a set of rules and variety of Creative Commons licenses you should know about.

 

video production CC license

 

CCO license

 

CCO is the type of license that gives you all the freedom with the content. This means that the work is open for public, the author does not require any credit and you are not restricted to the personal use of the content only. This is the most carefree type of license you should look for, if you want your experience to go smooth and never thing about plagiarism set of laws.

 

CC BY 4.0 license

 

CC BY 4.0 is also known as an attribution license. Within this type of license, you are obliged to give credit to the content author, specify if you made any changes to the content and also insert a link to the license itself. For better knowing how to give credit, you can find the information you need on the wiki website of Creative Commons. Although, this license requires more work from you and it's not particularly handy if you are using it for commerce or your own marketing campaign.

 

CC BY-SA 4.0 license

 

This license has the same rules and restrictions as the CC BY 4.0 attribution license, although on top of it, if you make any changes to the work, you are required to distribute your own work with the same license as the original. This license reminds you that in a community, except from taking resources for free, it is expected from you to give something back in return. SA in the title stands for "share-alike".

 

CC BY-NC 4.0 license

 

Following the restrictions of the attribution license, you may download and use the content for free, although this particular license doesn't allow you to use the credited content in a commercial purpose. These images and videos aren't your choice for a marketing video or poster. NC clearly stands for "non-commercial".

 

CC BY-ND 4.0 license

 

ND in this license title stands for "no-derivatives", meaning that the original content is free of charge to use however you choose, even commercially, under the restrictions of the attribution license (credit, link), but only under the condition that you do not make any changes to the original work. If you do change the content, you are not allowed to publicly expose and distribute it. This is a tricky license and also very demanding and complicated if you are looking for stock photos/videos for your own project.

 

photography CC license

 

In our previous articles, we have listed several websites where you can find free stock videos, as well as photography. Most of the titles from our list use their own policy regarding giving credits and hyper linking the shared content, while several use the set of rules by Creative Commons for their distributions.

 

If you have any doubts about your freedom of use of certain content, you can either contact the website owner or the content creator, or simply move on to the content with clear licensing. Before moving on to downloading the images from stock websites, it is recommended that you read the guidelines on the Creative Commons website, as well as to consider what is that you can do to give back to the community.

 

The world of free stock footage wouldn't exist if there weren't for selfless creators willing to share and contribute to the creative worldwide community. Think about your role in this global commune and find a way to improve and enrich this cyber space with your participation and contribution.

 

Even if the license does not require giving credit to the author, it would be a matter of respect to show in any way that we appreciate the work of our colleagues and how much their sharing helped us with our projects.

 

Another important notice on the topic of stock footage is that most of the websites have a disclaimer that the content must not be used in the process of creating a work that promotes violence, discrimination or any other offensive marketing campaign. We would like to remind you that the creative industry is not here to be led by these types of values and we strongly support the disclaimers of these websites.

 

Good luck with creating your next project and pay attention to the copyright of the stock content you use!

 

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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Self-Education: Trends in Graphic Design for 2019


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Graphic designers spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about the meaning of things. They ponder why and how this info can be used to help others in a visual manner. Indeed, the art is involved in the graphic design but not in the way most people think. They say the art tries to reveal the world of an artist, but the graphic design tries to help others.

So, here is the list of trends in in the design for the next year. You might ask how we have worked it out. The PaperCheap team did a lot of research, compared and evaluated different international companies’ logo, images, websites, animations that took over the world and sparked an interest across the whole planet.

There are more than just seven graphic design trends for 2019. But these are the main ones to look out for.

Typography

The first major design trend we are going to see in 2019 is a creative typography. It is the use of text and fonts in different compositions. It became a key trend a few years ago but we are definitely going to see more leaps and bounds in the next year. There will be more dripping text, serif typefaces that have things missing out of it.

Nowadays everything bigger and bolder is better. So, designers are going to use artistic effects and bold type for the headlines of their designs. Typography is all about the text that stands out and captures attention. It can be combined almost with every design technique you can think of or by itself and still stand out.

Double Exposure

If you think about the last few years, I can almost guarantee that the word minimalism is popping into your mind somewhere along the line. But double exposure is the exact opposite.

There is a continuing trend of it. We will continue seeing a rise in the use of double exposure more and more in 2019. Designers are not only experimenting with its effects for fun artwork. It is used in advertising and other areas of design as well. There are a lot of step-by-step guides to make you a double exposure photo or poster in Adobe Photoshop. So, try it out and be in trend.

The Particle Backgrounds

With cryptocurrencies and their blockchain exploding in 2018 we have seen a massive trend come about 80% of all cryptocurrency websites featured the particle background. Particle animation is a great alternative to the standard hero sections on a web page. This kind of elegant cosmos-inspired theme works fine in combination with solid color illustration and vector drawings, as well as with photos. The great thing is that animation varies. You can create a bunch of dots that move chaotically or a constellation where you can connect circles with thin lines.

80’s Pastel Patterns

We are sure you heard of the bright and colorful hues of the 80s and the 90s. Well, it is gaining popularity once again. As we move away from ultra-flat design, you can expect to see more geometric patterns inspired by the era of our parents. The 60s rounded serif fonts never go out of style too. There are and there will be a lot of big chunky rounded serif in graphic design. It is definitely one of those things that has a retro feel but also in a way it feels new.

Color

Pantone 18-3838 ultraviolet is the color of the future year. It is used to convey meaningful, empowering and inspiring messages to people. Also, the use of watercolors is more prominent. Watercolor adds a level of hand-done painterly, emotionally an evocative way to create images that really offset the kind of type and stripe. Watercolor creates a very fluid juxtaposition between the type and the design elements and the illustration.

Cinema Graphic

In the graphics world, everything moves towards motion and away from the static design. Cinema graphics is an image with parts of the image that are video. It can be a fresh coffee and steam coming up off it or clouds that are moving around the top of the mountain. It definitely adds a cool element to the website. Whether it is through your blog post or a page background, it will definitely be in style for 2019.

Vintage Ultra-detailed

Everything old is new again. The vintage ultra-detailed graphics is a combination of many hand-drawn fonts, curvilinear elements, and block-printed compositions. This trend has been out there for quite some time but it certainly is not going away.

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Grids & layouts


Layouts are there to keep us organized, mark where the elements should go, and bring the whole design together to a structure which looks good to the eye. Besides easing your life, layouts and grids can be used to create a unique personal design style, something that will have you stand out and become instantly recognizable.

 

When setting up the margins, integrating modules into columns and deciding on the size of the gutter, most designers use a snap-to-grid tool, which helps to see if your object is lining up with other objects in the design.

 

 

When designing a layout grid, you can either listen to symmetry, or go for asymmetric design. Symmetric design is always centered and columns are the same size, while the margins are equal to each other, so this is usually a safe way to go. If you are going for asymmetric design, then there are also some rules of balance which should be followed.

 

In developing the composition of your design, you would want to pay attention to the Golden Ratio, as it has been the alpha and omega for aesthetics since we know it. Another rule, very useful for both column layout and landscape, is dividing your design into nine equal blocks with four lines that intersect. The main object of your design should be placed at these meeting points where the lines come together.

 

If you are designing a publication, another example where layouts come very useful is to use them to adapt your pages to the bound of the book/paper, so you can make sure that by bounding the pages you don't loose any details from your design.

 

 

Why are grids essential for visual communication is best shown on Instagram nowadays. Users have been creating different layouts for their entire profile. They have been telling stories row by row, sometimes also themed by colors, creating a rainbow effect on their profile page. They've also been publishing content to create columns of photos and texts.

 

Even the margins play their role in designer's Instagram page. Content with borders makes a profile much easier to explore, so this segregation has definitely been revolutionary in social media. More complex style of a profile would be a collage - when your photos overlap, and here the margins play big roles, as what makes this profile beautiful is the composition and balance between images.

 

As we said in the first paragraph, layouts can be useful for creating your brand. If you decide to stick to your signature layout, social media is your absolute sidekick.

 

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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The Power of Color in Branding


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Understanding the power of color in branding can be extremely beneficial to those devising marketing strategies for businesses both small and large. Color is primarily associated with aesthetics, and this on its own is already an important factor in branding. However, color impacts much more than cosmetics. It can also help brands establish their message, improve brand recognition, and even drive website conversions. In this post, we’ll focus on branding and go through some telling facts and figures related to the impact of color, its relevance regarding brand message and brand recognition.

 

Color matters and research focusing on its impact has unveiled that it actually matters quite a bit. Information compiled by Design Advisor highlights that a potential customer takes, on average, 90 seconds to assess a product; in that short time, color is said to account for between 62 and 90% of the decision to purchase or not.

 

In terms of specific products, the set of options available for purchase can heavily affect sales, as two-thirds of customers will not buy an appliance if it isn’t available in their preferred color. These figures give us an introductory picture of what’s at stake. Let’s move on to specific cases and explore different ways of using color.

Color and meaning

Color works as a metaphor and carries symbolic connotations. Think of all the times you’ve gone through color motifs in literature class or heard praise of a particular way in which a movie director constructed a color palette in their film.

 

Having said that, it’s worth noting that context matters. Different cultures think of certain colors in different ways, and individual memories and emotions also factor into interpretations. However, color psychology helps us understand the common ways in which color is interpreted and associated, as well as the type of feelings it can convey to the observer.

 

For instance, green is typically associated with nature and connotes feelings of growth and harmony. Notably, it is used by businesses that wish to establish an eco-friendly or ethical approach, and many food companies use it to help associate their product with healthy foods.

 

Black connotes elegance and authority, which is why brands such as Jaguar, Mont Blanc, and Yves Saint Laurent utilize it in their logos and general design strategies. Another common choice for businesses wishing to convey a sense of elegance and polish is white. White is more approachable, yet still associated with perfection, which helps brands such as Apple set themselves apart without alienating market segments.        

 

It’s good to keep in mind that although differences in preference between genders are not stark, men tend to prefer bolder colors and shades, while women tend to prefer soft colors and tints. Still, sky blue and green are most liked by both women and men, which makes them good options for unisex brands, in the markets where this makes sense.

 

Brand recognition and storytelling

Up until now, we discussed color and its meaning, with examples drawn mainly from logo designs. However, there is much more to it than this. As mentioned earlier, color accounts for up to 80% of a business’s brand recognition.

 

Brands rely on specific colors to establish their identity and ensure quick recognition by potential customers. For example, Facebook is blue, Netflix is red, and McDonald’s plays with a combination of red and yellow. The repeated use of certain colors in a strategic way establishes a connection between the color and a brand. Think of it this way: wouldn’t Facebook’s page look odd if its interface was a different color?

 

Many up and coming brands are testing impact and recognition factors by alternating the color they use in their ads and choosing the most effective one. Research indicates that the effectiveness of color in branding depends on how appropriate it is for the product being sold; in other words, whether the color used in the branding thematically “fits” the brand. Thus, it is key to think of a brand’s story and overall message, before choosing a color scheme to represent it. Heinz, for example, decided to change their scheme from red to green and experienced the largest sales increase in their history.

 

When utilized correctly, colors can be a powerful profit driving tool. Consumers are more likely to choose an easily recognizable brand, which means that increasing and improving a business’s presence through strategies mentioned above can lead to gaining loyal customers.

 

Final thoughts

In an increasingly competitive environment, businesses ranging from small corner shops to huge multinational corporations would be wise to dig deep into their chest of branding tools and use everything to their advantage. Color can act as one such successful tool for brands attempting to set themselves apart, increase the intensity of their brand message, or simply wishing to establish themselves as a recognized brand. Smart use of color is the way to go.

 

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How to Improve Your Small Business's Social Media Presence


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The only way to grow your business is to gain new customers. One cost-effective way to secure new leads is via social media. However, it's difficult to know where to concentrate your efforts for the best chance of success.

Social media continues to grow in numbers and frequency of use. Facebook has about 2.2 billion active users each month, and other social media sites are on an upward trend as well. However, just throwing stuff out there — whether on Facebook or another social media site — isn't the most effective use of your marketing time or dollars.

If you want to improve your social media presence, here are seven key steps you need to take as soon as possible.

1. Know Your Audience

"Know your audience" is good advice for nearly every type of marketing. It's the basis of figuring out where to have a social media presence and how to reach the specific demographic of people you most want to reach. There are many ways to improve your knowledge of your audience.

Start by studying your website analytics. Who visits your site? Where are they from, and what type of device do they use? Collect as much information as you can. Next, look at your audience on social media right now. You'll also want to study the audience of your competitors and poll your current customers. Collecting all this data and looking at it as a whole allows you to gain a pretty good picture of who your audience is.

2. Connect With Younger Generations

Once you have an idea who your typical customer is, take the time to figure out how best to connect with the younger generations. Millennials are one of the largest generations in history, starting to surpass even the baby boomers. Gen Z is right behind them and coming into buying power of their own. If you want your business to remain healthy far into the future, you must connect with those who will be customers for many years to come.

The younger generations want a clean, uncluttered look on your website. They also want to be able to connect easily with your social media channels. Include links on your page so that they can like your social media with a single click or two.

3. Stick to Your Color Scheme

It's important to choose a color scheme and stick to it across all your channels. If you use blue and white on your website, use the same blue on your social media channels. While you can change the look a bit, the page should still be immediately recognizable as your brand. Different colors evoke different emotions in people, so choose wisely based on the emotions you're trying to inspire.

 

Shopify has a green shopping bag logo, and they use this same color bag and logo across all their online presences. Note the green logo used on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and their website. The minute you land on any of these pages, you instantly recognize that logo, which is highly relevant to the shopping cart services they offer.

4. Measure Successful Campaigns

About 56 percent of businesses use social media metrics to track likes, shares and comments and figure out which campaigns work. When you see which ads perform best and which target audiences respond the most, you can use the money you spend on social media ads more effectively. The more information you have, the better. Part of this strategy goes back to point one of knowing your audience, but you also have to see the ways that audience performs on the specific social media platforms you're on.

5. Use Facebook to Reach Everyone

If you choose only one social media network on which to start, choose Facebook. The most commonly used social media platform is Facebook, boasting 79 percent of US-based people who are online. Even the rapidly growing Instagram is only a distant second place, at 32 percent of American internet users. While older generations do use Facebook more frequently than the younger generations, most individuals still maintain some presence on the social media giant to stay updated about family and friends.

6. Train Your Social Media Team in Customer Service

When consumers have a positive experience with a brand on social media, they're 71 percent more likely to recommend that brand to others. Spend time training your social media managers in your customer service philosophy, how to handle complaints and engaging with people online. The more positive the experience, the more likely people are to share information about your brand with others and expand your social media reach.

 

Adobe has a page on Twitter devoted to customer service called Adobe Care. Note how they respond to a customer complaint above. They apologize for the problem, let the customer know what's being done and offer a temporary solution. They also respond quickly rather than leaving the customer hanging.

7. Automate and Schedule Your Posts

Even the most diligent social media manager gets busy with other campaigns and misses a post here and there. Fortunately, some tools allow you to schedule ahead of time so that you never miss another timely post again. Automate posts by using apps such as Missingltr, PromoRepublic and HubSpot to automatically generate campaigns based on blog posts and fill out your calendar.

Some tools are free, and some cost a monthly fee. Use what you can afford, and as your company grows, invest in better tools that automate more of your processes.

Improve Your Social Media Presence

These seven tips generate a better social media presence for your brand. You can take several small steps on a daily basis that will improve your social media reach, such as adding vibrant photos, investing in video and finding your voice as a brand. With time, you'll gain more followers and drive more traffic to your site from your social media pages.

 

 

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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Awesome tools for exploring color palettes


In the never-ending seek for inspiration, new ideas that will blow our minds away, we've stumbled across these interesting tools that could offer you various ways of bringing something fresh in your design work. Whether you lack innovation or just want to play around with colors, these handy tools will take you on a trip trough time, space and internet to give you what you want.

 

 

1. time travel by color

Is your current design project asking to be a little more retro? Needs some funk and crispy taste of the past of mankind? We present you a platform called Color Leap, unique gallery of chosen artwork from over 4000 years of our past.

How is this online tool useful for you? The website stores over 180 palettes of artworks from all around the world. For every time period, you can find a selection of paintings or designs, check their palettes and copy their hex-codes right into your project. For every moment in time, you can also see additional palettes which relate to this epoch.

Whether you are looking for a vintage, 60's style design, or diving all the way back in the ancient civilizations, this unique timeline can provide you with fresh ideas and suggest palettes you might have not considered before.

 

 

2. the grass is always greener

...or what code should I use to present nature this time? Tired of having to try out all kinds of RGB shades every single time you get a new project? What if there was a tool which can just select the most suitable color for the terms your design relates to...?

Turns out, there is. The description found on their website is "Google, but for colors". And they basically are. Picular is a tool which uses Google Search and the result of Picular search is a selection of the most used shades which relate to your searched term.

What this app does is selects the prominent colors from top 20 images which Google Search locates under the search term. So, next time you are feeling playful, try out some interesting abstract terms, let the avangard inspire you, discover the color of loneliness, jungle and confidence, based on images of people from all around the world.

We hope you liked our new suggestions, and that these tools can help you unlock creativity, get inspired and overcome the routine in your work flow.

Have you tried Color Leap or Picular yet? Share your impressions and experience in the comment section bellow.

 

Author: Nina Petrov

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Choose THIS Color of Website Button for Maximum Sales


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Can the colors that you use on your website actually help to make or break its success? It seems far-fetched, but there is research to support the claim.

 

Color and Perception

 

In fact, psychologists have spent years studying how color affects human perception. They theorize that certain colors may make you feel hungry, excited, sad, curious or happy. Now, experienced website builders are taking note of these findings and using them to their advantage.

 

Color Sets the Mood

 

The reality is that colors affect how people feel. The eyes perceive a color, and this is communicated to the hypothalamus in the brain. This communication results in a variety of signals being sent to the pituitary gland, through the endocrine system and straight to the glands in the thyroid. The thyroid, of course, is responsible for releasing hormones into the human body. Those hormones can be powerful, influencing mood and behavior.

 

Color Influences Buying Decisions

 

People who study color psychology estimate that when people assess a product, color is the number-one, overriding factor in their consideration. Many consumers make a split-second, albeit perhaps subconscious, decision regarding whether or not they are going to buy something based almost solely on the color.

 

Color Use Drives Website Conversion

 

Whether webmasters realize it or not, color psychology also is at work on their websites. The colors that they choose for the main elements on the pages and the buttons that visitors use to make purchases really do make a difference. Choose the right color, and your conversions may skyrocket. Go with the wrong color, and you may find yourself dealing with a dismal conversion rate.

 

Color and Distinctive Branding Go Together

 

Big organizations put a great deal of time, money and effort into branding. This includes the company name and a distinctive logo, but these aren't the only considerations. Of primary importance is the color in which the logo and brand name are presented.

 

 

Accordingly, it makes sense to put some serious thought into the colors that you use on your website. The backgrounds, borders, hero graphics, popups and buttons all need to present a coordinated color strategy. Even more important than coordination is choosing colors that will have website visitors clicking on the "buy" button.

 

Colors Need to Match the Business

 

When it comes to using colors on websites, it feels a bit like the stars have to be in alignment. The colors have to be right for your brand and be appealing to your target audience.

 

We can see a great example of this use of colors with most VPN services. The organization is fairly conservative, and so is its clientele. Splashy oranges, yellows and greens are probably not the way to go. Instead, tones of white, black, silver and navy blue are preferable. These colors are classic and pleasing to the eye. Moreover, they may be suggestive of trustworthiness and reliability, characteristics that most people would value when it comes to protecting their personal data from cyber criminals.

 

Alternatively, consider the case of a party planning business. Fun and vibrant events are their specialties. They do everything from birthday gatherings for six-year-olds to retirement parties for business executives. This may call for some brighter, more energizing colors. Red, yellow and orange wouldn't be out of place. Plus, you might see some pinks and purples, depending upon the event. Whatever specific colors are chosen, they should evoke feelings of fun and excitement.

 

Gender Matters

 

It also may be profitable to consider the gender of your typical customer. Research suggests that women gravitate toward blue, purple and green while they are repelled by orange, brown and gray. Men are different. Like women, they prefer blue and green, but black is a favorite too. Most of them dislike brown, orange and purple. The upshot is that if your business is primarily geared toward either women or men, then you should take these gender-based likes and dislikes into consideration when creating a color scheme for your website.

 

Colors for Call to Action Buttons

 

Many website gurus swear by using green on call to action buttons. Typically associated with all things natural and environmentally friendly, it seems that green also is an effective hue when it is used on website elements like "buy," "add to cart" and "submit" buttons. It is especially effective when it is the only green element on the page. Researchers say that this is because of something called the "isolation effect." When the conversion step on your website is the only green element, users can't help but be drawn to it.

 

Other colors also perform well when it comes to increasing conversions. Orange is a particular favorite of web designers as you can tell by this typical product recommendation layout. Note the recommended purchase choices are accompanied in each instance by a big orange button. Red and yellow convert well in this environment also.

 

Darker colors tend to exhibit low conversion rates. Either people don't see them or the dark colors are actually de-motivational. Overall, orange is not a favorite color of either men or women. Red can be the color of danger, and yellow is often used as a warning. If these colors are generally distasteful, why do they perform so well from a website conversion standpoint?

 

 

The answer may be that these oft-reviled colors can’t help but draw attention. Someone perusing a website can't keep their eyes from migrating toward those call to action buttons in colors like red, orange and yellow. This is why you may want to choose an overall color scheme for your website, but then use call to action buttons in contrasting colors like green, red, yellow or orange.

 

Final Thought

 

Of course, white space also can be a wonderful thing on a website. Don't neglect or banish this restful shade from your pages. It's what lets your visitors feel like they can relax and breathe while browsing. Plus, it will make the other colors that you choose pop off the page.

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7 Questions To Ask Yourself Before You Choose Your Final Design


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Whether you are creating a wedding stationery, a billboard ad, or a portfolio website, the one step that designers should almost always need to perfect is their choice of final design. After all, this is what clients pay you for and what will make your business more valuable in the eyes of your customers.

 

But before you can come up with the best final design for any kind of project, a certain level of introspection is required. As a lead designer of a project, you need to develop the necessary skills that will allow you to effectively choose a final design that matches the client’s brief.

 

And to help you with that, we have compiled the top 7 questions that any graphic artist should ask themselves before deciding on a final design. Read each question carefully and make sure to answer them as honestly as you can.

 

What is the design theme?

One of the first things to consider when creating any kind of project is its theme or motif.  At the beginning stage of the design creation process, following a theme will help direct creators on the right path for that specific design.

 

But this is not where the importance of a project’s design theme ends. As the lead designer, you still need to make sure that your final design sticks to the original theme you have decided with at the beginning.

 

To illustrate, if you are creating a billboard design for a mid-range activewear clothing brand, the final billboard design should adhere to the active lifestyle and market demographic that the brand caters. Of course, your clients will still have to approve a specific design or not. What is important is that you (as the lead designer) would have already narrowed down the design choices so that your clients will no longer feel overwhelmed on what final design to choose and use for their respective projects.

 

Is it too trendy?

Before choosing a final design, the next question to ask yourself is whether or not a design is too trendy. There can be a few instances where trendy designs can work out well for brands. But if having a project design that can be used for multiple instances throughout the years is your goal, you may have to evaluate if a certain design is trendy or not.

 

As with any kind of design project, designers are given a project brief or a description of what the client wants to have or achieve for a specific project. And most often, clients will prefer a design that will withstand the test of time and something that can be incorporated well into other marketing and informational corporate publications. As the lead designer, you need to determine and choose a final design that will match the client’s desires and, at the same time, not be too stylish that everyone else in the industry is doing it.

 

Can the design be easily understood?

Most graphic design projects are meant to entice and make another person think by just looking at it. This is the reason why most clients demand the creation of simple yet impactful design suggestions.

 

It is then your job as the graphic designer to translate the client’s objective into something that can be easily understood by the public. In short, you are the storyteller. And you need to choose a final design that will best tell the brand’s story to your audience.

 

For instance, if you are tasked with the creation of a company logo of a family-owned restaurant, you need to choose a final design that will imbibe the spirit of a family cooperation, easy meals, and fun times all in one tiny logo. Achieving the perfect logo design that perfectly fits the bill can be difficult. However, if you begin with the company’s storyits beginnings and how it continues to provide hearty meals for familiesyou will have a story to tell and you can begin developing design mockups that match that narrative.

 

To determine if your design can easily be understood or not before submitting it your client for review, you may take inspiration from real-world examples of projects found on graphic design inspiration blogs Behance, Dribbble, Template.net, Canva, and colourlovers.com.

 

Are all included graphic design elements licensed and legally obtained?

In most cases, graphic design projects will involve the use of different kinds of graphic design elements. From flat icons to logo designs to certain typeface families, designers will need to, one way or another, source these key design elements from different people or sites.

 

This is why, if you are now on the penultimate stage of the design process, you would most likely need to make sure that all the graphic design elements incorporated in any of your final designs are all sourced legally.

 

For instance, this means that you need to ask yourself and verify if a certain font style was bought and downloaded legally. As the lead designer, you also need to recheck if these design components can be used for commercial purposes. One main reason for asking yourself these questions is to make sure that you (and your client) will not be sued for intellectual copyright infringement in the future.

 

Ask yourself this question before you choose a final design and you will save yourself (and your client) any potential legal headache in the future. And even if you do not get sued in the future, the negative publicity associated with using someone else’s design or a derivative thereof without their written permission may break your own and your client’s credibility.

 

How does the design measure up against its competitors?

One of the main purposes of creating impactful design is for marketing. Brands and businesses frequently need to come up with a creative and enticing way to present their services and their products to any potential client in order to continue their market leads or to break into a specific market.

 

And using creative designs on various advertising and marketing materials is one way to get the attention of their targeted audience base. This is the reason why, as the design head, you need to ask yourself if a certain design can measure hold up well against its competitors in the same industry or not. Your answer to this question will greatly help you determine how a client will react to being presented with a specific design mock-up or suggestion.

 

By keeping this question at the forefront of your mind before you choose a final design, you will already have gauged how your design can be compared with and measure up against the designs of other services or products in the market. Clients will certainly appreciate it when you have already taken out the competition comparison task out of their hands and they will only be left with a design that can do wonders for their own businesses.

 

Is the design too expensive or difficult to reproduce?

As we have mentioned earlier, creative designs can be used in and incorporated into different end products and for various purposes. For example, a company letterhead design may be used in official company letters or memos while the design itself can be used as the official seal or logo design.

 

However, in some cases, some graphic design projects may call for complicated configurations or the use of non-traditional art mediums. To illustrate, if you are tasked with the creation of a luxury fashion house’ corporate branding designs and you opted to incorporate 3D elements as the design base, the entire project can be costly to reproduce and make it work for different design mediums due to its complexity. Of course, high-end fashion houses can certainly pay for this kind of project. But this may not be the case for other businesses.

 

This is one reason why graphic designers and artists need to ask themselves if any of their design suggestions is cost-effective or easy to reproduce or not. It is the job of the designer to create designs that will fit the client’s budget. You need to choose a final design that can be used on different presentation mediums without affecting the design end quality.

 

Does the design bring you joy?

This last question may not sound too pragmatic but it is a good way to assess whether or not a specific design is worthy of being the final design for any kind of creative project. Before you decide on what final design to use and/or present to your client for approval, you first need to ask yourself and your team (if applicable) if a certain design suggestion brings you joy or not.

 

It’s a simple yet important question. As the creator, you first need to be satisfied and be happy with a certain design yourself before you can wholeheartedly suggest its use to a client. It also matters that you are comfortable with how a final design will be used by your client. You need to ask yourself if a design brings you joy because it is only after honestly answering this question can you facilitate the use of your design to bring joy to other people’s lives.

 

Are You Now Ready to Choose Your Final Design?

 

Graphic design plays an important role in business and in daily life. As a graphic designer, just like any person who has a passion for creative arts, you need to carefully balance creating for yourself and for an audience. With the use of the seven questions that we have listed above, we hope that you can more accurately choose the best final designs for whatever project you may be working on.

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How to Create a Distinctive Trademark for Your Business


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A trademark represents the distinctive sign through which a business presents itself on any given market and this is why is very important to convey the message of the brand to its customers. It can be said that the trademark is the most relevant asset of a business, as it will distinguish the company’s products or services from the ones of the competition.

A sign becomes a trademark once the company that owns it registers it on the market in which it will operate; more exactly, when it is available for commercial use. In order to create a distinctive trademark, there are several tips that could help increasing the visibility of the brand.

 

One of the main aspects to consider when registering a trademark in any given jurisdiction, such as Japan, Italy or Ireland, is to create a logo that respects the requirements of the local legislation (for example, certain words can’t be registered – such as offensive words). At the same time, it is necessary to avoid descriptive words – represented by words that offer a description of the product or service, due to the fact that these words do not refer specifically to the company’s products/services, as they may also be used by competitors.

In Ireland, the legislation states that the local authorities can’t register trademarks that are identical or even similar with other trademarks that have already been registered in this country. At the same time, it is necessary to decide on the colors of the trademark, as the sign chosen will be registered only for the respective colors and the company will not be entitled to promote its products or services by using other colors than the ones already chosen.

In other countries, such as Estonia, certain types of trademarks can’t be protected under the local legislation if they lack a distinctive character; for example, if the logo is created only from letters that do not have a stylized form, it can’t be registered with the local authorities.

 

As a general rule, words that do not truly exist (invented words, a logo created from the association of two different words) in the vocabulary of a country tend to have the highest visibility rate, as they are new for the consumer market and they offer a competitive advantage through their novelty.   

Another way to increase the power of a trademark is by creating a catchy slogan to be associated with the company’s products. The combination of words and numbers can also represent a good idea for establishing a trademark and it advisable not to use three letter acronym logos, especially when the investors do not dispose of a large capital to be infused in marketing and advertising purposes.

In the situation in which the trademark is composed of several words, it is highly recommended to make the first word as memorable as possible – for example, by using foreign words, words describing animals, plants or fruits.  

 

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