Category Archives for Design
So you have a logo. Maybe you had it done professionally, maybe you have a friend who created one for you or you made one yourself! Whatever the case may be, your logo does not make up your brand, infact it is a very small part of your visuals. What makes your visual branding great is seeing all of the small components come together, creating a consistant look and style. That means your website, your business cards, packaging and your social media platforms. So what do you after your designer has handed you your final logo files? Or you need to make your own business cards in a pinch? A lot of times companies don’t have an in-house designer and a lot of materials like blog posts, email blasts, etc, are up to someone who isn’t trained in design to create. Sound familiar?
I experienced this a lot when I first started designing for clients. I would create a beautiful logo for them, hand it off, receive final payment, all was good in the world. Then I would head over to the client’s website to see the beautiful logo I designed for them on top of a completely incohesive website!! EEKK!! All of a sudden my pride and happiness with my work turned to cringing, not wanting to direct anyone to the website to see the logo I did. This is one reason why I stay away from projects that are just logos (there’s always an occasional exception) and try to focus on the branding as a whole.
SOOO all that being said- here are three tips to help keep your visuals looking good across all platforms! They are the basics, and there are tons more I could write about, but these specific three will be the foundation for any work that you are creating and can really make your designs go from zero to hero.
1 // Keep your fonts and colors consistant.
With fonts and colors- I normally group them both into a general rule: don’t use more than four. With fonts, you want to stay away from using the exact same font that is used in your logo, to allow the logo to stand on it’s own and not to get lost in the crowd. Throughout your visuals, choose a font that you will use for your body text, your headers, sub-text, and a highlight font if needed. Try to keep these consistant throughout all your visuals.
For colors- I wouldn’t stray too far from the color palette of your logo. Don’t forget to stick with the 4 colors rule of thumb! I’d go with a light color (for backgrounds and fills), a dark color (for headers and body copy), a neutral color, and a punch color (for the areas that need to stand out). Or just stick to different tints and shades (adding white and adding black) of the same base color. Whatever you do- keep it consistant. I often use the color guide on Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, but if you don’t have those programs, some great ways to choose consistant color palettes are websites like Kuler (created by Adobe), The Color Collective, and Design Seeds.
2 // Stick with a grid.
Whatever you are working on, be it a letterhead, a blog post, or a business card, I can’t stress enough how important it is to keep text and images aligned, as well as consistant borders and margins. This can make or break your design.
If you have an inch border on one side of your letter head, make sure all the sides have an inch border. If you have 25px in between images and text, keep it that way throughout all your blog posts! Keep the end of all visual
I can’t stress this enough. Don’t be afraid of negative space. Instead- EMBRACE it! The key to good design is knowing how to use space, not filling every inch of it up. White space is good. It’s great actually. With so much to look at on the internet, so much competition for our minds and time, people want something that has a clear, consistant message. Simple and easy to understand. With breathing room. Don’t crowd, oversaturate or confuse. Keep. It. Simple!!!
And YES YES I KNOW- there are many examples where people have broken these rules and made it work- but you have to know the rules in order to break them! So stick to these three simple steps and as you get better, you can start to experiment and break them! Woo Hoo!!
PS- hiring a designer means you don’t have to worry about any of this! wink wink..
I’ve been meaning to post about this for a while, but one of my favorite recent projects that recently wrapped up to work on was the branding of Wink! Weddings coordination and design.
The client wanted something fun & a bit cheeky. They also really wanted to play up the exclamation point in their name. I started by narrowing down my extremely disorganized “brainstorming board” to three logos.
From there we narrowed it down, revised and played with it, turned it sideways, and boom bang bing- the final logo emerged! We brought the look of the logo onto the website. When a client is down for anything and ready to be creative- it pumps me up! I’m always down for new ideas and taking risks. So we made a sideways menu bar with a black and white striped footer. Infinet Design developed the site and did an amazing job. I couldn’t be happier with the result. You can check it out on the web here.
Good branding will get you far friends- with so many websites out there, people will choose your business based upon their connection to your visuals. So invest in branding- it’s SO worth it!
And for the ladies out there planning a wedding- check out Wink! They offer amazing services that are so needed on your wedding day. I had no idea how much I needed a coordinator for my wedding until we were in the middle of the process. And with Wink’s creative spirit and amazing experience- they would be a great choice. It’s so important and so worth every penny!
Happy Wednesday friends!
photo by Melissa Klausman…
I’ve honestly never been a huge Spring fan. I’ve always loved the cold winters and hot summers. The in between seasons have always seemed just a means to an end to me. But this Spring I’ve just been in heaven! I am loving the weather, the trees starting to blossom, and the fresh fruit showing up at the grocery store. I’ve especially loved the lemons. Lemons are great for cooking, (I just made this the other day and it was amazing!) they act as a natural home deodorizer, and they make for a great table centerpiece! The yellow color is just gorgeous placed anywhere in the house.
So here’s a desktop download I made for you to help you celebrate this beautiful season! Download it by clicking the correct size for your computer (or iphone and ipad) below. And definitely go out and buy some lemons!
These past 2 weeks I had the awesome opportunity of working alongside Promise Tangeman (who is just one of the coolest ladies on the planet) and Melissa Kilner to create a full rebrand for Melissa Kilner Photography.
Melissa is one of three photographers who are working with the amazing Jasmine Star in a program called “ReSTARt” where they essentially “restart” (how appropriate!) their photography business. Jasmine goes through every nook and cranny of their business. Everything from how they respond to emails, to how they interact with their models, to the way their brand looks. That’s where I came in! I got to work an intense week and a half on creating this thing from the ground up. We got Melissa a new logo, color palette, and a brand spankin new website that launched officially today! You can check it out here.
Today is the last of the three sessions of ReSTARt. You can watch the broadcast live starting at 9am PST today.(Wednesday March 6th) If you have a photog business, it’s a must see! But really if you have any sort of business at all there’s some great info covered. Promise will be on today at 11am PST releasing the websites. If you’d like to join in and watch- you can watch it for free live here —> creativelive.com
Thanks so much Melissa and Promise for being so amazing to work with!! Can’t wait to watch you girls do your thaaang today!…
Congrats to Jessica Perkins for winning the Hi Peanut Photography Giveaway! Lucky you get to have your pretty pics taken and have a free hair and make up sesh!! Even though I have no baby bump- I’m kinda jealous – you’re gonna have some really cute pics! So congrats! Email Brienne at email@example.com to get the deets!…
Good morning friends! I hope there are some mommy-to-be readers out there because we have a really awesome giveaway from Hi Peanut Photography happening for you today!
But first, I want to share a bit of an insider look into the branding that I did for them recently. It started off with a moodboard… Brienne (the owner of Hi Peanut) wanted something sophisticated and modern. Anything to keep her away from the scary maternity photos people think of so often when hearing “maternity” photos. So I came up with a soft color palette, with a bit of pop, as it is for children.
I really wanted to get that soft look, so I went outside the computer and created some watercolor splotches for the logo.
After a few rounds of revisions, we finalized the logo.
We then created the website!
So here comes the fun part! Hi Peanut is giving away a free maternity session to one lucky mommy to be! It’s pretty awesome because not only does it include a free photo session- it also includes hair and makeup. Pretty awesome, right??
Here’s how to enter:
Leave a comment on this post, go to the facebook page and click the “like” button. Plus tweet or facebook the link (use this shortlink: http://bit.ly/13WY3n7) to this post telling your other mommy friends about the giveaway. Like I mentioned before, the winner gets a free maternity session, including professional hair and makeup. Travel is included within 50 miles of Santa Clarita, California.
We will announce the winner on Wednesday March 6th!! Stay tuned!
So get on it!! And send this post to your pregnant friends! Yay!…
I didn’t watch the Oscars. I don’t have cable and was busy Sunday night. But one thing I do love about these award shows is catching up on the fashion highlights on Hulu and looking at the what everyone wore the next day. And since I’m weird, I start thinking about how I can apply my favorite looks from the Oscars to my design work… is that weird?? Probably.
Anyways, what, you may ask, can we learn from Oscar fashion and apply to design?? I’m glad you asked. Cause I’m about to tell you.
1 // Keep it simple. Don’t do a necklace when your dress has a beautiful neck line. Just don’t. It’s too much! Same with design. Take away everything that takes away from the purpose of the piece. Do you need that swirly gradient? No. Take it out- it’s just distracting.
2 // Keep to your brand. All of the dresses at the Oscars tell a story about the person wearing them. Have you ever wondered if you liked a dress just because you love the person wearing it? I don’t think anyone would dare say that Jennifer Lawrence looked bad- no matter what she was wearing. Because we LOVE her! (How could you not??) It’s not just about looks. It’s about CONTENT. Make sure you have a great brand to back up your designs, or you may not get the attention your amazing taste deserves!
3 // Captivate. I am in love with Lily Collins’ pop of red lips. With her black and white dress, those lips really draw you in. It’s not too much. Add some red lip poppin to your designs. Draw in your viewers with something captivating- but keep to a hierarchy. What’s the first thing you look at? The second? Third? Make sure it’s obvious. If your eye doesn’t know where to look first- you have too many focal points. Simplify and make that first glace really captivate!!
Just some small design tips for you all- Oscar style.…
I did these illustrations for a client a while back and posted them on Dribbble. I went through Dribbble for the first time in awhile today and was reminded of how awesome it is. I’m really bad at remembering to post work while I’m designing. But it’s a great resource for designers.
It’s a great place to gather inspiration as well as get feedback from other designers on work in progress. I’ve yet to utilize it to it’s full potential, but it’s something I plan to do more of this year. If anyone wants an invite to join I have a few to give out. Put a link to your portfolio in the comments and I can check it out!
Happy Thursday friends!…
I love thinking of fun new ways to implement a client’s logo. If you can leave them with a branded item they actually want to keep, they’re much more likely to remember you in the future. Not to mention, free advertising!
I love the idea of branded coasters, and these branded tags are designed so beautifully the customers will surely want to keep them. They almost look like they could be car air fresheners, which would be a cool idea as well.
Get creative with your business logo. Think of new ways to draw in your customers and show them you care about them and your business.