Branding: Logo and stationery for Eli’s Cakes
Once our friends at Eli’s Cakes in Venezuela contacted us to amp their brand, we knew this would be an interesting project. They asked to maintain an angelical touch to it and colors that co-relate with the soothing and tasty treats they offer. Business cards were printed on a 16pt Silk Laminated stock with Spot-UV accents and 1/4” rounded corners. You be the judge and let us know what you think!
Rome wasn’t built in one day, your logo shouldn’t be either.
Logos come in all shapes, colors, and sizes. Some explain what the company does while others are abstract. Some are beautiful while others are just plain ugly. But at the end of the day, there is no set template for the art of designing a logo. Things would be kind of boring if there was, don’t you think? So now you ask, if none of these factors are what make a great logo, then what is it?
Well it’s simple, the logo has to be original and different from the thousands of other companies out there. If you notice, giants like Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Disney, and Apple all have very distinct logos that make them stand out from the rest. This is the key to a successful logo.
But I lied, it’s not as simple as it seems… Here is what happens behind the scenes to design logos for our clients.
1. Client Research
The first step in creating a logo is having a real conversation with the clients. Everyone has different tastes, so when creating a logo, we have to be very mindful of what the clients want. We sit with each one of them to get an overall feel of his/her personality, values, and company culture. This helps us narrow down ideas and see what the clients like and dislike. It saves us plenty of headaches down the road and it’s a a nice way to build great business relationships.
2. Industry Research
After getting to know the clients, we have to look into the industry that they’re in. That way we can see who the target audience is and who they have to compete against. Knowing the target audience gives us a great vantage point that we can use to create something that both the clients and customers will love. Looking into the competition gives us a way to know what to avoid because the last thing you want to do is create a logo that reminds the target customer of the clients’ competition.
3. Logo Application
This is one of the most critical parts of creating a logo. We have to keep in mind when and how the logo will be displayed. Factors such as orientation, readability, and color play a huge role in how a logo will look whether it’s on a website or on a huge banner in downtown. For this reason, we have to think carefully and weed out ideas that simply won’t apply for these situations. You don’t want to be stuck with a vertical logo on a website or tiny font that no one can read on a business card.
4. Rough Drafts & Digitalization
Now THIS is where the magic happens! After all the research is done, we finally begin drawing up dozens of original ideas that we feel will work for both the client and the customers. Once we are done brainstorming, we narrow down the options and show the clients the best designs that will stand out from the crowd. Once the clients have chosen the logo(s) that they like, we begin the digital process of vectorizing the design. Designing the logo as a vector is a must because you will be able to resize it without losing any quality.
During this process, we add details and receive feedback from the clients. We also provide a few variations of the design and color palette to give the clients a few final options to choose from. We then go through a series of revisions until the clients are happy with their final logo. Once the logo is ready to go, we can move on to the rest of the client’s branding.
6. Brand Identity
So the hard part is over, but we’re not done yet. A good logo is nothing if it is not applied properly. During this stage, we begin working on business cards, websites, signage, vehicle wraps, and even promotional items to show off your new logo. Even though this step is optional, most clients prefer to keep all of their design themes similar to each other and create a custom package to fit their needs.
So in other words, it is not a simple to create a logo as some think. It takes time, patience, and creativity to make a timeless logo that will get the attention of the target audience. We follow these steps almost religiously to provide our clients with the best possible work. So if you’re in need of a logo, don’t hesitate to give us a call. We mind your business :)
Search Engine Optimizers beware, theres a new google update in town.
Late last week, Google launched its most recent algorithm update in the form of Penguin 2.0. There was a lot of speculative discussion leading up to the release about just what changes this new Penguin would reveal.
For now, less than a week since Penguin 2.0 rolled out, the actual effects of this update are obviously still pretty obscure and unclear, but already some trends have begun to emerge that hint at what exactly is changing for search engine optimization professionals and content marketers.
So, what exactly will it mean to work on the Web and practice search engine optimization for your website or blog in a post-Penguin 2.0 world? Keep reading to find out.
Authority Matters (More)
Google is going to be paying much closer attention to your credentials, so if your site is considered an authority in your specific niche, expect to see that pay off in the form of higher rankings on the search engine.
Changing the Way We Guest Blog
One of the biggest things that Google seems to be interested in targeting are sites that have a lot of outbound links pointing at just one website, as opposed to various links to many different authoritative websites. This will (or should) have a major effect on the way that content marketers and bloggers choose the websites that they write guest blog posts for. With this in mind, writers should make sure they select sites that don’t link to low-quality sites and are unquestionably relevant to the site that they intend to link back to in their posts. Of course, this should be a common best practice for all guest bloggers already, but with the genesis of Penguin 2.0, those that do publish non-relevant links and content together on a regular basis will feel the sting with regards to devaluation of their own blogs.
The Advertorial Question
Advertorials tread murky water when it comes to the black hat/white hat ethics debate, but most people don’t consider this type of content to be “bad,” per se. That being said, it is sort of frowned upon, and Google likely won’t be recognizing those who publish advertorials as true “authorities,” and they should not be expecting link credibility from the search engine if they publish them.
The Death of Content Spam
Google has finally tied a direct penalty to the much-maligned art of content spam. This obviously means that any sites that “feature” user-generated content spam will be hurt on the SERPs as a result. Webmasters should take note and check their sites, and particularly their blogs and comments sections, to seek out things like multiple https or terms like “free shipping” to uncover (and then remove) content spam. They can do this by using a database crawler tool or Google’s site:domain.com “words go here” feature. (It should be noted that especially capable spammers might make it so that their efforts can’t be discovered without performing a Google search.)
Enough with the Over-Optimization
Sites that use their navigation, header and/or footer areas to include more keywords as a way to rank higher for those terms, or sites that add a superfluous amount of header and footer links for those keywords, will be working in vain now. In fact, they may even end up penalized by Google for their slightly spammy over-optimization efforts, and nobody wants that.
Keeping Ads in Check
In order to keep websites and domains from being landing pages for a bunch of ads, Google has started handing out penalties to sites that put too many advertisements above the fold. Of course, the famously vague company doesn’t exactly tell us what “too many” really means, but it’s at least enough to go off of for now. Just make sure you keep it down (down below the fold, that is).
An Increase in Clusters
Despite the fact that Google likes to have as much variety as possible on the first page of the SERPs, it looks like the search engine will be displaying more clusters of multiple pages from the same domain. The catch, of course, is that the domain and its pages are of a high quality in the first place.
Crawlability is Key
Crawl errors that diminish the spiders’ ability to scan your website to determine its authority, and thus ranking position, will now have a greater impact on your overall SEO efforts. Crawl errors affect a site’s strength and authority, and that will become a bigger problem on the post-Penguin 2.0 Web. Fortunately, you can go into Google Webmaster Tools, check your crawl rate and uncover any issues the spiders may be having, so that you can get on top of correcting them ASAP.
5 Tips for Acquiring Responsive Subscribers
When it comes to launching a successful email marketing campaign, obtaining a large email list is only half the battle.
Ensuring your subscribers are high quality is just as important - if not more important - as maintaining a large number of subscribers. After all, a massive list of unresponsive consumers is less effective than a small list full of responsive consumers. Check out the tips below to guarantee the subscribers on your list will engage with your messages:
1. Identify your objective
Consumers aren’t going to sign up to receive your email promotions or newsletters if they don’t know what they are going to get, which is why it is up to you to tell them. For example, if you’re a retailer primarily sending out promotions and exclusive product information, make sure to say that on the sign-up form, just as Smashbox cosmetics does.
2. Stay on a schedule
Don’t depend on subscribers to be responsive if they can’t depend on you to deliver content, however, it is just as important to not over-deliver messages. For instance, if you promise to deliver a weekly newsletter during the initial subscription sign-up, make sure to fulfill that promise. By being consistent, your subscribers will know what to expect and be more likely to open your emails. They might even end up searching for your messages within their inbox on a regular basis.
3. Segment lists
It is important to know what your customers want so that you can send them relevant information, as this will result in higher open and engagement rates. The best way to make sure that your audience is receiving pertinent content is by allowing them to choose what they are most interested in when they subscribe. For example, Time allows subscribers to select the type of newsletters they’d like to receive during the initial sign-up process.
4. Use double opt-in
It can be simple to foster a large email list through strategies like offering a promotion or giveaway in exchange for subscriber information, but doing this can also lead to subscribers who simply joined your list for a freebie. In order to ensure that your subscribers are responsive, marketers can use a double opt-in strategy. This technique sends a verification email to every subscriber, in which they must click on the link within the message to be added to the marketer’s list. This technique not only makes sure subscribers are responsive, but can also help businesses get rid of low-quality (of not bogus) data in their lists.
5. Get personal
While you may have already taken steps to segment your email lists, it is also important to track each subscriber’s activity, so you can reach out to them based on the actions they take. Something as simple as sending a welcome message to a new subscriber is one way to stay personal. Additionally, sending a follow-up message to a consumer who abandoned their cart on your site is not only personal, but can also help you save the sale, build a relationship with the customer and create a more responsive subscriber.
Pros and Cons of Responsive Web Design
With the huge growth of users accessing the web through tablets, smartphones, and other mobile devices; websites with a fixed layout just don’t cut it anymore. The problem with fixed layout websites is that not all devices are created equal. The changes in width make it nearly impossible to view fixed websites in certain devices with small screens. The demand for mobile-friendly websites has definitely increased over the last few years.
This is where responsive layouts come in… They allow your website to read your device’s screen resolution and resize itself to fit. Your website will be perfectly viewable whether you see it from a smartphone, tablet, or pc. But since nothing is perfect, there are pro and cons to this layout. Check them out below and decide what’s best for you!
Pros of responsive web design:
- Consistent experiences across all devices
- Single code base
- Improved SEO
- Single URL for all devices
Cons of responsive web design:
- Pages are more time consuming to create
- They require new content management workflows
- They require new image optimization processes
- Minimal support for responsive web design in e-commerce for merchandizing or visualization