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5 Steps to Designing a Great Favicon

July 27, 2018

If you are looking to design a favicon for your website, it might seem overwhelming at first. After all, there are a lot of factors to take into consideration. However, if you have the right strategy, then you can create a favicon that truly helps you accomplish your business goals. Here are five steps to keep in mind when designing a winning favicon for your site.

Image via Axis Realty

Simplicity

It can be tempting to try to design a favicon that is flashy, colorful, and ornate. However, when it comes to favicons, this usually isn’t a good idea. Favicons are tiny images with very little room for detail. Trying to pack too much into your design will result in a cluttered and messy favicon, potentially turning people away from your site.

Color Schemes

The colors that you choose for your favicon are crucial to its design. Don’t choose colors that do not mesh together well or that cancel each other out. Also be sure to design it with contrast in mind. If you have a white background with a light gray logo in the middle, for instance, then it could be hard or impossible for most users to see.

Image via Correlate – Dropbox

Symbolism

There are strong elements of symbolism in your favicon whether you plan them or not. People are going to make a first impression of your brand when they see it. Be sure that the symbols you choose evoke the right emotions that are relevant to your company’s mission.

Image via Crunchbase – Xyngular

Logo Matching

Your favicon is a creative opportunity to design something new and unique. But it also must be in line with your overall design themes and logos in your business. When in doubt, keep the favicon as close to the design of your core logo as possible to be consistent with your branding.

Boldness

People are more likely to remember something that they perceived to be bold or different. This means that your logo should use bright colors whenever possible. Consider taking your brand colors and turning up the saturation to create the favicon version. This also serves the purpose of making it stand out more when they are browsing the web and make them more likely to navigate to that tab again.

In today’s world, digital marketing and design are crucial to growing your brand. In other words, it pays to get it right. If you feel like you need professional help, reach out to our skilled design team.

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6 Biggest Design Trends To Watch For In 2018

July 23, 2018

Innovation never stops. Business owners everywhere need to stay on top of the curve and understand today’s changing design trends. Knowing what’s on trend—or even better, where the trend is headed—is an absolute necessity if you’re operating a business and you want to stick out from the crowd. Otherwise, customers will leave your business behind for other companies that embrace change, innovate new ideas, and (as a result) create better products. A business owner who knows what’s happening is a business owner who can change and expand their business model as needed in response to consumer demand. All business owners should also be aware of disruptive changes in their fields.

The Food Hall

Foodies continue to look for new adventures where they can. Daring retailers want to bring it to them. Many urban areas have replaced the boring mall and the tired food court with the contemporary food hall. The food hall is a space devoted to inviting many new restaurants and food stalls to a single space that has been set aside solely for this specific purpose. Food halls offer everything from a fast nosh during the day to a four-course gourmet meal. They also bring together vastly diverse types of cuisines from Thai to Haitian. This is the place to go for a meal in a large city that will satisfy everyone in your party.

New Packaging Materials

Retailers are just as eco-conscious as their consumers. They’re increasingly turning to new materials to reduce landfill waste and cut down on costs. Organic packages come in light colors with simple, easy to read labeling. They’re compact and portable. Users can take them anywhere and dispose of the packaging in the nearest garbage can no matter where they are. Green packaging enables the food to stay hot or cold as needed, making it even more portable.

Brick and Mortar is Back

While online shopping is still hot, people want to touch and feel things as much as ever before they buy them. Brick and mortar stores will continue to expand in certain industries. For example, while consumers may be just fine buying coffee they’ve already tasted before, they want to see the new flooring for their home in person before they make the commitment to install it.

Urbanization Made New Again

Cities are thriving. People who left for the suburbs are now anxious to return. Seniors who find themselves with large houses they don’t need are flocking back to smaller apartments in convenient urban areas. With higher housing costs in some areas, urban planners now look to make use of every single space in the city. New housing developments with less space make it easier for any twenty-something to afford the urban housing of their dream as they start their careers.

Brighter Colors Everywhere

A bright shade of purple is this year’s hot color. Other colors are just as bright. Consumers today look for designs that stand out in a crowd. Designers are responding with outrageous shades everywhere people look. Airport signs in neon yellow allow people to avoid getting lost even in the world’s largest airports. Lime green, turquoise, hot pink, and intense shades of red are all over the place from rugs to sofas to public spaces. Just as kids love the playground even more when the colors call to them, adults feel the same way today.

Authenticity Takes Center Stage

Authentic and local experiences are at the center of many trends across many industries. In the travel industry, vacationers coming to a new region want to experience the best that the locals have to offer. In the food industry, modern restaurant owners base their menus on food that is locally sourced; supermarkets are moving in the same direction, with many offering seasonal food grown by local farmers. In the hospitality industry, hotel owners want to provide their customers with rooms that show off the local culture. In the design industry, decorations are designed to look handmade and authentic (if they are not directly produced by hand in the first place). Any move you can make to push your company in a local, authentic, natural direction will be favored by customers.

These trends are likely to continue in the coming years. Savvy retailers should keep a close eye on what’s going on right now. This can help them identify new clients and open new markets for their products all over the world.

Resources:

https://www.eater.com/2017/8/30/16181016/food-hall-boom-2017

https://www.insanevisions.com/8-food-packaging-trends-to-watch-out-for-in-2018

http://doyleresearch.com/urbanized-seniors/

https://blog.euromonitor.com/2017/08/authenticity-top-consumer-trend-2017.html

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How to Create Shareable Social Media Graphics

June 1, 2018

If you’re a business owner or blogger who has had difficulty creating graphics for your brand, you’re in the right place. Below we are going to go over different kinds of social media graphics you can create for your business marketing strategy, how you can help them gain traction, and why you should utilize them online. Once you get the hang of creating your own social media graphics, it will become second nature. Using graphics correctly in advertising is key to getting customers attention, improving your bottom line, and getting a good advertising strategy in place. Use these ideas to improve your graphic ideas.

Before We Begin

Before developing anything for your brand, you need to be sure what you’re making is consistent with your branding. We assume you have a strategy created for your brand or that your brand identity is already well-established. The reason you need strong branding under your belt before creating graphics is that the visual elements of your marketing (like social media graphics) can either add to your brand recognition or they can confuse your audience. Colors, typefaces, and style should be consistent throughout all your designs.

Social Media Images

There are several different kinds of images you’ll probably want to learn how to create. Each one serves a slightly different purpose and engages your followers differently. It’s best to learn how to make as many of these as possible. You can utilize any graphic design software to get the job done. Professional designers will use Adobe products or a similar solution, like GIMP. If you aren’t worried about a professional solution right now, try an easier, blogger-approved method like Canva or Picmonkey.

Quote Graphics

You’ve probably seen these around, no matter what niche or industry you’re in. Most influencers and brands will occasionally post inspirational or helpful quotes as part of their social media strategy. If you can master creating typographic layouts with your brand fonts, the opportunities are endless here. Some quote graphics are made successfully with a single font. Choose quotes that are relevant to your target audience and that you know will resonate with them. Just make sure to include the quote author the quote is attributed to someone. Quote graphics can help your audience feel more connected to you and as though you understand them better than other brands and influencers.

Blog Graphics

What constitutes a blog graphic will vary depending on your goals and your blog. If you use WordPress, you can simply check to see what size your blog graphics should be. Blog graphics will help reinforce your branding and break up chunks of content. Your “Featured Image” for each post will be a certain size. You can quickly create a featured image for each of your blog posts by making a template and editing the text and image for each graphic. Creating reusable design templates is an easy way to file down the amount of time you spend creating graphics for social media and for your website. You can get creative with your blog graphics. Aside from featured images, you can make Pinterest pins, images to use as section headers, charts, graphs, and other visual content to divide blocks of text.

Infographics

Infographics do well on social media because they communicate a ton of information with minimal wording. Visual content is more shareable than text-based content, primarily because of our minimal attention spans online. Creating a visually compelling and factually interesting infographic could be your one-way ticket to going viral. Infographics do especially well on Facebook and Pinterest. Try using infographic templates to create your own in the beginning. Change the fonts and colors to match your branding and them add your own information. Canva and Picmonkey both have infographic templates and elements available for you to use. You can find infographic templates for most other design software out there as well. Once you become more familiar with how design tools work, try creating your own infographic templates.

Creating a strong presence with your brand online really comes down to the visuals. Make sure you have a strong graphic design in place and that you can see how each ties to your brand. Spread out your efforts and watch as your profits soar.

Resources:

https://www.creationgraphx.com/concepts/

https://sproutsocial.com/insights/social-media-branding/

https://quoteslogy.com/tag/inspiring-quotes/

https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/images-in-blog-posts-tips

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How Your Company Graphic Increases Brand Recognition

May 25, 2018

Your company graphic is a vital element of your brand strategy. It also represents a central part of your overall marketing strategy. Below, you’ll get a few insights into how your company graphic impacts your business, primarily by increasing the recognition of your brand.

Impact

One fact that might seem apparent is that your company graphic can increase brand recognition. Remember that your graphic is the only criteria many people will have to evaluate your business. That’s why you need to get it right.

For starters, your graphic needs to cause people to focus on the name of your brand as well as the values it represents. It needs to be consistent. For example, if your brand competes as a discounter, your graphic should help to communicate that fact.

Asset or liability?

As you choose your company graphic, understand that it can either hurt you or help you. For example, what if nobody can remember it? What if it evokes negativity in observers’ minds?

Of course, the graphic that you choose could also become a recognizable hallmark of your business and brand. This hallmark is why you mustn’t rush through the selection process for your graphic. It is a vital part of your branding strategy, so make the right choice.

Image credit: DreamsTime

Inspiration and information

Wouldn’t it be great if your company graphic inspired people to share and talk about it? Although this may sound like a lofty objective, it’s possible to achieve. For starters, your graphic should draw attention to your brand name.

Additionally, your graphic will identify the category to which your product belongs. Your graphic will inform your audience by visually communicating product details. Afterward, it should inspire people to want to learn more.

Image credit: Reputation Results

Identification

Finally, the graphic you choose can make your product stand out in the marketplace. Regardless of whether you have a B2B or B2C brand, you’ll face competitors from all over the world.

By choosing a useful graphic for your company, you give yourself a fantastic way to make your product stand out from others. So, even if you have the best product available anywhere, closing sales may depend primarily on your graphic.

Regardless of whether you already have a company graphic or are choosing a new one, be sure you end up with one that positively meets the above criteria. If you do, you’ll have a powerful asset that supports your brand.

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Tips for Using Photographs as Your Company Graphics

March 2, 2018

One of the most significant parts of starting a business is choosing a brand. To go along with that brand, you want to select the right photographs or graphics to make the brand stick out. It is what will draw customers and consumers to your store, website, or other endeavors.

Here are some suggestions to help you utilize photos as graphics for your business. To provide an example: add dynamic energy to your images by choosing a slow shutter speed to capture motion and produce more exciting photos. Of course, some photographers are more curious, attentive, efficient or responsive than others, but anything that relates to photography will work to make your business graphics stand out.

Remember, a camera provides flexibility and a variety of useful features. By being alert and not ignoring potential subjects, you will find extraordinary opportunities for hidden photos in everyday life. To provide an example, maybe you need to do a session based around photography for a backpack. Therefore, remember that a motion blur can add energy to an otherwise static and ordinary image.

DSLR Cameras

Too many people think that to make beautiful pictures, you need the newest camera. In our eagerness to capture the “perfect” photo, we are continually finding excuses to justify the purchase of new, more expensive, higher-performance cameras. On the other hand, expensive DSLR cameras have many features, but they are too difficult to use for most beginners.

You can quickly solve the most common color problems (photos that are too yellow indoors, for example) by using the internal software of the camera. If the RAW format and more generally the post-treatment scares you, you can proceed step by step and start by photographing simultaneously in RAW + JPEG. In concrete terms, this saves a bunch of images that would otherwise have been underexposed or overexposed and will help you to get the best possible version of the photo.

JPEG Files

On the other hand, this is not a panacea, but it’s better than nothing. It’s as if you’re developing a film camera yourself, in your dark room. After applying these corrections, the camera compresses the data to produce a JPEG file.

Many photographers take themselves too seriously and seek to capture the right moment. However, if you add humor to your photo sessions, you may just find some beautiful photos for your business. I recognize that many of you (people who have been working in photography for a while) may have used most of the tips I mentioned before, but it does not hurt to have them reiterated.

Current cameras have an arsenal of automatic adjustments to assist the photographer at the time of the shooting. Many devices offer these adjustments, and it would be a shame to deprive yourself of the advanced functionality this provides. On the other hand, do not be fooled by brands who want to suck you into the trap of programmed obsolescence.

 

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Unbelievable Brands That Have Taken Over Public Consciousness

January 29, 2018

When it comes to modern business, it can be tempting to simply look for the lowest price or most convenient option. And that’s what most companies try to compete with. However, you may want to look closer at what the companies you choose are doing that transcends the business world. The power of a company isn’t necessarily in having the lowest price or even in having the best product! It’s all about branding power. After all, there are some unbelievable brands that have taken over public consciousness in recent years:

 

The Honest Company

Founded by the actress and philanthropist Jessica Alba, this company offers some products for new moms. You can get diapers, safe cleaning products, and more without using harsh chemicals. Because of this, the brand has seen rapid growth.

 

Fabletics

If you have ever bought a pair of running shoes or leggings just to wish you could return them later, then you will understand the power behind Fabletics. They offer subscriptions for their fashionable sports clothing. That means you can wear something once, twice, or as many times as you want. When you’re done with it, they allow you to return it for something else.

 

Warby Parker

This brand has become famous for their “buy one give one” model. This means that when you purchase a pair of their sunglasses, they donate a pair of prescription glasses to people in need. This has cemented them as the leader in eyeware fashion in a sustainable way.

 

doTERRA

doTERRA is based out of Utah – the networking capital of the western hemisphere. This company is a multi-level marketing success that focuses on sharing its unique products with people all over the world so they can have an integrated approach to healthcare and better living. The company has team members all over the globe thanks to their rapid growth and great opportunities. Also, the company gives back to the community, such as women’s’ shelters and indigenous groups in Nepal – earning them a powerful brand wherever they have a presence.

 

Bombas

Have you ever wished that your socks were more stylish and unique? If so, it will be evident why Bombas has become a popular brand that everyone is talking about. The ability to get great looking socks that are fun and hip is a game changer for the footwear industry.

 

In today’s fast-moving digital world, the internet has brought people together more than ever. Technology is changing the way businesses innovate, grow, and give back. The companies above are known for their great products but also what they do to make the world a better place, and that’s something the world could use more of. A brand is more than just a logo – it’s a permanent presence in the brains of your audience. This begins with expert designers to match your message across all your marketing platforms.

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Mobilegeddon: What You Need to Know To Pass the Mobile Friendly Ranking Algorithm Update by Google

March 28, 2015
mobilegeddon google mobile friendly update

Utilize the Free Analyzer at the end of this article to see if your website if mobile ready.

By now, you’ve probably heard about Google’s plans to favor mobile-friendly websites in the near future. In fact, the deadline is April 21, 2015 – if your site isn’t optimized for mobile devices by this point, then you’re likely going to experience a drop in organic search results for the vast majority of your currently ranked search keywords. Some folks are up in arms about this harsh penalty, but Google’s decision to implement this new ranking factor is merely a reflection of a changing technology landscape – that is, the shift in Internet usage from desktop computers to mobile devices.

What Does This Mean For Your Business?

If your website is already optimized for mobile devices via a responsive design or mobile-specific sub domain, then congratulations: You have nothing to worry about. If, however, your website is impossible to read or slow to load on a smartphone, then you’re definitely going to want to invest some time investing in a mobile website design. It may just make the difference in the coming weeks, and you’ll be giving all of your users – not just your desktop ones – a great experience, thereby leading to higher conversions and more revenue.

Be sure to receive your free website analysis to determine if it is mobile friendly. Just fill out the brief form at the end of this article.

Don’t Delay: The Mobilegeddon Is Almost Here!

The time has nearly come for Google to weight heavily those sites which take into account the mobile experience. If you need to convert your website to mobile or if you just want to make sure that what you’re currently doing will meet Google’s new guidelines, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us today. We help businesses like yours to succeed on the web.

Let’s work together to navigate the coming mobile apocalypse. We look forward to helping your business succeed in this brave new world!

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What Type of Logo Design Are You Getting for Five Bucks on Fiverr?

February 27, 2015

 

Well, it goes without saying that sites like Elance, 99Designs, and Envato Studio have established themselves as the go to for contracted projects of any type and size. Now, a whole new, super-cheap, high-volume, not entirely ethical or legitimate site has arrived. Fiverr has broken the mold in economical contracted services of any type. Ranging from graphics & design and online marketing to audio/music and programming. But what are you actually getting for your starting price of $5 (plus $.50 processing fee)? Likely, an international funds transfer fee.

Let’s take a look at what one company, The Logo Factory, had to deal with. Read their full story.

No doubt Fiverr is heavily inundated with accounts from outside the US and for good reason. As far as I can tell they are not state side at all. No address, phone support, nothing. Any site that says ‘International Limited’ with no way to contact them is a huge red flag. At least in my book.

According to The Logo Factory post, violation of US Copyright Law is really no big deal to these sellers. I mean…why should it be? It only applies to the US anyways. Who has the money or time to chase down somebody across the other side of the world in India or Sri Lanka. Somebody that is probably using an internet cafe at that. Not to mention there’s no International Copyright Law, unless you are a mega billion dollar company like Wal-Mart, McDonald’s, Pepsi or Coke that may be able to do something legally…and that’s a big MAYBE.Logo Design Fiverr image

Voicing my personal frustrations as well as concerns for wanting to protect my own design business is really the motive behind this post. I just want to bring attention to this sort of thing and the frustrating and potentially harmful experience The Logo Factory had to endure. So, with that being said…be careful about hiring someone you don’t know via a site that may not host entirely reputable people…many are, but it only takes one bad apple to spoil the bunch. Thinking you’re getting a cheap service may also come at the expense of others who have genuinely poured their time and effort into what some are exploiting (and possibly breaking federal law) to gain a quick buck.

In conclusion, it seems Fiverr has a lot of good to offer, but there are also wolves in sheep’s clothing looking to make a profit no matter what it takes, and perhaps at your expense. Beware of the otherwise known scam/con-artists, hustler’s, hackers, swindlers, cheats, etc. that may be offering services you know “too good to be true”. Do your background research and remember to be a savvy shopper. If you think it’s a great deal, you may want to think again!

Thank you Graphic Artist’s Guild for this sharing this post.

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Ecommerce Website Design for an Eclectic Artist with an Inspiring Journey: Lost Cottage Art

February 21, 2015
graphic design website design of Lost Cottage Art pic

graphic design ecommerce website design of Lost Cottage Art pic

CG Design, a graphic design company in Greenville, NC just completed it’s newest graphic design website for LostCottageArt.com. If you aren’t familiar with Lost Cottage Art, then you’ll want to know more of their story.

The website design project is about a Greenville, NC eclectic artist, Billy Stinson, and his historic 1903 family cottage on the Outer Banks of NC. The cottage was a second getaway home for their family and friends. Then 2011 everything changed as the cottage was destroyed by a hurricane. It was tragic for his family, but also turned into an inspiration to rebuild their cottage. Thus, a journey was embarked upon by Billy’s family to become creative in raising funds to establish their home once again. This is how the website, lostcottageart.com came about. The images above are screenshots from his website.

CG Design was instrumental in having Billy Stinson’s art displayed online. CG Design customized a professional looking ecommerce website design with utilization of a user-friendly CMS and plugins that allow for SEO, analytics, social media, and others options to increase site traffic and track Return On Investment with real-time numbers.

If you don’t have a place on the web, then you are getting left behind. We are in a digital age where potential consumers are looking for your business or organization on the web as their first go-to source.