What Should a Professional Web Designer Offer

What Should a Professional Web Designer Offer

image credit to Any IP Ltd

What Should a Professional Web Designer Offer

A professional web designer or web design company should offer the following services:
A free initial consultation to discuss your project
You may want to go to their office, or they may come to yours, but you need to have a look at your current website (if you have one) and talk about what you want to achieve. Be prepared to give some ideas to the web designer and be prepared to answer questions that will help her put together a realistic proposal for you. A good designer will be a good listener.

You should be able to see a portfolio of current, published work and the designer should also be willing to give you references to contact.

A detailed proposal with firm pricing
Expect to make an initial payment and then, depending on the size of your project, another payment when designs are submitted and a final payment upon completion. Your proposal should include a list of everything the web designer plans to do for you with some indication of a time line. Keep in mind that if you have multiple tweaks and revisions during the course of your web project, it will affect the timeline.

Domain registration
If you don’t have a domain name registered yet, a professional web designer should be able to do that for you or assist you in the process. They should also be able to help recommend appropriate domain names for your business. Just be sure your domain registration is in your name and not theirs. If you already have a domain name, they should be able to help you make any necessary changes.

Web hosting
Web design firms often provide web hosting services through a third party. Some have their own collocated web servers and can host your website themselves. Make sure that there are no restrictions in your contract that would keep you from changing web hosting companies in the future.

Sophisticated services
A professional web designer may not be a programmer/coder, but they should work with one in order to offer you all of the technology you need for your web project. If you are building an online store, or an interactive site, or a site with lots of photos or videos, a professional web designer will be able to take care of all of your needs and provide work that utilizes current technology and complies with current standards.

Email services
Web hosting and email hosting are often combined, and any professional web designer who is helping set up web hosting for you should also be able to help set up email services for you.

Source: www.enlightenme.com

The Incredible Way Your Brain ‘Sees’ a Logo (Infographic)

The Incredible Way Your Brain ‘Sees’ a Logo (Infographic)

There’s a lot more going on in your brain than meets the eye when you spot McDonald’s golden arches or Nike’s signature swoosh.

In 400 milliseconds, a logo can trigger emotional responses and even behavioral change. Neuroscience tells us that logos — and the brands behind them — can activate parts of your brain in a much deeper manner than you may think.

In fact, well-liked brands trigger responses in the same areas of the brain that process human relationships. So, if you love your iPhone, seeing the Apple logo can actually kindle the warm and fuzzy feelings that seeing the face of an old friend inspires.

Related: The Internet Thinks Hershey’s New Logo Looks Like Crap — Literally

Check out the infographic below, compiled by logo design toolLogoMaker, to find out more about how your brain breaks down a logo, and how the process can affect your actions.

Click to Enlarge+

The Incredible Way Your Brain 'Sees' a Logo (Infographic)

Source: www.entrepreneur.com

Why Small Businesses Need Strong Logos

Why Small Businesses Need Strong Logos

You’ve heard the saying about how we get only one chance to make a good first impression. For a small business, branding is that opportunity. And more often than not, it’s a missed opportunity.

In my opinion, roughly 95 percent of small businesses have a poor logo — meaning it delivers a neutral or negative brand promise. If your business is in the minority and embraces the power of its brand, this is great news, because you’re already standing out.

A strong brand, after all, inspires consumers who have no prior knowledge or experience with your company to believe that you deliver an amazing product or service.

What’s more, without a strong logo, you may never get the chance to prove your quality to consumers. If your branding does not make it look like you do great work, consumers may choose a competitor instead.

Give your brand the attention it deserves.

“Giving attention” means that the logo you choose to represent your business won’t be an afterthought; instead, it will define your whole brand.

Yes, starting or growing a business is an arduous experience that involves many considerations and a careful use of precious resources. But when making decisions about how to invest your time, energy and capital, you should remember that in today’s marketplace, you cannot afford to shortchange your branding. It’s likely the single most important decision you’ll make.

Follow these five tips to create a logo that will build a strong foundation for your brand, and ultimately will empower your business to thrive.

1. Don’t be generic.

First, make sure that your logo is clear and easy to interpret, because you don’t have the years of brand recognition behind you that ensure that people will associate your name with your product or service.

Second, unlike large companies, you don’t have the large advertising budget required to brand icons too generic to help consumers understand the nature of your business.

In short, then, your logo needs to convey what you do and who you are, and leave a positive brand impression. That’s why small business logo design is a different animal from corporate logo design. Corporations can throw enough money into marketing to ensure that people associate any symbol or graphic with their name.

Small businesses don’t have that luxury: Each impression is so important. You need to very quickly connect with your audience members and give them something to latch on to — at the same time that you give them something disruptive in your competitive space.

2. Pick typography that reflects what you stand for.

The vast majority of small business brands are built upon two primary elements: their typographic elements and their graphic or iconic element. Together, these factors form the basic structure for most logo designs.

Next to the graphical element or icon, the typography used in your logo design is the most critical choice that a designer makes in representing your small business brand. Typography communicates much about your brand — whether it’s a brand that’s whimsical or elegant, established or common, fresh or futuristic. Your typography should be in harmony with, and balance with, the graphic or icon in order to optimize the audience’s first impression.

3. Choose colors wisely.

Certain industries have very typical color palettes that are traditional to their industry. For example, heating and air conditioning companies often use red and blue in their branding.

But, try to think outside of the box when devising your brand colors. Look closely at your competitors, then choose a color scheme unlikely to be confused with that of existing brands. Again, think about being disruptive in your space by choosing unique hues.

4. Consider how your logo will be used.

Whenever possible, avoid using a logo that requires a lot of explanation. If your small business relies on outdoor media, such as signs or vehicles, a memorable icon is especially important. It should link the viewer to the message, quickly and efficiently. One simple test is to cover up the lettering and simply look at the graphic. Does it give the viewer an idea as to the nature of the business?

It’s also vitally important to think about the big picture. How is your logo going to look in the various executions of the brand? Will it thrive in one format but suffer in another? Or, are there certain marketing channels you might use in the future, wherein the logo will need to work well? Consider these future projects before finalizing your logo design:

  • Business cards and stationery: Think of how your logo will appear on your card. Think in terms of different features, such as two-sided cards, rounded corners and unique paper stocks.
  • Signage: Resist the urge to modify your logo’s proportions to fit the available space.
  • Vehicles: Make sure your trucks are designed to stand out rather than fit in, with your branding as the primary message.
  • Uniforms: Employees are your brand ambassadors, so make sure they are dressed neatly and professionally — and all brand colors are integrated.
  • Web design: Your website should integrate your branding in its design and architecture, and should clearly and thoroughly relay your brand promise.
  • Social media: Change your logo on your profiles and use your social media channels to announce your new look.

5. Hire a pro.

With so much of your success riding on how well your branding performs, this isn’t the place to cut corners. Yet, so many businesses look for the least expensive option, because they don’t understand the value of a good brand and how it will affect their chances of success.

The most important part of any branding exercise is an open dialogue between the brand strategist and the client. Choose a firm where you will speak directly with the person developing your brand. Make sure all artwork created is original, not derived from clip art. Choose a firm with a thorough understanding of all those applications where your brand eventually will be deployed.

Build a foundation.

With so many small businesses suffering from poor brands, you have the opportunity to be unique and stand out. One look at your logo should provide a reasonable expectation of a good experience. The logo is the hub for your brand and sets the stage for all of your strategic messaging.

If you create a logo that will build a strong foundation for your brand, you will empower your business to thrive.

Source: www.entrepreneur.com

What the Color of Your Logo Says About Your Company (Infographic)

What the Color of Your Logo Says About Your Company (Infographic)

If you are building a company that depends on making people feel sexy and sophisticated, it’s probably going to confuse your consumers if you your logo is bright green.

That’s because different colors are associated with different feelings. Green conveys organic growth, the earth, nature, or feelings of caring. Meanwhile, black communicates feelings of sophistication, authority or seduction. Not convinced? Consider the green logo for Starbucks or Greenpeace and the black logos of Chanel or Sony.

Color isn’t the only design element that communicates with your customer about your brand. Font, spacing between letters and shape also tell your brand story in that instant when a first impression is formed.

Have a look at the infographic below, compiled by Canadian plastic-card maker Colourfast, to get a sense of whether your logo is conveying the right message.

Source: www.entrepreneur.com


5 tips para crear un logo sobresaliente.

5 tips para crear un logo sobresaliente.

Tu logotipo es la cara de tu empresa. Comúnmente es lo primero que la gente ve y la cosa que más recuerda. Si nos preguntaran, la mayoría de nosotros podría identificar algunos logos icónicos, ya sean las letras cursivas de Coca-Cola o la palomita de NIKE. Y ése es el punto: debes invertir tiempo en crear un logo perfecto que se guarde en la mente de las personas.

“Otras personas deben ser capaces de hablar por tu marca”, dice Jonah Berger, autor de Contagious: Why Things Catch On. “Amas tu empresa, crees que es maravillosa, pero si tú no estás para decírselo a los demás, ¿qué es lo que la gente recordará y que le dirá a otras personas?”.

Los mejores logotipos tienen varias cosas en común. Berger dice que existen cinco claves para crear un logo exitoso:

1. Simplicidad
El principal elemento de los mejores logos es su simplicidad. “Una buena forma de pensar en términos de simplicidad es analizar cuántas piezas en movimiento hay en el logo”, dice Berger. Por ejemplo, el antiguo logotipo de Apple era color arco-iris, mientras que el actual es en un negro sólido o una escala de grises. Esa simplicidad hace que el logo sea más fácil de ver, algo que los consumidores agradecen.

“Cuanto más fácil sea procesar las cosas, más nos gustan”, dice Berger. Por esa razón, muchas marcas presentan elementos estéticos fáciles de digerir. Otras de las grandes marcas como IKEA, IBM y Coca-Cola siguen esta regla. “Es difícil encontrar logos icónicos que tengan más de dos o tres colores”, afirma.

2. Consistencia de marca
Tu logo comunicará a los clientes sobre tu marca, por lo que debes asegurarte de que el diseño concuerde con el mensaje de tu empresa. Consideremos nuevamente el logo de Apple. Hace unas décadas, dice Berger, “el multicolor tenía una asociación con la libertad y el carisma”, pero ya no es así. Aunque el logotipo antiguo de Apple connotaba el espíritu libre de una nueva empresa que estaba amenazando a los gigantes, su posición actual como una de las empresas más exitosas requiere la imagen futurística que ahora tiene.

Aun así el logo de Apple es más ligero y amigable que el de IBM que es “oscuro e imponente”, afirma Berger. “Eso es consistente con el mensaje que Apple quiere dar: Somos tecnología, pero tecnología amigable y fácil de usar”. Si estás iniciando una nueva empresa, debes pensar seriamente cuáles son las características clave de tu marca y cómo quieres incluirlas en el logo.

3. Hazlo memorable
Esto significa que crees un logo que sea fácil de recordar para los consumidores, lo que te ayudará a atraer clientes por recomendación de boca en boca, dice Berger. Tu logo debe “ayudar a recordarles que existes y por qué existes”.

La simplicidad generalmente ayuda a hacer a los logos más memorables, pero interesantemente “un poco de incongruencia”, también puede ayudar a incrementar la memoria de acuerdo a Berger. Si el logo de Apple no tuviera una mordida “podría ser más fácil de procesar, pero más difícil de recordar ya que sería igual a miles de cosas que has visto antes”. Por eso, pon algo diferente o inesperado en tu logo para que sea más fácil que sobresalga.

4. Hazlo increíble
Este elemento es el que hace que tu logo destaque y te ayude a diferenciarte de la competencia. TalentBin, un motor de búsqueda que ayuda a los empresarios a encontrar talento, tiene un logo que ejemplifica su calidad. El logotipo consiste en una caricatura de una ardilla morada en un unicornio. Aunque parezca algo ridículo, tiene un significado: “En la industria del reclutamiento, una ‘ardilla morada’ es un tipo de persona difícil de encontrar”, sostiene Berger. “Es una forma de demostrar que son infiltrados, que conocen la cultura”.

La ardilla morada no es el logo principal de TalentBin, pero generalmente es usado internamente en conferencias y materiales promocionales otorgados en eventos de la industria. “Si eres una empresa establecida, quizás no quieras un logo tan extraordinario”, dice Berger. “Pero  si eres una startup necesitas tomar riesgos”.

5. Evalúalo en el mercado
Finalmente, si no confías en tus instintos al diseñar tu logo haz un estudio de mercado, recomienda Berger. Esto puedes hacerlo a través de internet y en redes sociales, simplemente preguntando a la gente. El punto es no asumir que tu logo es genial. Antes de imprimir tus tarjetas de presentación, obtén retroalimentación acerca de si tu logotipo dice lo que quieres que diga.

Source: Soyentrepreneur.com