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10 accounts every designer needs to follow on Instagram

When it comes to finding design inspiration, Instagram can serve as your personal playground — it’s a gold mind for great content and inspiration… if you follow the right people, that is.

Whether you’re looking to get inspired for an upcoming photoshoot or you need to find a new font to try out, here are 10 awesome Instagram accounts every designer should tap into from time-to-time.

 

1.  logoinspirations 

If you’re stuck in a rut trying to create that standout logo, logoinspirations curates all the best identities out there to save you trawling the web. If you check out their highlights, you’ll find lots of tips, inspiration and tools.

 

2.  logonew

Sticking with the logo theme, logonew shares a healthy blend of sketches and digital concepts. From drones and eagles to bitmojis, bees and beer, their feed is brimming with variety that’s sure to set your creative wheels in motion.

 

3.  neil_a_stevens

Specializing in poster design, Neil’s Instagram illustrations are nothing short of ingenious. Whether you’re looking for digital or online inspo, his masterpieces will get your inspiration flowing -- and your jaw dropping.

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4.  darias88

In his own words, the owner of this account, Daniel Aristizábal, “brings forward new technologies to create stunning and inspiring artworks.” He’s constantly experimenting with new styles and is known for his mastery of turning everyday objects into something abstract, original, and colorful.

 

5.  mrseaves101

Run by an Australian artist called Gemma O’Brien, this account is packed with bold lettering, illustrations, andtypography. It’s vibrant, it’s edgy, and it encompasses a mix of bold artwork and beautiful snapshots from around the world.

 

6. handmadefont

Finding a font is no easy feat, but if it’s variety you’re after, handmadefont has you covered. From industrial, futuristic and floral looks, to street art, 3D and foodie feels, it curates a whole load of forward-thinking concepts. 

 

7. interaction_design_foundation

This one’s less actual artwork, more practical tips -- to help you achieve that perfect piece. With posts on everything from introducing lean UX and conducting heuristic evaluations to information visualization and color emotion, there’s something for everyone.

 

8. heystudio

Heystudio focuses on brand identity, editorial design, illustration, geometry, color and direct typography. All these topics are at the heart of what they do and their feed has a quirky and contemporary look. With clients like Apple, Vodafone and Oxfam on their books, they must be doing something right…

 

9. uiuxgifs

GIFs are on the up. If you’re looking to incorporate some on your site or in your social media and email campaigns but just can’t map out what you want, this feed’s full of animated inspiration.

 

10. velvetspectrum

Last but by certainly means not least, Velvet Spectrum houses a mix of typography, illustration and motion graphics. Oozing with dynamic color and careful composition, the updates are nothing short of electric.


Hue & Tone Creative

If you’ve hit a creative wall, we can help you take your artwork to the next level. We can work with you on every design project, no matter what the medium — no print or digital job is too small. To get an idea of what we can do, see some of the projects we’ve worked on in the past or get in touch.

15 Questions to Ask Your Designer Before Hiring Them

15 questions to ask your designer before hiring them   |  Hue & Tone Creative

“You’re hired,” maybe two of the greatest words ever uttered. These babies mean rising employment rates and new beginnings and additional human resources helping to further your professional dreams. The human resource in this case being the much sought-after web designer.

Entrusting your business’s online presence to a trained professional is an excellent choice.  However, before journeying any further, there’s something you must consider: you’re the boss. Like with any other hire, it’s your responsibility to find the right talent to perform the task. Here are 15 questions you should ask a designer before shouting, in boss-like fashion, “you’re hired!”

 

1. What are your qualifications/professional background?

Your designer will work for you; at least for a time. It’s not unreasonable to seek more information about this person or the company in question. Inquiries regarding past work, training, and experience are all fair game and a good start.

 

2. How are your services priced?

This may not seem like an important matter upfront, but it’s one that you want to clarify early. The designer probably can’t provide a complete quote at this stage, especially if you haven’t yet articulated all the specifications for your site. This question pertains to how the designer arrives at the total. Does she prefer to work hourly or is the work charged as a flat-fee? Are some items only available a la carte, such as a logo design, or are packages offered? Understanding how the project will be priced will allow you to decide if you’re comfortable with the arrangement and moving forward, and may help you to more knowledgably consider the final quote later.

 

3. What services do you offer?

The web landscape is changing. While having a professional website is better than not having one, web design is more than just domain names and eye-catching pages. Maybe the designer is qualified to perform analytics once the site has launched or search engine optimization. There may be functions and additions that you’ve not considered. Asking what a designer can do is a great way to discover your options. It can also highlight what services aren’t available.

 

4. Who owns what?

Once you enlist the assistance of a third party, it’s best to get clear on ownership. If you don’t already own your domain name, who owns it if the designer or company obtains it as part of the web building process? Who maintains possession of any graphics, artwork, content, and the website as a whole once the site is built? What about when your professional relationship ends? It’s best not to assume the answer to these questions and prudent to ask during the vetting stage.

 

5. What platform will you be using?

Assuming that your designer is constructing a site from scratch, the building medium is key. Are they partial to using a blank slate platform like WordPress or do they favor Squarespace which offers beautiful templates? (If you’re unfamiliar with the latter, see our helpful post, To Squarespace or not to Squarespace?).

The answer to this question will affect everything from costs to curation options.

 

6. Do you outsource any work?   

The answer here is neither good nor bad. It’s just essential that you know who is working on your project. Being informed helps you better assist in the process and it’s good to know what to expect along the way.

 

7. What are my hosting options?

Hosting is basically where your web files are kept on the net. You may not want to get this technical, but the answer, depending on how much traffic your site experiences, could mean the difference in site speed, SEO, and accessibility. Also, if the designer self-hosts, questions regarding future accessibility can be discussed here.

 

8. Do you provide content?

Websites need a consistent flow of updated or new content. If you’re interested in having someone else do this for you, your designer may be your solution. Web design and content production go hand in hand and some designers have begun offering this special service.  Be sure to ask if this is an option.

 

9. Will I be able to update my site’s content?

Say your company wins a prestigious award, as it should, and you want to add the accolade to your site right away. Will you be able to access the intended page and update your site yourself or will you need to contact your designer each time? Having the ability to easily add and update content is something you definitely want, and knowing if it’s possible is super important.

 

10. What kind of clients have you worked with in the past?

Your similarity to past clients may mean a more seamless move from building their websites to creating yours. If your designer is used to working with much larger or far smaller companies, this isn’t an indication that they can’t perform the work, but similar practice makes perfect.

 

11. Do you have a portfolio or examples of previous work?

Taking a gander at a designer’s portfolio can communicate much more than words. Asking to look at completed sites is a quick and easy way to familiarize yourself with the designer’s capabilities.

 

12. What is your design process?

Ernest Hemingway, Maya Angelou and Eat, Pray, Love author, Elizabeth Gilbert, all expressed very similar writing processes. These masters having like methods is less the point, but there being a process at all is what matters. How does your designer get from point A to point Z? Is there a plan? As stated earlier, knowing what to expect allows you to better assist in your site’s development and eliminates unnecessary uncertainty.

 

13. What is your timeline?

Will the site be up and running in 3 weeks or 3 months? Get clear on how much time your designer needs to complete their plan. With this info, you can design a marketing campaign around the launch date or if you’re having an existing site revamped, you’ll have a timeframe for maintenance and testing; either way, you’re in the know.

 

14. What happens if I need additional work once it’s complete?

Your site is not static. It’s a living, breathing organism that will require changes and maintenance from time to time. You may need future support from your designer and working out the logistics now is certainly the way to go.

 

15. Can you help me, help you?

Designers are usually pretty busy. Juggling several clients and multiple projects with strict deadlines isn’t unusual. While they essentially work for you, they probably aren’t able to be at your beck and call.

You want to understand their best forms of communication and best times to be contacted. This simply allows them to be as responsive to you as possible while allowing space and time to build an amazing product. Openly and honestly communicate any concerns or needs like you would with any other part of your team. Professional courtesy goes a long way in a situation like this and treating your designer with due respect may result in a better product. Asking questions could certainly aid in you confidently uttering those two special words, “you’re hired,” they may also lead to you hearing the beautiful response, “I happily accept.”


WEB MARKETING CONSULTANTS  |  GREENSBORO, NC

We're happy to answer all of these questions...and more! Hue & Tone Creative will take the stress out of developing a new website. Check out our design portfolio to see clients we've helped in the past, and then give us a call -- we can't wait to get the conversation started. 

Our 7 Favorite Posts of 2017

As we were planning out our 2018 content calendar, we got thinking about all the great content we posted over the last year: a total of 51 blog posts (to be exact).

From social media and font pairing to color inspiration and web design, we ran the gamut on everything marketing and design related. But out of all of our content, there’s a few posts that stand out among the rest. We’ve rounded up our top 7 -- here's what they are + why: 

6 SIGNS IT’S TIME TO UPDATE YOUR COMPANY LOGO  |  Hue & Tone Creative

Best branding post: 6 Signs it’s Time to Update Your Company Logo

Your logo is your company’s primary visual symbol, and one of your brand’s most important assets. If you haven’t changed it in a while, we’ve put together 6 signs that should kick-start a rebrand.


HOW TO CREATE CUSTOMER PERSONAS  |  Hue & Tone Creative

Best post for finding new customers: How to Create Customer Personas

Customer personas are detailed representations of your customers’ demographics, likes, dislikes, traits, and buying behaviors. These traits are not made up, you need to discover them through comprehensive research. Here’s how.


HOW TO CURATE YOUR INSTAGRAM FEED  |  Hue & Tone Creative

Most popular social media blog post: How to Curate Your Instagram Feed

Ever stumble across a gorgeous Instagram feed and suddenly come down with a major case of account envy? We’ve all been there. Creating a lust-worthy Instagram account is more than just slapping on a filter and a handful of hashtags. 


MOOD BOARDS: HOME SWEET HOME  |  Hue & Tone Creative

Our favorite design post: Mood Boards: Home Sweet Home

A compelling image can capture attention, tell a story, and help you connect with your viewer.  But inexpensive, non-cheesy stock photos can sometimes be hard to come by. To save you the hassle of hunting for decent photos, we’ve narrowed our top 10 (mostly free) stock photo sites.


Our pick for must read: 4 Elements for a Killer Landing Page

When it comes to lead generation, landing pages count. We've broken down our four must have elements for a lead generating landing page. 


7 SQUARESPACE FONT PAIRINGS  |  Hue & Tone Creative

Our most read blog post: 7 Squarespace Font Pairings

We've taken the guesswork out of selecting the perfect fonts by putting together 7 suggestions that will revive your favorite Squarespace template.


THE 6-STEP CONTENT CALENDAR  |  Hue & Tone Creative

Our most stress relieving blog post: The 6-Step Content Calendar

Creating a content calendar will save you time, provide consistency, and help you manage your communication channels. Avoid stress and get organized with this 6-step process.


Web Marketing + Design in Greensboro: Hue & Tone

Looking to market your business in Greensboro, Winston Salem, or the surrounding areas? Hue & Tone is a creative graphic design agency specializing in logo design, web design, social media management, and more. 

Must-have Adobe Typekit Fonts

If you use Adobe’s Creative Cloud suite, then you’re probably no stranger to Typekit. With over 1,000 options at your fingertips, choosing the right font can be a challenge.

At a loss for which fonts to use? We’ve rounded up a collection of our must-sync fonts.

 

Serif

These serifs give a sophisticated feel to resumes, business cards, and printed media. 

Slab Serif

Need a font that stands out? These bold slab serifs are perfect for headlines.

 
 

Sans Serif

We love these sleek sans serif fonts for blogs, websites, and everything in between.

 
 

Web & Graphic Design Services in Greensboro: Hue & Tone Creative

Does your brand need a Spring refresh? Hue & Tone Creative will help you update your look. From email campaigns and web design, to presentation graphics and business cards, we’re here to help you put your best foot forward. Contact us today to learn more about our creative services -- 336-365-8559.

Spotlight: Favorite Design Blogs

Working for yourself is not the same as working by yourself -- it takes a ton of meaningful connections with smart, creative people to make it happen. I'm all about in-person connections, but blogging provides a powerful way to learn from people all over who are walking a road similar to yours. 

With that in mind, today I wanted to share a few of my favorite design blogs! check these out if you're looking for new bloggers to follow. And, while you're at it, let's be blog friends. Follow Hue & Tone on Bloglovin'

1. Braid Creative 

The ladies of Braid Creative -- who obviously nailed the search for a fabulous name -- share smart, easily applicable tips on branding, entrepreneurship, and all things creative. 

Favorite Post: When Everyone is Doing the Same Thing

2. Paper & Oats 

Kelsey of Paper & Oats puts a bold, personal spin on posts about productivity and entrepreneurship, and is unapologetic about finding and sticking to her own creative niche. 

Favorite Post: Why I'm Scrapping All My Design Services 

3. Elembee 

When it comes to blogs about nitty-gritty topics like branding and design, there's fun and then there's comprehensive. Elembee is both. It's jam-packed with ideas but never a chore to read -- and the weekly emails are great, too! 

Favorite Post: It Will Never Be Good Enough. Do it Anyway. 

4. Love Plus Color

In addition to a clean, colorful blog design that makes my day every time I see it, Love Plus Color is a great stop for unique, easy-to-consume posts on all things visual. 

Favorite Post: The Mood Board Monday series

What are your favorite blogs? Bonus points if they focus on design, branding, or entrepreneurship.  

Hue & Tone Favorites: Free (or cheap) graphic design resources

Hue & Tone Favorites: Free (or cheap) graphic design resources -- Hue & Tone Creative

At first glance, design seems expensive. You have to buy $300 fonts and high-end photography equipment and expensive suites of software if you're going to create anything attractive, right? 

Actually, not really. I try to communicate to clients that there are plenty of free and cheap resources available to help them maintain a consistent brand, without pulling in a designer for every edit. 

Here are a few of my favorites: 

DaFont & Google Fonts | In almost every case, it's unnecessary to drop top dollar on type. These are two great sources for free fonts - DaFont is hugely varied and frequently updated, while Google Fonts is your best source for a clean, high-quality web font.

Canva | This web app bills itself as "the easiest design program in the world" -- and it's completely free. When I'm working with clients who don't have access to professional design software, I'll whip up a few Canva templates so they can update graphics easily.

Graphic Burger | Need a simple line icon (or a background texture, or even a logo template)? It's here, and it's free for personal and commercial use. 

Creative Market | This site offers free or very cheap (in the $2 range) graphic assets -- think textures, brushes, presets, etc. Sign up for an account to receive regular emails with deals and free downloads. 

Adobe Single-App Subscriptions | You can now purchase a single-app Adobe Creative Cloud membership for as little as $30 a month, giving you access to a professional-grade design application like Illustrator, InDesign, or Photoshop. If I had to pick one, I'd go with Illustrator, but it all depends on the type of work you're doing.

Again, design can seem like an expensive pursuit, but with a little creativity, you can find the tools you need without breaking the bank.

What are your favorite design tools? Let me know in the comments below.

 

Hue & Tone Favorites: Quotes About Design + Creativity

The thing about doing creative work for a living is, there's no such thing as waiting around for your muse. You can't take a break while you wait for an idea to hit. Your work should be inspired, but you can't sit around and wait for inspiration. 

That's not to say that you can't seek out inspiration, though. Making a point to consume good work created by others keeps me inspired and ready to create, whether it's digital and print design, visual art in a gallery...really, any work done passionately and well.

Along those same lines, I can't say I don't enjoy a good inspirational quote or two. If you're a maker for a living, and find yourself in need of inspiration, here are a few of my favorite quotes about creativity and design.

 Hue & Tone Creative: Favorite quotes about design and creativity

Hue & Tone Creative: Favorite quotes about design and creativity

"Everything is designed. Few things are designed well." -Brian Reed

"Simplicity is about subtracting the obvious and adding the meaningful." -John Maeda

"Design is the application of intent - the opposite of happenstance, and an antidote to accident." -Robert L. Peters

"You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have." -Maya Angelou

"Eventually everything connects - people, ideas, objects. The quality of the connections is the key to quality." -Charles Eames

"Your ego can become an obstacle to your work. If you start believing in your greatness, it is the death of your creativity." -Marina Abramovic 

"An artist paints, dances, draws, writes, designs, or acts at the expanding edge of consciousness. We press into the unknown rather than the known. This makes life lovely." -Julia Cameron

"If no one's doing the creative work that you want to do, do it yourself." -Kate Baldwin

"Design is an opportunity to continue telling the story, not just to sum everything up." -Tate Linden

"Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren't used to an environment where excellence is expected." -Steve Jobs

What are some of your favorite quotes about creativity? Where do you turn when you need some inspiration in your work? Let me know in the comments below.