Design

Typography for beginners

Typography for Beginners  |  Hue & Tone Creative

Some web pages and brochures good… and some look terribly unprofessional. If you’re new to graphic design or typesetting it can be hard to determine what makes someone’s branding look good or bad.  

If you’re a beginner – or you’re attempting to brand your own business -- there’s a number of type rules you can follow to give brand a polished look. Following these simple rules will help even the most amateur designer get their webpages and print assets in tip top shape!

 

1. Less is more when it comes to typeface

If you’re looking for some font pairing inspiration, head over to these two posts about pairing fonts on Squarespace (here and here). 

Choosing the right typeface is key. Get it right, and you’ll set yourself up for stylish, simple and easy-to-read assets. But get it wrong, and you’ll end up with illegible, cluttered and unappealing pages. 

Simple fonts should be used for main body copy, and decorative typefaces should be used sparingly for things like subheadings.

The golden rule in the design world is to stick to a maximum of three fonts in any given piece of artwork - whether that is a website page, social media banner, or hardcopy flyer. However, whittling your fonts down to two can sometimes be even better. 

If you stick to just one or two fonts, you can use varying weights to create a more refined look. 


2. Use a sensible hierarchical structure

Following a logical hierarchy helps to give your site’s pages a clear flow and effortlessly guides readers through the structure of the website. Let’s compare and contrast two examples to give you a better idea of what we mean: 

Good content formatting.png

Exhibit A is a bad example. The website’s name, navigation bar, subheadings, and main body copy are all the same font size. Now there are two issues with that – first, it gives readers no visual indication where they should start reading or what’s most important to look at. Secondly, it makes it really difficult for the reader to skim through the copy.
 

Now, let’s contrast an example of a solid hierarchical structure. The page’s title, navigation bar, subheadings and copy are clearly defined with varying font points, making it much easier on the viewer’s eye.


3. Be creative with contrast

Typography for Beginners  |  Hue & Tone Creative

Being creative is part of being a designer. Now we know we said earlier you should stick to two to three font combinations per project, but that doesn’t mean you can’t mix up your styling by playing around with things like the font’s size, weight, color and style.

Whether you emphasize a key word with italics, change the color of a subead to something more bold, or bump up a term in your tagline to a size that’s more eye-catching, there are endless ways to create contrast within your copy.


4. Keep your alignment neat and tidy

Alignment applies to all your on-page elements - like body text, titles, logos, images, and menu bars. When it comes to alignment, everything should be connected in one way or another. For example, you might want your logo to align with your main navigation bar, your body copy to align with your page’s title, and your images to align with your body copy.

Well thought-out alignment will help prevent your page from becoming disjointed and ensure all your assets create well-measured sizes and distances between each other.


5. Don’t be a stranger to whitespace

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you need to fill everynook and cranny on your page. Creating whitespace around your words can be incredibly powerful, can help draw attention to text, and will aid you in achieving a simple and trendy look. 


6. Choose your colors carefully

Last but not least is your color choice. The right colors can make or break the look and readability of your copy – there’s nothing worse than colors that make your words a strain to read.

When it comes to color, there are three key components: 

  • Hue - the shade of the color

  • Saturation - the brilliance of the color

  • Value - the lightness or darkness of the color

Source    >

When it comes to choosing your colors, the aim of the game is to make your text as easy as possible to read. It’s as simple as that.


Hue & Tone Creative: Let’s work together

Feeling overwhelmed with information? If you’re not a designer, knowing and deciding what does and doesn’t work is easier said than done. If you need a hand with your typesetting - or any other area of design, get in touch with our team today at (336) 365-8559.

Inbound marketing: 8 tips for design that converts

Inbound marketing: 8 tips for design that converts  |  Hue & Tone Creative

Are your inbound marketing efforts failing to secure the numbers you projected? Are you confident in your concept and scratching your head to figure out where it’s going wrong? Well, perhaps it’s time to look in the direction of your design.  

Design possesses the power to convert spectators into engaged customers. It’s the first and last thing people see when engaging with your business. And it should be a key focus when working to increase your conversions.

So, without further ado, here are eight design tips to give your numbers a nudge in the right direction.

 

1. Hick’s Law

Hick’s Law is a popular theory that suggests the time it takes someone to make a decision is directly proportionate to the number of possible choices they have. So, in Layman’s terms, the more options you give your visitors, the less likely they are to perform the desired action.

To implement this theory, take a look at your site’s design and structure and ask yourself (and honestly answer!) whether you’ve got too much going on. If the answer’s yes, see how you can hone things down to give consumers one or two key choices. 

 

2. Don’t be afraid of white space 

To a degree, the phrase “less is more” couldn’t be truer. Don’t cram your designs with color, text, and imagery out of the fear of being ‘bland’. White space can contribute to clean and clear designs that emphasize the content you want visitors to focus on… which, in turn, increases conversions. 

 

3. Choose your colors carefully

Color can evoke emotion. Emotion can result in action. Action can result in conversion. Use contrast to ensure your text, headlines and call to actions stand out, and experiment with your color choices to see which returns the best results.

 

4. Remember the 8-second rule

It’s true what they say, the human attention span is less than that of a gold fish - a mere eight seconds, in fact. That means you’ve got limited time to grab a visitor’s attention. 

Think about using: 

  • Large and snappy headlines

  • Eye-catching imagery

  • Clear call to actions

  • Power words

  

5. Use real faces

Using natural imagery and real people can improve your brand’s authenticity and in turn portray you as more trustworthy, human, and familiar. 

If you’ve got an ‘About us’ section with a breakdown of your employees, put a photo of them next to their bio. And, instead of buying stock photos for everything, consider organizing a photoshoot that shows off your product or office. 

 

6. Quality is key

Poor quality pictures don’t make a good first impression. They reflect badly on your brand and lead onlookers to associate the quality of your imagery with the quality of your product or service - after all, if you can’t master your pictures, how can you follow through on the other things your website promises? Now we know that’s not necessarily true, but it’s a conclusion people can jump to.

If you’ve got pictures on your site that are pixelated, distorted or just plain tacky, it’s time to go ahead and replace them.

 

7. Optimize your forms

Having trouble designing a form that converts? We can help with that

When it comes to conversions, your formsare key – because it’s where the action takes place. So, don’t let yourself fall flat at the final hurdle. Keep your form simple and concise, include a clear CTA, make sure the fields are clearly labelled, and use a large submit button.

To see where there’s room for improvement, we suggest trying out some A/B testing (more on that here).

  

8. Don’t leave out your logo

This one might seem obvious, but it’s not unheard of for people to overlook the most obvious element of their website.  

Whether it’s a landing page, flyer, brochure, business card or online ad, you need to always include your logo. That’s how you reinforce your branding for people – and while it doesn’t have to be the focal point of your page, it does need to be strategically placed so people know where they are and who’s talking to them.


Hue & Tone Creative:

Feeling like these design changes are outside of your expertise? Not to worry, that’s where our creative team comes in! To see what we can do for you, get in touch today at hannah@hueandtonecreative.com

Best 404 pages: Designs that stand out

In an ideal world, your website visitors would never find themselves faced with a 404 page. But, suffice it to say, this isn’t an ideal world — people type things in wrong, links break, and technical difficulties happen.

Although your first plan of action should be ensuring there are no broken links on your site in the first place, there are ways you can make the most of a bad situation. If a visitor finds themselves facing a 404 page, you can turn their irritation into an opportunity to entertain them, sell yourself, or provide them with valuable resources.

Here’s a few people we think will delight their customers with their weird and wonderful 404 pages:

Pixar

It’s clean. It’s simple. It’s on-brand. It’s a complete over-exaggeration of the reaction you probably had. And in our opinion, it completely works.

Pixar.png

Bluepath 

Funny and relevant: the best combination! Bluepath’s a data strategy company, so they aptly designed a data-driven map to show their lost visitors where they stood.

BluePath.png

Lego

Like Pixar, Lego let their 404 page serve as an extension of their existing brands. They capitalized on a few favorite characters to illustrate the situation visitors have found themselves in. 

Lego.png

HubSpot

Not every brand necessarily has a set of iconic characters to bring their 404 page to life. But, as HubSpot have shown, this doesn't have to stop you from having a bit of fun.

They’ve also smartly reinforced their audience’s love of their services and cleverly tried to redirect them to a handful of other, selected pages - win, win!


GitHub

If all else fails, state the obvious. Super simple, but just as on brand.


Emirates

Everyone loves a good pun, right? The beauty of Emirates’ 404 result is that it puts their people on the page and capitalizes on a very obvious but on brand, pun-filled message.

Emirates.png

eHarmony

Another superb example of how your 404 page’s message can wittily relate back to your organization’s core message.


NPR 

Now there’s a lot more text on NPR’s 404 page than most, but it totally works. They do a lot here: in addition to giving you an alternative way to find what you’re looking for, they work in a little foolproof humor and even point you to a few other articles.


Magnt

There’s two elements on this page that we absolutely love:

1)   It puts some of the onus on the visitor - after all, 404s aren’t always the website’s fault!

2)   They’ve maximized on every single opportunity and managed to turn their 404 page into a sales pitch for their product


A couple of 404 basics…

 Now that we’ve taken a look at a few great examples, it’s time to create your own awesome 404 page. Daring 404 page designs aren’t for everyone, but even the most basic of templates must include:

Key links - make it easy for visitors to navigate their way back to live pages on your site. Ideally, you should make sure your main navigation bar is prominent on your 404 pages.

Branding - just because your 404 page isn’t a page you intentionally want to drive traffic to, doesn’t mean it isn’t important. Keep the look and feel of it consistent to that of your site so people know you’re still close by.


 Hue & Tone Creative: Custom design and marketing

When it comes to web design, we know what we’re doing. For help creating a killer 404 page or an entire website, make the first move toward better web marketing today: 336-365-8559 or hannah@hueandtonecreative.com.

Pros and cons: DIY Web Design vs. Hiring a Web Designer

Pros and Cons: DIY Web Design Vs. Hiring a Web Design  |  Hue & Tone Creative

We’ve all seen commercials for web builders like Wix, Squarespace, and Wordpress. They lead with a promise of creating a great website at lightning fast speed... even if you have no previous experience. It almost sounds a little too good to be true, right? 

It all depends on your needs. While web site builders make it easier than ever for non-designers to pull together their own website, they don’t work for everyone. If you’re a tech savvy business owner who needs a simple site, they might be a great option. But, if you’re tech-challenged, short on time, or in need of a more custom site you probably need to consider hiring a web designer.

Anyone can point out a website they like or select a template – but designers are the ones who can identify and execute all the elements needed for an on-brand, functional website. From color palettes and font pairings to white space and photography, there are some things a novice just won’t be able to execute on their own. 

Before you decide which route to take, let’s run through some of the pros and cons of DIYing or outsourcing your design: 
 


Outsourcing design: pros

Professional end product

There’s no denying that the end result of hiring a web designer is inevitably going to be stronger than what you’ll be able to create on your own. A strong website design will inevitably help you achieve your website goal, no matter if it’s more email opt-ins, a higher conversion rate, or more brand exposure.  

Functionality aside, did you know that 75% of consumers judge a brand’s credibility based on their site’s design? Web users are savvy, and they can sniff out a homemade website from a mile away – which in the long run could translate to a lot of missed opportunities. 
 

Saves you time and stress

Pulling together a list of your website needs and handing it over to a third party saves you immeasurable amounts of time and stress. You’ll be able to skip the hassle of doing background research, brainstorming concepts, refining ideas, finding your way around unknownsoftware, and making endless tweaks to the site. 

You can simply put your wish-list together, pass it on, and then get on with the rest of your to-do list while your designer handles the creative.
 

It’s a long term investment

Every business’ end goal is to generate revenue. But every good business owner knows that sometimes you have to spend money to make money. While you’ll pay a greater upfront cost to hire a web designer, you’re going to be walking away with a high quality final product that will serve your business for years to come. 

Creating your website yourself has the potential to open you up to issues with data security, mobile responsiveness, search optimization, and more – which long-term could lead to spending more than the cost of hiring a web designer.  

 

Pros and Cons: DIY Web Design Vs. Hiring a Web Design  |  Hue & Tone Creative

Outsourcing design: cons

It’s more expensive

The price you pay will vary from designer-to-designer (we would estimate anywhere from $500-$8,000 based on the complexity of your site) but it’s certainly more expensive than what a DIY tool will cost you. If you’re a brand new business or start-up with a limited marketing budget, the cost of hiring a web designer may feel prohibitive.  

Although we’ve listed this as a con, we urge you to think of the bigger picture, and your return on investment down the line.
 

Less insider info about your business

Every business has their own way of working, their own personal preferences, and their own knowledge of what’s worked in the past. Understandably, an outsider won’t possess nearly as much knowledge about your business as what you have. It make take a few meetings to educate them on the ins and outs of your business so that they’re able to create an effective website for you. 

If you feel like your designer isn’t listening or doesn’t have the time to talk through the backstory of your business, we suggest finding someone else who will. 
 

Finding the right fit

You do your research, talk to a number of potential designers, and still you feel like you can’t find the right fit. Keep on looking! 

Settling for the wrong designer is going to cost you more time and money in the long run, so be sure to do your research and settle on a clear scope of work before agreeing to anything. 

A good designer should ask you a lot of questions before providing a quote, should explain the process to you, be able to answer your questions, and will outline a clear scope before the project kicks off. If you feel like you’re in the dark about what you’ve agreed to or you feel like they just don’t get your business, then we suggest looking elsewhere. 

Ask for referrals, get the designer to provide ample work samples, and check out the quality of their online presence to get a good idea of their working style and final products. 
 



DIY design: pros

Save money

There are lots of online tools that let you create artwork for free, or offer additional features for a low fee. Either way, it’s likely to be cheaper than onboarding a designer. 
 

Total control

Working with a designer means having to make compromises based on their expertise, and we’ve seen first-hand how hard this can be for some business owners. If you think you’ll be unable to work with an outside party on your website, you may want to consider keeping the project in house. 

 


DIY design: cons

Compromised quality

Design is a skill like any other. The same way you can’t waltz onto a construction site and expect to be a builder, you can’t start using software and expect to be a designer.

Imagine you had to build a brick wall right now. Now imagine what the end result would look like. Compare that to what a professional mason would be able to build. The world of design is no different.
 

brooke-lark-609902-unsplash.jpg

More time, more limits

We’ve already mentioned that there are various cheap and/or free design tools around. But with their cost-saving benefits come limitations – both on what free software can do and what you’ll be able to execute with your limited skill set. 

There’s only so much you can do on basic design tools, and by limiting the flexibility of your designs, you’re essentially putting a cap on the potential quality of your finished product.

 

Tunnel vision

After working solo on your marketing for so long, you think you know exactly what works best and what your customers want. In some cases this might be true, but in a lot of cases there’s value for bringing in a fresh perspective – especially someone who is a marketing expert. Bringing in a web designer will help you get a fresh perspective and some new ideas. 

An expert designer will be able to take your marketing materials to a new level that you’ll never be able to execute with in house design, making you more competitive and more likely to stand out from the crowd. 
 

Loss of expertise

Last but not least, is the loss of experienced, tried and tested expertise. Let’s stick with our construction analogy. If someone asked you to build a skyscraper, you wouldn’t know where to start, or what best practices you need to follow, would you? Nor would you be expected to.

Professional designers have spent years mastering their trade. They’re hot on the heels of current and emerging trends. They’ve had past success and failures to learn from. And, they’ll be able to translate your ideas into something that works well for you while still fitting in with current trends. 

What does all that mean for you? A stand-out final website.


Hue & Tone Creative: Web Design for the Triad

Now convinced you need to hire someone to help with your new website? Give us a call so we can see if we're a good fit for designing your new site or sprucing up your existing one. From web mockups to executing the final design, we want to be your go to partner for all things web and design. 

Logo Love: 5 of the best big brand redesigns

Most brands, no matter how big or small, evolve their logo at one point or another. It might be a subtle redesign to get on trend, or it might be a total overhaul. No matter how thorough of a rebrand you're looking to do, just make sure the reason you do it is solid -- you don't want to be that company constantly confusing people with a new name or logo. 

A few of the reasons we think you should consider a redesign?

  • It was a DIY project
  • Your business has evolved, but your logo hasn't
  • It uses dated design trends
  • Your company is about to make significant changes 
  • It needs to be simplified 

In our opinion, a good logo update maintains the integrity of the original brand, while evolving the look. Your first logo will rarely be your last -- and as long as the thought process behind your redesign is strong, there’s no reason not to periodically enhance or revamp your logo. 

To get a better idea of why people update their look, let's look to a few big brands: 

1. Nike

Nike’s refresh couldn’t be a better demonstration that less is more. No color. No words. Just an instantly recognizable, worldwide tick.

Image source:  fastsigns.com

Image source: fastsigns.com

2.  Amazon

A rebrand brought on by business changes, Amazon's logo is a great example of a clever design. While Amazon's first version wasn’t exactly irrelevant to Amazon’s name, its current logo is a true reflection of what it stands for.

With a smile for its happy customers pointing to their A-Z offering, there’s a lot that can be learned from Amazon’s slick rebranding.

 
Image source:  contested.wordpress.com
 

3.  BBC

Since its inception, the BBC has developed a multifaceted brand. Having many different branches of business means needing a highly versatile and adaptable logo. 

Their simple three box logo coordinates well with other fonts, gels with any color, and has mass appeal. 

 
BBC_logo_(pre97).svg.png
 
 
 
    Image sources:  tvforum.uk  and  wikimedia.org

 

Image sources: tvforum.uk and wikimedia.org

 

 

4. Instagram

Instagram’s old logo was incredibly retro -- we'll leave it up to you if that's good or bad. Some folks certainly liked it, because they received a decent amount of pushback when they revealed their updated logo. 

Many compared its background to something seen in WordArt, but it’s since proven that it’s less paint shop and more pro. It’s simple, funky and modern; everything Instagram is as a platform.

 
Image source:  obviousgroup.co.uk

Image source: obviousgroup.co.uk

 

 

5.  Spotify

Spotify’s logo was fairly streamlined before, but their rebrand took it to the next level. By sticking to one vibrant color and scrapping the gradient, they've stayed in line with design trends while still maintaining the integrity of their brand. 

 
Image source:  osmanassem.com

Image source: osmanassem.com

 

Hue & Tone Creative: Your brand partner

Let us focus on telling your story, so that you can focus on what you do best: running your business. We're your own personal marketing department -- and will handle everything from your brand launch to daily social media needs. If you need to lighten your workload, we're here to help -- reach out today. 

How to give honest feedback without frustrating your designer

You’ve chosen your designer, you’ve briefed them on your needs, reached an agreement on terms, and you’re eager to see what they’ve come up! Then, their name lands in your inbox along with the much anticipated attachments – but then you click to find that...they’re not quite what you were after. Now what?

If you do it right, giving feedback won’t be perceived as negative. In fact, it’s an important part of the design process – and it’s something that your designer is anticipating. But giving feedback in an unproductive way can lead to an overall unproductive relationship between you and the creative you hired. 

As designers, we’re here to let you know that we’re used to feedback – we even enjoy it because it helps us do our job better. But, it can be frustrating when clients are constantly giving you negative feedback and not giving you the information you need to do your job properly. 

It’s easy for miscommunications to happen – especially if you’ve never worked with a designer before. But with just a few small tweaks to your approach we believe you can communicate with your designer better than ever – and land on a superb final product! 
 

How to give honest feedback to your designer  |  Hue & Tone Creative

 

Step back and ask questions

Before mindlessly shooting off negative feedback, take some time to marinate on what they sent you. Let them know you received the proofs and are putting together some notes. Then, go through the examples and guidelines you provided your designer. What varies from what you asked for? What’s in line with what you asked for (even if it’s not your favorite)? 

Put together a list of questions to better understand where your designer is coming from. The answers to your questions may change your mind on a certain concept or help you distinguish the direction you want to go. 

Creating an open dialogue will go a long way in helping you both understand each other’s point of view. 

 

Be professional, calm and controlled

We know it can be hard to stay calm when you feel like a project isn’t going right – but like any other professional situation it’s important to stay calm. Keep your communication -- whether it’s over the phone or on email – calm and clear is key. Be sure to politely explain why what they’ve produced isn’t quite up your alley.

Just saying “I don’t like it,” “it’s not what I asked for,” or “it’s not for me” isn’t constructive, and it doesn’t give your designer a fair chance to fix it. So, be as specific as you can so that they can understand what does and doesn’t work. That way they’ll be able to take your feedback and turn it into a stronger second draft. 

If you can, show them examples of the kind of thing you dolike from other organizations, so that they have a solid idea of the kind of design they need to be working toward. 

 

Explaining the why

When you’re highlighting elements of a project you’re not quite keen on, explaining the why is super important. Whether it’s because it goes against the guidelines you sent them, it’s too similar to what you’ve done in the past (and found to be ineffective), or it aligns too closely with one of your major competitors, give them a bit of context to help them understand the thinking behind your rationale.

Keep in mind, your designer has probably spent a lot of time on what you’re seeing – if you don’t like it, there was clearly a miscommunication – and it’s on both of you to fix it!

 

Keep it in perspective

Perfection takes time. Just because they didn’t deliver exactly what you wanted the first time around, don’t hold it against them, patronize, or start micro-managing them. You hired a designer because you don’t know how to do it yourself – so stand back and let them do their work. Keep in mind they are an expert at what they do – just because you don’t like something doesn’t mean it’s not quality work. 

Their job is to bring your vision to life. Your job is to equip them with the information they need to understand your vision.

 

Put your personal preference to one side

When you’re critiquing their work, remember that design is often a personal preference. Be sure to separate your personal taste from your brand image. A designer might be able to see the bigger picture in a way you can’t – so just because it doesn’t connect with you doesn’t mean it won’t connect with your target demographic. The taste of your audience is probably going to be different than yours, so be sure to talk through your designer’s rationale before shooting down a concept – they might know something you don’t.
 


Balance negatives with positives

It’s the old compliment sandwich trick. And this tip isn’t just to make them feel better! As we touched on earlier, the positives will help them really get a feel for what you dolike so that they can keep developing quality concepts. 

If there really aren’t any positives, you can still be complimentary about their work, but just be clear that it’s not right for your brand or this particular project. If this is the case, be crystal clear you’d like to see a totally new direction – don’t try to sugar coat it too much or they probably won’t realize that what they showed you is a complete wash. 

 

Keep in mind what you agreed too 

Be conscientious of when you’re asking to go above and beyond the terms of your contract. If you agreed to three rounds of revisions, you may need to pay an additional fee to go beyond that. 

Both parties of this contract are on equal footing – it’s not an employee/employer relationship. 

You can’t expect free revisions just because you don’t like something. If they’ve met the terms of the contract and you still don’t have something you like you may need to renegotiate. Keep in mind the contract is in place to protect both parties. 

Checking in on time and expectations can go a long way in demonstrating that you respect a designer’s time. It’s a great way to show you value their work, even if you haven’t come to a final product yet. 

 

Remember...

Rome wasn’t built in a day -- if you want a rushed job, give a rushed timeframe. It’s important you give your designer time to go back to the drawing board and really take everything in you’ve said so that you can keep working toward a high quality final product. 


Hue & Tone Creative: Your creative team

Let us help you get your project designed right! We're ready to communicate with you on your marketing needs -- whether they're big or small. To take a look at what we've done in the past, be sure to check out our design portfolio. Don't see the type of samples you're looking for? Get in touch, we can email you additional work samples! 

7 Reasons Why You Should Invest In A Professional Logo Design

7 Reasons Why You Should Invest In A Professional Logo Design  |  Hue & Tone Creative

Your logo is an integral part of your brand. It identifies you. It distinguishes you. And it creates consistency across everything you do.


Anybody can design any old logo. A professional can design a logo that has meaning, purpose and power. So, without further ado, here are our top seven cases for putting some investment behind your business’ logo.

 

1.  First impressions

You only have one shot to make a first impression, and a shoddy logo could shoot you in the foot. Put yourself in consumers’ shoes. If you’re looking to purchase a product or service and you stumble across a brand that has a logo that looks like it was made on Paint, it doesn’t set a very good tone for what’s behind the scenes.

 

2.  Relevancy

Telling a story through design takes a certain skill. A skill that not everyone (understandably!) has. From the colors, icons, images, fonts and sizes in your logo, to be truly impactful, every single element needs to have a purpose. And that, readers, is what a professional is paid to do.

 

3.  Trustworthy

The quality of your logo says a lot about you as a business. A poor logo can be construed as a poor brand, and we know that’s not the outcome you’re after.

Whether it’s a misaligned character, pixilated border or crazy color scheme, below par logos look inferior. High quality logos, on the other hand, give you an ora of professionalism, value and authority - all of which can give you one up over your competitors.

 

4.  Memorable

A strong logo is instantly identifiable. Whether it’s placed on a billboard, letterhead, social media or paid advert (and everything else in between!), it pulls peoples’ eyes to it, and it’s easily recognizable.

Professionals know that less can be more. That outrageous colors aren’t needed to attract attention. And that designs have to gel with a variety of settings. And they incorporate all of that into your finished product.

 

5.  Evergreen

As with almost everything in life, logos evolve. What might be spot on for your brand right now might feel slightly off in a few years - but that’s okay. You’ll not find many businesses out there that haven’t adapted their logo over the years, but the key is that they’re adaptable.

Entirely revamping your logo can damage your business’ brand awareness, which is why it’s more about continual tweaks than a complete do over. With a professional by your side, you’ll get a solid logo that’s designed to stand the test of time - bar the potential small touch ups now and then.

 

6.  Showcases your brand

Your logo is a pivotal part of your brand’s story and values. It’s your chance to let your personality shine through and showcase what you're all about! As an example, here are some of adidas’ logo milestones:

7 Reasons Why You Should Invest In  A Professional Logo Design.png

Same brand. Different logo. Completely contrasting messages.

 

7. Adaptable

Logos are needed left, right and centre. What might work perfectly fine on your website, might not necessarily sit right on your business card. That said, you absolutely don’t want two completely different versions that aren’t in-line with one another.

What you want, and need, is a few variations that fit in any given placement - for example, one that’s for a black background and one that’s for a white background - that are instantly associated with one another.

We could go on and on, but we’ll wrap it up at number seven. If you’re interested in sprucing up an existing logo or are a new brand starting from scratch, why not get in touch to see how we could help?


Hue & Tone Creative: Logo and Branding in the Triad

Are you now convinced that you need professional help with your logo design? We think we might just be the perfect people to help you out. From logos to branding, and everything in between, we can help you create a lasting impression. But if you're feeling a little unsure we'll let our design work speak for itself. 

What does Branding really mean?

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When the term branding enters a conversation, the word logo usually isn’t far behind. The words have become almost synonymous. Of course, branding is more than the creation of a company’s logo. So, what does branding really mean?

 

The Definition:

The term changes definitions depending upon whom you consult. For discussion’s sake, we’ll use the Business Dictionary’s version which states “[branding is] the process involved in creating a unique name and image for a product in the consumers' mind, mainly through advertising campaigns with a consistent theme.” Branding is the personality of a commodity. It’s the feelings and expectations that are connected to goods, services and even people based on lived experience and marketing efforts.

 

The Purpose & Importance:

Businesses use branding for numerous reasons including attracting new customers, securing loyalties, that result in repeat and longtime patrons, and to differentiate themselves from competitors.   

If a business is able to accomplish the above list, it’s safe to assume that it’s at least competitive. With effective branding, it may even be positioned well enough to charge more than market rivals. This increase in value is based largely on consumer perception and is referred to as brand equity. Judging a book, product or service by its metaphoric cover can be extremely advantageous for a company when public opinion is favorable.

 

How it’s Done:

Going back to our working definition that branding is the process involved in creating a unique name and image for a product, person, or service, keep in mind that there are aspects of this cultivation which are entirely controllable. These include, but aren’t limited to, logos, color schemes, public statements, written communications, social media, packaging, websites, and advertisements. Marketing, public relations, and design firms spend their time becoming masters in these areas, so you may consider using a professional here. So often, companies with quality commodities and excellent reputations find themselves in with injured brands do to ill-advised marketing moves.

 

The Fairy and Cautionary Tales:

Most people are familiar with the controversial Pepsi campaign starring Kendall Jenner. During a time where clashes between Human Rights protestors and police were constantly in the media and the topic of much debate, Pepsi wanted to weigh in with a message of collaboration. Unfortunately, concerns of police brutality and violent discord were seemingly solved by Jenner handing an officer an ice-cold Pepsi. People were outraged for many reasons. Some felt Pepsi had made too light of serious matters, others railed against Pepsi using a national crisis as a means to sell more soda. Pepsi soon pulled the ad, apologized, and certainly learned from the branding debacle. The lesson here may be to align your brand with matters in the proximity of one’s wheelhouse.

Contrarily, one can take a devastating and embarrassing event like infidelity and use it to boost a brand. Beyoncé, upon discovering her famous husband was allegedly unfaithful, created an album cathartically working through her personal issues. Lemonade went on to become the highest-selling individual album of 2016 globally, according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. The admission helped Beyoncé’s brand by reinforcing her image as a smart and incredibly powerful female force.

 

Questions to ask Yourself:

  • What message do you want your product or service to convey in the public’s mind?
  • What distinguishes your product or service from anything or anyone else on the market?
  • Are you consistently stacking up to public expectation?
  • In what ways (beyond performance) can you demonstrate that you are what you say you are?
  • Are you choosing marketing opportunities and strategies that align with your current brand identity?
     

These questions focus not only on what businesses say and do, but also on how people respond to those messages. In this way, branding is quite interactive. It’s not a business cultivating images of self that customers credulously accept, but a continuous dialogue between consumers and companies.


MARKETING & GRAPHIC DESIGN IN GREENSBORO

Starting a new business? Don’t dive in without a little help from the creative experts. From business card design and logos, to social media marketing, Hue & Tone Creative can help you connect with your customers and creating a lasting impression. 

12 Inspiring Font Combination

Whether you’re designing a resume, website, or even a graphic for social media, choosing the right fonts can make a good design even better.  However, the seemingly endless font options available at our disposal can make choosing the right ones a little tricky.

To help alleviate a little stress and confusion, we put together a brief guide on font pairing. 

If you’re interested in the complexities of font typography, you can learn more here. But, if you're just looking to learn a few basics, start with these guidelines: 

  • Try combing a serif with a sans serif.
  • Stick to 2-3 fonts, any more than that can be distracting.
  • Designate rolls to your fonts. Keep headings, subheadings, or body text consistent.
  • Vary the weight to achieve visual hierarchy.
  • Contrast is key! Try not to select fonts that are too similar.
  • Don’t pick fonts that clash with your aesthetic.

Now that you have some basics down, here are a few of our favorite combinations:

Most of the font examples we used below are from Font Squirrel, but you can also find some free or inexpensive downloads from these sites:

These are just a few of our suggestions, so don’t be afraid to branch out and try something different. There are seemingly endless font combinations to choose from! Play around and try out different combinations until you find what works best for you.

What are your favorite font pairings? Let us know in the comments!

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.