graphic design

The beginner's toolkit to hiring a graphic designer

Completely devoid of design sense? Struggling to put in words why others should support your business? It may be time to bring some outside help in. Whether you’re thinking about hiring an agency, graphic designer, or web designer, there’s a few things you need to know before hiring outside help.

We’ve pulled together some of our best articles from over the last year to help answer some of the big questions you’ll run into when hiring outside help.

Whether you’re a new business just getting off the ground, your business is suddenly growing, or you’ve just realized you’re in too deep — we’ve got an article here for you.

Best post if you’re just getting started: The essentials: Must have marketing assets for new businesses |  Hue & Tone Creative

Best post if you’re just getting started: The essentials: Must have marketing assets for new businesses

You know you need the basics like a logo and business cards – but what other marketing assets should you make a priority? We’re here to tell you what you need it, why you need it, when you need it, and how you get it.


Best post if you’re looking into doing a rebrand: 7 reasons why you should invest in a professional logo design

Your logo is an integral part of your brand. It identifies you. It distinguishes you. And it creates consistency across everything you do. This post breaks down how a professional can design a logo that has meaning, purpose and power.

7 reasons why you should invest in a professional logo design  |  Hue & Tone Creative

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

Best post if you’re in the process of finding a designer: 15 Questions to ask your designer before hiring them

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!”


Best post if you might need website help: Pros and Cons: DIY Web Design vs. Hiring a Web Designer

You’re in need of a new website, but you’re not sure if you should take a stab at it yourself or hire outside help. 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.

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

What’s the difference between a graphic designer and a developer?   |  Hue & Tone Creative

Best post if you already know you need website help: What’s the difference between a graphic designer and a developer?

As online tools make it easier for people to learn new skills there’s been more and more overlap between the jobs of graphic designer and developer. Although they are experiencing more and more of each other’s worlds, there are still several clear-cut differences between the skillsets of graphic designers and developers — so, who do you need to hire?  


Best post no matter who you are: How to give honest feedback without frustrating your designer

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. 

How to give honest feedback without frustrating your designer  |  Hue & Tone Creative

Hue & Tone: Your new marketing partner

You probably made it to this blog post because you’re considering hiring an outside designer. We’d love to throw our hat in the ring! 🎩🙋🏻‍♀️No matter who you are or what stage your business is at, we’d love to sit down and tell you why we’re the right marketing partner for you. Let’s set something up: 336-365-8559.

6 Signs it’s Time to Update Your Company Logo

The New Year is all about making positive changes: taking up a new hobby, improving your exercise routine, or embarking on another personal journey. Something else you might want to update? Your logo. As your company’s primary visual symbol, your logo is one of your brand’s most important assets. If you haven’t changed it in a while, here are a few signs it’s time for an upgrade.

 

It was a DIY project.

It’s no secret that fledgling businesses are strapped for cash, and it’s not uncommon for startups to hand the logo design to an artistic friend or family member. Now that your business has had a chance to grow a bit, it may be time to enlist the help of a professional graphic designer. A professional designer will have the best skills and experience necessary to create a modern, polished design that can compete in today’s marketplace.

 

It was designed for print media.

Ten years ago, company logos were most likely to appear on stationery, in newspapers, and in yellow pages. Nowadays, most consumers are squinting at websites on their phones. If your logo was designed for other times, certain details might not have been taken into consideration.

Ask yourself the following questions: is your logo still legible when shrunk to fit a smaller screen? Does it mesh well with your website design, colors, and fonts? Does it still command attention when placed on a web page with competing information? You might also want a logo that makes an appealing mobile app—think of Apple, whose infamous logo doubles as a desktop icon.

 

Your business has evolved. Your logo hasn’t.

Almost all businesses grow and change with time, adapting to different marketplace demands. For instance, you may have started a bookstore ten years ago, and expanded to offer coffee and small gift items. Does your logo reflect what you now offer? If not, it may be time for a logo that better represents your current services.

 

It uses dated design trends.

Many graphic design elements which were once extremely popular can now make a logo look dated. Color gradients, drop shadows, and “glossy” buttons are all design features that are—for lack of a better word—so 1990s. If your business is spelled out in Papyrus font or, heaven forbid, Comic Sans, it’s probably time to refresh.

 

Your company has made, or is making, significant changes.

Moves, mergers, and acquisitions: there are countless huge changes which can affect businesses. If your company has undergone a huge identity change, a new logo can deliver brand clarification that signifies new, better things are happening for your company.

 

It’s never been changed. Ever.

Many business owners worry that once their logo changes, their business will lose its brand recognition. But these concerns never stopped Starbucks, Google, or countless other popular brands from pursuing a change. A skilled graphic designer will be able to keep your brand’s core identity while still polishing the logo for a modern audience. A sleeker, more refined logo will signify to the marketplace that your company is present, relevant, and not afraid to embrace new challenges and new techniques—while retaining the core values that it has always held.


Greensboro Graphic Design Company: Hue & Tone

Looking for a graphic designer 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. Be sure to check out our design portfolio to see clients we’ve helped in the past, and give us a call if you’d like us to build you a custom, modern logo that truly tells your story.

Friday Links: State of graphic design and a few freebies

And just like that, it's Friday again. To help you transition from the weekday hustle to weekend relaxation (you really should relax) -- here are a few links I've been loving this week!  

State of graphic design and a few freebies -- Hue & Tone Creative

 One | I'm all about these (free!) hand-drawn vector stripes & patterns

Two | Here's a good cheat sheat on the file types you'll likely encounter in design work. 

Three | Another super-usable post: how to establish a brand identity for your small business. This is solid advice. 

Four | A little less resource-oriented & more on the "interesting to know" side: the state of graphic design in 2015. 

Five | We'll close this week with another freebie -- these gorgeous brushstroke vectors.  

This week's posts: 

This week's music: Spotify Morning Productivity playlist  

Have a great weekend! I'll see you here on the blog on Tuesday.


Friday Links: Twitter chats, font pairing, and Squarespace love

Hello, friends! It's been another full, busy week here at Hue & Tone and, now that it's coming to a close, I'm sharing some links I've been loving once again.

Friday Links: Twitter chats, font pairing, and Squarespace love -- Hue & Tone Creative

One | The impact of having an active social presence for your business is huge...but not everyone's naturally inclined to be a "sharer." I love this post on ways to train your brain to think social.

Two | Along the same lines as the link above, social media is best when you're genuinely using it as a tool to collaborate and learn from others...not a way to blast your own message without listening. Twitter chats are a great way to get started.

Three | The Hue & Tone website runs on Squarespace, and I'm a huge fan. Here's a good summary of the reasons why.

Four | Running a small business doesn't happen without its fair share of cold calls -- and cold emails. So, how to do it right? Personalize, be brief, and establish purpose.

Five | Here's a great -- and beautifully presented -- primer on the "art and science" of pairing the right fonts.

Recap of this week's blog posts: 

Have a great weekend! 

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.

 

Monday Links: Type, design and a free font

Happy Monday! I'm back with another roundup of links we've been loving around the Hue & Tone office...

Hue & Tone Creative -- Monday favorite links

One | Designers and design-minded people aren't the only ones who notice good design out in the world. This is a beautiful summary of the way type and lettering affect our daily lives.

Two | Quick freebie: I love this brush-style font, which is free to download.

Three | Speaking of fonts, brush up with this simple guide to pairing them effectively in your designs.

Four | Have a long drive coming up or just like to listen while you work? Try one of these 20 podcasts for creative entrepreneurs

Five | I love creating infographics, but creating an effective layout is tougher than it looks. Here's another simple, smart design resource to help you master visual arrangement.

Hope you've all had a fantastic start to the week!