Web design, logos and your brand

Recently I’ve had conversations with a lot of potential clients that go a little something like this: “Oh no, I don’t need a logo. Can you just put the words in a nice font and make them sort of sit on top of one another, add some color, and maybe add like a shape or a swoosh or something….?” To which I respond, “Sure… you mean a LOGO?”

Here’s the thing to remember about logos. Even if your company name is just written in a regular font, very simple, no color, that’s STILL a logo. It’s still a choice, and it represents you as a company in a visual way.

Is your website ready for mobile?

The mobile web is the single biggest change in the internet’s short history. Smart phone and tablet users will make up more than half of your audience in the next couple years.

Having said that, optimizing your website pages for mobile is now an essential element in the web development process. Here’s a simple checklist that you can run through to ensure your site is ready for mobile browsers:

Size matters

Scalability is key. Can your site be viewed well on different sized screens? There are thousands of devices are out there, so selecting just a few screen sizes isn’t practical.

Facebook and your business

If you are in business today and are doing no social media at all – you need to reconsider your strategy. And if you are not active on Facebook then you also need to figure that out rapidly. Worldwide, there are over 1.23 billion monthly active Facebook users and that number is only increasing year by year.

Mobile is not the future – it is the NOW. Make sure your content and your website is mobile responsive and easily navigable on tablets. People buy off tablets! Hit them with the right content and you could generate a sale straight off the bat.

So, how do you connect to all these potential customers?

Brand and Consistency

Social media is here to stay. That isn’t even a point of debate anymore. Many businesses are already on social media platforms and have Facebook fan pages, twitter accounts for customer support, youtube channels and on and on.

However, a lot of what you see on these profiles looks like someone just threw together some random content and some random profile photo, no background image, and they just assumed that because they “have a Facebook page” that they are now “on social media”.

The hard truth is that social media is a conversation. It’s requires constant attention and fresh content being pushed out. But the most important element is engagement.

Pandora logo

I love music. And I love design. I’m an avid listener to Pandora. It keeps me company as I sit and work at my computer. I recently noticed that they updated their logo. I really like the new direction. The typography was a great choice in my opinion. Clean, modern, bold. Beautiful.

Here’s the old one:

And here’s the new one:

Simon Flemming-Wood (CMO of Pandora) wrote in his blog, “Our goal with the logo and app icon is to honor our past while looking to the future with a bolder, more modern identity. The visual design language, which we refer to simply as “lights,” is meant to evoke the interplay of lights from a live show while symbolizing the flow of music from artists to listeners.

A history of typography

This is a great little video to show the evolution of type faces and their use. A logo designer friend shared it with me, and I thought I’d pass it along. Enjoy.

Responsive Design

I think it was Bill Gates who said some years ago, “In the future there will be two kinds of companies. One with an effective website, and one with no business at all.”

Okay, so maybe it wasn’t Bill Gates, and maybe I totally paraphrased that “quote”. But you get the idea.

In web developer speak, a “Responsive design” is a website that is designed to change its layout, depending what device you view it on. In other words, it responds to its environment.

So, if you view a responsive website on a computer (laptop / PC) you’ll see it in its “normal” layout.

A history of Photoshop

I found this blog entry on springleap.com and thought it was worth sharing:

The history of Photoshop is the story of modern graphic design. For many designers, a world without Photoshop seems like ancient history. But it’s important to remember that until 1990, the majority of designers still made use of Letraset hand lettering and photomanipulation meant exactly that. Designers had to physically manipulate photographs using a variety of techniques such as airbrushing, painting, cutting and pasting (many of which now make up tools in Photoshop). At the time Photoshop was first released, many designers continued to use traditional techniques, until adopting Photoshop in later versions,