Archive for Spotlight

When logo’s go bad, you look bad

A logo needs to look professional, tell the story of your business, and be memorable. A logo is the foundation of your brand image and may be the first impression of your business, and possibly the last. Take the time and money to invest in your logo, it is as important as the space your do business, the equipment you use or the product you sell. A good logo will be the life of your business.

When Logos Go Bad – Logos That Suck

As seen on Design Reviver

Logos have always been an integral part of a company. In fact, many consumers mistakenly assume that a company’s logo is their brand. Branding is a huge marketing movement right now and the logo is only a fraction of what makes a company’s brand. However, to the ordinary customer a logo speaks volumes. It is a first, and sometimes last, impression. It is the single, mainstream representation of what you do and you will be judged by it. Therefore, it is important to spend time, effort and money to be certain that your logo does not suck. Here are ways to design a sucky logo:

Amateurism


A common mistake in logo design is creating something that looks cheap or unprofessional. If you are using clip art or stock, it will send the message that you are not original or unique. If the images are blurry or distorted because you are using the wrong software or file format, people will be put off by your logo. Once they are put off by your logo, they will judge your company by their first impression. Not all logos designed by amateurs will look poorly done, but it is imperative to show your new logo off and get valuable feedback on its quality before finalizing it.

Mistaken Symbolism

(This symbol could easily be mistaken for a crop circle or alien hieroglyph)

A logo is your company’s first elevator speech. It is the first attempt at marketing. What goes into your logo matters. Sometimes your logo could showcase something inappropriate and you not realize it. It is best to show it around to trusted individuals to see if they get an interpretation you were not expecting. Optical illusions can be tricky and people can see different things. Incorporating people or stick people images? Pay close attention to position and placement to avoid being inappropriate. If people are able to locate something ‘dirty’ or sexual in nature anywhere in your logo if it is not supposed to be there – then you need to go back to the drawing board. The same is true for showing your product in use in your logo. This can backfire when perception and customer impressions get involved.

It is just as important to think about the wording of your logo as there are many phrases or words that could have double meanings. Sausage can be sexual if used in an improper context so unless you own a sausage company it is best to avoid it. Same for names like Johnson, Peter, and John. Be cautious if incorporating words that can be different things.

Sketchy

It is always great to start off with a hand drawn design, but when it is time to go to print the logo needs to look more professional. Hand drawn artwork can be cute and quaint, but a mainstream logo needs to be able to compete and your competition is most likely not using a cute design.

Spacing

If you are going to use multiple words without proper spacing, you better be certain the words cannot be misinterpreted. A popular example of this is using Kidsexchange instead of Kids Exchange. This method can be used effectively like in Petsmart where either Pet Smart or Pets Mart are both appropriate. Be certain to really pay attention to your wording if you intend to omit spacing.

Being Too Personal

Inside jokes and personality quirks that are unrelated to your business should be left out of your logo. If you are overweight but are running a bakery, your logo does not necessarily need a fat guy or gal in it. Instead of being a nice representation of you as an owner, people will be reminded that if they eat your goods they will gain weight. This is the opposite of what you want to accomplish. If you like to drink a lot and your friends all call you Lush for fun, this does not mean you need to add this charming bit of your personality into your business brand. Your customers do not need to know that much about you in order to spend money on your products or services.

Multicultural

This one can get tricky because no one is an expert in all cultures. However, something that seems perfectly appropriate to you may be majorly offense to another culture. If you have quite a few Indian customers, it is not a good idea to advertise cow slaughter or to even poke fun at cattle. The cow is sacred in India and this will run your Indian customers away. If you want to ensure you do no offend anyone accidently, ask people of various cultures what they think of your logo. You never know when something fairly innocent to you will send another family running in he opposite direction.

Source : Design Reviver

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Some Pretty Killer Business Card Samples

Some exceptional examples of business card designs and conceptual business cards. Here is an updated list.

doggy_business_cards

These doggy, cat and other pet business cards are unbelievably “cute”. Artist Lili Chin, the founder of  doggiedrawings does an exceptional job of creating contemporary portraits of peoples pets -these playful images make great business cards too!

giraffe business card

This business card design was created by Wes Thomas. The laser-cut business card transforms into a cute desktop toy.  Who wouldn’t want a  business  card toy for their desk?

chopping_borad_business_card

Designer Sam Gough of RDA, created a handful of “carved” wooden business cards! Not sure how it was done but the result is amazing! (The kind of card you would only give out to your most beloved clients)

photography business card

Photographer, Toby Keller of Burnblue has created some really slick business cards (that he printed with Overnight Prints.) The spot UV on black print effect has always been a favorite finish of mine. It looks really classy and sophisticated.

sugar sachet business cards

Hows about this for a sweet business card idea! Using sachets as business cards is the  brilliant concept of the Israeli arm of ad agency superweights, BBDO (Gitam BBDO). Each condiment represents a different department. Supercool (and practical)!

qr business card

Reblis designer, Michael Silber, has engaged clients and made the mobile version of his website easily accessible with these neat little QR business cards. If you have a  QR reader app installed on your phone – take a pic and try it out for yourself!

bookmark business card

We love bookmarks as business cards and we love this bookmark business card design from artist,  kunklebaby . She posted it on Overnight Prints Flickr group and we couldn’t resist showing it to the rest of our readers! The luxury handcrafted feel card is a perfect complement to her work.

recycled business cards

This very green and eco friendly business card looks great! This terrific hand-made card was made by Micha Kaufman, co founder of  Fivver. They are created using a  rubber stamp , an address label, and a bit of corrugated card  he found!! Cool!

3 color business card

This great little idea that was posted on the  Overnight Prints flickr page by designer Kenn Wilson. It’s  a  real “lo-fi” way of making your business card really personal and one-of-a-kind. He’s used traditional print methods plus colored pencil touches to create a totally unique and custom “color-it-in” business card.

clapper board business card
This business card in the shape of a clapper board was designed by Ralev.com for a multimedia agency called Feelme Crew. It’s a really creative way to make a more  interactive business card  (not that hard to do something like this yourself!)

address label business cards

These partly hand-made business cards were made by Laura Moretz. They represent a really cool and sophisticated way of using address labels as a feature of your business cards. The superthick stock, clean and classic design, and beautiful font usage, combine to make this a really memorable business card.

Best Business Card 1

This vivid, retro piece of design elegance from Polytron Corporation is an example of really sharp graphical design that is both cool and precise.

Best Business Card 2

This design from swap-bot.com is really cute and playful – perfectly designed  for the fun “swapping” community site that it represents. I particularly like the accompanying “hand-made” matchbox.

Best Business Card 3

Stunning design from Tree in the Sky graphic design studio. The rounded corners really complement the circular design elements. It’s also a great example of Spot-UV printing.

Best Business Card 4

Howard Weliver has illustrated and designed a superb business card to promote his site, welistration.com. I Particularly like the signature spot UV effect that he used.

Best business card design 5

A bad-ass skull tattoo design from Red Sky Tattoo. Love the gold UV on black.

Best Business Card 6

Funny and sweet logo and business card design from wedgienet.net

Best Business Card 7

Oral Fixation Mints are the coolest mints (pun intended). The design of their entire web and print brand is really excellent. The tin box card holders (that usually hold their mints) are a perfect fit for their cards and are a really nice touch!

best Business Card 8

This is such a cool design from Miguel Reyes. The black silhouette on top of the glowing pink color is so eye-catching.

Best Business Cards

This is such a great idea from Mogibo! Make your own little “Ivan Turčin” figure out of a business card!

Best Business Cards 9

Vertex.com have created a business card with a really sweet “3D” effect on them (yes! it’s not actually a box!)

Best Business Card

Excellent folded business card from visual communication experts  BroHouse.

Best Business Cards 12

Fantastic design by Arran Peterson. I’ve always loved the black gloss on black matt effect.

great business card

I wonder if Jessica Acosta read my article about creating fancy bookmarks?  I’m a big fan of bookmark business cards. By creating a business card out of a bookmark, you are making a print product that no one wants to get rid of! (why would they! They can use them as a bookmark!) These are twice as effective, because they look terrific –  I also love Jessica’s doll designs at www.dollproject.com

meatcards_businesscard

Okay…this is far less of a “traditional” business card (unlike the rest of the business cards in this list.) But I couldn’t write a blog about my favorite business cards without mentioning our friends over at meatcards.com! No, your eyes don’t deceive you! That is actually a business card that is also a piece of jerky meat? Crazy, huh!? You can actually print your details on a piece of meat!

Source : Overnight Prints Design & Print Blog: http://overnightprints.com/blog/

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St. Regis survived Prohibition, wrecking ball and now fire

This photo of the St. Regis Hotel, circa 1906, was taken by local professional photographer Frank Dean after the west wing was added.


Friday, September 10, 2010

A few weeks back when I heard that a fire was in progress at the St. Regis Hotel, I felt a tightness in my stomach, concerned that one of the few historically significant structures left in the downtown area was going to be lost forever. But thanks to the fast work of the Grand Junction Fire Department the building was saved, suffering damage to a small portion of the restaurant, Naggy McGee’s.

The hotel was started in 1893 by William H. and Allie Neff and Anna Scott. It was completed and opened in 1895 as the Grand Hotel and Restaurant.

Harry Earl Barnett Sr. purchased the hotel in 1904 and in 1906 added the west wing, increasing guest rooms to 28, some with connecting baths and some with just lavatories. This addition also enlarged the size of the dining room. It was renamed The New Grand Hotel.

For years, it was a leading hotel in western Colorado. It had a massive bar and a ballroom for nightly dances. The lobby was Mission-style architecture and was the gathering place for guests. Also on the main floor off the lobby was a ladies parlor and sample rooms used by traveling salesmen.

In 1908 with the completion of the third floor, Burnett thought that the hotel needed a new name and held a contest offering a $25 prize to the traveling salesman who came up with best name. St. Regis was it.

Burnett Sr. was a member of many of the service and social organizations in town, and the hotel became the place for these groups to meet.

In 1920, Burnett Sr. sold half-interest in the St. Regis to his son, Harry Earl Burnett Jr., retaining the other half interest for himself. Burnett Sr. died in August 1924.

Over the years, the St. Regis had several well-known visitors, one of which was Jack Dempsey. In an oral history interview done through the Mesa County Oral History Project, Harry Lloyd Burnett said that his father, Harry Jr., and heavyweight boxing champion Dempsey were best friends. Harry L. also said that his father was Dempsey’s first manager. Through the years, Dempsey was a frequent visitor at the hotel to visit Burnett Jr.

In 1924 Rex Howell, owner of the new radio station KREX, broadcast live music from the hotel featuring the Armand de Beque dance band.

Prohibition ended in 1933 and by 1936 the St. Regis opened the first cocktail lounge in town, the Oriental Room and Cocktail Lounge, according to a story in the Journal of the Western Slope.

During the 1940s, St. Regis was a bustling place. Military pilots shuttling from one coast to another stayed there, as did military personnel from Pando and the 10th Mountain Division from Camp Hale near Leadville.

A resident of the St. Regis was William Moyer, best known for giving the city of Grand Junction the first public swimming pool. When Burnett Jr. ran into Moyer walking down the street with suitcase in hand and asked him where he was off to, Moyer replied that he had no place to live because he had no money.

Burnett took him to the St. Regis where he lived until a short time before his death when he was moved to a nursing home. Moyer died in 1943.

The hotel remained popular for train travelers until the automobile became a more popular means of transportation and motels with all the modern conveniences sprang up in more convenient locations.

The St. Regis got a new lease on life during the uranium boom of the 1950s when the bar business became the main money maker. The St. Regis was so popular that the sample rooms on the first floor were remodeled to make room for the crowds.

Burnett Jr. died in 1960, and the hotel was sold to A.W. O’Brien and Amos and Roland Raso in 1961.  By the 1980s, the bar business overshadowed the hotel business, and the hotel was closed in 1985.

In 1986, the St. Regis dodged the wrecking ball, and today this historic building has multiple uses, including condos, offices and the restaurant.

Kathy Jordan is retired from The Daily Sentinel and involved in many preservation efforts, including the railroad depot and the North Seventh Street Historic Residential District.

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QR Tag – What is it?

Let’s talk about “NEW” technology..

Most have never even heard of a QR TAG or QR Code, but it is growing at staggering rates and my guess is this is the next Twitter.

The QR-Ad, a new way of banner advertising
The QR-Ad is a new way of banner advertising, that addresses at the same time a web and a mobile audience. The results of our research show a significant increase of engagement.

The QR-Ad uses the banner format in two ways
a) as a normal banner to click, to go to a web destination page
b) as a support for a QR Code which can be scanned with a mobile phone equipped with a QR Code scanner.

It is really pretty straight forward, you can convert any url into an image which is then scanned by a smartphone. That smartphone will have to install the QR reader (just search applications for QR Reader). Now you will notice new QR tags everywhere, magazine ads, bus stops, tv, web and so on. You simply hold your phone up to the image, it reads the code and transfers you to the url, text or phone message…

Let’s show you how it is done, I created this one by going to http://qrcode.kaywa.com/ and typed in the address of my website.

If you scan it with your smart phone it will take you to my website. I could also do one for my phone number or text message etc…

ADVERTISERS
This is a great way to interact wtih consumers, tell them more, direct them to a point of sale online, etc…
Learn more by vising the links below. Let us know how you use QR Codes, or let us help you find a way to incorporate them into your advertising.

5 interesting ways to use QR Codes

QR codes. What they are, and how they can help sell houses

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Marketing tips from a measuring cup

I love when we come across good video like this, a real inspiration. Alex Lee shows some great examples here of people who really looked at things and improved them, even when people may not have seen a need for improvement, they accepted the product as it was, It did the job and there was no further thought put to it…expect for a few truly inventive people!

Product developers everywhere could learn a lesson from OXO’s angled measuring cup (shown at right), which was born out of some very simple, very smart research.measuring-cup.png

In the video below, the president of OXO International, Alex Lee, tells about how his researchers observed ordinary consumers using their (non-angled) measuring cups. Users would fill up the cup part way, then bend over to check the level – then fill some more, then bend over again to check the level. This pointed the way for OXO’s innovation: showing the amount-markings at an angle, so users can easily read the amount as they fill the cup.

But here’s the thing about the research: customers never said they wanted an angled measuring cup. In fact, users weren’t even aware that there was a problem to be solved. Consumers didn’t say, “I wish I could read the markings more easily.” They muddled through without complaint. And yet the innovation came directly from observing customers. How?

Simply by observing the customer experience. The job of any product developer, any innovator, is to identify an unmet need – a pain point – a market opportunity – and the best way of doing that is by observing customers. Which means their actual real-world behavior – what they do, not what they say they do. This reveals the genuine customer experience.

Good research like this doesn’t ask customers leading questions, and it doesn’t have to ask customers to design a solution. It simply requires watching and listening. Once you observe that “customers seem to spend a lot of extra energy to read the amount,” the stage is set for the solution.

resource : goodexperience.com

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“Will you create a poster for me for my missing cat?”

Ok, try and get by the header and ads on the side of this blog, cause this one is worth reading. Not sure if it is a true story as they say, but this is a conversation between a secretary and a graphic designer about putting together a poster for her missing cat! You gotta read it!

http://bit.ly/caIhFi

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Great SM case studies – Talk about inspiration

Feeling stuck, not sure how you can use Social media for your business? Check out these great case studies that show their success in using Social media to boost sales, traffic and fans.

5 Small Business Social Media Success Stories

A salon, bookstore, personal coach, bakery and a retail shop share their SM strategy and success stories. Great inspiration.

26 Social Media Marketing Examples In DepthLisa Braziel is writing a series of posts taking an in depth look at 26 of Peter Kim’s social media marketing examples including Animal Planet, Clorox, Exxon Mobil, Delmonte Foods, and Best Western.

Non-profits that Tweet

From Beth Kanter: Great roundup that includes list and examples of non-profits on twitter. Includes links to several different aggregated listings of non-profit Twitter pages. Includes link to Mashable’s rundown of 26 Charities and Non-profits Who Tweet.

3 Social Media Lessons From the Restaurant World

GovTwit Directory

Drectory of government agencies using Twitter with the goal of including all facets of government on Twitter: state and local, federal, contractors, reporters, academics, judicial branch and more. The list will be a living list and will be kept updated via BearingPoint’s own research, as well as submissions from site readers.

Terrific set of case studies of social media in federal, state and local governments. The Collaboration Project is an independent forum of leaders committed to leveraging web 2.0 and the benefits of collaborative technology to solve government’s complex problems.

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