Wednesday, September 29, 2010

How social media can help in your branding

If you would ask a SEO expert wether social media is important to brand your company he will say: "Maybe it is, depending on how you brand your social media appearance." In a nutshell: what was first a hen or an egg? When you run your SEO and social media campaign you will need to bare in mind that every single posting should be branded. Seeing the bigger picture your branding calls for broader vision then just your website and local distribution.

Starting with a fine and clear logo concept and design you will have to think within the same lines as you where during your logo design process, while creating successful and profitable social media campaign.

The first think you need to ask yourself whether you are happy with your existing branding. Last think you want is to confuse people. Most of us are visual thinkers and we associate things by pictures - especially it is true for the internet users when there is ton of information to digest, scan and go through to filter and assimilate the information you are looking for without being destructed. Some are very good in this though. Most of people are not. And that's why consistent and focused branding campaign is all-in-all.

Useful tips:

  1. Use the same logo design though out your campaigns. Try to keep the same size of your logo, whether in your Facebook or Myspace account.
  2. Use the same colors or close to your website color scheme.
  3. Make sure to use the same verbage. When you write about the company or a topic related to your service use the words and names to create a searchable keywords. That means related new keywords which will create a new searchable trends. More you use them more chances you have to be found just for those keywords.
  4. Use all your verbage in your meta tags. Your main keywords used on social media postings should be used in your meta tags of your website and blog.
  5. Repetition, repetition, repetition.... use your company name over and over again, perhaps even highlight it so it stands out form the text. Same goes for items or services you offer. 
  6. Don't be boring. Your postings must include humor. If you do not have one, search online for jokes & use them. Take your readers by surprise but do not appear stupid and incoherent. Humor does not harm provided it connects with the theme you write. Every one wants to lough.
  7. Use call to action phrases but not selling pitches. 
  8. Make friends and become friend. 
  9. Be regular - post once a week. More is too often unless you are running very busy blog like Mutt Cuts.
  10. Create nice website design.
  11. Optimize it for search engines and submit it to them. Run SEO of you website. 
  12. Start a blog.
  13. Use Wordpress to crete your website or at least have a blog in Wordpress. Google likes Wordpress so you must too.
I hope this will help. If so, please send me a note: "It worked! Thanks!"

Good luck. 

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Logo design is not important

Logo design is not important. What you need is some graphics you can generate in Microsoft Office Word and you are done. Sounds right? No! This is a short vision. Will you wear any hat on your had? I think you will think twice about putting anything on your had when going public. So is logo about a look only? Will it be enough to have a nice picture, some cool graphic, so called Nike swoosh or something close to it? Yes - if you are running business that no one knows and no one cares whether you are running a stable or long lasting operation, which will not disappear after few years. Others will pass by and think you are an average and short term thinker, a perhaps small timer with no future. Investing in logo  design that will actually represent  your business, personal character or mission statement, is crucial for well established business/operation. Your logo speaks for you:

  1. "I provide tasty meals that are prepared with special ingredients  and expertise" or 
  2. "I am reliable and strong, I make costumers happy with my quick response" or 
  3. "We are long time in business and know what it takes to provide best quality in our motel." 

People often mistaken logo with a picture. It is hard to draw a line between the two especially when it comes to choosing key functions and characteristics. I suggest choosing and focusing on 5 keywords. So narrow down the  whole business description to 5 most accurate keywords.

Once the logo is made it will be an inspiration for the web design. These two go hand in hand. You can stick any logo into a ready website but it will definitely look like sticked-in-item.  To solve this you need to have website designed based on your logo. The design of your website naturally evolves when the same designer who designed your logo designs your website. Design needs to be consistent. Consistency is a key on creating recognizable dress / image of your business. This is called branding.  

When does your input to a logo designer ends?

When your designer suggestions are not appealing to you and your ideas are not close to what he defined as an accurate representation then it is the time for you, as a customer, to let it go or... let him go. Graphic designer is not a mouse-pusher. Limiting his creativity only will hurt you at the end. However if you have made a bad choice in finding good graphic designer you will have to pay. It is suggested to listen what he has to say before and during the whole design process. Please read an article "how to choose a designer?"

Monday, September 13, 2010

Three mistakes people make while designing their logo

First logo mistake
Your logo is too busy or too complex
Logo must be simple but of course not simplistic. Simple and smart ideas do not come easily. Simple enough so people can notice it and smart enough so pople can understand what is your business about in few seconds. A logo could have a name of the business and if needed short tag line. Tag line is not your advertisement but concise statement giving additional  idea about a business, its mission statement or an extra value. From prectical view point logo should be clear even when it is printed on a pin, pen or re-created as embroidery. Complex logo design will not pass this test. The owner of such logo will have a limited possibilities of using it.

Second mistake

Misleading logo

A logo miss-representing your business by usage of irrelevant elements and symbols. Example: a home renovation contractor loved his countryside home so he wanted to have the serene local landscape reflected on his logo. 

Logo should be very informative. You have 3 seconds to tell people about your business in which they make their opinion. To communicate to them most essential information about you through logo design is crucial. Remember logo is not a picture although it leaves a pictorial impression in the mind. Synthesize, symbolize, minimize... while looking for the best suited elements, colors and font.   

Third mistake

Poor typography
Logo that uses font that does not correspond with the theme of the logo or character of the business.

Knowledge of typography is necessary. Fonts are like a living persons. You should study many fonts and use them accordingly. Also designing a logo with poor selection of font  (type face) will not yield best result. Again, following he path of masters will be quite helpful.    

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Most important things in designing a logo

Most important thing in designing a logo is a clear concept. The concept should not be abstract but intuitionally connected with the story. The story is second important thing after the concept. I would always advise to take time before drawing and listen to client who knows the story. If the story is not clear the best is to make client think but asking him to summaries a description of his/her business, operation or project in five keywords. The third most important thing is to make you client part of the logo deign process. Mentioned five keywords will help to establish this process. So the key points in designing a logo would be:
  1. Clear concept
  2. Well formulated story
  3. Client's involvement
I will also talk about major mistakes while designing a logo i my next postings. Meanwhile try these and let me know how did it work for you.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Will logo design become our forte?

Logo design as for now is our main design service after web design. Vancouver is full of wonderful designers and programmers. We are here to contribute to this creative community without being competitive. Now is the time. I think that every one should do his best the best think he does. And although I currently cover many facades of web design and branding I will be more effective and efficient in designing full fledged logos. My plan is to have it promoted as the main service without loosing the web contracts. A major SEO and offline work has to take place and slowly redirecting toward different clientele. By logo design I mean complete design with extensive research and thorough design ideas and development. This will be a great challenge and inspiring switch in development of our business. Matyas Media Imaging for Advertisement will return to its design roots through inspiration and hard work.