Archive for the ‘Design Tips’ Category

Creating a Logo that Makes a Good Impression

Hiring-a-good-logo-designing-company-to-create-your-logoAs the old adage goes, you only get one chance to make a good impression. And, for small businesses, it’s vital to make a good impression with branding. Without a strong logo, your branding will fail to send the message that you do great work.

Consider these five tips from Entrepreneur.com:

Don’t be generic.
Your logo needs to convey what you do and who you are, and leave a positive brand impression. That’s why small business logo design is a different animal from corporate logo design. Corporations can throw enough money into marketing to ensure that people associate any symbol or graphic with their name. Small businesses don’t have that luxury: Each impression is so important. You need to very quickly connect with your audience members and give them something to latch on to — at the same time that you give them something disruptive in your competitive space.

Pick typography that reflects what you stand for.
The vast majority of small business brands are built upon two primary elements: their typographic elements and their graphic or iconic element. Together, these factors form the basic structure for most logo designs. Typography communicates much about your brand — whether it’s a brand that’s whimsical or elegant, established or common, fresh or futuristic. Your typography should be in harmony with, and balance with, the graphic or icon in order to optimize the audience’s first impression.

Choose colors wisely.
Certain industries have very typical color palettes that are traditional to their industry. For example, heating and air conditioning companies often use red and blue in their branding.

Consider how your logo will be used.
Whenever possible, avoid using a logo that requires a lot of explanation. If your small business relies on outdoor media, such as signs or vehicles, a memorable icon is especially important. One simple test is to cover up the lettering and simply look at the graphic. Does it give the viewer an idea as to the nature of the business?

Hire a pro.
With so much of your success riding on how well your branding performs, this isn’t the place to cut corners. Yet, so many businesses look for the least expensive option, because they don’t understand the value of a good brand and how it will affect their chances of success. The most important part of any branding exercise is an open dialogue between the brand strategist and the client. Choose a firm where you will speak directly with the person developing your brand.

NJC Printing provides quality digital and offset printing to businesses in St. Louis, Missouri and throughout the Midwest. Please visit our website at www.NJCPrint.com to learn more about us or to Request An Estimate.

What Font is Best For Me?

Whether you’re a blogger, editor, copywriter, or a designer you can learn all about the different type faces and which will work best  for you. We thought this article Decoding the Secret Lives of Typefaces –  courtesy of the fine folks at Cartridge Discount, would be a very insightful and useful tool to go by.

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NJC Printing provides quality digital and offset printing to businesses in St. Louis, Missouri and throughout the Midwest. Please visit our website at www.NJCPrint.com to learn more about us or to Request An Estimate.

“Let me give you my business card”

dd122aThe digital world has changed just about everything we do in business — sending mail, signing contracts, attending meetings, even networking. The business card is still one “old school” way of presenting yourself professionally.

Think about the number of times you hand out business cards to customers,  future prospects, and other connections.  A memorable business card can be the stepping stone to a great first impression.

Standard cards can do just that, but what if you are looking for something with a little more kick to it. Edge painting, edge coloring, colored edges – call it what you may, is the newest trend in business card design. The process is not new by any means, but it’s definitely getting a lot of exposure these days and with good reason – it makes a huge impact.

Click on the link and check out some of these samples, and let us know what you think of them. Would it be a product you would consider spending a little more money on? Edge Painted BC

 

NJC Printing provides quality digital and offset printing to businesses in St. Louis, Missouri and throughout the Midwest. Please visit our website at www.NJCPrint.com to learn more about us or to Request An Estimate.

Collaborate! Doodling is Incredibly Useful in Business!

Picture-20We’ve all been there. You’re sitting at a long table in a meeting, and that giant cup of coffee you just chugged is doing nothing to help your focus. Your thoughts begin to wander as the speaker’s voice slowly fades into the background. Pen in hand, you start to doodle. By the end of the meeting, you have a full page of random sketches. There’s a rabbit jumping into a puddle, two bumper cars crashing into each other, and the word “engagement” written repeatedly in various sizes and fonts.

So doodling is only a childish distraction for people with short attention spans, right? Wrong. Quality doodling isn’t about zoning out, but rather processing information and thinking visually. With a little strategy, doodling can be an amazing tool for boosting productivity and creativity in the workplace. This is why (and how):images

The Benefits
– It promotes immersive learning. Everyone has a different learning style, but drawing (kinesthetic) while listening to information (auditory) leaves you with a graphic record (visual) of your thoughts, making it a tool that’s useful for all kinds of learners.

– It helps focus and memory. A 2009 study from the University of Plymouth found that those who doodled during a phone call recalled 29% more information than those who didn’t. Because doodling allows you to process information on a deeper level, you’ll be able to remember things more clearly.

– It makes brainstorming better. Seeing your ideas on paper allows you to see connections you hadn’t thought of and expand upon your thoughts. The free-flowing nature of doodling will help you think outside of the box.

doodle
The Strategy
– Learn (or create) a visual alphabet. Developing recognizable symbols will give you some consistency and enable you to doodle more quickly.

– Use words as well as pictures. If you’re trying to identify demographics of a target audience, write down a few key words and see what drawings they inspire.

– Don’t get caught up in how it looks. You don’t need to be Picasso to doodle. It is a way of thinking, not an artistic method, so don’t stress about your misshapen stick figure.

– Collaborate! Doodling is incredibly useful in business settings because you can do it as a team. Your coworker’s sketch might just spark a new idea for you.

– Make sure you have the right tools. To implement doodling in a business, provide large whiteboards in meeting rooms and small ones for each employee’s desk. Even a pad of paper and permission to sketch freely is enough to get your team excited about thinking in this creative way.

NJC Printing provides quality digital and offset printing to businesses in St. Louis, Missouri and throughout the Midwest. Please visit our website at www.NJCPrint.com to learn more about us or to Request An Estimate.

“Radiant Orchid” Pantone’s Versatile Color of the Year!

2014_Color_trends_radiant_orchid_1Pantone is a company best known for its Pantone Matching System, which allows for standardized color reproduction and easy color communication between printers, designers, retailers and consumers. But Pantone has increasingly become a trendy household name. People love buying Pantone’s home goods in specific shades, and magazines and news organizations feature articles on Pantone’s Color of the Year. For 2014, Pantone’s chosen color is Radiant Orchid, which the company describes as “an enchanting harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones, Radiant Orchid inspires confidence and emanates great joy, love and health. It is a captivating purple, one that draws you in with its beguiling charm.” You may or may not think that a color picked out by a company has anything to do with your marketing, but incorporating Pantone’s Color of the Year shows that your brand is relevant (and has darn good style.) Here’s what you need to know about Radiant Orchid:

How It Was Picked
To pick the color, Pantone begins searching in the spring of the previous year. They look to high-end fashion brands, films that are in production, popular travel destinations, circulating art collections and other incredibly timely inspirations. The company said they chose 2014’s color because “Radiant Orchid encourages expanded creativity and originality, which is increasingly valued in today’s society.”

What to Pair It With
Believe it or not, Radiant Orchid is an incredibly versatile color. Pantone recommends pairing it with other vibrant colors, such as turquoise, teal, royal blue and light yellows. If these palettes are a little too outside of your comfort zone, consider tying it in with neutrals like gray, beigeradiant-orchid-pantone-2014-color-53-int and taupe. Though a light pinkish purple color may seem inescapably girly, when used in small doses and paired with basic colors, it can have mass appeal.

How to Use It
You still might be thinking that Radiant Orchid has no place in your branding, but even the most masculine and minimalist of companies can find a tasteful way to use it. Try it out as a border on your next direct mail piece or promo poster. If you’re handing out promotional t-shirts, order some in the shade. Have you updated your social media profile photos lately? Play around with your logo to see if you can incorporate it in some small way. If you love to be up on the latest trends in design, you’ll probably enjoy figuring out how to use 2014’s favorite color. But if it’s not your cup of tea and seems a little unnecessary, remember that Pantone holds a lot of power, and one color can make your company seem modern and trendy.

NJC Printing provides quality digital and offset printing to businesses in St. Louis, Missouri and throughout the Midwest. Please visit our website at www.NJCPrint.com to learn more about us or to Request An Estimate.

Infographics are Captivating…Fun to Read…More Likely to be Shared

Infographic-post-image

First things first: an infographic is a collection of data presented in a visually appealing manner. When done right they’re captivating, fun to read, and are more likely to get shared.

Here’s why you should utilize them in your content marketing:

They’re Compelling
People love facts. Things like:

Honey is the only food that will not rot—it can remain edible for over 3,000 years.

The hair on a polar bear is not white, but clear. They reflect light so they appear white.

Researchers have determined that most people are happiest at 7:26 PM on Saturday night.

These factoids—and those presented in your infographic—are attention grabbing. They literally catch people’s eyes and enhance the value and appeal of your content. As humans, we are better at quickly interpreting visual InfographicAboutInfographics_050312information over words. People are more likely to retain information presented in infographics (supposedly, people only retain 20% of what they read). And since 2010, searches for infographics have increased by 800%—that’s love.

Presents a lot of Content
Infographics are snackable content—something we can munch on between meals. They’re accessible, scannable and easily understood. They force you to cut the fluff and present the meat of the subject in a visually appealing way. Face it, people are lazy. And visual content is easier to take in than written content.

Boosts Traffic
Sharable content can only be a positive for your business’s website. And tasty tidbits like infographics are constantly being circulated—if done well. Infographics are commonly referred to as link bait (content within a website designed specifically to encourage people to link to your website). If people link back to your infographic, you’ll likely get a boost in rankings from search engines.

But don’t misunderstand us, you can’t simply toss a couple of stats on an image and call it good. Quality infographics worth sharing take careful planning and time. So if design isn’t in your wheelhouse, hire someone who’s experienced with design or illustration to ensure that your infographic is picture perfect.

Shows Thought Leadership
They say you don’t fully understand something until you can explain it simply to someone else. And we agree (with whoever “they” is). And infographics highlight your knowledge of a subject to potential clients. They show that you have an expert understanding within your field and make you stand out amongst competition.

NJC Printing provides quality digital and offset printing to businesses in St. Louis, Missouri and throughout the Midwest. Please visit our website at www.NJCPrint.com to learn more about us or to Request An Estimate.

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