Monthly Archives

May 2018

What’s in a Logo, Anyway?

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Now that we’ve determined that a brand is more than a logo, let’s go further and look at each one individually. So this week, let’s talk about what makes a good logo exactly? We’ve laid out some easy recommendations that will aid you in making an iconic design.

Limit Complexity

A minimalist approach to logo design is often the most effective. The simplest design allows your logo to be used across a wide range of media (think business cards, billboards, websites, etc). A simple logo is more easily recognized which means that it has a greater chance of having an endless and enduring quality. Perfect examples of logos like this are from corporations such as Apple, Google, FedEx

Keep it Relevant

Your logo should appropriately reflect the business it represents. Make it relevant to the industry, your potential clients, and to the audience you’re catering to. You will need to do a lot of in-depth research in order to determine your client’s world. Without this knowledge, designing a logo that will successfully separate your business from your competitors will be a challenge.

A word of caution, your logo doesn’t have to literally reflect what your company actually does. Just because your company builds airplanes, doesn’t mean your logo has to be a plane.

Make it Stand Out

A distinct design is necessary to distinguish your from your adversaries. It has to have a noticeable aspect or unique style that will be sure to grab your future client’s attention. So how can this be done? Start by focusing on making the design so recognizable that just the outline of your logo stands out. Making the decision to work only in black and white may help you construct a more distinct shape. While color is important, it is secondary to the form or model of you logo.

Be Memorable

You only have so much time to make an impression so you’ll need a logo that is easy to commit to memory after just once glance. For instance, pedestrians looking at a bus passing by or noticing a billboard while driving don’t have enough time to take it all in, so we need to grab their attention quickly.

So how do we accomplish this one element of logo design? I suggest thinking about designs that made an impact on you in the past. What is it about those logos that stands out to you? Why do you remember them?

Think Small

I realize that your first instinct might be to imagine your logo across billboards but it’s important to remember that it will need to accommodate a smaller application like a business card or badge. Remember that your logo will need to be adaptable, this will end up saving you substantial amounts of cash when it comes to printing, potential redesign, and much more.

When in comes to a versatile logo, simplicity is key. Your logo should work at a minimum size of about one inch without losing any detail and the best way to achieve this is to keep it simple. This will also increase your chance of creating a design with some significant staying power.

Be Iconic

Most logos work best with an icon. By icon, we mean a small illustration, shape or image that goes along with the name of the company. Let’s look at Deutsche Bank for example, who paid $16 million back in the 90s to create their new logo that included an icon that everyone would be able to associate with their brand, without the name being present – that’s what a truly great icon, and brand, will accomplish. But, as simple and expensive as Deutsche’s is, it’s never truly been elevated to that level. BP, on the other hand, has certainly done this, along with the likes of Facebook and Twitter, with the F and T respectively. If designed well, the icon can be incorporated into extended branding for decks, business cards and much much more.

By following this helpful little guide, your logo design has every chance of gaining iconic status. Stay tuned for next week’s blog, we’ll be discussing how to design and develop a great brand identity.

A Brand is More Than a Logo

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So you’ve started a business… congratulations, you little entrepreneur.  Now is the time you start questioning everything. “What next? What is our brand?”

Obviously your next step is to design your logo, right? Brand = Logo. You’ll need something memorable, something straightforward and impressive. Your logo should be a way for customers to identify your product or services, your signature. It needs to represent you. But before we get ahead of ourselves here, it’s important to understand the difference between a brand and a logo. In this three part-blog series I’ll be breaking down the brand building basics. Your topic for today: a brand is more than a logo.

The branding process does not stop at the creation of your logo, this is an all too common mistake that agencies make, not just clients. Think of a brand as the total package and a logo is the box it comes in. While a logo is necessary, it is only an introduction to your brand and a brand is everything that a person experiences when they interact with your business. See the difference?

A good logo is a vital brand asset that will help distinguish you from your competitors and communicate your bottom line to the public. Your brand, on the other hand, carries a higher level of responsibility. It is your personality and all the associations that are made by the consumer with your company. While a designer will certainly build the foundation of your brand, it’s actually your audience that ends up shaping it. Your brand must coincide with the goals of your company, that way you can begin to make an informed branding strategy.

Your brand extends beyond the logo in a number of other ways too: It’s the accent color you choose for the pitch deck; it’s the way your business culture intersects with the brand; it’s the copy that you use for your mission statement; and it’s the tone that copy and artwork jointly set that defines the essence of your brand.

I understand that it’s easy to want to focus on logos at first because they’re more tangible but don’t put the cart before the horse. Don’t get me wrong, you need a logo but you need to think of the bigger brand picture. Your company vision along with customer perceptions and experiences will give you a better understanding of how to tweak your product or your services in order to become what you want your customers to perceive you as.

Hopefully we could provide some clarity and clear up any confusion you might have had about branding and logo design. Comments, questions, or concerns, feel free to contact us. We love feedback!


More on logos next week, stay tuned!

GDPR Doesn’t Have To Be Scary

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The General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, enforcement date is fast approaching. If you haven’t heard of it or you don’t know what I’m referring to, don’t worry, your good friends at GB Agency are looking out. We’ll provide you with all the information you’ll need to know in order to become compliant with this new legislation.

GDPR is a European regulation that will go into effect on May 25th, 2018, which is right around the corner. It is a big deal and it will change the status quo significantly. How? Well for starters, it will place a lot of pressure on both EU and non-EU based businesses to provide more privacy and data security.

What You Need to Know

The GDPR is an update to the existing legislature called the Data Protection Directive. It will be enforced throughout the entirety of Europe including the UK. It’s a new set of rules and regulations that have been established in efforts to increase security. The idea behind it is for data handlers to offer better protection and privacy controls to the citizens. Businesses will need to adhere to these new precautions and processes concerning consumer data.

I know what you’re thinking, “This doesn’t apply to me, my business operates in the US.”

Yes, it is a EU law BUT any business, team, or brand that collects, holds, stores, processes any personal data from citizens of the EU will have to follow these new guidelines and specifications that are outlined by the law. And it’s not just consumers, it’s your employees, any personnel, clients and potential clients that are based in the EU.

What You Should Do

The legislation is pretty complex but we simplified it down to the following key factors:

-You will need to have an idea of what data you have and why you collected it

-The data you have collected will need to be organized and preserved accurately

-Establish all parties involved because you will need to provide access if necessary for security measures

-Conceal sensitive information that you or anyone else would not want to be exposed through encryption

-Begin implementing a security-aware culture within your business

– In the event of a security breach or attack, be prepared  to respond quickly

Create a strategy to encompass all these action points and make sure to put it into place before May 25th. Call us and we can help!

It’s not really that much of a difference if you and your company already value the protection of data that you process regularly. As a business owner, maintaining a high level of security should be of the utmost importance so be smart. Don’t keep data on a public server, encrypt sensitive information and always implement strong authentication systems, ultimately take as many precautionary measures as you can.

What You Can Expect

You will need to adhere and comply with these new regulations. Expect your budget to increase. This is not something that you will want to outsource to another company. You will need to take the steps to make sure that you install security, protection, privacy and any similar protocols into the framework of your company. Training and educating each individual that is involved in any process of data collection will need to occur. Every person will need to maintain proper protocol in order to protect privacy and security.

What Will Happen If You Don’t Comply

If you decide to ignore the law, you may face fines up €20m or 4% of your global annual turnover. That’s right, you read that correctly… roughly $23,000,00 US.

Don’t Panic, But You Do Need To Act Before May 25th

We’re here to help – you have an opportunity to save a lot of your data but you should act fast. In addition you’ll need a new privacy policy and to make sure your website and email communications are compliant. Call GB today and we’ll make sure you have nothing to worry about.

Website Dos and Website Don’ts

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It can be a ruthless environment when it comes to website design. People can become more focused on funneling visitors to their site that they fail to remember how to keep them engaged once they’re there. Attention spans are pretty low these days. According to the Nielson Norman Group, “users often leave Web pages in 10–20 seconds, but pages with a clear value proposition can hold people’s attention for much longer.” So you need to grab visitors quickly or they will just leave. You also need to take it one step further and create a site that is worth returning to and sharing on other social media platforms. Have no fear, we’re here to help. Let’s take a look at some common pitfalls that you can avoid as well as some simple tips to improve the conversion rate of your website.

DON’T Build a slow-loading site
Remember, you have 10 seconds, 20 max, to make a lasting impression. People are not going to wait around for your slow site to load…ever. While flashy gimmicks may seem like a great idea, they come at a price. And that cost is frequently performance.
DO this instead
A websites ability to function will always outweigh any fancy animation.  User-ability is the most important aspect of a one’s web experience. Instead, concentrate on creating quality content which will always produce a longer lasting effect on visitors
DON’T clutter your site
Clutter leads to confusion and confusion is a guaranteed way to lose visitors. Using elaborate elements to set your site apart will end up having an adverse effect. If there’s too much going on, users won’t know where to click.
DO this instead
Allow your content to take center stage in your user’s experience. Make it easily accessible. When building your site ask yourself the following questions:
Is it simple?
Less is more. Is there something that can be removed in efforts to achieve the goal of the site?
Is it consistent?
Consistency is King. Avoid changes in layout and/or website theme. The display should remain the same from page-to-page.
Is the spaced accordingly?
Make sure to leave enough whitespace around text and design elements. You want to avoid having all your content bleed together.
Is it organized?
Break up content into different sections. Don’t cram content all in one area, spread it throughout the site.
DON’T include poor call to action
It is crucial that your website has some sort of objective. Your aim is to persuade people to choose your product or service, right? So direct visitors towards that objective as easily as possible. Enter your the call to action.
It is such a common mistake for web designers to place their call to action in hard to find places or they write a call to action that doesn’t even direct visitors at all. This creates confusion and we all know what that means…users leaving the site.
DO this instead
Your call to action should stand out, put it in a prominent location. Users shouldn’t have to guess, tell them exactly what you want them to do. Generally, the most effective place is above the content.
If you can avoid the web design blunders mentioned above, your end product will be a site that is simple but effective enough to capture and hold visitors which will ultimately lead to conversion.