Understanding the Basics of Color Theory

Every Color has Unique Tones and Meanings

Color theory, which is made up of dozens of concepts and design applications, creates a structure for how we use and describe color. It plays a major role in the visual communication of your brand – every color has its unique tones and meanings. By carefully selecting your colors, you can reinforce the overall message.

Understanding the facets of color theory will help us better appreciate the color that surrounds us in all of its different hues, saturations, tones, tints and application. The terms and principles illustrated in the infographic below are widely accepted and practiced in the art world and every day applications. Read on to learn about primary, secondary, and tertiary colors, combining color, describing color, and how printers produce color.

Understanding the basics of color theory, webdesign
Infographic by Quill

We want to thank our friends at Quill for offering this beautiful tutorial to our readers. To download a copy of this informational infographic, please click here. Don’t forget to visit them when you need office supplies!

Branding with Creative Imagery

Be imaginative. Be expressive. Be original

Creative imagery is alive and well in today’s marketing campaigns. It is simply imagery – the ability to form mental images from things or events – that is imaginative, expressive, and original. It’s truly amazing what some companies come up with to brand, package, and market themselves.

Every business should use some creative imagery at one time or another to enhance their advertising. Here are the three way to bring creative imagery into your marketing efforts:

Creative Imagery in Branding

Branding includes consistency, differentiation, and customer focus. No one is better at branding than Apple. Their message is always consistent; they are modern, refined, and product-focused. They never veer from that message. They have essentially taken the sleek, minimalistic look and claimed it. It has set them apart from their competitors and has allowed them to really feature their products in a way that keeps the focus on their customers. It’s brilliant.

This is an ad campaign that was launched this Spring for wireless headphones with Mac computers, iPads, and iPhones. Simple, product-focused, and elegant.

Creative Imagery in Branding Apple Spring Campaign

Harley Davidson is a great at branding, too. They always promote the freedom and individuality that their products encourage. This print campaign featured images of bike owners that were created by pieces of dismantled motorcycles. The tagline says, “Build yours.”

Creative Imagery in Branding HarleyDavidson

Creative Imagery in Packaging

Packaging can sell a product. As an extension of a company’s branding, packaging is there to create a perception of what the product inside is like. Craft beer companies have become really great at packaging – coming up with catchy names and powerful images for their bottles to intrigue consumers. On the flip side, store brands and smaller companies have always struggled to compete with the packaging of larger companies… leaving their products to seem inferior merely from the look of the box, can, or jar.

Don’t these Beehive Honey Squares look delicious?

Creative Imagery in Packaging Beehive Honey Squares, Branding

Or, would you try these headphones?

Creative Imagery in Packaging Note Headphones, Branding

Creative Imagery in Marketing

Creative imagery can enhance or extend any advertising campaign. The images don’t even need to be flat; they can be three-dimensional. As long as they capture your audience’s attention and create images in their heads about your product or service, the imagery is doing its job.
Nothing says smooth like this couch extolling the benefits of Nivea’s Good-Bye Cellulite Gel-Cream.

Creative Imagery Nivea, Branding

Or, even though it’s obvious this is picture is a giant floor sticker at a mall with people walking across it, it will still make you itch!

Creative Imagery Frontline, Branding

Using creative imagery as part of your marketing strategy can help you reach your audience, maintain your brand, and build a perception around your products or services. Imagery is persuasive. It’s compelling. It’s dynamic. Remember: that image is worth a thousand words, so make it count. If you need help with generating imaginative, expressive, and original ideas and images, contact us we’d love to help.

Conveyance Marketing Group is a marketing and web development company with a passion for delivering strategic, sustainable and affordable marketing and web solutions to start-ups and small businesses. Our service offerings include video, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), inbound marketing, graphic design, logo design, advertising and web design. Our creativity is limitless, let us help accelerate the growth of your company! Contact us today for more information on how we can help you.

Tips for Refreshing Your Logo

Logos need occasional updating.

We recently had a client, Ami Byers of Byers Wallpaper & Painting, come to us for a logo refresh. Conveyance designed her original logo six years ago, and she felt that it was time to do a little updating. It was a great reminder that logos do in fact have a shelf-life.

We talk all the time about trends in graphic design because we follow them. We want our clients to have modern designs that appeal to what their customers want to see right now. If we can’t help our clients get business right now, then they aren’t going to be in business in five years… and neither are we.

Because of this, logos need occasional updating.

Just think: if you went to the store in 2011, would you have chosen the exact same comforter – in the same pattern and the same color – that you would choose today? Probably not. A lot changes in five years. Maybe you are sick of a certain pattern now, or maybe you prefer quilts now instead of comforters. Whatever the reason, the comforter that would have worked for you five years ago just isn’t quite what you need, or want, today.

This logic is the same for business owners. The direction that your business is going in today may be completely different than the direction it was going in five years ago. Or, maybe it’s just slightly different. Either way, periodically updating your logo is a great way to keep your image relevant and hip.

Here are Conveyance’s Three Tips for Refreshing Your Logo:

  1. Don’t feel guilty. We understand; logos are the heart of your business design and it’s easy to get emotionally attached to them. Just like with your home, it’s possible to do a little remodeling on your logo without losing the personality of your business. In fact, the goal of any logo redesign should be to maintain the feel and integrity of the old logo while bringing it up to date.
  2. Keep it simple. The simpler the logo, the less refreshing it will need. While you don’t want to get so simple that your logo becomes generic, the simpler you keep it, the longer it will stay in style. Think of it as a good suit or the perfect black dress.
  3. Be trendy on purpose. You want your logo to appeal to today’s target audience. If you are in an artistic business, then current design trends should heavily influence your logo design. Customers will want to know that you are on top of what’s “hot” right now. The more trend- and design-oriented your business is, the more often you will need to revamp your logo to appeal to customers.

Before you begin the design process for your new logo, ask others what they think your logo currently says about your business. This feedback is invaluable for the new design, and it usually contains ideas that we, as business owners, would never think of ourselves because we already know what message we want the logo to convey.

And, of course, if you need some help conveying the right message, contact us today. We’d love to help.

Conveyance Marketing Group is a marketing and web development company with a passion for delivering strategic, sustainable and affordable marketing and web solutions to start-ups and small businesses. Our service offerings include video, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), inbound marketing, graphic design, logo design, advertising and web design. Our creativity is limitless, let us help accelerate the growth of your company! Contact us today for more information on how we can help you.

Graphic Design Trends for 2016

A Tale of Polar Opposites

The graphic design trends that we are seeing in 2016, are a tale of polar opposites. It’s illustration versus realism, and minimal versus bold. Here are Conveyance’s top ten graphic design trends to watch for 2016:

  1. 2D Animation and Cinemagraphs – 2D animation is simply old-school animation – think Disney movies like Cinderella and Fantasia. Cinemagraphs are still photos with minor movements. The resulting picture comes in either GIF or video format and gives the illusion of movement – just enough to catch someone’s eye. These have been all over Facebook as of late.
  2. Illustrations – Illustrations are extremely popular and vary from traditional to whimsical – with everything in between.
  3. The New Retro – Mid-Century is out and the ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s are in, with a definite emphasis on the latter two. Being unpopular is cool again – and the nerdier the better. Artists are taking iconic items like boom boxes and putting a modern spin on them with a clean, minimalistic approach.
  4. Big, Bold Colors – Take the bright neon from the ‘80s and kick it up a notch. You’ll find neon everywhere, as well as other bold, saturated colors. If they are using color, you’ll notice it. (Take a look at our logo development blog to see the bright colorful palette our client selected.)
  5. Geometric Shapes – Again with a nod to the ‘80s, geometric designs are popping up all over the place. This trend isn’t just taking over the web; you’ll see it in designs from wedding invitations to wrapping paper.
  6. Material Design, aka Flat 2.0 – You can thank Google for the continued push for material design. It’s all about making the digital world look real. Shadows and lighting effects are being used for depth and movement. Material Design also tends to lean towards minimalism, with lots of white space and clean lines.
  7. Card-based or Modular Layouts – This may seem like more of a web design trend, but it falls into the graphic design category, too. Cards and tiles create clean, geometric spaces to place content. Apple is still utilizing a modular layout on their homepage, and so is Dell.
  8. Negative Space – A really cool trend this year is emphasizing the negative space in the design. You know how it works – you look at an image and see one thing, and then realize the negative space is showing another image altogether. These designs are so creative and unique; it will be interesting to see where they go in 2016.
  9. Exciting Typography – It’s all about being daring, lively, and theatrical. The bigger and bolder, the better.
  10. Minimal and Abstract – We’ve saved the biggest trend for last. Clean lines, white space, and abstract shapes are everywhere this year. Some of the abstracts remind us of the art from the ‘80s – go figure.

It’s hard to know what we’ll see when 2017 starts to knock on the door. All we know is that 2016 is the year of beautiful juxtapositions. We can’t wait to see what designs we come up with this year.

Conveyance Marketing Group is a marketing and web development company with a passion for delivering strategic, sustainable and affordable marketing and web solutions to start-ups and small businesses. Our service offerings include video, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), inbound marketing, graphic design, logo design, advertising and web design. Our creativity is limitless, let us help accelerate the growth of your company! Contact us today for more information on how we can help you.

Conveyance Logo Creation Process

We take the branding principles of consistency, differentiation, and customer focus to heart

Creating a logo takes a lot of planning and creativity. At Conveyance, our logo creation process is all about capturing the essence of a client. Branding begins with a logo, so getting it right is extremely important.

We have six steps when we develop a logo:

  1. Researching. Once a client decides to have us design their logo, we send them what we call a “Brand Personality” worksheet. We use this worksheet to help establish the company’s likes, dislikes, and needs. When we meet with the client, we discuss the company’s operations, who their target audience is, and what expectations they have of their logo. We also get a good idea of the types of colors and typefaces that the client likes.
  2. Creating. In this stage, we start brainstorming and sketching out ideas. This step is usually the longest because we want to come up with several viable design concepts to work with. First we present a series of mood boards to the client to narrow down and define the color pallet. Next we begin sketching out ideas.
  3. Refining. After we have a variety of sketches, the Conveyance team then selects the best ideas to convert into digital format. At this point, the logos are honed in stylistically – illustrations and fonts are set and ready for digital conversion.4Presenting. Next, the new digital logos are presented to the client in grayscale. Once the client selects their favorite designs, the colors from the mood board are applied. It’s not unusual for a client to have two sets of mood board colors they want to see on the logos.
  4. Revising. Feedback, feedback, feedback! We make any changes that the client requests at this stage, including any variations they would like to see with colors, fonts, or sizing.
  5. Finalizing. When everything is perfect, the client approves their new logo and we finalize it in vector format. The client gets the logo, a business card design, and social media badges. Most importantly, a style guide detailing all the approved logo uses and the primary and secondary color pallets is provided.

A great logo will aid a business in its marketing efforts. We take the branding principles of consistency, differentiation, and customer focus to heart throughout the entire logo creation process. If your logo doesn’t meet the requirements for good branding, then it’s pointless.

If it seems like a lengthy process, you’re right! We understand the significance of having a spectacular logo when either starting a new business or rebranding an existing one.

Here are the steps from a visual perspective …

Logo Design - Mood Board Presentation

Logo Design – Sketching
Logo Design - Sketching

 

Logo Design – Converting to Digital
Logo Design - Converting to Digital

 

Logo Design – Refining of Client Selected Logo
Logo Design - Refining of Client Selected Logo

 

Logo Design – Final Logo
Logo Design - Final Logo

 

Brand Style Guide
Logo Design - Brand Style Guide

When we create a logo that launches a brand, we know we’ve done our job. Thank you Calexar for letting us use you as our example … check out their website, we did that for them too – notice how we carried the brand colors, fonts and feeling throughout that too!

Conveyance Marketing Group is a marketing and web development company with a passion for delivering strategic, sustainable and affordable marketing and web solutions to start-ups and small businesses. Our service offerings include video, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), inbound marketing, graphic design, logo design, advertising and web design. Our creativity is limitless, let us help accelerate the growth of your company! Contact us today for more information on how we can help you.

Convey It – The Psychology Behind Fonts

Typography strengthens your brand, creates interest, and highlights your message

Content marketing is one of the primary ways of retaining customers, attracting new clients, and generating leads, sales, and profit for a company. While the content itself on a website is incredibly important, another crucial aspect of content marketing is typography. Typography isn’t often given a lot of consideration, but it plays a role in strengthening your brand, creating interest in your product, and highlighting your central message.

We put together a few articles showing what’s trending and how to best convey your visual message.

What’s Trending in Fonts
Last updated on March 3, 2016, These are the 30 best free web fonts available on Google Fonts. They are all open-source and free for commercial use. This link will lead you to the latest version of the font files that you can install on your desktop.

3 Typography Trends in 2016
Currently, there are three typography styles that are trending – retro, watercolor and all caps. We are seeing them everywhere, designers just can’t help but love them. Here’s why, paired with some excellent examples of the trends in use.

7 Fonts Used by Professional in Graphic Design
Although there have been many other most used font posts, most of them outline fonts used by the ‘not-so-well-trained’ designer. In this post the author outlined the fonts that are often used by the more ‘professional’ of designers.

8 Rules for Creating Effective Typography
Every font communicates certain attributes on both a conscious and subconscious level. Two of the major areas of communication are gender and era. Here are some examples.

15 Stunning Font Combinations for Your Inspiration
Sure, you can use a typographic cheat sheet, but that doesn’t always get the job done. So, we thought we’d scour the web for some stupendously stunning combinations, with the aim of giving you some inspiration. Check them out!

Conveyance Marketing Group is a marketing and web development company with a passion for delivering strategic, sustainable and affordable marketing and web solutions to start-ups and small businesses. Our service offerings include video, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), inbound marketing, graphic design, logo design, advertising and web design. Our creativity is limitless, let us help accelerate the growth of your company! Contact us today for more information on how we can help you.

Why You Should Not Build Your Own Website

Don’t Go it Alone …

You’ve finally jumped in headfirst into the entrepreneurial pool, and now you need a website. It’s natural to think that you can do it yourself (DIY). But … here are four things you should consider before starting a DIY website: Cost, Features, User Experience, and Support.

Cost
There are a lot of companies online offering completely free website builders. The problem is, you don’t own your site, you merely “rent” it. If they shut down, you’ll have nothing. If you pay for an inexpensive website builder, those monthly costs will eventually add up. The payments never end, unlike a one-time payment for a website you actually own and that can grow and morph with your business strategy and consumer demands. Just remember: no company is letting you take that free (or cheap) rental site with you. If you move away from companies like these, you’ll be starting over from scratch.

Features
The Internet is full of studies on how long a user will engage with your website. Most experts agree that an average user will stay on a website for somewhere between ten and fifteen seconds before getting bored. That doesn’t leave you with a lot of time to get the user engaged. Not only does your website need to convey your brand visually, but it needs to do what you need it to do. Do you need chat rooms? How about a shopping cart? Website builders aren’t going to get you very far when it comes to customization. You get to choose from the same templates everyone else gets to choose from, with the same bland features as everyone else. If you are trying to separate your business from the crowd, then a website builder isn’t for you.

User Experience
User Experience (UX) is a hot topic these days. As I mentioned above, you only have a short amount of time to get users engaged in your site. One thing that free site builders give you, in a bad way, is ads. They plaster ads all over your site, sometimes on your home page. You have no control over their placement or content. If that doesn’t scare you, then perhaps flash will. Website builders love to incorporate a lot of flash. Google hates it and Macs hate it too. Google has said publicly that the slow and buggy nature of flash-laden websites slows their search engine down. Their solution … Flash sites get bumped down in searches, destroying their Search Engine Optimization (SEO). If no one can find you, I guess you won’t have to worry about your UX.

Support
When you are just one of the thousands, your voice isn’t going to be heard. Hiring a professional website designer gives you a dedicated support line; there’s no wait times or jumping through hoops, or being pointed to the online tutorials. A professional website can also give you site analytics that are accurate and reliable. Website builders are notorious for providing faulty analytics.

There’s no doubt that there is a major market for DIY websites. Just keep in mind that they have significant limitations, and they aren’t always cheaper – especially when you factor your time into the cost. Choose wisely; your brand depends on it.

Conveyance Marketing Group is a marketing and web development company with a passion for delivering strategic, sustainable and affordable marketing and web solutions to start-ups and small businesses. Our service offerings include video, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), inbound marketing, graphic design, logo design, advertising and web design. Our creativity is limitless, let us help accelerate the growth of your company! Contact us today for more information on how we can help you.

Get the Most Out of Your SEO for 2016 with Tips From Conveyance Marketing Group!

Search Engine Optimization or SEO is the one of the most powerful internet marketing tools to grow your business. It is the process of improving the position your website as it appears in the “organic” search results returned by search engines (for example, Google, Bing, Yahoo). Sites that appear higher up in the results will get more traffic to their pages, and so potentially more business.
Below are some of our best practices for optimizing your website.

 

Site organization – Make sure your site organization is clear and easy to navigate. Good navigation is beneficial both for SEO and for your visitors. A well structure site makes it easy for search engines to find and index your pages.

 

Keywords – SEO is all about Keywords. Know what search terms your potential visitors will be typing into search engines to find a site like yours. Once you have a list of relevant keywords or keyword phrases be sure to use these throughout your website to help search engines find you.

 

URLs – The URLs for your website pages should include the keywords describing the content of each page. This will help the search engines understand what the page is about. Be sure to use hyphens instead of underscores, they are more readable. For example:

http://www.conveyancemarketinggroup.com/home-page/marketing-strategy/

 

ALT Attributes – Search engines cannot read pictures, instead they read the ALT attributes that describe the picture. Take advantage of the media features of your website and add a title, description, caption or ALT text packed with keywords for the pictures on your website. Also make sure the file name for the picture describes the content of the image.

 

Headings, Sub-Headings, Anchor Text – Place your keywords in the headings, sub-headings, bolded sections and anchor texts. Anchor texts is the descriptive information that you use to link to another page or website. Never use “Click Here”!

 

SEO takes time and patience. If incorporating our best practices into your web site is overwhelming contact us and we’d be happy to manage your SEO for you!

 

Conveyance Marketing Group is a marketing and web development company with a passion for delivering strategic, sustainable and affordable marketing and web solutions to start-ups and small businesses. Our service offerings include video, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), inbound marketing, graphic design, logo design, advertising and web design. Our creativity is limitless, let us help accelerate the growth of your company! Contact us today for more information on how we can help you.

Convey It – 2016 Website Review

It’s a new year, and probably a great time to take a good look at your web design. We put together a few articles and tips to help you determine if your stacks up to your competition and the industry at large.

 

Here’s the must-have list …

  • Is your website responsive – looks good on computers, tablets and phones?
  • Is it focused on the trends that are here to stay?
  • Do you have amazing content that engages your viewer and converts them into sales?
  • Is it visually stimulating in the mood and direction your brand is trying to convey?

Take a look at these articles that we’ve put together to give you a website jump start.

Responsive Design Trends

Looking back over the responsive web deign trends that defined 2015, is what they predicted to be true? Let’s go back and see what actually made the cut. This look back at 2015 web design trends is an interesting read: 8 responsive web design trends that defined 2015

Now that you’ve taken a look back at 2015, let’s leap to what’s coming in 2016.  Do you see any trends that you want to implement into your website this year? Web design trends 2016.

Website Content that Sells

Engaging content on your website is a must; you don’t want to bore your viewers with dry content, acronyms, industry jargon and bullet points.  Take a look at these tip for writing better website content: 10 Tips for writing website content

When putting together your website content your ultimate goal in to convert viewers into sales.  Here are 4 “must haves” to make that happen:  Entertain, Educate, Persuade, CONVERT! 4 types of Content that every website needs.

Website Color and Visuals

A lot of designers hyper focus on the visual elements of website design.  Incorporating your brand and style guide color palettes into your design is very important.  Here is an example of beautiful web color schemes: Trendy web color palettes and material design color schemes.

 

 

Conveyance Marketing Group is a marketing and web development company with a passion for delivering strategic, sustainable and affordable marketing and web solutions to start-ups and small businesses. Our service offerings include video, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), inbound marketing, graphic design, logo design, advertising and web design. Our creativity is limitless, let us help accelerate the growth of your company! Contact us today for more information on how we can help you.

Business card Boo Boos

Your business card is your calling card, it should be a tool that will get people to remember you and contact your business. But if your business card is poorly designed, has important contact information in unreadable fonts, or looks unprofessional your card will be useless. Be sure your card works hard for you by avoiding these 10 common business card mistakes.

Boo Boo #1: Having a Card that Blends in with All the Rest
The great majority out there leave no real impression and soon become a faint memory. Leave someone with a card that looks great, feels great and clearly defines what your business does – and you and your card won’t soon be forgotten.

There is absolutely no excuse today for an unattractive or unprofessional-looking business card. If you can not afford a professionally designed card, use the many software templates that are available online today to help guide your decisions about what should go on your card.

Boo Boo#2: Presentation of a Poor-Quality Card
An acquaintance of mine just printed up some “home-made” cards. She spent five dollars for an Ink Jet business card kit to print 150 business cards. I was very impressed initially with her card: great use of colors, fonts, and the layout was pleasing to the eye. Then I held the card in my hand: it was feather-light and I could feel the perforations around the sides which were already peeling. There was also a fine white line running through the red ink of the company name.

Don’t skimp, you want to have good stock paper, ink that doesn’t run from a drop of water, and the card should feel substantial and pleasing to the touch. A poor quality card implies a business that will have poor quality products and services. Rather than attracting business, this type of card would most likely repel prospective customers.

BadBusinesscard2Boo Boo #3: A “Mystery”
When someone looks at your card can they tell immediately what your business does? If not, you’re not likely to get as many calls or referrals.

Boo Boo #4: Not Providing a Unique Selling Proposition
Many businesses miss the golden opportunity of utilizing their business card to its full marketing potential. Your card should state at least one very powerful reason a customer should do business with you!

Boo Boo #5: Using an Oversized Card
Common sense dictates the use of the traditional and standard 3.5 by 2-inch business card. Anything bigger will not fit in wallets or most business card holders. Chances are it will end up being filed in the trash bin.

Boo Boo #6: Print that is too Small
Does your business card have a font size so small that you need to hand out a magnifying glass in order for it to be read? Beware of this practice. You may be able to cram more information onto the card with a small font, but what good is it if people can’t read it? Since 95 percent of the population aged 35 or older need reading glasses, a good guideline is to use a type size no smaller than 7-8 point. Your name point can be a little larger; i.e., 9-10 point, and the company name usually looks good at about 12-15 point – unless you have a professionally-designed logo.

Boo Boo #7: A Cluttered Card
An appealing business card does not contain the print content of a novella. Too much print looks busy and terribly unprofessional: Simple is best. Sort out the information and keep only what’s totally necessary for someone to know your name, your company, what you do, and why they should use you — but don’t skimp on your contact information; you want to be easy to reach.

BadBusinesscard3Boo Boo #8: Inadequate or Poor Use of Color
Spice it up with a little splash of color; you’d be surprised what a difference it makes. Avoid the common mistake of grey print on a white background; it lacks contrast and the print is difficult to read.

On the flip side, don’t make the mistake of color-overload. Too many colors that don’t complement one another will make the card look busy and will detract from the content of your card.

Boo Boo #9: Not including email address and website on your card.
Many people use email instead of making phone calls. And people who want more information about your business often want to learn more without a sales pitch. So they go to your website and read about you there. They also will look there for any social media presence you have listed, and then look at those pages. If your email address and website are missing from your card, you are likely to miss out on some business.

Boo Boo #10: Cards that Don’t Get Distributed
What good is having a box full of cards if they’re just sitting there collecting dust? It would serve you and your business better to apply the old axiom, “Use it or lose it.” What can you lose? Business.

Always have a supply of your cards wherever you go. Give them out when appropriate, and while you’re at it, don’t hesitate to give out more than one. Invite people to pass the extras along to others who might need your service. You might be surprised at how often this can result in a referral.

Conveyance Marketing Group is a marketing and web development company with a passion for delivering strategic, sustainable and affordable marketing and web solutions to start-ups and small businesses. Our service offerings include video, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), inbound marketing, graphic design, logo design, advertising and web design. Our creativity is limitless, let us help accelerate the growth of your company! Contact us today for more information on how we can help you.