From social media graphics to freebie downloads, and podcast covers to brochures, there are so many materials and ‘things’ within your business that need designing. Of course, working with a professional graphic designer (ahem!) will ensure everything your business puts out into the world looks on-brand and gorgeous, but it’s not always possible to outsource your brand’s design needs – I get it. So, how do you design things yourself? Well, the answer to that question really depends on a few factors such as your brand personality and the purpose of the material. It’s a whole other post in itself (note to self – write that post!). Instead, today, I want to share ‘5 mistakes to avoid when designing materials for your business’… as they are five mistakes that apply to most brand personalities and all sorts of business materials, so should help lots of you.
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…finding a way to encourage creativity back to the table, when it would rather be holidaying in the Caribbean with a pineapple mocktail in hand and a floral lei round its neck, is so important.
If you are anything like me, then around this time every January you hit a bit of a wobble. Not necessarily complete overwhelm, but that slightly unsettled feeling that goes hand-in-hand with imposter syndrome (doubting your abilities), tiredness, and a disheartening realisation that you’ve got a long to-do list to get through before you can reach those new year’s goals! The kinds of thoughts and feelings that don’t always lend themselves to creativity – which can be somewhat of an issue when your work relies heavily on creative ideas and tasks. There is a little trick, however, and quite an obvious one at that (though, that’s not to say it’s easy). ‘What is this magically-simplistic-but-takes-some-perseverance-to-implement tactic?’ I hear you ask. Well – if you’ve fallen into a slump, then making time for creativity will improve your creative business. Ta-da! I told you it was simple. Okay, let me explain…
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Accepting the truth (‘no, my business is not fulfilling me’) opened my eyes to what I actually wanted to do in my career and life. Then, and only then, did everything start slotting into place.
It’s that time of year again, isn’t it? When we all start reflecting on the past twelve months and thinking ahead to what the new year might bring. This time last year I was in a very different headspace to now. I knew I wasn’t happy in my old business, and wanted change, but I didn’t really know what that meant or looked like. It was also hard to accept I would be turning away from years of hard work and passion, in building up my first business…but I was certain I needed to find a different path. It took me a few months to work out exactly what I wanted and needed to do, but ultimately it came down to some very basic questions. The most important of all: is my business fulfilling me?
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Whether you are just starting out in business and need content for your website and social media, or you’ve been going strong for a few years and need some elements that fit where your brand is heading – bespoke brand graphics and illustrations can help your business. Here’s how…
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If you often find yourself wondering ‘what’s all the fuss about fonts, the hype with the type, and the lingo of the letters?’ then this one’s for you…
A few weeks ago, I had an amusing discussion with a client when working on her branding design – about fonts. About how much I love typography and the different message, emotion and personality you can convey with it, and how she really didn’t get what the big deal was. Fast forward to only recently, when I was designing branding for my husband’s new venture (he’s starting his own school – cue unashamedly proud plug: STEM School), and my husband also didn’t see what was so interesting about choosing the right fonts. In fact, when I presented two very different options to him his comment was simply ‘they look the same’!
I understand that not everyone gets as much joy from those pretty little letters as us designers, but I thought it might be helpful to give a guide for anyone struggling to get their heads around the topic.
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When starting a business, or looking to rebrand, finding your niche can feel like a daunting task. I get it, it’s a big deal. Your niche dictates the scope of your future work, who you will work with, and what you will be doing with your time. Now, I’m not a business coach and I’m certainly not an expert in marketing strategy but I had a big realisation when finding my own niche and it’s a thought that might just help you. So, here it is – my tip for finding your niche…
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When I first decided I wanted to write this post I originally came up with the title ‘how to avoid overwhelm’. I quickly realised, however, how unrealistic that statement would be and how much unfair pressure it could create. Experiencing a feeling of overwhelm sometimes, when running your own business, is kind of ‘normal’ (dare I say it). That’s not to say it’s the general or everyday mindset of the self-employed but it is something we all, whether business owners or not, experience at some point and to some degree. Add being entirely responsible for your own job and income into the mix and suddenly the chances of feeling overwhelmed, from time to time, increase significantly.
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That’s quite a statement for a title hey? In truth, I can’t perform miracles in your schedule, there are no quick fixes for your overflowing time blocks, and I’m not a business coach – but here are a few ideas you could implement which might just ease the pressure and give you some ways to save time in your business.
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So, you know your ideal client, you’ve got your branding and messaging sorted, you know what you’re offering, and the enquiries are coming in (or aren’t far away). Now you’ve got to knock each client’s socks off and win the contract…but how? Sending out a simple email response might work (in some scenarios) but an inspiring client proposal document – well – that could be the difference between an ‘I’ll think about it’ and ‘when can we begin?’!
I think of client proposals as somewhere between a quote and a bespoke brochure. Sure, they still give the client the costs and details (as expected in a quote) but, instead of just presenting the client with a set of figures and information in a written email, proposals also visually present what you are offering in a way that makes the client fall in love with you and your work…at least that’s the plan.
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