3 Do’s and 3 Don’ts for the Intro page of your website

The intro-sequence of a website can be a very helpful communication tool. It presents a business’s fundamental values in an engaging way. It influences people into new worlds. It builds up an optimistic image in a couple of seconds. It gives a warm welcome and motivates the user and potential customer to stay. It burns up your message into people’s minds.

It makes visitors enter your website and leave with a smile on their faces.

Like a good movie trailer, it makes people curious and begging for more.

3 Do’s and 3 Don’t’s when creating this web presentation for clients:

3 Do’s :

  1. Educate and Entertain the viewer
  2. Respect bandwidth
  3. Provide a ‘Skip Intro’ button

3 Donts :  

  1. Be boring – try and tickle their interest in whatever it is you’re talking about
  2. Be ugly – be creative and make your intro visually pleasing
  3. Provide useless and irrelevant information

Six Steps To Incorporate Your Branding Into Your Social Media Presence

Six Steps To Incorporate Your Branding Into Your Social Media Presence

It is becoming widely known that social media is now one of the best ways that brands can reach potential customers. No doubt, this can be a challenge for you, as it costs time – which could be spent on providing the core offering of your business.
Social Media, however, acts like the shop front for your brand. Your presence can be seen around the world and draw the attention of people who wouldn’t have otherwise been aware of your product or service. We are so lucky in the 21st Century to be living with globalisation and the ability to trade and market ourselves online. This is where your social media branding comes in to play. Just like a physical store, you want your potential customers to easily get a feel for what your business is all about.
You want them to assess your digital presence in a positive way, appreciating your business style and creating a longing to be a part of what you have to offer.

If you’re already an established business, chances are, you have a somewhat established brand personality. That’s a great start! If this isn’t the case, it’s super easy to build your style and work to keep this consistent throughout your daily business activities.
So without further ado, I’m going to run through six things you can do to make your online shopfront as appealing – and in the end, as profit generating – as possible.

1. Choose the right platforms for your brand
First things first, you need to work out where your customers are active and choose the right social media platforms for your brand. Make sure that you don’t spread yourself too thin as it’s better to do two or three platforms well, rather than have a sub-par effort on more platforms. The two most popular platforms for businesses are Facebook and Instagram. Facebook provides great reach and potential to connect with a high volume of people, some of who will likely be interested buyers. Targeting tools for ads can help you narrow down to your exact customer who will be more interested in what you have to offer, therefore making your ad-spend more effective. The platform is visual, favouring videos and images, however, it is common to have a fair amount of text alongside these updates. On the other hand, Instagram is based almost fully on the visual appeal of the images and videos you upload, with captions only providing the necessary information to go with the visuals. Pinterest is similar to Instagram in its focus on visual content, while Twitter use is not as widespread in Australia, making this platform slightly less valuable than Instagram and Facebook. Personally, I’d steer clear of Snapchat for businesses, unless your target audience is in between the ages of 16 and 22.

2. Craft an appealing, informative bio.
Your profile bio is the first thing people will see when they click on your profile so it is imperative that you nail this! Provide the key information of your business while also establishing your tone of voice (more on this later). Mentioning your industry, address, contact details and hours is the best way lay the initial groundwork with your potential followers. I see too many businesses that don’t utilise this area efficiently, leaving their viewers confused about what the brand offers or how to get in touch. It is also worthwhile including some details about your unique selling point, revealing your mission statement or business values to help identify with your viewers.

3. Your logo is the face of your brand – Use it as much as possible.
Every business needs a logo, it’s as simple as that. Using a logo in your content will create brand recognition and help your community remember who you are. Your logo should be featured not only as your display profile picture, but also in any original content you create. Much like you’d use your logo on your company documents such as invoices and reports, it’s a good idea to place your logo in the corner of your images or at the start or end of your videos. This means that when your content is shared, you’ll gain even further awareness through your recognisable logo – almost like word-of-mouth.

4. Add a splash of colour!
Now, let’s think about the predominant colour of your brand. If you have already set up a website, it is likely you’ll already have two or three colours that stand out on your site. These help portray the vibe of your brand, as each colour has its own deeper meaning. Colours set the mood and help build the tone of your brand. For example, if your colours are predominantly neutral with greys, beige or metallic colours at the forefront, this can establish a feel of luxury and sophistication. Just cast your mind back to year seven art class – red symbolises energy and power while cooler tones like greens and blues are more relaxing and refreshing to the viewer. Once you find your colour scheme, stick to it. This doesn’t mean you’ve got to put a green filter on every single one of your updates, but you can add your brand’s splash of colour here and there, throughout your social media profiles.

4. Establish your tone of voice.
What is your perception of me, based on what I’ve written so far? Am I female or male? Am I young or old? Do I have a friendly or stern personality? All of these aspects of human personality translate directly into your brand personality, whether that’s friendly, authoritative, professional… the list goes on. Your tone of voice is a key way for your customers to understand your brand and decide whether they would, in a way, get along with you.

5. Keep it consistent.
The last but definitely not least step for branding your social media is to keep it consistent. It is important to maintain the other steps in a consistent manner, making sure your logo, colour scheme and tone of voice are used regularly, throughout your business activities. This continuity is what builds a loyal community of followers as they know exactly what to expect when engaging with your brand. Regular updates on social media will keep your brand top of mind for your followers. Consider establishing a routine of posting, whether that’s everyday or only three times a week, depending on your brand content.

I hope these steps will help your social media efforts by implementing your unique and appealing branding, that only you can offer! If you’re having trouble with social media management and would prefer to outsource this work, get in touch with the experts at Crunchy Social for an affordable branding strategy and reliable social media management.

Design and Brand Success: 3 Ways to Improve on your Brand Impact 

Branding is undeniable an important part in the success of your business. Therefore it is key that you consider it early in the process. The following points below are 3 ways that you can improve on your brand impact.

 

  1. Shape A Comprehensive Visual Identity 
    It’s hard for people to visually symbolise your brand if they don’t have a clear idea what it looks like.  Evaluate your brand manual (if you don’t have one, make this the first thing that you get!) and find the gaps in your brand.  Approved logo and variations, fonts, brand elements, colours, basic messaging and image selection criteria are all important in painting a complete picture for your designer to follow. Once done, ensure you have original ‘vector’ files of your logos and brand elements, plus all of your brand fonts.  Set these files up with an electronic copy of your brand guidebook and you can easily supply your complete visual identity to any supplier or media outlet
  2. Optimise For Proficiency And Excellence
    When organising and optimising your brand, both time efficiency and improved quality assurance can be created by correctly applying the principles of design. The ground work of this is the systemising of your brand and visual identity.  From this point, a number of standardised design elements and templates for regularly re-used materials can be created.  Done well and right, you will end up with a design toolkit which allows for a great resourcefulness of design within your brand guidelines, without having to rethink the wheel every time you want to create some new visual communication.
  3. Design For Your Ideal Customers
    With the amount of insight into consumer behaviour available today, and the pressure to constantly ‘market’ to your customer, it might be very easy to forget that design is a massive part of marketing. After putting in a time and effort to make sure your product/service, brand values, and messaging are just perfect for your target market, go the extra mile and make sure that the brand design is just as amazing. You won’t regret it!

 

Cover image by  Fabio Comparelli

What makes a good logo?

A logo is a mark of identity for easy recognition. It is comprised of pictorial or typographic elements and forms part of a bigger identity package to communicate a company’s identity and values. The compression and distillation of meaning from big and complex concepts to a simple mark is what makes good logo design.

What is good logo design?

  1. Good logo design is unique – The logo must easily differentiate the company within its industry.
  2. Good logo design is aesthetic – The logo must be aesthetically balanced and pleasing to the eye.
  3. Good logo design is understandable – A good logo must be contextually relevant and easy to interpret.
  4. Good logo design is truthful – A good logo must honestly represent it’s brand and what the company is about.
  5. Good logo design is timeless – A great logo must be long-lasting and not follow fashion, graphic or cultural trends that are often fleeting and impermanent.
  6. Good logo design is comprehensive and encapsulating – The strongest identities are crafted within critical processes. Valued companies have the simplest logos. Simple logos have clear meanings.
  7. Good logo design is impressionable – A good logo should be easily drawn from memory and able to be versatile and used in multiple touch points.

Three examples of good logo design in Australia

Woolworths

The Woolworths logo had been given a rebrand in 2009, where the “the fresh food people” slogan was made of lesser significance and an icon with the letter ‘W’ was used to represent fresh produce, fresh food, energy and life. The logo uses green which symbolises nature, growth and organic freshness. The balance in the letter and the round shapes signifiy balance, well-being, friendliness, humanity, approachability and openness. The icon is also seen as a positive and energetic person with raised arms. The rebranding proved to be successful in 2011 when the Woolworths Supermarkets was named as Australia’s most valuable brand.

Woolmark

The Woolmark Company is owned by Australian Wool Innovation Limited (AWI), which is a non-profit organisation that conducts research, development and marketing along the worldwide supply chain for Australian wool on behalf of Australian woolgrowers.

In 1964, the iconic Woolmark symbol was created to act as a symbol to provide independent quality assurance on every wool product that it is tagged. The Woolmark logo symbolises pure wool and good quality and is only used on products made of 100 percent wool.The Woolmark logo as designed by Italian graphic artist Francesco Saroglia has been a key element of the Woolmark brand which has grown to become a globally renowned textile quality brand and wool content label.

The Woolmark Company Logo Design Sydney

SBS

SBS is Australia’s multicultural and multilingual broadcaster. It is a broadcasting channel that stands for diversity and storytelling to connect humanity from all cultures and corners of the earth.

The SBS logo is based on the mercator map which is a flattened view of the world in which we live, representing diversity of views in people from all around the world. The logo was redesigned in 2008 as part of the rebrand of the channel to shed its former image. The new logo uses a lighter-cut Helvetica Neue typeface which presents a fresh and crisp image for the company.

SBS Logo Design Australia Broadcaster Channel Television

4 Questions To Ask Before Rebranding Your Business

Branding is so important because not only does it make a memorable impression on your customers, but it also allows your clients to know what to expect from your company. Therefore having a strong brand image is essential and one that is created by aligning with your company values and customer aspirations. The following four questions below will help you get started.

 

Question 1 .     WHO ARE MY CUSTOMERS?

First question to ask is, Who are your clients and who do you want your clients to be? Are your ideal clients already finding you or are you not quite reaching your clients?

It’s not always possible to serve everyone. Refining your focus and identifying the sorts of clients that you want to speak to is key. From here, you can identify what is missing and be able to provide value more specific to your customers’ needs.

 

Question 2.     WHAT VALUE DO I PROVIDE?

After identifying your target audience and customers, you can now ask the question, what value do I provide? Or to put in other words, how can I better serve the needs of my clients? These answers will help open up what you can improve about your business.

 

Question 3.     HOW CAN I BETTER DELIVER VALUE TO MY CLIENTS?

This question relates to your services, products and customer service. Identifying the how is important by evaluating your current methods and what you can build upon. Every element of your business adds to your reputation which enhances your brand.

 

Question 4.     WHAT IS MY COMPETITIVE EDGE?

What advantage do you have over your competitors? What do you do different from your competitors? Why should a potential client choose you?

Knowing what it is that sets you apart provides you with an edge that is also very useful when it comes to rebranding your business.

 

The above questions are simple and short but when honestly answered can help you with communicating your brand to designers and enable them to create or recreate a brand image that is best tailored to you.

Anatomy of a Brand

In the plainest of languages, a brand is a guarantee.

It’s a guarantee of what you offer in your business and also communicates what you do differently from your competitors. A good brand will illustrate both the noticeable guarantee – for example, a prominent cloud based technology – and the intangible guarantee which would possibly include speed, connectivity and design simplicity.

It goes without saying, however that a brand is much more multifaceted, and over time, it takes on a new meaning which also will include the perception of your market. For the purpose of this blog post, we will stay on the basic elements that come together to form a new brand identity in it’s earliest expression.

This visual identity will serve as a the podium on which all expressions of the brand will stand, from printed collateral and website to signage to online advertising or even social media marketing.

The pivotal point of the visual identity is the corporate signature, which normally comprises three core elements: the icon, wordmark and tagline.

We’ve put together a few elements that make up the other layers of this anatomy and that affect the way your business is viewed by your customers:

Branding Agency

Mission

The company mission is the soul of the brand.

Creative Design Agency

Vision

The company vision is the brain of your brand, it guides to reach every goal.

Sydney Brand Design Agency

Values

Like the Mission and vision of the company, core values are its corporeal and pitpat heart.

Branding Agency

Remarkability

It is what that makes your brand unique in the market. Hence is known as the DNA of the brand.

Creative Design Agency

Brand Story

It develops with the years of experiences and connections. It is the personality of the brand.

Brand Identity

Brand Identity

It is like a wardrobe, useful for the grooming of your brand. It enhances the brand through visual content, fonts and even the colours.

Branding Agency

Logo

It is something that you wear everyday. It is the identifiable mark that tells the customer it’s you.

What makes Web Design great? 8 things to think about

1.  Streamlined and engaging content

Every word used for the website should carry weight and meaning. Unnecessary words should be eliminated, and the copy should be edited for grammar and readability. The copy should also have a tone and voice that will appeal to the end user and be engaging and easy to read.

2.  Typography

Typography has always been a powerful visual tool and used to create personality, evoke emotion and set a tone on a website.

Readable text is a critical element for any design project, particularly when it comes to the body copy. Text that is clear and easy to read is crucial, yet also work to match the aesthetics and style of the brand.

3.  Colour

A well thought out colour palette can go a long way to enhance the user experience. Complementary colours create balance and harmony, whilst contrasting colours for text and background will make reading easier for the eye. Vibrant colours are usually used for buttons and call to actions and can also be used in other areas to create emotion. Finally, white space/ negative space is also effective in creating a clean and uncluttered look for your website.

4.  Images

Images are not necessary, but they can be the hero to your website if chosen correctly. Pictures can be part of your branding and help to connect with your audience. Infographics, videos and graphics can also be used to help you communicate information visually.

5.  Layouts that let content shine

“The arrangement of design elements within a given structure should allow the reader to easily focus on the message, without slowing down the speed of his reading”

– Hermann Zapf

A well designed website should be laid out and arranged so seamlessly that the user doesn’t notice the design at all. It should allow users to freely and easily navigate around the site and focus on the content.

6.  Load time

Everybody hates a website that takes ages to load. To minimise page load times consider optimising image sizes (size and scale), combining code into a central CSS or JavaScript file and minify HTML, CSS, JavaScript to speed up their load time.

7.  Mobile friendly

Today, websites are viewed on multiple devices and screen sizes, so it is important to build a website that is responsive and mobile friendly. This means that the website is able to adjust to different screen widths whilst remaining visually pleasing and functional.

8.  Improved design-to-development workflows

Collaboration and communication between designers and developers have been enhanced by new tools including InVision, UXPin, Adobe XD, Slack and numerous others. Fuss-free communication and workflow between designers and developers is crucial in creating effective websites in shorter timeframes.

 

Brand Identity Design

The brand identity is the overall distinctive look of the company or person, and this extends beyond the logo. It will include its application on stationery, websites, advertisements and so on. If the logo is not shown, one should be able to tell the brand apart. For example,  a packet of sizzling fries in its fiery red colour will instantly remind one of McDonald’s fries, even when the name and the logo is not shown.

A logo is fixed, and minor changes can be made to keep up with the evolution of the brand, but the brand identity should be consistent and also flexible.

The elements that make up the brand identity will vary, and this also includes the typefaces, the choice of colours and imagery, and also the style of the copywriting.

Below are two examples of the work Made has created for  Pryor Tzannes & Wallis Solicitors & Public Notaries

The second one is the brand identity for The Skin Hospital.

As illustrated, the identity remains consistent across different mediums, and still manages to remain true to it’s original branding.

Brand Identity Design Agency

Brand Identity Design Sydney

7 Reasons to Invest in Graphic Design

Invest Graphic Design

Sometimes, it can be hard to ascertain whether one should spend the marketing budget on design and artwork. On the other hand, how one’s audience perceives your business is extremely vital to it’s success.

Here are a few situations in which you might need to invest in graphic design:

1.  Your brand is growing

Your brand may be going through a period of significant growth and you may be receiving a lot of new attention to your business and want to make the best first impression to your future customers.

Investing in a new logo, upgrading your website and other elements of your branding can put you in a more powerful position where you can better communicate who your brand is to the people that matter to you.

2 . You want to connect with your customers

Graphic design can be an important tool to help you to connect with your customers on a meaningful level. A brand is much more than a logo, it also encapsulates all that the business believes and is about.

For example, Nike which has made the Forbes list to be one of the most powerful brands in 2017, has a powerful brand strategy using the emotional branding technique of heroism to inspire customer loyalty.  Through graphic design, Nike has been able to communicate its values and strategy powerfully, such that people are able to be touched, moved and inspired by their campaigns.

3.  You are having trouble standing out

If you find your business to be roaming in the woods of massive irrelevance and competition, graphic design can rescue you and help you stand out from the crowd.

You will be surprised how just a well-designed logo and other collateral can help to put you in a much better position.

4.  To stay relevant

Customers tend to expect your business to have a defined profile in public space. If your branding is different from place to place it can ruin the impression your company has on its customers and also create confusion.

Consistency begins with creating a good logo and from there it is useful to engage a creative branding agency to figure out the next steps in creating a brand with a unified voice and identity.

5.  You are preparing for a new product

When launching a new product or service it is always important to ensure you are presenting yourself correctly to the market and making a great impression. Graphic design can help in this way and create something instantly recognised while being aesthetically pleasing. In this way, good design can significantly impact your sales and the success of your product and or company.

6.  Market trends are changing

The market has rapidly transformed over the past decade from what it once was. If your brand has been established for a lengthy amount of time, it is worth considering whether your logo needs to be updated to freshen up its appearance and image.

7.  Saves money in the long run

When graphic design is well considered in the beginning stages of a business it can aid its growth and development. Creating a lasting impression to customers is important and continuation in communicating with them is important for the brand. Poor graphic design can be detrimental to a brand’s image and impact upon its success.

 

What makes a good brand?

You may have heard designers say that brands are much more than just logos, and they’re right.

A good brand is one that is clear in its identity and values and able to communicate it effectively to its audience. A successful brand connects with its consumers and reflects the target market. This involves the brand digging deep to understand its values and understanding its culture to create an identity true to what it stands for. It is also common for rebranding to occur when the brand values have shifted and no longer align to its visual identity. A good brand is one that has developed a unified vision that allows for clear communication, productivity and decision making in every area of the business.

In a world where there is less space and media time for a brand to operate and be viewed, it is the brand that is able to communicate itself succinctly and cohesively that is the most successful. A good brand includes elements such as: colour choice, language, tone, design and the message behind the brand which allow it to shine. The logo is also part of the brand package which serves as the focal point of the brand and is one that is recognised by the target audience, whether good or bad.

A good brand is one that is able to piece together all of the elements and project a unified image that truely reflects the brand’s values.