Category Archives: Branding/Identity

Top 5 Tips for Using Pinterest as a Brand

bkwheeler pinterest

You can find me on Pinterest as bkwheeler

Pinterest is the latest social diva on the scene. But is it a necessity for your brand? Maybe, but only if it’s done right. I’ve put together some do’s and don’ts for building your small business brand on Pinterest.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the fastest growing social network with the funny name, Pinterest is in essence, an online bulletin board. With a staggering 10.4 Million registered users, and growing, interest in Pinterest is spreading fast. Entrepreneur recognized Pinterest as the Next Big Thing in Social Media. Yet the question remains:

How Do You Know if Pinterest is for You?

  • If you have filing cabinets crammed with colorful folders of magazine clippings, notes to self, scraps of fabric, CD covers, greeting cards and inspiring artwork stashed away for that next project…. Pinterest is for you.
  • If your bookmarks bar is filled with links to web pages with DIY instructions, a new fashion trend, a how-to lesson, or a one-time resource that you just don’t want to forget about…. Pinterest is for you.
  • If you are inspired by beautiful photography, graphics, color, images and designs…. Pinterest is for you.

How do You Know if Pinterest is Right for Your Brand?

That’s the tricky question. Just like any form of marketing or social networking, some brands and businesses belong on Pinterest and can benefit from the traffic it will drive. And others are cluttering the marketplace. That said, I think most brands can find a way to benefit from Pinterest, if you know what to do, and what not to do.

Here are my top 5 tips for using Pinterest as a small business brand

1. Provide Inspiration. If there’s one commonality among all Pinterest users it’s that they’re looking for inspiration. It’s not about selling your product, it’s about sharing your interests and building appeal.
DO:  Look for beautiful images and graphics to share.
DON’T:  Grab your camera and start uploading poor quality, cluttered, unattractive images. There’s already enough ugly out there in cyberspace, for heaven sakes don’t spread it.

2. Become an Expert: Think about your niche market and create boards that reflect what your customers want. If you sell real estate, create boards that showcase the communities in which you sell, how-to guides for DIY projects, landscaping ideas, and home models available in the area.
DO: Figure out your area of expertise and showcase it on your boards
DON’T:  Be only self-serving. Content should come from multiple sources, not just your corporate website. In fact, the more variety the better.

3. Balance New and Repinned Content:  One of the goals of Pinterest is to have your content “repinned” by other users. Seek out new content to share with your followers and you’ll see more pins. Your boards should include a balance of items repinned from others, and new content you have discovered and pinned to share. Repinning and “liking” the content of others can help build followers, but it’s the new content that will help drive pinners to follow you.
DO: Add the Pinterest bookmarklet to your browser window so you can pin from any website.
DON’T Forget that social networking is about sharing, so repinning is encouraged.

4. Embed Pinboards on Your Website:  Pinterest allows you to connects with Facebook & Twitter automatically, which I recommend if you want to build followers and share your content. But you can also embed your Pinterest boards on your website or blog. Cross promotion is important in all forms of branding, so why not make every effort to share your pins with web visitors, Facebook fans and Twitter followers.
DO:  Add the Pin it button to pages on your website with imagery worth sharing.

Follow Me on Pinterest

5. Think Like a “Pinner”:  As I mentioned above, Pinterest draws users who are looking for inspiration, how-to guides and the DIY minded. So when you’re creating content for you blog or website, or to share on your boards, feature the type of content these individual crave. If you’re a restaurant you can’t go wrong with recipes and mouth-watering photos of delicious dishes. Travel agencies can capture the dreams of their clients with destinations that scream Spring Break. And construction companies could have feature boards that teach customers the basics of how-to maintenance.
DO: Think about your customer if you’re building a board for your brand
DON’T: Confuse pinning for yourself and pinning for your customers. Create boards with your customers in mind and share what they would be interested in. Otherwise, stick to a personal account.

With the growing popularity of this new social platform there are hundreds of great articles written on Pinterest. If you’d like some additional reading I’d recommend:

Pinterest: 13 Tips and Tricks for Cutting-Edge Users  |

56 Ways to Market Your Business on Pinterest  |

Note: Pinterest is currently an invitation-only website. You can request an invitation from the homepage, but it’s much faster to get in if you are invited. If your inbox isn’t filled with invitations from Facebook friends I’d be happy to send one your way so you can check it out. Just send me an email at


Posted by on February 28, 2012 in Branding/Identity, Social Media


How to Build Your Small Business Brand on Twitter

Do you have a small business? Have you thought about expanding your social media brand on Twitter, but you could use a few tips to get started? As a small business owner I’ve come to appreciate the power of Twitter as a form of marketing. But more importantly, I’ve discovered the secret to building brand success lies in how you use Twitter.

I’ve been sharing my Twitter tips with small business clients because I think it’s an immensely powerful tool if used correctly. Since I believe marketing can be a D.I.Y. skill, I’m going to share some of these tips with you too.

10 Tips to Build Your Small Business Brand on Twitter

1. Logo is the Way to Go

Like all forms of marketing, social media is an opportunity for you to build your brand image. Your logo is the face of that brand. If your twitter account is representing your business, use your logo as the profile pic (aka avatar). Remember, your twitter avatar is tiny. Don’t make the mistake of choosing a detailed picture of your product, seaside location or your dog in a bowtie. Save that for a creative ad campaign where we can make out the details.

2. Consistency is Key

It’s confusing to your followers when you change your business avatar like a runway model in a fashion show. Remember your avatar appears in a constant stream of icons on your follower’s feed. It should stand out and be recognizable to them. A loyal follower may be scanning their feed to see what clever remarks or customer special you’re offering. If they’re searching in vain for the avatar you used last week you’ve just lost a point of contact, and possibly a follower.

3. Don’t Fear the Unknown

Twitter is a great place to follow and be followed by strangers. Unlike on a personal Facebook account, on Twitter anyone can follow you. That’s the nature of the medium, so go with it. When you receive a follower, follow them back if they are legit. And don’t be afraid to chat with a total stranger. They might become a huge ambassador for your brand.

4. Follow Your Yellow Brick Road

Everyone has a different approach when it comes to following on Twitter. My personal strategy is to find and follow businesses and people in four categories: my region, my interests, my customers, and my followers. Start by following other local businesses. It is a great way to connect with your community. Then search Twitter for topics of interest to you and those that affect your business. Next, look for your customers on Twitter so you can build that relationship. And finally follow back those who follow you. They are obviously interested in what you have to say, so why not reciprocate? If you discover their tweets are not what you’d hoped you can always unfollow.

5. Hashtags Help

If you’re on Twitter, you must speak in the native tongue. And that means hashtags. Whether you choose to use them or just follow them is up to you. For the true beginner, a hashtag is any phrase that is preceded with a #. The phrase must appear with no spaces and the # sign first.

Find out what hashtags your industry is using, and add them into your tweets. There are local hashtags like #TCMI for Traverse City, Michigan, industry hashtags like #Marketing and #Design, and niche groups that gather to share ideas, frustrations and links. Places like #youmightbeanautismparentif is where parents of autistic children unite. Searching through hashtags is a great way to find new followers and engage with those who share your passion.

6. No Pushing

If you’re considering using Twitter for your small business I’m going to go out on a limb and guess you already have a business Facebook page. And you may have discovered you can push your Facebook posts automatically to Twitter. That sounds like a great idea. Two birds with one stone, right? Not in my opinion.

These shortened posts, which often end in broken sentences followed by a link to Facebook are not the same as posting your content on Twitter. It’s an illusion, and your tweeps (Twitter peeps) are quick to realize you’re not really there. Would you use an automated system to call your customers with news about their account, new products or events? No, because you aren’t there to answer their questions. The same standard applies here. If you’re not really there, people will know. And more importantly they’ll turn their attention somewhere else.

So what can you do to post content to both Facebook and Twitter in an expedient way? Check-out HootSuite and TweetDeck. These are online tools (and apps) that allow you to post to multiple social media channels. Using their dashboard you can cater your messages to each platform and audience.

7. Please and Thank You

Twitter is all about recognition. People and brands love to see their @name in the Mentions column. The trick is to acknowledge, engage and thank your followers as often as possible. And your brand will grow. But don’t be disingenuous. The point is to get involved with your audience by responding to their questions, commenting on their content and thanking your followers when they have mentioned you. A great way to start this tradition is with #FollowFriday or #FF.

On Fridays you’ll notice a slew of posts that are filled with @mentions and a hashtag or two. That’s a Follow Friday post. It’s Twitter’s version of a shout-out. Some people choose to fill their post with random names from their follower list. Some repeatedly offer #FF to the same group of tweeps. I think the most successful #FF posts are when you choose one brand or person to mention and offer up a reason why someone should follow them. It’s sincere, it’s focused, and it’s helpful to those of us who don’t know them.

8. Tweet and Re-Tweet

If you made it #8 on my list you’re serious about building your small business on Twitter. So this point is critical. Tweet good content and re-tweet that of others.

Twitter is, by far, my best resource for industry related news, events and articles online. Find and follow people and brands who are sharing great content that would matter to your followers. Then re-tweet it. If you’re sharing a link that you found through someone you follow, give them the credit of a RT (re-tweet). You can do this automatically, or add your own twist on the tweet and add “via @mention” to the end. RTs will earn more followers and encourage your followers to share your content.

9. Critical Response

Many small businesses shy away from social media platforms because they fear criticism. They imagine customer complaints posted out there for everyone to read, and spread like lice in a kindergarten. But the truth is, as scary as it is, social media is the perfect place to deal with criticism head on. You might be surprised with the results.

When I first started Twitter I had just launched my new iPhone app, Traverse Traveler. I was excited to see followers in my area. Those whom I followed were beginning to find me and comment on the app. And then one day I opened my feed to find a follower complaining about why I didn’t have specific listings on the app. I feared the worst and figured they were unhappy with our product and would continue to share their unhappiness with the world through Twitter. So I put on my big girl pants, took a deep breath and responded to the tweet. I explained that the businesses in question hadn’t yet listed on the app, but I would see what I could do to get them involved. I received an immediate response thanking me for answering the question. And a few weeks later, when said businesses did list, I was able to contact that follower with the news. What appeared to be a customer unhappy with our product has become a follower who gladly promotes us to family and friends.

How you respond to criticism and complaints will speak loudly to the online community. If you ignore them, they tend to perpetuate and spread. Or you’ll confirm their fears…that you just don’t care. Responding to complaints on Twitter directly, and offering assistance shows your brand is involved. You do care. And you are willing to work with your customers.

10. Lurk, Listen and Join In

Twitter is one of those weird places where voyeurism is encouraged. It’s like one giant coffee shop where people are chatting about hundreds of topics and you can sit and listen. But the best part is, without warning or misstep you can join in. It’s encouraged in most cases. Ever wish you could be two places at once? I’ve followed the hashtag for two different conferences occurring at the same time three time-zones apart and felt like I was there. I’ve cheered on the Detroit Red Wings, commiserated with Apple fans when Steve Jobs died, and made many new friends on Twitter that I’ve yet to meet in person.

Just remember one thing: You Must Be Present to Win

This is the big one. Twitter moves too quickly to watch from the sidelines. It’s not a spectator sport. If you want to build a brand on Twitter you’ve got to get in the game. You need to BE there. Following the steps above will help you establish a brand, but to build it and make it successful you have to get involved.

Do you have a small business on Twitter? Share some of your tips for Twitter success in the comments below. And by all means, follow me on Twitter at @TraverseTravelr !


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5 Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing a Font for your Logo

I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: your brand is the face of your business. And choosing the wrong font can be disasterous. I’ve singled out 5 common font fiascos to avoid the next time you’re thinking of designing — or redesigning —your brand.

Graphic designer’s know the secret to a great logo is finding the perfect font. The tricky part is there are millions of them out there. So how do you know which is right for you? Sometimes it’s easier to focus on what’s wrong. Here are 5 common font errors, and how to avoid them.

  1. Standard Fonts:
    If you’ve chosen a font that comes standard on your Word processing program it’s probably too common for most logos. Dare to step outside the box and look for something more original to represent your business. There are dozens for font websites out there with great tools for helping you choose a font that fits. I love for their affordable options, vast selection and font preview which lets you type in your text and see it onscreen in any font you choose.
  2. Trendy Fonts:
    Just like clothes, fonts follow the trends. That’s fine for an ad that will disappear with yesterday’s news, but not so great for a logo that will brand you for life. If you tie your business image to a font or style the gets over-used your brand will look cheap and dated in no time.
  3. Delicate Fonts:
    Swirls, distressed type and even thin serifs may look great on your signage or company t-shirts, but lose quality and visibility when sized to fit your address labels. Try to take all the possible uses of your logo into consideration when selecting a font. If you’ll need embroidered logowear, a detailed delicate font will not reproduce well.
  4. Font Spacing:
    Kerning, also known as the space between letters, is a tricky craft any good designer will learn to master. But everyone should beware of it’s pitfalls, If the ‘Y’ on the end of your logo appears to be hanging on for dear life, or there’s a river of white space running between your ‘W’ and ‘A’ you better tighten it up. Kerning is a good designer’s secret weapon. And a D.I.Y. nightmare. But it can be done. Here’s a handy article that shows examples of good & bad kerning. And believe me, it’s the tell-tale mark of a well-designed logo.
  5. Disconnected Fonts:
    If you think of fonts as having a personality, look for ones that suit you and your business. If you’re a rock band, a bold jagged-edge grunge type would be logical. The same typeface for a retirement village might be a bit alarming to future clients. Check out these hilarious examples of font choices gone wrong.

Just remember, your company logo is a screaming billboard of who you are, and what you do. If you want it to scream, “I’m a professional, I take pride in my image and I will do the same for you,” then be sure you apply that same approach to your logo design. This is one area where seeking the advice of a professional might be a good idea. Even if it’s just for feedback, or to tweek the work you’ve done on your own. After all, you wouldn’t give yourself a facelift…would you?

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Posted by on August 11, 2011 in Branding/Identity, typography


10 Tips to Build a Better Brand on Facebook

So you’ve got a Facebook page…now what? Small businesses everywhere are realizing the benefits of building their brand image on Facebook. Setting up the page is pretty straight-forward. But where do you go from there? To make that process a little easier for my clients and friends I’ve put together a list of ten simple ways to improve your brand image on Facebook.

10 Tips to Build a Better Brand on Facebook.

1. Tagging
In my opinion, the best feature for businesses on Facebook, hands down, is tagging. Tagging allows your brand to travel around other pages and say “hello,” “thanks for all your help,” or “congratulations, kudos to you!” When you tag a status update on your business page, with the name of another page or Facebook friend, your status appears on their page. It’s great for PR, and reaching out personally to another brand or fan. One word of advice though, be geniune. OK, that’s two words, but you know what I mean. Click here for step-by-step instructions for tagging on Facebook.

2. Use Facebook as your Page
This is a new feature for Facebook, and long awaited among small business users. If you ever wished you could navigate Facebook, making comments or posting on walls as your brand instead of yourself, now you can. You’ll notice a list of links on the right-hand side of your page with the phrase “Use Facebook as “your page name”. Click on this link and you can now interact with Facebook as your brand. And it’s easy to switch back to yourself when you’re ready. You can also make the switch under your Account settings.

3. Become an Expert
If you want fans to interact with your page, show them you’re an expert in your field. Share tips that only someone with your expertise can provide. If you’re a realtor, give suggestions for staging a house for sale. If you own an auto-body shop give maintenance tips for busy moms to keep their car on the road and out of the shop. When the time comes and your help is needed, they’ll know who to call. The ease of sharing makes social media a great place to connect with customers.

4. Maximize your Profile Pic
That tiny square profile pic that appears next to your listing is bigger than you think. Most people choose a small square image, or upload a digital photo, and crop it for their profile pic. But the space allowed for your profile is actually around 200px wide, with a height of up to 600px. So if you’ve been uploading square or horizontal images, you’re missing the boat. Here’s a link that helped me create a vertical Facebook profile for my Traverse Traveler app page.

5. Use your Personality
You’ve heard it before, just be yourself, and on social media that couldn’t be more true. Part of selling a product or business is selling the brand. And brands have personality. So be true to you. Be that guy – that snarky guy, that quote guy, that insider-info guy. Whatever shoe fits, wear it. Proudly and loudly. Unless, of course, you are that shares-personal-information-in-a-borderline-obscene-kinda-way guy. That’s a persona I’d avoid if I were you.

6. Host a Contest
One surefire way to build your brand on Facebook is to host a contest or offer giveaways. There’s just something about FREE that draws ants to the picnic. Trivia questions are popular ways to get your fans involved on a regular basis. But you have to be consistent. Host a weekly trivia question on the same day and time. It’s the predictability that will draw regular visits to your page.

7. Promote Events on Facebook
Facebook has some great features to help you promote events, so take advantage of them. To create an event for the first time, click the Edit Page button on the upper right of your page. This takes you to the administrator panel where you can choose Apps from the menu on the left. Look for events and follow the steps. Be sure to invite your friends to get the ball rolling, and encourage sharing to grow the event.

8. Get a unique Facebook URL
When you create a new page for a business you will need 25 fans in order to get a unique Facebook URL. So beg, plead, and cajole to meet that quarter benchmark. Because when you do, a simplified link is in your future. What’s the big deal? Well, which would you rather have on your email footer:

Find us on Facebook:
Find us on Facebook:

9. Facebook Polls
One of my favorite new features for pages is Facebook polls. If you want to see your Facebook insights rise create a poll on your page and send invitations to your friends. The best polls are quick and easy to answer. It’s not a math test, so don’t make anyone think too hard. Polls are also great for R&D. If you have an ice cream store, use a poll to let fans decide you next new flavor. It gives you insight into their favorites, and let’s your fans feel involved in the success of your brand.

10. Be Colorful, Creative and Complete
The three C’s. Colorful: update your photos with nice images to showcase your products, people and location. We’re drawn to imagery so make it interesting. Creative: this is your space, not to be confused with MySpace, so let your page reflect who you are. Complete: So many people get started on social media but lose the desire or get too busy to finish the page. Make sure your information is complete and that you’re using all the tools Facebook provides. And if you need some help, ask. There are lots of social media experts out there. If all else fails, ask your kids.


Tips for Tagging on Facebook

So you’ve got a Facebook page…now what? Small businesses everywhere are realizing the benefits of building their brand image on Facebook. Setting up the page is pretty straight-forward. But where do you go from there? To make that process a little easier for my clients and friends I’m working on a series of posts: 10 Tips to Build a Better Brand on Facebook. Consider this lesson one.

If I could only teach small businesses one trick on Facebook, this would be it. The trick to tagging your status updates. So I’ll begin my series of posts with this technique.

Tag, Your It

Facebook has some great features for brand building, but this ranks as one of the most useful. With every status update you have an opportunity to connect with a friend or another brand’s page. It’s called tagging or an @ Mention. And it’s a great way to cross-promote your brand with another.

Here’s how:

To tag a person or page simply type the @ symbol and then begin typing their name. You’ll notice a drop-down menu appear. Choose the person/page you want to tag. Their name will be highlighted in the status so you know they’ve been tagged. Finish your update and post.

tagging on Facebook imageWhen the post appears on your page you’ll notice the names you tagged are highlighted in blue. They are now hyperlinks to those pages. But the marketing benefit to this lies in the fact that your post will also appear on the wall of everyone you tagged. And it will appear with your business profile image next to it, because it came from your page.

tagged text on Facebook imageWhy tag:

To connect your brand, with friends who support it and businesses you support. Facebook is all about building a network of relationships — getting connected. And by tagging you have just created a direct connection.

Who can you tag?

You can tag your Facebook friends, or another brand page that you “like” on Facebook. You can also tag Facebook groups and events you’re attending. The same is true for your personal profile page. However, you’ll notice as the administrator of a page you cannot tag your fans unless they are also your “friends,” which is unfortunate.

Tagging Do’s and Don’ts

Do: Tag friends, employees and fans to give credit and recognition. Everyone loves to get a pat on the back for a job well done, or a public thank you of appreciation.
Don’t: Tag images that are unprofessional or unflattering. As a business, that’s not something you’d be posting on your brand page anyway, right?

Do: Tag clients and businesses you want to recommend to others. This type of marketing is exactly what Facebook for Business is all about.
Don’t: Tag a brand just to get your name on their page. If you don’t have something genuine to contribute, that’s the equivalent of spam, and it’s not appreciated.

New @Mentions in Comments

As of this month Facebook recently extended the tagging capabilities to the comments section. So you can now tag someone as part of a conversation, and they will be notified of the mention. That’s what social media is all about: encouraging dialogue and interaction.

So the next time you’re filling in that status box consider it an opportunity to connect with another business or one of your fans. Include them in your status and see what kind of response you get. Then let me know.


How to Pack an Identity Suitcase

Whether you’re working with a design firm, or acting as your own DIY designer, at some point you’ll need to share your company logo with an outside source. Are you prepared for that moment? Or will that one simple request send you scrambling through the office looking for a wayward CD, covered in dust, that probably slipped between the file cabinet and the waste basket six months ago. More often than not, when I meet a new client they fall into the latter category. Don’t spend another 4 hours calling previous service providers hoping that one of them kept a copy of your logo on file. Instead spend a few minutes packing your Identity Suitcase and you’ll be ready for the next trip to the print shop.

So where do you start? Learn from the pros. And who knows more about packing than a pregnant woman? Really.

Preparing for that inevitable trip to the hospital is the first thing a pregnant woman tackles. And what does she do? She packs a suitcase. That small act of preparation is the single most important step towards becoming a mother. Why? Because when the contractions begin, the water breaks and it’s time to make a dash for the maternity wing, the last thing she wants to do is search the house frantically for an Enya CD, the nursing bra or that special “coming home” outfit knitted by aunt Ida. She needs a grab-and-go bag that’s ready at a moments notice. And so do you…well, sort of.

What you need is an Identity Suitcase. And with the planning and know how only a mother can provide, I’m going to teach you how to pack one.

What is an Identity Suitcase and why do you need one? Simply put it’s a virtual travel bag for all your branding essentials. Once filled it will be ready and waiting for that next big project, or spontaneous request.

What to pack

Logos, and graphics and fonts, Oh My! These are the essential items in an Identity Suitcase.

Black & White Logos

The work horses of the print industry. While the world is quickly becoming digital, you’re still going to need them for print ads, flyers, and inexpensive 1-color print jobs. Make sure your suitcase includes a high resolution TIFF (600 dpi preferably) or a vector based EPS file. For an explanation of file formats (bitmap vs. vector) click here.

Color Logos

So many choices, so little understanding of why. Just like clothing, each one has a specific function. Forget to pack the right one and you’ll be going commando to that important business meeting. There are also dozens of color formats. For a detailed description of color formats check out this post on CMYK, PMS and RGB.

CMYK logos: used for full color printed pieces. Magazine ads, brochures, etc. This is your standard color logo. They can be in nearly any format although TIFF and EPS are the most common. JPEG color logos are great for sending via email, but make sure they are saved in CMYK not RGB.

PMS logos: depending on your industry these can be very important, or rarely used. If your corporate colors are hard to produce in processed color (CMYK), or if you are printing in less than 4 ink colors, then a PMS version of your logo will be necessary. These files will be in EPS format, and most likely created in a vector program like Adobe Illustrator or Freehand.

Web logos/RGB logos:  the digital age has seen a sharp rise in the need for RGB versions of your identity. Logos saved in RGB format, and in a lower resolution such as 72 dpi, are in demand for use on the web, on mobile devices and in television spots. These will likely be in formats such as JPEG, GIF and PNG. While these files are great for sending via email they are not great for print. So always keep in mind the final usage of the logo before choosing which one to send.

Don’t forget the accessories

Like any well packed suitcase, the inclusion of some critical accessories is a sign of intelligent design. In an identity suitcase your accessories could include the following:

Fonts: Many businesses use specific typefaces on their materials. If you want a service provider to match those fonts your best bet is to provide them. Even with a cast of thousands at their disposal it is highly likely that your 1990’s Corel Draw specified a different font than today’s design programs. Better to provide it, than be surprised when they swap it out for something similar.

Graphic elements: Do you like to use a specific decorative ornament on your stationery? A cluster of grapes, or calligraphic drop cap perhaps? Or maybe you have product illustrations that are often included in your materials. These are identity accessories, and they should be kept nearby.

Photos: If you’re producing a lot of full color work, either in print or on the web, and often need to send photos of your products, location or services, these should be well organized and stored along with your logos.

Once your Identity Suitcase is packed and neatly organized in a folder on your computer desktop, make a copy, or two, and burn it to a CD or save it on a thumb drive. You may also want a back-up somewhere else on your hard drive or online in an accessible location like iDisk (for Macs) or on an FTP site. This will allow you to remotely access your important identity info from any location.

Taking the time to pack an identity suitcase will insure a smooth labor and delivery for your next project. Something every pregnant mother, and business woman, can appreciate.

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Posted by on August 2, 2010 in Branding/Identity, Design


Are You Ready for a Brand Evolution?

When was the last time you updated your hairstyle? How about your wardrobe? Unless you’re sporting a mullet, adjusting your leg warmers or slipping on a fanny pack for a quick jog around the mall, you’ve probably tailored your personal image along with the trends of the times. But what about your business? Does your brand image need a facelift?

A logo is the primary face of your brand identity. And just like clothes, shoes and hairstyles, logos need to keep up with the times. Corporations from automotive companies, to technology and communications, even world wide non-profits have seen the need for brand evolution. The older the company, the more often they have reinvented themselves. But why?

Because styles evolve, and so should your brand

Shell Logo

The evolution of Shell Corporation

The Shell Corporation has one of the most recognizable logos in the world. It has changed, not dramatically, but stylistically, to follow the trends in graphic design. It’s a great example for those fearful of change, for it’s a slow evolution in this case. Quality design is refined and modernized to keep up with the society who buys their products. Makes sense, right?

Form Follows Function

In every business there is innovation that inspires us to improve. Fax machines revolutionized business to business communication. Computers, the internet and now smart-phones are changing the landscape once again. Can you imagine your workday without checking email or making a copy? Technology that improves business has to be well thought, built into the budget and for the good of the future of the company. Now apply the same approach to your branding. Drag that logo off the dusty shelf, where it shares space with the roll-a-dex and mimeograph machine, and give it a facelift.

logo trends from LogoLounge

dandelion as logo inspiration, LogoLounge

Looking for more inspiration?

Check out this link to other logo evolutions. For insight into the logo trends in 2009 I like the posts on LogoOrange, like this one which showcases the top 10 trends in logo design. You might also like the insights of Bill Gardner on LogoLounge where he categorizes some of the unexpected trends in logo design this year.

Bet you never thought designers could get inspiration from a weed…yes, that’s right, a weed, as in dandelion. The kind that sprouts from the ground and distroys your lawn. Who knew.

So, whether these logo trends inspire you to update your brand fashion, or just get you thinking, it’s important to remember one thing. You don’t want to be a bend with every trend that comes in vogue. But don’t let your brand get stuck in a rut by failing to modernize with the times.

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Posted by on November 23, 2009 in Branding/Identity, Design