Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Anatomy of Building a Brand: Creating the Right Logo

Hopefully after reading The Anatomy of Building a Brand: Choosing a Name, you have come up with the perfect company/brand name. Now it is time to put a face to that name, with the right logo. Below are tips to consider when having a logo created.

1. Less is Not More, but Memorable: Humans are programmed to remember things better through simplicity. Let's examine the McDonald's logo. It's a simple golden M. It's not an M with cartoon fries beside it to identify that they sell fries. It's one letter that represents a multi-billion dollar brand. Your logo should be easy to remember by remaining simple. If your company's name is Big Tree Towing Company, you don't have to have a logo with pictures of a tree, car, and tow truck. That would be showing the obvious. Your name already explains what the company does. A logo's job is to give your brand character. A simple TREE image can represent the name overall as well as strength.

2. Your logo should be able to easily convert to black and white: Color is important for brand recognition and a black/white version is important for functionality. Your logo should still hold it's presence through a fax or laser print. Try to avoid logos that rely on color for an effect.

3. Avoid boxing your logo: For advertising purposes, consider a logo that does not have to be confined to a box. It should be able to work on any background. When I do graphic work that requires multiple logo placement, I am usually annoyed with the logo that is confined to a white box. It is not attractive against a solid color background and it usually has to be resized according to the box and not the actually logo design.

4. Death to the ClipArt and stock vectors: Using these items in a logo makes it less personable or more like a default image. It's almost like dressing your brand in a uniform. Even though templates, stock and clipart may be cheaper and can be done on your own, it doesn't say anything to your audience.

5. Avoid using popular fonts as your logo: You as a non-designer would not be familiar with popular and overly used fonts. However a seasoned designer would know, and hopefully they would avoid incorporating them into your logo. I had a client request that I use Comic Sans as her logo font. She said that she saw that font often and had an overall love for it. Not only did that font retire in the 80's, but wanting something that you see often is a mistake in itself.

6. Be Original: Copying another logo or idea goes against the purpose of branding. You won't gain more success or clientele just because your logo is similar to that of a successful company.

TIP**When working with your designer, be sure to request the following variations of your logo:
-High resolution
-Your logo as a .png or .tiff
-black and white

Hopefully these tips have been helpful to you. Please follow my blog to be notified of Part 3: The Wonderful World of Marketing. Your comments are appreciated.

August Birchbox

It's that time of the month when I'm pleasantly surprised with the little pink Birchbox in the mailbox. Here are the items I received:

1. Pangea Organics Cleanser for Combination to Oily Skin: I didn't try this item. If you remember, I did a review for the Pangea Organics Facial Toner that came in June's Birchbox. Although I was impressed with the Toner at the time of the review, I later broke out and discontinued the use. Therefore I was a little reluctant with trying the cleanser.

2. blinc Eyeliner: This watery formula is supposed to stay strong through rain, tears, and sweat. If you are a fan of heavy liners like myself, you will not like this product. It goes on very faint. And to achieve a noticeable line it requires a lot of product.

3. Wei Tibetan Chysanthemum Correcting Eye Treatment Pads: These cloths soaked in natural flower and plant extract are guaranteed to de-puff and brighten the under eye area. I used 1 of the 2 and I didn't see a tremendous difference. I think I was a little too excited to see if it worked. With the next cloth, I will relax and leave it on for the recommended 15 minutes.

4. Carol's Daughter Monoi Repairing Hair Mask: This creamy treatment revives dull and dry strands. I'm pretty satisfied with my current hair regimen, so I did not try this product.

5. Twistband Hair Tie: A simply black hair tie that looks just as cute on your wrist. I've seen them in quite a few magazine lately.

Overall, this month's Birchbox was BLAH :0/ I look forward to next month's box.

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Anatomy of Building a Brand Part 1: Choosing a Name

Choosing the right business name is a very critical step because it the start of what can lead to success or failure. Below are a few pointers that can help make choosing a name less challenging.

1. Strike an emotion: The most important way to capture a potential client is through their emotions. Your brand name should have the positive, friendly and strong connotations that you want associated with your services. Let's take a day care for example. Most day care facilities have a friendly and happy name to make parents comfortable with their care. A parent would be reluctant to sending their child to "Innovative Strategic Care", opposed to "Shining Star Day Care". Make a list of adjectives that describe your services. Cross out any words that can be too abrasive and aggressive.

2. Think about men and women clients: If you are providing a service that caters to men and women, you definitely want to avoid the cute and feminine names.

3. Don't let your brand name keep you in a box: Think long-term when choosing your name. Although you may be offering just one service initially, choose a name that will work even if you decide to expand your company. A potential client wouldn't know that you also offer web services if your company's name is Red Leaf Tax Services. Think outside of "right now".

4. Using your name can be tricky: Building a brand is less about you personally and more about your service. Substitute using your name with a strong word that will describe what you have to offer. If I am looking for a caterer, and the three choices I have are Linda's Catering, Catering by Helen, and Catering Creations by Jennifer, I wouldn't know where to begin to make a selection. Make sure your brand name can immediately separate you from your competitors.

5. Do your Research: Make sure your potential name isn't already used or trademarked. This is a critical step. Locate the website for division of corporations for the state in which you will be running the business. You want to limit any legalities that can occur once your business has taken off.

6. Make it memorable: Remember the shorter the name, the easiest to remember. Some of the most successful brands are 1-2 words, such as McDonalds, Nike, Pepsi. With long company names comes issues with domains and logo design. Keep it short, yet effective.

Hopefully these tips have been helpful to you. Please follow my blog to be notified of Part 2: Creating the right Logo. Your comments are appreciated.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

CONTEST ALERT: For #1 Exfoliating Glove

My GalPal over at HotChixRock (Beauty Blog) has set-up an awesome contest for a chance to win a Magic Peeling Glove (the world's #1 exfoliating glove). Details are in the video below. Be sure to enter and also check out her blog www.hotchixrock.com.

Here is her review on the Exfoliating Glove

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

More with DaJion...

Here are more images from my shoot with DaJion. Expect to see her gracing a book cover very soon!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Upcoming MAC Collection: Seasonally Supreme

Attention Tokyo scenesters, Seoul trendies, Shanghai sophisto-chicks....you've inspired a new collection of Sheen Supreme: twelve cream-or-frost shades that fuse Lipglass' high-shine finish with the saturated colour of a Lipstick.

LAUCH DATE: August 11

Some of the shades will be perfect for the Fall.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Get the Look with Model DaJion

It was a pleasure shooting beautiful model DaJoin for an upcoming book cover. Here is the make-up look that we went for.

DaJoin's Look
Eye shadow: Inglot Cosmetics #450, MAC Pigment in Heritage Rouge (Pro Shade), MAC Saddle
Brow: MAC Stud
Lips: MAC Lipstick in Diva, MAC Lipglass in Clear
Face: MAC Studio Fix in NC50, MAC Studio Fix Powder in NC50