Design And Your Brand by Dani Nordin, the zen kitchen


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Your brand is comprised of every experience your prospects have with your business - from how you present yourself in person to the design of your marketing materials. No matter how great an impression you make in person, your logo, business card and other materials exist to make an impression for you when you\'re not there to sell yourself in person. This presentation talks about how to use design (and hire the right team) to make sure that your printed and web materials make just as good an impression as you do in person. Includes a handful of DIY tips for choosing the right colors and fonts for personal blogs and other projects that don\'t really require professional help.

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Design And Your Brand by Dani Nordin, the zen kitchen

  1. How Design Can Make or Break Your Brand
  2. Step One: What’s in a brand?
  3. Step One: What’s in your brand? <ul><li>Your brand is made up of every experience a prospect has with your business, including: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Your logo, business card, website, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How you present yourself (dress, online presence, etc.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How you interact with customers and prospects </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The visual aspect of your brand (logo, marketing materials, etc.) speaks for you when you aren’t there to present yourself; it determines the expectations people have of your business . </li></ul>
  4. Step One: What’s In Your Brand? <ul><li>Visual components may include: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Business card </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Logo </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Website </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Web presence (social media profiles, etc.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Brochures, fact sheets, e-books </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>E-mail newsletters </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Annual reports </li></ul></ul>
  5. Step Two: How your image impacts your business
  6. What impression do you want to make? <ul><li>What do you want to convey? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Professional integrity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Warmth and friendliness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Strength and stability </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hip, “funky,” irreverent </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Elegant and sophisticated </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The right colors, fonts and imagery work together to convey this message instantly and concisely to those who need to hear it; the wrong choices can confuse the message and give your prospect the wrong impression. </li></ul>
  7. What impression do you get about these businesses?
  8. What about these businesses? Peak Performance, LLC Unique Marketing Solutions ightening Rod Partners
  9. Step Three: Dress for Success
  10. What components do you need to convey your brand? <ul><li>Foundation: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Logo </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Business card </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Website </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Extras: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Stationery </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>E-newsletter template </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Brochures, fact sheets, etc. </li></ul></ul>
  11. What functionality does your website need? <ul><li>E-commerce? </li></ul><ul><li>Flash? </li></ul><ul><li>Who’s handling updates - you or designer? </li></ul><ul><li>Blog? </li></ul><ul><li>What type of content do you need to present? How much is there? </li></ul><ul><li>What are your competitors doing? </li></ul>
  12. What does your brand need to convey? <ul><li>Who’s your target customer? </li></ul><ul><li>What specific primary benefit do they get from you? </li></ul><ul><li>What’s the “mood” you want to create with your brand? </li></ul><ul><li>What tools might work best with this audience? </li></ul>
  13. Step 4: Hire the right team
  14. How do you find the right designer? <ul><li>Determine your needs </li></ul><ul><li>Determine your budget </li></ul><ul><li>Look at portfolios </li></ul><ul><li>Interview a few candidates and get proposals </li></ul><ul><li>Hire the team who meshes best with your personality, aesthetic preferences and goals. </li></ul>
  15. What should you be looking for? <ul><li>The right designer/team for you will: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Have a portfolio of work that you admire </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Have the capacity to handle the type of projects you need him/her to do for you, including any technical aspects </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ask lots of focused questions about your business, goals, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Have a personality that meshes well with yours </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Offer you a written estimate and work agreement for you to sign prior to beginning any design work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Require a deposit prior to beginning any design work </li></ul></ul>
  16. Things to watch out for <ul><li>A designer who doesn’t ask questions about business goals </li></ul><ul><li>Language barriers </li></ul><ul><li>Someone who doesn’t offer a contract up front </li></ul><ul><li>A firm offering heavily discounted design services </li></ul>
  17. What should I budget? <ul><li>Realistically, you should be thinking about: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Logo: $2500+ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Promotional website: $3k+ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Flash website: $5k+ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>E-commerce: $8-10k+ </li></ul></ul>
  18. Step 5: working with your design team
  19. Proper care and feeding of designers <ul><li>Clear communication of goals, target audience, aesthetic preferences </li></ul><ul><li>Clear communication of deadlines, including when content and feedback will be provided </li></ul><ul><li>Timely delivery of content and feedback </li></ul><ul><li>Respect for their professional opinion and their contribution to your success </li></ul><ul><li>Timely payment </li></ul>
  20. How to give feedback <ul><li>GOOD: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ I don’t know if this [part of design] is standing out enough. How can we make it more of a focus?” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Could you tell me what your thought process was behind [certain design choice]?” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ I’m not sure this is sending the right message. I want it to feel more [this way]. How can we make that happen?” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>BAD: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Can you make this box blue?” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Can you make the logo bigger?” </li></ul></ul>
  21. Step 6: DIY hints
  22. When it’s okay to do it yourself <ul><li>Personal projects, like blogs, scrapbooks or invitations </li></ul><ul><li>When you don’t know yet whether you’re going to move forward </li></ul><ul><li>While you’re saving up for professional design costs </li></ul>
  23. DIY: Choose color wisely <ul><li>Different colors convey different moods </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Red: luck, fire, energy, passion, success; sometimes anger </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dark Blue: corporate, professional, stable, conservative </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Light/Bright Blue: fun, friendly, conservative but approachable </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bright Green: organic, natural, fun, “hip” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dark Green: conservative but approachable, professional, organic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Brown: luxurious, tasty, elegant, organic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Orange: cheerful, optimistic, autumn, friendly </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Yellow/gold: friendly </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pink/Magenta: feminine, sassy, fashionista </li></ul></ul>
  24. DIY: choose fonts wisely <ul><li>What are you trying to convey? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Serif fonts (Georgia, Times, Garamond): professional, conservative, distinguished, corporate (lawyers, accountants, etc.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sans-serif (Arial, Helvetica, Gill Sans): approachable, friendly, informal, down-to-earth </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Script (Nuptual, French Script, Zapfino): elegant, weddings, jewelry </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Decorative: fun/funky </li></ul></ul><ul><li>When researching fonts, ask yourself “what impression do I get from this font? What does it tell me about the copy I’m reading?” </li></ul><ul><li>You should have 2-3 standard fonts: one for headlines, one for body copy, one for business name </li></ul>
  25. DIY: find the right fonts <ul><li>Avoid decorative or script fonts for body copy; standard serif or sans-serif at about 9pt is best for most projects </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid clich é or system fonts (Papyrus, Comic Sans, Arial, Times) for print materials or logos </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t be afraid to pay for just the right font - fonts are relatively inexpensive and can make or break a design </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid overuse of bold or italics </li></ul><ul><li>No more than 2-3 fonts on a single piece </li></ul><ul><li>Font sources:,, </li></ul>
  26. DIY: choose the right blog template <ul><li>Wordpress, blogger and typepad have free templates you can use for your blog </li></ul><ul><li>Choose the template that best matches your blog’s content, audience and mood </li></ul>
  27. DIY: Choose images wisely <ul><li>The right image can convey your message instantly </li></ul><ul><li>Adding images to blog posts, postcards, brochures, etc. adds quick visual impact </li></ul><ul><li>Low-cost image sources:, </li></ul>
  28. Thanks! Any questions?