Disclaimer: This post is packed with fantastic content. It’s a little longer than usual so bear with me. I’m adding a couple of mini-sections that are driven to help you put all of the pieces of your brand together, at least as far as my expertise reaches. Take a look below to learn more and get started!
In this post, you’ll see:
- Brand Development Insight
- Color Tip of The Week
- Purely You- Inspiration just for you!
- Featured Article- Publishing Your Passions through eBooks, eZines and Digital Newsletters
Brand Development Insight
All of my design work helps my clients build a cohesive brand. The brand is the bigger picture that my design work is a part of. Therefore, I’d like to include a tip or two in my posts that links back to your overarching identity.
This week: Brainstorming Your Brand.Before we can get started on building the visual identity of your brand, it’s important to get clear on your Brand Positioning and Brand Promise. This is something that we can certainly do together- it actually helps me as a designer so that I can get to know you and your business thoroughly. To cut to the chase
on this, ask yourself these five questions:
- Who Are You?
- What Do You Do?
- Who is Your Target Market?
- How Are You Different?
- What is Your Promise?
This is what I did for myself and it works wonders. It really helped me to dig deep and establish focus for my business. From here, developing my brand (selecting color, typography and graphic elements) was so much easier. So, get started with these and have your answers ready when you meet with your designer. They’ll thank you, trust me.
Color Tip of the Week
Each week I’ll delve into a particular color or color scheme or-a tip that helps you in selection or revision of your Brand’s color palette. This can include associated meanings and in what ways color is best used. This week, to kick this off, I’ll share a couple of tips to get you started.
- Color is a vital part of the message that you’d like to communicate with your brand. There are lots of resources out there on Color Psychology and Color Meaning. However, a great teacher of mine said that, while we must be mindful of these “rules,” do not blindly follow them. Keep effective communication and visual interest as the main goals when selecting color.
- Reference the questions on Brand Positioning and Promise above and think about what emotions you’d like your business to conjure in potential customers. What do you want to communicate? Bottom line is, and if you take anything away from my writings on color, please take this away- choose colors for a reason, not personal preference.
In this section, I’ll write about or link to things that can help inspire you creatively; from mindset secrets to exercise and diet-even interior design (yes, interior design. I am a huge proponent of creating an environment that makes you feel comfortable, keeps you focused and inspires you, therefore, at times I’ll share architectural and interior design art to help light your creative fires).
This week, I’d like to share some incredible photos that a dear friend and gifted photographer took on a recent trip to Taipei. They are a unique door-knocker and the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall Ceiling. Look at the ornate designs and vibrant color. Look with an open mind and see if they spark any ideas in you.
Photo Credit: Morgan Willemsen
Also, later in this post, I’ll talk about ideas for sparking creative and original content.
And now…for the main event…this week’s Article.
Publish Your Passions Through eBooks, Interactive Online Magazines and Digital Newsletters
Do you have insight, knowledge, information or resources that you want to share? Do you absolutely love what you do to the point that you want to get it down in writing (or type, as the case may be) and send it out there to for the world to see? How about sharing your expertise/insights in a visually compelling and interactive way through the web and-maybe print as well?
Publishing information online is a fantastic way to spread the word about your expertise, your passions and, of course, your business. The trick is to create something that catches the eye, is rich with top-notch content and is easy to navigate and digest. This can be done in a number of ways and choosing the best way, or mix of ways, for you can be a stretch. That is why, through this post I am going to share the options that you have in regards to publishing your content online through cutting-edge and stunning product formats. In this post I’ll cover ebooks and in future posts I’ll delve deeper into a couple of other digital options (both interactive and static) that you have. I’ll show you an eBook examples as well as ways to determine what to publish-finding inspiration and deciding exactly what you’d like to share.
The formats that I will cover through these posts are:
- eBooks: Specifically, an ePub. Don’t worry, I’ll explain.
- Ezines/Magazines/Information Products
There are a lot of options but these three are what I as a designer specialize in. I’ve found each of them to be very effective at building credible reputations and loyal followings. This is predicated of course on the content itself being relevant and useful to the target audience. When you combine absorbing content that your audience is looking for with engaging graphics and images, you have a product that will be a lucrative addition to your business.
I love designing digital publications because I have the opportunity to meld my graphic design, web design and publication layout skills. I also love the fact that I can help my clients share what they love with the world. It’s very rewarding to see this come to life.
Let’s get started!
eBooks come in three varieties; pdf, ePub and Mobi. Mobi might seem familiar; it’s the format that Kindle uses to publish eBooks. PDFs, of course, are in many of our daily lives. These also serve as an ebook format. ePubs are the secret sauce though. Read on to learn more…
A pdf is a digital version of a book. Although pdf eBooks look beautiful, their layout is frozen. When you resize your screen, the text does not reflow to accommodate; the type is locked in place, as are the line endings. You can read pdfs on mobile devices provided that you have a pdf reader app (these are free and can be installed and used easily on mobile devices). A drawback is, since the layout is frozen, the size of the type might not be the easiest to deal with. It can look darn small on an iPhone, for example, unless you up the size of the page and scroll to read.
As I mentioned above, Mobi is the format that the ever-popular and Amazon-friendly Kindle uses. Mobi format is also reflowable, meaning that is scales to different devices, a nice relief over the pdf format. The kicker here is that your reach increases dramatically when you are able to publish to a Kindle reader. Not only can you sell through Amazon, but mobile devices can easily get a reader app to read Kindle products. You don’t actually have to own a Kindle.
And now we come to…ePubs. These are specific kinds of eBooks. An ePub is an open source, reflowable ebook format. Its content scales with the size of the screen of the device that it is being read on. Again, much easier to read than pdfs, as you can imagine. You can read straight ePub formats on such devices and programs as Nooks, Sony Readers and iBooks. The great thing about these flexible eBook formats is that ePubs can be read absolutely anywhere. Any device, period. You will need to be sure that you have the right software in order to read them but apps for this are typically free and are easily downloaded to your computer or mobile devices.
Some of this flexibility might remind you of webpages, with the different eBook readers being similar to the different browsers that we view webpages in. This is because when we create an ePub, html and css are what make up the resulting files! Yep, eBooks are rendered with good ‘ole web design markup languages. This way, similar to websites, I can flip up the hood and do some tweaking if needed or desired.
So Why Not ePub for everything then?
Well, as I mentioned above, Mobi is the format, and the only format, for Kindle. And with Kindle you get reach, reach and more reach… So, if you’re looking to reach the masses and make some money with your digital publication, it’s a good idea to have your documents play nice with the Kindle. The beauty is, ePubs easily export to Mobi format. Done. ePubs are the standard, generic eBook. You can take them to a LOT of places and, if you can’t, such as with the Kindle, you can simply export the ePub file and, Voila, you’re set.
So Where Do You Go From Here?
Ok, so now you know more about eBooks and what format you might like to have your book or magazine in so that you can have one made and ready for distribution. Now comes the tough part:
Deciding what to publish, how to structure it and how to bring it to life with visuals.
While I cannot tell you exactly what to publish, there are a lot of great resources out there that you can access to give you some insight. Access your education and experience and see where your expertise and interests lie. Get with a trusted friend or coach to see where your passions are or, if you know them, ask these people to help you narrow down some topics. Feel free to ask me. I LOVE to brainstorm and am happy to help you work through filtering down the possibilities. As a designer I can tell you what I think based on my experience in design and in business (remember, I started on the business side of things-you never really leave). If you prefer something visual, we can develop a moodboard around it or use mind-mapping. Whatever you do, give careful thought and consideration to this as it’s an investment of time and money and it has the potential to lead to opportunity, success and much more.
You can also browse other ebooks for inspiration. Check out epubbooks.com. Great site that has a multitude of free and for sale eBooks. There are tons out there, on Amazon and in the iBooks store. I encourage you to explore and get ideas for your own eBook.
When you’re ready to go, you and I will work together to bring this eBook to life. I’ll lay it out with a clear and classic hierarchy based on industry standards and best practices, complete with a Table of Contents that translates into interactive navigation upon eBook creation and an index of terms. At your preference, I’ll create graphics or insert photos that enhance the book’s content. Finally, I’ll design a cover that will serve to capture the browsing eyes of your target audience. Below is a screenshot of a book that I am playing with. So far it has a navigational Table of Contents as well as some images and a cover. Check it out:
Well, I think that we have covered a lot! I hope that you found some helpful information here. If you have any questions or would like to hear more, contact me anytime!
Jennifer is a Marketing, Graphic and Web Design professional. She has worked for companies small and large all over the world in her career and is now working towards a masters degree in Web Design and New Media while launching her own Marketing and Design Business, Pure Designs. When she’s not researching, sketching, designing, taking a class or writing, Jen loves to spend time with her family, cook, run and read.
- Best Handheld eBook Reader (answers.com)