Getting to Know YOU: Get Clear on Your Passions and Purpose PLUS a Color Tip and Creative Inspiration

Hi Everyone,

Before we start, check out my Media page to see a new type animation video that I recently completed as well as an interactive online brochure. Imagine the possibilities for your own business and brand!

I hope that you enjoyed reading about ePubs last week as well as all of the options and opportunities that you have to share your knowledge and promote your business with them. I also hope that you found some inspiration in the color tips and photos that were in

Image of a Brand Design

Logo and Brand Design by Jen

that post. Color and finding a look and feel that is relevant to your particular business is so important. Therefore, as you look at what I post each week in these areas, see what stands out to you in terms of designing the look of your brand. You never know when you will find just the right color or design element!

This week, I’ll continue to build on what I consider to be three main components to your brand’s design:

  • Brand Insight– Why do we spend so much time on brand development and design?
  • Color– What are its meanings and how can it apply to you?
  • Creative Inspiration– a little creative inspiration to feed your business’ brand development.

I have chosen these three areas because it’s important to know, first, who you are when you are building your brand identity, whether it is for you personally or for your business. Knowing who you are feeds your passions which it turn feeds your purpose and what you do in life. It’s a crucial first step and part of what I do is consult with clients to help them reach this clarity, should they need it. Having this insight sets us up for designing a brand for you or your business that will be successful in the long term. It really works, I’ve seen it firsthand.

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Brand Development, Color Insight, Inspiration and eBooks: This Post Has It All!

Hi,

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

Pure Designs Brand Piece

Pure Designs Branding Graphic

on this, ask yourself these five questions:

  1. Who Are You?
  2. What Do You Do?
  3. Who is Your Target Market?
  4. How Are You Different?
  5. 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.

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Dress Rehearsal for Your Website…Using a Test Site

More of Jen's New Portfolio Site

Test Site: A Work In Progress

Hi there,

As a web designer and developer, one thing that I have come to rely on with my clients are test sites. Test sites are specific domains that I have purchased, and that I host on my server, that I use to build and test site architecture, functionality and design. I start by building all of my client wireframes on these domains so that my clients (as well as any other people we can recruit to test) can have a clickable blueprint of the navigation and layout of their future site to try out. This way, if there are any issues present, we can figure them out early and fix them so that we do not have to go through massive rebuilds down the line (which are time consuming and costly). Once we have established the site’s mapping, I’ll move on to adding functionality and design elements. It progresses in a logical way and I can collaborate with my clients through every step. Once we get the fundamentals established, I’ll migrate what I have or start fresh on their domain.
Using test sites is a fantastic technique; I started implementing them when I started freelancing. To be honest, it was a great way for me to ensure that I was on the right track and in alignment with my client’s goals. I didn’t have a manager or art director guiding me; it was all me and I wanted to put a system in place that ensured success.

As a side note, I also love to use test sites to push the limits of my web design skills. Here is where I want to “break” something and have it all go wrong. This way, I can work the issue, find a solution and be prepared should there be problems in the future.

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Designer’s Intuition: Knowing What Web Design Approach is Best for The Client

Hi Everyone!Pure Designs Logo

I apologize for missing you last week. I’ve been busy on a big project (golden pains) and needed to give it my full attention. Things are going well so, I made some time to write about something that is on my mind. Read on…

As I mentioned in a previous post, Content Management Systems (or CMSs) are very powerful web design tools that allow designers to build custom blogs, websites, landing pages and newsletters for their clients quickly and efficiently. While they are a great option, and often my preferred option, there are certain situations where they might not be my first design choice. In this post I’ll list instances where I feel that a CMS solution is best and, conversely, where a hard-coded option would be a better choice. This is by no means an exhaustive list; these are merely the instances that I work with most.

What I’ll talk about:

  • Blogs/Photo Galleries
  • Long-Term Maintenance: Client as Maintainer
  • More Than One Content Creator
  • Speed to Launch

Plus More…Read On

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Guest Post for Event Checklist Plus Home Page Layout Tips

Hi,Logo Graphic

I am so proud to announce that the team with eventchecklist.net recently asked me to write a post for their blog. Event Checklist is an amazing resource for Event Planning and SEO. There is a wealth of information there; please head over to their site and check out what they have. You won’t be disappointed!

Invitation Graphic

Below is an excerpt of what I wrote for them; From Invitations to Thank You Cards: Creating the Perfect Look for Your Event- Plus a Color Tip! The Color Tip you’ve seen in this post; the rest is brand new. 🙂

Event collateral, your event’s visual identity; invitations, menus, programs, participant guides, thank yous and now with the integration of the web and social media- web graphics, templates, email campaigns, pages, banners and ads. The list of possibilities goes on and on. Event collateral comprises a multitude of visual pieces that go a long way in not only spreading the word about your event, but also in communicating what your event is about and who is behind the event, such as the person or company hosting it. The effectiveness of these visual pieces can mean the difference in whether or not people will attend your event and, when they take you up on your invitation, if they will enjoy themselves and be thankful that they came. And that is what it’s all about, isn’t it? You want them to come, enjoy themselves and tell their friends about you.

Tips for an Irresistible Home Page Design.

On your website, the home page is the prime real estate. It’s that beautiful waterfront property that all of your content would love a piece of, especially if it’s above the fold. There are some key factors that must be in place for your home page to be successful and in this post I will go over them.

If anything else, these features need to be a part of your layout and design.

  • The Big Picture: Your Site Identity and Mission
  • Hierarchy: What is here and what can I do on this site?
  • Search Option: Prominently placed
  • Good Copy: Teaser headlines and your mission statement

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Custom Web Design, Logo Design, Brand Development…Want It All? Read On…

Hi everyone!Pure Designs Logo

I am SO relieved to say that this week cooled down. Just a little but it was much more bearable. My kids were able to play outside for a good amount of time without becoming completely exhausted. It was great to get some time to play with them. Life gets so busy that we often forget to take advantage of these little blips in time.

Speaking of freeing up some time…

This week I’d like to talk about a web design tool that is, in my opinion, a huge asset for business owners, event hosts, designers, developers…pretty much anyone who wants to share information of any kind online. The tool that I am talking about is a Content Management System, or CMS, for short. Content Management Systems are very powerful tools in web design that help with the organization and construction of websites and blogs. A few that you have probably heard of are WordPress, Drupal, DotNetNuke, and Joomla. They handle a lot of the back-end (web functionality, compatibility and coding) and file structuring work so that users can focus more on the visual aspects of their sites. I like them because I can build a website or a custom blog for a client and then hand over control of it to them. Once all of the pieces are properly in place, management is much more feasible. Even better, it allows that client to have a professionally designed website without a ton of residual maintenance fees.

Below is a screenshot of a site that I built for a client. Once I established and built the design, the client took over and updated from there.

Hair Artist Association LLCCMSs make it really easy for me to deliver a full-service, comprehensive design solution to clients in a fraction of the time it would take me to code a site from the ground up. I love that I can flex my design muscles and provide support in other areas of building a site and a brand, such as:

  • Information architecture
  • Custom color scheme
  • Custom graphics
  • Logo Design
  • Custom Newsletter Templates

…and so much more. Basically, we can focus on building your whole brand, your entire look and feel or personality, another huge asset as you go forward and compete in today’s market.

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