We are so flattered when we have a repeat customer. It tells us that they are really happy with their site/our services, so they want to come back for more! And to those clients that keep coming back, we say Thank You! The owners of Life Bridge Kids came to us to build a site similar to their child psychiatric practice website, but this time have the new site catered to adults.
Life Bridge told us that the SquareHook Editor was SUPER easy for them to edit and they wanted a site that looked just like their existing one, with some new information and customized graphics. We told them, no problem! We actually used our site cloning feature to not only save us time to create a similar site, but it saved them money too! (win win for everyone!) Tada! We have Life Bridge Nevada!
We pulled in our talented graphic designer, Ai, to take some of Life Bridge’s stock images, and tailored them to be specific to them, and their marketing campaign. (a little bit of customization goes a LONG way)
Obviously, with this practice being different than their child clinic, they have different questions clients may have before making an appointment. So we put new content into an awesome accordion FAQs page. With so many questions, we don’t want a site visitor to be overwhelmed with content. Accordions are so great for FAQs with so many Q&A’s.
Our tool is so awesome, where you can hyperlink as many links as you’d like (and that is always great for SEO, linking to other reputable websites) On their Resource Page, we took out child-related links, and added in additional resources that are helpful for adults.
Look how great the mobile version looks! We are just smitten with the Wharton Theme overall, but we’ve added a custom header feature from our Dodgeball Theme (you can have the best of both worlds, if you want it!) and with the colors and visuals for Life Bridge Adults, it makes for the perfect combination for this site.
We’re so tickled that Life Bridge is happy with their second site, and we look forward to working on more sites for them! If you are interested in having sibling sites (sites with a VERY similar look) Contact Us! We want to make your life easier!
A friend of ours came to us, wanting to create a website that truly showcased her talents. Kari Hallenburg has over 30 years of professional writing, editing, and project management experience. She wanted a site that would display her abilities, but wasn’t boring either. She enlisted SquareHook and our talented Creative Director, Ai.
We added some fun rotating banners with imagery that reflected her specialties.
The imagery really stood out on this site.
We love our Portfolio feature, and it looks stellar on this website!
Portfolio In the SquareHook Tool
Portfolio, front end view
Kari is a rockstar at editing her site! Which is great cause she edits content for a living. Whenever she wants to update and make changes to her webpages, she can-24/7.
If you’re looking to upgrade your website, whether that be through custom programming or graphics that are specific to you, contact us! We will make the Internet blush when they visit your site ‘cause it’s so amazing!
We regularly get new customers that ask us for assistance on creating a logo for their business. We thought it would be interesting to share what we did when creating our logo for SquareHook. This process is a process that we have used with numerous businesses to help them define what their logo should be.
Before beginning with the logo, have you picked your business name. If your answer is no, stop here. It’s extremely important that you are happy and settled on your name before even considering a logo. That topic is a whole other blog post by itself.
Now that you have chosen a good business name, you are ready to start thinking about your logo. The next step here is not to buy Photoshop and start playing with graphics. Your next step is to build a design brief. Fortunately, everything in the design brief just requires some Word Processing and search.
We can talk about design styles and everything else, but before we begin with that, define what your business does. There is no better way to help a graphic designer then to tell them what exactly your business is as what it does. When creating our design brief we initially began with 3 items:
SquareHook is a start-up company that aims to be the mobile web choice for small, local businesses. The Company’s strategy is to alter the way in which people browse the web on their mobile devices by making it easy for these businesses to provide a mobile website for their ever growing market of customers that rely on their mobile
devices as a primary tool for browsing the internet.
SquareHook will host, manage and enhance our customers site with social media interaction, responsive design, easy editing and stellar support and expert graphic designers available to assist our customers with beautiful designs.
SquareHook is looking to target a specific segment of small, local businesses.
Restaurants who are looking to improve their website traction by replacing the typical PDF menu on their site with a more engaging mobile menu that allows their customers
to browse and highlight items for order, keep the phone number accessible and clickable so their customers will have a more engaging experience.
Small Retail Shops who provide services that mobile users would be particularly interested in. This would include flower shops, coffee shops, dry cleaning, real estate agents, bike shops, farmer’s markets and other service oriented business who’s customers are frequently on the go.
Taxi Cab Companies, which are already seeing a mobile trend where the typical user is coming to their site from a device. We have experience integrating these sites into larger reservations systems so they can provide a web experience that makes it easy for their customers and enhances the features they already have with current mobile apps in the market.
What service our business provides
SquareHook provides full hosting, domain management, CMS integration, blogging and themes for all their customers. Members are able to create and manage their sites they way they want without knowing any HTML.
We provide two distinct levels of service to address the needs of our clients. The first is targeted at our customers who are a DIY crowd. These individuals want to create and manage their own site quickly and effortlessly. These individuals are looking for the easiest way to take a look that is close enough to fit their needs and build out a site inexpensively to provide their own customers a level of quality at a reasonable price.
The second group of individuals are those who need a website, but have no interest in managing it. They may not know, or desire to know anything about what it takes to create a site and host it. The individual wants a customized look and feel that caters to their market, but doesn’t want to be bogged down by all the day to day operations of a site. SquareHook will offer a service for the individuals, where for a premium, we will host the site, but also take care of the domain, maintenance, graphics and social media campaigns for these individuals.
What’s most surprising when talking with customers is just how little they know about 2 of the three items above, particularly target customer. Really think about this information. In our case, many things have changed from the beginning which is to be expected. However, this is a useful exercise with building a great logo. It’s also a fantastic opportunity to create focus in the initial creation of your business.
Now that you have defined your business and conveyed it into a 1 page summary (keep it simple), you can now begin defining important elements of your logo.
What the name you want in your logo?
For SquareHook, we used this area to define a few basic bits of information. We started with a few options in the design. See our description of our desire here: “SquareHook – we are considering: all lower case, all caps, or just the S and H in caps.” This is important because we are telling the designer the different options we would like the text to use. We give the designer options, but also restrict what they can’t do.
One element we are probably missing here is our desire not to have a space between the two words. Fortunate for us, that wasn’t much of an issue in the design, but to be clear, it’s important to have those simple conversations.
In addition to defining our text and options with the text, we also describe how we chose the name and what the meaning is. One token word we like to use with our brand name is whimsical. This word did wonders for our designers to know just how much they could play. Here is our description:
The name SquareHook was chosen with a few ideas in mind.
The end user of our sites will be viewing these websites from a square device in their hand. Square also conveys a space where the business resides.
The hook aspect of our name was chosen to indicate that this is a marketing tool to differentiate yourself from your competitors. If you have a mobile accessible site that has a higher quality aspect to it, customers will more likely be drawn to you when looking for a nearby place to shop or eat.
We wanted a name that is whimsical. Something that is easy to remember, easy to spell and provides an opportunity to be fun and creative.
Do you have a slogan or tagline?
Would you like examples incorporated in your logo. You want to make sure if you have a slogan, you have designs with and without that show how that slogan can be displayed with your logo. One sentence worked for us in defining this
Do you have a slogan you want incorporated in your logo?
Our tagline is Mobilizing the Web. We would like to see the logo alone and with the tagline.
What are your colors?
We originally had two colors and honestly, our colors changed during the logo process. Don’t spend a lot of time here. Define 2 colors, but leave some flexibility with the designers here. They will often surprise you and provide a better choice if color is flexible. When specifying the colors you may currently use, provide more than the words red and black. We provided screens of color pickers with rgb and hex values for the designer to view.
We also made it very clear that these colors are not hard set. Even during the design process we would specifically ask the designers to try different colors to see what they would look like. It’s also important to know that you will need black and white versions and inverse color logos. You will run into scenarios where the background behind your logo needs a different option. Keep this in mind with your selection.
Where will your logo be used?
You need to tell your designers where you intend to use your logo. Most are pretty straight forward: your website, business cards, etc. Think about other things as well like t-shirts, toys or other things that might not be typical. Here was ours:
Print (Business cards, letterhead)
Online (Website, online advertising, banner adds)
Merchandise (T-shirts, Marshall Turnstone)
Use this opportunity to say anything that you might think is relevant. For us, we reiterated that we wanted the logo to be whimsical and fun.
Finally we get to graphics. Don’t display any text here, just do a search on Google or other websites and take samples of logos or images that you like. Our examples included a previous logo that we did by not following the above (our mistake). We also included other logos we liked, a literal picture of a fish hook and some other random images of clouds, post its, etc and cubes.
Your design brief is ready. Here is a complete example of the SquareHook Design Brief.
Now you are ready to find a designer to help. We often recommend firms that specialize on logo design. There are many great firms out there that can help you out. Do your homework and look at your options. Make sure you look at their previous work to see if their style is something that you are interested in. A few we have recommended in the past are http://www.ashworthcreative.com/ and http://www.thirdsun.com/.
Also, be willing to talk with the designers. If something is not right, comment. Be critical too. Give a go ahead only to a design that you truly think has merit. Communicate, be honest and ask for options. The designers want to make you happy. If you like a design, it doesn’t hurt to ask what the logo would look like on a business card, letter head, etc.
Some Final Tips?
Keep your logo designs simple. At the end of the day, pick the simplest logos. They will be the most memorable, easiest to manipulate and ultimately provide the greatest flexibility for your website designs, product packaging, merchandise, business cards and everything else. Also consider that the text by itself is a perfectly fine logo. You don’t have to have some representing icon.
We hope this post will help you define and create a successful logo for your business. Now that you have a direction with your brand, you can focus on other parts of your business. Let us know if you have any suggestions or successful or unsuccessful tips from your experiences with logo creation.
Early on in my graphic design career, I was designing items for the static end. I rarely had to consider fonts. The only thing that mattered was having the font on the computer in front of me, and my worry would stop there. Along the way, I’ve learned there is a lot more to consider when it comes to fonts. This spans from the media the font is intended for, how widely it will be used, and for what period of time. Our focus in this article will be on fonts ideal for websites.
Different mediums to consider: (courtesy of fontsquirrel.com)
Commercial Desktop Use – Create commercial graphics and documents.
@font-face Embedding – Embed the font in your websites with CSS.
Ebooks and PDFs – Embed font in eBooks and portable documents.
Applications – Embed font in applications and software.
The font for your site is typically changed in the CSS section of the site. Depending on your platform, the CSS is accessible in a variety of ways.
Fontsquirrel offers a web font generator that allows you to convert most fonts into a web font for use online.
Consider why it’s important to know about your font:
- How will it look on other browsers?
- How much will this font end up costing? Is it limited to desktop publishing, or can it be used in web publishing? Does your license restrict you from sharing your font with clients if required?
- Reliability: An improperly created truetype font can potentially crash your computer. Using a subscription service, or purchasing from a reputable source typically shields you from the dangers of an incorrectly executed font.
- When choosing your font, considering how the font will look on large and small screens while keeping aesthetic qualities, clarity, and loading times in mind.
Googlefonts– focuses on webfonts
Google fonts provides “hundreds of free, open-source fonts optimized for the web.” Why is this important? A low cost/ free font can save a good deal of money in the long run. Google fonts are a benefit as you can keep a clear eye on loading times, as well as cross bowser compatibility. There’s also a good deal of handy information about the current use of a particular font on a global scale
FontSquirrel.com– focuses on commercial-use fonts
Dafont.com– focus appears to be on personal use, donation base. There are a large number of commercial use fonts available.
Adobe Webfonts– (through Adobe type kit) a subscription is paid to access a number of high profile, professionally created fonts “that have been carefully developed to look great on screens and easily deployed on websites.”
With Creative Cloud updates, soon the fonts will be able to sync with Adobe products on desktop.
Edgewebfonts– the free subsidiary of Adobe Webfonts
OTHER USEFUL TOOLS:
Typewonder.com- lets you test out web fonts on an existing published site.- Really amazing tool for test-driving fonts.
Myfonts/WhatTheFont- Need a font identified? This tool is great!