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Facebook Advertising Tips for Your Small Business
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For a small company, word of mouth can be amazing and bring in plenty of customers, but dont stop there. Consumers can be easily reached through the plethora of social media outlets now available. By doing just a few simple things and budgeting for a little extra spending, you can build a larger and more loyal customer base. Firstly you need to understand who your target audience is and the best way for  you to reach them.

Options
Facebook is one of my favorite platforms for social advertising. There are lot of options to choose from, so you have a chance to work out your goals and come up with the perfect way to achieve them. If you are looking for more likes on your page, you can optimise your ads to do just that. If you want to direct users to your website, you have that option too. Often it is easier to convert users to likers which then helps build a relationship and can be easier to guide them to your website.

A great option Facebook has for advertising is the ability to direct users to tabs on your page. An easy way to gain likes is to direct users to a tab with an offer. This means that immediately after liking your page, they will receive access to a special offer or promotion that you set up.

Targeting
Another reason Facebook is great for target marketing is that it allows you to be specific with your advertising. If you need to target 40-year-olds looking for a product in your area, you can do that. If you need to target 30 year old women, you can do that, too. The possibilities are endless and you can try as many strategies as you like until you see which works best for you.

Budget
Creating your budget is very user friendly. What you see is what you get. You decide whether to have a daily budget or lifetime budget. You choose whether to have Facebook bid automatically for ad space, or you set your own bid amount based on suggestions for your target audience. You can always go back and change it you are never locked in.

Tracking
Once your ad campaign is set up, make sure you track the results. Evaluate your spending and see whether it is worth the results you are getting. The dashboard on your page makes it easy to see how many people are clicking on your ad and liking your page. It is easy to see if you are spending too much for mediocre results.

Have you tried Facebook advertising for your business? Do you have any other tips?

2014 Pantone Colour of the Year
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Pantone officially declared Pantone 18-3224 Radiant Orchid as the 2014 Colour of the Year.

“While the 2013 colour of the year, PANTONE 17-5641 Emerald, served as a symbol of growth, renewal and prosperity, Radiant Orchid reaches across the colour wheel to intrigue the eye and spark the imagination,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Colour Institute®. “An invitation to innovation, Radiant Orchid encourages expanded creativity and originality, which is increasingly valued in today’s society.”

“An enchanting harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones, Radiant Orchid inspires confidence and emanates great joy, love and health. It is a captivating purple, one that draws you in with its beguiling charm.”

The colour of the year selection requires careful consideration and, to arrive at the selection, Pantone quite literally combs the world looking for colour influences. This can include the entertainment industry and films that are in production, traveling art collections, hot new artists, popular travel destinations and other socio-economic conditions. Influences may also stem from technology, availability of new textures and effects that impact colour, and even upcoming sports events that capture worldwide attention.

Information from www.pantone.com

Why does my logo look like that one?
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How is it possible that two logos are unintentionally similar?

As designers we are exposed to the same surroundings and influences. The same styles, colours and patterns surround us and we often work on similar projects, therefore, it is assumed ideas will often look alike. Some may say ideas are “stolen or plagiarised” however, more often than not, this may not be the case.

Here are some examples I came across:

 

Carrier & Ford

Cooperative Program & Colgate Palmolive

Toyota and Jincheng (Chinese car company)

Quark & Scottish Arts Council

BYD (Chinese car company) & BMW

Web design trends for 2014
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Many trends that were spotted in 2013 are still around today and will undoubtedly become extremely popular throughout 2014. The reason why they are called trends and not fads is because trends tend to stick around for a few years while fads are here for a short time. In saying that, what kind of new(ish) web design trends we can look for and be inspired by for 2014?

DESIGN
Apple reignited “flat design” with the release of iOS7. However, Apple has taken flat design to a whole new level by removing almost all design elements (drop shadows, gradients, outlines etc.). For a long time Apple has been a major trendsetter, and what Apple does, the rest of the world seems to follow. iOS7 has been out for a while and already there are a flood of sites coming online every day with new “flat” designs. I expect this trend to continue well past 2014.

CONTENT
Simple content is destined to dominate in 2014 and beyond as we design our websites. Simplified content means short paragraphs of content making it easy to read and keep the viewers attention. Over the years, our attention spans have become shorter, so as designers we have compensated for that by putting content in short bursts instead of long narratives. Not many areas on websites these days (except blog posts) have more than about 250 characters. It is easier and faster to read for those who like to scan the page.

COLOUR
Simple colour schemes are also here to stay. Simple meaning using only one or two colours. The use of a more simple color scheme seems to go hand in hand with flat design. Many websites being launched now are using very little colour, or even forgoing colour all together. White, black, and everything in between are popular schemes now, and adding just a hint of another colour, such as red, adds drama and impact – all things garnish attention when used in the right way.

FONTS
Using just Arial or Times new Roman on your website is a thing of the past. Thousands of web friendly fonts have been created so that your corporate font can some be a part of your website. It is also great to see more designers experimenting with different fonts. “Fonts with personality” are those that feel like they can stand on their own. They are not your standard serif or san-serif font (ahem, Helvetica). As designers we are starting to find different fonts to add to our portfolio which are  enhancing our designs with a little more personality and uniqueness.

RESPONSIVE
Now that responsive web design is becoming more common, we are starting to see websites more functional for our mobile lifestyles. Designers are increasingly working on keeping their sites working properly on mobile devices. Developers are taking it a step further including integration with social media, email subscription areas, long scrolling sites and fast loading sites, all helping to make the mobile web a more user friendly place.

SCROLLING
We’ve become comfortable with scrolling through a website to read and find information, and now with websites using more design techniques such as increased white space and responsive Web design, long scrolling sites are starting to appear again. Several years ago, it was common to have long scrolling sites that where slammed with content. Well, now we are seeing long scrolling websites but the content is more organized and in a much easier format to digest.

HERO IMAGES
Large static hero images on website home pages are now quite popular. Hero areas are quickly replacing sliders as the new attention-grabbers and are becoming increasingly creative and elaborate.

Thomas Cook Travel latest re-brand
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World renowned tour operator, Thomas Cook, has opted for a new ‘Sunny Heart’ logo, ditching the globe logo it first used in 1880, as the company continues recovering from being close to collapse. The 172-year-old firm unveiled the new design alongside a new positioning statement – ‘Let’s Go’ – replacing its famous motto ‘Don’t just book it, Thomas Cook it.’

The re-brand is part of a complete overhaul by new CEO Harriet Green, who was recruited last year to save the company. The tour operator had been battered by weak consumer confidence in Europe and disruption to holiday destinations such as Egypt. Thomas Cook was eventually forced to cut 2,600 jobs and shut approximately 195 travel agencies as part a survival plan.

The changes mark a new chapter in a history dating back to 1841, when former Baptist preacher Thomas Cook began running tours for members of the anti-alcohol temperance movement.

The switch to the new logo follows a year-long trial in Scandinavia, which the firm said met with a positive response from Danes, Finns, Swedes and Norwegians. Swedish ad agency Happy, came up with the design. Neither Happy nor Thomas Cook would reveal how much it paid for the new logo, with a spokesman saying only that the cost was ‘minimal’.

While the Sunny Heart idea came from the Swedish ad agency, industry sources said the final version had to be tweaked by the firm’s own marketing team. The design was made ‘a little plumper’ compared to the original and has also been ‘irradiated’ by adding a sparkle of light.

Thomas Cook marketing and ecommerce director Mike Hoban said, “The gold sunny heart logo had been created to evoke warmth and emotion and worked for all types of holiday, even skiing. The type in metallic grey reflects a high tech, digital Thomas Cook.”

After a successful year in the Nordic countries, the sunny heart is now the unifying symbol for the whole Thomas Cook Group, in more than 70 countries. This is the first time in Thomas Cook’s 172-year history that all its companies will have a unifying identity.


1891

 


Late 19th century


In 1914, a fifth continent was added to the surrounding ribbons

 


1928 a fifth ribbon was added, and the brand name changed from Cooks Tours to Cook’s Travel Service

 


The globe was replaced in 1930 with TC&S for Thomas Cook and Son

 


These two designs were used between the mid-1930s until after the second world war

 


Cooks was used between the 50s and 70s

 


The “flame red” Thomas Cook logo was introduced in 1974

 


Updated in 1989 to the logo most of us know

 


The “sea and sun” yellow and blue was launched in 2001

 

 

 


 

 

Print is virtually unstoppable
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Print designers rejoice! In an age where life is increasingly moving from the physical to the ‘cloud’, it’s easy to be worried that the need for printed marketing and promotions materials is quickly disappearing. But thanks to a new study by Millward Brown (a leading research firm working with some of the world’s biggest brands), print communication has found some rock-solid validity. Working with Bangor University, Millward Brown conducted a series of tests examining how the brain processes physical marketing materials, compared to digital materials presented on a screen. Using MRI scanning, they were able to look directly at participants’ brain activity while being exposed to the different media, tracking the brain regions most involved in processing the messages. The results were conclusive—the ‘real’ experience of physical media is better at forming memories and generating emotion, helping to develop more positive brand associations.

So, lets get printing!

Source: BJ Ball

Creative Packaging
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This post is to show some amazing, innovative and creative packaging design ideas from all over the world.

Even though the goal of modern retail packaging is to encourage potential buyers to purchase the product, clever packages can also be a great source of inspiration.

 

 

 

QR Codes
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Smart phones are in almost everyone’s pocket these days and we use them more as a personal assistant and connection to the digital world more than we do for their original purpose of making a phone call. However, it is our belief that printed material is still required to lead us to our virtual world. Cross marketing has become huge with QR codes being placed on many printed materials as an easy way to access something, or should I say anything, online directly.

The next time you require an item that promotes yourself or your business for example a business card, brochure or pull-up banner, remember to add a QR code to your designs.

QR Codes can be used with any smart phone and new scanners to bookmark and take you to almost anything virtual. Whether it be used to promote a URL link to your site, Facebook page or specialised to send someone your phone number, app download, PayPal purchase or even WIFI login. Your options are endless.

How loyal are you?
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Brand loyalty is how we escape decision fatigue.

Making choices is exhausting – mentally, emotionally and even physically. With the magnitude of online services and globalising markets, our options have multiplied rapidly, and it’s wearing us out. More than anything else, this is why we form brand loyalties. Once we believe that our values and choices align, we are happy to leave choices to the brand that has earned our trust, and shift some of the burden off our own shoulders.

Be trustworthy enough to take the load off. The brands that earn loyalty in 2013 are those that have earned it. By showing you’re aligned, and communicating in familiar language, you establish a trust that lets customers relax. “Go ahead,” you say, “we’ve got you covered.” If they can believe you, they’ll love you for it.

Will you be loyal to us?

Kraft Goes Back to Original Logo
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Kraft Foods has changed its logo for the fourth time in less than four years, and it looks a lot like the original version. Kraft the corporation redesigned and finally settled on a very similar version of their old and original logo.

The saga of the Kraft logo started in February 2009 when Kraft Foods Inc., the corporation, not Kraft, the consumer brand, redesigned its logo to one that looked much like the Yoplait logo with a mulitcoloured starburst.

Five months later they flipped the starburst to the other side and changed the colors. Then in August of 2011 Kraft reported that the company would split in two: (1) Mondelez, for the global snacks business and (2) Kraft Foods Group, managing brands such as Kraft, Maxwell House, Oscar Mayer and Planters. As of October 1, 2012, Kraft Foods Group officially began again as a start-up or, as they described it, a “new company that has been around 109 years”. A new logo was introduced with the new company. No design credit has been given.

Thank goodness the starburst is gone. In my opinion it was one of the worst corporate re-brands in recent years. The new logo adopts a redesigned version of the well-known consumer logo found on Kraft foodstuffs. I must admit I prefer the original version – it seems pointless to change something that has worked for so long. I really don’t see any benefits to the re-design.

Kraft 2009 logos possibly inspired by Yoplait?