This past winter I went to the Cooper Hewitt museum in NYC and saw the exhibit “How Posters Work.”
“The exhibition dissects the designers’ creative uses of design principles and visual expression to underscore the significance of a designer’s and the viewer’s eye to the design process.
How Posters Work uses the medium of the poster to explore principles of visual thinking that extend to many forms of design, including branding, packaging, book covers, websites, and motion graphics.”
Design Principles covered in the exhibit:
- Focus the eye
- Overwhelm the eye
- Use text as image
- Cut and paste
- Assault the surface
- Tell a story
- Double the meaning
Explore the exhibition online here.
As Facebook (and soon Instagram) limit the visibility of your posts (through algorithms) your email list is becoming more and more valuable. Why? Because it is direct access to your audience. It is under your control.
Here are some tips:
- Treat your list it wisely. Send emails your audience will be interested in. It’s a sales tool, but don’t just sell.
- Build your list. Collect email addresses at every chance – on your website, at conferences, etc. Add a sign up link to your email signature, so whenever you communicate with someone new person they have the opportunity to sign up.
- Offer incentive for people to sign up for your list.
- Send regularly – at least monthly so the people on your list don’t forget who you are.
- Learn from others. Study the successful emails you receive. What parts do you respond to? How can you apply that to your own content?
It’s best to be ahead of the game with your social media marketing.
Plan out your posts for the week, or even month. You can always add if other pertinent things come up. Mid-month, I meet with a client to go over the next month’s posting schedule. We look at all holidays, occasions, and events that are relevant. We have a goal for how frequently we want to post. If it is a “slow” month with holidays, etc. we brainstorm other post ideas.
It’s more efficient to write out all your posts for the week or month in one sitting. The same goes for taking or retouching photos. Doing “like” tasks together is shown to be a more efficient use of time, than switching between different tasks.
Using a social media scheduling tool, like hootsuite*, allows you to schedule all of your weekly or monthly posts in one sitting. This way you don’t have to post in real time, which is especially great if you are going away, and/or if you manage more than one account.
Being prepared by planning and scheduling your posting will allow you to feel more secure with your social media marketing. And you can always add a post if something relevant comes up. It will also be easier to evaluate the months or weeks past, so if necessary you can change your plan accordingly.
*There are many resources that allow you to schedule your posts. I use hootsuite, which has a monthly fee (for what I need). Each service offers different options and fee structures.
Other services include:**
Edgar, buffer, tailwind, boardbooster
**List courtesy of Meighan O’Toole, Digital Strategist.
Creative Bloq has put together a great compilation of all things logo. With links and videos, covering things from the grid, to negative space, it is really an education in logo design. It lives up to it’s heading “everything you need to know.” Here is just one of their 65 tips.
Tip: Learn Logo 101
An effective logo is distinctive, appropriate, practical, graphic, simple in form and conveys an intended message. In its simplest form, a logo is there to identify but to do this effectively it must follow the basic principles of logo design:
- A logo must be simple. A simple logo allows for easy recognition and allows the logo to be versatile and memorable. Effective logos feature something unexpected or unique without being overdrawn.
- A logo must be memorable. Following closely behind the principle of simplicity is that of memorability. An effective logo should be memorable and this is achieved by having a simple yet appropriate logo.
- A logo must be enduring. An effective logo should endure the test of time. The logo should be ‘future proof’, meaning that it should still be effective in 10, 20, 50+ years time.
- A logo must be versatile. An effective logo should be able to work across a variety of mediums and applications.
- A logo must be appropriate. How you position the logo should be appropriate for its intended purpose.
Read the complete article: 65 expert logo design tips from Creative Bloq.
Read about my logo design process here.
“According to a closely guarded and constantly shifting formula, Facebook’s news feed algorithm ranks all the posts in your feed, in what it believes to be the precise order of how likely you are to find each post worthwhile.” – Will Oremus (read the complete article here)
So what can businesses do, besides pay to “boost” our Facebook posts?
- Post regularly. Try increasing your frequency.
- Ask for engagement. Ask questions.
- Share content your readers will “Like.” Don’t just sell, provide value.
- Repeat the types of posts that get the most visibility.
- Engage with those, that engage with you.
Please share any tips you have in the comments below.
- Client interview. One of the most important steps! Learn what the client is looking for, the image they want to portray, and if they have ideas of their own, color preferences, etc.
- Pencil sketches. I always start with a pencil and paper, and sketch out as many concepts as I can. I also try to explore the logo as different shapes.
- Font analysis. This is where I go through my font catalog, and find different font options that support my concepts and the “feel” we are going for. I view the company/client name in the different fonts, and narrow the choices down.
- Create/find artwork. I draw (on the computer) any artwork/illustrations that will be part of the logo. If you aren’t comfortable with illustration, look through stock image sites, for artwork you can incorporate into your designs. Vector files can easily be customized.
- Logo design in Illustrator. I work in Illustrator, to bring to life my pencil sketches. Often I’ll scan them, to use as a template for the designs. It’s important to create the logo as a vector file (for enlarging, etc.). A vector file can be rasterized (and saved as a jpg, etc.) but not the reverse.
- Explore several options. I like to develop several versions to present to the client. Often I step away from the process for a night, because I come back to it with fresh ideas.
- Present the best ideas to the client. Some people don’t like to present too many options, but I think clients like choices. It’s very subjective. The logo I think is the best, might not be the one they prefer.
- Client input. What the client thinks is the most important thing – if they want to change elements of the design(s), or even don’t like the first round of versions, it’s important to remember the logo is meant to be a representation of them. Often people have to see something to realize it works (or doesn’t).
- Present revised design(s) or new versions. After the client’s input, I make the appropriate revisions or, occasionally I have go back to the drawing board (step #2 or #5). Usually working with the client through 1 or 2 rounds of revisions, will bring us to:
- Approved design. My goal is a happy, satisfied client.
Want to see some of the logos I’ve designed? Click here: Eileen McKenna Logo Portfolio.
It’s a great time to reflect on past accomplishments, and set goals for the New Year. I think it’s important to take stock of how far you’ve come, and where you’re headed.
This year, I’ve had the pleasure of developing several new relationships. I offer different services, so I’m always interested in what specific areas I worked in throughout the year.
As the graphic below shows, web design was the largest part of my business, followed by print, then logo design. Social media and email marketing were tied. Illustration was the smalllest part of my business.
I know web design will continue to be a large part of my business in 2016. New businesses need an online presence, and for many existing businesses it’s time to update their sites, especially if they aren’t mobile friendly. I predict that social media and email marketing will continue to grow, as they are important elements to any marketing strategy.
What are your marketing goals for 2016? I’d love to connect with you in the new year and help you achieve your goals.
Happy New Year!
How much of your internet browsing is done on your mobile device, not your desktop? Isn’t it frustrating when you find a site, but it isn’t readable? The text is too small, or when you try to select a menu item with your finger, you accidentally hit the wrong one, because the items are so close together. Frustrating right? How is the mobile user experience on your own site?
Google is using “mobile-friendliness” as a stronger ranking signal than ever before. It is no wonder Google places value on a mobile-friendly website. 67% of users in the U.S. access the Internet every day on their smartphone.*
At the beginning of the year, Google announced:
“We’re boosting the ranking of mobile-friendly pages on mobile search results. Now searchers can more easily find high-quality and relevant results where:
- text is readable without tapping or zooming,
- tap targets are spaced appropriately,
- the page avoids unplayable content or horizontal scrolling.”**
Not sure if your site is mobile-friendly? Take Google’s Mobile-Friendly test.
I’d be so thankful if you signed up for my newsletter here.
“While a high follower count may seem like a signal of success, our experts agreed that size isn’t everything — high quality engagement is where you’ll see the most returns.” *
If posts that generate engagement (likes, comments, shares) is the goal, then what to should you post? Here are some ideas:
Creative Posting Ideas for Authors:
- Character Takeover. Instead of posting from your perspective – try posting from one of your character’s perspectives. Include “Character Name from Book X here.” Repeat for a few days, even a week, to pique interest in the character, and the book. Don’t forget to include a link to buy the book, or read more.
- Ask your Fans. Propose a “What would happen if?” question to your fans. They love sharing their opinions! How about: “What if Character A and Character B were siblings, or became romantic, or hated each other?”
- Provide visuals for your characters. Help your fans get to know your characters. Help them visualize what the character would wear, how they would decorate their space, or even what they would be for Halloween!
- Ask for engagement. Use engagement as a way to answer a question. “Like this if you agree that Character A is “right” for Character B.” Or “Which book in the Series was your favorite?”
- Tap into your audience’s followers. Encourage sharing. Post “Share this post to be entered in a contest for a free pin/bookmark/tshirt” – whatever works. Need promo items? Email me!
Let me know if you try any of the ideas above!
Helpful links on Social Media Marketing:
*Source: “How to Win at Social Media” artsy.net
“Defining Your Social Media Strategy” by Meigan O’Toole
Copyright 2015 Eileen McKenna. All Rights Reserved.