Neutrals and Textures

Design inspiration from around the Interweb. A few things that strike my fancy.

Eye Candy: Art, Typography, Graphic Design

A: GRAPHIC DESIGN  Be Fearlessly Authentic.  Artist Unknown.

B: ART  Untitled.  Ellsworth Kelly. 

C: WEB DESIGN  Feathered.  Pattern Website Background.  {this is a free download that can be used on any website}

D: TYPOGRAPHY Northwell Hand-Scripted Font {$16usd}Sam Parrett.

Please feel free to use the color codes in anyway you like!

Matte Black: hex# 242423, Warm Gray: hex# 979797, Cool Gray: hex#d8d8d8, Matte Gold: hex# d0c09f, Cream: hex# f1eada

Need a Website + Have Limited Cash Flow? How to Get Started on the Web

thulian_wordpress_theme

For a newbie business, often funds are tight, right?  Cash flow has to be allotted carefully. But branding + websites are often top of the to-do list for new business needs.

So, how can you get started? AND for the least amount of money?

Here are some ideas using the least amount of money as possible!

*And all the gorgeous web templates you see here are linked to the sites where you can view demos, see purchase price and more.

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The Key to a Successful Logo Design

Simple is best. Yes, I said it! And mean it. Do I cringe while writing this because I make a living by creating logos? Not a chance. I want to share what I’ve learned after developing thousands of logos for companies around the world. A business needs a recognizable mark- which may mean a chosen typography style and/or color palette and iconic image.

But what solidifies your brand is how you style everything else and what design elements you choose to style with your logo. The act of creating a visual cohesiveness that you use throughout solidifies your brand.

Think of your top 3 favorite brands- maybe a boutique retailer, hotel or magazine. What do their logos look like? In most cases, I’d bet they are clean logotypes (a logo built from typography only).

W magazine's logo, a typeset serif W

*above: W magazine’s logo, a typeset serif W

Building your brand requires a lot of work and consistency beyond creating a logo, so consider staying away from too much color, lots of detail, and things that are difficult to reprint. Versatility is key.

However, if you want a detailed and colorful logo, consider having a secondary, more simple version of the logo that works well at various sizes and can be printed easily.

Consider building visual unity through:

▸ a brand color palette
▸ mood board
▸ signature images and photographs
▸ custom artwork
▸ business collateral

 

Simplicity and consistency help achieve professionalism and trust- a way to visually say “I’m good at what I do.”.

The Best Design Advice I Can Give. See the Whole Forest.

See The Whole Forest: Design Principle to Live By

See the whole forest.

When you are in the midst of a creative process, it can be easy to focus strenuously on a single design element.

I realized this in a college studio class when I had my eyes inches from the computer screen. A professor saw me obsessing over details. She intervened, sharing a design principle to live by,

“Don’t focus so intently on one little tree, a seedling. Step back. See the whole forest.

In order to gain a sense of clarity and make pivotal design decisions, you need to do more than move your text to the left 5 pixels or change a tone of gray to a fraction of a shade darker. To grasp ideas for critical changes, you need a new vantage point.

Try this:

▸ Take a real step back. Or 5. Try taking 5 paces back from your canvas and then review.

▸ Look from different angles and depths.

You’ll most likely see major shifts and edits that will fundamentally improve your design.

Easy Ways to Build a Website

Easy Ways to Build a Website
I am asked often by clients, “What is the easiest way to build my own website?” So I am always on the lookout for easy solutions that won’t break the bank.If you are in the market for a low-budget website you can manage on your own, here are a few suggestions for template sites with a nice, clean aesthetic:

1. Square Space: A great spot for clean and minimalist website templates for blogs, portfolios, business websites and e-commerce. They offer custom domains, mobile versions, 24/7 support for a monthly fee. Pricing is between $8/mo and $24/mo.

2. Virb: This site has a wide variety of clean and modern themed webpages with prices beginning at $10/mo. Features include media galleries, blogs, stores, Etsy integration and more.

3. Other People’s Pixels: Minimalist websites geared toward portfolio-type content. Pricing packages are either $16/mo or $26/mo. Great site for clean, simple and modern portfolio sites.

4. Shopify: An e-commerce and hosting solution. You have the ability to edit all the HTML and CSS of these templates, which is nice but not something all small businesses want to tackle or hire out. Shopify offers great marketing, SEO, and support. Pricing is between $29-$179/mo.

5. Big Cartel: Big Cartel is for small e-commerce websites only. Pricing is between $0-$29.99/mo. Set up, check out, and customizations are super easy to implement. Custom HTML and CSS can be applied as well as additional customizable templates available for purchase.

6. Goodsie: You can create a professional e-commerce site without knowing how to write code. Pricing structure is $30/mo or $75/mo. “Genius Idea: Making a point-and-click product look like it was made by a professional designer.” –Mashable

7. IM Creator: This site has amazing, very simple templates for informational websites. The templates and customization tools can be explored on their website without signing up for an account. Domain and unlimited hosting plans start out at $7.95/mo.

8. Folio Websites: Portfolio, blog and mobile site in one. Pricing is $14.60/mo. Clean and minimalist templates, perfect for photographers. Advanced SEO.

9. Storeenvy: Storenvy has the e-commerce community feel that Etsy does, with page templates that allow for a more couture and customized look. “E-commerce Transformed With Storenvy’s Social Shopping Platform” –Business Insider

If you happen to have used other great website builders, please feel free to reply and share.

You can also follow my Pinterest board for Easy Ways to Build a Website that I will update as I discover new and different solutions.