My newsletter in July has some great tips and tricks to get you up on the costs of starting a website.
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Most business owners don’t consider the importance of color when thinking about promoting their business. Picking the right color and color scheme is critical when designing logos, websites or marketing materials. Color can affect people in profound ways; it sets a mood or feeling about your company.
Before my college years, I never realized what my eye was drawn to or why I looked away. Since then, my eye has been trained to see what is wrong with an image, and what to do to make it more pleasing and relaxing to the viewer. Have you ever gone to a web page and immediately clicked away? Did something inexplicable bother you about the site? More often than not, it is the design and color choices used that made you click away. Everyone has this innate sense of what looks “right” and what looks “wrong” without even knowing it.
Contrasting colors (two colors from separate segments of the color wheel) create an effect where your eye does not know what to concentrate on first. This is why creating a dynamic and engaging home page for your website is so important. You have a few seconds to impress your potential customer before they move on to another site.
This post is the first in a series about color. I am such a strong believer that the use of color – the right color – can impact the effectiveness of a website, logo or marketing piece.
Primary colors: These colors are equal distance from each other on the color wheel – yellow, red and blue.
Secondary colors: These colors fall between each primary color on the color wheel and are created when primary colors are mixed together. Think back to that old Glad Bags commercial: “Yellow and blue make green!”
Tertiary colors: This is when a primary color is mixed with a secondary color. An example of these are blue-violet, red-orange, green-blue (turquoise) and yellow-green (lime green).
Hue: This describes the weakness or intensity of a color.
Tint: When a color is mixed with white to get a lighter value of the original color, that is its tint.
Shade: The opposite of tint is when a color mixed with black to get a darker value of the original color – or its shade.
Tone: Color mixed with Grey
Complementary colors: Two colors that are opposite to each other on the color wheel chart. An example of the complementary color scheme is purple and yellow. This color scheme looks best when you pair a warm color with a cool color. It creates high-contrast and added interest.
Monochromatic: Use of a single color and all its variations of its tints and shades. This color scheme works well for unifying a look. However, it lacks color contrast and is not very vibrant.
Analogous schemes: These colors are located right next to each other on the color wheel, such as red/orange/yellow and green/blue/purple. This color scheme looks richer than monochromatic but still lacks contrast. Avoid combining warm and cool colors in the Analogous scheme.
Harmonious Schemes: These colors are on the same side of the color wheel. Examples would be yellows and oranges or blues and greens.
Triadic Scheme: Three colors that are the same distance from each other on the color wheel, such as violet/green/orange or red/yellow/blue. This scheme creates strong contrast while keeping a feeling of balance. In order to avoid a harsh effect, I recommend using the tints and shades of this scheme. Pick one color to be used in larger amounts, and the remaining two more sporadically.
Warm Colors: These are yellows, reds and oranges. They convey energy and provide a “cozy” feeling.
Cool Colors: These include are blues, greens and violets. They have a calming effect on us and help us to feel relaxed.
The use of color should not be taken lightly. Using colors that pair well will capture your viewer’s attention and get them to look further into your website, brochure or other marketing material. Any questions on color schemes, please let me know.
Part 2 of this series will be on how colors affect the emotions.
My friends and I always been into saving the environment. I’ll never forget the 18th recycled birthday card I received from a friend with “Save the Earf” written inside. When I was in high school, 17 years ago, my class started the first paper recycling program. The program was started and run by the students. The recycling program in my home town also started during my high school years. With all the environmental information coming to the forefront during my formative years, the environment has always been on my mind. I have become an mini-expert as of late to find ways to cut my carbon footprint not only personally but with my business.
What is Green Marketing?
Marketing with products that are environmentally safe and developing your business in a sustainable way – meeting your needs without jeopardizing future generations to meet their needs.
Green Printing – When printing your promotional materials, go beyond printing on recycled paper. Look for a printer that takes strides to recycle their waste paper. Does the printer offer low-VOC soy-based inks? These inks are kinder to our environment and are less toxic than traditional printing inks.
Personalized Promotional Products – We all at one time or another ordered products with our logo and contact information for promotional uses. How about purchasing products that are made from recycled materials? A quick search on the internet and you can find pens made from recycled cardboard, recycled denim pencils and bookmark or key rings made from old computer circuits. These items are becoming more and more popular, your choices are infinite and becoming very affordable.
Green Hosting – The average website server produces the same emissions as a 15 mpg SUV. The recent addition of green hosting means that the servers used by the hosting company are powered by wind energy or other renewable sources. Most Green Hosting companies also use servers that use up to 40% less power consumption. Having an eco-friendly website helps reduce your carbon footprint.
Social Media – Another easy green marketing tip is to start email marketing campaigns or social media. Start up LinkedIn page, Facebook, Twitter and a Blog. Spend a small amount of time every day or every other day posting something that will be relevant to readers about your industry. Every time you post something, it is like a small promotion for your business. The more you post, the more often your company name will be in front of others and you will have name recognition. The best part about all of this is that it is free…other than your time of course. Answer questions that other posts and become an “industry expert”. Post information about what your company is working on, perhaps your new stride to become green.
Reduce Plastic Use – Eliminate plastic from your shipping. Try using cornstarch packing peanuts – this wonderful peanuts biodegrade and are non- toxic. Choose suppliers who take back packaging for reuse. Read the article below to get some perspective on what plastic is doing to our environment.
So let’s all “Save the Earf”
Sitting down and trying to think about what to write for my first blog…and my cat jumps up to get attention. My attention is inevitably drawn from working to petting. My mind wonders and I start thinking about this strange habit that he does to get my attention (usually done in the middle of the night to wake me up). He stands at the bedroom door and scratches on it. If I forget to feed him at night, he is scratching between 11:00-11:30 pm to tell me to get up and put some food in his bowl. Lately, he has decided between 4:00-5:00 am he wants to get a drink of fresh water…so you better get up and turn on the sink for me or I’ll just keep this scratching going. It’s his way to communicate with me. We all communicate, be it verbal, body language or hand gestures (good and bad). When you own a business, how do you communicate with your clients? The first thing that comes to mind is a corporate identity or logo. What is a logo? The dictionary says: a graphic representation or symbol of a company name, trademark, abbreviation, etc., often uniquely designed for ready recognition.
What Does a Logo Do for Your Company?
This is the first impression of your company. This first impression requires serious thought and attention. The logo must identify your brand, what your company does and increase customer recognition. Your logo should also be memorable, original, stand out and be easy to read.
Don’t make the mistake of being without a logo or treating it as an after thought. Think of the Nike swish logo…you know what company it is without any words associated.
There are many things to think about when looking into a logo design for your company. Professionalism and a simple design is an important first consideration. Will your ideal logo be identifiable or readable in all uses? Before committing on a logo consider these three important details:
• See it in black and white, how does it look? Does it loose impact and legibility in only black and white? Ask a friend what they think if you are unsure.
• See the logo reduced, about 1″ in size, like how it would look on a business card. Your lovely logo at 4″ can look cluttered and confusing on your business card.
• Keep it simple. The more detail on your logo, the more the logo will clutter up when reduced or only in black in white – Loosing your impact, readability and professional image.
Put it in the hands of a professional designer. Personally do many hours of research, brainstorming and designing to come up with up to 5-10 versions of a logo for a client. The amount of logo options I create is based on how certain people are with what they want. I have had clients that have no idea what they want, they just want it red. In that instance, I supply more design options, some that are more modern, some more classical and some that might be a little wild, but still be fitting for the industry. You never know what they will end of loving.
The final logo is something that will represent your company for years to come and with the right guidance, something that you will be proud to show off.