Beautifully Ugly

I was flipping through our morning newspaper and came across a common advertiser that I’m sure many of you are familiar with: Ollie’s Bargain Outlet. It’s a cringe-worthy abomination in the eyes of most designers. Crass typography. Cheesy illustrations of Ollie sprinkled throughout the flyer. Each page packed with hyperbolic descriptions of all kinds of “buyout!” specials that won’t last long. It’s beautifully ugly. Why beautifully ugly? Because it’s perfectly-suited to the message and the messenger. The imagery, typography and writing style is crafted to fit in a way that’s memorable and impactful—and appropriate. This makes it a great example … Continued

Local SEO: 10 ways to boost your site’s visibility locally

I just completed a course at UCDavis on Optimizing a Website for (Organic) Search. There was a ton of valuable information conveyed in the course, but an area that I found particularly helpful was the section on Local Search. This is valuable for many of my clients that are local businesses that target almost exclusively to local clientele: Top 10 Localized Organic Factors Domain Authority of Website Quality/Authority of Inbound Links to Domain City,State in GMB Landing Page Title Click-Through Rate from Search Results Topical (Product/Service) Keyword Relevance of Domain Content Diversity of Inbound Links to Domain Geographic (City/Neighborhood) Keyword … Continued

SEO: What is it and why is it important?

First, I’ll start with a definition: SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or web page in organic search results. The organic results are all the unpaid links that show up when you type in a request in a search engine like Google. Why is it important? If your website or web page does not show up in search results, or shows up on page 15 of the results, your website will be basically invisible to anyone searching for your product, service or organization. And growing your business or organization will be significantly … Continued

Data visualization: The powerful influence of designers and data

I was reading a very engaging story on infographics in the current issue of Smithsonian and thought it might be relevant to share my perspective on this subject. The story begins with a summary of how infographics and data visualization have influenced events throughout history. Incredibly, it’s a very old, dating back 8,000 years. However, the early uses were used primarily as maps. After all, a map is a visual representation of our world based on current data available. Today, the available data is much more vast and the need to make it understandable is a struggle for almost all … Continued

2013 Web marketing trends to grow your business

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Image courtesy of 6S I was reading an article this morning on internet marketing trends for 2013 on startupnation.com. There were 13 trends that they highlighted in 2013. While some that were mentioned fall more into the short-lived fad category, most were trends vital for remaining relevant and necessary in 2013 to maximize your revenue and growth. The first one, “design matters“, of course made my morning. It does matter. Good design is becoming more and more valued and well-regarded in the business community. With companies like Apple, Nike, and Google setting the example, design is no longer considered mere … Continued

Four characteristics of great logos

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I came across an article online from Inc. magazine today about great logo designs. There are some incredibly good points made in this article. I’ve been creating logos for almost 25 years now and I’ve learned a lot of things during this wonderful journey. And this list summarizes some of top items. Take a look:  

Be powerful beyond measure

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Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” —Marianne Williamson.

Vision statements for design projects?

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Imagine this: try creating a story that explains what you envision for your next website, logo or brochure. I was reading an article in Inc. Magazine the other day that shared a vision statement for Zingerman’s Farmers’ Market: “It’s the longest day of the year; the sun is at its pinnacle of warmth and light. Throngs of people are milling around the Roadhouse parking lot, amazed and excited at the abundance of locally produced goods, ranging from several gorgeous varieties of tomatoes to handmade soap and artisan crafts, to herbs and plants, plus a very strong synergy of Zingerman’s items—cheese … Continued

Email marketing — you can’t ignore its effectiveness

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Email marketing can give you a ROI that exceeds any other marketing channel — $43 in return for every dollar invested. For a comparison, non-catalog direct mail returns about $15 for every dollar and catalog direct mail returns about $7 (according to DMA’s Power of Direct economic impact study). For tips and in-depth email marketing best practices, listen to this podcast that includes email experts from ReturnPath, Constant Contact and Smith-Harmon: http://www.box.net/shared/nmkz98ilki At Evolv Design, we can help you develop an email campaign that will tie into your current brand, if you have one, or help you build your brand … Continued

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