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Facebook Cover Image Size

Posted 14/11/2019

So, it seems that Facebook has changed again! I'm not sure exactly when they made this change, but today I've discovered that the cover image (across the top of your profile or business page) requires to be set at new dimensions in order to ensure it displays well in both mobile and desktop views. So, I've not written anything in a while but I thought this might be a useful subject to jump on my blog and explain! 

It appears that current cover images are fine, so it's only an issue if you go to replace or update your cover image, which is how I've been caught out! You might have noticed my cover image changing a few times today whilst I figured it out - sorry if I've been clogging up your newsfeed!

Anyway, I've now got the sizes worked out and have created a graphic that I hope will help you create your own facebook cover images that look great either on a mobile device or a desktop computer.

 

 

You need to set up the image at 820 x 340 px, but you need to allow for the sections in the image above which will be lost in different views.

The purple section in the middle of this image is the 'safe area' where you should keep your main information, logos and anything you don't want to be cropped. The size of this is 602 x 292 px.

You'll lose the side sections on a mobile device, meaning the image is narrower but full height (602 x 340 px) and on a desktop view you'll lose the top and bottom sections, meaning the image is wider but shorter (820 x 292 px).

I've taken screenshots of my own cover image, both in a mobile and desktop view, to show you how they appear differently, which I hope helps to explain... a picture says a thousand words!

 

Desktop view:

 

 

Mobile view:

 

Try to make sure your image or design looks good in both views, but most crucially ensure that nothing important is cropped off in either view.

I'm always here for advice, so get in touch if you have any questions! 

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Social Media Templates

Posted 13/5/2019

I thought today I'd talk about social media templates as this is a relatively new item, but one which I include within my branding packages. The idea of these is that I provide you with a background or a frame which you can then use in your favourite app or image editor and change to promote whatever product/service/message you're focusing on. 

The template is designed to fit your branding to ensure that the images you post on social media are recognisably yours. This is particularly important if you post something that can then be shared, as you'll make sure it always links back to your own page or website. We can include your logo, contact details, or whatever you choose on this to ensure your ownership is clear.

The designs are square, or to fit within a square, so that they are useable across all social media, especially Instagram which is image-based but requires us to conform to their square layout. The use of a social media template or set of social media templates is also great to ensure consistency on your social media page, something which many people strive to achieve, particularly on Instagram where (and I confess, I do it too) people post their images/messages in patterns to create a visually pleasing Instagram account. (If you don't know what I mean you can check out my Instagram account here where you'll see I use a pattern of photos/design work and purple circles to create a 'pretty' account.

If you'd like to find out more, head over to the Social Media Templates page of my website where you'll find prices and examples. As always, if you have any questions, please just drop me an email or connect with me on social media. 

 

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Fonts and typefaces

Posted 25/3/2019

People use the words ‘font’ and ‘typeface’ interchangeably. I’m guilty of this as I often feel that people are more familiar with the word ‘font’ and could be put off or confused by the word ‘typeface’, but actually there’s a difference between ‘type’, ‘typeface’ and ‘font’. 

 

‘Type’ is the term for everything that goes into the text. It originally meant the actual letters made out of metal or wood that were used in a printing press.

 

‘Typography’ is the style and appearance of text. If you’ve got children you’ll have come across great examples of typography in children’s books, the first that spring to my mind are the ‘Charlie and Lola’ books by Lauren Child, where the text of the story is arranged to create patterns. 

 

‘Typeface’ or ‘font family’ is a set of letters to include the whole alphabet, plus symbols, which all match and have similar features. For instance, Times and Arial are typefaces/font families. 

 

The ‘font’ is the style of a typeface, you’ll often notice different words/names after the main typeface name, so within the Arial font family, for example, you’ll find Arial, Arial Black, Arial Narrow & Arial Rounded.

 

How do I choose?

Choosing the right font is important as it is part of your brand identity and image. It also helps to set the tone of a piece of text. The font you choose can help people to understand your message before they’ve even read the actual words. You should also make sure you choose a font that’s easy for your audience to read. 

 

Serif or Sans Serif?

The two main font styles are ‘Serif’ and ‘Sans Serif’. The serif is the small line at the end of a stroke on a letter, some fonts have these and some don’t.

Arial is a sans serif font.

Times is a serif font.

The main text, or body copy of your article/poster/flyer etc is fine in both serif or sans serif. The main thing is to ensure that you choose one that’s legible/readable, often sans serif fonts can be easier to read. Choosing a serif font can give your copy more of a formal feel, whereas a sans serif font often looks more modern.

 

Should I use a different font for the title?

Display or header fonts are more eye catching and great for titles or a main call to action or message. Script, handwritten or decorative fonts are fab for this and again can really show off the style of your brand and the message you’re going for. You may choose to tie this in with a font used within your logo itself, so that your main titles or messages match your company name. You don't have to use a different font for a title though, often increasing the size or weight (making it bold) can do a great job too.

 

How many fonts should I choose?

Usually choosing 1-3 font is plenty, however you may choose more to make a statement like the message I use below to convey the importance of good branding!

 

If you have any questions or would like to run anything by me, please just drop me a message!

 

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Consistency

Posted 19/3/2019

Your branding should be consistent so that your customers (or potential customers) recognise your images, social media posts or marketing materials. You want someone to see what you share and instantly think of you. 

 

You can achieve this by picking a colour palette and sticking to it (most of the time) so that your images or text-based graphics are coordinated. Try and take photos that include something in your branding colour and tie the image into your brand. Simple things like a notebook or a pen in your brand colour/s will help with this. Or if you’re sharing a quote or a fact, type it in your brand colours, or use your brand colours as the background colour/s. Don’t forget to include your logo so that if something is shared it still links back to you.

 

Choose a font and use it consistently. This doesn’t mean forever; I’m always discovering new fonts that become my favourite for a little while before I discover a new one! But don’t use a different font each time you post. Instagram and Facebook stories allow you to choose from a selection of fonts, pick one and stick to it, you can change the colour to match what your posting but definitely pick a font style. 

 

Post regularly on your social media, not all of your followers will see everything you post, so you need to try and find the times that your customers and potential customers are online to best reach them. Experiment and see what works best. But remember to make sure your posts are recognisably your own.

 

Coordinate your branding so that your Instagram highlights, your social media icons and your logo all complement or match eachother. 

 

Make sure your business cards and flyers match your social media page and your website, so that when someone searches for you online they know its you they’ve found. 

 

I hope this gives you a few ideas or reminds you of things you might have forgotten. If you need any help please get in touch, and maybe also check out my branding package which is a great start to ensure consistency within your branding, (or my design prices page for individual branding elements if you already have a logo). 

 

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Is it time to rebrand?

Posted 7/3/2019

People come to me for many branding-related reasons: either they want their logo redrawing as a high resolution vector file so that they can use it for print, or they need to slightly alter their current logo to better fit their business as it has evolved, or often they want a complete rebrand. Here are a few pointers that might help you decide whether your branding might need updating:

Does your branding still reflect your company's ethos and vision?

Has your service evolved or changed? Does your current branding encompass all that you now offer?

Does your branding restrict you in the audience you target and you want to expand?

Does your branding look dated in our fast paced digital world?

Did you design your own logo but now have a budget to have a logo professionally designed (or altered/redrawn)?

If you've answered yes to any of these questions, then perhaps the time is right for you to rebrand. Your branding should work for you, remember what I always say: your branding is the first impression people get of your business. Make it count.

 

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Choosing a graphic designer

Posted 25/2/2019

With so many graphic designers to choose from, how do you know which designer is right for you? 

I'm sure this is a question many people ask themselves when they are sifting though their choices. The first thing I suggest you do is to head over to their website and have a look at examples of their work. Most graphic designers will have an online portfolio, either on their own website or, like mine, hosted by Adobe. Mine is linked to my main website, so it's easy to find. This will give you an idea of their design style, and their skills, and you'll know whether they feel a good fit for your project.

You should also check out their recommendations and reviews, either on their website or their social media pages. If other people have been happy with their service and left them good reviews, that's definitely a good sign!

Lastly, you should check their prices as these can vary greatly. There are many factors a designer will use in creating their pricing structure, including the amount of experience they have and their qualifications. I'm sure you will have a budget in mind, but you should still have choice within your budget. Also, check whether you'll be getting a bespoke design, created to your own design brief, or whether they'll use pre-made graphics or supply you with a logo that other people can also purchase - this is still fine, if it's what you're happy with, but if you want an original logo it is likely to be reflected in the price.

Make sure the design/s you receive will be supplied in the appropriate file types, and also the appropriate/different colour modes (see my previous blog post on colour modes). If you're looking for a logo/branding design, be sure to check you'll receive a vector images if you're likely to want to use your logo in print, and especially at a large scale. I often have people come to me to have their logo redrawn as it isn't suitable for print - you can avoid this additional payment if you ask these questions right at the beginning (unless it's a design you've created yourself and you just need a vector version drawing up).

I hope this has helped, I'd love you to choose me for your design work, but if not I'm happy knowing that you have all of the right information in order to make your choice!

You can check out my portfolio at:

https://stephbuncherdesign.myportfolio.com/about

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Refreshing your branding and marketing materials

Posted 15/2/2019

Spring is showing signs that it's just around the corner, and maybe, like me you feel like freshening up your branding or marketing materials? You might have noticed that I've added a few zingy colours into my ads and social media posts lately, I felt like it was time to freshen things up and wanted people to notice my posts rather than feeling like they've already seen something before.

I've been in business for a year now and my logo and branding are more established and recognised, I've spoken to people who I've then handed a business card and they've said "Oh yes, I recognise your logo" which is fab! So this week I've added some brights to my colour palette, going for the three colours used in printing: cyan, magenta and yellow, to complement my SB purple.

I've also swapped to a new typeface to complement the style these colours bring, this is called Teeshirt-Regular and is a bit funky, modern and eye catching. It's only available in capitals though, so wouldn't be a good choice for all of my branding, but it's nice to mix things up a little.

Here's a little peek at my new Spring branding incase you've missed it:

 

If you'd like to chat and get some advice on doing similar for your business, or if you'd like me to do the hard work for you, feel free to drop me a message or get in touch via the contact form on my website, I'd love to hear from you. 

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Colour Modes

Posted 3/2/2019

I thought I’d share a tip about colour modes with you today!

I know a lot of people are confused when talking about colour modes and some won’t even know what I’m talking about, so I thought I’d share!

CMYK is the colour mode we use for print, it stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black (black = K, a bit random I know but it’s so it’s not confused with blue). This relates to the different colours of ink used to print, and is important to ensure that anything you design will look right once it’s printed.

The other colour mode is RGB which stands for Red, Green, Blue. This is the mode we use for anything that will be viewed on screen, and the colours relate to the different colours of light used to produce the exact colours you want to appear on a computer/phone/tablet screen.

As a graphic designer, I always supply logo files in both colour modes so that you always have the file you need for whatever you want to use it for, I also explain when to use each one. So in a nutshell, you’d use a CMYK file on a letterhead or a business card, and you’d use an RGB file for a social media logo or a digital advert that will be viewed online. There are occasionally exceptions to this rule, such as if you have a product printed by sublimation printing your printer will require RGB files, but in an instance like this they (or I) will advise you.

I hope this helps!

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Blogs!

Posted 30/12/2018

Well, I thought I'd look at something new for 2019, so I've decided that from January I'll have a go at writing a blog... you'll have to bear with me please as I'm new to this, and I'd love if you could pop over to my social media sites and give me some suggestions as to what you'd like me to talk about!

You can find me on facebook at www.facebook.com/stephbuncherdesign and also over on instagram at www.instagram.com/stephbuncherdesign

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