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Pantone Colour of the Year 2022

Posted 5/7/2022

I'm a little late in sharing this with you, how is it March already?! But today I thought I'd share Pantone's colour of the year for 2022.

I love Pantone’s website for exploring new colours and checking shades of different colours, and this is also a fab way to see which colour will be (or they predict will be) 'on trend' each year. The Pantone experts carry out extensive research around the world, looking for new colour influences in all areas of design, art collections, fashion, the entertainment industry, popular travel destinations, new technology, materials, textures, social media platforms and upcoming sporting events.

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Six more design tips from my #wednesdaywisdom collection

Posted 9/3/2022

Here are six more design tips I've recently shared on social media, I hope you find them useful!

 

1. Optimise readability

Do everything you can to ensure the content of your design is easy to read and understand. 

Think about any colours you’re using, make sure your text can be read easily against any background colours. Ensure it’s large enough and bold enough, and a font that’s clear and legible. Look at your headings to make sure they stand out and make your design easy to follow. Use images to break up text, but don’t position them to interrupt the flow of the text, ensure everything works well together.

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More top design tips!

Posted 26/1/2022

I thought I'd share a few more design tips today. This time I'm looking at how many fonts you should use, the visual hierarchy within a design, and the use of space within a design. I hope you find these tips helpful!

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Four Top Tips!

Posted 10/1/2022

I thought I'd share four of my top tips with you today, I've shared these over on my social media pages over the past few weeks and they've been well received, but it's nice to keep them in one place here on my website too!

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Social media

Posted 27/9/2021

Social media is such a valuable tool. Whilst we’re used to using it for keeping in touch with friends and sharing moments of our personal lives, it can also be invaluable for business. What other service can, for free, put your business in front of potential customers world wide? Are you using it to your advantage? Could you be doing more?

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What makes a good logo?

Posted 2/9/2021

 

Memorable

Your logo should be memorable, you want your audience and potential clients to instantly think of you when they see your branding. Often fairly simple, uncomplicated logos can work well to ensure that they are recognisable. Think about the logos of the big brands you can instantly name - what makes them memorable?  

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Branding is more than your visual identity

Posted 27/7/2021

Branding

The Oxford dictionary defines branding as ‘the activity of giving a particular name and image to goods and services so that people will be attracted to them and want to buy them’.

 

Branding is often seen just as a visual identity, a company’s name, logo, packaging design etc, and whilst this is true, and these are the things customers will recognise a brand for, it’s so much more than that! Your branding is your ethos, your personality, your USP, the thing that makes you stand apart from other similar businesses, or similar products. 

 

When I begin working on a logo or branding project with a customer I ask for information about their business, about their company values, what the company name means to them or why they chose it, how they wish their company to be perceived, and anything else they can tell me about their business. I visit their website and social media accounts to get a feel for their business. This helps me to design a visual representation of their brand that’s inline with what they stand for.

 

Branding can change how people perceive your business, it can bring in new customers and a larger audience, but it can also do the opposite if it isn’t inline with what you want to represent.

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Resolution, scale and cropping images.

Posted 21/7/2021

I thought I'd share some advice about image resolution, about why it's important to ensure images are high quality, why not to enlarge an image, and why cropping images can be helpful. I hope this is useful! 

 

Resolution

Image resolution is the number of dots or pixels per inch. The higher the resolution the better the quality of the image. It’s important that a photo is good quality (high resolution) to begin with, as its resolution can’t be improved further down the line. It’s also important to think about how you store or transfer image files; for example sending an image via Facebook messenger or uploading and then downloading an image from a social media platform will decrease the image’s quality. Ideally an image would be 300dpi, but for use onscreen 72dpi is usually high enough resolution.

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5 ways to gain new customers

Posted 28/6/2021

Networking

If you’re self employed, surrounding yourself with a network of other self employed people can be one of the most powerful tools you have! I’m so grateful to have such an amazing network around me, plus friends and even acquaintances who recommend me to their friends, or to people looking for design services. The more people you know and can connect with professionally the better! 

I’m very much looking forward to getting back to an in-person networking meeting tomorrow, after months of not being able to or meeting online, I can’t wait!

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Why hire a graphic designer?

Posted 1/6/2021

Here are six reasons to hire a graphic designer!

I hope you’ll find these interesting!

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Marketing

Posted 28/4/2021

Marketing goes hand in hand with graphic design, often in a larger company we’ll work as a team, with the marketing department. 

Today I thought I’d touch on the ways you can improve or work on your marketing. Of course, as a designer, the aesthetics and styling of adverts, flyers and other marketing items is very important, but you also need to think about the wording to use, your target audience or ideal client, where to advertise, and how often to communicate with your audience. 

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Native files

Posted 8/4/2021

Native files are ‘working’ design files, saved in design programs such as Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign etc, which still include layers, editable text, and working design elements. This is in contrast with the artwork files I described in a previous post, which are usually files with outlined text, and/or flattened images etc to ensure the file opens and prints as expected, regardless of use of fonts etc.

 

Native files are not usually something that a customer will want, most customers who commission a design project do not have the skills or programs needed to do the work themselves. The artwork files supplied are usually perfect for a customer’s requirements, providing the ability to print without a problem, and also editable, to an extent, if they moved to use a different designer in the future. However, there may be occasions when a customer will ask for native files.

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File types and outlining text

Posted 23/3/2021

I thought I'd talk a little about file types, as it might help you to understand what files you're receiving either from myself when I send over finished artwork, or if you're not a customer, from your own designer. 

When I send over design files, there are always several different versions of the file, depending on what it is, what it will be used for etc, and I always try to keep my customers informed so that this isn’t overwhelming, but I thought it might be something I could talk about on here too.

I'm going to talk about jpegs, pngs, eps and pdf files. I’m also going to talk about the importance of outlining text, which kind of links into this topic, but might take a little explaining!

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Reviews

Posted 19/3/2021
Do you check out reviews before you use a service or buy a product? I’m sure you probably do! But do you leave reviews for businesses you’ve used? As a small business owner, I just thought I’d let you know how valuable reviews we receive are, and how grateful we are to receive your kind words and recommendations. There are many ways you can support a small business, but this truly is the one that means the most, providing us with valuable testimonials for potential customers to read and see what we really are like.
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The beginning

Posted 26/2/2021

I’ve been asked what got me into design, and to be honest I’m not 100% sure at what age I knew about graphic design, it feels like I’ve always know it was a job option, but I’m not sure all children would know about it! 

My dad owned a packaging company, and so I think this is where my interest and knowledge probably came from. I remember visiting the factory and seeing Easter egg boxes in production, I imagine I probably asked whose job it was to design/make those, so maybe that’s where it began. My dad was an accountant, and my mum had worked in a bank before my brother, sister and I were born, so it wasn’t something I found out about directly from their jobs, but maybe there were graphic designers in my dad’s company, or maybe they worked with designers. I need to ask my mum!! 

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The importance of working with a qualified designer.

Posted 23/2/2021

If you’re a customer looking for a designer, my advice to you would be to look through several designers’ portfolios, look through the work they have done in the past, as well as finding out what file types they will supply you with, what design programs they use, and what qualifications they have. 

 

There are many people offering design services who are not qualified graphic designers, and whilst this may be fine for a project you are looking for, or if you’re working to a budget, you may be wise to check out the quality of their work before committing. You may also find that you’re not supplied with files that are high enough resolution to print at a large scale, or aren’t vector files, for example.

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The importance of a design portfolio.

Posted 31/1/2021

For a graphic designer, or for anyone in a creative role, a portfolio is essential! We used to rely only on physical portfolios which we’d take to job interviews and largely ignore whilst we were in employment, but now online digital portfolios are so easily accessed that a potential client or potential employer can have a great view of your work before even making contact with you. 

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Colour of the Year 2021

Posted 28/1/2021

Did you know that Pantone pick a 'colour of the year' each year? This year they’ve chosen two! I love their website for exploring new colours and checking shades of different colours, but this is also a fab way to see which colour will be (or they predict will be) 'on trend' each year. The Pantone experts carry out extensive research around the world, looking for new colour influences in all areas of design, art collections, fashion, the entertainment industry, popular travel destinations, new technology, materials, textures, social media platforms and upcoming sporting events.

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5 reasons graphic design is important to your business

Posted 9/1/2021

1. First impressions count

Graphic design is important to any business as it will help you make a good first impression. If a potential customer first sees you in person, you would do your best to ensure this, wouldn’t you? Sometimes you will have to rely on graphic design to do this for you. Whether it’s through your adverts, social media posts or flyers, you need to ensure you have a professional image. When a customer first hears about your business, they are likely to ‘google’ you, to see if you have a web presence, either through a website of your own, or through social media. Have you googled yourself? What do you find? Have a look and view these first impressions through the eyes of your potential customer.

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Lockdown #3

Posted 6/1/2021

I just thought I'd pop onto my blog to let you know that I'm still open during this third UK lockdown. I am back to also homeschooling my four children (send help!) but am still very much working, albeit at random hours. If you want to get in touch, email is probably best, and my 'usual' work hours will be evenings from now until at least mid February. 

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