Psychology-Driven Brand Design. Creating and Refining Remarkable Brand Identities.

Nyla Smith

A New Flag for New Zealand?

New Zealand is on the hunt for a new flag design. On September 1, after sifting through a mere 10,292 submissions, officials revealed the top four design contenders to replace the country’s flag. As opinions from New Zealanders on the proposed designs have been mixed and mostly negative, we have to ask – just what makes for a good flag design?

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“I” is for: Italic (Faux vs. True)

The Leaning Tower of Pisa is a larger-than-life illustration of “when bad italics happen to good fonts.” This Leaning Tower Phenomenon, if you will, often occurs as a byproduct of good people who just don’t know any better. Read on to make sure you’re not committing this typographical sin.

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“H” is for: Hexadecimal

Do you ever find yourself frustrated over color? For instance, do you know how to ensure that your brand colors will be consistent across every form of advertising that you use — from your print to your online marketing efforts? Here is a quick lesson that can help.

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“G” is for: Glossy

Ooh, shiny! Do you like gloss? Well, who doesn’t? When deciding on the print options of your marketing materials, the question to go glossy or matte is a common one. It’s a simple enough question, but there are actually a few different ways to achieve a glossy look — any one of which can give you a different result. Read this before you order your next print job to make sure you know what you’re getting.

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Plagiarism and the 2020 Olympics Logo

Plagiarism is a pretty big deal when you’re accused of copying your high school English paper. It’s an even bigger deal when you’re accused of stealing the 2020 Summer Olympics logo design. Ruh roh, Raggy…

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“F” is for: Favicon

A favicon (the term is a mashup of “favorites icon”) is one of those little details that should be a part of your visual brand. Go the extra step to reinforce your visual brand and enhance your users’ experience of browsing your website by creating a custom favicon.

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“E” is for: Email Marketing

Prior to 1971, nobody knew what email was. In 2012, we sent 294 BILLION emails per day. Love it or hate it, email is now a part of our daily lives. For businesses, email is one of the primary marketing vehicles for reaching customers. It is a cost-effective way to send targeted, personalized, and automated messages.

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“D” is for: Die Cutting

Most print pieces we see are solid and rectangular, but this doesn’t have to be the case. If you want to make an impression with a unique print piece, consider die cutting to add interest, increase memorability, and to reinforce your brand or a particular message.

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“C” is for: Conversion Optimization

There is an old saying, “If you build it, they will come.” Even if this were true (it’s not, but), even if they come, you still need them to buy! When it comes to your website, having one is only the first step. The second step is getting people there. The third step is where conversion optimization comes in.

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Branding Mistakes: Overlooking the Little Moments

Have you ever been to a magic show?It’s pretty captivating, right? The conclusion of every magic trick is that special moment — the prestige, the climax of the trick — that leaves you mesmerized with delight and amazement at What. Just. Happened?! As a brand, you want to do the same thing. No, not deceive people with smoke and mirrors, but delight your audience. How do you do that? By capitalizing on the little moments.

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“B” is for: Browser

When you’re on your computer, you undoubtedly spend a lot of time inside of a browser. You probably have one you’re accustomed to and stick with it without much thought. But have you ever considered how many different browsers are available to you? Maybe more than you think! Let’s take a look at the possibilities.

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“A” is for: Above the Fold

So often, when working on websites or landing pages, the client adamantly states, “We need to get all that above the fold.” I’m always curious if they’re saying it because they’ve heard it was an unbreakable rule, or if they have specific data to support their request. It’s important to know that “above the fold” alone is not a magic bullet for a successful page.

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Designing Web Visuals: DIY or Hire a Professional?

Any business that is serious about their content strategy for online marketing will always have a frequent need for web visuals: social media banners, website banners, Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ads, and Facebook ads, to name a few. Unless you have an in-house design team, you’ll likely face the question, “Do I create the graphics myself or do I hire a professional designer?”

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Stop Annoying People with your Email Signature

Email signatures help to tell your contacts about your company and more importantly, how to stay in touch with you! When used correctly, they can be a very valuable marketing tool. When used the wrong way, they can have a negative impact on how people view your professional image.

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Color: It’s All in Your Head

Here’s something to consider…if a tree falls in the forest and nobody is there to see it, did it have a color? There’s no denying that color is all around us, but how we perceive it is all in the eye of the beholder.

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Signing Off! Email Signatures the Right Way

In this high-tech age, something as simple as an email signature should be a breeze to create on your computer. Think again! Although all email clients support these signatures, each interprets it differently. This causes the HTML email signature to be one of the most unpredictable beasts in the digital world.

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Content with a (Re-) Purpose

A common tactic for businesses is to repurpose content. This gives the creator the opportunity to breathe new life into something old. Repurposing content is a smart practice, and I highly encourage it.

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The Role of Psychology in Design

What role does psychology play in design? A big one. You don’t have to be a student of Freud to understand how basic psychological principles, when applied to design, can have a measurable impact.

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Branding Mistakes: Targeting Everyone, Reaching No One

As you’re developing your brand, one of the first questions you’ll need to answer is,”Who am I doing this for?” Defining and reaching your target audience will be your main challenges. If you think you need to target every Tom, Dick, and Harriet in the world, then you may be in for a rude awakening.

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How to Avoid Brand Schizophrenia

Are you a company that suffers from brand schizophrenia? While “branding” can be daunting, there is one tool that EVERY business of any size can use to put their best foot forward. Are you using it?

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