Welcome to the Design Lab

It’s About More Than Good Looks…But It’s Mostly Good Looks.

Branding, Logos, & Graphic Design with Style

Want in on a secret? We don’t like calling our selves a marketing agency. “Marketing” makes us think of a door-to-door salesman who walks around blindly with a briefcase, shouting a sales pitch into a void. When we meet with clients, we often tell them that what we really are is a brand expression agency.

So what’s a brand?

Think of it as your business’s personality. It’s who you are and how you present yourself through your things like your voice, visuals, and logo.

Developing Your Brand Style

When you begin working with a digital marketing agency, you may already have an established brand. If so, great! Hopefully you’re able to wield your brand tools well and follow brand guidelines. Even so, you may want to consider looking into the building blocks of your brand to see if it’s time to give anything a facelift. If you don’t have a brand established yet, don’t worry. Branding consultations take time, but they’re worth it. By the end of the process you’ll have a much better grip on who your business is, and who you’re not.

Why does it matter? Easy.

Brand values impact 64% of consumers’ relationship with a brand.
Brand consistency influences revenue by as much as 23%.

In short, good brands connect with people, and consistent branding brings in more customers. If you have a presence on any digital marketing platforms, you need a strong, consistent brand. At its core, your brand breaks down into three primary categories: your voice, visuals, and logo.

Brand Voice

We all know communication in relationships is important, and the brand-client relationship is no different. The words and style you use to communicate with clients can range from Wendy’s sarcastic Twitter account to Apple’s inspirational, renegade tone.

For us, creating a brand voice starts with identifying 3-5 Brandjectives™ (brand-adjectives) that describe who you are as a business. These Brandjectives™ then inform your written and verbal communication standards, as well as all other elements of your brand.

Creations from our Design Lab Scientists

Brand Standards and Visuals

Whatever brand visuals you create should look good. 38% of people won’t give unattractive web layouts and content the time of day. What falls under “brand visuals” can change based on what kind of digital marketing collateral we’re working on, but in general, we focus on 3 major categories.

• Typography
• Photography
• Colors

These often overlooked “basics” transcend almost every marketing platform, which means they have to have purpose and maintain consistency. Photos should use the same editing filters. Typefaces should be clear, identifiable, and consistent. Colors should reflect the tone of your brand personality.

Ignoring your brand visuals is a kiss of death. Make sure to spend time carefully considering how you want your audience to feel when they engage with your brand, and establish your visuals accordingly.

Digital Brand Kits

You’ve got a voice. You’ve established your visuals. You have a shiny new logo you can’t wait to show off. Boom.

The next step is making sure your brand implementers, like in-house designers or outsourced printers, can follow your brand guidelines on digital marketing platforms and with physical brand collateral, like brochures and billboards.

If we help you through the branding and web build process, we’ll place a hidden brand kit page on the your site where anyone who needs to can see and download your typefaces, logo, and hex codes. If you prefer a physical brand guide, we can create that too, though we strongly advise going the digital route so sharing and implementation is easy-breezy.

Website Marketing

When you think about digital marketing, websites are probably still the first things that come to mind. That’s because while web rules are changing, their impact is still insane. The eCommerce Foundation notes that 88% of consumers research product information before they buy something online or in the store.

You get it. Websites still matter. But not everyone wants the same kind of site. Here are a few site styles we create.

General Website

Most sites we build fall somewhere between the simplicity of a web brochure and complicated nature of an e-commerce site. These sites requite thorough site-mapping, design work, and a series of best practices for websites. We take each phase of the web building process seriously, knowing that it’s often the core of a business’ digital marketing strategy.

Web Brochure

Some businesses just want a site to prove that they exist. We call these web brochures. They’re small sites that don’t usually rank and typically don’t include any larger functionalities like e-commerce. Instead, they’re a beautifully designed, small site that shares the main goals of the business. With a contact form included and some strong visual elements like photography and videography, these web brochures can serve as high-impact digital marketing pieces for your sales team.

E-commerce

An e-commerce site can quickly become an incredibly complex web build, but they can be extremely worth it as they lead potential clients through the information process to a sale. When preparing to build your e-commerce site, it’s important to consider what features you’ll need that other sites may not.

Popular E-Commerce Features

• Custom forms
• Product Variations
• Shipping Pluggins
• Payment Gateways

Keeping security and user experience at the forefront of your mind is essential on an E-Commerce site. SEO can also be an important factor that helps customers find your site in the first place. If you’re planning to build an e-commerce website, we strongly recommend meeting with a consultant to go over some of these essentials so your finished product exceeds client expectations.

Website Best Practices

As Google and other search engines continue to crack down on their expectations for websites, our team stays up to date on how to follow through on best practices.

Website Best Practice Considerations

• Responsive Design
• SSL Certificates
• Standard ADA Compliance
• Navigability
• Image Sizing
• Site Speed
• Security

Websites for Digital Marketing Recap

There are many kinds of websites and dozens on dozens of best practices to keep in mind. During the web process, we figure out what kind of site you want and need, and adapt our strategy accordingly to build you the best site possible for your digital marketing plans.

Logos

Whether you’re using traditional or digital marketing avenues, your logo is likely a potential client’s first point of contact with your brand.

A good logo should be 3 things.

1.Identifiable both on its own, and when placed next to other logos.
2.Adaptable in size and color.
3.Consistent with the rest of your brand.

You can achieve these logo standards through either a logo refresh or redesign. A refresh takes your current logo and brings it up to modern design standards. A redesign gives you a clean slate where you can redefine your logo completely.

Branding and Design for Digital Marketing Recap

Your brand is about your business’ personality. In order to express your brand via digital marketing strategies, you need to have a strong sense of your brand’s voice, visuals, and logo. Once you know your brand, create a brand kit or style guide to help your brand implementors keep your collateral consistent.

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