Good Design

Good design, when it comes to business, is more than just art—it has to communicate a message, build a brand or cause someone to act. This column focuses on aspects of design that small businesses need to consider when developing their logo, website, advertising materials and more.

Out with the Old, In with the New!

In December 2014 the NBA franchise Toronto Raptors announced a new team identity to begin use in the 2015-16 season. I’ve never been a big fan of the raptor character on the old logo, so I thought it was a good idea to make an update for the Raptors. Since the Raptors team has been around since 1995 there’s a lot of familiarity with the typography and character icon. … [Read more...]

Unified Branding

Don’t Divide and Conquer When business owners think about marketing they often say things like, “We need a brochure, or a vehicle wrap, or a sign, or an ad, or a website.” They then proceed find a brochure designer, a vehicle wrap shop, a sign shop, an ad company, and a website company. Now their business is being given a visual presence by up to five completely different … [Read more...]

Free Graphic Design = Disappointment

How often are you amazed at how good a freebie is? If you’re like most people, not a whole lot. That’s why freebies are free. Think of free design as that schlub walking around with mismatched socks and big spot on his shirt, yelling on the street corner. People see him, but his credibility is low and he will probably be ignored. Professional design, on the other hand, is … [Read more...]

Good Design is Inviting

Be Inviting When was the last time you walked through model homes? It’s something my wife and I like to do now and then. One thing we’ve noticed is that a lot of effort goes into styling the homes to make them feel inviting. It’s like they are saying “this is what this home can provide”. When it comes to promoting and marketing your small business are you inviting to your … [Read more...]

Judging a Book by Its Cover

I know we’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover. But let’s face it, humans are visual creatures and we make snap decisions based on what we see every day. We are constantly scanning our environment, dismissing some things and paying attention to others. Something that stands out, for whatever reason, often holds our attention a little longer. Good design for your … [Read more...]

Identity Design Case Study: Ramsey Backflow and Plumbing

Identity design may appear simple on the surface, but good identity design has a thought, intention and reason behind the aesthetics. As an example, let’s take a look at the thinking behind the concepts for Ramsey Backflow and Plumbing. One is a bit more commercial and the other more residential. Option A – This identity has a modern, up-market feel and gives a nod to the … [Read more...]

What is Good Design?

Of course it must be eye-pleasing. But is good design just making something pretty? Good design has meaning, intention, a clever twist. It makes you stop, look, think for a moment, say “wow!” Good design is a logo that represents a school – and the negative space revealing the mascot. A stylish modern chair – made from a single piece of plywood. A poster that gives both … [Read more...]