How To Make Your Branding “Dateable”


Can the broad principles of dating apply to branding design? 

According to Mark McCullough of Sq1 they can. What is it that makes someone choose one product or service over another? Why do we prefer this bottle drink or this car insurance better that another one? It is not as obvious as perfect teeth or washboard abs being generally recognized as more attractive in people. If you’re trying to make your brand more attractive try applying the principles of dating.

.01 Be Good Looking
If you can’t change the look of your product you can make sure that identity and adverting look as good as possible. Good design can make your product or service seem more innovative and functional. If you work with good designs to create an aesthetically pleasing and unique design your end product with seem more interesting.

.02 Be Charming
A good sense of humor can make a person seem more attractive to potential partner. This can work for brands as well. For example, Volkswagen has used humor for decades to overcome some of its shortcomings to great success. Being clever and witty cab change the way people view your brand.

.03 Be Genuine
Being charming sounds simple, but people aren’t easily fooled. If they think you’re not genuine, if can make people run in the opposite direction. What teenage boys versus what their moms think is funny is most likely not the same. You need to make sure your message is right for your customers. You also can try too hard. That desperation isn’t attractive. You need to let your company’s personally naturally come out.

.04 Be Confident
A confident person knows they have something to offer, and that feeling is projected onto the object of their affection. For a brand to show confidence, it has to be daring. The branding needs do something different and then stick with it. You need to find out why your brand unique. Then find an original way to sell it. You need to believe in your brand in order for consumers to believe in it.

Check out examples of branding and logo design we’ve done here at Digital Canvas over at our portfolio or check out how we can help you make your branding dateable.

Partial content adapted from the CreativeBloq article: “5 ways to make your branding dateable” written by Mark McCullough of Sq1


Questions Web Designers Should Ask to Their Clients


Before you can even think of designing a website, you need to understand what is in the mind of the client. You can’t deliver on their expectations if you don’t have a clear idea of what they want. The questions below can help you go above and beyond of what other designers may do.




Questions Web Designers Should Ask to Their Clients

01. What are your business goals, what is your mission and what are the values you swear by?

As far as values are concerned, you need understand the work ethic that drives his business and which he wants his brand to exude? In terms of the business’s mission you need to know what specific purpose that he wants his business to fulfill.

02. Do you want your website to achieve the same goals and exude the same values?

Clients sometimes prefer that it projects the same values and its goals are consistent with the business’s goals. But there are times when a client wants to trigger a change of perception about their business. Some want their old business to look more contemporary to market it to younger audiences; others want to lend their business with more credibility and there are still others who want to rebrand their business

03. Who do you want the website to target/who is your customer?

Who is your target audience? Should your website cater to them only, or should it be useable by a wider audience?

04. How will you measure your website’s success?

How does your client judge success and failure of a website? So, if the client will evaluate website success by the number of people asking for a quote for his services, you can make sure your calls-to-action buttons are crafted and placed to persuade people to ask for a quote. But, if the client wants website profitability to be measured by revenue generation, you can make sure your design persuades a visitor to buy the product or service sold by the client’s business.

05. Do you have any design preferences?

Clients who have a clear idea of what their website should be are not a problem really because they usually know what they are looking for. It’s the ‘confused’ clients that will create problems for you. You need to get the ball rolling for them to understand what they want and why something trendy they see may not work with the direction they want their business to move forward.

06. What is the website USP you wish to project?

As a designer, it’s not your job to decide the USP of the site. It’s the website’s owner (the client) who has to take a call on determining his website’s USP. So before you get cracking on the website’s design make sure you know the website USP that the client wishes to project and then work towards making it happen

Take a look at examples of the web design we do here at Digital Canvas on our portfolio.

Image: Sundance Security Systems Website designed by Digital Canvas.
Partial content adapted from the YouTheDesigner article:
7 Questions Successful Web Designers Don’t Forget to Ask to Their Clients

How To Avoid Catalog Designs Getting Thrown Into The Trash


Here are four rules to keep your catalog from being crumpled up in the trash or used as a coaster on a coffee table.


Target Kids Catalog by Joann Wu (Source)

Author Kerby Rosanes has written on effective catalog design for You the Designer. Marketing with a print catalog is still a smart investment as long as you are doing it the right way. It isn’t a one-day process it requires research and planning.

You should start your process by doing some market research. You need to find out what factors dictate your material. These factors are what will help you draft a plan going forward. Finding them involves answering some questions. Reosanes suggests these types of questions,

  • Who are my target customers? Do my products suffice their needs?

  • Who are my competitors? What will I do to overcome the competition?

  • What are the latest trends in the market that may directly/indirectly affect my promotional campaign?

  • What are the materials needed? Where will I get these materials?

  • What are the possible expenses? Is my budget enough to realize the project?

In addition to market research you need to nail down your objective and rationale, as well as you initial design concepts.

A catalog is first judged by its looks. Design and layout are of the catalog are very important. It needs to be attractive and stand out from the crowd. Reosanes gives some basic design tips to consider whether you are an amateur or a seasoned designer.

  • Pick the right color scheme/theme that best suits the personality of your business. The colors are oftentimes anchored with the company’s stationeries. But of course it all depends on how you will incorporate it in the design.

  • Minimal graphics are good. Remember that the products must be the star of your catalog and not the extra elements such as graphics.

  • Use of high quality images. As mentioned above, photographs are your major tools in making your catalog effective. If possible, always invest in professional photography.

  • Create a catchy cover design. The cover is very important in attracting your potential customer to flip through the pages of your catalog.


    Catalog of Design Process by Siang Ching (Source)

Once someone is drawn in by the design of your catalog the next thing they focus on it is the main part of your catalog, the content. You need to convince your audience to buy you product or use your service.  The content should be simple, easy to understand, and straight to the point. Technical writing shouldn’t be used in this case. Calls to action statements are important to include.

One last thing to consider in planning a catalog, according to Reosanes, is to invest on the best materials. All the hard work you put into making a beautiful and well-written catalog will go to waste if the material and printing you use is low quality. Using high quality materials will also allow your catalog to last longer as well.

Catalog marketing is still a viable strategy to apply to your business. All you need is great planning and concept. According to Reosanes, If you are wondering why you fail in marketing your business using catalogs, probably you avoid implementing some of these rules.”

Check out examples of catalog design we have done here at Digital Canvas in our portfolio.

(Article and Images via You the Designer)










Design Mistakes That Trash Your Email Marketing


People make snap judgments about whether or not to read your emails based on a quick glance.

It can be harsh to think about but they are. You are, too! We all generally sort through our inboxes by:

01. We choose an email message

02. We give it a two-second glance

03. We decide if it’s worth our time

04. If it is, we keep it and read it

05. If it’s not, we hit the delete key, and send the email to the trash

How can you keep your email out of the trash? Good design is the secret. It is the first thing the reader sees and what they based their snap judgment on. Let’s look at some common design mistakes that can get an email trashed.

Don’t forget to say hello. Emails should feature consistent header image. This image gives consistency and will be associated with the high quality The header should relate to the business or product your reader signed up to learn more about.

Use easily readable fonts. Your email’s main goal is to communicate, and that happens through words. But if you can read the text how are you going to get your message out? Avoid using fonts that are too small or too many fonts.

For your email to look professional and inviting, you have to master color. Avoid using garish colors (are overly bright or florescent), too many colors, or light text on a dark ground.

Avoid muddled information. You can make your emails instantly look more inviting by avoiding these formatting problems. You should have a clean hierarchy of information. The most important information needs to be made the first thing people read. Make this obvious by using a larger, bolder and brighter main headline. Make your subheads smaller and less prominent. Make your legal information, notices and “housekeeping” messages smallest and least important. Also, make your messages easy to scan. Write in short paragraphs, breaking up your text into small chunks.

Use good images. Avoid cheap clip art or cheesy images and stock photography that look staged and fake. The instantly make a email look less professional and amateur.

Consistency is good in email marketing. Featuring your contact information, your company mission, and your social media profiles in a consistent footer area at the base of your emails makes them look professional. It also makes it easy for your readers to stay in contact with you outside of their inboxes.

Avoid constant makeovers. Once you have a good email template in place resist changing it’s look with every new email. This way people can a quick glance know whom the email is from.

Take steps now to make your emails clear and readable. Use these tips to create a recognizable brand experience with every message you send. It’s the best way to ensure that the great information you share doesn’t end up in the virtual trash heap.

Take a look at the email marketing campaigns we have create at Digital Canvas in our portfolio.

(Image: Elliot Equipment Email Marketing from Digital Canvas)

Guidelines for Successful Catalog Design


What can you do to to create a more successful and engaging catalog design? Below are a few guidelines that can help you connect better with your audience and help increase sales.


01. Design for the audience

Just as with any other type of design project, you need to think about your audience. A business to business catalog is going to be very different from a business to consumer. A catalog needs to match what your final customer is. It will help them associate with the catalog and hopefully result in sales.

02. Make the product the centerpiece

As a general idea it is always best to make the best selling products larger in a catalog design, the size of the image tends to correlate with the product’s sales. This photo should also then be accompanied with compelling copy.

Some times people want to save money by photographing groups of images. This often results in poor sales since there is no product that stands out. We like to show products with no background and a subtle drop shadow to allow the product to stand out and not be cluttered by the background. This photo can then sometimes be accompanied with a in use photograph to add variety and more information.

03. Use great product photos

Producing a catalog can be expensive and we try to find every way possible to get the overall price down. However maybe the single most important part, the product photo , tends to be where clients cut first and it can hurt their success. We showed you in the past how by thinking ahead you can save money on your overall photography budget.

A great photography can make your catalog but a poor photo can make a customer to not buy your product. It would be better to show less products on fewer pages to save on printing than to cut your sales with poor photography.

04. Put important items on the outside edges of the page

When reading you typically look to the top right first then across the page to the other side. If a person doesn’t see something compelling they’ll move on. So you should place your most appealing products  on the outside top corners.

05. Use opportunities to cross sell

Suggesting a companion product can help increase sales. Take every advantage of cross selling in your catalog. You can do this in the product’s copy, with call-outs, or by grouping companion products on the page together.

06. Keep the style consistent from issue to issue reinforcing your “brand” image

Once you have established a successful look it can be tempting to overhaul it once you get tired of looking at it. Though you should only make changes in small increments over time. Customers start to recognize your look with each new catalog.That repetition can help with brand identify recognition.

You can read more about guidelines for good catalog design here. Also, take a look at some of our catalog designs here at Digital Canvas over on our portfolio.

(Photo is the IDenticard Systems Catalog)

How Much Does Color Define A Logo?


A Graphic Designer Swapped The Colors Of Competing Brands’ Logos.


The colors in a logo can be just as important to a brand’s identify as the imagery itself. When familiar colors change they can be jarring, they just don’t look right. Do colors change how we view a logo? We all know that colors have certain connotations and emotions attached to them.

Brazilian graphic designer Paula Rupolo switched color schemes of competing brands’. By doing so she showed how much power a designer’s color choices can have. “Colors are the first thing you notice in a logo, what gets fastest to our brains,” she says. “Then you read a logo’s shape, icons, or typography.”

She switches McDonald’s and Subway, Coke and Pepsi, as well as a number of other famous brands. Rupolo says. “They basically own the colors of their logos. When you switch to a competitor’s colors, your brain notices there’s something that doesn’t fit, that makes you go, ‘What’s going on here?’ and that’s interesting and a bit curious.”


Sometimes a color is more synonymous with the brand than the actually logo. For example, “Google’s colors are very iconic, perhaps more than its typography,” says Rupolo.

3020636-slide-tbcs-01-aWhat do you think? Do some of these major brands look better in their new colors? Let us know. To read more about how psychology and emotions tie in to logo design, check out one of our previous articles on the subject. You can also view some examples of logo design from Digital Canvas on our portfolio.

You can read the original article as posted on FastCo.Design here and to read Rupolo’s original blog post on the project, click here.

(Images Via Print Some)

Make The Most of Your Product Photography


“With more ways than ever to communicate an advertising message, the marketing budget pie is getting sliced into more and more pieces. Therefore, there is less money to go around but more and more places where content is needed.”


The folks over at Melamed Riley have just posted a great article on product photography. It is all about what they call, “Using the Whole Buffalo” which means that you should think beyond your immediate needs and try to in vision what you will need in the future as well. Maybe right now you need only need a beauty shot of your product but in a few months you are planning on doing promotional material that focuses on how to use, install, or assemble your product?  If you don’t’ think ahead, you will need to have your photographer do two separate session when they could only have to do one.

By mapping out all the future materials that will require product photography, you can condense multiple photo shoots into a smaller session. This is not only better for time it can also be better on your budget.

Also, take a look at few examples of product photography that we have done here at Digital Canvas in our portfolio.

8 Design Web Design Mistakes That Make People Leave Your Website


8 Design Web Design Mistakes That Make People Leave Your Website

Last week we looked at how good design can help your business. The infographic below show common mistakes to help people stay on your site longer.


Kissmetrics Via Digital Synopsis

Good design is obvious.



Good design is obvious. Great design is transparent.


(Image Via Kimsey Price)