roundup

Helpful Tools for Great Sign Design: Color

15 Aug
by Samantha, posted in Design Tips   |  No Comments

Color is an extremely-important aspect of your sign design. Not only does color get the attention of the viewer, but it also elevates your message and connects your sign with the brand it represents. Choose your color scheme carefully, however, as a boring scheme will get overlooked and a wild-and-crazy color scheme will turn viewers away. It’s all about finding a balance that produces an attractive design that motivates your reader to call your business or come into your store.

If you don’t have brand colors or you’re not sure how to choose a color scheme, know that you’re not alone. Rather than just guessing colors, however, do some research into color theory to determine which colors will help you convey the message you want from your ads. Research, you ask? Well, you won’t have to look that far, because here are some great resources for determining what colors to use for your custom signs.

Like with fonts, you’ll want to do a little reading before going crazy with color. It will help, I promise! Here’s a great article from the always helpful Smashing Magazine. Author Cameron Chapman offers fantastic insight into color theory, showing real examples of how color is used in ads. It’s a must-read for those looking to establish a brand color.

I know some of you don’t have the time to read an article that long, so here’s a simplified version from TigerColor.com.

If you’re looking to be inspired (who isn’t?), check out the Design Seeds blog. Jessica uses visually-stunning pictures to create unique color palettes called “seeds”. You can search by style and by color, and if you find one you like, there’s an iPhone app to use for color-matching.

For those ultra-creative sorts, here are a couple of great theme creators.

Adobe’s Kuler is simply-fantastic. Choose from presets, or create your own. At the bottom, notice that your color codes are listed (HSV, RGB, CMYK, LAB, and HEX)—so whether you’re using this online or to print on a custom banner or window decal, you’ll have the specific color codes you need to match your theme.

ColorBlender is another great choice. With both an AutoMatch and Direct Edit mode, you can create until your heart’s content. I also love the Variations, so if you are almost there, one click produces a slight adjustment that takes you the rest of the way. You can even download the colors you need in Photoshop or Illustrator—your sign printing company will need these codes to make sure your sign matches the theme you created!

Ok, it’s time to turn you loose. Let’s see some great color—just remember, be unique, choose colors that send the right message, and don’t go color-crazy!

Helpful Tools for Great Sign Design: Fonts

10 Aug
by Samantha, posted in Design Tips   |  No Comments

The best message can be ruined by a poor font choice, so when you’re designing a custom sign to promote your business, choose your fonts carefully. There are a variety of font characteristics to consider, from legibility to weight to kerning. Unless you have a background in graphic design, these terms probably mean nothing to you. Since font can be directly tied to your business branding and the effectiveness of your advertising, I’ve gathered some great resources to help you choose the perfect font for your business signs.

The first step in the font selection process is to write your message. Don’t worry about your font choice, just get your content down. Yes, different fonts will make your content look different, but if you know exactly what you want to say it will be easier to choose how it should look.

Once you have written your message, do a little research on different types of fonts and their different characteristics. Here are some helpful articles that aren’t too high-level.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Douglas Bonneville of Smashing Magazine identifies some of the main characteristics you should consider, and shows great examples. Pay close attention to the section on aesthetics—you want the font displayed on your signs to match the look and feel of your business.

This article by Juan Pablo de Gregorio of Typies Blog has great tips for choosing a font. Juan breaks down all the elements of fonts and shows pictures of each for you visual folks. I know you’ve always wanted to know what kerning means, so here’s your chance…

Now that you’ve gotten an idea of the different elements of fonts, here’s another important read. It’s also quite humorous, which will lighten up the weight (no pun intended) of this post. Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lauren’s take on overused fonts is hilarious, slightly-inappropriate (you’ve been warned), and, above all, completely TRUE. Stay away from these fonts if you want to look at all unique and/or relevant.

Ok, ok, so enough lecturing—now it’s time to play around with fonts and choose the one that’s right for you! Here are some sites that offer thousands of great fonts to choose from.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, if you’ve seen a font before and you’ve always wanted to know what it is, check out the What the Font? Feature on MyFonts.com. Here’s an example I did using the Twitter logo:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By now you should be an expert on font selection. That means we don’t want to see any more Comic Sans, Curlz MT, or for heaven’s sake, Papyrus! Are we clear?

10 Best Resources to get your Spa & Salon Questions Answered

27 Jul
by Samantha, posted in Fun Stuff, Marketing Ideas, Spa & Salon   |  No Comments

1. For everything spa, and so much more check out SpaWeekBlog.com for tip on running a business, hot new trends for for anything beauty, and fun business ideas.

2. Salon marketing can be tough. There is tons of industry competition and many advertising and marketing strategies to choose from. Check out WorldwideSalonMarketing.com for advertising tips and marketing strategies that might work for you.

3. Running a spa business or salon can be consuming. SpaRoveBlog offers just what you need for help with the management side of your business from choosing contractors to training and HR. Take it from this industry expert, starting your spa business is a group effort!

4. Got questions? Spatrade.com has answers. From trends to business questions, to community forums, this site offers everything a business owner could use for inspiration and tips.

5. The American Massage Therapy Association is about providing resources for massage therapists from small business resources to education and business tips.

6. Cosmetics range from makeup to body care to baby care. Cosmeticsbusiness.com has resources for every step of the way. From formulation to distribution and marketing tips in between, this cosmetics site is #1.

7. Looking for inspiration? Webdesignschool.com has created a list of the best makeup artist blogs on the net. Browse around for some great blog designs and see whats so popular about what these stylists offer.

8. Hair stylists unite and visit HJi.com for a guide to everything hair and everything business. Hairdressers Journal interactive (HJi) offers everything from style guides to salon marketing and branding with help from some of the very best stylists in the industry.

9. Find the voice of everything salon at SalonGeek.com. This community forum and business strategy site helps with every kind of salon from hair to tanning to waxing. Get a group opinion about your next big promotion or sign strategy for peers and experts with the same questions.

10. Whether you are a spa or mobile massage therapist, its important to stay up to date on your massage industry news. MassageToday.com can help with upcoming legal changes, industry news, and new research trends so you stay informed.

 

Summer Beauty Trend Round-Up

08 Jul
by Samantha, posted in Fun Stuff, Spa & Salon   |  No Comments

Every season brings new makeup colors, new polish and new fashion to the forefront with fashion shows, television shows and of course, the award shows that go on year round.  We are constantly looking to our Hollywood counterparts, if you can call them that, for guidance on the latest looks and trying to mimic them.  I decided to save you some time and round up the best of the best…..why?

The best don’t ask why, they just take advantage; read on:

Rosy cheeks and berry colored lips are the latest and greatest on all beautiful faces, dare we ask, can there be too much pink on a girl?  Show me how to look like that!

Brightly colored nails are always in fashion in the summer, rethink that same shade from last year and try a blue, or the new crackled polishes.

Every morning, it’s the same question…what should I do with my hair? The top ten styles are here to save the day, now if only we could all look like Gwen Stefani.

You remember what your mom used to say because she didn’t want you to wear makeup?  Boys love the natural look… maybe mom was right?

There are lots of tips here but did I read that right?  We can have eyebrows again?  It is so nice to be trendy on accident!

I encourage you to play with your makeup and experiment with the colors that work best for your complexion and hair, the last thing you want to do is try to look like Jennifer Lopez if you look like Ally McBeal.