branding

Client Spotlight: Cloud Creative Events

We first began working with modern luxury wedding planner Cloud Creative Events a few years ago, the way we start working with many of our small business clients – on a single small project. She had created her own website, as many solopreneurs do, and got in touch with us for a little SEO treatment, which went really well.

As Cloud Creative has grown, we’ve implemented several short rounds of website improvements over the years to expand on the site’s content and reflect their growing team and portfolio.

In the last six months though, we’ve been working with Cloud Creative a lot more. Owner KC Cloud was ready to make some big moves, so in that time we have redesigned their logo, made several more website updates (especially to expand the portfolio and publicity pages), and we’ve also updated their pricing booklet and created new business cards for KC and her team – all without complicated and expensive design “packages” since we just track our time.

We couldn’t be more proud – take a look!


Updated Website:

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New Business Cards:

 
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Updated Pricing Booklet:

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Web Design Trends for 2019

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Design trends are history in the making, and we’re going to take a closer look a few you’ve likely been seeing lately:

1. Getting “Serious” About Logos

We’re still seeing a rise in brand identities shedding their initial startup quirkiness and turning toward a more modern, sans-serif version. It might be a little bit boring, but perhaps they’ve just matured… or maybe they are just playing into what they know we all feel comfortable and familiar with. Either way, expect to see more brands rock a clean, modern version as 2019 marches on.

2. Outlined Text

Half here… half gone… there’s something intriguing about outlined type, which draws the eye – a smart move for memorable branding!

3. Iconoclast Illustrations

More expressive graphics are popping up all over the web, melding physical & digital landscapes together in an abstract way using photo collages and three-dimensional illustration.

4. Adventurous Fonts

While logo designs are continuing to trend toward sameness, we’re seeing more headlines with vintage, abstract, chubby, and nostalgic fonts. An easy way to break up the monotony without going off the deep end is to use various weights of the same font instead.

5. Massive Type

We’re seeing text blocks so large that they break a word or sentence into fragments, which forces you to focus your full attention in order to read each word in it’s entirety – brilliant!

And to round out the Top 10 design trends of 2019:

  • Overlapping Elements

  • Inclusivity in Design

  • Brutalism

  • Grid-Style Text Blocks

  • Designing for Mobile first

ready to update your website in 2019?

Client Spotlight: Devan Allen Campaign

It’s been years since we last blogged about Devan Allen and our design work on her personal projects in speaking, advocacy, and real estate, but not long after that, Devan discussed with us her next big endeavor: running for Tarrant County Commissioner.

We immediately hopped on board and began designing logo concepts, building her campaign website, and creating several social media graphics as well as signage for her campaign kickoff event.

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This was the largest campaign we worked on to-date, as Tarrant County has a population of just over 2 million (each commissioner represents roughly a quarter of the county, but that still requires a sizeable campaign)!

Devan always said, “We will not be outworked” throughout the campaign and she was absolutely right. We’re proud that she chose Green Apple Lane as the creative agency for her campaign branding, website, and graphics and we were overjoyed to witness the moment she won from the watch party at her campaign headquarters. We learned so much about big campaigns and the many rules and regulations required for political creative, and we’re so proud that the work was not only popular and well-received by the community, but successful in the end.

Logo Design: Color Psychology, Fonts & Unbreakable Rules

I designed my first logo back in journalism school in 2001 if you can believe it. More than 15 years and hundreds of concepts later, I have more than a few logo design tips to share!

Color Rules
for Logo Design

Color communicates SO much information to us about a business, whether or not we realize it. For this reason, we will typically send the first round of logo proofs in black and white so clients can focus on the design itself instead of being drawn to a design because of its color.

Color can bring up deeply rooted emotions, as specific colors are associated with certain ideas (which you may or may not want associated with your brand). Take some time to look at our psychology of color graphic – do you agree with the traits these colors represent? If we were developing a logo for a new salon/spa business, would we want to create a big, bold logo in red? Maybe, but probably not, yet I see them everywhere! What about a multi-color or pink logo for a bank? Maybe not...

A few more interesting tidbits on color:

  • Red can actually raise your heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature, and even make you feel hungry (it’s no secret many fast food and restaurant logos are red)!
  • Yellow may come off as too weak or as cautious; it's also typically too bright to stand on its own and will usually require an accent color as a background or border.
  • Blue is the most common logo color and is generally affiliated with large corporations. Most financial institutions use blue in their branding (because it conveys honesty, trust and integrity, of course).
  • Purple can be polarizing and may come off childish if used incorrectly (though since it appeals to children, you'll notice it often used in toy and candy package design).
  • Black, like brown, can be seen as boring. Keep the fonts crisp and fresh to avoid this.

Above all, when planning to brand your business, please don’t choose a color just because it's your favorite color (or worse, your child's favorite color... unless the business is a children's boutique)! Give some serious thought to the core values of your company and determine what color(s) best represent those values. One final (usually-unbreakable) rule: try not to incorporate too many colors in your logo. Instead of multiple colors, try monochromatic shades (using varying tones of only one color).

Number One Font Rule for Logo Design

There are plenty of do's and don'ts for pairing complementary fonts, but if there is one cardinal rule, it's to not use too many (1-2 fonts is best, but no more than 3 as a hard rule). Mixing a sans-serif font with a serif font is always nice, or mixing a script font with serif. It's also great to use varied weights of the same font family (for large font families like Helvetica, Garamond, Futura, Myriad, Minion, etc.) Typically, serif fonts evoke tradition, respect, and integrity (ex. Garamond, Times), whereas sans-serif fonts feel modern, high-tech, clean, and simple (ex. Futura, Helvetica, Arial).

Some final thoughts to keep in mind when imagining your logo

  • Your logo isn’t for you, it’s for your customer.
  • When comparing concepts, think about how the logo makes you feel. Do those feelings correspond with the business’ core values?
  • Is there a meaningful story behind the logo?
  • Will the logo stand the test of time or is it trendy (is your business meant to be trendy or are you trying to build clients for life)?
  • Is the logo unique and easily recognizable in a sea of competitors?
  • Does the logo still look great in black and white?
  • Does the logo scale nicely (does look good both super-small and huge)? If not, it might not be a deal-breaker, but you might need a brand mark. We can help!

Client Spotlight: Devan Allen

Devan Allen is a successful entrepreneur, speaker, and even political campaign manager, and that's just the tip of the iceberg. To quote her bio, "Whether developing strategies for high-ranking political leaders, encouraging youth and women to exercise their right to vote, serving as a keynote speaker, or running in a marathon – she uses her work and life experiences to inspire hope and transformation in the community." We're convinced there's nothing she can't do!

When I first met Devan, she already had a personal brand and a website, but she'd been wanting to make some changes and wasn't sure how to do them herself. We were able to jump right in and make revisions to her existing Wordpress site, and we've had the pleasure of designing many pieces to promote her endeavors since then.

Most recently, we created a logo for her latest venture, Allen Realty Advisors; worked on promotions for the DRC Breakfast with the Mayor, which she co-chaired; and we updated her website again with new text and photos, as well as a fresh, new header image.

2017 Website header image for  DevanAllen.com

2017 Website header image for DevanAllen.com

In addition to Devan's new website header, we're showing off some of the graphics we created for her website and social media, keeping with her existing color palette of black, white, and hot pink. We couldn't agree more with Fort Worth Business CEO magazine – Devan Allen is definitely a woman to watch and we're excited to see what she does next!

Please contact us if we can help with your design needs - we love starting from scratch on completely fresh concepts, and we're also happy to revise existing pieces and develop new collateral while conforming to your existing branding!

Client Spotlight: Sugar Bee Sweets Bakery

We are proud to have helped evolve the branding, web presence, and printed collateral of Sugar Bee Sweets from day one, when the company consisted of one young woman baking cakes from her home kitchen, to the flourishing business it is today. A favorite among North Texas' most discerning brides and area families alike, Sugar Bee Sweets specializes in couture wedding cakes but also offers all-occasion party cakes and sweets like cupcakes, cake balls, cookies, french macarons, brownies, and more.

Heidi, the founder and owner of Sugar Bee Sweets, loves styles that blend masculine and feminine design elements, and you'll see that juxtaposition throughout the bakery. When we were preparing to launch the new Sugar Bee Sweets logo, website, and overall branding this spring, we decided to keep the design simple and clean. We created a hand-lettered logo, which can be used with or without their custom-drawn bee for a pop of color, seamlessly combining Sugar Bee's palette of slate grey, mint green, and a buttery yellow

Sugar Bee Sweets' business cards are die-cut hexagon shaped and showcase the logo on one side (with their custom bee) and the back side features all of the bakery's contact information.

Below is a gallery of some of our favorite work we've designed for Sugar Bee Sweets, including shareable social media graphics, the logo shown on the outside of their new building, hexagon-shaped die-cut business cards, a screenshot of the website, outdoor A-frame signage, print ads for Brides of North Texas and D Weddings magazines, and even the logo recreated on a cookie! We think it's all pretty sweet - let us know what you think!

Project Spotlight: Exalt Gala

A sampling of printed collateral for PCA's EXALT Gala, created by  Green Apple Lane

A sampling of printed collateral for PCA's EXALT Gala, created by Green Apple Lane

When Pantego Christian Academy approached us about beginning a new annual gala for supporters of their school, we jumped at the opportunity to fully brand the event all the way down to its name. After a meeting to discuss the gala's intent, purpose, and a little creative brainstorming, we came up with a list of associated words and together we kept coming back to EXALT. The client knew from inception that the inaugural event would have a "Gatsby" theme, so to this name "A Great Gatsby Affair" was added.

We began choosing typefaces for the branding, then created a logo design and social media save-the-date graphics soon after. Throughout the event-planning process we created a printed save-the-date, postcard flyers, large promotional signage, printed invitations, VIP invitations, variable-numbered bid paddles, table tents, table numbers, easel signage (and additional large event signage), and a large program booklet including sponsor advertisements and live auction package details for bidder reference.

The EXALT Gala was a huge success in this, its first year – so much so that plans for next year are already well underway (stay tuned for new theme and branding details)! In the meantime, enjoy this handful of photos from EXALT 2017: A Great Gatsby Affair...

The Story Behind Our Business Name

The quick story of how Green Apple Lane came to be is this: After studying journalism at UT Austin and working in the magazine industry for several years Laura Heymann began designing invitations and logos for friends on a freelance basis as Art by Ellie in 2009. Once the workload increased, she left her day-job as an Art Director, making Art by Ellie a full-time operation in 2010. After several years of steady growth, in Spring 2016, all business design and marketing services were moved under the umbrella of Green Apple Lane, with Art by Ellie continuing to exclusively offer wedding-based design services.

Many people love our name and ask about what it means or how we came up with it, so here's the very true story...

THE ORIGIN OF GREEN APPLE LANE

Green Apple Lane is a real street in East Arlington where my grandparents lived when I was little girl. Their house is where I climbed trees, picked vegetables in the backyard garden, helped bake Christmas cookies, and counted stars from a huge nearby field to the echo of cicadas. There, I played softball with my cousins, swung on the screechy wire fence that was draped waist-high along the edge of their yard, and in their living room, I played the angel every year in a live nativity scene, with a gold garland halo and white satin wings. There in my Papaw’s garage, I swept up sawdust, played with tools, hammering and c-clamping lumber of all shapes and sizes, and “painted” the floor using a crappy paintbrush and a metal Sanka coffee can halfway full of water. 

My Nanny and Papaw were a sweet couple who fell in love writing letters back and forth during World War II. Each day after breakfast and cup after cup of coffee, they would read scripture together at the kitchen table. Most days you could find them stealing an afternoon nap in their recliners, separated only by a small side table with various remotes and a TV guide. Papaw could build anything you dreamed up, and when I begged my dad for a specific dollhouse, he passed the specs to Papaw for “research and development,” and then Pap built it ten times better than the store-bought version.

Nanny and Papaw never pressured us grandkids to become one thing or another, or to do things a certain way. They never chided us to call or come by more often or to quiet down. Even now, I can’t remember one raised voice in their house, ever. Nanny was always happy to see or hear from me, whether it had been 5 hours or 5 months, and I sincerely believe the only thing she ever wanted for us kiddos was for us to be happy. They have been gone for years now, but I have no shortage of amazing memories from Nanny and Papaw’s house on Green Apple Lane, where creativity abounded, and ingenuity flowed as freely as the never-ending coffee.