small business

Client Spotlight: Worthington Lawn Care

When Worthington Lawn Care approached us to create a logo for their new business, we were excited to jump right in! At their request, we created concepts that included leaf and tree graphics, and in the end, the leaves were especially appealing because they tie in with the branding of the owners' other companies. We love the pairing of clean, modern slab and sans-serif typefaces for a professional look in their logo, business cards, and shareable social media graphic, all shown below.

Worthington-Lawn-Logo_final.jpg

This is not our first time to work with the Worthingtons... we go way back to their first business venture, Worthington Monuments, which has recently grown to include a fifth location in Colleyville, Texas (joining Burleson, Arlington, Stephenville, and Grand Prairie). We recently created a digital email invitation graphic to promote the opening, and updated their letterhead and business cards to include all five locations. Also shown is an ad we designed for placement in an event program where Worthington Monuments was a sponsor.

We are so proud when our clients' businesses grow and especially proud of all the work we create for them!

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: 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!

Fresh Website Design: Emerald Sky

Owned and operated by three sisters in Texas, Emerald Sky creates adorable t-shirts and apparel, but was being operated on a third-party retail site. As the business grew, the sisters realized they really needed an easier-to-use platform for keeping track of inventory, and a more automated ordering system for their customers, complete with a seamless and secure payment system. We also thought they should have their own logo showing prominently and most importantly, the site should be hosted at their own domain for branding purposes (how can you build a customer base if your customers aren’t really dealing with your brand, but with your storefront on a big e-commerce platform instead)?

The solution: First, we secured Emerald Sky’s domain, www.shopemeraldsky.com and then we designed a custom e-commerce site, hosted by Squarespace. The shop is organized by category (womens, kids, or mens apparel, or non-apparel accessories), and within each product design, there are various colors and sizes and various quantities available of each size/color at any given time. This way, the owners can enter in a product color and size set when they do a printing run of a design, and the shop will stay automatically updated as products continue to sell. Another great tool they’re enjoying is setting up their order reply emails so the site automatically sends order confirmations to customers and then they just have to check in and click a button once the order is fulfilled and the customer is notified their order is on the way. The Emerald Sky owners can even create discount codes in a matter of seconds to run a promotion.

As another of our web design clients recently said, "You can limp along on your own or get a first-class product that will take you to the next level with Green Apple Lane." See the full review here

We know the ladies at Emerald Sky are loving their new website and we couldn't be happier with how it turned out!

Why we recommend Squarespace:

There are very few small businesses that truly require a site built from the ground up, which can cost up to and even more than $10,000. For everyone else, a designer is usually hired to build a site using a platform like Wordpress or Squarespace and customizes the features from a template. These are the two platforms we use the most because they enable the small business owner to handle their own site updates, photos, and blogs easily (which is a constant process for a small business), unless the owners would like to delegate those tasks to us as well, in which case we’re happy to make updates. For an e-commerce site, it doesn’t get more simple than Squarespace, which uses Stripe as its payment processor – seamless for you, and for your customers. Green Apple Lane is a recognized Squarespace Circle Member and developer, meaning we’ve built tons of sites on this interface and we know the ins and outs as well as anyone. Sure, it’s a user-friendly interface, but A) if you don’t know all that it’s capable of doing, you might not know what to look for, and B) what might take you 20+ hours of time to figure out, might take us a fraction of that time, and as a fellow small business owner, I know you're all about delegation!

Whether you are just starting out with a new business or you're a maker who's ready to skip the big commerce platforms and truly call the shots in your own online shop, we would love to build your new website – reach out here and let us know how we can be of service!

Inspired Women

Organized by the Women's Alliance of the Arlington Chamber of Commerce, the Inspired Women Luncheon is the largest and most lovely event of its kind in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. We are excitedly gearing up for the biggest and best event yet, and we're ecstatic to serve as the graphic design sponsor for the third year in a row! 

This luncheon is so much fun and sells out early every year, so the committee moved it to a venue large enough to handle all of the fabulous inspired women who wish to attend. Also new this year is our esteemed speaker, Carrie Wilkerson ("The Barefoot Executive") – watch a few of her social media feeds or short videos and you'll be hooked on her sweet personality and savvy business sense, too. The sixth-annual Inspired Women Luncheon will take place Friday, November 4, 2016 at the Arlington Convention Center – can't wait to see you there!

Fresh Graphic Design, a La Carte

You’re here because you love our fresh designs. Maybe you’re thinking that you might want a new logo design soon, an updated website, or maybe you’re ready to launch your new business for the first time. Branding/rebranding your business or redesigning your website requires some investment and is usually an important decision you don’t come to swiftly or lightly. When you decide you’re ready to take the leap, we will be here and would love to help you develop your business, but in the meantime, we wanted you to know you can still work with us to help grow your brand right where you are now, with what you already have. 

Green Apple Lane can design social media graphics and campaigns to help expand your online presence.

Green Apple Lane can design social media graphics and campaigns to help expand your online presence.

Beyond fresh logo design and websites, we love designing graphics for social media (just a handful or a whole campaign); creative print collateral like brochures, stationery, flyers, media kits, rack cards, etc.; business cards; and even ads for print publications or blog sites.

How our a la carte design services work: contact us here about the projects you have in mind, and we can email you our price sheet and let you know an estimate of the design time the project(s) will take us. We charge an hourly rate for design time, with just a 2-hour minimum retainer to get started, and once you’re booked, we’ll keep you updated on our remaining time as we begin emailing you proofs! Super quick and convenient so you can start making small steps right away, and launch a fresh new look once you’re ready. Let us know what’s on your mind and how we can help!

Fresh New Logo Designs


Amber Louthan Photography approached us to rebrand her business after she outgrew her original personal photography brand from long ago. She wanted to stick with muted ocean tones and was open to seeing some watercolor brush lettered options as well. We are so in love with the final product – a gorgeous, simple, clean design that will also double as a great borderless watermark on her stunning photos!



We also recently completed a logo for Classic Stainless, Inc., a custom metal fabricator in Dallas. Their specialty is kitchens, but they also create custom counter tops, grills, and cabinets. They have been doing gorgeous commercial and residential work for years, but never developed a professional look for their brand. For the logo, we obviously wanted the letters to look like steel and the business owners were also open to a bit of a 3-D effect. We opted to keep the full business name in clean, masculine type, and finished things off with metallic screw head graphics in the corners. What a perfect representation of the business and what they do best!

Custom Business Cards

Along with your logo, your business card is a direct reflection of your business, and usually someone’s first impression of your company. Potential clients will be handed several (read: too many) cards at events and trade shows, making it important that yours stand out – a unique card with a clean design can make all the difference.

Keep your card's layout simple, with legible contact information available at first glance, but don't be afraid to show off your creativity with color and design. Vertical, square, and even circular cards always stand out, or we can also create letterpress, foil stamped, or painted-edge business cards as well. Ultimately, Green Apple Lane is all about your brand as a whole, and one of the best things you can do for your small business to take it to the next level is to invest in your business cards. 

Clean and simple, these cards contain all the information a client could need, and showcase both sides of the card which serves to keep things uncluttered for maximum impact. Let us know how we can be of service!

Blush and slate grey square business cards on textured ivory cotton stock, for The Novel Planner.

Blush and slate grey square business cards on textured ivory cotton stock, for The Novel Planner.

Royal plum business cards on textured ivory linen stock, for Shaila Patel, author.

Royal plum business cards on textured ivory linen stock, for Shaila Patel, author.

Gold foil on ivory and silver foil on white square business cards for Doulas of Capitol Hill.

Gold foil on ivory and silver foil on white square business cards for Doulas of Capitol Hill.

Full-color wood-grain-print business cards for Farm to Fork Foods.

Full-color wood-grain-print business cards for Farm to Fork Foods.

Full-color square business cards for Sugar Bee Sweets Bakery.

Full-color square business cards for Sugar Bee Sweets Bakery.