branding

Client Spotlight: The Hive

When the owner of Sugar Bee Sweets came to us with the idea for a new lunch spot called The Hive, we were over the moon excited to brand it! We started with a simple and clean logo in navy, mustard yellow, and white. We set up the ‘H’ icon to be able to stand alone as a brand mark in any combination of the three colors as well.

A few of our favorite pieces we've designed so far for The Hive include a floral tray liner, their website, menu, a mural of their logo and other graphic elements shown on the outside of the building (our concept flawlessly executed by Luisito Design), two embroidered hat designs, a sponsorship ad, and outdoor A-frame signage.

Remember from the Sugar Bee Sweets brand spotlight that the owner loves to blend masculine and feminine design elements? You’ll see that style echoed in The Hive’s decor - walls of hexagons on navy surround the tables and chairs, with a wall of air plants and a live-edge wood lunch counter across from the sandwich line, and white subway tile with black grout on the other large walls, behind the line and the drink area, which houses their large menu. The room is finished out with floral touches and ingredient packaging/overstock on open shelving. There’s even an outdoor patio to enjoy!

We’re so proud of the branding we’ve developed for The Hive, and can’t wait to watch the buzz continue to grow!

Conference Swag & Promotional Merch Recommendations

It’s almost 2020… people are drowning in stuff, the planet is drowning in plastic, and no one needs more logo-printed:

  • plastic water bottles or cups

  • stress balls

  • toys

  • crappy knock-off lip balm

  • tote bags

  • USB drives

  • spirals/journals/notepads

  • keychains

  • eyeglass cleaners

  • pop sockets

But from a marketing perspective, you still need giveaways for your trade show booths, conferences, and award shows though, right?!

Our first recommendation for conference swag is to MAKE IT USEFUL, otherwise you’re just spending a fortune on trash.

What’s in demand now:

  • Consumable product samples or snacks (much appreciated by attendees – it’s your job to make your brand memorable when they come get ‘em!)

  • Stainless steel straws (either singles or kits, with or without carrying case, brush, etc.)

  • Portable bamboo utensil sets (typically with a roll-up wrap to store them in your purse or bag)

  • Glass, ceramic, or double-walled metal tumblers and bottles (expensive but cool; and we wavered on including this one because we don’t need any more of these either)

  • Wireless anything (bluetooth speakers, phone chargers, headsets/headphones; for high-end events only because otherwise, in order to make it inexpensive enough for a giveaway, it’s likely not high-quality, and will eventually become trash)

These tried & true conference favorites are not sexy, but people are likely to keep and use:

  • Pens/pencils

  • Hand sanitizer

  • Tissue packs for pocket/purse

  • Webcam covers

(though we don’t love that most of these items are plastic)

Our #1 Recommendation:

Sponsor an Experience!

  • device charging station

  • water bottle filling station

  • coffee bar

  • chair massage station

Your brand will be associated with something truly helpful in a clutch situation and “if you wrap the event in your branding, there’s a good chance your target customer will remember that experience” long after a tote bag would end up in a landfill somewhere, says Fast Company. We couldn’t agree more!

Read more here: “It’s time to stop spending billions on cheap conference swag

Concept Chopping Block

Over the summer, we worked on several logo designs with several companies serving various industries and markets. Here are some of the cute concepts that didn’t make the cut:

My Traveling Panda

Logo redesign (not yet finalized)
for a European-based travel agency


CherryTree

Logo design for an East Coast
digital marketing agency


Parker’s Pals

Logo design for a Virginia-based non-profit organization providing support to foster dogs

Created in honor of their beloved yellow lab Parker and his two adoptive brothers (a chocolate lab & a black lab).

See the final logo in action on their website

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:

cloudcreative-webdesign-weddingplanner-home.png
cloudcreative-webdesign-weddingplanner.png
cloudcreative-webdesign-weddingplanner-services.png

New Business Cards:

 
business-card-design-cloudcreative.jpg
 

Updated Pricing Booklet:

pricing-menu-design-cloudcreative.jpg

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.

Web Design Upgrade

We've got a fresh new look!

While the clean, minimalist aesthetic of our website has served us well in the past, we wanted our online presence to pack a little more punch and be more reflective of the caliber of work we produce for our clients.

Additionally, we have showcased a LOT of our design work online in the past and it's been on our to-do list to refine our online portfolio. We are still showing a broad range of our work, so viewers can see what we can do and have done without feeling bombarded with never-ending thumbnails.

Take a look around and let us know what you think of our fresh design

And better yet, who do you know in need of a website upgrade? Send them our way or reach out here!

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!