logo design

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!

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:

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New Business Cards:

 
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Updated Pricing Booklet:

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Top 5 Things to Know About Working With a Graphic Designer

It’s not easy to know how to work with creative types like graphic designers, so we’re sharing our top 5-ish tips we wish potential clients knew:

1. Just because we’re “creative” doesn’t mean we aren’t professional.

Not all creatives have blue hair and facial piercings (but to each their own) or sleep late and work all night. At Green Apple Lane, for instance, each of us offices from home, but we have dedicated real offices in our homes, and we manage our time really well. Potential clients sometimes ask, “What types of clients do you serve?” to which we proudly reply that we work with all types of clients from all types of industries: lawyers, healthcare professionals, car dealerships, luxury wedding planners, auto mechanics, cake bakeries, political campaigns, dairy farms, private schools, beauty products, professional photographers, art classes, funeral services, real estate, authors, and the list goes on. This has made us chameleons, or Janes-of-All-Trades, because we have to dive head-first into all of these fields, and we love it! And depending on the client, we’ve had meetings in board rooms, coffee houses, garages, or just over email and phone. We’ve met in flip flops and business suits. We’re in the business of whatever your business does, however you do it.

2. Tell us the issue, not what you think the solution should be.

Design solves problems, so it’s our job to come up with the perfect solution. When you tell us the problem and the solution, you run the risk of severely limiting our thinking and boxing us in, which is a bummer, because then you don’t really get to realize the full benefit of our expertise. We love it when you tell us “what” and leave the “how” up to us. And try not to make your feedback too specific. Actually take a minute to think about what it is that you don’t like about something, and share that with us. For instance, instead of deciding “It should be in red,” (which is telling us the solution), say, “The color isn’t right, I’d like it to be more bold/in-your-face.”

3a. The design isn’t for you, it’s for your customer…

More often than not, the opinions of whether you, your spouse, your child, or even your designer PERSONALLY like a design are completely irrelevant, unless we are your ideal customer (and it’s highly unlikely that all of us are your customer, unless you’re in front of a grocery store selling Thin Mints).

3b. So please don’t tell us what your spouse thinks.

If there’s one thing that really gets under our skin, this is it… “I showed the design to my ‘insert relationship here’ and they said didn’t like it.” First off, while this person is probably super smart and amazing, the designs are based off of your direction, because you know your business and your clients best, not your spouse (unless this person is a business partner, in which case, their input should have been considered from the beginning). This person has not been privy to all the conversations we’ve had leading up to the design and this is likely their first time to hear about the project, so honestly, their opinion is not really relevant to the project. One caveat: if this person brings up actual relevant feedback or questions to you and you agree, feel free to pass those along to us, but please just pass them off as your own thoughts and opinions and don’t pawn it off on your hubby or your kindergartner.

4. That person who created that thing for you a long time ago was not an actual designer.

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Sometimes clients have a previous experience with a “graphic designer,” (read: someone with a bootleg copy of Photoshop), and their expectations were shattered somewhere along the way, so they’re feeling understandably hesitant to work with a designer again. But a professional graphic designer spends years learning software programs, typefaces, color theory, marketing strategy, and how to decode people’s feelings and turn those feelings into visual imagery. If the only file types you were provided with at the end of the project were jpgs with white backgrounds, that is a tell-tale sign you worked with someone masquerading as a designer. In that case, you have every reason to feel salty about the experience, but please know this probably-well-intentioned person was simply a novice at best, and you should have a completely different experience working with a professional. Now if you were provided files embedded inside a Word document, on the other hand, this person was a monster and you were lucky to escape (a little designer humor).

5. Finally, the cardinal rule: Don’t ask if you can take us out to “pick our brain.”

This is what we do for a living and we LOVE it, but we take our craft seriously and we also have bills to pay like everyone else. We charge by the hour, just like an attorney, for our time and expertise, so don’t ask us to give up 1-2 billable hours to dispense that advice for free in exchange for a coffee or a salad (or even worse, “exposure”). Close friends and family are the most common offenders here, not typically a new contact, as this is a more informal “ask.” We love you, so if you want to have coffee and talk about your super cute kids, your stressful mother-in-law, or your new puppy, we’re all in, but if you want to talk shop, offer to pay us for our time first (and you may even be surprised with discounted rate), but don’t make it awkward by expecting it to be free.

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.

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.

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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!