Design tips and insights for nonprofits and social enterprises.

How to know if your brand is any good

Branding
10.26.16

Does your outside match your inside? Or better yet do your actions and your motivations match? What about your audience? Do you know their outsides and insides, actions and motivations? You know your brand works when all of these are aligned and visualized through the right combination of fonts, color, and imagery.

Does your brand work according to this test?

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How to DIY your brand to meet your short-term goals

Branding
07.18.16

So you have a new business or nonprofit and you need a consistent look for all your marketing and communications. No $$ to hire an expert? Confident you can DIY?

Think of your brand as the mothership
Your brand is not just a logo, but the overarching look and feel that touches everything you do and say about your organization. When developing a brand you should start with the who, what, and why of your business and audience. Then you can work on making sure your logo, colors, etc. are a visual representation of that.

Your DIY branding resources
Inexpensive resources to help you figure out your brand and create print and online graphics:

  • Branding Toolkit for Changemakers  – an ebook that guides you through the branding process
  • moo – print business cards and other kinds of materials from templates, or upload your own
  • hands on every day  – print business cards and other kinds of materials from templates, or hire them to create custom designs
  • canva – create social media graphics or other print materials

DIYing might be the best short-term solution, but as you grow, pivot your business, or go after a more targeted audience, a larger investment will have to be made. If that happens, no worries. There are plenty of professionals, myself included, that would love to help.

Have you DIYed a brand before? Where you happy with the results?

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You only have 15 seconds to convince your audience

Branding | Marketing | Web Design
07.05.16

You’re passionate and knowledgeable about the work you do, but sometimes that gets in the way of convincing others how important it is. More than half of the visitors to your website will spend about 15 seconds on your homepage or any other page for that matter. Holy crap! I think many sites will fail this test.

What’s the key to breaking this? Show more, tell less. Show what your mission/product is. Show your impact. Show the reader what action they need to take. The rest is icing.

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3 proven ways your brand can increase supporters, donors and clients

Branding | Marketing
05.28.16
3 proven ways your brand can increase supporters, donors and clients

We all know that marketing campaigns can help raise your organization’s awareness, but did you ever think that your brand could as well. Marketing is an important part of branding, it’s how you promote yourself and communicate with your customers, donors, or supporters. Your brand is the core of what you do and why you do it. It should not be ignored, because when it’s done well, people remember you and take you seriously.

Be consistent and have standards
If the collateral and materials you create — from the website to postcards —use different fonts, colors, and style of imagery, then it’s time to get it together. Everything should look and feel consistent, even the tone of voice.

Special events, conferences, or marketing campaign can break this rule from time to time. Think of it as the brand is your personal style of dressing, speaking, the heart of how you are. Sometimes, for certain events, you might dress more formal or casual, but it doesn’t change who you are. Also, please treat your logo with respect. Make sure it’s always visible, and whatever you do, don’t distort it. That screams “I don’t know what I’m doing.”

Stay organized
In order to be consistent, you have to be organized. Make sure you have a naming convention for your files, and that anyone who looks at them will know what to use. Using a cloud storage like Google Drive or Dropbox can be a big help. Then you can share files easily with others and access them anywhere.

Be unique
Being unique is probably the most challenging of the three ways. It takes guts to stand out from the crowd. Take a look at your competition. And don’t tell me that you don’t have competition because you do. Who are the organizations working on the same issue you are or have a similar mission? You might not be directly competing with them, but you work in the same “space.” If your brand gets lost in the crowd, doesn’t resonate with your audience, or doesn’t match your organization anymore, then it’s probably time for a rebrand.

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Social Solutions

Branding
06.25.15

Social Solutions

New Work: Social Solutions Logo

I recently designed a logo for an interesting company with a social
mission. Social Solutions is a creative organization that uses
technology and design to achieve sustainable social impact. It’s a
startup and I’m looking forward to seeing what’s in store. Hopefully
I’ll get to collaborate with them more.

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