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Category: Logo and Design Tips

Christine Nelson of Ingenuity Marketing on designing great logos.

Why Great Logos Start With This Research

When you are creating a brand, merging with another company, or rebranding, what do you need to consider when coming up with your logo? Start out by asking yourself what your company or your brand stand for. How can you convey those feelings and emotions into a logo? Who is your competition and what do their logos look like?

Set yourself apart from the competitors by creating a logo that tells your brand story, excites customers and is recognizable in all formats (digital, print and on logo wear).  

Check out Christine’s video to learn more about creating a logo that reflects your brand and tells your story.

After this food for thought, do you think your brand needs a refresh? Learn more about creative rebranding tips here.


If you prefer to read this content, the video transcript is below.

When you need to refresh or create a new logo, it may be a standalone logo OR it needs to be part of a logo family.

Your logo needs to be fresh for today, but also resonate in the future.

A logo should make sense to the audience and tell them a story about your business.

Great logos do these things. They are fresh, emotional and they tell a story.

To achieve a great logo, I’m going to share the research we use here at Ingenuity. You can do this too!

Explore your competition. How can you make your logo stand out from their logos?

Also, check your state for any restrictions on logos. In some states professional services company names, and therefore their logos, have stricter design limitations.

A big piece of logo research is your brand story. Without a clear brand story, it is harder to design a great logo. Include your core values, differentiators, founding story and business purpose in this research.

Another tip. Make sure that your new logo will look just as crisp and vibrant in digital formats as it will in print, on your logo wear and on signage. Logo color choices, font size and style are important areas of research and decision-making. Color choices and clarity should also observe ADA guidelines so that when your logo goes on a website, it’s visible and clear.

These are just a few areas of branding research to help you design a great new logo. When you do your homework on your logo, it makes marketing much easier, too.

Reach out if you have any questions about brand positioning and logo design. It’s what we do!

BRANDING SERVICES

How to Develop a Brand Strategy: Write Poetry

Christine Nelson is a veteran writer. She worked as a journalist before joining Ingenuity Marketing as our lead communications consultant and she knows how to write a good hook.

When you’re Googling “how to develop a brand strategy” and you’re wondering what the secret is that will tie all of your brand imagery, logos, colors website and content together… the answer is the writing!

Christine says your tagline should read like a line of poetry. Keep it short and snappy. Your words should move your audience.

You only have a few seconds to reel them in.

If you prefer to read this content, the video transcript is below.

When I’m trying to tell a story in the fewest words possible, I write poetry. You might not think poetry fits with professional services marketing, but it does.

Branding messages and taglines are like poetry. When you think of Nike’s “Just Do It” tagline, it uses the fewest words possible to describe everyday athletes who get themselves up, and work out one more time, one more day, one more mile. It’s an emotional ethic that permeates their products and that’s why it lasts.

When you build your branding messages, don’t settle for words like “quality” and “responsiveness.” Try on different words like “catalyst” or “presence.” When you have just a few seconds to get interest, every word matters. It’s an art.

Bonus! Here is Christine’s favorite poem: “Jabberwocky” by Lewis Carrol:

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!”

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought—
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

“And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”
He chortled in his joy.

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

When you’re wondering how to develop a brand strategy and you need the perfect messaging to go with it, we’re here to help. Show your clients why you are the right fit for them in as concise and poetic a form as possible. Contact us to get started, today.

3 Marketing Mistakes Engineering Firms Make

When creating an elevator speech for networking purposes, we were taught to say our name, our role, the company and the services offered. Unfortunately, this habit of focusing on services has leaked into every area of marketing. Especially in professional services marketing, many firms end up looking and sounding the same.

Consider engineering firms. They can describe their engineering, design, surveying or consulting services, but that doesn’t give a potential client much differentiating value. Offering service descriptions is the number one mistake when marketing for engineering firms. This mistake is also why firm leaders don’t believe that websites support leads and business development.  

Digging into this mistake further, it’s not wrong to describe your services. Just don’t stop there. Collect and show evidence for your best-in-class services as part of consistent outcome-based research, strategic marketing and messaging.

Let’s look at two other mistakes that lead firms to fall back on service descriptions as their only form of marketing.

Mistake #2: Inconsistent Marketing

Inconsistent marketing can mean two things. It can mean that your marketing messages don’t match your actual deliverables and results. It can also mean that you only pursue marketing when you’re not busy with client work or chasing proposals.

Solve this mistake by investing in marketing with a designated budget that includes an in-house or outsourced marketing professional. In addition, this professional will focus most of the time on marketing with only a portion devoted to developing proposals. Following a consistent marketing plan tied to firm business goals is a great place to start.

To create your marketing plan, discuss your best-in-class results. Where do your clients derive the most value from your services? What problems and challenges do you solve regularly on projects? Who are your superstar professionals whose technical and management skills are lauded by clients? What are those skills?

Read: Competitive research for differentiation

As you look at what your firm does best beyond delivering projects on time and on budget, your messaging will emerge to support web copy, advertising and differentiation in your proposals.

In a recent series of client of client interviews we conducted, we heard competitive themes about the firm’s reputation among key government agencies for bringing stakeholders together on a project. That message certainly goes beyond service descriptions.

You can identify competitive differentiatiors when you invest in consistent research, marketing strategy and messaging that describes the outcomes you achieve.

Mistake #3: Not Tracking Project Results Along the Way

Because projects take months and even years to complete, it’s important to document positive outcomes throughout the project and keep your marketing professional in the loop. Too often, marketers are left trying to catch up at the close of a project when some of those amazing solutions and experiences are forgotten.

In the early stages and middle stages of projects, put your marketing hat on. You are listening for repeatable experiences that are unique to your team. Ask about ways that your team went above and beyond to solve a challenge or when they utilized a new process or material to manage the timeline or project budget.

Tip: Prepare your questions for a project debrief that include marketing questions.

Tip: Prepare your questions for a project debrief that include marketing questions.

Ideally, your marketing professional can brainstorm with project managers and technical professionals on challenges overcome, solutions delivered and new technologies utilized. Down the road, these progress reports will support a strong project case study, award submission or testimonials. In the meantime, progress reports can fuel stories for social media or blog posts! An in-progress image coupled with a short story about how your team is moving a project forward can provide the real-life evidence that enhances your traditional service descriptions.

For more tips on marketing for engineering firms, contact us at Ingenuity.

For more tips on marketing for engineering firms, contact us at Ingenuity.

GET TO KNOW THE TEAM!


 

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Elements of a Brand Refresh

Could your brand use a change? An industry rule of thumb is to update a brand every five years, but instead of creating an entirely new brand maybe you could use a refresh! In this video our Lead Design Consultant, Robert Wasiluk, gives advice to bring new life to any brand. Check out the video to hear Robert’s five creative branding tips.


If you prefer to read this content, the video transcript is below.

Your team is hinting that your logo and overall look could use a change. But what if you just updated everything a few years ago?

An industry rule of thumb is to update your brand every five years. Instead of a whole new brand, you might just need a re-fresh!

Here are 5 elements of a visual brand re-fresh that can make a huge difference in your firm’s or association’s first impression. 

  1. Inspiration – Whenever you do a brand refresh, look at fonts, colors, inspirational imagery and words. They can give you direction for updating your visual branding. Also look at your competition. You still want your refreshed brand to be unique.
  2. Logo Usage – Look at the different formats of your current brand identity, and how they are used, to make sure a revised logo will fit those specific uses. Does your refreshed logo need to look good in an email signature, but also on a t-shirt? Test it out.
  3. Color Palette – Sometimes your current color palette is limited or out of date. By adding complementary colors to your primary color palette, you get an instant refresh!
  4. Brand Style Guide – Do you have a style guide? Sometimes your style guide can point to options for refreshed logo uses, additional approved fonts or colors, and even new photo imagery.
  5. Identity Kit – You want to save your refreshed brand identify in a variety of file formats. This makes it easier to send a .jpg or a vector .eps file to a vendor for an ad or to your webmaster. Create presentation templates and digital forms with your refreshed logo, so that everyone is using it consistently.

Once your brand is refreshed, use this opportunity to include your internal team and promote it to the public. Share your new look on social posts or host an old stationery shredding party! Everyone loves a makeover!

Clarify your brand positioning. Download our brand strategy resource to better identify and establish your brand.


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Create a Powerful Brand Identity

Unified standards are crucial for creating a brand that is memorable. How your logo is used digitally and in print can affect your brand perception with clients and prospects. In this video, hear from Design Consultant Robert Wasiluk as he shares how a logo kit and style guide help create consistency for your brand.

Your color and logo looks sharp, but does your brand need a better story?
Check out our storytelling guide to get tips.


If you prefer to read the video transcript, you may find it below:

Create a Powerful Brand Identity

Does your firm use a logo kit and style guide for visual identity consistency and recognition? These are important tools in communicating your brand effectively.

But what is a logo kit? A logo kit consists of your logo saved in a variety of file formats so your brand identity will stay consistent across different media formats. High resolution native Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop files are mainly used for print related materials. JPG, PNG and GIF files are mainly used for the web and presentations.

A style guide works in conjunction with a logo kit and is a set of standards for the design of print documents, website pages, signage and other formats that would include your visual brand identifier. The reason for a style guide is to ensure complete uniformity in style and formatting wherever your brand is used. Some of the items it covers are proper logo formats and their usages, official fonts and color palettes and other elements such as your brand voice, styles of photography and artwork that can be used. 

These standards are crucial for building a memorable brand, one that is easily recognizable and brings a clear sense of reliability and security. It also helps everyone in a firm and vendors of a firm stay on the same page, and present a unified brand to the public.


 

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Refresh Your Brand with Color

As a marketer, it’s important when creating a brand to explore how the psychology of color sends the right message to prospective clients. Choosing the right combination of colors will help your audience know who you are and what you do. Choosing the wrong colors can be detrimental to a company or campaign. In this video, hear from Design Consultant Robert Wasiluk and learn what colors represent for your brand.


If you prefer to read the video transcript, you may find it below:

Refresh Your Brand with Color

Does your visual brand need a color reboot? As a marketer, it’s important when creating a brand to explore how the psychology of color sends the right message to prospective clients. Choosing the right combination of colors will help your audience know who you are and what you do. Choosing the wrong colors can be detrimental to a company or campaign.

Here is a list of primary colors and some of the color philosophy behind them.

For many of our service firm clients we see a predominate use of the color blue, which shows up in 33% of the top brands of the world. The color Blue is commonly used to convey trust, security and confidence. It’s also thought to put people at ease as it reminds them of the sky and ocean.

Red is also another popular branding color. It evokes warmth, passion and stimulates appetites. Restaurant food chains like McDonald’s and Red Lobster use it for that very reason. It’s also great for capturing attention.

Yellow is an ideal color choice for brands looking to instill positivity into their identity. It’s often associated with the sun and its different shades can help bring out hope and optimism. Yellow is often used in point of sale messaging, as it is proven to catch the eye quicker than any other color.

The color green is easiest on our eyes to read. It is a pleasing shade often used to convey calm and rest. Darker tones of green are connected with money and wealth. Like all colors, green has a negative side. It can often symbolize sickness, luck and jealousy.

Having a visual identity with a strong color philosophy behind it is crucial. It can make or break a brand or a campaign. If you’d like us to help analyze your brand’s colors, feel free to contact us through our website at www.ingenuitymarketing.com.

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Web Design Tips for ADA Accessibility

Is your website ADA compliant? Simple things like high contrast and simplified menus are only a couple ways to make your website ADA compliant. In this video, Robert Wasiluk, design consultant, shares a few design tips you can implement to make your website more accessible for all users coming to your site. If you have any questions about ADA compliance or need help with your website, contact us.

Have you addressed GDPR Compliance on your website?
Watch this video to learn more.