New Logo Design & Stationery Package – Falcon Capital Management

I enjoyed working with Tim Philosophos on his logo & stationery projects.  Tim is Managing Director at Falcon Capital Management in Chicago, Illinois.  Good branding includes consistency (but don’t tell that to Google).  View Google’s Online Museum of logos.

falcon-logo-stationery

Pilchuck Produce – Logo Design

logo design, edmonds, arlington, WAHere’s a new logo design for Pilchuck Produce.  Congratulations to Jim Roberts and Jim Morgan on launching their new produce company, Pilchuck Produce. They opened their doors on January 5th, 2015 and will be delivering fresh produce to restaurants in the greater Seattle area.  View larger version.

Puyallup Storage & RV – Logo Design

logo design, storage facility, puyallup, waIt’s been a pleasure working with Kelly Baker on the logo design for his new company, Puyallup Storage & RV.  The storage facility on the South Hill in Puyallup will be opening it’s doors in the Spring of 2015.  Watch for their grand opening!  View larger version.

How to Build a Website – 14 Essential Steps for Success

The key to building a successful web site is planning. In the words of author Stephen Covey, you should “begin with the end in mind.”

1. Define the Purpose

What is the site’s purpose? Is it to provide a professional presence? Prompt the user to call? Sell products or services online? A tool to save time?

It is imperative to clearly state the goals of the web site in writing. Goals provide clear direction which ultimately leads to better results. So, begin with the end in mind. What do you want to your website to accomplish and why?

2. Define your Target Market

In order to design an effective site it is important to know your customers. Who is your target market? What are their demographic characteristics? Male or female? Age bracket?

From there, you can dig deeper. What are their buying habits? What magazines do they read? What do they do for recreation? Do they play golf? Hike? Answers to these questions will help gear the site to your audience and meet their expectations. It will also help you to choose imagery that reflects the audience.

3. Choose a Domain Name

A short name is better than a long one

Use keywords in your domain name if possible. (Keywords are words that people might use to search for you on Google.)

Consider using a geographic keyword, like “PortlandPeaches.com”

Avoid trademarked names.

Avoid combining words that end and start with the same letter, like “talbotttools.com”, which would likely be misspelled.

4. Cost Justification

What is the average dollar value of one customer over a two year period? (Average dollar sales per customer X number of sales per year X 2 years.)

From this calculation you can determine how many new customers the site needs to generate in order to pay for itself. (The total site cost divided by the figure in the above calculation.)

5. Size Up the Competition

What do your competitor’s sites look like? You should keep that in mind during the design phase so that your site can stand out from the crowd, yet be appropriate for your industry.

6. Decide on a Style

Take a look at other sites and list three to five that you like and detail why. Also find at least three that you don’t like and list why.

This will help you determine what to shoot for during the design phase. You don’t have to re-invent the wheel. At the same time, due to copyright law, you can’t copy or re-use someone else’s work without their written permission.

7. Write the Text Content

Writing the text content is a key step in the process. You can save a good deal of time and money by writing the content yourself. After all, you know your business better than anyone else. The text content should be broken down by category. Those categories become the buttons for your site.

Massaging the text, getting it into it’s final form, before designing the site will allow the designer to know how to accommodate the quantity of text to be included on each page.

8. Flow Chart

Use the text content to create a flow chart for the entire site, showing the content for each page and how the pages relate to each other. This will become the road map or blueprint to follow during the design process.

9. Choose Imagery

Using high quality photographs and imagery is crucial. Photos or images that are blurry or pixelated reflect poorly on your organization. Use quality lifestyle imagery that is appealing to your target market. Appropriate lifestyle imagery will help the user to relate to your site and create a more positive mental impression.

iStockphoto.com is a good source for lifestyle photography and useful illustrations. It is important to follow copyright law and not to use someone else’s imagery without their written permission. When using images from iStockphoto, you are granted a royalty free license, which includes permission to use the image.

10. Decide who will maintain the site.

It is important to decide at the outset, who will maintain the site. Sites can be designed for ease of maintenance, if that is a goal at the outset. Custom sites created in Adobe Dreamweaver are typically maintained by the web designer. Sites may also be designed using a Content Management System (CMS) like WordPress.

WordPress sites are created using a template or “theme” and may be maintained through a standard web browser with minimal training. No additional software is required. The down side of using a CMS is that by using a template, your site may end up looking somewhat similar to someone else’s.

11. Choose a Designer

This could be you! If you are relatively web savvy and you want to tackle the design phase on your own, WordPress’s content management system is a good option. Also, you may consider hiring a web designer at this point. If you do, everything you’ve done so far will save you money. And, you’ll have a clear direction for the designer to follow, culminating in a positive result.

12. Choose a Hosting company

Choose a reputable company like Go Daddy or Bluehost. I’ve found them to be priced inexpensively and they have great 24 hour technical support. Go Daddy is great for Dreamweaver based sites, while Bluehost has better support for WordPress sites.

Criteria for choosing a hosting company should include price, phone technical support (vs. online chat only) and if you’re going to use WordPress, a hosting company that supports it. An indication of how well a company supports WordPress is whether or not they have “one-click” WordPress installation.

13. Build the site

Execute the plan and build the site. Ease of navigation is a key factor in putting together a successful site. Navigation buttons should have a consistent look, be titled intuitively, and located in the same place on each page.

14. SEO

You can’t talk about “getting noticed” without talking about Search Engine Optimization (SEO), which is a subject all on it’s own. In general, search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing, use an algorithm to evaluate your site’s relevance to the user. They rate your site accordingly.

Google is by far the leading search engine company. To get noticed, the idea is to configure your site so that you are rated highly in the organic search, as opposed to the paid advertisements at the top and sides of each page.

You can start by adding keywords to your pages. These are words that someone may type into Google in order to find you. Choose both geographic keywords and keywords relevant to your content.

Conclusion

By following the principles outlined above, you will be able to construct a site that meets your goals, is easy to navigate, has compelling imagery, exceeds your audience’s expectations, and sets you apart from your competition.

For additional tips & tricks, how to’s, step-by-step guides and product reviews please visit: wpnerdio.com

Lucas Restaurant – Logo & Signage Design

logo, restaurant, everett, wa

Congratulations to Antonio Lucas on the opening of his new restaurant in Everett, WA.  Antonio hired us for  logo and signage design.  Thank you to Marc Zimmerman of 4Z Designs for the sign production.

 

Chihuahua Mexican Food – Restaurant Logo

logo, restaurant, Everett, WA Veronica needed a restaurant logo for her new establishment in Everett, called El Sabor de Chihuahua Mexican Food.  Their restaurant features authentic mexican recipes from Chihuahua, a state in Northern Mexico.  Congratulations Veronica!

Gerrie Professional Cleaning – Logo & WordPress Website Design Package

logo, design, brochure, websiteDonald Gerrie hired us to design his logo, business cards, tri-fold brochures and WordPress website.

After 10+ years in the hospitality industry, Mr. Gerrie started his own cleaning business, Gerrie Professional Cleaning.

He was previously Director of Housekeeping in hotels such as the Westin, Hyatt and Hilton.  He brings those same high standards to his residential and commercial cleaning business. Their cleaning services include:

  • business cards,Windows, sliding glass doors & French doors (interior)
  • Bathrooms: showers, bath tubs, sinks, toilets, mirrors, polish chrome, vanity cabinet exteriors
  • Flooring: mop or vaccuum
  • Dusting: lamps, furniture, woodwork, shelves, picture frames, cob web removal
  • Refrigerators
  • Stoves & microwave ovens
  • Baseboards where available
  • Light fixtures
  • Blinds

They offer:

  • Personalized allergy sensitive cleaning
  • Green cleaning
  • After party or special event cleaning
  • As needed customized cleaning
  • Post-construction cleaning
  • Move-in and out cleaning
  • Office cleaning
  • One time cleaning
  • Apartment cleaning
  • Rental property customized cleaning
  • Open to discuss any needs that you may have

To request a quote, please visit GerrieProfessionalCleaning.com or call 425.577.1751.

Congratulations Donald on your new business venture!

Guy Glenn Law Firm – New Logo

attorney logo, legal logo, guy glenn law firm, Long Beach, WAGuy Glenn Law Firm of Long Beach, WA has selected a new logo!  After running the logo through a series of select focus groups, this is the winning selection.  It will serve them well for years to come!

J. A. Youngs New Logo

logo design, attorney at law, J.A. Youngs PLLCJulia Youngs of J.A. Youngs PLLC, hired me to brand her law firm.  The goal: to design a logo that was “approachable but firm”. Find out more about Julia Youngs, Attorney at Law.

Calluna’s Gardens Website Launch

Calluna's Gardens, logo, newCongratulations to Calluna’s Gardens on the launch of their new WordPress website! Take a look!

Their new site uses the Genesis framework by Studiopress,  the mobile responsive Agency Pro theme.  Thank you Heather and Keith for being such a pleasure to work with!