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Ashley and her husband Eric with their golden retriever!

# Ashley and her husband Eric with their golden retriever!

Here at 2930 Creative we have a team full of different characters! Today we are highlighting our very talented Art Director Ashley Smith. As the Art Director for 2930 Ashley deals with anything related to design. She collaborates with the clients and the team to make sure that the visual communication for the designs are all complete and to everyone’s liking, especially the client’s. Ashley design work includes logos, branding collateral, ads, website comps, social media graphics, brochures, and more. Her favorite part about each project is, “coming up with the creative solution to help our clients’ businesses succeed.”

A little background about Ashley: she has been doing graphic design for as long as she can remember. While growing up she loved computer games that were art based or just playing around with Microsoft Paint for hours at a time. Ashley’s mom was also a graphic designer, and she taught Ashley how to use Photoshop when she was just in middle school. You could say graphic design runs in the family. Ashley graduated from Oral Roberts University with a degree in graphic design. “At first it was just a hobby. Then in college it became a passion, and now a career. I’ve always wanted a career where I could help people, and I love that design lets me use art to do just that.”

Ashley’s favorite part about working for 2930 is the people that she gets to work with every day. I guess she thinks we are all pretty awesome in our own nerdy way! Of course, Ashley is a little nerdy herself, and some of her favorite hobbies include DIY projects, raising golden retrievers, eating sweet potato fries, and spending time with her handsome husband Eric.

We hope you enjoyed the first of our employee spotlights as you got to know Ashley. Stay tuned to see the next person who will be highlighted!

don't panic

Google’s algorithm changes promise a big shake-up for mobile rankings. 

Today, Google is updating their search algorithm to favor mobile-friendly websites over websites that are not optimized for mobile. The change makes sense, as 60% of all website traffic now comes from mobile users. However, it will affect many small businesses who have not yet had the opportunity to update their website for mobile viewing. If you believe your website is not mobile friendly, don’t panic. We’re here to answer some of your questions and give you some tips on how to move forward.

What is mobile-friendly, according to Google?

A mobile-friendly website is a site that is optimized for viewing on a tablet or smartphone. Google will be changing their algorithm to favor sites that are considered mobile-friendly. This includes readability, easy-to-click links, large text and responsive design. Google’s Webmaster Tools also has a very handy quick tool to use to make sure that your website meets these requirements.

What is responsive design, and how do I check to see if my site is responsive?

A responsive website design means that the site will readjust its size depending on the screen size on which it is being viewed. Images and text realign for better viewing on smaller screens. Below is an example of one of our client websites.

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Full Size

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Responsive Size

To find out if your current website is responsive, use an app like Screenfly to view multiple screen sizes and resolutions. Simply enter your website domain URL and use the toolbar to test various popular tablet and smartphone sizes on the market.

My site is definitely not mobile-friendly. What do I do now?

You will experience a change in your mobile search traffic today. (Sources from Google say that this will NOT affect your desktop traffic). There are a few ways that you can fix the problem, and better prepare yourself for further changes. A site redesign on a CMS such as WordPress.org is a great way to build a responsive mobile-friendly website while on a budget. If you are on the WordPress platform and your site is not friendly, there are a few plugins that you can use to make your site responsive. If your site is not on WordPress, talk to your webmaster about how you can make your website more mobile-friendly.

2930 Creative builds beautiful responsive websites. All of our websites go through 23-point audits to make sure that they are easily viewed across a variety of desktop screen sizes, mobile devices, and tablets. Contact us today to talk about your website!

internet advertising competition

2930 Creative won an IAC Award

Wow. I can’t believe I just typed that.

We just found out we won an IAC award and we’re all freaking out. Carly always says as a company we are small but mighty. To me, this proves that.

We didn’t need this to validate our first three years as a company. We didn’t need this to feel better about our work.  We definitely didn’t need this to boost sales. All that aside, it feels pretty good to be able to call ourselves an award-winning agency. (Wow! The first time I have written that.)

Can’t help but feel like David taking down Goliath. There are 7 of us now which is nothing close to size of many of the agencies and organizations up for this award.

A lot of our work from the past year has been great and just as good as this campaign. The story of how this campaign came together is one that is especially cool to me. It took 8 months, from a handshake at SXSW into what you see today. There were many meetings, decisions, conversations, and many, many hours of pro bono work before we were asked to work on this larger campaign.

Here’s the short version:

Josh has been passionate about working with Extra Life since he joined 2930 Creative. We had a 2930 Extra Life marathon team for a few years. Early last year we met JR Honeycutt and started doing some pro bono work for DFW Nerd Night. He introduced us to Stefani D’Angelo and the local Dallas chapter of Extra Life. We met with the local program director and saw a few things we could help them with as part of our Give Back initiative. We offered to help anyway we could as pro bono work because we believed in the cause. A few weeks later we met the president of Extra Life at SXSW Gaming. He asked to set a meeting with all of us. Unfortunately, we were never able to get that scheduled.

3girlsNATIONAL

We continued with the local campaign anyway. We met for months and worked on many ideas. We weren’t sure how we would find time to create this campaign since it was pro bono. We hired John Oakley, a freelance designer and photographer, to execute the ideas while we worked on other things. We had found our answer to the time problem. Finally after months we showed those ideas to our local contact. Those ideas for the local branch made their way up to the national Extra Life office in Utah.

The national office reached out and asked for a few revisions because they’d like to use them. We were stoked. The meeting we couldn’t get scheduled months before was finally happening. A few weeks later they said they had a national campaign coming up and wanted to hire us to work on it; a totally new idea from the pro-bono campaign we previously did.

The timing of that offer was awful. Carly and I had just gotten married. We were supposed to go on our honeymoon the week they needed everything finished. Ashley was in the middle of buying a house.

Ultimately we all decided to just make it work. We postponed our trip by a week and Ashley continued working around all paperwork as she and her husband closed on their house. For an already small agency, large life events just make creative work that much more challenging.

Extra Life had a pretty demanding turn around with a lot of required assets but we were determined to make the most of this.

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Our team absolutely delivered. It’s easy to say all of this now that we have won an award, but even when we finished it we were all extremely proud. This was the first campaign we had all worked on as a team. We had barely hired everyone on at that point, so it’s still crazy to look back and say “We did this, and we did it together.”

My advice for small agencies wanting award-winning campaigns:

1. Don’t chase the award, chase the project and the work. The award will follow. We loved the Extra Life cause and the people who work hard every day to help children and their families. Working on this campaign was an honor and a privilege.

2. Don’t be afraid to take on pro-bono work. So many agencies shy away from helping nonprofit organizations. Had we not devoted some of our time volunteering, the larger opportunities would have never come our way. Giving Back and Being Kind will always be rewarded.

3. Be persistent and patient! Had we not kept working with and talking to the local Extra Life team, the project would have never left the ground. Our relationship with Extra Life might have ended after SXSW last year.

4. Lean into the challenge. A wedding, a first home, and an almost complete remote team with a thousand of miles between us (HQ in Dallas, Ashley in OKC, and Josh in Tallahassee) could have killed this campaign. Carly and I realized that we could postpone our road trip, but this was an opportunity that absolutely could not wait. We all pushed forward and gave it our absolute best. The results were more than any of us could have hoped.

5. Be proud, no matter what size your agency is or what budget you may have. Be proud of your team, be proud of your accomplishments, and be proud of your work.

We are so excited for our first award as an agency. Thank you for your continued support. We hope to bring more exciting news in the future.

If you’re new to our blog, check out our media kit or contact us here.

instagram strategy

Learn how you can create an Instagram strategy that connects with customers and tells a story about your brand.

Like so many social media platforms, Instagram can be a daunting endeavor for a small brand. It’s hard enough to remember to post on Facebook and Twitter, much less remember to post pictures on Instagram. However, did you know that Instagram boasts the highest brand engagement rate? At 4.21%, Instagram’s brand engagement rate soars over both Facebook and Twitter. Visual brands like GoPro and National Geographic use Instagram’s visual interface to generate original content. Retail-driven brands like Starbucks leverage their active fanbase to share user-generated content. At 2930 Creative, we use our Instagram account to share more about our culture. What narrative will your brand create using Instagram? Here are some helpful tips to create an Instagram strategy unique to your brand’s story

What story will you tell?

As with any content strategy, knowing the story you want to tell is important. Do you want to chronicle your travels? Do you want to highlight your customers? Or maybe you are a retailer that wants to show off different ideas for your product? Developing a narrative will allow you to create a cohesive thread that pulls your separate posts together.

To determine a narrative, take some time to think about your brand. What does your brand value? What is important to your brand? What do you want customers to know about you? Play some word association with different elements of your branding identity. With your product or service at the core, what does the culture around your brand look like? Brainstorm some of these ideas and write them out. This will be the bare bones of your Instagram strategy.

Who are you telling your story to? Your target audience on Instagram may be slightly different than it would be on Twitter or Facebook. Much like Pinterest users, Instagram users are more immediately ready to buy products and interact with brands based on their wants. Who are the people that are most likely to buy into your brand? Think about what they want to see, and think about how they can help you generate content that you can share.

If your fan base is millennials and you are a furniture store, think about the things that they want to see. Millennials are renters, and some are new home buyers. Think about things like decorating in smaller spaces or ways to create storage space. If your fan base is teenage girls and you are a skateboard company that wants to appeal to teen girls, you might consider highlighting female athletes to whom they can relate.

User-generated content is a great way to let your avid fans help you with your storytelling. Ask them to share pictures with your product. If you have a theme going (maybe Fearlessness for that skateboard shop?), ask them to show ways that highlight the brand and the theme. Share their posts on your Instagram page and mention them. Posts that have @mentions (when another Instagram user is mentioned) receive 56% higher engagement than those that do not.

What is your desired end result? What is the desired end-goal for your Instagram strategy? Do you want more views on your website? Do you want to sell more product? Do you want greater awareness for your brand and the culture that surrounds your brand? Determining your goals will also help you to guide your strategy.

If your goal is to direct more traffic back to the website, make sure that a link is clearly visible in the profile. Instagram’s anti-spam policies do not allow for links to be posted in picture descriptions and comments. Refer to the profile link if you are directing users to your website.

If your goal is to sell more product, then highlight your product in your posts. However, rather than posting pictures of your product from different angles and in different lighting, think about how your product relates to your customers. If you sell candy or baked goods, maybe appeal to brides and photograph your product in wedding settings like showers or reception dessert tables. If your brand is a local pet shop, you could show pets in different parks around the city or fun pet tricks with your product in the photo or video. Finally, if your goal is to create a culture around your brand, let the culture speak for itself. Create user-driven content promotions that allow your users to interact with your brand. A picture of a happy customer with your product speaks loudly. Consider this when creating your strategy!

The Technical Stuff

Now that you have determined your strategy, you will need the tools to implement it and allow it to grow. Using these tactics will help your brand get found, and make it easier for your customers to understand how to interact with your brand.

Hashtags: Just like Twitter, hashtags are an easy way to categorize your posts and help you be found by your target audience. Research your Instagram hashtags using websites like Iconosquare. This post from Shopify has some amazing tips about how to research relevant keywords for your brand.

Follow Campaigns: Another way to find your audience is by searching for them. On Twitter and on Instagram, I like to use a method called “Follow the follower.” I research like-brands that are similar to mine or my clients, and follow their followers. Another way that I find followers is by researching brands that may not be similar to my brand, but whose followers are in my target audience. For example, I follow many businesses that follow the Chamber of Commerce accounts in the area. These are mostly small businesses that are the target audience for 2930 Creative. 

 

It’s all around you. ☕️❤️ #Regram: @NatalieCherie

 

A photo posted by Starbucks Coffee ☕ (@starbucks) on

Mentions: As we mentioned earlier, Instagram posts with @mentions receive dramatically higher engagement rates than those without them. There are a few ways to employ this in your strategy. The first is highlighting your employees in your posts. This is a great method if much of your focus is on your company culture. If you are active and attend events, you might want to give “shoutouts” to other businesses and people that you meet at events. If your strategy includes user-driven content, this is where you can ask your fans to create pictures for you. You can repost your customer’s pictures and mention them directly.

Calendar: Instagram does not let you schedule ahead. It’s another way that the platform avoids getting too spammy. I like to take pictures ahead of time and store them on my Google Drive with corresponding dates. I then insert links to these pictures on the content calendar so I know which picture will go on which date, and with what messaging. Planning ahead of time will allow you to retain the cohesive narrative for your strategy. Posting on the fly is ok sometimes, but can get off-message. By using a content calendar, you will save yourself time in the long run and keep your Instagram posting consistent.

In my opinion, Instagram is the most fun of the platforms. It allows brands to show their more creative sides. Instagram also allows the customer to understand what your brand means to their life specifically. Is it a dream life they want to have? Is it practical uses for things they need? By creating a visual narrative on Instagram, you can appeal other senses. We are so excited to see what your brand will do with Instagram. Good luck and most of all: have fun!

Have questions? Give us shout. You can also find our Instagram by following us at @2930_creative.

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Create a Unique Voice using Curated Content

You took the first step and created your Twitter account. You even have some followers. That’s great, but now what? The next step to building your following on Twitter is sharing content that your followers will find valuable. This will not only help your following grow, but it will also help you to cultivate a brand voice.

There are two types of content that you can share on Twitter. Original content is content that you have created yourself. Curated content is content that you have found from other sources and collected. If you have the time to sit down and create original content, I would recommend a mix of ⅓ your original content and ⅔ curated content. However, if you do not have the time to create original content, you can still create a unique voice that reaches your target audience through curated content.

The next step is finding the right kind of content to share on Twitter. There are several ways to collect content. Set up a Google alert by visiting google.com/alerts and typing in industry-related keywords. You will be emailed a list of current content based on these keywords as frequently (or in frequently) as you wish. Another way to collect content is to use newsfeed apps like Flipboard. You can bookmark, star or send yourself links of articles that interest you. I use both of these methods, as well as the save function in Facebook. When you see a link that looks interesting, click on the top right of post. A drop down menu will appear with the option to save the link for later. I do this throughout the week and then use my bookmarked links for the next week’s content.

The next part is where a little more strategy comes into play. To curate links for a particular audience, you must first understand who your audience is. For 2930 Creative, our audience is small business owners and entrepreneurs. To demonstrate that our Twitter stream is valuable, I look for content that will specifically interest them. I bookmark and save links to my phone that I will use for content later. The next part is important, as it will help your tweets to be found in the endless ocean of tweets.

Crafting a tweet is not difficult, but it is important to take care. Misspellings and grammar mistakes are definitely poor form. Hashtags should be used sparingly. Which brings us to a very important point: use your hashtags correctly. They are an effective tool when used in the right way. Do research about specific hashtags using tools like hashtagify.me or hashtags.org. Since 2930 Creative’s audience is small business owners and entrepreneurs, I often use hashtags such as #smallbiz, #entrepreneurs, and #startup after posting my link.

Another important part of your tweet composition is the message you write before your curated link. If you are linking to a list, pick one of the list items you really like. You may also want to post a question to your followers about what they think. Pull an important statistic from the post that applies to your industry and use it before the link. Here’s an example of a recent 2930 Creative tweet:

Remember, with your username and link, your 140 characters will probably go down to less than 120. Use your words carefully.

Which brings me to one more point about creating a tweet with a curated link: the link itself! When posting links on Twitter, you will want to give yourself the most room possible to write your tweet and hashtag. Twitter does shorten links, but if you need more room or want to track link clicks, use a link shortening service.

Running a business means that I do not always have time to sit down and write a long blog post. Curating links for my followers became a quick and easy way to keep our Twitter stream alive while I was working on other things. Through this method, I was able to increase our Twitter following by 300 followers in 3 weeks, and increase our influence score to 100 (via Sprout Social).

Even without original content, there are ways to create a strong voice on Twitter. Finding and sharing curated links is a great way to demonstrate your brand’s value online. Curating those links to cater to your audience will help you to craft a strong brand voice.

Did you find this article helpful? Join our newsletter for more tips, news, and inspiration.

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Learn More about Constructing a Review Response

You’ve heard the statistics: 88% of consumers trust online reviews like they would their friends. 39% of consumers read product and service reviews on a regular basis. (Via) You have even taken the next step to claim your location pages on popular consumer review sites like Yelp, Angie’s List, and Google Plus Local. Then, the inevitable happens: you get a bad review from a disappointed customer. What do you do? We have put together a few important steps to keep you calm and collected when you respond to negative reviews.

Don’t Panic! Douglas Adams wrote these famous two words in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. It’s sage advice when dealing with negative reviews. Your first instinct will be to get annoyed, or even infuriated. Step away from your desk and let that feeling pass. Do not attempt to write a review response while you are under any kind of emotional duress.

Are You Calm Now? For Real? If the answer to this question is no, go back and repeat step one. I cannot stress it enough: do not write a review until you have your emotions in check.

Open Word. (Or Google Docs, or Notepad, etc.) Write down how you would respond to the angry customer. Let it all out.

Now Delete It! I wasn’t going to let you get away with it that easily.

Read the customer’s review and try to pinpoint a key problem. Was it service? Was it wait time? Was it poor quality of product? Extract these points from the review. Ignore the swearing, the slurs, and the anger. Distill the core message to find what this customer’s pressure points are.

Rewrite your review. Always start with “Thank you.” I believe thanking people for their feedback sends a powerful message to your customer that they are important. Continue with “I am sorry for…” Customers want to know that they are being heard, and more importantly that it affected you. “I’m sorry for your bad experience.” Then, explain what actions are going to be taken so that this won’t happen again or explain your current company policy. “Please know I have read your review and will make sure that this does not happen in the future.” OR “Please know I have read your review. Unfortunately, our police does not allow for X.” Offer a further contact point to take the disagreement offline. “If you would like to speak to me or a manager, please email us at XXXX.”

Most review sites will allow a customer to provide a rebuttal to your response. Because of this, it’s very important that you do not give your customer a reason to respond and continue the argument. Here are some examples of what not to do:

Do not blame the customer for anything. Even if you know for a fact they were the ones who left the table a mess or they were disrespectful to your staff or tried to return clothes that were clearly worn. The urge is always to make a point and to have the last word. This absolutely does not work in a review medium. Stay calm, stay cool. Pointing a finger just results in another finger pointing back.

Do not write a detailed excuse. Similarly to the reasons above, getting down to the nitty-gritty of what happened, and why, will only open up opportunities for the customer to attack the details of the story. The review response should be to the point, and considerate, but not starting a conversation. The point is to make sure that the customer is heard, and that this review is about their experience – not yours.

Do not ignore the review. Bad reviews can be scary. They can also be completely ridiculous to the point you believe they do not warrant a response. But they do! All reviews warrant a response, whether they are justified or not. You can look at a negative review as a bad thing, or you can look at it as a time to show other consumers that you really do care about what they have to say. By using this powerful forum, you can give your brand a voice.

Reviews don’t have to be scary. They can be used as tools to win back lost customers, and to speak up where your brand not might have otherwise had a chance to defend itself. People trust people, which is why reviews are a powerful. By responding to reviews, you can allow the humanity of your brand to shine through.

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In the past two months we have moved twice. Our most recent move was to our bigger space at Pacific Place in Dallas, Texas. We are small business owners so we did not have an unlimited budget to create our office. We are also creative people, so we knew we didn’t want our office to look like the same old-same old either. We had $1000 to spend, and 450 square feet to fill. Here’s how we did it, and how you can create your HQ on a budget.

Our Brand Comes to Life

It was important for us that our office be representative of our brand identity. We wanted to use the small space that we have to bring our brand to life. 2930 Creative is a values-driven agency, so it was important to show our values on the wall. We are also a fun group, so we wanted to have our personalities come out a little with how we decorated our desks and office space. Our brand colors are red, black, grey and white. We tried to stay away from the typical brown and black office furniture and steer toward a more modern interior design that reflected us as a company.

Desk Space

Our first stop was Ikea where we found some amazing “DIY” desks. Skip over the prefab desks and go straight to the “make your own office” section to find some great deals. We were able to get great birch desktops and match them with silver legs. For our conference table, we used a longer birch color desktop and matched it with four red legs. Each desktop was $20, and each leg was $3.50 each. Total per desk came out to $35. Our conference tabletop was $36 with each leg $3.50, total $50.

We wanted to keep our desk space simple but also fun. We chose these red lamps that came out to $13 each. In addition, each of our desks has their own personality. We brought in some of our favorite figurines from home. See if you can recognize any of our friends in some of these pictures.

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Storage

We also would need storage since our new office doesn’t really have any supply closets or space to store things. We wanted to make sure we were also keeping our clean, modern design even though we were still staying on the cheap. We found these great shelves at Ikea that would allow us to mix and match. We fell in love with the bright red lacquer finish of the shelving units because it matched the 2930 Creative red. The shelves created a bold statement piece while also serving a purpose for storage. The two longer shelves (4ft X 2ft X 1ft) were $90, and the shorter shelf (2ft X 2ft X 1ft) was $50. We also bought these boxes in various shapes and sizes to keep things organized on the shelves ($50 in total). For personal desk storage, we found these rolling drawer units at Ikea for $60 each.

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Walls

Our walls are where we decided we could really show off our personality. One of my favorite parts of our office is our growing picture wall. We designed and printed our value posters and framed them in silver Ikea frames we found for $5. The two photographs are prints by our friend Mouyyad Abdulhadi. One of my favorite finds on Etsy this year was a store called Patent Prints. We have the patent for the Nintendo Game Boy.

As I’ve mentioned before, our values are important to us. In addition to the values framed on the wall, we also found a really cool wall decal from an Etsy shop called The Lovely Wall. When I found it in the store, I had to get it because it was so in line with our mission statement. For a pop of color, I purchased some simple arrow-shaped decals in red and used them throughout the office. Total for wall decals and art: $250.

Since we are a creative team, it was important to us to make sure that we could have a part of the office dedicated to brainstorming ideas. Our good old whiteboard made the trip into our new office. In addition, we added two magnet panels ($13) that we found at Ikea to hang up color swatches, messages, and inspirational items.

Office total: $889.

We had a lot of fun decorating our office, and it’s still a work in progress! We would love to see how you are decorating your personal offices at home. Tag @2930_creative on Instagram with your office pic! 

brand identity

Save time and communicate with your creative team efficiently by understanding your brand identity.

Brand Identity is how a business wants their brand to be perceived by consumers. This includes the name, communication style, logo and other visual elements such as printed collateral, letterheads, business cards, and a website. Have you considered your brand identity recently?

The most common element of brand identity, and the one that most brands usually start with, is the logo. The logo is the first interaction that many consumers will have with your brand.  Your logo should be memorable, should easily scale up or down, be effective in both color and black and white, and while your logo can be relevant to your industry, it’s not a requirement. For more about how to create an effective logo, read our blog post about logo design.

After either you have created your logo, you will need to start determining other elements of your brand identity. A brand identity will help you determine your brand and style guidelines. A brand and style guideline is an actual document that a brand provides to anyone creating work representing the brand. This includes writers, advertisers, marketing firms, partners, and web developers. Providing a brand and style guideline will help save time and ensure that the brand’s identity stays consistent across all platforms.

In a brand and style guidelines document, you will include all correct versions of your logo and other brand identity elements such as the correct size and weight of your chosen typefaces; the correct colors and their corresponding codes for print and screen; and your brand tone and message for written work.

Understanding your brand identity will save you many steps with your design team. Knowing what you like, don’t like and how to communicate in terms they will understand.

2930 Creative offers brand identity packages to help you highlight the best of your brand. Contact us to learn more about our pricing. 

logo design 2

Your logo will be most consumers first interaction with your brand. What does yours say about you?

2930 Creative has designed logos for several of our clients across different industries. We can honestly say that designing a logo is one of the hardest things to do for a brand. A logo comes before any other brand identity elements. It is a visual representation of your brand. Your logo will set the tone for what consumers can expect when they engage with your brand in any setting.

Why is a logo so hard to design?

Designing a logo can be challenging, as it is often the very first design element that business owners think about creating. Without previous design elements, the design process can often turn into a game mind-reading between designer and business owner. During this phase, it’s best to use descriptive phrases, and to be honest about what you like and do not like so that your designer will have direction as to what your expectations are for the design.

Where should I start?

Go through your competitors logos and list out things that you like and do not like about each one. Find some common themes and elements that each logo. If you are confident in your sketching skills, try drawing a rudimentary sketch to get the designer thinking about how you would like the element to look. Listen to your designer’s feedback. Sometimes things you think will work may not, and vice versa. Just like talking to your web designer, working with your designer should be a two-way street. Ask for advice from family and friends, as well as anyone who may be in your core market. Find out how your design makes them feel, if it compels them to take action, or what they may not like about it.

 

 

logo design sketch

Example of a logo sketch from a client.

What does a “good” logo look like?

There are five principles of good logo design. A good logo should be memorable, timeless, simple, versatile and relevant. Ask yourself if your ideas for a logo holds up to these five principles. Versatility is very important when considering using your logo across different mediums such as digital, television and print advertising as well as product merchandising and possibly uniforms.

What should I expect to pay for a new logo? 

The story goes that Nike famously only paid $35 for the swoosh. Logos may be priced in different ways, as with any creative work. A designer may charge an hourly rate, or you may pay a fixed rate price for a logo. On the low end, logo design could cost as little as $100. Experienced designers may charge anywhere between $300 – $500 or their hourly design rate. Pricing can depend on the experience of the designer as well as the scope and reach of your business’s market. For example, a logo that will be used across several different mediums may cost more than one needed only for display on a website. Many designers will work with their clients and their budgetary restrictions.

What are questions I should ask when hiring a logo designer? 

Ask any logo designer about their portfolio and clients they have worked with in the past. What programs do you use to create your logos? Will I be receiving vector versions of my logo? What logo versions will you provide for me? What timeframe can I expect for the whole process?

Designing a new logo can be a challenging part of developing your brand identity. Knowing where to begin and how to communicate with your logo designer will make the process easier. We love talking about logos. Contact us to learn more about our logo design packages or check out our logo-specific portfolio

 

…And How to Sound Smart Doing It

You’ve made the decision that you need a website. That was the easy part. The next part of the process is finding the right website developer for the job. This can be a daunting experience for anyone who is not familiar with coding and website development. We put together this handy guide to help you speak to your website developer and get the most from your relationship.

Finding and Hiring a Web Developer

1. What languages do you code in?
2. Can you provide me with examples of previous work? What parts of these projects were you responsible for?
3. Does your pricing include both design and coding of the website? Are you able to do both of these things? If I have my own design, do you need it sliced or are you able to do this?

(‘Slicing’ is the process of taking a large design and making smaller pieces from it that the developer can place into the coded website.)

What Your Developer Should Ask You During The Hiring Process

By gathering the answers to these questions ahead of time, you will streamline this introductory conversation.

1. Do you have hosting?
2. What language is your site coded in?
3. Is your site built on (or would you like it to be built on) a content management system? (A content management system is is a computer application that allows publishing, editing and modifying content, organizing, deleting as well as maintenance from a central interface.)
4. Do you already have a design in mind?
5. What’s your timeline to complete the project?
6. Have you purchased your domain? (Your domain is your website address.)

Things to keep in mind that your developer may need to know: how many pages you intend on having on your site and, if the site has an eCommerce functionality, how many products you will have on your page. Keeping track of these things in a spreadsheet is a great way to stay organized.

During Your Project

During the project, it will be necessary for you to keep an active conversation with your website developer. Be alert for questions regarding approval process from your web developer to make the process run faster.

Here are some things that your website developer will ask you to do or to help with to keep the process running smoothly:

1. If you have not already, your hosting plan should be purchased and provided to the developer during this part of the process.
2. When the time comes, you will need to assist the developer (or provide the correct information) in pointing your purchased domain to the server. This is so that when you type in your website address, your website will appear where it is supposed to be.
3. Any assets like photography and logos should be provided during this time as well. Your website developer should be able to provide you with the correct file sizes and extensions. (For example, you may need to provide a 100x100pixel size version of your logo in a transparent .PNG format.)
4. Any other content, unless provided by your development team, should be provided by you at this time. This includes copy written for the website, product information, blog posts, navigation headings, footer copy, and legal notices.

When Problems Arise

Sometimes things happen in life. Deadlines are missed, web developers have poor attitudes, or the quality of work produced is poor. Here are some scenarios and how you, the client, can handle each while ensuring your website is completed.

A Deadline is Missed
What to Do: Be aware of approaching deadlines on your calendar. At the beginning of the project, you should create a calendar of upcoming deadlines by phase of the project. For example, phase one may be design and wire-framing (wire-framing is a process in which a bare frame of the website is presented for planning where features and functions will reside on the final site). An example of phase two may be completion of the home page. An example of phase three may be completing eCommerce product pages.

As each deadline approaches, reach out to your website developer for a status update. If a website developer does not have a project manager or account manager to update you, you may have to play an active part of this process. By communicating with your web developer, you will always have a good idea of when you can expect delivery.

What NOT to Do: Wait until the deadline passes to approach your developer. Your developer should have communicated the delay ahead of time. If they do not, do not freak out. There are many problems that can arise when coding that developers will need to problem solve. Bugs are unexpected but a very commonplace situation while developing a website. Be patient, over-communicate.

The Design is Not Looking Like What You Were Shown in a Comp
What to Do: The web developer will provide a preview link for you to see the progress. You may notice that the current version of the site does not look exactly like your design, or what you were shown during the design process. Make a list of items that you notice that are different between the design and the website and provide this list to the developer or account manager. Again, your patience will be required as sometimes things need to be changed during the coding process to make sure the website can support both the design and functionality of the website. Many developers will look at a site from a functional standpoint over a design standpoint, because they see the elements in a different way than you might see things. Ask your developer why things may look different. The answers they provide may allow you to see your site in a different way.

What NOT to Do: Again, don’t get upset if what you initially see doesn’t match what you were shown in comps. Refraining from an accusatory or finger-pointing tone will allow conversations to occur. Never resort to threats in an effort to create change.

The Bottom Line

Communication is the most important part of the website development process. Remember, the website developer wants the project to be finished just as much as you do. They are on your side, even if you don’t necessarily speak the same language. By treating them as members of your team rather than employees or contractors you will foster a healthy and productive relationship. It’s important to know what to ask your developer to make sure that things get done in a timely fashion. A website need not take a year and half to go live. Consider what we have shared here to help you foster your next client-developer relationship.

2930 Creative has developed 32 websites in 2 1/2 years with a 6.2 week development time average. It’s no coincidence our customers come to us for fast, efficient and beautiful sites. Contact us today to find out how we can help you. 

2930 Creative

1910 Pacific Ave
Suite 8060
Dallas, Texas 75201
(214) 749 - 5155
info@twentynine-thirty.com

Testimonials

Mouyyad Abdulhadi

I've used 2930 for a large web development project. These guys are awesome! They were great to work with, very accommodating, and creative. As a large company things don't always go as planned or work as fast as we'd like but 2930 was patient through the whole process. I highly recommend 2930 for your creative needs for your business.

Mouyyad Abdulhadi
Luper App and Texas Health Physicians Group

2930 Creative, Internet Web Hosting, Dallas, TX

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