Archive for September, 2010


Do you have a logo for your business? Logo Basics You Can Use

September 27, 2010

I recently met with a prospect to talk about newsletters and business cards. When I arrived at her office I noticed that one of her business signs was in blue and another sign was green. Her business card was blue and red. She has been in business for more than eight years and hasn’t had an opportunity to have a logo designed. She is a savvy business owner who probably got so wrapped up in the day-to-day activities that she hasn’t had time to develop and build her branding.

Here are a few tips that I shared with my prospect:

  1. Build it into your business budget and have a professional logo designed. Check with a few different design firms as pricing can vary.
  2. When you get your professional logo, make sure you have it saved as a .eps file to send to the printer and your promotional contacts. And as a .jpg (rgb) file to use on the web and on in-house marketing materials.
  3. Use your logo on every business marketing tool you create including letterhead, business cards, envelopes, websites, email signatures, promotional products like pens, hats, etc. Your logo represents your identity and the “face” of your business.
  4. Your logo will have specific colors that define your business identity. Use these colors in all of your marketing tools. This builds brand consistency. This helps us remember you.  This separates you from your competitors. Keep the colors simple, crisp and try to use 3 or less colors.
  5. Keep your logo simple. If you want ideas of what a good logo looks like just take a look at the big business logos like McDonalds, Nike, Kohl’s Macy’s, Chase, and more. They are all simple.
  6. Your logo will have to be saved in black and white, color, reverse white so you can place it on different backgrounds so make sure it’s readable and easily understood in all of these formats.
  7. Your logo should speak to your business personality so select colors and symbols that help tie-in to what your product and service represents. Design with the masses in mind.
  8. Have your designer build your logo in PMS (Pantone Matching System) colors. This will make it easier for your printer to match the color and will keep the color consistent. Remember that PMS colors may look different when converted to CMYK for printed materials and RGB for the web. Pantone has color books that your designer might have that can show you what the color would look like in PMS/CMYK/RGB. This will help you see realistically what your color choice will look like in these different formats.

If you have a logo and want to change up your business identity, try to stay with the similarity of your logo and “freshen” it up as opposed to going into a whole new direction. If you choose a whole new look then be prepared to change all marketing materials to match the new look or we will be confused when you market to us.

Logos are an important part of a business marketing plan and should be one of the first things a business person acquires next to getting an accountant and a business banking account. Without a logo, consistent color and an identity, we won’t know who you are, what you stand for or how you want to be remembered.


Graphic Design Basics: File Extensions & Color Defined

September 20, 2010


Often times I will ask a client to send me their logo as an eps file and they have no idea what I am talking about. So I provide them with a bookmark that I designed to help them with the graphic design basics. I want to share these graphic design basics with you so when you’re asked for a certain file or color you’ll be prepared.


.tiff = Tiff files are used for high resolution image files that are placed in printed materials.

.eps = EPS or encapsulated postscript files are vector-based files that can be enlarged without losing any quality.

.ai = AI files are native Adobe Illustrator files which are vector-based files that can be enlarged without losing quality. Printers and designers prefer using these or .eps files.

.psd = PSD are native Adobe Photoshop files that are used for creating and editing image files.

.jpg = JPG files are typically used in web applications but can also be saved and used for print purposes.

.gif = GIF files are used for web graphics that contain text and have a “transparent” background. These images are typically used for the web and not print materials.

hi res files = High resolution files  are high quality files that are used for printing and are saved at at least 300 dpi (dots per inch).

lo res files = Low resolution files are smaller files that are typically used for the web and are saved mostly at 72 dpi (dots per inch).


RGB = Red, Green, Blue. RGB colors or files that are saved as RGB are used for the web or in photography when editing photos.

CMYK = Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black. CMYK files are used for 4 color printed material.

PMS = Pantone Matching System. This is a universal color system that designers and printers use to ensure consistent color quality when printing.

SPOT Color = Spot color is used when a project has a specific PMS color and is printed using only the specific PMS spot color. You’ll typically see this in letterhead, logo, and envelope printing.