domingo, 28 de febrero de 2010

Dudley Marketing

Ladies and Gentlemen ... let the logotastic fun begin!

Today, March 1st, marks the first day of 365 consecutive days of  new logos. And, what better way to mark our first day than to design a logo for a guy named Mark? I mean, c'mon. We couldn't have planned it better, even if we tried.

Mr. Mark Dudley, of Dudley Marketing, was the very first email we had received expressing interest in our services and as such, he was the lucky recipient of a $2 logo. We call him quick click. Ok, not really, I just made that up, but he really was quick with his mouse.

Considering he was our first, we had to make sure that his logo was designed to perfection. Mark was looking for a design that both reflected his connection to sports and would look good on a ball-cap. We developed a concept with a "sports team" font treatment and enough pizazz to turn some heads (into hat wearing heads).

Although Mr. Dudley is responsible for putting the "Mark" into Marketing, it isn't the only trick he knows. Be sure to check out his other company, the Spartanburg Blue Eagles, who are only 92 days away from their first pitch of the season.  And if you like his new logo, be sure to hop on over to and let him know.

We'd like to send a big "" thank you to Mark for being our first. MAUH!

February 28

viernes, 26 de febrero de 2010

February 26

Distinction Between Art & Design

Drawing a line between art and design might create some confusion if it's your first time to hear this. Art and design have the same output which is an artwork but still remain distinct with each other. We also generalize individuals who are working in the field of visual arts and call them "artists." A graphic art student aiming to be an excellent artist focuses on mastering the graphic software he loves but won't bother to read the principles of design nor look at the details of Van Gogh's painting. These are the common pitfalls that the artists and designers are unaware of. An individual could declare himself an artist but  he's just actually a designer.

To set apart art and design clearly, let us discuss the goals of each concept. An art is very subjective. Regardless of its technicalities like perspective, techniques, texturing and toning, an artist is free to express himself on his canvas or monitor. An art especially if it is famous will surely invites wanted and unwanted criticism. Others are even given psychological interpretations which are usually negative and associated with the behaviors of artists. One of the most controversial artists is the expressionist Vincent Van Gogh who cut his ears due to its imperfection according to him. He is said to be a madman and his suicide supported the diagnosis after his death that this great artist was mentally ill. Prior to his unfortunate death is the creation of "Wheat Field with Crows," his last work. The murder of crows, dark blue sky, and melancholic wheat field signifies the way Van Gogh took his own life. But whatever the true meaning this painting portrays, let's leave it to the artist who created this timeless work of art.
Graphic design, since it belongs to visual communication, it follows certain guidelines and standards or else, it will fail to project the message of the design to its audience. For example, you are a graphic designer creating a t-shirt print design for children's clothing. The design you will create must be appropriate to the product. It must be something cute, colorful, cheerful and highly attractive to children. On the other hand, if the design is intended for teen fashion, expect that it will be rebellious, wacky, and emotional in order to suit the identity crisis teenagers are experiencing. A graphic design as a powerful advertising tool must please the market in order to sell the products. Other examples of graphic design are posters and skyscraping billboards along boulevards.
Perhaps you can now trace the difference. Art with all its subjectivity and nonchalance opposes the practicality of graphic design. Despite their variation, both requires talents and skills in creating a masterpiece.

Wheat Field with Crows, 1890 by Vincent Van Gogh

Things to consider when designing a website

A lot of websites are launched everyday. However, only a few of them can be considered effective in providing users with the information they are looking for and giving the owners the much needed traffic they need to boost sales and profits.

In this article, we will discuss little details that should be taken into consideration when planning a custom web design or creating a website.  Not paying attention to these minute details is one of the most common mistakes committed by inexperienced web designers, and some careless web masters, who end up producing ineffective websites.

Pictures are worth a thousand words.   Images can very well enhance the look of a page  but they can be as heavy as a million bytes which is not good if you want to prevent your visitors from leaving your website.  Thus,  it is advisable to use images sparingly.  Avoid using tons of images on your site as they can slow down page loading time.  Remember that not everyone is using a high speed internet connection and users usually click elsewhere than wait for a page to load.
Navigability and functionality should come first before artistic excellence.  A stunning website is worthless if users cannot navigate around it.  An effective custom web design  is one that is easy to use and does not leave users dumbfounded on where to go or what to do next.  Navigation bars and tabs are innovative ways to let users know where they are in your site and where to go next.  These tabs also encourages users to click around on your site and visit different sections thereby increasing page views per visitor!
Putting in worthless content is another major blunder.  If your content is out-of-date, inappropriate or irrelevant to your target users or poorly written, delete it and upload a new and more relevant one.  Remember to always KISS:  Keep It Short and Simple.  Users are "skimmers" and only read on text that are relevant to them.
Go for a website that looks good and functions well on all browsers, all resolutions, and all color-depths.  Users appreciate pages that look great on their own browser and their own resolution.   They make users feel "at home" than a website that proclaims "Viewed best with Browser X at a resolution of 1024x768" that will require them to change browser or screen settings.  I'd rather click away than to go through those hassles!
Don't you just hate pop up windows?  I do and i'm not the only one!  Creating a new browser window should be the authority of the user only. By default, all links must open in the same window. An exception, however, may be made for pages containing a links list. It is convenient in such cases to open links in another window, so that the user can come back to the links page easily. Even in such cases, it is advisable to give the user a prior note that links would open in a new window.
Use fancy fonts sparingly! Keep in mind that some of your users may not have the font installed on their machines and the "Cloister Black MT Light" font on your website may well be degraded into plain old Times New Roman on your user's machine. Stick to the plain vanilla fonts like Arial, Verdana, Tahoma, and Courier. If you are keen on using a fancy typography, make your jazzy fonts into an image and put that on the page (but keep Tip #1 in  mind).
Never underestimate the importance of those META tags. They can make all the difference between your users coming to your site and going to your competitor's – just because they couldn't find yours. Meta tags help search engines classify your page.  Duplicating or using the same keywords and description meta tags on every page of a website make them worthless. Customize the keywords and descriptions for each page or don’t use them at all.
Also avoid orphan pages or pages you failed to remember to supply links that don’t exist as far as the rest of the world is concerned. As well as alien pages or those that totally disregard the look and feel of the rest of your website and leave users feeling like they’ve been suddenly transported to a website far, far away.

Implementing a custom web design should be left on the hands of professional and experienced designers and developers.  They have the skills and are abreast with the latest techniques in building websites that work.

jueves, 25 de febrero de 2010

Idea Heroes

Ok, so maybe this is a bit self-indulgent, but we're doing it anyway. Idea Heroes is also us and we like us, so we're going to force it on you to like us to. When we aren't designing logos, we're coming up with big grandiose marketing ideas. There you have it.

I Design Your Logo

One might think that a company that designs logos on a daily basis, would find it very easy to design a logo for themselves. Oh contraire mon frere. The truth of the matter is, it’s not. In fact, we were so hyper-critical of own logo that we over-thought the design to a point where we were banging our heads on our keyboards ala Don Music from the Muppets. Not fun. But somehow, through the pain, we jarred something loose upstairs and managed to muster enough creativity to design a concept that was both simplistic in nature, yet bold in design. You see, you might have expected a design company to come up with some very elaborate, well-crafted design with all sorts of bells and whistles. No sir-ooney, we flipped it on you. We went the opposite route and shot for simplicity. And Voila, you’ve got a design that was built from a label gun (metaphorically speaking).

Enough about the logo, let’s talk about you now. After all, that’s what this company is all about — you (and your logo). As you know by now, starting March 1st, you’ll see a new logo every day of the year. You’re also going to see us blabbing a bit about the design and the company we’re designing it for. And, if you’re our friend on Facebook, Twitter or Flickr, you’ll see us blabbing even more. It’s cool though, you’ll like our blabber, we’re sure of it.

So please, tell your friends, tell your family, tell your enemies ... it’s going to be a logo love fest and you’re all invited. If you like what you see, join in on the fun and purchase a day — we won’t bite.

See you all soon.

Dana, Tony and Jason

I Wear Your Shirt

Our partner in crime, Jason Sadler, completes us ... literally. He's our third partner and more importantly the brains behind the pricing model. If he hasn't worn your shirt yet, it's about damn time he does.

Elite CSS

What can we say, if it weren't for Elite CSS,, would just be IDesignYourLogo without the dot and com. Their services come highly recommended — by us of course.

February 25

miércoles, 24 de febrero de 2010

February 24

Grunge & Graphic Design

The dictionary literally describe “grunge” as filthy or dirty. But if you’ll ask an individual who grew up in the 90’s era whose present age ranges from 28 to 32, that person might say “Nirvana”. What’s the connection between grunge and Nirvana plus graphic design? A graphic designer who has no idea who is Kurt Cobain will never associate Nirvana and grunge.

Let’s have more focus by driving back in time and describing the 90’s era. Prior to this decade is the 80’s New Wave. When the band Nirvana composed of Kurt Cobain (vocals, lead), Krist Novelisc (bass), and David Grohl (drummer) emerged in the music scene, the new wave trend set by punks were replaced by “GRUNGE” music. Grunge is a phenomena streaming not just in music but in fashion also. Members of grunge bands wear ripped jeans, rugged shirts, flannels, Dr. Marten’s boots, Chuck Taylor Converse, silver accessories and long hair. Their songs and behaviors are often associated with drug addiction, depression, and suicide. Their album cover designs contain surreal theme, decadence, and darkness.

As the 90’s ends, the popularity of grunge faded as well. Two decades have passed and only those teens nurtured in the music of Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains, Stone Temple Pilots and many bands could recall the grunge spirit of the 90’s. Grunge has silenced its loud and stingy voice for the many years but is finally revived by 2009. Grunge has morphed into fashion and visual arts. That’s why you can see teenagers and even celebrities wearing flannels and ripped jeans. The grunge philosophy was also strengthened by the internet with all those data especially music videos and Wiki profiles of grunge bands.

In relation to graphic design, grunge now became a theme or a style of design. Grunge design is characterized as stained, torn, faded, washed, decayed, coarse in texture and of course dark. There are tons of grunge graphics you can download from the internet. Grunge templates for websites and blogs are made available and free by numerous artists. Video tutorials on how to create grunge design in Photoshop are also posted on Youtube. You can download various Photoshop brushes used to create grunge design. Grunge fonts are also provided by several graphic art related websites.

The metamorphosis of grunge from music to graphic design is tremendous. Who could ever expect that the rampaging language of the 90’s soul has turned into wonderful designs appreciated by people regardless of genre or age. Even though grunge now only echoes its music, its spirit never ceases and continues to strengthen in the field of graphic design.

martes, 23 de febrero de 2010

February 23

Content Writing and Custom Web Design

Textual content for websites are as important as the website design.  A beautifully-designed website that has little or no textual content relevant to a visitor is deemed ineffective.  A visitor is not expected to stay on a site that does not provide the information the he is looking for. Furthermore, keyword-rich content can give a website greater chances of landing on top of search engine results page which is essential in generating more targeted traffic. In other words, a stunning design and well-written content go hand in hand in creating an effective website.

Deciding on the kind of textual content must be made even from the onset of a custom web design project. If web design is the look and feel of a website, textual content would be its soul.  Aside from the "copy" and other information that will be included in the textual content, it is also important to identify the proper “tone of voice” and writing style that will be used.  These elements should be in sync with the company's overall brand message and placement.

Textual content plays a key role in effective search engine optimization (SEO) which is a very powerful marketing tool. Search engines have programs (called “spiders” or “robots”) which visit websites and collect the data they find there. They will store this data in search engines' database so that when someone searches for keywords, these sites' data will be considered in their algorithms. Depending on how a site does in the algorithm, it will appear higher or lower in the organic rankings. A well-optimized website have greater chances of getting on top of searches and thus attract more audience who are all looking for certain products or services. Thus it's imperative to write the content for your website in a way search engine robots can read it and use it.

Writing content for websites is different from writing for other media. Online folks “skim read” which means they will move away from a website if they don't see what they are looking for and find a site which is relevant to what they are searching for. Below are some tips on how to write content.

* Use subheadings. Since users skim read, subheadings are great way to help them find relevant content quickly.
* Keep it short and simple. Use bullet points; clear and simple language; and avoid using slang, or technical jargon unless necessary. Try and include one concept per sentence.
* Front-load content. Putting the jist of the article on top helps users determine whether the article is relevant to him or not.
* Keep the audience interested. Ensure the text is relevant and doesn’t go “around the bush” to get to the point. Write in an interesting way which will engage your audience.

Aside from writing relevant content for human audience, there are other content that are targeted for search engine "robots". These are invisible to the human eyes but are necessary for any website to be successful. These include tags in a website's page source code (title tags, keyword tags, description tags etc).

Implementing a custom web design project can be complicated for the inexperienced.  It is ideal to leave this difficult task on the hands of expert web designers and developers who are capable of creating websites that are visually-stunning, have relevant content and also search engine "robots" friendly.


viernes, 12 de febrero de 2010

February 12

Principles of Design

People could hardly imagine the internet’s technology. If you are destined to be an I.T. person, you will dare to plunge in the virtual world of bytes, cable, code, database, server, soft to hardware, and networking which are all ruled by geeks. Others won’t even bother to study the basics of computer as long as they enjoy their Facebook account and getting updates from their family and friends. While there are those who are born in a techie generation and that computers are part of their living. Though they might not pursue a hard core programming skills but their faith is strong that computers can solve problems in a click.

Did technology totally abandon the traditional of “old school” means of learning? Will you find all what you are searching for as long as there’s a library of websites to provide you millions of reference. One specific example is web design. We all know that you have to know how to use graphic design software like Photoshop, Flash and Dreamweaver. And what if you learned all of these softwares, will it promise you to and create an excellent website? Perhaps something is lacking. Even if web design is the most high tech among other types of graphic design like typography, drawing, print design, etc., it can never run away from their dogma, the Principles of  Design. Creating a website is similar with that of book development. You need writers and artists to do the content for you. The difference between a website and a book is that the latter don’t need a developer to code each pages. Both of them need reliable content and appropriate graphic design.

It will always make a difference if a web designer has a proper orientation with the Principles of Design. More than the technical skills the web designer acquired, he possesses the strategy on how to present his website just by the way it looks. The Principles of Design includes balance, contrast, variety, harmony, and action.

Balance creates equilibrium and provides visual weight to the design. Balance has two types, symmetrical and asymmetrical.  The design has symmetrical balance when all the elements are aligned at center. When the elements of the design are distributed on the space, it is said to be asymmetrical.

Contrast when applied to design, can add more vigor. Contrast is incorporated on color, shape, position, and size. Contrast among design enables to emphasize on the important content.

Just like humans, the absence of harmony will lead to turbulent design. Poor layout, bad color schemes and inappropriate logos will surely dissolve the interest of your viewers. It is important to make a plan for your website before you start coding and designing.

You can make your design more interesting and entertaining if you have variety of format and content. It prevents dullness and can make your viewers more interested in your website.

A design behaves according to its layout. Having an organized design enables your readers to follow the sequence of content and makes it easier for readers to search what they want to see.

martes, 9 de febrero de 2010

February 9

Fresh Techniques for Modern Web Design

There are so many beautifully-designed websites out there and coming up with one that stands out from the competition can be a daunting task.  However, being abreast with the latest trends and techniques can help in creating outstanding custom web design. The following are some excellent techniques and design elements that can help designers in building beautiful and effective websites.

Bright Colors

Add a lot of impact to your custom web design by using vivid colors. Bright colors will work well on sites that want to appeal to younger demographics or for sites which want to exude a casual vibe. However, it is best to use colors either in the similar hues or saturation to keep the appearance cohesive and prevent the site from looking too busy.
Also make sure to allow sufficient contrast between elements without using too much (such as red text on a green background). This is especially important with text, as improper contrast can make things very difficult, if not impossible, to read.
Gradients and Lighting Effects

Gradients and lighting effects are ideal when you want give your site a more dramatic feel. Mixed or used separately, they can add a bit of extra polish to your designs. A subtle tone-on-tone gradient can make a great background, while gradients mixed with lighting effects are often used to create awesome header images.

Take caution when using both gradient and lighting effects (particularly multiple effects).  For best results, limit either the colors used, the intensity of the lighting effects, or the overall number of effects to prevent your design from looking too busy.


Add interest to your design by using transparent boxes.   Whether it’s a photo, a sketch, or just geometric and graphic elements, transparent layers can give your background a larger part in your site’s design. However, this technique only works well when using backgrounds that aren’t too busy.


Want to give your boring and antiseptic site an edge? Add in subtle grunge elements. The most common elements of grunge designs include dirty textures; messy borders (that often look like paint brush strokes or decay); torn paper; staples, paper clips and similar elements; muted colors; water or other liquid stains; grungy fonts; and other decayed and destructed elements. Carefully using any or all of these can add a new layer of interest to your design.

Hand-Drawn Images

Sketched and hand-drawn elements can make your custom web design look fun and cool. These elements can give whimsy and artistic vibe to your website. These sketches or doodled elements can work for sites that cater to the younger set.

Muted Colors

Just like vivid colors, muted colors are also a great way to create an inviting site. Mixing in muted colors with one or two brighter or darker accent colors can be put to good use to make certain elements of your site stand out. Muted colors don’t need to be limited to grays or browns. You can use any hue in the spectrum, just toned down or with a grayish-tinge.

Watercolor Effects

Thanks to Photoshop brushes and textures, using watercolor elements to boost the look of a website has become easier. Using watercolor effects in headers, backgrounds, and other elements is fast becoming a popular design trend. What makes watercolor elements outstanding is that they can easily be made to stand out or stay in the background depending on the colors you use and how transparent you make them. Either way works, and what you choose to do should depend on whether you want your site designs to have a bold or subdued appearance.

Elements from Nature

Aside from environmental and green industry websites, nature-inspired elements are also gaining popularity on designer portfolios and personal blogs. These elements can be used in a variety of ways. They can be used as part of a background design or can be incorporated into headers or icons. Some use them all over the place, wherever they’ll fit. Finding creative ways to incorporate nature-inspired elements can be a fantastic and fun design challenge.

Photo-Realistic Backgrounds

Photo-realistic backgrounds are created using multiple photographs or have elements added to photos that appear real but are actually digital or computer-generated. This technique has gained popularity over the past two years with the creation of desk-top or table-top backgrounds which generally consist of a wooden surface with various papers, coffee, cups, and other elements overlaid on them. It’s a difficult technique to pull off (making sure shadows and light sources are all consistent, etc.) but makes for an awesome effect when well-executed.

Oversized Typography

Add importance and impact to certain text elements in your website by using oversized typeface. Some sites even opt to use oversized typography for all their text, which actually works! However, you really don’t need to use humongous fonts for your text to have an increased impact; making it one or two sized larger than you normally would can work wonders for how much weight it has within the overall design.

Decorative Fonts

Fancy typography can definitely make a website pop! using a decorative font like a script together with a serif font gives a very elegant feel to any website. And with the advent of JavaScript and other text replacement tools, replacing text with an image in the desired font, is made easier. However, it is still wise to limit the number of fonts you want to use to prevent the site from looking too busy. But if typography is the primary graphic element within the site, you can use more diverse typefaces as long as you keep color and/or proportion similar.

Bold Backgrounds

The use of big background images is another note-worthy trend in modern web design. There are a number of ways to do this, including creating resizing images. By using more complex or simpler designs, limited or vibrant color schemes, and other, similar design choices, you can change the impact a big background will have.

Retro and Vintage Elements

Seeing retro, vintage, and antique elements on a website design is a refreshing sight. This kind of design is not yet that popular on the web and can provide a website with that fresh and new look. These elements can add a layer of fun or nostalgia to websites when used judiciously and can even add an extra layer of charm or class.

Stunning Headers

The header is usually the part of a website that first attracts the viewer’s attention. It often contains important information you want to stand out to your site’s visitors. They can reinforce your company’s image, provide vital information, highlight important features, and more. Using a header that’s eye-catching, through the use of color, images, and typography, makes it more likely visitors will take the time to look at what’s up there.

Collage Elements

Collage elements are some of the most versatile design options out there. Used sparingly with clean edges, they can make a custom web design look more polished and finished. With rough edges or used copiously, they can add a more artsy look to your site. And when they’re somewhere in between, they add a real flourish to website designs.

Textured Backgrounds

Using backgrounds with a bit of texture can make any website fascinating and add that extra bit of appeal to the site. A textured design, whether dirty and grungy or made to look like cloth or anything in between can really add some punch to the look of your site. There are literally thousands of textured and patterned backgrounds out there you can adapt to the design needs of your sites, or create your own for something truly one-of-a-kind.

Tabbed Navigation

As per our experience, tabbed navigation works better than button- or text-based navigation. Tabs sort of have a subliminal effect on viewers that clicking on a tab will take them to a new page or section, just like in a binder or notebook. This psychological connection makes it more likely people will click around on your site and visit different sections thereby increasing page views per visitor.

Black and White

Want to make a statement  on your website?  Use a black and white color scheme.  Using stark black and white is the most graphic, but combining shades of white, light gray and cream with blacks, dark grays, and dark browns can all have a significant graphic impact. Experiment with different levels of contrast to come up with the appropriate level for your specific design project. A design with mostly white coloration makes a site feel lighter-weight and more streamlined while a mostly black design looks heavy.

Horizontal Scrolling

Horizontal scrolling does not work on all sites.  They are best reserved for sites with limited content like a portfolio site. But when combined with modal boxes and other content elements, they can make a huge impact on your visitors. It’s something new to people who are more used to vertical scrolling thus, it can give such a huge impact.

Cartoon Elements

Another design technique that can add a touch of whimsy to a website is the use of cartoon elements.  They add a level of fun and humor to your site. Whether you keep them relatively professional and polished in a corporate site or let them get a little looser, cartoon characters and other design elements keep your site looking fresher and younger.

jueves, 4 de febrero de 2010

February 4

New Harvest Design, the perfect web service company

New Harvest Design provides cutting-edge and affordable web development and graphic design services to keep our clients ahead of the competition. Our team of highly-skilled designers is abreast with the latest trends and uses state-of-the-art technology to come up with outstanding web sites.