There are (at least) 2 major pitfalls of successful businesses, I discuss those here:
Ever wonder what goes into creating custom icons?
Check out the process behind creating custom icons for our new website at
Setting realistic expectations is one of the most difficult things to do in the web design business. After almost 14 years in business, we’re still working on getting better at it. Here’s a few things that have helped us over the years…
A few thoughts on hiring new team members. When possible, hire attitude over aptitude.
Most companies wouldn’t post something like this on their blog. We’re not most companies.
Check out our thoughts on the idea that “The customer is always right…”
What do you think? Leave it below in the comments….
People often like to say “It’s not personal, it’s business.” Is that really true? I’m exploring that idea here and how it relates to growing a business.
A quick video blog by Design Extensions founder, Jay Owen:
Here’s the juicy peach truth…
We had never heard of Creative South before this year. We were just looking for a design or web related conference within driving distance from good ole’ Northeast, Florida that wouldn’t break the bank. Thankfully, we ran across Creative South and purchased tickets before the event sold out!
Trey Ingram, our man behind the creative arts, and I decided to take the trip together.
From St. Augustine to Jacksonville and
then off to Columbus, GA we went…
We were excited and ready to hear from some Amazing talent on Day 1.
The first day was split up with three different tracks each hour — Trey & I tried to split up for the maximum benefit. Here’s a few shots from the trip:
Up bright and early on Sunday, Trey and I give our thoughts on the event so far…
Needless to say, Creative South was not disappointing.
Day 2 started a little later and had two keynote speakers rather than the multiple sessions from day 1: James White (from SignalNoise) and the very unique Aaron Draplin from DDC. These guys displayed incredible talent, told some awesome stories, and shared great insight. Simply put, it was awesome.
Most of all, the people at Creative South, from the speakers to the attendees were just flat awesome. Everyone was friendly, open, and plain excited to be involved.
In hindsight, the biggest regret was that we didn’t take our whole team — we’ll change that for Creative South 2014. See you next year Columbus creatives!
One more thing — what did we think about Columbus, GA? Well, here’s my thoughts on this southern belle of a town:
Every couple of years, especially with as many cool logos as we get to make for our clients, we get the itch to update our own brand. We’ve had the same general look since 2003 with a refresh of the logo in 2009. For 2013, we wanted more than just a refresh, we needed a total rebrand of our logo, website, printed materials. . .everything!
Here’s what we started with…
Change to a brand can be hard, but it’s important to stay current and fresh — especially when you’ve been around for over a decade like we have (that’s wise old geezer in computer years).
For our redesign, we wanted to bring a modern feel to the company. We wanted something that was more eye-catching and trendy. Here is a quick walkthrough of the process we undertook in order to arrive at our new design.
1. A Look In the Mirror
My first objective was to take a closer look at the current logo, deciding what made it successful/ineffective. This step was vital, because I learned that some things, such as our main color blue, and the name itself, would be left untouched. The negative aspects I found with this logo were things such as the overbearing width of the text when it was situated side-by-side. This caused an awkward layout when we positioned the logo in diverse web and print formats. Another negative was the small “x” icon that was hanging on the end of the word “extensions.” We had held on to the X from our 2003 design, but it was finally time to say good bye to an old friend.
2. Researching Trends
Next, I took to the internet and some favorite sites to look into current logo trends. We do this for many of the projects that we take on, so why should our own redesign be any different. Through my research of inspirational sites such as Dribbble.com and Logopond.com, I kept in mind some key elements for the new look. We wanted the logo to be simple, yet bold. Artistic and fun, but also professional. Having these descriptive goals really helped when soaking up my inspiration. It’s important to have a clear idea of what you want a logo to say about you and your company, which is why we have clients fill out forms, and pick out inspirational examples when we take on a logo project.
3. Get Sketchin’
Before I fire up Illustrator or Photoshop, I always get out my trusty sketchbook. In my opinion, this is the most efficient way to get ideas from my brain to a visual format. It makes it much easier to see if an idea will pan out or not before spending time with finesse work. I have compiled some images from my sketch journey that shows how I arrived at our final logo. I first toyed with the idea of a banner that originated from the tail of the “g,” and then wrapped around to house the word “extensions.” Then I tried the words, still stacked, but without the banner.
Here are a few of the MANY sketch concepts that we went through before getting serious…
My next attempt was to make the letters all capital, and much bolder in weight.
We even tried a few digital versions with color this time around:
This ended up looking too much like graffiti art in style, so I went back to using lowercase letters. It was bold, and artisitc, but lacked the professional feel that I thought our logo deserved.
4. Take a Break
Finally, after countless hours of looking at my sketches from different angles, I decided to take a break. The importance in any project to taking a moment to get a cup of coffee, take a deep breathe, do some office yoga, is often overlooked. But often the space and perspective you get from taking a step back can be just waht you needed. This step back really helped focus my mind on what the logo needed, and my final sketch turned out to be the winner.
5. Finalize that Graphic!
Hallelujah! The sketch was approved, and the next step was to bring it to life in Illustrator. For all of you who have spent time drawing with a bezier pen tool, you know that it takes a considerable amount of time to draw custom typography. An artist’s eye must be trained to look for variations in the weight of a letter’s stroke, and many more similar details. Overall, we are very pleased with the way our logo has evolved, and we are already working diligently to provide a fresh new website home for the new logo.
Here’s the final version — we’re really excited about the final result:
We’re now working to integrate our brand across all of our mediums. We’ve already updated our Facebook page, Twitter account, Instragram page, and our business cards (below). We updated the logo on the website you’re looking at right now, but we’re working on a total redesign of the site which should launch in the next couple of months (we’re really excited about it).
Here are a few variations of the logo we’ll use in different locations, along with an icon piece we use for profile pics on social media and other locations.
Here’s how the brand transitioned into our business cards:
If you’re looking for a new logo or a complete rebrand, we’d love to help. Just contact us and we’ll put together some options to fit your needs.