We got our first shared classroom computer when I was in year one, and it was a biggg deal.⠀ ⠀ The local paper covered the story, and as one of the few kids who had a computer at home (and knew where the ON button was) I managed to get my photo on the front page.⠀ ⠀ They had no idea that all I knew about computers was how to play Lemmings 😂 ⠀ ⠀ Anyway, even though basic search engines existed, we definitely weren't using them yet. I know this because whenever I would ask my parents a question like—⠀ ⠀ Where's Canada? or⠀ What does several mean? ⠀ ⠀ They'd tell me to look it up and come and tell me the answer.⠀ ⠀ I'd groan and drag my feet over to the bookshelf, get out the heavy red dictionary or my giant children's atlas and then proudly tell them what I'd learnt.⠀ ⠀ Maybe that's why one of my favourite qualities in a person is their ability to use their initiative and to teach themselves what they don't know. To constantly be curious and always learning 🤓⠀ ⠀ It's also why we're SO excited about our new initiative, Self-Made 🤗⠀ ⠀ It's a hub for those who want to learn how to create and build a stand out brand themselves. Andd it's where you'll find the tools, training and templates to help you nail your brand strategy and knock your visuals and messaging out of the park ⚾️⠀ ⠀ We've got so much good stuff planned, but for now, you can pop in to find ⠀ ⠀ 👉 The Lead Magnet Toolkit⠀ 👉 Invaluable Brand Strategy Guide & ⠀ 👉 The NEW Instagram Toolkit ⠀ ⠀ Allll waiting for you in the shop 🛍️⠀ ⠀ Want to stay in the loop when new Self-Made stuff drops and get a daily dose of our best branding tips? Jump on over to @self_made.studio and follow along!⠀ ⠀ Thank you for your support and for being the inspiration for Self-Made 💛
3 things that get us EXCITED:⠀ 🤩Finding money we didn't know we had 💸⠀ 🤩Finding a good new movie on itunes 🍿⠀ 🤩Andddd a well thought out design brief 📝⠀ ⠀ Why? Because when our customers have a clear picture of what they want to get out of the project and what they require, it quickly puts everyone on the same page.⠀ ⠀ Our most successful projects are always the ones where our clients have spent a little bit of time considering what they're trying to create and why, who needs to be involved and when it needs to be completed.⠀ ⠀ We ask all of these questions + more whenever we work on a new visual identity or website project to make sure we're all working towards the same goals.⠀ ⠀ What are the best Qs you've ever asked/been asked in a design brief?👇
What do you think of when I say brand values? Fluffy? Idealistic? Waste of time? Part of an ancient business plan you created that's now gathering dust in your google docs account? Many businesses either haven't articulated their values, or they have some that nobody knows or cares about. But values are supposed to set the standards of behaviour in your business. 🤝 They tell your customers what to expect when they work with or buy from you. 💪They're the guiding principles that you use to make tough decisions. 🧭They're the line in the sand. And the good ones? Often they're polarising. So what separates the generic, abstract values from those that are actually USEFUL? It's the HOW. How do they play out day-to-day? 🌟 So you value quality? Awesome! What's the standard? And what happens when that standard isn't reached? ✨ Maybe you value innovation? What measures are in place to keep the new ideas coming? 💥 Or impact—what does that look like? Who are you impacting and how do you do that? Your values will touch every point in your business— who you work with, who you hire, how you work, what you prioritise and even what you post on insta. So they're more than just buzz words with a sexy marketing spin. And they definitely shouldn't be left vague and open to interpretation. Revisiting your strategy? Don't gloss over your values. Make them focused and specific. They're your standards for sailing the sometimes murky waters of business. And when they're a snug fit, they'll be the reason your customers love you and the goalposts that keep you laser focused on the business you're trying to create.
Products and services used to be allll about FUNCTIONALITY ⚒ y’know those must-have specs and features that made something worth buying? Then it all became about the BENEFITS. We talked up that aspirational future where we’re all a little bit more confident, healthy and efficient 💁♀️ And now? It’s all about BELIEFS. That bigger idea or worldview that makes your product or service a must-have. The Ordinary? 🤓They believe that we should have an understanding of what’s in our skincare. Bulletproof? ☕️They believe that we should be hacking our biology. Lego? 🧱They think that we should be playing at every age. Everything we buy is a signal of who we are and who we want to be. And as James Clear points out, if you believe new things about yourself, you change your behaviour and your identity. So, what does your brand believe in? 🧠And who will your customers become when they buy from you? 🤔 If you want to read more about how to weave beliefs into your branding, check out our latest blog post ‘Give them something to believe in’. 👉Link in our bio.
This week we’ve been doing a lot of reading & listening. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ We’ve ummed & ahhed about whether people want to hear from us about inequality. Whether it was relevant. Whether we had a big enough audience. Whether we even knew enough to say something. But, we didn’t want to be silent on such an important topic that affects every human being, including you. Science has taught us that most prejudices are automatic & unconscious. They are a result of our upbringing & culture. And even those who care about equality are likely to harbour prejudices. This ‘othering’ & group mentality is a relic from our evolutionary past where it was advantageous to be wary of ‘outsiders’. BUT science has also told us when we are made aware of our prejudices, we can change. And when we consider the perspective of others, our prejudices are reduced. When we educate ourselves and when we take the time to consider others’ perspectives we’re making the choice to address the prejudice in ourselves. When we talk to others (our colleagues, family, friends & kids) about prejudice, we have the opportunity to get them to think about their biases too. When those conversations turn into action to address prejudice in every facet of our life & business (including our marketing), we can contribute to +ve change. If you think your brand just sells products and services, & no one cares where you stand on social issues, we’d challenge you to rethink that. Your customers aren’t just buying a thing, they’re buying into your brand’s worldview & beliefs too. As a brand, you can influence change. But, as the talented @ohhappydani so beautifully illustrates, it all starts with you. We’re committed to changing, to shining a light on our own prejudices & taking action for the long term. It’s a process, not a post. We’re not experts & imagine we’ll make mistakes along the way. We’re starting by educating ourselves & acknowledging our privilege. We hope you'll join us 🖤
⚡Font overwhelm⚡️The feeling of being 21398 fonts deep and still not sure if you've found 'the one'. If you've ever chosen brand fonts for yourself or a client, you know that there are a crazy amount of options to choose from. And it's an important decision too. Your fonts can completely change the mood of a design. Stuck on what to pick? SWIPE to get inspired by some of my favourite Google Font combos ☝️ OR use these 3 quick tips for nailing your font pairings— 1️⃣ Know your personality: How do you want your customers to feel about or describe your brand? Your font pairings should align with the rest of your brand assets to help you communicate that feeling visually. 2️⃣ Make it legible: Some fonts are great when used for large headings, but become hard to read when they're at small sizes. Always shoot for legibility above all else and consider how you'll be using them when choosing. 3️⃣ Create a hierarchy: Your chosen fonts (and font weights) should help you to separate content in your design. If they're too similar, your content becomes hard to read. Look for fonts that contrast (but don't clash) with each other. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Happy font picking! What are your go-to font pairings? 👇
Audible is my jam. Podcasts fuel me. And my kindle app gets more of a workout than I do most days. I love learning. Which is a good thing, until it's not. Because I can get so caught up in researching or looking for inspiration, aka consuming other people's stuff that I don't take enough action on my own. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Can you relate? Consumption is seductive, which is why I love the advice Marie Forleo gives— ✨Create before you consume ✨ The gist is this—before you go down the rabbit hole 🐰 scrolling through your feed, reading or watching the news or listening to your favourite podcast, focus on DOING first. SO! I'm making a conscious effort to create before I consume. That means focusing on writing, recording, designing and brainstorming first. Once I'm done, THEN I can consume some of the great stuff everyone else is sharing. As a sweet side-effect I think it's also a good way to be more creative and less consumed by comparison. In last week's blog post, I shared that this is our year of uncomfortable action taking, and this is a little step I'm taking to take action on taking action 🤪 What are your tips for taking big action in your business? Lemme know👇
We put a lottt of pressure on our logo to be the recognisable face of our brand. But, our logo isn't the only tool 🔨we have to stand out and stick in people's minds. There are a whole range of distinctive assets that can be created and used to grab attention and stick in people's minds. They can be distinctive VISUAL 👀cues, like logos, textures, shapes, fonts, patterns, colours or photography styles. They can be distinctive AUDIO 🎧cues like jingles, musical scores, or the volume, pace or pitch of a voice. They can be distinctive WRITTEN ✏️cues like writing styles, taglines, words and phrases. They can be distinctive TACTILE 🔥cues like weight, feel, texture or temperature. Or they can be distinctive TASTE or SCENT 🤤cues like perfumes, aromas, flavours or foods 🍩 When we can create a whole suite of distinctive brand assets that our customers recognise, we don't have to plaster our logo everywhere. Instead, we can lean on other distinctive cues or combinations of cues to signal our brand. So, if you want to stick 🍯 in people's minds, don't just create a logo. Create distinctive brand assets and use them over and over. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Loving 😍 the combo of the card and marble textures in this project by @tony.erapuro via @behance
No one wants to read your website 😭 Nope, your customers are skimming, scanning and scrolling looking 👀for something to pique their interest. And if you can get them to stop 🛑THEN they'll read that section. Your website is much more like a choose your own adventure book 📚 than a juicy fiction book you read cover to cover. That's why we need to break up our content into clear, chunked-down sections, instead of big walls of text. When you do that, you give people multiple anchor points ⚓️ to stop at throughout the page. One way to separate sections on a page is with SCALE. The size of your text lets people know what's most important and what they should read first. This effect is SO powerful, that we'll ignore our usual way of reading top to bottom to give preference to the bigger text. When you get the visual hierarchy right, it makes it easy for people to understand your content. But when it's slightly askew? It can leave people wondering which word or sentence they should read first. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ And that can really muddle your message. Swipe to get some quick tips for adjusting your typography to make sure the your message is always crystal clear. #KanesDesignTips
Colour is a deceptive beast 😈 How we see a colour depends heavily on its surroundings. This is called colour relativity. And it can cause our eyes 👀 to play tricks on us. Choosing your brand colours? 🎨 Try this tip 👉Don't just look at each hue. Consider how they will be perceived as a whole system. ✏️ How will they be applied? ✏️ Is it creating the right feeling? ✏️ Are there brand elements (photos, textures) that could interact with your palette to shift the overall mood? This is just one of the reasons why picking your brand colours can be tricky! What's your biggest challenge when it comes to choosing colours for your brand?👇