Designing Logos – Say Hello to Good Publicity!

Looking to do some great marketing for your business? An eye catching logo could do the trick. When we think of Nike, what comes to mind first is their logo; simple and powerful. Ironically, designing simple logos is not that simple. You will need to keep some basics in mind before you devise one for your business.

The point of having a logo is to make an everlasting impression in the minds of the public; every time they see your logo they should, instantaneously, link it with your business. Here are a few pointers:

Simplicity rules: As always, the less complex to comprehend, the easier to remember! This isn’t as simple as it seems; designing logos conveying a powerful message with as little as possible is challenging, but it is in your best interest to keep it that way.

Keep your business in mind: Many successful undertakings work with the name of their entities to create a logo. Several dailies, such as the New York Times, follow this pattern. If you plan on the same, remember to keep it short; this will help catch attention better. Even though the idea is to profess something about your business, abstain from making any regional references; doing so could hinder the expansion of your business into other areas. However, this is not a hard and fast rule. Quite obviously, if your product or service has a strong regional association (like French wine, for example), then it is only natural that you mention it while designing logos. In a nutshell, the name you choose for your company should not only reflect the nature of the business but also be memorable.

One for all: It might be tempting to use different colors or typefaces on various occasions or materials. While it would certainly kill the monotony, it will do the same to your publicity. Stick to one logo that could be universally applied to all your products, brochures, business cards, so on and so forth.

Just the right shade: While heavenly colors on your logo might take your breath away, you must also think of how the same choice of colors would appear in a printout or a Xerox copy of an official document. It is best to stick to shades that can be reproduced easily and consistently on all types of surfaces; alternatively take care to use adequately contrasting shades. Remember also to have a black and white version ready for use.

One size does not fit all: Check how your image turns out when copied in different sizes. If it starts to look like something you didn’t intend when enlarged, then you might want to pay some more attention to the contours. You may not be able to meet all the specifications on your own; using professional software for designing logos is a good bet. Employ someone with the requisite technical expertise to design your logo according to your specifications. At designgraphics.org you could find all the help you need with professional graphics. “Logo Design Workbook: A Hands-On Guide to Creating Logos”, by Sean Adams, Noreen Morioka and Terry Stone, available at amazon.com, can teach you more about the ideal logo.

Spending time on designing logos might not seem like a priority, what with the workload of being self-employed, but it most certainly is. Think of it this way…your logo will speak for you when you are not around to introduce your business. Paying a little attention to the details can go a long way in giving your brand the wow factor.

Design As a Strategic Advantage

In this environment, the design of a Website can become a strategic advantage. Effective use of design will allow a company to benefit in a number of ways.

An effective design will allow the provider to better predict and control costs. For example, a design should include flexible rules for how and where the site will add new content (as opposed to updating old content). Establishing these rules in the design phase of the project will greatly reduce the need for ongoing design changes, as well as pushing out the time until the next major redesign.

A layered site design can allow a company to react more quickly and effectively. Separating content from presentation and function in the design reduces the effort to change any of the three later. In addition, a strong conceptual model streamlines decision making about whether or not to make changes in the first place.

Perhaps most importantly, an effective design can help satisfy and retain users. There are measurable human factors that can be used to objectively evaluate the impact a site design has on its users. An effective Web site design can improve the experience for users in several measurable ways. For example, using consistent language on buttons and prompts reduces the time it takes users to perform tasks by 25 percent. Users come to a site with goals. Effective design will help them to attain their goals more quickly and easily.

A design can be used to reduce the number of errors users make while performing common tasks on a site. If someone hasn’t been exposed to how software designer’s deal with error, this idea may seem jarring. Users typically think of errors as mistakes they make that are somehow their fault. Software designers think of errors as a user’s best approximation of the correct action. In other words, the user took what appeared to be the right action to achieve a goal. Software designers use well-known principles to improve the likelihood that a user will take the correct action in the first place. There are no bad users, but there are less-than-perfect designers and designs.

Subjective satisfaction is another human factor that software designers measure. This is typically done by having users assign a numerical value to how much they enjoyed using the software. So although the factor being measured is subjective, it is assigned an objective number-by users-that will serve as a benchmark that can be remeasured over time to gauge improvement. If an organization thinks that user satisfaction with its site isn’t terribly important, it might want to keep in mind that it’s an important predictor of whether or not the user will ever return.

We’ve seen some of the ways that better design can improve a site in measurable ways. But with rising costs, rapid technological change, and increased functional complexity, how will designers cope, let alone move beyond current levels of usability, to achieve a strategic advantage for their sites?

As Web projects become more like software projects, Web designers will have to look to the methodologies of the software industry. This will result in a move to a new design imperative that will combine best practices from media design and production with principles of computer-human interaction. This is called action oriented design.

A good part of this new design movement will take place naturally. The Web may be the newest new medium but it certainly isn’t the first new medium. There is a natural progression to the design of all new forms, media or otherwise. New forms start out by imitating older forms, then evolve into what the new form will eventually become. Early automobile designs copied carriage designs (hence, the name “horseless carriage”). Early television programs copied both radio and live theater. So, too, the Web is struggling from its early imitation of print and broadcast media and toward what it will ultimately become.

Four Phases of Web Design

The four progressive phases of Web design evolution mirror the phases that many Web designers pass through in their development. There are many examples of sites on the Web today that correspond to the first three phases. The fourth phase is one that is only now beginning to emerge. The four phases are:

I. Applying What We Already Knew. Here the designer applies lessons from established media. Consequently, the site tends to look like a printed page, a video still, or a CD-ROM. Interactivity often suffers and performance is usually poor due to heavy graphics.

2. Imitating What We See. As the designer becomes immersed in the realities of Web design, new design problems pop up that can’t easily be solved by applying lessons from other media. At this point, the designer looks to how other sites solved these problems, and adapts those solutions. But although the designer is growing in knowledge, there is still no deep conceptual framework of understanding. A borrowed solution may not be appropriate and can even cause usability problems that are worse.

3. Learning by Experience. The feedback mechanisms of the Web are an incredibly valuable tool for learning. Study of server logs shows how users move through a site. Users voice their likes and dislikes through e-mail. But be warned: Although users know when they have a problem, they are not the right ones to design the solution. In addition, internal users are a constant source of data. As a Web designer enters the third phase, the design is typically simplified so that it will work better on a variety of browsers, the size of pages is reduced so that it will work better over low bandwidth, and it moves toward more consistency in page layouts. These are all positive developments, even though the designer may still lack an underlying framework of understanding.

4. Software Design Awareness. Some new media designers have begun to look beyond the current state of Web design and become aware of the principles and methods used by software designers. At the same time, the Computer-Human Interaction (CHI) community-largely academic and previously focused strictly on software-has begun to adapt and apply its work to the Web. What we are just beginning to see on the Web is a design approach that owes as much to science as to art. It is a more rigorous, principled approach to new media design. It is characterized by designers taking what they have learned from both past lives and recent experience, and applying it through structured methodology to produce designs that are measurably superior to past efforts. This is the beginning of action-oriented design.

Why is action-oriented design important? Users come to a site with goals. So, too, Web site owners have business goals that can be attained only by driving specific user actions, such as viewing pages (drives ad revenue) or making transactions (drives electronic commerce revenue).

Inevitably, sites add more content, more function, and more graphics. In a Forrester study of new media executives responsible for their companies’ Web sites, the top responses to the question, “What will you add to your site in 2014?” were “more content” and “personalization.” In the same study, site owners said that their top challenge was “making the site attractive.” Ensuring ease of use came in fourth.

In the midst of this increased complexity, helping users attain their goals while leading them toward actions that support business goals is not easy. To achieve success, designers will need to clearly understand user goals, business goals, rapidly evolving site functionality, and software design methodologies. Talent and experience alone will not get the job done.

Design, the Process and the Management

Design, the definition:

Design can be simply defined as a strategic approach to create a plan or a resolution for the production of an object or a system. Formally; design has been described as the specification of an object, revealed by an agent, intended to achieve targets, in a particular environment, using a set of primitive components, satisfying a set of requirements, subject to constraints.

With such a broad definition, there could be no universal code or even a unifying institution for designers of all disciplines. This allowed various philosophies and approaches toward the subject to emerge and develop.

The person designing is called a “designer”. A designer’s sequence of activities performed to achieve a specific objective is called a “design process”.

Design philosophies can be considered as the fundamental and essential guiding principles that dictate and determine how a designer approaches his/her practice. In other words, design philosophies lead to design goals and those goals more likely guide the design process.

The design process: It has been defined earlier as the sequence of activities performed by a designer to achieve an objective.

An approach to a design may rely on various methodologies among which are:

KISS: keep it simple and stupid, which strives to eliminate unnecessary complications.

IMTOWTDI: there is more than one way to do it, an approach that recommends multiple methods to do the same thing.

Interior Design: The Process

Brief:

Follows a systematic and coordinated methodologies; including research, analysis and integration of knowledge into the creative process, whereby the needs and resources of the client are satisfied to produce an interior space that fulfills the project goals.

The 8 Phases Process

• Initial Consultation/Programming/Briefing

A good brief will be as detailed and project specific as possible. It will outline the client’s requirements, needs and aspirations. It will setup a budget for works and the scale in which the project must be realized.

• Design Agreement

An agreement between the client and the designer is to be signed. The agreement indicates and outlines the scope of work, deliverables, milestones, time frame and project duration. It also refers to the design fee, terms of payment and other legitimate issues.

• Measurements/Survey

On-site measurements are taken with high accuracy and any required surveys occur.

• Identification of Key Requirements

Based on the client’s briefing and the given space, the client’s requirements and needs should be clearly identified and prioritized.

• Brainstorming and Design Concept

Reaching a tangible yet preliminary design concept; resolving related existing problems. Presenting a draft for an innovative, creative and yet functional blueprint.

Is a set of 2D/3D drawings, sample photographs and graphics that can easily, simply and successfully display a preliminary design solution resolving related existing problems. Presenting a draft for an innovative, creative and yet functional blueprint that also properly demonstrates an idea in a way that the client can understand, visualize and interact with.

• Design Development/Detailing

Drafting a package of working drawings/shop drawings where all technical details are properly clarified and illustrated. Detailed specifications for materials, finishes, colors, fixtures, fittings, furnishings, etc. are highlighted and documented.

• Visualization/Preview

A presentation of 3D rendered perspectives to visualize or preview in a photo-real quality the various design elements combined together before implementation phase. Also sample boards are submitted to select and approve materials, fittings, fabrics, etc. to be used latterly during the implementation and execution phase

• Budget/Estimate

Bill of quantities, estimated budget, cost analysis; cash flow control, etc. are calculated, filed and documented.

Design Management

Brief:

Is a business discipline that uses project management, design strategy and supply chain technology to control a creative process, support a culture of creativity and build a structure and an organization for design.

Objective:

The objective of design management is to develop and maintain a business environment in which an organization can achieve its strategies and mission goals by establishing and managing an efficient and effective system.

The discipline of design management overlaps with marketing management, operation management and strategic management. Basically design management plays three key roles: align design strategy with corporate strategy, managing quality of design outcome and enhancement of new methods of user experience.

Design management is reactive and responds to current business situation by using specific skills, tools, methods and techniques.

Design management requires design leadership to know where to go, and design leadership requires design management to know how to go there.

Design managers need to speak both the language of business and the language of design.

Interior Design Service:

Service design management deals with organizing people, infrastructure, communication and material components of a service in order to improve the quality of the service and to improve the interaction between the service provider and the customer in what is commonly known as the customer’s experience.

To improve the customer’s experience. The service should be well designed in order to remain competitive and attract more customers.

Design can be simply defined as a strategic approach to create a plan for the production of an object. Design philosophies can be considered as the fundamental and essential guiding principles that dictate and determine how a designer approaches his/her practice. In other words, design philosophies lead to design goals and those goals more likely guide the design process which follows a systematic and coordinated methodologies; including research, analysis and integration of knowledge into the creative process, whereby the needs and resources of the client are satisfied to produce an interior space that fulfills the project goals. Service design management deals with organizing people, infrastructure, communication and material components of a service in order to improve the quality of the service and to improve the interaction between the service provider and the customer in what is commonly known as the customer’s experience. To improve the customer’s experience. The service should be well designed in order to remain competitive and attract more customers.

Graphic Design Tips: Bang On Tips On Logo Design

1) Keep it simple.

The logo is not a brochure but just an emblem. Remember that when you design a logo. The design idea should be uncomplicated and catchy without being complex and should engage the customer. Most designs that have caught the public eye are those that are easy to remember yet aesthetically appealing.

2) Be versatile and dynamic in the design process.

Logos are no longer used just on print advertisements or TV commercials but will appear in phone Apps or even coffee mugs. For this the logo should be versatile so that it looks as brilliant in black and white as it does in colour. Or it should look just as impressive when it is a few centimetres as it is when a few inches in size. When logos are designed to be dynamic then it can be easily adapted for display in any medium.

3) Keep in mind the brand’s image.

Logos express a lot about the company they stand for. Technology companies that would like to signify market leadership and stress their strict business ideals might go in for a futuristic design that is serious yet smart. While corporations which prefer to put forth a friendly image might opt for a vibrant logo. Therefore, the design of the logo is not just about creating a smart design but about displaying the ideals that the company stands for.

4) Add an edge to the design.

When a logo is designed for any company, the main goal is to create one that everyone finds easy to remember. Designing a logo that resembles everyday things or is usual will not help consumers recollect the design unless there is something unique or different about it that warrants its recognition.

5) Let the design be relevant to the company.

A random design will not be lapped up by the company or the consumers and for depth in designing, it is important to add meaning to the design. Designs that express unity or which signify the company’s growth or its ideals will appeal better. Designs that include the company’s name have also been found to be very effective. This will help the consumer identify the logo with the company a lot better.

6) Use a design font that you have created.

This is a tricky part but talented logo designers shouldn’t find it too hard. Instead of downloading fonts or using custom fonts, it is best to create new fonts so that the logo isn’t easily copied.

7) Break out of the ordinary.

The logo design has to be simple but it should not be something predictable. This is where a creative graphic design company scores over others. Logo designs that are easy to remember and catchy because they have something remarkable to offer will generate more interest when compared with other logo designs.

8) Carry out a feedback study.

Once a logo is designed it should be sent across to people for feedback and suggestions. Every logo might seem great in the eyes of the designer but might not be quite so. The best way to find out is by conducting a market survey to understand the reactions of a sample of the society.

Top 5 Tips for Hiring a Designer

At some point in your career you may find yourself in need of hiring a designer or being asked your opinion on samples of work during research.

Before you even start your research, you should have a very basic idea of what you are looking for and what you are trying to accomplish. You do not want to have a crystal clear “vision” in your mind because you will never find someone to fit those exact requirements and you will lose out on the possibility of an end product that exceeds those initial ideas.

There are many other elements that go along with hiring a designer, but before you even get into the nitty-gritty details, here are a few basic tips to help you get started as you are researching and looking at work examples, as well as during more in-depth discussions once you’ve whittled down the pack.

Design Aesthetic

Your organizations’ message, brand, personality and vision are unique so why not hire someone who will capture your essence instead of a firm who cranks out cookie-cutter, unimaginative designs. So during your initial research, do a simple review of designers you come across and ask these simple questions…

  • Do you like their previous work?
  • Is the design of their work pleasing to you?
  • Is the design eclectic or conservative?
  • Can you picture the message you want to convey in the work samples you’ve seen?

You should be able to quickly review samples and weed out those designers who you can see will not meet your needs.

Availability

Timing is everything for many elements that have to be designed-a promotional flyer, a website for a product or company launch, an advertisement, tradeshow booth graphics, etc.

If you need to have a brochure in your hands in two weeks, make sure your designer has the availability and bandwidth to meet those demands.

Always give a deadline, but add as much “padding” as possible, starting with your search and through the design process.

If you are not the only decision-maker, you need to leave room in your review and edits schedule to work with others in your organization who may have other priorities than reviewing, commenting and approving your document or website.

Non-designers and those who do not work with designers regularly do not always understand how long it can take just to work on editing one image, so be sure to give yourself and your chosen designer enough time to meet all deadlines so the end product will be the best it can possibly be.

Team or solo

A solo freelance designer has a lot of other things going on (project management, accounting, networking, etc.), more so than a designer on a team who has more of an opportunity to focus directly on design because all of the administrative functions are being taken care of by someone else.

Keep in mind who you want to work with – because if it’s a team, then you may not necessarily have a lot of direct contact with the designer, you may work with the project manager most of the time and during your research you want to make sure that if that is the case then you will want an overview of the firms’ process to help prevent any rough waves or misunderstandings and ensure a smooth project flow.

Experience in your industry

This usually isn’t a make-or-break rule, but try to make sure that the designer has at least some relevant experience, whether it is in your specific industry or just in the general area.

You probably don’t want to use a designer who has only done B2C customer-facing design work if you are a B2B company.

Multi-disciplinary

Does the designer work only with print or only with web? If so, it may be a good idea to find a second designer who specializes in whichever area your designer doesn’t.

There are still designers and firms who only work in one medium. Today, it’s more efficient to hire someone who has experience carrying over print work to web, and visa versa.

You may not want to turn your brochure or flyer into a full web page, but unless it is a specific one-time only use document, you will want to repurpose elements of the design and content on your website.

All in all, if the designer or firm doesn’t meet your basic needs from your initial research, you should not even look further and move on until you find the right fit for you.

5 Important Stages for Developing a Creative Design Idea!

Undoubtedly, professional graphic designers have creative minds, they are artistic and imaginative. Although, mostly clients thinks that logo designers are magicians who create imaginative images and come up with creative and mind-blowing ideas for their small business logos with a swish of their wands. But it is not the reality, however to come up with an interesting idea is not easy task to do. Thinking or developing a unique idea in a mind is not a magic that can be generated in a matter of seconds. The designer needs to think a lot for getting an original idea; it involves a complete and elaborative procedure of shifting the idea from designer’s brain to the final logos.

The complexity is happened when a logo need to explain his idea or plan to the bad type of clients or to project managers. Although, the designers study the whole project and entire process of designing, but he face difficulty when he explain his idea in front of client, as he cannot put the entire concept in his words. Either it is a small or a large business logo design, a creative design reach to its final designation after many hurdles.

In this article, we will study the various stages through which a graphic designer experience in order to complete a project and design a brilliant idea.

1. Learning:

Ideas come up with deep learning and understanding of design fundamentals. Creative thinking and interest in the field of designing is the main aspects for getting an original idea, your ideas and creativity can be wisdom of the design trend and developments. You can learn and understand the nature of creativity by visiting different design websites and browse their logo design showcases which they designed for small business logo design and large business logo design.

2. Training:

Training is an important part of a designer’s career, and if you trained properly, you can create everything and every concept which you want to design. Apart from this, a designer is a magician who designs by hands and minds also use of some graphic software. If you want to become a professional designer then you must be fully trained in operating graphic tools, so you can create a complete picture that you have created in your mind.

3. Investigation:

Before thinking about any design, first you must investigate about your client’s requirement and his business. It is the graphic designer’s worst mistake when he directly jumps to designing phase rather than examining the project requirements. You can’t design anything before investigating and thinking about a particular industry.

4. Ideation:

After the series of demanding phases, it is the phase when a designer is in the final stage to create his idea. I named this stage Idea + Generation (Ideation) for the creation of a business logo design. This is the stage where a Creator needs to include his creativity, leaning and practice and converts it in a proper image.

5. Execution:

The design process is not completed yet; proper execution of a creative process is also an important phase that is normally terminated when the idea has been created. But this is not right, without proper execution, your strenuous labor will go down the drain. The final execution involves in converting the sketch into digital format, it also include adding colors and doing testing on different browsers. Then after the final approval you can say that your business logo design project has been successfully completed.

Top 4 Tips On How To Get The Best Tattoo Designers

Having a tattoo on your body is one of the hottest trends amongst youngsters nowadays. This is maybe because tattoos can be used as a medium to express one’s personality, feelings and specific traits of an individual. There are some people who just want to be a part of this trend and have whatever tattoo designs are available or popular at that moment. That is why; there is a huge demand for some of the best tattoo designers in the industry.

There are lots of ways which you can explore in order to find the best tattoo designer for your tattoo. Some ways will limit you to designers in your area, like a local tattoo shop, while others will give you access to some of the best designers in the world, like the web. Personally, I would recommend the latter as the most efficient and economical way to find the most skilful and talented tattoo designers.

If you were to ask me, I would say that there is no other way to do this but to register with the tattoo design websites. There are many websites like these and some of them are extremely popular among the tattoo enthusiasts. These sites display marketplace designs created by their talented designers for sale. You can browse through, select a design, pay for it and take a print out instantly.

There is one more very effective way of getting made a custom tattoo design totally based on your personal preferences and tattoo ideas or themes. You can do it by starting a tattoo design contest. A design contest serves as a platform for budding artists as well as experienced designers to showcase their talent, creativity and imagination in creating a design.

There are several reasons why subscribing to a tattoo design site is a good idea in comparison to visiting a local tattoo studio. One advantage of buying from marketplace designs is that the sites have a huge number of tattoo designers as their members from across the world. The number could be 400, 4000 or even more. This allows the customer to choose from a variety of designs by artists hailing from diverse backgrounds and cultures. By having such wide range of designs, you can be sure that you will make your selection from the very best.

Another advantage of signing up with a site and hosting a tattoo design contest is the price. Generally custom tattoo designs cost a fortune, for the amount of time and energy involved in creating one. The customer explains his idea to the designer, specifies every single detail, determines the size and colors and waits for the samples to finalize the design. The designer may have to discuss the design and it’s intricacies with the client more than a few times to ensure that come up with exactly what the client is hoping for. They may even have to re-work a design many times to match the requirements of the client before it gets a final nod from him. So, be ready to pay a huge sum of money for a uniquely distinctive design. However, with an online contest, you get the best of designs at a fairly competitive price.

Another important advantage for me in consulting the marketplace is related to the quality of designs submitted by the participants. This is not to say that one should fix a very low price for having a design. Because designers will be competing to win the contest, and you will be the one who will set the best price to keep them motivated to participate and submit their best works.

The fourth advantage of using the services of a tattoo design marketplace is that you will be able to get the designs very quickly indeed. As a matter of fact, you will be the one who will set the deadline. You will have the portfolio of designs from which you can pick the winner within the time scale you specify. Moreover, you can ask for revisions if you think that the output from the designers does not completely meet your specifications.

Things to Know While Finding a Good Graphic Designer

It is quite easy to find a graphic these days. Today, entrepreneurs have a large pool of graphic design talents to choose from. However, before making a final decision, there are a few important tips that could help you find just the right designer.

When graphic designers set out to deliver to their clients, they should be capable of placing themselves in the shoes of the clients’ target audience. There are four important aspects of a design that good graphic should be able to look at, through the audience’s perspective.

1. Is the image inspiring?

2. Is it captivating?

3. Is it motivational?

4. Is the text easy to read?

These are four questions that should be answered before converting the idea into a real design.

When designing, a graphic should keep the client’s current brand image in mind. Sometimes web come up with designs that may just be short of a masterpiece but fail to merge with the client’s brand image. This shift in the client’s brand image could dent the image rather than promoting it. Experts suggest that reviewing a graphic designer’s portfolio prior to hiring them for a project will help in avoiding such common pitfalls. It is always safe and a good approach for the client to ask for a sample design from the prospective designer in order to assess the designer’s capabilities and talent. As an example, in a case where the client wants to have a office furniture brochure designed, the client should ask for a sample office furniture brochure design to assess whether the designer has any previous experience.

References are another way to confirm as capabilities. If a designer refuses to provide verifiable references with respect to his or her past work, it is always better to look for another designer who can provide a reference.

Few more tips related to choosing the right designer based on the inputs from the latest news are listed below:

1. Crisp, Clear Photography

The photography used in the graphic design should be crystal clear and should contain crisp images. Blurs, pixelization, over-exposure should not be present in the photographs.

2. Unique, Original Pictures

Borrowing or stealing photos to be used in harms the image of the company. Entrepreneurs are always advised against using such methods as it could lead to copyright infringement. All images used in a brochure, website or an advertisement should be unique and original. The pictures used should set an individual or a company apart from the rest.

3. Avoiding Clip-Arts

The usage of clip-arts in graphic design for newsletters or fliers should be minimal. Excessive clip-arts make it difficult for people to focus on the text. Clip-arts if used in a graphic design should always gel with the text and not make the design look mixed up.

4. Relevant Usage of Pictures

The photography used in a graphic design should always represent the primary message of a product or service. In addition, the colors that make up the photos should complement the overall colors and theme used in the design.

A few final words

Finding a good graphic designer or a good design need not be rocket science. Remembering these few points while selecting a good graphic designer can help you find the right person to design for you. It will also help you save time and money. However, it is also important that you pay attention to the process and the time needed to find the right designer. This little investment of time can be the difference between a bad or ordinary design and a high quality website design.

7 Things Logo Designers Must Remember While Creating That Perfect Logo

Designing a logo for your business is a complex process. Even if you have the best designer with you, issues are bound to crop up. Therefore, it is necessary that you as a client should continuously communicate with the designers to extract the best out of them. All logo designers do not have equal competencies. This is why less experienced designers should be guided properly during the designing process.

Here are some tips that will help business logo design artists to create perfect logos:

1. Create Simple Designs

There are times when a designer is not aware of client expectations, and ends up designing a very complicated logo. But too many complex elements may fail to create an impact since people do not understand such designs. Therefore, make designs that are simple and easy to understand. Integrate minimalism, but make sure the logo is simple yet meaningful.

2. Avoid Using Clipart

Graphic artists should not use clipart to design logos. Clipart is frequently used by other designers, therefore using them implies that you are designing something that already exists. This way your, brand image will not be unique or matchless.

Also do not download designs from any template site as that will not make your logo unoriginal.

3. Integrate the Company’s Spirit

A corporate identity should incorporate designs that reflect the company’s essence. It should represent the true nature of the business. For example, if you are providing academic services, your logo should include formal colors and designs. Blue is an ideal color for businesses catering to educational services and reflects seriousness.

On the contrary, a cartoon site should have a logo with bright shades of yellow or orange denoting fun and amusement.

4. Focus on Size

Logos designed should look equally appealing in forms, shapes and sizes and should retain its visual impact when resized, or there will a high probability of looking distorted. Keep in mind the size; a professional designer is one who designs something that is identifiable in all sizes.

5. Right Height and Breadth

Designers should also design logos with proper height and width. The dimensions should be perfect and well balanced to make it look professional when used in websites or printed on brochures, business cards or any other promotional materials.

6. Use Minimum Colors

Colors play a crucial role in logo designing. Not more than two colors should be used because using too many colors will only confuse your audience. Use minimum colors to save on reproduction expenditures in the future.

There are some colors that cannot be neatly transformed on some mediums. I would suggest that you avoid using such colors, instead use colors wisely and not add colors simply because you like them.

7. Use Vector Oriented Softwares

This tip is for less experienced designers. Designers who are new to the field should use vector-based softwares for creating a logo. You can use Adobe Illustrator for designing customized images for a business.

A logo, if designed professionally, will give your company’s image an additional boost. You can consider the above tips for creating a meaningful design.

Planning and Design of Behavioral Healthcare Facilities

Behavioral Healthcare Facilities: The Current State of Design

In keeping with most districts of healthcare, the marketplace has seen a boom in the construction of Behavioral Healthcare facilities. Contributing to this increase is the paradigm shift in the way society views mental illness. Society is placing a heavier value on the need to treat people with serious addictions such as alcohol, prescription and elicit drugs. A large percentage of people suffering from behavioral disorders are afflicted with both mental and addictive behaviors, and most will re-enter communities and either become contributors or violators.

These very specialized facilities do not typically yield the attention from today’s top healthcare designers and their quantity accounts for a small fraction of healthcare construction. However, Behavioral Healthcare projects are increasing in number and are being designed by some very prominent architectural firms such as Cannon Design and Architecture Plus. Many are creating state-of-the-art, award-winning contemporary facilities that defy what most of us believe Behavioral Healthcare design to be.

Changing the Way We Design Behavioral Healthcare Facilities

As with all good planners and designers, A+D (along with facility experts) are reviewing the direct needs of patient and staff while reflecting on how new medicine and modern design can foster patient healing rates, reduce environmental stress, and increase safety. This is changing the face of treatment and outcome by giving the practitioner more time to treat because they require less time and resources to “manage” disruptive patient populations.

The face of Behavioral Healthcare is quickly changing. No longer are these facilities designed to warehouse patients indefinitely. And society’s expectations have changed. Patients are often treated with the belief that they can return to their community and be a contributor to society. According to the National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems (NAPHS), depending on the severity of illness, the average length of stay in a Behavioral Healthcare facility is only 9.6 days.

What has changed?

Jaques Laurence Black, AIA, president and principal of New York City-based daSILVA Architects, states that there are two primary reasons for the shortened admission period:

1. Introduction of modern psychotropic drugs that greatly speed recovery

2. Pressures from insurance companies to get patients out of expensive modes of care

To meet these challenges, healthcare professionals are finding it very difficult to effectively treat patients within the walls of antiquated, rapidly deteriorating mental facilities. A great percentage of these facilities were built between 1908 and 1928 and were designed for psychiatric needs that were principled in the belief to “store” not to “rehabilitate.”

Also impacting the need for Behavioral Healthcare construction is the reluctance of acute-care facilities to provide mental health level services for psychiatric or addiction patients. They recognize that patient groups suffering from behavioral disorders have unique health needs, all of which need to be handled and treated only by very experienced healthcare professionals. This patient population also requires a heightened level of security. Self-harm and injuring staff and other patients are major concerns.

The Report of the Surgeon General: “Epidemiology of Mental Illness” also reports that within a given year about 20% of Americans suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder and 5.4% suffer from a serious mental illness (SMI ) – defined as bipolar, panic, obsessive-compulsive, personality, and depression disorders and schizophrenia. It is also believed 6% of Americans suffer from addiction disorders, a statistic that is separate from individuals who suffer from both mental and addiction disorders. Within a given year it is believed that over one-quarter of America’s population warrants levels of mental clinical care. Even if these statistics were cut in half, it cannot be denied as a serious societal issue.

With a growing population, effectively designing in accordance with such measures is at the heart of public health.

Understanding the Complexity of Behavioral Healthcare Design

Therefore, like Corrections, leading planners and designers specializing in Behavioral Healthcare are delving deeper to better understand the complexity of issues and to be the activist to design facilities that promote treatment and healing – and a safer community.

The following is a list of key design variables that are being studied and implemented:

1. Right Sizing

2. Humanizing Materials and Color

3. Staff-Focused Amneties and Happiness

4. Security and Safety

5. Therapeutic Design Tenants

Right-sizing

Today’s Behavioral Healthcare facilities are often one-story single buildings within a campus size. Often debated by Clients due to costs, this design preference is driven by the demand for natural light, window views to nature for all patient areas, and outdoor open-air gardens “wrapped” within. All of this provides soothing qualities to the patient, reduces their anxieties, counteracts disruptive conduct and helps to reduce staff stress.

“When you look at the program mix in these buildings, there’s a high demand for perimeter because there are a lot of rooms that need natural light. Offices, classrooms, dining areas, community rooms, and patient rooms all demand natural light, so you end up with a tremendous amount of exterior wall, and it forces the building to have a very large footprint.” – James Kent Muirhead, AIA, associate principal at Cannon Design in Baltimore

These design principles are also believed to improve staff work conditions. Unlike a multi-story complex, at any moment staff can walk outdoors and access nature, free from visual barriers, and within a building that more accurately reflects building types that both patients and staff would encounter in their communities.

In addition to right-sizing for the overall building footprint, is right-sizing for internal patient and staff support area. Similar to the move we have seen in Corrections to de-centralize support spaces, Behavioral Healthcare is moving to decentralized nursing/patient units called “neighborhoods.” With mental health facilities there is a large concern with distances and space adjacencies in relation to the patient room and patient support areas such as treatment and social spaces. Frank Pitts, AIA, FACHA, OAA president of Architecture Plus, Troy, NY, advocates neighborhoods that average 24-30 beds arranged in sub-clusters, called “houses”, of 8-10 beds. Thus, each neighborhood consists of three houses. Often these layouts will include a common area where patients congregate and socialize, with a separate quiet room so patients can elect to avoid active, crowded areas. In addition Pitts states, “There’s a move away from central dining facilities. So, while facilities will still have a central kitchen, it’s a whole lot easier moving food than it is patients.” However, it is important for the facility to mimic normal outside daily life routines, so patients are encouraged to frequently leave their neighborhoods to attend treatment sessions, and outdoor courtyards.

Humanizing Materials & Color

In all facilities that play a role in rehabilitation, design strives to create spaces that humanize, calm, and relax. Behavioral Healthcare patients need to feel that they are in familiar surroundings; therefore, the architectural vocabulary should feel comfortable and normal. Since these facilities are about rehabilitation (when possible) and encouraging patients to merge back into society, the facility should feel like an extension of the community. Their spaces should reflect the nature and architecture of the surrounding region and thus so, no two facilities should look too much alike.

“Our approach to designing these facilities is to view the facility as an extension of the community where patients will end up when they’re released. Interior finishes also depend on geography because you want to replicate the environment patients are used to. You want to de-stigmatize the facility as much as possible.” – Tim Rommel, AIA, ACHA, OAA, principal with Cannon Design in Buffalo, NY.

Therefore, materials and colors within these spaces want to feel familiar to one’s region and everyday life. To soothe the psyche and rehabilitate, they want to feel soft and comfortable, yet visually stimulating. An interior that is overly neutral or hard in appearance is not appropriate. Materials should reduce noise, and colors should lift the spirit. This can help to create an environment in which the patient can learn, socialize, and be productive while easing anxieties, delivering dignity, and modifying behavior. As stated previously, behavioral studies advise the use of softer interior materials-like carpeting, wood doors and tile. Doing so translates directly to both patient and staff well-being, particularly staff safety, and makes for a nicer place to work. In addition, staff have more resources to “treat” instead of manage heated situations. When staff experiences are eased and satisfied, morale is boosted and life-saving rules and policies are more likely to be enforced.

Staff-Focused Amenities & Happiness

While reducing staff stress and fatigue through a healing supportive environment seems like an obvious goal, there are relatively few studies that have dealt with this issue in any detail. More attention has been given to patient outcomes. However, many leading hospitals that have adopted therapeutic tenants into their newly built environments have seen vast improvement through their “business matrixes” and financial reporting.

In one example, the Mayo Clinic, a national leader in implementing healing design in its facilities, has reported a reduction of nursing turnover from a national annual average of 20% to an annual 3%-4%. In another example, when Bronson Methodist Hospital incorporated evidence-based design into its new 343-bed hospital, they cited their 19%-20% nurse turnover rate dramatically dropped to 5%.

Now, both the Mayo Clinic and Bronson Methodist Hospital have had to initiate a waiting list for nursing staff seeking positions. This converts to better-trained and qualified staff, and a reduced error rate. Therefore, more health facilities are investing in staff support areas such as lounges, changing rooms, and temporary sleep rooms. Within these staff spaces and in the hospital throughout, facilities are also recognizing the need for upgrade materials, better day lighting, and an interesting use of color: One soon realizes that the need of patients and staff are interwoven, each impacting positively or negatively the other.

Security & Safety

Without debate, self harm and harm to staff is one of the biggest concerns mental health facilities manage. Often the biggest safety and security concern is the damage patients can do to themselves. “There are three rules I had drummed in me,” says Mark Hanchar; Director of Preconstruction Services for Gilbane Building Company, Providence, R.I. “First, there can’t be any way for people to hang themselves. Second, there can be no way for them to create weapons. Third, you must eliminate things that can be thrown.” Hanchar says that the typical facility is, “a hospital with medium-security prison construction.” This means shatter proof glass, solid surface countertops (laminate can be peeled apart), stainless steel toilets and sinks (porcelain can shatter), push pull door latches and furniture that cannot be pulled apart and used as a weapon. These are just to name a few.

Additionally, removing barriers between patients and nursing staff is a safety consideration. Frank Pitts, AIA, FACHA, OAA president of Architecture Plus, says what may be counter-intuitive for safety precautions, “Glass walls around nursing stations just aggravate the patients.” Removing glass or lowering it at nursing stations so patients can feel a more human connection to nurses often calms patients. There is also discussion of removing nursing stations altogether; decentralizing and placing these care needs directly into the clinical neighborhoods and community spaces. Pitt says, “The view is that [nursing staff] need to be out there treating their patients.”

Therapeutic Design Tenants

As medicine is increasingly moving towards “evidence-based” medicine, where clinical choices are informed by research, healthcare design is increasingly guided by research linking the physical environment directly to patient and staff outcomes. Research teams from Texas A&M and Georgia Tech sifted through thousands of scientific articles and identified more than 600 – most from top peer-reviewed journals – to quantify how hospital design can play a direct role in clinical outcomes.

The research teams uncovered a large body of evidence that demonstrates design features such as increased day-lighting, access to nature, reduced noise and increased patient control helped reduce stress, improve sleep, and increase staff effectiveness – all of which promote healing rates and save facilities cost. Therefore, improving physical settings can be a critical tool in making hospitals more safe, more healing, and better places to work.

Today’s therapeutic spaces have been defined to excel in 3 categories:

1. Provide clinical excellence in the treatment of the body

2. Meet the psycho-social needs of patients, families, and staff

3. Produce measurable positive patient outcomes and staff effectiveness

Considering the cost of treating mental illness, which is exceedingly high, and wanting facilities to have effective outcomes, a further practice of incorporating therapeutic design is increasing. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIM H) approximated in 2008 that serious mental illnesses (SMI ), costs the nation $193 billion annually in lost wages. The indirect costs are impossible to estimate.

The estimated direct cost to clinically treat is approximately $70 billion annually and another $12 billion spent towards substance abuse disorders. In addition to the increased need of care and the boom in Behavioral Healthcare construction, it becomes an obligation to make certain that we as facility managers, architects, designers and manufacturers therapeutically plan and design these facilities.

Notably, in 2004, “The Role of the Physical Environment in the Hospital for the 21st Century: A Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunity,” published by Roger Ulrich P.H.D., of Texas A&M University, was released. In a culmination of evidence-based research, research teams found five design principles that contributed significantly to achieving therapeutic design goals.

The report indicates five key factors that are essential for the psychological well-being of patients, families and staff, including:

1. Access to Nature

2. Provide Positive Distractions

3. Provide Social Support Spaces

4. Give a Sense of Control

5. Reduce or eliminate environmental stress

Access to Nature

Studies indicate that nature might have the most powerful impact to help patient outcomes and staff effectiveness. Nature can be literal or figurative – natural light, water walls, views to nature, large prints of botanicals and geography, materials that indicate nature and most importantly, stimulating color that evokes nature. Several studies strongly support that access to nature such as day-lighting and appropriate colorations can improve health outcomes such as depression, agitation, sleep, circadian rest-activity rhythms, as well as length of stay in demented patients and persons with seasonal affective disorders (SAD).

These and related studies continue to affirm the powerful impact of natural elements on patient recovery and stress reduction. Thus, it is clear that interior designs which integrate natural elements can create a more relaxing, therapeutic environment that benefits both patients and staff.

Positive Distractions

These are a small set of environmental features that provide the patient and family a positive diversion from “the difficult” and, in doing so, also negate an institutional feel. These can be views to nature, water walls, artwork, super imposed graphics, sculpture, music – and ideally all of these want to be focused on nature and, when applicable, an interesting use of color. Therapeutic environments that provide such patient-centered features can empower patients and families, but also increase their confidence in the facility and staff. This helps with open lines of communication between patient and caregiver.

Social Support Spaces

These are spaces designed partially for the patient but mainly for the comfort and socialization of family members and friends of the patient; therefore, family lounges, resource libraries, chapels, sleep rooms and consult rooms all play a role. When family and friends play a key role in a patient’s healing, these spaces encourage families to play an active role in the rehabilitation process.

Sense of Control

In times when patients and family feel out of control, it is very healing for the facility design and staff to provide it back when appropriate. Although, this cannot always be done suitably in mental healthcare facilities. However, when applicable, these design features include optional lighting choices, architectural way-finding, resource libraries, enhanced food menus, private patient rooms and

optional areas to reside in. A few well-appointed studies in psychiatric wards and nursing homes have found that optional choices of moveable seating in dining areas enhanced social interaction and improved eating disorders. When patients feel partially in control of their healing program and that the building features are focused to them, an increased confidence of the quality of care enters and tensions lower.

As with all therapeutic design, this allows the caregiver to use their resources healing in lieu of “managing” patient populations.

Reduce or Eliminate Environmental Stress

Noise level measurements show that hospital wards can be excessively noisy places resulting in negative effects on patient outcomes. The continuous background noise produced by medical equipment and staff voices often exceeds the level of a busy restaurant. Peak noise periods (shift changes, equipment alarms, paging systems, telephones, bedrails, trolleys, and certain medical equipment like portable xray machines are comparable to walking next to a busy highway when a motorcycle or large truck passes.

Several studies have focused on infants in NIC Us, finding that higher noise levels, for example, decrease oxygen saturation (increasing need for oxygen support therapy), elevate blood pressure, increase heart and respiration rate, and worsen sleep. Research on adults and children show that noise is a major cause of awakening and sleep loss.

In addition to worsening sleep, there is strong evidence that noise increases stress in adult patients, for example, heightening blood pressure and heart rate. Environmental surfaces in hospitals are usually hard and sound-reflecting, not sound-absorbing causing noise to travel down corridors and into patient rooms. Sounds tend to echo, overlap and linger longer.

Interventions that reduce noise have been found to improve sleep and reduce patient stress. Of these, the environmental or design interventions such as changing to sound-absorbing ceiling tiles, are more successful than organizational interventions like establishing “quiet hours.”

Conclusion and Additional Information

The information contained in this excerpted report is intended as a guide for architects, specifiers, designers, facility planners, medical directors, procurers, psychologists and social workers which have a stake in providing improved facilities for behavioral healthcare patients. It is a portion of a report entitled “The Contributions of Color” authored by Tara Hill, of Little Fish Think Tank. Ms. Hill was commissioned by Norix Group Inc., in 2010 to research the role color plays in the safe operation of correctional facilities and behavioral health centers. More in-depth information specifically about the psychological influence of color and behavioral healthcare facility design can be found by reading the full report.

About the Author
Tara Hill is a full-scope, state registered interior designer, and the founder and principle of Little Fish Think Tank. Before founding Little Fish, Ms. Hill was an Associate + Senior Designer at HOK, and the Director of Interiors at Stanley, Beaman & Sears. She has implemented award-winning, innovative design solutions for commercial and institutional interiors.

Ms. Hill also has significant experience regarding the science and theory of color, both as a design tool and a promoter of healing. She has conducted extensive research in evidence-based design regarding color and its profound impact on the human spirit.