Your logo is second only to your name

by Ashlee Jones

When branding yourself or your business, your logo is second only to your name. In a technology driven world, it is often the first visual representation that people will see of your brand. And while you might think that your logo should solely represent your business, it is equally important that it evokes the right emotions from your target customers. A carefully selected combination of typography, icon style, and color will help to convey the personality of your business, as well as appeal to your audience.

One important consideration is the typography. This is the style in which your business name will appear. People often refer to this as the font. There are four main categories for fonts:

  • Serif fonts emulate classical writing dating back to the 15th century. These are often seen as more traditional because of their historical roots.
  • Sans serif fonts do not carry the extra strokes on the end of their letters, thus making them look more clean and contemporary.
  • Script fonts often have strokes that will connect the letters, much like cursive writing. This style of font has a sense of sophistication.
  • Decorative fonts are distinct and playful, and each style will have its own unique personality.

The next thing to consider is icon style. Icon style is essentially the composition of your logo. While there are many different variations of icon styles, the focus should be on the main three:

  • Logotype is when you use just your company name in a graphic way. The text will be heavily stylized and serve as a logo on its own.
  • Icons or symbols are graphic representations of your brand. It should be a visual representation of your name or what it is that you do.
  • A combination icon combines both logotype and symbol into one cohesive logo. This can mean they are directly next to each other, or they may be fully integrated with each other.

Last, but certainly not the least important, is the color. There is a link between colors and feelings, and you can use this to your advantage when choosing the appropriate palette to appeal to your target market.

  • Red is bold, exciting and passionate. It commands attention.
  • Orange is cheerful and friendly.
  • Yellows are bright, happy and optimistic.
  • Green can be seen as both peaceful and healthy.
  • Blue is trustworthy and strong.
  • Purple is luxurious and creative, and represents wisdom. It is less commonly seen in branding.
  • Black is traditional and sophisticated.
  • White space in a logo, also known as negative space, will help create balance and keeps things from looking too busy.

It is important that all the pieces of your logo work together and look professional. Each element should reflect the personality of your business. Once combined, your logo should speak to your target audience and make them want to connect with you.

What does your logo say about you? Are you honest and sincere? Or trendy and contemporary? Maybe reliable and confident? Or even glamorous and charming? How about masculine and rugged? Your logo is your first impression, so make sure it’s a good one!

How to find your professional happy place

by Pamela Valladares

As I contemplated on a topic for my first blog, I kept coming back to finding my happy place at work. Yes, it seems to be an oxymoron for some of you but, for me, I have been blessed to be able to find a happy place no matter what the job may be. Almost two years ago, I found myself in the same company for more than 26 years. I grew up happily at this corporation. Throughout the years, I found myself in very different roles from entry level to management. My first day at work, I made the decision to make the best out of my role(s) and it almost always worked. Don’t get me wrong, there were many Mondays that I wanted to stay in bed but as soon as I walked through the doors, I was in my happy zone. Taking pride in all tasks knowing that I made a difference in a 40,000+ employee organization. Over a year ago, I realized that I wasn’t as happy as I used to be by doing my day to day responsibilities. I realized that I was not happy. I was exhausted mentally and emotionally. After discussing with my spouse my unhappiness, we decided that it was time to part from my beloved company.

The assumption by most, including me, is that I would find my happy place within a couple of weeks. How could I not be happy immediately? I am blessed to have a support team that helped me through this unexpected period. I overlooked that I needed to mourn my departure from a company that I love and coworkers that are like family to me. I overlooked the adjustment period of working a 65+ hour week to a 0 hour work week. The adjustment of losing part of my identity. I was now “only” a spouse, parent, friend, sibling… and a missing professional title. I finally realized that mourning was the answer.

After my mourning period was over, I began to manage our family small business’ office. I slowly but surely began to find my new professional happy place in a new industry, a new structure, a new boss, with new clients, and a new professional culture. I became intentional in researching the industry lingo, logistics, culture, and technology. I began to implement my corporate skills in my new roll and our small business began to grow and grow. Have you seen the meme that states “a small business owner does a little dance with every sale”? I would like to share that this is true. When I received the call with the first client who came to us because of “my” work, I became Jennifer Beals from Flashdance (1983 film). I had never felt so proud and happy of a professional accomplishment.

I have been able to find my professional happy place, again, by realizing that I need to do my best at all I do and be proud of my work. A cliché for the answer to be so simple. As a parent, I tell this to my children all the time. It took me a year to listen to my own advice. Take pride in all you do and chose to be happy!