Choosing the Right Font: Sans Serif vs. Serif

Whether you’re developing the brand identity for a new company or you’re re-working an existing company’s brand, you have plenty of important decisions to make. Not only do you have to decide on the colors, logos, graphics, and messaging, but you also have to make a decision about one of the most important components of the brand guide, a choice that will be seen all over your website and emails: your font.

Choosing a font requires a lot of thought and attention to detail. Before you choose your specific font, take a step back and look at the big picture. There are two main categories of fonts: serif and sans serif. How do you know which one will be the right fit for the brand?

What Is A Serif?

First, you need to know what exactly a serif is. Simply put, a serif is a small, decorative curved stroke. It is added on to the end of a letter stem, either at the top, on the sides, or at the the foot of the letter

So, serif fonts have serifs, which are extra decorative lines. The word “sans” is French for “without.” A sans serif font is without, or does not have, these small extra decorative lines. (See image below, left is serif, right is san serif)

Choosing a font that has serifs will impact how customers perceive your brand.

When To Use A Serif Font

Serifs were first used in typefaces in the 1700s. Because they’ve been in use for hundreds of years, they are, first and foremost, considered traditional. Serif fonts are very useful for when a company wants to be perceived as trustworthy, reliable, and established.

Businesses that typically choose to use serif fonts in their branding include newspapers, like The New York Times, law firms, banks, and other long-established institutions who want to cultivate a sense of trust.

The most commonly-used serif font is Times New Roman. Many organizations (like the Modern Language Association, the Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association) prefer submitted works to be formatted using Times New Roman.

Teachers and professors want to prepare their students for the high standards of these organizations, and therefore require their students to turn in papers formatted in these fonts from a young age.

Because they want to also hold themselves up to these high standards, and because they want to be perceived as trustworthy, schools and universities often use serif fonts in their branding.

Serif fonts are an excellent choice for companies and organizations who want to inspire confidence and trust. If you want a brand to be perceived this way, choose a serif font as part of the brand identity.

When To Use A Sans Serif Font

Sans serif fonts do not feature the small, decorative strokes at the end of their letters and are characterized by their absence. Sans serif fonts have become extremely popular in the last 30 years. When a company wants to be perceived as modern and accessible, they choose a serif font.

One important reason for this choice is that sans serif fonts are more readable than sans serif fonts. The way they render on a screen makes them easier to read.

Companies who want to be perceived as forward-thinking and “with it” often choose sans serif fonts for their brand identities. Google, Hulu, Netflix, and many more tech companies feature sans serif fonts across their platforms; in fact, sans serif fonts are the default for the tech industry. Adidas, Uber, and Airbnb are other companies that choose to use serif fonts.

Very popular sans serif fonts include Arial, Helvetica, Open Sans, and Proxima Nova.

If you want to establish a brand as modern, approachable, and friendly, choose a sans serif font.

To Sum It All Up

Ultimately, serif fonts send a message that the company or organization is trustworthy and well-established in their field, while serif fonts sent a message of modern approachability.

It’s up to the marketing team to determine what font best reflects the brand’s values and will make the intended impression. To do this, test out several fonts and decide which one best matches the brand’s vision.

At the end of the day, there are no hard and fast rules for what font choice will be best. Try out a serif, sans serif, or a combination of these two font styles, and survey plenty of people about how each font represents the brand before you come to a final decision.

The Power of Email Marketing

You’ve come up with a brilliant idea for your next marketing campaign. You know exactly how you want to sell your product: the features you want to highlight, the unique selling proposition you’re going to emphasize, and the marketing copy you’re going to use.

But there’s just one problem: you don’t have time to develop the campaign for multiple platforms. Your to-do list is a mile long, and adding more marketing tasks to it is going to over complicate your life. You can’t delegate the task to anyone else: it’s all up to you. Where should you focus your marketing efforts?


Should you write the campaign for Instagram? Facebook? Twitter? TikTok? Or email?

Taking a look at the statistics can help you to find out exactly why you should prioritize using email for your marketing campaigns.

Do Customers Open Their Emails?

We know that email has been around for years. But is it the most effective way to reach customers?

What’s the first thing you do when you log on to your computer? For many people, the answer is that they immediately check their email. In fact, 99% of email users check their inbox every single day.

Statistics show us that not only do 99% of consumers check their email every day, but workers spend, on average, 28% of their workweek reading or responding to emails. That’s a lot of time spent looking at their inbox.

However, sometimes marketing emails are prevented from reaching consumer inboxes. Why? The spam filter sends them straight to no-man’s land.

Don’t give up on email yet, though: there’s good news. Email clients have become more effective at separating spam messages from genuine marketing communications. Therefore, nowadays it’s more likely that your outreach emails will land where they’re supposed to be: in your customer’s inbox, ready to capture their attention.

Email vs. Social Media

Some people might be tempted to think that, even though emails are landing in customers’ inboxes, there’s still no comparison between the power of email marketing and the power of social media. To find out for sure, let’s take a look at the statistics.

According to Hootsuite, 45% of the global population is active on social media. That’s a good chunk, but it doesn’t quite compare to email users.

What’s even more interesting is that on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, companies are seeing an engagement rate of less than .6%. People will see an ad, or the word “Sponsored,” and just scroll past the post. Even if they’re following your business account, they might not read your posts.

On average, customers open their emails at a rate of 22.86% and click-through at a rate of 3.71%. That’s much better than the social media engagement rate of less than .6%!

Social media might be flashy and fun, but it’s not as reliable as email. Algorithms might work in your favor; or, they might bury your carefully-crafted messaging so that it never reaches your potential customers’ eyes.

You’ve spent precious time and energy working your marketing campaigns. Don’t waste your effort by relying on social media algorithms to convey your message to the right customers.

It’s also important to realize that a social media platform can delete your account at any time (remember those pesky Terms and Conditions you agreed to?). That means that you might lose all your followers, and all those potential leads could disappear.

When you build your email list, you own it. Customers can unsubscribe (and they do), but ultimately, you are still in control.

How To Leverage Email To Your Advantage

We know that consumers consistently check their emails and that you have more control over email than you do over social media.

So, how do you take the power of email and put it to good use?

The first step you should take is to analyze your email list and create a segmented version. Segment your potential leads into groups based on the factors that make the most sense for your business. Consider their purchase history, geographic location, demographics, industry, occupation, position or seniority level, past engagement activity, location in the sales funnel, and the amount of time since the last brand interaction.

Once you have your segmented email list, you can change your messaging. Don’t use a general, vague sales message. Craft your marketing email so that it specifically appeals more to each segment.

Then, after you have your email crafted just for each segmented list, you should further personalize them as much as you can. Fortunately, there’s software available that can help you easily personalize the subject line, preview text, email body, call-to-action, and sign-off.

Keep in mind that recipients are 26% more likely to open emails that have subject lines tailored specifically to them.

Remember, above all else your emails should be valuable to your customers. Don’t give them a reason to unsubscribe by sending too many emails or emails that are worthless!

Conclusion

Ultimately, email is an extremely powerful tool because people check their inboxes daily, because social media is unpredictable, and because emails can be usefully tailored to segments of your customer list.

Don’t believe the pessimistic and incorrect idea that because email isn’t trendy, it’s not worth your time. Email is a fantastic way for companies to communicate with their customers and to prove how their products can meet their customer’s needs.

How To Help Employees Handle Newfound Isolation And Loneliness

The pandemic has altered the way men and women all over the country do business. On top of bringing seismic shifts to work and home life, the virus has taken a toll on many peoples’ psyche because of the isolation and loneliness it’s caused over the last seven months. This general malaise often extends into the workplace too, and it’s imperative that you help your employees cope with their stress and sadness in a timely, sensitive manner.

BetterUp has recently released a study which found that lonely workers are less satisfied with their jobs, receive fewer promotions, and, most importantly to your business, switch jobs at a far higher rate than those whose mental health are more stable. These lonely employees are also far more likely to switch jobs within the next six months, which means turnover in your company and the training of new staff and the costs of recruiting.

Epidemic Status

The issue of loneliness isn’t something new just due to the pandemic, even if the virus has expanded the complexity and scope of the problem. Workplace loneliness and fatigue problems have both been of increasing severity in the last decade, as many individuals are feeling disconnected from life in general; the problems have gotten so bad that some experts have started describing them as an epidemic. The virus has worsened these feelings, however, as many are home alone for extended periods of time. In such isolation, mental health quickly begins to degrade, and many are undergoing a sort of extreme form of “cabin fever.”

Humans need interaction and connectivity throughout the day, two essential components of life COVID-19 has invariably removed for most. Employees who are single and childless are at the greatest risk of mental health decline, as are those who are well educated and possess graduate degrees. To improve the lives of your workers and save money and time in the process, you should be tuned in to the mental health of your workers. Here are four steps you can take to mitigate their loneliness and isolation in these uncertain times.

Create Meaning In Daily Life

Undoubtedly the greatest step employers can take is to create a shared sense of meaning for their employees. Many today don’t feel as if their work has purpose or meaning and are struggling to stay enthusiastic and connected to what they do on a daily basis. Managers and other supervisors can counteract these feelings by taking time to speak to employees and connecting them to the work they’re doing.

Employee/manager communications are essential to help boost morale and demonstrate the worth of the work your workers have performing every day. It’s best to foster a shared sense of purpose for all of your employees, try to bring them together and know as a unit that what they’re doing is worthwhile and appreciated. Make an effort to single out many individual employees when they perform well and help unify them around a common goal, such as a project they’re working on. Recognition is a huge part of creating shared meaning and boosting morale for the entire office.

Check In Often

The virus has forced many workplaces to use Zoom and other video communications to connect for work purposes, but your employees want a deeper, more personal connection after work is done for the day. Your managers should take time out of their days to connect with employees on a more personal level, unrelated to work or Zoom. Regular phone calls are still good for connecting with people one on one, there’s no need for a video chat when calling in to ask about an employee’s day or home life.

The call should be totally unrelated to work; just two human beings having a chat about how the employee is doing and if there’s anything the manager can do to ease negative feelings at work. Whoever makes the call should open themselves up to vulnerabilities, just as you want your employee to do. Managers and supervisors have a story to tell during this pandemic too, and they should be free to do so to ease the minds of the worker.

Open Paths To Team Connections

Although difficult, it’s a smart idea to remake the kinds of connections and camaraderie that would be present in the office. Try and allow your employees to connect in the same organic way they would if they were all in the office during a regular year, chatting and making small talk to generally relieve their minds from the stress of work and life. This can be a difficult process, but there are a few steps you can take to create this sort of healthy work environment.

There are channels you can make on applications like Slack that allow your employees to share their feelings and interact with each other in a non-work context. You can also set up “social hangouts,” which are virtual meetings for your employees to join and chat with one another outside of work. Any method which allows them to meet and connect without having to worry about talking about their work is a great start to decrease loneliness and isolation.

Provide Mental Health Help

Your company’s health package should provide some form of mental health aid. It may be costly, but it’s well worth the peace of mind and psychological easing it will provide your employees. People all over the country are dealing with stress levels not seen in a long time and providing them with a mental health option will help them relieve this stress and tension.

Not only is this a generally ethical option to provide, your employees will also work more efficiently and effectively if they’re not mired in stress and fatigue throughout the day. Even if your employees are working from home, you should provide access to remote counseling or another form of mental health help. Do everything you can to ensure your employees are receiving the attention and care they need during these tumultuous times.

Overwhelmed? These 10 Techniques Can Help You Cope With Uncomfortable Feelings

Whether it’s financial stress, your relationships, a big work deadline, or just the world we live in, stress is all around us. It finds its way into almost every aspect of our lives, leading many of us to begin to fall in a mental hole: becoming overwhelmed.

While we use one word to describe the feeling, being “overwhelmed” actually includes symptoms of depression, tension headaches, anger, anxiety, panic, even isolation. All together, this cluster of feelings and symptoms can lead to a poor diet, less exercise, and an overall decline in our health and wellness.

Instead of getting trapped in the same cycle you do every time you get overwhelmed, try some of these techniques the next time you start to feel like it’s all too much.

Focus On Boundaries

A commonly known phrase says that fences make for better neighbors. The same is true when we put fences up psychologically in our lives. For example, creating a boundary about what work you will and won’t bring home, or what favors you are and are not willing to do for certain people in your life.

Take some time to identify what things are contributing to your feelings of being overwhelmed and decide what boundaries you need to set up to create more harmony within yourself.

Don’t Be Afraid To Vent

You know that feeling when you just need to unleash all your stress and frustration, so you go to a trusted friend or partner and suddenly it all comes out? That’s the perfect example of venting. We all need to vent sometimes.

Even if you don’t have someone you can talk to, you can still vent to yourself. Get a journal or notebook and spend a few minutes every day venting about the things making you feel overwhelmed. Chances are, you will feel loads better after.

Let Some Things Go

As much as we would like to be able to say yes to everything and do everything, it’s just not feasible. If you find you are constantly overbooked and overwhelmed because of it, consider letting some of the things on your to do list go. You don’t necessarily have to give up on everything.

Consider using the 4D’s method: Delete; Delegate; Defer; and Do. You can simply cancel certain tasks or obligations. Others you might be able to delegate to another person. If you can put off something, go ahead and do that! What you’re left with are your “Do’s,” the things that you actually need to worry about.

Remove Yourself

Just like we do with our children, sometimes we need to put ourselves in a time out. Even a few minutes removed from a situation that is making you feel overwhelmed can help you to gain some perspective and come back to it with a fresh mind.

Be careful of falling into the trap of procrastinating too long or using this as an excuse to avoid your responsibilities. Simply set a timer and let yourself mentally and physically remove yourself from the overwhelming task.

Focus On One Thing At A Time

We all think we are great at multitasking, but science says otherwise. You will never be as productive on something when your attention is split. Instead, let yourself work on a single task for a determined amount of time. Once that amount of time is over, you can switch to the next thing and come back to the first task.

Be Okay With Imperfection

The quest for perfect could be your top reason for feeling overwhelmed. Take the example of drawing a perfect circle. You might go into the task of drawing a perfect circle feeling confident.

You’ve drawn plenty of circles in your lifetime! But once you draw the circle, you notice a flaw. Not a problem, you try again. Then you see another flaw. Soon your whole sheet of paper is filled with nearly-perfect circles and you have to get a new piece of paper and start over entirely!

The same cycle is repeated when you approach your work and life tasks with the same sense of perfectionism. At some point, you have to let yourself be a little imperfect. A nearly-perfect completed task is better than an incomplete task.

Get Out Of Your Own Way

Going along with letting yourself be a little imperfect, you have to learn how to get out of your own way. We all have a tendency to overthink things, especially when they have to do with our professional lives.

The problem with overthinking is that it can stunt you, even damn you, in once place. You could stay in that same spot for years because you are simply overthinking.

The root of this is fear: fear that you won’t be good enough, that you can’t do something, that it won’t be perfect. Instead of letting yourself wallow in that fear, overcome it by acting! Just make one little step toward your goal or the completion of your task and you will find it’s likely not as scary as you thought.

Take Aways

Whatever the reason for your feeling of being overwhelmed, there are ways to overcome it. Instead of letting fear and perfectionism weigh you down, take one step toward the finish line. Let yourself focus on one thing at a time, and if you need to vent then do it! Take a time out and allow yourself to reset. And never be afraid of eliminating some of the causes of your overwhelmed feeling.

How Alone Time Can Increase Your Creativity

The image of the solitary artist, painting alone in her studio or typing away by herself at a writing desk, is a familiar one. But how important is alone time, really? It turns out that alone time is actually critical to creative success. Studies have shown that spending time alone leads to many benefits, including better memory, focus, creativity, and mood.

Better Memory

Research has proven that, when you spend time alone, your memory works better than when you spend time with others. When you’re alone, your brain doesn’t have to focus on others’ needs and actions; it only focuses on remembering what you’re trying to recall. Studies show that you will most likely remember facts you’ve learned, associations you’ve made, and ideas you’ve come up with better when you’re alone.

For the creative process, this has enormous benefits. You can better remember your past creative projects and the steps you took to get to your final product. Alone, you’ll also better remember the mistakes you made, which will help you know how to avoid them. Alone time empowers creatives to fully utilize their past experiences when completing a new project.

Better Focus

Similar to improving memory, increasing focus is another benefit of spending time alone. Again, you don’t have the distractions of others’ actions and needs diverting your attention from the project at hand. When you spend time alone, you can zone in on exactly what needs the most of your focus, time, and energy.

If you’re researching a copywriting project, for example, it’s much easier to focus when you are the only person finding articles, reading them, and taking notes on their content for your project.

When there is another person sharing your space or assisting you with the task, you might be sidetracked by their ideas. When you have a creative task at hand, focusing in on your own resources and ideas saves you confusion and time.

Better Creativity

Collaborating with others can often lead to great ideas, but not always. Studies show that when we brainstorm with others, we don’t put all our ideas on the table because we are afraid of judgement and limited by the group’s thought process.

Creative tasks require idea generation that leads to results. If you aren’t coming up with ideas, or if you aren’t following through on the ideas that you’ve thought of because of the group, then you’re reducing your creativity.

Let your ideas flow unchecked. Come up with a list of ideas for your next creative project on your own. You’ll be surprised by what you’re capable of when you work independently.

Better Mood (Long Term)

The research about the effect of spending time alone on your emotions appears to be contradictory, but actually makes sense when you consider the big picture. Here it is: in the short-term, alone time has a negative effect on our emotions, but in the long-term, alone time puts us in a better mood.

When you’re in a better mood, you’re more likely to trust yourself and your creative process. Better moods lead to better relationships and more satisfaction with your work. While it may feel lonely in the short-term, in the long-term, spending alone time will actually make you happier.

One Disadvantage of Alone Time

However, there has to be a balance. While research across the board shows that alone time is needed for creatives to thrive, it also shows that spending too much time alone can lead to negative emotions.

Make sure you are regularly connecting with others outside of your creative hours. Keep in touch with family, friends, and others in your field. Don’t spend too much time completely alone.

When you balance alone time with meaningful connection time, it is ultimately is more helpful than harmful for creatives.

The Benefits of Alone Time

Studies have shown that alone time leads to better memory, focus, creativity, and mood. Having the mental space to work out your problems and generate new creative ideas is key to leading a fulfilling life.

Nowadays, though, it’s easy to get caught up in constant online communication. Whether you’re connecting with friends, family, or coworkers through email, text, chat, or social media, it’s easy for our alone time to become internet connection time. And that’s not really alone time at all.

Here’s how you can make your alone time a truly solitary space.

A Beginner’s Guide to Alone Time

  1. Set limits.

Tell everyone that you won’t be available at a certain time because you need to focus on deep creative work. Put your phone in a different room. Turn off your WiFi (unless you absolutely need it). Isolate yourself as much as possible from the internet.

  1. Stick to a time.

Research has shown that our brains function best in 90-minute blocks. Find an hour and a half to put your phone in another room, block all distracting sites, and sit down and truly focus on your creative work.

  1. Create a solitary space.

If you can, set aside a corner of a room and designate it the place where you’ll spend your alone time. Make it as distraction free as possible. Keep it clutter-free and stocked with all the tools you need for your creative projects.

In Conclusion

Alone time is critical for creativity. Protect your alone time from intrusions (whether they be people, pets, or the internet) and rely on just your brain for your creative tasks. While it might feel lonely in the short-term, in the long-term, alone time will lead you to fantastic ideas.

How Technology Has Become the Catalyst For Business Innovation

In our technology-driven marketplace, consumers are constantly evolving. We are inundated with new products and platforms, and the constant change that comes with it. Because the needs and attention of consumers are always shifting with these changes, businesses must adapt through their own innovations.

When we think about how innovation happens, we may find a few ingredients to help a business that wants to adjust their strategy. There is no set formula for effecting necessary changes, but leading experts tell us that one of the most important parts involved in changing business tactics is also one of the things initiating these movements in the marketplace: technology.

Technology’s role in marketplace changes

To explore how technology spurs these marketplace changes that are requiring businesses to innovate, we can look at the example of print media.

For generations, print media – for example, newspapers and magazines – were the source of our news. These were our main way of staying informed. For local communities, it was how changes within a community were progressing. And then came the internet.

We all saw as print media began to suffer. The new-kid-on-the-block was stealing the focus and the physical products were becoming obsolete. In the last two decades, many people have transitioned from getting the daily newspaper or having a magazine subscription to simply catching the stories they want to read online. They look to social media platforms and digital print.

So, print media adapted. They used technology to adjust their model and innovated their product to become enticing to the consumer. Now, major publications have online subscriptions; they still use ads to bring in revenue, though these are now online; and they use social media to increase their readership.

How technology fits with innovation

As we see with the example of print media, the same technology that could be the reason to consider a change could also be the way you make that change.

In fact, innovation in business could be boiled down to meaning a new way to drive efficiency. One of the hallmarks of technology is its ability to help us become more efficient.

Anyone who has worked in the marketplace has the memory of a time before computer systems were so widely used, when paper was king and stacks and stacks of files were everywhere, even requiring their own room in the workplace.

As technology advances, it finds ways to make our businesses more efficient. A survey by PwC showed that “70% of CEOs invest in IT to reduce costs and become more efficient, and 54% allocate funds to emerging technologies to help drive growth.”

Why is technology so important for innovation?

Technology is improving business in many ways. One that we can’t ignore is how much it improves the human element. More and more technology is being developed to identify and resolve human errors. It also allows us to test out products, our marketing campaigns, our message in a low-cost and at speeds that were once considered a fairytale.

Technology is also helping to create new markets. An example is AI technology. It is becoming a more readily available and widely used tool in business thanks to its increasing efficiency and effectiveness.

According to a Harvard Business Review survey, “25% of the 250 business executives in their survey think AI will help them pursue new markets.” With this we see that technology is helping to forge a path for businesses to explore new avenues.

Finally, technology is innovating the way we reach customers. Social media platforms in the last decade have allowed for lower advertising costs and the concept of “going viral” is the goal of many new companies.

On the opposite side of the coin, customers are using the new advancements in technology to find small businesses they may not have had access to before. Ultimately, technology is innovating our business’s relationship with the consumer.

Take-aways

Technology is here to stay, but not here to stay the same. It will constantly evolve and we can and should evolve with it. It will help us become even more efficient through new methods of reaching customers and new ways for customers to find us.

In the recipe for business success, technological innovation is key

How To Tell If Procrastination Is Ruining Your Productivity

  • Productivity tools and practices can distract you from actually getting work done.
  • Procrastination happens when people feel the need to avoid feelings of failure.
  • Being more flexible and adaptable in your work can help you get more done.

Planning is crucial to productivity. At least, that’s what gurus would have you think. But all the pretty planners, color-coding, and overpriced to-do apps in the world can’t solve the problem of procrastination. Indeed, many people lean on planning as a way of avoiding the work they need to do.

After all, planning feels good and productive. Few things are more satisfying than writing a list or updating your planner. Unfortunately, experts say that spending a lot of time organizing your life can be a sign of procrastination, uncertainty, and perfectionism. Here’s how you can tell if your productivity routine is actually holding you back from getting things done.

You feel anxious while doing your planning

Experts advise that you listen to your gut as you break out that planner. Do you feel like you’re in the flow and able to tackle the tasks on your list? Or do you have a pit in your stomach and feel icky about all that you have to do? If the latter, you’re likely using your planning as a way to control the chaos and avoid the potentially unpleasant tasks you have to do.

Instead, start diving into your work whenever you feel anxious. If you feel most creative and productive in the morning, take that post-coffee jolt and save the email-checking and list-making for later. Don’t let the appeal of “getting organized” distract you from the work that needs to be done. Focus on reflecting at the end of the day: you’ll start to feel more on top of things.

You stack your schedule every day.

Do you identify just a few key priorities for the day, or do you schedule every minute of the day in order to maximize your productivity? Over planning is a sign of procrastination, and by doing so, you’re likely impairing your ability to get things done.

Let’s face it: stuff happens. Meetings run late, you get hungry, tasks take longer than you expected. When you pack your calendar full, you’re removing any capacity to accommodate change — which can cause stress — and you’re forcing yourself into an impossible situation.

Build leeway into your schedule: it may feel like you’re relinquishing control, but the opposite is true. You’ll feel more in control and more capable of tackling your work. Your life will also feel less hectic and scattered, which will make you feel more capable of tackling your to-dos rather than hiding behind your task list.

You craft your to-do list in terms of goals

Setting goals is essential to personal development and productivity — but it can also be a way to hide your feelings of insecurity or avoid the possibility of failure. Many people enjoy the process of goal-setting so much that they forget to do the actual work. You may have read some articles advising you to devote set amounts of time per day for your goals. But life doesn’t work that way. Your to-do list should be flexible enough to accommodate life’s curveballs.

That’s why experts recommend that you set goals, but think of them as guidance rather than rules. Focus on what you can accomplish each day rather than viewing your to-do list as an endless march toward your goals. Make adjustments if needed, and forgive yourself if you don’t meet an arbitrary daily quota.

You’re unwilling to take action unless things are perfect

If you’ve ever planned a project into oblivion, you were a victim of perfectionism disguised as productivity. Many people wait until everything is perfect before taking action. In the meanwhile, the momentum they already have for the project fades. As the saying goes, the ship has sailed, and you find that you spent too much time planning to actually take action.

Be willing to jump in feet-first, and trust that you’ll adapt to curve balls and new information. That’s not to say you should skip essential tasks before launching a project, but it’s okay to work on things as you’re inspired to do so. You don’t have to have the perfect to-do list to get started.

Wrapping Up

To maximize your productivity, resist the temptation to over-plan your work. Filling out planners and making to-do lists feels good, but it’s an excellent method of procrastination that distracts us from actually getting things done.

When in doubt, listen to your gut: do you feel stressed and overwhelmed, or do you feel empowered and capable? If you’re making lots of lists and still feel uncertain, you might be hiding behind your productivity scheme. Be willing to step outside your comfort zone and throw yourself into your work — even if your to-do list isn’t perfect.

Top 7 Best Color Palettes for Graphic Design This Summer

  • Pairing blues with pinks gives palettes a dynamic, fresh vibe.
  • Always balance your vivid colors with light pastels and soothing greys.
  • Choose a darker base color to add depth and mystery.

Summer is a time of joy, relaxation, and adventure. If those attributes suit your company’s personality, you can use summery colors to visually refine your brand. The right color combination evokes customers’ feelings of bliss and excitement. Add a fresh, engaging look and feel to your brand with these color palettes.

Ocean Tide

If you want your brand to evoke feelings of wonder, depth, and beauty, draw your inspiration from the shifting colors as the ocean nears the shore.

Seashore

Few things are more delightful than walking alongside the sea and seeing what’s drifted ashore. From shells to driftwood to seaside critters, there’s always something interesting to see

Summer Breeze

Looking for a yummy, refreshing palette, or a combination that evokes boardwalk excursions, ice cream shops, and summer shopping. ?

Sailboat

Bring a dose of tropical sophistication to your brand with a darker palette that mirrors the colors of a day at sea.

Poolside

Inspire your customers with the fun, vivid shades of a swimming pool and a vibrant summer garden.

Summer Blues

It’s okay to stay in the shade and relax, and add a splash of bright color amidst some muted shades, to make the color variance balance out in a calming pleasing way.

Wrapping Up

These palettes may sing of summer, but they’ll give your brand a beautiful, fresh vibe all year-round. If your company wants to tap into the delight and relaxation of this wonderful season, try out one of these palettes. Your brand will benefit from a lush, fun look and feel.

The World’s Leading Entrepreneurs

  • A strong entrepreneurial spirit has helped many smart enterprising workers achieve successful careers.
  • The rags-to-riches story happens when entrepreneurs have a unique blend of skills and ambition.
  • Several of the world’s leading entrepreneurs have embraced charity as a core part of their philosophy.

It takes a special blend of skills, spirit, and sheer guts to become an entrepreneur. Some of the world’s wealthiest people started with little to their name. Their rags-to-riches stories are not only inspiring, but also provide guidance for aspiring entrepreneurs everywhere. Let’s take a look at their stories.

Andrew Carnegie

The epitome of “rags to riches,” Andrew Carnegie started as a child worker in brutal factories, and eventually started working for the Pennsylvania Railroad Company. He was no stranger to hard work, and his dedication paid off. He founded several businesses, including the incredibly successful Carnegie Steel Mill. Carnegie went from being a starving, soot-covered teen to a wealthy businessman. Yet he believed in giving back, and he donated so much of his wealth that multiple libraries, museums, and learning institutions bear his name.

Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey had a rough upbringing. From abuse to poverty, her childhood was a nightmare. Yet Oprah’s entrepreneurial spirit and gift for communication could not be suppressed. She got a gig at a local radio station, where she quickly impressed the producers. In time, she worked her way up to getting her own show. From there, she was unstoppable, using her powerful personal brand to launch a magazine, book club, radio channel, and a verifiable empire. She is the wealthiest African American of the 20th century.

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs is certainly one of history’s best known entrepreneurs. He came from humble roots, including an internship at Hewlett-Packard. Known as the creative force behind Apple and Pixar, Jobs was a college dropout who had a knack for getting people on board with his projects. His people skills and innovative style paid off, and he successfully launched the Apple Computer Company. When he was ousted by Apple, he turned his attention to Pixar Animation Studios and made it one of the most successful entertainment companies in the world. Meanwhile, Apple clamored to get him back on board, and he shepherded the company into its role as one of the world’s top tech brands.

J.K. Rowling

Widely considered one of the wealthiest women the world, J.K. Rowling used to be a single mom who lived on welfare and wrote early drafts of her YA novel in coffee shops. Through brilliant storytelling and strategic self-promotion, Rowling not only landed a book deal but also built an entire world to support her stories. Harry Potter became the bestselling book series of all time, making Rowling the world’s first billionaire author. Now, the Harry Potter universe encompasses multiple movies, theme parks, merchandise, and much more. Rowling has had a heavy influence in each of the Harry Potter products, yet has remained humble enough to give away so much of her wealth that she lost her billionaire status.

Jeff Bezos

If only all of us could turn our garage business into a multibillion dollar enterprise. Jeff Bezos is officially the wealthiest person in the world, and it all started with the online bookstore that he ran out of his garage. Amazon quickly cornered the book market, edging out mainstay competitors such as Borders, and eventually sold a variety of other products. Bezos remained a driving influence at every stage of Amazon’s development, using his business-savvy skills to make Amazon into a global marketplace.

Wrapping Up

These are just a few of the world’s leading entrepreneurs, but all the people on this list started from scratch. Many were impoverished and had to work hard to overcome life’s hurdles. With a combination of business acumen, great ideas, and people skills, they established successful empires that have changed the world for the better.

How To Get The Perfect Logo

  • Your logo design is integral to differentiating your businesses from competitors and defining your brand.
  • When thinking of ideas for your logo, use your brand’s identity (such as beliefs, mission, and values) to inform your design.
  • Seeking out professional designers can help you design the logo that truly represents your brand while helping you stand out.

Think of the top brands in the world. Is there a single one that you can remember that doesn’t have a logo? Exactly. Logos are one of the most important aspects of a brand. They are so important that many logos don’t contain a single word. With one look, millions of people can identify a ​Nike ​shoe by that infamous swoop.

Your logo plays a part in how people see (or don’t see) your brand. Like other aspects of branding, having a logo helps inspire trust and promote recognition of your business. So, how can your business create a recognizable logo to define your brand? Read on to learn how to design the perfect logo for your business. 4 Tips Towards Creating Your Logo Focus On Your Brand, Audience, and Competition Your logo should reflect the values of your brand. Ask yourself the following:

  • What are your values?
  • How would my audience describe my brand?
  • What are a list of adjectives that describe my business?

The knowledge of what your brand represents informs the colors and typography of your logo. Is your brand more authoritative and serious in tone with a mature audience? Neutral tones may best convey your brand whereas bold colors and nontraditional typography may work well with brands that emphasize fun and creativity (such as the bubble letters of the Lego toy brand). To gauge the feeling of your audience towards your proposed designs, consider sending out surveys with the different designs. Use their input to help narrow down the choices.

Lastly, aim for uniqueness. Your logo should be unique enough to readily differentiate your business from competitors at a glance.

Take a look at what your competitors are doing to get ideas about what direction you should go in. Are your competitors still using more traditional or formal logo designs? Think about going for a modern design to set your brand apart.

Simplicity Is Best

When designing your logo, it is not time to try to deviate from good graphic design sense. This means that you should avoid adding flashy elements or too many details.
Instead, keep design ideas simple with a few (or even just one!) colors that best represent your brand.

Examples of a well-known company that artly uses simplicity and minimalism in their brand is IBM​. With simple, striking blue and white stripes, the logo stands out and is instantly recognizable.

While simplicity is best, don’t forget to strike a balance between creativity, branding, and abstraction. Your logo should show more than it tells.

Take ​Twitter ​for example! Their logo is simply a blue bird. However, the sound of the bird (or “tweet”) perfectly describes the main draw of the social media platform.

Think About Where Your Logo Will Show Up

Your logo should be recognizable and easily visible on all of your branded material. A logo that looks great on your website but poor on a poster, business card or water bottle isn’t going to gain the traction you are looking for.

Logos should be versatile enough to show up in different media and even in black and white.

Hire A Designer

With their knowledge of graphic design, typography, and color psychology, a designer can work with you from the planning phase to the final design to create the perfect logo for your brand.

At Flocksy, we have a dynamic team of creatives that has the skill to make your logo come to life. Put one of the most critical elements of your brand into the hands of one of our designers!