The importance of an e-mail signature

by Admin 12. July 2010 07:55

An often overlooked, but extremely important part of an e-mail is the signature block. Your e-mail signature should be the final section of each e-mail that you send. It acts as an information and marketing block that provides pertinent and important information about you or your company to anyone that corresponds with you via e-mail.

There are several aspects that you should be aware of when creating your e-mail signature that we’re going to look at:


- Your contact information

- Your name
 
- Your title

- Company name

- Phone number(s)

- Fax number(s)

- Physical address

- Website address

- E-mail address

- Logo

 

These are the basics of what you need to communicate in your signature. They allow anyone that receives an e-mail from you to quickly locate an easy way to contact you or your business. Be sure to include your e-mail address as well in the signature, even though it may seem redundant or not make much sense to include it.

 

Keep it short and simple

 

The shorter the better. Keep it simple. Remember, your e-mail signature is for branding and allowing the ability to quickly contact you. Short and simple.

 

Make it look professional

 

Although it’s fun to throw in animated .GIFs, purple backgrounds and ants marching in a circle around your name, those don’t exactly convey professionalism. You want your signature to be aesthetically pleasing and project the image of reputable and professional.

 

Fonts

 

As mentioned above, aesthetics and the ability to easily read and locate contact information is of the utmost importance. With that being said, keep in mind the following:

- Avoid small fonts

- Avoid extra large fonts

- Avoid lengthy sentences and multiple lines

- Avoid multiple colors

- Avoid multiple font types and sizes

- Remember, just keep it simple and elegant.

 

Andrea

 

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Articles | Graphic Design

Tygerberg Plumbing Logo Design

by Admin 21. June 2010 04:13

The corporate image is by far the most important single asset a company has.

A good corporate Identity allows your company to convey its purpose and message and sets it apart from the competition.

Tygerberg Plumbing realised the importance of a well designed logo as part of their corporate identity and contacted us to give their image that corporate and professional look and feel.

Now they can use their revamped logo and pull it through to their stationary design like business cards, letterheads and invoice templates.

Marlene

 

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Clients | Corporate Identity | Graphic Design

Funny Print Ads that will Make You Laugh

by Admin 17. June 2010 05:09

In the world of print advertising, there’s a small window to grab the audience’s attention. Being restricted to a still image means the message must be very strong and catchy. Ad agencies often rely on humor to achieve this. A humorous print ad campaign starts with a funny idea, but must be brought to life with clever art direction and great visuals.

For this post, we’ve rounded up 7 funny print ads that’ll make you laugh.

8in1 Dental Snacks: Bad dog breath

 Rowenta: 2100 Watt Vacuum cleaner 

 Duende Azul Costumes: You, but funnier than you

 

Juicy Fruit: There's a much juicier chew

Hyundai Coupe. 0 to 100km/h in 8.4 sec

Dog Toast: You eat what you touch

Wide-angle lenses

 

For more of these genius ads, please visit http://webdesignledger.com/inspiration/30-funny-print-ads-thatll-make-you-laugh.

Xplore Studio gives credit to Web Design Ledger.

Marlene 

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Advertising | Articles | Graphic Design

Graphic Design Soccer Fever

by Admin 15. June 2010 08:53

Our valued clients HDK Properties went all out for the soccer world cup and we designed their flyers and promotional magnets with just this in mind.

With the FIFA match schedule displayed at the back of their flyer they will be sure clients hang onto their message. The magnets in the shape of a soccer ball is also a great way to let their name stick in the industry.

Andrea

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Advertising | Clients | Graphic Design

8 Common Graphic Design Myths Revealed

by Admin 9. June 2010 06:08

Myth 1: All Graphic Designers are Rich

Design is an extremely competitive field, and therefore, companies don’t need to go broke to keep their design departments staffed. There is always someone out there willing to work for less, and unfortunately, that keeps our salary rate pretty low right out of school. If you’re talented, and you put in the time and the work, you will move up the pay scale. But, be realistic. You’re not going to be making doctor or lawyer money. Not unless you want to do the hard stuff. If you have the drive and talent to be a back-end programmer, then you might take home a pretty nice paycheck.

I don’t think that most of us are starving, but I know that many of us work a 9 to 5 and freelance on the side just to make ends meet.

Myth 2: It’s an Easy Job

When I tell people I’m a Graphic Designer, the usual response is, “Oh, that must be FUN!” as if Graphic Design isn’t a real job. I’ve had clients say, “I wish I could come to your office and play all day with you instead of working.”
Well, I’m here to tell you that  it’s not easy, it’s not a game, and it’s not a joke. Designers work long hours, under extremely tight deadlines, for demanding clients. We are expected to do design work, customer service, accounting, and sales. We are the ultimate multi-taskers, working on several projects at once, and we are expected to constantly come up with fresh creative ideas.

Myth 3: The Studying Ends After College

If you don’t like books or if you don’t like constantly learning new things, graphic design may not be the field for you. When I look back at my college books, I laugh. We were using Photoshop 3, and Illustrator had just started to replace Correl Draw. It has been up to me, for the last 10 years, to constantly read books, study tutorials, and attend classes to make sure that my skills upgraded with the design programs. Not only did I have to keep up with the latest software, I had to keep up with the world

Myth 4: Designers Don’t Have to Deal with People

It seems that many designers have this lovely image of their future selves sitting in front of two gorgeous wide-screen Apple displays while rocking out to their favorite band — designing in peaceful bliss for 8 hours each day. There might be a few jobs like this available somewhere. But, for most of us, we will be dealing with clients — or a sales team — on a daily basis. Be ready for constant interruptions, jumping from project to project as the calls come in. Be ready for meetings, phone conferences, and a hundred daily emails.

Myth 5: Clients Realize that the Designer Knows Best, and will Give them Freedom to Design


Probably one of the hardest concepts for a student or a new designer to grasp is that after school is over, they are done designing for themselves. Sure, there is the rare (and treasured) client that will trust you to make all of the right decisions. But, most clients come in armed with myths 2 and 7 and assume that they can do your job just as well or better than you can. They will direct every detail and revise your designs into the ground.

Myth 6: Designers Can Easily start their own Company right out of School


So many students live with the belief that they will start their own multi-million dollar company the day after they graduate.


You do learn a lot in school. But, you don’t learn half of the things that you’ll need to know to run a company. Those are things that you learn on the job. You’re not going to learn how to deal with clients, how to handle contracts, estimates, and billing, or how to hire illustrators and printers at school. You’re not going have a network of reliable people right out of school. You’re not going to know how to run a meeting, how to set up a conference call, or how to keep track of hundreds of open jobs. It is important that you build a foundation for yourself with professional experience before you venture off on your own.

Myth 7: Anyone Can Do It

As designers, we get a lot of “Oh, my cousin is a designer,” or “My friend is a designer,” just to find out that these people know a little Photoshop, or create invitations with Word. The two examples I seem to run across the most is those who have played with Photoshop Elements, and those who have created their first website with FrontPage. People think that because they can remove red-eye or make a photo sepia-tone, they are on their way to a second career in Graphic Design. These are the people I am up against when a client says “I have a neighbor who will design my website for R1000.”

Myth 8: There are Plenty of Dream Jobs to Go Around

I’ve found that most student designers share the same dreams. They want to test video games, create album covers (only for their favorite bands), design t-shirts, or spend their days color-correcting images in Photoshop. Your dreams may be different, and that’s probably good. The problem is that some students are so set on these dream jobs, that they forget to make themselves marketable just in case they can’t land one of these rare positions. Try to be realistic. Expand your skill-set just in case. Don’t close your mind to other possibilities.

Xplore Studio gives credit to Creative Opera (by Manda)

Marlene

 

Tags:

Articles | Graphic Design

Why should a logo cost more than your lunch?

by Admin 4. June 2010 05:45

A logo is the very first impression people get of your company

Before a potential client even walks through your door, your logo is a representation of your company. It can make a company appear large, small (whether it really is or not) fun, serious, professional…

A logo needs longevity

Once a logo is designed it will represent your company for many years.

A logo needs to be original

A logo should be designed specifically for your company. A cheap “generic logo” may not reflect your company’s values. A cheap logo may also use clip art which could end up being used by another company.

A logo should look professional

You wouldn’t take a potential new client to Mac Donalds for lunch, in effect this is what is being done with a cheap logo. A logo should give your company a professional image, appropriate to its needs.

A logo should reflect the time and thought gone in to designing it

One of the problems here is that people don’t always realise the amount work that goes into a professionally designed logo:

  • The research – even if the budget is quite small I would expect at the very least to find out who the company’s main competitors are and how they present themselves
  • The brainstorming of ideas
  • The rough sketches
  • The 3rd and sometimes 4th logo options worked up on the computer
  • The amends, tweaking and further amends


A logo is the starting point of your whole corporate image

The colours typography and style of a logo will often dictate the corporate look of the rest of a company’s literature.

Xplore Studio gives credit to: Graphic Design Blog, UK

Marlene 

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Articles | Corporate Identity | Graphic Design

Revamp on Corporate Identity for Law Firm

by Admin 1. June 2010 08:46

Nielen Marais Jnr, a partner in KMI Law approached us to revamp their corporate look and identity. They are a well established law firm and required a fresher, modern look to reflect their proffesional services.

We provided KMI Law with three different logo concepts and they immediately decided to go with the logo displayed in the image above. We think it was a wise decision and love their new corporate image. Of course the new corporate identity had to be pulled through to all their business stationary and branding concepts – from their business cards to their letterheads.

It does not matter in which industry you find yourself, a corporate revamp always attracts attention!

Andrea

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Clients | Corporate Identity | Graphic Design

Elegant Dining Design

by Admin 28. May 2010 06:25

This is an absolute beautiful restaurant in the heart of Durbanville and we always love doing designs and development for businesses within our community. Do yourself a favour and visit Pistachio for an elegant dining experience that will leave a lasting impression.

The trick with this website was to capture the detail of the restaurant’s interior on their website. We loved the freedom Wilma Basson, owner of Pistachio, gave us to play around with the detail.

Watch this space for Wilma’s other business, a quaint coffee shop called Chocolat. We are also whisking our wand of graphic design, web development and corporate identity on this project.

Please go and visit Pistachio’s website and view their mouth watering menu at www.pistachio.co.za.


Marlene

 

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Clients | Graphic Design | Websites

For Heavens Cake and Design Sake...

by Admin 16. April 2010 10:46

Xplore Studio is all about the big and the small. We design and develop websites for corporate biggies, but also cater for the design requirements of unique small businesses. One of the corporate identity designs we recently did was for an entrepreneur breaking into the cake and catering industry. For Heavens Cakes focus exclusively on creative cakes in the kids party and events industry. Marlizan Johannes is the owner of this quaint business and a fantasic client to work with.

We gave in to our feminine side and came up with these cute and fun loving designs – much like the owner!

Needless to say Marlizan loved the playful touch as this is the trademark of her business. If you ever need a cake for any special occasion or specifically a Kiddies Birthday party, do give Marlizan a call on 082 974 4716. We have first hand experience that her cakes taste as delicious as they look.

Although we are an all women team we do butch it up with corporate companies, so no matter what your business profile looks like – we can most certainly design it for you!


Marlene 


Please send your queries or any info directly to info@xplorestudio.co.za and we will contact you as soon as possible.

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