Freedom in Dance and Design
Well, I am writing about dancing because it's one thing that I enjoy doing with my friends. I don't do it often enough having a family and them being the priority. But there is freedom in dancing. The freedom is in the style, the music, and movement. I find it strange when I go out dancing with one of my close friend’s Robin. I will just begin to dance when I hear the music it's like dancing is in my blood. I feel the rhythms and just go with the beats and create my style of dance. I enjoy techno music but I am open to pop, top hits, and oldies as well, there is a flow to dancing.
I really do not worry about what others might be thinking or saying about my dancing I just enjoy the beats. I don't understand why there are so many people who think "If I go out on the dance floor, people will see I'm not that good or they will be watching me“.
Dancing for me is an escape from the daily grind. It's a time for me to let loose and not worry, to de-stress and unwind. Dancing is a form of art and each dance uses a different amount of space, releases energy, and expresses emotion. Graphic design is also a form of art used to express an emotion, feeling, or idea to promote a product or business.
Now, if every designer or dancer followed the same form, movements, and design process…the end results would be boring. Every dancer has their own personality and style, similar to every graphic designer. We all do things differently, we all have our own approach in dancing and in design. I work with my clients helping them navigate through my design process of creating their design projects such as proper use of color, typography, design software, and final file formats. My goal is to guide and educate my clients on proper design techniques by sharing design tips to save them time and money. I additionally help clients who may be experiencing challenges while designing their own projects with Canva or other software.
The thing that is true for both dancing and design is you need to approach the dance floor and design process with boldness. You will convey a message through your dance style as well as when designing a brand identity, creating a visual business story or promotional material for a client. At AG Design I help professionals to design a consistent brand identity through a logo, print collateral, social media graphics, and web graphics to increase their perceived value and expand their business' reach. I look forward to working with you on your next design project contact AG Design Today!
A logo represents a business’s commercial brand identity through the use of shapes, fonts, colors, and/or graphic elements. It creates trust, recognition and regard for a product /service and it is a graphic designer’s job to create a logo that will achieve this.
A logo should be:
A simple logo design created with line art with basic shapes including the company name is the most effective. Good logos use minimal colors (3-4 colors or fewer) no gradients, no more than four words, avoid very thin graphic elements. A logo needs to clearly communicate the business’s message.
An effective logo should be memorable and this is achieved by keeping the logo design simple and unique.
Will your logo still be effective in 10 or 20+ years?
A logo should be versatile to be used for web, print collateral, signage, and promotional items. For this reason, a logo should be designed in vector format, to ensure that it can be scaled to any size without sacrificing the quality and resolution of the logo. It should work with minimal colors to reduce costs when creating clothing, signage, and promotional items with your logo.
A logo should have the appropriate text and graphic elements to appeal to your target audience. For example, if you are designing a logo for a circus it would be appropriate to use a fun font & color scheme. You would not use a fun font if the logo was for an investment firm and your color would be more subdued.
These are just some simple tips to keep in mind if you are designing your own logo. Check out this interesting Forbes article for some additional info on logo design.
What Message Does Your Logo Convey? (Forbes)
Important to note Images that are on the web are 72 DPI and images for print need to be 300 dpi.
Stock images can be found on free stock image pages or can be purchased from other stock image sites.
You can find some free stock images at pixabay.com, unsplash.com, pexels.com to name a few.
Be sure if you are using an image from the internet for your business which you did not purchase the image is:
✓ Free for commercial use ✓ No attribution required ✓ High quality images ✓ Free of copyrights
You will need to purchase* other stock images through a stock image website as the following stock.adobe.com shutterstock.com or istock.com or bigstock.com
Important to Note: Most stock image websites do not allow you to use images within a logo so be sure to read the details of the purchase.
Note*: If purchasing stock images I recommend buying the 300 dpi selection and downsizing it for your website in case you decide to use the same image for a printed project in the near future.
The case study above was about a client that came to Annmarie with a flyer and gift certificate designed in Microsoft Word and commercial printer would not accept the project in this format. Annmarie redesigned layouts for both pieces cleaning up the clients DIY design and supplied final pdf for final printing.
Annmarie works with her clients helping them navigate through her design process of creating their design projects such as proper use of color, typography, design software, and final file formats. Transforming their ideas into visual communications. Her goal is to guide and educate her clients on proper design techniques by sharing design tips to save them time and money. She additionally helps clients who may be experiencing challenges while designing their own projects with Canva or other software. She looks forward to working with you on your next design project. How can AG Design help you today with any design challenges you might be experiencing?
A Facebook cover is like storefront for your business page. Users briefly look at your cover and make a decision whether to explore your page or leave. Your Facebook cover can work as a call-to-action visual or be used to make an announcement. By providing additional information on your Facebook cover including phone number or website this encourages people to take action. I recommend you hire AG Design to help you with this task.
There are certain Facebook guidelines and rules for the format of the Facebook profile and cover photo. That being said, the process of creating a Facebook cover image can be overwhelming to many business owners.
There are ways to DIY with Canva and others apps which will be easier for non-creatives to navigate. The apps and programs allow you to customize the text and add custom images or use the images provided. You want people to stay on your page to learn more about your business offerings this is done by using attractive images / graphics to keep their attention.
Use these steps to help you create your Facebook profile and cover:
1. Review Facebook Specific Guidelines
2. Ensure you are creating the correct Facebook profile & cover size
Facebook profile picture displays at 170x170 on desktops and 128x128 on most mobile devices.
Remember your Facebook profile picture will be cropped into a circular shape in posts so your image may get cropped to fit the circle.
Facebook cover size is 820 pixels wide and 312 pixels tall on desktops and 640x360 on most mobile devices.
The image should be RGB and the file format JPG or PNG that is less than 100 kilobytes.
PNG format may give your logo and text cleaner viewing results.
3. Optimize Facebook cover photo for mobile devices
Remember Facebook covers will get cut on most mobile devices — your cover will appear taller and will be cut off at the sides. Cover displays at 820×312 pixels on desktops and just 640×360 pixels on smartphones
Keep this in mind when designing your Facebook cover and don’t place important text (phone numbers, etc) or important objects on the sides of the photo. Keep all important information in the center to ensure it will not get cropped off. I see this all to often even on other graphic designers Facebook pages.
4. The text and image you select for your Facebook cover should relate to your brand
Use your Facebook photo cover to attract your audience even before they go to your about section or engage in your posts.
Personally I believe having your own business photos taken by a professional photographer is important to telling your business story just be sure the photos are the proper resolution or you can use stock photos through various providers including Shutterstock, Bigstock and istock just to name a few. There are a few free sites as well pixabay and pexels that are free for commercial use and attribution required.
Remember to showcase your business using an image or logo that is eye catching. Keep in mind the importance of maintaining your brand by using colors and fonts that are consistent with your brand identity. Remember to keep in mind your target audience and their interests as well.
Contact AG Design to help you create your Facebook profile and cover Today!
I have been working with my two boys to blaze a trail through the woods in our backyard to connect with a friend who lives one street over. Prior to beginning our trail we had to decide where we should begin the trail going into the woods. We began with a plan to cut down brush and rake the leaves to create a path. There were many obstacles including many pricker brushes as we continued to blaze our trail. There were decisions to make as to the direction we should continue going through the woods which changed based on what we might have to clear out of the way including fallen trees, etc. We have worked on our trail now a total of 7 hours and we have not connected with the friend’s trail yet. I was also thinking that after the trail is complete we will need to up keep our trail by removing the leaves which are currently falling and as spring approaches the brush that tries to grow back.
Why am I writing about trail blazing? Since I am a graphic designer shouldn’t I be writing about graphic design. I was thinking as I blazed the trail with my boys in the woods how small to medium size businesses need to also Blaze a Trail with their brand by marketing a consistent identity both online and in print which will be an ongoing process for their brand.
Here are some tips to help you Blaze A Trail for your business you may need:
1. DEFINE YOUR BRAND or REDEFINE YOUR BRAND
You need to begin with a clear vision or purpose and the value your business is looking to convey. I am going to quote Steve Jobs since he made a good point about creating your identity. Steve Jobs said “To me, marketing is about values.” Understanding the unique values that shape a business are important in designing an identity. The values of your business should not change even if the people, market and products change.
What is your unique selling Proposition (USP)? What makes your product or service different or better than that of your competition. Entrepreneur has a great article on USP it can be viewed at
There are many factors to consider when developing your businesses marketing strategy. Take, for example, someone going into business as an architect. It's pretty easy to define their brand a person who designs buildings, right? But to build a brand around his firm, a architect needs to determine specifically what kind of architecture he will focus on and what kind of client he is targeting before any marketing can begin. That means thinking through locations, type of architectural design, style of service and other skills he can offer.
2. DEVELOP or REDESIGN A LOGO
A professional graphic designer should be hired to design or redesign your logo. A Logo identifies a business by use of a designed graphic which uses type or symbols to identify a company or group. Logos may need to be updated extensively or at times can be done with a simple font change or an addition of a graphic symbol.
3. CORE IDENTITY
The core identity is the visible elements of a brand (such as name, colors, design, fonts, graphic) that together identify and distinguish the brand in the consumers' mind. It’s important to always maintain consistency in the design, look and tone of your identity to establish credibility.
For example, if a coffee house wants to attract a young, professional audience, the messages, fonts and artwork should be inviting and contemporary. In contrast, a CPA or investment company needs to have a bit more conservative approach in order to portray an image of trust.
A unified visual image should be conveyed by integrating the logo into all business communication elements, including mailers, brochures, advertising, newsletters, the website and social media, is an important part of building brand identity. The brand marketing material should include an ACTION for the audience to contact, buy, attend or call depending on what you would like them to do.
Be true to your brand by delivering on your brand’s value and promise!
AG Design is here to help you with your marketing needs! Contact me Today! 860-817-9707
Transforming Your Ideas into Visual Communications!
First and foremost I am thankful for a Savior (Father, Friend) that loves me unconditionally. That gives me HOPE no matter what life throws at me. I want to share a story which happened almost 3 weeks ago now to give other HOPE. I was feeling discouraged with various personal things going on in my life. I was looking forward to a weekend filled with love, family and friends some women may be able to relate, a time to refresh your soul. On Friday, November 13th, I was going to a Women of Faith conference which for me has been a reset button (the conferences always seem to occur in Fall which implies a time for change) for the past 10 years I have attended this event with family to learn and grow in my Christian Faith.
This particular weekend did not start out as exciting or fruitful as I thought it would since this was a Women of Faith Farewell Tour and I had heard some of the same stories that were shared in past years. I wondered what God had in store for me since I knew I was there for a PURPOSE. There was a simple quiz they were offering women to fill out to get a free REIMAGINE bracelet I thought why not. After you complete the quiz it will say something like the following: living a life of…… well my quiz said Living a Life of COURAGE. You can take the quiz: (http://www.womenoffaith.com/2015/05/free-quiz/) I thought pretty cool I am always pushing myself to have COURAGE and get outside of my personal box. That evening I was Blessed to be with family and friends to celebrate an annual party at my cousin's home called Friendsgiving which was nice visiting with family and friends.
The next day we went to church as usual and planned to go on a short hike as a family. It was beautiful following the Metacomet Trail in East Granby. I was in awe of the beauty that God has created which daily I fail to notice, take in and admire. We hiked up to a lookout point to observe the beautiful landscape where the trees were barren of leaves although still such a wonderful sight.
Then we returned to the trail and began heading back out of the woods from where we had begun our hike. It was then my youngest son Devin had picked something off the ground with excitement in his voice. I turned around to see him holding a rock but not just any rock this rock had a cross on the front and when he flipped it over it read Joshua 1:9. My first thought was Jesus is speaking to me through someone's kind gesture. For those of you who may not know the verse Joshua 1:9 reads as follows: Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
I know there are some people who have a hard time believing in Jesus let alone Him speaking to them. Twice that weekend Jesus sent me the message to have COURAGE and to Trust Him with the things going on in my life now and always! I want to share this story to give others who might be going through struggles and storms in their lives HOPE. Jesus hears you and He cares for you deeply!
Have you lost Hope or Courage? You can regain lost hope or courage, with Jesus' help. Right now, turn to the Author of all hope in prayer and rest in Him.
This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast - Hebrews 6:29
Why write a blog post about voting you might ask? Well for one it's Election Day!
We all vote daily it might be a vote between a group of marketers trying to decide which campaign idea to use to promote business this upcoming holiday season. It may be voting on what show to watch or what to have for dinner as a family. Whenever several people who do not all agree need to make some decision, voting is a very common way of reaching a decision peacefully.
I never understood politics or should I say wanted to be bothered with politics. My husband listened to the various debates on television which to me at times just seemed like noise. Until a year ago when my town was faced with classroom overcrowding and I realized I needed to get involved with my local government attending Board of Education and Board of Finance meetings. I attended many Board of Education and Board of Finance meetings throughout the last year and became a well informed voter for election day this year.
I know what you are thinking I have enough to do on a Monday or Tuesday evening and I really cannot to afford to add one more meeting to my schedule. Well I am here to tell you that without one parent taking a stand (I will not use names) and approaching the Board of Education and reaching out to other parents about the need of attending meetings our children would still be battling this overcrowding issue today.
I am Thankful to say that many parents of East Granby came out a year ago to support their children's education and learned how important it was to attend meetings whether Board of Education or Board of Finance. I am hear to tell you today that our children received the extra teachers needed to resolve most of the overcrowding in my small town of East Granby this Fall.
It was nice to have our voices heard by the Board of Education our voices were not as accepted by the Board of Finance. But some things are just worth fighting for especially when it comes to our children. So don't say someone else will take a stand or my vote does not count get out there and make your voice heard.
Spread the word- Get as many people who are eligible to vote registered.
Get informed about issues your town may be facing and the town officials that share the same values as you. Reading up on the issues, the candidates, and researching the ballot is also the responsibility of the citizen voter and a responsibility that should not be taken lightly, because it is your voice, with the many others, in unison, that can change the direction of a community, state, nation, and even the world.
Today I was excited to get out and exercise my RIGHT TO VOTE and I am pleased to say I was well informed when making my vote.
I don't want other people making my choices for me. I want to have a voice in the things that affect me and my family!
Some Reasons to Vote -Your Vote Matters!
Why let other people decide what is best for you when you have a voice: Your Vote!
It's Your Right to Vote!
Vote to cancel out an opposing vote. Whether it's your neighbor or your friend you probably know someone who is going to vote the opposite of you
Vote Because Education Matters! You elect local and state school board members who set public education policy and budgets. Don't wait until there is a major issue at hand with the budget be part of the process.
The purpose of this blog post is to share the importance of voting and making your voice heard!
The POWER of PRINT!
Here are some advantages PRINT has over Digital advertising to promote your business.
Tangibility – A print piece is a physical thing. Magazines and newspapers can stay in houses or offices for months or years, while Internet ads can disappear into cyber space instantaneously. There is more direct mail in the mailbox to get businesses noticed which makes the marketing more personal.
Credibility – There is something about print that gives a sense of legitimacy. There are a large amount of popups and banner ads on the web which can be overwhelming and the fear of spam and viruses is enough make people weary of clicking. There is no danger in a print ad.
Branding – Print ads are excellent for solidifying your brand identity. Your ads should have a consistent look in terms of fonts, colors and types of images to establish brand recognition.
Target Marketing – Placing ads in publications such as specialty and trade magazines can effectively reach niche audiences that may be more difficult to target online. Also with Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM), you can mail to specific neighborhoods without a mailing list, allowing you to increase your revenue by reaching the customers you want.
The best way to market your business is to utilize as many CHANNELS AS POSSIBLE to reach your target demographic; this should NOT EXCLUDE the use of PRINT.
I love this article by Gail Gardner