When I first took Casi Long Design full-time, I quickly realized how much went into running a business. There were so many moving parts—from client work to marketing and business development—that I quickly became overwhelmed by it all.
I was wandering aimlessly and I needed help.
But the problem when you first start out on your own, is you have no money. You’re struggling just to make ends meat and every paying client is just so darn valuable. I, like a lot of entrepreneurs, fell into the trap of thinking, “I can’t spend any money on my business when I’m barely making enough to get by!”
So I would spend hours scouring Pinterest and different blogs trying to piece together a plan for my business. Trying to come up with a way to quit treading water and actually start gaining momentum. But honestly, I was guessing and had no clue where to even start.
I knew something had to change.
Today I’m excited to talk about one of the easiest ways to take your design work to the next level. To be honest, when I look at websites, magazines, billboards or really any professional advertisements—font selection immediately differentiates the best from the rest for me. When selecting fonts for your brand, it’s so crucial to keep in mind the overall vibe you want to convey. Sometimes the most subtle font changes can completely refresh a company’s look or share your message in a stronger way. Ask yourself what words would you use to describe your brand? Who is your intended audience? With what “feel” will that audience resonate most?
For example, if your target audience is made of predominantly male farmers over the age of 40, your brand elements need to portray a drastically different message than if you are trying to reach female CEOs of small fashion and lifestyle companies. Think about the type of clients you want to attract and consider what they might relate to.
In order to decide the type of fonts you want to use, you need to know the basic principles of typography. Don’t let that word intimidate you… typography is just a fancy way to say the appearance of letters. But, to feel confident in the font-selection process, you need to understand the terminology. Take a few minutes to read through my breakdown to help you feel like a typography expert!
When you think of your favorite brands, what comes to mind? Is it their logo, their photos, or maybe even a feeling? I’m willing to bet when you think of the store Target you automatically see bright red in your mind. And, if I say ‘Tiffany’s’ I am confident you picture the iconic icy blue that has made the store so famous.
Color is one of the first components we each associate with a well-established brand. That immediate connection is why it’s so important to make certain you select the best possible colors to convey the desired message to your audience.
Selecting a color palette can be tricky, especially for those of you who may feel you don’t have an “eye” for this sort of thing. But rest-assured, there is a simple, proven process to make sure your color palette is the perfect portrayal of your brand.
One of my past colleagues (and friend) sent me the name of a guy who was looking for branding for his custom clothing company. Oddly enough, I had been wanting to design branding for a fashion company, so I was super excited when this all came together.
After my first meeting with Robert, I could tell he knew his stuff. He was very knowledgeable about clothing and current fashion trends, but what really struck me was his desire to use his gifts to serve others.
Robert moved to DC from the midwest to work in politics, but has a background in the custom clothing industry. He wanted to help his peers dress for success and hopes to utilize his business as a way to help clothe the homeless population, or those who may not be able to afford a nice suit.
Robert’s style is original, neat, and intentional. I can’t wait to see the pieces he’ll create for his clients. Here are some of the details from the brand design process.
Creating a website can seem like a daunting task. If you're anything like me, you may get overwhelmed by just the thought of such an endeavor. But you probably also know that having a website is crucial for your online business.
I am a Squarespace user and suggest it to anyone looking to start a site. The template designs are clean and efficient, the interface is easy to use, and they have an amazing support/tutorial forum. So if you have been wanting to create a Squarespace website (or a website period), but have no idea where to start, fear not. In this post I'll walk you through the 6 steps to help you get started with Squarespace.
I had the pleasure of meeting Ginny last spring when she took photos of me and my husband. Ginny does beautiful work, so I was super excited when she contacted me about updating her brand and website. I couldn’t wait to help display her gorgeous art in a minimalistic, authentic way.
Her photos are full of life, emotion and details. (And from the amount of images I’ve seen, it seems as though she never puts her camera down!) It’s very clear how passionate Ginny is about photography and capturing life’s most important moments. It’s been a true joy to work with her over these past several weeks.
I’m super excited to celebrate Ginny Filer Photography today as she launches an all new brand and website! Here are some of the details from our design process.
There are a few questions I've been asked on more than one occasion. I thought it was about time to address those questions in a blog post. Read More
If you work from home, you know the struggle. The struggle to ignore the dishes and laundry and switch on work mode. The struggle to get out of those jammies and turn off Netflix. The struggle to turn off work mode at the end of the day and enter into quality time with your family.
When I started my business, I had no idea how many obstacles I would have to overcome to feel like I was being successful on a daily basis. I found myself sleeping in too late, and then working all evening until I was so exhausted I could barely function. I found myself struggling to make time to workout, shower, get dressed, leave the house. My schedule was all out of whack and it was taking a toll on my mind and body.
Over time I’ve developed a pretty good system that keeps me feeling productive and accomplished, all while keeping some resemblance of a work/life balance.
Like many of you, I’ve always known I wanted to be an entrepreneur. But like a lot of you, I had to work in the corporate world before I could make that dream a reality. It’s often difficult to enjoy your 9-to-5 when you’re hoping to go out on your own. You go to work everyday thinking, “If only I were going to a job I was passionate about.”
Luckily, I didn’t hate my 9-to-5, however, I was constantly dreaming of “one day” when I would own my own business. While I was able to design every day, I wasn’t passionate about the work I was designing or the clients I was working with. I knew what I wanted and that wasn’t it.
I found it difficult to see past the annoyance of not having what I wanted immediately. And once I had set a timeline for myself of when I planned to quit, everyday at my current job seemed like a waste of time. I’m willing to bet several of you reading this feel the exact same way. You know it’s not your forever job and you’re just trying to get by until that glorious day of sunshine when you hand in your resignation and head out into the world of entrepreneurship.
Friends, I’m here to tell you take heart. Your time is coming. For now, even though it may seem like a waste of your time, it absolutely is not. You are being molded and shaped into a better you. The BEST you who is going to accomplish amazing things when your time comes. But for now...
People often think good design equals more design. More colors, shapes, photos, patterns. However, the most effective design is often what appears to be less design, when in reality it’s simply smarter, more efficient design.
I ran across this quote and I thought it summed up my thoughts quite well:
“Apple pie has endured through the years because it’s something people easily understand. In the same way, a simple, classic design that doesn’t require your audience to think too hard to understand the message will still be relevant after years of fancy fluff and bad trends have come and gone.” —Speckyboy Design Magazine
In a world of fast-paced, hustle and bustle, I for one think simple design is working quite well. Here’s why: