bloodhound thinking that we should all stop using nexa script typeface

Please stop using Nexa Script typeface before it becomes the next Papyrus. Use these instead.

This is Nexa Script:

nexa script font typeface

It’s a nice typeface. It’s ideal for grabbing attention with a marketing tagline or opt-in offer, seeming friendly and casual without being hand-drawn and folksy. Which is why it’s used by every corporation everywhere to sell anything, especially fast food companies and restaurants—companies who can afford to hire really talented designers who should know better.

It’s so overused that it’s becoming the new Papyrus. I’m sure that at some point we all thought Papyrus was kinda cool. Of all the default-installed Microsoft typefaces, it was the one that stood out as a specialty typeface, as something you might use for a business logo. So, everyone did. Every small business owner not able to or wanting to hire a designer decided they could make their own business logo using Paint on their desktop and Papyrus. I once stood on a street corner in Kalamazoo, Michigan and was able to see from this one vantage point three businesses all using Papyrus as their logo:

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How to make your corporate blog less ugggghhhhh

Chances are, no one reads your corporate blog. You can confirm this using analytics.

If you confirm that no one is reading, we’re here to help with this awesome guide on how to make a blog people will want to read.

This isn’t a “10 top tips” quickie blog post because you’re simply not going to learn enough from a post like that. Consider this a free consulting session. Creating good content that people want to read is not an easy checklist anyone can accomplish (particularly not if you’re only willing to invest five minutes here and there to learning how!). –> If you don’t have more than five minutes right now to read this post, save it and read it later, or pay someone else to read it for you. Pay me to read it for you. Just kidding. That would be extraneous. 

Alright, let’s get started.

First, do you have a clear, quick answer to why you would start a blog in the first place?

If the only reason you can think of is “for search engine optimization results,” there’s a good chance that you’re wasting money. The only way your efforts could be profitable is if:

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Branding Case Study: Baldy Mountain Resort

Background

Baldy Mountain Resort began in 1968 in “Wine Country”—the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia. Locals have fond memories of skiing at Baldy as children, where the snow is regarded as ski-superior to Whistler, and the destination less touristy.

The resort began to experience financial troubles and eventually went into receivership, closing for the 2015-2016 season. Investors sought to revive the resort with one million dollars, and 150 days of planning and labour for 20 projects, including a new branding identity and new website—in time for their December 1, 2016 launch.

Challenge

Because the resort would not evolve to its fullest potential for several years yet, we needed to create a brand identity that was fresh, polished, but not so slick and modern as to lead skiers to expect a five-star resort. It would need to be flexible to evolve with the ski resort, and need to remind its already loyal community of skiers of the old Baldy.

Baldy Mountain Resort old logo
photo credit: John Fleming

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vintage illustration of woman working at computer

How to expect to pay for creative services

“How much do you charge for a logo?”

“What are your rates for a website?”

I sigh when I hear this. It’s like saying to a mechanic, “My car isn’t working. How much would you charge to fix it?” But while that may sound obviously silly, people are less familiar with what goes into design work, so… here goes:

We have a list of about 15 or more considerations we make before we price out a contract. Until our custom calculator is set up, a lot of thought goes into putting together a quote we think is fair, affordable for the client, doesn’t run too much of a risk of scope creep for us, and which is all-around worth it for us to take at this moment in time.

Here are seven of the considerations:

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The best business leaders embrace feminine behaviours

quote from Pablo Isla on emotional intelligence in the work place

This quote jumped out at me from Harvard Business Review’s November 2016 issue. While I’m the feminine-appearing half of Lynne’s and my partnership, I’m more masculine in personality. I value logic more than emotions, I’m impatient, and I tend to spend minimal time thinking about all the ways my words could be construed, or about whether or not I should speak up. If I want something, I go after it. I don’t communicate “in between the lines.” Sounds like your stereotypical dude, right? Hi, that’s me and I’m wearing MAC lipstick and an Anthropologie shirt.

It’s not that I can’t read people well—I can—it’s that I don’t bother, or haven’t until recently. I’ve been self-absorbed, thinking of my own business plans or ideas, the way I think most men are raised to be, and the way I was raised to be.

I say all this so that if you are reading this and if you relate, especially if you’re a dude, especially if you’re an older dude, that you will know before you continue reading that I get you, so I am not judging or scolding patronizingly when I say:

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After the Women’s March: How businesses should & can get political

It’s time for businesses to get political.

It’s intimidating, we know. When your business supports your family, you don’t want to offend any potential client or customer. Taking care of the planet and our own communities is important, but our first responsibilities are to ourselves and our children, after all. You cannot give what you don’t have.

But, 1. you don’t need to have everything in order before you can give something, and 2. hopefully, you don’t live in a disproportionately liberal or conservative community such that making your politics known could cause you to lose most of your clientele. The idea of getting political where it matters is that any customers you lose, you can gain back by attracting more of your natural tribe to you. It’s like niche marketing. The reality is that if you’re trying to appeal to everyone, you’re already not overly appealing to anyone.

screen-shot-2017-01-22-at-7-23-19-pm

 

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Competitive meditation: We just made it a thing

Lynne and I are both a little competitive, but we like that about each other. It’s fun to compete at Ticket to Ride, arm wrestling, and parallel parking, so of course we found a way to compete at having the best brain waves. Because, why not.

What— you haven’t heard of competitive meditating? Counter-intuitive, you say? We must be creative geniuses and intolerable pills of people to even invent such a thing? Yes.

I purchased the Muse biofeedback headband for Lynne’s 40th birthday. I’ve been using it myself and forcing encouraging our children to use it. The headband listens to our brain waves as we listen to relaxing beach/rainforest/city/desert sounds. As our minds get distracted and busy, the sounds get louder, reminding us to calm down, and when we get really calm, we faintly hear birds. The app counts up how many birds chirped congrats at our calmness, and it tracks progress. Lynne hates it. (Possibly because I’m winning.)

I find that the headband helps me meditate better than without it and Lynne has seen gains in her ability to control her mind. She’s also been using the app Streaks to keep motivated on her main goals.

If you’re not already  meditating regularly, you’re not as healthy or happy as you could be.

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