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Author: Alexander Petrov

My job is to help passionate business owners inform, excite and influence people, through the power of meaningful design. My main weapons of choice are creativity and strategic skills.
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How to guide attention through typography?

In the last few posts, we discussed the immersion, that can be achieved through a balance between emphasis and structure. And since structure has had its post, it’s time to discuss its witty counterpart, emphasis.

Emphasis is like the cool guitar solo, that breaks the rhythm of a song, and makes you play your air guitar while listening. The icing on the cake. The olive in your martini.

It is our ability to guide our viewer’s attention to points of importance in a layout. But how do we achieve it? Sometimes, it is not about what we add. But what we omit.

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How to create visual structure through typography?

The origin of structure

Neolithic clay vessels from Bulgaria. Source: https://www.otizvora.com/2009/01/183

Since the dawn of time, people have tried to put order in the world. It starts with the first cave drawings, used to communicate our ancestors’ hunting methods. People then divided useful from useless, or matter from space, by using things like pottery vessels. On the macro side of things they did this by building architecture. Vessels that divide the familiar, and useful interior, from the unfamiliar hostile exterior.

But why does order or structure feel familiar, and useful? As I discussed in the last article, it is because it is based on patterns — the system our brain tends to work in. Structure creates predictability. And what is predictable, is comfortable. Back then — structure meant survival.

Now we live in a much more sophisticated time, where physical survival has not been the issue for some time, at least for some of the population. We have transitioned into a society, where information is the “next frontier”, where we go to explore and experience the world.

Which means, that the new place we need to help people get comfortable is information. And we can learn a thing or two from architecture, in order to achieve structure in how we lay out typography. So here are a couple of tools architecture and typography use in common to create structure.

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How do we immerse our audience through typography?

Immersion is the emotion your audience feels, when they are invested in what you are trying to communicate with them. It relates to the psychological idea of flow – a state in which you are focused and free from inner chatter. This state allows them to open themselves up to experiencing the current moment. But what does this all have to do with brand identity or visual design?

Design, like almost any other communication needs the participation of the audience. And we need to help them with that on every step. Remove distractions and guide them in the intended direction. Whether we create a website or a brochure, we should strive to immerse the viewer. But how do we actually achieve this immersion?

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Save time on social media marketing, while improving audience engagement

Most of the brands with visual content, have some type of social media marketing outlet these days. Anything from a basic Facebook page, to Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn for B2B. The upside of these outlets is evident – you get to interact with more potential customers, and improve brand awareness. But there is also a huge downside – the time investment that any small business owner spends engaging on social media can be a lot, and with pretty minimal return on investment.

While great content would surely increase your chances of success on social media, crafting it also takes time and energy. Here’s what eludes most people: batching the preparation time and automating your social posting can help you save these precious hours. This is an invaluable time, which can be spent on crafting better content, or working on your business. Instead of spending an hour each day in social media, you can prepare all of your posts for the week in advance, and schedule when they are published.

Here’s the kicker — you can cut time on social media in half for free by using a service called Later. It is a social media scheduling platform, that allows you to create publishing schedules for Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter. In essence lets you write your posts, choose your pictures or videos, and schedule when to publish them. This guarantees you can always publish in the right time for your audience to see your posts.

That way you keep your content rolling, getting these likes and follows. At the same time you save more than half of the time you spend on social media currently.

If this is not a win-win situation, I don’t know what is. If this post was interesting, or you have any questions, leave a comment below or just get in touch.

How to be the best client for any design consultant?

Me and most of my design friends have all heard about Clients from Hell. Some of us actually met and worked with such people — the types of clients, that make any designer cringe in fear and disgust. However, there are not many guides, that help clients NOT become a designer’s worst nightmare. And this is a huge problem, since the client’s role is just as important for the success of a project, as the role of a designer.

Being a good client takes time and effort to get used to. It is not an inherent or natural ability to know how to communicate with a design consultant, or what to expect from them. Trusting someone to give you a solution, especially if it is not the solution you’ve imagined, takes some courage and a leap of faith. Read more

How do you choose the right logo for your business?

You have a bunch of logo options in front of you, fresh from your graphic designer, and you don’t know which one to choose.

  • Which one looks good
  • Which one conveys the right message?
  • Which one will appeal to your customers?

As a graphic designer (the guy who makes these logos for you), I have to advice my client on which option works best for his situation and which one doesn’t. Despite the fact I was the person who created these logo options, there were many times, when I wasn’t able to help them choose one. Or I disagreed with the choices that they made, but wasn’t able to explain my reasoning effectively.  Read more

12 tips for improving your landing page in less than an hour

You just released the landing page for your latest and greatest business idea. Yay! All the grinding and anticipation is over, now it is celebration time, right? So why aren’t you poppin’ the champagne bottle just yet? In a corner of your mind, you still feel your landing page is a bit off, but can’t quite put your finger on it. Am I right? And it is bugging you. The worse thing you can feel is knowing something is off, but not knowing what it is, and what you can do about it. Like having an itch and not knowing where to scratch…

Making your page resonate with your viewer becomes a no-brainer, once you know what to do. But you are neither a copywriter, nor a designer. How do you get there? Read more

8 tips for improving your design thinking today

Learning about design and branding can be an overwhelming task, if you don’t know where to start. Huge and complicated subjects like symbols, logos, typography, color theory can take more than a lifetime to master. The market is flooded with “…. for dummies” books that can teach you about the tools and software, but there are not too many books that teach you about design processes, let alone design thinking.

Imagine you can improve your design skills tomorrow. Even without all the fancy software, costing you thousands of dollars. Without the years of expensive education.

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