Consulting

Experience imparts value

As a consultant, it is interesting to see if prospective clients want a “second set of hands” or if they want advice to help them address a business need. In my past life as a management consultant in the software business, I sought the second type of assignment. The more problem-solving, the better.

In my role as a freelance creative professional, I still seek, and truly enjoy, “value-added” assignments where I can solve problems. I am still a consultant. The difference is, now I have lots of business and marketing expertise plus I have an eye for, and possess, Web and graphic design skills.

Image credit: Freepik

A beginning consultant brings skills, an experienced consultant brings value.”

–Jeffrey Zeldman

Web design guru Jeffrey Zeldman says that an experienced consultant brings value. To survive as an independent consultant at any age, and to remain meaningful in the digital design world, you must bring something different to the table. You must bring value.

Posted by Jill B Gilbert in Best Practices, Consulting, Design

Develop style guides for your design projects

Whether you are developing a 50-page Website, a small mobile phone app, or an annual report for a corporate client, you should get in the habit of developing a style guide.

Branding and style guides are important for projects large and small. They help to provide consistent messages about an organization and provide a degree of professionalism. Creative Bloq has a good post on this topic, with examples of thirteen style guides for famous organizations.

Client project style guide

The client’s goal was to refresh their brand and their Web site to draw more customers to their wellness practice and retail establishment. I prepared a simple style guide, using Adobe Illustrator. The Style Guide displays the brand, color chips for main and accent colors, typography and usage examples:

Style Guide | Nature’s Garden

Here is how the styles look when applied to a “mobile first” Website design. Note how the colors and the leaf motif are repeated throughout the page. The design works well on a smartphone, on a tablet or on a large HD screen.

Mobile View | Nature’s Garden
Responsive Home Page on large HD monitor

University style guide

On a whim, I researched my alma mater’s color and brand guidelines. The Miami University was established in 1809 by a charter signed by George Washington and has a long-standing with the Miami Indians in southwestern Ohio. 

It was interesting to find that The Miami University uses different reds for print, online and merchandise. And there are lots of formal and informal logos in different styles and sizes for print, Web and merchandise use. Certain “vintage” logos require special permission from the University,

Here is the “M” spirit mark often used on sportswear and signs.

The Miami University Spirit Mark

The branding guidelines also link to the school’s Web standards. These standards cover fonts, graphic elements, headers, footers, etc. It was interesting to see the fonts used; Adelle, Gotham, Promesh and Adobe Bembo. The Promesh font is new to me and it works well for athletic wear and athletic posters. You can download Promesh One and Promesh Two here.

Posted by Jill B Gilbert in Best Practices, Branding, Consulting, Corporate Identity, Graphics, Logo Design, Typography, Web Design, 0 comments