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Q & A with Clare Gleeson, Graphic Designer

Today we get to know Clare Gleeson, another of the the senior graphic designers in the second instalment of our Q&A series with the peeps from ‘We Love Startups’.

Q: What’s your favourite type of design
A: I love the process of designing a new logo and then being part of its evolution and application as the business  grows. There’s nothing better then  seeing the logo you helped work on out in the real world. I still get excited when I see clients drive by with their logo on the side of a car or see it on menu at a restaurant.

Q: What do you do to get around a creative block?
A: Take a break. There’s nothing productive about staring at a blank computer screen! I like to take a quick break, move on to another project or better yet, go for a walk. The best ideas usually come to me when I’m not trying to force it.

Q: Got any tips for Small Business Owners?
A: I think it’s really important to just keep moving, and to constantly try new things. I’m also loving some of the amazing apps and online tools that can make your life so much easier. In our studio we love assistant.to for making appointments (without going back and forth) and Xero for accounts.

Q: What websites do you look at for a bit of time out?
A: I’m a big fan of The Design Files and can loose hours on Pinterest, I also like to read the interviews on Extraordinary Routines.

Q: Why do you love start ups?
A: As a graphic designer, I love that when you work with startups you have a clean slate and there is usually no pre-existing design elements that you need to worry about incorporating. I also love hearing other people stories about why they have decided to go out on their own. I find my clients enthusiasm, excitement and passions for their business really rub off on me and motivate me personally.

Follow Clare on Instagram or Pinterest.

Did you see the first Instalment with Abby? Read her Q & A here. 

Clare Gleeson Graphic Designer at We Love Start ups

Starting a business in Australia

Congratulations on deciding to take the plunge and start a new business? Here’s our ‘How to’ guide for starting a business in Australia, where you’ll learn that getting a logo designed is just the beginning.

Questions you should answer

  • What type of business are you starting? ie; product, service, organisation?
  • What is your a business name. Think about what this says about you, your product and/or service?
  • What skills, resources or technology are required to start your business?
  • What is your business structure ie; are you a sole trader, entering a partnership or beginning your venture as a company?
  • What is your business model? ie; how will you be generating revenue?
  • Decide where you will be operating your business from? ie; can you work from home, is your business primarily online, do you need a retail shop or office location?
  • Research! Your target market, your competitors, your product and services

 

Things you may need to do

  • Get some business insurance.
  • Have a solicitor draw up your terms and conditions, partnership agreement and any other contracts that are required for you to conduct your business.
  • Apply for any required licences, registrations or permits so that you can operate your business. e.g builders licence
  • Find an accountant who can help you with tax, superannuation and payroll.
  • Apply for an ABN
  • Register a domain name e.g www.welovestartups.com.au. Even if you won’t have a website for a while it’s best to purchase a suitable domain and to use it so that you can set up a professional email address (we can help you with this if you need).

 

Helpful Websites

Business.gov.au – Tons or resources, guides and support to help you in starting your business.

Business Enterprise Centres Australia – Get in touch with your local business Enterprise Centre for business assistance, mentoring, education sessions and networking opportunities.

Google My Business Page – Help customers find you by setting ups a Google My Business Page.

ABN Lookup

Forbes

Startup Smart

Inside Small Business

Business Model Canvas

 

Helpful Check List

AusGov-Startingyourbusinesschecklist_2014

 

 

March 2015 A4 Monthly Planner

Don’t Panic, but Today is the first day of march and that means we’re in the third month of the year.
Download our March 2015 A4 Monthly Planner and set some goals to ‘get into gear’.

Our A4 monthly planner is ready for you to print out and mark up.  Schedule in upcoming events and appointments or create your social media plan and milestones.

Want to plan ahead? No worries, we’ve got you covered, download April and May and check back soon for the release of June and July.

Take an Instagram pic of your monthly planner and tag us @welovestartups_design or use the Hashtag #LoveMonthlyPlanner, so that we can follow your plans.

We use our A4 Monthly Planner in studio to track our social media plan for the month, it shows our planned activity for instagram and pinterest each month and it helps us to spot where will not be active. We have it stuck on the wall in studio, so that any time you have any idea you can jot it down.

Download it here, then print yours out, stick it up it on the wall and get planning!

March 2015 A4 monthly planner

 

Looking for some more free downloads? Get more done with our custom designed To Do List.

 

How to Brief Your Designer

Your job sheet is very important as it gives us all of the information we need to design your logo.  If you struggling with some of the questions read our guide below on ‘how to brief your designer.’

how-to-brief-your-designer

Question 1: Please tell us about yourself?
This questions is just so we know who is filling in the form and what address details to use on your invoice.

Question 2: Please tell us the exact business name you would like us to use?
This is the business name we will be using in your design, so please be sure you check your spelling and have registered this name with the relevant authorities.

Question 3: Please tell us the exact tagline that will sit with your logo.
Do you have a tagline (slogan) that you would like incorporated in your logo? if so please be precise as we will use your exact answer in our designs.

Remember this is an optional question, not all businesses have a tagline. 

Question 4: Please tell us about your business?
This is where you tell us all about your business. Tell us things like;

  • What are you selling?
  • What is your point of difference in the market?
  • Why would clients/customers choose you?
  • What is your price point?

Everything you tell us will remain confidential so don’t hold back. Knowing about your business will help us when we start the designs for you.

Question 5: Please tell us about your target market?
Put yourself in your customers shoes and tell us a little about them. Who are they and where are they. Tell us things like what they like and dislike, their habits and hobbies. Do they want to pay for a high end premium product or service or arethey looking for an economical solution.

This will help us to design a logo that will appeal to you and your target market.

Question 6: Do you have a deadline that you need your logo by?

We can’t promise that we can meet your deadline, but if you have a specific date that you need it by, please let us know and we will do our best. This is especially important if you are also getting printed material through us. Please let us know now so we can check our print schedule.

Please note, Neon Zoo normal turnaround times for a logo is 1 week for preliminary designs and 2-3 days from feedback. If you have a specific deadline we will do our best to accommodate your request and will confirm via email if we can make it.

Question 7: Who are your main competitors?
We don’t want you to accidentally look the same as your direct competitors, so please let us know who you think you will be competing with to get the attention of your target market.

Question 8 – 13 : Please show us your first link to a logo you like?

This is a very important question, it’s where you visually show us examples of a logo you like. Remember this is not necessarily about you, try and think like a potential customer or client.

When we ask what you like and dislike be specific if possible, For example;

  • I really like the font they use
  • I love the colours on this one
  • The icon is similar to what I had in mind.

Also remember that you are showing us reference image only for inspiration. We can’t just duplicate the design with your business name, that would be copying.

 

Question 14: Is there any specific imagery you would like included in your logo?
Is there anything specific that you wanted represented in your logo? Are you a builder and specifically want a hammer in your logo? are you a public speaker and want a microphone?

Question 15: Please select at least three of the following options that describe your ideal logo?
This is about the type of look and feel you want your logo to have. Will someone look at it and think that it is contemporary or retro?

How to brief your designer

Question 16: Do you prefer any particular colours?
We will try to incorporate these colours into your design. Again try and think about this from your clients perspective and not so much your personal opinion.

Question 17: Are there any font styles that you prefer?
Do any of these styles appeal to you? Remember we won’t be using that exact font, it’s just to give us direction of what you do and don’t like?

 

Question 18:Do you have a preference for your logotype to be in
Do you have a preference to whether your business name is in capitals, lower case or title case?

Question 19: Do you have any preference to the type of logo you would like?
Logo’s can be designed in a range of ways. We won’t be copying the examples shown, just getting an idea of what you like.

Question 20: Do you have any additional comments or information that you would like to tell us?
Please tell us if there’s anything else we think we should know, no detail is too small so fire away.

You have now briefed your designer, so sit back and relax whilst they get to work!

Q & A with Abby McCarthy, Graphic Designer

So you get to know us a bit better, we’ve decided to do a little Q & A with our team. This week meet Abby McCarthy, one of the Senior Graphic Designer at We Love Startups, trawler of design blogs and coffee aficionado!

Q: What’s your favourite type of design

I really love the challenge of articulating and communicating a key message of a business or organisation through a logo and brand. When broken down to its simplest form a logo is formed by shapes, colours, words and fonts. It is these elements that can greatly change the tone and message of a logo. Developing a new business identity means we have the opportunity of working with owner/operators and get be involved from the start – when business are thinking ‘big picture’, battling nerves and excitement…It really is a thrill to be a part of this process!

Q: What do you do to get around a creative block?

I generally have a look through design blogs, Pinterest and Instagram. Most likely I’m looking at interior or fashion posts, but I find the discovery of new colour palettes, shapes & materials really inspiring. I also love discovering how businesses market their wares. This usually sparks some ideas and ignites the creative process for me. If all else fails, I take a walk and grab a coffee!

Q: Got any tips for Small Business Owners?

The Nike adage is right – ‘Just do it!’ I had this for my screen saver for a while as the saying went against my perfectionist sensibilities. I soon realised that I just needed to get on with it, do it, get it out there and then refine, refine, refine…

Q: What websites do you look at for a bit of time out?

Mmm…there are so many!
The Design Files – A great source of inspiration for what is coming out Australia’s design scene.
Pinterest – This is a great search engine for motivation, design, food, fashion…everything really!
99U – A great resource for time management, organisation, interviews with entrepreneurs etc. I highly recommend subscribing to their e-newsletter.
Smart Company – Again, a great resource for interviews, how other businesses and entrepreneurs solve problems, market news etc

Q: Why do you love start ups?

Because we’re there from the start! We get to work with businesses to carve out their identity and make their mark within their field. It’s really exciting to watch their idea grow from concept to reality and to be part of the process.

Abby McCarthy graphic designer

To do List, Free Download

Is there anything more satisfying thAn crossing, ticking or drawing a great big line through an item on your ‘to Do list’?

I believe that nothing gets done in life unless it is, at some stage, scribbled on and ticked off a list. With this in mind, today we a share with you our ‘To Do List’ as a Free Download. This list template is what we use in our studio to help us to organise, prioritise and remember our daily tasks.

We’ve made it available to you as a free printout so that you can join us in our daily quest to get things done. So, Let’s Do This!

Let's Do this Free Download

 

Let’s Do This free download 

Here are some tips for writing your ‘To Do’s:

  • Always write your ‘to do’ list the day before, otherwise you will find that you get distracted by emails and phones call the next day.
  • Do the things you dislike the most first. Go on, get them out of the way.
  • Don’t confuse quality with quantity, you don’t have to have a million tasks on your list, think about what tasks are really important and prioritise them.
  • Pick your top three tasks that you need to prioritise each day.
  • Reward yourself, choose a reward for completing some of the more difficult tasks. This doesn’t need to be huge, take a 15min break and go for a walk or allow yourself 10 minutes of social media time.

Did you know that we also do custom To Do lists? We can use your branding and customise it to suit your business. Talk to us if you would like a quote.

Start Up Stories: She Invited Her

At ‘We Love Startups’ we get to work with and design logos for all sorts of amazing and diverse businesses. ‘Start up Stories’ is where we throw the spot light on our clients and ask them to tell us a little about themselves. Read Jessica, from ‘She Invited Her’, story below.

Q: So tell us what is ‘She Invited Her?’

A: She Invited Her is basically a snapshot of my life. I am absolutely addicted to fashion, so the site will be predominantly fashion-based, however it will also have strong lifestyle, beauty and inspirational influences. I am constantly updating my Instagram account with images, whether it be personal or regrammed shots, so the website will be an extension of this. Everything that you will see on the site is me. I absolutely love to write and being able to combine my love of fashion and glossy words is a dream come true.

Q:Why did you start your own business?
A: I have always loved fashion and writing. For years I had spent far too much time trawling the fashion and beauty magazines and websites, a creative outlet was exactly what I wanted and needed. So, after having a few weeks to myself and and deciding that these were two things I wanted to ultimately do full time, I decided that it was time to take matters into my own hands and thus, She Invited Her was born.

Q: What’s been your biggest challenge so far?
A: It’s a little daunting putting together a site that is purely representative of you, and as there are now so many fashion and lifestyle blogs, it was a challenge trying to differentiate it from others in terms of site layout and content. But along with the team at Neon Zoo, we have worked hard to ensure my site embodies both me and the She Invited Her brand. It’s all about being you and trusting yourself and your abilities.

Q: Any tips for other Startups?
A: Nike says its best, but just do it. There is never a right time for anything and if you absolutely love something and are so passionate about it, why not give it a go. It may be scary, but in my opinion, your passion and knowledge will shine through and you have no other option but to be successful. There are always going to be people out there who don’t understand what you’re doing or why you are doing it, but by the same token there is always going to be someone out there who has the same interests as you and will be interested in seeing what you are doing and what you have to say. Just follow your heart and trust your instinct. We are at such an exciting time in terms of the internet and social media, so why not I say!

Q: What next for ‘She Invited Her?’
A: The all-important launch! I am still deciding as to when that will be as I still have a few elements that I need to finesse. But once it’s up and running, I just want to keep doing what I love. And if that appeals to a handful of people, then I’m thrilled. Social media is a huge part of my life and is quite quickly becoming the social norm, so I am very excited to see where this incredible opportunity can take me!

Follow Jessica’s story through her Instagram and keep and eye out for her soon to be launched blog.

logo design for Jessica O Connell from She Invited Her

logo design for She Invited her logo design

 

How to add your logo into your email signature

Today, email can be used as your main point of contact and can often be your first contact with a potential customer. with this in mind, it’s a good idea to have a look at your email signature to see what it says about you. The simple act of adding your logo into your email signature could help you to stand apart from your competitors.

A good email signature is a great opportunity to help make a good first impression. It can create credibility and send a message to your potential customer that you are serious about your business.

It can also hold some really helpful information that will help your potential customer to get in touch and inform them on your business.

When adding your email signature consider adding some of the following details:

  • Your name and your position in the business
  • Logo
  • Phone number and address
  • Link to your website
  • Link to your business social media accounts (not personal!)
  • Any information that may give your business some additional credibility i.e 2014 Best builder Award 

Below are some helpful links to some of the major email providers on how to add your logo and contact details to your email signature:

Tip: Use your web .jpg in the files that were supplied to you, as it is set up for optimum quality when viewing it on a screen.

Outlook

Apple Mail

Gmail

Adding a logo to your email signature

Do you need help registering a domain name?

It’s also important that you have a professional web address. By this I mean having an email address like bob@bobsbuilding.com.au rather than crazybob369@hotmail.com

You do this by purchasing your own domain name (welovestart.com.au is our domain name). If you would like help in registering your own domain name, send us an email at hello@welovestartups.com.au

Is starting a business like falling in love?

It was valentines day on the weekend…. so, in studio we’ve been talking about all things ‘love’, which led us to the question: Is starting a business like falling in love?

To answer, we decided to compare the stages of falling in love with the stages of starting a business.

First there is the lust for something new, challenging and exciting. Something that will fit with your lifestyle better and fulfil your needs.

Then there’s butterflies in your stomach as you decide to take the plunge. Like asking someone on a first date you announce to the world your intention and register your business name and apply for an ABN.

Next is the adjustment period where you start to get to know each other better, where you work out each others quirks, limitations and advantages. Starting a business means there is another relationship in your life. One that needs a lot of your time and attention.

Suddenly you become very time-poor and only available to your new ‘love’. In the beginning your new business will probably pull you away from your friends and family and it will probably keep you up at night while you analyse your every move.

Their is a chance you’ll become quite obsessive about your new love, like a schoolgirl talking about her new BF, you’ll probably want to talk to everyone (whether they are interested or not) about this new ‘relationship’ in your life.

Then the insecurities creep in. This is where you have endless self doubt in your self and wonder if your choice to start a new business is really ‘the one’ for you.

Your first fight is brutal, and your ready to pack it all in. This is where you get given some hard truths about the path you’ve chosen and some of them hurt.

But then, you make up. You remember why you chose this relationship and the endless possibilities that are out there. Just like that you get excited all over again.

So yes, we think starting a business is like falling in love, and really,  what’s better in life that then of falling in love?

Happy Valentines to all the lovers out there!

Is starting a business like falling in love

We Love Start Ups FAQs

Q: How long does it take you to design my logo?
A: We will send you preliminary designs within 5 days of receiving your brief and 50% payment. All revisions will be made within 2-3 business days of your feedback.

Q: If I fill in a brief am I committed to paying you?
A: No, your not committed until you pay the 50% invoice on your project.

Q: I have a sketch of what I want, can I show you?
A: Of course, tell us about it in your brief and then email us a copy of the picture.

Q: I’ve emailed you a question, how long will you take to respond?
A: We respond to all email enquiries within 2 business days (we work on Australian Eastern Standard Time).

Q: Where are you located?
A: Our studio is in Newcastle, NSW, Australia (take a tour of our studio here). If you are local, we’re happy for you to make an appointment to come into the studio.

Q: Can I talk to you?
A: Of course! We take phone and skype appointments.

Q: Who will be creating my design?
A: All of our design work is done in our studio in sunny Newcastle, NSW, Australia by our talented and qualified design team. Meet the team here.

Q: I need some other design work done. Can you do it?
A: Most definitely! Our ‘big sister’ studio, Neon Zoo, can do all sorts of design work. Just send us an email with what you need and we will get in touch to discuss.

Q: What if I don’t like what you’ve done?
A: With every package you are allocated a number of revisions. We rely on you to tell us what you like and dislike about the design so that we can make the required revisions and changes resulting in your final logo design. Read our blog post about how to give good feedback here.

Q: Can I get more revisions?
A: Yes, you can have as many revision as you like! However, an hourly fee will be charged for all revisions outside of your allocated package. This can be billed in 15 minute time blocks to avoid too much expense on top of your chosen ‘start up’ package.