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FREE Goal Worksheet

FREE Goal Worksheet

If you’re like me, you¬†like writing down every idea that comes to mind. You also perform better being able to physically check off a list then do it from an app.

I wanted to share my method of madness with you by creating this FREE Goal Sheet! Print it out each week to reshape & refocus what you need to accomplish. Have fun & let me know in the comments below what other freebies you’d like to see!

 

My Spoiler Free Thoughts on the Wonder Woman Movie

My Spoiler Free Thoughts on the Wonder Woman Movie

Wonder Woman 9.9/10 – SPOILER FREE

“No man can cross that land! ”
But hell, a woman can, and she kicks ass.

Wonder Woman is everything we needed but didn’t know we wanted. In a time where many of us feel like we can’t make a difference in this dark world, this film reminds us that we are given an opportunity to stand up for what we believe in and that we can make a difference to help others no matter the race or gender.
Her innocence makes you fall in love with her from the beginning as she silently romances you till the end. You feel like you’ve known her since day one. You’re proud of her when she speaks up, you empathize with her when reality strikes, and you cheer her on when hope is lost.

Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman

Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman

The movie had a great balance of action and strong storytelling. Plus, DC finally got it right by adding more humor in. They bring in a character with a completely different perspective from Superman / Batman that is all at once refreshing and hopeful for the audience and fans of the DCEU to experience. My husband wanted me to add that this is an important narrative element for people to see, because Diana Prince not only brings out the best in the men surrounding her in this film, but she will do the same for the members of the Justice League come this November when that film debuts. She is what they are not, someone who sees the world for what it can be no matter how many times she has been wronged by it. He concluded, that it may be easy to write off the prior films (Man of Steel / Batman V Superman), for their philosophical musings of what it means to be hero, but they serve a purpose for buttressing the story of Wonder Woman in order to pave the way for them to work as a team.

The attention to detail in this film is absolutely incredible. You see it in the small things like the impact of her strength in her fingers to the details of her armor & weapons in slow-motion scenery that empowers rather than sexualizes.

Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) is an excellent character in the film and his chemistry with Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) isn’t forced one bit. He is strong chivalrous man who, I hope, will inspire men after this film.

Steve Trevor (Chris Pine)

Steve Trevor (Chris Pine)

Patty Jenkins, THANK YOU. Thank you for defying the line. Thank you for proving to Hollywood that females WANT and NEED more movies like this. Thank you for showing that women can make incredible pieces of art that are successful. Thank you for empowering not only women, but men as well with this movie. I am in awe and I cannot wait to watch this over and over and over again.

Did you see Wonder Woman? What did you think? Tell me in the comments below!

How to be Friends with Strangers on Social Media

How to be Friends with Strangers on Social Media

Do you ever feel alone? Feel like no one can relate to what you are going through right now?

I’m here to say, you are not alone.

From time to time we all struggle.

I’ll be the first to admit I don’t have my shit together. It may seem like it. It may seem like I’m super busy and making bank with my gigs, but the reality is: my husband and I share a car, we just bought a house, we’re dealing with health issues with crappy insurance, we’re paying off credit card debt, and attempting to pay off $60K in student loans both on unstable self-employed incomes.

Social Media is a cheap way for us to mask our lives. It’s easy to show the great times and easy to hide the rough moments. It’s easier to share how badass my living room looks compared to me crying when I’m in so much pain I can’t climb out of bed to work when we have bills that we need to pay.

Social Media also gives us the incredible opportunity to connect & reach out to thousands of people around the world. People who could make a difference in our lives for the better. And in some cases, yes, people who may try to scam us or take advantage of us. I try my best to make the most out of Social Media in encouraging & inspiring ways while reporting the bad ūüėČ

I realized what I needed to keep myself on track with my business goals, dreams, desires, and vision was to network.
However, without having a vehicle, it’s actually hard to do that. So I turned to Facebook in hopes I could find what I need, and I did.

Facebook Groups are a free & easy way to connect with strangers across the world, which yes can be scary, but in the right groups you will find the neatest people! I now have friends all over the world with different careers who send me referrals every so often because we connected in a FB group for entrepreneurs. How cool is that?!

All you have to do is login to Facebook, go to the search bar, and type in something you’re interested in. It’s guaranteed there’s probably a group for it!

Now for the important part – How to be Friends with Strangers in Facebook Groups

1. Review Old Posts – See if any can help you, but see how you can also add value to the conversation
2. Don’t be afraid to¬†Introduce yourself – Some groups may have restrictions on this so read the guidelines before you enter, but introducing yourself is a great simple way to start connecting with others
3. Interact Often – Make yourself known in the group. Interact with posts. Make new friends!
4. Ask Questions – One of the best tactics I’ve seen in some of these groups that don’t allow self-promotion is people asking questions relevant to their field. For example in one group I’m in, this one girl who is a designer is constantly showing off her work asking, “What sort of feeling does this emit? If you had to describe this in 3 words what would it be? If I offered this at this price would you do it?”. In a way it’s brilliant marketing cause she’s not openly advertising but she has let herself be known as a designer and in the comments people do want to work with her!
5. Friend Request those you get along with or have similar interests to – Now I know some people will argue with me and say “But why would you want to be friends with your competition!” and yes, in some cases I totally get you wouldn’t want to do that, but speaking on behalf of creatives, I’ve gained MORE referrals from other people in my industry than I could have done advertising solely by myself. Community > Competition People ! It works!
6. Don’t start off any online friendship with a sales pitch – Oh my Lord. I can’t even begin to tell you how often this still happens to me and how quickly I call it out. There’s nothing worse then starting a potential online friendship with “Hey, want to lose weight or learn how to eat healthy? Buy this shake!” That’s an immediate turn-off for me and I’ll more than likely unfriend you after that no matter how much you believe in the product. Don’t ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, friend request people in hopes of a sale. I don’t know why these MLM’s teach this but it’s a horrible marketing method.

 

Here are a few business Facebook Groups I highly recommend:

– If you are a creative of any sorts: Rising Tide Society
– If you have an Etsy shop: The Joyful Entreprenuer
– If you¬†own a small business and constantly need referrals or resources, Kimra Luna’s group Freedom Hackers is amazing.

5 Fun Photography Items You Need To Own

5 Fun Photography Items You Need To Own

Whether you’re starting out in photography or you’re a pro like me, these are my top 5 photography items I¬†use ALL the time¬†that I highly recommend!

1. Fuji Neo Classic

I take this thing EVERYWHERE. Unlike the other Instax Minis, this one allows you to have a bit more control. It has several modes including Party Mode, Kids Mode, Landscape Mode, Macro & my favorite- Double Exposure!!!

If you’re looking for a small, fun, & family-friendly camera to capture everyday moments, this is the one to go for

As a gift for my wedding clients, I take polaroids throughout the day & gift it to them that evening. Just an idea for you wedding photographers. ALL my clients I’ve done this with LOVE it!

I purchase all my film from Amazon as well. Click here to purchase it! 

2. Mirrorless Camera for Travel – Fuji X100F

I believe Mirrorless Cameras will replace DSLRs in a few years. These little guys pack such a punch, they are super affordable, the quality is just as good as most DSRLS, and they’re small! Whenever I travel I bring one along with me. The FujiFilm X100F is an updated version to the loved X100s. This is not for beginners who are stuck with shooting in Modes. You have to know how to shoot manually to rock one of these & if you don’t know how to do that, get one & learn! It’s super fun! The best way to learn is to practice ūüėČ

3. Westcott X-Drop Portable Backdrop Kit

One of my photography services is headshots. Though I prefer to shoot them outdoors, there are times I have to visit companies and bring a backdrop kit with me. I use to bring a roll of paper & a heavy stand until I found the Westcott X-Drop Kit which has saved me time, money, and stress ! It’s SUPER light which makes it easy to take anywhere. The kit comes with one fabric backdrop & you can purchase various backdrops through Amazon or the Westcott site directly. I own the black, white, & grey one and use them every month for shoots.

4. Einstein 640 Lighting

In 2012 I took a lighting workshop with world-renown photographers, Zach & Jody Gray. They taught their workshops with this lighting kit and I STILL use it to this day.¬†Because it’s so small & compact, I can take it easily to sessions & weddings if need be. I use it most days with a Beauty Dish over a soft box, but that is all dependent on what you are shooting.

5. The Pixelstick

The Pixelstick¬†is SO FUN¬†if you want to add some epicness to your images! It’s pretty much a huge lightsaber that you can pick designs from & go wild with (as you can tell for the image we did with our friends above). The have some standard designs installed already including stripes & rainbows, but you can get pretty creative with the images. It does take a lot of practice AND you MUST have a tripod.

not my image below

 

I’ve been a photographer now for 12 years (WHOAH SO WILD!) and things have DRASTICALLY changed in technology over time. Now we have access to hundreds of really cool items to further our hobbies or help with our careers! I’ve spent hundreds of dollars testing products and I’ve nailed down my “must-haves” to this list. Now I want to know, what items are on YOUR list?

The Journey Of Buying Our First Home

The Journey Of Buying Our First Home

All last year I battled extreme fatigue. I thought it was due to my hypothyroidism. I thought it could have been signs of depression. As soon as I quit my job and began working at home things were great, but about 2 months in I started getting sick all the time. Sinus infections every month, headaches, constant fatigue & tiredness. I went to the doctor and I looked pretty healthy (well minus the weight gain, damn thyroid). I couldn’t figure out what was going on. Could this be a spiritual battle? Something in the apartment causing this? Are we allergic to the dog all of a sudden? Even the dog had a runny nose all the time. The 3 of us spent HOURS a day on top of resting in bed.
It affected our work life, our love life, and our mental health. Why the heck were we so sick & tired all the time?

We will get back to that in a second…

This was year 2 of our lease and prices were about to jump another $100/mo if we renewed our lease (Isn’t that cray-cray?!). We had to make a decision quickly. Do we start looking for a home, or do we rent for another 2 years until Jon gets licensed so we can move out of state? We had money set aside for a house because we opted to have a tiny wedding.¬†¬†We weren’t sure we could get pre-approved for a mortgage though with our circumstances. I’m a¬†freelancer,¬†Jon’s a mental health counselor intern, we have $55K in¬†student loans, but our credit was great & the advantage was we had a pretty good downpayment.

Steve Kelly from All Western Mortgage helped us out. He was able to crunch numbers & let us know realistically what we could get with our situation. Before I knew it, we were pre-approved and got the go-ahead to start house hunting.

Jon and I are prayer warriors. We put everything to prayer. So the moment we got pre-approved it was time to start praying over our first home. We knew the area we wanted, we knew the style we wanted, we knew our ideal budget. Now it was time to put our realtors, and great friends of ours, Pat & Chuck Vosburgh, to work!

A few months back before the process I had seen this home I was in LOVE with. The pros outstayed the cons. But it was WAY over our budget. Our dream neighborhood, our style, oh man I could see the potential looking at the images, but it was already pending. I kept it in my “saves” on Trulia as a guide.

We looked at several homes, and during this time we prayed, “Lord if this isn’t our home, give us signs.” you guys. LITERALLY every single home we looked gave us signs! First home we go to “Sorry we¬†JUST took a cash offer!”, second home had lied on the listing information, third home was asking WAY more than what it was worth, and you get the point.

Then I got a notification. The home I saved, yes the one I loved, came back on the market for the 2nd time. Now, I was nervous because it kept going on & off, but I wanted to see it so I immediately messaged Pat who managed to get us a tour the next day.

Jon and I had prayed about this one all day. We were so excited. Deep down though I was trying not to get excited cause again, it was really¬†over our budget. But we walked in and I was doomed. I fell in love. I immediately had a vision of how we could make it ours. Everything came to life in my mind. Jon felt so comfortable he sat in their chair where I took this photo. We asked Pat to put in an offer that night for $15K less than what they were asking (and they had lowered the price quite a bit already). Our church at the time was discussing fasting, which to be completely honest we don’t do enough of, so Jon and I decided we would fast until we got a call back from the Realtor. At this point we would leave it up to The Lord.

Next day we got the phone call from our Realtor. She couldn’t believe it. She wrote the owners a short letter about Jon and I and how we loved the attention to detail they had for the home. Other offers were put in, but if we could do $5K more the home was ours. So, we dug in our savings, sold extra items,¬†lived on an even stricter budget, and made it work.

and now…WE HAVE A HOMEEEEEEE!!!!

We couldn’t have asked for better timing too. Remember how we were sick all the time? I had the St. Pete Health department come in. The lady couldn’t believe it. We were living with 70% humidity inside (50-55% is safe in FL) and there were high levels of formaldehyde & carbon monoxide! No wonder why the 3 of us were sick and tired all the time! We threw out many of our items, packed the rest, and we lived with my parents while we closed on the house.¬†Thankfully our friend & lawyer, April Goodwin, spoke on our behalf and the apartment agreed to cut our lease early due to the circumstances. PEACE OUT OLD APARTMENT.¬†

And NOW a huge thanks to the following people and then I’ll share photos of our home!!! ( Well at least the before photos, wait till you see what we’ve done with the place!!!)

Pre-Approval & Mortgage Process: Steve Kelly
Lawyer: April Goodwin
Realtors: Pat & Chuck Vosburgh
(sidenote: THEY SURPRISED US WITH THIS SUPER CUTE BASKET FULL OF ALL THINGS LOVELY, GLUTEN FREE, AND AMAZING)

Moving Company: Knightspeed Moving 

Shoutout to my parents for loving us dearly & giving us such a great gift that we will use to empower, encourage, and build up the St. Pete community with and lovingly raise a family when the time comes!

Here are the realtor photos of our home. I’ll share another blog soon with all the crazy updates we’ve done to the place by the grace of God & on a budget!!!

Why Are Professional Photographers So Damn Expensive?

Why Are Professional Photographers So Damn Expensive?

Ever wonder why photographers charge so damn much? I know it’s tough to wrap your head around especially if you’re not in the industry.¬†When people inquire for my photography pricing and I tell them I’m $250/hr I¬†usually get responses like,

“You charge how much?! That has to be a mistake.”
“Wow, I wish I made $250/hr for something as easy as this.”
“I was hoping to only spend $50 for something as easy as pressing a button”
“Well I need to quit my job and be a photographer!”

I realize to most people, they only see photography as easy as clicking a button. And now with technology making cameras more accessible, user friendly, and affordable, it’s honestly very easy for anyone to pick up a camera and take a decent photograph. I mean, look at smart phones these days. To be honest, I use my phone 90% for business and my Instagram is 97% images straight from my phone. The market is becoming saturated with “photographers” in today’s age, so why¬†hire me for $250/hr instead of having someone else do it for $50?

Did you know, in the United States, the average photographer only makes $31K? If you’re a full-time high end wedding photographer, their salary can be anywhere from $70K-$150K+. When you count in everything we’re going to discuss below, most photographers are only making between $12-15 an hour!

Let’s explore some reasons as to why photographers are expensive:

Photographers “hourly” rate includes way more time behind the scenes.

My 1 hour session with you isn’t including the time I’ve spent researching locations, ideas, and my time editing once the session is over, my time uploading the gallery, presenting, printing images, etc. Thankfully with years of experience, I’ve been able to cut my workflow in half between shooting the way I want in-camera first, then taking everything into Lightroom where I have presets made to the way I shoot. For some photographers, it may take them 3 hours to do a full session between planning to presenting the final images. For weddings it can take over 10+ to edit a full wedding. Every photographer is different depending on their own workflow & experience, but please keep in mind it’s not just our time shooting you. It’s a lot more behind the scenes.

Photography Gear is Not Cheap

Now, I keep my gear setup pretty simple and since I’m no longer shooting weddings, I don’t have as much gear, but here is what I use & how much it costs:

  1. Canon 5DMK III – Professional Advanced Camera – This has gone down in price since¬†the new one, Canon 5D MKV,¬†has been released. Typically these high range cameras can be anywhere from $2k-$3500 depending on your needs. That’s no lens. No extra batteries. No SD cards. Let’s add those in next.
  2. Lenses – I use the Sigma 35 1.4 Art Lens (which I LOVEEEEE) & the Canon 85 1.8. I also owned a Canon 50 1.4, but recently sold it. For the 35 1.4 & Canon 1.8, it’s $1268.¬†¬†Now, none of these are the L-series lenses which have better glass & a better build. For a single one of those, you’re looking at easily over $1300 PER lens. Some of my favorites are the 24-70 f/2, the 135 f/2, and the¬†70-200 2.8II.
  3. Flash – I only use one-flash at this time, however, most wedding photographers can have 1-4 flashes with them at a time. The flash I use is the Canon 600 ex II-rt. If you’re looking for a flash on a budget, I do recommend these.
  4. Other Gear :
  5. Studio Lighting – I use the Paul C. Buff Einstein. Between the lighstand, cables, transmitter & receiver, soft box, beauty dish, etc. I’ve already put in close to $1K for a single light setup. Some photographers use 2-3 lights in their studio.
  6. Not only is there gear, but you also need software to edit your photos with! I use Lightroom & because I’m a designer as well, I go ahead & pay $49/mo for Adobe Creative Suites. I believe they do have a photographer package that includes Photoshop & Lightroom for $10 or $19/mo.

Some Photographers have Studio Expenses

Sure most photographers can meet you outside at your favorite park or place to take photos, but some also have studios where they work from, meet with clients, or do additional indoor sessions. If they have their own building where they’re required to pay for maintenance & utilities, they can be paying easily over $1K for a space depending on what city they are in. We created a small co-photography space here in town to cut down rent costs.¬†By sharing the space, we’ve cut down costs to $150/mo per member.

Some may argue & say “Well mall photography studios don’t charge as much as you”. But mall studios are most of the time large corporations who can cut down costs, do quick training, literally have all the settings in camera to snap & print. Most mall studios like JC Penny’s, Sears, etc only lower their rates to get you into the stores so you’ll spend $200 elsewhere ūüėČ ¬†Most mall photography studios are shutting down because they’re too expensive to keep running if they can’t get people in. Plus, would you rather have a bland posed studio portrait or awesome photos at a park that shows more character with your loved ones…

Professional Photographers Pay to Perfect Their Craft

There are SO many awesome resources for people in the industry. Private workshops from top-rated photographers, large national conventions like WPPI, Southeastern Photo Convention, Showit United, and more. Private workshops with top-rated photographers can range anywhere from $800-$1500 for a few days per person, while conferences can be anywhere from $400-$800 a ticket. That’s not even including transportation, hotels, or food. The good thing is these can be written off as a business-expense, but still, they’re not cheap. There are also online courses & classes photographers can take to learn such as CreativeLive¬†& KelbyOne¬†where classes can be purchased one by one or on a monthly basis.

Professional Photographers are running a Legal Small Business

If anyone is offering photoshoots for under $100, they probably aren’t running a legal photography business or they are just starting out and don’t realize the costs of business quite yet.

When I first started as a photographer I did it all as a hobby. Never billed anyone until a friend asked me to shoot their beach wedding for $125 (Yep. lol).  After that, a few friends came to me asking for gigs and I began to raise my pricing quite a bit. I used that money to help get my LLC started & purchase new gear. When I got the paperwork for my LLC, I then realized I have to pay yearly to renew that, pay taxes, hire an accountant, pay sales tax for physical goods, and, woof, the list of finances grew.

Now to play it safe, I automatically put 30% of whatever I make into my “Taxes/Accountant” account¬†that¬†I don’t touch it. I never have to worry about owing the government or not being able to afford an accountant. I pay my taxes quarterly so I don’t have a heart attack at the end of the year when I see how much I owe.

You are paying for Professionalism, Quality & Experience

I can’t begin to tell you guys, even with design, how many times I have people come to me saying, “We hired our friend (or family member) to do our photos, but to be honest, we hate them! Anyway you can do a shoot for us at a discounted price?”

Why would I lower my pricing because you chose to go with someone else? Save your money, do your research, pay for a pro. You might end up spending more money in the long run hiring another person to make up for the first mishap.

Professional Photographers have done everything they can to make sure your images are awesome. They know how to direct you during sessions to make sure everything is natural. They know how to pose you if need be. They know the right angles, the lighting, the right exposure, the right aperture and the right settings to use. They wont give you images that are out-of-focus or blurry without intent. They do their best to make sure you get the best because YOU DESERVE IT!

Professional Photographers will have contracts in place, ask you questions, and make sure the process is going smoothly for you from beginning to end. If you have any questions or concerns about your shoot, they’re willing to talk things out with you. Definitely ask questions before you book to make sure you’re a good match with your photographer. Check out their website, their blog, see what other people are saying on their social media sites. Make sure they are a legitimate business before you put money down on them.

I have seen several people be scammed by “professional” photographers, so I encourage you to definitely do research before you hire anybody.

With experience comes demand, and with demand requires a price increase.¬†Some photographers who have been published multiple times, have larger clients, or who have been shooting for a certain # of years, may raise their pricing way higher than others in their market. They do this not to be mean, but to make sure¬†they get clients who are value their work & who they are. There’s nothing wrong with that. Everyone is at different levels in their business depending on their experience.

Final Thoughts…

The next time you question a photographer with their pricing, please keep these things in mind. We’re small business owners with dreams & desires like the rest of you. We love what we do. We love our clients. We want to provide incredible memories for years to come.

What do you think? Still think photography pricing is overrated? Leave a comment below!

How to Create a WordPress Blog in 3 Easy Steps

How to Create a WordPress Blog in 3 Easy Steps

Blogging has increased in popularity over the last few years and will continue to take over the internet. It’s an easy way to share your opinions, teach new things, show things you love, and most importantly¬†grow your business!¬†

Many people want to start blogging for these reasons, but have no idea where to begin! You can hire a designer ( like me! ) or do it yourself. If you plan on doing it yourself, then this blog is for you!

WordPress is hands down the best way to blog. If you’re a Squarespace user, they do have a blog option available as well. They have templates and make it super easy to create & share content. The only reason I recommend WordPress is due to the amount of flexibility you have and the hundreds of cool plugins & features you could add to your blog!

If you don’t want the responsibility of web hosting, I would recommend doing wordpress.com. The downside is you can’t edit code, add a theme of your own, and you can’t add plugins. If you want the ability to have more freedom & customization with your blog, then you need to do the following:

Get Hosting + A Domain

I run this blog & my website through HostGator.¬†I would recommend their WordPress Hosting plan if you only plan on having 1 blog. If you do plan on having multiple sites, consider their business plan!¬†¬†Their customer service is top notch and always available through LiveChat 24/7. I have also used¬†GoDaddy¬†for several clients and haven’t had any issues with them.

Click here to sign up & get a discount!
HostGator Web Hosting

Find a Theme

Once you get the hosting & domain set up. Install WordPress. Once you have that installed you can now add your theme. I highly recommend checking out the WordPress Themes at ThemeForest.net¬†They have hundreds of pre-made themes for¬†all sorts of businesses ranging from $30-$100 depending on your needs. Find something that fits your brand and purchase! Also, make sure it’s RESPONSIVE (works across all devices)! Majority of the themes there are, but triple check to make sure.

If you’re a photographer, you could use something like ProPhoto¬†instead to create a¬†blogsite. They have over 60+ beautiful templates from professional designers. Majority of the work is done, all you have to do is update the template with your brand colors, fonts, etc. The templates here are a bit more pricey but ProPhoto does give you many more options than your standard theme from Themeforest.net

Then there’s my absolute favorite, Divi 3.0. This is for advance WordPress users & Designers. I’ll share my love for Divi in another blog.

Install Theme & Rock n’ Roll

Now the easy part.

Log in to your WordPress Dashboard > Go to Appearance > Themes > Upload > then upload your purchased .zip file

The theme will show up in Appearances. Click Activate and you’re ready to blog!

Some themes will require a good amount of customization still. However most come with “Theme Options” that make it easy to swap out colors, fonts, etc to match your brand.

If this sounds a bit too complicated and you need a hand, send me a message!

———————-

Have you created a blog on your own? What advice would you give to others? Leave it in the comments below!

5 Things You Need to Know Before Designing a Logo

5 Things You Need to Know Before Designing a Logo

 

In today’s world of technology where you can create a logo on Canva, purchase a “custom” one off Etsy, or pay $5 for one on Fiverr, it’s easy to think you’re getting a quality for super cheap. But in most cases, you get what you pay for…

I can’t tell you the amount of people who have come up to me asking for me to redo their logo cause they were unhappy with the product they received through one of these cheaper services. Even though I wholeheartedly recommend hiring a designer, I understand that not everyone has hundreds to invest up front for a good logo design. Some of you may even want to try your hand at designing your own.

So to help you before you make the plunge, here are the top 5 things that make up a killer kick-ass logo.

1. Typography

Typography can make or break a logo. With literally thousands of fonts out there in the world, it can be hard to narrow it down for your design. Here’s what I recommend:

  • Only use 2 fonts in your logo, max 3, but really try to stick with 2.
  • Use fonts that compliment each other. You can use this site for inspiration.
  • Use a font that is also web ready, this way you can match the branding on your website. I use¬†TypeKit, Google Fonts, and Font Squirrel to pick out my fonts. The only time this wont work is if you hire a custom calligrapher for a script logo.
  • Not sure what type of font to go for? Here’s a super quick breakdown:¬†Sans-Serif fonts are good for modern simple logos. Serif ones are good for classic, timeless, romantic feels. Slab fonts are good for tech & trendy looks. Script is often more feminine, however used in the right way can also be good for hipster trendy logos. Below are some of my favorites.

2. Colors

Colors can help move your story in the right direction.¬†It’s important to choose colors that match your mission.¬†Try to avoid using more than 3 colors within a logo. You can also try out gradients, but make sure they are soft, subtle, and adding just the slightest depth to it. You don’t want to overdo it. The important thing is to make sure those colors¬†work well together.¬†I use Colour Lovers¬†whenever I’m looking for palettes that flow. Here is a quick guide with great examples to give you some inspiration:

If you’re interested in learning more¬†about the¬†psychology of colors, check out this book!

<a href=”https://www.amazon.com/Colour-Psychology-Today-June-McLeod/dp/1785353047/ref=as_li_ss_il?ie=UTF8&qid=1483487686&sr=8-4&keywords=color+psychology&linkCode=li2&tag=thelovelylyss-20&linkId=bb4e5ef5bbbb9f2ebb832a6e7689618c” target=”_blank”><img border=”0″ src=”//ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?_encoding=UTF8&ASIN=1785353047&Format=_SL160_&ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=thelovelylyss-20″ ></a><img src=”https://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=thelovelylyss-20&l=li2&o=1&a=1785353047″ width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”” style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” />

3. A Great Logo Can Be Legible in One Color

This is one of the biggest mistakes I see people make.¬†I ALWAYS design in black first & add color later.¬†If it doesn’t work in black, it wont work with any choice of color. Designing in black makes sure that it can stand out on it’s own;¬†Color is secondary. That’s why a lot of watercolor logos don’t work unless a) it’s a watercolor script no splash background to it ¬†b) the text is cut out of the watercolor splash. This beautiful logo by B is for Bonnie Design is a perfect example of what TO DO if you want a watercolor look & feel.

4. It can be Scalable

A great logo not only looks good large, but it can legible even at a small size. If the logo has too many elements or it’s too complex in design, it can get lost when scaled down. It’s very important to be scalable¬†for when it’s time to put your logo on products like business cards, letterheads, brochures, shirts, and more.

5. Keep it Simple

I cannot emphasize this enough.¬†That’s great if you love arrows, feathers, gold foil, your home state & photography. You know what’s not great? Putting it ALL in one logo. Just because you want the logo to be a representation of you or your business doesn’t mean it has to have ALL the elements to it.

Before you begin, write down the purpose of your business.¬†Then start thinking of words that relate or represent that mission. Keep it Simple, Stupid.¬†Don’t overthink it.

But at the same time, please make sure it’s not something like these…

In the end, if you are unsure about the design, ask for some feedback from friends and family. Do they understand what the logo is for? Is it representative of who you are or your business? Could it work across all platforms including web, social media, and print? Will people remember it ?

If you have any other advice to give or perhaps questions to ask, leave it in the comments below!