Why You Need a Brand Guide: Branding is More Than Just a Logo

Why You Need a Brand Guide: Branding is More Than Just a Logo

We all consume hundreds of pieces of content a day; from the emails we glance at, the social media images we see, and the advertisements we see out in the real world, it’s all being fed into our brains. Most of it won’t stick – we’ll forget about it as quickly as our eyes darted over it.

So what distinguishes the content we retain from the content we immediately forget? One word: branding.

Your brand is what will make people stop and take notice. You may recall some branding you’ve seen for something that was not at all marketed towards you but was still memorable for something it did. While you may not have appreciated the branding for the message it was giving out, there’s no denying that it was noticeable.

What is a brand guide?

When most people think of branding, they think of a logo, but the effects of the above experience are not produced by just a logo – they’re produced by all of that brand’s elements coming together to create the perfect storm: an emotional response.

Your brand guide (also called brand guidelines) should outline all elements of your brand, including:

  • Logo and any secondary logos and submarks
  • Fonts
  • Color palette
  • Design elements and/or patterns
  • Values
  • Tone of voice
  • Mission statement

In short, your brand guide contains the rules your brand follows to ensure everything produced looks and feels as though it has come from your brand without your brand name having to be attached to it. It makes sure your content looks the same and has the right messaging, whether it’s your website, an email newsletter, Instagram image, or real-world store.

Why is a brand guide so important?

  1. Humans don’t like unpredictability

We may say we like spontaneity, but the truth is, humans love predictability. We often thrive in routines and there’s nearly always an outcry when a brand or platform changes something, even if it’s for the better. We don’t like change, and brand consistency ensures our customers know exactly what to expect from us. Consistency invites trust, and we only buy from brands we trust (especially if it’s a higher price point).

  1. It removes the guesswork for team members

Whether you have a team of 40 working under you or if it’s just you and the odd freelancer, brand guidelines ensure they know what they need to do and if they’re working to develop something that will be visual (such as a social media post or the graphics for your company trucks) they know exactly what design elements to use and what color palette to draw from. This goes for written content too – your copywriters will know what voice to write your content in.

  1. You become recognizable

If we show you a brand that’s red and yellow, there’s a good chance that it’s going to be McDonald’s. If another brand then used those exact shades in their branding, you’d glance at their logo or content and assume it was McDonald’s, even if they were a gardening company. Our brains are trained to make assumptions, and so you can use this to your advantage to create a recognizable brand. Well-chosen brand elements used consistently will get your customers saying, “the colors on that van reminded me of [your brand].”

Branding shouldn’t be an afterthought – it should be your first thought. And, while getting good brand guidelines shouldn’t be something that delays you from making progress with your business, it should be something you get as soon as possible. If you’ve yet to create a brand guide and all the elements that go into it, we’re here to help.

Creating a brand guide is often daunting, but we’re here to guide you through the process from start to finish. To find out more about our branding and design services, click here.

Join Our Team

Join Our Team

We’re growing and looking for a new member for our team.  If you’re a graphic designer that would like to work from home, set your own hours and gain experience working in a collaborative environment then you might LOVE Pixel Parfait!   We are a small team of people very passionate about what we do and we’re looking for another passionate person to join us in designing for companies all around the country.

The current opening is part-time with a full-time opportunity projected for the end of the year. Interested in designers in any US state, you don’t need to be local to apply.  Opening beginning ASAP with training scheduled for May.  We are willing to train the right person, so please feel free to reach out if you have the required qualifications but are still working or need training with the full job skills!  Currently, a 1099 contract position with full-time employment (W-4) is projected for the end of 2022-early 2023.

Required Qualifications:

  1. Must have at least an associate’s degree in graphic design or a related field.
  2. Must have proficient knowledge working with Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, and Indesign
  3. Must have a working computer, internet access, and Adobe subscription
  4. Must be self-motivated, great with deadlines, and able to prioritize multiple jobs at the same time. 
  5. Must be willing to learn new things and take written and oral instruction and critique well.
  6. Must be a team player and willing to take on miscellaneous tasks as needed.
  7. Must speak fluent English
  8. Must have some availability during the regular working hours (M-F 8:00-5:00pm)
  9. Must be willing to work with Pixel Parfait clients as an extension of our brand and culture.

It’s a plus if you have any of these skills (not required to apply):

  1. Any WordPress experience
  2. Experience working with clients
  3. Sales Experience, especially in the marketing and design field
  4. Marketing Experience
  5. Any web development (coding) experience
  6. Experience using Adobe XD, Dreamweaver, Canva, or other platforms
  7. Speak Spanish and/or translation experience
  8. Proofreading or copywriting experience
  9. Great at writing promotional copy (perfect for websites and social media)
  10. Social Media management experience
  11. SEO optimization knowledge
  12. Online advertising experience (google and social ads)

What you might work on at Pixel Parfait:

  • Social media graphics & account management
  • Infographics & custom illustrations
  • Brochures & Flyers
  • Icons
  • Digital ads
  • Blog graphics
  • Email graphics
  • Website graphics
  • Website design and/or development using WordPress
  • Management services for existing clients
  • And More!

To apply:  Email your resume and website or portfolio link to designer@pixelparfait.graphics.  
We will reply to your email with an interview schedule if we’re interested. 

Thank you for your time.  We hope to work with you soon!

5 Things Social Media Management Can Do For Your Business

5 Things Social Media Management Can Do For Your Business

With more than half the world’s population actively using social media platforms at least once a month, it is no surprise that it is the perfect place to connect with your audience. When you use social media in the right way, you can gain so many benefits, but that is often easier said than done when you are running a business.

Professional social media management will allow your business to take advantage of social media while you take care of day-to-day operations and future plans. Here are just some of the things that social media management could do for your business:

5 Things Social Media Management Can Do For Your Business

1. Increase Your Brand Awareness

Social media is the perfect way to reach new customers or clients. It is cost-effective and allows you to reach people all over the world.

Having a strong social media strategy in place will help to increase your brand awareness as it allows you to engage with a much wider audience, finding valuable consumers that will lead to business growth.

Any interaction with your social media content is enough to increase your brand awareness and build your reputation as a trustworthy, successful brand.

2. Keep on Top of All Your Accounts

Social media management will also help to keep on top of your social media accounts across all platforms. With potential customers having different preferences to the social media they use, it is important that each of your accounts is regularly updated, and you maintain a constant social media presence.

Since so many consumers log in to social media at least once every day, you want to create the opportunity to connect with your followers, and potential new conversions, each day.

Your social media manager can help guide you on the best content to promote, analyze what’s working and what’s not, and ensure your accounts continue to grow in a meaningful way.

3. Tailor Your Content to Each Platform

Your content must be tailored to each social media platform so that it is conveying the right message and getting through to your target audience.

A social media manager will be able to determine which type of content will be the most successful on each platform, whilst ensuring that they all work cohesively with one another so that it all fits together as part of your brand.

4. Never Miss a Comment or Direct Message

As a business, it is important to stay connected with your audience and customers, and one of the best ways to do that is by replying to comments and direct messages in good time.

Leaving questions unanswered or comments without a response can easily lead to people thinking that you don’t care enough and they will simply find another brand that can provide them with what they need.

If you are focusing on running your business, you may not be able to find the time to reply to your followers yourself, but a social media manager can take care of it on your behalf to ensure that no comment or direct message is missed.

5. Reach New Customers with Effective Hashtags

Advertising on social media is an effective way to help your business to grow, and the same goes for using relevant hashtags in your content.

Professional social media management will help you find the right hashtags and search terms to increase your discoverability. It’s all too easy when you’re swamped with other things to do to use the same hashtags over and over, but many social media experts believe this displeases social media algorithms because it is seen as “repetitive content.”

Your social media manager can take the reins and ensure your feed is fresh and exciting while staying on-brand. 

If you are looking to take advantage of social media for your business, Pixel Parfait can help you with professional social media management. We will create unique posts and graphics to match your brand look, provide custom image templates that will appeal most to your target audience, get you more conversions to your website with promoted posts, and increase your brand awareness through the efficient use of hashtags. To find out more about how we can help, click here.

10 Reasons to Hire a Design Professional for Your Business in 2022

10 Reasons to Hire a Design Professional for Your Business in 2022

Back when the internet and social media was new, you could totally make do with a graphic you’d put together with a random tool you found online and use it for your business and no one would look twice (unless it was covered in animated glitter – remember that?). In 2022 there’s no excuse for bad graphics or websites, and a bad one can have serious consequences for your business.

Here are 10 reasons you should hire a design professional in 2022:

10 Reasons You Should Hire a Design Professional in 2022

1) Bad graphics make you look unprofessional: Unless you’re a household name, you can’t get away with bad graphics. They make you look unprofessional and may make your customer question your legitimacy.

2) The wrong graphic may repel your target customer: Your graphics can attract your ideal customers to you, showing them exactly what they love to see – or it can repel them. Unfortunately, we often think something we put together is good enough or just what our customer is looking for, but that is rarely the case. A design professional knows what works.

3) Get your time back: You’re a busy business owner; whether you have a team of 1 or 5, you probably aren’t finger tapping your desk each day wondering what you should do. Stop spending hours fiddling with graphics and do the things that move the needle for your business.  

4) Stop the scroll: We all do it, we’ve got a spare 2 minutes and out comes social media for us to scroll aimlessly. We will bypass any graphic that doesn’t wow us. A social media design professional has the skill to capture a lead’s attention.

5) Outdated websites aren’t user friendly: You’ve got to offer your customer an easy and pleasant user experience on your site or they’ll leave – most people will give your site 5 seconds or less to give them what they want, especially if they encounter a problem. A website design professional can make your customer journey as smooth as possible.

6) You need to differentiate from the pack: When we make our own graphics and websites, we often look at the competition for inspiration, which can make us look too similar to everyone else. The copycat will always come in 2nd, so make sure you’ve got branding that shows your customer that you’re different.

7) It will ultimately save you money: not only can the right design help attract your customers, but making your own often leads you to waste money making mistakes and creating new versions of your design every few weeks because it’s not working. When you work with a professional, you get the design done and then you can move on.

8) You can become instantly recognizable: a designer can help you develop strong branding so everything you put out into the world is instantly recognizable as your company. This helps make your business identity clear and it helps customers feel like you’re stable and trustworthy.

9) They’ll make everything clear: While a good copywriter can give you the best words to get the sale, they’re almost useless with the right design to get them noticed. A designer will help you make sure everything in your marketing materials conveys the right message as quickly as possible.

10) You’ll actually have the marketing assets you need when you need them: How many times have you thought about updating something, posting something, or putting out a message only to stall because you don’t have the right graphic. Not only is this a time suck, but it often puts us off following through in the first place.

Work with a design professional in 2022

If you’re ready to outsource your design needs to a professional, Sarah and the team at Pixel Parfait are here to help. We design it all – from graphic design and social media to websites and branding. To find out more about how we can help you up-level your business in 2022, click here.

6 Tips for Keeping Your WordPress Site in Tip-Top Shape

6 Tips for Keeping Your WordPress Site in Tip-Top Shape

WordPress is one of the most popular website platforms out there, accounting for approximately 64.1% of all websites on the internet. That’s a lot of websites! But, that also means there are a lot of websites that aren’t being maintained quite as often as they should be. While WordPress is an incredible and powerful platform, it does need some manual maintenance from you to keep it operating as it should.

So, what do you need to do to keep your WordPress site in tip-top shape? Follow these 6 top tips:

6 Tips for Keeping Your WordPress Site in Tip-Top Shape

  1. Clean Your Database Monthly

Cleaning your database can be daunting, especially if you are worried that you might accidentally delete something you shouldn’t. However, having lots of things on your website that you don’t really need (such as data from unused plugins) will slow it down, and site speed is more important than ever. Rather than trying to this on your own, try using a performance plugin such as WP Rocket or WP Optimize to do it for you.

  • Remove Old Plugins

One of the biggest benefits of using WordPress is the ease of using plugins, but it’s incredibly easy to download and install numerous plugins that all do the same thing until you find one you like, and then leave the rest sitting there. This takes up “room” that can, again, slow your site down, so go through your plugins once a month and clear out the old plugins that no longer work for you.

3.    Update Your Plugins & Theme

Once a month, take a look at your plugins and your theme to check for updates. These updates keep everything working as it should and may even give you new features, so it’s well worth putting on your to-do list each month.

  • Check Site Speed

A lot of what you’re doing here is to improve site speed, so it’s well worth checking how your site is performing. You can simply google “site speed check” for a few options, but Google’s own “Google Test My Site” is one of the best.

  • Check for Broken Links

Broken links can effect your SEO (search engine optimization) rankings in more ways than one. Not only do search engines not recommend links that lead nowhere, but if your visitors are landing on pages that constantly 404 (aren’t there), they’ll quickly leave your site.

Check for broken links on your site and either remove them or set up a redirect to another page. Again, you can find a bunch of free tools for this, but Dead Link Checker is a good once to use. If you need to set up redirects, WP Beginner has a great guide here.

  • Make Sure Your Site is Protected

Cyberattacks and malware are becoming more sophisticated with time, and so you need to do what you can to make sure your site is protected. Wordfence is one of the best tools available to do this – it protects your WordPress site from a massive range of attacks and keeps your site secure at all times.

We know this is a lot to keep a handle on, especially for busy small business owners. That’s why we offer full website maintenance services to keep your WordPress site healthy, lean, and secure! To find out more about our services, click here.

Why You Should Limit Fonts for Your Brand

Why You Should Limit Fonts for Your Brand

Fonts are an essential part of branding; it’s how we identify companies without even seeing an image of their products. Think of the iconic red Coca-Cola logo or the Avant-Garde font used for Adidas’ marketing. Each brand’s font makes an immediate impression on the customer, so it’s important to be consistent when it comes to building your brand. 

But it’s not just the logo font that matters. Everything form your headlines to your body copy font matters. It’s common for new businesses just to default to whatever their website theme is set to, or pick whatever font they feel like that day for their copy or advertisements, but this can be a big mistake.

Why? Read on to find out.

Why limit the number of fonts you use?

In general, using more than three types of fonts will dilute any brand and make any blog post or website home page look unpolished and disorganized. The reader might not realize why the website isn’t pleasing to look at, but it’ll likely be because the various fonts will have to fight for attention.

While it may be tempting to select four or five fonts to mix it up, limit yourself to one “main” font, one secondary font, and a body font.

You want to create a clean and uncomplicated look for your brand, free of clutter and visual confusion. It might feel a little restrained to limit your font use, but you can still create contrast using typefaces within the same font family. Instead of using various fonts, focus on creating variety in the weights and sizes you choose.

Knowing the various types of font families (categories) can help when it comes to choosing the right ones. Each font category has its own traits, so it’s important to understand these categories when selecting the fonts that suit your brand personality. Knowing a little about font psychology will also help you hone in on the right font for your unique needs. 

Limiting your fonts to just 3, or less, will help your brand gain clarity, look professional, and will help you create brand consistency across all channels – every web page and advertisement will look on-brand.

How do you choose the best fonts for your brand?

Building a brand isn’t easy – it’s not just about whether it looks “good”, but it also needs to attract the right customers, convey your values, and set the tone for everything you do.

The ideal brand fonts should:

  • Be legible in general and on every platform
  • Be memorable and unique (no copying your favorite companies – you’ll just remind customers of the other company, even if they’re in a different vertical)
  • Reflect your brand personality
  • Come from a font family so you have similar weights to choose from
  • Align with your industry or how you are different if your aim is to stand out
  • Attract your ideal customers

Your logo or headline font will often be the most artistic, but it still needs to be easy to read. Avoid using any font that takes people a moment or two to decipher, as this can turn people away. Your body font should be easy to read, so avoid cursive fonts. Remember to take your time to find the right fonts for your brand. Once you’ve found three that work for you, you can stick with them for years—or even decades—to come!

Feel unsure?

If you’re looking for a helping hand when it comes to font choice, web design, and overall branding, Pixel Parfait is here to help. We offer each new customer a design consultation to discuss current branding and services they’re looking for so we can evaluate the client’s style. We can help guide you through the process of choosing your fonts and ensure you choose fonts that align perfectly with your brand.  

Click here to learn more about our full range of services