How to create a design style guide – thnxz to @CreativeBloQ


(Abstract… full article +INFO Creative Bloq )

A style guide shouldn’t read like the work of a control freak, but nor should it be vague and ambiguous. Paul Wyatt explains how to strike the right balance.

 

Here are (some of the best) tips for ensuring your style guide does the job right in ensuring others do it right.

It doesn’t have to be perfect

Obviously we’d all love to spend time and energy crafting the perfect design style guide for each project. But in the real world, that’s not always possible. If you’re up against a tight deadline and not able to create a style guide with lots of bells and whistles (and examples), be sure to include the most pertinent and helpful information about the brand or piece of work you’re created in the time you do have.

Full article +INFO 🙂

Essential elements

Start off with:

  • a written overview of the company it’s for
  • a rationale for the work carried out
  • information about logos; font usage; colour palette; tone of voice
  • photographic guides
  • collateral information

 

If you have enough time, it’s worth adding some examples of logo and typographic usage as well as links to master artwork/ brand collateral templates and helpful contacts within your agency or company.

 

 Concentrate on the visible

Look around your workplace and you’ll (hopefully) see colleagues who look presentable and are nicely dressed. Quite possibly a large percentage of these people do not have matching pants and socks or bras and knickers. But who cares? You (hopefully) don’t get to see them. Similarly, in your style guide concentrate on the visible and the relevant. Try not to deep dive into creating colour palettes which then have sub colour palettes and then further sub, sub colour palettes which might never be used or seen.

 

Full article +INFO 🙂

 

 Work with a copywriter

Style guide tips
Big, bold words help energise and communicate brand values in an effective visual way

Work with a copywriter to energise and communicate the brand. This style guide potentially will be used client-side by the in-house creative team or sent out to other agencies to be applied in future work.

For your guide to be applied successfully it’s essential to communicate effectively in written form the brand spirit; the reason behind the work; what the guide is there for; and what the brand goals are that the creative using the guide should be mindful of.

Full article +INFO 🙂

 

Anticipate questions

At the end of the guide include relevant contacts and create a group email address should the reader have any queries about the guide and need to get in touch should there be something the guide does not explain. Although if you’ve included all the relevant details in your guide this should very rarely happen.

Also consider creating an FAQ as part of the guide and think about the top 20 questions a creative might ask about a brand when they first approach it. “I hate your logo. Do I have to use it?” is a question which isn’t allowed.

 

Create art-worked examples

Style guide tips
Art worked header examples from the BBC visual language guide

Art-working up examples of creative templates can be a great way to showcase how the guide can be interpreted. Also consider supplying these files for download with the style guide.

The Google +1 Button Has No “Direct Effect” On Rankings


See on Scoop.itGabriel Catalano

Google’s +1s do not have a direct effect on a site’s ranking in search results. Google’s Matt Cutts said as much in a “Power Searching With Google” hangout on Google+ (via Alex Graves)

Here’s more of what Cutts had to say in the hangout: “In the short term, we’re still going to have to study and see how good the signal is, so right now, there’s not really a direct effect where if you have a lot of +1s, you’ll rank higher.

But there are things like, we have an authorship proposal, where you can use nice standards to markup your webpage, and you’ll actually see a picture of the author right there, and it turns out that if you see a picture of the author, sometimes you’ll have higher click through, and people will say, ‘oh, that looks like a trusted resource.’

So there are ways that you can participate and sort of get ready for the longer term trend of getting to know not just that something was said, but who said it and how reputable they were.”

“I think if you look further out in the future and look at something that we call social signals or authorship or whatever you want to call it, in ten years, I think knowing that a really reputable guy – if Dan has written an article, whether it’s a comment on a forum or on a blog – I would still want to see that. So that’s the long-term trend.”

Leer más “The Google +1 Button Has No “Direct Effect” On Rankings”

4+ Recommendations To Enhance B2B SEO Initiatives

The start of the new year is the ideal time for B2B search engine marketers to reassess website strategy and determine where enhancements could be made to benefit SEO visibility.

With budgets still in review and benchmarks being set, focusing on site enhancements first could help maximize the benefits of all ongoing SEO initiatives, that are realized over the course of the year.

Marketingsherpa just released its 2012 B2B Marketing Benchmark Report and two points helped shape this column. First, B2B marketers experienced severe declines in the tactical effectiveness of two top initiatives, website strategy and SEO.


The start of the new year is the ideal time for B2B search engine marketers to reassess website strategy and determine where enhancements could be made to benefit SEO visibility.

With budgets still in review and benchmarks being set, focusing on site enhancements first could help maximize the benefits of all ongoing SEO initiatives, that are realized over the course of the year.

Marketingsherpa just released its 2012 B2B Marketing Benchmark Report and two points helped shape this column. First, B2B marketers experienced severe declines in the tactical effectiveness of two top initiatives, website strategy and SEO.

B2B marketing effectiveness

Second, while the B2B marketing role has not really changed, leading “cutting edge” initiatives and creating buzz continue to grow in priority, along with lead generation initiatives as a whole. Leer más “4+ Recommendations To Enhance B2B SEO Initiatives”

Setting Goals to Succeed: Lessons from a Freelance Classical Musician


I never cease to be amazed by the number of players I meet who still believe in playing the classical music equivalent of corporate cubicle nation – clinging onto the notion that an orchestral job is fundamental to reputation and survival.

Those of us who have already escaped from the traditional straitjacket can assure you that life is infinitely more pleasurable and less stressful when you’re fully in control of your own destiny.

For classical music jobs, successful freelance musicians center their work around the concept of a “portfolio” career. In order to survive and thrive with such a lifestyle, just like learning to play an instrument, it is essential that you start with the basics in order to build solid foundations.

Following the method outlined below, I re-launched my classical music career after two decades out of the industry and have never looked back. It works! Leer más “Setting Goals to Succeed: Lessons from a Freelance Classical Musician”

The New Relationship: Do You Have a King or a Knight?

The new rules for choosing a life partner.

Recently, I’ve read a number of articles about the alpha woman/beta man relationship. As more women become breadwinners in their households, there seems to be a new stereotype forming around the label, the beta male.

Apparently, if a woman makes more money, has more ambition, and is possibly more educated than her husband, then he must be non-aggressive, domestic, and a bit dependent. If one sex rises in power, the other loses his clout.

Although this type of relationship exists, there are many healthy relationships with female breadwinners where the men have their own ambitions and drive. I wouldn’t call these men alpha or beta.

I believe there is a new type of male/female relationship forming in our culture not defined by who is more dominant and successful.

I first noticed this shift in the balance of power in relationships when doing my doctoral research. I found that as the earning muscle of a woman strengthens, her need for a man to take care of her financially subsides. Now, many smart, strong, goal-driven women are looking for emotional support instead.


Wander Woman | by Marcia Reynolds, Psy.D.
Guidance for the Goal-Driven Woman

The new rules for choosing a life partner.
Recently, I’ve read a number of articles about the alpha woman/beta man relationship. As more women become breadwinners in their households, there seems to be a new stereotype forming around the label, the beta male.

Apparently, if a woman makes more money, has more ambition, and is possibly more educated than her husband, then he must be non-aggressive, domestic, and a bit dependent. If one sex rises in power, the other loses his clout.

Although this type of relationship exists, there are many healthy relationships with female breadwinners where the men have their own ambitions and drive. I wouldn’t call these men alpha or beta.

I believe there is a new type of male/female relationship forming in our culture not defined by who is more dominant and successful.

I first noticed this shift in the balance of power in relationships when doing my doctoral research. I found that as the earning muscle of a woman strengthens, her need for a man to take care of her financially subsides. Now, many smart, strong, goal-driven women are looking for emotional support instead.

Leer más “The New Relationship: Do You Have a King or a Knight?”

Look to Nature for a Creative Breakthrough

This is the first in a series of creative thinking techniques — simple ways you can spark new insights, ideas, and ahas. The techniques are excerpted from my award-winning book, Awake at the Wheel.

Leonardo DaVinci got his idea for the airplane by watching birds in flight.

The creators of Kung Fu developed many of their techniques by watching animals fight.

The pharmaceutical industry develops many of its “miracle cures” by studying the natural healing properties of herbs and plants.

Bottom line, nature is a great source of breakthrough ideas.

The secret for meeting your biggest challenge, in fact, may have already been worked out thousands of years ago by a cockroach.


by Mitch Ditkoff

Look to Nature for a Creative BreakthroughThis is the first in a series of creative thinking techniques — simple ways you can spark new insights, ideas, and ahas. The techniques are excerpted from my award-winning book, Awake at the Wheel.

Leonardo DaVinci got his idea for the airplane by watching birds in flight.

The creators of Kung Fu developed many of their techniques by watching animals fight.

The pharmaceutical industry develops many of its “miracle cures” by studying the natural healing properties of herbs and plants.

Bottom line, nature is a great source of breakthrough ideas.

The secret for meeting your biggest challenge, in fact, may have already been worked out thousands of years ago by a cockroach. Leer más “Look to Nature for a Creative Breakthrough”

Ten Things Your Employees Wish You Knew About Them

If you think it’s tough being a manager these days, try being an employee. Most are in the position of having to go with the flow because of the current economic conditions. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they do so with a smile on their face. Here are ten things your employees wish you knew about them:

1. They are happy to have a job. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they are happy in their job. Big difference. People who are happy in their jobs act a lot different than those grateful to have a job. They are highly engaged and will do whatever it takes to delight the customer. The other group simply floats along praying for the day they can tell you really what they are thinking. Most likely they will do this as they hand in their notice. That is if they even give notice.

2. You’re not the boss of me. My five year old used to say this to me all the time. That is until I corrected her by telling her that actually I was the boss of her and that what I said goes. You may be the boss, but you don’t own your people. The minute you start playing the, “Because I said so” card, you’ve lost the game.

3. Your girls don’t like being called girls. I remember how shocked I was when my first client started speaking to me about the girls in the office, as he pointed to a sea of silver haired women. That should have been a sign that the problem was right in front of me. It is disrespectful to call females over the age of 18 girls. They are women. Keep this in mind when referring to female employees or you’ll soon find yourself managing a team consisting of yourself. Then you’ll be free to reference yourself in the manner that best suits you.


BY FC Expert Blogger Roberta Matuson

(…)

If you think it’s tough being a manager these days, try being an employee. Most are in the position of having to go with the flow because of the current economic conditions. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they do so with a smile on their face. Here are ten things your employees wish you knew about them:

1. They are happy to have a job. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they are happy in their job. Big difference. People who are happy in their jobs act a lot different than those grateful to have a job. They are highly engaged and will do whatever it takes to delight the customer. The other group simply floats along praying for the day they can tell you really what they are thinking. Most likely they will do this as they hand in their notice. That is if they even give notice.

2. You’re not the boss of me. My five year old used to say this to me all the time. That is until I corrected her by telling her that actually I was the boss of her and that what I said goes. You may be the boss, but you don’t own your people. The minute you start playing the, “Because I said so” card, you’ve lost the game.

3. Your girls don’t like being called girls. I remember how shocked I was when my first client started speaking to me about the girls in the office, as he pointed to a sea of silver haired women. That should have been a sign that the problem was right in front of me. It is disrespectful to call females over the age of 18 girls. They are women. Keep this in mind when referring to female employees or you’ll soon find yourself managing a team consisting of yourself. Then you’ll be free to reference yourself in the manner that best suits you. Leer más “Ten Things Your Employees Wish You Knew About Them”