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Articles on Small Business Branding, Logo Design, Graphic Design and Web Design

These will give you a basic idea of how to start work on developing your brand. If you need more help, please contact me or check out my products.

Yes, you may reprint any of the articles listed here in your newsletter, on your website, or in a publication. Just include the "About the Author" section and a link back to this site!

Logo Elements
The Three-Part Harmony in Your Logo
The 6 Jobs of Your Logo's Icon
The 4 Jobs of Your Logo Font
The 5 Jobs of your Logo's Color Palette
Keep Your Logo Simple

A Brand Is Much More Than Just A Logo
Logo Design Questions: Answered!
9 Keys to an Effective Logo
Types of Logos: Text, Symbol and Combination Logos
Is Your Business Ready For A Logo?
What Your Logo Designer Needs to Know About Your Business
How to Get the Logo You Want
A Logo Isn't A Tattoo! Why Your Personal Tastes Have Nothing To Do With Your Logo
A Logo Without Your Name... Can Be A Big Branding Pain!
No Logo?: Launching a Business Without a Logo Can Sabotage You
Time to "Get Over" the Rainbow (in your logo, that is)
Logo Files: Versions Of Your Logo That You Should Own

Logo Redesign
Why Entrepreneurs Divorce Their Logos (And Why It's A Bad Idea)
The Domino Effect of Changing Your Logo
Signs It's Time To Redesign Your Company's Brand
Rebranding Is an Excuse to Party in Your Business

Small Business Branding and Brand Definition
A Small Business Brand's 7 Jobs
What Is A Brand?
The Layers of Your Brand
Define Your Brand to Drive Business 7 Ways To Define Your Small Business's Brand Why Your Business Brand Shouldn't Be An Exact Mirror Image Of You
The Four Red Light Factors For Your Business Brand
Focus Your Definition
Branding Is Like A Fairy Tale...
How To Avoid Having To Market Two Separate Businesses Even If You Offer Two Services
5 Brand Reexamination Triggers

Brand Differentiation
Define Your Difference: To Stand Out and Make Your Business Shine
How to Determine Whether You've Chosen a Good Niche
The Great Fear of Niching... and Why You Need to Get Over It!
The Truth About Your Competition
How Your Business Should Act Like A Snowflake

Brand Identity
15 Reasons Small Businesses Need a Brand Identity System
Connecting With Your Customers Through Your Brand Identity
9 Keys to Building a Stand-Out Brand Identity
Attract More Clients With A Brand Identity
Three Brand Identity Myths That Will Bring Your Business Down
Four More Brand Identity Myths
To Tag Or Not To Tag?
Splitting a Brand Design Project Between Two Design Firms

Marketing Material Design
What Order To Design In?
Making A Great First Impression With Your Marketing Materials
6 Ways To Improve Your Marketing During The Summer (and land some clients during slow times)
Create Your Marketing Machine to Plan for Marketing Success
Top 3 Must-Have Marketing Pieces
The Marketing Money-Pit
How To Stand Out At A Trade Show
Marketing Tips

Start-Up Design Needs
Designing Temporary Materials to Get You Through A Branding Emergency
Is Your Business Ready For A Logo?
No Logo?: Launching a Business Without a Logo Can Sabotage You
The Four Red Light Factors For Your Business Brand
Business Card Basics
Should You Print Your Own Marketing Materials?
Which Marketing Materials You Can—And Can't—Print Yourself
How Your Small Business Can Benefit from Having a Website
How to Make Sure Your Website Won't Need a Do-Over

Business Card and Stationery Design
Business Card Basics
Make Sure Your Business Card Stands Out
Contact Information to Include On Your Business Card
The Two-Sided Business Card Debate
Does Your Small Business Need A Digital Or A Printed Letterhead?
How To Design A Digital Letterhead That Works
Envelope versus Mailing Label: Fight
How to Design Mailing Labels in Microsoft Word

Follow Up Materials/ Email Newsletters
Follow Up With Your Clients
Why You Need To Get An Email Newsletter Service
Designing Your Email Newsletter
Getting Your Newsletter Into Peoples' Email Inboxes
Moving Your Newsletter

Visual Vocabulary
All About Visual Vocabulary and How It Can Help Your Small Business
The 9 Advantages to Using a Visual Vocabulary in Brand Identity Design
The Building Blocks of Visual Vocabulary: Consistency
The Building Blocks of Visual Vocabulary: Flexibility
Font Basics for Branding Your Small Business

Website Design
How Your Small Business Can Benefit from Having a Website
How to Make Sure Your Website Won't Need a Do-Over
How To Make Your Website Structurally Sound
Why Isn't Your Website Working Well?
The Balancing Act of Making Everyone Happy With Your Website
Stop Making Excuses. Your Website Must Match Your Other Marketing Materials
5 Easy Ways to Establish Your Brand Online
Building A One-Page Website
Starter Website Plan for a Service Business
Pages to Include in Your Website
Creating Your Home Page
Get Your Website Launched!
The Art of Website Maintenance
Signs It's Time To Redesign Your Website
Seven Steps To A Beautiful, Functional Blog Design

Shopping Carts
How To Sell Your Products and Services Online
How To Set Up 1ShoppingCart So That You Can Sell Online

Search Engine Optimization and Website Promotion
Search Engine Optimization: It's Not Who You Know, It's Who Knows You
Why You Won't Get Instant Gratification From the Search Engines and What to Do About It
Why All The Search Engine Secrecy?
Why Starting A Relationship With The Search Engines Can Be Hard
The Search Engine Trinity
Do You Really Need To Come In First Place?
Your Small Business's Search Engine Ranking Emergency
Getting Your Website Noticed by the Search Engines
How Search Engine Optimization Helps Small Businesses
How to Make Your Website Search-Engine Friendly
You've Created a Business Website: So Now What?

Choosing the Right Color Palette
Color Part 1: Accuracy
Color Part 2: Formats and Systems
Time to "Get Over" the Rainbow (in your logo, that is)

Design Execution
13 Tips for Finding a Graphic Designer
9 Tips for Getting the Best Work From Your Graphic Designer
Good Design Doesn't Get Done In A Day: Part 1 of 2
Good Design Doesn't Get Done In A Day: Part 2 of 2
What Rushing Your Design Project Really Means
Planning Ahead for Visual Consistency
Digital Printing vs. Press Printing—A Comparison Guide
Guest Article: Trademark Basics by Hoang-chi Truong

Technical & Business Articles
Tech Tips
Meeting Expectations
How To Make a Screenshot

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About the Author

Erin Ferree is a branding coach, design genius and strategic thinker. She's been told that her right-brain, left-brain combination of creativity and logic is hard to come by... and that it's what small business owners need to be successful. She loves connecting the dots between passion and profit, mixing strategy and inspiration and shaking things up.

She deeply enjoys working with entrepreneurs who want to help more people and look good doing it. Who want all of their branding and marketing to make sense and speak to their ideal clients. And who want an open, honest, inviting brand with integrity - instead of using icky, pushy, sleazy marketing tactics and trickery.

She's branded over 450 small businesses in the last 10 years. She's been published in so many books and periodicals that she stopped counting. She's shared stages with some awesome people - like Michele PW, Linda Hollander, Lisa Cherney, Sheri McConnell and Kelly O'neil.

She also enjoys hugging her corgi-dog Stanley, cooking and throwing parties so her friends can enjoy them.

You may reprint any of the articles listed here in your newsletter, on your website, or in a publication. Just include the "About the Author" section and a link back to this site!

I read your article correlating site design and house architecture and so enjoyed the metaphor that I went to your site. I'm really impressed with your work and inspired to learn more about color usage in corporate branding, specifically.

...I'm going to sign up for your newsletter now.

— Jo Hawke

I very much enjoyed your newsletter, this morning. So many of today's ezines contain nothing useful. Yours is a refreshing change. Helpful info on working with design and designers. Brava.

— Sue Johnston

Wonderful article on "Search Engine Optimization" today! While I know most of these things I don't do them. Hence, the reminder is invaluable!

— Shirley M. Carolan

Thank you very much for the video tips!! As someone who has been asked by clients to record speaking/emceeing sessions the tips have been really useful and I look forward to receiving the next couple of issues.

— Monika
Newsletter subscriber

I especially want to acknowledge my sincere gratitude for all you have offered in advice and in posts and on your blog. Your information is invaluable and I have learned a great deal. I can't do all that I've learned from you but try as I might!!! If I counted every dollar for every hour I pussy-footed around changing my blog template... not signing up for a newsletter service sooner — trying to do it my way to save a few $$, and trying to do the Amazon thing on my website — I could have bought a Lexus!!!

I am very grateful for the time and effort you take to respond to questions. You are truly, truly talented.

— Maggie Keenan

I have been really impressed with your site ever since I first found it a couple of months ago. You seem to really know what you're talking about and have a genuine desire to help people in their businesses.

— Allison Chambers

"Thank you so much for writing this article about letterhead. I had reached the same conclusion, but appreciate hearing it from a professional. I appreciate reading your newsletters..."

—Michele Zwillinger, PRC
SnoopPro Research


A big thanks to you for your web site and the information you offer to others.

I am an executive coach and trainer in Homewood AL who has had difficulty deciding what and how to create a website. Your designs were very clear and specific. Because they are, I was able to 'inscribe my thoughts' inside a 'web box' (that's my name for it, anyway).

In addition, I was able to 'see' how to compose the home page while limiting my more lengthy discourse to specific described pages.

— Kyle

My articles have appeared online at:

Microsoft Office Live

Creative Latitude

Women In Consulting Best Practices Direct newsletter

Women In Consulting Consultants Direct newsletter

The Your Membership newsletter — the Women's ECommerce Association, International

The Holistic Business Journal

And in print:

Women In Communications newsletter

The Marblehead, MA Chamber of Commerce newsletter

The San Mateo Area Chamber of Commerce newsletter

Dynamic Graphics magazine

Even on podcast!

Lee Hopkins' podcast

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