In history classes growing up, we’ve studied the importance of the printing press and how it led to a revolution: the rise in literacy rates and the spread of knowledge across the world. More recently, however, we have encountered another revolutionary invention that democratized the digital world and pioneered graphic design. The introduction of the Macintosh computer in 1984 changed the design world forever with its featured font menu. After taking a calligraphy class at Reed College, Steve Jobs understood the importance of typeface and later integrated this feature into his computer. This type menu has transformed design forever and become an integral part of artistic composition. As you devise your branding and marketing efforts, keep in mind the importance font plays in identifying with target audiences, gaining the attention of consumers and creating an image that resonates with them.
Posted on Feb 18, 2015 by Callie Musick
Other than building slick new websites, did you know HMG Creative has a pro team of brand developers and designers? It’s true. Check out our most recent project below to find out how our team helped Hamilton Asset Management Group create their new brand identity.
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Posted on Apr 29, 2013 by James Trumbly
The world of web design can seem pretty intimidating at times. After all, the success of your business rises and falls on whether your website successfully engages your site visitors and conveniences them to take the next step. We know you’re kickin’ it with awesome web page design, but just in case you need some inspiration, take a look at these big business web design disasters and take some notes on what NOT to do:
Plenty of “deal-of-the-day” websites require you to register before you can see the actual deals, but Zulily’s home page gives you next to no information about what the site does. Here are the biggest design problems:
- You can find a bit of information about how the site works, but it’s buried at the bottom of the page under a banner that looks like advertising, making the viewer ignore everything below it.
- Links to “How Zulily Works,” “Brands We Love,” and “FAQ” appear in tiny type that doesn’t stand out from surrounding content.
- No secondary call to action if the visitor isn’t ready to register.
Bottom Line: It’s too hard for non-registered users to learn about the site.
Carol House Furniture
Carol House makes visitors jump through multiple hoops in order to view their website—a surefire way to send customers scrambling for the back button. For starters:
- Gray type on white background = hard to read.
- After reaching the home page, you have to click an additional button to see any actual content.
- The home page has a long list of obsolete requirements you must meet before you can see their content (high speed internet, Flash player, disable pop-up blocker). Really? Who has to remind people they need high speed internet these days?
After clicking the Enter button, a new page opens where all browser controls have been disabled, a cheesy Flash video plays, music automatically starts, and the talking heads at the top of the page point out interesting links we might want to click (wait, I thought we were here to look at furniture…).
We also see lots of wasted space on either side with no clear call to action anywhere on the page.
Bottom Line: After making your visitors enter an alternate universe in order to see your site, don’t handcuff them in a desperate attempt to make them stick around.
I’ll keep this one short and sweet (which is opposite of Pure Ecommerce’s site).
We have to read through lengthy blocks of copy just to find out what the company offers. Once we click on the call to action, we’re directed to more copy. Not exactly a one-click, ready-to-go experience as promised.
Bottom Line: Too much copy and weak call to actions.
So, what’s the point?
Big business web design disasters keep us all humble. If they can experience huge marketing fails, so can we. Keep testing, keep tweaking, and keep converting! Would you consider your online web presence a “disaster”? If so, we’d love to chat with you… after all we’re only a phone call away.
Posted on Apr 15, 2013 by James Trumbly
Web design isn’t an exact science. There are broad principles to follow, but at the end of the day, you have to figure out what works for you and your audience. However, you should always remember that your customers have itchy back-button fingers, and some web design mistakes will make them bounce every time. Here’s a list of our top eight design mistakes:
- Making Content Look Like Advertising
Web users these days have developed “banner blindness.” Anything that looks like a banner ad or block ad will be ignored. Avoid the common web design mistake of putting essential information in a format that looks like advertising.
- Using Non-Intuitive Navigation
If you have to explain how to navigate your site, you’ve done it wrong. Navigation should make sense to someone who has never seen your site before. Group similar links under headings and make it easy for visitors to find their way back to a previous page and to the home page.
- Automatic-Play Flash Videos
No one wants to be held hostage while you play a 20-second introductory video before loading site content. Video is great, but make it optional by providing a play button for the user to click when he or she is ready.
- Not Listing Product Pricing
What’s the point of having an ecommerce website if you make the visitor call, register, or start to checkout before he sees actual prices? This includes shipping rates as well. Provide estimates before checkout to reduce sticker shock during the sale.
- Unclear Call to Action
Can visitors immediately see how to take action on your site? Your call to action should use descriptive, action-oriented language that clearly communicates what you want the visitor to do.
- Long Blocks of Text
Our attention span is short and even shorter online. No one has time to read through a long page of tiny text. Break copy up into smaller chunks using subheadings and bullets, and make the font bigger so content appears less intimidating.
- No Search or Bad Search
Placing the search box in a difficult-to-find place (like halfway down the sidebar), not being able to handle misspellings, and not including search capabilities at all are common web design mistakes. Bad search can leave users frustrated and ready to bail.
- Links that Don’t Look Like Links
Use color to designate clickable text, and change the color for links that have already been clicked. Don’t be too creative with this. Underlines, italics, bolding, and unusual colors may look cool, but users may not pick up on the fact that they can be clicked.
Do you happen to be guilty of any of these disastrous web design mistakes? If so, it’s time to start testing a new design that will make it easier for your customers to convert. Give us a call and we’d be happy to talk through this with you!
Posted on Dec 13, 2012 by James Trumbly
We are embracing the Holiday spirit at HMG Creative by celebrating the “Twelve Days of Christmas.” For 12 days in December (starting today) we will have a product discount, fun videos and great marketing tips to get your business ready for 2013!
So… eh hem, “On the first day of Christmas HMG gave to me… 50% off business cards…That’s Almost FREE!”
Often the first impression potential clients have of your business is your card. Make sure you’re giving the right impression with a high quality card stock. We have many choices to suit your style including Satin Laminate and even high quality Recycled Papers. See our full line of options at HMG Printing. You can also give your card a check-up by reading our blog post from our very own, Rob Ridgeway, to determine if your card is “cardworthy.”
We hope you enjoyed our “First Day of Christmas.” And be sure to stay tuned for the next 11 days, you never know what else we might have up our Christmas sweater sleeves!
Posted on Nov 08, 2012 by Johnny Jeffers
HMG Creative is excited to announce the launch of City Values For Women, a site which offers fantastic shopping options with built-in savings. The new website allows visitors to tour home improvement stores, restaurants, health and beauty providers and much more through custom videos and offers.
Working closely with the City Values For Women executive team on all elements of the project was very crucial, which is true for any client project here at HMG Creative. Our team identified the following tactics in order to ensure a successful launch of the website:
- Discover the goals, ideal target market and functionality the company desires to launch
- Develop an in-depth framework for the site
- Create software that would allow for browsing of numerous directories
- Further brand image and ensure consistency of the brand by designing business cards and a marketing print piece
City Values For Women launched this week at cityvaluesforwomen.com.
Screenshots of the new website
Print MaterialsView Project Overview