Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Use of Web banner Ads in Affiliate Programs

Affiliate programs are a perfect way to make your site more profitable. Banners are extensively used for this purpose. Its concept revolves around making more commission and sales.

Under this program, a website places its web banner or text link on other related sites in order to get more network traffic. When a viewer clicks on this banner or text link, he or she is diverted to the website which advertises the banner. If the user makes some transactions on the site, then the website that provided the link to you gets some amount of commission. In certain cases, payment is based on the number of clicks. In comparison to web banners, however, text links do not get as many numbers of clicks.

An effective banner design always gets more clicks. The effectiveness of your banner is based on its layout, colors and animation. Before selecting your banner size, find out what size is acceptable on the site where you want to display your web banner ad. You can use gif images or flash to animate your banner. Flash banners get better responses than gif banners. However, the main drawback of a flash banner is that it increases the load time of the banner.

Your banner design should be compatible with the webpage. It should seem like a part of the web page. Create web designs that convey an on-the-face message about your business or product. You can also avail of banner design companies that provide banner design services online.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Logo Design Myths

1. In the Flick of a Finger: Rome was certainly not built in a day. Neither is a logo. A logo is an epitome of a company’s idea, conception and image. So time is one of the most important investments to achieve a good logo design. So invest it in excavating information about the company, its value, market image and the target market.

2. Complicated Graphics: Aesthetics comprise a significant part of a professional logo design process. However, just as with SFX (special effects), the more natural it is, the more effective it is. On the other hand, the graphics used in a logo will trigger off different responses in different sets of audience. Hence, a logo needs to be designed in keeping with customer priorities, the target audience and the kind of message that a company wants to convey to its customer.

3. Illustrative Logo is a Better Choice: A picture is worth much more than just a thousand words. However, a picture appeals to different people through different channels. Hence, the decision regarding the adoption of a more or a less illustrative logo should be based solely on market research, rather than on client or designer assumptions.

4. Paint the Town Red: Achieving a unique logo design doesn’t require a multitude of colors to grab the viewer’s attention; face the fact that if your logo doesn’t look good in black and white, it would not look good in any other colors! Hence, instead of using a plethora of colors, use single or a combination of colors that would represent your company well and will be a sight for sore eyes!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Best Practices – HTML Email

Provide the Administration Center in Your Email: The practice of putting the Administration center in your HTML Email connects your subscribers to you and helps to distinguish you from the plethora of other mails that your potential subscriber might be getting. An unsubscribe link and link to your privacy policy should also be included in HTML email template.

Provide Search Function: Include a site search function in your HTML email. This allows the subscriber to search for your products, services and any other company information that he or she might be looking for directly from the HTML Email. This way the potential subscriber acquires direct access to your web site.

Forward to Friend link: Including a “forward to friend” link in your HTML email design is more practical then including messages asking your subscribers to forward your message to friends. This link sends a request through your server and helps you to track the person who is forwarding your message.

Link to Web Version: Certain clients’ email environments block images or are incapable of reading your Html email properly. As a result, it becomes difficult for the client as well to read the HTML email. To sort this problem out, create a web version of your HTML email newsletter and provide a link in your message.

Provide Email Address: Certain potential subscribers might have some doubts or query regarding your product or services before they take the decision to actually subscribe to your product or services. It’s, thus, important to cater to their query; else it will stain your reputation as a company and will create a bad impression about you in your potential subscribers’ minds. Hence, it’s recommended to include your email address in your HTML email so that they can send their queries directly to you.

Contact Information
: Include your contact details such as telephone or cell number in your HTML email design so as to enable your client or buyer to contact you directly.

Add to Sender Recipient List: If your email id is not present in the recipient’s address book, your emails will move to the trash or spam folder or may even get blocked by the spam filter. Hence, add some line like” To ensure this email is delivered to your inbox, please add the email address” at the top of your HTML Email. It is an indispensable step in getting your emails into the recipient’s inbox.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Corporate Logo Design

Corporate logo design is not just a part of your corporate jargon, it butters your bread by playing a significant role in building your corporate image in the market. Your corporate logo design needs to convey a comprehensive idea about your company values to the viewers. Your customer identifies you by your logo design, so much so that he or she might identify the product with your brand name, like happened in the case of Sony’s Walkman. So design the logo which is unique and easy to memorize, nonetheless delivers a shot which too is hard to forget!

The actual process of designing it may be achieved in-house or outsourced to professionals. There is now a plethora of logo designing companies that offer excellent logo designing for minimal charges. Some key points to be kept in mind for an effective corporate logo design are:

1. Simplicity: Don’t build into your logo Aristotle’s philosophy on life. Keep it simple and memorable. Companies spend thousands of bucks to make their logos more effective and eye catching, rather than complex and diverting. Remember how when you see SONY, you see perfection.

2. Colors: Colors are not an integral component to logo design but important to brand recognition. Colors express emotions, with each color popularly standing for one emotion or the other. However, use only a few colors instead of using all the colors from the visible spectrum of the rainbow! If you already have your corporate color, use those colors in your corporate logo.

3. Compatibility: Compatibility plays a key role. Compatibility of colors used in the logo and the logo itself with the business stationary used (Cards, letterhead and envelope etc). Also keep in mind that your logo should look good in black and white since your corporate logo design used in all corporate communications (Fax, photocopied document etc.) will be a black and white combination.

4. Promotion: The next step after the design process is to promote your logo. Avail of quality printing services. Print your logo on your business stationary as well as on your products. This will go a long way in popularizing your corporate logo.

5. Don't Use Logo Design Software: Using logo design software will successfully kill your logo even before it’s started! Such softwares offer cheap shortcuts in the form of pre-designed templates and images and allow you to add your company name in the end of the murk. Quite predictably, logos created using such softwares are uncommonly common. So veer away from such cheap means. If you want your logo to be the best, then it deserves services that are the best.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Web Banner Advertising Standards

Banner Size: The most popular web banner size is 468X60 pixels. It is present in the recent version of Photoshop. Before deciding your web banner size, make sure that the site where you want to display it will accept a banner of that size. Following is the list of standard banner sizes:

Banners and Buttons:

234 x 60 pixels (Half Banner)
392 x 72 pixels (Full banner with vertical navigation bar)
120 x 240 pixels (Vertical Banner)
125 x 125 pixels (Square Button)
120 x 90 pixels (Button 1)
120 x 60 pixels (Button 2)
88 x 31 pixels (Micro Button)
728X90 pixels (Leader Board)

Rectangle and Pop-Ups:

300X250 pixels (Medium Rectangle)
205X250 pixels (Square Pop Up)
336X280 pixels (Large Rectangle)
180X150 pixels (Rectangle)


160X600 pixels (Wide Skyscraper)
120X600 pixels (Skyscraper)
300X600 pixel (Half Page Ad)

Thursday, February 22, 2007

HTML Email Marketing Tips

Use Receptor Name to Address: Most people ignore emails which are not addressed to them as junk/bulk emails. To avoid your HTML email marketing from giving out such mixed signals, it’s important to address the individual receptors with their name.

Use Your Name in “From” Field and Brand Name as Subject: People usually ignore automated emails or those sent by strangers and those who they don’t recognize ( Use your name in from field and brand name in subject field in all the email you send. This will increase the viewer’s trust for you.

Avoid $$$ in Your HTML Email: Most of the spam contains “$$$” symbol in the subject or in body part of email. Hence, this creates a mental block in the user that every email that contains different symbols such as “$&%^#@” is spam and its better to delete it. This is the reason why you avoid using symbols in your HTML email marketing.

Send Your HTML email newsletter on Business days: On weekends or holidays people usually do not check their email, which gets piled up until they come back to work. Hence, while going through their overloaded mail-box, they usually do not much pay as much attention to each message as they would have paid otherwise, thereby sometimes resulting in the deletion of important emails. Hence, it’s better not to send your HTML email newsletter on holidays or months which contain a lot of holidays (eg. December, January, July and August).

Incorrect Email Address: Most of the users who are interested in receiving your HTML email newsletter may not get it; for the simple reason that during filling the signup form for HTML email on your site they had mistyped their email address. Correcting these errors on your part is only a temporary solution. For a permanent solution, use two text boxes for email verification just like you use for password verification. This will reduce the number of errors in the typing out of the email address.

Clear Perspective: Certain HTML email newsletters are eye catching they include everything that can grab viewer attention except a clear call to action. Irrespective of how good your HTML email newsletters might be otherwise, if your viewer doesn’t understand where to click and where to go, the entire purpose of having an HTML email newsletter is defeated. So design the message in such a way that makes the path clear for the recipient. Do not include too many links and offers in your HTML email to keep the viewer’s attention from getting diverted.

Emphasize on Content: Putting an exclamation mark on a particular line or phrase is not the right way to emphasize on an idea. Avoid using exclamation marks; and if you do use them, then do so as sparingly as possible. Instead lay more emphasis on the phraseology. Take care that the content in your HTML email is in proper flow and rhythm.

Reply to Email: Last but not the least, reply to all your emails within 24 hours. It is important because if somebody sends you an email that means he or she is interested in obtaining your product or availing your services. If you do not reply to his or her email, you will lose the customer will lose interest in you and you will lose him or her for life. What is worse is that he or she can influence other potential customers as well against you.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

How to Design a Web Banner Advertisement

Before you start to design your web banner advertisement, find out why you need a banner. Few of the possible reasons are listed below:

1. You want to show your banner on other websites to promote your own site.
2. You want to exchange banners with other sites.
3. You want to start your own affiliation program.
4. You want to show your own banners and banners belonging to other sites on your site.

The design of your banner is dependent on the purpose of the banner. For example, if your purpose is to promote your company then you will need to include your company logo and website address in your web banner design; and when you zero in on the exact purpose of your web banner ad, select an appropriate file format for your banner.

Most common file formats are:

An SWF file contains animations for the banner. It is used to display high quality animations on the web banner.

GIF is one of the most widely used file formats supported by web publishers. GIF simply displays a series of images.

PNG is a bitmap format that provides lossless data compression which was created to replace the GIF format. GIF and PNG are better choices to display images and text since these are lossless data formats. GIF allows 256 colors where JPEG and PNG allow up to 16,777,216 colors.

Keeping the above factors in mind, you can now start designing your banner. Design your banner according to your purpose and your market. Your goal is to create a design that grabs the attention of visitors. Achieve it by using proper colors and a catchy punch line for your web banner design. However, while designing your web banner, do keep in mind its loading time. A banner with a low loading time will always get more clicks.

You can use online banner design services for your web banner design. Many web designer companies provide such services. They also provide a style guide which includes all different aspects of web banner designing such as banner size, layout, color etc. All you need to do is to select and send your banner specifications to the designer. Some of them also provide free online banner services although their designs are not unique since they employ pre-designed templates for the same.

Another option is to use banner creation software for your web banner design. It makes the entire designing process easy and cost-effective. However, the problem, again, with using such software is that they provide designs based on pre-designed images and templates.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Online Web Banner Advertising

Analyze Your Business: The basic questions that need to be answered before the move to Online Web Banner Advertising is made are:

1. Why does your business need a web banner?
2. Is it because your competitor is promoting online?
3. Does it comprise an effective medium of advertisement for your business?

To answer these questions, find what type of products people buy online. If these products are similar to your product or services then online advertisement is certainly beneficial for your business.

Purpose: Find out the exact purpose of your web banner ad campaign. What will your banner promote? Categorize your web banner design according to your purpose. Most common purposes of web banner ads are:

1. To sell products or services.
2. To promote a brand.
3. To increase the number of hits on a website.

Target Audience: Your target audience is a deciding factor, literally. Hence, identifying them is an indispensable step towards achieving effective online web banner advertising. The audience can be from the same industry or a different one, possessing different traits and preferences. To cater to all of them, you require a web banner that would appeal to them through as many different channels as possible.

Exposure: This is another key area and needs to be handled with utmost care and thought. The world today is more concerned about the brand name than anything else. Hence, putting two and two together, it pays off tremendously if you contact big sites with more popularity, for it will increase the number of clicks and hence the number of visitors on your site.

Include URL: Don’t forget to include your website address in your banner. If the purpose of your ad camping is only to promote your brand name, then make it a point to include at least a small font size logo of your brand in the web banner. If not the logo, then put up your website address.

Identify Your Competitor: Keep your friends close, your enemies closer! Whereas that might not be the case for many things, in the field of Online Web Banner Advertising, it’s an established mantra. Dig around for your competitor’s web banner designs, their websites and the web sites on which they promote their banner. This will be helpful in how not to design your web banner, for a product of plagiarism will not see the light of day for long. Make your banner different or else it will easily slip into obscurity.

Numerous Banners: Every viewer has a different taste and a different choice. It’s difficult to determine which banner design will attract more viewers. So it’s better to use several banner designs for a single ad campaign. By this you can identify which banner design is most liked by the viewers.

Style Guide: If you are using the services of banner design companies for your banner design, they will provide you a banner style guide which covers all the aspects of banner design such as banner size, number of loops, colors etc. Your job is to just send your requirement to your designer.

Type: Banners can be categorized into following three categories:
  • Flash banner.
  • GIF banner
  • Static banner

The choice of banner used is dependent on the target audience, place and the purpose of your ad campaign. However, some studies have indicated that flash banners get more clicks than static banners.

Banner Size: Everybody is free to define their own format as long as it fits into the banner space that you plan to purchase on a webpage. For example, for a full banner, the ideal size is 468 X 60 and for a half banner, it is 234 X 60.

File Size: A banner’s file size depends upon the colors, number of frames, images and the types of animation used for its design. Excessive use of these elements may affect the loading speed of the banner. It is, hence, advisable to reduce the file size of the banner to decrease the loading time.

Colors: Color selection is dependent upon your website colors and the colors of website on which you’re going to advertise your banner. Banner design should carry the same colors as your website has and the banner’s color should make a good combination on the website used for advertising it on.

Animation Time: The animation time of a banner is dependent upon looping. Looping is the number of time that an animation repeats itself. Animations with infinite loops distract the viewers’ attention. Use loops only 3 or 4 times and make sure that each loop ends within 10 second, leaving the message on the last frame.

Images: Use images that are reflective of your products and services and express them. Don’t use images that are completely different from your product or services since these images might get some clicks but not sale for you.

How to Design an HTML Email

HTML Email marketing is one of the most popular marketing techniques on the internet available today. Many organizations like banks, IT companies, and electronics companies, are using HTML email marketing to promote their business. It is the fastest and one of the most effective ways to get your message across.

Few of the HTML email creation tips which will help you in making your HTML email design more appealing have been summed up below.

While designing your HTML email, you need to emphasize on three main things:

1. Format
2. Functionality
3. Usability

It comprises the design, appearance and coding of your HTML email template. An attention-grabbing format is required to make your email campaign professional and effective.

1. Code it your self: Avoid using any HTML email template creating softwares like Front Page since these softwares add unnecessary code to the template thereby making the email incompatible with certain browsers like Outlook and AOL. Do the coding yourself or hire an html programmer for the purpose. It won’t do any harm to use softwares like the Dreamweaver to design your email template although you shouldn’t forget to remove extra code.

2. Tables: HTML tables are used to create a legible layout of the email template. They are also helpful in reducing any confusion in the viewers’ mind, born out of excessive text pushed into a small space like that of an email. However, an excessive use of HTML tables is not recommended since in some email clients like Lotus notes and Netscape messenger, they do not appear correctly.

3. Images: Using images is a great way of making your HTML email more appealing. Moreover, images, when used in your HTML email will represent your product/company and will convey your message to your client. However, excessive use of images increases the file size which results in the message getting blocked. To overcome such problems, it is more advisable to host those images on your website and to provide links to these images in your email.

4. Avoid CSS: Cascading style sheet is a very powerful tool used for designing Web pages. It provides more control on the design and layout than straight HTML. However, when used in conjunction with HTML email, they can cause incorrect rendering in some email clients or simply get stripped out or overwritten in some other. If at all you want to use CSS, choose the ones with the embedded styles. However, keep in mind to embed it within the two body tags rather than within header tag.

5. Width: Avoid HTML emails that are too wide. Wider HTML emails force the viewer to scroll horizontally to see the complete message. There are two advisable widths for your HTML email newsletter template. First is the 100% width. Use this width if your HTML email template looks good in both the resolution monitors - 800X600 and 1600X1200 - or one with even greater resolution. Second, use widths corresponding to a specific pixel size. Most of the popular pixel sizes fall within 500 to 600 pixels.

6. File Size: Most of the internet users across the world use dial-up connections. Hence, speed is an important issue. An email with a small file size increases the loading speed of the email. Hence, it is recommended to keep your email file size below 100kb, otherwise it will create filtering and loading problems.


Validate HTML Code: Invalid HTML code and broken links can create lots of problems and frustration for the viewer since invalid HTML code and broken links result in loads of problems while displaying the HTML content of an email in certain email client environments. You can use certain HTML designer programs which have built-in evaluators. In addition, use tools that enable you to see your HTML email template design in multiple email client environments.
Avoid Scripting: From a security point of view, use of scripting in email is not recommended. Emails with scripts may get blocked by email servers or the script might get removed from the email by email browsers.

Provide links to your web version of html email: This is a good idea for those clients who have old versions of email client environments or whose email environments don’t display your message correctly. For such clients, create text emails and provide links to the web version of your email at the top of the message.

Use image alt tag: The Alt tag is used to display the text description of an image when the image is not getting displayed or when the viewer moves his/ her mouse curser over the image. This is an important feature since certain email clients such as Outlook have images disabled by default. Hence, using this tag at least lets the user know what the picture was.

Top of your email template: The Top section of your HTML email template requires proper attention since this is the first thing that your clients will see first. Use attractive colors and an appealing background to make this area attractive. You can also use small images to effectively grab the viewer’s attention.


Include links to your website in your content: Including links in your content will increase the number of clicks and the conversion rate on your websites. Also include navigation links and links to your products or articles.

Navigation: The Navigation section of your HTML Email should be designed in such a way as t present a comprehensive idea about your website navigation. Include links to the key functions of your site in your HTML email.

Subscriber Management Section: Include Subscriber Management sections in your HTML email newsletter so that your subscribers can perform different functions ranging from updating profile to changing their email addresses right from the email, without visiting your site.

Host rich media functions on your site: Certain email environments do not support rich media functions like flash, inline audios or videos. Hence, it becomes difficult for clients to read such emails. Instead, host such media functions on your website and include links to these functions in your HTML email.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Keys to effective Logo Design

Before designing a logo, we need to understand the purpose of a logo. A logo defines your company. It charts out your identity and cuts out a niche for you under the sun. It’s upon you to make it a cozy and enviable one.

A perfect logo will boost your visibility and brand image in the market. It will strengthen your integrity and enhance your brand popularity, which would quantify into more sales for you. Hence, an effective logo designing process is indispensable.

To design an effective logo, you first need to understand the types of logo prevalent in the market. Some of the commonly used logo types are given below:

1. Text Logo Design: The text logo design focuses on text and style. It’s the best choice for corporations whose names define their functions, for example, TCS ( Tata Consultancy Services). To enhance its effectiveness, you can use different fonts and colors. Text based designs are usually used in case of insufficient funds or the company name not being an established one.

2. Symbol Logo Design: This type of logo design includes only symbols, images and shapes but not text. These images convey complete or abstract image of the business or company. Hence, it’s recommended to use symbol logo design for your company only if it has a high level of brand recognition or you have a unique symbol that defines you in the industry. Symbol logo design is highly non-preferable for start-ups.

3. Text and Symbol Logo Design: Text and Symbol logo design includes both the business name and the symbol. Different approaches of alignments and orientation are used to integrate text and symbol. Text and Symbol logo is the best choice for medium and small size companies or start-ups. Over and above that, a Text and Symbol logo is easy to copyright compared to the symbol logo design since in the former the logo is used in conjunction with the business name.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Website Design Tips

1. Avoid Complications: Animations and sounds on your webpage can divert attention of the visitor. Users who have slow dial up connection seldom like websites with these features, because animations and sound increase the loading time of webpage.

2. Use Small Size Pictures: Webpage with pictures is a good idea. But large size pictures increases the load time of webpage. There are numerous graphic software applications available in market which can compress graphics files so that webpage take less time to load on your visitor’s web browser. This will ensure that the visitor gets a fast website to look at and navigate through.

3. Contact information of your website: Your website visitors may want to ask some questions related to your website or goods/services offered on it. So don’t forget to include your contact information or link to it on each page of your website. Make yourself available to the visitors.

4. Check Website Links: Check your website periodically to ensure that it works correctly. If your website contains links to other websites, check it periodically because the target webpage may have been removed or some problem might have cropped up with the web link itself. Also, ensure all links to other web pages of your website are operational at all times.

5. Website Content: Use proper color, text size and fonts for your content. Never use too dark or too light colors. However you can increase the size of text to improve readability. Never underline the text to highlight it because underlined text and links look same and it is difficult for visitor to differentiate between them. Standard fonts used are “Verdana”, “Arial” and “Times New Roman”.

6. Include Navigation: Navigation links on webpage helps user to explore your site. If your webpage is too long never includes navigation links in the bottom because user have to scroll down to get to them.

7. Load Time: One important thing that you should keep in mind while designing your website is its load time. A webpage that loads quickly is always appreciated by the visitor. You can reduce load time by minimizing the use of images and animations. Also, follow HTML and CSS based coding. Avoid using too many scripts on a webpage. They slow it down. Remember – keeping website content (both text and graphics) short, crisp and simple would do wonders for your business website.

8. Browser Compatibility: Check your website performance with different web browsers like Microsoft Internet Explorer, Netscape, Firefox and Opera. These are the main browsers used worldwide. Your corporate website needs to look and perform same on different browsers. If your website has JavaScript operational on it, there is a good chance that it may behave differently on different browsers. Ask your designer to test it on multiple browsers and weed out any browser compatibility issues.

9. Text link Information: Adjacent to the text link on your webpage, include a brief description about the link or about the webpage it links to. This will helpful to visitor to find what they looking for and will help them to make decision on whether to visit those sites.

e.g. – Best Design Services provides premium quality web banner ad (web banner ad samples) design services at highly affordable charges.

10. Manage Webpage Width: Maximum width of your webpage should be not more than 770 pixels. This allows visitors having 15” monitor to easily see your webpage without scrolling left to right. Manage the website content in such a way that it does not need to scroll left or right.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

How to promote your logo design?

Promoting a company logo, in a nutshell, is quite a tough nut to crack, with most people being unaware of the not only the business tips but the ground-rules which define the framework of effective logo-promotion. A few of the promotional technique are given below:

1. Good Logo Design: You can’t have the edifice without building the foundation. A good logo design is the foundation on which is built the edifice of its effective promotion. Brush and re-brush until you’ve hit upon the perfect logo design. Make it simple and eye catching. Steer clear from using cheap logo design methods or logo design software, for they can your be worst bane. Access professional help from a good logo design company. Once you have found the right logo designer, take part in each and every design step and discuss with your designer all your general and specific needs. Keep in mind your company values and target audience to achieve positive brand-building.

2. Stationary: The next step is to select matching business stationary design, which includes business cards, letterheads and envelopes. Your logo design should be adaptable to this stationary. Some factors that effect business stationary design are targeted audience, company values and the type of industry. Since, the first impression is, more often than not, the last impression, hence take care to make it an effective and pleasurable one. Use good quality resources. Ditch your old cheap and poor quality printer in favor of a good one. Another option is to use online printing services.

3. Logo printed t-shirts: Surprises have this habit of not ceasing. Hence, was born a stylish and funky way of promoting your logo. Wear it on your t-shirt! All you need to do is to print your logo design on t-shirts, wear them or distribute them amongst your friends, relatives and colleagues. It will cost you a few bucks but will yield high returns in terms of brand popularization. This technique is however restricted only to a particular area unless you plan to ship them all throughout the country!

4. Sponsor Local Functions: Sponsorships help you to reach a wider audience. Sponsoring local school, college or youth functions exposes you to an audience that is mixed in nature, in terms of needs and traits. Print your logo design on banners and hang them wherever they can be hung! Take pictures of these banners. You can also give out logo printed t-shirts to the people and take their pictures in the logo-printed t-shirts. Use these pictures on your website, magazine, newsletter or the information brochure of your company.

5. Identify your customer: Last but certainly not the least, identify your target audience. Your logo should be designed in accordance with your target market. If you are from the corporate sector, please ensure that you use a Corporate Logo design. Spend some time to search about your target market and plan your advertising budget for this area of market. This is will ensure a higher return on your investment.

How to be a good logo designer?

1. Give them what they want: The customer is always right! At least almost always. So listen to them. Understanding the requirements of the client is not only essential but indispensable. Make this process as interactive as possible by asking questions and try to draw out the client into explaining his/her specific needs about the logo. However, you need to keep in mind that irrespective of how demanding or irate a customer gets, you may be bitten once, but getting twice shy will serve no purpose!

2. Homework Rules: Fools rush where angels fear to tread. So don’t rush into anything. Take your time and do your full homework about the company or product before kick-starting the design process. Search, analyze and innovate. Search for detailed information about the company or product. Analyze its needs. Innovate new ways of expressing your idea.

3. Win the Rat-Race: Compare logos of your competitors in the industry. This will help you in determining the current trend in that industry and brainstorm on how to make your logo revolutionary although conforming to the trend.

4. Virtual Outsourcing: Too many cooks do spoil the broth; but when you have world class chefs working in sweet collaboration, the outcome, culinarily speaking, is world class as well. Hence, never hesitate from referring to expert help for designing services, for an attractive logo design requires impeccable designing skills and thorough business knowledge. Therefore, it is highly advisable to look for expert help from logo design companies. A professionally designed logo will grab the viewers’ attention by their lapels and boost the company’s brand image by numerous leaps and bounds.

5. Keep it Sweet and Simple: The catch is to deliver your kick in the shortest simplest way. Hence, make simplicity your motto. Simple logos are easy to remember and convey the business message in the shortest time possible whereas complex designs are time consuming and divert the viewer’s attention.

6. Fonts and Colors: Colors reflect your attitude and perception, be it in clothes or in your logo. You might try to paint the town red to leave an indelible impression on the viewer, but make sure that you use the most effectively pleasant shade and a good combination of colors! To make the viewers’ experience still more pleasurable, use fonts which are easy to read.

7. Evolve and Differentiate: Give the viewers something different to remember you with. A unique logo design would help the viewer to differentiate between your and your competitors’ business. Your logo is your identity so make it unique. Ironically, however, whereas you’re trying to revolutionize your design, you also need to conform to the market trend.

8. Back to the Future: They say change is the only thing that is permanent. Hence, upgrade and evolve to meet the finicky customer’s ever changing demands. Redundancy and obsolesce are your sworn enemies. So arm your logo against them.

Monday, January 1, 2007

How to make your website load fast?

1. Use simple Design: Always go for simple website design. It is easy to maintain and is quick to load up on visitor’s PC. Complicated design will increase loading time. Use minimum lines of code to develop the webpage.

2. Maximize the use of HTML and CSS: HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) is one of the most popular languages used in website design. Use HTML where ever possible to design your web pages. HTML coupled with CSS( Cascading Style Sheet) based coding of your web pages enables your website not only to load and navigate fast but also to be modified easily at a later stage if need be.

3. Use Light Images: A light webpage will load faster. Use only limited images be it text or picture in the image. This allows loading the webpage faster and even helps in SEO (Search Engine Optimization) of the website. It is easy for search engines to comprehend text on a webpage then an image. Use various image compression tools available online to reduce the image size in kilobytes to make it light. Generally a GIF image will be lighter than a JPEG one, but there is a bargain in terms of image quality in such a case.

4. Flash: Use of Flash in web pages may not be a very good idea. It does not stand very good in case you are trying to optimize your website for search engines like Yahoo, Google, MSN, etc. In addition it increases the loading time of webpage. So better option is to try and avoid a Flash website design. If still it is necessary use it within HTML site.

5. Use Tables: Loading time of tables is less because it is just HTML. Tables can be used everywhere it may be your home page, menu or somewhere else. It allows you to code and have a properly aligned design when you use tables in your coding. It definitely scores over frames. All kind of frames should be avoided on a website.

6. Increase Content Section: Content provides information about your services and your products to visitors. If used wisely content can make your webpage load faster. Imaging replacing a heavy image on your webpage which is there just to beautify the web page, with some meaningful content. This allows your website to perform better in search engine searches.

7. Text Link: In some sites you will find that buttons don’t fit properly on webpage. This can be due to size, shape or color of buttons. It is always desirable to use text links in place of graphics buttons. Another benefit of using text links is that you can use them within your text content area on a webpage.

8. Java Script: Main disadvantage of using JavaScript is that it is not supported by some browsers. It is also not search engine friendly and increase the loading time of page. So use it as less as possible. But on the other hand JavaScript is a very powerful tool in web programming and AJAX which is an advanced form of JavaScript is being used widely in Web 2.0 projects around the world.

9. Check Load time: Periodically check the load time of your website. On internet there are many free sites available where you can check the loading time for your website. This allows you to understand if any change to website has increased or decreased the loading time for your website. These webpage speed tests also provide you with valuable suggestion to improve you website performance.

10. Limit Banner Ads from Affiliate programs: If you have an affiliate website where you are displaying banners of an advertiser for whom you are an affiliate, it can slow down your web page. Reason being, most of the affiliate programs make the banner load from there own web server, making your website load according to their web server response speed. Avoid such banners on your webpage.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Top Ten Mistakes in Web Design

Bad Fonts: Sometime designers use multiple font types which make reading webpage extremely difficult. Too small or too large fonts are also hard to read. If you want to emphasize on a particular word don’t underline it better option is highlight text by using italic, bold or color. Underlined text is difficult to read and it is complicated for visitor to distinguish between underlined text and hyperlinks as both look same.

Inconsequential Links: If you are using links within your webpage, underline them or use color so that visitors can easily differentiate between text and links. Instead of making whole line a link use keywords for highlighting and hyper linking, like” Ecommerce web site design”. But one important thing here is that keywords should be meaningful and in sync with the context of the rest of the text.

Animation: Where on one hand, animation makes web pages more appealing on the other hand excessive use of animations makes a webpage heavy and it takes long time to load. More often than not, web site designers are inclined to use moving text and moving pictures on webpage. It may not be that good an idea as it diverts the user’s attention from the webpage.

Content: Content is key to success of any website. It tells about the website; like purpose of website, services offered, company background, etc. Website Content should be short, meaningful and understandable. Most common mistake in content is grammatical and spelling mistake. Try best to avoid these mistakes. Content should be written in a flow aimed at clarifying all visitor queries and making him/ her feel at home with the website.

Compatibility: Earlier, Microsoft Internet Explorer was the first choice of internet user (it still is) but in recent past a number of other browsers are making inroads on to the internet map. E.g. Mozilla Firefox and Netscape Navigator to name a few. Try to make your website compatible to maximum number of browsers. Test it with different browsers before putting it online.

Bulky Forms: Visitors have many problems related to forms on website. Most common problem is its length. Generally, forms are too lengthy and contain unwanted fields and options like “first name, middle name, last name, etc”. Better way is to avoid unnecessary fields and option. Include only those fields which are really required.

Do not Forget Price of a product or service: One can buy almost everything online from shopping sites. Another, common mistake found on many websites is that one forgets or avoids putting in price for products. Price helps website user to categorize different item and select most relevant one. Try providing details of product price and features which distinguish it from other products. Specially highlight any special offers that your website is offering.

Scrolling: some websites requires horizontal scrolling which is again a tedious task for the visitor. Although, both, vertical and horizontal scrolling should be avoided, but in some cases it becomes impossible to restrict vertical scrolling. Try avoiding scroll as far as possible on your website.

Pop-Ups: Pop Ups are one of the worst ways of advertisement. Visitors hate unwanted pop ups. Avoid this kind of features to attract visitor attention. Secondly, the scrolling popup is a strict no – no. It does nothing but irritates the visitor.

Outdated information: It is imperative to regularly update the information on your webpage. No one wants to read outdated information. There is no excuse for this mistake; user may never come back if you roll out stale content on your website.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Web Banner Design Tips

Online advertisement is a huge source of revenue for modern businesses and the most popular method of advertising on internet is web banner ads. Web Banners are constructed using images, Text, JavaScript and multimedia objects (flash, shockwave etc). A web banner is displayed when web page that contains the banner is loaded in visitor’s internet browser. On clicking the web banner the visitor is directed to the website for which the advertisement is placed.

Web banner design needs lots of research and attractive content to get the visitor to act on seeing it. Few tips to make your banner effective are listed below:

1. Punch Line: Before designing your web banner spend some time to create an effective punch line; something that encourage viewer to click on the banner. Punch line should be small and appealing. Use proper colors and fonts for your punch line.

2. Related Content: Ensure that content displayed on your web banner is related to services or products you are offering on your site. e.g. Use “ Latest pendent designs by ABC company” rather than “ Latest Jewelry collection by ABC store” . Be specific; users may click on the banner but may not buy anything from your online store, if they do not find for what they are searching. Give them what they are looking for, to get better sales.

3. Use your Logo and Web site URL: If your motive is to promote your brand name then include both logo and website address in your web banner. Make sure that you don’t take the visitor attention off the punch line while mentioning your website and it’s URL. Keep your logo small and use small text to display website address. Highlight your puncline and not the website name and URL.

4. Use the word “free” or “click here” in your banner: Use of “free” or “click here” word in your web banner design can increase CTR (click through ratio). Human nature makes a person to check out anything that is for free. If you are giving something free on your web shopping store, than add a line which highlights it.
e.g. “Free gift with all purchases before December 31st”. It will surely attract more visitors and you have better chances of making a sale.

5. File size: web banner is displayed on webpage when it loads on viewer’s web browser. It should load fast and before the visitor moves on to next page. Short web banner file size increases the loading speed of the banner when user opens the web page. It is advisable to keep file size as small as possible. To reduce file size minimize the use of animations and heavy pictures in your banner.

6. Time: most of the internet users spend less then 10 second at the top portion of website. This time is crucial and you have to convey your message within this time. If, using animation use it in such a way that the web banner conveys the message within this time frame.

7. Animation: Compared to static banner, an animated banner design can greatly increase a banner’s CTR. The main problem with animated banner is slow load time. You can reduce load time by reducing number of colors and vertical color change. Further, animation with infinite loop can be too long for the visitor to view the complete animation. Keep it short and crisp. Try using compressed JPEG or GIF images for the banner. GIF images are generally light and not that heavy as the JPEG ones are.

8. Colors and Fonts: Instead of using black and white color use bright colors for your banner design. According to some study dark blue on white and blue on white is the most attractive color combination. It doesn’t mean that always go for these colors. Use colors that represent your business and match with webpage on which banner is placed. Use font types that improve the readability of web banner. Most common used fonts are Arial, Times New Roman and Verdana.

9. Multiple Banner Design: Use multiple banners for your ad camping. Change the banners periodically during your ad campaign. Different people, like different color, fonts and images. You have a better chance to attract larger number of visitors by using multiple banners in your advertisement campaign.

10. Professional Design: Get a professional look for your banner. If you cannot do it yourself, hire a professional web banner designer to delver a quality web banner. Remember a good web banner can make your day and a bad one can create a negative impact about your company image on the visitors. You may get lots of free banner design software, or free web banner design advertisements on the internet. But quality should not be compromised as it reflects your business image to the website visitors.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

What makes a good logo design?

Logo is the name, identifier, symbol or trademark of a company. Purpose of logo is to create a memorable image of product or company in customer’s mind. It also differentiates products and services of different companies. Good logo grabs the attention of people. It in itself is an important marketing tool.

It demands some precision and lots of thought to design a communicative business logo. Summarized here are few basics that one can use as initial steps to a good logo design.

1. Do some Analysis: Do not rush into developing business logos. Do some analysis about the company, its values, its business and the clients it is, or will be catering to. Understand what you want to communicate through your logo. Logos need to be designed, so as to convey message about the company, the people and its values. If you are designing a logo for a product, be specific about the target customers. E.g. Dog biscuit can carry a dog illustration in the logo itself, or a biscuit shape in the logo.

2. Eye Catching: Make your logo design an eye catching one. Use clear font so that it easy to read and easy to identify. Use attractive and unique color scheme to avoid misunderstanding with other logos or products.

3. Memorable: A good logo design should make a memorable expression on the customer’s mind. It should be simple enough to convey a clear message and create positive image of your company in customer’s mind. Only then, the customer will be able to recall about your product in subconscious state of mind when looking to purchase or recommend a brand for the product you produce.

4. Flexibility: Your logo design must be flexible enough to work in any situation. Say on product wrappers, website, promotional material, etc. Two important things to keep in mind here are – logo size should be appropriate and colors should be such that they can adjust to the background on which the logo will be used not only today but also in future. You need, to plan for future use of logos, at the development stage itself.

5. Simple: People are drawn to simple logos because they are easy to understand and remember. Busy, crowded logos are difficult to understand and divert the attention of the viewer.

6. Fonts: Some times designer select fonts which look classy but difficult to read. So this is worthless. Select Fonts that are easy to read and understandable. Most good logo designers use Arial and Veranda, as preferred fonts for logo design.

7. Colors: Good logo design should work well in black and white. If your logo not look good in black and white it would not look good in any other colors. Choose proper colors that represent you company well. As already discussed in point 4 above, plan for various uses and the future use of the logo, before deciding the colors.

8. Be Unique: Another important feature of good logo is ability to stand out from crowd. Copycat logo creates confusion in customer’s mind because they are difficult to differentiate. Result is loss in sales. Don’t stick to ordinary design. Your company is unique means it has a different market presence and business space. Keep all these things in mind while designing your logo.

9. Long life: logo design should be future oriented so that it can convey its message over constant period of time. It must be able to adapt to culture changes.

10. Use Animation but with caution: In order to hold viewer attention you can use animation while designing logo to be placed on your business website. But be cautious as it offends the webpage visitor is it is too huge or it diverts the attention of the visitor time and again.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Website Design Basics

In Today’s world a website is need of every business, organization or an individual. It is the fastest and cheapest medium to reach more people around the world. It helps to expand business worldwide. Design and appearance of a web site play an important role to attract visitors to your website.

Here are some basic website design tips that would help in designing an attractive and productive website for you:

1. Do Some Research: Before making any decision check out some related web site for design, layout or scheme? This will surely helps to make better decision.

2. Try something different and unique: Always go for inimitable design. Add some animations, pictures, etc. to make website more appealing. But do not overdone web site with animations and pictures because this make webpage heavy and it take long time for loading.

3. Content: Content should be simple and easy to understand. It should be solely related to your website. Avoid grammatical and spelling mistake. Use different font style to make content more interesting. To make content more understandable use some examples.

4. Colors: Colors reflect aptitude and perception. Colors have a considerable impact on people’s emotional state. Always use good and soothing color combination in your website. To much bright colors make web site visitors physically sick because their eyes are bombarded by those loud colors.

5. Compatibility: About 80% user of internet around the world use the Microsoft internet explore for browsing and rest 20% use the Netscape, Mozilla Firefox etc. so check out compatibility of your WebPages with these browsers and make required changes.

6. Music: Avoid using music on your WebPages because some people do not like music on website. Also, the download time of these sites is long. Another problem can be the quality of sound that is being streamed to the website visitor. Always keep in mind that visitor may not agree with your music preference and it may turn him/ her away from your website no matter how attractive the website design is.

7. Speed Matters: On internet, speed is a critical factor. Many people still use slow dialup connections. So load time of webpage should be as less as possible. Make your webpage as light as possible.

8. Divide Your Work: Users always avoid long pages, and may not have enough time to read all the content. So better approach is dividing long pages into small pages. Put some hyperlinks to specific topics on a website page.

9. Frames: Frames create many problems with all kinds of browsers. With frames it is hard to get a decent rank with the search engines. Try using minimum frames in your web site design.

10. Simple things are preferred: People love simple things. Nobody likes to do or learn difficult things. Make your site simple so that it is easy for visitor to navigate your website. These simple tips will provide you a basis for putting up the best website design for your business.