Minimalism has found itself a new twist – flat design. Taking a simple palette, a basic typography using less ornate fonts, a regular use of blocks, grids and simple geometry, images with less in the way of gradient and shadow – it is a functional approach to what is in front of your eyes.
I was set something of a task recently by an old and close friend. He had been left running a small but local business providing services to other larger businesses in the area by two other close friends who retired. Circumstances beyond his control have meant that the existing contracts that are the life blood of the business are under threat – either to come to an end or be forcefully repriced because of cuts in fees to them. So the question is – rebrand? remarket? relaunch? or what?
My first examination of the whole question was to look at what presence the business has overall. Website! The basic point of contact and point of information for any business is a website. Other forms of content can add to this and reinforce the whole of what the business website – be it print, digital publishing, video, podcast, illustration or other. His basic statement was that he wanted a website that he was happy with and that was away from the norm of the usual, the run of the mill company or corporate websites.
My response -
- your business website needs to present the basic information of your business quickly and attractively in an easy and accessible way
- it needs to do the above with the target clients in mind
- a proper assessment of target businesses being undertaken to assess what and where efforts need to be directed
- a site that pleases you may not be so attractive to the people you are looking for – this is a b2b situation so think about how they see you, what pressures are there on them timewise, what will draw them in
- does this need to be a responsive site, do your targets use mobiles as key on the job work tools as they are going about their normal working day
- does the site draw your targets in suitably, is it punchy enough to lay out the basics of your business to those you are looking to attract
- is the SEO dealt with
Take a good look at the colours used – the palette and the fonts – the typography … what works? what doesn’t?
Here are ust a few examples with odd differences to give you the chance to expand your capacity for judgement – having options is good, saying yes to the first thing to land on your desk is not!
Content marketing is the major thing these days even for small businesses. The content provided by any business, though, needs to look right. It needs to fit the message on the one hand and the brand as a whole on the other.
Script fonts, particularly brush script fonts, have a certasin retro quality, particularly pointing back just a few decades. They are often combined with badges, ribbons and frames giving a feel sometimes of the 20s and 30s also in some cases of old car badges from the 50s, 60s and later. They provide a feel of playful maturity as well as a comfortable consistency and reliability. We can all think and wonder about muscle cars and sportier models alongside good quality cafes and restaurants.
With big picture backgrounds certain sans serif fonts are particularly useful for conveying a well styled informality, an uncluttered depth and artistry.
Video for business is growing at an alarming rate – pleasantly so! It is even true of small business. Here are a few examples and one or two pointers …