Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Things to ask your website and logo designers

When I started Your Cheeky Monkey 5 years ago I really had no idea what I was doing (or what I was getting myself in for!).  As with all new business start-ups, there is always things you wish you had known back then or that you wish someone had told you.

An area where I had no experience at all was with website and logo design and construction.  There are certain things I really wish I had found out at the time, so I thought I would post some of them here for anyone else that may be in the process of having their logo or website designed.

  1. Whoever you go with to either buy a pre-made logo or if you are having one designed from scratch, be sure to verify that you OWN your logo.  I think there is nothing worse than graphic designers out there who happily charge you top dollar for your logo, then you find out it is in the small print they still 'own' it.  That is equivalent to me selling a set of Burp Cloths over at Your Cheeky Monkey then saying I still own them!  This point also applies to having a banner or business card etc designed.  As far as I'm concerned, if you pay for it you should own it outright and be able to do what you want with it.
  2. Find out the FONTS and colour details of your logo and anything to do with your website.  That way, when you want to design a new banner etc down the track you know exactly what to use.  If it is an unusual font get the whole font and keep it on file.
  3. Be sure to get your logo in many forms - high-res, solid black, on a clear background, gif, jpg, etc etc.  You never know what you might need in the future.  For example, I wanted my text logo printed on ribbon, but then I found out the logo I had was too low-res and I had to go back to my designer and pay to have this done.  If you get it all up front you are covered for all bases.
  4. Save all of these images in a separate folder on your computer titled "Original Logos" or similar.  Back up this file externally and keep in a safe place.
  5. Get your designer to make you some basic banners in common sizes to get you started.  If you like to have a go at things yourself but don't use Photoshop, head over to the Picmonkey website, it is free and you can design some great banners yourself using the collage function.  I also made myself a great facebook timeline image using Picmonkey.
I think they are the main things I wanted to cover here.... what would you add to this list??

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Gift ideas for a Girls 1st Birthday

I'm totally shocked to tell you that it is my baby girls 1st birthday soon.  It seems like a few weeks ago I was introducing her to you.

So my mission lately has been to hunt down some first birthday gifts for her.  And can I tell you how much fun I am having doing this after 2 boys?  We do have a bit of a girly and pink overload but I'm sure that's ok!  These are some of the ideas I have been collating for our little darlings first birthday:

  1. A doll which is safe for a baby. 
  2. A box of Lego Duplo with pink pieces in it.  She already adores playing with the Duplo with her big brothers... but we definitely need some girly touches now.
  3. Some groovy shoes and boots for winter.  As she is a girl, I already know shoes will be a big factor in her life, so we might as well start early.
  4. A beautiful engraved bracelet.  This is more for sentimental reasons, I still have my baby bracelet and its something I definitely want to continue the tradition with.
  5. A trike.  The boys used their one to death so I already know one of these will be a great investment.  But this one will be pink or purple of course.
  6. Books.  I really like the box sets you can get that come with a matching soft toy... such good gift ideas.  They are generally good value too.
  7. A Sophie the Giraffe House - she already loves her Sophie and this gorgeous toy will be her first 'dolls' house to play with.

I can't wait until next month to celebrate her first birthday... keep an eye out for the post with the pink cupcakes in it ;-)