Category Archives: Inspiring Design

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What Makes an Effective Business Logo? 10 Top Tips

When it comes to business, appearances definitely count. One of the ways in which you can make a great impression with your potential customers and clients is by having a good, solid logo that accurately represents your brand.
Your logo should be recognisable, suit the tone of your business and stick in the mind of anyone who deals with your company. Including your logo on all of your business stationery and promotional materials is the key to spreading brand awareness!
It can be hard to pin down the difference between an okay and great business logo, but there are some general guidelines that will help you get started. A good logo is simple, memorable and conveys what your business does in a striking way. The following ten tips should help make your next project successful.

1. Keep It Simple

The best logos are the simplest ones. When it comes to designing a logo, less is more. Keep your design clean and uncluttered so that it’s easy to recognise and remember.
The reason this is better is because a busy logo will be harder to make out and could end up looking like a mess. People won’t just see your logo up close, like you see it when you’re designing it; they’ll see it from far away, e.g. on your shop signage or on posters. You want them to tell whose logo it is and what it says at a glance.
It’s also important to consider how the logo will look when it’s scaled down, as it may be used in different contexts. For example, you might have to use your logo on a sign, but also on a cup or even on a business card. Simple is better if you’ll have to shrink your logo down.

2. Use Typography Wisely

Typeface is a great way to communicate the tone of your business, so make sure you pick one that reflects your values and style.
Sans serif fonts are usually a good choice for modern businesses, while serif fonts work for more traditional, formal or official enterprises. Various scripts and handwriting-style fonts can be used to inject some personality into a logo. Just be careful not to go too crazy with the typeface – you want your logo to be easy to read, not a confusing jumble of letters.

3. Stick to One or Two Colours

Colour is another important element of logo design. Some colours are more associated with certain businesses than others—think blue for banks (because it’s calming and trustworthy), or green for eco-friendly companies.
Be conscious of the emotions you want your logo to evoke, and choose colours that reflect these feelings. You also want to make sure that the colours work well together and will look good when printed in black and white. As such, the fewer colours, the better.

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4. Make it Unique

In a world full of logos, it’s more important than ever to make your business stand out. This doesn’t mean going crazy with your design or using an off-the-wall font, but simply ensuring that your logo is different from everyone else’s.
One way to do this is to play around with shapes. Instead of using a standard square or rectangle, try something more creative like an abstract shape or even a symbol. You could also use negative space to create an interesting effect.
This is why logo designers get paid an awful lot to do what they do. Balancing the need for originality with the need for simplicity is difficult!

5. Consider Symbolism

Many great logos are based around symbolism. This can be a powerful way to communicate what your business does, but without using lots of words, shapes or colours. The symbol can either be something that already means something, or just something that’s distinct and recognisable that people can associate with your brand.
For example, the Nike swoosh is instantly recognisable all over the world and stands for athleticism and high quality. It symbolises movement and forward motion, and is a very easy-to-recognise symbol.

6. Be Aware of Current Trends

Trends exist in logo design like they do in everything. Just as fashion changes over time, so too does the look of logos. For example, in the early 2000s, most business logos included 3D elements and shading. Nowadays, flat-looking, solid-colour logos are all the rage – and this will no doubt change in the future.
The key is to not get too caught up in the latest trend. Remember that you want your logo to be timeless. That doesn’t mean you can’t be inspired by current trends; just don’t go too crazy, and remember that you may have to change your logo eventually if it falls out of fashion.

7. Create a Mood Board

A mood board is a great way to get inspired and keep your ideas organised. It’s simply a board or document where you collect images, fonts and other design elements that reflect the mood you want your logo to evoke.
This can be really helpful when it comes to choosing colours and typefaces. It will also help you stay on track and make sure your logo is cohesive.
You can make a mood board with a simple piece of paper and some scissors, or use online tools like Pinterest or Adobe Creative Suite. There’s no wrong way; only the way you feel best reflects your creative process.

8. Get Feedback from Others

This is a step that so many people forget. It’s important to get feedback from other people, both from people with a design background and without.
Ask them what they think of your logo, what springs to mind when they look at it, how it makes them feel, and if there’s anything they don’t understand about it.
This is a great way to get an outsider’s perspective and see if your logo is communicating the right message. It will also tell you whether the mood you wanted to create with your logo actually came through in the finished product.
It’s also helpful to get feedback from friends and family, but bear in mind that they might just say what they think will make you happy!

9. Test it Out Thoroughly

Once you’ve created your logo, it’s important to test it out on different media platforms and in different settings. This will give you a better idea of how it will look in different contexts and whether any changes need to be made.
For example, your logo might look great on a screen, but what about on paper? Will the colours be too bright or too washed out on a t-shirt? How will it look on a website or an app? Testing is essential to make sure your logo looks good no matter where it’s used.
At 123Print, we offer a multitude of business stationery and promotional materials, many of which can be customised with your personal business logo. We stock thousands of customisable templates for personalised mugs, promotional postcards and more – even corporate Christmas cards! Why not experiment with a range of different stationery to see how your logo looks?

10. Have Fun With It!

This is the most important step of all. If you’re not enjoying yourself, then you’re not going to do your best work.
Logo design should be a fun and enjoyable process, and you should never be afraid to experiment. The more ideas you come up with, the better your chances of creating something truly original.
If you don’t find it fun, consider outsourcing to a designer. These days, you can find people who will make a logo for a very reasonable price, and you’ll still be able to get something that’s truly unique.
So, there you have it! Our top tips for creating an effective business logo. Follow these guidelines and your logo will stand out from the crowd and be instantly recognisable to customers and clients.
And when you’ve settled on your perfect design, don’t forget to update your business cards, flyers and other marketing materials to show off your new logo to the world!

What Title Should You Put on Your Business Card?

Everyone knows how important it is to have a good business card on hand. Being the extension of your business or career, you need to make sure that you’re sharing the right information on your business card, and in a way that entices people to get in touch.

Along with your name and contact information, one of the most important details in your business card is your job title. Whoever’s reading your business card will need to know who you are, and how you’re related to the company you work for! But the question is, what title should you use?

If you’re an employee, this is pretty self-explanatory: it’s whatever job title is on your employment contract. If there isn’t one, or your role has changed since you were hired, you can always ask your manager or your boss what you should put as your role.

But if you own your business, or are self-employed, things aren’t quite as simple. Today, we’ll discuss what job title options you have for your business card, and how each one might affect people’s impressions of you.

What Are the Benefits of Having a Good Business Card?

Although most of the information sharing that we do nowadays is digital, the business card remains to be one of the best tools for promoting a business, a brand or a person. Here are some of the many benefits of having a business card:

1) It helps you create a good first impression. You don’t know when you’ll get the opportunity to introduce yourself to a potential client, business partner or employer. When that time comes, you need to be ready to create a good first impression and a business card allows you to do that.

2) It helps you build and expand your network. Whether you’re an employer or employee, it’s very important to grab every opportunity to build or expand your network. A simple business card is a great tool that will allow you to exchange contact information in a more formal way than sending an email or text.

3) It helps you create the right image. With a business card, you have complete control of the design and information that you’d like to share with people. This gives you the opportunity to create the image that you want people to see, and that helps you build yourself up for success – whether you’re applying for a job or trying to impress a client.

When someone has your business card, it’s easier for them to remember to reach out to you. But you’ve got to start things off on the right foot by thinking hard about your job title.

What Is the Right Job Title to Put on a Business Card?

Since a lot is riding on that small card that you’re giving away to people you want to connect with, it’s very important to know what job title you should put on your business card. This may sound simple, but a lot of people actually get this wrong. Here are some of your best options, and when it’s appropriate to use them:

President

This title strongly conveys authority, so you should only use it when you’re already an established entity. The term “President” can be interchanged with “CEO” and putting that on a business card means that you’re on one of the highest ranks in your office.
When choosing between the two options, it’s best to think about how you’d want your organisational structure to be as you grow your business, as well as your legal business entity.

CEO

Chief Executive Officer or CEO is a title that will instantly tell people that you’re in charge of your business. Most of the time, CEOs also own the company, so if you’re going to use this job title, you need to make sure that you’re already well established in the business and that you’re managing a big team of employees.

But if you’re just starting out as a business, it’s best to avoid using CEO in your business card, as this could convey that you want to pretend that your business is larger than it is, and that you’re a “big deal” – when you might not be quite yet!

Proprietor

This is the perfect job title to put on your business card if you’re just starting as a small business, especially if you’re in retail. Although “Proprietor” is an old term that refers to the owner of a small business, it’s still used a lot today because it conveys the right authority to someone who owns the business without sounding too cocky as compared to using CEO when it’s just a small company.

Owner

Nothing gets more straightforward than this job title. It’s more than appropriate if you’re a small business owner that hasn’t filed your organisational documents just yet.
The term “Owner” has lesser gravity than “CEO” or “President,” but it still gives people the (correct) impression that you’re an authority in your business as its owner. This option is also perfect if you’re a sole proprietor, or if you’re working with only a handful of employees.

Founder

Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos and Sir Richard Branson are just some of the many famous entrepreneurs who are called “Founders” by people within and outside their companies. A “Founder” is essentially the person who first started the business.
This title is used a lot these days, especially in the tech industry where there are a lot of start-ups that grow to become bigger companies within just a few months. However, you should definitely avoid using “Founder” if you took over an established business or you simply own shares in it. This would be disingenuous.

Administrator

The term “Administrator” conveys both authority and responsibility in the business. When you put “Administrator” on your business card, you’re telling people that you have authority in the organisation, but you also take care of core responsibilities that help with your day-to-day operations.

However, this may confuse people if you’re the owner as well, as someone can work as an administrator of a company without actually owning it. It’s a great option, though, if you don’t want to intimidate people and you want to emphasise the work that you actually do day-to-day.

Director

If you want to be more specific about the role you play in the business, but you still want to convey a sense of authority, you can choose a more descriptive job title such as Managing Director, Creative Director or Technical Director. Some professionals also write it as Director of Operations or Director of Production.
Again, this role emphasises that you have a senior role in the company, but conveys slightly more information about the day-to-day duties that you oversee.

Managing Partner

You could own a business and not necessarily hold a core position within its organisation. This is when you can use the title “Managing Partner” or “Managing Member” that conveys that you’re still involved with the decision-making part of your business, although you’re leaving the operations to people you hired to be part of your team.

So, Which Title Should I Choose for My Business Cards?

The great thing about choosing a title to put on your business card is that you can be as creative as you want, except when you’ve been given a job title by your employer. Make sure to consider different factors before choosing the right label.
Remember that people place a lot of weight on the information written on a business card, so it only makes sense that you use the job title that will allow you to set good first impressions.

Whether you choose to go bold with CEO or subtle with Proprietor, remember that you have to back it up with credibility and experience.
If you’re ready to start designing your very own business cards, a great place to begin is 123Print. Feel free to browse through our huge range of business card templates for some inspiration: we stock designs for a great number of vocations and niches, from solicitors to dog groomers.

When you’ve chosen your favourite design, our easy editor will allow you to upload images (such as your company’s logo), add your personal details, and change the font colour and style to your liking. Alternatively, if nothing feels quite right, start with a blank template and create your own design entirely from scratch!

Your business cards will be professionally printed to order in your chosen quantities, and dispatched to you within 48 working hours. And if for any reason you’re not happy with the way your cards turn out, we’ll replace your order until you are, free of charge. Take the first steps to business success today with 123Print!

Should You Bring a Business Card to an Interview?

Everyone who has ever been interviewed for a job knows what a minefield it is. What do you wear, what do you bring, and how do you prepare? Every little thing you do in that interview room is going to impact how you come across, and how the hiring manager sees you.

One of the many contentious questions regarding the interview process is whether or not you should bring (and give out) your business card in an interview. So, should you, or shouldn’t you?

This guide will talk you through the benefits and disadvantages of handing over your business card at a job interview. We’ll also look at what information you should have on your business card, when to hand it out, and other important materials you should bring with you.

What Are the Benefits of Bringing a Business Card to a Job Interview?

There are several schools of thought on whether or not you should give out your business card at an interview. Not every interview situation is the same, so this is not a “one size fits all” scenario.

For example, a freelancer who has no affiliation with a particular business would possibly be right to give out their card, whereas if you work for a larger corporation and your business card reflects this you may think twice (although again it would depend on the circumstances).
Let’s start off by looking at all of the potential reasons why bringing a business card along to your interview would be a wise move.

1) Even if you are unsuccessful at interviewing for a certain position, the physical prompt of a business card may be enough to jog someone’s memory of you should another suitable position arise in the company.
2) A business card is a visual representation of your professional self and provides interviewers with a much briefer reminder of you than reading your CV. Your CV has already impressed them if you are at the interview stage, so your business card could be valuable in providing a reminder of your skills and contact details.
3) If you are a freelancer there may be other positions in the same company that would be a good fit for you. Your business card could prove to be a useful prompt for potential employers to keep you in mind for other positions.

Furthermore, business cards are a valuable networking tool. Aside from your interviewers it may be useful to have some with you in case you speak to anyone else who may be a useful contact while you are there for interview.

Are There Any Downsides to Bringing a Business Card to an Interview?

Some people believe that handing out business cards at interviews can come across as unnecessary and pushy. Is there a need to hand out your business card when the interviewers already have a wealth of information about you and your skills from your cover letter and resume? You are just handing out repeat information after all.
However, it is worth remembering that all interviews are different and different jobs have very different expectations in interviews.

If your business card reflects your position in your current company, you should only really hand out your card when you are in a situation in which you are representing that company. In some fields it may be considered unprofessional to hand out a card in an interview that represents your current firm, which you’re planning on leaving.
In this circumstance it may be a good idea to have a separate card with basic contact details on and which does not represent your current company.

When Should You Hand the Card Over?

If you have decided that the situation is agreeable to handing your business card out in an interview then make sure you find the right time to do this. The end of the interview before you say goodbye and thank your interviewers is probably the most pertinent time.

Gauge the mood in the room, and before you say your final goodbyes offer your card to the interviewers with a simple “Here’s my card – please don’t hesitate to get in touch”.
You may consider handing it out after you have asked your own questions. After all this is the part of the interview when the roles are somewhat reversed so while you have an element of control you can use that to your advantage.

What Should Be on Your Business Card?

Before you consider giving out your business card at an interview you need to ensure that your card has all the relevant information on it and that it looks professional. The style of your card will likely reflect the business you are in. For example, an accountant will have a very different card to a graphic designer.

Business cards should look streamlined and feature only the most essential information (e.g.name, contact number, email address, business address if relevant).
Your business card might also include a very short description of how you wish to be identified in your field. For example “[your name]: proof-reader and copy editor”.

Do I Need a New Business Card?

If you (like many people) are considering a change in career then you may want to consider creating a new business card that is separate to your current one, assuming your current card is related to your present field. Having a card that reflects the job or career you are aspiring to makes more sense than handing out one that represents you in your soon-to-be previous career.

On this card you should include contact information such as phone numbers and email addresses that are not related to your current position. Your private number and email would be more suitable in this instance.
It’s also a good idea to create a new, independent business card if your current one contains branding for the company where you’re currently employed.

What Else Should You Bring to a Job Interview?

Business card aside, there are some other essentials that you should definitely bring to an interview.

1) Copies of your CV. HR will obviously have a copy of your CV and will most likely have provided the interview panel with at least one copy to refer to, but there is no harm in bringing some with you out hand out if necessary.
2) Portfolio of work examples (if relevant). Bringing along a portfolio of relevant work is a valuable way to back up any references you make to your previous work during the course of your interview.
3) Pre-prepared questions to ask the interview panel. Potential employers want to see that you have thought about the job and writing out some questions avoids that awkward moment at the end of the interview when you are asked “so have you got anything you would like to ask us?” Having questions written out in advance means that if your mind goes blank in the heat of the moment you have some pertinent questions ready at your disposal.
4) Notepad and pen. You may need to write down notes and prompts as you go through the interview, especially if it likely to be lengthy. Doing this may help you when it comes to asking questions at the end of the interview.
5) Breath mints. Having fresh breath is a simple yet effective way of creating a good impression right off the bat – it shows you’re serious about your appearance and hygiene.
You should also bring a list of references (e.g. past employers and character references). You may not be asked for them at this stage, but it’s best to be prepared, just in case.

Where Can I Order Custom Business Cards in the UK?

Job hunting can be a trying time full of stress, self-doubt, highs and lows. Having an impressive business card will not only help you feel more confident, but it’ll also help your potential employer to see that you’re well-prepared and keen to make a good impression.
If you’re looking to design a new business card for your job interviews, look no further than 123Print. We’re a UK based printing company offering fully personalised business cards which you can design right from the comfort of your own home.

On our site, you’ll find thousands of full-colour business card templates suitable for every vocation and profession imaginable. We offer different card thicknesses, raised and embossed fonts, rounded or pointed corners and the ability to add text and images to the reverse of the card. You’ll also find templates in both landscape and portrait orientation.
We’ll dispatch your order within two working days, and our team are always on hand to fix any issues should they arise. Head to 123Print today to begin your business card journey!

Thank you note

13 Times You Really Need to Send Thank You Cards

When we were young, our parents always told us to say “thank you” whenever anyone bought us a gift, or did anything nice for us. But as we grow old, it seems like expressing gratitude has become a lost art and we’ve forgotten how to say “thank you” to the people who make a difference in our lives, no matter how small the gesture.

It’s not too late, however, to rekindle the practice of expressing gratitude to those who mean something to us and who have enriched our lives in various ways. We can all start by sending thank you cards to people who did something good to us, just as we did when we were kids.

These days, you might only really associate thank you cards with weddings. But they have so many more uses than that! In this guide, we’ll give you 13 great examples of times when you should send thank you cards.

1. When You’ve Received a Gift

This is a no-brainer and that’s why we’ve started off with this one. Whenever you receive a gift from someone – whether it’s a wedding gift, a birthday gift, or “just because” – you should always say thank you. And the best way to do that is by sending a card.

It’s especially important to send a card if you received a gift that was well-thought out or hard to find. This person could’ve just grabbed anything off the shelf, yet they took the time and resources to make you feel special. Thus, they deserve to be rewarded with a simple card that expresses your gratitude.

2. If You’ve Been a House Guest

Hosting family and friends isn’t easy, whether it’s for a few days or even longer. You’ve got less space, less private time, and you’re having to share your bathroom and kitchen with non-household members – not to mention the fact that they’ll use your electricity and water!

So, if you’ve been a house guest and you had a great time during your stay, it would be the least you could do to send a “thank you” card expressing how grateful you are for their generosity. You can even include a small gift, such as flowers, if you want to make them feel extra special.

3. After a Baby Shower or Bridal Shower

Baby showers and bridal showers are more American traditions, and haven’t long been established in the UK. However, they are becoming more and more common nowadays on this side of the pond.

As their names suggest, when you have a “shower” of any kind, you’ll be showered with gifts. Your guests will have spent time, effort and money on choosing the perfect present for you, as well as on attending the party itself.

So, you should always return their generosity by making the effort to send out thank you cards to everyone who attended. You should do this whether or not they brought a gift.

4. After a Job Interview

This may not be absolutely necessary, but sending a thank you card after a job interview is a sure-fire way for you to stick in the mind of the person who interviewed you.
Expressing your gratitude to a company for giving you the opportunity for a job interview gives the impression that you’re serious about taking the job, and you appreciate their time, even though you have no guarantees of getting an offer.

5. To Your Wedding Guests

One of the biggest perks of getting married is the gifts that you’ll receive. Anyone who gifted you something on your wedding, whether they attended the actual celebration or not, deserves a thank you card.

It doesn’t matter what kind of gift you received: the time and effort alone to buy you a wedding gift is enough to make the effort to express your gratitude. And don’t forget to send cards to any guests that didn’t send you a gift, too – they still sacrificed an entire day to celebrate with you.

6. After Receiving Condolences

Losing a loved one is probably the hardest experience anyone could go through, but it’s made a lot easier and more bearable by friends and family that help you during this sad time.

If people close to you showed you their love and support during these tough times, it’s only right to show them how grateful you are. So, send “thank you” cards to those who sent flowers, cards, notes and donations to return their kindness while you’re grieving. (But don’t worry about doing this straight away – they’ll understand if you need time.)

7. When Someone has Done You a Favour

If a friend, family member, coworker or neighbour has done you a favour, it’s always polite to give them a thank you card – and potentially a small gift, too, depending on how they’ve helped you out. For example, if someone:

1) Gave you a lift somewhere
2) Picked you up from the airport
3) Helped you move
4) Paid for something when you couldn’t afford it
5) Let you stay at their house
6) Helped you out with some work or housework
7) Cooked you a meal
8) Looked after you when you were ill

It would be the height of rudeness not to thank them sincerely. Favours are completely optional and the only thing in it for them is helping out a friend.

8. After Graduation

Graduating is one of your biggest accomplishments in life and the people who love you will always make it more special. Those who made the effort to give you some graduation goodies definitely deserve to be appreciated with a simple “thank you” card.

It’s also worth thanking anyone that attended your graduation ceremony, or hosted/attended your graduation party. Make sure that you send out these notes before you get caught up with your new life as a full-fledged adult.

9. After Attending a Dinner Party

It’s not every day that you get invited to a dinner party. The people who host these types of events really make the time to plan, prepare and execute their ideas so you can have the best night possible.

So, why not show them your gratitude? A simple thank you card after being invited to a dinner party is enough to make any host feel that all their efforts have paid off, and lets them know their hard work was appreciated.

10. To Birthday Party Attendees

These days, it’s not often that you receive a lot of gifts for birthday parties anymore. So, those who do take the time to buy you something special really deserve a simple reward in the form of a thank you card. This goes for any age – whether it’s a kid’s birthday party or a 50th.

Write a personal note expressing your gratitude not only for the gift itself but also the gesture, and your efforts will really be appreciated.

11. During Hard Times

We all go through difficult times in our lives, when we need extra support – some of the biggest upheavals include job loss, illness, divorce and caring for a newborn baby. It’s during these times that people who really love us step up to support, love and care for us.

So, don’t forget to let these people know that you see their efforts and that you appreciate them. Even if you’re busy with the obligations that come during these stressful times, you need to make time for sending out thank you cards to the people who have helped you cope.

12. For Christmas Presents

Of course, the holiday season means that you’ll be receiving a lot of gifts from family and friends. But don’t just text these people to say thank you for their gesture. Instead, take the time to write personalised thank you cards that will let them know how much you appreciate their kindness.

It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. As long as you add your personal touch to these cards, your recipients will appreciate them.

13. When Returning Something You’ve Borrowed

When someone lets you borrow something from them, it’s always right to send them a thank you card to show that you appreciate the favour. No matter whether you borrowed:

1) Money
2) Their car
3) Garden equipment
4) Kitchenware or appliances
5) Tools
6) Partyware

Or anything else, for that matter: always hand over a thank you card when you return the item (or cash) in question. This will not only let the person know they’re appreciated, but it will also make them more likely to help you out again!

Where Can I Buy Personalised Thank You Cards?

The truth is, you don’t need to wait for a special occasion to show appreciation to the people who’ve been there for you. In fact, thank you cards can be given when you feel grateful for any reason at all.

You can send them to customers, frontline workers, friends, neighbours and just about anyone who touched your life in one way or another. This is why it’s smart to have extra thank you cards on hand, so you can quickly sign them and give them out whenever the need might arise.

At 123Print, we have a wonderful range of thank you card templates, all of which can be fully customised for free online before you place your order. So, whether you’re thanking someone for a gift, attending your wedding, or any other reason, we’ve got you covered.
After you’ve specified your chosen wording and approved the preview, your thank you cards will be professionally printed and dispatched to you within 2 working days.

Sending thank you cards not only benefits the recipient, but it will also help you practise gratitude and appreciation for everything you have in life. Why not thank those closest to you with 123Print?