The Importance of Multi-Purpose Logos

When you think of any well-known company, you immediately imagine that company’s logo. For example, when you think of McDonald’s, the first thing that comes to mind is the famous golden arches. The importance of a logo goes way beyond just one singular symbol or descriptive lettering. Put it like this — the face of your company is represented through your logo. It’s the first impression of your brand, and it’s what leaves a lasting impression on the consumer. 

You may think a logo is just one simple design, but there are many aspects to consider when creating one, including different formats. The idea of multiple logo variations is called a multi-purpose logo or a responsive logo. With today’s devices like tablets, mobile smartphones, and even smartwatches, the need for multi-purpose logos has increased. Logos need to impact your consumers, whether that be when scrolling through Facebook or looking at a billboard on your drive to work. 

What are Multi-Purpose Logos?

Multi-purpose logos are different variations of your brand’s primary logo. As stated above, you want your logo to apply to any format so that it can still leave a lasting impression, no matter the platform it’s being shown on. Multi-purpose logos need to fit the scale across all channels and devices. The smaller the scale, the more simple the logo variation needs to be. 

Why Multi-Purpose Logos?

The most impactful logos are simple. But while simplicity is key, you also want your logo to be functional. This means that it can be easily adjusted to fit across a multitude of platforms. Your logo also needs to work just as well in black and white as it does in full color. Having a primary logo, emblem, wordmark, and alternate logos will allow your brand the flexibility to create a strong identity. Multi-purpose logos are becoming more and more essential as technology advances and trends arise. They develop character, build brand identity, and allow consumers to interact with your brand in multiple ways. 

 

Benefits of Multi-Purpose Logos

If you aren’t already convinced, let’s talk about the benefits of multi-purpose logos. When your company has a multi-purpose logo, this creates consistency in your branding as a whole. We all want our brand to stand out, and having a solid multi-purpose logo will achieve that. Multi-purpose logos also build and maintain a visual for consumers across all channels, ultimately leaving a lasting impression on anyone who sees it. When your brand has a versatile logo, you build the freedom to engage with your consumers on a whole other level. Brand loyalty is essential, and multi-purpose logos will help your company culture shine through and become widely recognizable. 

Tips on Creating a Successful Multi-Purpose Logo

The steps to creating a successful multi-purpose logo are simple if you have the right mindset. When designing, you want to avoid intricate patterns and fine details to ensure the logo is versatile and effective. In this case, less is more! If you’re having trouble finding ways to simplify your logo, try brainstorming designs that involve removing images, lettering, and exchanging brand colors. Following these guidelines will allow your logo to work in any environment, on any platform. 

As you can see, the importance of multi-purpose logos is crucial in creating a lasting impression for your brand. Remember, multi-purpose logos are not different designs of your logo. They are simplified versions that include the same watermark, colors, and other elements of your main logo. Brand identity is essential in representing how your company is perceived, and having a strong multi-purpose logo will help achieve that. 

Are you looking to redesign your logo or build one from the ground up? At Rock Paper Simple, we’ve got you covered! Turn your brand into a tangible asset and make your business goals become a reality! Visit our branding services page to learn more. 

10 UX / UI Tools for Web Designers

When it comes to website design, there is always room to grow and learn. New tools are released rapidly, and as a designer, it’s important to be aware of them. Below are ten UX/UI tools that we believe will help any website designer maximize their capabilities, complete projects on time, and reach their business’s objectives! 

Layoutit Grid – Let’s face it; as a designer, you sometimes need to visualize the grid in your head. This tool does exactly that, allowing you to mock up your desired grid layout quickly. Layoutit Grid is an interactive grid generator that lets you draw your designs, with the perk of seeing the code as you go.

Neumorphism.io – This tool creates the characteristic soft shadows and edges that have made neumorphism so popular in the design industry. Use this code generator to help you with colors, gradients, and shadows to make your design stand out!

Compound Grid Generator – Nested or compound grids can be confusing. Help take the edge off with this handy compound grid generator. Just enter the number of columns for each of your grids, and it’ll automatically combine them into a compound grid, simple as that!

CSS Effects – Have you ever wanted to add or create image hover effects? With the help of this tool, you can make your project stand out! Here is a nice collection of subtle but supremely reusable animations for your next project or design.

zerodivs.com – Try this experimental UI editor for creating CSS-only illustrations. That’s right! No raster or vector graphics are actually created, only CSS! It may not be the best solution for scalable graphics, but this tool can be beneficial given the right project.

patternico – Patternico is an awesome web-based tool for creating seamless tiled patterns. It’s completely free and will elevate any project!

Gradihunt – Gradihunt is an automated gradient generator. Get inspired by user-created gradients, or create your own!

Motion – Want to add a creative icon to your next big project? With Motion, you can build animated SVG icons that are customizable to you, available for Mac OS and Windows.

Animockup – Want to show off your website or project on a device? Are you tired of the same old photoshop templates? Animockup enables you to create animated product mockups for free!

Multicolor CSS Gradients – Multicolor CSS Gradients is a creative tool that offers free, lightweight, colorful, and responsive backgrounds!

As you can see, there are multitudes of tools available online that will instantly take your projects to the next level. The UX/UI tools mentioned above are just a few on the market, but they’re a great starting place for all levels of expertise. Take time to dive deeper, and don’t be afraid to explore options until you discover which ones work best for you. In the end, it all comes down to your business’s needs and design style!

At Rock Paper Simple, the websites we build revolve around a strategy that reflects each client’s unique brand, offerings, and business goals. Our designers and web developers are experts in their fields and understand what it takes to generate results. If you need assistance building a marketing-focus website, contact us today!

 

Optimize Website Images to Improve Performance, Search Ranking

The Google Page Experience Algorithm [1] update launches this June, and with it, we will see the Core Web Vitals become part of the ranking signals that dictate how your site ranks on search results. Core Web Vitals measure how fast your website loads and affect other factors that impact the user’s experience on your website.  

How Do Images Impact Website Performance?

At Rock Paper Simple, our team comes across a variety of clients in need of quicker loading times on their website. We have discovered that one of the most impactful ways to increase performance score is to optimize your site images.

Often, the problems we encounter when reviewing a website include images that are too large, poorly compressed, or in the wrong format. Mobile phones are one culprit. Today, mobile phones are capable of producing large, high-quality images, making it easy to upload photos that are too large for the website unknowingly. 

A single photo from your mobile phone camera could measure five megabytes or more with a resolution in the thousands of pixels. The average size of a website today is between two to three megabytes, so having even just a few uncompressed images on your site could inflate your total website size to double, triple, or even higher. This is extra data that mobile users have to download on their mobile plans and can create a negative experience for mobile users with poor connections. 

Online Image Optimizers

If your website is small or only utilizes a small number of images, you can drop those photos into an online image optimizer and replace them on your site with the newly optimized ones. Here are a few online optimizers that do an excellent job of compressing your images using various algorithms.

WordPress Image Optimizers

Here at Rock Paper Simple, we build our websites on an awesome content publishing platform called WordPress. WordPress contains robust features that ensure users don’t upload unnecessarily large images. By default, every image uploaded to WordPress is compressed and served up in various thumbnail sizes running from small (150px) to large (1024px). While this is an excellent feature, our team takes optimization a step further.

This next step is where image optimization plugins and services come in handy. These plugins automatically compress the images you upload to the smallest possible file size when you upload them. Additionally, you can compress images that already exist in your WordPress media library, ensuring that older images also benefit.

Below are a few WordPress plugins with exceptional feature sets. Our developers particularly enjoy the ability to convert images to Webp format — the internet’s next-generation image format for greater performance gains. 

Image optimization is just one piece of the Core Web Vitals puzzle, with many other factors affecting the performance of your site and the resultant search placement. At Rock Paper Simple, our SEO optimization experts work hard to stay on top of the latest changes, trends, and technologies that help guide our clients to better-performing pages, higher-ranking websites, and happier customers. Contact us today or take a look at our web design services to see how we can help you realize your marketing goals, including your website performance and ranking. 

 

Resources:

[1] https://developers.google.com/search/blog/2021/04/more-details-page-experience

2020-2021 American Advertising Federation (AAF) Space Coast Awards

The American Advertising Federation (AAF) was founded in 1905 and is the world’s largest advertising trade association. Each year, the AFF hosts a nationwide competition through its local chapters to reward the spirit of creative excellence in advertising. 

This year, Rock Paper Simple entered into the 2020-2021 AFF Space Coast competition and was honored to take home eight coveted Addy awards — three gold and five silver! Not only do these awards speak to our team’s hard work, but also the work of the brilliant organizations we’re lucky to call our clients!

2020-2021 AFF Space Coast Gold Addy Awards

The first Gold Addy Award our team won was for New Life Mission’s rebrand project that included a new name, logo, brand guidelines, messaging, core values, collateral material, promotional videos, and more. It was critical to choose elements that would speak to the impact of the organization and the transformative process participating women go through. As a result, the main design element featured throughout New Life Mission’s brand materials is a butterfly with a celebrating woman as its body. 

Another Gold Addy Award we received this year was for our “Meet Jane” video. This video overviews Rock Paper Simple and the services we offer. 

The last Gold Addy Award our team won was for the Brevard Zoo’s Animal Guardian campaign. This campaign was a joint effort with Artemis and had the goal of raising enough funds to support the care of 4 animals at the zoo, including a cheetah, black bear, white rhino, and giraffe. In the end, we’re proud to say this campaign raised $3,410!

2020-2021 AFF Space Coast Silver Addy Awards

Rock Paper Simple also had the pleasure of working with Artemis on their new website build, which happened to be a 2021 Silver Addy Award winner! Artemis has a vast array of services and solutions that our team was able to organize and display purposefully to ensure a smooth user experience.

Another Silver Addy Award recipient was our “What is Story” video. This video explains the concept of storytelling and communicates the thought process behind each project completed by our in-house video production team.

The next 2021 Silver Addy Award recipient was the Melbourne Regional Chamber’s Space Coast Staycation campaign! This campaign’s goal was to drive the local economy by helping residents plan the perfect #SpaceCoastStaycation in support of our tourism-based businesses. 

In addition to winning a Gold Addy Award for their rebranding, New Life Mission’s website won a 2021 Silver Addy Award!

Our team wanted to provide the organization with a beautiful platform to enhance donor confidence and designed their website to clearly communicate the nonprofit’s mission. The butterfly was used as an animation element on the home page, adding a unique effect! 

The last 2021 Silver Addy Award was for our work with Carroll Distributing Company. Our team loved collaborating with this locally-focused, family-owned business to create a brand new website that showcased their services and love for the Space Coast.

Some important elements in the website build included the incorporation of hand-drawn elements into Carroll’s extensive history through an engaging timeline to show the birth of the company and its evolution over time. Our team also created a catalog system so that potential customers could see the selection of beverages Carroll has to offer. 

Thank you to the AFF Space Coast for hosting an incredible 2020-2021 Awards Show. And, thank you to our clients and marketing partners for placing your trust in us. While we’re honored to have received the recognition, the real win is providing value to those we serve! 

If you would like to learn more about each of these projects, navigate to our portfolio!

2020 GrowFL Florida Companies to Watch Honoree: Letter from Head Honcho

“We are officially a GrowFL Florida Companies to Watch honoree! Wow!

An organization like ours only exists and reaches forward to great things because of the people that are part of it. This honor speaks to our team (past and present!) that has put in so much hard work, the mentors who have spoken to us, the clients that have invested in us and the community that has embraced us. We couldn’t imagine doing this anywhere else… with anyone else!

I prayed every month for five months while I was working on getting Rock Paper Simple launched that the Lord would bless our path forward, or stop me from starting it altogether. Here we are, almost eight years later with a team I couldn’t be more proud of…those prayers were certainly answered. 

I am filled with gratitude to all those who have contributed to making Rock Paper Simple into not only what it is today, but what it will be tomorrow.

Ever Forward!”

Tips for Email Marketing Success

Creating a strong email marketing strategy for your business helps you to connect with your target audience in a personalized way and increases sales at an affordable cost. According to Statista, the global email user count is set to grow to 4.3 billion by 2023. [1] Further, DMA found that every dollar spent on email marketing creates an average return of $42. [2] Awesome, right? Below we’ve laid out a few key tips to consider when building your email marketing strategy to ensure its success! 

Build Relationships

When using email marketing for your business, it’s important to keep building relationships with subscribers at the forefront of your approach. People often join email lists not because they want to buy a product but because they want to learn more about a company. So, while increased sales might be a short term goal, engagement and a strong following is the key to driving success long term. 

Use CTA’s

In an email campaign, CTA’s (call to actions) are essential. If they aren’t crafted in a way that encourages subscribers to click on a company’s message, the campaign results might fall short. Three important questions to ask yourself when creating CTA’s are: “Is it descriptive?”, “Is it easy to act on?”, “Is it hard to miss?”. 

Maintain Contact List

The last critical email marketing tip is to keep your contact list up-to-date, especially if you’re using a service provider like SharpSpring or MailChimp. Inactive subscribers and email addresses that are no longer used negatively affect your deliverability rate, bounce rate, and overall sender reputation. To refresh your list, use a validation program like ZeroBounce. These types of programs will make sorting through your email list easy and efficient!

To wrap it up, here’s a short checklist of basic steps to take when creating your own email marketing campaign!

▢ Build a subscriber list (and keep it updated)

▢ Create a clean email layout

▢ Keep subject lines short and catchy

▢ Tailor emails to be mobile-friendly

▢ Include interesting CTA’s

▢ Test emails before they’re sent

▢ Track data

▢ Provide value! 

 

Resources:

[1] https://www.statista.com/statistics/255080/number-of-e-mail-users-worldwide/

[2] https://dma.org.uk/uploads/misc/marketers-email-tracker-2019.pdf

Melbourne Police Department: Testimonial from Marc Claycomb & John Chapman

The Melbourne Police Department (MPD) is dedicated to the citizens of Melbourne and their quality of life. Department personnel work closely with business partners, neighborhood watch groups, and community leaders in an effort to reach mutual goals and foster a strong, committed partnership.

Rock Paper Simple’s video production team worked closely with the MPD to create a recruitment tool that would highlight the organization’s various capabilities. This project aimed to instill excitement and drive within potential recruits to join the MPD and take part in their incredible work.

The video had an immediate impact on the MPD, filling every job vacancy within the agency. It also won multiple American Advertising Awards and was rated by the organization Police One, as one of the top five recruitment videos in the world. 

Our team had a blast working on this project and are thrilled to have helped the agency reach its recruitment goals!

A huge thank you to Marc Claycomb and John Chapman for taking the time to film this testimonial video. We are very appreciative of everything the Melbourne Police Department does to protect our community! Be sure to check out the agency’s recruitment video here!

 

Web Animations that Perform: Tips for High Frame Rate Animations

This month marks the end of life for Adobe Flash, a tool that web designers used to create animations long ago in the before times of the internet. In honor of web animation history, we will dive into current web animation tips that yield high frame rate animations for your marketing pages and websites. 

Understand the Critical Rendering Path

The browser follows this timeline when rendering pages: 

  1. Style: the browser calculates the styles to apply to objects on the page
  2. Layout: During this phase, the browser generates shapes, sizes, and positions. For example, elements with any Top/Right/Left/Bottom positions get their position on the page calculated during this phase of rendering.
  3. Paint: The browser starts to draw the pixels for each element into layers.
  4. Composite: This is the magic phase. Here is where you want your animations to occur. The browser draws the layers it painted during the previous steps.

Avoid CSS: Transitions on Left/Right/Top/Bottom Styles

The browser calculates element positions during the Layout phase, which means CSS transitions will cause the entire layout and all its children to be recalculated on the fly. This will result in choppy or laggy animations. Inspecting your animations using the performance debugging tool can reveal where your animations are experiencing issues.

The green chart indicates the performance of the animation in frames per second, and we want that bar as consistently high as possible. Low green bars indicate frame rates below 60 frames per second. Red bars indicate performance issues or what we call “jank”. 

In this example, an animation is being used in conjunction with the left: property. When the animation triggers, the browser is forced to recalculate positions in the Layout phase, resulting in high CPU load and poor animation performance. Instead, we want to run our animations in the Composite phase of the timeline, where animations can take advantage of GPU acceleration.

Take Advantage of GPU Acceleration with CSS: Transforms Instead of CSS: Transitions

The Transform properties are run in the Composite phase. In effect, we are telling the browser that the layers are painted and will be ready as soon as the animation begins. There will be fewer hiccups in the animation because the position calculations have already been performed (remember, positions are calculated in the performance-heavy Layout phase). Not having to calculate new positions means the Composite phase can smoothly animate the layers.

Here is the same animation, but using Transforms instead of Transitions:

The overall performance is much improved, but there are still a few slower frames at the start of the animation indicated in red. This can be improved even further by taking advantage of translateZ() or translate3d() properties, which then forces the GPU to render the animation and not the CPU. This promotes the elements to their own layer, and the browser doesn’t have to perform the more expensive Layout or Paint phases over again. The GPU can simply animate the composite layers for buttery smooth animations.

Be Aware of Your Layers

In this image, we can see all the text layers have been promoted to the same layer as the animation. As we learned before, the more children being affected by the animation, the greater the likelihood that our animation will suffer from low performance as the browser. We want only the elements to be animated on their own layer.

In this image, we turned on a browser feature that shows the elements being repainted in the Paint phase of the rendering timeline. Only the green square is animating, but all the nearby text has been promoted to the same layer as the animation. 

Therefore, be aware of your relatively and absolutely positioned elements to avoid multiple elements being promoted to the animation layer. In this particular example, we can set the z-index: of the green square and essentially promote it to its own layer.

Now, we can see just the green square elevated above the text layer, and subsequently, the animation is smoother. Additionally, making sure you are observant of your layers will help you avoid situations where the text becomes blurry due to losing its sub-pixel anti-aliasing. 

Here at Rock Paper Simple, we stay on top of the latest web design trends to make sure your business is properly represented and looking top-notch. This means getting technical and diving into the small things, like animations!

New Life Mission: Testimonial from Stacia Glavas

Founded in 2008 by Stacia Glavas, New Life Mission is a nonprofit organization that equips homeless mothers with skills and knowledge to transform their families in a Christ-centered environment. Since opening their doors, New Life Mission has helped 135 homeless families receive the aid they needed to become self-sufficient through education, accountability, and goal advancement.

When New Life Mission came to Rock Paper Simple, they had been operating as Brevard Rescue Mission for over ten years. However, they felt the name Brevard Rescue Mission didn’t clearly communicate their organization to potential new donors. Our team collaborated with a committee from their board and staff for several months to create a complete rebrand to resolve this issue. The rebrand included a new name, logo, brand guidelines, messaging, core values, collateral, website, videos and more.

We are so happy to have worked on this important project for New Life Mission and are proud we could provide them with branding that clearly defines the ministry and its mission!

Our team cannot thank Stacia enough for her kind words in this testimonial video! Be sure to check out New Life Mission’s live website here!

How to Plan a Successful Virtual Booth

Many expos and conferences are moving virtually for 2020 and beyond. There are a few key factors that can help make for a successful virtual booth at a virtual event. 

First, it is important to connect with the event organizers to know what platform will be used to display your booth and how attendees will access that booth. The event organizers should also be able to provide you with specific details for the booth that feature their company’s information and brand including the company’s bio, logo, contact information, and links to their website and social media channels. Other information that may need to be collected are PDFs or downloadable content, presentations, videos, and the booth’s displayed images (background and secondary). 

During the event, it’s important to ensure that anyone who will be speaking or presenting has high-quality internet access. If the booth has the ability for attendees to answer questions, it’s a good idea to have someone separate from the presenter ready to answer them. 

A crucial piece of attending any event is the ability to connect with attendees afterward. Presenters and exhibitors should ask organizers about receiving attendee names and emails, along with any other contact information. Post-event communication can include emails from your organization, ideally utilizing an email CRM platform, and online ads utilizing retargeting. These emails and ads can be planned before the event so they can be sent out quickly after the event ends. Emails can include downloadables, applicable call to actions, links to blogs and other ways to convert attendees to customers or fans. 

Virtual events are growing in popularity. It is important for exhibitors to focus on their branding, collateral, event communication, and post-event follow up as these are the main items that attendees will remember.