The Psychology of Shape and why it matters

While many companies continue to consider “shape” to be something of a juvenile topic, the truth is that just like fonts and colors, and shapes are an essential aspect of logo design, capable of symbolizing ideas, expressing moods, and leading the eye. In fact, you’re probably aware of countless shapes each day — even though you don’t realize that you’re noticing them. After all, shapes make up everything around us.

The question is, how can you use shape to influence the thoughts and opinions of your customers through logo design.

The simple reason why shapes are so crucial is that the human brain is hard-wired to memorize and assign meaning to them. The way that we process shape is a fundamental aspect of how humans learn things. A distinctive shape remains stored within the banks of your memory long after you’ve seen it.

However, there’s more to making the most of shape in design than making sure your customers can remember and recognize your brand. The forms that you choose also need to convey the correct messages to your audience. For instance, vertical lines, circles, squares, and triangles all communicate different meanings.

At HiveBrand, we use logo shapes to direct the eye from one element to the next, convey emotion and mood, create trust and professionalism, and connect with your audience on a deeper level.

Let’s talk shapes-

Circles are softer and more welcoming than harshly angled triangles or squares. Rings are often connected to marriage, so they create a bond with your customers. Circles are consistent and sturdy with no breaks or turns, representing the reliability, strength, and community.

Squares are used to depict proportion, balance, and professionalism. They inspire trust, strength, and safety. The shape is often associated with homes and buildings conveying trust and a sense of authority.

Triangles inspire dynamic power, a sense of hierarchy, and continuous improvement. They have energy because they are pushing in a certain direction. Masculine and powerful the triangle is commonly used in construction, motor, legal, and scientific industries.

Lines: Vertical lines create a subconscious association with strength and sophistication while causing logos to appear slimmer. On the other hand, horizontal lines create a sense of tranquility and calm.

Obviously, the shape is just one factor in designing your brand identity. It all goes back to listening to our clients and dissecting the design brief to deliver the full story.

Agile vs. Linear Design Process

We are inherently creative beings and have a desire and need to make the world around us more livable. The design process is born out of this need. And at its core design is about problem-solving. Whether in engineering, architecture or communication, the design process follows a similar methodology of problem definition, research, concept development, design and prototype development, and evaluation.

There are two general approaches to the design process, linear and agile. A linear process is one of the strict controls and is primarily used to manage risk in the development process. Each phase must be fully completed before going onto the next, allowing designers to catch errors when they are least expensive and time-consuming to fix. The linear method is straightforward but requires discipline if it’s to work effectively.

The key is the interaction of team members, whose multidisciplinary backgrounds allows the team to address the project from multiple perspectives at all stages. This became known as the agile method. This method embraces change and circumstances, approaching the project, knowing that it will require iteration as it progresses.

During the design process, it is essential to realize that most design project scenarios will not be predictive but will require flexibility and the ability to react to new information and circumstances. Most importantly, the process is iterative and requires the directions, concepts, and designs are continuously refined to achieve a final design. Though the agile approach is not as rigid as the linear approach, it still requires a great deal of discipline and needs to be well managed as there are many opportunities for breakdowns, given its free-flowing nature.

Essentially the design process allows designers to consider all of the critical facets of a design problem, and it provides transparency in the way that they work. The goal of using a process is not to make the “magic” creative moment scientific. Instead, the process offers opportunities to prepare the mind and provide tools to facilitate meaningful creative explorations.

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JAMStacking with Netlify, Gastby and more

When we rolled out our coming soon page, we thought it would be an excellent time to implement a new tech stack. While we’re big fans of DigitalOcean and their one-click server setup, but, for this project, we decided to scrap the server, and it’s configurations, and go for the JAMStack serverless architecture. Say hello to the new hotness, Netlify. With its easy deployment using GitHub or Bitbucket, it’s a developer’s dream come true, plus, with AWS’s serverless Lambda functions you can run server-side code without having to run a dedicated server.

And following modern web development best practices, we approached it with a component-based architecture using, Gatsby(a Blazing fast, site generator for React); it’s CLI tool makes coding a breeze. And for DNS management and modern traffic management technology we looked to NS1. We’ll put the code up on Github shortly. Cheers

Resources:
https://www.netlify.com/
https://www.gatsbyjs.org/
https://ns1.com/
https://jamstack.org/

Why we chose Southport as our new headquarters

As of May 1st, HiveBrand has moved its office to 354 Pequot Avenue Suite 106, located in the historic Jelliff Building in Southport, Connecticut. The C.O. Jelliff Manufacturing Corporation was organized in 1880 and still produces woven wire goods in the dedicated mill in the present facility on Pequot Avenue. The juxtaposition of the old mill and new businesses merge seamlessly.

We could not be more thrilled with our new space, as many of you know Southport is an exceptional community. Covering only about 3 ½ square miles it may be small in size but big in heart and charm. Possessing some of the most magnificent historic homes in New England. Its history goes back more than 360 years, and residents have worked hard to maintain the charm and preserve its history.

Southport became a leading coastal port on Long Island Sound, its ships carrying produce and goods back and forth to New York City. A measure of Southport’s success is the fact that throughout the 1800s, it possessed the only two banks in town. However, competition from steamboats and the railroad took its toll on prosperity. Resourceful shippers teamed with local farmers and business people to keep the port going; the Southport onion, a high-quality onion, was developed and grown on Fairfield’s hills and shipped in Southport market boats. Today, much of the old village area is part of a historic town district, first established in 1967, where buildings from three centuries are protected for future generations.

Southport is just over an hour outside of New York City, and our office is conveniently located steps from Metro-North. Stop by and say hello. We would love to show you around so that you can experience all the charm and warmth of this tight-knit coastal hamlet. We are a dynamic team of experienced strategists, marketers, designers, and developers. HiveBrand would love to help your business grow sales and shine a light on how you can better serve your customers. We help our clients win hearts and minds throughout the entire customer journey, building stronger, longer-lasting relationships with their customers. HiveBrand is a proud Hubspot partner, delivering inbound services like content creation, SEO, marketing automation, social media, or web design services, all within the HubSpot’s eco-system.

Most people traveling up or down Route 95 pass right by Exit 19, Southport without knowing the beauty and the slow pace awaiting them in Southport Village. It is a gem hiding in plain sight.

A Night at the Hadley

This year marks the 25th Anniversary of Rooms with a View at the Southport Congregational Church in Southport, CT. Rooms with a View is a totally immersive creative environment designed to inspire and delight. From the minute you arrive, you are transported into a world where creativity in design, food, craftsmanship, and performance is celebrated.

Albert Hadley, who had a weekend house in Southport, was a member of the church. From 1993 until his death, Mr. Hadley became a tireless participant, the hands-on design director as well as the show’s calling card and honorary chairman.

Hadley invited the designers personally and chose them very carefully. He developed a formula, which is still used today, six men, six women, six New York, six Fairfield County, six established, six new. For him, the excitement was always in the six new designers. He had an eye for spotting talent early – proof of that is when you look at the Rooms with a View alumni list for the past 25 years – many designers were at the very beginning of what has become a celebrated career. Thom Felicia is now the honorary chair.

Each year, 12 well-known designers are invited to create vignettes. These vignettes are stages within walls 6′ x 8′ x ‘8’ in the library and great hall of the historic, stone, Gothic Revival style church. This year’s designers are:

  1. Adams Interior Design
  2. Handin/Browne
  3. J.P. Franzen Associates Architects, P.C.
  4. Ken Gemes
  5. The Lewis Design Group
  6. Moss Design
  7. Parker and Company Designs
  8. Roughan Interior Design
  9. Sister Parish
  10. Clarity Home
  11. The Tailored Home Interior Treatments by Jhon Ortiz
  12. Alexis Parent Interiors

Rooms With A View is unique in that it is not a showcase in the traditional sense. It is a sound bite version of a designer show house. The designers are challenged to get an idea across in a small amount of space.

This year HiveBrand, a Southport digital marketing agency, is proud to be the underwriting sponsor for a new event at RWAV on Saturday, November 9th, “A Night at the Hadley.” The trade-only event will raise funds for the Rooms with a View/New York School of Design/Rooms Scholarship Fund. The Hadley restaurant space is designed by Christian P Arkay-Leliever. Cocktail service will be provided by the alluring Justin Pasha of The Cup Bearer and food by celebrity chef J.J. Johnson of Field Trip in Harlem. You can read more about J.J. and Field Trip here

Good design + Good time + Good cause = An unforgettable networking experience.

HiveBrand is happy to support the mission of Rooms with a View: “To make a contribution to the greater community through the promotion of excellence in creativity and design.” Rooms with a View has raised over 1.65 million dollars to support a host of local charities.

To view all of the events at Rooms with a View and to purchase tickets, please visit https://roomswithaview.org/.

Top 3 important SEO Keyword research tips

Since the rise and dominance of search engines, keyword rankings have been one of those elusive tricky topics that can be a hit or miss, and with the wrong miss-step, it can reflect in a companies ROI. Before we take a deep dive into this essential topic, it’s paramount that you are briefed on all that a keyword entails.

But let’s take a quick pause before we take a deep dive into this essential topic, and to be effective with your SEO strategy, you must first grasp how the dominant search engines interpret keywords.

So what are Keywords?

A keyword is a word that accurately represents the content on your page. It is that specific search term that you want to rank for with a particular high-value page. So when an individual surfing the internet searches for that phrase or keyword in Google, Bing, or other major search engines, they should find that particular phrase or keyword on your website.

Keywords can also be seen as a simple term that we input on a search engine when we are in search of specific answers, products, services, or knowledge. This vital search engine element has strategic significance and purpose because the search engine algorithm uses keywords to answer the visitor’s questions and serve up the most relevant content to match the user’s queries.

The right keywords play a significant role in luring customers to your business. You will certainly want to rank high for the keywords or terms that your audience uses when performing search queries. To achieve this, you will need the ideal keywords that best depict what your potential customers are searching for. Most importantly, you want to have premium content your prospective customers need.

By placing the right keywords on your blog posts, in your content, and on your website, you make it quite easy for the search algorithms (here’s the official computer science definition as defined by Wikipedia) to serve up content that’s relevant to your users. To effectively reap the benefits of keywords, it is paramount that you don’t stuff your content with keywords or hide terms where they don’t belong.

Techniques like these are known as Black Hat SEO tactics (check out this post by HubSpot for more info on this topic), and if the search algorithms notice this behavior, the penalty can be severe. It can get you banned from search engine results pages altogether. Instead, write for your audience or potential customers and optimize your pages for search engines.

Below are 3 tips for better Search Engine Results

1. Keywords and Marketing your business

Like earlier stated, as a business owner or online marketer, keywords play a significant role in creating the ideal awareness for your products and services. Utilizing the right keywords is paramount to the success of your business, and learning how best to use these keywords is also essential if you wish to be found online by your potential customers. You can increase your business and drive sales by using the appropriate keywords. These keywords can guide your potential customers to convert on your e-commerce site, where you have your products and services. Keywords are also crucial to every form of marketing strategy you can think of, without a proper keyword strategy, it would be challenging to drive traffic to specific high-value conversion pages.

2. Keywords can affect your website ranking

Even if you post high-quality content that is quite captivating on your website, there is a considerable possibility that such a site may rank low in search, simply because there is an inappropriate use of keywords in the published content. To prevent such an occurrence, you should include keywords in the appropriate places to enable your website to rank high.

3. Drive Visitors to your website

As the search algorithm weighs in its different factors when ranking a page, like domain authority and relevancy, it analyzes the words on the page to return the most appropriate match to the user’s query. Now imagine this, if every word in a post about the creative work of a design agency is utilized twice, it means all words are of the same importance. The search algorithm won’t know which of those words are crucial and which aren’t.  So if you want to drive visitors to your website, ensure you optimize your content with relevant keywords that answer your visitor’s questions. But Google isn’t the sole reason why keywords are so relevant, and it is less important simply because you should often concentrate on the visitors, users, and potential clients. With an SEO keyword, you can attract people to your page, thus, ultimately increasing your traffic. On the other hand, if you use an inappropriate keyword, your page will be void of visitors, because your keyword doesn’t match what your potential customer or audience is after.

If you are struggling with constructing ideal keywords for your business, brand, or product, contact us to assist you in developing a keyword strategy that is sure to drive results.