Why is a business logo important for sole traders (and any new business in general)? Is it really necessary?
In rating 1 to 5, a business logo rates 5. It gives a sole traders a face in a big crowd.
What do you use in your business? What do you like about it?
If you are looking for a Photoshop replacement, you really need to check out GIMP. It will feel very familiar if you already known Photoshop. It has a great online community for tutorials and learning from others. This isn’t just available for Mac, it is also available for Windows and Linux. https://www.gimp.org/
If you are looking for an Adobe Illustrator replacement, you need to check out Inkscape. It is very similar but has some unique variances. One example is that Inkscape’s native format is SVG (so if you incorpate graphics into web design SVG is supported natively in HTML5). This isn’t just for Mac, it is also available for Windows and Linux. https://inkscape.org/
I personally haven’t found a free alternative to Adobe Indesign that I use myself, however, I do know many people recommend Scribus. However, I don’t have any personal experience with it. It is also available on Mac, Windows and Linux. https://www.scribus.net/
If you are looking to do some 3D animation or 3D modeling (game design, illustration, blueprints and architecture), I highly recommend Blender 3D. Again it is available across platforms for Mac, Windows and Linux. It has been awhile since I’ve used it but it is just as powerful as programs like Autocad or Maya. https://www.blender.org/
I haven’t really found an open source or free alternative to Adobe Preimere or After Effects (Video Editing and Post Production software). So if anyone does have good recommendations for that, I’d be happy to hear about them.
Other notable mentions:
If you are looking for something quick that has a decent amount of functionality I would recommend checking out Canva.
If you don’t necessarily need free, some great low budget design software is Affinity. They have a Photo (Photoshop) offering, Designer (illustrator) offering, and Publisher (Indesign) offering currently. To buy each program (to own not to pay monthly) it is roughly $49 US per program - and all 3 are available for Mac and Windows to my knowledge. They also offer Photo and Designer for iPad each at $19 US. I’ve used these programs and am really liking them so far.
One other interesting tool is Figma, there is a free version that is still pretty robust. It is a vector based program (similar to Illustrator), but it has active collaboration so you can co-design in real-time or collaborate with other roles while you are brainstorming.
If you have questions or want to discuss in more detail, feel free to send me a message.
Who are the big names in online printing services in Australia? Is it worth going with an established name or smaller companies?
Sharing this question on behalf of community member, Heidi Hildebrandt: How do you transform paper learning resources into an interactive digital form to help businesses survive these tough...
How much does it cost for branding packages including logo, online visuals, business cards for a new small business?
More importnt than the cost is the longevity. There are companies that will give you what you want and there are companies that will help you discover what you need.
I have been fortunate enought to have had experienced graphic designers whom I worked alongside who have designed logos that looked good and represent myself and the business perfectly.
I believe It is important to engage someone who sees your current business and also its potential. They should suggest colour schemes and fonts that best suit your business and the appropriate market.
Whats importnt is that your clients will trust and associate with your first impression.
A good logo doesnt have to cost the earth. With that said, dont over capitalise. No point having the best logo design and stationary if you go bust !
How can small businesses make sure they choose the right graphic design agency?
Find a designer you get along with. Ask yourself ‘If it all goes bad (which it possibly will a couple of times during your branding project) do I think this person is the kind of person I can go through a minor conflict with and stay in my integrity?’. Because if you already feel a bit funny about your designer, I can guarantee you - it’s probably going to get ugly.
I liken building a doing your branding with someone, to having a baby together. Without being overly dramatic - it really is! It’s a creative project. It’s YOUR business presence. It’s going to make you a lot of money if you do it right. And it might cost you a few dollars.
So take the time to find the right designer. Test out their sense of humour and use your intuition. Your gut knows.
What are the factors to consider? How much would each option cost? Which is more cost effective, efficient, or gives higher ROI for small busiesses?
It really depends on your business. If you're a restaurant, it doesn't make sense, however if you're a branding agency - then perhaps!
The question is how often are you going to be requiring graphic design work done? Agreed with Narine Poghosyan. Having an in-house designer can work out more cost-effective. There can be a lot of training involved with unfamiliar design agencies or contractors.
Online printing services let you upload your designs, put in your requirements and pay online. What are the pros and cons of online printing services compared to traditional printing companies?
convenience vs control
The DTP convenience improves ultimate efficiencies and costs but you need to be very very specific about stock and qtys
There are enough printers around willing to improve the process and reduce margins where you can discuss what you need.
The choice will ultimately around location and speed to market
What do graphic designers and agencies charge for a basic product packaging design service? What does the service usually cover?
While the range of logo design prices covers a broad spectrum, if you're not in the graphic ... Not many logo design guidebooks exist, and logo designers are free to charge ... One should expect a simplelogo design to cost approximately $100.