5 Reasons Graphic Design Matters

Your business success, whether you realise it or not, depends on outstanding Graphic Design. It isn’t just about making things look pretty, it’s a form of communication with your existing and prospective customers. Graphic Design in Business literally brings the saying “pictures speak a thousand words” to life.

1. First Impressions

They really do count! Imagine this… the very first time someone ever interacts with you or your business they will undoubtedly lay their eyes on a piece of your business’ graphic design. It could be in the form of a business card, a flyer or poster, or perhaps a marketing email. So what if that piece of graphic design is less design and more just a load of words and colours thrown together without clearly thinking about the message that it portrays? Its fairly certain that it will scream unprofessional, and make you and your business look very much like a “half a job” kind of outfit.

A beautifully crafted business card, a thoughtfully created flyer, a well crafted email, will all make a lasting impression with the individual that comes in to contact with it. A single piece of graphic design will communicate information, it will speak to you subconsciously, and most of all it will register with you on an emotional level. When you reach someone emotionally you connect with them on a whole new level, and thats how relationships begin, even in business.

2. Efficiency

Graphic Design allows a business to communicate large amounts of information both consciously and subconsciously, and is an extremely efficient delivery tool.

Visual stimulus allows for better understanding and recollection. So that first time someone see’s a piece of your marketing literature they might not necessarily get in touch straight away, but they are highly likely to remember you, for when it really matters to them!

3. Consistency

Being consistent with your graphic design allows you to build a solid brand. It speaks volumes about the way you do business, and it helps build trust with your prospective and existing customers. Consistent graphic design applied across all aspects of your business helps you to build credibility for your business through visual communication.

4. Creativity

To succeed in business you must be better than your competition. You have to give customers a reason to spend their money with you over and above your competition. Graphic design allows you to be creative, and to reach out to your customers in a way that your competition does not.

Finding creative ways to portray your messages, ideas, products and so on, allows you to stand out from the crowd. And when you get creative with your graphic design you can play with emotions, and as we have already hinted at, emotions make for very strong responses when it comes to spending money.

5. Brand

Graphic design is a visual way of telling the story of your business. It connects you with people on an emotional level, and it allows people to “understand” you. Graphic design when done well will simplify your business for those that do not know it, and it will take them on a journey. It will stir emotion, encourage contact, and create desire for your product or service.

It is interesting to see so many large national and multi-national brands that changed their brand message many years ago, yet they now return to their original branding in order to re-connect with their customers. Supermarkets and convenience retailers have done this exceptionally well in recent years, and their success demonstrates the power of graphic design.

Conclusion

For many, when first starting their business, there is a tendency to bootstrap. By this I mean save money wherever possible. Unfortunately, those savings tend to be in areas that do damage to their business growth rather than assist it.

There’s plenty of “free logo creator” and “build your own website” tools available, and thats all well and good, but what those tools don’t offer is years of experience of creating graphic design elements that really “speak” to people. They don’t offer the professional input that a graphic designer provides, and they most certainly don’t stand out from the crowd.

The next time you see the branding of another business, take a moment to study it. Do you think the founder sat and designed it on a free online template, or do you think it was professionally crafted for maximum impact? You are likely to guess correctly, and that should tell you all you need to know. If you can tell, then so can everyone else. Compare two businesses in competition with each other, one that “did it themselves” and one that invested in professional design. Which would you choose to spend your money with? Graphic Design says more about your business than words ever could.

Business Cards for Maid in Yorkshire

We recently had the pleasure of working with Samantha of Maid in Yorkshire, designing her Business Cards for her new business.

We worked closely with Sam to develop her branding and then apply that to the design of her cards. She was extremely pleased with the result, and we look forward to working with her on future projects.

Save £600 during August

Save £600 during August.

Throughout August 2019 we are giving the first 10 lucky customers a complete graphic design, web design and web hosting package worth £1200, a chance to save £600 during August. Thats a massive saving of 50%.

Graphic Design

We’ll create your identity by crafting a superb logo that clearly represents your business, or if you are re-branding we’ll give your existing one a spruce up. We’ll create brand guidelines to accompany it, and will even develop artwork for all of your business stationary and advertising materials.

Web Design

A five page content managed website will allow you to start your online presence in the right way, and will allow you to build on it as your business grows. We’ll get you started, provide all the training you need, and support you with it after launch too.

Web Services

From domain name registration, shared web hosting and webmail to a years SSL Certificate and quarterly backups of your website. We’ll provide all of these services for a year.

Total value of package = £1,200

What you pay = £600

Saving = 50%!!!

To save £600 during August click to find out more

Website Design and Build – White Starrs

We recently assisted the White Starrs Party Band in migrating their website from a WordPress.org hosted site to a standalone website that they were able to take complete control of. We looked after their domain name registration, shared web hosting, website design and build, and then spent a little time with them to ensure they knew how to administer the site effectively.

Domain Name Registration:

We offer the main domain name extensions at very competitive prices, and will look after the registration and renewal (or cancellation) of each of your domains for you, meaning that you have more time to focus on building your online empire.

Website Hosting:

Our shared web hosting service means that you can have a powerful hosting package at a fraction of the cost of the big hosting companies, and we also personally manage the package for you, leaving you plenty of time for the far more important things. We take all of the stress out of managing a hosting package, so all you need to worry about is keeping your website fresh and focused.

SSL Certificates:

If we have registered your domain name and provide your web hosting package then we can also provide your SSL Certificate. It is now good practice (and search engines such as Google now require it) to have your site encrypted. SSL Certificates are digitally signed certificates that show a user whether or not your site is protected, and unprotected sites are now being blacklisted on search engines. So to ensure you appear in search results and to show your site visitors that you are trustworthy, then an SSL Certificate is essential.

Web Design:

We can design and build a website to your specification and work to most budgets. Our sites are user-friendly for both the visitor and the administrator. We can also offer website backups, and general maintenance services to give you complete piece of mind.

To find out more, get in touch.

10 steps to good website security

In our 12 years of operating in the Website Design and Hosting industry we’ve had the pleasure of working with many clients including self-employed, partnerships, limited companies and larger multi-national organisations.

Interestingly, the one thing that almost all our clients have in common is that when we first started working with them, they did not understand the importance of good website security. 

Risk and Consequence

Lack of awareness in terms of risk and consequence generally means that someone who is either having a go at building their own website or who has commissioned a designer, such as Knavesmire Creative Ltd, doesn’t feel that they need to ensure their website is fully protected.

Quite often we hear the phrase “we are too small for anyone to bother having a go at our site”, although sadly this couldn’t be further from the truth.

It doesn’t matter who you are, big or small, if you have a website then chances are at some point “someone” or “something” will have a go at compromising your site. It is for this very reason that everyone should at least ensure the very minimum of precautions are taken to ensure good website security.

Your website is your digital shopfront

It is quite often the first point of contact between you and your prospective customer, and it plays a vital role in delivering and building your brand identity.

It is therefore important that your sites visitors are able to have trust in the digital pages that they are navigating.

If your site is not safe and secure then it can have damaging consequences for a business, regardless of age or size. 

Not only could a website compromise be damaging to a business’ reputation, it may also put your business at risk in terms of its legal obligations.

GDPR

Many countries and regions now have strict laws and regulations in place that come with serious consequences should a data breach occur, such as the UK’s recent introduction of new privacy laws – the GDPR. 

Consumers have become more aware of their own personal security online and the risks that they expose themselves to when browsing the web, and therefore take more care than ever before when online. A secure website builds trust with your visitors and ensures that you meet your legal obligations. 

Based on this information, there are a number of things that you can do to ensure a secure and trustworthy website, many of which are free or low-cost, meaning that even the smallest of operators can afford the same level of protection as larger organisations. 

10 Simple Steps

  1. Create a site security plan and share it with everyone that will be involved with your website. It’s all well and good having a plan, but if it’s not being followed by everyone then it’s not worth the paper it’s written on. 
  2. Manage your passwords extremely carefully, especially those related to website access. Ensure each user has their own password, and wherever possible enforce strong password usage.
  3. Keep all digital devices clean and up-to-date in terms of operating systems and software. Quite often a device can be infected by malware and then used to launch a website attack directly from the very device that is being used to legitimately access the site. 
  4. Choose a reliable web hosting company that has a good infrastructure. The web host should have precautions in place to assist you with spotting potential compromises before they can become a real issue. 
  5. Ensure your domain name has an SSL Certificate. This means that data between the visitor and the server is encrypted, so the visitor can be confident that they are only dealing with your website. It’s especially important if your site processes sensitive data such as personally identifiable information like names, email addresses and credit card information. An e-commerce-based website is a good example of this, although using SSL on even the most basic of websites is a very good idea. Plans are now extremely cost-effective, and many web hosts now offer assisted installation of certificates. 
  6. Take site-specific precautions, which if you are using frameworks such as WordPress can be automated by using trusted and proven plugins like iThemes Security and Wordfence to name but a few. 
  7. Keep your site framework up-to-date, and the same goes for any 3rd party plugins that you decide to use. 
  8. Restrict access to server-side files such as your configuration and htaccess files. If you are using ready-built frameworks make sure you delete install files and readme files once your installation is complete. 
  9. Regularly review your site and files for suspicious activity. Quite often you’ll be able to detect a potential issue just by noticing that a new file has appeared that wasn’t there previously, or that your site is running a little slower than normal. 
  10. Always keep a full site file and database backup. That way should the worst happen you will have a clean copy of your site to re-install. It will allow you to then take further precautions based on the nature of the compromise.

Be proactive, not reactive

Website security is so much easier and far more effective when it is built in from the start. Be proactive not reactive. If it takes a compromise to make you think then chances are it will already be too late. 

Our new website is here

We’ve had a little freshen up of our very own website, and we are pleased to finally be able to launch our refreshed and redesigned pages. We’ve simplified our page structure, reduced the “blurb”, focusing on simple and concise information, and have made it much easier to contact us with your queries.

We’ve also introduced our latest news/design blog feature, where we’ll be keeping you up-to-date with things happening here at Knavesmire Creative Ltd as well as sharing design news, hints, tips and tricks… for free! There’s also an email newsletter for you to subscribe to… take a look in the footer where you can add your email address and name and we’ll sort the rest.

So, make a cuppa, sit back and have a little browse around, and don’t forget to get in touch if you’d like to talk to us about any of our products or services.

Terry Anne Hypnotherapist

We’ve looked after domain name renewals and website hosting for Terry Anne Hypnotherapist for a number of years, and this year have re-designed her website. We’ve retained her logo and colour schemes but have updated her page structures, general content, added media such as social media and YouTube videos, and have also introduced an events calendar.

Peartree Languages

We were approached by Nicky at Peartree Languages to re-design the language school’s website after a serious hack destroyed the original site, and at the same time took over the hosting of the website. As well as the design and build of the site we ensured that the website was as well protected as possible from future hacking attempts, and so far continues to fight off continuous automated attempts with great strength.

We also ensure that if the worst does happen that there are regular full site and database backups that will allow the site to be easily restored to minimise business disruption. We also assist with staff training, and when a new team member joins them we deliver virtual training sessions on site administration and security over the phone and via screen share.

York Triathlon Club

We’ve been working with York Triathlon Club to design a range of recruitment materials including letterheads, business and membership cards, flyers, posters, document holders and exhibition equipment such as pop-up banners. Branding and print product/exhibition equipment was provided and created by other companies.

From concept and design through to proofing and delivering a full range of digital filetypes we have worked closely with the club to ensure that they were pleased with the finished results. We also continue to work with them on ad-hoc design projects.

Lucie Lee Dance Company

The Lucie Lee Dance Company is a new emerging professional Dance Theatre Company, which embrace the use of digital technologies in their works. The company produces experimental dance theatre, dance digital and site specific works.

We’ve been working with LLDC for a very long time now having designed and built their two previous websites, maintained their sites on a day-to-day basis, and looked after their domain name and website hosting.