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How do I trademark a company logo?

Registered Trade Mark indiciaProtecting your corporate identity is becoming more necessary than ever. In an increasingly competitive and, arguably, immoral capitalist system, companies are becoming only too willing to try and steal some of your business by cloning your “look and feel”. Even worse – and this happened to yours truly – a new company that looks like it has a good name might have the rug pulled from under it’s feet by the big boys registering your name as a trademark before you get the chance to establish yourselves!

The difference between TM and ®

We’ve all seen the little TM and ® marks adorning logos for years, but what do they mean?

TM, meaning Trade Mark is simply the owners assertion that their product, service or company are unique. There is no real legal validity to this, other than that the brand may have been notoriously well known for many years. Whether or not the user shows the logo with the TM is largely immaterial – the claim to ownership of a brand name or logo will always be stronger, the longer you have used it unchallenged, whether it has been legally registered or not.

®, meaning Registered Trade Mark means that the items in question has been registered with the Patent office (or IPO Intellectual Property Office in the UK). It has legal clout right from the word go. Read More…

Can a Facebook Page help my SEO and rank?

“Facebook is for kids”, or “That thing my teenage son spends half of his life in front of?” are just two of the common responses I receive when I tell customers that getting on Facebook has become an essential aspect of any online marketing strategy.

Got Facebook?Unlike Myspace which allowed pages to become too unstructured and messy, Facebook held onto their page structures with a little more firmness and the strategy may have contributed to their success.

Why Facebook Pages can improve your page ranking

Facebook is now one of the most vigorously indexed websites in the world, and as Facebook Pages are publicly viewable, they are prime real estate for any online marketing campaign. All of the links on your Facebook Page will be seen by Google and others, so links from this system back to your website are also a great way to boost your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) results.

Facebook spreads information very effectively, both by direct searches within the Facebook website itself, and virally from user to user. If somebody choose to “Like” your page, then all of their online Friends instantly see that information, and can decide to check out your facebook page for themselves – and if they “Like” it too, then their own circle of Friends see that information – and so forth. It’s easy to understand the term Viral Marketing when you start to understand how Facebook works. Read More…

SEO is not a means to its own end

I recently had a chat with the director of a small engineering company who wanted to improve search engine rank. They had been advised by a representative of a well known business directory (that has something to do with the colour yellow) that by tarting their website up with some new content, graphics and a whole bunch of keyword-laden hidden text (I can only assume this guy had been on a loooong holiday) that their search engine results will trump those of their competitors’ – ergo, their company would somehow, perhaps by osmosis, become more successful than their competitor.

I couldn’t conscientiously take this work on without enquiring why the gentleman thought a better search engine result would guarantee he would get more business than his competitor. A higher ranking does not mean you will crush the competition. Only high quality, relevant and helpful content is going to convince them that you are the guys for the job. Read More…

Another logo design goes live – tinystepskids.co.uk

The brief was to create a fun logo for a company dealing in kids clothing and accessories. I didn’t want to create an image specifically of babies, or at older kids, so I pitched somewhere in between – kind of young toddler looking, with a cheakiness and bounce. I really didn’t want to follow the modern trend for ultra minimalist presentations, and owner Kay Dickinson was more than happy to let the brakes off!

Setting the mood

We started out with the head – so big stick out ears, and a gummy tooth was the order of the day – and the curly wisp of hair added a finishing touch to the little fella.

The face I had drawn really set the mood for the rest of the design, so then I started trawling through typefaces for something suitable. It had to be playful, without being too whacky. Typically, Ray Larabie came to the rescue with his MinyaNouvelle font – which proved perfect once it had been beefed up with some outlines. Then it was a case of adding some feet, finger tips, tummy, and a few other tweaks until we arrived at the final approved design – ta da!

Tiny Steps Kids Logo

We are happy to be helping tinystepskids.co.uk relaunch their website, and hope to add another customer to our portfolio soon!

Never just stick to the brief when pitching design concepts

I don’t often write about my failures, but this one really had me kicking myself, so if anyone else can learn from it, then all the better.

Over the past few weeks I was pitching for some brand identity work, which might have lead into other work. I knew I was up against at least one other competitor, so I made sure I presented plenty of options, all within the reasonably restrictive brief the client had given. I spent time experimenting outside what clients ask for before, and I have found it invariably to be a waste of time, particularly when the client has been adamant about it – until now.

In this case, the existing logotype mark, which was constructed from a lower case Goudita Sans (yes, wait for it), had been letterspaced to painful degrees. Surely it would have earned the now commonly misattributed Goudy quote “Any man who would letterspace blackletter [often misquoted as ‘lower case’] would steal sheep.”

Letterspaced, lowercase

Well, I chose FontFont Meta to start with, because it was reasonably similar in proportion, had arguably more character, and I already owned a copy. However, then I thought Museo would offer far more character, so used that indstead – it’s terminators were largely horizontal, which help keep the flow along the long logotype.

A long horizontal logo had to remain the case, as the website had already been built, so concepts were submitted on this basis. Also, the colours had to be blue and grey. However, the tracking was tightened to give a sensible appearance, and a number of graphical elements were developed to accompany it.

I tried a couple of permutations

Long and thin...

and

Slightly less long...

So far, it was neck and neck…. until… Read More…

RVSiteBuilder Now Available on Ziphost Business Web Hosting

All of our business web hosting packages at Ziphost.co.uk now offer RVSiteBuilder. For anyone who hasn’t yet seen this package, it offers a way to build and publish your website online, without having to understand HTML code. We have over 700 templates to choose from so there is almost certainly something you can use to get your business off the ground with the minimum expenditure. If you want to see what it can do for you, then contact us to see about getting a demo account set-up (subject to verification). Web hosting with RVSiteBuilder has some great features including:

General

  • Fully integrated to cPanel
  • Unlimited pages and sub-pages for end-user web site
  • Screen resolution 800×600, 1024×768, 1280×1024, 95% and 100%.
  • Backup and restore project
  • Missing project recovering
  • Move your Logo, Company Name and Slogan position
  • Inline Help
  • Embed your code ex. Adsense, Glitter etc.

Read More…