You probably know this feeling…you sit down, ready to start designing a logo for your client and…nothing. Zero. Zilch. Nada. The logo design inspiration fountain runneth dry.If that sounds like you (sometimes), you’re definitely not alone. It’s something all creatives struggle with, which is why we have terms like writer’s block and designer’s block.And if you are hit with designer’s block, sitting there stewing about it is rarely the best way to approach the situation. So to that end, let’s go through some tips for where to get logo design inspiration when you need help. I’ll split the list into two parts:
A list of websites where you can get design inspiration
Some non-website tips to help get the creative juices flowing
What’s The Line Between Inspiration and Plagiarism?
I want to lead with this because it’s a hot debate whenever the topic of inspiration comes up. My take is this:
If you have to ask the question, you’re probably leaning towards plagiarism.
Inspiration should be about using an existing idea to inspire a new idea. It’s not rote copying.
While not all of my tips involve looking at other people’s work, I think it’s important to consider because you always want to stay respectful of the work and creativity of others, even if you draw on it for inspiration.
The Big Tip: Logo Design Inspiration Websites
The Internet has left us spoiled for choice when it comes to logo design inspiration. Beyond the ability to instantly pull up any brand’s logo from pretty much any point in history, there are whole websites dedicated to providing you with an easily filterable gallery of logo inspiration.
Below, I’ll take you through some of the best options when it comes to inspiration sites.
Behance and Dribbble
I lumped these two together because I’m guessing you’re already familiar with them if you’re a graphic designer.
On the off chance that you’re not, both Behance and Dribbble are design portfolio sites. Or, as Dribbble puts it, “show and tell for designers”.
While it’s not all logos, you can find plenty of logo inspiration by simply searching for something like “logo”.
Rather than opting for any type of filter, Logospire is one long infinite scroll of logo design inspiration. You just keep scrolling. And scrolling. And scrolling. Until you find one that catches your eye.
The sheer volume of logos flashing by is a good way to break free of a design funk.
Logopond is the opposite of Logospire. Instead of one long feed, you can search for logos by both title and tag. Then, you can further refine your queries by categories like:
WIP (work in progress)
If you want inspiration on a specific topic, it’s a good option for niching down your inspiration sources.
LogoLounge is another inspiration site that focuses on making designs searchable. Currently, LogoLounge offers up more than 260,000 designs, which should give you ample opportunity to strike inspiration.
To browse all those logos, you can search for keywords and then sort by chronological order.
The only downside? LogoLounge is not free. If you want access to those 260,000 searchable logos, you’ll need to shell out $100 per year.
If you’re not familiar with Reddit, it’s basically a collection of different topic boards called “Subreddits”. These subreddits cover pretty much every topic in existence. Including…
You can find subreddits for both pure design inspiration, as well as for design critiques that might spark something creative in you. It pays to search around, but some good starter subreddits are:
If the websites alone aren’t lighting a creative fire for you, here are some other ideas to help get the creative juices running.
Brainstorm With a Mind Map
Sometimes it pays to go at things conceptually. Brainstorm ideas, concepts, and aesthetics that apply to the logo. Then use mind mapping to connect associations and find patterns.
If you’re not familiar with the concept of mind mapping as it applies to design, The Graphic Design School put together a great post with some examples of how mind mapping can help spur creativity when it comes to graphic design.
To actually get your thoughts down, you can either use pen and paper or go high tech with a tool like MindMeister.
Doodle it Out
It’s easy to become too focused on creating something “productive”. Sometimes, it pays to take a step back and just let your mind take your design wherever it wants to.
Imagine you’re back in your middle school days just doodling away on your notebook. Even if you don’t find sudden inspiration in the doodles, you’ll still succeed at clearing your mind, which is a win all by itself.
Go For a Walk
I’ve met plenty of designers who swear their best source of inspiration is stepping away from the screen and going for a walk outside, whether that means nature or the city streets. Not only is it another way to take your mind off the issue, but it also opens you up to all sorts of inspiring sights and sounds.
Additionally, a Stanford study found that a “person’s creative output increased by an average of 60 percent when walking.” So walking is actually scientifically proven to make you more creative!
Look to the Past
If your client is an established entity, they may have a back catalog of logos that you can pull inspiration from.
Can you take one of their original concepts and pull it into the modern world? Or maybe an element in their old designs kicks you into gear.
Live to Fight Another Day
If none of the above is working for you – you may just need to completely take a step back and return another day.
Sometimes it’s just not the right time for creative work – and when that happens, there’s no use banging your head against the wall (unless you have an unavoidable deadline, of course).
The array of logo design inspiration websites that have popped up make it easy to quickly draw upon hundreds of thousands of logo examples. But they’re not always an instant source of creative eureka.
Sometimes, it pays to step back and let your mind wander by mind mapping, doodling, going for a walk, or anything else that helps jog your creativity loose.
But as we as know – this is a fairly personal thing. So I’d love to hear from you all. Where do you look for logo design inspiration?
Trouble is, a 2016 small business survey revealed that while 72% of small businesses plan to allocate the majority of their marketing budget to customer acquisition, only 28% plan to allocate the majority to customer retention.
To help marketers refocus their retention plans — especially those in the ecommerce industry — I’ve put together six creative ways to keep your loyal customers coming back. Check them out below.
6 Little Ways to Reward Your Customers This Holiday Season
1) Offer a compelling discount.
By a compelling discount, I don’t simply mean “20% off your next order.” Instead, try a discount that will inspire your customer to continue shopping with you.
What does that look like? It depends. And there are a couple things to consider:
Focus on the value your product or service provides customers, not just the price you discount it by. In other words, position yourself in a way where buying your product is a complete no-brainer.
Choose your words carefully. According to research from Psychology Today, a “Get $ Off” promotion emphasizes achieving a gain, while the “Save $” wording emphasizes avoiding a loss — and customers recognize that difference.
For example, check out how T-Mobile positioned this holiday deal on the Samsung Gear S2:
2) Get personal.
Great customer service is about more than just solving your customer’s issue. Try going above and beyond by creating something awesome to remind your customers why they love your business.
For example, you might send out a personalized holiday card or thank you note to their home address. Even though we’re in a digital word, it means a lot to receive something handwritten, and capitalizing on the holiday spirit in this way can build a positive brand association.
3) Tap into referrals that reward.
Referrals are a great way to get customers to sell your products for you. It’s a simple evolution of word-of-mouth marketing, as customers usually refer friends or colleagues.
For example, when shopping with The Clymb, you are gently reminded to refer a friend in the website header:
Notice how it provides a clear call-to-action along with an incentive — $10 for your loyal customer and $10 for a future one — encouraging visitors to take action even before they start shopping.
4) Use premium packaging.
Anyone that’s spent any amount of time wresting with a roll of wrapping paper and tape dispenser knows the value of a pretty package. In fact, according to a 2015 Dotcom Distribution packaging study, 49% of online shoppers said that branded packaging made them more excited about receiving or opening an item, while 44% admitted that packaging reinforces that a product is worth its cost.
The lesson? First impressions make a huge difference in our fast-paced lives, so by using premium packaging you allow your product to stand out against others. Take Pad & Quill, for example. This tech accessories company packages its iPhone and iPad cases in paper with friendly messages printed on it. It even uses an authentic-looking Roman seal to give a more hand-wrapped feel.
5) Turn the small print into a feature.
Refund and exchange policies are often part of the small print on your website. During the holiday season, you have an opportunity to make them a feature. After all, these policies are in place to increase trust and promote sales, right? Make them known.
When buying gifts, customers prefer a return policy that ensures that if the recipient doesn’t like it, they can easily return it. If you can offer this, you have a better shot at increasing sales, while keeping your customers happy.
Nordstrom does a great job of displaying all of its holiday shopping, shipping, and return perks right on the homepage, giving potential and existing customers peace of mind during one of the more stressful times of the year:
6) Create a holiday-inspired video.
Why does everyone love and anticipate the John Lewis holiday advertisements year after year? Because they tell a story that evokes emotion.
Fortunately, you don’t need a million-dollar TV advertising budget to do this, just an idea for a great story. As video is becoming more and more popular, it’s key that you apply it to all areas of your marketing strategy.
Back in 2014, the Lowell Police Department went viral due to its “Christmas Surprise Traffic Stop” video. In the video, police officers asked the folks they pulled over for traffic violations questions about what they wanted for the holidays. Meanwhile, their behind-the-scenes crew quickly purchased the items and drove them to the scene. Watch the magic unfold below — trust us, it’s worth the four minutes:
The holiday season is a time of giving, so be creative with how you can implement goodwill into your marketing campaign.
Offering compelling discounts with creative call-to-actions will inspire your customers to buy, but great customer service is why they return.
Scary Data – Trends in Malware, Phishing, Site Cleaning and Bad Networks
At Wordfence we have great visibility into the size and scale of the threat facing the WordPress community. Our software protects well over a million sites worldwide. This week we thought it would be interesting to provide you with a broader perspective, analyzing some of the information that Google has made available in the Safe Browsing section of their Transparency Report. As we dug into the data we found a number of insights that we think you will benefit from.
Almost Half a Million Malware Sites
The number of Malware sites continues to grow, hitting a new peak of 489,801 in October of 2015. That is up over 160% from the same time the previous year. As we have discussed before, a website that is infected with malware can install malicious software on your computer if you visit it. Attackers use the software to steal sensitive information from you such as credit card information and social security numbers.
As an internet user, the growth in malware sites means that the odds of you accidentally visiting one and becoming infected continue to increase. Google and the other search engines do a decent job of flagging them, but they can’t catch all of them in time to provide complete protection.
As a website owner, it means that attackers are having more success than ever compromising websites. It goes without saying that we think you should take website security seriously.
150% Growth in Phishing Sites in 7 Months
According to Google there are now 293,747 phishing sites on the internet, up from 113,132 in July of last year. This represents growth of over 150% in a mere seven months. A phishing site attempts to trick you into thinking it is legitimate, like your online bank or an online retailer. They then lure you into providing login credentials or other sensitive information. In the Introduction to WordPress Security article in our Learning Center we talk about how attackers are even using phishing tactics to steal WordPress credentials.
This is a significant trend, representing a threat that you should now be much more wary of.
It’s taking webmasters up to 90 days to respond
Google measures how long it takes for webmasters to take action after they have received notice that their site has been compromised. Over the last year, the fastest average webmaster response time reported was 61 days, and for much of the year it was 90 or worse.
We found this statistic to be absolutely shocking. As we have gotten to know our customers better and better, it has become very clear that their websites matter. In fact, in our recent WordPress Security Survey, 66% of respondents said that a compromised site could affect their income. Based on this, our theory is that the slow response time is not generally driven by apathy, but by a long lag time between infection and discovery. If you aren’t already proactively monitoring your site for compromise we strongly recommend that you spend some time reading our Learning Center article on how to detect a hacked website.
Which neighborhoods to avoid on the internet
Google provides very interesting data about the rate of infection for different Autonomous Systems on the internet. An Autonomous System is a network level designation that represents a pool of IP addresses that are under the control of one or more networks on behalf of a single entity. You can think of it roughly as the group of IP addresses that have been assigned to an ISP. The data is very interesting, and aligns with what we learned in the analysis of brute force attacks we did a few weeks ago.
The thing that jumps out the most to us is the incredibly high penetration of infection on some Autonomous Systems. With infection rates as high 49%, there are areas of the internet that we would strongly encourage you to avoid. If you want to check out what Autonomous System your IP address belongs to, simply enter it into this handy tool. The good news is that the large majority of Autonomous Systems have infection rates of 1% or lower. We hope that Google’s reporting will serve as a call to action for the networks with the biggest problems.
The other thing that jumps out is that this is clearly a global problem. As you page through the list, there are numerous countries spanning the globe represented. This problem is impacting all of us.
On the other side of the coin, we see a similar situation with Attack Sites. While there is a little more concentration in countries like the United States and China, you would still need to circle the globe to visit all of the biggest offenders.
Rising to the Challenge
The team at Wordfence has been hard at work on this problem for years now, and we are really proud of the product we have created and how it has been received by the WordPress community. As evidenced by the insights above, and numerous others from our other blog posts, the scale and complexity of the threat facing website owners continues to grow dramatically. That is why we have continued to invest in our team and our product. We have very exciting news to share with you in April about how we will be making the best security solution for WordPress significantly better. Stay tuned for a big announcement, we can’t wait to share it with you.