10 Logo Design Trends to Watch for in 2018 [Infographic]

We demand a lot from logos.

They have to be simple, yet still convey the ethos of the brand in a way that resonates with consumers. They have to be timeless and distinct, but still modern and consistent with contemporary graphic design trends.

It’s a lot to ask of a single symbol. As any designer will surely tell you, designing a logo that meets these varied expectations is no easy task.

To help you prepare for the new year, Logaster created the infographic below detailing their predictions for the most influential logo design trends of 2018. Keep an eye out for these design approaches in the coming year:

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How to Handle Negative Emotions at Work [Infographic]

There’s a popular phrase that I’ve heard quite a bit throughout life: “Don’t get mad. Get even.”

Sure, that makes sense — if you’re a character on a major soap opera or teen drama. But at the workplace, this kind of sentiment can be harmful.

Anger, however — now that, surprisingly, can actually benefit you and your colleagues in the workplace. But only when it’s handled correctly.

No matter how much you love your job, chances are, you experience some semblance of negative thoughts and emotions. That’s part of the challenge, right? And without a challenge, well, what a bore that would be.Download our leadership guide for actionable advice & guidelines from  HubSpot's Dharmesh Shah. 

But what’s the right way to handle these less-than-positive sentiments?

QuickQuid put together the helpful infographic below to answer just that question. Have a look, and bookmark this post for the next time you find yourself experiencing these thoughts and emotions at work.


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Use Design Thinking to Solve Your Toughest Marketing Challenges

Modern day marketing is a realm overflowing with data and tests aimed at shedding light on your customers’ true desires. Yet marketing teams still tend to prioritize gut instincts over insights. When faced with a big challenge or new initiative, we often rely on past experiences and existing knowledge to determine future actions.

In other words, we do what we think we should do.

I’ve seen groups of intelligent people play a guessing game, shooting from the hip while trying to figure out what will move the dial. They devote their department’s time and resources to a hunch, following it through for months on end — only to realize they were spinning their wheels the whole time.

While some marketing best practices prove to work time and again, we must also meet the unique needs of specific customers in order to drive significant business value. Professing to intuitively know those specifics is shortsighted; only once we go out and try to understand the challenges of our target audience can we truly accommodate their needs. This is what the designers at your company do every day.

They’re in the business of designing relevant experiences for consumers, and they don’t just use their gut to achieve this goal. Instead, they understand the challenge from all angles. They gather a breadth of insights from customers and stakeholders across the company, test their ideas on a small scale, and make sure they’re heading down the right path before making a full investment. The design team lives by a philosophy that can help any marketing or product team achieve desired outcomes: design thinking.

Use Design Thinking to Solve Marketing Problems

Design thinking is a methodology to drive innovation. It brings together what’s alluring to future customers with what’s technically feasible and economically viable for a business. This method inspires new thinking and develops breakthrough ideas, all while remaining realistic.

My background is in user experience design and marketing. For most of my career, I’ve led teams in design thinking to drive business results. Along the way, I’ve seen some incredible outcomes.

Recently, I noticed that the SEO division of a company was struggling to hit its numbers for two quarters in a row. To improve this, the team needed viewers to engage with the content, find value from pages, and ultimately enter the sales funnel.

The team relied on gut instincts from years of past experience and deployed every SEO best practice in its arsenal. Still, nothing stuck. So I suggested that our design team partner closely with the SEO division to lead a concentrated session to solve the problem.

During our focused five-day session, we collaborated with our SEO cohorts to make several strategic adjustments based on design thinking exercises. Ultimately, this resulted in double-digit growth exceeding our quarterly goal.

Here’s how we did it:

Day 1: Rally the Troops

First, we assembled the ideal cross-functional team for the project, which included a UX designer, a UX writer, a product manager, a marketing manager, and an engineer.

With this assorted collection of minds, the team spent the first day focusing on the alignment of ideas and the direction of the project. The team members reviewed the business opportunity, vision, relevant user research, and technical capacities with the executive team. The group then expressed any questions, risks, assumptions, and barriers to the long-term goals. We made a map of how everything fit together and kept all of this information up on the walls of our dedicated space for easy reference over the next four days.

Once all team players were briefed, we began brainstorming solutions. To avoid groupthink and to ensure no voice was left unheard, we distributed pads of sticky notes and asked everyone in the room to write down their initial thoughts on how we might solve our SEO problem. We then put the sticky notes up on the wall and grouped similar ideas into themes.

The two most important themes focused on the concepts of relevance and trust. We agreed that we needed to figure out how to make the site appear immediately credible and relevant to visitors’ interests.

This was a quick, collaborative way to align a diverse set of minds on a common goal and set our strategic direction for the project.

Day 2: Sketch It Out

The next morning, we asked everyone to come armed with examples of relevant, trustworthy sites. Some members offered up competitors’ sites, while others brought examples that had no similarities to our initiative yet offered innovative solutions. The goal was to evaluate how brands across all industries build trust with and offer relevance to consumers.

While keeping the company’s goals and technology constraints in mind, we asked every member of the group to draw a potential experience with all of the key elements. These sketches represented the core functionality and offered innovative approaches toward our goals of building trust and relevance.

By the end of the day, we identified a variety of key elements to integrate into our site. Among other insights, we knew we must spotlight the author’s credentials and ratings, include an introductory top-line summary, show high-quality imagery to increase the speed of comprehension, and employ an effortless user experience across devices.

Day 3: Make a Decision

From there, we posted the sketches on the wall and invited the executives back into the room before voting on what sketch had the potential to drive the biggest success. We also crafted a final storyboard of the user journey.

Afterward, we knew exactly what we needed to explore — and we had a strategic backlog of ideas for our future road map.

Day 4: Prototype and Review

After we agreed on the ideal strategy, our lead designer rapidly created a prototype of the experience. We shared feedback and revised areas to prepare for the next day’s testing. Knowing that our self-validated strategies were in a vacuum for the past three days, it was critical to get insight from real users.

Day 5: Test With Users

As soon as the prototype was ready, we posted it on UserTesting. This allowed us to reach our target audience within a few hours and identify whether we solved the core needs of trust and relevance with users. We gained hard data on what people loved about our solution and the remaining barriers in their experiences.

After addressing the issues found in user testing, it was time to launch our solution on a larger scale. The engineering team incorporated these new elements into the page template, and after the data matured, we saw a motivating lift in engagement.

There was double-digit growth in the number of users who clicked into the conversion path thanks to our new strategy — a result the team was extremely proud to present at the next company-wide meeting. In just five days, design thinking helped a division pull itself out of the red, which I found extremely exciting and rewarding.

Looking back, the key to this success was everyone’s part in our strategic journey. Our team certainly led the effort, yet the implemented ideas originated from our distinct disciplines, so each party played an important role.

When will you use design thinking to drive your next innovation?

I strongly encourage you to try this at your company. If you approach a problem backed with broad perspectives and a deep understanding of what your unique audience needs in specific situations, then you will delight customers and achieve the greatest possible results

Here Are the Top Marketing Design Trends for 2018 [Infographic]

Shutterstock — a familiar name to many creative professionals — released its 2018 Creative Trends Report today, shedding light on the design trends marketers need to know about this year.

The report is the result of synthesizing and analyzing the billions of searches for visual content on Shutterstock’s collection — which boasts over 170 million images. Based on those searches, Shutterstock determined which design concepts are most likely to influence creative marketing and design this year, from pop culture to emerging trends.

This is the seventh year Shutterstock has released a Creative Trends Report, and this year, there’s a common, underlying science-fiction-esque theme — at least when it comes to the top three trends, named to be “fantasy,” “new minimalism,” and “space.”

Intrigued? Check out the full report, which — how fitting — has been visually represented by the infographic below.


1. Fantasy

Unicorns — the mythical creatures, not the high-valued startups — are cool again. Along with its friends like mermaids and centaurs, fantasy-themed images are predicted to see a rise in popularity. 

2. New Minimalism

It’s not just any minimalism — it’s the clean, circu-linear kind that uses white space to draw greater attention to an image’s boldest features.

3. Space

Elon Musk, is that you? We’re not sure if SpaceX is behind it, but images pertaining to the solar system and beyond are expected to be a major trend this year.

4. Natural Luxury

Less screen, more green. Images with natural elements are on the rise — with a touch of “geological”-themed luxury, like marble.

5. Punchy Pastels

Spring has arrived early, with pastel hues and shades dominating 2018 design trends.

6. A Global March

The legacy of last January’s Women’s March lives on — searches for terms like “activism” and key occasions like “International Women’s Day” are on the rise.

7. Cactus

Honestly, your guess is as good as ours on this one. As Shutterstock describes it, this trend reflects “nature’s ultimate survivor” with “beauty and danger.”

8. Digital Crafts

It’s the latest generation of origami. Is a robot capable of crafting? Inquiring, visual minds want to know.

9. Ancient Geometrics

You might be familiar with the Mandala, which is an ancient, geometric symbol frequently associated with Hinduism and Buddhism. There’s been an uptick in searches for that type of image — a trend we expect to continue as many seek these zen-like images.

10. Cryptocurrency

We’re not at all surprised to see this one on the list. Cryptocurrency has been a major point for those in both tech and finance in recent months, with such headlines as bitcoin debuting on Wall Street and Kodak unveiling its very own cryptocurrency (which resulted in its stock price skyrocketing in an impressively short period of time).

11. Holographic Foil

Tech has been gradually permeating the mainstream and pop-cultural conversation, and that’s arguably never been truer than it has been in 2018. Holographics have long served as thematic, visual representation of tech — which is what we predict helped it earn a place on the list.

YouTube Has Updated Its Partner Program Requirements — Here’s What Marketers Need to Know

YouTube announced yesterday that it has modified the eligibility requirements for its Partner Program (YPP), which will change the ways and ability Creators can monetize their content on the platform.

Here’s what we know so far — and how marketers can prepare.

What YouTube’s New Partner Program Requirements Mean for Marketers

Changes to the YouTube Partner Program 

Beginning February 20 of this year — 30 days from now — Creators must have accrued 4,000 hours of watch time over the past year, in addition to 1,000 channel subscribers, the official statement explained. Compare that to previous eligibility requirements of only 10,000 lifetime views, as of last April.

Creators who do not currently meet those requirements have the next 30 days to reach those numbers. Otherwise, YouTube says, they will no longer be eligible for monetization, effective February 20.

However, even if Creators do meet that deadline, there doesn’t appear to be any guarantee that they will be eligible for YPP — rather, YouTube says, the only promise is that they’ll be “re-evaluated under strict criteria” to determine acceptance into the program.

Why YouTube Is Doing This

Last week, we reported on some changes to the Facebook News Feed that will make content from friends and family — as opposed to brands — more visible to users. That action, we predicted, was largely in response the scrutiny the network has received after being weaponized to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

YouTube, for its part, faced similar scrutiny in 2017 — its parent company, Google, is expected to appear before U.S. Congress today with specific, actionable information on how it plans to prevent such meddling and weaponization in the future.

That could explain the timing of this particular announcement, as stricter YouTube monetization requirements will likely play a role in Google’s overall content and guideline modification efforts.

However, YouTube also came under fire last month after one of its highest-earning creators, Logan Paul, posted graphic and offensive content to his channel. Since then, the channel has severed ties Paul has a preferred ad partner. 

What Marketers Can Do Now

YouTube, for its part, is downplaying the impact that these changes will have on Creators, at least when it comes to the loss of revenue.

According to the statement, 99% of Creators who do not meet the new requirements have, on average, earned less than $100 annually (over the past year).

And what income they have accrued prior to the February 20th deadline, YouTube says, they will still receive — based on Google’s AdSense policies.

YouTube has not made it clear, however, if Creators who reach these numbers after February 20th will still be eligible to apply for its partner program, though we will be keeping an eye on more specific information in its guidelines over the next few weeks.

In the meantime, accruing thousands of hours of views and subscribers within a 30-day period is no easy task. But the same rules apply here as they would to building an audience on any social media channel: create high-quality, personalized content that’s relevant to the audience you’re trying to reach.

Our comprehensive collection of tactical YouTube marketing content dives into these specifics, ranging from how to optimize videos for SEO and ranking, to how to run an ad campaign on the platform.

As always, feel free to reach out with your thoughts and questions on Twitter.

5 Creative Strategies to Stay Inspired to Write All Year [Infographic]

If there’s one thing we know about inspiration, it’s that it’s not very good at giving advance notice of anything.

It crops up at the most inopportune time — like when you’re without a pen or a device to otherwise record a brilliant idea. 

And other times, when you need it the most — it’s nowhere to be found.

It also has its very own version of low seasons, when writers are left without special events or holidays to stimulate creativity. Now that the holidays are behind us, for example, many of us are feeling deprived of prolific cheer?

But as it turns out, these claims are little more than excuses. Inspiration, it turns out, can be sought any time, anywhere.

One of our very favorite infographic artists, Henneke Duistermaat, knows this to be true — and thus compiled her thoughts on the matter in the captivating visual below.

Have a look, and discover how you can find the inspiration to write and blog — with consistency — all year.


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How to Write Copy People Notice, Read, and Trust: Lessons from “The World’s Best Copywriter”

The phone rang a couple times before he picked up.

“Hello?”

“Hi,” I said. “Is this Pat Corpora?”

“Yes, it is.”

“It’s Eddie Shleyner,” I said. Silence. “I sent you a message on LinkedIn … about the Sampler. You replied with your number … told me to call.”

In 1995, Pat published The Doctor’s Vest-Pocket Sampler of Natural Remedies, a piece of direct response mail designed to sell a bigger, more complete book called New Choices in Natural Healing.

In other words, the free “sampler” book was designed to garner the attention, engagement, and trust necessary to sell prospect’s on the real product, the money-maker.

“Oh!” he said. “Hi, Eddie.” He sounded enthused. I could tell he was a nice guy. “How can I help?”

“Well,” I said. “I’m sure you know, the Sampler is famous.”

Pat smirked. “Okay.”

“At least it is among copywriters,” I said. “That’s why I’m calling: I’m writing an article about the Sampler — because it’s a master class in written persuasion — and I want to make sure I get the facts right.”

“Sure.”

“Well, first of all,” I said, “how many did you send out?”

“Oh, I’m sure we mailed 50 million copies,” said Pat. He paused. “Yeah, about that many.” He paused again. “It was a huge number.”

“And how many books did that sell?”

“Oh, millions.”

“Millions?” I said.

Millions. It was our most successful mailer ever.”

How did Pat sell all those books?

He hired Gary Bencivenga to write the copy.

Bencivenga is a Hall of Fame copywriter. He’s on par with John Caples and Eugene Schwartz, David Ogilvy and Joe Sugarman. He knew what he was doing. That is, he knew how to write copy that captured attention, garnered engagement, and drove readers to take action.

Like any effective copywriter, Bencivenga was part writer, part psychologist. As a writer, he was able to produce clear, concise sentences. As a psychologist, he excelled at thinking like his prospect. He understood her, empathized with her. And that’s what this article is about.

It’s about the big-picture concepts you can learn by studying one of Bencivenga’s most successful controls. In other words, this article won’t teach you how to write like a copywriter as much as it’ll teach you how to think like one.

You’ll learn the rules of the trade, the fundamentals of crafting ad copy people notice, read, and trust.

How to write copy people notice, read, and trust.

If you don’t already own The Doctor’s Vest-Pocket Sampler of Natural Remedies, you can buy one on Amazon for a buck or two plus shipping. If you’re a serious student of copywriting, I recommend ordering your copy as soon as possible, reading it daily, and transcribing it often.

When you receive it, smile. You’re holding one of the finest direct marketing assets ever created.

What makes it great? It follows three important principles:

1. It hones in on a single, primary desire.

That’s why people notice it in the first place.

People buy things to achieve their desires. Period.

“Every product appeals to two, or three or four of these mass desires,” writes Eugene Schwartz in his classic book, Breakthrough Advertising. “But only one can predominate.”

The Sampler’s target audience was older, likely suffering from an ailment, likely fatigued from the side-effects of conventional medicine, and likely eager for alternatives. Natural alternatives. Bencivenga honed in on this.

How to Hone In

Once you know, with absolute certainty, what it is your prospect desires:

a) Make the desire plainly visible and unmistakably clear.

This will ensure that the prospect sees it.

The Sampler displays the words “NATURAL REMEDIES” in big, bold, capital letters on its cover. In fact, those words appear twice, which brings us to my next point …

b) Repeat the desire over and over, using synonymous terms.

This will keep the prospect engaged without wearing her out on the same verbiage.

The Sampler alludes to the concept of “natural remedies” using many different terms, including “self-help remedies” and “non-surgical remedies” and a half-dozen others. Each is a new and engaging way to remind the prospect about the same thing. Each variation whispers, “This is what you want, Dear Reader. Remember? This is what you need!”

c) Sound realistic.

This will allow the prospect to take your copy seriously.

The Sampler doesn’t over-step its product’s promise. For instance, the word “antidotes” sounds more compelling than “remedies” but it’s also less plausible, which is why Bencivenga never uses it. After all, he’s selling a book with thousands of medical suggestions. They’re not all winners. Reasonable people know this.

If you say something that plants doubt in your prospect’s mind, even once, you might lose her. Fantastic claims are risky because they’re hard to believe. Temper your promise to give the message a chance.

2. It doesn’t look like an ad.

That’s why people read it.

The Doctor’s Vest-Pocket Sampler of Natural Remedies doesn’t look like a mailer. It looks like a book:

The cover is card stock and paper inside is thick, too. The back is blank, clean, except for the publisher’s mission statement: “We publish books that empower people’s lives.”

The Sampler is also 50 pages long, neatly organized into four enticing chapters:

Chapter 1: Natural Remedies for Whatever Ails You …

Chapter 2: Secret Healing Triggers …

Chapter 3: How to Instantly Get a Second Opinion, or a Third, Fourth, or Tenth!

Chapter 4: For a Lifetime of Greater Health, Try This …

Each chapter is well-formatted and written in plain English that’s scannable and digestible, peppered with bolding and italics that highlight value. Bencivenga gave the Sampler all the characteristics of a real book, which is why Debra-from-Nebraska pulled it from her mailbox, then sat down, put on her glasses, and actually took the time to read it.

“Allow the reader to enter into your ad with the least possible mental shifting of gears from ‘editorial’ to ‘advertisement’,” writes Schwartz. “A single change in format can add 50% to your readership, and your results.” Schwartz calls this concept Copy Camouflage. It refers to taking elements from trusted mediums and using them to lend clout to your ad. This is also known as “borrowed believability.”

Online advertorial articles, or “sponsored” posts, are a good example of this: they look and read like typical articles but have a hidden sales agenda. Bencivenga uses the same tactic, except he camouflaged the Sampler to look and read like a book.

How to Camouflage

Once you know the medium your prospect recognizes, likes, and believes:

a) Borrow the format.

This will help your promotion look familiar to the prospect.

The Sampler looks like a book because it was published before the internet took root (circ. 1995), when physical mediums (e.g., books and newspapers) were among the only recognized, credible sources of written information.

b) Borrow the words and tone.

This will help your copy sound familiar to the prospect.

The Sampler sounds comprehensible, colloquial. It uses simple words — not medical speak — to convey clear, concise advice that makes sense to people. And that brings us to the final principle …

3. It’s valuable.

That’s why people trust it.

Bencivenga packed the Sampler with advice that can help people live more comfortable lives:

  • On page 14, he shares a juice recipe that treats asthma.
  • On page 15, he shares a tonic recipe that quells cigarette cravings.
  • On page 16, he shares a cocktail recipe that relieves leg cramps.

In fact, almost every page lends a valuable suggestion, something that makes the reader feel excited about the future, hopeful. Something that makes her say, “Wow, I had no idea …” Over time, these feelings compound and intensify in the reader, engendering trust.

“Couldn’t it be that if someone took care of you, very good care of you; if this person would do anything for you; if your well-being was his only thought: is it impossible that you might begin to feel something for him?”Bob Benson, Mad Men

How to Deliver Value

Once you know what your prospect values:

a) Highlight it.

This, again, will ensure that the prospect sees it.

The Sampler is full of bolded, italicized, and underlined words and phrases. It’s full of headlines and subheads, sidebars and images. Remember, people can’t begin to draw value from information if they never even see it.

b) Make it clear and concise.

This will fill the prospect with hope and excitement over her newfound knowledge.

The Sampler uses clear language and short, crisp sentences. Even though it’s a medical book, a native English speaker will comprehend every word. Remember, people will only get value from information they understand.

c) Make it actionable.

This will satisfy the prospect, making her happy.

The Sampler tells readers what to do but also explains how to do it. For example, want to treat asthma? “Blend two ounces of onion juice with two ounces of carrot juice and two ounces of parsley juice, then drink this blend twice each day,” writes Bencivenga. “Of course, use this remedy in conjunction with proper medical treatment.”

Remember, people will get the most value from information they can put to use.

“So, what did working with Gary teach you?” I asked.

“Well,” said Pat, “like many other tests I was involved in, it proved the power and importance of copy.”

I nodded, silently, on the other end.

“When we launched new titles, we always tested two or three different copywriters, “ said Pat. “Sometimes the different approaches were close, within 10 percent. But sometimes, it was a 100 percent difference in response rate. That’s what it was with the Vest-Pocket Sampler. That’s the power of great copy.”