Why You Shouldn’t Slash Your Design Budget

I don’t want to pay an arm and a leg….


…. but sometimes it’s a good idea! 


Let’s say your website is really, really old. It’s got a link to your Myspace. It’s got a “new website coming fall 2012!” banner. Nobody had smartphones when it was built, and the thing looks like blurry garbage on those tiny screens. You’re so overdue for an update that you don’t even know who to ask. So you hop on Google, click the first, cheapest, promoted link you see and give them a call, fingers crossed. Well, there’s an old saying that’s about to fit your situation….


“You get what you pay for.”


Maybe you’re on a tight budget. Pretty common in 2023, for sure. And there are certainly plenty of justifiable reasons to trim the fat where you can. However, cutting your design budget isn’t one of them, and could end up costing you a lot more for repairs and upkeep in the long run. When it comes to design, cheaper isn’t worth it.


Cheap, shoddy design work is as common as it is easy to spot. Here are a few red flags:


Poorly designed logos: As the face of your brand, your logo must stand out from competitors in every possible way. It’s gotta look fresh, new and you! Bad design work more frequently produces logos that are boring, generic and forgettable. 


Bad typography: The best designers have a wealth of fonts at their disposal, and an almost superhuman ability to see what is needed for each client and situation. Choosing cheaper design work can often result in poor font choices and awkward text placement. 


Lack of attention to detail: When choosing a less expensive option for design needs, it can also mean you are choosing a busier, more factory-oriented company that can’t devote time to the minute details that, when ignored, can turn into problems. We’re talking spacing, placement and functionality.


Poorly optimized images: Bad design work can also result in low-resolution graphics, or images that can take too long to load in browsers. Great design is meant to present you to the world. Why risk having your coming out party ruined by bad images and clunky websites?


A great design firm takes companies to the next level, brings them a wider audience and garners them the attention they need to succeed. Choosing the cheaper option might exceed your expectations, sure, but will more likely provide clients with work that’s subpar or, worse, unusable.


In design, the aesthetically pleasing must come together with functionality. A cheap design might look good on the surface, but the surface isn’t just what clients and potentials see. Upon digging deeper, ragged edges can begin to show and even drag the whole product down with them. There’s nothing worse than a bad user experience, and poor functionality is something to be avoided at all costs. If a sale is your end goal, then getting there should be easy peasy –  a cool breeze on a hot day.


So how do you spot a bad design firm? Here are some things to look out for….


Lack of transparency: From the beginning, you’ll want to look for clearly communicated pricing, access to their process and revisions. Are they well-defined? A good firm is open and honest with you from start to finish. A bad one will give you the runaround.


Missed deadlines and low-quality product: You’ve got a business to run. You’ve got an action plan and a calendar. You’ve also got expectations on the quality you’re paying for, and when you’ll be receiving it. If they’re ignoring your needs and timeline, it may be time to unhitch your wagon


Bad listeners: If a design firm isn’t paying attention to your needs, or communicating effectively throughout, you won’t receive an end result that satisfies, and you could end up paying considerably more just to fix their mistakes.


Lack of creativity and originality: Look at their previous jobs. If you’re seeing a lot of templates and recycled ideas in much of their work, then it’s best to keep looking. 


Investing in a high-quality design firm will benefit you greatly in the long run. You’re paying more to avoid all the pitfalls listed above, as well as future proofing. With your eyes on, hopefully, many years of success ahead, your future will thank you for the choices you’re making today. When investing in your business, the last corner you should be cutting in your budget is quality. 


Cheap design firms may seem like a great money-saving idea in the moment but, “it seemed like a good idea at the time” is something else you don’t want to be saying later on. Instead, investing in a firm with a proven track record for high-quality designs and consistent results that reinforce their price point might be the solution you’ve been dancing around this whole time. Maybe it’s finally time to take the plunge and get your job done right.


Because, and this bears repeating: When it comes to design firms, you really do get what you pay for. 

The Fascinating Psychology of Logo Color 

How do you feel when you look at a color? Ever thought about it?


Color psychology is the study of how colors affect human psychology and emotions. It deep dives into the emotional impacts of different colors, and how they can influence consumer behavior in design and branding and bring out specific emotions and responses from viewers. It studies up on the cultural, historical, and personal experiences that shape our perceptions of different colors, and how those perceptions can be used to create a desired effect or message. Then it turns around and flexes this deep understanding with brand recognition.


Wtf does that even mean? Let’s get into it….


Here’s a for-instance: 

In that “me moment” while standing in the snack aisle of the grocery store, deciding which cookies would best suit your nighttime craving, you grab the Oreos, not because of the yummy flavor, but because of the subconscious feeling the logo gives you. 



Psychology, that’s why!


Blue is a color of approachability and reliability. White is a color associated with purity. Together, they elicit feelings of the familiar. Oreo is your old friend through hard times and good. They’ve been around over a hundred years, and haven’t changed their original product in as much time. Their colors mean consistency, reliability. 


Color has a powerful influence on our actions, thoughts and emotions. Let’s talk about the heavy hitter. Red is the attention-getter. There’s an immediacy to the color that’s engaging, and a little sexy. You’re attracted to it, not just because it’s eye-catching, but also on a subconscious level. Whatever that red logo says, deep down, you want to go there. Because red is enticing!


Case in point…

Meanwhile, green means prosperity and is considered a sign of good taste.

It’s the perfect color choice for your tax professional! H&R Block is a chain of tax preparation shops, and their logo’s goal is to make you feel confident beginning to end when letting them handle your sensitive documents. The viewer has a sense of naturalness and growth. By using primarily green and white, H&R Block says, “we’re sincere and competent.” 


Yellow is a balancing act, and one with which we’re quite familiar.

It has the same warmth and power as red, but is best utilized in small doses (too much yellow makes you anxious,) hence the black background. Yellow injects a sense of fun, optimism and creativity to anything it touches, while a darker shade balances with authority and prestige. We chose these colors because we want you to know who we are and what we represent from jump. Massive design/marketing skills knockin’ your socks off!


Hey, we had to do it!


Okay, meanwhile….

Purple brings something wholly other to the table. Say hello to warmth, sophistication and glam! Quite a high bar for a search engine, but Yahoo has long sought to present itself as something more than a mere linking hub. If your goal is to be a cultural touchstone, then combining the approachability of blue with the fiery attributes of red could be just the purple you’re looking for!

Because orange is associated with want and hunger, many restaurants choose to use it in their logos. It radiates feelings of happiness and warmth….at the discovery of lunch! When mixed with “look at me” red, Burger King is clearly saying, “You saw the sign and you’re suddenly hungry!” Confronting you with sustenance! 


Brown is the trickiest of the bunch. It’s earthy, yeah, but also dirty, when used incorrectly or too liberally.

Coffee, of course, comes from the land, and Nespresso’s logo plants it in your brain. Nestle would very much like you to think of them as an earthy corporation in touch with their planet and culture (debatable.) Their logo is simple, eye-catching and communicates sophistication and unity. 


….Brown can also represent grief and sadness, so think before you brown. 


If your logo is the face of your company, then color is your winning personality.


Do the color choices in your logo best represent your company? What do you want your clients and potentials to feel when they look at you? How will you use color to define your brand identity? Lamesa creative branding agency, UAE, can help you create the brand identity for your brand.


Whether you’re designing, or redesigning, your own logo, or simply fascinated by its underlying psychological attributes in advertising, color is a remarkably powerful tool, and one you can use mightily in your rise to the top. 


Choose with care because color is a powerful tool in your arsenal.

Marketing Valentine’s Day (The Good Way)

For those of you in romantic relationships, Valentine’s Day is hopelessly devoted to you! For those who aren’t, Valentine’s Day can be your holiday too! What began as a feast to celebrate the Christian martyr Saint Valentine has taken on a life of its own in the ensuing centuries. 

The holiday has become heavily commercialized, marketed as the designated time to profess your love for that special someone. If you’re in a romantic relationship, it’s practically expected that you indulge in Valentine celebrations. Whether through handwritten notes, flowers, chocolates or a quiet dinner at a swanky restaurant, professing your love monetarily on this day is something to be ignored at your own peril. 


It can be as simple as that, a day devoted to love, but we think you should take a deeper look at how you can bring Valentine’s Day to all people. 


Something else we, as a strategic branding and marketing company, dare not ignore is the ability to get in on the Valentine’s Day festivities and step up our love celebration game. For, “‘tis a fool who does not love love.“

If you’re a candy or flower shop, promoting Valentine’s Day is as easy as unlocking your doors in the morning. Those of us not romance-adjacent will have a slightly trickier time. So how do we profess our love of love through marketing and branding? Let’s explore how we can open up the holiday of love to all people….


It’s important to note that not every generation feels the same love for Valentine’s Day that others do. Let’s first note the fact that the holiday can be varied and inclusive, and not limited to couples in the throes of the honeymoon phase. Don’t forget about Valentine’s Day and the platonic affection it elicits. And people who love their pets like family (sometimes more.) School age children exchange gifts with friends and classmates. Encouraging the practice of self love will help single people through what can be a trying time for them as well. What we’re saying is that expanding your radius will capture the hearts of those who can’t, or don’t wish to, celebrate the holiday traditionally. 

Here are some fun ways to promote Valentine’s Day (and yourself) to your clients (attached and otherwise)…

  • Create a social media contest.

Ask your customers to share their love stories, and give prizes to the best (or funniest) ones. Keep it light and fun!

  • Create some Valentine-themed content

There’s no better way to embrace the day than by, well, embracing it! Write some Valentine’s Day-themed blogs, create social media posts, send out love themed emails. Get yourself involved with love! People love seeing you engaged (in online festivities, silly!)

  • Host a virtual Valentine mixer

It’s 2023! Get virtual! Host an event (maybe with wine and cheese) that encourages employees and/or customers to drop by and take part. Valentine’s Day can and should be for everyone, and the more the merrier! 

  • Sweet deals for sweethearts

Offer deals and gifts catered to the holiday, but don’t necessarily feel compelled to take yourself, or it, too seriously. Expressing love for someone doesn’t have to feel forced or walled-in by romance. 

  • Valentine redesign

As always, adding a little holiday-themed love to your logo, splash page and Facebook page will let people know you’re getting in on the festivities. 


Finally, why not use this time, in our own small way, to remind each other how we’re all pretty much the same? We, by and large, desire the same security, comfort and love. Why not give Valentine’s Day the positive energy it deserves and remind people of the power they possess for change and unity under the banner of humanity as a whole? 


Cynics will say, “Oh, it’s just a holiday created by Hallmark”, and they’re not totally wrong. However, just like every other heavily marketed holiday, Valentine’s Day is what you make of it, and millions of people can bring a whole lot of good out of it. 


To that we say: let’s promote LOVE! 

Four Days A Week: A Study In Possibility

Four Days A Week: A Study In Possibility

Perhaps it was the terrible, inescapable fact of a global pandemic that pushed us to the edge, and savagely gave us the realization that not everything needs to be a life or death situation, especially when even leaving the house felt like taking your life in your hands. Plenty of us left our jobs after that. So many, in fact, that they called it the “great resignation.” As millions of people all over the world suddenly remembered that life is short and shouldn’t be spent doing something you dislike for forty hours a week, employers started doing what they’re rarely compelled to do: a little soul searching.

And the workers began to remember the power they wield.

They showed their employers they could be just as, if not more, productive from the comfort of their own homes. And their employers took notice.

One of the most fascinating byproducts of this pandemic-created shift in our approach to work has been the multi-country trials for the four-day work week. With so many workers now doubting the benefits of a five-day work week, many countries (like Iceland and Scotland) and companies are testing out, or even codifying, the removal of a day of work.

The fact that these trials have been largely successful should be no surprise to anyone who has ever felt unsatisfied and still tired as the final day of the weekend draws to a close. It’s pretty easy to see how a shorter work week could be successful.

Companies have noticed how, when workers have more free time for activities that enrich their lives, they return to their jobs with renewed energy and ability to accomplish their tasks with greater determination. In fact, there has been little to no loss of productivity for companies that have initiated four-day trials.

By giving employees a paid day off, companies have even seen a significant increase in productivity across the board. During the last months of 2022, all across Europe, employers who enacted these trials were surprised to find that their employees were more productive and energized when provided with more free time.


In short, four-day work week trials are going very well for a vast majority of those who have given them a try. In Sharjah, as a prime example, this approach to work has been implemented to resounding success, with companies reporting an 88% increase in productivity, and a much happier workforce. Workers are thriving here, and are bringing their increased energy and drive back to their employers.

There are, of course, arguments against this newer approach.

Workers are frequently expected to work longer hours during the four days they do work. A ten-hour work day isn’t anyone’s cup of tea, and many companies expect it when the work week is shortened. It should also be noted that, after the honeymoon phase of a shortened week has worn off, the thrill has diminished as well and it’s back to the grind, with all the usual complications and stresses that were there before.

And companies that experience “crunch times” will expect more when they have their people for less time, which can lead to burnout. Having to focus harder and work faster will always increase staff stress levels at quicker rates.

Still, there is absolutely no harm in debating and playing with ways to make things better for our workers. As societies evolve and grow and, hopefully, improve, there is absolutely no reason that the rules for employment shouldn’t evolve as well. We want life to improve as societies progress, don’t we?

As COVID wanes globally, and life returns to normal, let us not forget that some of the things we previously considered “normal” were not that at all. They were just tradition.

So, is the five-day work week just like that shitty ex we remember too fondly in hindsight (no, you don’t really miss them,) or is it the best way for humans to work? While experiments in a four-day work week indicated that we can do better, is that possible, or will change just bring along its own set of complications that aren’t any better than where we are now?

Can we honestly and truly find a better way to work? Is it possible that we haven’t reached our full potential and we can be better than what we are?? Well…