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Mood Boards: There for you when words aren’t.

Mood Boards

Sometimes it can be hard to put a feeling into words.

In the middle of a project, we’ll find ourselves reaching for metaphors to help us get an idea across. One of us will say, “this logo needs to feel less like wearing Tevas and more like wearing Birkenstocks.” Or, “this copy needs to be less Beatles and more Rolling Stones.” Comparisons like these are a little off the wall, but they can be enormously helpful.

Mood boards are helpful in a similar way. Say you’ve determined your brand’s core attributes — your business is scholarly, refined, and graceful. (Haven’t gotten that far? Check out our post on research.) It can still be hard to make the jump from the conceptual to the visual (what does scholarly look like?). If you’re trying to make that jump more easily, mood boards can be your trampoline.

What is a mood board?

 

Mood board

A mood board is a collage of photographs, colors, and textures that all speak to your brand’s values, culture, and vision. Using magazines, swatches, and this thing called The Internet™, we gather a bunch of visual materials that are relevant, aspirational, or even metaphorical. Then we curate and edit — collaging together the images that we feel are the most evocative of your goals and your brand.

How is it helpful?

 

Mood board

Mood boards help us get closer to the brand’s personality. This initial attempt to visualize the abstract—deciding what does and doesn’t belong—brings focus to the overall vision.

In addition, mood boards also help us make new and unexpected connections. Sometimes stumbling across an image or pattern can serve as inspiration for a brand’s palette or for a unique graphic element. 

Lastly, getting everyone excited about the brand’s ‘at a glance’ can unite the team and articulate a clear path. It’s a great way to establish supportive connections, assuage doubts, and begin the design phase with confidence.

 

Where do we go from there?

 

Mood board

After agreeing on a mood board, we typically dive into design, creating the visual style—a set of two or three items that act as the template for your brand’s overall look and feel. During this process, we constantly reference our mood board, letting it guide our decisions about typography, palette, graphic elements, and more. Think of mood boarding as the widest part of a funnel. Then, as we move forward, we narrow, refine, and customize. At the end of the process, your brand will be represented with a specific and own-able identity that “just feels right.”

Pretty cool huh? We think so. It’s proof that with the right tools, you can achieve your goals—even when articulating them is hard to do.

If you want to learn more about mood boards or if you’d like us to help your brand out, you can contact us here. Want to know more about us? You can jump over here. If you’d like to see what we do, you can always jump over there.

C&F Bank chooses to partner with Randall Branding

C&F Bank Logo

We’re proud to announce that we’ll be partnering with C&F Bank on developing a communications audit as well as refining their brand messaging and visual guidelines. The goal of the audit is to ensure that there is a consistent perception of C&F Bank, both internally and externally. Once the discovery and strategy phases are completed, Randall Branding will assist C&F Bank in updating communications tactics so that they live true to the brand. C&F Bank currently operates 26 branches across eastern Virginia.

Supercharge Your Website With a Solid SEO Strategy!

SEO Strategy

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a game that’s all about staying one step ahead of your opponents. One of the best ways to accomplish this is to be aware of how search engines are changing, and adjust your content, digital marketing and SEO strategy before your competitors have a chance to catch up. So let’s learn about some trends we’re seeing!

1 Increased Adoption of Accelerated Mobile Pages

Initiated this year, Accelerated Mobile Pages or AMP is one of the major projects that Google aims to utilize to improve the performance of the mobile web—which historically did not offer satisfying experience to many users.

And since it implementation, many SEO have started giving more effort to improve their site’s loading speed on mobile devices.

Google uses a streamlined version of HTML, CSS, as well as a Google-cached version of the website to

Make a page load 30X faster and use 8X fewer data than non-amp pages (which takes an average loading time of 22 seconds)

Google has already favored sites who have opted to AMP by giving them disability in a carousel and a small “lightning bolt” icons to let the user know a page is AMP of not.

And people want their content delivery in a lightning speed nowadays, AMP will certainly gain more importance this coming 2017 and beyond.

2 Denser, Quality Content

People, as well as search engines, have witnessed a lot of content in the web that keeps talking about the same topics repeatedly by changing some of the words and structure used in the previous articles.

Many content marketers have then produced thousand-word articles and guides to make their content more credible to read, but forcing people to read it throughly to understand the topic very well.

Because of this problem, many SEO experts say that content density will become a major standard amount content marketers this coming year.

Instead of using the amount of words used “per word value” will gain more traction

as the key metric for measuring the actual value of the content.

This is critical in driving traffic to the site a lot of people now have a shorter attention span today than the last decade.

3 Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence

The entrance of Google RankBrain in the search engine arena last year signifies a new age in SEO.

RankBrain serves as an extension of the Google Hummingbird to refine unconventional search queries.

And it’s been over a year since we’ve seen an update like RankBrain, it’s possible that Google will release more machine learning updates, or may even incorporate machine learning and artificial intelligence in other areas such data interpretation and marketing automation.

of the words and structure used in the previous articles.

Google RankBrain is currently in the 3rd spot for the most important signal in ranking

4 The Union of Personal Branding and SEO

We’ve been a proponent of personal branding as a core strategy for SEO for many years now. With a personal brand, you’ll have an easier time securing guest posts, building user trust, and driving more traffic to your website.

Personal Branding will gain more traction in SEO landscape this year

to help digital marketers to secure guest post, established a trust to readers, and drive more traffic to the website.

And though only a few websites are taking advantage of personal branding, it will also come handy this year since social media sites like Facebook continue to refine their algorithm to favor individual post over post created by business pages.

5 User Experience Optimization (UEO)

We are starting to see the user experience to gain more importance in the SEO landscape. As people are increasingly becoming more demanding in terms of the navigability of the website—especially on mobile,

User Experience Optimization is going to be an integral part of the overall SEO strategy

A satisfying user experience can immensely increase the time a user will spend on the website before they go back to the search results—called downtime—which is one important metric that impacts SEO.

This may either require few tweaks or total overhaul in the website, but overall, a website optimized for maximum user experience is one of the best ways to secure a decent spot in SERPs nowadays.

The SEO industry is always moving, so it pays to be aware of these evolutions. Contact us today to see how we can help your business get the most out of your web presence!

References:
https://searchenginewatch.com/2016/08/04/preparing-for-seo-in-2017-yes-its-that-time-already/
https://www.forbes.com/sites/jaysondemers/2016/11/09/7-seo-trends-that-will-dominate-2017/
https://blog.kissmetrics.com/get-started-using-schema/
http://digitalmarketingphilippines.com/google-amp-8-facts-you-should-know-infographic/
https://searchenginewatch.com/2016/09/06/google-experiments-with-new-desktop-serp-layout/
http://link-assistant.com/news/smx-east-2016-recap.html
http://searchengineland.com/google-reveals-20-percent-queries-voice-queries-249917