• Hello There! Welcome to the Earl & Layne Blog

    HERE YOU WILL FIND OUR LATEST WORK, MUSINGS, TRENDS AND INSPIRATION. WE LOVE DESIGN AND HOPE THAT IT SHOWS AND THAT YOU'LL STOP AND STAY AWHILE, FEELING INSPIRED AS WELL.

    WE DESIGN WEBSITES AND BLOGS FOR PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHERS AND OTHER CREATIVE PROFESSIONALS, AND WE KNOW THE IMPORTANCE OF HAVING A BEAUTIFUL, WELL THOUGHT OUT WEB PRESENCE TO STAND OUT AMONG THE CROWD. WE BELIEVE THAT GREAT COMMUNICATION IS KEY IN WORKING WITH A DESIGNER ON ANY PROJECT, AND WE MAKE THAT OUR GOAL WITH ALL OF OUR CLIENTS.

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Oh fonts, you elusive little devils. Pairing fonts can be such a hurdle in designing a website, or anything, really. I recently went on Showit Live to talk all things fonts and pairing fonts. Showit offers such a great tool for building websites, and is my platform of choice for sure. You can import custom fonts for use in your website (make sure you have proper rights!), but also included inside of Showit are a lot of fonts that you can use without the hassle of converting or making sure you have proper usage rights. What I want to talk about today are some of the pairings of the included fonts in Showit to create the desired feel for your brand.

Let’s start with one of my favorite styles, a classic/elegant brand. Again, you can import other fonts in, but there are several great ones waiting there for you. I’m a huge fan of Times. It’s so classic, easy to read and you can modify it in so many ways. Here, I’ve designated that to achieve the look in the image, I’ve set the font spacing within Showit. Spacing is also called kerning, which means the space between each letter. Adding kerning to a font can not only make it easier to read, but can also give it a more luxurious feel. Here is one great font pairing for a classic, elegant brand:

classicfontpairingsforshowit-1000

Another great category for font pairings would be for a modern brand. Again, in pairing fonts, it’s always good to make sure the tones of the fonts match one another and that you’re not throwing too many styles in there, especially conflicting ones. Arial gets a bad rap all the time, but I don’t quite understand it. For body text, it’s fantastic in that it’s very readable, much like Times. Probably the biggest mistake that I see in using fonts is body text that is a font that is difficult to read. Body text is probably where you should be the least discriminatory against the font name and really go for something that people will read, that also suits the style of your brand.

 

modernfontpairingsforshowit

Editorial is another favorite style of mine – so classic with a bit of boldness. I love to play with font sizes for something like this, and there are some great pairing options found right within Showit. You will notice that once again, I’m a fan of classic Times font for the body text. Any fonts that you can play with as far as making them bold, italic, etc. are great choices for varying things up in any design you’re working on. Sidenote: Geosans Light is not one of my favorite fonts, however, it does have its uses, and I set out specifically to use it somewhere in one of these pairings. Geosans is a font that I would not suggest using as body text, although I see it done quite often, because it is difficult to read in a large section of text.

 

editorialstylefontsinshowit

Another favorite pairing style of mine is a whimsical style brand. This is where you can bring in those display fonts and have a lot of fun with styling. You’ll notice in this pairing though, I still stuck to my rule on the body font. I didn’t go with anything too crazy because it needs to 1. Be legible and 2. Not distract too much from the main fonts. If you go crazy with all of your fonts, it’s hard to draw attention to the points that really need it.

 

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Now, I paired three fonts for each, but that isn’t to say that you can’t add additional fonts, but don’t go TOO crazy, and remember the number one rule: make sure they work together and aren’t sending mixed signals. Part of the reason that I paired them in threes, too, is that you can actually set styles for fonts right from within Showit – pretty cool, right? Here’s some great information on how you can set those for your style groups going forward so that when you add a new text area, the fonts are already set how you like them:  http://wiki.showitfast.com/Style

What fonts are you using in your design?

 

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  • November 15, 2016 - 10:06 PM

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So you’re rebranding? This can be a HUGE step in your business, so YAY! Whatever the reason for rebranding, whether a name change, a fresh start, a more professional image, or something else, it’s important to make that transition swiftly, in all areas, so that you can make a clean and efficient switch. Aside from your website and blog designs, which should go along with your rebrand, it’s important to remember to switch over all of your social media backgrounds for Instagram, Twitter, Google +, Facebook, etc. Time and time again, I see businesses rebrand and forget to switch things over, so the old brand is still showing up and things feel a little disjointed.

Printed materials are a big one, as this can be a big investment to switch over, but it can yield a big return as well. If you have older products that you still need to use up, consider doing a special on digital files to clear out your old USB’s, sending quick notes out to your clients about your upcoming switch (to clear out old stationery – send them something when you do a new launch as well!), anything you can do clear out the old and bring in the new, fresh items. This includes updating contracts, online forms, stores, etc.

Don’t forget to switch out any custom email signatures as well, on all accounts, so that there isn’t any confusion as to which company a potential client is contacting. Going along with that, make sure that your watermarks on your images (if you use them) switch over as well. If you post an older throwback image, still be sure to update it with the new watermark. Everything going forward should reflect the fresh new face of your business.

Go through and think about anything else you can update, and take down any old blogs or sites that you don’t use anymore that might still be searchable on Google. Having a fresh start will revitalize you and energize you going forward – I’m excited for your journey!

As I contemplate the next chapter in Earl & Layne’s future (spoiler alert: a HUGE rebrand is coming), I’m making a mental checklist of all the things I’ll need to make sure I update in the process to make sure that my clients have a smooth transition over to the new brand. It’s an exciting and terrifying process, but so worth it. I can’t wait to share all the goodness I’ve been working on!

jennablog

Jenna Heard is a photographer, but also a world traveler, and documents her travel experiences as well as her work on her blog. We decided to go with a desktop view for her blog, which features some travel elements as well as photography items.

 

I’m am a fan of matching your blog to your site for the most part, especially if you use it as an extension of your site, to update readers about your latest work. This makes sense for creative professionals to create a seamless link between website and blog, and a cohesive brand. It’s no secret that I love the combo of Showit websites + WordPress blogs using Prophoto theme. I love this setup for all sorts of reasons, but the main one is that it doesn’t limit you on your design. Both have their strengths, and this combo allows the maximum freedom and creativity for your brand to really shine.

Sarah

Sarah’s blog is an extension of her website brand and offers a nice, cohesive transition from website to blog. She shares her photography work primarily on her blog.

In some cases, though, your blog can take on its own persona and hint at other things you may intend to share on it. If you have a second angle that you want to really hone in on in your blog, it can make sense to explore another theme for the blog and treat it somewhat as a separate entity. One of my amazing clients, Carrie Swails, has this approach with her blog. While somewhat keeping with the nerdy theme of her website (coming soon!), she approached me about the idea of deliberately having her blog look different from her website.

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Whether you keep your blog totally cohesive with your website or not, there are a few “musts” in my mind that will make sure your visitors aren’t on a totally different photographer’s site when they get to your blog.

  1. Try to keep fonts and logo relatively the same. I do like mixing things up on the blog from time to time as far as the logo goes, but definitely make sure that it relates back to the logo on your website. This goes for fonts as well, as even though this can seem like an insignificant thing that most people won’t notice, it’s important to bring that little bit of cohesion into play.
  2. Keep the tone of the writing fairly cohesive throughout. You want people to know you’re still the same person, so find your “voice” and stick to it.
  3. Put a photo on it. I’m a big fan of the sidebar mini bio (if you couldn’t tell). This immediately connects you as the writer to the reader, but also reiterates the fact that you are indeed the same person from the website they just left.
  4. Keep colors somewhat consistent. I break this rule some of the time, but colors are a great identifier of your brand. The biggest thing is that if the default pattern that came with your theme doesn’t match your brand, DELETE IT! I can’t even tell you how many sites I see with the gray chicken wire pattern on them  😉  It’s better to have a white background than to have something that looks completely out of place.
  5. Link back to your website. I typically add a link to the website in the blog menu or sidebar, and vice versa on the site, so that people can easily go from one to the other and back again.

If all else fails, simple is always best when it comes to customizing your blog. If you’re interested in getting a quote for blog customizations, we build blogs on an hourly basis and would be happy to help you out!

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Phew! These few weeks have been, hands down, some of our BUSIEST weeks ever, with a whopping SIX client projects launching!  We’ve already launched a few gorgeous projects the last two weeks, and have so much more to show you, but wanted to share the goodness here.

First to launch in February was the lovely Rachel Red Photography, who I just adore.  She came with gorgeous branding and a clear vision of what she would like, and was such a pleasure to work with.  She was making a big move from Boston to Charleston, South Carolina, and wanted a fresh web presence to match her fresh start in her beloved hometown.

rachelredphotography

Rachel Red Photography

We also created a custom mobile site for her, as well as a Prophoto blog so that her entire web presence can be nice and cohesive. We love the results, do you?

rachelredmobile

Rachel Red Photography Mobile

rachelredblog

Rachel Red Photography Blog

Rachel referred one of her fabulous friends to us for a blog update, so we had the pleasure to build a WordPress Prophoto blog for Candi Leonard Photography this month as well. We love referrals because we absolutely adore our clients and know their friends will be equally as fabulous! Candi had what we think might be one of the original Typepad blogs, so we gave her a fresh update with WordPress and our favorite theme, incorporating her existing brand and we love the results!

candileonardblog

Candi Leonard Photography Blog

Finally (for now!) we have had the absolute pleasure of working with Christy from Simply Bliss Photography on new branding, website, mobile site, and blog. We always flip over getting to work with watercolor, gold, hand drawn elements…swoon.  First up, we designed the branding, which came together surprisingly easily, and yielded several options.

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Simply Bliss Brand Board

Next, we worked on the websites for her wedding and portrait brands.

simplyblissphotos

Simply Bliss Weddings

simplyblissportraits

Simply Bliss Portraits

simplyblissmobile

Simply Bliss Mobile Site

simplyblissblog

Simply Bliss Blog

Thanks for checking out our latest work, and we look forward to hearing what you think!!!

  • July 21, 2016 - 9:56 AM

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Did you know that the type of contact form you have can affect whether or not people fill it out or not? Not only the ease, but how fun your contact form is can greatly affect the percentage of people who fill it out. We’ve become known for our “Mad Libs” style contact forms (remember those old Mad Libs??? They were the best!) and recently we have come across some data that suggests people are up to 40% (FORTY PERCENT!) more likely to fill out that style of contact form than a regular old boring one. That in itself might be worth mixing it up and changing the way your clients contact you in the new year!  Here are some examples of Mad Libs style forms we’ve done and links so you can check them out in person:

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CREATRIX PHOTOGRAPHY

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STILL FRAMES PHOTOGRAPHY

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VAL MARLENE PHOTOGRAPHY

And of course, that’s how we have our contact form!  Give us a holler if your site needs a revamp for the New Year!

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EARL & LAYNE