19 November

Mysterious design secret no. 1: your brain likes margins

Mysterious design secret no. 1: your brain likes margins

A simple action results in big benefits to the reader One of the biggest design mistakes I can think of—and one that I see all too frequently—is being stingy on margins or “white space” online or in print. I’ve cringed at crowded Word documents, cluttered PowerPoint presentations and crammed home pages. Cringing is not the reaction you want when people are looking […]

13 October

What is a brand identity?

What is a brand identity?

The face customers see when you’re not face-to-face In other words, your brand is your customer’s gut feeling and memory about your company. So how exactly does your brand identity fit in? When you can’t be there in real life to guide and influence them, the brand identity reminds your customers who you are and […]

18 September

Mood boards: design-speak that clients can understand

Mood boards: design-speak that clients can understand

When you think about hiring a designer, you’d probably expect them to deliver a new “look”—a visual representation of your personality that expresses your unique vision. You’re most likely also thinking “this effort has to make me some money.” As a designer, it’s my job to weave together the subjective (encapsulating the taste and perspective of […]

11 August

It took me two years to make this video!

It took me two years to make this video!

You may think I’m slow I prefer thoughtful. If you’ve never met me, you haven’t yet learned that I like being well-informed about all available options. At a certain point during this video-making endeavor, discouragement set in. I became overwhelmed by the wide array of opinions and advice I received from well-meaning friends and peers […]

23 April

Barb featured in 100 Day Project

Barb featured in 100 Day Project

I recently joined a Meetup called Seattle Indie Women in Design. I’ve been impressed with the collective knowledge and sincerity of the women who show up. Update: It is used to be organized by Erin Anacker of WholeStory. She states very clearly, “We help women in design connect with their people. You are not alone in the […]

23 April

What most small business clients need

What most small business clients need

Timely, consistent design gets strong results Meet Gemma, a small business owner. She works hard and has a loyal following. Last week, James, one of her employees, told her about a website he thought she should see—a competitor’s. When she saw it, she realized HER website was woefully outdated. It didn’t represent the standards she had worked so hard to […]

13 February

What’s actionable feedback?

What’s actionable feedback?

One of the regular events at Barb Rowan Design is giving my clients options to consider If you work regularly with designers and writers, maybe you already give actionable feedback that’s productive to the process. We very much appreciate it. I hope these examples help you understand how important it is to our collaboration. Here […]

29 August

Why is content so hard to come by?

Why is content so hard to come by?

Because creating content is a specialized skill Content comes first. I don’t design without content or fake it with “greeking” (lorum ipsum) as I start the design process. The content drives the process, and I don’t start designing without it. For each project, I assemble a collaborative team with my client, the project’s writer and designer, […]

1 August

What’s upstream goes downstream in brand identity

What’s upstream goes downstream in brand identity

What do streams have to do with brand identity? Streams go one way. Paddling against a current is exhausting and impossible to maintain either physically or metaphorically. Anne Murrow Lindbergh nailed it: “The most exhausting thing in life, I have discovered, is being insincere.” Whether you are authentic or not with your brand identity, it naturally “goes” downstream to […]

1 July

Be part of the creative team

Be part of the creative team

First things first: Define the team, roles and responsibilities. Second: Good teamwork comes from respecting each member and building trust. When all members are accountable for their tasks, the work shines and the team thrives. It’s a joint effort—a chain reaction—of care about the project, its quality, timeliness and meeting shared goals. Clients, as well as every professional assigned, are […]