Tag: brand

Stock images can damage your business

If I see another little 3d white man with a huge spherical head on a website or as a Twitter profile image I think my head will explode with creative madness ! This little man is soooo over used by small businesses that it shows a lack of understanding of just how important branding and graphic design plays in your potential customers decision making.

Why stock images are bad for business

This may sound like I am being extremely harsh on the little white man and please don’t suggest I am bullying him but your business is a unique entity, unlike this little fellow. By using common stock imagery you are : –

  1. saying that you are just the same as the next business.
  2. you don’t care about your company’s image and marketing message.
  3. and worst of all you are also saying that your service is cheap and untrustworthy!

Consistent brand message

Most medium sized to large corporations will have what is called a branding style guide and it must be adhered to at all times. Some of the elements in the guide can include what fonts should be used, their spacing & curning, the exact RGB, CMYK colours of the brand and the typical images and marketing message that should be considered as part of the overall look and feel of any marketing collateral whether digital or offline.

I realise by using stock images that look the same you think you are being consistent but if that image is seen again and again throughout the web on different websites that aren’t your own business then you are damaging the possibility of selling your product or image to the target market.

When I see people using unaltered stock images online it really disheartens me and puts me off using that business service or product, it makes me feel I can’t trust them and I will disregard them from my retail choices.

Alter the stock images

hills are alive

Don’t get me wrong stock images are great in helping graphic and digital designer gather elements you need to create unique graphics but if you use them as the sole way to “picturize” your website you will simply be putting your potential customers off doing business with you as although may you think the images you have chosen look good the majority of people will see an unprofessional website that shows lack of care, does that really reflect your business goal? I doubt it, your business has personality so show it off to the world!

Other stock images to avoid

The little white man doing various activities is my no.1 thing that makes my creative blood boil to see people using on their digital platforms, I mean, why!?!

But it also gets worse, pictures of random actors trying their hardest pretending to be business people standing in line are common place, avoid them or use sparingly and never use them for your main brand image that is simply a big no no!

Hire a designer

It is probably better to have no images at all if you are going to use unaltered stock images that are damaging your online reputation with potential customers. If you need unique images communicate your message verbally through correct use of heading styles, and contextual information and then hire a graphic/digital designer when your business budget can afford it.

It may seem like an extra expense your business doesn’t need and maybe the cost will seem heavy at first but if the graphics communicate your business message in a unique and imaginative way compared to your market rivals then when people are looking for your service/product they will remember you and see that you are indeed a very highly professional business worthy of doing business with as well as increasing the worth of your business.

I am JAWILSONDESIGN a branding, web and graphics specialist that can help you improve your company’s image in a unique and imaginative way if you should need any help updating, improving or creating a new brand image please don’t hesitate to contact me.

JAWilsonDesign Branding Concept

You may have noticed a gold symbol on my website and social media accounts, this is my logo and the start of my own brand. Designing a brand for yourself as a designer can be more difficult than designing a brand for somebody else as you have to be more self-critical and more analytical without the feedback of anyone but me, myself and I. In this post I discuss my brand name reason and the conceptual theory behind my logo design.

[divider style=”1″]

Choosing the name

When I first considered what to identify myself as I remember reading Duncan Bannatynes autobiography and why he decided to brand his businesses with his own name. He decided to brand his gyms with his name because if anything went wrong it would be on his names reputation, it shows confidence in what he is able to provide and should criticism arise to correct the problem that caused the negative feeling. I  was inspired, I considered it to be a noble and great idea so borrowed the idea.

Inital Name

Considering the concept by Mr Bannatyne , my initials JAW and my profession as a specialist in communication design, I took them both and used my initials in a literal sense of “jaws” that we use to speak and communicate. This was the basis of my idea, to inco-operate a mouth into the design of the logo. My name would be “Jawz of design”…

Taking Shape


I decided to begin playing with shapes, shapes that could convey a simple modern idea but with traditional influence. I worked with several shapes but decided upon a square, a shape that is very symbolic in many countries with similar symbology of perfection.

A square can also represent accuracy, integrity and righteousness. After I delved deeper into symbolic meanings it believed that the four sides of the square represents aspects of human inspiration. Angelic, diabolic, human & divine. It has been believed these four elements underscore the potential duality in everything and encourages balance.

All of these elements combined invite us to do precisely what the square implies :

Implement a plan

Build on that plan

Manifest ideas into our reality

The square is a balanced plan that allows creativity to flow without risk or error thus the square was chosen

Drawing on the concept

Having established I wanted a mouth and to use the square I came up with some very basic sketches ( see below ).

initial drawing stage

I then chose my favourite few and developed them further. No 14, 15 & 16 where my favourites as they were less literal and quite tribal looking. I also liked the idea of the long hair/antenna like line, representing the flow of creativity coming from the square.


Considering whether the logo should be flat or a cube and whether to include teeth or not was also something I considered. After careful consideration I decided to leave the teeth out as it would have looked less professional.

[divider style=”1″]

Colour Choice

Colours have psychological meaning and depending on the part of the world you are from can have greatly different values so I did some research. I wanted my logo colour to appeal to the vast majority of the world not just my country and I discovered that the colour gold had the most positive impression with the most of the world.

The colour gold is the colour of success, achievement and triumph no matter where in the world you come from. It can be associated with abundance and prosperity, luxury and quality, prestige and sophistication, value and elegance. It is also said to inspires knowledge, spirituality and a deep understanding of the self and the soul which I like to sometimes write about in my blog. To read more about the colour gold please click here.

A year later I altered my name

I felt using a z instead of an s in the JAWZ section of my brand was what creative people do who are trying too hard to be different and I didn’t want to be Jaws otherwise I would make people think of a deadly killer shark!  I decided to make it simple and called it JAWilson Design instead, my name so it still kept the idea that I borrowed from Mr Bannatyne for his brand and ending it with the word design to easily identify what the website was about ( which also works well for seo ).

[divider style=”1″]

It took quite some time to develop my own identity, although a logo is small and “only” one image a client must remember that it needs to be adjusted and developed and given some time to reach its perfected state.


A good branding identity will look so effortless that those who are not from creative backgrounds will look at it, recognise it and even be influenced by it ( apple ) and believe it is “easy and simple” but the truth is the best logos MUST be developed and at least a few iterations of the original design produced before reaching its final destination.

If you require a conceptual identity please get in touch and we can discuss your requirements further.


Clever Business Card designs

Business Card designs are a really important part of your brand. Its not only to say who you are but it can give your potential clients a more positive image of your company if done right. I feel that bespoke business cards are a great asset for your company salesmen to have in their arsenal and the best ones can usually tell a story about what your company sells. I have compiled excellent examples for you to feast your eyes on to help you gather some inspiration for your next design.

11 Fab examples of clever business card designs that communicate and delight the senses

[divider style=”1″]

Colour cards

vibrant business card, business card designer

This card delights me as a designer because of the clever use of typography and composition of the name on the back. Colour has a strong meaning subconsciously  when designing your brand so be careful which one you decide to choose ( I will discuss colour in a blog post in the future).


Photography Card

photography business card, business card designer

Some may say this is to literal but deep down even the most sophisticated business man is a big kid deep down and being able to play with your business card and identify what it is you do straight away always brings a smile to your customers faces. No one wants to be bored and if they don’t smile then they aren’t the customer for you! 🙂


DJ Card

dj business card, businesscard design

Wika! Wika! Wa! Wa! Play that funky card record on the front of this card. Again easy to see what your profession is as well as adding an element of fun.


Ninja Card

ninja card, ninja, ninja business card, samurai, branding design

Again another attempt at being fun…although I am sure there are some Ninjas that may do business i am not quite sure if this card was designed for that purpose but all the same, it did make me go OOoooooo and i would definitely remember receiving this from someone.


Edible Card

Obviously designed for a baker. I love the concept but unless you store the contact details in your phone before you eat the biscuit then…oh crumbs!


Character Card

business card that shows character, character business card, character design

Some people have a really striking visual appearance as well as a distinctive design style. If this is the case your business card can show that in how you design it.


Breast Card

breast cancer, boobs, boob business card, breast healthcare, creative business card

Obviously to do with the care of women’s baloobies. Would definitely make us chuckle like little children if we received this.


Multiple uses for a card

multi use business card

Having a second use for a business card will more than likely help your client keep hold if the card a bit longer, plus you’re being environmentally friendly too! Bonus.


Pop up card

pop up card, pop up business card, business card

What is the main focus of your business? Is it you? Are you a freelancer? Then why not make yourself stand out and literally pop up out of the  customers hand. Downside of this is that it might be a bit fragile to store.


Biodegradable Plastic Card

migsolv business card, migsolv, jawilsondesign, business card designer, clever business card

This card represents that of a security swipe card. Made from biodegradable plastic with a qr code on the back that looks almost like the chip where the information for the security is stored. If I was to receive this card I would know that security is the main purpose of this company.


Metal Card

metal business card

Looks very expensive and high tech, i’d feel pretty bad to throw this away…great thing to show others not just your clients.


Hanger Card

hanger business card, clothing business card, fashion business card, businesscard idea, clever business card ideas

A card in the shape of a hanger…looks good but, would it fit into your wallet? Is it practical? Thats my only criticism..creativity is top level.


[divider style=”1″]

what do you think makes a great business card? Please feel free to leave a comment.