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Is it time to tidy your everyday work templates?

Do you ever just feel your workspace is a mess? Between papers, empty coffee cups, maybe a few crumbs, and mismatched letterhead and old business cards, may feel a lack of direction and a little sloppy.

Not to worry though! No matter the season, a little tidying up and a refresh will have you feeling rejuvenated.

“Broken” Logos

When marketing sends you the company logo for your use on a presentation or paper, it should be accompanied by a style guide. It won’t be uncommon to see a page that shows the correct way to use the logo.

How do you know if your logo is used improperly?

  • Is your logo pixelated?
  • Did you ever have to resize the logo manually? (THIS IS A BIG ONE! If you ever had to resize multiple times, you should have branding take a look at your document or ask them for the size you need.)
  • Are you using the most recent iteration of the logo? (Using the aforementioned branding guide will be an indicator.)

Over the course of my 8-year career with Wells Fargo Securities, we experienced multiple branding updates. Sometimes the tweaks are very minute, only a gradient was added or a color tweaked.

Other branding considerations when using the logo:

  • Have you incorporated it into your e-signature? Is that permitted by corporate? Is your image of the highest quality?
  • Does your logo have breathing room on the page or is it stuffed into a corner or surrounded by text?
  • Is your logo on an image when it should only be surrounded by white space?

Microsoft Word, Powerpoint, & Excel

The most common programs for creating documents can also be the most tricky if you don’t know your way around keyboard shortcuts and formatting tools.

Microsoft may have once been essential back in the 1990s and 2000s, but unless it’s an active part of your life, it may seem difficult to navigate.

Common mistakes include:

  • Using spaces instead of tabs for lists.
  • Using periods instead of leader dots in a table of contents.
  • Inserting a double space after each paragraph instead of setting establishing paragraph spacing.
  • Using Microsoft’s default color palette instead of your brand colors for charts.
  • Using one of Microsoft’s PowerPoint templates instead of using one branded specifically for your company.
  • Not changing the font from the default Minion Pro to your company’s font.

Biggest Sins

Corporate branding and the marketing departments will cringe if you:

  • Create a flyer in Microsoft Word.
  • Use clearly fake stock photography or clipart in a PowerPoint presentation. I know it’s 2022 but this still happens!
  • Use non-branded colors in email signatures and documents.
  • Don’t apply any type of formatting to documents clients and investors will see.
  • Grab images off of Google.

I don’t have a marketing department…

I get it. You’re running your business and not too worried about pretty pictures and colors. But graphic design is so much more than that. It is meant to inspire AND inform.

When you can unite your materials through your brand you stand out among your competitors as established, reliable, and a leader in the industry. And if you are a small business, you look bigger than you are. Imagine their faces when they find out your business is a one-woman/one-man show!

Here are a few things you can do to revitalize your everyday work documents:

  • Hire a graphic designer on a need basis or on a retainer to glance over your work, format, or put the entire project together.
  • Use the very first version of a template you use daily so your document has hit a factory reset.
  • Use stock photography for your images. Unsplash.com or pexels.com are good for projects on a budget, but be mindful that these free images are all over the internet. Consider using a pay-per-use site such as iStockphoto.com.
  • Take advantage of sites like creativemarket.com or elements.envato.com that have a library of templates.

I think I need help…

You’ve come to the right place. We can look over your documents together and see how we can highlight your brand and make your templates easier for you to use. It will be a win-win for both you and your clients.

OmniBiz before and after PDF handout redesign by Harford Designs.

Jessica Valis, CEO & Owner
Jessica Valis, CEO & Founder

Create first-class digital experiences your clients and investors will love to use.

From brand redesigns and website upgrades, all platforms are infused with UI/UX that is aligned with the latest marketing trends and is optimized for best results.

You get strategy building, targeted branding, and website design & development from a single agency.

From brand redesigns and website upgrades, all platforms are infused with UI/UX that is aligned with the latest marketing trends and is optimized for best results.

You get strategy building, targeted branding, and website design & development from a single agency.