Should I even be a blogger?

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Some people really need to write. It's their heartbeat. Creative process. Salvation of sorts. I'm not one of those people. At least I don't think I am. I totally get all the reasons I, as a business owner, should have a blog. Not only do I understand them, I PREACH them to every other business owner out there, touting their effectiveness for search engine rankings and content sharing.  But when faced with a pile of work and an every-shortening stint at the computer, writing a new post doesn't "free" me, it gives me anxiety. It's that jittery feeling I talk to my illustrator (who actually does write) about, when you have 18 million things … [Read more...]

Affordable and good online printers

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So you've already handed out a wad of cash for custom logos and print designs...which you can sorta look past, since it's a one-time investment. But now you not only need to order on the cheap, but be able to re-order easily, and have your designs look like masterpieces!  As designers, we've worked with just about every type of print shop, from the local mom and pop to the mega online store.  I'm offering up the few that we like best, but here are some things to remember while you search out your own solutions (or have the chance to work locally...our favorite). 1. Check thickness for paper products.  I'm continually amazed by what someone … [Read more...]

Leveraging your profession for what matters

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My husband and I always desired to grow our family through adoption, but browsing websites and crunching numbers left me overwhelmed and a little discouraged. Although I fully believe that God equips us for the things He calls us to, hard facts and dollar signs sometimes make the journey seem impossible to my finite mind.  God is bigger, proved faithful, and blessed us with a sweet son in 2011 through domestic adoption. Becoming more involved in the adoption community, I quickly realized that no one has the money necessary to bring home a child.  What a tragedy!  I knew that we weren’t ready for number two, but my care for orphans could … [Read more...]

Why is small business better?

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I love that the Internet makes the world smaller and connects me to new friends all over the world.  I can have calls with clients in Canada and The Netherlands in the same week.  But it can also make for OVERWHELMING competition, or at least it feels that way...doesn't it? And as I look at big branding and design agencies with their loads of designers, marketers and content creators; I feel a little in the dumps about our 7 member team. But a call with my team this week, and the resulting quick changes to our offerings and process, reminded me that there are AWESOME things about a small business! Not only can we do well in the market … [Read more...]

Work it out in a modern, colorful office!

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To all the haters of boring office supplies. To all the lovers of modern, fun, happy COLOR! No one will think you have their stapler anymore! Check out this fun Pinterest board we are curating and get your office poppin' with style! Follow Great Oak Circle's board Now that's a good office on Pinterest. What's a must-have for your office space? Leave us a note in the comments! … [Read more...]

The Anatomy of a WordPress Site

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Navigating a Wordpress website design process can be mentally traumatizing, a total time suck, and completely confusing all rolled into one.  Whether you're dreaming of a fresh start or a first launch, knowing the important working parts {and where they go} can turn confused into empowered! Let's take a look. Different styles for different brands: Why are you online? Do you sell? Products or Services? Are you a blogger? Knowing this first will help guide you to the right style Wordpress layout. Every site should have a well-place logo in the top (usually top-left) space. The tagline (hey here's what we do) should also be near the … [Read more...]

What is branding?

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Hi friends! Popping in for a quick post today. It's difficult to run a business isn't it?! And to be responsible for social media, finances, emails, actually working, and...oh...blogging. I think if a blog post was as long as a tweet, I would be better at it! Do you feel the same??? So let's talk about one quick tip and all get back to living our entrepreneur dreams! What is branding? So many entrepreneurs think that branding is their logo design. In part it is, but it's WAY more than that! Branding involves deep exploration of your ideal client, not navy blue and pink color schemes.  It's about the services you offer, the customer who … [Read more...]

DIY: Leather wrap bracelet

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I love an afternoon of relaxing and enjoying friends.  It's good for the soul to chat about great loves and difficult struggles, while soaking up the warm sun. It's even better when it includes crafting and yummy organic popsicles from the local stand!  Kelli and I had such an afternoon yesterday. We made these colorful leather wrap bracelets, and I'm totally loving them. The turquoise leather is from Endless Leather, and I picked up the tags, hooks and charms at Hobby Lobby. You won't need everything pictured above for this project...I might have been really excited and grab-happy in the findings aisle...:) I've also included links at … [Read more...]

Logo, Print & Social Designs: Posh Creations

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Great Oak Circle is growing! Which is such an exciting {and sometimes overwhelming} process. I'm thankful, I know it's only by God's grace on me and my business partners. Some new and exciting things are in the works, including a more streamlined design process and shorter wait times...whew. Today I'm sharing new designs for Posh Creations, a door decor and more handmade business.  AND...it's in Kentucky, a wonderful state that I once called home. perfect. My design inspiration for this project came from a mix of favorite lime green and black, burlap textures and sassy fonts. The logo needed to be sophisticated and "posh," while … [Read more...]

Happy Summer and Little Black Dresses

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Hey blog friends! I know I always talk about the weather, but it's always right in front of me. Right now it's pouring rain outside my Starbucks window. My iced coffee and scone are delightful, and the summer has been grand.  We recently spent wonderful family time in Virginia for a wedding, and have a few more on the calendar this fall.  So instead of working, I'm shopping for dresses...I mean...why not?! I'm in love with the vintage clothing trends, aren't you? Not only because they're awesome, but also because they offer a little more modesty.  I'm no fashionista, so these dresses always make for a pulled-together … [Read more...]

July 2013 in review

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It's hard to beat summer, I love the weather, outdoor activities, and the extra time with kids. Here's a little Instagram recap of what I've been up to this month. little MAC designs also launched this month. Organic cotton baby gear in unique prints. I love this logo and shopping cart design. View more here.   In business, we launched an amazing logo and site for Mei Mei and Co. Love this adoption ministry and the sweet hair accessories. Check out the design write-up here. July also saw the launch of a logo and Wordpress site design for Fit & Fab After 50. This kettle bell design is super fun, check it out here. I … [Read more...]

Logo and Print Design: Nourish

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Hi there blog friends! Here's a new logo design for Lisa from Nourish Nutrition & Diabetes. She works one on one with clients of all ages to bring health through nutrition. Check out her logo and business card above, as well as some inspiration from pinterest (sorry not to have the official source links here, yikes, thank you whomever you are, and I'm sorry I can't credit your amazing work). When creating a mood board, we find inspiration everywhere, other logos, fabric, interiors and even food.  I love to share these (even when they contain over amazing logos not created by GOC) because it illustrates our design process and client … [Read more...]

Logo, print & shopping cart design: little MAC threads

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Happy Friday friends! I'm un-patiently waiting for a sweet friend to get here...what are you up to this weekend? Maybe a little browsing or shopping? As always, I'm excited to introduce you to a new client, Melissa from little MAC threads.  I love that she designs her own organic cotton prints and sews them up into totally rad baby gear! I was pleased as punch when she asked for help with a logo, web site with shopping cart and print materials. Check it out below. The little MAC logo features bright colors, mixed fonts, and a custom little boy, drawn in-house by resident awesome illustrator, Joy. The business card is done in a large … [Read more...]

Logo, Print and Shopping Cart Design: MeiMei & Co

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Adoption is such a beautiful gift. We have been adopted by Christ, and He has given me the great gift of adoption in my son. My friend Tiffany has a wonderfully similar story. Mei Mei & Co. was founded to help raise funds for the adoption of her second sweet girl from China. Mei Mei (Little Sister) offers super sweet hair accessories you are sure to love. The graphics package for Mei Mei & Co includes a custom logo design, business cards that double as price tags, packaging stickers, facebook page and a Big Cartel shop.  We mixed yummy mint green with candy blue in a striped  awning for the perfect sweet shop look. Polka dots, … [Read more...]

Logo & WordPress site design: Fit & Fab After 50

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Happy Saturday! I'm loving this new logo and site design for Fit & Fab After 50! Cecily is a huge inspiration and knowledge source for women over 50 who want to enjoy a healthy life. Not only is she a personal trainer, she owns a Chicago-area gym with her daughter.  Check out her design package below.  These designs feature a kettle bell illustration,  hand written fonts in 2 shades of purple and fresh lime green.  Her quote inspiration image (source unknown) below gives the fun look she desired. Her website is bright and airy, with custom graphics, scalloped edge, an icon for each category post, and a fab kettle bell … [Read more...]

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