FEATURED BY GRAPHIC DESIGN USA – 5 TRENDS IN LAW FIRM WEB DESIGN

I’m proud that my article 5 Trends in Law Firm Web Design was featured by Graphic Design USA.

Website design styles change so often, it is difficult to keep up with the trends and new technology. There are a few new trends that have begun playing a major role in law firm websites that we expect to continue to see in law firms that are looking to set themselves apart and present themselves as cutting edge.

Here are five of the biggest web design trends law firms should be noticing… Read the rest of the article at this link:

Best Law Firm Logos

Developing a law firm identity is usually one of the first steps newly minted lawyers approach when starting their firms. A few months ago, this post on Designing a Logo developed into a controversial discussion about the importance of law firm logos. My position is that developing brands and logos are important, not as important as the reputation that they are representing, but visuals that support and reinforce that reputation as well as a key part of an overall marketing strategy.Most law firm logos are poorly executed and are usually entirely text-based, quite often with one of a handful of popular fonts, which results in many firms believing that logos are not necessary for a law firm. However, there is no escaping the fact that people make decisions based on visual cues and a logo is a great place to start. Well-designed law firm logos should be memorable, establish your style, and tie your marketing efforts together.

Choosing the Best Law Firm Logo

If you are in the process of developing a logo, especially if you are working with a website such as 99designs, it is important to have clear goals in mind and be able to provide effective feedback to ensure your logo design is successful. With that in mind I have compiled a handful of the best law firm logos I have recently found (a few are slightly blurry since they are from the firm’s website, so for better viewing please click over to the site). My criteria were that the logo should be unique in color or font, should express and support the firm’s overall image, and have elements that are memorable.
oorick law firm logo

Orrick

This logo is a great example of simple color and great font use, with a graphic that is memorable. The green will stand out, and the large capital O is clean and simple, but will be easily recalled.

Kasling, Hemphill, Dolezal and Atwell

I like this logo because it stays within the safe confines of looking like a law firm, but uses a contemporary font and unique grid for displaying the initials so that it challenges the typical boring law firm logos.
parkway law law firm logo

Parkway Law

This is a logo that my firm helped to create. It works because the simple leaf conveys her focus on environmental law and provides a pop of color, while the font is classic but unique.

meywers ohara law firm logoMeyers & O’Hara

This logo is also well done in its choice of font, the ampersand graphic, and simple but professional use of color.

Crowley Fleck

This logo is a great example of a well designed text only logo. While this may look simple, oftentimes the simple is the most difficult to create, and this would not be as successful without the subtle color and brilliant spacing between the letters.

ramsey law law firm logoRamsey Law

This firm did a good job with their logo but has fallen a little flat with continuing the look through to the website. However the logo is clean, has a good use of color, and the capital R is memorable in the same ways as the O in the Orrick logo above.
The post Best Law Firm Logos appeared first on Lawyerist.com.
Source: Karin Conroy’s Lawyerist Feeds

5 Reasons Why You Need to Ditch Your Website Slider

It seems that website sliders are everywhere. Open up the homepage of a modern website or try to buy a new WordPress theme that doesn’t include sliders and you may have trouble. There’s one major problem though. Sliders, or carousels, are NOT effective. If your law firm’s website features a slider, or you are looking at building a new website, here are 5 reasons to reconsider this feature.

5 Reasons Why You Need to Ditch Your Website Slider // Conroy Creative Counsel 5 Reasons Why You Need to Ditch Your Website Slider // Conroy Creative Counsel

5 Reasons Why You Need to Ditch Your Website Slider

1. Sliders are Distracting

When a user lands on your website, an automatically moving slider is distracting and unnecessary. Our eyes are wired to detect movement, a vestige of humankind’s early days in the wild and being able to see predators early on was life-saving. Now that we are ensconced in houses with fancy laptops, any movement is distracting. When we see movement on the screen, such as a popups, sliders, and automated graphics, it detracts from the overall experience instead of adding to it.

If your slider is photos, it distracts users from reading your content and can cause them to close the website. If your slider features ads, having multiple ads is less effective than having one. Choosing one allows users to focus on one featured ad, instead of trying to read multiple slides as the carousel changes automatically (not giving them a chance to fully read each ad). Hands down, sliders bring UX down.

2. Sliders Lower Your SEO

A featured slide takes up a lot of space on your homepage. This is valuable real estate on your website! The distracting slider requires a lot of space for a feature that only 0.22% of users click on. Instead of wasting space on the slider, you could move your valuable content and CTA higher on the page.

If your law firm website features a slider, it’s possible that most of your content is pushed down below the fold. Google has stated, since 2012, that pushing down content is harmful for SEO. When users search for something and click on a website, they are frustrated when the content is not readily available. Having to scroll past a slider lowers UX and Google may penalize accordingly.

Many sliders feature a different H1 tag for each image. This is confusing for the user and lowers the effectiveness of your keywords. Changing the H1 tag with an automatic carousel is harmful for SEO efforts.

3. Sliders are bad for Mobile

Web designers use desktops to create websites. What looks great on a desktop may not translate to mobile. In 2018, 52.2 percent of all website traffic worldwide was on mobile phones, and that number is expected to continue to climb. If your website is not responsive in mobile, you are losing potential clients before they get a chance to even look at your site.
Sliders can have a big impact on site performance. They can delay speed so the site takes too long to load. Mobile users frequently bounce from websites that take too long to load on their screen.

Sliders are also prone to breaking in mobile, so the images do not appear correctly. A broken feature on your homepage makes the site appear unprofessional and can be a deterrent for users.

Lastly, a slider is going to appear differently on a mobile phone than a desktop. If a user has to scroll past image after image to get to the content they are looking for, they may end up frustrated and leaving the site before they even get to your CTA.

4. Sliders Aren’t Accessible

Every website should be as accessible as possible for all users. Sliders are notoriously difficult for screen reading software and other adaptive technologies. It is difficult, if not impossible, to make sliders accessible. They are so frustrating that a longtime advocate for accessibility created this website shouldiuseacarousel.com to showcase the frustration and distraction sliders cause.

5. Sliders Don’t Convert

The main reason your law firm shouldn’t have a slider on your website? They do not convert! All the factors we’ve talked about effect user experience, and ultimately whether users follow through on your call to action. If a slider causes a user to leave your website — due to distraction, frustration, broken features, etc — then they never have the chance to complete your CTA.

The point of your website is to get potential clients to call your firm or fill out an online inquiry form. Sliders not only don’t add anything positive to your website to prompt users to action, they negatively impact user experience and SEO.

Your law firm website does not need a slider. There are other ways to engage users that will increase user experience and SEO efforts. High-resolution images and relevant content continue to provide a better website experience than automatic carousels. If your law firm needs assistance creating a professional, engaging website without using sliders, contact Conroy Creative Counsel.

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Featured by Graphic Design USA – 5 Trends in Law Firm Web Design

I’m proud that my article 5 Trends in Law Firm Web Design was featured by Graphic Design USA.

Website design styles change so often, it is difficult to keep up with the trends and new technology. There are a few new trends that have begun playing a major role in law firm websites that we expect to continue to see in law firms that are looking to set themselves apart and present themselves as cutting edge.

Here are five of the biggest web design trends law firms should be noticing… Read the rest of the article at this link:

5 Trends In Law Firm Web Design

Why Logo and Website Redesigns Should Happen At the Same Time

Your logo and your website design should always flow together as visual representations of your brand identity. Therefore, if you plan to redesign one, it only makes sense that you redesign the other at the same time. Here are just a few reasons why it makes sense to perform these website redesigns with your business logo simultaneously.

Why Logo and Website Redesigns Should Happen At the Same Time

It saves time and effort.

Any time you perform a visual redesign of a website, logo or marketing materials, you need to hold a lot of brainstorming sessions and meetings to make sure the whole team is on the same page. Redesigning your website and logo simultaneously dramatically reduces the number of meetings you need to have and makes the whole process much easier for everyone involved.

It creates better communication and efficiency.

During your redesign process, it is extremely important to have outstanding communication with your design team. Redesigning your website and logo at the same time allows you to communicate key points that affect all of your designs. This allows for more consistency in each design element and fewer errors you need to worry about. It is simply a more convenient process for both the designer and you as the designer’s client.

It helps you build a professional appearance.

If you have an outdated logo on an updated website (or vice versa), you run the risk of looking unprofessional or delivering inconsistent branding messages. The logo and web design have such a symbiotic relationship that it is important you always ensure both use similar design elements and themes. Details like the colors you use for the logo and website should always influence each other and be complementary rather than conflicting. A logo and design that flow together will ultimately amplify the strength of your brand identity.

It allows you to market a new branding initiative.

When overhauling all of your design elements at once, you can make a branding event out of it. You can announce the rollout of your new designs ahead of time to generate excitement and attention. For maximum effectiveness, you can do this at the same time as introducing new legal services, employees or office locations.

It costs less.

Last but not least, redesigning your website and logo at the same time will save you money. Typically designers will offer package deals rather than forcing you to pay full price for each as a separate service. Therefore, it just makes financial sense to get it all done at once.


For more information about how logo and website redesigns are beneficial, contact our team today at Conroy Creative Counsel and we will be pleased to answer any questions you have.

What You Need to Know About Website Updates and Maintenance

Website updates and maintenance are a crucial part of operating your online business. I’ve seen many businesses make this mistake time and time again. How many websites have you visited where the copyright was dated 5 years ago? Exactly. When you notice the little things on a website that is outdated, incorrect or misspelled, it’s going to make you click out rather quickly and find a better alternative.

What You Need to Know About Website Maintenance

As the business owner, you want to avoid having issues on your site that will turn visitors away. The essentials of website maintenance can be found here, but in this post, I’m going to talk about the why behind website updates and maintenance.

Websites are not tools that you set up once, and they’re set for life.

When you host your own domain online, you need to treat it as your virtual space that you own. When you own something and pay an investment on it, you want it to look good, feel good, and be in its best condition. Like frequently changing the oil in your car, you want your website to be well-maintained or else it will lose its value.

The Benefits of Website Maintenance

On the contrary, you should be checking into the backend of your site at least monthly to ensure that everything is running smoothly. The benefits of this are numerous so let’s break them down.

  • Frequently updating your site with high-quality content will boost your SEO
  • Inserting the latest versions of software into WordPress will keep it running smoothly in terms of speed
  • An error-free website will boost your traffic and therefore, your business
  • It’s important to note that do-it-yourself maintenance can cost you.

Is this a “do it yourself” situation?

There are lots of factors that play a role in your website maintenance that have nothing to do with WordPress. For example, understanding how Google works with your website will show you how vast, and complicated, it can be to make sure that every part of your website is up-to-par with Google’s standards.
Changes over at Google mean that the security of your website is more important now than ever before. For example, Chrome security settings are now monitoring HTTPs differently. It can affect your business in a negative way so you should always be aware.
If you’re not a professional web developer, all of the tricks of the trades may be difficult to take care of yourself. Website maintenance is too important to try to do it yourself.

The Dangers of “DIY”

When you perform your own website maintenance, you aren’t holding a record of what was done. This could end up costing you later on. There are plenty of other issues that you can happen on the backend that you may not be able to catch.
The benefits of hiring a professional are truly outnumbered.

How Our Services Can Benefit Your Business

Here at Creative Counsel, we offer award-winning web services. We cover all aspects of website security; you can expect us to backup your site, and check for updates and any potential issues. Our process is able to track current and past plugins which makes it easy to revert back if necessary. The monthly maintenance report we offer includes security scans. Because of this we can address a problem before you even know that it exists! 
Sounds like a weight off your shoulders, doesn’t it?
You may be wondering, “Can’t I just call you to take care of this?” Here’s my answer.

Call a Professional

For more information about improving your website maintenance, contact us today at Conroy Creative Counsel. We’ll work with you to guarantee that your website updates and maintenance are current and effective.
What measures have you taken already to make sure that your website is thoroughly secure and up to date?

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website-updates-and-maintenance
website-updates-and-maintenance

5 Popular Logo Designs that Are Truly Remarkable

Logo designing might seem like a relatively simple task to an outsider. However, that is part of the challenge of being a great logo designer—creating something that looks and feels simple, while still evoking the type of feelings and emotions the brand is going for. Popular logo designs become famous for a reason: they’re memorable and they make you feel a certain way whenever you see them, whether it’s subtle or in your face.
After all, a logo is more than just an image—it is a brand identifier, and in many cases acts as people’s first introduction to a brand. It is extremely important to create a great first impression.

5 Popular Logo Designs that Are Truly Remarkable

Here are a few examples of some famous logos and what makes them so special:

Organ Donation


The organ donation logo is undeniably original. It immediately makes it clear what the logo is for while forging an emotional connection with the person viewing it. It also does not bear a resemblance to any other easily recognizable brand logos. While it is okay to take some design inspiration, it is ultimately most important to be as creative and original as possible.

Toys ‘R’ Us


The Toys ‘R’ Us logo is a great example of one that is relevant to its intended audience. Its charming, playful font complete with backwards “R” is clearly intended to draw the attention of children and their parents. One wouldn’t even have to speak English to know this is the logo of a toy store.

FedEx


The FedEx logo is a great example of one that is versatile and scalable. It maintains the same effectiveness whether it is on a business card or a billboard. The contrast in color makes it stand out from afar, and the arrow in “Ex” adds a sense of brand identity and purpose to the logo that fits with the company. No matter what size the logo is, it will maintain the same detail and legibility.

Nike


Nike is a perfect example of a logo that is so memorable and iconic that a product with the logo emblazoned on it practically sells itself. Of course, it takes some time to build up the “iconic” status of a logo, and a whole lot of hard work with branding and marketing. But just about every iconic logo has this in common: they’re simple. One single “swoosh” check mark, one of the simplest logos you’ll find for recognizable companies, instantly invokes plenty of emotion in Nike’s target audience.

Disney


Disney is an example of a logo that is timeless and pure. There is nothing trendy about the Disney logo—it has been the same for decades. This consistency has turned the Disney logo into a powerful branding tool over the years. Its simplicity (intended to mimic Walt Disney’s own signature) is a big part of this, of course, but it also shows how brands do not need to overhaul their logos just for the sake of change.
Popular logo designs become famous after careful design and implementation. If you want the same for your law firm, talk to us! For more information and tips about designing a powerful logo, contact us today at Conroy Creative Counsel.


What’s one of your favorite logos and why? What do you think are the key components to make a logo design popular?

Why Are Vector Files Actually Important for Web Design?

All digital graphics are created in one of two formats: raster or vector. Raster files are made up of pixels, the tiny squares that, when combined, create a complex image. The more pixels an image has, the higher the resolution and image quality it creates. On the other hand, vector files are more flexible for your web design.

Here’s why: the inherent problem with raster files is that you are unable to add pixels to the file after you have created it, meaning attempting to make the picture larger will decrease its image quality, causing the image to appear distorted. So what happens if you need to print a company logo or photo in a much larger size?

The versatility of vector files

Vector files are the solution to this image. Rather than being made with pixels, vector graphics use mathematical equations to develop smooth, solid lines that do not pixelate. No matter the size of the image, it will always be in high resolution. Vector files are also completely editable, meaning you can make any changes you wish to your graphic in the future without having to start from scratch.

This is not to say there is no place for using raster files. Photographs, for example, can only be saved as raster images because they are inherently made up of tiny dots of color. Professional photographs, however, come in very high resolution, which makes the quality appear much better.

Other designers simply prefer to design in Photoshop, a raster-based program, versus Illustrator or InDesign. This would necessitate the use of raster files.

Ultimately, you will likely need to work with both raster and vector images in your web design. But here are the specific areas in which vector images have an advantage:

  • Printing: Printing is much more complicated with a raster image. You will either need to have the original file saved as a high-res image, or you will have to decrease the size of a low-res image to get it to print in high resolution. With a vector image, you can simply choose your desired size and print.vector files
  • Editing: Making any edits to a raster file is quite difficult, especially if you do not have the original file on hand. If you ever want to, say, update your logo with a new tagline, colors or other design elements, it is in your best interest to use a vector file.
  • Resizing: You are only able to maintain a good quality with your raster image up to the original size of the image. Vector images allow you to blow up the image as large as you want without sacrificing the quality.

Finally, keep in mind that vector files can be saved/exported as raster files, but raster files cannot be turned into vector files. You should keep a vector copy at all times, even if you end up using the raster file for specific applications. In conclusion, vector files are very important for your web design so make sure to always have them on file!


Contact us today at Conroy Creative Counsel for more design information and tips!

Vector files web design

Vector files web design
Vector files web design

5 Tips that will Actually Improve Your Web Design Skills

Many people take up website design either as a hobby, or as a way to help themselves save money by avoiding hiring a designer when building a website. However, finding your style, gaining experience and improving your work takes some time. If you want to become a skilled website designer, you must be willing to commit yourself to the practice. Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you begin honing your web design skills:

1. Communicate with your clients.

The best way to give your clients a design they are happy with is to constantly communicate with them. Spend time asking questions and listening closely to the responses so you know exactly what message your clients wish to get across and which types of design elements will speak to them the most.

2. Build up experience.

Whether you are a freelancer, work with a design company (or in a design department) or both, the first-hand experiences you gain are invaluable to your development as a designer. The more work you do, the more you will learn about what you enjoy, what you are good at and what you need to do to become better. You will not become a better designer by being picky with the work you take on when you’re first getting started.

3. Always have a reason behind your design choices.

Some colors work better together than others. Some fonts simply fit a logo and a design better than others. As a designer, you need to understand why you make the decisions you do in the course of your job, and should be able to explain those decisions to your clients. You’ll find it much harder to explain those decisions if you simply copy other people’s design styles rather than finding your own and learning the ins and outs of the design trade.

4. Accept feedback and constructive criticism.

Rarely will a designer be able to complete a job in a single draft without any feedback or criticism. Constructive criticism is simply a part of the job as a designer. The vast majority of the time, this feedback is not meant to be personal (if it is, walk away from the job). Instead, stay patient and work with the client to get the job done correctly. It will be a valuable learning experience and opportunity to improve. This is probably one of the best web design tips to help you get started. You need to know if you created good work by asking other people for their opinion.

5. Continue finding ways to improve.

There are always new trends, technologies and tools popping up in the world of web design. You should constantly strive to learn new design methods and stay up-to-date with all of the changes that regularly occur in the field.


Web design tips like these can be very helpful for someone who has knowledge in graphic design or web development. Many online business owners create their own websites to save on costs. Are you preparing to design and develop your own website? Contact us today for more tips to help you along the way.

5 Tips That Will Actually Improve Your Web Design Skills // Conroy Creative Counsel
5 Tips That Will Actually Improve Your Web Design Skills // Conroy Creative Counsel
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