Dean McNeill Logo
  • "Design is easy. All you do is stare at the screen
    until drops of blood form on your forehead."
    Marty Neumeier
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Helping brands make friends

Every firm has a brand. Your brand isn’t your logo or even what you try to tell your customers that it is. It’s the impression that people—your potential market—have about you, your services or your products. We describe brands with terms such as strong, dependable, helpful, aloof or down-to-earth, the same terms we use to describe people and their personalities. Just as we are naturally drawn to people who display characteristics we value, we are drawn to brands that display…
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Finding solutions that get results

Sail Nova Scotia promotes, guides and directs competitive, and recreational sailing while facilitating the enjoyment of safe boating. It’s funding is partially tied to the number of participants involved in the sport throughout the province. Gathering current reliable participation data has often proved to be a challenge due the sheer number of programs and facilities involved. They initially approached us to develop an online database that member clubs would use to input their membership numbers. We suggested expanding the system…
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IBEW Local 1928 update their image

It's definitely a challenge to update a 60 year old identity. The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, local 1928, wanted to do just that to align with the launch of the new website we were creating. An often overlooked key element in this kind of process is a committed and engaged client. The entire team at IBEW Local 1928 not only supported the process but embraced it with valuable feedback all along the way. The collaboration resulted in an identity…
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What's in a name?

Developing a name for a new firm is exciting, but it's a tough process requiring getting into the mindset of the owners and a lot of trust by the client. That's the scenario behind a recent naming project that resulted in Mushroom Consulting—an executive coaching and leadership consultancy—a unique name for a leadership skills firm! A unique name certainly helps a firm be memorable and stand out among its competition but hopefully a good name does more than just being…
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How to choose a designer?

I've witnessed clients explore every method imaginable to choose a designer: requesting a price on a specific piece of work, asking for hourly rates; publishing a blanket Request for Proposals or; outright asking for speculative or free concept work as a test. Seldom, though, have I seen any of the above methods work efficiently in providing clients a quality long-term partnership—and isn't that the real intent? Obviously I'm biased but anything that streamlines the process of clients aligning with designers,…
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Logo, Identity, Branding?

There's a lot of confusion around the differences between a logo an identity and a brand, hopefully I can help simplify it. A logo is the visual representation that your company or product uses to portray itself. An identity refers to the ways the logo is used and how it is associated with other communication elements. A brand is the impression your customers or the public forms about you or your product. I'll use IKEA as an example. Their logo…
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What is CGD certification?

The national certification mark, CGD, ensures clients are dealing with a designer who has passed a peer review of case studies, meets the requirements of the national certifying body and adheres to the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada (GDC) Code of Ethics. More and more, CGD certification is becoming recognized by government and business as a signal of excellence in the field of graphic design. Employers and contractors respect those who adhere to ethical guidelines in their business dealings.…
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GDC & AGDA announcement

The Australian Graphic Design Association (AGDA) and the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada (GDC) are pleased to announce that they have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding whereby both will seek to share information, systems, strategies and methodologies concerning the development and implementation of a certification program for graphic designers in Australia. Collaboration between the GDC and AGDA will provide the opportunity for both parties to further strengthen and support each of their certification programs bilaterally, enabling shared ideals…
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What is a Vector file

Every couple of weeks someone asks me for a vector file... most times they have no idea what they are asking for or why. A vector file is usually a file that ends with the extension .eps (encapsulated postscript). Having said that, not all EPS files are vector files. A vector file is made up of editable outlines that define the boundaries of the image or logo. The beauty of a vector file is that it is able to be…