On Reading: the screen or the printed page?

I just wrote about this very topic last week, so I was pleasantly surprised this morning to see Michael Hyatt, one of my favorite authors and podcasters, touch on this very subject. He is able to make his point much more eloquently than me, so I thought I’d share his post.

My takeaway, no matter if you read on line or the printed page:

A reader is a learner, and no matter what point we are in our lives, we should all be learning.


Is Print Dead?

We recently designed this book cover, One Heart by Stacey Siekman. There is also an online version of the book, but many prefer to read the hard-copy.

We recently designed this book cover, One Heart by Stacey Siekman. There is also an online version of the book, but many prefer to read the hard-copy.

With so much focus on online marketing sometimes the leave-behind or direct-mail piece can often be seen as a thing of the past. Even our books and magazines can all be read online. Although there is no doubt we live in a 24/7 digital world, technology is but one medium to communicate.  Many would agree, there is no replacement to holding a printed piece in your hand: whether it be a special invitation you eagerly open in the mail, writing in the margins and underlining passages in your favorite page-tattered book, or capturing your customer’s attention with a beautifully designed printed piece highlighting your business or services.

Many businesses have always used print as part of the their marketing budget and some are now deciding to allocate a good deal of their resources to print. Even startups know the value of printed pieces. A recent article from CNN/Money explores this very subject further.

Curious to see how we can make print work for you? Give us a call at 716-697-1854 or contact us.

Surface Pattern Design

I decided to challenge myself this year and enroll in a popular online class, The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design. Everything’s online (very convenient!) and it’s been great connecting with people from all over the world. When you freelance and work on your own a lot as I do, interacting with other designers is essential. It is important to build a community in which you can bounce ideas off of other artists, hear critiques, and have a place to ask questions.

The course also interviewed other designers in the field, I found glimpses into other’s work habits and best practices invaluable. There are 4 different modules of this course. So far, I’ve completed 2.

The schedule has been demanding for me personally, but I’ve learned with planning and prioritizing, that it can be done!

Here are a few samples from one of my collections.

florals_springbloom_2 florals_springbloom_3 florals_springbloom_1EllenMorse-springsblooms-collection-3-hires

New Year: New challenges and goals

It’s the end of January, already! How are you doing on your New Year’s resolutions? Or perhaps you don’t have “resolutions,” but I hope you have set some goals for yourself, and that you’re sticking with them. Easier said then done, right?

I have set new goals in my personal and professional life. As always, make sure your goals are SMART goals. This might be a refresher for some, but SMART goals is a acronym for ones that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.

  • Specific – You have clearly defined what you want to accomplish.
  • Measurable – You have identified targets and milestones to track your progress.
  • Attainable – Your goal is realistic and manageable.
  • Relevant – You have identified a goal that fits within what you want to achieve, in business this would match your business model.
  • Time-Based – You have identified a specific period of time for the goal.

If you want to break it down further, try setting SMART goals for your health, personal relationships/family, career/business, finances and spiritually.

It’s hard to find the time day-in, day-out on whatever your goal is that you have set and want to accomplish. I challenge you to find an accountability partner to make sure you reach all that you’re capable of! I’ve been extremely fortunate to find two like-minded entreprenurial women and we meet weekly to go over our goals, and discuss our businesses. These two women are not in my industry, so I especially appreciate their different perspectives. Checking in with these ladies and keeping track of what I need to do in order to reach my goals each week keeps me honest.

One of my business goals for 2015 was to continue educating myself in my field. Education comes in many forms, and I’m excited to share all about the online classes I’m taking in my next post, so stay tuned. How about you, are you achieving your 2015 goals?

I’d love to hear your comments!

Social Media: Do’s and Don’ts

1600-businessSocial media is everywhere! Your business needs to utilize these free channels. We recommend you know your target audience and pick one or two social media channels to use. Not everyone in your audience is on Instagram (typically a younger audience) Do most of your audience use Twitter? Once you decide, the key is follow through! It takes time and energy to build your audience (or “tribe” as Seth Godin would say…) Consistency is key! Don’t give up on it, if you have relevant content then your audience will come. “Content is king,” is the mantra of social media. If you are posting content that is interesting and helpful, and relevant to your audience, you have a much better chance at building that particular audience.

Take advantage of the ability to schedule to posts in advance. This can be a very useful tool when you have lots on your ‘to do’ list (and who doesn’t?) You still need to be aware of what you’re posting and when you’re posting. You don’t want to flood your social media feed at the wrong time. Take this example for instance, Media expert, Gary Vaynerchuk, talks about this on his podcast. He refers to the tragic events of the Boston Marathon bombings. Some folks had their social media posts promoting their new book pre-scheduled and all of those were hitting right after the bombings. Oops! It’s all about being aware!

Need help with social media? Give us a call or drop us an email.

Understanding color


Color has certain meanings that you need to be aware of when you’re planning your marketing materials. There are also cultural meanings to color that depending upon your target market, you need to keep in mind.

Here’s some basic information about color:

Blue is a calming color, think water and sky. It is serene, especially the lighter shades. It also signifies dignity, strength and dependability. Financial firms or Legal firms often use a darker navy blue in their logo design for this reason. Lighter blues are rarely used in restaurants or with food packaging because studies show the color can suppress appetite (hmmm…maybe I should paint my kitchen that color, good for dieting!)

Green is the color of nature, growth, health, and is peaceful. It represents harmony. Lighter shades are more cheery. Darker greens represent safety and affluence (think money.) Green is often used in organic or natural brands. If you’re using a green that has too much yellow in it, be aware as it often associated with sickness or discord.

Purple mixes warm and cool colors. It is passionate (red) and tranquil (blue). It represents royalty, wealth and also creativity. Lighter shades envoke romance.

Red is bold. It is the color of passion and power. It is exciting. When mixed with pink, it can be sweet and innocent. If you add black, it can be dark or angry. It can also represent leadership or courage.

Orange is cheerful, confident and energetic. It is very popular right now but be aware how you use it. Too much orange can be garish or can overpower your design.

Yellow is the color of warmth and optimism (think the sun). It is stimulating and makes everything feel happy. It can also be used as caution (think yellow stop light or yellow road sign) It is a great highlight or accent color.

Logos: the design process

Ever wonder what goes into designing a logo?

What you hire Ellen Morse Originals you will receive a logo design that is individualized and custom-tailored to your business. Your business is unique, and your logo shouldn’t look like everyone else’s. We do the research about your industry and your business first. After research, we sketch out multiple concepts. There are many iterations that go through a process of elimination. Finally, after exploring various options on paper, we begin work on the computer. We explore different fonts, colors and layouts. Eventually we narrow down our designs and present at least 3 solid options for you to consider.

This version didn't make the cut with the client, we just went back to the drawing board. It is still one of our personal favorites, but we need to do what is best for our customers — just like you do too!

This version didn’t make the cut with the client, we just went back to the drawing board. It is still one of our personal favorites, but we need to do what is best for our customers — just like you do too!

What happens if I’m not sure about the concepts presented? It’s ok. Sometimes this just serves as a jumping off point. We listen to your feedback and make the necessary revisions. If you have questions or problems, you can reach Ellen directly, ensuring that you’re dealing with the same designer who worked on your logo initially (try that with the $99 logo sites!) We will work with you to make sure you’re satisfied with the end result. We want you to love your logo!

Do you create branding/style guidelines? Yes, we sure do. We feel this is especially important. Do you have multiple people at your organization handling your logo? You’ll need a style guide. What about logo usage — your logo will need to maintain it’s consistency no matter where it is used. We make sure to think of these essentials as well as providing you with all the formats and sizes you need.

Interested in a custom logo for your business? Contact us!

Newsletter, Annual Reports, Magazine Design

Custom Craft Contractors

We design all types of publications, from newsletters to annual reports. We can help communicate your message in an organized, eye-catching format. From catalogs to magazines, a professionally designed publication will showcase your company’s expertise and make you stand out from your competition.We are adept at managing large documents and can handle the entire process: from color correction of photos to making sure your documents print correctly by providing the correct pre-press standards. We have relatio
nships with many print vendors and can also work to ensure you the best price on your print job, or you can print your documents in-house.
newsletter design for Vive a Buffalo, NY non-profit organization

Newsletter design for Vive a Buffalo, NY non-profit organization

All of these documents can be translated digitally as well. We have been successful is working on email marketing newsletters with vendors such as MailChimp or Constant Contact. This is a very effective way to communicate regularly with your clients.

Website Design

We offer custom website design options for your business.

From our initial consultation and throughout the entire process, our goal is to listen to what you need, offer marketing and strategy advice and implement a successful online presence for you.


We design infographics! The perfect solution when you’re looking to convey information quickly and clearly while engaging viewers.

Infographics are much more effective than just words on a page. Rather they combine text with design and analysis to tell a story. Most people are very visual and you have a better chance attracting attention and sharing your message with an infographic than with a story on it’s own.

A successfully designed infographic is a great marketing tool. They are easy to share and have the ability to quickly go “viral.” Since your infographic is fun and attractive it serves as a great tool to share facts.