how to choose the right font

How to Choose the Right Fonts in your Branding

When you are designing anything that involves text, it can be daunting to choose from the myriad options that are available. Fortunately, there are guidelines to guide you through the selection process:

Firstly, you need to be familiar with font families. That includes families from Old Style such as Bembo, which originated during the Italian Renaissance and was used by a famed printer of the times Aldus Manutius, to Modern, of which Helvetica is a good example, and everything in between.

Using too many fonts results in a cluttered look that is sillier than slick. Take a look at the following:

how to choose the right font example 1

It looks clumsier than cool! The golden rule is to use two fonts, three at most. Here’s an example:

how to choose the right font example 2

Rather than combining two similar fonts, opt for a serif font paired with a sans serif option. In the previous example, we have used two fonts – Times New Roman, which is a serif-typeface, and Calibri, which is a sans-serif-typeface.

When using a combination of two fonts, ensure there is a strong contrast between the two. Otherwise, it won’t add to the readability. And it won’t appear nice either. Again, we can get a good idea about this from the example above.

Having said that, make sure that the two fonts have a similar ‘mood’ or feel, and reflect the same era or time period.

When using two fonts from the same family, they should appear to have different weights – the one seeming heavier than the other.

Some fonts, although popular, are best avoided. These include options such as Comic Sans, Papyrus, Curlz, Viner Hand and Kristen. Keep in mind, every font conveys an emotion. If you wish to convey a serious tone, Comic Sans isn’t really the right choice.

Platforms such as DaFont provide a seemingly endless array of fonts from which to choose. However, when choosing fonts for your website, you need to use Google Fonts.

Although these guidelines provide assistance and advice, you also need to experiment with various options and combinations to find a ‘feel’ that best fits your brand and your marketing strategy.


10 Tools to Help With Creativity

These days there are many online tools that are designed to help you channel your creativity. The bonus is that these web-based services are easy to use and don’t require knowledge of complicated graphics programs. It couldn’t be simpler to design and create aesthetically beautiful images, products and design schemes. Here are 10 tools to help with creativity

1. Wordoid

Wordoid is an innovative site that helps you develop a catchy name for your new product, service, business enterprise or domain. All you do is enter in your specifications and Wordoid will generate several relevant names and their domain availability.

2. Tagul

Tagul enables you to create eye-catching word clouds. This service also enables you to print these word clouds on a range of products including postcards, mugs and clothing.

3. Color Scheme Designer

Color Scheme Designer does exactly what the name suggests: it helps you develop an effective color scheme based on any color that you select. There are a range of possible options, from complementary to analogic schemes.

4. Patternizer

Patternizer is a web tool that helps you to create colorful effective patterns with ease. The easy to use slide bars and menus enable you to design custom patterns to suit your preferences.

5. PicMonkey

PicMonkey provides fun and funky ways to edit your favorite photographs. Whether you want to touch up, edit, create a photo montage, or design an incredible image, this is the tool to use.


Easel ly is a great way to design and create effective visual ideas which you can then share. From posters to charts and diagrams, this is a great way to give your ideas a visual format.

7. Piktochart

PiktoChart enables you to create eye-catching infographics. You can select from the wide range of available themes, and then edit any or all of the elements to customize your infographic.

8. ReciteThis

Recite This takes any quote and turns it into a visual creation. Simple type in the wording of your choice and select a wide range of backgrounds and formats.

9. PinWords

Pin Words helps you to pin words to your favorite images. It’s the simplest way to effectively add your personal stamp to photos and images to create something striking and beautiful.

10. Designspiration

Designspiration is a great way to share all visual sources of inspiration that lead to great design. You can search, save and organize an endless array of photographs, typography, illustrations and images.

Andra Oprea Stylezza Interview Cover

Luxury Spotlight: Andra Oprea, Editor-in-Chief & Project Manager of Stylezza

With years of experience in the field of journalism and editing, Andra Oprea offers an insight into the world of luxury with her digital magazine – Stylezza. As the Editor-in-Chief & Project Manager of this famed magazine, she has come across the best in class experiences when it comes to fashion, beauty, art, photography and myriad other subjects.

Her experiences have led her to believe in quality over quantity – something reflected in the selection of which events and news feature in her magazine. And with her flair for the artistic expressions of life, it isn’t a surprise that Stylezza has become one of the beacons in the French Riviera/Monaco fashion and art circuit.

Let’s get a glimpse at what she has to say about her contributions to the luxury niche.


Andra Oprea Stylezza Interview 1

1. Every editor has a different story on how they got started writing. What is yours?

My story with writing starts when I was little or maybe from another life. I have always been connected with written words, poetry. I remember I used to invent and compose poetry in my mind holding a hand upside down when I was about four years old. With time, the passion has grown. When I first discovered love, I got so inspired that I started writing my first essay at 17 years old. The essay was awarded at an international competition in Tokyo. I continued writing children books, essays, never got the time to start a book although the idea has always haunted me. But, I started Journalism and it got me going ever since. I can use writing in a modern way now, especially on the digital format. It is my way of expressing, of choosing what to do in order to leave something behind me that is made by me and not an echo.

2. Like most successful fashion magazine, you probably received hundreds of emails per month from luxury brands who want you to share their story. What makes you decide to work with a brand over the other?

I daily receive a great amount of emails from different brands around the globe. What makes me choose one brand over the other is the inspiration and the idea behind the concept. I do not like very much the commercial type, the mass quantity information. I prefer the quality and the information that inspires the reader and makes him widen his vision. I like the mix between art and fashion, the stir of ideas and the things that have value, originality. There are so many brilliant minds and brands that are in the dark because they do not have the marketing behind them, and so many futile brands that have the money but not the worth. So, I prefer choosing the value. Not everything that has created a name during the years because it was supported financially has to be chosen just to make clicks. No, I prefer to make value. And that is why I appreciate my readers!


Andra Oprea Stylezza Interview 2

3. What is the best pitch you have received from a luxury brand? What is the worst?

There are so many that I can`t classify them. I don`t have a best pitch in mind, but the worst are those who are poor in information and quality and try to hook you no matter what.

4. What is your take on press releases? Do you like receiving them or do you simply discard them?

I like receiving press releases; it is a great source of information. Still, it depends on the message it wants to convey or the way it is done. I like to see good content that has all the ingredients for a good article. What makes me click and read the press release is a good title or idea worth spreading.

5. What would make you choose to work with a brand on a giveaway campaign on your site?

A giveaway campaign is always a challenge for my readers and the main focus is on them. We organize this type of campaigns when the prize fits our target and the magazine`s profile. It has to be interactive, to involve the readers and most of the time they do get involved by commenting on the article, on the social networks.

6. If a brand wants to reach you, what channel should they use? Do you prefer email, social media or another means of communication?

I prefer having the information by email. It is more complex, it can have more accurate and precise information, all we need just in front of our eyes. Of course, if we want to develop even more the partnership, we can meet or discuss over the phone. The email, I think, it is now the most important form of reaching and connecting, spreading the ideas, creating partnerships and collaborations.


Andra Oprea Stylezza Interview 4

7. Of all the social media channels you engage on, which one do you prefer and why?

Every social network has its own particularities. But, for spreading the news over social media, I prefer Facebook: it has an easier way of connecting and reaching, sharing the info in a complex way (text, photo), it can be interactive and you can control the views and reactions. Then, I prefer Instagram for another side of the story – the message through an image, simple as that!

8. Which social media channels does your audience interact with the most?

Our readers interact differently on our social channels. It depends very much of the geolocalisation. If they are from US, they interact a lot on Twitter, while the Europeans like Facebook more. Also, it depends a lot on the time of posting, on the same criteria as above.

9. In your opinion, what does it take to become successful on social media?

On social media, just like on every other digital platform, you have to inspire but also you have to reach your target. Many prefer posting frequently once every hour, others prefer less quantity. It depends very much to whom you address to, which social category, status etc. It is known that young people will tend to be more active on social networks and want as much information as possible, while other categories like top managers will be interested in quality information over quantity, to have the best news of interest to them even if they enter late at night, so to say. So, for me, is having the right information delivered to the right category of readers at the right time.

10. Do you monitor your Klout score on a daily/weekly basis? Do you think this social ranking is of any real value to luxury brands?

I do not use Klout very often. I think, though, that being on platforms that help you reach your readers can be a great step towards a wider audience.

11. Do you sometime receive compensation from luxury brands, whether it's in the form of cash or incentives, to write about them?

Yes, it happens often to receive products in order to write about them. Sometimes, it is a great thing because you can test the product yourself and write about it. Of course, you have to maintain your neutrality. This is one of the factors that differentiate blogs from digital magazines. Blogs can express their opinions towards products, brands in a personal way while digital magazines publish the news following deontological codes, and objectivity is one of them.

12. Apart from promoting brands through your magazine, do you offer additional services to luxury brands who choose to work with you?

Stylezza is a digital magazine that focuses also on branding on the French Riviera / Monaco and on high class events. We have contacts with important people in the area who are always interested in partnering with us to create events (and here, we have some secret ingredients that can assure the uniqueness and originality of the event). Also, there are international brands that are interested in having visibility on the French Riviera / Monaco and here we can help them. There is a mix of editorial, photography, events, all focused on the partners that we collaborate with.

13. Do you manage more than one magazine/blog? If so, which ones?

I manage Stylezza magazine. It is a digital platform located in a very beautiful area of the French Riviera. We cover the most important news and events in the region, especially Monaco, Cannes, St Tropez. It is both in English and in French as it reaches an international audience with worldwide news.

14. What would you say is the best thing about being a fashion editor?

The best thing about being a fashion editor is that I write, and this is my passion. Second, is that I get to know amazing people and places, exchanging ideas and traveling.

15. Have you rub shoulders with the rich and famous through your work as a fashion editor?

Yes, I have shaken hands and discussed with very important names, with top managers, celebrity and royalty. A real honor to meet so many important people, to share ideas, to interview or to collaborate.


Andra Oprea Stylezza Interview 3

16. If you had to mentor a new writer, what is your go-to advice to become successful?

My best advice that I can give to a new writer it is to write with passion, to give his time to develop this passion. To read and write a lot! I remember one of my Journalism University Professor who used to tell us at his class that we should write everyday about every tiny thing that we see around us...but just write!

You can reach Andra Oprea with the contact form on the site, or get in touch on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Google+. If you need an introduction, just reach out to us.


Web Design: White Is The New Black

When designing a blog or website, there are several key things that you need to keep in mind. One of the most important considerations is color. And it’s not about being pretty, it’s about enhancing readability. So what are the design tips when it comes to designing the color scheme of a readable website?

The simple answer is: black text on a white background works best. The high contrast between black and white makes text much easier to read. However, this is only true for black on white. Reverse type (i.e. white type on a black background) should be avoided. Even if your branding includes a lot of black, when working in a digital environment, you should simply use black as a highlight color rather than a full-screen background color otherwise, you will annoy a lot of visitors.

Recent studies have confirmed this. A wide variation of color combinations were tested to see which were the most readable. As a general trend, a darker color on a paler background was more readable than the reverse. The most readable combination was undeniably proven to be black text on a white background.

This is particularly true for paragraph text. Focusing on white text strains a reader’s eyes and makes the text more difficult to read. Using black text on a pale background makes it easier for readers to focus on the text, absorb the meaning of the words and get a comprehensive understanding of the subject of the paragraph. It has been proven that people read more accurately when they read black on white, which is what you want when they’re reading your website.

Using black text on a white background is also an effective way of making the best of whitespace. Whitespace is any portion of a website that is completely blank, such as a white background. Whitespace is important because, when it comes to web sign, less is more. Utilizing whitespace as a design element can help you create simple, elegant designs that are more readable and keep viewers on your site for longer periods of time.

All in all, black text on a white background enhances readability, aligns with key web design theories and is the best option for an effective website. When building your next website, please keep this blog post in mind - white is the new black.

Meet Katrina James A Photographer with an Artistic Flair Cover

Meet Katrina James: A Photographer with an Artistic Flair

Meet Katrina James, an expert par excellence with 12 years of experience in the field she loves – photography. A wish to change the world led her to take up environmental science but soon she understood that it was through the lens that she can really initiate a change – a change in the way people perceive the world. Be it product photography or portraits, nature or events, her works stand apart due to the sheer happiness they exude. Having worked with the big names in the luxury world, she shares her insight into what she loves the most – photography!

As a woman who grew up in Australia, where should our readers make sure to visit?

Australia is full of stunning scenery, the most memorable holiday till this day is when my parents took me out of school for a month and we took a trip through the outback, it was life changing to me and I think that’s where my curiosity for travel started, the landscape was breath taking. I would highly recommend a visit.

You are currently shooting events and music festivals around the world.  Where are you off to next?

Next stop is Bali to photograph (and participate in) a yoga and meditation retreat in Ubud.

There are stunning portraits on your webpage.  What do you do to help your subjects relax?

Thank you. I treat my portrait sessions as if I was going to meet a friend for coffee sometimes it can be 30 minutes before I even bring out my camera, I love people and hearing their stories is such a treat for me so I try and create a feeling where my subjects feel like they matter to me, which they very much do.


Meet Katrina James A Photographer with an Artistic Flair 1


What photo shoot have you been most nervous for?  What did you do to relax?

I was pretty nervous to photograph the Australian foreign minister Bob Carr when he visited Berlin, I got to spend the day following him around Berlin as he met with German politicians, it was a really fascinating experience for me as politics is very far away from my world and there was a lot of protocol I didn’t know anything about.  To be honest I don’t think I relaxed until the day was over.


Meet Katrina James A Photographer with an Artistic Flair 2


What is the most important question to ask a photographer that you are thinking of hiring?

I can’t think of one specific question, however I do think it is important to really brief your photographer and give them as much information as possible about what you are expecting of their photography.

What things should the photographer you hired be doing?

Before the event they should be talking to you, asking questions about what is important to you, is there a particular detail that means something to you? How do you plan to use the photographs?

At the event they should be enjoying themselves, they should be making sure they get all the required shots as well as shooting some creative or interesting shots.


Meet Katrina James A Photographer with an Artistic Flair 3


What is the best way for a client to help you understand their brand?

It’s really important to talk to your photographer about where you have come from and your future goals, how you see the photos being used and who your audience are.

What makes marketing photography different from other photography that you have done?

Marketing photography is a little different because you need to capture a product or service in its best light. You need to use images to tell a clients story and to make a viewer want to be part of that story.


Meet Katrina James A Photographer with an Artistic Flair 4


Can you give an example of how you can use photography to tell a story?

My imagery is all about stories and I hope that each image creates its own story. I recently shot a job for a jewellery designer where I captured images that told the story of her work day, from meeting with her team to spending the afternoon cruising on her boat, the images really help people to connect to you and your brand.

Since we love travel here, can you tell us about your favorite place to take pictures?

For the pure beauty of it Cape Town is a wonderful place to take photos, the light there is incredible it’s the kind of light that moves me to tears, the landscapes are such a contrast from beautiful beaches to dry sand plains and the people are just wonderful.  




Meet Katrina James A Photographer with an Artistic Flair 5


Get in touch with Katrina James via email at or connect with her on Facebook or Twitter. Or, we could introduce you, just reach out to us!



What is an eBook and Why You Need to Create One

An e-book is an electronic book that is usually read on a Kindle or tablet. The advent of e-books means that aspiring authors can now become published authors without negotiating around obstacles such as agents and publishers. You can either use an ecommerce tool to sell your books on your own website, or sell through Amazon. Another sign of the times when it comes to publishing is the fact that Amazon sells more e-books than it does print books.

Almost all e-books start as print books and are then retrofitted into digital form. They are organized in a linear form with a sequence of chapters that are meant to be consumed in order and, in the case of a how-to book, are supported with the occasional photograph or illustration.

However, there is a growing movement that argues that an e-book needs to be “digital first”. Open Air Publishing, which has now been acquired by Inkling, is one among a new generation of digital publishers that recognizes that a print book and a tablet are different media that alter both the message and the experience of the reader. It becomes clear that e-books need to be designed as a digital publication from the outset, rather than an afterthought based on a print version.

All of Open Air’s books are indeed digital first: produced and optimized for the tablet medium. The authors were never encumbered by the weight of what they did before. They just did it the right way for the touch-screen medium the first time. These e-books are interactive and immersive in a way that is impossible with flat text, even if it is digital text. Content becomes more engaging and in this way publishers like Inkling pose a threat to both Amazon and Apple.

Open Air CEO Jon Feldman says that “advice for publishers would be to carve out a digital-first division that would allow them to play in that space... [then] take some digital bestsellers and see if there’s a print version that could be made downstream.”

Marshall McLuhan may have never contemplated an electronic book but he would probably be pleased that there are publishers who are making the distinction.


10 Creative Luxury Content Marketing Ideas

10 Creative Ideas To Show Off Your Content Marketing Skills

We all know that great content is king, but to truly engage your audience, your content must be creatively appealing. If you are a luxury brand, you will be judged by your digital output even more so than a traditional brand. Therefore, every piece of content you produce should reflect your brand's true essence. It is important to promote uniformity across your branding, social media channels and overall digital presence.


So, instead of pushing content out as fast as possible, give a little regard to design. Nothing beats a great image to start a conversation with your audience. To get you started with your content marketing efforts, here are 10 creative ideas to show off your content marketing skills in 2014.



1. Infographic

Whether you have done your own research or you are using statistics from outside resources, an infographic is great to showcase original or trending data in a visually-appealing and engaging way. A brand can truly have fun with its infographics using bold design ideas or it can stay true to its branding with an elegant design. Here is an infographic designed for MY Starfire, a 178' Benetti superyacht available for charter. We kept the look elegant to cater to the superyacht community.



2. Slide Shows

If you have mastered the art of using PowerPoint for in-house presentation, consider sharing some with your audience on Building your  presence on SlideShare is a great way to generate new leads for your brand.

If you have been creating amazing templates, turn them into lead generating tools by offering them in exchange for an email signup.


3. Prezi

What is Prezi? Well Prezi is the cooler, younger alternative to PowerPoint. One can create visually engaging storyboard that take you through a 3D visualization of a subject or timeline. With a Prezi, you can use a combination of images, words  and videos to lead your prospects on a path to discovery.


4. Tutorials

If your company sells a product or service that might require a real-life demonstration, think about creating a stand-alone or a series of tutorials that will guide the user through common problems of installation or utilisation. Tutorials can come in the form of a how-to-document, a short video or a slideshow but the most effective means of communication is by far the short video shared on YouTube.


5. How-to-Video

A How-to-Video is best used to answer commonly asked FAQ questions in a quick and effective manner. Create a short 15-30 second video shot with step-by-step segments and add narration to give your viewers additional helpful information about your product.


6. Webinars

A webinar addresses common questions and hot topics in your industry in a video conference setting. Each participant logins and listens to the internet class using the web or a telephone bridge line. Once the conference is over, you can record it and serve it on-demand as a lead generating source.


7. Create a Screencast

Through a short video that incorporates live motion computer screens, you can easily show the user what steps to take as well as explain a few extra details with the help of a narration track.  If your product is web-based, using a screencast is the most efficient way to explain the ins and outs to your prospects and clients.


8. Web Comics

If you dare, create a comic strip as a fun and shareable addition to your content marketing efforts. If you make it a recurring item in your strategy, be sure to offer a special subscription to gain valuable email addresses. If you don't have a cartoonist on your team, find one on Check our personal avatar, created with just a few clicks on a button.





9. Co-Branded Offers

Find a sister company that offers compatible products and services to yours and start creating content together in the form of eBooks, webinars or infographics. Another way to create synergy is to write on each other's blog redirecting traffic from one website to the other and vice versa.


If you suddenly have a brilliant idea for content marketing but lack the necessary resources to make it happen, reach out to us for a complimentary consultation. With over 2000 blog posts, dozens of eBooks and infographics under our belt, our team has become a leader in luxury and luxury travel content creation.



A Color Study: Using Google As A Reference

Color evokes emotions but color in design can be very subjective. Something as simple as changing the precise hue, brightness or saturation in the color scheme of a design can have a great impact on the feelings experienced. Cultural differences can also add an element of surprise when picking a color: some colors can be seen as happy and uplifting in one country while being completely associated with depression in another.


When designing a logo, website, brochure, infographic or banner image, one has to be careful not to simply pick a personal color preference as the primary color. Your favorite color might be canary yellow, but using such a bright hue in your design might not send the right message to your audience.


To make a case for color, we have picked the simple elegant white design of, one that appeals to everyone from the world over, to give it a color facelift. So here we go:




Red: Passion, Love, Anger

Red is hot. It's exudes both the beauty of love and passion or the violence behind fire, warfare and crime.

In China, red is the color of prosperity and happiness while in North America is is often associated with anger, importance (think red carpets) or danger (warning labels). In South Africa, red is the color of mourning while in some eastern countries it is the color worn by brides on their wedding day.

In design, red is powerful and should be used primarily as an accent color.




Orange: Energy, Happiness, Vitality

Orange means energy. As a very hot color, orange is often associated with the feelings of enthusiasm, fascination, happiness, creativity, encouragement, and stimulation.

Often associated with the fruit of the same name, orange can represent healthy foods and can even stimulate appetite. Orange is also the color of fall and harvest and is used to symbolise change and movement.

In design, orange commands attention without being as overpowering as red. Being very noticeable, it can also be a great highlight color to catch attention.




Yellow: Happiness, Hope, Energy

Yellow is sunshine. Evoking feelings of joy, cheerfulness, happiness, energy and warmth, yellow can be an attention grabber that stands out amongst other colors. Yellow can also be associated with hope, danger  (not as strong as red) and with babies and children. In some Egypt, yellow is used for morning,  in Japan, it represents courage and in India it's a color for merchant.

In design, avoid using yellow when trying to sell prestigious, expensive products to men; they simply won't buy a yellow business suit.




Green: New Beginnings, Abundance, Nature

Green is nature. As a very down-to-earth color, green can represent many things such as growth, harmony, freshness, fertility, new beginnings, safety (as opposed to red) and even money (dark green). Green can have a balancing and harmonizing effect and have a great healing power. As the most restful color for the human eye, green is appropriate for designs related the wealth, stability, renewal and nature.

Green can also signify a lack of experience (being green), envy or jealousy. In design, use bright green to convey energy and vibrancy, olive greens for nature and dark green for affluence.




Blue: Calm, Responsible, Sadness

Blue is calmness. Blue is the sky and the sea. Blue symbolizes trust, loyalty, wisdom, onfidence, faith, truth and heaven. Often associated with depth and stability, blue can also be used to represent tranquility, sincerity and responsibility.

As a color that appeals to men, blue, especially dark blue, has become the preferred color for corporate America. Blues can also be used to promote products and services related to cleanliness, air and sky, water and sea, or even high-tech products.




Purple: Creativity, Royalty, Wealth

Purple is royalty. As a combination of red and blue, purple can take the attribute of both colors. Purple is often associated with wealth, extravagance, nobility, power, luxury, ambition, creativity, imagination, wisdom, dignity, independence, mystery and magic.

In design, light purple (such as lavender) evokes romance, spring and nostalgic feelings while darker purple suggest wealth, luxury and royalty.




Brown: Nature, Wholesomeness, Dependability

Brown is earth, wood and stone. As a completely natural and warm neutral, brown is often associated with stability, dependability, reliability, earthiness, comfort, endurance and simplicity. Brown can also symbolise home or the great outdoors.

In design, brown can bring a feeling of warmth and wholesomeness. It is often used as a background color to replace black.




Gray: Moody, Conservative, Formality

Gray is security. Light grays can replace white in some designs while dark grays can substitute black in others. Gray is often associated with security, reliability, intelligence, modesty, dignity, maturity, conservative and practicality.  Gray can also be considered boring, moody or depressing.

In design, gray is often perceived as modern, formal and professional. It is commonly used in corporate designs as in typography.




Black: Mystery, Elegance, Evil

Black is strong. Black is commonly associated with power, strength, authority, elegance, formality but it can also evoke death, evil, mourning, rebellion, fear and mystery.

Black is often used to exude both an edgy or elegant, modern or conservative, traditional or unconventional design. A designer must remember that black used as a background diminishes readability. Black might be better served as a highlight color or for typography.




White: Purity, Cleanliness, Virtue

White is purity. White is mostly associated with coolness, goodness, innocence, virtue, peace, precision, youth, winter, goodness, marriage (Western cultures), death (Eastern cultures), coldness and clinical. In general, white as a positive connotation in comparison to black.

Considered to be the color of perfection, white is often used in design as a neutral backdrop since it lets other colors stand out. White is popular in minimalist, modern designs as it conveys cleanliness and simplicity. White let's everything else around it speak louder, and in design, white is the best color for readability.


Google used white as a background with a combination of the primary colors in its logo to evoke a certain playfulness. What message do you want to send to your fans? A message of coolness or one of earthiness?