Episode 125 | Posted on

Make Your Branding and Design Irresistible with Joana Galvao

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Brand elevation specialist Joana Galvao @JGalvaoDesign shares design tips to convert target audiences on today’s @mktg_speak Click To Tweet

This Week’s Guest:

You only have between two and eight seconds to grab a website visitor’s attention before they lose interest. In that painfully brief time, you need to captivate your target audience with visuals that speak to them. This is why it’s so important to come up with your branding concepts before you begin creating your website. If you don’t get the branding right, the website design isn’t going to work effectively.


Joining us today to explain all of this is Joana Galvao, cofounder of Gif Design Studios, an award-winning digital agency specializing in brand identities and design. Joana dives straight into explaining design best practices, leading to an episode that’s chock-full of actionable tips that listeners can immediately put to use to create a more effective, conversion-oriented website. Joana has been featured in The Guardian UK, Smart Marketer, and Digital Arts Magazine, and is intimately familiar with exactly what it takes to create compelling, actionable websites.


Find Out More About Joana Here:

Joana Galvao
Joana Galvao on Instagram
@JGalvaoDesign on Twitter


In This Episode:

  • [01:13] – What makes a website really bad, in Joana’s opinion? She answers by also addressing why it’s important for a website to be good.
  • [03:22] – Stephan talks about a popular trend that he’s really sick of because it doesn’t create a great user experience. He and Joana then talk about how long you have before a visitor loses interest, and what you need to convey in that short time.
  • [06:27] – What sort of feeling does Joana suggest creating, and how does she start the process of getting to the right feeling?
  • [09:09] – Joana talks about who is in charge of creating the mood board that she has been discussing. She then addresses how she goes through the process of creating a mood board.
  • [12:31] – How does Joana come up with an iconography style for each of her branding projects?
  • [14:06] – Stephan responds to Joana’s point that you don’t need a website to be successful.
  • [15:29] – Joana addresses what the costs are for doing a website build from beginning to end, including everything she has already mentioned.
  • [17:39] – Joana likes to find out a client’s needs and curate a team based around those needs.
  • [19:44] – Is copywriting included in the costs Joana has been discussing, or is it an additional cost?
  • [20:42] – Joana discusses the concept of having a brand, and explains what a brand is.
  • [23:01] – Joana addresses the question of whether she does focus groups or surveys to identify clients’ pain points.
  • [24:58] – We hear Joana’s thoughts on challenges, which she thinks are a great way to get clients invested in you.
  • [27:03] – Joana discusses things that do (and don’t) help with conversion by sharing a story about a rumor that was going around a few years ago.
  • [28:48] – Stephan brings up a related point: there’s a big difference between correlation and causation.
  • [31:27] – What is Joana’s view on parallax?
  • [33:08] – Joanna briefly covers some best practices for typography.
  • [36:07] – Joanna goes into more depth about images for use in headers, addressing whether they need to have a deeper meaning or just look good.
  • [37:24] – Is there a way to leverage metaphors in the design? Stephan offers an example to clarify what he means by this question. Joana then discusses a couple of stock photo options.
  • [40:27] – Stephan and Joana talk about a few free stock photo sites.
  • [41:44] – Joana recommends a Chrome extension called WhatFont. She then explains what font foundries are.
  • [46:04] – What one piece of advice would Joana like to offer listeners that she hasn’t already provided?
  • [49:50] – How can listeners get in touch with Joana to work with her or learn more about the next steps? She answers, then offers listeners a generous free gift!

Mood Boards:

Links and Resources:


Your Checklist of Actions to Take

☑ Establish my branding before designing my website. I should know how I want my business portrayed prior to hiring a designer.

☑ Don’t just focus on “pretty.” Having a beautiful website is not beneficial if it doesn’t convert well.

☑ Choose the right website elements by creating a mood board. Go on Pinterest and pin the visuals, style and aesthetic I want.

☑ Give my viewers the best experience possible by making it clear what they should read and where they should click.

☑ Make my website buttons stand out by choosing clear fonts and vibrant colors.  

☑ Keep my content simple so that it’s easy on the eyes. Highlight the message I want to get through for conversion.

☑ Make sure that I capture my viewer’s attention the second they enter my site. I only have between 2 to 8 seconds to grab a website visitor’s attention.

☑ Check my text and make sure that every line has a maximum of 12 words. The longer the sentence, the harder it is to understand.

☑ Make sure I have a great contrast within the website with the right balance of white space, text, and images.

☑ Invest in a designer and a copywriter who can help me achieve a good-looking, professional website that also converts.


S: Branding and website design go hand in hand but one comes before the other, which one? Well, branding, of course. If you don’t get branding right then the website design isn’t going to work. It’s not going to convert your visitors into buyers, at least not effectively. Joining us today to teach us how this works is Joana Galvao. The co-founder of Gif Design Studios, an award-winning digital agency specializing in world-class brand identities and conversion-obsessed design. Joana’s work has been featured in the Guardian UK, Brand Brilliance, Smart Marketer, and Digital Arts Magazine. Joana, it’s great to have you on the show.


J: Thank you for having me, Stephan.


S: Let’s talk about websites and what makes them amazing and what makes them suck. I’m sure you’ve come across lots of bad websites. What makes a website really bad?


J: There are so many things that I could say here. One thing that I wanted to maybe start with is not just what makes the website bad but why should the website even be good. I feel that a lot of entrepreneurs have gotten to a point where their business is really amazing and they haven’t needed a great website for that.


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