How to transition your Toronto business online

Hello! Without a doubt, the covid-19 pandemic has caused a massive disruption to the global economy including a fundamental shift to how small, medium and large enterprise businesses can conduct their day-to-day operations. The impact of social distancing and other quarantine strategies as dictated by the various health regulatory bodies have had a staggering impact on brick-and-mortar businesses without a doubt. This shift, albeit temporary or more longer term, has put an onus of importance on establishing or improving an online presence. Many grocery stores, butchers and other essential retail businesses have transitioned to an online e-commerce ordering system to accommodate the ability to delivery grocery and goods to their customers. Having an online business can be the deciding factor as to whether you can actually continue operating as a business. Your front doors to your showroom may be closed, but your customers still will be able to browse and […]

What is good web design?

Hello! Trends in web design have come and gone over the years, however there have been some recurring indicators that have manifested as good web design in different iterations as styles change, web development technologies change and the internet changes. CSS, HTML and Javascript frameworks have all come a long way in terms of front end development and the tools that the different technologies bring to the table that allow us to implement modern, interesting, artistic, clean and beautiful websites. But what makes good design? That’s the million dollar question! At Shift8, we have offered web design in Toronto for hundreds and hundreds of businesses across all niche markets. Each marketplace or industry has their own unique challenges, however there are common elements and expectations that we have noted happens for the most part across almost all of our projects. I will attempt to break down these challenges in order […]

How to Start a Business in Toronto

Are you thinking about starting your own business in Toronto? There are a number of benefits to owning your own small business. You’re the boss, for one, and you get to make all of the decisions about the company, its products/services, and its direction. While starting a new business in Toronto isn’t difficult, you do need to make sure you do everything correctly so that your business is a legal entity in the city and that it’s a business poised to make a profit.   Refine Your Business Idea Before you start looking at the paperwork to create a business or sign a lease on office space, you need to make certain you know what your business is and what you’ll provide. Spending money to start a business without a clear plan is not likely to end well. You need to do your research to identify a need your business […]

Web Design for Toronto Businesses

Hello! If you are operating a local business in Toronto, one of the most important things you need to do is maintain a web presence. Whether your business is a startup, business services or restaurant : your web presence is key to the fundamental survival and operation of your business. What does it mean to have a web presence? Well the most important aspect that reaches across any niche market or industry, especially in a local market like Toronto, is having your address and phone number indexes properly as a local Google business. We have put together a checklist of steps to ensure that your business is positioned as best as possible and as visible as possible. In a dense city like Toronto, it is more common than not to have very high competition for even basic visibility.   1. Create a Google My Business Account You need to create […]

Steps to take when designing a logo for a client: From research to presentation.

The method of designing a logo and formulating or refreshing a brand is a practice that I have become much more comfortable with over the years. The identity of a business and how that business is characterized by the world is, at first glance defined by their logo. I’ve put down our experiences collaborating with clients into the form of a ten point list below. 1. Getting to know the client & their nature I find that before we even get started with a project for a client of any type, it’s important to get to know them. This is specifically true when it comes to developing a brand identity or a logo for a client. I usually prepare some questions to ask specifically for each client. These questions can be broad and specific to their industry, what they want the logo to accomplish and about their personal tastes. Every […]

How we created our own typeface

By : Suzanne Today marks a milestone in my journey to create a typeface that I can share with the world and can be my rough around the edges legacy long after I am gone 😉 . Creating your own typeface can be a time consuming but very rewarding experience. I definitely enjoy the process and look forward to creating more custom Typefaces in the future. To create this particular, font I used software called Birdfont which is free and open source. If you like you can make a donation on the website as well if you are feeling generous : http://birdfont.org/. There are Mac, Windows, Linux and BSD versions of Birdfont. I was originally going to make a blog post with a step-by-step guide to how to make your own typeface, but throughout the process of creating this little guy, I realized that there are more than enough step-by-step […]

Some cute flat icons that we made

Hello There! Here is a collection of some of the most popular Social Media platform icons that we created using http://fontawesome.io/ You can download these icons and use them for whatever you please. They are .png files and each icon is 32px. These icons are using the colours from the Shift8 Web brand, but you can adjust the colours in Adobe Fireworks to whatever you wish. In this case the icons are images, but if you are interested in using Font Awesome icon set  on your wordpress website or blog, you can do this really easily using a really simple plugin: https://wordpress.org/plugins/font-awesome/ The plugin will allow you to use all 361 Font Awesome icons, there is a lot of documentation that you can read through on the plugin download page.