Bolchalk FReY's Blog


Debunking the Graphic Design Myths
July 20, 2016, 10:44 am
Filed under: Art, Design, Uncategorized | Tags:

Myth #1: Graphic Design Is Completely Done On Computers
It is true that today’s designers perform their work on computers; however, even the most seasoned designers begin the process with pencil and paper. Many clients don’t realize this because sketches aren’t usually what is presented in the online portfolios. The final outcome tends to be what is seen or featured and not the process that leads to it.

After researching for the project, designers will often sketch a lot on paper which can be the most efficient way to brainstorm as many ideas as possible. The goal is to put all your creative ideas on the paper because it is better to have more ideas to chose from than a handful. Sketching is what opens us up to a greater number of possibilities to explore and to develop further. Ultimately, the process results in a great design solution that is aesthetically pleasing and meets the criteria set forth in the creative brief.

Some projects require the building of physical mock-ups or prototypes. This is true for product designers, packaging designers and print designers. Sometimes, these mock-ups are built to give clients a sense of size or function before moving forward with the design. Other times, physical mock-ups help a designer grasp the dimensions of the object and allows for modifications to be made for a better finish.

We build mock-ups from paper to help us ensure that the die-cuts for a certain package make sense and will be cut, scored and folded properly. This can also apply to mock-ups for other things we design like folders, direct mail pieces and a variety of other printed media.

Yes, we do use computers to create our designs, but computers are not the only tool in our arsenal.



Reasons Your Business Needs Marketing for Success
July 6, 2016, 12:15 pm
Filed under: Branding, Marketing, Uncategorized | Tags: , ,

 

Most aspects of a business rely on successful marketing. Marketing covers advertising, public relations, promotions and sales. Marketing creates a process of introducing and promoting a product or service to potential customers. Therefore, if your business does not have marketing, your great product or service will not be known to your potential customers. Without marketing, your company may lose sales and continue to collapse.

There are many reasons why a business needs marketing to succeed. Marketing gets the word out. The product or service your business is offering to potential buyers must be known. You must use marketing strategies to create product or service awareness. Using marketing to promote your product provides your business with a chance to be discovered. Today, the most effective way to get the word out about your company is through social media. There are many different ways to use marketing strategies through social media, such as promotions, sales, deals, presenting new products, and the list goes on.

Marketing can also generate higher sales. Once your product or service is known, it increases the chances of a purchase from customers. These new customers also start to spread the word about your product, which will cause your sales to increase. Without these sales a company cannot succeed and without the marketing strategies there may not be customers making purchases.

Marketing can build brand name recognition, and when a company reaches the high expectations of the public, a solid reputation is established. As the reputation grows, the business expands and sales increase. Marketing efforts create or support the business’s involvement and active participation in community programs, effective communication and presenting quality products or services.

Marketing also cultivates an environment for healthy competition. Marketing gets the word out on the companies pricing of products and services, which reaches the intended customers, while also reaching other companies competing for the same consumers. Marketing keeps pricing competitive for a business trying to win over consumers before the competition does. Marketing facilitates the healthy competition that allows small and new businesses to be successful and grow in the marketplace.

Though marketing can be expensive for a new business, it is worth it after reading these reasons why your business needs marketing for success. A marketing program that gives your company the best chance is a healthy mix of different forms of marketing, such as website development, public relations, print and broadcast advertising, design, trade shows and special events.



The Importance of Protecting Brand Identity
June 22, 2016, 12:09 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Sharpie. Apple. Starbucks. It might not be obvious at first glance, but these three companies have far more in common than being frequently seen in bookstores; they all have created a strong brand identity. The first thing that comes to mind when you think Sharpie is permanent markers. Apple makes you think sleek. Starbucks conjures up images of coffee. This proves just how important having strong brand identity is for a company.

 

A brand that is muddled with numerous conflicting logos and tones will lead to a weak identity. When a brand identity isn’t well communicated to a consumer, they will tend to perceive your brand in their own way; leading your brand image to be miles away from your identity. With a brand identity being so pivotal to a brand, protecting it is essential to a company that wants to succeed.

 

According to a 2015 study from Ocean Tomo, on average 84 percent of an S&P 500 company’s assets are now intangible: meaning that far and away the most important thing for any company now is their brand. Protection of your brand identity is paramount; an unprotected brand can fall victim becoming a poor identity in numerous ways.

 

With the continued rise and popularity of the internet news spreads like a wildfire, and in some cases, this wildfire can burn your identity. Everyone remembers when McDonald’s play places were revealed as being germ-filled. Within a matter of days, they went from a fun place for your kids to play to a bacterial breeding ground.

 

Brand identity can be brought down as well through the actions of the employees. When employees act in ethically questionable ways at your business, it is the company that will be taking the brunt of the impact. Between getting caught up in legal issues and how employees are now perceived at your company, the brand identity can quickly be ruined.

 

Finally, imposters can attack swiftly and bring down a good identity. Unprotected logos and other intellectual property could be used by others for their own purposes, or possibly even for nefarious reasons. The logo you have been using to help cultivate your identity could one day suddenly show up somewhere else and undo the work you have done to associate that image with your brand.

 

Protecting your brand identity is essential to creating a thriving corporation. Be sure to legally protect all intellectual property, and have procedures in place for when situations arise that could damage brand identity. A good brand identity can be the difference between becoming the next Apple, or becoming the next Blockbuster.



Why Design is Necessary for Marketing
June 8, 2016, 10:58 am
Filed under: Art, Design, Marketing, Uncategorized

Design is a broad term and has many definitions; however there is a science to it. There are psychologies and strategic principles that designers use to ensure an engaging experience for the intended audience. The designer must know what the audience wants to see and how the product or service will sell to them. Designers use visual storytelling to market a product or service to an audience which is increasingly using social media and mobile browsing. This recent wave of social media and mobile browsing use is forcing companies to up their content marketing game.

The better the designer understands core design principles and psychology, the better they can connect with the target audience and potential consumers. Designers are able to choose every font, color, and shape used in a marketing design to communicate a subconscious message evoking human emotions and connections to the product or service.

The logo design is pivotal for the branding of the business. When you look at a logo you think about what it is conveying about what the company does. For instance, when you see the Whole Foods green logo with a leaf attached to the ‘O’ you think peace, growth and health. The logo can say a lot about a company, which is why the design process is so important.

When it comes to marketing through your company’s website, content drives people to your website while design enhances that content. When design is done well, it helps potential customers navigate through the website easily and quickly. Design can organize content giving visitors a pleasant experience, which keeps them on your site longer. The connection on an emotional level to your audience is important, but it also must be functional. A successful designer can establish a strong emotional connection wile communicating the intended message for the audience.

Now you can understand the true importance design has over the intended audience, consumer actions and overall brand experience. These principles can be used over many forms of marketing designs, such as, logo, website design, infographic, video, or content for social media. It is important to establish the goal and intent of the project being used. Once you know the message you want your brand to convey to the audience, you will be on the right track to finding the right design direction for success.



Using Social Media to Increase Sales
May 25, 2016, 11:20 am
Filed under: Branding, Social Media

Just about everyone is using a form of social media today, whether it is Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc. Many companies use social media to sell their products or services, however, there are certain sales practices for using social media to help increase sales.

Social media is known for its “soft selling” approach, meaning most people are not online with the sole purpose of shopping and, therefore, they must be persuaded to buy your product or service. This depends on what you post and how you post it and the marketing strategies used to increase sales and keep your audience happy.

The first most important strategy when using social media to increase business sales is finding the right channel. Research must be done to find your companies target audience so you know you are appealing to the right customers. Consider the following: Who are they? Where do they live? Where do they work? What do they do for fun? What kind of products or services do they purchase? Once you answer these questions you will have the right idea about who your target audience is.

The second strategy is to produce and engage. In order to build trust, authority and an increasing online following, you will need to post quality content that will spark interest in potential customers often. The content must be informative and useful to viewers. Producing quality content is important, as is interacting with other bloggers, businesses and the audience. It is essential to “like” the comments and posts of others and to share other quality content that is relevant to your industry. Share opinions and popular topics on your social media portals so the audience can get to know your company. This will get the potential customers interested in buying.

On social media it is important to show the value of your company and how your product or service will benefit your potential customers. You can push these benefits through infographics, demos of your service in the form of short videos, free trial offers and other promotional deals. This is an easy way to get potential buyers to look at what you are offering.

The last step would be to persuade your potential customers to take action. This can be done by having a call-to-action in your posts and other areas of your profile. This presses users to make that step from the information stage to the buying stage. Connect your posts, advertisements and other icons to your website where you can bring them to the stage of potential purchasing.

As you can see, the most important step when using social media to sell a product or service is choosing the right channel. Once this is done, every step you take on social media counts towards that “hard sell.” By following these simple steps your social media outlets have the potential to gain followers and increase sales for your business.



How Hiring a PR Team Can Help Professional Athletes
May 4, 2016, 11:17 am
Filed under: Public Relations

In today’s world, social media is a vital part of most people’s lives. Tweeting, posting pictures, and updating statuses come as second nature to many people, including professional athletes. Professional athletes are now in the spotlight more than ever, so it is important for them to keep a favorable image to the public.

 

Rather than merely having a presence on the field or the court, athletes today are everywhere. They can be found front and center on reality shows, social media websites, and magazines and news sources. Athletes are becoming celebrities, with their every move followed by paparazzi and tweeted about by spectators.

 

Because of their growing fame and the popularity of social media, it is important that athletes hire a PR team to help them keep their image. PR teams can help athletes to seem more marketable which can lead them to better outside revenue generating opportunities. Along with catching the attention of corporate sponsors and endorsers, a successful PR team can get athletes recognized for all of the right things. Rather than having people focus on what nightclubs Cameron Newton was at last night, or who Derek Jeter was on vacation with, a PR team can steer the focus to philanthropic things that athletes are doing such as charity events and community service.

 

Athlete PR teams are great when it comes to media. A strong team will train an athlete on how to talk to the press properly and how to use media outlets in a way that is beneficial to them. The media can be overwhelming especially when an athlete seems as though he or she is drowning in it, so it is imperative that a PR team teaches the athlete which media opportunities are good and which are not worth their time. On the other side of media, social media accounts are huge and can be detrimental to a reputation if not handled correctly. It is important that athletes stay true to themselves on their personal accounts, but it is equally as important that they remember who is watching. A PR team can create a strategy for an athlete to continuously engage their fans while building a strong following for the right reasons.

 

Athletes are presented with a challenge. They reap the benefits but also the dangers of fame. Being in the ‘talk of the town’ will potentially bring money to athletes, but it also makes them vulnerable to the public. It is important that athletes who are constantly in the spotlight find a PR team who can make them look good to the public, while understanding who they are and not trying to present them to the public as someone that they are not.



How to get more out of your Social Media Business Site
April 20, 2016, 4:38 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

 

With the right tactics and appropriate placement social media can be a valuable tool for your business.

  • Make sure you are using the right social media for your business. You don’t have to be on all of them!  Facebook has the largest user based with over 1 billion users.   LinkedIn and Twitter do best with B2B marketing.   You Tube is the 2nd largest search engine and a great medium for showcasing your company videos.
  • Make your content relevant – coming with your own content is difficult so feel free to curate content from infographics, interviews and other sites to share with your audience.
  • Review your competitor’s social media pages.
  • Remember the 80-20 rule and keep 80% of your content organic and value-oriented to the consumer.
  • Be real – make sure your social media reflects your company’s culture.
  • Post on a regular basis so the content gets noticed and remembered.
  • Leverage your social media on other channels. Add the icons and links to your website, your email signature page and cross promote on your social media sites.
  • Boost your postings. This will help with your ROI and get in front of your fans.
  • Don’t be afraid to mention influencers and brand advocates in your posts.
  • Feel free to repost past content. Chances are not everyone saw the original post anyway!



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