Filed under: Branding, Design, Uncategorized | Tags: advertising, design, graphic design
It’s easy to look at a logo or a brochure layout that appears to be very simple and conclude that did not take much time to design. That conclusion is very far from reality. Graphic designers follow a methodical design process, and every step of that process requires time to complete.
Designers need to research, ask questions, formulate a creative brief that guides them to developing a solid final design. After the brief is established, a bulk of our time goes into creating ideas and concepts. Depending on the number of rounds of revisions, the refinement phase may require additional time. Stronger concepts are refined until the final design is approved. The design process applies to everything from logos to web sites and requires several weeks to several months depending on the scope of the project.
Other aspects of design can be time-intensive. A layout of a document like a brochure, a newsletter or a magazine spread is more than copying and pasting text from a Word document. There needs to be time allowed for typesetting to optimize readability, for formatting to create consistent appearance, and for proofreading so that the message isn’t compromised by errors.
Achieving an effective design solution cannot be rushed. Hastening projects along also leaves room for errors to occur which is a waste of time and money for the client and the designer. Remember, the wise words of Benjamin Franklin, “Take time for all things: great haste makes great waste.”
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.
Filed under: Branding, Marketing, Uncategorized | Tags: branding, Marketing, Sales
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.
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.
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.