Archives for January 2017

31st January 2017 - No Comments!

Why is branding important?

In today’s over-saturated world, businesses rely more than ever on having a strong brand in order to attract new customers and build long-lasting relationships with them.

But, what is branding, really?

Branding is much more than sticking your super sleek logo on every wall of your office and document you produce. It involves every aspect related to your business and the way your customers perceive and experience it. It is the way you attract and engage with others and the way you position yourself.

A good brand doesn’t just happen… it involves a well thought out and planned brand strategy which starts with defining who you are and what you stand for. Your brand is born at the very core of your business and it is transpired into every action you take; the way your staff act, how you show yourself online, the way you communicate with your customers, etc.

If you have a strong brand then it is more than likely that you have a loyal customer base that apart from keeping coming back to you, they also refer others to your products or services.

Branding is not only about making a promise of quality to customers anymore, it is about owning a piece of their hearts and minds. A clear and consistent brand provides value to your business that is beyond your physical assets. Take Apple for example; yes, their products are very innovative and efficient however, the reason why we are willing to pay any figure on their price tag is because we love Apple as a brand and we identify ourselves with what they represent.

A strong brand also creates trust by connecting with your customers emotionally; helping them know what to expect from you and making them feel good for engaging with you and not someone else.

Last but not least, your brand motivates and inspires your staff, giving them a reason to feel proud of being a part of your team and to work harder in order to achieve the goals you have set for them.

29th January 2017 - No Comments!

6 Reasons Graphic Design is More Important to Your Business Than You Think

As a business owner, you may have hundreds of concerns to address during your day-to-day workplace activities, so you might be tempted to ignore the need for expertly crafted graphic designs. However, utilizing professional graphic designs can be an integral step in the process of establishing and maintaining a successful business. The six points listed below emphasize how important graphic design is to your business.

Brand Recognition

Your company’s total brand image starts with a great logo and expands to every aspect of your business. The design needs to target your audience in a way that is functional, attractive, and professional. Your brand should provide an instant connection to the outstanding products and services that you offer, and you need an excellent graphic design to forge that kind of connection.

Company Unity

Your employees will be surrounded by stationary, company web pages, uniforms, publications, and more. If you want a happy and healthy workplace, your employees will need to band together behind the designs that you select to represent your brand. Building your company identity starts on the inside, so your employees must be committed to the brand. A good graphic design can strengthen that sense of commitment.

Professionalism

You want your company to make a great first impression on clients, vendors, and other entities – a logo for example only has a fraction of a second to make a first impression. A design that looks cheap will cast an unfavorable light on your business, and it can be difficult to break the impression that your company cannot afford a professional design.

Communication

The usefulness of graphic design extends beyond your logo and your website. Graphic design can produce visual aids that will help you communicate your ideas. An informative image can transmit ideas that cannot be expressed with words alone. You can use professionally designed images to create a positive impression and avoid misunderstandings.

Efficiency and Productivity

Badly designed graphics can negatively impact worker productivity and general workplace efficiency. Your website is the area of your business where signs of a bad design are most likely to be observed. A practical design should include useful features, such as easy navigation, legible fonts, and appropriate colors. A website with blinding colors, tricky fonts, or hidden navigation will be a headache for clients and employees.

Money

Badly designed graphics can be very expensive. If you go for a cheap design, you might get a lackluster product that is not ready for print. If the design is not ready for print, you might end up spending more money on a new design. Additionally, a competent graphic designer will create a design that is not too expensive to produce. You do not want to spend a significant portion of your budget on a bad design. Fortunately, there are many modern methods, such as crowdsourcing, for obtaining professional and attractive designs.

Ignoring your organization’s graphic design needs can negatively impact clients, vendors, and employees. Utilizing an appropriate design can improve every aspect of your business. Consider the six reasons listed above before underestimating the importance of graphic design to your business.

22nd January 2017 - No Comments!

Working with Cardboard Craftsman Mark O’Brien

I was freelancing for a Mailboxes Etc. store in Manchester Didsbury, designing posters, stationery and other print materials when the store owner asked for some ideas for a new shop window to launch the new ownership of the store which could be used to promote the store in press releases on the stores website and social media. Didsbury is a well known 'trendy' and part of Manchester with designer cafes and sophisticated at galleries. Therefore I knew that the usual vinyl window stickers that you see in so many other high street stores would not stand out amongst the crowd.  Therefore I put forward the idea of hiring a Cardboard Craftsman artist called Mark O'Brien. He was a well know  in the community having exhibited at the Contact Art Gallery in Manchester. While also exhibiting in Tokyo and having worked for a numeber of companies such as the BBC and giant retailer Schuh creating window displays that have featured in Oxford St London. You can see his portfolio here: www.mark-obrien.co.uk

I briefed him on the idea that the new owner wanted to focus on the Postage and Packaging side of his business by having promotions to see increased sales in that area and make sure that the people of Didsbury know that that is what they do as many people just think that they are a local printer and a place to get photocopies done.

Mark came up with a brilliant plan to create a giant globe from cardboard and have delivery planes flying around it and delivery trucks driving along a road at the front of the window. Also there was lots of cardboard envelopes flying all around the window giving the globe a unique frame. After his plan was ok'd by the owner Mark got work and created the amazing display. It was a real head turner and many people have been seen stopping and looking at the display and of course the shop benefited from its popularity.