Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

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Do you have a logo for your business? Logo Basics You Can Use

September 27, 2010

I recently met with a prospect to talk about newsletters and business cards. When I arrived at her office I noticed that one of her business signs was in blue and another sign was green. Her business card was blue and red. She has been in business for more than eight years and hasn’t had an opportunity to have a logo designed. She is a savvy business owner who probably got so wrapped up in the day-to-day activities that she hasn’t had time to develop and build her branding.

Here are a few tips that I shared with my prospect:

  1. Build it into your business budget and have a professional logo designed. Check with a few different design firms as pricing can vary.
  2. When you get your professional logo, make sure you have it saved as a .eps file to send to the printer and your promotional contacts. And as a .jpg (rgb) file to use on the web and on in-house marketing materials.
  3. Use your logo on every business marketing tool you create including letterhead, business cards, envelopes, websites, email signatures, promotional products like pens, hats, etc. Your logo represents your identity and the “face” of your business.
  4. Your logo will have specific colors that define your business identity. Use these colors in all of your marketing tools. This builds brand consistency. This helps us remember you.  This separates you from your competitors. Keep the colors simple, crisp and try to use 3 or less colors.
  5. Keep your logo simple. If you want ideas of what a good logo looks like just take a look at the big business logos like McDonalds, Nike, Kohl’s Macy’s, Chase, and more. They are all simple.
  6. Your logo will have to be saved in black and white, color, reverse white so you can place it on different backgrounds so make sure it’s readable and easily understood in all of these formats.
  7. Your logo should speak to your business personality so select colors and symbols that help tie-in to what your product and service represents. Design with the masses in mind.
  8. Have your designer build your logo in PMS (Pantone Matching System) colors. This will make it easier for your printer to match the color and will keep the color consistent. Remember that PMS colors may look different when converted to CMYK for printed materials and RGB for the web. Pantone has color books that your designer might have that can show you what the color would look like in PMS/CMYK/RGB. This will help you see realistically what your color choice will look like in these different formats.

If you have a logo and want to change up your business identity, try to stay with the similarity of your logo and “freshen” it up as opposed to going into a whole new direction. If you choose a whole new look then be prepared to change all marketing materials to match the new look or we will be confused when you market to us.

Logos are an important part of a business marketing plan and should be one of the first things a business person acquires next to getting an accountant and a business banking account. Without a logo, consistent color and an identity, we won’t know who you are, what you stand for or how you want to be remembered.

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Graphic Design Basics: File Extensions & Color Defined

September 20, 2010

 

Often times I will ask a client to send me their logo as an eps file and they have no idea what I am talking about. So I provide them with a bookmark that I designed to help them with the graphic design basics. I want to share these graphic design basics with you so when you’re asked for a certain file or color you’ll be prepared.

FILE EXTENSIONS

.tiff = Tiff files are used for high resolution image files that are placed in printed materials.

.eps = EPS or encapsulated postscript files are vector-based files that can be enlarged without losing any quality.

.ai = AI files are native Adobe Illustrator files which are vector-based files that can be enlarged without losing quality. Printers and designers prefer using these or .eps files.

.psd = PSD are native Adobe Photoshop files that are used for creating and editing image files.

.jpg = JPG files are typically used in web applications but can also be saved and used for print purposes.

.gif = GIF files are used for web graphics that contain text and have a “transparent” background. These images are typically used for the web and not print materials.

hi res files = High resolution files  are high quality files that are used for printing and are saved at at least 300 dpi (dots per inch).

lo res files = Low resolution files are smaller files that are typically used for the web and are saved mostly at 72 dpi (dots per inch).

COLOR

RGB = Red, Green, Blue. RGB colors or files that are saved as RGB are used for the web or in photography when editing photos.

CMYK = Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black. CMYK files are used for 4 color printed material.

PMS = Pantone Matching System. This is a universal color system that designers and printers use to ensure consistent color quality when printing.

SPOT Color = Spot color is used when a project has a specific PMS color and is printed using only the specific PMS spot color. You’ll typically see this in letterhead, logo, and envelope printing.

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Recipe Postcard Marketing Tip for Businesses

August 26, 2010

This is an example of a personal postcard marketing campaign. The Cream Cheese Lasagna recipe is a old family favorite.

 

 As a graphic designer, I am always looking for “out of the box” ideas to share with my clients to help them be remembered. One idea I love to share is custom personalized recipe postcard marketing.  

It’s a great way to reach out to your clients and connect on a personal level. Basically you select one of your favorite recipes, add a personal note and direct mail them quarterly to your client list.  

You can send one recipe for summer, fall, winter and spring. Your clients will enjoy getting a new recipe to try and you will be able to connect with your clients by adding a personal note that relates to why you like the recipe and wanted to share it. Your clients will also keep your recipe postcard which will keep you top of mind.  

Think about using recipe postcard marketing the next time you want a unique and personal way to reach out and connect with your clients. It’s the perfect marketing recipe!

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How to be prepared for your next on-air interview

August 24, 2010

I’ve just returned from giving a five-minute on-air interview with Fishers Chamber of Commerce President, Dan Canan about my business Gurtowsky Graphics and the Fishers Business Insider, a monthly publication that I design for the Fishers Economic & Community Development Commission in conjunction with the chamber.

Note to self. Be prepared.

You’d never know that my college background was in broadcast news. I was so nervous during the interview that I mis-spoke certain titles and internally sounded like I was rambling on about nothing.

So I’m writing this blog to give you a few tips in case you find ourself in front of the camera with a live microphone.

  • Make sure you have a clear understanding from the interviewer about the topic that you’ll be speaking.
  • Arrive a few minutes early so you can adjust to your new surroundings. (This interview was held in the produce section of a Super Target.)
  • Write a few ideas ahead of time or small topics that you can share if needed during the interview. But have one topic or reason in particular for conducting the interview. For example, are you promoting a particular event for your company or business? Or is there a particular area of expertise and information that you want to share with your audience?
  • Focus your eyes, ears and attention on the interviewer not the camera man. (This can be difficult because you aren’t sure who you’re really talking to.)
  • Relax. Treat the interview setting like it’s a casual, comfortable conversation that you are having with a friend or co-worker. (But be sure to mind your p’s and q’s.)
  • Don’t forget to thank the interviewer at the end.
  • If you’re happy with your interview or feel your information is important to share, be sure to tell your friends, co-workers and others in your sphere when to look for your interview to air, and give us the time, station and day if possible.
  • Have fun. Your personality will shine through if you can take a deep breath, be relaxed and speak casually and professionally.
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Business Networking: Is it worth it for your business?

August 18, 2010

As I head off to a Fishers Chamber of Commerce luncheon today I sometimes ask myself if business networking is worth it for my business? And the answer has to be yes. But that yes doesn’t come easily. I like to call any type of networking “sweat equity marketing.” Meaning you can’t just plunk down your membership fee, sit down and expect business to fall into your lap instantly or at all.

Instead join professional organizations with longevity in mind and roll up your sleeves and get to work. That’s how you’ll get business. Some ways that you can work your “sweat equity marketing” is to volunteer to take on a leadership role. For instance, I quickly realized that the best way to become more familiar and more valuable to the Fishers Chamber of Commerce was to volunteer to be one of their Ambassadors. As an ambassador we help new members at events feel more welcome and show them the ropes. We represent the chamber as leaders and go to people whenever a member needs anything and we extend our time and sometimes our talent when needed to help the chamber maintain and even grow their organization. And we commit to attending atleast six events per year.

What do you get out of it? You begin to naturally build relationships with professionals who live in or near your town or city and people get to know, like and trust you. So when they do need your product or service they think of and choose you and your company first.

It doesn’t happen overnight and may not happen for the first six months of your membership. But eventually it will happen. So the next time you attend a professional networking event ask yourself, “What can I do to make business networking worth it for my business?”