17 Jul 2013

Battle of the Bay Flyer

Portfolio, Print Design No Comments

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02 Jul 2013

Ugly Doesn’t Sell – Hire a Professional

Business, Web Design No Comments

Alot of people have decided to become “graphic designers” without the proper training needed to actually succeed. Because of this, companies and their SEO rankings are suffering.

Some web designers build beautiful websites but aren’t functional, and then there are others who find it necessary to use every graphic design tool available – making a website pretty but unusable.

Even though a start-up business may think that they cannot hire a well-known designer, actually there is no correlation between good web design and dollars. It is very much possible to spend lots of money and then not be satisfied with the finished product. Companies should take a look at a designer’s past work or portfolio before committing to their services.

In the Search Engine Optimization and web design world, ugly does not sell! According to Search Engine Optimization for Dummies: 3rd edition, ugly can be the following:

  • Color combinations that do not work for a website
  • Cutesy backgrounds that look – cutesy, not professional
  • Unorganized page layouts that look very amateur
  • Awful typeface choices that make the pages close to unreadable
  • Combinations of fonts and colors that make the text close to unreadable – such as white text on black backgrounds
  • Clunky, unprofessional images and photos

Companies such as GRAFIK DETAIL provide potential clients with a web portfolio of all of their past and present projects. You can view GRAFIK DETAIL’s portfolio here. Giving potential clients the opportunity to see their work allows for a fair judgment. View a web designer’s work and then you make the decision of if they are worth hiring.

01 Jul 2013

The Importance Of Choosing A Local Web Design Company In Clearwater

Business, Web Design No Comments

The Internet has improved the lives of millions if not billions of people around the world in a number of ways in the few short years that it has existed. In addition to lower prices on a vast array of consumer products as well as greater choice in terms of what we buy, it has also connected businesses and potential clients in ways that were unimaginable only a few years ago. Naturally, this has also led to remarkable innovation in outsourcing and the efficient delegation and division of labor across borders. However, in some cases working with business partners in the same locale, such as Clearwater, makes more sense in the long run than with one half a world away. The following will explain why working with a local, Clearwater based, web design company will add more value to your online presence than working with one based overseas.

In many cases, outsourcing certain aspects of your online business and e-commerce ventures saves money on mundane, unsophisticated tasks that nevertheless need to be taken care of. As we all can attest, technical support over the telephone has only benefited from moving overseas. In all seriousness however, a long distance web design company will not always deliver the attention to detail, workmanship and knowledgeable advice that a local design company can provide. When it comes to top-notch web design, Search Engine Optimization and Public Relations work, web professionals with a local perspective and edge are the better bet as far as return on investment is concerned.

Often times, support from afar can be adequate on paper, but for some reason this never pans out when you actually need it. When is the last time you called customer support for anything and have actually been helped within 10 minutes? A local web design company can often be called upon at any time and you can get face-to-face meetings if need be. It’s more responsive, timely and an overall better idea to rely on web designers that aren’t located far from home. The importance of face-to-face communication and working together with a design company in the same room when it comes to getting the design just right etc means working with a local design company, based in Clearwater for example, can work out to be very beneficial to your online business.

Establishing a thriving web presence for your off-line business storefront involves an immense amount of promotion and effort. Despite having nearly the sum total of human knowledge available to me through one avenue or another via the World Wide Web, there are certain intangible aspects of other cultures and communities I’ll never be able to fully absorb by surfing the Internet alone. A local web design company will have local web design experts and they will have better success with tweaking advertisement campaigns and obtaining the best conversion ratios for your promotional efforts, turning prospective clients into actual ones.

A locally based web design company and locally based marketing firms, such as those based in Clearwater, will have a far better grasp of what it will take to grow and improve your business in a specific niche market. In the rush to cut corners and shave off unnecessary costs, many businesses make the mistake of being penny-wise and pound-foolish. Just because you can save money in the short run by cutting costs doesn’t mean you’re making the right choice in the long run. Marketing, positive public relations and brand awareness for whatever business you run are more important than ever on a level playing field where customers can choose from a wide variety of service providers anywhere in the world.

01 Jul 2013

Alternate Advertising For Startup Businesses

Business No Comments

There are countless new businesses that are put up across the world every single day, but have you ever wondered how many of them are able to make it to the market? No, well it is not a tough guess and I presume that by now you have guessed that one. Yes, you are right there are a very few business ideas that translate to some tangible gains and more often than not, it is due to the lack of proper brand promotion and innovative advertisements that spells the death knell for a business. However unique the business might be it simply would not work if you do not have a market for your goods or services and only thing that helps you to develop a market is the right amount of public exposure.

All the established businesses can go to any length when it comes to marketing their products, they won’t really mind to part with stellar sums of money as long as the campaign works for them. But the point is what can a startup company can do, to survive the backlash of a highly competitive market. On one hand a limited budget does not allow a small company to go for some zillion dollar advertising campaign while on the other hand marketing is the only tool that might get it through. The need for market exposure for a small startup company is paramount as it desperately needs to carve its niche in the market.

All of you must have heard of Billy the walking billboard who sold the space on his face to different companies and got the names of companies tattooed on his face. No, I am not advising you get the name of your company tattooed on your face but you could use the idea in more humane and rational manner. If you are a startup entrepreneur with limited investment capital you could try using a human banner. It is a highly cost-efficient method of advertising where the people hold signs or banners that contain advertising messages in high-traffic areas of the city. The advertisements may be worn as clothing or tattooed on the body. Personals who hold these advertisements are known as human directionals or sign walkers. You can also try balloon walkers who just walk, spin or dance with the promotional material to attract eyeballs. They also carry light weight backpacks which are LED illuminated. All these transitional methods of advertising are high impact and provide a right amount of exposure.

28 Jun 2013

Why Your Branding Design Should Cost a Lot More Than $50

Business, Logo design, Print Design, Web Design No Comments

I didn’t make up that number. It was given to me after a potential client sought out my services. He had a line of t-shirts and was looking for some great branding design (logo, business card, website). After a quick fifteen minute phone call where I got a handle on his brand, his market, & his product, I gave him some quotes.

“Hmmm, that’s a lot. I have a guy already who makes my logos for about $50 to $100 each”

“Well then you should go with him. Good luck.”

These types of conversations happen more often than they should. You can look at my portfolio and tell it’s not possible to create that level of work for third world wages. He’s clearly unhappy with his present designer yet wants top quality for the same price. It’s not going to happen.

But sometimes it’s not a mater of understanding but one of simple economics. Some clients aren’t undervaluing your work, the simply don’t have the money to spend. If this is the case, the quality of their branding design won’t matter much anyway, as their company probably won’t survive regardless of how great the branding. If your business is so trapped for cash that you can’t invest a modest amount into building the very thing that generates your revenue, then success is highly unlikely. Not impossible, just very unlikely.

More Than Just Pretty Pictures. Graphic Design & Branding is a Complex Process that Starts Well Before You Start Designing.

A great design is the END process that BEGINS with narrowing down your technical options, choosing the best solution, developing a compelling brand, and then executing that brand. And most likely you will be working closely with your client in choosing the best solutions and helping guide the entire process to the end.

So if your client is not interested in addressing these issues, and you aren’t interested in bringing them up, then yes, perhaps your client should only pay $80. Maybe that’s all a pretty picture is worth.  But if you and your client are both serious about developing a compelling brand – one that will effectively take sales away from their competitor and will grab the attention of demanding consumers – then it’s clear that $80 is not going to cut it.

If you need an experienced designer who can guide your project from initial conception to delivery of final files, call me at 941-479-0559 or try email.