How to choose a graphic designer without loosing your mind
If you haven't already experienced it yourself, then you've probably heard some of the horror stories about trying to find or work with a graphic designer. It can be difficult, time consuming and frustrating to say the least, but in all fairness it's no different than any other profession. Think about how some people must feel when they have to work with some of your competitors.
You'll want to evaluate some basic things first - things that are vital in any industry. Is your potential designer on time to meet with you? Do they treat your staff with respect or do they treat them they like they don't matter? Did they do their homework before coming? Once you've nailed down the basics, your list of potential designers will probably be a lot smaller. Now you can start to look at some of the things that are more specific to our industry.
Presentation - Everything from how a designer dresses to how they package their sample work will tell you something about them. Take a look at their clothing but avoid basing your opinion on your personal fashion preferences. Instead, look at details that will tell you how much effort they put into their own appearance. Clean shoes are a great indication of someone that pays attention to details. Trimmed fingernails are another. You'll also want to pay attention to whether the work presented in their portfolio is straight. Though these may seem like little details they will mean a lot in determining the attention to detail that your designer will take in your project.
Preparation - Did your designer run up to your office door chasing his wind blown papers across the parking lot or did he stride confidently to your door, materials in hand? Did he show up with a pen and notebook? This is important unless you want to spend a lot of time later reminding them many of the things that you've already told them. A designer that isn't prepared for the initial meeting is not going to conduct day-to-day business any differently.
Point of view - Everyone has a different view of the world and it's a given that those with a similar point of view will work better together. With that in mind, it's important to find a designer that shares your beliefs. The advertising for your multi-million dollar SUV dealership will never achieve spectacular results as long as you are using a designer that believes that all corporations are big evil things bent on destroying society for a buck. If your designer doesn't understand where you're coming from they will never be able to tell your prospects.
Portfolio - This is really a classic case of "size doesn't matter - it's how you use it!" When considering designers you may be loosing out if you dismiss a designer because of a small portfolio. The designer that came by in a 3-piece suit with a three inch thick portfolio isn't necessarily the one for the job. Maybe the girl that has no college degree and a portfolio with nine pages of work that she did at home is a better fit for you. The most important thing really is quality. The designer that brings everything may not be able to decide what to present and what not to present which could mean that they will have the same problem in delivering a clear message to your audience.
There is one more thing to consider when you choose a <a href="http://www.wildfiremarketinggroup.com/graphic-design.php">graphic designer</a> - they know what you don't when it comes to design. When you say "let's add more colors" or "make the text bolder" there is usually a good reason that they're rolling their eyes. We recommend that after you've done your homework and choosen a competent graphic designer you let them do their job. Graphic design is a lot more than just making something look nice. There are a lot of technical details that have scientific backing that you may not know about. In most cases it's in your best interest to focus on what you are an expert in and let them focus on what they are an expert in. You will see far better results that way.
Posted at 05:53 am by JimAdams
7 critical aspects of a fantastic logo design
When it comes to logo design, you ultimately want it to convey your brand in the best possible manner. At the same time you don’t want it to take up too much space. That is the greatest challenge – to be able to create a winning impact within the space constraints. Here are the 7 factors you need to consider to have a logo that spells success!
1. Research always helps in effective logo design
Never make the mistake of rushing into creating a logo design. It will only make matters bad. You need to do a fair bit of research to understand the company, its objectives and mission as well as its business goals – both short and long term. You also need to know the demographics of the target audience.
2. Attractive and unique: two elements of great logo design
You would obviously want your logo design to catch the attention of the customer. At the same time it should not be screaming for attention. It should test the intellect of the customer; make him or her think a few minutes after seeing the logo. If you notice some of the top logo designs each of them have a unique aspect to it that depicts something about the company.
3. Simple and memorable logo design
One of things you need to really focus on is to make sure your logo design is not too cluttered or too fancy. This will just confuse the customer. Ultimately you want the customer to remember your brand. That will only happen if the logo is easy to remember. Also be sure that the logo sends out positive signals to the customer.
4. Flexibility is a major issue in logo design
There are so many companies who invest a fortune on their logo design only to realize later that their logo doesn’t work on a product wrapper! What a waste of time and money! Your logo needs to be flexible enough to work and create a lasting impact on any medium whether it is a product wrapper, your company website or even any promotional materials you send out! That means you need to consider the size of the logo and the usage of appropriate colors. The colors used need to match well with any background while also helping the brand to stand out.
5. Never clutter your logo in logo design
One critical mistake people make is to cram in too much information in their logo design. This makes your logo look cluttered not to mention the fact that customers will fail to remember your brand!
6. Use fonts that promote readability in your logo design
You might select a font that looks great on paper but when you use it in the logo it hampers readability. There is absolutely no point using classy fonts in logo design if they are going to prevent customers from remembering you. Make sure fonts are easy on the eye.
7. Usage of color in logo design
Great logo design will always focus on using complementary colors that looks good against a black or white background.
You can find a great logo designer on Fiverr
Posted at 07:48 am by JimAdams
Business Card Printing Services
The simple black and white business card has metamorphosed into designer versions. Unusual business cards are made from wood, plastic, metal, magnets, glass, or handmade paper. And some are printed in four colors while others are made using embedding or imprint technology. The purpose is to be unique and different, and make a lasting impression.
Depending on your thoughts, budget, design, and needs, a business card service will tell you what kind of printing your card will need. They offer die-cut business cards, embossed cards, CMYK full color printing, bi-fold business cards, or thermograph print cards—different processes that produce varied results.
Most business card printing services will provide in-house design services if you let them have all the information you need on the card. Otherwise, you could design your business card yourself by using the online card design services. Print providers like GreatFX business cards offer a complete online design studio with which you can create a business card in minutes, using your web browser.
Printers today are innovative. They club together to offer online business card printing services which offers a free estimate if you fill in a questionnaire. The questionnaire will go to different card printers, and the ones who can do the job will get in touch with you. There are other online sites where clients can post projects for which printers can place bids—the same concept like elance or guru.com.
For a world-class product you need to ensure that you scan logos and other images in eps or bmp format. Specify how many cards you need, what kind of paper, black and white or color, whether it should be coated, whether you need a proof, and when you need the cards delivered.
Be wise and do your homework well. Contact at least three business card printing services. Comparison shopping is good business sense, not a waste of time. Check the reliability of the printers. Find out if anyone you know has used the service. Read up on design and how one can use a template to design a professional-looking, unique card. Seek the help of a computer-savvy friend or colleague, and find out if designing your own card is as easy as it sounds.
Your business card represents you—it is your brand ambassador, so think before you leap. When it doubt, just choose a classy style instead of shiny brass or psychedelic varieties.
Posted at 04:34 am by JimAdams
10 Great Tips On How To Design A Card
1. There are many types of cards you can choose from . Design the ones that you need or that sound the most interesting to you. Try birthday, anniversary, cards for children, wedding, sympathy, holiday or get well.
2. To begin the design you will need good paper. Look for pre-folded cards or use cardstock and fold your own. Using a bone folder is helpful here because it makes a very nice clean fold. There are several sizes to choose from, make sure you have an envelope to fit or be prepared to make one. There are templates galore for this type of thing.
3. Next choose a sticker or rubber stamp for the image on the front of the card. If using stamps, try different color stamp pads until you get the design and color you like. You can layer the stickers or stamped image on other paper to create a more pleasing design. Try using a combination of plain and matching patterned paper for this step.
4. There are embellishments you can use instead of a stamp or sticker. These are often dimensional and add a lot to the design of your card.
5. Make certain you have appropriate glue. Carefully consider the adhesive you want to use. A glue gun works well for heavy items but will wrinkle most papers. Glue dots and strips are handy for many design gluing jobs. I really like the glue stick that says"heavy duty" on the label, it is good for almost any paper and dries smooth and clear.
6. Design the words next. Think about what you want the card to say. Do you want the greeting or message on the inside or on the front of the card? You can use rubber stamps for this, stickers or computer generated greetings. There are so many fonts available that every card can be unique.
7. Lay your design out on the card before you attach the different elements. Check to make sure it all fits and that you like the design. Glue everything down and making sure all pieces are secure.
8. Now look at the inside of your card. If you are going to put a message there think about layering it on other paper to match the design on the front of your card. Attach these pieces to the inside of the card.
9. Check out the whole card now. Are you happy with the design? Does it need anything extra like colored brads or buttons? Is there part of the design that would look nice colored in with marker, colored pencils, chalks or watercolors?
10. I believe a card is not finished until the fiber is added, both inside and out. Matching colors from the design, take two or three strands of coordinating ribbon, yarn, metallic thread or wire and tie into a knot. Trim the ends so it looks the way you want it. Attach with your glue gun and you are done with the card.The envelop please! To put a final touch on your design decorate the envelop to match the card. Use your markers, chalk, stickers and stamps to create an envelop that is as gorgeous as what’s inside!!
In very little time you can create a special and unique card and envelop using your own design.
Posted at 01:30 pm by JimAdams
Business card’s Lasting First Impression
Simple, isn’t it? The first is a success and the second is a failure. The former entails more sales while the latter may mean waste of money, time and effort. Therefore, where do you think lies the demarcation line?
First impressions last. You may be a non-believer of this maxim but when it comes to marketing items like business cards, this maxim must be given a wider leeway. You do not want your business cards to rot like tomatoes, do you?
That best thing to do is to plan a catchy and functional business card. If the design requires, have it in full color to boost its potential to catch attention and be a head turner. Aside from that, never forget its functionality. Place in there the indispensable details of your company or yourself. After reading it, your information must be accessible to further guide them to your call of action. Whether you want them to purchase a product, subscribe a service or simply make yourself available for their queries, it is a must to give them the details that they will need in the future.
Business cards must leave a lasting first impression, that is. Before they can convince the potential readers to read them, they must invite them first to come closer and take a look at them. They must have captivating design and appearance to entice the receivers.
To complete the formula, you must entrust your would-be masterpiece to a master in business card printing. If you have doubts regarding the printing process, the colors and materials like paper and ink to be used, ask the pool of experts that the printing company has. They will help you solve your business card printing dilemmas.
To make your planned business card a reality, be sure that you use the right materials, printing process, ink, plus a dash of creativity and intent. Bear in mind that business cards are not just tiny pieces of paper. They may mean a lot to you and your business.
Make your business cards do what they are suppose to do. Make them capture your probable customers to your advantage!
Posted at 01:41 pm by JimAdams
(speed) n. 1. Mathematics & Physics. Distance traveled divided by the time of travel. 2. Business & Life. The ratio of results to time invested.
Speed is distance (results) divided by time, period. Some leaders confuse this with the “fool’s gold” formula: action divided by time. This is a costly and destructive illusion that produces one of two fatal results: either attempting to avoid speed altogether by deferring action, and becoming stagnant—or “red-lining” the culture into a pattern of unbridled acceleration. So speed either becomes the great enemy, or part of the self-crafted mirage masking fundamental flaws in strategy, execution, or both.
Review any business periodical or annual report, and you will likely read about the virtues of rapid action or the wisdom of waiting. This makes for great copy, but when the anesthesia wears off, we’re left with a debilitating hangover and the sobering reality that action isn’t the problem or the answer: It’s all about Speed.
Life may be full of choices, but speed isn’t one of them. Speed is no more optional than gravity or evolution. Speed is part of every marriage, every friendship, every contest, every physical and emotional interaction on the planet. And without question, speed is a critical component of any business model. Ultimately, all business results are measured against the one constant in the universe . . . time.
Revenue is measured against time. Service is measured against time. Customer loyalty, production, earnings per share, debt, turnover, cost of goods sold, tax burden, gross profit, net profit—any metric you, your employees, your leadership, or your competition can come up with, is inextricably tied to time. But we can’t manage time. If we are to increase speed, we have to work the other side of the equation—the results side. More specifically, we must identify and leverage those resources that create results.
Yeah, I know. Leverage is one of those “consultant” words we all get so tired of hearing. But it may be the only word that accurately describes exactly what a leader is supposed to do—multiply force. In fact, if a leader can be likened to any inanimate object, then lever fits the bill.
Let’s face it, if a leader already possessed all the force necessary to achieve the objective(s), he wouldn’t complicate things by involving other people. And if the people already had enough force to accomplish the objective(s), they wouldn’t need a leader. So . . . it’s the leader’s responsibility to multiply force - - leverage current resources to increase the ratio of results to time invested.
Most sources of competitive advantage today—technology, talent, capital, intellectual property, even superior product -- have an incredibly short shelf life. And when the grease gets hot (yesterday’s advantage becomes today’s norm) organizations can become extremely vulnerable.
Specifically, we’re at the mercy of three distinct populations keenly focused on their own survival and prosperity:
- Acutely perceptive employees who ultimately determine the organization’s level of discretionary effort
- Increasingly sophisticated and unforgiving customers
- Faster, more nimble competitors poised to create and fill the next void
Organizations that consciously manage and monitor speed (pair high velocity business practices with their other sources of competitive advantage, to meet more needs for more people in less time) strengthen their culture, grow their customer base, and dominate their market.
Leaders who neglect speed -- fail to incorporate a systematic, deliberate process for increasing the ratio of results to time invested—are Frying Bacon In the Nude . . .
It might feel good at first, appear very liberating, and even produce short-term gains. But without the right disciplines in place, we’re dangerously overexposed and very likely to get burned—even permanently scarred—by one or more of these three critically important constituencies.
High Velocity Leaders simply won’t take the chance. They understand the critical nature of speed, its role in meeting their market, and the key disciplines necessary for producing Better Results in Less Time.
Top performers in every arena consistently (relentlessly) commit themselves to the fundamentals. They religiously apply just a handful of basic principles that give them that slight extra edge. So it should come as no surprise that fast, agile companies—and the people who lead them—exhibit a powerfully simple method of leadership thinking.
Specifically, they express, model, and reward five distinct disciplines. The 5 Disciplines of High Velocity Leaders:
(repeatable processes and transferable tools for key tasks)
P ersonal Accountability
(taking, and expecting, personal responsibility for corporate results)
(understanding how and why a person/group thinks, feels, and acts)
(establishing learning as a 24 / 7 / 365, job-critical responsibility)
(clearly communicating where we’re going and why)
Consider the common characteristics shared by all five:
- All are present to some degree in every company—including yours.
- All are unrealized to some degree in every company—including yours.
- Each has an immediate and direct impact on performance.
- All are as dangerous in their absence as they are powerful in their presence.
Combined, they strengthen (exponentially) any other form of competitive advantage we may possess.
And most importantly, all five are under our direct control: Simply put, they can and should be managed.
Speed Kills (The Competition)
In virtually every industry, the first to market enjoys as much as ten times (10X!) the profit of its nearest competitor. More importantly, after this first leg of the race is over, the Law of Compensation kicks in. And with few exceptions, prosperity is distributed in direct proportion to the quantity and quality of service rendered. In other words, organizations that meet the most needs for the most people with an increasing “economy of motion” dominate their respective markets.
Speed Cures . . .
Speed, as a method of leadership thinking and a cultural mentality, displaces a variety of organizational pathologies. Like a powerful antibiotic, speed travels through the corporate bloodstream neutralizing the debilitating diseases of procrastination, apathy, confusion, malicious compliance, blame, and victim thinking.
The 5 SPEED® disciplines literally increase the organization’s metabolism—transforming the corporate body from a pot-bellied couch potato into a sleek, agile athlete—teeming with vitality, armed with momentum, and uniquely “fit” to meet the rigors of an increasingly competitive marketplace.
Momentum is a natural by-product of—and increases or decreases in direct proportion to—speed. Momentum is the “wonder drug” of achievement. This intangible, yet powerful, resource allows athletes to play with pain, salespeople to endure temporary defeat, friends to forgive transgressions, and leaders to produce extraordinary results through ordinary people. Like compound interest for the diligent investor, momentum works while you sleep. It magnifies original effort and rewards consistent discipline.
Speed is Exponential . . .
Even incremental shifts in speed produce quantum results.
At a distance of 100 yards, raising or lowering the barrel of a high-powered rifle by as little as 1/8th of an inch will alter the strike point of a bullet by as much as 4 to 6 inches on the target. Also, as in business, environmental variables such as the amount of gunpowder (new technologies, high-caliber talent) or windage (competition, economic recession) must be factored in to produce consistent results.
The skilled marksman, recognizing this, has a pre-determined plan for adjusting his sighting device a certain number of “clicks” to compensate for these variables as they appear. To take the analogy one step further, you’ll find that most sportsmen will use sandbags as a stabilizing device when initially sighting in their weapon. And when hunting game in the field, they will try to reproduce this advantage, if possible, by using a nearby tree or rock to prop their rifle up against.
Likewise, the five SPEED® disciplines stabilize our business practices. They help us guide and direct precious momentum to strike our targets accurately within an acceptable margin of error. Speed is not an additive—nor is it a simple multiplier. Because it truly is an exponential variable, one small degree of speed advantage can compensate for otherwise insurmountable differences in other resources. By the same token, one small degree of speed lost can render any other form of competitive advantage useless.
Lessons From The Quick & The Dead:
In this age of advanced technology, rapid change, accelerated communications, and increasingly sophisticated customers, two distinct types of organizations are beginning to emerge: The Quick . . . and The Dead!
Like the fearless gunfighters of Wild West lore, anyone traveling in the fast lane must be keen of eye, steady of hand, and driven with steeled resolve. The road is narrow, and paved with stones (problems and opportunities) of every shape and size. On either side of the white lines lie fatal SPEED® Traps: business practices that destroy momentum, consume resources, and severely reduce the ratio of results to time invested. Between the ditches of this commerce autobahn are fast, nimble competitors, fickle customers, and wayward employees.
There is no other road to success, no 4th quarter shortcut to prosperity. Your only decision—your only source of leverage—is the extent to which you choose to preach, practice, and promote the five key disciplines of High Velocity Leadership . . .
High Velocity Leadership SPEED® CHECK:
Do my people have repeatable, transferable processes for key tasks?
Have I clearly defined roles and responsibilities?
Have I created a culture that values structure as an implementation tool?
Am I personally using structured processes to achieve objectives?
Am I rewarding my people for using repeatable, transferable methods?
Do I hold people individually responsible for meeting company objectives?
When my people fail, do I hold them responsible for returning the learning to the
Have I created a culture that values personal accountability as a business tool?
Am I consistently asking myself “What can I do? / What could I have done?” when
planning strategies and evaluating results?
Am I rewarding people for taking personal ownership for corporate results?
Am I tailoring my management approach to reach a variety of communicating styles?
Am I helping my people customize their strategies and tactics to impact many different
“frames of reference” (mind-sets, points of view)?
Have I created a culture that values empathy as a business tool?
Am I personally investing the time and energy to understand my people before trying to be understood?
Am I rewarding thinking/behavior geared to meet the unique needs of different
employees and customers?
Am I effectively using new information to create new results?
Am I providing my employees with practical training that helps them drive our business
strategies more effectively?
Have I created a culture that values education as a business tool?
Am I personally participating in some type of learning activity on a regular basis?
Am I rewarding my people for engaging in self-development?
Do my people have a clear sense of where we’re going – and why?
Are my decisions and actions consistent with our stated goals?
Have I created a culture that values direction as an implementation tool?
Do I personally understand and agree with our direction?
Am I rewarding my employees for utilizing direction as a basis for making critical
Posted at 10:55 am by JimAdams
Brands are an important influence on our lives. They are central to free markets and democratic societies. They represent free choice.They also have a profound impact on our quality of life and the way we see our world. They color our lives. They reflect the values of our societies.Global brands can even embody the spirit of many nations, if not the spirit of an age.
Most importantly, strong brands bestow value far beyond the performance of the products themselves. Brands that do this possess an idea worthy of consumer loyalty.The more inspiring the idea, the more intense and profound the commitment. And the more the consumer believes in the brand, the more value the brand returns to its owner.
Good logo designers are not only able to design you a professional logo, but they will also make sure that your logo is distinct and unique so as to create a long lasting impression. Therefore the question that now comes to mind is, do we really need logo designers or can just anyone design a corporate logo? The answer to this question is not as simple as it seems. While the obvious answer may be no, the fact of the matter is that we do need professional logo designers because they are specialists in their field and are able to produce quality work that is distinct and one of a kind.
In recent times the term 'logo' has been used to describe signs, emblems, coats of arms, symbols and even flags. In this article several examples of 'true' logotypes are displayed, which may generally be contrasted with emblems, or marks which include non-textual graphics of some kind. Emblems with non-textual content are distinct from true logotypes.
Logo designers therefore are of great importance to any business as they can help create logos with a powerful impact and reach. Think about Apple’s logo or the logo of Windows, besides the obvious there is more than just what meets the eye. These logos are not only powerful because they represent a company, but they are powerful because of what they stand for. Good logo designers know how to capture and depict the essence of a business in a single small image. They realize that a solid logo design communicates a company’s identity simply, clearly, and powerfully all at the same time.
Posted at 01:51 pm by JimAdams