Corporate Creative :: Design Articles for Business

Of All the Networks…


The sheer number of social and business networks vying for our membership these days can be overwhelming. A quick search for “business networking” yields over 33 million results…

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Posted in Business, Issues, Trends

Catalog Design – Using Product Placement and Page Layout to Maximize Sales and Catalog ROI


A catalog is a highly specialized marketing collateral piece that, when designed and produced correctly, will drive customers to complete their purchase with your company over other alternatives. By presenting a tempting display of appealing products in a clear, carefully considered fashion, your catalog can become one of the most powerful calls to action in your sales arsenal – particularly when paired with a niche marketing strategy.

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Posted in Branding, Business, Collateral, Innovation, Marketing, Retail, Trends

Culture Conversion: Designing for Niche Markets


A niche market is a focused, targetable portion of a market… or a narrowly defined group of potential customers. In general, if your business focuses on a niche market, you should be addressing a need for a product or service that is not being addressed by mainstream providers.

Unless you are in the community being targeted, it can be hard to tell upfront whether the design of your creative is going to be effective. But when you’re part of the targeted community, you get the message loud and clear. The trick comes in when you want to target a niche market to which you yourself do not belong. Bridging this gap between business and niche markets thus often requires a thoughtful cultural conversion campaign

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Posted in Branding, Business, Collateral, Innovation, Marketing, Trends

Postcard Marketing – Good Things Come in Small Packages


Although the days of the “penny” postcard are long over, these convenient cards still have a lot of marketing life left in them, especially with the advent of online postcard printing services that make design (and sometimes the actual mailing) a snap. Postcards afford instant visibility and are effective in boosting sales and building name recognition. Granted a great deal of today’s marketing buzz is on Internet-based advertising, but not everyone stays connected 24 hours a day. Postcards let you easily engage in mass mail-outs without breaking the bank and should not be overlooked in your marketing plan.

What is Postcard Marketing?

Postcards are a simple, inexpensive, and flexible direct mail marketing tool. They can be used to close sales, generate leads, cultivate return business, or introduce new products. In fact, the use of marketing postcards is really limited by nothing but your imagination. Some creative ideas include:

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Posted in Branding, Business, Collateral, Innovation, Marketing, Trends

Packaging: dressing your product in a fashion conscious market


Packaging. It’s something most people don’t necessarily think about, perhaps partly due to the fact that it is so overwhelmingly pervasive. Even just picking up groceries for the week, in a single forum we are subjected to the end results of thousands of individual design and branding endeavours; some good, some bad, and the rest forgettable.

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Posted in Branding, Business, Collateral, Innovation, Marketing, Packaging, Retail, Technology, Trends

Digital vs. Offset Printing: How To Choose?


Design is a complex and multilayered industry, and just as good design begins about ten steps before pen actually hits paper (or tablet, as it were), neither does it end when the final digital proofs are approved and delivered. The actual implementation of the design must be treated with considerable thought and care as well, if you’re interested in gaining maximum effect from the design itself.

The most common implementation questions we come across are often in regards to printing… what finishes to use, what stock, and most often, should we use digital or offset printing?

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Posted in Business, Collateral, Technology, Trends

Using design in business


Design in business is much more than just catchy ads. You can use design to generate new ideas and turn them into innovative and competitive products and services, improve your business processes and strengthen and deepen your marketing approach.

If used systematically across your business, design can bring a range of measurable commercial benefits:

  • Improved sales and conversion rates
  • Improved market position
  • Greater customer loyalty
  • A stronger and more credible identity for your business
  • The ability to open up new markets


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Posted in Branding, Business, Issues, Trends

Brand Revitalization


Building a strong brand takes commitment, time and hard work, but the result is one of the most valuable assets a company can own. That said, not all assets are static, and your brand image is no exception.

In building your brand, you are creating a new definition with the aim of making it a household name. When people think of tissue, they instantly think of Kleenex. That’s the sort of association you want. Instant identification in the mind of the customer is not enough though… you also need that identification to represent competence, quality, authenticity and credibility. At the same time, your brand needs to remain dynamic, relevant, and at the top of mind while retaining its established heritage and identity.

In the end, the message your brand puts forward must ring true to your business, in its current state, its history, and in what you hope for the future. When your brand image doesn’t represent the message you want to convey, it’s time to consider making a change.

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Posted in Branding, Business, Innovation, Issues, Trends

Q&A: What does excellent trade show signage look like?


Question:
What does excellent trade show signage look like? Is it simple? Colorful? Digital (narrowcasting)? Branded?
Jan-Burger Troost, Owner, Wester ExpoGraphics

Answer:
Your exhibit and trade show booth graphic elements must powerfully reflect who you are and draw visitors to your booth in the midst of a loud, crowded exhibit hall filled with distractions and competitors…

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Posted in Business, Collateral, Innovation, Marketing, Tips, Trends

The Self Promotion Piece – Bringing a Graphics Standard into the Business World


Graphic designers are intimately familiar with the all-important portfolio and accompanying self-promotion piece. After the big pitch and presentation, designers and firms provide prospective clients with an SPP, often a bound promotional brochure or catalogue highlighting their best work and success stories/case studies, as well as a list of awards and some basic reminder company information.

Now, all business owners are familiar with the corporate brochure, but rarely is it utilized in the same way by companies in non-creative fields. Most corporate brochures end up serving either as extended ads (too obviously self-serving, unless the ad is the purpose), or dry company profiles (which are, well, dry). I often suggest a more creative approach to my clients… a “show” rather than “tell”.

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Posted in Branding, Business, Collateral, Innovation, Issues, Marketing, Tips, Trends

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