Corporate Creative :: Design Articles for Business

Launching a new website: the checklist


“Creating a new website is like having a baby – the first one really is the hardest.”

These words came from one of our current clients, during the early wireframe phase of his first website. And although we make the process as easy as possible for our clients, it remains a valid point. Your website is your company’s public face after all, so you really do want to make sure that each and every detail is just right.

The process can be overwhelming for the uninitiated. If this describes you, read on. What follows is a basic, plain-language checklist for getting your organization online.

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Posted in Business, Collateral, Issues, Marketing, Technology, Tips, Web Design

Corporate Identity Series :: Your Tagline


Writing a SloganYou’ve spent countless hours coming up with the perfect name for your business. It’s unique, brief, descriptive, and expandable. Beautiful. The next step is one that is often given a bit of a short stick… after all that brand naming wordplay, you now need to come up with a short, positive and catchy slogan for your business.

Many people are simply tired of words at this point. And that’s fine, but your tagline is important enough to warrant your full attention. So take a break, and come back to it when your mind is refreshed.

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Posted in Branding, Business, Tips

Search Engine Tunnel Vision


SEM Tips“I want our site to be number one on Google”

The number of times a client has uttered those words to us (or a close variation on the theme) is somewhat staggering.

Sure, we all want it. And for certain parameters, we can get it for you. But while Search Engine Optimization is a very important component of both web development and your overall marketing platform, it cannot stand alone.

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Posted in Branding, Business, Issues, Marketing, Tips, Web Design

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

7 Ways To Improve Direct Mail Response


While print marketing should not be relied upon exclusively in today’s communications world, direct mail campaigns are still an important ingredient in an effective marketing mix.

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Posted in Business, Collateral, Innovation, Marketing

Compelling Brochure Copy – The Basics


It’s part of our job to educate our clients on the importance and advantages of excellent design. At the same time, it must be said that effective brochure composition requires more than (just) compelling design. In planning your promotional materials, you need to pay as much attention to content as you do to visuals – and vice versa.

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Posted in Business, Collateral, Innovation, Issues, Marketing

What’s up with Personal Branding, and why you should consider it


Most of our readers own their own business, or at least run the marketing department. And for the most part, they know that the concept of branding has a much farther reach than just their company. But maybe you’re not the CEO of your own business – yet – do you really need to be thinking about issues like branding?

In recent years, the concept of personal branding has been getting more and more attention. The basic premise of this is that over the course of your career, you would benefit from creating “Brand You” as a way to differentiate yourself from other job seekers, business developers, vendors, and people in general.

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

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

A Well Managed Suite of Business Materials


When you’re not around to make a personal impression, your materials are doing it for you. So naturally, you want to be sure that your materials are making the right impression. In this article I’ll go over a few specific bits of advice to ensure that your corporate identity materials are projecting an image of competence and success.

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

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