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

How to Provide an Exceptional Service Experience


teaThere are thousands of resources online and in print purporting to hold the secret to success in business. It’s a vast and profitable industry, and books continue to fly off the shelves. From a service industry perspective, to me it seems to boil down to a single, simple ideal: The best way to attract and keep clients is to create a service experience that is second to none.

Providing exceptional design is not the full picture of what our company does. For a professional firm, quality of design should be a given. What keeps people coming back is the combination of high quality work product, and excellent customer service. And the same is true with any business.

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Posted in Business, Case Studies, Innovation, Issues, Tips

30 Little Things That Mean More Than You Think


30 Little ThingsLife is all about the little things.

I often wonder why so many of the business owners and brand managers who approach us are so obsessed with the overall machine, without giving so much as a nod to the cogs that make it work. I’m not talking about employee recognition here (that’s another topic entirely) but rather, the less tangible qualities that impact the customer’s experience in doing business with you.

How many times have you avoided returning to a restaurant with a shoddy bathroom? And how wonderful is that free tea or cappuccino at your favourite spa?

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Posted in Branding, Business, Tips

Your Online Brand and the Holiday Season


 From disparate beginnings, Christmas has become largely a cultural celebration for my generation – one meant to bring people together and place our focus on the people we love.

It has also become an uber-brand that represents intangible, un-buy-able values (peace, love, joy, family, selflessness) simultaneously with supreme commercialism.

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Posted in Branding, Business, Retail, Tips, Trends, Web Design

Print is Not Dead


Green PrintingThe Green movement is in full swing, and in most ways it’s a very good thing. Marketing hype issues aside, many have worried aloud about the future of the printed word/image. With digital alternatives becoming increasingly pervasive, and former print industry leaders abandoning the page in favor of the screen, what’s to become of our beloved magazines and photo albums?

Luckily, in amongst the world of digital photo frames and web based magazines, the paper industry is taking notice and finally stepping up to the plate. Recycled paper has been around for a while, but as with any buzzword, use of the word ‘recycled’ doesn’t necessarily mean a whole lot. It could be as little as 10% recycled material, added to the fact that the raw materials are such a small part of the whole picture.

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Posted in Business, Collateral, Innovation, Issues, Packaging, Technology, Tips, Trends

Creating Winning Sales Copy


Everyone in business is in the business of sales. You may not be peddling widgets, but we’re all selling something. Like it or not, commerce depends on marketing: a high-pressure, highly competitive field where genuine talent seems to be diluted with morons. I’ve worked with a lot of highly impressive and capable marketing professionals, but I’ve also dealt with too many who fall into the other camp. The fact is, being effective in marketing requires intelligence, an intuitive and intimate understanding of human psychology, and a finely tuned talent for communication.

Personally, I rank selling myself up there with paperwork and taxes. I’d rather be doing actual design work than making a sales pitch. I’d rather be doing just about anything else, for that matter. But success in business demands we master not only our own craft, but also those fields that we depend upon to stay afloat (and prosper). In my case, I’m helped along quite a bit by way of the fact that I also happen to have a university degree in psychology, so I’m able to mesh what I know about design with what I know about people.

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Posted in Business, Marketing, Tips

Tips for choosing the right design firm


If ever there were an overly competitive industry with little to no regulation, it would be the corporate design industry. Anyone with a computer and basic software can market themselves as a designer, while the industry is devalued and thousands of business owners are taken for a ride by unqualified or even unscrupulous pretenders.

As a consumer, how do you protect yourself and your company? The answer is more simple than you may think – all you have to do is a bit of homework.

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Posted in Business, Issues, Tips

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

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

Setting goals – ten steps to success


So it’s a new year already – where did the time go? And what about those promises we all made to ourselves around this time last year? If you’re like most people, you may have resolved to lose a few of those extra inches. But if you’re a business owner, the term “New Year’s Resolution” probably has different implications.

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Posted in Business, Issues, Tips

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