I grew up a pretty rambunctious kid. Always smarting off and getting into secret trouble. Breaking the rules at every turn, I carried that "no holds barred" attitude through college and into my 20s. As I matured, I still never lost that itch to go against the grain, however, I found another way to "rebel" more constructively.
I purposefully chose to channel that insatiable need to be new, different, shocking, special and memorable into my graphic design.Back in the day when logos and advertising were created with ink/ruling pen, t-square, typeset strips of paper glued down with wax, rubylith/acetate layers for each color and element… artists were required to design with the utmost simplicity or send your prepress department into a massive mental breakdown.
One color represented just that; flat color, no gradations. Four color process was created with scan machines and precision manual alignment. It was critical a designer fully understood and followed production regulations. I rocked at production then and still do now, but although I enjoyed the challenge, I always hated the rules. Our prepress department groaned knowingly when I would bounce into the prepress room bright-eyed and passionate to discuss the limitations and possibilities of my latest idea.
Today in our new and improved digital realm, we are not held to such restrictions. We can design with fluidity and intentional complexity for the ultimate visual experience. We are not held to the old school rules for logos and graphics. Brand identity can be more than just a flat icon and brochures. It can and SHOULD embody a little rebellion against the established protocol. Interesting unique collateral may contain more than one color, cool textures or even shape! Yes, of course, there needs to be a one color version for screen print and vinyl signage, but unless that is your primary advertising medium, it is OK to be edgy. Just because it hasn't been done, doesn't mean it can't or shoudn't be done. It's your business, do what you want!
Push the limits of print, embrace social media options, design everything with pizazz and flare that cause people to stop and pause. Stand out. Be noticed.That is what design is about! It is taking a visual, making a statement that is unique and memorable. Carrying that message consistently through all the promotional channels your business uses. Make sure that you are not just another "design zombie" of your industry doing only what is "on trend" (ie. "That is so 2017!") or the same basic designs/collateral products and methods everyone else is choosing. I challenge you to do something new, different and customized to you. In short,
Don't be a zombie.Now, that is some good constructive rebellion. Get some excitement in your brand, rebel a little, it is great for business.
You've permitted magical to walk on by. Not to mention good enough, amazing and wonderful. Waiting for the thing that cannot be improved (and cannot be criticized) keeps us from beginning.
Merely begin. —SethGodin
The time is now to revamp your marketing. The time is now to solidify and fix your messaging. The time is now to appeal to the new era of consumers. Don't waste another potential sale due to marketing fails. That perfect time, financially or market readiness may not happen.
Do it now and create your own success.
I hear repeatedly about how small and medium size businesses are hosed by the freelance designers they find. Not at Neon Lizard Creative! I strive to make sure that my clients are satisfied, at peace and content at the end of each project.
You are my customer, I am the servant. It is my job to understand, ferret out the details, handle the particulars and create a product that totally speaks to your client. I do that by listening, by researching your client, the product, the trends; by comparing and discerning which methods attain the most attention, hold it and by addressing every project as if it is the only one on the table.
Have you ever had a designer say they'll get back to you in a week, and months later you are still waiting on the design? Have you ever been given a flat cost to have the designer come back in billing with little nitpick charges for phone calls, and print brokering? Not at NLC. You will have a firm idea (maybe not exact but darn close) of your billing. You will have special attention from start to finish and NLC will handle all the nitpicky details so you can focus on your business.
This designer understands that what I do is torture for many business owners. Let NLC take the load, guide the wagon and produce for you the art of your dreams so that you can be as happy as that pig in the mud.
Your logo, your brand and your collateral of all kinds are essentially the "fashion" of your business. Just as others will judge and make an assumption about you based on your clothing and hair, so will they make an assumption about your business based on your brand identity.
If your identity is weak, potential clients don't give you an opportunity to prove to them how great you really are. What is worse, you never know that you lost that potential business!! What if you have lost a ton of business because finances seemed better used elsewhere? What if you have made assumptions about your clientele that they do not care about your logo and identity when they actually do? What could be different today if you had invested the time, money and effort into looking top-notch?
If you showed up to an important business meeting sloppily dressed and unshaven, can you expect to be taken seriously as a professional? If you are cognizant that your image may be a bit less impactful than your competitors, for goodness sakes, let's fix that!
You may have a fantastic product or service, make sure that everything you present publicly mirrors that professionalism and quality! Call NLC today!
DID YOU KNOW?
On average, business owners waste about 4 billion hours each year dealing with tasks that could easily be delegated to vendors or other employees, yet they work twice as much as their employees. Business strategists recommend delegating as many non-critical tasks as possible to work smarter, not harder
Outsourcing social media is a winning strategy for maximizing the most of your time without sacrificing the quality of your customer engagement campaigns.
Good for budgets
There’s scarcely a business owner on the planet who isn’t watching the bottom line all the time. Tight budgets mean every penny must be pinched and every dollar squeezed, especially for startups operating on a shoestring.
Unfortunately, in-house media teams are often besieged with runaway costs and overages that eat away at their piece of the budgetary pie. Whether it’s unplanned overtime to cover for a marketing department member whose out sick or the unexpected cost of buying analytics tools to track your progress across social channels, it’s easy to end up in the red before you’ve posted your final Facebook update for the week.
When you outsource your social media, there are no surprise expenses, no last-minute software purchases, and no scrambling to cover gaps in coverage. You know what your costs are upfront and can plan accordingly, knowing your social accounts are in good hands.
Surround yourself with experts
You know that old adage, business owners don’t need to know everything if they surround themselves with people who are experts in their own field? Bringing in an outside social media team fits this concept perfectly.
Unless you’re running a social media firm, your expertise probably lie in other areas. Just as you’d hire an electrician to wire the fire alarms in your office, so should you hire professionals to handle this unique aspect of your marketing strategy.
Businesses that hand off important social media tasks to a new intern or recent hire are brands that don’t fare as well in social marketing. You don’t need to know everything about the nuts and bolts of social media management as long as you hire a team that does.
Hang in there
Social marketing takes momentum and time to build. It’s easy to get discouraged when you don’t see immediate results, especially when you feel like your time could be better spent working on other ways to grow your business.
“Too many small businesses that try social media marketing either don't do it right or don't do it long enough, or both, and then give up, thinking it doesn't work. You can absolutely use social media to drive and track new leads and sales, increased frequency of purchase from current customers, both very hard business metrics, but don't expect this to happen overnight, or over three weeks. Expect to see (and by all means track!) results within six to nine months.”
It takes a long time to see results because business owners are pulled in many directions and only have a limited time to devote to making it work. Outsourcing teams have the expertise and ability to groom your social media accounts for solid growth in less time.
Looking for a Real-time Partner for life? NLC is here to help!
Because I care. Because I will be the one doing YOUR work. Because there is no middle man. Because I don't have employees to pay or an overhead to cover. Because my interest lies ONLY with your satisfaction. Because I know what I am doing. Because you can hold my work next to any agency and see that I am not only competitive, but often, superior to firms that charge triple what I charge. Because I am honest to the core and I will always treat you with respect and integrity. Because your design will be unique and special.
Because I care, a lot.
That is a great question. How much time do you have? Here's a starter list, maybe something will inspire you!
Logo, letterhead, business card, brochure, door hangers, postcards, newsletters, annual report, sales letters, order forms, menus, newspaper ads, magazine ads, web ads, bookmarks, faux credit cards, sales flyers, posters, banners, car magnets, signage, promotional "useful" things, multi-item campaigns to establish presence, t-shirts, email blasts, websites, catalogs, magazines, workbooks, rack cards, event promotion, event coordination, event signage, event decor, book cover and interior, study guides, billboards, video and audio case cover and interior, packaging design, folders, direct mail, radio, net or tv advice, marketing materials, labels, note cards, notepads, appointment cards, thank you cards, gift certificates, loyalty cards... in other words, pretty much anything!
Nope and I don't intend to! Design inspiration, speed, production quality and the jolly I get out of an absolutely ecstatic client are all I am concerned about. (See your happiness is really all about me!)
I don't need the fancy work clothes, a stiff upper lip or serious demeanor to do what I do. I am energized by and adore people as a whole. I love to have a true friendship with my clients so that they are comfortable telling me exactly how they feel. I'm a tough old bird and can take it. I'd much rather someone be straight (but polite!) and honest, because if they are worried about ruffling these feathers, I can't get the truth. If I can't get the truth, I can't "capture the spirit" of what they are all about. So relax. It's all good. I'm here to serve and have a laugh along the way. Let's get your designs right the first time with clear, open, candid communication. I'll be a goof, I'll be in hyper drive, we'll have fun and we'll get it done!
The work will speak for itself.
That's a great question. Many great thinkers answer a question, with a question. Ask yourself, what do my clients need? That will often tell you what you need to do next.
Is the need a service or a widget? How can you meet that need? After you find the most efficient answer to that question, then ask yourself how your client likes to be contacted. What method of delivery will garner the most positive response? Do you have a way of measuring that response? Will that response result in lucrative sales of your service or widget or simply leave a positive impression?
Impressions. Sometimes, the warm fuzzies will result in sales later on. Can you tie your service into a charity? Oh yeah, consumers eat that up. Win win. Always the way to go and always take the high road. Don't get caught up in bashing the competition or snarkin another product, you are the best because, you ARE the best. It is all in the delivery and the true belief in your business service/product. If you deliver with integrity, the rest will fall into place.
So think about it. What question do you need to ask?
You have a new logo. YEAH! Finally, you've captured the essence of what you are all about. Now don't mess with it! Don't stretch it, don't let it be too close to anything else, let it breathe. Don't change your corporate colors and don't let just anyone have it. Protect it like a fine gem, it is your identity.
Use the RGB .jpg files for web or low end printing (like off your printer), use the .pdf for sending to higher end printers. The .eps, you can't see, but it is the top end of your logo quality. Send that one to high end printers, sign companies and the like. Those guys just love them some vector art.
BACK IT UP
Save your original files all over the place. Seriously. Save them on your hard drive, iCloud, flashdrives, backup drives, onto a cd, everywhere. Why? God forbid something happen to me or your computer, but if it did, you don't want to pay another designer to rebuild your logo. It will never be the same and you'll be quite a bit lighter in the wallet.
Some folks think it is fun to change up their logo every few years. Good for them, but it isn't smart.
Think about it. It is like that chick in college who always was changing her hair color. After a while, you wondered if she was flaky or confused on who she really was. It just sends the wrong message. Big name companies don't get to be recognized overnight, it takes years of careful, strategic marketing.
Be careful, be patient, build the brand, they will come.