Monday, March 29, 2010

being better

> If you run a small business, you have to work harder to stand apart from your competition. It's not impossible though. In the June 2009 issue of HOW Design magazine, Glenn John Arnowitz wrote an article specifically directed to in-house creative departments, but I believe the information applies to any small business. He shares a couple of suggestions that are so simple, you may think you're already doing them. And if you are, good for you. But maybe you can be doing it better. 
> First, let people know what you're doing that's different or better than your competition. Explain what you do. Next, do good work, outstanding work. Then finally, tell everyone about the great work you're doing. If you're doing it right, the cycle will feed itself.
> Sounds simple, doesn't it? I have been designing for over 20 years (eek!) and I've had a couple of occasions where someone who has known me for years "discovers" something they didn't know I could do. I realized I needed to do a better job of sending a clear message about what I do, especially as I refine my areas of expertise. 
> While your "categorical" target audience may remain the same, the companies and individuals who are within that target change. Making the effort to continually educate others about your service, is vital to having a smart marketing strategy.
> Another vital part of that strategy is making sure your "visual message" is consistent with the verbal message you're broadcasting. Do your business card, your web site, and any other applications of your brand visually "belong" together? Do your logo and brand accurately represent you and set you apart from your competition? Are you confident that they present you professionally and in the most positive light when you're competing for a potential client?
> If you're just starting out and you need help creating your brand, or your small business identity just needs a facelift, or an expansion of what you've already got going, mGraphicDesign specializes in creating projects that will help small businesses put their best foot forward.

Friday, March 12, 2010


> Back when my first niece was a baby, I created an alphabet with hand-drawn, hand-painted animals and drew her name, and gave it to her parents as a gift. I got an email last week from a friend asking me to do the name of her beautiful newly adopted son. 
> Over the past 20-something years, I've finessed and refined the drawings, and have probably painted over 100 names. Things have come full circle...that "baby" niece is expecting her first baby soon, and as I am with each request I get, if she wants me to do her baby's name, I will be flattered.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

one thing at a time

>  Years ago, I was concerned about launching my first web site—I wanted everything to be "perfect". My background and expertise is primarily in print design, where you don't "finish" and distribute a job until there are no errors. However, I got some advice from a fellow designer. He told me, "Just get it out there. You can finesse and make changes as often as you want, but at least get it out there".  So I did. 

>  Since I'm the one doing everything: the design, production, accounting, sales, janitorial, etc., I'm not always able to take the time to finalize and finesse things for myself, like I do for my clients. My own projects take the back seat, but it doesn't mean I can't make things happen. I just have to do them a little differently. Like my blog. I knew I wanted and needed to get one going, but only took a minimal amount of time getting it started. I made sure it was green, (of course), but didn't play too much with the formatting at the time, knowing that as my brand continued to develop and expand in other areas, the graphics and style would be take less time if I applied it as I went along.
>  Yesterday, I finally took some time to update the header and style of my blog. Through my email newsletter and the overhaul to my web site, I had figured out the style elements I wanted to apply to my blog, so I was able to reduce the design time and just do a little production to make my blog a more cohesive piece of my entire brand.
>  Not necessarily the ideal, but it works. For myself, I've found that I can do everything, as long as I do one thing at a time.