Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Photo or Not?

> I've been sending out a monthly email newsletter for about a year and a half now, and I stick to a few things that were important to me to incorporate: I intentionally keep the text short and simple; I stay consistent—making sure to send it out about the same time each month, every month; and, of course, I try to make it visually interesting.
> I check out other email newsletters, to see how mine compares. To see if there are things I could and should improve. I ran across an article with 10 tips, some that I hadn't considered. One of those things suggests to include a photo of myself. I don't use a photo of myself, and while the reason for doing it is a good one, (potential clients feel more like they know you), I don't have a photo of myself on my web site either. 
> It made me think...does it matter what I look like? Is my appearance a deal-maker or breaker? I've always been perplexed by the realty industry. Why DO they have photos on their business cards? I'm pretty sure that whatever reason they include it, could be applied to most careers, and I'd be curious to know the stats—does including the photo really help their business? Does it make people trust them, or feel like they know them? If it really does achieve those things, then shouldn't everyone, regardless of profession, include a photo of themselves on their cards? 
> I guess I'm skeptical about what it really accomplishes in most cases. A good exception? A model! Someone whose business truly IS the way they look, that's a business card that really could benefit from a personal photo!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Coveting Carpet

> I was in Vegas for a couple days last week. Went into this fabulous book store called Assouline. Very elegant, wonderful coffee table style books, collections, and installations. We spent a good amount of time looking at everything. I'd love to design books for them! My favorite thing in the whole store though, was their carpet. Yes, the carpet. The photo explains everything.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

When to Spend

> I'm working on a branding project for a client's new business. A new business-owner in the current economy needs to be cautious. There are ways to spend less when you're putting together your identity materials, but there are also places where you should spend a little more. And the distinction between them can make a big difference.
> My client and I are currently discussing some specialty printing techniques that will cost more that typical offset printing, and a lot more than digital printing. Not that there's anything wrong with either—I use both on a regular basis and feel confident that for most projects they are a great way to go. But there are some times that it's appropriate, even necessary, to increase the production budget, in order to project the right message.
> You have to consider your audience, and the "lifespan" of the piece, along with the price. My client's target audience is high-end: people with a lot of money who are looking for investment advice. They are well aware of quality when they see and feel it, so spending a little extra money will go a long way when they feel a heavier stock, or the texture of a letterpress or embossed business card. The tactile quality of a well-considered business card makes the statement: "The person who gave me this card knows obviously what quality is. They know the value of things, and they are more likely to be knowledgeable in the areas of money and finance. We probably think alike, and they are probably like me in some ways, so I can probably trust them." If something "feels" more substantial, more "important", it's more likely that the recipient will think those same positive thoughts about the company. And they will likely keep the card. It doesn't feel "cheap", or like junk, so it's a bigger decision to throw it away. And a card that someone keeps, means you're more likely to come to mind when they're looking for a service you provide.
> I've heard, (and I believe it in this case), "you gotta put money in, to get money out."