My Thoughts and Processes
I’m a graphic and web designer helping businesses with their marketing material.
I have been working in this industry for many years… in art studios, advertising agencies and magazine publishing houses.
I’ve learnt the branding concept of keeping the look and feel of a company consistent across all mediums creates an identity that show consistency and therefore portrays reliability and professionalism to the market.
I thought I would briefly go over the three main areas of my work, and give you my thoughts and processes.
First is Logo Design:
Logos are designed to create an identity for your business. It needs to be relevant for your market and portray your businesses style. This means even the colour and font are chosen for a reason, not just because they look pretty.
The strategy behind designing a successful and memorable logo involves a process which progresses through various stages of Listening - which is the brief from a client, what the business is about, who their customers are, Research – which starts with asking the client if they have preference to colours, fonts, like a particular logo, what they don’t like, Development – which is designing the logo options and presenting them to the client, Feedback and changes, through to the final logo.
I always start out with pencil and paper to work out different ideas, putting down the obvious in my head to be able to move onto further options.
When I’m happy with the direction one or more are taking then I will transfer the ideas to the computer.
Sometimes as I’m designing one logo another will evolve and I can offer that as another option.
Once I have the base logo developed in black and white I then begin working with colour, font and scale of all the elements.
I usually present at least two options with colour and font variations to a client.
When given a brief, every designer interprets it in their own way and if an assignment is given to 100 different designers, it would return 100 different logos, few of which would resemble each other. Though we all endlessly conjecture what makes a ‘good‘ or ‘bad‘ logo, one must remember in the end, the ultimate arbiter of logo design greatness may only be the satisfied client.
Another area I do a lot of work in is Print Design.
Also known as Graphic Design, Print Design usually begins with a logo, copy, colour and images coming together to create your corporate identity, on printed marketing material.
I have worked on a great variety of printed jobs from business cards, flyers, brochures, manuals, posters, show displays, pull-up banners, advertisements, and understand many of the technical requirements for each.
The layout must be targeted at your specific market by visually presenting the business consistently through a well thought out branding design. Remembering your logo needs to be cohesive part of your overall ‘look and feel’.
It’s about not using up all the space for the sake of it. Elements are positioned and sized for a reason – not placed randomly.
Over the years I’ve come to recognise the importance of layout – it’s really subtle but it makes a huge difference to clients and customers perception of a business.
My job is to know when to use and how to fit the elements and colour together creating the look – it’s a design decision.
A dream client is one with a big budget J - open to using lots of the embellishments available – embossing, foiling, die-cutting, overglossing, using unusual paper stock etc.
I do have a couple of clients willing to invest in these options, but most of my clients are much more budget conscious J.
Another area I work in is Web Design and Social Media.
These days websites and some form of social media have become an increasingly important part of any business.
Designing a website begins knowing what the client is expecting the site to do for the them – is it an online brochure site wanting to generate enquires and phone calls, or are they wanting to sell product and generate sales with an ecommerce site.
A website has three seconds to get the viewers attention before they move on – so the layout, images and headline has to answer what they are looking for, and give them a sense that you are professional.
That is why the home page image must be the ‘right’ image – ‘a picture speaks a thousand words’.
Adding testimonials and case studies with imagery, plus associations and awards gives credibility.
Email marketing is still a powerful and low-cost marketing tool that can significantly increase your repeat business.
While I design websites I work with a couple of different developers to build a site depending on cost and functionality required.
Once a site is built I can content load it with text, images, links and forms, then the client checks it over before going live – and remember a website is never suppose to be static - you should at least be updating it at least monthly.
Once a site is live I offer maintenance and updates.
I can set up and send out newsletters to a database.
Often potential customers will check you out online before making serious contact, so your website and social media presence must give them confidence in you and your business.
I would recommend LinkedIn at least for every business. LinkedIn has been likened to a boardroom, so more formal shared information, and FB as a coffee shop – more social interaction.
There are many social media choices and not all are needed for every business – it’s about finding the right match for the customers.
So that is a very broad overview of what I can offer clients.
If you and your business can use some help maintaining your brand give me a call 021 2121306 or email me to discuss your options.
I look forward to hearing from you!