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Posts Tagged ‘Graphic Design’

tips on branding and design canberra

We’re still disseminating some of our knowledge to prospective and current clients through email campaigns at the moment. Those on our lists will be getting regular emails with tips on design and branding issues pertinent to small and medium business.

You can find the latest from the Luxgraphicus website.

So that Canberra Small Business Blog readers don’t miss out, I’ll be posting bundled sets of tips here in my regular spot.

Please make comment or feedback on anything you find interesting, confusing, in need of more detail or otherwise worthy of comment. I look forward to developing a dialogue over the coming weeks and months.

7 tips on website management

  1. If design is not your profession, hire a professional.
  2. Make sure your website looks like all your other marketing material (follow your brand rules).
  3. Make regular updates to your site. (clients and search engines like this)
  4. Check your statistics and title tags. (some easy SEO here. That’s Search Engine Optimisation!)
  5. Use a local (Australian) and reliable host.
  6. Learn how to use the sites CMS. (Content Management System)
  7. Use your key marketing messages to direct your visitors to where you want them to go.

7 tips on taming your designer (or getting the most from your designer)

  1. Brief your design professional on your audience and messages.
  2. Let them offer options and ask them why these options will work.
  3. Provide real deadlines. (not just asap, or before lunch!)
  4. Provide feedback and amendments promptly. (so they still remember the job. It may even still be up on their screen!)
  5. Define the scope of your task in the briefing. (this will allow for costs to be estimated up-front)
  6. Provide feedback based on the original briefing scope and direction.
  7. Don’t rely on them to spell correctly! (proof read carefully)

5 tips on electronic publishing

  1. Save on print costs with on-demand printing from PDF.
  2. Apply your brand to everything inc. emails, blogs, PDF downloads, etc…
  3. Make your reports available as PDF downloads from your website.
  4. Send your brochures or fliers to clients as PDF’s by email.
  5. Ask your design professional to make them interactive too!

 

See you next time, and remember, the best businesses are watching their branding!

Brian Miller
Creative Director
Luxgraphicus Design Agency

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branding and design

We’re still disseminating some of our knowledge to prospective and current clients through email campaigns at the moment. Those on our lists will be getting regular emails with tips on design and branding issues pertinent to small and medium business.

You can find the latest from the Luxgraphicus website.

So that Canberra Small Business Blog readers don’t miss out, I’ll be posting bundled sets of tips here in my regular spot.

Please make comment or feedback on anything you find interesting, confusing, in need of more detail or otherwise worthy of comment. I look forward to developing a dialogue over the coming weeks and months.

10 tips on re-newing your brand for growth

  1. If design is not your profession, hire a professional.
  2. Research your audience.
  3. Ask, why re-brand?
  4. Brief your design professional on your messages and audience.
  5. Consider a wide range of options.
  6. Let go of previous solutions.
  7. Package your “stuff” (visual collateral) to keep costs under control.
  8. Use the change to promote your business more, or differently.
  9. Plan to phase out ALL old material.
  10. Ask your design professional for a set of rules for application to ALL your “stuff” (visual collateral).
  11. Ask your design professional for an ongoing review of your branding.

(oops, that’s eleven!)

5 tips on email marketing management

  1. Keep your emails short and fun.
  2. Allow unsubscribes.
  3. Make your emails look like all your other marketing material (follow your brand rules)
  4. Use HTML emails (they look better and nearly everyone can see them).
  5. Track opens and click throughs on links.
  6. Build your database with online subscription web forms.

(still having trouble counting!)

 

See you next time, and remember, the best businesses are watching their branding!

Brian Miller
Creative Director
Luxgraphicus Design Agency

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branding and design

We’re still disseminating some of our knowledge to prospective and current clients through email campaigns at the moment. Those on our lists will be getting regular emails with tips on design and branding issues pertinent to small and medium business.

You can also follow these tips regularly on the Luxgraphicus blog.

So that Canberra Small Business Blog readers don’t miss out, I’ll be posting bundled sets of tips here in my regular spot.

Please make comment or feedback on anything you find interesting, confusing, in need of more detail or otherwise worthy of comment. I look forward to developing a dialogue over the coming weeks and months.

7 tips on design for start-up businesses

If design is not your profession, hire a professional.
Research your audience.
Brief your design professional on your messages and audience.
Get your brand design done before your website, business card and brochure.
Plan ALL your requirements, then get some done now.
Get the others done later by the same designer.
Ask your design professional for an ongoing review of your branding.

10 tips on re-freshing your brand

If design is not your profession, hire a professional.
Keep all your “stuff” (visual collateral) consistent.
Look to “modernise” your logo (keep it’s shape and intent, change its feel and appeal)
Add some new graphics and text treatments
Compliment your standard colour palette with a few new ones.
Choose a small set of iconic images for your marketing and promotion
Change the format (shape & size) of some material.
Change the delivery method of some material.
Use a quality paper stock for your key material.
Ask your design professional for an ongoing review of your branding.

See you next time, and remember, the best businesses are watching their branding!

Brian Miller
Creative Director
Luxgraphicus Design Agency

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tips on branding and design canberra

We’re disseminating some of our knowledge to prospective and current clients through email campaigns at the moment. Those on our lists will be getting regular emails with tips on design and branding issues pertinent to small and medium business.

You can also follow these tips regularly on the Luxgraphicus blog.

So that Canberra Small Business Blog readers don’t miss out, I’ll be posting bundled sets of tips here in my regular spot.

Please make comment or feedback on anything you find interesting, confusing, in need of more detail or otherwise worthy of comment. I look forward to developing a dialogue over the coming weeks and months.

7 tips on why branding?

  1. Your client’s perception of your business is based on how they see you.
  2. They “see” you at every contact point with your business.
  3. This impression is created in a second.
  4. Their perception is often unconscious.
  5. This perception is often not a considered decision.
  6. To your client, their perception IS reality.
  7. When this perception is positive, potential sales become clients, and clients become advocates.

Why are the best businesses watching their branding?

5 tips on branding your business

  1. If design is not your profession, hire a professional.
  2. Review your brand and it’s purpose regularly (every 6 months).
  3. Apply brand rules across ALL aspects of your business.
  4. Apply brand rules ALL the time.
  5. Be consistent and stick to a single solution.

5 tips on managing your brand

  1. Review your brand regularly (every 6 months).
  2. Follow a checklist to make sure everything is considered.
  3. Create a system of rules.
  4. Make sure everyone follows the rules.
  5. Keep all your “stuff” (visual collateral) safe and retrievable.

See you next time, and remember, the best businesses are watching their branding!

Brian Miller
Creative Director
Luxgraphicus Design Agency

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Brian Miller – Creative Director, Luxgraphicus Design Agency

How many psychiatrists does it take to change a light bulb?

Last week I was asked  – “what would a business person be saying that would indicate that they might need a new business identity or re-branding?”

Chances are that those most in need of new or re-branded identities wouldn’t be saying anything about it at all! Those who would interest a designer as a potential client however might be talking about their marketing plan, or plans they have for growing their business, or entering  a new market. They would be giving off clues that they were proactively taking their business on a path towards success.

Have you had a light bulb moment lately?

I answered a research survey from a personal development coach today. By completing the survey and returning it I identified myself as their target audience. I was clearly ready to begin to accept the help of a coach in my development. All people would benefit from these services but it is vital that they, themselves see that they need and are ready for this help. Like the light bulb which can be changed by the single psychiatrist, so long as it wants to change, I was accepting that I too was ready to be helped. The questionaire survey raised several issues which swayed me in the direction of the coaching help, but just by taking the time and effort to start the survey rather than dump it in the bin, was evidence enough that I was ready to take the first steps with the coach. We could all do well by working with a development coach, but we have to want to. In fact it is often those who most need the help that are most unready to accept that help.

Similarly, all business could do well by working with a designer on the audit and review of their existing visual identity. Ongoing management of its application and access to its components for operational and marketing activities will ensure a consistent message delivery. This involvement can also identify areas for improvement and potential need to re-brand or re-fresh the existing branding details.

Those businesses in most need of this service will probably not place any value on it. They will dismiss the effort and resources required as unnecessary or wasteful. They are not ready for the change. They are not the audience of the designer. The designers audience are managing their business towards success. They have plans and they are carrying out those plans. A marketing plan will be key amongst those plans and the delivery of its messages will rely on visual design.

The business person may not know they have need for new design, but they will accept that doing an audit of their visual material is a worthwhile process, and one which could help them on their path towards success. Like the coach’s questionaire, accepting that doing the audit is not a waste of time is the first step in working with a designer to drive the success of the business.

It only takes one good designer to create a fabulous business identity, but the business has to want a fabulous identity!

Brian.

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Brian Miller, Creative Director, Luxgraphicus Design Agency

Brian Miller, Creative Director, Luxgraphicus Design Agency

I realised today, probably belatedly, that I like making shiny things.

If something isn’t shiny, then I like to make it shiny. It doesn’t need to be shiny, it just can be shiny.

Recently I polished the floorboards in our lounge room after ripping up the awful old carpet. I really enjoyed the process. The filling of holes and cracks, the sanding, the numerous coats of varnish with more sanding between each.

It’s now shiny! It looks great. People like to come into the room and walk on the floor. It adds amenity to the space and value too. The floor isn’t a better floor now. I haven’t made it stronger, or more useful as a floor. But people perceive it’s value as greater.

Why? Because it’s shiny!

I’ve also just made some wooden boxes to hold camping gear. (holiday activities you might notice) I’m very keen to add some more unnecessary coats of varnish to these too. It is sure to give them added value, plus I like sanding and varnishing, and looking at shiny things.

pic of shiny wooden floor

Shiny floor!

Making things look and feel shiny, or more polished, or professional, or targeted, or appropriate, or even just easier to read, gives the underlying material more value. Our old lounge room floor was just as good a floor before its makeover. It stopped us falling through to the dirt underneath. We could walk on it, put our chairs and TV on it, but it wasn’t as valuable. We didn’t enjoy walking on it. We didn’t want to show it to our friends. Others didn’t comment on how good it looked, wished they had one just like it, or contemplate doing the same themselves.

Designers like to make things shiny. The basic content, the marketing messages, the delivery method, they may all be created by others and be just as strong, but when a designer polishes them into a beautiful shiny thing, people want to look at it, they want to have one too and they want to show it to others.

Make your stuff shiny too and others will want one just like it.

I’m off to put the next coat of varnish on my wooden camping boxes.

Brian.

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Brian Miller, Creative Director, Luxgraphicus Design Agency

Brian Miller, Creative Director, Luxgraphicus Design Agency

How would you pay for the intellectual property of your business?

Specifically, the visual material which forms a vital part of the intellectual collateral associated with your business.

I’m not going to tell you the best way, or the cheapest way, or even my opinion here. I’m going to pose the question and provide some alternatives, then let you decide, or at least think about, the answers. Of course, if you’d like to discuss your ideas I’d love you to contribute to the blog here with comments and questions.

As designers, we’re creating intellectual property. But who owns it? Our clients commission us to do it. They pay us. (usually!) It’s created to be used in the operation of the business. But on what basis is it sold to the business? Does the initial fee cover the ownership of the intellectual property? Who owns copyright? Who has license to use the material?

Most of these are legal issues of course, which is not my area of speciality, although I do have some knowledge of copyright law and its application. I’m not going to dive into the deep waters of the legalities here!

But, as the owner of a design business, I am interested in how other business owners would be prepared to pay for the material created.

Recently I’ve been working on several approaches to licensing and payment for branding and identity projects. How would you be prepared to pay for the intellectual property which is so important to your business?

Here are some options;

Pay an upfront fee for the design work, and a license to use the work for the intended purpose. (later negotiation required for use beyond the original scope)

Pay a lesser upfront fee for the design work, with an ongoing (monthly or quarterly) fee for the license to use the work. (with outright transfer of the copyright after a negotiated period)

Pay a lesser upfront fee for the design work, with an ongoing premium on subsequent use of the work in designed and/or printed material. (with outright transfer of the copyright after a negotiated value of work completed)

Pay a greater upfront fee for the design work and full copyright ownership of the work. (no further negotiation required)

All have their strengths and weaknesses. There are, no doubt, alternatives too. As well as analogies from other industries.

As the owner of a design business I have my own preferred options, and as an innovator and entrepreneur, I can offer business owners added value through additional services within the licensing options, but which would the market support? (I’ll fill you in on the added value bits in subsequent posts!)

So which would you, as a small business owner or operator, be prepared to accept, to secure the intellectual property of your business?

Over to you…

Brian.

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