Visible Logic Profiled on Start-Up Nation

Startup Nation, one of my favorite web sites to find information about starting and running a business, has featured yours truly in their current Small Business Profile. Check it out, leave a comment, etc. http://www.startupnation.com/blogs/index.php/2009/06/08/small-business-profile-visibile-logic/ Thanks to Christine Haskell for putting into words many of my thoughts I can’t express so clearly myself.

Read More...

Do-It-Yourself Business Cards, or Hire a Pro?

If you’re starting a business you’re going to need business cards. But if you’re starting a business, you may be looking to save money on the myriad of upfront costs involved with getting the company up and running. Let’s look at the different levels of professionalism and brand identity that you could consider when getting your first business cards. Design & Branding Fees vs. Production Costs There are two steps to creating your business card: first is the design of the card, and the second is the printing of the card. For the design, you will likely start by developing a logo or a logotype (a specific, customized typesetting of the business name). In addition, you will need to typeset your contact information, and then you will need to look at the layout of the entire card. You could try to do these yourself, or you could work with an experienced designer. For the production, you will need to find… Continue Reading »

Read More...

Heart of Sharing with United Way: How Can a Designer Help?

Day of Caring / Heart of Sharing Last Thursday, I volunteered with nearly 90 other creative professionals with United Way’s Day of Caring/Heart of Sharing Day. Designers, web developers, marketing specialists, photographers, writers and PR specialists were partnered with Portland area non-profits to give free, personalized advice to help them achieve their marketing goals. The sessions were 90-minutes long and each non-profit was assigned a team of creatives to help them. This was the first time I participated, but there were many professionals who had volunteered in the past, and this was the event’s twelth year. I wasn’t sure what could be accomplished in such a short time, but it was exciting to help prioritize a strategy for these local groups. Winter Kids I was assigned to work with Winter Kids. Although they have enough grant money and sponsorships to be able to afford well-designed printed materials, they were looking for ideas on how reach more people. Winter Kids focuses… Continue Reading »

Read More...

Rebranding Blackwater: Your Brand is Much More than Your Name & Logo

Blackwater’s reputation and brand Blackwater is a private security and military company that has won numerous government contracts to support the US military. While fulfilling their contracts in Iraq, they ended up under hostile fire and also inflicting harm on innocent Iraqi civillians. Many remember, with a shudder, hearing about several of Blackwater’s stand-offs and skirmishes that led to fatal shootings in 2007. With a history like that, it’s understandable why Blackwater would want to start over with a new brand. The name Blackwater has become tainted, and is now synonomous with all of the distasteful practices that surround the war in Iraq and President Bush’s time in office. Blackwater is renamed Xe Blackwater had already made some adjustments to its logo that lessened the look of the bear in the cross-hairs. But now it has completely renamed itself as Xe. It has ditched the bear paw print and replaced it with a very tech-looking typography-only logo. It has also… Continue Reading »

Read More...

Appropriate Design: When It's Better to Think Inside the Box

Like many graphic designers, at some point I’ve probably promoted my services as  “unique.” I often promise to deliver “creative” solutions. But sometimes we need to build on people’s expectations and design in ways that are appropriate, rather than just doing something different. I thought about this today as I was walking home from work. I was walking by an old brownstone-type building that is on a historic block in Portland. These old buildings are beautiful, but also probably difficult to maintain. This is the sign I saw attached to the broken handrail on the steps going to the front door. It is a lovely handmade sign. With legible, hand-done typography and even a nice border. The purple ribbon is especially beautiful. All this would be great for an invitation or a welcome sign, but it’s not very effective as a warning sign. Yes, I’m picking on this poor little sign. But the point is that sometimes you need to… Continue Reading »

Read More...