Information Sells: Give Customers Enough to Complete the Sale

This weekend I spent time at what may become one of my favorite spots in Maine. It was an apple orchard + bakery + home-roasted espresso bar. Those are three of my favorite things in life. However, their lack of information in the bakery nearly made me overlook several items. The more I knew, the more I wanted to buy. The bakery case was filled with different goodies. I knew from reading their web site that they were supposed to have many items that featured their own, organic apples. So I wanted to choose one of those. But nothing was labeled. So, I started asking: “What is that?”, “What is that?”, “What is that?” as I pointed to anything looking apple-y looking. My first two guesses were incorrect, and as I sensed the line growing behind me, I was feeling some pressure to make a decision. I knew the donuts were cider donuts (they had been advertised on the web […]

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Creativity and Pricing

The creative process can be a challenge to control, and therefore tricky to price. One of the best and worst things about being a graphic designer is that the work is creative, but also functional. It has a distinct commercial application as the end result. Whether it’s to promote a service, educate someone or explain how something works, graphic design is ultimately a commercial endeavor. Therefore, someone cares about how much it costs. I read a great quote on a fairly new blog called Group Thinkery. In a comment, book designer Christopher Tobias stated: I try to give every client 100%. No matter what the budget. Those who are willing to think and work and are open to creative ideas end up with the best product. Project variability I couldn’t agree more. It can be difficult to price graphic design services. It is a combination of how long something will take and also value of the end product. What I […]

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Is Design A Litmus Test for Business Success?

Recently, I have found out that two old clients of mine have filed for bankruptcy. Each owed me a small amount of money, which means I’m included as a creditor in all the filings. Honestly, I had written off both of them long ago. But, I do think it’s sad to see someone fail, and I always hope that my business adds to another business’ success. However, I feel like I could see the writing on the wall long ago. Let me use one of these clients as an example. Failure to consider design and branding When I met these small business owners, they were selling their product at fairs and farmers markets and wanted to expand their business to an e-commerce Web site. It seemed like a good avenue to grow their business. At our first meeting I asked to see their existing brand identity—logo, packaging, etc.—and to get electronic files of these to incorporate into the Web design. […]

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Small Design Firms Are Capable of World Class Design

A recent examination by Fast Company compares large, global design agencies to smaller studios, and there is a lot to like about small firms. …change has arrived and the design world is no longer dominated by large design agencies. … It’s a good change and it is an important change since it’s about the availability of top-notch design to every product or company. What I love about this sentiment is that it means that more businesses in general should be able to afford to work with an experienced graphic design shop and get top-quality design work. In the past, there were so many more obstacles to small business owners than there are today. Old days: the big guys bought lot of advertising and reaped the rewards; the little guys couldn’t afford it. Now: social media is overtaking advertising so anyone can compete. Old days: the big guys had fancy collateral designed and printed; the little guys couldn’t afford it. Now: […]

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Why Consistency Is So Important to Branding (Via The Hot Iron)

Today’s post can be read at The Hot Iron, a blog produced by Mike Maddaloni of Dunkirk Systems, LLC. Mike and I have partnered on many web projects; he does the development and I do the design. If you haven’t already, check out his blog on business and technology. Here’s the direct link to: Why Consistency Is So Important to Branding

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