Sometimes new and inexperienced designers are quick to snap up every job they’re offered. An important step in building a well curated graphic design career is carefully selecting clients you want to work with. A shared vision with your client will save you from headaches later down the road. Here’s some critical questions to ask before agreeing to any graphic design project:
1.) What are you selling?
Get familiar with the product or service you are selling. Try it out. Take it for a test run. Learn the product inside and out so you can be an advocate. Being knowledgeable about the product your client is selling will help you to identify the perks to potential customers when designing marketing materials.
2.) What’s the message?
A company’s message should be able to be summarized in a single clear and concise sentence. If the message your client is trying to convey isn’t clear, ask questions to further clarify what the product does or what angle and selling tactics they want to use. If you’re taking on a new client, it is your responsibility to ensure you understand what they are trying to convey to potential customers.
3.) Who do you want to connect to?
Identifying the product target market is essential to what your design looks like and what types of marketing materials you will be printing. For example, an overly playful design is probably not appropriate if you are selling insurance to homeowners. Design elements need to be specific and appealing to the audience you are trying to connect to.
4.) When is your launch date?
Sticking to deadlines is not only professional but important when dealing with product launch dates. Ensuring your designs are approved in time to be printed and delivered to target groups is essential.
5.) Who are your main competitors?
Check out the competition as it’s an important first step in understanding how to separate the product from the pack. Clearly identify opportunities to showcase unique features when designing your print materials to ensure client and design satisfaction.
Whether you’re a small business looking to cast a wider net with direct mail marketing or creating an innovative Save-the-Date notice for an event, here’s some essential tips for designing postcards that will make an impression straight out of the mail box.
1.) Include a photo or graphic that supports the message.
Research shows that a catching graphic or image can increase the chance of your postcard being read. An image of a person looking directly at the reader is ideal but any image that supports the message works just fine.
2.) Keep it simple.
Avoid cluttering your postcard design. Don’t try to squeeze in all the information or facts about your product or event in such a small space. Direct the reader to where they need to go to find out more. A clear message and concise design are enough to make your postcard really pop.
3.) Include a call to action.
Now that you’ve got your reader’s attention, what do you want them to do? Whether it’s RSVP to an event or a promotional discount code, tell your reader what to do next. Measurable reader actions, like the aforementioned, help to gauge the success of your postcard campaign.
4.) Accommodate mailing details.
Don’t cover up the good stuff! More often than not, postcards get printed that don’t leave enough space for postage requirements. Be sure to include a return address and enough space around important information or design elements.
5.) Proofreed, poofread, proofread!
You’ve gone to all that hard work curating the perfect design elements for your postcard so be sure to take five minutes to proofread. Unfortunately, printers don’t offer refunds if you fail to proofread your copy writing before ordering a run of 1000. Take the time and don’t rush. Check twice and print once!
Our Postcard Promotion ends February 28, 2014. Additional costs for upgrades. Order here.
Postcards are an eye catching and easy way to advertise your business!
Our February promo is all about profiling your brand in new and innovative ways. 4×6 postcards are on sale all month long when you order our most popular quantities. Your postcards will come on 14pt stock with free AQ Coating when you order 500, 1000 or 5000. Upload your own design or use one of our free templates.
Sale ends February 28, 2014. Additional costs for upgrades.
The first month of 2014 has gone by quickly. Did you take this time to reevaluate your small business goals? Maybe it’s time to redesign your company logo, change your branding, start using direct mail marketing or print some new brochures but you just didn’t get around to it last year. Whether short term or long term planning, making realistic and specific goals as a way to increase productivity and overall earning potential is important no matter the size of your business.
If you’re starting your own business setting long term goals can be intimidating but they are certainly necessary. Planning long term for the next 3-5 years in tandem with quarterly goals helps to keep your business in check. Maria Marshall from Purdue University is a researcher on small and family businesses and recommends the following guidelines for long term planning:
“Service – Goals related to improving customer service satisfaction or customer retention.
Social – Goals that focus on giving back to the community, through philanthropy or volunteer organizations, for example.
Profit – Goals set to increase profits by a certain percentage.
Growth – Goals related to the expansion of the company, through new employees, for instance.”
For short term planning Marshall suggests the popular S.M.A.R.T method:
“Specific. In order to work, objectives need to be concrete (not as abstract as your long-term aims) and highly detailed.
Measurable. Put a figure or value, such as a dollar amount or percentage, to the objective.
Action-oriented. Lay out which actions need to be taken by which people, and when.
Realistic. Make goals challenging, but consider your resources so that you can actually achieve them reasonably.
Time specific. Set a deadline to keep things on track.”
Using one of our free templates is always a great option but if you’re looking for out of the box design, here are some unique ideas to get your creative juices flowing:
1. Have a Little Fun
Via Designer Daily
Just because it’s a business card doesn’t mean it has to be all business. Make your mark and have a little fun at the same time.
2. The Mullet
Not just for Bon Jovi circa 1982 anymore, “the mullet” lends itself quite well to business card design philosophy. Lead with a simple design and all the important details on the front then party it up to show off your personality on the back!
3. Be Bold
Via Top Design Mag
Daring colours and font choices can create memorable and eye catching business cards. Check out Color Combinations and Color Schemes for amazing pre-selected colour palettes.
4. Keep it Simple
Simple designs with clean and concise font choices can be both impressive and to the point. Jazz up simple designs with matte paper or embossing.
5. Fold, Cut, Bend, Pop
Via Card Observer
Quite literally, make your business card pop. Using interesting and creative bends and folds is one way to show your business contacts that you’re a cut above the rest.
Check out our business card upgrade options before you submit your next business card order.
Start making new connections this New Year with some new bold business cards.
Our January promo is all about getting you out there networking. Get 500 of the best business cards around on 14pt card stock for only $9.99 with free AQ coating. Other upgrade options including coatings and stock type are in addition to promotional price.
Not sure where to begin? Check out our free templates or use our easy online design tool, here!
Sale ends January 31, 2014. Additional cost for upgrades.
Expanding your professional contacts often begins with attending networking events. After handing out and receiving dozens of business cards, how do you begin following up?
1.) Catalog your Cards
It’s time to get organized! Getting a system in place for following up with your new contacts is critical to your networking success. Try purchasing a binder with holders for your business cards and organize by business type, name, or job title. Cataloging business cards not only keeps you from losing important contacts but it allows you to compare and verify contacts. Ditch the messy desk drawer full of business cards and get organized!
2.) Scan and Save
If going digital is more your style, invest in a business card scanner and keep your cards cataloged on your computer. Transferring your contacts to a cloud based management system or Outlook will allow you to have your contacts at the touch of a click. Try using key words when categorizing contacts for easy searches.
3.) Verify Contacts
People talk the talk at networking events and it is important to verify their contact info before investing further hour in establishing business relationships. Start with a simple Google search and try finding them on LinkedIn. Validating a person’s career path is an essential first step before making contact.
4.) Conversation Start Up
When cataloging business cards, making quick notes about each person and what you talked about can be helpful when starting up conversations at a later date. Not only will it help you remember each person but it can help you find common ground. If you’re serious about contacting someone after a networking event, follow up within the first 24-48 business hours.
Now that you’re ready to get your business growing, first things first, take advantage of our January business card promotion, here.
A gig poster should never be just a gig poster. We’ve all seen them, the ubiquitous concert poster taped to a telephone pole or inside your favorite record shop. Then there’s the gig posters that are absolute pieces of art. Precision design, indie aesthetics, hand printed – some gig posters go above and beyond becoming coveted collector pieces and iconic images of the counter culture they represent.
As a 2012 SXSW Official Film Festival Selection, the documentary Just Like Being There highlights the transition of the gritty, taped to the wall concert poster to the highly collectible print. Check out the trailer, here.
Austin Town Hall recently profiled their top 5 gig poster artists. From design collectives like Invisible Creatures to Jay Ryan, some of the biggest bands and festivals in the world have been given their gig posters a nod to the more artistic of sensibilities.
While some bands prefer to work with various artists for gig posters, others, like Radiohead, prefer to collaborate almost exclusively with a single artist in order to merge artistic visions. Stanley Donwood has worked on Radiohead art and gig posters since 1994 creating memorable works of art that ebb and flow along with the band’s ever changing vision.
All this serious gig poster talk got you a little nervous about your next design job? Here’s some memorable concert posters to get your creative juices flowing via Buzzfeed. Remember we’ve got you covered for all your poster options, here.
Logo design is one of the most important factors in branding the lasting image of a company. It doesn’t matter if you’re creating a logo for a large, medium or small sized company, the essential qualities of good logo design stay the same. A logo that stands the test of time but feels distinctly contemporary – even when nostalgia strikes – is something designers should strive for in the early stages of design development. Timelessness, simplicity and versatility are three powerful strategies that can keep bad logos from happening to good designers.
“If you do it right, it will last forever.” – Massimo Vignelli
While Vignelli is famous for designing iconic logos for both American Airlines and Bloomingdale’s, his quote also speaks to the inherent timelessness of the Coca-Cola logo. This graphic compares the ongoing Pepsi identity crisis and the classic image of Coca-Cola that is forever branded in the mind of the public.
“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” – Albert Einstein
Shopping at Target is hardly rocket science but Einstein has a point. Knowing your client down to the core helps removes the unnecessary and clarifies strategic messages to the audience. In other words, the designer distills.
“I never gave up painting, I just changed my palette.” – Ray Eames
Eames may have been talking about creating mid-century modern furniture, but the building blocks of quality design are the same. Logos should be able to transmit powerful and purposeful messages across various mediums. Your design shouldn’t struggle to fit a range of outlets like business cards, posters, billboards, or shopping bags.
Postcards are one of of the most cost-effective and versatile marketing tools for businesses. If your 2014 print marketing solutions include postcard distribution you’re going to want to snag this deal early!
We have adjusted our postcard pricing for 500, 1000, and 5000 piece orders of 5.5″ x 8.5″ 14pt stock with AQ coating. Shop at eprintfast.com now and start saving!
Sale ends December 31, 2013.