Design From the Heart

Heart

Why do your customers buy from you? Is it because your company provides the Best Price, Quality & Service? Blah, blah, blah…snooze.

Every amateur marketer or salesperson relies on these points to sell their services, but that’s not what we buy.

We buy the intangibles

We don’t buy the sweater. We buy the feeling of the fit, the energy of the color, and the experience of the texture. We invest in who we feel we become in the sweater.

We purchase pride and prestige

We pay for the feeling of belonging to something bigger, something popular, current or trendy. Bang wagon Superbowl fans understand this. Not unlike last minute Valentine’s Day cards, team gear flies off the shelves the days leading up to the Superbowl – Not to mention all the Skittles in Seattle. We don’t want to feel left behind. Wanting to be a part of the fun.

Think beyond Price, Quality and Service. Aren’t those expected anyway?

Have you ever seen an ad for a dental office touting they are the cheapest dentists in town, using the highest quality fillings while they drill into your tooth faster than any other dentist within 100 miles? Of course not, that would be ridiculous. And a little frightening.

Design From the Heart

Choose your words carefully and get to the point with your copy. Period. Just because you write it, doesn’t mean they’ll read it.

Use authentic adjectives to describe the products you’re selling (Luxurious Ride, Painless Fillings, Current Styles, etc.).

Don’t go overboard with the over-promising adjectives or you’ll sound like an infomercial (Amazing Offer, Spectacular Savings, Unbelievable Quality, etc.).

Use pictures to provoke a thought or evoke a feeling. Prospects are more likely to remember your story if they figure it out themselves and Photos are a great tool to create a perception of your company in their minds.

Focus on the feeling and speak to the senses. You’ve heard it before “Sell the Sizzle, NOT the Steak”.

Details about Price, Quality & Service are important in preventing buyer’s remorse, so be sure to reinforce these attributes after the sale. This reinforces your customer’s excellent decision and creates confidence. Stay in touch and you’ll likely land a repeat customer.

www.markit4events.com

Do Your Business Cards Measure Up?

Measuring Tape

This little seemingly insignificant 2″ x 3 1/2″ piece of paper can be the difference between a follow up or no follow up after a networking event like a Trade Show, or Conference.

There are really only 2 purposes for your business card, Establish your Brand and provide your Contact Information.

Here are some tips about what NOT to do with your card.

Common Mistakes to Avoid:

Font Frustration

Don’t make your font too small. Avoid light colors and distracting elements.

Your name, company and relevant contact information should be easy to read at arm’s length. Don’t make me get my readers out. It makes us both look bad.

Icon Overkill

Only include social icons if it is important to your company.

If you haven’t secured your vanity URL ( ie: www.Facebook.com/MarkitMotion ) then a Facebook icon is unhelpful. Facebook thanks you for the advertising though. You must list the full URL if you can’t be found by name.

Unless you have a purpose for showcasing your social presence, leave it off your card. If you don’t manage your social sites, it’s like inviting someone to your house when you’re out of town.

Information Overload

Your Business Card is not a brochure. Decide what’s important first, before you design it.

  • Do you need your address if no one ever comes to your business?
  • Do you use a fax anymore?

Inconsistent Branding

Is your logo the same as on your website or store front? Policing your brand is crucial to building trust. Be sure your logo is consistent and clear.

Don’t forget about the back of your card. This is a great place to share your brand message or logo. Reinforce a promise or give directions.

                   www.markit4events.com

Brand Messaging for Personality Types

Measure-Up.2

It’s not what you say…it’s what they hear

When my dogs start barking in my backyard they don’t stop if I scream at them because all they hear is me barking along with them. Even though I’m yelling “Quiet, keep it down” they think “alright he’s barking along with us” only reinforcing their actions.

Likewise, in marketing your Brand, The Golden Rule doesn’t always apply when your customer’s personality type is different than your own. Intuitive Branding takes the recipient’s point of view into consideration and translates the message accordingly.

Branding by Design

Visual Brand Design creates an interest in your brand with a logo for quick recognition and a carefully selected color pallet that supports your message. Understand your color selection and choose wisely. For instance, financial institutions might want to stay away from being too “in the red” for obvious reasons.

Clarity in Words

Once you’ve stopped your prospects in their tracks with your visually intriguing logo design you need to understand that their attention is only temporary. You only have a few seconds to convince people to invest more time to understand what you do. Using a clear tagline near your logo provides a brief view into your message. Then you can begin the conversation by getting to the point quickly with your succinct copy writing. Don’t waste their time. Just because you write it doesn’t mean they’ll read it.

What now?

If these first 2 steps have been effective in creating an interest in your product or service it’s important that you tell viewers exactly what you want them to do. Do you want them to purchase something on your website? Pick up the phone and call? Attend a special event at your store? Give clear instructions.

Follow Through

Like your golf swing, what happens after you hit the ball is just as important as before you make contact. Prepare your organization to effectively act on your prospect’s response. Website orders should be easy to place, phone calls should be answered without prompts and your store should be clean and welcoming.

Whether your brand is introduced by direct mail sending emails, or a printed piece resented at a tradeshow the process of creating and supporting your brand remains the same. Clarity in who you are, why they need you and how to get it will give you a better chance at converting prospects into customers.

Rick Garrett
Rick Garrett, CEO and founder of Markit Motion, Inc.

Rick Garrett is he CEO and founder of Markit Motion, Inc. Rick started Markit Motion in 2009 using all of his experience to provide corporate branding solutions to businesses in their efforts to communicate with their customers.

Looking for promotional products for your next event? Click here 

The Cost of Free Design

Nothing-Sign

You’re in a meeting discussing the need for a new brochure and redesigning your company logo, when George (from accounting) offers to create the logo for FREE. Everyone’s excited that the project can be done in-house and you’ll save tons of money because it’s free.

Sounds like a great idea right?

Wrong. Nothing comes for free. Free is costly and free can be damaging.

You may not know how much revenue is lost if a design is done poorly. But if you miss the mark with your customers, you will lose business. Maybe a lot of business!

Do you have someone on staff that can design a logo for free? What does that mean anyway?

Doesn’t it mean they are going to stop doing the job you are paying them to do to dabble in design?

Doesn’t it also mean that if they were a great designer, they probably wouldn’t be working for you in accounting?

Even if your billing representative artist comes up with a new design, they may not understand the file formats needed for various projects.

An incorrect logo file format might be:

  • Rejected by a printer
  • Incompatible with different computers
  • Painfully slow to download
  • Reproduce with terrible results

Be sure your designer can do more than sketch something fresh. If the designer happens to be your boss’s sister, you’ll want to approach this gently.

Professional printers will typically ask that the artwork be created as an .eps file.

Experienced designers know exactly which file type to use.

Asking your designer to provide the final artwork as an .eps file might be all you need to do to avoid a lot of pain and money lost later.

Ready for a Redesign? Talk to an Expert Today.

Even Sticky Marketing Messages Get Stale


IMG_4467

Even the stickiest marketing messages can get stale and outdated over time. On average, everyday we’re bombarded with 14,000 advertising messages when you add up all of the emails, billboards, TV Commercials, etc.. Only a few of them stick.

It’s a daunting number but still far fewer than the estimated 1 million stale pieces of gum stuck to the famous “Gum Wall” in Pike Place Market in Seattle. In the 1990s, visitors began sticking their gum to the wall while waiting in line at Seattle’s Market Theatre in Post Alley.

 

IMG_4469

Once named the world’s second-germiest tourist attraction, Seattle’s Gum Wall is second only to Ireland’s Blarney Stone. Pike Place Market’s gum wall will soon be scrubbed of 20 years’ buildup. Seattle is refreshing their gum wall this weekend because they are running out of space. But you can be sure that the tradition will start over and a new fresh wall of stale gum will appear very quickly.

Seattle is refreshing their gum wall this weekend because they are running out of space. But you can be sure that the tradition will start over and a new fresh wall of stale gum will appear very quickly.

Maybe it’s time to refresh your stale marketing message with a more current flavor like this wrapped coffee mug. Imagine your mug amongst the choices in the office breakroom and be sure it stands out. Keep the message simple and graphic strong on this branded coffee mug so this one ends up lasting in the hands of your customers.

Coffee-Mug

​Try Something New

Tips for Effective Signs to Promote your Business

2015-design-june

When you combine the internet, television, radio, billboards and direct mail we’re exposed to 14,000 advertising messages every day but only 5 of them stick with us for more than 24 hours.

Summer is the season for outdoor activity that brings more pedestrian meanderers, road trips and outdoor events offering some new possibilities for marketing your business. Street side flagssidewalk signs and promotional canopies are some ideas that may apply to your business.

Here are 6 tips for designing a sign that will be remembered.

1) SIZE & SCALE

The biggest difference in designing a sign is scale. Considering that a brochure is maybe 8 1/2″ x 11″ and a business card is 3 1/2″ x 2″, large scale design requires a different mindset when designing it.

Signs have to be read and understood from a distance; often by people who only have a few seconds to look in that direction. Everything should be big and simple for maximum impact.

Billboards can be 14′ x 48′ so art file resolution is paramount and vector art is required to avoid a blurry image when enlarged.

  • File Resolution
  • Graphic Clarity

2) LOCATION

Designing for location can be tricky if a single design is going to be used for different environments. If you design a sign with a sky blue background that will have the sky behind it, it will blend in too much and not get noticed.

A sidewalk sign or street-side flag, however, may have lots of different colors behind it, so a bold solid color may be your best choice to break through the clutter.

  • Environmental Clutter
  • Viewing Distance

3) COLOR & GRAPHICS

Generally graphics and color should be bright and saturated. Avoid light colors or pastels and opt for colors that will stand out – especially between your text and background.

For images and graphics, pick a single element and go big with it. Your design has to catch the viewer’s attention in a second and a single, simple focal point will help.

Color can be one of the most important decisions you’ll make in designing an effective sign.

  • Go Big and Bold!
  • Keep it Simple

4) TYPOGRAPHY & MESSAGE

Aside from the company logo, pick a single typeface. A san serif font works best for signs.

And make it big! Think about lettering in terms of 10 to 100, that’s 10″ tall for every 100′ of viewing distance.

Bold lettering can increase the readability from a distance but avoid italics as they confuse the view.

An industry standard is to keep your message at 15 words or less and use the 3 x 5 rule. That’s 3 lines of 5 words or 5 lines of 3 words. Less is better if you can make your point.

  • Simple, Bold Type
  • Simple, Short Message

5) CONTRAST

While contrast is an important consideration of any design project, it is especially important when you only have a couple of seconds to get someone’s attention.

Every focal point must be clearly distinguishable.

With type, size and simplicity as key factors, selecting colors that stand out from one another will help get your message noticed.

While I’m personally not a fan of using borders in design, the use of a border can help to create a contrast between your sign and the background environment. Of course, using a border on a street-side flagwill not make much sense.

  • Bold Colors Create Contrast
  • Borders are OK

6) SUBSTRATE

Substrate is the material that your message is being printed on. Knowing the material and method of printing can help in your design process.

Whether it’s a vinyl banner, fabric flag or a graphic-wrapped bus, consulting with your manufacturer can help you provide the appropriate art files for best results.

Knowing if your sign will be for indoor or outdoor use can help you select the appropriate substrate to print your message on.

  • Select Lasting Material
  • Environmental Exposure

Most designers don’t spend their day designing signs. Typically it will be the same person who creates brochures and business cards and only asked to design a large format graphic for special occasions like tradeshows, outdoor events or special promotions.

Reaching out to your manufacturer before you begin designing for large format graphics can help you avoid the headaches that may come after the design is finished.

Markit in a big way!

Want more Markit-in-Minute Tips? Check out our article archives HERE.

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Top Tips for Postcard Design

 

Design

The postcard has evolved into the marketing instrument of choice for many successful B2B & B2C companies. Marketing Postcards provide a method of presenting your company’s message quickly and clearly, without asking too much of your prospects’ time.

A lot rides on the design of your postcard because you must capture the reader’s attention before they discard it (if you will).

For valuable insider tips on getting the most from a postcard

Size Matters

When many think of postcards, they conjure up images of the old-school 4″ x 6″ ineffective version. Today’s postcards come in many sizes that get you noticed in a mail stack of #10 envelopes.

We recommend designing a 6″ x 11″ postcard with an in-your-face image area to get their attention.

Color Outside the Lines

Always, always, always print your postcard in full color. Wow your prospect with color. Don’t stray too far from your brand colors but certainly don’t be shy about making them big and bold.

Use color on the entire postcard and beyond. Don’t use borders; bleed your colors off the edge of the sheet to create intrigue.

Use full color postcards for maximum impact.

Write it Right

Keep your copy short and to the point.

The reason postcards are so effective is that we’ve learned to scan subject lines in our email for relevant content. Write your headline copy like you would an email subject line. The advantage postcards have over emails is that you also have graphic images and color to get their attention as well as copy.

Use 2 or 3 word headers, bullet points, and just enough copy to engage your reader. Make them want to look on the other side.

Break the Code

The front of the postcard captures attention, but the back of the card should be designed with the clear response mechanism (or call-to-action) in mind.

Consider how you want people to respond and make it easy for them with a phone number, website, address or map to your location.

QR Codes can be added to the design to allow potential customers to scan the card and give them more detailed information on their mobile device.

Tell the recipient exactly what you want them to do; visit your website, sign up for conference, call for more information, go to your store location on Saturday for the 2 for 1 sale.

The response prompt should be the focus of the back of your postcard.

Postcards can be used for more than just mailing, the offer many benefits:

  • They make for a great tradeshow booth handout
  • Fit nicely into a pocket in presentation brochures
  • Are an effective “leave behind” at sales calls with potential customers
  • Don’t take up much space next to the checkout at your store

Following these design tips will increase the response rate of your postcard.

Read more interesting DESIGN articles in our archives.

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Serif vs. San Serif

Design

 

You may never hear anyone say, "words are worth a thousand words" but enough books have been written about Serif and Sans Serif Fonts to fill a library if you're interested. Our intention here, however, is to simplify the discussion about Serif vs. Sans Serif fonts.

Simply put, Serifs are small lines at the beginnings and ends of characters in a font family. Sans Serif fonts do not have those lines (Sans meaning 'without' in French).

Here are some recognizable examples of each –

Serif Fonts
Times New Roman
Courier
Garamond

Sans Serif Fonts
Ariel
Helvetica
Tahoma

For years, the standard rules of when to apply Serif vs. Sans Serif fonts have remained the same.

Sans Serif fonts should be used for Titles and Headers

Serif fonts should be used for Text

These rules still apply when designing for PRINT. The Serif leads your eyes to the next letter more naturally and visually allows the reader to read faster and comprehend more of what is written. The Sans Serif, without the lead in to the next letter, slows down the speed that the header is read to make more of a statement.

Computers, on the other hand, have changed those rules. WEBSITE design takes into consideration that your monitor only shows images at about 72ppi so some of the details of a Serif font may be lost. Sans Serif fonts are the preferred choice in website design.

One last consideration when choosing Serif vs. Sans Serif fonts is NEVER use a Serifed font when using white type on a dark background. You'll have to trust us on this. That's a whole other article.

Read more interesting DESIGN articles in our archives.

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The Man with Two Brains

Design From the Heart

2014-design-feb

Why do your customers buy from you? Is it because your company provides the Best Price, Quality & Service? Blah, blah, blah…snooze.

Every amateur marketer or salesperson relies on these points to sell their services, but that's not what we buy. We buy the intangibles.

We don't buy the sweater. We buy the feeling of the fit, the energy of the color, and the experience of the texture. We invest in who we feel we become in the sweater.

We purchase pride and prestige. Having the best shows we deserve the best.

We pay for the feeling of belonging to something bigger, something popular, current or trendy. 

Think beyond Price, Quality and Service. Aren't those expected anyway?

Have you ever seen an ad for a dental office touting they are the cheapest dentists in town, using the highest quality fillings while they drill into your tooth faster than any other dentist within 100 miles? Of course not, that would be ridiculous. And a little frightening.

Here's how to Design From the Heart, appealing to emotions.

Choose your words carefully and get to the point with your copy. Period. Just because you write it, doesn't mean they'll read it.

Use authentic adjectives to describe the products you're selling (Luxurious Ride, Painless Fillings, Current Styles, etc.).

Don't go overboard with the over-promising adjectives or you'll sound like an infomercial (Amazing Offer, Spectacular Savings, Unbelievable Quality, etc.).

Use pictures to provoke a thought or evoke a feeling. Prospects are more likely to remember your story if they figure it out themselves and Photos are a great tool to create a perception of your company in their minds.

Focus on the feeling and speak to the senses. You've heard it before "Sell the Sizzle, NOT the Steak".

Details about Price, Quality & Service are important in preventing buyer's remorse so be sure to reinforce these attributes on printed materials they leave with after the sale. This reinforces their excellent decision and creates confidence. Stay in touch and you'll likely land a repeat customer.

Read more interesting DESIGN articles in our archives.

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PDF’n Smart

 Design

Just when you think you know how your printer wants your art files, everything changes when you call another printer and ask the same question.

Native files, Vector art, Hi-Res, EPS, Outlines, Crop marks – Whew!

If you attempt to be a liaison between your printer and your designer you'll feel like you're translating German to Spanish while you only speak English.

Designers that specialize in design for print already know how to submit their art files but frequently we get files from web designers who live in the world of JPGs or even Do-it-yourselfers who love their Publisher, or Word Docs.

Even when the designer submits the native files, you get a call from your printer asking for the fonts, or to have them embed the graphics. Seems like there is no pleasing those demanding printers.

Here is the universal answer to the age-old question about art file submission for printing – PDF!

PDF (Portable Document Format) has been around for a while and we all recognized the icon. It's a means of saving the file so it arrives as intended by the designer.

Advantage to saving as a PDF:

  • Fonts and images are embedded (no need to gather them)
  • Views the same on all computers
  • Smaller file size for easy emailing

Sending any file saved as a PDF does not mean it's good for print, however. It's just a means of saving a file. The original file must still be created in a proper graphic program (like Adobe Illustrator) then saved as a PDF.

For a good print file:

  • 300dpi at 100% of size to print
  • Provide graphics as scalable vector art
  • Add crop marks
  • Include fonts and graphics
  • Save as PDF

Follow these steps every time and you will not receive any confusing calls from your printer about your files.

For accurate translations contact us. We Sprechen Sie Deutsch so you get excelente impression.

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