Get this right and your business will be on its way!

Did you know how important it is to brand your company consistently with web, print, and social media? Get this right and you will have a company look and feel that will reassure customers and potential customers that you take your company seriously.

I understand how difficult this can be. I started my company back in 2010 without a plan for how to brand it. I of all people should have known better since my business plan was to brand small companies! But it’s easy to get caught up in the moving parts and forget to look at the overall picture. I created a look I liked for my business card and some print materials.

Then an ad opportunity came along so I created another look for that.

PatcreedonDesign_NewCanaan_LR

An Ad for My Company from 2010 or 11

I had a website to match for a while that I based on a template I liked.

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My old Website

But then I wanted to add WordPress to my skills and the theme I liked was a different look again.  It may be  time (Ok it is time) to use my skills to create a consistent brand for myself. I will keep you posted on that.

How should you do it?

That’s where I encourage you to learn from me and not do it the way I did. Instead let Pat Creedon Design give your brand the look that suits it, or work with the one you have to get that professional consistency across all your materials whether printed or online. With a website (preferably with a blog), a Facebook page, a Twitter page and your LinkedIn company page branded with the logo, colors to match your brand look and feel, consistent fonts and a good photo you’ll be on your way!

Why DIY doesn’t work with Graphic Design

Unless you are a Graphic Designer!

DIY is big. It even has a cable channel (that I watch all the time). But Do It Yourself design of logos, ads, brochures, and even websites when it’s the branding and promotion of your own business? Not a good idea.

Would I write my own song? No!

I just got a music composer as a client. She has been my client before when I designed her first CD cover and insert. I’ve never written a song, whereas Monica has written many. I wouldn’t know where to begin.

Well maybe I’d try to learn an instrument first or learn to read music! But even with some rudimentary knowledge like that I doubt a song will be penned by me anytime soon.

Have computer, will DIY your design?

If you’ve never designed a brochure, logo, website or ad where would you start? You have a computer and know how to use it, but is that enough to start designing your business materials? Maybe not. If I needed a song written I would not rely on myself to do it. I’d definitely find an experienced songwriter. If you need promotion or branding, your business will definitely benefit from hiring an experienced Graphic Designer. It’s worth it!

One critical fact most business owners don’t know

And it may be the difference between gaining business and losing out.

There is a fact that most business owners don’t know that is critical to their marketing. I have an example below from a major company that should know better.

Have you ever seen something printed that looked jagged and strange? This is from a flyer I got a while back:

pixelatedLogoIt was an obvious mistake since we all know that logo is not supposed to look like that.

But what caused it to print like that? The problem was low resolution of a bitmap image.

Bit-what?

There are two types of images used in printing, vector and bitmap. Vector is done in programs like Adobe Illustrator and it can be resized up and down with no issues. Bitmap images have to have a certain number of dots per inch (or resolution) to reproduce in print correctly (usually 300 dpi or more). Many people pull a logo or other graphic off their website send it to their graphic designer and say here, put this on my print materials. They don’t realize that the resolution on the web is much lower (usually 72 dpi) than what is required to print something with ink on paper. Of course why should they know that? It’s a piece of knowledge we graphic designers need to do our jobs right but other business owners are very often not aware of it.

Why is this important to any business?

It’s important because knowing the difference between vector and bitmap can make or break your marketing materials. With the wrong type of image or the wrong dpi in logos and images your print materials and ads can go out looking very unprofessional, hurting your image and potentially hurting your bottom line!

If dpi, vector, bitmap, resolution are like another language to you then allow us to keep your print materials looking as perfect and professional as your business deserves!

Communication in Graphic Design

I was in a coffee shop the recently where I picked up this little flyer for a flea market.

Flea flyer

Flea market flyer

I like the colors and the fun design. But as I read it I realized it’s missing a vital piece of information. Where is this taking place? There’s only a photo and the town name on it to give me a clue. I don’t know the building in the photo though so there’s no way for me to get there even I wanted to. That made me think about why just having pretty type, pictures and color on a page is not enough. For graphic design to serve its true purpose, it must communicate effectively. If this had that piece of information it would have been very effective because the design got my attention which is half the battle.

Thoughts on DIY Design

I’ve never written a song. I wouldn’t know where to begin. Well maybe I’d try to learn an instrument first or learn to read music! But without even some rudimentary knowledge like that I doubt a song will be penned by me anytime soon. If you’ve never designed a brochure, logo, website or similar where would you start? You have a computer and know how to use it, but is that enough to start designing your business materials? Maybe not. If I needed a song written I would not rely on myself to do it. I’d definitely find an experienced songwriter. If you need a design to promote your business or brand then find an experienced Graphic Designer. It’s worth it!

Custom Websites, Worth the Investment?

In a previous blog post I made the point that websites are today’s business cards. If that’s the case, do you want a business card for your business? Of course. Then you  should also want a website that reflects your business. Being infinitely malleable your website is a much more flexible tool for describing your business than a business card. What would you pay for that?

Custom websites come in all price ranges but the web designer you end up with should be someone you feel comfortable with and can contact easily for changes, troubleshooting and updates. I often run into people who hired someone to do their website and now that they need them they don’t know how to find them. Or their web designer won’t return calls. That’s pretty frustrating. Pat Creedon Design is very accessible. I also offer graphic design so I can do the promotional materials, ads and direct mail for your business as well. The consistency in having one graphic and web designer on it all, plus the reliability of one contact, makes for a pleasant and smooth process for getting your new custom website.

Art makes a wonderful gift!

Art Show promo

Get over to Wilton soon for the best selection of P. E. Creedon’s art.

Rounding up 3 horses for a postcard

1113_postcard_rev

Combining Web Design, Branding and Social Media for SEO

A great way to get your business found on the web is to have a website and a Twitter page, Facebook Fan page and LinkedIn profile. Those are really the 3 basics to start with when you want to have a chance at rising in the search engines to the first page. In other words for good SEO. The branding that goes on all 4 should be consistent in colors, typefaces and logo design. That way your customers can tell immediately that they are in the right place. For example, I designed a website with a blog, a Facebook Fan page, a Twitter page and LinkedIn profile page for a client that was starting a Personal Training business. It had his logo, a color scheme that had his brand look and feel, consistent fonts and his photo. This was then carried through all his print materials as well to create a total brand look for his business. He updated his Facebook page and sent people to his website where they could find out more. Then the plan was to build up his blog and get some followers on Twitter and connections on LinkedIn. He changed careers before getting to that though but he still has it to do on the side or go back to anytime.

Wellfit graphic and web design by Pat Creedon Design, Inc.

Here are some samples of branding across web, social media and print design

If you aren’t in the design business then hiring a design firm like Pat Creedon Design is your best bet for implementing this effective brand strategy. I don’t try to do personal training because though I know how to exercise I wouldn’t never presume I know how to show anyone else how to get fit. But I do know graphic design, web design and branding from decades of experience. To get a quote email me at pmcreedon@mac.com.