Nice craft show

Flinn Gallery: Tax-Free One Day Craft Sale was in a beautiful room and there were several very talented artists showing their crafts and artwork there at the Greenwich Library. Some whose cards I picked up were: Laura Berkowitz Gilbert, Jocelyn Braxton Armstrong, Giuliana Michelotti, and Keelin Brett

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Welcome

I’m Pat Creedon, owner of Pat Creedon Design, Inc. I work with clients that want a consistent, strong branded look to their ads, posters, ebooks, white papers, web and social media images, emails, signage, logos and brochures. In the header above is a photo of the 300+ page style book I helped to design for a previous employer. To see more of the work I did for this brand, other major brands at a previous company I worked for, as well as my own clients, go to Work or Services in the navigation above.

Here is some of the things said about Pat Creedon, Graphic and Web Designer:

  • Great creative designer
  • Flexible
  • Diligent
  • Proficient
  • Real team player
  • Dedicated
  • Calm
  • Delightful
  • Clever
  • On strategy
  • Professional
  • Detail oriented
  • Strong contributor
  • On time, on budget

For more see LinkedIn

Avoiding Distractions

Do not get distracted from this topic by going to check out that message that just popped up or seeing what’s going on at Facebook! I have found a way to streamline my thoughts so they stay on topic for the length of time I need to get things done. The best way I do that is to time activities. I literally set a timer in my smart phone and work on say a client project for a set amount of minutes. Then I take a another timed interval to do something business-related like filing jobs such as I mentioned in last week’s blog. Of course I also need a fun break because all work and no play makes for a dull day! This way to reduce distractions works for me. What works for you?

Filing is important (in small doses)

I keep a special file folder for ongoing work, trying always to put in what’s latest. That way when a client refers to something like that last PowerPoint or the white paper I did for them I can find it right away, even if they reference it by some other name.

I file using  job numbers and I invoice that way too. I don’t expect my clients to name things the same way I do though. So by keeping up with my filing of what’s latest, it helps me keep from spending more time trying to track something down than actually working on it. (Which used to happen more often than I care to admit!) But it can take time to file and when I’m busy it’s not a priority. However, I can do it in short spurts between other things to keep it from being too tedious. Then when the effort pays off with time savings later it reinforces the motivation to keep on top of it. Well, I’ve got to get back to filing now!

The Case of the Jagged Logo

Have you ever seen something printed that looked jagged and strange? Here is an example 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 it was too low resolution. 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 to reproduce correctly. 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 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 know their own industries not ours. So I tell my clients to get me the original or something as close to the original as possible so it can look as good as possible. I’ve gone as far as recreating graphics and logos from scratch to get the quality needed if they couldn’t find or otherwise access better images. It’s part of being the best partner to my clients as I can be in my area of expertise.

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

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!

Learn to Update Your WordPress Blog

Smart business owners have both a blog and a website. Often it’s combined in an easy-to-update WordPress website. I brand these for some of my clients and they love them. They have built-in SEO and can easily have a custom URL attached to them. The great thing about these sites is that it’s something the site owner themselves can update.

There’s a bit of a learning curve to get used to the interface on the “dashboard” of WordPress. But once you get the confidence in your own ability to update your website it will only help your business. That’s because search engines are always looking for new content to rank websites higher. In other words, if you have a WordPress website and blog, keep it updated and you will have a definite edge for business growth!

Land Customers with a Landing Page

 

So is a whole, multi-part website more than you need or can face right now? Then try a landing page. It’s a single page website that gives your company’s basic information like name, address, hours of operation, directions, a list of products or services, etc. It’s great as a way to stake out a place on the web if you don’t otherwise want or feel you need a full website. Or are so busy keeping up with your business that you don’t want to keep up with a website too. (Lucky you!) It’s important to have some web presence though, if only because it’s expected these days and you want to have clear and accurate information available. It’s amazing how much inaccurate information can start to accumulate on the internet if you don’t take control with your own URL and a web landing page at the very least.

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.

Web Design Tweaks That Make a Huge Difference

As I surf around the web I find sites that are fine and informative and otherwise get the job done but there’s something that bothers me about them. It may be something small and hardly noticeable but it makes me wonder if it bothers others that they are trying to target. And do they drive away customers inadvertently? I know that when I encounter a site that takes to long to load I’m out of there. Or if music starts to play the moment I land on the site and I can’t find a mute button immediately I’m gone. Sites that have a Flash intro when I’m looking at them on my iPhone also bug me because a big gray box appears where there should be content. I was recently on a website that had the navigation in a different place on every page. That could definitely frustrate a would be client/customer. These are some of the examples that come to mind. Can you think of others?

A feature that may be off-putting to your audience is not worth keeping. Instead get a web designer to look over your site and make the tweaks needed to remove anything getting between you and your customers. But don’t delay, since it’s easy to fix and may be just the thing to get your business website helping instead of hurting you!