why is this in your inbox? We believe that at some point (if we're not working on something together already) that you will need creative thinking in the design and development of some marketing materials. We love building long-term relationships and understand that this only happens with repeated success. AXIS visual has been supporting the business community for 15 years and has many valued long-term relationships. If you have any thoughts or questions about how we work or how we might approach an upcoming marketing challenge, give us a call (610-527-0332), drop us a note, send a carrier pigeon, whatever you prefer.
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Doylestown, PA 18901
When I was young I had a wall in my room that held 20 to 30 model airplanes. The top row were models of WWI planes that my father carefully made and painted with great detail when I was still learning to walk. Below that were models of WWII planes that we both built when I was, well, a few years older. It was one of those father and son experiences. In my earlier days I just admired the detail he put into these wonderful little images of past flight. Then, as I was able to gather a little more patience and like many young boys, with the desire to "be like dad" I began building my own. I preferred WWII plane models, partially because they were more streamlined and were beautiful in their own right, but also because they were from my dad's youth. He grew up during WWII and knew the history of it first hand. He knew the names of all the planes, where they flew, their strengths and weaknesses. I have an image of my dad and his friends talking about WWII planes in the same way kids now might discuss sports figures and their stats.
So I learned to love historic aviation from that slice of my youth. It has always fascinated me. Years later my father introduced me to the Van Sant Airfield in Bucks County. It's a grass airfield where they fly gliders and historic biplanes, give rides and where on a warm summer day there is this rare sense of calm and beauty in just seeing and hearing those open cockpit planes lift off the ground.
It was at Van Sant where I first met Dannie and Bar Eisenhauer; they run the flight department of the airport and are two of the most enjoyable people I've ever met. As we've become friends they discussed wanting to make the Airfield more of a destination and to share this gem with the public. This type of discussion always starts both my and my wife's brain turning. How can we help?
As a business I have to be careful to limit the pro bono work, although I think if I won the lottery I would work strictly on select pro bono projects just for fun. For Van Sant I have been in the process of rebranding them. A logo, shirts, a web site, various communications all has been pulled into a new and cohesive look. And this "look" came out of the love of historic aviation and the many little nuggets of information that were passed down from father to son. Dannie and Bar have also just started a nonprofit, The Van Sant Historic Airfield Foundation, with the goal of building an antique air museum on the property and protecting the legacy and romance of flight history for generations to come. As a member of this newly assembled board I look forward to helping and learning in this foundation. And for this interest and love instilled so many years ago, thanks Dad.
The most important word I’ve ever learned
Selling creativity to other people and companies for the purpose of business development is a very interesting challenge. And when you take into account the fact everyone has a personal taste and has immediate reaction to images, colors and type styles, it can be the creative equivalent of assembling a swiss watch in a pitch black room. And it's actually what I love about this industry, developing something new for each product and client, organizing and prioritizing all the variables of visual styles, business area trends, personal likes and dislikes, let alone drawing on all the tools and elements that a skilled designer needs to understand.
It usually starts out with a need. A client wants to deliver a message to their customer base, and obviously get the highest return for their promotional buck. Initially, this leaves a very wide number of creative options. "The sky's the limit." And as we work through the different issues of competition, customer definition, company personality, understanding the individual decision makers and the complexities of the product or service that is being promoted the parameters of the project begin to narrow and the visual layout and style become established. It's in my many years of this process that I realized an important lesson. Probably, and I hesitate saying this but it might just be the most important lesson I have learned in 32 years of working in this field. When discussing the parameters of a design project people often talk in solutions. It's human nature, they tend to give examples of what they think will fulfill their need rather than actually defining their need and trusting a creative communicator to explore how that need could be met. An example that I have used before is this. A client might say, I want to show our trucks on our web site. As the designer I now have two options. I can look for or develop attractive ways to show trucks, or I can ask a very simple question, "Why." It's the most important word in the collaborative, creative process. It asks people to think in terms of their needs rather than in terms of the possible solutions that crossed their mind. And once this occurs, the possible creative options expand 10-fold. This expansion benefits the client with greater and more creative possible solutions, and it benefits the designer in making the project more fun to explore. This creative "fun" is where the highest return on investment lies for the client. In this case the answer to "why" might be "Because we want to show that we transport our products over the road." Now, the follow-up to "why." "If I can deliver that message without showing trucks can I explore those options as well?" 99 times out of 100 the answer is "Sure." So the creative options that were once narrow and restrictive just opened up, allowing me to fully explore other less obvious solutions. The result? A more distinctive web site that separates my client from their endless "all look the same" competitors.
Problem Solver No. 1
Thank you for taking the time to read this. If we can help with your design and marketing needs feel free to contact us.