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.
Here the shortlist of what we do:
- Branding / Logo Development
- Corporate Communication
- Publication Design
- Website Design
- Print Design (All Kinds)
- Package Design
- Exhibit Design
- Email Marketing
- Product and Service Literature
- You Name it
I periodically run across examples of design that are just FUN. The above was found in the basement of my grandmother’s house while we were attempting to go through 60 years of living (and saving) in order to sell the property. It’s such a wonderful example of design and messaging of the times. “Quick Death,” can’t be much more direct than that. But “Insecticide and Deodorant” has to make you think. And apparently, previous products sold for this problem had the tendency to combust, hence the tag line on the side “Non-explosive Bed bud killer.” Aside from the many other requirements for the profession of design and marketing I sometimes look at my business as a need to be a giant file cabinet of references from all ages of design and communications. Different eras have different beauty and purpose in their typography, images, messaging, etc. A good creative communicator has the knowledge and understanding to borrow aspects of different eras of design in order to pull on the emotions of a target audience. This is just a more analytical way of saying Fun sells.
The graphic design process is often described as the creation and delivery of tactics that are used to promote and increase business. Creation… delivery… both talk of an increase, a forward moving contribution, a building or positive offensive activity. This article addresses the “defensive” decisions made before any creative delivery can take place. It’s “What ends up on the cutting room floor and why.”
Once a design firm has the initial input from the client, the creative exploration and movement towards an end result of building effective marketing tactics begins. But one of the less noticed and equally important parts of the procedure is the activity of moving AWAY from ideas that don’t work. The early stages of the creative process are usually the quick and loose “scatter shooting” of ideas. How many different images and styles can be utilized to deliver a desired message? There is then an evaluation and refining process. In this second stage, it’s critical to look at each creative idea with a broader eye, an observation without the myopic view or attachment to any original idea.” Are there negative impressions that will be delivered by this design?” It could be too bold, too delicate, too technical or too financial looking, or evoke any other incorrect messages. There are impressions that we derive from almost any visual component. The goal here is to make sure that they are aligned with the intended message. There are also times when even inappropriate imagery can sneak into an idea without being noticed. A number of years back I was working with a group of designers on a logo. In the early design stages and without any intention, there was one concept that had a subtle impression of a swastika in the logo itself. No one initially saw it. Needless to say, in most cases this is rarely, if ever, a positive message to deliver for a company. It was the process of stepping back and looking at the work with an objective eye that showed this potential mistake.
This same approach of evaluating creative ideas comes into play in the collaborative discussions that frequently take place between design firms and clients. Different ideas get discussed, reactions take place and optimally, an improved marketing tactic is the result. I’ve been in meetings when an idea was proposed. At times, I saw potential problems arise, both with the initial desired message to the customer, and in how it would work as a theme in the future. It just didn’t have the “legs” to carry it into future evolutions of the campaign. It was then my responsibility to explain this as succinctly as possible. Sometimes people can be very attached to an idea without thinking about the repercussions. I have been doing creative work for businesses long enough to understand that someone who doesn’t know the designer well might see them as the cliché, temperamental artist, protecting his or her ideas to the death, especially if the client has been “burned” by a design firm in the past. It’s my, or any designer’s responsibility to navigate that potential communication challenge while keeping the end goal (successful marketing tactics) in mind.
There is a company who does investing for me. One of the owners (George) and I have become friends over the years. I have come to describe his value as “protecting me from myself.” It’s important to have an open and free dialogue when exploring initial ideas for design and marketing. But within that, I have, at times, added value to my client’s marketing efforts by protecting them from themselves.
It’s been a roller coaster of a business climate for a while now. Everything from Japan, Libya, our ever entertaining reality show of a government (think Jerry Springer) and technological innovations are constantly changing the business climate. So in this current slice of time we are seeing…
- An upswing in marketing
- More of a request for innovative thinking (Safe is not good enough)
- An increased use of QR codes
- A leveling off of social media
- An increased request for content management in sites
- An increased courage to deliver an innovative brand
- An increased interest in robust design for smaller devices like the iPad
- An increased acceptance and practicality of the virtual business model
We recently finished a smaller branding project for Two Sisters Fina Cocina, a company that makes Mexican cooking sauces (good ones too). The project involved updating an existing logo, packaging for two sauces (green and red), web site design and development of an email newsletter template. In the past we’ve created the design and html code. In this case, the client wanted he ability to change and send the newsletters directly so we utilized MailChimp, a company very similar to Constant Contact but in my opinion, much easier to use.
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1600 Lower State Rd.
Doylestown, PA 18901