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
The purpose for this newsletter is two-fold. 1) we do like to play with ideas and write about them and if any entertainment or education can be delivered all the better. 2) We want to let you know that we are here (just an email or phone call away) to step in and help you promote your company, product or service. Oh yeah, there is a third reason. At the end of this we like to show some work that might be of interest. So take a look.
For more information about AXIS visual please visit our web site. www.axisvisual.com
What If ?
This article in Notes From The Point is devoted to a simple question, what if? For example, what if I ran my design business like an oil company. It would be pretty cool getting government funding for learning better ways to do my job like exploring other design styles, learning other software or finding better printers or content management programmers for the web. Of course, I would then take most of that money and spend it on graphic design lobbyists so I could guarantee a continued flow of these subsidies to my design business in the future. Some of the funding would go to public service advertising, after all, like the oil companies it would be important to let the public know that the graphic design community is working hard and using their tax dollars in their best interest, and that voting for candidates that don’t support the design community would cause famine, swarms of locusts and a total breakdown of the world’s ability to read. The rest of the subsidies would then go to beer and pizza, or the occasional enormous party on my own private island.
And how would I price my work if I ran my business like an oil company? Unlike other businesses where there is an obligation to try to keep a consistent pricing across many years, I’d start promoting the fluctuating cost of my raw materials, like computers, software, pencils… and maybe letters. Yeah, letters! I could promote a rumor about a letter shortage (in my public service announcements) and charge more for the use of the letter “Q” one day and then a few days later maybe the letter “G” would be the expensive commodity. Once I have all my customers used to quickly changing prices I could then create an artificially inflated value to any logo, or ad, or brochure. This would make the alphabet into a rare and desired commodity. It could then be traded on the stock market, further increasing its artificially inflated value. And because I had gotten my customers used to ever rising letter costs I could then enjoy outrageous profits by taking advantage of any real or rumored changes in alphabet value by doubling any increase in the cost of the letter “K” and lower my prices by a fraction when the letter s plummets in value. Brilliant!
But the truth is, I don’t run my business like an oil company. For one reason, I have to wake up every morning and look at myself in the mirror. And for another reason, I believe it is my responsibility to keep as consistent a pricing model as possible for my clients. And last of all, because I love what I do, I’m not running this business to wring as much profit out of it as possible. And unlike oil, the average business uses design and marketing as investments in their future, not as costs.
10) One ad will solve all my problems and bring in tons-o-business. There may have been a time when a single ad did the trick, although it was not only before my time, it was before my father’s and possibly before his father’s time too. As marketing and promotion has grown and matured there is just more competition for the attention of an audience. Think of it like a diet, one salad is not going to make much of a difference but a consistent shift in one’s eating habits will.
9) The bigger the logo the bigger the response. – This reminds me a little of my grandfather. He used to say the bigger the fishing lure the bigger the fish. As a fisherman (actually I splash around in the water a few times a year at best and pretend to fish) there is some logic to this statement, but it has also gotten to be somewhat of a cliché. Companies that don’t look at the entire ad, or the entire brochure cover, or web site often make the mistake of making a logo so big it destroys the subtleties of a layout and essentially delivers the image of clumsy, loud and careless business.
8) I know my business best so I know how to promote it best. This is a tricky one and there are arguments for either side here. But simply put, yes you do know your business best and this can be a liability in promotion. An audience or potential customer needs to have your business information delivered to them in their language. In the end, it is about them so the ability to deliver a message to them with their sensitivities; hot buttons and desires in mind will create better results. And a company that can learn about the aspects of your business but has the promotional language (both verbally and visually) at hand will help you to build a more successful promotional strategy. And in the end success is the goal.
7) The larger the font the more it is read. This is one of those cases where a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. As more and more people gain experience with fonts, type, headlines (all words that used to exist solely in the advertising and design professions) they begin to develop opinions about the subtle issues of type. But “it’s all about size” only works with certain styles of design. An experienced designer can make you read small type more than large type. It is actually a function of contrast and composition.
6) I’m paying for a full page. We should fill it with more text and images. If a tree falls in the woods and there is nobody there to hear it, does it make any sound? Or in this case, if you put out a brochure and nobody wants to read it does it have any value? There are thousands of decisions that make promotional materials more or less effective and I’m not promoting any one style here but a packed page of text simply looks like a lot of work and it will be often avoided.
5) The best solution is when we combine everyone’s opinions into one design. As the saying goes, “A hippopotamus is a stallion designed by committee.” Getting the input of all the stakeholders is important, and it can yield valuable ideas. But strong concepts can get watered down and effectiveness decreased if everyone’s thoughts are forced into the layout.
4) Our customers don’t care if we have a good brand for our company. There is not a person alive that doesn’t observe the world around them. And if another company that provides the same product as you, has a dynamic and noticeable brand your client will take notice. They may not jump ship and run to the competition but if any reason arises for them to look elsewhere a strong brand will come to mind first. So obviously, a strong brand will be in your favor when your competitor’s clients start looking for an alternate resource for your product or service.
3) Anyone who knows graphics software can design. A computer and the software on it are tools. There are both good designers and bad ones that use these tools. Training, experience and creativity are all qualities that are critical for effective promotional design. If a plumber knows how to hold a scalpel… do you hire them for brain surgery?
2) Any logo file is as good as any other. I wrote about this in more detail in an earlier newsletter but consider it “back by popular demand.” Sending along any old logo file with out knowing anything about it or how it is to be used is like putting rubbing alcohol in your car. Both are flammable liquids. And although there are some things that both can be used with (removing gummed labels off of glass) each has it’s own purpose. But to side step most of the subtleties, a logo from a web site will look terrible in a printed piece. And in the end, you gotta look good. For more detail on this issue.
1) All I need is one brochure design. What do I care about a company brand? Sometimes one promotional piece is all you need, but a designer worth their salt will always look beyond the one piece. Not because they are digging for more work but because they have the bigger picture in mind. They are thinking about the success of you promotional effort not just a single project. They are thinking about the future when you might need another piece of the promotional puzzle. They are thinking about your different potential customers, how color and imagery could be used if the one piece needs to become an ad campaign or a web site. All these things are in the back of the designer’s mind. Unless you request them from the beginning. Then they are front and center.
Below are a couple recent projects from AXIS visual. The 1+1=Ben logo was developed for Comcast as part of an internal incentive program. The book below is a 40 year aniversary commemorative book for Haines and Kibblehouse. The 100 plus pages leading the reader through the companies history and the custom binding created a special and memorable package for company legacy.
To see many more samples of our work please visit our website at www.axisvisual.com
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1600 Lower State Rd.
Doylestown, PA 18901