Small Dog Creative

    Graphic Design: Tips for Designing a Business Card

    Every business needs a powerful business card to help draw in future clients. Follow these tips to learn how to use graphic design to build your client base. It all starts with the business card....

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    Align Graphic Design With Marketing Research, Messaging, UI for Best Results

    Once upon a time in website development, graphic design got all the glory. It's just one leg of the stool today. It's an important leg - have you seen poor design? Yuck. The point is that excellent design is one important piece of integrated web design. And an integrated approach to web design isn't "nice" to have, it's necessary....

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    Infographics: The Hottest Thing in Graphic Design

    Having really great graphic design is one of the more understated ways to make your business really bloom, but it's also one of the most important. No one wants to look at an unattractive logo or website, or read an unprofessional or poorly-designed white paper or flyer. So, there's no question that professional graphic design is a crucial part of any business website....

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    Branding with Sustainable Carry-All Bags: Graphic Design Trends

    The growing trend of cloth or recycled bags offers many creative ways to make a lasting impression on consumers. Through the magic of graphic design, it's possible to include logos and on-brand imagery on reusable bags. Consider these items as branded gifts or part of product packaging:...

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    5 Reasons effective graphic design is critical to your business

    Graphic design is not just a matter of aesthetics. It's a form of communication that conveys your message to your customers. Our experts can help you develop effective graphics to represent your business. Here are five reasons that graphic design is an important component of your business strategy....

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    Trends in Creative Graphic Design That Can Help Your Website Stand Out

    Your company has put a great deal of time and effort into creating a one-of-a-kind product or service. You have diligently written expert descriptions and posted them to your new website. However, your website still looks generic. By utilizing a creative approach, innovative graphic designers can make your website stand out from the crowd bringing you even more customers. Here are a few design trends that will keep your website on the cutting edge for 2015....

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    Our Creative Approach

    IT'S NOT JUST YOUR WEBSITE... IT'S YOUR BUSINESS Up to 89% of your customers are researching their purchases online before they buy, and that percentage is growing every year. If you are ignoring your company's potential to bring in business online, you could be ignoring 89% of your potential customers. If you haven't already. it is now time to get your online presence in shape and ready for business....

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    As a designer it is vital to always be learning and expanding your visual vocabulary. Design trends quickly come and go, it is important to stay on top of what is new, and to not get too comfortable with old styles. How do you tell what is on the edge of becoming the next big thing, and what is just plain bad? Well it comes down to a lot of knowledge and a little luck. If you know why your design is working then you are a lot more likely to become a trend setter. When the now famed Herman Miller Aeron chair came out, it was declared a horribly ugly chair. But the designers stood their ground and now there is no shortage of Herman Miller knock-offs. So stick to your your design if you know you are right, and be bold with your decisions. But, don't be afraid to learn or make a mistake....

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    The Death of The Brochure

    The Death of The Brochure...

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    Websites Then & Now: Mac

    Ready for a flash back? Our Then & Now series takes a look at how far we have really come. We check out websites from the past and their current designs. Take the opportunity to compare your site to our examples... is it more then than now? This week we are checking out a company that sets the bar pretty high for design... Apple. But, as nice and glossy as their site looks now, it didn't always look that way. They have come along way from this screen shot that was taken in 1998 (that's 13 years ago). I'm sure it was pretty high tech at the time, but now it's pretty elementary in comparison to what we are used to seeing. Check out this one from January 2011... Much cleaner, sleeker and... yes wider, than it's predecessor.  Mac has always had a clean site, but the new one uses space smarter, and incorporates texture into the design. Mac was also still sporting it's old rainbow logo at the time of the old screen shot, now color is reserved for their products. If you visit the Mac site frequently you will also notice, that they change out their homepage at least daily, some times more often. Check out their site today....

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    Which Ad Would You Run?

    Test your marketing savvy! Choosing the most effective ad. A: Selling Your Company, Not Your Product Selling your company instead of your products or service is a pretty common mistake. You might want to show off your new logo, or company name but that is not what your customers care about. In this ad the logo is the dominant element and the services are listed smaller and underneath the logo. This format might work well for the door of your business, but not for an ad. You need to get your customer's attention first, then get them to care about the service or product you provide, and then let them know who you are. You may get calls or attention from an ad like this, but we think there are better concepts out there. B: Listing All Of Your Services Ad space isn't cheap, this tends to cause companies to want to list everything they do to try and appeal to as many people as possible. This usually yields few results. Why? Because people aren't going to search through your ad to find the product they are interested in, or the service that applies to them. Remember your ad is being seen right next to other ads, in the same place as hundreds of other ads, if you can't get noticed is 2 seconds, than you won't get noticed.  C. Selling A Single Service You are right!... (Or at least you chose the one we think would get the best response rate.) Highlighting one of your key services or products and targeting a segment of your clientele is the strongest approach. Why? Well lets start at the beginning. We opted for one of our primary services, and chose a headline that addresses about the additional features that come with our web sites. And by narrowing the subject of the ad we were able to send astronger, more specific message. If we talk hypothetical numbers for a moment, with ads A and B we are targeting a large pool of clients with a less powerful message. So we might expect to see a response rate of 1% out of say 1000, which would give us 10 leads. If we ran ad C to a smaller targeted market, and addressed more specific needs, we would expect to see a higher response rate of say 3% out of a smaller pool of 500, which would give us 15 leads. You can see how decreasing our audience and creating a stronger, more specific message to a targeted segment can actually increase our results. So try casting a smaller (tighter) net for your next campaign. A precise message can be just the thing you need to drive home sales. And get the attention of customers who need what you are selling, and who care about your message. DISCLAIMER: There is a saying in marketing "50% of marketing works, but no one know which 50%". If you agree or disagree or have more to ad, please feel free to leave comments....

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    Logo Dos and Don'ts

    As someone who has worked with a lot of small business I can say there are many logo mistakes out there. I'm not just talking about logos I don't care for, I'm talking about mistakes that can cost you money! If you are a business owner with a homemade logo listen up, because this applies to you....

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    We Salute You: Designers of Jim Carrey's Website

    Every once in a while we run into some amazing website, ad, t-shirt, product, commercial or campaign that make us jealous we didn't do it first. In this ongoing column we salute that which amazes us. Jim Carrey's website is part exploration, part entertainment, and anything but traditional. Viewing the site is like entering the mind of Jim Carrey, a fully rendered world filled with silliness and wonder. This website proves web designers are only limited by their imagination, client budget, and supporting programmers.   Whether you like Jim Carrey or not, check out his website and reset your expectations of what a website should look like....

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    The Good the Bad and the Shrub Promotion

    I went to a big box home improvement store the other day and was greeted in the front of the gardening department by a hand written sign that said "shrub promo $1.99". Seriously, this is the best that this billion dollar home improvement chain's marketing department could come up with. I mean obviously the sign was written by an employee that was told to make a few signs about this week's shrub promotion. But some where along the line the marketing department thought their job was done and from  here the stores staff could finish the signs. Granted Im sure much if the time this system works just fine. Marketing got the customer in the door now it is up to the staff to make the sales. However it's risky, as this example shows. Getting customers in the door isn't enough. Marketing is more than placing ads, producing commercials and printing fancy brochures. It should be followed through to the end... In most cases the sale and in some cases for the life of the product (but that's another post). Good marketing examines every part of the sale, and every way In which a brand conveys its message to it's customers. Don't stop just before the finish line....

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