Design: It’s Not Just Wrapping Paper

brand marketing is like choosing how to wrap a gift

I’ve been invited to a birthday party, and I want to get a fabulous gift for the person who we’ll be celebrating. What’s the best way to choose something they’ll like? I can’t start picking out wrapping paper colors or writing the message on the gift tag quite yet.

Think About the Recipient

I like to think about what their hobbies are. How do they spend their free time? What’s their daily life like? When I focus on them, it’s easier to find a gift they’ll enjoy.

Once I’ve purchased a gift, it’s time to wrap it. I can’t wrap the gift until I’ve thought about who it’s for, and I’ve purchased it, right?

I have to know who I’m giving it to, and what I’m going to give before I look for a box and pick out the wrapping paper.

That’s the way it is with design, too.

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Strip Down to the Bare Facts

He that uses many words for explaining any subject, doth, like the cuttlefish, hide himself for the most part in his own ink.  —JOHN RAY, Naturalist (1627-1705)

brand marketing is stronger when you strip down to bare factsThree hundred years before the Internet, John Ray wrote the words above. How could he possibly have known that blogs would explode, communicating with your customers in a conversational tone would become the norm, and “hiding yourself in your own ink” would turn out to be the gravest mistake a small business could make?

Because using too many words does just that: it hides you, and it obscures your message. You spray a bunch of random words out, your readers’ minds wander, and you lose their interest.

Good marketing holds interest, so let’s see what you can do to edit your copy until your message shines through.

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Design Bloopers: This Ad Gives Me A Headache

This post is about a major design blooper, and this one touches on typography.

Noticing design bloopers is one of my favorite pastimes! (Ask anyone who lives with me).

I especially enjoy seeing major corporations make massively expensive design mistakes: it’s a good reminder that good and bad design are within reach of all of us (and sometimes even the big guys reach for bad design).

Read article …Design Bloopers: This Ad Gives Me A Headache

Design 101 | Don’t Write a Thousand Words, Use an Image

Writing can be tough, especially if you’re writing for your own business.

Your words need to inform, convince and compel your readers to act. It’s a tall order, but it’s much easier to accomplish if you pair your words with an image that does some of the work for you. An image can speak a thousand words, but only if you choose it and use it carefully.

The most compelling images ask the viewer to make a mental leap to connect what’s in the image to the words you use. Straight illustrations of your topic work, too, but aren’t as engaging.

Read article …Design 101 | Don’t Write a Thousand Words, Use an Image

Design 101 | Storyselling for Fun and Profit

The headline isn’t a typo. Storyselling is intentional. After all, what better way to sell your services or products than through a story?

Everyone Loves a Good Story

brand marketing with stories is a great way to sell your services or products

From our early history humans have depended on stories.

Before the written word, stories served as a way to preserve our history, to warn others of danger, and to amuse and entertain.

Most of us had the opportunity to hear stories read to us when we were growing up. As adults, we enjoy immersing ourselves in novels, movies and television shows. Why do we spend so much time on stories?

Read article …Design 101 | Storyselling for Fun and Profit