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Getting to know your “brand” and finding ways to leverage it to achieve your goals: that’s what brand strategy is all about, and it’s an effective way to uncover a problem in your companies personality.
Just like refining any element: whether a logo, website or otherwise, brand refinement finds ways to increase the quality and perception of your brand through research and some hard work.
Brand style guide/manual creation
Brand styleguides are useful tools in your companies arsenal. They provide the rules and usage requirements for every applicable situation. Whether it’s global colors or writing styles or logo usage, a styleguide is a must have for any serious company. It is a defensive measure created to serve the company and all its vendors and to keep the brand from becoming diluted.
Brand message copy writing
Your brand message is an important part of the puzzle: it sheds light on your values and passions while evoking the same feelings in your customers. Writing the proper messaging that adheres to your brand values is absolutely critical to persuading your audience with words.
Brand performance auditing
Consider a brand audit like a checkup: your brands health can go downhill without even knowing it. Sometimes it can even border on flatlining if the wrong PR comes your way. Just imagine what a sour customer could do if you don’t address needs before they arise. Brand audits are preventative measures that give you an idea of what needs to be revised before loads of money is spent on the actual revising.
With the exception of names, a logo is considered by most to be the first and foremost in the companies perception. A logo is a face; it’s a symbol of who you are, what you represent and why you ought to be trusted. A logo is a visual workhorse and it absolutely must be designed as such. I have a major passion for logo design and have been doing it for quite some time: nearly a decade. I’ve learned a lot along the way and I use my experience of trial-and-error to provide solutions that are smart yet elegant and unique.
Already got a logo? Perhaps you have an idea, but it’s not set in stone. Either way, logo refinement is a more economical way to create something great. Logo refinement consists of many steps: from the typographic refinement itself to the colors, sizing, requirements and application “stress-testing”. I can help you realize the potential of an incomplete logo or refresh an existing one.
Logo conversions/file preparation
This is the nitty-gritty technical aspect. This “ala carte” solution for logo preparation is great for those who have a good logo, but don’t have the required files. Don’t have the vector version of a logo? Scary, but It happens. Don’t have the right color variations? I’ll take care of it. What about color or size conversion? Need a set of logo files prepped for many uses? Done.
Need some constructive criticism? I’m here to help. Like a brand audit, a logo audit gives you some basic pointers without the cost. And it’s not an emotion-fest. All critiques are 100% subjective and strategic, so don’t worry whether or not your use of comic sans will upset me.
I’ve been an art director for a few years now, but art direction without the title is a very simple position: designer with leadership. Art directors are less likely to get their hands dirty, but not this one. I work in the trenches like any good Jr. Designer but I can lead a team just as easily as lead myself. Art direction in the work sense is all about giving direction (no brainer!) to those around you, but it also involves motivating those others to share your passion and get things done. I can art direct your next project and lead your team to victory.
Mockups and styleboards are flat visuals that provide the foundation of a projects “look-and-feel”. These are often used in storyboarding and motion design, but they have application in many places. I can provide you with these visuals that will target the right aesthetic of your project before going into the production phase and spending loads of money.
Search Engine Optimization for Google, Yahoo, Bing (& others)
SEO is vitally important in today’s world. But that’s pretty much common knowledge. SEO is the first step of many in getting your website ranking higher in search engines. There is no “magic pill” but there is definitely a method. That method involves major tweaking of your website and also requires technical know-how to integrate your site(s) with major search engines while getting them to play nicely. I have many ways of increasing SEO, all developed through experience, research and rigor. They work because I use them, and they have to work for me.
Image optimization is a quick way to increase a few metrics of your site. Optimizing images means reducing file size, improving search engine visibility (through the use of proper HTML tags) and caching images for speedy site browsing. It is a easy remedy to solve some problems and can be done quickly and affordably.
Google, Yahoo and Bing local search optimization
Are you a local business with a physical location? Then local optimization is a MUST for your business. I can optimize your site and your search engine rankings to perform better by adding metadata in all the major search engine “local” tools: Google, Yahoo and Bing. You will become verified in each respective system and be listed when people search for location specific services related to your business. A more affordable, targeted way to increase search engine ranking without going all out.
AdWords campaign management
AdWords can be a powerful marketing tool if used properly. It can also be a huge time and money waster if used improperly. I’ve seen countless clients attempt to use this system without prior knowledge, and the only thing you will accomplish is dumping money into Google’s pockets. I can help set up and manage your AdWords SEM (Search Engine Marketing) campaigns to perform to their best potential. Whether it’s ad copy writing, landing page creation and management, keyword trend analysis or bidding refinement, I can help maximize your spending potential so you don’t go broke trying to advertise online.
Website keyword auditing
I can give you a full audit of your websites content, telling you what needs improvement and where, without spending the money to fix it. Results include page copy suggestions, heading revisions/suggestions, and keyword integration for your content. You can take these results and do with them as you please!
Google Analytics integration & monitoring
The cornerstone of any good online marketing campaign is Analytics. Without trend data, you are fumbling in the dark with your users. If you want to maximize your marketing efficiency, you need analytics. Google has some of the best out there, and they integrate with many Google features. Analytics is a free tool, so the only money you’ll need to spend is on the actual consultation. I can setup Google Analytics on your site, AND/OR monitor it for you, providing insights and suggestions along the way. You don’t need to learn another tool just to learn what your customers are doing: that’s where I can help.
Flat comprehensive layout design
Are you looking for a custom designed web layout, without the coding and implementation? I can take your ideas and translate them into a beautiful, flexible and functional design.
Translation of comprehensive layouts to HTML / CSS / XHTML
What about the opposite? Do you have an existing flat design that needs to be created into a fully functional website? I can do that too.
User-interaction (UI) consulting & design
Are you looking to optimize the ease-of-use of your website or web application? User interface design helps uncover problems in usability and user-interactions. Sometimes the simplest changes can make all the difference. I can help you uncover problems and modify the site to increase functionality, flexibility and retention.
User-experience (UX) consulting & design
User experience design goes hand-in-hand with UI. UX focuses on the actual response of a user and their patterns of behavior and interaction. There’s no need to spend a ton of money on focus groups: UX design can make your site/application easier and more fun to use.
WordPress custom theme design
WordPress is a great free CMS (Content Management System) that allows you to fully control your website without having to know how to program or understand complex administration systems. It is by far the most popular CMS, and has become quite versatile and easy-to-use. I have worked on many, many WordPress deployments and have done custom programming and design for clients across a range of needs and fields. I can give you a full functioning, secure and powerful website that behaves amazingly and looks gorgeous. I can also keep it up-to-date and manage it for you.
Drupal custom theme design / integration
Are you looking to utilize the powerful Drupal CMS, but need someone to integrate or design and integrate your theme? I have a good amount of experience working in this platform and designing/integrating very robust theme designs.
Looking to design a more standard postcard for promotion? I can handle everything from design and fulfillment, and I have extensive experience in this context.
Business card design
A good business card is an entry point to a conversation or action. It’s not an all-encompassing information center. Treating your business card as a portal versus a static piece is vital to making it work for you. Why should someone keep your card? I will help answer that question. In a world of overstimulation and shotgun marketing, printed materials are constantly thrown in consumers faces. Making a card that’s memorable and leads to action is what’s required. I can help you do that.
Looking to make a splash at a tradeshow or convention? I have extensive experience working with standard layouts, from booths, standees, banners and everything in-between. Want to do something out of the norm? I can do that too. Whether it’s a simple booth or hundred foot wall graphics, I can design, prep and work with vendors to deliver stunning and consistent marketing pieces.
Tri-fold, bi-fold, die-cut — you name it. Brochures are a quick and conventional way to present a lot of information in a small package.
Collateral design packages
A collateral package is important in keeping everything ‘on-brand’. Usually included are letterhead/envelope stationary and business cards. This is boilerplate for any serious company, and it’s important to have a solid look-and-feel.
T-shirt / Apparel design
T-shirts are a fun way to engage consumers, are used in events and giveaways, or can be just for fun. I have done lots of different shirt designs for a range of clients. Full bleed shirts, custom embroidery, silkscreening and everything in-between. Apparel design is an awesome new way to reach consumers with something more than just a piece of paper.
I love designing billboards, if only for the sheer magnitude and presence they create. It’s also an interesting medium that requires special attention — like location, demographic, and information density. A lot of billboards fail, simply because they are poorly translated from one medium to another. A successful billboard design will engage quickly, and be remembered easily. Shake them up with some awesome concepts. I’ve done billboards for many high-profile clients, many who are repeat customers.
Out-of-the-box print / packaging
Looking for something wholly different? How about balloons? T-shirt packaging art? Custom ‘widgets’, pens, toys, or more? I’ve done a lot of weird concepts for a range of products.
WordPress is a great publishing tool, whether it be for a blog or a full scale site. Because of this flexibility, WordPress has become a popular target for spamming and phishing. However, with a few steps, highly popular plugins, and some server administration, locking it down is pretty simple. I can quickly update your site to conform to these security standards.
Need help installing WordPress? I can set it up quickly and securely for you.