Design is all about creative communication. In this article we have outlined a few techniques to grab attention when designing marketing campaigns.
1. Communicate visually
Designer Toby Ng Kwong To set himself the challenge of communicating statistical data in a visual and accessible manner through a series of "picture" posters. He writes:
If the world were a village of 100 people, how would the composition be? This set of 20 posters is built on statistics about the spread of population around the world under various classifications. The numbers are turned into graphics to give another sense a touch – Look, this is the world we are living in.
More posters can be viewed on his personal website.
2. Be very literal
Image credit: Toxel
In this range of wildly creative fruit juice packages, Japanese industrial designer Naoto Fukasawa imitates the look and feel of the fruit it contains. The packaging ranges from strawberry and banana to coconut and tofu milk.
The additional tactile dimension makes the contents appear fresher and juicer, as if you are squeezing juice out of the original thing.
Another clever concept by Hiroku Sanders translates Kleenex’s "slice of summer" campaign into fruit shaped tissue boxes:
Image credit: The Dieline
Back in the day, when Helios Design was still very young, we came across a prospective client who sent us the following request:
I'm interested in working with you. Please send me three different design concepts for my website. Based on the quality of ideas provided, I'll decide whether I will go with you or not.
These are warning bells for your typical designer. "Spec work" (essentially design work done for free as part of project pitching) can damaging to both parties – designer and client – for the following reasons:
a. It reduces design to an arbitrary "hit or miss" game among competing agencies.
b. It goes against the fundamental principle of design – taking a client brief and translating it into visual format. Without the proper consultation and research phases, designers work in a ‘vacuum’.
c. Spec work drives up prices – other clients have to pick up the tab for time on unsuccessful spec work.
d. Spec clients are often left with mediocre work.
e. Lastly, there are ethical concerns. Nothing stops a client from taking free spec work, handing it over to their nephew and asking them to recreate it "with a few slight modifications".
1. Comparing the two
Here is a quick comparison between spec work and proper compensated design:
Business cards are powerful things – when used correctly. Here are a few tips:
1. Don't write a novel on your card
Keep your card short and simple. Leave the detailed business plan for your brochure and website. We recently received a brief from a company who wanted to publish this information on the back of their card:
Our suggestion? Simplify the back with one strong visual and a suitable tagline:
This week, tune into Radio2000 (frequencies here) on Tuesday 20th January at 11:40 am to hear our designer, Ichizu Wakabayashi, talk about branding and corporate identity tips for budding entrepreneurs. The show (Women in Business) is hosted by Kgomotso “KG” Moeketsi (pictured above). Don’t miss it!
As a small business owner, you’ve probably got a million things on your plate! It’s easy to put branding on the back burner. Here are a few branding essentials to attend to after finalizing your logo.
1. Set up your business mailbox
Nothing quite says "unprofessional" like a hotmail business mailbox (eg. email@example.com). Same goes for yebomail, webonline, absamail, gmail… we’re looking at you!
Business email addresses (eg. firstname.lastname@example.org) are inexpensive to set up and are included in our hosting packages. Once you’ve set up your mailbox, be sure to guard against spam.
2. Set up your email signature
The very next step is to set up your email signature. Include your logo, contact details and web address (plus a disclaimer). Just follow these easy steps, or contact us for a custom designed html signature.
Business cards are often the first point of contact with your brand. And in the world of branding first impressions are everything.
If your frumpy old business card needs a makeover, look no further. Here are 7 ideas to "pimp up" your card and wow your clients. Mind you, these are not for the faint of heart – financially speaking – you would need some lee-way to play (images courtesy of Flickr).
1. Work with unusual materials
Forget about paper. Explore materials that relate to your offering – wood, plastic, glass, ceramic and metals.
This card is an excellent concept for a hardwood flooring company:
... while these plastic and metal cards say "futuristic" and "cutting-edge":
2. Explore special print techniques
Alternatively, explore creative print techniques available with litho printing - foil stamping, varnishing, embossing, debossing, virkotyping, and so on.
These reflective gold cards work well in a jewellery or goldsmith context:
...while the embossed look can add extra 'umph' to your logo mark:
Spot UV varnish (left) and virkotyping (right) are additional effects to explore: