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3 Tips To Help Small Business Owners Work With A Graphic Designer

If your small business is in need of a little assistance in creating advertisements for your business or really solidifying your brand’s image, a graphic designer can be a great partner to work with. Here are three tips that will help you work effectively with a graphic designer to produce content for your business.

#1 Establish A Realistic Time Frame

The first thing you need to do when establishing a working relationship with a graphic designer is to make sure that you set up a realistic and workable time frame with the graphic designer for how you foresee the project going. Make sure that you are willing to work with the graphic designer to establish a time frame that works both for your business needs and works with the graphic designer’s business needs.

You are going to want to set specific deadlines for the first draft, the final proof, and for when the printed piece will be ready. This will help keep your project on track.

#2 Come Ready With Examples

Second, you are going to want to make sure that you head into the meeting with the graphic designer with some ideas of your own. Try to get together different pictures that show what you are looking for. For example, if there are specific colors that you really like, bring in some pictures that have those colors in it. Or, if you are looking for a specific feeling, such as a modern rustic look, bring in some examples that show that look. Pictures can often help you convey your vision more clearly to a graphic designer and will help the designer see what your expectations and vision are for the piece that you are hiring them for.

#3 Give Specific Feedback

Throughout the design process, you are going to need to give feedback to the graphic designer that you are working with. Try to be specific in your feedback. For example, don’t just say, “that isn’t what I am looking for,” explain what you are looking for. A comment such as, “The letters are too big and seem to dominate the graphic, and the colors are a little dull and less vibrant than what I was looking for” will help your graphic designer get a lot closer to designing what you are looking for than a general comment. You should provide a lot of feedback on the first draft so that your graphic designer knows what you are looking for, and hopefully as you go through the process, less and less feedback will be needed.

While working with a graphic designer like 10 West Commercial Graphics, make sure that you provide examples of what you are looking for, set mutually agreed upon deadlines and provide constructive and specific feedback throughout the process. 

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Three Ways To Make Your Business Sign Stand Out

When you own a business, you rely on your sign to catch the attention of a prospective customer and relay information to him or her quickly. Given that a customer might be driving past your sign and only have a brief glimpse at it, it’s important that your sign has as much impact as possible — failing to deliver in this regard is unlikely to cause the person to stop and become a customer. A key thing to remember is to avoid overloading the sign with data; while you understandably want to convey your message, you want to do so in a manner that is concise and easy to follow. Here are three other tips for making your sign effective.

Pick A Clear Font

Many businesses make the mistake of selecting a font that might seem visually appealing but lacks impact. Complicated fonts with plenty of squiggly lines can be difficult to read — both from afar and while driving past the sign. It’s ideal for your font choice to be as clear as possible. Generally, those that are bold can be effective. Think, too, about the contrast between your font color and the sign’s background. There should be a clear contrast, such as black and white, so that people have no trouble being able to quickly read the sign.

Invite Customers With A Call To Action

An integral element of successful business signs is that they feature a call to action. This means that they encourage or invite prospective customers to engage with the business in some manner. For example, the call to action could be asking customers to check your website, stop in your retail location for outstanding deals with this month or connect with you on a specific social media platform. It’s ideal if the call to action includes a benefit for the customer. For example, connecting on social media could give the customer a coupon to use for online shopping.

Consider Using A QR Code

An effective way to balance between overloading your sign with clutter and not having enough information is to use a QR code. When a customer scans this code with a smartphone, he or she will be taken to your website. This is beneficial for the customer because it doesn’t require him or her to remember a specific URL. Keep in mind that QR codes are best for signs that will be passed by pedestrians; a code provides no value for passing motorists, so think about the type of people who will be passing your sign. Contact a local sign company, like Sun Signs & Service, for more help.

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Digital Printing Is The Way Of The Future

For many centuries, mankind has been printing words and images on paper by using huge, mechanical printing presses. This process, known as offset printing, has been expensive and time-consuming, but it was the only way to print words and images on paper. With the proliferation of computers, digital printing became a viable printing alternative. Many professional printing companies have switched over to digital printing and are using digital presses to create a vast array of high-quality printed materials. Professional printers are using digital presses to print everything from single-page signs and graphics to multi-page manuscripts, brochures, and books.   

Here are some of the reasons why digital printing has become so popular: 

  • High-Quality Prints – Digital printing produces high-quality prints at a minimum of 300 dots per inch. Although image quality was also high with offset printing, the visual difference between digital prints and offset prints is barely detectable.   
  • Preparation Time – Digital printing does not need the elaborate setup and preparation times that offset printing does. Therefore, digital print jobs are being completed quickly and efficiently. This fact alone is popularizing digital printing. 
  • Color Quality – Digital printing is a four-color printing process that uses thousands of dots of powdered color to print files. This process is less expensive and faster compared to offset printing which uses a combination of colored ink and solvent or ink and water.  
  • Changeability – Digital printing files are easily changeable to personalize the projects being printed. After changes are made, the newly altered file is electronically sent over to the printer. Changes in offset printing projects involve time-consuming breakdowns and setups of the press each time changes are made to a print project. 
  • Precision and Accuracy – Digital printing uses precise digital measurements to align and print each page of a book or multi-page project. Offset printing relies on the mechanics of the printing press to align and print products. Although both processes are accurate, the digital method is more efficient and faster. 
  • Print Time – Offset printing uses a combination of ink and solvent or ink and water to print text and images onto paper. Digital printers use powdered pigments that are sprayed directly onto paper and then permanently fused to the paper with heat. This eliminates the slower print time of offset printing. 
  • Print Cost – Digital printing is cost effective because, unlike offset printing, it doesn’t need to etch the words and images of the file onto metal plates and then press those inked plates onto paper to create printed materials. This makes digital printing faster.
  • Equipment Cost – Professional offset printing presses are expensive. Today’s high-end professional digital printers are less expensive so they are affordable for small and large printing companies and other businesses. Some individuals are also taking advantage of the affordability of new digital equipment. 

Digital printing is fast, cheap, accurate, colorful and customizable. Digital printing is the most efficient and the fastest way to print today. If you need professional printing services, choose a company (such as Houston Signs Ltd) that has converted to digital printing presses. If you wish to purchase a state-of-the-art printer for yourself or your business, choose a digital printer. It is the way of the future. 

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Using Your Vehicle To Advertise Your Business

If you have your own small business, you are most likely always looking for ways to gain new customers as this means an increase in profits as well. Using your vehicle as a means to advertise can help bring in people who would not have known about your business if they did not drive past the building or signs you have displayed in town. Driving your vehicle around during busy traffic patterns can increase the number of people who see information about your business if you have advertisements properly displayed. Here are some of the more popular types of vehicle advertisements to consider.

Vehicle Magnets

Magnets are a wonderful way to advertise your business as they are extremely versatile. You can move a magnet from vehicle to vehicle or remove it for times you do not wish to advertise. Magnets can be moved around into different spots on your vehicle to help avoid faded paint and to change the look of your advertising. They are relatively inexpensive so you can purchase several styles and switch your advertisements every few days, if desired. 

Bumper Stickers

Putting your business information on a bumper sticker is a very inexpensive way to advertise. The information is viewed every time you come to a stop in the middle of traffic and will also be seen by people in parking lots as they walk past your vehicle. Consider buying bumper stickers in bulk and passing them out to your current customers to place on their own vehicles. This will allow others to do some advertising for you.

Auto Decals

Placing decals on your vehicle is an easy way to get your business noticed. Simply peel and stick the lettering and place them strategically on your vehicle’s windows. These look best if they are in white on a tinted window, as the contrast is easily seen. Vehicle decals can also be placed right on the metal of the vehicle’s body, allowing you to write out your company name and phone number on the door area, hood, or tailgate of a service vehicle. 

Vehicle Wraps

If you want to take your advertising to a whole new level, consider using a vehicle wrap. This type of advertisement covers the entire body of your vehicle, making it appear somewhat like a race car as a result. You will be able to drive through town with all the pertinent information displayed where it is able to be viewed from all angles. This type of advertisement is a real eye-catcher, making it one of the best ways to get your business noticed.

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Sign Design Tips

So you want to get your business noticed? Well, having a great design for your business’ sign or decal is a great start. Coming up with that perfect design is not always the easiest thing to do however. Design takes time and patience as well as some know-how. That said, here are some basic tips on designing a great sign that will capture the attention of anyone who sees it.

Keep it simple

Simplicity is key with most things, especially if your sign is going to be on a billboard or something that people will look at while driving. Simple ideas will get your point across and will also allow your idea to be known as clean and clear cut.

A sign that isn’t simple, one that has many different colors, fonts, and shapes will often disorient people before they realize what is going on. Choosing something simpler will keep the attention focused on your sign without having too much going on.

Sound too general? Here are some specifics that will help you keep it simple. Try and keep a simple color pallet, meaning only a few colors. They can be bright and bold, or toned down, but by limiting the number of colors that clash you can increase readability. Try and keep one font throughout the sign, and if you can, keep it the same within all of your marketing. That will allow people to remember your brand by the font as well (see the next section for more specifics). Finally, don’t mix too many shapes, as this can also be very disorientating. Overall you are trying to increase continuity and readability, so keep that in mind when designing your businesses sign.

Remember, some of the best brands in the world have very simple and iconic designs that make them memorable. Follow their lead when looking to design your sign.

Use a custom typeface

If you can design your own font that will suit your brand to a ‘T’, choose that over spending hours looking for the perfect font online. While there are many options out there for you to choose, it also means that there are many out there for everyone else to choose. Seeing the same font everywhere makes things boring for the readers and makes them not want to spend the time to read your text.

Making your own font, however, virtually guarantees you that no one will steal your font and that you will be instantly recognizable to anyone who sees your sign again. Being unique in this day and age is imperative, and a custom typeface guarantees that above all else.

Finally… Have fun with it

If you don’t enjoy designing your sign, then that will come across in the overall design to the people seeing it. A stiff designer makes a stiff and boring sign. Let loose and be open to changing things up to make your sign engaging to your audience. Just remember, make it a labor of love and have fun! For further assistance, contact local professionals, such as those from Trim-Line Of Central Alberta Ltd.

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