Friday, December 17, 2010

When Free Is Bad ...

Going into the new year, I begin to look at my budget and see what catagories I can save in and which ones I could spend a little more on. These are some areas of your marketing that you definitely do not want to skimp on....

Logo Design
I don't disagree, there are a TON of logo sites out there that offer deep discounted logo ideas. What I do disagree with, it that by purchasing a stock logo OR using a logo template, the logo is generic! Templated logos are completely impersonal to you and your business. Also, keep in mind that if you are considering purchasing a stock or deeply discounted logo, they are not exclusive to you and your business, anyone can by them.

I have seen two different businesses, who are part of the same industry, use the exact same logo; color and all and they are only two towns apart.... how sad is that? You will also likely run into the problem of not having correct file types when you want it professionally printed through resources such as: commercial printers, sign companies and promotional items.

With a custom logo design, the designer [perhaps Tasha Lee Design :)] will sit down with you, walk you through a creative brief, do some research and get a well rounded idea of what you want your identity to say about your business. A good designer will work with you until you are 110% satisfied with your new identity and then help you plaster it all over town so your community starts recognizing you! They will provide you with the correct file versions to be used in a multitude situations and will be able to explain when it is best to use each file type. Be unique. Be different. Don't Be a Stock Image.

Clip Art
You know what I am talking about.... the cheap, cheesy looking X, that you placed into your flyer because that is what was available. There are nice clip art out there, but most of the time.... it would be a good idea to stay away from it. Clip art cheapens your business image and comes across unprofessional.

Although sites such as and seem like a really great resource, these fonts are designed by amateurs. Many of the letter spacing and special characters look awkward. There is a complete science to choosing a font for your printed materials and my suggestion would be to leave this to the professional! They will know when to choose a font and how best to make that font get your materials noticed. A designer's rule of thumb: NEVER use more than 3 typefaces on the same printed material. It becomes confusing to the eye and looks unorganized and sloppy.

Templates ... through websites, blogs and other design stuff. As with any template, remember that they are not exclusive to you. So anyone who has a connection to the internet, has the power to purchase your design that you may or may not have been using for years. My suggestion is to be very careful and limit the use of these resources. I can not tell you how many times I walk into a networking event and chat with specialty businesses such as handmade jewelry, make-up artists, hair stylist, computer techs, etc. and they are passing out the exact same card as someone else at the event.

It breaks my heart knowing that these individuals are working so hard to grow their business and will become confused with someone else, who is working just as hard, because they are using the same logo, business card layout or brochure template.

If you are to invest in one thing and one thing only for you business, INVEST IN YOUR LOGO! The logo may be a larger investment that you want to take on right now, but remember, it is a one time investment that will be used in every part of your marketing; from business cards, websites, invoices, fax sheets, flyers, advertising, etc. Your logo will be with you for the duration of you running your business. Your logo will be the backbone to you building a strong brand recognition.

Tasha Lee Design, Chicagoland Graphic Designer
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Monday, December 13, 2010

Making Art Out of Everyday Items.

After seeing some of these everyday products offered in other countries.....
I vote that America is visually boring!

mailbox with a porthole {Radius}

humidifier {Plusminuszero }

remote control stand {Eau}

magazine rack {fumfum}

space heater {Plusminuszero}

umbrella stand {Elic}

Tasha Lee Design, Chicagoland Graphic Designer
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Sunday, December 12, 2010

When Free Is Good ...

To run your business it costs money, where you choose to spend your money is what makes the difference in your bottom line. There are many services out there that are FREE to you, but when used correctly, make a BIG IMPACT in your business, but not in your pocketbook. By utilizing a combination of paid and unpaid services you will make a bold statement with your clients.

Here are some No Cost/Low Cost Resources for you to get off the ground running in your marketing efforts:

Many of consumers have heard of the email newsletter service, Constant Contact, I have discovered MailChimp in the past year or so and canceled my CC account after being a loyal customer for over 3 years. What is so cool about MailChimp is that they have ALL the same features (plus some) as CC, but is FREE! With all your monthly savings, you can now head over to your local design shop and receive a custom newsletter template to be streamlined with all your marketing efforts.

These are two very common blogging platforms out in the internet world. What is cool about these, is that just by blogging a mere one time a week, you can dramatically increase your google ranking. Make sure you are blogging with intent though and that your posts are related to your products or services. Each time you blog, your site will be indexed and your keywords will start climbing up, up and up. Many blogs have templates to choose from, but by hiring a graphic designer, your blog can look as though it is an extension of your website and online visitors won't even know you are using a third party site.

Google Analytics
This system is a must have for any online business. By keeping track of your web traffic, you will know what online visitors are interested in, you can create specialized online marketing campaigns and learn what does and doesn't work without paying the big bucks! You just need to spend some time learning how to read your site metrics and what they mean.

Social media can make a HUGE impact on your credibility. Along with posting helpful information that isn't always focused on sell, sell, selling to your followers. Social media is helpful in creating another touch point with your clients and keeping you in the forefront.

Businesses are all about saving time and money and using skype will help you do just that. You will have the option to have face to face business meeting with a client who is out of state, on the opposite coastline or overseas. With the video feature, you not only see the person face to face, but have the flexibility in showing products or demonstrating services.

DropBox/You Send It
Occassionally, I need to send a really big file to a client who doesn't possess the convenience of an FTP. These file transfer services present a quick and easy way to get the job done without jumping in the car and delivering a CD or popping it in the mail.

With any marketing effort, keep in mind that consistency is key. Not only in the use of your logo, but also with the use of your business colors, fonts and image choices. Staying consistent will only strengthen your brand recognition and help you stand out in the multitude of campaigns you are competing against.

Tasha Lee Design, Chicagoland Graphic Designer
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Tuesday, December 7, 2010


In an effort to honor veterans, Google inadvertently stirred up a hornet's nest of Islamic feeling by customizing its logo for Veteran's Day. It substituted an American flag on a pole for the "l" in its name, and the flowing flag covers up the "e" to the point where the letter appears to be an Islamic crescent moon.

Reactions are largely in three camps: outraged, amused, or exhausted. read more

Tasha Lee Design, Chicagoland Graphic Designer
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