Be Brightly Branded

Amie Baker Creative is a boutique graphic design studio focused on helping businesses and their brands through visual identities, print design and web design.


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How To Speak Visually

MOOD BOARD DESIGN

I often hear from clients that they are having a hard time telling me what it is that they have in their head for their expectations on visual outcome. It can quickly become frustrating when you are trying to tell your designer in words and have it come out off target when translated visually. So what do you do?

Mood boards are magic, I promise. Take a look at this post in the archives to learn more about what a mood board is.

When you are having a hard time putting your thoughts into words to tell anyone, even your business partner then you need to take a different approach. Spend time gathering images off the internet that you’ve loved. Save those postcards you’ve gotten in the mail that made sense, take note of copy you enjoyed because it sounded great, pull those color swatches in the paint store because it is the perfect coral for your logo. Do all these things and compile them into a single image that you can look at and really see how all of these things you love visually work together once they are living in the same space together.

Once you have it all together, you may find that your love for glitter doesn’t belong in your brand, or you’ll find that it absolutely does. Visual clarity and focus will start to form. Take the time to do this and if you don’t have the interest to do this yourself, I can do it for you! Email me and we’ll start to pull it together.

Once you have a visual mood board it will be helpful for any designer that you choose to move forward with. A lot of things with design can’t be translated with words and so compiling a bunch of images together to do so proves very helpful on both sides with getting you up and running quicker and easier.


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Do You Know How To Measure Marketing Success?

marketing successHave you ever struggled to know if a campaign has worked for you? Do you struggle to figure out where your clients come from? These are important things to know and define for your business. Here are a few ways you can track your marketing efforts:

  • Google Analytics: Make sure it is installed properly so you are able to track links that you put out into the world and then be able to review their success.
  • Direct Mail: Use a unique URL that you ask recipients to visit to learn more or get special offer. Track that URL to see how many people followed your call to action.
  • Location Based Brochures: Use a specific phone number on the brochure that is only listed on that specific brochure offering, track those calls.
  • Offer Codes: Vary your special offer codes in order to track where the most uses are coming from to help better plan future campaigns.
  • Ask! Sometimes the hardest thing to do is simply ask where they heard about you, your business or your service. After you ask, you might find you can follow up with a referring outlet and thank them for their word of mouth and offer continued incentives for referrals.

Where you are putting your effort, make sure to put your attention into making sure you can track it.


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Client Experience :: Secrets of Print Shops

With my recent move (more here), we’ve had to fill out countless warranty registration cards and mail them in. I filled them all out and let me tell you how frustrating it is to have to fill in the model number or other product specific information on those postcards when I know in my mind they could have done it for me. I’m talking about variable printing. A magical solution to printing a wide range of information within the same exact template. For example, those warranty cards could have been pre-filled in for me and only a couple were. These are the things that challenge my mind with my clients now to find ways I can make their lives easier by the use of print technology that isn’t widely known with small business owners.

In simple terms, it is magic, variable printing lets you control content that prints in one print run with several variances. Imagine having a product line that needs warranty cards returned and having them all come back legible for you and allows you to speed up processing time.

If you have 3 models, traditionally you’ll need to supply 3 print files if you are pre-filling data for each one.  That is 3 projects to manage. 3 email strings. 3 everything. Variable printing allows you to set fields within the design file to supply 1 file. You’ll accompany that file with a date file that holds the key on what to print where. That likely sounds more intimidating than it actually is so don’t let that fool you. You now have 1 project to manage, 1 email string, 1 everything. Your printer will even shrink wrap, pack and label the different versions for you. Even though it will take a bit more time upfront prepping a data file, it will save you so much time overall.

Give me a shout with questions about a project you have interest in for applying variable data and tips on how to make it work for you. Most commonly this process is best paired with direct mail, invitations, fundraiser marketing and sales presentations.

Here is a handy visual to break it down:

variable printing-01-01


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Realtors, Are You Missing Out On A Great Marketing Impact?

With my family’s recent move, I was handed a beautiful box with a belly band and inside was our beautiful keys on a sweet key chain. All one cares about in the huge hurdles of moving is getting those tiny little keys. This was our first time buying a brand new house so it was the first time getting a gift like that. It made me realize that no matter new or old, a house is huge gift and I wondered why every key before wasn’t presented this way. I may have been swayed by my love for package design but I don’t think my feeling was far off. I posted that picture on my personal social media feeds. What a great marketing opportunity with little investment and big pay off. Previously, I’ve been handed a key or picked it up in a plain white envelope.

Brands really gain momentum when you can make people feel and good feelings and get excited about something. Think about your delivery to your clients if you are handing over something tangible, why not brand it? I’ve got all these ideas circulating in my head now about custom boxes for realtors, special cards that have the key inside, a beautiful hang tag tied to the key with a red bow…pair some great design with your name and logo for an under the radar approach and free marketing, when your client potentially does the same as I did and posts a picture to social media. I’m looking for a realtor who wants to create some custom key packing, email me if you are interested!

keybox


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Ad Spots, Should You Participate?

I think one of the challenges I often hear from my consultations is how to reach your market, through what channels, and what medium. If you don’t have a plan, you’ll make bad choices. You also open yourself up to making quick and rushed decisions. With ad placement, once you get on a handful of publication’s radars, you’ll start getting materials that might make you feel like you need to participate. The prices is right, the timing of publication is right, you enjoy looking through their stuff so you decide to proceed. You also take the time to make sure you submit a great ad that represents your marketing goals perfectly.

Then you wait.

The ad either works well or it doesn’t meet your expectations. If it flops, you might wonder what happened when you don’t start getting a return. Then, your brain starts turning and suddenly you are thinking with reason. You may realize that even though you enjoy browsing the publication you submitted your ad to, your market likely doesn’t. You may realize that even though it was a great price that the timing was off for your ad’s call to action. You realize that you felt rushed to meet a deadline and so you just submitted an ad you had on hand ready to go and now you are realizing updates that could have been made. Hindsight is painful.

Before you choose to participate with submitting an ad be sure to really review the publication to make it sure it compliments your business. If it obviously does then dig deeper and make sure it is a good fit regionally. Be sure to have a good call to action and strong and professional reflection of your business within your ad.

Stuck on ad design? I’m happy to suggest some ideas to you, shoot me an email.