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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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Why You Need Boundaries In Your Business

Creating Boundaries In Your Business www.amiebakercreative.com

I’ve learned the hard way that multi-tasking isn’t truly helpful even when we want it to be. I admit, there are days I’m forced into that mode and focusing on one thing at a time is always a work in progress. Those are always the days I feel the most pressure. Through this, I’ve learned the value of focus and dialing in on a project allowing it the undivided attention it needs to really flourish.
I’ve adopted a strategy to own my time for the sake of my work and growing my creative talent.

What does that mean to me?

I block out time for each project I work on. It is important to me to allow my mind the time to focus and think about each project I commit to. Doing so creates better results and happier clients.

I schedule all phone calls. It seems that phone calls are the number one way that I am pulled from progress on a client’s project. I love connecting via phone and chatting things out but it is time that I’ve discovered needs to be planned out for the same reasons my project work time does. At times I will pick up an unscheduled call, but it just might be to thank the caller and plan time to re-connect. I also don’t list my phone number on my site intentionally but that is a future topic. You can subscribe to my email list if you don’t want to miss those details, here!

Emails are all important and I do my best to be prompt. It is usually the quickest way to get to me. It is my biggest challenge of distraction, for sure. It is hard to combat letting my inbox call the shots for the day. I know I’m not alone.
Social Media isn’t a priority. There are so many opinions about how businesses should spend their time on social media. I cut the clutter and took an honest look at the time involved and realized when I was actively working on a project, I didn’t need to be responding to anything because when I switched gears off the project, jumping into social media was still there waiting. Basically, my client’s project are more valuable at the time.

Controlling the subscribes. You guys, it feels incredible to unsubscribe to something that isn’t giving you value and in return it clears your inbox. Years ago, I made that a resolution. I decided to unsubscribe to anything that wasn’t providing actual value to me and still today is something I care very much about. It is also shocking how many emails you’ll still get subscribed to by automation when you are fiercely protecting that access

These are all examples of the boundaries I’ve come to rely on to allow me to provide a better experience, better service and better results to the clients I thank for partnering with me.

I challenge you to find things in your business that are distracting you from being better, or from growing. Find a solution on how to change the struggle and deploy it. Let’s get the wheels on that bus moving.


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A Little Update

There is so much to love in this life and this little girl is on the top of my list! She turned one this week, in the blink of an eye. I enjoyed letting some creative energy out in the form of digging my hands into some projects for her birthday party- like the crown she is wearing. Much like the turn of a new year, my baby turning one was very much a moment of reflection and looking forward in life. Before I get too far ahead of myself, I’m proud to be a business owner balancing life and business. I’m thankful to my clients for allowing me to do what I love daily by partnering with them. And, as I get deeper into my 5th year in business, I’m pushing myself more than I ever have before and rising to the challenges that opportunities present. This year is off to a wonderful start!

1 1a


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7 Things To Do This Year To Increase Your Brand’s Value

new year
It is time to climb to your new goals. Make them a little intimidating. Make them a little far fetched. Give yourself a challenge to rise to. Need ideas? Consider your brand and the value it brings to your profits. Here are some things that can hurt your brand this year:

 

1. Ensure your site is mobile friendly. Mobile web browsing isn’t something your business can afford to ignore. Pay attention to how your market is digesting content. Be there.

 

2. Make sure your logo doesn’t use one of the top 10 most common fonts. Comic Sans? Times New Roman? You know these by hearing them. You also know when you see Comic Sans and among designers it is a source for many jokes. You may be surprised to realize that your font is actually tied into how you are viewed. By avoiding common fonts, you avoid the assumption that you are starting up or temporary. Even worse, not worth the price you charge.

 

3. Increase your social proof by participating in social media. Love or hate it, so far it isn’t planning on going anywhere. If you haven’t embraced it yet. Consider it. While you do, join me on Facebook or Instagram or Twitter!

 

4. Set quarterly goals and review them. If you don’t set goals, you won’t reach them.

 

5. Grow your email list. Want to know how? Subscribe to my email list and I’ll be sharing some tips on strategy. When you sign up you’ll also get a free branding checklist to evaluate your current marketing efforts and brand.

 

6. Review your copy. Are you using copy that references dates too far back? Does your website say what it needs to say? Should you hire a copywriter to help you craft the perfect summary?

 

7. Be open to feedback. Be open to suggestions. The struggle I have in logo development is hearing from a prospect that they know exactly what they want, they just need someone that knows how to execute it. That single statement deprives you from input from a professional that might have a solution for your that you didn’t even know to consider. Food for thought.

 

Hooray for the New Year! New opportunity!
Share with me your struggles you are tackling this year in the comments!


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I’ve Been Waiting For You!

Today is the day I’ve been waiting for. Today is the first real Monday in our new year. To me, that means it is the first week to start chipping away at goals. It is so hard to remain focused once Christmas hits until the new year starts. I know I’m not alone here! With this Monday, I welcome the return of schedules and to-do lists with open arms.

This weekend I received a book I pre-ordered months ago. It is hard for me to read books at this phase in my life. Doing so requires me trading my down time for reading. That might sound odd because most see reading as relaxing. For me, the books I read are mind movers. I figure if I’m spending time to read it better be giving me something in return.

Lara Casey’s new book is just what I needed to read this weekend. When I pre-ordered the book, I didn’t really give it a thought. I just knew that I’ve been following Lara for some time and attended webinars and if she was writing a book, I was going to read it. I had no expectations for this read. However, it gave me a very appropriate dose of inspiration, action and a good reality check to run with as we start fresh. Reading a book was no where on my to-do list in January. However, what a great thing to squeeze in! My mind is very much still processing this book.

I also designed and ordered my little one’s first birthday party invites for next month over the holidays. That year flew by. I’ll be sure and share those invites once I get them out in the mail. No spoilers here!

Tell me what you are ready to tackle this month!


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The Last Monday Before Christmas

monday1It is Monday and it is a Monday before the merriest holiday- ever! That reminds me, the other week I was working at Starbucks for a bit and it was a Thursday. A lady walked in wearing an “I hate Monday” t-shirt. She must really hate Mondays. I hope she has a Merry Christmas and that next year she’ll start embracing Mondays! I don’t mind the first day of the week. It feels refreshing and I get to start a new to-do list no matter how many things are left unchecked on my old one! I start it over and re-focus. I’m addicted to making lists. I know I’m not alone with that either. My four year old loves to write his own list when he sees me going to town. You might be thinking I need to get with it and make it digital. I tried that. I missed the satisfaction of physically crossing things off.
Here is to a week of long holiday lists, fitting the last fill of eggnog in, the last chocolates in the christmas count downs, the last plays of holiday tracks and the last chances to wrap up any 2014 goals you’ve set. New Year’s is going to be here before we know it!


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Keep The Momentum

Take Pride in how far you have come. www.amiebakercreative.com

I have really enjoyed the energy surrounding me in this new year. If it were possible I would bottle it up and use it throughout the year. Clients, social networks, the gym, friends and family seemed to have a renewed sense of purpose. It is a great feeling to experience. Here is to keeping the momentum throughout the year!