When I had the notion of starting my own business I rushed a lot of areas. I thought to myself “Right Marty, get some business cards and start handing them out to people”. At this point I didn’t care much for the design process, I just wanted people to know about McCabe Graphics. With this in mind, I quickly designed my business cards. I loudly portrayed what services I provide on this little piece of card. Got them printed and handed some out to a few people I know. In my head, this was a good idea, I’m getting my name out there and the people who know me from previous employment know how to reach me if they need a reliable designer.
Fast forward a few months, I decided to re-brand the look of the business. From the business cards, flyers, right through to the styling of my invoice. I even redesigned my cool little website 🙁 Okay, it was only meant to be a portfolio website but now it’s so much better and more functional for all my clients. I took my time, I set out a plan like I did on every job before and had a vision of what I wanted to create. In short, I set myself a brief. Something I now ask all of my clients to do for me (it saves so much time).
I wanted my business to look professional, display the services that I provide, create a friendly look that ultimately encouraged people to get in contact with me. It definitely worked. Within a few hours of my new look website being launched and the addition of my new promotional material, enquiries started flooding in.
I definitely prefer the new design; it gives an air of friendliness to the business which is what McCabe Graphics is all about as opposed to the first design. In my own opinion, the new design is much more elegant and inviting. I know some people will prefer the first design because of its simple and effective nature. This will work to a certain extent but attracting a certain clientèle requires a different approach than just plastering your services on a card.
The Devil is in the Detail!
The most important aspect of any branding project is in the detail. I ask my clients to fill out a Design Brief for all projects. It completely streamlines the process and allows me to review everything my clients want and need before I start doing my own research. If not for this process, you would be spending more and more time on areas you didn’t need to focus on and that means more money spent on your Designers’ time.
Time is of the Essence!
We normally hear this expression when there is a time restraint. Not in this case! Do you want something done fast or done right? This is so important when it comes to Branding your business. If you are prepared to rush into the process and tell yourself it’s not important, I just want to have something for now. Think again! You have spent money getting your premises, cars, vans and tools amongst everything else that goes with running a business. In order to do that, you needed to invest time and money into sourcing these assets. Why wouldn’t you do the same for your Branding needs? If you wanted a new phone because you want to use Facebook on the move, you wouldn’t buy a Nokia 3310, would you? 🙂
The point I am making here is that you shouldn’t rush when you are branding your business. After all branding your business is more than just having a logo. It’s the first identifiable attribute of your company. If you spend £5 on a Logo then it will look like it is worth £5. Have a conversation with your designer and let them know what you want and what you DON’T want. Most of all, listen to your designer and be open to suggestions for your brand.
Designers are called designers for a reason, they use their own creativity to portray your message in the visual marketing of your business, from scratch! They don’t just make a logo with expensive software. They take their time, they research and experiment with different techniques to deliver a unique end-product. After all the long hours of working on a project and with the vision of the customer brought to life, the ultimate satisfaction in being a designer is not having your work out there for the world to see. No, it’s knowing that your client is happy with what you have created. Nothing leaves the McCabe Graphics studio until my clients are happy with everything. 😀
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