Before the emergence of photoshop and our dear illustrator, the history of graphic design dates way back, thousands of years ago, before the invention of the computer. If you were to jump in a time machine and travel two thousand years in the past, you’ll witness incredible cave illustrations with faint colors made from plants.
What is graphic design?
In this age, graphic design is often used to refer to the various disciplines of design, including web design, print, and digital designs. Traditional designs refer to designs like posters, advertisements, magazine layouts, book covers, including branding designs like logos.
What a graphic designer does is take visual content and combine it with topography to pass a message. The key to every design is communication, and this has evolved over the years from hand imprints in caves to incredible designs on screens and prints.
Before the printing press: Prehistory
Before the invention of the printing press in 1440, visual communication has always been in place, from symbols in ancient caves to abstract paintings. One thing is clear, humans have always had an inherent need to express themselves through visuals.
The earliest languages were logographic, symbols that represent words instead of phonetic sounds. It implies that humans have been using visual representation to communicate before the dawn of civilization.
In the middle ages, topography started taking off as we started to expand the aesthetic symbols into letters and words themselves.
The birth of graphic design
With the invention of the printing press in Europe, a whole new world opened as humanity begin recreating text, art, and design on magnificent scales. Soon, took notice of how visuals impact customers’ behavior and used them to increase profit, leading to the birth of graphic design.
Although the 19th century was more technologically focused, it paved way for creating graphic designs using these advancements. With prints and digital, artists and designers pushed the boundary of their creativity, exploring new styles and techniques for branding purposes and adverts.
It wasn’t until 1903 that the first graphic design agency emerged, known as The Wiener Werkstätte. It was the first of its kind, with artists, architects, including painters, and early graphic designers working together for businesses.
In 1922, the term ‘graphic design’ appeared for the first time. In an article, William Addison Dwiggins first used the term to describe his role in managing the visuals in book designs. From 1950, the digital era slowly crept in, and the mass adaptation of computers ushered in a new age of communication through visuals.
From cave paintings to visuals on screens and prints, they also discovered how to use human psychology to create designs that compel actions, an ultimate marketing strategy.
This is where we come in, as we've been creating amazing graphic designs for numerous of our clients, and the conversions are astounding. Get in touch with us by calling or filling out our contact form to begin.
5 Signs You Should Invest In Digital Marketing
If you own a business and are not investing in digital marketing, then you probably made your decision based on economics. In other words, you decided that spending money on hiring a digital marketing firm is not worth the return you would receive. The truth is that a good digital marketing firm is going to allow you a significant return on your investment. Not only that, but there are signs you are ignoring that are telling you it is time to invest in digital marketing.
You Don't Invest In Digital Marketing
The first sign that you should invest in digital marketing is that you currently do not invest in digital marketing. You know that competitor of yours that always seems to win the big business? That competitor invests in digital marketing. If you want your company to be able to compete in the digital age, then you need to have a digital marketing firm on your side.
You Hear A Great Deal About Your Competition
When you talk to your customers and prospects, do they often compare your company with your biggest competitor? Do customers often ask why you don't offer services or promotions that are similar to the competition? Do you know how your customers learned about the competition's services and promotions? Your customers are being affected by your competition's digital marketing. If you are not utilizing a digital marketing company as well, then all your customers are getting is information about the competition.
Your Customers Ask Why You Are Not On Social Media
If it seems as though everyone is on social media these days, it is because they are. If your company is not active on social media, then you are not being seen by your target audience on a daily basis. A digital marketing company would professionally manage your social media presence and use it to put your company's name on the minds of your target audience.
Your Flow Of New Customers Is Weak
Business owners who stick with the old ways of getting new customers (newspapers and radio) are starting to notice that they don't get as many new customers as they used to. In the world of digital marketing, generating a constant flow of new customers has become an art form and your competition is using that art form to paint a profitable picture that could put you right out of business.
Your Website Is Not Your Strongest Marketing Tool
If your company website is not the primary source of new customers and at least one of the top three revenue sources for your business, then you need the help of a digital marketing company right away. In olden times, it used to be said that if your business was not in the local Yellow Pages then it might as well not exist. These days, if your business does not have a strong website, then to a large percentage of your target audience, your business does not exist at all.
The return on investment for digital marketing services can be substantial. An experienced digital marketing company can help your business to reach new customers quickly, and strengthen the bonds with existing clients. If you are not investing in digital marketing today, then you should make it a priority for tomorrow.
5 Things To Look Out For When Hiring A Graphic Designer
A graphic designer is someone you will turn to when you want the images for your online presence and your offline marketing created professionally. These days, there are thousands of graphic designers all over the world, and the Internet allows you to access all of them for your needs. It is important to remember that hiring a graphic designer is not something your company will do as a one-time thing. Your company will continually require the services of a good graphic artist, so be sure to pick one that you know you can work with.
For a lot of people, the idea of hiring a graphic designer with experience is very subjective. Some people find it exciting to work with someone new to the industry, while others want a designer who has a few years under their belt. That means that there is no rule written in stone for what type of experience your graphic designer should have, but it is important for you to give some thought as to how much experience you will want to see before you hire a designer.
If the graphic designer you hire does not understand your industry, then you are giving away a lot in terms of great ideas that would involve industry insider knowledge. There may be universal symbols or types of equipment that would make great graphics for your company that only an insider would know or understand. To get the most out of your graphic designer's abilities, it helps to hire one who is familiar with what you do.
You might be talking to a designer and they present you with what you think is a great idea. The problem is that the designer has a style that they use to make every customer graphic look the same. Instead of creating something unique for your company, the designer has made you look like every other company they have worked for. Always ask to see a portfolio of a designer's work, and look for diversity that will help you to get unique results.
When you talk to a designer, pay attention to how much input the designer asks of you when putting your ideas together. You want a designer that creates a collaborative working environment where your ideas are important to the creation of the final product.
It can be dicey when you ask a graphic designer for referrals because you will probably get a list of customers who are pleased with the designer's work. It can be difficult to get a good idea of what a designer can do when all you are talking to is happy customers. You can still use referrals to get an idea as to the process the designer uses, and whether or not they offer a variety of solutions. When you talk to a referral, that person has no idea what is important to you when it comes to the way the designer does business. You can use this to get the information you need to make your final decision.
Hiring a graphic designer is an extremely important marketing decision. It is a decision that should take you time to make, and it is also a decision that will cause you to have to talk to a lot of professionals to find the one that will do the job right for your company.
Four Characteristics of a Good Logo
Logos are an intrinsic part of any businesses’ image. Well designed logos can do wonders for your brand while a bad one can cause lots of damage. Creating a great logo takes a lot of thought and creativity and many elements need to come together in order to get it right.
Whether you’re trying to re-do or are thinking about creating a new logo for your company, there are four key components that will help you best express your company’s needs and image.
Good logos are useful
At their very core, logos are a graphical representation of your company. As such, they need to be portable and versatile; easy to use in any situation. Some logos might look great on paper, but when you apply them to other situations, they don’t fit. Size, colors and versatility all matter – so creating something that works in a wide range of settings is important.
Good logos are memorable
Well-designed logos are unforgettable. Whenever the viewer sees your logo, they should be able to instantly identify what it is you do and what you’re all about. Logos are all about symbolism. Make it memorable!
Good logos have a sense of timelessness
Great logos should be portable and appealing, no matter what the current trends might be. It may need a touch-up here and there, but the right logo is a logo that you can grow and evolve over time without sacrificing its core meaning and symbolism. Long story, long – you want a logo that can work for as long as it can.
Good logos are aesthetically appealing
Ugly, overly-bold logos turn people off and attract the wrong kind of attention. Good logos appeal to the senses – conjuring up positive images of your brand that stir positive emotions about you, your company and its services.
At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that creating a good logo is hard. It can take hours of work, hours of refinement and sometimes it even calls for some outside opinion. Still, it’s one of the most important things you’ll ever do as a business owner and it’s worth the time and effort to make sure you get it right. A good logo can pay huge dividends for years.
Five Things You Can Do To Make Your Postcard Campaign a Success
Last week we talked about business cards and how they’ve more or less proven themselves as timeless pieces that have a place in anyone’s overall marketing strategy. In that same vein, we have postcards – which are a fantastically simple, yet low-cost sales tool that are easier to use than ever.
For businesses large and small, a precisely designed postcard can pack an awfully powerful punch. You, too, can create a postcard campaign without significant investment in time and money on your part. In order to help you do that, this week we’ve compiled a list of five things you an do to get the most out of your next direct mail campaign.
Post cards can say a lot…
Especially with the over-sized variety, you can pack an awful lot of messaging punch into your postcards. But so you remember – this is STILL a postcard, not a book. The space allows for you to get creative with your messaging, not wordy. In fact we tell our clients all the time – imagine that the extra word is costing you $100/word you use. Not that it LITERALLY does – but that’s how you should approach it. Be efficient with your language and it can pay incredible dividends.
Postcards always shine when there’s a sense of urgency attached to them. Offers with deadlines, reminders and save the dates can be incredibly effective. Even better – they can be great to help you if you’re looking to piggyback off a current event. Always remember to stay urgent, stay timely and stay current.
Use them like Swiss Army Knife
Swiss Army knives have lots of little tools you can use. You can cut with the knife, open cans with the can opener – you can even pick your teeth with the toothpick slider. It’s versatile, dependable and its uses are virtually endless.
For those of us in the print marketing world – postcards are our version of the Swiss Army Knife. You can use them for a wide range of things – from reminders & gift certificates to new product announcements, discounts, coupons and even tickets. The possibilities are endless. If you choose to use them, do so knowing that there are literally dozens of ways you can use them.
Size does matter
Yes, oversized does cost more. But also in the ‘yes’ category is the return on your investment. Oversized cards are incredibly effective tools largely because they stick out in the mail in a big way. They allow you more space to craft a message, use images, bold colors, etc. Some folks even use them to help map their location. Long story, short – the more area you have the work with, the better.
Always plan ahead and use them for a very specific purpose
Like we mentioned earlier, postcards can be used as a tool to do many, specific tasks. Just be sure to thoroughly think out what it is you want to say and what you want your customer to do. Postcards work best as vehicles for action, so always consider the specific actions you want your customer to make. Build as much value into your message as possible and don’t ever be boring.
Why Well Designed Business Cards Are Still Important
Don’t let the naysayers fool you – the business card is far from dead. In fact, it’s still among the most valuable tools in a business owners’ arsenal.
While everyone talks about bumping phones together, using apps to pass information and self-sharing – the truth is that the business card still has plenty of life left in it. The combination of compact/high-impact capability fits neatly into today’s increasingly mobile world, and should ensure that the business card is here to stay well into the future.
Needless to say, if you have any interest in making an impact – you’re going to need business cards – and well designed business cards, at that! This week, we dive into why well-designed business cards are important and how they can help you build a brand that reflects who you are, your capability and most importantly – reels in customers!
A first impression matters. A lot.
The old adage rings as true today as it did then: you never get a second chance to make a first impression. And if you don’t believe us, consider some of the decisions you’ve made in your own life. Have you ever rented a movie because of the cover art? Judged the quality of a book by its cover? Have you ever eaten at a restaurant just because it looks the part? Chances are you have and business cards are no different.
High-quality business cards enhance your profile, increase your perceived value and set the tone for what it’s going to be like to do business with you. In some cases, people feel that the impression a business card makes on a potential customer is just as important as the face-to-face meeting itself! So remember – just like you would when you meet a person for the first time, you want to make sure you put your best foot forward.
The quality of your card speaks volumes about how you do business
Everything on a business card makes a statement about who you are and what it’s like to do business with you. Are you easy to reach? Are their multiple ways to contact you? What kind of colors did you use and what can they say about you or your product? Are they loud and bold or soft and more reserved? What kind of a cut are you using? Is it meticulously detailed or is it more traditional?
All of these things send subliminal messages. They speak to how you communicate, how you pay attention to detail and generally speaking – what it’s like to work with you.
Business cards bridge the gap between the physical and digital
Any good marketing campaign should combine the best of both print and digital. Business cards fill in the space between – amplifying the messages of your print collateral while acting as a physical representation of your online identity. Just remember – quality business cards go well beyond a way of exchanging contact information – they tell your story!
Great business cards make you more competitive
Especially if you’re the owner of a business with competitors who are bigger and who have more resources; business cards provide you with a cost effective way to help you stand out and make a unique statement in the marketplace.
Even in the digital sphere where the big dogs flood the proverbial yard with advertising, social media and piles of online content, well-designed business cards to something that data can’t: they give your customers something physical and tangible that says ‘this is me and this is what I’m capable of.’
As a business owner, it’s important that you take advantage of every tool at your disposal – don’t get preoccupied with one. In sum, don’t get lost in technology for the sake of it! Business cards have stood the test of for a reason – they work! Embrace them, have fun with them and we promise you – if you take the time to get them right – they can help your brand and business grow!