Our Design Summer So Far

The carnival was something like 10 days ago, and we’ve been so busy we forgot to write something about it.

The Haxby carnival went really well, great weather, great turnout, great design. Now we’re not saying the great turnout was directly related to the design but you never know. On a serious note it was nice to give something back to the community we grew up in and were proud to be a part of it.

Our stall was simple to the point, it was all about promotion. Our little tips to prepare for a carnival/ festival/ trade show would be:

/ Attract

Attract the attendee through banners, posters, media which draws them into the stall. Choose a unique theme for your stall which is interesting, fun, and engaging.

/ Research

Research who will be at the show, is it your correct demographic? As this local carnival attracts local businesses which we love to work with it was perfect for us.

/ Goals

Set as many goals as you like. Ours on the day were simple. A) Give away all the free goodie bags B) Get atlas 5 potential leads.

/ Preparation

Bring more than enough business cards and promoting media. Know what you want to say to potential customers. Make the stall look appealing. We would normally say to dress professionally but as this was a village carnival then it’s about looking smart while fitting in with the overall feel of the carnival. Who’d wear a suit to a carnival?!

So what else has been happening in the deep?

It’s an exciting summer for us, we’re getting close to our first birthday and on the lookout for a new studio, as designers I guess it’s important to get the look and feel of the studio correct. There is quite a few candidates in the running.

We’ve had some really cool clients come onboard and we’ve been in discussion about a future project which will hopefully benefit the York design scene as a whole, stay tuned!

The Time We Bought A Screen Printing Press

Being creative isn’t just a job, it’s our passion. It isn’t just about making things look pretty, well it may be on the surface but underneath this is theory and thought. The theory and thought may never make it to the surface but the design relies on this to be successful…When I started writing this it was going to link into somehow buying a screen printing press. I think what I was trying to get at was the fact we love being creative. So as almost a hobby and a huge learning curve we bought a screen printing press.

So a quick idea what screen printing actually means. A design is imposed on a screen of fine mesh, with blank parts coated with an impermeable substance. Ink is forced through the mesh by a squeegee and onto your choice of media, in our case t-shirts and paper.

The machine itself is amazing, it’s industry quality and operates nicely. It’s satisfying to create something without having input from a computer. Well the design is created on the computer but the rest is a physical process. However this does lend itself to human error, which leads me onto my next point.

There’s so much to learn! The individual colours of a design each require a screen. Each screen has to line up exactly. Every colour ink has to be made up to match the brand. The ink has to be cured to the correct and for the correct amount of time once it’s on the media. There’s more to list but we’d be here for some time. We are learning fast though, we’ve already got a fair few jobs in.

If you need a small run of t-shirts for uniforms, an event, a club, then get in touch! But back to my starting point, as it’s our passion we’re doing designs off our own, so stay tuned!

Word Of Mouth.

So what are we talking about this time? Well we’ve been discussing ‘word of mouth’ in the studio.

But before we get to that, first lets talk about social media. Social media continues to rise, last year more people joined Facebook than the previous 4 years combined! There is more than 100 ‘social media’ websites for us to choose from, the market feels pretty saturated! However with all these potential customers to connect with on social media how do you make your posts, tweets or whatever you shout about make an impact?

Here’s 3 simple steps to follow:

Firstly, don’t post too much about actually selling, you’ll realise that the big Coca-Cola brands out there rarely sell their product on social media, they sell a feeling, a lifestyle, a trend. They subliminally sell us the product. As we aren’t huge brands we need to sell a bit, try have a gap of 6 posts before posting something that overtly promotes your business.

Next, ask questions on social media that’ll start discussions, people love to get involved. Get your customers engaged which should in turn will keep your business in their mind.

Finally, share your expertise, get people hooked on following you, we love learning and if we’re interested we’ll hang around. If you know your product then customers will want to buy from you.

So how does this relate to word of mouth?

Well even in this social media age we live in people still trust word of mouth, 92% of consumers believe recommendations from friends and family over all forms of advertising. As technology continues to try and take over, people are slowly resorting back to the old ways of connecting to businesses, this shouldn’t be forgotten

As I walked around a networking event last week I gave out my business card to a lady I was talking to. She happily yet quite confusingly replied “I know you guys, somehow!”. I was slightly taken back but it was one of the best compliments we’ve had, it reinforced that our brand was a) memorable or b) being talked about. She recalled that it was her friend who had told her about us so I guess it was a mixture of the 2 combined.

So even though contemporary social media is a great advertising tool when used correctly you must remember that word of mouth is still one of the most effective platforms out there, it’s the original social media. Get in touch, get a strong brand and proudly shout about it!

Do You Need Good Branding?

In the modern era, where the internet has become the forefront of your business, you need to be extra vigilant when getting paid services or branding for your company. Freelancers and freelance websites often promise you the moon for an unbelievable low price in regards with your product or company nranding. Similar case exists when you go out to look for good logo designers. Multiple problems exist with low cost freelance logo designers. A logo is vital for your branding and acquiring low cost solutions can make you face the following problems:

  • Stolen Work
  • Made from custom Templates
  • Low Quality logos
  • Late deliveries
  • Non-usable for professional companies

However, the reasons to get a good designer on your payroll to get your brand logo design are important. Some of the reasons why you should chose carefully include:

  • Professionals: The word professional says it all. Hiring an amateur will never give you the kind of work required to represent your professional company. Amateurs may work out for school projects and assignments but not for a money making venture. As your logo is important find a professional designer to do your work.
  • Saves time: A good logo designed by a professional is a short time taking process as compared to the ones amateurs make which require a lot of iterations. Dwelling upon the right logo design is not something you would want to waste your precious time on. Therefore, only by hiring a professional logo designer will give you what you want in the smallest time margins.
  • Stand out from the rest: Coming to the real reason why you need a good logo is because your clients or surfers respond to pictures more than anything else. A good logo will make you stand out in your competition market. Your product or service should have a logo which stands out so it relates to them and attracts more convertible traffic.
  • First impression: A brand logo is your first impression when some sees your billboard or comes on your landing page. As they say that the first impression is the last impression, it holds well on the internet as well. Go for a strong first impression so it leads to larger profit margins for you and your brand.
  • Required end result: When you go for a logo design, you have a basic end result in mind. The end result at that time is not materialized and hence cannot be seen. A professional comes out with the end result you want more often than not. He can also tweak the design according to your specifications if you don’t like the first draft. A satisfying end result will give you quality while saving time and money as well and give you a logo which stands out from the rest. 

Therefore, always hire a professional logo designer who knows about his field of work. You may be able to save a few dollars by hiring an amateur but the loss of valuable income in the future will be much more than you can imagine.

What to do?

Should a graphic designer charge per hour or for a complete project?

Should a graphic designer charge per hour or for a complete project?

The world is fast moving away from the traditional nine to five jobs. Freelancing is the new in thing. Even people with full time jobs are using their skills to earn money as freelancers. One of the largest amounts of freelance work is available in the genre of graphic designing.

The charging rates of a freelance depend upon a million factors. They include the region you reside in. It also includes the region where you are acquiring work from. However, there is an everlasting debate about how to charge your clients. There are two ways of doing so. One is hourly rates and the other is charging for the whole project. Charging by the hour The first method usually used by most freelancers is charging on hourly basis. There are certain advantages of charging by the hour. You can choose the rate per hour depending upon the difficulty of the project. It is also easier for the client to understand the breakdown of the work you provide them.

However, the disadvantages of charging per hour include the client getting annoyed for paying for more hours. This happens when the project takes longer. Clients will also often compare your hourly rates with less professional designers which charge less. This usually undermines your abilities as a good and professional graphic designer.

Charging for the complete project Charging for the complete project can be done in two ways. The first one is based on the timeline of the project. The second one is based on market prices of similar projects. The former gives you the advantage of using your hourly breakdown to calculate the price of the whole project.

The later can help you use the market rate to gauge what you want to charge the client.

However, using hour method gets you paid less at times if you spend more hours than calculated. It is difficult afterwards to make the client pay more because you used up more hours. Another

disadvantage of using the timeline is that at times you cannot perceive how much time a project will take. Due to the demand of new designs all the time, the time line can change making you charge less for more work.

The disadvantage of using the market rate is handling difficult clients. Once they agree to a complete rate and then you deliver them the design. However, they think that they paid more and then keep asking for revisions. This requires more time every time you make a change for the same quoted price.

What to Choose?

After getting to know the advantages and disadvantages of both payment forms, what should you choose? There is no best option for two same designers. If you are new on the block, charging per hour is the best option. However, if you know exactly how your work pans out, charging per project is the best option.

Therefore, using the hourly rate is the safest option. Even when you choose the project based payment option use basic hourly breakdown to calculate the project cost.