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Tag Archives: Graphic design

Grow Your Business With Outsourcing

images (2)Running a small business can be fulfilling: you get to pursue your passion, be in control and be your own boss. However, it can also be incredibly frustrating. When you decided to start your own business you probably did not imagine that most of your time would be hijacked by mundane routine tasks such as bookkeeping, making appointments, writing PR materials and so on. If you are inundated with back office tasks that can really throw a spanner in the expansion of your brilliant innovating business.  Instead of trying to do it all yourself, you can get easy affordable help by outsourcing.

Outsourcing seems like something big businesses need to do. Thanks to the innovations in technology, however, any and all manner of tasks can be effectively outsourced. There is an entire global workforce online who are qualified in various skills but do want the flexibility for working from home, or from working from other countries, and are therefore freelancing online. These include everything from executive assistants who will answer you mail and set up your appointments, to writers who will create effective copy for your marketing, to graphic designers, PR managers, graphic designers, IT consultants; the list is endless.

Here are some things you can and should outsource, without hampering your progress:

  • Any job that requires highly skilled expertise, such as finance management. If you are not from a finance background, it would be a good idea to have a finance expert step in and take a look at your books to make sure things are in ordering. Also, a brand consultant can help you create a brand and comprehensive marketing strategy that you can then deploy;
  • Any job that is routine and mechanical, such as data entry, bookkeeping, inventory and so forth;
  • Jobs that require specific technical expertise such as IT support for your business, or graphic design and search engine optimized copywriting for your marketing materials.
  • Another area that could easily be outsourced is your payroll and HR functions.  HR and Payroll can be confusing and could cost you a ton in fines.  Team up with a qualified payroll management comapny to complte your HR functions the right way.

To figure out who the right contractor is for you to get your job done right, you will need to do some research. The best way as usual is to go through personal recommendations from people in your business network. However, you can also get referrals and ratings on contractors on websites that connect freelancers to businesses who need them. Once you have figured out what exactly you need from your contractor, communicate it clearly to the contractor, and make sure you understand each other before embarking on work together.

Finally, although you should keep some focus on following up with your contractor to ensure your work is done according to your needs and specifications, do not get so involved that you are not able to effectively use all the time you freed up by outsourcing in the first place. Outsourcing gives you the chance to focus on the things that really matter to your business, such as research and development to improve the quality of your product and service, and expanding your business.

Shawn Wise is the Director of Marketing at Contractors1stInsurance.org.  CFI provides Employee Leasing, Payroll Management, and other affordable contractors insurance services to help small business owners outsource time consuming parts of their company and get back to the more important operations.

 

 

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Designing Promotional Products for Your Brand

promotional-productsA company needs to make creative, exceptional designs that grab the attention of customers. One of the most effectual ways to develop a commendable brand is to hand out promotional products. Promotional products are items that appeal to different types of customers. Tangible items are used to spread important messages to as many people as possible. A good graphic design service uses the art of visuals to represent your company.

Radio, television and newspapers are the most well-known forms of media, but promotional merchandise is a unique form that is just as effective. One product has a bold, colourful imprint of your company’s logo. Typical items include pens, coffee mugs, shirts and tote bags. Each promotional item must have the company’s logo and contact details. This type of product works much like a business card. People who like nice things to carry around will love this type of merchandise.

Using a graphic designer is not a luxury for many companies. Using a professional is the only way to complete a serious project. There are a few tips that should be followed to find the most creative and efficient designer.

Here are some tips to help your life a little easier:

  • The most important step is to review the portfolios of designers. Some are specially trained to work for companies of certain types or sizes. There are different specialties of graphic design, such as brochures, slogans, websites and corporate identity.
  • If a portfolio looks impressive, the next step is to talk about the project and ask a long list of questions. Before a contract is signed, it must contain a good outline of the work, including the cost estimate and deadline. Half of the bill is paid, and the rest is paid after the print work is done.
  • The client and designer must convene regularly to make sure that the right steps are being made. A real professional accepts feedback well and makes a series of suggestions. Setting up several meetings is the only way to create an optimal design.

Of course, using a graphic design service to create hats, shirts and coffee mugs is not required. However, promotional marketing increases the honour and professionalism of any business. A company that makes and sells products will seem more productive. This is similar to designing a website that is full of videos and pictures. Customers are impressed by any company that promotes a long line of merchandise made in different colours, styles and designs.

This great tip was brought to you by Belinda Wright, a graphic designer and artist for Kwik Kopy Corporate design and Printing solutions. Belinda likes writing blogs that focuses on creative graphic designs.

 

 

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FREE BEER! That Got Your Attention

What makes a great graphic? Honestly, there are a thousand and one different answers to that question. It can depend on many things including what the graphic is for, who the graphic is for, where the graphic is for, when the graphic…you get the idea.
For the purpose of the post, we will have a look at what the graphic is for.
Technically speaking, reproduction of graphics is at quite an advanced level. Think about it; graphics can be created and placed onto just about any surface or platform we can get our hands on. A couple of great examples of tried and tested platforms for printed graphics are magazines and billboards. Both of these platforms have the ability to be seen at any time and by anyone. Information can be presented and then examined selectively at the reader’s leisure which allows for a very high level of creativity in the graphic. A key point with these platforms, however, is realising that the media may not necessarily have the viewers’ full attention. How often do people go out purely to check out a billboard? Exactly! Billboard images are a great example of trying to create graphics that instantly attract the attention of passers-by who probably don’t care that it is there.
Magazines differ as they generally attract the attention of people who hold an active interest in their content. Needless to say, every item within the magazine, from articles to adverts, will be geared towards the active interest of these interested people and therefore the graphics should follow suit. As with billboards the graphics should be striking, after all they will be competing against every other graphic in the publication. The big problem is you’ll never know what else will be in the publication and this is where the creativity comes into play. Creative, striking graphics will attract readers; simple!
There is no magic formula to creating a graphic that is exactly what you need. There will be a number of external influences that will affect what you can, can’t, should and shouldn’t do but considering what your graphic is for in the first place is a great start and a great platform to build off. It may take a while to put together, it may come to you in a dream in the middle of the night or it might even just accidentally come together! Whatever happens, considering all possible factors is the only sure-fire way to guarantee the creation of something that you want and more importantly, your intended target public want.
And if you’re still stuck at the end? You could always just offer the free beer?

Austen Moss writes on behalf of Colour Graphics

 

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Print Design vs. Web Design – Which Channel is Best to Market Your Business

 

Both print and web design are important to the growth of a business today but prioritising one over the other is dependent on your business needs. Newspapers and magazines have had to adjust their methods of doing business as the internet has increased in popularity but they have not disappeared. However, you now can find online versions of newspapers called advertorials.

Targeting different customers

If you run your own business, it is important to invest in both: online (web) and offline (print). A website is open and available 24 hours a day to inform and possibly sell to your customers. However, not everyone may be looking for your business online. For example if you are a retailer and many of your customers are older than 50 or 60 (not being discriminatory), they may not be surfing the web and instead will be reading their local newspaper and therefore will see adverts placed by local businesses.

Print characteristics

Print design has certain characteristics, different to web.  The space is generally measured inches and the area can be anywhere from a business card to a street billboard.  It is important to have a bleed around each printing piece but the best part about print is the design will look the same to everyone who sees it.  Page layouts are static designs unlike on the web. Printing will be done in CMYK colours and all images will be in tiff and eps format.

Designing for the web

All images for the web will be in a different format to those for printing offline. They are in a jpeg, gif or png and tend to have a lower resolution than those for print, otherwise it may take too long to load the web page.  With web design, as the pages are more fluid and dynamic, you will need to ensure the site or graphic you are designing  looks good on all monitors and resolutions.  Colours are displayed in RGB, so check there is a CMYK equivalent so that you can use the same colour offline.

Staying within the budget

If you are small company and cannot afford to have two companies working on your web and print design, then you need to make sure what you have on your website can be easily translated into print.  It goes back to having good standard branding for your site. Your audience has to be able to recognise your logo clearly whether it is offline or on the web. If you are thinking about asking a web designer to handle all of your print work as well, be sure to look at the print samples before you sign off the work. Your website and print collateral represents you and your business.

There are many companies throughout Australia which offer photocopying services, business card and brochure printing.  For printing in Brisbane, visit your local printing company.

 

 

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