Tag Archives: logo design

Top 10 Tips for Creating A Great Business Card Design

Business card sample of Bear Creek MaintenanceBusiness cards are still the best and most cost effective form of advertising your business or freelance work. The surest way to stand out like a start up is to say “I don’t have a business card yet.” The next best way to scream novice is to have a  business card design that looks like you designed and printed it yourself.

A business card design should quickly and clearly communicate what your business is. Creating a great business card design that will stay in the forefront of a prospect’s mind says it is customized for you and your company.

  1. Be Clear – Choose a font that is clearly legible. You don’t have to stick to the same standard fonts that are on everyone’s computer. Choose a font with personality that suits your brand just be sure it can be read. Print a proof at 100% size and have a variety of people read it. Don’t close out the senior market because they can’t read your card!
  2. Keep It Clean – A business card should not replace your brochure or website. Add contact information, a tag line if you have one or a coupled of products and services you offer. If you choose to add all of your products and service or other information, consider using the second side of the business card.
  3. Stand Out  – Nothing helps build a brand quicker than a custom logo design. Nothing beats a brand image that demonstrates your commitment to quality, and quickly communicates who you are like a professional logo design. Choose colors that are noticeable and suitable to your brand.
  4. Cover It – It’s important to include all points of contact. Include your company name, your name,  phone number(s), address, email and website. Include the best phone number for customers to reach you. If you don’t want to list your cell or fax number, it is not necessary. Web or home based businesses do not need to include addresses on their cards if they prefer. For independent company representatives, it is good practice to include the corporate headquarters address.
  5. Hold On – Compare the weight of the paper from business cards you have received. Which ones feel best? A flimsy stock will not hold up over time and can easily be lost. Choose card stock, preferably 12 pt and up.
  6. Finish Strong – A gloss- or UV-coated stock is more durable than an uncoated sheet, but it also shows finger prints and glare in high light. An uncoated or matte finish business card stock is more understated. A graphic designer or printer can help you determine which can suit your brand best.
  7. Add Value – Include a coupon, a calendar or dates to remember to encourage the recipient to hold on to your card. Add these to the back of the card so as not to compete with your contact information on the front.
  8. Look Closely – Whether you do it yourself or outsource design, make sure someone who hasn’t been a part of the design process proofs it before it goes to print. Call the phone numbers listed, check the emails and website URLs before printing your business cards.
  9. Show Off – Photos are a custom touch to business cards. Realtors, consultants and professional speakers business card designs benefit greatly by including their image. A picture offers recall for many years after a meeting; just be sure to use a current photo. You can also use a photo of your product, a shot of your corporate office building (if it is attractive), or a photo or graphic that is connected to your industry.
  10. Convey Class  – A business card from your desktop printer screams low standards. Plus inkjet prints dissolve before your eyes with any contact with water!  Full color business cards printed professionally are very economical and show you are committed to presenting your business in the highest class.

There are a few free business card design websites that offer hundreds of pre-made business card design templates. These sites often offer very inexpensive (sometimes free printing). For start up companies on limited budgets, this seems like a great solution. So thousands or companies utilize these business card templates – every day. I remember attending a networking event one evening where I brought back four business cards that were exactly the same design, same ink colors, same logo, etc. and they were all for a different company (and in some cases a different industry). Customize your business card to have top-of-the-mind awareness. If you are a commercial builder, you don’t’ want to be confused with the unlicensed home remodeler in your town because you are distributing the same business card designs.

Connection Group offers custom business card designs as an individual service and as part of our graphic design packages. Call us today for a business card design consultation. We can provide individual business card designs and cards for all of your staff and contractors. We’re happy to brainstorm unique added value ideas including calls to action and informational tips to help people hold to and continue to reference them. Receive

Fay's Evelyn Bay Coffee Shop Business Card  Phoenix Advisors Business Card samples  KISSolution Business Card Sample - Tammey Wine

DIY Graphic Design – Reproducing Your Small Business Logo Design

small-business-logo-design-by-connection-graphicsWhether you created your small business logo design or you worked with a graphic design firm, have logo files in each color format. From start-up businesses to non-profit associations, all companies and organizations have a variety of marketing and communication pieces to produce. Each format has specific color requirements.

If you’re printing business cards, you will need your logo in CMYK and/or a standard spot or PMS color. If you’re logo is for your a website, make sure it is in RGB. If you will be ordering shipping labels or printing in t-shirts, etc., you will probably want to provide a black only logo or a spot color logo to save cost. Refer to our recent blog entry on DIY Design-How to Choose Color for Your Small Business Logo Design.

Some software has limits to saving a logo in specified color formats. Graphic designers use software such as the graphic design industry standard, Adobe® Creative Suite. A large variety of color libraries are preinstalled in professional design and editing programs, including Pantone color books.

For desktop publishing software such as Microsoft Office Suite, the options may be limited to the format you save the file in. Save your small business logo as an eps file in Word . In the ‘Save as’ dialog box, you can choose CMYK or RGB, etc. At this writing, Microsoft Office Suite programs did not have the capability to create Pantone® spot colors.

Reproducing your small business logo design

Let your printer know your goals when you send your small business logo to print. When getting bids for printing, get prices for spot color and full color. Compare which best fits your budget.

If you  choose the less expensive option of spot color, include your logo in spot color. If you have chosen a Pantone® color, there may be an up-charge for custom Pantone® inks. If your small business logo isn’t spot color, tell your printer that your logo is in RGB or CMYK.  The printer can quote charges for converting your logo. It’s much better to have all the color formats in place ahead of time. Additional design and set-up fees, along with delayed delivery may result.

Do you have any magic marketing beans?

I would love to purchase some and plant them for some customers. When their businesses grow as the result of our magic bean planting I would occasionally submit a small report – maybe just a page or two with pretty graphs showing the astronomical growth Connection Group has nurtured in such a short amount of time.

What a great way to live! We would have infinite love and gratitude from hundreds of clients – because once those magic beans are planted for one customer the word will spread and we’d have a full crop of growing companies under our care. What company doesn’t want instant growth through their marketing efforts?

As graphic designers and brand marketers we combine our love of the visual with the experiential and psychological aspects of a brand. As much excitement as a new logo or website design can instill, the often time consuming press releases, consumer research,  blog submissions, and database development required to build a strong foundation for awareness of the brand is like watching a seed take root in the dark. This phase is boring to customers who are only interested in seeing increased sales results.

Sometimes, to our horror, while we are developing roots and studying patterns, some clients will ask us to dig up the seed, maybe try new soil, or plant an entirely new seed to see if it will grow faster. This of course only results in losing ground and burning more daylight. Some marketing companies actually shovel in more fertilizer which appears to increase the yield faster but it doesn’t reap the sweet fruit that buyers return to again and again and tell all their family and friends about.

So for those customers who haven’t allowed time to prepare the soil before seeding and  still expect a bountiful harvest in the first season, the most practical solution I can think of is finding these magic marketing beans. We could celebrate Thanksgiving everyday and bask in the cornucopia of satisfied customers. My bet is though that these magic marketing beans other marketing firms are pushing are loss leaders for them and their top sales product is really the bull fertilizer that’s packaged with them.

Stay connected,


Taking a Corporate Brand from Good to Great (1 of 4)

Connection Group visual branding samples

A sampling of visual branding components used to promote Connection Group.

A corporate brand isn’t just about your logo, website and Facebook fan page. Your brand is the source of a promise to your customer. It’s really all about making sure that everything you do as a company has a coordinated look and feel about it. Graphically, that means creating a logo, choosing a corporate color (or colors), a typeface, and often a photo or illustration style.

Content-wise, it means honing in on the key points of your marketing messages to clearly, concisely, and compellingly reach your target audience. Taking the steps to establish a consistent message and image will pay off with customer loyalty, vendor confidence and employee pride.

The following questions will help you define or evaluate your current brand.

1. What products and/or services do you offer?

2. What are the core values of your products and services? (fun, creative, honest, etc.)

3. What are the core values of your company?

4. What is the mission of your company?

(keep this short, succinct, and inspiring )

5. What does your company specialize in?

6. Who is your target market? (age, education, etc.)

7. Who do your products and services attract?

8. Try to use your answers to create a tagline.

(be succinct, memorable, descriptive)

In order to perfect the image and message of your brand you must do the research to determine your target audience and how you want to be seen by that audience. Upon review of your answers you will begin to see the character of your company. What qualities stand out? Is your company innovative, energetic, or classic? Which of these characteristics and qualities get the attention of your prospects? Review the answers and create a profile of your brand.

More to come:

Part 2- Create Your Visual Brand…

Part 3- Protect Your Brand…

Part 4- Monitor Your Brand…

Please contact Connie Sweet at Connection Group 517-645-4387 or info@connectiongraphics.com with re-print permission and questions.