Visual Branding for new product/service

mchutchmchutch Posts: 7subscriber
edited April 2006 in Watercooler Talk
I am a creative director, graphic designer, and design consultant based in
Seattle. I have over 16 years of design experience and worked for a large
nationally known graphic design for over 10.5 years. About a year ago, I
started my own studio because of several reasons. I wanted to control my
schedule and choose the projects I worked on.

I help companies establish a visual brand presence to attract customers
and or investors. I am posting to let members of the Startup Nation
community know that as you develop and grow your business and your
sales and marketing needs come forward please keep me in mind as a
resource for brand design development. I love working with young and
start up companies because I find that the founders are usually
passionate about their product or service. A couple of companies, I
started working with as startups are WOW Baking Company and Teaology.
I have helped design and develop their brand identities.

Please check my web site at your convenience to learn more about my
background and philosophy and to see some of my current work.
I have literally worked on hundreds of projects over the years, for some
very big and well known brands as well as young, small companies. Let
me know if you have any questions or would like to see more work.

Comments

  • MelissaMelissa Posts: 7subscriber
    Hi Mary,
    I had actually had a look at your site earlier and just hadn`t taken time to speak to you!  I am in the market for some branding, I think.  Most noteably, I`m in need of a great logo for business cards, stationary, etc.  I also think I would benefit from some brochures to give to brides/event hosts and vendors to showcase my services and get them excited about working with me.
    I really like your approach...focusing on emotion.  That captured me because I have been very focused on the emotions I want to convey with my logo and website (when I find a designer for that).  I`d be interested in learning more about how you could help me if I used your firm.
    One question I have for you about branding, in general, is what should a quality design for logos, brochures, etc. run (in general - not your pricing structure specifically)?  I really have no idea what to expect $$ wise and that makes me a little afraid...I don`t want to dream big and then have to settle for something less than my vision because I can`t afford it.  I`d appreciate any input you can give. 
  • OfficeSpaceJeffOfficeSpaceJeff Posts: 0subscriber
    Hi Melissa - there is a great site called logoworks.com that you should check out.
    Although I have not used them, I have read some great things about them.
  • mchutchmchutch Posts: 7subscriber
    Hi Melissa,

    Pricing for an identity system really depends on the scope of work for a
    project. And this varies from one design studio to another. I like to design a
    "kit of parts" for a client especially for young startups with a limited
    budget so that they have the necessary tools i.e. logo, color palette,
    brand guidelines, letterhead & brochure templates, web site graphics, etc.
    to be able to produce their own cohesive consistent brand image. It also
    helps if a company is straightforward with their budget so that a designer
    can help them decide what pieces are critical and how to allocate the
    budget. Give me
    a call and we can discuss your business and needs. In general it is
    good to dream big. It`s better than dreaming small.

    Mary
  • mchutchmchutch Posts: 7subscriber
    I
    have heard of logoworks.com and have visited their website. Oddly, I
    was sent information about them by when I established my studio as an
    LLC through legalzoom.com which I found through the startupnation
    website. I don`t know why they would market themselves to a design
    professional who would already have a logo. Somehow, I think
    logoworks.com, legalzoom.com, and startupnation.com are all
    interconnected. ( I wonder if logoworks.com designed the startupnation
    logo, it looks like they could have but that is another discussion;).

    Anyhow,
    logoworks.com is a viable option for many businesses where the budget
    is really tight. But, it seems to me that they treat logos like a
    commodity where it is like going to a store and buying a pair of shoes.
    I am not knocking their work or portfolio, some of the logos look fine
    but based on their operating model, it seems like a lot of the logos
    look generic to their industry. For some people this is fine.

    But, as I say on
    a my website design at least good design is not just a pretty picture.
    A good design studio will really ask questions about your business not
    just what industry you are in but what and how do you want your
    business to be perceived and what values do you want to convey, i.e.
    premium, elegant, professional, fun, casual, precise, etc., what makes
    you different from your competitors. I really don`t know how you can do
    that with a three day turnaround as they say they do on logoworks. I
    also don`t know how you can compartmentalize designing into blocks of
    hours. Designing a brand, at least for me, is a lot more organic of a
    process and involves a lot more than just a logo, or stationery,
    brochure, or website.

    I would highly
    recommend a book called The Substance of Style: How the Rise of
    Aesthetic Value Is Remaking Commerce, Culture, and Consciousness by
    Virginia Postrel. It is available on amazon.com or your local library.
    Design is often the only differentiater a business has from its
    competitor. Think Target vs. Walmart; Target: designed, fun,
    conceptual, Walmart: large and cheap prices. Target being the smaller
    retailer has been able to compete because of their brand image.
    Ironically, now Walmart is entering into the arena by pushing the idea
    of design to attract a higher income clientele. They announced plans to
    open a store in Plano, TX with organic products, etc. The only motive
    to do this was to increase profits and brand longevity.

  • CalgaryPixCalgaryPix Posts: 2subscriber
    Hi Melissa. Your logo and indeed your company identity is something that will take a little thought, but worth every second. I`ve been comparing poorly thought out identity to wearing jeans to a black tie dinner and expecting CEO`s to take you seriously, or wearing a tux to the rodeo and not wanting to be thought of as a clown - those just aren`t the right approaches. Your identity is just that, how people identify you. If you use a generic logo and a template brochure or web site, what that says about you (unless you pick exactly the right ones) is that you`re company is cheap and feels it is "good enough" but not the best. With as little as it really costs to hire someone like Mary (nice site/work by the way) why would you want to project yourself as anything less than your best?
  • rryan610rryan610 Posts: 0subscriber
    Hi Mary,
    Would you or your firm ever consider an equity for service arrangement if a project came along that you really saw the potential in and believed in? I know the risks involved and you have bills to pay and that 99.5 % of all startups fail. But I am creating something pretty significant that is associated with a very worthwhile cause and has the potential to be a truly great global parent company. Let me know if there would be a possiblity in possibly piquing your interest in a crazy business partnership proposal . haha
    Ron Ryan
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