Parker Payroll Services has a logo, business cards, print collateral and a web site. Now what? Getting heard is what. Marketing is a science unto itself. But there are basic marketing 101 steps to take.
Contact former clients-not to steal, but to use a contact to possible clients. Former clients have vendors, smaller company resources, etc.
Small business organizations
And probably the most important: take the time to build relationships
If New School is completely out of your wheel house, don’t hesitate to read books to learn more, attend seminars or even hire a consultant. Often times a consultant is money well spent.
I thought it over, changed it around, used what I had, went from here to there and Bob’s your uncle. Bob’s your uncle is a British thing and I do not know what it means other than, there you go. Below is the working first page of Parker Payroll Services. Below that is a link to the work-in-progress site. I chose a very different and not typical style. I did it because I could and because more and more often I am seeing “new” design and concepts that either I or former colleagues did years ago. At the time we did them we were shot down as being too modern because of a, “I haven’t seen that before” mentality. So I designed what I liked, what I thought was user friendly and a bit atypical. You might not like it, you might think it is bad design. It is not, it is good design. It is different, not that much, useable yet simple. As many people that love curry an equal amount of people hate it. By the way, the bottom row doesn’t work and won’t take you to another page. Click the logo to go back home.
Karl Marx was not likely talking about web sites but I am. Don’t be tempted to go over board on a web site. Think. Think about what your audience wants to know, then give it to them. Web designs can do magical things. Check out the following:
Granted the first is out of this world. And the second is rather over the top but these are examples of what the web can do. And only the tip of the iceberg are these. Look, the point is make your web site what your customers need not what you want. Look at my web site, it has my portfolio and contact information and not much more. In my instance, anyone looking at it has already arranged to meet me or are thinking about contacting me. It gives my clients a chance to see if what I do will be a match to what they need. Another site I have done is Civic Square. This too is very simple. It tells potential clients about the principal’s expertise, and yes, the last name is the same as mine; look carefully you’ll see they are slightly co-branded.
For my example, Parker Payroll Services, my site will have a twofold purpose. One will tell potential clients about the services Parker Payroll Services offers and another part of the site will be for current customers. Next week I will show rough designs for a home page.
After consideration I chose to prepare a tear sheet rather than a brochure. The following is why a tear sheet is the best use in this instance and why a brochure would be better in other circumstances. But first, let me explain what a tear sheet and brochure is:
Tear sheet: Tear sheet has several meanings. For our use a tear sheet is a single piece of paper that conveys information or services a business or organization supplies.
Brochure: A brochure can serve the above purposes but it can also be used to convey all sorts of information about just about anything. Brochures are a single sheet of paper that can vary in size and is folded. The folded size is typically 8.5 inches in height and slightly more than 3.5 inches in width.
- Tear sheets can fit nicely into file folders with other papers
- It is often one sided-which depending on how much information you have is a good thing
- Both a brochure and a tear sheet are in danger of getting lost on a desk; I think a tear sheet is easier to find
- It can easily be combined with other papers to make a neat professional package
- Not that a brochure is unprofessional, but it has a broad range of subject and uses; they are very common and can seem too informal
- It is perfect for display and casual distribution
- It is pre-folded, perfect for transport
- It can be laid out to guide the reader through the information
- It is the perfect way to include a short form
I think a tear sheet looks less like a sales tool, though it is, and more as a method to dispense information. There are two versions here. One is shown without a business card attached and he other with a card. The card can be simply clipped to the sheet for easy reference and removal.
This week: Letterhead and Invoice. Things like proposals will follow the style of the invoice. As will the tear sheet for the scope of services. I will have that, I will have to decide whether I need a two fold brochure.
Any excuse to show off and quote Virgil. My other thought was a song from the Sound of Music. Count your blessings.
Last week was the unveiling of the logo design for Parker Payroll Services. This week is the business card. The logo is the hallmark of the company, the business card is the beacon. The business card design sets the tone and the brand of the company. It will be the piece that is printed the most, handed out the most, the most prevalent identifier the company will have. It will set the design for the web site, letterhead, even the invoices and communications. Now the other pieces are mostly done though not refined. I didn’t design the business card then move on to the next items. The logo, the card, all aspects of the designs were all considered together. Not entirely in the physical sense, mind you, but in the sense of message, branding and workability. The colors, type and object elements were considered for all the pieces for the company. Here are the comps for the card and the final version. A few things first though.
1. The final card is vertical. I usually prefer cards be horizontal.
2. I like the logo to be in the upper left corner.
I liked the look of the vertical card best. I think it balances the copy (text) with white space to create a card that has the look and feel I am going for. That look and feel being solid, reliable, dependable, yada, yada, yada. Since the logo is the name of the company and not a symbol that needs to be paired with the company name, placing it at the top of the card and not the upper left is not an issue. It’s still upper just not left, see how the logo at the bottom of the other vertical card option doesn’t work as well.
Here is the logo. It is in one typeface but two color. I used brown and black because as discussed before these colors and especially together represent stability, reliability and dependability. The serif typeface is an old fashioned choice. But again I am thinking about stability. The partner to my serif typeface, Minion Pro is the san serif typeface, Helvetica. These are the two typeface that I will use throughout the branding. The typefaces will be brought together on the business cards, letterhead and all other identity support items.
I decided against using an icon. I considered some of the obvious ideas. A roll of money, a stack of cash, a check, a check (✓). I decided against an icon because I decided it would not give the company a polished, professional look. I considered shapes, squares, boxes but again decided to keep it simple. The line at the bottom will serves several purposes. The first is that it finishes the logo. It says, “Here. It’s done.” Secondly, I will use the line a design device. I can use it at the bottom of pages as an element, or even look into extending it to include other text or indicate a break or connection.
For more see: Anatomy of a good logo
and: Anatomy of a Bad logo