Graphic Design for Business

Running your own business?

When it comes to graphic design, I understand that your business needs are very different from that of a musician's, but from my perspective, there's a lot of crossover in the actual work I do in order to help my clients achieve their goals, whether business or musician. A logo, for instance, is just as important for a band as it is for a business - the only difference is the way I approach the design itself, but the rest of the process is identical.

The same could be said for the creation of a singer's backing track versus a piece of music for a corporate presentation; each one needs a number of musical elements that work together, arranged in a suitable structure and composed to impart a certain emotional reaction in the listener. The end results will necessarily be very different, but the process is still the same.

If you are interested in my music and audio production services specifically aimed at business, then please visit my Music Production for Business page. Or, if you're a musician, you may be more interested in my Graphic Design for Musicians page. This page you're reading right now, however, is dedicated to the Graphic Design needs of businesses, an area in which I have considerable experience.

New Business...? Start here!

In order to trade effectively, any new business will initially need what I think of as 'set-up materials'; the primary design elements and items that most businesses require before they can really get started.

These include, but are not limited to:

  • Logo

  • Visual image (aka. Corporate Identity)

  • Business cards

  • Letterheads

  • Website

  • Social media pages

Each business will likely need it's own specialist items, too, such as shop signs or restaurant menus, so we can discuss your specific needs and come up with a solution for most queries. But the above items are key elements in your preparation to begin trading as a new business.

I can help you with all of the above, from start to finish. Working closely with your team and your supplied brief, I will produce creative ideas and designs for all your business stationery and set-up design needs, including website design and content layout to Facebook page set-up.

But the most important first steps before any of those things can be done, you'll need a logo and a visual image - the rest will then follow much more smoothly and once that's all been taken care of, you'll be ready to launch your new business with confidence.

Launch Day

Having prepared all the design aspects and materials for your business's essential daily tasks, you're finally ready to launch... But what does that really involve? That all depends on what kind of business you're running...

If you're opening a shop, restaurant, hairdressers or other public business, you'll probably want to have a Grand Opening, possibly preceded by a Soft Opening, where a select few guests are invited for a get-together and maybe a bit of a party. This is great for creating a buzz around your new enterprise, as well as being very helpful in ironing out some of the wrinkles.

Then again, you may not have a public-oriented business or you may not require premises at all, so it might not be practical to organise an 'event', as such. But, you're still going to need to get the word out to your potential customers and clients somehow, or your fantastic business idea won't go anywhere!

So you're going to have to get your marketing sorted a good couple of months before your actual Launch Day. Marketing Materials come in all shapes and sizes (...and formats), so there's no real limit to what can be produced, from printed flyers and banners to animated GIFs for online ads...

So, to give you a head start, here are some of the more popular choices:

  • Flyers - usually printed on fairly stiff card, these are more often than not a double-sided A6 or A5 unfolded handout, ideal for many marketing uses

  • Leaflets - folded leaflets come in many different designs, usually thinner than the average flyer and a little more versatile. Depending on what you need, I'll recommend the best option for your purposes

  • Posters - A4 to A0 and beyond - a versatile and popular marketing tool

  • Banners - these come in a range of sizes and can be use indoors and out

  • Invitations - if you book them, they will come... but be sure to invite them, too! Various size and design options available

  • Itinerary - inform your guests of all the entertainment planned for the big event. This could take the form of a display stand or a booklet, etc.

  • Menus - hosting a meal? You might consider a special menu for your guests

  • Calendars - with your branding applied in a variety of styles and designs

  • Party bags - paper, card or plastic. Available in several shapes and sizes

  • Branded gifts - pens, caps, t-shirts, magnets, key-rings, USB sticks

Continuous Marketing

Marketing is all about consistency and repetition. Studies show that many of your potential customers are unlikely to notice or register your marketing and advertising until they have encountered them 8 times. I'm afraid that's just down to the fact that people are now so used to being marketed to, that they have almost managed to tune it out.

This is another excellent reason for every business to ensure that your Logo is eye-catching and supported by a strong and engaging Visual Image. These must be consistent throughout all your Marketing Materials, so that your potential customers will begin to register your look, and most importantly, recognise it the next time they see it.

So, if one of the keys to good marketing is consistency, then another is variation... That is to say, variation on a theme, using a range of different imagery, from photography to illustration, both of which I can help you with. These new images can then be applied - along with your Logo and Styling - in various formats and applications - as many as possible, so long as each option you choose is an effective marketing tool for your business.

Some businesses find that mass leaflet-drops are the best means of delivering their marketing, but others prefer large bill boards near busy roads. More and more businesses are coming to rely heavily on online advertising and natural listings in search results, by perfecting their website's SEO.

There are many different approaches to marketing and advertising, but if you're not sure,  a good rule of thumb is to try a bit of everything to start with and work out later which methods are yielding the best results.

So, if your business is up and running, but you feel like you're losing momentum, you probably need to generate some new work and some new clients. In which case, that in turn means that you need to up your game when it comes to marketing, so you could do worse than give me a call - I'll be happy to chat over your situation and offer some options