Sign & Digital Graphics


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2 0 1 9 • WRAPS • 17 Don't fall into the trap of designing for your peers; they're not your audience. Everyone wants to design something totally cool. But make sure your objectives remain in focus, and that these 'cool' elements don't come at the expense of your ultimate marketing mission. You are designing to help a business grow. Often you see background elements totally detract—instead of enhancing the brand messaging. Design like lives are at stake. This is huge. And I'm saddened to see some really poor designs out on the road that are guaran- teed to fail. I get that sometimes you have to cash the check and move on because the client wants something awful. But it's your job to make sure it never gets to that point. You have to be their advocate. The design will impact their business, either positively or negatively—and it's your ultimate responsibility to make sure it works. This is what separates good shops from great ones. Highlight the differences of your shop. Make sure your marketing messages—both online and offline—talk about their differences in your shop and what makes you unique. Invest heavily in your digital presence. So many people think social media platforms are the only mediums they need these days. I can assure you if you're trying to land commercial work, most of your clients aren't hanging out on Instagram. You definitely shouldn't ignore social channels — but the reality is, websites are so important in communicating your unique selling propositions. I can't get that info from Facebook and Instagram. Market your shop with case studies. Another reason why websites are important in your marketing mix is it gives you an opportunity to tout your successes. As a business owner, my primary questions are: How can you help me grow my business; And who have you helped that's just like me? Things to showcase might be before and after photos, as well as information that demonstrates ROI. How much did that business grow after you helped them with their fleet branding? Seek and use testimonials from clients, and showcase before and after images. People love to see visuals to help them imagine how to take their bland brand and turn it into something disruptive. Invest in how you present your work online. Make sure you display your work pro- fessionally. Hire a photographer, or make sure your Photoshop comps are polished and mocked up properly. Then integrate the images on your social channels, and your site. Embrace design at your shop. From the moment someone walks into your shop, make sure that element is clear. The more your shop focuses on design, the less it will be about price per square foot to print and install.

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