I had a project this past weekend, the repair of some charming little "antiques." These 1960s or 70s vintage hand-carved-and-painted little fish belonged to my late father-in-law and have aged pretty well save for some brittle, detached fins. With a steadied hand and some Exacto® knife precautions, there’s a chance they’ll end up better when I’m done. Tucked away from dust, they’ve waited a year or two for some TLC and the right wall to be hung on. Below is a link to one of my two Instagram posts, each with 4 or 5 pics, that dramatizes the repairs.
I like fish art. I have a handful of other piscine pieces, in metal, wood and fiberglass, none overly precious, and none requiring any real maintenance. But the unusual craft and nostalgia of a bygone world imbues these little guys. I’m not an art collector, and for a designer, the interior decorating gene is severely lacking. But in the course of cleaning up my office for video call purposes, I saw an opportune location for their display. Which meant their repair was now urgent. If successful, the surgery will lead to their appearance, however small, behind me during our next Skype sessions or in impromptu video promotions at my desk.
There, you now know something [new] about me. It may mildly interest you or bore you to tears, but I doubt it’s enough to actually repel you. By you seeing this, odds are that I'm now slightly less of a two-dimensional business entity and a tad more human. People do business with people, especially solo businesses (me) with relatively small businesses or departments (you). Real, important work gets done in very small, know-the-other-person teams.
“This sounds like Facebook oversharing to me.” I hear you but no, you still need to be business-generous with that other 75 to 80 percent of your content marketing messaging in some mix of words and images, on whatever platform/s. Use this idea of appropriately revealing hobbies or interests, or some other content curation, as a means to refresh your sleepy or non-existent chats with your audience.
Finally, if you’ve read this far, you’re asking, “Bruce, what does content marketing advice have to do with creating results-oriented marketing materials?” The parallel is that like it or not, every business is now in publishing (to small audiences) and marketers need to acknowledge the power of casual and authentic conversation and let it seep into the core messaging you share at trade shows and sales meetings. I'm not saying to list your hobbies in your business literature, but in person, online or in print, walk and talk more like a real human to improve business – and human – relationships.
Yet another review of a printed piece from my mailbox. A very substantial postcard, its physical presence is difficult to ignore: heavyweight stock made heavier still by high-gloss film lamination on both sides. It's also die cut with friendly rounded corners and a perforated mini-card. It's not weighed down with lots of text but the call-to-action is hard to find, rendering it a mere "availability" message for movies on demand. Strangely, it barely mentions alpha-competitor Netflix!
What's missing here is appropriate interactive content to exploit this rugged mailer's unique format. Like what? In this case, maybe there's a date- and time-sensitive redemption code that you'd call in on your phone while watching a certain movie. With a personalized code and instructions printed on the mini card, it will be kept in pocket, wallet or near the TV. If the mini card had a code to physically share with friends, it would travel and travel well.
THIS is how to mail a membership or rewards card!
Each time this PDF opens it amuses me 😄 and I always say "I need to capture that!"
It's a label design I built in Adobe Illustrator. It uses brushes and clipping masks to make the one background donut. That art was converted to a symbol and was "sprayed" across the backdrop. Those instances were then rotated and shifted about. Audio effects are my own oral percussion, are gratuitous, and only for this video which was assembled in Photoshop(!).
As a graphic designer, I contract with various printers and other fabricators to deliver quality projects to my clients. SinaLite is a new (to me) wholesale trade printer that just sent me a sample kit of display substrates to ease the resale of their printing. Compared to other recently received kits, theirs is impressive in its simplicity, directness, quality and messaging. I appreciated their focus on me and what I can do to succeed. I look forward to working with them as soon as I have an appropriate print project.
If the box looks a bit ragged in spots, that's on me. I went through a number of takes filming this review, each time slightly damaging SinaLite's pristine presentation. With that in mind I added a counter calling out my "Uhs" and "Ums" throughout the video to humble myself into future improvement but also to entertain and indulge certain design tendencies. Video was edited in Photoshop.
One way to achieve customer satisfaction and open the door to product loyalty is to force the buyer to make a choice, even if it remains private. The choice is: "would you rate this purchase/product/experiment positively or negatively?" If the customer decides on positive, then it's reasonable to expect they'll consider a social media share as an immediate outlet for their satisfaction. If the customer decides they've had a negative experience, then you need to immediately channel that away from public sharing and toward your problem-solving system.
Print can do that! Your customer won't be looking at a screen as they open your package. But a little piece of print can be right there, with all the immediacy needed.