Print Design Portfolio
The Internet may be revolutionizing marketing, but there will always be a place for good old-fashioned print design. Whether you need a simple tri-fold brochure or a cutting-edge print ad that will make your brand pop off the paper, we can help. We’ve helped businesses like yours in the past. How can we help you?
Some of my favorite projects to work on are for our lawn care or outdoor service clients. The fresh photos and bright colors help the designs look really sharp, and our landscaping clients are all really proud of the work they do, which makes our job a lot easier.
We just wrapped up a book for Hittle Landscape that will walk their clients through what working with them is like. The focus of the book is to give specific details on what to expect during each of the eight steps in the Hittle process. Written descriptions and bullet points were used for each section, along with photos of the process. The description of each step is important, but for this book we really wanted to allow the pictures of the beautiful lawns to stand out since this book will be taken to potential clients and used as a selling tool.
Like with any company providing a visual service, Hittle knows that their clients want to see what they are getting before they purchase anything. Fortunately Hittle had a lot of great pictures to get us started on the project, and we were able to incorporate many of them in the book. However, once we really started to progress through the design process, we realized we were missing a few key things.
Since this was a book about the process, we needed some action shots, and some before and after shots of their recent work. These high resolution photos weren’t something Hittle had a need for previously, with most of their work displayed online only, so we had to improvise. Fortunately Lorraine has been taking some photography classes and has a nice camera, so we were able to get some good quality pictures of Hittle’s most recent work, and even some of the construction itself. This minor hold-up was something that could have easily affected the timeline of the project if we had had to hire a professional photographer and work around their schedules and the weather.
As we worked on this book one of the members of the Hittle team said something along the lines of, “this has been a great learning experience, and we will know to be prepared with photos to upgrade the book in a year or two.”
I thought this was a great outlook, and something which could be useful for any company who provides a similar visual service. Being prepared ahead of time with good quality photos of your work is important, and can save a lot of time down the road. Going forward, Hittle plans to document their process and keep the photos of their work really current, which is a great practice for any company.
Many people see January as a month to start fresh and set personal goals for the year ahead. Similarly, the beginning of the year is also a time when many companies reevaluate their marketing strategies and make changes in order to improve the image of their brand.
As the year goes on and companies get busier, it can be really easy to overlook something as simple as updating your company brochure, but these details can really make or break a brand’s image.
Simons Bitzer, a CPA and business planning company, realized their current brochure no longer matched the rest of their brand and wasn’t representing them in the most professional way. The updates we made to their website and the direct mail campaign we designed last fall both had a clean modern feel, and used some great photos and bold pops of color.
For this project, we started with a copy of their old brochure. It had a lot of really great information, but was lacking personality. The goal for this brochure project was to convey the same message in a more organized way and with a bit more style.
I used many of the same elements that were used in the direct mail pieces, such as the curves and the photos, which really helped keep everything cohesive. One of the things I liked about the old brochure was the way it broke up the standard tri-fold layout by carrying the title across two panels. I used this same idea, but I brought the body text across both panels as well, and added some emphasis to the title.
Simons Bitzer allowed us to eliminate some of the copy, which was great because everything else now had a bit more room. We were able to rearrange the information to emphasize the most important parts such as the company’s mission and what sets them apart from the competition.
The final brochure turned out really great, and Simons Bitzer can now take pride in knowing their brand has a unified look for 2013.
Sending out a holiday card every year in December is one of our favorite traditions at Roundpeg. Not only do we send them to our friends and family, we also send them to clients and colleagues. This friendly holiday greeting is also a nice way to say thank you to the people who have supported us over the years.
We are constantly evolving and refining our brand, keeping it relevant, relatable and profitable. We’re still Roundpeg, the fun, cat-loving, little marketing team, just a little more refined.
No matter how grown up we get though, our holiday cards have to feel like us. That means they need to feature our teal and blue colors, which aren’t exactly typical for the holidays. We also have a diverse group of individuals who celebrate different holidays, so it can be a challenge to come up with images that aren’t specific to any one religion. So we went with a theme everyone can enjoy – gifts!
We’re really happy with the way our cards turned out. The hand-wrapped look not only brings to mind the many gifts given and received during the holidays, but it also represents the extra care we take to make sure our clients are happy with our work. Our cards, like us, ended up being simple and sleek with a little bit of whimsy.
We think the best part about the holiday season is the opportunity to say thanks to all our friends and to wish you the very best for the new year. We hope our cards will bring you a little bit of Roundpeg holiday cheer!
Niche Marketing for Trade Shows
When it comes to print media, I typically suggest small businesses make fairly generic pieces. While normally we’re all in favor of customizing and targeting as narrowly as possible, it makes financial sense to have one or two print pieces that can be used across multiple niches and supplement with more specific online material. There are, however, a few exceptions, like the series of pieces we created recently for Polleo Systems, an Indianapolis-based cloud hosting company.
Polleo is planning to attend a conference in January in a very small, specific niche. They wanted to really demonstrate their expertise in this particular business sector, not send a generic message. We considered a number of ideas for collateral which would be specifically relevant for the target audience, a group of business owners in the logistics industry.
In addition to their display, Polleo is sponsoring a luncheon to really grab the attention of conference attendees. We love having a captive audience, and this is a fantastic opportunity for Polleo to strut their stuff and demonstrate how well they know the logistics industry. Our plan was to produce only a limited quantity of the flyers and table tent (featured in the center and far right of the graphic below) with messages focused on the needs of that audience. We had fun playing with a theme of traffic lights, along with invitations to come visit the booth once they’d finished enjoying their Polleo-sponsored lunch.
The pop-up display (shown on the far left of the graphic) will be used again and again at other tradeshows, so the message is more generic. Despite the slightly different focus, each element shares a consistent look and feel. They work well independently or as part of a set reinforcing Polleo’s expertise as a leading provider of cloud computing services.
Planting Marketing Seeds
I love it when a customer comes to Roundpeg for a complete branding package: logo, website, business card, brochure and letterhead.
Unfortunately, since we serve the small business community, those projects are few and far between. It’s more likely we’ll do the project in stages.
That was the case with Holeman Landscape. Our business relationship started with development of their website. An established company, they had a solid logo and a look and feel for their brand which we were simply extending into a new medium.
The project went well and a few months later they came back for help updating their sales brochure and most recently, their business cards and letter head.
Because Jenna has worked with Holeman Landscape on many of these elements for the last year, there is a sense of continuity and brand consistency through all the projects. In a way, building a brand has a lot in common with installing a great backyard landscape, where you add new plants over time and they all grow together.
The new branded letterhead is clean simple conveys their identity with room to grow.
Breaking through the clutter with direct mail
With all the emphasis on electronic marketing, it’s easy to forget about direct mail. But there are times that nothing breaks through the clutter like a piece of marketing you can hold in your hand.
That was why accounting firm Simons Bitzer approached us to create a three-part direct mail program for them. The objective for the campaign was to introduce Simons Bitzer to a group of companies they had not worked with before.
In general, response to direct mail is fairly low and printing and postage costs are high. With that in mind, we worked with our client to improve their success rate.
They started with a good mailing list and a specific set of services they wanted to promote. Rather than overwhelm prospects with content-heavy direct mail pieces which wouldn’t get read, we created a series of three mailers each focusing on a different aspect of their small business service bundle:
- Helping clients stay abreast of new regulations
- Taking over day-to-day accounting functions so business owners could focus on their business
- Providing analysis of financial statements so business owners can make better decisions
The clear messaging and design, an extension of their website and branding, took much of the guesswork out of the project. All three pieces featured similar design elements to help build brand familiarity over time.
Retailers are learning that consumers move seamlessly between on and off line interactions with brands. The same is true more and more often in all business interactions, which is why the mailers included both a reply card and a link to an online form to request more information.
Since we created their website originally, it was easy to connect the offline and online pieces so they could offer prospective customers multiple ways to get in touch.
The mailing plan was to drop the cards every three weeks to allow time for follow up for each group of leads. Our printing partner UN Communications just dropped off samples for us, and I think they look great. I am looking forward to hearing about their campaign response.
Dealing with a lot of information in a limited amount of space is a graphic design challenge I am faced with on a regular basis. I tend to be drawn to minimal designs and love to keep things simple, but with some projects, it can be hard to keep that minimalism when the client needs to convey a lot of information in a small space.
I’ve come up with several tactics I use to tackle really text heavy pieces: grouping, simplifying, creating meaningful icons and standardizing . Typically, selecting one, but some times combining all of these options, will result in a good design which communicates everything the client wants to say without overwhelming the reader.
I really needed to pull out this list for a collection of flyers I created for Allegient, and Indianapolis-based IT consulting firm. To date we have designed five pieces for them, all with varying amounts of text and information. The challenge was to fit everything they needed to say on one sheet (front and back) and keep a cohesive look to the series.
Take a closer look to see how we used these tactics to mange text heavy pieces for the Allegient project:
Grouping: Organizing information in a way that will make the most sense for the reader is really important, especially when there is a lot of content. For Allegient, this was mostly just a matter of creating sections of information, such as the header, title, key points, important terms, contact info, etc.
Simplifying: This often requires the cooperation of the client. I always try to read over the content and see what, if anything, can be removed or revised. If I think something is redundant or unnecessary, I will talk with the client, suggesting ways to trim some of the excess information. From time to time, I may lean on Allison’s writing skills to suggest a more concise way to make the same point.
Icons/Graphics: While it may seem like adding something to an already busy design would be counterproductive, this is often the best way to add a bit of visual interest and organize information around a common element. With Allegient we were able to illustrate the message by using simple graphics which matched the look of the brand. We also included some recognizable icons throughout to help the reader find areas of importance.
Standardizing: This is just a matter of deciding on a style for each piece of information and carrying it throughout the rest of the project. All the headers and footers are the same on all the pieces to make it clear they were meant to be a collection. Keeping the number of typfaces and colors to a minimum also helps the page feel less chaotic.
In the end, the set felt cohesive as a group, and most importantly, each page was easy to navigate and understand. Using a few simple techniques helped make it possible to fit a lot of information into a small space, without compromising the design.
Like many not-for-profit organizations, Congregation Shaarey Tefilla’s marketing materials were a collection of mismatched documents held together by the common thread of their logo. They came to us looking for a more cohesive look to their brand.
Fortunately, they had a strong logo we could use as the foundation for all the designs. They were very fond of the strong black bar with multiple stripes which was the header on their website. They wanted this bar applied to all the elements of their branding package.
This is a mistake I have often seen amateurs and new graphic designers make, rigidly applying brand standards without consideration of the use and functionality of an individual piece.
While it would have been easy to simply paste the branding bar everywhere, it would have been overpowering on many of the pieces. Jenna’s challenge was to find ways to modify the elements so each piece stood on its own, yet still looked like part of the same brand.
She started with a thinner version of the banner, with fewer stripes as the foundation for all the print elements. This is the banner on the the letterhead.
For the envelopes, the bar is even narrower, and the strips are removed. On the business cards, the stripes and the black bar are separated, with the stripes floating on white on the front of the card.
Finally, the note cards were designed with the least amount of branding elements to give the user room to write.
The next piece of the project was to extend the brand to other pieces of marketing material. As you move beyond simple stationary into sales literature and forms, it is often challenging to maintain the same branding feel.
The elements of the membership package contained charts and tables. In some cases, the requirement was that all the information had to be displayed on one piece to minimize printing cost. We added contrasting orange for emphasis on some of the pieces, and it is carried to the inside page of the application.
While every piece has its own features, each will work well with the letterhead, notecards and envelopes. We are still putting the finishing touches on some of the designs, but now our client has a consistent more polished look to impress prospective members.
This is just one example of project work by the team at Roundpeg, an Indianapolis Graphic Design firm.