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As an Austin, Texas graphic designer, I live for moments like this.

Austin Graphic Designer

It's a new year! Yeah! It's an opportunity to start fresh, remove the old, and begin anew. It's when we can look back and see what we can do without and push forward to strive for. As a an Austin graphic designer I live for moments like this. In the heart of a place that see's beauty in everything during a time when the ugly get's put away for a new understanding of beauty I begin to see things new again too. I see the things that once was ugly to be beautiful and what was beautiful to have faded in glory.

In graphic design this comes in a world where I see brands refreshing for the better and other brands standing strong as ever with original logos, well developed marketing artwork that was created to last. I can't help but appreciate both and marvel at everything. To give you an example I still appreciate the logo designs of Oakley and Puma (both make products I use).

Graphic design testing time.

Graphic design that lasts.

These designs were purchased with the idea of being investments. Money was spent, and over the years the icons have presented dependabilities that people trust. Investments that well made their money back. This is how all logos should be;. an investment in a designer that will invest themself and their time into constructing a lasting image.

1/10/2012 Share this graphic design top

12 Gifts to Give Your Website

Austin Website Design

Website design and development isn't always easy to sort out, fortunately Mashable provided a nice infographic this season that I think will really make things much easier to understand for any business owner...

Website Tips: 12 Gifts to Give Your Site This Christmas [INFOGRAPHIC]

12 Gifts to Give Your Website

 
12/28/2011 Share this graphic design top

Austin, Texas Graphic Design

Austin Graphic Design

Austin graphic design is awesome. And to expound on that I have come up with the 10 things that make Austin graphic design awesome (these can apply to all graphic design but because graphic design varies with location and therefore may not with align with current trends around the globe I'm specifying Austin even though America would probably suffice and include most of Europe). Anyway, without any further ado...

Austin Graphic Design's Top 10 Things that Makes It Awesome:

10. Austin Graphic Design is unique. - Not everyone likes change but everyone is attracted to "different."

9. Austin Graphic Design is surprising. - It always should be in some way.

8. Austin Graphic Design helps promote and maintain new small businesses throughout Texas which is the leading entrepreneurial area in America today. We'll call that "economic support."

7. Austin Graphic Design promotes new innovative ways to conduct new businesses.

6. Austin Graphic Design allows for business owners to have the freedom to have their business appear the way they want it to.

5. Austin Graphic Design brings people together. - As does all art.

4. Austin Graphic Design makes people smile.

3. Austin Graphic Design allows for endless new creative possibilities.

2. Austin Graphic Design is passionate.

1. Austin Graphic Design is beautiful.

Some of these things are the simplest things in life but are also the most rewarding feelings. Be excited about something beautiful today and share it with someone you care about. Allow yourself to smile and embrace the new, surprising and the different with joy!

 
12/20/2011 Share this graphic design top

Graphic design that makes your business stand tall.

Graphic Design Tall

Austin graphic design is a lifestyle I chose. But there a few things I didn't choose in life. One specific, distinct thing I didn't choose is my height. I'm 6'8" and I'm constantly being asked what it's like to be tall. Honestly, I don't know what it's like not to be tall. I suppose it has nothing to do with being a graphic designer but I like to think that future medical advancements will prove to somehow be related to my creativity. There are always disadvantages to every advantage and being tall is no exception. I hit my head on things about 10 times a day, I have to crouch to drive (even in my suburban and F-150), and I can't hear half the conversations taking place at parties in groups of average height people. But with that said below is a list of the top 5 things I enjoy about being tall.

1. Basketball. Everyone assumes I'm awesome at basketball, which is true, but it's nice that people think I can play without even having to prove it.

2. Fear. People assume tall people can fight (because of their reach). People don't start fights with tall people 'cause they're afraid to lose. I had a lot of short friends in grade school, one of which outwardly confessed it was in case he ever got in a fight with someone hoping I would step in (which of course, I would).

3. Respect. People seem to respect taller people more quickly than shorter people (before meeting them) - Slate.com. An instant undeserved respect is nice to have.

4. Confidence. Height is an easy way to gain confidence. People often think that tall people are confident. Others find confidence in people who are tall along with a sense of protection.

5. Crowds. Not a problem. I can always be found in a crowd, and I can always find my way out of one.

What does any of this have to do with graphic design or your business? So far nothing, but hang with me for a second. We cannot change some things about ourselves, height is one of them. But we can change things about our business. I would think we would all want the benefits of "being tall" for our business. Now our business is not a physical thing, but our place of business is, and so is what represents our business. So how do we make it tall - well, through the physical parts of our business. We want to present our business as a tall business. A business that gains instant respect, assumes we're good at what we do, and has confidence that people instantly are willing to depend on.

When we present our business to others - when we share pieces about our business we want to do so with our business and our representatives (often Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin etc.) looking tall. How? Well, what do people see? Our profiles, our logo, our website, our graphics. You want your business to have instant respect, to stand out in a crowd of other businesses and project confidence that allows your customers to rely on your service. Below are the top 5 most important graphic design pieces for looking tall.

1. Website. Like tall people playing basketball, look like your business is good at what it does. Your business may be good at what it does, but that doesn’t matter if it doesn’t look like it is.

2. Logo. Instantly look dependable like a business that will back up their patrons. If your logo isn't professional then your business will not have any immediate respect.

3. Profiles. Look like you can't be knocked down. If your online social media profiles look like they represent a business that is strong and can hold its own people will accept you as strong and be behind you. Make sure your profile images look professionally done.

Some of the most important uses of graphic design today are in developing a social media profiles. Your profile image needs to be sized accordingly so that it doesn't look stretched and distorted. The image should also be optimized to account for the lighting in the image. Many doors also open for adding pieces such as text to your photos that will help you communicate any message you may need to include.

4. Print Materials. If your business looks confident your customers will have confidence in you.

5. Branding. This includes your logo, your consistent look and style across all mediums. This is when your website is designed around your logo concept, and your print materials match your website style. When these things are done you will have no problem standing out in a crowd and being found in one. People will be able to look for your brand and find it among the many others. This isn't something that happens accidently and it takes an educated expert to make this happen by incorporating design fundamentals and marketing sociologist research.

You can't change the height you were given but you can change how tall the business you're building is. We at Parkhurst would love to help...

 
12/05/2011 - Happy Birthday Mom! Share this graphic design top

Top 10 Online Marketing Strategies


Austin Graphic Design Strategy

When it comes to online marketing you may be looking for a place to start? For those of you who are already in the middle of your marketing, then perhaps you need a checklist to help ensure you have the basics lined up and help draw your focus in on a strategic marketing way that is effective. Either way the top 10 list below should help.

1. Website. I would like to stop there, however many of you may not understand the importance of this keystone. Everything you do online, as far as your business goes, should link to one single controllable website that leads your future clients in the direction they need to go. In a way this is organization (see previous blog post), in another way this is professionalism. There are a lot of ways to market but without a website there are significantly less ways to market and even less ways that are effective. (Make sure your website has a strong design)

2. Google. You may think I should have put "search engines". I didn't. #2 is getting your website ranked well on Google. Google has more searches than all the other search engines combined. Google also has the most rigid rules on how a website should be optimized to be ranked. If you succeed on Google the rest will follow. So good Search Engine Optimization in your website is key (have your designer/developer do this).

3. Connect with like minded businesses. Find other businesses online that you can offer just as much as they can offer you. If you sell golf clubs and only golf clubs, then find a site that sells golf shoes and only golf shoes and work together to promote one another. This can significantly boost your Google ranking and provide a new venue for clients to find you.

4. Blog. Start a blog. Use Wordpress or whatever you want, and begin by making it look nice and presentable. Attempt to make the blog look similar to your website and other marketing pieces. Be sure your logo is on it.

5. Facebook. We'll get to other social media outlets as well but first focus on getting a fully put together Facebook page. With over 500,000,000 Facebook accounts you will be able to reach a large number of people. Take time every day or every other day to post on your wall, post on other people's wall and see where you can connect. Like other businesses and let people know what your business is doing. Make sure you fill in the information part of your page and add lots of photos. Be sure your website address is on there too!

6. Email. First, create an e-mail signature (your name, phone number, and web address) and include your logo. Always re-read your e-mails before you hit "send." Have a design professional design e-mail blasts and use an e-mail blast company to send them out (they know what they're doing).

7. Social Media. Only sign up for the social medias you're going to keep updated. If it's a stretch for you to update Facebook every other day then stop there. Focus on Facebook and don't get lost in the clutter. If you feel you can take on another 10-30 minutes a day on Twitter or LinkedIn or Google+ or something else then go for it. Just be sure you update it often and keep your audience in mind (don't just spam messages about how they need to go to your site). Interact with the people that are in your social media circles.

8. Write. Write about your products or services. Tell everything there is to know. Write on your website, write on your blog, write on Facebook and your other social medias, write everywhere and let your passion seep through. Include your website URL when appropriate. And make sure you write every day.

9. Update. Once you have a website, keep it updated. First go through weekly or at least monthly and check for typos and broken links. Second, go into your content and update the information. Add some information. Put new images on your site. Go into your blog, Facebook account, and your other social media profiles and do the same. Websites should be revamped or completely redesigned every 1-2 years to stay current with the growth of online technology.

10. Analytics. Once you have things rolling then start researching your online progress. Check your Google Analytics (have your web designer/developer integrate this when building your website). Look at where the traffic to your site is coming from and take advantage of it. Find where your site is weak in visits and rearrange it. Look at your blog stats and find which posts people responded to most and try to repeat those kinds of entries. Same for your Facebook and other social media accounts.

These top 10 strategies can be a great boost to your online presence and I hope you enjoy doing them! Remember to remain consistent with the look of your marketing strategy because this is your opportunity to develop a recognizable branding for your company and perpetuate incoming business. This is one of the reasons why a solid, professionally designed logo is so important to your business' success.

 
12/02/2011 Share this graphic design top

3 Crucial Facts for a Successful Business


Austin Graphic Design Success

Your business is communicating to every person that comes in contact with it, without exception. Whether it's someone just seeing your logo on a business card a friend of their's has sitting in the cup holder of their car or a customer walking into the front door of your building needing your services or product. With that in mind there are a few key points that were brought to my attention from a post "Andy Stanley On The Importance Of Design" written by Scott McClellan after a Catalyst One conference in Chicago.

They are 3 points that we all already know but rarely think to consider in our daily work and are crucial to happy clients and a successful business. These are things that need to be applied not only to our physical work places but to everything associated with our business or organization. The post refers to a church's Sunday operations and it's interaction with visitors but obviously the meat of this truth expands across all industries of operation. And each of these three things is also important to consider in graphic design across the board from branding pieces to website design.

1. Cleanliness communicates, "we were expecting you." If your place of business is clean there's a chance no one will notice but if your business is cluttered and messy it will grab people's attention. In the same way if you are operating under a branding design that is constipated with verbiage and looks like it was done without time and consideration into the consolidation of communicating it will project the notion that you operate in providing your services in exactly the same way.

2. Organization communicates, "we are serious about what you are doing here." Alongside cleanliness is effective organization. Unorganized = wasted time, longer waits, and unhappy customers. If you want your patrons and future patrons to take you seriously then be organized. A huge facet of showing that you are organized can be through your website, how simple the navigation it is and how easily you can get to what you want to find on the site. If your website is unorganized the majority will assume that your business operations are also and move on to the next service provider in your field.

3. Design and attention to detail communicate what and who you value most. If you don't value the design of the package your customer would receive after a purchase they will assume you don't care about the product/service they were about to purchase. If the flyer design you mailed to your potential money spending customer wasn't properly orchestrated with typography and graphics with cleanliness and organization they will throw it away and not think twice about making a purchase from you. If you take the time to do things right, people will see it and they will respond.

How does your graphic design pieces communicate to your potential customers? Let us help...

 
12/01/2011 Share this graphic design top

SEO in Austin, Texas Web Design.


Austin Graphic Design ROI

In Austin, Texas there are many businesses that are striving for Search Engine Optimization to get there business noticed and produce more sales while developing a stronger brand as well. Web design is no longer just about design but about development too. Here at Parkhurst Creative Design our development gets just as much attention as our website design. What many business owners want to know though, is how a website gets positioned hire than another, what factors go into it. Well after years of, what I'm sure comes off as rambling nonsense, trying to list off different variables that play into a websites rankings Search Engine Land has posted a very helpful "Periodic table of SEO Ranking Factors" that is posted above and links to a larger view.

This is a great resource that every business owner may want to know before begining the process of hiring to Search Engine Optimize their site or build a new site. Enjoy!

 
11/30/2011 Share this graphic design top

Austin, TX flyer design.


Austin Graphic Design ROI

Flyer designs are some of the most common graphic design pieces. Flyers are a very popular and effective way to advertise but the wrong design could hurt you instead of help. The best flyer will be consise and not crowded. I recently received a flyer in the mail myself. It contained one image and a title. If you're not a designer you may be asking where the graphic design comes into play with something so simple. The truth is some of the greatest graphic design in Austin, Texas are just as simple. The ability to hold back when desiging is a mature skill. The most important aspect that comes into play here with design however is the typography. Also important is the saturation of the image as well as any necessary enhances such as glare, or reflection. Then also the use of color in the type and how it compliments the colors in the image. Attention to these details will prove design fundamentals to be crucial knowledge to any designer and change the outcome of the flyer's effectiveness to advertise.

If you are in need of a great flyer design or re-design perhaps please e-mail Office@AustinGraphicDesign.net. We would love to help.

 
11/29/2011 Share this graphic design top

Businesses with awesome graphic design.


Austin Graphic Design ROI

Businesses with awesome graphic design come from Austin...just kidding. But in all seriousness have you ever noticed other businesses with great graphic design, amazingly designed websites, and powerfull business card designs and think, one day I too will be able to afford that for my business. But for now your business is too small to pay for great looking marketing and just get by with what you can. Perhaps that's the reverse of what the business owners with great graphic design we're thinking. Perhaps its not getting great marketing when you can afford it but affording great graphic design because you invested in it from the start.

I don't mean to try to convince you that if you pay for great looking graphics that will make your business successful on its own. But what I have noticed is that many businesses that succeed quickly start with great graphics. It's not solely the graphics, it's the fact that the business owner or entrepreneur that is 110% sold out for their company invests anything and everything into their business up front so that it will have the best chance of great success. They were willing to spend extra time on their work, spend extra money into their marketing and really believing in the product or service with both feet in and never looking back. When you can do that, when you can risk it all with the passion life has given you then you will succeed and you'll already have amazing graphics.

 
11/23/2011 Share this graphic design top

ROI with graphic design, web design, and web development.


Austin Graphic Design ROI

Many business owners simply want to know how much money graphic design will make them. Will it cost more than they expect? And if it does will it be worth the investment? These are very good questions and wise to ask. Unfortunately there isn't any really solid way to measure the ROI on a piece of graphic design created for a business and with that it becomes difficult sometimes for some to understand that if the cost exceeds their expectations that it may still be very well worth it.

I think the best way to understand the value of graphics is by doing some personal research. Pause right after buying something and ask yourself what you thought of the graphics of the vendor. Did they have a factor you were aware or unaware of at the time in you choosing to purchase from them? Or we're they not so good causing you to first research other potential venues to gain what you were seeking? Maybe the graphics were bad but you still ended up making a purchase because of a friend's recommendation. Graphics don't always sell, but they always communicate, some more effectively than others.

When it comes to web design and development it's a different story. Thanks to analytics and many other types of tools ROIs are becoming more and more easy to track. A very important and powerful advantage as most of you may know is Search Engine Optimization (SEO). But no one designer/developer or business will optimize a site for search engines like another. This is where analytic tracking becomes useful in discovering your businesses ROI with the website. If one developer or tool didn't make your SEO investment a good one maybe another will. Along with SEO there needs to be a good looking site on the other end.

However, a well designed website cannot get back links all on its own. People must first see the well designed site before sharing it with their friends just as search engines need to first index a site before others will find it.

All that said, consider how well your graphic design communicates, how dependable your website looks and how you are gaining traffic. If the cost of these things is not being matched by the return in sales then it's time to make a change in who is designing, developing and optimizing your business.

 
11/22/2011 Share this graphic design top
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