Category Archives: Orange

Woof! Bernese Mountain Dog Illustrations

Just wanted to share a recent project…These logo images are for a pet trainer and Bernese Mountain dog breeder…With photos of her dogs in hand, these are the resulting illustrations for the two sides of her business.

If you have pet issues, need recommendations for the best breed of dog to be part of your family, or have any other questions about your four-legged friends, visit www.professorofpetetiquette.com for more information.

If you need an illustration for your business, contact Designer Mouse Graphic Design!

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Filed under Bernese Mountain Dog, Designer Mouse, effective sales promotion, Graphic Design, graphic designer, Illustration, Logo design, logo designer, Orange, Orange County, Pet training, what is a graphic

It’s Snowing on My Blog…Time to Break Out the Holiday Designer Mouse

Stay Cool! Stay Calm! Enjoy your Holidays!

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Filed under Designer Mouse, Graphic Design, Happy Holidays, Logo design, logo designer, Orange, Orange County, photo editing, promotion

Money Saving Ways To Promote Your Business

There are so many avenues to promote your business…so which way do you turn? You need to think about how your audience gets their information…Direct mail? Google searches? Social Media? Emails? And of course there’s always the good old fashioned  “in person” approach.  All are of value and ideally, you need to cover all the bases in order to reach the largest audience.

Now we come down to budget and time…Show of hands…How many of you have an endless supply of money to promote via print, email, online, social media?  How many have time to keep up with all of this?

What I have discovered is that baby steps are the best way to go. Most of us cannot do it all all at once BUT if you take the attitude that “I can’t do it” and do nothing at all, then six months from now you will be at the same place you are now. If on the other hand you tackle one thing at a time, looking back, you’ll be amazed at what you’ve accomplished and how far you’ve come.

So let’s look at the baby steps you can take to cover the areas that are currently not covered when it comes to the promotion of your products and services. Hopefully I can provide some money saving promotion ideas along the way.

Direct mail – Postcards, flyers, door hangers – The cost of full color printing has come down so much over the last few years. You can get a good looking piece for a decent price if you know where to shop! And if you go the “door hanger” route, find an organization (Boy Scouts? Youth Groups? etc.)  that is looking to raise money. They can canvas a neighborhood, raise money at an inexpensive rate…It’s a WIN-WIN situation.

Check into QR Codes… Here is a sample just in case you don’t know what it is. If you have a reader app on your phone, you can scan this image and it’ll take you to a website, dial a phone number, etc.  Go ahead and try it…This is a shameless plug…This QR Code goes to the Designer Mouse website….Be sure to come back and read the rest of this post! qrcode

Add a QR Code to your business card (so easy to create – just do an online search for “QR Code generation”, follow the steps and you’ll have artwork in a matter of minutes.

Email Marketing – For $15/month, you can create a template and put out an endless number of eNewsletters/ePostcards to connect with current and potential clients. Visit http://www.constantcontact.com or http://www.icontact.com. Both sites provide templates, storage for your email list and reports at an affordable price.

Online promotion – Do you have a website? You need one! People need to be able to find you and be able to check you out! How about a blog? If you set this up yourself, you can do it for free… The cost is your time to maintain it! Link your blog to your website and your social media profiles, and begin to generate a buzz!

Speaking of  Social Media – facebook, LinkedIn, etc. – Include your website and blog URLs in your social media profiles, participate in the online chat, and generate some interest in you and your business.

As you can see, there’s all sorts of opportunity to promote your business… A bit overwhelming, huh.  Remember…baby steps…You don’t have to do everything NOW.  And you don’t have to do it all yourself. Remember that your time may be better spent focusing on your core business.  What is your time worth?  Would you be saving dollars in the long run by hiring an expert to assist you with your promotion?  All things to ponder.

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Filed under Designer Mouse, direct mail, email marketing promotion, graphic designer, marketing, Orange, Orange County, promotion

How to Potty Train a Water Turtle (and other opportunities to Think Outside the Box)

Did you ever have a pet water turtle as a kid? You know, the ones in the plastic bowl with the palm tree?  They never lasted too long….Well when my daughter was 5, she received a turtle at a birthday party instead of a goodie bag…It was just about the size of a 50 cent piece (wow, that dates me, doesn’t it!)…As a parent, I would have preferred she receive the goodie bag!

Anyway, that was 17 years ago and Sally the turtle is still with us…As you know, once you name them, they’re part of the family. ..and turtles are the dirtiest things!  Over the years, Sally has outgrown bowls and aquariums. I have cleaned more turtle containers than I care to mention!

Well, we decided to let Sally have the run of our laundry room rather than be cooped up in an aquarium all the time. We started providing a shallow pan of water.  We would put her in the pan and feed her and she would take care of the rest.

What began to happen was that Sally would get in the pan on her own when she was hungry. We’d feed her, she’d take care of business and then move on…The beauty of this is that cleaning out a small pan is so much easier than a large aquarium.

Did you know you could potty train a turtle?  Did you think turtles were that smart? I had no idea!

I know this is such a random story to tell, but believe me, there is a point…It’s about Thinking Outside the Box! At a networking seminar I recently attended, the concept of thinking beyond the obvious client opportunity was introduced. The question is: what type of business (that your competition hasn’t thought about yet) would be a good referral source for you? If this hasn’t occurred to your competition, then you are ahead of the game!

As a graphic designer and particularly one that is looking to build my photo restoration business, let me just throw out one idea….Again, this will seem random but stay with me…Morticians…..Now you’re asking “why would a graphic designer want to be introduced to morticians?”  Well, think about it. When someone is preparing for a service for the dearly departed, they put out a display of photos…Some are VERY OLD. They’ve been stuffed in a drawer, folded, torn…You get the picture (well actually, I hope I get the picture–ha ha).

They also might have a family photo where one person is missing from the group. They would be ever so grateful to have the entire family together in at least one picture.  See the lady in the striped shirt in the picture on the left?  Well, now she’s added to the photo on the right…plus she has feet!

Back to thinking outside the box…Morticians…Such an odd sounding referral opportunity, but a potential goldmine…And there are others. We all just need to think beyond the obvious.

Here’s another good tip…Figure out who you know that would have the same database of clients, non-competing of course. Who is their supplier of products they use?  What about the financial planners who want to meet those who have just received an inheritance? These are individuals who would love to share referrals—They are not your competition and they open new opportunities.

Just think about it…Outside the box, of course!

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Filed under CA, Designer Mouse, effective sales promotion, fun, Graphic Design, graphic designer, leads, marketing, Orange, personal referrals, photo editing, photo restoration, photoshop, promotion, referrals, Sales, sales force, think outside the box, turtle

Graphic Designer – PATIENCE is my Middle Name

The graphic design process is not simple.  It is not something that is quickly accomplished.  It is just that….a “process”.  And many times in that process is a lot of trial and error…Well, not really “error”… The process is one of getting inside your client’s head…Figuring out what floats their boat!

Many times in the “process”, I have clients apologize for saying, “yeah, that’s close, but not quite what I was looking for.”

I’ve also heard “I have NO idea what I want but I’ll know it when I see it.”

Well that opens up the entire world! As I said, the process becomes one of getting inside the client’s head, evaluating their personality, their likes and dislikes, their sense of humor (which I LOVE to work with!), their target market, the marketing approach, their expectations, etc.

It is only at that point that the physical design begins. If for instance you need a concept for a marketing campaign but have no idea what you want…As a graphic designer, I would go through the “get to know you” process mentioned before and then provide you with 2-4 quick concepts. They would be varied. At that point, we as a team begin to narrow down your likes and dislikes. This is where the fine tuning begins.

This is also where I usually hear the apologies for my client’s “picky-ness” and the fact that I’m “so patient.”   Yes, I am patient, but this process is part of the graphic designer’s job. Apologies are not necessary!!!

The creative process is actually quite fun…And the reward is when the final concept is “just what the client wanted.”

So don’t hesitate to work with a graphic designer because you have no idea what you want for a concept. We will work together and come up with something that will hit the mark and bring in more clients.

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Filed under CA, Designer Mouse, direct mail, effective sales promotion, email marketing promotion, Graphic Design, graphic designer, marketing, newsletter, Orange, Orange County, photo editing, photo restoration, photoshop, promotion, Sales, website promotion

Has this Model’s Photo been Edited? Are we Entitled to Know?

I have a dilema…I work in Photoshop…I love Photoshop. I tell people all the time that they shouldn’t believe everything they see because I know the capabilities of Photoshop. BUT I also am a female which means I deal with the pressure of the ideal body and the fact that I don’t measure up! I see the photos of models and wonder “how in the heck are they able to look like that?”  Well, according to the following video, the answer is “Photoshop!”

The question posed at the end of the video is “should retouching be banned?”  Well, there are lots of great things that can be done via photo editing that have nothing to do with models, females, body image issues, etc. So the answer to that question is “no”.

Do women already know that the images of the skinny models have been edited? I would suspect the answer to that question is “no” as well.

I believe the question should be one of the requirement of a disclaimer stating that the image has been altered.  Are we entitled to know that someone’s image isn’t as perfect as it seems? Would that have a positive impact on young girls (and older girls) who feel they don’t measure up?

What do you think? I’d love to hear your comments.

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Filed under body image, Designer Mouse, Graphic Design, graphic designer, marketing, Orange, Orange County, photo editing, photo restoration, photoshop, positive self image, promotion, self image, video

You Know What I REALLY Love???? Ramblings of a Graphic Designer

OK, sometimes we all have frustrating clients  that drive us CRAZY… One has the choice to take a negative attitude when things go wrong, however I’ve find it helpful, dare I say humorous, to take an over-the-top POSITIVE approach.

Generally I will say “You know what I REALLY hate?’ At this point venting can be very therapeutic, but it also has a tendency to give my gut “grumblings”.

On the other hand, if I say (now mind you, this is with sarcasm, but that’s my style) “You know what I REALLY love?” and then go on to tell you the opposite of what actually occurred, it allows me to laugh about the situation, thus providing me with pretty little butterflies that tickle my insides…Do you sense the sarcasm? Good!

Anyway, do you know what I really love? As a graphic designer, I love it when my clients entrust me with the opportunity to help them promote their business.  You know who you are, and thank you for your trust!

I love it when clients stick with the approved design once it has gone to the printer…Uh Oh, I’m going to the dark side!

Don’t get me wrong. Graphic designers want their client’s feedback. They want to know what’s going on inside your head and what concept you will be pleased with.

Here’s the bottom line…Allowing your graphic designer to do their job gives you the time to focus on your expertise, thus saving you time and money! (Do I have your attention now?)

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Filed under CA, Designer Mouse, effective sales promotion, Graphic Design, graphic designer, Orange, Orange County, save money