Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Client Spotlight :: Noteable Progressions

When Noteable Progressions came to us in need of an identity, we were thrilled to have the opportunity to work with such a unique client.

Owned and operated by Darcy Lipscomb, a Board Certified Music Therapist and Neurologic Music Therapist, Noteable Progressions helps people of all ages and abilities realize their potential through the use of music-based therapeutic interventions.

Darcy needed us to create a new brand identity for her company—something to give her a professional and respected look, while still representing her work in the field of music. We first created her logo, combining the form of the human head with the treble clef symbol, to give a harmonious mix of science and music. The logo and color palette were applied to business cards and stationary, as well as a website and facebook banner. Last but not least, we worked with Noteable Progressions to create super fun egg shakers to use with her clients and at other events.

Recently, we were awarded a Silver Addy for the Noteable Progressions logo design in the 2013 American Advertising Federations Addy Awards. We are so fortunate to have great clients like Darcy at Noteable Progressions, who allow us to flex our creativity!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Kalico Joins the {ADDY} Circus!

Yep, we did it. We ran off and joined the Circus. OK, OK, so we didn't join the actual circus (though imagine what it would be like to swing from a trapeze or walk a tight rope!) But we did attend ADDYs Under the Big Top—and boy did we have a great time!

The AAF Greater Frederick, our local chapter of the national trade organization, the American Advertising Federation, hosted a vintage circus-themed awards event this past weekend—complete with sword swallower, unicyclist and other amazing circus acts. The ADDYs is a three-tiered competition celebrating the best creative work in the advertising industry—from graphic design, to illustration, video and web design. We were honored to join our fellow creatives and cheer on the amazing and talented advertising community in our region!

Best yet, this year Kalico was awarded two silver ADDY awards: one for the editorial design and layout for the "Trip Across the Sky" article in Find It Frederick magazine as well as the logo design for Noteable Progressions Music Therapy. We are so lucky to have such wonderful clients and are truly honored with these awards!

Congratulations to all of the Frederick-area ADDY winners. We sure are lucky to be in business in an area so rich with creative talent, and so blessed with such supportive colleagues! 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Will You Be My Valentine…Font?

As a special Valentine's Day treat, we wanted to share with you some great fonts that remind us of love and friendship. (And the best part is—they're all low-cost or FREE! Just be sure to read the usage rights!) From classic to quirky, these fonts can make even the most unromantic message seem like a Casanova original. Well, that may be stretching it a bit. But we'll let you be the judge:

We hope you'll get some use out of these lovely, fun fonts for Cupid's Day! See below for a little bit of info about each typeface, as well as links to where you can find them! Happy Valentines Day from Kalico Design!

Wisdom Script  by James T. Edmondson was designed for Woods of Wisdom, a 50 part poster series on bad advice. But we promise you that using THIS font for Valentine's Day would be GOOD advice!
Sunshine in my Soul was created by Kimberly Geswein and is a lovely, playful handwritten script. 
Available in two styles – normal and sketch, this font has a sweet and delicate look not just in caps!

Seriously, can you go wrong with candy hearts on V-Day? A sweet combination of handwriting and illustration make this a fun and friendly font.
A classical romantic script. Be careful with the spacing on this one. A little bit goes a long way, though, and this font can produce a beautiful and extravagant piece.
Knight in shining armor anyone?! Who says chivalry is dead? Not when you dawn your princess a parchment sporting this writing!  You'll be a knight gleaming with "amore". (We crack ourselves up over here!)
First appearing as numerals only. Ribbon was designed by Dan Gneiding.
Vevey font was originally inspired by travel posters from the French Riviera. I know this font takes me away!
Pompadour! This font only comes in numerals. But oh what numerals they are. It is best used large so be creative in how you place it!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Managing Client Expectations

Recently, I attended a roundtable discussion presented by the AAF Greater Frederick on how to manage client expectations. Seriously, anyone who is in the service industry can definitely relate to this topic! While the end product of any project is, of course, important, oftentimes the process—you know, the back and forth between client, the relationship you build throughout the course of the project—is what can make or break the ultimate end result and client satisfaction.  So, what can you do to manage your clients, insuring that both you and your client's expectations are met? Glad you asked, read on, my friend…

Here are just a few things to remember when dealing with clients. Sure, they may seem pretty easy, and obvious, but it's always great to remind yourself of the following:

1. Plan the Project Well: know what you need to charge and how long the project will realistically take. Be sure to relay all the information to your client up front, so they are on the same page.

2. State What Is Included: Be as detailed as possible about what you will be delivering. Break the job into stages and outline how many ideas, meetings, rounds of edits, etc are included. Make sure your client knows all of this information up front so they can work with you to make sure the project is delivered with all expectations met—their's AND your's.

3. Who Are the Key Contacts: Make sure there is one point of contact (on both your end AND the client's end) that is consistent throughout the course of the project. A client needs to know who they should go to with questions or issues just as much as you need to know who to go to with your questions. Keep the point of contacts as consistent, with as few people as possible, throughout the course of the project.

4. Regular Client Meetings: At the beginning of the project set a schedule for the different stages of the project that you will meet with the client. This could be face-to-face meetings, conference calls, or other modes of communication.

5. Schedule Payments: Be sure your client is aware of your payment terms in advance. Set up a schedule that works for bot you and your client, so there are no misunderstandings.

6. Be Accountable: Fess Up! Don't be afraid to admit if you've gotten something wrong, or misunderstood feedback. You clients will appreciate you being up front, so the more honest and transparent you can be in all your communication, the better your client relationship will be in the long term—it's all about building trust.

7. Get It In Writing: Be sure to put all the project's estimated costs and scope in writing. Have you and your client sign this, and make sure you both have a copy. This will protect both you and your client.

8. Bite Your Lip: While we all hope and strive for perfect clients, the truth is that we'll all experience that "nightmare client" at least once in our career. When this happens, don't give your client a reason to complain about you. Simply bite your lip and get the job done to the best of your ability within the terms originally agreed upon. (see #7)

9. Under Promise, Over Deliver: It's always best to exceed your client's expectations. Be sure not to promise them the world if you can't deliver. Be practical, edge on the side of caution when it comes to a project's time line and/or estimate.  That way, if you're able to get things done faster, or within a smaller budget, your client will love you for it. And if it takes the amount of time estimated, you're still meeting your client's expectations.

Do you have any additional advice on how to manage client expectations? We'd love to hear them!

Friday, January 11, 2013

A Year in Review…Designer Style

First, HAPPY NEW YEAR! While typically my first blog post of the year is a list of business resolutions and goals, this year we wanted to do something different. Before we started to focus on 2013, we wanted to recap 2012 and note some of our bigger accomplishments, changes and outcomes. While we are eagerly looking forward to facing whatever comes with this new year, we're also proud of this past year and wanted to reflect just for a moment. How does a designer look back on an entire year, you ask? …with an infographic, of course!

Here's our quick Kalico Year In Review, designer-style:

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

"Seasons Greetings"; A Historical Overview of the Christmas Card

As the Holidays quickly approach, you may be sending or receiving those holiday greetings. But how did this tradition begin and what has made it the popular symbol it is today?

The first commercially mass produced Christmas card was illustrated by John Calcott Horsley in 1843. Horsley was a painter of the time known for his subject matter that romanticized scenes of everyday life in the English countryside where he resided. Sir Henry Cole commissioned Horsley when he found himself to be too busy to hand write the traditional holiday greetings that year. While reception of this card was not taken lightly (it depicted children enjoying wine with their family) the idea of the illustrated card became a huge success and other commercial printers soon followed suit.

With the introduction of cheaper printing methods, 20 years later the Christmas card could be bought and sent by the general public – an act previously limited to the wealthy.

In the beginning, Christmas card graphics were not like the ones we see today. Instead of seasonal or religious depictions, images were meant to remind people that spring was approaching (an idea we, personally, tend to love!). Children and animals were the most popular themes.

During the world wars, access to German printers was cut off and companies like Hallmark and American Greetings saw a boom in sales when they encouraged Americans to send cards to soldiers in support. In the 1950s, subject matter of a more risque nature could also be found like the ones pictured below. These cards were produced in response to a times when Americans began to question tradition.

More recently people have resorted to making their own Christmas cards. Today's ease of photography production and at-home printing capabilities give individuals access that wasn't available 20 years ago. A popular choice is the family photograph with a seasonal design and message. The photo can be taken digitally and easily placed into templates at local vendors. With email and cellular communications being standard, some people choose to send out e-cards. However, the Christmas card still accounts for over half of all sales in the greeting card industry and is still widely and warmly received. So, did you send out cards this year?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Pinterest is Open for Business!

Earlier in the year we did a post on how effective Pinterest can be as a marketing tool for your business. However, just recently Pinterest offered a new set of terms targeted specifically to businesses. These new terms now supply specialized provisions separate from those of a personal account.

For instance, Pinterest has made the "pin it" and "follow me" buttons, as well as the "profile" and "board" widgets very easy to incorporate into an existing business website. These buttons increase pinner traffic to your website by engaging users to link to things they like while they are there.

But one of the best resources we have found with these new offerings is Pinterest's case studies and best practices examples.

In one case study offered by Etsy they explain how adding a business account increased traffic to their individual shops and has outperformed the "like" button on Facebook in referral traffic. While business accounts usually have boards that are curated and maintained by specified users and not the general public, Etsy shares a strategy in their study of how allowing "guest pinners" diversified the content of their boards and drove more traffic to their actual site.

Etsy is just one case study offered to get your creative Pinterest juices flowing. There are several others including Jetsetter, Allrecipes, Organized Interiors, and Petplan Insurance. Additionally there are tips and tricks on how to make your business become successful through Pinterest marketing. So check it out. You can convert your existing account to a business account with the click of a button, or you can create a new Pinterest business account in just a few easy steps. We just set up our own Kalico business Pinterest page—check it out at www.pinterest.com/kalicodesign!