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!