January 2015

A lot of businesses send out promotional materials in December as a thank you to their clients for the holidays.  But why limit it to December?  With a day for nearly everyone, we think you should pick your own holiday to celebrate.  After all, holidays are a great opportunity to keep in touch with clients and set yourself apart from the pack.

Here is a list of some of our fun favorites for every month to get you started*:

January 26, 2015 – Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day

Who doesn’t love Bubble Wrap?  If I were going to send out something for this, I would send out bubble wrap and a list of fun things to DO with bubble wrap on a card. Because lets face it.  Popping bubble wrap is just fun.

February 17, 2015 – Random Acts of Kindness Day

This one would be great for a non-profit.  What better way to further your cause than to call attention to Random Acts of Kindness Day?  Do something nice for your clients or donors and ask them to pass it on.

March 14, 2015 – Pi Day

Pi day is already pretty popular.  This might be a good one for some of the services out there that specialize in numbers and math.  OR use Pi Day as an excuse to send your clients a real pie.  After all, who doesn’t love pie?

April 13, 2015 – Scrabble Day

For the wordsmiths out there, this could be a fun holiday to send out designs or cards with Scrabble tile inspiration.

May 15, 2015 – Bike to Work Day

Bike to Work Day is super popular in the DC area.  Try sending a mailer with some sort of reflector for a bike or vest that has your logo.

June 5, 2015 – Donut Day

This is another easy one. A dozen donuts is low in cost, and food is always a hit with clients. If you work with local businesses, hand delivery means a lot as well.

July 2o, 2015 – Lollipop Day

Lollipops are fun and easy to customize. Get some lollipops in your brand colors and send them to clients.

August 9, 2015 – Book Lovers’ Day

Book Lovers’ Day is a great day for you to share knowledge with your clients.  Does your company have a book?  Promote it!  If you are a marketing agency, it might also be a good time to send a list of your favorite recommended books to help your clients succeed in their marketing efforts.

September 19, 2015 – Talk Like a Pirate Day

This is another day that took off due to internet fame.  Why not send all your clients a pirate eye-patch or bandana with your logo and help them look the part?

October 30, 2015 – Check List Day

Who doesn’t love those notepads that have the presorted checklist for your day?  They can include everything from a list of grocery suggestions to a list of things to do. Put your logo on them, and you have a great promo for Check List Day!  Maybe even add your company to the list.

November 26, 2015 – Cake Day

Do I need to say more?

December 21, 2015 – Crossword Puzzle Day

This is another fun day.  Create your own crossword puzzle for your clients with a secret message.  Include a link where they can find the key online.

So search the internet and find a holiday to make your own. It never hurts to connect with clients throughout the year, and this is an easy way to stand out and create a holiday synonymous with your business.

*Holidays via Days of the Year

We’ve all been there.  Your company is developing their first brochure and you need some photos to fill the space. But what should you pick?  Here are my 5 tips when choosing stock photos.

Tip 1: For kids or corporate stock, try to pick something natural.

All those photos of kids and corporate execs smiling at the camera are great, but they scream “posed.”  Look for photos of people in a more natural setting, talking to each other or engaging in an activity. This will look less contrived, and will make the photos seem like they could have been taken specifically for your materials.

Tip 2: Keep your audience in mind.

Different countries or audiences have different expectations, so keep your target audience in mind when choosing photos. Does the area have sensitivities to how women should be portrayed?  Should your photos be multicultural?  Does their corporate culture include employees in suits or in jeans?  These are all good things to consider when choosing your photos.

Tip 3: What is your budget?

Sure, Getty has some great photos, but they are also often incredibly expensive.  If you have a low photo budget, you may want to stick with a less expensive option such as iStock or Dreamstime. This will allow you to get more for your money.

Tip 4: Beware of editorial use only.

Many of my clients send me links to photos they like, only for me to find the “editorial use only” note below them on the page. Keep an eye out for this when browsing on stock sites.  These photos can be used in a newspaper or magazine article, but can not be used for advertising and promoting your business.

Tip 5: Size matters.

There is no hard and fast rule as to what size you will need for an article or website.  It really depends on how large the photo is being used.  Generally, you can assume a photo should be 300 dpi for print and 72 dpi for web. For most sites, this means your photo will need to be “medium” or larger if being used in a print piece.

I hope these tips will help you in your quest for stock photography.  Keep them in mind next time you browse.

To start off the new year, I thought we would talk about something light-hearted.  So, as a designer, here are my 10 things to know about dating (or marrying) a graphic designer.

1. You will never be able to watch movie titles again.  Oh, the kerning!

2. Your house will be covers in letters and typography.  Trust me.

3. Your significant other will get lost in Paper Source – and need to touch everything.  (Paper! Texture! Color!)

4. Your wedding will be perfectly color coordinated in Pantone swatches.

5. You will be painfully aware of the release of every knew Apple product.  (Apple Pay, Apple Watch, iPhone 6, oh my!)

6. You will never use Comic Sans again. Ever.

7. You will find out there is a documentary called Helvetica – and much to your dismay, it is available on Netflix.

8. You will be stopped on the street to take pictures of signs and letters. (Yes, we do love type.)

9. Your significant other will always have a Sharpee.

10. Your child’s first book will be “CSS for Babies.”