Sometimes, it is hard to come up with topics for a blog post. Other times, life just puts inspiration down in front of you. Last week, that inspiration came in the form of our mail carrier, when I came home to this:
Every detail of how you do your job reflects on you and your business (or the company you work for). We spend so much time talking about company culture and how a business makes people feel – the personal connection that keeps people coming back again and again – but how often do we consider it in regards to the people we encounter regularly?
You don’t have to be the business owner, or an employee at a multi-million dollar retail corporation, to be an important reflection of a company. Sure the CEO may be most visible, and therefore his or her public actions are important, but it is the day to day roles that have the most impact and are the most outward facing.
When I see something like this delivery, I feel like the employee doesn’t recognize the importance of their role. The labelling is so obvious, and so clearly disregarded. As a client, it may make someone doubt the service. They delivered the package – but they didn’t go the extra mile to make sure it was delivered well.
How can we combat this sort of apathy in business? Sure, the mail carrier is meant to deliver packages – but rather than “delivering a package,” can we reframe it as “delivering joy”? Suddenly the act of delivery is important – and personal. The mail carrier feels important and empowered, and takes a little more pride in what he or she does.
This simple act served as a reminder to me that while a design as a whole is important, so are the details of the design. By paying attention and delivering work right the first time, I say to my clients “You are important. I care.”
How do you go the extra mile for your clients? Does your work reflect your company is a positive light?
You will hear a lot of designers talking about fear of the blank page – the idea that the hardest part is simply starting. I don’t usually have trouble with that – but after a few years of freelancing, I’ve decided my “blank page” is January.
To many people, January is a clean slate – an opportunity to start fresh and plan a new strategy for the year. It is exciting and exhilarating.
For me, January is one of the hardest months to power through.
While it is true that it is a fresh start, there is something undeniably nerve-racking about knowing we’ve started a new fiscal year. In December, we celebrate achieving our financial and business goals, but in January, the counter resets to 0.
Also, for many businesses, myself included, January is a slow time. Everyone is getting back from their holiday break, and getting back into the swing of things. So while instant gratification would be comforting, the reality is, we’re more likely to see slow but steady growth.
Add to all that the chilling cold that forces us indoors, and you have a recipe for some serious over-thinking.
So, what can we do to stop the January blues from setting in when fear gets the better of us?
Work on personal projects.
Use January as a time to work on marketing efforts, websites and other personal business projects that become second priority when work is busy. If you can get a stockpile of content together, it will be ready to roll out when things DO pick up again. In addition, if you keep your mind busy, you have less time to worry.
Arrange lunches and happy hours, touch base with current and former clients, and basically, make yourself visible. Not only does staying busy and interacting help your day-to-day attitude, but it also ensures that if a project opportunity does surface, you will be top of mind.
Reframe your mindset.
For tax purposes, your fiscal year may be January 1 – but maybe it would help to reframe it in your mind as July 1. This will allow you to see 6 months of successful income already in play in January. While nothing ACTUALLY changes, reframing your mindset may help to combat the anxiety that a blank slate can cause.
How do YOU combat “blank page” anxiety?
Just a quick reminder – we’ll be at the Women’s Unity Artisan Market in Baltimore this Friday! Come do your holiday shopping locally – and support women makers! We’ll be selling some specialty wine glasses and scarves from our collection. This event was put together by the lovely Mary Gardella.
The cooler weather is slowly rolling in to the Northeast, and with that comes the desire for Fall and all things pumpkin. With that in mind, we were inspired to roll out a fall printable for all you holiday decorators out there. Visit our shop to purchase your very own, “It’s Pumpkin Spice, Ya’ll” printable for only $3! The fun, festive colors and typography are the perfect inspiration to start your fall home design. We also have a download of the SVG file, for those who want to use it to create their own vinyl decals, t-shirts, signs and more. Keep an eye on the store as there are more fall themed products coming very soon!
Use coupon code FALLTENOFF to get 10% off your purchase between now and October 20, 2017!
Typography is popular in wedding settings and can produce some amazing decorations. Did you know you can make your own typography décor? Typography is arranging type to whatever font and size you want with particular spacing in-between. It can create a cute sign, a beautiful saying, or a bold statement. There are so many different ways to display your greeting or message that will suit any style of wedding.
Some fonts can make lovely rustic or vintage wedding designs and decorative items. They can be used on wedding invitations, menus, greeting signs, schedules, table numbers and much more. Frame your typography stating words like “love” or “forever” for a classy display of affection on your wedding day. Decorate your wedding and reception with the power of words. There is no limit to what you can do with typography, especially for a rustic wedding.
Create Your Own
You don’t have to pay for a custom piece when you can make your rustic typography decorations. Cutouts of the words you want can be tricky, but there are easier ways to get what you’re looking for. Try using a single piece of wood in whatever sizes you would like. For wedding displays or greetings, it generally should be larger so everyone can see it. Prime and paint the wood whatever colour you choose. It can be stained too if you like the natural look.
Using sandpaper you can distress the board a bit and let some of the wood come through the paint for a vintage feel. It is optional if you would rather leave it painted in its entirety. Using cardstock and scissors or a Cricut machine, cut out any number and letters you want to the size you prefer.
The layout is essential, and you can arrange it however you would like. It is where many people get creative with both the fonts, sizing, and design to create a beautiful and original piece. Attach the letters and numbers using glue like Mod Podge. After they are placed and have dried a bit, you can then paint over it with the glue to seal it all into place.
You can make wooden cutouts of your typography too! It is a little more involved, but it looks stunning. Decide what font and word or words you would like and print them out in a large size. Print them out large enough to make them your pattern to place on the wood. Cut out your words and glue them onto your piece of timber. The adhesive can be removed using sandpaper so don’t worry too much about this part. Cut your word out using the appropriate tools and be sure to wear safety glasses. Power tools can be dangerous, especially when cutting out letters or words because of the angles.
Once your word is cut out, you can give it a quick sanding and then paint or stain it for a beautiful DIY rustic wedding decoration.
You can use Typography just about anywhere. From wedding invitations, pillows, signs, artwork to many others. It is an attractive way to display affection or announce your big day. It can be used for your guest’s table number or to label items at the bar or at the buffet or snack table. There are fonts for everyone and everything, especially for events that have a rustic or vintage flair to them. Typography is a creative process that has an attractive outcome. It can add the finishing touches to your wedding day and reception, and you can later display your creation in your home.
Sarah, has learned a lot about DIY projects and woodworking. She hopes to share that knowledge on The DIY Hammer, where anyone and everyone can learn how to use their creativity and imagination with DIY!
As you know, in addition to our regular design services, we are collaborating with District Bliss this year for their DIY workshops, and have been promoting some merchandise on our Etsy shop. If you haven’t been to an event, we’re excited to share some photos with you here.
We’ve been showcasing designs for mugs, coasters, handmade scarves and much more.
We also do custom designs.
Check it out and join us for a District Bliss event at West Elm soon!
You may wonder, why should you choose to hire a design agency versus having a designer on staff? What is the advantage of working with an external freelance designer or design agency like Stacy Kleber Design long term? Today we’re here to share some of the benefits with you.
We Know Your Business
Using the same designer or design agency regularly means we know your business. We remember your preferences and cater to them every time, meaning less revisions and quicker turnarounds.
We See Things from an Outside Perspective
Sometimes it is hard to view something objectively when you are too close to it. As an external designer, we are outside the company culture, and can offer recommendations that may not occur to you.
We Have Skin in the Game
Since you are our client, our success depends directly on your happiness and success. Therefore, we will work incredibly hard to give you the best service and solution for your design needs.
We’re There When You Need Us (and Not When You Don’t)
Maybe you don’t have the money to hire a designer on staff – or you don’t have enough work yet for a full-timer. That is where we come in. We work on a project basis, so you get the help you need on an as-needed basis. We can also work on retainer or by monthly contract.
We Do All the Things
Though we specialize, a small boutique agency or freelance designer needs to know way more than design. We understand what it means to run a business, and to advertise a business. Therefore we have a better understanding of your needs as a business.
Are you ready to take the plunge? Let’s talk!
If you haven’t seen it in your news feed already, we are partnering with District Bliss to create signage and collateral for ALL of their DIY workshops at West Elm this year. The first will be in February, where we’ll be making potato print tea towels and bags with The Neighborgoods! They’ll be plenty of fun to be had, and a few surprises from us too.
You can sign up for that here.
As if that we’re exciting enough, we’re coinciding the first workshop with the launch of our new Etsy shop! We’ll be selling our hand made scarves and some fun typographical signs, as well as some printables. And if you are at the workshop, you get the discount FIRST!
We can’t wait to see you and share what we’ve been up to! Get ready for an exciting year!
With the new year upon us, we’re taking a minute to reflect on who we are and how we help you. With that in mind, we came up with a new description for our services:
“Stacy Kleber Design LLC is a DC based graphic design agency specializing in affordable, on-going design support for businesses and nonprofits.
We love helping our customers to establish and build their brand, using everything from logo design to infographics to print collateral. We work with clients both nationally and internationally, as their primary designer or as a supplement to their internal design team, to ensure consistency in their brand and to produce high quality design work.”
While we will still be taking one-off jobs, we really want to be your partner – to offer on-going design support for you and your business. Maybe you don’t have a full-time designer on staff – or maybe you do and they need additional support. That is where we come in. We offer design on an as-needed basis to help you maintain a consistent look and feel, as well as a high quality design presence.
Many of our clients have been with us for 5+ years. We know their brands inside and out. They will tell you that we deliver quality work, on time, every time.
Think about it. We’re here when you are ready to take the leap. In fact, we’ll take it with you.