Cinderella would never have made it past palace security, let alone capture the attention of a prince, dressed in her everyday rags. But arriving in a glass coach pulled by 6 white horses? In that dress? And those glass shoes? They fell over themselves to help her in. That visual brand identity makeover changed her life.
Incidentally, leaving behind a glass slipper was genius viral content marketing.
We love nothing better than a chance to re-brand an existing company, whether you're looking for a subtle transformation or a complete function and design makeover, or simply need an umbrella corporate identity for several different lines. Since 93% of communication is non-verbal, it makes sense to upgrade your corporate image to ensure a great first impression. If you're at a point where you realize that your initial branding efforts are no longer good enough, that they simply do not do you justice, we would love to help. We've led many companies through the process and feel confident that you will enjoy the adventure and be delighted with the results.
In addition to a fabulous custom logo design, you can opt to receive a unique coordinated collection of visual elements that includes custom fonts, colors, patterns and additional graphics. We can also equip you with extra logo formats & sizing for use on social media (Facebook, favicon, twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Google Ads,etc).
These can be used in a variety of ways to present a cohesive look across digital, print, and merchandise to maintain visual interest and ensure that your customers will instantly recognize your brand, no matter where they encounter it.
With a flexible visual brand identity in place, we can build you a series of digital sales tools: a robust, responsive (mobile-friendly) website or app, icons and branded graphics for social media fanpages, ebooks and online ads. Having all of these marketing tools created by the same person or team ensures consistency in quality and cost efficiency. << close
Just as an architect designs a building for each client's specific needs, so we design each website to fit your needs, both in function and visual appeal. Here are our recommendations, depending on the size of your business.
For a small or micro business (solo-preneur, freelancer, mom and pop store, blogger), We recommend a simple site with an easy CMS (Content Management System, aka a private admin area) that allows you to do your own content updates. For this we recommend a responsive (mobile-friendly) Wordpress site, customized to reflect your brand identity, along with other elements such as an interactive appointment calendar, photo gallery slideshow, interactive poll, or a blog that includes social media streams and audio/video.
For a mid-size business, (wholesale company, small corporation, start-up) we recommend a custom-coded site that is mobile-friendly and search-engine friendly, built on a stable, well-supported platform, (e.g. Wordpress or ExpressionEngine). Custom coding offers greater flexibility in terms of the look and function of the site, as well as allowing for more search-engine options, such as extra landing pages for Google AdWords campaigns. Simple changes to content can be done by your in-house staff, or by us, as part of a general maintenance contract.
For a large business, (school, organization, national and global corporation) We recommend a more complex CMS platform such as Drupal or ExpressionEngine. These platforms can support large communities and social networks with public and private forums, multiple groups and users, multiple levels of access, membership logins, complex databases, multi-media integration, elaborate ecommerce, interactive classroom learning and live events broadcasting. They can support multiple simultaneous admin access, which allows staff to make changes or additions from multiple locations around the world.
If ecommerce is in your plans, we recommend a robust frictionless option like Shopify or Magento, both of which can be integrated seamlessly into an existing site.
Regardless of the platform, we will customize and rearrange the layout and graphics to ensure that your site has a unique and authentic feel that clearly sets it apart from the competition and establishes you as a premium brand. << close
In collaboration with your marketing team, we analyze your target audience in order to create the best possible experience for them, whether it's for a mobile app, a website, or a social media community. This guides decisions about visual design elements (colors, typography, art styles, mascots), tone of voice and style in the copy, as well as the pace and flow of your site. The goal is a frictionless path for your customer, to increase engagement and conversion rates. The long-term benefit is a stronger emotional connection between your brand and your audience.
We love social media. We've been active on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest for years. Having set up and managed pages and content on these social networks for many clients, we would be happy to do the same for you.
Often clients need help sourcing quality art, either in the form of illustration or photography. We have provided art direction and supervision for countless photo shoots and commissioned illustration work. We can also find you high quality stock photography when needed, and recommend a local professional photographer and stylist for your corporate portrait and on-site business photography.
We help polish and edit your website's rough text to ensure that its "voice" echoes the feel of your visual brand identity. We also work with professional foreign language translators to safeguard the interpretation of your brand's message when presented online to non-English speaking audiences.
A: You contact us for a free consultation so that
we can get an idea of the scope of your needs and quote you a ballpark estimate. When you're ready to move forward, we send a contract that includes details of copyright, pricing, milestone deliverables and payments.
After a contract is signed and a deposit received (25% - 33% depending on the size of the project), we begin work. We send you regular updates and samples of the work in progress. Upon final payment, we deliver the media-ready files, to DropBox or the server of your choice.
We can also include a style guide, which outlines the specs of the work (typefaces, relative scaling, font customization, color matches, illustration) for your future vendors (printers, advertising partners, other divisions). This ensures that the brand identity integrity is maintained over time. << close
A: We guarantee you will. How can we be so sure? Right from the start, we set up a section of our site devoted to your project where we post links to work in progress. This gives you (and anyone else you wish to include) 24/7 access to the work as it's being produced, from sketch to digitization to finally encoding. We can also create a marketing plan in collaboration with you, to ensure that it suits your company. We establish metrics and show you how to use site statistics to see quickly what's appealing to your audience and what isn't. We send you email updates throughout the process. Including you in the process at critical junctures translates into fewer surprises at the end. As stated in our contract, you are free to pull the plug at any time, and you will only pay for what has been completed up to that point. << close
A: That rather depends on you. Everything we create is custom-tailored. Every client's needs are different, so we have no idea until we talk to you. Expect to spend more on initial marketing such as brand identity, print collateral or a website, than in subsequent years for maintenance or adjustments. There is no magic formula for an initial marketing budget, however a general guide is to expect to pay 20 percent of your target revenue. A professional brand identity pays for itself many times over. It will not require the same amount of money to market as a more generic identity. This is because professional branding is designed to resonate strongly with target customers, generating enthusiastic engagement and loyalty to your brand on social networks. This kind of word-of-mouth publicity is the most desirable, as it will save a fortune in advertising. << close
A: Yes, once it's paid in full, you will be
granted an "all rights reserved" copyright to the individual elements of your brand identity. We retain the right to include it in our marketing materials, which essentially amounts to free advertising for you.
Any outside illustration/photography that is commissioned will be negotiated for you at whatever copyright level you require. For example, an illustration element of a logo would be an "all rights" copyright across all media for an unlimited amount of time. Whereas a series of photos for a campaign may only be needed exclusively for a year in a specific regional market, and would therefore cost less.
Code is never included in copyright transfer, as most of it is in the public domain (open source). This is a good thing, as it is more likely to be widely used and supported. << close
A: We work with any sized business. Most of our clients are mid-sized companies, many with "inc." after their name. But don't let that stop you. If you're ready to move to the next level, we're happy to help, even if you're a one-person operation. << close
A: Yes. We provide ongoing brand management and marketing services.
A brand manager works to maintain a consistent, cohesive brand identity over time. In practice, this entails acting as your Vendor Coordinator (e.g. coordinating with marketing consultants, printers, trade show organizers, sign makers, promotional item manufacturers); supervising press-checks for printed materials to trouble-shoot the variety of issues and decisions that inevitably arise; proofing ads and approving final color matches. We can also provide regular reports on your website's metrics.
This is our world. We know it well. Hiring us will save you money and a lot of unnecessary stress because we won't make the common costly mistakes that a novice would. << close
Yes. We're happy to travel to meet with you in person at your expense, as needed. Generally our clients rely on email, phone and web views, with the occasional face-to-face meeting via Skype video. << close
A: We accept USD, CAD and AUD. The studio is in Montreal, Canada. However, because we were based in the Massachusetts area for about 5 years and Burlington, Vermont for another 7 years, most of our clients are in the New England area. All fees for US clients are in US dollars, and these contracts are based on US law. All fees for Canadian clients are in CAD dollars, and these contracts are based on Canadian law. All fees for Australian clients are in AUD dollars, and these contracts are based on Australian law. << close
A: The "lifestyle category" is a catch-all expression for anything that enhances your personal life. It is the "life" in "work-life" balance. It usually involves beauty, fun, or relaxation. Lifestyle branding is aspirational and uplifting, and tends to be upscale in its appeal.
If what you are selling enhances people's home life, travel or recreation, you are firmly in the lifestyle category. Some obvious industries are: fashion, tourism, home design/décor, specialty/gourmet foods, kids' clothing and toys.
News sites use "Lifestyle" or "Living" to encompass articles on home or leisure. This includes travel, home décor, fashion, style, recreation and family activities. << close