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7 things to keep in mind about your office’s holiday card

7 things to keep in mind about your office’s holiday card

7 things to keep in mind about your office’s holiday card

It’s that time of year… when everybody gets inundated with cards. Which means yours needs to stand out. 

by LACI ROTH | NOVEMBER 28, 2018

By the end of December one thing we all have in abundance is a trove of holiday cards from companies we’ve done business with. Which means that each of those businesses invested serious time and resources into designing, printing, and distributing that card. But if that card ends up in a pile or inbox with a dozen others, how is it going to do stand out and do what it’s meant to do? 

Here are seven things to keep in mind if you want your company to have a memorable and effective holiday card.

1. Timing is very important.

There’s cheap, there’s fast, and there’s good… and if you are lucky you can get two of those things, not all three. That means that if you want a good designer to create your card, you’ll need to line them up early, and be willing to spend money for something that will really pop (Expect to pay a graphic designer anywhere from $200 to $500).

We’ve found that designing office holiday cards usually invite lots of group involvement and lots of debating about how the card should look and what it should say. Sometimes the card’s design needs to be approved by a senior partner or a board. If that’s the case, you’ll need lots of time to do the job right. Consider lining your designer by September or October… you’ll be glad you did when it’s December and you’re not stressing about your office’s card. 

2. Electronic or physical? (Or both?)

The most important decision you can make about your office’s holiday card is whether it will be physical (printed) or electronic (emailed). 

Electronic cards offer many advantages: You’ll save money on printing and shipping, you’ll have more flexibility with the design (i.e., consider designing variations of the same card that can be sent to clients in specific industries), and you can send them instantly. 

Print cards, on the other hand, are charming and, depending on the culture of your business, might be more aligned with your company’s brand. (More on that below.) Plus, they’re more likely to be opened and read than electronic cards. 

3. If location matters to your business’s services, then it matters for your card design.

If your business is rooted in an area and that area matters for what you do, then you should incorporate that into your holiday card. For example: A law firm located and practicing in Florida should infuse its Florida “flavor” into the card, thus reinforcing to the recipient who the company is and what they do. 

4. Connect the theme of your card to what you do.

Both the words and the design of the card should subtly remind the card’s recipient what your company does. If your business is technology related, you can find a clever way to show your cheer for tech (Maybe snowflakes in the shape of cogs? Just an idea.). 

5. Capture your company’s culture in the card.

Is your company traditional? Innovative? Reserved? Quirky? Progressive? Green? Edgy? Political? Friendly? Or are you “all business”? 

Whatever the culture, the card’s look and tone should reflect that. Traditional companies should user classic fonts and nostalgic holiday imagery. An edgy company might want its message to be more provocative. A personable company might want to feature photos of its employees with their kids or pets. Either way, the best cards immediately make the recipient feel a connection with the company. 

6. If relationship building is crucial to your business model, make your card more personal.

Some companies like to showcase their entire team, from executives to support staff. In these cases, group photos work wonderfully and should be considered for inclusion in the holiday card.

But some businesses rely more on one-on-one relationships between employees and their clients. In these cases, multiple variations of the card can be created, each focusing on the individual employee targeted at their clients. When that client thinks of your company, they primarily think of their point person, so a holiday card is a great way to reinforce that relationship.

This is also an important thing to keep in mind in determining whether to go with an electronic rather than printed card. Electronic cards offer more variation and customization, so if the cards are being sent to more targeted recipients, electronic cards offer a big advantage. 

7. Take care with your distribution list.

Your distribution list is your biggest asset, so use it well. Send the right cards to the right people, and if you think somebody might find it annoying to receive a card, delete them from your list. 

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How to optimize a PDF for mobile devices

How to optimize a PDF for mobile devices

How to optimize a PDF for mobile devices

by MATT STOKES | JULY 27, 2017

One of my clients is a political organization that wanted to distribute its recommendations to voters on Election Day. Traditionally, this would be a “punch card”—a pocket-sized piece of sturdy cardboard paper clipped from a mailer or a newspaper ad. But we had a short turnaround time and we wanted to do something a little more modern, so we came up with the idea of encouraging voters to use their phones in the voting booth and pull up this organization’s recommendations that way.

I designed a nice-looking list of recommendations but, once I’d saved it as a PDF and pulled it up on my phone, I was frustrated that it wouldn’t fit a mobile screen.

2016-11-14-15-04-11

It looked something like this.

I wanted the image to appear designed for mobile phones—because, after all, that was its point for being. So I recreated the list in Adobe Illustrator as a graphic, using the dimensions for the most popular smart phones. I exported the final image as a PDF, pulled it up on my phone, and just like that, I’d found a quick, elegant solution.

mobile-pdf

Much better, with nothing cut off.

Final product ready to go, we uploaded the PDF to the organization’s website, and voters were able to enter the voting booth and pull up a sleek PDF optimized just for their phones.

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Things to Consider When Making a Logo Symbol

Things to Consider When Making a Logo Symbol

Things to Consider When Making a Logo Symbol

by LACI ROTH | JULY 14, 2017

My latest logo project was for a new organization called A to Z Consulting & Advocacy. Since the concept of “A to Z” has been used in many businesses and organization logos I wanted to be sure I gave this symbol plenty of thought to ensure its uniqueness.

Things I consider when formulating a new idea:

  • What’s been done before with similar components?
  • What is special about this company—what is the company’s essence?
  • How can I keep the overall look simple but impactful?

It’s important that all of the components used in a logo serve a symbolic purpose. This means not using shapes, swooshes, and lines that don’t help convey the company’s message or brand.

My client’s wish list:

  • Use the “A” and “Z” in the symbol in some way
  • Find a way to convey the ideas of “progress” and “a path forward” as these concepts are fundamental to the organization

The final logo symbol:

I’ve used two letter A’s to form a Z. The A’s also serve as arrows showing movement. By adding circles on either side of the Z, I was able to create to figures who appear to be using each other to help both figures propel forward.

 

 

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