airplane flying away into the clouds

Overseas vs. Domestic Packaging

By | Packaging Design Blogs | No Comments

When a long-awaited product arrives at your doorstep, do you ever stop and wonder about everything that had to happen in order for it to end up in your hands? Usually, online product information or a label on the package will clue you in about where the product was manufactured, but what about the packaging? 

More often than not, the eye-catching packaging that prompts you to buy a product was sourced from manufacturers overseas. While the idea of sourcing packaging from another country might evoke unease in some people, doing so actually has more benefits and fewer complications than one might anticipate. 

Time and Money

Lead time is a common concern for people who consider sourcing packaging from overseas. When starting a project, time is an important consideration. If you’re not on a tight deadline, getting packaging from overseas suppliers is usually worth the extra time it takes.

The cost of internationally-sourced packaging is typically around half of what it would cost to produce the same result domestically. So, while a longer lead time may seem like a downside, it is typically worth the tradeoff of reduced costs for the same quality. 

Hidden Advantages

Fewer expenses and higher quality both sound great, but what about your brand’s emphasis on manufacturing products locally? The good news is, sourcing packaging materials from another country doesn’t mean you have to lose the “Made in USA” declaration. You can still market products as locally or domestically manufactured, even if the packaging is not.

Another advantage we have found through working with overseas factories is that most of the time, they are used to providing a high-quality, printed sample for just a  low cost plus shipping (and sometimes for free, depending on the type of job). Most manufacturers in the United States do not make samples for free, and instead require approval of the packaging based on a digital PDF and sample of the raw material being used. 

Overall, foreign manufacturers are a worthwhile option for producing high-quality packaging. 

The Value of an Agency Partnership

Understandably, the process of finding and working with an overseas packaging manufacturer can seem difficult if you have never done it before. There are language barriers, time zone challenges and issues of trust. That’s why it can be extremely helpful to partner with production professionals who have years of experience and existing relationships with a variety of printers.

At Deal Design, we often manufacture the packaging we design for our clients with one of our overseas partners. Because we have over 25 years of printing experience, we are able to ensure our clients get the physical result that matches exactly what they expect from our designs. 

If you go straight to a manufacturer, they will likely try to sell you on the packaging method in which they specialize, whereas our clients benefit from our access to hundreds of specialist manufacturers to obtain the perfect match and best price for their packaging. Our long-standing relationships with overseas manufacturers allow for the ease of working with a U.S. agency that provides the highest quality end results for a low cost.

 

Ready to explore your options and make your brand come to life? 

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An interview with Nancy Deal, designer woman sitting and smiling intently at camera

An Interview with Nancy Deal

By | Catalog Design Blogs, Graphic Design Blogs, Packaging Design Blogs, Product Photography Blogs, Web Site Design | No Comments

Since we interviewed one of our principals, David, last month, it only seems right that we spotlight Deal Design’s other principal, Nancy Deal. In this exclusive interview, we chat about her path to graphic design, the simultaneous beauty and struggle of being a woman and running a business alongside her husband, and how she stays inspired.


What first led you to explore graphic design as a career?

For me, it was a path of creativity. Before I was in design, I was in dance, and that wasn’t going anywhere for me. I had a back injury, so I was searching for creative outlets, and I went to Laguna Pageant of the Masters. There were all these beautiful exhibits and artists, and one of them happened to be an art school. For some reason, I just decided to take a leap. I’m going, “I’m not a painter, I’m not a drawer, but let’s see what they do.” And that’s really how it all started. I just kept finding my way, kept trying things. “Maybe I can paint. Nope, can’t paint.” “Maybe I can draw. Nope can’t draw.” “Oh, I can do photography, not bad at that. Oh, I’m really pretty good at design.” Those meshed together with choreography and music and everything I’ve done. So it was a good match.

What inspires your creativity?

Actually, everything inspires my creativity. I can go to the grocery store, I can be driving and just [get inspired by] the landscape. I love Pinterest for creativity, not for finding answers but, it’s like flipping through a magazine for me. I love going to the bookstore with a coffee and going to the Design section or the magazines and not buying anything, just flipping through [them]. I’m constantly kind of keeping a diary of images and things in my head. And when they repeat, I know I’m supposed to do something with them, and that’s going to be my next design project.

What is the most memorable project you have worked on at Deal Design?

There have been many of them. My best design projects were my kids. *Laughs* To tell you the truth, that was a big consideration for me when I was trying to pick out a career path — how could I be a mom and have a career? I kind of stepped in and out of the role of designer depending on what was going on in our home life, but it was a really good match to allow me to be the kind of mom that I wanted to be, which was to inspire these little spirits that were brought into my life. So for me, that was probably my biggest design project, or how I looked at it, was raising these little souls. 

But, here at the agency, there have been some really satisfying [projects], then there have been artistic [ones], and then there have been [some in which] the client just grew. So they kind of have different categories for me because it’s not all about money and success. It’s about the place we were in as we were designing it, if that makes sense. 

One of my most memorable [projects] was Yamaha guitars — we set up a tent in the agency and the kids slept there and played while David and I worked crazy hours to try to turn it. It’s a happy, fun memory because we all participated together. 

Some of my most satisfying [projects] have been skincare lines. [They were] not necessarily super visible, though some are extremely successful now; back in the day, they weren’t when we were working on them. It’s really satisfying. 

Other than that, it’s more about getting to know the client and how appreciative they are for your work. Relationships are really important to me. We have a client we’ve worked with for going on 15 years now, and we still comment on each other’s social. That’s always fun, to have those kinds of relationships.

Do you have any business, career, or design role models?

For some reason, Twitter’s turned into my [way of] following design, and [I follow] a lot of women. So [my role models are] more social groups. I love the social media aspect because they don’t have to be famous to be interesting, and that’s what’s so fun. It doesn’t have to be on the cover of a famous magazine or a book — I just love seeing people’s work. 

If I were to name somebody that I’m just in awe of still, which is why I was so excited that Adobe Max has her, it’s Annie Leibovitz, a famous photographer [who] has done amazing work. I’ve loved her work — black and white especially. All her images are just gorgeous. Which is why I kind of have to go to Adobe Max now! I’ve been following her forever! 

And then artist-wise, it’s so funny, David and I have the same [role model] — Rauschenburg is probably our number one, which is why we still love going to MoMA in LA and seeing his work. We’ve seen it over and over and over, but it’s just really cool work.

What is the biggest challenge you face in your role, and how do you overcome it?

The biggest challenge is being a woman, and really taking on my role as a mother — that has meant as much to me and [has been] as big of an honor as being a working woman. When the kids were young, it was extremely stressful — working and volunteering for the local elementary school Arts Attack program, homework, church marketing and outreach meetings, facilitating and designing women’s retreats. The extra challenge has been working with David — keeping a healthy marriage and working together. We’ve learned a lot over the years.

Is there an achievement or contribution you are most proud of?

I think there are multiple. Before I stepped into agency work, it probably would’ve been choreography — having the chance to do commercial work and do a couple of commercials. I worked with music programs and was a judge for 12 years. 

Agency-wise, again I go to the skincare — SkinMedica, Glymed Plus, Dr. Michelle Copeland — all of them are doing really well. SkinMedica is an international brand now. And I’ve been really proud of the work we’ve been doing for REEF and Pearson Farm with their catalogs. 

We’ve also done promotions and marketing for San Elijo Dance and Music Academy’s Annual Nutcracker. We designed the logo and website for the production, and we did all the marketing for the promotional side event, the Sugar Plum Fairy Tea. We all loved working on this event.

What are your hopes for the future of Deal Design?

I see us being a full-service brand agency, which we’ve always said because we’ve always had the capabilities. But for some reason, we just didn’t put it all together. I think we’re hitting this stage in our life where we have some free brainpower. I don’t have an expectation, but I do envision growth, and I’m excited to see where this takes all of us. I’m really excited about what’s coming. 

 

Partnering with qualified leaders and creative minds could be the next step in transforming your idea into a reality. Contact us to find out how Deal Design can help create and market your unique brand.

If you’re interested in following Deal Design’s journey, connect with us on Facebook.

 

line of people sitting on their smartphones, the ins and outs of social media marketing

The Ins and Outs of Social Media Marketing

By | Graphic Design Blogs, Product Photography Blogs, Web Site Design | No Comments

Social media marketing has become a necessity for any business hoping to attract customers. Human beings are attracted to stories, and social media gives brands the opportunity to tell theirs in a way that is authentic and engaging.

While it’s true that social media is now quite saturated with advertisements, marketing on social networks is one of the most effective ways to identify and reach individuals in your business’s target demographic. So, how does it all work?

Social Media Marketing Defined

Most of us have at least a surface-level understanding of what constitutes a social media network, but what exactly does it mean to market a product or service on these platforms?

Social media marketing (SMM) is a form of online marketing that involves creating and sharing content on social media networks in order to achieve marketing and branding goals.

This includes posting text or image updates, blogs, videos, and other content with the intention of driving audience engagement. SMM also involves paid social media advertising, or paying for advertisements to be placed on users’ social media feeds.

Channels Worth the Investment

Social media has grown to be a key component in many businesses’ marketing arsenals, and it’s easy to see why: if you’re attempting to reach people, you need to have an active presence where those people are. And, for better or worse, people are on social media.

With an average of 1.59 billion daily active users on Facebook, it would be unwise for anyone attempting to grow and market a business to ignore such a huge opportunity to reach potential customers.

Social media platforms allow you to target users based on factors like age, location, and user behavior (such as the pages someone has liked or followed), meaning your content and promotions land more easily in front of the right people. On top of this, the ROI on social media ads is more cost-effective than Google AdWords.

90% of marketers say social media has increased their business exposure quote

Social media marketing is tied to a variety of real results that benefit your business. Ninety percent of marketers say social media has increased their business exposure. Other reasons businesses of all kinds use SMM include:

  • Increasing traffic to their website
  • Creating and developing a positive brand identity
  • Building conversions
  • Raising brand awareness
  • Easily monitoring the effectiveness of different campaigns and strategies

Reach Your Business Goals

Every successful marketing campaign starts with clarity of intention. That’s why it’s important to get clear from the start about which goals you hope to accomplish with social media marketing. As you’re considering these goals, it may be helpful to ask yourself some questions:

  • Who am I attempting to reach with this social media campaign?
  • What measurable results am I hoping to achieve through SMM?
  • On which channels would my target audience most likely hang out?
  • What message am I attempting to convey through SMM?

When it comes to formulating a social media strategy for your business, remember that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel — chances are, lots of other businesses in your industry are already marketing on social media. You can learn from their successes and failures through observation, and this will also give you insight into the interests of your target audience.

Good use of social media tends to be one very important piece of overall successful marketing. When you pair it with quality content and beautiful branding, your business is sure to make an impact.

We at Deal Design are here to help you navigate the ins and outs of social media marketing so you can stand apart from the competition at every level. Find out how our team can help you formulate the right strategy to achieve your business goals.

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people working in modern full-service office at computers

Full-Service vs. Specialists in Branding and Marketing

By | Catalog Design Blogs, Graphic Design Blogs, Packaging Design Blogs, Product Photography Blogs, Web Site Design | No Comments

As your business grows and changes, so do your marketing needs. You will need to find a more suitable and effective way of psychologically targeting your consumers, as discussed by universities similar to University of Southern California. But when deciding to partner with a marketing agency, how can you find the best fit?

A good place to start when choosing a marketing solution is deciding between two main types of agencies: full-service and specialists.

What’s the Difference?

Not all marketing agencies are the same, and it’s important to be aware of what differentiates them before deciding on one for your business.

Full-service agencies operate exactly as they sound — they offer a full range of marketing services. Specific offerings may vary between full-service agencies, but most provide some combination if not all of the following services:

  • Brand development and design
  • Formulating a marketing strategy
  • Website design and coding
  • Search engine optimization (seo) and seo audit
  • Marketing automation and digital promotion via email and social media
  • Content creation
  • Print Advertising
  • Sales collateral development
  • Packaging design and manufacturing

On the flip side of the coin, specialist marketing agencies provide single or a select few services. They might focus on providing just one of the services listed above, and they concentrate on a particular group of marketing channels. They may even direct their business towards specific industries; for example, law firms may seek out a marketing agency specializing in lawyers.

The Case for Full-Service

While specialized agencies may be a good fit for businesses with a very specific, single need, full-service is highly preferred for the comprehensive objectives of most people searching for marketing help.

Knowledge

One clear advantage of an integrated agency is the breadth of expertise it brings to marketing campaigns. Most full-service agencies have extensive experience in a range of fields.

This is especially useful for smaller companies and startups that are just getting off the ground because agency professionals are able to assist at every stage of branding and marketing. From naming and tagline creation to social media promotions, a full-service agency has the capabilities to advise and implement expert strategies that deliver measurable results.

In contrast, the narrow focus of a specialized agency allows for the development of skills and expertise in one certain area. The marketing landscape, especially when it comes to digital marketing, is ever-changing, and specialists stay up-to-date with changes and advancements in their field.

That being said, most companies face a wide distribution of marketing challenges, many of which full-service agencies can help tackle.

bar graph showing companies' top marketing needs

Source: HubSpot

Ease

It is likely that your company will have more than just a single marketing need in its lifetime, and each addition of a new specialist adds more complexity to the equation. Employing multiple specialist agencies means more work for you, as you will need to act as the middleman to manage them all.

Full-service agencies take on this responsibility and simplify the process so you can focus on managing, scaling, and building your business.

The more third parties are involved, the more complicated communication becomes. It is much easier to only have to communicate with a single agency that possesses all the capabilities you need under one roof, with a team that works together.

Coherence and Consistency

When a single entity oversees your branding and marketing strategy, you can be sure your brand’s messaging will be consistent across all channels.

If you go the specialist route, you may achieve consistency within a single platform, but as soon as you begin bringing on more specialists to handle different channels, you run the risk of confusing your brand’s message.

Furthermore, full-service agencies work on different layers of marketing simultaneously. This collaboration allows for a broader perspective of your overall brand and business, while the viewpoints of specialist agencies tend to be more myopic.

jay conrad levinson quote - marketing is not an event, but a process. you improve it, perfect it, change it, even pause it. But you never stop it completely.

Trust

Specialists naturally favor the platforms they specialize in and will therefore push for driving more resources and energy toward those specific channels. Due to diverse offerings, full-service agencies are likely to be more objective when recommending which avenues are right for your objectives.

When multiple specialists are involved, it can become difficult to decide where to focus resources. They all may advocate for a level of creative direction, and it is ultimately easier to entrust this to a single company rather than splitting ownership between several.

Cost

The cost of marketing services can vary greatly depending on need.

If you only require a single marketing service, such as packaging design for your product, a specialist agency may fit the bill. Going to a specialist can cut out middleman costs and ensure you only pay for the service you need, but in doing so, you sacrifice the wide range of expertise and options that are available from full-service agencies.

Keep in mind that your needs may expand or contract. When they do, it would certainly be more cost-effective to have a full-service agency that you can use to add or remove services as your own internal capabilities evolve. This way, you don’t have to stop everything you had with one specialist. You can ramp up or down with one broad entity that knows where you are going, and expects changes along the way as it helps you get there.

Making the Choice

There are pros and cons to both full-service and specialist marketing agencies.

If your company already has a functioning marketing team with a wide range of capabilities, it might make sense to bring in a specialist to plug a specific hole of expertise. For most companies, however, full-service agencies are the way to go because of the simplicity of having one point of contact, along with their breadth of expertise and holistic perspective on your business.

At Deal Design, we understand that the needs of every brand and business are unique and dynamic. As a full-service agency, we offer a large spectrum of expertise in various industries and have showcased this diversity for our clients over a period of two decades.

We are happy to work with businesses at every stage of the creative process. Whether you are in need of a single service or are searching for help in building your brand from the ground up, Deal Design is here to help.

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typography vintage letter presses

Building a Brand with Typography

By | Catalog Design Blogs, Graphic Design Blogs, Packaging Design Blogs, Web Site Design | No Comments

Thanks to Ryan Gosling, we’ll never forget that the international blockbuster Avatar used the font “Papyrus” for its logo title.

Hoping to save you and the rest of the world from similar typography faux pas, let’s dive into the world of typeface design and why it’s so important. While the subject of typeface may seem mundane, it’s actually an extremely essential component of your brand identity, and it should never be overlooked. 

What is Typography?

Typography is the style, arrangement, or appearance of typeset matter.

Simply put, it is the way you design and format text to appropriately convey your brand’s message. Typography is the product of many different components including typeface, hierarchy, contrast, consistency, alignment, whitespace, and color. Good typography is both interesting and legible, and it serves to intentionally communicate the tone of your brand.

City Foundry webpage showing good use of typography

Source: City Foundry STL

 

Why is Typography Important?

When it comes to creating material for your brand, content is king. The way your content is represented, however, has an immense impact on whether or not people even read your content in the first place.

It’s Everywhere

The importance of typography extends far beyond the scope of logo design. The role of typography in your brand identity is massive, as it involves the design of packaging, promotional materials, websites, and social media. Typography is one of the heaviest lifters behind your brand, so it deserves careful consideration.

It’s Experiential

It’s also important to remember that while you are building a brand, you are first and foremost building an experience for your potential customers. Brian Eisenberg says, “branding is the subtotal of all the ‘experiences’ your customers have with your business.”

In light of this, bad typography, like minuscule font sizes or text that is difficult to read, translates to a bad experience and negative connotation for your brand. Beautifully formatted, easy-to-read text has the power to do the opposite and creates a positive, memorable encounter.

Magazine layout showing good use of typography, woman standing in yard with hose

Source: As If Magazine

 

It’s a Mood

Just like color does, typography helps communicate your brand’s unique tone and message. 

Different typefaces are iconic for certain moods and product markets. For example, sans-serif fonts are more modern, clean, and simple, while serif fonts give off an older vibe and are commonly used for long-form or print content. Script fonts are more personal; the large variation in script typeface ranges from elegant and classy to cute and modern. Monospace typeface usually reads as techy and edgy. 

How to Use Typography to Elevate Your Brand

Typography is important. So, how can you make sure to get it right?

As with every step of brand building, it is important to consider your voice as well as the eyes and ears of your customers. This will help you achieve a balance between brand authenticity and appeal to your target market. 

Browse the style of brands you admire or those successfully and artfully implementing typeface in your industry. Pay attention to the way the design of the text makes you feel, and note whether this feeling is in alignment with the entire brand and product identity.

Of course, it is always helpful to have marketing experts to consult on matters of brand creation and development. At Deal Design, we commit to learning every detail of the message you wish to communicate via your brand, and we find the perfect typographic match.  

Deal Design is here to masterfully create your dream brand by utilizing typography alongside other brand design and marketing tools. 

It’s time to find your voice. However you choose to do so, stay far away from the font “Papyrus.” 

 

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Influencer girl behind camera filming herself

Influencer Marketing Strategies

By | Catalog Design Blogs, Graphic Design Blogs, Packaging Design Blogs, Product Photography Blogs, Web Site Design | No Comments

When you’re shopping around for a product or service, how do you decide where to buy it from? For all of consumer history, people have sought advice on purchasing decisions from friends and family — trusted individuals within their social networks. Today isn’t much different, besides the fact that our social networks have grown to include not only the people we know in real life but also those whom we keep up with online.

Social media and other internet outlets have created a massive opportunity for companies to market their products within pockets of people with similar demographics or interests. This method makes identifying and accessing target markets easier, but it is also full of potential pitfalls, as it involves working with influential individuals who have their own established agendas. 

This raises the question: how can businesses effectively utilize infuencer marketing while still maintaining authenticity and integrity?

What is Influencer Marketing?

Influencer marketing capitalizes on the idea that we are most likely to turn to people we trust within our social networks for advice when making purchasing decisions. Even though social media influencers aren’t people we necessarily know well, their presence online makes us feel like we know them, and soon, we’re buying the laundry detergent they posted about, simply because they posted about it.

So, who are these people?

An influencer is anyone who has gained a following within a particular niche and who has the power to affect the purchasing behavior of others, either because of his or her authority, knowledge, or relationship with his or her audience. 

These individuals are perfectly positioned for brands and businesses looking to gain recognition from consumers who fall within an influencer’s specific niche. Companies leverage the reach of influencers through co-creation of content or product endorsements. And it works.

Is it Worth Trying?

There are tons of statistics about the effectiveness of incorporating influencers into marketing strategies, and they speak for themselves. 

For instance, 80% of marketers find influencer marketing effective. The consumer’s perspective may be even more convincing: about 40% of people reported they purchased a product online after seeing it used or promoted by an influencer on YouTube, Instagram or Twitter.

Infographic about influencer marketing success statistics

Source: MediaKix

Influencer marketing has significant appeal, and it has the potential to do a lot for businesses, both in terms of brand awareness and direct response (sales/conversions, lead generation, etc.). The benefits are alluring, but there are several factors to consider before diving in.

Tips for Incorporating Influencers into Your Marketing Strategy

As with any new marketing strategy, it’s a good idea to start by identifying your goals and KPI’s. Are you looking to increase your following on a specific social media channel? Is your hope to generate a certain number of sales directly from this source? Make your goals specific and measurable.

Another important consideration is your target market. Ask yourself if there is an online niche overlapping with that market, and see who is effectively reaching and engaging people within that crowd.

When searching for an influencer, you might think the person with the most followers has the farthest reach, but marketing with micro-influencers, that is, those with between 5,000 and 100,000 followers, is proven to have more conversions. These “smaller” influencers are more cost-effective, making them an ideal option for startups or those making their first partnerships with influencers. They also have highly specific niches and are better at engaging their audiences.

Finally, there are several different platforms to consider when searching for influencers. Instagram is a go-to, particularly for companies wishing to engage younger audiences. YouTube is an exceptional option because of its versatility and the engaging nature of video; when researching a purchase decision, 4 out of 5 millennials go to video content first.

The trend in utilizing the influence of online figures to market products has left some platforms so saturated with advertisements that users are beginning to tire of constantly being targeted for sales. When considering influencer marketing as an option for your brand, it’s important to consider whether there are existing influencers in your target niche whose style and content are also in line with your brand. That way, you can strategically place content that catches the eyes of potential clients or consumers without sacrificing authenticity.

At Deal Design, we are passionate about helping businesses communicate their unique message to the world in a way that resonates. Whether or not influencer marketing is an ingredient in the mix, we are here to help design and implement the best strategies for your brand.

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Middle-aged man sitting looking intently at camera

An Interview With David Deal

By | Catalog Design Blogs, Graphic Design Blogs, Packaging Design Blogs, Product Photography Blogs, Web Site Design | No Comments

There are countless people today with great ideas for products and services that have the potential to change the world. But in such a saturated marketplace, entrepreneurs are constantly facing the challenge of how to get noticed by the right people. This makes quality brand marketing more important than ever. 

If you have an idea but aren’t sure where to start when it comes to showing that idea to the world, it can be difficult to get off the ground. Developing a brand to broadcast your idea can seem overwhelming. It’s helpful to partner with people you can trust and rely on to communicate your unique message. 

One such professional, David Deal, is one of the principals and Art Directors at Deal Design. In this interview, he talks about some of the intricacies of bringing products to market, his fascinating history and journey to where he is today, and the continued growth and change of the design and marketing industry. 


What first attracted you to the world of graphic design?

I was always good at art, and I always knew I wanted to be an artist, but in elementary and middle school, I didn’t know what that meant. I didn’t really know what the world of art was like, and it wasn’t until I actually got into college at Florida State University that I discovered what graphic design was. It was a field you could go into that made all of these things like advertising on television and product packaging in grocery stores and magazines, and my eyes were opened up to how much graphic design is all around the world. I realized, ‘Wait, I could be an artist, but I could make a living too? That’s for me.’ That really appealed to my desire to not starve.

What led you to start Deal Design, and how did you do it?

Well, [my wife] Nancy and I met in design school at Laguna College of Art and Design, and we were married right after I graduated. Then, when the ‘dot-com’ industry went ‘dot-bomb,’ which happened right around 2000, and all of the funding for these internet companies evaporated like crazy, the company I worked for went under too because all of their funding got pulled. 

It was a terrible time to find a job as a creative because everybody who was in the creative field supporting a lot of these information-technology companies was out looking for jobs, and there weren’t any. We had an office that was provided for another 3 months prepaid by the company I was working for, and we had computer equipment they were just going to give us, and that was our start. We just did it, and month after month, we didn’t know how we were going to pay the bills and make the mortgage payment; somehow it just happened every month, barely. And it started growing slowly from there. So, it was really out of desperation and necessity that we started.

How has Deal Design changed since its beginning in 1999?

I think we’ve changed as the digital revolution has changed. Some things in our industry haven’t changed much at all. For example, product packaging is still a big part of our business and a lot of the reason companies find us — they have a new product they’re trying to bring to market, they know they need a package, and that ends up being the [starting] place for them to go out and find an agency to help. Then, once those people find us, we also realize, well, you need branding for your product and packaging design, a website, and digital marketing. Our services have grown as digital marketing has grown. [It has become] a much more primary avenue for companies to promote their products versus how it used to be 20 years ago when your products were in a store, or you were advertising in magazines or using direct mail to try to sell your products. The internet revolution, web, and social have really changed a lot, so our services have kind of fluxed with it. 

There’s been almost a dying off of the art of printing that’s been happening with the digital revolution. There’s a lot of art and craft in printing that the newer generation of designers isn’t being taught. We end up teaching our people when they come in about spot color and special effects and how you set up jobs to go to print for offset lithography, which is different than how you set up something to print on your home color printer. 

When we started, it was when the Macintosh computer was first entering the marketplace. The first Mac Classic just came into our college when we were there, and we had to schedule time to use it. Since then, everything has gone [to] computer. We learned the old-fashioned ways of doing things, and now we’ve come along with the new digital generation too. So, it’s nice seeing both sides. 

What is your favorite part about operating your own design agency?

It’s being able to create and nurture a brand from the ground up. People will come to us with a great product idea that serves a purpose [or] solves a problem, and then [we] wrap a brand around it and create its visual look, the messaging, and how it’s going to communicate what it does to the people they’re trying to sell it to. 

In the beginning, it’s all foggy and hard to visualize. It’s difficult for our clients, too, because they don’t have a brand yet to see and feel good about [at that stage]. It’s almost like planting a seed and watering it; it sprouts and grows, and then it blooms and blossoms and creates fruit, which is the point of selling. That’s the most exciting part. [I love] the excitement in our clients when they see it all come together and come to life, and it’s working, and it’s selling, and now they feel like a real company.

It's funny how when the brand comes to life, everything finally seems real, and before then, it seems like you're faking it

Why do you think businesses are attracted to your agency?

We have been told that some of the things that make us unique are that clients get direct access to us as the principals, and we’re providing all the work that comes through the agency. We’re not a high-volume agency where we’re just shoving work into the machine and you get a low, junior-level person who’s doing it all who doesn’t have a lot of experience. Everybody on our team is highly qualified and very talented, and our direct supervision is on everything that goes through. We’re personally interacting with our clients, so I think they really value that there’s a lot of experience behind all the work to develop their brand or product. 

We also have a lot of understanding of all the different kinds of manufacturing and printing processes as well as digital marketing, so we understand the whole lifecycle of creating, developing, manufacturing, and marketing a product. So, it’s not like we’re just good at doing one thing. A lot of times we can help point them in the right direction to solve other problems or fill in gaps they haven’t solved for yet in manufacturing, just because we have done it all.

Is there an achievement or contribution that you are most proud of?

Yes. When I was working for a company called Air Media in 1997, the whole world was still being sold on the idea of going online for information, while we were saying ‘go wireless’. The internet was starting up, everyone was connecting through modems, and you were having to pay per minute for access to the internet. 

[At] this company I was helping to start up, Air Media, we re-engineered Motorola’s flex chipset that was in brand new digital phones. These data networks were paging networks that were receiving paging signals, but we decided we could push a lot more information through them — we could push news feeds and stock updates and alerts that you had email waiting for you through these wireless networks that were broadcast right to your desktop device or to your wireless phone, which was now becoming data capable. This way, you wouldn’t have to go online to know this stuff; it would come to you. This was a really cool idea, and we won Software Product of the Year in PC Magazine. We were winning all these awards. In order to do that though, we had to develop this kind of gateway, so the data networks that used to just push out a phone number to pagers could push out a lot more data in chunks. We had to create this thing we called a Short Messaging Service. We were awarded the patent, and then we shortened it to be called just “SMS,” the infancy of texting. And the user interface for our product, AirMedia Live looked a lot like Apps do today. 

What are your hopes for the future of Deal Design?

I’m hoping that we can grow to be more of a bridge [between] digital and traditional marketing. There are terms out there now — some people call it omnichannel marketing or multi-channel marketing — and I think that is really the future of things. While digital takes the lead, at some point in time, there’s a physical connection that has to happen. You need to get something mailed to you, or there’s going be some way you customize the experience for each person based on how they shop and what they’re interested in. So, it’s how to bridge all of this together, and it’s how to communicate and orchestrate it all — [that] really is the future of where marketing, branding, and manufacturing are going to end up. 


 

Partnering with qualified leaders and creative minds could be the next step in transforming your idea into a reality. Contact us to find out how Deal Design can help create and market your unique brand.

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Behavior-Based Marketing is Transforming the Business Landscape

Behavior-Based Marketing is Transforming the Business Landscape

By | Catalog Design Blogs, Graphic Design Blogs, Packaging Design Blogs, Product Photography Blogs, Web Site Design | No Comments

Imagine this: your dad’s birthday is this weekend, so you grab your phone and start sifting through an online store in search of a gift for him. Just after you’ve found the perfect barbecue accessory and put it in your shopping cart, you get an emergency call from your sister asking if you can babysit her kids tomorrow night. You agree, you hang up the phone, and you completely forget about the gift for dad.

Until… a few hours later, you receive an email from someone at Barbecues R Us asking if you’re still interested in purchasing the meat thermometer you left in your cart. You quickly log back on and complete the transaction, and thankfully, dad’s birthday is saved!

The reminder email you receive in situations like these is an example of behavior-based marketing automation, a strategy that is changing the way businesses interact with their customers. People are bombarded with messages all day long, many of which are from companies encouraging them to buy their product or service. In such a saturated market, many businesses are searching for better methods of connecting with potential and existing clients.

Stand Out From The Competition

The answer lies in personalization. People are far less likely to open a generic email they know was sent to thousands of people than they are to open one that speaks directly to them and addresses a specific need they have. But how can you know if a potential lead has a need that your business can fill?

According to research from Gleanster, over 50% of qualified leads aren’t ready to buy on the day they convert to your site, but that doesn’t mean they never will be. Sending an email to everyone who converts, then, may not be the best idea if over half of the people who visited your site may be annoyed by your attempt to sell to them.

Marketing automation software like SharpSpring includes features that allow you to identify when prospects are ready to buy or when they would most benefit from receiving content from you. Many of these softwares include workflows, which are like maps that allow you to visualize a potential buyer’s journey. They also assign lead scores to prospects as they engage with your content, so you can get a better idea of which leads are most likely to become clients. These tools allow you to put yourself in the shoes of your potential buyer and to automate marketing tasks, such as sending a targeted email, when he or she would be most receptive.

Automation Saves Time and Resources

One of the most attractive aspects of marketing automation is that it makes the marketing process more efficient. Instead of wasting time and money sending emails or making sales calls to people who are not interested in what you’re offering, you can focus your energy on building relationships with the most promising leads.

The goal here is not to eliminate the role of marketers but rather to make marketing more effective so that your business can quickly reach clients and generate more revenue. By automating tedious tasks like sending emails and posting on social media, marketers can focus more on creating valuable content for the people their brand is trying to reach.

Great Relationships Equal Great Business

At the heart of every successful business is a commitment to building and nurturing strong relationships with consumers. You know your current clients are already invested in your product or service, and it’s important to keep them engaged. In addition to excellent products, people are drawn to quality relationships, and automated marketing can help you stay on top of communication with existing clients without sacrificing authenticity.

At Deal Design, we understand the complexities of generating and nurturing leads. We offer expertise in integrating behavior-based marketing automation into your business model. Our marketing approach can help seamlessly connect your business with clients who are ready and willing to invest in your company’s offerings.

 

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Choosing the Right Colors to Represent Your Brand

Choosing the Right Colors to Represent Your Brand

By | Catalog Design Blogs, Graphic Design Blogs, Packaging Design Blogs, Product Photography Blogs, Web Site Design | No Comments

Color is a key aspect of design that greatly impacts the creation and development of a brand. The human mind perceives and associates different meanings with specific colors, and this is an important implication for design decisions. Because sight is one of our most vital senses as we go about daily life, color sparks ideas and generates specific memories and emotions. Colors have significance – for example, red is a color we associate with the words “warning” or “no”, while green means “go” or “life”. Bright hues tend to set a happy and positive mood while darker shades tend to signify the opposite. Within the psychology of colors, warm tones show excitement, optimism, and creativity; cool tones symbolize peace, calmness, and harmony. So, if mood and decision making are affected by color, choosing the right pigments to represent your brand is crucial.

When developing a brand, the product or service has a target market and a purpose geared toward sales. Identifying these components is the first step in choosing the right colors to represent your brand. Is the target market of the brand a student in his or her 20s? A technology user? Someone who is active and enjoys fitness? Do your products promote relaxation and a sense of calm? These aspects of your brand are crucial when selecting colors. The following are some colors with their accompanying feelings and emotions that are often used to represent brands.

1. Pantone Color of the Year 2019: PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral

Advertised as “vibrant, yet mellow,” this coral color exudes a fun, lighthearted vibe that isn’t at all domineering. It is uplifting and spirited, but it also keeps its cool. This color would be a smart choice for a millennial target market or for a product related to beauty or body care.

2. PANTONE 306 C

PANTONE 306 C

The color blue is commonly associated with tranquility. Brands can use this color to impart relaxing, soothing feelings surrounding their product or service.

3. PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet

PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet

Violet evokes slight drama and ingenuity. Its cooler tone balances its depth which makes a brand stand out while simultaneously communicating a sense of calm and ease. Purple hues such as these work best with innovation-centered brands wishing to differentiate themselves from the pack.

4. PANTONE 14-0848 Mimosa

PANTONE 14-0848 Mimosa

The human brain is naturally drawn to yellow shades because it evokes the warm, comforting sensation given off by the sun. This color has a happy, exuberant feel to it, so it is perfect for branding that aims to communicate joy and excitement.

5. PANTONE 15-0343 Greenery

PANTONE 15-0343 Greenery

For brands and products related to nature, a green color palette is a no-brainer. Green hues give off earthy vibes and convey a “fresh start” concept.

First impressions are extremely important, especially when it comes to selling your products to consumers. A majority of the first impressions people make have to do with the feeling they experience when they encounter a product, and color use is a huge factor in determining that feeling.

What impression is your brand making on your target market? Deal Design can help implement clever use of color to elevate your brand and help you stand out from the crowd.

Packaging the Tidal Wave of CBD Products

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As the CBD products hype grows, you may have found yourself a little curious about CBD, hemp, and cannabis: what are the differences? What are the benefits? And, what is legal and where? If CBD is legal where you are from, it might be a good idea for you to see products from greenroadsworld.com before deciding on which you should invest in for your health.

There are two species of cannabis: marijuana and hemp. Although the use of medical and recreational marijuana continues to be an ethically charged issue for many people, research is pointing to the amazing health benefits of a naturally occurring element within hemp: CBD (cannabidiol). The recent legalization of hemp has brought a significant tidal wave of CBD products coming to market. Consumers are confused and looking for more information about the potential health benefits of CBD including reducing the effects of pain, anxiety, epilepsy, insomnia and even the possibility of treating cancer.

Thanks to the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp cultivation is now legal in all 50 states in the USA. How will this affect the cannabis business? The hemp plant contains a variety of different compounds classified as Cannabinoids. Cannabidiol (CBD) is a phytocannabinoid discovered in 1940. It is one of 113 identified cannabinoids in cannabis plants, accounting for up to 40% of the plant’s extract. As of 2018, preliminary clinical research on cannabidiol included studies of anxiety, cognition, movement disorders, and pain. Supplement products containing CBD have net yet come under scrutiny by the FDA and are currently available for sale. It is important to note that CBD does not have the psychoactive effects of its sister variety, marijuana, that contains THC.

THC induces psychoactive effects (gets the user “high”) and has been the driving force in the popularity of marijuana use. THC’s popularity has even got to the point where substances such as thc vape juice have been designed so that people can get high while using a vape. Comparing hemp to marijuana, hemp contains little to no THC (0.3% or less), while Marijuana is abundant in THC with concentrations between 15% to 40%. Consequentially, products containing CBD and not THC have proven to have significant positive health benefits and have become rapidly more assessable for purchase.

For CBD to work effectively, your body must first absorb it. You can consume CBD in a variety of different ways: inhalation, swallowing, adding it to food, and applying it on your skin (in order from most to least efficient delivery method). The tidal wave of CBD products coming to market adopts various delivery mechanisms, dosages, and additional natural components to attract consumers and stand out from the competition.

Deal Design is known for making product brands stand out by designing creative, unique, interesting, and eye-catching packaging design. This approach applies to CBD branded products as well. Brands entering the CBD space should consider the target consumer and what is important to that consumer as he or she shops for CBD products. Depending on the type of CBD product we are designing packaging for, the right solution may be something all natural, modern, minimal, masculine, feminine, or a combination of design styles.

If you are entering the CBD space, be sure your packaging design sets you apart from the competition. This category is quickly filling with copy-cat products that look generic and similar to many other CBD products. Blending in with the pack will drive down the retail price you can command due to the perception you are now a commodity in the CBD space (like store brand aspirin compared to Bayer brand aspirin.) We suggest adding other natural elements and/or fragrances when applicable, to create a unique product offering that stands apart from the crowd.