Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Branding your Business

I came across this article today in the SF Chronicle Business Section. It really says it all in terms of the importance of your company's brand, especially as you're getting started or trying to launch into a new arena.

Branding is key to future success for small companies and startups

They use Apple as a good example to follow. Being a veteran of the Apple Graphic Design Department, where I lived and breathed "good branding" for 4 years, I learned a thing or two. They make sure everything they do is brand appropriate, and even if a project is really simple or seems inconsequential, it still follows the brand standards. By keeping these rules handy it makes the design aesthetic very recognizable. Something you want in a strong brand.

Take a look and come back and talk to me! I'd be happy to help you make your brand a reality.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Spring Blooms for Studio Picotee

Studio Picotee has officially been in business now for just over 6 months, and we're doing great, thanks in large part to YOUR support and connections!

I just did some quickie updates to the website, so you can see what we're up to. The site is still somewhat archaic in its production value, but that's on the list to change soon!

First, I've added Celebrations by Studio Picotee. This is our offering of custom invitations and party designs. Wedding season is fast approaching, so get on the docket soon! Babies, birthdays, and all sorts of other reasons to celebrate are on the horizon, so please let me know if we can help you with anything from ideas to invitations.

Next, I just went to a talk about Art in the City, and it inspired me to get the 2007 Old Enough to Buy Art 3 show started. One of the things discussed was that San Francisco won't become a mecca for the arts because there aren't enough buyers. I hope to change that by getting us all to think about the value of buying art, along with the value of making it. Check out the website to see pictures from last year, and start thinking about submitting something or volunteering to help this year.

And lastly, a short summary of the past 6 months:
**Opening March 31 - Wag Hotels San Francisco (14th St, behind Rainbow Grocery)
Studio Picotee has designed the permanent signage and retail graphics and consulted on a number of other retail and design concerns for this new store and pet hotel. Come check it out!

** trade show booth
Studio Picotee concepted and designed this booth to support's message and highlight their special products during their managers' conference in Kansas City.
I got a very nice note upon completion of the show from the project manager: "I just wanted to let you know that the space was well received in KC, to put it lightly. Everyone from Merchandising to Marketing LOVED it. They've said it was the best show ever, and I want to thank you for your help in conceptualizing the space and executing on the design."

**Power of Two branding and on-line games

Studio Picotee has acted as Creative Director for the Power of Two, a relationship counseling practice that was recently awarded a hefty federal grant to produce content to promote lasting relationships among unwed pregnant couples. This has been a great challenge – not only in design, but also in managing multiple contractors to get the work done, expanding my skills into the interactive realm, and getting my head around a new area of content – pregnancy and expecting parents. I'll share the games in the next update – they're about to roll off the line soon!

**Gap training tools
One of the nicest things about this new gig is getting to keep in touch with old friends by continuing to work with them at the Gap. I have been able to support the Learning and Development team by designing magazines and other training tools that go into the Gap stores. In keeping with my newfound area of expertise, I have been focusing a lot on the kids, baby and maternity business.

**Belly Bar branding and design support
Again – on that pregnancy line, I've found a client who has a fantastic product which makes it a lot of fun to design for. Belly Bar makes nutrition bars for expecting moms (and they're good for women in general!). Studio Picotee has been supporting their design needs from web banners to magazine ads, from shelf talkers to brand identity.

There's been more in there too, but these are some highlights for now. So far, so good! I'm looking forward to what the next 6 months bring!