Whether you know it or not, graphic design has been a part of your life for as long as you can remember. That billboard you saw on your way to work this morning? It was designed by a graphic designer. A graphic designer created the layout of that magazine you read in the waiting room and that business card held to your fridge by a magnet. Even the logo and label on the package of your favorite product is an example of graphic design.
Then the Internet came along and opened up the world of digital graphic design. Nowadays, you’re much more likely to see the work of graphic designers on a web site or social media platform through things like ads, videos, and downloadable brochures. Technically, when you creatively added that filter or emoji to your Instagram picture before posting it, you were dabbling in design. That’s what graphic design is, really. It’s creatively making a visual to share a message with others.
Of course, doing that for a business is a bit more complex and it’s a critical part of any digital marketing campaign. That’s where a professional graphic design company like Crystal Coast Technologies comes in. We listen to the message you want to get out and create visuals to explain or enhance that message.
Every business needs an impactful logo that visually represents what the business is all about. It’s usually the first thing that potential customers see, so it should be memorable and eye-catching without being overly complicated. Think of all the ways the logo will be used: printed on business cards and flyers, screen-printed on t-shirts. If the logo is in color, will it be embroidered? If so, does the embroiderer have thread in the exact color used in your logo? Will the logo still look good when it shows up in black and white on a fax? (Yes, some people still fax). Those are some of the first questions we ask because those answers directly affect how the designer will actually create the logo. [If you’re looking for a few examples, check out our logo portfolio.]
While a lot of graphic design has moved to digital mediums, there’s still something to be said for a high-quality, well-designed business card. They’re one of the few printed materials that have stood the test of time and continue to be useful marketing tools. Most people have a few business cards stuck to their fridge, and for a lot of people, it’s their first introduction to a business. So if you’re looking for a way to market your company, business cards should definitely be on your list.
In a couple of cases, we only created the design for the client and they used a low-cost printer like Vista Print to create the business cards. That was okay because they wanted a traditionally shaped card on common card stock. But, a printer like Vista Print doesn’t offer the array of special finishes or the ability to use precision laser cuts for custom shapes that we do. So, if you want a custom shape for your card, an extra thick card with a luxurious tactile feel, or a custom emboss or letterpress effect, you’ll probably want to work with a professional designer. In our almost 20 years of business, we’ve built up long term relationships with top-notch vendors who get it right the first time.
You absolutely can use a budget printer and not have any problems. Just take the time to thoroughly read online reviews to see if you may face some challenges, especially if you need the cards quickly. Whomever you use to print the business cards, we are happy to help with the design (see some design examples here).
Did you know?: 63% of those shopping for a product start their search with Amazon. [ref: MarketingCharts.com]
Like business cards, a well-designed brochure still has a place in a marketing campaign. Here on the North Carolina coast, visitors to Emerald Isle will see rack cards almost everywhere they go. These are a type of brochure in that they quickly draw attention to your business’ services or products and provide contact information. Then there are the more traditional brochures that are designed for trade shows or sales presentations. Whatever the case, we can design exactly what you need and get it printed for you or give you the design files for you to use the printer of your choice. Here are a few examples of our brochure designs.
We pride ourselves in our ability to design graphics that capture attention and deliver the message, whether it’s vinyl banners at trade shows, t-shirts and hoodies, promotional products, or digital ads on social media or search engines. You simply tell us what message you want to get across, and our team of skilled designers will work with you to create visuals that achieve your marketing goals.
In a couple of cases, we’ve done the graphic design for the client and they’ve used a low-cost printer like Vista Print to actually produce the items. That worked fine for some because they wanted a traditionally shaped card on common card stock or they had some flyers that were for a one-time event and didn’t want to spend a lot on printing. So we designed the graphics, sent them the files, and everything worked perfectly.
However, a low-cost printer like Vista Print doesn’t offer the array of special finishes, custom die cutting or precision laser cuts for custom shapes that we do. So if you want a custom shape for your card or you want an extra thick card with a luxurious tactile feel, or you want an emboss or letterpress effect, you’ll probably want to work with a professional designer. In our almost 20 years of business, we’ve built up long term relationships with top-notch printers who get it right the first time. If you read online reviews of budget printers, you’ll see some challenges you may face. As mentioned, they may do fine for you. Just take the time to thoroughly check, especially if you need the materials quickly. Whomever you use for printing, we are happy to help with the design and even coordinate with your printer if needed.
And, most importantly, if you already work with a local printer who does a good job for you, please stick with them. They work hard and you’re supporting a small business. Don’t throw that relationship away!
In most cases, the best graphic design companies don’t even start designing anything for you until they understand a good bit about your business, completely understand your message, and identified your customers’ perspectives. Sometimes a design just “clicks” and it’s a homerun right off the bat but a professional graphic design company or designer will oftentimes do much of the work before creating anything.
There are some super talented graphic design companies out there and when you’re looking for one to create a professional image for your business or marketing campaign, Crystal Coast Technologies would love to be considered.