Field Notes Blog
News and thoughts on UI/UX, web design, and more.
A few days ago I met with a new client in need of help updating her logo and business cards. Although most of what I do is web work, I've been doing graphic design since 1997 and I still really enjoy it. Print work can be wonderfully easy compared to coding (although not always!) and it keeps my design chops in shape. So, I happily began gathering ideas.
She explained that her business model was changing due to some advance training she was completing. This would also change her services and, really, the very things that make her business unique. I began to realize that what she really needed was a mini-workshop on her branding and marketing. We needed to look at her new offerings and clientele in order to update her logo and create her new cards in an effective, audience-focused way.
With this in mind, today I created a new design service I'm calling the Business Cards package. Unlike simply ordering new cards, it includes a mini-branding consultation, fresh layouts, revisions, printing, delivery and even the master files. It is so, SO common to meet people who hate their business cards because they're boring, don't match their other materials, or just no longer represent who they are. Likewise, pretty much every small business owner I meet is interested in any help with marketing. While I still do simple updates and re-orders too, I'm really excited about approaching business card makeovers (and new cards too) in this more integrative manner.
My small web design & development business has recently shifted focus completely and I’m super excited about what this means for my clients, my business and the future. When I began working for myself in 2003 my job was to create great websites and be available (often seven days a week) for edits and updates. Those changes were emailed to me by clients, I then fired up trusty Dreamweaver, Photoshop and Flash and got the updates done as quickly as possible. About 70% of what I provided was ongoing service. It was a challenge to respond to requests as quickly as expected – especially when a lot of requests came in simultaneously – and getting away on vacation was really tough. I did teach many people how to use Flash and Dreamweaver but for most folks, the learning curve on those apps was just too steep. In the same way that we don’t need to know how a car works in order to drive one, I’ve always felt that one shouldn’t have to know xhtml & css to be able to maintain a website. Finally, with a new breed of user-editable website platforms I’m seeing this come to pass and the old 70% service model is (wonderfully!) shifting.
About the author
As the owner of Pixel Lava Interactive I've helped hundreds of small businesses and nonprofits with websites, graphic design and more. I hope you'll find this blog full of useful information.
~ Ame Stanko