Let's keep it simple: when it comes to attracting new clients, you don't want to be pushing anything. People can tell when they're being sold something. The best brands in the world have people coming to THEM because of reputation and exceptional products. Maybe you have both of those things; I'm not saying you don't. But the best (and easiest) way to attract new followers to your brand is through awesome social media content! The first step is to set yourself up on these two platforms: Twitter and Instagram. Hopefully your brand already has a Facebook page, but if you don't, go ask your Aunt Shirley to set you up with that (she's on it, trust me) and then get back to this post. TWITTER Twitter is one of the best ways to communicate quickly and efficiently (read: FREE) with your consumers. It's like answering questions and receiving feedback but without the hassle of real mail or a long response. […]
One of the most challenging and elusive aspects of building a business is creating this thing called a “brand.” It's not like a machine where you can just write a check and it gets “installed” next week. You can't go to a website and choose the type of brand you want from a menu – and check out. That being said, if this were possible, the people least likely to ever build a brand for their business are those who'd select the “Standard Brand” over the “Premium Brand,” given a choice. You can't even hire a service provider or marketing company to create a brand. At least, not without your company's full participation and adherence to what the “brand experts” tell you to do. (For example, we could help you create a brand, but it's like trying to lose 30 pounds with a trainer and never following the meal plan – the pounds aren't coming off.) Creating a brand is […]
Every company has to have a brochure. Yet, Ebola isn't really up to speed yet with "his" brochure because, well, his fame came suddenly this time around and he just wasn't prepared. Be Prepared with Marketing Materials When you land yourself on worldwide television nightly, as Ebola has, be prepared before it happens. Nothing is worse than having your name and information given out all day long on every television station in the world, day after day, and not having a single piece of positive marketing material ready. Ebola is that victim, as the media caught him with his pants down. The best exposure anyone can ever dream of getting and Ebola had zip, nada, not a thing to hand out. How to stop Ebola is a mystery! Why? Because Ebola doesn't have a brochure, that's why. It has been weeks and still, Ebola doesn't have a brochure! So, even with the best coverage the world can give him, he […]
Of course, you want your giveaway calendar that you print to be way cooler than that other guy's. You know that guy. He's that guy that is always kissing up to the boss and gets the great sales bonuses because of it. Yeah, “that guy.” It is time to totally outdo that guy with spectacular free calendars that feature your name and phone number for your clients. You don't have to buy a lame stock calendar. Print a cool calendar. Give them away for free. Bury “that guy” in sales this year. The Calendar from Hell Okay, maybe not a calendar from Hell, exactly, more like graveyard. How about your free calendars featuring zombies this year? Every month features a zombie in a new and interesting pose in print. February is a month for Valentines and zombies like to hook up, too! Pose your zombies proposing marriage or loving a tasty bite of human flesh with hearts all around. A […]
Imagine a group of flat sheets being sent into space, and then organizing themselves into a satellite. It really seems like some low-budget 1950's science fiction movie. Except for the fact that it'll actually be available. Eventually. As last week saw the world's first robot to fold itself and start working without human interaction. A team at Harvard and MIT created the self-folding robot, inspired by the complex 3-D shapes constructable with origami which were recently published in the journal Science. Sam Felton, a graduate student at Harvard University, says that the robot is made from composite paper, a bendable circuit board and uses the toy, Shrinky Dinks. When heated, the sheet shrinks into small, hard forms. These materials allow for the quick construction of cheap robots, but eventually, Felton said, better materials will help people build objects in places that are more difficult to reach. The self-folding robot that they created is kind of modest, but the future applications […]
There are innumerable reasons for not hiring a particular designer, but these we can reduce to warning bells which can typically warn an employer (or contract employer) that a particular designer will be more trouble than he, or she is worth. LUCKILY, Hotcards doesn't have any of these types of designers, which means you're pretty much assured an awesome experience if you hire us to handle your next design project! (Shameless plug 😉 The Deity – designers of this type simply can't do any wrong. Everything that they do is like manna from heaven, regardless of what your impression of it is. Arrogant doesn't quite cut it, as that's a personality flaw that can be overcome if there's adequate talent on display.This is more akin to a kind of deluded arrogance that is inexplicable. Certainly not someone who you'd like to collaborate with given a choice. The Safe-player – These are designers who don't stand out much. They have basic […]
It's that time of the year when the perpetual act of political campaigning pushes into hyper-drive in advance of the fall elections, so that means Hotcards must again do its part in cheerleading the process. Like virtually any printing business, we're up to our ears in direct mail pieces and lawn signs this time of the year, and naturally we have our favorite mediums. In fact, we'll go out on a limb and state that we think direct mail pieces are the most sensible thing a candidate can employ. And employ often! That's our suggestion anyway. Now, it does depend on how much attention is paid to creation of the thing. A slothfully-created, black and white piece of campaign literature isn't gonna sway anyone but the candidate's mother. But a well-put-together, four color piece which at least takes a stab at persuasion is more than likely to be a home run. It may be a two run homer when the […]
It's a sad day indeed when individuals purloin the hard work of others and present it as their own work.Call it desperation, a lack of pride, or cases of shameless hackery on parade – but the net result is the same: Representing another's work as your own. For shame, I say. Why did you get into this line of work to begin with if not for the satisfaction of work well done? It kind of makes one's skin crawl a little, but now, without further ado, shameful logo rip-offings, courtesy of the logo rip off catchers at Logothief.com. It was noble of the offending sushi bar designer to white out some details in the sushi bar design they ripped off. The logo is testimony to the lack of freshness in the place, however. There's just no way in heck that two people pull this visual image out of the atmosphere. Sometimes great minds do think alike, but this ain't one […]
The world is positively swimming in people who see themselves as t-shirt designers/ illustrators. Ads for their puntastic-abominations are everywhere on the internet, and in most cases, the stuff is pretty much… well, you get it. One exception is a chap from Malaysia by the name of Chow Hon Lam aka Flying Mouse, who lets people have it with both barrels when he unleashes a t-shirt design. There’s an element of absurdity as there pretty much always is with this stuff, but the concepts and illustrations go farther than the usual pun stuff. They’re pretty funny!
It’s time once again to ooh and ahh at the lovely posters that designers hath made. Yes, the National Poster Retroprospectus is here. Well, maybe not where you are, but it is worming its way around the country. No word on just how many of the posters were fabricated simply to fish for such acclaim, but does that even matter? They’ve been made, and now they’re being celebrated. In all, there will be 300 posters on display crafted by luminary artists and designers. (Who do you consider the most famous poster designer? Maybe Shepard Fairey?) Here are some of the posters that will be on display at the NPR.