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Going Back to High School

Last week I had the opportunity to speak at Brunswick High School to a class learning essentially the programs I use on an everyday basis in High School. They are getting the opportunity to use Adobe products like Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign and that is freaking awesome! When I was initially asked to speak there was never a moment of nervousness. I immediately went to a place of excitement because I love working with people, especially kids! I made some quick notes on my phone and in my head, but basically, the speech was not planned at all. Do I encourage this, probably not but I wanted to be in the moment and speak from experience and from the heart. Kids don’t do Powerpoints well, and I knew I would lose a couple of them with the monotony of that, so I sat down in front of them at eye level and went for it. I was honest; I explained why I did not finish college and that I eventually changed my mind in my career path. Did I say they shouldn’t go to college, never once BUT I made it clear that we all have a different path and if you cannot afford to go there are options. When all was said and done, I think it went reasonably well, and I thought I would share some of my thoughts on what I have learned as a small business owner.

Put yourself out there.

Even when the work sucks and you are scared, be brave enough to take the first step, so the second step is more natural. Practice makes things to make them better. It’s not just the drawing or painting that is the practice; it’s also the process of practicing to accept your art and not beating yourself up for it. We live in a social media world, and you are putting yourself out there so much more than ever before. It’s complicated and beautiful at the same time, be brave.

Find your people.

People who inspire you, people who will support you, people you admire, people to collaborate with. Be yourself in who you are and in your art, do not try to be what others think you should become because you will fail every time. People who are part of your tribe will support you, the real you and those are your people.

Never stop learning.

I don’t mean tests. I say never stop learning by taking classes that focus on your end goal. Get outside and go to art museums, concerts, festivals. Push yourself when you feel uncomfortable and attend something you usually wouldn’t just for the experience like volunteering. People of all ages need good mentors. When you open up and try new things, it makes you see things from another point of view so never be hesitant to do that.

Mistakes are your friend.

It’s the hardest way to learn, and we try so hard not to make mistakes, but I promise you it’s the best way to learn. You might learn how never to do it again or you might a way that worked better. Mistakes are your friend, don’t be afraid to make them.

 

Special thanks to empireskyco.com for the photo.

What is a Submark?

I know I sound like a broken record when I say designing a brand has changed I don’t want you to forget, kidding, but it truly has.

We no longer need just a logo for our business card and a sign out front of the office. We now need logos, alternate logos, and submarks. I see your face and either you don’t believe me or you are thinking what’s a submark?

A submark is a small brand mark that is similar to your logo but sort of a mini version of your logo. Let me show you an example.

Logo’s bring attention to your brand, alternate logos continue that momentum.

 

LOGO                                                                                                                    ALTERNATE LOGO

 


SUBMARK LOGOS

 

 

 

 

The purpose of a submark is to continue the consistency of your brand through areas such as social media, printed materials, or your website. It can get redundant seeing the same logo design again and again so by changing the design but being true to your brand you can create a seamless look. This submark would work well as a photo overlay as below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In this client’s case, they were looking for a mark that could be burned onto their wood products where you could identify them for years to come. This submark was the perfect use for that!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope this makes the term submark a little clearer for you. They are a great asset to any brand and in the simplest terms they just continue to make people aware of your product or service.

 

 

 

Free Printable Holiday Menus in Golden Isles Magazine!

The Story

A few months ago I received a call from the editor of The Golden Isles Magazine. She asked if I was interested in doing a DIY holiday place settings article for their fall/winter issue. Might sound like an odd request given my profession at first, but in my mind, I thought…”YAASSSS!” before she even finished her sentence. Within an hour I had three ideas ready to go. Honestly, I kind of thought she may think I was crazy because called her back immediately but I went for it. Good news, she didn’t run, and we were both on the same page! My mind works quickly, and most of the time the first ideas are my best ideas so, it’s a blessing and a curse.

A week later, Irma came. A hurricane of any magnitude throws your entire life off course, it can often take weeks or months to get life back on track. Small businesses suffer, families struggle but a magical thing also happens, we all forget our differences and help each other. It’s the silver lining if you can possibly call it that.

Once life returned to somewhat normal, we revisited the article idea and arranged for a photoshoot. What a great experience to see this side of the process. I am so happy to share the free holiday printables I designed for the project with you.

 sss

The Printables from Santa’s Workshop

You can choose the “Blue Snowflakes” design, the “Put a Bird On It” design, the “Festive Red” design or the “Keep it Simple” design. Please feel free to print them out for your personal use at your holiday dinner party this season. If you are interested in having the menu customized, I am happy to add your own menu and dinner guest names. Please contact me for pricing or to create a completely unique menu or invitation for your special event, wedding, or holiday party.

If you missed the article, take a peek here.

I invite you to also follow me on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Is the business card dead?

Interesting thought about business cards, are they really dead? I think this one is a matter of opinion, but in this graphic designers mind, they are most certainly not.

Social media dominates our world. All you have to do is look at the phone book that was recently delivered. That book is an old dinosaur to most folks. I used to sit on the directory as a child when I needed to be higher up to the table, and it weighed quite a few pounds. The recently delivered telephone book was about the size of a journal. The bigger questions is how many times do you refer to that book in your daily life today? Never would be my answer because I go online and search for what I need.

This leads me to the topic of conversation, the business card. Will it soon join its friend in the land of the dinosaurs? I don’t believe so and here is why.

Let’s do a little scenario. You are at a networking event and have to introduce yourself quickly to multiple people. What is the quickest way to do that? Business card.

Second scenario. You have been invited to speak at a monthly meeting, and these people could be your potential clients. You have 3 minutes to leave a lasting impression, and you can hand out materials. Leave the brochure, leave the rack card but make sure you leave the business card too because that is what will get kept. It may go in a bowl or a Rolodex, maybe even thrown into a drawer but it will be there and when they think of you and what will they search for? Business card.

Third and final scenario. An existing client has a meeting and meets someone who could use your services, but you are not there. They chat about you, talk about what a fantastic business you are, it’s a perfect fit. Luckily what does the supporter have to pass on to this possible new customer? Business card.

Ok, I think that is all the role playing we need for now. Hopefully, you are beginning to see my point. In our world today I still firmly believe you need a card to identify and remind people what you do. A friend recently told me she heard a podcast where they were discussing why you no longer need business cards because social media was your story. I believe that is partly true. Social media is a great tool for showing people what we do on a daily basis. However, the beginning of the story, the cover of your book starts with you and your business card.

What’s in a Name? Typebird is Revealed!

So many times people have asked me where did the name come from? What’s Typebird mean? I guess maybe it’s time to explain in a little more detail.

This story goes backward. I started with a name, and the real reason for the name came about afterward. I promise it makes sense so please, keep reading.

Traveling home from a long trip, my husband and I started thinking about name choices for my business. As always I start with the domain name first, if you can’t get the website you will have a hard time directing people to find you. Typography has always been a big part of my life because of my profession choice, so that was a no-brainer to try and incorporate. Birds are different. I give people birds. No, not like I gift them birds in a cage, but I make them a bird in my mind. I know it’s silly, but to me, it’s means something. My grandfather was always told that he “watched me like a hawk” so now when I see one it reminds me of him. It’s comforting to me, and so when my husband said Typebird, it worked, and I immediately said that’s it!
During this time my father had been battling cancer. He was a Marine, a veteran who fought in Vietnam. His Cancer had come from being exposed to Agent Orange in the war. I kept thinking, why did it have to surface so many years later right about the time he retired. Sometimes life just isn’t fair. We got a year and a half with my dad after the diagnosis before he passed away. It broke me a little if I am honest, I don’t think one ever truly gets over losing a parent.

My father passed away in the summer and not too long after, a little yellow bird showed up at our house and slept night after night on a tree branch in the front of our house. It took me awhile to figure out what type of bird it was, and I kept saying to my husband, “I don’t know what TYPE of BIRD it is, but I will identify it.” He stayed there every night for three months, same tree, same branch, every night. I checked for him religiously. It ended up being a blue-headed vireo that visited for that whole time. He never came back, and I didn’t expect him to.

So the name sort of came about twice, if you will. I usually explain the first story because the second one is a bit hard to get through and a little deep for a business conversation, but it certainly means more. To feel comfort in something so simple does wonders for the soul. Now, everyday it makes me work harder as a small business owner and an artist. I had a little, feathered cheerleader for a short time that kept me going when I needed it most. Never will I forget that.