design

Creating Dynamic Product Packaging

Packaging your product will make or break its sales. Regardless of how high-quality, useful, or important your product is, its wrapper or box gives its first impression. There’s a reason specific brands have higher appeal than generic imitations, no matter how good or bad one or the other is. Make your products stand out from the rest! Use your packaging to its fullest effect with these tips.

Get the Message Right

The packaging needs to support the product. Your company has a story and your products are the characters. Tell your story through the packaging. Explain your mission, vision and promise. Give the viewer insight into what they will experience through buying your product.

This chocolate packaging stands out quite a bit from a typical plastic-wrapped Hershey’s bar, doesn’t it? Its fonts and copy speak to a more sophisticated, maybe more health-conscious audience. But that’s not the only thing that makes it stand out; the earthy-toned cardboard box uses texture and color that also appeals to consumers looking for a healthy sweet without the bright, loud, fake frills of other brands.

What does your box say about what’s inside?

Sneak Peeks

Where you’re able, let consumers get a glimpse of your product in creative ways. People like to see what they’re getting. But it’s not enough just to show your product; you’ll need to show it in a way that reinforces your branding.

Trident did just that with this packaging. It immediately shows not only what their product is for, but serves as a reminder for their brand. Trident gum bases its marketing around being better for teeth than other brands of gum. Showing white, clean teeth with their packaging in this way shows, not just tells, how their brand is all about teeth.

Related: How to Design Product Packaging That Sells

The Power of Touch

If your product isn’t about food or other edible items, you may also allow buyers to touch it. This applies to items like clothing, yarn or fabric, or other items with weight and texture. This lets your customers see the quality of it right away.

Can’t let someone touch the product before buying? Want to spice up a food package? You can still use the power of touch on your packaging! At Divvy, we can create branded packaging with digital foil or spot UV varnish to create texture that makes almost any package that much more interesting to hold.

 

Remember that your packaging includes more than just the box! Your brand can be a sort of package, encompassing everything about your marketing campaign. Using the brand and the story your company needs to tell will help you get the most out of your packaging, whatever medium you choose.

If you’re interested in a partner to help you tell your brand story, contact Divvy today. We create branded print materials for your franchise and marketing campaigns, automatically ordered and shipped to every location.

Common Outdoor Signage Mistakes

Designing for the great outdoors–like on the outside of your building or near a freeway–is very different from the design on interior signage. Because of the difference, sometimes designers and businesses make some crucial mistakes. They forget to account for the fact that these designs are outdoors. And because of that, their marketing efforts go to waste. Here are some big mistakes you can avoid making when you create outdoor signage.

4. Sticky Fingers and Vandals

Depending on your area or how long you need to leave up your signs, you may need to add security measures. Many signs become subject to graffiti or vandalization. While you can’t prevent all vandals (think of graffiti under bridges!), you can make your signs easier to clean. Use a laminate to make spray paint come off easily.

3. Even Signs Need Sunscreen

Just as the sun can damage your skin without sunscreen, it can ruin your signs! Outdoor signs need UV-resistant inks to keep from fading. If your design won’t be outside longer than a day, you can continue using water-based inks. However, if you intend long-term marketing, you need those special inks!

2. Weather? What Weather?

Similarly, some printers or designers forget to create signs to be weather-proof! It’s obvious that paper and paper substrates won’t stand up in a rainstorm. But that’s not the only thing to consider. For example, some inks might suffer under moisture. Your sign itself might be vulnerable to extreme temperatures, melting or cracking under certain kinds of weather. Or, a powerful storm might carry away a banner or break a hard sign in two. Again, if you need your sign to be outside for more than a day, create it to survive the weather–whatever that may be.

1. Indoor vs. Outdoor Design

Outdoor signage needs to be seen from a distance. Especially if your target audience is driving, you have to get your message across quickly. Not everyone will have time or the inclination to come up close and read dozens of words on your banner. Plus, a driver trying to catch a complicated message on your billboard or banner can become a distracted danger on the road in seconds.

Make sure your words are few and very large. Not only that, make sure someone can easily read them in a hurry. Don’t use difficult-to-read fonts or complex ideas. If you can, let a picture and a brief tagline speak for you.

 

When it comes to marketing for your business, Divvy can create signage on a wide variety of substrates meant to withstand the great outdoors. You’ll successfully promote your business or event in any weather!

Best Business Footer Design Elements

Every aspect of a business’s website should be visually appealing and on brand. Though we hate to admit it, the old adage “You can’t judge a book by it’s cover” is often ignored. Judgement happens with one glance, and if a business’s website looks unprofessional, loads slowly, or otherwise disappoints the viewer, they won’t linger long. To convert more viewers into customers, every aspect of your website must look professional, including the footer.

Some companies neglect footer design because all of the important information is included above, right? And today, who’s really going to take the time to scroll all the way to the bottom for elements that can already found elsewhere on the page? But the footer can convert viewers into customers when designed right. Consider the following successful business footer design elements.

Simplicity

After scrolling through the entire webpage, viewers don’t want to be inundated with another novel’s worth of information. Instead, keep both the design and provided information simple, clean, and minimal. Limit your footers to including a handful of these possible elements:

  • Copyright Information – Most webpages include copyright information in the footer, and applying this standard will make your information easy to find. As a bonus, the copyright info is then available on each page without becoming overbearing.
  • Navigation – Secondary navigation can be useful in the footer. Consider including navigation elements such as “back to top” or links to additional pages so that your viewer doesn’t have to waste time scrolling all the way back to the top to reach the main navigation menu.
  • About – Consider sharing just a little bit about your company. People who take the time to scroll all the way to the bottom of the page are more likely to take the time to learn more about your business.
  • Special Offers – When a person reaches the bottom of the page, they often exit out of the website. After all, they’ve reached the end. However, by including special offers or discount information at the bottom of the page, you can encourage viewers to explore deeper into your site.
  • Social Media – Once again, the footer offers one last valuable chance to connect with your viewer before they leave your website. Guide where they go – to your social media pages. Include icons with active links for opportunities to connect with your viewers across different social media platforms.
  • Contact – As a viewer examines your page, they will accumulate questions. Make answering them easy by guiding them directly into a contact form where they can learn more about your business. Include business hours, and additional contact opportunities, such as an email or phone number.
  • SEO – Search Engine Optimization makes your website easier to find on the web. The footer is a great place to include SEO elements, such as keywords, to help viewers find your website more easily.

All of these elements can create great business footer design. Though it isn’t necessary to use all of them, implementing the ones that can most benefit your business will help your company succeed. See examples of successful footers here.

Hierarchy

Guide people where to look by making the most important information stand out. If you’d like to utilize the footer to guide people to social media, place those icons front and center at an eye-catching (but not overbearing) size. By using size, color, and placement, you can guide people where to look and click.

Contrast & Readability

When designing your business footer, make sure the information is easy to read. Otherwise, people who wish to learn more about your business will be unable to. Be sure your footer text has high contrast and clear fonts.

Stay on Brand

Lastly, be sure that when designing the business footer, you stay on brand. Use the same elements that represent your company and are visual on the rest of the page, such as fonts and colors.

 

Looking for more ways to stay on brand and reach your audience? Contact us in the form below.

 

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Common Marketing Terms and Jargon

If you’re just digging into marketing and business social media possibilities for the first time, you may find yourself battling through unfamiliar marketing terms and jargon. Below, we’ve compiled a list of ten of our most common marketing jargon that our clients sometimes find confusing. Hopefully it can help you as you begin to navigate the world of business social media.

Outbound Marketing

TV adds, print ads, junk mail, and radio ads are all forms of outbound marketing. This tactic is used to reach as wide an audience as possible to introduce a variety of people to a company.

Inbound Marketing

More affordable, and less interruptive than outbound marketing, inbound marketing seeks to create quality content targeted to a specific audience. Think of direct mail campaigns addressed to people who have already expressed interest in similar products, internet advertisements focused on people who have searched for similar products, or even links on social media that address questions or concerns. Inbound marketing helps a user find what they are already looking for.

Call-to-Action

Like it sounds, the call-to-action is meant to be a message that prompts a reader to do something. Call-to-actions can appear in a variety of formats, form a line of text saying “Find us on Facebook” to “Add to Cart” buttons. Learn more about creating a powerful call-to-action by clicking here.

HTML

This stands for Hypertext Markup Language, the language web pages are written in. It’s more commonly referred to as “code” or “coding”. With the templates available, a new business owner doesn’t have to be fluent in coding to design a website, but a basic understanding is invaluable for adding unique elements to a page and for identifying the cause of a misbehaving website.

Responsive Design

When talking about websites with our clients, we often bring up the value of responsive design. Having responsive design means that the formatting of your webpages will adjust to meet the size of the internet browser window it is displayed in. Having responsive design will ensure that your website looks great across all sorts of different devices, from desktop monitors, to laptops, to iPads, and iPhones! Responsive design means your website is always user friendly.

Analytics

Analytics is gathering and evaluating data, to find important patterns in the business’ reception. We use analytics all the time to see which blog posts gather the most attention, which days are best for posting content, and to find out which sort of devices readers are coming from so that we can make sure our website is optimized to meet all user needs. By finding patterns in your business’ analytics, you can learn which tactics are most successful for inbound marketing.

Content

Often when talking with clients about creating powerful social media, we’ll discuss content. Content comes in a variety of forms, from blog posts, to videos, to social media postings, photo sharing, or even podcasts. Content is the information we share. Like this blog post, for example!

Keyword

Keywords, or even keyword phrases, are the focus of an article’s content. Use it wisely to increase SEO, but avoid overusing the word, or risk being marked as spam. The keywords selected should focus on words your target audience would use to find out more about your content. For example, the keyword phrase for this article is “marketing terms and jargon”. Learn more about how we used our keyword phrase below in SEO.

SEO

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, effects how webpages appear in search engine results. The better your SEO, the more likely you are to pop up on that first page of google. SEO is enhanced by properly using powerful keywords that viewers are likely to search. The most common location of SEO keywords are the titles of articles, the first paragraph of articles, and article subheadings. But to increase SEO, those keywords can also appear in sneaky places, such as the name of an uploaded photo file, or even the meta description on Google.

Meta Description

What is a Meta Description you ask? Any time you plug a keyword into google, you’ll see dozens of examples. The meta description is the snippet of information just below an article’s title. It briefly summarizes the content of the article, which is why having the keyword there is so powerful.

Interested in learning more about marketing? Be sure to follow our Pinterest Boards for business tips, social media hacks, and inspiration for powerful branding.

Designing the Perfect Blog Sidebar

When designing a blog for business, the blog should appear as clean and professional as the business. In particular, the sidebar shouldn’t be overbearing or overwhelming. After all, the sidebar should come second to content. Create the perfect blog sidebar by following these guidelines.

Sidebar Size

One sidebar keeps the design of a webpage clean and simple, but even one can be overwhelming if it is made too large. Find the perfect size for your blog’s sidebar by following the golden ratio approach, which says that the width of the sidebar should be about 38%, or roughly 1/3 the width of your display area.

Hierarchy

Not only should the sidebar be equal to (not higher than) the content on the page, but the widgets within the sidebar should also have a hierarchy. The most important widgets should appear above the “fold line” or rather, should be visible without the need to scroll.  n average, most sidebars are stacked as follows:

  • About – To be polite, it’s best to start with a small introduction. Your About section should quickly tell your reader about yourself, your company, and/or your brand. Use a picture in this section for recognition and branding.
  • Social Media – Showing the reader other ways to contact the brand is imperative. After all, the point of a sidebar is to drive action, and show people how they can find more of your content. Links to social media can quickly help readers navigate to more of your content.
  • Archives and Search – Make sure readers can navigate the blog itself. Show archive, preferably as a drop down menu so that it doesn’t come across as overwhelming or overbearing. Additionally, include a search box so that readers can quickly locate the information they are searching for.

Looking for more ideas of what to include or not include in the sidebar? Check out these suggestions.

Eye-Catching

The sidebar should be appealing, but not overwhelming. Pictures catch attention, and should consequently be sued with care. Limit images to sections you’d like to draw attention to, such as the About section.

Next, consider the content itself. Make sure everything is cleanly labeled so that readers can quickly and accurately find what they are looking for. Consider setting these labels in a font slightly larger than the text in the main content. Again, the information should be noticeable, but not overwhelming.

Avoid Clutter

Remember, the sidebar doesn’t need to (and shouldn’t) include every widget available. Use the sidebar to draw attention to additonal information the reader will find useful. After all, the point of the sidebar is to draw readers deeper into the website. Having too much clutter happening in the sidebar will feel overbearing, causing readers to avert their gaze from the visual mess. Don’t be afraid to remove any sidebar content that is dull or unnecessary.

 

What widgets do you find most beneficial in your sidebar? Tell us in the comments below!

5 Secrets to Creating Eye-Catching Business Cards

If you need a business card you’ll want one that, not only represents your brand, but that catches attention. Consider these five ways to create eye-catching business cards.

Shape

2 inch by 3 1/2 inch is the standard business card size because they fit perfectly into wallets. However, that standard size can also get lost in the shuffle of credit cards and coupons. By using a unique shape, your business card can stand out. Is there something about your brand that translates into a unique business card cut?

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Material

If you want to keep the standard card size, but still cause a stir when you pull out a card, consider printing them on a unique substrate. What sort of material matches your company? Wood? Clear plastic? Metal? Something else? One of the companies featured below stamped their bakery information into an edible biscuit!

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Useful

Nothing will convince someone to keep your business card on hand like making it useful! Get creative with your card by finding a way to turn your business card into a literal tool that fits your brand.

eyecatching-business-cards-useful

Design

You don’t have to go extreme to stand out in a cluttered wallet. Something as simple as bold colors and an asymmetrical design, can draw attention.

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Foil

Nothing is more eye-catching than something that shimmers. Colored foils, used as the main design or as an accent, add class to any business card.

eyecatching-business-cards-foil

 

It’s fun to design business cards. Be sure, as you do though, to avoid these common mistakes.

Looking for more ideas for creative business cards? Check out our Pinterest board.

 

20 Creative direct mail marketing pieces

Direct mail continues to be one of the most successful marketing tactics ever developed. When done right, it has a response rate of over five percent.

What does your direct mail marketing piece say about you?

Businesses respond to the personal touch that’s delivered along with the marketing piece. What you send your potential costumers will demonstrate your dedication and showcase your character.

If a business receives something as bland as a simple postcard from you, what can they assume your business is like? First, they can assume you’re cheap. Second, they can assume you’re not creative; and without including a personal touch they can assume you really don’t care to have their business.

Your direct mail should be different. Show them how creative you can be, and show them you care by sending them something they can enjoy in their office or share with the staff.

Get inspired with these creative direct mail pieces.

direct mail

For creative direct mail ideas contact us at Divvy. We’ll help you put your best foot forward as you expand your business.

 

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