nes-maze

Make your Brand More Relevant

by Alexander MorseAlexander Morse is a digital designer and brand consultant at Morse Communication Design. He helps businesses communicate with design. His creative techniques and communication design skills were fostered through his agency-side experience working with a variety of clients from entertainment to retail. He is now focused on end-user, persona-driven interactive and conceptual design […]

by Alexander Morse

Alexander Morse is a digital designer and brand consultant at Morse Communication Design. He helps businesses communicate with design. His creative techniques and communication design skills were fostered through his agency-side experience working with a variety of clients from entertainment to retail. He is now focused on end-user, persona-driven interactive and conceptual design for consumer brands, non-profits, and clients whose message needs to be driven through impactful design.

printing-press

Special Printing Techniques for Graphic Design

Special printing techniques can help you differentiate the way you represent your business, from business cards to direct mail. Here are some production approaches you can make when approaching a design project.

printing on fabric

Printing on fabric

spot uv

Spot UV Printing application on wiper blade packaging

  • UV Coating: This treatment will give you protection from UV rays. But you don’t want to for color fade protection. If you print with a spot UV coating, it will allow you to make certain areas of your card have a glossy shine, making content pop.
  • Screen printing: The technique that is used to make t-shirts can be beneficial as if you are printing on a darker paper. The ink will lay on top of the paper instead of getting absorbing into the paper like traditional commercial printing inks.
  • Folding: Go beyond a standard 2″ x 3.5″ business card size. Create a card with a gatefold or a reveal. hand over a business card that is valuable enough to come in it’s own sheath.
die cut printing

Die cuts allow you to create passthrough teases to content that will be revealed.

  • Diecut: Cut right through your card for an effect that can be used for initials or create shapes that highlight your business.
  • Paper Stock: Try an uncoated paper stock. The tactile nature will give people used to interacting with coated paper in magazine and commercial printing application a distinct perception of quality. Uncoated paper choices include laid, linen, column and felt, amongst others.
  • Emboss: Why print ink on a card when you can smash a customized die strike against paper to create any image you want. If you add a little color to the paper emboss it can create a dramatic effect. If you don’t print anything, it’s called a blind emboss. Be careful, it made be hard to read small letters.
  • Letterpress: Hipsters love Gutenburg. The original printing press was letterpress. Inked wood or steel letters pressed against paper create both a light emboss treatment and inked paper.
  • Foil Stamping: Think hallmark holiday cards, but beyond gold and silver. You can stamp blue, color-shifting foil, black foil to create cards that shine.
printing on plastic

Four color printing on plastic

  • Unusual materials: Current printing technologies allow for all surface printing. Fabrics, transparent and colored plastics, wood veneers, metallic surfaces. Lenticular lenses can create animation techniques when you rotate the card.
  • Pantone Matching System colors (PMS): Offset and digital printing standards mix cyan, magenta, yellow and black to reproduce most colors for realistic photographic reproduction on surfaces. However there are some colors like vivid orange, bright pure colors and fluorescents that are impossible to reproduce in CMYK. Pantone colors are speciality colors created by the Pantone corporation for specifying exact color matches and unique colors not offered by CMYK including metallics and pastels. Designers select colors from a printed book, choose them and printers can reproduce that color instead of matching colors from computer screens that don’t match.

By realizing you have an opportunity to utilize some of these formats you can help position and communicate your business as a premium solution instead of the cheapest solution.

by Alexander Morse

Alexander Morse is a digital designer and brand consultant at Morse Communication Design. He helps businesses communicate with design. His creative techniques and communication design skills were fostered through his agency-side experience working with a variety of clients from entertainment to retail. He is now focused on end-user, persona-driven interactive and conceptual design for consumer brands, non-profits, and clients whose message needs to be driven through impactful design.

rebecca lynch the rescue realtor

Brand Identity Launched for Rebecca Lynch, The Rescue Realtor

rebecca lynch the rescue realtorRebecca Lynch, The Rescue Realtor is a real estate agent with a passion for more than just finding you a home in Orlando.

I had the privilege of designing a brand identity for Rebecca Lynch, now known as The Rescue Realtor.

I met Rebecca through our co-volunteering efforts with Poodle and Pooch Rescue of Florida. She has a love for Orlando and a love for dogs and dog rescue, which defines her personal brand. She combined the two into a real estate service that gives back to dogs and animal welfare organizations. She donates a part of her real estate commissions to non-profit Poodle and Pooch Rescue or other 501c3 animal welfare organizations of her client’s choosing.

When you put effort into an innate passion that people can naturally believe in, marketing a service becomes humane instead of a hard sell.

I witnessed her transform a part-time calling to help dogs in need into a full-time effort to help people and dogs. This struck a chord with me. It reminded me that some personal brands are intrinsically born with emotional currency, which is forever sought after in marketing and advertising. When you put effort into an innate passion that people can naturally believe in, marketing a service becomes humane instead of a hard sell.

rebecca-lynch-the-rescue-realtorIf a client can understand the joy of having a dog(s) in the home, Rebecca is certainly a choice real estate agent to help guide them in the aspects of selecting a home appropriate for their family, with special considerations for their furry friend.

The logo design

The brand identity features a dog holding a set of keys underneath the casual handcrafted script, “Rescue”. Clients who find The Rescue Realtor online are reminded by the dog with the keys, that it was their love for dogs that led them to an Orlando real estate agent who cares about finding clients and dogs alike the right home.

Her passion for finding everyone the right home can be summed up in a brand promise, “Everyone Deserves the Home of their Dreams”.

About Rebecca:

Rebecca Lynch is a full time licensed professional real estate advisor. Rebecca has lived in Central Florida for the past 20 years. Prior to becoming a real estate agent, Rebecca owned her own business working with title companies, closing real estate transactions and spent the last ten years employed as a supervisor for a large insurance company.

rebecca lynchRebecca is on the board of directors as the President of Poodle and Pooch Rescue of Florida, working with volunteers to rescue dogs abandoned and neglected dogs. Rebecca and her team of nearly 100 volunteers save as many lives as possible to treat, spay and neuter and re-home dogs in need.

“Finding my clients a home, helps our pets to find a home. For me, there’s nothing more rewarding.” -Rebecca Lynch

As a realtor specializing in residential properties, Rebecca brings abundant energy, creativity, dedication and personal knowledge to her work. Rest assured that she stays on top of details to ensure a smooth transaction and is always working in her client’s best interest. If you’re looking for a dedicated, hard working, ethical, round the clock agent, look no further, it would be Rebecca’s pleasure to welcome you home.

by Alexander Morse

Alexander Morse is a digital designer and brand consultant at Morse Communication Design. He helps businesses communicate with design. His creative techniques and communication design skills were fostered through his agency-side experience working with a variety of clients from entertainment to retail. He is now focused on end-user, persona-driven interactive and conceptual design for consumer brands, non-profits, and clients whose message needs to be driven through impactful design.

Should I Crowdsource my logo design process

Should I Crowdsource My Logo Design?

Should I Crowdsource my logo design process

 

Dozens of designs from dozens of designers! Get a wide range of logos for only $99.99! Select your favorite!

This is the promise from crowdsource logo companies. On the surface, crowdsourcing seems like a no-brainer. Choose your logo from a visual smorgasbord at the cost of a family night out to the movies.  But, is it wise to source your logo design like choosing your favorite options at a buffet?  Crowdsourcing logos can look good on the surface, but is raw after you bite into it.

A good logo design process is one where a client informs the designer on the company’s objectives. An active dialogue continues throughout the process. How will the logo serve as a promise to others on service or products customers should come to expect? Does the logo need to be reproducible on a hat? Does it need to be legible at less than two inches wide?

“I’ll know the right design when I see it”. This adage that many logo seekers share, is likely how you arrived at a crowdsourcing notion. Having dozens of logos to choose from! Fast food offers a cheap and large menu of choices, it’s called the dollar menu. You may see more for your buck, but you don’t get more in substance.

Crowdsourced design lacks process and creative development. Logo design is a collaborative process between a client and designer.  The client discusses the problem, looking for a solution with a designer who listens, examines, learns your history, ponders on thought, marinates on some ideas and is able to assess the collected data and prescribe a solution.  Clients and designers discuss target audience, business plan, visual tone, brand promise, and more.  A healthy logo design process includes these milestones established between designer and client. The design brief is a collaboration, insuring both parties understand each others goals. No designer would want to craft a refined logo after initial input, toiling endlessly for hours massaging and reworking a logo design until it is just right, without input from a client along the way.

Originality.  In a logo process be aware of copyright, symbols from stock libraries, and outright plagiarism. Crowdsource designers are in the business of quick-turn around for hundreds of clients who seek logos to slap on their business card. How are they able to dedicate resources to you to get you a logo? Shortcuts. Stock logo libraries and vectors found on the web are often leveraged as a shortcut for crowdsource designers. Is the inspiration or contours of your logo “inspired” from a subscription site or free source online?  Stock illustration sites warn against the usage of downloaded imagery and symbols in the creation of logos.  iStock photo even lists it’s restricted uses,  “No Use in Trademark or Logo. You may not use content as part of a trademark, design mark, tradename, business name, service mark, or logo.”

Stand apart from your competition. Good corporations and organizations stand apart in practice. In turn their logo must stand apart against an array of competitors logos. Are crowdsourced designers running their custom designs against a set of competitors to create a vision for setting your company apart?

A logo is an investment in the business you represent. You are not only investing in a logo design, you are subscribing to a story, a vision, a process. In the process you are investing in how the design got there and how the final design represents the brand you represent. You’ll be able to answer to your stakeholders and customers, why your symbol represents your company or your promotion. Good designers will provide you with this rationale to sell-in the idea to you and insure that the basis for it is well founded.

The best logo design process starts with a conversation and a collaboratively created brief. Ideas are sketched out, presented, revised, tweaked and customized to suit the needs and application of businesses. A truly unique representation of a brand is the ultimate goal, instead of crowdsourced designs where a paper angel of hundreds of razor thin ideas are contrived from a few quick cuts.

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everyone-was-creative-text
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Everyone Was Creative - Creativity in business

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Believing you are not creative is like surrendering your humanity. "I…

 

by Alexander Morse

Alexander Morse is a digital designer and brand consultant at Morse Communication Design. He helps businesses communicate with design. His creative techniques and communication design skills were fostered through his agency-side experience working with a variety of clients from entertainment to retail. He is now focused on end-user, persona-driven interactive and conceptual design for consumer brands, non-profits, and clients whose message needs to be driven through impactful design.

interactive_projectors_hor_wp

TouchJet Interactive Projectors: Novel Digital Presentation Devices or Enterprise Worthy Tech?

interactive projectors

Do interactive projectors fit your presentation style?

Standing in front of the room with a laser pointer in one hand and a powerpoint controller in the other can make a presenter feel like Robocop. Ruling the room with influence, technology and capability, well at least in the 90s, maybe.

Corporations with forward-thinking employees are always looking to leverage technology to advance their message, and digital presentation devices are the “bleeding-edge” of technological implementation.

Presenters are advancing their businesses and themselves using the latest tools to accentuate their messages and stories. If you are traveling to make a sales presentation or pitch a big idea, you are just as concerned with your presentation as you are with executing it. In this regard, often tech has been your enemy. You are managing the transport of projectors, equipment and making sure it functions the same when it arrives as it did in your office.

Projectors are ubiquitous with telling stories. Storytelling should be the focus. The tech that drives it should be secondary, and used as an accent once you’ve got your message squared away. Brands and companies have used projectors to maximize the size of their ideas to large and small audiences alike.

Interactive projectors offer another layer of communication capability, and complexity. While they have been around for a few years their usage has been limited to sophistcated classrooms and for internal communications. The upside of their capabilities and creative potentional are enormous. They allow users to interact with them and face their audience simultaneously. Like an acrobat, engaging with their clients, while manipulating their presentation. The difficulty of bringing one with you is that it lacks portability practicality. These projectors are a niche product and you can’t rely on your host site having one.

touchpico2TouchJet, a new interactive projector company has recently released Pond Projector. It’s a self-contained interactive projector built into a housing with an android tablet, speaker and battery. It’s a device smaller than your laptop and is a projector that allows you to play multimedia content.

I’m proposing some reasons to consider incorporating a interactive projector tech into your presentations, including usage tips, benefits, pros and cons, etc.

Making the most out of an interactive project

Why upgrade from my trusty laptop and traditional projector?

We’ve finally graduated from dongle hell and our tech culture has finally settled on HDMI. Why should I consider another way of presenting?

  • Traditional laptop and projector setup has interactivity limitations. Interacting with the laptop, you are not engaged content on the projector, let alone your audience.
  • If you are using an iPad to control the laptop, or direct to projector, you have a similar issue with being appearing distracted with your devices if you are performing more complex interactivity.

Tips for success with Interactive Projector

  • Keep the projector off at first. Introduce yourself and conduct your opener with the lights on.
  • Place yourself in the front of the room, standing, facing your audience, run through your introduction, your agenda. Once you complete the opener, turn on the projector and dim the lights.
  • Bring a sturdy, carbon-fiber, light-weight collapsible tripod for mounting the portable projector. It is preferable if the tripod can collapse to desktop height for maximum flexibility. You want to avoid a shaky projection during your presentation.
  • Portable projectors can run off of batteries. Consider a portable auxiliary battery powered solution for extending the duration of your projector runtime and to take advantage of avoiding running it via the included AC Adapter to your host’s power supply.
  • Separate your projector presentation from your presentation opener. Since your projector presentation relies on manipulated the light of the room to allow the presentation to be easily seen on the wall. You’ll want to make sure your audience can see you deliver your confident opener.
  • Portable projectors are small enough to have a backup in case something goes wrong.
  • Bring a portable projection screen if you are unsure you will have access to one.
  • Use Android software to automatically launch your key presentation upon wake from sleep or powerup.


The benefits

  • The stylus can interact with the projector by clicking the stylus against the wall or performing a floating click. You can click on an auxiliary button on the pen allowing you to physically further away from the wall if you choose to be.
  • You are able to position your shoulders to your audience and interact with the presentation in complex ways other than “Back” and “Forward”.
  • You are able to develop presentations more complex than that of a powerpoint. You can build a presentation that is gesture sensitive or enable whiteboard features overtop anything you project.
  • Portability. It’s only a couple of pounds and is the size of an ice cream sandwich
  • Cost. It is one of the less expensive projectors on the market.

The cons

  • The small package means low lumens. If you are not able to control the light in your host room, it will be difficult to see your images, even at maximum brightness.
  • People who love their laptops might find it clunky to transition to an Android tablet solution. They run powerpoint.

There are multitudes of other interactive projectors from Epson, BenQ and others that offer similar features. These devices are in larger form factors. There are android phones that offer non-interactive projector capabilities.

It is easy to get overwhelmed with the amount of options in our tech laden culture. Whichever digital presentation device you choose, just remember to stick to the contents of your message first.

I’m basing this article on my experience with an interactive android based projector device from TouchJet called “Pond”. I was made aware of it in a Kickstarter campaign in October 2014. At the time it was called TouchPico Projector.

by Alexander Morse

Alexander Morse is a digital designer and brand consultant at Morse Communication Design. He helps businesses communicate with design. His creative techniques and communication design skills were fostered through his agency-side experience working with a variety of clients from entertainment to retail. He is now focused on end-user, persona-driven interactive and conceptual design for consumer brands, non-profits, and clients whose message needs to be driven through impactful design.

100-ways-trade-show-booth-main-attraction

100 Ways to Make Your Trade Show Booth the Show’s Main Attraction

100-ways-trade-show-booth-main-attraction

You know you can get more out of your booth presence. You are working hard to find an edge to make your brand shine a little brighter getting your booth a more attraction than last event. With a few steps, you are sure to get an edge on your competitors, and increase your ability to make a sale.

I’ve assembled a comprehensive list of techniques to help you take your booth to the next level. Arm yourself with a fresh perspective on brainstorming your booth design. And most importantly, impress trade show attendees by highlighting your brand’s purpose vividly.

Start with a 30000 Foot View

Before you start picking out tablecloths, funky chairs or professional easy grip pens, step back and conduct a planning phase. Rushing into cobbling together a booth is a recipe for blending in with the masses. With a little planning and audience understanding your brand’s booth stand out at the next trade show.

  1. The Approach.

    Get out a sheet of paper to answer the points on this post page. Understand that it’s best not to jump right into trade show planning and purchasing components. Plan your booth design with the same approach as you would a communications project. Every element should have a purpose for being in your booth. Take a systematic approach to arrive at the appropriate objectives and contents for your booth.

  2. Understand Your Audience.

    Define the target audience. If you need a clearer understanding, create personas categories for each user category. This will insure you can anticipate your booth attendee’s needs.

  3. Problem, action, solution.

    Define the problem your booth will solve. What was the shortcoming of last year’s booth? What branding problem or product communication problem is going to be remedied by your booth design?

  4. Define Objectives.

    Define what the objectives of the booth are. Anticipate the successful outcomes by meeting booth objectives. Are you trying to create brand awareness? Are you focused on reaching out to the audience with the problem your product solves? Are you focused on creating qualified leads? If your budget is on the smaller side, you need to give priority to your objectives.

  5. Write it down, make it happen.

    How can you substantiate your objectives? Write down what tactics you are going to use to reach your goals. Bullet point them out. As you define the right people, design tactics, lead generation software you can start to visualize your goals coming to fruition. Now you can start to act upon your instincts when you start to substantiate your objectives with solutions. Chip away at each one, a little bit at a time. Write this stuff down!

  6. Analyze the competition.

    Are their any competitive considerations to make? Go to a show and write down what your competitors are doing. This will be useful to make your booth design stand out from the norm and the noise. Take cell phone photos to help you visualize a plan of what to do and what not to do. Ask booth operators what software they are using to collect data. By going to last year’s show, you have fish in the barrel access to competitive insight.

  7. Set the right tone.

    List out adjectives to describe the tone or feeling you want your booth to give. Is it clean and professional? Corporate and clinical. Fun and adventurous? How do you want attendees to feel when they approach and are in your booth? This will help guide your booth designers and fabricators.

 

100 Ways to Make Your Trade Show booth the Show’s Main Attraction

Next…Environmental Design
Making Your Booth a Destination
Experiential Intelligence
Interactivity
Engineering the Experience
Pre and Post Show Decisions
Design, Art & Copy
Operations
Mastering the Intangibles

I look forward to helping you grow your business with graphic design and branding best practices. Signup for branding and design email updates and I’ll drop you a line when I update my blog.

When you signup, you’ll need to confirm your email address in the email you’ll receive.

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by Alexander Morse

Alexander Morse is a digital designer and brand consultant at Morse Communication Design. He helps businesses communicate with design. His creative techniques and communication design skills were fostered through his agency-side experience working with a variety of clients from entertainment to retail. He is now focused on end-user, persona-driven interactive and conceptual design for consumer brands, non-profits, and clients whose message needs to be driven through impactful design.

trade-show-booth-interactivity

Trade Show Booth – Interactivity

trade-show-booth-interactivity

Interactive event ideas

I know, you are fixated on converting show attendees into booth visitors. Once you get them in your space you’ll want to find thoughtful ways to connect them with your brand. Interactive kiosk stations are a method to have you learn about your product or service features and benefits. Here are some interactive event ideas to help attendees connect the dots with your brand.

  1. Let’s get physical.

    Encourage tactile interaction. Put your product or service in as many hands as possible with live demos. Chances are the interaction will help you sell more.

  2. Bring out the kid in everyone.

    If you don’t have a way for attendees to experience your brand with interactivity, be interactive for the fun of it. Create interactive stations: Wii Batting stations, Microsoft Kinect Motion Sensor games, and putting greens. Awarding prizes for achievements like hole-in-one’s.

  3. Create a new paradigm.

    Use augmented reality. Hand out branded cards marked with a graphic that computers can hone onto. This allows attendees to manipulate your product in a 3d digital environment. Cool!

  4. Do you have the touch?

    Encourage kiosk interactivity. Consider a simple digital table kiosk design. On a larger scale a substantial interactive digital wall can encourage attendees to interact with a display using their entire body. Digital walls can also offer vending machine-like takeaways for interacting with it.

  5. Social media interactivity.

    Consider a social media digital wall that attendees can interact with using their phone. Put your brand in the center of a social conversation at the show. Don’t forget the #hashtag.

  6. Remote control.

    Turn attendee’s phones into a remote control. Allow them to send SMS or design a dedicated app to send commands to a large display to create an interaction on an interactive wall. Interactivity drives brand connectivity.

  7. Interactive tablet touch screens.

    Retire the lifeless looping PowerPoint presentation. A well placed and programmed iPad or Android tablet can assist your sales team. Digital designed tablet presentations can show product capabilities or service’s features benefits in a dynamic way. Consider in the design, the ability to allow the user control and navigation. Consider projecting the image onto a larger screen for passers-by to view from a distance.

  8. Did you get my txt?

    Encourage attendees to txt a number to get more information or enter a contest. Txt them at the end of the event. Don’t abuse the number they bestowed to you with confidence.

 

100 Ways to Make Your Trade Show booth the Show’s Main Attraction

Environmental Design
Making Your Booth a Destination
Experiential Intelligence
Interactivity

Next…Engineering the Experience

Pre and Post Show Decisions
Design, Art & Copy
Operations
Mastering the Intangibles

I look forward to helping you grow your business with graphic design and branding best practices. Signup for branding and design email updates and I’ll drop you a line when I update my blog.

When you signup, you’ll need to confirm your email address in the email you’ll receive.

[yks-mailchimp-list id=”73fdd1db62″ submit_text=”Subscribe Now”]

by Alexander Morse

Alexander Morse is a digital designer and brand consultant at Morse Communication Design. He helps businesses communicate with design. His creative techniques and communication design skills were fostered through his agency-side experience working with a variety of clients from entertainment to retail. He is now focused on end-user, persona-driven interactive and conceptual design for consumer brands, non-profits, and clients whose message needs to be driven through impactful design.

trade-show-booth-design-art-copy

Trade Show Booth – Design, Art & Copy

trade-show-booth-design-art-copyDesign, Art & Copy

The best booth experiences and interactives can be sabotaged by poor design and onsite communications. Here are some trade show booth design tips to make your booth design as professional as the rest of your experience.

  1. Let ter spacing.

    Use clear typography on your banners. Make sure your banners have good legibility from close and far distances. Some fonts have loose kerning pairs, or odd spaces between letterforms that can be difficult to read. Close those gaps with kerning. 120 point font is a good starting point for trade shows.

  2. What meets the eye.

    Keep your artwork, communication elements and your product at or near eye level. Text or objects that are down by the viewer’s knees are not visible. Keep in mind larger branding elements should be visible from a distance with people standing in front of your booth. If they have to squint or bend down you are not going to be able to communicate to them.

  3. Hang your banner high.

    Think of your signage as billboards. Keep It Simple and legible from a distance. Include brand elements like your logo, catch phrases, a large-format product image. Use printed banner with dowels or grommets for hanging. Consider dye sublimation printed fabric mounted to a display rack. These offer easy setup for person, are collapsible and reusable.

  4. Focus on photos.

    Consider the art direction of your booth photography. What mood do they convey? Stock photos are tempting to use because of their price but often they come across to attendees as “stocky”. Make sure the subjects and scenarios in your photos feel genuine. Use your own photos.

  5. Be indifferent.

    Differentiate your booth design. If your competitors are all green, be the blue company.

  6. Booth wallpaper.

    Invest is a professional backdrop. Use only vinyl banners if your event is outdoors for weather durability. Otherwise consider dye sublimation printed fabric backdrops.

  7. Stopping Power.

    Think about viewing a billboard in a car. You have just 3-4 seconds to grab a passerby with your display. You want to reel them in and communicate immediately who you are and what you can do to benefit attendee’s lives.

  8. Be color bright.

    Be bright and bold. Bright colors attract attention. Use bright decorative items that fit your brand. Design a bright attention getting poster that is 11 x 17. A pull up banner. Or an 8.5 x 11” tabletop poster in an acrylic case. Consider a splash of color behind an area you want to highlight. Bright colors can be achieved with printing companies by specifying Pantone Matching System (PMS) colors. These colors are more vivid, unlike conventionally produced Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black (CMYK) counterparts. Often brand specific colors are specified using Pantone color books.

  9. Creative for strategy’s sake.

    Use creative messaging. Feature a headline paired with an illustration concept to create a “ah-ha” moment. Allow attendees to use their intelligence to figure out what you are saying with your concept to create a spark in their head.

  10. What type of brand are you?

    Use appropriate fonts. Everyone knows not to use Comic Sans and Times New Roman is old fashioned and over used. Choose appropriate and differentiating fonts for the words you are choosing.

  11. Do you have the chops?

    Do you have the design chops to make your business look professional? If not work with a professional graphic designer to coordinate your brand, colors, typography and photos to make all of your visuals work together in harmony. You don’t want your booth to not be taken seriously because it’s lacking design aesthetic.

 

100 Ways to Make Your Trade Show booth the Show’s Main Attraction

Environmental Design
Making Your Booth a Destination
Experiential Intelligence
Interactivity
Engineering the Experience
Pre and Post Show Decisions
Design, Art & Copy

Next…Operations

Mastering the Intangibles

I look forward to helping you grow your business with graphic design and branding best practices. Signup for branding and design email updates and I’ll drop you a line when I update my blog.

When you signup, you’ll need to confirm your email address in the email you’ll receive.

[yks-mailchimp-list id=”73fdd1db62″ submit_text=”Subscribe Now”]

by Alexander Morse

Alexander Morse is a digital designer and brand consultant at Morse Communication Design. He helps businesses communicate with design. His creative techniques and communication design skills were fostered through his agency-side experience working with a variety of clients from entertainment to retail. He is now focused on end-user, persona-driven interactive and conceptual design for consumer brands, non-profits, and clients whose message needs to be driven through impactful design.

Top 7 ways to improve business proposals with interactivity on tablets

7 ways to improve business proposal design with interactivity

Top 7 ways to improve business proposals

Check out the top 7 ways to enhance your business proposal design using interactive methods on a tablet

Make Your Business Story Outshine the Competition

I want to provide seasoned business development professionals with my best digital design techniques to enhance your next proposal.

You have a big business proposal coming up and you want to hit this one out of the park and make a big impact. You have studied the requirements analysis. You have created a methodology and developed a situation analysis for fulfilling your proposal. You know the client like the back of your hand. You are ready to compose it using traditional methods. But stop for a minute and step back. What is your plan for creating a compelling digital B2B design and delivery mechanism? Is your business going to stand out from the competition?

Sure, you may need to submit a traditional printed and bound proposal. You also could deliver a tablet to make your product or service shine. You may also want to incorporate interactive experiences from a recent trade show design into your presentation.

Ditch the business proposal PPT presentation and leverage tablet interactivity

Tablet hardware prices have come down recently. You can get an android tablet for less than $60. This gives you full audio-visual capabilities and access to the best presentation design techniques. Tablets are light, compact, transportable, and mailable. Building a tablet presentation will touch-enable your story and increase brand engagement.

1) Immerse your prospect in a video experience

When you are delivering a first round proposal likely you are not face-to-face with your prospect. This can be frustrating as there is so much you want to communicate. Moreover, the printed word is limiting in conveying your team’s message. Consider creating a well-produced video short to submit along with the proposal. You will be communicating your team’s emotional enthusiasm and energy in a non-traditional format. Your directors and executives have their elevator speeches down. Great news, you are ahead of the game in planning the video production. You already have your video storyboarded. Get them in front of the camera so their voices can convey your brand’s differentiating points. The video will bring emotion to your proposal and faces to enhance your brand persona.

business proposal format in video

With your business proposal format in video, on a tablet, you are able to convey emotion beyond the printed word

How is this substantiated?

  • It’s ideal to capture your compelling story with production professionals. If you are on a razor thin budget you can use the production studio in your pocket, your cell phone.
  • I would suggest an approach one step up. Pair a GoPro Camera with settings in portrait mode and a lavaliere microphone connected to the external audio input. While your prospect loves seeing your faces, audio clarity is the most important component here. The lav mic will provide you with clarity to get your message across.
  • Provide your prospect with the ecosystem to view your produced video. Load your video onto an android tablet. Program the video into the tablet’s memory. Your video can be set to auto play upon tablet activation.

2) Environmental 3d flythrough

Put your prospect in control of your environmental experience with a virtual flythrough. Bringing to life the experience means EVERYTHING to your business, especially for restaurateurs and hoteliers. Showcase it, show it off, and tell the story with the right points-of-view for your prospect to understand. A virtual flythrough allows your prospect to control and absorb your data at their pace.

Prove all business operations angles: queue servicing, consumer stations, signage, and architectural details. Show future plans through 3D rendering, illustration or the current customer experience with photography.

Architects can create high-resolution environmental representations through software programs. A few simple pencil sketches can also tell the story. Decide what rendering fidelity is most applicable for the content you are depicting. With one fell finger swoop on the tablet’s slider bar, content is in the control of the user.

3d-walkthrough-flythrough-for-architecture

Your prospect can slide the scrubber to reveal key content you want to highlight in your environmental 3d flythrough rendering.

How is this substantiated?

  • Are you walking a prospect through a hotel presentation? Create still photos of your experience by taking one photo every 10-20 feet of your experience. Download them and stitch them together on a timeline-based control that is slider manipulated. You could feature many experiences in one slider, overlaid with a unique graphic descriptions. Illustrate to your prospect all the finer points of what they are seeing. You are creating virtual brand immersive for your prospect from the comforts of their office.
  • If a rendering is more appropriate for you, work with an architectural firm. Architects use software like Autodesk Maya 2015 to produce life like environmental walkthroughs and other architectural presentation techniques. Autodesk SketchBook Pro 7 is useful in creating basic wireframes. Once they create 3D models, they can provide individual jpg images for you. If the firm provides your graphic designer an HD video rendering, that is also sufficient. The designer can extract individual frames into stills for their timeline scrubber.

3) 3D Product Rotation

Bring your products to life in 3D, using 2D rotated photos. Bringing a product to life in a virtual space is achievable with a rotating 3D experience. You have considered showing various product angles, displaying them sequentially or on multiple pages in your printed proposal. But this can be cumbersome and there is a better way. Create a slider on a tablet to manipulate and create a virtual product rotating experience. Your prospect will experience your product and it multi-faceted features.

3d-rotating-product-interaction

3D product rotation and interaction design allows your prospect to experience key areas of your offering

How is this substantiated?

  • Correct production to create the images using photography is paramount. Use flat table surface that rotates and a camera tripod. Keep the camera stationary, rotate the product about 10 or 15 degrees, capture the photo and repeat. You can stitch these visually together with one scrubber position equalling one rotation frame
  • Graphically overlay call out descriptions to explain your product features from various points of view
  • Alternatively, if your project is virtual or not yet developed you could contract out 3D renderings or illustrations. Either method will encourage product engagement
  • Make sure you use icons to cue your prospect that they can interact and manipulate the rotating visual

4) Digital overlay hotspots

Tablets encourage engagement on even the most fundamental of visual experiences. Hotspot icons overtop still photographs or illustrations invite interaction.

You could present your prospect with a simple, clean graphic chart that shows the basics of your business plan. The chart could include pulsing animated hotspots that invite the viewer to tap to find out more information. Think of them as portals into visual deep-diving. This technique is great for static images. The digital screen is more interactive than flipping through pages. You are turning your prospect into an active participant engaged with your data.

hotspot-digital-overlays

Interactive hotspots encourage your prospect to tap. More information can be revealed when they interact, creating brand engagement

How is this substantiated?

  • Create a chart, illustration or photo containing hotspots. Use contrasting icon colors queuing your prospect to the notion of hidden data available
  • Important: Make sure you including the ability for the user to return back to the original, “home” view of your chart

5) Sliding infographic design

You are familiar with inforgraphics and their power to compel and communicate.  Shortcomings in print design do not exist on digital proposal tablets. Tablets free you from the confines and limitations of paper. No need to scale to fit graphics on an 8.5×11” paper sheet or clumsy fold out. Consider your small tablet as a portable portal to a long linear story. Tell your brand’s story through elongated illustrations and design.

Sliding infographic design shows your clients and prospects complex information in a visual format that can scroll on an on.

Sliding infographic design shows your clients and prospects complex information in a visual format that can scroll on an on.

Consider this:

  • Create quality infographics that tell your story use visuals to communicate your brand’s vision
  • Create vertical or horizontal designed infographics that are long like a linear story
  • Create hotspot overlays within your scrolling graphic. As your prospect slides the graphic sideways, they can pause throughout to dive into more information on key areas
  • Interactivity creates engagement, engagement persuades

6) Navigation bar

Like the tabs on your printed business proposal, your prospect needs a way to get from one visual element to the next.

Are you using many digital presentation techniques listed in this post? You will need a way for the prospect to explore them. Design a navigation system, like you would see on a webpage. Allow prospects to find their way throughout the great interactive content you developed.

business-proposal-navigation

Consider this:

  • Keep the navigation simple. Avoid drop down menus. Avoid spacing navigation items too close together. Avoid unnecessary complexity especially for an older audiences
  • Consider a “home” button to restart the presentation
  • Use a 12 point font or larger. Consider a larger font for older audiences
  • Your printed proposal should be telling the story with words. Your digital tablet story is visually experienced. Keep text content to a minimum
  • Consider a navigation that is parallel to your printed proposal. If there are six tabs on your printed proposal, then use six tabs on your tablet, with relevant digital content

7) Animated GIFs

You see these self-playing animated images all over the web. Many are a visual plague and create noise, others create memes that go viral. For your digital business proposal they are animations, when used tastefully and careful, catch the eye. You can use these to create looped animations that stand alone or nested into the techniques we recently discussed.

What can you do with animated GIFs?

  • Use looped GIFs to show business operational mechanics
  • Show how queued customers getting serviced
  • Animated graphics can display the complex bar charts and infographic growth
  • GIFs can simulate the digital menu board motion, adding visual interest to restaurant signage
  • You can show how visitors can navigate to their destination through wayfinding signage

Delivering the digital business proposal design

Now that you are considering delivering a tablet along with a printed proposal there are additional considerations to make your tactics work together.

  • Be certain you are understanding your prospects needs with content fulfillment and professional design
  • Visually family the tablet with the printed proposal
  • Skin the tablet in a custom branded wrapper. Use temporary or permanent graphics that make it coordinate with the printed piece
  • Less is more, especially with digital content. You won’t want to overload the viewer. Consider the demographic you are reaching
  • Consider creating a custom direct mail box to harness both the tablet and the proposal sheets
  • Coordinate the communications. Design a graphic theme using similar colors, fonts and brand messages
  • Make using the tablet foolproof. Leverage auto start programs and tablet action keys. No matter what key the prospect presses, make your presentations appear
  • Consider creating a binder that combines the digital tablet juxtaposed to your printed proposal
  • Think offline. Turn off the wifi, to create a closed-circuit experience. Load your presentation into HTML5 files along with all the supporting content. Doing this creates an environment that you can completely control
  • Completely charge your digital device before sending it to your prospect. Send it in a timely fashion. Expect that after a few weeks the tablet could be completely drained. Provide a charging cable.
  • Think of the tablet as a branded premium leave-behind, as opposed to a gift.

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by Alexander Morse

Alexander Morse is a digital designer and brand consultant at Morse Communication Design. He helps businesses communicate with design. His creative techniques and communication design skills were fostered through his agency-side experience working with a variety of clients from entertainment to retail. He is now focused on end-user, persona-driven interactive and conceptual design for consumer brands, non-profits, and clients whose message needs to be driven through impactful design.