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  • My Logo Business Card and Post Card Design

    I thought I'd share some of what I've designed so far.



    1. Logo.
    Shown is the 4 color (full color) version of my logo.
    It can be printed using two colors by using a solid green for the leaf, or depending on the application, one color (either the blue or green) may be used for the entire logo.
    I've also created one with an "outline" that will likely be utilized for the vinyl graphic on my back window. (also seen on the post card design here)

    Side note: The "leaf" in my logo is derived from a photograph I took of a leaf found in my very first customer's back yard. I imported it into Illustrator and manually "traced" it using the pen tool.

    2. Business card.
    I had 500 of them printed with the glossy coating. It looks nicer and will help keep them from getting all funky if I touch them with less than clean fingers.
    Simple design - basic info. I just wanted my logo to stand out.
    I also had 50 business card sized magnets printed while I was at it. I'll give them to anyone I've done work for in the past initially, so they can keep my info handy. They are too costly to hand out to people who may simply toss them.

    3. Post card.
    Initially, I wanted to send "Thank You" cards to the people I have worked for before I was "legit". Without them, I wouldn't have gotten to the point of being a legitimate business owner. I then ran across some info on "new business announcements" and decided to go in that direction instead.

    No "offers" that would become "dated", or come back to bite me later, and no info that restricts the services I offer/may offer in the future. Just a simple "announcement" and basic info intended to get my name out there - "generic" enough to be used for several purposes.

    I had 500 of them printed. I'll mail some myself and the rest can be handed out/given to customers for referrals.
    I may still send "thank you" cards as well, and include a few of my cards.

    Comments, questions, and suggestions are welcome.
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Very appealing to the eye. I like it. One thing you might try, I don't know if it would be worse or not but maybe outline the word LEAF in black to give it some distinction? I would see how it looked and if you liked it.
    Pat

    Comment


    • #3
      Very appealing to the eye. I like it. One thing you might try, I don't know if it would be worse or not but maybe outline the word LEAF in black to give it some distinction? I would see how it looked and if you liked it.
      Thanks.
      I assume you are talking about the logo as shown on a white background. I had considered using the darkest green (seen to the far right of the leaf graphic) to "outline" the word "leaf" - it would contrast nicely with the lighter color green on the right side, however, it would ruin my effort to work the lettering so that they "opened up" into the surrounding area. ("L" "a" and "f")

      I had at least a dozen ideas and color choices worked up before this one made the cut. Several of them were better in one way or another, but each had something negative as well. For example, a "scripty" font looked "classy/high end" but would be more difficult to read from a distance - think shirts/vehicle graphics.

      It can make your head hurt when you really think about logo design. There's more to it than just typing "Oak Leaf" and slapping on a piece of leaf clip art.

      Comment


      • #4
        When I first opened the image of the logo I read "Oak Lawn Service" I saw the word leaf but it just did not register until after I was done reading the rest. I just thought a contrasting outline might make it stand out more but maybe that is not what you were going for.

        I don't sit and think about a logo when I look at it. I want to know what it is about within a few seconds.

        I still like it though, you made a good choice.
        Pat

        Comment


        • #5
          When I first opened the image of the logo I read "Oak Lawn Service" I saw the word leaf but it just did not register until after I was done reading the rest. I just thought a contrasting outline might make it stand out more but maybe that is not what you were going for.

          I don't sit and think about a logo when I look at it. I want to know what it is about within a few seconds.

          I still like it though, you made a good choice.

          I appreciate your input.




          Does anyone else out there have any trouble recognizing the full name "Oak Leaf"?
          (There are 3 attachments at the bottom of my first post - easy to miss them down there)

          I realize that we're all wired differently, and if one or two people don't make the connection, it's no big deal, but if that's a common theme for the majority of people who look at it, I need to consider a revision.


          Thanks in advance for your input!
          Last edited by Hedgemaster; 01-02-2011, 03:05 PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            I would use a light blue colored border just to accent the letters of the word leaf and outline them a bit.
            http://www.lunchesruslawncare.com

            Comment


            • #7
              First off, I love your graphics. You are very talented!

              3. Post card.
              Initially, I wanted to send "Thank You" cards to the people I have worked for before I was "legit". Without them, I wouldn't have gotten to the point of being a legitimate business owner. I then ran across some info on "new business announcements" and decided to go in that direction instead.

              No "offers" that would become "dated", or come back to bite me later, and no info that restricts the services I offer/may offer in the future. Just a simple "announcement" and basic info intended to get my name out there - "generic" enough to be used for several purposes.

              I had 500 of them printed. I'll mail some myself and the rest can be handed out/given to customers for referrals.
              Can you give me some of your thoughts on why you decided to go this route? You mentioned you read some information on new business announcements and decided to go in that direction. What is the strategy with this marketing angle? How do you plan to harness this strategy to acquire more customers?

              What is your view on having an offer to 'celebrate' the opening of your new business? In a sense giving out a gift to bring people into the party?
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              • #8
                First off, I love your graphics. You are very talented!



                Can you give me some of your thoughts on why you decided to go this route? You mentioned you read some information on new business announcements and decided to go in that direction. What is the strategy with this marketing angle? How do you plan to harness this strategy to acquire more customers?

                What is your view on having an offer to 'celebrate' the opening of your new business? In a sense giving out a gift to bring people into the party?

                Thanks.
                Having a background in design/print advertising should come in handy.


                As for why I chose to do what I did, well, there are a variety of factors.
                I wanted "something" printed ahead of time to start gearing up for next season AND be able to use "now". I don't really have any money right now, so I needed to have a piece that is versatile, and I think by leaving it "blank" so to speak (no offers/specific services), I can utilize it for a few different purposes.

                A "grand opening" offer is something that I can always "add" to the postcard by printing stickers and applying by hand. Likewise, I can add info about "Spring Specials" or "Snow Removal". It's not the way I'd like to do it, but I don't have the funds to have multiple cards printed at this time.

                I can mail these (blank on reverse), hand them out door to door, post them on a bulletin board, or eat them if I become hungry enough.



                By the way, my postcards arrived today, and they look great. I was happy to see them arrive earlier than expected, so Woo-hoo!!!

                I picked up a box of greeting card sized envelopes and I'm going to print a simple "thank you" note with a personalized, handwritten note for each of my customers, and include a post card and a few business cards. I didn't have a "business" when I worked for these folks, but they knew I was planning on making it a reality.

                I'm also going to do something similar to send to contacts via e-mail. I can't tell you how many people have contacted me because they received a forwarded e-mail from my neighbor regarding my services - people TALK - and they do it electronically.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I picked up a box of greeting card sized envelopes and I'm going to print a simple "thank you" note with a personalized, handwritten note for each of my customers, and include a post card and a few business cards.
                  This is great! When you send this out, how do you word things to ask your customers to hand out your business cards to others? Or do you not have to say that?

                  [QUOTE]I'm also going to do something similar to send to contacts via e-mail. I can't tell you how many people have contacted me because they received a forwarded e-mail from my neighbor regarding my services - people TALK - and they do it electronically.[/QUOTE

                  When you say they forwarded an email, do you send out monthly newsletter type emails to your customers? Or what do you send out that customers will forward? Do you suggest asking your customers to forward the emails to others?
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                  • #10
                    I picked up a box of greeting card sized envelopes and I'm going to print a simple "thank you" note with a personalized, handwritten note for each of my customers, and include a post card and a few business cards.
                    [QUOTE=Steve;82074]This is great! When you send this out, how do you word things to ask your customers to hand out your business cards to others? Or do you not have to say that?

                    I'm also going to do something similar to send to contacts via e-mail. I can't tell you how many people have contacted me because they received a forwarded e-mail from my neighbor regarding my services - people TALK - and they do it electronically.[/QUOTE

                    When you say they forwarded an email, do you send out monthly newsletter type emails to your customers? Or what do you send out that customers will forward? Do you suggest asking your customers to forward the emails to others?
                    I haven't written them yet, but I may post what I came up with later. Mostly it will be a standard "Thank You" design/text that will be printed on each, followed with a handwritten note. Since some of these customers are like friends, I can ask that they hand out my cards, for those who are closer to "formal" customers, I wouldn't come out and ask them to do that, as it would be tacky.

                    Keep in mind that I'm still new to this as a "legitimate" business, so I don't have a large customer base, and as a result of all the legal mumbo jumbo involved in starting up, my "advertising" has been restricted by things like waiting to get my business name registered, getting cards printed, getting registered with the state, home occupancy permit, etc.
                    Actually, I'm still waiting for the zoning hearing board meeting to actually be approved to run a home based business. (Jan 26th) Until then, I hesitate to advertise "large scale" for fear of jeopardizing my approval. (It's "not legal" to operate a business from your home without approval)

                    As for the e-mail thing, what happened was when I first started doing the lawn care/handyman thing to survive (lost job), I made a simple flyer to give out. It had a list of services, contact info, a "$10 Off for new customers" offer, and I mentioned an unspecified "Referral Discount" good on their next job if they gave my name to someone who then used my services.
                    I sent a pdf file of this flyer to my neighbor who has her own home based business and she apparently forwarded it on to her friends, who in turn forwarded the info to their friends. There were times when I was trying to figure out how they got my name, and many of them could be traced back to that one neighbor.


                    ETA: I butchered that quote. LOL

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Actually, I'm still waiting for the zoning hearing board meeting to actually be approved to run a home based business. (Jan 26th) Until then, I hesitate to advertise "large scale" for fear of jeopardizing my approval. (It's "not legal" to operate a business from your home without approval)
                      Can you tell us more about this? Does a new business owner always have to wait for the zoning board to meet on their application or was your situation unique?

                      Are you going to the meeting? Do you need to do anything there?
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                      • #12
                        Actually, I'm still waiting for the zoning hearing board meeting to actually be approved to run a home based business. (Jan 26th) Until then, I hesitate to advertise "large scale" for fear of jeopardizing my approval. (It's "not legal" to operate a business from your home without approval)
                        Can you tell us more about this? Does a new business owner always have to wait for the zoning board to meet on their application or was your situation unique?

                        Are you going to the meeting? Do you need to do anything there?

                        Nothing special about my situation. If you want to run a home based business (legally) in my municipality, you must apply for a home occupancy "permit" (forget the actual term), and be approved. Since these meetings are only held once a month, I have to wait because I submitted mine right after the last one was held. (ugh.)

                        Yes, I'm going - I believe attendance is required. All I need to do is listen to them explain the "restrictions" that apply to me, and answer any questions they may have for me pertaining to my business and how it may impact my property and those around me. The guy who took my application said, "No need to wear a tie, and no need for a lawyer to come with you - very informal setting."

                        I was told that for a business like mine, it's pretty much a done deal - "they approve them all the time", and that this is mostly a formality, but they want to be sure I understand what I am/am not permitted to do in regards to my property.

                        For example, I'm not permitted to "stockpile materials" on my property.
                        Here, I'll copy/paste the pertinent section of the application info for you to read.


                        HOME OCCUPATION - An occupation conducted in a dwelling unit. Home occupations shall be special exceptions, subject to the approval of the Zoning Hearing Board. In reviewing applications for home occupations, the Board may impose appropriate and reasonable conditions necessary to protect the surrounding properties. The following conditions shall apply to all home occupations unless expressly waived by the Board after a demonstration of good cause:

                        A. No Person other than members of the family residing on the premises shall be engaged in such occupation.

                        B. The use of the dwelling unit for the home occupation shall be clearly incidental to, and subordinate to, its use for residential purposes by its occupants, and not more than 25 percent (25%) of the floor area of the dwelling unit shall be used in the conduct of the home occupation.

                        C. There shall be no change in the outside appearance of the building or premises, or other visible evidence of the conduct of such home occupation, other than one sign, non-illuminated, and non-animated not exceeding one square foot in area.

                        D. No home occupation shall be conducted in any accessory building.

                        E. There shall be no stocking of goods or keeping of an inventory or finished goods in connection with such home occupation. Retail goods must be made to order or selected from catalogues and/or samples, and delivered to customers. There shall be no “over-the-counter” sales of retail or wholesale goods.

                        F. No traffic shall be generated by such home occupation in greater volumes than would normally be expected in a residential neighborhood, and any need for parking generated by the conduct of such home occupation shall be met off the street and in other than a required front yard.

                        G. No equipment or process shall be used in such home occupation, which creates noise, vibration, glare, fumes, odors, or electrical interference detectable to the normal senses off the lot if the occupation is conducted in a single-family residence, or outside the dwelling unit if conducted in other than a single-family residence. In the case of electrical interference, no equipment or process shall be used which creates visual or audible interference in any radio or television receivers off the premises, or causes fluctuations in line voltage off the premises.

                        H. No home occupation shall involve the use of toxic materials or any materials, which present a deleterious effect on adjacent properties.

                        (snip)...
                        While some may grumble about anyone restricting what you can do with your own property, I don't have a big issue with this. I live in the suburbs - I would be highly upset if my neighbor started a motorcycle repair shop in the shed in his yard and was constantly revving up dirt bikes and piling up engine parts and tires all over the place.

                        In talking to the folks who took my application, what they seem most concerned with is that you aren't going to become a nuisance to your neighbors. Beyond that, I doubt they would even care if you violated some of the "terms".

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          That is very interesting stuff. Keep us posted on how the meeting goes and what the final outcome is.
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                          • #14
                            That is very interesting stuff. Keep us posted on how the meeting goes and what the final outcome is.
                            That was addressed in my "First Step to Legitimacy" thread, so I won't respond to that again here...


                            That said, I thought I'd update this thread. I had purchased a pack of "Card Cues" business card holders from Artie a while back, and finally found a place to use some.

                            Note that most "bulletin board" advertising has gone the way of the dinosaur around here (most have signs stating: Community Announcements ONLY! NO BUSINESS ADVERTISING!), so I was surprised when I stopped by a smaller grocery store on my way home today to see if they had a board available. I was initially disappointed when I saw a board that was covered by glass, but just inside the door, by the "take one" magazines, was a small board with cards and flyers attached! Woo-hoo!

                            There were no push pins left, so I bought a pack in the store, and rather than just pinning up a card, I went back out and grabbed a few of my "snow removal" flyers to put up.

                            The wife and I had to go back out for something later on, so I stopped back in, and replaced the cards I had pinned up with these card HOLDERS.




                            They are pretty handy for things like this and have tabs on the back that fold out to use on a counter top as well. I didn't fill them up, as I suspect some jerk will get pissy that I've "outdone" his "tear a number off my chicken-scratch flyer" advertisement*, and just throw all of my cards away.
                            I'll honestly be shocked if the entire card holder doesn't go missing - time will tell. They were cheap - no big deal if I lose one.

                            *No offense to you "chicken-scratch" advertisers.


                            Here's a closer view. Rather than just using one of my cards, I made "season specific" mini-ad/cards that I printed at home and placed in the spot for a business card on top. I also TAPED them on, so someone can't easily pop my card out and use the holder for himself. (It's a shame I even have to think about doing that)









                            Finally, since I didn't have my postcard uploaded before, and people may have overlooked the attachment in my OP, I'll throw that back up again too...

                            Attached Files

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                            • #15
                              Here's a closer view. Rather than just using one of my cards, I made "season specific" mini-ad/cards that I printed at home and placed in the spot for a business card on top.
                              That is very creative! Did you do them for all 4 seasons? What are your thoughts on why you didn't put them in the business card holder below? Do you feel handing out season specific business cards would be helpful or no?

                              How do you choose when you should use them or not?
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