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Kristal Clear Graphics Kristal Clear Graphics Newsletter Kristal Clear Graphics Kristal Clear Graphics
Kristal Clear Graphics Kristal Clear Graphics Spring
2012
Kristal Clear Graphics
Offering Creative Services from Print Web and Beyond Offering Creative Services from Print Web and Beyond Offering Creative Services from Print Web and Beyond
 

Kristal YoungThings have been busy here at Kristal Clear Graphics. A slightly slower client workload has given me the opportunity to finally work on my own self promotion. "The cobbler's children never have shoes," I think is how the saying goes, and I think we're all guilty of that to some degree, myself included. For a LONG time now, I've wanted to brand my twitter page background to match my marketing and it just never happened. I've created many branded backgrounds for clients and now I can happily say, I've finished mine as well here.

Other new areas you might see me around was in the Shepherd Express Special edition wedding section. Besides facebook and some monthly press releases you might also catch my new blog. I hope you take a look at them and I'd love to hear your thoughts and ideas on them. Thanks for reading!

The 4 C's of Crystals, PART 2:

I'm sure most of you are aware of the 4 C's of diamonds, cut, color, clarity and carat. It's an easy guideline to help the consumer select a high quality diamond. But have you heard of The 4 C's of Crystals? These are similar guidelines I developed to help businesses and consumers identify crystal clear graphic design. They are: CREATIVE, CORPORATE, COMPETITIVE and CHARMING. While I originally developed the 4 C's of Crystals to tie in closely with a play on words to my company, Kristal Clear Graphics, this is a helpful guide that can be used when looking for any graphic design company or similar creative professional.

In the last newsletter I talked about the creative element of design, and with that under our belts, let's move on to the very important guideline, CORPORATE. Whether the graphic design company is made of 1 or 1,000 employees, whether you find a well-known advertising agency occupying an entire floor of a downtown high rise or your nephew working out of his college dorm, make sure they follow these corporate guidelines. They're comprised of two main qualities, professionalism and expertise. Below are some questions that can help you discover where your designer stands in each category.

Professionalism

  1. Do they look professional and therefore practice what they preach? Is their logo and brand image clear and consistent across their marketing platform?
  2. Do they listen to you? If you share ideas for a project's direction, do they incorporate them into the design or claim "artist's discretion" and give you an over-the-top design they know is better. If you have project goals and a budget do they respect that or do you always feel forced into a sales pitch?
  3. Do they value customer service and share examples of guaranteeing their customer's complete satisfaction? It's a fact in life and business that you can't please everyone. However, it's important to earnestly try and communicate how the company will fix the problem and follow up on that promise in a timely manner.
  4. Are they quick? In normal communications, do they return messages in a timely manner or when they say they will? Do they meet the deadlines they promise to meet? When producing a project's proof that may have revisions do they have a fast turnaround or will you have to wait 1 week at every step because each team member needs to put their 2 cents in?
  5. Are they up front about the process and what you should expect?

Expertise

  1. Does your design company use professional design programs like Adobe Creative Suite or Quark Xpress or do they insist Microsoft Publisher and/or an online photo editing program is more than sufficient? Often times it's actually companies who have their employees do in-house work with Publisher that run into problems at the printer for one reason or another.
  2. Do they hold a degree and/or have a good number of years experience? If they've only been working for a year or two expect lower hourly rates and the designs to reflect it. There are always times you'll be happily surprised, but generally there are more bumps in the road in the whole process.
  3. Do they offer you suggestions and tips of how to improve your company's image you hadn't thought of yourself?
  4. Do they seem well versed in the industry and how neighboring industries work, at least to a degree? For example a designer working on a brochure should understand simple things like how to prepare the file for press with high resolution and campy images or more technical things like working with master pages for a multi-page document or implementing a spot color throughout the files.
  5. Do they have external sources that warrant their expertise such as educational degrees, being published as "experts" in third party publications, design awards or as simple as testimonials from their clients?

If these questions were answered positively, you can be confident your company is giving you a quality graphic design service which is a great indicator of the professional company YOU are.

 
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In This Issue:

Kristal Clear Graphics

Contact Kristal Young
at
Kristal Clear Graphics

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Client of the the Quarter: Aloekui SoapsJamie Durner, Ayurvedic Practitioner & Wellness Educator

Rita Estremera is the owner at Aloekui, LLC, a handmade soap company whose original products' main ingredients were aloe and kui nuts. Her customers fall in love with Aloekui Soaps and the other large number of growing products including body wash and hand and body lotions because of the soaps' natural qualities, pleasing scents, and amazing soft, healthy skin results they see.

Rita started her small business in her home making soaps, but the first time we met, she told me it was her dream to see Aloekui soaps in retail stores one day. In order to do this, she knew she needed the right image to achieve a professional look, which is why she wanted to work with Kristal Clear Graphics. We created a logo that incorporated her two primary ingredients that made her product so special and unique from all the others out there. Later we also designed labels and high-end product boxes that built on her brand image we were creating.

Rita Estremera, Owner of Aloekui Natural Handmade Soaps and Lotions

If you're interested in spotlighting your business here, whether you have a design we worked on in mind or not, contact Contact Kristal and we'll work through the details.

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New Referral Thank You Program

I want you to know how much I appreciate your business, and in the same way I want to help anyone who is important to you and needs some graphic design assistance for print, web or photography. When you refer anyone to me, besides A HUGE THANK YOU, I'd also like to give you

15% OFF YOUR NEXT PROJECT

with Kristal Clear Graphics. I am always appreciative and never too busy for your referrals! I look forward to working with you again soon.

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Register for your Designer's Touch Wedding Album Online So Guests Can Purchase this Gift for You AND a FREE parents' album when you buy one.

I ran this ad in the Shepherd Express this Spring and want all of you to see it too. register online for your wedding album

Here's what it's all about.

A wedding album is one of the most thoughtful gifts your guests can give you. Why not ask them to give you the wedding album you REALLY want! ... A professionally designed, digitally-collaged wedding album.

See SAMPLES of Designer's Touch Wedding Albums HERE and discover the difference you'll receive having your wedding album designed by a professional graphic designer who works with you one-on-one to create it for you. Designer's Touch Wedding Albums are made of the highest quality materials, with custom fresh designs and your personal "extras" sprinkled throughout like special quotes, backgrounds and scanned-in wedding sentiments like jewelry, invitations, favors, etc. Whatever you dream up, it can be created for you - simple or complex.

Guests can purchase your entire album for you or contribute any dollar amount to whichever album you select. It works similar to a shopping gift registry or honeymoon travel registry. Questions before getting started? Contact Kristal at kristal@kristalcleargraphics.com or 414-325-6976.

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Important KCG Reminders

If you missed a previous quarterly newsletter and want to catch up, you can always find it online or contact me for a personal copy.

Not much new with you? Maybe you know someone who has something special going on and a Designer's Touch Photo Gift would be a perfect way to celebrate? Kristal Clear Graphics always appreciates you passing along a recommendation to your family and friends. As an added thank you, you'll receive a discount off your next project when you do have something to celebrate, yourself.

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Photo Tips

Each quarterly newsletter I like to share new photography tips with you to help give you a jump start on creating amazing photos for Designer's Touch Collages.

9. Keep your camera steady and avoid blurry pictures with these tips:
-Plant both feet firmly on the ground
-Find a comfortable stance with the camera pressed firmly upon your face and
elbows tucked firmly against your body.
-Just before you snap the picture, hold your breath and gently press the shutter.

10. Take more spontaneous, photo-journalistic shots by getting rid of the 2-3 second delay between pressing the shutter and actually taking the pictures. This most likely occurs because your digital camera is set to auto and it’s adjusting the focus and white balance. Instead, take it off of auto mode, and preset these by holding the shutter release 1/2 way down to focus until you’re ready to take the shot or use your camera’s lock exposure feature. Either method will get you perfect-moment shots of children, wild life and more.

If you'd like to see the other tips, contact me at kristal@kristalcleargraphics.com and type "photo tips" in the subject line

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