Ask the Right Questions, I Do

15 06 2012

Question markTo find the right answer, first you must ask the right questions.

Sounds like something from the Matrix, doesn’t it… or maybe Yoda. And while, on my rougher rise-and-shines, I may look like Yoda, this wisdom is straight-up designer’s mantra. Asking questions is how every great design is born.

When I discuss a new project with a client, we always have a pre-design interview. During this interview, I ask them important questions that help lead me to create not only what they like, but what will be most effective.

In the case of my logo re-design, I am the client. That would make it my turn to answer the questions! A few of those are below. Use them to ask yourself the same, and see if your marketing is matching your needs:

Who is your target audience for this design?
This is an important one! Many business owners forget that the goal is to attract and retain the clients that bring/will bring them the most value. It doesn’t make any difference whether your teenage kids, office staff, or best friends think your designs are “da bomb”, if it turns your best customers away! And let me tell you right now, if you’re trying to please everyone, your marketing is already doomed to mediocrity or just straight-up failure.

As a rough overview, DMT Artistry’s target clientele is small to mid-sized business owners and leaders, male and female, across the United States. These are entrepreneurial-minded presidents and top management that have a vested interest in the growth and success of their companies. They are enthusiastic. They operate on integrity and drive. They are not looking for down-and-dirty, but rather intelligent design. They come primarily from referrals, and secondarily via online search.

What message are you trying to convey with your design?
Part of the answer to this will come from answers to the previous question. But who your business is as a culture will help fill in the blanks.

For DMT Artistry, the message includes: energy, artistry, creativity, professionalism, uniqueness and warmth. It will be my goal to turn these general descriptors into a message that’s uniquely DMT, and then that message into a visual representation – my logo.

Sounds intense? It is! But that’s half the fun!

When is your goal launch date for this design?
What’s the point in tackling this process, if you need a logo tomorrow? A realistic timeline is crucial.

Right now, because the fate of my office decor and future marketing materials rests heavily on my logo re-design, I’d love to complete it in a month’s time. However, I did say “realistic”, and as my own re-branding must tuck into the cracks of my existing project schedule, 2 months is a more reasonable estimate.

Your turn…
Have you been asking yourself these questions about your own design projects as you read? Try it, and let me know what you discover!

Note: My next blog will post two weeks from now. ‘Til then, hope business keeps you hopping!

“Do or do not… there is no try.”  ~Yoda

Dawn M. Tomczyk-Bhajan  |  DMT Artistry, LLC   |  www.DMTArtistry.com

All content Copyright © 2012 DMT Artistry, LLC, unless otherwise noted. All Rights Reserved.





Bagels & Bites: A Foodie Favorite Gets a Website Makeover

9 02 2011

Ask just about any local and, guaranteed, they’ll have met a friend, cut a business deal, staved off post-exercise hunger, launched their morning or grabbed lunch-on-the-go at Bagels & Bites of Brighton, Michigan.

Talk about a local hot spot. This café/deli has everything a hungry patron could want: fresh, wholesome food; rich, gourmet coffees; and the friendliest staff you’d ever want to meet. And did I mention their bagels? Yum. Just yum.

In short, Bagels & Bites Café and Deli is a business that has built a fanatically devoted fan base (a few pointers on how to do this!) on the sheer excellence of their products and the way they make you feel like you’ve come home.

Bagels & Bites former website - sterile and unwelcomingThe Dilemma – Online / in-store disconnect

Bagels & Bites previous web presence (left) was limited to a bland, rigid website that the owners Roger and Marie Barrow described as “corporate”. It was built from a generic, sterile and unremarkable template – in fact, a polar opposite of the actual Bagels & Bites shop culture. Their website wasn’t the destination spot or online “hug” that it needed to be.

In short, Bagels & Bites website was just itching for a personality infusion.

The DMT Solution – A scrumptious website makeover

Bagels & Bites website

First on the list: scrap the generic, dead-pan template, and build a custom design from scratch. Their website needed to be warm and inviting – like a cup of Bagels & Bites steamy Café Mocha on a shivery, Michigan winter morning. It needed to be lively – like the cheerful banter of the Bagels & Bites staff. It needed to evoke hunger – we wanted stomachs to growl as visitors perused the site. Here’s how we made it happen:

  • Rich, caramely chocolate colors warm the site, while fresh white spaces represent the cleanliness that their customers expect and appreciate.
  • The straight, rigid boxiness of the former site was ditched for an organic,  round-edged design that exudes comfort and bonhomie.
  • A “life-size” background image sets the scene, and makes you feel like you’re actually there!
  • Blocky photos? Forget about it! The photos used in Bagels & Bites new website were designed to look like you can reach in, pluck them off the page and taste them.
  • Personality radiates from the fun graphics, charming verbage and image-rich pages.
  • A bit of HTML cleverness allows the owner to switch up his vast store of wonderful sayings on the Home Page “Chalkboard”.
  • Additionally, every page contains morsels of food to whet the appetite.
  • A blog page gives the owners a chance to keep the website fresh, and to post specials, food photos and other fun tidbits of information.
  • We also optimized their website with keyword integration for more effective searchability.

The Result

Whoa, nelly. We’re accustomed to a positive response, but this one takes the cake for sheer volume of responses! Bagels & Bites enjoyed a positive slew of fan commentary on Facebook, phone calls and emails of congratulations to the Roger and Marie, business to the shop, new customers, and fresh “fans” of the Bagels & Bites Facebook page.

We’d like to add our own accolades here: Congratulations, Bagels & Bites, for a successful launch and a well-earned spotlight on your business. We’ll be by for lunch!

We’d love to design personality-packed marketing materials for your business! Contact us:

Dawn M. Tomczyk  |  DMT Artistry, LLC  |  810.923.4582  |  dawn@dmtartistry.com