Sparks April 2011 -

Sparks April 2011

In the News

Planning a successful website redesign
It’s inevitable. At some point your website ceases to be relevant to your target market. It looks dated and doesn’t incorporate needed functionality.

Now, you don’t need to worry about redesigning your site just because you’re tired of the design. Your audience doesn’t look at it nearly as often as you do, and may be perfectly happy with it.

Nor should you redesign simply because you received a customer complaint. A redesign should only be undergone when the site no longer reflects your brand.

Before you hire a provider, however, draft a simple plan.

  • Get feedback from your customers. What would they like to see on your site? What do they want to do? How do they feel about your brand?
  • Get feedback from professionals. Consider a website audit, where a firm reviews your site for brand, design, usability, and functionality concerns. (Contact us if you’re interested.)
  • Determine measurable objectives. Often this can mean increased sales or leads. Marketing is an investment; make sure you get a return on that investment.
  • Interview multiple firms. Use our “How to Hire” resources to guide you through the process.

Most importantly, don’t hire a provider because they’re the cheapest—or the most expensive! Hire the firm that’s most effective at meeting your goals.
Source: MarketingProfs

Mills featured speaker
Cairril Mills, principal of Design & Marketing, was a featured speaker at two recent events.

Cairril presented her Marketing 101 class for the SEED Corp. small business planning course in Bloomington. The presentation is an hour-long, information-packed ride through the fundamentals of marketing, followed by half an hour of critiquing students’ marketing materials. It was a blast!

Cairril also participated on a panel for the Indiana University graphic design program’s S451 class for graduating majors. She joined Laura Pence of Pencel Design, Sarah Alvarez of Ivy Tech-Bloomington, and Ryan Irvin of

The panel went out afterwards and decided to take instructor Daniel McDeavitt up on his suggestion to start a monthly meeting for designers: Designer Dish. It’s a chance for professional designers in the area to talk shop, share ideas, and get support. The next Designer Dish will be on Thursday, May 12th, at 5:30pm at the Runcible Spoon. Interested? Contact us!




This month’s winner: Bridget O’Keefe!
Our VisoVerbo champ wins a digital print featuring this one-of-a-kind design. Have a favorite quote or saying? Send it in! If your quote is chosen, you’ll receive a digital print of your custom design suitable for framing! Check out your competition here.

More News

Social media resources
The blogosphere is buzzing with new research about social media, particularly Facebook.

A recent study showed that 51% of Americans now use Facebook, up from 8% just three years ago. On the other hand, only 8% of Americans use Twitter, up from 7% a year ago. You may feel pressured to have a Twitter account, but it’s largely the domain of thought leaders in niche markets—and teens and college students! Use your resources wisely.

The explosion of Facebook usage makes it more important than ever to establish a presence on the social media platform. Keep in mind that the number one reason why users “Like” a company’s page is because they expect to receive coupons and news of other special deals. Build that into your strategy.

Getting lost in the world of social media? See’s excellent Guide to the Social Landscape. In one page, they break out the various social media channels and how to best use them.

Other handy guides:

Source: Convince & Convert; MarketingProfs

What you’ve missed on Facebook
Here are some of our recent Facebook posts. “Like” us to get in on the goodness.

  • Cool iPad wallpapers, including “Thor” (perfect for a Monday morning)
  • 2010 “before-and-after” logo redesigns
  • Direct Response TV ad spoof