Sparks October 2011 -

Sparks October 2011

In the News

We win 3 national design awards
We are delighted to announce that we received three American Graphic Design Awards for work created in the last year.

The awards went to our design for Indiana University’s Student Legal Services website and to two VisoVerbo designs, one by Joseph Campbell and one by Harry Emerson Fosdick.

American Graphic Design Awards have recognized excellence in design for over 40 years. Selected from over 8,000 entries, winning work represents the best of design studios and ad agencies, large and small, from across the nation. The winning work will be featured in a magazine-format design annual and on the magazine’s website in December.
Learn more and see the winning designs

The “Monomyth” model of brand-building
The late great Joseph Campbell, philosopher and mythologist, summed up the mythic journey as “Known, unknown, unity.” Apple took this journey to become one of the strongest brands on the planet.

  • Take on the known. To differentiate your brand, challenge the status quo. Apple did this brilliantly with its 1984 commercial aimed at IBM.
  • Plunge into the unknown. Now that your brand is known, compete in the marketplace with the best-placed product meeting the needs of a hungry target market. Apple didn’t compete with IBM on technology. Instead, it focused on creativity and innovation. And that’s why this newsletter is being written on a Mac and why an accountant is using a PC.
  • Survive as a unified entity, suffused with self-knowledge. Apple understands its brand inside and out. So do its fans. Design, freedom, and imagination. For your business, your task is to continue to innovate while staying true to your core brand mission, and to create a culture within your company that lives and breathes that brand!

Will we all be Apples? Unlikely. But we can achieve brand sustainability by continuing to engage with Campbell’s mythic journey.

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

  • Logo Warehouses, Crowdsourcing, and a Lack of Understanding
  • Two posts about the passing of the legendary Steve Jobs
  • The UI Geniuses At Berg Rethink The Common Receipt
  • Ideas in the Attic
  • Scientists Discover Way to Make Anything a Touchscreen




This month’s winner: Janet Hendel!
Just in time for Día de los Muertos, 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

4 tips for an effective “About Us” page
Just about every company has an “About Us” page on their website (if you don’t, you should!). What many companies overlook is how to use this page as a marketing tool. Here are five tips to get you started:

  1. A 35-word elevator pitch that tells visitors what type of business you are, what you offer, who you are targeting, what makes you special, and what value you provide
  2. Your most differentiating key message about your unique experience, skills, product or service, customer base, etc.
  3. Your second most differentiating key message about your unique experience, skills, product or service, customer base, approach or technique, etc.
  4. A brief company description explaining who you are, where you’re based, how long you’ve been in business, what your philosophy or business promise is, what the highlights of your experience have been, etc.

And a fifth tip: Imagine your home page and your About Us page were the only ones site visitors would see. Are they strong enough to make visitors want to learn more?

Structuring your page in the above fashion positions you more effectively than just a bland description of how long you’ve been in business.

You can compare your page to competitors’. What’s their elevator pitch? What are their differentiating messages? How interesting are their company descriptions? Stand out amongst the competition and you’ll build a more effective brand.