Sparks September 2003 -

Sparks September 2003

In the News Design wins re:invention’s Double Dot Award Design has been awarded the re:invention Double Dot Award, which recognizes graphic design firms that demonstrate innovative strategic thinking in addition to creative excellence in order to achieve client success.

Re:invention, a Chicago-based brand and image consulting company, announces the awards monthly, based on inventive design and strategic excellence. We were recommended for the award by Chicago-based designers.

“We sort through agency portfolios each month to handpick those agencies we deem exceptional,” said Kirsten Osolind, re:invention founder and principal consultant. “ Design demonstrated that excellence and is recognized as a thought leader in the growing movement towards strategic application in graphic design.”

We’re very pleased to be nationally recognized as a firm which creates design that not only looks good, but which is strategically developed to meet clients’ goals. Strategic thinking & visual solutions—it’s what makes us unique.

Nikki Johnson wins Lotus tickets!
Congratulations to client Nikki Johnson of CFC, Inc. for winning two tickets to the Lotus World Music Festival! We gave away the tickets in celebration of our two-year anniversary. Thanks to all who entered!

Free Web analytics seminar in Indy 08 October
WebTrends, the industry’s leading site statistics software, is offering a free half-day seminar in Indianapolis on Wednesday 08 October from 9 am to 12:30 pm. The seminar will undoubtedly tout WebTrend’s ability to glean in-depth information about site usage patterns. Attendees will also receive reference materials valued at nearly $500. Web Smarts attendees know that we stress the importance of tracking your site’s performance. We encourage small business owners to consider attending this seminar, if only to get a better understanding of the type of information you can be tracking about your site. Learn more about the seminar >
(Thanks to client Jason Wilber at Wonderdisc for alerting us to the seminar!)

Overture & Google offer new advertising option
Top pay-per-click engines Overture and Google have rolled out new programs that some are touting as “the death of affiliate programs.” Overture’s “Content Match” and Google’s “AdSense” let webmasters place those engine’s paid sponsor listings on their Websites and collect a percent of the bid amount when someone clicks on one of the listings. The engines spider your pages to determine content, then automatically serve up a series of ads which complement that page’s content.

The nice thing about these programs is that site owners just set up the program once and then the providers handle the content. To qualify, your site must contain a significant amount of valuable content—personal Web pages, for instance, are not eligible.

Check out these links for additional info:
Google AdSense sample (ads run down the right side of the page)
How to Qualify for Google AdSense
Overture’s Content Match Takes on Google’s Contextual Ads
Google AdSense Expands Contextual Ad Placement to Small Business Sites




This month’s winner: Joan Middendorf!
In addition to a sense of panache and style, Joan wins a T-shirt 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 T-shirt with a custom design! Check out your competition here.

Client Spotlight

South Central Indiana Small Business Development Center
We’ve been fortunate to benefit from the many outstanding business services of the South Central Indiana Small Business Development Center (SBDC) located here in Bloomington. We’ve also partnered with them on many marketing projects to help them promote various programs and initiatives, from simple fact sheets up to a full-scale identity system for the TechExpo trade show last fall.

Our most recent collaboration was on the Wayfinder product launch. A series of CD-ROMs that focus on fundraising and training tools for SBDCs, Chambers of Commerce, and business incubators, these tools provide step-by-step instructions for duplicating the programs which have made the Bloomington SBDC the top Center in the state.

Working with director Brian Kleber, we helped develop the logo, color palette, and basic layout features of the product line, and then designed a promotional postcard for the launch. The postcards can either go through the mail in the traditional fashion or can have sample CD-ROMs attached to them to be handed out at conferences and trade shows. Postcards are set up so SBDC staff can customize the text to reach a specific target audience. They can also be printed on a color laser writer or on a commercial printing press. We wrote the copy to highlight the benefits of the Wayfinder product line and make the most of the postcard’s limited space.

Initial response to the postcards and product line have been very encouraging, and the SBDC is preparing its national launch for next month.

View the Wayfinder postcard designed by Design.