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    We have used Evans Wheeler and Inreason Media for several years now and have always been very happy with the creative results whether it’s for...

    Tami Boren

    Director of Marketing
    Lordex, Inc.

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How Can A Design Firm Build Your Bottom Line?

Four things to look for when making your decision.


Many companies today have a wrong impression as to how a professional graphic designer can help with their marketing efforts. Graphic design can be much more than making your sales and information collateral appear "more professional". True accomplished design involves communicating information or an idea or concept at the graphic level, quickly and efficiently. It also helps define the branding of a product and ultimately becomes the major supporting entity to building and sustaining a brand.

Some design firms understand their role in the communication industry. Some don't. The following points should help identify the firms who can make your collateral vastly more effective from those who will "make your stuff pretty".



Methodology - Although the creative process is very difficult to define, the designer should be able to outline a general process for developing a project. Within this process should be components such as objectives of the project, primary and secondary messages to communicate, and target audience, among others. There are many designers who never ask the simplest yet very important question of who the project is meant to communicate to. The vast difference between designing for a CEO and a teenager is obvious.


Too much emphasis on awards - Be wary of the firm that over-emphasizes the awards their work has earned. Awards are important and do reflect on the quality of work, but the stronger the emphasis the more likely they will be more concerned about their next award rather than your company's profitability.


Balance of listening and talking - The most effective graphic design involves the cooperation of both the design firm and the client. The client communicates their industry, the company's needs, and the project's goals to the designer. The designer helps to identify and develop these items and then uses his skills to communicate them successfully. Don't let the design firm tell you what is best for your company without first getting in depth input from you. On the other hand, the client stifles the benefit of the designer's creativity when the designer is simply an order taker.


Variety in portfolio - A major indicator of these first 3 points shines forth in the designer's portfolio. Ask him what the objectives and goals of each project were and how he met them. Is there major variety between the portfolio pieces or do they all start to look the same? There is no one design "look" that can meet all objectives, communicate to all audiences, or even personify a particular industry without losing effectiveness. Ask yourself can this firm make me stand out not only against my competition but also against the barrage of information we are faced with everyday?


The bottom line is how the designer's work affects your company's bottom line. Keeping these points in mind when interviewing will help to choose a professional firm that delivers successful projects.


Click here if you would like to request Inreason Media's brochure highlighting our Creative Methodology "Creative Logic", or click here to view the variety within our portfolio.

Evans Wheeler is the principal of Inreason Media, a design firm specializing in corporate identity development and implementation.

When Does Your Website Become a Liability?

Nine mistakes to look for when evaluating your online presence.


These days, your website can become your most valuable marketing asset. Whether your company is business-to-business or business-to-consumer, most everyone will research a company before giving it their hard earned money.The website is fast becoming the most popular first impression. If that impression is a bad one, your image will be flawed from the beginning of that relationship. That is, if you’re even given the opportunity.

Following are ten common mistakes that will tarnish your credibility. As it is said “The devil is in the details”.


Technical Mistakes


1. No search engine preparation and registration.Without this, your potential customers have no way to find you on the Internet. You need to make certain your site contains the keywords and description that would likely produce your site within a search. It is also vital that you register your site with the major search engines so they will know you exist and index your site. Without this, someone cannot even find you if searching by your company name.
2.Not utilizing the Real Estate. At this time, the Internet is divided almost equally between users with a resolution of 1024x768 (usually 20” monitors) and higher resolutions (larger than 20” monitors). If the design takes only the 20” monitors into account, there will be a large amount of “white space” on the right, making the site appear less than professional and not thought out.
3. Forcing left to right scrolling. Conversely, if your design only considers 19” monitors, the visitor is forced to scroll from the left to the right. This not only distracts from the information being presented, but eventually the visitor will become tired or annoyed by having to scroll in an awkward direction and will leave the site for your competitor.

Marketing Mistakes


4. Lacking a clearly defined message. You cannot effectively design marketing collateral without first defining your target audience. Without being able to clearly articulate whom you’re trying to attract, you’ll have a difficult time designing a site that reflects your message.

Equally important is to realize that addressing too many audiences is as risky as not having any. Just as you cannot be everything to everyone, neither can a well designed website. Pick your target, and you’ll be surprised how much easier it is to gather the content.

Under construction pages. If your site is incomplete, it is best to leave the pages off than to publish them. The visitor is there for a reason and you are wasting their time when you offer pages without anything important to say. Even worse is when the page appears to be chronically under construction. I have seen sites where the copyright was years old and pages were still “under construction”. The chances of a potential customer returning to this page are slim.

6. Old content.Even the simplest “brochure site” should have the content changed occasionally. This is one of the biggest advantages of the Internet and should be taken advantage of. Things change quickly nowadays, and old content can be very obvious and embarrassing for your company. Without fresh content, your visitor has no reason to return, limiting your marketing opportunities.

Design Mistakes


7. Formatting inconsistency. Not only does this appear unprofessional and give the impression that details have been overlooked, it can be very distracting to the visitor. Even to the point where they wonder if they are still within the same website or have been transferred somewhere else.
8.Poor navigation.Your visitor should be able to tell where he is within your site at any given time or they will eventually get lost. There should always be a consistent navigational method throughout the site that allows the visitor to know exactly where he is and how he can get elsewhere. If you make it hard for your visitors to find their way around your site, they will find their way to your competitors’.
9. Browser incompatibility. Although Microsoft might have the majority of the market share when it comes to browsers, you don’t want to deny access to your site by ignoring the other 50%. (Mozilla’s FireFox is steadily gaining on Microsoft’s territory. (See our statistics for more information.) Designing a site that ignores the other browsers is equal to ignoring 50% or more of your potential customer base.


Click here if you would like to request Inreason Media's brochure highlighting our Creative Methodology "Creative Logic", or click here to view the variety within our portfolio.


Evans Wheeler is the principal of Inreason Media, a design firm specializing in corporate identity development and implementation.

Why Would I Buy From You?

How to build your brand to increase your earnings.


The ever-important first impression: effortlessly obtained and difficult to change. That is why it is so important that your brand speaks strongly to your audience. Whether it is a business card handed to a referral, or a website being explored, your collateral could be the first impression a potential client may have of you. It needs to express the personality of your company quickly and efficiently. How is brand building accomplished? First let’s look at what branding actually is and why you would want to achieve it.

Branding is a basic marketing concept that is intended to set your products/services apart from your competition. By using combinations of names, phrases, designs, and symbols, you can create a unique identity. Branding, done correctly, reflects corporate culture and ideals. Brand is also an emotional link between you and your customer. It is what people perceivably buy when they buy your product or your company.

The author J.G. Gallimore once wrote, “Image creates desire”. If your branding efforts are consistent and well planned, you will be creating and nourishing a desire. Gallimore goes on to say “You will what you imagine.” The audience’s natural reaction is to obtain what they desire.

To build a brand, there needs to be total consistency, congruity, clarity and focus in every aspect of your marketing program. The following are three important points to concentrate on while endeavoring to build your brand.


1. Consistency and repetition is vital in creating brand awareness. People buy brands they know and they trust. A brand is a promise that companies make to their customers. Strong branding requires all the levels of communication to agree with one another.
2. Ensure all your marketing and promotions are consistent and that they have your logo, colors, typeface, slogans and characters. Everything you develop should have the same look and feel.
3. Peoples' perception about your company, products, and services is a major factor in their choice of brand preferences and their buying behavior. All perception is subjective and based on experience. Individuals tend to interpret information according to existing beliefs, attitudes, needs and mood.


Branding is a process, and if it is not intentionally initiated in the beginning of a business’s development, it is difficult to go back and change all the collateral simultaneously. The important thing to do in this situation is to just begin. Start with your vision and follow through, one item at a time, as the collateral is needed. This will eventually produce the desired consistency.

Branding is a business system that fuels and sustains all customer/company relationships. Total uniformity, harmony, and clarity in every aspect of your marketing is essential. Keeping a strong focus on what your company is reflecting at all times will ultimately have rich rewards.


Click here if you would like to request Inreason Media's brochure highlighting our Creative Methodology "Creative Logic", or click here to view the variety within our portfolio.


Evans Wheeler is the principal of Inreason Media, a design firm specializing in corporate identity development and implementation.

How Does Your Logo Measure Up?

Six points to determine if your logo is helping or hindering communication.


When marketing your company, if ”image is king”, then your logo is the crown of your corporate identity. The question is whether that crown is one of jewels or thorns. Everyone responsible for the marketing collateral of a company needs to occasionally review their logo and determine if it is still appropriate for the stage their company is at. A relatively new company (1-5 years old) may have had an extremely small budget for their corporate identity but now realizes that their growth has exceeded their ”mom & pop” demeanor. Conversely, a larger, more established company might have had a logo that reflects who they are for quite some time but is now outdated or does not mirror the direction their company has taken in recent years.

Following are six points to consider when determining if your logo is an asset or a liability. Although they all employ common sense, they are details that are often overlooked.


1. Does the logo have emotional value? This is the most subjective point to consider and is often up for grabs when personal opinions are expressed. Yet, the differences between communicating “strong” and “delicate” or “traditional” and “innovative” are quite apparent. These emotional values are very important in influencing a logo design and sometimes are never investigated by the novice designer or the new company putting their own stationary together. (There are other sub points to this entry as well, like dialogue and symbolism, but to cover these completely would become an article unto itself.)
2. Does the logo utilize the “less is more” concept? Even when communicating a complex idea, the graphic should approach the fine line of simplicity for best readability. This does not require the end-user or spectator to study or analyze the logo in order to realize the identity.
3. Is the logo legible at small as well as large sizes? Your logo should be readable at very small sizes in order to take advantage of opportunities like small ad space or promotional products. Problems with legibility at large sizes is comparable to selecting a paint color chip at the hardware store and then finding out it looks completely different on the large wall.
4.Is the logo legible within different mediums? Consideration should be given to your identity regarding the multiple types of mediums used for marketing such as print, broadcast or Internet. Your logo needs to display well within your black and white facsimile cover page as well as on your website.
5.Is the logo easy to resize and reproduce? When dealing with the myriad of different vendors used to market a company, this point becomes excruciatingly obvious. The full color logo with multiple gradients is not only costly to reproduce, it is costly for vendors to resize as well.
6.Is the logo flexible? Forethought needs to be given regarding issues such as reversal of the logo, placement of graphic elements around the logo and if those elements should be limited or not. The design of the corporate identity is driven by the logo. Therefore, the selection of fonts, colors, image treatments, and other related elements needs to be considered as well at the time the logo is developed.


Following these simple guidelines will ensure that your logo will convey your company's individuality and the development of your corporate identity will follow naturally.


Click here if you would like to request Inreason Media's brochure highlighting our Creative Methodology "Creative Logic", or click here to view the variety within our portfolio.

Evans Wheeler is the principal of Inreason Media, a design firm specializing in corporate identity development and implementation.

The New Power Of Advertising

by Jay Conrad Levinson

A website is an island. Advertising is a bridge to that island. Large and small businesses online are discovering that truth in a hurry - or else. Advertising is not what it used to be. The internet has changed its purpose and its strength. Rather than making advertising in the traditional media weaker, the net has made it stronger. That's why all guerrillas must be aware of the new power of advertising.

The first thing to know, and this should come as good news, is that advertising no longer has to make the sale.

Not very long ago, advertising's main goal was to make the sale, though there are many other goals. But that has changed dramatically with the growth of dotcom companies all over the internet. Today, the goal of much advertising is not to make the sale but to direct people to websites.

That does not diminish the power of advertising. Instead, it increases it. With many, if not most, guerrilla-run companies establishing webturf, advertising's newest function is to motivate people to visit a website where they can get far more information than can be delivered by standard media advertising.

Advertising has become the first step in a permission marketing campaign. It invites dialogue and interactivity with prospects and customers by directing people to websites, by offering free brochures, by generating the kind of action that leads to permission to receive marketing messages. Once people grant that permission, which they do at a website or by simply calling to request a brochure -- printed or electronic --- that's when serious guerrilla marketing attempts to close the sale.

That means the prime obligation of advertising is to motivate an easy-to-take-action. This should come as good news because it places less of an onus on advertising than ever before. Motivating the action of getting person to click to your website is a whole lot simpler than motivating a person to part with his or her hard-earned money and risk spending it the wrong way.

Not only is it easier to motivate action, but that action is becoming even easier as being online is now endemic. Over 100 million people are now online, though America Online's chief, Steve Case, pegs the number as being closer to 200 million.

It's not always a whole lot of fun to visit your store or order from your toll-free number, but it is fairly enjoyable to click over to a website and take a gander at what is being offered and how you can benefit. There is a risk when somebody responds to advertising with an order. There is no risk at all if they check your website. Advertising seems to grease the skids to the sale. It takes far less time to learn about you online than to cruise around a mall or drive to a location further away than their computer.

That means advertising can be short, concise, to the point. It no longer has to curry the favor of prospects with long copy, involved graphics or detailed explanations. The internet can do that for you, allowing you to save on advertising costs. Advertising your website works in all the media -- from TV to radio, from magazines to newspaper, from direct mail to billboards. It doesn't take a lot of time or verbiage to get them to spend a few moments checking how your website can improve their lives.

As all guerrillas know, the name of the game in marketing is creating relationships. It's tough to accomplish this with an ad. It's pretty easy with a website, which initiates dialogue by inviting it, by making it as easy as clicking a mouse.

Advertising has always been a method designed to change human behavior by getting people to purchase your product or service. The internet has changed that. Now, advertising merely has to deflect human behavior, to divert curiosity from an ad or commercial to a website.

There is little question that the online fire burns brightly. There is no question that advertising fuels the online flame.

During the telecast of Super Bowl played in l999, I was fairly amazed to see four commercials for dotcom companies. Today, I am even more amazed when I watch a sporting event telecast that does not have a whole gaggle of dotcom commercials.

The big and the small players online are learning from hard experience that they are invisible when they are online. Sure, their site might come up from a search engine or a link from a cooperating company, but the majority of people get their information offline -- and that's where guerrillas marketing their sites. Offline and regularly.

It's true that standard media advertising is interruption marketing, interrupting people in their perusing of the newspaper or magazine, in their viewing of a TV show or listening to the radio. Interruption marketing is crucial, however, as the first step in gaining permission from people to receive your marketing materials. And it is equally crucial in luring them to your website.

The top five products that internet users actually prefer to buy online differ from men to women. The top five to men are computer software, computer hardware, pornography, books and music. The top five to women are computer software, greeting cards, music, books and computer hardware. As Adweek magazine says, women are from Hallmark; men are from Bob's Digital House of Porn.

Many so-called experts believe that the growth of the internet signals the demise of advertising. This particular expert believes just the opposite. Advertising now can loom as important as ever, as necessary as ever, and more mandatory for a proper marketing mix than at any time in history.

The larger the internet grows, the more important the role of advertising and the greater its power. Advertisers must no longer have to move a person from total apathy to purchase readiness with their advertising. Now, all they have to do is move a person from total apathy to mild curiosity. From that point, moving that person to purchase readiness is the job of the website.

Jay Conrad Levinson is probably the most respected marketer in the world. He is the inventor of "Guerrilla Marketing" and is responsible for some of the most outrageous marketing campaigns in history -- including the "Marlboro Man" -- the most successful ad campaign in history. In his latest book, "Put Your Internet Marketing on Steroids" Jay reveals how you can use marketing steroids legally to make your business insanely profitable.


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