Author Archives: B-EZ Graphix

Inspirational Love & Heart Logos


Here’s a collection of logo designs with the a love/heart symbol as the main attraction. Love is a fantastic emotion and the heart symbol can be related to many things and is often used in a logo to convey relationships, friendships, love of a hobby or product/s that the business may offer. I LOVE the typography in these logo designs. Pay close attention to the fonts and how well they marry with the artwork. 😉

Elovant WIP

Communicate

Heart Logo

Lovemarket

Talks About Love

Work of Love

Lovemouse

Pixelove

Lovecloud

HeArt

Color Love

Love Bikes

Heart

Tree with Love

Urban Bambini

Logo Love

Love Break Cafe

Made with love by nice people

Project: Love Christina

T-Love

Love, Africa

Pitlejka

Protected Legacy

Love Timer

Heartmade

Kitchen Love

Simple Love

Love Locator

Heart Knitting

Love Module

Krendal

Food Lovers

Branding Etiquette – Rule #1: Take Pride!


I told myself that if ever I saw this again, I would not let it pass unnoticed. I can no longer pretend that I condone blurring of the boundaries of branding etiquette. Of the many things wrong with this business card, the email address is the most aggravating. How can I, or anyone else for the matter, take you seriously with the email address: bootiful4girls@gmail.com? This is an illustrative example of the many I’ve thrown in the trash for this same reason. There are so many resources available online that can provide you with your own email address. At the very least, keep it simple with just your first.last@gmail.com to avoid such a disastrous brand as this.

 

Judging from the perforation on the edges, this card was printed on some generic card stock purchased from Staples or Wal-Mart. The lack of saturation in the color is indicative of the ink from an old home-use printer. I can accept this and attribute it to the troublesome economy. However, the lack of pride in what you do and how you brand shouts at me in the absence of symmetry. The design elements and information are not spaced evenly from the edges of the card. Apparently, they didn’t take the time to pay attention to detail to either correct or discard this print before distributing.

 

Granted, not everyone can afford the services of a graphic designer to curtail many of these infractions. But, if you wish for me to take your business and your brand seriously enough to contact you, then you need to take more pride in how you present yourself. Find your vision, do some research, and come correct. Otherwise, your brand – your business card – will be discarded as quickly as the spam in my inbox.

 

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What Do You Know About Letterpress?


Letterpress printing is a technique in which the design is actually pressed into the paper, resulting in an embossed or raised finish. Because of the time it takes to create and produce a letterpressed design, it’s not common to see it done on a large scale – instead, it’s the smaller, very high quality design shops that are the ones who may choose the technique instead.

Letterpressed designs introduce a new feel and finish to a design – a slightly different texture and shading that sets it apart from other prints. However, it can also be very challenging – letterpress equipment tends to only be able to print in one colour at a time, which means that it needs a very skilled operator indeed if they are to produce art in more than one colour (something that isn’t an issue for those more used to regular printing processes).

Despite the quirks and intricacies involved with learning how to use letterpress equipment, the results can be – when done perfectly – visually stunning. We’ve selected a showcase of some beautiful letterpress designs to hopefully inspire you and perhaps get you thinking about adding letterpress designing to your list of skills.

Loves you card

underconsideration.com

irwin and mclaren

benjennings.com.au

Sockeye

designspiration.net

Rogers Reel

mattsoncreative.com

Art Is good for You

flickr.com/photos/crankypressman

Bespoke Letterpress Boutique

thefinderskeepers.com

VH1 Classic

ilovedust.com

Zoo Titling

dribbble.com

Space Camp

eighthourday.com

Anand design

graphic-exchange.com

DGPH

letterpressed.blogspot.com

Shyama Golden

lovelystationery.com

We are manic

designspiration.net

Wasted Time

etsy.com

Letter press

jigscafe.blogspot.com

Are there any beautiful letterpress designs that you’ve found that deserve a mention? Let us know in the comments.

MADE Entrepreneur Of The Month: April 2012 – Vau’ve Anais Davis


Vau’ve is the CEO/Founder of OfficialAnais Public Relations in Chicago. Most importantly, she is a long time friend and business associate of mine. Since the start of our friendship in college, we have been exploring unique ventures and initiatives – such as the Soul Starr Select catering organization. We constantly express our nostalgia as we have grown as entrepreneurs specializing in public relations and branding. Likewise, we frequently acknowledge that we may not have acquired the successes that we have experienced without one another. So, it is my pleasure to honor Vau’ve as the first “MADE Entrepreneur of the Month” for April 2012!

You will constantly read and hear motivational words and thoughts from me, followed by the hash tag #MakeYourself. This is because I strongly believe that, although we are interdependent beings, no one knows what’s best for you than yourself. You set your own goal and understand that it will take your efforts, at a minimum, to achieve them and become who you want to be – to make yourself. No one understands this better than Vau’ve. Despite her educational background in Psychology and not Communications, she has stepped up to bat as a superb Public Relations Consultant, rivaling the workings of major PR firms. She had an inspirational vision for herself that she sought and grasped by establishing her own PR brand, OfficialAnais PR. While representing several clients, Vau’ve still manages to nurture her philanthropic roots with events like the OfficialAnais Toy Drive. Moreover, she has been an indispensible referral source for my company, B-EZ Graphix.

It is important to understand that you need to be yourself, because everyone else is taken. Although Ms. Davis’ experience embodies this precept, she still sees the value that each person has that can contribute to the efforts of others. In fact, she is endeared as “The Connector” of people and resources. Her work with my company is a prime example: Vau’ve has referred over 15 projects to B-EZ Graphix that produced nearly 25 products accounting for over $1,000 in revenue from referrals within one fiscal quarter. This amounts to over 40% of referral revenue, from Vau’ve alone, out of 15 affiliates of B-EZ Graphix. If that’s not impressive enough, through Vau’ve’s networking with Luxury Chic Media in New York, she connected me to TJ Jefferson of Fresh Touch Publicity in Atlanta – leading to the launch of a Joint Venture Partnership between our two companies. Thank you Vau’ve for all you do for B-EZ Graphix!  I am so very glad to have you as a friend in life and business!

I would like to highlight YOU for the next “MADE Entrepreneur of the Month!” Contact me to become an affiliate of B-EZ Graphix and send us your referrals for graphic design, web design, branding and marketing consulting. The incentives for affiliates are endless! Thank you for reading, and thank you in advance for your support.

NYC Day 1: Illi Boy at Ilili


Two shuttles after landing at Laguardia, I arrived at my grungy hotel, the Latham on 28th Street. I unloaded and immediate began to explore the city on foot. With my virtual assistant, Gaila Curry of the Expert Offices, in ear on my Bluetooth, I soon realized that it had been over 8 hours since I last ate. Gaila then directed me to the Ilili a few blocks south of where I had wandered.

Upon entering, the mirrored foyer and walls dressed in golden drapery evoked images of a Mediterranean palace. But as a designer, I was still fascinated by the logo that greeted me as I approached the restaurant. It was simple, elegant and told the whole story about what was in store for me inside. I had the option of sitting at a traditionally set table, but I could resist the allure of dining in the leather lounge area beside the stone slab table tops. Typically, this is a setting for groups, especially because of its proximity to the bar. Nevertheless, I was determined to indulge in the experience for myself. And indulge I did. I opened with a traditional hummus appetizer, as my waitress advised me of the differences between the two main courses that I was torn between: The Lamb Chops and the Citrus Trout. She admonished that the trout was for those who were looking for something different, and suggested the Lamb due to its simplicity. My travel tradition is to do something different each time I visit someplace different. So, I ordered the Citrus Trout alongside a Lebanese white wine.

After grazing over the pita pillows and hummus, I was introduced to a frightening presentation of the trout. Not unlike the rubbish on the street when I first laid eyes on the city of New York on trash day. Also, the dish was so flat that I was afraid my appetite would turn me inside out at the dissatisfaction of finishing the meal too soon. . . This was all an illusion. As I dove into the inside of the fish, I saw that it was not only meaty, but meaty on both sides and dressed with greens in between. With the orange citrus cells, the fish was mild, yet sweet and tangy. Accompanied with the grapefruit citrus cells, the dish had the audacity to bite back. The citrus tahini underneath provided me with a smooth transition between the two contrasting experiences. A nibble of the crispy almonds also provided a much needed reprise. In aggregate, I couldn’t have asked for a better precursor to what awaits me in New York. My first meal was symbolic of the culture I would soon be immersed within. Thanks to the Expert Offices for the outstanding recommendation, and thanks to Ilili for such an enchanting prelude to my adventures in the Big Apple.

Follow Through…Enough Said


“I’m a man of my word…”

It is upsetting that I have to even remark on a concept that should be a standard across all professions. But, there have been an overwhelming number of instances in which I have experienced, or have heard about experiences with individuals or companies that fail to follow-up. Of all times to set such a dreadful impression, why do so in the midst of an unstable economy? Why would a realtor not follow-up with a potential home buyer/renter that calls almost daily to inquire about a property? Why would a business professional not follow-up with a good lead that they encountered at a networking event or through referral? Simply put, they have lost the vision for success. Human nature dictates that we are interdependent beings. Don’t let the obsolete American Dream delude you, there is no such thing as bootstrapping your way to the top on your own. Don’t be blinded by the fact that many who came before you made the provisions for you to have an opportunity to get where you are because they had already envisioned where you’re going to be. . . or where you should be. You WILL NOT get there if you do not follow through on the opportunities laid before you. Don’t probe me as a designer, or any other professional, and lead us to believe that you are ready to invest in yourself and take your success to the next level, but never call back or return an email in a timely manner. The least you could do is send an email saying that you will follow-up or make a deposit/payment at a later date. Let yourself be fooled that you won’t be forgotten after a week being unresponsive. I want to help each and every one of you in every capacity that I can, but I refuse to reach a hand out to someone who isn’t reaching back. Allow me to see you tearing the stones away as you try to pull yourself out of the rut of monotony. Then, you will see me emerge as vividly as the rainbow that rose above Noah’s Ark in the midst of the monochrome storm that enveloped him. But, if you don’t follow through and build your own vessel to meet me on the waters, you will get nothing . . . and you will get nowhere.

Be easy

Brian


The Rhythym of Success, The Disharmony of Failure


Starting a new business is exciting. The thrill of new opportunities, the enthusiasm of making connections and networking can be very captivating. Enjoy it! However, you must remember to resist the temptation to be impulsive. Running a business is like making music. As erroneous as this advice might seem, especially coming from a man who has no musical talent whatsoever, it is the most illustrative anecdote to what I wish to share with you all. A close examination of your day-to-day operations will reveal that there are trends in the tempo of your marketing techniques and procedures which are correlated with the acquisition of new clients and the recurrence of loyal clients. For example, after posting a new advertising promotion, you may acquire a few new clients. The more you do this, the more clients and projects you will acquire, the less you do so, the less new clients and project you acquire. Thus, you can effectively manipulate the rhythm of your business.

It is imperative that you are aware of your company rhythm and pay enough attention to monitor these trends as closely as possible. Submerging into the buzz of business operations could result in “oversaturation” to the point that you become overwhelmed. At this rate, you may find yourself in a position in which your business is controlling you rather than the contrary. For instance, an event planner that is new to the industry may find themselves completely “psyched” when they acquire a new venue to host events and parties. So, they start planning and promoting immediately to host a “simple” party in two weeks with a $10 cover charge in a venue that holds only 300 heads. Most venues require a 50% deposit, and with excitement of having savings for startup, the planner immediately invests and pays the $500 non-refundable deposit. Essentially, they are now locked in and committed to the event, but there are some major problems here: 1) a DJ will cost anywhere between $200-$3000, 2) having a designer design, print and ship flyers can range from $150-$1000, and 3) with a 500 person capacity you can only make $3000 at the event unless you profit from the bar. The capacity to profit is marginal at best in this situation, but your tasks and obligations are high and can result in a great deal of stress and anxiety – key ingredients for a breakdown and failure.

Needless to say, this is an undesireable experience for most business owners. Don’t let your business influence you in this manner. We all have goals and places to be in the end. But, life is not about the destination – it’s about the journey and the moments in between. Control you ops tempo so that you can slow down and make the best of these moments and enjoy life. No matter how reputable you become, don’t be such a megalomaniac that you can’t stay in touch with your own humanity that reaches out to the “you” within the business owner. Enjoy what you do. Plan ahead. And take your time to find the right rhythm for success. #MakeYourself

Be Easy,

Brian

Time is Money?


I frequently mention to my new clients that my Modus Operandi is that I value business relationships over revenue. For this reason, I have no issue investing time for little to no money. Perhaps, only my mature audiences can understand why I do this, while my other critics rest on the idea that “Time is Money” – but really it’s not. In business, many associate the time they invest to be worth x amount of dollars and should be taken seriously, insisting that they are not in the industry of wasting time and subsequently money. Consider this: if the misfortunes of the world ever fell upon you such that you had not one cent to your estate, then time is all you have. Unlike money, you can’t make that back.

Years ago, I lived in the depths of society in the basement of an apartment on the south side of Chicago. I witnessed all sorts of misfortunes there, from young girls raped and beaten and a close friend of mine that was killed right before my eyes. One lesson that I’ve learned and can never forget is that you can’t take back time once it’s gone. You can’t make that little girl forget the time her innocence was lost, and you can’t give my friend time to make better decisions that would have kept him alive. There’s no amount of money you can spend, or any job you can work to earn back time.

So, why waste time worrying about money and what your time is worth when there are much larger things at hand? Don’t get me wrong, I know what my work and my time is worth. Hourly rates for graphic/web designers start at $25 per hour and project rates usually don’t fall under $500 at a minimum. So, why do I undercut myself? Why am I so humble? Don’t be mistaken, for a long time, I was in the business of making money myself. Now, I’m in the industry of making moments. Like the moment a small business owner who is just starting out sees their new logo for the first time and is so overwhelmed with elation, that they post it on every social network at their finger tips. And, like the moment when that new business identity affords them another avenue to generate the money they needed to pay back two months of late rent because there are no jobs on the market. . . the moment that their child doesn’t have to live with no home and in the chills of the wind because mommy has her own business now.

I don’t dream to have a large corporation, or a wealthy enterprise. I only wish to build relationships with lasting moments. In the end, I could die with a great deal of money in my estate. But, how much would last and what amount would be taken with me thereafter? None. But, the relationships that I build and the moments I create will become legacy. Every bit I will leave behind will not be circulated in treasuries eventually to become as invisible as credit. Rather, what remains of me will be circulated in the hearts in minds of people who didn’t envision another moment of good fortune until they met me. From this, I will not charge you with a request to make moments and not money. Instead, I leave you with a thought: if your time is money and money never lasts, then what are you truly worth?

-Be easy