Archive for the brands Category

Graphic Design Barrie

The Graphic Design in Barrie Logo... shaped like the city on the bay.

Graphic Design in Barrie
Barrie, located just north of Toronto is the gateway to all things fun. It’s on the way to cottage lakes in Muskoka, ski lodges in Collingwood, the long beach at Wasaga and thousands of islands – where God kissed the earth – in Georgian Bay. It fits that a graphic designer living here will carve out his place in the sun bleached colours in summer and the blinding whites and pine hues of winter…
But Graphic Design Barrie is about more than colours. It’s about experience. It’s about delivering superior services in a relaxed, unassuming way. It’s about accessibility.
For many of my small business clients it’s about nailing their brand, what it means, why it resonates and who it appeals to. Then building a marketing identity and business story that work in synergy to build confidence, allowing marketers to speak to their customers from the heart. I work with business owners, marketers of all stripes and entrepreneurs every day to find out what makes their big business hearts go boom.
Initially, it’s about brainstorming, but over the years my work has become quite personal. I get to play counselor, interpreter, visionary, marketing guru and then… project manager, designer, writer and craftsman.
For me, my home studio is the perfect venue in which to present my services. Business people relax here. And yes, like many of them I work ’round the clock. This is the best way to get the best of what I have to offer. And the best way for me to work. Down the hall. I am at the top of my game.
Even more, much of my design and professional marketing expertise has been location-based. I have helped bring to market over 30 new home communities. All throughout Southern Ontario, I have designed the logos, signage, salescentres and written hundreds of ads for projects from the east in Peterborough, Coburg, Whitby, Scarborough, to the northern cities of Barrie, Wasaga Beach, Huntsville, Victoria Harbor, Aurora, Newmarket, Richmond Hill, Markham and Uxbridge. Included in my sweep are the more western cities of Oakville, Cambridge, Orangeville, Brampton and Mississauga.
Graphic Design in Barrie. Not a spectacular name, perhaps. Not ‘All Things Bright and Beautiful’, a Toronto studio where I worked years back, wonderfully named I thought at the time. But who would search for ‘all things bright…’ and what would be the results of that?? So, yes the name, GRAPHIC DESIGN IN BARRIE pays homage to our new information reality. It says exactly what I do, and adds the focus and dedication to the ‘where’. No surprises there. It’s a celebraton of place. And what a place! Barrie is the centre of entrepreneurial activity in Canada and the buzz here is deafening.

Tack Data Goes Live.

TACKDATA-HOMEPAGE-FOUR-slider3-Cloud

Please visit my newest site and branding at tackdata.com. Great, flexible clients that allowed me to create a new brand, based upon their expertise and their venture in the Big Data arena, that is so hot right now.

I like to think that web page sliders introduce the content like a revolving series of ads. What’s cool in this series is, that after three descriptive ‘ads’ that each link to appropriate pages, the fourth presents a new take on ‘cloud’ services. I got a kick out of the cautionary King Kong (big gorilla out there!) messaging and so did the clients.

Thoughts?

Just give me the burger, hold the ‘old fashioned’

Wendy's New Logo deletes much of the brand in search of the 'new'.

Is less really more? Just askin’

Is less really more? Just askin’

Wendy’s branding hasn’t changed in decades, which I think was partly the point. So here’s the new logo. I can’t help but think it is somewhat less than the old, simpler yes, but a bit pedestrian as a design. I haven’t seen the new restaurant interiors (I’m a drive-thru guy), but from tis article they are a great improvement and an overdue, required answer to McDonald’s great new stores. I have to admit the typography is lost on me and I’m a fan of relaxed scripts. Judging from the responses to this article in ADWEEK reviews are mixed. but this does not do the ‘best burgers anywhere’ justice I’m afraid.

Adventures in Branding – Chapter 1

Your branding just has to work

Good design may be good business, but your brand just has to work.

It looks like we, meaning my wife, two small terriers and myself, will flourish here. Vastly different in spirit and temperment from where we came, Barrie turns out to be the entrepreneurial capital of Canada. Who’d a thunk it? In a city of 125,000 there are 7,250 businesses and counting, figures from Dunn & Bradstreet via the Barrie Public Library. My wife, ever the cynic, says that’s because there are no jobs here. Evidently Barrie got hurt ‘bad’ by the opening of Canada / US free trade early in the 90’s, in the Mulroney years, as many of the established American offices simply and quickly picked up and left. Now the good news for business, at least the study of creating business, is local Georgian College and its program for entrepreneurs.  I have to mention the vibrant networking community within the Barrie Chamber of Commerce. Evidently Google drew more guests to its July event up here than they did in downtown Toronto. Barrie defines Google’s intended premise, ‘local’, ‘local search’, ‘local business’ in all its promise.

This series of posts will address the ideas of branding, personal rebranding and yes, graphic design in Google’s newly defined ‘local’ setting, with my new city of Barrie playing a central, starring role. What does local branding mean in a city with a business for every 17 people, and over 5,000 of them between 10 and 100 strong?

A year ago when we moved, none of this was expected. All of it is welcome. More later.

Graphic design is just the beginning

ONEMANAGENCY_LOGO-02

I offer my customers high level branding, graphic design, advertising headlines and copy, campaign consultation, local marketing, logo and graphic design, the writing of marketing slogans, press releases, web sites, articles, ad placement, media consultation. I am proud to create and supervise each customer project with great personal care and tact. Some of these technologies are presented in coordination with experts I know and trust in the field.

They started calling me a “one man agency” a few years ago when I was the Marketing Director at ATS, a national transportation company located in Toronto. At the time I was developing the ATS Healthcare brand that turned out to be so successful. One of the testimonials presented on this site is from my senior executive during the brand launch.

But the nickname stuck and is quite apt. I wrote all the marketing materials, the internal newsletter and a variety web sites, had designed and produced them all, including brochures and award-winning calendars (a staple at transportation firms) invented a brand and described what it meant in both Pharmaceutical and Transportation magazines, designed the logo, wrote and placed ads… well, I did it all marketing-wise.

I have mounted some of this work and much else at mikebeard.com.

I work out of my home studio in Barrie, Ontario. My local Barrie number is 705-984-4752. I never charge for initial conversations and am currently offering a free assessment of all your graphics, sites, ads …. literally anything you would like to throw at me. I will send you a professional report with the results of my findings.

Apple celebrates success with rainbow logo design

NEW APPLE LOGO DESIGN shows graphic design is a roadmark in success marketing.

NEW APPLE LOGO DESIGN shows graphic design is a roadmark in success marketing.

“Wow” is all you can say about Apple these days. But here’s the visual gift and a bit of a twist on the rainbow theme from the original Apple logos of the not-so-recent past. This one is all digital, button-like but still Apple. By that I mean so cool.  Post from Robert Mead-Greene at Computer Arts UK
Research In Motion where are you??

Facebook: Auto Fans Have More Friends.

Todd Wasserman at Mashable Business tells this story that car freaks (my words) hang out together. Reminds me of high school where ‘people who love cars’ were inseparable. Also amazing: “Meanwhile, Facebook also had some encouraging news for brands in the wake of last month’s Timeline switchover.

Two auto brands, Ram trucks and Ford Mustang, saw increases of 291% and 52.6%, respectively in their People Talking About stats, a key measure of engagement.” What’s going on here?

Graphic Design in Winter – Colour and Typograhy

Winter Progams at the Aurora Cultural Centre, designed by Mike Beard, Graphic Design in Barrie, 36 Harrison Crescent, Ontario L4N 7R9

Brrr! Chilly winter is a tough palette, all grey and threatening skies. Or bright blue sky and white snow… after Christmas a winter palette leaves few choices.
So I was surprised when the Centre asked for the yellow headline, and surprised that it worked so well in this context. I love working with Gibson, a great, clean font just released. And what could be more apt? Designed by a Torontonian! Suits the Centre well and always sets beautifully. One luxury seldom afforded the typographically inclined is a full set of weights. In the case of Gibson, a beautiful, spare Light weight that just seems to sit effortlessly at the top of this brochure cover on the left. Like Winter minus the chill.
Well, almost….!

Typographic Design Owes a Lot to Steve

SteveJobs at Stanford University, speaks of how he put typography into the MAC

No, not his graduation, he never graduated college.

But in the first of three vignettes he tells how he dropped out, sat in at a campus calligraphy courses and, years later, plugged all his knowledge of font and legibility, kerning and small caps… into the Mac. Then Microsoft copied it and since then we have had beautifully texted pages. Steve’s sense of typography was installed into the design principles of our generation’s previously type-challenged technology.

Thank you, Mr. Jobs.

Image Blends Iconic Architecture with Graphic Design

Aurora Cultural Centre Membership Brochure illustrates the many ways to participate in the success of the Centre. Designed by Mike Beard, Graphic Design in Barrie.


Aurora Cultural Centre Membership Brochure illustrates the many ways to participate in the success of the Centre. Designed by Mike Beard, Graphic Design in Barrie.

Sometimes creative work just seems to go right, unforced and natural. That’s the way it is with my work for the Aurora Cultural Centre. The iconic design of the Church Street School struck me right off as a architectural logo, meaning that the recognition factor of the school had integrity and cultural intent written all over it.

To date I’ve done a small series of brochures like this one, featuring an ever widening set of learning opportunities for the good citizens of Aurora. Guitar, Painting, Wood Carving, Lectures… even historically themed birthday parties where kids can dress up and go pioneer.

So I think the building serves well as a sign posts for what is offered within, and I am glad to offer and in my way, communicate a small part of it all.

In this case it’s the perfect fit.

Why Apple is a ‘design brand’.

apple-nano

Simple. Refreshing. Iconic. So it’s 2007 and Apple’s IPod Nano commercial is the just coolest thing. Check out Fiest’s even better, perhaps definitive version on the Letterman show.

The music, perfect. The product, so easy. The singer, so fresh.

Apple takes a chance here, choosing a relatively unknown Canadian folk singer. But she is just so right. And this makes her career. Apple is claiming the entire digital music space, and does it so sweetly. Apple’s deft brand touch is so assured.  

The spot displays an uncanny yet genuine knowledge of what’s undeniably revolutionary. It’s what this commercial never says that’s so important. For a more recent, clumsy imitation see my post ‘bombastic, overblown, pretentious’ on the Blackberry/U2 commercial.

RIM, what’s the thinking behind this?

Bono sings ‘every generation gets a chance to change the world…’ Wow, big words. Stadium shaking, grandstanding rock ‘n roll. Big sound, big star, big music. No clever irony here, eh?

But what this says about Blackberry and RIM branding is somewhat less. Somewhat blatant. Somewhat over the top. Somewhat safe. No one ever accused Blackberry as being a ‘design brand’.

Coming as it does in 2009, is this RIM commercial screaming ‘ME TOO’? We like ‘YOUTHFUL’ music too, SEE?? I guess Canadian RIM couldn’t choose a native Canadian singer, as Apple had already scooped them with Fiest, but at least someone fresh and unheard? Someone ‘new’?

And without iTunes or a reasonable RIM equivalent, there’s simply no rationale for any of this.

Is this when Blackberry lost it? I’ve always thought so.

Graphic design: things that can be clicked.


Remember that old quiz show, ‘Pyramid’? It really brought in the ‘things that can be …’ categories.
What could be more ‘clickable’ than a mouse? Another of those design ideas that just works and then… Designer: get out of the way. This was for the home page of the Ontario Long Term Care Association and clicking it access a host of learning pages. Love working for the group… they understand big, legible type as do seniors everywhere.
The idea that seniors are not adequately represented on the internet is increasingly a thing of the past as net savvy boomers reach their senior years.

Graphic Design: Button, button, what’s in a button?

When the internet first caught my eye, in 1994, I struggled with the slow speeds and the evident prejudice against graphics. I understood this, as the net was a slow beast ‘in those days’ and we all, as visual people, tried to get more for less. Narrow pages and little buttons. I resisted.
I thought why press a button that looked like an envelope that evidently meant ’email’. That’s exactly what email wasn’t! THERE’S NO ENVELOPES IN EMAIL!!! Or stamps with wavy lines. Or pens with little fingers. Why not, I thought, print the word ’email’?? And with a wink and a nod toward my typographic roots, I began producing typographic finding aids for the web.
For my efforts I was told, ‘You are not an iconographic designer.’ And web designers ran off with all sorts of little images of icons that ran, smiled, and vibrated. Here’s one of my efforts that’s clear, that promotes the message and branding of the impending document, and is rather large as buttons go. It was made to draw attention within a busy page. You decide. Don’t try pressing the button, although I’m betting you want to. :-)

A fascinating B2B social media success story

nullHere’s a pretty neat success story in an off-0the-beaten-track location: Overseas shipping. Mark Schaefer presents easy to read, well laid out content that walks the reader through just how ‘ShipServ’ went about hitting their targets in an early experiment that worked. From the ‘grow’ website.

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