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By: > September 14th, 2017
“Courage is the power to let go of the familiar.” Raymond Lindquist
 
Serif Group Office Moves from Walton Avenue

photo by Shaun Ring

We closed the doors of our shared studio space with Shaun Ring Photography at the beginning of June. Moving our office wasn’t something we had planned, nor was it really on the radar. But sometimes it’s the unexpected that turns out to have been the best plan after all. Sure, the studio in Warehouse Block on Walton was amazing and incredibly cool, but this new space is coming together. It feels just right, feels like home.

Because it is. Our office is now located in the Hartland neighborhood off Tates Creek Road, and we couldn’t be more thrilled. There was a bit of an uneasy feeling to leave behind the space that we had been so comfortable in for the past five years. It was more than concrete flooring, exposed beams, and swiveling barn doors. The space was dreamy and airy. Make no mistake clients, strangers, and friends felt the energy when they walked in.

The new office was put together by our friend, Wendy, and is 100% Serif Group. A business that started out of a home 17 years ago has circled back to a new home. You’ll find us older, wiser, yet just as comfortable and even more courageous than ever. If we haven’t seen you in awhile, you’re welcome to come by for a chat and a snack. Or we can meet you at our other favorite work space — any local venue that has wifi.

Oh, and we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention how the tables turned in our relationship with Shaun Ring. We got to be his real estate client as he helped us buy our new home and sell our old home in record time. The process couldn’t have gone more smoothly. 

More than pretty pictures

sample websites by Serif Group Creative Marketing Agency
By: > August 16th, 2017

One of our favorite platforms is website design. The internet is an interactive, 24/7, living and changing extension of your brand. Personally, almost every buying decision I make involves a web search for reviews, pricing, coupons or location. A business without a web presence is rarely considered an option.

Our small group can build your brand and a cohesive image from the ground up—carrying it through from print to website design—start to finish.

The sites designed by Serif Group consider the user experience and are easy to update. We put the tools in your hands to do that. No more nickel and dime billing to update a phone number, photo or calendar. Unless you’d prefer to avoid the hassle, of course. We maintain several client sites and social media campaigns.

There are tricks of the trade to get a website to appear high in rankings when people search the web. This is called SEO (search engine optimization). The Serif Group has these skills, and the efforts to optimize your website can be as simple or vast as your budget allows.

Sample website design

Check out some of the sites we’ve done both branding and website design for, and let us know in the comments what you think.

Ready to move forward? Give us a shout!

 

Secret to a Great Logo?

By: > December 30th, 2015

Yesterday, we happened across this great video featuring Michael Bierut of Pentagram—designers of some of the world’s most famous brands. I enjoyed the way he breaks down the four different types of logos

  1. Wordmark
  2. Pictoral
  3. Abstract iconography
  4. Logo system

And his comparison of a logo design to a swimming contest instead of a diving competition? Pretty brilliant.

It’s not what kind of splash you make when you hit the water. It’s how long you keep your head above that water. —Michael Bierut

Now if only we could design another swoosh and find a client to invest in marketing it the way Nike did. Though the $35 was probably nice for a student’s budget, and the Tiffany ring was undoubtedly beautiful, I’m glad she eventually received something more as a token of their appreciation.

 

How to Get Your Brand to Speak for Itself

By: > August 13th, 2014

Was my handshake too intense? Did I make enough eye contact? Did I make too much eye contact? Am I standing too close?

Thirty seconds. Sometimes that’s all you get. What do they think of you? You gave this stranger thirty seconds to decide what they thought of you.

And how did you do?

According to scientific research, the way someone perceives you for the majority of your first interactions can be established within thirty seconds. That’s all it takes for them to decide if they like you or not. First impressions are intimidating. You’re meeting someone – a stranger – for the first time. Neither of you really know what to expect. In business, you often make your first impression on a client before you even meet them face-to-face. They can type your company or name in to a Google search, find you on Facebook, peruse through your website, or ask what other people know about you. What sort of impression are you leaving for potential clients to find? How can you ensure that they will be impressed from the outset?

Clients often step in to marketing offices asking for only one small adjustment or addition: “My logo needs to stand out more… My website needs an update…” and so it goes. Sometimes, they are right and that is all they need. Other times, and often, what they really need is an entire face-lift for their brand. It is not that the brand in itself is worthless or bad, because many times it is not, but it is that the brand has aged and in order to make a bold statement in the business world today, it needs an update. A brand is what tells a customer or client that you have what it takes to give them what they want. Your brand speaks for your company, explaining what your purpose is and what you will give. Your brand is a promise of quality, communication, and production. It could also be your breakthrough.

Don’t waste the time you have to make a quick and brilliant impression – beef up your branding. Take the bold step and make the decision to revamp every nook and cranny of your brand, and throw out those things that could taint your reputation with one glance. It could be the thing that makes or breaks a potential business endeavor – or your reputation. Invest in your brand: it may be what keeps your business alive and thriving. Don’t cut yourself short when you have so many places to go.

With great business branding, you don’t have to worry about a great first impression: it has already been done for you. Let your brand speak for itself, and you worry about living up to your promise!

Quit Working, Start Living!

By: > July 8th, 2014

Imagine the one thing that makes you feel the most you that you have ever felt. Is it coming up with the most subtle puns to make people laugh, writing your heart out in the form of poetry, photographing a raw and stunning moment in a stranger’s life, doing something adventurous that no one else has ever done, rescuing endangered or harmed animals, creating something that makes someone smile, or coming up with ideas that could change the course of medical efforts or scientific research? This is your way of changing the world. Can you imagine it yet?

It makes you feel alive, but are you willing to admit you’re not perfect at it? Sometimes doing something imperfectly is the first step to finding something better. Many have claimed that doing what you love brings a happiness that cannot be found elsewhere, a lifestyle that benefits not only you, but everyone you interact with, and productivity like you have never seen before. Needless to say, it helps you produce an outcome that no one else can ever identically produce.

The Pareto principle, although more widely recognized as the 80/20 rule [of life], is about doing just that. It’s doing what you’re made to do – what you’re good at – and putting the most effort into that. Stop worrying about the small amount that you can’t do, and spend more time on what you can do. Wikipedia explains the 80/20 rule as, “roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.” In business this means that about 80% of your profit comes from 20% of your clients and 20% of the work that you put into something.

That can easily be a let down, but take the initiative to turn it into a motivator to work differently. Do more of what you love and are good at. If you’re passionate about what you’re doing it is typically better quality, more efficient, and much more rewarding for both the giver and the receiver. Your output creates its value. This may not work for everything and everyone, but with the right amount of balance and initiative, I believe that your passion could become your full-time job. Confucius once said, “choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” Let that be your goal. Take what you are good at, make something of it, and use it to benefit others. Serif Group is the product of two people doing what they love. It really does happen.

80/20 Facebook graphicImagine a world where gifts and passions were put first for serving others, and not for selfish use. Don’t settle for your best work being your side job. Is fear stopping you? Why are you afraid to do what comes naturally to you? If you do what you were created to do, you will reap many worthy rewards. Don’t hide your passions – turn them into your lifestyle! 

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