Pixel & Paper Designs creates logo and brochure for Heath’s Haven

May 18th, 2010

Brochure and Logo for Heath’s Haven

Heath's Haven logo

Heath's Haven brochure

Heath’s Haven is a relatively new nonprofit in Pickens County, SC, a program initiative under The Parenting Place, Prevent Child Abuse Pickens County. As a new nonprofit, they needed an identity. The founder of Heath’s Haven was already using a toolbox motif in her workshops and felt that idea was a key principle in the nonprofit’s mission. So we designed the new logo around a simple, graphic toolbox and made “Equipping Ourselves for Healthy Relationships” the tagline. One of the fonts in the logo is the same as in The Parenting Place logo, so it related back to the parent organization.

Heath’s Haven also needed a brochure that served multiple purposes: 1. Explain what Heath’s Haven is – what the program does and how it started; 2. Provide information on how to sign up for classes and workshops; 3. Encourage churches, schools and other organizations to sponsor workshops; and 4. Solicit donations of money and meeting space. We answered the first requirement in two parts – with a panel devoted to Heath Fields, the nonprofit’s namesake, and another panel giving an overview of the types of classes and workshops Heath’s Haven offers. For requirements 2-4, we devoted two inside panels to the concepts Participate, Donate, Advocate to address the three needs of the organization. These concepts can be carried across other print and electronic materials for the three audiences that Heath’s Haven needs to address, now and in the future.

9 ways to be flagged as a spammer

May 17th, 2010

9 Ways to Be Flagged as a Spammer

Email marketing is a great tool for reaching out to your clients (or potential clients) on a regular basis for not a lot of money. Don’t care if clients read your message, or even get your message? Then be sure to follow the nine tips below and we can almost guarantee that your recipients either won’t receive your email, or will delete it instantly! Most of the tips below will raise your spam score and therefore your chances of being blocked, banned, or blacklisted.

1. Don’t include a subject line.

Hey, people don’t need to know what your email’s about, right? The Can Spam law just states that a misleading subject line is illegal – a blank one isn’t misleading, it’s just…blank. People don’t need to know what our email’s about before they open it.

2. Put your entire email message within an image.

So what if most email programs block messages by default? Who cares if all people see at first is a big blank message? They should download pictures of every email they get, even spam. If they’re viewing the email on their phone and it takes a while to download the images, tough cookies. My email is important enough for the wait.

Email with images blocked

3. Don’t include unsubscribe info.

People should want to get my emails. They need my emails. So why should I give them the option to unsubscribe? If I did that, they might leave me! Once I have you in my clutches, you can’t ever get away. Bwahahahahaha! (Sorry, had to get my evil laugh in here somewhere. We are talking about spammers, after all.)

4. Use lots of big, bold, red text.

If a message is important, we put it in big red letters, right? Well, my entire message is extremely important, so I’m going to put it in even bigger, bolder, redder lettering. That way people will be sure to read it.



6. Use lots of words like “Free”, “All Natural”, “Price”, and “Guarantee”

Well, sure, I could talk about sex and all the drugs associated with it, or the stock market, home refinancing, and the like. But I’m going to talk about weight loss, price guarantees, and tell people to Buy Now! What’s so bad about that?

7. Include lots of extra punctuation!!!!!!

People won’t get the point that I want to save them money ($$$$$$) if I don’t include a lot of punctuation!!! Don’t you think??!?

8. Send a really big attachment.

Everybody has fast Internet connections nowadays. Sending humongous files is no big deal. People don’t open attachment for fear of a virus or spyware? Well then, I’ll put my entire message in that attachment and leave the email blank. That way they’ll have to open it.

9. Put all your recipients in the To: field.

Heck with the law, I say. Heck with my ISP’s argument that an email to more than 20 people is mass marketing and I must use a service designed for that. If they won’t let me send to 200 people at once, I’ll just send to 20 people 10 times. If my ISP doesn’t have these restrictions, I’ll put hundreds in the To: field. Of course, other companies could harvest those addresses and market to them, but I say the more the merrier. Let’s all be spammers together!

Lots of people in To field

Now, hopefully you’ve realized that these are nine things you really don’t want to do. If you’re not clear on how these tips translate into what you should do, stay tuned for our next post, 10 Guidelines for Email Marketing.

Pixel & Paper Designs finally launches new website for themselves!

April 13th, 2010

Pixel & Paper Designs finally launches new website!

As a designer, it’s oh so easy to ignore my own website and marketing materials in favor of paying work for clients. I launched my first website for Pixel & Paper Designs in 2003…and never finished it. It was anything but a showpiece of my skills, but as I primarily get clients via word-of-mouth, it just wasn’t a priority. I monkeyed around with a redesign in 2006, and again in 2008, but never came up with a design I liked. And then I’d get busy and it would fall by the wayside.

When the recession hit and business slowed in 2009, I finally decided that enough was enough, and took advantage of that time to focus on my website again. But what look to go with? So many web company sites are too modern, technology-focused, or abstract for my tastes. Somewhere in the process, inspiration struck: Why not combine my love of cooking with my love of design? Thus began my odyssey to associate chocolate chip cookies to web design, email marketing to sushi, and so on.

With the design working, it was time to turn to structure. I decided to create the new site in WordPress, both for ease of updating and as proof of concept for how you can create a site using a blog engine without the majority of the site looking like a blog. Landon and his programming skills were invaluable for that, though we had some rough patches during development since he speaks programmer and I speak designer. The two languages don’t always coincide!

Unfortunately, by the time we had the structure in hand and the framework of the site in place, and I’d made a good start on the content, business picked up. Yet again, it was too easy to put the site on the back burner. So it languished for a few more months, until some close friends started to bug me about it (it’s all about making yourself accountable to someone, if you can’t be accountable to yourself).

We’re still busy with clients today, but finally made it a priority to get the mostly complete site launched, 9 months after we started. (Guess it’s like birthing a child, and takes just as long!) We’re very pleased with the result, though we’ve still got some work to do on the Resources and Portfolio sections. We hope you enjoy it, and get some useful info out of it. If you see something we botched in our haste, or want to know more about a particular topic, please contact us. We’d love to hear your thoughts!




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