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A Redefined Site for Milam Bogart Dermatology

Milam Blog Image for TD

Milam Bogart Dermatology has a very clear message: to treat each of their patients with individual care. From medical to cosmetic dermatology, they’ve shaped their skin care plans to fit the needs of each person they see. And they do so following the most comprehensive skin-care services available.

With a direct, clear message, they were in need of a new site that easily translated this. For us, we wanted to show a clean, easily navigable site not only visually, but also by refining their copy. This began by creating a main message of “Redefining skin care to fit you.” Upon entering their new site, you’ll find this message, along with a crisp photo of the Milam Bogart team.

Next you’ll find a small story of who they are, and what they stand for directly next to simple, clickable buttons leading to insurance, patient forms and legible phone numbers.  

Another quick scroll, and you’ll find three prominent buttons leading to appointments, aesthetics and specials. Upon entering the internal pages, we’ve kept things easy by offering similar design features followed by spacious, clear info.

With the site complete, we’re extremely hopeful that visitors will get where they need to be without any hesitation.  

“There were several of us giving Think Donson input as the website was being designed.  We all had different ideas and different opinions. They were very patient with us and extremely cooperative with all of our wishes, needs, etc.,” said Office Manager, Barbie Cain.

 

Milam Site before and after

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THINK DONSON MARKS FOURTH ANNIVERSARY WITH GROWING WEB OF CLIENTS

4year

SARASOTA – In August 2013, award-winning graphic designer Felicia Donson launched a new boutique marketing agency with her husband Gary Donson. Today, their Sarasota firm, Think Donson, is celebrating its fourth anniversary with a growing portfolio of clients in a variety of industries.

“It’s been a pleasure to help so many Gulf Coast businesses serve their customers and reach new prospects through our ‘think, plan and grow’ marketing strategy,” said Felicia Donson. “We appreciate the many referrals from our clients who appreciate our creative talents and personalized service.”

Think Donson’s recent clients include Medallion Home, a longtime Sarasota semi-custom home builder; Sarasota-Manatee Originals, a dining site whose slogan is “Eat Like a Local;” and World Class Dentistry, which offers restorative and cosmetic dentistry services for children, teens and adults.

“Think Donson is a full-service boutique marketing agency that does many things,” said Gary Donson. “But in the end, we do one thing best—we think of solutions that work.” Next, comes the planning stage, as the firm’s principals focus on applying technology, design and branding to advance the client’s goals. That preparation leads to effective strategies build awareness and grow the client’s business.

“We offer a fully integrated package of services that combine creativity and technology to deliver fresh, effective and unforgettable results,” said Gary Donson. The firm’s services include digital marketing, creative design, web services, content creation, review management, data reporting, email marketing and consulting.

Felicia Donson has been creating distinctive concepts for businesses and individuals since 1995. After graduating from Ringling School of Art and Design, she established Graphics by Felicia, and directed, managed and produced marketing materials for a diverse group of companies across the United States. After meeting her husband Gary, she teamed with him professionally to launch Think Donson and offer customized online and offline marketing strategies.

Today, Think Donson’s dream team of marketing strategists, designers, website developers, copywriters, publicists, photographers and videographers make sure that clients’ messages, programs, events and initiatives are seen by target audiences.

“We bring your brand, your message and your audience together with measurable results,” said Felicia Donson. “Solutions come in all sizes and pop up in surprising places. We’re here to help move you out in front of the crowd.”

For more information on Think Donson, visit thinkdonson.com.

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How Small Businesses Use Social Proof To Boost Sales

TD Blog Small Business and Social Proof

Positive reviews can work wonders to increase business. In a time when many people use their smartphones to help them determine where to eat, shop and stay, and even which home service providers to use, social proof is more important than ever to the health and well-being of your small business.

Social proof drives small business success

According to a recent Nielsen study about referrals, respondents indicated that word-of-mouth isn’t just effective for specific industries. More than 80 percent of Americans actively seek advice from family and friends on major purchases. Nearly 70 percent say they are somewhat more likely to make a purchase after a family member or friend shared their experience on social media.

If your target market is younger, social proof is especially important to business growth. Regardless of the industry, 92 percent of survey respondents between the ages of 18 and 34 say they want recommendations from friends and family before a product purchase.

Americans with household incomes over $100,000 are also more likely than the average consumer to seek the opinions of others before considering a new product or service.

Use review management and monitoring tools to reach customers

Monitoring and managing customer reviews online can quickly blossom into a time-sucking monster. Neglecting unhappy customers isn’t an option for businesses who understand the importance of social proof.

It’s not difficult to turn around a negative experience and even create a loyal customer by handling their complaints with grace. Responding in a timely matter is crucial, and in an online review platform like Yelp, Facebook or Twitter, you have a wide audience.

Review management tools can help you reach unhappy customers before their comments damage future business opportunities. Monitoring all reviews in one place is a real time-saver for small business owners and managers.

It’s not just the unhappy customers that require attention. People who leave positive and in-depth reviews that will help others decide to use your products or services deserve your swift and sincere thanks.

Review management and monitoring tools handle the heavy lifting for you. Logging in to one platform allows you to see all reviews across all social media outlets. This makes responding quickly a simple task.

Let customers know their opinion matters

Businesses who actively seek reviews are better able to offer sought-after social proof. They can tweak their products and services to better serve their customers and keep positive reviews rolling in.

There are several ways to solicit customer reviews that are simple for small businesses to immediately implement. The review funnel tool sends automated emails to customers with a request for a review. When your customer clicks on the “Review Us” button, they have the opportunity to quickly and easily leave comments about their experience with your company.

Another way many small businesses successfully solicit reviews from customers is through a printed review invitation. This tangible reminder is simply a small card that thanks the customer for their business and asks for a review of their experience. A QR code lets the customer leave a review using their smartphone in real time.

Social proof is an important part of every small business, and new technology offers the opportunity to stay on top of customer praise and complaints without letting it take a huge bite out of your day.

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A Genuine Update for The Original Egg’s Website

Original Egg Blog Image

When our hunger pains won’t subside, we can’t think of anything more satisfying than walking into an eatery featuring quality home cooked meals. With sincere faces and traditional breakfast and lunch items everywhere in sight, a place like The Original Egg just might compete with a family meal at moms. That’s why we felt it would only be fair to update their website to reflect that homey feeling of goodness.

To do this, we began by creating an overall message for their site. Starting with a tagline of “Genuine breakfast, brunch and lunch”, we created a consistent voice throughout the site to match their quaint, blue-adorned restaurant.

Introducing hues of golden-yellows, warm wood textures and a few close ups of their most popular items, the site started to replicate the welcoming feeling you get when you’re really there.  

To avoid too much clicking around, we kept the most important information on the home page using a one-page scroll. Menus, hours, contact info and catering are a few of the important elements we wanted to highlight.

By using the one-page scroll, we were also able to simplify the navigation bar and its corresponding scroll downs. One adjustment we made was creating a new name and look for their popular “Birthday Club”, which featured more than just a birthday bonus. By changing the name to “Rewards Club”, we were able to attract a wider ranged audience while also showcasing all of The Original Egg’s perks on one page.

With the site complete, it’s our hopes that the new look and navigation (paired with photos of their famous blintzes, giant pancakes and drizzled French toast) are enough to convince viewers that this eatery isn’t one worth passing up. 

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A Refined Website for Black Tie Tree Services

Black Tie Blog Image

Professional, knowledgeable, efficient and safe: these are the words Black Tie Tree Services use to define their tree care projects. Devoted to providing high-end tree maintenance throughout the area, they are not just interested in accomplishing impressive results, but in building ethical relationships, offering more options—better options—and doing so following a precise timeline.

With such complete offerings and refined services, Black Tie lacked only an updated website to match their reputation. When Glen Rieth of Black Tie approached Think Donson, he knew he wanted to start from scratch to receive only the best possible results. For him, that meant producing “a professional looking website that showcased Black Tie’s services.”

With Glen’s concerns in mind, Think Donson began to rebuild Black Tie’s site by rewriting their copy. Maintaining a clear voice, we placed the content in appropriate categories so services would be easily understood. Complementing their new voice with a clean design was next on the list. Throughout the process, Glen was kept in the know. He noted that he was given the chance to “digest the new site, from copy to design features. Think Donson also took any concerns I had to heart by making changes I felt were needed. At the same time, they didn’t allow me to make changes that would not benefit the site.”

When you scroll through Black Tie’s new website, you’ll notice a fresh homepage with a new tagline, crisp photos and quick cues. What does Glen think? “My hopes of highlighting our services was achieved with this new site, and most importantly, it’s professional,” says Glen. Visit their site and find out how easy it is to request an estimate, quickly learn the ins and outs of tree care, or even, just to watch a short video of their work in action.

Black Tie before and after

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How to Verify a Facebook Business Page

fb verified image

How do you know if your page is verified?

  • Your page is verified if you have a blue or gray checkmark next to your page name:

    • A blue badge is a verified celebrity, public figure or global brand.

    • A gray badge is a verified local business or organization.

 

Why do you need to verify your Facebook page?

  • A verified business page will rank higher in search.

  • You will build trust with your customers and potential customers.

  • People will know they are on the correct Facebook page for your business.

  • Verification adds credibility to your page.

 

How do you verify your Facebook page?

  1. Login to Facebook and go to Settings in the top right corner of your business page account.

  2. Make sure you’re in General settings (on the left), scroll down to the Page Verification section and click edit.

  3. Choose to verify your page by Phone or Documentation:

    1. Phone:

      1. Enter the Business Phone Number, Country and Call Language and click “Call Me Now”.

      2. You will receive a call with a verification code.

      3. Enter the 4-digit verification code and click Continue.

    2. Documentation:

      1. Upload an official document showing your business name and address.

      2. Facebook with review the documentation and you will receive a notification within a few days of your verification status.

  4. That’s it! Your business is verified!

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Great Web Design, Great Business

wed design blog

The Benefits of Having a Well Designed Website

You own a business and you offer brilliant service. What’s your website look like, though? (We hope it’s as good as your best product/most famous dish/you fill in the blank.) If it’s not, you’re missing out on a significant amount of business. Your website is the heart of your digital marketing presence; it’s the first impression of who you are. Customers spend roughly 60 seconds looking at your website before deciding if they want to give up and move on. Within that time, a high quality website is going to put trust in customers and generate traffic. This is due to more than one factor. We are here to tell you what those most important factors are and how we can provide you with a site that matches that fill in the blank of yours.

Responsive Design: Reactive on laptops, phones and tablets

Minimalism: White space, flat colors and fewer pages

User-friendly: Simple, intuitive and functional navigation

High Quality Content: Well-crafted images, videos and written copy

Rich Graphics: Interesting (not distracting) hover animation and clever actions when placing mouse over content

Think Donson offers complete web design services including custom layouts, responsive design and Joomla CMS. We’ll make it responsive, intuitive, functional, conversion-driven and optimized for discovery. For an example, take a look at our recent website makeover done for our valued client, Outer Image Spa. 

outer image spa before and after

 

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A Modern & Clean Website for Twin Dolphin Marina

twin dolphin marina

As the premier port on the Manatee River, Twin Dolphin Marina is the hub of Bradenton’s notable downtown. It’s a beautiful spot for not only a marina, but for its neighboring restaurants, shopping centers and the historic Bradenton Pier. So when the marina’s Marketing Director, Natalie Meyer, approached Think Donson with the hopes of a new website, she wanted to illustrate those matchless features.

Having worked with Gary and Felicia Donson on four websites in the past, Natalie was familiar with their process and noted that, “They are extremely knowledgeable about current website tools, technology and marketing.”

Gary and Felicia put Natalie’s vision in place with quality, relevant photos surrounded by subtle, clean textures and calming colors. Simple, yet eye-catching icons make for an extremely user-friendly experience, and applicable links with amenities and relevant information are easily in reach. “The end goal was to have an updated, unique and modern site with lots of imagery. Think Donson went above and beyond that,” Natalie said.

Fulfilled with the results of Twin Dolphin Marina’s new website, Natalie follows up by stating, “We appreciate working with a professional responsive team who offers great suggestions and understands our needs.” 

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New Marketing for The John Chapman Law Firm

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As a business and estate litigation lawyer, John Chapman serves the Sarasota and Bradenton areas with over twenty years of experience backing him up. From construction, real estate or contract disputes, The John Chapman Law Firm is committed to providing sound advice and comprehensive legal services. With each client, his motive remains the same: to resolve issues in a way that benefits them. When John came to us for marketing advice, our motive at Think Donson was to get this message seen and heard.

Having a long term relationship with Felicia and her quality of work, John gave Think Donson a go-ahead to create a new website featuring original graphic design, data reporting and local directory management abilities. John said, “I was looking for good, or a better product than I was getting from my current provider.”

With a new website including easy navigation, responsive design and a professional, clean look, John’s requests became an actuality. An all in one reporting platform allows him to see all of his data channels in one customized dashboard. A local directory management tool allows his online presence known.

When all was said and done, John noted that “…the quality of work, personal service and quick turnaround” from Think Donson made his marketing transition an easy choice. 

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Why white space?

whywhitespace blogart sIn graphic design, the use of white space is incredibly important for many reasons. But first, let’s start with Wikipedia’s definition of the term: In page layout, illustration and sculpture, white space is often referred to as negative space. It is the portion of a page left unmarked: the space between graphics, margins, gutters, space between columns, space between lines of type or figures and objects drawn or depicted.
 
The term arises from graphic design practice, where printing processes generally use white paper. White space should not be considered merely 'blank' space — it is an important element of design which enables the objects in it to exist at all, the balance between positive (or non-white) and the use of negative spaces is key to aesthetic composition. - Wikipedia

White space gives the viewer a place for their eye to rest. A page or website crammed with too much information or images confuses the eye and the client will quickly look elsewhere, to another page in the publication or in search for another website that is more visually appealing. Some of my clients originally believed that leaving white space was essentially a waste of advertising space. “You need to fill all the space!” they would say – but actually it is the opposite – and the design becomes more inviting to the viewer. The elements stand out better when there is breathing room!

The advantages of white space in design:
 
• White space attracts the eye and gives you a place to rest
• Improves readability
• Makes the pieces look cleaner, elegant, and sophisticated
• Gives more focus to the product
• Helps with movement and the importance of elements on the page
• Separates items
 
“ Negative space is magical – create it, don’t just fill it up!” Timothy Samara
 
The goal of marketing is to capture the interest of a potential client. You want them to respond to your marketing efforts with a call for more information,  a purchase of your product, or the use of your services. Make sure your designs are inviting and bring people in!
 
At Think Donson we help you focus on your message and create memorable and clean designs that will bring you results.
 
 
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Learn the process of logo design

processoflogodesign blogart s“A logo does not sell (directly), it identifies.” - Paul Rand

What is the process of designing a logo?

Sometimes when a potential client hears the price of logo design they cannot understand why it costs so much. There is a multi-step strategy for creating good logos, and because we want to be sure that the final design suits the client’s needs, we go through an individualized process to ascertain what those needs are. Here’s a quick description of that process:

1. Design Brief – We begin by asking the client the following questions. This gives us a better idea of what the logo should say about their business or product.

• What is the overall market you are looking to reach (demographics)?

• Who are your main competitors? How do you differ from them?

• How do you want to be perceived by others? (For example: friendly, approachable, technologically advanced, etc.)

• What are some logos that you like -- and why?

• Is there a specific image you have in mind?

• What is the overall look and feel you want for your logo?

• Do you have certain colors that you prefer?

• Where will your logo be used? (This is an important question. Your logo should be able to be used on anything, not just business cards, letterhead and marketing. Think about advertising specialties such as pens, ball caps, etc.).

• If you are redoing your logo, what is the reason for the redesign? What do you like – and dislike -- about your current logo?

• Time frame – When do you plan to start using your new logo?

• How would you describe your services? What are the key words that you often use?

2. Contract – Before starting the research process a signed contract and deposit is due. This way the client understands the terms and agreement prior to any design work.

3. Research – We research competitors and the specific industry to see how other companies are doing business and how they represent their company.

4. Concepts – Based on the information I’ve gathered from the design brief and research, I come up with several different concepts. I start with a lot of thinking – then creating potential images, fonts and graphics, that might work together. I put these thoughts to paper – experimenting with fonts that work well – thinking about the iconic element of the logo… then I try putting the two together to see which font works with which icon.

Sometimes I go back to the drawing board, sometimes I throw my ideas around with another colleague. But I always keep in mind that simplicity is the key. A good logo should work well anywhere, whether it’s on a billboard, a business card, a website. Logos that are simple and clean stand out from the crowd and can work on anything.

5. Presentation – By this stage I have narrowed my designs down to a small group of logos that I believe work best for the client. My goal is to offer the best possible logos that represent the thoughts and ideas of the client’s. I usually offer color choices that I think work well with each particular concept. Once the client has chosen a logo the colors can be tweaked and finalized to their exact specifications.

6. Final– At this end stage, my client has selected a logo and the color(s) have been finalized. The client pays for my design work and receives a final artwork of the logo saved in several different formats for varied usages (web pages, print advertising, letterhead and business cards, etc).

I hope this helps with understanding the logo design process. It is a lot more in depth then one might expect. Since everything in your company’s branding revolves around your logo, it’s got to be great!

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Why is color important?

whycolormatters sWhy do two colors, put one next to the other, sing? Can one really explain this? No. Just as one can never learn how to paint. -- Pablo Picasso
 
Color plays a vital role in designing a piece. Whether you’re working on a logo or trying to figure out the best colors to use in creating your brand, color creates certain moods. Colors can make a piece look rich, fun, sophisticated – or extremely ugly or cheap. Some colors are soothing, some are exciting, some go perfectly together and others clash. Color can totally change the way we think about a piece, so our choices are really important. How do you go about selecting the right colors for your marketing materials so that the viewer responds favorably?
Here are some of the points to consider:
 
• Do the colors convey the right message to the audience?
• Do the color choices create the quality you’re trying to achieve?
• Are you choosing the colors for the right reasons? (Not because they are your favorite or your school colors!)
• Color needs to enhance the product, not take away from it. Does the color improve the readability and design?
Color theory infographic
 
Let’s discuss color process so you will have a better understanding: Colors can be broken down into CMYK, RGB and Pantone colors:
 
• CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black) -- Used for print design; also called 4-color process.
• RGB (Red, Green Blue) -- Mainly used for website applications, banner ads and other web technology.
• Pantone Colors -- The popular matching system used in the print industry. Similar to a paint swatch book, you can select exact matches on color when printing.
 
More than 80% of people choose a product by color and over 90% purchase a product because of how it looks visually. Are you going to leave your color choices to chance?
 
Contact Think Donson to talk about what colors will work best for the promotion of your product.
 
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Why is it so important to have a marketing budget?

whyimptohavemarkbudget blogartMost small businesses have little or no money set aside for marketing – but even with a small budget it’s possible to effectively brand your company’s products and services. You just need to be sure you’re using your dollars for all the right reason and getting your money’s worth.

When starting up a business consider your start-up costs for marketing. An obvious first step would be a great logo design. Your logo will be around for the life of your company and should be simple and clean, memorable and effective. Secondly, your business card is your “calling card” – it should leave a positive impression of you after a face to face meeting with a potential customer, and should entice that person into contacting you about your product or services.

A badly printed or designed card, a cluttered look, too much information, an unattractive or unreadable font, the wrong colors, poorly chosen artwork – all these mistakes and more may send clients away and over to the competition. A well-designed card says you’re serious and professional about your business and gives you a head start in attracting the right clientele.

Another important marketing must is your business website. Don't skimp on your site -- it needs to function easily, be well designed and bring in traffic. Do your research; make sure you understand what you are getting for your dollar. Even a well designed website won’t mean a thing if it can’t be found by search engines! Good branding and effective optimization are equally important – one brings in the consumer and the other keeps them engaged.

Let’s discuss some things to consider when working on your marketing budget:


• Ideal Customer – knowing who your ideal customer is will help you best determine the places to spend your limited funds. Many people will try to sell you marketing services, so do your research and know what will be the most effective approach to reach that particular demographic.
• Make sure you have the right marketing message – What makes you stand out from your competitors? Why should they use you? Make your service a necessary part of your potential customers lives.
• Social media – Post special events, sales and testimonials through social networking. This is a way to get your company’s name out there. Build your brand – and at a very nominal expense. Social media can reach a large number of people and it’s also a great way to track traffic.
• Email newsletter -- This is another inexpensive way to reach potential customers. Give them more
Information about your company, build a database, send out your blog or get people
to your website with special offers.
• Blog – Blogging can keep your business and services updated; it engages and builds trust in your readership. Post stories, testimonials, interesting articles about your field of business, sample work, etc. – it all helps your credibility, builds your brand and increases SEO (search engine optimization).
• Testimonials: Ask your customers for recommendations. Why were they satisfied with your services? Why should people should use you? Include these testimonials on your website, in your printed materials or on your facebook page.
• Building a network of contacts: Building contacts is key. Referral programs with other businesses
Is a win-win for both businesses. Partner with companies that you respect. Check back with those clients who use any referred businesses or services to confirm their experience was positive. Be sure you are building a positive image for your company!

This is just a starting place to build from; I’ve seen too many people waste their marketing dollars on sales tactics that are not effective. Use your budget wisely – do your research – start with the basics and don’t skimp on the important stuff! You’ll be glad you did.

 

 

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The advantages of using local printers instead of online printers

localprinters blogartWith 18 years of design experience, I’ve tried all the printing options out there. Some people may disagree, but I strongly believe in keeping your print jobs local – and here’s why:
 
• Face to face communication: There’s much to be said about talking directly to your printer. You can look at samples of their work, choose your paper, colors, and check proofs easily. If your job is not printing exactly the way you envisioned it can be adjusted.
• The value of ongoing relationships: Bring in several jobs to the same print company and you build a relationship while supporting the community you live in.
• Quality control: As the customer, you have more control over the end product with a local printer. You don’t have to mail things back if you’re unhappy with the print job and wait for days for a reprint – you can discuss it directly with your printer. Online companies may be able to beat the prices of local companies, but bear in mind what the trade-off is. You can lose time, quality and ultimately money in the long run if you need to reprint or find another online printer. Do you want the cheapest? Or the best quality?
 
“Good service is good business.” - Siebel Ad
 
The goal of your local printer is to build long term relationships in the community by providing good service and a quality product. Since your marketing materials may be the first introduction to your company you want them to look great. Working with the same printer can ensure a consistent level of professional materials – and the end results show that you and the print shop can produce a quality product.
 
When choosing a print company, make sure to weigh all your options -- talk to other business owners, find out who they use and why, compare products, and ask the right questions. You may find that the few dollars you save with an online print company causes problems you never anticipated. Is it worth it?
 
There are many great print shops in the area capable of handling any size print job – color or black & white, large format or small, business cards to full-color complex projects. We use local because we want the best quality and service for our clients.
 
 
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How a creative person charges? Crystal Ball not required.

howcreativescharge blogart Is there a method behind how a creative person charges a client?

Experienced graphic designers, photographers, writers and other creative service providers put a huge amount of effort into their work. Their pricing must be competitive and fair in the market and is based on the time involved, the depth of the project, and the skill required. Next time you’re looking to hire a creative service person, please consider the time and effort that goes into each and everything they do.

Does a writer simply write?

A talented writer doesn’t just sit down and write great copy. There’s a good deal of time and research involved, first drafts, meetings, edits and rewrites before the final copy is approved.

How does a graphic designer create a great logo?

An experienced designer doesn’t just throw a logo together. Thought goes into each idea, and the designer must fully understand the client’s wishes and the company’s mission and message before starting on any initial concepts. Color options, marketing plans and future goals as well as knowing the competition are all important considerations that contribute to a successfully designed logo.

Photography is not just about the pictures!

Similarly, a photographer meets with the client, plans and sets up the photo shoot and choreographs the project from start to finish. He takes the photos, returns to the studio, processes, photoshops, edits, revises and finalizes the work before the client sees any proofs. And there is more time involved in providing the client with the final product.

These are just a few of the steps that your creative services person goes through in order to provide you with a quality product. A good designer wants you to be fully satisfied with the end results!

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The Crow's Nest Upgrades to a Mobile-Friendly and Efficient New Website

crowsnest

When it was time for the Crow’s Nest to develop a new website, manager Matthew Green knew exactly where to turn.

He’d worked with Gary Donson for years, so he told Gary the Venice waterfront landmark was ready for a redesign, and Think Donson got to work on a whole new website.

One of the goals was creating a site that would be better for customers.

“It’s prettier and more efficient for guests,” Green said. “And, of course, it’s responsive in design so it works on mobile devices, too. ”The new website (http://www.crowsnest-venice.com/) features a clean layout, simple navigation and timeless design, with photographs highlighting the delicious seafood the Crow’s Nest serves up and the restaurant’s beautiful waterfront location.

“The site is streamlined to reflect both years of analytics data regarding which of our pages see the most traffic and modern trends – trends in websites in general and trends in restaurant websites,” Green said.

Improving the front-end of the website was important, but Green also wanted to make things easier on the back-end of the website.

“We offloaded our online store to a third party rather than continue to be responsible for the security of credit cards in the online arena,” Green said. “That was Gary’s idea – let some of these great third-party developers help us out with our workload.”

Now that the new website is live, Green’s advice to other restaurateurs and business owners is simple: Don’t leave your business’s website to an amateur.

“Anyone with the budget for it should be having their website designed and managed by a pro,” Green said. “It’s not one of those line items you can disregard anymore. And some of the services available from Think Donson are so inexpensive that you are really making money by using them.”

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The Originals Website Gets a User- Friendly and Fresh New Look

originals
 
If you’ve had an amazing meal at a Sarasota restaurant, chances are that restaurant was one of the Sarasota-Manatee Originals.
 
The Originals are a group of 50 independent restaurants from Anna Maria Island to Venice Pass. They’re known for culinary masterpieces that range from regional cuisines to world flavors from a variety of cultures. People know that when they choose an Original, they’re going to have a wonderful dining experience.
 
But with more Originals patrons using the group’s website when they’re out and about, they needed a website that would translate well to mobile devices.
 
So they turned to Think Donson to do a complete redesign of The Originals website. The new website (DineOriginal.com) replaced a website that was past its prime.
 
“Think Donson took a site that was so outdated and turned it into website gold,” said Originals  Executive Director Kate Atkin. It features simplified navigation that makes it much simpler for diners to use the site on any device.
 
“Now we have a website that’s sophisticated and rich in design,” Atkin said. “It’s a clean, classy website, and most importantly, it’s very easy for our guests to navigate. Working with Think Donson has been nothing less than a pleasure.”
 
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2 New Responsive Websites for Pier 22 - Bradenton FL

Think Pier blog 

People are talking about Pier 22. And no wonder – it has the best dining and catering in Bradenton and a fantastic view of the Manatee River from the historic Memorial Pier to boot.  Whether you have a craving for sushi, fresh fish, mouth-watering steaks or wild game, Pier 22 does it deliciously.

And if you’re planning an event, Pier 22 has you covered with several private dining rooms and a waterfront ballroom that seats over 200 people. Off-site catering is a popular option as well for weddings, corporate events and family gatherings.

Lately the folks at Pier 22 have been working with Think Donson to improve their brand’s digital and physical appearance.

Gary and Felicia Donson have built 2 brand new responsive website for the restaurant(www.pier22dining.com) and catering service (www.pier22catering.com), complete with photo galleries and a blog.

Natalie Purcell, Marketing Director & Operations Manager, says the website is easy to navigate and has beautiful images.

The site was built in Joomla and includes conversion tracking to reveal the sources of traffic and gift card sales. Think Donson also rebranded Pier 22’s marketing materials, including the restaurant’s menus, Facebook page and more.

“It’s been a pleasure to work with both Gary and Felicia on this project as well as many others,” Purcell said. “Their response time is phenomenal and they have some really great ideas.”

 

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Does your branding work at 40 miles per hour?

brandingat40miles
Signage is a great way to bring in customers. But if we’re talking about road signs, how do you attract a potential customer when they’re driving by at 40 miles an hour? Or walking down a busy sidewalk?  Quality design is the key.

Here are some important considerations when creating signage for your business:

• Colors – Bold colors catch the eye of drivers passing or walking by.
• Fonts – Use simple, easy to read typeface!
• Text – Keep it simple. You don’t need a lot of information, just the basics. Too much copy and people won’t bother. You want people to read the sign, not just drive or walk by.
• What do you want your sign to do? Direct people to your store, website, event, etc.? Convince them to consider your services over the competition? Be sure the message is clear.
• Logo – Use a high quality version of your logo on the sign. Make it visible!
• Size – Make sure the sign is the right size for its location. Too big can be overwhelming; too small and it will be missed.
• Quality – Your signage should be well made – good printing, strong color and design, properly installed. If the quality is poor you put your company in a bad light.
 
Every bit of marketing you do is a representation of your company, so be sure to consider all your options before choosing your branding efforts. Signage, websites, advertising, print ads – everything should have the same feel including your logo, colors, font and style.
 
People will recognize your company more easily if you are consistent in your branding. And if the average driver has only a second or two to view your signage on the side of the road, you want to be sure they get the message quickly.

Represent your company the best way you can with Think Donson. For more information, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
 
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How to talk to your web designer

how to talk to your web designer
In the world of branding your business, websites play an important role. They give you exposure to
a larger number of potential clients you  might not normally reach through other forms of marketing. Your website can provide a lot of good information about your products and services – and if your site is well built and well designed, can be a great first impression.
 
Done poorly, a website can also be the kiss of death. So yes, you do need a website for your business, but you’d better be sure it says the right things in the right manner, looks and functions intuitively, and grabs the interest of the people who have visited. The goal of a well-designed website is to draw the person in and get them to respond – by calling, emailing, or making a purchase.

Consider the following questions and share your answers with your web designer:
• Who are your clients? For instance, male, female, young, old? This makes a difference for the design and layout of the site.
• What is the purpose of your site?
• What makes you different from your competitors?
• What are some websites you like and why?
• What kind of image do you want to portray?
• What is the call to action? In other words, what do you hope the site visitor will do once they have visited?
• Sit down and map out your site. How many pages do you need? What headers do you want? What kind of copy, images, maps, etc. need to be on there?

What will a web designer need from you?
• Logo – your logo plays an important part in the look and feel of your site – so if you don’t have a logo, that is your first step!
• Content – whether you have a writer or you are writing your own content, the information you provide is very important in the layout of your site. Sometimes something in the text may spark new ideas or images that can enhance your pages. Mapping out what info needs to be on each page will help this process.
• Pictures -- Are there images you have that you want on the site?
• Videos – Embedded videos can be a great marketing tool.

Providing a designer with the above information will help your website process go more smoothly. The most important thing is having a website that functions and is designed well, so that your potential clients will visit – and become customers. At Think Donson  we can help make this process easier!

Call us today to get started.

“What separates design from art is that design is meant to be... functional.” — Cameron Moll

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