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Updates, marketing news & tips.

Why is a brochure important to your business?

With the presence of the digital world all around us, is it still important to have a well-designed brochure? The answer is yes. Along with your website, social networking, advertising and marketing efforts, a company brochure is an integral part of your branding process.
 
It’s a vital piece of literature about your products and services that a potential customer can take with them. It keeps the face of your business in their hands – and in their heads -- that will remind them of your services. Here are some key advantages of having a brochure for your company or business:
 
• A well designed brochure serves as a perfect introduction to your business.
• Accurately distributed, brochures can expand your company’s visibility.
• Brochures are great marketing tools when reaching out to new customers.
• Brochures can provide positive press about your company.
• Brochures are perfect for trade shows and networking opportunities.
 
I’d also point out the importance of having the right kind of brochure for your company. A badly designed brochure can say as much about your business as a well designed one can, so be sure that it sends out the exact message you want. A good graphic designer should be able to work with you in creating just the right look with the right words that will reach the right audience you wish to reach.
 
• I always tell my customers to keep it simple. You want a good design with visuals, bullet points with brief copy that will create interest – not paragraph after paragraph of text. Too much content and your potential customer will put the brochure down and read no further.
• Be sure the copy in your brochure sends out a positive message about your company – one that shows your success and will make people want to use your services.
• Include a brief introduction about you or your company. Providing a little information about why you’re passionate about what you do will draw customers in.
• State exactly what services you provide or what your company does. Make it clear so that people know what they can expect from you.
• Although this is obvious, it’s often overlooked: make sure your contact information is on your brochure: telephone numbers, website address, email addresses, etc.
 
A well-designed, well-written brochure can help sell your company. If you want to grow as a business and reach out to more customers and you don’t have a brochure yet, think about it.
 
Now is the time to sit down with Think Donson and get started creating a beautiful brochure
that will showcase your business the way you have always imagined it.
 
Design should never say, “Look at me.” It should always say, “Look at this.” -- David Craib
 
 

 

 

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What is graphic design?

“The art and profession of selecting and arranging visual elements—such as typography, images, symbols, and colours—to convey a message to an audience. Sometimes graphic design is called “visual communications.” It is a collaborative discipline: writers produce words and photographers and illustrators create images that the designer incorporates into a complete visual message.“ -- from the Merriam Webster Dictionary
 
Graphic design is a way to communicate an idea -- whether you want to announce a new company, create a business logo, advertize a product and so on. When you look around, most things you see that weren’t created by nature were created by a designer.
 
Although the list is endless here are a few reasons you might need a graphic designer:
• Logo
• Branding
• Website
• Social media
• Advertising
• Billboard
• Brochures
• Tradeshow displays
• Email marketing
 
“To design is to communicate clearly by whatever means you can control or master.” —Milton Glaser
 
Graphic design is a creative process that combines art and technology to communicate different ideas. The designer uses typography, images or a combination of both elements to convey the specific message intended.  A quote by Milton Glaser sums it up best: “There are three responses
to a piece of design – yes, no, and WOW! Wow is the one to aim for.”
 
My main goal is to help bring clients to your business through effective – and beautiful --
graphic design. If you would like to discuss your company’s graphic design needs please
contact Think Donson.
 
 
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When designing a new logo, what questions should I ask myself?

In prior blogs we have discussed the importance of having the right logo for your business. Here are some top questions you should think about if you’re working with a designer who will be creating or redesigning a logo for you. The answers you give will not only help the designer, they will help you identify all of your branding needs.
 
• How would you describe your services? What are the key words that you often use?
• What is the overall market you are looking to reach (demographics)?
• Who are your main competitors?
• How do you differ from your competition?
• 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?
 
Answering these questions are important for both the client and the designer. As the client, you’ve boiled down your thoughts, needs and preferences into a condensed form – and the designer now has a better understanding of you and your business. It’s a win-win for both, and hopefully results in a great logo that has the look and feel that the client wants. 
 
These are just some of the questions that I ask a client who is considering a new logo design. The more I know, the better able I am to understand exactly what the client has in mind. If you’d like to discuss your design needs, please don’t hesitate to call us.
 

 

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When is it time to redesign your website?

Your website is the face of your company -- the front door – and is just as important as having a good product, a great logo and the right brand identity. You want potential clients to be able to find your site, move through it easily, find the answers they’re looking for and ultimately buy your product or use your services.
 
It’s important to keep your website information current on a regular basis, otherwise you risk losing potential business. Contact information changes, links disappear, articles are no longer relevant, prices change – this is all ongoing content maintenance. But when is it time to evaluate the look and design of your website?
 
I generally think it’s a good idea to review the overall graphics and working technology of a website every few years and consider redesigning if you find that enough things have changed to warrant an update. Here are some questions to consider that may help determine if it’s that time:
 
• Is the content still relevant to potential customers?
• Does your website tell your story accurately?
• How much web traffic is the website (and specific pages) getting?
• Does your website work on a mobile device?
• Is your website search friendly?
• Did you rebrand your company recently?
• Have design trends changed?
• Has technology changed?
• Do you need the website to function in a different way (such as adding a blog)?
• Does your website integrate with your social media?
 
An outdated website can negatively affect your business. Thoughts or questions about the process of redesigning your site? Call Think Donson at 941-586-3813 and we can discuss the possibilities. We look forward to hearing from you!

 

 

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KISS: Keep It Simple, Stupid!

Keeping it simple is a great philosophy to follow in design work. When creating your brand, keep in mind you don’t need everything plus the kitchen sink in there. A strong design is a simple design.
 
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” - Leonardo da Vinci
 
Why a simple design? For a number of reasons:
 
• Your company will be perceived as professional and current
• Your business name will be easily recognized
• Your information will be more readable and will flow better
• Your message will be clear and uncluttered
• Your brand will be memorable
• A simple design makes your marketing efforts more effective
 
For example, let’s take websites. If your company website is pleasing to look at and easy to navigate through, odds are that visitors will explore through your pages and may follow through with a call or a purchase. On the other hand, if your site is a design nightmare, confusing with too much information or difficult to move through, potential clients will leave in a hurry and search for another website offering the same product. You have just a few seconds to grab the consumer’s attention so make that impression a positive one. The KISS philosophy is important when creating your brand, logo or any other promotional materials.
 
For clean and simple design concepts, contact Think Donson at 941-586-3813 or by emailThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
 
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Why is a good logo so important?

While out with friends this week the discussion of logos came up. We talked about how memorable – or forgettable – a logo can be, and how important a role it plays in establishing a company’s identity. Think about some of the remarkable logos we recognize that have been around for years:
Coca Cola, Nike, Apple (the list goes on) – we know immediately what the brand is and what they represent.
“A great trademark is appropriate, dynamic, distinctive, memorable and unique.”‘– Primo Angeli
Angeli’s quote is to the point. Your look – your brand identity – should stand for your company, simply and accurately. It should draw the consumer in to find out more. The design serves as an emblem which makes your business or organization easily recognized on your letterhead, your website, and your advertising material.
What makes a good logo? I keep these qualities in mind when designing for my clients:
• Memorable
• Simple and clean
• Effective
• Relevant
• Builds trust
• Stands out from the competition
Before a customer contacts your company they have an impression of you based partially on your logo. They may have seen it online or in print, in a directory or on a business card. If the logo is visually engaging and well designed, the potential client may choose you over the competition. Your logo can say a lot, either positively or negatively -- and is the first opportunity you have to peak the consumer’s interest.
Some business owners consider a logo to be unimportant or an afterthought – but it’s a top priority and an essential part of any budget. A well designed logo says a lot about your commitment to your business and can become a trusted trademark to consumers for years.
Do you want to make a lasting impression? ContactThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.to discuss your design needs and we can create that memorable logo.

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Designing a business card that is impressive and memorable

Of all the pieces of literature printed for your company, your business card may be the most important. Its purpose is two-fold: to leave a positive impression of you after a face-to-face meeting with a potential customer and to entice that person into contacting you about your product or services.
 
A badly printed 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 from you and over to the competition. A well-designed card says that you’re serious and professional about
your business and gives you a head start in attracting the right clientele.
 
Putting too much information on a business card can make it hard to read and your message may get lost in the clutter. Keep your card clean and simple with all the contact info that’s needed so that potential clients can call, visit your website or request a brochure with more detailed specifics.
Two-sided business cards can provide a little more space on the back for a brief list of your basic services. Just remember that your business card’s job is to give accurate information about you, your company, and what exactly it is that you do.
 
When designing your business card consider these important points:
• Your card represents you – it may be the first impression a potential client will have of you.
• Your card should include your name, your position, and the name of your company or business.
• Your message (what it is that you do) should be clear.
• Be sure your contact information is accurate (email address, website, cell phone/office phone).
• The type font that you choose should be easy to read.
• The design should be clean and simple with no clutter.
• Consider printing on both sides if your message requires more space.
• Color, size and design can help your card stand out from the crowd.
• Choose a quality paper stock for printing.
 
Ready to get started? Think Donson (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) can help you by creating the perfect business card for your company – one that will leave a positive impression and help you grow. We look forward to working with you!
 
 
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Building lasting relationships with your clients

An important component of being a successful freelance designer is the ability to build strong client relationships. If you don’t have good customer service skills it doesn’t matter how talented you may be. Lasting and trusting relationships are what keep freelancers and small companies in business.
 
A satisfied customer is worth their weight in gold. As American entrepreneur and author Jim Rohn writes, “One customer well taken care of could be more valuable than $10,000 worth of advertising.
"If you’re skillful in both your trade and public relations, your best advertising will be by word of mouth. If clients like the quality of service you provide, they will recommend you to others.

Important points to remember:
• Provide quality of service – treat your clients with the same courtesy and professionalism that you would expect to receive.
• Communicate openly and effectively – Follow up on all emails and questions from your clients. If you don’t know the answer, let them know you’ll get back to them and then do your research.
• Meet deadlines – Never give a client a deadline you cannot meet.
• Be honest and share your knowledge.
• Make yourself part of your client’s business success – Let them know that their success is also yours!
• Follow up with your clients to be sure everything was done to their satisfaction.

And in the words of General George Patton, “Always do more than is required of you.” You’ll stand out above the crowd.
 
At Think Donson  we concentrate on giving the highest quality of service. For more information on any of our services please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
 
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Great Website Design Equals More Clicks

I decided it was time to give my website a new look and feel. Even designers need to take the time to build a new site. Above you will see the old site verse the new site. 

Where is your eye drawn ??
“Online PR News –A recent study by OnePoll has revealed the importance of a trustworthy,
well designed website for all businesses.The survey highlights 70% of people who claim they would not buy from a poorly designed website. Navigational difficulties, mis-leading price quotations and lack of relevant information are all factors that lead people to click away from a website almost immediately.”

Why it is important?
• Reinforcement of your brand
• Make your main marketing message clear & concise
• Make your company look professional and current
• Make it easy for customers to navigate thru your site
• Make it easy for customers to find what they are looking for
• Make it easy for site visitors to convert

Important Elements to consider:
  • Placement of Logo and Phone Numbers
  • How is your marketing message displayed
  • Is your USP (Unique Selling Proposition) clear
  • Placement & Size of call-to-action graphics
  • Layout of main content
A good website should be simple clean and easy to navigate thru.
You want your home page to draw the consumer in.
You want your your brand to be consistent thru print, web and social media.

Some pages to include on your site:
• Home Page
• About Page
• Contact Page
• Company Blog
• List of Services/Products
• FAQ's
• Testimonials
• Photo Gallery
• Landing Pages

Don’t allow your company’s website to be a last thought. Contact Think Donson to discuss  your website redesign OR a brand new site!
 
 
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Graphics by Felicia becomes a Division of Think Donson

us-art 3After we were married in October of last year, it made perfect sense to brirng "Graphics by Felicia" under the umbrella of "Think Donson".  The website for Graphics by Felicia is currently being re-designed to better showcase the creative side of what we do everyday!  We can create everything you need to make a spectacular impression, whether you need invitations, printed materials, scrapboks (both physical & video) and online flipbooks.  No matter the size of the event or project, leave it to us to design the most appropriate pieces for your very special occasion.

Graphics by Felicia will be offering design services for:

  • Invitations
  • Scrapbooks
  • Video Scrapbooks
  • Flipbooks

Think Donson will continue to provide services for:

  • Branding & Re-Branding
  • Graphic Design & Logo Design
  • Website Design
  • Digital Marketing
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New Web Design, New Tagline, New Year

website image

August 1st will begin our second year at Think Donson. We have just completed a total redesign of our website, and have debuted our new tagline. The new site features a clean design, full-screen images and easy navigation. The responsive design of the site ensures the same great experience on mobile and tablet devices. Our portfolio was simplified with larger visuals, since the number one thing our potential clients want to see is our work.

Updating our tagline was not achieved without a few passionate conversations! The left brain of the team wanted the emphasis on "function and results" while the right brain wanted to focus on "form and design." In the end, with a little help from a few friends, we settled on “Designing and defining your digital landscape,” which represents our goal with every client. In today's digital marketing world, you need to know what combination of digital assets is right for your business, then make them all work together with a uniform look and message.

We are thrilled with our new landscape, let us help you with yours!

 

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Ongoing Charitable Effort Benefiting the Payton Wright Foundation

PWF logo colorIn February of 2015 Think Donson was  invited to be on the board of the Payton Wright Foundation which we graciously accepted.   As board members we will continue to provide marketing, branding and website support for the Foundation.  The Payton Wright Foundation (PWF) exists to help support hundreds of families who are caring for a child with brain cancer.   Ongoing fundraising efforts to support the foundation include "Dollar Days", "Special Events", "Feed the Frog" & "Payton's Angels".  Please consider supporting the foundation!  Learn more by visiting their website today.
 
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Think Donson Celebrates One-Year Anniversary with Charitable Effort Benefiting the Payton Wright Foundation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Gary Donson
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: 941.487.0036
 
SARASOTA, FL (July 25, 2014) – Think Donson, a firm that provides traditional and digital marketing solutions through services including website development and design, SEO, graphic design, and branding, is celebrating its one-year anniversary by “giving back.” Think Donson partners Gary Donson and Felicia Rothberg have chosen to support the Payton Wright Foundation by donating a gas card with the engagement of every new
client.
 
PWF logo colorPayton Wright Foundation (PWF) exists to help support families who are caring for a child with brain cancer. Established in 2008 by Patrick and Holly Wright, the foundation honors the memory of their daughter, Payton, who passed away from brain cancer at the age of five. PWF works with families, physicians, and social workers to provide practical relief for things such as fuel, food, or housing expenses so that families can focus their full attention on their child’s care and treatment.
 
“We have talked to, worked and volunteered with many organizations over the course of our careers,” said Rothberg. “We have been so impressed with the consistently high-quality and compassionate work of the Payton Wright Foundation and feel not only that it’s a good fit for us on a personal level, but also that our modest contribution will really help to make a difference in peoples’ lives.”
 
“Our first year in business together has exceeded our expectations, and we feel so fortunate to be able to do what we love – and do it together,” Gary added. “We feel the least we can do to celebrate our good fortune is to give back to families in need.” Think Donson recently tweaked its branding and redesigned its own website. “We wanted to showcase current trends, which incorporate clean design, full screen visuals, a focus on a ‘message,’ easy navigation and, most importantly, responsive design,” Gary said. “The site looks great on all devices."
 
Think Donson celebrates its anniversary on August 1, 2014. Donson and Rothberg have even more to celebrate – the business partners will marry in October. For more information about Think Donson or its charitable activities, call 941.487.0036 or go to www.ThinkDonson.com.
 

About Think Donson

Think Donson partners Gary Donson and Felicia Rothberg provide digital and traditional marketing solutions through website development and design, branding, graphic design, SEO, copy writing and more. Think Donson embraces an alternative agency model, strategically partnering with some of the finest creative talent in the area – but without the traditional agency mark-up. Call 941.487.0036 or go to www.ThinkDonson.com for
more information.
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Re-Branding project for Sarasota Professional Photographer : Including Logo Design, Website Design and Social Media

Andrea-Blog

Photographer Andrea Hillebrand is renowned for looking through the lens and capturing her client’s essence. She has the unique ability to support her clients through a shoot that is professional, enriching and transformative. We have personally used Andrea's services and would highly recommend her.

Client : Andrea Hillebrand Photographer - Sarasota, FL
Industry : Professional Photograher
Launched : May 2014
Built with : Joomla 3.2
Features : Responsive Website Design, Search Engine Friendly, Responsive Photo Gallery, Custom Contact Forms
 
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New Joomla Responsive Website for Local Sarasota Dentist

SRQ-dentistry-blog

SRQ Dentistry is a family and cosmetic dental practice that is dedicated to helping patients receive the highest quality of honest dental care in a comfortable and caring setting.  

Client : SRQ Dentistry - Sarasota, FL
Industry : Dental Practice
Launched : March 2014
Built with : Joomla 3.2
Features : Responsive Website Design, Search Engine Friendly, Custom Contact Forms, Content Management System
 
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Upgraded Responsive Website for The Broken Egg Restaurant - Sarasota FL

Broken-Egg-Blog

The Broken Egg restaurant on Clark Rd, Sarasota happens to be one our favorite places for breakfast.   We have been working with the owner, Dawn Hair, since February of 2014.  The goal from the beginning was to give the brand a fresh new look, increase online visibility & traffic and maintain constant communicaton with patrons.  The ongoing services we provide to the Broken Egg include:

  • Monthly newsletter via Constant Contact
  • Design of posters displayed in the restaurant (updated monthly)
  • Update the website weekly with new specials
  • Design graphics for the Blog & Facebook posts
  • Update & maintain the business information in the top 55 online directories
  • Provide ongoing monthly reporting and marketing consultation
Client : The Broken Egg Restaurant - Sarasota, FL
Industry : Breakfast & Lunch Restaurant
Launched : February 2014
Built with : Joomla 3.2
Features : Responsive Website Design, Search Engine Friendly, Custom Contact Forms, Content Management System
 
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Responsive Limousine Website - St Julian Limousine - Garden Grove CA

St-Jullian-limo

St Julian Limousine is based Garden Grove, CA and services the southern California region.  The website design has a very modern clean look with simple navigation.  Responsive design was critical as a large part of their online traffic is originating with mobile and tablet devices.  This re-branding project included a new logo, business cards, website and facebook page.  If you need a ride in LA, St Julian is your guy!

Client : St Julian Limousine - Garden Grove, CA
Industry : Limousine Service
Launched : January 2014
Built with : Joomla 3.2
Features : Responsive Website Design, Search Engine Friendly, Custom Contact Forms, Content Management System
 
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Fyzical Franchise Website - Responsive Design - Sarasota FL

Fyzical-Business

FyzicalBusiness.com is the 4th website designed for the Fyzical brand.  This site is designed for physical therapists that are interested in adopting the Fyzical brand and becoming a franchisee.  The site is very clean and was designed to take a website visitor through a step by step process when navigating the site.  This site was built in Joomla 3.0 and is fully responsive on all devices.

Client : Fyzical - Sarasota, FL
Industry : Physical Therapy Franchisor
Launched : January 2014
Built with : Joomla 3.0
Features : Responsive Website Design, Search Engine Friendly, Custom Contact Forms
 
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Lead Generation Website - PT Business 2014 - Sarasota, FL

PT-Future

PT Future 2014 is a fully responsive website built with Joomla 3.0.  The purpose of the site is lead generation and promoting event seminars about the rapidly evolving physical therapy industry.  As part of the lead qualifying process an online "Quiz Component" was added to the site.  The online quiz can be quickly modified and expanded as needed.  

Client : PT Business 2014 - Sarasota, FL
Industry : Physical Therapy - Event Promotion
Launched : December 2013
Built with : Joomla 3.0
Features : Responsive Website Design, Quiz component, Search Engine Friendly, Custom Contact Forms
 

 

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Responsive Web Design and Joomla Upgrade - Hope Family Services - Bradenton, FL

Hope

Hope Family Services is a private not for profit corporation founded in 1979 their primary purpose is to provide Services to survivors of domestic violence and help them stay safe, gain strength and evaluate their options.  The site was upgraded from Joomla 1.5 to Joomla 3.0 using a responsive design.  The responsive nature of the site was very important as more and more individuals are accessing the website through their mobile devices.  

Client : HOPE Family Services - Bradenton, FL
Industry : Family Services & Domestic Abuse
Launched : November 2013
Built with : Joomla 3.0
Features : Responsive Website Design, Home Page Slideshow, Search Engine Friendly, Custom Contact Forms
Website developed and designed in collaboration with Graphics By Felicia

 

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