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Geekend 2014

We recently attended Savannah’s Geekend, a creative and entrepreneurial organization. It’s basically a place where your brain becomes so full of ideas and possibilities that it could explode. It also causes your heart to overflow with passion and purpose. It consists of hundreds of people all teeming with the same feelings, engaging with others to pursue new challenges, making opportunities happen and pushing boundaries to the edge. Long story short, we became “Geekenders.”

Here are several things we enjoyed throughout the weekend:

Marketing Pitch Interactive Session

Creatives were challenged to design a launch campaign to promote newest location of historic ice cream shop. We broke into teams, Cari Phelps and Josh Barrett on one team, Cody Sparks and Brittany Laughlin were on another team with our freelance Social Media consultant Jillian Stafford.

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Keynotes

We greatly enjoyed the keynotes, including Pitch Circus.

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Makers

A highlight of the entire weekend was learning how to produce prototypes, learning about 3D printing and being inspired by the maker movement. The best way to get started? Leave fear and lack of knowledge at the door. Jump in and start doing.

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UX

Some of us most enjoyed the sessions about interactive and UX/UI design. We are already using the knowledge and tips gained from this session in our current workflow.

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Networking and Entertainment

Networking is always a bonus anywhere we go as entrepreneurs. We got the opportunity to participate in a lunch discussion with CNN’s Doug Gross. His ongoing column, “What’s Next” is CNN’s hub for stories about innovation. His blog features forward-looking thinkers in the fields of tech, science and social change. It also highlights the big ideas and events that will help shape our collective future.

We had a lot of fun talking about tech pitches and how everyone thinks their idea is brilliant. This quickly lead to the idea that there should be a group called Angel Sherpas that will allow businesses to connect with this business to provide guidance about what to do and what not to do.

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There were several great conversations, two unforgettable after parties and plenty of new ideas to present for the future at Clark Creative Design.

The Geekend crew is already saddling up for Geekend 2015. Want to join?

Mark your calendars for next year’s event and be a part of the movement!

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Have a Bad Day Day (November 19)

It’s ok, let it out… it’s Have a Bad Day Day!

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Thank you, Veterans!

So many families, friends, kids and maybe even YOU have sacrificed your life for OUR freedom. There will never be the right amount of words to truly express proper thanksgiving for those who have served or are currently serving. But, please know you are not unnoticed, and with that being said, here is a huge THANKS from our team here at Clark Creative Communications.

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Field Trip

We had the opportunity to visit a letterpress printing company a couple weeks ago in the River Arts District of Asheville, NC. We met the printer and learned all about his nearly 40 year working passion for great print and collecting moveable type. Here are some snapshots of our adventure!

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Drive with DeSIGN

We are pleased to share some fun design work our team did earlier this year. It is so fulfilling seeing our work in action, and our clients succeeding because of it. A huge thanks to Allison for the design work, to Speedi Sign for the install, and to NuBarter/Revenue for connecting us with this client.

Check it out and let us know what you think!

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10 Years!

Celebrating 10 amazing, creative years for Clark Creative! It’s crazy how fast time can go, and the opportunities that present themselves in the midst of those years. We have worked hard to get where we are today, and it is such an honor to see the team grow and be shaped along the journey! Here are some pictures from our celebration.

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Thanks for supporting our business & being a part of the party! Cheers!

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Cheese Pizza Day (September 5)

How do you like your pizza pie — plain, or with toppings? Happy Cheese Pizza Day!

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How does your garden grow?

We love living in a town filled with creativity. From local galleries to store windows, everyone in Savannah loves to push the envelope and amp up our historic town’s artistic culture. Karrie Hovey’s …the Garden Grows: Inside and Out at Telfair Museums’ Jepson Center fits the bill, providing us with an immersive experience that transforms these humble, everyday (and recycled!) objects into a vibrant garden. Christmas displays, packing foam, plastic bags and old books have been cut, twisted, glued and tied together in an amazing display of craftsmanship and symbolism. By giving these throwaway products new meaning, she expresses concern about how we as a culture treat the environment while providing a place for dialogue between viewers.

And it’s also very pretty :)

If you’re in Savannah, check out the Jepson Center (hours here) any time before August 17. The museum is also participating in the Blue Star Museums program, providing free admission for active-duty military and their families through September 1.

 

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Paul Bunyan Day (June 28)

Don’t let him shake you up too bad today…

Clark Creative Team

TEDxCC 2014 Takeaways

We had a BLAST at TEDxCC 2014. We always do — it’s become sort of a yearly tradition for our team — but we were so inspired by some of the talks that we wanted to share our thoughts and takeaways (along with a few others). For a full list of the speakers, please visit the TEDxCC website.

Thanks for the team photo, Art Rise Savannah!

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Tap Dance Day (May 29)

Get out your dancin’ shoes… it’s Tap Dance Day!

Clark Creative Offices

Part-time Graphic Design Intern

Clark Creative is an award-winning design and communications studio based in Savannah that works with businesses nationwide to establish their brand identity and position them strategically within the marketplace. With more than ten years of experience and excellence, Clark Creative is one of the top design firms in the Southeast.

Position Description:

Clark Creative is looking for a graphic design intern / creative rockstar to assist with various projects. The ideal candidate will have an eye for design, a passion for branding, website or packaging design, a firm understanding of Adobe Creative Suite, and the willingness to take on different agency roles.

The intern will be responsible for providing full-studio support, which may entail assisting with online and social media marketing, project management, brainstorming creative concepts, print design and production, branding, and web design and development.

This is an unpaid internship, and the ideal candidate must be able to commit 8-15 hours a week for a total of 150 hours.

Position Responsibilities that will Strengthen your Skill Set:

  • Create print graphics for a variety of applications, such as folders, banners, ads, and packaging
  • Assist in creating and executing social media calendars for a variety of clients
  • Assist in the ideation and creation process, including team meetings and brainstorming sessions
  • Assist in design for the web—including ads and websites—and work with the Graphic Designer in overseeing production and development
  • Provide website management assistance for a variety of clients
  • Provide general office support (we have a Keurig so you won’t be responsible for making coffee. We promise you’ll get real value from this experience!)

Requirements:

  • First and foremost: a positive attitude and a desire to have fun!
  • Must be proficient with the Adobe Creative Suite (InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop)
  • Excellent time management, communication, and organization skills
  • Must be willing and able to work within a deadline
  • Must be able to work independently, but with a strong focus on team success

Bonus Skills:

  • Knowledge of WordPress
  • Organized Research Skills
  • Print Production Experience
  • Experience with Social Media Management

To Apply:

Send your resume along with a link to your portfolio to Brittany@clarkcreativedesign.com. Please do not include attachments exceeding 5mb.

Allison

Congratulations, Allison, on one year at Clark Creative!

We sat down with Allison, a member of our graphic design team, to discuss her first year at Clark Creative Communications — check out what she had to say!

Tell us about your favorite project:
One of my favorite projects so far has been working on packaging and branding for Salacia Salts, an all natural body care line that’s inspired by the South and Sea. This is an ongoing project for us and there is always something new and exciting to work on. I love packaging design and this client gives me a chance to experiment and try new things.

Another client that is near and dear to my heart is the Mars Theatre in historic downtown Springfield, Georgia. Springfield is my hometown, so when the City contacted us to help them tackle this daunting project, I was thrilled! The theatre originally opened in 1945, bringing culture and excitement to the downtown area. However, the development of television ultimately lead to its closure in 1957. The theatre remained abandoned, then reopened as an office space until the Springfield Revitalization Corporation partnered with the City of Springfield to begin renovations in 2007. We were hired to brand the new Mars Theatre, as well as handle all of their marketing, advertising and website. It has been so much fun for me to be able to work on this project and see all of our hard work unfolding in my own little town. The Mars reopened in April with a bang, and I cannot wait to see how downtown Springfield develops as a result.

What do you like about being a designer?
Everything! I wake up every day excited to go to work because I truly love what I do. We have the best clients, and I get to be creative and artistic every day. Plus, we laugh so much in the office that it rarely feels like “work”.

Is being a designer different than what you thought it would be?
I had no idea how much time I would be spending communicating with clients and vendors (and the IT guy!) About half of my day is spent on the phone, emailing clients, or in meetings – which is sometimes a welcomed break for my creative brain!

What are your goals for the next year?
To learn – anything and everything! I started at Clark Creative just a few days fresh out of school, and it’s amazing the things that they never taught us. I’ve learned so much in the past year about design, printing, and how to effectively communicate with clients and collaborate with other creatives.

Part of learning is trying different design styles and techniques. Lately I’ve been experimenting with hand-lettering and illustration, and I would really like to hone those skills.


Congratulations on one year at Clark Creative, Allison — we’re looking forward to the years to come!

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National Pretzel Day (April 26)

Don’t panic — grab a pretzel and cheer on your favorite baseball team today!

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Our Favorite April Fools’ Day Pranks

Looking for a great April Fools’ Day prank to pull on your office? We’ve compiled a few of our favorites that should get you inspired for tomorrow…

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Google Nose

This well designed prank by Google almost had us believe that it was the new scentsation last year, but we’ll hold off on waking up with the fresh scent of wet dog in the air.

USEFUL FOR: People who always know the latest in technology — come up with “the latest” and see who believes you.

The Swiss Spaghetti Harvest

An oldie but a goodie, the Swiss Spaghetti Harvest was a prank pulled by Charles de Jaeger and the BBC that convinced British viewers that spaghetti grew on trees. The thought that went into this is extensive — not only did they have to have access to the right voice for the project (the authoritative Richard Dimbleby) but they had to figure out how to hang the spaghetti! You can read the full history on the Museum of Hoxes website.

USEFUL FOR: The practical joker. Although let’s take it back a few steps — you probably don’t have the time or money to convince the nation of a bumper crop of spaghetti or pickles. Try wrapping your coworkers desk in decorative paper, convincing them you’re a vampire or stop by the thrift store for some quick impersonation materials.

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Twitter (sorry, Twttr) fooled a lot of people by suggesting they were going to start charging for their premium “Twitter” service. For people who were expecting an eventual charge for the social media network, this didn’t come as too much of a shock, but the English lit student in all of us cringed. No worries, Twitter is still free — AND includes all letters of the alphabet.

USEFUL FOR: Messing with the grant writer or grammar fiend in the office — try typing all your notes to them tomorrow in  chat speak.

Finding Treasure with Google Maps

Captain Kidd's Treasure Map

Another good one by Google, this treasure map supposedly led you to Captain Kidd’s lost treasure — but the clues really spelled out April Fools!

USEFUL FOR: Hiding all the office supplies and leading everyone on a merry chase through the building. Make sure they all stock up on coffee first, though.

The Taco Liberty Bell

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They’re just taking care of the national debt… right? In 1996 Taco Bell announced that they were going to purchase the Liberty Bell and have it split its time between Philadelphia and Taco Bell HQ in Irvine. We love the simplicity of this ad — and it’s response. Thousands of concerned citizens called in, and hundreds of print and broadcast outlets covered the story. While you probably don’t have time to take out a national ad, make sure you let the other party know about your prank. The National Park Service and the City of Philadelphia had no idea until they were bombarded with calls!

USEFUL FOR: Designers. “Submit” an ad to your company newsletter or go around and create fake memorial staircases, windows and rooms.

Glass Bottomed Plane

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The glass bottomed plane from Virgin Atlantic was kind of terrifying — and prompted questions about the logistics of its safety. Although viewing the land below you would be pretty cool…

USEFUL FOR: The person who is always trying something new. Try to convince someone you had a vastly different commute into work — a helicopter, by boat, rode a horse — and see how far you can take it!

What is your favorite April Fools’ Day Prank?

BONUS:

Everyone has gotta love Kid President.

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Valentine’s Day Cards

Looking for a Valentine’s Day Card for your sweetheart? Download our printables by clicking here!

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 Download our printables by clicking here!

Top 5 Reasons to Send Out Regular Email Campaigns

Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Be Sending Regular Email Blasts

 

Haven’t sent out an email blast in awhile? Here are our top 5 reasons why you should get back in the habit of sending regular email marketing campaigns — or get started!

1. Concentrated News

Instead of having to look all over for content about your industry or relying on a customer to visit your website, your customers will be receiving a direct message of what is important to you – and how it can help them.

2. Professional & Engaging

A well designed email stands out in your prospect’s inbox! But how can you be sure they read it? Have you tried combining serious business news or product updates along with less formal writing? If you weave in some of your brand personality, you are ensuring that your customers will read through to the end by being human. There are several approaches on how to lighten up an email newsletter to keep it engaging. One of our users puts a random holiday at the end of each email to capture attention and have a bit of fun.

3. Brand Recognition

Who are you? Regular email blasts keep your company name on your customers’ minds. Not only will they know who you are, they’ll recognize what and see what you do.

4. Your website is only a click away!

Your images and text can be hyperlinked to specific content on your website or social media pages, allowing for a seamless transition between the email and more information. Plus, you can track response, open rates and click throughs to gauge what’s most important to your readers.

5. Measurable Results

Most email campaign managers (like MyEmma or MailChimp) provide a robust and easy to comprehend analytics system that you can use to track the effectiveness of your messages.

Confused on how to start your email campaigns? Looking for a content strategy plan? Email us to set up an appointment with our outstanding digital marketing team.

Cari and Patrick pose with the Hansen pumpkin

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween from Clark Creative! We had fun this week carving pumpkins with our clients. What’s your favorite Halloween tradition? Tell us on Twitter or on Facebook!

Best of Savannah

Best of Savannah Party

We had a blast at the Best of Savannah Party last month! Thank you to all who make us the Best Design Firm in Savannah, and thanks for all the kind words about the cover design for the September/October issue of Savannah Magazine. Not to brag, but we think Cari definitely knocked it out of the park. (Thanks Caila!)

We loved the 1920’s and Art Deco-inspired party theme created by Joel and Erika Snayd — and this wasn’t our first rodeo with the dynamic duo of Rethink Design Studio. We previously worked with them the branding for the modern apothecary  See Jane (we designed the logo and collateral materials), located in Downtown Savannah, and to develop the brand platform and name for high end luxury cat product designer Catouri Cats.

Photo via Savannah Magazine & Katie McGee

Check out the photos on Savannah Magazine’s website!

 

Moment of Frustration Day

Moment of Frustration Day (Oct12)

Today we bring you another one of our promotional holiday graphics. Today is Moment of Frustration Day. You are allowed one a year, use it well!

Upstairs Office Location

Top 10 Reasons to Rent Office Space at Clark Creative!

We’ll be updating this list over the next 10 days with the Top 10 Reasons to rent office space in our building… so stay tuned!

1.While we can’t accept unicorn tears or high fives* in exchange for your rent, it’s only $400/month. AND includes utilities, like the internetz**. *We’ll accept these in addition to rent money. **So many cat videos.

2. We have an office dog***! So you can say hi to Hercules. ***Sometimes. When he’s being nice. And we’ve bribed him with treats.

3. You don’t have to pay to park on our street! So you can use your quarters for playing arcade games at the movie theater.

4. Who doesn’t love coffee? We have a Keurig that you can use, but you can also walk to most of the coffee shops in town. #WINNING

5. We’re usually really quiet in the office… unless Caila tells a really bad joke. So come share our building! Share the news, and contact Cari@clarkcreativedesign.com if you’re interested.

6. Your office has enough space for afternoon yoga. Or you can work outside (or take a quick nap in the sun) on our back deck. TRIPLE #WIN.

7. If you rent the upstairs office space, we’ll treat you right. We’ll put fresh cut flowers on your desk! (IF any grow in the garden we hope to plant soon in our courtyard)

8. There’s a fridge! And a freezer. We even have fun shaped ice cubes!

9. More than just a room. Rent includes access to a spacious conference room on the first floor – and free promotion of your business. If you’d like, we’ll clear off some space on the shelves for you and encourage you to put up some of your business cards. Let’s promote each other’s business!

10. Your office mates! Though you’ll have your own private space, you won’t be alone.
You’ll be sharing the building with 3 lovely ladies (we know you want to see our faces!http://clarkcreativedesign.com/staff/) – and a guy named Dave.

Rental Details

517 E. Gordon Street

Monthly rent of $400 includes use of our newly renovated conference room, 3 desks, 3 task chairs and includes utilities (like internet!)

Free street parking (no meters)

Contact Cari@clarkcreativedesign.com for more information and to see the space!

Best of Savannah

Clark Creative Communications Honored as Best Design Firm in Savannah Magazine’s 2013 “Best of Savannah” Issue

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 18, 2013

Media Contact:

Cari Clark Phelps
Clark Creative Communications
P 912.233.1160
F 912.228.4427
cari@clarkcreativedesign.com
clarkcreativedesign.com

Clark Creative Communications Honored as Best Design Firm in Savannah Magazine’s 2013 “Best of Savannah” Issue

SAVANNAH, Ga. – Clark Creative Communications, an award-winning design and communications firm headquartered in Savannah, was recently named Best Design Firm in Savannah Magazine’s 13th Annual Best of Savannah issue. This popular annual reader’s survey, which appears in the September/October 2013 issue, recognizes Savannah’s top businesses.

Savannah Magazine raves: “Designers are a dime a dozen in our artsy city, so it takes true vision — not to mention formidable grit — to distinguish oneself as best of the best. Enter Clark Creative, an award-winning design and communications studio founded by Cari Clark Phelps in 2004. Her designs are so iconic that they’ll work for you and on you.”

Clark Creative Communications will be honored at the Best of Savannah Party on Thursday, September 19, 2013 at the Charles H. Morris Center, located at 10 E. Broad St.

Cari Clark Phelps, owner and creative director, also had the honor of illustrating the cover for Savannah Magazine’s September/October issue.

A complete list of “Best of Savannah” winners can be found in the new issue of Savannah Magazine or online at www.savannahmagazine.com.

For additional information, please contact:

Cari Clark Phelps
Clark Creative Communications
P 912.233.1160
F 912.228.4427
cari@clarkcreativedesign.com
clarkcreativedesign.com

ABOUT CLARK CREATIVE COMMUNICATIONS

Clark Creative Communications, an award-winning design and communications firm headquartered in Savannah, Ga., works with businesses nationwide to establish their brand identity and strategic positioning within the marketplace.  Under the leadership and excellence of founder and creative director Cari Clark Phelps, Clark Creative is widely known as one of the top design firms in the Southeast. Clark Creative Communications was named “Best Design Firm 2013” by the readers of Savannah Magazine. For more information about Clark Creative Communications, visit www.clarkcreativedesign.com or call 912.233.1160.

ABOUT SAVANNAH MAGAZINE

There’s no place like Savannah – and no one brings the city to life like Savannah Magazine.

Our mission is to discover, explore and interpret Savannah’s unique cultural identity with smart, layered, inclusive content. We live to create the arresting imagery, layered narratives and warm, playful dialogue that capture the essence of this place — and the undivided attention of the city’s most invested fans. Elegant and relevant. Eccentric and fun. That’s Savannah, and this is her magazine. For more information about Savannah Magazine, visit www.savannahmagazine.com

 Click here to download full press release »

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Clark Creative Communications Hires Allison Bright as Graphic Designer

Clark Creative Communications Hires Allison Bright as Graphic Designer

SAVANNAH, Ga.Clark Creative Communications, an award-winning design and communications firm headquartered in Savannah, Ga., recently hired Allison Bright as a graphic designer. In her new position, Bright is responsible for engaging a variety of clients from creative conception to execution on projects ranging from packaging to logo design.

Bright excels at creative thinking, attention to detail and exhibits a strong passion for developing brand identities and the design process from start to finish. Prior to joining the Clark Creative team, Bright earned a B.F.A. in Graphic Design, summa cum laude, from Georgia Southern University in 2013.

“We’re excited to have hired one of Georgia Southern University’s brightest students, graduating at the top of her creative class,” said Cari Clark Phelps, owner and creative director. “Allison has immersed herself in all aspects of our current portfolio of client projects. Her ability to identify methods for achieving the greatest levels of success, for both the company and clients, is a tremendous benefit to our creative team.”

For additional information, please contact:

Cari Clark Phelps
Clark Creative Communications
P 912.233.1160
F 912.228.4427
cari@clarkcreativedesign.com
clarkcreativedesign.com

ABOUT CLARK CREATIVE COMMUNICATIONS:

Clark Creative Communications, an award-winning design and communications firm headquartered in Savannah, Ga., works with businesses nationwide to establish their brand identity and strategic positioning within the marketplace.  Under the leadership of founder and creative director Cari Clark Phelps, Clark Creative is widely known as one of the top design firms in the Southeast. Clark Creative Communications was named “Best Design Firm 2013” by the readers of Savannah Magazine. For more information about Clark Creative Communications, please visit www.clarkcreativedesign.com or call 912.233.1160.

Click here to download the full release »

Miniature Golf Day

Miniature Golf Day (Sep 21)

Today we bring you another one of our promotional holiday graphics. Go out and celebrate Miniature Golf Day!

Tell a Joke Day

Tell a Joke Day (Aug16)

Today we bring you another one of our promotional holiday graphics. Have fun and enjoy National Tell a Joke Day!

Hot Dog Day

Hot Dog Day (July 23)

Today we bring you another one of our promotional holiday graphics. Enjoy a great Hot Dog Day!

Yo-Yo Day

Yo-Yo Day (June 6)

Today we bring you another one of our promotional holiday graphics. Have a great Yo-Yo Day!

Dance like a Chicken Day

Dance like a Chicken Day (May14)

Today we bring you another one of our promotional holiday graphics. It’s officially Dance like a Chicken Day! C’mon everyone is doing it!

Scrabble Day

Scrabble Day (April 14)

Today we bring you another one of our promotional holiday graphics. Enjoy Scrabble Day!

Clam on the Half Shell Day

Clam on the Half Shell Day (Mar 31)

Here is another one of our promotional holiday graphics. This weekend, don’t forget to celebrate “Clam on the Half Shell Day”.

Don't Cry Over Spilled Milk

Don’t Cry over Spilled Milk Day (Feb 5)

Here is another one of our promotional holiday graphics. Today, try to remember….Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milk!

“Tip On” Removable Printing

What exactly is Tip-On Printing?
A lot of our clients want to adhere their business card to the back of a brochure, customizing it for each of their sales team. There is an easy solution to make this work! It’s called the “Tip-On” process. It uses temporary glue called “fugitive glue” to stick two marketing pieces together and leaves no sticky residue on the piece once it’s removed. This is an ideal way to add an extra, or bonus type message to your existing print piece. For example, a Tip-On is a great way to add a plastic gift card to a postcard; or a restaurant flyer offer to the inside of a magazine. Using the Tip-On process, you can glue virtually any two print pieces together – with each piece being able to separate and maintain its own unique value.

Why Tip-Ons?
Tip-On Printing lets you add extra standout messaging to any existing print product. The best part is your overall print presentation can evolve over time – with one glued piece changing while the other stays the same. For example, you don’t have to redesign your postcard every time you want to launch a new direct mail campaign. You can simply stick with your standard messaging on the postcard, while evolving your new customer offer to a gift card for each new mailing. Tip-On lets you keep your marketing fresh while saving on design costs.

What’s the Cost?
In addition to your original printing cost, there is a $90 setup fee for adding a tip-on to your printing project, and 7¢ fee for every finished piece.

Heritage Pines: Billboard

Directional Advertising

Clark Creative Creates Directional Informational Signage for Award Winning Development in Augusta

 

Augusta’s Laney Walker/Bethlehem Revitalization Initiative has received a 2013 National Planning Excellence Award from the American Planning Association and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Read more >>

Dress Up Your Pet Day

Dress Up Your Pet Day (Jan 14)

Today we bring you one of our promotional holiday graphics. We hope you have a great “Dress Up Your Pet Day”

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With thanks – and humor

Fun Marketing with a Purpose

For the past couple of years, Clark Creative has been sending out unique holiday greetings to contacts, clients, friends and vendors. The calendars, sent bi-monthly, provide our team an opportunity to have fun, flex our creative muscles, work on our vector illustration skills, and showcase our design work. We’ve learned over the past 9 years in business that the majority of our business comes from referrals. To keep top of mind with our contacts, we send out calendars every 60 days or so.  On one side we showcase two month’s calendars and the other two sides are heavy with color and graphics. One side of the freestanding card is a fun illustration – usually with some sort of pun (Cari loves a good pun!) – pairing two holidays. The other is an abbreviated showcase of design work. We find our clients know our work but don’t realize the full scope of our offerings – or maybe they really had no idea we were the creative brains behind a campaign, packaging design project or launch of a new brand in town. This is a fun way to promote ourselves, our clients and skills of the design team at Clark Creative Communications.

Follow us on Facebook to see what holidays we’ll be celebrating in 2013.

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The International Sign for Clever

The International Sign of Cool

Travel is one of my top passions. It inspires, motivates and provides me with great inspiration for current and future projects we’re working on at the studio. While traveling in The Netherlands and Belgium this fall, I spotted a lot of unique graphic signage. Below are some images I snapped with my iPhone through my favorite app – Instagram. With Instagram, mobile phone users can take and share photographs instantly – and share their stories visually with customers, friends and family.

This sign was next to a residence inside of a convent.

Markets were everywhere – vegetables, meats, flowers, antiques, art and books. The fresh food markets were the most amazing (I’m such a foodie!) – and their signs were small explorations of typographic fun to discover.

Some sort of public awareness campaign…

I love seahorses and diecut signs.

A sign made out of bicycle wheels and old bike parts. Clever!

A directory? On the side of  a building.

The Mannekin Pis is a not so interesting but very popular (in my opinion) attraction in Brussels, Belgium. However, what was fascinating to me were all the costumes, figures and interpretations of the famous statue throughout the city. From chocolate bars, tacky Christmas ornaments, to cartoons painted on the sides of buildings, the little boy relieving himself can be seen at every turn!

- by cari clark phelps

Midnight Garden Ride Logo

The Midnight Garden Ride

The 4th Annual Midnight Garden Ride presented by New Belgium Brewing was a unique Labor Day Weekend event this past September hosted in Savannah, Georgia.

The perfect Labor Day Weekend accompaniment to Savannah Craft Brew Fest and the Savannah Century, nearly 600 turned the streets into a wave of blinking lights, music, and pedal powered fun on the warm Savannah night. The 10-mile ride through historic downtown benefits Savannah Bicycle Campaign’s efforts to build a better Savannah through bicycling.

Clark Creative Communications gladly accepted this opportunity to brand the event with a new logo, event signage, advertising, posters, tshirts and other marketing collateral. The design incorporates a playful theme of a yellow caution street sign with cyclists wearing safety goggles.

A live concert – the Good and Evil Party, co-produced by the Savannah Stopover, started after the ride in Telfair Square. Ponderosa out of Atlanta — recently featured in Paste Magazine and NPR’s All Songs Considered — headlined the concert and This Mountain of Johnson City, TN kicked the night off.

Website Design (hancockaskew.com)

enhanced website for Hancock Askew & Co

Clark Creative Communications Designs Website for Regional CPA Firm Hancock Askew & Co.

Tailored directly to the unique needs of Hancock Askew & Co., Clark Creative Communications has developed a robust website for the thriving CPA firm. The site seamlessly incorporates a fresh format and design with search engine optimization, social media integration, and a YouTube channel specifically designed to coordinate with the company’s branding.

“Hancock Askew is a CPA firm with over 100 years of experience, and has recently merged with another company with a location in Atlanta,” explains Cari Clark Phelps, founder and creative director of Clark Creative Communications. “They now have a full service office in both locations under the same brand, more staff and greater regional reach, so it was the perfect time to update their digital media presence to reflect that image. We’re opening the conversation about this innovative firm to a wider audience and the website was a perfect place to start.”

Among the features of the Clark Creative-designed website are a custom YouTube channel that complements the website offerings, a responsive version of the full website for mobile devices, a blog, an events calendar, a streamlined process for applicants to apply for positions, and an opportunity to showcase the firm’s prestigious awards, among them the 2012 Alfred P. Sloan Award. In addition, the site’s pages can be customized to include video and testimonials as desired. These implementations to the site design bring Clark Creative Communications to the forefront of the modern digital landscape, where clear information, ease of navigation, and aesthetically pleasing design reign supreme.

ABOUT CLARK CREATIVE:
Clark Creative is an award-winning design and communications firm based in Savannah that works with businesses nationwide to establish their brand identity and position themselves strategically in the marketplace. Ten years of excellence under founder and creative director Cari Clark Phelps has established Clark Creative as one of the top design firms in the Southeast. Clark Creative is located at 517 E. Gordon St. For more information, visit clarkcreativedesign.com or call 912.233.1160.

Pier-Website Home page

Innovative Website Launched for PIER

Clark Creative Unveils Website for Leader in Commercial Real Estate in Savannah

In response to increasing global demand for readily available Web and mobile content, Clark Creative Communications has launched a complete website redesign for PIER Commercial Real Estate. The new site incorporates numerous features to streamline user experience and redefine commercial real estate on the Web.

“PIER stands for Professionalism, Integrity, Excellence, Relationships,” explains PIER owner Ryan T. Schneider. “That’s what we have to offer and we thought it was time to put it top of mind – along with what we do: retail, commercial, industrial, and office.”

Among the unique features of the Clark Creative-designed PIER site are the dynamic image of Broughton Street that changes from light to dark according to time of day, a mobile version of the site that is device-specific, the highly readable single-page format, and a LoopNet property listings portal integrated directly into the site design. These innovations and more bring Clark Creative Web design to the forefront of the modern digital landscape, where clear information, ease of navigation, and aesthetically pleasing design reign supreme.

Clark Creative Communications rebranded PIER commercial with a new brand identity system, signage, stationery and other marketing collateral earlier in the year. See the entire portfolio of work for PIER on their website. View the live website here.

ABOUT CLARK CREATIVE:
Clark Creative is an award-winning design and communications firm based in Savannah that works with businesses nationwide to establish their brand identity and position themselves strategically in the marketplace. Ten years of excellence under founder and creative director Cari Clark Phelps has established Clark Creative as one of the top design firms in the Southeast. Clark Creative is located at 517 E. Gordon St. For more information, call 912.233.1160.

Apps to Beat the Heat

Apps to Beat the Heat

That iPhone is good for more than just effective mobile marketing! Check out these vital apps for summer.

UV Safe Timer- Based on your personal profile and location-based UV index, this app will remind you when to reapply your sunscreen and avoid a nasty burn.
Dog Park Finder Plus- An essential for any dog owner, find dog parks, beaches, and pet-friendly restaurants all summer long.
Swim Guide- Find beaches near you and check out water conditions and open swimming hours before you go!
Oh, Ranger! ParkFinder- Find the best parks and nature preserves near you…wherever you may be!
EveryTrail Pro- Go off the beaten path this summer with an app for finding trails, tracking your route and sharing your adventures!

Seahorse Sense

Seahorse Sense

Seahorses aren’t just the stunning centerpiece of our One Fun Summer and Salacia/Tybee Salt Cottage marks, they’re also fascinating creatures we love to learn about! Take a look at these surprising seahorse factoids, and make sure you remember them for the next Tybee trivia night.

  • Seahorses are found on either side of North America, in both the Pacific and the Atlantic. (Just like Clark Creative!)
  • The coronet, or crown, on each seahorse’s head is distinct to the individual, like a snowflake or custom toupee.
  • The dwarf seahorse is the slowest moving fish in the world, with a top speed of about 5 feet per hour.
  • When mating, the female seahorse deposits up to 1,500 eggs in the male’s pouch. The male carries the eggs for 9 to 45 days until the seahorses emerge fully developed—and very adorable.
  • Before breeding, seahorses court for several days. During this time they may change color, swim side-by-side holding tails, or spin around in unison. And most guys think buying dinner is enough!
  • Seahorses are used in traditional Chinese medicine to cure impotence, urinary incontinence, wheezing, and even to ward off old age.
Summer Marketing

Driving Summer Business with Mobile Marketing

If there’s one thing you always have on you—especially during the long days of summer—it’s probably your cell phone. Mobile marketing – that is marketing on your mobile phone (also called SMS, Short Message Service) – can be an extremely powerful tool for reaching clients and customers in this digital era. Through text messages and QR codes, apps and alerts, marketers can drive positive brand recognition and develop vital customer loyalty. But like all effective campaigns, mobile marketing must take into account the season in order to best reach consumers.

With immediate access comes immediate gratification—when done right. Effective summer mobile marketing can be simple (telling your customers about the ice cream sale in August, not December) or complex (including relevant information on Summer weather and UV indexes on your website that just happens to be perfectly optimized for viewing on the iPhone).

Clark Creative has diverse experience with mobile marketing, including a text message and QR code program for Savannah Mall. Campaigns like these are a fantastic way to reach clients instantly, driving summer business when you need it most.

Best of Summer

Playful Pinterest!

Summer Social Media

There’s no question that social media is hot this summer, and none more so than Pinterest. In January of this year, Pinterest had 11.7 million unique users, making it the fastest growing social media site in history. It has been reported that 83% of the U.S. users are women, with the most popular topics including Home, Arts and Crafts, Style/Fashion, Food, and Inspiration/Education, according to RJMetrics.

Here are a couple of our favorite Pinterest boards this summer!

“Best of Summer from Real Simple – tips and tricks (plus good eats and sweet treats) from the masters of making life easier.

“Cool Off – Summer Board” from Baltimore Mommies – lots of great ideas for keeping kids cool, entertained, and smiling this summer!

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Salacia Salts Brand, Logo and Packaging Design


Clark Creative’s Cari Phelps had a dream. But this was a dream like no other. It has actually morphed into a real business! You’ve got to be kidding me, you say. No, we’re serious! It went a little something like this…

“In my dream, a client was talking to me about how she couldn’t launch her bath salt product line because the packaging was too expensive. I recommended she ‘go into the backyard’ and dig. You know, because there are medicinal bottles everywhere. We’re in historic Savannah after all! She could clean those out, package her salts in a free container – and provide a unique bit of history for the customer to take home.”

Of course we all know dreams aren’t made of many realistic details. What Cari did find – along with the help of her husband Patrick – is that Savannah’s Tybee Beach was named after the Euchee Indian word for “salt” and the idea just blossomed from there. Instead of using reclaimed medicinal bottles, the company uses 100% post-consumer recycled materials, glass or reclaimed wine bottles from local restaurants in the area. They developed the concept and brand for a natural bath and body care lined called Salacia.

Salacia, the Goddess of Saltwater, has been brought to life through a series of conceptual sketches after thorough research about the mythological creature. Through their readings, the Phelps’ discovered Salacia was a female nymph, defined as one of a numerous class of lesser deities of mythology – conceived as beautiful maidens inhabiting the sea. Salacia was decorated with the attributes of a queen, her waving hair covered with a net and her hand often seen in a raised position, complete with pincers of a lobster. She was sometimes described to have crab-claw “horns” attached to her temples. In the stories she was said to have carried a fish and was known to travel in a pearl shell chariot pulled by fish-tailed horses (seahorses).

Pulling from these stories and looking for images of sea creatures and other deities, Cari worked with a team of student illustrators from the Savannah College of Art and Design to create what this goddess might have looked like. Requirements for the illustration included a desire for a pen and ink style or etched-like detail in the design and the following descriptors:
Calm
Relaxed
Beauty
Sunlit
Sensual

 

Several designs (as shown here) were considered amongst the final contenders for their elements or style.

 

 

The final selection was illustrated by Bardo; the original solution he proposed is below. After reviewing his concept, Cari decided to have Bardo add a seahorse to either side of the figure and requested her hands to be extend and release handfuls of salt. Bardo kept the lobster tail style braid and a shell earring in one ear… beautiful touches we might add! The illustration below has been used in a small detail on the packaging. We’ll point it out in a future post about the packaging.

The type creation was inspired by copy found on an old map of Tybee Bay and the Savannah River, spotted at an antique shop off of Wright Square. The type was originally sketched out and drawn over, but was too polished looking. After several reiterations, the final type, set on a slight curve was approved.

Salacia Salts Logo

The product line is currently available at 24e at 24 E Broughton Street in historic Savannah, Georgia and may be purchased online through their website (also designed by Clark Creative). Stay up to date with news and events through the Facebook page too!

Business Card

Have a card?

Do You Have A Card?

 

Despite living in a technology oriented society where information is delivered through texts, tweets and emails, people still use business cards. A professional card creates a lasting impression of who you are and what you do.

Clark Creative Communications has been undergoing a refresh with our brand. With the redesign of our website, newsletter, and logo, we knew it was important to keep our company’s image consistent. Read more >>

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8-Bit Animation of the Olympic Games

The animation production studio Flikli has created a retro 8-bit video montage titled ‘The 8-Bit Games’, featuring various sports that will be played during the London 2012 Olympics.

They have created an animated video with scenes from soccer to synchronized swimming—paying a fitting tribute to the world’s largest sport event. The music tends to wear on the ears – an annoying reminder of what many parents had to deal with in homes across America in the 1980’s.

Click to watch the video below:

The 8-Bit Games! from Flikli on Vimeo.

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Website of the Month: Too FAB for Words

 

If you want to be tempted by the most colorful collection of eye-candy from the world of design, then check out FAB.com. Founded last June by Jason Goldberg, the social retailing site already has more than 4.5 million members. The New York Times stated in a recent article that members spend about $400,000 on a typical day. Read more >>

Toombs County Development Authority Logo

The Crossroads Of Color

 

Identifying colors that work for a client is an exciting part of the design process. When Clark Creative was assigned to develop the brand and logo for Toombs County Development Authority, we conducted a focus group to determine what impressions people had of the Georgia county. Beside being the home to Vidalia onions, Toombs County lies in the center of the state and is easily accessible to 3 major ports of entry and 3 major highways. Three seemed to be TOOMBS’ magic number. Working closely with the development authority the campaign tagline became Commerce+Community+Connectivity. Read more >>

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Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign

 

Our client Goose Feathers Café is celebrating 26 years as Savannah’s Quintessential Café in a really big way. A billboard on Drayton and Maupas was created by our design team. While we hope the Goose Feathers ad will capture your attention the next time you drive up Drayton, please drive safely. We don’t want to hear about any feathers flying.

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We ♥ Color

 

Our last issue of Social Wire mentioned the newest social media addiction, Pinterest. Put down your pins and pick up a palette.

COLOURlovers is an online site that allows followers to discover their inner designer through shared color inspiration. Founder and CEO Darius A. Monsef IV created COLOURlovers while “playing with the idea that all of us see and experience color differently.” Monsef and his team wanted to create a place for people to explore and experiment with color. The site provides a growing international creative community (1,981,676 COLOURlovers) with the tools and services to take a project from inspiration to execution.

fi-seed

Seeds of Inspiration

 

Design Seeds is the brainchild of colorist Jessica Colaluca. Colaluca creates color palettes from inspirational photo images that show up in daily emails to subscribers. The art school grad worked as a car designer, shoe designer, color and material specialist and forecaster prior to establishing her website and blog devoted solely to color.  Read more >>

fi_colorworld

Color My World

 

Another new and inspiring website for getting the latest update on color trending is Pimkie Color Forecast; it shows you in real time what people are wearing in Europe’s fashion capitals.  Read more >>

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Things are getting hairy!

Going ape over cSpot

 

Last month, cSpot gathered at Dosha Bar and Lounge on Broughton Street. We were excited to see several new faces and have a chance to check in with our regular attendees. One new face that stood out was the ape that wandered in. He wanted a banana daiquiri and a chance to connect with some of Savannah’s other creative species. Hope you’ll join us for more monkey business the LAST WEDNESDAY of every month. This month we’ll be heading to the Flip Flop Tiki Bar.

creative demo reel

Demo Reel

Clark Creative in motion

During the design process for our website, we realized we had so many projects to show. Sometimes a picture is really only worth a 1000 words.  Seeing a designer’s work digitally doesn’t always paint the whole picture. Texture, scale, color and relationship all play a part of the total dynamic of a design. Each component sets the tone of a brand.

We have a lot more to say, so we packaged it up in this nifty demo reel, showing our talents in motion. This piece shows design, animation, editing and story boarding skills. We hope you like it and that it leaves you bobbing your head to the beats and well, speechless. Or a simple jaw drop and the word “WOW!” would be a huge compliment too. We’ll take that!

PayToSayFacebook

Pay to Say… Now or Later

Facebook Allows for Scheduling Posts

It has arrived. Facebook now allows Page Admins for business pages to schedule posts in advance. Admins may also have varying roles too, allowing more control over the users. A new help center page from Facebook also outlines how brand pages can now dole out specific duties to multiple page admins, each with varying degrees of permissions.

Source: Facebook.com

How do I schedule a Facebook post to appear later? Here’s the answer… Read more >>

branded

Branded

For weeks now there has been a flurry of activity at Fleet Feet on Waters Avenue between 50 & 51st St. Savannah’s fit expert in running footwear and apparel is celebrating their store’s 10th anniversary by taking over the block – literally! After acquiring the two adjoining storefronts, Fleet Feet is expanding.

Read more >>

TallyFeature

A Tally of Two Cities

Paris based art director and graphic designer Vahram Muratyan launched his first Paris versus New York, a tally of two cities in 2010 after an extended visit to New York. In February, Penguin Books released Muratyan’s charming petit livre offering “a friendly visual match between two cities told by a lover of Paris wandering through New York.”  This witty and colorful book highlights the best of both cities with original graphics. A must view.

 

 

Read more >>

Instragram

Instagram!

Sign, Sign, Everywhere A Sign

 

Last month I visited New Orlean’s for Jazz Fest 2012. Not only did the music inspire me, so did the graphic signage found all over the city. It provided me with an opportunity to test drive my recent Instagram app. With Instagram, iPhone and Android mobile phone users can take and share photographs instantly. It’s a snap! Here are some of my favorite pics from The Big Easy.

Read more >>

pinterest

Get on Board

The debut of Pinterest has created a new social media catch-phrase – pinning. Pinning is replacing friending as one the fastest growing social sharing addictions. Launched in March 2010, the website is a virtual inspiration board where users can categorize, organize, pin and share images worldwide. It’s a creative new business approach to spread brand awareness. We’ve gotten on board and hope you’ll give us a pin.

 

 

 

 

graphically

Minh Uong Visits SCAD

New York Times Art Director in Savannah

 

The New York Times‘ art director Minh Uong will be a guest lecturer at SCAD Museum of Art Read more >>

Packaging designed for Edibelles by Clark Creative

Happy Anniversary, Sweet Belle!

Edibelles Celebrates One Year

 

Clark Creative client Edibelles launched their line of Southern gourmet cookies and snack foods just over one year ago to great acclaim. After just one year, their line is expanding (more to come on that soon!). Currently, the line includes Charming Cheddar Biscuits, Perfectly Peach Cookies, Southern Praline Snackin’ Mix, Choice Chocolate Cookies, Beloved Butter Pecan Cookies and Sophisticated Shortbread Cookies. Founder Madeline Warren appeared on WTOC live with her cookies for the hosts to taste. What a sweet start to their day! Read more >>

mayjune_2012

Only time will heel…

Lost Sock Memorial Day

 

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012 is Lost Sock Memorial Day. In recognition of this holiday, Clark Creative is taking a moment to honor all missing soles and their respective mates. Only time will heel the loss. If you, too, feel you’ve been missing something (a great design team?), feel free to share your woes with us. We’re here to listen – and hoping we’ll be the perfect match for you!

 

 

March + April High Five and If Pets Had Thumbs Day feature

National High Five Day

 

What better way to celebrate National High Five Day than to showcase our country’s most high-profile high-fiver? Let’s give it up for President Barack Obama and his unique style. Give your friends or co-workers a hand this week.

 

 

 

Cari Clark Phelps

Cari Clark Phelps Named as a 2012 Generation NEXT Rising Star of Business

 

Cari Clark Phelps, owner and Creative Director at Clark Creative Communications, was named a 2012 Generation NEXT: Rising Star of Business by Business in Savannah and Savannah Magazine. The publications selected twenty-one under-40 business leaders based on a combination of their business success and philanthropic work. The Generation NEXT winners will be presented their awards on March 21, 2012.

Ms. Phelps founded Clark Creative Communications in 2004 to provide design and communication services to the Savannah community. She has steadily grown the business in billings, service offerings, and geographic reach, culminating in 100% growth in 2011. The company’s design work has won more than 30 ADDY Awards and been featured in national and international publications.

Read more >>

productshotedibelles

Edibelles Gourmet Cookie and Snack Company Takes Home ADDY Award for Packaging Design

 

Edibelles Gourmet Cookie and Snack Company won an ADDY award for outstanding packaging at the 2012 Savannah ADDY Awards. The packaging, which weaves together Southern stories and imagery for each flavor’s box, was designed by Clark Creative of Savannah. Read more >>

marketingcheckup

Time for a Marketing Check-up!

We don’t think twice about getting check-ups for our bodies, cars, and air conditioners, but when is the last time you had a marketing check-up? It’s always smart to check in routinely and review your business tools and message for attracting new business, and the end of the year is a great time to do it. Consider having your marketing reviewed – not only by your peers and internally – but also by a design professional (yes, like Clark Creative). As technology changes, so does media and the different ways to approach your audience. Here are a few checkpoints to get you started. Read more >>

BBQ_Picasso

Clark Creative Recognized by Design Publications

 

Graphic design work by Clark Creative of Savannah has been selected for inclusion in two prestigious design publications.

Logo Lounge has produced six volumes of its highly regarded collection “2000 International Identities by Leading Designers.” For the upcoming edition they considered 36,000 logos by talented designers worldwide and narrowed it down to 2,000. Clark Creative’s logo for Bluegrass BBQ (sister restaurant of Savannah’s Cha Bella) was one of those selected and will be included in LogoLounge, Book 7, which will be distributed internationally.

Read more >>

QR Codes developed for Savannah Mall

Decoding QR Codes

 

What are those boxes with dots, squares, and triangles that are showing up everywhere? It seems as if suddenly they are on packaging, posters, billboards, websites, business cards and ads. Welcome to the QR code marketing tool.

QR code stands for Quick Response code. In essence, it is a bar code-a visual representation of something that would otherwise be written as text. Read more >>

Clark Creative Expands Legal Marketing Services

 

Clark Creative of Savannah has widened its marketing services for attorneys and law firms with the addition of an experienced legal marketer.

“Over the years we have worked with law firms across Georgia on their logos, websites and printed materials,” said Cari Clark Phelps, Creative Director. “The number of avenues for legal marketing has steadily increased and now we are able to offer marketing support for each of them.” Read more >>

Clark Creative Launches Savannah Mall’s New Website

 

Clark Creative of Savannah recently launched Savannah Mall’s new website, which makes use of multiple access platforms, social media and interactive web technology.

“It’s clear that the old model of relying solely on print ads and a website for retail environments like Savannah Mall has been replaced by a spectrum of social media tools and platforms,” said Cari Clark Phelps, Creative Director at Clark Creative. “We approached the project by building as many inroads to the site as possible, so that however a consumer likes to get information, the site can provide it.”

Read more >>

overheadviewsm

Web Design: Creating the Savannah Mall Interactive Tour

savannahmall_logo

Savannah Mall is a million-square-foot retail shopping mall on the south side of Savannah, GA. As part of the new website design, Clark Creative wanted to create an interactive home page image that would give viewers an idea of the many businesses located on the Savannah Mall property: three banks, an urgent care medical facility, two multiplex movie theaters, an eatery, a gas station, and a branch of the Live Oak Public Library.

The site already included an interactive directory of the interior of the Mall, but how to portray the outside and environs? We all know what shopping malls look like – big buildings surrounded by even bigger parking lots.

overheadviewsm

We wanted to give a street-eye view and creatively arrange all of the businesses so that they could be seen from one perspective point – something that isn’t really possible. The creative direction was to create an illustration that would attractively group the surrounding businesses and use the anchor stores of the Mall (Target, Bass Pro, Burlington Coat Factory, Dillard’s, Virginia College) as reference points.

Our creative director Cari Clark Phelps took a trip to the Mall and photographed all the buildings on site. She worked with Jen Young, senior designer at Clark Creative, to develop an interesting way to represent the relationship of all the structures.

target

Using Adobe CS5 Perspective Grid Tool, Jen laid out a perspective.

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Then she began to create the individual stores as illustrations. She used some of the on-site photography as basis for her illustrations of the stores (or in CS5 terminology, models), ending up with vector files that could be scaled and edited. Many models needed to be built step by step, with signage, doors, columns and wall detail.

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After some experimentation, Jen determined that it was more efficient to create the models as “flat-to-camera” images, then slide them into perspective.

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She built and added store models until she had a basic shell layout of the Mall building with anchor business reference points.

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Then she began building and adding the models of the surrounding buildings. Finally, she added details of the surrounding area (clouds, shadows, birds, landscaping, and other fun details.)

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The next task was the interactive rollovers. We wanted information about the Mall and Mall businesses to be available from the home page, providing the visitor an information snapshot as well as a hyperlink for more detailed information.

We assembled information for each business, and if necessary, built internal pages to house dynamic content such as (constantly changing) movie theater times.

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We also wanted the illustration to have some animation, but didn’t want to slow down how the page would load, or use Flash for the main image on the homepage. Cari’s solution? Design slightly larger images of the “hot spots” that would display when rolled over, covering up the base image and giving the impression of animation.

We filled in areas with additional details – like a car in the parking area. In the future, we’re able to display parking options, shuttle info, and/or driving information needed for festivals and events (like St. Patrick’s Day shuttles and Savannah Morning News’ Ultimate Yard sale). Check it out at SavannahMall.com and let us know what you think!

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The Finishing “Touch”: Overlooked and Neglected Touch Points

This post is fourth in a series of articles for Business in Savannah. The article appears in the July 27 issue of BiS.

‘Touch point’ is a bit of a marketing buzzword, but it has become one by being an accurate description of an important concept. Touch points are every contact that you have with your customers (and potential customers). Every business card, blog post, social media interaction, billboard or email newsletter is a touch point. Most of us are careful that each of these touch points are well branded and appropriately messaged, but what about the less prominent touch points?

Invisible branding

Every time someone exchanges voice or email messages with you, they are coming into contact with your brand. You’ve worked hard to get customers to contact you-when they do, what is their experience? Here are a few quick questions to check in on your own invisible branding:

  • How are phones answered by your employees? Do you have a policy of what should be said, how messages should be taken and how messages are delivered?
  • What does a caller hear while on hold?
  • When they get voice mail on your business or cell phone, what outgoing message do they hear?
  • When you send an email, what does your signature contain? Is your logo present? Your tag line? Does each employee’s email signature have the same content, formatted in the same way?

Environmental Branding

Your customer (or potential customer) has come to the doorstep of your office or retail location. They have gotten a feel for your business by what they have seen in your advertising, print collateral, website and exterior signage. Now that they cross your threshold, does the brand experience continue? Many retail locations incorporate the colors and feel of their logo in the shop, but it does not need to end there.

  • What about internal signage? Are your ‘Open’ and ‘Closed’ signs branded? What about sale, promotional, layaway, or even directional signs?
  • Are your employees easily identified by what they are wearing? If uniforms or branded tees aren’t appropriate, what about color?
  • Does your office entryway have a sign?
  • What about signs for each office – are they in your company font and colors?
Satin Ross of Goosefeathers heads out for a delivery (photo Richard Burkhart, courtesy Business in Savannah)

Satin Ross of Goosefeathers heads out for a delivery (photo Richard Burkhart, courtesy Business in Savannah)

Customizing the experience

How do consumers experience the unique aspects of your business? Goosefeathers Café offers delivery of breakfast and lunch orders in the downtown area. By incorporating the “The Goose is Loose!” on their delivery bike, café owners Beth and Michael Meeks reinforce their brand with a memorable message, let consumers know that they deliver, and have some fun with things in the process (more branding). As this touch point moves through downtown, each person who sees it is reminded of the cafe, the Goose, and the delivery option. How will consumers remember your brand?

Get More ROI from your Marketing

You’ve probably invested a good deal of time and money in your branding and marketing; it is time well spent to leverage that investment by applying it to less obvious touch points.

The Goose is Loose in Savannah!  (photo Richard Burkhart, courtesy Business in Savannah)

The Goose is Loose in Savannah! (photo Richard Burkhart, courtesy Business in Savannah)

New Websites Illustrate Diverse Strengths of Web Marketing

Clark Creative Design of Savannah handled design and development of two recently launched websites, Jesse Blanco’s Eat it and Like It as well as the site serving the Statesboro-Bulloch Chamber of Commerce and the Development Authority of Bulloch County.

“These sites are at opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of visitor demographic, but they both make use of up-to-the-minute design and technology to reach those groups,” said Clark Creative founder and creative director Cari Clark Phelps. “Eat It and Like It is an ambitious use of dynamic web technology to highlight the ever-changing food experience in Savannah. The design we used for Jesse is extremely flexible and can be updated easily and often, so the content is always fresh and topical. The Statesboro site is a very smart move on the parts of the Statesboro-Bulloch Chamber and the Development Authority of Bulloch County-by combining their efforts into one site, both entities have a more robust and effective web presence.”

Statesboro-Bulloch Chamber and Bulloch Development Authority website

Statesboro-Bulloch Chamber and Bulloch Development Authority website

Phyllis H. Thompson, president of the Statesboro-Bulloch Chamber of Commerce, agrees. “Our goal is to raise awareness of the opportunities and benefits of living, working, and establishing a business presence in our community.” Benjy Thompson, CEO of the Development Authority of Bulloch County and Chamber adds that “this effort represents efficiency of resources. These two organizations are good partners, so it made sense for us to join forces for a strong and versatile combination site. We are very pleased with it.”

The home page of the Statesboro site highlights both organizations, as well as topical content such as the Community Calendar, images of recent events and contact information. Development Authority highlights include pages citing demographics and available properties – both of interest to business looking for new development ventures.

ABOUT CLARK CREATIVE: Clark Creative is an award-winning design and communications firm based in Savannah that works with businesses nationwide to establish their brand identity and position themselves strategically in the marketplace. Ten years of excellence under founder and Creative Director Cari Clark Phelps has established Clark Creative as one of the top design firms in the Southeast.

Marketing 2.0: Branding and Storytelling

 

Your story. It may be why you started a business, or the recipe your mother passed down to you, or your discovery of a place, activity, taste or service that you now want to share with others. Whatever that story is, it’s the most important part of your brand.

Storytelling gives the consumer something to connect to. Studies show (and your own experience probably confirms) that people want to do business with someone they know and trust. When you introduce yourself and your product/service to consumers and then share your inspiration, you give them a reason to get to know you better. Consumers will remember you; they’ll connect with your product because you’ve presented it in a unique and personal way.

Your story may be your actual experience, or it may be a constructed story that creates a character and backstory. Let’s look at an example of each.

The Savannah Bee Company

Savannah Bee Company has grown from owner and founder Ted Dennard bottling honey in his kitchen to a company that sells honey and hive-inspired products nationwide. Honey is available almost everywhere, so what was it about Savannah Bee that captured consumers? Of course there is no one answer, but an important part of the company’s very savvy marketing beginnings was including stories about how Ted learned beekeeping and the inspiration he found in older beekeepers, bees, and the natural world. Every single product carried a story about the beekeeper and his bees, and it personalized the product for thousands of consumers.

One of the earliest boxes read:

The Savannah Bee Company took root when I was a child working with my dad on his coastal forest retreat. A battered pickup truck swarming with bees rattled down our little dirt road and into my life.Out stepped an elderly man, “Roy Hightower’s my name and I’ve been searching for a spot like this on which to make honey.” With a bee walking on his shoulder, the old man leaned toward me and winked.

These things actually happened, but the copy was carefully written. The dirt road, the battered pickup truck swarming with bees, the bee on his shoulder, the wink: all of these details draw the reader into the story (and the product) to the point where you can almost feel the humidity in the Southern air.

Brochure for Savannah Bee Company

Brochure for Savannah Bee Company

Oliver Bentleys

Eric Zimmerman came to Clark Creative with an idea for a company that evolved over several branding sessions into Oliver Bentleys Barking Bakery artisanal dog treats. A story was created about how King Charles spaniels came to hold such a position of prominence in the Royal Court and British society, due the heroic actions of a dog named Oliver Bentley. This story is tongue in cheek – it winks at the consumer as if to say: Let me spin a yarn for you – I know you’ll enjoy it as much as your dog will enjoy these treats.

…Previously lost in the backwaters and tidal creeks just outside the new world city of Savannah, Georgia a small and unassuming ship captain’s chest was found. In it, among the captain’s personal effects, was his ship’s log and personal diary. The log and diary were wrapped in a tattered piece of cloth of a unique and striking plaid pattern and curiously accompanied by a seaman’s daily ration or what was called hardtack, or a sea biscuit. The biscuit had a small paw print pressed into it. Between the pages of the captain’s log and diary was a small cameo carving of a dog bust and a smaller equally weathered swatch of the same plaid, on herringbone fabric, with which the items had been bundled.

Both the cameo and the plaid swatch marking the page began a series of entries chronicling how a small King Charles Spaniel named Oliver Bentley, referred to in the diary and log as Ollie B. and at times just Ollie, during an ill-fated voyage at sea saved the life of the then exiled young King of England, Charles II. The entries make clear that in so doing the young pup, Ollie B., in fact saved the monarchy and rightful heir to the throne…

 

 

Launch Packaging for Oliver Bentley's Barking Bakery

Launch Packaging for Oliver Bentley's Barking Bakery

The story shouldn’t stop at the copy on the website or packaging. It should guide design, color palette and even the way you deal with your customers. An old world nautical theme was developed for Oliver Bentleys, and a custom tartan pattern designed just for the product.

Identifying, developing, and integrating your story is the foundation of your branding. Your story may work best in the front seat like the two examples above, or it may be more of a backseat navigator – guiding your marketing decisions from outside the margins. Either way, it holds the map-or is the map-for you to find your customers, and for them to find you.

 

This post is third in a series of articles for Business in Savannah. This article appears in the May 11 Issue of BiS.

Blue Plate Specials from Clark Creative Let Farmers “Get Growing”!

Blue Plate Specials from Clark Creative Design

As Chit Chat readers know, Clark Creative had a booth at the Georgia Organics Conference this year, which was held at the Savannah Convention Center in March.

We were deeply impressed by the organic farmers, food producers, farmer’s markets and CSAs who came by, many of whom said that they desperately needed design help with their business – a logo, website, brochures, packaging – but that cost was a barrier. It became clear to us that in order to help folks in the farm and organics community, we would have to come up with a special price structure. And that’s what we’ve done. Enter the Blue Plate Special – a Get Growing Initiative we designed to provide farming businesses with effective design and web services at a fraction of normal pricing.

So, what’s the catch? The offerings will be simple, straightforward and will not involve the same number of options, revisions, website pages and so on that we normally offer customers. Naturally, there are parameters, so that everyone knows what to expect. But the good news is, we’ll take care of the branding and the farmers can Get Growing! (Then we can all reap the benefits at our Farmer’s Markets and Farm Stands.)

For details, give us a ring at 912-233-1160, or drop us a line at info@clarkcreativedesign.com.

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