The world of creativity is too big to run out of ideas. With the endless projects that are possible, there’s no excuse to not try something new. Every company could use a diverse lineup of projects–whether it be updating your website or introducing a fresh email campaign. Diversifying your company’s assets can prove to your customer that you’ve invested in enhancing their experience with your brand. After all, investing in your company will make consumers more likely to invest in it too.
Just in case you're not convinced, first impressions are 94% design related. Need the rundown on what projects you could explore? Here are 10 creative services your business might be missing and how to get started on a killer first, second, and third impression.
1. Website Design
You might already be saying, “But I already have a website.” The question you should be asking yourself is if your website is at its best. We all know by now that having a website is the bare minimum to compete across all markets, but it’s also the hub and face of your brand.
With today’s never-ending list of competition online, a quality website can differentiate yourself from the crowd. This means that just having one to begin with isn’t enough to provide your customer with a unique experience. Investing in a website update may just be all you need to get your wheels turning faster.
Because websites are an essential representative, there’s a unique process to follow to ensure you don’t miss out on their value. A valuable website is one that’s functional and strategically designed for users to navigate and engage with. Statistics show that the average website visitor gives you less than 15 seconds to grab their attention on your website.
How to capture and retain attention? Ditch the free templates and invest in a home your brand will fit in like a glove. Here’s how:
- Consult with a professional on your goals to first plan a direction
- Draft a user flow that defines the experience from the first visit to each interaction
- Create a low-fidelity wireframe of every page including CTAs, copy, content, etc.
- Update your wireframe to a high-fidelity interactive version to test each page
- Design the wireframe based on existing brand guidelines with visual assets
- Build the website on the best-fit platform like custom HTML, WordPress, etc.
- Review the finished product to ensure pages are responsive and SEO friendly
2. Mobile App Design
Depending on the type of business you operate and who your target audience is, a mobile app can further enhance your customer’s experience. Even if you already have one, enhancing your existing mobile experience will keep you updated and connected with your audience at all times. Convenient access to your products or services is enough value to make any business build a mobile app.
Introducing such a tool could also be the one differentiating factor, as your competitors may not even ever thought of introducing an app to your industry, product, or service. The best part is that its process is no different than building a custom website, with the exception of it being built exclusively for mobile use. While both projects are similar, it’s important to define the functions and goals of each user experience step, ensuring your user flow is meaningfully and strategically planned.
Nonetheless, it’s becoming more common to see most companies offering a mobile experience outside of their website’s mobile-friendly version. An app is just the way to push innovation and connectivity by having access to your audience whenever you need it.
3. Logo & Branding
When you think of branding, is the first thing that pops into your mind a logo? Yes, branding includes the creation of a logo, but it’s much more than a color and font. As the most misunderstood, yet crucial element to a brand, its importance easily exceeds that of a website.
You certainly can’t execute any project without identifying your brand’s identity. So, it’s crucial you invest time in this stage to nail down how your brand presents itself visually. This will ensure that everything you create from there on out is consistent and aligned with what you envision.
How to create a good brand? Well, it’s not rocket science, but we wouldn’t say it’s the easiest project either. Here’s how to cook up a five-star brand identity:
- Research your industry, target audience, and ecosystem
- Define which logo type you’re going for (reference image above)
- Explore logo concepts by putting together a mood board
- Draft out various sketches of logos
- Select colors and fonts that match your brand
- Pair together your options with the logo that suits you best
- Define a photography, icon, and illustration style (if applicable)
- Pair together your visuals for viewing in various brand applications
- Once your visual branding is established, define a tone of voice
- Formulate a tagline and supporting copy based on that voice
- Gather any UI elements that need signature branding
- Put together a brand book that summarizes your brand’s identity
4. Business & Marketing
What’s a business without business and marketing materials? These essential assets are complementary to your products and/or services and provide your customers with a more tangible experience. They’re not only a great way to stay connected, but they’re also a direct way to keep your customers informed and ready for whatever it is you’ll provide them with next.
So what exactly makes up business and marketing materials? Here’s a brief overview of some essential projects to take your business to the next level:
- Business cards
- Brochures & booklets
- Flyers, postcards & mailers
- Posters, billboards & banners
- Trade show booths
Getting started on these projects are no different than another creative one, however, there are some essential steps to keep in mind. After putting together a moodboard and doing research, gathering both visual and written content is the most important part to creating quality business and marketing materials.
This is when you utilize resources outside of stock images like a copywriter, for example. Then your designer and writer can work together to craft a composition that’s consistent and on-brand with your company. Once created, your business and marketing project will become prepped for printing and on their way to your customer’s hands.
5. Video Production
It’s no surprise that video content has taken the lead today. With every social media platform favoring the medium, it only makes sense for businesses to match the trend that’s here to stay. Converting your company’s value into various video formats can offer your customer a new way of seeing and experiencing your brand.
More effective than your standard photograph, videos can also be easily used on almost every platform, making them a versatile asset. But just because one of your competitors is leveraging animation videos, doesn’t mean you should follow their lead. Different video styles work for different companies, so it’s important to be aware of what’s available to then know what’s most suitable.
Here are some of the most popular video styles to take advantage of:
- Live action
- Motion graphics
- Live action screencast
- Live streaming
- Photo montage
Once you’ve nailed down which video style best fits your brand, it’s time to become familiar with the process it takes to execute it. Every project is different, but here’s a rough outline of what to expect when getting yourself into the world of videography:
- Concept development: identify a problem, solution, and goal
- Scriptwriting: construct an engaging storyline
- Storyboarding: prepare a rough outline of visuals
- Creation: shoot footage or compile visual content
- Voiceover: cast and direct a verbal script
- Background music: apply created or purchased sound
- Final production: final editing and last-minute touches
6. Merchandise Design
Who doesn’t love free t-shirts? Company merch is easily the best free promotion tool there is. We all know that feeling of excitement when getting free goodies, so why not share the fun? No matter if you plan on selling the products or using them as gifts, branded merchandise is an effective way to get your customers to bring you home with them.
There’s also always the possibility that they’ll wear your t-shirt or use your coffee mug, spreading brand awareness. Not to mention, your team would appreciate some free gear to add to their work attire. Regardless of how you plan to use your merch, treat it no different than another one of your business and marketing materials. The more, the merrier–just make sure to wear your other clothes too, though.
7. Art & Illustration
Artistic approaches to branding have particularly caught some heat in recent years. As technology advances and becomes more accessible, companies have turned to more signature applications in their branding. While it is considered a design trend, it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, making art and illustration a long-term project to consider.
Finance giant, Robinhood has taken advantage of utilizing signature art as a means of differentiation. It’s without a doubt that by this point, consumers are familiar with their style and approach to their branding.
Creating an illustration style can give your company a create edge, as well as open more opportunities when designing content. It’s certainly not for everyone, but it is a way to stand out and catch attention. In a world where stock photos and clip art icons saturate brands worldwide, there’s value to be experienced in custom art and illustration.
8. Publication Design
Publication design is one of those projects some products and/or services can’t go without. This is especially true if you’re in the publication industry, where your product is some sort of print or digital book or magazine. But outside of these, almost any company can introduce a publication project by trying out an e-book or a client welcome handbook. These assets can supplement your customer’s journey, creating a wholesome experience that’s unforgettable.
With the average consumer preferring visuals over written content, it’s crucial that you take advantage of quality publication design. Every story needs a face, and a creative layout might just be all you need to push engagement. This not only keeps your audience interested, but it differentiates your products and/services from the rest. Investing in each page of your digital or print asset will more likely push others to be invested.
The process of creating a five-star publication project follows the same design process as most, however, it’s important to keep your content in mind at all times. Preparing orientation styles, formats, and appropriate lengths can help prepare your project for the best. Other than that, treat it no different than any other design project. Going through the required research and moodboarding will better help execute each page and enhance the overall composition in the end.
9. Digital Advertising
The world of digital advertising stretches far beyond just social media. While it’s great to be on Instagram and TikTok, have you thought about how you present yourself on Google? Securing your place online and strengthening your digital footprint with design is key to brand awareness and engagement. Settling for what your competitor is doing doesn’t cut it anymore.
That’s where digital advertising assets come into play. Whether it’s about introducing new, complex campaigns, or creating more campaigns for A/B testing, every brand should experience the abundance of digital advertising.
Every ad starts with in-depth research of a few things like your competitors, the market, industry patterns, your consumer, etc. Having a dedicated meeting with a professional can help set you in the right direction. This includes setting goals and objectives within your limits to better help you target or retarget your ideal audience. Consulting with a professional will ensure that whatever you create is relatable and appropriate to whoever comes across it.
Looking for ways to enhance your digital footprint? Here are some digital marketing projects you might want to add to your pipeline:
- Search engine optimization
- Social media advertising
- Social media marketing
- Content strategy
- Marketing analytics
- Email campaigns
- Google advertising
- Digital asset design
10. Industrial Design
Anything that requires packaging or a 3D presentation could use industrial design. A great showcase of any product can make a world of a difference. Even if your product isn’t perfect, great packaging can supplement any experience. So if there’s one thing you should invest other than the product itself, invest in its packaging. From concept development to 3D modeling and rendering, you can create ultimately anything out of nothing.
So what goes into packaging or 3D design? These intricate projects are certainly not the simplest, but a professional team can accomplish anything. Here’s what to expect:
- Defining the goals and expectations
- Drafting ideas and concepts
- Setting up the precise tasks
- Building up basic geometry
- Adjusting polygons and topology
- Choosing materials and textures
- Mapping and applying textures
With limitless possibilities in the creative space, there’s no excuse not to introduce new projects to your company. Whether it’s sending your team new merch or introducing an entirely new marketing campaign–the more and the newer, the better. Staying up-to-date on the latest industry trends and working to improve your brand is an investment worth making.