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"Ordinary people can spread good and bad information about brands faster than marketers."
-Ray Johnson

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The Nuts & Bolts



This section is specifically for the new business, the small existing business, inventors, organizations and entrepreneurs of all types. It's for anyone who wants to grow their company or promote their idea. Of course I like to work for larger companies. I'm a business person like you. Frankly, most agencies avoid small companies like a plague. I look at small and start-up businesses differently. If I can make noticeable improvements to your look, your presentation and your bottom line, you'll call me to do even more work for you. I consider that a good investment. Everyone is on a budget especially nowadays. But, even when the cash is tight, customer impressions and promotion should still take center stage. Even more. A couple words you'll hear me use a lot, are "Corporate Identity" and "Branding". I know... they sound like something you hear in a giant board room full of Lexus driving suits. Well, they are. But, even if you are just starting a lawn care service or beauty salon, the same principals apply.
This is the part that gets me all excited. Read on...

Do I Really Need This?

Well, first off, look at your competition. Their logo, advertising, brochures and website. Look at a bigger company that you would like to be. How did they get there? Do they have a certain "look" or "feel"? Image and first impressions are everything. Your company's appearance and "image" (I feel the "B" word about to come out) as perceived by the prospective customer can and will be critical to present and future business. Your company/product needs a strong "foundation" to build upon.
What is "branding"?

Here is the "B" word I was talking about. You've seen the movies. The cowboys burning a mark onto a cow. This brand would be unique to the particular ranch the cow came from in case a fence broke and they got all mixed in with another herd. So, you buy a bull from the "CircleJ" Ranch and he's healthy, been washed, can produce a good quality steak, was delivered by a clean shaven guy dressed like Bret Maverick and costs $130. Then you buy a bull from the "SquareD" Ranch and it looks kind of sickly, doesn't weigh as much, is covered in dirt, the steak is a little tougher, is delivered buy a guy who looks like Nick Nolte in his mugshot, but costs only $100. CircleJ is the better "brand" of beef. Not just because of the mark on it's rump or the meat, but the "whole package".
Branding, in today's modern marketing world operates the same way and isn't just about soda pop, soap flakes or potato chips.
Do I need a Logo?

If there are other companies out there you are competing with, yes, you should have a logo. Having a logo or wordmark can visually distinguish your business from your competition. The Nike "swoosh" is a logo. So are the Golden Arches. FedEx is a "wordmark" as is Jeep. Your business logo or wordmark is the foundation of your brand and is the most recognizable feature of your business. Of course, an attractive, well designed logo is useless if not implimented properly. No matter the size of your business, strict adherance to logo usage is critical to developing your company's "identity".
Your "Corporate Identity"

What is corporate identity? The definition of branding and corporate identity are somewhat similar, however, I descscribe identity as mostly the visual aspects of your brand. Branding encompasses not only visual but emotional feelings as well. Basically, corporate identity is the logo, usage of the logo, colors, typefaces and other graphic elements that when used in harmony, with strict standards, help with the visual projection of your brand. When starting out as a young designer I "cut my teeth" on creating Graphics Standards Manuals for large corporations, universities, hospitals, etc. Large corporations can spend tens of thousands of dollars on this type of work. I have this thinking so engrained that every project I undertake is given the same thought process.

Here are a few Standards Manuals I've done over the last few years. They will give you an idea of the thoughts I always have in my mind while doing any type of design work for any size of client. Although small companies don't need a printed manual, they should think when doing any printed materials as if they did.

Click to download PDF version
Coles Manual SWA Manual Evan Manual

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Contact: Mike Newcomer Design & Illustration   PO Box 308, Montandon, PA, 17850   570.522.0746