Source: Spotify

Breathing new life into a family business

When Brian bought the beauty school that his great grandmother founded in 1936, he knew he had some major challenges. Everything needed to be updated, from the building the school was in to branding of the school itself. In just over five years, he successfully revived the business while staying true to his family’s long history in the community.

A family’s legacy, a community institution.
Amber’s Beauty School had long been known in the Muncie community as a great cosmetology school that offered exceptional beauty services, but in 2007, when owners Brian & Brooke Shrieve bought the family business, the school had been struggling. In a difficult economic climate, things had slowed down for the school; enrollment had dropped to just seven students, and the building the school was located in was rapidly deteriorating. Brian decided to invest in the school. He decided to relocate to new facilities, but he knew that a new location was only the first step; Amber’s Beauty School needed a new identity.
 
Old school, new style.
Not many companies can lay claim to being family-owned for more than 75 years, and Amber’s Beauty School didn’t want to lose the history of the company. But, as Brian pointed out, “Even though it’s an old, established business, it’s in an extremely trendy industry.” So Windmill Marketing embraced that concept, coining the slogan, “Old school, new style.” 
 
“Arrick just got it. He took the time to really understand our company, our mission, our history, everything. So when he came to us with the first draft of the logo, we didn’t have any changes. He completely nailed it.”
 
Windmill Marketing developed a logo, color palette and tagline that informed every stylistic choice that went into the new facilities and rebranding of Amber’s Beauty School. From the paint on the walls, to the color of the clothes the students and employees wear, to the website and logo, every piece of Amber’s Beauty School’s new identity works together and presents a cohesive image of a trendy company with strong and deep roots in the community. “I’ve never been a big fan of traditional advertising, but I like investing in things that stick around,” said Brian. “Arrick’s designed a lot of permanent pieces, like the signage for our building, the awning, the wraps in the entry way, that are a good investment for our business.”
 
How things have changed
Since Brian and Brooke took over the family business and rebranded with Windmill Marketing, Amber’s Beauty School enrollment has climbed by more than 600% in the first six years: from 7 to 50 students. They’ve seen incredible growth, including a 20% increase in profit from 2011 to 2012. While not every year’s growth has been that high, the growth has been consistent. “Amber’s Beauty School is the total package now, beginning with Arrick’s work,” said Brian. “I get compliments on our look weekly, even daily. Everybody I meet goes on and on about how awesome it is. It’s a timeless design, and we’re proud to use it.” 
 
Logo design incorporates a vintage educational illustration and a unique wordmark that is reflective of the script type used in years past. The inclusion of the Futura sans serif font creates a balance of vintage and modern.
Before and After of a graphic entryway. The design is very bold and inviting from the exterior, but the entire area can be seen through from inside.
Responsive website design that facilitates enrollment to the school as well as pricing/scheduling for salon services. Check it out at www.ambersbeautyschool.com

Be careful what you say to your kids, folks.

If you have a son, watch this:

If you have a daughter, watch this:

The Art of the Done List: Harnessing the Power of Progress

Instead of starting a consulting appointment with "Did you get your stuff done?", I asked, "How’s your day going?". He quickly rattled off 4 quick projects that he had completed and mentioned that he felt better having them gone. He had a noticeable positive energy around him and was excited to talk about some really big projects that were stuck.

The focus on what was “done” gave us a great platform for discussing what we were going to “do”. If we ever only focus on the to-do list, we never get a chance to feel the accomplishment, give a high-five, or learn from a mistake. We get stuck in the rut and tasks keep piling up.

This article talks about creating a “done list” every day. I don’t do it exactly the way this describes (and wouldn’t expect any of you to either), but the general concept is very strong and it helps me personally. I use notecards and task-lists that are paper-based. I feel joy when I place them in my recycling bin having crossed them off, completed them, tore them into shreds, etc. I keep the recycling bin next to my desk and at any given time I can look to my right and say, “Damn. I do a lot of stuff!”

This is a pretty quick read for anyone interested. Try it out and see if it motivates you. 

http://99u.com/articles/24875/the-art-of-the-done-list-harnessing-the-power-of-progress

Figure it out with a pencil first and save yourself hours (or even days) of design time. If it doesn’t work here, the computer won’t help you.

Figure it out with a pencil first and save yourself hours (or even days) of design time. If it doesn’t work here, the computer won’t help you.

Design is content with intent.
Content without intent is noise.
Intent without content is decoration.
Joe Sparano
Mostly I just look at em. #slingerland #drums #zildjian #vintage

Mostly I just look at em. #slingerland #drums #zildjian #vintage

Best  
Referral  
Ever. 

Thanks, @agyweber!

Best
Referral
Ever.

Thanks, @agyweber!

This is why Coca-Cola is #1 in the market and Pepsi is #2 (and always will be). Here are a few key lessons to take away:
Don’t change your logo….ever. Only polish it like a gem.
Claim the dominant color in your marketplace. Red usually wins here. It’s science, not preference.
If you make a mistake, hit “undo”. New Coke was dumb, but it was a short deviation.
Keep your enemies close. Coke stole the script and the wave from Pepsi.

This is why Coca-Cola is #1 in the market and Pepsi is #2 (and always will be). Here are a few key lessons to take away:

  • Don’t change your logo….ever. Only polish it like a gem.
  • Claim the dominant color in your marketplace. Red usually wins here. It’s science, not preference.
  • If you make a mistake, hit “undo”. New Coke was dumb, but it was a short deviation.
  • Keep your enemies close. Coke stole the script and the wave from Pepsi.

Great video from PBS DIgital Studios about Graphic Design.