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 A Day in the Life on the Left Coast

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A Day in the Life on the Left Coast

At Left Coast Marketing & Design we have five core values we hold very close to us. These values are something every member of the team upholds, making sure we get the work done and have fun doing it. We believe these to be very important aspects of our business model ensuring our work is efficient and effective.

1. Customer Service is our #1 Service

2. Project Management is in our DNA

3. Love What You Do

4. Love Who You Work With

5. Work + Life = Balance

Whether we’re working on a design project, strategizing a digital marketing plan, or in the studio for a product shoot, we always make sure to keep our values in mind. It’s rare you find work which includes client visits in one of the most beautiful places in the world, Sonoma County and Napa Valley wine country. Below, we’ll show you a behind the scenes look at Life on the Left Coast and the madness to all our methods.

 

1. Customer Service Is Our #1 Service - Our clients are our #1 priority. We make sure to do all we can on our end to satisfy the needs of those we with whom we are doing business - having a plan, staying organized, and keeping a clear line of communication really strengthens the relationships we have developed through the years. Product photoshoots, for example, can be hectic at times, but always come together with an organized plan. We have our photo studio separate from the office, and if desired, we even go in to the clients’ studio space to get the job done! After the shoot, come all the edits - quite a timely process, but staying organized is what gets us through to a successful outcome.

2. Project Management Is In Our DNA - Design is one part of the creative services we offer, whether you need a logo refreshed, a brand revitalized, or innovative print material completed for your company, we got you covered. Our project manager, Jon Strachan, keeps his head fully wrapped around all of the projects coming down the pipeline to ensure efficiency and successful completion of projects on time and in budget. With more than 50 open projects at any given time, it is important for everyone on the team to understand and apply the importance of project management. Once we have full control over the projects at hand, we are then able to take our creative powers and put them to use. We work as a collaborative team and love to have brainstorming sessions to let all creative perspectives run free!

3. Love What You Do - One of our favorite tasks here at Left Coast are client visits! This means going out in the field and reaching each and every client. This point of contact means so much to us; we try and go as often as possible - after all, customer service is our #1 service! We love helping develop and execute innovative plans for our clients in their digital marketing and design efforts, making sure they have everything they need to carry on their business with a strong and consistent web presence and print materials.

4. Love Who You Work With - The team at Left Coast Marketing & Design is small but mighty. With less than 15 people on the team, we have a strong group of creatives putting their minds together to bring Sonoma County and Napa Valley closer and closer to achieving their marketing and design goals. There is nothing better than team lunches, jokes at the office (thanks to Jon and Dan), and client team outings! We can’t wait to see the team grow and the business thrive!

5. Work + Life = Balance - Mixing work with pleasure is an unstated rule here. We give our team the freedom to get their work done in their most productive place. Out by the pool, in the home office, or even working vacation-style from places like Tahoe and Cabo! It just makes Life on the Left Coast that much sweeter! We all have our sanctuaries and favorite spots and we are so lucky we are not cooped up in a cubical all day long!

 

Is your business in need of a great team to help elevate your brand with Digital Marketing or Design?

We're looking forward to hearing from YOU!

 

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Why a Logo Matters to YOUR Business

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Why a Logo Matters to YOUR Business

Everywhere you turn you are most likely going to see a brand’s logo. Whether you are at work, out and about in town, or even at home - logos surround you in your day-to-day routine. Take a second and look around you. It’s almost as if you can’t get away from them no matter how hard you try. Why are these pictures and words on products so important? Could you even imagine what your favorite product would be without that packaging design? As a business owner or a designer, it is very important to know what the purpose of a logo is and why it matters so much in making your business successful.

 

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The primary purpose of a logo is brand recognition.

You want to give people a visual representation of your brand. If it is compelling enough, it is something that will become ingrained in the minds of society and build success on the familiarity that people have with it. This one very special component of your company should be representative of your brand as a whole. Take the Nike Swoosh for example - when you see it, it is nearly impossible to NOT to think of their brand.

Logos should be looked at as a strategic business tool. As much as the designers of the world want to run wild and create the best piece of art for a business to use as their symbolic brand representation, it should have a strong strategic foundation to stand on. As you go into brand development and design mode, you might ask yourself, “How can this symbol stand out amongst the rest and does it have the potential to “play with the big dogs” like Nike and Apple?” The key here is not to overthink it. When developing the logo design, simplicity is often key. The nicest thing about having some type of non-typographic symbol as your logo is the universality it has. Not only can it develop brand recognition in its native place of creation, but it can become recognized in places and cultures world-wide.

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You want to design something easily identifiable to the consumers' eye.

Think of yourself walking down the busiest street in San Francisco, Healdsburg, Sonoma County, or any city big or small  - what brands catch your eye? Maybe the ones you are most familiar with, or the ones with the brightest colors and intriguing pictures… Whatever it is, these are all factors that should go into your design process. As David Airey says in his book Logo Design Love, “A logoless company is a faceless man.” This means so much in your business’ creative brand development and something that should not be overlooked or come as an afterthought. 

 

Brand logos often influence buyer decisions. When thinking of your logo as a business tool, communicating the brand’s values and any additional meaning may effectively elevate efforts on sales, digital marketing and design. Let’s pretend for a moment that you are at the grocery store shopping for coffee. Now, you might have your go-to, and if you don’t you might pick one that you are familiar with (even if it’s just the name brand). But, what if you wanted to try something new? The options are endless and how do you choose one? More often than not, consumers are influenced by brand packaging and design when in the decision making process. They are left (almost) clueless if unfamiliar with the brand and may only shop by logo design or packaging. The common question people ask themselves is, “What looks good?” It is crucial for business owners and the creative team to keep this in mind when working with the logo.

By understanding the role of a logo design in your brands' development, you will be able to create strong brand identities that will perform for the business, rather than just creating a pretty picture. The logo that you create will be seen on almost all print and digital tools used for your business, including business cards, Sales POS, newsletters, signage and more!

Are you looking for someone to help you strengthen your web presence with design and digital marketing? Take your business to new heights - let’s discuss working together!


Sources: Logo Design Love by David Airey, Canva, Fast Co. Design, Logoworks, Think Marketing Magazine, Left Coast Marketing & Design, Nike, McDonald's, Amazon, FedEx, Star Wars, Apple

By: Tara Valle

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Taking You on a Behind the Scenes Look to Product Photography

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Taking You on a Behind the Scenes Look to Product Photography

Every week we get to work on product shots ranging from all our different Clients. Stacey, one of our excellent photographers, takes you in a behind the scenes look to her weekly routine and creative process. 

Stacey has always had an eye for design. She has been working in the wine/hospitality Industry for the last 20 years which has enabled her to stay creative with designing events, tablescape's, merchandising, etc. Beauty shots and lifestyle shots allow her to translate her passion for design to another field - photography! Being a part-time photographer at Left Coast since day one she is now going full-time and enjoying every minute of it.

"It all starts with the label", Stacey tells. Whether it is white, red, rose...the label determines the feel of the shot.  Unless given direction from a Client, Stacey moves through her creative process in testing different table settings, backdrops, photo styling with props, and lighting all to capture the true beauty of each bottle.

"Lighting is the most important!" 

With the right lighting and angles of light the bottle can give off a different mood. It can create shadows or white out specific spots, all to create a sense of emotion or feeling to convey. 

The post production is where the fun comes in. It is where perfection takes place between editing the colors and pulling out shadows where they do not belong. A lot of time and detail go into this step to ensure the final product is what the Client needs. 

One of the greatest challenges photographers face is making sure they are on the same page as the Client.  Photography is subjective and sometimes a photographer will try something and really like it but is not sure if the Client will like it as well. But that challenge is rewarded when the Client is happy, and that is one the best things about photography. Being able to be creative, having fun setting up photoshoots and making sets and shots look pretty are all the best parts in doing product photography. As Stacey and many other photographers would say, seeing your photograph on a Clients website, advertisement, in store displays, or anywhere is the best part because you know you made that Client happy and that is most rewarding. 

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Case Study: Healdsburg High School Culinary Productions

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Case Study: Healdsburg High School Culinary Productions

We have been involved with Healdsburg High School's internship program the last 5 years and just had the chance to bring some marketing techniques right into their hands. How so? Well, the students in the culinary program are working hard at their school to cook up some delicious food for the other students in the cafeteria, but they wanted some help and guidance to promote it. These kids are going to be in food industry, and even if you work for a restaurant or produce food yourself you are going to have to touch on promotion of that business at some point. It could be creating a flyer for a dinner you are having, advertising products for sale in a restaurant or even in the back end, developing menus, or showcasing products especially in restaurant to show what they look like beyond on the menu. It is all about bringing value to the kids and showing them how they can bring value to the food they are cooking. 

What have we done so far?

The first thing we did was hold a kick off meeting with the students to learn about the products they are producing and wanting help promoting to the other students for sale in the cafeteria. Their main focus was that their products are healthy and fresh as opposed to the cafeteria food which is bought in large quantities. 

Next we came up with ideas for displaying info about products in cafeteria in flyers for distribution and informational insert that go out with the student bulletin.

Now the best part and what the students said was the funnest day they had all year, the photoshoot! We came over and set up a professional photoshoot on site. Each of the students got to prepare their favorite dish and make it look presentable, because in a restaurant presentation is one of the most important things. They got to experience some photo styling techniques of their own. 

The next steps we have left to do with the culinary program is to finalize the designs for the flyers and bulletin then hit the printer! 

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