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Abstract Art

Do-It-Yourself Graphic Design – A Huge Variety of Backgrounds For Business Cards

Online do-it-yourself graphic arts is on the rise for many reasons, but two are primary:

By doing your own graphics design, you can save 30% to 50% on the final cost of your printed materials.

The average person has become computer aware to the point that most people can do their own design and end up with a very professional this in mind, many large trade printing companies are making the software required to do on line graphics available to their printing customers and resellers. With this growth, there is also considerable capital expenditure going into, not only the software, but other requirements like appealing backgrounds. The backgrounds are sized and laid out according to the printed media they support, and are categorized for the wide number of businesses or trades they represent.

For example, we recently went to one of the DIY Graphics sites and reviewed the available backgrounds for business cards. There were 25 separate categories of backgrounds for business cards with anywhere from 20 to 100 individual backgrounds in each category. Following are examples of the categories:

Abstracts – Colorful tie-died backgrounds that fit nicely into more creative professions like writing or designs

Animals – Variety of pets and farm animals for grooming or pet retail businesses

Babies – Ideal for announcing a new addition to the family or advertising handmade baby wear.

Beauty – Appealing backgrounds for stylists, skin specialists, nail technicians and more.

Business – A broad category of many backgrounds that range from office settings to business people shaking hands to creative representations of a single world of business.

Colorful – This category provides bright and contrasting colors with the goal of catching the eye. This category would apply to paint businesses, art stores, art schools and more.

Construction – Specific to the construction industry, this category offers many backgrounds showing different phases of construction, including design, earth moving, building, etc.

Fashion – Trendy and colorful, these are great for fashion design or retail.

Floral – Flower arrangements, flower gardens and more that are ideal for the floral business.

Food – Mouth watering and focused on restaurants, cooking schools, chefs or catering.

Jewelry – Great backgrounds for the jewelry retail, jewelry consignment, or jewelry design.

Landmarks – Used to professionally promote tourism, politics or initiatives of many kinds.

Scenery – Several options for these, including therapy, relaxation skills, meditation, etc.

Law and Justice – Designed for attorneys, judges and government offices.

Medical – These are directed towards doctors, nurses, hospital administration, medical supplies and more.

Nature – Great backgrounds for environmental businesses, recycling, all natural products, etc.

Real Estate – Apply to residential or commercial real estate.

Sport – For sports teams, coaches, trainers, schools, training camps, etc.

Technology – Can be used for people involved in internet marketing, hi tech sells, web sites, search engine optimization and more.

Transportation – Wide variety of cars, trucks, vintage cars, futuristic cars which could be used for car salesmen, mechanics, parts houses, etc.

Travel – Exotic locations, sunsets, palm trees, around the swimming pool and more. Great backgrounds for travel agents, tour guides or any other tourism types of businesses.

Wedding – Bride and Grooms in many different settings before the wedding, during the wedding, after the wedding, leaving the wedding, etc. Good for wedding planners, conference centers, hotels and above are just a few examples of the many categories and backgrounds available to the do-it-yourself graphic artist for business cards. The main message to convey is that there are not many trades, businesses, vocations or events that DIY Graphic Artist could not find an appropriate, professional background for.…

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Folk Art

Martial Arts Business – How to Sell Without Selling Out

Many martial arts instructors feel that there is a conflict between their values and doing what it takes to succeed. For many, the idea of martial arts marketing borders on prostituting their art. For others, it seems like the methods of successful marketing are contrary to their artistic sensibilities.
You were taught to be humble, but it seems that advertising is all about bragging. It doesn’t have to be this way.
Is Your Marketing Intimidating or Inviting?
One of the main misunderstandings about marketing that many people have is that it’s all about selling. You’ve seen the shameless self-promotions of the big business dojos. The full page ads in the phonebook, the coupon slips in the newspaper, the TV ads and the web sites are nothing short of disgraceful.
Look at their ads with the eye of a would-be customer. Most parents will approach a school with some timidity. Take that mindset and look at the looming, surly and hulkish image of the instructor. See the large classes in their video ads. Look at the students breaking five boards in mid air. As a parent of a 7 year old girl that’s scary, isn’t it?
Martial Arts Marketing Says That You’re Available
There’s an old saying in martial arts and mystical circles: “When the student is ready, the master will come.” While on a mystical level this is an instruction for students to open themselves up to learning, it also has a pragmatic application for teachers. You, as the master in question, have to put the word out that you are available to teach.
How many students out there are ready and waiting for a master? What if the master that appears to them in a Google search is you? Naturally, they will gravitate to you for instruction.
Martial Arts Marketing Doesn’t Have to Be Gaudy
The myth is that effective martial arts marketing has to be big, flashy and intense. Not only is this idea in conflict with martial arts principles, it’s in conflict with marketing in general. With that in mind, there’s nothing keeping you from using the resources you have available to market your school. Your flyers, brochures, web site, etc. can be as low key as you like.
Your counterpoint probably shouldn’t be completely Zen, but it can definitely be more…normal. Go ahead and display some fighting skills, but don’t make the soundtrack be heavy metal. Emphasize the values your students will learn. Show the benefits of your program. Any student you would want is after these lessons anyway.
Sticking to your principles in your advertising shows your integrity more than using archaic marketing strategies. In this market swamped with corporate sell outs, you would stand out simply because you don’t play their game.
With the right martial arts management consultant, you can learn everything you need to know to make your school a success without compromising your values.
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