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FAQs2017-09-18T16:54:28+00:00
Where will my website be hosted?2017-09-14T16:30:23+00:00

Your website needs to be hosted by a company that specializes in WordPress hosting and that offers the speed and security you need. Many companies fulfill these criteria. We are more than happy to make a recommendation or to work with a hosting company of your choice.

What’s the difference between my logo, my identity, and my brand?2017-09-14T16:31:00+00:00

Your logo is the visual symbol of your organization. It should represent your work and the spirit behind it, but its most important job is to make you immediately recognizable. Your logo is part of your brand identity, which includes other tangible aspects of your brand, such as your messaging, colors, fonts, and signage. Your brand is the overall impression you make; it’s the sum of what you do, the personality you choose to convey, and how others perceive your organization.

Building a strong brand starts with a good logo and effective messaging. Both can help tell the world who you are and what makes your brand appealing. You can learn more about branding here.

Who do I call if I need help with updates or if I have a problem with the website?2017-09-14T16:30:48+00:00

We provide post-launch support as well as training to assist you in using your website once it launches. We also offer ongoing website care plans.

If you purchase a plan, we will be your first point of call if you want to make changes on your site that are beyond your ability. If desired, we can also do routine maintenance to make sure things continue to run smoothly. Should something should go wrong with the site, we will work with your hosting company to correct the problem and make sure you stay up and running. More information about our website care plans is available on request.

Why choose Pen + Pixels?2017-08-08T12:46:52+00:00

Pen + Pixels has created hundreds of websites, marketing campaigns, newsletters, reports, and other effective communication mechanisms for business and nonprofit organizations.

With expertise spanning web development, marketing, graphic design, and content creation, our team offers the benefits of a large firm at a fraction of the cost. In addition, our years of experience in strategic communications and branding give our clients a huge advantage in reaching their audiences with effective messaging.

To see what we can do to help take your organization to the next level of success, see our services and our portfolio. You can also take a look at what our clients say about our work.

How can I get a cost estimate for my project?2017-08-08T12:48:42+00:00

You can contact us with a message briefly stating your needs and we’ll get back to you to schedule a free phone consultation. During this initial talk, we’ll review your goals and the options available for getting where you want to go while staying in your budget.

We’ll then send a proposal that details the identified business need, the solution we think will work best, and the investment it will take to complete the work. You’ll know exactly what you’ll be getting and how much it will cost, with no add-ons or hidden fees.

How can you help me improve my brand?2017-09-14T15:59:55+00:00

At Pen + Pixels, we think branding should be hands-on. We don’t issue “strategic advice” from on high. We roll up our sleeves and dig into our clients’ business to find out what makes them tick. This lets us develop targeted tools to increase their visibility and communicate their value effectively.

Before we do any branding work, we’ll take a close look at your organization’s mission, ideals, core audiences, and competitive landscape. Then we’ll develop a detailed roadmap for conveying not only the value you offer but also the values you embody. Whether through a new logo, an alluring website, strong messaging, or some combination, we can help you build customer loyalty by shining a light on what makes you great.

You can find out more about our approach to branding and business identity by exploring our services and our portfolio.

Why do you use WordPress?2017-08-08T12:59:03+00:00

blog_5WordPress has grown quickly over the past decade to power roughly 28% of all websites, and close to 60% of those that use a content management system. Content management systems are increasingly popular because they’re relatively easy to use and allow multiple users at different levels, giving organizations much more control over who updates their site and how.

WordPress has strong, well-developed software, so we can create customizable websites from a sound base that meets modern standards of best practice. Furthermore, we’re able to tap into the vast community of web developers who create WordPress tools to bring their collective intelligence to your project.

Which facets of marketing and promotion can you help with?2017-08-08T12:49:36+00:00

With deep experience in strategic marketing, design, and content development, we can do anything from a comprehensive marketing and communications analysis to individual pieces. We bring the same commitment and skill to bear whether we’re building a website, developing a national marketing or fundraising campaign, or creating an ad or a newsletter.

While we have a broad range of capabilities, we also know to stick with our strengths. We’re not a PR agency, so if you’re seeking news coverage or a viral video, we’re not the right firm for you.

See our services and marketing examples in our portfolio to learn more about how we can help you promote your work.

How can I be sure that I’ll like my new website?2017-08-08T12:50:06+00:00

We work closely with clients at every stage of the web development process. We begin with a launch meeting to review your business model, brand, client base, current strengths and weaknesses, and goals for a new website.

As development progresses, you’ll have a chance to review the site’s architecture, design, content, and functionality. It’s our goal to make sure that your new website exceeds your expectations on every level.

To learn more about our approach to web strategy and development, see our services. You can also check out our website portfolio and see what our clients say about our work.

How can an outside firm create content that reflects who we are?2017-08-08T12:50:43+00:00

We take the time to delve into our clients’ world. Before we begin a project for you, we’ll research your industry and its competitive landscape. We’ll talk with you about your work, your audiences, and your goals. We get to know your business inside and out. Then we get to work telling your customers what they need to know about you.

Because we understand what you do and why it matters, we’re able to create messaging that resonates with your audiences. Whether you’re looking for fresh web content, a newsletter that sings, an impact report that will wow your stakeholders, or the concise messaging of an ad, press release, brochure, or fact sheet, we get at the heart of your business.

You can find out more about our approach to content development by exploring our services and our portfolio.

Do you have a nonprofit rate?2017-08-03T13:57:10+00:00

We have extensive experience in the nonprofit sector, and we believe in the work of organizations that serve the public good. To show our appreciation for this work, we charge a lower nonprofit rate for our education and nonprofit clients. Contact us about your needs to learn more.

Once I have a work agreement, will I face any unexpected fees?2017-06-22T10:30:28+00:00

No.

We’re adamant about transparency. We work out the details of a project with you in advance to ensure that you know exactly what you’ll be getting and at what price. Where appropriate, we’ll also work with you to establish priorities and costs for optional work, so you can make decisions with confidence.

How can I keep costs down on my project?2017-08-08T12:35:42+00:00

When it comes to communication, the adage that you need to spend money to make money is true—but that doesn’t mean you have to spend more than you can afford. At Pen + Pixels, we’re committed to helping clients build their business in a way that makes the most financial sense for them. That’s why we start by collaborating as team members to craft an approach that will work best for your budget.

One thing we won’t do is skimp on quality. If you need more work than your budget allows, we’ll help you prioritize so you’ll get immediate value. We’ll then work with you to map out a long-term plan to give you the best results on a schedule and budget that will work for you.

Can I pay for work by the hour?2017-08-08T12:58:36+00:00

While we do charge an hourly rate for work that we do for clients on an ongoing basis, in most cases a it makes sense to start off with a project rate. That way you won’t have to sweat the amount of time it takes us to create something great for you. (We know that we’re efficient, but we also know that trust must be earned.)

Contact us to let us know what you need and we will get back to you with a detailed proposal that includes a project rate or, if you prefer, an hourly rate. The hourly rate will depend on the type and quantity of work. We also have a special nonprofit rate for our education and nonprofit clients.

Can you handle ongoing marketing efforts?2017-08-08T12:57:05+00:00

electronic marketing for small business

Many of our clients like the efficiencies they gain from having us work on multiple aspects of an integrated marketing approach (e.g., website, electronic marketing, printed materials). Others have us work as part of their team to produce regular web updates, e-newsletters, reports, brochures, or ads.

Because we make it our business to get to know your business, we bring a unique combination of efficiency and effectiveness to your marketing efforts.

How can I use my existing channels to communicate more effectively?2017-06-22T11:38:53+00:00

While we enjoy creating marketing campaigns from scratch, not everyone needs that approach. We’ve worked with many clients who have systems and tools in place that work well but whose impact is beginning to decline. Others are seeking ways to reach out to new audiences without alienating their existing client base.

Sometimes it takes only small changes to make big gains in communicating value. We can help you get the most out of your existing communication channels with a fresh look and new messaging to help you extend your reach without breaking the bank.

How will you determine the best marketing approach for my organization?2018-01-25T09:53:30+00:00

Before mapping out a marketing strategy, we take a close look at your evolving competitive landscape, including your competitors, your value proposition, your audiences, and your existing communication channels. We then work with you to develop the most effective approach for your budget.

We’ll tell you not only what kinds of communication will help you reach your target market but also which specific tools and messaging will be most effective. We’ll also tell you what’s not worth spending money on, so you can be sure that you’re getting the most value for your investment. See our services for more on our approach to marketing and promotion.

How do you mesh content with design to tell the full story?2017-08-08T12:32:20+00:00

promotional materials for a higher education organizationWe’re a small firm with broad expertise in marketing, communications, and design. We work collaboratively to integrate text and design in a way that tells a coherent, compelling story.

While we love creative imagery as much as the next designer, we also know that in a business setting, design needs to serve a larger messaging purpose. See some of the design work in our portfolio to see how we can make your content look great.

What types of publications can you help with?2017-08-08T12:56:07+00:00

Remember books? Coming from experience in data and market analysis for books and book-length industry reports, we can handle pretty much anything you want to throw at us. We’ve produced high-impact reports in a wide range of business and nonprofit arenas, from the seminal Title IX at 40 report to texts for college faculty to the accreditation report for a national institute of public health.

That doesn’t mean we don’t know when to stop talking. With deep marketing, advertising, and design experience, we also help our clients make an impact through shorter pieces such as fact sheets, brochures, newsletters, annual reports, and other printed and electronic publications.

What if I need new/updated website but I already have the site’s content?2017-09-14T16:01:19+00:00

We know web content, but we also respect our clients’ knowledge. If you’re happy with your current content, we’ll keep it intact while making any necessary tweaks to bring forward its strengths and shore up any weaknesses.

In addition to ensuring that you’re communicating your value effectively, we’ll look at factors such as best practices in user interface and experience (e.g., ability to find and use information), search engine optimization (SEO), clear calls to action, and details like optimal page and paragraph length and balance of text and images. Best of all, you’ll get the benefit of this expertise without paying for content development from scratch.

What is your process for developing a logo?2017-06-22T10:15:37+00:00

We start by collaborating closely with you and your staff to analyze what your stakeholders value, how you fulfill that value, and what qualities set you apart from competing organizations. We discuss the concepts and values that underlie your work. We look at your customers’ priorities. We think about the conscious and visceral interpretation of imagery.

You’ll get two to three concepts that balance elements such as your existing and desired identity, your culture and key attributes, and of course imagery. Once you’ve chosen the desired concept, we’ll continue to refine the design and bring in enhancing colors and fonts.

When we’re done, you’ll have a logo you love that will be the cornerstone of your brand. You’ll also get everything you need to use your logo effectively:

  • Original logo files for use in print and on the web, in both color and black and white.
  • A creative brief that summarizes the conceptual underpinnings of the logo.
  • Guidelines for use, including minimum size, when to use which format, and acceptable adaptations (e.g., for social media).
  • An applied color palette with Pantone, CMYK, and RBG color designations to ensure consistency.
  • A guide to the logo font(s) so you’ll know what to use in other forms of communication.
How can a new logo build or strengthen my brand?2017-06-22T10:13:56+00:00

By itself, a new or updated logo will not magically improve your brand image. Used effectively, however, a strong logo can build general awareness of who you are, increase your recognition among your target audiences, and set the tone for your business.

Start with a memorable logo that says something about your organization’s unique blend of products or services, value, and culture. This will give both your customers and your employees a strong visual reminder of what you stand for. You then need to use the new logo widely and consistently, along with messaging that reinforces your image.

When we create a logo, we make sure our clients understand how to use it effectively. You’ll get a creative brief and use guidelines that let you know not only how and when to use your logo but how to avoid mistakes that can dilute your message. The result is a logo that works to enhance your new or existing brand.