Get the most from your communications investment
Pen + Pixels offers a flexible range of marketing and communications services to fit your needs. Whether you want to build a national presence or reach a highly selective audience, we’ll provide exactly what you need to get where you want to go.
We won’t oversell; in fact, we’re happy to tell you what you don’t need to spend money on. That’s one reason so many of our clients come back to us again and again.
Build your online presence.
Web design & development
Content development & updates
Search engine optimization (SEO) & analytics
User interface & user experience
Training & internal capacity development
At Pen + Pixels, we don’t just create beautiful websites; we help you get the most from your web presence.
We start by developing a sound positioning and technology strategy. Then we analyze your existing site for user friendliness, functionality, speed, SEO, and competitive appeal. We’ll keep what works and rebuild the rest, so you’ll extend your market reach without alienating your current audience.
We understand how search engines and viewers relate to websites, so you can be confident that your new site will engage customers. We’ll even create new content on an ongoing basis or train your staff to make updates, so your site will remain fresh and lively after launch.
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.
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.
We respect our clients’ knowledge. If you’re happy with your current site, 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.
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.
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.
Enhance your image.
Business identity & messaging
Brand + Business Identity
Your brand is the image you present to the world, so it’s important to get it right. Whether you’re starting a new business or marketing a new product or program, we can help position you to stand out from the pack.
The first step is to make sure you’re speaking to your audience. Pen + Pixels will help you target your brand or business identity to get the response you’re looking for. Once we develop your strategy and a brand look you love, we’ll create the right mix of media for taking your image public.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Engage your audience.
Target market analysis
Electronic marketing & newsletters
Fundraising & annual campaigns
Marketing + Promotion
Effective marketing is about getting results. Sure, we can create attention-grabbing marketing campaigns, ads, and promotional materials. More important, though, we’ll analyze your campaign’s goals to determine the most effective tools and distribution methods to get the results you want.
It comes down to conveying what makes you unique. We see ourselves as partners in helping our clients communicate, so we make it our business to know your business. You’ll never get an off-the-shelf “solution”; we’ll work with you to develop custom designs and messaging that will speak directly to your target audience.
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.
With deep experience in strategic marketing, design, and content development, we can do anything from broad marketing and communications analysis to individual pieces. We bring the same commitment and skill to bear whether we’re building a website, developing national marketing or fundraising campaigns, or creating newsletters, press releases, or promotional materials.
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.
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.
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.
Flaunt your impact.
Newsletters & brochures
Books & white papers
Business communication doesn’t have to be dull. When you’re reporting on what your organization offers—whether it’s through your website, an annual report, a newsletter, a brochure, or a case statement—the story you present should be as compelling as the work you do.
Because we get as excited as our clients about their business, we’re able to convey value with a sense of exhilaration. Our experience spans writing for business customers, nonprofit funders, and academic and professional audiences, so we know how to craft messages that inspire action. And because we’re experts in print and online publishing, we’ll make sure the final product is as impressive as you are.
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.
Find out more about our approach to content development by exploring our portfolio.
We’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.
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.
If you’re happy with your current content, we’ll work with you to change only what’s needed. 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.