Evolution of a Brandmark: Fairfield County Library

Fairfield County Library

We were proud to have had the opportunity to work with the Fairfield County, South Carolina library system to create their new logo/brandmark and website.  They came to us with a unique idea that we were excited to bring to life!

The first rule of design is that all design must have a purpose.  The second rule is to listen to your client.  During our initial discussion with the client, the most important concepts in this case were history and legacy.  The main branch of the Fairfield County library is located in a building which exemplified both history and legacy.  Developing a concept which encompassed the history of the building and the colonial legacy of the region – along with an element of modern design – was key to creating a memorable brandmark for such an important landmark.

We utilized the building cupola as the key element to tie the brandmark to the rich history and legacy of the library while maintaining a bond with the colonial heritage of the region.  A modern upward moving swoosh carries the eye to the name and finishes the concept with a forward look and feel.  The deep red color coupled with the black and white cupola reinforces the historic to modern feeling necessary to appeal to a wide age demographic.

Special thank you to the good folks at the Fairfield County Library System for choosing us to work with them on this challenging and enjoyable project!

library websites

Why Should I Hire a Professional Graphic Designer?

professional graphic designer

One of the most common mistakes new businesses make is cutting corners on their identity.  Often times, when we are engaged by a client for marketing services (i.e. collateral materials, website development, etc.) and when we review their assets, we find issues with their logo (also known as a brandmark.) Your brandmark is important because it is the face and identity of your business.  It should be created by a professional graphic designer who understands proper file formats, licensing, and is willing to provide you with rights to the final artwork.

Engaging a qualified graphic designer from the beginning can avoid some very costly issues down the road.  Let’s take a closer look.

Relevant Imagery

A professional graphic designer is trained in strategies to ensure the proper imagery, colors, and text are used to reach your target market(s).  Reaching your target market(s) is the first step in getting your business off the ground. Designers are artists, but artists are NOT designers.  A professional graphic designer will create artwork that influences how people see, feel and react to your message.  Every element of design must have a purpose, otherwise it is just decoration and may confuse or distract from your message.  Most of the time, less is more in graphic design.

Proper Formats

Hiring a professional graphic designer ensures you will receive your logo/brandmark files in the proper formats. Brandmarks must be designed to work at all sizes, from a business card to a billboard.  Creating the brandmark in the wrong format will severely limit its scalability and usability across multiple mediums.

Original Artwork

You must make sure the artwork provided to you is original.  If the artwork is pirated, stock art, or unlicensed clip art, the first indication of a problem will likely be a legal notice or lawsuit.  This can result in your reputation being compromised and the artwork needing to be changed, recreated or licensed.  We have had clients come to us with brandmarks they have purchased from an online vendor that “guaranteed the artwork was original and properly licensed” only to later find out it was not.  This costly mistake can lead to hefty fines and, in worst cases, closing of the business.

Do you need a professional logo or are you unsure if your current logo meets all of the above criteria?

The Site Crew is a full-service online marketing firm with professional graphic designers on staff to create artwork that targets your audience with your message to drive consumers to consider your product or service.  Contact us today for a free marketing asset evaluation.

Stay tuned for “What is brand identity and why should I care?

10 Benefits of Using WordPress to Power Your Company’s Website

WordPress has been around since 2003 and is the most popular blogging software on the market. Over the last few years, WordPress has also become the content management software of choice for non-blogging websites. Here are the top 10 reasons why WordPress is so popular and why you might want to consider switching to a WordPress platform for your company's website.

1. Ease of Use

WordPress is very easy to use and has an intuitive interface. Adding new pages, blog posts, images, etc. on a regular basis is a breeze and can be done quickly. Because the technology is so simple, time spent on formatting is greatly reduced.

2. Manage Your Website from Any Computer

WordPress is browser-based. You can login from any Internet connected computer and manage your site.

3. No HTML Editing or FTP Software Required

WordPress is a self-contained system and does not require HTML editing software (such as Adobe Contribute or Dreamweaver). You can create a new page or blog post, format text, upload images (and edit them), upload documents, video files, image galleries, etc. all without the need for additional HTML or FTP software.

4. Search Engines Love WordPress Sites

The code behind WordPress is very clean and simple, making it easy for search engines to read and index a site's content. In addition, each page, post, and image can have its own meta tag keywords, description, and title, and be optimized for specific keywords, allowing for very precise search engine optimization. You can also use tags to further enhance your search engine optimization efforts.

5. You Have Control of Your Site

No more waiting for your web designer to make simple updates to your site. With WordPress, you have control of nearly every aspect of your site and can easily make those simple updates yourself.

6. The Design of Your Website is 100% Customizable

WordPress acts as the engine for your website. The look and feel of the site can be 100% customized so your brand can shine through on your site and provide a unique experience to your visitors.

7. A Blog is Built-in and Ready to Go

Since WordPress was originally created as a blogging platform, blogging capabilities are built-in and are easy to integrate, if desired. Setting up RSS / email subscriptions to your blog, commenting capabilities, and automatically adding the most recent blog posts to other pages of the site (your home page, for example) are also very simple to set-up, and help to extend your company's reach and make your site more dynamic and interactive.

8. Extend the Functionality of Your Site with Plugins

Want to add an event calendar, video gallery, Twitter Feed, Facebook Fan Box, and more to your site? WP makes this possible with plugins, most of which are free or very reasonably priced.

9. Your Site Can Grow as Your Business Grows

WordPress sites are very scalable. You can have hundreds of thousands of pages or blog posts on your site and the performance of the site will not be compromised in the least.

10. Have Multiple Users

As an administrator of a WP site, you can set-up multiple users for the website and assign access levels and capabilities to each user.

Accessibility Services, Inc. Among 2015 Florida Companies to Watch℠ Honorees

Leading Provider of Environmental Control Units Chosen From Over 500 Nominees

Accessibility Services, Inc. (ASI) announced today that it is among 50 statewide companies selected from more than 500 nominees for Florida Companies to Watch℠, a statewide program managed by economic development group GrowFL, in association with the Edward Lowe Foundation. ASI joins an esteemed group of honorees who will be recognized with this prestigious award on Thursday, November 5th at the Hard Rock Live in Orlando, Florida.

“We are thrilled to be part of the Florida Companies to Watch class of 2015,” says Maggie Thompson, President of ASI. “I applaud GrowFL and the Edward Lowe Foundation for taking time to recognize the hard work and sacrifices businesses such as ASI make everyday to contribute to the economic prosperity of our state. We are excited for all the winners!”

Thompson took the helm of ASI in 2009 when her husband and ASI founder, Fred Thompson, retired. Thompson made the decision to lead her company down an ambitious path toward becoming the leading provider of environmental control units (ECU’s) in the country. Her substantial investment in research and development paid off as the $800,000 company grew to become the $7,000,000 enterprise it is today.

“We were able to accomplish these goals because of the hard work of our outstanding team,” explains Thompson. “This award would not have been possible without our dedicated and committed employees.”

According to GrowFL, ASI’s management team, competitive market position and strong community involvement were among several factors that put them in contention for the award.

The 50 companies named the 2015 Florida Companies to Watch generated a total of more than $1.2 billion in revenue and added nearly 1,000 employees between 2011 and 2014.

Together, the companies project a 23 percent increase in revenue and 19 percent increase in job growth in 2015.

“These stand-out companies are all led by entrepreneurs, and have demonstrated their capacity and intent to grow,” said Dr. Tom O’Neal, executive director of the Florida Economic Gardening Institute and associate vice president for the University of Central Florida’s Office of Research and Commercialization. “They also all have critical intellectual property or a niche position that gives them a competitive edge in their markets.”


How To Get The Most Seo And Web Traffic Benefits From Blogging

The best way to get people and search engines (which means more people) to your website is by getting relevant inbound links. How To Get The Most SEO And Web Traffic Benefits From BloggingIf you have some great new gimmick on your website this may be easy as everyone will be linking to you.

However, with a basic, solid web page the process may be much more difficult and slower.  How do you get people to link to you?


Blogs can be great way to get visitors and develop a long term return. Blog posts tend to stick around for a long time. The trick here is to get people to blog about your website without forking over a bundle of your hard earned cash.

A great idea is to become a guest blogger. This would be where you write blog posts for other people’s blogs and include your link!

This puts you in the drivers seat for a couple of reasons. First you have control over exactly what is said. Secondly, if you do a good job you may have the opportunity to make regular blog posts. That will build an audience on the blogs for your writing and turn into more and higher quality traffic for your website.

The key to being a great guest blogger is to write short (3 to 6 or so paragraph) posts that are interesting, informative, humorous and relevant to the topic of the blog (and your website). Of course they should have a link to your website. Don’t over do the linking. Don’t make it sound like an advertisement or something you just cut and pasted from your website.

A few minutes to compose a couple of well thought out paragraphs could do wonders for your web traffic. Keep looking for guest blogging opportunities and never use the same post for more than one blog. One post could bring a lifetime of traffic.

This may well be your most effective way to developing quality web traffic and enhancing your the SEO for your website(s).

Contact us if you need help finding guest bloggers for your blog or if you want to write blog posts and become a guest blogger for others.