BLOG: Eye-Popping Tips

From Karen Saunders

Your Branding, Marketing & Self-Publishing Coach

Tap into the Power of a Dynamic Design Team

Are you hunting all over the Internet to find competent graphic professionals to help build your brand, design marketing materials and craft your website? Is it possible to find one studio, designer or design team who does it all?

Based on my decades of experience in graphic design, I’ve found it’s impossible for one person to do it all, and do it well. We all have limitations on our time and skills. So to stay competitive and serve my clients better, I’ve built relationships with other professionals in the same or supporting fields. I’ve also established strategic alliances with marketing consultants and coaches. We often refer work to each other with confidence our clients are getting the best service possible.

In the past year my book, online marketing efforts and speaking gigs have attracted more clients than ever before. In fact, my business has evolved to accommodate the increase in projects. In 1990 I launched Macgraphics Services as a solopreneur. Now I’m a project manager directing a team of experts under the brand of Karen Saunders & Associates. The people I’ve chosen to work with have the depth, experience and wisdom in their respective fields. You can read more about our team capabilities by clicking on the logo below:

Karen Saunders & Associates Design Team

Lower Cost and Flexibility

I believe a design team can do a professional job at a lower cost than a design studio or agency. First, I don’t have the overhead that a studio has because I work from my home office. Second, I have the flexibility to select the right person for each job. Over time, we become familiar with each other’s working styles and get comfortable coming to together on a project by project basis. A well-orchestrated production and design team can deliver fantastic results very quickly. I’ve seen it happen many times.

A good design team understands and works well with each other. We can leverage copy and graphics from one part of a large project for other marketing pieces the client needs. For example website copy can easily be tailored into copy for a one sheet. File compatibility is never an issue because we all use the same or compatible software applications.

A “Virtual” Office

Marketing and design projects can be done “virtually” anywhere in the world using instant messaging, VOIP, email, and FTP file transfers. PayPal and eCommerce transactions make it easy to handle the financial transactions. A design studio or agency housed in one single brick and mortar office is no longer necessary.

I often conduct business using 3-way calling and an online service called With GoToMeeting all participants call one number to conference in, and all view the same image on one of our computers. This is a fabulous way to present comps to clients and get real-time feedback. It’s fun too!

The Elements of a Strong Design Team

A design team is only as good as all its parts. It also needs strong leadership and direction. I’ve learned a lot about managing a team in the past year. I know my team cares about our clients and support each other as much as I do. I’ve found it’s also important to establish communication standards and a list of responsibilities for each member. We trust and rely on each other. We respect each other’s time and hold each other accountable for our part in each project. These are all elements you should look for when selecting a design team.

A sincere “Thank You”

With Thanksgiving fast approaching, I want to take a moment and express my gratitude for the people who work with me. I’ve assembled a fabulous team of talented professionals whose standards are as high or higher than mine. This arrangement has allowed me to grow my business and serve more people.

I am forever grateful for your excellent work and friendship.

Thank you . . .

Kerrie Lian—graphic designer
Cherri LaMarr —graphic designer
Lauren Klopfenstein — graphic designer
Erin Adler — graphic designer
Matt McKendree — graphic and website designer
Meg Grace — website design and ecommerce
Melanie Mulhall — editor and writer
Barbara McNichol — editor and writer
Barbara Munson — editor and writer
Karen Reddick — editor and writer
Patrice Rhoades-Baum — marketing consultant and copywriter
Julie Wassom — marketing consultant
Joyce Jay — photographer
Joyce Turley — illustrator and graphic designer
Marty Petersen — illustrator and graphic designer
Fred Eyer — illustrator and caricaturist
Kelly Johnson — virtual assistant
Helena Mariposa — proofreader
Ronnie Moore — interior book design and layout
Pamela Getchell — word processor