Hi all! My name is Nathan Miller and I've been an erratic member of 48Days.net for quite some time. I've dreamt of "doing my own thing" for years now but have yet to make the jump. On May 8th my boss (a county government official) lost the primary election (the other guy ran on a campaign of lies.. ironic how well that works in elections.) and I am in the unique position where I need to phase out of my position by December 31st. Right now I'm stuck somewhere between excited about the possibilities and terrified! I have a stay at home wife, and three kids with a fourth on the way (late December).
I have a degree in graphic arts and I absolutely love art and design! I've spent a few years building a website business ( www.AmbitDesign.com ) where I build custom websites for Squarespace.com users. I'm getting some traction but have yet to be really successful with it. Dallon Christensen (another 48Days.net person) has been helping me develop things but the last few projects have been very slow going and frustrating..
Anyway, for fun (and because I needed a creative outlet) I talked with a young man I know who is part owner of a nice remodeling firm in our area. They do great work but their presentation is lousy at best. I decided to re-work their logo and sort of build their marketing strategy. You can see their current branding and logo (er, rather lack of a logo) here: http://www.craftsman-design.com/
To the best of my knowledge they do not have a proper logo, and their marketing identity is really "fly by the seat of their pants". I created the following design as a proposal. I would like them to consider working with me to create a proper identity. As you can see from the attached PDF, I found all sorts of ways to incorporate a new logo into many different areas.
Honestly I'm really happy with the results, and I had a blast putting this together! In some ways I dream of working with companies on a regular basis to build up their presentation. In essence I would do what Dan Miller recommends and offer to be a dedicated designer/marketer one day a week for a company for a set fee. Looking at my budget and all of the expenses for a self employed person I figure I would need to charge $1500/month for this type of work, and would likely sign a 3, 6, or 12 month contract. This way I could work with them on an ongoing basis to really flesh out their new identity and strategy. Another option would be to offer 1 week intensives - that is, work with the company for 8 hours per day for a whole week for a set fee.
My question to you is whether this sounds like something that would work. I'm realizing I have a passion for taking a company with some fantastic product or service and tuning their identity and presentation to match. I think there is a serious need out there, so many small businesses have a great product and many small business owners are passionate about what they do. However, Microsoft Word clipart is the most advanced graphic art they have and the lack of a good presentation is really dragging them down.
I guess I'm looking for cheers or jeers on this one. I'm trying my darndest to keep my chin up and strive for what I'm passionate about, but my energy is wearing thin, I fear I'm going to settle for a pay check that will keep us comfortably at the poverty line.
Thanks for any feedback and suggestions you can provide. :)
I just put out another blog post here. It's much shorter and not at all focused on my craft, rather it's a window into my lifestyle.. do you think this is a good idea or do you think it could potentially turn clients/employers off?
I had a blast making the little video, I hope people get a kick out of it and see my heart. :)
The full link is here: http://nathanmiller.squarespace.com/blog/2012/6/20/my-morning-routi...