Toronto Graphic Designers who specialize in: Brand Identity Development, Logo & Icon Design, Marketing Website Design,
Social Media Brand / Business Page Design, and Corporate Marketing Design.

[ 999 Art Direction: Toronto Creative Graphic Design, Web designers in Toronto, Brand Identity, Advertising & Design ]
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[ Services offered by 999 Art Direction include Brand Design, Website Design, and Advertising / Marketin & Communication Design ]

MANY OF OUR EXISTING Toronto clients know us as web designers. This is understandable, as that is what they thought they needed right away in order for their business to be viewed as credible and desirable in their specific marketplace(s). Merely a website.

But we provide far more than just unique and original website designs -- even if you think you are looking for 'just a new site'. Whether you feel you could use these services now, or as your business expands, it pays to know where the resources are when you DO need them.

[ We create Brand Identities and also provide elegant, original, and strategic Graphic Design for Toronto Small Businesses-of-One ]
That said, please do yourself a favour and carefully review all of our services below to familiarize yourself with what we offer. Don't forget to look at our Portfolio
section and our About Us page to review our credentials in advertising and corporate design/communications.
Brand Identity:
Step One

In many cases, our new clients come to us with very little (if anything) in regards to a consistent Brand Identity that they can apply to a variety of marketing materials in order to help them look professional and serious about their image. Often we see the same Microsoft Office 'designs' that have served in the starter stages, along with the logo that may have been designed as a school project.

Our function is to develop a new Brand Identity that starts with a Brand Mark (logo) that is crisp, contemporary and commensurate with your business objectives; identify appropriate Typographic and Visual components that are unique to your business objectives; explore colour palettes, and ensure the approach is original, provocative and on strategy. Once we have that nailed down, we can take this to market through the application of a new website and various other immediate requirements such as business cards and social media branding.

Marketing Websites:
Step Two
[ Popular Web Myths Exposed ]
Are you aware of the various 'myths' surrounding web design for the home-based business? Well, learn more about these web myths here and how to identify them.
[ Even static HTML brochure-type sites can be socially well connected! ]
Your static site and how it can still interact with all the various social media channels.
[ A custom created Temporary Home Page can act as a perfect placeholder until your full website is completed! ]
In the event you would like to be visible online BEFORE the website we are creating will be completed, may we suggest a custom designed 'Temporary Home Page'? Ask us more about the benefits of these.
[ We also offer Facebook 'Brand Page' enhancement ]
We also do Facebook 'Brand Page' and LinkedIn 'Company Page' visual enhancement, so you can present a professional version of the original Brand Identity and Website we've created for you -- all designed to add credibility to your community building efforts.
We offer three general types of Marketing websites. One is a the HTML Static Marketing Website, the other is a CMS (Content Management System) Marketing Website, and finally, the Single-Page HTML Starter. The differences and uses are clarified below, along with the pros and cons of each type. With either type you may wish to consider a small Dedicated Mobile Website as well.

1.) The HTML Static Marketing Website:
We proudly still create HTML static Marketing websites (sometimes referred to as 'brochure-ware' sites) for those businesses who can qualify for this format, just as we proudly also still create printed brochures! Why? Because they both still have relevance, as there still is a need.

An attractive, well-defined original 'static' HTML Marketing website can easily act as the core reference point to the various offerings, insights and brand building activities of your small business. Several of our current clients have successfully built their businesses with one of our static HTML marketing websites.

Those businesses who are best suited to this sort of website are those who don't have a need for daily or weekly updates or additions. Many small business professionals fall into this category, such a Lawyers, Engineers, Corporate Business Coaches, Interior Decorator/Designers, and other Professional Service-sector firms. These businesses wish to have a tight control over their image and require a venue where they control the conversation. Interactivity with their target audience usually takes place in the appropriate social media channels off their marketing site.

Please note, that for static HTML Marketing websites, we will custom design and build your entire project. For this sort of website, updates are best left to us, and if they are small, the time required to do them is often insignificant. You would be well-advised to discuss this with us at our first meeting.

Pros . . .
- Not dependent on templates as many CMS sites can be, therefore the design can be more unique and custom towards your business without looking 'predictable' or 'common'. Looking like a 'template business' is becoming an issue for many small businesses now.

- Very little maintenance needs to be done except for the occasional updates or additions which are a snap if planned for in advance.

- When updates are required, they are professionally handled. Colours, typography and photography are carefully considered by a Designer with years of experience in Communication Design, which provides your site with the same level of professionality it started with when we originally designed and built it. The other upside is -- this frees the business owner up to attend to the day-to-day operation of their business -- not struggle with issues outside their scope of familiarity and training.

- You can still take advantage of social media interactions, as well as paid and organic search initiatives.

- A blog can be added at a later stage, but should be mentioned and noted before the selection of a website Host is finalized. Doing this will get your main website full search engine credit for your writing efforts.

- The entire site is easily transported to a new Host (a web serving provider) if necessary. The only additional action is about two minutes to re-point the Domain.

- In the rare event your site is hacked at the Host, or becomes corrupted in some way, we always have the most recent, fresh version of your site archived, offline and at our fingertips to upload within moments. You are never at any risk with an HTML site.

Cons . . .
- Finished and posted static website is not self-updatable. Site owner must work with the website designer as a 'business partner' to add new sections, text, and/or images. It is often recommended that the original designer do the ongoing work, where possible, for reasons of consistency and existing familiarity of your business. If updates are projected to be on a regular basis, very attractive package rates can be arranged. Often, this can be seen as an advantage to the busy business owner, as it frees them up to do what they do best -- their business.

- Not able to take advantage of many blog-like features that are offered with CMS templates.

2.) The CMS (Content Management System) Marketing Website:
These forms of Marketing websites are best for Consumer-oriented businesses who rely on providing hourly, daily or weekly updates (usually text-based) to their websites. The types of businesses that this is common for would be those running courses, restaurants, event organizers, museums and attractions, or any other type of business or institution where timely target audience collaboration is required.

For CMS Marketing websites, we will custom design the website and work with one of our trusted associates, here in Toronto (not offshore as others do), to do the final programming and build.

For this sort of website, text and minor image updates are completely within your control, so expect there to be some training on your part from the production team. Don't forget to discuss this with us at our first meeting.

Pros . . .
- Easy for site owners to update and add text or simple photos, especially for light amounts of eCommerce activity.

- Often, blog-like functionality via plug-ins are available, as many CMS websites offered to small businesses are variations of blog-like software.

Cons . . .
- Site owner must be prepared to learn how to navigate and become proficient in the various editing control panels, so a bit more than a basic amount of computer knowledge may be required.

- The creation and updating of content (text) will add time to the business owners day, unless they have a trusted source, or in-house assistant, to do this on their behalf. Relying on another person, though, negates some of the advantage of a self-administered CMS website and may introduce another fee.

- Site owner must arrange to have the site backed up on a regular basis, as CMS directories can get corrupted or tampered with, and that could put your website out of action for some time -- days/weeks. In worst case situations it may require a total rebuild.

- Site owner will have to accept simple square cut photos unless they make arrangements with their website Designer to provide either the graphic elements and/or photography that is consistent with the brand image of the site.

- CMS sites are not as easily transportable as static HTML ones are. Moving to a new Host must be carefully considered with a CMS site.

- Unless a professional designs it, there is always the possibility that ones business site could run the risk of looking like a blog, and hence, be perceived as a 'start-up', as millions of start-ups have used blog templates for their first online presence. This is a common choice by beginners because of the free templates/clip-art, functional plug-ins, and the lure of ease in set-up.

3.) The Single-Page HTML Starter Marketing Website: SPECIAL OFFER
We understand how difficult it is to start a small business in the professional service-sector. We were there once ourselves too -- it isn't always easy -- and the finances are often in short supply until you are up and running.

We also understand that finding 'cost-respective' resources for services like Communications Design can also a extremely time consuming -- especially when you could really use a resource like a design firm that has a depth of experience in a wide range of mediums -- with a solid professional background -- and one that isn't going to charge you an arm and a leg in the process.

That is our forté. We're certainly not the cheapest, but the value we can bring your business, (especially in your formative years) can far out weigh our 'cost-respective' fees.

So here are the four components that make up our Single-Page HTML Starter offer:
Having worked with several businesses like yours over the last 10 years of our existence, we know in the beginning you will require:

1. The development of a consistent Brand Identity which includes a Brand Mark (logo) that will be applied to the appropriate items below.
2. a single HTML Web page that can be configured at a later date to become the Home page of a more complete HTML (not CMS) site. Included with this is basic initial organic Search Engine Optimization, along with a free visitor statistic tracking service that you can check yourself.*
3. Business Card design for personal networking events and to make contact with suppliers. Either 1 or 2-sided. (Our choice of trusted, very cost-effective Digital Printer is required*) A quote for printing cards will be provided.
4. Your choice of one of these 3 options: 1. A Facebook Brand Page design, 2. LinkedIn Company page design, or 3. a Twitter Profile page design consistent with your new Brand Identity. We will help you get any one of these three up and running for you.
All this we can offer you for $850.00 (net). So what are you waiting for? Contact us today at: inquiries@999ad.ca , or call 416.820.7130, to set up a time to meet. We'll be happy to answer any and all of your questions.
All Pros . . . no Cons!
*Some conditions do apply: Hosting fees for web page, Domain Name registration, and digital printing of business cards is not included in package price. That said, we will recommend some very trusted and cost-effective sources and will personally help you through each step of the process. Project, as outlined above, must be completed within 1 (one) business month from mutually agreed upon start date, otherwise regular fees will be applied to the final invoice. The regular fee for this work is $1,200.00 (net). A $250 (net) pre-payment will be required to start the project, and the balance of $600 (net) will be due upon receipt of final invoice at the end of the project. Any extensions and add-ons to this offer will be quoted based on our regular fees. Businesses must be physically located within Metropolitan Toronto to qualify for this offer. PLEASE -- professional service-sector businesses only. All fees quoted are in Canadian dollars and subject to HST.

Social Media: Business Brand Page Design (Optional):
Many businesses today engage is some form of social media, based on their target audience. Even we do. That said, it makes very good sense to have each of your social media channels 'branded' with your unique visual flavour in order to instill credibility through consistency (where possible within the limits of each social media platform).

We can help you with that, by recommending best actions, and then creating visuals that are in-step with the brand identity we have not only created for you but applied to your new website. And you have options.

You may choose to have a new brand identity created and applied through social media channels first, before committing to a full-blown website presence (although a full site is still highly recommended by us and industry experts).

If finances are really tight, a single web page and a few custom brand pages in your most relevant social media channels may suffice for the short term.

If your business requires changeable imaging for various reasons throughout the year, we can help you with that. TIP: Advance planning works best all around.

To see examples of how WE have treated our social media channels, please have a look at these links (NOTE: You may have to have an account first)

Facebook:
--> http://www.facebook.com/999ArtDirection
Facebook is one of the best channels for your own branding as there are two main areas where you can stand out. First is your Profile Image which is like an avatar that shows up on all your posts, and the second is the Cover Image which can be changed frequently. Both of these have tight regulations around them for content and specifications. To look your best, you shouldn't attempt this yourself.
LinkedIn Company Page:
--> http://www.linkedin.com/company/999-art-direction
LinkedIn Company Pages are somewhat similar to Facebook, but the image sizes are different AND you get extra pages to outline services, etc. It is a robust environment if this is where your prospects live.
Pinterest:
--> https://www.pinterest.com/999artdirection
Pinterest only affords a small Profile Image, so it should look its best by being created at the size recommended by Pinterest. We can help with that for sure.
Twitter:
--> https://twitter.com/999artdir
Twitter offers not only a Profile Image opportunity, but a Cover Image (often overlooked by small businesses as it is tricky to get installed) and a Background Image. Again, if you plan to make use of this channel, don't overlook the opportunity to brand it as much they will allow.

Other Industry Specific Social Media Channels:
Our samples above are a light sampling and work for our business. You may have others that you need to be in. We can help you with that by taking the headache of digging around to find obscure information -- then trying to create brand imaging that is professional for your business -- away. And smart business just can't afford to ignore this platform now. After all, we all like to look our best amongst our competitors, yes? We can get you there from here.

If you have any questions about any of this, please feel free to contact us. Inquires are always no-obligation and no-charge.

Dedicated Mobile Websites (Optional):
There is no question that mobile internet access has grown over the last couple of years. And by mobile, we mean 'smartphone'. As a matter of fact, some industry pundits have predicted that it is foreseeable that mobile will become the main way we interact with the internet in the very near future. Given the current popularity of smartphones, this could be conceivable. Most tablets being used today (and in the foreseeable future) do very well with a regular formatted (desktop/laptop) website.

So do you need to give your prospects a mobile version of your site? Well, you shouldn't rule it out, especially if your main site is up for redesign and your target audience is already using mobile. What is important to know about mobile is many users use it for looking up quick and 'utilitarian' information ie. maps, locations, hours, etc., so it isn't necessary to port your entire site to mobile. In fact, given the wide range of bandwith connections, it would be wise not to. Instead, consider the information that a mobile user could use 'right now' and make that available in an easy to access and maintain format. We can help you determine what makes sense, and what doesn't.

We are happy to have this discussion with you, to determine if mobile is even worth your time or not. But if you want to be connecting with prospects over the next five years and beyond, it makes sense to be on top of this right now.

Some/or all of the following could be part of either type of website project:
Brand Identity review or creation
Initial concept creations
Headline creation, copy editing
Site Plan development
Photography: Options could be sourced from Stock Photography, original photography shot by us, or commissioned photography from a Professional Commercial Photographer selected by category expertise.
Graphic design sourcing and / or creation.
Creation of a 'Temporary Home Page'. This single page placeholder can be smartly designed to hint at what your final site will look like and deliver, as we create your full site. With a bit more consideration, perhaps this condensed version of a one-page website is all some clients really need? Regardless -- you should speak with us about the possibilities, as we have done quite a number of lovely ones.
Assist you in setting up a Facebook 'Brand Page' for your business as well as aiding with the creation of various graphic elements to be applied that are in concert with your main website design. You can see ours HERE to get a better idea of what a Facebook Brand Page is, should your client base be consumer-oriented.
Initial SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and insight on various SEM (Search Engine Marketing) techniques. PLEASE NOTE that to get the most out of SEO, this is an ongoing process, as major search engines routinely change their search parameters.
Advertising & Design:
Options
Once the new Brand Identity and Website Design we have created for you is up and running, you can take advantage of our unique 20+ years 'downtown' Toronto advertising agency print experience to professionally assist in the creation of advertising and marketing of the new website. Once the new site is 'live', we are able to create original materials designed to be professionally printed for target-specific offline print publications, events, or corporate audiences, that may be required to meet their initial (or ongoing) online objective(s) in promoting the new website. Such items could include:
Strategically Creative Advertising Campaigns (Online or print)
Act as an Advisor by providing advice on various Design, Photographic, Typographic and Printing techniques to best meet your objectives
Direct Marketing Brochures / Postcards / Trade Show Hand-outs
Service Specific Brochures
Event or Promotional Icons / Logos
Please feel free to continue exploring our site. When you are ready, we invite you to contact us either to ask us a question or two, or to arrange a time to meet and discuss your needs. We're confident you'll be glad you did.

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© 999 Art Direction 2000-2017
Toronto Graphic Designers who specialize in: Brand, Logo & Icon, Website, Social Media, and Corporate Marketing Design.
416.820.7130

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