Sunday, December 30, 2007

Website Design

Marketing and advertising design firm located near Cleveland, Ohio has a growing niche within the financial business community. Rick Shaffer, Principal and Creative Director states, "Earlier this year in 2007 we were approached to assist with the design and re-organization of the NCS Website. A seemingly growing trend within the Web marketing and Internet design segment of advertising, clients are seeking out small design firms with an emphasis on design to assist their technical counter parts as well as experts in programming execute their company's Website and Internet projects."

To see the completed Website project see:

To find out how Shaffer Design Works can help with your next Website project visit:

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Holiday Retail Pre-print Design and Production

Shaffer Design Works Cleveland graphic design firm specializing in print, Web and Internet based design for advertising and marketing.

An example of a retail pre-print that appeared in newspapers across the country is just another example of how Shaffer Design Works exceeds our clients expectations. The retail marketing application is an advertising vehicle for a nationwide office supply company.

Please contact Shaffer Design Works today to find out more about the creative services that we offer and how they can improve your bottom line. See:

Friday, December 14, 2007

ASMP (Ohio North Coast Chapter) Photography Contest

Cleveland graphic designer and marketing maven Rick Shaffer was invited to the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP) annual meeting by Hal Stata to judge a photography contest Thursday night.

Hal's studio is located in Ohio City and makes for a great atmosphere to host such an event. To find out more about Stata Productions visit: (Shaffer Design Works also designed the Stata Productions Website and created the flash animation montage of Hal's exceptional photography).

Top three winners:

1st Place: Don Bensman

2nd Place: Alex Lippisch

3rd Place: Leslie Glowacki

Judging was based on creativity, composition and style. Ann K. Warmuth an Art Director from a.i. Design Group, Inc. also provided assistance with judging the photography. Shaffer Design Works is always glad to provide camaraderie within the Cleveland, Ohio creative advertising and marketing community. To find out more about Shaffer Design Works visit:

To find out more on ASMP | Ohio North Coast Chapter visit:

Also see:

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Polar Illustration – Inspired by "March of the Penguins"

Rick Shaffer experienced creative director and seasoned illustrator excels at producing high quality marketing and advertising for the many diverse customers of Shaffer Design Works, LLC.

A sample of a recent illustration with a polar theme was rendered for a company that distributes lids and customizable cups to the restaurant industry Nationwide. When the illustration was requested, There were a few elements that had to be included in the finished art. This particular electronic illustration had to appear friendly for all children between the ages of 2 to 8 years of age. Shaffer Design Works finds working hard for our clients very enjoyable.

For great ideas in any medium visit:

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


I received Schulz and Peanuts A biography by David Michaelis as a birthday gift. The book is outstanding and would suggest anyone that enjoys biographies about artists, entrepreneurs or just people with a dream to check it out. This is very detailed book and offers explanations and lineage to all of the Peanuts characters.

To purchase the book check out:
E-commerce Website Creation with all of the trimmings

Cleveland, Ohio area Creative design firm Shaffer Design Works has become well-known for its work in the aviation industry. Rick Shaffer states, "After helping another successful aviation company develop their logo, corporate identity, packaging and e-commerce website Shaffer Design Works is fast becoming well-known for solid brand strategies and brilliant advertising ideas that work hard for our customers investments."

Review a screen capture below of the recently launched aviation e-commerce Website.

To learn more about Website and print marketing visit:

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Holiday Messages can Help Raise Awareness

Shaffer Design Works assists many different companies with their marketing strategies and overall advertising and marketing messaging. A sample of the work that the team at Shaffer Design Works produces can be found here. A financial institution located in Akron, Ohio needed our help when faced with a quick holiday newsletter.

Marketing Tips:
When considering the execution of newsletters, direct mail or any correspondence that will be sent around or during the holiday season be sure to allow enough time for fulfillment as holiday time is the busiest time of the year for the United States Postal Service.

Also, when writing and designing marketing pieces it is always a good time to let your customers, users and associates know what your business is up to and how they can participate in any holiday activities.

For downloadable USPS holiday shipping calendars see (the Web page includes: guidelines for U.S., Military, Holiday and International mailing):

For more great trend setting ideas contact:

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Unique Holiday Card designs and illustrations

Shaffer Design Works prides itself on work that makes us proud. Rick Shaffer states, "The creative team at Shaffer Design Works is innovative in every project that we touch or come in contact with regardless of the circumstances." An example of a unique holiday card design and illustration can be found below. From exceptional marketing ideas to innovative graphic design Shaffer Design Works comes out on top.

The greeting card was produced using Adobe Illustrator one of the latest software packages that makes up the creative design tool palette used at Shaffer Design Works.

For great ideas in advertising and marketing contact:

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Package Design for the Aviation Cleaning Industry

Shaffer Design Works, Cleveland area marketing and advertising design firm specializes in naming, package design and overall strategic marketing for new products.

Shaffer Design Works is helping a Florida based aviation company come up with successful and attractive ideas that sell. A sample of one proposed idea can be found below.

Rick Shaffer, Principal of Shaffer Design Works states, "When designing and picking the colors for the packaging we thought it might be neat to emulate the metallic colors found on some turbo prop propeller blades, such as a Beechcraft King Air."

For more great packaging ideas contact Shaffer Design Works at the following link:
Graphic Design Analogy

"When operating and managing a marketing firm or small design boutique, it is sometimes like managing or cooking over a hot stove 12 burners deep. You never know when something simmering will need to be moved to one of the front burners for immediate attention."

– Rick Shaffer, Principal and Creative Director of Shaffer Design Works, LLC

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Rick Shaffer featured in The Gateway News (A Record Courier Publication)

Rick Shaffer founder and creative director of Shaffer Design Works, a Cleveland-Akron marketing firm was showcased in the local Streetsboro "The Gateway News."

The article speaks to Rick's unique design studio and everlasting passion for marketing, authoring and design for advertising vehicles. The article is fittingly entitled "A designer's den of creative energy and a pang of envy" by Bob Gaetjens, Editor and Writer who speaks to his experience of visiting the Shaffer Design Works studios. The article also mentions Rick's recent contribution to "49 Marketing Secrets (THAT WORK) to Grow Sales" titled, "The Visual Components of Your Brand." In the article Rick outlines the quintessential elements for a good brand.

For a copy of the article see:

Thursday, October 11, 2007


Check out Rick Shaffer's profile on Linkedin:

If you are into networking this is a cost efficient way to network, keep in touch or seek out old contacts. Shaffer Design Works enjoys supporting local area businesses and keeping up on the latest business trends in Northeast Ohio.

Contact Rick Shaffer at Shaffer Design Works to learn more:
Logo Design for a Promotional Marketing Company is Right Across the Street

Experienced logo design firm in Northeast Ohio, Shaffer Design Works (SDW) helps promotional marketing company further solidify their brand and corporate identity. SDW relishes in the opportunity to help companies of all shapes and sizes with their marketing and branding initiatives, however large or small the project maybe.

Rick Shaffer states, "A neighbor of mine and I were discussing what we did for a living. Shaffer Design Works was brought up in the conversation and it just so happened that the company that he helped manage needed some help with their logo design. The moral of the story is sometimes business is closer than you think it might this case it was right across the street and came from someone that I see and speak to frequently. Never discount any contact or relationship that you have as business opportunities are abundant if you keep your eyes, mind and ears open.

Marketing Tip:
When involved in the design or creation of any logo project, consider the many applications the finished logo will appear in. For example, Belaire Promotional Marketing was particularly interested in the logo looking nice when embroidered while maintaining a simplistic but attractive look and feel.

Shaffer Design Works Specializes in advertising design for companies of all shapes and sizes. For more information visit:

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Book Signing Party for John Henry Creel

Rick Shaffer Principal and founder of Cleveland/Akron area design firm Shaffer Design Works, LLC will join John Henry Creel for a book signing party at Pickwick & Frolic (Restaurant & Club) in Cleveland, Ohio. Rick Shaffer says, "The Shaffer Design Works team played an integral part in the book cover layout and design as well as interior page design of John Henry's upcoming book entitled "C-Reel Results – 12 Weeks to Permanent Fat Loss and Weight Management."

Comedian Greg Morton will perform after the book signing party.

For event details please visit:

To learn how Shaffer Design Works can help with your next marketing effort please contact:

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Newsletter Service

Shaffer Design Works, creative boutique and graphic design firm excels at providing it's clients with creative copy writing and newsletter articles.

Marketing Tip:
When writing articles for a newsletter or annual company publication consider your demographic and write interesting articles that can help raise the readers interests and attention. For example, if your publication's is speaking to a health conscious audience than consider writing articles that offer healthy eating habits and/or talk about a routine on how to exercise on a regular basis.

Before developing your next company publication talk to Shaffer Design Works for exceptional ideas on how to increase and bolster subscriber interest. To learn more visit:

Friday, September 28, 2007

2007 Northeast Ohio Event Planners Expo

Shaffer Design Works has the unique ability to execute on all marketing and brand applications when it comes to your company's next creative event.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

A Niche Created

Creative marketing firm in Cleveland, Ohio has a wealth of experience in design and marketing for a broad client base. In recent years, Shaffer Design Works has helped several construction companies and construction material companies create and execute a wide of array of marketing initiatives.

Here is a sample of a new logo and corporate identity that was developed for a smaller construction company specializing in: design, planning, electrical, plumbing, dry wall and great results.

For information on how Shaffer Design Works can help your small business with corporate identity and other creative ideas contact:
Graphic Design for Cup Labels

Recently Shaffer Design Works was tasked with a design project that required the creation of a label for a cup. The cup will be pulling double duty as it will be sold to food service providers that will introduce and utilize the cup for both hot and cold drink applications. The above is a crop of the hot side of the cup label.

Rick Shaffer, Creative facilitator states, "Our client requested an original texture to help reflect a neutral but attractive display for a cup label. Our creative minds came through with flying colors that complimented the corporate identity the cup company already has in place."

To find out how Shaffer Design Works can help your business with your next marketing challenge visit:

Monday, September 17, 2007

Icon Design and Implementation

When designing an invite for an event it is always a good idea to consider what platforms the event will be marketed in. For instance, design an invite to include graphic elements that can be used across several different marketing mediums. Marketing mediums can include and certainly are not limited to: printed invitations, event programs, E-blast invites, home page icons that are conducive to appearing on a company's Website and/or Website banners that can appear on a business partners Website or other supporting graphics for print or internet based vehicles.

Above is a sample of a visual design strategy that Shaffer Design Works implemented for one company. To find out how Northeast Ohio design firm Shaffer Design Works can help your company execute a well designed strategy visit:

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Rick Shaffer, Marketer and Creative Director for Cleveland-Akron design boutique Shaffer Design Works (SDW) is an active member of The CPS Entrepreneurs Club (A Chapter of the Entrepreneurs Club of America (TECA™). Check out the full membership listing here:

The chapter meets monthly at Blue Canyon Ridge restaurant located in Twinsburg, Ohio. The food and presenters are always good.

Shaffer Design Works specializes in brand recognition and development for companies and organizations of all shapes and sizes. To find out more about SDW visit:

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Advisory Committee Member

Rick Shaffer, Artist and Creative Director of Shaffer Design Works, LLC has been asked to join the Cuyahoga Valley Career Center (formerly Cuyahoga Valley Joint Vocational School) as an advisory committee member to assist the vocational school's digital design program with planning. The school serves several school systems in the Northeast Ohio area. To find out more about some of the programs offered by CVCC visit:

Rick Shaffer graduated from Cuyahoga Valley Joint Vocational School in 1993 with a 4.0 GPA. Rick states, "When I graduated from CVCC in 1993 all advertising design and commercial art was executed on a drawing table with marker layouts, stat cameras, keyline paste-ups, gouché paints, French curves, India ink pens and airbrushes being the tools of choice. Commercial art was slow to transition into the computer age primarily because of the way so many artists had created and mastered the commercial art trades."

Rick Shaffer will be assisting the school in every way possible to help ensure the power of vocational education for future students. CVCC started Rick Shaffer out with great fundamental and traditional skills that he still falls back on today while working with customers at his Cleveland area marketing and advertising firm Shaffer Design Works.

To find out more about Shaffer Design Works visit:

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Green Movement

Creative design studio Shaffer Design Works has been tasked with a number of initiatives to help our Cleveland-Akron and National customers develop "Green Friendly" marketing materials. Shaffer Design Works has been asked to assist with everything from strategy, copy writing to art direction and graphic design. Above is an example of a design piece Shaffer Design Works recently completed. The environmentally friendly booklet was designed and printed on recycled paper that contains 30% post consumer waste.

Below are some Website resource links that include an abundance of facts about our forests and products derived from forests:

For all your "Green Friendly" marketing and design needs contact Rick Shaffer at:

Monday, August 27, 2007

Print Design in Stone Mantels and Fireplaces

Freelance Art Director for hire and local marketer just finished designing a printed brochure for a medium sized marketing company. The unique layout was developed for a Spanish based company that specializes in the creation of unique fireplaces and mantels. When designing the collateral piece, special color combinations that reflect fire and warmth were taken into consideration.

Marketing Tip:
When creating product brochures it always a good idea to consider a size and format that will be conducive for showing off the particular product without overwhelming the potential customer. For example, instead trying to show several large photographs, showcase small thumbnail photos or images. This tactic often helps further entice the customer to ask additional questions.

For more information on how Rick Shaffer, veteran art director and designer can contribute endless design and branding solutions to your next marketing initiative visit:

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Business and Customer Service Tips

Below are some great tips for keeping customers happy...I found them in a How article on the Web. The tips below are not only good for marketing communications businesses, but can be applied to ANY business or organizations customer or client service arsenal.

1. Be consistent with good ideas. Customers will learn they can rely on you to solve their problems.

2. Do your homework. Research every aspect of a company, its philosophy and the problem it wants to solve, to provide a dead-on solution.

3. Look at a problem from all sides. Sometimes the best solution is found when coming at a problem from an unusual angle.

4. Listen. Show your clients that you think they know what's best for them.

5. Communicate well. Develop open, frequent communication, and be receptive to criticism or worries from customers.

6. Be honest. If something isn't working, it's best to address it right away. Clients will appreciate the straightforward approach.

7. Build mutual trust and respect. Once you've grown to understand each other and trust the quality of results, you can rely on each other's instincts and trust each other's judgment.

8. Bend over backwards. Customers will respect and be grateful to you when they see you working hard for their products.

9. Maintain high standards. Every project is worth 100% of your effort. Don't let quality suffer, no matter how busy you become.

Shaffer Design Works prides itself on keeping our customers happy and always practices good design and client service skills. To read the entire article:

Saturday, August 18, 2007

49 Marketing Secrets article contribution featured on Small Business CEO

Rick Shaffer, published author with an article on visual branding appearing in 49 Marketing Secrets was featured on a very good blog "Small Business CEO".


For more great ideas about visual branding or branding in general visit:

Friday, August 17, 2007

Website Design and Execution

Cleveland-Akron graphic design boutique just finished designing a series of packaging labels for an aviation company. Rick Shaffer states that Shaffer Design Works is often referred to as a strategic business partner when it comes to our customers marketing efforts both large and small regardless of industry type. In the coming weeks Shaffer Design Works will be capturing photography for the aircraft cleaner Website along with executing the Web site strategy. The completed task will showcase a well designed shopping cart Website.

Marketing TIP:
When developing a Web site for your business (existing or start-up) it is always a smart idea to start with a holding page for immediate presence. This marketing tactic stirs interest around the company developing and promoting the new business. This will also buy additional strategy and planning time for a smooth and successful Website launch.

An example of a holding page can be found at:

For more Internet marketing ideas contact Shaffer Design Works at:

Monday, August 13, 2007

A Graphic Designer that can Illustrate

Rick Shaffer, designer and illustrator in Cleveland, Ohio just finished an illustration project for a plastic cup and lid company in Canton, Ohio. The cups will be produced overseas in China and when completed the cups will be distributed to restaurant chains both large and small. The above illustration was rendered on a cup template similar to that of a packaging template for package design and layout.

Experienced artist Rick Shaffer has always had a knack for illustration and relishes in the chance to help the customers of Shaffer Design Works with offering such services as illustration. Rick Shaffer states, "If an artist knows how to render traditional illustrations and masters the creative software applications than the sky is the limit. Illustration knowledge helps you produce better logos, execute creative layouts in any medium (print or web) and ultimately helps you to think outside of the box."

The business of marketing and advertising is truly a business driven by passion and the more passion you have the longer you will be successful.

For more creative ideas to help elevate your companies brand, small business or organization visit:

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Being a published author brings credibility to your sales efforts

Recently Rick Shaffer Cleveland area Creative Director of Shaffer Design Works met a with a potential customer and brought a copy of "49 Marketing Secrets (THAT WORK) to Grow Sales". The customer was so impressed by the gesture of the book that they not only offered up more work but looked to Shaffer Design Works as more than just a graphic design house and asked if they could assist with a recent Public Relations (PR) campaign that were about to roll out. Shaffer Design Works has offices in Streetsboro, Ohio and specializes in unique branding ideas for their clients.

"49 Marketing Secrets (THAT WORK) to Grow Sales" is a book that Rick Shaffer, Principal and founder of Shaffer Design Works was asked to contribute to. The article "The Visual Components of Your Brand" (found on page 66) was selected to appear in the book while accompanying other national published authors. 49 Marketing Secrets is available for purchase at:

It just goes to show you that being a published author/writer gives you and your business the added credibility and opportunity to help garner the extra sales it takes to continue to grow a business. For great advertising and marketing help and ideas contact Shaffer Design Works at:

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Website Design

When it comes to Website design and implementation, Cleveland-Akron area design firm Shaffer Design Works ranks first in the category. There is a huge misconception about Website design and development out there right now. The misconception is that there are quite honestly designers and programmers. A seasoned designer knows how to design and implement a companies brand from existing or non-existent materials. Seasoned programmers are best at writing code for a Website and coming up with technical solutions for front-end graphics. You wouldn't build a house without an architect first drawing up the plans for the could get pretty expensive putting a contractor to work without any plans or blueprints to work from.

At Shaffer Design Works our expertise is to provide the best design and marketing solutions to our customers regardless of the size or state of their company or organization. Rick Shaffer, Founder and Creative Director at Shaffer Design Works says the best way to approach Web site design and development is from first a design stand point while taking the programming applications into heavy consideration. The design should come first as that is what your customers will see first. Not that this means you can just slap together any old programming language to support the front-end graphics but design and layout is paramount. Just as design is paramount when it comes to printed materials. There are some great commercial and digital printers out there but you wouldn't ask them to layout an annual report for a non-profit or fortune 500 company. You would ask them to print it on the best possible press for the job or color application. The same way you should ask a programmer to implement the best programming language to support the back-end of a Website.

For more information on this topic or how Shaffer Design Works can add creativity to your current marketing and advertising plan contact Shaffer Design Works at:

Note: The above Website sample/screen capture is for a national aviation services company.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Cleveland graphic design firm Shaffer Design Works, specializes in creative retail marketing applications. Rick Shaffer, Cleveland local and creative director states that Shaffer Design Works demonstrates the utmost passion in the work that they produce for their customers.

The retail pre-print ad campaign above is just an example of a mass Back-to-School blitz that competes on a national level with the likes of OfficeMax and Staples Back-To-School and Holiday advertising and marketing campaigns.

Design Tip:
When creating any ad campaign make sure your organizations marketing goals and objectives have been established before executing creative. Weather the goal is to bolster the company's brand or to increase the annual sales numbers, it is critical that these ideas and objectives have been agreed upon.

For more information on how Shaffer Design Works can help with your company's next marketing initiative please visit:

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

To get the latest views on event graphic design and direct mail from Principal and Creative Director Rick Shaffer click on the internet/web video link below:

Shaffer Design Works was interviewed by Nancy Valent of NMV Strategies and New Image Media. To find out about endless branding and marketing capabilities offered by Shaffer Design Works visit:
Corporate Identity

Cleveland graphic design firm Shaffer Design Works has just finished executing a brand new logo and corporate identity system for a career coaching and placement firm. When creating and executing a new logo design be sure to design it in such a way that the logo can be re-created across all mediums.

Shaffer Design Works offers endless branding and marketing capabilities to their customers. For more information please contact Cleveland Creative Director Rick Shaffer at:

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Crunch Time Project Completed

This is an example of a pre-sale flyer that Shaffer Design Works completed for a book that will be published in a couple of weeks. This flyer design and layout was turned quickly to meet a tight deadline for a presentation given at the Cleveland Clinic. The pre-sale flyer features and highlights a book about a fitness program that explains and walks a novice or fitness expert through a twelve week permanent fat loss and weight management program. The author of the book is one of the top 100 trainers in the United States.

Contact Shaffer Design Works for book cover design, book interior design and layout or just great ideas when it comes to publishing your books. Visit:

Monday, July 02, 2007

Shaffer Design Works has endless amounts of experience helping retailers with branding in all categories. This is an example of an ad for a national pet store chain/franchise.

For more information contact Cleveland graphic design firm:

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Rick Shaffer, Cleveland graphic designer and illustrator creates award winning thank you cards. Rick Shaffer is the Founder and Principal of Shaffer Design Works and continues to drive the creative engines at his Cleveland-Akron, Ohio based design firm.

Shaffer Design Works is in the process of creating a string of illustrations that will help launch an entire clothing and accessory line. These will be available for purchase at:

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Pauldron is a recent corporate identity Shaffer Design Works created.

Pauldron is the shoulder plate armor that was found on a knight's suit or armor. The company Pauldron was founded on the premise of this very concept.

When creating logos and corporate identity systems keep in mind all mediums that the logo will appear on and help support. For instance, a logo should be just as easy to reproduce embroidered on clothing as it would be printed on marketing materials.

For mare information about corporate identity and marketing contact:

Here is a current sample that appears frequently in the Cleveland graphic design firm Shaffer Design Works vast portfolio of successful advertising and marketing projects.

This is the owner's manual for AvantAir a fractional aircraft company with it's head quarters located out of Palm Beach Florida. AvantAir specializes in selling fractions of Piaggio Avanti's.

For more information contact Shaffer Design Works at:

Monday, June 18, 2007

Cleveland Graphic Design Firm Shaffer Design Works is a proud sponsor of the NEO Business Conference.

Shaffer Design Works worked with Ron Finklestein to design and develop the NEO Business Conference logo.

For more information about the upcoming conference in November 2007 visit:

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

"49 Marketing Secrets (THAT WORK) to Grow Sales"

A book that I was invited to contribute to is now available on Here is a direct link to the book:

Here is an excerpt on advertising from the book "49 Marketing Secrets (THAT WORK) to Grow Sales"

Advertising & Direct Mail
Every advertising effort should be part of an integrated campaign that visualizes your brand’s relevant attributes in a way that hits the audience simultaneously in the mind and heart. Utilize various media, such as TV, radio, newspaper, magazine, web banners, and direct mail, or better yet, the most cost-effective combination of all them within your budget. While a unique differentiating message relentlessly told must be at the center of your brand strategy, the visual execution of that strategy is the key to getting your story told. Quite simply, how you say it is just as important as what you say.

A consistent visual style – appropriate to your brand, your key message, and your audience – is vital. Style should include original and consistent photography or illustration. Only original imagery can honestly speak the unique brand image you want to convey. This will contribute to the visual differentiation you are after. Too many times, the advertising budget fails to account for the critical visual element. The result is ads appearing ordinary, dated, or stale. It doesn’t have to be expensive. It just has to be well thought-out. Original art can be amortized across all media – including print, broadcast, Internet, collateral, and sales promotion. In this area, small investments can reap large dividends.
Print Advertising Design

Here is a successful advertising campaign that Cleveland graphic design firm Shaffer Design Works just finished producing for a cup and lid manufacturer/distributor. This is the first of a series of three ads that will tout the companies abilities and services to its potential prospects.

Shaffer Design Works specializes in graphic design for both print and Website mediums. To find out more about the services that Shaffer Design Works offers visit:

Monday, June 11, 2007

Networking Tips

One of my hobbies lately has really become networking with Cleveland and Akron area businesses both large and small. I came across this article recently and feel it has some value...The following excerpt is a favorite of mine:

Root Canal = Connections.
Even though you may dread having your tooth drilled, you never know who you might meet at the dentist's office—or at the post office or grocery store, for that matter. While it's tempting to rush through your daily errands, everyday situations such as these can become networking situations if you bring business cards with you and remain open to meeting people. Simply strike up a conversation with the person sitting next to you or offer your services to your dentist if he happens to mention that he's looking for someone to redesign his business card and website. Even if these conversations don't lead to immediate work, the people you meet may eventually introduce you to new clients.

To review the entire article visit:

To learn and network with Cleveland graphic design firm Shaffer Design Works visit:

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Cleveland graphic design firm Shaffer Design Works is honored to be a part of the SME Business to Business Show.

The SME Business to Business Show is:
Monday, June 11, 2007
House of Blues
June 11, 2007
4:00pm to 7:00pm

For more information visit:

Sponsors include:
House of Blues
Team Promotions
The Plain Dealer
ClearChannel Radio

Stop by and ask how Shaffer Design Works can help enhance your companies marketing and advertising.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Design Tip:
A unique business card die cut can really help enhance a company or organizations corporate identity. Unique die cuts and a well thought out business card design can make a business stand out from the competition.

Consider the real estate on the reverse side of a business card as an additional way to market, explain and describe what it is your companies services and/or specialities are.

Cleveland graphic design firm Shaffer Design Works with offices located in Streetsboro, Ohio specializes in logo design and brand strategies.

Contact founder and creative director, Rick Shaffer at: to find how Shaffer Design Works helps create eye catching design and marketing for businesses large and small.
Want a mini refrigerator at the office?

I just received this mini Coca Cola cooler/warmer as gift from a very good friend/customer of mine and I have to tell you it is one of the coolest/hottest accessories that I have added to the studio in a while.

They are available at Amazon at:

Look for more graphic design samples coming soon. Shaffer Design Works is currently working on Websites, logo and corporate identity systems as well as print ads, brochures and catalogs.

Shaffer Design Works has all they latest marketing ideas and trends available for companies of all shapes and sizes. Visit our Website at:

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Cleveland graphic designer Rick Shaffer will attend the second annual CSP Entrepreneurs Club luncheon. The luncheon will be held at Blue Canyon in Twinsburg, Ohio. To learn more about this great restaurant and their locations (my wife's favorite) check out:

For the CSP Entrepreneurs Club member directory see:

CSP stands for Cuyahoga, Summit and Portage counties. These are three of the 88 counties located in Ohio.

When joining networking organizations consider the types of members the organization attracts and whether or not the organization will compliment your company or business. Some networking organizations are business to consumer and others are business to business, so be selective when making the choice.

Rick Shaffer is the Principal and Creative Director of Shaffer Design Works with offices located in Streetsboro, Ohio.
Here's a shout out a to a pretty cool Blog: (DWB)

This site features many designers and their blogs. The blog also features different blogs on a consistent basis. This is a cool concept.

DWB features blogs discussing graphic design, web design, illustration, marketing, photography, branding, writing and advertising.

Cleveland graphic design firm Shaffer Design Works is a knowledgeable source when it comes to anything creative. Stay tuned as has high hopes of being listed on DWB.

Shaffer Design Works, Cleveland graphic design firm is a proud member of the Streetsboro Area Chamber of Commerce (SACC). Rick Shaffer serves as a board member for the SACC.

Today Shaffer Design Works assisted Kori Marsenik, Executive Director of the SACC with the set-up and guidance for the SACC Blog. The SACC blog is located at:
The Blog will serve as a Mecca for Streetsboro news, information, current events, business tips and will work to help highlight the city of Streetsboro and other area Chambers of commerce.

Marketing Tip:
When setting up a Blog be sure to keep it updated regularly with useful information and tips for a broad audience. The more useful your tips are the more visitors will come back and visit your blog.

Shaffer Design Works specializes in assisting company's with the set-up of their Blogs.
Contact Shaffer Design Works for more information:

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Traveling Tips for Small Business Owners

When you are a small graphic design firm or the owner of a small business it is imperative that you maintain the ability to travel. It is has become a necessity for Shaffer Design Works to stay mobile and have the ability to service our customers while traveling. I have listed a few considerations when traveling for business and keeping in contact with your customers:

1.) Purchase a cool product like this PodiumPad for your laptop. Review the product and customer reviews at:

2.) Consider the purchase of a smart phone. I have used both a Blackberry as well as the palm 700P and in my past experiences I have found great value in both smart phones. Whether traveling for the day or across the country you will agree that a smart phone is the best way to keep in touch with your customers. Shaffer Design Works outfits all of their employees with a smart phone. The Palm 700P is available at Verizon Wireless:

3.) Before traveling be sure to always back-up your laptop. It is a good practice to archive at least twice a week. Shaffer Design Works archives every design project we execute for our customers. Here is a link to a pretty good Blog on how to back up your computer:

For more design and marketing tips contact Shaffer Design Works, LLC at:

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Recently Cleveland Design Firm Shaffer Design Works created the corporate identity for a company called Eye Queue. The approved logo design is below.

DESIGN TIP (excerpt taken from the published book 49 Marketing Secrets (THAT WORK) to help Grow Sales):

Logo And Corporate Identity
Who are you? What can you do for me? Why should I care? Those fundamental questions are answered first by your corporate identity. Logos and symbols are far more than a visualization of the mission statement. They imply a customer experience so critical to 21st century marketing. If a customer views your logo and it doesn't visually compel them to look further, you have lost your sale.

Think of business cards as your professional attire. They might be a first and only impression. The choices of color, design, paper, and print leave a profound statement as to the currency, quality, and appropriateness of your brand. The same applies to your stationery, which may include, but is certainly not limited to, letterhead, envelopes, and shipping labels. Carefully think through how you will use them. Cards with tiny type, or letterhead with a format that restricts content, will prove impractical. Be certain to consider both digital and printed formats of your logo and letterhead. This will conserve time, energy, and your marketing budget whether you are a start up or an established company.

One of the most important attributes in developing a successful corporate identity is the consideration of color. Color is one of the keys to visual marketing. It can set tone or spirit, evoke emotional response, help create a lasting impression, and ultimately win a sale. Color theory as an element of design is just one consideration of the visual marketing that should be at the heart of your efforts. Your brand is the most valuable commodity of all. Just like everything else in business you get what you pay for, so choose wisely enlisting a creative firm to help with these tasks. Now extend this line of thinking to other elements of your company’s identity. These might include signage, uniforms, menus, interior design, and event marketing. Be relentless in your pursuit of a consistent and memorable brand image that differentiates you from your competition.

Shaffer Design Works can assist in all phases of brand development and/or logo design weather your company or organization is looking to execute a total re-brand or just enhance it's current brand or logo Shaffer Design Works can help and offer advice accordingly. Contact us today to see how we might be able to work together to improve your current marketing efforts.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Cleveland graphic designer Rick Shaffer participated in the first ever 2007 Event Expo that was hosted by the Forum located in downtown Cleveland, Ohio on April 25th.

Marketing Tip:
When spending time as an exhibitor at a trade show function remember to bring more literature, product/service handouts and business cards than you will need. More times than not exhibitors are busier than they think they will be. You never know where your next big sale will come from.

The above photograph was taken by Hal Stata of Stata Productions.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Newsletters continue to be a very good marketing vehicle to help get the word out. In this Blog you will find a sample of a credit union newsletter written, designed and executed by Shaffer Design Works. More often than not newsletters are not regarded as high end publications and marketing dollars are allocated to other areas. The irony in this is that for a few additional marketing dollars newsletters can have great impact when written, designed and executed properly.

When considering putting together a newsletter, think of it as putting together a high-end magazine that will have great impact on your customers and/or prospects. Gathering thoughts of recent activities or customer offerings going on in your organization will help you organize and write the newsletter articles effectively. Consider upgrading the photography or graphics within your newsletter. Graphics can add interest and impact to any publication.

Shaffer Design works can help with any and all aspects of your companies newsletter or small publication needs.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Recently Shaffer Design Works joined the ranks of many Cleveland businesses at the first annual 2007 Event Expo. At the expo Shaffer Design Works spoke on many hot topics such as direct mail versus Email blasts and printed materials versus Internet only publications. One of the unique capabilities of Shaffer Design Works is that we can create both traditional printed publications and marketing pieces as well as offer the latest in Website design and development techniques. We also invest in the most recent tools to help execute even the most challenging of Website projects.

At the 2007 Event Expo I ran into a caricature cartoonist and entertainer named E.J. the Cartoonist and Entertainer. He was kind enough to illustrate a caricature of me (see above). His Website is located at: he seems like a really fun guy and would recommend him for any event. I also had him draw a Batman for my son.

Shaffer Design Works always has the most creative ideas when it comes to graphic design for any event expo large or small. Shaffer Design Works is glad to support local artists in the Cleveland and Akron areas.
This is a quick note to let everyone know that this Blog will feature a special Design Tip section with every new post related to: Strategic Planning, Photography Shoots, Corporate Communications, Advertising, Image Programs, Logo or Corporate Identity, Direct Response, Design, Print Production Management, Annual Reports, Newsletters, PowerPoint Layout and Design, Web Site Development, Sales Promotion, Business-to-Business Strategies, Branding, Packaging, Merchandising, Product Development, E-communications, Signage/Environmental Graphics, Collateral Redesign or just anything having to do with creativity.

For more information regarding these and other creative services or any questions regarding graphic design services please visit:
"49 Marketinng Secrets (THAT WORK) to Help Grow Sales" is a book due out Spring 2007. I was invited to write an article about Branding and Corporate Image.

Shaffer Design Works created and designed the layout for the book. Ron Finklestein was the lead writer of the book. To learn more about the book you can review Ron's Blog at:

The 49 marketing Secrets Website can be found at:

The book contains some great articles on everything from: marketing, branding, sales and presentations.

When looking for a graphic designer to help with book, newsletter or general publication design and layout be sure that they can show you samples of their work. Also, ask them about their process before committing to any graphic designer. A good creative designer will be able to walk you through all necessary steps of book layout and design as well as explain to you what will be needed from you at the begining, during and the conclusion of the book layout. Shaffer Design Works can help with the design, layout and formatting of any publication as well as offer guidance to the entire creative process.

Look for "49 Marketing Secrets (THAT WORK) to grow sales" on in Spring 2007. Contact Shaffer Design Works for more information about creative design and layout at: The offices of Shaffer Design Works are conveniently located in Streetsboro, Ohio.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Cleveland design firm Shaffer Design Works specializes in art direction for photography shoots. Shaffer Design Works has extensive knowledge and experience executing even the most difficult of photos. Children are some of the more challenging of photo subjects as you never know what you will get and need to prepare your clients and photography crew for any last minute changes with lighting, props, models and/or anything that may contribute to the end result. Sometimes you may have several shots planned and realize an extra day or two is required for proper photography execution. It is critical to plan ahead and allocate additional time and budget dollars to your photography projects. This saves time and money when executing your Website, collateral and/or advertising strategy.

Many times it is less expensive and more economical to set-up a photography shoot with your art director or graphic designer as opposed to trying to find stock photography to fit whatever situation it is you are trying to capture. When choosing a professional photographer it is important to choose a photographer that is flexible, responds well and adjusts to change and/or the circumstances related to the photography shoot.

The sample photos in this Blog post were directed by Rick Shaffer of Shaffer Design Works (Cleveland Graphic Designer) and captured by Hal Stata of Stata Productions (Cleveland Photographer). Please contact Rick Shaffer at Shaffer Design Works with inquires about photography direction and execution. For more information about Shaffer Design Works please visit:

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Creating and designing HTML Emails

Below are just a few tips and tools needed to help understand the process of HTML Email blasts. Shaffer Design Works implements and uses the most up to date tools available for Web design and development.

1. A design application, like Adobe Photoshop, Fireworks, Dreamweaver, or Illustrator. Use these tools to layout your template, and slice out your graphics (like your company logo, and product photos).

2. A good, “pure” HTML/Text editor, like BBEdit and TextWrangler for the Mac, or HomeSite, and NoteTab Pro for the PC. You could use “WYSIWYG” style tools to generate HTML, like Microsoft FrontPage, or maybe Adobe GoLive or Macromedia Dreamweaver. But they have their disadvantages. WYSIWYGs very often throw in gobs of junk into your code (FYI, Microsoft says the extra code is to help with “round tripping” which means you can export from Word to Powerpoint to HTML, then back again, without losing anything). All this extra code usually ends up just breaking things, or setting off spam filters. There are some WYSIWYGs out there that generate “clean code” but we’ve found those are a bit “too perfect,” because they’re designed for web pages, not HTML email (so they don’t know all the things you have to “rig” in your code.). If you want to do HTML email correctly, you should learn to code HTML “from scratch” with a good text editor.

When considering HTML templates it is best to consider a design firm that has the experience to execute a well designed and unique Email Blast. There are several Websites that offer HTML templates. The downside of a using a pre-existing HTML Email template is that they are stock and you run the chance of someone Else's Email blast looking just like yours. The road of originality is always the best route.

3. Your own web server, to host all your images and archives. You should create a folder on your website for email newsletters. This is where you’ll store images, then point to them with absolute paths in your HTML code. Everybody has their own organization style, though. Just be sure to come up with a system and process for archiving, so that each newsletter isn’t a huge chore to publish.

4. An FTP program, like Fetch for the Mac, or CuteFTP for PCs. When you design your email and slice out all your graphics, you’ll use FTP to move those files from your computer to the server.

5. A test machine (or two), loaded with as many different email applications and accounts as possible. You’ll want to check your HTML email designs under lots of different scenarios. Unlike web design, where you only have to check your work in a small handful of browsers, there are tons of email applications out there, and they all handle HTML email differently.

Design Guidelines
Here are some pointers for designing your email. Early warning: If you’re a seasoned web designer, you’re not going to be happy with all the compromises and hacks you’ll have to make when designing for email applications.

Set your width to about 500-600 pixels.
If you’ve ever worked on a website, you’re probably used to designing pages to fit in 800x600 pixel resolution screens, or maybe even 1024x768. But that won’t work when you design HTML email. Most recipients will be looking at your email through their “preview pane” which is usually a small portion of their available screen.

Above in an example of a recent Email campaign created and designed by Shaffer Design Works. This Email campaign was also tied into several printed pieces as well. Shaffer Design Works specializes in brand development and consistency.

Shaffer Design Works can execute both the largest of Email blasts or even help design, development and execute a small Email campaign of only 50 or so Email addresses.

Contact us today to see how we might be able to help with your next project.
I have networked with many small business owners in the Cleveland and Akron areas and the infamous "Working With Words" always seems to find it's way into our conversations.

I must say this is a very good Blog:

This is just a shout out to anyone who has spoken about John's Blog in the past.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Shaffer Design Works recently finished a Point of Purchase display (POP) for Ford Motor Company. The POP is a hang tag that will be displayed from the rear view mirror in all new Ford vehicles found in dealers nationwide. The hang tag highlights the new navigation systems that Ford will feature in their vehicles.

Shaffer Design Works is familiar with all aspects of POP design and implementation.

When creating a POP make sure you take acurate measurements of the area that will house the POP and make a few test mock-ups before the approved design enters production. Also consider the material that the POP will be produced on – this is especially importatnt when double-sided printing is concerned.

For more information on creating POPs contact Shaffer Design Works directly at 216.536.8376.