Lots and Lots of Images

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Having a bank of beautiful images of your designs is a big benefit. The higher the number of press quality angles, views, detail shots, concept sketches, etc of a project you have, the better off you’ll be.

When you’re developing marketing packages to sell your new service, images people haven’t seen before are a great sales tool. They don’t have to be new or different projects, they just have to be fresh images.

If the detail or view you show can relate to the new service you’re selling or the new market you’re trying to crack, even better.

New Services

One way to inform your current and future clients of what you do (see yesterday’s post) is to offer them new services. It’s a chance to explain what that new service is (e.g. landscape art brokerage), and an opportunity to let them better understand your view on the world and what you’re capable of in the other aspects of your work.

Fringe benefits include educating yourself on the new service (learning something new), practicing your marketing, client engagement, and keeping yourself excited about your work.

If your downside is having too many services or “pokers” in the fire, pick one that is performing the worst or is the least interesting to you and drop it from the list.

How Should They Know?

I practice landscape architecture. Please raise your hand if you know what landscape architecture is, and what a landscape architect does.

I imagine the response would be similar if we were to substitute architecture, but the general public could understand the construction of buildings angle.

But, the construction of buildings, much like the final form of a park, civic space, or private garden, isn’t nearly as important as what those things represent, how they fit into a city or neighborhood, and how they increase real quality of life. These are the most important aspects of what we do, yet the least recognized.

But, how should they know? Who should tell them, and how should you do it?

Decide on Design

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Most of the decisions – personal, professional, or otherwise – we make concerning our surroundings are based on price, and possibly, functionality. This goes for shopping centers, restaurants, automobiles, home fixtures, you name it.

Try to make one decision this week based on how something is designed. Visit a  store for no other reason than how it makes you feel. Look at the texture of an item or the way an item accomplishes it’s function, rather than simply that it does. Try to see things as a series of relationships, rather than a mash-up of disparate individuals.

There should be value in good design, but you have to practice how to recognize it. Look everywhere around you for evidence of the alternative.

Yours (does not) equal better

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When looking at someone else’s work, it’s important to remember that the entire thought process isn’t readily available or easy to discern. Before judging, or starting down the “I could do it much better” route, think of all the possible circumstances that could have created the end result. Budget problems, construction problems, regulatory problems, philosophical disagreements; the list is endless. If that isn’t enough, remember that in many cases, style and design are purely subjective. Everybody has an opinion.

Definition of Urban

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Urban is interacting primarily with other people.
Suburban is interacting primarily with cars.
Rural is interacting primarily with nature.

Urban is face to face.
Suburban – you must get out of your car.
Rural – you must get into your car.

This refers to day-to-day life, not special events or circumstances.