Looking UP! University Place 2013 Business Directory

Passio Creative had the pleasure of working on the City of University Place’s 2013 business directory this year. The directory is called “Looking UP!” and features all the businesses in University Place. It was a honor to put together such a comprehensive booklet in partnership with publisher, Premier Media Group. Along with the design and layout of the directory Passio also did the ad design for several of the businesses including Edward Jones, Foxfire Salon and Spa, Brassfields Salon and Spa, Fircrest Children’s Dentistry, Phase II, University Place Refuse and Recycling, Eye Level Learning Center, Stewart & Son Computer Services, Norpoint Communities, JK Tax Services and At Your Service Plumbing. The Directory has already been delivered to all the homes in University Place and has had a great response.

To look at the entire directory click Looking_UP_2013_Business_Directory


Why is Branding Important?

A couple of months ago we were invited to speak in front of a business development class at Bates College in Tacoma. It was an honor to be asked and a lot of fun. The topic at hand was branding and more importantly the importance of branding. Unfortunately once we dove in and started to really explore everyone’s individual brands for the companies they were preparing to launch we ran out of time. So here is what we talked about….

Why is your brand so important?

  • It builds trust
  • Communicates who you are
  • Communicates what you do
  • Differenciates you from the competition
  • Conveys credibility
  • Reinforces you core values
  • Creates a lasting impression
  • Creates Loyalty

Questions to ask yourself…

  • What does your company do?
  • Why did you start your company
  • Who are your customers?
  • Why do people choose your company over your competitors?
  • What other brand voices do you admire?
  • If your brand were a person, how would you describe him or her?
  • Can you describe your company in 3-5 words?
  • What do you love about your job?

Steps by Step Branding Process

1. Choose a Simple Branding Message

What sets your company apart from other in your industry? What makes you different and original? What about your company makes it the one that a potential client should choose?

2. Create a Voice to Accompany Your Message

It’s not just what you say but how you say it. Your corporate “voice” is the language, tone and rhythm that you utilize in all your communications

3. Create a Logo and Design Scheme (This is where Passio Creative Comes in)

It’s important to convey your message and style to your potential clients with both verbal and visual brand representations. Your logo and design scheme should complement your verbal message.

4. Be Consistent

At Passio we feel this is the biggest and most important one. If you aren’t focused about how you appear, then your potential clients will be impacted by your inconsistency rather than your message.

5. Measure Reactions and Tweak Your Message and Design

Make sure you measure the reactions of your potential clients to your brand. Watch for their discussions on social networks and blogs and pay attention to sales and figure movements. When you notice certain aspects of your branding not delivering, tweak them.


So… Ask yourself what are the brands you love? Why do you like them? Now think about your brand, your company.

Download our handout for the Branding 101 Class: Branding_Workshop


Insider Tip : One of Our Favorite Printers for Business Cards

In was only a couple years ago that I first found out about Moo.com and since then I use them all the time. Of course it has to be the right situation and the right client. Why I say that is because their business cards are an odd size and sometimes that deters people from using them but the quality is amazing, their attention to detail is top notch and you can do unique things like have a different image on the back of every card (and I literally mean every card). Their Luxe business card, which is what we use for our own cards, has almost a letterpress feel to them. Of course you don’t have the the imprint like you would from a press but the thickness of the card and the feel of the paper brings back so many memories for me of all my years behind the press.

Yes, that is right, will attending the Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, Oregon I minored in print-making. Sadly once I didn’t have access to a studio I stopped but I have worked in almost every medium including lithography, etching, woodcuts, linocuts, letterpress and silkscreening. It has always been a dream of mine to have a press in my own studio…maybe someday.

Never the less if you are almost out of business cards and thinking about placing a new order let me know and I could help you through the process (or help with a new design if you are feeling adventurous). I have nothing but good things to say about Moo.

Four Great Years Designing 425 and South Sound Magazine

Everyday I am reminded of all the wonderful experiences I have had in my life. All the wonderful experiences that lead to the birth of Passio Creative. I see a logo I designed on the back of a car, a coffee cup I designed in someone’s hand, a package I designed sitting on the shelf of the grocery store or a layout I’ve done for a magazine framed on a business’s wall (which is the inspiration for this post today). I am so proud and honored to have been part of so many great businesses and worked with so many amazing people. Each has guided me to be the person I am, have the philosophies I do for my business and the success I’ve had in my career.

It has been several years since I was with Premier Media Group and created the layout I saw on the wall but it brought back so many memories. For four great years I was the Creative Director of South Sound magazine and 425 magazine. I designed more than 40 magazines. I helped launch 425 magazine. I branded The Greater South Sound’s Home and Garden to the South Sound magazine we know and love today. I helped develop content. I directed photo shoots. I even shot photos myself for a few articles. It was my heart and soul and I am still so proud to showcase the work I created with the amazing PMG team who are still dear friends of mine today.


Good Shepherd’s First Annual Auction Save the Date

We were hired by the event committee of the Good Shepherd Lutheran Day School to design a save the date postcard as well as invitations for their first annual auction and gala. The committee wanted the design concept to be centered around the location for the event which happened to be a beautiful Spanish estate named Tarragona. Our vision for the piece was “classic old world” with a color palette of creams, golds and browns. The photograph of the estate used in the design was taken with a standard point and shot camera by our client. We took the photo and manipulated it in Photoshop to create a that classic old world feel we were envisioning while also integrating texture and pattern. The typography is a balance between script and serif which gives it sophistication as well as stylistically mimicking the design of the background. The committee was very pleased. Now that these are off to the press we will continue working on the invitations that will follow shortly.