Photo Tip for Bloggers: Framing Brings the Viewer Closer, Keeps Them Longer

Posted By on September 23, 2015

Being your own photographer these days is almost a requirement if you blog. I’ve found that shooting my own images sets my blog apart and photography contributes to my creative and writing life in a way I’d never imagined. A very simple photo tip for bloggers is to frame your photos if you want to […]

Blogging and Web Design Inspiration: Start with Who You Are and What You Care About

Posted By on March 24, 2015

It’s the little things that count. We hear this everywhere pertaining to everything. I’ve got news: It’s true in web design and blog design especially. Spot-on, “hell-yeah!” web design inspiration hinges on small choices: colors, patterns, fonts, graphics, templates. These seemingly small elements work together to make your design pop, wow, zing. However, they can […]

How to Target an Audience, Texas-Style

Posted By on February 26, 2015

One of the most common mistakes in marketing is to assume that your product appeals to everybody. It doesn’t. Especially in the early “unknown” phase when very few people recognize your brand. You are far better off learning how to target an audience by figuring out the most likely people you think will buy what […]

When to Upgrade Your Blog Design? Three Questions to Help You Decide.

Posted By on January 15, 2015

In Design Land, the goal is to create logos, brands, and marketing collateral that are meaningful, memorable and lasting. Designers are trained to do this. They love the challenge. But you are not a designer. You’re a writer, blogger and if you’re like most Two Pens readers, a business owner. As such, maintaining your blog’s […]

This Is How to Kickstart!

Posted By on September 16, 2014

Prospect (Short Film) from Shep Films on Vimeo. Caldwell and Earl started their own production company, Shep Films, made industry connections, got their work seen, and successfully raised almost $22,000 to shoot Prospect in their first foray on Kickstarter. Chris Caldwell and Zeek Earl are pretty average twenty-somethings. They wear black skinny jeans and Adidas […]

Meet Two Pens’ Visual Wit and How She Uses it to Build Our Brand

Posted By on June 17, 2014

Out walking in Seattle yesterday, I bumped into Cynthia photographing a rain-soaked clump of blue bells at a park overlooking Lake Washington. Her camera was about 1 mm from the flowers as if it were an octogenarian’s reading glasses. Now what is she seeing, I wondered. I ask the same question every time she pulls […]

Macklemore’s “Independence” Is a Business Brand, a Message and a Life Style

Posted By on March 25, 2014

Most people admire Seattleite Ben Haggerty (AKA Macklemore) for his rap music. I’m a fan of his business brand. What’s unusual about Macklemore is how message, behavior, and business strategy all reinforce his business brand as an independent. This is the trifecta that reinforces brand clarity.

A Writing Prompt to Help You Get to Your Personal Brand

Posted By on February 24, 2014

In this week’s video, Cynthia Hartwig, Creative Director and Co-Founder of Two Pens, talks about her favorite writing prompt designed to help business people develop an authentic and personal brand. The trick is to figure out what you are most passionate about–whether you’re working for someone else or building your own company. If you can […]

Group Photos: Don’t Make it Mass Murder

Posted By on January 21, 2014

If you’re a regular business blogger, chances are you will be assigned to write a story about a great group of people. You’ll craft your draft and then realize–whack-on-the-forehead!–there are no good group photos of these folks. What to do in a word where stellar visuals make the difference between posts that are shared and […]

Brand Management: Create a Brand Expression Guide to Avoid Brand Creep

Posted By on January 14, 2014

Emily and I are often called on to provide brand audits for clients. We’re amazed at how often companies who have spent big money to develop their brands fall prey over time to what we call “brand creep.” That’s when communications that started out with a consistent look, feel and message fall apart into chaos. […]