Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Online Design Sessions

Leave it to our designers. They have launched online live design sessions that customers can schedule. These 30 minute sessions are booked right from our website. During the session the customer gets to watch the designer’s screen while chatting with the designer on the phone. Designs that have historically taken days and a lot of back and forth emails can now be knocked out in 30 minutes. Don’t worry, we kept the traditional design process for those that don’t have the time for a dedicated session. Booking appointments are also available for 15 minute phone consults as well.

Got a custom quote you’d love to see as a wall decal? Book the appointment today!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Even Designers Get a Chance to Blog!

Welcome to the Trading Phrases Design Blog!

Our design juices are flowing more than ever in the past month... with our new site so easy to navigate and maneuver we are now thinking about the limitless categories and designs that we can now create. We have spun up our new mirror designs, are working on T-shirts, and now have moved to the kitchen with tumblers & KitchenAid designs! Facebook continues to be a fabulous venue for ideas and our fans have a lot of input on what gets put on our site. If you haven't seen it check it out and pop over to our "help our designers" photo album to choose which designs we add to our site- get involved!

Tumbling into Tumblers:

Tumblers have been a lot of fun this week, we spun out about 20 designs that are now in the "testing" process to ensure that we are able to produce them so small- once that is completed we will add them to the website for you to order. I was really inspired for these since I currently own about 3 (not via TP), and they are all boring clear plastic with a brown grip and straw- and they cost me $13! Tumblers are a necessity in my house since I have a toddler and animals who all seem to LOVE spilling or drinking my beverages... I'm so excited for the possibility of some personality! We will have tumblers with cute designs that you can choose your own colors for, monograms/initials, school designs, and fun art. Also, our tumblers come in an array of fun colors- so the possibilities are truly endless.

Out of the Fire and Into the Kitchen(Aid):

KitchenAid designs are turning out to be a bit more tricky- have you ever really looked at a KitchenAid? Probably not from a design aspect... I know that I hadn't! They are a very strange shape and size, especially accounting for the round curvature and long stem on them- which makes it a challenge to design for... but beautiful results! Where I tend to balance delicately on the more feminine, girly, designs- many of you (and my co-workers) prefer a bit of masculinity in their designs- like Alton Brown's flame design vs. my swirls (yet to be added). Thankfully Trading Phrases is a wonderful creative outlet and we can suit every one's needs... from the masculine to the feminine and everywhere in-between.

C is for... Custom Designs!

As always we are doing this for YOU so if you feel there is something that you would like to have on our website that is not represented, please don't hesitate to contact us- and we'd be more than happy to help you out.

I can't wait to show you some more photos of our new categories in next week's blog!


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Renter Decor Ideas & Our Top FAQ Questions

It always comes around to that time of the year, as a renter, when you need to move to a new space. If you’re anything like me, I get bored with a space if I’m there for too long. So now I’m preparing to move to a new space at the beginning of September and I’m starting to make my list of designs that will fill my naked walls. As a renter, you’re typically not allowed to paint your walls, unless you have an amazingly laid back landlord. Unfortunately I don’t, so the wall decals are PERFECT for my space. I can add my personality to my home without the hassle of painting or banging nails crookedly into my wall for the one picture I have to hang.

There are a few things to keep in mind when deciding on your designs.
Size: This is one of the most common questions I receive as a CSR, “How does the sizing work with your designs and how do I know what the right size would be?”. Let me tell you one thing, I wish I could tell every customer what design would look amazing over their queen sized, four post bed, but unfortunately I haven’t acquired that skill yet. I’m still trying to work on it though.
All of our designs are measured in overall size. So, we take the overall length of a design by the overall height of a design. All of our designs are measured in inches as to keep the confusion as minimal as possible. I know it is a difficult process to measure out your space and picture the right size. Here’s my little secret to perfect measurements as to avoid the boyfriend holding my measuring tape up, with tired arms, as I stand back and contemplate the sizing.
First, I acquire my measuring tape and a role of painters tape. You will still need an “assistant”, but I promise their task won’t take up too much time and won’t leave them with aching arms. Next, get the size of the design you’re thinking of purchasing. Measure out the size on the space where you’ll place the design and have your “assistant” mark its measurements with a pieces of painters tape. Now both you and your “assistant” can stand back and get an ideal of how large or small the design will be.

Texture: This is another common question that I hear daily, “I have a (insert texture here), will your decal stick to my wall?”. Currently I have the same issue. The walls in my new living room are covered in that lovely, I say this with deep sarcasm, wood paneling. Now don’t get me wrong, some people can work the wood paneling but I just can’t seem to do it with my taste. I love modern designs and can’t seem to figure out a way to make the wood paneling modern. I won’t let the paneling defeat me! I’ve contemplated this for several days and have decided to hang large canvases on the wall with a mixed media design. I’m going to place some of my favorite vinyl designs on the canvas and add a bit of paint around them as a background color. Before doing so, I need to know if our designs will adhere to that type of surface. Luckily, we offer working samples just for that reason. When on our website, you can order a working sample. Please allow a few days for these to be processed since unfortunately my worker gnomes are currently on strike and only I am processing them. All of our working samples will arrive via USPS in a white envelope. Once the sample arrives, you will apply it just like you would any of our designs. We offer this service free of charge to all of our customers since it would be so annoying to be excited for that perfect design and when it finally arrives, it won’t stick to your surface. If you ever, EVER have any doubt just pick up the phone and call me. I’ve tested many surfaces and I’ll be able to give you plenty of insight.

Color: This one is very simple, well if you order color samples it is. We offer one set of six color samples as a free service to our customers. These will arrive on a postcard via USPS. Again, please remember that the worker gnomes are still on strike. You can use these samples to decide on which color will look perfect with your Sherwin Williams (insert color HERE). That has to be one of my favorite questions of all time and is another skill that I’m working on. “What color would look good with my Sherwin Williams Grim Blue?” Now, keep in mind that I have no clue what that color looks like. When you call and ask me that question I will go online and look up the color to try and give you my best opinion, but the color online may look completely different then how it looks on your wall. The lighting in your house is also another factor, but I will NEVER turn you away. Plus, this always helps me shop for paint colors if I ever need them in the future. So what I’m trying to say here is, ordering the color samples is the best way to know for sure what color to choose. You can hold the card up to your Sherwin Williams Milky Cream and know exactly how the vinyl will look against the wall.

That’s all I have for our bloggers today. If you have any questions, or would like to discuss anything I talked about, my worker gnomes and I will be happy to answer your questions.

~Anastasia, Production Manager and Chief Customer Handler

Monday, June 20, 2011

Business Designs for the Do It Yourselfer

We've recently beefed up our business category and added a lot of business-based designs that will work well in a restaurant, retail shop, salon... the list goes on and on. The idea is that small business owners (like us) don't have a lot of time and money to spend at the local sign shop. These pre-designed decals are easy to order and even easier to install. No installation charge necessary, just bring a ruler and a level (there are apps on smart phones for the level--how easy is that?). If you know a small business, you may want to do them a favor and introduce our business category to them. They may thank you for it!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

New Website (Finally!)

We finally launched the website. It took 2 years, and a lot of work, but it is finally up and working. Check it out and let us know what you think on our comment page or on Facebook.

Our wall mirrors have been really popular. They are fun little designs that are repositionable and reusable. Add a bit of vinyl design to a wall mirror pack and voila, instant decor!

Watch in the coming weeks for a few new fun products. We're looking at adding t-shirts, plastic tumblers, and more fun items.



Monday, January 10, 2011

Waiting for the Dust to Settle

We recently had the opportunity to double our shop by taking over an adjacent space in our building. We have the same trepidation as everyone else in this economy... scale back, do more with less, ride it out... But in the end, we decided to do it. The elbow room and additional storage space will be a huge bonus right now, and the extra space will give us the opportunity to start 'playing' with a few new concepts that have been on the back burner. The walls are coming down and we're scrambling to work in a construction zone.

2010 was a banner year for us. We grew from 8 to 14 employees, had sales in over 66 countries, and got to meet some great designers who are using our designs in a myriad of fun and exciting projects. We brought in a full time CSR to free up our design staff who work with customers on custom quotes and on new and fun designs with more of an artistic bent. We've grown this year to just over 17,000 fans on Facebook, which we frequently poll for design ideas and to pick a winner from a couple of competing designs. We love the medium and will continue our 'conversation' with our customers as long as they'll continue to give us feedback, opinions, and ideas.

Thanks to everyone that made 2010 a great year. Here's to 2011 and new goals and products. Onward and upward!


Trading Phrases

PS. Check out our current Valentine promotion design for a little romantic whimsy!