SAN DIEGO -- Regardless of industry, just about any successful business today utilizes the Internet’s global reach to promote their services and goods online. However, a website alone is not always enough.
To get people to the website, many successful businesses also invest in print campaigns.
Naturally, business owners frequently find themselves trying to answer two questions: How do you effectively integrate the worlds of online media and print media? And, how do you ensure your advertising stands above its competition?
According to Hyphen8tion Studios owner, Alexandar Bryan, you create a brand identity through high-quality design.
"In terms of advertising, you have to create something that connects with people’s attention; something they can see and understand, but that also speaks to the product’s integrity and innovation," Bryan said.
"It is also very important to build a brand and stay consistent with the message," he said. "It really helps propel your product or service."
Bryan points to Coca-Cola as a perfect example. The brand has a clean look that people worldwide connect with; very few people in the world do not know what their product is.
Of course, the majority of businesses have a much smaller advertising budget than Coca-Cola, but that certainly does not mean they cannot compete in the same league in terms of concept and design.
That is where employing the services of someone like Bryan is essential.
Living and breathing design
Bryan, like many young Americans, was born into a racially integrated family. Although born in Florida, he grew up in Denver, making his way to San Diego in 2001 to obtain his bachelors degree from the University of San Diego.
Bryan’s profession allows him to work from anywhere in the world, which is a good thing given his love for travel. To date, he has visited 29 countries. His life's goal is to visit every country before he ends up six feet under.
He recently returned from a month long trip, stopping in several countries, including Italy, Slovenia, Turkey and his mother’s native land, Croatia.
"I love learning how people in different places interpret basic things like colors, numbers, or symbols," Bryan said. "I like to take what I have learned from all the different customs and cultural significances and implement them into my designs."
His love for traveling, his meticulous reputation, and his minor in psychology help him cater to clients worldwide.
"Understanding that there are psychological connections that go with certain colors and symbols helps me get into the heads of my clients," Bryan said. "In China, for example it’s good to use red, but it means different things there. With my Japanese clients, I could not use red in the same manner."
Bryan has created, designed and implemented graphic, web and print campaigns for a wide variety of clients. Although he has always had a passion for figuring out patterns and designs, he somewhat "fell into" his profession.
The University of San Diego did not offer a design degree, so after consulting a professor, Bryan decided to take matters into his own hands.
He researched the top 25 web development firms in San Diego, narrowed down his options to five and then proceeded to create portfolios for each. One of the companies called him back right away and within a week, he had his first design internship.
Upon graduation, he worked for the firm for four and a half years. He developed a broad but deep skill set in print and interactive media, and before venturing out on his own in 2008, he had risen to the position of art director.
"I started out doing just flyers and now I do full identities," Bryan said.
"Living between the hyphen is a communication studies term, referring to someone living with two cultures and figuring out how to live between those societies," Bryan said of the Hyphen8tion name.
"It is an extension of me. I like to have juxtaposition."
Although Bryan provides quality, high-end work normally obtained through a design firm, he is affordable because he is able to keep costs down by managing every aspect of the design campaign.
"My broad experience means clients get everything they need in one place; from concept through to design, production, and implementation," Bryan said. "I will create, write, design, build and animate, based on their needs."
"If a client doesn't like the identity I create for them, then we haven't delved deep enough into their personality or their need," he said.
Bryan also likes to include his clients in the process and educate them whenever possible.
"I am always pleased to help clients understand what the heck I’m talking about when I say things like ‘dynamic action scripting’ or ‘four-color CMYK process with aqueous coating;’ you always know what you’re getting at Hyphen8tion Studios," Bryan said.
He does not impose his creativity, but rather believes that everyone is creative and that the designs he comes up with are collaborations between himself and his clients.
"People will say 'make it pop' or 'jazz it up' and that’s not helpful unless I can really get into the heart of the matter," he said. "I really focus on creating an identity the client will love."
"My customer service also sets me apart," Bryan said, "almost all of my clients are referral clients and that speaks for itself."
When clients hire Bryan for a design campaign, he meets with everyone involved for a "creative brief" to discuss things such as favorite colors, business stakeholders and the target market; the goal being to identify the client’s need.
Once that first step is complete, Bryan goes to work with what he calls his "trademark speed" and provides the client with concepts, then revisions, and after all needs have been met, the final product.
"I’m very vocal with my clients," he said. "Once we get into ‘functionality’ we always have the conversation about what they want vs. what I think should happen. I am very much about technology and keeping up with all of the latest trends, programs and software, so my clients will get the best.”
"My competition is not another freelancer, it’s typically other design firms," Bryan said.
Bryan's creativity is evident in every aspect of his designs, from websites to business cards, and from logo design to magazine and book covers.
His extensive portfolio is available HERE.