When my friend asked me for my opinion on what window treatments she should get, I did not hesitate to tell her plantation shutters. I had just finished researching window treatment options for my own home, and I knew that there were no other options that are as good as plantation shutters, for a number of reasons. I did a search for orange county blinds and found a company that sells and installs them in my area, but I had yet to make an appointment. She knew that I had been researching for my own place, and she wanted to know why I felt that plantation shutters were the best.
There are so many reasons, but I just gave her the top reasons that I felt were important. The main one is that they are so durable. With mini blinds, which is what we both have had up to this point, we needed to replace them every few years. The cheaper ones are flimsy, but even the more expensive mini blinds are just not durable enough to last long. The shutters that we ended up getting have a lifetime warranty on them, just on the off chance that something would happen to them. (more…)
I have been saving up scrap metal for some time now, until I had enough of it to make it worth my time to take it to the scrap yard. I have a good bit of it saved up now, and I want to look up local scrap metal prices for different places that buy it and try to find who is going to give me the most money for this stuff. I have a lot of aluminum wire, and it took me hours to strip all of the insulation off of it, so that I can sell it to a scrap yard. They won’t pay you much of anything for the wire if it still has the insulation on it, so you have to remove that, but once you do, it sells for more per pound than any other type of aluminum. I am not sure why that is.
I have a bunch of random stuff in small quantities to sell to the scrap yard too. (more…)
I am hoping to host a great party in the near future, but I need to put together a plan to make sure that the party is truly epic. In my opinion, it is not worth going through all of this trouble, if everyone is not in agreement afterwards, that the party was spectacular. The first thing on my list is to look into party entertainment and see what I can to about that. It is very important to get top quality entertainment for the party, because I want to make a good impression with everyone at the party, and I also want to make sure that nobody gets bored at the party. (more…)
When I moved to New York, I knew it would be expensive ahead of time. There was no missing that because it’s a topic that people talk about in other states. So, when I applied for school in the city, I kept that in mind. But I attend a well known arts school, and I could not pass up going there. When I moved into my dorm, I was given an info packet about some of the places to go here and some of the services offered. I put it to the side because I was so busy getting to know my school and keeping up with homework. I ran across it last week when it fell off a shelf in my closet.
One of the services mentioned in the packet stated that students can get a really nice discount on satellite TV service. I had called quite a few cable companies when I first moved into the dorm and could not afford their monthly charge. But to learn I could get satellite for almost 25 percent less each month with no contract was really interesting because it meant that I could afford the cost.
I don’t have a full time job because I have no time for it due to school being full time. So, I am very careful with what I spend my money on. As someone who is not into the night life and partying, it can be pretty boring just reading books in my free time at night. I missed watching engaging and educational shows, which you do not find much of on regular network TV. I called the company and explained that I’m a student, and they explained that I only needed to fax them a copy of my student ID to unlock the lower cost. After that, they came over and turned on my service within days.
I am one of those people who used to trust the dog food industry. I have always had dogs, and I always fed them the best dog food possible. I realized that while that is better than the cheap bags that cost a fraction of the price for three times the amount of food, that it still wasn’t good enough for my girls. I wanted to find out about doggy nutrition, so I went online to do some research. That is how I found http://www.doggybakery.org/yes-your-dog-needs-fiber-too/, a really incredible website that is easy to read and easy to understand.
It has so many different nutritional tips on it for dogs that it is surprising that more people don’t take their dog’s nutritional needs into their own hands instead of relying on the dog food industry to make sure our pups are being fed quality food that has all of the nutrients that they need to be healthy. (more…)
For days I was trying to find out what kind of cable TV service I could order when I moved to my new place but without the Internet at the time, I seriously had so much trouble finding out what providers were available that I felt like I had stepped back in time. This was the first time in years that I didn’t have the Internet or a cell phone which made it even more difficult, unfortunately. I literally had to use a buddies computer to find more information so I could have it all ready to hook up when I moved.
This goes to show just how dependent we have become. (more…)
The creative alternative to an ad agency.
Well, you found it…the solution for all your graphic design, website design, marketing and advertising needs. Introducing Crop Marks Design Studio – an award-winning, progressive design firm located in Concord, NH specializing in delivering unique and creative solutions for businesses of all shapes and sizes.
“We see Crop Marks Design Studio as an extension of our in-house marketing department. Stephen is an invaluable team member and completely committed to the success of our company. Crop Marks Design has helped us elevate our brand equity, create a unique look and clearly differentiate ourselves from the competition. Thanks to Crop Marks Design Studio, our shelves are filling-up with awards for advertising and marketing excellence.”
Jessica McLane Gann
Director of Marketing and Communications
American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS)
It’s our guess that you’re looking for a creative partner – someone who understands your need to maximize every dollar of your marketing budget, while still being creative and unique enough to help you stand out from the competition. Just as important, you want to feel comfortable with those who are handling your creative materials – to develop a level of trust and confidence that the job will be done right…on time…and on budget.
Crop Marks Design Studio is the solution – your creative alternative to an advertising agency. If you’re tired of the fluff, runaround or even being burned, give us call and get ready to experience something different – fresh creative ideas paired with personal service and attention that you expect.
“Over the past 10+ years, we have worked with Stephen on hundreds of projects. He is one of those rare finds in that “he actually gets it”. He listens well to understand your goals and he delivers timely outcomes that exceed expectations. At Heritage, we consider Stephen a treasured member of our family.”
Heritage Plumbing & Heating, Inc.
A good friend once said, “everything has to be designed…even the letters that make up the words you’re reading now.” It’s true – design, even in it’s simplest form still needs to go through the creative process to become what it is.
“Stephen is great to work with and instinctively seems to know what the client is looking for. I simply gave him a bunch of photographs of my work, carte blanche to do what he does best, and first time around he hit a grand slam. We went with the dynamic design he came up with right out of the gate. What more can I say?”
Toland Sand Glass Studio
People often underestimate the power of design and the importance of it for an effective marketing or branding campaign. It takes much more than a computer and some special effects to create something that catches eyes, gets read and gets results. It takes a seasoned designer – one who’s learned from other creatives to help shape his or her own design style.
Crop Marks Design offers a full suite of creative services and abilities to clients with the goal of helping clients achieve a level of consistency throughout all of their marketing materials – whether in print, online or on wheels. A consistent brand image is a must for recognition and growth for any business – small or large. Whether we work with you on a per project basis or full blown campaign that crosses many mediums, you can be sure that our creative suggestions are in your best interest.
The story of Crop Marks Design – a journey well worth the trip.
Crop Marks Design Studio was born in 1994 as an entrepreneurial effort to slowly build a design firm focusing on graphic and web design in central New Hampshire. Realizing that his first job out of college (designing yellow page ads) wasn’t going to put him on the road he wanted, Stephen bought a $4,000 PC from Dell (Dell told me I was one of their first residential customers!) and came to Concord to register the business, thinking he would freelance his way out.
Naturally a business doesn’t develop overnight so Stephen got into the advertising agency scene for 14 years carrying titles of Senior Graphic Designer to Creative Director of well respected award-winning agencies. During these years, Crop Marks Design was operating in the background (yes, lunch hours, late evenings, weekends, holidays, etc.) slowly developing a growing client base and referral network.
Today, Crop Marks Design has developed into a well respected design firm in the community – with Stephen having left the ad agency world far behind to do things his way. With clients in every type of business, located coast to coast – “his way” is working just as planned.
Stephen is a graduate of Plymouth State College (class of 1991), an active member in the Concord, NH Chamber of Commerce and has been recognized by the NH Internet Awards, Ad Club of NH, American Graphic Design Awards, NH Graphic Arts Association for creative excellence.
Use the navigation on the left side of the monitor to view different portfolios of work. Select from the samples below the main image. Use the small arrows for additional items.
Our company has worked with Stephen for over 6 years now. Not only does he provide the most professional and impeccable work, but is a true pleasure to work with. His timeliness is most impressive. His capability to generate your desired work and materialize it is amazing! We are so happy to have such a true artist on our team and who makes us look so good.
Thank You Stephen!
Cynthia Mc Carn
CFO Express Plumbing/Heating and Rooter Express – Santa Rosa, CA
Everything that an ad agency isn’t…
the benefits of being boutique.
We could brag about lavish studios and multi-person teams of people to cater to you while they pretend to have an actual interest in your business – but we won’t. In fact Crop Marks Design Studio is quite the opposite – hence the whole “creative alternative” thing. We’re a new breed of design firm – small, highly professional with an active interest in the success and growth of your business.
Does size really matter?
“It was a pleasure working with Crop Marks on Jaguar Mining’s latest annual report. Stephen was always receptive to suggestions and reacted quickly to changes. The whole process was smooth and we got a great product on budget and on time. I look forward to working with Crop Marks again in the future.”
Valeria Rezende DioDato
Director of Communication
Jaguar Mining Inc.
Why should it? If you want to pay inflated prices for someone’s extensive overhead and a team of people who don’t get to know your business, that’s fine. However if you’re looking for the same top shelf creative without the runaround, give us a call.
Crop Marks is small in size and that’s just the way we think it should be. Stephen Smith, President and Creative Director drives the business and oversees all creative. Naturally one man can’t do everything (although it’s close). When in need, quality designers are utilized to assist in bringing out the best for the client. This type of business model allows for the most cost-effective, yet creative approach to each and every project.
How can Crop Marks do it all?
Passion – pure and simple. It’s in everything we do for our clients and is very evident – just ask them! As a small business we understand and appreciate every client and treat them as if they were our only one. Oftentimes with larger agencies, you can get the feeling of being burned simply because of lack of attention – or getting the attention you need, a bit too late. That’s not the case here – we’ve been thanked many times for our promptness – even if just responding to an email.
One of our primary goals is developing long-term relationships with our clients. Why? Simply because strong relationships produce strong materials as well as a referral network that can’t be beat. Many of our clients have had a growing relationship with Crop Marks for over ten years – you don’t see that too often. It’s all about the customer service.
So what’s in it for you?
Top shelf creative work that’s affordable, reliable and timely all topped with a level of customer service you shouldn’t receive…you should expect.