Posts Tagged ‘mix creative’

2013 American Graphic Design Awards

Monday, September 16th, 2013


We’re SUPER excited to announce that Mix Creative has been selected to receive two 2013 American Graphic Design Awards from Graphic Design USA. This is Mix Creative’s third consecutive year to receive this award.

The winning entries, honoring outstanding work of all kinds and across all media, were selected from more than 8,000 entries submitted from across the country. Award applicants were from advertising agencies, graphic design firms, corporations, associations, universities, government, publishers and more. Only 15% of entries receive a Certificate of Excellence.

Mix Creative was honored with two awards for the same company, Mama Luna Natural Apothecary in Stillwater, Minnesota. The awards were presented for:

Mama Luna Natural Apothecary Logo Design

Graphic Design USA 2013 Award of Excellence for Mama Luna logo.

Mama Luna Natural Apothecary Corporate Branding Program
Graphic Design USA corporate branding program design award for Mama Luna Natural Apothecary

Kiva Sherr-Nelson

We gratefully share these honors with our client, Kiva Sherr-Nelson of Mama Luna Natural Apothecary. Kiva came to me with a beautiful vision for a store that provided a safe and welcoming atmosphere for mother and families to select and purchase botanicals, nutritional supplements, organic and natural children’s products and handcrafted gifts. This lovely store is now just over a year old and a favorite among local mothers.

Special thanks also to Steven Ray, Mix Creative’s web developer, for his great work in bringing the Mama Luna Natural Apothecary website to life!

B2B Examples

Friday, April 19th, 2013

At Mix Creative, our primary focus is working with direct-to-consumer companies, particularly in the retail industry. However, we’ve had opportunity over the years to work with select business-to-business companies and have found it to be quite rewarding. Literally, in fact—our website design for Halleland Habicht, PA won an American Graphic Design Award!

Here are some examples of our B2B work. Note: click on images to see larger examples.

  1. An early project for us was working with the upstart internet company, The site achieved a significant amount of success in a short time, but ultimately was a victim of the early 2000s recession. A memorable comment from our client about the project was that the design of the site and accompanying collateral was “New York” design at Minnesota prices.

    Commercial real estate B2B example media kit, website refresh and direct mail design.

  2. We’ve partnered with marketing firms on several occasions to design collateral for their clients. One such firm was M Design Interactive, for whom we created many works, including this brand refresh for Anchor Capital Management and a brochure for a marketing firm in South Dakota that caters to hunting clubs.
    Anchor Capital Management brochure

    Anchor Capital Management brochure


    Above the Creek branding and brochure design

  3. Another marketing firm we’ve collaborated with in the early days of Mix was All Out Marketing. This firm specialized in medical markets. We created this over-sized brochure for one of their clients.


    Possis Medical brochure

  4. Chromis Fiberoptics has been, and continues to be, a client of Mix Creative. The firm first hired us to create custom graphics for their website. Since then, we’ve created dozens of custom illustrations, spec sheets, product sheet templates and more to help communicate their unique positioning in the fiber optics marketplace.


    Clockwise: Website Refresh, Illustrations and Diagrams

  5. Halleland Habicht is a current client. They came to Mix Creative to establish the look, feel and voice of their brand through their website design, advertising, communication pieces and more.


    Clockwise: Website, E-invitation, Pocket Folder, Print Advertisement

See other examples of our work on our portfolio page.


Client Interview: Darn Knit Anyway

Friday, April 5th, 2013


I’ve been wanting to showcase my clients for a while now, because I’m inspired by their success and they have a wealth of small business knowledge. I’m especially pleased to introduce Aimee Pelletier [pictured, right, next to a yarn-bombed tree in front of her store], owner of the Stillwater-based yarn shop,Darn Knit Anyway. When she first walked into my office four years ago, I could tell that this was a woman with a fantastic business sense. She came prepared with a written business plan, already knew her audiences, had spoken with a number of her potential competitors and had a vision for the shop she wanted to create. Now going on four years, Aimee’s business is thriving. I asked Aimee some questions about branding and marketing:

Q. How have you seen your business grow since you opened Darn Knit Anyway in 2009?

A. It’s grown a LOT! We’ve gone from 2 to 6 staff members and our sales are up 30% from our first year. We’ve also launched online class registration, started Darn. Knit. University, introduced our 12 in 12 program (12 sweaters in 12 months), and are about to add online yarn sales.

Q. How important is branding to your business?

A. In my mind, my brand includes my voice, my customers, the way my shop looks and feels, our staff, our website, our logo…everything. It’s important that everything associated with the store has the same welcoming, modern, easy feel. Our brand is totally about knowing who we are and conveying that in everything we do. That way, people always know they’re in the right place.

Examples of Darn Knit Anyway-branded items designed by Mix Creative

Q. How do you market your business?

A. We primarily market with our e-newsletter, Facebook, Twitter and word of mouth.

Q. Which marketing tool do you feel is MOST important to your business?

A. Our e-newsletter is very important. We always see a spike in web traffic the day after I send it. Facebook is also important. We currently have 2097 likes. A recent photo we posted was shared 1200 times and had a reach of 130,000 views! Our average share is 3–6 and our average view per post is 500–1000.

Q. What lesson have you learned about marketing that you’d share with new business owners?

A. Go in STRONG. You have to be solid on your brand—know what it is—when you open. You can’t trickle in with your brand. Know it and launch it ALL OUT with a cohesive look and feel. It’s critical that all your stuff looks intentional. Have someone help you.

In addition to the marketing tools Aimee mentioned in our interview, Aimee has also published 277 blog posts on her website; created an implemented a program called “Darn Knit Anywhere“, which encourages customers to photograph themselves with their Darn Knit Anyway tote bag and email it or post it to Facebook for a discount; and helped organize events such as the Stitch-and-Pitch at the St. Paul Saints game or her own Naughty Knit Night, which was featured on Fox 9 news.

RECENT WORK: Holiday Ideas

Monday, November 12th, 2012


All Seasons Wild Bird Store customers will receive a holiday gift guide for bird lovers this week. The eight-page direct mail booklet highlights gift ideas for all kinds of bird and nature enthusiasts, from seed and feeders to decorative gifts and nature books. Included on the back are two coupons—one for a free 2lb. bag of Cardinal Mix, and another for savings in-store.

Mix Creative wrote, photographed and designed the holiday guide with an eye towards spotlighting winter birding. “My favorite gift idea in the book is to sneak out on Christmas morning and fill your friend or family member’s bird feeders,” art director Katrina Hase mentioned. “Knowing how cold it can get when you go out to fill  feeders, I think that would be nice to wake up to!”

All Seasons Wild Bird Store Holiday Gift GuideGift guides are a great way for customers to visualize your products in a new way and generate enthusiasm for shopping your store over the holidays. Besides Christmas, you might consider preparing a gift guide for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s or Father’s Day, or even the typical wedding months of June and July.

Mix to Present at Effective Marketing—The Next Step

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

Mix Creative’s Katrina Hase will present her talk, “Recipe for a Marketing Plan That Works” at the upcoming workshop, Effective Marketing—The Next Step. Here are the details:

Date: Friday October 12, 2012

Time: 8:00 am – 2:15 pm;
Workshop Networking & Check In start at 7:30 am

Location: Business Center Anoka Ramsey Community College 11200 Mississippi Blvd NW Coon Rapids

Cost: $50.00*
includes lunch $10.00 Discount for Anoka Area Chamber of Commerce Members 

Registration: Register online at

4 Marketing Experts in this Hands-On Workshop:

  • “Ignite Your Site” Christy Huisenga, Phoenix Website Design
  • “Recipe for A Marketing Plan That Works” Katrina Hase, Mix Creative
  • “Customize Your Social Media Content” Nick Rosener, Tech Nick Consulting
  • “More Profits, Not Just More Sales” Barb Zuleger, Performance Partners MN

Improve your marketing results with. .

 Top 10 must haves to set your website on fire

 Increase PROFITS not just Sales

 Take stock of your brand with a simple checklist

 Get access to exclusive marketing calendar worksheet

 Understand the culture of the top 5 social networks and how they can work for your business

 Hands on marketing information relevant today and ready to use

PLUS time after lunch to work with the experts on YOUR Marketing

2012 American Graphic Design Awards

Monday, September 10th, 2012

We’re pleased to announce that Mix Creative has been selected to receive three Graphic Design USA 2012 American Graphic Design Awards, including:

Sash Logo and Corporate BrandingSash branding award-winning design by Mix Creative

Forget Me Not in Stillwater Logo and Corporate Branding
Forget Me Not in Stillwater award-winning logo and corporate branding by Mix Creative

Williams Company Store Website Design and Production
Williams Company Store award-winning website design by Mix CreativeThe winning entries were selected from more than 8,000 entries. Only a select 15% of all entries are recognized with an award.

We happily share these honors with our clients, including Carol Stabenow (Sash), Nancy Haugen (Forget Me Not in Stillwater) and Pamela Williams (Williams Company Store). Each have absolutely unique and lovely stores that inspire creativity!

Special thanks also to Steven Ray, Mix Creative’s web developer, for his great work in bringing the Williams Company Store website to life!



Social Media Education Series

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012


Each year we’ve been in business, Mix Creative has worked to expand our services to better serve our clients. This year, we would like to add in more learning opportunities for our clients to empower them to effectively and confidently use the tools we’ve helped set in place. As part of this initiative, Mix Creative is partnering with social media experts, tena.cious, to offer a four-class series about how to make the most of your social media sites. This is a great opportunity for our clients who’ve taken the first step in getting a blog and branded Facebook and/or Twitter page to learn the tools to make their online efforts successful!

October 16: Facebook
How and what to post to build “Likes”

October 23: Pinterest
Learn to use Pinterest for Business

November 6: Twitter and Blogging
What, How and When to Write

November 13: Social Media Marketing
Build a Social Media Strategy and Plan

Attend all four 2-hour courses for $350, or just come to the ones you want for $105 each.
Classes will be held from 1 to 3pm at 370 Selby Ave, Suite #301, St. Paul
Registration is limited to 10 people.

Please call Katrina at 612-226-5717 or email us to register.

Top 3 Items (Besides a Logo) Every Brand Must Have

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012


Note: this article is reprinted from our monthly e-digest, >the mixer. Click here to be added to our email list.

All about us


For companies that are serious about defining their brand and audiences, a creative brief is the essential first step. Here at Mix, our work with a new client starts with an in-depth question and answer session with our clients that gets to the heart of their business. From there, we prepare a written creative brief that guides the work we do together. What’s in the guide? For starters: the company’s objectives, audiences, competitors, personality, unique selling points and much more. The brief paints a picture of the company from past to present and into the future, and informs all of the visual choices we make about the brand throughout the design process.


Color PaletteDetermining a company’s color palette is about more than aesthetics—it’s setting the groundwork for creating readily recognizable designs to represent your business. A brand’s color palette takes into account the logo colors, primary and secondary text colors, colors for links and rollover states, accent colors, seasonal or specific product variations and more. The color palette is crafted to set your brand apart from competitors and express your brand’s personality. Implemented correctly, a brand’s color palette should be as recognizable by audiences as their logo. To prove my point, answer the following: what colors to Target employees wear? What are the colors of the Walmart logo?

Brand Fonts3) BRAND FONTS

Simply put, fonts influence meaning. Imagine you see a billboard for two similar retail shops. Billboard 1 features a sleek, edgy font you’ve never seen before. Billboard 2 features Arial, a font available on any PC. Which retail shop do you assume has a larger marketing budget? Which do you imagine is more successful? It’s incredibly important for a brand to select an appropriate font or set of fonts to use as part of their brand identity and stick to it. Consumers will come to associate the font with your brand, serving as a sort of mental shortcut in conveying your brand message. See our blog post for more on selecting fonts (including a fun mind-bending activity!).

Mix Creative to Speak at Back to Business Symposium

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012


We’re delighted to be included as a  morning and afternoon breakout session presenter at this summer’s Back to Business WIN Summer Symposium. The theme of the symposium is to tap into the “back to school” spirit and dive into concrete learning, planning and implementation to grow business and revenue.

Mix Creative’s Katrina Hase will be presenting her popular “Recipe for a Marketing Plan that Works” talk in both morning and afternoon breakout sessions. The session will include the basics of marketing your business, creating a marketing plan, and implementing your plan using a marketing calendar. You’ll gain access to a marketing worksheet and calendar template if you attend the talk.

Half day registration starts at just $49! Click here for registration information.

Just the facts:

Wednesday, August 15
8:00-8:30: Registration check-in, informal networking, continental breakfast
8:30am-Noon: Morning sessions
Noon-3:30pm: Register for the full day and stay for networking over lunch and aftenoon sessionsOptional – 3:30-5:30pm: Invitation to network further and celebrate WIN’s 10th Anniversary over Happy Hour at Kip’s restaurant at the Marriott just down the street

University of Phoenix
435 Ford Road
St. Louis Park, MN 55426
Free ramp parking
Click here for map with driving directions


MORNING session includes:

  • Continental breakfast and informal networking
  • Plenary Session 1:
    How to Win Business in a Socially Connected World

    Jeff Ferrazzo, Social Media Expert, Constant Contact
  • Plenary Session 2:
    Strategic Messaging that Inspires Change and Builds Brand Ambassadors

    Melissa DeLay, Communication Strategist, TruPerception
  • Your choice of 3 breakout sessions:

    -Create a Marketing Plan that Works
    Katrina Hase, Marketing and Design Expert, Mix Creative

    -The other “take action” breakouts are being confirmed and will be posted very soon!

FULL-DAY session also includes:

  • Lunch and informal networking
  • Your choice of 3 breakout sessions:

    -Create a Marketing Plan that Works
    Katrina Hase, Marketing and Design Expert, Mix Creative

    -The other “take action” breakouts are being confirmed and will be posted very soon!

    -Optional working session in the computer labs to implement what you’ve learned from the morning sessions (Jeff Ferrazzo and Melissa DeLay available to assist and answer your questions)

  • Afternoon wrap up session: Hands-on time to carry forward what you learned from today!
  • Invitation to continue connections over Happy Hour at the Kips in the Marriott (a short walk down the street) from 3:30-5:30pm!

2011 American Graphic Design Awards

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011


GDUSA American Graphic Design Awards 2011 coverThis year’s Graphic Design USA American Graphic Design Awards Annual (November/December 2011 issue—in print and online) features roughly 1,000 pieces, selected from among nearly 9,000 entries, from design and advertising firms across the United States. Featured categories include: annual reports, advertising, announcements/invitations/cards, brochures/collateral, calendars, catalogs, direct mail/direct response, editorial design, identity/corporate identity/logo design, internet, multimedia/broadcast, packaging, POP signs/environmental graphics, posters, public services, sales promotion, and students.

Mix Creative is proud to be among the firms represented, with recognition for both Corporate Naming and Identity Design (Ditto & Co), and Internet Design (Halleland Habicht, PA). Credits include Katrina Hase (art direction), Rod Wilson (photography), Diane Autey and Barb Prindle (copywriting), and Steven Ray (web development).

This year’s  judging panel included leaders in the graphic design community, including Walter Porras (Walmart), Jenn David Connolly (Jenn David Design), Steve Perry (Bailey Brand Consulting), Lee Gobbi (Daymon Design), and Martha Heath.

A big thank you to Gretchen Ditto from Ditto & Co and Katheryn Gettman/Natalie Wyatt-Brown from Halleland Habicht for their insight and collaboration in their respective projects. Each of these companies truly understand and appreciate the importance of visual branding for reaching their critical target audiences.