As I've mentioned here in an earlier blog, I've been making some changes with my company. January 1st my company name will officially change from BlackRock Graphics to Schwartzrock Graphic Arts.
My new stationery came in last week and my new website went live this week. There are still some glitches that need to be ironed out but it's functioning. If you have a moment, click on over to www.Schwartzrock.com.
Many have asked why I made the change. I've sent out letters with an explanation to many of my clients but I'll post an answer here as well for those who didn't get one.
Earlier this year I was invited to join two other professional friends in the creation of a new branding company. This venture allowed me the freedom to continue my illustration business and keep my hand in corporate branding. As a graphic designer, I was familiar with the term “branding” but soon realized I didn’t know its full meaning. Throughout 2007, I was given an education by my new partners coupled with research of my own. Subsequently, I can now see all of the mistakes I made with my own company, BlackRock Graphics.
The most important part of the branding process required me to define myself in as few words as possible. After some wrestling, I settled on “valuable” and “professional”. I learned that everything I do including how I answer the phone, what clothes I wear, the quality of my work I produce and how I treat my customers, all need to reinforce those words. I soon found that making business decisions was easier when I had those two words clearly in mind.
I started to make some changes and the first thing to go was the name. After an audit of some of my clients, I realized “BlackRock” wasn’t a good name... black rocks have nothing to do with the services I provide. I decided upon Schwartzrock Graphic Arts.
The next step was finding some focused direction. “Am I an illustrator or graphic designer?” Though I like the variety of my business, I realized I couldn’t excel in both directions. So, I stopped promoting graphic design and focused on what I do better than most, logos and illustration.
There have been other changes such as long term goals and strategies for reaching those goals but I won’t bore you with those details. It is sufficient to say that this restructuring has really rejuvenated me.