Graphically Speaking is a boutique design studio owned by me, Debbie Brady, a graphic designer on Canada’s east coast. I was born, raised, and married in Halifax, Nova Scotia but have lived on beautiful Prince Edward Island for over 35 years—just about long enough to shed my “from away” designation. (Islanders really are serious about their rural roots!)
My career path started with an interest in science leading to a BN at Dalhousie University. Turned out it just wasn’t for me. Fast forwarding a few years to life on a farm—so I do have rural roots—I became a stay-at-home mom to four children, the youngest of whom had a tracheostomy for two years. The nursing degree really came in handy after all!
Over the years I studied piano, guitar, voice, French and earned my teaching certiﬁcation. This eventually led to a part-time position teaching in the local First Nations community. While there I was to assist the Mi’kmaq teacher with a music program. He knew the language but not music. There were absolutely no resources for this challenge. Creative juices to the rescue! I developed a phonetic shorthand so I could learn the Mi’kmaq words for 40 songs and then made native language songbooks for my students.
Six years later I decided it was the right time to change my career path, so I enrolled in the Visual Communications program at Holland College. It was a three-hour commute for two years and I loved it! I’m naturally inquisitive and inherently detail oriented. I discovered visual problem solving as my true passion and started Graphically Speaking. My life experiences are reﬂected in my work, give me an informed perspective and deﬁnitely help me communicate with my clients. I’m happy to say that I’ve also become an avid photographer, winning several awards, which brings everything into focus!
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My role is to guide you through the creative design process. If you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, I ask a series of questions and conduct research to provide the details needed to develop a creative brief. This fuels the design process yielding results that will graphically represent your brand, grab consumer attention for your product or service, and add value to your business. You get a creative solution wrapped in personal attention, flexibility and cost effectiveness.
If you are looking for design assistance with print or digital promotions but are unsure what to expect during the design process then it’s difficult to know where to start. How does a design get created? What do you need to do in order to get the results you need?
Every designer develops their own approach to a project, but they all have three steps in common:
- consultation—define the project goal, timeline and budget; research, develop a strategy
- creation—sketching, developing ideas/concepts, presentation, proofing, revisions, finishing touches
- production—implementing results, prepare final artwork, print/programming procurement
Good communication is the best way to get the results you really need. During the consultation process I work closely with my clients to develop a good creative brief. A Q&A session clearly defines the project goal(s) and how to best represent your business.
You will gain a sense of security as the uncertainty of “I’ll know it when I see it” turns into a constructive list of words, phrases and descriptions. I build on this information with research then bring it all together in the brainstorming and sketching stage to ultimately deliver a successful design solution.
Clients often require a variety of items to visually brand their business and promote their product or service.
Consistent use of a logo significantly boosts brand recognition rates. Business cards serve an important function in day-to-day business activities and must be consistent with your visual identity.
A well-designed brochure will make a great first impression, grab the reader’s attention and hold it so they learn of your product or service. All signage—counter display, banner, store-front, roadside—visually identifies and advertises your business.
Advertisements, menus, posters, flyers, catalogues, newsletters, invitations, letterhead, folders, rack cards—professionally designed promotional materials and business communications convey the right message to engage, inform and motivate your intended audience.
Food product labels must adhere to government regulations and flexography print specs for successful results.
A website that uses consistent branding throughout an easy-to-navigate, custom-designed site enhances the user’s experience and promotes your business.
Every contact point you have with your customer is an opportunity to shine and impress. Let’s chat about making them count!
Michelle L. MacDonald — Strategic Advocacy Planning – Training – Public Policy Development
Debbie’s greatest strength as a graphic designer is her commitment to learning and understanding the business and services her clients provide and their business goals. Using this knowledge, as well as her creative skills and design expertise, she works with her clients to develop their unique and authentic visual voice. Debbie didn’t always tell me what I wanted to hear, but she always told me what I needed to hear, which was critical to achieving a dynamic design which truly represented my business. The end result is a visually strong product that showcases my business and complements my overall business goals.
Access Labels — Suzanne MacPhee (PrePress Graphics Specialist) I have worked with Debbie many times in the past. She is dedicated to providing her clients with both what they want and what they need, while ensuring that the work not only meets industry regulations, but printer requirements as well. Debbie’s excellent work and out-going personality make her a joy to collaborate with, and I continue to recommend her when clients require design services.
Heather Wilson International—Heather Wilson (author/speaker/success coach)
Debbie was a dream to work with. She really cared about finding out what I wanted and what I needed. She worked quickly but with great attention to detail. She was excellent with communicating timelines, budget, and her creative ideas. I highly recommend Debbie and her team for any graphic design project you may have.
Ocean Pride Fisheries Ltd & Ocean Leader Fisheries Ltd.—Jules LeBlanc (Chief Operating Officer)
Debbie was able to take bits and pieces of information, some that I provided and others that she found through diligent research on the subject, and turn it into a wonderful piece of art that encompasses the message I want to convey to the customer. Her hard work was most appreciated.