I don’t know about you, but I love good design. I love a well-laid out paragraph, the perfect kerning on a logo, and a great color palette. And I’m not just fond of “good design.” I truly believe that great design makes the human experience richer.
I won’t get all design-thinkerish on you today — but if you’re into that sort of conversation, let’s grab a cup of coffee soon, ok?
But I did want to pop over here and tell you about an app that I’ve had my eye on lately.
It’s called Makr, and it’s powered by Staples. I’m a huge fan of Staples, and I’ve spent many a random hour wandering those aisles having way too much fun dreaming up new uses for ordinary office supplies. So when I found out about Makr, I was intrigued.
And I really like where the Staples/Makr team is taking this.
It’s really well-designed. Like all apps should be, but sometimes aren’t. And on top of being a great app with a really intuitive user interface (there, I got all design nerd on you, didn’t I?), it offers a solution to a HUGE problem: it allows you to purchase GOOD DESIGN.
But let me back up.
A long time ago, in 2002, when I started my first business, there was a shortage of good design on the Internets. There was no Etsy, no concept of pre-made logos. There was no Fiverr, no market of creative entrepreneurs. The blog had yet to take off. In fact, my very first blog was on Blogger (dot blogspot dot com, anyone?), and I remember I had to add the comments in with a few lines of code and some Greek instructions. The technology was limited, and to get good graphic design, you had to either pay a lot of money, or do it yourself.
And of course, this is the challenge to anyone in start-up mode. I’ve always told my graphic design friends that they have an upper hand in the entrepreneurial space, just because they can make things look pretty and professional fairly quickly.
But I relate to those who don’t know anything about graphic design, and are short on time, money, energy, and patience. You need a logo, and you need it quickly.
It might be something you need for a wedding, like a custom crest or a monogram. Or it could be that you need a graphic for a birthday party invitation, or just an email that needs to look a bit prettier. You might need a post for a social media campaign, or you might need an actual logo for your business — to put on business cards, signage, letterhead, etc.
Enter the Makr app. It’s the solution to all of those things, and then some.
Before you read any further, pick up your iPhone or iPad and download the app, and let me walk you through it.
I’m going to suggest that you start by making a graphic. Whether you want this graphic to be for wedding t-shirts, business tattoos, letterhead, or just plain old kicks and giggles, if you start with the logo design feature, you can use your brand spankin’ new logo for all of those things.
So scroll to the bottom of the app and click on “logos”.
One thing I’m really sensitive to is budget. I’m a self-taught graphic designer, and more than once I’ve stood in the shoes of an entrepreneur who doesn’t know how to make graphics look good, but really needs some graphics to get things going. The price for these graphics is great — $6.99. And you’re going to be able to perfect your graphic before you buy it.
So click on “Design” to keep going. Makr gives you a great handful of really well-designed logos or graphics to start with. Pick the one that’s closest to the graphic you have in mind that you want to end up with. Or, if you’re a pro, start with a blank graphic.
Here’s another thing that impressed me with the Makr app. They start you off with great design elements. You don’t have to be a graphic designer to know how to use this, and end up with good-looking graphics for your project.
There are a few things I really love about the “designer” part of the Makr app:
- There is allowance for great adjustment on text — as a graphic designer, I appreciate the kerning and leading abilities the app has built in.
- The color palette is broad, but fixed, so you can choose from a range of colors but it’s going to be hard to screw it up.
- You can save your designs and come back to them. So if you aren’t done with a design, just go back to your library (under the main menu) and click on “high res png” to continue editing it.
Right now, on the Makr app, you can order t-shirts, totes, tattoos, and of course, the high res image. But I have a sneaky suspicsion that there will be a lot more to be able to order in the future.
Until then, download your hi-res image, and send it off to Staples to be put on business cards, invitations, or whatever else you might need.
For ideas, you can follow Makr on Instagram, and check out the #madewithmakr hashtag while you’re at it.
And if you want to see it in action, check out their video:
One last thing: when you sign up for an account (inside the app) and subscribe, you get 25% off your first order!
This post was written by me, in a collaborative effort with Staples. It does not contain affiliate links, though! Happy Makring!