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Consistency helps Artvark Creative clients identify their brand

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By Chris Cox
Published Feb. 26, 2016

Christina Goodman will readily admit it. She is, in her words, “a complete nerd.”

Among her favorite nerd-hobbies are Lord of the Rings documentaries, which offer a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the popular movie adaptions of the J.R.R. Tolkien novels.

artvark for web 2-26
Christina Goodman founded Artvark Creative, a branding and marketing agency in Columbia. (Photo/Chris Cox)
“The actors would always talk about how the production designers took all of this effort to make beautiful set pieces of real armor for them that the camera would never see,” she said. “Having that visual reference made them feel more in-character. Consistency really helps you find who you are.”

Goodman tries to use those same principles when working with her clients at Artvark Creative, a branding and marketing agency she began one year ago after leaving her steady career at Colite, an international signage company.

She pitched her company at a recent meeting of 1 Million Cups Columbia. Backed by the Kauffman Foundation, the group gathers weekly at Cromer’s P-Nuts, where local entrepreneurs discuss challenges and issues of launching a business.

“Visual cues will affect you and the way you present your company and the way you think about it,” she said. “This reinforces it and builds it stronger. Looking long-term, having a strong logo mark gives you the ability to strengthen and adapt for some of the other pieces of branding.”

Artvark Creative handles any number of tasks – logos, typography, colors, illustrations or a complete branding package. It also will take on social media roles, build a website, and create billboards or signage at an office.

“You need to have consistency in branding, that’s the key to making a strong brand; to be able to be recognizable across all of these platforms,” Goodman said. “What does your brand say about you? What do your logo, branding, typography and colors say about you? What story are you telling that’s different from them?

“You all have competition you’re competing against. You want to differentiate yourself with different adjectives that give your target customers the right impression when they see your logo and your name.”

Goodman broke off on her own from Colite, which handles any number of high-profile accounts, after getting a shot at creating a company’s logo. It was then that Goodman realized she wanted to be on the other side of branding, where should could have greater influence on what it looked like. She later started Artvark Creative after receiving her brand identity certification, and six months ago she jumped into full-time freelance.

Figuring out “where her clients are” remains her biggest challenge, she said. She is trying to decide whether to work with a marketing agency who can funnel clients to her or continue working on her own.

Either way, she wants her clients to all end with the same result. To use a company’s vision to establish a brand which shares the same message.

“People in Columbia, South Carolina need good branding, and they don’t need to go to New York to find it,” Goodman said. “I’ve seen stuff those people put out, and we can do better. So I want to keep it local and build something that would be a place for people here to go.”

Sponsored by the Kauffman Foundation’s, 1 Million Cups meets at 9 a.m. Wednesdays at Cromer’s P-Nuts, 1700 Huger St. For more information, check the group’s website.

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