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1/27/2009
01:33 AM
Fredric Paul
Fredric Paul
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HP's MarketSplash Aims To Bring Big Time Design To Smaller Companies

Good design matters. It can help determine how your credible your company appears, which can have a huge effect on sales. But frankly, when time gets tough it's all too easy to think of design as unnecessary luxury. HP is trying to at least make that luxury cheaper with the introduction of MarketSplash.

Good design matters. It can help determine how your credible your company appears, which can have a huge effect on sales. But frankly, when time gets tough it's all too easy to think of design as unnecessary luxury. HP is trying to at least make that luxury cheaper with the introduction of MarketSplash.Paul Brockbank, vice president, HP SMB Services, says MarketSplash is based on HP's acquisition of LogoWorks, and consists of two sets of tools. You can hire the service's team of 25 inhouse and 300 contract designers to create custom designs for everything from business cards to logos and complete Web sites. Prices for that start at $79 for stationery, while logos start at $299.

But if that's too rich for your company's blood, you can use MarketSplash's do-it-yourself online tools to create your own designs by modifying a gallery of thousands of existing templates -- or upload your own image and modify that. You can then save the high-resolution PDF, or use one of several printing options, including same-day pickup at Staples stores. Pricing starts at $9.99 for business cards, and the company plans a free business card promo offer.

Aaron Weiss, chief product officer for HP SMB Services called the editor the "heart" of the system, and modifications can be as simple as inputing your company name, or changing colors, sizes, fonts, and positions. I tested out the system a bit, and found that while you can do a lot to the basic designs, it's sometimes difficult to get all the elements exactly the way you want them.

And while starting with professionally designed templates can help reign in the disaster-designer lurking within many of us, you can still create an abomination if you're not careful. Witness this logo for bMighty's Small Is The New Large manifesto:

SMALListhenewLARGE.com

Ouch.

Oh, and this isn't the only new online store thingie HP is rolling out. Yesterday, Small Biz Resource's Gayle Kesten blogged about the launch of the HP Home and Home Office Microbiz Store.

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