Category Archives: Random


Personal Brand + Company Brand

by Sarah Stone


Brank Marketing


“How should my personal brand and company brand intersect online, if at all?”
Here’s what YEC community members had to say:

Branding Tips: Aligning Your Personal and Company Brands

1. You Are Your Business
“The founders of a startup are the startup. When you’re getting going and resources are limited, invest as much time as possible connecting your personal brand with your company’s brand. Introduce yourself to the world as part of your startup’s team, engage with your company’s fans and try to live the business. Putting a face to the business is beneficial for early adopters and press alike.” ~ Aaron Schwartz, Modify Watches

2. Use Thought Leadership to Connect the Two
“Publishing value-driven content is a great way to align your personal brand with your company brand. You can establish both you and your company as a thought leader, which is helpful for both sides. Post the articles on both your company and personal social media accounts to maximize the sharing potential of an article. Take advantage of speaking opportunities as well.” ~ Andrew Thomas, SkyBell Doorbell

3. Customers Just Want to See Consistency
“Whether or not your personal and company brands intersect online is dependent on the relationship they have outside of the public eye. If the brands never interact in any significant way on the back end, there is no reason to do so publicly. However, if your personal brand is closely tied to your company brand, then it is important that they send the same message. Consistency is everything.” ~ Rakia Reynolds, Skai Blue Media

4. It’s Different for Every Industry
“Being an industry leader means something different in every industry. It’s possible that having a bio page on your company’s website is plenty for your personal brand. However, in other industries (especially communications and marketing industries, where people are buying ideas and people), it’s helpful to work on boosting both your company AND yourself to build credibility as a leader.” ~ Brittany Hodak, ZinePak

5. Rely on the Perfect 160-Character Bio
“Write a 160-character bio that intersects your personal brand with your company brand (not the bio that says, ‘Tweets are my own and don’t represent the opinions of my employer.’) Mention the company you work for, and use that bio across your social media channels, personal website and thought leadership channels (Medium, Quora). A well-written bio naturally intersects the two brands.” ~ Brett Farmiloe, Markitors

6. Not Every Project Is You
“Personal branding can intersect powerfully with company branding, but not every project or product you launch needs that connection. Injecting your personal brand should be a goal when you’re dealing with projects you have a real passion for, the kinds of projects you consider to be your flagships. Overusing your personal brand on products that don’t have the right feel can dilute it.” ~ Matt Doyle, Excel Builders

7. Use Your Personal Brand to Drive Company Brand Awareness
“Your personal brand is an asset that will hold value, no matter what turns and paths your professional career takes. A strong personal brand can instantly create a strong company brand following when your audience is truly engaged. If someone is following your personal brand, they are going to immediately trust, be interested in and engage with the company you represent, present and future.” ~ Marc Lobliner, and MTS Nutrition

8. Use Social Media to Create a Streamlined Image
“I use my personal social media profiles to promote myself as the head of my company. I keep the focus of my personal posts work related, but not promotional. I also use my personal social media accounts to keep in touch with business colleagues by posting and commenting on their posts to maintain business relationships.” ~ Patrick Barnhill, Specialist ID, Inc.

9. Be as Human as Possible
“One of the key aspects of our company’s brand is simple: be human. Part of the humanity is demonstrating that we are simply an awesome company built by some even more awesome people. We encourage all of our employees to have strong personal brands both online and offline that just reinforces our core belief whether it is positioning themselves as thought leaders or just being themselves.” ~ Christopher Swenor, East Coast Product



by Sarah Stone

We provide a variety of Printing Services, from offset to letterpress, we design, create and print your products for an affordable price with attention to detail. Our varied printing capabilities and experience make us a perfect match for all types of printing.

Not sure what your printing needs are?  Feel free to contact us for a consultation either via phone, email or in person.  To place an order or get help with a new project, call us at 813.507.9392

From promotional postcards, wedding invites and business cards to corporate stationary, presentation folders and more. At Illumination Advertising our focus is on maintaining a great level of customer service that defines our reputation. We promote a positive and ethical business sense and environment for both employees and clients alike.
Promoting your business, products and services with professionally designed and printed sales and marketing materials is of the utmost importance to us. Helping you inform, impress and inspire your audience is what you can rely on Illumination Advertising for.  We are friendly, dedicated and know our industry. We enjoy working with you, not just for you.

Printing in all forms is one of our specialties, we love the end product as it comes hot off the press. Business Cards, Brochures, Postcards, Newsletters, Magazines, Rack Cards, Letterhead, Envelopes, Pocket/Presentation Folders and more. Business isn’t built on nameless prospects, it’s built on relationships with people. With our variable data printing, you can deliver a personalized product, showing your clients they’re more than just another address.

Take a look at some of our previous work and pricing at the link below.


Business Card Printing Clearwater









For more details of a custom quote contact us at

Clearwater Printer, Small Business Printer, Business Card Printer, Office Print, Brochure Printer, #IlluminationAdvertising



by Sarah Stone

Pinterest Logo Pinterest is a visual discovery tool that you can use to find ideas for all your life, business, style, school and more. Inspiration in picture form.

On a professional level I use Pinterest to share my creative work from graphic design, logo design, layout, photography and website designs, it is a simple way to post ideas and themes, color schemes, brands and identity.

On a personal level I can share who I am or what I like, I find these days I get most of my recipes from Pinterest, there is always a good recipe for something delicious looking from a smoothie to a cocktail, a quiche to a curry. Not only food matters which are close to my heart but sharing products I love, places I have been and yoga moves I have yet to attempt. It is a way to gather your life in pictures.

Pinterest Illumination Advertising Design

When it comes to the professional business side of Pinterest, People like to do business with other people they know, like and trust. Creating boards that show who you are is compelling. It offers a personal side to your business which is something I am all for, within reason. I am the person you are choosing to exchange money with, so why not know a little more of who I am?


Just like any social network, Pinterest is meant to be social. Social media gives you an opportunity to get in front of people you might not reach otherwise. You can connect, comment, like and re-pin just as you do on Facebook and Twitter. As you start doing this, you are putting yourself and your business in front of more people.

If you don’t have a Pinterest account, I suggest you take a closer look and start to share the good stuff.




H.R. Giger – A Tribute

by Sarah Stone

 Hellish Hybrids and Biochemical Design

H.R. Giger

Hans Rudolf “Ruedi” Giger (/ˈɡɡər/; 5 February 1940 – 12 May 2014) was a Swiss surrealist painter, sculptor and set designer. In honor of his passing, here is a short video representing some of H.R. Giger’s work.  A uniquely creative artist and designer, sculptor and Academy Award winner. A talent and artist exponent of spectacular, often horrific, nightmare-esque art.

His work was always dynamic and deep, from his set of Tarot cards to the Aliens from the same titled movie. It’s Giger who is responsible for the look of the eponymous creature, all slimy sinew, acidic blood and double-jawed fangs.

Giger’s work explored the relationship between the human body and the machine, and he created surrealist images of humans fused with industrial parts, a style he described as “biomechanics”. Giger’s works, often showing macabre scenes of bodies  fused into hellish hybrids, influenced a generation of movie directors, art students and inspired an enduring popularity for “biomechanical” art.

“My paintings seem to make the strongest impression on people who are, well, who are crazy. A good many people think as I do. If they like my work they are creative… or they are crazy,” Giger said in an 1979 interview with Starlog magazine.

He has been a favorite artist of mine for his willingness to dig deep into his imagination and show no fear of sharing what he found.

Giger was also known for his sculptures, paintings and furniture and many of these works are on display at his own museum in a medieval castle in Gruyeres, central Switzerland, which is run by his second wife Carmen Maria Scheifele Giger.

The museum, which opened in 1998 also houses Giger’s private art collection, including works by Salvador Dali.


Sarah ~



What key components lead to a good graphic design?

by Sarah Stone

This has to subjective. . right?

To a point, yes. But there are several key points that should be emphasized when creating a design for example of a postcard.
I have my own list of importance as well as some other points that are key to attracting an audience.

1) Before you can even start in the creativity department, you need to “Define the purpose.” What is the ultimate goal of this piece of advertising? What are you trying to tell your audience? Remember not to be overly confusing with multiple messages. Simplicity is always a good starting point.


2) Readability and Alignment are important to consider for a client will only read what they can easily set their eyes on. You want to provide information using both verbal and visual language to inspire someone to take action, but they’ll never know that if they can’t understand what the message is you are trying to convey. personally, text slightly out of alignment drives me crazy.


3) You want eye-catching material that makes the recipient want to look it over and spend some time absorbing the information then it has to be “Appealing” in ways such as a clear and precise headline, supporting relevant graphics, the offer needs to front and forward and a certain call to action.

Panama.PostcardPanama.Postcard B

4) Design– You need an understanding of graphics and layout, not just how to make good a good logo or edit an image. One key aspect of a great layout is more about what’s in between your various page elements. Whitespace or negative space. Don’t over saturate the space you have with too much content, there is a fine balance between your work as a designer, the space a client wishes to purchase and advising them on what is best. They no doubt want o buy the smallest postcard to keep down cost but then fill with information. It can be tough but building a trusting relationship is very important where your client listens to your advise and takes it.

Illumination Advertising Palm Harbor Logo



Intuit Small Business- Big Game

by Sarah Stone

We are entered in to a competition through Intuit – Small Business Big Game for the opportunity to win a BIG prize – A TV spot in the LARGEST FOOTBALL GAME of the year!  We made it into round 2 so we need to keep going :) The exposure and coverage could really make this or any business come alive. There are some other great companies out there to vote for so click the black “VOTE” button below at the bottom of the page, Vote for us. . . . and take a look at the other inspiring stories of other people who went out and are making it happen. #TeamSmallBiz

When asked. . What’s your best advice?”

When the time is right – Do it! 

I knew what I wanted to do: my own business, I knew the direction, I had the experience, potential clients, I had everything, except . . . except I just wasn’t there 100%.

One day, that switch flipped, I knew it was now or never and I did it. I wasn’t ready 6 months before or even 2 weeks previously.

Working toward a goal is a consistent job, don’t stress yourself over it, be prepared, absorb all you can, take baby steps toward it,then, when you feel it, when you know you are the cross roads.

Dont be afraid to turn left, when everybody else turns right.

When asked. . “Why do they love your business?”

It’s the personality right?

I put myself into my business. Experience & knowledge are great, they are a must, but being personable, genuinely caring about the outcome, and enjoying the conversation with your clients, that makes it all fit together.Technology often lacks a personal touch. We make a point to be there providing advisory artistic creative services. Come join us, share a cup of tea. 

“Consistently reliable, always on time, a fantastic communicator with a wonderful can do attitude. Very refreshing. We are so glad we found you.” –  Michael Myers, Owner, Myers Fine Art & Antiques

Thank you in Advance. . :)

Vote for Illumination Advertising


Jobsite Gala 2013

by Sarah Stone

I am happy to be working along side of some dedicated people over at Jobsite Theater.

A committee was developed to organize “Jobsite Gala 2013” of which I am a small part. The group has been working on plans for an amazingly fun evening, which so far is sounding like a great night, from live music provided by ( to deliciously exciting gourmet hors d’oeuvres from local Tampa Bay restaurants, (see which ones are going to be there below)  something which I always love. . . food. Wine and craft beer.. Did I mention an open bar until 10:30pm?

The night includes a silent auction, a photo booth, a display of costumes from past and present productions and well as a chance to wine and dine with a few hundred local artist, actors and friends.

The night is to celebrate 10 years of Jobsite being in residence at the Straz Center, a great part of the community and a Gala to raise funds so they can keep on doing what they do best. YOUR GENEROUS SUPPORT of this event will help ensure that they can continue to attract and keep the best talent the region has to offer, while making Tampa Bay a better place to live.

Jobsite Gala Invite Card





  Take a look at the website for al the details, the sponsors, the program of events and most importantly to buy tickets. :)








Graphic Design + Layout

by Sarah Stone

I am posting a new update with some recent design work, not everything we do gets posted online so occasionally I like to post a random selection. Our work is varied and always entertaining in so much that our clients are at far ends of the spectrum. I always appreciate the variety and the opportunity to mix things up a little.

Illumination Advertising Vesper PostcardWe delight in the spark of visual communication + concept as well as the brainstorming process. Using both verbal and visual language to convey meaningful information to the end user or consumer, we work closely to render both advisory and artistic creative services.

Why leave it to chance?

Whilst many people have a creative idea, they dont always have the tools or knowledge to implement that into a brand or layout. We can create a concept from scratch, but if you want to be part of the working, an extra pair of eyes. . . then come and join us. . . we want your input as far as you choose to be involved, after all. .. we are working for you.

Omega Trades Samples

From logo development, branding and design to creating distinct product packages and print.

We also cover social media, photography, copy writing, and can manage your public relations too. We can take your ambition to succeed and build a solid foundation, creating an effective advertising campaign that will in turn create a call to action. Let us find the right language to decipher what your product or business is all about and how best to place you on track to achieve the results you came to Illumination Advertising for.

To see more work samples view our portfolio at :



Talk to Strangers

by Sarah Stone

I think this applies on both personal and business levels. Put yourself out there occasionally, make a conversation. Connect with the world. From a smile to a ‘hello’ it can really make a difference, and who knows what it can lead to?
Some of my random conversations with strangers have gone from a restaurant in Boston to meeting up in Mumbai, India, ordering a drink on a beach to the best boat ride in Puerto Rico, Helping a neighbor with groceries and making a new friend, reaching out to a visitor and sharing a whole new group of friends and potential clients.  A friend is often the best referral you can ever have.

Try it today or tomorrow. . . You can say hello or just wave next time to you are out there @illuminationAd

See a story here that prompted my thought.


Photography – Adventures Series – Dave Hill

by Sarah Stone

Advertising photography is critical for the exposure of your business. From local advertising to the Internet, Photography exposes your work and business to potential client with a relatable connection caused by a visual stimulation.  Digital photography and illustration combine to make an everyday photograph jump off the page. While we provide a more standard photography service for head shots, office  architecture and products in general, take a look at what this photographs created.

I found this collation of photographs online and wanted to share. Magically designed by Dave Hill. Take a look through his variety of work at the link below.

Illumination Advertising - Davehillphoto







~ Sarah


Marketing for your Small Business

by Sarah Stone

What can a Marketing Plan do for Your Small Business?

A marketing plan includes everything from understanding your target market and your competitive position in that market, to how you intend to reach that market (your tactics) and differentiate yourself from your competition in order to make a sale.  Your small business marketing budget should be a component of your marketing plan. Essentially, it will outline the costs of how you are going to achieve your marketing goals within a certain timeframe. If you just don’t have the funds to hire a marketing firm or even staff a position in-house, there are resources available to guide you through the process of writing a marketing plan and developing a market budget.

 As a business owner, it is vital that you understand and use advanced technologies. Technology can help increase business efficiency and even expand operations.

Accounting software. This is important, even if you have your own accountant or bookkeeper. Accounting software allows you to see your profits and losses at a glance. It can also help you design and maintain a budget for your business. (

Planning software or tools. A calendar system is a must. There are many online planning systems that can be utilized to help you keep your calendar organized. Find a system that meets your business’ needs and be sure to stick with it.

Time tracking software.  A time tracking device will help you determine what tasks result in a profit and what tasks do not. This will help you determine what tasks can be eliminated, outsourced, or improved.  If you’re looking at software that requires a fee, ask for a free trial first to make sure it’s the right software for you.

Email management. As a business owner, you probably use several email accounts to manage the various aspects of your company. If you streamline these emails to one account, you’ll be able to stay organized and abreast of your emails. I would recommend looking into the services Google provides for free.

Mobile internet access. Access to the internet on your mobile device will not only make your life easier, it will also help you maintain a positive reputation for your business. For example, if you are able to follow up with a client by email immediately after a meeting, you will be showing that you are accessible, timely and professional.

Once you decide which types of technology are right for you and your business, you’ll be on your way to being more organized and efficient than ever.

Bend Your Budget When Necessary and Keep an Eye on ROI

Once you have developed your marketing budget, it doesn’t mean that it’s set in stone. There may be times when you need to throw in another unplanned marketing tactic — such as hosting an event or creating a newspaper ad — to help you reach your market more effectively.

Ultimately, it’s more important to determine whether sticking to your budget is helping you achieve your marketing goals and bringing you a return on investment (ROI) than to adhere to a rigid and fixed budget.

That’s why it’s important to include a plan for measuring your spend. Consider what impact certain marketing activities have had on your revenues during a fixed period, such as a business quarter, compared to another time period when you focused your efforts on other tactics. Consider the tactics that worked as well as those that didn’t work. You don’t have to cut the tactics that didn’t work, but you should assess whether you need to give them more time to work or whether the funds are best redirected elsewhere.

Granted, some tactics are hard to measure — such as the efficacy of print collateral (brochures, sales sheets, etc.), but you need to consider the impact of not having these branding staples in your market tool kit before you reign in your graphic design and print funds.

Marketing plans should be maintained on an annual basis, at a minimum. But if you launch a new product or service, take time to revisit your original plan or develop a separate campaign plan that you can add to your main plan as an addendum.

At the end of the day, the time spent developing your marketing plan, is time well spent because it defines how you connect  and communicate with your customers. And that’s an investment worth making.

More information:

At Illumination Advertising, our business is built on our relationships, communication and knowledge. This is how we grow, step by step, client by client, relationship by relationship. We promote a positive and ethical business sense and environment for both employees and clients alike. Illumination Advertising, Inc. has personality & character. We are friendly, dedicated and know our industry. We enjoy working with you, not just for you.


October Mailer ~ Print + Design Cost

by Sarah Stone

Sharing a new postcard for October with an avatar illustration of Sarah, adding a personal touch and a face to a voice on the other side of a phone.

We will post pricing on more products during the week as well as add an avatar of the rest of us. :) Enjoy!