Wednesday, December 22, 2010

January is National Thank You Month

So, 2011 just crept in (or is about to) and you just remembered that you have the most incredible customers in the world! Where would you be without them? And, how can you express your gratitude to them from the bottom of your heart?

I have a begin, January 1 thru January 7th is National Thank Your Customer Week. I know there are many people to thank for the prosperous new years past and future, but take the time and send post card, blog about it, tweet it, facebook it, or hand write a thank you and postal mail it (and of course, if you want you can inquire about some of the Designs limited edition fold over notes found in my Etsy shop!)

No better time than the present to smile at your customers and let them know you care! Of course if you have any ideas on how to express gratitude to your customers let me know by leaving a comment!

So what are you waiting for? Thank those awesome customers out there today and especially in JANUARY for NATIONAL THANK YOU MONTH!

Monday, November 08, 2010

Can you See?

Lately, life and world economy has many people feeling a little down and out, frustrated, confused. Check out this video link and see how your outward expressions can really make or break the day.

Can you apply this to business? How can you make a difference out there?
I'd love to hear your comments!

Friday, October 29, 2010

November 1-7 is World Communication Week!

Yes, NOVEMBER 1-7 is World Communication Week and by definition Communication is The exchange of thoughts, messages, or information by speech, signals or writing.

You know it's an excellent time to be on twitter, facebook and linkedin to perform all this "exchanging" of thoughts. Quicker than lightning and faster than....well...a speeding bullet. (Sorry Superman). Whether it be business, news, weather, friendship or searching......- online media beats traditional communication (phone, fax, postal mail) anyday.

The world is literally your oyster in November so reach out to your networks (and beyond) to communicate your business or other message. Twitter - Tweetdeck rocks for translating languages and FaceBook rules for building with friends! Leap into Linkedin's business network and promote your message - the world wants to hear it!!
Logo, Ad and Book Cover Design - TheMerryBird Designs

Monday, August 23, 2010

SEPTEMBER is Be Kind to Editors and Writers Month!

For the month of September 2010 Designs is offering a 20% discount for Book Cover Design for Writers, Editors and Authors!...

Files are created in Adobe Indesign or other Adobe suite programs and will meet the specifications of your printer or publisher. Authors, Writers and Editors will receive a Free Hard copy print & e-file of the cover design upon contract completion.

For more info contact Kristine@
with BEkind2writersMonth2010 in the subject line. Pass it on to your favorite writer!

See "Your Online Stationery in Flight"

Monday, August 16, 2010

Making Sales on Facebook

The ever changing web will never cease to amaze me. We've come from direct email conversations to social media like twitter, linkedin and facebook. ALL of which are social mecca's online. Business' everywhere are honing in on where people want to be and don't want to leave, and Facebook is one of those prominent online places.

Socializing is important in building online friendships, trust and business, Facebook knows the key. With a massive following Facebook continues to strategize for businesses by incorporating the "shopping cart" right on the facebook page or profile. With more than 500 million users it's most logical to say that people are spending time online for social, academic and shopping purposes so why not make it easy to shop right where you like to be? (see sept. issue)

TheMerryBird Designs has already incorporated it Shop onto the MerryBird Facebook business page/see Etsy tab @ . This makes it easy for friends and fans alike have the opportunity to shop as they view the business page. The only flaw here is that only allows sales of "handmade" items. This is ok for me since I offer hand drawn and custom designed stationery, but I lose momentum on etsy when it comes to offering my graphic design services. This is where it gets interesting on facebook for my business.

As sited from Website Magazine is moving in. Facebook offers this easy to install service which makes it easy for visitors to "shop"from FB. Payvment is TRUSTe certified, shares items, allows reviews, has options for discounts, ties into system inventory and saves addresses for fast check out anytime. Not bad for business.

I wonder where my .COM is going to be in the next few years.....

Kristine Sheehan, Designs

Sunday, July 11, 2010

TheMerryBird Fly's with Etsy!

After some time and consideration, TheMerryBird custom stationery can now be found on ETSY!

Custom pen and ink note cards and holiday tags that have been printed in limited quantities or have been "born again" due to customer response are now donning the pages of etsy!

Fly by to see "Your Stationery in Flight"

Be the first to order the very first listing! Come take a peek!

Thursday, June 24, 2010


Cheers! The Merry Bird Designs offers a NEW stationery product

June 2010, Connecticut -- The Merry Bird Designs flies with a new stationery product this fall, Wine tags.

Quality 3”x 6” stationery stock, has elegant, rustic, formal and informal design. Wine bags are now passé` and new Merry Bird wine tags emulate mini door hangers with a message of friendship.

Single tags will retail for $1.50 while a package of 3 will retail for $4.00. Bulk orders for retailers are available upon request. Look for new wine tag designs on website. Pre-fall orders will be accepted in late July.

Company Bio:

The Merry Bird Designs company of Connecticut has officially been in business since March 2006. Kristine Sheehan, the owner, began working in the design/art industry because her passion is drawing with pen and ink, painting and photography and computer graphics. Her company offers Logo Development, Book Cover Creation, Ad Design and a line of pen and ink motifs on note cards, holiday Tags and invitations and now Wine Tags! The Merry Bird Designs is ever changing and adding more beautiful ideas to choose from, come take a peek, Fly in! Fan page *********************

The Merry Bird Designs
Kristine Sheehan

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Outsourcing for Authors and Writers

Teresa Morrow is a manager of marketing and publicity for Key Business Partners, LLC.

Located in Florida, Key Business Partners covers writing, editing, and outsourcing for Authors and Writers.

She offers great tips on her site about networking, resourcing and also interviews authors that share their knowledge and expertise. also has been interviewed about it's history and designing book covers for authors.

I advise writers and authors alike to fly by Key Business Partners site and perhaps you'll take the next interview spot!

Kristine Sheehan

TheMerryBird Designs

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Logo: Re-Image Photo

This past month I had the pleasure of working with Kellie Riess of Re-Image Photo. She started her business in 2006 as a way to give back to Palm Beach County Mounted Posse . As a child she showed horses at PBC MP she wanted to give something back to the community she grew up in, beautiful one time images.

In 2009 she moved to Hawaii and decided to move on from horse shows to pursue portrait art and now chose to strictly do portraits and weddings. She believes Customer Service is #1 and the quality of an image is paramount. Her Fine Art Lifestyle photography can be seen on her website Be sure to stop by to see family portraiture and divine images that touch the heart!

Photographer Kellie Riess has a diamond image in mind for her clients - her new logo reflects an image of now and later, flash and strength while exuding a lighter and brighter side of life. Sage green and white color scheme reminds us of the ocean seafoam that which her business is inspired, and the black background is a reminder of a dark room, that so well characterizes photographers. Re-Image Photo's new logo is timeless, simple and understandable.

Take a peek at her photography and new logo and be sure to keep an eye out for her upcoming MerryBird blog article about helping amateurs with their own photography.

And if you're in the market for a new logo fly by and contact Kristine at . Let's fly together!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Connecting, Successfully!

Ever wonder why some business people have tons of followers on twitter or have facebook pages that have reached the “limit” for friending? Or how about the person offline that networks flawlessly and you would give your eye tooth to be like? I pondered this thought and researched out what makes a person have a successful connection to others, online and off.

Really, it all starts by having a passion with a purpose. For example, at a meet-up offline or a chat room online, you will find that there are those that set out to greet, meet and REMEMBER others! It isn’t at all that difficult if you take the time to talk to people about yourself and your business. When asked “what do you do?”, answer with enthusiasm and respect for your business. Don’t just offer a one line chat stopper like: “I am a graphic designer.” An appropriate answer would be: “I own an online company and design for Designs. I love to create logos, book cover art, and stationery. I also enjoy wii fit Pilates.”

A great tip for connecting to someone is to REMEMBER their name and face. There are many tricks out there to help you not to forget. For example, imagine the person in front of you as a favorite movie star or even a family member with the same first name. This will trigger your memory next time you meet!

Did you ever meet a person while networking that wants to tell you how you should “do this” or “do that” to succeed? Instead of laughing it off or making it clear to the person why the suggestion won’t work – “Make the person who gives Advice feel Helpful” and offer GRATITUDE and thanks. This will eliminate tension and automatically create comradery.

Always show respect and disregard gossip of others. Gossip creates mistrust and makes for an unhealthy environment to network. Become the role model and point that conversation in a new direction with kindness and integrity. By having another view you can connect successfully online and off!
Do you have any suggestions to connect successfully to others online and off? Leave a comment to share!

Kristine Sheehan Designs

(ref. Author Jill Spiegel, How to Talk to Anyone About Anything! The Secrets to Connecting)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Getting Back RSVPs

Planning a birthday party for your child, inviting their class and then waiting for RSVPs can be more stressful than awaiting test results. It’s like a personal round of American Idol. Will the children like your child enough to bug their parents to respond to the invite? How will it affect your child’s self-esteem if only a few come back or worse, none?

How do you get back those darn RSVPs? Why don’t people return them? My guess is we are living in an age of info overload and people are basically procrastinating coach potatoes. “Later” is the mantra of our society, really, so when you give them a date, they take all that time and sometimes more. So to improve your chances, you need all possible ways to contact people – phone numbers, email addresses, street addresses if you can get them. One parent in my daughter’s class sent the invite once then a follow-up one the week of the event, which was smart because I hold on to the invites but don’t always remember to call. I’m sorry. It’s not intentional. It’s just that’s sometimes it’s hard to know if the scheduling will work or even if we’ll have money for someone else’s birthday gift that week if other stuff is going on. So let’s start with the basics. For those who don’t know and don’t want to admit they don’t know, RSVP means Respondez S'il Vous Plait. Translation – respond please! A brief history, according to How Stuff Works:

An Italian diplomat, Conte Baldassare Castiglione, wrote the first book about proper behavior among nobility in the 16th century. Many of the practices of Western etiquette, however, came from the French court of King Louis XIV in the late 17th and early 18th c­enturies. At Versailles, his palace, Louis XIV had the rules for court behavior written on what the French referred to as "tic­kets," or "étiquette." The tickets either were signs posted at Versailles or were the invitations issued to court events with the rules of behavior printed on the back; experts give different versions of the origin. And French was the language of refinement and high society through the 19th century in the United States. Judith Martin, the author of etiquette books and a syndicated newspaper columnist known as "Miss Manners," thinks that "R.S.V.P." came about as a polite way of reminding people of something that they should already know: If you receive an invitation, you should reply.

How do you get those replies? I found a few ways you can try:

If you ask guests to RSVP by a specific date, most parents will call! For the rest, you will need to get on the phone to find out who is coming. Just because a parent hasn’t responded, don’t assume their child isn’t coming to your party! And you really do need a head count for planning purposes, because you want to have enough food and party favors for every child who attends the party. When making the call, you can say something like “Hello, this is Maggie Jones. Will your son Kevin be able to join us for the birthday party this weekend?” To keep track of responses as you speak to the parents, print a copy of our guest list sheet and keep it near the phone. You should also be prepared to answer a common question from other parents, which is "what gift would your child like?" Responding with "it doesn't matter" won't help the other parent, so be ready with a few ideas. You can say something like "Thank you for asking. Jack really loves Legos, dinosaurs, and books about cars."
­ ­- Birthday in a Box

Here’s a nifty tip from Diane Pollitt, Party Guide at via

Mail your invitations on a Wednesday! Why Wednesday you ask? If an invitation is mailed on Wednesday it is more likely to arrive at its destination on Friday or Saturday, this is the objective. Receiving the invitation on the weekend, instead of a weekday, will give your guest time to read and return your RSVP more promptly….Your party-goers will have just a little more time to deal with their social calendar, coordinate dates, travel, babysitters and other incidental details. It becomes a coordinated effort on your part that your guests will appreciate.

If you have a way to get back those RSVPs, please share!
Monica Dennis is President and Creative Director of Village Works Enterprises LLC, the makers of fun, fast and unforgettable customized jigsaw puzzles with a cultural flair!

Saturday, April 03, 2010

A Business Logo: The Sun in Your Customers Sky

Starting a new business or revitalizing an existing one is an exciting endeavor. And, there are many ways to get noticed to make a mark in the big business world online and off. An entrepreneur may start by having an extraordinary product/service to sell/offer but have no clue how to bring in the market buyers. Although I’m not a marketing expert and can’t advise you in marketing techniques, I can be of service by telling you that you should have a creative logo designed to represent your business. A properly marketed business needs a logo for customer recognition and retention of that business.

A logo in all its integrity is the “sun in your customers sky”, “the star in your customer’s galaxy” or in other words it will make your service/product get noticed and remembered.
A good designer will create a logo that is simply memorable. One view or many a creative logo will create instant recognition. Recognition and admiration is exactly what a business needs!

You may find a designer by recommendation or a search on the web. However you choose to find your designer you should know a few questions to ask her/him before you begin.

1.) Does the designer work by contract? What the customer and designer expect and will ultimately receive at the end of the design job depends on the contract! Read fine print, ask about deadlines, ask about final cost, and revise where necessary. Agree, Sign off and begin!

2.) How will I receive my design? File formats to ask for are .ai, pdf, eps, jpg, png. Know that you need a file that is 72dpi for online viewing and a file that is a minimum of 300dpi for printing purposes. Be sure the format you receive can be utilized in different ways. For example, can the logo design be reduced to fit on a keychain or enlarged to fit a billboard?

3.) Does the designer need specific pantone colors or will you leave it up to the designer to choose them for you? Ultimately the designer should provide you with a logo design that can be converted from color to black and white. No matter what the color of the logo is, it should keep its strength and integrity for online view and in print format.

These few tips from The Merry Bird Designs should get you started with your research for a business logo design. Remember, for customer recognition and retention of your product and/or services be sure the Logo is Simply Memorable, the Logo can be converted to Black and White and the designer provided the Logo in a File Format that can be enlarged/reduced for future printing.

The sun in your customers sky is shining already!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Bridal Invitations and Spring Love.

Even though it's March, June brides are flitting about with last minute and not so last minute details for their Big Day. For some June brides, the search for the perfect wedding invitation has begun today.

Usually 3 1/2 months before the wedding day, the invitation order is placed with the stationer. The correct wedding information, names, date, place, fonts and invitation layout are ready to go. The invites will then be printed and ready for postal mail by 6-8 weeks "before" the wedding day mark.

At you won't find invitations that are duplicates of any other out there. I personally create, design or hand draw motifs that make a unique invitation that is all your own!
Spring Love is in the air! (and so are TheMerryBird Designs!)
Kristine Sheehan,

Monday, March 01, 2010

What’s Influencing Your Design Style?

Do you have a design style?
If yes, what is it? Are you simplistic, experimental, surreal, rational or perhaps radical? How can you identify it?

First: Take a step back in time. There are many art movements in history that influence the designs of today. The most common recognized genres can give many thoughts a twist about what style you and your work portray. Whether you like it or not, most, if not all designs have a trait of a former time or era.

For example, Wikipedia identifies Avant-garde art as “art that is pushing the boundaries of what is accepted as the norm”. Or International Style (Bauhaus), a style of art that is simple, rational and functional. There is Surrealism, Dada, Modernism, Rococo, Pop Art, Cubism etc. All the “ism’s” that influence the style and designs we create.

Second: Consider the Technical Era (today). How NOT normal to the classic artist is the computer? For example Graphic designers of today quickly adapted to the ease of utilizing the computer for design. Who would go back to manual layouts, whiteout and blue pencils when you can have automatic sizing, perfection in layout, auto coloring features and finally, a file to output for print or web view. Hence, we can see the progression of a design production not necessarily design itself.

Ahh, the key to design, is the very meaning of Avant-garde. Artists of today can push their style out of bounds. With technology, there is such a broad range of possibilities for design. But the word artist comes into play here. If you are technically inclined but not an artist, then designing on a computer is made easy, but if you are an artist that is technically gifted you can fly out of the box with endless possibilities.

Third: Realize the ease of communication called Social Media. Social Media is really key in generating new ideas. Not in any other time has it been this easy to connect to people to share, inspire and create. Keeping up with what’s going on in today society is another influence on your design style. Keep in mind that what people are listening to, what people are watching, and how people react to it all is a classic way to generate a design idea that will compel observers to notice a strong design style, one that may just be your own.

What influences your design style? Share your thoughts and leave a comment, you may just inspire someone else too!

Kristine Sheehan Designs

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Remember a Time...

While reading a favorite design blog I came across a logo that represents Micheal Jackson. It sparked his movement perfectly yet it is a symbol that we see often in other colors that represent health and life. Here, his dance with death.

Stop by here to see it in motion:

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

12 Points to Include in Your Design Contract

This is an excellent tip sheet written for designers creating a contract
for business by Angela Ferraro-Fanning .

When I started my own design business, one of the first things I put in place was a well-written contract. Before I spoke to an attorney about drafting an official document for me, I made sure I had my design process established. I also did a lot of research as to what other design firms and freelancers were including in their agreements. With something as subjective as design, there are lots of gray areas that need to be clarified as much as possible on paper.
If you’re in the process of drafting a client contract, or if you are considering revising one that already exists, I would recommend including the following list of items:

1. Estimate Terms
When starting a new project with a current or prospective client, I’m always sure to estimate the project time first. In my experience, giving yourself a bit of extra time on the estimate is a good thing. It will cover you in the event any unexpected snags come up. My clients are only billed for the time I spend on their projects, so if I don’t use up all the time allotted on my estimate, I look like a hero who came in under budget. On the flip side, if I find the project needs more time for completion (for whatever reason), I’m sure to notify my clients before continuing work and racking up additional hours.

There are some items that are hard to estimate for such as any special fonts or stock images the client may want to purchase later on. In such cases, I’ve stated on my estimate that these costs will be added to the client’s remaining balance. Of course, I’m sure to get the client’s written approval first, before I incorporate these elements into the design.

Other items I try to include in the project bid are rush-order charges, any special project fees, and any other professional costs that may be incurred along with an estimate expiration date. An exact description of the service/product you are providing to your client in the estimate is helpful as well, along with an invoicing schedule. It is my advice to have your client sign your estimate individually before starting work. This not only ensures everyone is on the same page at the beginning, but it also helps in the event a legal issue should arise.

2. Changes
How many changes or project revisions are you willing to make? After deciding on your design process, you should easily be able to answer this question. I provide my client with three rounds of changes before additional charges will apply.

3. Turn-Around Times
It doesn’t hurt to mention how quickly your client should expect to see completed work. This often comforts the client as they know they aren’t being ignored while waiting for a proof. This also requires that you, as the designer, stay on track and provide your clients with project proofs and deliverables in a timely fashion.

4. Client Approval
How should the approval process work? Do you send hard-copies of the design, ask the client to sign-off, and then return to you? Is email approval acceptable? Will you send a print-design to the printer if the client is in a rush, without written consent? All good items to discuss in your contract.

5. Promotions
It is written in my contract that I am allowed, as the designer, to show client work in my online portfolio and in printed form. I also ask my clients to allow me permission to enter any pieces I see fit into design competitions and promotions. Some clients are uncomfortable with this and I deal with them on a case-by-case basis. However, is there a general rule you’d like your clients to agree to?

6. Confidential Information
During the course of working with your client, chances are you will be exposed (and they, likewise) to private information. By signing my contract, clients are agreeing that they will not make public any confidential information pertaining to my business. They also acknowledge that I will keep their business information confidential as well.

7. Relationship to the Client
Some designers feel it is important to clarify that by working with the client, they are not considered an employee of the client. Work will be done as a freelance or business service, operate on the designer’s schedule and take place at the designer’s facilities. Where and when you complete your client work is up to you, and should be included in your contract. Some clients ask their freelancers to work strictly on-site. Is this agreeable to you?

8. Warranties
Say you created a website for a client and the project has been completed for a month or so. They have even paid their final balance. Out of the blue, you receive a phone call from the client saying they discovered a typo on the site. Are you willing to fix this at no charge or is there a fee? For how long after the work has been published or completed are you willing to repair any broken links, re-submit any artwork to the printer, or fix grammatical errors?

9. Contract Termination
For whatever reason, you or your client no longer want to work with one another. Can you terminate your agreement and how do you go about doing so? Does any work have to be completed or can you quit the job cold-turkey? What about client property? If they supplied you with discs and images for the job, how soon do those need to be returned? All good items to think about when creating a contract.

10. Force Majeure
There are “acts of God” that can prevent us, as professionals, from completing a job. If a fire takes down your home office or if a flood destroys your small business location, chances are you won’t be able to meet your clients’ deadlines. Just as a precaution, I would suggest including this in your contract. Worse case scenario, you have no home nor computer, the last you thing you would want is an angry client coming after you for not completing a job in time.

11. Other Legal Considerations
Other items to think about may include how you and a client may handle a dispute should it arise, third-party involvement and which party would be responsible for any legal costs, should they be incurred.

12. Sign Please!
After all has been written and your attorney has approved, don’t forget the signature. Simply submitting the document to your client doesn’t count as an agreement. To make matters convenient, allow the client to return your contract signed via snail mail, fax or email.
Again, let me stress that I’m not a lawyer and this does not count as legal advice. These are simply points for you to consider including in your contract, which should be drafted by a licensed attorney. Over the client relationships I’ve had, there have been times where simple questions pop up regarding my process or payment plans. Having a contract on hand, just to answer simple questions, is a great resource. It can offer you a little piece of mind and protection as well.

Friday, January 22, 2010


2010 Brings A “New Look” for The Merry Bird Designs

January 2010, Trumbull, CT -- The Merry Bird Designs flys in to start the New Year with a new brand identity.

For four years, a flying, pen and ink Humming Bird represented The Merry Bird…pen, ink and design. Today a new logo flys in its place to represent The Merry Bird Designs.
The Merry Bird featured services include: Logo creation, Book Cover Art, Ad design as well as custom pen and ink motif's for stationery. All design work is contract guaranteed. Paypal, Check or Money Order are the preferred methods of payment.

The new logo projects the quality design services offered to future and present clients by Kristine Sheehan, TheMerryBird. You will still find a flying bird when you visit but this bird will fly into the sunset along with “Your Stationery in Flight”.

Company Bio:

The Merry Bird Designs company of Connecticut has officially been in business since March 2006. Kristine Sheehan, the owner, began working in the design/art industry because her passion is drawing with pen and ink, painting and photography and computer graphics. Her company offers Logo Development, Book Cover Creation, Ad Design and a line of pen and ink motifs on note cards, holiday Tags and invitations. The Merry Bird Designs is ever changing and adding more beautiful ideas to choose from, come take a peek, Fly in! *********************

The Merry Bird Designs
Kristine Sheehan

Thursday, January 14, 2010


The Business Week (BW) quoted title above refers to global patent races. USA is coming in last, to Japan, South Korea and China.

Hey Ben! Where the hell did all the "aha-bulbs" go?

Offshore is only part of the answer, taxes are another. Other countries, where research and development takes place have sliced the "tax bread" sort of speak and left USA tax credits in the dust.

Should we have a Tea Party now? Nah! Taxes or not, we have to go with the flow anyway, I'd say get yourself into social networking and GO GLOBAL! It's easy, accessible and there is no better time than now to reach as far as your business can take you.

Ok so, there are still some light bulbs on out here, and what my thought is: all this patent stuff shouldn't keep you down. If anything, it should make an innovator more innovative. So if your big time or small the world is literally your oyster.

Water and electricity don't go together anyway!

Kristine Sheehan

(ref: Business Week 2009)