Behind the curtain.
The Peppermill process is simple: We do our homework, ask you lots of questions, collaborate to make sure we’re on target, and design smart, successful solutions. And we aren’t secretive, proprietary or pretentious about how we do it. And, we’re not going to throw buzzwords at you to try to impress you.
- RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH. We do our homework… learn about your competition, your industry, your audience… we may even ponder the meaning of life. The point is: we get to know you – deep down to your gooey center. What makes you special? What do you want to achieve and what challenges do you face? Our goal is to uncover the unique and compelling story that makes your company, product or organization special. Our clients often find this a process of self-discovery— kind of like going to a therapist, but we won’t blame your mother!
- STRATEGERY. Armed with the knowledge we gain in our research, we collaborate with you to define the problem and create a road map to the solution. We’ll let it all marinate and the next time we meet, we’ll bring with us a creative brief and mood board that establish your brand’s look, feel and voice. Then we’ll work together to make sure we’re all on the same page and moving in the right direction.
- DESIGN & DEVELOPMENT. We spend the first two phases creating your road map and now our bags are packed and it’s time begin our journey to the authentic expression of your brand. Logos, websites, packaging, sales and marketing materials, interior space concepts, signage and other touchpoints are designed to bring your brand to life and connect you to your audience.
- 3, 2, 1… LAUNCH. Peppermill will handle the production required to bring all pieces of the branding projects to fruition. We’ll source materials, obtain cost estimates, collaborate and art direct other talents and coordinate with third parties. We get things done and stand by the quality of our work.
- BRAND MANAGEMENT. Because your brand is constantly evolving, you must pay regular attention to how it’s perceived. It’s important that all aspects of your communication are consistent. That doesn’t mean that everything has to look exactly the same; but every piece must share the same “feel” and tell the same story. Depending on your needs, we can work with you on a variety of levels—from a per-project basis to your very own virtual in-house creative department.
- ONGOING MARKETING. If you are like most business owners, you don’t have time in your life for blogging, tweeting, facebooking, instagramming, pinteresting, snapchatting, and all the other newfangled social media the kids are using (in fact, since you started reading this, all this technology has become obsolete). Because we understand that you need to focus your energy on running your business, you can leave that to us. We can work with you to create a marketing plan specifically tailored to your unique needs, goals, and budget. This can include traditional as well as digital marketing. And we can support you at any level. We can do it all for you from content creation to execution, or we can simply help you plan content and create editorial calendars.
THE STUFF WE STAND FOR.
We could go on and on about what makes good graphic design, but we don’t want to bore you. Oh, who are we kidding? We can’t stop ourselves! Design is one of the most important parts of advertising, marketing, communications and branding. Actual data shows that “design-driven companies outperform the S&P by 228% over the last ten years.” At Peppermill, we understand the impact of good graphic design and how it makes your brand stronger. But first and foremost – we know that you must understand your brand to best communicate it – and we’ll help you every step of the way.
START WITH A PLAN. We start every project by defining the objectives. After all, if we don’t know where we’re going, how will we know when we’re there? What is the problem to solve? What are the goals to achieve? What are the challenges? Who is the target audience? What is the budget and timeline?
IDEAS COME FROM EVERYWHERE. Many agencies will make you believe that the creativity happens in a magical room, behind closed doors. But we disagree… the magic happens when we collaborate with our clients. No one knows your business like you do. So your opinion is as important as any. Don’t misunderstand… we’re not “yes men” and we’re not shy about telling you what we think. But, it’s the back and forth, push and pull, one thought sparking another, that leads to the most amazing solutions.
KEEP IT SIMPLE. The most powerful solutions tend to be the simplest. Figure out what your customers care about and find a way to connect. Make them chuckle…or cry…or simply think more deeply. That’s when things “click.”
SAFE IS BORING AND BORING IS A WASTE. Risk-taking is important. With the amount of information that people see, hear and read on a daily basis, we don’t want to blend into the clutter. To be noticed, you need to do something that stands out. We’re not suggesting streaking at a Redskins game; but we do encourage our clients to push the limits of their comfort zones. With a smart concept, we create something memorable.
TELL THE TRUTH. Today’s consumers are savvy (and cynical) and can smell a liar from 40 yards away. Honesty and authenticity resonate. People want to feel respected and they want the truth. We treat our clients the same way. We promise to always tell you the truth.
DON’T TAKE YOURSELF TOO SERIOUSLY. What we do is fun. Yes, it is a real job… but it’s a job where drinking beer and getting a spa treatment can be research! When you work with us, we want you to have fun, too. The work we are doing is important to your business, and we take that very seriously; but we love what we do and we have fun doing it.
who we are — in a nutshell.
[OWNER + CREATIVE DIRECTOR]
A graduate of Penn State University's Graphic Design program, Jennifer studied her craft under renowned professor, Lanny Sommese. After completing an internship at MTV in New York City, Jennifer passed on the opportunity to become a V.J. and continued on her career path as a graphic designer.
Jennifer furthered her education by working with incredibly talented Art Directors in design studios in Boston and Washington, DC. She co-founded and successfully ran QueenBee Studio for 10 years prior to launching Peppermill Projects. Jennifer also served as an adjunct professor teaching undergraduate design classes in typography and packaging at American University. Though her work has been published in numerous books and periodicals, and she has received several design awards, Jenn has a normal-sized head.
Grace is an Annapolis native and recently graduated from Auburn University's nationally ranked School of Industrial & Graphic Design. Before joining the Peppermill team full time, Grace completed our summer internship program. Her work was so impressive we couldn’t let her go! During her collegiate career, Grace acquired Graphic Design experience at Spinsheet & Proptalk Magazines, The Auburn University Magazine and of course, Peppermill Projects. The research and brainstorming aspects of the creative process are what Grace enjoys most, as it creates a strong foundation for an incredible product. In addition to her incredible design skills, she keeps the Peppermill office informed up-to-date on latest Internet memes and what the cool kids are saying these days.
nicole anegon bailey
[WRITER + SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGIST + SNACK MASTER ]
If you want to know the newest social media trend, ask Nicole. After graduating from Albion College in Michigan with a B.A. in Communication, Nicole acquired impressive experience in all things social media and marketing. Immediately after college she interned at Paste Magazine in Atlanta, Georgia, monitoring social media accounts and running contests and giveaways. Soon after, she held the position of Social Media Marketing Manager at Netvantage Marketing in East Lansing, Michigan. Before joining Peppermill, Nicole was Maryland’s Market Manager for Fordham and Dominion Brewing Company. Despite her love for craft beer, she loves Twitter just a little bit more.
Friends, partners & collaborators.
[service & industry]
- Bluston Building Group
- BlueStone Enterprises
- The Brick Companies
- Celgene Corporation
- Classic Brass
- Dream House Studios
- DGi, Dixon Group, Inc.
- The Harding Group
- In Home Stone
- Kristi Neidhardt Team of Century 21 New Millenium
- Lanham Construction
- Mercy Hospital
- Dr. Rachel Miller, Psychologist
- OCTI, Occoquan Crew Technologies
- Performance Orthopedics
- Dr. Erin Peterson, Psychologist
- Purple Cherry Architects
- Purposeful Architecture
- Sullivan Integrated Aesthetic Center
- TAP Pharmaceuticals
- William T. Clothiers
- XIO Strategies
- Loft 56
[nonprofit & advocacy]
- AIDS Walk Washington
- AIGA Baltimore
- Amnesty International
- The Brick Companies Foundation
- Congressional Club
- Due East Partners
- FedChoice Federal Credit Union
- Live Kindly
- Living Oceans Foundation
- Mayo Nursery School
- The Nature Conservancy
- Ocean Conservancy
- Patagonia Land Conservation Trust
- Planned Parenthood
- Prevent Cancer Foundation
- Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
- Spark Point Fundraising
- The Summit School
- Walter Reed Military Medical Center
- Whitman-Walker Clinic
- YWCA of Annapolis & AACO
[arts & lifestyle]
- Annapolis Symphony Orchestra
- Atlantic Marinas
- Centered Spirit Yoga
- Cleo's Fine Oils & Vinegars
- CurvyMama Pies
- David Hartcorn Photography
- Dina Blazek Events
- El Rancho Chicken
- Farr Yacht Design
- First Class Martial Arts
- The Green Bee Cafe
- Hamilton Photography
- Hotel Mercurio
- Jailbreak Brewing Co.
- Maryland Hall of the Creative Arts
- Olde Towne Pet Resort
- Old Ox Brewery
- Old Stein Inn
- Queenstown Harbor Golf
- Sinplicity Catering
- Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian
- Southern Luck
- Urban Walls Brazil
- Velo Orange