How long has it been since you updated or edited your site?

If you haven’t updated your content in months or given your site a new look within the last couple of years, you’re doing yourself and your customer base a disservice.

The internet, as you know, is a fast-paced ever changing environment and if you’re stale and aging website is all you’re offering your visitor’s they might just be moving on.

So it’s time to get reacquainted with your site! Think about the possibilities of using Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and starting your own blog). Think about a new and improved look for your site.
Think about updating your old site content with all of the new things you have to offer.

And when you’re done thinking about all of that, contact us, and we’ll help you turn your thoughts into a reality! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask, that’s what we’re here for!

Welcome to Start Communications New Brunswick

You can count on us to meet all of your graphic and website design needs, during the COVID 19 pandemic and beyond.

Service hours remain unchanged. There have been no changes to the list of services available, our operating hours, quality or service levels. As always, rush and urgent service options are available for most projects, and we will work with your specific needs to get the job done.

We hope you and your loved ones are looking after yourselves in these difficult times, and look forward to hearing from you regarding your next project.

We are here to help, now and always. Thank you for working with Start Communications.

Stay Safe,

Eric Beal

award winning book design

“Working with Eric Beal of Start Communications has been a joy. Not only is his design work extraordinary, his patience and sense of humour throughout the process of producing our books were steadfast (and at certain points, necessary). Eric makes a special effort to get the job done efficiently and professionally. We always felt well taken care of.

The books he designed won us a bronze medal in the Education category of the Independent Publisher Book Awards (North America) which has boosted our sales and made us proud. The judging is based on originality, design, and production quality with emphasis on those who exhibit innovation and creativity – which Eric clearly does.

We wouldn’t hesitate for a moment in recommending Eric. He is an outstanding artist and a true pleasure to work with.
– Connections Publishing

Happy Holidays from Start Communications Woodstock NB

Closed Dec. 23 at 12 noon
Open Dec. 30 and 31
Closed Jan. 1
All the best in 2020!

To help people interact with their environment, you need clear, consistent signs. The potential value of signs goes beyond identity and navigation. Signs provide opportunities to establish a mood and transform a flat dull space into a fresh, memorable place with character. START Communications offers both wayfinding strategy and sign design services, including the development of navigation, exhibit, interpretive, regulatory signs, and environmental graphics.

At START Communications we have designed signs, sign programs and wayfinding plans for a wide range of environments, including professional office buildings, pulp & paper mills, oil and natural gas facilities, manufacturing plants, retail spaces, plus interpretive and trade show displays & signs. We go the extra mile for our clients, overseeing the entire project, fabricator bidding, production, and installation. We make the whole process easy.

Wayfinding and sign design can help visitors and employees easily navigate to their destination.

  • Prevent accidents from happening
  • Unify a space through a common identity
  • Establish a character and mood for an environment
  • Create a memorable sense of “place”
  • Improve awareness of surroundings and offerings
  • Improve building accessibility, efficiency, and traffic flow
  • Support and demonstrate customer service
  • Compliment the architecture of a built environment

Benefits that increase sales

  • Improved perception of “place” builds greater trust and brand recognition
  • A clear, “friendly” environment increases duration and frequency of use
  • Greater coordination improves customer service efficiency and effectiveness
  • Clear, understanding improves environment navigation and efficiency
  • Wayfinding and sign design service offerings

START Communications sign and wayfinding strategy services involve developing standards and effective plans for navigation, sign location and sign messages. Our sign design services include sign structure development, sign graphics, and design documentation. All in coordination with the local architecture, branding, and maintenance considerations.

  • Wayfinding auditing and evaluation
  • Wayfinding strategy development
  • Routing & navigation planning
  • Sign location planning
  • Sign message programming
  • Sign and environmental graphics design
  • Interpretive and exhibit sign design
  • Map and directory development
  • Iconography and pictogram development
  • Sign manual development
top 5 questions concerning website design

At START Communications, when working through the beginning stages of a new web design project, understandably we find clients ask us a number of recurring questions. To answer these and help those of you who are unsure, we’ve put together a list of FAQs you might find useful.

1) How much will my new website cost?

This is the most commonly asked question and also a hard one to answer without first having thoroughly planned out the work that will be needed. The needs and sizes of different websites can differ substantially.

In order for us to accurately quote for a new website you will need to supply us with some information, including:

  • An overview of your business such as services, products, target market and business objectives
  • Your current or intended web address
  • An indication of design style, including any existing branding design
  • The approximate size of the website in terms of pages and content
  • The main outcome(s) of the website– why do you want to do it and what do you want it to do when it is live. For example, do you want to sell online, or do you want to promote your company?
  • An idea of budget, timescales and technical considerations
  • Overview of your competitors

Please don’t hesitate to call or email us to discuss your web design project and we can walk you through any details we need.

2) How long will it take to build my website?

Once you have provided details of how you would like your website to work we will discuss a project timescale with you. If you require a straight-forward ‘brochure’ web design we can get you up and running in no time. If you are looking for higher levels of functionality such as a content management system (WordPress for example), e-commerce, customer logins or other features, the timescales will obviously reflect this.

The quickest way to get your new website live is to help us by providing as much information as you can from the start. The more we know the quicker and more thoroughly we can work.

START Communications has a great reputation for producing quality work with a quick turnaround. You will be able to discuss your website requirements directly with the person who will be working on it, so contact us, we’d love to hear from you.

3) Will I be able to change things on my website?

The majority of our clients have access to their websites through a content management system (CMS). This allows clients to log in via any browser, such as Internet Explorer, to make changes and additions to the site content with no extra software required. This includes adding and updating articles and images.

CMS-based websites are considered the industry norm these days, and so we usually recommend them to our clients.

4) I don’t have any text or pictures – can you help me pull some together?

Don’t let this put you off. START Communications would be delighted to help you in generating the site’s content. We can offer advice as well as full copywriting services, custom photography, stock imagery searches, illustrations, video, animated content and much more. See our full list of services for more information.

What’s more, copywriting and commissioned or royalty-free photography can be very cost-effective. You will probably be able to use these for your marketing and sales materials too (brochure, trade show display, presentations, etc.) making them even better value for money.

5) I like ‘so-and-so’s website – can you make it look like that?

It’s great to have an idea of what you do or don’t like –try to take some ideas of both to your initial website design meeting or send them to us in an email.

A crucial part of any website development project is communication – talk openly with us about what you do or don’t like and clearly explain why. That way you will get a website that looks and works how you want it to. And be open to ideas too – make sure the communication flows both ways.

Well, that’s are top 5 FAQ about website design. We hope this has answered some of your questions. If you still have questions, please call or email us, we are here to help.

company product brochures

“We first contacted Start Communications when we decided that the Nursery needed a website, but had no idea what that entailed. Eric took the time to get to know us and our company. He focused our very vague ideas and made the whole process painless.

He has since helped us put together a whole package of distinctive, professional marketing materials.

Eric’s creativity, knowledge and excellent service make him a pleasure to deal with, and we would not hesitate to recommend him to anyone.”
– Sylvan Vale Nursery Ltd.

Hardy Buoys Smoked Fish salmon packaging design

Customers are drawn, more than anything, to products that look good. Something that is well designed and interesting is bound to attract more potential customers than a product that is poorly designed and looks bland. This is the importance of packaging design.

A good design should always reflect the product and personality of the company. There is more, however, to packaging design than simply ensuring a package looks appealing. At START, we think carefully about everything from the shape of the package, to the materials used and of course its functionality. In a world overflowing with product choices, packaging design is increasingly important.

Contact START now for packaging design that stands out on the shelf.


Over the last few years we have been notifying our clients and publishing articles online and in print concerning the importance of businesses changing their websites to a responsive mobile friendly websites or be left behind. Today marks 1 year since Google made this change, if your website isn’t mobile-friendly you are probably feeling it, your website rankings in Google searches could be penalized as Google updates their algorithm. 

“Starting April 21, 2015 we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.”

Ref Google Blog

What are the requirements to make my website ‘mobile friendly’?

Requirements are quite simple:

  1. The website must be scalable – there shouldn’t be need to zoom and pan around a page to view it all
  2. Fonts must be readable without having to zoom in
  3. Links must not be too close together so fingers and thumbs can click on them easily

If you are still not sure what to do?
Contact us see what options are available to you. If your business depends on it’s website, this could be the best investment you make all year!

qr code for businesses

Over the last few months since our article on “Responsive Website Design” in which we mentioned QR codes (Quick Response Code), I have been asked a fair amount about them and how companies can implement them into their business. So here is a little bit about the subject.

QR codes have been around for a while (since 1994). Toyota invented QR codes to track vehicles and parts during manufacturing. Toyota would place them on their vehicles and parts for identification with a quick scan of a QR reader. In the last few years QR codes have taken off in mainstream business because Smartphones are now equipped with QR reader applications.

QR codes are a type of two-dimensional bar code (as seen above) that can be read using Smartphones and other devices. By scanning the code the user is linked directly to text, emails, websites, phone numbers and more. The beauty of QR codes is that the information contained in them is stored online and changes or updates to that information can be done in minutes.

Keep the code simple.

To avoid readability issues I recommend the QR code image be black, no less than 1” square and have a 1/4” white space running around, this allows an easy scan for the user. The QR code is meant to enable a user to get information quickly and easily; therefore, issues with readability can defeat the QR codes purpose.

Keep the content of your QR code to a simple website URL (targeted web page), a small line of text, a small text message, or, if used as a V Card – just your name, phone and e-mail. The more data your QR code contains, the larger more complex the code will be, and the more difficult it will be to scan, again defeating the purpose.

Remember that the information contained in the QR code should be designed for use on a mobile device.

Here is an online example of a QR code.

This QR code is designed to allow the user to easily scan the QR code directly from their computer screen, capturing the contact information on their Smartphone. This saves them from keying the information into their Smartphone. Since the website is a Responsive design website they can easily view the website on their Smartphone or tablet devices without any problems.

The possibilities of use are endless.

Product Labels: Place a QR code label onto an item you have manufactured, guiding people to a parts or consumables page making it easier for your customers to order, find specifications or even download assembly instructions.

Business Fronts: Add a QR code to your business front window directing people to your website products page, so even when you are closed people can browse and get maybe the information they are looking for.

Trade Shows: Great for exhibition stands, a QR code on display makes it easy for people at your stand or passing by to collect and store your information for a later reference.

Product Packaging: Allow space for a QR code directing customers to a product page where they can learn more about the product.

Print Marketing Campaigns: If you advertise using product sell sheets, banners, posters or magazine ads, using QR codes here is practically mandatory.  The code used here should link to a mobile-friendly webpage specifically created to match the campaign used in your print material.

Realtors: Realtors can use QR codes on property listing posters they leave in public places (code will lead to a mobile friendly version of online property listing, including pictures, address and map), on their business cards (clients will scan and contact info will automatically be added to their phone’s address book), on the property’s For Sale sign (the code would take the user directly to an online listing where they can immediately learn more about the property while sitting in their car).

Be realistic where you use QR codes.

I have seen incorrect QR code usage everywhere, from a “yellow” QR code on a poster which a QR reader can not read to “moving” advertisement on the back of transit bus to one that was obviously not tested before use and directed users to different website than the one intended.

QR codes are a great tool for business if well thought out and used properly.  If you want more information about how to make QR codes work for your business do not hesitate to contact me. START Communications works with its clients to create QR codes, select appropriate information for their QR codes and apply the codes to existing or new sales and marketing material.

Eric Beal is a professional graphic designer (CGD) and owner of START Communications who provides design services to local and national clients.

© 2014 START Communications