Tom French, President and CEO, Rhonda Neal, Vice-President
Identity America, Inc.
Bluefield, Virginia, USA
CorelDRAW Graphics Suite
When Tom French and Rhonda Neal founded Identity America more than 14 years ago, they had a seemingly simple strategy — to help their clients look great. Armed with extensive collective experience in the signage industry, they chose a familiar tool to help them implement that strategy. “Right from the start,” explains French, ”CorelDRAW was perfect for us.”
“We wanted to create colorful presentations to share concepts with clients, but we also needed software that allowed us to retain the technical appearance of our initial drawings, with architectural dimensions and specifications,” he says.
They researched other software products, but found that none offered them the ease of use, file format flexibility, and technical capabilities of CorelDRAW.
“It allowed us to hit the ground running,” adds Neal, “because it’s so user-friendly. And immediately, our clients took notice.
A spirit of cooperation
Identity America’s slogan is that they’re “a company you can identify with,” and they approach every project with passion and enthusiam. They know that success is measured by their client’s success and satisfaction. Their comfort with CorelDRAW lets them pour their creative energies into building an identity that makes their clients feel proud.
“Between our imaginations and CorelDRAW, we have successfully created many identities,” explains Neal, “and the software makes us better than we could be otherwise. It’s our lifeblood for design.”
“We use CorelDRAW every day,” adds French, “and it does exactly what we need. We can take the mechanical cut files from the design phase and use them every step of the way.”
At Identity America, a typical signage project goes through four phases. The first is the initial concept, getting to know the client, and developing the look. Phase two involves conforming that look into a sign program, creating schematic drawings with dimensions and real-world specifications. For phase three, they’re putting those conceptual files into production. And phase four is the manufacturing process, which could also involve implementing the design into other materials and collateral.
A happy client is a repeat client
One of the first projects Identity America tackled was designing a sign for a single branch of MCNB Banks in Princeton, West Virginia. “They were instantly impressed with our presentation materials,” explains Neal. “They said: we haven’t seen this level of quality from other bidders. And to this day, we routinely receive that type of comment from potential clients.”
The decision-makers at MCNB Banks were so delighted with that initial presentation, and its eventual implementation, that they praised Identity America for showing them “not just who we are, but who we can be.” And since that day, the relationship has blossomed into many projects, with Identity America outfitting all of MCNB’s regional banks with new sign programs.
From schematics to professional design
In addition to the new building signage for MCNB’s banks, Identity America has also served their client with professional designs for their corporate letterhead, brochures, business cards, banking and credit cards, envelopes, and portfolios. They used CorelDRAW for the entire process, and are particularly appreciative of its ability to export designs in multiple formats.
“Ultimately, we’re helping our clients look wonderful through the use of CorelDRAW,” explains Neal. “We want them to be proud of their image and identification.”
Recently, Identity America even designed the bank’s mobile banking apps, creating pages for both the iPhone and Android. A testimonial to Identity America’s capabilities and commitment to excellence is offered by the Senior Executive Vice President of MCNB Banks, Randall Hatfield.
“If you would like to do business with an innovative company that can communicate and take your ideas and turn them into reality, Identity America would be the company to contact. Tom French and Rhonda Neal have always been available and produced superior products. I personally think the signage and other graphic artwork has been outstanding and the results can be seen in the final products,” says Mr. Hatfield.
After more than 14 years pleasing their clients, Identity America is extremely satisfied with how much CorelDRAW helps them to accomplish. While it’s the clients that are their chief concern, they also take pride in some of the rave reviews and eventual work that they get from unexpected places.
“It’s such a testament to CorelDRAW,” explains French, “when we send diagrams out to our sub-contractors, architects wind up hiring us to do design work for them. They are so impressed by the clean cut look of our technical drawings, and I think that says it all.”