Why The Creative Quoting System Is An Anachronism.

19163463 copy 3I get calls or emails from small agencies, marketing companies and design companies pretty regularly. They talk to me for a while then send me a document and ask me for a estimate.

Then, for any one of a number of reasons, mostly having to do with money, I never hear from them again.

What’s Wrong With This Picture?

From my point of view, it could be the quoting system that most small agencies, marcoms and designcos employ.

Most of the people who solicit freelance work from creative suppliers (like me) already have, tucked away inside their heads, an idea of what their budget will allow for the work that’s required.

Admittedly, it can often be lower than I would normally charge. But, and this is a very important point, it’s a new world out there and a new economy. I know what creative organizations and their clients are going through. It’s not always pretty and it requires a great deal of flexibility on the part of people like me to help keep things affordable for people like you.

What you may not realize, and maybe it’s just because nobody has come right out and said it, is that you really don’t have to settle for something less than you wanted because you don’t have the budget to match up to some estimate that’s basically just an educated guess anyway.

How To Create A Win Win Situation.

If you want a good creative supplier (like me) to work on your stuff, you can save yourself a lot of hassle by simply letting me know what your budget will allow. Much more often than not, it won’t be a problem.

All of the solid long term relationships I have had over the years, (and there have been many) have started with a client (like you) being straight up about what they can afford for a particular job and with me being as understanding and accommodating as sanity allows.

It sure beats asking for an estimate and hoping you can afford it. And at the end of the day, everybody wins.

O&U SignatureJim Murray, Creative Director
Direct Line: 416 463-3475
Email: jim@onandup.ca
Web Site: www.onandup.ca

Finding Clients You Can Really Believe In

One of the truly rewarding things about being an independent strategic/creative person is getting to determine, to a certain extent, the direction in which you want to take your business. A few years ago I decided to shift from being exclusively a freelance supplier to design and marketing companies to finding some entrepreneurial businesses to work with.

I didn’t have many criteria in this regard, only preferences. My main preference was to work with individuals and companies who were really trying to make a positive difference in the world. I had had years of working for packaged goods companies, car companies etc who were stimulating the economy, but were very resource intensive and, in spite of all their ‘green’ efforts, still continue to be.

PEEL LOGO RGB MASTERPeel Scrap Metal Recycling – New Life For Old Metals.

My first find was a company called Peel Scrap Metal Recycling. This was a family owned boutique recycler (meaning they didn’t do big machinery, cars, trucks or boats.)

What impressed me most about them was their commitment to educating the public and the trades and manufacturing companies they dealt with about the positive environmental and economic impact that the recycling, (and subsequent re-use), of scrap metal creates. I found this not only inspirational, but also very interesting, since the general perception of scrap metal recycling was one of cigar smoking dudes, in dirty white sleeveless undershirts squashing cars…not a very pretty picture.

Peel Scrap Metal was quite the opposite. The principals all have business degrees and deep expertise in the worldwide commodities markets. Their computer system monitors commodities prices daily in order to set rates. This is a very complex business and, other than the scrap metal itself, nothing like the general perception. I was privileged to be able to start virtually from scratch and build a brand for them, which has turned out to be quite good for their business.

Here’s the link to the case summary if you are interested in finding out more:

The FuelAid Optimizer. Reducing Fuel Costs and Shrinking Carbon Footprints.FA LOG AND SIGMy next find was a company called FuelAid Systems. The product they market is called the FuelAid Optimizer. It was created and manufactured in the US, but the company, had the rights to distribute and market it in Canada, parts of the US and other markets.

The Optimizer is an ingenious product that is composed of powerful monopole magnets which attach to the fuel lines and exhaust lines in virtually any internal combustion engine. The magnets work to separate fuel molecule clusters as they move through the fuel line, resulting in dramatically cleaner burning fuel and reduced emissions. In a number of formal tests conducted on large diesel rigs this technology was able to increase fuel mileage by 25 to 35% and reduces emissions by 80 to 90%.

We are currently in the startup phase of branding this product and direct our marketing efforts to the trucking and transportation industry, which are the largest polluters on the road and the companies who will benefit the most from incorporating this revolutionary technology into their businesses.

Here is the link to the FuelAid case summary. http://tinyurl.com/bcpu7e8

PCMDR Technologies – Making A Real Difference For Diabetics, PCMDR LOGO
And Ultimately, The Medical Profession.

My third find is a company called PCMDR. This is a company that is currently composed of two software developers and a project manager, my friend and associate Barb Munshaw. The project started as a registry site for diabetics and still is very much about that. But as the software application progressed, in the hands of these two brilliant developers, its functionality soon grew into something quite advanced in the medical technologies field.

The capabilities of the software application has attracted serious attention in the public and private sectors, and once the testing is completed we will begin the process of branding both the diabetes registry and this advanced technology. I’m very excited about this project and so are a number of other people who have invested a great deal of time and expertise in help the developers, Lary Yenta and Phil Gouin, turn their dream into a reality.

In keeping with my main preference, this application will make a huge difference in the way medical technology, especially in the mobile area, functions will expands the medical profession’s ability to help people where perhaps they could not before.


In all three cases I have assembled of been part of groups of associates of various sizes to work with me on these projects. I’m very proud of this network. Every person in it is both super talented and a real human being. The network I have at my disposal includes project mangers, business planners, designers, web site programmers and marketing people and everybody in between. All experts in their fields and all, like the clients they serve, genuinely entrepreneurial.

I’ve been very fortunate over the past few years to have hooked up with some really good companies who are trying to make the world a better place to be. But there is always, as they say, room for more. If you know a company that’s working to make a difference and needs a little help to tell the world about it, let me know.

O&U SignatureJim Murray, Creative Director
Direct Line: 416 463-3475
Email: jim@onandup.ca
Web Site: www.onandup.ca

Onwords & Upwords Online Portfolio Part 2 – Logo Designs & Positioning Lines

What you see here is a random sampling of logo designs I have created over the past few years.

Part of being able to offer cost effective communications solutions means being able to write strategic focus documents, create and produce whatever is necessary where budgets are restricted, and work with the best people available when that is an affordable option. It isn’t always about being a jack of all trades, but if you want to help small businesses in an effective and efficient way, having a range of strategic and creative skills and experience doesn’t hurt.


O&U Signature

Jim Murray, Creative Director
Direct Line: 416 463-3475
Email: jim@onandup.ca
Web Site: www.onandup.ca


Onwords & Upwords Online Portfolio Part 1 – Print Work

What you see here is a sampling of the work I do for my clients.  It is currently divided into 5 basic areas: Some of it is speculative but the majority is work that was published and helped my clients build their business.


This presentation is designed to give you a picture of my thinking. If you’d like readable samples, I’ll be happy to send you a selection of work in any area that is of interest to you. Just email me at jim@onandup.ca. Or contact me by phone at (416) 463-3475. Thanks for taking a peek.





O&U Signature Jim Murray, Creative Director
Direct Line: 416 463-3475
Email: jim@onandup.ca
Web Site: www.onandup.ca