Marketing & Promotions

Classy Graphics: NAILS 1998 Graphics Design Contest

As more and more salon owners and nail technicians realize the importance of total image, they are graduating from home-made graphics to professional .marketing materials.

Entries for the NAILS 1998 Graphics Contest far surpassed our expectations this year. A record number of submissions flooded our office from all corners of the globe. The team at NAILS was pleased to see more nail technicians and salon owners getting serious about the business of nails.

After reviewing all of the submissions, it was apparent that more and more owners and technicians are focusing on how their marketing materials reflect the total image of their salon. Developing a strong image means that careful attention must be paid to details such as typeface, color, paper stock and skilful writing. Because of this, we cheated a new category, best design carry-through. The original three categories — Best Business Card, Direct Mail Piece/Print Ad, and Salon Handout — stand on their own for exceptional creativity and quality, while the new category is based on a minimum of three pieces, one from each of the other categories.

First place winners receive $ 100 and a frameable certificate, runners-up receive a certificate. Congratulations to them, and to all the contestants who shared a little piece of their salon with NAILS.

Best Business Card


Pat Anderson’s business card from Happy Feet Inc. Nail Salon caught the judges’ fancy and attention. A unique design and bold graphics make it utterly memorable, and the use of the flip side keeps the front clean and easy to read. This die-cut card tells you all you need to know-salon and nail technician, name, address, location, telephone, services, and sales items.


Claws’ use of a color illustration creates a bold image that sets their card apart from the rest The distinctive font used for the salon name has been carefully chosen and perfectly complements the salon’s image.


Becky Moore at Just Nails makes a statement with her business card. A simple design in a unique shape tells you what you need to know. The silhouetted hand and foot together with the elegant choice of font makes this simple and smart.

Best Direct Mail Print Ad


A combination of color scheme, design, and paper selection makes this entry from Tips Nail Suite a winner. The postcard gives you lots of information, yet it is easy to read. The use of only two fonts (not including the logo) keeps the text uncomplicated, and a good layout makes it appealing to the eye. Owners Paula Gilmore and Stephanie Bricker spared no expense on paper; choosing a high-quality stock that hints “save this.”


This postcard from Wild Ivy Day Spa is a treasure. A bold graphic design and extra-large type draw a beautiful image to the eye. Using creativity and continuity; a string of ivy is continued on the flip side (not shown).The postcard is printed on 1/8 inch-thick paper (thicker than a coaster!), making it a keeper and less susceptible to mail damage.


Mailers from Just Nails keep the letter carriers busy in Erlanger, Ky. Owner Becky Moore believes in strong customer contact, and it shows. Here, her elegant, but simple thank-you note is combined w:th a coupon to promote a second visit Similar mailers are sent frequently to introduce a new service or color collection, to convey holiday greetings, or sometimes, just to say “hello.” All mailers include a money-saving offer and are hand- addressed on matching envelopes.

Best Salon Handout


Elaine Shapiro’s 16-page service menu from Elan Salon and Day Spa in Cranston, R.I., is a class act. Services and prices are not only easy to read, but explained in detail. Photos of the salon are strategically placed so that after completing the book, you feel familiar with the surroundings. Designed with a keen eye for beauty and style, the menu epitomizes elegance. The investment in this professional piece really paid off.


Ciao Bella’s tri-fold service menu is a polished masterpiece. The artwork on the cover is subtle, yet appealing, exemplifying the salon’s image. Inside, the text is easy to read, with splashes of color reserved for the headings. Owner Angelo Moulios chose Brocade Cream for the color and a French Rayon paper that is soft and thick a pleasure to hold.


The owners of Heaven and Earth Hair, Nail, and Body Salon in Plantation, Fla., started developing an image using a simple name and design. Their service menu has a professional feel and look although it was made using an ordinary laser printer on colored paper. All six sides of the tri-fold menu are used with good layout, order; and design, making this a useful tool of the trade.

Best Design Carry-Through


Claws owner Tiffany Hodge successfully carries through a continuing theme on every piece of her marketing material. She began with a clever name and built on it, creating a total image, piece by piece. Even her holiday card is a call from the wild. It’s obvious that she has dug her claws into a great campaign that has led to success in her Tampa, Fla„ salon.


Simplicity and consistency define the great graphics at Just Nails. A simple image speaks for itself: Come to this salon for beautiful hands and feet A consistent message soon becomes familiar; Come on back, you are welcome.

For more graphic ideas, visit our website at where you can view additional samples from other outstanding contestants.


Classic colors, impeccable design, and a wise choice of materials win not only applause from our judges, but new clients, as well, at Tips Nail Suite in San Mateo, Calif. Little touches like I embossed holly leaves or stars on holiday gift certificates, special Chanukah greetings, and matching folders and stickers help make sure that Tips looks good on paper no matter what.

Custom-Built Nails

To create the ideal nail, nail technicians should think like artists. Learn by watching the experts analyze the hands of four clients of different ages, colors, and hand shapes.


Each time a client sits in a hairstylist’s chair, that professional takes into consideration the client’s coloring, face shape, and lifestyle before determining how to cut, color, and shape her hair.

The same attention to detail should go into every nail service. Not only does customizing the service enhance the client’s experience, but you may also be able to develop makeover services into an added revenue producer that also distinguishes you in a crowded market.

“Nail technicians need to diagnose what the client has and prescribe what the client needs,” says LaCinda Headings, an onychology instructor at Xenon International School of Hair Design (Wichita, Kan.) and NAKA nail makeover winner in 1995.

Headings teaches nail technicians a specific formula to determine ideal nail shape, based on the cuticle line, the free edge, and the sidewalk. “If the client has a square cuticle line, a flat free edge line and straight sidewalls, then her natural extension shape should be square,” Headings explains.

An artistic understanding of lines and shape also helps a nail technician build the perfect nail. Marti Preuss, director of nail services for Houston-based Hair Spa and NAHA nail makeover winner in 1994, says that doing nails is an art, just like sewing or painting. “Everything is made up of lines and circles,” she says. “The nail technician enhances the client’s nails by slightly adjusting lines, such as sidewalls, and circles, like the nail’s arch. Doing it well is an art and we really are nail artists.”

To give you an idea of the detail that goes into nail customizing and design, both Headings and Preuss examined a couple clients’ hands and made style, shape, and length recommendations. They took into account client age, lifestyle, and nail problems, in addition to their natural nail shape.

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