As the nail industry grows, so. too, do the talents of nail professionals Part of being a great nail technician is being a good businessperson, and NAILS thinks these efforts deserve recognition and reward To that end, we held our third annual graphics competition in four categories: Business Card, Direct Mail Piece, Salon Handout, and Print Advertisement One salon won an honorary mention for submitting outstanding coordinating entries in all categories.

Artistic and practical considerations must be taken into account in designing nail salon business materials. There were dozens of artistically designed, yet get-the-job-done promotional materials that made choosing the winners difficult.

Graphic designers and editors at NAILS judged the entries on visual appeal, clarity of message, innovation, and usefulness. There were a total of 147 entries. First-place winners in each category received $100 and a framed certificate.


Although The Nail Works (Racine, Wis.) did not win in any of the categories, we felt that it deserved an honorary mention for consistency of design The salon’s logo and type treatment visually convey a consistent identity throughout the business materials, which include business cards, gift certificates, brochures, price lists, and special offers

Runner-up: Sharon Brown used simplicity the way it’s supposed to be used: with elegance. Gold lettering on white glossy paper and a blind-embossed design give an “uptown” feel to her Downtown Nail Gallery business card (Dallas, Texas).

Winner: Fancy Liu’s Fancy Nails by Nail Culture Salon business card hails all the way from Hong Kong. This professional card boasts excellent layout and graphics. The card seems to say, “Here is an elegant salon that you leave with great- looking nails.” The thick paper stock feels substantial, while its salmon colour adds to the card’s overall appeal. (On the back, the salon’s name and location is printed in Chinese.)

Runner-up: Marcy Kearns’ Marcy’s Complete Nail Care (By field, Mass.) business card was the prettiest card of all. This type of card can be made inexpensively, since it contains just three colours in a dot pattern. We wish that the card had included the address, which Kearns could have placed on the blank fourth side of the card.

Runner-up: En Avant’s salon handout features an image of the salon on the cover and the company motto on the back, both of which give the salon credibility and a professional image. Prices and descriptions for all the services are easy to read and are separated by large subheads. Important information, such as hours and the address and telephone number, is easy to find. Splashes of pink liven up the brochure without adding much to the cost of producing it.

Winner Beth Renkes of The Nail Shoppe (Erie, Pa.) entered excellent pieces in more than one category. Keep up the good work! We liked the service list the best of all the handouts because of its size and the paper it’s printed on: It’s just the right size to fit in a purse or day calendar, and the paper is heavy enough that you want to save the card. The list includes a brief description of the salon’s offerings and the prices; the technician’s name and salon address and phone number are easily found. Note that only two colours were used.

Runner-up: Gwen’s Salon (Campbell, Calif.) gives loads of information in its easy-to-read, calendar-format handout. Each day seems to have a special. The pretty colours draw the eye — it’s impossible not to call for an appointment. This type of handout can be produced very inex­pensively on a colour copier! (The address should have been included.)

Runner-up: The Nail Shoppe wins yet another mention. The salon’s professional-looking logo used in its handout is repeated in its postcard, and this gives an image of professionalism and permanence to the salon. The simple idea of a blank postcard works because it can be used for multiple purposes, such as thank-you notes, specials, appointment reminders, and more; furthermore, each card can be personalized for the recipient.

Winner: Don’t you want to open up this package to see what’s inside? We did, and that made Expressly Nails (Washington, DC) the winner in this category. Inside, a photo of the salon owners and a week’s worth of specials encourage a visit to the salon. The heavy paper can withstand even the most hectic mail day!

Runner-up: The Victorian-looking mailer from Magnificent Nails (Chicago, III.) advertises a “Special Offer” and unfolds to a delicately and romantically drawn list of services The blank coupon at the bottom can be filled in with any service, which makes for a more flexible and versatile special offer.

Winner What does a first-time client want? Assurances that your salon is sanitary, that it’s been in business a long time, that the technicians are professionally trained, and that there is convenient parking. All of these are advertised in Deborah Sims’ Nails by Deborah (Alexandria, Va.) coupon-book ad. The advertisement especially stands out because of Sims’ photograph and the caption underneath, which connotes trustworthiness and professionalism.

Runner-up: Magnificent Nails wins again for this advertisement that has six coupons too good to let go unused. Bold color and graphics of fingers at the side and fingers holding a rose in the top corner hint at a great manicure and a fine salon.

Runner-up: The Nail Shoppe gets a third mention for its newspaper ad. This big, easy-to-read ad for the salon’s grand opening features a coupon, a service list, and the technician’s name. (The coupon and “grand opening” deserve top billing in the ad instead of the salon’s logo, though.)

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