For many years, independent business owners had to spend time learning how to use design tools such as Photoshop if they wanted to create their own business card or letterhead. With modern mobile technology however, cool people like Ellen Johnston have made it much easier to create a design for a small business that is truly someone’s own. Johnston founded a company called Makr that creates an iPad app, which provides small business owners with a simple design suite that lets them customize their own paper materials such as business cards, labels, letterhead or anything else. Johnston works to ensure that the Makr design tools on the iPad app strike a good balance between being simple to use and capable of total customization. She wants independent crafters and business owners to have no problem creating designs they can claim for themselves regardless of technical knowledge needed for programs like Photoshop. According to Johnston, no one should ever have to call iPad tech support just to navigate the Makr app and start designing.
Many independent businesspeople use websites like Vistaprint to create business cards, but these sites often use template designs. Many different people order these generic designs and end up giving bad impressions to others with less than professional business cards and labels. Johnston wants to help companies create their own visual identity easily through Makr. Customers can create their own designs from scratch for free and then order prints through the app if they so wish.
Currently, Johnston’s app is only available for iPad and there is no Android or Windows version of the application in development at this time. That means anyone who tries the app but has difficulty downloading it can speak to Apple support for help.
Ellen Johnston is also CEO and co-founder of Happy, the parent company of Makr. As co-founder of Happy, Johnston runs the Makr app and brand within the company. Before founding Happy and Makr, Johnston spent much of her career in art and design. She worked as a senior designer at design firm MSLK for four years before becoming a freelance designer. She founded Happy in 2012 before creating the Makr brand in 2013. Johnston’s experience in art and design will give her keen insight into creating tools that help everyday people create custom designs that will appeal to others.
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