Tag: graphic design

by RCG Chief Executive Officer Joel Rubin

When we read the January 4th issue of Inside Business, we saw the previous year pass before our eyes.

Of the magazine’s 15 top stories of 2015, we were involved in one way or another with seven.

(Inside Business lists each story one at a time on its website.)

#1 — Virginia Beach’s adoption of a series of agreements to allow construction of an 18,000-seat capacity arena near the Oceanfront. On behalf of developer ESG, we were involved practically from day one providing a host of services including: (more…)

At RCG, we pride ourselves on working well with others. It doesn’t matter if you’re a large corporation, nonprofit or small start-up in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake or throughout Hampton Roads. Once you’re a client, you have our attention.

Sometimes clients come to us and have never worked with a professional public relations agency. Or done any organized marketing. At all. These clients find us to be excellent teachers.


You called, emailed and asked us at events: is the “Lunch & Learn” series coming back?

You bet!


Jessica Bensten, Creative Director

Tell us about your personal life.
I’ve been married almost ten years to my husband, Everett, who is a lawyer in the Hampton City Attorney’s office. We have two kids, Jackson (7) and Abby (3), who keep me very busy! Both sides of our family live on the Peninsula so we are blessed with an amazing support system. That’s actually how my husband and I met – our grandparents lived across the street from each other for 50 years!

Jessica's staff photo from 2005.

Jessica’s staff photo from 2005.

How long have you been at RCG?
My ten-year anniversary is coming up in October. I came to RCG as a newlywed after my first post-college job and started as an account manager. I had also studied graphics as well as journalism and PR while at JMU, so I slowly started handling a few design projects here or there when I wasn’t doing media relations. My job eventually evolved into creative director.

What do you love about creative services?
I love the process. There’s something so fulfilling about taking a client’s communication need and coming up with a creative solution from concept to design and execution. We work with some pretty spectacular Hampton Roads businesses and nonprofits so it makes me proud to see our hard work turn into a successful website, ad, brochure, annual report or billboard.

What’s a memorable project that sticks out to you? And why does it stand out?
That’s a really hard question. How do you narrow down ten years of work? If I had to choose something a little more recent, I’d probably say the 20-page magazine insert I designed last year for the Virginia Dental Association Foundation’s MOM project. It was the organization’s 15th anniversary and we worked hard to come up with a way to highlight the past, present and future of the organization. Over the years, the foundation have donated millions of dollars of free dental care to Virginians and I wanted to do that gift justice. I really think we did — we got multiple compliments on the finished product!

How has creatives services changed since you began at RCG? What has stayed the same?
When I first began at RCG, I did mostly public and media relations, which means we outsourced the majority of our graphic design work. Digital printing was just gaining ground in our region, so we used mainly offset printers. If someone needed artwork that was too large to email, we burned a CD. Even our video equipment wasn’t digital! (This is starting to make me sound old)

What hasn’t changed? The quality of our work and the attention to detail. We work faster by having a designer right here in the office, plus turnaround times at the printer are quicker than they used to be.

What’s the best piece of advice you give people about design as it relates to marketing?
An open line of communication is key to good design. It is difficult to sit down with a client and gain an accurate assessment of their design needs if all they tell me is to “just make it pretty.” My best advice is to have samples of design work you like, have colors in mind and finish your copy writing before you start on a project. And, know who your audience is…we can take it from there.

What do you do outside of work?
I’m very active at CHKD because both of my kids were treated there. Jackson was diagnosed at one with a childhood cancer called Neuroblastoma, and will be in remission for five years at the end of this month! That is so hard to believe. Abby was born prematurely and spent four months in the NICU. Naturally, I want to give back. This is my third year serving on the NICU Family Advisory Council and I am also on the inaugural hospital-wide Advisory Council formed this year.

In addition to my volunteer work, I started a blog called “Mothering Miracles” last July to be a resource for other families going through health issues. I honestly thought it would just be my mom and dad reading it, but my articles have been published on the Huffington Post over a dozen times, as well as other major online news sites. Some of my favorites are 10 Reasons Preemies Are Rockstars, 20 Things a Cancer Mom Knows By Heart and Never Second Guess a Second Opinion.

What’s it been like to work with Joel for all these years? And you’re STILL sane?
I have no idea how I haven’t been institutionalized by now! All kidding aside, Joel and Sara Jo have been wonderful employers, and our team works really well together. The Rubins foster a creative, collaborative environment and these ten years have gone by in a flash.

As they say: time flies when you’re having fun.

By: Jessica Bensten

Here’s a humorous look at graphic design, and why your business should be using a professional for marketing and public relations materials.

  1. Just because Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Publisher allow you to design, doesn’t mean you should. Put the textbox down.
  2. Professional designers can help you avoid pitfalls with a printer. Ever had the most beautiful royal blue artwork come back as a purple brochure? We know what to do.
  3. Give your ideas to a designer, and they can morph into something even better than you imagined.
  4. The shelf life of a good piece makes the investment worth it.
  5. People can tell the difference. Get a nice brochure in the mail? You’ll stop and look at it. Drive by a catchy billboard? You’ll chuckle and remember. And when your professional, polished ad sits beside an amateur one in the newspaper, people take notice.
  6. Sometimes it’s hard to tell the resolution of a photo until it’s too late. That’s not the case when you work with professionals – they know what 300 dpi looks like.
  7. You’ll be proud of the artwork. Instead of making excuses when you lay down the business card printed at home and apologizing that you don’t have “real cards” done yet…you’ll get compliments.
  8. When a charity asks you to forward a vector version of your logo to put on a banner or a high res PDF of the most recent ad…you’ll actually have all those things!
  9. When it comes to business, most people judge the book by its cover. Make sure people judge your marketing (i.e. website, brochure, logo, ads, etc.) in favorable light.
  10. We’ve been doing graphic design a long time. Just trust us.

For more information on how to get started with our professional creative team, call us at 456-5212 or RCG Creative Services Director Jessica Bensten at jessica@rubincommunications.com.

We love when clients come to us with a great idea of their own. The client this time? Beth Sholom Village.

RCG is no stranger to Beth Sholom. We’ve helped with miscellaneous marketing and public relations projects as well as designed materials for BSV for years. In fact, the entire Rubin family has longstanding ties with the facility and residents; Joel is a past president and both he and Danny lead religious services regularly.


As a full-service public relations firm, we can plan your news conference, send a press release or pitch story ideas. But we’re often in a meeting and clients don’t realize we can do so much more!