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From Rock Bottom with Louisa Wheeler – Ilona Design Owner

Radio Interview with Ilona Design owner Louisa Wheeler. The subject of conversation is part two of our series of new year new YOU. Or new business action that improves businesses.

What we got was a fascinating story of personal change that led to Louisa starting her business and change her life. Louisa has also provided 6 top graphic design tips.

Based in Banbury Oxfordshire – Louisa is a freelance marketing designer with a deep love for interiors, literature, comedy and chocolate. She combines her specialist graphic design talent with her marketing knowledge to help small to medium businesses go from mediocre to magnificent. Her words.

Ilona Design specialise in a unique blend of Marketing, Branding, Graphic Design and Copy Writing & Editing. Helping small to medium businesses get their brand in front of the right audience and communicate the right message for the least possible expenditure.

The interview was broadcast on Radio Horton 4th December 2014

The podcasts are further down the page. As are the 6 top tips.

Asking the all important searching questions is regular guest presenter, people skills expert, and published author Julie Cooper,

Show host is Ian Gentles


Life is too short to spend one single day in unhappiness


6 Top Tips for Graphic Design

From Ilona Design

1. Don’t Do It Yourself

  • Unless you are really very creative & confident in your own talent, it’s best to hire a professional
  • They do it all day long so they will know the best practises and how to use the design software, meaning they’ll be quicker than you.
  • It is also good to get an outsider’s perspective on your business. They will likely come up with something you never would have thought of.

2. Hire someone with business knowledge

  • You can get a very pretty design, but unless that person has some broader knowledge of running and marketing a business, it might not serve you as well as it should.
  • Look on their website for what else they offer. Do they provide a broad range of services? Do they offer SEO?

3. Provide a Design Brief

  • Don’t be tempted to say “I’ll know it when I see it”. You will get much better results if you think about what you like and dislike.
  • Design brief guidelines can usually be provided by the designer and will cover things like your company history, your target market, your competitors, goals etc., which ties in neatly with…

4. Know your target audience

  • Your designer will want to provide work that appeals to both you AND your target audience, so the more specific you can be about this the better.
  • This is where many people struggle and often aren’t specific enough for fear of excluding people who they don’t include.
  • It won’t mean you exclude these people, it just means you’ll be more likely to target your PERFECT customer.
  • I usually take along a series of questions to my client meeting and we go through it together. It is as specific as what clothes they wear, what they read, what keeps them up at night.

5. Know exactly what you’re getting for your money

  • When designers provide you with a quote, they should usually specify:
  • How many concepts you will get to choose from
  • What your final files will be suitable for (ie. print, digital use or both)
  • How many changes can be made within the price
  • Roughly how long the process should take
  • Time frames are dependent on communication times and the number of changes requested, so I usually over estimate just to be on the safe side.

6. Hire Someone You Can Work Well With

  • Design is a two-way process
  • Hire someone you like, someone you can communicate easily with, and someone who provide excellent customer service and you will have a much more enjoyable process.
  • I use a friendly yet professional communication style in my emails. If my client communicates the same way it usually signals that we are going to work well together.


The podcasts

In this 2:12 second snippet we hear the personal change Louisa made that changed her life. It started from rock bottom.

Play the podcast


You can hear the full interview right here

Play the podcast


Louisa Wheeler Biography 

Louisa grew up in Somerset and went to university in Plymouth, after which she got a job in London. After burning out in London she took 5 months out to travel and realised she needed to follow a creative career path. Louisa got a Marketing Design job but when they cut her hours she started Ilona Design and took on her own clients. Since then Louisa have been nominated for a business award and feels incredibly lucky to wake up each day and do something she loves whilst helping some marvellous businesses.

Ilona Design Website



This show online presence is being supported by Knowing Your Business partner OxCopy

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This week the Knowing Your Business show was presented by Ian Gentles and guest presenter Julie Cooper.


Ian Gentles

Digital Marketing Specialist based in Banbury Oxfordshire, The founder and Digital Marketing Manager of Knowing Your Business (the business radio show that is a rather useful marketing vehicle with podcasts)

Helps Business towards – increasing their (on and off line) sales and boosting their business reputation. Deals in the aspect of digital communication strategy concerned with understanding market opportunities, cultivating markets and customers, and generating awareness and demand for product and services.

Often known as somebody who spends at lot of time in online social spaces who also has a deep interest in the spaces where technology, culture and big ideas overlap.

Want to contact or connect with Ian Gentles? Click the links below…


Julie Cooper (Adv DipEVG, Cert ACE, BPS:RQTU)

A trainer, coach and author specialising in one to one skills.

Julie is an innovative professional with expertise in, and enthusiasm for, lifelong learning and personal development issues. She has a special interest in helping others develop one to one skills.

Her areas of expertise include assessment, employee development, education and training, guidance and interview techniques. 20 years consultancy experience has been gained through working within a broad range of public and private sector companies.In addition to offering lively training and focused coaching,

Julie is available to speak at your conference or event. Contact Julie at Spring Development

Want to contact or connect with Julie? Click the links below…



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The Knowing Your Business live radio broadcasts is about facts and balance. It’s about telling an engaging story, and the goal is to educate rather than the push advertising model that has been broken for years. This way, listeners are informed, and they become engaged with YOUR business, its mission, its values, its vulnerabilities, and its passion.



Knowing Your Business Show time is every Thursday at 10 am until 12 pm on Radio Horton.

If you have any questions for Louisa, or would just like to leave a comment, please do.

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19th November Show

This week we discuss all type of business subjects

Don’t miss this stunning line-up of guests

  • To be confirmed