Data is necessary for design decisions

Netflix redesign relies on dataAs graphic designers, we often feel like we know instinctually how to best design a website, logo, or brochure. It is true that the more practice you have in any art, the more you develop keen instincts on how to create better artwork, but it is probably a little dangerous to rely solely on instinct when designing successful client projects.

Have you noticed how often Google services change the layout of their products? Sometimes the constant changes are enough to drive you crazy, but sometimes you go to the page and think “wow, they must have heard my thoughts, this site is so much easier to use now!” Continue…

Styletiles tool to communicate with clients

One of the most difficult jobs of a web designer is to accurately communicate with clients. Some clients have a very good idea of what they want their website to look and feel like, but have difficulty communicating their vision. Then there are clients that hand all the creative decisions over to the designer, but then can’t figure out what they don’t like about the mock-ups of the proposed design. Either way, as web designers, we need to come up with quick, easy ways to get our ideas down in a way that visually communicates the website design to a client in a clear way.

Style tiles are a way to create style guides for a website prior to building it.

Style tiles are a way to create style guides for a website prior to building it.

 

There are many tools out there for this purpose, but lately, I’ve been interested in the process of using style guide, especially on team-based projects. One tool that serves this purpose is Styletil.es.”A Style Tile is a design deliverable consisting of fonts, colors and interface elements that communicates the evolution of a visual brand for the web.”  Continue…

Encouraging professional social media use

Professional social media is important to your personal branding

Professional social media is important to your personal branding. Image source: http://www.fusionspark.com/socialmedia-smallbiz/

How we use social media use is a target of criticism by so many people around us. Your mom may critique that weekend party picture you posted for your friends on Facebook. Your advisor may comment on how little you update your LinkedIn account and how important your professional social media persona is to getting your dream job. In many offices, the rules regarding our personal use of social media can feel invasive and overwhelming. Before the days of social media our lives weren’t well… quite so broadly public and therefore only fodder for criticism by the town gossips rather than everyone you know.

From a business or educator’s stand point, I do believe that we need to help guide and encourage professional social media use by employees and students. How a student chooses to use social media now can very likely effect their opportunities to interview at their top pick company in a few years closer to graduation. In fact, the argument could be made that your professional social media use is directly tied to your personal marketing and branding. Continue…

Guerilla marketing gets attention

Guerilla marketing need not be expensive, just incredibly creative

Guerilla marketing need not be expensive, just incredibly creative

We all have heard the story from a friend or family member trying to market their new start-up company- Advertising is too expensive, I can’t get in front of my audience. Well this article challenges that thought process by saying if we think outside the box and come up with something unique, it need not be expensive to be effective at reaching your market. Some may consider these examples gimmicky, but I say that the mere fact that people photograph the advertisements and post them online means that they are effective at grabbing attention.

From the article:

If you don’t know what Guerilla Marketing is, it is a term coined by Jay Conrad Levinson from his 1984 book, “Guerilla Marketing.”  According to good ‘ol Wikipedia, Guerilla Marketing is the following:

“An advertising strategy in which low-cost unconventional means (graffiti, sticker bombing, flash mobs) are utilized, often in a localized fashion or large network of individual cells, to convey or promote a product or an idea.” Continue…

Creative video ad

The accessibility and cost (FREE!) of posting to YouTube has spawned both the worst and the best as far as video ad are concerned. In some cases, such as the Dollar Shave Club, this has enabled small startup companies to launch onto the national business scene and garner success that traditionally would cost small businesses hundreds of thousands of dollars. In other cases this means that we have seen some really terrible sales pitch videos made with little thought towards their audience’s expectations. I think the following video is an outstanding example of a creative approach to introducing a product to the market in a way that attracts customers and gets them intrigued to purchase. Take a peek for yourself and let me know what you think of Hadfield’s promotional video.

Commander Hadfield’s son made a lovely video ad for his dad’s book… It is awesome!

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Reshared post from +Ken Kaminesky

QR code examples that are definitely not boring

Inspiration lacking in your QR code usage and design? There are some amazing examples on this link about how people are using QR codes to create visually interesting, interactive encounters with their customers. In some cases the uses become more art than function, but maybe that isn’t true since they do still provide functionality. Either way, they are way, way more interesting to look at and therefore more likely to attract my attention if I see them on a product or around town.

Boring QR codes be gone!

Boring QR codes be gone!

Continue…

How to take Apple’s iconic photos

Ever wonder who takes those iconic photos of Apple products? Curious how it is done? Check out this interview with Peter Belanger. Be sure to watch the stop action video further down the page.

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The illusion of simplicity: photographer Peter Belanger on shooting for Apple
You’ve almost certainly never heard of Peter Belanger, but you’ve definitely seen his photographs. In fact, you may even see his work every day, and it’s likely that you own some of his most…

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