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Thoughts on design, branding, and creativity:
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Brand First! Then Power Up with Visual Content

Brand First! Then Power Up with Visual Content

To take full advantage of the visual revolution when marketing your business or product, it’s important to have a visual content strategy — and that starts with your brand strategy.

Producing and sharing visual content itself won’t do it. The difference is the same as someone who throws a ball around every once in a while vs. someone who is focused, trains hard, and competes with a clear goal in mind. That wins championships. If you want your business to win its own “championship,” you need a strategy. Strategies take work, for sure, but they give your work meaning and ensure that the effort pays off by moving your business in the right direction.

Focus like a laser

It all starts with having a clear vision of who you are and what you’re trying to accomplish, because you can’t get where you want to go without that. Furthermore, your brand identity is more than just sticking a logo on an image and calling it a day. Instead, it means creating a  well-designed, comprehensive visual presence that is also... Read More

Is VCO the New SEO?

Is VCO the New SEO?

It’s no secret that visuals are exploding. They’ve always made an indelible impression, and now the online world is finally catching up. From advertising to movies and culture in general, nothing quite touches us like the power of the visual. It also happens to be in our DNA. We’ve always been a visually oriented society but for many reasons, the web has lagged behind. That is changing, and it’s changing in a big way.

How wonderful is it that, as the web continues to grow up, we are increasingly being smacked in the face with the immediateness of big, luscious photography, illustration and video! Mobile has only served to hasten this progress, as nothing communicates quite so clearly in a tiny space as well-chosen visuals. Words don’t stand a chance against the power of the visual in that space. Visuals grab our attention at the smallest of sizes — perfect for our mobile world — and say in one shot what many words would struggle to say half... Read More

Good Design Is Never As Easy As 1-2-3

Good Design Is Never As Easy As 1-2-3

We like rules. Rules bring order to our world. Rules give a prescribed list of steps for what needs to be done and how to do it. We like to think that if we simply follow a set of “x” rules then we will be rewarded with “y” results. No muss, no fuss.

We like tools. Tools help us do stuff. Tools provide the means to execute and build something — they are also highly learnable. We think that with a little practice, we will soon be able to produce the same things that others produce with the same tools. Practice makes perfect.

A lot of the world works this way. We follow a recipe and with the right ingredients, the result is a delicious rib roast. We follow a schedule of required courses and with the right amount of credits we earn a degree. We follow the instructions from IKEA and once we match them up with all the pieces, we soon have a nice new set of bookshelves (albeit, a missing screw or two).

Art is... Read More

It’s a Brand New, Brand YOU, Visual World

It’s a Brand New, Brand YOU, Visual World

It’s a visual world and images touch us in a direct, visceral way unlike text can alone. They make us happy, they make us laugh, they make us inspired — they can also make us deeply sad — all in just a fleeting glance.

Recent neurological studies prove through brain imaging how we respond to visuals unlike any other media: we pay attention to them, we believe them, and we remember them. Powerful stuff!

Now, take a look at today’s media landscape and the busy, distracted, hyperactive world we find ourselves in. What are the three things you — as a company, businessperson, or job seeker — need to do most? Get noticed, communicate your value and make a positive impression that is remembered, right? Visuals to the rescue. And they show up great on our smartphones too, where so many of us now spend our time.

The power of the visual

A strong visual presence that clearly demonstrates who you are and what you want puts you head and shoulders above the rest — you... Read More

Design is Not About You or Me, It’s About Them

Design is Not About You or Me, It’s About Them

Design is more than a client’s personal likes and dislikes. It is more than your favorite color or how you just painted your new kitchen. Design is also more than something that goes in a designer’s portfolio.

These scenarios are all too common, and all too wrong. Design should always be about the end-user: your customers, your market, your audience.

So a certain degree of objectivity is necessary if one is to utilize and practice design successfully. Throughout all the design disciplines: marketing, branding and communications design — web design, product design, exhibit design, interior design… design serves a purpose. Yes, good design usually looks nice too, but its primary value and reason for being is to service a need:

Design makes things more easily understood, providing the value of clarity. Design gets your business noticed, providing the value of existence. Design tells your story, providing the value of comprehension. Design makes your content accessible, providing the value of relevancy. Design makes things feel and work better, providing the value of comfort and expediency. Design produces a desired response, providing value. Period.

Good design... Read More

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