• Go Mobile or Go Home in 2018

    On: November 29, 2017
    In: Design, Education
    Views: 581
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    Marketers need to make sure that mobile is part of their marketing plan next year. Mobile is becoming increasingly more niche-orientated and delivering at high speeds that reflect on the growth of consumers who now use their cell phones more than their personal computers or tablets.

    Here are some trends you need to know:

    1. Google announced last year that they would be indexing websites based on their mobile sites, not their desktop sites. Therefore, if you want to rank highly, make sure your website is responsive and the buttons work for touch screens.
    2. Make sure you have personalized online content that includes a welcome message to a new customer, a welcome back message to a prior customer and offer special deals for return customers.
    3. Optimize your site for fast speed. If your web pages are taking more than 3 seconds to load on mobile, the bounce rate rises to 53%. Check your site’s speed at Think With Google.
    4. Location-targeted ads are key to your mobile marketing success. Local searches are becoming 50% higher than general mobile searches. Pinpointing consumers while they are near your location can influence their buying decision.

    Mobile usage has increased from 3 to almost 6 hours over the last couple of years. It is predicted that by 2018, more that ½ of all consumers will be using their mobile devices first for anything that requires them to be online. So get your marketing plan ready!

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  • Myth #2: It Should Only Take A Couple Of Hours To Design A Logo Or A Website

    On: August 24, 2016
    In: Branding, Design, Uncategorized
    Views: 340
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    It’s easy to look at a logo or a brochure layout that appears to be very simple and conclude that did not take much time to design. That conclusion is very far from reality. Graphic designers follow a methodical design process, and every step of that process requires time to complete.

    Designers need to research, ask questions, formulate a creative brief that guides them to developing a solid final design. After the brief is established, a bulk of our time goes into creating ideas and concepts. Depending on the number of rounds of revisions, the refinement phase may require additional time. Stronger concepts are refined until the final design is approved. The design process applies to everything from logos to web sites and requires several weeks to several months depending on the scope of the project.

    Other aspects of design can be time-intensive. A layout of a document like a brochure, a newsletter or a magazine spread is more than copying and pasting text from a Word document. There needs to be time allowed for typesetting to optimize readability, for formatting to create consistent appearance, and for proofreading so that the message isn’t compromised by errors.

    Achieving an effective design solution cannot be rushed. Hastening projects along also leaves room for errors to occur which is a waste of time and money for the client and the designer. Remember, the wise words of Benjamin Franklin, “Take time for all things: great haste makes great waste.”

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  • Debunking the Graphic Design Myths

    On: July 20, 2016
    In: Art, Design, Uncategorized
    Views: 341
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    Myth #1: Graphic Design Is Completely Done On Computers
    It is true that today’s designers perform their work on computers; however, even the most seasoned designers begin the process with pencil and paper. Many clients don’t realize this because sketches aren’t usually what is presented in the online portfolios. The final outcome tends to be what is seen or featured and not the process that leads to it.

    After researching for the project, designers will often sketch a lot on paper which can be the most efficient way to brainstorm as many ideas as possible. The goal is to put all your creative ideas on the paper because it is better to have more ideas to chose from than a handful. Sketching is what opens us up to a greater number of possibilities to explore and to develop further. Ultimately, the process results in a great design solution that is aesthetically pleasing and meets the criteria set forth in the creative brief.

    Some projects require the building of physical mock-ups or prototypes. This is true for product designers, packaging designers and print designers. Sometimes, these mock-ups are built to give clients a sense of size or function before moving forward with the design. Other times, physical mock-ups help a designer grasp the dimensions of the object and allows for modifications to be made for a better finish.

    We build mock-ups from paper to help us ensure that the die-cuts for a certain package make sense and will be cut, scored and folded properly. This can also apply to mock-ups for other things we design like folders, direct mail pieces and a variety of other printed media.

    Yes, we do use computers to create our designs, but computers are not the only tool in our arsenal.

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  • Why Design is Necessary for Marketing

    On: June 8, 2016
    In: Art, Design, Marketing, Uncategorized
    Views: 318
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    Design is a broad term and has many definitions; however there is a science to it. There are psychologies and strategic principles that designers use to ensure an engaging experience for the intended audience. The designer must know what the audience wants to see and how the product or service will sell to them. Designers use visual storytelling to market a product or service to an audience which is increasingly using social media and mobile browsing. This recent wave of social media and mobile browsing use is forcing companies to up their content marketing game.

    The better the designer understands core design principles and psychology, the better they can connect with the target audience and potential consumers. Designers are able to choose every font, color, and shape used in a marketing design to communicate a subconscious message evoking human emotions and connections to the product or service.

    The logo design is pivotal for the branding of the business. When you look at a logo you think about what it is conveying about what the company does. For instance, when you see the Whole Foods green logo with a leaf attached to the ‘O’ you think peace, growth and health. The logo can say a lot about a company, which is why the design process is so important.

    When it comes to marketing through your company’s website, content drives people to your website while design enhances that content. When design is done well, it helps potential customers navigate through the website easily and quickly. Design can organize content giving visitors a pleasant experience, which keeps them on your site longer. The connection on an emotional level to your audience is important, but it also must be functional. A successful designer can establish a strong emotional connection wile communicating the intended message for the audience.

    Now you can understand the true importance design has over the intended audience, consumer actions and overall brand experience. These principles can be used over many forms of marketing designs, such as, logo, website design, infographic, video, or content for social media. It is important to establish the goal and intent of the project being used. Once you know the message you want your brand to convey to the audience, you will be on the right track to finding the right design direction for success.

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  • What’s Your Color Profile?

    On: June 24, 2015
    In: Design
    Views: 375
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    As a senior graphic designer, choosing the correct color system for my projects comes as second nature. However, when I first started out, things were a bit confusing. Why couldn’t I just create everything in CMYK? What the heck is a PMS color?!

    I found this great infographic that explains EVERYTHING you need to know before choosing the right type of color system for your next project. So whether you’ve been a designer for a while and just need a refresher or you’re just starting out and need some clarification… take a look at the difference between CMYK, RGB and Pantone.

    ColorProfile

    Kristen Oaxaca, Senior Graphic Designer

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  • Images Confusing You?

    On: June 18, 2015
    In: Design
    Views: 417
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    JPGs, GIFs, PNGs…
    what do they all mean?!

    How do I know when to use which?!

    If you’re frustrated with different file types and knowing which one to use for your different projects, check out the infographic below for some file type trivia and tips that will help you make the right decision!

    FileTypesKristen Oaxaca, Senior Graphic Designer

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  • Graphic Design vs. STDs

    On: April 1, 2015
    In: Design
    Views: 354
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    I have always found the time during WWII to be an intirguing and inspiring time period—from women who were doing all they could on the home front to the soldiers who fought overseas.

    We’re all familiar with at least one famous poster from that time… I’m sure Rosie the Riveter rings a bell! What many of us have never seen though is the campaign launched by the U.S. Government to do none other than warn U.S. Soldiers of the dangers of “loose women” and STDs.

    Because sex was not often talked about publicly during that time, WWI saw a venereal disease epidemic where soldiers often contracted and died from STDs. In order to prevent that from happening in WWII, the U.S. Government teamed up with designers to create posters that were plastered all over military barracks.

    This campaign to fight STDs used everything from bold colors and striking Hitler images to softer, more emotional images and wording. It’s interesting to see what worked for advertisers back then… take a look compared to what is used in today’s world.

    THEN

    VD-2
    VD-1

    VD-3 VD-4

    NOWVD-5

    VD-6 VD-7

    Kristen Oaxaca, Senior Graphic Designer

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  • A Childhood Discovery

    On: March 19, 2015
    In: Design
    Views: 420
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    I always get excited when I find out an interesting or little known fact about something I loved as a child. I get even MORE excited when that relates to my job as a graphic designer. A bit geeky, I know, but it makes me think about all of the time and effort someone put into making something that I loved growing up… then I wonder if I will have that same affect on another person who sees my work today.

    So what is this interesting fact I found out? A book by Blake J. Harris reveals the Pantone guide to some of video games’ oldest and well known characters. Ever wonder what color blue Mario’s overalls are? Or the exact color green of Luigi’s hat? Well, now you know!

    Mario01 Mario02   Mario05 Mario06Mario03Mario04

    Kristen Oaxaca, Senior Graphic Designer

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