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Design


Turn Your Instagram Into a Playground for Experimentation

Turn Your Instagram Into a Playground for Experimentation

Instagram is incredible. All in one app, you can feel jealous of other people’s lives, hungry for other people’s food, and intimidated by other people’s makeup routines. When it comes to brand strategy agencies and design studios, Instagram tends to be used for either sharing polished client work or photos of employee’s dogs. (Equally important.) But more and more, we’re seeing studios break out from the norm and utilize the platform as a playground for design experimentation. Turning the web into their own personal focus group, agencies are sharing weird sketches, creative side projects,...
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If You Want People to Fill Out Surveys, Make Them Beautiful

If You Want People to Fill Out Surveys, Make Them Beautiful

Two true things about decision-making in business: 1) You should collect information from all the key stakeholders regarding their thoughts, feelings, hopes, and expectations. 2) People hate filling out surveys about their thoughts, feelings, hopes, and expectations. In an ideal world, there would always be enough time to conduct qualitative data in-person through one-on-one interviews or focus groups. Everyone would feel heard and everyone would have a voice at the table, which would be perfectly reflected in the end product. Unfortunately, we live in this world; the one where you’re...
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The Myth of Likability and Other Lessons from Font

The Myth of Likability and Other Lessons from Font

Last month, we were visited by the good folks at Dalton Maag, an independent font foundry with offices in London and São Paulo, Brazil. They make type for branding, retail, and corporate clients that perform beautifully across print and digital environments. After running us through some of their work, including an amazing demonstration of variable fonts – responsive type that can store multiple variations of a type family into a single font file – we got into a discussion on the differences between three components of evaluating type: legibility, readability, and likability. And what we...
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Back to School: An Interactive Presentation at Orinda Intermediate School

Back to School: An Interactive Presentation at Orinda Intermediate School

This past October, Design Director Robert Saywitz and Production Director Jonathan Fisher found themselves back at Orinda Intermediate School for the second annual “Power of Branding” workshop. Similar to last year, students were given a brief history of branding – the power of symbols in our culture, logo design, and how brands can evolve over time. Students were then broken into teams and tasked with either creating a new brand identity for a fictional educational startup, or rebranding Amazon’s existing identity. More than ever, it showed the importance of teamwork in problem-solving and...
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Make It Sexy: The Big Impact of Branding “Boring” Things

Make It Sexy: The Big Impact of Branding “Boring” Things

Branding and advertising are infamous for making us covet things we don’t actually need. The super sleek sheen of a Tesla or an iPhone or a bra designed by NASA’s top scientists are alluring, but at the end of the day, they are merely luxuries. The question of getting people to need something they want is sales 101. But more and more, branding agencies are tackling the inverse. How do you get people to want the things they need? Is there a space for surprise and delight in the most boring, pedestrian motions of daily life: applying a bandage, brushing our teeth, wiping our bums? Welcome to...
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#100DayProject: From Ancient Symbols to Brand Design

#100DayProject: From Ancient Symbols to Brand Design

This year, the design team at Emotive Brand is participating in the #100DayProject. Today, we sit down with Senior Designer Jonathan Haggard to discuss symbols, simplicity, and how to be brave in your creative decision-making. What is the #100DayProject? The 100DayProject is a free art project started by Lindsay Thomson that takes place online. Every spring, thousands of people all around the world commit to 100 days of exploring their creativity. The idea is that you pick a theme or a project and rev on that 100 times. This year, our focus is on how ancient symbols inform contemporary brand...
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Why Do Billion-Dollar Companies Use Stock Photography?

Why Do Billion-Dollar Companies Use Stock Photography?

The following pictures are from the websites of Fortune 100 tech companies in the year 2019. I did not edit or manipulate them in any way, and most of them are only one click away from the landing page. To reiterate, these are companies that drive billions of dollars in revenue, and often spend years crafting their identity. Three business professionals inexplicably working on one computer, eleven people smiling into the same void, a hand with the power to emit data-point holograms – this is the visual language of stock photography for enterprises. When it comes to the subject matter, there...
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Is It Possible to Ever Truly Be Brandless?

Is It Possible to Ever Truly Be Brandless?

There’s No Brand Like No Brand at All At its heart, branding is about clarity. When we do our job right, we deliver clarity of purpose, message, and design. In this space, minimalism is something that is hard earned. The paradox is that it takes decades of tireless work to reach a stage in which your brand is so ubiquitous, it’s nearly invisible. Brands like Nike, Mastercard, McDonald’s, Starbucks, and Shell all utilize wordless logos, the end result of a process that’s sometimes called “debranding” or “decorporatizing.” The benefits of reaching this iconic tier are innumerable:...
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Branding Project: Do You Actually Want Something Bold?



Branding Project: Do You Actually Want Something Bold?



Make it Bold There is a four-letter word that gets said during every branding project. No, not that one. The word is “bold” and no one knows what it actually means. Perhaps it’s the word’s own sense of daring and fearlessness that has allowed it to march undaunted into every creative brief and client meeting, even when it is not requested. Enterprise software companies want to be bold. Insurance adjuster services want to be bold. Startups and law firms and logistic companies want to be bold. But do they really? What it Is and What it Isn’t Here’s what bold is: it’s uncomfortable. It’s...
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The Value of Outside Creativity on In-House Work

The Value of Outside Creativity on In-House Work

As an agency, we have the benefit of outside perspective on client work. Our distance allows us to see situations with a more objective lens. But what happens when we get too close to our own work or get caught in a creative slump? As Design Director Robert Saywitz tells us, sometimes the best solution to in-house problems is outside inspiration. We sat down to discuss how his background in illustration, graphic novels, and mixed-media informs his design thinking. Tell us a bit about your artistic practices. I do a little bit of everything: painting, drawing, ink, mixed-media works on paper,...
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