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Design


The New Web: How Development Tools and Collaboration Enable New Design

The New Web: How Development Tools and Collaboration Enable New Design

From 2007 until very recently, the web was infiltrated by the same design patterns. Everyone is familiar with this: a generic headline with a call to action, three icons below describing features, and a few full-width, black-tinted images with text on top. When Sketch burst onto the scene in 2010, the web design discipline sped up, but the developer hand-off process was still tedious. Dimensions were specified using redlines, and the web was built with block and inline elements. Flash was dying, and there were no tools for designers to easily bring their more expressive designs to life....
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Accessible Design Must Be the Rule, Not the Exception

Accessible Design Must Be the Rule, Not the Exception

In the nascent days of computing, the highly sought after feature we now call “dark mode” was the standard. Cathode ray tube (CRT) monitors got their green-on-black look from the phosphor inside of the screens. While this technology was long-ago abandoned, dark themes have re-entered the zeitgeist as the latest “new innovation.” “It’s thoughtfully designed to make every element on the screen easier on your eyes,” Apple claimed in its announcement of the feature for iOS 13. But here’s the thing: there’s no real evidence that’s true. For people with astigmatisms (approximately 50%...
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Don’t Let Your Product Ruin Your Brand

Don’t Let Your Product Ruin Your Brand

It’s a tale as old as time. You can’t sell product without a brand; you can’t sell brand without a product. Product designers and brand designers are sometimes viewed as adversarial disciplines, but in truth, both sides are working toward the same goal with different tools. But what’s the right balance? And how can you get the best of both worlds? To begin, a bit of level-setting. Product Designers Product design is commonly defined as the approach to building a new product from start to finish. This encompasses market research, identifying problems, product development, designing informed...
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What Makes a Perfect Concept Statement?

What Makes a Perfect Concept Statement?

Over the course of a branding project, there are thousands of micro-decisions to make along the way. As much as possible, agencies try to establish a common way of seeing and evaluating work to minimize decision fatigue. In our case, we create an Emotional Impact and a Brand Idea. We start by identifying four emotions we want to evoke in our target audiences, and then craft a big idea that brings these emotions to life across business, brand, and culture. The thing is, as much as you try to establish frameworks and lenses and litmus tests, you can only ask a client to hold so much in their...
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Non-Business Books to Improve Your Brain and Brand

Non-Business Books to Improve Your Brain and Brand

When I worked in a bookstore, I would often help young businesspeople find the books their bosses wanted them to read. This assignment was to help them expand their thinking, get a new perspective, and stand out from the crowd. But invariably, they would always ask for “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” or if they were in sales, “The Art of War.” To be clear, there’s nothing wrong with these titles! But in the words of Haruki Murakami, “If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is...
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Introducing the Art of Symbols: How Ancient Symbols Inform Brand Design

Introducing the Art of Symbols: How Ancient Symbols Inform Brand Design

After successfully completing the #100DayProject, Emotive Brand is thrilled to launch the Art of Symbols, a website exploring how ancient symbols inform contemporary brand design. Check it out! The Art of Symbols As previously discussed, 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. “It’s a lot to commit to, 100 variations on a theme,” said Jonathan Haggard, Senior Designer. “Just like creating anything, the first 90 are the expected and...
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A Designer’s Guide to a Successful First Presentation

A Designer’s Guide to a Successful First Presentation

Presentation Is Everything The Emotive Brand design team had the pleasure of attending First Round San Francisco, a one-day showcase of original client presentations showing initial design explorations for logo, identity, and branding projects. Twelve different design studios presented on a variety of client projects – everything from a global healthcare non-profit to a menstrual cup company. The crowd was filled with eager designers – some from design studios, others from tech companies, and some freelancers. We’ve gathered a few key takeaways – a checklist of sorts – to make sure all the...
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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, and...
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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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