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Design


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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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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