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Design


The Lasting Mark of Black Creatives

The Lasting Mark of Black Creatives

There are endless reasons to celebrate Black History Month. But following last year’s civil unrest due to decades worth of racial inequality and blatant injustices faced by the African-American community on a daily basis, we feel a huge responsibility, especially as an agency based in Oakland, to not only speak out and show up for the Black community but be intentional with our actions at every touchpoint. And for us, this meant celebrating Black History Month was an absolute imperative. This month, we’ve chosen to highlight the careers of Black creatives within branding to not only honor...
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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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Unwrap a Moment of Zen: Happy Holidays from Emotive Brand

Unwrap a Moment of Zen: Happy Holidays from Emotive Brand

Whew, what a year. We’ve laughed. We’ve cried. We’ve stared at our own faces during Zoom calls while pretending to follow along. This holiday season, we wanted to give you something that’s been in short supply: a little bit of peace. From all of us here at Emotive Brand, we’re officially giving you permission to turn off your video, mute your anxiety, have a laugh, and (try to) enjoy the holidays. If you’re ready for a different kind of cloud service, click here to clear your mind....
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Challenger Brands: Design that Disrupts

Challenger Brands: Design that Disrupts

Challenger Creative This post is the last in our three-part series on challenger brands. You can read a general primer to challenger brands or a deep dive into B2B challengers right here. Previously, we chatted about the power of adopting a challenger mindset, how to compete against your category, and what the B2B world can learn from B2C disruptors. In these examples, most of the strategies were internal. It was a question of knowing how to recognize the pressure for change, creating a shared vision, having the capacity to execute, and building out a realistic work plan. But still, the...
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Designing and Maintaining an Emergent Brand

Designing and Maintaining an Emergent Brand

When the Emotive Brand design team creates a brand system, we design it to last for many years. In order for a brand system to last that long, it needs to be consistent with a specific core idea, yet flexible enough to grow over time in order to accommodate changes in the landscape, growth into new sectors, building out sub-brands, etc. Let’s explore two different methodologies in conducting brand design and the end result of each: modernist design and emergent design. Modernist Design: One Solution Modernist design methodology is built on the practice of digging to find the golden nugget of...
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Shedding Ego in The Branding Process

Shedding Ego in The Branding Process

As creatives, we believe deeply in our craft and put ourselves fully into what we make. Our humor, our creativity, our problem-solving gets baked into the product. So, when work is rejected, it can feel like you’re being rejected. Add tight deadlines and multiple projects to the mix, and emotions are even higher. The key to keeping a level head is all about leaving your ego at the door and keeping a healthy authorial distance between maker and product. This is a guide for designers of all skill levels, clients, strategists—anyone taking part in the design process. Assume Good If...
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The Fusion of Strategy and Design

The Fusion of Strategy and Design

The Best Branding Is More Than the Sum of Its Parts Since its founding in the 1950s, branding has largely been divided into two distinct disciplines: strategy and design. Strategy’s traditional role is to research, understand the competitive landscape, distill the meaning, and establish the market opportunity into a well-formed creative brief. At this point, designers typically take the brief and visually communicate against the strategic objectives. The handoff from strategy to design is not without its pitfalls. Oftentimes, key information gets lost. Strategists can work in intellectual...
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When Designers and Developers Collaborate, Everyone Wins

When Designers and Developers Collaborate, Everyone Wins

A great developer recognizes and enhances design decisions. A great designer understands the technology they are designing for. Both developers and designers need to have an intimate understanding of each other’s fields in order to produce better experiences for brands. In order to deliver a bespoke experience for a brand, a collaborative environment needs to be fostered. How to Actually Collaborate A key element to facilitating design and developer collaboration is reshaping the reviewing process. The traditional way is to do a bunch of design work upfront, get client approval, polish the...
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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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