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Design


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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A Deep Dive into Designing for Accessibility

A Deep Dive into Designing for Accessibility

Today’s blog is about our recent work with the Galt Foundation, an organization that provides, promotes, and expands employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. You can view our full case study here. The following post is available as both a text and audio experience.   Designing for Accessibility Is a Duty, Not an Option As designers, we have the opportunity to create experiences that bring people together, but we also have a responsibility to create work which can be experienced by everyone, regardless of ability. That’s not to say that everyone will perceive or...
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Branding in Motion: A Roundtable with the Emotive Brand Design Team

Branding in Motion: A Roundtable with the Emotive Brand Design Team

In 2019, everything is alive. We communicate in GIFs, message effects, and video chats. Billboards are digital, bus ads are responsive, push notifications are synchronized. Give a glossy magazine to any child under five and chances are they will try to “scroll down” the page with one index finger. The most forward-thinking companies are using motion – whether through kinetic type, animation, or mixed reality like AR and VR – to broaden the emotional impact of their brand. I sat down with the creative team at Emotive Brand to discuss the link between motion and emotion, and how B2B brands...
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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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Making the Case for a Rebrand

Making the Case for a Rebrand

Rebrands are for Firebrands Not everything in the branding world is relatable. For the average person, chatting about go-to-market strategies or employer brands isn’t exactly scintillating dinner party conversation. But there is one thing that ignites fiery debate and criticism, even from those without any skin in the game, and that is the curious case of the rebrand. I’ve had multiple conversations with people who, though they have never expressed an interest in any other aspect of branding before, suddenly discuss the latest logo change, mission rewrite, or app redesign with a passion...
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Design Trends for 2019

Design Trends for 2019

Friction Builds Character Friction is one of those words you see in Silicon Valley all the time. Specifically, in technology’s promise to remove it. A frictionless experience is instantly digestible, seamless, clean. The only problem is that in desperately trying to remove the friction from every experience, you can remove the experience altogether. A little friction, intrigue, or mystery is not always a bad thing – especially when it comes to design. As we look forward to 2019, we have talked about trends for employer branding and overcoming strategic challenges. Today, we turn our sights...
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Great Design Shifts Perception

Great Design Shifts Perception

One of my favorite quotes about identity comes from American architect, author, and designer, Buckminster Fuller. “Ninety-nine percent of you who are,” he says, “is invisible and untouchable.” No matter how much we think we understand, there is always something unseen and overlooked humming beneath the surface. Great design can function in a similar way. A logo or a car engine each has a tip-of-the-iceberg function that appears obvious. But behind every glyph and gear, there is an invisible force that has the power to fundamentally shift how we think about and move through the world. Great...
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The Role of Voice Technology for Brands

The Role of Voice Technology for Brands

Voice Technology Is Older Than You Think Voice is the newest technology platform on the block. And like all seemingly new things, it’s actually much older than you think. In the early 1960s, IBM introduced the Shoebox, an early effort at mastering voice recognition. This bulky little machine could recognize 16 words spoken into its microphone and convert those sounds into electrical impulses. Basically, it was a voice-operated calculator. Dressed in a tuxedo at the 1962 World’s Fair in Seattle, developer William C. Dersch performed the miracle of turning your voice into a search engine....
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