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Design


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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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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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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