Category: Design

Q&A with Ashley Brenner of Imprint, a Sullivan Content Lab, on Visual Content Best Practices

Q&A with Ashley Brenner of Imprint, a Sullivan Content Lab, on Visual Content Best Practices

Our Take

Imprint’s own Ashley Brenner lends her thoughts on Best Practices in Visual Content in this Q&A with the Content Council.

 

Ashley Brenner is a Creative Director at Imprint, a Sullivan Content Lab, and winner of The Content Council’s 2014 Best Creative Designer Award. We recently sat down with her to learn what she’s been up to since her win and learn what goes in to creating stand out visual content.

Read More at thecontentcouncil.org

B2B Buyers Say Interactive Content Is More Effective

B2B Buyers Say Interactive Content Is More Effective

Our Take

Attention B2B content marketers!  According to a recent DemandGen Report, there is so much content out there and so little time that creating interesting and interactive content is a way to break through.

 

DemandGen Report recently published the findings of its 2015 Content Preferences Survey . DemandGen has been conducting this survey annually since 2012, and it has always provided interesting insights regarding the content consumption behaviors and preferences of B2B buyers.

Read More at customerthink.com

Innovative Visuals that Create Brand Personality in the Banking Sector

Innovative Visuals that Create Brand Personality in the Banking Sector

Our Take:

Banks are known for helping you secure a financially sound future, plan your legacy, take care of your family and many more things. These are all aspects they are sure to touch upon in their marketing campaigns but the true success lies with those banks that are using engaging visual to reach their audiences. Is your bank doing this?

 

Read More at Logodesignguru

OPI Brilliantly Creates a Whole Alphabet From Drops of Nail Polish

OPI Brilliantly Creates a Whole Alphabet From Drops of Nail Polish

Our Take

The nail polish brand OPI has taken their marketing to a whole new level by creating a unique alphabet out of colors, along with a corresponding app and products to support the campaign. They are truly looking to interact with consumers in an innovative and unique way that definitely breaks down thre traditional walls of marketing.

 

Color can communicate a lot of information, but not as clearly as if it were an actual language. So OPI made it into one. A sassy, gorgeous new campaign from the nail polish company, created with TBWA’s DANParis, turns various shades of the brand’s product into an abstract, droplet-shaped alphabet that fans can use to chat on a special mobile app.

Read More at Ad Week

Creative Learning

Creative Learning

by ASHLEY LOGAN BRENNER

We always need to keep our desire to learn alive. I’ve been reading several articles recently about brainstorming—good or not so good?

Good.

In context of creative learning, you can always learn new ideas and processes from others. Keeping your mind open to alternate concepts helps to keep creatively nimble.

Brainstorming can be effective when there is a focused goal and a clear timeframe. What do you want the team to achieve? How much time do you have to think it through? No ideas are bad ideas.

Ultimately brainstorming is concerned with generating ideas—the spark. Used at the correct time in a process, it can be effective. However, when used throughout a process, not so good.

Not so good.

Coming to an action with design decisions is not truly a group activity. Group think doesn’t do justice to a strong end result. It lacks focus and momentum. Creative thinking is more web-like—one thought leads to another, instead of a group staying directed on one path.

Singular focus on one or two ideas makes the end result stronger. Details can be thought out and a quality outcome emerges with a point of focus.

Instead of a group, individuals have the opportunity to listen and then respond appropriately. To hear the questions and then respond to the How of a problem. Focused design thinking drives to quality outcomes.

Using Design Thinking AND Brainstorming
Within a process, design thinking and brainstorming can activate each other. Brainstorming can become part of your process—I would suggest it is the spark. For example, at Imprint, our team uses brainstorming at the kickoff phase of a project. This is a great time to get ideas out on the table. As the process to any project moves through the paces, design thinking (and evaluating) becomes more critical at different stages. This process preserves the relevant information to a project, and upholds the quality in results. And THAT benefits clients.

Here’s a short process of valuable brainstorming, and how you can use it:

1. New project : The sky’s the limit
Dialogue for 15 minutes about all possibilities. Creating without fear of failure allows for experimentation. For example, riff off a singular topic (health care) and apply the business objectives. What are the possibilities? No ideas are bad ideas.

2. Sort
Apply some parameters to your list. “How will these possibilities benefit the project?” Listen carefully to the intention for the outcome. We want to produce solutions that keep us leaping forward.

3. Design independently
Keep the creative learning alive. Take the possibilities and apply critical design thinking. Address the details and map the thinking back to project objectives. Focus.

How do you think brainstorming can be effective in the design process?

Here’s a link to another perspective on this subject:
Chuck Green’s PagePlane Blog on Brainstorming

The secret of Instagram social engagement – no automation

The secret of Instagram social engagement – no automation

Our Take

How do you think one of the  most popular social media sites is so successful (or not) with brands and their consumers?

 

Different content marketing objectives require varied social strategies. But the Holy Grail of social marketing is generally perceived to be engagement. Measurable estimates of customer interaction are hard to come by, so businesses are right to pounce on tools and practices that offer them. …

Read More at www.brafton.com

Play — capital P

Play — capital P

by ASHLEY LOGAN BRENNER

Outside of my day-job at Imprint, I work on a range of other projects which fall into my “Play” category. For example, develop brand identity for our family hot sauce company, design promotional material for our local elementary school and, of course, write the occasional blog post on design and concept ideas such as this one.

Even so, the largest reward I get comes from client work. I do enjoy having a broad range of creative outlets; however, I am not an illustrator, a writer, or an artist. I am a designer, and as such, I recognize the outlet for my primary skill of problem solving does not exist without a client brief. This is the best reward, as it is something that can add true value to a client, product, or situation.

So, why do I (and so many other creatives) invest off-time into something that is not my “real job”? Answer: Play—capital P—is the way that we learn. And, we always need to keep our desire to learn alive.

Bringing Play into daily work
Play — capital P — and client work need not be separate things. Playing with new tools and methods can become part of your process. For example, our team at Imprint is constantly searching for, and experimenting with, alternate ways to do things. Even when a standard tool seems perfect, still try something else. Take risks. This process keeps the team fresh and relevant, both in methods and output. And that benefits clients.

Here’s a short list of why Play is valuable, and what you can do about it:

1. New skills can feed client work
Self-initiated work allows the time and interest to learn new skills that can eventually generate ideas for clients. For example, hearing a talk about building web fonts into your personal site will mean skills that can feed into the next client solution.

2. Play keeps us creative
Creating without fear of failure maintains a freshness and allows experimentation. We want to stay creatively nimble, and produce solutions that keep us leaping forward in our learning.

3. It’s not work anyway
Get real. If you’re a designer, developer, illustrator, writer, or in any way creative, it is Play — capital P — every day. Keep the creative learning alive.

What do you think is important about Play — capital P — in the design process?

 

Here’s a link to another perspective on this subject:
Paula Scher’s TED talk on “serious play”

Inside J.J. Abrams’ Brain-Bending Book-Within-a-Book

Inside J.J. Abrams’ Brain-Bending Book-Within-a-Book

Storytelling in a verbal and visual, complex twist. An intriguing slideshow with a clear peek inside…

 

Doug Dorst is co-author of “S.,” a book that takes place within the margins of another book (it’s complicated). Here, Dorst reveals how he collaborated with J.J. Abrams to create a kind of printed alternate reality game. Apparently, though, the only thing more complicated than …

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