Tag Archive: design

  1. Creative Briefs: Not Just a Classic Agency Go-To

    This blog post written over a year ago still says true. Creative briefs are a must-do in the world of marketing and advertising. Need proof? Read on…
    Creative briefs aren’t just for the 1950’s Sterling Cooper ad agency, so before you corral your designer/writer/creative wizard for work, stop, take a deep breath and create a creative brief that will help your team produce their greatest work yet. If you’re not sure where to start, let me guide you…
    creative brief meme
    Quick rundown: A creative brief is a document that is used by professionals to help inform and guide a select person or team while creating everything from a visual design like a logo and website, to website copy and photography or video. It is not only helpful for a designer and copywriter, but also for the person who is requesting the creative and for the person that is overseeing it. The brief keeps everyone on the same page and it is a guiding light when the marketing world gets dark…and it really can without a brief.

    When taking a stab at your first creative brief, keep the following in mind:

    • Keep it brief. Creative briefs are meant to be short, sweet and to the point. Try to keep it at a page and provide a synopsis of the following:
      • Project breakdown
      • Big picture snapshot of the client (who they are, their attitude and tone)
      • Audience breakdown
      • Project objective
      • Design and detail inspiration (include keywords, links to inspirational images, websites, content and feel free to even include designs and details the client doesn’t like so your designer and/or copywriter knows what to avoid)
    • Inspire. Although the brief is meant to guide and inform, make sure that you, as the brand ambassador, inspire! When you have created your brief and received the a-okay on it, sit down with your team and challenge them with thought-provoking questions. What do they foresee to be challenges within the project? What do they envision for the end product? What inspires them when reading the brief? Get the group talking and roundtable it. When the juices start a flowin’, no one will be thirsty for ideas.

    When you have a creative brief, the benefits are clear:

    • A brief helps everyone that has a hand in the project stay on the same page.
    • It keeps the objectives on the forefront for all, which in turn supports the creative made.
    • Expectations are clear with no grey area, as all involved parties agreed to the brief.
    • Approval rounds tend to be shorter, as direction was agreed upon from the beginning and during the course of production, designers can ask themselves “Does this achieve the goal? or “Is this solving their problem?”, if not, they can start over and if so, they can keep on keepin’ on! This keeps costs down and everyone happy.
    •  At the end of the day, quality work is produced that is loved by all.

    In short, creative briefs are a must. Do it and you won’t regret it.

    creative brief meme

  2. The New Instagram Logo: Good, Bad or Meh?

    Change is hard and the internet can be, well, let’s call it, “judgmental.” From the knee-jerk hatred for any and all of Facebook’s usability updates to Instagram’s recent algorithm change, there seems to be an immediate and impassioned push to slam even the proposition of change in the social media apps we use every day. The designers behind the new Instagram logo must have said some prayers, taken a swig of something strong and practiced a few mental relaxation techniques before the big unveiling.

    Instagram Logo

    You have no doubt seen much ado about this new design. Everyone, from professional designers to, oh, I don’t know, your mom, seems to have an opinion, critique, praise or four-letter word for this simple, gradient redesign. Of course, you don’t have to be a designer to have an intelligent opinion about the new Instagram logo — but it sure doesn’t hurt. That’s why we asked our creative director, Andy MacMillin for his take now that the smoke is clearing on the initial controversy.

    3 Thoughts on the New Instagram Logo

    • It’s neither bad nor groundbreaking. Instead, it is simply on-trend with modern logo designs, ditching the outdated, skeuomorphic logo.
    • The controversial, bold gradient is actually a good design choice, since the rest of the design is a textbook, flat design.
    • The need to stay relevant probably sparked the Instagram logo redesign — something important for an app as popular as Instagram. Though keeping to current trends is helpful with relevancy, a designer must also find a way to make a design stand out.

    Overall, I think we can call Andy’s overall opinion of the new Instagram logo something along the lines of, “meh.” The bold addition of the colorful gradient is a plus, but the design itself falls a bit flat. On the other hand, if the goal was to modernize Instagram’s logo, it seems to have done just that.

    Though not everyone is so happy with the change, the internet outcry, at least for now, seems to have dulled to a sneering whisper. Change is hard, especially for big brands with a lot on the line. The lesson that we can pull from all of this is that change can be painful, but is always necessary in order for brands to remain relevant to their audiences. As long as your design is well strategized and represents the soul and essence of your brand, you should go into a redesign with confidence — come hell or heavy internet criticism.