11/01
STANDARDS DESIGN ADVERTISING

An Interesting Way to Describe Color in an Accessible World

Gary Anderson // Production Manager

The Uber-competitor Lyft is more than just an alternative ride-share service. Turns out, it’s pretty conscientious as well. In working on the company’s branding, the design team at Lyft decided to do something radical. Rather than using traditional paradigms to describe color, they created their own, one that took accessibility issues into account at the […]

11/15
MISCELLANEOUS DESIGN ADVERTISING WORK

Campus Life in a Corporate World

Kelly Yaw // Digital Studio Designer

I recently had the opportunity to travel and do some work for a new client at the agency, Abercrombie & Fitch. Since I’d never traveled for work before, I thought it might be fun and I jumped at the chance. After being asked to go, things moved pretty fast. I would be leaving the following […]

11/10
SOCIAL MEDIA DESIGN

How Instagram Can Foster Communities of Creativity

Collin Smith // Digital Project Manager

There’s no doubt that social media has changed the way we live today. Social media platforms are used in a variety of ways, from making and sustaining new relationships, to building business models that rely on social platforms, to learning and perfecting new skills. Instagram, in particular, has played a key role in the growth […]

09/11
TRENDS SOCIAL MEDIA DESIGN

The Trends Justify the Means

Jayr Sotelo // Motion Graphics Director

In this day and age of smartphones, scrolling, and “stories,” not just brands but normal people are in need of generating and consuming “content.” As a brand, having “actionable,” “engaging,” and “relevant” content can get your brand millions of followers and your product moving off the shelves. As a normal social media user, making the […]

04/05
TRENDS VIDEO SOCIAL MEDIA MISCELLANEOUS DESIGN ADVERTISING

Making Animated Characters for a Brand

James Duerr // Motion Guy

Animation is a fantastic way to present a brand. It gives total creative control over a subject, making it easier and quicker to convey the brand’s values and goals through interesting visuals and characters. So why, then, do people create such insipid characters for animations? It seems so simple: just create a “cool,” likable character […]

02/27
DESIGN

How Adobe CC Libraries Will Make Designing Easier!

Kacie Carter // Designer

As I talk to my fellow design friends, not many know about or utilize the Adobe Creative Cloud (CC) Library. This is a drag-and-drop library that alphabetically holds images, logos, colors, and styles mapped for time efficacy. It even works across most Adobe applications (Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, etc.). How Do CC Libraries Work? Sharing common […]

11/28
STANDARDS DEVELOPMENT DESIGN WORK

Making Images Work for Banners

Bryan Vorel // Multimedia Programmer

When Flash was king, we were stuck with a lousy 40K file size limit for a standard ad unit. Now with the death of Flash and the rise of HTML5, we are given an opportunity to do slightly more creative things with banner ads. With the recent draft specifications released by the Interactive Advertising Bureau […]

10/18
DESIGN STANDARDS WORK

The Psychology of Web Design

Don Brown // Studio Designer

Or “How to Get in Their Heads” Whether I’m shopping for a new table tennis paddle or a new car, or maybe I’m just trying to learn something new, when I pull up a website, I want it to be a fun, meaningful experience. I want to feel good about my site choice, and I […]

09/26
ADVERTISING DESIGN WORK

Form. Function. Feelings.

Nancy Hogan // Director of Studio Services

My 28-minute DART rail commute to and from work provides me with a great opportunity to chill out and listen to podcasts. One of my favorites is the “TED Radio Hour.” If the teaser snippets sound intriguing, the full TED talk is usually worth the time. This past May 20, a story called “The Power […]

09/06
STANDARDS ADVERTISING DEVELOPMENT DESIGN Productivity

Less Is More: Anticipatory Design to Simplify User Choice

Luke A. Lancaster // User Experience Architect

While on a call to the auto shop, the service representative asked me what time I’d like to schedule my appointment. She then replied with my name and my car information without my ever having given it to her. Magic? Clearly, she somehow cross-referenced my caller ID against her records, but she anticipated my needs […]

08/23
STANDARDS DESIGN

The Pixel Pusher’s Guide to Web Design

Kelly Yaw // Digital Studio Designer

As web designers, we have a lot of things to remember when starting a new project. Even though each one is unique, there are workflow and QC tasks that should be done every time, no matter what. From websites to apps to static ad units, follow these guidelines and you’ll be off to a great […]

04/11
DESIGN STANDARDS WORK

Addressing the Usability Issues of Flat Design

Brian Edgin // UX Architect

What we now refer to as flat design started in 2013 with the launch of iOS 7, the operating system for Apple iPhone and iPad. Prior to iOS 7, the user interface (UI) on Apple’s devices was heavily skeuomorphic, meaning that digital elements were designed to mimic their real-world counterparts. (The Notes app, for example, […]

03/08
DEVELOPMENT DESIGN ADVERTISING WORK

Form vs. Function? How About Form AND Function…

Gary Anderson // Production Manager

I had an interesting conversation with a former co-worker last year. A front-end developer. Nice kid. Matt posited that his work as a developer should be considered “art.” He didn’t particularly like being labeled an “engineer.” His argument was that he was as passionate about writing code as any painter is about a canvas, as […]

10/14
STANDARDS DEVELOPMENT DESIGN WORK

Making Difficult Animations Work for Banners

Bryan Vorel // Multimedia Programmer

When Flash was king, we were stuck with a lousy 40K file size limit for a standard ad unit. Now with the death of Flash and the rise of HTML5, we are given a slightly new opportunity to do more creative things with banner ads. With the recent draft specifications released from the Interactive Advertising […]

08/17
DESIGN DEVELOPMENT WORK Productivity

Once Upon a Time…

Landon Montgomery // Digital Production 

When I was seven years old, I wrote a single-page story boldly predicting that I would play professional soccer in Alaska when I grew up. That, or I’d become a writer. Failing either of these (apparently, I was a rather paranoid wee lad), I’d just make video games for a living. What a thing to […]

08/13
TRENDS DESIGN MISCELLANEOUS DEVELOPMENT WORK

3-D Print Prototyping

Brian Edgin // User Experience Architect

Whether it is for your brand, your clients or to earn new business, we are constantly looking for ways to step outside the box. Making two-dimensional prototypes has always been part of what a branding agency does. Now, with the advent of low-cost 3-D printing, we have the ability to build high-quality 3-D prototypes in-house. […]

08/05
STANDARDS DEVELOPMENT DESIGN ADVERTISING

Operating Without a Standard

Chad Bull // Interactive Developer

We are at a tipping point in online advertising (OLA) after the recent announcement that Google Chrome will – by default – block Flash ads starting in September. This is the final nail in the coffin for Flash-based ads, and it elevates HTML5 as the option of choice for OLA animation. Flash is finished, HTML5 […]

07/01
STANDARDS DEVELOPMENT DESIGN

A Guide to Webfonts and Typography

Susan Berry // Front-End Developer

We’ve come a long way with web typography since the dawn of the Web. As web typography improves, web designers want the same level of control that print designers have. Designers want more options than just Verdana, Helvetica and Georgia, and they want all the control Photoshop or Illustrator affords them. So how do designers […]

06/15
TRENDS SOCIAL MEDIA DEVELOPMENT DESIGN

Meaningful Micro-interactions

Wanda Lipscomb // User Experience Architect

If you love a product – your phone, a new wearable, that great app – chances are, it’s because of the microinteractions designed into the product user experience. Every time you unlock your smartphone, pull down to refresh, glance at the typing indicator while chatting, swipe to delete an email or glance at your Apple […]

03/23
DESIGN Productivity

Rebooting Our Brain

Nancy Hogan // Studio Manager/Designer

For those of you who know me, you know that I’m a high-energy, doesn’t-know-how-to-relax person who could use a vacation – even when I’m on vacation! I don’t know how to turn off my brain. My acupuncturist calls it “Monkey Brain.” You know what I’m talking about…waking up at 2:00 a.m., looking at the clock […]

01/20
DEVELOPMENT DESIGN

Why Can’t I Just Use That Picture I Found on Google?

Shawn Ewert // Business Analyst

While it is never a good idea to claim an image found online as your own, there are a lot of gray areas that surround copyrighted images and their usage online. I have to start out by saying I am not an attorney and am by no means giving legal advice. However, as a business […]

01/05
DEVELOPMENT DESIGN

InVision – A Prototyping, Collaboration and Workflow Platform

Bryan Vorel // Interactive Programmer

Are you looking for a much easier way to show your designs to clients, without having to try and explain through static images, PDFs or even wireframes? Consider InVision. With the InVision app, you can now quickly transform your design into a fully interactive prototype with complete gestures and animations that can be used for […]

09/25
STANDARDS DESIGN

Content vs. Design: The Chicken and the Egg

Wanda Lipscomb // User Experience Architect

Perhaps you’ve seen it before. You start a new digital project and the copy is not quite available, but you have to start somewhere. So you begin designing the new digital solution. You use placeholder greeked copy in the interim. A few weeks pass, and the approved copy arrives. Suddenly what you expected to be […]

06/16
DESIGN

Just My Type

Katherine Fajen // Project Manager

I am a lover of many things, but I am particularly a lover of beautiful type. I always have been. Typography conveys so much more than words to the viewer. It is one of the most important parts of a design for both print and digital work. In the past, we were limited to a […]

05/13
STANDARDS DESIGN

Good Performance Is Good Design

Susan Berry // Front-End Developer

It’s no secret that in recent years smartphone and tablet use has grown exponentially, and on many websites mobile is overtaking desktop traffic. The “mobile first” philosophy is finally becoming more commonplace as many websites embrace responsive design. Designers and user experience (UX) team members have become focused on rethinking the creative and user experience […]

03/20
DESIGN

Not Your Daddy’s Parallax

Shawn Ewert // Business Analyst

Anyone who has spent any time browsing the Web in the past couple of years has seen someone making an attempt at parallax design. Parallax design involves the background moving at a different rate than the foreground, creating a 3-D effect as you scroll down the page. Some sites are very successful and create an […]

03/17
DESIGN

“Floppability”

Brooke Dudgeon // Designer

I moved into a new place two months ago and, soon after, purchased a shower curtain. Riveting, I know. I’d like to share what that little piece of Swedish perfection has revealed to me and how it relates to my recent transition from traditional print to web design. One magical day, the package arrived. It […]