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The Creative Pitch Process: Revisited

Hiring a creative agency is one of the most critical and challenging tasks for companies.The problem is that the pitch process hasn’t changed for what seems like forever. Most stakeholders, executives and business owners don’t come to the table with the information needed for agencies to prepare, leaving the agency to provide a muddy view of what a project with entail, and a client who doesn’t have a clear understanding of deliverables. Anatomy of A Pitch Process In the most simple of terms, there are two kinds of pitch processes. Those that are thoughtful, well-planned and considered; and those that are down and dirty, get the job done types. These usually vary depending on the scope of work – whether a focused activity like a logo redesign or a sweeping project like a website or product launch. Because the pitch process is a vastly different experience for many people it…

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2 days ago
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Transforming Company Culture With Better Meeting Strategies

Meetings are arguably the reason most projects get successfully completed. Though most of the work is done beyond the confines of a scheduled meeting, it’s in these spaces of time where the strategy for implementation happens. Whether planning an event, sketching out a marketing plan or designing a website – meetings can be an essential component of reaching the desired outcome. However, though meetings have been given a bad rep due to poor management and unclear communication. When managed without strategy, meetings become more of a hindrance than value – diminishing resources, morale and even killing projects altogether. Meetings Take Many Forms Contrary to popular belief, meetings don’t have to be an ‘all hands on deck’, cumbersome affair. They can be as simple as a 5-minute check-in with loose structure or more formal agenda driven spaces to kick off projects or outline a new plan. It’s debatable whether project management…

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1 month, 8 days ago
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The Books You Need to Do Your Job Better Now

Let’s face it, most of us don’t show up for work feeling one hundred percent energized every single day. Whether it’s a mid-morning coffee break, a yoga class or a brainstorming session – we all need outlets to get the juices flowing. So, over the course of the year, we tasked clients with the big question: how do you inspire and excite your teams? Not surprisingly, many of them said they have go-to reads that they tap into for innovative ideas and strategies. We couldn’t help but share their recommendations for the keys to making the magic happen day in and day out. The Accidental Creative Todd Henry The Accidental Creative is well suited to creatives working in the in the commercial environment. There’s a learning curve to staying active in your own creative practice while giving it your all professionally. This book, loosely adapted from podcast content, provides valuable tools…

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2 months, 22 days ago
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Reflecting Brand Culture in Web Design Strategy

Brand culture embodies the core value of what a company offers and what they stand behind – so it’s critical that their online persona reflect this accurately. One of the most powerful branding tools to express this point of view is through a website. It’s these channels that drive us to connect with a brand – if we choose to engage, and ultimately make a conversion. Trust reigns supreme in the digital environment – and at the end of the day, it all depends on the users view of the brand. For web designers, content strategists and marketers, this presents a true challenge: How can we ensure an authentic user experience unless we are completely immersed in the brand being represented. What truly makes an organization stand out is when their brand is relatable. Once that style permeates into a company’s design process, it connects the brand to a unique…

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4 months ago
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Creating Stronger Project Outcomes Through an Agile Process

Beyond the confines of creative briefs, project management platforms and collaborative regroups – creative teams are now looking to expand and experiment with new processes, moving far away from the traditional design project management style, hoping to crack the code in design process reinvention. With most creative teams working on projects ranging from campaign strategy, UI/UX to content development, an agile process lends itself to an elastic, fluid journey to the end product. What is Agile? Though derived from software development, the agile method has proven effective in multiple sectors of business and product development, particularly in creative environments. Agile is a functional strategy aimed at producing solutions in a short amount of time by using incremental repetition. In other words, constant collaboration, or sprints – in this case. Close contact and transparency is key with the client to keep the stream moving rapidly. Nearly 100% of teams who have…

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5 months, 6 days ago
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The Thinking Creative: 5 Ways to Get (and Stay) Creatively Inspired

Inspiration is a terrible thing to waste, but as we all know – it’s well known to strike at inopportune times. Whether it’s in the studio, on the train or in the shower – the creative process knows no boundaries. Being able to tune into those inspired moments is key to turning them into a reality. Tap into a few of these habits and to turn inspiration into innovation. Take Note When you feel those creative sparks flying, it’s time to get out the notebook and take some notes. Director of design, Erin Lentz at Artversion takes it a step further by dictating voice notes on her iPhone on her commute and using Evernote to capture her inspiration on the go, saying; ‘I never know when that aha moment will strike, helping to crack the code on a project.” Keep Good Company One of the keys to getting inspired in the…

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7 months, 5 days ago
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Creating a Brand Style Guide: The Essentials

Ideally, a brand should be evolving on a continual basis, however it must retain it’s  vision throughout it’s changes. The key to the successful and sustainable evolution of a brand is remaining consistent. From logo design, color, typography and content – there must be a ‘gold standard’ with which to derive the core messaging, look and feel from. Brand style guides set tonality and provide targeted guidelines and instructions to both internal and external teams on how the brand should be communicated and seen to the public across all media and touch points. What is a brand style guide? A brand style guide, referred to in a myriad of ways – brand standards guideline, a style manual, brand bible or style guide –  is a set of design standards for the creation of creative assets. This guide is essential in presenting both digital and print media with a clearly defined view of the brand…

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9 months, 5 days ago
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Why Culture Matters When Selecting a Creative Agency

The creative agency model has changed. In the not too distant past, the market was dominated by big firms with high rise locales and seemingly never-ending expense accounts. While those models still exist in some forms, the general culture of the creative agency has shifted to a more open market with varied options ranging from small boutique outfits, to agency collectives consisting of a grouping of freelancers. With technology allowing clients to access talent anywhere, geography is no longer an issue, and the options can be overwhelming. Foremost – agency talent is key when it comes to choosing a creative team. It’s important to assess organizational elements such as services, capabilities and process as well as past work and portfolio – but perhaps the factor that can make or break a successful relationship is ensuring that the agency’s culture fit is in alignment with the brand it’s paired with. Core…

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11 months, 20 days ago
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See It Now: Design Disruptors

It’s no secret that InVision has made their mark in the creative landscape as an innovative platform for designers. What’s more is that they don’t just do the work – they live it. With community engagement and education on relevant subjects – their team, and collaborative community at large – has a lot to say. So it’s no surprise that they have just released the new documentary DESIGN DISRUPTORS. The film, screening now in select locations is an inspiring and engaging look at companies and products that are changing our landscape (and daily lives) through design. The film – while truly eye-opening for anyone with an interest in design or business, is a must-see for collaborative teams and creative agencies. As a team of self-described creative problem solvers, the Versions Collective resonated with the statement made by Julie Zhuo, VP, Product Design at Facebook; “(design is) the act of intentionally solving problems.” Check…

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1 year, 17 days ago
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Logo Design Fundamentals: A Balancing Act

Logo design is the bedrock of successful branding, so shortcuts are not an option. The process of designing the identity of a brand is essentially laying the groundwork for a conversation with the user, and in order for that exchange to go smoothly – the design must be crafted impeccably. If designed well, a logo can do much more than just look pretty – it can establish credibility, build trust and allow a brand to stand out from the crowd. Branding with regard to logo design has always been important – but in an age where much of business is done virtually, establishing solid brand recognition in a visual way is a requirement. So how do you create something that truly stands out and reflects the values of the brand it represents and ‘speaks’ to the audience? Here are a few essential elements: Versatility A logo that is truly effective…

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1 year, 1 month ago