All posts by: Vanessa Petersen

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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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5 months, 26 days 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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8 months, 10 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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10 months, 9 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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1 year, 9 days ago
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Tapping Into Your Creative Community

When living and working in such digitally and technologically connected culture, its all too easy to sit behind a screen and think that you are getting all the information that you need to do your best work. Articles, webinars, streaming video and audio and project management tools (read: Slack) just to name a few – all provide the connectivity and information for us to get inspired, put the puzzle pieces together and ultimately get the job done. But is it enough to produce the best work possible? Think of it this way, usually in the morning, you are ready and rearing to go (fueled by caffeine at least)  – ideas are flowing and you get to your desk to knock those ideas out of the park. As the day goes on, the momentum seems to slip and finally the afternoon comes and the process doesn’t have quite the spark as when…

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1 year, 7 months ago
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Creating Stand-Out Visual Content

Visual storytelling and content strategies – no matter how well crafted – all come down to the visuals that drive the message. If a great story is paired with a bad visual, it will lose credibility and therefore, be rendered uninteresting to its audience. Add in the rapid pace of information consumption by the mobile set, and visuals become the most important channel in connecting a brand or message with the user. The simple truth is that users now depend on visuals to be the deciding factor in choosing what content is worth engaging with. In a content-first, social-first atmosphere because people are constantly bombarded with content its important to get your message across quickly, pack a punch, and make it as easy as possible to consume and engage. Without the right imagery – the audience might as well be looking at a blank canvas. There is no company or brand…

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2 years ago
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Game Changer: Finding A Brand’s Differentiator

As popular as it may be the old saying ‘ if you can’t beat them, join them’ is the exact opposite of what a brand should do to compete in the market place. Many companies can simply exist for a time employing this mantra, but eventually, the model will fail with too many players offering the same service. If there is one constant, its that the competition will never let up – there will always be an upcoming launch, a new product or a lower price. In this constant and yet, even increasing competitive marketplace, a brand’s point of view must be distilled to its clearest message possible. The stand out aspect – the differentiator – is what will attract notice, garner attention and lead to conversion opportunities. Though it may seem obvious enough for some, finding a company’s differentiating factor can be a difficult task. Here are a few ways to ensure that a…

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2 years, 21 days ago
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Maintaining a Fluid Creative Process Throughout the Life Cycle of A Project

Throughout the life of a project, there are many peaks and valleys to manage. The process entails much more than just having the right project management software and following a tried and true pathway. As creatives, we must be constantly striving to innovate – even if it simply involves the generation of new ideas for the optimal flow of a project. For many, particularly in smaller creative groups, formal project management is something to steer away from due to fear of constraints and diminishing the creative process. And yet usually, there are no alternate processes put in place to keep the flow of a project moving resulting in stalled jobs, team discord and client dissatisfaction. Even if a ‘traditional’ approach to project lifecycle management isn’t implemented, a set of loose guidelines to reach the desired end result can be put in place, even heightening the positive impact for the agency…

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2 years, 1 month ago
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Working Programmatic Marketing Into A Current Digital Strategy

The jury is still out on the true value and ROI of programmatic marketing, but the possibilities that it has to improve marketing efforts and efficiency through automation are hard to ignore. Significantly increasing campaign effectiveness through precise targeting and real-time analytics, adopting a programmatic marketing strategy requires care and thought in understanding all aspects of the needs of a business. All stakeholders involved in the implementation must be aware of the peaks and valleys that will inevitably be encountered. Its widely known that big brands have tapped into the powers of a programmatic approach, however, smaller brands and organizations have been slower to adopt the methodology because of resources and knowledge base. Tapping into the benefits of a programmatic strategy doesn’t have to be a cumbersome process to garner value beyond the buy. Increased Agility Streamlining processes by driving targeted consumers to the right information an organization will see a higher return…

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2 years, 2 months ago
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Point and Click: When to Hire a Professional Photographer

It may seem that equipped with the wealth of technological tools at our fingertips today, that everyone can become a photographer – this couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s widely known that brand photography and corporate portraits are best taken by a studio photographer. More surprisingly, with a constant increase in photo sharing platforms such as Instagram – many brands (and even individuals) are looking to professional photographers to capture the ideal lifestyle snaps. While it may not take a lifetime to hone the skill, taking and applying the right images to a brand requires a balance of aesthetic and technique to get right. The application of the appropriate image on a web page or in print will capture the users attention, educate and inform, and may even persuade a user to engage further. Whats more is to apply the right tone to the platform whether website, social media,…

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2 years, 2 months ago