All posts in: Concepts and Ideas

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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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5 months, 9 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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8 months, 21 days ago
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Creative Process: Design is Iterative

Working together takes a certain amount of empathy and curiosity – which aren’t always the easiest qualities to tap into on a moments notice. They are, however, invaluable tools that can propel a project to the ideal outcome in less time. Building this type of collaborative environment that fosters experimentation that, if productive, requires some level of structure that many are looking to create on an enterprise scale. With the shifting models of agencies – and highly competitive marketplace, founders and creative directors are on a constant search for a pioneering model for idea generation. The challenges throughout the lifecycle of a project can be immense, so a system of organization rooted in not only creativity, but accountability has emerged as a perennial favorite. So what process has risen to the top, providing optimized efficiency and creative flow to a team of collaborators? Featuring one of the most sustainable approaches to the…

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11 months, 12 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, 3 days ago
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The Creative Process: Embracing Ambiguity

When working with a creative agency, the premise is that the creative team should know exactly how to proceed with any project – large or small. The pathway should be clear – a creative brief is employed and its off to the races. But if you look at it closer, all projects are vastly different, requiring every company, organization and brand to engage in a unique approach to meet even their most basic of needs. Unfortunately – many designers, agencies and strategists implement a formulaic approach that lacks longevity and impact. More often than not, the ideal end result derives from a process where iteration is the only way to reach an innovative product – not everything can be meticulously planned and crafted down to a formula. With focus turning away from traditional project management, its beginning to look like creative ambiguity is not such a bad thing – in fact it could be the optimal…

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1 year, 4 months ago
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2016 Tech + Design Conference Guide

While its certainly true that you can learn most anything from the comfort of your computer screen – it can be beneficial to get out into the wild and see whats happening in the creative community. With so many content streams and new conferences popping up what seems like daily, its become hard to separate the good from the bad. Many talks and webinars are now offered free, but many conferences come with a hefty price tag, so its imperative to do your homework. Whether looking to expand your client base, offer new services, grow your network, recruit or even get a new job – attending at least one well researched conference per year can be invigorating, inspiring and all in all – a solid investment in yourself or your business. To help make sense of it all, we’ve compiled a few of our favorites that have proven to deliver…

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1 year, 5 months 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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1 year, 5 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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1 year, 7 months ago
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Exploring Collaborative Design Methods: Parallel, Iterative & Agile

More often than not, the means to completing a project with the ideal outcome consists of working with a team. Collaborating with creatives can help the process along and help ease ‘stuck spots’ that are bound to arise. Building a team with a variance of individual talents will not only assist in the initial idea creation process, but will allow for specific stakeholders to be accountable for the areas of the work that they most align with. There are many project management routes to take when working collaboratively, but the format should ideally frame around a specific co-working methodology. Many new implementations have arisen as collaboration becomes more and more prevalent in both small scale and enterprise companies. Trying out each style or cherry picking from each method to form a new working style is advised to fit the project it will develop with. Parallel Design One of the techniques commonly used among…

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1 year, 8 months ago
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For Better SEO, Look to Your Content

SEO is an integral component of digital marketing that accounts for a substantial portion of many companies (both enterprise and startup) revenues. Still, many are going about their approach with a ‘business as usual’ implementation – plugging in keywords and playing to what the auto generated engines will pick up. It’s not just about keywords anymore. To be truly optimized, content must be crafted with both the user and SEO in mind, and with an increased focus on quality and experience, content must be the driver. While this creates a better user experience, it can be a challenge to implement best practices when creating content for searchability. Understanding user needs is the frontline, while writing optimized content for organic searchability is paramount. Experienced search engine optimization experts and content developers, understand the underlying factors as to why writing unique and relevant content for websites it is important to ensure the long…

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1 year, 9 months ago