All posts in: Creative Concepts

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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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3 months, 25 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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10 months, 8 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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1 year, 23 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, 1 month 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, 2 months 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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1 year, 4 months 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, 5 months 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, 9 months 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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1 year, 11 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, 12 days ago