All posts tagged: creative agency chicago

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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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5 years, 4 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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5 years, 10 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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6 years, 5 days 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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6 years, 30 days ago
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Keeping Agile In The Evolving Creative Marketplace

Good news, if you are reading this post – you’re already one step ahead. In the current and constantly changing design and technology landscape, talent and drive are key – but being informed will push the envelope even further. Staying on top of industry trend patterns, innovators, designers and developments allows an already creative mind the space to open up even more possibility for future Read (or Listen) Up From blogs to print magazines and journals – gathering knowledge by keeping tabs on the latest publications is one of the best ways to stay in the know. Digital content is highly up to date but can be sometimes be fleeting since trends change so regularly. Keep an eye out for content patterns – if you begin to see multiple publications on the same topic that means it’s probably worth a second look. If you can’t spare the time, podcasts are also…

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6 years, 1 month ago
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Using Data to Heighten the Creative Process

It’s all too common for data to be seen as a creativity killer. To most creatives, the thought of analyzing content, numbers, charts and graphs has been seen as both a daunting and cumbersome process – an all out war against the design process. But what if data could be the key to what makes the creative experience truly free? With storytelling and user experience at the top of most brand strategies, data has become a necessary aspect of providing the right messaging (both visual and contextual) to the end user. Consumers are providing critically valuable information from the digital environment as they engage with brands, leaving a trail of signals. These cues, while backed in analytics, can help designers in creating rich experiential  landscapes that exceed expectations across all platforms. As much of an oxymoron as it may seem, creatives need constraints to tap into true innovation. Without some…

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6 years, 2 months ago
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Anatomy of A (Successful) Creative Brief

We all know the optimistic feeling of winning a new client. The possibilities for the project are vast (at least as far as the budget will stretch) and the possibilities for creative are endless. With all the excitement, it’s far too easy to jump into a project, rushing with ideas and innovative approaches – both on the part of the client and the creatives. As the course of the project moves forward, inevitably, clients make changes, designers take liberties and as a result – the true message of the campaign can get lost in translation. This possibility for a communication breakdown can result in costly edits, time spent in development and meetings – or even worse, a stalled project. To combat the possibility of ill communication, a team must employ a few critical tools to aid in optimal workflow. Enter the creative brief – a document that could be described as the core of successful creative…

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6 years, 2 months ago
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The Power of the White Paper for Brand Influence

Content is king, as they say – and nowhere does this resonate than with the discerning users of todays digital landscape. Now an integral part of any brand strategy, content marketing is an essential part of what an organization needs to survive. Customers are inundated with clever headlines, 140-character limits that tend to be leading (many times to nowhere), and graphics that may not be relevant to the message. No longer is lackluster search material going to bring conversions – and with that, a brand must deliver high-quality, useful and valuable content. This is where the often overlooked tool of the white paper comes into the picture. Designed to educate the market about a product or service, the white paper is a short document that complements the selling process with facts crafted to inform the user and heighten their knowledge about the organization. To be successful, the content must be useful…

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6 years, 3 months ago
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Ideas First, Innovation Second

With a nearly constant stream of updates, optimization strategies and new technologies coming to market on a daily basis in the grand pursuit of disruption, the result can be somewhat uninspiring – stemming from lackluster and underdeveloped ideas. If the goal is innovation, then we could be waiting around for awhile. True innovation is lighting in a bottle and it won’t always strike when the time and conditions are right. To increase the possibility of disruption and innovation, ideas must flow freely and swiftly to even stand a chance of becoming a reality. It’s one thing to have a wealth of good ideas, it’s quite another to make them become a reality and on the road to becoming something useful, even life changing. A few aspects can aid in ensuring great ideas become disruptors. Speed It’s true, timing is everything. Time to market with a good idea is possibly the most…

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6 years, 3 months ago
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Elevating Projects Through the Creative Brief

Kicking off a campaign, launch or site design is the undoubtedly one of the most optimistic points of a creative project’s lifecycle. There is a deep sense of possibility and excitement, along with a fresh new client relationship. Pencils are sharpened and it’s almost like the first day of school. It’s easy to jump into a project, rushing with ideas and innovative approaches. At a project’s inception, everyone from the client to the designers seem to agree upon a process to move forward and before you know it, the team is off and running – sometimes in different directions. As the course of the project moves forward, inevitably, clients make changes, designers take liberties and as a result – the true message of the campaign can get lost in translation. This possibility for a communication breakdown can result in costly edits, time spent in development and meetings – or even worse, a…

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6 years, 4 months ago