Fifty years ago this summer, Mike Nichols’ The Graduate hit American movie theaters. The film’s protagonist, Benjamin Braddock, played by Dustin Hoffman, is provided with some career advice in a penultimate moment when his parents’ smugly successful friend suggests — “One word: Plastics.” The moment captured the disillusionment of Baby Boomers and the desire to drop out instead of embracing a steady paycheck — and a seemingly spiritless life in chemical manufacturing. Continue reading “Think Small”
Category: Creative Strategy
Like many developers, I have loaded all kinds of libraries and dependencies into my sites because of time restrictions, design, or just to save some hassle. This past year I’ve decided to try and break up with many of these libraries and take the reins for myself.
Continue reading “SCSS Icons”
In advertising, it is easy to get caught up in large scale design with so many moving parts to a campaign, website, social content, or whatever it may be. Amazing work can be accomplished thinking big picture and that’s great. However, what if that picture was much smaller? What if was just a single letter?
Emojis. They’ve exploded onto the digital communications landscape, quickly replacing every emoticon smiley, wink and outcry. We can’t escape them. So what place, if any, do they have in advertising? Continue reading “Love ‘Em or Hate ‘Em, There’s a Market for Emojis”
Growing up, I associated Stephen King with clowns I wouldn’t want at my birthday party, hotels I wouldn’t want to visit on vacation and prom queens I wouldn’t want to take on a date. But it wasn’t until becoming a copywriter that I discovered King was as much a source of wisdom as he was a supplier of scares. His memoir, On Writing, is among the books I revisit often—particularly because of a quote that comes to mind every time I begin a new project, “Any word you have to hunt for in a thesaurus is the wrong word. There are no exceptions to this rule.” Continue reading “So your product is delicious? Let’s talk about changing that.”
When Come Ready Nutrition picked Smith Brothers to design the packaging for their new line of nutrition bars, we knew it would be a challenge. After all, no category has exploded more quickly over the past few years—and your average store is packed with a mind-boggling variety of them. Continue reading “How Do You Win The Battle At Shelf In The Nutrition Aisle? Keep It Clean”
In the past year, I’ve had the opportunity to work on 4 full website redesign & development projects at Smith Brothers Agency. My greatest takeaway from each project has been the process we used as a team to get the site from strategy to launch – and oddly enough, not one project has used the same creative process twice. In my opinion, this inconsistency in process has helped our creative team to consistently make outstanding work. Continue reading “Working Interactive Style Guides into Our Creative Process”
OK – so this blog post is about Responsive Web Design (RWD) aimed at brand managers or marketing peeps who oversee digital stuff. We fully understand that on the spectrum of important brand management to-dos, your website code base might not be that high on your priority list.
Continue reading “Responsive Web Design Explained for Brand Managers in 60-Seconds or Less.”
Think about this situation: You’re sitting at your desk when a coworker asks you to step into a meeting to discuss an upcoming project that you’ll need to lead. As your coworker explains the project to you, it becomes clear that the project is unlike anything you (or maybe anyone else, for that matter) have ever done before. And oh yeah – things are already weeks behind schedule. What would you do?
In the hyper-evolving digital world, this situation is becoming the norm at ad agencies everywhere. Projects are becoming increasingly more complex and production timelines are shrinking due to clients rapidly changing business needs.
Continue reading “Preventing Project Chaos”
With the release of Apple’s new mobile operating system, iOS7, just around the corner, a new design revolution is afoot. A Flat Design revolution to be specific. The term “Flat Design” can be misleading. It sounds plain or quite boring, but it solves for a great need in all good design: functionality. Often times things on screen will try to mimic their real world counterparts, using skeumorphic design. Ever look at the Notes app on an iPhone? Or the subtle shaded keys of the Calculator. Do we need ruled legal paper and a cartoonish font? The practitioners of Flat Design don’t think so.
Flat Design calls for a simplification of elements, providing streamlined clarity and function over form — a design principle for the ages. So what happens to the gradients, drop shadows and bevels that are the standards of traditional skeumorphic design? Gone, gone and gone.
Continue reading “The World is Flat (Again).”