All posts tagged: creative agency chicago

Right Now: Five Packaging Trends Driving Brand Growth

Packaging design trends provide us with direct insight into what consumers feel, what problems they need to solve and what is coming next. Today, it’s all about connection, understanding and engagement. Designers are tasked with uncovering, realizing and articulating what is important to a consumer and to direct that experience. Through story, shape and structure, designers and brands can deliver the experience to make invaluable connections that last a lifetime. Brand Basic Gone are the days of generic or in house brands being a bad thing. House labels from brands like Amazon, Whole Foods, Target and Trader Joes – even luxury brands are emerging to focus on simplicity and clarity. A departure from the often headache inducing ‘world of choice’ that permeates store shelves, basic brands are the ‘unchoice’ making purchasing a straightforward affair. Heritage Nothing quite strikes a chord with consumers than a brand who has been around the block a time…

30 days ago

Merging Marketing, Design and Sales Efforts Into An Aligning Digital Strategy

Today, standard business operations increasingly exist primarily on digital platforms, challenging users’ relationships and interactions with an organization. Vital to a successful business, these channels must be recognized, developed and thoughtfully implemented. Acting as the fundamental delivery method of determining this engagement, the use of a digital strategy is essential for any organization. With the goal of brand awareness, increased outreach and market share gain, business owners make investments in these critical pursuits without having core strategies in place and even more worrisome – jumping into resource draining marketing plans that simply don’t align with their business goals or brand messaging. Often marketing, design and sales departments operate in linear motion with only a few essential cross functional touch-points along the way. This results in duplicate activities, watered down results and a disjointed overall experience. So how can these efforts merge – allowing a digital strategy to align with business…

1 month, 19 days ago

Key Principles of Creating an Immersive Web Design

It’s now more important than ever to deliver an online experience that authentically delivers the perspective of the brand it represents. Leveraging a combination of visual, contextual, graphic and textual elements – a brand has the ability to make stronger connections. From initial perceptions to emotions and behavioral responses – the more connective the experience is, the deeper the loyalty between brand and user will be. By approaching a strategy inclusive of immersive web design  – users are greeted with new developments in interactivity, design technique and integrated engagement. These implementations create an experience that is both memorable, useful and provides an ease of use to the user. Immersive web experiences are truly the next level of engagement, creating an environment that is seamless and entertaining to the user, but is actually quite complex. Though immersion can be any number of implementations inclusive of animation, transitions, webgraphics or micro-interactions – one of the…

1 month, 26 days ago

A Plan To Innovate: How Companies Can Benefit From Visual Branding

Breaking into any given market is a bit like being blindfolded. You know you have a great product or service, but unless the positioning is right, the strategy has a fifty percent chance of failure. The right positioning consists of a series of elements including design, which arguably has the power to make or break the whole implementation. Design is much more than just a visual representation of a product, brand or service. Brand design or visual branding, when done right, approaches all aspects of a business – from its digital persona, user set, goals, packaging, and the list goes on. This is where the difference between ‘designing for a brand’ and just ‘designing’ comes into focus. Simply designing something creates a distance from the design to the brand, ‘designing for a brand’ engages the designer and involves collaboration with founders, marketing teams, and brand or project stakeholders. There are…

2 months, 11 days ago

Elements to Look For When Deciding On an Outside Team for Marketing Collaboration

From startup to enterprise, there are a myriad of challenges in hiring the right creative team for any given project. Finding the right group of individuals to handle a product launch, event campaign or website design can be a daunting task, even holding the health of the business in the balance, so choosing the right agency to partner with is vital to a positive outcome. Even if conducted solely in-house with internal teams who have an intimate understanding of the brand at hand, each branding initiative is a coordinated effort of stakeholders, accountability, idea generation and – let’s face it, ultimately –  a juggling act. Even with the right internal resources, it can be a benefit for companies and brands to obtain an outside perspective from both creative and logistical standpoints. Individuals who can objectively look at assets and then engage with the material are able to design pathways and…

3 months, 4 days ago

Life Cycle of the Web Design Process: A Unified Perspective

Achieving an optimal website design requires a strategy that aligns with the goals of the business it represents. When approaching web design, many jump right to the ‘design‘ portion. Thoughts of imagery, interactivity, and dynamic visuals come to mind. To attain the ideal UX, before entering this exciting design phase, the strategy and wireframing process should take place, with web designers taking a first step in projects through a layout strategy to suit the needs of the client and user. When discussing a site design, many think that a website is a one size fits all approach, and if not guided correctly, end up with an informational site that ends up having to be redesigned as soon as company needs change. Whether designer, developer, project stakeholder or client, it’s important to understand the technical aspects such as layout, wireframes, code, and content strategy and management. Understanding the process being entered…

3 months, 16 days ago

Getting to Know Your Conversion Goals

Whether coming to our agency for a site refresh, rebrand or identity development – all of our clients have one thing in common: they want to make their business better. But what does that mean? Working back to establish goals and how these goals can be met is essential to determining what the conversion points will be on a digital product being designed. Is the goal increased revenue, customer satisfaction or greater market share? Setting these clear objectives when strategizing design is the ideal way to directly correlate these actions to business results. Working in close collaboration with marketing teams and brand managers, there is no shortage of business acumen. Through an immersive discovery phase, business goals are translated into actionable digital strategies. If the conversion goal is lead generation, for example, we can better support this initiative by raising awareness of the brand at large through content and visuals. What is…

3 months, 28 days ago

Increasing Engagement: Aligning Visual and Contextual Content

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 in the world that isn’t engaging in some sort of visual content strategy. 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…

6 months, 17 days ago

Wireframing and the UI/UX Design Process

When kicking off a web design project, it’s no secret that clients would like to get to the design phase as quickly as possible. Even if there is a clear understanding of the project being user experience centered, everyone wants to see color and content, both visual and contextual as soon as they can. Providing a high-level view of what a site will look like, this lo-fi versioning of a website gives a ‘black and white’ skeletal representation of what the mapping (both navigation and content based) of how the site will ultimately function for the user. It’s important to understand that the wireframe process is an integral step in paving the ideal pathway for the user and determining how the site’s main navigation will function. Much of the entire design process, and particularly in the initial phase – the project requires the ability to clearly communicate message and collaborate…

1 year, 15 days ago

Refreshing Your Manufacturing Website

Technology changes fast, and while most manufacturers stay on top of up to date advancements with their products, their websites can become outdated when updated only with basic maintenance. Left un-optimized, the market facing website of a manufacturer can reflect poorly on the company, reflecting the sense that the brand might not be up to date with with the latest technologies – from their product lines to their digital presence. While a full website redesign is recommended every few years, a yearly website refresh can extend the life of a website, bring in heightened conversion and help a company remain timely and competitive in the marketplace. Implementing website refresh doesn’t have to be a costly or lengthy task, but there are certain creative and strategic elements that are most effective in the process. Messaging Content strategies are perhaps the most important aspect of a website refresh. Often, the messaging of an…

1 year, 1 month ago