Corporate Creative :: Design Articles for Business

Launching a new website: the checklist


“Creating a new website is like having a baby – the first one really is the hardest.”

These words came from one of our current clients, during the early wireframe phase of his first website. And although we make the process as easy as possible for our clients, it remains a valid point. Your website is your company’s public face after all, so you really do want to make sure that each and every detail is just right.

The process can be overwhelming for the uninitiated. If this describes you, read on. What follows is a basic, plain-language checklist for getting your organization online.

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Posted in Business, Collateral, Issues, Marketing, Technology, Tips, Web Design

Consumer Psychology, Design and the User Experience


usabilityCompanies hire corporate designers to craft solutions that clearly and memorably communicate their brand’s message, directly to their market. They understand that without a full comprehension of consumer psychology and the user experience (UX), they may as well be chucking paint into a corner.

Effective strategic design is somewhat like a composition written for a symphony orchestra, in that it requires several instruments working symbiotically in order to achieve the desired result.

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Posted in Branding, Business, Marketing, Tips, Trends, Web Design

Web Design Anatomy: Restaurant Websites


Any professional will tell you that design is pointless without context. This is especially true in the design of a company’s website.

Even if you have no interest in design theory and fundamentals, for the sake of your business there is one point that should never be forgotten: the purpose of design is communication.


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Posted in Branding, Business, Case Studies, Issues, Marketing, Retail, Technology, Tips, Trends, Web Design

The Problem With Restaurant Websites


I’ve long been a proponent of the view that if a technology is to be used, it should be done deliberately, with intelligent restraint, and with purpose. What’s more, it should not be used for reasons such as abstract trendiness or at the expense of general usability. You can have impact without beating your audience over the head.

What follows is a recounting of one man’s frustration at the restaurant industry’s infatuation with Flash. Enjoy.

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Posted in Business, Issues, Marketing, Technology, Tips, Trends, Web Design

Building a Brand based on Trust and Authenticity


CredibilityThe fields of branding and marketing have a credibility problem.

More often than not, consumers associate brand-speak with trickery, exaggeration, misdirection and outright deception. The sad thing is, I don’t blame them. A lot of brands are disingenuous. What those brand managers don’t realize is that tricking someone into buying once is far less profitable than earning customer loyalty and trust over the long term.

Investing in your Brand for the Long Haul

Branding is so much more than just looking good. You need to pick up where we leave off.

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Posted in Branding, Business, Case Studies, Issues, Marketing, Tips

Smart Copywriting: Forget the “What”, Focus on the “How”


If there is one thing copywriters love to talk about it’s “Features vs. Benefits“. To us it makes all the sense in the world. However, many business owners who want to learn to write their own powerful copy struggle with the concept.

Features are the properties of a product or service. The features of a car might be anti-lock brakes, leather seats, or rear-window defrost. Benefits, on the other hand, show how those features will actually be of benefit (hence the name) to the user. Anti-lock brakes keep you safe if you have to stop quickly. Leather seats are more durable and luxurious than cloth. In copywriting, benefits are much, much more important than features.

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Posted in Business, Case Studies, Marketing, Tips

Search Engine Tunnel Vision


SEM Tips“I want our site to be number one on Google”

The number of times a client has uttered those words to us (or a close variation on the theme) is somewhat staggering.

Sure, we all want it. And for certain parameters, we can get it for you. But while Search Engine Optimization is a very important component of both web development and your overall marketing platform, it cannot stand alone.

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Posted in Branding, Business, Issues, Marketing, Tips, Web Design

Creating Winning Sales Copy


Everyone in business is in the business of sales. You may not be peddling widgets, but we’re all selling something. Like it or not, commerce depends on marketing: a high-pressure, highly competitive field where genuine talent seems to be diluted with morons. I’ve worked with a lot of highly impressive and capable marketing professionals, but I’ve also dealt with too many who fall into the other camp. The fact is, being effective in marketing requires intelligence, an intuitive and intimate understanding of human psychology, and a finely tuned talent for communication.

Personally, I rank selling myself up there with paperwork and taxes. I’d rather be doing actual design work than making a sales pitch. I’d rather be doing just about anything else, for that matter. But success in business demands we master not only our own craft, but also those fields that we depend upon to stay afloat (and prosper). In my case, I’m helped along quite a bit by way of the fact that I also happen to have a university degree in psychology, so I’m able to mesh what I know about design with what I know about people.

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Posted in Business, Marketing, Tips

Form Meets Function


DesignHere’s another designer who’s taken an otherwise mundane everyday piece of equipment, and made it cool through creative re-conceptualization. In my books, ‘cool’ takes more than just making something pretty… it’s got to be smart too. The Donut Powerstrip by Ramei Keum meets these criteria. It is a very simple multi-socket power ‘bar’ that’s not just stylish (yes, a stylish extension cord), but gets big points for usefulness as each socket rotates freely and independently to allow any size adapter or plug assembly.

I have a few power blocks in my office. None of them can accomodate one plug per socket, since a good proportion of my gadgets use big bulky adapters. I hide them from view where possible. One has a fancy blue light, but it’s not really a design feature.

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Posted in Business, Marketing, Retail, Trends

Catalog Design – Using Product Placement and Page Layout to Maximize Sales and Catalog ROI


A catalog is a highly specialized marketing collateral piece that, when designed and produced correctly, will drive customers to complete their purchase with your company over other alternatives. By presenting a tempting display of appealing products in a clear, carefully considered fashion, your catalog can become one of the most powerful calls to action in your sales arsenal – particularly when paired with a niche marketing strategy.

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Posted in Branding, Business, Collateral, Innovation, Marketing, Retail, Trends

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