Corporate Creative :: Design Articles for Business

Your Online Brand and the Holiday Season


 From disparate beginnings, Christmas has become largely a cultural celebration for my generation – one meant to bring people together and place our focus on the people we love.

It has also become an uber-brand that represents intangible, un-buy-able values (peace, love, joy, family, selflessness) simultaneously with supreme commercialism.

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

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

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

A Step (or twenty) Too Far…


I love design. I love graphic design, industrial design, interior design, architectural design… all of it. Push the envelope and bring a big smile to my face. But eventually, everybody has their own point at which they say “Ok, you’ve gone far enough… dial it back a notch”.

This landed in my inbox not too long ago. It’s hilariously lazy in a way, but in another it’s a bit of an oxymoron in practice. Expend a pile of energy to have the luxury of parking your butt anywhere you want – for about five seconds, which is how long it takes for the pavement to reach up and smack your behind through the rapidly deflating marshmallow-like bubble seat.

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Posted in Innovation

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

Culture Conversion: Designing for Niche Markets


A niche market is a focused, targetable portion of a market… or a narrowly defined group of potential customers. In general, if your business focuses on a niche market, you should be addressing a need for a product or service that is not being addressed by mainstream providers.

Unless you are in the community being targeted, it can be hard to tell upfront whether the design of your creative is going to be effective. But when you’re part of the targeted community, you get the message loud and clear. The trick comes in when you want to target a niche market to which you yourself do not belong. Bridging this gap between business and niche markets thus often requires a thoughtful cultural conversion campaign

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

Packaging: dressing your product in a fashion conscious market


Packaging. It’s something most people don’t necessarily think about, perhaps partly due to the fact that it is so overwhelmingly pervasive. Even just picking up groceries for the week, in a single forum we are subjected to the end results of thousands of individual design and branding endeavours; some good, some bad, and the rest forgettable.

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

Using design in business


Design in business is much more than just catchy ads. You can use design to generate new ideas and turn them into innovative and competitive products and services, improve your business processes and strengthen and deepen your marketing approach.

If used systematically across your business, design can bring a range of measurable commercial benefits:

  • Improved sales and conversion rates
  • Improved market position
  • Greater customer loyalty
  • A stronger and more credible identity for your business
  • The ability to open up new markets


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Posted in Branding, Business, Issues, Trends

Tips for choosing the right design firm


If ever there were an overly competitive industry with little to no regulation, it would be the corporate design industry. Anyone with a computer and basic software can market themselves as a designer, while the industry is devalued and thousands of business owners are taken for a ride by unqualified or even unscrupulous pretenders.

As a consumer, how do you protect yourself and your company? The answer is more simple than you may think – all you have to do is a bit of homework.

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Posted in Business, Issues, Tips

You’ve got 50 milliseconds to wow me


How strong is your website’s immediate appeal? According to a Carleton University study published earlier this year in the academic journal Behaviour & Information Technology, web designers have only 50 milliseconds to make a good first impression.

In less than the blink of an eye, your internet users have already formed an opinion about your website and by extension, your company. Participants in three studies were first asked to rate a series of web pages according to their aesthetic appeal after viewing them for 50 milliseconds, and were then asked to examine each site more carefully and provide a new rating. Confirming the old saying that a first impression is often a lasting one, the researchers found no significant difference between the two ratings. This means that in that first 50 milliseconds, your audience has already sussed you out.

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

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