Corporate Creative :: Design Articles for Business

How to Write a Web Design Request for Proposal (RFP)

rfpWe receive a Request for Proposal (RFP) in some form or another nearly every day. Some projects are simple, but none offer as much potential for miscommunication as the Web Design RFP. Often, first contact is in the form of the impossibly vague question, “We need a website; how much do you charge?

It is important to note that web design projects can range from the very basic (e.g., PSD deliverables for under a grand) to the mind-twistingly complex (some website budgets can reach seven digits). If you don’t provide a clear picture of what you need, there’s no way a design company can quote on it.

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Posted in Business, Issues, Tips, Web Design

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

How to Find a (Good) Freelance Designer

Find a FreelancerIt is difficult to address this topic without bias. However, I have been through the freelancing process from both ends… as the freelancer, and as the hiring party. And in both roles, what I’ve learned is that the world of freelancing is a turbulent ocean, with thirty sets of teeth for every pearl.

That’s not to say that hiring (or being) a freelancer is a bad idea. The pearls are there, and they are worth the swim if you’ve got the legs for it. The problem – or at least one of them – centers around an over saturated and under regulated marketplace.

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Posted in Business, Issues, Tips

How to Provide an Exceptional Service Experience

teaThere are thousands of resources online and in print purporting to hold the secret to success in business. It’s a vast and profitable industry, and books continue to fly off the shelves. From a service industry perspective, to me it seems to boil down to a single, simple ideal: The best way to attract and keep clients is to create a service experience that is second to none.

Providing exceptional design is not the full picture of what our company does. For a professional firm, quality of design should be a given. What keeps people coming back is the combination of high quality work product, and excellent customer service. And the same is true with any business.

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Posted in Business, Case Studies, Innovation, Issues, Tips

The Brilliance of Braun

braunOne of the most influential brands to come out of the 1970’s has got to be Braun. Not to be confused with the Braun we know today – after being acquired by P&G they became bland, dull and ultimately meaningless. No, the Braun of the seventies was a design powerhouse, producing some of the most iconic everyday pieces of consumer electronics ever designed.

Led by Dieter Rams, the Braun of the seventies embraced a design sensibility that was both minimalist and modernist-inspired, leaving us with a collection of timeless pieces that are fast disappearing into the homes of collectors worldwide.

Though product design is slightly removed from what we do at Sage, their approach to what Rams called ‘Good Design’ translates quite well.

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Posted in Branding, Business, Innovation, Tips, Trends

Organic Consumers Prefer Glass Packaging

spicesI have always loved glass packaging. Whether it be the nostalgic glass Coke bottles I remember buying at the corner store as a kid, or some of the supremely creative bottles at the local liquor store, I reckon I’ll always be subject to the glass bias.

Solid yet fragile, simple yet versatile, and clean yet primitively natural – the feel of glass gives an instant impression of quality.

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Posted in Business, Case Studies, Innovation, Issues, Packaging, Tips, Trends

Branding Beyond Design: Content & Context

 One of the biggest mistakes made by business owners and inexperienced designers is to attempt to build a brand in a vacuum. It may seem a bit odd to hear this coming from a designer, but to focus on visuals alone is foolish.

Unfortunately, the design field is filled with people who don’t know what design for business really is – and they’re selling this lack of context to business owners taken in by a flashy (but ultimately meaningless) portfolio.

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Posted in Branding, Business, Tips

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