(Missed the first part of the custom typeface series? Check here!) In the months since my last blog, I’ve made a lot of progress on designRoom’s new typeface. First, we chose a concrete direction. After a more in-depth look at the way we use fonts, we decided we wanted a more personalized replacement for the [...]
Curiosity can kill a designer. Wait, what?! Well yeah, sometimes. Curiosity is a natural behavior for designers. Creative studios want designers to be curious. Designers can't help it. It's in their DNA. But sometimes it can be deadly. Designers can get too hung-up on "What if..." and the "I didn't think of that..." and not let [...]
Here are three of my most important and favorite photoshop tools I use for when designing digital assets: Fill / Content-Aware I remember the day I learned this technique. It felt like being a kid on Christmas morning opening a brand new toy. Only this toy makes my life much easier. Designers are constantly challenged [...]
Recently, I attended the Brand New Conference in Chicago, a “two-day event on corporate and brand identity with some of today’s most active and influential practitioners from around the world.” I’ve been to countless design conferences, but it had been quite some time since my last. To me they had become tedious portfolio reviews offering little [...]
What is your favorite color? Mine is 306. 306U to be exact (306C is a little too pedantic for my tastes). I know a lot of people like 300, or some like the warmer 2738. My favorite used to be 3005, but either my eyes have changed or I’ve just lost that emotional connection to [...]
Design debt is very much about wasted time and money. That's why we refer to it as debt. And why it's a good idea to avoid it. Almost everyone has experienced a design process of some sort. Whether through a marketing plan and a design firm or an interior design solution for your kitchen, design spreads across [...]
How does Seattle typestyles end up as the topic for this blog? I'll tell you: Kelly and I were in Seattle a few weeks ago for NATCON17. I swear this show gets bigger and better every year. We were thrilled to connect with inspiring behavioral health professionals and attend some insightful sessions. But, as with all [...]
I'm Shaun, Digital Design Director here at designRoom. I recently took time to answer some of the most popular questions clients ask me. I decided to collect them and share them here, in hopes they can also help you. Q: I've been told that my site needs to be more responsive and the resolution should be [...]
Ohio Travel Bag (OTB): established in 1908 as a manufacturer of traveling bags and coin collection bags. The Industrial Revolution, with its locomotives and steamships and motorcars, had opened up travel to everyday Americans. Ohio Travel Bag outfitted those travelers with their luggage. As larger manufacturers took over the market, OTB transitioned to sourcing and providing [...]
As I teased in my social post, I have some thoughts on Aldi's fresh logo. First, let me tell you my impressions of Aldi and their old logo. For a long time, I had driven by Aldi’s and had no idea what they were. It sounded and looked vaguely automotive. When I finally heard it [...]
How about a free 2017 calendar featuring original photography? It seems nobody does calendars anymore, which is why I created a free download for anyone who wants it! This is the first year I can remember that I didn't get a calendar to hang in my office. I guess I'm a little old school, but [...]
Here are my Top Four Digital Basics for Brand Design, because I see the need almost every day. If you feel like your logo and brand need a bit of an overhaul, or it’s been a long time since your brand has been cared for, this is for you. Good branding stands the test of time. But [...]
Here's a rare peek behind how I create a logo design — in this case, the new logo design for The National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP). The process began with our typical assessment. We interviewed key stakeholders, board members, vendors and members, and learned about NAATP's history and their competitive environment. You can read more [...]
I absolutely love what I do. Being a creative director and designer at dRC has fulfilled my desire to create and solve problems and it never gets old. But as some of you may know, I have another creative outlet that I am just as passionate about: Infrared Landscape Photography. When I am out shooting, I [...]
We love clients like Jeanne Coughlin. We love all of our clients, of course, but we have a rather long history with Jeanne, having helped develop her brand, the Coughlin Group, through the years. Her brand has grown and evolved, as all brands must. So last year, we partnered with her again to make her [...]
Whether creating a new brand or refreshing an old brand the ultimate success does not begin with research, interviews or focus groups. The foundation isn’t built in a brainstorming session or when pencil hits paper. The magic to building a healthy brand starts with the health of the relationship between the client and the branding [...]
When we establish a new identity or refresh an existing one, we provide our clients with brand guidelines. These guidelines are a set of rules that help to maintain the consistency and integrity of a brand over time. Within the guidelines, we provide specs for the brand's exact PMS colors. Pantone Matching System (PMS) is [...]
We shared this heroin addiction campaign blog a year ago. It is reposted because the situation is not getting better. (Blog amended and edited on September 29, 2016.) After hearing and reading comments from good, smart people saying how pissed they are at the cost of an Epipen versus an overdosing addict's access to Narcan and that we [...]
Image reproduction is pretty important to our work here at dRC. We work with images every day—creating, manipulating, color correcting, scaling, placing, printing, zipping and emailing. We receive images from clients almost daily -- logos, illustrations and photographs. Image resolution is critical to successful reproduction. If the image you want on your billboard is a [...]
Understanding your corporate colors is one of the more confusing and overlooked aspects of brand management. Here are some steps to help you along the way: 1. Yes, color is a big deal. “Color increases brand recognition by 80%.” (Source: University of Loyola, Maryland study). Choose your colors wisely. Color is critical to identifying your [...]
Here is a fun look back at all of the designRoom Creative Holiday cards. Let us know which one is your favorite. Bonus points if you can guess the designers (no cheating past dRC designers). Hint: I try as hard as I can to get out of doing the card every year, but some of [...]
I spend less than two minutes picking paint colors from that massive swatch kiosk at Home Depot. I go with my gut. But I really only have myself to please. It's different in my design work. There are so many factors that go into developing a color palette for a brand, a campaign or even [...]
I own a creative studio. Every day here is colorful. Our designers are immersed in color, recommending palettes for client brands - digging deep into color psychology, meaning, relationships, competition, hierarchy and every other aspect you can think of. Even our walls are a bright orange and pale blue. I oversee this colorful kingdom while wearing [...]
I'm warning you up front. That this is a curmudgeonly blog about design language. First, when speaking out loud of a photograph, it is a "picture." Not a "pitcher." Now that that's out of the way, let's discuss Font vs Typeface. Like when people say "font" when they really mean "typeface". Or vice- versa. Whatever. [...]
Yes, your logo is stupid. And the fact that it is ugly isn’t what is making it stupid. It’s stupid because it gives me no sense of what you do, how you do it and why you do it. And it looks like a million other logos that I forgot about years ago. Did you [...]
So, in steps one and two we've discovered key information about our client's brand and we've developed that information into key words and logo concepts, as well as ideas for tag lines. We have used what we've learned as the foundation for positioning and branding and presented a slew of concepts. Our client has picked a path, or two or three. That brings us to Step Three in our Process: Design.
When we present concepts to clients, I often wonder if they think about how we got from the creative brief to the visual solution. I wonder if they try to understand the leap from words and thoughts to images/colors/type. Maybe they understand more than I give them credit for. Or maybe they don’t care at all and I am just wondering how I do it myself. I’m always a little surprised where inspiration comes from.
When the iPad was released it was panned for being a large iPhone. Tablets were thought of as media consumption devices, because of their size and their touch interface. Now though, they are extending out from general use and into creative and development capabilities. But fret not, traditionalists. These mobile platforms have a long way to go before they replace the trusty desktop workhorse and convince me to stop using my iMac. Even so, I am increasingly finding design apps that integrate easily and effectively into my workflow.
This month, dRC will be discussing one of my favorite things to design - logos. First off, it is important to know that your logo is NOT your brand. The term “brand” can be confusing because it has evolved from its origins on the ranch, branding cattle with a hot iron to signify ownership, through the early days of advertising, during which "brand" simply described a logo or package design, to what it means today, sort of a catch-all word.