It is during the two-hour commute to his San Francisco office that Oliver Wenz, director of user experience at Cisco Systems, first begins pondering how fundamentally flawed the North American system of work is.

A self-described non-traditional worker, Wenz despises conventional offices and the day-to-day lifestyle that comes with them. He sees the energy of the commute as “a complete waste of a lot of brains that sit there in a chasm of being unable to do anything else.” He says it’s ecologically and economically “just wrong.”

Read more

He is instead drawn to this new world of work where collaboration reigns supreme and creativity and innovation are not forced to fit into the confines of a 9-to-5 work day, a siloed job, or a tiny, segregated cubicle. He turns to companies like Google as an example and sees the tech industry as the leader of the pack, questioning the conventions of the typical office and creating spaces that weren’t seen in the decades before.

To learn more please visit: Innovation through Collaboration – LINK

The Olympics is a place where dreams come true — including for designers, who create everything from the logos to the tickets, the mascots to medals for every Games.

To finish all of the Olympics collateral in time, the Olympic design committee outsources the different jobs to various local firms. These projects can overlap across mediums, leaving two firms to indirectly throw in together on a project. Case in point: the Rio 2016 logo was made by Brazil’s Tátil Design de Ideias (Behance profile) , while the Olympic font — and yes, there is an exclusive Olympic font — was constructed by Dalton Maag, a British typeface firm that has a satellite office in Brazil. The process offers a unique case study on collaboration, one where two firms from different cultures must work off each other to produce final products that will surely be seen by hundreds of millions of people.

To learn more please visit: How the 2016 Olympic Logo and Font Were Created – LINK

Here is an opportunity to look at the behind-the-scenes graphic design work for the movie Beauty and the Beast; a closer look at their countdown social campaign before the release. I like the choice of the font throughout this whole campaign although not used everywhere. You will notice there is a different design depending on the representation of the movie scene. Props to the work from Sean Hobman who is a freelance art director/designer working with the folks from Watson DG who are pretty known in working with various Hollywood releases.

Published on Behance, this is a project in collaboration between Sean Hobman and the mighty folks from Watson DG. They are both located in different location from London, UK to Los Angeles, California.

Most people are creatures of habit. We love doing the same thing, the same way, day in and day out. Research tells us that we’re hard-wired for predictability, and that we’re not really all that spontaneous anyway. Familiarity is a rewarding feeling that’s chalk full of satisfaction, safety and security.

But what would happen if we broke free from tradition, and tried to live without those pesky habits and patterns?

Let’s dive into the experiment below and discover the results.

Read more

What are UX Design Patterns, Anyway?

Put simply, UX design patterns are predictable ways that designers come up with for users to interact with a website.

For a real-world example, consider the keyboard layout on your computer. It has a predictable layout and hasn’t changed in decades.

Web designers frequently ask their website visitors to take actions, that must be easy to accomplish. These tasks include signing up, logging in and out, submitting email addresses, and other important information.

If you’ve ever created a website before, you’ll know the pains of user experience issues from both the front facing and behind the scenes sides.

Since most Internet users tend to access multiple web and mobile applications on a daily basis, the fact that we have to constantly re-enter our information can become pretty tedious. This presents opportunities to implement UX design patterns to make things easier.

To learn more please visit: The Research-Backed Impact of Not Using UX Patterns – LINK

When you have a business, a thing that separates you from the competition is the story that your brand is bringing into the game. Here’s where content intervenes. It helps you craft a story that will have to convince your customers that they should buy your product over the competition. But making high-quality content is not easy at all, that’s why you need tools.

Read more

  • Clicky – is a way to monitor, analyze and react to your blog or web site’s traffic in real time. Everything in Clicky is up-to-the-minute real time. Clicky lets you see every visitor and every action they take on your web site, with the option to attach custom data to visitors, such as usernames or email addresses. Analyze each visitor individually and see their full history.

  • Crowdbooster – offers social media analytics with suggestions and tools. It also provides recommendations on Twitter and Facebook.

  • Meme generator – you can use it if you need to add a comical spin to your content. Everyone loves memes, right?

  • ePodcast creator – is an audio editing and recording software program.

  • Grammarly – you can check your grammar right from your browser or Microsoft Office, so you can improve your writing in emails, documents, social media posts and more. If you’re not a native speaker, of course.

  • Remember the milk – it’s an app that allows you to manage all your tasks, like a to-do-list. A great alternative to the classic Notepad.

  • Surveymonkey – you can create and publish online surveys in just a few minutes, and you can view the results graphically and in real time.

  • Contently – allows businesses to work with high-quality freelance writers. It also handles the payment and management of the editorial process.

  • Campaign monitor – with this you can create, send, and optimize your email marketing campaigns.

  • Piktochart – is an infographic design app that requires very little effort to produce high-quality graphics. There are more than 400 fully customizable themes to choose from.

  • MarketMuse – a tool for identifying interesting content ideas that can generate traffic. It measures content quality and improves relevance in your content, boosting lead quality and engagement. Is considered an addition to any marketer’s arsenal.

  • Cooperatize – You can buy sponsored content and native advertising on blogs with a guaranteed audience and you can get unique stories written about your brand.

  • Crowdfire – Use Crowdfire for publishing, social analytics and growing your Instagram and Twitter account.

  • Like Explorer – is a tool that shows you how many people shared or liked a specific web page on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus or other social networks. And it’s very easy to use.

  • TrackMaven – by analyzing all the digital content across your competitive landscape, TrackMaven identifies exactly what is working and what’s not. This helps you craft your editorial calendar and optimize your distribution strategy.

  • Socialbakers – being active on social media is very important nowadays. So we have another tool for you. Socialakers it one of the most popular provider of social media analytic tools, statistics and metrics for Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and Youtube.

  • Paperrater – is a free online grammar, plagiarism and spelling check program, that allows you to find mistakes in your content and correct them before you put your material out there, on the Web.

  • Lingosport – offers automated content marketing for your website, automatically updating the content throughout your web properties. With flexible control of the level of automation to use on each of your pages, businesses can create thousands of dynamically refreshing topic pages.

  • Visual.ly – you can create infographics and data visualizations. There are more than 30,000 infographics already created on the website for inspiration for your content marketing.

  • Followgen – is a fusion between targeting system and social advertising. It allows you to find a right audience for your content.

  • Mailchimp – is an email marketing platform that helps you market your content to your email list.

  • Scoop.it – with this tool, you can discover, curate and publish content to get visibility online.

  • Acrolinx – is a software that can read your content and guide your writers to make it better, based on your terms, style and tone. You’ll feel like you’re writing all the content by yourself.

  • Social Bro – Are you a Twitter maniac or you know that you’re content well get more publicity on Twitter? Well, this tool is for you. With this, you can manage and analyze your Twitter Community.

  • OneSky – offers professional translation services, translation management system and crowd sourcing solutions that enable companies to expand internationally.

A Graphics Interchange Format image, better known as a GIF, consists of picture files compressed to decrease transfer rate. GIFs possess several pictures in one file to create an animated effect. GIFs are prevalent in modern day cyberspace because the images are quick to download and the animations are often entertaining. For marketers, animated GIFs can be incredibly useful for improving engagement online.

We’re not here to settle the GIF pronunciation debate: Does it sound like gift without the “t,” or should it be pronounced like the peanut butter brand Jif? Instead, we want to offer you a rundown of the types of GIFs available, how you can make your own, and the legal considerations involved in GIF sharing.

Read more

Prevalence of GIFs in Social Media

Although GIFs can be used in blog posts (such as this one) and in website content, people primarily think of these animated images in the context of social media conversations. Here’s a quick breakdown of how many GIFs are posted to different social media platforms, according to the New York Times:

    • Tumblr: An average of 23 million GIFs posted every day
    • Facebook Messenger: Roughly 5 million GIFS sent between users every day
    • Slack: More than 2 million GIFs sent between users each month
    • Twitter: More than 100 million GIFs shared in 2015

To learn more please visit: Prevalence of GIFs in Social Media – LINK

No one likes dealing with problems. They force us to take a detour away from what we really want to accomplish while we stop and untangle them. But here’s the thing about problems – they’re the genesis for good ideas. They provide the opening for solutions, which in turn give you a leg up on your career. The stronger your fundamentals and core competencies are, the better position you put yourself in when you make your moves, whether it’s a play for new business or showing how your designs provide value far beyond the aesthetic layer. 

Read more

Admittedly, this is a lofty, nuanced question. And it insinuates that something is broken. Nothing is broken here, but there is always room for improvement. Like, is design too indulgent for its own good? Or maybe designers have trouble conveying their importance to clients? Or there is a lack of diversity within the industry? We gave our subjects free rein to go in whatever direction they deemed to be the most troubling, so you’ll see all of these topics and more covered in the following responses. The feedback provides a chance for self-reflection, to see if you’re guilty of any of them, while also serving as an ongoing checklist to make sure you’re doing everything you can to be at your best.

To learn more please visit: How to fix design – LINK

AIGA Medalist Sean Adams and Norwegian designer and educator Rachel Troye have both had prolific careers in the design and branding industries, running their own successful studios in very different cultures and climates (Adams lives in Los Angeles). In spite of achieving international renown, both have shelved their studios indefinitely to take up the mantle of teaching, Adams at ArtCenter College of Design, and Troye at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design, putting personal success to one side in service to the next generation of young creatives.
Read more

While united by all of the above, there are clear differences between their outlooks on education, attitudes towards their current crop of students, and more clearly the geopolitical landscape of their respective nations. What separates U.S. students from their Norwegian counterparts, how robust are the respective creative industries, and just what is the benefit of asking novice designers to make a poster that offends their whole class? Adams and Troye have those compelling answers and more.

To learn more please visit: What Students are Taught – LINK

As a creative designer, producing sensational and imaginative work is simply part of the job description. Every skilled designer naturally strives to improve their ability and to produce exceptional, unique work.

Yet while talent and creativity are important, the ability to efficiently manage your time and workflow is every bit as important to your bottom line as producing awesome work. Read more

Talented designers who fail to manage their projects and clients efficiently will find themselves consistently losing business and income to those who understand the value of a carefully thought-out workflow. The realyy efficient designers can manage their work flow well and equally know when to delegate or outsource parts of the job in hand.

To learn more please visit: 7 Tools – LINK

A new award celebrating in-house design excellence.

This award has been created to acknowledge and honour the work done by ever-growing creative teams that work as internal agencies.

We invite internal creative groups working within companies, associations, government and other organizations/institutions from around the world to enter.
Read more

Timeline
Call for Entries Opens: Monday, May 2, 2016
Early-Bird Deadline: Friday, June 3, 2016
Final Deadline: Friday, June 24, 2016

To learn more please visit: RGD – LINK

Pantone announced the latest addition of 112 new colors to the Pantone Graphics line. The new palette, which includes trend-spotting research by the Pantone Color Institute coupled with research from a survey of 200 designers across graphics, packaging, print and web design aims to inspire exploration and creativity in response to new design and societal shifts in the age of digital expression.
Read more

“Color is a visual cue that draws us to establish a connection with our environment and the things we love,” said, Kathryn Shah, VP of Marketing Pantone. “Digital tools have become a prominent part of everyday life, causing a societal shift in the way we communicate. Color breaks through the noise, commanding our attention, conveying a mood or style, and enabling expression of unique identities for individuals and brands alike. That’s what this palette and our new campaign are about – exploring creative expression through endless color.”

Leveraging international trend-spotting intelligence from Pantone Color Institute, the new palette incorporates key design trends across industries, but also serves as an important signifier of new cultural and social influences on the overall movement of color. During product development, Pantone surveyed hundreds of designers across graphics, packaging, print and web design. The findings indicated a desire for more Blushes, Blues and Neutrals.

To learn more please visit: Pantone – LINK

The 2015 IIDA Student Design Competition is now open for entries. The competition celebrates original design and rewards individuals and/or teams whose projects demonstrate innovative, functional design solutions that have a positive environmental and human impact, while allowing emerging professionals the opportunity to showcase their work and fresh design ideas to professionals working in the field. Read more

First, second, and third place winners will be selected by a jury of interior design and business professionals who will judge entries based on innovation and creativity, coherence and functionality, human impact, fulfillment of program requirements, and presentation of the information. Winners will be announced in the Spring 2016 issue of QUAD, the IIDA student newsletter, and featured in DesignMatters and on the IIDA website.

The deadline for entries is February 1, 2016.

To learn more please visit: IIDA – LINK

Douglas MacLaughlin is a photographer whose work focuses on food.

Douglas brings an artist’s eye and a designers perspective when looking through the lens. He draws upon his experience as a graphic designer and illustrator to create vibrant and impactful images.

To learn more please visit: Douglas Maclaughlin Photography – LINK

Fiverr and Ad Age have launched a design competition that challenges designers and copywriters to create an NYC subway ad for C/I, a non-profit that helps underserved communities thrive in the Tech industry. The contest is open to any individual, brand or advertising agency from any country. The winning submission will run in over 300 NYC subway platforms this summer.
Read more

Submit a creative, eye-catching design that captures the importance of C/I for underserved students. The winning design for C/I’s first-ever ad campaign will create awareness of the organization and compel people to take action. Judging will take place in early May.

The panel of judges include Rev. Jesse Jackson, Dennis Crowley (CEO, Foursquare), Kevin Brady (Creative Director, Droga5), Jim Moriarity (Brand Director, 72andSunny) and Jesse Juriga (Creative Director, Google).

The deadline for submissions is April 17, 2015.

To learn more please visit: Creative for a Cause – LINK

In Design to Grow, a Coca-Cola senior executive shares both the successes and failures of one of the world’s largest companies as it learns to use design to be both agile and big.

In this rare and unprecedented behind-the-scenes look, David Butler and senior Fast Company editor, Linda Tischler, use plain language and easy-to-understand case studies to show how this works at Coca-Cola-and how other companies can use the same approach to grow their business.
Read more

“Big and fast, complex and focused, large scale and agile. These seem like oxymorons in the world of business innovation,” commented Tim Brown, CEO of IDEO. “Using examples from the history of Coca-Cola, David Butler and Linda Tischler show how it is possible to embrace these tensions through the use of design. Reading Design to Grow has caused me to think differently about my company. I am confident it will do the same for how you think about yours.”

Butler and Tischler use a variety of case studies both inside and outside Coke-including BlackBerry and iPhone, Kodak’s market stumbles, Lego bricks, and Healthcare.gov-to illustrate clearly why we need to change how we think about “design”. They tap into current business trends of “disruptive innovation” and the “lean startup” movement, and they elucidate why truly good design goes far beyond eye-catching packaging and colorful commercials.

To learn more please visit: Design to Grow – LINK

Pantone has announced Marsala, a naturally robust and earthy wine red, as the Color of the Year for 2015.

“While PANTONE 18-3224 Radiant Orchid, the captivating 2014 color of the year, encouraged creativity and innovation, Marsala enriches our mind, body and soul, exuding confidence and stability,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute. “Much like the fortified wine that gives Marsala its name, this tasteful hue embodies the satisfying richness of a fulfilling meal, while its grounding red-brown roots emanate a sophisticated, natural earthiness. This hearty, yet stylish tone is universally appealing and translates easily to fashion, beauty, industrial design, home furnishings and interiors.”

Read more

Marsala for Fashion

Marsala was a hit on the Spring 2015 runways with fashion designers featured in the PANTONE Fashion Color Report Spring 2015; Daniel Silverstain, Hervé Léger by Max Azria and Dennis Basso incorporated the hue into their collections. The impactful, full-bodied qualities of Marsala make for an elegant statement color when the color is used on its own or as a compelling accent when paired with many other colors.

To learn more please visit:  PANTONE – LINK

CAMP Festival is a 2-day conference about creativity, art, design and technology happening on September 8-9 in Calgary, Canada. With many top-notch storytellers like Stefan Sagmeister, GMUNK and our beloved James White, this festival on its first edition, looks quite promising and inspiring for your creative flux. Time to explore the Digital Wilderness!
Read more

With 14 expert-lead presentations and panels, 300+ attendees, endless networking opportunities and a special evening event to boot, CAMP will educate you on the advancements in digital media, push your creativity, and leave you an inspired happy camper.

CAMP is working in partnership with global event producer FITC to bring this awesomeness to town!

To learn more please visit:  CAMP Festival – LINK

CreativeLive will host a free, interactive, multi-day class on negotiation and workplace communication for creative of all stripes – designers, photographers, musicians, actors, etc. Beginning June 23, author, design powerhouse, and entrepreneur Ted Leonhardt will share his expertise over three days of live education designed to help creatives negotiate the salaries they deserve.
Read more

Leonhardt will help explore negotiating as a collaboration in which creatives guide those they are negotiating with. Students will learn how to use time and context to define opportunities, create contracts instead of proposals, and align people with their vision. “Creatives are vastly underpaid, vastly undervalued for what they contribute,” explains Leonhardt, “what I’ve learned is that knowing the value of your expertise and how to leverage it is the most powerful foundation for negotiating a great deal with anybody.”

To learn more please visit:  Series on Negotiation – LINK