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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
“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
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
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.
“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
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.
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
Fritz Kahn was a German doctor, educator, popular science writer, and information graphics pioneer whose brilliant work has all but fallen into oblivion. Chased out of Germany by the Nazis, who banned and burned his books, Kahn emigrated to Palestine, then France, and finally the United States to continue his life’s work.
Though his achievements were numerous, the most notable was the development of creative visualizations to explain complex scientific ideas. Published on the 125th anniversary of Kahn’s birth and destined to bring his work back into the spotlight, this monograph features more than 350 illustrations with extensive captions, three original texts by Fritz Kahn, a foreword by Steven Heller, and an essay about Kahn’s life and oeuvre.
To learn more please visit: Fritz Kahn – LINK
Wacom has unveiled a pressure-sensitive digital pen for sketching, drawing and painting on an iPad. The Intuos Creative Stylus works seamlessly with the iPad and a series of creative apps, providing an authentic experience for whenever inspiration strikes.
Designed for the iPad 3, 4 and Mini, the Intuos Creative Stylus is compatible with popular creative apps such as Autodesk SketchBook Pro for iPad, ArtRage, Bamboo Paper, ProCreate and Psykopaint. The Intuos Creative Stylus’s advanced technology comes in form of a best-in-class pen experience and pressure sensitivity of 2048 pressure levels. This means that it can reproduce the feel and artistic control of traditional brushes and markers, so it’s ideal for sketching, illustrating and image editing.
To learn more please visit: Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus – LINK
Corbis CRAVE is a new digital boutique that features expertly curated imagery from industry-leading commercial and editorial photographers.
“Corbis CRAVE provides creative directors and art buyers a search and ideation experience tailored to their unique and specific needs whether they’re accessing the collection on their iPad or through the website,” explained Edie Tobias, senior vice president of commercial products at Corbis.
For creative momentum on the go, the Corbis CRAVE app puts the finest images front and center and gives creatives powerful search and lightbox functionality to advance their creative visions whether face-to-face with a client or waiting to catch a flight.
Corbis CRAVE is also a venue for creative professionals to explore and be inspired by the work of some of the most sought-after commercial photographers in the world via featured portfolios – while providing a seamless user experience as they develop their own projects from storyboard to execution.
To learn more please visit: Corbis CRAVE – LINK
Nearly 4 months into the new year and it has been very productive so I wanted to highlight a couple of interests. Just before the doors closed on 2012 I was fortunate to reengage with a local entrepreneur who opens businesses that many of us just dream about. Naturally anyone creative would want to be a part of his vision/s so I met with owner Ray Willis to discuss ideas surrounding his new business – RC Cars of Boston. We collaborated previously on his identity for Spadafora Choppers so RC Cars of Boston purposefully ties strongly to the Spadafora brand. Spadafora Choppers was a big success so I’m hoping as this new identity continues rolling out it will be matched with equal excitement and praise.
For the past few years I’ve also been working with a great organization named Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program. It’s a dedicated team of highly motivated individuals coming together for a great cause. Colleagues I’ve worked with in the past recommended the opportunity which was a chance to give back and help those less fortunate. My charge was to help call to attention and promote an annual sock drive also supported by the Boston Red Sox. I designed a unique logo “One Size Fits All” which was applied to posters, direct mail and online. Additionally I’ve worked with BHCHP to design their marathon T-Shirts each year so it’s more than rewarding to produce creative that really makes a difference.
The Phaidon Archive of Graphic Design is a book in a box. It is a collection of 500 loose-leaf cards that represent the most influential and innovative graphic designs from around the world throughout history.
There are 15 categories, among them: typeface, logos, ads, magazine covers, money, film graphics, book covers, posers, packaging graphics, etc.
Compiled and researched by experts, and illustrated with up to six images per entry, including rarely seen historical and contextual material, The Phaidon Archive of Graphic Design is the ultimate reference guide.
Born of the traditions of fine art and printing, graphic design is a form of visual communication that seeks to inform, identify or promote through the combination of word and image. But unlike the written word or a work of art, a graphic design operates exclusively in the context in which it will be seen, and mediates between the wishes of the client and the expectations of the public. Moreover, a graphic work is created for mass reproduction.
The field of graphic design, as we know it today, has its roots in two developments: the invention of the printing press in the fifteenth century and the Industrial Revolution of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, both of which contributed to the process of graphic reproduction. Today, trade, commerce, communications and culture continue to feed the need for graphic design, and technological developments – most notably the computer – are constantly broadening its possibilities. Of all the arts, graphic design comes closest to our contemporary daily life, as we interact with graphic design on an almost continuous basis.
JOB OPPORTUNITIES FEATURED AT THE HUB: VISTAPRINT – LEXINGTON, MA
There’s nothing old-fashioned about our North American location in historic Lexington, Massachusetts.
Our bright, open work space and telepresence conference rooms regularly bring cross-functional teams of employees with diverse backgrounds and expertise “face to face.” Together we form a dynamic, energetic group that takes challenge and driving impact to a seriously fun level.
Thanks to our success to date and to our continued ambitions, we offer our marketing, technology and analytics specialists, along with teams in human resources, legal and finance, some of the best growth opportunities around, earning us the title as one of the “Best Places to Work” in the Boston area.
From its brilliant but modest start as a specialty paper provider, Vistaprint has grown into an e-commerce powerhouse. Around the globe, Vistaprint is revolutionizing marketing and technology and imprinting our unique stamp of excellence on custom products and manufacturing.
Please mention that you found this opportunity on The Hub.
A feature film directed by Tim Cawley, From Nothing, Something profiles creative thinkers across a spectrum of disciplines and finds the methods, habits, beliefs and neuroses that lead to breakthrough ideas. This is a thoughtful, intimate, often funny look at the creative process – straight from the brains of some of our culture’s most accomplished and inspiring talents.
Director Tim Cawley tapped frequent collaborators at Brickyard VFX to produce his feature documentary From Nothing, Something, through their feature division, Brickyard Filmworks. The documentary chronicles the creative processes behind such great minds as Tom Perrotta, Sara Quin of Tegan & Sara, Neville Page, Preston Scott Cohen, Huma Bhabha and others ranging from cancer researchers to celebrity chefs, to uncover where people get their ideas and how they bring them to fruition. The film premieres Sunday, April 29 at the 10th annual Independent Film Festival Boston (IFFBoston), in Boston, Massachusetts.
Know Your Onions gives away the secrets of graphic design. This book is practical and immediate, without being condescending or overly technical. It is like having a graphic design mentor who will help you come up with ideas, develop your concepts, and implement them in a way that is engaging and humorous.
The book is designed like a notebook, with all the authors’ tips and knowledge already inside. However, it also includes blank pages that allow the user to personalize this reference book with specific notes that are relevant to his or her studio, suppliers or clients.
It gives readers the experience and ability that normally comes from years of on-the-job training. All of the essential techniques of graphic design and its digital implementation are covered.
BHCHP is thrilled to have this opportunity for the second year and we are looking for committed runners who are dedicated to furthering BHCHP’s mission.
If you do not have a marathon number for the 2012 Boston Marathon and are interested in running as a member of Team BHCHP or want to learn more, please click here.
Already have a bib for 2012 but still want to be part of a team and help make a difference? Please click here.
Logo design by Michael Pratt Design. Please click here to view more work.
With a personality equal parts easygoing and driven, plus a dash of astute wit, Ian is an ideal creative companion.
A native of picturesque Melton Mowbury in England, Ian has wrought his sense of style, obsession with detail and impeccable work ethics into a photography career that approaches the two-decade mark.
Ian’s skill with the camera and profound knowledge of the equipment and its possibilities make each project sparkle with creative freedom and originality. Not only does Ian create beautiful images – he brings to life a world in which products tell a story and people shine with an inner glow.
Ian’s current studio located in the metro Boston area is the launching base to assignments that have take him to places like Iceland, Italy, France, England, Brazil, Hawaii and throughout the United States. Ian’s unwavering dedication continues to compose celebrated work for print & web based advertising and catalogs.
Please click here to see Ian’s catalog of work.
For over 20 years, Michael Indresano has been meticulously creating award-winning photography in his South Boston studio. Conveniently located and set up to provide full-service production support, the Indresano Studio is a creative workshop that is always comfortable and really, really clean.
Flickermood 2.0, an experimental kinetic type animation by Sebastian Lange, is based on fragments of “Mutability,” an 18th-century poem by the Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley that happens to capture the ephemeral nature of the 21st-century digital environment: nothing endures but change itself. “Flickermood expresses this through pulsing, throbbing, shifting, and repositioning of typography and music, drifting randomly, but always precise and consistent,” says Lange.
Set to music by the Swedish musician Forss, the spot is fluid, fresh, unpredictable, and goes beyond the usual ways of animated type by using After Effects along with a lot of handmade keyframe animation. “I’m always amazed at how visually interesting some video pieces can be within very simple confines,” says Pinto. “This piece is kinetic and keeps your eyes locked to the screen. It’s a lot of fun with type.” Other viewers agreed. After publishing a 30-second version of the clip in 2007 to wide acclaim, Lange posted version 2.0 to Vimeo in December 2008 and received 40,000 views in just two weeks.
Updates and links to his work are listed below:
Sebastian Lange on Vimeo
Kim Pimmel shot this video by combining everyday soap bubbles with exotic ferrofluid liquid to create an eerie tale, using macro lenses and time lapse techniques. Black ferrofluid and dye race through bubble structures, drawn through by the invisible forces of capillary action and magnetism.
Time-lapse sequences: Nikon D90, Nikkor 60mm macro lens and custom built intervalometer.
Motion-control: Arduino driven scanner platform and mirror rigs
Score: Ableton Live
Kim Pimmel – http://www.kimpimmel.com/
When the Boston agency, MMB wanted to create three new spots for their new Subway Fresh Fit campaign, they turned to Charlex for all the live-action, design and VFX work.
The first spot, That’s a Lot, opens with images of greasy burgers frying on a grill. It then switches to a series of seemingly innocent images: kiddie pools, birdbaths and water coolers. These items-typically filled with water-are instead filled with grease in order to visually illustrate how much grease fast food chains use in a single year. “The concept from the agency was to use strong and graphic images to get this message across, and they asked me to help visually portray the grease in ways that were impactful but not too off-putting,” commented Ryan Dunn, Charlex CD.
“Once we had established the look and behavior of the grease as well as how it was going to be shot, I developed an editorial style that moves between wide and tight shots in order to break up the rhythm and ‘feel’ the vastness instead of just see it,” Dunn added. “I didn’t want to make it about anything except visualizing the statistic in a strong, simply manner. So the shots are all locked off, and any animation besides the opening hose pour was peripheral. A flock of birds in the sky, for instance, or a bubble gurgling through a water cooler filled with grease.” This approach really helped focus the impact of the spot as well as the density of the images that the team later composited together.
Boston Agency, MMB – http://www.mmb580.com/
New York Design Studio, Charlex – http://www.charlex.com/
‘CreativeMornings’ is a monthly morning gathering of creative types organized by Tina Roth Eisenberg a.k.a swissmiss (swiss-miss.com ). Each event includes a 10 minute lecture, followed by a 20 minute group discussion. The gathering begins at 8:30am with the topic presentation starting at 9:00am and everyone taking off for work at 10am. CreativeMornings are free of charge!
Wide range of designers to curate daily examples of design excellence.
NEW YORK—July 6, 2011. AIGA and Adobe® announce the launch of Design Envy, a daily blog featuring the best in design as chosen by a different curator each week. Guest curators will be encouraged to share their “wish I’d done that” discoveries—recent design that’s so creative, inspiring and effective, they wish they had designed it themselves. While the curators are selected by AIGA, the professional association for design, the envy-inducing work curators choose to celebrate is entirely up to them.
A wide range of voices.
Design Envy selections are chosen by designers, for designers, and will draw from all design disciplines. Each day, the week’s curator will post a new example to inspire and inform—through imagery, compelling descriptions about effectiveness, and the creative minds behind the work.
Raised in Western Australia, David left on his travels across three continents finally landing in San Francisco. A lifelong movie poster collector he made a chance discovery at a flea market of some screen printed posters made for SF movie houses in the 1970’s and became obsessed with the idea of creating custom posters for venues today. Thus, in 2009, with little experience in art/design or screen printing, he started to make posters for The Castro Theatre. He has quickly become well respected among other artists and collectors alike. Due to his unique style, David is becoming more popular with every new print that he creates.
All of David’s posters are printed by hand and by himself on a press set up, that appears to have been made by wombles. It consists of a 40 year old vacuum cleaner, a kitchen table found in a dumpster, a squeegee, a very sore back and a bottle of advil.
The AIGA|Aquent Survey of Design Salaries is the most comprehensive annual survey of compensation data for the communication design profession in the United States. Each year for more than a decade, it has been commissioned by AIGA, the professional association for design, with the support of Aquent, AIGA’s official sponsor for professional development, and in cooperation with Communication Arts magazine.
The AIGA|Aquent Survey of Design Salaries 2011 draws from an extensive pool of designers and others allied with the profession nationwide, and includes responses from more than 7,000 design professionals. This year’s survey featured a revised list of positions and descriptions for which data were collected. Due to the change in definitions, comparison with previous years’ data is not included. However, these updates to the survey will increase the usefulness of results in 2011 and subsequent years. For insights into the current state of the design economy, see the article from AIGA’s executive director.
Offering a solid team of diverse and talented artists coupled with the latest technology and design tools, the Aaron Sims Company has the resources to make your vision come to life. Decades of industry experience has given the company a solid foundation in animation, illustration, sculpting and 3D design – all the different ways to make special effects happen – resulting in the most informed and cost-effective design work possible.
In the mid-80s, Sims moved to Los Angeles to begin his career as a special effects makeup artist. His work quickly attracted the attention of legendary Academy Award® winner Rick Baker, with whom Sims collaborated for the next twelve years. During that time, Sims served as a leading special effects artist on some of the most popular, defining movies of the 1990s: Gremlins 2, Batman Forever, Mighty Joe Young, Nutty Professor, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and Men in Black.
Whether shooting beauty or the more bizarre, there is a dramatic, at times dark, mood to Conor’s work, and it has evolved into his distinct style of photography. Conor’s ability to tell a story through a single image perhaps stems from his background in theater and set design, where he says he finds a lot of his inspiration.
On set, Conor takes time to capture what’s beautiful & important about the subject- the artistry of the fashion or the lines of a product- in a way that’s consistent with the brands identity. His vision for each shoot as a photographer is clear, as is his vision for a collaborative, supportive industry.
He approaches each shoot with a specific concept, precise lighting, and methodical camera work, but also with a contagious energy and optimism for what’s ahead. The result- a richness to his images that sets him apart.