Therapeutic Type Fonts?

Posted on August 5th, 2011 by Mike

I started in the graphic arts business as a typographer in New York City in the days before the Flood. I spent much of my time trying to convince publishers that somebody using a computerized front-end system and photo-mechanical output could set type as well as a hot-lead linotype operator. (Does anybody out there besides a geriatric or a historian know what I am talking about?)

Anyway, I have always been a typeface nerd. I used to go to the annual Antiquarian Book Fair down at the Armory to admire old pages. I would read Ben Franklin’s correspondence with Giambattista Bodoni and avidly follow Franklin’s argument as to why typographers should retain the “long S” in their type styles. (Look it up!) Back then, typefaces used to have a lot more passion about them. (“Hey, you kids! Get off my lawn!”)

So, I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by the fascinating work of a young Dutch type designer with a passion to solve a problem. Check it out and enjoy: http://www.studiostudio.nl/project-dyslexie/

Where Does Content Factor In?

Posted on January 11th, 2011 by Jeff

What Content Strategy?

http://www.powells.com/images/campbell_blog3_block480.jpg

For those plugged into the digital world, we’ve been noticing a shift in how websites are planned and built. Sure, it’s been slow, but it’s been necessary and deliberate. It’s something called Content Strategy, and it’s been around for far too short a time. It really got going the last few years @ SXSW, as per the norm. Anywho, for those that are not as plugged in, what is this concept, how does it effect them, and how do we as service providers bridge the gap?

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What I Want For My Web Christmas

Posted on December 20th, 2010 by Jeff

I can definitely remember writing detailed lists of what I wanted from Jolly ‘Ole St. Nick as a kid. I don’t remember when that stopped and just turned into my folks asking repeatedly what I wanted, but somewhere’s along the way went my belief in him as well. I don’t recall that being a tumultuous event, but I’m sure it wasn’t fun. Anywho, that has little to do with my thoughts hereafter. I’m 29, and married, but I’m going to write my Christmas wishlist anyways, so here goes.

The term ‘blast’ to be removed from all marketers / users vocabulary

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These Thankful Times

Posted on November 19th, 2010 by Jeff

It’s almost that time of year again. The time when everyone gathers around a table and gobbles down too much turkey, stuffing and myriad spirits. While this is wonderful and what I look forward to most of the holiday season, I’ll be hopping a boat this Saturday bound for the Bahamas with my wife; so I figured what better time to say my thanks than now.

So, onward with what I’m thankful for:

#1 — Our Wonderful Clients

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When Is It Okay To Start Mixing HTML5 And Client Work?

Posted on November 12th, 2010 by Jeff

As most people connected to the web have heard, HTML5 has dropped (although it’s still evolving). This has been a long time in coming, as the W3C has been working on this for what seems like ages. Anywho, it’s simpler, more semantic markup language than previous HTML versions as well as my norm (X)HTML. This means nothing to most people, but nit-picky folk like me it’s awesome.

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Fall’s Fantasy Colors

Posted on November 11th, 2010 by Nicole

falls-fantasy-colors

http://www.pantone.com/images/pages/20710/2010-02/index.html

Endive, Lipstick Red, Lagoon, Pantone’s Fall colors. The colors look warm, cozy and uplifting to me. A brightness to inspire shopping, motivation, anything to drive you to the mall to spend money and boost the economy.

It makes me wonder how much the name of the color adds to the allure of the colors for the new season. If Endive, was actually named pale yellow, and Lipstick Red, named hot pink, would I still embrace these colors? I doubt I would be as interested in them.

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There’s Nothing Free or Easy About Email Marketing

Posted on November 4th, 2010 by Jeff

To those who think email marketing is easy; you're wrong.

http://blog.mailermailer.com/2008/12/email-marketing-ebook-2/

Email marketing is awesome.

I love reading (maybe more like skimming) as many emails and newsletter as I can get. Although I don’t subscribe to that many, I follow Twitter & Campaign Monitor closely for what other designers / email marketers deem as worthy emails. But for as much as I love it, it has some falsities attached to it: it’s free and it’s easy. Too often C-level folk just assume this and want to get their email marketing going and expect the $$$ to roll in.

It just doesn’t work that way however.

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Lack Of Emphasis On Renewals

Posted on October 29th, 2010 by Jeff

I’ve been working on some concepts for redoing a clients Membership page; both for new memberships and for renewals. Initially we were thinking of lumping them together, but then decided it would be a better route for the user to go with separate pages for each. I whipped up some comps and after a back and forth, we were satisfied with the main design for the new members page. But they wanted a different look for the renewals page–which I could and do agree with.

But what to change? And what to highlight? I struggled a bit with this as I am not any kind of contract subscription service customer, except with AT&T and my iPhone, so I wasn’t sure how best to communicate this. I first thought that tailoring the content would be a good enough solution–who knows when the last time a person was made aware of all the benefits their membership affords them? Thus leaving in the same visual highlighted benefits seemed to make sense to, but not to the client.

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Content May Be King, But Design Is The Messenger

Posted on October 18th, 2010 by Jeff

Content may be paramount, but without good design, it matters not.

Photo: http://feedingthepuppy.typepad.com/feeding_the_puppy/music/

It’s been stated, and re-stated, and then beaten to death, that content is king. And while I do agree that good content is key to helping to A) get good organic traffic, and B) turn new visitors into repeat visitors. A good website, nay, a decent website, isn’t just a brochure site anymore. It’s not enough to tell your visitors repeatedly how awesome you are and how great your stuff is and how no one compares to your X, Y, and Z. The average is user is getting more comfortable just tuning that non-sense out nowadays (to you it’s not non-sense, but to them most likely it is*). And this is why good content, updated regularly, is fundamental to a successful website today. But, just having good content is not enough anymore.

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When I’m Swamped, Social Media Gets Hosed

Posted on October 8th, 2010 by Jeff

Too busy to think

Photo: http://www.toothpastefordinner.com/archives/2008/Feb/

We’ve all been there; the deadline looming in a day or two, any time not spent on the project feels like a complete waste AND an eternity for that matter. So, of course, social media and blogging go the way of the dodo for a week or so. Or worse, maybe they just start to fade a bit overall in your overall goals.

It’s just to easy to let things go too often I find.

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