•September 11, 2012 • Comments Off
Aunt Jemima print ad from 1932
I recently came across an article on NPR about an ad agency wiz who would give Don Draper a run for his money. So brilliant, he said really deep things, like this: “The creative act, the defeat of habit by originality, overcomes everything”.
Chemist? Poet? Televangelist? Nope. That was a quote by George Lois, and much like Gutenberg and his printing press (and good hygiene) brought Europe out of the Dark Ages, Lois led his own renaissance in the advertising world.
Continue reading ‘Survey Says, “Let’s Dream Up a Product!”’
•August 19, 2012 • Comments Off
Image by Benjamin Earwicker — http://www.garrisonphoto.org
Have you heard of 99designs.com? Maybe you’ve used them or participated in or of their “contests.” For those of you unfamiliar with 99designs.com, it’s a spec design site. It pairs projects with hundreds of designers (sometimes over 1,000) who then compete to make the design that will be chosen as the “winner.”
The truth of the matter though is that there are no winners in spec work. Only losers. The client loses and the designers loose. It’s a big mess.
You may think, “If a designer wants to spend their time with one of these spec contest, why not let them?”
Continue reading ‘Spec Work is a Cancer’
•July 17, 2012 • Comments Off
Back in January, we penned an epic tale of server crashes and engine failure. Our server went down, and it left many of our clients with no web site.
We promised an update on that issue, so here we are!
Continue reading ‘Engine Report: Upgrade Successful!’
•May 30, 2012 • Comments Off
Today, esteemed designer Andy Rutledge launched The Academy of Design Professionals. As stated on the site:
Members of The Academy have pledged to uphold, promote, and uncompromisingly adhere to the standards set forth in The Academy’s Code of Professional Conduct. As such, The Academy of Design Professionals represents some of the most responsible and competent professionals in the design world.
Continue reading ‘Academy of Design Professionals’
•May 28, 2012 • Comments Off
Last January we started hosting a new client. We brought their web site over to our private server, finished developing it, and set them up with Google Apps for Business. Pretty standard stuff for us. We’ve done it numerous times before.
The one difference with this client? They really needed to keep using Microsoft’s Outlook for their business. The majority of our other clients that we set up on Google Apps are happy to leave Outlook behind.
“No big deal,” I thought. Google Apps for Business supports Outlook sync and integration. At least, they’re supposed to.
Continue reading ‘Google Apps for Business + Microsoft Outlook = Disaster’
•May 23, 2012 • Comments Off
PayPal is possibly the most well-known online payment company in the United States. It completes millions of transactions per day and is found on as many web sites as a payment option. It’s a great solution for a small business online that wants to accept credit cards. Heck, we use it!
Recently though, PayPal has shown just how big and powerful they have become. Three separate instances displayed their absolute lack of control or judgment. I give them to you below…
Continue reading ‘PayPal Is Full of Themselves. And It’s Not Flattering.’
•May 3, 2012 • Comments Off
Found a brilliant blog post today that I had to share. Welcome to the Era of Design by Adam Swann is all about how increasingly important design has become to consumers, and therefore, to your business.
It really is a must read article. It distills down what I’ve been trumpeting for years now:
Design is one of the most important things your business can invest in and should never be handled as an after-thought.
The success of Apple, Facebook, Pinterest, Amazon, AirBnB, etc is proof of this. My favorite piece from the article? The last paragraph:
So this is a call to action for executives to recognize this new era and make the effort to transform even a mundane product or service into something more rewarding and more memorable. Try to assess each element of your service or product and better it—to see design not just as a marketing thing but as a genuine source of competitive advantage, customer and employee satisfaction and, lastly, a route to higher profits.
Do your business a favor and go read the article:
•May 1, 2012 • Comments Off
(And How We Aim to Not Add Anymore To It)
Last week, I added a line item to The World’s Longest Invoice :
$4,000 of graphic design work that we will never be paid for. (Actually, it was probably a bit more than this, but time dulls the memories and pain.) Now, this sum was not just from one client. There were 3 clients and 3 different projects that contributed to this sum. One was for logo, web site, and business cards. Another was for CD packaging and marketing materials related to it. The last one was for a corporate identity system redesign.
Continue reading ‘The World’s Longest Invoice’
•April 26, 2012 • Comments Off
Last August, Target.com launched an epic web site redesign. (It was dubbed internally as “Everest” if that gives you any idea of the size of the undertaking.) They dumped Amazon, who they had partnered with for a decade on e-commerce, and brought all of their e-commerce pieces under their own control.
Obviously, it was a huge endeavor, ripe with potential for mistakes and failure.
Continue reading ‘Target.com Missed the Bullseye… by a Mile’
•April 16, 2012 • Comments Off
I’m excited to announce that I’ve written a guest post on Verizon Wireless’s Midwest blog. It’s all about my new iPhone 4s and how it helps me man the helm at Rocket No. 9.
Check it out:
Guest post for Verizon Wireless by Colin D. Pritchard