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Food for thought

Fabrica Blog Out of the box

“Looking” outside the box

By | Blog, Design, Digital Marketing, Food for thought, Video

We are often told to “think outside the box.” This is not an unfamiliar phrase. And it is used so much the meaning has become less impactful in society. “Looking outside the box” is a way of thinking or getting outside the norm (aka “the box”). It can be both a scary and difficult concept to perform. It is a task I am personally faced with each day in an attempt to being creative. Even after a long time, it is still not always a so simple task.

 

Practice looking “outside the box.” Yes, practice it. Don’t just expect it to happen, its not magic.  Start by acknowledging that there is all sorts of ideas out there yet to be thought up or created.  Can you look at or visualize something normal, in an abnormal way? I wonder what the picture hanging on the wall would look like upside down. What if the tree outside the front door had fuchsia pink leaves instead of the normal green ones. Not too hard, right? What if the doorbell rings, it is answered and there is a unicorn dressed as mail carrier delivering your box from Amazon? Now you are putting a twist on an experience, even without reason for a unicorn delivery.

 

That “out of the box” But that simple concept engages and develops a story in the mind of the beholder. From a philological standpoint, the element that doesn’t fit engages the brain to say: “Huh? What is going on!” It causes a unique memory formation because it is not the normal is comparison to all the other memories floating around in the brain. This is a great thing if you are in marketing or advertising because you can form a memory in a potential customers brain and with any luck hook some branding along with it too. And that is something any marketer can get behind.

 

An example I am seeing this occur in is pre-roll video. (If you don’t know what I am talking about, picture the 6-15 second video that plays and doesn’t have a “skip ad” button on it when you want to watch something on YouTube.) Not much time to tell or sell you on a product or service in 6-seconds. However, with a bold, odd, shocking, or memorable off-the-wall happing followed by your branding or logo can assist in someone possibly remembering your brand without even getting to the point of what it is or does, or what is being sold.

 

I have recently witnessed a campaign using exactly this. Using images of things happening a customer should avoid or not do, in a funny laughable way. This tongue-in-cheek humor is a break from what they usually do, and it hooks the mind into thinking about the imagery ending with their standard branding. It is being used on billboards (and short TV spot), I found it to be quite effective (it snagged me while driving!) And it all has nothing to do with what they sell, but engaged me as a viewer/consumer into remembering their “outside-the-box” messaging.

Fabrica Creative

Images In Design

By | Blog, Design, Food for thought

While a picture can be “worth a thousand words,” using a picture in a creative way will have a memorable impact on a viewer.  In market branding you want customers to remember or be impacted by what you are showing them. Have you ever seen an advertisement with someone in peak physical condition, rippling muscles and perspiration running down their face, then the logo for a gym? Choosing that type of imagery can help convey two things: The story of someone looking great because of the exercises they are doing (and how you could be just like that), and that this Gym is the place to become a “Greek god,” or a place for the strong and fit. Now will that be the case when you show up to that gym? Probably not. It gives a perception of inspiration for a business.  Which can be a powerful motivator to entice a customer to give it a try. That is the whole point of advertising, and can show you how a powerful image can get results.

 

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Taking the right photo or selecting the “right” image is the place to start. If you have the opportunity to have an idea from creative minds before you start, you can get the image you need and make life much easier! If you have a plan of the typography you need to contain before getting your image, the right outcome is more likely to happen. Powerful images are a great marketing tool for print, web, and social media. Grab your photo taking device and give taking planned images a try for your next product shoot, promotion or event, try to image how the image you are taking could be used to create something.

 

The interaction of typography and images can sometimes be a challenge. Other times an impossibility. Adding these two powerful elements together can make a POWERFUL attention-grabbing interaction. This is where one of those “planned” images can be really helpful. In the hierarchy of design elements, images and large type are at the top! Designing with both can be like a one-two punch. Creating cool designs where they both interact will make someone stop, look, and then look again.

 

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Using a complex shape filled with an image is current trend that is going nowhere. It creates another level of engagement. A complex shape examples can be: a silhouette, typography (Single letter, a number or a word), a logo, an octopus or something that is not a plain box or rectangle. The eye will interact with the complex shape. If it is type, you will read it, if it is a silhouette shape of a bird your brain will recognize it. It brings a level of engagement into the equation an image will not by itself. While the use of a complex shape can’t solve every design challenge it can be a great tool to keep in your box for just the right occasions.

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Next time you have need to use an image in your campaign, think outside the box (shape) and do something amazing!

Fabrica Creative

Self Discipline: Not Just For Special Occasions

By | Blog, Food for thought, Happenings

Self discipline. Do you have it? What even is it? Plain and simple – self-discipline, is having the ability to do something you should be doing. Sounds easy enough, right? The answer is yes, but unfortunately the majority of us struggle with this on the daily.

Why? Probably because there are distractions everywhere you turn! You get on your computer to finish an important email to your boss and guess what, you remember Nike is having a sale on those shoes you want. That email can wait, right? Or your looking at your “To Do’s” list telling yourself it has to get done today and someone invites you to lunch… this list can wait a few more hours, right? How about that promise you made to yourself about going to the gym every morning at 5AM? Do you jump out of bed at the sound of your alarm or push snooze telling yourself you’ll go tomorrow? There are SO many examples of not having enough self-discipline to accomplish what you should be doing – I could go on and on. Gosh, to be honest, I’m late on writing this blog because apparently I left my self-discipline behind somewhere.

So the questions becomes, how do you become self-discipline? Well, I can tell you it’s certainty not something you wish for in your dreams and wake up the next day having it all. Having self-discipline is something you must work at every single day. Ironic right? To become self-discipline, you have to have enough discipline to work at it? Here are a few things that I try to practice to help better myself in the self-discipline area.

 

  1. Write it down. Have a very clear goal and jot it down on a piece of paper. And not a piece of paper that you throw in the your drawer never to be found again. Put it somewhere you will see it over and over again. A bright pink sticky note on the top of my computer works wonders for me. Because remember the saying, out of site out of mind and that’s not working towards self-discipline, people!
  2. Measure progress. It is important to have a goal and then find a way to measure your progress toward that goal. Say you want to book five new business meetings a week, how can you measure that progress? Maybe you have a large and in charge desk calendar that has each of your new business appointments in red, easy to see, easy to read. Or maybe you have a co-worker check in with you every Monday to see how many appointments you have booked for the week. Whatever it is you need to do to hold yourself accountable and to easily check your progress, do it.
  3. Don’t give up. Look, I can’t tell you how many times I have missed my 5AM workout because I pushed snooze on my alarm. I find myself waking up and feeling so much guilt because I let myself down. Instead of beating myself up, I choose to make a commitment to go right after work hours. As long as I keep my head high and continue working at it then I can let go of my anger and guilt.

 

Self-discipline isn’t easy but it’s something you can develop and it will help make your life smooth sailing. I’ve noticed some very positive changes in my every day life. I have had a decrease in anxiety, I’ve become more resilient, and most importantly I am happy. Mike, our amazing creative director said it best “self-discipline isn’t just for a special occasion.” So, let’s hold ourselves accountable and work on this together every single day.

Season of Design - Blog

Changing Design with the Season

By | Blog, Design, Food for thought

One tradition I learned from Japanese culture is a custom to change elements of a house with the changing of the seasons. The change of decor would also represent the time of the year accordingly. I was told it was a way to refresh and stimulate mind as well as reflect upon and appreciate the world around you. In the industry of design and advertising, this basic concept can also benefit your brand and stimulate potential customers from brand name boredom. This is often done in conjunction with holidays, and can give little boost thought the year by changing things up.

 

However, like most things, don’t go overboard. In many cases a little can be all you need. Too much can become “tacky” or worse. Here are a few things to watch for or consider with seasonal brand design changes:

 

What is the purpose for your change? General awareness? New product? Special sale event? Why are you are changing your colors or promotion? This very simple guideline can lead you in making appropriate decisions, and coming up with the most impactful ideas for

 

Don’t be afraid to change something. A different color to match the time of year or holiday? With summer coming up one suggestion might be to use brighter colors like yellow, blue and greens. Can your imagery be swapped out for a time to create a new “blip” on your publics radar? Changes can be scary. The unknown is not always the place we naturally want to head towards. Remember however, change is how trends are made and all the new stuff you are astounded by was a direct result of someone intentionally making a change.

 

Stay true to your brand. It can be easy to go overboard sometimes and make some intense changes. Remember who you are and what your brad stands for. You want your brand to stay on message no matter what the occasion.

 

Emotional connection. Can what you do create that feeling or engage an emotion in someone to connect with your message. A beautiful photo of a mountain landscape invokes memories of camping in the summer? Perfect! If the product has to do with summer and you can incorporate the essence of a heatwave trough the typography and colors chosen? Gold star for you! Be creative in your choices, hooks to both past and present, imagery that takes you away to that favorite vacation can bring that powerful connection.

 

Take a note from the world around you. As the seasons change so can what you are designing. As this season changes try something you never considered. Don’t worry if it isn’t perfect, another season of metamorphosis is just around the corner.

What Font Are You?

What Font Are You?

By | Blog, Design, Food for thought

While a strange question to ask, it may reflect or reveal something about your personality. When viewing an interesting use of a font, I appreciate good choices of typography in the design or logo. I can’t claim to “geek out” as many designers I know. Time and again I usually find myself asking the same questions about what I recognize. If I don’t recognize the font, I wonder about the choices made and the ‘why’. In that situation, I daydream about switching one font for another. In a way, it is like thinking about choices on a menu and wondering what dish might be the best choice.

Let’s start with a little quick history of typography. Type (as we observe it in modern times) has one general purpose: a standardization of written words with uniformly recognized characters. A typeface is a unique design of the letters and symbols; a group of similar fonts. A font is a specific style and weight. Typefaces are the family and fonts are the individuals.  Typefaces over time were developed to aid the person reading any printed materials with words. This mechanical development came to print the written word. Have you heard of Johannes Gutenberg? He invented the modern printing press during the Renaissance period. It changed how and what could be printed in a much quicker way than carving a single woodblock limited to a single page (the Chinese had been printing using woodblock technology since the Tang Dynasty). The benefit to ‘movable type’ was that carved letters could be assembled to form any words needed–this and they could be used again and again. Type foundries were created to carve, manufacture, and sell the letters carved into tiny squares of metal or wood. Today, it is all done by keystroke and words form just as fast as you can type each letter!

If I were a font which one might I be? It is interesting to ask yourself and really think about it (and I have many times since taking my first typography class in college). I am a rather plain and practical font, not fancy or gaudy, more to the simple and reserved status, clean yet refined. While I might say that I am in a distinct trade, I can fill the hats of many different needs. While I can be analytical, there is an artistic flipside to that. Given all those factors, I would come up with a short list. I would pick Helvetica. While not my favorite typeface, it is a practical reserve to always fall back on. It’s not very exciting, but it can be used to pull off some amazing things. Many company logos and signs on the street are made with it. And Helvetica Neue added several new weights to the family including light, thin, and ultra-light which work in high-end design.

I have enjoyed many sans-serif fonts throughout my design career. While Helvetica is a great one, some of my favorites include: Optima, Futura, and Raleway. I have recently gotten more into using Oswald and Proxima Nova, using them in things I have designed. Just like food, the right font in the right place can make something amazing! A font thrown at a wall to see how it sticks is just like a plate of food slapped against the wall. It’s probably not particularly appetizing.

Don’t have any idea what font you are? Not a problem! Go online and take a “what font am I” quiz (there are several) if you want to see how you might rank in the typographical world. You could also research and draw your own conclusions of what your personality or traits would “spell out” in a font form.

 

FONT QUIZZES:

http://www.magiquiz.com/quiz/which-font-are-you/

https://creativemarket.com/blog/quiz-which-font-describe-your-personality

https://www.buzzfeed.com/alannaokun/what-font-are-you

http://metro.co.uk/2015/10/24/quiz-which-font-are-you-5459465/

Find Good - Heart

Find the Good

By | Blog, Food for thought, Happenings

We live in a world driven by technology. It’s a wonderful time to be alive with the advancements made every day and opportunities available within arm’s reach. There is a hefty price to pay for that level of tech. There is so much information out there that can be accessed within just a few clicks of a button. Every day it amazes me how far we’ve come.

What’s the price for all of this? The price is the level of negativity spread on the daily. I refuse to watch or read the news because it is filled with stories of fear and terrible acts of violence occurring much too often. It makes me sad to hear that the ratings climb and climb the more crime they report on. It is easy to get an emotional response from something negative. The driving force here being higher ratings. I dare you to disagree that rating spikes can come from acts of kindness.

I have always thought that you are what you eat. That’s cliché, however, it is so much more than the initial sentiment. You are what you look for, you are what you think,  you are what surrounds you, etc.

It’s commonplace now to share, like, tweet, and tag negativity. Terrible stories happening thousands of miles away become a topic of discussion. Why? We have an opportunity every day to contribute to this game of life. Is it more valuable to contribute any way other than positively? I can promise you, there is so much good in the world! At the very least, there is the same amount of good as there is bad. You can make a choice as easy as what you’ll have for breakfast. Look for something good because–I promise–it’s out there. Share the good because we all need it. I challenge you to spend a day looking for nothing but positivity and acts of kindness. The mental commitment will start you off right. You will be amazed at how many positive, good, and humbling stories are happening all around you.

Why have we become so numb to this? Why has social media created such a large platform for negativity? Why have the media outlets made such an effort to broadcast garbage a majority of the time?

Open your heart. Tune out the false influence that says this world is so bad. It is not as bad as they portray. Now that you’re here, make a choice. Do you choose to let it be? Do you continue contributing to the negativity? Do you want joy and happiness? Do you want to be the difference? Set the standard and choose to seek good!

The follow through, on really making a dent for the better in your personal life, is to DO GOOD. Always look for the good and when able, be the good and good will find you. I promise you, there will be amazing results that will manifest when living a lifestyle centered around the good in our life.

Creatives - Fabrica Creative

Working with Creatives

By | Blog, Design, Food for thought, Happenings

Are you starting your own company? Are you anticipating explosive growth right away? Do you need help attracting people to your products or services? If you answered yes to any of those questions, then have I got something for you. We are going to discuss how one important component can lead to the success of your business. When it comes to choosing and creating a brand, the first thing that you need to take into consideration is graphic design.

History

Graphic design covers typography, user experience, web design, and illustration (i.e visual communication). Simply put–it’s organizing information visually. Some experts claim that the history of graphic design can be traced back to the illuminated manuscripts in the Middle Ages. In the past, the government officials used a road banner to announce the name of the people who were in government positions for the cities or states. Because of these signs, the individuals were more informed about the political authorities governing the place.

Nowadays, graphic design is used by different businesses in many different ways. Almost all companies are now exploring the use of illustrations and other visuals for their branding. They are implementing the visuals across print and digital, from social media to marketing to advertising.

Importance of Graphic Design

Graphic design is literally everywhere. Without it, small and large companies alike would find it difficult to share their brand. Below are the top reasons why design is significant to all industries:

  1. It promotes a new business. If you are still new in the business world, then graphic design is something that you need to take seriously. Make an announcement to the public that your company has opened up, launch your product, or build a web presence. Utah is known for its support for entrepreneurship and small businesses, so you’re planting in fertile soil.
  2. It helps you advertise about the latest promos of the company.
  3. It allows customers to feel more connected to the business. The goal of every company is to connect to its target market easily. With graphic design, this can be easy to achieve. If you know whatyour demographic wants to see, we can show you howto present and implement it. When clients like what they see, they will patronize your products and services more.
  4. It enables you to present your company to everyone. This is probably the best advantage that you can get out of good design. It can be difficult for you to make your company stand out. One great way to do it is to create a logo that will really represent your business.

Things to Look For In Every Graphic Designer

Now that you have seen a few of the benefits of graphic design, the next thing to think about is the level of the professional who will handle your design needs. What are the characteristics that every agency or graphic designer must possess? These are some things we have learned over the years:

  • Communication. This is the first item on the list because failure in communication is the root of all evil (isn’t that how the phrase goes?). You need to find an agency who listens carefully to all your instructions. It is important that both parties maintain good communication with each other to avoid any issues that may come up. It’s always better to over-communicate than to under-communicate; don’t assume you’ve been clear.
  • Creativity. One of the most important skills of a designer is their creativity. They must be able to make designs come to life. They have to possess a skill in transforming the clients’ wants into communicable visuals.
  • Keen to Details. It can be frustrating to work with a agency and designer who does not listen to your requests. This can be rolled back into Communication.
  • Meets Deadlines. Another important qualification of every person is the ability to meet deadlines. In the marketing world, timelines are crucial for every business. Delays can lead to a loss in sales or lower profits. Because of this, it is necessary to see to it that deadlines are met ON BOTH SIDES.
  • Knowledge of Design Software. The graphic designer must not only have artistic skills or creativity. They should also be knowledgeable when it comes to creating designs by means of the industry standard programs–not for sake of posterity but for output’s sake. Building a catalog in Photoshop would be a nightmare compared to designing in InDesign. In this age of tech, almost everything is generated via computers.

Types of Graphic Design

Graphic design comes in many different forms. Below is just a handful of different types of design.

  1. Corporate Design
  2. Publishing
  3. Package Design
  4. Web Design
  5. Wayfinding/Signage/Environmental
  6. UX/UI/Product Design

Indeed, graphic design has become a necessity in almost all areas of business. As such, you have to make sure that your company is using it. Otherwise, your competitors will leave you in the dust. Employing an agency may be expensive for your firm but it will be worth it. It’s an investment and you can expect higher returns from it.

Gradients - Blog

Blending the Past into the Present

By | Blog, Design, Food for thought, Happenings, Instagram

From pushing paint around in the background of a masterpiece one color to another, a screened-image print of tiny dots to create the illusion of blended color, to the innovation of digital desktop publishing, gradients have been around for longer than you might think. However, it is a design trend that is making a strong comeback in 2018. Don’t mistake this for a new trend. In both digital and print, gradients have been around for some time. With the strong, flat color being a design mainstay for a while now, some designers are switching back to incorporating gradients in new and exciting ways.

Halftone

Simple can make a big statement–using colors that compliment a brand or image, using a flat color can add a bold look, using two-tones is popular too. You can even set a mood with the colors you choose. This is great when overlaid on a photo (seen a lot these days), or used to fill typography to make it be noticed on a dark background. While I am a big proponent (and fan) of clean, open design, gradient color can take a design to the next level.

Gradient with Photo

Too much or just enough? Just like candy, gradients can be sweet. Too much and both your stomach and eyes are going to ache. Is one gradient not enough? Two can work together great! Three, four or more…be careful overdoing it. This color effect can work against itself when too many gradients are all used together.

Multiple Gradients

Look for designs around you that utilize gradients. It can be a really great effect, just look and you will find many examples on the internet–in apps and all over social media. Many icons are being gradated from their once flat color designs. Often times in several different color variations. Once you recognize it, you will see gradients used everywhere.

Logos Using Gradients

Take a risk and go bold! Sometimes you must throw the can of paint at the wall and watch it spatter all over. While it may be messy, the end result may be amazing. If you want a design to get noticed, imitating what you have seen will point you in a direction, however, until you pop out and break that boundary you will remain part of the crowd.

I have to admit that gradients are by no means my favorite. I have seen many examples where it was a poor choice. However, I don’t count it out in my design toolbox and have made some designs shine when I figure out just the right colors and how to disperse them with precision. Many amazing things can be achieved with color, so give gradients a go.

Loving Your Path - Blog

Loving Your Path

By | Blog, Food for thought, Happenings

I remember being in high school hearing adults go on and on about living our dreams and that we can be anything we want to be. I always thought that was a strange thing to say. Especially coming from a Vice Principal. Is that what her dream was? Maybe. But let’s be honest though…that’s a lie. At times, I wanted to be taller and bigger, heck, I thought about being a bird so I could fly many times but it’s just not going to happen. What they should say is, “You can be anything you’re good at!”

School should be about exploring your interests and talents. Try everything once while you have the time. Life happens quick and many find themselves lost after high school. So what do you do? Follow what you’re told by the masses? Go to college and get a degree in something, anything. It doesn’t matter what degree because just having the paper is powerful. I disagree. Knowledge is power. Knowing yourself and enjoying what you do is powerful (it doesn’t hurt to know someone powerful too).

Honestly, I have tried so many different jobs and vocations. I started working at 15 for the city recreation. We would referee games, prepare fields, coach, set up tournaments and so on. I loved it. I learned the value of hard work in the 16 hour days I gave. Eventually, I didn’t love it so I moved on. I tried phone sales, laying tile, tossing pizzas, painting homes and offices, airless painting, steel manufacturing where I learned welding, plasma cutting, sheet metal work, and forklift driving. I’ve done car sales, luxury auto detailing, created a business idea and let it go only to watch it grow. I’ve worked at repair shops where I learned how to do repairs on cars, I went to cosmetology school and became a Master Barber. There were so many experiences that my parents or grandparents never got to do.

Some may think this was a waste of time. To them I say, read on. Are you happy in your chosen career? Do you love it? Most people cannot answer this with a simple, honest yes. What I learned by trying so many paths was what I enjoyed and what I didn’t enjoy. This allowed me to seek out careers that fell in line with what made me happy. I found that I need three things in a job to be happy–I need minimal repetition (an ever-changing environment), I need human interaction (not the same people but different people as often as possible), and lastly, I need to use my hands to make something creatively. How many of you can provide a short list of needs that make you happy? Even better, how many of you have that in your current career?

Loving what I do goes beyond the ability to say it proudly. It gives me a sense of purpose. It keeps me happy so that when I’m home, I am present. Not stressed or concerned about all the issues I have with my job. I can be a dad and give my little one the love and attention she deserves. I can be a husband who is available and committed to the needs of my wife. I get to enjoy every day because I have found what I love. Not what is needed to make it in life.

McCrae Williams - Brett Wilhelm/ESPN

Aspire to Inspire

By | Blog, Food for thought, Happenings

Do you ever wonder what drives people to aim to become the greatest at something? Do you ever wonder how or why they found a passion so deep that they are willing to grind day-in and day-out to be the VERY best at that particular thing? It could be a sport, a job, being a student, an artistic hobby, and so many others. Where do people find this willpower?

I think it’s fair to say that many people stroll through life living in a meritocracy, myself included! Waking up and repeating the same routine day in and day out, without a single thought. Now I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, in fact, I find it quite nice living a comfortable life. I feel secure and at ease, because generally speaking, I know what to expect each day. But lately, the thought of greatness and the uncertainty that comes along with it has been weighing heavy on my mind.

I recently booked a trip to Aspen, Colorado to watch my friend compete in the X-Games. A few days before the trip, he found out he made the 2018 Olympic Free-Style Ski team. Making the Olympic team has been a dream of his since he was just a youngster and his dream had finally come true. Making it this far has not been an easy feat–he has been grinding his entire life and he is so very deserving of this opportunity. I was pumped to travel to Aspen to watch his last competition before he headed off to the big stage.

McCrae Williams - Brett Wilhelm/ESPN

Photo Credit: Brett Wilhelm/ESPN

 

Unfortunately, he got injured in practice run and opted out of the X-Games competition in order to be healed in time for the Olympics. It was bummer not to watch him compete, but between his physical therapy, fancy press conference, and Olympic photoshoots, we got to have a drink with him. When I saw him walking towards us, I felt completely overwhelmed with emotion. The waterworks immediately turned on and I had gator tears rolling off my cheeks. The entire time we sat at the table with him, I was just in awe. I couldn’t figure out where the emotions were coming from. A lot of it was just pure happiness for him but I’m now realizing there was something inside of me aching to be great.

He doesn’t know it, but he inspired me that day. I’ve been mediocre in just about every aspect of my life lately. Seeing him and his sheer happiness knowing that he finally made it among the best skiers on earth lit a fire under my butt to really go out into the world and try to find my passion and purpose in life. I’m nowhere near having the answers to how I’m going to change my mediocre life into an extraordinary life, but I know we are all capable of greatness and I’m going to try like hell to find my niche.

I’m not saying we all need to throw ourselves off of thirty-foot kickers (while doing 8 rotations) before we land just in time to hit the next one. But, I do believe deep down every human has a desire to be the very best at something. It’s just finding out how to dig deep enough into ourselves to bring that aspiration to light that’s the hard part.

To be continued…