The Project: Create a vertical scrolling animation that tells the origin story of the Druthers brewpub in Saratoga Springs, NY.
The Idea: Use SVG animation to create an interactive experience that still performs well across a range of devices.
The Problem: We’d never done anything like it before.
As designers of both print and the web, most of our professional responsibilities seem to revolve around aesthetic decisions – which typeface will look most legible at this resolution, or which color scheme will effectively draw the eye of our audience.
But an oft-overlooked aspect of the job involves effectively communicating and collaborating with clients, who are truly the lifeblood of any marketing industry. Depending on the day, a designer may have to play the role of psychologist, motivator, or even soothsayer to ensure that the client’s goals are successfully met in a creative project.
Unfortunately, no two clients have exactly the same personality or work style, which rules out any one-size-fits-all approach to client communication.
There are, however, several archetypes we can use to describe clients that may help us to better understand and communicate with our creative overlords.
Being an avid fan of the hit comedy series The Office, I sought to ascribe these personality traits to some of my favorite Dunder Mifflin employees as a means of establishing a common cultural experience and hopefully putting a light-hearted spin on the subject. With any luck, you’ve met or worked with some of these types of clients before, and could benefit from some new strategies in collaborating with them in the future.
I’ll be honest; this is a nostalgia piece. And what evokes those bleary-eyed, time-sweetened, back-in-the-day memories of bygone eras better than soda pop? Or more specifically, if you’re a design nerd like myself, soda bottle caps.
Long before the plain plastic screw-off caps of today, bottle caps were more than just an afterthought. These slightly larger than one-inch diameter metal caps were as much a part of the brand and the experience as the label on the bottle and perhaps even the soda itself.
It’s this attention to detail that makes them so attractive to me as a brand designer. They created part of a fuller overall experience and the challenge of fitting an appropriate amount of visual information in an appealing way on such a small surface is very intriguing.
I’ve collected just a small handful of examples of these little beauties from a golden age of bottle cap design – the early to mid-twentieth century. I could go into detail about what makes a good design but this is more emotional than that. These caps are more about the feelings they evoke rather than any concrete principles.
Ever wonder how our Illustration process works? Our Creative Director, Michael LaDuca creates a time-lapse video of an illustration in progress!
Check it out!
Responsive [re·spon·sive] adjective: Reacting in a desired or positive way / quick to react or respond.
When we hear “responsive” we think web, right? It’s 2014 after all, responsive now means that a website will adapt to all devices and browser sizes.
As designers, we love this concept. It allows us to create one design which will be pushed to multiple mediums and will fluidly adjust and therefore have more staying power than traditional web design.
All designers have been there at some point, you’re in the process of creating this beautiful piece of art that can likely hang on the wall of a museum. The design community is going to be drooling over this wishing they had come up with this magic. The only thing wrong? Your clients needs have been left in the dust.
We need to put our design egos aside and realize that our job is not only to create a pixel perfect design, but create it in a fashion that develops a successful interaction with your audience.
Here are some questions to consider asking yourself before jumping into any design whether it be for web or print.