Last week we attended a fundraiser for a client for whom we had recently launched a new website. It was refreshing to have the time to stand by the bar and engage in a rambling conversation that flowed from one off-beat subject to another. Suddenly, our client mentioned he was going through our online portfolio and the big revelation he had was that we are storytellers. Exactly. He got it.
As he moved from the topic of one client to another, from identity to websites, he understood our work, he got the meaning – the message is the most important nugget of information and that’s what we focus on first. From there we have a foundation to design from – and to tell a story.
Stories enlighten, bring us together, captivate. Logos condense a story into a simple, memorable mark. Photography, typography, graphics and words explain a story in print and websites. Environmental graphics tell a story and guide. All the pieces come together to create an experience that reflects a client’s business. A brand.
We may not be sitting around a campfire or standing on a stage telling a story, but the visual stories we tell are just as intriguing…and vital to any business.
Photo: Robin Cox
We all have the ability to choose, yet sometimes positive choices aren’t always clear. Our client, Preventionfocus, is dedicated to helping adults and children make positive choices that positively impact their lives and the community.
We just launched their new website – the third site we’ve created for them to keep their online presence current – with the goal of clearly describing their mission and services and promoting their value. The challenge was how to succinctly tell their story of focusing on prevention while being a portal to crisis services for those in need.
We’re not done just yet. Next in line are feature videos and photos showcasing their clients and programs and coordinating social media for maximum community outreach.
Learn more about SVML.
This link was originally posted on International Women’s Day and I think it’s worth including in the stream. Whether we like to admit it or not, designers don’t work in a vacuum. At least I find myself in a creative rut when I don’t get out and look around. Keeping in touch with other creative’s work inspires me and the team.
Here’s a brief compilation of the women designers whose work influences me and keeps me excited about design and it’s relevancy to society and business. Not on this particular list, but the designer who inspired me the most as I embarked on my career in Southern California, April Greiman. Hey, it’s International Women’s Day and we rock in a unique way.
Last year at this time, our client, Sodexo, was reaching the final stretch of their new, modern building construction. This new state-of-the-art building would house the Buffalo service center employees and move all operations from three separate office buildings into one. Gone would be the traditional cubes and tidy corridors. In their place, a completely open floor plan with centralized offices and plenty of collaboration areas.
One of the first problems to be solved was how were hundreds of employees going to navigate through the new complex. Secondly, how would the established corporate (Europe-based) brand be implemented to meet the needs of this regional, American office place.
Working closely with the Sodexo facilities team, key areas of navigation were determined and we began the process of designing signage that complied with the brand, identified area groupings, showed the way, was updatable and complemented the modern elegance of the building.
We searched high and low for certain products – personal nameplates that matched our specific design, steel wall mounts for wayfinding and conference room signs – with no luck. This gave us the chance to work with local manufacturers to design and develop custom pieces. Results were a win-win-win.
The other day I stopped at the bank drive-through teller. As is most often the case, I had my dog, Bodi, with me. Bodi is accustomed to receiving lovely little dog cookies from the canister that shoots down from the vacuum tube. However, on this particular day, there was a new teller who had not been trained to give my dog his treats.
Bodi was also more subdued than usual and didn’t plaster his face against my car window in anticipation of a treat. When I pulled the magic canister from the tube, Bodi was standing on my lap sniffing it excitedly. To his great surprise, there was no cookie inside! I could actually see the shock on his face. I turned to him and said, “Bodi, how can you expect a treat when you didn’t make sure you were seen? The teller didn’t know you were here.”
This was a perfect analogy for any business. This brief exchange with my dog somehow gave me a new insight into how we market our clients’ business as well as our own. Questions we always ask are, “How is the best way and where are the best places to be seen?” If a business isn’t visible, how can it reap any rewards?
And I can assure you, Bodi will be making sure he’s seen the next time we’re at the bank.