• April 11, 2017

    Off to OFFF

    Phew! We’ve just come back from OFFF17 in Barcelona – a 3 day multidisciplinary festival, featuring all kinds of speakers and workshops in design, visual communication and art direction. 

    As primarily motion designers we were looking for video / motion design / animation related talks, so our review is based on them mostly, but I’m a huge fan of any design really, so I saw quite a few illustrators and graphic designers too.

    It was really well organised, I found something unique and interesting in every talk we saw. We left feeling very inspired, and I have a bunch of new projects to try out.   So, here are a few cool highlights from the fest with some of our favourite videos and designs – in the order that we saw them.

    Outro Studio

    Outro Studio, a video and design studio based in Barcelona, did the Opening titles and the book for OFFF this year. Their creative approach to projects was really interesting – like making a space themed video for 30 odd euros. For example, They used a bubble gum machine for the helmet, and did it all through reflection, which was a really clever way to reduce cost and give the impression of space – without some crazy huge set. They also had a great concept, which we follow ourselves pretty much, called – SFFPP Small Fast Fun Personal Projects. Now, I need to get hold of a camera, I felt really inspired to do more video work as it’s been very design based lately here! 

    Wix

    This was really fascinating, because even though Wix are quite famous, they spoke about the troubles finding their brand voice and tone. They started from the early days, showing us the progress and development of their design and videos. It took quite a few projects and experiments to get the tone right for them. Here was a cool little video they made with Shaq, where they finally felt like they had a good base and company voice, which is quite bold in colour but friendly and a bit cheeky. (I think we all know the voiceover too)

    Studio Furious

    A graphic design and photography studio in Paris, Studio Furious, that came out of a lunch time hobby while at their day jobs. They started making all sorts of weird burgers and photographing them for a personal blog called Fat Furious Burger.  This series is great, it was really fun and inventive! With their studio work now, they describe it as either sober or kitch aesthetic – and I love this contrast in approach.

    Atipus

    A Barcelona based graphic design company. Good on them for doing the talk in English, while I know some French and Portuguese, I’d be terrified to give a speech in them! What stood out mostly for me was their beautiful wine labels, and I think this is what they’re known for too. The simplicity and bold colours and shapes of all their work, but especially these really resonates with me. This series was based on the good soils from which the grapes grow, which I thought was a great perspective.

    Buck

    Buck was one of the ones we’d been looking forward to the most coming up to OFFF, and we weren’t disappointed! One of the main projects they focused on was (not surprisingly) Spectacle of The Real for the magician David Blaine.
    This is a video we have watched.. a million times! So it was really cool to see the whole back story, working with David Blaine and Christopher Walken. Seeing some of the animatic sketches was amazing too. Truly inspirational  stuff.

    Imaginary Forces

    Imaginary Forces have been in the industry for over 20 years and the breadth of their work was just incredible – massive variety of videos for some pretty famous films and tv shows! They do a lot of main titles, notably Seven, Boardwalk Empire, and Stranger Things –  all really fantastic works. But I loved this one in particular for Black Sails, the 3D work is so amazing, and I love their research behind the project looking at classical sculture as inspiration.

    Cookie Studios

    Cookie Studios are a very talented 2D and 3D studio from London – enviable 3D capabilities! They had a great talk which was really client based. They were very focused on understanding client need and rules – and it’s that, not just making, that makes them better designers. As they say, they can take a ‘shit’ subject and make it cool. I loved their alternative to the standard showreel too. 

    CLAUS

    CLAUS is a studio run by Justin Harder, an illustrator and animator in California. He started out working in a studio, but quit / got fired and moved to Santa Monica living for a few months in his RV… we all have to start somewhere! The variety in his title work was fantastic, we watched a few projects and the styles were so varied and well executed. He’s been famous lately for doing the Deadpool, the Book of Life and Thor title credits (all awesome!) but Thor was my favourite. 

    GMUNK

    Bradley G Munkowitz – known as Gmunk, does stuff that’s really out of this world. Really, otherworldly was my main feeling. Such a funny guy though, he had the audience laughing so much! It was pretty explicit too, a few shocks!

    Over the past few years, he’s done a lot of interesting projects playing with light and lasers, which to look at I would say looks like 3d work or all VFX, but a lot is filmed using lights and shapes, which was fascinating. He’s reinvented his style a few times, which was good to see the progression. My favourite was this Adobe logo, with LED lights built the logo out of acrylic.

    Jamhot

    One of the few fellow Brits was Jamhot  – a cool graphic  / digital design studio from Glasgow. I loved the honesty in their talk, they spoke pretty truthfully about humble beginnings and wanting to be better all the time, with only their previous work to use a benchmark (like 20 year old me!). They showed a few lovely projects, but I really liked the classical approach of their work for this school.

    Calvin Sprague

    I was really amazed at how young Calvin was – and how much he’d achieved by the time he was 25. Seriously props to him! He started doing design for music, punk and rock which over time grew to a much wider audience, doing work for Madonna, Beatles and Led Zep.

    But it was not what he wanted to do, it was too limited, so he moved to Amsterdam and started doing stuff for himself – I really liked his style, and it was nice to see the progression and how he got there. This design work for Target was really great large scale – the geometry is lovely.

    Ricardo Cavolo

    So, I’ve been a fan of this Artist, Ricardo (not designer!) for a few years now, I was excited for his talk. He’s definitely more offbeat, which some unusual inspirations. It was pretty fascinating. His work is mostly inspired by early medieval artwork and symbolism. Think about Gods, medieval magic and fairy tales, making a car into a chariot.. that kind of thing. Unlike most of the others I saw, he definitely has 1 particular style – and it’s very strong visually!

    Vallée Duhamel

    Montreal based duo, Vallée Duhamel, did the main titles for OFFF this year, which was a great finale for me. Their work is generally quite surrealist and they make videos described at High Class Lo Fi. Which basically means they usually real objects and household items to create their videos, which are filmed – but the end result looks in no way homemade.

    Watching the behind the scenes for some of their work was incredible to see weird small sets, and throwing things about, a massive contrast to the final polished product. For example in this video for Google, they struggled to get the grapefruit to role straight!

    Wooh ok that was a long one! And really quite gushy sorry – but I think the work really speaks for how awesome and diverse it was. I think I’ll be back for more, so… until next time OFFF!

  • March 30, 2017

    9 Tips for Finding a Video Freelancer you can trust

    As an agency or studio, hiring a loyal video freelancer is a great way to expand business capacity and add skillsets to your team at a low cost.

     

    When you do find a good freelancer, or freelance team, it can seriously boost your game. Having someone you can really trust to deliver high quality video or design work, without the hassle of paying for their downtime is invaluable.

     

    There are so many highly competent, talented video contractors, who know the business inside out – so how do you find the right one for you?

     

    Here are 9 tips for finding a freelancer you can really trust to help grow your business

    1. Get recommendations from other agencies or studios you know

    Word of mouth is still a great way of finding good people. Ask people you trust, to see who they trust. This is the best place to start if you’re unsure.

    2. Put your job on a specialist video / design job site

    This is a good start, as it weeds out more of the non professionals straight away. Often when adding a job to a generic site, especially one with no login for freelancers, you will receive so many replies of such varying quality, it can be daunting to go through them all to get rid of those who are not suitable. Picking a website like motionographer, filmandtvpro, or ifyoucouldjobs will give you a better calibre of applicants. 

    3. Look at a number of previous jobs

    Go much further than just the 2-3 videos they send upon applications, you’re looking for consistent quality. If you have a quick look at up to 10 (maybe more!) videos, you can see if the quality drops and they don’t always have the standard you need. And you know with that many videos, they are working regularly. This will also help you gauge properly if their style suits your needs.

    4. Find out what role they played in each video

    Often a contractor will only have been involved in 1 part of a video, for example – they did the motion design or just the animation. If it’s not obvious from any accompanying text (which it really should be), ask them what they did. You don’t want to hire someone you think does animation and design, but you find out they’ve exaggerated their animation capabilities.

    5. Speak to their previous clients

    If you have found someone who is potentially good fit, they wont mind if you request to speak to a previous client. Ask them about the full process end to end. Were they easily contactable? Did they deliver on time? Were there any unexpected costs? Did anything go really well / or badly? Did they work on more than 1 production?

    6. Locality doesn’t matter

    Initially you may be looking for someone to come into your studio, or at least be quite close. But this isn’t always necessary. Local can be often be very expensive , or not high enough quality. For example, freelancers in London can be more expensive, purely because of where they are.

    As long as the timezone isn’t too different – say less than 7 hours – you can have clear remote working relationships. You really don’t need to stay within your country, though you may feel more comfortable. Some of our best clients are based in the USA, we have a great communication, simply with skype and email.

    7. Have an introductory meeting

    You may be in a rush to get work done – so there’s no time for an intro. But a short meeting just to introduce both yourselves is vital to start gaining trust in the relationship, it only takes 20-30 mins to have a good chat and judge if they’d be a good fit for you, and vice versa.
    This can be in person or using a video chat online does fine these days too. It will allow you fully gauge what they’re like – are they approachable, do they seem honest? These qualities are just as important as their work.

    8. Collect a list

    When a big video production comes in and you have to pull out all the stops. You need a handy list of good animators or designers you can turn to for quick reliable turnaround – so you don’t waste essential time.

    So, if someone writes to you – they have a great portfolio, the price is reasonable and they seem capable, but it’s not the right moment, find some way of saving their email or contact details. you’ll thank yourself later when you’re in a rush!

    9. Plan your jobs / specifications well

    Once you’ve decided to hire a freelancer for job – they need a solid brief. Freelancers are usually smart, and intuitive – it comes with the turf. But they need a good clear plan to work to, if you leave it too vague and they get the wrong idea – you’ve all wasted your time when the client isn’t happy.

     

    Give them as much guidance as you can to begin with, the initial briefing with any job is very important. They will use all that going forward. It’s often a good idea to go through the script or storyboard, and make sure each section makes sense. 

    These days it is so easy to find a freelancer online, so go ahead! These tips should help you sort through and find the perfect match for your company. And if you need a hand in your studio – give us a shout! We work for some great video and marketing agencies world wide.

  • March 6, 2017

    12 Stunning Examples of Animation for a Good Cause

    The use of animation or motion graphics is a great tool in documentary style videos, or those with a strong message to tell. It ables us to show sensitive subjects without filming and putting anyone at risk at being shown. This is quite often the case with videos produced for a cause, they can be tough to film because of the strong content of the video, or because of geographical / legal restrictions.

    Animation gets over this hurdle, and can explain complex and difficult concepts easily, simplifying them for a global audience to comprehend and want to take action. And shown below, you can still tell a strong heartfelt message with just moving images.

    Here’s a round up of some of the best recent animations for causes and charities, highlighting some of the major issues to be addressed worldwide.

    100 Years of Planned Parenthood

    Kirsten Lepore

    The New Promised Land. Chapter 1

    MiraRuido

    Why Water

    Buck

    Pathway Through Care

    Wonderlust | Anchor Point Animation

    Republic of Kiribati, a climate change victim

    Lucca Geuna Jounou

    Trapped with Abuse - End Male Guardianship in Saudi Arabia

    Anchor Point Animation

    WWF | Water Stewardship

    Nice and Serious

    Unicef: Unfairy Tales

    180LA

    Don’t be a bully, loser.

    Emanuele Colombo

    USAID Conference - Amazon Rainforest

    Ignacio Florez & Adriana Ogarrio

    Health Systems Leapfrogging In Emerging Economies

    Lonelyleap Ltd

    Greenpeace ‘Ecosystem’

    Georgetown Post

    You can see that although there are similarities between the videos, there are many different ways to approach this kind of heavy hitting animation.

    A more hand drawn or hand crafted approach can bring motion graphics video away from a very corporate look, which often isn’t appropiate or relatable for videos for a cause. So video design is quite important here. While a voiceover from someone directly involved (where possible) can also invoke a lot of emotion in the story and boost the message. There are so many options, it all depends on the content, and who you’re aiming at to watch it.

    If you’re a charity, or you want us to tell your message for a good cause with animation, we’d love to help you.

  • February 28, 2017

    8 ways to get more Visual Content in your blog

    Visual content for blogs is a must have in 2017, and there are so many benefits – it improves site SEO, more blog views, increased time spent on page, improving your brand image and more.

     

    But, you don’t always have to create it yourself – In this post, I’ve laid out a few different types of great visual blog content, and the different methods for producing it yourself, or finding a good piece that already exists.

    Creating Visual Content vs Finding and Curating It

    Content you’ve made for your blog will always be more relevant to your audience and perform better, because it’s made by you, and for specific purpose.

    However, we know there’s not always the time and/or budget for original visual content, and you have to look elsewhere for visuals.

    The key is to find a good balance, and figure when it is really necessary to create your own, and when you can use something that’s already been made to illustrate your point.

    Photos

    I guess the first thing people think of in terms of visual content and a blog is photos.
    If it’s relevant, just take some photos, phone camera usually have a fairly decent lens these days – certainly good enough quality for a blog post, providing you have good natural light.

    Types of photos that can work well for blogs, are specific product shots, or photos of your staff, events you’ve been to, your space, any gadgets you use. Showing your company culture can make you much more personable and add a real voice to your blog posts.

    If you’re not up for photography, a few places to find specific imagery are Wikimedia Commons & Flickr CC – just make sure you get the attribution right (sometimes you need to add the author for example).
    Or for more generic stock photos you can head to Death to the Stock Photo. They pride themselves in being non cheesy, which is great! However, any photos you choose still need to reflect your company, so pick carefully – it really needs to be applicable to the blog content and reflect your brand accurately.

    Graphics

    Often, a photo isn’t enough – you need a few words to fully explain your point, and help people remember your content better.
    If you have some design knowledge, then Photoshop or Illustrator are great for creating fully bespoke graphics, that will be the most relevant to your content  and really represent your company in terms of style.

    However, If you’re inexperienced in design, then I would head to Canva. Canva is a free service, and if you have no clue about design / layout / colours/  fonts/ whatever, don’t worry! It’s extremely user friendly for creating visual content that works well.

     

    Remember that while you may want to use lots of font and colours, often less is more. And as always it needs to be in keeping with your brand and easy to digest.  It’s worth picking 1 style and keeping within that, or only varying slightly while you’re finding your feet. This will create more unity.

    Infographics & Charts

    If your blog post is numbers based at all – an infographic is perfect for Condensing lots of information into an easy to understand format.  Rather than just a list of numbers, you can represent them visually, and give much more impact.

    There’s many ways a professional would make these – if it were me, a mix of Illustrator and Indesign probably (but I’m very nerdy) – and keeping a nice grid layout for good comprehension.

    Creating infographics may seem daunting if you’re less nerdy, but again, there are foolproof ways if you have solid data! Canva also has great functionality for this and so does infogr.am. You’ll have lots of options for the best way to visually show your data.

     

    To find premade infographics, you can look on infographicsshowcase, SlideShare and coolinfographics but one of the best ways to find infographics most relevant to your industry / niche is searching in google using your specific keywords + infographic.

    Graphs & charts

    If you don’t need a whole infographic, but you just want to illustrate one point at a time with a impactful chart, you can create these easily by using Google Sheets or Google Slides.

    They may not be the most ‘beautiful’, but they will be extremely relevant to your web audience and a useful asset to display data, and make it more easily understood.

    Videos

    Videos are known to be impactful on blog posts, and it can be fairly easy to create them. You can go the DIY route and have a go (but do invest in a tripod!), you can make a video with your smartphone – and the end quality will matter less if the content is good.

     

    Videos that are good for blogs are; animated infographics, tutorials, client case studies (whether animated or filmed) short videos with staff about specific topics, showing new products / premises, yuor if you’re more regular with production, then you can start a Vlog. A vlog is a great way to add a human face to your business, and give real, personal feeling, insights to customers.

    Tips for Using Video on Your Blog - Tubular Insights

    If you want to step up your game, you can hire a professional. If you’re using a video production company, I would recommend filming / producing a few videos at a time to create some economies of scale – especially if it will form a series, this means you’ll have a consistent output and a consistent look.

    Again, finding the time and resources to create blog videos may not always be possible, but there’s so many videos already online now, we’d hope that at least 1 shows your point!

    Finding relevant videos can be a bit of a minefield but Youtube, Ted Talks and Vimeo and are good places to start – have a keyword in mind, and keep trying variations of that until you find it. If you find someone or a channel who creates good videos quite frequently – it’s worth bookmarking!

    Summary

    It’s been shown that visual content on your blog will earn you higher engagement, and there are so many options – with different levels of difficulty and cost – so just find what’s right for your company right now. You can invest as little or as much time as you want, and still have more impact with your blogs.

    In an ideal world, we’d always create our own content, but not everyone is at this stage. So, the key with finding the right content for your blogs online is very careful consideration – question each item – does this speak to my audience, does it suit my brand, does it say what I want to say, does it have the right tone for my site?

     

    If you’re ready to start producing bespoke content for your blog, and you want a hand with graphic design or video for your company, have a look at our portfolio and get in touch!

  • January 25, 2017

    Highlights from 2016

    We’ve had quite the year in 2016 – so here’s a quick highlight reel to show what we’ve been up to. And just a snippet what lies ahead.

    New Clients

    2016 was certainly a busy one. We worked with 34 new clients (as well as loads of our existing customers) last year across USA, UAE, UK, and throughout Europe. Though sadly as studio nerds we don’t get to visit all this great places, we can only imagine!

    Motion Design

    We’re constantly upskilling here, and although Victoria is trained in fine arts and graphic design – classes specifically for design for motion didn’t really exist until very recently. So we jumped at the chance, and we completed the highly regarded School of Motion Design Bootcamp Course. 

    Character Animation

    Not one to be left out of the fun, our animation expert, Harry, has been delving further into the work of 2d character animation and rigging.

    It’s pretty tricky work rigging a character correctly, but it makes a world of difference when it comes to movement – and getting it realistic (not just kerky and sporadic). He completed training at the end of last year to further improve – and  we’ve had some great results!

    New Sectors

    For us, 2016 saw a low of new video and design work across the medical, education and technology sectors in particular. We love learning about new businesses and organisations  – and their markets. There’s nothing like a video production to help you learn in depth about a new field relatively quickly. It’s so interesting!

    Working Internationally

    We now have a second base at LX Factory in Lisbon. From Summer 2016 and continuing into this year we’ve been working between both locations. It’s great, Lisbon has really grown as a creative and technological hub in Europe.  

    This year ahead

    OFFF Festival

    So we’re heading to  #OFFF17 . It’s a multi disciplinary design and art festival in Barcelona. In their own words “It is more than just a Festival hosting innovative and international speakers, it is more than a meeting point for all talents around the world to collaborate, it is more than feeding the future.”

    We’re looking forward to hearing from some amazing speakers and meeting some like minded people!

    3D

    We’re also making some great advances with 3D design and animation. This is still under wraps at the moment, but we’ll be unveiling some great new 3D projects soon and are looking forward to fully expanding our offering.

    Gif Page

    We’re working on a web page just for our gif animations. It’s going to a be fun and very silly, there may or may not be a dancing taco…

    Lastly – if you want to see some of of our latest projects, whether design or animation head to our lovely Portfolio Page. We update it all the time 🙂

  • January 23, 2017

    Captions in Web Video – A Quick Guide to maximise your message

    Browsing online we’re seeing more and more videos showing with captions – what’s this all about?

     

    This is due to the rise of mobile video which is growing massively, latest research shows mobile video views grew 6x faster than desktop views in 2015. (Invodo, 2016)

     

    One of the main problems for marketers, is that mobile users may not always have the sound turned on – or want to turn it on. So although the visual message may come across – crucially half of the video could be missing.

     

    So how do you get your message across if your video is voiceover or interview based? This is the same issue, whether filmed or animated video production.

     

    Captions are a great way of letting people preview the video content, and letting them to decide to watch with the volume turned on. Or letting them take on board the full message, when volume isn’t an option.

    Making the assumption people will always listen from the start is a mistake.

     

    However, sometimes you may not want or need captions, and it’s not always straightforward.

     

    3 Main Types of Captions

     

    Animated Captions – inbuilt into the video that just show highlights and keywords

    Open Captions – like subtitles but can’t be turned on and off – they’re embedded within the video

    Closed Captions – abilities to turn the subtitles on and off, set by the video player.

     

    Social Video

     

    If your marketing is very social media based, for example facebook adverts, (and who would blame you!) 100 million hours of video per day are watched on Facebook. (Tech Crunch, 2016) There can be a lot of silent video playback, so you’ll want to incorporate full subcaptions, or make your visuals very self explanatory. The latter is only really possible with animation or motion graphics based videos. 

     

    And so now more often on facebook and youtube we do see full subcaptions are being used. Which means people can still get the content, but without having to turn the sound up –  it’s a great user focused approach.

     

    For those heavily invested in social video, Open captions is a great option, as it gives you more flexibility with the design than video player generated closed captions.

     

    This means your video will never show without captions by mistake, the full message will always get across.  

    Example of Open Captions from AJ+

    Obviously they still need to be clear, so you can’t be crazy with font choice or colour, but you can be sure they don’t overlap with any visuals, the font is suitable, and you have full control of the process.

     

    If you’re still dabbling with social video production – then Closed Caption system is a great way to start and increase engagement.

     

    Website video

    For your website, you may not need full subcaptions. If your service or product is heavily B2B – you may still have a good majority of desktop users, who have access to speakers or headphones more easily.

     

    So for a website video or a video just for presentations, you may find that a few key highlight messages, animated nicely do the trick along with the voiceover.

    Animated captions - that just show the keywords of a sentence

    The best to way to find out if your visitors are coming by mobile, tablet or desktop, is to check your wenbsite analytics for the screen size and device used most frequently. You can also check the time on page – to see if you’re putting off mobile users with your site.

    There are a few downfalls

     

    It can take a bit of effort and knowledge required to produce the right files for Closed Captions – it requires generating an SRT (or similar)  file, which is basically a text file of the script that is formatted so that each line is associated with a time code – so if you’re not familiar it can be a little daunting and time consuming.

     

    Facebook and Youtube now offer automatically generated captions – woohoo! But sometimes what it hears is incorrect, so this is not a foolproof method. Especially when you’ve spent time and money producing a video to generate sales (imagine loads of a typos in a proposal!).  

    Here’s a quick example where I have put Youtube Closed Captions on a preexisting video. You can see the client didn’t plan to have this, as the captions over overlap the animated text somewhat. And Youtube initially did quite a bad job of guessing the captions! So, it’s not always straightforward.

    If you’re not up for a DIY approach, You can hire companies to easily make a perfect transcript if you’re getting errors, then upload that SRT file to youtube or facebook.

     

    If you choose to have animated captions that are ever present and part of the video design – then it’s crucial they are timed well for those who are listening and match the voiceover – as hearing and seeing them as different messages will create a little confusion.

     

    This seems obvious, but marketers are still doing this! It’s so difficult to take one message fully on board if you’re hearing another.

    Getting started

     

    So to get started, first look at your analytics and your marketing efforts.  Is your audience website and desktop based or do you drive large amounts of traffic through social media and mobile?

     

    After you have a clear idea of your own users you can decide what level of captions to use.

     

    It’s good to know this info at the beginning of a video project, so that nothing is overlapping that area of the screen, or that the video producer can add animated highlight captions which capture the message in an elegant way.

     

    If you already have videos online on youtube or facebook – see if the automatically generated captions work for you – and there you go, you’ve already increased watching potential!

     

    In the meantime – check out our newly updated portofolio, and see a wide range of web videos with animated captions!

  • July 28, 2016

    New Showreel Release

    We’ve been so extremely busy this year so far, that it really called for a new Showreel to reflect our latest work. It’s amazing how quickly our most recent portfolio has built up in just a few months.

    We’ve been lucky to work with a range of fantastic creative agencies around the world, to produce soo many different kinds of video. Thank you everyone!

    Without further ado – here it is!

     

  • February 3, 2016

    10 Inspirational Business TED Talks for 2016

    TED talks are enjoyed by millions world wide. They really capture our spirit of human interest and the invention new ideas.

    Here are a few of my favourite TED talks on the business of business. I’ve picked these videos to cover a fairly wide range of topics and discussion points; from marketing, motivation, being creative in business, to productivity and leadership. As I believe as a business person, you should have a grasp on all these concepts – even if it’s not strictly your department.

    Why read yet another long blog post, when you can watch a short video with a truly motivational speaker and feel really inspired and alter your perspective. So while you have a few moments spare, watch a few of these carefully curated and thought provoking business TED talks – and let me know which ones stimulate you!

    1. Seth Godin: How to get your ideas to spread

    2. Margaret Gould Stewart: How giant websites design for you (and a billion others, too)

    3. Ricardo Semler: How to run a company with (almost) no rules

     

    4. Roselinde Torres: What it takes to be a great leader

     

    5. Josh Luber: The secret sneaker market — and why it matters

    6. Dan Pink: The puzzle of motivation

    7. Bill Gross: The single biggest reason why startups succeed

    8. Sheryl Sandberg: Why we have too few women leaders

    9. Seth Godin: The tribes we lead

    10. Yves Morieux: As work gets more complex, 6 rules to simplify

     

    Although it can be said that they simplify concepts too much for entertaining bite-size viewing, sometimes you just need that little boost and a break to help refresh and make you think little differently.

    Let me know your favourite Business TED Talks! I’d love to watch.

     

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  • November 26, 2015

    What Makes a Good Poster Design?

    A great poster can make a real difference to your company or event’s credibility. Bad or just low quality design, while often cheaper – reflects poorly on your business – which reflects in your ROI.

    The primary purpose of a poster is communication –
    so above all make sure it sends out the right message, and in the right tone.

    Here’s a quick breakdown of the main components for well designed poster that visually communicates and is impactful.

    Composition

    It’s important to have a good visual balance – so that the image is not overcrowded (resulting in none of the information being taken in)

    As with traditional art you need a strong sense of composition – you want the viewer to look at the heading, look at any images, and read the smaller text.

    So you need to guide them through this process – and make sure the text and images lead towards each other and aren’t fighting.

    But importantly – you want just 1 focal point. Pick 1 central point – image or text that you want to be the focal point – you can’t have all corners of the poster fighting for attention!

    Otherwise it’ll be a mess and no one will remember the info.

    If you need to – then use a grid – this will help you to keep everything aligned.

    This example has great composition – everything is focused towards the mic and below – so it’s easy to follow and read all the info.

    What Makes Good Poster Design - Telegramme

    Image from Telegramme

    Typography and Text

    Limit text – think about how much someone can remember – so limit the details
    provide a link for people who want to find out more.

    If you’re not great with words – get someone who is to help make it more concise – there’s nothing worse than rambly text on a poster, with numerous messages.

    You can mix type fonts – which if done well can make it very interesting to look at (don’t go overboard!). But they need to have the same tone, and go well together.

    Keep fonts legible and fairly bold – ( this’ll help the poster to be read from a distance – 5 feet +)

    and Please don’t use Curlz MT for the main body text.

    Here’s a nice example – where they’ve created the whole design from the typography. Because it’s a lot of text, it’s very simple in its approach, which has worked really well.

    What Makes a Good Poster Design - Tank Jazz Poster

    Image from Tank Design – see the rest of the project here

    White space

    White space is just negative space – ie not filled up with text or imagery.

    White space is a key component of great design. Just because you have a whole piece of paper it doesn’t mean it needs to be all filled up.

    Not only does it make it more aesthetically pleasing, but it can aid readability and comprehension.

    It’s not just adding space around the text or imagery, but even small areas of white space, ie between sentences can make a big difference to legibility.

    Non designers have the urge sometimes to make use all ALL the space on a poster, but it will only detract from the message!

    This example is very simple – but the space and emptiness really bring attention to the main focus of the posters.

    What makes a good poster design? Studio Hands Flow

    Image from Studio Hands

    Images

    Photos do work well on posters – and can have a great impact.

    But they need to go perfectly in sync with the message at hand. Generic stock style photos generally will not do for something this large scale.

    So it’s best to have a photo shoot / get photos for this specific purpose (and mobile phone pics will not do sorry!).

    Designing a poster is a great excuse to be really creative with imagery – as you can be more unconventional than with a brochure, for example.

    This example uses just one image – but it fits perfectly and brings a real dynamism to the design.

    What Makes a Good Poster Design? Diana Dubina

    Image from Diana Dubin

    Colour

    Use strong colours if it’s going to be printed – especially by a poor printer – everything washes away.

    Although I would recommend getting anything printed properly of course and on good quality paper.

    Imagine that your poster is on a wall surrounded by others of posters – you want it to stand out, and colour is a great way to do this,

    This doesn’t mean you should use every colour – usually you would stick to a theme of 4 colours at the most.

    They can be complementary – ie all shades of blue, or contrasting – so a orange and blue together. It’s best to come up with a palette for limited colours before you start so everything co-ordinates.

    Here are 2 websites withs lots of set palettes to give you ideas on colour schemes that go well together – http://www.colourlovers.com/ and https://color.adobe.com/

    Even though this example seems to be random and multicoloured, they’ve still limited the palette. So it’s colourful, and a mixed, but they’ve kept to just 3 colours – which works fantastically.

    What Makes a Good Poster Design - Sprectrum

    Image from Spectrum

    Audience

    Remember that while your design may look good, it might not be the best possible communication for your audience – it needs to relate.

    The design and tone of the poster will look very different if you’re communicating to business people or communicating to teen gig goers, or to children.

    Keep the tone of the poster (which includes text language, font, colour and image style ) relevant for the audience. If you keep the audience in mind from the beginning, and think, ‘does this appeal to them?’ that’s a great start.

    This is a poster aimed a children, and the tone is perfect, it’s playful, clear and the info text is short enough and simple enough for a child to comprehend quickly.

    What Makes a Good Poster Design - Beyond the Teeth by Ninette Saraswati

    Image from Ninette Saraswati

    Summary

    Hopefully, you now have a good understanding of the basic principles for good poster design, and the basics of visual communication.

    So , next time you’re designing a poster, keep these factors in mind.

    Composition
    Typography & Text
    Whitespace
    Images
    Colour
    Audience

    If you want any help with design or marketing, just send us a message!

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  • November 12, 2015

    12 Best Blogs To Follow About Marketing

    12 Best Blogs To Follow About Marketing

    If you’re a Marketer, and you want to stay on top of the latest techniques and learn best practice – here are some great, well written, frequently updated and informative blogs.

    Here, I’ve given a mixture of theory and practical ideas covering a wide of different areas within marketing.

    Hubspot

    A good allrounder for Marketers – they post at least once per day!

    Really practical advice for all levels of knowledge.

    http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing

    Buffer

    This blog is great for Social Media Marketing posts. They regularly post a mixture of case studies, tools and trends.

    https://blog.bufferapp.com

    Neil Patel – quick sprout

    This guy knows it all. the blog is full of really in depth informative posts about web marketing, content marketing, SEO and getting your website seen.

    http://www.quicksprout.com/

    Moz

    This blog is more about the SEO side of things – which is equally important when we’re talking about business online. Moz are the go to people for SEO advice.

    https://moz.com/blog

    Vidyard

    This blog focuses on Video Marketing – very insightful and great for the video niche. They cover all aspects of making video, sharing it and measuring its performance.

    https://www.vidyard.com/blog/

    Adobe

    The Adobe Digital Marketing blog is quite varied – and focuses on visual and content marketing. A good combination of marketing, and design and usability.

    http://blogs.adobe.com/digitalmarketing/

    Marketing Donut

    A nice concise marketing blog with good key take aways and easy to follow advice.

    http://www.marketingdonut.co.uk/blog

    Think With Google

    Showing studies on interaction with website and user insights. Great data to have when planning your own strategy.

    https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/

    Content Marketing Institute

    Does what it says on the tin – they are all about Content Marketing. A huge amount of resources for those interested in delving into Content Marketing.

    http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/blog/

    Econsultancy

    Another good all rounder, but quite different – and very much data and statistics based. It also covers e-commerce well.

    https://econsultancy.com/blog

    REELSEO

    Another highly established Video marketing blog – but often more about Marketing with Youtube. And more recently covering video and social media.

    http://www.reelseo.com/

    Marketing Magazine

    The latest news in Marketing – this is less about techniques or tips. But a good way to keep up with what is going on right now in the world of Marketing.

    http://www.marketingmagazine.co.uk/

    Hopefully, this should give you a good pile of marketing reading material. 
    If you have a blog that you like to keep up with, that I’ve not included here, please let me know!

     

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Email: harry [at] digitalfinch.co.uk
Phone: 0161 818 2120
Location: Wigan, UK

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