cached data
alt-text alt-text alt-text alt-text alt-text alt-text alt-text alt-text alt-text alt-text

telling your color story

“How do you create your color palettes?” I’ve been asked that quite a few times over the years. Sometimes the process feels intuitive, but that’s only because after years of creating color families some things become second nature. There are some basic rules to follow when getting started. Using the basic rules as a structure, …

Read moretelling your color story

web design revision? Six things to consider.

six things to look for in a web design Every website is different; yet, the best sites always have a few things in common. As you consider a website redesign for your company or organization, ensure it uses the following: a clear message that creates clarity about your company or organization, what it does, how …

Read moreweb design revision? Six things to consider.

change the conversation: new ways to listen

paying attention to your audience We recently offered to make a referral to a partner company that was declined because of terminology. The client wanted “SEO,” the company didn’t want to sell “SEO,” and the connection wasn’t made.Unfortunately, both sides of the equation were ultimately interested in the same business objective: increasing visibilty and search …

Read morechange the conversation: new ways to listen

five techniques for using content to engage your audience

approaches for creating value and awareness while dispelling confusion A big part of writing and design is taking complicated messages and making them easy to understand, but also making them interesting and important to the audience.  Mark Twain once said: “I would have written you a shorter letter, but I didn’t have the time.” A misconception …

Read morefive techniques for using content to engage your audience

landing page strategies: making the most of the most valuable real estate in the world

how web design and messaging can strengthen your brand The most valuable piece of property in the world is the seven square inches your prospective client sees when pulling up your website for the first time. This small parcel of real estate has the critical job of connecting with your audience, either by communicating information …

Read morelanding page strategies: making the most of the most valuable real estate in the world

all together now

With so much marketing taking place through a multitude of different mediums and applications, the tendency is for messages to become ever more fragmented — and more easily forgotten. start with a vision Don’t think of standards and consistency until you have clear vision about why you are important to your audience and are able to distill …

Read moreall together now

experiences > things

A paradox of destination marketing is that while each destination is unique in its own way, the materials and messages people use for different destinations are often indistinguishable from one another. In promoting Bellingham Whatcom County, we wanted to subtly rethink destination marketing to create work that departed from these expectations. We started by making …

Read moreexperiences > things

print intentionally

Shew Design - Leopold presentation folder

Despite all predictions to the contrary, printed communications still play a crucial role in how organizations reach out to their audience. Print has changed, though. It is now more an elective than a requirement, and like any choice it benefits from planning and thinking ahead. You must print intentionally. This can include details like a …

Read moreprint intentionally

hey, dummy

While developing a packaging concept for a high end manufacturer, we encountered some feedback from a friend of the client who recommended we take an alternate approach. His advice was, literally, “dumb it down.” The product was a gourmet food item (chocolate) for a discriminating, college-educated audience. The argument was based on a perception of the across the board, ever-dwindling …

Read morehey, dummy

making choices, creating value

Making choices, creating value. I constantly think about why people value the things they do, and how design and messaging fit into that larger picture. We recently had a project that gave me a new perspective about these eternal questions. Without giving away the details, here is the situation: the client is an inventor who …

Read moremaking choices, creating value

don’t stop believing

Eric and I started commuting to work on our bikes almost a year ago. Details that were normally overlooked were suddenly noticed and studied. This particular stop sign was one of them. “Don’t” had been added to the sign, and at one point someone had handwritten “believing” below this. Later, for whatever reason, “believing” was …

Read moredon’t stop believing

minimalism, trust, and some really good chocolate

Research plays a crucial part of creating good design, and so a designer’s life is essentially a never ending series of opportunities to learn. The best designers are really the best at learning. That’s what I like to say as I help myself to a generous handful of research. My third. “That’s Callebaut, 54%,” Kevin …

Read moreminimalism, trust, and some really good chocolate