I came across a great article by Hootsuite today, 5 Reasons Why A Social Media Content Calendar is Important For Your Business. I’ve been immersed in social media since it started trending. So much so that I felt completely overwhelmed with the responsibilities involved in posting in a timely manner and where I intended the content to appear. It seemed like I was spending so much time on social media that I was neglecting some of my other responsibilities. As time went on I just gave up. Enough already!
So I’m back! I decided to get busy.
Today while browsing my Twitter feed I came across the above-mentioned article. It got me to thinking how similar the job of a traffic manager in an advertising agency is to managing social media. Honestly, I had never put the two together before. Lightbulb went off today… I’ve worked as a marketing manager and I always had a good six months schedule planned out for all of my media resources. Print, trade shows, promo items – it was all on a spreadsheet that made my life easier. I had a spreadsheet of all of my advertising – magazine, date, product, etc. So why is it I never put social media into the mix?
I’m guessing in the beginning I was so wrapped up on learning the ins and outs of social media. Finding all of the available social media apps. Organizing what goes where. Too make it even more difficult I was posting for multiple accounts. Time has passed. It’s not longer a new thing for me, or anyone else for that matter. It’s time to settle down, get organized, and start posting again.
If you have a minute or two in your day you should check out the article I came across. Very helpful.
I suspect that as I get into this it may turn a bit snarky. I’m at a point right now where I vacillate between my genuine love of design and my disappointment in some of the absolute crap I see out there. I can’t help but notice the design that is born from an educated eye and respect for design. It is then coupled with a complete ignorance for design principle and put out for consumption simply because “they can” and with no regard for what preceded them in the design world. Yes, I am a design snob. And I can’t “get over it”.
I shake my head sometimes as I see a new commercial or print ad (albeit a print ad that I see on my iPad because I admit I read magazines online via a really cool app). I have to wonder how the pitch went for some of this stuff. Wouldn’t it be great if we did some really stupid stunt and combined it with some inane copy. Better yet, let’s crowdsource and pull some online babble. It’s so relatable to the public and it’s bound to be a hit. Speaking of hits – it’s bound to be “liked” by tons of people. This is when I start to wonder why this bullshit is tolerated.
When I was learning the ins and outs of advertising in college we had a few categories that our ads were put in. The point of these categories was to weed out the crap and leave the cream so ads could be refined and have some sort of plausible basis for being considered for presentation to a client. It was a brutal process at times. Ads pinned up on the wall and each one was critiqued by some of these standards:
- I Don’t Get It
- I’ve Seen It Before
- Too Cute
It was not uncommon to put your ad up for review and have it torn to pieces during the critique. That’s how we all learned. It helped develop a mindset that wasn’t in a rush to put out crap for public consumption. (I’m reading through this now and I realize I use the word crap a lot. If it offends you, “get over it”.)
Now I know that business is all about making money. Money, money, money. I also know that there a some designers and artists who have made a very comfortable living putting out sub-standard work. For some reason they’ve caught on – they trend, they fascinate, they entice, they are provocative. Oooohhh! Unfortunately I’m not one of them. I can’t get those design principles out of my head.
I know that thinking out of the box will bring along innovation and a unique perspective. I’m all for that. Times change and the things that people relate to change with them. I get that. Demographics change. The economy takes its toll. People leave the industry and new people step in. Change is inevitable. I get it. At some point though I can’t help but wonder what happens when little by little we let basic design principles become eroded and disappear. I’ll use my local newspaper as an example. Some months back they set out to redesign the paper. One day I opened the paper and wondered, “What the hell happened here?” My eyes were having trouble focusing on the articles because they had used multiple fonts in multiple type sizes. HUGE headlines and then teeny tiny copy for some while others had whacky font choices and big spaces (kerning) in the copy. It takes a few days and finally the editor writes that they are in a redesign process and, yes, they’ve heard from people about how bad it looks. OMG! To date it’s not uncommon to see widows and orphans in the typeset. Articles just end in mid-sentence. And those pesky fonts keep showing up now and again. I suppose if the most important goal is to keep those circulation numbers up you’ll let a few things slide.
It’s no different online. Some websites were fantastic for their navigation. Then one day for whatever their reasoning they’ve changed things and now it takes more clicks to get to where you want to go. It isn’t intuitive anymore. I find myself just staring at the page – I can’t figure out where I’m supposed to go. I love animation. I love slideshows. I also like the ability to read. Simply read the information I’m interested in. It doesn’t have to move. It just needs to sit there and be readable. I understand that there are many ways to construct sites these days. They each have their own perks. Some just look cool. Some can be maintained by their administrators. I know companies like that. There are the ones with the latest bells and whistles – what’s trending in tech design at the moment. Not always a bad thing I must say. It’s not for me to figure out why they do what they do. I do know that I’m going to notice things. I’m going to notice the inconsistencies, the lack of continuity, the navigation issues, the use of art and the way it’s all composed on the page. I am, as I’ve already confessed, a design snob. I will ultimately wonder where we’re headed if the lack of design standards appears to be the way we do things in the future. Will anybody notice the sloppy work? Will anybody question the composition of an ad? Will online and print media turn into a mere scrapbook of ideas, art, and type that are put together disguised as professionally designed media? If the public doesn’t notice, who will care? If the money keeps rolling in, why bother? If the future of design devolves into what’s the quickest, easiest, and cheapest way to communicate then I’m going to be very sad. For me it all comes down to design. I love it. I want to preserve the best of design. No shortcuts. No sloppy work. No babble for copy. No crap.
Postscript: I wrote this almost a year ago. Never posted it because I thought it might be a bit much. Looking at it now, I have to say my thoughts are the same — so here it is…
Radiant Orchid has been chosen as the IT color for 2014. As stated in Pantone’s press release, this shade of purple has “an enchanting harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones, Radiant Orchid inspires confidence and emanates great joy, love and health. It is a captivating purple, one that draws you in with its beguiling charm.”
I couldn’t be happier as this is one of my favorite colors! Let’s see how this choice influences design in the coming year.
While I’ve know about Pinterest for some time now I never really took the time to get into it and see if it was for me. On the suggestion of a friend I spent some time on there and I have to admit it – I’m hooked.
Unlike Delicious and StumbleUpon, which I use daily, Pinterest allows me to collect information in a more visual form. And isn’t visual what graphic design is all about? It’s really amazing how your boards start to take shape. At first you aren’t quite sure what type of things to post, but you pick it up quickly. I will always be looking for anything that relates to design or that I find inspiring in some way. But… Pinterest also lets me put a bit of myself on my boards. I get to save recipes, craft projects, and whatever else hits me at the moment.
I have decided to share my Pinterest boards with you all. Take them at face value, literally. They are all pinned because something about them interested me. Me. If you see something that connects with you, repin it or leave a comment.
One last suggestion. If you are already using Pinterest or decide to finally check it out, I recommend that you click on different user’s boards and view their profile as a whole. It’s amazing how you get a feel for the person based solely on the visual impact of their pins. Some people are drawn to design and color. Others have a very muted take on what they like. From a visual standpoint, I find this fascinating.
As they say on the site… Happy Pinning!
I came across this video via a Rachel Maddow post on Facebook. All politics aside – I find this video interesting. In an odd way. There is something just a little bit off with this video. Typographically, it’s a masterful design. The music adds an additional layer. The speech flows to match the ever-changing typographic design. But, there’s something here that bugs me and I can’t explain it just yet.
First off, let me give you some background information about this speech. It was given February 12, 2009 on the House Floor. The actual speech can be viewed on YouTube. As for this video, the font used is Bleeding Cowboys and the music used is Metallica’s “To Live Is To Die”.
I think I’m going to explain my immediate feelings about this video and then come back and add to this post… as I stated up front, I’m not sure how to explain what’s “off” to me yet. But in the interim I would love to hear some commentary. What do you think?
Let’s get started — As a fan of typography, this video caught my eye from the instant I clicked it on. It wasn’t the music or the speech that I was paying attention to, it was the black, white, and red type. Using a very ornate font and putting it through its paces. Using every angle. Smooth movement. Precise timing with the speech. I think I would have been totally satisfied with the typographic experience without the speech included. Just dancing type with a musical accompaniment. Oh, I think I’m hitting on something here… let me run this around in my head a bit more…
Added on top of this typographic ballet is the speech given by Ron Paul. I have no commentary to offer about its content and prefer to view the speech only as an integral part of a designed piece. Do you think the added typographic display makes it easier to understand the contents of this speech? I think I’m at a “which came first” moment. Did the speech inspire the type? Or, did the type inspire the inclusion of the speech? (Duh, I know the speech is the source for the words used, but perhaps any words would have worked as well for this typographic ballet.) When you are concentrating on the type does the content of the speech truly resonate? Do you get its full meaning? Are you able to walk away and remember the speech for its content? Right now, I’m thinking – no. I think this video works more as performance art than political ad.
In order for this video to be considered an ad it would have to be somewhat apparent who it was being marketed to. I find it difficult to come up with a singular target market that includes people who would be compelled to engage in the design, musical background, and of course, the message. Is it possible that a singular market exists for this video? More likely, the piece is an attempt to hit all the buttons at once. Something that rarely proves successful. And if it is not an ad at all then there is no concern for the message in and of itself. What matters then is the perfect balance of each design element. The result being a pleasing display of type as it dances across the screen aided by the tempo of a musical layer. If you happen to engage in parts of the message as well, that is a bonus. I would then say the main focus is to catch your attention and provoke a conversation afterwards. Just as I’m doing here…
My apologies as this is not a typical post. A bit rambling perhaps. I did warn you upfront that I have not formed my thoughts fully. I rarely come across examples like this video and would love to hear some feedback. What do you think?
I continue to be impressed with the willingness of the design community to share information. Links, tutorials, books, samples, templates, fonts – you name it and it can be found online. I’d like to contribute to this stash of information by making my www.delicious.com bookmarks available to anyone who browses my blog.
Delicious offers bookmarks collected by its members. The range of interests are vast. For me, you will find that my bookmarks coincide with my interest in graphic design, advertising, web design, marketing, industrial design, and the range of software used in those pursuits.
Please, feel free to browse the bookmarks. You just might find the information you need. I would also like to encourage you to add to my bookmark list via email, posting to my blog, or sharing via your delicious account.
The best thing about delicious bookmarks is that they are always available to you as long as you have access to a computer with an internet connection. I started using delicious because I wanted to have my bookmarks available to me wherever I was and on whichever computer I might be working on at the time.
Give delicious.com a try. Browse my bookmarks. I hope you find something of interest. Maybe you’ll find some answers for things that have you stumped. Enjoy!
I just discovered thumbtack.com and added BoyDog Design to their directory of businesses. Unlike some other online directories, managing the information you want to post was a snap. If you’re interested in spreading the word about your product or service, list your business on www.thumbtack.com.
If you’d like, you can View BoyDog Design’s listing.
Good news for those of you who have struggled with the decision to add social media to your marketing mix. According to the Small Business Success Index small business adopted the use of social media at twice the rate of 2008 in 2009. These businesses are finding that social media offers them access to their market – enabling them to build their brand, engage their current customers, and attract new customers as well.
Here’s a link to useful information summarizing these finding: http://www.bit.ly/ceSbFP
It’s never too late to add social media to your marketing plan. BoyDog Design can assist you in sorting through the various social media sites, blogging options, directories, and more. Is it time to hone the social media persona of your business?
I continue to monitor the changing nature of our media. As a designer it’s important to stay on top of trends in design and production. More important – on a personal level – I try to source information about changing standards and practices. Lately I’ve pointed my attention to news – particularly the way it’s collected, processed, and distributed for public consumption. I’ve been trying to notice shifts in ethics, validity, and attachment to special interests. It’s a personal obsession at the moment…
I just came across this article by Edward Wasserman, published in The Miami Herald today. If you have any interest in who is writing the news, I recommend taking some time to read this. Form your own conclusions. Do your own research on the topic. I offer this link as another source of information.
Special interests write `news’ http://bit.ly/4sx9p7
I just came across these links and thought I’d share…
2010 Online Marketing Influencers: Trend Predictions in 140 characters by Trendsspotting http://bit.ly/876UgL
TrendsSpotting’s 2010 Consumer Trends Influencers http://bit.ly/7JPMmg
TrendsSpotting’s 2010 Social Media Influencers – Trend Predictions http://bit.ly/4OWZgV