BoyDog Design
Design and more…

Social Media iconsI 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.

 

April 12, 2012

Just about every day I spend some time on my computer searching for interesting, helpful, and inspiring information related to design. I’ve been posting those links on Delicious and StumbleUpon for a while now. So many helpful links… It occurred to me that it might be useful to let you all know when I add new links to those sites. Starting today I will be posting my new links each day.

You never know what you’ll find. One of the links just might be the answer to your question of the day. As always, if you have a link that you think would be helpful, please pass it along. Enjoy!

20 Beautiful Free Fonts for Vintage and Retro Style Website Design

30 Logos of Professional Designers / Inspiration

Toying With the HTML5 System API

The Current State of HTML5 Forms

FontShop Releases Adobe PhotoShop Plugin

15 Hot & New Fonts That You Should Use

Photoshop Mastery: 25 More Techniques Every Designer Must Know

Usabilla – collect design feedback as you build a website

photo from Soulsight/Projects page

Have you noticed the recent updates and new package designs lately? Seems like crisp, cropped and to the point design is trending. I just came across this article, Less Calories, More Crop/via Brand New, and it is a perfect example of the “less is more” concept.

As you can see, the new design continues to promote the brand’s identity, but in a more modern way. If you’ve been a fan of Miller beer prior to this redesign you surely will continue to recognize your favorite beer. For those who have not been introduced to Miller beer, this new design is a refreshing alternative to the old logo and package design.

Give both six-packs a quick glance. Which one was the easier read? The new design will easily stand out in the beer aisle. Its bold use of a cropped logo is sure to catch your eye. In a world of some very creative beer labels, I know that a giant red “Miller 64” will get your attention.

If this new branding can gain some traction with an established audience and bring in a new dimension to their target market , I would say they’ve met a goal or two. It will be interesting to see how future ad campaigns help develop this new image.

 

2011 is over – history. You know without a doubt exactly what you accomplished and where your business came up short. Now is the time to examine every aspect of your 2011 marketing plan and see how you can revise it for a more profitable 2012. Please tell me you do indeed have a marketing plan. Without a plan you are relegated to shooting from the hip as your year progresses. Always reacting to circumstances instead of acting to create a response. The winning business is the one that has a plan.

Look back at 2011. What products or services offered were a hit? Which were not received well? Did you reach your target market? What media did you employ to reach your market? Were you able to measure your success? Did your particular field encounter a major change during 2011? Is the field of competitors filled with the same players or are there some new ones on the field? Were you able to achieve your goals working within your budget? Does it look like your business is stagnant? Once you’ve answered these questions you can move forward with a 2012 marketing plan.

I will agree that the process of putting together a marketing plan may seem daunting. It does take a lot of work. It forces you to be honest with yourself about your past success. It makes you face and confront areas that need improvement, a complete overhaul, or require new ideas using new media options. That’s why it can be beneficial to utilize the talents of a professional. Work with someone who knows the process and can guide you through each and every consideration as you formulate your plan. Some of you may only require a few meetings of consultation to refresh your approach and let you know what’s trending in business communication outlets. Think social media. Think mobile advertising. Others may need more in-depth assistance as you formulate target markets, demographics, media usage, budget constraints, and your particular timeline. Some of you already have marketing departments that keep your business focused toward a specific goal. That’s a wonderful advantage. Even in this circumstance it may be necessary to consult with a design professional to be sure you understand the best way to use new media and to create that media. A partnership between marketing and design should produce the most effective advertising placed in the best venue for your product or service.

Welcoming 2012 is fresh in our minds. Now is the time to work toward a profitable new year. If you’re a veteran to this marketing task then let this serve as a reminder that there’s work to be done. If you’re new to this or feel that you could use some expert advice, now is the time to pick up the phone or send out that email to a professional. The time and expense you put into this task now should prove profitable as your year progresses. Establish goals now and work to realize success. BoyDog Design can assist you with your marketing plan and the media you need produced to reach your goals.

I wish everyone a year filled with opportunity and success!


Ron Paul's "What If?" speech - Remastered

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?

 

 

Sept 29, 2011: New packaging for Ivory soap brands on display at Procter & Gamble's Cincinnati headquarters. (AP Photo/Tom Uhlman)

What does this brand’s evolution mean to you?

Seriously,  I’m curious – what do you think about this new packaging? Obviously, it gave me pause and that is why I’ve decided to explore it in this post. The more I think about it – more levels of consideration come to mind. Let’s reflect on a few now:

Brand Recognition

Few products have enjoyed widespread recognition as Ivory soap. It is iconic in that it represents soap in it purest and basic form. No fuss – just soap. Years of positive consumer feedback have secured Ivory soap’s place among its competitors.  As long as Ivory can continue these branding benchmarks it should expect continued success based on its marketing strategy.

With the introduction of new package design, do you think Ivory will suffer a change in brand recognition?

Package design today requires the use of color, type, and shape that will bring attention to your specific item. Anyone who walks down the aisle of a supermarket quickly sees that package design has evolved into a rainbow spectacle of products vying for your attention.  There are two ways to look at Ivory’s new packaging. In one way they have joined the masses to compete using the same media. I’m wondering though if their product would stand out from the crowd even more if it had retained it’s white (as in pure) packaging? Speaking for myself, I have often overlooked a product with a new package design simply because it was new. I was not aware of the change and my eye simply overlooked the product. Even items that I use regularly I have overlooked and assumed it was out of stock on the shelf at that time. Eventually I’d discover that it was there, right in front of my nose. Will that be the case for Ivory?

Below are some examples of how Ivory packaging has changed over time. If you’d like to see more examples they can be found on Photobucket and Google.

New packaging for Ivory soap

Demographics

Without any knowledge of the specifics of Ivory’s marketing plan, I will presume (based on my personal perspective) that the market reach is for any age group that wishes to use soap in its purest form, at a competitive price, and that is easily accessible for purchase. No bells or whistles. No fancy claims. Just soap – use it and it successfully cleans what it is applied to.

Will the new package design negatively affect a current user’s opinion of Ivory soap? Conversely, will the new package design positively entice a non-user to give it a try? Will the new colorful package bring it to the attention of a new customer base? Will the new package design imply a change in the product’s performance to both past and potential consumers? Does a change in the use of color, type, and package shape wield that much power in the minds of a consumer?

It’s a battle between “if it ain’t broke – don’t fix it” and “out with the old and in with the new”.

Economics

Let’s face it, the economy is a tough nut right now. People are more aware than ever of how far their dollar goes. I know that some pricey product lines establish their identity with the use of specific fonts and colors and the materials they use for packaging and the product itself. Things that shine give off the aura of expense. There is a certain luxury attached to the softness of fur, fine leather, cashmere, etc. We can all tell the difference in the package design of a brand name product when compared to a knock off sample or even a dollar store brand. Most likely it doesn’t have the same presentation and impact. It is in fact a step down from the originating brand.

So how will the public perceive a product that evolves from a predominantly white package to one that incorporates color? Will there be any perceived change in the brand’s value? Will there be a change in the perceived return on investment when buying Ivory soap? I  must admit I’ve never contemplated the repercussions of a change like this before. I would be interested to know if any metrics become available that give us a answer.

So what do you think?

I’m confident that hours and hours of discussion were involved in this package design change. It was accomplished by utilizing the skills of the highly acclaimed agency Wieden+Kennedy of Portland, OR. Time will tell if this new package design will enhance or detract from Ivory’s brand. I will continue to monitor my media sources for more information. If you have any thoughts on this, please feel free to share.

If you’d like to read more about the roll out of this new package design, here is a recent post on Yahoo.

http://www.delicious.com/BoyDogDesign

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!

http://www.delicious.com/BoyDogDesign

 

I’ve always found it fascinating how effective it can be to simply repackage a product and generate a new response to the same item. Take a generic cereal for example and put it in a new brightly colored and illustrated box and watch it jump off the shelf as you walk down the aisle in a supermarket. I love to check out the various labels for wines and beer. Some are beautiful and inspiring. Mostly I walk away wondering who came up with the design. I always wonder if I could do work like that.

A new “Legacy” bottle is being rolled out across the country for Dr. Pepper Snapple products. What do you think – Hit? or Miss? It will be interesting to hear the feedback as the design hits the shelves.

To learn more about the bottle redesign you can check out this article in Media Bistro or read the press release introducing the design.

 

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.

 

We all know the importance of networking as a means to expand our business contacts and spark word of mouth recommendations and commentary about a service or product. One of the fastest growing networking outlets online today is LinkedInI’m on LinkedIn. Unlike other more social sites, like Twitter and Facebook, LinkedIn offers a professional environment to conduct your online networking activities. It’s a wonderful way to keep in touch with those you currently work with and re-establish or continue corresponding with professionals outside your workplace. I can see how it would be useful to students as they begin to establish themselves in their field and form alliances that will help them in the years to come. You can also create a listing for your business that people can follow. There are groups you can join and reap the benefits from having access to the discussions and comments of others in your industry. These groups can provide contacts, answer questions, provide insight, pass along job postings, and support you through the ups and downs you may experience.

So who uses LinkedIn? According to this Infographic:

  • 61% are men
  • High tech, financing, and manufacturing are the most represented
  • Sales, academic and administrative functions are the most common job functions

That’s a small sampling of the information provided. It doesn’t really matter how predominantly your gender or your profession are represented on LinkedIn. Fact is LinkedIn is an established resource to connect with the people that you know and the people that you need to know. Give it try. And don’t forget to connect to me. I’m waiting to hear from you.