Posted by & filed under Google Analytics, Graphic Design, Typography, Web Design.

You have your shiny new website and now you are waiting for the clients and sales to start piling up right? Nope! The sad truth is that unless there’s already a prominent following and an awareness of your product or service, the people will not respond. The first step starts before your website is even built. Actually the steps, or stages, extend throughout the design, development and even after the website has been indexed by Google and ready for business. These stages are split in to four areas: Discover, Design, Develop, Optimize. The process is repeated and just like a symphonic instrument we finely tune it. We play the instrument and after each “song” or campaign, we measure the results and re-tune the website. There are many tools out there, we highly favor Google Analytics.

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The Discovery stage takes place before anything is designed or ever thought of being designed. This is where we talk to you about your goals and research your competitors and their strategies. This ensures a unique product, exceptional service and or experience is the main focus of what your website offers!

The Design phase takes us into the far corners of our creative minds. This is where we push the limits of our imagination and try to see your website as the most unique yet relatable website we will build. The different opinions come from hours of research and extensive experience in Design, Color Theory, Typography, Striking Images, Invoking Videos and fluid User Experience.

Benjamin Blackwelder Cabinetry

When we Develop a website our developers and designers create not only a visually captivating experience, but one that is also highly functional and effective in achieving the your online goals. Code is our Poetry and we love solving complex problems with simple solutions and also changing the status quo altogether.

Always Optimize! After we complete a website we test re-test optimize and repeat. We move on to testing between each campaign and experience. This ensures that we are measuring our results and to show us that the results are measurable. We use tools like Google Analytics to bring these metrics to the surface and to bring to light the most successful aspects of your website and sometimes the not-so-successful parts. Usually we can create comprehensive reports that aid Marketing efforts in many ways.

Posted by & filed under Graphic Design, Typography.

Helvetica has been known worldwide as the “Graphic Designer’s Best Friend”. With it’s many styles and weight options there is a perfect application for helvetica in any design project. Made famous in many logos from KOHL’S to American Airlines, typographers and graphic designers alike have known of the font’s value in their projects. It’s legibility and ease of use lended itself to many identities and packages since it became famous around the 1970’s.

In the past few years we have seen many font foundries trying to create sans-serif fonts with the same versatility as Helvetica and one font that has been taking that place is Gotham from Hoefler & Co.. It has been used by many agencies for it’s weight varieties easily helping to distinguish visual hierarchy. We were seeing this trend around the early 2000’s but it really gained traction in the past couple of years. Even Twitter has adopted it in their website as the paragraph font. With such big companies endorsing this font and with it’s web version we are seeing it more and more in use. From billboards to web banners and logos Gotham is moving into the space in which Helvetica once ruled.

As purists in type design we like to look at every aspect of what makes a font “beautiful”. From ease of use to clarity there are fonts that keep popping up in our heads when we design. Helvetica has always taking a consideration in our minds but as innovators we are constantly looking for fresh and new ideas to keep our world evolving. From Emigre to Hoefler & Co. we have seen many fonts come and go each which it’s unique value proposition. As much as I love the modern look of Gotham the only shortcoming is in it’s condensed versions. Helvetica and Helvetica Neue have an unmatched variety of styles that really do become a swiss army knife of fonts. But with limitations in web fonts and loading speeds being taken into consideration, we have to come up with more creative solutions to space limits. I love the challenge, but one can get somewhat sentimental when thinking about such as impactful font as Helvetica. For now I am torn, I don’t think there will ever be a full replacement for Helvetica but Gotham is pretty darn close.

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Thanks toidsng.org for the gotham images and Wikipedia for the Helvetica images.

Posted by & filed under Graphic Design.

The Golden Ratio also referred to as the Fibonacci Sequence has been used in art and design since the beginning of time. It occurs in nature and is evident everywhere around. From fern spirals to the universe we the Ratios all around us. Recently I stumbled onto a Quora Digest post where the person who asked the question wanted a definitive answer on whether or not they should be using the Golden Ration in everything they design. The example which has been widely used on the internet is the Apple computer companies apple logo originally designed by Paul Rand.

 

The examples show the ratio being used explicitly to design the entire logo. Often times designers are at a loss when trying to use this approach but the problem is that there will never be a perfect percentage since our computer programs and hands cannot replicate the nuances generated by nature. The percentages used for scaling the sequence have been said to be close to 1:8 but the actual number does vary.

One designer tried to debunk the concept by showing that when the circles were scaled by them on their favorite software like Adobe Illustrator or PhotoShop that the circles were never perfectly lined up with the Apple logo design. The consensus on all of the comments were that he/she was correct and that they did not need the added responsibility and care taken when using the Golden Ratio. Quora provides a vast amount of useful knowledge the only problem is that humans are prone to biases and their own emotions. I studied the debunking post and discovered that while her initial reasoning behind the 1:8 ration was correct her percentages used were skewed while scaling by the mathematics available within her program. I used the percentage 63.08% which game me more than satisfactory results. I used the same exact image as in the post and used Adobe Illustrator just like in the post. You can use the image above to try and scale circles and see for yourself. Below are my results.

 

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The lesson learned here is that there are always variables and art is subject to opinions of the viewer. That is what makes it art. But being so strict as to use the Ratio on everything I will say just this. Quoted from the words of the famous designer Massimo Vignelli on using grids in design “The grid should be a guide, but when the starts to constrict your creativity that is where you abandon it.”

I hope you found this post interesting, stay tuned for more in Web Design, Graphic Design, SEO, and Custom Printing.