MacBook Pro’s USB Port Adaptors: A Brave New Decision?

By | Design, MacBook Pro, Technology, Uncategorized | No Comments

Every year, hundreds of thousands of individuals wait in anticipation for Apple to announce new products, updates to current products and to unveil the exciting and enticing plans that the company has for the future. This year though, Apple announced a replacement of the USB ports on the new MacBook Pro, thus requiring the use of a special adaptor to use a USB port. This change has everyone from school teachers to content marketing masters asking lots of questions.

As much of the world runs on Apple, it is important that everyone take the time to fully understand what this change means and what it does to audience building and communication in general. Whether at an advertising agency in Utah or a college in the Northeast, this change may effect you — and you need to know exactly how.

Newer, Better & Faster: Apple’s New USB-C

Apple has made the definitive decision to replace the USB port on the new MacBook pro with a different port called the USB-C. According to Apple, this port is newer, better and faster. Because the rest of the world still widely uses the USB port, however, you may need to order a special adaptor to use things like external hard drives or USB storage devices.

Yeah, But Why Should You Care?

Though many are up-in-arms about this change, the effects may be more minimal than they first appear. As an advertising agency or content marketing team, you may need to make an additional purchase in order to still use a USB port. A purchase undoubtedly deemed necessary, as USB compatible devices are currently still prevalent and popular. With a USB port adaptor, your company will still be able to build your brand using multiple computers, retaining the share-ability of your content.

Though at times it may be a hassle, the adaptor does have its perks — particularly because information from Mac to PC can still be shared on a portable drive when working on a project. Ultimately, when all is said and done, life still goes on — regardless of whether you decide to embrace Apple’s brave new decision. 

Letting Your Fonts Speak For You

By | Design, web development, website design | No Comments

Picking a font for a company webpage goes well beyond knowing the difference between Serif and Sans Serif. Though the basics of font choice are always a necessity, it is important to remember that picking the perfect font requires time, effort and expertise.

Some self-taught font fanatics and many professional website design companies have the skills necessary to take any website font from bland to brilliant. Selecting the appropriate font during website design allows for companies to draw customers in — and keep them there.

Being Influential With Font Choice

Fonts can do one of two things. Fonts can exemplify your message, enhancing the reader experience and creating a cohesive feel, or fonts can be disruptive and mess everything up. 

Good website design uses fonts to enhance the text and represent the company as a whole. If your company has an elegant feel, consider using a cursive or calligraphy font. On the flip side, if your company is big, bold and loud, let your font express that to the world.

Fonts have the ability to describe something about your company to consumers without express verbal explanations. Consider fonts to be the clothing choice of website design; if you wish to appeal to a group of classic southerners, you dress in classic southern attire. If you want your website design to speak to a classic southern audience on a subconscious level, you use a font that evokes a classic southern feel.

Finding a Font That Fits

After a company identifies what feel it wishes the font to portray, the actual font selection process begins. In many cases, individuals with website design expertise can help companies make the final selection. This ensure that a company is making the most appropriate selection.

If your company wishes to portray a big and bold image, begin looking at fonts that fit in that realm. As you study font options, take time to do the research. Find out what other entities use your font; knowing who else uses certain fonts helps make your final decision informed and educated.

In some situations, companies may wish to have their website design team develop an entirely new font for its webpage. This is perfectly acceptable when done carefully.

Fonts are used not only for website design but for company logos as well — eventually these fonts may evolve into a key factor in identifying your company. However, the time it takes to carefully select a font — especially in cases like these — will always pay off.

Building a Website? Let’s Break It Down First

By | Design, web development, website design | No Comments

Building a website can be pretty easy with one of those various turn-key site design companies. Trouble is, by using those you don’t get the flair you need to stand out, the customization you need to get customers exactly what they need and worst of all, you don’t get to work with us on a web development project. Instead of going with the minimum viable options, here’s what happens when you have the pros on your side. 

Site Map

It all starts here. This is the blueprint for your web development project. If it were a car, this would be the engineering diagram you need before you get started. A good site map will tell you exactly where all of your various web pages will be, how they interact, and how you can map a customer journey from the home page to product or service research to conversion.

Wireframes

Now that you know where everything will go, you can start building wireframes for various page types. These are sort of like the frame of a car. Your company may need a number of different templates because a blog article won’t use the same template as the home page or a page that lists a matrix of product features.

Mood Boards

As you move forward with web development, a moodboard will help you outline what the site will look like visually and even how it functions. Using our car analogy, it’s a book full of paint jobs and feature sets. A mood board might be composed of a  big mess of ideas, thoughts, colors, other websites, feelings or whatever. The idea behind a mood board is to identify what sort of mood your site should have and it’s a direct reflection of your brand identity. Do you want to have a sterile super-businessy site? Maybe something flashy and modern? The choice should be whatever best reflects your brand identity and will serve your customers well.

Design Comps

Once you have an idea of how you want to site to feel, designers will start building a vision of how your pages should look. They may send you a few ideas to pick from and often you’ll have the opportunity to provide your feedback and get your site feeling exactly how you think it should.

Content Creation

This is often done in parallel with design, but content creation includes the actual writing of the web pages, and filling the pages with various content you need, whether it’s composed of videos, infographics, or what have you. Combined with the design, your car now has a paint job and all the little accents. Isn’t web development fun?

Final Layout

Once content and design are finalized, the two will be merged together into your gorgeous new site and our web development project is complete. At this point, you can drive your new site off the lot and into the information superhighway.

The Most Iconic Brand Logos in History

By | advertising, Design | No Comments

Nothing helps to solidify a brand’s place in history like a great logo. A great logo is clean, simple, and above all instantly recognizable. Any marketing agencies and designers can easily create a flat-color logo with a simple shape and clean lines, but what contributes to a brand logo’s overall staying power? A good logo should not only be aesthetically appealing and universally applicable, it should also accurately represent the company mission.

Logo design has changed significantly over the years, yet only a select few logos have stood the test of time. From legendary 20th Century designers such as Paul Rand, Milton Glasser & Saul Bass to up-and-coming graphic design firms, here are the most iconic logos in history.

Iconic-Brand-Logos

The Evolution of Internet Website Design

By | Design, web development, website design | No Comments

Since the since website went live in 1991, the website has been an enduring staple of Internet activity. From static, text-based webpages rendered in black and white to the dynamic, highly-responsive websites we have today, both the design and applications of websites have changed immensely.

Let’s take a look back at how website design used to be, not all that long ago.

The Early Internet

What do the first websites and the dinosaurs have in common? By today’s standards, they were both rather primitive.

Life as a website in the early days of the Internet was a simple existence; 16 colors were supported by most computer monitors, but the early websites only needed three: black, white and blue for hyperlinks. For early websites, text was all you needed — images didn’t come into the picture until 1993. Textures came online later, in 1994. And don’t even think about using CSS — HTML was the only programming language in existence.

The Dark Ages

The Internet’s limited color palette got an upgrade in 1994-1995, from the original 16 to a whopping 256 colors. Web designers ran with the new color opportunity, unleashing an onslaught of obnoxiously bright, garish webpages and flashing neon advertisements (like the ‘70s, but for the Internet).

1995 and 1996 introduces PHP and CSS programming languages, which bring with them the opportunities for vastly improved website design. Unfortunately, Web designers in the late ‘90s were too busy filling their homepages with sparkly, animated aliens and those things that looked like Bratz dolls to take notice of anything besides HTML. Geocities reigned supreme. It was a dark time.

The New Millennium

The year 2000 brought with it fun things like gradients and colors that didn’t hurt people’s eyes quite as much. Also, fear of the Y2K bug. As websites become more complex, design changes to become more user-friendly, with a focus on menus and other navigation tools. Internet Explorer continues to gain ground on previous monopoly-holder Netscape, forcing web designers everywhere to optimize their websites for the ill-fated Internet browser.

The Awkward Teenage Years

Around 2003-2004, the Internet proliferates in an explosion of more subtle color options and Flash-animated activity. Splash pages are very in vogue around this time. As dial-up Internet begins to fade and cable and Wi-Fi are incorporated into more homes and businesses, the Internet becomes accessible to a wider range of people.

The Internet starts to figure out what it wants to be, bringing us early social media pioneers MySpace and “The Facebook,” blogging website WordPress and YouTube in 2005. Design-wise, people are intrigued by the concept of video and are continuing to make everything a little bit easier on the eyes. Cell shading is a big thing.

Internet Young Adulthood

Having more or less figured out what it wants to be, the now grown-up Internet spreads its wings and works on subtle improvements. Social media proliferates, YouTube becomes a legitimate website and Google makes the lives of people around the world a little less frustrating.

Drop shadows and more realistic imagery become popular as screen resolutions get better and better. Color schemes are a thing. People are really into scrolling. Responsive design becomes more important.

Present Day

With a wealth of programming languages and design tools, today’s websites are more responsive and customizable than ever. Web designers have a multiplicity of options, a huge array of possibilities — and yet the prevailing trend is minimalism.

Aesthetically pleasing fonts are widely available, high-quality images are in abundance and animated GIFs and videos can be embedded every place imaginable. Most importantly, Internet Explorer is finally dead. Now if only people would pay their Web designers more, I’d say we’re living in an Internet renaissance.