Author Archives: Ben Hock

How to Speak Designer: The Basics

Speak Designer | Groundfloor Media CenterTable

Photo by Edho Pratama on Unsplash

“We’re looking for a creative solution”

“Can you work your magic on this?”

“We want something more graphic”

As a graphic designer, I often find myself in meetings with clients who have trouble articulating exactly what they want or need. Though it’s a designer’s job to translate his client’s vision, it’s sometimes impossible to decode what they’re trying to express. I usually run into this issue with clients who are unfamiliar with basic, design-related terms that could help them better articulate their goals. Even if you think you’re fairly well-versed in design lingo, it’s best to offer up visual examples to avoid confusion. I love it when a client shows me specific examples of what they like and dislike.

Here are some common terms to help you bridge the language gap between you and your creative team: Read more after the jump…

Brands Flex Their Creative Muscle on Social Media During the Super Bowl

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The Eagles weren’t the only winners this week. Tide, MoonPies and Fanatics, among others, struck gold by creating thoughtful ad campaigns that took advantage of the big game. The #TidePodChallenge is a thing of the past thanks to Tide’s wonderful series of ads that stole the spotlight throughout the game. MoonPies crafted a funny, on-brand series of tweets that capitalized on the Super Bowl without having to invest big money. Fanatics rode the excitement of Philly’s first Super Bowl win to its second-best sales day ever. Though not everyone was successful on Sunday (looking at you, Patriots and Dodge), this week’s Weekly Reads highlight some of the brands who captured lightning in a bottle.

Super Bowl:

Adweek: Fanatics Targeted Fans on Facebook and Instagram to Score Massive Super Bowl Sales
Thanks to a targeted Instagram and Facebook ad campaign and the Eagles’ first Super Bowl win, Fanatics celebrated one of its biggest sales days ever. The company experienced a 60 percent increase in Super Bowl merchandise sales over last year. Read more after the jump…

Best Movie Poster Designs of 2017

The 2018 Oscar nominees are out and awards season is in full gear. I’ve been going to the theater and hitting Netflix and Amazon hard to make sure I catch all the nominated movies before the Oscars air on March 4th. Yes, Gary Oldman is fantastic in The Darkest Hour. Coco made me cry more than any Pixar movie since Up. The Shape of Water was beautiful and weird and wonderful.

During awards season, we discuss our favorite performances, soundtracks and stories, but we rarely bring up our favorite movie posters from the past year’s films. Below, I’ve broken down my picks for the best movie posters of 2017: Read more after the jump…

Graphic Design Trends to Look for in 2018

Every year I look back at what was popular in graphic design and make my predictions for the trends that will stick around for another year. In 2018, graphic design will continue to incorporate cropped and chaotic typography, bright colors, gradients and custom illustrations. These trends will be pushed even further in the upcoming year, though. Colors will be brighter, and designers will utilize patterns and hues that are reminiscent of the 1990s. Squiggles, triangles and dots in neon colors will be transposed over bold, disjointed typography. The soft pastel shades that were popular a few years ago will be replaced by rich, full-bodied colors, like purple, turquoise and ultramarine. Serif fonts will make a resurgence, especially for headlines on the web. Custom illustrations will still be a useful tool for businesses looking for a handcrafted touch that separates them from competitors. When done right, illustration is a powerful storytelling tool that fosters connections between brands and customers.

Below are some examples of the graphic design trends you will likely see more of in 2018. Happy New Year!

Cropped and Chaotic Typography

cropped-chaotic-typography cropped-chaotic-typography-2 Read more after the jump…

Pantone Looks to the Future for its 2018 “Color of the Year”

groundfloor-media-pantone-ultra-violetSimply look up at the night sky to see Pantone’s 2018 “Color of the Year.” Ultra Violet is a bold, blue-based purple that evokes the vastness of the cosmos. Pantone calls it, “A dramatically provocative and thoughtful purple shade [that] communicates originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking that points us toward the future.”

According to Pantone, purples have been historically symbolic of unconventionality and artistic expression, calling to mind icons like Prince, David Bowie and Jimi Hendrix. Emotionally, Ultra Violet inspires individuals to explore their unique position in the world and evolve creatively. Ultra Violet is also symbolic of mindfulness and spiritual growth.

Perhaps Pantone’s decision for 2018 “Color of the Year” forecasts that we can expect technological advancements and a collective spiritual awakening in the coming year. At the very least, it can serve as a reminder to look up at the stars and recognize that all of us are so very small in relation to this vast universe we call home.

Here’s to Ultra Violet, 2018 “Color of the Year!”

Social Networks are Adding Features and Pushing the Limits

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Social networks are constantly trying to attract new users and retain existing ones, but this week revealed the lengths that they’re willing to go to grow. Facebook is trying to hook users before they can legally create an account. Meanwhile, marketers are finding huge success on Instagram, and new features are about to help audiences share more content within the app. Finally, Twitter is looking to expand into developing countries by making itself available in 24 new countries.

Facebook

The Verge: Facebook Launches a Version of Messenger for Young Children
Though it’s being advertised as a playful way for kids to interact with trusted friends and family members, the app is a not-so-subtle way for Facebook to attract future users. Read more after the jump…

Welcome to Beer Club!

I’m a home-brewer and Certified Cicerone®, so when I first started at GFM I hosted a beer and cheese pairing to help break the ice between with my new co-workers. Everyone enjoyed it so much that I began hosting weekly beer tastings that highlighted different beer styles. It has been almost four years since our very first Beer Club, and we’re still having fun with it, as evidenced by our Outside Magazine write-up for this year’s “100 Best Places to Work.” Beer Club has morphed into a time where we all can take a breather and just enjoy each other’s company. It’s also a time for us to socialize with clients away from the usual confines of a business meeting. Everyone is invited to Beer Club, so the next time you are free at 3:30pm on a Thursday, stop by the office and join us. Read more after the jump…

Questions to Consider Before Discussing a Project with Your Graphic Designer

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Though I do my best to anticipate client needs, problems occasionally arise when clients haven’t fully considered what their design needs actually are. It’s easy to say, “I need an infographic,” or, “We want an updated logo,” but it’s much harder to dissect the who, what, when, where, how, and why of a creative project.

Graphic Designers are trained to glean as much information as we can from interactions with our clients, but a reciprocal relationship in which the designer and the client are open and honest always results in the best work.

Read more after the jump…

Facebook Keeps on Changing

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Facebook is attempting to keep more users on its platform by introducing a slew of new features that mirror its competitors. This week, Facebook revealed that Stories will soon be open to business page accounts that might actually make use of the feature. Additionally, Facebook is testing a résumé feature that puts it in competition with LinkedIn, and it implemented screen-sharing in Facebook Live, which eliminates the need for third-party software. Facebook knows that to stay alive, it has to keep changing.

Instagram

Marketing Land: Instagram Redesigns Call-to-Action Bar to Dynamically Mirror Ads
Instagram is focusing on keeping your timeline beautiful by ensuring that the call-to-action bar on ads will blend in with the overall aesthetic of the ad. The change is small but important in terms of maintaining visual consistency across users’ timelines.
Read more after the jump…