Author Archives: Ben Hock

Tweet Responsibly

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You know the old saying – “With great exposure comes great responsibility.” No, that’s not it… “Mo’ followers mo’ problems?” No, that’s not it either… Let’s just say “tweet responsibly.” That seems to be the theme this week after scandals broke out in both entertainment and sports due to ill-advised Twitter use. Roseanne Barr finally crossed ABC’s line in the sand with a racist tweet that she’s blaming on Ambien (ok, Roseanne… The makers of Ambien have since fired back). Despite its success, her show was abruptly cancelled. Meanwhile, The Ringer released an article alleging that Bryan Colangelo, general manager of the Philadelphia 76ers, has been operating multiple burner accounts to tweet negative information about players, coaches and rival GMs. The 76ers are conducting an investigation into the allegations. Twitter is a powerful communication tool, but take situations like these as reminders that social media can lead to failure if used inappropriately.

Twitter

Twitter Scandals:

ABC already dropped Roseanne for her racist tweet, but it will be interesting to see how the Bryan Colangelo situation unfolds. The evidence seems pretty damning. Read more after the jump…

The Making of the Smart Ash Animation

Animation has always fascinated me. I drew endless comic strips and superheroes as a kid, and making those drawings move like what I saw on TV every Saturday morning was a dream. Taking a drawing from paper to screen gave it life, and all I wanted was to make the characters from my imagination real. When I finally started experimenting with animation in high school, I found a medium that was tedious, but every bit as rewarding as I had hoped. I eventually graduated with my BFA in animation, and although it’s not something I do every day at CenterTable, I relish the opportunity to bring drawings to life for clients who understand the value animation can have in telling a unique story. Read more after the jump…

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…