Books never go out of style. They are still one of the best sources of learning. No matter what stage you are in your career or in what phase you are in your life, you should never get tired of reading books. I share in this blog 5 of my favorite books in design and advertising.
1. Purple Cow
(by Seth Godin)
Seth Godin is breaking the traditional framework of marketing. He is saying that the best way to do marketing is to innovate. Be remarkable. Otherwise, you’ll just be invisible in the eyes of your customers. Not innovating because you want to stay safe is a risky place to be in. To be just “very good” is a bad thing. What this book did best for me is to open my eyes and push me out of my comfort zones.
2. The Creative Business Guide to Running a Graphic Design Business
(by Cameron S. Foote)
Okay, I’ll be honest. This book could get textbook-like. It did make me yawn several times. But why I like this book? It’s a very handy one if you want to build a business in design and advertising. It’s a comprehensive guide. It gives a practical reference material specially if you are starting from zero. It describes current best-practice procedures for graphic design businesses of all sizes operating in an industry that is both fast-evolving and increasingly competitive.
3. Hey Whipple, Squeze This: The Classic Guide to Creating Great Ads
(by Luke Sullivan and Edward Boches)
This one is a classic. Every student of advertising must have encountered this book one way or the other. What I love about this book is how it is written with both wit and good sense of humor. Beyond that the book shares lessons on how to create impressive, compelling work. And a compelling work is one that can rise above all the other noises present around.
4. Lateral Thinking
(by Edward de Bono)
In this book, Edward de Bono introduced a kind of thinking that is very different from the usual logical kind. He referred to this as lateral thinking. It involves disrupting the usual thinking process to arrive at the solution from a different angle. This allows you to truly think out of the box and free up your imagination. It encourages you to look at challenges and problems at different variety of angles to find an effective and creative solution. Sometimes it’s so hard to be creative because there’s a big pull for one to think the way he is used to. The book helps us get out of that trap.
5. Confessions of an Advertising Man
(by David Ogilvy)
This book is basically a peek inside “the father of advertising’s" mind. His thoughts felt like going beyond advertising. He pioneered a lot of ideas. Some of his lessons are very inspirational and philosophical. The book also covered people management, corporate ethics, and office politics. It forms an essential blueprint for good practice in business.
Having websites for businesses nowadays are important in increasing competitive advantage. That can only happen if the website is properly designed. When we talk about design here we are talking about both aesthetics and functionality. The design should be beautiful enough to attract attention. It should help the visitor navigate through the site and have a great experience. In addition, the design should also serve the goals of the business. Here are some design tips you can follow if you are looking into building a website for your business. If you already have one you can use these tips to improve your site.
1. Attract attention and make a good impression
You're building a website because you want to have a wider reach for your business. With this, it is highly important that your site can quickly capture attention. Here are some of the ways this can be done.
Use videos and animations
Our brains are wired to notice movements. Videos and use of animations can easily attract viewers’ eyes. Not only that, they are powerful tools in making a message come across. With internet speed getting better and better, you can maximize the use of videos and animations.
Be creative with patterns, lines, and shapes
These are basics when it comes to design. Recently, use of basic patterns, lines, and shapes is becoming a trend. This style has become more appealing and gives a modern, up-to-date feeling.
Don’t be afraid with bright and bold colors
Use of bright and bold colors is becoming popular recently. Who won’t turn their eyes to hot pink or neon green? These kinds of colors can make an impact. They are also good matches with flat designs.
Make sure there are unique pictures and graphics
A good use of photo and graphics can easily invoke strong emotions. You can make use of something which your target audience can easily resonate or relate with.
Try something unique
There are a lot of experimentations going on when it comes to web designs. Now, there’s more boldness in trying out designs that doesn’t follow the usual rules. There are the likes of open composition and asymmetry. The uniqueness of these designs will definitely catch anyone’s attention.
Don’t forget of course to ensure that your site projects a professional look and that the over all look is aligned with your brand.
2. Be User-Friendly
The website is there because you want to connect to your existing and potential customers. It is just right to design it with them in mind. Usability of the site should be a primary consideration. This also translates to having an intuitive design and functional navigation. Going around the website should be easy for the visitor. One way to do this is by making sure you use the right names for the menu items so people would know what’s behind the label. If you have forms, make it as short as possible. Just include fields you can’t do without.
One thing that is a must right now is having a responsive website design. This simply means that your website can be easily viewed and used regardless of what devise the viewer is using. This is now mandatory given our society’s heavy reliance on mobile devices.
Use of minimalistic or clutter-free designs can also help your viewers focus on the important things on the site. This allows the viewer to easily look for what he needs without too much distraction. Too much information can be overwhelming and this could affect the viewer’s experience in a negative way.
Of course, you can’t make the viewer wait for your page to load. Attention span of viewers are very short so you have to create a balance such that your website will not take too much time to load.
3. Make it Personalized
Think of a way you can make your site personalized. If you can do this it will be easier to capture your viewers interest. This may require more complex programming but definitely more rewarding for your business.
4. Put up Quality Content
There’s no other alternative to quality content. You should give your viewers useful information in a variety of formats. Your website will have greater success if you will be able to do this. If viewers don’t find anything useful in your site there’s less chance they will stay or comeback. This is also important in getting your site indexed by search engines.
5. Communicate Clearly
At the end of the day, what you really want to do is to communicate. On top of the list of messages you want to send out should be your unique value proposition. This should be clearly seen in your homepage or landing page. It should be clear what benefits your customers can get out of doing business with you. Your website should also bear a clear call-to-action. You should inform them what they have to do next. And this should not appear complicated. Your headlines should be effective. You can test for this. Explore and don’t be afraid to experiment. Also, make sure your contact details are displayed prominently in the website. Above all, make sure your products and services are showcased really really well.
You may also look onto using effective typography. There are certain fonts which can work more effectively for the type of message you want to send out.
Creating a website can get intimidating especially for someone who’s trying it for the very first time. It may take a lot of work or study at first but it’s definitely worth it. If you need further help, you can contact us and we would be happy to be of assistance. :)
Memes are ideas capable of jumping from one mind to another (Duis, 2012). Memes communicate powerful captivating messages that makes it spread wildly and often uncontrollably.
Brands can benefit a lot from using memes. Brands can benefit a lot from using memes to reach out to their market. But aside from being funny, memes should also have the following feature to be effective.
Created to be related
Memes can become viral due to its relevance not only to the source but also to the receiver. The meme should be ingrained in the way of life of the people so its value can be appreciated. This way interaction is greatly encouraged and the more likely the meme spreads from person to person.
Made to be shared
Having an avenue to share an idea is important for it to become a meme. Even more important is to be able to do so easily. Effective memes should be like virus that could spread exponentially. For example, the invention of the "share button" made Internet memes so simple to disseminate.
In the book "The Tipping Point", Malcolm Gladwell mentioned the "Law of the Few". The law stated that the success of a social epidemic depends heavily on the involvement of people with special and rare social gifts. Brands should also be able to maximize meme mileage by tapping people in the community with large social networks, people with great deal of information and has a good understanding of the subject matter, and respected people with good persuasive skills. This set of people can act as ambassadors and help the propagation of ideas in an exponential manner.
Ensured to Endure
Memes should be designed to be adaptable. Memes should be resilient and can stand the test of time. Ideas that maintained a strong lineage and adapted through the years would be an integral part of the culture and the norms. The more it is adaptable, the more likely for it to stick around.