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Designspiration

Posted on November 6, 2014 by

As a designer, I have a plethora of resources I turn to when seeking inspiration for different projects. However, there is one website I have as my browser home page, it is always the first page I see before I start work every morning, Designspiration. It functions as a sort of slimmed down version of Pinterest that primarily focuses on graphic design, art, architecture, photography, and a variety of other creative industry related content. It has been a main stop for me whenever I need to jumpstart my creative thinking process.

site-1

 

It is fast and easy to create an account so that you can start saving items you find particularly inspirational, and start collections of your own that contain pieces pertaining to a specific theme (i.e. a collection that contains only Typography or only UI design, etc.). What’s great and unique about Designspiration is the quality of the content that is posted to the site. In order to have work featured on Designspiration, you must upgrade your account and submit a link to your portfolio site, which will then, upon review, grant or deny permission to begin posting your own content on Designspiration. I think that this is a great concept in that it maintains the quality of the content on the site, making it a reliable resource to turn to when seeking out some creative inspiration.

Designspiration, is super easy to navigate giving you the option to search for content by name, which you can accomplish by simply typing anywhere within the website or even by choosing to search through inspiration by colour. Also, with a handful of new features recently introduced to the site, including infinite scrolling, get ready to spend hours sifting through some of the best creative inspiration the internet has to offer.

| November 11 | Design
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Give me those sweet, sweet deals!

Posted on June 5, 2014 by

DC

A couple of months ago, I stumbled across a wonderful website called Design Cuts. It is a great resource for designers looking for quality fonts, brushes, vectors, texture packs, etc. at amazing discount prices. Design Cuts will bi-weekly mash together themed bundles of the design resources mentioned above and discount them anywhere between 80 and 95 percent. The regular price of these bundles before the discount often breaks the $1,000 mark, making them hard to pass up.

I highly recommend Design Cuts to any one from designers to photographers to the avid scrapbooker. Subscribing to their e-mail newsletter is the best way to stay up to date with current bundles and deals being offered. Personally, it is the one newsletter I look forward to seeing in my inbox.

Design Cuts has this designer saying:

Shut-up-and-take-my-money

| June 6 | Design
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The Thing

Posted on October 10, 2013 by

Everyone has their “thing”.  You know the “thing” that gets you all jazzed and excited?

Well one of my “things” is awesome creative.  I just love the stuff.  I absolutely love stumbling across clever and creative workmanship.  I just find it so incredibly inspiring.  I believe it is because I know all too well what it takes to create that work.  We all just get to experience the end product but I know that each and every one of these amazing ideas began with a blank piece of paper and an end goal.  The rest is pure creativity and crazy hard work.

Let me share with you my latest finds.

I absolutely loved this.  Check out the award-winning “Back to the Start” campaign from Chipotle communicating the world of industrial food production and how they choose to use only sustainable farming for their products.   Not to stop there, they came back with one more.  I also love that they also created message extension through a free, arcade-style adventure game for the iPhone and iPad as well.  So brilliant.

We’ve come a long way from the ads from the past, haven’t we?  I mean really?  A short film to promote a product? I love it.  I also have a personal reason for my excitement.  In August, our twin boys got accepted and are now attending the Vancouver Film School where they will be learning how to create workmanship like this and I am so excited for them. I can’t wait to see where their imagination takes them.

Just for funnzies and for your further enjoyment, here are You Tube’s 10 Most-Watched Ads in September.

Happy viewing!

 

Spend Less For Fresh!

Posted on August 1, 2013 by

It’s no secret that a great website goes a long way in terms of a company’s place within the market. Or maybe it is a secret and I just let the proverbial cat out of its proverbial bag… Ah-well, in the words of the great Notorious B.I.G “If you don’t know, now you know”.

Not to pump our own tires or anything but we know websites – we like websites – we know that we like to make websites and that the websites we make are really great. Want proof? It’s in the pudding.

The pudding.

 

*Warning: the images you are about to see may cause uncontrollable cravings for healthy eats and sporadic BBQ’ing. Wardrobe matching to fruits and veggies has also been reported.

Fall Habits

Posted on September 13, 2012 by

From our vantage point here at zag, I’ve been watching the kids head back to school these last couple of weeks.

It starts with a parade of nervous nubes perfecting their hipsters struts while clutching campus maps, trying to hide their (strictly uncool) flop sweat beneath layers of carefully-aged cardigans and ipod gear. They’re all fresh-faced, offering cultivated personalities to the brand new world they’re facing.

I kind of like watching the spectacle, sweet and nausea-inducing as it is.

But, I admit it, it makes me yearn for the less complicated days when I was in school too. It makes me think about seeking higher-still education. Of course, with a substantial amount of debt still left owing from the last time I had that urge, about the best I can do is contemplate some online courses.

I’ve been to MacEwan, it was great, but I’m ready for another Alma Mater. Which led me to the Royal Roads University. What I found there was even cooler.

Royal Roads recently updated their brand. They’re known for offering some great online courses, so it’s a wonder they hadn’t updated the brand to reflect that sooner. Regardless, they’ve captured the opportunity, while still retaining their connection to their history.

RRU Logo
Based on the famed Hatley Castle (which was featured as Professor Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters in two X-Men films), the logo solidifies its shape in a very nice little piece of visual metaphor.

Well I like it. And I learned something. So hey, I can save myself all that money now. (Especially since after seeing that campus – I really wouldn’t want to settle for the online version anyway.)

 

Branding

Posted on September 6, 2012 by

I just got back from a trip to the Okanagan and I was thinking a lot about branding when I was there (yes I was touring a lot of wineries – can’t help it in that region).

One of the wineries that I was throughly impressed with was Okanagan Crush Pad who were new to the area.  This winery had thought through all of it.  They had this little ‘0’ on all of their branding.  On the signs leading up to the property, the glasses that you taste from (which they didn’t sell and they should in my opinion), the new technology “eggs” that they use to make their wine in, coaters, signage, bottles – well you get the picture.

I have to say having visited several wineries, I was highly impressed with the amount of work that they put into their branding especially for a new winery in the area.  Whether you are a winery or any business, your brand is incredibly important.  From the way you answer the phone and the way you dress all the way down to the little details. Consistency and having a brand voice is key.

I am talking about branding next Tuesday at the Capital Ideas panel along with 2 other very talented people in the industry that I am honoured to be speaking with.  Come down and check it out.

 

Art of Teaching Art

Posted on August 2, 2012 by

I’m fairly certain that no one in his or her right mind would call me a patient person, unless I’ve gotten better at lying, which I doubt. LOL

Last Sunday found both my roommate and I in pathetic moods (having absolutely nothing to do with our gin consumption the day before I swear!) We were tired and vaguely depressed and generally not accomplishing much, and even my Sunday shopping rituals had failed to produce any excitement. In order to shake us out of our funk I decided the scorching sunlight meant it was the perfect day to take to the cans.

The spray cans that is. I’ve been promising to let my roommate spray paint something for a while now. Within moments we had canvases and cans set up in the yard.

Starting something you’ve never done before (for her spray painting, for me, teaching an artistic technique) is nerve-wracking. Do I know how to explain what I do? Can I control the urge to just take over and do it for her?

She’s nervous about doing something new, and doesn’t consider herself an artist. I’m a novice art teacher and known bossy-pants. But you know what? Something happened in those first few minutes of nervous expression and egg-shell treading: we became engaged in what we were doing and forgot our bad moods entirely.

Learning something new – and giving to others while you’re at it? If you ask me, it’s the surest way to bring out the joy. And it’s summer – we should all be bringing the joy.

 

Colourful Interactions

Posted on June 21, 2012 by

I’ve done a lot of research about online environments lately. I’ve looked at who has the largest market share, the trends for who’s going to have the largest market share. I’ve read about the threat of thermonuclear war between two giants and I’ve weighed in on the value of the conversations we’re having. I’ve debated apps and platforms and gone mobile.

I’ve written tweets, blogs, and posts and written tips for writing tweets, blogs and posts. I’ve pinned and shared and generally interacted with abandon, all in my search for the best ways to use our current technologies for different sectors.

And then, just when I thought I had an answer? Another approach showed up. Well, colour me surprised why don’t you?

 

I saw the sign.

Posted on July 16, 2010 by

Companies spend a great deal on exterior signage – and often use neon or backlit as ways of making it stand out. While I believe the intention of this type of signage is great, I find myself shaking my head when a portion burns out an nothing is done to remedy it. A great deal of time and energy go in to branding a company and ensuring that someone is on top of replacing the lights is often overlooked.

Since its Friday I thought I would post a few fun ones from the interweb to demonstrate my point. Enjoy!

Elmhurst Hospital Center

Maryland Hotel

Rothschild Liquors

Ortiz Funeral Home

Dynasty Restaurant

| July 7 | Design
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Logo Design

Posted on April 23, 2010 by

Logo design is easily the hardest thing for a designer to do.

You need to take everything the client wants to say about their company and condense it into one clear and concise package. It not only needs to meet their expectations but also convey this to the general public. I have seen a lot of logos that I think look great, but really fall short in meaning. I have also seen some awful ones that had a solid rationale that really made me rethink my opinion.

I found this great website a while back that showcases a lot of well known (and some not) rebranded logos, complete with a review and design rationale whenever possible. Its a fantastic resource for inspiration and really makes you rethink your own approach to logo design. At least it did for me.

| April 4 | Design
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