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In numerous cases, we as marketers ask those we are marketing to become the voice of the company or institution they represent. Their stories give meaning in a deeply personal way. And, in many cases, we ask those that give voice to the story to be photographed to represent their story. Nine times out of ten, these subjects are uncomfortable, wary, and uncertain about their image being used, knowing their likeness will be seen by every visitor that comes to the website. Most people are simply uncomfortable being in front of a camera. So, the challenge for the designer becomes, ‘how do I represent these individuals in the most respectful and truthful manner?’ The environmental portrait The environmental portrait is just as it says — a photo that represents the subject in their natural environment. Whether it is in their work location, personal home, or a location that is representative of the narrative, the choice to shoot an environmental portrait … Continue reading
Much like an ill-fitting or dated suit, companies and institutions with out-dated or poorly executed identities need to be aware of the perception their identity has in the markets they serve. Does your identity still fit your organization and what it does? Does it represent who you are? Is it time for a change, and if so, how can you be sure? The best identities help to synthesize and crystallize a brand to their consumers. From cave paintings dated 40,000 years ago to digital marvels created today, it is clear that humanity has, throughout history, continued to visually create symbols to trigger an emotion, a memory, a response. The definition of identity is listed as a condition or character as to who a person or what a thing is; the qualities, beliefs, that distinguish or identify a person or thing. The importance and power of an identity cannot be understated. While brands speak to the minds and hearts of followers, an identity and its visual … Continue reading
You know, the creative business is an odd bird. Anyone who has a creative bent knows what I mean. My uncle was a welder but when he came home, he was welding crazy little metal sculptures, (which later on became crazy big metal sculptures) transferring what he did at work, welding, into art… his art. The tension between mind (his working as a welder) and heart (his desire to create) did exist. At the time, I didn’t really didn’t understand how a welder could be a sculptor, but I do remember his enthusiasm for doing it. For him it fit…being a welder and an artist. An inner drive to create and to make. He resolved the tension within. Pure happiness. Oftentimes throughout my career I have been asked how we, as designers, arrive at the solutions we present. How do we arrive at solutions that speak directly to the mind and hearts of our clients. Much like my Uncle Jim, … Continue reading
Like we said in 2012, infographics are trendy, and for good reason. An infographic is a simplified visual representation of something that could be said in a longer, more complex story. Humans are creatures of habit. We’ve been conditioned by major brands like Instagram, Snapchat and Vine to prefer our content in bite size portions, mere seconds at a time. Our time is valuable – which is why we love infographics so much. Curious about the explosion of infographic use over the past few years, I went to Google Trends to see what they had to say about user search habits. You might be surprised to see that our interest in infographics has been gaining momentum since 2010, much like our interest in funny cat videos. Trendiness of search term “Infographics” from 2010-2015 Trendiness of search term “Funny Cat Videos” from 2010-2015 Cats and kittens aside, a well done infographics can do more than just inform. Due to their share-friendly … Continue reading
Our passion for our visual thinking and visual explanations gets recognized in unexpected places. Over the years, a ton of blogs and several books have included our infographics. And now this: Randy Krum included our SEO infographic “Page Rank Explained” in his recent book. Check out page 115. Thank you Randy! And kudos to the Elliance team for dreaming of share-worthy infographics!
To higher education marketing pros, April & May is “yield season.” It’s the culmination of all their marketing and relationship-building efforts to convert a suspect to a prospect to an applicant to an admitted student. Yield is the percentage of admitted students who actually decide to enroll. This is a big deal in enrollment marketing – having knowledge of where the yield percentage might fall provides a target of how many students the admissions office needs to, or is willing to, accept. Tracking the tuition deposits as they begin to trickle in is a daily process for admissions, and is why the final piece of marketing communications – the admissions yield piece – is so important. Over the years I have seen all kinds of yield tactics from fact sheets to multi-page brochures. They all seem compelled to give the prospect ‘one more reason’ to consider their school. (As if two years of curated courtship through the admission process has … Continue reading
I’m writing from my small town in Vermont, where schools are closed for Superstorm Sandy, but the sun is shining and it’s as pretty a fall day as we’ve had this year. The lights stayed on. My thoughts go out to those millions of people who have been less fortunate. Like the rest of the country, I spent a lot of time yesterday searching for information about the storm. Were my friends and family safe? Was it headed my way? Were there D batteries available anywhere in Addison County? Now that the threat has passed, I find myself thinking about how I seek, access and evaluate information online in a crunch. Perhaps there are some lessons for us here when the storm clears: 1) New Media. While I’m a loyal fan of print, I bypassed traditional media completely yesterday. Even the evening news (yes, I still watch it religiously) wasn’t up to date enough. The 24-hour news cycle has spoiled … Continue reading
Trickier than it sounds! Some pictures are worth far more than a thousand words.
A regular regimen of quality photography is one of the most powerful, influential, and simplest things a school can do to invest in the long-term health of its brand. Overstated? I don’t think so. A couple weeks ago, my colleague Kate Tomlinson wrote about a photo shoot we recently completed for a client and what it can teach one about successful social media strategies. Now we’ll discuss about the value it holds for sustaining, even building, your brand image. First I should mention I am the “Ed” she mentioned in her post – the photographer. I’m also a brand strategist and a creative director (in that order) before I’m a photographer. But it is what I do with this “third” discipline that frames and gives life to what I do with my first and second disciplines. A while back I figured out why it was, or how it was, that great street photographers like Walker Evans or Henri Cartier-Bresson were always … Continue reading
You don’t have to take my word for it. Google Insights shows the trend for the keyword “Infographics”. Vox populi.