Creating A Stellar Website

Creating a website for your business is one of the first steps to take in any marketing plan. It’s one of the things that cements the reader to your brand and really allows them to explore who you are, what your business is all about. It also tells them why they should use you for your stellar product(s) and or service(s). Think of it like a window into the soul of your business, because that it essentially what it is.

Your site should be exciting, clean and straight to the point. Lay out who you are, what you do and any other information you think will be useful. Sell yourself and your products.

Think about the way you design the website to begin with. No one wants to be looking at a screen with 20 different colours, a flying unicorn going across the screen and flashing lights, do they? Refer to this article to give you some ideas on how to start off.

Simple, clean and refined is the best place to start. You can build on that and make your website reflect who you are as a business after that. The key is to build your foundation first.

Typography and calligraphy is what comes next. Take a look at some different fonts and find one which is dynamic, unique but easy to read too. Then once you’ve decided on that you should look at your line spacing, the size of the text and the colour. Black is traditional however slate grey may add that air of modern to the site.

Image Credit: Pexels

When you pick your colour scheme, don’t think that more is more; because it’s really not. If you try to incorporate every colour of the rainbow into your website you will fall flat and the customer will be confused as to what your theme is supposed to be.

Think about the implications of certain colours and what they will mean for the tone of your website. Here are a couple of examples of colour schemes to get you started:

Grey, Yellow, and White – Monotone colours with a splash of vibrancy can make your website spring to life and feel incredibly clean and modern.

Red, White, and Pink – Using different hues of the same colour is a clever way to add tone and depth to your design when you want to stick to just one colour.

Green, White, and Blue – Cool tones will always make you think of the great outdoors or a sense of calm. Using pastel shades is a way to make the space feel larger and more sleek, whereas splashes of colour add that element of character.

Your logo and branding is possibly the most crucial step in creating that website which is ready for your information and content. Designing a logo that represents the tone, mission and overall feel of the brand can be difficult, but it is a rewarding mission once you have completed it.

You will need to take extra time making sure that the banners and headers for your website and social media platforms are cohesive with the logo and fit your tone of voice well.

Finally, once everything is designed you can look at the content. Remember to stay engaging, informative and to be transparent in your delivery. Gaining trust as a company takes time, and the website is the perfect place to start.

Make Going Viral Work for Everyone

From the minute the world was introduced to “free” music downloads (via the World Wide Web) thanks to Napster, we’ve expected everything else to be given to us without a price; or at least at a reasonably low price. These days when something goes viral over the internet, it’s usually the result of a combination of forces (even though it’s no exact science):

  • Epic memes
  • Really funny parodies (sketches, songs, etc.)
  • Media stories
  • Celebrities sharing all the above

The trick to keeping viral content viral is to get out of its way and allow it to takeoff organically. The fastest way to kill viral content is to try and exploit it in a manner that takes it out of the hands of the viewing audience. Remember them? The ones who I mentioned up top would love free content.

Yoda meme

We’ve all seen it before; a video goes viral and the next thing you know, the owner of said video wants it removed by anyone who had been posting or sharing it “illegally”. Now we’ve entered into the territory of copyright infringement and a whole host of legal jargon I won’t get into here.

Let’s examine Katy Perry’s performance at the Halftime Show at Super Bowl 2015. Not the best of performances when compared to previous years. But the one thing everyone remembers weren’t her hit pop songs, oh no, what we all remembered well was that “Left Shark”; the one who just couldn’t seem to remember the dance moves. You can refresh your memory here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BcLuCyrvc1M [Video]

Left Shark was an instant meme sensation! Not only that, but merchandise was being produced all over with t-shirts and toys popping up everywhere. We all loved it! What happened next was the end of a viral moment.

Katy Perry_left shark suit

Katy Perry’s legal team stepped in to cash in on the viral success of Left Shark by introducing fancy legal jargon like “intellectual property” and “trademark infringement”. Well that was the end of that.

Most recently, one of the biggest viral moments of 2016 has to go to Birdman from Cash Money Millionaires after what goes down in history as the shortest radio interview on the hit program, The Breakfast Club. You couldn’t make this stuff up if you tried. The awkward exchange between Birdman and all “t’ree” of the hosts was so funny that even parodies haven’t come close to making viewers laugh as much. The memes on the other hand are hilarious. Now the rumours are that Birdman wants to cash in.

Facebook-PUT-SOME-RESPECK-ON-IT-PLEIGHBOUGGHHHH-781cc5

If the rumours are true, for Birdman’s sake, let’s hope he’ll be smart with his approach in trying to capitalise on his renewed popularity. Allow viral content to stay viral. Do not introduce a legal team to make moves on trademarking anything he said in that radio interview like “Put some respek on it!” or “Are y’all done or are y’all finish?”

birdman-put-some-respek-on-my-name-merch-1

Like I said before, people like free over the net. Use that to your advantage. Consider viral content millions of dollars’ worth of free advertising. Cash Money gave the world “Bling! Bling!” and that term has been immortalised into pop culture and has even made it into dictionaries as an actual word. If Cash Money that included Birdman had decided in the mid-1990s to trademark that expression, it would’ve died in that era and would’ve been long forgotten.

Let viral content take on a life of its own. The minute you try to rein it in, is the minute it will all end.

 

Pizza Hut Just Turned Their Boxes Into Movie Projectors

How does dinner and a movie sound to you? Sounds pretty good to me and thanks to Pizza Hut, they’re making that a little more fun and a little easier (I think). Let’s stick with fun for now. The Pizza Hut Blockbuster Box was unveiled in Hong Kong and comes in four über cool designs.

Pizza-Hut-Blockbuster-Box

What’s Inside the Box?

There’s no electrical component necessary. When you open up the box, besides the hot and delicious pizza, you’ll see a  pizza saver and lens. Yes, a lens. Now it’s all beginning to make sense, right? You might want to wipe off any grease that’s on it before getting started with the setup.

The Quick Setup!

Here’s what you need to do to get that movie rolling:

  1. Punch Hole (it’s perforated)
  2. Insert Lens
  3. Scan QR Code on box
  4. Position smartphone on pizza saver
  5. Enjoy!

It’s no high-definition television (HDTV) and who knows what the quality of the projection is like. But I’m absolutely sure it’s better than a lot of movies I’ve watched that looked like they were shot with a potato. Besides, it’s all in the name of fun, oh and clever marketing and packaging. Only time will tell if it’ll make it to all Pizza Hut locations worldwide, but it’s a novel enough idea worth sharing. I’m sure the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles would approve!

One Basic Rule to Create a Good Marketing Strategy and Responsible Graphic Design

Bad marketing and graphic design… what does it look like? Well I think it looks a lot like this advertising campaign recently launched in South Wales, United Kingdom for the bus company New Adventure Travel. First rule: Always create ideas with your audience in mind. That’s key.

The campaign slogan plus imagery just took the wordplay a tad too far
The campaign slogan plus imagery just took the wordplay a tad too far

Always consider the current realities and societal issues. In this case gender equality and gender discrimination (sexism) are topics trending globally. Ultimately there are those who will say the campaign was a success assuming you by the cynical phrase, “There’s no such thing as bad publicity.

Milton Glaser is one of America's most celebrated graphic designers known for iconic logo and poster designs
Milton Glaser is one of America’s most celebrated graphic designers known for iconic logo and poster designs

However, if you want to take the high-road then craft both socially conscious and socially responsible marketing strategies and promotional material. Well-known Graphic Designer Milton Glaser (the “I ♥ New York” logo guy) once said, “There are three responses to a piece of design—yes, no, and WOW! Wow is the one to aim for.” Keep that in mind and at the end of the day, you’ll avoid a lot of online backlash and money lost.

Daimler Introduces the First Autonomous Truck to the U.S. That Makes Me Think Optimus Prime

Auto-Maker Daimler, straight out of Germany, introduced the world’s first autonomous truck on Tuesday night, May 5th, atop the famous U.S. landmark, The Hoover Dam. Dubbed the Freightliner Inspiration Truck, it is the world’s first self-driving truck licensed to drive on public roads as part of the Highway Pilot system.

Infographic illustrating the highway benefits of the first licensed autonomous truck
Infographic illustrating the highway benefits of the first licensed autonomous truck

As an autonomous truck, it is capable of sensing its environment and navigating without human input thanks to Daimler’s unique sensor and camera technology. The company has stated a driver must be present, but that driver has the option to relinquish control to the 18-wheel commercial vehicle. That’s a relief for not only safety reasons, but from an economic standpoint it means that for right now humans won’t be losing their jobs to robots.

Look at all the pretty blue lights
Look at all the pretty blue lights

It seems like technology is “driving” us more and more into the future and every month or so a new car company announces its driverless vehicle. I still can’t help thinking about The Transformers, so in the iconic words and voice of Optimus Prime, ROLL OUT!”

Optimus Prime in battle mode
Optimus Prime in battle mode

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Teaser Posters Revealed

Movie Director, Zack Snyder has revealed the new teaser posters for the upcoming superhero movie ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ scheduled for release on March 25, 2016.

The movie sees Henry Cavill reprising his role as Superman/Clark Kent with Ben Affleck brought into the fold as everybody’s favourite billionaire (Iron Man/Tony Stark’s being a close contender) and detective, Batman/Bruce Wayne. The plot is still unknown, but the official teaser trailer does give some degree of insight into the story. Also, we do know this is the foundation on which The Justice League movies will be built.

What we do know for certain is that these teaser posters are stellar! The colours, the textures, the effects and story behind each one is astounding to me. The level of epic with these designs is through the roof. DC Comics has a winner on its hands.

“Not too shabby!”

Superman poster with the Batman logo atop it in newspaper rough cut out
Superman poster with the Batman logo atop it in newspaper rough cut out bathed in reds and blues

“I like the overall look of the posters.”

The Batman poster features a rough cut out of the Superman logo
The Batman poster features a rough cut out of the bright red Superman logo adding contrast to the black and grey below it

Share your thoughts and feel free to pin these to your Pinterest boards. You can also find me on Pinterest via https://www.pinterest.com/phreshid/

The New Trailer for Marvel’s Ant-Man Looks like a Big Hit

Who’s excited for this new release?! With so many blockbusters lined up for this summer, Ant-Man starring Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas looks set to be a huge hit in my opinion. Marvel Entertainment keeps getting it right when it comes to creating comic book adaptations for the big screen.

Watch the trailer below and get ready for what looks like a wild train ride. Speaking of trains, there’s a sequence in this trailer that is guaranteed to get you laughing. Ant-Man (and some super-tiny friends) marches into theatres July 17th.

The New James Bond teaser trailer for SPECTRE is out!

New James Bond trailer is out and it’s looking good!

In this twenty-fourth installment, “a cryptic message from Bond’s past sends him on a trail to uncover a sinister organisation. While M battles political forces to keep the secret service alive, Bond peels back the layers of deceit to reveal the terrible truth behind SPECTRE.” (See, IMDb)

The film stars Daniel Craig, reprising his role as James Bond, agent 007 with Christoph Waltz playing the villain.

Enjoy!

Maroon 5 Debuts Its Feel Good Wedding Crashing Video, Sugar

Maroon 5 (M5) debuts their latest video “Sugar” from their fifth studio album entitled ‘V’ (pronounced five) and it’s a hit! It’s quite possibly one of the catchiest tunes at the start of 2015. In the video, Lead Singer Adam Levine explains that the band will cruise around Los Angeles, California, in an effort to hit up as many weddings as possible as surprise guest performers.

With each wedding, the reactions of the brides and grooms are priceless. I got married last November and I know if M5 had “crashed” my wedding, I’d be speechless too. Right now though, there’s some debate about whether or not the weddings in the video were real or fake.

The only confirmed real wedding of the entire video
Updated: The only confirmed real wedding of the entire video was this lovely couple

The video was directed by David Dobkin, director of the hit movie “The Wedding Crashers” that starred Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn. It’s a feel good video and great pop song with a throwback to funk and sounds of the 80s.

Official movie poster for the film featuring the slogan
Official movie poster for the film featuring the slogan “Life’s a party. Crash it.”

It’s a brilliant effort from a logistical, branding and marketing perspective and fans appreciate seeing real people participation. I mean heck, who doesn’t love weddings. I guarantee it’ll get you dancing and leave you smiling from ear to ear.

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What’s Your Definition of a ‘Superstar’? Take it Away Adidas!

German powerhouse Adidas employs the faces of Pharrell Williams (music producer), David Beckham (footballer), Rita Ora (artiste) and Damian Lillard (basketballer) to share their opinions on what a superstar is not. Clearly this whole time we’ve been misled. Oh the deception!

From all accounts, we’re all superstars! That’s just fine by me. With this revelation though, why didn’t Adidas call me or you to be in this Ad? I’m slightly insulted.

As a graphic designer and illustrator, I do love and appreciate the clever use of Adidas’ famous three stripes as a strike-through to word superstar. Freaking brilliant!

Anyway, check out the new Ad that’s basically trying to get you to buy the Superstar shoe, first launched by Adidas back in 1969.