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All in the Experience

You can’t be in retail these days without hearing about how consumers are migrating to experiences instead of things. As evidenced on a panel at the Retail Innovations Conference, a good place to start when thinking about this topic is to align expectations about what “experience” means. While Kasey Lobaugh of Deloitte showed data that consumers aren’t necessarily shifting spending from retail to travel and entertainment, panelist Doug Zarkin of Pearle Vision challenged that the shift might not be as apparent as money moving to different categories. Instead, Zarkin argued, customers are migrating toward brands that integrate experience into retail.  The good news for grocery retailers is that grocery stores already have quite a bit of experience built in and generally, going to the grocery store is already an experience. Experience isn’t necessarily something considered with intention though, at least according to Tom Demetriou of Dimensional Innovations during his AMAKC presentation in April. He outlined six ideas that marketers can take into account while thinking through how to reach consumers looking for experiences. I took those ideas and translated them…

The Future of Typography - Dan Rhatigan - Adobe Type

The Future of Typography (KCDesignCore Recap)

In this blog post I won’t be sharing information on how to get customers to your store or how to increase your sales, but for those graphic designers out there, this may spark your interest. I occasionally visit the monthly Adobe users group meetup here in Kansas City, called KCDesignCore. This month Dan Rhatigan, manager of Adobe’s in-house type foundry, presented some new cool stuff Adobe has been working on in typography. Dan took us back in history to when type was set and printed on a page. Certain fonts were considered “good typography” and were more legible than others when printed. But we don’t engage in text the way we used to. We now read on digital screens. We have adapted to moving objects and 3 dimensions. Even in the early days of web design, there were limitations on fonts. When I first started designing websites, we had only 5 or 6 fonts available for use. Verdana was suggested to be most legible on computer screens so we were pretty much locked into using Verdana for everything. Well, at…

Adobe MAX - The Creativity Conference

Adobe MAX 2018

The Next Generation of Creativity October brings with it some exciting events. For many, it is a time to find a fall festival or a pumpkin patch to pick out that perfect pumpkin for their Halloween jack-o-lantern. In our house, our celebrations that month include the birthday of our daughter. For many Adobe software enthusiasts, we know October also brings the annual Adobe MAX conference. This is where creative types gather to learn of all the new advances, tools and tricks Adobe has been working on over the past year and is releasing right NOW! I attended my first MAX conference 11 years ago in Chicago and I still remember the excitement of walking into the conference center ballroom to kick off the event with the keynote speakers. The overhead lights were out but the room was illuminated with ginormous video screens filled with colorful motion graphics set to music coming through a wall of loud speakers. It’s been a bit since I’ve attended a conference in person, but that doesn’t mean I have to miss it entirely. The keynotes…

Book cover by Daniel Miyares

Creative Mornings Recap

The Power of Clear Intentions – Daniel Miyares Miyares works for Hallmark Cards during the day but he is also an award winning picture book author and illustrator. As Miyares accepted guidance from experts during the writing and illustrating of his first book, he realized a lot of decisions were made for him. He did not want to replicate that the next time. After his first book, he saw a lack of intention in his process and in his career goals. In his children’s books, he had to write them for the child; not for the consumer who may be the parent or grandparent or family friend. He asked himself the question, “What is going to relate to a child?” Not all his book reviews were favorable, but that did not stop him from creating for the young person the books are intended for. He knew he needed to have a clear intention about why he was doing what he was doing. In the grocery industry we can ask, “How can we relate to our customers? What do our customers…

KCDesignCore - a visual design community

Put the MOVES on Your Work – KC DesignCore recap

One of the disciplines I like most in design is animation. My first job out of college was at a TV station. I designed mostly static images for the newscast, but I had the opportunity to learn 2-D animation and I loved it! Since then, I’ve had a few projects where I’ve been able to make my designs move. I was re-inspired at the latest event I attended to play around with the animation tools I have access to. At KC DesignCore’s meetup last month, “Put the MOVES on your work”, Kyle Hamrick and Jim Hinds demonstrated how to use Adobe applications to create motion. Hamrick is a trainer for Adobe Premiere, After Effects and Photoshop. At the event, he showed some examples of motion graphics and walked through how to make them in After Effects (AE). AE is a robust application that can be used in conjunction with other Adobe apps such as Illustrator and Premiere. Although it can create 2D animation, it is most widely used for 3D animation and special effects. I bet you’ve seen it used…

letterpress dingbats

KCCIPA – KCDesignCore recap

Letterpress, lead type, screen print, saddle stitching, corner rounder, litho, calligraphy – just a few of the terms that were thrown around last night at Adobe’s KCDesignCore meetup. Our small group of designers were taken back in time as Calvert Guthrie graciously gave us a tour of his community print shop, Kansas City Center for the Ink & Paper Arts (KCCIPA). Calvert’s space, rented to local artists, comes fully equipped with everything a printer needs, including quite the collection of antique and modern printing presses. He also teaches classes, which include letterpress printing and calligraphy. Calligraphy is something he specialized in when he worked on greeting cards for Hallmark. When I was in Typography class in college, we practiced calligraphy, which has become somewhat of a lost art since the age of computers. We were also required to learn and identify over 100 fonts. Being able to instantly identify a font really speeded up my workflow as I was designing graphics. Since then, I’ve forgotten some of the characteristics of many fonts and the number of fonts I immediately recognize…

Signs, Signs. Everywhere a Digital Sign

Menu boards and posters are so 1980s that they still go roller skating. Not to mention you have to keep updating the content on them and hope that you don’t misspell Worcestershire again, which will most assuredly garner some laughter from your employees. Why not use something more engaging that can be reviewed and edited, scheduled, even animated to cater to your specific audience? Digital signage is nothing new, but it keeps gaining momentum as it reaches new eyes in stores and at events around the world. If you’re considering adding this type of marketing tool to your store, there are a few things you should know before jumping in. Be Consistent The first thing people often overlook with digital signage and its content is consistency. There’s nothing more off-putting than an unreadable font with a bright, abrasive background that makes someone feel as though they’re going blind. Keeping a simple theme throughout your digital campaigns can help to keep the attention of those in your store and will also prevent them from screaming in pain as your neon-green banners…

Tyler Kimball's shuttlecock glass art

Creative Mornings: Transparency

At the last Creative Mornings presentation, Tyler Kimball from Monarch Glass Studio in the 18th and Vine District, spoke on Transparency. We were mainly treated to a digital display of many of his amazing pieces of art made from blown glass. But a couple quotes from him were good takeaways. When people ask him, “What is your favorite piece to make?” his response is, “Because I’m constantly growing, I answer, ‘The next one.’” He also said, “Glass is very reflective of the past, […] it harps on the present state-of-mind [… but also sees into my future.]” To watch Tyler’s presentation, go to Tyler Kimball Talk.

Photo of trendy female riding a white kitten.

Picture perfect: Choosing images that get results

Last week Getty Images hosted a webinar by Creative Research Expert Jacqueline Bourke on how to select images what will increase engagement. In 2015, there were 1.5 trillion images were shot. That number will only continue to increase. The quality of those images keeps getting better and better. Consumers now expect high quality images in all their content. It is important that you select images that engage your audience’s emotions and senses. We are visual creatures. Ninety percent of information is transferred visually. Our audiences are being bombarded by an ever increasing amount messages. Visual images are processed 60,000 times faster than text.  A strong visual image will allow for our content to stand out from the crowd. Images are obviously crucial on platforms like Instagram and Snapchat, but tweets and Facebook posts with strong visual elements have more engagement than text only counterparts. Below are some trends and examples of how they have been used:   First person: This perspective pulls your audience in and makes them a part of the image. It is much easier for them to envision whatever you are pitching…