Best of 2016: Logo Redesigns Lauren Nelson | December 30th, 2016

There is no brand element so significant as a company’s logo. It becomes visually synonymous with your brand promise, with applications across every medium through which you communicate with your audience. It serves as the cornerstone of your image, defining style elements that will be extrapolated on every platform used. Given crowdSPRING’s role in helping so many companies find the logo that’s right for them, of course we pay attention to trends in logo design. And 2016? It had more than a few excellent designs come out of it.

But when you’re just starting out, you’ve got more flexibility in terms of choosing what sort of look and feel you’d like. Redesigning a logo, on the other hand, is incredibly difficult. The need to balance tradition with evolution is a challenging one to meet, but these brands absolutely nailed it.

 

Peace Corps

The Peace Corps were way overdue for a refreshed logo. With the transition from their dated emblem to a more modern, flat design, they upped their image substantially. From a cleaner sans serif font to abandoning the outline from their old version, they debuted a logo that better reflects the values of the organization and the work they’re doing.

 

Charlie Rose

This logo update shows how even small changes can make a big difference to a brand. American talk show host and journalist Charlie Rose is known for his dedication to the truth and balance. His PBS show, Charlie Rose, has been nationally syndicated since 1993… and his logo was stuck in the same time frame. The move to a simpler, black and white logo not only makes the show seem more modern, but better reflects his no-nonsense approach to reporting.

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Fresh from the SPRING: nortech Audree | December 29th, 2016

When perusing our galleries here on crowdSPRING, we see some amazing work submitted in the projects. Today, we noticed this gem submitted in this logo project.

Let us start the slow clap for nortech. Check out more great work on nortech’s profile page.

Nicely done, nortech, nicely done!

Best of 2016: Mobile App Design Lauren Nelson | December 29th, 2016

In today’s world, where roughly 80% of American adults own a smartphone, companies know the significance of investing in a mobile presence. And given that 90% of time spent on those phones takes place within apps, it’s not all that surprising that there are now more than 2 million options available for download in Apple’s app store alone.

Though some argue that the app boom is dying off, what we see is that consumers have simply become more discerning about which apps they’re willing to download, increasing the significance of mobile UI design in making an app successful. Here are some of the folks who killed it with mobile app design this year.

 

Habitica

It’s goofy. It’s useful.  It’s gorgeous. Habitica is a role-playing game app intended to help users start and build habits. You accrue rewards and punishments in the game for the real-life activity you log. The graphics hearken back to older graphics from the early days of role play computer games, but the interface itself is sleek, colorful, and intuitive.

 

Marline

Not all of us may have a need to know what the tides are up to at any given point in time, but if you do, Marline is a stunning solution. The interface is simple to navigate, and the designs are elegant. Marline is a fantastic example of how keeping things simple is often the best choice.

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Best of 2016: Web Design Lauren Nelson | December 28th, 2016

There are only a few more days left in the year, and it’s been a huge one for web design. Companies have started to understand how crucial a strong user experience is to maximizing conversion with their online audiences, and have invested accordingly. As they’ve done this, web aesthetics have exploded in terms of creativity, making picking a few of our favorites exceedingly difficult. Even so, these stood out from the pack.

 

JK Rowling

The beloved Harry Potter author’s website was due for an overhaul, and this sprucing up was just the ticket. The custom, distinctive background nicely encompasses the value Rowling provides through her writing, community engagement, and social media presence. It’s a great example of a website design that neatly aligns with the unique value proposition of the brand it represents.

 

Hemp Meds

We wrote earlier this year about the exploding branding scene inside legal cannabis consumption, and this fresh look for Hemp Meds exemplifies exactly what so many legal cannabis brands are aiming for: legitimacy. The prominent featuring of a happy family and the framing of the product’s value as a solution instead of a form of entertainment were deliberate choices, and give the site the look and feel of a pharmaceutical or healthcare company. This is a fantastic case of a brand understanding the necessity of positioning in a field where expansion is more akin to a game of chess than sales game.

 

RocketBuilder.com

Ok, we’ll be the first to admit that the ask here — $109 million for a custom built, fully functional rocket — is more than a little fanciful. But this ULA site’s design almost makes the offer seem accessible to even the lowest of us plebeians. The interactive setup makes it seem like you, too, have the ability to place an order for your very own rocket ship, and the clean, futuristic aesthetic makes the experience engrossing. We might not be in a position to click “buy” anytime soon, but if we had that much money laying around, this website design would more than tempt us.

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Best of 2016: Book Cover Designs Lauren Nelson | December 22nd, 2016

As the year comes to a close, we all tend to get a bit reflective. Here at crowdSPRING, a lot of that reflection centers on the year in design. Today we’re focused on book cover design.

It’s estimated that a buyer decides whether or not to purchase a book in the first 8 seconds, making an eye-catching aesthetic critical. But book cover design can be tricky, especially in an increasingly digital marketplace. An author’s book is listed in a grid alongside dozens of other titles, which means solid design has never been more important. It’s not enough for it to be clean. It has to stand out.

2016 has demonstrated just what kind of impact an awesome book cover design can have. Here are some of our favorites:

Was She Pretty? Leann Shapton

It’s not your average book cover, but perhaps that’s to be expected from a book that’s written almost like a graphic novel by an illustrator. The witty, biting writing aside, the cover is distinctive in multiple ways. The sprawling text of the title, taking up far more of the space than you’ll usually see, breaks with convention. It’s surprising in its simplicity, with the coloring of the text adding a layer of elegance. And as a bonus, it’s always going to stick out in the arrays found in digital marketplaces. There’s no confusing what this book is.

The Mothers, Brit Bennett

A tale of secrets and the tangled webs they weave in the context of community, love, and ambition, the plot and characters of The Mothers is well matched by its bold, striking cover. The colors and abstract arrangement of shapes make it sure to stand out among more subdued cover design, and conveys a message about the tone of the story before you even get to the summary. The fact that what, at first glance, simply looks like abstract art also implies the silhouette of a woman adds a layer of complexity you can’t help but admire.

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Fresh from the SPRING: rsk Audree | December 22nd, 2016

When perusing our galleries here on crowdSPRING, we see some amazing work submitted in the projects. Today, we noticed this gem submitted in this print design project.

Let us start the slow clap for rsk. Check out more great work on rsk’s profile page.

Nicely done, rsk, nicely done!

 

Repurpose Great Writing with Visual Content Marketing Nick Bowersox | December 20th, 2016

You read all the guides on digital marketing funnels, defined your audience personas, created your editorial calendar, and spent hours researching and writing the perfect content for your customers. After posting the content, your blog post got retweeted by an influencer and traffic to your site has doubled. Congratulations! Now, it’s time to do it again.

Effective content marketing can be a bit of a grind, especially for small teams or individuals with other marketing priorities to manage on a regular basis. According to a LinkedIn report, the number one challenge businesses face with content marketing is having the time and bandwidth to create content. The second challenge? Creating enough content variety and volume.

With limited time and an unlimited need for content, it is important to get the most out of your existing efforts before heading back to the drawing board. Instead of starting from scratch on your next piece of content, consider giving some of your best-performing blog posts new life by repurposing it for visual content marketing.

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The Scientific Approach to Fostering Durable Creativity (And How Crowdsourcing Can Help) Lauren Nelson | December 19th, 2016

Image Source: Pixabay

 

Creativity is often regarded as a key ingredient in professional success, regardless of field, and rightfully so. Whether you’re a scientist trying to figure out a solution to one of the world’s great problems, a therapist trying to break through with a difficult patient, or a coach looking for new ways to motivate your team, creativity is an essential component in achieving your goals.

But for businesses, creativity can often be seen as make or break. It’s not just about thinking differently as we attempt to solve problems, but finding the most creative ways to communicate how we go about the solving. In a world where dozens of companies are promising the answer to any given question, creative competitive positioning is frequently the only way to make sure your solution gets top billing in the target audience’s mind.

But to say creativity is a necessary part of business success is a lot easier than delivering on creative messaging. Especially in a digital world that moves at warp speed, it’s not difficult for brands to get to a point where they’re settling for “good enough” in order to keep pace with the demands of the marketplace. Breaking out of that cycle can be challenging.

But it doesn’t have to be. Science says so.

Creativity is usually discussed in a very abstract fashion; it’s an intangible and fickle commodity that’s impossible to teach or manufacture. At least, that’s always been the assumption. Recent research suggests otherwise.

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5 Ways to Improve Your Crowdfunding Odds With Strong Design Lauren Nelson | December 19th, 2016

Image Source: Wikipedia

 

330,940 projects launched. 12 million backers. $2.79 billion raised.

And that’s just on Kickstarter. To date.

Crowdfunding has been around for centuries, with roots traced to the early publishing space. Its more modern manifestations began in the late 90’s, with bands and film producers turning to the crowd to see their projects realized. ArtistShare launched in 2003, providing early proof of concept for internet crowdfunding, but it wasn’t until the launch of indiegogo in 2008 and Kickstarter in 2009 that the model really started to take off.

The concept is appealing, especially in a world where tough interest rates and fickle investors don’t exactly favor those without a sterling resume or cash to spare. Crowdfunding allows anyone with a vision and hustle to realize their dreams. By defining what you’d like to do, why you’re the person to do it, how you plan on getting it done, and what you’re able to offer to those supporting your efforts, you can attract thousands of small donations that help make it happen.

But make no mistake: launching a crowdfunding campaign for your latest, greatest idea is hard work. In the early days of internet crowdfunding, it might have been a bit easier. Not everyone was using the tactic, and expectations for how a campaign would be set up and run were much lower. But today, there are over 4,000 projects currently live on Kickstarter alone. The competition is fierce, and people expect much more from your campaign if they’re going to be forking over the money.

Your idea might be new, your experience might be light, but your brand needs to look ready to rumble right out of the gates.

“People underestimate the important role of strong design in their Kickstarter planning,” explains Brooks Johnson, seasoned Kickstarter campaign manager and founder of White Unicorn Agency. “40% of people respond more to visual stimulus in marketing than they do text. Are you speaking to them? What are you saying? From your logo to the images used on your campaign page to the collateral leveraged on social media to promote the campaign, you’re going to need a lot of brand-centric, compelling design assets to be successful.”

And Brooks would know. His 2013 Kickstarter campaign for audio reactive fashion wear brand DropShades started with a goal of $15,000, but raised more than $78,000 over 34 days — 520% over their target.

So what design assets are necessary to launch a successful crowdfunding project?

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Fresh from the SPRING: AVARTDE Audree | December 15th, 2016

When perusing our galleries here on crowdSPRING, we see some amazing work submitted in the projects. Today, we noticed this gem submitted in this logo project.

Let us start the slow clap for AVARTDE. Check out more great work on AVARTDE’s profile page.

Nicely done, AVARTDE, nicely done!

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