Research & Design: A Love Story?

Love was in the air last week with Singles Awareness Day–I mean Valentine’s Day. But do research and design have relationship potential when creating a successful logo?

Love at First Sight?

Generally, we all know what all goes into designing a logo. It’s not as simple as drawing a symbol and putting a word next to it. Color, contrast, type, placement, proximity, and many more characteristics all play a crucial role in the creation of a logo. I’m sure many of us heard in college or by a client that, “your first idea is NOT your best idea.” So it’s not likely to be “love at first sight.” That’s where the research comes in to play.

Compatibility: True or False?

A few assistant marketing professors conducted a study that was published in the Journal of Marketing on the impact of a descriptive versus non-descriptive logo. Simply put, a descriptive logo includes some type of words pertaining to the company and non-descriptive is strictly an image or icon that may not necessarily be relevant to the company. The study included the logos from 597 companies in order to determine which type of logo was the most effective.

And the Rose Goes to…

Neither and both. The beginning of this AIGA Eye on Design article, written by Lily Smith, seems to support the definitive conclusion of the study, but then goes on to explain that a logo requires subjectivity as well as creative intuition. The challenge then becomes: where does the research fit in the process? Smith quotes one of the assistant professors explaining the need for collaboration and consideration of both research AND design as two crucial components of logo design.


In conclusion, I DO NOT watch the Bachelorette or Bachelor. Also, love at first sight may or may not exist, but we can take heart that collaboration between research and design can be both beneficial and befuddling. As designers, I believe we can immensely benefit by conducting thorough research before, during and after our creative process.

How do you utilize research in your creative process? Let’s discuss in the comments below!

Also, for laughs Google search “most terrible logos.” Share your fav in the comments!

Adobe at the Oscar’s

Goodby Silverstein & Partners agency landed the gig of creating a wondrous and psychedelic 60-second ad spot for Adobe’s latest campaign: Creativity for ALL.


Vanessa Rivera – Mermaid

“Creativity for All” is Adobe’s latest campaign aimed at “democratizing creativity” and making Adobe’s creative suite accessible to all. The ad debuted at the 2020 Oscars and showcased Adobe’s many capabilities including video, photography and animation. According to this Adobe Blog article, the composition was inspired by and features artwork from over 1,000 creatives.


Adobe’s Executive VP and CMO Ann Lewnes stated, “Creativity has the power to influence politics, culture, and social norms, so it’s critical that we hear from a broader, more diverse set of voices, especially the next generation of creators.” The Creativity For All campaign aims to encourage tapping into everyone’s own creativity, providing access to teachers and students by partnering with Teach For America–a nonprofit organization whose aim is to ensure “every child has an equal opportunity to learn, grow, influence, and lead.”


The ever-evolving movement of the video completely engulfs the visual senses while displaying all of the incredible works that went into the production. I’ve watched it a couple times myself!


While Adobe usually comes across as the creative industry software giant not willing to share the spotlight, they’re actually trying to share with everyone. I grew up with good ole crayons and markers but to know that the next generation will potentially have access and the ability to become fluent in today’s industry software standards is truly exciting!

List your favorite parts/opinion of the video in the comments below!

Best of the Bowl

There are two types of people in this world: those who watch the super bowl for the game and those who watch the super bowl for the commercials. Here’s a few of my favorites!

1. Before Alexa

First of all, you can’t go wrong with Ellen DeGeneres. Second, “What did we do before Alexa?” is a thought any Alexa user–including myself–can relate to. I don’t have ALL the smart home things but it’s pretty convenient to ask Alexa to “turn on the light” so I don’t step on my black cat in my dark apartment who likes to stand RIGHT in front of the door while I’m trying to come in. Speaking of dark, there’s a little more dark humor in the “banned” version of the commercial. Check it out here.

2. Because My Hyundai

I will admit, I’m a little bias towards this one because the very first car I bought myself was a Hyundai Sonata. But this star-studded commercial is definitely one for the books! It kind of reminds me of Direct TV’s Hopper ads where they all pronounced it as “the hoppah!” But with Hyundai, it’s “smaht pahkin’ the cah!”

3. Throwback

While many ads source their appeal from action-packed-movie-like parodies, Jeep successfully tied their 2020 Jeep Gladiator to 1993’s classic Groundhog Day.

AND…groundhog in a harness strapped to Bill Murray. That is all.


Of all the commercials aired during the super bowl this year, these are definitely my favorite. Tell me your favorites in the comments!

Lookin’ Good Bro!

Warner Bros.’ brand identity got a face lift! Dee Dee Myers, WB’s executive vice president of worldwide corporate communications and public affairs, decided the overall brand could use some cohesiveness.

Warner Bromance

In October 2019, WarnerMedia announced the addition of HBO Max, launching WB studios into direct competition with other streaming services like Netflix and Hulu. Myers then realized that although the brand is well-known as is, it was lacking some cohesion across the already diverse range of entertainment channels.

Warner Brotatochip

Emily Oberman and Pentagram partnered up to refresh the brothers’ brand by simply making minor adjustments to the classic icon instead of doing a design overhaul. “Recalibration rather than reinvention” was how Emily approached the project and by doing so, the new brand identity is now just as dynamic as the company’s broad reach across the ever expanding entertainment industry.

Warner Brosicle

I’m definitely digging the update. I love simple, flat design because of the adaptability and legibility. Oberman and Pentagram chose to apply a good ole “golden ratio,” the letterforms were redrawn to create more balance and unity, the shield itself was slimmed down and the brand’s OG blue was made a tad brighter. Way to go Bro!


As I’ve said plenty of times before, the graphic design and advertising industries are continually changing and updating. But even some of the biggest big dogs like Warner Bros. need the occasional update. What do you guys think of their new look? Tell me what ya think in the comments…Broseph.

Savings: Part 2

Sometimes, sequels are NOT a good idea. But then there’s Geico’s newest ad campaign bringing back some classic favorites!

Move Over Gecko

Geico’s long-standing gecko mascot is taking a back seat to some classic characters. Remember the raccoons, Pinnochio, and the woodchucks? These former ad icons are coming back! I tried, but I couldn’t find any other ad campaigns like this one created by The Martin Agency.

Not Just Movies

Svp, creative director Neel Williams of the Martin Agency explains, “We figured if Hollywood can keep rebooting movie franchises, why can’t we do the same thing with some of our favorite ads?” In addition to the epic commercials, the agency will be designing movie posters to add to the excitement of the upcoming sequels.

And the Winner Is…

To go along with the upcoming award season, the agency will also be adding an interactive factor for viewers by inviting everyone to vote on their favorite commercial sequel and possibly win “movie props” from the commercial production sets. Check out all the official trailers on Adweek!


I’m a weirdo. How so? Because I LOVE commercials. The fact that Martin Agency decided to flip the script in the advertising industry by creating SEQUELS of some old Geico commercials is EPIC. Will you vote for your favorite? Let me know in the comments!


Last week, we saw a Coke ad utilizing a fancy thing called “synesthesia,” which means using one sense to activate another. This week, I’ve been researching/obsessing over this latest ASMR fascination.


An article by the National Sleep Foundation attempts to explain that while still super new, autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) has become a recent fascination. The article lists some examples of videos that feature audio and visuals making very minimal sounds like typing on a keyboard, brushing hair, or clicking a pen. Supposedly, the sites and sounds cause a “feeling of euphoric tingling and relaxation.” SMH.


To illustrate the concept of the ASMR phenomena, LXRD in Denver created a brilliant ad featuring their staff whispering sweet nothings of agency-themed affirmations accompanied by satisfyingly simple ticks, clicks and clinks. I kinda felt a little tingly. ROFL.


It’s always great to try new things when brainstorming a new concept. Visual things, auditory things…audio/visual things like ASMR. Luckily, the graphic design and advertising industries are always evolving so we’ll surely see something new next week!

3 of the Best Ads of 2019

As usual, in January of a new year we’re bombarded with the “Best of the Best” of EVERYTHING. Curated by AdWeek’s creative directors, here’s a few of my fav ads from 2019.

Rain | Wieden+Kennedy

Many members of the graphic design and advertising industries continue to argue, claiming “print is dead”. But global ad agency Wieden+Kennedy created a campaign that proves print is in fact very much alive. “Rain” is a beautiful ad series for McDonald’s delivery service featuring images distorted to appear as though you’re looking out of a rain-slicked window.

Why is it my fav? Because I LOVE that even though graphic design and advertising has gone primarily digital, a very artistic and aesthetically pleasing PRINT campaign still claims a spot among the best.

The Underdogs | Smuggler

Who doesn’t love a good story? This commercial produced by Smuggler and directed by Mark Molloy shows the incredible, collaborative features of Apple’s products in the workplace. I’m sure we’ve all been “the underdog” at some point in life, so the storyline of this ad covers a huge audience while still showing off just a few of Apple’s products and their capabilities.

Why is it my fav? If you venture over to my personal blog, Green Beans for Breakfast, you’ll see that 2019 has pretty much been my “underdog” year.

Try Not to Hear This | David

Do you know what “synesthesia” means? I didn’t until I researched this particular ad, but in a nutshell it means “using one sense to activate another.” Initially, I’m merely intrigued. But then my mind is blown when I read “try not to hear this” while looking at an image of a Coke bottle being opened and IMMEDIATELY my mind recalls what that exact sound. Just COOL!

Why is it my fav? Because this is a perfect and super simple example of the incredible power of advertising and design.


From addressing political and societal conflicts to explaining why adults need ice cream more than kids, Adweek’s article The 25 Best Ads of 2019 shows us some of the many ways audiences have been impacted over the year. The ability for graphic design and advertising to impact us so directly is freakin’ amazing.

Welcome to 2020

Happy New Year friends!

This year, I’ll be putting forth more effort to continue my personal industry education by regularly posting on my blog. I will be writing weekly news posts featuring interesting finds I’ve discovered relative to the graphic design and advertising industries. On a monthly basis, I will be recapping design trends starting with the yearly release of Shutterstock and Adobe’s annual design trends reports and then we’ll take a look at how Pantone’s Color of the Year has been doing for the first 30 days of 2020.

Truly looking forward to a year of growth both personally and professionally. Be sure to follow along with me so we can grow and “be in the know” together!

Team Effort: Writers & Designers

I like to think of myself as a decent copywriter. Though I’m not professionally trained, I have a strong skillset in written communication and at least a minimal awareness of the tedious requirements. But does anyone ever think about the collaboration between designers and copywriters?

Most recently, when presenting a facebook freelancer group with my business logo ideas, I was bombarded with how the design should come first or the wording should come first. The way I personally approach a branding or design, is thinking about the way it reads or feels or looks all at the same time. Some critics of the group stated that “theagraphical” is potentially confusing, illegible, even distracting. Others said that I have to find what I feel most connected with. So far all who have met me and see the logo in person, have truly connected with the way the words and design work together to encompass who I am and what I do as a business.

Speaking of words and designs, this article I found on HOW Design (a MUST HAVE magazine for designers) discusses the potentially epic collab between designers and copywriters. Check it out! Come back here and tell me what you think! Think a collaboration between designers and writers would be beneficial or nah?

The (creative) Struggle is REAL

So I recently decided to take the leap into freelancing as an official business (WOOHOO!!). One of the many struggles in owning a business is business management. These five tips can apply to ANY situation–freelancers, agencies, etc. Take a few minutes to check them out.

This particular article I’ve referenced (not my post) is sponsored by Function Fox, a time and project management software. What type of project management software do you use and why? I’ve started to use Harvest. But I’m curious what other people use. Tell me!


Finding Your (Creative) Inner Peace

Have you ever tried meditation? I have sometimes…for like 10 seconds. But this 5 Ways Mindfulness Can make You a Better Designer article kind of makes me want to give it another try from a creative point of view!

Let’s try some creative mindfulness this week. We’ll check in and chat about how it helped us in our creative process!


The Stack Method

What is this Stack Method referring to? One of our number one means of communication: email. Prasanth Nair, Double Gemini CEO, is the brilliant mind behind The Stack Method. I don’t know about you but, my typical approach to my inbox is just go down the list one by one. Except it’s like they NEVER END. Nair himself had the same issues that we all do with the dreaded inbox so he developed a less daunting way of clearing the incessant inbox notifications.

I may give it a try in my own inbox. Try it with me and let’s report back here next Monday!

p-1-using-this-method-can-cut-your-email-time-in-half.jpg[Photo: MARVIN TOLENTINO/Unsplash]

Weekend-weekcap 06.08.19

MONDAY 06.03.19

Bright and lively colors are an indication of imminent death.

Pantone teams up with the The Ocean Agency  to bring us a stunning campaign with a cause: Glowing Glowing Gone.

How do you feel about using these brilliant colors to increase awareness about dying coral reefs? Pantone challenges creatives to use these colors throughout their work to increase awareness. How could you use them?


TUESDAY 06.04.19

Influencer Marketing: Friend or Foe?

The influencer marketing craze has continued to see immeasurable growth for the past few years. Though some speculate as to whether or not there’s really a substantial ROI for paying an influencer some thousands of dollars for one video. Take a look at some of the facts and fictions Adweek’s Danielle Wiley has discussed in this post.

Have you utilized any sort of influencer marketing? What’re your thoughts?


WEDNESDAY 06.05.19

Computer Stand: $999

The ensuing sarcasm and twitter responses that follow: priceless. Creative Bloq jumps on the Apple-baffled Bandwagon here.



THURSDAY 06.06.19

Being Stingy with Time Can Be Profitable. I’m sorry…what?

Having recently (literally like started two weeks ago) embarked on my official entrepreneurial endeavor of going freelance (yikes!), I’ve bookmarked nearly every article possible that I feel could be great advice or direction for building a successful business. This article provided by DUE but featured on really peaked my interest as it pertains to time management from a totally different and unexpected angle. Check it out!

Would you or are you stingy with your time? What time management programs do you use for your business as a creative freelancer?



FRIDAY 06.07.19

Words from (and for) the Wise.

LOVE this article by Hailey Brewer and Lia Wesp about how we use our words in business. Yet another article to bookmark while in the baby stages of my business development.

What kind of words in your business language would benefit from a more neighborly tone? Think it would change your mindset too in how you perceive your competitors?


Ideas in 30 Seconds

If coming up with an idea only took 30 seconds, would you try it?

Kelly Herd, marketing professor at the University of Connecticut, conducted a research study recently published in the Journal of Consumer Research. The study contradicted the usual creative approach of objectivity, suggesting that thinking with your heart allows you to become more fluidly creative. If we take a moment (like 30 seconds?) to think about our client or project emotionally, we put in no more effort than someone who approaches the same task objectively.

Try it this week! Got a new project? Stuck at a creative road-block with a current client? Close your eyes, take a deep breath, a spend 30 seconds thinking about this person or project from an emotional standpoint. Put yourself in your client’s shoes or in the shoes of the person who will be using/seeing/consuming your work. Did it help your creative process? I’d love to know!


The Weekend Week-cap 06.01.19

MONDAY 06.27.19

A heaping helping of innovation inspiration. ⬇️

Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business 2019 is a great read for some innovative inspiration! Some incredible accomplishments are highlighted in this list. From assisting an FBI ad-fraud bust to Amanda Seales’s Smart, Funny & Black tour, this list opens our eyes to beyond the typical “creative” connotation to realize that creativity isn’t just about art.


TUESDAY 06.28.19

IHOP Rerun?

According to this Fast Company article, IHOP is planning on changing their name…again. Think the publicity stunt will be as effective a second time?

p-1-ihop-changes-its-name.jpg[Photo: Clotee Pridgen/Wikimedia Commons]

WEDNESDAY 06.29.19

What do the TV shows Friends, The Simpsons and Stranger Things have in common?

IKEA! Publicis Spain, an ad agency in United Arab Emirates, created an ad campaign aptly dubbed “IKEA Real Life” for the home decor mega store using iconic living rooms from some of our fav shows! A majority of the items used in the ads are actually available for purchase at IKEA. The rooms will even be displayed throughout some IKEA stores but only within the Middle East. Bummer!

Now tell me, would YOU buy The Simpsons’ living room?


THURSDAY 06.30.19

Is La Croix running flat?

According to a Bloomberg article, La Croix isn’t keeping up with the fizzy Jones’s. The design and marketing concept aimed at a target audience who didn’t even care if the drink didn’t taste that great: millennials. They jumped on the sparkling-water-bandwagon and La Croix has had a great ride. But just having a hipster-chic aesthetic has not kept the brand afloat.

Did you jump on this La Croix bandwagon? I tried it once…🤷‍♀️

p-1-la-croix-sales-are-plummeting-andamp-thatand8217s-probably-because-it-sucks.jpg[Photo: Matt Botsford/Unsplash]

FRIDAY 06.31.19

Try not to giggle but, Pornhub is actually pretty creative. In more ways than one…

Mentioning the adult video giant may make some folks blush but, I actually read this article and was pleasantly surprised at the company’s efforts to “penetrate a number of verticals” in the marketing industry. Yes. Corey Price, Porhhub VP, actually uses that phrase. But he also mentions the creative campaigns they’ve used have not only brought the brand out in front of the general public but, also to brings about awareness of some sticky topics that no one likes to address like breast cancer and declining bee populations.

What’re your thoughts on seeing that this adult film brand actually has more to it than millions of home movies?