When limits produce better creativity

I think it’s human nature to feel like limits are somehow equal to inhibitions.

For some reason, we think if we had more money, more time — more of everything — we’d accomplish more, be happier… and become Chuck Norris. However, I have noticed in my own work (and through reading studies and observations of others) that, very often, when we are faced with constraints of some sort or the other, we actually produce better stuff. That stuff can be creative design, music… and whatever else.

If you keep up with any of the popular advertising blogs, you consistently find smaller agencies producing some of the best work. Why? Usually because their budget are limited and they are forced to do their best, most creative work to cut through the chatter. Too many of the huge guys simply throw money at problems — but money is never a solution to a creative dilemma.

That’s one reason I like Twitter (check out @micahtouchet and @nbcda)… It’s amazing how when you want to express an idea,  you really can do it in 140 characters or less. Of course, we all love the URL shrinkers when there is more to say.

And time? Very often, my best work has been screeched out minutes before a ridiculous deadline. Sometimes I wonder why it’s that way, but pressure increase performance for me.

So, if you’re not the biggest and richest company — don’t worry too much about that. Do the best, the very best, with what you’ve got.

After all, you could have tons of money — and be Microsoft.

Ouch.

Best regards,
Micah Touchet
Creative Director

The power of connotation in branding

Recently, I was in conversation with a marketing guru at a large corporation we have as a client. We were tweaking the direction of a crucial project and he brought up an interesting point about which I’ve always felt strongly. He made the statement that what we were connotating through this particular media was very important.

I heartily concurred and replied that, oftentimes, what is implied is as important—and usually more memorable—than what is said directly. In everyday life, we all realize the significant role that body language plays in a conversation. I’ve heard the joke about the many meanings of the words “fine” and “okay” when used by a woman. And we’ve all heard the cliché, “Actions speak louder than words.”

What is interesting to me is how indispensable a role this all plays in brand identity development and marketing. Here at NewBirth Creative, as a design agency we provide a wide variety of creative services, but at the forefront of every creative project is a focus to strengthen brand identity. We realize the vital function for marketing and design to be memorable—yet never doing so at the cost of the brand.

So, in everyday terms, how does this apply to your brand? Well, the aspects are many and varied. Take, for example, your company’s color scheme. If you are in the business as a mortician, don’t expect people to love your magenta and lime green colors. No doubt, you will be instantly recognizable and unforgettable, but the bottom line is the bottom line and you won’t be taken seriously. The same is true if you are the proprietor of a candy shop—nobody thinks your steel gray and deep navy look cool or exciting.

Or consider font choices. People will not take your business as a serious investment management company if your logo is based off of Gigi. Likewise, if you are trying to portray a light-hearted, whimsical childcare facility, don’t draw your logo with the font Haettenschweiler.

Now, I’m not advocating connotation such as subliminal messages flashing or backmasking or any other dubious means of persuasion. What I’m talking about is the subtle, yet powerful, expression of thoughts and ideas that invoke memorable cues deeply ingrained in us all.

Most of what I’ve discussed thus far has been sight related. However, as Martin Lindstrom has pointed out, every one of the senses can be utilized to create a powerful brand experience. Consider the sense of smell. I was with a colleague at a semi-fine dining restaurant about a week ago, and the first thing we noticed when we walked in was the very fragrant aroma of some freshly-baked, cinnamon flavored delight. Partially out of curiosity, but mostly out of sheer hunger, my friend questioned the manager about the source of the fragrance. The manager admitted that what we were smelling was nothing more than plain waffle mix, a large amount of cinnamon added, placed on a hot stove to fill the air with the delightful scent. He said that they did this only to make customers order dessert.

Perhaps the intricacies of these ideas will be beyond some people. But when correctly implemented, these cleverly indirectly implied insinuations can connotate a compelling, convincing and cogent brand experience that will be absolutely phenomenal and prodigious. And profitable.

Questions? Leave a comment or email me. And as always, if you are looking for creative design services, then remember NewBirth Creative Design Agency.

Best regards,
Micah Touchet
Creative Director

NewBirth Creative launches new website today

If you were trying to visit our main website, newbirthcreative.com, today around 4:00pm CDST, and you were redirected to a page that said, “Sorry, we are down for just a moment. New website coming within a few minutes. Hang tight!”, then you will want to check out what we were doing.

Today, we launched a completely new, coded from the ground up, website for NewBirth Creative. We also have tweaked the brand to give it an even “fresher” feel. This is reflected, too, in our letterhead, business cards and other media.

This marks the fifth redesign in about seven years. While this one wasn’t so overdue like the others were, there was several things that we vastly improved in the areas of look, feel, usability, resources and SEO.

A few things that we did were:

  1. Tweaked the rotating banners on the front page, added a new one and rewrote the script so the transistions would be compatible with Firefox.
  2. Added a live news feed to all of the pages that features updatability through a very simple, password protect page we can access from anywhere.
  3. Added a contextual menu that assists in navigation throughout the site.
  4. Updated the terms.
  5. Complete recreated our portfolio, to better represent our work, and used a proprietary form of the popular lightbox style script to show closeups of our work.
  6. Updated our About page.
  7. Updated our Client page.
  8. Created a Client login section that will enable clients to preview, review and approve work, download files (most popular) and also make online payments to their account.
  9. Created a comprehensive list of our services.
  10. Launched this blog!

Take some time, look over our site, then let us know what you think! And if you are needing quality creative design work, drop us a line!

Best regards,
Micah Touchet
Creative Director