Posts filed under Trends

The Care & Feeding of Creative Professionals – Part 3

What are some of the common mistakes that you see people who seek a career in any of these fields make as they pursue that career?

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  • IMPORTANT: Young creatives think they understand the client and the agency. They think they could do 'all of this' better and will often not stick around long as they seek to emerge from this boring chrysalis of doom and make the coolest agency ever — and it will have a beer tap in the kitchen (and a foosball table). 

  • If in the rarest of circumstances you find someone that believes in your clients, is great at what they do, is well liked by the clients and can show a consistent effort – place golden-handcuffs on them ASAP and bring them up in the org chart. NOTE: this person is usually a woman.

  • We hate revisions. Client: "Well, what do you think of this design?" Us: <thinking> I think it's fucking brilliant bitch, that's why I'm presenting it. </thinking>


"As I’ve moderated ideation sessions over the past two decades, I’ve noticed one shocking point about creatives. They tend to come up with far fewer ideas than everyone else. 

It’s not because they can’t; it’s because they become too attached to every idea. Rather than jot it down and move to the next, creatives keep working on and rereading their own ideas. 

You know which discipline consistently comes up with the most ideas? Developers."Dave Linabury

This point is well suited for this conversation. Creatives (as outlined above) often get too attached to a concept. Therefore, external (of the creative department) concept sessions are not only valuable, but they're also essential.

ANY PERSON can make an idea great. It could be the front desk guy, the janitor or CFO. Create a think tank session, even if it's just one time, where anyone can participate. 

EXAMPLE: I was working a project for the US Navy, we were to create an immersive experiential training simulation for them. We emailed everyone and asked if anyone in the office had any insight into training, past or current. Turns out that friend of the agency had a family member that had a lifetime career of creating these types of scenarios. We brought them in and the project rapidly took off from there. Had that room been simply creatives folks with no real-world experience, I believe our results would have been a failure.


You might ask yourself at this point "how is this helping me avoiding mistakes?" It usually takes years for people to come to the understanding that most mistakes 'take a village' to create. The better you understand yourself, and those around you, the better you can apply your skills to actual work.


Lastly, I think it's important to add that this is not a list of deficiencies, or short-comings – it's who we are as a people. Creatives are a very special breed of people, we create emotion, education, allow others to journey through our visions to unexplored destinations.

First-Strike Propaganda — Why Anti-brand Terrorism is a Real Thing

There's a war going on every day — it's not only for your attention and allegiance but for your mindshare.

Brand bombing, Anti-brand, Ambush Marketing, Brand HiJacking, Credential Exposures and Collaborative Brand Attacks (CBAs) are terms that should keep you up at night. People have directives and are not above taking grassroots and professional tactics, pointing them at your brand

Blackfish —

People aren't going to like this next part — "Brand Bombing" plots like Blackfish, and collaborative brand attacks that have been done by influencers, change.org and falsification insurgents are part of a much larger problem — as we can see with the 2016 election. However, much like a terrorist — brand bombing is edited for content and uniquely driven to spearhead the conversation BEFORE any real conversation can be had, THEREBY owning the mindshare in a lazy digital consumer that will no longer look past the threshold of what they were plausibly fed. "You keep a whale in a cage — you're all bad people."

It would seem to be logical that it's not just that easy — it's not. But if Donald Trump has taught us anything, it's that all you need to do is feed people what you [think] they want to hear.

Terrorists are some of the most puritanical marketers in the world and here's why. They're not selling a widget; they're not attempting to become a competitor to your marketplace, they only seek to disrupt by ALL means. Choas and confusion (that manifests itself by created fear, hatred and blind positioning) are paramount in the success of their terrible efforts.

"Justice, how can you compare something as evil as terrorism to marketing even in a fraudulent capacity?"

Russian Collusion of the 2016 Presidential Election —

Sadly, they're part of the same family tree, and they're not even distant cousins. Take for instance the Russian collusion of the 2016 Presidential election. A group of like-minded people seeking to purchase marketing to sway public opinion and create divisiveness; the likes of which I've not seen in my lifetime. Were their deaths? Most assuredly, but that's for another article.

We'll never know the extent to which SO many people were brainwashed by a nonstop bombardment of messaging. That said, the effect of the campaign will forever (in my mind) be the largest turning-point in the digital era for illegal and illicit use of advertising.

Will this change the future or marketing? Most assuredly, as long as it works. For now, the ability to share media, fake or not, is too vast to control. Attempts to control it create new firestorms, regarding privacy and governmental infringement – and the circle continues.

The Publix “die-ins” 

I agree with peaceful protest.

I feel like they're (the protestors) muddying their directive but by brand-blasting. Stick with reform, and move the needle. Additionally, I feel that using private property for their "die-ins" is thinning the impact and motivation of rally's, and speeches. 

People don't want to be "forced" to confront constructed messaging. Example: the KKK, Westboro Baptist Church, and others have made minimal headway on the POTENTIAL 'blue wave' that is building. With that said, the progressive movement is building traction using diplomacy, intellect and a vision of respectful opposition that 'Trump's' the bombastic nature of the current appointment. 

Publix heard them the people in their actions and swiftly stopped the campaign contributions. That said, they were strong-armed in so doing. One side will insist that this is a win! However, if gun owners insisted they could not protect their families and did the same tactic at Dick’s Sporting goods for removing the AR15 as a purchasable weapon, everyone would be screaming blood, Jesus. There’s no perfect solution, need I remind anyone.

Later, I'll try to explore steps your business can take to protect/insulate yourself from some of these tactics.

Crafting Imagery — Choose Your Own Adventure

Colin Dutton's wonderful article regarding "reading photographs."

This is a lovely article. This same article could be used to speak to graphic designers, user-interface developers or copyrighters. We get bogged down with the notion that we must skim; take at face value; judge and digest. More often than not I see, even my own child not allowing herself to see past what's being served up. My father, a fine artist, and I had endless discussions regarding abstract and representational work and what delivers a more 'direct' message. The point here (IMHO) is that if you allow yourself to go past the surface level, then the medium (w/e it is) can reveal more than its first impression.


A touch more than Symbology:


Here's a thoughtful presentation that discusses eye movement in design by author ANUJ MALHOTRA.


User interface follows many of the same directional philosophy as outlined in the article above. That said, you as the designer need to take additional care in delivering the "interactive" attributes to your user. This is where the "intuitive" nature of UI/UX come into play, and where many designers fall short.

Posted on November 15, 2017 and filed under Design, Interactive, Trends.

False, Misleading, Clickbait-y, and/or Satirical “News” Sources

False, Misleading, Clickbait-y, and/or Satirical “News” Sources

The Following post is by Melissa Zimdars . © 2016

Some of contents of this educational resource/google document, specifically the list of potential false, misleading, clickbait-y, and/or satirical news sources, have been removed in order for it to be transferred to and expanded on in a more permanent, dynamic, and collaborative home.  This page will reflect updates as they become available.

Tips for analyzing news sources:

  • Avoid websites that end in “lo” ex: Newslo. These sites take pieces of accurate information and then packaging that information with other false or misleading “facts” (sometimes for the purposes of satire or comedy).

  • Watch out for websites that end in “.com.co” as they are often fake versions of real news sources  

  • Watch out if known/reputable news sites are not also reporting on the story. Sometimes lack of coverage is the result of corporate media bias and other factors, but there should typically be more than one source reporting on a topic or event.

  • Odd domain names generally equal odd and rarely truthful news.

  • Lack of author attribution may, but not always, signify that the news story is suspect and requires verification.

  • Some news organizations are also letting bloggers post under the banner of particular news brands; however, many of these posts do not go through the same editing process (ex: BuzzFeed Community Posts, Kinja blogs, Forbes blogs).

  • Check the “About Us” tab on websites or look up the website on Snopes or Wikipedia for more information about the source.

  • Bad web design and use of ALL CAPS can also be a sign that the source you’re looking at should be verified and/or read in conjunction with other sources.

  • If the story makes you REALLY ANGRY it’s probably a good idea to keep reading about the topic via other sources to make sure the story you read wasn’t purposefully trying to make you angry (with potentially misleading or false information) in order to generate shares and ad revenue.

  • If the website you’re reading encourages you to DOX individuals, it’s unlikely to be a legitimate source of news.

  • It’s always best to read multiple sources of information to get a variety of viewpoints and media frames. Some sources not yet included in this list (although their practices at times may qualify them for addition), such as The Daily Kos, The Huffington Post, and Fox News, vacillate between providing important, legitimate, problematic, and/or hyperbolic news coverage, requiring readers and viewers to verify and contextualize information with other sources.

For more tips on analyzing the credibility and reliability of sources, please check out School Library Journal (they also provide an extensive list of media literacy resources) and the Digital Resource Center.

Here's the link to the complete document.