Visit Comfort by FG and discover your style! The style you’ve been missing to complete your dream living room. Furniture Guy is a great client and seeing the beautiful variety of living room sets that are being offered by the new line COMFORT by FG motivated our team to build an incredible website, graphic design. We also had a great experience with our photoshoot of all the different living-room models being offered by the new line. Thanks, COMFORT by FG!
Where do you go when you’re looking for the best and the top of the line stones for your home and your business? Answer… Piedras Mundiales, The Stone Center!! SEN3 Marketing & Consulting Agency has had the pleasure to work side by side with their talented team. At SEN3 Marketing & Consulting Agency we manage your social media marketing, take the best photos of your products, and make sure to create high quality videos so that your audience is stunned with your work. SEN3 Marketing & Consulting Agency wants everyone to know that you’re business is valuable and our marketing strategies will make sure to get that message out there!
The best Micheladas and Clamatos in town deserve nothing but the best marketing team in town! Working with Clasico Kitchen and Bar when it comes to managing their strategic social media campaigns, photography and video production for almost two years now, has made us come together as a family! SEN3 couldn’t feel more fortunate than to know that Clasico Kitchen and Bar has grown into an amazing restaurant and we’ve been a part of it!
SEN3 Marketing and Consulting Agency is thrilled to announce their new client Pieology Pizzeria!!! It’s incredible that our agency gets to be part of the Pielife™ by giving them effective social media marketing services and photography services here in El Paso TX! We work together as one to create a higher influence in our community to go out and wake up their taste buds by joining the Pielife™ and tasting the billions of different pies from Pielogy!
I remember one time during my senior year in high school, my math teacher asked me what I would like to study: “Graphic design,” I said proudly. What he answered was “Why? Don’t waste your intelligence on that career! Decorating rich people’s houses when you have the brains to be an engineer.” Right then and there I laughed, because his answer reflected a profound ignorance of what graphic design is. My teacher, a brilliant professor, was confusing graphic design with interior design. Years later, during my first laboral years I realized that, just like my math teacher, people in general don’t have a clue about what we graphic designers do. They seem to have the impression that it’s a job that their 15 year old nephew who is great with computers can do better, faster, and cheaper. This generalized lack of knowledge of what a graphic designer’s job is subtracts value to our profession, and while it’s true that we don’t save lives like doctors, it is also true that everybody has communication needs that must be resolved graphically. Therefore, it is a job that requires a great amount of research and thought put into it, it requires knowledge of color psychology, ergonomics, communication, marketing, computer software, photography, illustration, typography, composition, print techniques, etc. All this acquired knowledge allows us to pay the bills, feed ourselves and our families, fill the gas tank in our car, have a life just like everybody else. But what is really going on? What makes graphic design good or bad?
Let’s suppose you want to sell hot dogs. You need people to know you sell hot dogs, ergo: you have a communication need to solve. How do you solve it? Sticking a simple handwritten fluorescent poster that says “Hot Dogs” to your cart or location will solve the primal need: communication. But will this same fluorescent poster allow you to grow into a franchise? The answer is an obvious “no”. Franchises require a consistent image that make clients be sure that they will get the same quality no matter which location they choose. In other words you need to give a sense of confidence and professionalism. This is why we need graphic aesthetics. A good design will accurately solve your communication problem with visual elements that will make your potential clients trust your business. No matter how big or small. It will give you a potential to grow as large as you want because let’s face it: we humans are visual creatures and we will instinctively prefer something that looks better, regardless of the quality of the actual product or service.
But back to topic, this is probably one of the hardest articles I have ever written. It’s not because I don’t know anything about this subject but quite the contrary… because I have lived it. Therefore, I did not want this text to be polluted by personal judgment and I felt the urge to ask some of my colleagues to tell me about their experiences and I was quite overwhelmed by what they have told me. We’ve all had dreadful clients, ugly bosses, nagging sales workmates, unfair competition by fellow colleagues or agencies, unpaid or underpaid jobs, and many other atrocities… but guess what! Clients and non-designers are not the only ones to blame on this situation, we designers have a lot to do with this situation.
Graphic design is a relatively new industry in our border. Speaking with my colleagues who migrated to bigger cities like Mexico City or Guadalajara seeking better opportunities in the field, I got to confirm my perception that graphic design in our border does not keep up with the quality that you can see in those bigger cities. Why is that? First of all: competition. Despite the fact that we do have incredibly talented designers in our border, and even though it is a rather popular choice for a career option nowadays, they still outnumber us, and we don’t tend to compete as fiercely as fellow designers in the big cities. Competition forces peers to constantly improve for the simple fact of having something better to offer to potential clients. Second of all: the size of businesses. The bigger the city, the better the possibilities that a big brand will establish their headquarters there, and therefore all marketing and graphic design decisions will be generated in that city. Most likely: the bigger the brand, the more graphic design quality they will demand. Juarez, and El Paso are still considered medium-sized cities and as a result have not really developed brands that have transcended national or internationally (other than the border area), and since graphic design is not yet a big concern to many local businesses simply because they don’t yet understand why they need it, they tend to seek functionality over quality (and sometimes not even that), when it should be a perfect blend of both. And here is where I can say that everything bad about our graphic design is not entirely for clients to blame… It’s us! To be able to compete in quality we need to acknowledge that maybe we’re not the best designer ever.
One of the things that I remember most from my teachers in college was the constant reminder that we are not artists that work for themselves, we are designers who work for others, and that is precisely one of the things that we tend to forget the most! While it’s true that we know more about the rules of graphic design, it is also true that our client knows best about their own needs, they know their business better than us and we really need to listen to them… even if they don’t always know what they want. That way we can really translate their communication needs into appealing and functional graphics instead of trying to force our Behance or Abduzeedo looking design into their requests. It takes a lot from us to get rid of our egos and know-it-all attitude, but if we want to improve and be able to compete with bigger cities, we must fight it. All the best local graphic designers I know have gone through that self-analysis process and have achieved great things afterwards. Another issue is that graphic design has many faces, some designers are good for web, some are great with editorial, some others are superb illustrators but another common problem is that we are often forced to be as versatile as we can or we simply won’t make any money. This doesn’t let us focus in what we are best for and specialize in that particular area in fear of not landing any jobs.
But not everything is sad. Good news is that graphic design demand in our border is growing steadily, and this equally goes for Juarez and El Paso. El Paso found a big opportunity when Juarez was going through that awful period of violence during 2008-2011. Many business owners in Juarez were facing crisis and resolved to open locations in El Paso. Both for security for themselves (this represented the opportunity to migrate to the neighbor city), and for economical growth. This represented a bigger chance for designers in El Paso, despite the fact that graphic design in Juarez is cheaper, and designers in El Paso often find themselves losing contracts to designers in Juarez. El Paso is growing fastly, and this will keep bringing better opportunities for their designers. The violent period in Juarez also represented a huge crisis for advertising agencies and freelance designers in Juarez since most businesses chose to hide themselves from potential extortionists, and just like those who chose to migrate to El Paso, many young professionals migrated to bigger cities but later, when the violence was no longer an issue, they came back with fresh concepts and ideas and opened new businesses in Juarez since 2012. This new young businessmen and women needed graphics that reflected their visions and this represented a new boom in the city not only economically but graphically. This are clients that are more open to pay what graphic design is worth, and pay it on time, they are more willing to listen to designer’s opinions, and having seen what bigger cities offer, they tend to demand better quality. This has represented a slow but steady improvement in the graphic design culture in our border.
Another positive thing to say about our graphic design culture it’s that many designers have felt the need to make design and artist collectives to work together on different projects in favor of culture and art for our community in general. Some have put their efforts in developing an urban art culture through murals or photography. Some others, especially universities have invested their efforts and money in bringing successful designers into their graphic design congresses or events to give their “TED talks” to inspire their graphic design students and alumni and open the conversation about how the real world really works. This is huge! It represents a change of dynamics and an open attitude to improve and collaborate. Like I said before, there are areas of graphic design that we excel and others that we can barely keep up with work, but if we team up with other designers who are strong in areas we could better develop we can provide a much better service. I am happy to now be part of a team that fits this description. After all, unity is strength.
But going back to that hot dog poster example, how far are you willing your business to grow? Will your current image keep up with your goals?
They say that an image is worth 1000 words. It is true, especially when it comes to selling, educating the public, or portraying what your business is. You can use a lot of resources like infographics, posters, photography, brochures, but there is one other resource that is gaining popularity due to the many advantages it can provide. It’s an effective, entertaining, and comprehensive way to communicate important things about your business: corporate video.
I will give you 5 reasons why you should consider a corporate video for your business, no matter what your business may offer as a product or service.
Having a video on the front page of your website or blog, or on your own booth in a corporate event, will likely attract more attention from possible customers and even your own employees because a business that bothers to produce material to better explain what they do, what they believe, and what they offer will give potential clients a feeling of confidence, that what they just saw in that video is exactly what they will receive. Confidence is key to engaging in a business and also knowing that a brand aligns to your lifestyle or way of thinking will increase the chances of consuming what it offers.
Many brands don’t have enough exposure by simply creating awareness, those brands are now making an effort to build a community around their potential clients. As a youtuber myself, I can assure you this is one of the most important goals you should pursue. Whether it’s to have a video where you showcase the story of your business, the philosophy behind it, or a simple video that can provide a sense of lifestyle that is compatible with your brand, these types of videos will make your clients feel more in connection with your brand, and they may even see themselves in it and feel encouraged by the sense of community and communication among clients. That type of video will definitively make them more loyal to your brand, rather than a video that’s focusing on sales. Potential clients may even end up promoting your video, which brings me to the next point.
Social Media Sharing
If your video is inspiring, interesting, or funny enough you will quickly see it spread across social media. You won’t have to do anything more than to produce and produce your video. This is an excellent way to gain new potential customers. Remember, public opinion matters, and it’s a fact that a good review by someone you know can influence your purchasing decisions. Not to mention that you can reach a global audience.
Search Engines love videos
Having a video with the proper tags and description on your front page will increase your chances to show up on the first page of Google Search. This of course will turn into more traffic to your website and more chances to engage in business with possible customers.
Call to action
Whether it is sales you are promoting, motivation or training for your employees, showing a general vision of your business or organization to the community, or having a simple video to engage people, a video will definitely increase the chances of reaching your goals by 46%. Videos are easy on the eyes, they can provide a big chunk of information using audiovisual resources and are an excellent way to turn those views into actions that can favor your business: visiting your website, buying your product, getting information about your services, etc.
As designers we come across with a lot of funny words like pixel or vector, but do we really understand the difference between the two? We usually relate the word pixel to file formats like .JPG or .PNG, files that have a specific size and should not be forced to appear in a bigger size, or else the quality of the image will be compromised. Meanwhile, we relate the word vector to files like .SVG, .EPS, or .AI, which is a file whose contents can be escalated infinitely without losing any quality. But why do we have both type of formats? What is the difference?
First of all, we must define what a pixel and a vector is. Let’s start with pixel. Picture a tiny colored squared block in a huge grid. In a close look you won’t see anything but a bunch of colored squares all aligned and boring, but as you zoom out you start to see something until you have a perfect picture of a cat (because Internet!). That tiny square is called a pixel, which is short for “picture element”, and all pixels together form what we call a raster image. The number of these pixels per inch (dpi = dots per inch) is called resolution. The smaller the pixel, the highest the resolution and the heavier the file. The optimal resolution for images displayed on screens is 72 dpi, while paper printed images require an ideal of 300 dpi. This is because printed images tend to be displayed on bigger surfaces and small pixels help keep the sharpness of the image and allows printers to deliver better results, while on-screen images tend to be displayed in smaller surfaces, and need to be lighter, so they can be loaded quickly. Please note that image resolution is completely independent from your monitor’s resolution.
Raster images should not be escalated beyond their original size and resolution or else quality is compromised, so if you need an image you can make as big as the moon or as small as an ant you need a different kind of image: a vector image.
So how do vector images work so that they never lose the magic? The answer might not be liked by those who jumped into art school running away from algebra: math. Luckily, they won’t have to make any calculations because that’s the computer’s job! Vector images exist within a mathematical space, so every line, polygon, or curve can be as big or as small as you want it to be. We could actually say that they are an idea, and quoting V for Vendetta: “ideas are bulletproof”, so basically size doesn’t matter as long as it is mathematically possible. Pixels on the other hand do occupy an actual space on screen, where it’s size and position will be the same no matter what. This is why vectors are the weapon of choice of those who need to work in large format: files are smaller and more handleable and quality is never compromised. This is because an image that is described mathematically needs significantly less data than an image that is described point by point.
So, which one is the best? The answer must always follow your needs. For example, logo design is best in vectors for a company logo must always look impeccable, no matter what size it is displayed. All typography is displayed as a vector, wether you’re working on Adobe Illustrator or Microsoft Word, unless it is rasterized (transformed into pixels). Photography, on the other hand is very much married with pixels, and so is digital painting since they require the use of an actual space on screen. This should define what software you want to use to create or edit your images, knowing what can bring you the best result according to your needs.
A Snapchat geofilter is an “accessory” to decorate your snap that is only available in certain locations. For example, you can only find Disneyland-related geofilters at Disneyland. This is a fun way to promote your business or community in a trendy and fast-growing social media. However there are a few guidelines and rules that you must follow. Here is a quick guide.
Community or personal geofilters are used to celebrate personal events, such as birthdays or weddings, to share that you’re enjoying a college football game, to brag about visiting a cool city, etc. It must not have copied content, photographs of people, logos (except for approved college logos), trademarks, sexual or drug content, or any kind of information that could be considered advertising.
Business (On-Demand) Geofilters
These can be used to promote your business or event. It can contain logos, your business name or trademark. However any telephone numbers, hashtags, addresses, lotteries, URLs, or any kind of content that could lead you to another website or app. You may submit political content, as long as you include the following text: “Geofilter paid for by [insert name of purchaser]” in 40 px height with a shadow background. Submitting an on-demand geofilter requires payment.
Keep in mind that both kind of geofilters must be limited by a geographical area, so that it can only be visible for people inside of that specific area. Also, the content must be relevant to such area or event inside that area.
Have you ever had a cork board where you could pin things that are important to you? Such as recipes, pictures of cats, a postcard from a place you wish to visit, a magazine article with tips on a topic you’re interested in, memorable quotes, etc. There is a social network that emulates that good old cork board in your office or bedroom. It’s a place where you can have all the things you bookmark on your browser in one place, organized by categories (or boards) with nice looking thumbnails, and it also lets you connect with people who share your same interests. But how is this helpful to your business? Pinterest is an excellent way to lead traffic into your own website and therefore increase the odds of an engagement with your potential customers. Your board can also become the place to consult whenever someone is interested in a topic related to what you offer in your business and this is a great way to gain credibility and authority as a brand. You don’t even need to generate your own content! It is superb if you do, but all you really need to do is carefully select the information or images you wish to publish.
On Pinterest first impressions matter, so if you want to catch the eye of the consumer you need images that are attractive and relevant. It can be an infographic on how your business works or why is it useful, an inspirational quote with a trendy background that motivates your potential customers, to a carefully produced photograph of your product. Keep in mind that you need to post or generate content that can be displayed with an image. Here is a graphic guide on Pinterest image sizes to keep in mind.