Archive for the ‘Creative’ Category

Not All Fonts Are Appropriate for Email

Posted by Shannon Gomez on July 20th, 2015

CreativityI love fonts. My current favorite is Piel Script by Argentinean art director, Alejandro Paul. But Piel Script, like many other beautiful typefaces, would not be appropriate in the body of an email message. I could use this script, but I’d need to flatten it into artwork, because the typefaces available across all email clients are limited. Many of the fonts we commonly use in print or even web design are not found across all devices, which means they won’t be visible by everyone who reads your email.

When you design email, especially if you want it to look nice on a mobile device, you are limited to web-safe fonts, meaning that you are designing for the reader with only the system installed fonts. It is a best practice to set all the HTML text in one of the commonly used font groups.

For example:

1. Serif fonts: “Times New Roman”, Times, serif

This is a heading

This is a paragraph

2. Sans Serif fonts: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif

This is a heading

This is a paragraph

When you setup your email design in photoshop, you should think about how the message body will display once your design is coded. In general, any sans serif font will be replaced with the most common sans serif font group shown above. I don’t want to setup my design with another of my favorites, Helvetica Neue Light, because even though I have this font loaded on my computer, and I can see it just fine, most of my email message recipients won’t. Their message will display in Arial as a default.

Another thing to remember when moving from print to email design, is that everything is specified in pixels, including fonts. We recommend a font size no smaller than 13 pixels for good readability across devices. Many fonts also have different word or letter spacing and when the font changes, this can alter your design by reflowing text.

Here’s an example:

Fonts

So remember when designing email, use fancy fonts only as images. Flatten your fonts into artwork for a banner or image. Keep the body of the email simple by using web-safe fonts only, and you can control what your recipients see across all devices.

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Understanding Persuasion Architecture

Posted by Mallory Green on April 28th, 2015

Persuasion ArchitectureFrom the moment you wake up, you are the recipient of hundreds of marketing messages… messages that are aimed at getting you to consider the idea of buying a particular product or service. And we, as potential customers, are surrounded by so many messages on a daily basis, there are very few we even notice. Essentially, the sheer amount of choices available in each category has made the lines very blurry between one product or service and another, and to complicate marketing even more, consumers are doing an enormous amount of online research before making any kind of decision. So the real question is, how can we reach a potential customer during the buyer journey and persuade him/her to choose our product over someone else’s?

Persuasion architecture is founded on the ideas that understanding the wants and needs of a customer and then figuring out how to appeal to those needs will lead to conversion. Successful persuasion architecture relies heavily on the research marketers perform to map out what motivates and drives their customers through each step of the buying journey. This then needs to be translated into the message design, which includes everything from the layout and imagery to content creation.

With the understanding that one message no longer appeals to everyone, creating a buyer persona is key in helping marketers understand the most effective way to communicate with their customers. Buyer personas allow marketers to build a narrative and devise a detailed plan that speaks directly to that group of people and appeals to their attitudes and needs. By truly understanding their customers, marketers can identify the various ways these people will enter and exit the buying process along with the actions that lead up to and follow each step of the journey. For example, what did the customer do before he/she decided to leave your website, or what activities followed reading a featured article? These are the types of questions marketers should be asking themselves in order to nail down the buying process their customers go through.

Marketers must then use this information to create copy and design a message or web page that places the right kind of emphasis on different elements. How should you speak to this group of people? What should the tone be? What imagery resonates with them? What channels should be used to communicate the message? Each aspect of the layout needs to considered, prioritized and placed effectively. A promotion shouldn’t be buried within the content and undistinguishable. A piece of featured content should be front-and-center, not an afterthought placed at the bottom of a message. Don’t forget to consider branding, incorporate imagery and include design elements like font and color. But remember, all these aspects of creative shouldn’t distract from the actual call to action. It should enhance it.

Once marketers feel comfortable with the direction the message is going, the work doesn’t stop there. It’s important to continue to measure and optimize each piece of the message design, and thoughtfully analyze the specific touch points of the framework since behaviors and patterns change. By taking the extra time to develop a persuasion architecture framework for messaging, businesses can experience higher customer retention rates and lower acquisition costs along with an increase in leads and sales.

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Inspiration

Posted by Shannon Gomez on April 14th, 2015

InspirationIt’s easy to get lost in day-to-day tasks. You fall into a routine where you complete your work and produce whatever you are assigned to produce. It’s efficient, but can be monotonous. And after a while, everything looks and sounds the same.

When I feel this way, I know I need some inspiration. It doesn’t have to come from the same well as the work you do every day. It can come from anywhere. I’m visual, so I am affected by everything I see around me. I try to surround myself with creative things that make me smile, so that when I look up from the computer, I see something that offers me a mental break and has a positive effect on my daily work.

Need some inspiration? I have some for you.

For new words and ideas:

A.Word.A.Day
Fast Company, Co.Create. Daily

Creative inspiration in a corporate environment:

Orbiting the Giant Hairball

Sometimes instead of looking for a font to suit a project, I look at fonts and think, “what can I make with these?”

Sudtipos
My current favorite, the lovely Piel Script.

Seeing how someone else puts together a newsletter gives me ideas:

Webby Awards: Email Newsletters

Practical, and yet, not boring at all:

Fillerati
TypeCast

Random Inspiration:

10×10
External Heart Drive

Today’s soundtrack:

This Must Be The Place: The Talking Heads

I hope my sources of inspiration are useful to give your work some color, meaning and flair. Look in the mirror and see yourself as a bright spot in a sea of uniformity and don’t be afraid to add a little pizazz to your next email design.

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