Although we’ve seen many huge retailers downsize (like the Gap) and some close altogether (Toys R Us), you’d be surprised to know that there was a 58% increase in store openings in 2017, according to a study by Fung Global Retail and Technology. Amazon even made the leap to brick and mortar through pop-up stores and by purchasing Whole Foods. Surprisingly, a lot of this has to do with Gen Z and millennials who prefer to shop in-store vs. online. Granted, they gather intel and find the items online, but then head to an actual store to make the purchase.
This is good news for brands and designers who are marketing to these segments. Direct mail, gift cards and packaging still play an indelible role in purchasing decisions at the store. According to Liz Burnett, principal at Matchbox Studio in Dallas, “As consumer behavior changes, brands are starting to design packaging and in-store experiences with social media in mind.” She cites a study by Contract Packaging Association that says, “Nearly 40% of consumers say they’ll regularly share product packaging that is ‘gifty’ or ‘interesting’ on social media.” With that in mind, she says, “Thoughtfully designed packaging and collateral pieces entice customers to share products with their followers on Instagram, which can boost brand awareness and word-of-mouth.” Read the rest here.
Whether you’re designing for a print or online publication, many rules are the same with the goal being legibility. If users can’t read it or don’t understand the hierarchy, you’re going to lose them. Trends in editorial design have run the gamut from over-the-top imagery and graphics, to sparsely inhabited pages of floating type in a sea of white space. And what works for one publication doesn’t work for another, so it’s completely subjective.
Designers Xavier Schoebel and Amélie Lecocq have plenty of experience working in publication design in France for cultural institutions like the Louvre and Pompidou Center. Both teach graphic design—Xavier at LISAA, Institute of Applied Arts in Strasbourg, and Amelie at the Fine Arts of the University of Strasbourg. “Much of our work in editorial design revolves around cultural subjects, where we use illustrated charts and graphs to depict the information. For instance, what works for a children’s book, will not work in a fashion magazine,” Xavier explains.
Here, the duo, who also run their studio Collectif Ça va 2 Paire, share their predictions for five editorial design trends to watch for in 2018—many of which are tried and true. Read the rest of the interview here.
Many design shops create calendars that get sent out once a year, or drip campaigns that are more frequent but typically no fun. Fifth Letter in Winston Salem, NC combined the best of both worlds and had some fun doing it, creating quarterly calendars that celebrate under-rated holidays in a beautiful, tactile format.
According to Fifth Letter’s ringleader, Elliot Strunk, his team started working on this concept in fall 2015, researching a list of odd holidays, and finding ways to loosely tie them together. “We tried to find ones that would not only be fun to spotlight but would also fit together into some sort of theme,” he says. Who knew people worshipped their tools on March 11? Read the rest of the article here.
Your card should make a bold statement about your business and ideals, because it’s still one of the most important and essential components to any business, especially designers and artists. Truly great business cards all have three things in common: good design, high quality printing, and durable, beautiful paper. If you want to make a good first impression, your card needs to be printed on a nice, rigid stock, not something that’s floppy and dare I say, impotent when you hand it to a potential client.
I’ve witnessed designers inspecting each others cards, studying the impressions, feeling the paper’s texture, and mentally guessing its weight. It’s the proverbial tinkling match to see who has the nicest card. Here we feature the best of all worlds when it comes to design, printing, and paper. Each card has a story to tell and the printing and tactile qualities are something to behold.
Design: Abbey Fowler
Client: 6.25 Paper Studio
Printer: Zeeland Print Shop
Abbey Fowler is a owner and creative force at 6.25 Paper Studio in Grand Rapids, Mich., so of course when she designed her business cards, paper was of utmost importance, and Neenah is her go-to paper choice for all her products. “With business cards you have to go thicker,” she says, adding, “Otherwise if you die tomorrow, you’ll eternally regret it and say, ‘Damn, I should’ve used that luscious 220 lb paper. Now my life legacy is a flimsy 80 lb business card!’” Read rest of story here.