Urban Greens Juice Bar

The challenge

Create a brand and materials for Urban Greens Juice Bar — a raw juice bar in Mills Creek, WA. This was a brand new business so we needed everything from a logo to signage to emenus and juice labels.

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Bible Study Made EZ

Sales page, branding and marketing materials for an online bible study course. Marketing materials include social media covers and graphics for video. Course materials include quizzes and modules. Course is accessible on desktops and mobile devices.

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Facebook page cover

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Facebook group cover

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Worksheets for course

Pavonated: The majesty of the peacock

I don't love blue tones the way other people do. I think all of the generic technology and staffing firm logos with the futuristic ambiguous "swoosh" forms and globe shapes ruined it for me. However, I don't think I'll ever get past the beauty of the combination of this bright, saturated blue, the dark greens and that tart gold. Love.

Pointy letters

Last year my type thoughts were consumed with handwritten type lettering, but Squarespace's release of the Marquee template gave me a really renewed appreciation for Futura at normal and medium weights.

I've come to realize, it's the sharp, pointy capital letters. So here's my roundup of faves in terms of pointy factor. I love a nice SHARP point.

While Futura Medium technically may have more point than Frontage-Regular, where Frontage excels is in the fact that it retains the pointiness in Frontage-Bold. Once Futura gets bold it totally loses that.

When I first saw MTT Milano a few weeks ago, my heart actually sank a little because I felt like I was cheating on Frontage (I never feel like I cheat on Gotham, which I'll post about later). But I soon came to realize that while they're VERY similar, there's a place in my heart for both of them.

While Frontage as a family was created to be layered, it doesn't have a weight as thin as Milano. Or, lowercase letters. And it has an E that *I* think is cool but might be a little too novel for casual use. I modify it in certain instances. So:

Frontage Pros:

  • Pointy
  • Family made for layering, which is COOL
  • Regular and bold weights


Frontage Cons:

  • Funky E
  • VERY wide kerning 


MTT Milano Pros:

  • Lowercase letters
  • Normal E
  • Normal kerning


MTT Milano Cons:

  • Only one thin weight 
  • Not *quite* as much character as Frontage

 

But, bonus love for the uppercase W.

Look out for the upcoming Frontage vs. Milano love battle. <3

 

Futura Heavy — notice the blunted points.

Left: Frontage-Regular, Right: MTT Milano. One largely distinguishable difference. I think the funky  E is cool, but too novel for some circumstances.

MTT Milano: I AM a sucker for that W, though.

 

The Venn diagram of design headaches

Frustrating places to be on the great diagram

They're actually REALLY common. I can help you avoid them.

Over the years I feel like I've that noticed an understanding of how design, technology and content work together are key in creating products, services and ideas that sell vs. brands chock full of WTF. And you really need all 3 to make it work. Any combination of the other 2 throws the whole operation off.

I use these thoughts while designing to help ensure what I'm doing is boosting sales, profit or productivity for my clients. Let's take a look.

First, let's talk about some misconceptions:

Technology, unfortunately, is not magic. Things like creative software, CMS, programming and devices are tools that help us build from good ideas

Design isn't just about making things "pretty," it's about creating a connection with your audience and crafting a user experience that  they want to buy.

Content IS king...but selling it is hard to do in a vacuum. Your ideas and writing need to be compelling, visually engaging, and easy to buy or find. 


Now, these are the combination pockets in the diagram that rarely work and that you want to avoid sitting in.

If you never have to struggle with this, my job is done. Thank me later. :^)

1. DESIGN + TECHNOLOGY

This combination is especially seductive. The latest bell and whistle is exciting, especially when it LOOKS great, too. But without strong content it often lacks purpose, and you may find yourself with a product that's like the answer to the question nobody asked.

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2. DESIGN + CONTENT

This combination creates things people LOVE to read and use. If it can be produced, and if they can find it. Truly compelling and engaging products that would fly off shelves are created in this space — but in a  growingly digital world, people can't buy these things if they can't find them, or find you, or if buying or ordering them is hard and confusing.

3. TECHNOLOGY + CONTENT

Truly frustrating. A business owner will sometimes have a fully functional Wordpress site and they've got all the right plug-ins and actually love creating content — so why isn't it working? Why is nobody using the opt-ins? Isn't Wordpress all the rage? There's obviously exceptions to this rule, but people commonly decide how trustworthy your brand seems within seconds. Take a really good look — do you truly look credible? Would you trust your website with your credit card information?

4. WHERE MAGIC LIVES, IF SUCH A THING TRULY EXISTS.

Design + Technology + Content is the recipe for creating viable, professional, profitable products and services. Great design, compelling content, and easy ways to find your business online leaves room for unlimited potential. Leaving out one of these key elements is the difference in turning a product someone grimaces at with confusion into a product that people are actually excited to hear about and ready to buy.

If you happen to be in pocket 4,

congrats!

It's a good place to be. :^)