Archive for the ‘Graphic Design’ Category:

Keep That Brand Neat and Tidy

using brand guidelines
One of the biggest thrills I get as a designer is seeing our team’s work out in the real world—whether it be a simple brochure or complex website, it’s just plain cool to see people interact with the materials that we create for our clients.

So what happens when a company gets sloppy and starts using questionable fonts or unusual color palettes? Well as a designer, I can tell you that we cry a bit on the inside and hold a support group on the second Tuesday of every month.

That might not be totally true, but it is true that we really care (sometimes irrationally) how companies extend their marketing efforts from their core brand. As an agency we feel it is our duty to help our clients put their best marketing foot forward—and this often means returning our focus to the core brand identity.

Insert the brand standards manual. You know that pretty little guide that says to use Pantone 532C and 10pt Avenir Light among other designer mumbo-jumbo? Well it’s very easy for these guidelines to get lost in the shuffle of actually running a business, but with a little bit of time and attention these standards can really help strengthen your brand.

At a minimum, here is a short list of standards to keep that brand neat and tidy:

Logo
This is the face of your brand, treat it like such. Ensure that proper scale, padding and coloring is adhered to no matter the application.

Type
This is often the easiest standard to lose control over. Double-check internal materials and other marketing pieces to be sure that everything uses proper fonts and styling.

Color
Ensure that the proper color palette is applied uniformly for both print and digital mediums.

You may not have a 200-page brand bible like Nike or Coca-Cola, but that doesn’t mean that your business can’t maintain a consistent appearance. Just take some time to evaluate your marketing efforts to ensure that your brand is ringing true to the core identity that has helped make you awesome in the first place.

Mobile-First (and Foremost)

Twelve years ago, my first cell phone had a two-color screen and all the essentials: an interchangeable face plate, the ability to text (with the need to delete messages one by one when your inbox was full), and of course Snake. If I were to accidentally access the internet, I’d slip into a panic and hit the back button repeatedly to avoid any substantial data charges to my parent’s cell phone bill.

Cell phones have come a long way since then. In fact, in just two short years, it is predicted that more than 90% of internet users will access content through their phones. A mobile-first strategy may not be a new concept (Google began to toss the idea around in 2010), but it is one that is becoming even more relevant as time progresses.

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For those not immersed in the design field, let me catch you up to speed. “Mobile-first” simply refers to the idea that when designing a responsive website the designer will focus first on the mobile version, and then move to designing and expanding on that for the desktop version. Previously, it was customary for the desktop version to be designed first, but this gives priority to the desktop/laptop users. With mobile devices seemingly taking the place of desktops and laptops, it is essential that businesses have a user-friendly mobile version of their websites.

If you think about it in terms of “building up” versus “breaking down,” it is much easier to build up content, starting with the essentials, rather than break it down, where pertinent information may get lost in the mobile version. Instead of facing the difficult decision of what to cut, we are able to decide what to add to make it even more powerful once it comes time to design for desktop.

Mobile-first web design is important and allows for the following:

  1. Websites have a further reach. With more individuals turning to phones and tablets for browsing the internet, the ease and convenience of a well-designed, mobile-friendly version enables businesses to cater to those users and make their browsing experience a more enjoyable one.
  2. Designers focus on the main content and the purpose that it serves. Hierarchy is essential for mobile-first design where the most important content can be found on top. In contrast, with a desktop version, content may be side by side for equal status. Pertinent information must be easy-to-find and this ensures that the site works seamlessly.
  3. Designers are inspired to utilize technologies to further user experience. From touch screens to GPS capabilities, there are some things not all desktop computers allow. Geolocation, for example, allows the user to pull up information relevant to their particular area.

The end result is this: when we focus on the key tasks and content that we want the user to see, we are able to get rid of the fluff that takes up extra space. No one wants to scroll excessively or pinch and zoom on small screens to find what they are looking for. With mobile-first web design, the user has a good experience and a good experience is good for business.

New Website Launch: Key Behavior Services

Our team was excited to launch a new website for Key Behavior Services, a firm that provides Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services to children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder or other diagnoses. Key was awesome to work with as they gave our team a lot of creative freedom to put together a truly unique site for them.

Our goal with the website was to simply lead a visitor through the content in a logical order so that their was a clear understanding of Key’s varied service offerings. The website itself is a single page and each section easily flows to the next giving the visitor a comfortable user experience.

We incorporated sticky navigation into the site structure so a visitor is able to easily jump to any location on the page. The site is also responsive, being built on the 996 grid and utilizes the SlickNav plugin developed by Josh Cope.

We can’t thank Key Behavior enough for the opportunity to work together and wish their company continued success.

Key Behavioral Services Website Design by C-3 Group in Dayton

The website is responsive, allowing easy viewing on all devices.

New Website Launch: Rue Dumaine Restaurant

Rue Dumaine is known throughout our area and beyond for their focus on local and high-quality ingredients. Over the years, their site became outdated and Anne, Tom and the “Krewe” at Rue Dumaine were ready for an update. We were faced with the challenge of designing and developing a beautiful sight that mirrored the beautiful food and atmosphere of the restaurant.

The Rue Dumaine website is responsive and fits to any size device.

The Rue Dumaine website is responsive and fits to any size device.

The site is responsive, built on the 996 Grid and features the SlickNav Navigation. We focused on highlighting certain features on mobile, such as the Open Table reservation plug-in, the phone number, hours, and social media icons. However, even though these features are prevalent, the food photography is also very eye catching. Luckily for us, Tina and Nick of 42Krewe Photography took some extraordinary cuisine photos that we were able to use on the site.

The Rue Dumaine clientele checks the site regularly to see each day’s different specials. To accommodate, we developed the site with a Drupal Content Management System — allowing the staff to change menus, wine lists, and more very easily. Anne also updates the blog each week, telling the story of each week’s menus and her inspirations behind each dish.

If you have been to Rue Dumaine (and you really should go!) you will notice their distinct personality. While Anne and her staff have won numerous awards, they are still very much down to earth. It was an absolute pleasure to work with Anne and Tom on this website and we hope it serves them well for a long time to come.

New Website Launch: Sidecar Global Catering

Sidecar Global Catering Website Design by the C-3 Group

Sidecar’s New Website Design

We recently launched a new website for Sidecar Global Catering located in Columbus, OH. The C-3 Group was able to work closely with that not-so-distant catering company to deliver a fresh, modern website design.

The driving force behind the development of the microsite was to provide more information for Sidecar’s customers and better analytics and maintenance internally for the catering department. C-3 was tasked in taking single pages from the Barcelona Restaurant & Bar, the parent company to Sidecar Global Catering, and developing a fully-serviceable microsite.

We are pleased to have had the opportunity to collaborate with owner Scott Heimlich and the staff of Sidecar Global Catering to complete the project.

Visit Sidecar to view their catering services, menu, party planning tips, pictures, who they are, and how they can make your event exceptional!