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August 18th, 2014 :: text by

:: Fantastic Etsy shops by local Phoenix artists ::

Like most people, we dig Etsy. We could spend hours dangerously shopping online and purchasing cool items. Wouldn’t it be rad if we could online shop AND support our local Phoenicians? Why yes, yes it would. And we can.

Here are some Etsy peeps whose products we love:

Baby Teith

COOL baby clothes! Tiffe Fermaint uses digitally printed organic cotton fabric and the clothing focuses on science and music. They have a fabric designed by a local artist named Yai that is absolutely fun and crazy. Kim and Kanye just ordered some of these clothes for baby North!

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 Adam Rabbit

Ashley Pasquan has been making gorgeous jewelry and is definitely getting noticed by boutiques across America. We love the natural, yet geometric design of her jewelry. They’re very simple but still retain that edge that us jewelry junkies love.

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And last but sure as hell not least …

Crafty Chica

Kathy Cano-Murillo makes everything from prints to hand painted ceramics to jewelry, all of which are MESMERIZING! Who knew that the love child of Dia de Los Muertos and punk crafts could be so beautiful. We dig her collage style and use of hot colors.

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Alrighty people, clicky clicky! Get yo’ shop on.

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July 25th, 2014 :: text by

:: How we brand ::

Here at eeko, we’ve had our hand in naming projects and companies, helping create an identity for our clients. Yeah, we’re awesome. (But you already knew that.)

We don’t have a step-by-step agenda we follow as we go through this process. Gasp, you say? Why not, you ask?

Well, because every client is different. And there are different approaches in choosing a name and identity for a brand.

The longer approach, done by our brand expert Robin Bramman, is a thorough process that helps develops a client’s brand strategy that builds on their vision, business goals and reflects an in-depth understanding of the customer’s needs and perceptions. Once a clear voice and identity has been establish, the eeko design team works its magic to create designed brand pieces our clients love. Yes, this takes some time to go through all the steps, but you will finish the process knowing your brand inside and out. It will be your brand baby.

A quicker approach involves a discovery meeting with a client, getting to know them and their vision and goals of their company. We ask questions, listen to their story of their company, and take all the factors into account when we start to brainstorm names. Some clients bring us examples of things they like and have some names they already like, some have nothing. Any of these approaches are totally fine!

After the first meeting, we brainstorm as a team and come up with a list of ideas. We meet with our client again to present the ideas. From there, it can take a couple different paths:

1. The client chooses one right there, DONE!

2. The client likes a few, likes a word from this a word from that, or the idea behind another. And we’ll still have some work to do.

3. The client doesn’t find any they are attracted to and we’re  back to the drawing board.

We don’t mind either reaction. As stated before, every client is different! But one thing they all have in common is that when the process is over, they will end up with something that is perfect for them and something they are proud to have represent their brand.

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July 18th, 2014 :: text by

:: Emoji talk ::

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Once upon a time, 1982 to be exact, Scott Fahlman came up with the idea to put together three punctuation marks: a colon a dash and a closed parentheses and to make the universal symbol (on the web) for happiness.

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From that point on, the concept of conveying emotions via text message, email, the web, etc., has exploded in popularity. Here at eeko, we love emojis, and we know that you do too. We are here to tell you: HEY! That’s OK!

From the kitty with hearts for eyes to the smiley pile of poo, this concept of logograms and pictographs started long ago. We aren’t new in wanting to express ideas and feelings through pictures and symbols, but what IS new is their hilarity, innovative design and efficiency. Originally created in Japan by DoCoMo i-mode to reduce the amount of data created by picture messaging, emojis are a great mode of universally understood language and can easily bring giggles to any conversation and also free up character space in texts.

With technological aptitude came the ability to express feelings with icons, which is … AWESOME. We attempt to express ourselves every day, and any mode or design that can assist us/make us laugh, we approve of.

Here are some emojis we like:

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Here are some emojis we are slightly puzzled about:

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Shout out to you emoji users! Peace, ya’ll.

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July 11th, 2014 :: text by

:: asana love ::

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In this complex world, where everyone is always connected, somehow managing multiple projects can still become overwhelming.

The time spent checking emails from clients and your team can consume a massive portion of the day. Then you still have to check on project progress and review how each task is coming along. Luckily, there are many different products out there that have been created to tackle this problem. Basecamp, Wrike. and Harvest are all popular project management platforms.

However, here at eeko, we are in love with Asana.

Why? Let’s count the ways;

No. 1, the simplicity and clean look of the software. The design is easy on the eyes and allows for users to quickly find what they are looking for and move on to the next task. Inside each task is a glimpse of the current status and  you can see the conversation between the members included in that task.

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The Asana team solicits and listens to user feedback and makes changes to the software quickly. Asana does not rest with its design and functionality. Instead, it continues to update and create a better user experience.

Asana allows us to communicate without having to use email. Email can gobble up time and so eliminating emails that are project-based allows us more time to design. You are able to add clients to the projects in Asana and communications there stay clearly visible.

Asana also has amazing easter eggs. Explore personal settings and activate some fun “hacks” to keep you going as you complete your tasks.

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Finally, Asana has a great API that allowed many companies to create extensions. These extensions allow you to customize Asana to fit your current needs. Check out the long list here: https://asana.com/apps

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June 27th, 2014 :: text by

:: And now for something… ::

 

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Here at eeko, there’s always a number of interesting projects at various stages of work. Sometimes it happens that multiple things are wrapping up, or we are in the middle of everything… right now, it seems we are in the beginning stages with a bundle of new clients! We’ve been sought out by a group of doctors to help them refresh their branding as they are in a super competitive category and with insurance paying for less in this specific area – the cash paying customer is king and these docs know they need to stay current. We’ve been found by an architect who also wants to refresh his brand graphics and create a whole new website to show his portfolio and impress potential new clients. And we’ve now met with a new cafe that wants to bring fresh juices and salads into what looks to be a really rad spot – the DeSoto building on Central and Roosevelt. As the ‘admin-lady’ here at eeko, this means I am busy with getting-to-know-you meetings and I always ask new clients if they are ‘email people’ or ‘phone people’, as I truly need to know! Good design needs good communication – and we get complimented often for being clear communicators and for delivering what we promised when we said we would. We’re thrilled when we are a good fit with our clients – i.e. we love to collaborate! Even if you take only an introductory meeting with us, we will be throwing great ideas your way. We are always hoping to make a difference in our community – whether someone decides to go with eeko (no really, you should!!)  or they find someone else that somehow suits them better. We love small businesses and the amazingly alive energy of launching – or relaunching – a brand!

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June 13th, 2014 :: text by

:: Phoenix is about to get a whole lot healthier! ::

We’ve recently taken on a project called Healthy Food Phoenix. This is a program that hopes to infiltrate the existing small markets/corner stores/bodegas within the Garfield neighborhood to transform them into healthy food systems. This is a really great program because the goal is to decrease obesity, diabetes, and other health risks that can occur by not eating enough healthy foods. For the people in this specific neighborhood, access to healthy food choices is minimum. Most corner stores that people walk to and shop at barely have any fresh fruits or vegetables to offer.

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This client wanted a very specific look for the logo, so we set out on an adventure to the Garfield Neighborhood and did some research. To understand the project fully, we wanted to take a look around the area the program would be serving. We wanted to get a feel for it and get inspired by it. For the look of the logo, the client’s idea was for it to have a mural feel. There were plenty of amazing murals and graffiti throughout Garfield for us to look at.

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After snapping some photos of the neighborhood street art, we headed back to work to get started on some logo ideas with these murals still fresh in our minds. A couple days and a few revisions later we had a logo! Then came the business cards!

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Next up, more collateral to be used as handouts to give away to let the people know the issue, the plan to help and what they can do. Stay tuned, I’m sure you’ll be seeing more of Healthy Food Phoenix!

 

 

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June 6th, 2014 :: text by

:: Experience the City ::

Everyday millions of people in Phoenix wake up, get dressed, get in their automobile and drive to their jobs. They travel alone, slowly zig-zagging through traffic, stopping and going. By the time they arrive to the office the amount of stress that they have encountered already begins to place a burden on them. As designers we have the ability to craft a route to work that allows people to enjoy the morning and experience our city in a meaningful way. Phoenix is growing and continues to reinvent itself, every day it is possible to experience something new, falling deeper in love with the city.

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Ditching the automobile not only allows you to become healthier physically and mentally, it is also a great money saver. Also, another wonderful aspect of ditching the automobile is that you are saving the planet from harmful emissions.

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However, the most important aspect of traveling through the city under your own power is that it allows you to be inspired by every trip. You will notice little details about the city that otherwise would be a blur. Details in the building stonework and the generosity of the people that work throughout the city. The ability to come across a location and to be able to see work that takes place on a project, is something that is not really possible in an automobile. The relationship that you build with Phoenix will be passed on through the work that you do, through your heart.

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May 29th, 2014 :: text by

:: What Makes a Worthy Billboard ::

Let’s talk about billboards. Yes, they clog our eyeballs everyday, inform us, infuriate us, and give us a good belly laugh at their mistakes. So what truly makes a WORTHY billboard? As Phoenicians, shouldn’t we have a say in what we want to look at during our daily commute? Why yes, yes we should! Listen up Phoenix businesses, we are here to help. Here are four awesome examples of billboards we like.
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1. Readability, contrast, and concept all in one! Adding perspective and the slightest bit of texture can do so much. Not only can you absorb the message quickly, the design is pleasant to look at and even encourages drivers to think about sharing the road while on the road.

 

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2. Even at 60 miles per hour, this is pretty darn funny. Bonus points for making your company name readable as well and convincing us that getting new flooring could be comical. This goes to show that not every good billboard uses bright colors, and vice versa. Using colors that convey the feeling of your company is key.

 


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3. Literally thinking outside that billboard box. Simple yet recognizable additions work well. Look at this enormous stethoscope, it’s mildly hilarious and gets the point across. The blue background blends in nice with the Phoenix sky and those white letters look crisp and clean. We also like the “punny” factor to this.

 

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4. Having a large phone number right in the middle of the billboard is great. You may have the most beautiful billboard ever but if we cannot read your contact info, you have lost us. This one is also a great example of proportionate image and text. Nice work!

 

OK, here is what NOT to do:

1. Though spelling errors are hilarious, try to avoid them at all cost.

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2. We know that you have a lot to say about your business, but keep it to a minimum. Please keep in mind how fast your audience will be driving while viewing your advertisement. Cute dogs though!

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3.  Show us that contact info nice n’ big! Maybe even massive. If the contact info is not readable, then how the heck are we going to reach you?! Not exactly sure why the image of back muscles are larger than the web address and phone number combined…police recruitment ad 480w

4. Finally, tell us who you are. Your name is just as important as what you have to say. Don’t keep us guessing, unless that is your intention. Yes, we agree with you, but WHO are you.

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Thanks for reading, peace ya’ll.

 

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May 16th, 2014 :: text by

:: Storytelling in video ::

Here at eeko, we’ve been geeking out on video clips as web-sites that feature video are becoming prominent and popular and clients often ask for our artistic input. We’d show you some websites that use it on their homepage – but we’d be advertising our competition – design studios and digital agencies. But look for fullscreen video clips to start happening more and more as businesses see the effect of auto-start videos on Facebook and video intro ads on YouTube. We look for great engagement and storytelling in video clips – here’s a few stand-outs from our latest look into video for a few different clients of ours, replete with pans, close-ups, slow and fast motion, and focus ~ ENJOY!

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May 8th, 2014 :: text by

:: Grow Through Design – The Process ::

Hey guys!

We recently decided that we needed to update our social media graphics, especially with the new twitter update. Our previous graphics were a little dated and didn’t really match what we’ve been up to lately. I decided to go with a more custom look for our pages and thought using some handwritten type could be fun!

eeko uses the phrase “Grow Through Design” quite often so I thought this would be the perfect quote for this project. I decided to take the idea straight to my Moleskin notebook to draw out some ideas. I’m quite the “noob” if you will, when it comes to handwritten type. I know I’ve got a lot to learn but wanted to challenge myself to create something a little more organic for the eeko team. The first sketch below was what I initially had in mind.

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Originally, I wanted to try and create a circle with the text by using “swashes” to fill the empty space. As you can see above, I had some ideas but I just couldn’t get it to where I wanted. After multiple revisions to these swashes, I still wasn’t happy with where they were going but decided to take the design into illustrator. Below, you can see that I had a rough version going but again I wasn’t digging the swashes.

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I liked the direction of the type so I decided to axe the swashes and hone in the type.

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I took off the swashes and started to refine the type. I went through a few variations and asked for some feedback from the team and finally ended up with this:

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I still liked the idea of having this within some kind of circle as I feel like it helped complete the overall look. So, I added a circle around the piece as well as some texture to finish it off. And this was the edit we used for our new social media pieces!

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This project tested my patience over the course of trying to refine it but we are all really happy with the final result! I learned a few new things in the process and hope to use it on something similar in the future.

 

Hayoo!

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