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August 29th, 2014 :: text by

:: Thoughts on Stock… ::

When starting a project that begins with naming and progresses all that way through web design and marketing strategy – stock photography can be a part of the beginning, middle or end of the process. It is the rare solo logo design or all-artwork-provided project that we don’t go looking for a single supporting image. Occasionally – we begin looking for photography and end up looking at stock illustration or patterns because they support the brand identity and the site content even better. This pattern was a top candidate from a recent project where a science-y, space-y look suits the client’s content really well – especially in their service menu and the section of their site that details their working process.

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Patterns, illustrations or photography – always tell the story with visuals! Check out this lady… what’s her story? And do you find this good stock or bad?

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That, of course is subjective to the opinions of any designer or branding manager – I personally have a pet peeve for images of anyone feeling frustrated – not as high a level of annoyance for me as alarm clocks going off in TV commercials (seriously – it’s the worst – darn you McDonald’s!) but pretty high nonetheless. I just think, why? People have stressful lives – why should any individual’s stress be compounded by seeing someone freaking out like this poor woman – OUCH – so many crazy chalky thoughts fighting to get out of her mind!! Clearly  what she needs is a white board or a stack of post-its or maybe an eraser, stat! I jest, but really – I think this cliche of ‘show me someone stressed out because they’re using our competitor’s product/they don’t know our services exist’ is a ship that though it will never sail away – it really should. We’d all be happier and probably buy less stuff though, which no one in sales would ever want, but we think there’s another way – show what doing business with you WILL look like!

But don’t go overboard in the Disneyland deep-end. The same client we used cube patterns for actually sent us the following image and a caution to please NOT pull any stock images that look like this:

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I’m a little sad that we listened to them. Sad because this photograph is everything I want in a picture of people conducting a meeting. Everyone remembered to wear neutral colors and smile like their lives depended on it. I’m kidding of course, this is yet another cliche that I think can be avoided – direct posed smiles delivered from a ‘candid’ stance. It’s this hybrid that is hilarious… action body, perfect faces. I’m glad the client sent this because hearing from them or from you – what you DON’T want – speaks volumes and keeps us looking for what DOES move you! p.s. imagine if meetings about pie charts were really this fun.. I bet you can’t. And that’s why this stock photograph is a major fail.

Here’s one that surprised me – an image we are electing for a client that makes it easier for mobile device users to make small purchases.

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Same model as the stressed out chalkboard image – but here – her emotion is genuine. And this image – with artistry from the photographer that could make this seem ‘not perfect’ enough for a one client – but another might be captivated by it. It reads as a real slice-of-life and with the right copy – would definitely persuade me to upload a new app or browse a website on my phone. It all feels really clean, modern, real and inviting.

So a conclusion/moral of this story popped into my head as I looked at the different images here and considered all the stock images I’ve seen eeko use over the past year. It’s something Mother Theresa said when she was invited to an anti-war protest : “I was once asked why I don’t participate in anti-war demonstrations. I said that I will never do that, but as soon as you have a pro-peace rally, I’ll be there.”  When we search through stock tirelessly looking for what you DO DO (which might give us a few chalkboard stress lines!), the smiles will be real ones. Promise!

Bonus points given to anyone who comments a link to the funniest stock image you’ve seen – and it has to be your own find – can’t be from a Buzzfeed round-up! 





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!

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!