Design: The New Differentiating Factor
According to Fast Company Magazine, design is a "sustainable competitive advantage." Forbes Magazine wrote "All businesses, no matter what they make or sell, should recognize the power and financial value of good design."
Our world is becoming increasingly design-aware as other competitive differentiaters dwindle to being barely perceptible.
We Take the Pain Out of Getting Good Design
Hiring a design firm is not always an easy task. But we think it should be — we are, after all, in the business of communication. Still, there are many stories of projects getting delayed, freelancers flaking out, professional graphic design firms completely missing the mark, typos, programming problems, personality disorders, ill-fitting black turtle-necks ... oh, the list goes on! And we feel your pain. That's why we created BOLD TYPE DESIGN, the design company that takes the pain out of getting good design – so we could make our own rules, design things that really help our clients, and have fun doing what we love!
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Bold Type Design approached the project from a strategic perspective which made the final product exactly match the business goals. The design was killer, but best of all the entire project was done on time.
Assignment: Keynote Presentation
Client: AT&T Brand Team
Presenting to the internal brand team of a national brand will always test your familiarity with their brand identity, but delivering a presentation with 85 slides will test much more than that. With this presentation, which delved into the competitive landscape, consumer insights, and emerging trends, it was important to keep the audience focused on the story. This was achieved with a strong internal structure, using separator slides and a repeating rhythm to help audience members understand where they were in the presentation, and help them foresee what was coming next.
These kinds of assistive devices help audiences keep up with your presentation, allowing them to focus on the story you're presenting, making your presentation all the more persuasive.
Assignment: Educational Presentation for the Internal Sales Team
Knowing your audience's level of technical knowledge and understanding of the concepts you're presenting is a huge benefit when designing a PowerPoint. It means being able to talk to them in very relevant terms, without the need for slides designed to get potential laggers up to speed. In this case, the presentation was for Google's internal sales team, educating them about some new features being rolled out for advertisers. With the sales team's intricate understanding of the content matter, we were able to cut to the chase and simply explain how to introduce the new features to clients.
Assignment: Presentation to Board Members
Client: Ericsson MediaRoom
Assignment: Website Redesign
Client: Elaine Bell Catering, Napa Valley
Elaine Bell Catering, one of Napa Valley's most long-standing and reputable catering companies, came to us with an outdated, poorly designed Flash-based website, impossible to update, and which failed to communicate the level of talent Elaine Bell brought to the table. (table – get it?) They needed a fresh new site loaded with grace and charm, just like their people. They needed ... Bold Type Design!
We began the process with individual stakeholder inerviews with the four key personnel involved in the redesign, representing the vision, the technology, the budget, and the ongoing upkeep, gathering some very different points of view, and also seeing areas of great overlap. This was a tremendous help in defining the priorities of the new site, and getting everyone on board with the same set of goals. From here, we were able to map out a timeline for getting the project completed, and this timeline informed everyone of their responsibilities for delivering content, being available for review meetings, and so on.
A big focus of the site's redesign was incorporating a large number of stunning photography, which displayed randomly to keep the appearance of the site fresh, but which could also be navigated by the user.
The site saw a nice improvement in user engagement, as evidenced by the User Flows report in analytics, and this has coincided anecdotally with more calls from prospective clients.
Assignment: Flash Modules
Marketing Collateral System
Client: Wells Fargo International
Creating a marketing collateral system represents a significant investment for any organization, large or small. The best marketing collateral systems are tight enough to stand out as a unified, cohesive system with all the parts fitting together, yet flexible enough to accomodate new pieces that are requested after the system has been designed, without breaking the system.
For Wells Fargo International, the challenge was to create a system that was modular enough to represent their five separate businesss lines within a larger, cohesive system. This needed also to stay within Wells Fargo's corporate brand standards, while appealing to an international audience. And one last thing: this system needed to stand out as unique and recognizable within a saturated financial services marketplace.
To represent the concept that Wells Fargo is in all places, in all currencies, we developed a stylized world map comprised of currency symbols from around the globe. This served our needs well, as we were able to create several different iterations based on this concept that could be used in each of the five different business lines.
Assignment: Brochure Design
Client: Bayview/Hunters Point YMCA
When we first met with the folks at the Bayview/Hunters Point YMCA to talk about designing a brochure for them, they were on their fouth attempt to get through the process, each time hitting a brick wall deciding what to say. But this time would be different, because they had received board approval on the final draft of the content, six pages of text in 10 point type.
It had not been easy for them to curate the story of who they are within their community, as the YMCA is so many things to so many people. Yet, they were asking a lot of their readers.
After just a few minutes discussing how likely they thought it was that their audience would actually read all that text, our clients agreed to toss it aside in favor of some direct quotes from some of the kids, parents, and seniors who participate in their programs, accompanied by vivid photography of the program participants. We were stunned and impressed by our clients' willingness to take a chance with a new approach, and let their members do the talking! This was a brave move, and they were rewarded richly for it - members were thrilled to see their YMCA representing the people who make it great, the brochure resonated warmly with the community who felt that they were not being marketed to, and ... board members were pleased!
Assignment: Email Marketing Automation Templates
Client: Western Independent Bankers
As a membership-based organization, Western Independent Bankers needs its members to feel they are getting value for their annual dues. This is made easy with marketing automation that uses timed emails to keep members informed and to announce new offerings and events.
Of course, one size does not fit all, so we identified 10 different audience segments that we wanted to address with automated emails and designed a template for each. These segments were comprised based on activity, membership status (new members, members coming up for renewal, etc.) interests, position, and history, and of course, there were plenty of instances of overlap (think of a gigantic Venn diagram!)
By making it easy for members to identify resources and access benefits, members felt more engaged, and consequently were able to realize tangible value from their association with Western Independent Bankers.