Tag: branding

Dispatches from the Spry Hive: Week 34

Posted by Ken Moire & filed under Tips.

This post is part of a weekly series featuring the latest buzz around the Spry Hive.

“The power of the Web is in its universality. Access by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect.”
– Tim Berners-Lee

Advertising

The Reynolds Journalism Institute at the University of Missouri School of Journalism delivers the scoop on malvertising and its affect on the publishing and advertising industries.


Custom Avocados

Custom Avocados is pushing the boundaries of corporate tchotchke. That’s expensive guacamole.


Web Design & Development

Accessibility Refresher

If you design and build web products for humans, then this article about accessibility design from the team at Vox Media is a must read. Slide show included.


Some friendly pointers from UX Thought of the Day about designing a better style guide.


Misc

Blackbox Shipping

The creators of Cards Against Humanity have started a new shipping company that “works like a co-op” for independent artists and creators to get the lowest price.


Nextdoor has tweaked its algorithm for reporting incidents that has resulted in a significant reduction of racial profiling by its online community.


 

The Revenant movie reimagined as an 8-bit battle game. Warning: possible spoilers.


NASA wants YOU to go to Mars. These official posters put the call out for teachers, explorers, and farmers to help inhabit the red planet.


Enjoy your weekend and we’ll see you next week for the final Spry Hive of Summer, 2016!

Dispatches from the Spry Hive 2016: Week 18

Posted by Ken Moire & filed under Tips.

This post is part of a weekly series featuring the latest buzz around the Spry Hive.

“The world’s favorite season is the spring. All things seem possible in May.”
– Edwin Way Teale

Around Spry

Last Thursday night, Spry Digital hosted the monthly DevOps Meetup, where Andrew Lather led a discussion titled “Zero to SLDC”, which was about how to quickly stand up a systems development life cycle. If that sounds up your alley and you’d like to learn more about future events, join the DevOpsSTL group at Meetup.com.

Design

Courtesy U-Haul

The American Stove Company-Magic Chef Building in St. Louis has long been hiding one of the most stunning architectural treasures in the city, a 1940s era plaster and glass ceiling designed by artist Isamu Noguchi, that was unfortunately covered in drop ceiling in 1977. Now, building owners U-Haul have decided to restore it back to its former glory.

In branding, the most important thing you can do is establish a consistent brand everywhere. Brand.ai will assist you in creating a hosted style guide on the fly from your existing website.

Image courtesy of Medium.

Is there such a thing as too many typefaces on a project? If it’s a beautiful design, does it matter? This article makes the argument that it does not.

Web Design & Development

Keyword research tools like Google Keyword Tool have long been the key to building successful content plans and paid campaigns. Now online marketing company Moz has announced it is rolling out its own keyword research tool.

target=”_blank”. This seemingly benign piece of code may also be one of the most overlooked security vulnerabilities if you don’t give it a little attention.

Test your credit card forms with ease with the Dummy Credit Card Generator.

Our sides are still hurting after taking this developer test for cable network Adult Swim.

Misc

A team of researchers at the University of Sweden is trying to help humans understand the nuances of cat speak, coined by the team as “Meowsic”.

Enjoy the fiery demise of the Death Star in your backyard with this custom made fire pit.

Image courtesy of Trump Against Humanity.

It has come to this. [Trump Against Humanity]

If you’re the kind of person who thinks that you can never have too many friends, well you’d be wrong.

Being a bear in Yellowstone isn’t easy. But at least the scenery is nice.

For Mothers Day, here are some adorable pups and their loving mums.


Happy Mother’s Day to all of you moms of humans and furry creatures! See you for next week’s Spry Hive.

Spry Digital Launches New Brand Identity and Website For The Olive Link

Posted by Ken Moire & filed under Case Studies.

The four and a half mile business district along Olive Boulevard in University City has long been recognized as one of the most diverse in the St. Louis metropolitan area, hosting a variety of ethnic communities, eateries, shops and businesses. When The City of University City decided to embark on an initiative to bring visibility to this burgeoning business community, Spry Digital was engaged to develop a unique identity and website that would showcase the diverse attributes of the neighborhood while attracting new businesses to the area.

With input from the Olive Boulevard business community and The University City Chamber of Commerce, Spry Digital forged a new identity, The Olive Link, that speaks to the neighborhood’s geographic and cultural significance. As a main thoroughfare, “The Link” connects St. Louis City to the County. With its many ethnic businesses and restaurants, it connects St. Louis to the World. Spry Digital developed a brand voice deck, key messages and a vibrant logo system. The new logo, featuring four intersecting rings, is universal in design and symbolizes the four distinct business districts within The Olive Link, united as one community. The tagline “Get In The Mix” entices businesses, restaurants and patrons from all around the World to come explore all that The Olive Link has to offer.

The Olive Link Responsive Design

Spry Digital designed and developed an eye-catching responsive website built on the WordPress content management system. Features of the website include a commercial property database that provides prospecting businesses and property owners the ability to search available properties by type or use, and an interactive feature that invites visitors to explore the neighborhood. Content that inspires and communicates the vision of the up-and-coming business district was developed by Spry Digital from the intial brand voice work.

Spry Digital Case Study: The Olive Link brochure

To accompany the website, a printed brochure was also created by Spry Digital to share with visitors to the region. With the new identity and website, University City can sell The Olive Link as a viable option for businesses in the Midwest and beyond looking to set up shop in the St. Louis metro area and University City in particular. Here’s what the Deputy Director of Planning, Zoning and Economic Development Raymond Lai said about working with Spry: “Working well with city staff and a community stakeholder group, the responsive and talented Spry team was able to create The Olive Link brand and an impressive website for the 4-mile, 4-district commercial corridor of our City.”

See more of this project in our Work section.

Dispatches from the Spry Hive 2014: Week 39

Posted by Ken Moire & filed under Tips.

Hey, all! First and foremost, if there’s one thing that has been the talk of the town this week it’s St. Louis Design Week. No other event gathers the likes of entrepreneurs, local businesses, nonprofits and students to put their heads together like this. Throw in some workshops, open houses, and “Crappy Hour?” There are still a few activities going down at various local venues through Sunday night, so be sure to check them out for all of the details.

Now, for some quick-hits on what’s got us buzzing in The Spry Hive this week.

Branding

Ever think about Googling what the most-Googled brands are by each State? Luckily you don’t have to do all that work, because Adweek put-together this really neat colorful map of the US with the brand logos to match the States who adore them. What do your results say about your home state? Well, if you’re in Arizona, New Mexico and Oklahoma they might say you have a lot of fun, and a lot of hangovers. And if you’re in Minnesota you’ve got a big Target on your back.

Show Us on The Trilogy Where George Hurt You

Star Wars

You know it’s a good week when we have a whole section dedicated to one of our favorite movie franchises. May the Hive be with you…

Have you ever really sat down and thought about the true scope and like, actual physics that would be involved for the Death Star to exist? Yeah… we totally have too. But what about all of the actual energy it would take for it to destroy, say, Earth, just like it did Alderaan? Well, if you need a detailed breakdown of the actual Physics of The Death Star (and of course you do), you can find one right here. And if they ever break-down the evolution of the Ewoks, we’ll be sure to pass that on too.

While we’re on the topic, director-geek extraordinaire J.J. Abrams gave fans of both Star Wars and Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight movies something to lose their collective minds over when he sneaked a cleverly camouflaged Batmobile into this leaked shot of the Millennium Falcon. Expect Easter eggs aplenty from the new movies.

Tech

Imagine your phone “knowing” that traffic is heavy this morning, so it adjusts your alarm to wake you up a little earlier. Imagine being alerted that you just left a restaurant without your purse. Thanks to “Nearables,” these things and much more can be possible. Using tiny “beacons” that you place on objects and items, your phone or device can detect nuances in motion and proximity like never before.

Development

On the Development front, take a look at Takana, a live editor which lets you see your SCSS and CSS style changes in your browser as you type them. It’s a killer tool, and one of the simplest perks is no more hitting “save.”

Coding can be a real demon, but you don’t have to go it alone. We’re loving Exorcism, which is a platform that provides a test suite where you can practice coding in a variety of languages, have discussions with others about the coding choices you made, and maybe even meet new people.

Miscellaneous

If you loved the Snuggie, the Muumuu (yes, that’s the way you spell it), and hate all of the effort it takes to put on a suit, then come a little closer. The Suitsy, or as it’s coined “The Business-Suit Onesie” has arrived, and it may just change your life. Just imagine going to sleep in what feels like pajamas, waking a mere few minutes before you typically leave for work, and never getting dressed. Think of all the time and energy you could save! And after a full work week of this routine, won’t your co-workers be impressed?

Finally, what do you get when you combine the performance troupe Cirque du Soleil with drones? A whole lot of awesomeness, that’s what.


On that note, no need to drone-on. That should about cover the coolest stuff for the past week. As always thanks for reading, and we’ll meet-up same time, same place.

Dispatches from the SpryHive 2014: Week 5

Posted by spry & filed under Tips.

It’s been a busy week at Spry Digital. In case you missed all the goodness that was CiviDay for CiviCRM, check out our blog posts. Also up for your enjoyment is our most recent case study for Variety St. Louis.

Now on to more good stuff…

  1. With all the chatter about CiviCRM, this CMS infographic was timely.
  2. For a budding designer or for the child at heart, a kid’s guide to graphic design.
  3. What startups can learn from post mortems on ones that fail.
  4. AppPresser launches first mobile app framework for WordPress.
  5. Shaking up the corporate structure to go beyond the profit motive.
  6. Our offices are split 30/60 on PC/Apple, but we all agree the 30 Years of Apple is a beautiful site.
  7. How the Super Bowl kicked off the brand storytelling revolution.
  8. On the correct use of “Super Bowl” (hint: It’s trademarked)
  9. Speaking of, don’t do this.
  10. Or this.

And that pretty much sums up our week. So put your feet up this weekend, have a brewski and eat some Buffalo wings for us.

Welcome to the Nut House – Spry Digital Announces Launch of What-A-Ya Nuts?! Website

Posted by Ken Moire & filed under News.

Howie Sher is a man on a mission. As “Head of State” for What-A-Ya Nuts?!, an all-natural snack food company based in St. Louis, he wants you to think about what you’re eating and he’s going to make you smile in the process. With a grin-inducing brand and a hardcore following on Facebook (not to mention distribution at local grocery chains, movie theaters, and specialty stores), when What-A-Ya Nuts?! asked us to to produce the Whatayanuts.com website, you can imagine what we said.

What-A-Ya Nuts?! Interactive Feature

What-A-Ya Nuts?! interactive feature

The goal for us was clear: create a delivery mechanism for the What-A-Ya Nuts?! brand to express itself in the only way it knows how: FULL ON. The site, built on the WordPress content management system, includes a jQuery interactive feature and animated “easter eggs” that invite the visitor to explore the depths of “Snack In Sanity”. We also employed responsive web design techniques so that What-A-Ya Nuts?! is always putting its best face forward, whether viewed on a desktop monitor, tablet or smart phone.

What-A-Ya Nuts?! Responsive Website

What-A-Ya Nuts?! Responsive Website

What-A-Ya Nuts?! is truly a one-of-a-kind brand and we’d be nuts to say that we didn’t have a great time building it. Tell us what you think and make sure to check out What-A-Ya Nuts?! around the web:

Website: whatayanuts.com
Facebook: whatayanuts
Twitter: @whatayanuts

To Create a Successful Brand, Start With Your Mission

Posted by Ken Moire & filed under Branding.

Let’s face it, your organization is being judged by its cover. Your audience has more choices than ever for shopping, services, donating, etc., so first impressions are everything. Your brand is key in communicating why your audience should spend or donate their money to you.

Like brands, no two are alike.

A strong logo is important, but it’s only one piece of your brand. Branding encompasses all of the ways in which you communicate with your audience: logo, messaging, marketing, print, web design, content, social media. On the other side, branding is how your audience identifies you. “DNA” is often used when referring to branding – that’s because your brand is who you are – a unique identifier. No two snowflakes are alike, and neither are brands. Branding not only defines what you do, it should also communicate who you are and the manner in which you do it.

"It is our vision that every organization, whether it be a small business, startup, or nonprofit, regardless of the size, be able to afford and maintain a robust presence and technology platform." (from Spry Digital mission statement)

Ask yourself, is your brand communicating the right ideas about your organization? If you are unclear where to begin when evaluating the effectiveness of your brand, start with your mission (find ours on our Who We Are page).

An example of an organization that has clear branding derived from a strong mission is Kiva.org, the popular microlending site. Take a look at Kiva’s About Us page to see how they describe their mission.

In 2009, I attended a talk by the co-founder and CMO of Kiva, Jessica Jackley, at the Olin Business School at Washington University on the topic of social entrepreneurship. Jessica shared how her personal mission for helping others grew into forming a nonprofit organization. In the presentation, Jessica discussed the organizational challenges Kiva faced in the early days. She emphasized the importance of Kiva’s mission being the beacon from which every decision in the organization is made.

In one story, at a time when funding was critical, Kiva made the decision to refuse large, sometimes multi-million dollar loans from corporations because it did not fit within their mission of connecting individuals to each other through microfinancing (where anybody can see the direct benefit of their loan). This mission of connecting people is what differentiates Kiva from other lenders.

Kiva mission

Taken from Kiva.org home page

Last month, Kiva celebrated their sixth birthday and, to date, has helped make over $255 million in loans from 600,000 lenders with a repayment rate of 99%. It’s been one of the most successful nonprofit brands in the world due to their clear mission and branding.

How does your organization compare? Consider these points:

  1. Does your organization have a clear mission statement, and is it somewhere that anyone can see what it is? (Franklin Covey provides a mission building tool here.)
  2. Does your brand communicate the ideas in your mission? What does your audience take away from the messages they see?
  3. Consider tweaking your branding to reflect the environment in which you are doing business. Is your tone rigid or relaxed? Does it speak to your audience?
  4. Explore the latest technologies. There are a plethora of web solutions these days for nonprofits and small organizations that can stretch your contribution and operating dollars and can help you reach new audiences with your brand.

It’s easy to overlook these points when you’re involved in the day-to-day management of running your organization. When making small and large decisions, try to take the time to remember that everything stems from your mission and brand. Setting aside time to focus on your branding will make your organization’s fundraising and/or operations more effective.

Join the Spry Digital Kiva Team and begin lending for as little as $25.