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Go Behind the Scenes With Us!

We strongly believe in incorporating video content to your overall comprehensive marketing strategy. Whether it’s using Facebook live, producing a YouTube show or a simple “How To”, video can really increase your engagement on social media as well as other marketing channels. The use of video on social media has exploded in 2018. On YouTube alone, over 5 BILLION video views are watched each day!

Videos are a fun, informative, and engaging way to reach your target audience. At DARCI Creative, we offer complete, turnkey video services to our clients and event organizers. We love showcasing our client’s brands using video in creative ways. Today we’re taking you behind the scenes with Dan Modern, DARCI Creative videographer, as he starts and finishes a video shoot for our client, HRCU.

Videos are an extension of your brand, so it’s important to be strategic about it. If you’re looking for video services from the pros, give us a call to talk about our services! We have a full-service team of videographers and editors that will elevate your brand with a fresh, creative approach – from storyboard and coordination to execution and post-production.

 

Daniele Hosser
DARCI Creative
Senior Account Executive

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Your Brand Is Not Your Logo!

The very first thing we like to do with all of our clients is to assess their brand. More often than not, a client will tell us their branding is all set because they have a nice looking logo. But your brand is not your logo.

Your brand is your promise. It’s critical to your success. It’s what people are going to say about you when you’re not in the room. Don’t you want to make sure they say the right thing?

We believe that strategic branding is the foundation to helping you reach your goals. That’s why our promise is: “Inside Out Brand Marketing.” We spend a lot of time with our clients, digging deep into what makes them unique – what sets them apart. That’s what makes us really good at what we do and it’s why our clients shine brightly amongst their competitors!

Once we know the ins and outs of your business and why it’s so amazing, we can create a logo and positioning line that makes sense and is strategically on-point. We are a strategic and thoughtful marketing agency, armed with many years of experience. We know what works and what doesn’t. We want your brand to last so that you don’t find yourself needing a rebrand in just a few short years.

Think about the most successful brands in America…Nike, Dunkin’ Donuts, TD Bank…to name a few. Their brands are so on-point from the start that they stand the test of time all these years later. No rebranding necessary. That’s what we’re talking about. And that’s what we do for our clients.

 

Pam Oulundsen
DARCI Creative
Project Manager & Data Analyst

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Brand Vision Board

Why it’s so important to create a brand vision board.

Certainly, you have a vision for your business – who you are, who you serve, where you want to be. But how does that translate into your brand?

Having a clear and concise vision for your brand is key, especially for a designer! I always find it to be the most helpful when our clients and team have a clear direction of what they want their brand to represent and emulate. We like to get down to the root of things and ask some key question before beginning. What colors are you drawn toward for your brand? What’s the look and feel you’re aiming for? Are you targeting a certain age group or gender? What message are you trying to convey? We take all of this information and start off our branding process with a brand vision board. Creating these boards can make you think about your ideal client and what will resonate with them and yourself.

I find it useful to peruse images, searching for keywords that are important to the brand. For instance, we have a client who was looking for help with her brand. She’s a contractor of sorts and was looking for help setting herself apart in a male-dominated industry. Although our team wanted to introduce femininity to differentiate her branding from others, we didn’t want it to be an obvious or over the top part of the design. We created imagery that revolved around interior renovations and the process, hand drawn elements with a lighter feel, and simple but bold colors. Through this process we were able to hone down a general look and feel for her, and from there begin design work on her logo and branding.

What makes this process so great is being able to check in with our clients and ourselves as a team. How do we feel about this general direction? Is this representing our client well and with intention? If all of our boxes are checked, then we move onto creating a beautiful and dynamic brand around our approved brand vision board.

By creating a brand vision board at the onset of a project gives us direction before we begin to design a logo can help create a cohesive brand image. In the end, your brand will reflect your business and your vision.

 

Riddy Hosser
Art Director
DARCI Creative

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Social Media Cheat Sheet

We hear it all the time, I don’t have time to be on Social Media. I don’t see the benefit in it for my businesses. We get it – business owners are a busy breed, and time is our biggest asset. We hear you, and we respect your value of time. But you know who does have time for Social Media? Your target market – those potential clients your business is craving!

It’s a great place to extend your brand and start meaningful dialogue with your community. We all want connection, and sometimes with a busy lifestyle and a serious time crunch, social media is the place to feel that connection. By having a business page on these channels, you can develop that relationship between your brand and the world at large.

One more thing: simply having these channels on social media helps your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) in a big way. When users search for your business, your pages will appear in the results, which makes a good impression to Google and its indexing bots that run behind the scenes. Not to mention, today’s generation will expect to find you online and will trust your brand more when they do, adding a bit of credibility to your business.

So, whether you’re responding to comments, nurturing prospects, sharing fresh content, or just letting the world know what time you close shop on a Friday, Social Media is a crucial piece of online presence to have – and we would say a necessary tool for businesses operating in this digital age.

Below we have laid out a guide on all sizes social media so you can look your best on all these channels. Unfortunately, contrary to popular belief, size does matter so if you’re in the ratio of these sizes you should be good, these are just the optimal sizes that are guaranteed to make your pages looking fresh. And for best practice as you upload your images, always be sure to test out on mobile because some dimensions will cut off unbeknownst to the user.

Need help resizing imagery – we suggest apps like PicMonkey or pixlr.com. Still need assistance call us up, we’d be happy to discuss a social media management kit for you

Facebook

Coverphoto:
Desktop
851px x 315px

Mobile
640px x 360px

Profile Picture:
170px x 170px
crops square and round

Posts:
504px x 504px

Event Cover Photo:
1200px x 675px

Twitter

Header size:
1500px x 500px

Profile Pic:
400px x 400px

Image
1200px x 675px

YouTube

Channel Banner:
2560px x 1440px

Channel Icon
800px x 800px

Instagram

Profile Picture
180px x 180px
crops round

Picture size
1080px x 1080px

LinkedIn

Profile Banner
1584px x 396px

Profile Picture Size
400px x 400px

Company Coverphoto
1536px x 768px

Company Logo
300px x 300px

Regan Bowlen
DARCI Creative
Art Department

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Making Illustrations Through Illustrator

Sometimes a brand needs a more personal feel. Perhaps it’s the handwritten signature of a key person in your organization. Or maybe it’s a free-hand drawing that will best represent your brand and help you stand out from the rest.

Graduating from college with a Studio Art major has sort of paved the way for my creative process and set me apart when comes to graphic design. Although I love to think in organized, technical ways, I also really enjoy getting to use my more free and creative side of my skillset from my fine art background. Having been trained in subjects like drawing, painting, and ceramics has allowed me to think outside the box in terms of branding and graphics and has allowed me to be a creative and critical thinker. With that said, incorporating drawings has been one of my favorite things to do! If you have the right tools and a willingness to learn, then you too can create!

Every client has different branding and creative needs, but it’s always fun to work on projects for clients that require handmade sketches, or digital sketches. Sometimes it’s nice to add hand sketch things, digitize them, and use them that way. Other times we need to be a little quicker and using a design program like Adobe Illustrator can help greatly!

Using illustrator to draw can create great look-a-like sketches. It’s a bit of a learning curve to draw with a mouse, and you will need a subscription or free trial for Adobe to start. You can choose to free hand sketch, find a photo to use to go off of for inspiration, or even trace a photo. You’ll want to start with your “Paintbrush Tool” (located in the left-hand sidebar). In your top bar you can select the “Brush Definition” you’d like, but I typically always start with the “Basic” line. This basically mimics a pencil and creates easy to see lines. In the left toolbar, you can select the color you would like to work with. It’s okay to leave this set to black if you’re working with a white background and just change the color after.

Once you have your tool, brush type, and color selected it’s time to get drawing! Allocate some extra time for getting used to the mouse’s movements. Press down on your mouse and hold while you move it to create a line. Once you get the hang of it and finish your drawing, click and drag your mouse selection over the entire drawing. Once you have it all selected, you can then play with the stroke you’d like! I love using Illustrator’s “ChalkCharcoalPencil” function. You can adjust the stoke of the line, making it thicker or thinner, by going to the top toolbar and using the “Stroke” element. You can use a predetermined size, or input your own width, such as .15. Once you have that all set, you can then select the color you’d like. Use what works best with the application and background.

And there you have it! It may take some extra work, but it’s worth it in the end to have original, hand drawn elements in your library of branded graphics.

 

Riddy Hosser
DARCI Creative
Art Director

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Choosing Your Brand Colors

Let’s talk about color in branding and design. Specifically, how to choose coordinating colors to be used throughout a brand.

Selecting the right colors for your brand is one the most important aspects of brand design. It all starts with the question: How do I want my brand to be perceived? Whether you’re looking for bold, eye-catching colors or more subdued tones, color plays a key role in identifying your brand – and the colors you choose will be used for years to come!

When I start a branding project, I like to think about the vision of the brand from fruition to years down the line. To me, it’s important to create a brand mood board first to really nail down the feel of your brand (after deciding who your target audience is, of course). Starting with a mood board gives us the groundwork for the imagery, textures, and colors that play into your brand. Starting with images that portray your brand can be a great way to draw color inspiration from.

Choosing colors that are cohesive, but also contrasting, can bring depth to your brand. For instance, your logo may have a bold red and a dark grey, but you may not want to always use those two colors. If your brand is bold, think about using tones and colors from the other side of the color wheel – greens and blues, maybe in softer shades to offset the louder red.

We recently created a brand and website for a local realtor whose logo uses red and grey. Although she loves red (which is why we initially chose it), we wanted her brand to have more depth and be more than just those two colors. Through her website, we were able to bring in a bold mustard, vibrant blue, and black through imagery to help portray her quirky personality and approach to real estate.

It’s also important to remind yourself that your brand doesn’t need to be full of color. Choosing subdued colors, grays, or even black/white can create an impact when paired with colors throughout a website, ads, social media, print – the list goes on! Just look for those complimenting colors to enhance your brand’s vision, and always go with your gut. The colors that resonate with you will translate into your brand, beautifully.

 

Riddy Hosser
DARCI Creative
Art Director

 

 

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K is for Kick-Ass Creative

 


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R is for Real

 The Case for Authenticity

photo 3If I could give you one word that sums up how to create and build a powerful Brand that works, it would be ‘authentic.’ Keeping it real is not just something you want to aim for in your romantic relationship, after all. Be real with how you communicate with your audience. Getting real about who you are as a company is the absolute first step to creating a Brand that is unique. Once you are clear about who you are and what you offer, you will have clarity about who your target audiences are. Who’s going to resonate with your Brand? Is it young, busy moms? High net worth individuals? Retired baby boomers? It makes a big difference when you truly understand your audience and you can communicate with them authentically. They will be drawn to what you’re selling when you are real.