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Weekend Links 4/19/14

Saturday April 19th, 2014

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Cookie shots.

Cat Band.

Awesome treehouses.

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Better than your real house. Photo by Clark Vandergrit.

Worst Wheel of Fortune contestant ever.

Celebs Then and Now.

World’s toughest job.

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Operations Manager and Associate. Photo by Karen Pearson.

Risky selfie.

The power of Instagram.

Hoppy Easter everyone!

Photographers Update:

Winnie Au featured on No Plastic Sleeves & Refinery 29

Dom Romney featured by Canon.

Sebastien Staub featured on No Plastic Sleeves.

Claudia Susana featured in Vanity Fair.

Design: Rich Fleischman’s New Look

Friday April 18th, 2014

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by Melissa Ginsiorsky

Rich Fleischman is a Minneapolis-based food and portrait photographer. Rich began his WM consulting journey with a Branding & Marketing Plan  in which we recommended that his logo and website could both use a fresh perspective and a new coat of paint. Being a few years old, his site wasn’t up to current web standards. And since the site wasn’t responsive and scalable to the gamut of mobile devices, Rich was missing out on a chunk of web traffic that could be working in his favor.

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With all of this in mind, Rich decided to move forward with a Graphic Identity and a Web Template Customization. When someone starts design work with us, we always begin with the logo. Your logo—paired with your work—is the foundation of your brand, and every other marketing piece, from your website to your print mailers to the signature you use in your emails, should channel that cohesive branding. Rich was looking for a mark that was both clean and distinctive. I created a first round of options for him with this in mind (below).

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Rich narrowed the first round down to a couple options, expressing that he wanted to keep the mark simple and make the ‘F’ more recognizable if we’d be using a drop cap. So I created a second round that would be understated but memorable, and most of all extremely legible since Rich’s last name is somewhat of a doozy (something I can definitely relate to).

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Rich ended up choosing this last option, loving the clean appeal and sense of depth that it created. His only qualm was that this option didn’t have a cool monogram to accompany it like the other options. So as we moved into color exploration, I dove into some monogram exploration as well.

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Rich selected the above palette, pairing a steely blue with a pale gray, and after many monogram options, we finally settled on a winner.

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With his new logo all taken care of, we moved onto Rich’s website. We discussed the different template sites we typically recommend— Squarespace and aPhotoFolio. I tend to recommend Squarespace over aPhotoFolio because while aPF’s Design X is a mobile-optimized template, it doesn’t display quite as well on mobile devices. Squarespace offers an array of templates which are equally customizable and responsive to different screen sizes, so your exact site will transform itself for an ideal viewing experience, depending on the screen size at hand. Rich chose to move forward with Squarespace and we commenced with the customization.

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Rich was pleased with how easy it was to upload and arrange the pictures on his new site, as well as the big beautiful images it displays, the intuitive functionality, and the ease with which we were able to migrate and integrate his former WordPress blog into Squarespace. You can check out his new site for yourself right here. Overall, working with Rich has been a pleasure, and it seems that the feeling is mutual:

Melissa was a breeze to work with!  A great listener, I felt she really understood my hopes for a fresher brand logo and look and my concerns as well (I have a long consonant and vowel heavy last name).  She was always right on top of everything for me and the process moved along briskly, but not hurriedly. As I have been working on a new website as well, Melissa was able to coordinate a seamless look with the new logo and new paginations, taking the guesswork out of the process.  I’m very happy with her work, and thoroughly enjoyed working with her!

I’m looking forward to working with Rich again soon, and can’t wait to hear how his new branding works out for him. Until next time, don’t forget to check out all of our design consulting services, and drop me a line if you’re interested in a new identity or if you’d like to build out your own brand. We’d love to hear from you!

Double Exposure

Thursday April 17th, 2014

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by Liz Ream

Ever since Sebastien Staub watched the shadowy intro to the recent hit HBO series True Detective, a personal project has been budding in his mind. He wanted to apply the double exposure technique to his industrial and corporate photography, saying that it will “push his work where he wants it to go”:

Clients need to see more and more what the final image will be like without having to imagine it. Most of the time they hire photographers who have already done this type of picture. I wanted to push it further and apply a homogenous style to the series with specific tones and colors so my potential clients could easily think to apply this concept to their brand.

The models were shot in studio while the background images were from a New York trip. Sebastien featured the project in his most recent newsletter and has already received positive response and new clients.

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For more of Sebastien’s work, visit his website.

Route 101

Wednesday April 16th, 2014

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by Liz Ream

It’s Wednesday, so why not take a trip down the west coast on the historic Route 101 with photographer Ben Sklar. Ben has always been fascinated with the beauty and isolation of this western edge highway:

Simple serendipity brought me to shoot the images while traveling and exploring with friends. I went there and couldn’t resist. Photographically, it turned out to be a great opportunity to open myself up to making landscape images and start to explore how people interact with the world.

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The highway features everyone from explorers to hitchhikers to beautiful scenery, acting as an avenue for people to explore the pacific northwest and the communities that populate it.

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Ben described it as a liberating time, with no deadlines or deliveries: “It reinforced the idea that shooting for yourself is the foundation of producing great work. The most challenging issue was editing the work, as there are so many beautiful images. I hope to go back for future trips and continue to photograph more stretches of the highway.”

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For more of Ben’s work, check out his website.

Design: Emailer Template for Thomas Strand

Monday April 14th, 2014

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by Melissa Ginsiorsky

Minnesota-based photographer Thomas Strand and I have been working together for the the past few months now. He first came to Wonderful Machine for a new graphic identity, and from there we designed some nice letterpressed business cards. Next up we created a print promo, which is currently in production and will be revealed in the near future (so stay tuned for that)! Once we wrapped up the promo design, we decided to move on to a custom emailer template. With each new project, Tom’s new identity grows stronger and helping it evolve into each new medium has been really rewarding. There’s a subtle, sleek beauty to the brand and I’m excited to be a part of it.

Tom’s emailer includes all the essentials for a solid emailer: prominent logo and contact information placement, a large hero image, enough live text to keep his emails from being intercepted by spam filters, and most importantly, multiple ways to access his website (logo, linked image, contact info url, and a linked call to action). Having multiple links to his website is important, since besides updating his clients on recent work and staying on their radar, getting people onto Tom’s website is the real goal here. We also included icons linking to Tom’s various social media, as well as the contact information for his reps, and kept the template a good width to scale well for mobile viewing, which is also a consideration.

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Tom was very pleased with his new emailer template, and is planning to send out his emails using Emma. I’m looking forward to seeing Tom’s brand continue to evolve, and hearing the feedback he gets on his marketing materials. Check back soon to see Tom’s brand new print promo and to hear more about the Thomas Strand brand.

Until next time, don’t forget to check out all of our design consulting services, and drop me a line if you’re interested in a new identity or if you’d like to build out your own brand.

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