By October 19, 2016

An email inbox is a private space. In my personal inbox right now, I have a conversation with a friend about wardrobe capsules, an Amazon shipping notification for the spiralizer I ordered, a communication with my banker, and a weekly update from Cup of Jo, my favorite lifestyle blog. These are all valuable communications to me, and some contain sensitive details like credit card information. If you are a…

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By October 03, 2016

Last month I talked about the advantages of adding video to your marketing toolbox. It can be an investment to produce a quality piece, but there’s one thing a successful video needs that doesn’t cost a thing. Your video needs a great story. History has taught us (as have great storytellers like Shakespeare, Homer, and the Brothers Grimm), that one of the most powerful ways to get people to…

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Thinking of doing a company video?
By September 13, 2016

We’re often asked about producing videos for our clients. Video is hot. (All the “cool kids” have at least one.) But a well-produced video—like a well-crafted corporate brochure—is an investment potentially costing thousands of dollars. It’s important to be clear about why you need one, how it’s going to be used, and how to get the best product possible. Video is a great investment for: Social media Videos are…

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By August 15, 2016

Reflex is a sad color—not because of it’s impact on the psyche, but because it is so universally disliked in the graphics industry. Why do printers and designers cringe when asked to work with Reflex blue? Reflex is strictly a custom ink. That’s fine if you can rely upon spot color and factory blended inks. But, if you’re working with standard, four-color process or screen-based RGB color environments, you’ll…

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New Design Home
By July 27, 2016

Will Bassett, the newest addition to the Cooper Smith & Company team, shares six tips new designers need to know when looking for a job.  As a recent graduate, I know all too well the stresses of looking for a job in the design community. It’s an obstacle that every designer faces (usually more than once) in his or her professional life, but following these simple tips that I’ve…

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Emoji Smiley Face
By July 13, 2016

Remember the days when a smiley face looked like this : )    ? Now there are emojis to express virtually any sentiment, from “face with tears of joy” and “pouting face”, to “disappointed but relieved face”. Emojis are used everywhere, from advertising campaigns, like Pepsi’s Pepsimoji, to branded emojis that you can download and use, like Kim Kardashian’s Kimoji. Despite their omnipresence, there was backlash when Oxford Dictionaries chose…

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Why Post_blog header
By June 27, 2016

Feel strapped to the train of social media, posting just because you’re supposed to? Do you ever invent content or events just to have something to talk about on social? Wonder if anyone is even reading the stuff, or would miss it if you didn’t post? We’ve all been there. Here are some tricks to create more meaningful content, (and have more fun managing your social media!) 1. Determine…

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By May 12, 2016

I follow brands like some people follow sports teams and I’ve been a fan of Warby Parker for a while. Their brand image is an appealing blend of modern typography, casual doodle-esque illustrations and clever, unpretentious copy. It, along with their unique business model, has helped elevate a product that is frankly pretty dull—classic plastic eyeglass frames—into the trendy, got-to-have-them phenomena of wearing “Warbys”. So when I was in…

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By April 01, 2016

We’re a small agency and a pretty great place to work. When employees come they stay quite a few years. Needless to say, we don’t hire very often. But we’re hiring now—we’re looking for a designer. Even though I haven’t had to hire a lot, in my 23 years of business I’ve done a lot of interviewing. Through it all I’ve developed strong opinions about how I know I’m…

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By March 09, 2016

Four years ago I designed a poster that I was honored to have published in the highly respected Communication Arts design annual. Called Cupid’s Crossbow, it was a deeply personal image I created for a local ArtCrank exhibition. I had come through a rough patch and the cycling community in Des Moines had been loving and generous. I was extremely grateful. The image showed a bike from above—the form…

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