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July 2020

  • Designing with color accessibility in mind (part 1)

    Careers in visual communication tend to attract people with high or perfect vision and it’s easy for us to forget that not everyone sees our design the same way we do. In fact, around 5% of people viewing our websites, brochures, and banners see them very differently.  According to the World Health Organization, over 2.2 […]
  • Expressing freedom within the form

    “The essence of branding is to create simple, relevant messages we can repeat over and over so that we brand ourselves into public consciousness.”  That quote is from a book by Donald Miller called Building a Story Brand, which the strategic marketing and branding team has been reading together. The importance of simplicity and repetition […]
  • The Illini fingerprint

    As a designer, patterns that are unique and add visual interest naturally catch my eye. But the best elements of a visual identity are rooted in the brand in a meaningful way. That’s true about the “Illini fingerprint” – one of my favorite elements of our new brand. The fingerprint represents the power that’s inherent […]
  • The ad puzzle

    When it comes to advertising campaigns, it usually isn’t hard to uncover the objective. It’s like a jigsaw puzzle after it’s all put together: The big picture is clear. But what do we know about puzzles? Well, when you open the box, you have a mixed-up set of maybe 1,000 pieces, and the promise that […]
  • Developing a brand is about so much more

    So much more than what? So much more than whatever first comes to mind when we think of a brand. It’s more than a logo or wordmark (although we have them, and they’re important!), and more than using the official Illini Orange and approved family of fonts. A brand is even so much more than adopting […]
  • A branded house, not a house of brands

    Like thousands of people this spring who were staying home and staying safe, I watched all 10 episodes of the Michael Jordan documentary “Last Dance.” One of the things that stood out to me was how Jordan’s team often lost when he was playing like an independent star. It didn’t matter how great he was. […]