Street art in Berlin, Germany of a female bandit

Draw Me a City: My Trip to Berlin

Posted by | Culture, Perspective | No Comments

Today’s Berlin is a colorful, progressive city. At the end of World War II in 1945, the bombing of Berlin had reduced much of the city to rubble; occupied and divided, it was forced to literally start from the bottom. The physical fall of the Berlin wall in 1989 broke down barriers to creativity and self-expression. The art rebellion that followed is the product of a youth culture considered “urban or low-income”; Berlin is notoriously poor compared to other German cities.

Walking through the streets of Berlin, aware of the years of struggle, I was struck by the need of this generation to fill the city with art, with beauty. You see graffiti on every corner, there is no getting away from it. Where the art is placed gives the city a sense of personal rebellious freedom. The variety of art is also remarkable, from strong, thought provoking political and self-expressionist art to historical art galleries. Art is the city of Berlin, and unlimited is the amount.
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Young adult male live streams video of an elephant on his iPhone.

For Whom the Phone Streams

Posted by | Brand Marketing, Perspective, Technology | No Comments

If a picture is worth a thousand words, is a video worth a million? Does that mean live streaming is even more valuable?

With all the video apps available, it’s difficult to tell which ones are worth the time (and megabytes of storage) to keep in your arsenal. Now with live streaming disrupting the way we record and watch videos on our phones, it’s become even more complicated. After playing around with the front-running livestream app, Periscope, it’s obvious that it has many possible uses ranging from the innovative to the idiotic. Can it be incorporated into most social media plans? Should it?

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Logo for SmartCEO's Corner Stone Awards "Recognizing impact in your community"

Lance Wain Recognized by SmartCEO

Posted by | Events, News | No Comments

We are proud to share that Lance Wain has been announced as a finalist for the 2015 Washington Cornerstone Awards!

Press Release

“It’s no secret that Greater Washington is home to some of the region’s most impactful companies. Moreover, they have become part of the fabric of the communities in which they reside,” says Jaime Nespor-Zawmon, President of SmartCEO Events. “These companies are economic drivers, innovators and exemplary community stewards—they are true cornerstones of their communities. For that, we honor them.”

The finalists will be celebrated at the Washington Cornerstone Awards ceremony on August 17, 2015, at the Bethesda Marriott. An expected sell-out event, more than 200 local C-level executives and guests will attend to celebrate their achievements. The event will kick off with a networking reception followed by the awards ceremony and a final toast to the local business leaders of Greater Washington.
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Keeping Score on ESPN's Website Upgrades

Keeping Score on ESPN’s Website Upgrades

Posted by | Brand Experience, Perspective, Technology | No Comments

Redesigning one of the most trafficked sites on the web is a daunting task. In 2014, had 22 million daily visitors, making it a traffic juggernaut. So when I saw the new design for last month, I have to say I was a little underwhelmed.

While visitors hoping for a unique or innovative experience will be sadly disappointed, everything doesn’t have to be revolutionary to be great. I’ve spent some time evaluating the new site and here are a few of my takeaways: Read More

JK Moving Radio Driving Leads Before Moving Season

JK Moving Services Radio Spots Driving Leads Even Before The Busy Moving Season

Posted by | Brand Marketing, Brand Strategy, Work | No Comments

JK Moving Services is back on the airwaves this spring with radio spots and banner ads designed to differentiate the company and underscore its brand mantra, What Matters Most. Over the past few years, all of us at Grafik have seen firsthand how JK goes above and beyond its competitors to deliver a worry-free move. Some of the features that separate the area’s largest independent mover from the rest of the pack are included in the new campaign. Read More

A male texts on his phone and large text comes up on the right side like in a movie.

Reading Movies: Type that Advances the Plot

Posted by | Brand Experience, Perspective | No Comments

As digital communication becomes central to our lives, Hollywood has had to be increasingly more creative incorporating this passive form of communication into live action. How do you use design and motion graphics to present text messages in film? For many years, the standard approach was to treat text messages the way hand-written letters had been treated, either cutting to a close-up of the phone’s screen so the audience can read the frequently enlarged text, or having the actor unrealistically read the text out loud. But increasingly, filmmakers have been showing the disembodied text onscreen and alongside the actors. Read More

Grafik Wins Awards from HOW International and the ADDYs

It’s nice to be recognized.

Posted by | Brand Marketing, News | No Comments

Hats off to Carrie, Efrat, George, Gregg, James, Judy, Johnny, and Raksa for having five winning entries published in the How International Design Annual: our Grafik signage, Global Automakers invitation, Erase Hate skateboard, Honda HIA brochure, and Advice Period collateral.

Raksa, James, and Gregg were also recognized with a Silver ADDY® Award for their skateboard to promote the “Erase Hate” fundraiser for the Matthew Shepard Foundation.

Young woman lifting weights

Content Marketing is Only as Strong as You Make It

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My friend called me up one day, telling me about a magical land of trendy fitness classes, eucalyptus towels, and a whole lot of sweat. This magical land was a new gym called Equinox.

How can someone speak so highly of a gym? Upon setting foot in the building, I instantly figured it out. When I got home I pulled up their website to find one closer to my house, and I proceeded to get lost on their blog and social media platforms for an hour.

Equinox is a gym…. yet I now go to them to get ideas for healthy recipes, stretches to try, and inspirational messages to get my butt up and moving to the gym. Equinox is no longer just a “gym” to me. Now they are a resource I go to for useful, relevant, and trusted information. They are selling an Equinox lifestyle, not just a membership.
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An image from Denny's Tumblr of a one of their restaurants floating in the sky on a plot of land.

A Beginners Guide to Denny’s Tumblr

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Let’s just be real with each other for a second. If you haven’t heard about Denny’s social media campaign, then you’re old (sorry to have to be the one to tell you this).

For the past two years, everyone and their dog has been talking about how Denny’s successfully hit the quirky, lovable, social media gold mine, and quickly became the cut-throat leader of teen “likes” and “reblogs”. And yes, I’m talking about Denny’s the Restaurant. The place you probably brought your kids last weekend for pancakes; or, in early years, where you dragged yourself at 3am after a five hour punk rock battle of the bands to nurse your rapidly approaching hangover with a Grand Slam. Much like delectable breakfast foods, Denny’s just seems to get it. Read More

A cartoon boy explores new hobbies on the computer

Let Yourself Be a Beginner

Posted by | Perspective | No Comments

In recent years, medical schools began accepting more candidates who hadn’t followed the usual path to becoming a doctor, those who’d taken a few years off to travel or pursued a PhD in dance before discovering their calling was medicine. What they bring to top medical schools and residencies are ways of thinking that can’t be taught in a classroom. Their interdisciplinary studies aren’t holding them back from being professionally competitive—they communicate effectively, are excellent with patients, and report high levels of satisfaction in their work. Read More