No Comment Diary

The News Without Comment

This content shows Simple View

JUST™ Creative

The Definitive Type Lover’s Collection – JUST $29

Fonts are fundamental to every design and creative project, and finding well-made fonts can not only be really tricky, but really expensive!

DesignCuts have put together this definitive new collection featuring some of the most popular fonts across every discipline. These fonts sell for thousands of dollars and regularly top every best-sellers list. This is the first time you can find this incredible collection for just $29, for a limited time only.

Kick Start Your New Year Projects With This Diverse Array Of Best-Selling Fonts!

  • Top fonts from some of the best foundries in the world
    They have included the best-selling fonts from foundries such as URW, Latinotype, Zetafonts, ROHH and many more. Whether you’re working on a clean graphic design brief, an elegant invite, a bold website or vintage artwork, this collection is packed full of stunning fonts to cover you for any project.
  • 17 versatile and professional font families (featuring a total of 377 individual fonts), perfect for adding exceptional typography to your design work.
  • Many fonts include extra weights, styles and stylistic alternates.
  • Many fonts also include bonus/extras packs, containing additional creative resources.

These fonts retail for $3316 but you can get them all for just $29 (99% off)

» View Type Lover’s Bundle (99% Off)

Don’t miss out, this deal expires on Tuesday Jan 30th 2018.

Type Lover Collection

» View Type Lover’s Bundle (99% Off)


Creative Chats with Jacob Cass

I recently had a “Creative Chat” with HUNTERHunter, an online publication that keeps people in Newcastle, Australia up-to-date with the latest news & things to do in the area. As I studied at Newcastle University, traveled extensively and won the University’s ‘Young Alumni Award‘, they wanted to provide further insight & inspiration for others wanting to get the most out of their career. Enjoy the transcript of our in-person conversation.

Creative Chats with Jacob Cass

Jacob Cass has pretty much scaled the highest of mountains when it comes to his working life. We caught up with Jacob to chat about New York agency life and how he works/travels the globe.

Graduating from the UON in 2007 with a Bachelor of Visual Communication (Graphic Design Major) Jacob was invited by New York agency Carrot Creative to move to the Big Apple and kick-start his career in the most awesome of ways. Seven years later Jacob has notched up a spectacular resume and created the ultimate work/life balance.

We caught up with Jacob on one extremely hot December day at the end of 2017 to find out just how one gets asked to live and work in New York and about some of his career highlights.

How did your career in design start?

In high school, I opened my business as JackCass Productions (see his brand evolution here), which I soon found out was a terrible name, so I changed it to Just Creative. This is where it all started. I was learning design in High School and then I moved to University to study further. I’ve always loved design.

The UON provided me with the principles to build upon but I’ve also learnt a lot myself and on the job, digital moves so quickly that it’s difficult to keep up. Now I specialise in branding, logo design and interactive design.

How did a Creative Agency in New York find you, all the way back in 2007?

I grew up in Sydney and moved to Newcastle to study at the UON, I was two and half years through a three-year course when I was offered the job in New York. At the time I didn’t have a job, I had no experience and I told them I had to finish my studies before I moved which they accepted and then as soon as I graduated I moved over.

They found me through my blog, Just Creative, which I am still writing now, and I was also active on social media and gaining traction at that time, which was early days for social media back then. The agency was focusing on social media and digital at the time and I guess I came up on their radar.

When you say Social Media what platforms are we talking given this was in 2007?

Facebook, Twitter and blogging, they were the mains ones, Twitter was just starting up. It was mainly the blogging aspect. The digital landscape is quite different now, there’s a lot more competition, back then they were smaller communities, a lot of people knew each other so you networked much closer which made things a little easier.

Jacob Cass Talking

How did you come to be so switched on to Social Media so early on?

For me it started as a way of recording my design studies at the UON, on my blog, it was just a personal project at the time. When I learnt more about blogging I also learnt more about social media and how you could use it as a tool to promote yourself, as well as collaborate and discuss with other people.

How long were you in New York for?

I was in New York for 5 years, my wife and I left in April 2015 and have been travelling ever since. We’ve only just returned to Australia but do plan to travel more.

What did your first job involve?

When I moved to New York my first job was at a digital design agency where I was worked as an interactive designer. This gave me access to big clients, so one of my first jobs was working for Disney which was really awesome, then we did some work for Nike, and this was straight out of uni, I couldn’t believe it. I then moved onto another company.

There I worked for clients like Powerade, Nintendo and Jerry Seinfeld (Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee) which just catapulted my career as did my TEDx talk. I stayed at that agency for four years and it was a really interesting environment to work in as I had the opportunity to work for some big brands which then involved working with teams of people such as; creative directors, art directors, interactive managers, developers, interns even and you’re all collaborating together. Very different to what I do now which is working with small to medium businesses and start-ups all around the world.

Just Creative

Jacob’s project for Jerry Seinfeld being advertised in Times Square

What were your highlights of working in New York?

Working with Jerry Seinfeld was definitely a highlight, I actually worked with him directly as he liked being very hands on. That was a big highlight and seeing my work at the Super Bowl was really cool, on the jumbo screen, during the ad breaks and now on Netflix. Another highlight was working with Nintendo. They had so many different games and styles so I had the opportunity to be more artistic and creative with my work.

Where do you call home at the moment?

So we have a few places we call home, at the moment we’re living at in Sydney, as well as wherever we choose to travel to. We are looking for a place to live in Sydney, but we’re not ready to commit right now. We still want to travel and as my work allows us this flexibility, we want to utilise it for as long as we can, before kids.

So you can literally work from anywhere? 

Absolutely that’s what I’ve been doing for the last two years, my wife and I have travelled to over eighty countries, and apart from a couple of countries that have slow internet I’ve been able to work from anywhere. Even Africa, which in some areas has faster internet than in Australia.

You’ve worked all over the world, where do you consider the most creative cities to be?

New York is definitely number one, I might be a bit biased though as I lived there for so long, I also consider Barcelona and Berlin to be very creative. London a little bit but I haven’t spent as much time there as I would have liked to have. Those are the ones that really stood out to me.

What is it about those cities that make them creative?

I think it’s their open-mindedness, the scene in general and their acceptance. They’re all quite different cities so I am not sure if there is a pattern but generally speaking they all have creative hubs and I would say it’s definitely ingrained in the culture.

Jacob Cass on Laptop in Maldives

Jacob Cass working remotely in the Maldives. 

What do you think of Newcastle’s creative scene?

I think Newcastle is definitely creative in terms of the art scene, I haven’t lived here for ten years so I am not completely across it, but I think the Master in Creative Industries degree is a great step to take in encouraging that scene even further.

The course itself is broad in scope so you can get a touch of everything and then hone in on what it is you love. You don’t always know what you want to do. When I first went to the UON I didn’t know I wanted be working in Interactive or Web Design, that wasn’t even a part of the course at the time. I learnt early on that I disliked illustration, instead, digital design and typography were what I was drawn to, so I went in that direction and I am still doing that today.

How do you stay across all the changes that are happening in the digital world?

I am always reading online, there are so many articles and resources, there’s actually too much, there’s so much noise these days. The thing is you need to specialise in something, otherwise if you do everything you’ll never excel at it. I see it every day, people trying to do too many things and they get overworked. I personally focus on branding and logos. That’s my niche.

Jacob Cass Laughing

How important would you say branding is?

There are two sides to the sword here, businesses can be successful without “good branding” especially if they have a good product. However, I would say that branding is quite crucial because even if you don’t have a brand per se or set out to create one, your customers are going to make one for you. They’ll have their own image in their mind and will form an opinion based on your service and products. So why not make one for them and have a strategy behind it?

Even for small business?

I think at the start it’s crucial, your identity is everything and you want to be perceived with a certain goal in mind. If you don’t establish yourself from the beginning and have a consistent brand identity such as a logo, colours, fonts and a general style then your brand is going to be all over the place.

What are you currently working on?

I am actually working with a yarn shop, knitting that is, in the US which I’ve had a lot of fun with, lots of puns. I am also working with a brand called Walabot. They have this cool device that allows you to see through walls, basically you attach this device to your Smartphone and scan your wall. It can pick up wires, rodents and more, so you don’t drill into the wrong spot. Not quite x-ray vision [laughs].

Just Creative

Jacob going head to head with The Masai lead jumper “After the longest minute of my life, he gave in and I won a new wife (the prize of the competition).”

And most importantly where are you travelling to next?

We’re actually going to be spending some time in Australia, we’re going up to Bryon Bay then off to Adelaide, then Melbourne, Tassie, Perth and then back home. We are also planning our winter holiday which might be Africa or Central America, not sure yet still deciding. Tough decisions! Follow along at their travel blog Just Globetrotting.

Do you have any further questions? Let me know!


Top 12 Courses to Take on Udemy in 2018

The New Year is full of resolutions, but not a lot of action.

Long time subscribers of this blog know that I partner with Udemy, an online course provider and they have a HUGE sale until 1/11, with $10.99 courses (usually $200-300!). They have 55,000 courses to choose from, and you can work on them at your own pace.

So if you want to accomplish your goals with valuable, in-demand skills I highly recommend these guys. I’ve referred over 5,000+ people in the past few years and have only heard good things.

I’ve curated 12 of Udemy’s top courses, in the fields of design, development, digital marketing and creativity.

» Browse All Online Courses

All courses include life time access so you can buy now and return to them whenever you wish, but do hurry as this sale ends Jan 11!

What will you learn in 2018? (I’ve just enrolled in the Cryptocurrency Investment course)

The Biggest & Most Popular Photoshop Course

Photoshop Course

Become an expert in Photoshop with no experience or prior knowledge – Anyone can do it

View Course

Learn to Code by Making Games – Complete C# Unity Developer

Games Course

Game development & design. Learn C# using Unity 5 (Unity 2017 compatible). Your first 7 2D & 3D games for web & mobile.

View Course

The Complete Digital Marketing Course 2017 – 12 Courses in 1

Digital Marketing Course

Master Digital Marketing & Grow Your Business: SEO, Facebook, YouTube, Social Media Marketing, Google Analytics & More!

View Course

The Web Developer Bootcamp

Web Dev Course

The only course you need to learn web development – HTML, CSS, JS, Node, and More!

View Course

Photography Masterclass: Your Complete Guide to Photography

Photography Masterclass

The Greatest Online Professional Photography Class: How to Take & Sell Photos for Beginners & Advanced Photographers

View Course

The Complete iOS 10 Developer Course – Build 21 Apps

IOS Course

Learn iOS App Development by building 21 iOS apps using Swift 3 & Xcode 8. Includes free web hosting, assets & ebook.

View Course

Social Media Marketing 2017 – Complete Certificate Course

Social Media Course

The comprehensive social media course, beginner to advanced. Go viral, get started today!

View Course

The Ultimate Drawing Course – Beginner to Advanced

Drawing Course
Learn the #1 most important building block of all art.

Facebook Ads & Facebook Marketing Mastery Guide 2017


Use Facebook marketing to excel your business! Take this top rated course to optimize your Facebook ads today!

View Course

Instagram Marketing: A Step-By-Step to 10,000 Real Followers

Instagram Course

Attract Hyper-Targeted Instagram Followers, Convert Followers to Paying Customers, & Expand your Brand Using Instagram

View Course

Adobe Lightroom CC: Photo Editing Masterclass

Lightroom Course
Your complete guide to editing beautiful photos in Adobe Lightroom Classic CC!

View Course

Cryptocurrency Investment Course 2017: Fund your Retirement!


The complete guide to buying and selling Bitcoin and Altcoins on the Cryptocurrency Exchange!

View Course

Sounds True’s Freedom to Choose Something Different, Part 1

Happiness Course

Bonus! Can’t choose one of the above? How about learning how to transform your life and find lasting peace and happiness?

View Course

What courses are you taking in 2018?


The Best Laptops for Graphic Designers 2018

This article was contributed by DesignBold.

Graphic design is a challenging job that requires serious hardware and software. In the current digital nomad haze, laptop characteristics such as mobility and weight have also become extremely important. As with every profession, the laptop choice is always a subtle game of balance between performance and weight, large screen and portability, maximum features and affordable price.

Luckily, laptop providers produce products for different categories and professions. In this article, we’ll provide a general buying advice on how to choose the perfect laptop and list some of the best laptops for graphic designers on the market in 2018. Keep in mind that for simple social media graphics you don’t need impressive hardware power and online graphic design tools can run effectively on any computer.

As 2018 progresses, we will endeavor to update this list.

Best Laptop for Graphic Design 2018

What factors define the best laptops for graphic designers?


Laptop performance and speed are the sum of three parts: processor, RAM and Storage Drive.

The processor is an integral part of a laptop that ensures that multiple open applications can run smoothly. There are numerous processors to choose from but here are the most suitable ones for graphic design related projects: Core i5, Core i7, AMD Ryzen and Intel Xeon.

RAM aka Random Access Memory is a hardware that stores data inside the computer. RAM stores data temporarily so, when you switch off the computer, all RAM data gets lost. RAM allows the processor to process more data, which can dramatically improve laptop performance.

Storage Drive or Hard Drive – unlike RAM, Storage Drive can store information permanently. SSD can ensure super-fast boot and wake time and better processor performance.


Perhaps, the most important part of a laptop selection process is choosing the right screen. A screen with higher resolution would mean better details and color accuracy. The size of a screen matters too. A larger screen makes tinkering with the design a lot easier. A 15-inch screen size is a golden standard in the graphic design world.

Keyboard and touchscreen

Graphic designers rarely do design only. They usually work in a team or with clients. So a convenient keyboard is a must. You don’t want to keep missing the keys and spend hours on editing your emails. Additionally, designers often use keyboard shortcuts so proper placement of keys and ergonomic design can be critical for your work speed.

Looking to buy a laptop with a touchscreen? There is no universal approach among designers when it comes to touchscreens. Some love them as they provide a quick and easy way to zoom in and out, others hate the touchscreens since they don’t add much to the experience. But, certainly, after some time, you get used to the touchscreen and it ceases to be a nuisance.

Battery Life

Most graphic designers love novelty, as it brings inspiration and new ideas. You probably have a favorite workspace, but also venture out to coffee shops or co-working spaces. The absence of plugs at your favorite coffee shop can sometimes be frustrating. But with a good battery, you can take your laptop wherever you go and get the work done, all the while enjoying the digital nomad freedom. 12-14 hours of battery life will get you as far as across the Atlantic and through a long productive day.

What is the best laptop for graphic design?

These are the top 8 best laptops for graphic design in 2018.

  1. Apple Macbook Pro
  2. Microsoft Surface Book 2
  3. Dell XPS 15
  4. Acer Predator or Aspire
  5. Lenovo Flex 5
  6. Asus ROG G752VS
  7. HP ZBook Studio G4
  8. Dell Inspirion 13.3″

1. Apple Macbook Pro

Apple Macbook Pro

If you are a creative you need to appear as such. Right? Personal brand image and operating system are the two main reasons why graphic designers choose Apple products. But the Apple MacBook Pro is also a powerful machine with its Intel i7 Quad Core processor and 16GB of RAM. However, this laptop is not for everyone. If you’re an avid Windows user, it will take some time for you to get used to the new system.

This laptop also doesn’t have any USB ports, which creatives might find uncomfortable. But for the outstanding design experience that Apple offers, and the courage to push its user base towards innovation and technology, the Apple MacBook Pro certainly deserves an ovation. Graphic designers will find AMD Radeon Pro Graphics and the high-resolution screen a pleasure to work with. The only drawback of this laptop is it’s a hefty price.

Learn More ($2299)

2. Microsoft Surface Book 2

Microsoft Surface 2

The Surface book screen is smaller but the performance metrics of this laptop are on par with MacBook Pro. The laptop runs on Core i7 processor and with a screen resolution of 3000 x 2000, it’s the best laptop screen for sketching and creating graphics. The Surface Book is highly portable and can easily be transformed into a tablet. Add a touchscreen and the included stylus and you’ll get a laptop that is perfect for creatives who hate to overwork their fingers. It comes in 13.5 and 15″. To save some more cash you can go with the earlier Microsoft Surface models.

Learn More ($819-$1600+)

3. Dell XPS 15

Dell XPS

Dell has always been known for producing reliable bargain machines. But it has recently entered the graphic design space with a powerful and still affordable product. The Dell XPS 15 features a 15.6 inch display, runs on Core i7 CPU and has 16GB of RAM.

Dell might look too business-like for a designer’s taste but it delivers one of the best performances on the market. There are plenty of ports including an HDMI, two USBs, a Thunderbolt, and an SD card reader. Couple it with 512GB SSD and an amazing graphics card and you have a high performing laptop for a sweet price.

Jacob did an in-depth review in 2016 about the differences between the Dell XPS 13 Vs Macbook Pro. Also see number 8 on our list for a lighter, smaller, more affordable option.

Learn More ($1429-$1738)

4. Acer Predator or Acer Aspire

Predator Laptop

This laptop is classified as a Gaming Laptop, meaning it was created to process high-level graphics. As a graphic designer, the way your laptop displays graphics has a direct influence on the quality of your work. So it makes sense to look into Gaming Laptops. This one is equipped with Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB RAM and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070.

Depending on your graphic design needs, the laptop comes in two sizes: the 17.3’’ and 15.6’’ screen size versions. The larger screen size version weighs 9.26 pounds, while the smaller size version weighs 8.16 pounds.

Learn More ($999)

You could also consider their Acer Aspire 15″ which has similar specs at a cheaper price tag ($599), and a more business professional look.

5. Lenovo Flex 5

Lenovo Flex

Another laptop that combines reasonable price and outstanding quality, the Lenovo Flex 5 is equipped with a 14-inch screen, features a Intel Core i5 and possesses 8GB of RAM with 256GB of space which can be upgraded. While this laptop might not run as smoothly as MacBook Pro or Microsoft Surface Book, it still offers a great graphic design experience at a fraction of the price.

If you’re just starting in graphic design and don’t have much of a budget, this laptop is a perfect choice. Its performance is good enough for graphic design purposes and its screen display is of top-notch quality. You might find the touchpad too sensitive, but this can easily be solved with the help of an external mouse.

Learn More ($619)

6. Asus ROG G752VS

Asus Laptop

If you’re looking for a laptop with a unique design, then Asus ROG G752VS is your best bet. The laptop has the Armor Titanium and Plasma Copper surface which gives it an authentic, almost alien look. The laptop is also packed with high performance hardware such as Core i7 processor, 16GB RAM, and NVIDIA GeForce GTX.

The battery life of this laptop is slightly over 5 hours, but for such an affordable price it’s a great laptop, that can become a hero at the meetings and showcase your work in the best light.

Learn More ($1599)

7. HP ZBook Studio G4 Ultrabook Mobile Workstation

HP Mobile Workstation

The company classifies this laptop as a “mobile workstation”. It’s equipped with Intel Core i7-7500U along with 32GB RAM and AMD FirePro W4190M graphics card. It’s one the most powerful machines on the market. Some designers might find the production capabilities of this laptop a little over the top, but for those who are dealing with 3D graphics, HP ZBook Studio provides a super fast work experience without taking all the valuable space on your office desk.

Learn More ($1939)

8. Dell Inspirion 13.3″

Dell Inspiron

For designers that travel a lot, a smaller, lighter laptop is ideal. Introducing the 2018 Dell Inspiron 13 which has a flexible 13.3″ touch display, an Intel Core i7-8550U Quad-Core CPU and 8GB memory is the perfect price point for performance and portability.

Learn More ($769)

So what is the best laptop for graphic designers in 2018?

Graphic designers tend to have a specific list of requirements for laptops. But rarely can you tick all the boxes from the list. More likely, you’ll spend hours researching all the different options and trying to find the best price-features combination.

The Apple MacBook Pro still remains the #1 preferred option for many designers due to its stunning design and top performance. But other brands are also catching up with high performance offers, that are no less pleasing to the eyes.

This post was contributed by the DesignBold team. DesignBold is an online graphic design tool that aims to redefine the boundaries of design and technology, empowering all users and organizations to share their visions, products and services.


JUST Creative’s Top 10 Posts of 2017

2017 was a huge travel year for me, with extensive touring through Asia, Africa and Australia, however that has not stopped the posts on Just Creative coming consistently, thanks to guest authors who keep the blog fresh!

Below are the ten top posts of 2017, based on traffic. Thanks everyone (that’s you!) for following JUST Creative, have a great 2018!

On a side note, in 2017, JUST Creative saw close to 3 million visits from over 185 countries (wow!).

2017 Logo Design Trends Forecast

A forecast and prediction of the top logos of 2017 and where logo design trends are heading. Stay ahead of the branding & identity curve!

2017 Logo Design Trends & Inspiration (Half Year Update)

The best logo designs from 2017, as well as a look at the 2017 logo & branding design trends and an inspirational logo design gallery showcase.

The Designer’s Guide To Responsive Logos

Let’s take a look at how you can design scalable, responsive logos without losing the very personality of your brand.

2018 Graphic Design Trends + Inspirational Showcase

Discover the top graphic design & web design trends of 2018 with this inspirational showcase gallery.

6 UX Design Trends To Follow in 2017

Discover the latest UX trends in the web design world including Estimated Read Time, Chatbots, Gesture & Voice UX, Micro Interactions, Scroll Triggered Animations and more.

Designer’s Most Hated & Loved Fonts

It can be daunting choosing the perfect one for your project. To inspire you, 8 designers share their most loved and hated fonts.

20 Famous Animated Logos for Your Inspiration

Animated logos have the power to draw attention and communicate messages in ways that a static logo can not. Get inspired by these 20 famous animated logo designs.

7 Psychology Principles Web Designers Must Know

Become a better designer by learning how to persuade users and influence their choices with psychological principles, theories and laws.

Happy New Year!


5 Marketing Lessons We Can Learn from the Biggest Campaigns of 2017

This article was contributed by Richard Barker.

As the New Year approaches, we can’t help but look back on 2017 and think that it’s been a funny old year, and that’s without mentioning the new President of the United States. The year has seen a number of inspirational, and not so inspirational (cue Greggs’ badly judged Christmas campaign), campaigns from the country and the wider world’s biggest brands.

For marketers and businesses undertaking their own promotional activities in-house, how well-known brands market themselves often provides all the stimulus that’s needed to fine-tune their own campaigns. As we say goodbye to another great year, it’s evident that there’s a lot to be learned from the biggest campaigns of 2017, here we take a look at just five of the best and the marketing lessons they heed.

McDonald’s #ReindeerReady

We couldn’t be posting in December and approaching the festive season without including an inspiring Christmas themed ad in our top five. Yes, there are tons of great festive campaigns, many of which provide great advice to consumers in the run up to Christmas. Rather than go for the obvious John Lewis example however, we thought we’d take a closer look at the offering of a very eminent fast food chain.

After the success of its 2016 ad featuring vintage doll Juliette, McDonald’s had to come back with a campaign that was even bigger, stronger and more endearing. One thing that their tale about a young girl saving a McDonald’s carrot stick for Santa’s reindeer taught us is that it’s ok to put your brand second to a good story. Storytelling practices are by no means new, but by focusing on the anticipation, excitement and little moments of magic that the build up to Christmas brings for all children, McDonald’s is putting pushy promotional tactics to one side to achieve a more important, long term, loyalty inspiring goal.

Heineken’s Worlds Apart

One of the biggest advertising fails of 2017 has to be the Kendall Jenner Pepsi ad released back in April but what Pepsi failed to do, Heineken successfully achieved in their Worlds Apart campaign.

Human kindness and understanding are two factors that have been integral to the success of so many campaigns during 2017. In this real life social experiment, where people with opposing political differences are brought together through team building exercises, viewpoints are unravelled, all before they share a Heineken of course! Tackling social issues through an ad campaign is brave but if you can pull off this marketing lesson you really are on to a winner. Just look at Heineken – within days of its launch, Worlds Apart hit the 3 million views mark, garnered more than 50,000 shares and got the hashtag #OpenYourWorld trending.

Apple’s Earth (Shot on iPhone)

Apple has always found beautiful ways to make and promote their products, a brand talent that has long widened the gap between Apple and Android users, but Earth (Shot on iPhone) is their most striking campaign to date. Team this with their very timely release some days after Donald Trump’s decision to back out of the Paris climate agreement, and they were no doubt going to achieve stratospheric success with this campaign. A simple mixture of imagery and narration, Earth (Shot on iPhone) is the perfect example of why user generated content should have a place in your marketing activities.

The campaign’s simple structure, stunning use of imagery and poignant narration delivers not just a glimpse of the beauty our planet has to offer but a poetic warning of everything we have to lose.

Samsung’s Ostrich

From Apple to Android, and Samsung’s quirky, playful ad certainly juxtaposes Apple’s protest campaign Earth, but it no doubt inspires emotion in other ways.

This wonderful idea is brought to life courtesy of a flightless bird and a Gear VR headset. Since its release, the short film has won a bevy of awards including seven prestigious titles at Lion Awards for its creative excellence. The marketing lesson? Thinking outside the box is the key to success, particularly as we go forward into 2018 and markets become increasingly competitive. VR technology has long been notoriously difficult to advertise but with a bit of creative thinking and the production of dynamic material, Samsung has pathed the way for future content creation that is much different from the average.

Volvo’s Moments

Automotive ads have long been poignant and poetic, and whilst as a consumer and marketer you may be thinking ‘haven’t we seen it all before?’, this campaign from Volvo is not just a marketing triumph but worthy of a cinematic spot. This epic and eye catching story is a masterpiece, and sweeps through a woman’s entire lifetime in just three minutes to promote the new XC60’s safety features. Documenting the moments that never happen, this beautifully crafted commercial teaches us that storytelling and product promotion can work in harmony, with excellent results.

Storytelling that dazzles audiences is by no means easy to achieve, but you don’t need to craft a cinematic masterpiece like Volvo to apply the same principles to your own marketing campaign. Many use the VAK principle, more popularly used in other fields by psychologists and therapists, to immerse an audience into a desired experience. Utilising visual, audio and sensory elements, you can create emotional content that really connects with audiences whilst being timely, relevant, useful and entertaining within your marketplace.

The final word…

Whether it is a campaign clearing up questions frequently asked by your audience, a marketing initiative that pushes your brand to the background to bring real stories about real people to the forefront, or a focus on what your brand stands for that is the objective on your current marketing activities, delving deeper into what makes the biggest campaigns of 2017 successful is a worthwhile step for all brands. Whatever the size or niche of your business or the business you are representing, being creative, agile and sometimes risky with your marketing is rule number one. Let’s see what 2018 brings!

Richard Barker is the owner of Harrison Mann. He delivers a range of services to a multitude of organizations. Richard is a specialist in content marketing, pay-per-click, Shopify and WordPress web design, social media marketing and digital support. Connect with him on LinkedIn here.


20 Unique Gifts for Graphic Designers & Creatives 2017

This article was contributed by 9ightout. 

Chocolates, photo frames and books are the obvious gifts but how can you find something different and exciting for a loved one? Especially, when there’s an artist, designer or a techie on the receiving end.

Relax. We’ve got your back. Scroll through this list of the best Christmas / Holiday gifts to give to a designer and put a dash of happiness in their artistry!

Best Christmas Presents / Gifts for Designers, Artists and Creatives

  1. Multitouch Drawing Tablet

Graphics Tablet

I won’t say it isn’t the most obvious choice, it surely is for many. But, with technology getting better every passing month, gifting a multi-touch tablet having the latest specifications is a great option. Artist16, Wacom Mobile Studio Pro, Wacom Cintiq 13HD and so forth are within a feasible price range.

These tablets allow designers to draw directly on the screen where they can collaborate with others, and electronically & manually make changes.

  1. Extra Storage / BackUp Drives


Backup storage, of course, is a mind-blowing gift any time. It is a life-saving gift you can present to your designer friends whose work is their vigor. There’s no way they want to lose it; a thoughtful gift idea indeed. So, why not?

This storage software allows syncing data with other cloud services. Whether you want backups, security, file management or just cloud storage, they meet all the requirements. Some of the best disk managers are Seagate Personal Cloud, Synology DiskStation DS216j, Synology DiskStation DS716+. Learn more about network attached storage devices here.

  1. Power Dock Station

PowerDock Station

To cut out the mess and make your friend’s life a tad easier, here is another superhero gift on the list. Power dock stations will make your buddy’s desk a clean slate. No cluttered wires and no entangling. These dock stations can also fit cables, wallets, phones, tablets, and keys. Allow them some fresh space that’s clutter-free.

  1. LaMetric Dashboard & Speaker


Live display of pixel notifications together with a speaker; could life be any better? This gadget displays notifications of multiple things; for example, business metrics, emails, tasks, news, etc. Fully customizable, one can connect it either to the mobile phone or computer.

  1. QlockTwo Touch


There’s a unique thing about designers. They cannot settle for common objects and decorations. They always have eyes for something that’s equally beautiful and functional. Qlocktwo Touch is a perfect item in the gift wrap. This alarm clock includes a matrix of letters that illuminate to tell you the time. For instance, if it is 8.15, the clock will show ‘fifteen past eight’ in the most stylish way.

  1. Headphone Amplifier

Headphone Amp

Working for long hours on computers can become tedious, but to boost concentration, designers prefer listening to music. Therefore, headphone amplifiers are an ideal match for them. Designed with high-impedance and low-sensitivity, these make a good fit & can also be used on a small workstation.

  1. Vanamco DeviceLab


Eye candy and a very useful gift for designers. DeviceLab is a receptive developmental stand. It helps designers test responsive sites at once by bringing several devices like mobile phones and tablets together in a single place. Besides, it also helps increase productivity at par.

  1. Dot Grid Sketchbook

UI Sketch Book

Let your designer buddies play with dimensions and space to design logos, UI ideas or UX wireframes. Integrated with a dot grid pattern, this gadget is especially useful for UI Stencils and saves a lot of time. Also, the product is 100 percent recyclable which means a safe sigh for mother nature too.

  1. Re-markable Paper Tablet


Read, write or sketch, this Paper Tablet will make it all worth the  experience. For those designers who spill their creativity on papers, this tablet will prove to be a promising gift. Besides, the experience is digital which means combining old ways with new. A perfect combo!

  1. Big Big Cursor

Big Cursor

Your friends no longer have to use the conventional pen type stylus on their touchscreen devices! Gift your buds this out of the box Big-Big Cursor. Available in shape of a gloved finger and cursor version, this cool accessory comes with a magnet. So, it can be easily stuck to a metal surface to prevent it from getting misplaced.

  1. Wacom Inkling Digital Sketch Pen


Most of the times, designers work on laptops and computers. It’s tiring and strenuous. So, how about gifting them something as casual and free like drawing on paper?

Inkling is an ace gadget that allows sketching on paper and records the drawings digitally. Plus, these images work flawlessly with Illustrator, Photoshop, and many other graphic design computer programs. A complete layer control to their design, what else one could ask for?

  1. The Re-Fold MultiFold Portable Table

Multifold Table

All day sitting and working is harmful. Hence, why not gift them something flexible? This multifold table is not only flexible but also portable, affordable and 100% recyclable. Easy to assemble, this foldable desk will be a thoughtful present for your mate.

  1. Mollaspace Keyboard Coasters

Keyboard Coasters

As creative and versatile as the designers, the Mollaspace Keyboard Coasters features a modern and contemporary design. Their design is a statement style and complements any workstation module. Make your friends’ work feel appreciated by gifting them something work-related.

  1. Touch Gloves

Touch Gloves

Winter is here in the northern hemisphere, which means freezing hands and numb fingers. A tough time for creative amigos. Worry not! Gift them a pair of touchscreen gloves that seamlessly work with smartphone and tablet screens interface. These gloves are integrated with special capacitive thumb and index fingertips to operate your smartphone or tablets. They’re cheap, and they’re fashionable! What’s not to love?

  1. Online Courses / Subscriptions


In the era of online shopping and online gift ordering, why not purchase online course or subscription for a gift? Scratch your head and think of a book or course your designer mate wanted from long. If you can, you’ve probably found a great Christmas gift for them because it was already on their wishlist. Try browse Udemy or Skillshare for a great course.

  1. Computer Glasses

Computer Glasses

Another useful gift for designers could be a pair of Anti-glare spectacles (see this article: Do computer eye-glasses really work?). Designers and developers often have to stare at computer screen for long hours, which mostly causes eye strain. Computer eyeglasses with advanced lens technology are designed to minimize these ill-effects. Not only do the glasses look cool, but they also make a superb addition to a designers’ accessories!

  1. Slate 2.0 LapDesk

Slate Desk

Classy and functional as hell, this Lap desk is for times when you’re all up to work while sitting on the bed or couch. Support your lazy lads and offer them a gift of comfort. The ergonomic design of this desk is meant to make their laptop appear cool while giving them optimal space for work and play. This desk is compatible with laptops ranging from 11˝-17˝ as well as the iPad Mini, iPad Air, and iPhone 6/6s and 6/6s plus.

  1. Walls Notebook

Walls Notebook

Bare city walls decorated with fresh coats of design—is there anything more appealing to doodlers, designers, and graffiti artists? This type of gift invites them to fulfill their inner vandal without the risk of jail time. They can take notes, carve sketches, or draw, whatever they like. It is their minimalistic version of wall that they can draw on.

This Walls Notebook gift is super quirky for those creative gems.

  1. Wake-Up Light with Sun Rise Simulation

Wake Up Light

No one in the world would vouch for early to bed and early to rise, anymore. Therefore, to help your friends have a morning experience in night or at noon here is something incredible.

This wake-up light imitates sunlight to wake them up in a natural way. Also, it has an FM radio, with another option of setting wake-up sounds. All in all, an amazing treat for night-owl designers and party lovers.

  1. Projection Keyboard

Keyboard Projection

This little box of joy is a dreamy reality. This projection keyboard provides designers with a full-size keyboard for typing. Moreover, this keyboard is smaller and easier to carry than a regular-sized portable keyboard. Again, a fine present for designers and techies.

From the most expensive ones to the not-so costly, these Christmas gifts will surely entice your designer amigos. So, what are you waiting for? Hurry up and get wrapping! What other christmas gifts would you add?

More Gift Ideas for Creatives

Browse the BlackFriday Deals post, there are some great ideas in there!

The designer gift idea compilation is presented to you by 9ightout


Get 140 Complimentary Stock Images with Storyblocks​

Get 7 days of downloads on us!

Choose from over 400,000 stock photos, vectors, and illustrations.

Start Downloading Now »

    Grab 20 images a day for 7 days.
  • 400,000 Choices
    Download anything you want from our Member Library.
  • Forever Yours
    Keep everything you download, even after your week ends.
  • No Hidden Fees
    Truly complimentary downloads with no hidden licensing fees.

Just create an account and you get download access to everything in the Storyblocks Member Library for 7 days.

Start Downloading Now »

Don’t wait! This offer expires soon!

A sample from StoryBlocks

StoryBlocks Table

StoryBlocks Bokeh StoryBlocks Watercolor StoryBlocks Aurora


7 Essential Questions to Define Your Brand

This article was contributed by Emerson Stone.

Branding is more important to your business than ever. A strong brand identity increases the value of your company, motivates and provides direction to employees, and creates a strong follower base.

Contrary to what many believe, branding comes down to much more than memorable logos. Your brand is the sum of people’s perception of your products, vision, and content. Everything from your voice on social media to your packaging design influences the perception that others have of your brand. Branding can be the difference between customers buying from you or buying from your competitors.

Improving your brand identity begins with understanding your current brand identity. If you don’t exactly know your brand identity, here are seven questions to help you uncover your company’s brand.

1. Why Does Our Company Exist?

This is a question that you should ask yourself every day as a business owner or investor. Simply put, why should people care about your company? Why do you get out of bed every morning?

Simon Sinek gives a great explanation of why some businesses are great and others aren’t in his TED Talk.

The best businesses follow the “Golden Circle” concept; they focus on the “why” behind their business, rather than what they do or how they do it.

Golden Circle

Credit: SmartInsights

Apple has become one of the most powerful companies in the world by employing this exact mindset. Rather than create commercials about the features of their products, Apple creates commercials that glorify those who challenge the status quo. Just look at their famous “Here’s to the Crazy Ones” commercial from 1997.

All businesses know what they are creating, but very few understand why they create their products and services outside of monetary profit.

People do not buy what you do; they buy why you do it.

Simply put, your branding should resonate very closely with your mission and vision statement.

2. What Is Our Story?

It is important to understand how you tell the story of your brand. Telling a story is a powerful way to build relationships with your customers. It’s an age-old concept that brings people together and keeps them engaged.

When telling your story, it’s important to emphasize the hero in your company story – the person who succeeded because of your company, whether that is one specific individual, or a persona that you have created. People don’t only want to hear why you created your company; they want to hear how your company has helped others like them to become successful.

Your “story” is a great opportunity to highlight your success stories while sharing your vision with your customers and employees. Our favorite example of this was Subway’s hiring of Jared, a man who lost over 200 pounds while living on a diet of eating at Subway, to be their spokesperson for 15 years. Although his sex scandal unraveled this brand equity.

Jared Subway

Think back to your customers from the past year and compile 1-2 case studies that tell the stories of the customers that you are most proud to have helped. Come check out our case studies for a few examples of how to get started.

3. What Problems Do We Help Our Customers Solve?

While it can be easy to get wrapped up in your product features or amazing deals, it’s important to step back and think about the problems that your customers are facing.

Is there something that your product is missing that your customers need? What are competitors missing out on when it comes to helping solve customer problems?

With the growing number of consumers researching brands and products online before making their first purchase, it’s more important than ever to create an outstanding first experience.

Brand Identity

Learn as much as you can about your target customer’s behavior, needs, and desires, and find out what concerns they may have about a specific product or the industry itself. Interview your potential customers to understand how you can build a better solution to those needs and desires. You may be surprised to find important information about your market before the competition.

4. Why Do These Customers Trust Our Team Over Our Competitors?

It’s important to understand who you are up against, but also understand what makes you uniquely better than each of these competitors. Other companies may have a deficiency in specific areas that you excel at, or perhaps you offer a diverse suite of services that no one else offers. What makes customers purchase your products over a competitor’s?

SWOT Analysis

You won’t be better than your competitors at everything, but your company should be better than each competitor at something. Perhaps you have the best customer service, or maybe your business caters more to a niche market than any other company. Start by running a SWOT analysis to determine what your business does better than each of your competitors.

Mcdonalds Cheeseburger

McDonald’s doesn’t claim to have the best cheeseburger. They claim to have the most consistent cheeseburger at an extremely affordable price, and that is exactly why millions of people go to McDonald’s every day.

5. What Brands Do We Look Up To?

Which brands did you look up to when first building your business? Whether they were top competitors or powerhouses in other industries, you likely borrowed some brilliance from other great businesses when you started your company.

Looking at brands that inspire you can give a great indicator of the values that are most crucial to your brand, as well as the best way to ensure that those values are properly implemented within your company. You don’t have to copy them completely, but you can take some of their ideas and transform it into your own. For example, many companies look up to Apple for their emphasis on individuality and uniqueness.

6. What 5 Characteristics Would Our Employees Use to Describe Our Brand Today?

How do your own employees perceive your brand? How many of your employees know your company’s mission and vision statement? Your employees’ perceptions about your business are often very different than your own, and they give you the best perspective of how those immersed in your brand 40 hours per week feel about the brand itself.

Find out what your employees see in the company’s brand today. Send out a company survey or call for a meeting to bring everyone together. Brainstorm and find those characteristics that the majority of employees see in your company. Try starting out with a list of conflicting adjectives and asking your employees to identify the adjective in each group that best resonates with your brand. Some examples could include formal vs. informal; funny vs. serious; and customization vs. consistency.

From there, ask yourself whether these five characteristics are consistent with how you want employees to view your brand. If they are not, then it may be time to start thinking about how to change those perceptions.

Describe Brand

7. What Is Our Brand Voice?

Your brand voice is the heart and soul of your communications. Your brand voice is the tone in which you speak to and connect with your audience. Identifying your brand voice will help employees communicate properly across blog articles, social media, interviews, etc.

Whether your brand voice is authoritative, informative, fun or serious, your voice must be 100% authentic. Consumers are more likely to purchase from a company that they connect with on an emotional level. Find the voice that matches best with your brand’s characteristics and vision, and then implement it into everything that your team creates.

Brand Voice

Finding your brand identity may be difficult. However, finding maintaining a consistent brand identity will help you build a strong following amongst consumers and employees. Not only will consumers feel more confident about purchasing your products and services, but your team will also have a better understanding of your vision and your “why”.

Looking for more insight on your brand identity? Is it time for your business to re-brand? Explore our to see if we’re the right company to help you out.

About author: Emerson Stone is a product-centric design agency based in Boulder, Colorado. They help brands to take their business to the next level through branding, strategic consulting, application development, product development, and much more.


The Essential, Artistic Design Bundle (99% Off) + Festive Goodies

Looking for some design magic for your projects?

This bundle brings you a huge selection of top-of-the-range tools from some of the biggest names in the industry.

It’s jam-packed with artistic resources that will help keep your creative juices flowing for all your projects, for the festive season and beyond.

From ready to use elements to professional-grade effects packs, this bundle will be your new best friend making sure you are never stuck for that perfect brush or texture!

» View Artistic Design Bundle (99% Off)

Don’t miss out, this deal expires Dec 19.

Essential Artistic Bundle

This bundle includes:

  • Thousands of high-quality creative resources, not just for the festive season
    The resources in this bundle are essential for every kind of project. Discover hand-drawn illustrations from Lisa Glanz, fonts from Callie Hegstrom, all-year-round tools kits, scene creators, innovative brush packs, textures, floral packs, stained glass effects, stitch effects, and a range of amazing graphics packs.
  • Full extended license
    Use these resources in commercial work available for sale
  • Unlimited free support
    If you need any help working with your new resources, the DesignCuts’ team is here to help.
  • PDF Browsing Guide
    The resources are organised into carefully labelled folders. A .PDF guide is included to make browsing and downloading easier for you.

» View Artistic Design Bundle (99% Off)