Designing With Humor: Five Ways Brands Can Be Funny Without Falling Flat

This month’s design list is all about the laughs.

Humor: It’s integral and inherent in essentially every human relationship — from the friends we choose to the coworkers we spend our creative time with, to the brands we interact and identify with on a daily basis. In our latest listicle, we share a few tips and tricks we’ve learned through the past 20 years that can help brand managers make things funny without falling flat.

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Digital Darwinism: The Do’s and Don’ts of Brand Activism

Is it time for your brand to take a stand?

Engaging in effective brand activism can create major moments for savvy brand managers, from helping to raise awareness, to building consumer loyalty, to helping new players in the business differentiate from the long-standing competition. But playing politics can also be a dangerous game for CMOs to play in today’ volatile environment–one misstep and brands can go from relative safety to total extinction.

Fortunately, we have some expertise in this arena, from our continuing human rights work with the Global Goals, to this spring’s exciting LGBTQ pivot campaign with MGM Resorts. For our latest design list, we offer five tips for brand leaders to effectively engage in this new age of radical branding.

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Shaping Brand Voice: 10 Essential TOV Traits and When to Use Them

From speaking with confidence to talking empowerment.

A brand’s tone of voice is not what it says, but how it says it. When doing big rebrands and redesigns, we often begin our strategic process not with the visual stuff, but with an exploration of a brand’s way of communicating and connecting with audiences.

For our latest Trollbäck List, we created a list of 10 essential TOV traits for brands to consider, and a quick explanation of when (and when not) to use them.

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Brand New: Rethinking Best Practices in Logo Design

Six ways digital communication is changing the way we think about wordmarks, avatars, and icons.

Logo design has come a long way since brands began using standardized icons more than 200 years ago. From ornate Victorian symbology in the mid-1800s to the Late Modernism of the 1960s and ‘70s, the design industry has demonstrated an almost constant state of re-invention to keep up with changing visual trends and technologies of the times.

Today, as society continues to embrace a bold new era of digital communication, this dynamic nature is changing faster than ever. In our latest Design List, we detail six recent trends in modern logo design and why they matter for constructing a contemporary, digital-first brand identity.

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Moiré: Design Within Lines

8 techniques for working purposefully with one of design’s most notorious glitches.

Moiré: A type of graphic interference pattern that seemingly appears out of nowhere when lines, stripes, grids or curves align unexpectedly in a design. It’s a phenomenon usually avoided in this industry – the subject of countless how-to articles and online tutorials overviewing the easiest ways to skirt around or edit out the notorious optical illusion from our creations.

But moiré can also be an incredibly useful tool for adding depth, movement and unexpected excitement to our creative projects. Below, we detail eight techniques artists and designers have used while working purposefully with interference patterns. Think of it as inspiration for your daily practice.

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