Back when I was doing my honours year at University, I came across a story from a previous honours student who was also majoring in corporate identity. She was writing her thesis on how a rebrand would affect the employees of a company, with the hypothesis that the new look would help breathe new life and energy into the employees while creating better unity that would in turn increase job satisfaction and productivity. But as it turned out, things hadn’t gone that way.
A logo can be almost anything, designed by anyone, and used in any way a business owner or marketing manager sees fit. So what goes into creating a professional logo design that doesn’t happen when a logo is designed by a five-dollar logo website or the office manager’s sister-in-law who has a ripped copy of CorelDRAW?
Branding and communications can, and will, alter the whole way the business runs and is perceived both internally and externally. This is why I talk about empowering businesses and organisations to establish and communicate their story.
So what is branding then? Branding starts with the story of your organisation. What is your mission, why is your business doing what it’s doing? It sounds simple, yet so many companies get caught up in their own products and services, processes and trying to make large profits, that the core idea of the business often gets lost in the noise.
Imagine one of your salesmen or employees was out in public actively bagging or talking down your company. What if they were making up lies about how your business operates and were spreading the misinformation to all your current and potential customers? Unfortunately a lot of company logos are out there in the big bad world doing just this.
These days on the Internet competition for eyeballs is fierce, screens are all different sizes, orientations and resolutions, and Google has become a highly intelligent and aggressive gatekeeper to the Internet with a major focus on highly relevant, quality content. So what does this all mean for your website today?
Apple is a company that is almost becoming like a German car maker: rather than reinventing the wheel with each new model of iPad or MacBook, they simply work on making incremental improvements to an already solid foundation. And the release of the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus is no different.
Most people who enjoy taking photos as a hobby or just socially, tend to leave their camera mode on 'auto' or 'P' and snap away without giving the other modes a second thought. And much of the time this is quite acceptable, as the auto mode on modern compact and digital SLR cameras are very, VERY good these days at taking sharp, accurately exposed photographs—all in the split second it takes to press the shutter.
Not that long ago the term ‘mobile site’ came into existence, which basically meant a company would run two websites side-by-side; one full size website and one mini website that was optimised with smaller pictures and bigger menu buttons that people could easily navigate on their mobile phone. This has worked pretty well up until recently when two things have happened.
One tweet. Just twenty-eight words. That's all it took to start a complete shift in the way I use my iMac in my full-time Marketing Communications role at work. I've rearranged and modified my desk, moved my chair over to one side, and have spent the last week standing at my computer instead of sitting in the stale, stagnant position I've spent the last ten or more years sitting in throughout my working life.
We recently embarked on a two-thousand kilometre road-trip from Brisbane to the majestic Hunter Valley wine region in New South Wales. We set off in search of locally produced wine, boutique beer and to visit the Estate that makes virgin olive oil that Renée sells at the markets. We had our usual arsenal of iPhones for communication, searching for good coffee and playing music in the car, our compact Nikon P7000 for snapping some holiday shots, and the iPad for downloading and viewing those photos. But on this trip we had an extra hi-tech traveller, Logitech's battery-powered bluetooth enabled UE Boombox.
Advertising is everywhere. It forces our poor HD TVs to yell at us in our own living rooms. Our cars become mobile brainwashing booths as the radio flogs everything from iced coffee to nasal spray technology. It's slapped all over buildings, bus stops, buses, shopping centre walkways and highways. Try reading an in-flight magazine, newspaper or your favourite webpage without being smashed in the face with messages telling you how inadequate your life is because you don't use a particular fragrance or wear a four-and-a-half thousand dollar watch. But recently I've been surprised at the level of product placement by Apple in both film and television shows, and the other night they seemed to go one step further ...
I need to keep all the cables in and around my desk tidy for two reasons. Firstly: I hate cables. In a world of mobile phones, wireless Internet and Bluetooth keyboards and mice, cables suddenly seem clumsy, restrictive and ugly. A disorganised excess of them often results in one's place of work looking more like a snake pit scene from Indiana Jones than somewhere where productivity and creativity prevails.
I know plenty of people who have bought themselves thousands of dollars worth of camera gear with the promise that they'll instantly become an amazing photographer. Unfortunately this is like giving a self-opinionated, zit-faced wet-dreaming teenager the keys to a Lamborghini Aventador and expecting some kind of race driving child-prodigy to miraculously materialise. The absolute truth is: expensive cameras don't take amazing photos; people take amazing photos. With some tips about lighting and composition, there's no reason why you can't practice and develop your photography skills using simply the camera on your very own iPhone.
Smartphones, and particularly late model iPhones, are remarkable little devices. They play our music, enable us to surf the net from virtually anywhere, we can watch feature length movies, Facebook, Twitter, emails, heck, I'm even typing this article on my iPhone 5 using an Apple BlueTooth keyboard. And while PCs and even notebook computers are frequently getting replaced by smaller, smarter, thinner iPhones and iPads, there's another product category that is suffering terribly under the burden of smartphone popularity: compact cameras.
Twitter is fast becoming my favourite way to network and meet new like-minded people online. One of the most recent of those connections was through a family friend of mine who in turn put me in touch with some of his old workmates who now run a Brisbane based coffee blog website called Bean Brewding. If you’re not in Brisbane the site’s still worth a browse as it has lots of information, pictures and ideas for making coffee treats at home. If you are in Brisbane then this is fast becoming a local coffee bible that sniffs out and rates some of the city’s best coffee houses and roasteries. And on the 15 December 2012 Bean Brewding together with Yelp hosted the very first (hopefully of many to come) Bean Brewding Brisbane Coffee Tour—which I was lucky enough to get a personal invite to via my new found friends on Twitter!
I've really been enjoying my new iPhone 5. I was a bit slower on the bandwagon than most of my fellow MacTalk writers, but almost a month to the day since the 5 was announced I finally wandered into a relatively quiet Telstra store to get my hands on a shiny new device. Tip for young players: pick a Telstra store that's in a demographic area containing mainly old people, and bingo! ... no iPhone waiting lists or crowds of people looking for the latest gadgets. The specials bins out the front of Terry White Chemists on the other hand ...
I was quite happy to receive my iPhone 5 after the 4 I've had for just over two years was starting to play up a bit, mainly the home button was becoming a real issue affecting functionality and efficiency of the device. I'd been warned there were some issues with the battery life on some new iPhone 5's, so I undertook the following steps when setting up the new phone:
The recent Apple event on 12 September launched new versions of the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPod Nano. I have never really needed an iPod. I've had an iPhone since the first ones landed in Australia, and between my and my wife's phone, the iPad, the iMac, and a 'decommissioned' iPhone 3G that is now basically an iPod Touch, we've always got a music device handy. So the iPhone 5 is of the most interest to me.
The Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover for iPad has sparked a debate in my mind about what the iPad is and why we are constantly trying to turn it into something that it’s not. The appeal of the iPad is obvious: sleek, sexy, lightweight—a real showpiece of technological achievement. So why do we feel compelled to ‘fix’ it by adding a plethora of cases and accessories to make it more like a netbook or MacBook Air (yet with none of the style and panache of the Air once all the bits are added) ... and ultimately ruining what was once an obsessive compulsive minimalist like myself’s ultimate electronic device?