AR Designs Year Ahead

Looking Back to Move Forward

It’s the perfect time of year for me to sit down at the keyboard and share with you all the fun things AR Design got to tackle this year, and what we look forward to next.

 

If you asked anyone in the office, I think that the agreed upon highlight of the year was having craft beer that we designed the packaging for show up on the shelves of Publix grocery stores (the largest grocery chain in Florida). As a designer, having something you made become so accessible is overwhelmingly gratifying. Plus, we got to sit back and enjoy it with a beer!

In 2018, we took on more social media management than we ever have. And I am proud to share that we have a developed a really great strategy for using it to help businesses expand their reach and tell their story (rather than just sharing cat gifs). It will be a difference maker for so many. The modern age of marketing has shifted so profoundly in the past few years, and we have welcomed that change, putting into place a framework to provide the leadership our clients need to make the most of it. Bye-bye SEO and digital magic tricks, long live quality content!

Within the span of a mere 365 days, AR Design defined and designed new brands, launched excitingly clean and modern websites, helped lead a CreativeMornings chapter in Palm Beach, partnered with more craft beer companies than we could have imagined, and hosted another successful Create Day, and this is just scratching the surface.

Perhaps what I am most proud of is the team that we built. We are all so uniquely skilled and adept at learning that there is nothing we have not been able to accomplish. We may be small, but we are mighty.

Our Pledge for 2019

  • Bring a new vision and hope to our clients, helping them see opportunities and ways to grow that they would not have.
  • Help business owners remember why they first started their business, and allow them to re-focus on their internal growth rather than external marketing pressures.
  • Treat our clients like family, embracing what makes them unique (here’s looking at you Uncle Dave), learning to manage their needs, and making them smile when they see us.
  • Prove the difference we make by having us on their team. We ultimately know that our value hinges on their success.

We wish everyone a most joyous holiday and a happy new year. Kisses and hugs from the team at AR Design.

 

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The Art of Outreach

Finding, Pitching (and Keeping) New Clients

Operating a small to medium-sized business is tough, especially in the design and marketing world. It goes without saying that all businesses want to grow, so it is vastly important to reach out organically to other local businesses in order to offer services and provide insights, as well as build community leadership. Read More

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Dumb Questions for Smart Designers with Paul Woods of Edenspiekerman

Dumb Questions for Smart Designers – Paul Woods

Like a sweet dream, Paul Woods came to us via a recommendation of the PR firm, Double E Communications. They were right and Paul was super fun to interview. As the CCO of Edenspiekermann, the European design company with a difficult-to-pronounce name, the sensibility is to lean toward a penchant for out-of-the-box design-thinking methodologies, which fits perfect into the mold of Dumb Questions.

Paul, a former punk rock artist, who is obsessed with user-centric design and an outspoken promoter of digital innovation, leads the firm’s Los Angeles team, and uses his punk rock background, irreverence, and sense of humor to “excite, provoke a reaction and, sometimes, even offend,” through his work, particularly with Adloids, a satirical publication he co-created, almost like ‘The Onion’ for design and advertising.

At Edenspiekermann, he advocates for asshole-free agencies, working on a number of social-based/community design projects to tell stories to a wider audience. Paul’s playfulness was a perfect fit for our series, and we did not want to hang up the phone. Read More

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The Perfect: Beverage

Seltzer

Walking down the aisles of a grocery store you are reminded of how food manufacturers have found clever ways to insert sugars, carbohydrates and processed chemicals into nearly everything. Items labeled ‘Diet’ simply contain chemical based sugar replacements, and low-fat items are more processed than their full fat counterparts. This is especially evident in the beverage aisle. With thirst-quenchers of every color, flavor and additive, any calorie conscious consumer would assume that their only viable option is water. And while water is without argument one of nature’s finest miracles, it is boring. Enter waters power-punching cousin: seltzer.

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Dumb Questions for Smart Designers with James Olstein

Dumb Questions for Smart Designers – James Olstein

We’ve experienced time and again that it’s all about timing (see what we did there?), especially with Dumb Questions. James Olstein has been on our list for a while, but when we saw that he illustrated the theme graphic for August’s CreativeMornings, we knew it was kismet.

Aside from being a lauded illustrator, designer and all around good dude, James and his wife are also expecting their first child (probably when this interview comes out). That kid has big shoes to fill, because James has done incredible for work for a wide range of clients, including BBC, Boston Globe, Scientific American, and much more. Speaking of timing, James has a kids book coming out on September 6th from his Odd Science series, called Amazing Inventions.

We wish James and his growing family all the luck and blessings in the world. We hope one day his kid reads this silly article and laughs. Read More

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Dumb Questions for Smart Designers with Victor Melendez

Dumb Questions for Smart Designers – Victor Melendez

A graphic designer and illustrator based in Seattle, Victor Melendez is originally from Mexico City, but after studying electrical engineering for two years he realized it wasn’t his calling. Victor relocated to the beautiful Pacific Northwest and got a BFA in graphic design from Cornish College of the Arts.

With the spirit of an art director and the eye of a muralist, Victor focuses on work that draws you in and makes you think. He has produced work for SubPop, Starbucks, and more than we can name here.

Victor loves baseball, beer, and thai food. He also loves producing amazing work. We found Victor through our West Coast beer contacts and we couldn’t be more thrilled that he agreed to do our dumb interview. Read More

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Dumb Questions for Smart Designers with Courtney Macca

Dumb Questions For Smart Designers – Courtney Macca

Originally hailing from the Pacific Northwest, Courtney Macca, visionary designer and illustrator, currently lives in “the heart of Atlanta” where she works as a graphic designer for a marketing team by day, and focuses on freelancing, hand lettering and illustration at night.

Courtney, a self proclaimed lover of typography, illustration, and branding, is constantly creating new designs to be viewed by the world. In her spare time (though it’s hard to believe she has any), Courtney spearheads an Atlanta-based monthly lettering Meetup group called ATLphabet.

One of the projects that sticks out to us is Courtney’s 100 days of 15 Minute faces, where she worked for 15 minutes each day to create a person’s face, sometimes based off of fictional characters, famous people, or people in her life, using her Wacom tablet, photoshop, and occasional reference photos.

We’re so glad Courtney found the time to join us for our DQSD series!

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Lightning Storm

Being Prepared for the ‘Social’ Storm

Disaster Preparedness for Social Media Clients

As a company that harrowingly endured last year’s Hurricane Season, a startling realization came to us during those storms. After we boarded up the windows and braced for hurricane after hurricane consuming the state of Florida, we realized that preparation for a disaster goes beyond buying water and canned goods, especially in the digital age. For businesses, communication is always key, but during natural disasters it is exponentially more important. Read More

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