Storm on the horizon with many lightning bolts scattering downward.

Designing in the Eye of the Storm

How a Natural Disaster Affects Digital Industries

It’s passé to say that the digital work world never stops, but it is true…even in a hurricane. In all likelihood, for a digital workforce, such as a design and marketing firm like ours, it is even more critical to keep going, keep working and communicating through a disaster. With hurricane season just behind us, we felt the need to share what we learned. Read More

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How AR Design Hacked a Urinal Using a Poem

How to Hack a Urinal

Creating Concrete Change with a Pee Pee Poem

What started as a passing complaint has now blossomed into a reflective lesson. If you seek a change in your world, your environment, it is worth a try to change it. Even if it is something silly and inconsequential, like a faceless non-flusher, the least you can do is try, because you never know, it might just work and affect other people. Read More

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When the Going Get’s Tough, the Tough Go to Conferences

We all suffer from the kind of head-down, get it done routine that enables us to operate in a fast-paced, growing business. It is both an inevitability and consequence of getting through your slog of emails and daily to-dos. And while it is easy to recognize the pattern, it is a challenge to change it. Then, a friend (Jenni Schwartz) tells you about a little thing called the Front-End Design Conference in St. Petersburg, Florida, and the clouds seemed to clear a little.

In full disclosure, this conference was happening in a place very convenient to our office, only a three hour drive away, and in a city that I had never visited, but was high on my list of places to check out in Florida. So, it did not require much arm twisting to get me to say yes when asked if I was going to attend. The convenience of the event was outdone by the hair-raising, eye-opening, fresh air buzz that the conference was to deliver.

Unbeknownst to me, the Front-End Design Conference was going into its ninth year in the town of St. Pete and presented its fortunate attendees with two days of speakers who expounded about the design industry, usability, prototyping, programming, dealing with clients and semantics. The variety of speakers kept the conference from, at any, point going stale, deftly switching from general discussions about industry trends to accessible HTML to prototyping your work. Read More

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Explaining Graphic Design to a Five Year Old

Design 4 Kids

Kids are naturally curious about what their parents do for a living, and when we try to explain it to them (or even some adults) our explanations generally fall into one of two categories: lengthy and overly informative or hasty and placating. You have to find the middle ground.

This is even more important when you have to explain a job that’s a bit more abstract, like artist or psychologist. You have to go big with color and candy wrappers to keep them listening.
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Hashtags are Dead

#Hashtags Are Dead…Kinda

From Must Have to Has Been?

Consider the mighty hashtag. A splendid tool for grouping and monitoring specific topics via social media, it has come a long way in a relatively short amount of time.

First suggested by former Google designer, Chris Messina in 2007, who proposed that Twitter adopt the hashtag — or “pound” symbol, as it was called at the time — as a method for grouping content.

Have we truly thought about the purpose of this feature in 2016? With all the advanced tracking capabilities and tools these days, is the hashtag as important as it once was? As a company, we have personally witnessed hashtag interaction severely decline in the last few years. Read More

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Blind Typing for Coders and Programmers

Touch Typing is Your Trusty Tool for Coding

This post is inspired by actual events.

This day and age, typing is an undeniable core discipline, an inherent advantage. It is further heightened for developers, because good typing is critical to achieving your goal. Any programmer can tell you that one letter, one comma, one hyphen in the wrong place has cost them hours (if not days) of time fixing their code. Read More

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NYC Wifi

Where Once There Was a Payphone

How Wifi is Changing the Streets of New York City Forever

Goodbye past, hello future. New York City is a new town these days in many ways. One of which is the new, city-wide wifi. Where once were telephone booths on corners, now there are triangular gigabit internet towers, allowing city citizens to dock, charge, connect and even create on their way to the 6 train.

Earlier this year, the Big Apple started unveiling these modern monoliths dedicated to providing the city streets with fast, unlimited wifi internet. The gestalt pillars stand out like angular bus stops, but give the infrastructure of the lay metropolis a push in the right direction: Progress.

Everyone here at AR Design is either from or has lived in New York City at one point. We found it refreshing from a design, tech-savvy standpoint, as well as a forward-thinking approach, that our once-home will look very different the next time we return. Read More

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Baby Computer

Conversations with AI: A Neutral Shade of Gray

Artificial Intelligence is Getting More Helpful in the Home

We all need a little help and guidance in certain periods of life. AI chatbots, if all goes well, will be designed to provide some help. After all isn’t technology supposed to make life easier? When deciding on what color to paint a baby’s room, especially when not finding out the sex, recommendations go a long way.

Combing through current internet posts, ideally the bot should compartmentalize seasonal selections and styles for popular searches regarding the individual request. In this case, it is paint colors for a baby’s room. The difficulty lies in the neutrality because said parents are not finding out the sex of the upcoming baby. Read More

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The 2020 Tokyo Olympics Design Debacle

And Why Design Contests are Bad for Clients

An international design competition was launched late last year to design the logos for the Olympic and Paralympic games in 2020, after the original logo by Japanese designer Kenjiro Sano was scrapped by Olympic organizers amid claims of copying from the Belgian designer Olivier Debie.

It’s surprising that after the very public scandal, the Tokyo Olympics committee thought it wise to hold a design contest to solve their logo dilemma, a prime example of compounding one mistake with another. Going with a logo that was not cleared from copyright was an honest lapse that can be forgiven, but instead of searching out other, reputable design firms to work on a new direction, they headed down the deep dark hole of design competitions. Read More

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