Our Coastal VA businesses will drown without strategic design

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The Coastal Virginia area (Hampton Roads) is ground zero with regard to sea level rise and climate change. Businesses, individuals and our government need to act now in developing a plan that will help mitigate the tremendous risk we face. Without proper planning and action, our area faces an uncertain future. Soon, businesses will fail to invest in the area and will choose to find higher ground elsewhere. Residents will also flee the rising tide. Purchasing a home in an area that will experience frequent flooding is too risky for most people. We have two options to deal with this … Continued

Eight design principles for nonprofits

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I was reading a post on mashable.com this morning and saw a list of design rules for nonprofits that I thought would be appropriate to share in this post. These tips were gathered from designers and creatives who work with nonprofits. The original post included 10 rules, but I think these eight are the most important: 1. Highlight the organization’s positive impact. This is kind of a no brainer so you can see why it’s the first rule. Telling your story by sharing the impact your organization makes is critical to getting donors to engage and want to help. 2. Let the design tell … Continued

Research-based design = insightful design solutions

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Third in a series of posts highlighting the importance of strategic design in today’s economy. It is inspired by the book “the Strategic Designer” by David Holston. Charles Eames, one of the most influential designers of the 20th century, stated that effective design cannot depend solely on a designer’s preferences. Instead, it should be strongly influenced by business goals and customer needs. This of course seems obvious. However, it takes research to determine what those goals and needs are. Design research can take many forms. There are companies who focus strictly on market research and can do in-depth analysis of … Continued

Client/Designer relationship: The client always comes first.

Second in a series of posts highlighting the importance of strategic design in today’s economy. It is inspired by the book “the Strategic Designer” by David Holston. The title says it all. It’s all about the client and the problem he/she wants to solve. As a designer, this can be challenging. We put our years of experience and education on the line when we present our ideas. Our heart, soul, blood, sweat and tears can be all wrapped into solutions to our clients’ problems. When we don’t see things the same, issues arise. There’s a disconnect. Figuring out the source … Continued

Three essential principals of strategic design for today’s economy

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First in a series of posts highlighting the importance of strategic design in today’s economy. It is inspired by the book “the Strategic Designer” by David Holston. I just finished an enlightening and thoughtful book on the strategic importance of design in business today. I’m going to share with you some of what I believe to be critically necessary aspects from the book that all business decision-makers should embrace. I’ll start with what I think are the three principals of strategic design in today’s economy. 1. Design is more than aesthetics. Strategic designers are more than decorators of your communications … Continued