Blog

Join us in conversation on the topics we believe matter...to our industry, our city and our society.

Why Learning Another Language Makes You a Better Writer

By A.wordsmith | May 11, 2017

Most of the time, language is effortless. Despite the labyrinth separating the thoughts in my prefrontal cortex from the words in my mouth, I can ramble all day without thinking twice about the process. Language is effortless, that is, until we encounter a new one. In a foreign language, finding the right words suddenly takes work, and we’re forced to […]

Read More

Conversational Writing: The Art of Keeping it Real

By Elizabeth Garcia | May 8, 2017

How often do messages on websites or marketing emails make you wonder if a human wrote them? A lot of content supposedly “targeting” us completely misses the mark. The writing is not conversational. It doesn’t sound like us. It doesn’t make us want to engage, and it lacks personality altogether. Some brands still confuse professional with formal […]

Read More

Design Week Portland 2017

By Kris Travis | May 1, 2017

To be honest, I was supposed to post to our blog last week, but I was too busy checking out Design Week Portland 2017. Did you experience any of the great events last week? For those who haven’t heard, Design Week is an annual celebration of all things design-related: architecture, art and craft, graphic design, […]

Read More

The CEO's role in a brand crisis

By Natalie O'Grady | Apr 24, 2017

In the middle of a crisis for your brand, who do you want facing the public and weathering the storm? The instinctual answer might be your CEO. However, even in the midst of an exceptionally terrible time for your brand, someone other than your CEO could be a better option to help communicate with the […]

Read More

Influencer Marketing for Small Businesses

By Natalie O'Grady | Mar 29, 2017

Influencer marketing is a priority for brands in 2017. In 2016, influencers emerged as a powerhouse for brands looking to reach millennials in the personalized, authentic way that they desire. Celebrity endorsements have always been a tool for marketers with the right budget, but influencer marketing takes this concept to the next level. It combines […]

Read More

Women’s History Month Wrap-Up: 4 Brands Celebrating Women

By Savanna Atherton | Mar 27, 2017

International Woman’s Day has come and gone, and we’re approaching the end of Women’s History Month. Over the last few weeks companies and brands throughout the country and world have been celebrating women. Using a variety of strategies, many businesses utilized International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month to announce ongoing initiatives, campaigns or a […]

Read More

Inspiring Women in Graphic Design

By Kris Travis | Mar 22, 2017

To continue the month’s celebration of women’s contributions to history and the world, I thought it would be fitting to highlight five super talented women doing big things in the field of graphic design. There are so many inspiring women in graphic design right now; I love learning from their unique styles, career challenges and successes, and perspectives on what design means to […]

Read More

Dark Social: Digital Word of Mouth

By Natalie O'Grady | Mar 10, 2017

“Dark social” isn’t as malicious as it sounds. The term was coined by Alexis Madrigal in an article for The Atlantic in 2012 to describe the sharing of information in emails and instant messengers – sharing that existed long before social media platforms were popular. Social media ROI is getting easier to measure, but dark […]

Read More

The beauty of a brand manifesto

By Kris Travis | Feb 21, 2017

I’ve talked about the moodboard process, as well as the importance of brand guides, but have yet to touch on one of the other tools in the master brand toolkit: the brand manifesto. What is a brand manifesto? As a manifesto is “a written statement declaring publicly the intentions, motives, or views of its issuer” (Miriam-Webster), […]

Read More

Is Jargon Bad?

By A.wordsmith | Feb 10, 2017

Forward-facing innovators can optimize deliverables by leveraging a holistic view of language. Last weekend I used the word “optimize” while out with friends. My husband nudged me. “You’re using your business jargon in real life again,” he whispered. My work is a nonstop cycle of blogs, articles, brochures, press releases, POVs, web copy and white […]

Read More