links we savor relish january

Links We Savor: Pantone's Color of the Year, Trends to Watch in 2018 and More!


The New York Times | The Future Is…Purple

We’re only a little thrilled that Pantone Color Institute named Ultra Violet as the 2018 color of the year (Relish Marketing has long been partial to purple). See how Pantone made the selection and whether the forecast is for a Purple Reign.

Social Media Week | 7 Ways to Engage Millennials and Gen Z on Social Media in 2018

Social media is changing – which means getting more strategic with audiences like Millennials and Gen Z, who spend so much time online. Look at these seven ways you can engage them on social media this year.

Forbes | 10 Workplace Trends You’ll See in 2018

We’ve all read how the positive US economy indicators are all in place – but what should you DO to succeed in 2018? Forbes’ top trends for 2018 go beyond the usual with important ways to prepare for future success.

Digital Marketing Institute | 11 Web Design Trends to Watch in 2018

Increase user engagement. Lower bounce rates. Achieve higher conversion rates. Right. But how do you do it? Take a look at these 11 ways to improve your online presence in 2018.

AdWeek | 3 Ways Word of Mouth Influencers Will Change the Way You Advertise in 2018

Will Mom be more influential than any celebrity this year? Read AdWeek’s report on influencer marketing for the answer – and see how influencer marketing could make or break a campaign.


At Relish Marketing, our fusion of creative and strategy unlocks your brand and propels it forward. Savor your brand. View our client work. Work with us! Contact here.

How to Concept Like a Pro

A marketing concept is defined as a clear idea around which an ad or campaign can be created. However, the word ‘concept’ has lost its meaning. It is much larger than just a design layout, a catchy headline, or a message that doesn’t relate to the consumer or employee benefit. Below you will find guidelines, mostly for design creatives, brought to you by a designer. Now, every project will be different, (*gasp*) but the list below can help fellow creatives begin working toward a strong concept.

Okay. So, you have landed a project! Hell yeah! Your boss asks in President Bartlet fashion, “What’s next?”

  1. Research

I have the gigantic benefit of Relish’s Account Service team, which does most of the research for projects at Relish. Without that team, my designs might look appealing but lack connection to what the client actually needs.

For example, if we are rebranding for a hospital in Wisconsin, the design team could crank out several great looking options. However, the account team’s research is the reason we know the client’s competitors and their logos, colors the client wants to stay away from because of college rivalry in the area (yes that is a thing), the history of the company, and overall what appeals to them. Look at every client and find out what makes each one different. Be intentional.

2. Inspiration

This is my favorite part - searching on Behance, Designspiration, Creative Market, and sometimes even Pinterest to find out what is out there. Don't look at other designs or campaigns with envy. Instead, learn what they have done, find out what is appealing to you and draw inspiration from the people and designers around you. Here at Relish Marketing, when we find inspiring work, we print it out and hang it up on the wall.

Relish concepting

3. Sketching

I have always been bad at this. I always want to find inspiration and then go straight to my computer and pull up Illustrator. I think, “Oh I got it! It’s in my head.” Wrong. There is a huge difference between sketching on a computer and putting pen to paper. Technology is incredibly advanced, and as designers, we have a lot of capabilities, but there is still an advantage to sketching with no boundaries, using a pen and paper.

Kraton logo concepts

4. More Sketching

You have 10 concepts? Cool. Make 90 more. Go outside. Sketch. Go to a quiet room. Sketch. Go to the bar and have a beer and sketch. You will draw inspiration from your environment even if you don’t realize it. I find that when I sketch before a project, I can develop my ideas so that the process goes more seamlessly later on.

Core Dance logo concepts

5. Concepting on the Computer

Okay. You can go to your computer now. You have 100 ideas sketched. You deserve it. You will find it is easier to put your ideas in the computer when you have a sketch in front of you.

K-C L&D Icons concepts

6. Polish it up!

Tweaking ideas is the most challenging part of the concepting process for me. When I create a logo, icons, or layout, I already think that it looks good. I wouldn’t have sent it to my Creative Director or the client if I didn’t think so. However, there is always room for improvement and change. Remember, unlike you, the client is going to be looking at your design almost every day – it is only right that they be satisfied.

And there you have it. Of course, every designer is different, but following a process like this one turns a concept into an end product that is intentional, attractive, and effective.

UGA rebranding

UGA's Rebranding Effort

As a die-hard Auburn fan, you don’t normally find me raving about something that the University of Georgia did. But as a creative director, I’ve got to send kudos to the Bulldogs for UGA’s recent rebranding effort.

While Georgia alumni may want to cling to the familiar look and feel they remember, the old mark had issues. Its delicate lines felt overly thin, even fragile. The old, narrow horizontal rules didn’t reduce well. And UGA’s iconic arch sat on top of the logo, instead of being integrated into the mark as a whole. On top of that, the university’s brand integrity had become disjointed and disorganized. Pieces and parts of the UGA brand (arch, colors, etc.) seemed to be pulled apart and used randomly, with little continuity from one to another – especially when compared with the high-integrity logos of rivals GA Tech and University of Florida.

The new logo is a great improvement.

Look at how that same iconic arch has been kept as a central focus in the new brand, while its silhouette was revised – barely perceptibly – so that it will stand out against the shield behind it. And the typography is, bolder, stronger and more legible than the previous font. The serif still has the classic qualities you’d expect at a more than 200 year-old university, but feels modern and updated.

I’m especially impressed by how attention to small details makes this updated brand so successful. Consider, for instance, how the triangular indentations at the base of the arch columns help project the arch into the foreground. In a sea of university shield logos, UGA’s choice to focus and hone legacy elements from the previous mark while adding a timeless, legible typeface makes this new mark stand apart.

NASA rebranding

The Meatball vs. the Worm: The NASA Brand Standards Manual

In 1972, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) initiated the Federal Graphics Improvement Program under the direction of President Richard Nixon. The NEA program was fairly new when New York design firm Danne & Blackburn was tasked with redesigning NASA’s existing graphics and communication standards, which were fractured and outdated.

Rebranding a federal agency with thousands of employees and facilities across the country was no easy feat; Danne & Blackburn began the process by updating the NASA logo, which would become widely known as 'the worm'. The new logo was everything the existing logo, nicknamed 'the meatball,' was not - simple, streamlined, and easily reproduced on everything from a letterhead to the side of a building.

NASA logo redesign

The new logo was both embraced and despised by those that worked for the agency. In general, the 'old guard' NASA employees felt it trampled on the history of the agency, while the new, younger employees viewed it as a modern and refreshing update. To this day, the debate over 'meatball vs. worm' still rages on.

The controversial logo established a path to a comprehensive, well-organized manual, with every aspect of the system designed around the central idea of easy reproduction. The guide was continually amended and updated for the next 10 years, with every NASA facility submitting images of their signage and branded elements - each slightly unique, but in line with the manual. These images were organized into an appendix to showcase how consistent design and branding can be accomplished and distributed even through decentralized channels.

Unfortunately, the worm logo and brand standards were ultimately revoked in 1992, as NASA went back to using the traditional meatball for all graphic communications moving forward. However, the original guide left a powerful legacy in the design world, and became a standard bearer for forward-thinking design excellence.

“Recognizing the need is the primary condition for design.” –Charles Eames

FedEx logo

I See What You Did There!

Anyone who has ever noticed the right-facing arrow in the Fedex logo knows that logos containing cleverly hidden meanings can boost perceptions of the business in several ways: Hidden symbols in a logo can explain and/or reinforce the nature of the business. Or they can offer a visual representation of the name. They can add intrigue and prestige. And, the company's attention to detail and creativity can make us conclude that their business personifies the attributes hidden in the logo.

Maybe more than anything, logos that include hidden meanings make us feel clever for finding them. They're fun and inspiring.

So, why not wake up the places in your brain that enjoy a good treasure hunt? See if you can find the hidden meanings in this collection of logo designs. And have fun with what they inspire for you: