May 16

2020 saw a massive shift in, well, everything. As COVID-19 spread across the globe many cities issued shelter-in-place orders in an effort to curb transmission of the virus among its populations. Almost instantly, previously packed city streets and offices became quiet, eliciting a feeling of the uncanny formerly reserved for surrealist art. Many businesses were forced to close their doors to the public while office buildings and studios lay vacant as the acronym WFH (Work From Home) became commonplace in our vocabulary along with the phrase “unprecedented times” being beaten into us in an attempt to sell anything from pizza to cars.

 With the times slowly becoming “precedented” again a lot of companies are looking at WFH as more of a permanent solution rather than a temporary setback. A big part of this push is coming from the tech industry with jobs in development, it’s curious to see how remote work affects the creative process in a highly collaborative field. Now many are wondering whether it’s the future of the design industry. There are certainly both positive and negative aspects to working remotely and creative agencies–both in Boulder, CO–and all over the world–will need to adapt to the changing workflow of the graphic design industry.

 

Larger Talent Pool

 One pro to going remote is having a larger talent pool of designers to work with, especially when working with different clients in diverse industries. As the digital world gets bigger, an agency or studio is not limited to its local market to find designers with the most talent and best fit for the company. This also leads to an increase in diversity where you can source creative teams and individuals of varying experiences and backgrounds to bring ideas to the table. Having multiple perspectives “in the room” helps to foster creative and innovative concepts and design solutions.

 “The Room”

 There are certainly benefits to a globally diverse group and there are plenty of tools to foster remote collaborative thinking. We’re all basically Zoom experts by now. Even so, there’s something to be said about having your team in the same room. It creates an environment that promotes human interaction, connection, comradery and constructive feedback. It’s easier to clearly communicate ideas in person and less awkward when presenting and critiquing work. Having two people try to talk at the same time is somehow 10 times more awkward over Zoom.

 Work/Life Balance

 This is often touted as a perk of remote work. Having flexibility is great for adjusting work around everything else going on in life. Working from home can allow more time with family and more time for other activities that are important for keeping sane. The big downside is that working from home can blur the lines between work and home life. It’s wonderful having all this technology that allows us to communicate to people anywhere in the world at any time, but if you’re not careful, being available anywhere and anytime may become an expectation rather than a convenience.

 There’s absolutely no doubt that the pandemic has changed the way the world works and we’re certainly going to see a lasting effect in the design and branding industry. From the type of work to the way we work, COVID is going to change the landscape of creative work. We have no doubt many design studios and creative agencies are going to move to more of a remote business model, and the type of design work needed is going to shift even more to a digital medium. Coincidentally, we love elevating brands’ digital presence! 

Have a look at our interactive work and if you think we’d be a good fit together let’s have a chat.

Apr 22

Every agency should have a roadmap for clients to refer back to in order to ensure that the agency will deliver the right end product. These methodologies are developed over time and experientially based so that the agency can recognize clear progress markers as they work with an array of clients. 

 

At Oblique, the SLNT (slant) Method™ is our roadmap to lead brands down an actionable, strategic path so you can get the clarity and results you want. Our approach is purposefully linear and methodical as we fully immerse ourselves in your brand’s objectives, giving your values the proper context to shine. Each step along our path builds on the previous in order to create and sustain momentum for your brand for years to come. 

 

Now, let’s get into the nitty-gritty.

 

What does SLNT METHOD™ mean?

  • Strategize: We set the foundation for your brand by establishing or refining your strategy via mission, vision, values, positioning, business & marketing short and long term vision. 
    • Leverage: We fine-tune and align your brand’s presentation by leveraging your foundational concepts and examining how you communicate the intricacies of your name and tagline, your color palette, brand identity and brand positioning to your audience. 
  • Narrate: We use all that we have created in order to narrate your story throughout all your assets such as your website, sales materials, signage, and merchandise.
  • Target: We pinpoint how to get your brand out into the world with targeted digital campaigns, social media, and any other type of advertising touch point. 


The beauty of our SLNT Method™ is that you can jump in at any time along the way. We’re here to help you become the best version of yourselves in the smartest way possible using our special sauce. If you have any questions and want to see if Oblique is the right fit for you, please reach out.

Jan 22

You know that moment when you go to a website and can’t figure out how to navigate it, and then all of a sudden that business is dead to you?

Well, that’s a dramatized version of what happens when you encounter bad user experience (UX). Your attitude about the whole product or business in its entirety is shifted by a friction-filled, almost antagonizing website. No one wants that.

In order to avoid that worst case scenario, you need a plan in place to ensure a consistent, seamless, user experience across all of your platforms and products. This plan, or UX Strategy, is the conceptual roadmap for how and why your products and website are going to keep people coming back for more.

To create a UX strategy that is rock solid, you’re going to marry a throuple. It’s not as saucy as you might think, but it’s what our Boulder interactive design and development team does for each website we work on. This ‘throuple’ is the intersection of data, people on your team, and functionality success measurements. This sets the conceptual foundation for all your products, websites, and platforms that will motivate and unite different teams and projects. It’s your map.

Good UX Strategy defines all aspects of user experience before the design phase of your project. In the long run this will help you keep up with user behavior patterns and stay in touch with your customers.

Ultimately, having a great UX Strategy is going to help you have a successful website that people enjoy using. It will also provide you with a foundation to fall back on when you get stuck and a direction to aspire towards when you are in a groove. Who doesn’t want that?

If you don’t know where to start when coming up with a UX Strategy or want a refreshed plan, we’re the design firm for you. We work with clients from all around the country, but take note, we’re a Boulder creative agency through and through.

Oct 12

This is a meta blog post- we’re talking about the importance of maintaining a company blog as part of building your brand. You’re currently reading the proof that we practice what we preach.

Blogs serve multiple important functions in terms of brand building and growing your online presence. They are certainly a worthwhile investment in creating an organic audience and maximizing your SEO rankings.

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Sep 16

“Just Do It” 

“I’m lovin’ it.” 

“We bring good things to life.”

You hear these phrases and you just know to whom they belong before we even have to tell you. In case you didn’t, “Just Do It” is Nike’s tagline, “I’m lovin’ it” was coined by McDonald’s and “We bring good things to life.” is GE’s famous tagline. So why can we remember them in a split second?

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Aug 21

Picture this: you’re walking down the cereal aisle in a Target and you’re watching boxes of cereal fly by like you’re spinning the wheel on Wheel of Fortune. Suddenly, your eye stops wandering and it lands on a box that stands out against the rest. How did they do this? How can one creative packaging design stand out in a very competitive market? Well, we’ll give you a few pointers to help you through the design process.

 

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Jul 27

A decade ago, the biggest slap to the face to designers came in the form of the 5 dollar logo from Fiverr or 99Designs. Fiverr and 99Designs are online market places that offer various creative services online for very little money with quick turn arounds. Sounds like a good idea, right?

Well, it’s a bit more complicated than that.

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Mar 24

We know we talk a lot about creative web design and how it’s part of the special recipe for attracting the right customer to a business. We’ve also gone into detail about UX and UI; but what we haven’t covered are a few psychology hacks for attracting and converting leads into customers. There’s a certain science to the art of design.

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Feb 21

We talk a lot about the importance of creative web design, and that’s because the Internet is such a key component to everyday living. The Internet of Things (IOT) refers to devices (“things”) with a unique login per user that are connected, accessed, configured and manipulated from other sources without human interaction- think Nest, ATMs, AppleHome, lightbulbs you can switch on from your phone, etc.

IoT isn’t going anywhere any time soon, and that’s really exciting.

But what does that have to do with web design?

 

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Feb 14

It’s the dawn of the roaring 20s again. And like the first time around, the 20s are stepping it up. This century’s 20s has user friendliness at the forefront of all graphic and digital design. A little bit different than 100 years ago. So, as we get deeper into the second month of the new decade, we thought it would be a good idea to share a few graphic and digital design trends that we think should be left in the 10s.  

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