2013 American Graphic Design Award Winners Announced

Finishline Creative Group Wins its 9th Consecutive Award for LeMay – America’s Car Museum’s 2013 Vintage Motorcycle Festival Poster Design

This marks the 9th consecutive year Finishline Creative Group (FCG) has won the prestigious American Graphic Design Award for Excellence in Communication and Graphic Design. FCG won in the Print Design Category for the poster designed to commemorate LeMay – America’s Car Museum’s 2013 Vintage Motorcycle Festival in Tacoma, WA.

2013 is the 50th year of this national competition, which is judged by an international panel of design and advertising professionals. It is the most selective advertising and design competition in North America, honoring only 10% of the 10,000+ entries each year.


Real Russian Vodka Featured on Packaging of the World

Real Russian Vodka is the first product for startup Premiere Distilleries in Chicago, IL. The owners of the company were born in Russia and came to the US in the late 70's. It's been a life long dream to build their own distillery and produce a vodka based on a family recipe from 1905. They came to us with a very open mind but a specific idea for their Signature product. They wanted something that looked super premium, had that old world feel and stood out in the sea of Vodka already on the shelves.

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6 Strategies to Build a Global Brand

​Building a global brand requires more than just launching a web site that's accessible from almost anywhere in the world.

From language missteps to misunderstanding cultural norms, veteran branding expert Barbara E. Kahn has seen it all when it comes to the missteps of launching a brand across borders. Here, she shares six tips to help entrepreneurs avoid the pitfalls.

Read more: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/226554#ixzz2SiF6JRZh

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8 design mistakes that startups can avoid.

Skype and coffee are my two basic tools when I’m on the job of talking to startups who ask me to look over their product or site and give a practical honest critique of it. I’m a startup guy and I love helping out as much as possible so handing out tid-bits of advice on direction or usability can be alot of fun. After doing quite a few of these I realise that many of the startups don’t have designers and are winging it themselves. This in mind I thought that I would volunteer some ‘cliff notes’ of design advice when putting together the identity and structuring your website or even app.

To this end here are 8 things to avoid when starting down the road of putting the website together or starting into the iterative process of your MVP. Obviously this is all dependant on your product but there are some universal design constants more startups can aim to avoid. On average a startup team constitution is made up of the lead developer and the Marketing/business guy. I will assume for the purposes of this article that either two will have some understanding of Photoshop / Illustrator / Fireworks or another design program they feel comfortable with.

Bringing everything together in a nice bow-tie, I would say that the keys to tackling the mountain of doing design without the a dedicated designer is keep it simple for yourself and for implementation. Know who you are talking to and design for them. As much as possible be inclusionary and test assumptions whether that be the main concept to the feature set, the user is part of the design team. Plan and set out your decisions well from colour choices to things you definitely don’t want but record them and put them on the wall so they aren’t forgotten. If you can achieve just a few of these goals this will help you make the first-steps to a comfortable personal experience for your users and maybe begin the journey as a design culture startup. The next stage will be to find and bring a designer in to pull all the ground work you started together. Good luck with it.

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When Marketing to Men, Keep These 10 Stats in Mind

If your target customers are men, understanding the purchasing behavior of your male audience is critical when it comes to marketing your products or services. But it isn't always easy.

There are a number of misconceptions regarding how and why different types of men shop, and what they're shopping for. For instance, many people believe that men don't search for bargains, which isn't completely true. After looking at statistics from a variety of sources, men do look for bargains -- they simply have a different approach than women.

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How to Turn Customers into Brand Ambassadors

Last year Ryan Klarner, a member of his Illinois high school swim team, posted a plea on Taco Bell's Facebook page. Employing a loose interpretation of English grammar, the 15-year-old asked: "Is there any way you guys could make me a customized speedo that says think outside the buns on the back of it?" Thirteen days later, Taco Bell posted a reply: "What size do you wear? And what's your address?"

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Forget What Your Customers Need; Branding Is About What They Want

​Being a brand is what separates you from your competitors and creates a much stronger connection with your customers.

There's a major distinction between advancing your marketing efforts and actually transforming yourself into a brand. If you want to be a brand -- which should be your ultimate goal -- you need to understand the difference between what your customers "need" and what they "want."

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15 Intriguing Facts About the State of Digital Media

GroupM, the world’s largest ad buyer, has come out with its annual opus on the state of digital media, “Interaction 2013.” The 67-page report comes complete with dozens of charts and a stemwinding state-of-the-digital-world essay by chief digital officer Rob Norman. The report makes one thing is very clear: The global media environment is not only changing fast but also changing in interesting ways. What else to make of the incredibly high amount of online video consumed by Turks?

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LeMay Museum Comissions Limited Edition Poster

A few months ago we received a request from the LeMay Museum in Tacoma Washington to create a limited edition poster for their upcoming Vintage Motorcycle Festival in August. They wanted it to be something memorable with a look and feel that had that Vintage look to it. We created a 3-Color poster that looks like something you would've seen advertising a motorcycle race in the 1930's. So far the response to the art has been incredible and we're excited to see what happens when they are posted for sale. A portion of each sale will benefit another one of our great clients, riders for health. www.riders.org.