Design Archives - CRAFT Media | Digital

CRAFTing the Brand


According to Forbes, the three most valuable brands in the world are Apple, Microsoft and Coca-Cola. There aren’t many names on the Forbes list of top one-hundred brands that don’t evoke a mental image: logo, advertisement or experiential memory of one of their products.

It is not a coincidence that the names in this list are immediately discernible in today’s sea of competition. It is the cumulative result of how their brands are communicated: audience research and heedful positioning guided by thoughtful design.

The definition of branding has evolved over past centuries from literal livestock branding, to nomenclature as a means of differentiation among competitors, to the broad sense of how the audience perceives it.  Michael Eisner, former CEO of The Walt Disney Company from 1984-2005 likened branding to the idea of the individual. “A brand is a living entity – and it is enriched or undermined cumulatively over time, the product of a thousand small gestures.”

The elements of a brand have evolved to encompass messaging, various visual media, and sensory components that explain the brand as well as differentiate for consumers. Yankelovich, a market research firm, estimates that a person living in a city sees more than twice as many ad messages a day than they did 30 years ago; brand differentiation has become a vital task.

Design, like audience research and messaging, is essential to brand development, visibility, recognition, and positioning.


Establishing the look of the logo is only step one. Developing an identity system and adhering to it religiously through a visual standards guide are equally as important in maintaining the brand’s messaging perception through advertising and social media. Brand consistency and attention to detail help build recognition and reinforce trust in the brand.

CRAFT is cognizant of the value of the brand and how it engages with its audience. CRAFT observes from every angle and anticipates audience perception through research driven data and design contoured to evoke distinctive emotive responses and psychological traits. Our expertise relies on a holistic strategy to branding, considering all aspects of messaging and mediums in communicating to audiences. This is how CRAFT helps clients find success, time and again.

Determining optimal solutions at inception are necessary investments in establishing consistency. As trust is built, it is crucial to monitor and maintain the brand’s entity at it grows and evolves. BRANDING: If you CRAFT and cultivate it, they will come.


Understanding Visual Terminology


American designer Charles Eames defined design as “A plan for arranging elements in such a way as best to accomplish a particular purpose.”

The basic components of visual compositions are broken down into “elements” and “principles.” These have a range of applications, from classical paintings and photography to more contemporary utilizations of advertising and UI/UX design. One must consider the arrangement of elements and application of design principles to determine the success of a piece objectively, rather than subjectively. The elements of design are the key parts whereas the principles are the manner in which they are implemented.

The elements of design:                                 

Key design principles are:

1. Line

1. Balance

2. Shape

2. Rhythm/Repetition

3. Texture

3. Movement

4. Color

4. Contrast/Dominance

5. Value

5. Harmony/Unity

6. Space

6. Proportion/Scale

7. Form

Ultimately, the fundamental goal of visual communication is to convey a message to a particular audience. When judging a design’s effectiveness, we must consider three things:

  1. Accessible information: Is the text legible? Can someone with poor eyesight read the data?
  2. Visual hierarchy: Control how the eye travels. Is the most important information being observed first and quickly?
  3. Aesthetic stamina: Trendy appears dated quickly and will commonly be overlooked by audiences. To quote the late graphic designer Massimo Vignelli, “If you do it right, it will last forever.”

Too often, agencies rush to get creative out the door that is visually engaging, but fail in communicating the basic message to the audience.

…not at CRAFT. Our design team is keenly aware of the necessity and effectiveness of using these elements and principles, giving proper consideration to how the viewer will absorb the content.

Take this eblast for example:

Danielle crafting creative

At first glance, it’s simple. It’s clean. It’s light on copy. But take a closer look, and see if you can discern how the elements and principles were applied to create an aesthetic and successful solution.

And now, consider yourself well-versed in the dialogue of design. It’s one thing to observe. It’s quite another to understand.

Design: It’s more than meets the eye.

So you want to be the next Spielberg?

Since the inception of YouTube and the camera phone the ability to call oneself a filmmaker has been as easy as pressing a button. Setting yourself apart from other amateur auteurs has become paramount, and the recipe for success is minding the fundamentals.

The following list outlines the fundamental steps necessary to get the most out of your video project:


As with most multi-step projects, the most important part of completing a project is in the preparation. It is important to shoot in the order you are going to edit, but details such as time of day and weather can have a major affect on a shoot.

In cooking, the French word for this type of preparation is called Mise en place or “putting into place”. By preparing everything beforehand, it is much easier to overcome any hurdles that might come your way, or avoid them entirely.

Begin with a brainstorming session to determine what the message of the video is. It helps to do this with a team, if applicable, since you may not think of every little detail and sometimes hearing an idea out loud can change your perspective. Begin writing a script that will not only assist you in the actual shoot, but it will give the editor the framework for how it is to be pieced together. If necessary, create a storyboard to help you develop a timeline for how the piece is going to fit together and what shots will be needed to make it complete.

Do you want to see the effects of proper planning? The video below is the perfect example of how planning ahead relieves future problems. Because we did our research, we knew that the day of this shoot was going to be in the low teens temperature-wise. Had we not planned ahead for this, there was a real chance our equipment would have failed due to the cold and our talent could have gone the way of the wooly mammoth.


Once you’re prepared, it’s time to go out and film. There are a million tips that one could give depending on the situation, but there are some that remain consistent throughout any shoot.

Use a tripod whenever possible

Unless you are a world-renowned surgeon, there is a good chance your hand is not as steady as you think. A camera can pick up the slightest movement, so it is important for the benefit of the editor and final product that each shot is still, so that none goes to waste.

Less may be more, but not in production

Just because you think you might have gotten the shot you need does not mean it’s time to start packing away the gear. By getting at least 3 or 4 takes of the same shot, you allow your editor the ease of finding the perfect mixture that will allow for a greater final product.

Once you pack up and call it a day it makes it harder, not to mention more costly, to have to go back and re-film.


Now that you have all your shots (along with second and third takes of those shots) it is time to edit.

Organization is priority number one

Depending on the length of the video you are producing; there is a chance you may have hours of footage or a large number of different shots. Before you even begin thinking about how you are going to piece it all together, you need to organize everything.

By creating a system of organization, it will be easy to find any clip at any given moment, be it an hour or three months after the project has been completed. This is very important when working within a team, as the editor may not always be around to assist whoever needs to find a certain shot.

It might be a visual medium, but the audio makes or breaks your piece

Especially with projects that need background music to help add an emotional flare, it is just as important to make sure the audio is balanced. The point is not to deafen your audience, but you definitely do not want to overshadow the action/discussion in your project. Using instrumentals is the easiest way to avoid having the lyrics or vocals clash with whoever is speaking on-camera.


Knowing your audience should be your first priority. This will point you in the direction of how you are going to create your piece. But now that there is a completed project, it is time to decide how you are going to get this out to them.

Whether it be Youtube, Vimeo, or any number of social platforms, make sure you can get the most out of your video project, as it would be a shame for all your time and effort to be for naught. Correctly titling and tagging your video can increase the chances of your project coming up in a variety of searches.

There are also a number of paid options that, if you have the money in your budget, will assist in promoting your piece to the audience you want.

With these helpful tips, you are more than on your way to winning that Academy Award.

The Creativity Behind the CRAFT

Thirteen milliseconds. According to MIT, that is how long it takes the human brain to process visual content. This statistic is not lost on marketers who aim to immediately engage consumers. Suddenly overwhelmed with visuals, good design is what helps consumers sort through the good, the bad and the ugly.

In the rush to meet deadlines, creativity often takes a backseat. However, smart companies know creativity and good design cannot be compromised in the interest of time. In fact, adopting a design-centric marketing strategy can significantly improve a company’s bottom line. Research shows that companies who invest in design, like Apple and Coca-Cola, have a clear advantage. After all, promotion and brand recognition are built on images. Overall, when companies emphasize creativity to create visual content they can control how consumers perceive the brand and increase engagement.

In a tightly controlled industry like politics, embracing creativity is what makes CRAFT’s campaigns unique. We believe in the power of storytelling and images to stun, persuade and capture the audience’s imagination. This is why CRAFT harnesses the power of creativity to deliver messages and inspire action. In politics, this translates to votes and engagement. Similarly, in public affairs this means controlling the message to build reputation, recognition, and manage crises. Take this creative-centric strategy with our integrated channels approach to media and you have a well-CRAFTed campaign.

CRAFT’s Media Portfolio

CRAFT’s Digital Portfolio