The Art & Business of Design Thinking

 

Design is art with function: it’s elegantly purposeful. By applying design thinking to creativity, you can create things that make a meaningful difference in the world – and that are specifically crafted for an audience who truly wants them. When you apply that same kind of thinking to business, you get results that go beyond ideas and into the realm of the viable. 


STARMEN Work Recognized by SCA Awards

 

STARMEN is excited to announce we’ve received a pair of Summit Creative Awards for two unique client endeavors. Our website work garnered both a Bronze and a Silver from SCA's recent cycle. Both of these respective projects encompassed elements of both brand strategy and web design and development, and we’re proud of what we were able to accomplish on behalf of these clients.


Ideas Only Work If You Do

 

It should come as no surprise that having an idea is one thing, and actualizing that idea is entirely another. Take it from us; many are the things that serve to stand in the way of an idea coming to fruition, and what's more, these obstacles can be the difference between a truly game changing idea that comes to fruition, and one that never sees light outside your office walls. 

Ideas are what drive us forward as a people. They are paramount to progress in art, in science, and in moral society, and that’s why our team at STARMEN is pleased to share its foolproof plan for getting those ideas off the ground!


STARMEN Team Triumphs at American Web Design Awards

 

It is with great pleasure that we announce we’ve received honorable distinctions from the American Web Design Awards for some of our recent client work. This competition serves as an annual showcasing of the top 100 leading digital design and communications endeavors. Each year, more than 1,000 submissions are received, spanning a variety of platforms including websites, microsites, apps, social media campaigns, and more, and we’re truly honored to have not one, but two, of our initiatives recognized in this most recent awards cycle.


New Media Awards Recognizes STARMEN Work

 

We’re innovators at heart, and our craft is one we’re consistently cultivating. As such, there are few awards more meritorious in our eyes than those that commend work that goes above and beyond the status quo in exploration of new technologies, as well as new ways of communicating with audiences the world over. 


STARMEN Scores at the Interactive Media Awards

 

It is with great gratitude that we share with you that STARMEN has received recognition from the Interactive Media Awards for two of our recent client initiatives. We were given the highest honor in the category of Advocacy -- the Best in Class -- as well as an Outstanding Achievement award in the category of Bridal and Weddings.


STARMEN Recognized by Horizon Interactive Awards

 

Let us preface the forthcoming by stating that the meaning behind our recent win at the 2014 Horizon Interactive Awards is two-fold. First, over the course of its thirteen entry seasons, this award has become one of the most distinguished in the field of interactive and creative media. So it goes without saying that having our work recognized by an organization so renowned by our industry is truly the sincerest of honors. 


STARMEN Awarded Platinum + Gold AVA Digital Awards

 

We’re pleased to announce our work on the Linda May Properties “Live Your Luxury” campaign has received recognition from the AVA Digital Awards. This project has previously been the recipient of awards from other organizations, including the distinction of Best in Class from the IMA Awards. We are deeply honored by this most recent recognition: a Platinum Award for excellence in website design and development, as well as a Gold Award for our “Live Your Luxury” video marketing campaign.


“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”

 

Innovation is perhaps the cornerstone of our modern society, and for good reason. Innovation helps us progress; it heals us, enriches us, and entertains us. It connects us as a people in ways prior generations could never have dreamed. But all too frequently, marketers with raw ambition aim to catapult their campaigns into fresh, new territories simply to be the newest or the most different, all without a clear motive in mind.


The Year Of Making Brands Work

 

We believe that the only way to predict the future is to create it. And at our core, we are an agency dedicated to the creation of positive change through strategic brand development.


2015, the Year of Speaking Human

 

2015 promises to be an exciting (and disruptive) year. Everything is changing fast … especially, the way consumers interact with their online environments. Paradoxically, the digital age is requiring branding and marketing to become more human.

In reviewing what the branding and marketing gurus are expecting to happen in the New Year, we see some inspiring trends. Put on your helmet, and fasten your seatbelts. Here we go.


Five Ways to Deliver an Optimal Brand Experience During the Holidays

 

The holidays are, of course, the busiest shopping time of the year. That means they’re also the time when consumers have the most contact with brands. In October, SDL published a report that found that 90% of holiday shoppers expect consistent brand experiences. How can you optimize your branding and offerings to engage consumers, and, in turn, sell your products? Here are five key elements to making your brand experience consistent — and excellent — this holiday season:


Customer Service is the Next Brand Differential

 

There is no such thing as a 'customer for life.' Companies have to work hard to win, and keep customers. What used to be thought of as the customer’s loyalty to a brand has reversed to become the brand’s loyalty to the customer experience.


Context Matters

 

You won’t reach the people in your market if you don’t understand them, and you won’t understand them unless you pay attention to their context. Context is the compass that guides all successful branding and marketing. It’s about delivering the right content to the right people at the right time.


Let’s Talk Strategy

 

Brands are beginning to wrap around people in every which way. Much like a first introduction to another person, a consumer's relationship with your brand is launched from the first impression. So, what makes this initial interaction so memorable and impactful? When crafting a brand experience that people can identify with, it comes down to the integrated combination of business strategy and design. 


STARMEN's Story Featured in the Los Angeles Business Journal

 

Our Story Featured In The Los Angeles Business Journal

MARKETING: STARMEN ditches fixed-rate jobs for retainer relationships.

Story by Subrina Hudson, Staff Writer


Human Engagement: The New SEO

 

The New SEO is Human Engagement

Just as everyone figured out the mechanics of SEO, everything changed. Here's what you need to know:

Google and other search engines have recently been updating their search algorithms. As the biggest name in the game, Google has pioneered the way with two major algorithm updates: Panda and Penguin.


Is Marketing A Science, or Art, or Perhaps A Bit of Both?

 

Marketing Isn't A Science?

The way you learn it in marketing school, marketing is a science. How could it not be, with all that jargon that puts everything into neat compartments? Unique Selling Proposition. Positioning. Niches. The four Ps. The Marketing Mix. All those rules of advertising and copywriting. Close fast and early.


3 Ways Blogging Boosts Business

 

3 Ways Blogging Boosts Business

Facebook? Perhaps. Twitter? Maybe. Blog? Absolutely!

Blogs began as basic, often tawdry online diaries fueled by caffeine and wine. Some launched writing careers, but most simply enabled their authors to vent views or scratch creative itches. As the blogging craze grew, however, many corporate marketers adopted blogs to provide regular company updates and insights, and, almost as quickly, many marketers abandoned them. The reason? Regularly writing articles turned out to be challenging and time consuming; writing articles that attracted readers proved to be even more difficult. After all, who wants to read a corporation’s diary? So when Twitter and other microblogging platforms came along, corporate communicators happily replaced their 500-words of weekly wisdom with concise 140-character tweets.

And that's when marketers discovered the real value of blogs.

For businesses, blogs serve multiple purposes that Twitter can’t come close to serving. In fact, many corporations are now discovering that it’s actually harder to create a worthwhile Twitter account. So now we’re seeing a blog revival. Below are 3 key reasons why blogging boosts business:


The Challenge with Facebook Pages — and 6 Strategies for Overcoming It

 

The Challenge With Facebook Pages

Here's the Challenge:

Posts on your Facebook business Page are extremely limited: your reach is ‘throttled’ to an average of just 16% of your fans.  Some posts will reach more, some will reach less, depending on how many people engage with your posts (comment, like, share). In general, this means only your most passionate and active fans (plus a small percentage of their friends) will see your posts.


Creative Director Anthony Wiktor Featured In Adonit's New "Create" Campaign

 

Through their "Create" campaign, Adonit, a cutting edge consumer creative-technology start-up, is redefining the way we think of "creators." By assembling a group of leading artists, designers, engineers, writers, educators and entrepreneurs, Adonit is seeking to highlight how people across the creative spectrum are using technology to expand productivity and creation in their respective crafts.


5 Design Tips That Will Make Your Visitors Remember Your Website

 

Can you remember the last website you’ve visited? Unless it’s Facebook or another website you visit often, chances are you don’t remember much about it. 

There are 644 million active websites on the Internet, but most of these websites are so poorly designed that people don’t want to revisit them. Don’t be one of those websites! You want to create a memorable online experience for your visitors, and to have them keep coming back for more. 


3 Strategies for Building a Stronger Brand in 2012

 

The New Year always sparks a renewed interest in making changes! As a business, this should include taking a closer look at your brand – both from your perspective, and from your audience’s. Some questions to consider: How do your customers perceive your brand? Is it aligned with how you see yourself? Do people hear and understand exactly what your brand is saying?

There’s always room for improvement. Starting with these three strategies, you can help strengthen your brand in 2012!


Design Thinking vs. Designing

 

STARMEN Design Thinking

There is certainly a difference between ‘design thinking’ and ‘designing.’  We hail Helen Walters’ article in Fast Company “Design Thinking Isn’t a Miracle Cure, But Here’s How it Helps” as a must read, especially for anyone in our industry! According to Walters, “design thinking is not fairy dust; you do not get to skip steps to magically solve a challenge.”


Why Designers Should Watch 'America's Next Great Restaurant'

 

"The logo is the point of entry for the brand." -Milton Glaser

We've always been a fan of reality television, and NBC's latest show ‘America's Next Great Restaurant,’ is extra special; not just because CEO Steve Ells contributes his great ideas on how to start a business, but because the show places an emphasis on graphic design and branding. If you're a designer or small business owner, last night's episode was the one to watch.


Marketing Tips from Mister Rogers

 

Mr. Rogers saw the value of cultivating his own brand. But he did so in a quiet and dignified way that made the tone and authenticity of his show, and his relationship with viewers, unmatched by any television property ever seen before or after. As we consider how many of today's marketers likely grew up with the words of Fred Rogers guiding their way as kids, we can't help but think that we've all too often strayed away from some of those first lessons we heard as children.


Starbucks Evolves Logo Into Lovemark

 

Starbucks New Logo Coffee Cup

The world's largest coffee company, and one of its most beloved brands, just stirred up a bold new roast of its identity.  Starbucks unveiled an updated version of its iconic logo, which had remained unchanged since 1992. The simplified logo focuses on its mermaid symbol, and removes the company name from around the border of the "Siren." That's right, Starbucks no longer feels the need to reinforce its name.


10 Blog Topics to Write... Fast and Easy!

 

A blog should be an integral part of everyone's marketing plan. Here are some ideas to get you started on the right track:

ten blogs to write about

Ready to get started right now? Tumblr offers FREE blog themes, no hosting or domain needed. It's really simple!


Gap Drastically Changed Their Logo - Will This Change Their Entire Brand?

 

gap new logo before and after comparison

We at STARMEN are not ones to jump on 'bandwagons', whether the subject matter is politics, celebrity gossip, sports, or business. However, we're all aboard the latest bandwagon traveling along Gap's tracks to logo disaster. Gap’s new logo and branding campaign have widely been referred to as the “Gapgate controversy,” a questionable attempt at designing a new logo, and an even more tasteless approach at trying to market it. There has been way too much recent attention around the new Gap logo, and as a result, we've decided to come up with our own visual ‘solution.’


Facebook Marketing: Criteria for Success

 

8 Criterion For Facebook Page Marketing Success

Social media marketing has become a hot topic amongst brand marketers and businesses who are looking to establish themselves within a social network. As a means to promote their products and services at low cost, a lot of marketers are turning to Facebook. But it's knowing how to use the platform, currently the most popular social network out there, that really makes all the difference to your bottomline.


Reviewing the New Look for Microsoft MSN

 

During the Internet boom of the late Nineties, MSN rose to become a popular and admired search engine. The company seemed to have it all right: a brand identity that correlated with that of its parent company, Microsoft, an appealing television ad campaign, and plenty of funds to support its place in the online community. 

Flash forward ten years, and the site, logo, marketing, consumer connection virtually everything about the brand has evaporated. MSN had quickly fallen behind the emerging Internet giants Google and Yahoo!, and never quite seemed to catch up. The problem is that the MSN brand has lost the connection it once enjoyed with its audience, and social media is where this is perhaps most true. So, even with a new logo and added features, is it too little, too late for MSN? 


Southwest.com Gets Another Facelift

 

One of our most admired travel brands is Southwest Airlines. We also have been fans of their web site and apparently you are, too. In 2009, Nielsen/Netratings reported that southwest.com had more unique visitors than any other airline website.


Brand Marketing Is Not a Science

 

During our daily industry readings, we came across a refreshing article titled “Our Biggest Brands Can No Longer Be Managed By Nerds,” by brand consultant Tom Hinkes. Companies have been scaling back recently on creatively-led brand solutions, and focusing more on the numbers approach. It was refreshing to hear from a well-respected and experienced brand marketer that great marketing requires a balance of both strategy and creative.


Our New Site Launches Today!

 

As an award-winning creative agency specializing in brand design, we are proud to announce the redesign of the STARMEN web site. But ‘redesign’ doesn't really cover it. We’ve made more than an aesthetic adjustment or surface-level change, we’ve ‘refreshed’ internally and externally. The new starmenusa.com reflects our new ideas, fresh thinking, and innovative approach to our clients’ brands, as well as our latest design work. 


View Our New Site On Your iPhone

 

As technology advances and the industry grows, so do we. STARMEN designers and tech enthusiasts are excited to bring you our new iPhone site!  We’ve always been believers in simplicity, and our new optimized mobile format is exactly that — simple and straightforward. Even on your iPhone, we’re here to make your brand work!


SUBSCRIBE TO OUR BLOG
Like what you're reading? Get the latest in design news and trends.
GET THE LATEST
  • Subscribe to RSS feed
JOIN US ON FACEBOOK
  • Like Us
HUNGRY FOR MORE?


  • Tweeter
SAY HELLO
  • Contact Us