You Are So Not Cool Anymore

Design trends are changing—major companies like Microsoft, Google and Apple have all moved away from the glossy, 3D app/icon look, and have moved towards a much simpler, clean, and modern look. This new style has been referred to as flat design.

It’s important to be aware of what’s happening in the design world, without necessarily running after every trend that comes along. However, there are some trends that are definitely phasing out.

Here is a funny blog called, 5 Former Design Trends That Aren’t Cool Anymore (So Stop Using Them). If you’ve done any design in the past 5 years, these are sure to make you laugh!

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UNC E-Challenge Brings Shark Tank Feel to Colorado

Shark Tank is one of my favorite shows on television right now. Maybe it’s because I run my own business, but I have a lot of respect for entrepreneurs who believe in their idea enough to step out and pitch it in front of a national television audience. So when KUSA-TV in Denver approached me about teaming up to produce a show based loosely on the concept of Shark Tank, I jumped at the opportunity.

For the past five years, The University of Northern Colorado’s Monfort School of Business hosts their Entrepreneurial Challenge (E-Challenge). The idea is for entrepreneurs from all over the state to pitch their business ideas in the hopes of winning $50,000 in prize money. In the past, the challenge has taken place on campus, but this year the University thought it would be fun to work with title sponsor KUSA to put the presentations on TV.

More than 30 companies submitted proposals. The University sorted through the business plans and whittled it down to the five best. The companies then had the opportunity to introduce and pitch their ideas on television to the three judges who would pick the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners.

We taped in KUSA’s Studio B on a Tuesday afternoon and the show ran on a Saturday evening.  The turn around was tight, but the show turned out great. We won’t tell you who won, but if you’re interested in seeing the next great business ideas in the state of Colorado you can watch the entire show on the Monfort School of Business website

 

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Power of Infographics

The way people take in information is changing more than ever—we live in an age where we want information quickly, and if it has a chance of keeping our attention, it has to be stimulating.

Infographics are a powerful way to take complex data and information and display it to grab your attention and make it memorable. The simplified information is visual, easy to read and easy to understand. It’s quick and engaging.

Infographics are effective on the web or in print, and can be used across all social media platforms.

At Freedom House Productions we use a range of mediums to get our clients’ message across in the most effective ways possible. One powerful tool is infographics.
 
 
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The Lost Art of Storytelling

The longer I work in video production, the easier things get. Efficiencies in technology allow you to produce videos only high-end production houses could of put together 10 years ago. Just look at render time, effects or even the cost of operating a production company, and you can see how technology has shattered the barriers to producing high-quality videos.

But “easier” does not always mean better.

Despite these advantages, you still must be able to tell a story. At times, it’s the forgotten piece of the video production process, and it is why so many people struggle as they enter the business. Keep in mind, when I discuss storytelling I’m talking about creatively crafting a story using all of the advantages video provides – not just putting words on the page.

It’s deciding the style of the video and how it is going to be shot. Both important decisions that will help advance your story when done right. It’s always asking “what is the story I’m telling” and “how can I use the tools at my disposal to tell it?”

The storyline is the heartbeat of any project. From corporate videos, 30-second advertisements or feature length films – it must be carefully considered long before you begin the production process. It’s just as important as cinematography, editing or the post-production process.

Inspiration is Critical to Design Process

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An old, seasoned graphic design guru once said, “Before I start any project, I just look at a ton of stuff.”

And it’s true.

One way designers start their process is to look for inspiration in just about anything—photography, their surroundings, other artwork or design, magazines, books, even things that seem completely unrelated to the piece they’re designing.

Designers love inspiration and are always looking for it for their next project.

One awesome resource is Adobe’s Inspire magazine.

This free online magazine has monthly articles about useful tips and features for a wide range of Adobe products—from Photoshop to Edge Animate and more. It also typically showcases artists’ work, with a breakdown of their processes and different techniques they used.

Check out this personal favorite.

Enjoy, and be inspired!

Every Letter Counts

At Freedom House Productions, we love digging into the details. We believe that a project starts with the idea and ends with the craft. Which is why we spend so much time and care with each photograph, each color choice, each line of code, and especially as of late, with each word and letter.

Yes, we’re proud to call ourselves ‘type nerds’ — obsessing over every font choice in a website or brochure design. We use typefaces as one more exciting tool in the design kit to express the unique personality of a brand or company. We found this video about hand-lettering to be fun and inspiring—and also in line with our passion here at the studio for beautiful design and how to make every detail count.
 
 

The Creative Spark: Title Case, Typographic Artisans from lynda.com on Vimeo.

Designed to Do Good

At FHP, we love what we do and we love working with other companies that have the same passion and dedication. The team at Prosperity Candle have given their hearts and talents to make the world a better place for women.

This holiday season we partnered with Lutheran Immigration & Refugee Service and Prosperity Candle on a special project.

In 2014, LIRS will be celebrating 75 years in service (we also created a special 75th logo for the occasion) and they wanted a commemorative candle to light the way.

Prosperity Candle was the perfect match. This company employs refugee woman and gives them an opportunity to earn a living wage to help support their families. What a perfect partnership for LIRS.

We created a lid and label design for their travel tin, refugee woman made the candles and then beautifully packaged them in a gift box including their personal story of overcoming.

We loved creating this 75th anniversary candle design, and are now working on three more designs that feature refugee woman that LIRS has helped resettle in the United States.
 

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GoPro Featured on 60 Minutes

We are huge fans of the GoPro Camera. Over the years, we’ve attached them to cars, mountain bikes, helmets and even our kids. Professionally, it has allowed us to get shots we never would of been able to get otherwise.

I’m not an avid watcher of 60 Minutes, but I did happen to catch this feature on GoPro Sunday night. Interesting to learn about the history of the company, and see how they have progressed from selling the first versions of the camera out of the back of their van to where it is today. It’s an incredible success story. If you have 12 minutes, it’s definitely worth your time.
 


 

Tap Into the Power of eLearning

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eLearning continues to gain traction in the world of digital media. Corporations, non-profits and learning institutions  are starting to tap into the power of interactive multimedia presentations. We recently finished a set of training modules for Higher—a non-profit organization that helps refugees prepare for and find employment in the United States. Click the links below to see the modules.

Workplace Culture Part 1

Workplace Culture Part 2

We used the program Adobe Captivate to build the module, while using Photoshop and Illustrator to create the design elements.

Captivate is a highly versatile program. Here are just a few of the things it can be used for:

  • Self-guided training modules including quizzes, voiceovers, interactive activities, videos, in-course web browsing, ability to engage learners through social media, and more
  • Software simulation
  • eBooks
  • Video demos
  • Mobile learning
  • HTML Characters
  • Interactive games and quizzes

Maximizing technology to create engaging eLearning modules has several advantages. It reduces costs for organizations who are looking to streamline their workforce training methods. It produces better results with participants having increased levels of retention and understanding of the subject matter. eLearning modules also allows organizations the ability to maintain a consistent message.
 

Kickstarter Success! I Will Dance Meets Its Goal

This past weekend, Freedom House Productions was proud to celebrate a successful Kickstarter Campaign with our very own, Joseph East. Joe has a passion for telling stories that matter and has embarked upon a journey to tell the story of the incredible young people of Random Acts of Theatre.

FHP had the privilege of helping Joe on the marketing side of the campaign and it was a full court press the past 30 days. Check out some of the materials for the campaign:

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IWD materials

Our social media team was hard at work blitzing all the social networks we could – between Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and submitting information to every blog we could find the team basically lived online for the duration of the campaign.

We’ll be sure to keep you up to date on the development and distribution of I WILL DANCE: The Documentary which is scheduled to be complete in Spring 2014.