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Design Contest

Hi there friends! I’m so happy to have you here and I’m guessing you’re interested in our Design Contest. I wanted to host a fun challenge, to explore creativity and have a little fun. Please view all the details below and I can’t wait to see your entries.

There are 2 elements to this contest: An iPhone Wallpaper and an iPad Wallpaper.

NITTY GRITTY:
Artwork must be sized to the proper dimensions. iPad: 2048 x 2048px. iPhone: 640 x 1136. You must include iPad and iPhone wallpaper, both are required to make your submission count. ALL artwork submitted MUST be original, no stock photos or stock illustrations allowed. Any fonts used must be commercial free.

SUBMISSIONS:
To submit, post on our Sprout facebook page including both images. We will add your design to our Facebook album, where voting will take place. You may submit up to 3 entries.

WINNERS:
Yes… That is plural. We will be having 2 winners for this contest.
1. Sprout will be picking a winner based on the overall concept and design.
2. The other will be a “People’s Choice” based on Facebook *likes*. The design with the most *likes* will win the People’s Choice (share with friends to boost your chances).
Both winners will be featured in a blog post where anyone and everyone can download your designs to use on their Phones and iPads!

TIMELINE:
June 1st June 11th: All Entries are due.
June 16th: Facebook voting ends.
June 17th: Winners are announced.

EXTRA TIPS:
1. When creating your artwork, please keep in mind that iPads can be used in both horizontal and vertical formats — this is why the iPad dimensions are square — design accordingly.
2. The new iOS features a new opaque dock menu, when designing be aware of this element. Make sure when using your wallpaper, it doesn’t create an unappealing color.
3. Think about designing for a broad audience, our Facebook viewers are also voting. The more *likes* you get, the better your chances are to win!
4. Your designs must work as a set, but this doesn’t mean they have to be identical… Get creative! That’s part of the fun!

Cheers to Happy Designing!
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Social Media Workshop

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AIGA has brought some amazing opportunities to my design. Last week, I attended a Social Media Workshop with social media experts Brad Cebulski (one of many experts from BConnected LLC) and Tara Rushmer (AIGA Wisconsin’s Social Media Chair). We covered some great topics like why social media is important, the right and wrong strategies, and how graphic designs play in social media. In our generation, we think we know Facebook and Twitter, but there’s so much more that goes into Facebook marketing than I knew before.

6 things to tackle in Social Media

What is needed to start the conversation?

1. Communications || How to say it… When to say it… Do it RIGHT 
2. Photography || Visually represent what you’re trying to say. Go OUT and get it with a photo.
3. Graphic Design || Everything should be branded and cohesive. Resemble your brand in every way. Visual Content is an important element in communication
4. Video || Take your social presence to a whole new level. Multiply your clickable rate.
5. Promotions || Easiest way to get people drawn in. You set it up but running promotions will get people talking! Everyone else is doing your work for you.
6. Marketing Knowledge || Working your social presence into the rest of marketing is huge. How are you getting the word out?

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Social Media on Facebook is tricky. Creating content is important, but sharing it correctly is a key factor. Here’s a few tips on balancing marketing, communication, and the social aspect.

What is EdgeRank and why’s it important? This is the back end of what people on facebook see, more specifically the algorithms that determine who sees what:

Affinity vs Weight vs Time Decay

What is Affinity? || The connection you have with a page or a person… The more you connect with them, the higher your affinity will be. The more you interact the more often they will see you, and vice versa. What shows up on your News Feed is what you like. I clearly like a lot of links because my News Feed is FULL of links… BuzzFeed Articles in particular ;-)
What’s your Weight? || How you are sharing your information matters, and certain things weight more than others. Here is a basic breakdown of post weights from high to low:
Photos with descriptions > Photo > Video > Status Updates > Links. However, your weight will increase with your post’s “likes” and “comments”.
How long will it live? || 3-5 hours before your posts it falls off the feed. (UNLESS you have a high Affinity or Weight)

Where do people fall short?

Lack of visuals.
Using links as crutch for content.
Not Engaging.
Overly Promotional. It should be 80 engaging / 20 stuff about you
They’re Not Original. “Be inspired, but be Original”

Who’s doing it right?

Starbucks is a great example of using Social Media well. Their Valentines post of “Buy one and Share one on us.” was a huge success reaching an astonishing 262,908 likes and 44,638 shares. Charmin and Dove are more awesome examples, they make people interested in things like toilet paper and deodorant!

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10 principals of good content

1. Informative
2. Emotional – Feelings build Loyalty (Dove – the beauty of you)
3. Transparent – Be Honest, Don’t fake it.
4. Be Useful
5. Amusing – Make people laugh. Be Clever. (Taco Bell, Charmin)
6. Transactional – Don’t promote too much.
7. Optimize
8. Relevant – (Super Bowl – Black out Oreo – You can still dunk in the dark)
9. Be Agile – Do what people are liking, Be free to bop around (Arbys & Pharell – “Y’all tryna start a roast beef?”)
10. Brand Driven

That’s all the notes we have for now! I hope you learned something new. This workshop has shown me how much more there is to learn about social media and all the social platforms. This is only the beginning, stay tuned for more on social media!

Be Sure to Like us on FACEBOOK!
Thank you to AIGA Wisconsin for our photos.

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Pattern Makes Perfect

Our first featured guest blogger is miss Kayla Bill! She has had a huge influence on the designer I am today, and without her… Who knows where I’d be? We met through the UWSP Design program, and worked together recently at NUK. So, it was only appropriate for her to be my first guest! Without further ado, I give you Kayla and her favorite design element, patterns:

Pattern-Makes_Perfect-12-20-13

Chevron, ikat, stripes, paisley, houndstooth, floral and of course my favorite; polka dots. Patterns have become a part of my every day design life and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I love sketching new pattern ideas and creating them can be a fun and exhilarating challenge. You would be surprised how many patterns you see everyday. They are literally everywhere; clothing, furniture, dishes, books, purses, nail art, tattoos, baby products and so much more. I was first introduced to pattern design when creating designs for NUK pacifiers and baby bottles. Instantly I fell head over heals in L-O-V-E, love. Most of the time I find myself incorporating patterns inside larger shapes or even cute little animals. It took a lot of practice, but now I’ve got it down to a strategic science. Everyone has their own tricks and I wouldn’t have any up my sleeve without my illustrator pathfinder and align tools. I prefer to construct patterns piece by piece on my own in illustrator, rather than creating pattern swatches that tile a pattern for you. Yes, creating pattern swatches would probably save me time, but sometimes I prefer my patterns to be more random and not so perfectly tessellated together. Besides, who says patterns have to continue on into oblivion repeating in the same manner anyways? Not this girl. There are no rules when it comes to patterns, so as long as it’s a pattern to you that’s all that matters. So open up illustrator or your sketchbook; find a rock to draw on or get out your nail polish; and try your hand at creating a pattern, because “pattern makes perfect”.

Geometric Quilt Nail Art | NUK Bold Dots Bottle | Norquary Handpainted Paddles Diamond Circle Pattern| Wit and Whistle Books | Owls | Untitled Tattoo