Author Archives: Zach - designer

Wendy’s updates their logo…first time since 1983

NEW YORK (AP) — Wendy’s pigtails are getting a tweak.

For the first time since 1983, the Dublin, Ohio-based fast food company is updating its logo in a move intended to signal its ongoing transformation into a higher-end hamburger chain.

Instead of the boxy, old-fashioned lettering against a red-and-yellow backdrop, the pared down new look features the chain’s name in a casual red font against a clean white backdrop. An image of the smiling, cartoon girl in red pigtails floats above — though this girl looks more vivid and not quite as childlike.

In an interview with The Associated Press, CEO Emil Brolick said the current logo had served the company well for the past three decades, but that it was time for an update. Still, Brolick said he was encouraged by consumer feedback in testing dozens of new logo variations over the past several months.

“When we pushed things too far. They very much reeled us back,” he said, noting that it showed just how attached people are to the brand.

It’s only the fifth logo update since founder Dave Thomas opened the first Wendy’s in 1969, and perhaps the most significant. The makeover comes as the chain known for its square burgers and chocolate Frosty shakes struggles to redefine itself in the face of intensifying competition from the likes of Panera Bread Co. and Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc., which are seen as a step up from traditional fast food.

Wendy’s push has intensified since Brolick came on as CEO about a year ago. In addition to raising perceptions about its food, Brolick is focusing on renovating outdated restaurants with a look that features natural lighting, flat-screen TVs and a variety of seating options, including cushy chairs in nooks.

The idea is to create a more inviting atmosphere where consumers feel they can relax. Starting in March, Wendy’s says the updated logo will start appearing on newly built and renovated restaurants.

It’s still far from clear whether Wendy’s broader reinvention will succeed. But sales at its restaurants open at least a year have edged up for the last five quarters. Craig Bahner, the company’s chief marketing officer, notes that all brands need to evolve.

“It’s a tangible signal of change,” Bahner said.

The Wendy’s name and original logo were inspired by founder Dave Thomas’ daughter, whose real name is Melinda Lou (her siblings couldn’t pronounce her name when they were younger, so they called her “Wenda,” which turned into “Wendy”).

Thomas thought the name conjured the image of the wholesome hamburger restaurant he dreamed of opening.

In his book “Dave’s Way,” Thomas recalls how the family dressed up Wendy, then 8 years old, in a blue-and-white striped dress for the opening of the first location. To make her pigtails stick out, they put pipe cleaners in her hair. That’s roughly the image of the little freckle-faced girl in the logo.

In undertaking the redesign, the company realized there were three key elements that had to be preserved; the image of the little girl, the color red and the way the “Wendy’s” font swerves up — what executives call “the wave.”

In the new logo, Bahner notes that Wendy’s pigtails peek out from the oval frame, bringing her forward and making her more dynamic. It will be part of the new restaurant design that Wendy’s is looking to expand to its roughly 6,000 locations in North America.

Brolick has noted that the revamps “enhance all dimensions of the Wendy’s experience” and that renovated locations see a 25 percent bump in sales. By 2015, Wendy’s plans to have half its 1,425 company-owned locations renovated.

Ultimately, Brolick wants the company to be seen as a “top-end” fast-food chain — better quality than McDonald’s, but perhaps not at the same level as Panera.

“Our goal is to be a five-star restaurant at a three-star price,” he said.

Building on the introduction of its sweet baked potato and Bacon Portabella Melt cheeseburger this year, the company is now looking at introducing whole wheat buns and flatbreads. Brolick says those type of ingredient tweaks can have a big impact on perceptions about the healthfulness and quality of the chain’s food.

The changes are even extending to employee uniforms, which will be updated next year to have a more tailored look.

The early feedback is positive and Brolick says workers like them — so much so that they would no longer feel uncomfortable wearing them outside the restaurant.

 -By Candice Choi, AP Food Industry Writer | Associated Press

The Rise Of Visual Social Media

BLOG POSTS BECAME FACEBOOK UPDATES AND TUMBLR POSTS, WHICH SHRUNK TO TWEETS AND FINALLY TO INSTAGRAM OR PINTEREST. HERE’S HOW SMART BRANDS ARE NAVIGATING THE NEW VISUAL SOCIAL-MEDIA ERA.

Social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest have ushered in visual marketing as the breakout trend for 2012. When it comes to their products, businesses are learning to show, not tell, and visual content sites are fueling our desire for beautiful photography and sensational design. Two years ago, marketers were spreading the maxim that “content is king,” but now, it seems, “a picture really is worth a thousand words.”

“Blogs were one of the earliest forms of social networking where people were writing 1,000 words,” says Dr. William J. Ward, Social Media professor at Syracuse University. “When we moved to status updates on Facebook, our posts became shorter. Then micro-blogs like Twitter came along and shortened our updates to 140 characters. Now we are even skipping words altogether and moving towards more visual communication with social-sharing sites like Pinterest.”

This trend toward the visual is also influenced by the shifting habits of technology users. As more people engage with social media via smartphones, they’re discovering that taking a picture “on the go” using a high-resolution phone is much less tedious than typing out a status update on a two-inch keyboard.

2012 study by ROI Research found that when users engage with friends on social media sites, it’s the pictures they took that are enjoyed the most. Forty-four percent of respondents are more likely to engage with brands if they post pictures than any other media. Pictures have become one of our default modes of sorting and understanding the vast amounts of information we’re exposed to every day.

Detavio Samuals is the EVP and Director of Client Services at GlobalHue, one of the nation’s top market advertising agencies. He explains that pictures are a bit like movie trailers for written content–they provide a snippet of what an article, brand, site or other piece of content is about, so that you can quickly decide if it’s what you wanted or not.

“Pictures have also become a short form way of communicating lots of information quickly and succinctly,” says Samuals. “The need for publishers to get to the point quicker than ever came about as humans became more pressed for time and content became more infinite. For publishers, it was evolve or risk losing their audience, and the only thing shorter than a tweet or post is a picture.”

So what does all this visual stimulation mean for brands?

Fashion designer Kahri-Anne Kerr uses visual social media sites like Pinterest and Facebook to market her Kahri collection. In the fashion world, visual fantasy sells product, as customers need to see the cut of a garment on a model and feel as though they could make that item work in their own wardrobe. “When I post pictures on Facebook, they get the most feedback of all my posts,” says Kahri. Visual media is a great way to share more about what inspires the designs, as well as linking to your online store and straight product shots.”

“I am just getting into Instagram, which I use to give a personal look at the person behind the label by taking shots around my studio and in my everyday life.”

Designer paper/analog brand Moleskine has harnessed the power of visual media to create one of the world’s most active, prolific, and creative online communities. Their visual content strategy focuses on user-generated content: They create large-scale projects that users participate in by posting their own images and videos.

A popular campaign called What’s In Your Bag? had users update pictures of the contents of their bags into a Facebook album. The project generated thousands of likes and comments as readers looked at the contents of other bags (which included Moleskine notebooks, naturally), and shared photos with their friends.

Inspiring fans to create and spread images, customize their notebooks, organize online competitions, and otherwise engage with the brand on a creative level has set Moleskine apart in its highly specialized market.

Search engines now rank content based on social conversations and sharing, not just websites alone. Brands can use visual content on their social media to increase engagement and inspire sharing and viral marketing. The rise of platforms like Pinterest and Instagram, and Facebook’s multimillion-dollar acquisition of the latter, shows how visual content is becoming an increasingly important force for communication online.

Brands that can rock visual media will find themselves market leaders.

Re-Blogged by 5j Design –  original article by Ekaterina Walter is Intel’s social media strategist. Follow her @ekaterina.

Does your Facebook page need a makeover?

Does your business have a Facebook page? Does your page need a makeover? 5j Design specializes in maximizing your businesses influence through social media. Contact us today @ 605-368-1852 or zach@5jdesign.com

Facebook Campaigns

5j Design is excited to announce a brand new project available to those who are looking to maximize their Facebook influence. This project is called “Campaigns”. We provide customized Social media campaigns focused on brand awareness, visual impact and network presence.

  • Social media is the #1 online activity.
  • People spend 1 out of every 6min online on social media.
  • Facebook accounts for 1 out of every 5 pageviews on the internet worldwide.
  • Facebook has 845 million monthly active users.
  • 50.3% of the USA population is on Facebook.
  • 57% of Facebook users are female, 43% are male.
  • The average time spent on Facebook per visit is 20 minutes.
  • 250 million pictures are uploaded daily.
  • 2.7 Billion “Likes” every day.

IS YOUR BUSINESS TAKING ADVANTAGE OF SOCIAL MEDIA?

Facebook has become a place where people, businesses and causes have become one. People have always relied on their friends for recommendations from what to buy, where to go and what’s new. These conversations are happening on Facebook! People want to connect with their favorite businesses and share it with their friends.

So whats in a campaign?

  • Step 1 – Setup – We will setup and or update a Facebook page for you.
  • Step 2 – Design –We will create custom graphics and a landing page for special deals.
  • Step 3 – Advertising -We will design a custom ad and advertise your page on Facebook for 6 weeks.
  • Step 4 – Branding & Promotions – We will layout 6 weeks of promotions to help generate likes, talk, and shares.
  • Step 5 – Evaluation & Review – After the 6 week campaign we will give you a review of the campaign, who you reached and what worked best.

Here are some recent Facebook Campaigns we have done:

Facebook is growing and businesses need to take advantage of this market. Building relationships with customers and reaching new people is important to the success of your business. Facebook and 5j Design can help! We can help you and your business reach new customers, interact with existing clients and help with influence on Facebook.

If you are interested in starting a Facebook campaign please contact us today: jake@5jdesign.com or zach@5jdesign.com

 

Facebook’s Marketing Tools You Might Not Know About

Among the plethora of social networks, Facebook, with more than 900 million active monthly users, might represent the biggest marketing opportunity for companies large and small. But marketers who think that creating a Facebook page and walking away is enough should think again. From advertising opportunities to finding new customers, a lot goes into successful Facebook marketing.

Facebook keeps small-business owners in mind when it rolls out new products and services. “The more that Facebook can help small businesses grow relationships with their customers and increase sales, the better,” says Sarah Smith, Facebook’s director of online operations. Smith, age 35, oversees the social network’s small-business growth team based in Austin, Texas.

We chatted with Smith about how marketers can make the most of Facebook for business. What follows is an edited version of our exchange:

Entrepreneur: What’s most important when using Facebook for business?
Smith: Be real. People want to hear from the authentic you and have fun interacting with your business. Your customers are already on Facebook, checking out photos of their friends and videos of their niece’s first steps. They’re also eager to hear the story of what’s really happening in your business.

Entrepreneur: For business owners, what’s the most important metric to measure?
Smith: All businesses should be paying attention to the number of “People Talking About This” and friends of fans reached in their Page Insights page in your Admin Panel. Understand what types of posts are resonating with your fans and how you’re getting your messages to go viral. Ideally, you should have some sort of promotion that gets customers telling you that they heard about you on Facebook, so you can start to link your sales with your Facebook activity.

Entrepreneur: What Facebook tools are underutilized by small-business owners?
Smith: Page Insights is one, which offers free market research for your business. Use it to find out who your customers are, what type of posts are getting the best response from fans and how your advertising is driving new fans, new shares or new app installs.

You can also like the facebook.com/marketing page to get updates from Facebook on products and tips. Go to facebook.com/classroom to check out some of the new webinars we’ve just started rolling out.

Entrepreneur: What does an entrepreneur need to know to get the most out of Facebook advertising?
Smith: Play around with Facebook targeting. People put their likes and interests on their Timelines, so advertising can granularly target people who would be more interested in hearing from your business. If you’re running a health-food store, for instance, target people in your area who have “Vegetarian” in their profiles or health-related interests.

You can find broad categories such as expectant parents, moms, iPhone users, golf enthusiasts and even other small-business owners. Broad category targeting can help you find exactly who you want more quickly.

There’s also the new Promoted Posts. From your Page, you can turn those “must see” posts — say, for example, a celebrity comes into your restaurant — into ads to reach more of your fans. When you see in Page Insights that a post is getting really good response from fans, you can promote those posts quickly and easily.

BY

Lazy Eyes :: How we read online.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You’re probably going to read this.

It’s a short paragraph at the top of the page. It’s surrounded by white space. It’s in small type.

To really get your attention, I should write like this:

  • Bulleted list
  • Occasional use of bold to prevent skimming
  • Short sentence fragments
  • Explanatory subheads
  • No puns
  • Did I mention lists?
Advertisement

What Is This Article About?
For the past month, I’ve been away from the computer screen. Now I’m back reading on it many hours a day. Which got me thinking: How do we read online?

It’s a Jungle Out There
That’s Jakob Nielsen‘s theory. He’s a usability expert who writes an influential biweekly column on such topics as eye-tracking research, Web design errors, and banner blindness. (Links, btw, give a text more authority, making you more likely to stick around.)

Nielsen champions the idea of information foraging. Humans are informavores. On the Internet, we hunt for facts. In earlier days, when switching between sites was time-consuming, we tended to stay in one place and dig. Now we assess a site quickly, looking for an “information scent.” We move on if there doesn’t seem to be any food around.

Sorry about the long paragraph. (Eye-tracking studies show that online readers tend to skip large blocks of text.)

Also, I’m probably forcing you to scroll at this point. Losing some incredible percentage of readers. Bye. Have fun on Facebook.

Screens vs. Paper
What about the physical process of reading on a screen? How does that compare to paper?

When you look at early research, it’s fascinating to see that even in the days of green phosphorus monitors, studies found that there wasn’t a huge difference in speed and comprehension between reading on-screen and reading on paper. Paper was the clear winner only when test subjects were asked to skim the text.

The studies are not definitive, however, given all the factors that can affect online reading, such as scrolling, font size, user expertise, etc. Nielsen holds that on-screen reading is 25 percent slower than reading on paper. Even so, experts agree on what you can do to make screen reading more comfortable:

  • Choose a default font designed for screen reading; e.g., Verdana, Trebuchet, Georgia.
  • Rest your eyes for 10 minutes every 30 minutes.
  • Get a good monitor. Don’t make it too bright or have it too close to your eyes.
  • Minimize reflections.
  • Skip long lines of text, which promote fatigue.
  • Avoid MySpace.

Back to the Jungle
Nielsen’s apt description of the online reader: “[U]sers are selfish, lazy, and ruthless.You, my dear user, pluck the low-hanging fruit. When you arrive on a page, you don’t actually deign to read it. You scan. If you don’t see what you need, you’re gone.

And it’s not you who has to change. It’s me, the writer:

  • One idea per paragraph
  • Half the word count of “conventional writing”! (Ouch!)
  • Other stuff along these lines

Nielsen often sounds like a cross between E.B. White and the Terminator. Here’s his advice in a column titled “Long vs. Short Articles as Content Strategy“: “A good editor should be able to cut 40 percent of the word count while removing only 30 percent of an article’s value. After all, the cuts should target the least valuable information.”

[Ed. Note: Fascinating asides about the writer's voice, idiosyncrasies, and fragile ego were cut here.]

He’s Right
I kid about Nielsen, but he’s very sensible. We’re active participants on the Web, looking for information and diversion. It’s natural that people prefer short articles. As Nielsen states, motivated readers who want to know everything about a subject (i.e., parents trying to get their kid into a New York preschool) will read long treatises with semicolons, but the rest of us are snacking. His advice: Embrace hypertext. Keep things short for the masses, but offer links for the Type A’s.

No Blogs, Though
Nielsen may be ruthless about brevity, but he doesn’t advocate blogging. Here’s his logic: “Such postings are good for generating controversy and short-term traffic, and they’re definitely easier to write. But they don’t build sustainable value.”

That’s a debatable point. My experience has been that a thoughtful blogger who tags his posts can cover a subject well. But Nielsen’s idea is that people will read (and maybe even pay) for expertise that they can’t find anywhere else. If you want to beat the Internet, you’re not going to do it by blogging (since even OK thinkers occasionally write a great blog post) but by offering a comprehensive take on a subject (thus saving the reader time from searching many sites) and supplying original thinking (offering trusted insight that cannot be easily duplicated by the nonexpert).

Like a lot of what Nielsen says, this is both obvious and thoughtful.

Ludic Reading
Nielsen focuses on how to hold people’s attention to convey information. He’s not overly concerned with pleasure reading.

Pleasure reading is also known as “ludic reading.” Victor Nell has studied pleasure reading (PDF). Two fascinating notions:

  • When we like a text, we read more slowly.
  • When we’re really engaged in a text, it’s like being in an effortless trance.

Ludic reading can be achieved on the Web, but the environment works against you. Read a nice sentence, get dinged by IM, never return to the story again.

I suppose ludic readers would be the little sloths hiding in the jungle while everyone else is out rampaging around for fresh meat.

Final Unnecessary Thought
We’ll do more and more reading on screens, but they won’t replace paper—never mind what your friend with a Kindle tells you. Rather, paper seems to be the new Prozac. A balm for the distracted mind. It’s contained, offline, tactile. William Powers writes about this elegantly in his essay “Hamlet’s BlackBerry: Why Paper Is Eternal.” He describes the white stuff as “a still point, an anchor for the consciousness.

Thanks

By

The Secret to Return Facebook Visits

The trick to Facebook is not just winning fans; it’s also about keeping them coming back. After all, what good are fans to you if they hit up your page once and then never return to see any new promotions or products?

A new report from Facebook marketing software provider Wildfire Interactive offers some advice on how to ensure repeat visits from people who have Liked your business page.

1. Tap into fan passions. You already know what your customers are passionate about (don’t you?), so your Facebook page should be a place for them to express that. “If you market for a fashion brand, talk about design, style, and haute couture,” says the report. “If you’re a food brand, ask for favorite recipes and opinions on food trends.”

Wildfire cites the example of online boutique Rue La La, which hosts a regular “live chat” on its Facebook page with a featured fashion stylist. Recently, the brand hosted a stylist from Elle.com, and added the stylist’s photo “both to make the post more personal and engaging, and to increase its EdgeRank weight.” (EdgeRank is the Facebook algorithm that determines what is displayed and how high in the News Feed. For a primer, click here.) Meanwhile, HomeAgain Pet Rescuers, a microchip and recovery service for pets, frequently shares videos of animals from YouTube or cute pictures from fans—but the posts that get the most engagement encourage people to answer questions about their own pets. The question, “Why and how did you choose your pet’s name?” spurred 432 Likes and a whopping 1,086 comments.

2. Ask simple, closed questions. This is somewhat intuitive: Unless there’s a major reward, would you rather do something that’s super-quick or one that takes time and effort? “One strategy to ensure engagement is to ask fans questions that are a breeze to answer,” observes the report. “The barrier to typing a one-word response…is very low, so more fans respond.” One brand Wildfire says does this successfully: The Verge, an online technology publication. Its questions are things such as “Android or iPhone?” or “What is your current Web browser?” but “because it chooses hot topics…it also prompts a lot of commentary from people who have more to say on the subject.” (For more on the secrets to a perfect Facebook post, click here.)

3. Tell fans what you want from them. Ending a post with “Like this post” results in much higher numbers of fans who do so. For example, Wildfire had to look no further than its own experience, pointing to two posts on its Facebook page with similar content, both with links to outside articles, and both with a similar number of impressions. “But the post with the instruction to “Click Like if you love the tool,” got twice as many Likes as the post without the instruction. This result is consistent with the results our clients get on their pages as well,” the report says. “The lesson: Never leave the next step up to interpretation—tell fans exactly what you want them to do.”

4. Treat your fans like VIPs. Give fans exclusive access to information you haven’t posted to your website, such as internal photographs of your team or company videos that won’t be shared any other way. You could also offer coupons, giveaways and sweepstakes, which get the highest amount of entries on average, says Wildfire. One example: Dunkin’ Donuts gets “week after week of quality engagement” for a “Fan of the Week” sweepstakes that encourages fans to submit photos of themselves with the company’s products. The winner has their picture featured on the Dunkin’ Donuts page, among other treats.

5. Invite one-on-one interactions. Make your relationship more personal by responding to your fans by name when possible, and by answering comments one-on-one. This “proves that you’re listening and are receptive to their comments and feedback,” according to the report. “And that means they’re more likely to keep posting.” This is as simple as it sounds, with Wildfire showing a screenshot of Tide detergent’s Facebook page, responding to a comment with “Awww….thanks Sheila!”

6. Humanize your brand. In some ways this is an extension of the “VIP” idea, with Wildfire’s research showing that people get excited about behind-the-scenes glimpses. (“It works for DVD and Blu-Ray sales, and it works on Facebook fan pages too,” notes the report.) The Holland America cruise line posted about its tradition of lunches for new employees, and Wildfire itself posted about ringing a cowbell, which signifies the launch of a new full-service campaign. (Wildfire’s post received 50 Likes within an hour of its being published.)

 

By Business Writers

Affordable custom website

Are you looking for a website? 5j Design offers affordable custom websites for you that will help you and your business. Contact us today for a quote – jake@5jdesign.com or zach@5jdesign.com.

Twitter Backgrounds

This is a post from Blake from You Design It

Twitter is used as a sounding board for brands big and small. One aspect that can’t be overlooked on your Twitter profile is the background. The design and style can speak volumes, sometimes more than the tweets themselves. We’ve put together a list of ten different backgrounds on Twitter to inspire you to create a look that can say much more than 140 characters ever can.

Vectips

vectips twitter backgroundVectips is all about vector graphics. What better place to show off your vector chops than on your Twitter background. It can serve as a canvas for graphic designers to display their work while tweeting their latest announcements.

Go Media

go media twitter imageGo Media added a personal touch with a photograph of the members of their design and development team. This gives a face to their Twitter voice.

RollingStone

rolling stone twitter backgroundRolling Stone is an edgy, trendy magazine that is renowned for their magazine covers of the same vein. Turning their Twitter background into an art gallery of magazine covers is a great way to connect to their followers.

Black Sheep PR

black sheep twitter imageryBlack Sheep PR is a small firm with big ideas. They stand out from the crowd with an elegant but yet contemporary pattern for a background featuring their mantra “Rock Out with Your Flock Out”.

Nike Sports Wear

nike twitter designWhat could be more suitable for the Nike company as a Twitter background than a design that instantly puts the visitor in mind of a sneaker box? Simple and understated, Nike gets their message across without trying to overdo it.

SunDrop

Sun drop TwitterSunDrop wants you to know its taste is crisp and refreshing. The message is received loud and clear with this background. Makes you thirsty doesn’t it?

VH1

Twitter VH1VH1′s Twitter background is cool, fresh, and modern looking. They chose not to feature the logo in the background and it pays off.

H&M

HM Twitter background designH&M knows sex sells. So does pretty women in a bikini. Job well done H&M.

Reggie Bush

Reggie Bush Twitter BackgroundReggie Bush opted for the stylized image of himself. It portrays speed and athleticism. Precisely what he embodies.

Tory Burch

twitter tory burchThe Tory Burch brand is elegant and refined. The framed images in the background collectively emit the same feeling.

These Twitter backgrounds all vary both in subject and style. All are effectively done with relevance and message in mind. The consistency of brands across social channels are important in both content and design. Does your Twitter background say the same thing your tweets do?

Contact 5j Design to get started on a custom twitter background.

 

 

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