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Brand & Mortar

Graphic Design Trends For 2018

By | Blogging, Graphic Design, Learning | No Comments

2018 will be a year of modernizing graphic design trends from the past and the flat designs we have seen in the recent years.

Here are 3 Trends we think will have a large impact on Graphic Design in 2018

RESPONSIVE LOGOS

We have now been living in the world of responsive design for a decade. Only now some of the big name brands are introducing what the industry is calling a responsive logo.  The responsive logo will be used across different mediums in order to keep readability and still be brand recognizable to the users eye.

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The Pursuit of Excellence in Creative Advertising Campaigns

By | Marketing, Strategy | No Comments

The father of advertising, David Ogilvy, once said, “In the modern world of business, it is useless to be a creative, original thinker unless you can also sell what you create.” He couldn’t be more right. At Brand & Mortar, we consider ourselves lucky for working at the intersection of creativity, business and technology, doing what we love the most: selling our client’s brand by creating original advertising campaigns and marketing strategies. Read More

Public Speaking: 6 Tips for a Successful Presentation

By | Learning, Life | No Comments

Public Speaking Doesn’t Have to be Scary

Sweaty palms, heavy breathing, that uncontrollable handshake you just can’t seem to get under control: these are a few signs of either too much caffeine consumption or pre-presentation nerves. For some, public speaking is a chore, while for others, it’s a breeze. Rather than picturing the audience in their underwear (which 9/10 times DOES NOT work), hone your skills with these 6 tips and tricks to hit a presentation home run. Read More

How to Make the Most Out of Your Internship

By | Job Advice | No Comments

Internships have become more popular in the last couple of years. In order to gain more experience, students are constantly searching for internships to advance in their field of choice, and gain experience. Internships are a unique opportunity to determine what you are interested in, what you are good at, and even what you need to work on.  In this growing industry, more and more people are interested in digital advertising, branding, and social media, and Co-op internships are a good opportunity to find out if it is the right field for you. Being an intern myself, I have learned so much about the industry and the way it functions.

There are many different ways to succeed in the workplace, but since an internship is the time to learn, there are three specific tips that will make you stand out. After completing an internship, these are traits that I believe are essential for succeeding. Read More

The Art of Presenting

By | Learning | No Comments

Whether we like it or not, at some point in our lives we will have to conduct a presentation. You most likely had to do presentations throughout school, and they teach you the basic skills on creating and delivering a presentation. However, there are many steps one must take in order to master the art of presenting. Whether it is pitching an idea to your boss, delivering data, or a persuasion presentation to a client, having the necessary skill of comfortably presenting in front of an audience is exceptionally important.

Generating, as well as delivering a presentation is an art form. It is not easy to be comfortable giving a presentation, so it is important that you take the necessary steps to make yourself feel as confident as possible before stepping into the boardroom. Read More

How to Foster a Good Company Culture

By | culture, Job Advice

Photo cred: http://www.forbes.com/forbes/welcome/

Cultural Fits > Experience

Someone once told me that a smart person can learn anything, so don’t focus too heavily on experience as the sole motivation for hiring a new employee. Hiring someone who corresponds with the culture of your company and would mesh well with the already present employees is (arguably) more important than hiring someone with a stacked resume. Why? One bad hire can disturb the flow and function of an entire department, or even worse, the entire company, whereas a good hire can add something positive and valuable to the company that may have been previously lacking.

Assign a ‘Director Of Culture’

Assigning the responsibility of Director of Culture to an employee may seem obvious, but ensuring that someone is directly responsible for organizing all company events and cultural happenings is key for boosting employee morale. Knowing that there is someone who is putting the employees first and organizing events for their enjoyment is a crucial factor for nurturing a positive company culture and happy workplace. It also works to show that the company is putting its employees first by showing that they care about employee satisfaction and team building.

Photo cred: http://www.khoslaventures.com/company-culture-and-downtown-las-vegas

Collaboration is King

Cultivating an environment that encourages teamwork and collaboration is vital for creating a positive company culture. Opening the lines of communication between departments by promoting cross-departmental coordination not only fosters a workplace that welcomes learning and employee growth, but also helps employees understand each other better through various modes of collaboration. Teamwork within an organization ensures that all parties involved understand that they are working towards a common goal, and this goal unifies employees. Collaboration between employees builds the understanding that your employees are a cohesive team, rather than a bunch of individuals who happen to be employed by the same organization.

How To Boost Your Creativity At Work

By | Blogging, Learning, Other, Time Management | No Comments

Connecting with your inner creative self at work can be challenging sometimes, so here are some tips on how to boost your creativity in the workplace!

Stop Checking The Clock

 

You’ll be surprised how much your sense of time affects what you think you can accomplish in a workday. Constantly checking the clock is a key contributor to stress in the workplace, and effectively works to destroy an employee’s ability to think creatively. Try taking off your watch and letting your internal clock take over for a while, you’ll notice a difference in your overall productivity, efficiency and relaxation level.

 

Listen To Music

 

Listening to music at work can help you feel calm and relaxed, subsequently encouraging your brain to think more creatively and openly. Studies have established that listening to music creates emotions and a change in your overall mood through shifting brain waves. This shift works to anchor creativity by attaching certain feelings with certain songs. Essentially, these emotions evoked by listening to different types of music work to foster creative thinking and can even boost efficiency.

 

Take Breaks

 

 If you find yourself in a creative slump, try taking a constructive break. Spend some time doodling, reading, or doing a mental puzzle – anything to get your mind working more imaginatively. You’ll find that the distraction will help you approach your task with more clarity and inspiration. Planned breaks maximize efficiency, creativity and generally improve focus to complete the task at hand.

 

Collaborate

 

 Brainstorming is a tried and true method for producing creative ideas and stimulating creative thought. It is best for a brainstorming group to freely generate as many creative ideas as possible, without holding back. Once everyone has been given a chance to express his or her creative thoughts, the group should work together to evaluate each idea and come to a consensus on a final concept. Creativity is fostered when employees can effectively work together and feed off of each other’s ideas.

 

Be Positive

           

Being engaged and optimistic at your job will lead to more creativity and innovation while completing various projects. Being an engaged member of your organization contributes to increased motivation in the workplace, improves performance and the quality of your work. Basically, to be creative you need to care about your job and the work you are doing. If you participate in ‘self talk’ that asserts that “I’m not capable of creative thought,” then you are pigeonholing yourself and limiting your own ability. Everyone has the ability to be creative, partake in creative thought processes and be an innovator!

5 Things You Should Never Say During A Job Interview

By | Learning, Resources | No Comments

The interview process can be a very stressful experience. Interviews force you to come face to face with employers who are searching for the perfect candidate to fill an open job position. This demand for perfection can place a lot of pressure on the interviewee because they cannot afford to make a single error. What is even more terrifying is that those conducting interviews actively seek out negative qualities in the job seekers whom they meet. This means that one sentence or a nervous habit can turn a great interview into a lost employment opportunity.

The following is a list of sentences and phrases that are known to turn employers off and can result in a complete waste of time. When meeting with a company’s HR recruitment manager, be aware of the items on the following list and try to avoid them at all costs.

 The use of “like” and “um”

These phrases interrupt the flow of a sentence and allude to an inability to concentrate or think on one’s feet. Especially for higher-level positions, these interjectory phrases are sometimes associated with a lack of intelligence or lack of interest on the subject. Furthermore, interviewers may read this as a sign of poor critical thinking skills.

 “I want to own my own business”

Entrepreneurial ambitions are aspirations best left unsaid during an interview. While it is a productive goal, HR recruitment managers may interpret this as quite the opposite. In fact, they may not see ambition at all, but rather a potential threat. This is because employers tend to fear high turnover rates and stolen proprietary information. The last thing an employer wants to do is train a future competitor.

 “What does your company do?”

This is something you should never ask during an interview. Asking this question is the easiest way to ruin an interview. It creates the appearance that you have a poor work ethic and a blatant disregard for the time of the interviewer. You should always research the company you are interviewing for. Knowing specific facts about the company gives the interviewer the impression that you are interested in the position and took the time to prepare for the interview.

 “How am I doing?”

Employers want to hire those who express confidence. When you ask a question such as this during an interview, you not only leave yourself open to undesirable feedback, you may also create the appearance of someone who is insecure. Insecurity is an unfavorable trait for employers searching to fill a job position because it is usually a byproduct of being inefficient. Employers favour employees who display strength and self-assurance.

 “How long is this interview going to take?”

The interviewer’s time is just as valuable as yours. By asking a question such as this you are ultimately saying that you have better places to be. If you show that they are not a priority, then you have just wasted your time, as this will inevitably reflect negatively on your personality.

In Summary

If you are looking for a new job opportunity and plan on going to job interviews, you should make it worth your while. Try and plan ahead of time so that you are prepared and do not fall into any traps set by the interviewer. By avoiding the pitfalls described above you will already be ahead of your competition. Good luck!

 

 

 

4 Ways To Be More Productive at Work

By | Learning, Life | No Comments

Prioritize

Prioritizing tasks takes a lot of effort, but can ultimately help you be far more productive during your workday. Start with your most daunting tasks first. Completing your largest, most difficult projects at the beginning of the workday, when your mind is the freshest, will ensure that they are not avoided. Give yourself realistic time limits for each of your projects and execute accordingly. Not only will this help you have a more efficient workday, but it will also decrease stress. Prioritizing is key.

 Create To Do Lists

First thing in the morning, make a to do list of all the things you need to accomplish over the course of the workday in a priority sequence, along with any other notes you need to remember. Making a to do list first thing in the morning helps to organize your entire day and allows you to clearly see what you need to achieve. Set time goals for each task and try and stick to them. A good tip for creating to do lists is to break down when you are at your peak performance each day, and plan your to do list tasks accordingly so you are using those peak times to complete your most complicated tasks.

 Schedule Breaks

Strategizing and writing take a lot of mental effort and you brain can only focus for a specific amount of time. Schedule a break into your workday routine. Short breaks help you to be more productive during your workday as they help you focus, reenergize and keep your momentum up. Getting away from your desk for even a few short minutes allows you to come back with a fresh perspective and can help you produce better quality work!

 Don’t Multi Task

Since we are creatures of habit, it is safe to say that our brains are not good at multi-tasking or task switching. When multi-tasking, you are unable to focus on important details and are more likely to forget things, or leave things out. Multitasking also makes you less productive. Experts say that individuals experience a 40% loss in productivity when multi tasking or task switching between projects. It’s better to focus on one task at a time to produce effective, quality work and be more productive in the workplace.