A Publication to Love

They say people don’t read anymore.  We all have shortened attention spans, and we want more graphics and video— not text.

While I don’t disagree with these basic trends, I would encourage you (especially women) to pick up the most recent copy of Darling and reconsider the values you place on reading.

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Targeted to women of all ages and walks of life, this magazine is like no other that I’ve seen.  You’ll need a $20 bill, but if you don’t enjoy the format, the variety of stories, the photography, illustrations, graphic treatments and even the paper it’s printed on, I’ll reimburse you!

I so appreciate wandering through this publication that my husband started picking up for me each quarter.  With just a few artful advertisements in the opening pages, this publication does not have any other advertising.

Each story is well crafted and synchronized with effective type treatments and rich, often monochromatic photography. There is nothing “stock” about this perfectly bound and perfectly done publication.  In fact, editors at Darling embrace the raw, and real, non-photo shopped approach.

It’s artful and it makes me stop to spend a little time to feel the texture of the pages and listen to new perspectives or inspirations found within the covers.  It’s an exercise in mindfulness really.  This magazine doesn’t go out in my recycling pile, like most of my other magazines.  I keep them.  I treasure them.  I share them with others.

IMG_3388At Jet Marketing, our approach to many of our marketing campaigns employs strategies of less text and more graphics.  But we also create original newspaper article content, community newsletters and donor publications that get noticed.  While our publications are different than Darling, they are relevant, professional and they speak to a target audience with specific education or awareness goals.  Seem old-school?  Well maybe, but sometimes what is old is new.

I believe that people still do read – however, Darling reinforces the fact that a high-quality piece that is relevant and attractive helps your marketing or publication rise to the top and increases the likelihood of perceived value.

What’s your favorite item to read and why?  We’d love to hear from you.  In the meantime, pick up a copy of Darling, or stop by the office and I’m happy to share a back copy with you.

darlingmagazine.org

@darling on Instagram

facebook.com/DarlingMagazine

 

Jackie O’Hara, Owner/Account Executive/Strategist

As the “boss lady” at Jet Marketing, Jackie is usually struggling to find time for herself. But when she does, there is nothing like a glass of wine and immersing herself in the latest copy of Darling.

 


The Latest in Web Trends

webtrends

While recently researching the latest in web design for an upcoming project, we came across some surprising (and some not-so-surprising) trends and best practices for the new year and thought we’d share.

  1. Phase Out Sliders and Sidebars.

The slider (also known as a photo carousel) has been incredibly popular, but when looking for conversions and engaging your audience it’s best to steer clear. They are often a distraction that users skim right past. They don’t have the patience to wait for each message to appear, and even if they are interested, the message often automatically forwards to the next one before allowing the user to fully engage with the previous.

People think that if they cram as many messages as possible above the “fold”, they will maximize their impact. In reality, their message is diluted or ignored. Worse yet, people may click away from their site.

With mobile devices being the most widely used way users interact on the internet, a scrolling website is your best option. Users are accustomed to and actually expect to scroll through sites. Make the most impact by having a powerful image and succinct copy and a call to action as the first thing a user will see on your site. That will draw them in and encourage scrolling down to see more content.

Sidebars are similar to sliders –  often ignored.  You have extremely limited time to capture your audience’s attention, so don’t complicate it with more static  like a sidebar.

That’s not to say there isn’t a place for sliders and sidebars. Sliders are a great way to showcase your portfolio – but they certainly aren’t for every site, and they definitely don’t belong at the top of your homepage.

 

  1. Larger Fonts and Better Imagery.

This may seem like a no-brainer – but bigger fonts lead to bigger impact, especially when people are using mobile devices more and more. Readability is crucial. Keep the content succinct and to the point. A call to action is another helpful way to draw readers in and lead to conversions.

Having authentic, original imagery that occupies a large amount of real estate on your site is a great way to capture and hold attention. You don’t need  lots of images, just a few impactful ones. The human brain can process an image 60,000 times faster than text.* Having powerful imagery helps the viewer to understand much more quickly what you are trying to convey.

 

  1. Using Semi-Flat design vs. Flat design

Flat design is a style that has no glossy or three-dimensional visual effects. It became popular with the release of Microsoft’s Metro design language and Windows 8 in 2011, along with Apple’s homepage in 2013.** It focuses on minimalism in terms of design.

It used to be apparent to click when something was either blue, underlined, or had 3-D effects. With flat design, it became more difficult to detect linked elements. Therefore Semi-Flat design has evolved to correct these issues. It adds subtle depth and dimension with shadows and shading, which has helped to mitigate the issues of flat design.

While still maintaining the sharp and sophisticated look of a Flat design, Semi-Flat design can improve usability on your site, which in turn can lead to the all important conversion.

 

  1. Video is on the Rise.

While video has long been around, it is becoming more and more powerful as a tool for storytelling and marketing. It is compelling, instantly engaging and quickly draws in its audience. Including video on a landing page can increase conversion by 80%. *** And by 2020, video will be 82 percent of all consumer Internet traffic.****

Video needs to load and play quickly, because impact is lost if a viewer is waiting for it to load. All you need to create compelling video content is a smartphone so get started today!

 

  1. Simplify Your Navigation.

Complicated navigation systems create way too many options for people and can actually drive them away. Having clear, concise labels that allow readers to know what is in each category provides better usability. For example, don’t use adjectives, instead pick short, predictable words. The easier it is for a reader to navigate your site, the more likely they are to stay and click around.

 

These are just a few of the many trends happening in web design, but we think they’re some of the most important.  They’ll help get you going in the right direction with staying on top of the latest strategies in excellent web design and presence.

 

Sources:

* http://www.business2community.com/digital-marketing/visual-marketing-pictures-worth-60000-words-01126256

** https://www.nngroup.com/articles/flat-design/

*** https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/video-marketing-statistics#sm.000005pswuag36cweqpnrdp1zt26s

**** http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/solutions/collateral/service-provider/visual-networking-index-vni/complete-white-paper-c11-481360.html

ER headshot Erin Rogers, Creative Director at Jet Marketing

Erin enjoys a good, local coffee shop and family road trips.


Finding Your Inspiration

Driving on an empty road at bright sunny day

On a recent road trip as we were coming up over the crest of a hill, it struck me how flat the land was ahead of us. It seemed like you could see forever, and the shapes on the horizon formed a distinct pattern against the blue, cloudless sky. There was no one ahead of us, no one behind us. Everything seemed so still and vivid, even hurtling down the road at 70mph. I captured the moment in my mind’s eye noting the pattern of color, light and texture it revealed to me.

You never know where design inspiration is going to strike, and sometimes it doesn’t even make sense in the moment. But later you reflect on that vision, and something sparks an idea. Maybe it’s not a direct correlation, but it’s the experience, the memory, and all of a sudden you can’t get your ideas out fast enough.

Designers often spend countless hours curled up behind their computer screens, cranking out ad after ad, poster after poster. When you have an established brand, with experience, it just becomes second nature to roll out different pieces of collateral for that client. But it’s different when all of a sudden you have to come up with a brand new look or idea. Where do you go for inspiration? Sometimes it’s other designs, or magazines, or even looking around online. But some of the best ideas come when you least expect it—the trick is being open to that moment, or inviting a recent memory to return when needed.

Here’s what helps: Getting away from the computer. Doing something totally different. Breaking out of your routine. That’s how you recharge and refresh. Whether it’s going to the bookstore, an art museum, taking a quick road trip, or just simply going for a walk outside, do something that shifts your perspective. In design it’s like everything else in life, you have to slow down and breathe it all in. . . or you may just miss it.

So when you’re hurtling down the road at 70mph, make sure to take in the moment, and hopefully flashing blue and red lights in the rearview mirror won’t interrupt your inspiration.

ER headshot  Erin Rogers, Creative Director at Jet Marketing

During her free time, Erin enjoys hiking and biking the local nature trails.