AI Design & The Future

Artificial Intelligence has long been a staple of science fiction movies, books, and TV shows. But what we thought was a single-faceted concept has grown and spawned several different types of machine learning, algorithms, and creation tools.

There is a lot to understand about what AI design is and how it’s being used presently if we’re going to have a good idea of what’s to come. Moreover, because the technology is still so new and growing, numerous kinks need to be addressed and updated, not just when it comes to delivering good results but also regarding ethics and legality.

As a brand or business, it may be challenging to imagine how a tool like AI design could pose any issues like that. However, AI design can affect artists significantly. 

With everything in life, there are pros and cons to using AI design and its tools. Today, we’ll cover what it is, how it affects businesses and creatives, and what you can likely expect from it in the future.

Let’s dive in.

What Is AI Design Or Generative Creation?

Generative creation or AI design employs machine learning software and a workflow to generate content, graphics, or copy. The program takes your input as a prompt, words describing your concept or idea, and then uses it to generate an outcome by putting it into an algorithm. The algorithm creates an asset using what it’s learned to pull pieces from external sources and join them together.

Robot artist drawing mona lisa. AI generated drawing, artificial intelligence. Pop art retro vector illustration 50s 60s vintage kitsch style

While using a designer may sound similar (you tell them what you need, and with their skills, they create something for you in one to two days), it’s very different. The technology is “creating” on its own and does it in just a few minutes, maybe less. Now, the creation that takes place is also different as well. Instead of a human hearing or reading your request and then taking the time to draw or design something from scratch, the AI is taking pieces of existing art, jumbling them up to fit the parameters you set, and displaying a somewhat mathematical result.

There often isn’t the opportunity to provide feedback and refine the design either, though some programs are adding this feature.

These tools are frequently used to create illustrated looks for a person via an app’s AI filter, draw characters or picture concepts, or see images in different styles.

One of the most popular tools is MidJourney, which uses Discord to take prompts and turn them into pictures.

What Does AI Design Look Like?

It looks similar to art, but many software options out there currently still need some help. With a basic AI tool, you can type in princess with a dragon and get something close to what you imagine. However, the technology is still growing, and some issues may be with proportions, distortion, or placement.

Should AI Design Be Used In Corporate Or Commercial Spaces?

Running robot cartoon with businessman in an office on the gray background. Eps 10 vector file.

This is a tricky road to navigate. While using an AI tool could certainly hasten your timeline and get you satisfactory results, the question of where those results are truly coming from and their quality still hangs heavy overhead.

Here is a scenario to consider. 

Suppose you’re working with a company like Flocksy and request a design using our intuitive brief. In the best-case scenario, we’ll get your designs back to you within 24 hours, and you’ll be thrilled with the results- no revisions needed. When you work with Flocksy, this does happen quite a bit. 

But what if you do have revisions? That’s also very normal. The artist will take your feedback, update the design, and give you the final result you want. That process takes a bit longer than the design with no revisions.

Now, say you or the artist used an AI tool to create a quick concept reference for your design.  The project would start with an example that is ready to be expounded on. Whether the AI concept is way off or close to the mark, it could inform the artist and cut back on revisions in the long run.

However, it’s important to note that the AI design can’t be used as-is or as the base layer of your design if you want something truly original. Remember, these tools pull from existing designs, meaning part of this creation already exists on the internet. You don’t want your outcome to look like a tweaked version of someone else’s work.

Are There Drawbacks To AI Design?

There are a number of drawbacks and ethical considerations to make when it comes to AI design.

At the start is the communication barrier. Because the technology is new, it’s very possible that the AI might not understand you on the first try. You’ll have to re-generate several times to get what you want.

Cartoon illustration of artificial intelligence besides brains in jars

If you eventually get what you’re looking for, it might not be so bad to repeat the process for a few minutes, but if the AI never truly understands what you want, you’ll have to go back to work with an artist anyway.

Another crucial consideration is ethics. Yes, all creative work is influenced by something. However, that’s different from taking something from another source and claiming you made it.

To better understand this, allow us to provide an example. Say you want to design a character- for a book, a comic, a website, etc. You do some searching on the internet and find one you love. It’s perfect. They just need red hair and to be holding an umbrella. So, you copy that image, whether printing it out, downloading, or snipping it.

Then, you trace over that image, change the coloring either digitally or by hand, and add an umbrella. Once you’re finished, you take that design and put it on your merchandising and promotional materials. Well, we’ve got a problem, right? 

You didn’t create that design. You traced it and updated a few things. 

At present, that is essentially what AI tools are doing. They’re taking art that someone made, digitally manipulating it, potentially combining it with art from the same or a different artist, and calling it new. It’s not.

Lastly, many are thinking of these generated designs as stock photos. That doesn’t quite line up because the artist of the images on the web hasn’t necessarily consented to or is being paid to provide stock assets. When a photographer or artist submits their creatives to a stock website, they’ve consented to let their work be used as such and are being compensated for it.

A picture pulled from an artist’s website where they sell their prints isn’t stock, and with AI tools, we can’t presently tell where it’s pulling its resources from.

Will AI Design Affect Creative Jobs?

man versus robot. advantage of technology. robot hand click. Pop art retro vector illustration vintage kitsch 50s 60s style

Many clients may come to artists with more AI concepts as a rough start, which could be helpful. We could also see people using these AI tools to create the design entirely and using it out in the world. Hopefully, people still know that they can get better, more ethical results by working with a human.

Correctly combining colors, logos, and brand guidelines so that they are consistent across your brand is still a human job. The AI tool doesn’t possess the same knowledge of your brand, likes, or dislikes that an artist who’s been working with you for a while will have. They also aren’t as accurate as a result. While design and art are subjective, marketers’ creative needs are unique and specific, and AI design alone can’t hold up to those standards in most cases.

What Are The Legal Implications & Risks Of AI Design?

If you’ve used these AI apps or tools, particularly one where you input an image, you’ve likely accepted the terms and conditions associated with that app. What that fine print often says is that you’ll be relinquishing the rights to the assets to the parent company in perpetuity. 

Courthouse with Scales Symbol on Facade with Stairs and Columns Empty Exterior. Tree, Plant, Grass and Shrub on Enterance. Government State Court, Justice House. Space of Legal Litigation

That’s a significant concern.

Licensing and commercial use are significant issues with AI design used as-is. There is a risk that using this content as your own may or may not be legally protected. After all, it’s very possible that someone could enter a similar prompt and get a similar result. The AI isn’t concerned with making something entirely unique each time it spits out an image or, at least presently, where it’s getting its sources. We’ll likely see a lot of these lawsuits begin to be successful.

What is Flocksy Doing?

We understand that tools like AI “art bots” can provide a rough idea of what you need, and using them to create a first draft may even speed things up a bit. However, we also know that a human has to step in to do the actual designing or drawing.

At Flocksy, we hire real people to sit down and design or draw your assets. You won’t find an AI bot delivering material harvested from the internet that may or may not be correct. Our skilled design experts do the work, craft unique content that matches your idea, and isn’t copied from someone else.

We won’t use AI, and we assure you that the assets you get from our creatives will have an exceptionally high quality and accuracy rate.

You can see examples of our top-notch designs and illustrations in our portfolio here.

A Conclusion About AI Design

When used properly, this technology could be complementary and not competitive to designers. Employing them to mock up designs that you’ll later create from scratch can eliminate some back and forth over revisions, and saving time is great. 

What will be essential to keep a lookout for in the future is the continuing growth of these tools and the sourcing they do for their results. If there’s a way that the bots can pull from only approved artwork that the original artist can consent to, similar to a stock photo service, then these tools could be handy. 

It’s unlikely that these types of services would exist without a fee, but paying to use an AI generator is already starting to happen, even for entirely personal use. It’s also unlikely that a human won’t be necessary anymore, and for all your design needs, you have Flocksy at your back.

ChatGPT & The Ethics of AI Copywriting

With the recent news of ChatGPT and AI writing, many are wondering how ethical the practice of having a computer scour the internet and compose copy truly is. While the innovation is impressive, real issues can arise from using it or similar technology to generate content. 

So, what is ChatGPT and its GPT-3, and what does it mean for the world of copywriting and language? Is there an ethical concern about AI content? There are a lot of questions to answer, so let’s dig into this growing trend and consider why getting your copy the old-fashioned way is still likely the best way to do it.

ChatGPT & AI

Image from Forbes

ChatGPT is an OpenAI chatbot they created using the GPT-3 technology. GPT-3, or Generative Pretrained Transformer 3, is an advanced language processing AI that OpenAI created. They claim that it can produce human-like text. This ability could mean it has a variety of applications, including language translation, language modeling, and, most concerningly, generating text for websites and consumers to use however they wish. It’s one of the largest, most powerful language-processing AI models we’ve seen, with 175 billion parameters.

Its predominantly been used to create ChatGPT, the impressive chatbot. It doesn’t use pre-programmed responses but can generate them on the fly to create a more realistic conversation between the user and itself. 

You can provide GPT-3 with various worded prompts, like questions or requests for a piece of writing on a topic you choose, and it will create the results. But how does it come up with the responses?

In simple terms, the AI was fed text from databases across the internet, including books, articles, web texts, Wikipedia, and more. In fact, about 300 billion words were fed into the system. So, it pulls its text and responses from existing sources on the internet to produce a response. 

However, it’s not flawless. You can get incorrect information, and the bot can misunderstand what you’re asking. Additionally, if your prompt or request is very niche, or if you add too many factors, it can get overwhelmed or ignore sections of the prompt completely.

For example, if you’re requesting a tale of two people and provide their jobs, names, ages, and where they live, it can jumble up that information and randomly set each one to the two characters instead of how you prompted it.

And, of course, grammar is always a concern. While there are advanced grammar-checking programs, and the AI likely has a similar internal process, those programs don’t always get it right. You’ve likely dismissed a suggestion from a grammar checker for being a little off and maybe even completely wrong. Who’s to say what rules the AI bot uses for its grammatical structure, or if because it references the whole of the internet’s writing, it will be riddled with errors?

The Ethics of AI Writing

There are a couple of things to be wary of when considering the ethics of AI copywriting. Firstly, it pulls its data from the internet. 

As a result of this fact, it can assume some of the internet’s biases, stereotypes, and general assumptions. Off-color jokes or stereotypes about certain groups or political figures can come up based on what you ask and how.

If you wanted a comedy routine, it is very likely that you’ll get some jokes about ex-politicians or marginalized groups who are often the butt of jokes in comedy bits. That can be highly problematic. Depending on where the bot decides to pull the information from, you could potentially get downright racist information in return.

Because internet forums and articles are a huge source of data for these bots, you’ll also run the risk of getting fake news or conspiracy theories returned. The system isn’t perfect, and it may be unable to tell the difference between fact and fiction.

The second primary concern is plagiarism. 

When it comes down to it, if you use a content bot to create an article, say that you were totally responsible for it, and release it into the world. That’s plagiarism. 

And it’s not just writing where this is an issue. The arguments over AI art also make a strong case for plagiarism. In order to create that artwork, the bot pulls from existing images and piecing them together to create its results. Those artists who put their work on the internet are essentially having their work copied and pasted somewhere else by a computer.

You can’t trace someone’s drawing, color it slightly differently, add a few things, and call it your own. 

What’s more, if you’re paid to create an article and have a copy bot do it for you, that’s unethical and likely a breach of contract. You’ve been hired to do the work, and you aren’t doing it. In a similar vein, there have already been reports like this one in the New York Post about students using AI copywriting tools to do their papers. If you think it’s wrong for a student not to do the work, you shouldn’t want your professional writers to do it, either.

Flocksy’s Promise

At Flocksy, we hire real people to sit down and write your copy. You won’t find an AI bot delivering material harvested from the internet that may or may not be correct. Our skilled copywriting experts do the work, create unique content that won’t get flagged by Google, and is easy for readers to absorb and enjoy.

We won’t use AI, and we can assure you that the content you get from our writers will be much better than anything a robot would write for you.

You can see examples of our top-notch copywriting in our portfolio here.

Flocksy Featured Team Member Interview with Sofia Sanchez

At Flocksy, our team is what makes us incredible, and we’d like to take this opportunity to introduce them to you through this new, ongoing series- Flocksy’s Featured Team Member.

Today, we’ll be getting to know one of our amazing custom illustrators, Sofia Sanchez.

If you’re looking for brand illustrations for your growing business, Sofia is one of the best at Flocksy. Let’s get to know how she started with us, her favorite aspects of working here, and more.

Sofia Sanchez- Custom Illustrations

Getting Started with Flocksy

sofia sanchez custom illustrator

Sofia is one of Flocksy’s amazing illustrators and can work on various assets your brand might need, including portraits, book covers, comic vignettes, mascots, and more. Sofia mentions that one of the primary differences between illustrations and graphic design is “we are not just doing what we feel looks beautiful and will transmit a feeling. We can also achieve that, but we must consider what will achieve the [client’s] needs.”

Sofia previously worked at an animation studio as a storyboard and background artist. She was looking for a change of scenery to allow her more free time and create a better work-life balance.

“[Flocksy] provided a better space to achieve my goals. They offer the stability I was looking for and are very respectful of our free time. I love working at Flocksy.”

Her Beginnings in Illustration

sofia sanchez illustration strong mind

Sofia has loved to draw since she was a little girl. While her sister may have started as the family artist, it quickly became evident that Sofia was the true “La Chica de Los Plumones” or marker girl. She was always a favorite when it came to group projects for her creative talents, and even though she may have tried pursuing something else, illustration and art called her back.

“I was scared my hobby would become something I hated because of the pressure. So, I tried studying Engineering. I realized I was doing it to make my father and grandpa happy. In the end, I convinced my grandpa it was a serious career.” 

Sofia is thrilled that she gets to do what she loves for her career, and nothing touches her like receiving positive feedback from our amazing clients. One kind comment can make her entire day.

Working Her Magic on a Spot the Difference Illustration

sofia sanchez magical forest spot the difference

One of Sofia’s favorite projects was the Magical Forest at Sunset project. As a spot-the-difference illustration, it was a unique challenge. She said that the kindness and freedom the client gave her on the project allowed her to create something great. 

She said, “I enjoy working with her, and with her guidance and the freedom she provided, I really love the final outcome. I think what we achieved was very interesting, and when I see it again, it evokes the magical feel [the client] was trying to achieve.”

Illustrating the Escape

sofia sanchez illustration escape room

Sofia also really enjoyed working on another unique project, background art for an escape room! The client’s openness to suggestions was so valuable. As a result, Sofia could use Photoshop instead of Illustrator to create a dynamic piece that showcased very effectual lighting and textures.

“As I said before joining Flocksy, I was a background illustrator. This background project provided freedom, and Mary was willing to listen to my suggestions. This is my greatest background to date.”

The Challenge of Horses

sofia sanchez illustration epona horse

As many an illustrator will tell you, horses are very challenging to draw. Their intricate musculature and proportions are unique to their species. In fact, it’s a bit of an inside joke in the industry that horses are a no-go. Sofia, however, loves them and knocked this project out of the park.

“Horses are very hard, but this horse was very fun. And I liked this project because [the client] is always looking for variety. She’s looking for diversity in the styles to keep it interesting. She embraced my art style.”

The challenge of drawing this particular animal and the client’s unique color palette also made this project a favorite of Sofia’s because it tested her skills and kept her on her toes.

Artist Inspiration

sofia sanchez illustration st solomon le clercq

Sofia finds inspiration all around her, but one of the most interesting places she says she pulled inspiration from are the client project briefs. By connecting with the brand’s message and story, she’s able to see the personality and heart behind a company. She also mentioned that Pinterest is invaluable.

“I use Pinterest when I need a different color palette. If I need a different art style that comes closest to the brand guidelines.”

She also takes inspiration from real life and has her own library she’s created of poses and scenes from everyday experiences.

“I have this great client that gives you freedom but also is clear. She asked me for a lot of poses for different characters, and she loved how I captured natural poses. I use a lot of references from real life. I heard once from another more accomplished storyboard artist that the best advice he got was to draw everyday life. To go to a park, to go to a coffee shop, and just draw people, so you can have references of real-life poses. I also use my own library as inspiration.”

A Blank Slate or A Plethora of References?

sofia sanchez illustration paint palette and brushes

When it comes to having complete free reign or being provided with several reference materials, Sofia says it all comes down to the client’s unique needs. Having creative freedom, she mentioned, allows you to challenge yourself and grow. However, Sofia also believes that references are invaluable when you have specific needs or tastes or if the client has particular brand guidelines.

Sofia’s Role Models & Resources

sofia sanchez illustration anime style girl magical princess

It’s not an exaggeration to say that Sofia’s heart runs through everything she does. Between her long-time love of drawing and connection to her family, one of her role models is her boyfriend.

“This might be cheesy. I met my boyfriend in college, and we started at the same time. He’s also a very accomplished artist and helps me when I don’t know how to get the right perspective. When you have the camera on top or when you have the camera on the bottom. He has this amazing understanding of depth, perspective, and movement. He’s a big inspiration and a teacher for me.”

She also recommended checking out the work of Dave Pimentel, the storyboard artist for Moana, who shares her Mexican ancestry. 

“I love how he captures natural poses. He’s always drawing quick sketches, but he can embody the essence of a person, their personality, in just one quick sketch.”

Sofia also mentioned the great work of Sophie MacPike, an illustrator from Australia. 

“She does digital work, and also she does a lot of watercolor painting. Her style is very unique.”

Working to Comedy

sofia sanchez illustration demon dog

Sofia admits that working from home, like many of us started doing during the pandemic, can get a little lonely. She realized that finding laughter throughout her day was crucial to keeping her spirits up and not feeling so isolated.

“Work can be stressful, but just having something or someone to make you laugh is huge. I have my dog here, and I live with my boyfriend, so I have him with me. I enjoy having fun with them while we work, and we listen to a podcast named Leyendas Legendarias or watch a comedy show. I’m currently watching Modern Family. It’s hilarious.”

Her Favorite Things About Flocksy

sofia sanchez illustration meditation man

Sofia’s favorite things about Flocksy showcase what makes the company different. She stressed that the communication between the staff and clients was far and above the best she’s worked with. The community that communication creates makes her feel like she has someone, or several people, who have her back on each project. 

She also mentioned that Flocksy recognizes her hard work by saying, “I also like that you feel seen- like I’m not just one more employee. They want to listen to what you have to say, to your feedback and suggestions. They trust your skills and value what you do.”

Building relationships with the clients was another significant benefit. It creates a sense of trust between her and the people she’s working with, which gives her room to be creative. When they keep requesting her on projects, she knows she’s honoring her commitment to quality and delivering great results.

Illustrator Resources

sofia sanchez illustration geometric design cool colors

Sofia was a cornucopia of resources when asked, and her suggestions were great. Sofia recommended checking out Adobe Colors. The free program is great for color palettes and visualizing how colors will look together. She also sang the praises of Pinterest again and about creating a library of reference poses and the like.

She also recommended reading three resource books. The first was Directing the Story by Francis Glebas. 

“There is one that’s more related to Storyboard artists, but it’s very helpful. He used to work at Disney. He started in Aladdin and talks a lot of perspectives on how the shots make you feel, the directions of the camera, the poses, the body language, and how it’s useful to transmit a story. So even if you’re not a storyboard artist, it’s something we really need to know as illustrators if you’re trying to achieve a story for our client.” 

Sofia also suggested Perspectives by Mateu-Mestre. It discusses how the correct use of different perspectives can change an illustration’s feel, making it more dynamic, complex, and real. The technical manual gives constructive ways to employ his suggestions, including options for lighting and mood.

Outside of Flocksy

sofia sanchez illustration blue dragon

Sofia is a homebody who loves spending time with her family and friends. She loves even simple times when you don’t do anything but talk about how your day’s going. Sofia is also very into fitness and loves her Fit Pass. She says the variety keeps things interesting.

“Like just being in the gym with weights or on the treadmill is so boring. So I love that. It’s my new hobby.”

When she’s not at work, Sofia enjoys her free time, staying fit, walking her dog, and enjoying the latest in movies and TV, especially animated features.

We love having Sofia on the team here at Flocksy, and we know you’ll love having her on your team for all your future illustration projects. You can check out her full portfolio of work here.

Flocksy & Loom Video Messaging- A Match Made in Heaven

What could make leaving feedback for your team even easier? Showing them what you mean. 

Flocksy has stepped it up again and is offering Loom video messaging. We know that graphics are a visual medium, so what better way to let your artists know what you want than to show them the exact areas you need something updated or changed? You can chat with your designers, show your copywriters where their content will be going, and describe your goals to your illustrator as if you were talking right to them.

What is Loom?

Loom video messaging has a ton of uses, but essentially it’s a way to record a quick message and send it off to your team. When typing something out just isn’t practical, or if you’re better at speaking about what you need, you can record a short video and even your screen to provide clear feedback to everyone you’re working with. 

You can start recording your screen and from your camera with the click of a button. It works on any device, thanks to the Loom Mac and Windows desktop apps and mobile apps, available for both iPhone and Android. And you don’t need a login or account to share, record the video, or watch it if you share it with your colleagues.

If you do have a Loom account, you can connect it with the video messaging in Flocksy’s message center to use the advanced features.

How to Use Loom on Flocksy?

Sending a video message through Loom in the message center is easy. Simply click the record message button, and a popup will appear to initiate the Loom recording. There, you can log in and choose how you want to record- screen and camera, screen only, or camera only. It’ll prompt you to choose the right equipment and give you a countdown when you hit record so that you’re ready to go.

There’s a countdown timer at the bottom, so you know when your five minutes will be up. You can cancel the recording if needed by clicking the trashcan, and you can even sign up for an account right from that first popup window as well.

Loom Timer

It’s as simple as that!

Give it a try for yourself on your next Flocksy project. We’re sure you’ll love being able to provide video messages to your team. To learn more about Loom and the advanced features provided in an account, check out their site at www.loom.com

10 Powerful Marketing Tips For Business Success

Marketing is essential for any business that wants to succeed.

That’s why you need to know how to market your brand in a way that gets it noticed on the internet and beyond.

However, with so many options and strategies available, it can be difficult to know where to start.

The following tips will help you learn how to do just that:

Get to Know Your Target Audience

Source: Unsplash

The first step in any marketing strategy is to get to know your target audience. This will help you determine how to market your brand in a way that appeals to their needs and desires.

You’ll also be able to identify the best ways to reach them, whether it’s through social media or other online
channels.

Size Up Your Competition


Whether you are an established business or a startup, it is essential to understand your competition.

You need to know what they offer, how they market and where they are getting their customers from.

If you have an idea of what the other businesses in your industry are doing then it will be easier to formulate a plan that will set your business apart.

Leverage The Power Of Social Media

Source: Pexels

Social media is one of the most powerful tools in a business owner’s toolbox. By leveraging social media, you can reach your audience, build brand awareness and increase sales.

You can also use it to build relationships with your customers and get feedback on how well you’re doing from them.

However, social media is only as effective as the person using it. If you’re not using your personal Facebook or Twitter accounts correctly, then you may as well not have them at all.

This can be especially hard for small business owners who don’t have a lot of time to dedicate to social media marketing.

Here are some tips to help you use social media effectively:

  • Don’t just sell. Focus on providing value by sharing useful information, including stories from your business, news about the industry and helpful tips that relate to your customers’ lives.
  • Use pictures! People love pictures; they make your posts more interesting and easier to digest.
  • Share other people’s content. If someone has written an article that relates to something in your industry, then share it with your audience.

Create A Customer Centered Website

Source: Pixabay

If you are in business, chances are you have a website. If you don’t, then it’s time to get one!

A website is an essential tool in today’s competitive business world. It allows potential clients to learn more about your products and services and gives them the ability to purchase them with a few clicks of their computer or phone.

Your site should be mobile friendly since most people access the internet through their phones these days instead of desktop computers.

If your site isn’t optimized for mobile devices many potential customers won’t even bother exploring further because they won’t enjoy an awkward, clunky mobile experience.

Solidify Your Brand Identity

Brand identity is the personality of the brand. It’s not just about your logo or name, but also how you interact with your customers and present yourself as a company.

When customers think of your business, what do they see? Do they think about how it makes them feel? Or does it conjure up certain images in their head? These are all factors that contribute to brand identity.

It’s important to have a strong sense of brand identity because this will determine how people relate themselves to your company or product when they encounter it in any way possible.

For example: Coca Cola has built its entire success on being associated with happiness and fun times (and maybe even dating back from many decades ago). Their slogan “Open Happiness” conveys exactly what their brand stands for – happy times!

Dive Into Email Marketing

Source: Unsplash

Email marketing is the most effective way to reach your customers. It’s easy to use and you can stay in touch with your customers without having to do a lot of work.

Email marketing is also great for generating leads and growing your brand. You should especially start using email marketing if you have an eCommerce store and are looking to sell more products online.

Email marketing can be automated, which means that all you have to do is set up an auto responder sequence so that every time someone purchases something from your store, they receive an email asking them if they wanted a refund or exchange instead of waiting on hold with customer service reps, who may not even be available right now because it’s after hours!

Start Working With Influencers

Source: Pexels

You can work with influencers to get your message across. Influencers are people who have a large following on social media, like Instagram or Twitter.

They help you reach new audiences and spread your message, which can boost credibility and increase sales.

In some cases, working with influencers could even save money since they often don’t charge as much as traditional advertising outlets such as TV commercials or newspaper ads.

Find The Right Audience With Paid Ads

Source: Pixabay

Paid ads are a great way to find the right audience for your business. You can choose to target your message based on location, age, gender and even interests.

If you’re looking to attract more customers in the local area, then platforms like Google Ads or Facebook are great places to start.

The targeting options are extensive and provide plenty of data from which you can build a detailed profile of interested individuals.

This will ensure that only those who are likely to be interested in what you have to offer see your adverts – saving money on wasted impressions and clicks!

Run SMS Marketing Campaigns

Source: Pexels

Running SMS marketing campaigns is one of the best ways to reach your target audience. With SMS marketing, you can communicate with your customers in a personalized way by sending out bulk messages to people that have opted in to your campaign.

Create A Unified Brand Strategy

Your brand strategy is the foundation for your business. It ties your marketing messages together and positions you as a distinct entity in the marketplace, so it’s important to get it right.

Here are some tips for creating a successful brand strategy:

  • Focus on the customer. You can’t build a strong brand without knowing who your customers are and what they care about. Once you know these things, think about how to use them in your messaging to make them feel connected with your company or product. Don’t just focus on what you want; focus on what they need too!
  • It should be expressed through all marketing channels. Your branding efforts will be wasted if they’re inconsistent across platforms—so make sure that whatever design elements or language choices you make are used consistently throughout all of your materials (website copy, ads, social media posts).

Conclusion

There are many different ways to market your business successfully.

By implementing the tips we’ve shared, as well as experimenting with other strategies that may work better for your unique brand, you’ll be on your way to soaring above the competition and reaching new heights in success.

10 Tips For Creating Great Motion Graphics

If you own a business or have ever tried to tell a story or persuade someone, you probably know the difficulty of creating an engaging and intriguing story or premise.

People love stories, but typically have a hard time keeping their attention on any one thing for too long, including stories, sales pitches, and promotional materials that are meant to move product.

You can alleviate this problem by turning to motion graphics, a medium not used nearly frequently enough for the awesome power of its storytelling ability and novelty.

There are a few key reasons you should use motion graphics, as well as some principles to keep in mind if you choose to use them for your business.

Here are ten such principles if you decide to take your company or storytelling to the next level.

Keep The Animation Fluid And Smooth

Reading plain words on a screen can be incredibly boring for many potential customers. No one likes to sit and read for hours on end about products they may or may not want.

Great motion graphics will add a new dimension to your marketing if they’re fluid and smooth. Bare bones, gliding motion graphics are a great way to keep your audience engaged as a narrator reads text off of a screen.

Motion graphics over text have even helped artists like Weird Al Yankovic create compelling and memorable music videos.

See motion graphic here

Start With Custom Templates

If your company doesn’t have the creative talent or expertise to do your own motion graphics from scratch, you can always use templates from the internet.

These templates are pre-packaged to be totally slick and professional, so you won’t have to worry about customer reactions.

There are thousands of online templates for any imaginable scenario or sales pitch you can think of, so be sure to look around and choose wisely when creating your campaigns.

Use A Company With Motion Graphics Experience

In today’s climate of side giggers and struggling artists, it’s easy to find a company or an individual who will make you truly stunning motion graphics for an affordable rate.

One of the best companies in the business for motion graphics in business is Flocksy.

Flocksy has a team of dedicated graphic artists who are skilled in their crafts and who will take direction and feedback well every time, giving you motion graphics that stand out from a crowd and entice your customers to trust your company and its products.

see source here

Relate The Graphic To Your Story

No matter who you choose to make your motion graphics, or whether you choose to make it in house or out, you should do your research and thoroughly know what you’ve chosen what you’ve chosen.

Specify exactly what kind of motion graphics you need and find scour the net for those which best fit your need and story.

Finding premium graphics that relate to your company’s mission and guide your customers through the what and why of your products or services will engage their minds and teach them why your company stands out from the rest of the industry.

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Always Stay Original

Again, no matter which route you take, it’s always of the utmost importance to stay true to your company’s style and choose images which represent your brand messaging.

Customers like you for you, so stay original when animating, or choose motion graphics which capture the mind and engage the eyes.

Bland motion graphics do exist, and they can be a turn off to many, like the soulless motion graphics of Kroger.

If you stay original and know what you want when you choose your motion graphics, there’s no limit to how far this impressive medium can take you.

Keep It Colorful

Many consumers enjoy motion graphics because they provide a burst of popping color, such as vibrant reds, deep blues, and natural greens.

When selecting or making your motion graphics, be sure to pay close attention to the colors you’re choosing and why, relating your choice to the product and overall narrative.

While stark motion graphics can be highly stylized, many people today gravitate to the more expressive and colorful styles throughout the online landscape today.

see source here

Combine Animated Elements To Static Photos

One of the coolest products motion graphics offer right now is mixing of animated pictures, backgrounds, and objects into an ordinarily static picture.

Your company can use a photo or image from another marketing campaign, or start from scratch, blending animated doodles, clip art, or expressive characters into the photograph to create an entirely new and engaging campaign.

This method is effective because of the craft and skill in merging two different mediums to create something entirely new.

Stay True To The Fundamentals Of Aesthetics

If you’re all-in on motion graphics, there are some great things to remember before you officially start to make your impact. For example, you need to understand the basics of artistic composition and color.

Remember to utilize unity, hierarchy, and contrast within your videos. In other words, keep all visual elements in agreement with each other and point the viewer’s eye toward the point of the screen you want by slightly tipping the balance of the image within that local region.

Even simple animations should be framed in interesting angles and move in a way that pleases the eye.

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Go Looking For Inspiration

If you’ve reached your limit on creativity and develop a case of graphics block, there’s always inspiration on other sites.

Don’t just copy these of course but looking at others’ creative work can often inspire a breakthrough or renew a sense of purpose and novelty.

Some of the best sites to search when looking for a leg up on the competition are Behance, Dribble, and Muzil.

There are hundreds of graphics between these sites and more, so something is bound to spark a creative moment.

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Don’t Make It Too Distracting

Last but not least, your animated graphic shouldn’t distract from your product, brand, or overall message.

It can be tempting to make a meticulous, complex, or overly busy graphic in order to wow your customers, but all you’ll really be doing at the end of the day is shifting their focus away from what you’re selling to what you’ve created.

Great graphics don’t have to be highly complex or overly ornate; many of the best graphics today are simple, clean, and straightforward.

see source here

Bi Weekly Resource Round Up Vol 24

Featured Flocksy Team Member Design Of The Month:

 
Here is a custom facebook ad mockup created for a client by Flocksy team member Janelle.

All custom illustrations/brand designs/marketing materials on Flocksy are created completely from scratch by one of our extremely talented graphic design creatives.

Start a graphic design project today and see results in just hours!

8 Guidelines To Follow If You Want Your Startup To Succeed

    by Flocksy writer Jules

  Around 90% of startups fail. You need more than just a great idea. In this article, you will learn 8 essential tips to guide your startup to success.   continue

Navigating The First Year Of Your Startup

by Flocksy Writer Mariah.

  It’s no secret that starting a business is intimidating. Branching out and taking a leap of faith to embark on a new journey with an unclear path isn’t for everyone.

But, if you’re reading this, then it means that you’re ready to start taking the steps to solidify your future and build your startup into a driving force of innovation and ingenuity.  continue  

10 Great Explainer Videos To Inspire You

by Flocksy Writer Eden.  

Whether you’re new to marketing or are a seasoned veteran, every marketer needs to know how to make an explainer video.

But what if you’re stuck on what to do when making your explainer video? Luckily, we’re here to help you.

This blog post will discuss 10 examples of great explainer videos and why we like them so much. continue

Brand Buckets And How To Use Them

by Flocksy Writer Rachel.
   
When you submit a project request, you’ll be prompted to fill out information about the task. Before doing this, though, you should upload files to your brand bucket.

Doing so helps ensure that the creatives have the information that they need to successfully complete your project. continue

9 Incredible Illustrators Who Create Art With A Little Something Extra You Might Not Expect

For centuries, creative minds with an eye on breaking the rules of convention have dazzled us with their imaginations and personal perspectives.

From the old masters like Leonardo Di Vinci and Michelangelo, to more recently Salvador Dali and M C Escher, we have had a peek inside the artist mind, into the deep recesses of their viewpoint about the world through satirical scribblings.

This outlet has allowed a multitude of new artists, like the popular street artist Banksy, to show the world what is when we don’t see it ourselves, to give us an idea of what can be when we cannot allow our own imaginations to run free, and let us in on their personal thoughts, dreams, and fears.

When words just aren’t enough, sketches and paintings fill in the gap we need in order to see beyond what is right in front of us.

Embrace The Twist

  1. Shanghai Tango

Shanghai Tango, whose birth name is Gao Youjun, is a Chinese artist and a popular cartoonist in the Chinese social network scene.

His work is so popular, he has amassed over half a million loyal followers who share his creativity with everyone they can, spreading his influence far and wide. His niche is the interactivity between coincidental concepts.

  1. Marcus Connor

Using the power of puns, idiosyncrasies, and funny asides, Marcus Connor, who signs his art with the simple tag of “Marcus,” gives us Brainless Tales, a once a day, single panel drawing.

Each is a glowing depiction of the inner workings of his unique mind. It could be said that he took Dad jokes and gave them visibility.

  1. Nacho Diaz

The work of this prolific Spain-based artist can only be defined as bizarre. He revels in the unconventional and lives on the edge of every double entendre you can imagine when referencing ordinary items.

And he loves to play with the concept of before and after.

  1. Lim Heng Swee

A true doodlebug, this Malaysian-based artist bends his work toward the adorable. He pairs funny phrases and puns in ways that will make you giggle as you did as a child and never feel awkward about it.

Everything is designed with the best, most wholesome intentions, making his work very family friendly. Also, he seems to have a thing for cats.

  1. Ben Chen

With a love of pop culture and a skill to give it a darker spin, Ben Chen inspires emotions with his work that are mixed playfully between a dark sense of dread and a humorous ideal that reaches the viewer where they dare not venture within their own mind, and all while being bold, cartoonish, and a little morbid.

6. Michael Godard

Have you ever thought of a cliche and wondered what it would look like if depicted by olives? Michael Goddard has, running with this idea and so many others to make an entire legacy of artwork depicting just that, cliches.

From card sharking to rolling hot dice, he covers the gamut and then some.

7. Pawel Kuczynski

A Polish-born artist, Pawel is also known as a satirist and philosopher, which punctuate his work very well.

His take on traditional problems in the world, in politics, in religion, give rise to feelings within the onlooker of curiosity, starting new conversations about that which we often ignore out of apathy or fear of personal investment.

8. JrDragao

Many artists stick to a particular color scheme and rarely deviate. JrDragao does not, choosing to use vibrant colors that grab the eye and enrich the senses, while making you laugh.

His work often tackles notions we sometimes ponder but rarely dig too deep into. Does Donald Duck wear pants sometimes? What if God decided to make a better version of modern earth? Only JrDragao knows.

9. Lothlenan

We have all heard of art snobs. Those who are only attracted to the works of the great masters like Picasso and El Greco.

Lothlenan, an artist made famous by her following on Tumblr, is a Canadian/Estonian illustrator known for her clever recreations of famous historical paintings.

She also decided to thumb her nose at these few but faithful purists and geek up their favorite pieces with the insertion of Rick and Morty, Legend of Zelda, and even Adventure Time.

Final Thoughts

Art speaks from the soul of the artist to the mind and heart of the viewer. It is meant to be subjective, so each person feels differently that any other, opening doors and starting new and possibly earth-shattering conversations.

Art is more than something to be casually glanced at, but a living, breathing entity, meant to be absorbed. In the end, good art will change you, enrich you, and even evolve you.

12 Great Newsletter Examples To Inspire You

It is said that it takes seven times for a person to see or hear from a business before they make the decision to buy. For many marketers, figuring out the best way to repeatedly get a business in front of its audience without using pushy sales tactics, is a challenge.

There are many methods that come and go, some that work and stick around for a while, and others that are on the fast train to retirement. However, the newsletter consistently remains one of the best tools for marketing, as long as it is done well.

The thing about newsletters is that they have the ability to consistently reach your audience with something of value. They’re not just ads they stumble across, they’re not sporadic posts that they may see when scrolling their favorite social media site, they are literally a direct line straight to the consumer.

This gives businesses an opportunity to regularly present their leads with content that showcases their value and their expertise.

If you’re ready to start sending out impactful and engaging newsletters that help you connect with your audience, here are a handful of examples for inspiration:

69b Boutique

Popular eCommerce and physical store, 69b Boutique, sends out a regular newsletter to their audience that utilizes impactful features in their design.

The minimalist aspect combined with a stand out color scheme makes the newsletter readable and appealing.

The 69b Boutique newsletter also has a distinct structure that ensures a smooth flow for readers.

It moves seamlessly from an offer for free shipping to a highlight of new products and on from there, delivering value and relevance all the way to the bottom.

Penguin Random House

Top book publisher, Penguin Random House regularly sends out personalized emails, helping them connect with their audience and increase their conversions.

By encouraging readers to choose their preferences, Penguin Random House has been able to customize newsletters that show their audience only the things they’ll likely be interested in.

The result is that fans of young adult books receive newsletters geared to new releases and sales in that genre, and so on.

Consumers are sure to click on these emails because they find them valuable and relevant. Personalization is a key tool when creating newsletters for your audience.

The Hustle

Business newsletter, The Hustle, is sent out regularly to readers who are looking for information in the business and tech industries.

The Hustle has gained notoriety due to the tone of its content. While sharing the valuable information that readers are looking for, The Hustle differentiates itself by including wit and humor. Its unique tone keeps readers coming back for more.

Fizzle

Creator website, Fizzle, follows a simplified newsletter tactic, keeping readers in the email instead of sending them all over the internet.

Fizzle fills their newsletter with great, relevant content that gives their audience the information they need in one easy place.

In the end, they provide a call to action for a free trial that readers can take if they feel compelled after reading the content in the email. This tactic makes things simple for the reader and is a great way to encourage conversion.

Calif Chicken Cafe

Los Angeles restaurant, Calif Chicken Cafe, uses the stand-out minimalist newsletter technique that quickly catches the eye of the reader.

The bulk of the newsletter is an attractive photo and great color palette that entices the reader to pay attention and sparks desire. The Calif Chicken Cafe newsletter is a great example that shows sometimes less is more.

Apartment Therapy



Home design website, Apartment Therapy, follows an image-heavy newsletter tactic that readers love.

In every newsletter they choose relevant, aesthetically pleasing images that fall in line with their articles and other content.

Since Apartment Therapy is a visual website, they follow suit in their newsletters to give readers a taste of what they will find when they visit.

Hack the Box

Hack the Box is a cybersecurity platform that sends their audience a streamlined newsletter filled with valuable information.

They use a model that showcases their new services, each with a button underneath that readers can click if interested.

After services showcases, they provide the reader with any relevant news and a recent article.

It’s a simple and seamless model that makes it easy for their audience to learn important information and take any actions they find valuable.

We Can Still Have Nice Things

Popular blog, We Can Still Have Nice Things, sends a weekly newsletter to subscribers that showcases happy and uplifting stories and topics.

The newsletter is conveniently divided into subjects making it simple for readers to find what speaks to them.

This blog newsletter has a small blurb from each article, an image, and a link, which builds up website traffic as readers click over to hear the rest.

Bloomscape

Houseplant to the door delivery service, Bloomscape, boasts of a beautiful newsletter that keeps customers coming back for more.

Their newsletters are replete with aesthetic photos of plants along with short descriptions and tips.

The look of their newsletter is impactful and feels like a visit to their website.

The entire look, color scheme, and tone of the Bloomscape newsletter helps readers engage and greatly encourages conversion.

Buzzfeed

Buzzfeed is one of those websites that everyone knows, filled with pop news articles, photos, and online quizzes. Designed to be a place for everyone, Buzzfeed sends out a newsletter with teasers to draw readers over to the site.

Their newsletters have a few top headlines with a short blurb that is designed to pique the interest of readers.

In order to learn more, readers click the link and find themselves on the Buzzfeed website. It’s the oldest email trick in the book but it continues to be quite effective.

Phrasee

Grammar website, Phrasee, sends out informative weekly emails that are fun and valuable for their audience.

They use lots of online jargon, emojis, images, and interactive GIFs to create an enjoyable experience.

While the Phrasee tactic is a bit simple, it’s also effective. It speaks clearly to the reader and has a humorous tone that ensures engagement.

Creative Bloom

Creative, artistic newsletters are rapidly becoming relevant to industry followers.

Creative Bloom is an arts and design magazine that has carefully crafted their newsletter to whet the appetite of readers who share that creative streak.

These types of newsletters are striking with imagery, illustrations, and articles on stimulating topics.

They are designed to draw in other creative types and therefore have a powerful artistic element.

In Conclusion

Sending out unique and relevant email newsletters is one of the best ways to engage with your audience and keep them connected to your brand.

You just want to make sure you’re not spamming them with irrelevant content that makes them hit the trash, or even worse, the unsubscribe button.

By following in the footsteps of some of the most unique and relevant newsletters out there today, you can start building a base of loyal subscribers.

Bi-Weekly Resource Round Up Vol 23

Featured Flocksy Team Member Design Of The Month:

  Here is a custom facebook ad mockup created for a client by Flocksy team member Amanda.

All custom illustrations/brand designs/marketing materials on Flocksy are created completely from scratch by one of our extremely talented graphic design creatives.

Start a graphic design project today and see results in just hours!

How To Choose the Best Typography for Your Website

      by Flocksy writer Mary Lee

  You’ve put so much work into developing the content that makes up a website, and now it’s time to put on the finishing touches.

That includes choosing the typography that represents your client, the site, the products, or the service in the best light.  continue

The Evolution and Future of Web Design

by Flocksy Writer Rachel.

  These days, the user experience is everything, and web designers are happily pushing boundaries to offer something extraordinary.

Still, classic design elements have formed the foundation of today’s digital realm.

Let’s take a walk through the evolution of web design.  continue    

Pre-built Websites: A Convenient Trend

by Flocksy Writer Alexandra.  

Web design trends come and go like everything else.

But there’s one that stands out among the pack for it’s huge impact and convenience.

That is the trend of pre-built websites.
continue

How to Leave Feedback For Your Creative

by Flocksy Writer Rachel.

Now that your creative project has been posted on Flocksy, you can sit back and await great results.

But when the team member added to your project sends over a draft or proof, you might find yourself facing a difficult question:

What do you do if you don’t like the result? continue