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TED Talk: What’s your TRUE calling?

Plagued by the curse of having too many interests? Do you love to paint, write, do math, research….. and a multitude of other tasks?

In her TED Talk, Emilie Wapnick discusses what happens when you feel like you don’t have just one TRUE calling. But what happens if you don’t have to choose? Wapnick encourages us to think about all that we can be, incorporating all of our interests, rather than trying to simply think of one thing to be. Allowing ourselves to be these complex people makes us not only happier personally, but improves our quality of work. Can you imagine how much more dynamic (and happier) our world would be if we lived like this?

As far as product and product development goes, this means that you can develop products and services that fall into a wide range, but must still align with your brand. For example, if you sell organic fruits and vegetables, it would make sense to also offer health-conscious cooking classes or meal delivery. It would not, however, make the most sense to suddenly sell children’s clothing. While it’s great to diversify yourself and your brand, it must stay true to your intent—otherwise, it may be time for an entirely new brand, or at least some extensive rebranding.

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Selecting the Right Stock Photography

Sometimes a budget is large enough to include room for in-house or commissioned photography, but other times it’s not. You know what we at HGD say to that… no problem.

We are lucky enough to live in the digital age, where thousands of talented artists from around the world shoot and upload photography that depicts anything and everything imaginable, from the general (father walking daughter down aisle) to the specific (young girl riding bike in the sunshine while smiling). There are many different websites that host and sell these images with varying quality and pricing. Upon looking through these websites, it can be easy to get overwhelmed by the magnitude of options.

Here are some tips for picking the right stock photography for you and your campaign.

  1. Know Your Brand
    • This may seem like an obvious sentiment, but it’s extremely important to remember. When selecting images for print or online materials, it’s imperative that you convey a look and feel that correlates with the brand that you’ve already established. Are you homey or corporate? Soft pastels or bold prints? Photography furthers your brand, and shouldn’t contradict what your audience has come to expect from you.
  2. Know Your Message
    • We all know the cliché… a picture is worth a thousand words; well what do you want yours to say? As soon as you make the decision to put an image out to your audience, they will be reading into what you’re trying to say with it. Think about how the image you’re selecting can be interpreted.
  3. Know Your Destination
    • Where will your image be used? Will it be the cover of your catalog or the visual component of a blog post? Knowing where your image will be used helps determine several different components of selection. First, vividness or colorfulness. If an image is being used to purely attract attention or create a mood, then it has more freedom to be more “full of life,” but if it is part of your website’s banner or will have text behind it, that needs to be considered. Second, this determines the alignment of your images. When using text or other visual components on top of your selected image, it’s generally preferred to have ones that won’t disrupt the text so that the audience won’t get distracted by the image.

Need help selecting the right photography for the job? HGD is here to assist you no matter what step of the process you may be in.

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Art Lounge on 101: A New Endeavor

“To succeed, you have to believe in something with such a passion that it becomes a reality.” —Anita Roddick, Founder of “The Body Shop”

We all have passion projects… Whether it’s our whole business or an individual campaign that we’ve personally spearheaded, we all have something that we’re so excited about that working on it doesn’t feel like work.

For me, one such project is Art Lounge on 101. This project combines two of the things that I’m most passionate about: creative expression and community. I’ve partnered with fellow businesswoman Cindy Blumkin, owner of Art & Soul in Encinitas, to create a place for locals to create, teach and explore their creative side.

Currently, Cindy and I are in the process of building the brand. It’s fun (and sometimes overwhelming) to be both the client and the creator this time around. We are developing a brand and messaging that conveys that we are not only a place that invites artists of every level to learn, but teachers to teach as well. This project is constantly reminding me how important messaging and content really are. Cindy and I are working with the whole HGD team to make sure that all of our goals come across in our branding and collateral in a concise and consistent manner. It’s important to have a team you trust when developing a brand.

I’ll be posting more in the coming months as our brand, collateral, website and more start to materialize and take fuller shape. I’m excited to share this new brand—a true extension of myself—with the you and the world.

—Nancy Walter, Hula Girl Design Founder