Welcome Home

By: > September 14th, 2017
“Courage is the power to let go of the familiar.” Raymond Lindquist
 
Serif Group Office Moves from Walton Avenue

photo by Shaun Ring

We closed the doors of our shared studio space with Shaun Ring Photography at the beginning of June. Moving our office wasn’t something we had planned, nor was it really on the radar. But sometimes it’s the unexpected that turns out to have been the best plan after all. Sure, the studio in Warehouse Block on Walton was amazing and incredibly cool, but this new space is coming together. It feels just right, feels like home.

Because it is. Our office is now located in the Hartland neighborhood off Tates Creek Road, and we couldn’t be more thrilled. There was a bit of an uneasy feeling to leave behind the space that we had been so comfortable in for the past five years. It was more than concrete flooring, exposed beams, and swiveling barn doors. The space was dreamy and airy. Make no mistake clients, strangers, and friends felt the energy when they walked in.

The new office was put together by our friend, Wendy, and is 100% Serif Group. A business that started out of a home 17 years ago has circled back to a new home. You’ll find us older, wiser, yet just as comfortable and even more courageous than ever. If we haven’t seen you in awhile, you’re welcome to come by for a chat and a snack. Or we can meet you at our other favorite work space — any local venue that has wifi.

Oh, and we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention how the tables turned in our relationship with Shaun Ring. We got to be his real estate client as he helped us buy our new home and sell our old home in record time. The process couldn’t have gone more smoothly. 

Quit Working, Start Living!

By: > July 8th, 2014

Imagine the one thing that makes you feel the most you that you have ever felt. Is it coming up with the most subtle puns to make people laugh, writing your heart out in the form of poetry, photographing a raw and stunning moment in a stranger’s life, doing something adventurous that no one else has ever done, rescuing endangered or harmed animals, creating something that makes someone smile, or coming up with ideas that could change the course of medical efforts or scientific research? This is your way of changing the world. Can you imagine it yet?

It makes you feel alive, but are you willing to admit you’re not perfect at it? Sometimes doing something imperfectly is the first step to finding something better. Many have claimed that doing what you love brings a happiness that cannot be found elsewhere, a lifestyle that benefits not only you, but everyone you interact with, and productivity like you have never seen before. Needless to say, it helps you produce an outcome that no one else can ever identically produce.

The Pareto principle, although more widely recognized as the 80/20 rule [of life], is about doing just that. It’s doing what you’re made to do – what you’re good at – and putting the most effort into that. Stop worrying about the small amount that you can’t do, and spend more time on what you can do. Wikipedia explains the 80/20 rule as, “roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.” In business this means that about 80% of your profit comes from 20% of your clients and 20% of the work that you put into something.

That can easily be a let down, but take the initiative to turn it into a motivator to work differently. Do more of what you love and are good at. If you’re passionate about what you’re doing it is typically better quality, more efficient, and much more rewarding for both the giver and the receiver. Your output creates its value. This may not work for everything and everyone, but with the right amount of balance and initiative, I believe that your passion could become your full-time job. Confucius once said, “choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” Let that be your goal. Take what you are good at, make something of it, and use it to benefit others. Serif Group is the product of two people doing what they love. It really does happen.

80/20 Facebook graphicImagine a world where gifts and passions were put first for serving others, and not for selfish use. Don’t settle for your best work being your side job. Is fear stopping you? Why are you afraid to do what comes naturally to you? If you do what you were created to do, you will reap many worthy rewards. Don’t hide your passions – turn them into your lifestyle! 

You Can’t Fight the Plague!

By: > June 19th, 2014

There comes a time when your friends are suddenly very absent. They don’t respond to your texts or answer your phone calls, and when you finally do see them they tell you that they have not slept much in the last couple of weeks. “I got up at 3 a.m. last night, and the night before that I was awake until 6,” they will say. You could be out on a romantic date at a fancy restaurant and your significant other will be gazing sweetly into your eyes one minute, and the next minute his eyes divert behind you and he is bursting into spontaneous cheering or a stream of profanities. Be alert: these are the symptoms of someone who has been bitten by the FIFA World Cup bug. It is a plague, and the only cure is to let the inflicted be and hope their favorite team wins (or at least is not beat by someone worse).

As contagious as it is, some of us are just immune to it, but that does not mean that we cannot still enjoy something about this month of soccer (or is it football?). From a marketing perspective, we have noticed the craziness that has been the logo explosion of each World Cup. You cannot get through a huge event such as the World Cup without at least seeing the logo in a mall, on the internet, while you’re watching tv, on someone’s shirt, or on a box of McDonald’s french fries! (Seriously, McDonald’s has an entire FIFA-based game you can play if you buy their french fries!)

In an article posted on the McDonald’s newsroom webpage was a quote from Steve Easterbrook, Senior Executive VP and Global Chief Brand Officer at McD’s, where he explained, “This is the first time in brand history we’re changing the packaging design of one of our customers’ most favourite menu items on a global scale, and what better reason than to share in the excitement of one of the most prestigious sporting events in the world.” They’re pretty serious about this World Cup thing and are taking the image up to a whole new level. Simply put, it’s hard to not run into some sort of World Cup marketing scheme this month.

So now that you agree with me that the World Cup isn’t all about soccer, (it’s actually more about marketing, right?) I want to take you on a trip down memory lane of the last 10 years of the FIFA World Cup logo. You have to admit, this is the real plague that strikes more of the population, even if you aren’t a football fan.

FIFA USA 94FRANCE 98

FIFA KoreaJapanFIFA Germany 2006

 

FIFA South Africa 2010

 

And last, but not least, this year’s vibrant logo for the vibrant country of Brazil:

FIFA Brasil

Do you remember any of these? There is strength in a powerful image, especially when it is embedded in your mind without you even consciously realizing it. Perhaps now you will notice just how much you actually look at a World Cup endorsement. You can’t fight the plague!

The Bunny is leaving much better eggs this year!

By: > April 15th, 2014

Around Easter every year, I pass mounds of PAAS dyes and goofy stickers featuring prancing bunnies and cheesy flowers while at the grocery store. These kits are fun for kids, but my designer’s heart has always craved something more elegant than stickers, and more interesting than solid colors. Thanks to the wonders of Google, I found these beautiful twists on the classic Easter tradition.

Silhouette Eggs | Possibilities are endless with this super-simple update on sticker eggs. LollyChops

Watercolor Eggs | These beauties use craft supplies you probably already have on hand, and the result is pretty and whimsical. Alisa Burke

Dried Flowers | You won’t need centerpieces with these bright options. The Magic Onions

Washi Tape | For pattern lovers. Lovely Indeed

 

Painterly Eggs | These soft pastels are Springy and artistic. Paper & Stitch

Mustache Eggs | Cute and sassy, these eggs remind me of a barbershop quartet. Oh What Fun

 

Foiled Eggs | Super-elegant and perfect for a fancy Easter gathering. Martha Stewart

Silk Tie Eggs | Easy, unique, and stunning. Mommy Knows

 

 

Words to live by…

By: > March 7th, 2014 > One comment

As a designer, it’s easy to get bogged down by the illusion of perfection.

  • Is the spacing right on that headline?
  • Maybe we should scootch that block just a hair to the left.
  • That orange may be too orange.
  • Check the thesaurus. There has to be a better word to use there.

This need for perfection can be paralyzing in life. Chores go undone because they can’t be done perfectly. Pictures lean against the wall until the perfect location and hanging mechanism are determined. A run fails to happen because I don’t have my headphones or the right socks.

As we established Serif Group in 2000, our business mentor gave us the best bit of advice: “Don’t let perfect be the enemy of better.”

We have since used it weekly to help clients feel better about pulling the trigger on a name change, brochure printing, logo design – you name it.

If you find yourself stuck, just do SOMETHING. You can always go back and make it better later. Taking the first step will feel so good.

I was inspired to create a graphic to remind us of these words to live by. If you need a reminder, you can order a variety of products featuring this design on Café Press.

 

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