Pixel Perfect: Navigating the Graphic Design Landscape for Gen Z

The rise of each new generation brings new challenges and opportunities in graphic design and branding.


Visual styles that appealed to people in years past may not resonate with the up-and-comers. Trends come and go, evolve and fall out of fashion. It’s a trip. 


And it’s important for your design firm to keep ahead of the curve at every turn. Stay on the cutting edge by exploring the latest trends in graphic design software and tools that resonate with the preferences and workflow of Gen Z. Because, while you might think that there’s no reason to change what works for you, a new generation of website traffic might be disinterested by your product. If you’re actively trying to cater to design trends that appeal to a younger generation, then you’ve gotta put yourself in their shoes.


But what the hell is Gen Z actually into? 


  • Mobile Optimization

People live on their phones, especially those who’ve always had them. A generation of people who came of age in a time of instant gratification will expect nothing less from your load times and ease of use on mobile devices. Yes, the ideal way to view a great site is on a desktop, but that’s not where most people will see it, especially casual visitors. If you want conversions, make sure your website is easy to navigate on the smallest of screens. 


  • Authenticity

Owing to the fact that they were born and raised online, Gen Z can see right through your bullshit. They crave truth in advertising and genuine narratives that evoke real emotional responses. They are a socially conscious generation that demand design that reflects their principles. Because of this, your honesty and desire to present an idealistic vision of your brand and industry will be well received. 


  • Visually Big

We all crave eye-catching visual designs, they get us hooked and hungry for more, and younger people will always be the more visually stimulated among us. Keeping it bold and captivating provides the assist you’ll need to attract Gen Z traffic. Seemingly spontaneous photography, of-the-moment typography and a colorful visual style will all serve to keep your desired, youthful audience engaged.


  • Modern Nostalgia

The 90s are back in a big way, and taking a trip down memory lane, while also infusing your branding with a modern twist, will go a long way for your promotional material. The fun, busy sites of yesteryear are making a comeback, but your modern twist can and should be interactivity. Animations and interactive polls, when paired with visual throwbacks to an idealized past, attract younger users. 


  • And, yes, memes

Tread carefully. Gen Z don’t just enjoy memes, they create them. Their moment is viral marketing, while their online interaction is droll and downplayed, to say the least. When relaying information via text or online, Gen Z eschew capitalization and punctuation, even going so far as to take offense when confronted with such antiquated variations in typography. Their memes are specific, and their perception of emojis is different from what it was even 5 years ago. If you choose to wade into meme waters, do your research first or you’ll risk appearing out of step and desperate for attention. 


When catering to the younger generation, pay close attention to their refreshing inclusivity. While they’re not as easily offended as older generations would have you believe, they expect more tolerance and acceptance than their forebears.


Be careful not to lump all members of Gen Z together. Just like all previous generations, there is variety here, and it can be researched and mined accordingly. 


Above all else, don’t underestimate Gen Z’s tech prowess. 


From embracing authenticity to mastering the language of memes, your designs can be the visual anthem that resonates with this vibrant and dynamic audience. Gen Z is your future, whether you like it or not. 

Beyond the Rush: The Case for Slow Marketing in a Fast-Paced World

The world of marketing is wild. Sometimes it feels like a race, and your only goal is to win attention as fast as you can, with all the content, funnels and pipelines at your disposal.


There’s nothing wrong with wanting to get attention through your marketing (that’s the point, after all), but chasing trends and staying on top of consistent content doesn’t always yield the results you’re hoping for. In fact, striving to keep afloat in our always-up culture can reek of desperation and have the opposite effect of what you’re going for. Your ever-consistent marketing could actually become a turnoff if it’s perceived as thoughtless and poorly conceived. 


So, is it possible to turn out great marketing content, while moving quickly and intentionally, without hurrying, appearing frazzled and rushing from one plan to the next with little to no course of action? 


Short answer: Yes. 


It’s called Slow Marketing.



Slowing your brand marketing down doesn’t mean sticking to your fast-paced mindset and just revealing new marketing campaigns less frequently. It means putting a helluva lot more time and effort into the approach to your marketing so that you’ve got a meticulously calculated marketing approach that gets results. Unlike the hustle and bustle of fast-paced marketing, slow marketing emphasizes a more deliberate and thoughtful approach to building lasting relationships with customers.


A slow marketing approach is long-term planning, not slowing your growth. You can still maintain steady gains through slow marketing. It also doesn’t mean losing fast marketing entirely. You already know that balance is important to your success.


So what does it take to succeed at slow marketing? Here are 5 ways you can make it work for you. 

  • Being intentional 

Marketing with eyes on the future is the key. When you slow down a large portion of your marketing, you’re taking the time to plan many steps into the future, ensuring your brand is presented in the best possible light. You’re taking the time to figure out what types of marketing fit best with your business, and then creating plans to implement, encourage and then repeat them indefinitely. Research, intentionality and planning will help you find best approaches to your marketing, allowing you to tweak them slightly, and repackage with nearly endless results. 

  • Quality over quantity

Believe it or not, people are more savvy than they’re usually given credit for, and they can smell bullshit from a kilometer away. Rather than firing up a mad, endless sprint from one campaign to the next, Slow marketing encourages a shift in mindset, emphasizing the importance of delivering high-quality content and products. Doing so enhances the perceived value of your brand by showcasing your plan to be there for the long haul. People see your effort, and future attention to future planning, and reward you with their loyalty.

  • Contextualization

So much of marketing focuses on “how” and “what”, which is logical, but slow marketing dares you to ask “why.” When planning a campaign without background intentionality, you’re more likely to simply endeavor to figure out what you’re going to do, and how you’re going to get it done. But asking a question like “why” requires some soul searching, conversations with staff and clients, and a powerful desire to get to the heart of customer desires and consumer psychology. Once you figure out the why, the how and what become consistently clear.

  • Sustainability

Incorporating slower marketing into your business encourages long-term growth, while laying out plans for the future of your business. Yeah, we all love quick wins, and the endorphin rush and minimal effort that comes with them, but focusing on a big picture approach that is intentional and deeply connected to your business is far more sustainable. Expressing your meaningful approach, rather than focusing on constant instant gratification, is absolutely essential if you want to organically grow your business. 

  • Un-Marketing

Slowing down and giving your approach some serious thought, planning and execution will afford you time to create marketing that doesn’t feel like marketing. Looking for areas where you can add value to your marketing content is substantially simpler when you’re not pushing hard for the next immediate result. Slowing down and taking note of spheres where your content can improve, especially in the areas that serve a purpose, becomes your goal. 


Your content should seek to do one (or more) of the following: educate, inspire, entertain. This is most easily achieved when you’re giving yourself time to perfect your marketing practices. Once you’ve got your slow marketing content creation mastered, your business can position itself not just as a product or services but as an integral part of your customers’ lives. In the marathon of business success, slow marketing is the deliberate stride that ensures you not only reach the finish line but thrive in the journey.

The Consumer Holidays: Preparing for Black Friday and Cyber Monday

What’s your favorite holiday? 

Most holidays are about people’s faith in the deity of their choosing, or related to important cultural or historical events. They’re something to look forward to. An excuse to gather with family and friends. And we all have a favorite one. 

Well, consumer culture is a nearly global religion too, and all are welcome in its church of big bucks…. provided they have some extra cash in their pockets.

And, if consumer culture is a global religion (cult?), then Black Friday is its holiday!

Also, if you’re a business, then Black Friday might be one of the most important days in your calendar. This is your chance to get your name all the way out there, make some good money, and promote your company in unique and fun ways. 

Here are 5 ways your business can prepare for Black Friday, and Cyber Monday too!

  • Promote, promote, promote!

Make your products too good to pass up! Create Black Friday deals unique to your business. Set yourself apart with some amazing package discounts, or even a giveaway or two! This is the time of year for you to drop your very best bargains, the ones you’ve been sitting on, waiting for the right time to show off. It’s time to reveal the products that keep customers coming back all year ‘round, and you can do it in style!

  • Email

Retain your current customers with an email campaign, and start it early (like, October.)

Bait your hook by hinting at coming sales, and keep those teasing emails coming! You can benefit greatly by finding ways to personalize your campaign to your clients, since their inboxes will be bombarded with promotional materials this time of year, most of which they’ll probably delete. So make those emails attractive and catchy and attention-getting.

Email campaigns are still one of the best ways to keep your clients primed for what’s coming and, when the deals are ready, let them know the time is now!

  •  Be there for them

When it comes to encouraging customer loyalty, you’ve gotta pay attention. If a customer is having issues completing their order, help ‘em out! If they simply have questions about your product, well, you’ve got the answers, so why not make the time?

The customer may not “always be right,” as the old adage goes, but they also shouldn’t be ignored. You’re in the middle of, perhaps, your busiest weekend of the year, but that doesn’t mean you should simply toss out a boilerplate “we’re experiencing higher than usual call times” when the going gets tough.

Customers see your attentive service and raise you their returning business. 

  •  Fulfillment

If you’re offering a physical product, make sure your most popular items are in stock and ready to go. You may also benefit from bringing on some holiday help for the coming busy business time, especially if your product requires packaging and mailing. Many of your customers will be needing their purchases within a limited time frame. Make sure your online store is ready for more people, and that troubleshooting has been carried out in advance.

  •  What to discount?

This Black Friday & Cyber Monday, don’t just discount your most popular products and services! Take a look at your sales from the previous months, and respond accordingly to the trends you see. Has one of your products been selling unexpectedly well? Consider including it in your discount packages. It’s important to adjust your business according to new trends, and not grow complacent in your expectations.

BFCM has become a global phenomenon, and one of the busiest weekends in consumer culture. The two days have also become big business for companies who specialize in goods and services. No matter the size of your business, now is the time to engage with your customers, bring in new ones, and really sink your teeth into the busy weekend, rather than shy away from it.

Plan ahead, and think it through! 

Craft a plan that works best for you and your company. You know your clientele and what they like. You also know how to best reach them and bring them into your business. Now is the time to be bolder than usual and get the attention of as many people as possible.

The key takeaway here is that BFCM is coming, and it’s a holiday where you can really shine! So get ready to sink your teeth into it and make it work for your business in all the best ways!

Crisis Communication: The Ethical Imperative for Businesses in Times of Trouble

The world is bigger than business, and even more messy.

In recent days, the eyes of the world have been focused on the Middle East, and the anyone with half a brain has borne witness to atrocity after atrocity, war crime after war crime

There’s no right time to ask this question, but we must:

How should we, a socially-conscious brand, respond during times of crisis?

The human experience has long been fraught with crisis, and they are still happening all over the world. There is a nearly 60 year long civil war in Colombia that has mainly claimed the lives of civilians. The armed conflict in Ukraine has driven away more than 4 million people, and killed more than half a million more on both sides. Civil war in Yemen has placed 80% of the nation’s population in danger. And the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic is still affecting countless lives worldwide, as economies, businesses and families slowly recover.

Each new crisis is horrific, and many feel eerily similar to those that came before.

And it’s all easier to just not talk about….

There is certainly something to be said for craving safety in uncertain times. Turning a blind eye. Nobody wants bad news. And those of us lucky enough to live in a place not teetering on the edge of the abyss take solace in the notion that “it can’t happen here.”

At least for now.

In the meantime, it’s nearly impossible not to form opinions on each reported crisis. We’re curious by nature. We have questions. We seek to find someone to point the finger at. We side with the “good guys” and hope the “bad guys” get what’s coming to them.

How should your business respond?

Individual opinion, wrong or right, is something we are all entitled to. And, because individuals come together to form organizations, it’s only logical that these opinions become entwined within each of our companies.

But how, and when, should your company throw its perspective into the ring? Is doing so the right thing to do? Shouldn’t you just be focused on making money? And, if you do choose to express your sentiments pertaining to a global crisis, Is there a right time and a wrong time?

As a small business based in Dubai, we’ve built our client base somewhat organically. In a small business setting, expressing opinions on humanitarian issues can go either way. Speaking your mind could just as easily produce a groundswell of support as it could alienate loyal customers and wipe a company out entirely. Is it really worth the risk? Here’s what we think: There are times when speaking up means a hell of a lot more than your bottom line.

Once they expressed their opinions, some companies have been criticized for the side they chose, while others have received flack for just remaining silent. For many, silence is viewed as complicity. Others, still, play the waiting game so as not to voice their opinion, only to be forced to walk them back and eat crow, as they say.

Something to think about.
Still, perhaps there is no shame in wanting to take several steps back and attempt to get the clearest possible view of a crisis. It’s certainly true that no layperson has the expertise to fully grasp what is happening, and claiming to be an authority is potentially dangerous when so much so-called “news” is misinformation in disguise.

If you’re still on the fence about vocalizing your company’s support and solidarity for those on the receiving end of hardship, pain and collective misery, consider these 4 questions….

  1. Are you, or members of your staff, directly affected?

  2. If members of your organization live in affected areas, or any bordering, involved countries, your support for them and their families will not go unnoticed by people you employ. It is also likely that other members of your staff will feel the same way you do.

  3. Are you an authentic person?

  4. If your past behavior has been truthful, caring, and appreciated by your employees, then your choice to vocalize an opinion on a global humanitarian crisis will be perceived well by those in your organization.

  5. Are you speaking from your heart?

  6. If you’re choosing to have your company weigh in because you’re truly passionate about what is happening, and endeavoring to educate yourself without bias, then it will be perceived as such. Simply saying something because you feel you must will be obviously disingenuous.

  7. Who is your audience?

  8. Familiarity with your clientele will likely inform your choice to speak out. If they are largely in agreement with your choice to stand up and be heard, then they will be with you, and even encouraged to personally speak out as well.


  9. Are innocent people being murdered?

  10. If the answer is yes, then you have an international responsibility to condemn and speak out against it. War crime does not justify war crime. A logical, painful barometer is helpful here: If innocents and children are dying, then you should speak out against it.

    Governments and institutions are often wrong. They cause pain and human suffering in their quest for more land, power and wealth. They are not afraid to attempt the wholesale extermination of an entire population, and they are always looking for a remotely justifiable excuse to do so.

    Some causes are worth fighting for and, if your business can help shine a light on the plight of innocent people, then, we feel, you should do it.

    No matter if it’s happening right next door or half a world away, you have the power to give a voice to those who have been silenced.