Pantone Color 2023 & Connect

January 6, 2023| Branding

PANTONE 18-1750 Viva Magenta

Powerful and Optimistic

Another year has started, another color has been defined to describe what 2023 will have in store for us.

Get ready because 2023 will be electrifying! As you can imagine descending from a red family Pantone 18-1750 Viva Magenta is a brave and fearless, yet optimistic color that stands out while being all-inclusive. Whether it’s an expression of self or joy, we are the narrators of positive strength.

“[…] Viva Magenta descends from the red family, and is inspired by the red of cochineal, one of the most precious dyes belonging to the natural dye family as well as one of the strongest and brightest the world has known.”

Leatrice Eiseman (Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute)

Pantone Official Website

(Header picture – courtesy of The Pantone Color Institute)


As a result of licensing issues between Adobe and Pantone, Pantone color libraries have been phased out of Adobe Creative Cloud software and creatives find their discontent when opening a work file and finding Pantone colors appearing in black (after November 2022).

Adobe users who are dependable on Pantone color definitions might be forced to subscribe to the Pantone Connect plugin, which comes in pricy 15€/monthly & 90€/yearly* options.
*Pricing list

A Digital Must-Have: Design Systems

November 10, 2022| Digital, Branding, Design

A Digital Must-Have: Design Systems

Design Systems allow digital products to be on brand and stay consistent through evolving product development and various creators.

To give you a better idea, you could more or less say it is a guidebook of all your core elements and assets that make up your digital product, which may be a website or an app, for example.

A well know design system methodology, you might have already heard of, is the so-called ‘Atomic Design’ by Brad Frost. What this basically comes down to is to define your single elements and assigning those (according to their roles) to specific collections (see below) to assemble the whole digital product.

Brad Frost, Atomic Design

Atoms: Single elements like text, button

Molecules: Combination/ group of atoms, that combined create a function

Organisms: Again, a combination of molecules that create a complex section

Templates: Building a layout by using organisms (more like a wireframe)

Pages: High level fidelity instances of templates

What makes a Design System effective and what are its benefits? 


Consistency in brand development is key for various reasons. The most important in this respect is brand recognition. Users will be able to much better connect your digital products with your brand, hence this creates a better experience and brand reputation. Furthermore, everyone working in your team can build with ease from and on the existing guidelines.

Cross functional collaboration 

A comprehensive developed and implemented Design System makes it so much easier for cross team communication (designers, developers etc.) to be on the same page. Additionally, it allows any new member to seamlessly get integrated by understanding the design language.
By doing so it will save your teams time and yourself money, in the long run.

Identifying problems & scalability

Developing a Design System might be challenging in the beginning, figuring out all, and only the necessary components, but will help you identify flaws and problems. Investing in it will allow ease of scalability and work flow.

What should be included in a Design System? 

Basically, it is up to you how much you want to contain and define in your Design System, but of course there are certain components that should be featured nevertheless.

Style Guide

The style guide describes your visual design language. Consider defining it based on your brand guideline, since you want to keep your overall brand style consistent with your digital products. This should be your color, typography, imagery and sizing.

Component Library (UI kit)/ Pattern Library

A comprehensive collection of all components in use. Structure your library in a way so that those elements can be easily found when reusing them throughout your digital product.


Give instructions on how to make use of your elements in the Design System, as well as how to address issued that may arise in the future.

Do you need help with your Design System?


Pantone Color 2022

December 9, 2021| Branding

PANTONE 17-3938 Very Peri

Dealing with unprecedented change

For over 20 years The Pantone Color Institute has been the leading color expert, setting color standards and color trends; influencing and collaborating with various industries, be it within fashion, graphic design, packaging and many more.

2021 marked a slight turning point after 2020, and the global transition brings new challenges, opportunities and possibilities. As so many things shift over into the digital world our transformed lives set new ways of limits to reality and exploring the digital space.

Pantone 17-3938 Very Peri was chosen as ‘Color of the Year’ 2022 to help us stay in good spirits and curious about the changes in our lives and to embrace the future as it comes.

The familiar qualities of blue with a violet red undertone display a new complexity that expresses our emotions and thirst for new possibilities.

“As we move into a world of unprecedented change the selection of Very Peri brings a novel perspective and vision of the trusted and beloved blue color family […]. PANTONE 17-3938 Very Peri displays a spritely, joyous attitude and dynamic presence that encourages courageous creativity and imaginative expressions.”

Leatrice Eiseman (Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute)

Pantone Official Website

(Header picture – courtesy of The Pantone Color Institute)

E-Mail Marketing – A Successful Tool

April 21, 2021| Branding

E-Mail Marketing  A Successful Tool

Especially over the course of the last year, with everything transitioning to the digital world even more- due to social distancing, remote work and lockdowns- getting your customer’s attention via online media has become pivotal for almost any business.

To highlight the use/frequency of email marketing, in 2020 alone around 306 billion emails were sent and received every day worldwide. (Statista, 2021) Furthermore, an interesting trend developed, with 43% of emails being opened via mobile device, whereas desktop email client use has declined by 18%.

Advantages of Email Marketing
  • Cost Effective
  • Access to Customers 24h, 365 Days
  • Available to Any Business

Grow your business and keep your users involved

Via email marketing you can either:

    • Acquire new customers
      The visitor of your website might be generally interested and curious to connect with your brand. A good way to attract them further is by offering a tip, a discount, an e-book etc. with their (first) welcome mail.
    • Involve, inform your current base
      Be strategic about the amount of emails and their content value.
      If it makes sense for your business use an occasion, like holiday promotions to send out an email- the subscriber might even count on it!

Personalized Emails

If you collect additional personal information other than the email address you can make use of it by personalizing your email. This can be as simple as in the greeting or subject line.
This will have an impact on how you communicate with the user, so he feels directly approached and cared for.

Interactive Emails

Emails, such as that include videos, gifs, are much more likely to be viewed, scrolled to the bottom and clicked.

Abandoned Cart Emails

It happens so often that people (you might be catching yourself now – I know I do!) want to buy something in your online store, but stop before going through with the final step of the actual purchase.
Keep in mind there is a fine line though between sending out a ‘reminder’ or ‘pushing too hard’.

Overall the designs vary from business to business and same concepts are working as before.

Email Trends (for 2021)
  • Big, Bold Typography
  • Gradients
  • Emotional Design
  • Textured or 3D Illustrations/ Animated Illustrations
  • Monochrome Layouts
  • Modern ‘Chaotic’ Layouts


Last, but not least always optimize the emails for mobile use!

Do you need help with E-Mail Designs?


LV Super Bowl – Commercials 2021

February 6, 2021| Branding, Event

Super Bowl Commercials 2021

It’s already been one year?! And what a year it has been! Nevertheless, Super Bowl 55 is knocking on our doors, and we could not be any happier having this super event take place, in these uncertain times.

After an exciting, as well as difficult season we are awaiting the Kansas City Chiefs with star QB Mahomes vs. the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with (some call him legendary) QB Brady.

Fun Fact: It’s the first time in the NFL’s history for a team to have a home game- since the event will take place at the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL. (You better watch out for a massive pirate ship!)

© Raymond James Stadium

Even though the stadium could fit ~75,000 spectators due to the pandemic only 22,000 fans will be able to make their way into the stadium. Without a doubt broadcasting and online streaming will come to full effect expecting 100million people in the US alone.


This year’s costs for a 30 second Super Bowl ad are no surprise at all. CBS opened the bidding at $5.6 million, same as FOX did last year.
Given the pandemic however, companies have been hesitant to buy one of the slots and some of the biggest brands, that would never miss out on a chance to advertise their products to such a broad audience have decided to take themselves out of the run. Therefore, ad spots didn’t sell out until mid January; Compared to last year they were already in November right after the bidding started. Some could even make a ‘deal’ by paying $5.5million.

Of course, you will still see a number of big brands not shying away from creating/ sending ads that are carefully playing with emotions or their fun factor.

We’ll see what the verdict will be, so far these are some of my favorites.

DORITOS – Flat Matthew
Agency: Goodby Silverstein & Partners

AMAZON – Alexa’s Body
Agency: Lucky Generals

BUDLIGHT – Legends
Agency: Wieden & Kennedy

SQUARESPACE – 5 to 9 by Dolly Parton

Pantone Color 2021

December 12, 2020| Branding

PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray +

PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating

Let's move forward

For over 20 years The Pantone Color Institute has been the leading color expert, setting color standards and color trends; influencing and collaborating with various industries, be it within fashion, graphic design, packaging and many more.

What a year 2020 has been! Marked by a world wide pandemic and social discrepancies it is important to see ‘the light at the end of the tunnel’ and to be ready to move forward in good spirits (when the time is right). The powerful color combination is also an attest to these times of resilience, have each and everyone’s voices be heard and ultimately think of new ways for a better future together.

Pantone 17-5104 Ultimate Gray in combination with Pantone 13-0647 Illuminating were chosen as ‘Color of the Year’ 2021 to embark in stability and move forward powerfully.

“The union of an enduring Ultimate Gray with the vibrant yellow Illuminating expresses a message of positivity supported by fortitude. Practical and rock solid but at the same time warming and optimistic, this is a color combination that gives us resilience and hope. We need to feel encouraged and uplifted; this is essential to the human spirit.”

Leatrice Eiseman (Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute)

Pantone Official Website

(Header picture – courtesy of The Pantone Color Institute)

UX - Make Your Website Count

June 4, 2020| Branding, Digital

User Experience:Make Your Website Count

Crafting a compelling experience that goes beyond the design

As with other products/services, User Experience (UX) in relation to websites is simply how people feel when they use such. Nevertheless, UX is more than ‘just’ a pretty website. Of course, it is essential to be aesthetically pleasing, but it also needs to consider emotional satisfaction. Being driven by needs and experiences the use of more technology comes into play and therefore it is essential to keep it as user-friendly as possible.

UX Strategy

You can measure the quality of the UX strategy based on these three main factors :

  • Usefulness
  • Usability
  • Branding

UX defines and meets the user’s needs by following guidelines, hence it is not necessary to reinvent the wheel. On the contrary, use standards that have been developed over time, that the user is already adapted to, eg. a logo is found on the top left or middle and when clicking on it you get back to the landing page.

UX Strategy In Detail

Considering the following will help to get the most out of your web design regarding UX.

1. Usefulness

What is the goal of your website? It is crucial to understand the purpose of your site and its usefulness to the user.
The layout of your site should be set up accordingly.

2. Usability

As mentioned in the introduction, visiting and navigating through the website is basically all about the frictionless experience of a user.

3. Design

The Design and UI (User Interface) refer to the aesthetic quality and obviously go hand in hand with the UX of your site. If your website looks up to date, you keep your user engaged and interested, build trust and visually tell your brand story within the website.

4. Responsive Optimization

This popular, fancy word means nothing more than having your web design layout adjusted to different viewport sizes e.g. desktop, mobile, tablet. After all 52% of website traffic accounts to mobile devices.

5. Performance

Make sure that everything on your website functions properly. Also check links and buttons, to make sure they point to the correct links.
Always keep an eye on your website load. People’s browsing on the web has become very efficient and if your website doesn’t load fast it is very likely that the user will abandon it and look somewhere else.

The Very Benefits of UX (and UI)

A website presents the challenge to provide the user with essential information about your business, services or products, but also gives the opportunity to act as a 24h sales channel that can inform, convince and excite.

  • Gain User’s Trust
    A well build and appealing website can in fact leave a positive impression with your users, and will help gaining credibility of your quality services/products and trust in your business’s values.
    Having a website that is the opposite might result in negative associations with your business.
  • Build A Relationship With Your Customers
    A good website will not only tell the story of your business, but also engage your users in it, so they will become a part of it. Creating such meaningful, maybe even sharable, experiences will improve the overall customer relationship, loyalty, and brand awareness.
  • Save on development costs
    Having a structured and well thought-through website, does not only benefit your visitors, but also yourself (the owner).  Firstly, it will improve your SEO immensely and secondly, when updating your site with new content it will be done a lot quicker and efficient!

Do you need a new website or redesign?


Brand efforts during COVID-19 crisis

April 14, 2020| Branding

Brand efforts during COVID-19 crisis

The communication to customers in a crisis is key

The way brands position their message during the COVID-19 crisis is more important than ever before.

There are plenty of ways for brands to find an opportunity during this crisis, nevertheless communication needs to be empathetic, authentic and human. In this uncertain times honesty and transparency are essential and you may even want to invite a dialogue with your customers.

Setting the wrong tone, even by accident, may be perceived as not being able to comprehend or undermine the scope of the crisis, which will be remembered by (potential) customers.

Show that you take action in supporting the community during this pandemic

When possible for the business to take specific actions during these challenging times will be received as extremely positive and makes them live up to their brand and core values in a very compassionate way.

© Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory

Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Canada

I’m extremely proud to mention this company that I recently started working together with. Rocky Mountain donated CA$500,000 worth of handcrafted chocolate across Canada to non-profit organizations, frontline health care workers, food banks, and community groups.

© Christian Dior

LVMH, France

With Europe being strongly affected by the virus the giant group LVMH became extremely engaged in the fight against COVID-19. They switched their factory productions from famous fragrances of Dior, Guerlain and Givenchy to make hand sanitizer gel for hospitals.

Louis Vuitton, as well as Dior manufacture non-medical masks in their workshops.
The jewellery brand Fred donates 20% of its online sales to the initiative “Visières de l’Espoir”, which uses 3D printing to produce face shields for hospital medical staff.

© Nike

Nike, USA

Nike has also been extremely committed to give back during those hard times, not only by donating $1.6 million to eg. humanitarian organizations, medical care, food banks, but also by making use of their innovative know-how. In collaboration with the Oregon Health & Science University they developed Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in the form of full-face shields with air-purifying respirator (PAPR) lenses to protect against the coronavirus.
The aspiration was to create a PPE in the most simple way (9-step process) and making use of available material, such as Nike’s collar paddings for footwear and cords for apparel.

Small businesses around the world

Apart from naming some of the most well-known brands it shouldn’t be unsaid here, that there are numerous small businesses- that might even struggle themselves- but are relentless in offering their know-how, skill, production facilities to provide masks, hand sanitizers etc. to support their communities! Those do a fantastic job and are an incredible inspiration!

Offer a gift of value to members & nonmembers

Offer discounts to show that you value and appreciate their business.
Be flexible with your customer and maybe even offer special rates. To name a few: in the fitness sector some offer free work out classes, mobile companies provide unlimited data for free or wave late fees, insurance companies reduct their rates for their contracts.

Shift the focus of your business

If the business allows, delivery might be the way to go. Finding creative ways to keep it running within a safe distance, while providing customers with what they might need/want.
Take Dunkin Donuts for example they more or less launched a specific loyalty program giving extra bonus points for pre-ordering or free delivery for getting your order right to your door steps.
Moreover, there has also been an exclamation of communities to “support your local businesses”, making people aware to buy locally helping especially smaller ones to prevent them from their struggles or having them to shut down completely.

Stay timely and updated

As we all are faced with an unprecedented situation, it is utterly important to keep up to date with recent developments. Adapt to safety & health measurements that need to be taken and keep your your customers informed about any changes. As customers are getting used to the current situation you also want to calm they fears and concerns. So, businesses need to show that they are managing and navigating through the crisis and are with them every step of the way. Be serious, on point and don’t create any false hopes.

LIV Super Bowl - Commercials 2020

February 3, 2020| Branding, Event

Super Bowl Commercials 2020

This 54th Super Bowl took place at the Hard Rock stadium in Miami, Florida, with the matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs.

Like in the years before, this years big game ads were anything other than cheap. A 30 seconds spot was available for $5.6 million and according to FOX they sold the entire allotment by late November.


Before we dive right into this years overview of commercials, the NFL itself had something to celebrate as well – 100 YEARS OF NFL. According to the motto ‘Here’s to the next 100 and the game’s future stars!’ we’re celebrating the sport, which is lager than any team or individual, reaching and bringing people together from all across the US (and let me add worldwide).
Below, also find a well made animation graphic taking you through a brief history of NFL.

Agency: 72andSunny

(Image credit: Sports

Given the responses on the internet, it is fair to say that this years Super Bowl ads seem to have done quite well in general, with a a few exceptions of course. Nevertheless, this year ads did not spark a huge discourse, nor was there a single one that stood out in particular, like in the previous years.

Interestingly enough though, we were surprised to see two political ads from President Trump and Bloomberg, which we have not seen in recent history. According to a USA Today report the last political ad aired in a Super Bowl can be dated back to 1989.

A lot of commercials were star-studded again, featuring Ellen DeGeneres & Portia de Rossi, John Krasinski, Chris Evans, Maisie Williams, Post Malone’s, Martin Scorsese & Jonah Hill, Sam Elliot, Sylvester Stallone, Chrissy Teigen & John Legend, Jennifer Lopez, Tom Brady, Taraji P. Henson, Sofia Vergara …. and many, many, many, many more

Agency: Lightning Orchard

Let me start with one of my favorite ads, that literally is to die for, because it’s simply hilarious and captures the essence of this business so very well!

Agency: High Dive

Your home is the one place where you can truly be yourself. What a clever way make this topic approachable, fun and Jason Momoa is just the perfect person for this!

Did you ask yourself as well,…. how?!

Watch a behind the scenes video

Agency: McCann New York

Katie Sowers is the first woman to coach in a Super Bowl. Well done ad, that brings the message across in a very natural and positive way.

Agency: BBDO New York

Seeing mixed opinions of a ‘Snickers-hole’ that’s feeding the world some Snickers. You make up your mind on this one… I’m fine with just the candy bar.


Whether you like Tom Brady or not, is Hulu missing the point when using a double meaning that mostly gets people talking about the player not the service?

Agency: In-house

I really don’t mind simplicity but without the context of the extended version of the ad it’s extremely difficult to follow!
Quite confusing… don’t worry I can create your website 😉

Beer Branding

January 12, 2020| Branding

Beer Branding

According to the American Brewers Association total US beer sales were 1% down in 2018, nevertheless craft beer sales have shown an increase of 4% – claiming 13,2% of the beer market.

Despite the slight decrease in total sales it is inevitable to say that the beer industry is however a significant market defined by $114.2 billion sales, hence offering huge economic potential.

Craft brewing

The trendy word of ‘Craft Brewery’ has come to spread thanks to the popularity of rather smaller, and independent commercial breweries with the goal of making stronger and more variable flavours of beer. The exact definitions for that may be tricky to recognize, especially for a casual beer lover; so simply seek the certified independent craft seal to identify a U.S. craft brewer.

Brewers Association

The growing number of US breweries provides business opportunities and at the same time inflames a battle of successful (long-term) market establishment and market dominance.

Therefore, it is ever more important to not only win over your customers with a deliciously refreshing beer, but taking it a step further than the competition and creating an over all brand appearance that will distinguish yours from the rest.


1. Developing a game plan for a tasty beer

I better leave this part to you – the brewmaster!!
Definitely offering my services as a taster.


2. Define & position your brewery

The most important question you have to ask yourself when defining your brewery’s brand position is ‘Why?’. Understanding what makes your brewery unique to identify the differentiation to your competition. What are your core values, who is your ideal customer and why should someone be interested in your brewery, let alone buy your beer? What emotions should your brewery provoke?
What is your brewery’s story/history, where is it located and what end game do you pursue regarding distribution.

Getting aware of all this might even be a helpful tool to discover your tagline, think about ‘Born in the rockies’ (Coors), ‘One Life, Right? Don’t’ blow it.’ (Kona Brewing), ‘Beer for punks’ (BrewDog) or ‘Dam Good Beer’ (10 Barrel Brewing).


3. Define your brewery through branding

  • Name
  • Brand System (logo, colors, typography, visual elements…)
  • Label, Packaging Design
  • Print Assets
  • Website
  • Environmental Design, Signage

As with most brand names there are few aspects you should consider when deciding on a brewery name. Reflect on your brand history, niche and values to find a name that is relatable.It should be easy to remember. In addition, check that there aren’t any cultural misconceptions!
For brewery names, specifically, evaluate whether additional product lines can be integrated.
Last, but not least, make sure the name hasn’t already been claimed. To be 100% certain you can also contact a (trademark) lawyer.

Brand System

Of course, your logo (and tagline) will be an essential asset of your brand system and will find application in print assets, labels, packaging, merchandising etc. Apart from the main logo you might want to develop additional elements like icons and patterns. When creating those remember that typography and color have a huge impact on how your brand is being perceived in the very first seconds, eg. bold, vintage, modern etc.
It is also important to have your designer develop a brand guideline to define its usage.


Print Assets
You will need various print assets when for advertising, flyers, menu cards etc. Your designer should be able to create a cohesive look based on your brand system.

Label, Packaging Design

Make sure to use durable, waterproof labels
Keep in mind! Packaging/Labels need to have all required information and be approved e.g. by TTB (US) or according to EU’s provisions on food labelling.


Investing in a website is essential to give your (prospective) customer the nitty-gritty information like products, location(s), opening hours, brewery tours, and in the long-run you might even expand and include events and a shop.
Be sure to develop a responsive website, which basically means that the layout adapts to different sizes of devices, like mobile and tablet and consider investing in SEO (so your website is ranked high on search engines).

While your website might be under construction, I suggest that you make use of an online presentation by teasing or giving most necessary information with a microsite. Meanwhile, it is also a good idea to think about your social media presence and include it in your marketing plan. Those platforms are more or less free tools to promote your beer/brewery. With frequent updates you can attract, inform, connect with new customers and/or visitors easily.


Environmental Design, Signage
With an environmental design you have the possibilities to turn your brand story into a brand experience. When customers visit your brewery you want to captivate them and live your brand values in a ‘3D space’. The way your brewery space will be designed, use of materials, atmosphere, music, signage etc. will give them a well rounded, cohesive experience.

Are you a brewmaster who needs a hand with brand strategy & design?