Viva & Co. practises branding and design in nine related areas. Below, under each header, you’ll find some of the key principles that inform our approach to each discipline.

Websites, Microsites & E-Commerce

– Clear information architecture, usability and learnability should be the highest priorities.
– Business objectives and budget should determine the choice of a technology platform.
– Every programming decision is potentially creative and/or strategic (that’s why we do most of it in-house).
– Detailed wireframes are as critical to the delivery of a successful website as final blueprints are for a building.
– With the rapid rise of tablets and smart phones, responsive design strategies are really the only way to go.

SEO, Social Media & Email Marketing

– There are several powerful ways to increase targeted online traffic – you should use all of them.
– Any site that is not optimized for search is wasting a potential competitive advantage.
– Ensure that the time you spend on social media is smart and productive.
– Well-designed and well-written email blasts can help cut through the clutter.
– Deciphering email, search and social campaign results will help to inform and improve future efforts.

Reports, Brochures, Books & Magazines

– Paradoxically, print can now be used as a differentiator.
– Superlative information design (charts, diagrams, graphs, tables and timelines) can instantly change the conversation.
– Production schedules are essential, but in the end you simply do whatever it takes to meet the deadlines.
– The planned reduction of paper waste to protect the environment should be the norm.
– Smart planning makes it possible to secure high-quality printing without overpaying.

Marks, Logos & Identity Systems

– Get this right and you have a better chance of getting everything else right.
– Research and analysis are indispensable – so are intuition, instinct and luck.
– A logo gains equity with every view, so it’s best to favour longevity and utility over trends.
– Without thoughtful application standards and a strategy for governance, the best logo might be undermined in the first year.
– Though a logo might include colour and motion for certain applications, it should work flawlessly in one colour.

Advertising

– An ad should respond to a need or desire, have a clear call to action and be smart, funny or elegant.
– An ad can achieve an immediate return (ask us to see some ads that did).
– Plan from the start to leverage your core creative assets (copy, photography and illustration) for compelling animated online ads.
– Read the tea leaves: the success (or failure) of a pay-per-click can be easily measured.
– Deliver your ad to the outlet’s exact specifications and you just might be able to cajole your contact into giving you better placement.

Packaging, POP & Product Design

– Great packaging informs, persuades and elicits an emotional response.
– To stand out, research the competitive environment at the point of purchase.
– Use proven models to ensure that it wraps, hangs, sits, stands, dangles and scores properly.
– Invent new prototypes when there are no proven models to follow.
– Whenever possible, customize inexpensive off-the-shelf packaging and POP solutions.

Writing, Naming & Editing

– When great writing and design combine seamlessly, the message comes to life.
– Tenacity, a love of words and the pursuit of domain ownership should be at the heart of every naming exercise.
– Equal care and attention should be paid to writing for social media as to writing for a billboard.
– Press releases are best when they are succinct (full stop).
– A great copy editor is worth his/her weight in gold (we have one on staff).

Environmental Design & Trade Shows

– Be clear about the business objectives before considering the aesthetics.
– Creating environments for retail and gallery spaces requires meticulous attention to detail.
– Point-of-purchase and packaging schemes should fit seamlessly into designed environments.
– Use cost-effective methods to distribute updated/seasonal displays to multiple locations (like printing digitally near each location).
– Before investing in a custom booth (which we can do), it’s worth investigating some of the better customizable, off-the-shelf solutions.

Illustrations, Diagrams & Motion

– Sometimes illustrations can communicate complex ideas more clearly than words.
– Motion graphics can help to combat short attention spans.
– Diagrams can help explain and distill complex assembly and instructional materials.
– What you leave out is every bit as important as what you leave in.
– Consider animating multistage diagrams for online use.