Rethink and redesign your e-mail newsletter, ideas to get you started

Here at LimeRed Studio, we love food and we love eating out and trying new things! But what interests us even more is finding inspiration for our design work with nonprofits. So while we think about and savor new foods, we also think about peoples behaviors and what motivates them to choose to engage or interact and how it is influenced by the presentation of information and visual elements.

Read more >

My new favorite thing *Nerd Alert*

So I get to try out new things all the time, but some new things have been a little bit scary, so Ive kept away. I finally gave into one of my recent curiosities though, and my only regret is not doing it sooner. Nerd post, you’ve been warned.

Read more >

3 Rules we will never break. And a few times when we broke them.

I think about rules a lot. I own a business, Im soon to be a new mom, I have people to manage and clients to keep happy. Some rules just work: Say thank you, be on time, use really cold butter when making pie crust.

In my own life, Ive never been one to follow arbitrary rules or listen to authority just because someone said I had to. Ive quit jobs, had many run-ins with authority figures the list goes on. So over the years Ive created for myself a company and a career where I can do just about anything I want to do.

Read more >

Donate ButtonsRoundup

We work with a lot of nonprofit and education clients, and one of the biggest questions we always face is, “What should we do with the donate button?” It’s a tricky business asking the public for money. The organization generally wants and needs people to donate, but how can we appeal to the public without seeming entirely desperate? Well, let’s see how the big guys do it, and decide if what they’re doing is effective.

Read more >

Looking to Redesign Your Website? Dive Into This

We recently had a client that asked us to help figure out why their users were not clicking through a call to action button at the bottom of a landing page and leaving, even though users spent a good amount of time on that page. We had some ideas. But first, we had to test these ideas so we asked users, why?

Read more >

If I were alive in the 1970s, Im pretty sure ITC would have been my H&J.

I want to start this post by apologizing for my ignorance as as related to my age in certain areas. I spent the earlier part of my formative years in a town whose mind is about as far removed design as can be, and any exposure I’ve gained in the area has been either self-taught, or through the mentorship of co-workers. Naturally this leaves holes in ones education. A hole in mine: the typefaces of ITC.

Read more >

Stop telling me where to click

Sometime near the beginning of links on the internet, people decided that click here was a good way to get people to click there. If I had to guess, the reason for this is probably that at the beginning of the internet people didnt know what links were, so you had to explicitly tell them to click here. The good news is that now its 20 years later, and people know what to do when they see links. Here are some reasons you should change your click here ways…

Read more >

Flat Web Design? Finally!

I dont do a lot of graphic design anymore, but I still spend a lot of time designing solutions to user experience issues. These problems can range from what messaging and callouts should go on each page, to how the sites navigation is organized, or even on occasion deciding what UI elements will work best. My design passion is problem solving. I never really cared much for the fluff of deciding on fonts and colors. This is why I love flat design; Its what Ive been doing all along!

Read more >

Is it a trend, or is it a movement?

I’m a designerand I’m always exploring the world around me. I collect beautiful and interesting things and try to use them later. Most of the time the pretty things become the popular things – like the chevron craze thats happening right now. But sometimes, really ugly things become popular, so I try to find the good in them and learn how to use them in the best way. This combination of exploring and open-mindedness is great for learning, but it also makes it pretty easy to get caught up in trends.

Read more >

Three neat things we learned about first-time website visitors

Weve done a lot of user interviews for the various sites weve made. Yes, every user is different and every site is different, but were seeing common themes in user behavior, especially when someone first visits a site. Usually they are looking for something specific, or they are making comparisons with other sites so you’ve got to act fast and communicate your message fast!

Read more >

Trendspotting: The one where I talk about Skeuomorphism & Flat Design

Skeuomorphism intends to solve a problem common to designers and developers: How do you design software experiences that users can learn quickly and use easily? The skeuoporphism answer is to make the software seem inherently easy to use by making graphic elements look like things users are already familiar with.

For example: If youre making an online notebook, you might design it to look like a stack of papers bound together by a spiral ring. Youre assuming that users will understand that the pages are part of a system and it is possible flip them.
Some designers really hate this approach and some love it. It made a lot of sense to make an online calendar look like a desk calendar when it was a new technology, but not so much anymore.

Read more >

3 Ways to make web content creation easier

Content is the thing we and most design firms who dont have a writer on staff struggle with most often. Its the piece of the process that completely destroys a timeline and creeps the scope. Here are a few ways to make the process less horrible.

Read more >

Is your website driving donations? A three-point test

With budgets spread thin across your organization, you may not have a lot of financial resources to dedicate to web design or online marketing. Whether you have the budget for a marketing department or you alone make up the marketing arm of your organization, there are some simple changes you can make to your website to ensure its fulfilling one of its most important goals: driving donations.

Read more >

5 Practical Tips: Implementing a Social Media Policy at your organization

You and your organization get it… You need to be on social media.

But how do you protect your organizations brand and voice and also get a whole bunch of people in your organization using social media? How do people know what is and isnt acceptable to post? How does the brand voice stay unified? What happens when someone gets too rowdy who isnt part of the org?

You need a social media policy.

Read more >

Test your website in five steps

Who are you talking to on your website? How well are you reaching them? Are you getting some surprising feedback from your users or higher ups? Feel like you need to refresh your site but arent sure where to start?

Read more >

Something to consider when building websites for youth: Headphones

Last week, we collaborated with the Chicago Youth Voices Network (CYVN) to design a number of workshops for the summer. These workshops were designed to incorporate youth and other leaders in the process of developing blueprints for a social network website for active youth across the city of Chicago to promote civic engagement and participation.

Read more >

3 Newsletters I read that are worth the time

I think I get around 50 or so different newsletters every day. Most of them are total garbage, but I sign up for them anyway. Once in a blue moon Ill refer to one for a newsletter design idea, so Im almost afraid to stop getting them. Out of all of those, I read three regularly and actually look forward to them. They arent the prettiest things in my inbox, but when content is really good, who cares what they look like? And thats coming from a designer.

Read more >

Happy New Year And Happy Future Thinking!

We have our heads down in the work a lot of the time so having at least one person on staff whos looking at the BIG vision is really important to the future of the studio, for us thats me (Emily) and Demetrio. We know a lot of you are spread thin and might not have someone to step back to get a sense of some big ideas on the horizon, so here are a few points we think will be important in the next year.

Read more >

Pro bono design: The best or worst thing ever?

Ive been on both the giving and receiving end of free work as Im sure most of us have. I started this business working with nonprofits and I was asked the Free Question more than enough times, and I have given away work many, many times. Some of the best work weve done has been pro-bono, but I definitely dont make a habit of it. I think people expect graphic designers, especially ones that do work for nonprofits, to be OK with doing free work, (Ive done it so I cant say Im totally adverse to it) but you know, designers have to eat and pay rent too. Most of us are pretty good at what we do and I dont know any other profession that is expected to do so much for free, on trade or at a discount.

Read more >
Scroll to Top