Our Blog

Jan 18
The problem with email attachments

We've all had that moment where we try and attach a file to an email that's just too big to send:

Do you ever see this?

Ever encounter a message like this?

Besides having size limitations, sending attachments via email are prone to being stripped out due to company email policies. This can be very frustrating when you are trying to send a 'compatible' file to us, or asking us to send a file again because you aren't receiving it.

You could mail us the files on a DVD or USB drive, but that adds days and shipping costs to the process and doesn't guarantee secure transfers nor a successful delivery!

At Cleveland, we've been working on an in-house solution for our clients. Our primary requirements—as always—have been security and convenience, without sacrificing one for the other. Our new, SSL-encrypted, Secure File Transfer tool can be found at upload.clevelanddesign.com, and provides easy uploading and downloading of files on our collaborative projects.

If you're familiar with our older FTP service, you'll recognize some features in the new setup. However, we've updated the user experience and interface to simplify and secure the transfer process, allowing us to share files together faster than ever. After logging in, you'll be presented with a simple, drag-and-drop upload box above a 'Begin Upload' button.

Another enhancement we've put together just for you is the ability to auto-notify any of us once the file(s) you've selected have been successfully uploaded to our server:

Before clicking that 'Begin Upload' button, just select one of us from the drop-down menu, and go ahead and upload your files. We'll receive an email as soon as the transfer is complete. Why waste time emailing us after the fact when you can have it done automatically?

When you need to download files, Cleveland will send you a unique, secure download link that instantly downloads the project files to your computer—without needing to remember usernames or passwords. Just click and you've got that latest Photoshop file of your fabulous new website design!

Cleveland is all about strategic, timely, and secure collaboration. Our new Secure Transfer Tool supports all of these things and we know you're going to love it. We are excited to share our tools with you and look forward to collaborating on your next great campaign.

PS: Look for the new 'Send Us a File' link at the bottom of our website and bookmark it for your next project with us!

Topics: Business Management, Web Tags: security, collaboration, technology
Feb 01
February 2016 Calendar

Dream big this February and download this month's calendar artwork.

Download

With Calendar:

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Without Calendar:

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View our Installation Guide for instructions on how to set this month's artwork as your background wallpaper.
Topics: Just for Fun Tags: calendar
Jan 04
Audrey Zecha

We are happy to announce the addition of Audrey Zecha to the team at Cleveland. Audrey will be with us for 6 months as part of the co-op program at Northeastern University where she is in her third year studying Computer Science and Interactive Media.

Audrey hails from New Hampshire and when not working or studying she enjoys running, nordic skiing, baking, and music. She’s in the Concert Band at Northeastern and is currently training for her first marathon! Audrey is interested in user experience and web design and she is looking forward diving into the work at Cleveland and learning as much as she can as part of her first co-op.

Topics: News Tags: company news
Dec 30
January 2016 Calendar

Happy New Year! Help us ring in the new year with this month's calendar artwork.

Download

With Calendar:

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Without Calendar:

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View our Installation Guide for instructions on how to set this month's artwork as your background wallpaper.
Topics: Just for Fun Tags: calendar
Dec 14
Brand Colors

Brand consistency helps strengthen brand identity, which in turn builds trust with clients and customers. An important part of making sure that your brand is consistent is creating a uniform color environment. To achieve this, your brand should have defined print and web colors included in the branding guide. And here’s why…

CMYK (print) and RGB (web) colors have vastly different mixing processes, which can result in a huge color differential. With print, mixing all the colors (cyan, magenta, yellow and black) together results in black. The opposite is true for web – mixing all the colors (red, green and blue) together results in white. Because these two processes are so different, it gets complicated when converting one format to another. This is why we suggest all brands include both print and web colors in their branding guides, to remove any subjectivity for color interpretation.

To throw another wrench into the mix, some brands have specified PMS colors. PMS, or Pantone Matching System, is a solid color ink that is blended to be a perfect match to the color guide every time. While PMS colors are also important for brand consistency, they are not always practical. So it is important to also have CMYK and RGB colors in your brand.

If your current branding guide does not include both print and web colors, you might have rogue colors on branded materials that don’t match the brand identity, causing confusion for your client or customer. Here at Cleveland, we have helped many of our clients develop full print and web branding guides. If you would like to discuss how we can help complete your brands identity with color consistency, contact us.

Topics: Marketing Tags: brand, identity, colors
Nov 30
charity: water

During this time of giving thanks and the beginning of the holiday season, we at Cleveland would like to take a moment to reflect on how fortunate we are in many ways, and how much we sincerely appreciate the relationships we have built with our clients and friends over the years. In honor of these relationships, we have chosen to give a gift for a better future to people around the world in need of clean water through charity: water.

For people in developing countries, clean water can change everything. Over 663 million people in the world live without clean water. That’s nearly 1 in 10 people worldwide. The majority live in isolated rural areas and spend hours every day walking to collect water for their family. Not only does walking for water keep kids out of school or take up time that parents could be using to earn money, but the water often carries diseases that can make everyone sick. Access to clean water means education, income and health—especially for women and kids.

All of us at Cleveland sincerely thank you for being a part of our lives. Helping others achieve the prosperity we enjoy is our way of thanking you for your continued partnership as clients, friends and business partners. We wish you the very best this holiday season. Peace and Joy to you and your families.

Learn more about the great work of charity: water at www.charitywater.org.

Topics: News Tags: holiday, giving
Oct 29
Los Angeles

We are happy to announce that Diana Morales has moved to the Los Angeles area!

Why are we happy about this? Because she is staying on as part of the Cleveland team, which gives us the advantage of continued great creative from Diana plus a new satellite office on the West Coast.

Since joining the Cleveland team in 2011, Diana has made a positive impact by supporting new product launches for Sensitech's global brand, as well as new brand and marketing campaign launches for Thomson Reuters and global financial companies. While we will miss her presence in the office, we look forward to a future of continued success with her creative work and strong client relationships she has built over the years.

Join us in sending best wishes to Diana at diana@clevelanddesign.com, or give her a ring at her new number 424.257.8439, and cheers to a warm and sunny future as part of the Cleveland team.

Topics: News Tags: company news
May 27
What makes a good email?

According to a study done by Radicati in 2014, "business users send and receive on average 121 emails a day". So how do you make sure yours gets read?

Many of our clients send out both internal and external emails on a regular basis, and so we're often asked that very question.

Email has become the main form communication between co-workers, clients, and even potential clients; and so it is becoming increasingly important to have a well-crafted email campaign.

Here are some tips that will help engage your readers:

Have a clear Call-to-Action at the top of the email.

It's important to grab the readers attention right at the open of the email—tell them what they need to know and exactly what you want them to do (i.e. rsvp, join, etc). And just because you have the CTA at the top, doesn't mean it's the only place for that information. Don't be afraid to repeat the details again down below. This will only help reinforce the action you want the reader to take, and also help clarify important information (i.e. event address, times, etc).

Keep it short and sweet!

This is probably the most important rule of thumb for creating successful emails. The average business person receives 121 emails per day, so it's important not to take up too much of their time. If an email is too long, most readers won't even get halfway before moving on to the next email. If you can't fit it all, use only a summary for the email and lead the reader to a branded landing page with more information.

Balance text with images.

The use of images goes hand-in-hand with keeping the copy short. Images help the reader to easily focus on one section at a time, rather than be overwhelmed with paragraphs of information at all once. It's also important to note that you should not have the entire email just be one image. You want the main copy to be "live text". This will allow the content of the email to easily be searched in the future.

Write concise headlines and subheadings.

Concise and clear headlines allow the reader to easily scan the email, getting the intended message across with minimal time. This helps increase the chances of getting the desired response from the recipient.

Have a strong campaign design.

Establishing a strong, cohesive visual identity for your email campaign that transfers to other platforms will help increase visibility, as well as legitimize your campaign. Transferring your email's design theme to other social channels and even other media like printed materials, landing pages, etc. will help to increase response rates.

Keep the subject line 50 characters or less.

Email subject lines, like the copy, should be short and sweet. A general rule of thumb is that they are kept under 50 characters. The subject line is another good opportunity to repeat the CTA, or to use a catchy phrase to grab the readers attention before the email is even opened.

Here at Cleveland, we've designed hundreds of emails for our clients using these techniques and strategies to help make their email campaigns more successful. If you would like to discuss how email campaigns can help your business, contact us.

Topics: Campaigns, Marketing Tags: email
Dec 02
The Gift of Opportunity

It’s that time of year again—the season where we become aware of all we have to be thankful for and what gifts of appreciation we can give to those who are important in our lives.

In the spirit of the season and in your honor, we are giving the gift of goats through Heifer International to ensure the future of struggling families in third-world countries. Goats are hardy, reproduce quickly and can be raised in a variety of climates to produce staple items such as milk, cheese and manure for farming.

As the season is already upon us, take a minute to know that all of us at Cleveland sincerely thank you for being a part of our live. Helping others achieve the prosperity we enjoy is our way of thanking you for your continued partnership as clients, friends and business partners. We wish you the very best this holiday season. Peace and Joy to you and your families.

Heifer International works in over 30 countries around the world. Learn about their transformative work at www.heifer.org.

Topics: News Tags: holiday, giving
Nov 03
The dangers of letting rogue design in

The Urban Dictionary defines 'bastard' as: "something that is of irregular, inferior, or dubious origin."

I can't think of a better word to describe the recent product of an internal campaign for a large corporation.

The team I was working with wanted to bastardize the corporate logo. Think inappropriate color choices, ridiculous add-on design elements, and other “enhancements” that would conjure images of a cosmetic surgery gone very, very wrong. They could not fathom why I would find fault with such brilliance, despite my best efforts to lure this team back from the dark side.

I'm going to guess you may have a few bastard logos running amok within your corporate house, too. The danger in letting these guys roam free is multifold:

  • It demonstrates to employees that deviations in brand and identity are acceptable, implicitly condoning further modifications and inconsistencies.
  • It demonstrates a lack of professionalism, and shows that dilution of the brand is not a concern.
  • It renders irrelevant the significant resources that went into developing and nurturing the brand in the first place.
  • And, worst of all, there's a very real possibility that these bastard logos will be leaked outside for the world to see.

Companies of the caliber I referenced in my example do have brand standards, but many don't have a resource or internal person to ensure compliance with the standards and protection of the brand. And really, it's not enough to know the rules—it's about understanding the brand in its entirety.

Consistent and correct application of your brand on the inside of your corporate house will not only inspire your employees in their usage of the brand, but will help build a positive overall experience of living your brand as well. And that will invariably project to the outside world.

Every employee should have access to resources that help them learn and understand the brand, and they should be inspired to use it successfully and creatively. Brand training seminars, an internal microsite with standards and examples, and a brand liaison to respond to questions are just a few tactics that go a long way toward ensuring your identity and brand remain true (and we can help with all of that!).

At Cleveland, we work with companies like yours to establish, nurture and extend corporate brands. With custom tools and programs developed for your specific needs, we give you the resources, knowledge and power to maintain your brand, increase its equity, and preserve its value.

If you suspect there may be a few rogue elements of corporate identity running loose inside your company, get in touch with us. We'll take care of those little bastards.

Topics: Business Management, Marketing Tags: branding, corporate identity

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