New Year

After a year or so off of any blogging, I’ve decided to get back to it again. It’s a new year and I am feeling a good bit of momentum behind the vision for Merriam Creative right now. Things have never been more active with the company and my client list continues to grow. In 2017, I’m really excited about some new opportunities that are working out and already I’ve had some incredible clients to work with this first few weeks of the year.

So, with that in mind, I hope you are finding your new year’s resolutions not only exciting but attainable! Here’s to a year of growth and meeting some amazingly creative thinkers and entrepreneurs.

If you need any assistance this year in kickstarting your new business or just updating your current brand, please don’t hesitate to reach out and let’s see what we can craft together in 2017.

Apple Goes “Flat”

I watched the blog ticker yesterday of the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference to see what all will be coming down the pipe for iOS and Mac OS. I have to admit that lately I’ve been less than impressed with the lack of seeming innovation coming from Apple. The last couple of years have seemed like more of the same – nothing too special on the UI or functionality standpoint of the line of Apple products. After all, Apple is supposed to be leading the industry, right? With Windows 8’s complete overhaul on design to a “flat”, blocky grid I was mildly impressed with the effort they put into their style guide.

The new “Control Center” in iOS7

So, coming into the conference with a somewhat jaded viewpoint (from a true Apple fanboy), I wasn’t expecting to be too excited. But, lo and behold it appears that Apple has done what it does best once again … mash super-simplicity with highly refined elegance. The new “flat” UI kicks the skeuomorphism to the curb and brings a vibrant, polished look to the stage – complete with parallax depth and scrolling effects that are tied to position of the phone, giving the home screen much more depth. I’m actually quite impressed. As people are now more intuitively understanding how buttons, swiping etc. work on a smart phone or desktop the need for hyperrealistic imagery like leather stitching, ripped notepads etc. is no longer a need to guide people in how to use a device. This idea of flat design is kind of a next step into a maturing user base of device users and it creates the flexibility to get super-clean with design and let it “get out of the way” so to speak.

Apple design guru, Jony Ives, described their philosophy of design as taking complex functionality and making it beautifully simple. Booyah! Check out the video here. That’s the challenge all designers face and I think from this first peek it looks like Apple has done it well.

One of the best features of the new iOS 7 is the task-switching feature. This always makes me crazy with my iPhone. I hate that I can’t quickly switch between apps without one closing down and another opening up. Having two apps running concurrently and rapidly switching between them should just work!

In summary, I’ve been a long-time Apple junkie and after a couple of years of feeling a bit “bored” by the lack of excitement I’m pretty excited to see how the new OS (Mavericks) and iOS 7 work in real life.

Are Penguins Attacking your Website?

Penguin - Recovery is Possible
Website, meet Penguin 2.0

Just when you think you’ve got Google figured out things change. If you’re any bit involved in keeping your website hovering at the top of search results you know how this past year has been quite a ride for a large portion of the web. With Google rolling out algorithmic updates to prevent “spammy” websites from ranking higher than legitimate sites, a lot of the old tactics we webmasters used to employ to rank higher are coming back to bite.

Watch your search engine ranking this next week or two and if you see a dip then you’ve probably gotten hit by the “Penguin 2.0” update. This latest update cracks down on shady backlinks and overall spammy content. If you’ve been hit, there are a few things to do right away if you haven’t done them already.

  1. Remove all crummy backlinks immediately. C’mon, do you really want to be associated with those sites anyway? Use your gut … if it feels off, it probably is.
  2. Fix your existing content. Does is sound artificial and overly rich with keywords? Honest, informative and interesting content is king.
  3. Write new, relevant content on a continual basis. Own your niche and be the content authority for your industry. By being the authority go-to resource for your industry, you’ll naturally gain a following by those looking to learn from your expertise … and that’s true SEO value! Think “shareable” content and you’ll be well on your way to dominating the rankings.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. For more information on recovering from the latest Google algorithmic updates contact me and we can talk SEO.

Good luck!

Launching My New Site

After  nearly two years of wavering back and forth on designs and frankly just being too darn busy to focus on my own site, I decided to make the leap and just push this new site up as the old site was lacking in truly demonstrating my skills. My goal is to showcase some of my favorite projects and hopefully connect with some future clients.

Welcome! Feel free to drop me a note anytime and I look forward to serving you!