Tips for a Successful Brainstorm

Feb 01, 2017 Posted by Craig Joseph in Branding and Identity Design

Your non-profit organization is getting ready for its annual fundraising event and you’re trying to determine an appropriate theme. The product development arm of your business has been tasked with the project of diversifying what you manufacture, of finding something that fits nicely within the spectrum of your other products and won’t cost a lot... Read more »


Don’t let Amazon’s remarketing steal your joy this holiday season!

Dec 14, 2016 Posted by Karl Bear in Marketing

You are looking for the perfect gift for your loved one. You have an idea and you scour Amazon, investing time in reading reviews to make sure you understand what you are buying. You narrow down the selection. That’s it. That’s the gift. She is going to LOVE it. You are so excited! Fast forward... Read more »


The Environment and Design Part 1: Web

Nov 30, 2016 Posted by Jessica Kirkwood in The Watercooler

Lately—or really, for a great while now—environmental issues have been a concern. Considering reports of the Great Barrier Reef’s dire condition, and the Earth reaching the “point of no return” in atmospheric CO2 levels, many of us are trying to find a way to leave less of an environmental footprint. In the midst of that though,... Read more »


To Blog or Not to Blog

Nov 16, 2016 Posted by Craig Joseph in Marketing

One of the first questions we get from clients who are considering building a new website or updating their current one is: “Should we have a blog?” And almost immediately, we come back at them with a smile and a well-timed, “Should you?” We’re not really that glib. But the question does sort of answer... Read more »


Was it Inspiration or Plagiarism?

Oct 19, 2016 Posted by Jessica Kirkwood in The Watercooler

Plagiarism is a hot topic, and also a messy topic, especially nowadays when it’s difficult to separate original thought from the mass of ideas we’re bombarded with each day via a vast variety of medias. We all know not to rip an image from Google and drop it into our website or brochure, but some... Read more »


The Environment and Design, Part 2: Print

Jan 11, 2017 Posted by Jessica Kirkwood in The Watercooler

Now that we’ve covered the pros and cons of web design and the environment, let’s take a look at the flip side: print.   Print PROS Most papers are either biodegradable or recyclable, and some earth-friendly inks are available. The decomposition time for paper is somewhere between 2 weeks and 40 years, vs. the metals,... Read more »


A Sharp New Political Vernacular

Sep 08, 2016 Posted by Jesse Ewing in Branding and Identity Design

Each political season ushers in the usual array of candidates of every ideology and stripe, accompanied by the expected rhetoric, slogans, signage, and SuperPAC ads. Each season also births a new crop of campaign logos, and shortly thereafter, designers’ critical commentary of those logos. For better or worse, design writers will spend hours picking apart... Read more »


Kodak Moments: Photos in Marketing, Part Three

Jun 01, 2016 Posted by Craig Joseph in Marketing

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while. In Part One of this series, I talked a bit about the role that good photography plays in successful marketing efforts, and offered some hints to help you evaluate the current images on your website and print pieces. In my second installment, I highlighted some... Read more »


March (Marketing) Madness

Mar 30, 2016 Posted by Mark Gornto in Marketing

March. Basketball. It’s the time of year when terms like “boss button” and “bracket busters” are everywhere. Each year, in late March, millions of people tune in to watch young athletes play not for money, but for pride. For the love of the game. To bring glory to the schools they represent. It is also... Read more »


The Marketing Agency of Tomorrow

Dec 03, 2015 Posted by Craig Joseph in Marketing

At Cassel Bear, we spend a lot of our time strategizing, copywriting, pushing pixels and sketching – all in the service of our clients’ marketing needs. But every  once in a while, we get a little break in our daily grind to do something a a little different and often exciting. Such was the case... Read more »


Parental Tips on Graphic Design, Part 2

Nov 12, 2015 Posted by Jessica Kirkwood in Branding and Identity Design

A year ago, when my daughter, Audrey, first arrived on the scene, I wrote about how parenting relates to graphic design. Looking back, those insights still apply, but now that she’s a toddler, I’m finding her an even-more-pertinent object lesson for the work I undertake at Cassel Bear. Time is bonding. Spending a year with someone... Read more »


So You Hired a Marketing Agency. Now What?

Nov 04, 2015 Posted by Matthew Markiewicz in Marketing

Note: This is a follow-up to Craig’s post, “So You Wanna Work with a Marketing Agency?” Congratulations, you’ve hired an agency! You’ve just entered into a special relationship, one which will propel your business into the future and and elevate your brand to new levels of success. You’ve also likely carved out a budget, paid... Read more »


So You Wanna Work with a Marketing Agency?

Oct 22, 2015 Posted by Craig Joseph in Marketing

Take comfort. Many companies or nonprofits have been there before. You want to do a better job marketing what you sell or what you’re about, but the tyranny of other urgent tasks keeps you from making as concerted effort as you’d like. You occasionally update your website; you’ve made cursory attempts to break into social... Read more »


The Brand-Changing Magic of Simplifying Your Design

Oct 07, 2015 Posted by Jessica Kirkwood in Branding and Identity Design

Anyone who knows me well knows that I’m a natural hoarder. I’m not so bad that I need my own television show, but I’ve always held on to things much longer than necessary. When my husband and I had our first child a year ago, we suddenly became aware that we were absolutely swimming in... Read more »


Photograph Editing Myths: Busted

Aug 26, 2015 Posted by Jessica Kirkwood in The Watercooler

Photography is one of the most important assets you can have for your brand and marketing, and it’s critical that your company be conveyed correctly through this avenue. The items you include or exclude in your photographs, and even how they are artistically portrayed, can make a huge difference in how your business is perceived.... Read more »


What’s in a Word?

Jul 24, 2015 Posted by Jessica Kirkwood in The Watercooler

Trendy. Modern. Classic. Vintage. What do these words make you think of? These are all words that come laden with meaning, but it’s very likely that they mean something completely different to everyone that reads them. Recently, in a client meeting I had the realization that I had gotten it wrong. I had heard the... Read more »



(And How You Can Improve Yours)

Jun 24, 2015 Posted by Valerie Shaver in Marketing

The truth is, we could all benefit from learning to handle our emotions more constructively. It’s been a few weeks since part one of this message. If you took the test linked to the first blog post on the subject, and found that your Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is not all you would like it to... Read more »


To Re-color or Not to Re-color

May 20, 2015 Posted by Jessica Kirkwood in Marketing

  Back in March we talked about the highly-criticized update to the Cleveland Browns team brand colors. We asked: Does color matter? And yes, it does…to an extent. Here’s the deal—brand color change can have a huge impact on your company, but like any other marketing tool, you need to weigh its importance out while... Read more »


Why We Love Emotional Intelligence

(And You Should Too)

May 07, 2015 Posted by Valerie Shaver in Marketing

You probably know someone who is a very good listener. He always seems to know the right questions to ask, just what to say, and how to say it, without causing offense. He is genuinely thoughtful and caring. After conversing with him, you tend to feel better, and even if no solution to your problem... Read more »


Think of SAM, not SEO: A Human-Centric Approach to Search Engine Optimization

Apr 24, 2015 Posted by June Kucalaba in The Watercooler

Are you doing your fellow man a favor when you post content? Instead of thinking “how can I make Google find my content?”, ask “how can I help a person, ‘Sam’ for example, find my content?”. All of the following human-centered guidelines align with SEO best practices, and so you can bet that if you follow... Read more »


50 Shades of Orange

Mar 26, 2015 Posted by Jessica Kirkwood in Marketing

Almost literally, color is everywhere. Whether or not we notice it, we are constantly exposed to it. From a marketing standpoint, color is incredibly important. We probably would not be calmed and reassured by a bank logo in bright red, nor would we want to chow on a burger at a fast-food restaurant decorated in... Read more »


The Origins of the Mystical Drop Shadow

Mar 12, 2015 Posted by June Kucalaba in The Watercooler

When and how did the use of drop shadows become popular? What made it so important for an element to float above a 2D surface? I started exploring these questions, but as my journey continued, more questions just rose to the surface. An Effect of Great Antiquity In my search to find the origin of... Read more »


Graphic Design: An Appreciation

Feb 19, 2015 Posted by Jessica Kirkwood in The Watercooler

Graphic design has been around for centuries. The Romans used symbolic way-finding signage to communicate with people who spoke different languages. The Egyptians left historic tributes through hieroglyphics and illustrations. One might say that design is engrained in culture almost as much as music and art. But if you ask someone what graphic design is,... Read more »


Towards Ethical Marketing

Jan 21, 2015 Posted by Craig Joseph in Marketing

“Propaganda is a truly terrible weapon in the hands of an expert.”  (Adolf Hitler) This past weekend, I paid a visit to the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage in Beachwood, Ohio, where I spent hours in the visiting exhibit, State of Deception: The Power of Nazi Propaganda. Created by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum,... Read more »


8 Warning Signs that You Need a Graphic Designer

Jan 14, 2015 Posted by Jessica Kirkwood in The Watercooler

Don’t be ashamed. We’ve all been there before—the only person in the room who didn’t know the words to “Piano Man” or the person who sat backstage telling everyone, “Good luck,” instead of “Break a leg!” At some point we all need a little guidance. Below is a non-exhaustive list of signs that you are... Read more »


Content Notes from the Grammar Police

Dec 08, 2014 Posted by Craig Joseph in Marketing

At Cassel Bear, we’re fans of great marketing copy. Nothing gets us more excited than watching a business or organization begin to articulate a unique brand identity or story through content that is well-crafted, distinctively voiced, and engaging. Too often, though, what is said gets lost in how it’s said. Grammar gaffes and spelling mistakes... Read more »


Top Five Design Mistakes

Oct 31, 2014 Posted by June Kucalaba in Origins

What is birthed at a creative agency in the short span of a few weeks may live forever at the company using it, so it’s important that their efforts be top-notch. Unfortunately, there are many mistakes a design team can make that potentially shorten the longevity and effectiveness of their work (or at least kill... Read more »


Parental Tips on Graphic Design

Oct 15, 2014 Posted by Jessica Kirkwood in The Watercooler

This past August, my husband and I welcomed our first child into the world. Nothing could have ever prepared us for what we’ve endured: weeks of late nights, grasping at the cure for baby tears with rocking, singing, and endless diapers. We do it, trusting we’ll see and she’ll feel the benefits of our care.... Read more »



Oct 09, 2014 Posted by Valerie Shaver in The Watercooler

OK, coming back to my thoughts of two weeks ago, here are a few more good SEO practices for aiding your attempts to attain better placement for your site in search engines. Be Original: Duplicating content – even your own content is extremely bad for SEO. Make sure your content is original. Do not copy and... Read more »



Sep 25, 2014 Posted by Valerie Shaver in The Watercooler

Presuming you have great web design and development, how your website is perceived, used, and accessed (SEO), is most determined by how it is managed. In the past, keyword density was considered to be more important to SEO than content writing. The standards changed in 2013, when Google modified their search algorithms. Keyword density is... Read more »


Flat Design is Here to Stay

Sep 17, 2014 Posted by June Kucalaba in Origins

Eliminate drop shadows, gradients, and textures, and you get flat design. What remains is typography and essential shapes. There is a growing movement towards flat design, and it’s more than just “pretty”. It’s embedded in the way we access information, our history, and our culture. You might have noticed that this shift has happened to... Read more »


Identity from Four Angles

Sep 04, 2014 Posted by Craig Joseph in The Watercooler

When clients ask Cassel Bear to assist with a piece of their marketing strategy, they’re generally after one of two things.  Most often, they want a captivating visual design: a billboard that pops, a print piece that begs to be taken off the rack, a website that’s “edgy” or “dynamic.”  Sometimes, they’re more concerned about... Read more »


From British Columbia to Tibet

May 20, 2014 Posted by Karl Bear in The Watercooler

OLD BOOTS Brand: Vasque Sundowner Time length: 20 years (they just started leaking this spring) Travel: From the Monashee Mountains of British Columbia to the Himalayas in Tibet. NEW BOOTS Brand: Keen Erickson PCT Time length: 4 weeks and going strong Travel: From the Allegheny National Forest to a world of possibilities. A Hike in the... Read more »