Eric Bach

The light bulb. It’s synonymous with creativity, ideas and innovation. If you haven’t noticed, we are infatuated with these inspirational glass orbs of light. Each employee has an original, personalized light bulb icon. In fact, when a new “light” joins the team their first assignment is to determine what their light bulb will represent about them. It’s a process that demonstrates our approach at A. Bright Idea — a true, first collaboration with other members of the team.

When creating these icons, the challenge is figuring out how to communicate someone’s interest or expertise within the limitations of a light bulb.  As with any logo or icon project, the goal is to create a clear, simple and recognizable graphic reproducible at any size.

The process starts with concept sketching. Whether it is on a Wacom tablet or hand drawn in a notebook, sketching allows us to toss around a lot of ideas to see what sticks. Oftentimes eliminating what doesn’t work, ends up contributing to the discovery of a successful concept. After the team has discussed and decided on an option, it’s time to take the concept digital.

Sketch book

We begin by importing the sketched image into Adobe Illustrator; this serves as reference for the final icon. Next we roughly trace the hand drawn image with the pen tool, allowing us to have a rough editable form to refine. Once the rough form is captured, we refine the illustration by creating/manipulating editable line paths, followed by applying separate layers of color for shading and highlights. Keeping the lines editable and layers labeled, keeps us organized and makes changes efficient. Since all of A. Bright Idea’s icons are one color, we must rely on applying tints in order to create a sense of dimension.  After the working vector icons are reviewed and approved, it’s time to prep and export the files for use in print and multimedia applications.

We hope you enjoyed this spotlight on our team light bulb icons! Take a look at these lightbulbs and try to guess who’s is who’s.

ABIicons2016x

BEHIND THE SCENES: The Light Bulb Icon

Katie MacNichol

By: Katie MacNichol, Assistant Director of Advertising & PR

Considering how brands can most effectively and efficiently engage customers, the recent webinar hosted by Social Media Today – Moving from Screen to Device and Back Again: The Omni-Channel Experience – focused on an omni-channel communication campaign approach versus one with a multi-channel concentration.

First, what does omni-channel mean and how does it differ from multi-channel?

  • Omni-channel – a well executed implementation of communication that provides a continuity of experience; how does each medium build on the others to continue the customer’s seamless and optimized experience
  • Multi-channel – communicating the same message across many different mediums with no particular focus on seamlessness

Ultimately, omni-channel focuses on the continuation of experience, whereas multi-channel focuses on frequency without necessarily growing the customer experience with the brand.

Within the webinar, Social Media Today highlighted five important steps for transitioning from a multi-channel approach to an omni-channel one, including:

  • Consider the customer journey
  • Identify the contributing elements
  • Identify the friction points
  • Identify the enablers (ones that can help to remove friction points)
  • Perform and audit capabilities (then fill in the gaps of the customer journey)

As strategic professionals, we use these steps at A. Bright Idea to better build plans that break silos and avoid segmenting a customer’s journey. This focus ensures all messaging, tools and tactics focus on the brand story and build webs, not funnels.

For example, when communicating to an audience segment a campaign should build a web of options for individuals to select how they want to learn about and/or engage with the brand. This provides the audience with choices, rather than a funnel approach, which only gives one hub and limits the audience’s options for engagement.

Most importantly in addition to these considerations, as with any communication campaign, research remains an important initial step, while also always keeping in mind the end-user and segmenting audiences in order to develop strategy that focuses on unique needs. Considering segments and pulling from research adds to the idea of “social care” – connecting with each audience segment where they already are (i.e. Twitter or Facebook versus a traditional call center).

Each of these elements come together to ensure an omni-channel approach to communicating a brand message to audiences remains most effective and efficient in creating an ever-growing experience, versus one that doesn’t expand past the initial engagement or provide anything of additional value to the customer.

Building Brand Loyalty Through Visual Media

abimaster | August 5, 2014

Marketing businesses using Facebook and Twitter has become a growing tactic in marketing plans across all industries. Social media platforms serve as an effective tool for circulating branded messaging, but Internet usage and trends continue to change every day.

In a recent article, Bulldog Reporter found that 90% of all Internet traffic and 50% of mobile traffic is now made up of photos and video. For growing visual media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest, this means an opportunity for continued expansion. Instagram’s more than 200 million users make up an attractive market of young people for PR and marketers. Digital media reporting site Mashable has also found that 1 in 5 U.S. adults are now using Pinterest. These large groups of users of both platforms are at the ready to receive visual content that could ultimately lead to better connecting and capitalizing on consumer and brand relationships.

With the expanding use of visual media, it is more important than ever to control your brand’s messaging. People make decisions based on trust and brand promise. Using photos and visuals helps create another tangible connection to brands. As we can see from these recent statistics, it is becoming a greater means of communication – that old adage “a picture’s worth a thousand words.” Having a strategic presence in visual media can serve as a key tool to further brand development as part of an integrated marketing approach. Everything you do or say influences what people think about your brand, so providing them with a visual example of what your brand promises also helps demonstrate that your brand delivers on this promise.

No matter the medium, the ability to connect users with your brand is crucial to developing brand loyalty, and will ultimately lead to a better consumer experience. It’s important to assess your own brand strategy as it compares to trends, as not all trends serve brands equally. With the expanding use of visual media, now is an opportune time to analyze your own brand and consider the most strategic uses of visual media and how it can potentially become part of your integrated marketing approach.

Creative ‘cross America

abimaster | February 26, 2013

By: David Wells

A few things immediately evident as I travel across the U.S., hoping to take advantage of the best dining our country has to offer:

1. Smart phones and Google are the best invention ever
2. Not everything you read on the internet is true
3. Nothing beats the eye 

Making my way from one coast to the other in a good, old-fashioned road trip, I can’t help but notice the branding and signage along the route. Before I hit the road, I made a rule of no ‘chain’ restaurants – I wanted local, unique and creative. I’m not sure if I’ve been blessed with good luck at picking out great places to stop, or if I simply know how to use the information available to me, but every stop fulfills my need for not only good food, but a great and memorable brand experience.

Queen City CreameryThe first stop, although not too far from A. Bright Idea headquarters in Bel Air, was in Cumberland Md., at the Queen City Creamery. A simple Google search on my smart phone for “best places to eat in Cumberland” provided me with a plethora of rating websites, Yelp reviews, locations and more. After seeing the Creamery appear on several sites, I decided to check out their website. You notice a historical feel to the logo, which matches their historical building on the main street. When we pulled off the highway and onto the street, the building, signage and quaint nature of the place caught my eye, and I know it would be what I expected and wanted. The creamery is known for its homemade ice cream, but the deli sandwiches were a treat. You can tell it’s a local favorite by the number of groups of people laughing at the diner-style tables and talking with the staff like they were friends. I indulged in one of their well-known milkshakes as headed West. For me, a restaurant brand is not just about the outside looks and website, but from the moment I visited their website, I formed an expectation and the physical restaurant, atmosphere, service and fare didn’t disappoint!

Another stop along the way, thanks to another Google search and Trip Advisor recommendation landed me at Wild Eggs in Louisville, Kentucky. From the reviews, to the social media, to the website, I knew we were Wild Eggsin for something special when I decided to stop at this breakfast spot. Like some of the reviews proclaimed, we got to the restaurant and had to wait almost an hour for a table. However, from the time you walk in until the time you walk out, guests wait in the lobby and even outside in the cold to eat at this restaurant, so you know they must be doing something right. This family-owned restaurant has a great history and photographs of their delicious food on the walls, and a somewhat ‘wild’ appearance from the outside with bright colors. The Wild Eggs ‘story’ hangs on a poster in the lobby, providing something to read and learn. The Wild Eggs brand is all about tradition, history and comfort. With signature dishes and favorites, the waiter had no problem steering us in a direction he thought would please our palette. Their specialty strawberry tall stack, Eggs Bennie, grits and cinnamon roll did not disappoint, and looked just like the photographs on the website, foursquare photos and on the restaurant walls. For locals and tourists alike, the Wild Eggs brand is set for success.

For great views of downtown St. Louis, those who are 21 and over should stop here to view the city from St. Louisabove at 360 Rooftop Bar. With some of the best views of City Hall, the Gateway Arch and Busch Stadium, the 360 Bar is an upscale tapas restaurant and bar with modern amenities. Cool fireplace features on the outdoor patio and outdoor TVs to watch sporting events, the 360 degree glass walls allow you to see any feature of St. Louis, even a Cardinals game from above. The 360 brand is modern and speaks to a certain crowd, and features DJs at night for this crowd. The modern website and logo pair with the created brand and atmosphere of the business. The tagline, Sip See Savor, captured my attention – I’m a sucker for three word taglines – and spoke true to the 360 mission and brand.

A final brand on the road trip thus far included Andolini’s Pizza in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Deciding where to stop and eat on the way to Oklahoma City was a challenge, but my smart phone and Google helped out yet again. Two local places sat next to each other and had favorable reviews, so we decided to check them out from the outside before making the final selection. One review for Andolini’s said, “If you’re looking for something with an ambiance, Ando’s is not your place, but if you want fresh ingredients and great food, this is your stop.” Well, as soon as we saw the place, it screamed ambiance. The outdoor fireplaces and brick walls welcome visitors. The chefs tossing pizza in the air in the windows was the final seller. The menu was designed well and included a great selection of signature pizzas, local craft beers and more. I’m not sure what the reviewer meant when he said the place had no ‘ambiance,’ but I’m glad we chose Ando’s, and the waitress even provided me with my very own Ando’s glass as a souvenir.

From experience, I know many local joints depend on their loyal customer base and word-of-mouth, but an investment in a solid brand is never wasted. For those businesses looking to grab the attention of a traveler, hope you have good reviews, have a website and be true to your brand in all aspects of your business, and you’re bound to earn a stop from this guy.

SomethingAboutSonoma.com Turns 2!

abimaster | February 20, 2013

In this edition we’re wishing our very own SomethingAboutSonoma.com a happy and prosperous birthday. For toddlers this would be considered the year of the “terrible twos” but we have a much more positive outlook on 2013 for our destination website, so we’re dubbing this the “thriving twos.”

From its inception in 2010 and launch in 2011, our goal for SomethingAboutSonoma.com was to provide tourists and wine lovers the opportunity to explore Wine Country and get a taste of everything Sonoma County has to offer. And boy have we succeeded! We created the site from scratch, starting with just an idea and growing the site into a fully interactive, multimedia platform for local businesses to advertise and tourists from around the country to explore and plan their next day trip, weekend or family vacation.

Since its inception, we’ve seen tremendous growth and activity with the site – from participating businesses, as well as site visitors and a network of followers. For the past two years, we’ve been nurturing SomethingAboutSonoma.com, growing it to be better, more interactive and user friendly. We’ve developed 360-degree panoramas, About Us videos, engaged in social media, interactive chats, added a wedding page, participated in local and regional events and developed an email newsletter.

So now you may be wondering – what more could come in the “thriving twos” for SomethingAboutSonoma.com? Well a lot actually! This year we’re looking to expand with a mobile website, provide more special offers from local business to site visitors, create a special Sonoma Plaza page highlighting the amazing features the historic shopping plaza has to offer, as well as expand our trip itineraries and much more.

In order to support this growth we not only have our Interactive and Multimedia department incorporating the latest and greatest technology and trends, but we’ve also relocated an A. Bright Idea team member to the area. David Wells, Multimedia Manager and Marketing Specialist, will now be living and breathing the glorious Sonoma County air every day, connecting with local businesses and providing additional insight into the area’s flavor, latest hot spots and great deals. Now a Sonoma, Cali. full time resident, David’s vantage point supports SomethingAboutSonoma.com’s position as the destination resource for Sonoma County and Wine Country.

With so many options for marketing and advertising your business, your brand, your strategy should never be 100% focused on one medium. In fact, an integrated communication plan, combining marketing initiatives, public relations support and advertising continues to help businesses reach their key stakeholders more effectively.

As part of this integrated strategy, let’s focus on a rapidly growing form of advertising that is proving to have positive effects on businesses and their target audiences – digital advertising.

There are various forms of digital advertising – banner ads, video pre-roll, and of course mobile! If digital advertising is something completely new to you, take a moment to review our tips for a Quick Fix in building your digital strategy, defining the various opportunities with digital advertising as well as ways to help you determine if digital advertising is something A. Bright Idea can help you plan as part of your advertising strategy.

 

First, ask yourself a few questions:

  • What are your goals?
  • Does your present advertising approach directly support those goals?
  • Are you tracking/will you be able to track the results towards your goals?
  • What is your profitable conversion rate? (What will make the campaign financially successful?)

Once you’ve evaluated these questions and have determined that digital advertising should be part of your advertising mix, the next step is to determine the best digital platform to use. There are a variety of options available, with more presented almost daily! Based on an integrated approach, below are a few examples based on online advertising tied to a print publication. There are a number of radio and television networks offering online advertising opportunities, which also offers another medium to promote the online property, and as a result, your advertising with that site.

Digital Advertising Terms

If you’re considering incorporating a digital strategy into your integrated communication plan, be sure to consider your options wisely. Because of the format, sometimes purchasing by impressions, there is a number of other considerations that must be reviewed in order to ensure a smart and effective advertising buy. For more information on this advertising medium or to develop your own digital advertising strategy contact A. Bright Idea’s advertising and interactive specialists.

Super Bowl Commercials

This year’s Super Bowl commercials may have covered a variety of themes from sexy models to cute kids, wacky animals to celebrity cameos, but there’s one thing they all had in common – user generated content and a call-to-action for the audience via social media.

Even before the big game, advertisers were using social media to reveal sneak peeks of their upcoming ads to capitalize on the excitement and build brand buzz through custom hashtags, Facebook pages and websites. Some hashtags trending prior to and during Sunday’s game included:

Audi: #BraveryWins

VW: #GetHappy

Pepsi: #PepsiHalftime

Toyota: #WishGranted

Coke: #CokeShowgirls #CokeBadlanders #CokeCowboys #CokeChase

Doriots: #CrashTheSuperBowl

Samsung: #TheNextBigThing

Mio: #ChangeStuff

Axe: #InSpace

Budweiser: #Clydesdales

Budlight: #HereWeGo

GoDaddy: #YourBigIdea

Pistachios: #CrackinStyle

Speed Stick: #HandleIt

Tide: #MiracleStain

 

When it came time for the big reveal there were a few commercials that really stole the show by utilizing social and interactive media well, generating a greater connection among the audience and brand.

Oreo
Which is the best part – the cream or the cookie? Oreo’s hilarious whisper commercial called on viewers to ‘choose your side’ through Instagram. The Oreo Instagram account shows images of just about anything made out of either the cream filling or the cookie, inviting viewers to add their own image with the tag #cookiethis or #creamethis. Oreo may recreate the item using your favorite part of the Oreo.

Oreo

Taco Bell
What do retirement age seniors like to do after a night of partying? Go to Taco Bell of course! The surprise storyline in this commercial, all set to the Spanish version of Fun’s, ‘We Are Young,’ works well with Taco Bell’s current “Live Más” campaign. The fast food restaurant invites the audience to go to their Facebook page for coupons, photos and more.

 

Coca-Cola
Coke had previewed their commercial featuring the showgirls, badlanders and cowboys racing to the coveted beverage well before the big game. The beverage company encouraged viewers to go online to vote for the ending of the commercial to air during the Super Bowl. At their custom website, viewers voted for their favorite group, while at the same time sabotaging the other two groups by sharing their selection on Facebook or Twitter. In the end the #CokeShowgirls came out on top and had the privilege to ‘open happiness.’

 

Pepsi
As sponsor of the halftime show, Pepsi called on viewers to submit photos for a chance to be a part of the performance intro. The user-generated content introduced Beyonce while associating the brand with a direct connection to their audience.

 

Axe Apollo Space Academy
The lifeguard may have saved the distressed woman from a shark attack, but nothing beats an astronaut. The Axe Apollo commercial included the element of surprise, while also announcing a special contest where viewers can actually win a trip to space. The new Axe Apollo has teamed with SpaceExc to send a few select winners to fly into orbit. With a custom website and hashtag #InSpace, Axe Apollo certainly caught the audience’s attention with a creative commercial and turned it into social media engagement.

 

Budweiser
The Budweiser Clydesdale commercials are classic, and this year the beverage allowed you to tweet @Budweiser with the hashtag #Clydesdales to help name the baby Clydesdale seen in the commercial. The commercial certainly tugs at the heartstrings, showing the man’s horse running to see him at the very end – what love! Who wouldn’t want to jump on Twitter to name that beautiful horse?

Budweiser

Doritos
Doritos, which has claimed a #1 spot in recent online commercial rankings, deployed its “Crash the Super Bowl” campaign again, gathering user-generated commercials and inviting the audience to vote on their favorite commercials to air during the big game. The “Goat for Sale” was our favorite!

 

Lincoln
The Lincoln “Road Trip” commercial encouraged viewers to ‘steer the script’ and see what the ending brings. They also asked viewers to tweet about their most memorable road trips – although big miss for Lincoln – no Twitter handle or hashtag was included in the commercial. How do we know how to categorize our tweet?

 

Mercedes-Benz
In the Mercedes Benz spot, Kate Upton invites you to go to MercedesBenzUSA on Facebook to see the all-new seductive CLA Benz coming in September. The commercial is a pure glitz and glam display with celebrities like Kate Upton and Usher, but captures the audience with an affordable price point.

 

Samsung
The comical interaction between Paul Rudd and Seth Rogen was entertaining, as was the direct approach to call out other advertisers gimmicks. The commercial showcased smartphone and tablet devices, while utilizing #TheNextBigThing and social tools through the devices.

 

It couldn’t be expected, but advertisers also took advantage of the unique opportunity the game’s third-quarter blackout provided, jumping quickly on social media with real-time Twitter campaigns. Oreo, Tide, Bud Light, Audi, VW and Speed Stick—were some of our favorites.

  • Oreo – “You can still dunk in the dark”
  • Tide – “We can’t get your blackout. But we can get your stains out”
  • Audi – Told its followers they were sending some of their LED headlights to the Superdome (which is sponsored by competitor Mercedes-Benz)

 

Notable Mentions
While the below commercials didn’t necessarily include social media, they were still some of the most talked about in social media.

  • Jeep: A tug at the heartstrings, welcoming home troops – “Whole Again”
  • Ram: Guts. Glory. Ram. – “God made a farmer”
  • E*TRADE: Smart talking baby tells you to – “Save It”
  • Tide: A 49ers fans glory squashed at the hands of a Ravens fan (much like the big game!) “Miracle Stain”

Getting more from your businesses Facebook page

abimaster | December 17, 2012

Thriving brands recognize the importance of Facebook and engaging its audiences and connecting with people interested in their product or service to reach a large audience. Facebook gives businesses the potential to share content and to grow awareness and recognition of their brand. For a lot of brands, Facebook really is grassroots marketing and a word-of-mouth opportunity to gain attention for your products or services. If one person on Facebook interacts with your business, all of their friends have the opportunity to see that interaction, snowballing your reach.

It doesn’t take a savvy marketer to launch a successful presence on Facebook. Honest interactions and a handle on your brand are a good place to start. A few other tips we’ve picked up when using Facebook as a tool to build brands:

 

1. Be consistent in content

Not only in the content you post, but also in your imagery. Ensure the messages you post are consistent with the brand message you include on your brochures, website, commercials, billboards, radio, in your office and verbally face-to-face.

  • Not every single post needs to be specifically about your product, service or business—but see if you can somehow relate it back to something relevant to your business or that your fans would be interested in.
  • When applicable, utilize your business logo or messaging could be included on imagery you post. This ensures that if one of your fans ‘shares’ the post, the friends of that person will know where the content came from and may like your page too.
  • Learn the dimensions of the different Timeline areas such as the cover photo, profile image, highlighted post and page window. It is a big turnoff if someone comes to your page and the logo is cutoff in the profile picture or content is covered up in the cover image by the profile picture box.

Some third-party Facebook apps allow businesses to create customized pages including welcome pages, video channels, polls/contests, Instagram feeds, Twitter feeds and more. Pages can create a fully branded page with whatever content they want and set that as the default ‘Home’ screen for visitors to their page. This is basically another outlet for you to share customized content, like your website and brochure.

 

2. Learn tricks and tips

Facebook recently introduced a scheduling tool, allowing users to set messages to post in advance. Scheduling ensures you don’t have to worry about keeping up with Facebook while you’re on the road, traveling, in meetings or elsewhere. Brands can set up the social media for the day or even the week and let it post on schedule.Still, take note of timing.

  • Be responsive to inquiries and comments.
  • Take note of when your posts get the most interaction. Sometimes, the best time to post is when you or an employee is not in the office Monday thru Friday 8-5. A lot of people utilize Facebook in the evenings, early in the morning and on weekends.
  • Utilize new Timeline tools such as ‘pin to top,’ for current messaging or promotions, ‘highlighting,’ allowing the message to span across the full Timeline window and ‘reposition photo,’ allowing the user to adjust what part of the image shows up in the preview.

Know that it’s okay to check out other pages. Learn what your competitors or other top Facebook brands are doing and see if you can generate a campaign that makes sense for your business. Sports teams often watch video of their opponents before playing them to see how they could improve themselves—it’s no different for checking out other brands on Facebook.

 

3. Know your audience

Take advantage of the  insights tool, a great, and sometimes, eye-opening feature Facebook offers to pages. If one of your social media managers is a 24-year-old male, make sure he knows that 55% of the 14,000 likes to one of your brand’s pages are females aged 35-64, and 72% of the total being female. Your message should then match your audience.

This is an actual occurrence on our SomethingAboutSonoma.com Facebook page. It makes sense, as those looking to spend a vacation or trip in Wine Country are the women who are trying to plan a trip with their loved one, family or girlfriends. Once you figure out the audience, it might change the type of content you post and how you write the messaging.

The insights tool also allows you to set goals for the number of followers, interactions or overall reach for your page or individual posts. Figure out realistic goals, and set new milestones once you achieve them.

 

4. Change things up

In order to generate more revenue, Facebook allows businesses to promote themselves even further through Facebook ads and promoted posts. Both can be used effectively with the right tactics. Advertising on Facebook is not just for businesses with deep pockets either, with tools allowing users to set daily or monthly budget limits and provide filters allowing you to choose your target audience.

Facebook recently changed its news feed algorithm for showing business page content causing a decline in interaction. Unfortunately, less people are seeing business posts in their news feed. In order for a post to be more likely to show up in fans news feed, they need to have previous interaction with your page. The Facebook algorithm knows if a fan has never or rarely commented on your photos, shared a post or liked a post, so your content will be less likely to show up for that person. So, in order to spread your brand further, you must generate interaction with your posts.

Realizing businesses were mad about this new trend, Facebook launched the promoted posts feature—allowing business to pay for their posts to be seen. Similar to Facebook advertising, this could help your brand get a kick-start to gaining attention and interaction. If you pay for a few posts and get people to interact with a post, your future posts will be more likely to be seen by them. Businesses or brands could have thousands of likes on their page, but if interaction is down and nobody is seeing their content, what is the point? Monitor the virality of your posts to ensure the content you are generating is getting seen, or something needs to change.

Businesses should also change the cover image on the page occasionally, as it would become stale to repeat visitors if left alone. Utilize seasonal imagery, promotions, different products or different branding images for the cover photo.

 

Stay up to date on trends, rules, new tricks or features with Facebook to ensure your business continues to build an audience and become more successful.

 Social Media Services

Client News – Fall 2012

abimaster | November 7, 2012
  • The experts at Courtland Hearth and Hardware warm homes in the Baltimore Metro with an advertising campaign, complete with a custom illustrated campaign mark and in-house production. Look for Courtland’s Fireside Chats on TV and on the radio this fall and winter.
  • Smith & Co Dental showcases its modern approach to dentistry with a sleek and state-of-the-art website design, also featuring an “About us” video produced and edited by the in-house talent of A. Bright Idea.
  • A. Bright Idea embraces Patriot Pride for The John Carroll School with marketing, design and interactive support for the2012 Viewbook, 2nd Annual Alumni Weekend, 25th Annual Ullmann Golf Tournament, special edition Connections Magazine and Annual Report, and the Capital Campaign container piece and collateral materials.
  • Madison Bank launched another great mortgage loan promotion, offering customers a competitive rate and a different take on the terms for new mortgage loans, promoted through a regional advertising campaign and microsite, changing the lives of banking customers with three little numbers – 10, 12 and 15!
  • A. Bright Idea was thrilled to work on the website redesign project for the Public Relations Society of America, Maryland Chapter (an organization near and dear to our hearts!) The new website includes interactive features and custom content management capabilities to keep the organization on the cutting edge and the go-to resource for PR pros like us. Access the website on your mobile device to see a responsive design layout as the site detects the size of your screen and formats the hierarchy of information accordingly (yes, that is cool!).
  • The Red Grape entices your taste buds virtually with a newly redesigned website with custom design, photography and interactive features. Warning – Viewers of this website are prone experience a serious case of hunger.
  • A. Bright Idea recently provided advertising and on-site support of Sonoma Wine Country Weekend. Experience the cork flying frenzy for yourself with our recap video!
  • Pairings Bistro connects with customers virtually through a strategic social media plan developed and set up by A. Bright Idea, including a presence on social media’s most popular platforms, Facebook and Twitter.

 

Courtland Hearth and Hardware Fireside Chat

Courtland Hearth and Hardware Fireside Chat Mark

Get inspired with a new way to view our creative

As a creative shop, staying cutting edge when it comes to technology gives us just another excuse to retreat to our “creative playground.” Our newest creation? A dynamic website user experience built on with the latest web technologies, HTML 5 and CSS 3. The new website showcases our extensive portfolio while also sharing helpful resources through our blog and detailed information about our staff and full service capabilities.

For those who don’t speak code, HTML is a language used for structuring and programming websites behind the scenes so they can be easily read and used by viewers on the World Wide Web. CSS is the code that controls the graphics and colors displayed to website visitors. Since these languages are so widely used around the Internet, updating them with new features is a long and slow process.  Fortunately many of these new features are available now on modern web browsers.

The previous version of HTML, HTML 4.01, was last updated in 2000! And yes, that means website design was confined to technology over a decade old, which is nearly a lifetime in the technology world. It’s more important than ever to use an updated web browser to take full advantage of what HTML 5 can offer! By exploring the depths of HTML 5, our creative minds can truly think outside the box to create custom solutions based on the ideal user experience.

The latest version, HTML 5 includes features that will change the way we experience websites, including:

  • Reducing the need for external plugins (like Flash that doesn’t load on mobile platforms)
  • Less frustration with errors and better error handling
  • Advanced form fields that include validation without requiring extra programming
  • Ability to build charts, graphs and interactive graphics with the new Canvas element
  • Streamlined code for faster page loads and improved semantic structuring to help search engines with indexing content.
  • Standardized support for video using the <video> tag

 

CSS is also getting an update with the march toward CSS 3. The new features will be more noticeable to the visitors than the update to HTML 5. Some of the new features include:

  • Transparency
  • Animation
  • Rounded corners
  • Drop shadows
  • Media queries (used to change layouts and styles based on mobile vs. desktop platforms)

The enhanced capabilities and features of HTML 5 and CSS 3 allowed us to present our creative and unmatched capabilities in a refreshing way, the perfect combination of sharing content the way our creative minds intended and organizing it in a way that makes the most sense to our visitors.

Just a few of abrightideaonline.com’s newest features and interactive capabilities:

  • Responsive site design perfect for any screen size or tablet device
  • Live social media feeds, including Facebook and Twitter
  • Online portfolio with intricate search capabilities
  • Interactive office tours

 

A. Bright Idea Homepage