Kevin Archie

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posted by Kevin Archie Aug 05,2015 @ 12:37PM

On starting.


As I sit here staring at a blank page—typing, deleting, typing again, deleting again, (updating my Instagram), typing, deleting, staring—I consider the seemingly monumental task at hand: writing one single blog post.

The forest of trees on my desktop background mirrors the muddled state of my mind: vast and lush, yet directionless. Branches intertwine, the longest of them extending and disappearing into the backlit white space of the sun, fading to nothing.

Ideas form and mingle in my mind, but the great white page stands unadorned until one of them can take root and grow. A multitude of voices nag and prod my brain, stunting any progress.

Where ever will you begin? Which idea is strongest? What about that other one? What’s the big picture? Who really cares?

If I'm honest with myself, this is what nearly every creative project feels like.

Whether small and simple like writing a blog post, or large and daunting like rebranding a statewide initiative, the act of creation often begins in agony.

But if we can narrow our focus from that vast forest of possibilities to a single seed of an idea, things can truly begin to flourish and grow.

posted by Kevin Archie Apr 01,2015 @ 07:50AM

a reflection of brand values

Volvo has long been a company intent on making the world a safer place. Responsible for such innovations as the 3-point safety belt, rearward-facing child safety seats, the Lambda Sond (a device that reduces harmful exhaust emissions by 90%), side-impact airbags, and smart technology systems that can detect objects in blind spots or even pedestrians near cars—Volvo has stood by its philosophy to always put people first. With this in mind, it comes as no surprise that Volvo's latest innovation has nothing to do with their cars—at least not directly.


Enter LifePaint, a unique reflective safety spray invisible by day but bright and reflective in the glare of headlights at night. This clear removable spray can be applied to a cyclists bike and gear to increase visibility on roads. In other words, a multi-billion dollar car company invented a can of spray paint to help protect cyclists from getting hit by the very thing that company creates: cars.

LifePaint is yet another demonstration of Volvo's relentless commitment to safety for all—even those who choose not to buy their cars. This commitment extends even further with the company's bold vision to see no person killed or seriously injured by or in a new Volvo by the year 2020.

How refreshing it is to see a company so in tune with its core values that everything it says and does perfectly reflects those values; to see the inner workings of a brand brought to light through the very way it interacts with the people around it, whether they buy its product or not. Our aim here at Riggs is to achieve that same brand clarity for every client.

posted by Kevin Archie Feb 14,2014 @ 06:06AM

Snow Day

Don't underestimate the benefits of ridesharing in inclement weather.

posted by Kevin Archie Feb 11,2014 @ 03:30AM

Too Easy

A few weeks ago, acclaimed website builder Squarespace released a new tool that enables users to create a hi-res mark for their company by combining an icon from a large online library with open-source typography of their choosing for $10. The problem? They called it Squarespace Logo, a grave misnomer in my opinion.

Thoughtful logo design is so much more than just choosing a ready-made icon and pairing it with a trendy free font. It is the process of giving a company an identifiable face that cohesively links it to its brand. This requires intensive research, exploration, refinement, and a close working relationship between designer and client in order to uncover a truly successful mark.

A logo should be recognizable, unique, timeless, versatile, and properly in tune with the brand it represents. It utilizes appropriate color palettes, distinctive visual styles, and relevant typography to tell a compelling and cohesive story. Properly executed, a logo can help bring a company great success and recognition for years to come.

Does Squarespace Logo allow for the creation of an attractive company mark for cheap? Perhaps — but that mark won't have the punch and originality of a professionally designed logo.

I'm not condemning the tool itself. In fact, I encourage you to try it out for the header of your daily Tumblr about what you had for lunch the other day or use it for your grandmother's Hawaiian-themed 85th birthday party invitation.

After all, it's basically logo design at its core. But remember, it takes more than basic to truly define a brand.

posted by Kevin Archie Oct 28,2013 @ 11:46AM

The value of pro bono

A recent article in the New York Times speaks to the importance of not working for free because it devalues all creative vocations, rendering our work worthless to a culture that often defines value monetarily. As a part-time freelance designer, I tend to agree with this premise in a practical sense. Why should I give my time, effort, and skills to someone at absolutely no cost? For exposure to new audiences? A chance to beef up my portfolio? The possibility of future work? While such offers sound appealing and may at times even benefit the creative, they are ultimately the equivalent of asking for a free 5-course meal at a fancy restaurant in exchange for a positive review on Yelp. Spending all your 9 to 5 efforts on a project for next to nothing in return could therefore be considered an insane waste of time.

Why then do we do it once a year, for 24 hours straight? Because pro bono is not just working for free, it's consciously giving for free: giving of our time and talents to deserving nonprofits who's jobs are to give of themselves every day; steadfastly giving back to our communities what they have so graciously given us — a chance to make the world a better place. As I reflect on CreateAthon and all the good that was done last week, I realize that not all work done for free is worthless or a devaluation of our creative talents. Pro bono work can in fact have far greater value when done for the benefit of other do-gooders. It's this spirit of giving back, this CreateAthon, that continues a cycle of good in our community. This is our ever-so-small contribution to the continuing rotation of the great world around us. And for the joy set before us, we will do it again and again.




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