Category Archives: Design

We’re Getting a New Look!


If you’ve been following us for a while, you know us. You know what we’re like, you know where our skill set lies, and you know, most importantly, that we value knowing you above all else. When candidates come to us seeking guidance for their next career move, we talk to them, find out where they’d like to be in the future, and are very thorough about finding the perfect match, career-wise. We heavily invest ourselves in your future, so it’s understandable that maybe our own website took a lower spot on the priority list, right?

And this is the fun part. CM Access is getting a new look! We’ve been developing a new identity and website to go along with it for several months, and we’re getting pretty psyched that the launch is coming up.

But we don’t want to spoil it before you see it. We’ll go over the redesign in the next couple posts, but to get you amped up, we thought we’d take another glance at some of the biggest redesigns you might have heard about recently! First up: TGI Fridays.

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The original logo held its place since 1965, and though the company clung to its Tuscan inspiration for a redesign in 2004, things needed more of a change when they took a second look last year.

The name of the game? Simplify, simplify, simplify (they even removed the periods between T, G, and I). This seems to be a common theme among many companies today. While original logos were intended for brick-and-mortar restaurants and printed paper menus, today’s need to apply to web sites, apps, emails, animations, etc. etc. etc. Another relevant piece of information to consider is the worldwide span of the company. With over 900 locations in more than 60 countries, Fridays’ interior design took a small departure from the Americana antique kitsch it had clung to for decades, in search of a more contemporary casual dining experience.

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TGI Fridays did a great job of improving their look and public perception of their business, while not abandoning their roots entirely. They kept the red and white stripes, but left the detailed shape behind. They stuck with a few vintage items in the restaurant, but organized them on a framed wall. A brand redesign is a great opportunity to evaluate whether all of your past aesthetic and functional choices are effective, and designing with intention is the best process to go through in order to succeed.

We went through it, too. Can’t wait for you all to see the new and improved CM Access!

A Guide to American Football


If you’re a living breathing American, you’re well-aware the Superbowl is on Sunday. Past that piece of information, there are two sides of the fence – those who are excited about the game, and those who are excited about the party to watch the game. If you’re part of the latter, this video is for you:

To Resolve Project


New year! 2014 will be a fun one.

If you’re like most people, you have the best of intentions – deciding on a resolution before the year even starts, telling your friends, even going so far as to write it down on a piece of paper and swear to yourself that this year is the one, this year will be different, you’ll do it. And 6 months later you find that piece of paper in a drawer. Enter the To Resolve Project.

Created by artists and designers all over, these images serve as a daily reminder of your best-of-intentions start to the year, incorporating new year’s resolutions into attractive, simple phone backgrounds.

S_Hill_Resolution_finalKeep In Touch by Scott Hill

PrintRead More by Matt McCracken of Doublenaut

To20Resolve20iPhoneStep Away by Riley Cran

Corys_ToResolve_iPhoneMake Sh*t by Hand by Cory Roberts

To20Resolve_Hines_1Live Simply by Jason Hines

ScottHillMake Things With My Hands by Scott Hill

So, if you haven’t decided on a resolution yet (you’re 5 days behind already!), decide on one based on the background you like best, OR download the template and submit your own.
Happy New Year!

The Best Brands Using Vine // Lowe’s


When you’re thinking of  great commercials you’ve seen or clever marketing pieces, you might not come up with the name Lowe’s. This doesn’t say much for its marketing besides the fact that little of it sticks out to a consumer who isn’t already interested in Lowe’s (read: is not an adult male over the age of 40). So one might wonder how they would do with a younger-minded social media tool like Vine.  And the answer? BRILLIANTLY.

They’ve taken an opportunity to shove a product in someone’s face and turned it around to be a friendly tools-and-tips giver.

First, they tooled around for the 4th of July. Got some playing out of the way:

And then came the good stuff. Dig through the tweets with the hashtag #LowesFixinSix and you’ll find awesome tips, from how to unscrew a stripped screw, how to keep your paintbrush bristles from bending while drying, to suggestions that make decorating easier.

The best part? People are digging it. The tips are actually helpful and people want their friends to know – the perfect situation for huge success in a viral campaign. Can’t wait to see what Lowe’s comes up with next.

The Best Brands Using Vine // Target


Target is known for its style: simple, geometric, and most importantly, catchy. Their commercials don’t pitch their products at you. You’re just watching TV and somehow find yourself in the middle of a funky world where things are symmetrical and the music is great. From cake mix to beach gear to oatmeal, they’ve managed to maintain an organized playfulness throughout all of their marketing. Enter, Vine. Expectations were high, and Target didn’t disappoint.

They started with a bang, kicking off their 6-second video account with an origami stop-motion.

Right?! Pretty ambitious for a first-timer, but Target has a reputation and they know it.

Flash forward to this summer, and all the buzz surrounding their #SummerUp Decision Maker. Don’t know what you feel like doing? Tap and you’ll pause it on anything from “Build a Fort” to a photo of a jump rope.

Later on, they marked the beginning of football season with a clever Pickles vs. Pretzels toss of the pigskin (well, tortilla).

And as the days got shorter and we dragged ourselves inside for the winter, Target was there. With caramel apple tips, jack-o-lanterns a-plenty, and a nod to 1985’s Duck Hunt:

We were very interested to see what they’d come up with for the post-Thanksgiving weekend shopping frenzy, and were pleasantly surprised to find they’d revamped their summer Decision Maker. Make friends with your buddy in line on Black Friday! Well, it’s too late now but hang on to the link for next year.

Places That Work // Twitter


Twitter is all grown up. Last year it expanded from it’s humble start-up beginnings to a larger, 215,000 square foot space in San Francisco’s Mid Market district. Though one of busiest, most updated and constantly buzzing of the social media sites (the average life of a tweet is 2 minutes), their office is a blank canvas complete with small quirks that make it, well Twitter headquarters.

A little bit of a contrast from our last two spotlighted workplaces, the space is sophisticated and playful, while maintaining a sleekness to reflect their young company’s adulthood. With a visually uncluttered office, employees are free to spend time getting lost in their own Twitter-y brains. There’s lots of open space to collaborate, have meetings over lunch in the cafeteria (Called “@birdfeeder.” Clever.) or play corn hole on the roof deck.

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Apparently Twitter’s big move to this previously gritty  area of San Francisco prompted several other companies to do the same, reviving the neighborhood into an area the city has renamed Central Market. With over 1,000 employees, it sounds like Twitter will soon have a fantastic office AND great neighbors.

Image credits: one, two, three

Places that Work // Mattson Creative


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tys_office_3240_854Mattson Creative has some stellar work. The best part is that we don’t even need to show you this work for you to understand, because look at their flipping workspace! You know good stuff is coming out of an environment like this.

A former lima bean factory-turned studio, the space is what I would call the perfect combination of contemporary and vintage. There are clean lines and sharp color contrasts, useful for a visually organized workspace, but they’ve also maintained a warm, homey feeling with lots of wood accents.

Mattson Creative is part of SND CYN Studios, a collaborative workspace for creative professionals, located in Southern California. Based on the community, the location, and the comfort level of their workspace, I imagine they spend just as much time hanging out in this space as they do working in it (and that looks to be the case).

You want to see more pictures, I’m sure: here and here.

Places That Work // Etsy


People have many different opinions about what a workspace should be: a blank slate to keep distractions at a minimum, an intriguing, inspiration-covered environment, a home-like space to be comfortable in, and the list goes on. But what does the office of the largest online handcrafted/vintage selling community look like? We were totally curious.

creative office etsy

etsy headquarters

Turns out the headquarters, in Brooklyn, looks quite a bit like real-life Etsy. Quirks around every corner,creative workplace

themed offices,

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and a ping pong table.

etsy headquarters

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Depending on the sort of worker you are, this could be a great, creatively invigorating environment – open work areas encourage collaboration, and lots of daylight keeps workers alert. It’ll be interesting to see how often they change things up.

Photo credits: MAD

Oat // Saloon


Last week we dove into the world of Oat, exploring their work behind Island Creek Oyster Bar. Today we’ll show you what they’ve done for Saloon.saloon inspiration saloon inspirationThe interview with Oat on Behind the Design reveals the inspiration for Saloon lies in watch fobs and bow ties, a more sophisticated route than the typical Wild West cowboy hangout that typically comes to mind with the word “saloon.”

saloon restaurant logo sketch

saloon restaurant logo sketch

The result is just what the owners wanted- more of a New York men’s club vibe.

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Take a look at the work on Oat’s site, or head over to Davis Square, grab a cocktail, and see this gentlemen-ly restaurant identity for yourself!

Oat // Island Creek Oyster Bar


There’s a great creative scene in Boston. We’ve got clever, fun-loving people who know how to design, and hey, we all love our restaurants. Somerville-based Oat is probably the best example of a team who has mastered the art of the restaurant identity. This week, we’ll go over their work for Island Creek Oyster Bar.

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Boston Magazine has a great series called Behind the Design, where they get into the inspiration and process leading up to a final design, and their post about Oat revealed their very thorough questionnaire and initial meeting. There they discuss the aesthetic of the restaurant, leading Oat to create inspiration boards to assure they’re on the same page.

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The inspiration for ICOB circulated around the historic New England fishing and shipping industry, the nautical aesthetic dictating the direction they took. So take a look at the final product:

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With paper variations and textural components having such a heavy hand in the identity, you might wonder how it would translate to the web, and they did a phenomenal job.

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The final pieces are best described by Oat itself:

Our approach to the identity, print collateral and web strategy combines the texture and function, executed as a fictional collection of artifacts handled on an oyster farm. Manuals, dockets, oyster tags, registers and job jackets evoke the ordered chaos of farm life.

Stay tuned for next week’s creative exploration of one of our favorite restaurants, Saloon.