A New Year and Some New Faces

Happy New Year! Taking just a moment to reflect, we can definitely say that 2013 brought growth and exciting changes for CNP - three of our favorites being Tiffany, Kevyn and Sam!

Tiffany Taunton

tiffany-titleTiffany started with CNP in October as a Graphic Designer and Front-end Web Developer. With over seven years of experience, she has collected a unique repertoire of skills that has been a perfect fit for us as we continue to bridge the gap between traditional print media and web.  In just a few short months, Tiffany has already made significant contributions to several projects and we couldn’t be more excited to have her on our team.

Kevyn Bryant

kevyn-titleKevyn joined CNP in December with a broad range of experience including search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), email marketing, ecommerce, photography and videography.  In just over a month, Kevyn has already implemented several new strategies to help our clients get more quality traffic to their website and then observe behaviors using Google Analytics. Kevyn is a true t-shaped web marketer and a valuable addition to our online marketing team.

Sam Mello


Sam also joined our growing web development team in December as a back-end web developer. As a life-long techie, Sam is the first CNP staffer to {voluntarily} bring in their own monitor mounts and was recently voted ‘most likely to have a spare SSD lying around’ (a title he stole from Seth). He recently relocated to Central Florida from Cincinnati (by way of Brooklyn) to be closer to his wife’s family (with their 4 year old son and a bun in the oven). In a relatively short time, Sam’s proven his technical prowess in a wide variety of programming languages and techniques.

So after two weeks of holiday festivities and maybe a little too much family time, we’re all officially back at our desks and we’ve hit the ground running (probably a good thing given the fact that nearly 40% of New Year’s resolutions are fitness related). Cheers to another year!  We can’t wait to see what 2014 brings.

Inspiration through Desperation: Why Putting Limits on Your Creativity is a Good Thing

It might seem counterintuitive, but creativity loves rules.

Getting yourself jazzed up with a “the sky’s the limit attitude” can actually be crippling. Overwhelmed by options and paralyzed by indecision, you’re more likely to spin your wheels rather than have a eureka moment. On the other hand, boundaries (even artificial ones) can force your brain to invent ingenious ways to work within them.

One of my absolute favorite examples of creativity through confinement is Rene Redzepi’s restaurant, Noma. Located in Copenhagen, Denmark, it’s currently recognized as the second best restaurant in the world. Redzepi only cooks with Nordic ingredients, mostly sourced from within a small radius around the restaurant. Since I don’t think I can top the ankle weights metaphor, I’ll let the New York Times handle this one: Continue Reading

Phantom Calories, Channing Tatum and Our Families: Why We Love Thanksgiving

Aside from the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving is as American as it gets. We look past our differences and all awareness of personal space and we're grateful for everyone and everything – especially the fact that the 4,500 calories we just consumed won't actually count because Thanksgiving is magical like that.

Do not question it. Just eat more pie. 

For a whole day, we could almost pass for one of those perfect families in the Hallmark holiday movies. You know, the ones that suck you in even though it’s already half way over and stars all the actors you’ve never heard of. Oh, and Candace Cameron Bure. While mildly entertaining and perfect for lulling you into an afternoon nap, Hallmark movies just don’t do justice to the insanity that’s bound to ensue. Which is why we love Publix’s Thanksgiving commercial. Because turkeys do burn, the little people will knock over every full glass of sweet tea and someone is always bound to lick the spoon that’s being used to serve the sweet potato casserole. So take a moment to enjoy some of our favorite Thanksgiving memories – both the wonderful and the wonderfully messy. Continue Reading

Campaign physics: Solve the smallest space first.

Or maybe you’d rather try to stuff an elephant into a teacup? That could get smelly and you’ll definitely throw out your back.

The point being: When developing a branded campaign that includes multiple tactics, make sure your top-line content works in the smallest or most confining space first.

If you get excited about a big, elaborate message and design execution that only works in a big space, you’ll be in tight spot when it comes time to create the web ad, outdoor board, mobile site or :30 second TV spot. Continue Reading

Writer's Block: Stop Staring and Start Writing

Writer’s block. It’s an evil that we all face, especially those of us who are perfectionists or require oxygen and food.

Think back for a minute.

Remember when you were young and you got a writing assignment like “What did you do last summer?” And the thoughts just flowed like sweet molasses out of your brain and onto the paper? And about twenty minutes later, you turned something in on wide-ruled paper that you felt accurately conveyed your trip to the Grand Canyon or the countless hours you spent watching the Price is Right at your grandparents’ house (two possible scenarios out of many). Continue Reading

Dissecting a URL's Query String

A big url can look messy and confusing, but if you know what symbols to look for, you'll be reading them like sentences. Use these helpful color coded examples to dissect, decipher, and shorten long URLs.

Let’s start with a simple example, a YouTube URL. Use the color coding to help coordinate with the explanations. Continue Reading

The Power of the People in the Motor City

Last month, as I made travel arrangements to attend a conference in Detroit, my feelings were mixed. I was nervous to visit a city in such turmoil, a city that has a high rate of crime and just filed for bankruptcy. But, I was also intrigued and hopeful to witness what the Motor City’s residents were doing to rally behind and reinvent their great American City.

photo copy 5

Bus tour with D:hive

Upon arriving, I immediately boarded a bus for a tour of the city. D:hive, an organization that connects Detroit’s visitors and residents with the tools and resources they need to live, work or engage in the city, facilitated the bus tour. And these tour guides did not disappoint! As stated on D:hive’s website, guides “must have a love for the city of Detroit.” Their passion was contagious. Attendees learned about all Detroit has to offer, from the arts, to the restaurants, to the sports teams, and to the people.  Especially the people. These tour guides believe in, and are proud of, the people of Detroit who are fighting for the future of their city. Continue Reading

Taking the Leap into New Media: Then and Now

As I sat down to write this post, I flipped on the TV and logged in to Hulu Plus to catch up on a few episodes of Modern Family. To my own dismay, the Internet connection kept going in and out. I don’t have cable so I solely rely on the Internet to stream my favorite shows and movies. Alas, I had to resort to my 27 Dresses DVD (not even a Blu-ray!) to create that white noise while I wrote.

This snag in technology seemed very fitting as I started to write about a book I found as we were cleaning out the CNP conference room. This book, entitled “Taking the Leap into New Media” by Stephanie A. Redman, is from 1999. Its goal was to address how traditional print advertising agencies were handling the transition to the web-driven world.

Continue Reading

3 Ways to Use Icon Fonts in your WordPress Theme & Admin

Welcome, humble developer! If you're as sick and tired of making icon sprites, and retina icon sprites, and social media retina icon sprites as I was about 2 months ago, have I got something great to tell yaFont Awesome and Icon Vault are the answer to all your icon woes, both real, imagined, and unimagined.

Continue Reading

How to Calculate Marketing ROI

A key performance metric when evaluating a marketing campaign is return on investment (ROI). There are many misconceptions about how this metric is calculated. Some might think that if you spend $25,000 on a campaign and it brings in $50,000 in revenue, that they have gotten a 100 percent ROI.

However, this method doesn’t account for things like the cost of goods, your business’ expenses and other overhead factors. You want to calculate your ROI based on gross profit on the product/service you are selling, not simply revenue. Continue Reading