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CNP Launches a New Website for the City of Winter Haven

 

CNP is excited to unveil our latest project: a fully overhauled website for the City of Winter Haven.

With the site’s redesign, the City sought to improve user experience for citizens and government employees alike. Project goals included reorganizing the site’s layout for more intuitive browsing, consolidating multiple departmental websites within a single content management system and updating the site to make it mobile-friendly. Continue Reading

Fortune-teller

It’s Time to Stop Marketing by First Best Guess

The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.
– Richard Feynman, Nobel Laureate in Physics

Stronger strategy, better targeting, more effective messaging, improved customer service—your success in these areas is strongly linked to your ability to accurately understand your target audience and engage with them in a way they find meaningful.

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Illustrator Shannon Viox accepts the Benny Award for the Grove Roots Brand material

CNP Rounds Up a Passel of Wins at the 2017 ADDY Awards

How-DEE-E-E-E!

Last Friday, AAF Polk County hosted the 2017 ADDY Awards (and we were jes’ so proud to be there).

Part of the nation’s largest advertising competition, the annual event offers local agencies and in-house teams an occasion to kick up their boots and celebrate exceptional creative work.

This year’s Grand Ole ADDYs theme saw the Lakeland Center’s Sikes Hall transformed into Country’s Most Famous Stage, complete with live entertainment and tasty vittles.

By the time the final curtain fell, CNP had corralled an impressive number of wins, including five Gold ADDYs, four Silver ADDYs, a “Best in Category” Benny and a Judge’s Choice award.

We love what we do and it’s an honor to be acknowledged by our talented industry peers.

Many thanks to our clients for giving us the opportunity to work on so many fantastic projects. We love you so much it hurts. 

Check out the highlights of our ADDYs wins below —

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Custom Illustrations in the Real World: From Sketch to Screen

I was always drawing as a kid. I would get ideas in my head and would just have to draw them. Now as a professional designer, my favorite projects include that hand-drawn aspect; a personal touch before moving on to the computer. It makes designs more flavorful and posed to stand out, and I get a chance to flex the illustration muscle for a client. It feels good when everyone is proud of the outcome.

Custom Illustrations for a Homegrown Brand

Illustrations contrast with the digital world we’re surrounded by. The traces of human involvement will always be more interesting than an algorithm generated by a machine. For Grove Roots Brewing Company, we had the opportunity to use custom illustration in posters for each of their flagship beers. The brand is based on celebrating the historic citrus industry in Winter Haven, so lead designer, Tiffany, and I found our style inspiration in vintage postcards. Often for illustrators like me, who aim to capture each project’s individual aesthetic, custom illustrations are a chance to explore a new style. In Grove Roots’ case, it was a reminder of an old style. We reckoned the audience would be drawn to the familiar, nostalgic quality of the vintage postcard style.

Grove Roots Brewing Company is the first brewery in Winter Haven–a fresh and welcome establishment!–so juicy custom imagery was an opportune branding decision. (Drawing people in? No problem.)

Shannon sketches a truck

An early sketch of the vintage Ford inspires the label for the 6am Pickers beer.

The Process

In the beginning stage, I gathered reference images and made sketches. I started with the illustration for 6am Pickers, because the truck was a bit of a challenge. Tiffany and I wrangled with finding the correct perspective of the road, after I drew the truck from scratch, sans-road … so we took the bumpy route, but we got there.

Shannon vectorizes a custom illustration

The sketches become vectorized.

Using my references, I drew with the the pen tool in Illustrator and began layering the pieces to build the scene. Highlights and shadows were added. After tweaking the details and perspective to our satisfaction, we were on the road (pun intended) to a strong poster design.

Tiffany, who designed the Grove Roots branding, had the colors mostly picked out ahead of time. We added a few more once we got into final stages of the illustrations and realized they needed a little more depth. Enter: vibrant greens!

The final result was a unique combination of fresh and nostalgic, just like Grove Roots Brewing Company. The 6am Pickers poster is one in a series of four flagship beer representations, but it is one of my favorites for the challenges we overcame to breathe life into it. Plus, it’s delicious if you’re into coffee stouts.

For more great Grove Roots illustrations, check out our case study, Crafting an Identity for Winter Haven’s First Craft Brewery.

CNP Named to Ad Age’s Best Places to Work List

We’re pleased to announce today that CNP was named to Ad Age’s 2016 Best Places to Work list.

Humble competence is one of our agency’s core values, but we would be remiss if we didn’t tell you this award is kind of a big deal. Ad Age considered agencies, media companies and in-house teams with more than 15 full-time employees for this honor—and of the 50 companies recognized nationwide, CNP came in at number 20. According to Agency Spotter, there are upwards of 120,000 agencies in the US.  Continue Reading

Is Your Business a Good Fit for Yext?

Yext can be a handy, timesaving local search engine optimization (SEO) tool for marketers. However, like any tool, a lot has to do with selecting the right one for the situation. Sometimes you need a tack hammer, and others a pneumatic jackhammer. Sometimes either will do, but when it comes to how your business is listed online, you are going to want to pick the right tool for the job. Continue Reading

The Business Observer’s Observations About Our Business

The Florida Business Observer published an article about our recent strides in business improvement. The past year has been an incredibly productive journey for CNP, and we’ve learned a lot about how to service our clients better and keep everyone on this boat of ours rowing in the same direction. Continue Reading

What Good Marketing and the Mojito Have in Common

It’s not hard to like a well-made mojito. It’s refreshing, sweet but not too sweet. It’s the absolute best cocktail for the often hot Florida and Caribbean, but it’s by no means the easiest cocktail to make well. It takes time and patience, and no two will ever be quite the same. When I make them for CNP happy hours, I’m always struck by how similar it is to our approach to marketing.

The name “mojito,” comes from the African word “mojo,” which is an item used to cast a little spell. Good marketing is also like a spell. It can make people show up somewhere in droves, it can practically subvert free will, and it can make you feel like you’re having fun, excited about stuff you’d otherwise ignore. Mojitos do a good job at all of this, too.

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Leveraging User Surveys to Improve Your Website

User surveys are a simple, cost effective way to gather valuable feedback directly from your website’s visitors, and over the past couple of years, we’ve started integrating them into many of our website design and development projects.

In this post, I’ll explain how to set up a simple user survey and mine the results for helpful insights that you can use to improve your website. Continue Reading

CNP Makes Florida Trend’s Best Companies List – Again

How do I say this without bragging? CNP has been named one of the Best Companies to Work For in Florida for the second year in a row! OK, that’s definitely bragging, but we’re still very proud to make the list. Over the past year or so, we’ve been working hard to refine our vision and internal processes in an effort to ensure CNP is a place that delivers GREAT work to our clients, but also is a place where our employees love to work. With 100 companies on the list, we moved up to No. 10 from the 27th spot last year in the Small Biz category (Cue applause). Continue Reading