October 31, 2019

Feed us what you have, TikTok!

Come on, it's fun!

For a digital agency, the Social Media world is very important and any attempt to conquer it has to be highly calculated before each and every step.

Kidding. It’s not that harsh. Do your magic. Have some fun, just like we did! 

This time is going to be about our newest concern, TikTok. Just in case you’re still in 2016, TikTok is one of the highest-rated, downloaded, used, loved, worshiped (and so on, you got the point) video app nowadays. Its purpose is to help you create and share personal video content with users from all over the world. There are also some challenges to have fun with, but we’re going to talk about this a bit later. Keep scrolling.

Catching up with online trends be like.

Where to, now?

We’ve been talking in previous articles about the fake importance of having a job title, tips & tricks for newbies in the agencies and also about some helpful tools. Now some other Social Media magic trick got us inspired. As we said, the great TikTok.

Hey there, agency life, could this be helpful to you?

How it all went down

No Social Media channel has its own and exclusive content. Think about the link between the apps and the possibility to share the content from each one to another. All these trends are so spread that it doesn’t matter if you’ve downloaded a certain app or not. You will surely find some related content on any other channel at some point. And this happened to us with TikTok. 

So it all started with a bit of curiosity. A bit more, actually.

Spreading all over Social Media

First of all, we had to get familiar with the TikTok content in his natural habitat, and not from some Instagram feed. Store > TikTok > Get the app. Now let’s get it started.

So, step one: sell your soul to the devil by signing up. Once your account is created, there’s no way back. Trust us.

Step two: keep scrolling. Give a chance to each and every video. Inspiration comes in so strange and unexpected ways…

Step three: don’t check the time, you might get a heart attack noticing that you’ve spent all day ‘searching for inspiration’ and you have to postpone your daily duties. Again.Step four: discover the trending challenges, rate them and accept them. 

Curious to find out what are these about? The answers are here and here.Step five: have you had enough fun? Good. Now go back to work and let people know what a fun life you are having in the agency! That’s the purpose, after all. So let’s take some shots.

Extra tip: if you ever look at your coworkers and wonder... `what is going on inside their head?`, just keep in mind that what you find out might be harmful. 

Step six: got your video done? Post it! Don’t forget about the relevant hashtags that make you popular. Be generous with them. Ok, not that generous, you don’t want to cover your masterpiece. Clean, clear, clever, claim those damn likes & followers!

Double-extra tip: use some feedback before any final decision. In fact, any experiment has to be approved first of all. Attention? Attention! More attention. Attention now, please! Thank you.

Step seven: no more steps, you’re done. Stay tuned and see what happens.

The audience for this kind of post never dies.

Who else is an early adopter?

Even if TikTok is at the beginning as a commercial platform, it caught the attention of marketers and they are falling for it one by one. From Chipotle to NBA and San Diego Zoo, brands started to be involved in this TikTok community more and more. 

Forget about the pixel-perfect and ten-steps-forward thought content! The boost of this movement seems to be the fact that the audience actually enjoys a less organized content, with the sense of `keep it real` and a more natural flow. And this couldn’t be better for expressing the daily struggle in the agency, right?

Surprisingly or not, there is a lot of agency life to offer to TikTok-ers, especially when it comes to challenges. There you had some of our ideas to be shared.

The future is under your nose

Everything is a marketing tool if you are brave enough. Or crazy enough. Or you have plenty of time. Just be bold. Try everything that comes out. The Social Media world is full of resources. So should be the inner you.

Do you need another piece of advice? Don’t be afraid to introduce to your client the big boys, itty bitty boys, Mississippi boys or the city boys by using TikTok when it comes to brand persona. Convince him that people gonna love it even more! 

But that’s enough for now. Go conquer the world! Have fun! And stay tuned for more of our stories and experiments. 

Oh, we almost forgot, what about the relationship between postcards and Social Media stories as a future topic? Here's a picture to motivate your decision.

Mallorca, 2019, and Emilia's sense of humor

August 23, 2019

Who needs a job title anyway?

The strange kid from the block

You just can’t mention your job title without being asked the worldwide series of questions from ‘How to make people feel bad about their job no matter what’ guide. Especially when you work in an agency. 

Yeah, nice meeting, but have you seen the Site of the day?

Your mom still has no clue about what you are doing (this might help), most of your friends went corporate or got their own business and your cousin Laura just become a lawyer. LAW-YER - a normal job title, that anyone can write, read and understand. How can you compete with that?

Think about trying to explain what you do for a living at a family dinner: ‘Yes, mom, Brand Strategist is a real job, and it’s exhausting’. They’ll nod and go talk to Laura about the latest laws that will affect the inflation. 

So since it doesn’t make any sense anyway, we decided to make our own job titles.

We let you choose your own job title

The funniest part of agency life is that you can choose your own job title. Kidding, it’s not a fact, but we turned this into a rule in High Contrast. You may wonder what kind of bloody trick is that: we just want you to have a job title you are proud of! That’s it. Still thinking that something’s fishy?

Let me explain the basics of this fantastic strategy: once you are looking for a job and see the title you are supposed to have, you detach yourself from the most important thing - the work itself. So why would we give you a fancy title and risk to cover only half of your skills instead of presenting what shall be your duty? 

Do we hire people for real? Feels more like we’re enlarging our kindergarten.The Interns

Drop by, say hi!

Building job titles from scratch

We can be whatever we want if we master what we have to do. That’s the secret.
And we got this with 3 simple questions:

What are we, overall?
A bunch of almost grown-ups with a crazy love for branding and digital.

What’s our common goal?
To make impactful projects, be happy at work, feel challenged, have happy clients.

What’s our superpower?
Everything you say can give us an idea. Watch your words.

Your dream team of all time

This is what we got so far. Chosen by the owner itself or nominated by the team, we made a selection of invented and hard-to-take-it-seriously job titles:

The Happiness Manager

Also known as Momma for the habit of helping anybody anytime with each and every task (‘What do you all want from me? I had my earphones for one second already…’) - there is absolutely no resting moment for such an organized person who has to schedule all of our tasks and take care of our well being, while keeping clients happy.

The Trouble Maker

Pretty good at being in charge and definitely the best at ruining your hopes when it comes to the final feedback - no, neither the 20th version of your subject line is not enough. Try 5 more. Saying YES to one more project that seems impossible? Say no more! You thought your freshly launched website is bug-free and pixel perfect? What about this 7 “improvements” that should be done asap? Fun girl, isn’t she?

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The Brand Evangelist

Hunter of new business and fresh ally helping to conquer the Social Media world. She’s the one searching for businesses that look like crap on the Internet. Then she makes sure they got the point and ask for help with the online presence. Ding-dong, here’s Brand Police and you’re arrested for not being in trend.

The Prince Charming

This is the old-school gentleman talking to the clients. The guy with the quickest solution for everything. Basically, part of that Bonnie and Clyde couple of the agency life next to the Happiness Manager. More relaxed than his partner in crime. Less serious. But hard-working, just like he’s supposed to be.

The Software Knight

First of this duty, defender of Magento and WordPress and the blamed one for any bug. He has a massive responsibility with all the coding stuff and he is restless until the very last moment of launching. Kidding, he is never done. Restless always and forever.

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High Contrast Feedback Moment

Design Anarchist

Other than the responsibility of creating digital art, he has some little interns to prepare for the adventure on the Internet. Well, everybody in the agency has, at some point, but here things become even more challenging. There’s no rest for him neither as long as the ugliness is freely traveling the digital world.

The Digital Abecedarians

Our kids are better than yours! They are here to complete their internship and have some fun with us as a bonus - we call them Interns for who’s asking, but they are whatever they want to be. As long as they closely follow the masters already here. We’ve been impressed by the smarties reaching to us. They grow up so fast...Agency life

Hard-working people are pretty messy sometimes.

The Wizard of Light Bulb Moments

And some drums here for the one and only Creative Director (dum tsss). He’s like the supreme authority in the agency and supposedly nothing can get out of here without his permission. An idea generator with a genuine ‘not impressed’ attitude. But the guy really minds his business. Feeling this explosive energy yet?

It really is what it looks like. We will always let you choose your job title.High Contrast is hiring

We're hiring. Any recommendation?

Do you think it’s a coincidence that you are reading this right now? Cause it’s not. We happen to be looking for graphic designers, so it’s time to join us and convince yourself of all we’ve been talking above.

Here are some ideas to inspire you for your next job title:

job title

January 15, 2019

The kids are all right

Not another agency year in review

2018? It’s been emotional, chaotic, challenging, awesome

Let’s start with a confession: we didn’t write this to get likes and shares and comments. Not this time. We wrote it because we like throwbacks, because it feels nice to give some credits and because it gives us a boost to rock on in 2019. We wrote this one mostly for us but we’ll let you peek at our year in review. Here we go, some random facts and memories from our 2018.

Each year in December we take a two weeks holiday. Last year, just before leaving to shred the slopes and trek the mountains, we made this short compilation of our best 2018 projects, and it does feel good seeing a year of work in just a few seconds.

This is how one year of hard work and well-deserved fun looks like in 51 seconds.

More people, more concerts, more fun

Marius, Andrian and Simona joined us in 2018 and quickly passed the initiation process. Rock concerts + mountain hiking + office cooking. We’re good.

We traveled more, we attended more concerts and almost all the festivals around, we read more, we tried new sports, we held creative workshops, we got inspired. We ended 2018 in the best shape we’ve ever been.

We just love interns

Interns are fresh, curious, energetic, intrigued, confused. They challenge us, they annoy us, they motivate us. Best and worst employees ever. In 2018 we reached a new record: 21 interns. No other explanation required.

Even if you don’t call, let me just say “good job!” for the fun environment you’ve created at the workplace and for the marketing campaigns used to promote it. It really made you stand out as a company. (Candidate, with love)

Pro processing processes

2018 was the year of changing and improving processes, of trying new tools and finally understanding how to use the old ones, of learning how to work better with external teams.

Ahoi Frisbo!

Frisbo, one of our most important client and probably the coolest startup in Romania, got its second investment round and this accelerated its growth. Way to go Frisbo! #muchlove #startuplife

UX/UI for Frisbo, the efulfillment platform

Hey F64, what’s up?

We’re big photography fans, some of us with a serious pedigreethey are the biggest photography shop and community in Romania, we should work together, right?

Oh, but their site looks so old school. Let’s pitch some impressive stuff and they’ll just get crazy to work with us. Draft a new design. Send convincing email. Get a new client. Done. And so we launched the new F64 blog.

Design and development for F64 Blog

Innovators much?

Later on, in between cocktails and pool parties we just got into the RINF TECH challenge. How about completely changing their positioning from outsourcers to innovators, going through a long process of analysis, strategy, new visual identity, new website, new everything. It took a while, but look at them now!

RINF TECH’s new awesome logo
RINF TECH identity

We have a crush for startups

When Zitec told us they are about to launch a team management app and needs some help with the branding, we popped the champagne. Several months later, we proudly launched the Mirro brand — positioning, naming, visual identity — and had another party to celebrate it.

Mirro naming and logo

Hello God, it’s us, your favourite digital agency

One thing is for sure in this industry: you can hardly get bored. Last year we worked with the Conference of European Churches and set them up for the 2018 General Assembly held in Novi Sad. If that’s not cool and unexpected, then we don’t know what cool and unexpected is.

Take that 1951 brand and make it scream “2020”

Here’s a hobby we practice from time to time. Work related, of course. We take national, famous brands that have local roots, we break everything into pieces and then we put them back together with a new positioning and look. We did this for Farmacom (active in the industry since 1951!) and we are ready to take over their online presence this year.

We love nature and nature loves us

Living in Brasov, we know we’re privileged, we can be up in the mountains in less than an hour and we want to enjoy this for at least the next 4537 years. So one of our proudest moments was launching actionez.ro — a platform where you can report issues that threaten the environment — a WWF project.

Actionez.ro web design and development

The kids are all right

Outside the projects boards. Outside the clients ideas.

There’s a thing about internal projects: there are no limits. Just go wild with that design, f*ck the grid. Wanna write the copy in Spanish? Ok, do it. Wanna glitch the website to hurt users’ eyes? Do it.

Pack your things

Move to Brasov was a breath of fresh air. Literally. We had breakfast on Tampa mountain to make sure we got the perfect photo for the project. It was a recruiting campaign (was it, really?) and we got looots of CVs and good vibes.

April Fools?

If it’s not daring, it’s lame. So we made it daring. We made fun of us on our 404 page and let everyone else do it. It’s easy: just mix some agencies’ cliches with random words and you’ll see our point.

Demisol love

We finally managed to launch a website for Demisol, our own coworking space. To make it even more challenging, we went through a full rebranding process and made a new logo, spread posters downtown and got some awards for it.

Demisol — the free coworking space in Brasov, Romania.

The best garden party this city ever had. Period.

And we organised it. And it was free and open and fun and… Just check this out.

High Contrast Garden Party

What’s next

2019? It’s going to be tough, overwhelming, ambitious, bold. We are in the best shape we’ve been so far. Let’s do this.

May 16, 2017

Fun is meant to be shared

As a freelancer, you might find this familiar

You wake up past noon, grab a sandwich and you settle on your favorite spot on the couch. You read your emails while you enjoy a (hopefully) fresh cup of coffee and start working on your projects. You keep checking your phone craving for some interaction, but you know all your friends are at work and they can’t spend that much time on Instagram as you do. Your cat comes awhile and you try to complain to her about the feedback you just received from that moody client. You listen to “Under Pressure” on repeat every time you are really close to a deadline but you have to finish that last level of Clash Royale. You text your mother every time you get a new client even if she has no idea what you are doing.

Freelancing is fun, chaotic, fascinating, overwhelming, amazing. Since we met so many of you and we truly appreciate your work, we thought we can make things easier for you.

Meet Demisol, the open space

Well, we have an offer you can’t refuse. We found this open place just one floor beneath High Contrast office and we decided to keep it open. If you are a freelancer and you work mostly from home, we invite you to drop by.https://player.vimeo.com/video/216825495

Demisol is an open space where you can work at your own projects together with others freelancers from Brasov, Romania. You just have to bring your laptop and your enthusiasm, we'll take care of the rest. 

And what if we offer it for free?

You can now enjoy your (definitely) fresh coffee in a cozy office, surrounded by creative and eager minds, just like yours. Or you can share the latest design trends with someone who is really into typography. Remember when you were looking for a developer to make that idea work? Well, you can extend your network just by hanging out in a cool place.

Who can jump in?

We see this place conquered by designers, developers, copywriters, architects, illustrators, writers - basically anyone who works in the creative industry and needs some interaction from time to time.

What’s in for us?

We are in the creative industry in Brasov, Romania for 15 years and we think it's time to show some support for the brave ones. If you are familiar with our Get to know us! event, you know that we just want to meet you. At least for now (we'll recruit you later).

Claim your desk!

There’s a limit of seven desks for now, so you should be fast and bold. Claim a desk and tell us who you are, what you do and why would you like to hang around. We will get in touch with you shortly and set you up. To make sure we match, please read The rules before applying. The deadline for the first group of applicants is May 20th. So hurry up!

Claim your desk!

September 21, 2016

What designers (really) do during creative meetings

We confess. During not-so-creative-meetings, we often take a serious wise look, we approve by shaking our head and pretend to write something very important in our Moleskine notebooks. But you can try to guess what we are actually doing.

You might be familiar with the doodles, the flowers, the mazes, the stars or the random lines which are usually drawn during meetings. We are all doing it, no matter how captivating is the discussion or how stiff is the client. It doesn’t matter if we are designers, copywriters or account managers, we are all becoming artists during endless meetings. Maybe it’s because it helps us focus on a subject, or because we have too much energy that we don’t want to waste.

What is important to know is that's nothing wrong in doodling your mind. Experts agree that doodling helps us think through a problem and that awesome ideas might come while we scribble when we listen to something else. And it’s definitely more polite to draw than to play on your phone or answer emails during meetings.

Our designers do it differently

High Contrast designers are taking doodling to another level. No more pointless lines, no more chaotic circles or minimalist icons. Not a single piece of paper is wasted (we are an eco-friendly agency, by the way). So take a look at these "doodles" drawn by our designers, Bogdan and Gabriel, during brainstorming sessions, skype meetings with clients or (very productive) internal meetings.

Drawing during meetings helps me keep my mind focused and it's a great way to remain in a creative state of mind. Sometimes, my doodle characters are inspired by the conversations, but most of the time I just randomly draw my subconscious reality.

- Bogdan Dobrescu, Art Director @ High Contrast

  What do monsters and superheroes have to do with High Contrast interactive projects? We don't know. But we love browsing through these doodles from time to time, trying to make connections with the meetings we had.

We will keep track of our doodles & drawings on our Instagram accountFollow us to see what else can cross our minds during meetings and for more "life at High Contrast" images and insights. Do you like what our designers are doodling? Imagine what we could do for your project. Hire us now!

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Copyright © 2002 - 2021 High Contrast. All rights reserved.

Copyright © 2002 - 2021 High Contrast. All rights reserved.

Copyright © 2002 - 2021 High Contrast. All rights reserved.

Copyright © 2002 - 2020 High Contrast. All rights reserved.

Copyright © 2002 - 2020 High Contrast. All rights reserved.

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