May, 2017

 

It’s no news flash that sitting at your desk all day poses negative health risks. But “all day” reveals the key here. Standing all day isn’t the solution either. The real killer is remaining sedentary during a full day’s work.

That’s why TCD has invested in adjustable standing desks for designers Megan and Laura.

Their standing desks allow them to alternate between sitting and standing throughout the workday, increasing activity and productivity. The switch in position allows the body to move, benefiting physical and mental health.

A quick Google search will present hundreds of studies revealing that workers who practice this discipline of sitting and standing not only stay well but stay engaged and more alert also. Sitting, especially with poor posture, can leave employees cramped and fatigued at the end of the day.

Our designers use the VARIDESK Pro Plus 48. This standing desk holds two monitors on its top tier and a keyboard on its bottom tier. The raised monitors encourage better posture by keeping the head and neck up rather than hunched over.

“I absolutely love my standing desk,” Laura said. “It’s easy to raise. Plus, it’s very spacious, so it helps me stay organized too. It’s nice to be able to stand up and stretch my legs and then to be able to sit down when I start to wear from standing.”

With 11 adjustments, it’s easy to set the desk to your desired height. This is best determined when your arms are perpendicular to your body, with your forearms resting flat on the bottom tier.

“When friends and family swing by the office, the standing desk is usually the first thing that catches their eye, which typically leads to a quick demonstration,” Megan said. “It’s so easy to pop up from sitting to standing, even with two ginormous monitors and the keyboard tray.”

If you don’t have a standing desk, you can still practice good posture when sitting. Engage your abdominal muscles, and practice leg lifts and stretches under your desk. Another solution is to sit on an exercise ball (or some other chair that’s just unstable enough to keep you moving and supporting your weight). Take a break every 20–30 minutes to stand up — even if it’s just for a moment. It’s also a good idea to walk every so often. In our office, we encourage water consumption, so that can provide good reason to get up for a drink.

Take steps to be more active in your workplace. Find out if the VARIDESK Pro Plus 48 fits your workplace needs.

Posted on: May 26th, 2017 by Laura Uber

 

It’s a partnership we’ve been cultivating for 10+ years. Since 1999, Académie Lafayette (AL) has educated grades K–8 with a twist: immersing children in the French language. Our founders, Ron and Angela Michka, began building a relationship with AL, the first public charter school in Missouri, when their kids started attending.

Now, we are in the midst of launching a new website with Académie Lafayette. It’s sleek, fresh and easy to navigate. In recent weeks, we’ve visited AL to make final tweaks, including any pertinent info updates and user experience fixes.

Photos | Johnathan Michka

Acting as the creative department to Académie Lafayette, we’ve enjoyed working side by side to ensure design is top-notch and content is useful and relevant for parents, whether current or prospective, and staff. We value our face-to-face meetings for the strongest communication and most strategic results.

Check back next week for updates on our AL website launch! In the meantime, enjoy some other great work we’ve done for them, including a brochure and branding.

Posted on: May 25th, 2017 by Laura Uber

 

Whether you love typography or you’re simply puzzled by designers’ obsessions with it, this post is for you. Check out our “infographic” here or by clicking the image below.

Posted on: May 15th, 2017 by Laura Uber

 

Mosby “Sinatra” Uber regularly graces The Creative Department with his presence. In an exclusive interview with the one-year-old Sheltie, TCD learned just how much this little guy loves his job.

Q: What are your major responsibilities in the office?
Herding the team into the conference room for meetings, licking the floor clean, motivating the team with pup talks, and encouraging them to move throughout the work day.

Q: What does a day in the life of an office pup look like?
I carpool to work with my mom. I’m always kind to greet everyone in the morning when they come in to work. I’m very familiar with the space now, but I typically investigate the office to make sure there aren’t any new smells that I don’t know about. Mom got me a dog bed, so I really fancy sleeping there during the day. (I need a lot of time to brainstorm. I’m kind of the idea machine around here.) I usually work one to two days a week, so a full workday can take a lot out of me. I will also spend hours chewing on my favorite Chewnola bones.

Q: What is your favorite part of your job?
When my co-workers take a break, they play with me! I have a lot of energy, so that’s a fun part of the day for me. When my mom takes a break, I get to play with my favorite toys and show off my tricks for treats. Everyone is very affirming — always telling me how adorable I am. I don’t know what I did to get so lucky!

Q: What about your job is most challenging?
I have a hard time knowing when to stop talking. I could talk and talk all day, but then my colleagues remind me “barking is disruptive.”

Q: How would you describe the office culture?
It’s very relaxing, and everyone is nice. We all work hard to produce great, personalized work for our clients. We’re open to ideas, and we encourage creativity. That makes me feel really comfortable suggesting new ideas, like “sharing your lunch with me will increase my productivity.”

Q: How do you benefit your colleagues?
My snuggles lower their blood pressure. I live a very active lifestyle, and I think I rub off on them in that way too. I really enjoy being around people, so I am a very loyal employee!

Q: What have you learned in your nine months with TCD?
I’ve learned that it’s not so smart to consume dust and plant leaves.

Q: What’s in store next for this office pup?
My owners are always teaching me new tricks. I’m very smart, though I’m kind of confused by the one where they keep spinning me on the ground and saying “roll over.” As for my career, I see myself giving the boss man a run for his money. I mean, how hard can it be to run my own business?

Visit TCD to meet Mosby and learn more about his role in our office!

Posted on: May 12th, 2017 by Laura Uber

 

No one is immune to the invigorating experience that is “creative block.” Unfortunately, this mind freeze comes without an instant cure. For that reason, we came up with 5 steps to get you past this obstacle and back to what you do best.

1. Take a break
Step away from your creative brainstorming and into a new space. Move out of your usual environment (your office, your desk) to a less-visited space (an adjacent room, the hallway). Forcing ideas in your ordinary spot can cause you more stress than useful results.

2. Exert some energy
If you’ve been stumped for hours, get up and move around for a few minutes. Stretch, stand, walk outside, or tackle the stairs. Get those endorphins flowing so you come back energized.

3. Get inspired
TCD subscribes to CA magazine (Communication Arts) and keeps copies of Workbook on hand. We recently discussed the importance of taking advantage of this library of resources we have in our office. Rather than searching key words on Google and Pinterest, these creative publications can spark relevant ideas even through a contrasting topic.

4. Accept failure
The fear of failure can be a big contributor to creative block. Be okay with failing. Create something outrageous to become okay with trying ideas out of your comfort zone. Scribble all those bad and crazy ideas on paper. Getting over this hurdle will bring you closer to a creative break.

5. Find a solution
While still accepting the possibility of creating something “awful,” find a solution. That idea could be completely mediocre, but it brings you to solve your problem in one possible way. This step gets you past the pressure to find a solution. Now that you’ve found one, you can push this idea further, be inspired beyond this solution, or come back to the drawing board with a clear mind.

In the midst of the doubt and stress that creative block brings, remember the amazing breakthroughs you’ve had in the past. Using these 5 tips, we hope you’ll be a few steps closer to your next big idea.

Posted on: May 11th, 2017 by Laura Uber

The Creative Department is a proud sustaining member of AIGA.

We follow AIGA's Standards of Professional Practice and adhere to its principles of integrity that demonstrate respect for the profession, for colleagues, clients, audiences or consumers, and society as a whole. We utilize AIGA's Basic Terms & Conditions and Intellectual Property Provisions to maintain the professional practices of the design industry.