Tag Archives: design studio

Carpe Diem

While our team can often be found behind a computer monitor [so fancy], we’ve all learned the best way to keep a creative mind from wilting is to not get lost behind that computer monitor. You know, like actually step away and do things that get the dusty brain churning again. Don’t get me wrong, we find a strange fulfillment from sitting at a computer all day, clicking away at awesome new work. But there is something to be said about that old expression saying, seize the day.

So here’s how the helium team get’s their carpe diem on.

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What’s Inspiring Us: February Edition

As creatives we’re constantly saving visual references we find online, taking pictures or creating our own art. We wrote about feeding our creative monster a few weeks ago, so if you’d like to hear more about our inspiration process, check out that post.

This month our mood board has a water theme going on.

 

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From watercolor walls to hot springs to the ocean, we have water on the brain. We are working with a couple clients whose branding marketing involves water so maybe we’re subconsciously brainstorming for their campaigns.

 

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Hand lettering always inspires us. Whether it’s loopy calligraphy or more rudimentary writing, hand lettering lends a human element that draws us into the design.

 

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Of course we had to include music in our inspiration – we listen to music all day in the studio. Astor Piazzolla is a famous Argentinean tango composer and musician and his live album The Central Park Concert is one of Enid’s favorites. She loves to listen to it while strategizing.

We are always saving inspirational quotes and self-help author Brene Brown’s statement about creativity is one of our favorites [the graphic is pretty awesome too]. “Creativity is straddling the tension, leaning into the discomfort, and finding your way through the dark.” It’s about making your own way, even though it may be uncomfortable and you’re unsure what others may think. If everyone colored inside the lines, the world would be pretty boring. We’re here to make it interesting!

Spending time in nature always invigorates us. Whether it’s on the water, in the woods or a park, nature’s beauty never ceases to amaze. Not only can natural elements inspire design, novel experiences also stimulate the brain creating new neural connections.

 

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Spirals are a trending design element in architecture at the moment. We love the modern/rustic feel of the interior staircase on our mood board. Even better is one of Coconut Grove’s latest buildings – it’s amazing!

 

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The spiral staircase at the new Barney’s Chelsea flagship store is swoon worthy.

 

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Love this shot of it by Nicole Cohen of Sketch 42.

 

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It’s amazing how the staircase perfectly mimics a nautilus shell.

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The sculpture below looks like a wave and a nautilus shell had a baby.

 

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It’ll be interesting to see if spiral elements start to appear in graphic design.

Thanks for checking out our inspiration this month. Tag us on Instagram or Facebook, @heliumcreative, and let us know what’s inspiring you!

Feeding the Creative Monster

Let’s face it, this bunch of extremely creative + artistic people we call helium creative can be easily distracted. From song lyrics heard on our office radio, to people walking on the sidewalk outside our office windows or falling into the rabbit hole of the latest installment of “the most perfect Instagram account ever,” our attention is constantly diverted from one sparkly object to the next. To the outside world we might seem crazy, but lying underneath all the crazy distractions is inspiration and that’s what we feed off.

We’re sure you’ve heard the phrase “inspiration is everywhere.” It’s not a cliché, it’s very, very true. Snoop on the Photos app of any creative person’s iPhone [yes, we all have iPhones] and you’ll find a jackpot of pics from our daily life that inspire us one way or another.

 

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Inspiration comes in a variety of ways, shapes, and forms and almost always comes when least expected. When you work in the creative field, you’re constantly using your trunk full of accumulated artistic knowledge. Mixing that typography you saw on a poster in a coffee shop with the geometric lines you saw on a building lit up at night, and giving it all a twist to make it unique and something you can call your creation. Before you know it, that trunk needs to be filled again and out into the world you go seeking new inspiration-filled distractions.

 

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There is a rare neurological condition called synesthesia in which two or more of the five senses cross paths in your brain and people can actually hear colors or taste letters. Many synesthetes who have been interviewed say they wouldn’t trade their medical condition for the world. The manner in which they experience their surroundings and daily interactions is beautifully heightened and, as creatives, we understand where they’re coming from. Being able to take in what you can capture through your 5 senses – to see beyond what simply meets the eye and hear the hidden meanings of a favorite song – and to turn that into a brand experience is exhilarating.

Our creativity is like a hungry little monster deep inside of us that needs to be fed constantly. And we’re happy to feed it. Social media platforms like Pinterest, Instagram, Behance, and Dribbble are our friends – endless sources of inspiration that leave us in awe of what can be done in the design and branding industry. However, it is important to remember to look in the most unexpected places for those treasures that turn into instant sparks of genius. You might call us hoarders, but we save baskets full of random magazine clippings, uniquely shaped leaves, and even empty candle jars in the hopes of sparking an idea for the next amazing design.

 

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Go explore, be distracted. Feed the monster. And tell us all about what you find @heliumcreative on Instagram or Facebook!

Happy 12th Birthday to helium!

This month, helium turns 12! If we were a kid, we’d be in middle school doodling in our notebooks all through math class. Well, some things haven’t change – we still have drawers filled with sketchbooks that document our journey for the last decade.

 

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It’s hard to believe what a whole team of people now call their 2nd home and 2nd family, helium creative, merely started as Chris’ idea to create a branding agency where there’s a direct relationship between clients and the creative team. He realized there was a huge disconnect between what clients communicated to account managers and what was relayed to the designers. Chris knew that he could develop a higher creative standard by delivering amazing design and excellent customer service. And that’s how helium creative came to be.

We’ve been busy over the past 12 years, not only in terms of work, but with other inspirational projects as well. The kind of work that feeds your soul. Chris went from working part time out of his house, to full time in a small office in Fort Lauderdale’s Progresso Village, to hiring a web programmer, then slowly hiring designers, one of whom became his husband this year!

 

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As the team grew, helium needed a new home, which we found in Fort Lauderdale’s FATVillage.

 

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helium was super excited to be a part of the neighborhood’s burgeoning art scene and actively recruited artists to feature in the monthly ARTWALK.

 

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This led to helium’s Project Fine Art, an initiative that invited a new artist to hang their work in the helium office each month. The artists were grateful for the exposure and helium was happy to help them achieve their dreams.

 

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A desire to connect with the community, to understand what inspires other people, and hear what they’ve learned along the way led to a monthly seminar series called Inspirational Fridays.

 

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Chris’ dormant dream of being an art teacher motivated him to create our 501c3 nonprofit, helium inspires, which works to give all kids access to the arts. We’ve travelled near and far [from Pennsylvania to Guatemala and then India and back] delivering art supplies and creating with kids along the way.

 

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helium’s 365 balloon project was originally meant to inspire creativity by challenging ourselves to take an interesting picture with the helium balloon each day for an entire year. The initiative went viral on social media, which was awesome! People loved the idea so much we decided to invite others to take on the project for a month at a time. The pictures we received were amazing, but the best part was connecting with so many great people during this process!

 

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This past year was particularly special for the helium team. We found a permanent home near the beach on Galt Ocean Mile and transformed it into a swanky, creative space.

 

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Chris + Ryan tied the knot in September in a breath-taking farmhouse wedding where every detail was taken into consideration. It was the ultimate in branded events, if we do say so ourselves.

 

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In the past 12 years, we’ve accumulated a great bunch of clients that make us laugh, smile, stress, cry, think, and love what we do over and over again. If it weren’t for our great bunch of helium believers, we’d be doodling in those notebooks to no end. We truly thank you for letting us do what we love. Some would say Chris dreamed it all up, but the real dream is to come to work every day and know what you do matters. We love seeing our work out there in the real world doing wonders for you and inspiring others. We’re like proud parents who can’t get enough of our 12-year-old kid.

 

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Website Facelift For A Longtime Client

We’ve been working with our friends at Blue Martini Lounge for many years now. They had only a handful of locations when we first started working together and they will soon be opening their thirteenth location. We naturally develop friendships with our longtime clients. Like any person, a company and brand evolves and every once in a while they need a makeover. It had been about 5 years since we first designed the Blue Martini website so it was time to give our old friend a refresh. A new look that more closely aligns with who they are today.

Blue Martini is the place to go for awesome live music, delicious food and fabulous cocktails. The place to see and be seen; the place to unwind after work. The existing website was very text heavy and didn’t showcase who they are as an entertainment venue. We created a new website rich in high energy imagery + video to give an inside look into the fun loving lifestyle of those who live life to the fullest. Dark colors paired with vibrant, vivid imagery communicate the vivacious, fun filled atmosphere.

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A dedicated section to each location highlights the live entertainment schedule. Guests can check the website to update their social calendar with the amazing bands playing at Blue Martini.

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We are happy to say that Blue Martini’s online presence now represents their reputation as the best place to party seven nights a week. Check out the website and let us know what you think!  😉