It happens to the best of us—we’re browsing a website when all of a sudden, we hit an error. What ensues next is hopefully an engaging, on-brand 404-page experience that might just instill a bit more patience in us. Well, we’re here to show you a few examples of web designs and illustrations depicting error pages that we actually wouldn’t mind getting lost in. Enjoy!

While you’re at it, check out Dribbble’s very own interactive 404 page design!

  1. 404

  2. 404 Page

  3. 404 Page — UI Weekly Challenges-Season 02 / W [2/10]

  4. Daily UI #008 404 Page

  5. 404

  6. Daily UI | 008 — 404 Page

  7. oops!

  8. 404

  9. 404

  10. Moonworkers 404 Page Illustration

  11. 404 web page error

  12. Daily UI | 008

  13. Daily UI Challenge 008 - 404 Page

  14. 404 Page not found

Row 1:
Unread Creations,
Kirill Zhevnov,
Ana Rumenović.
Row 2:
Jose Trave Villalba,
Евгений Щербаков for Orizon,
Rizvan Baghirli.
Row 3:
Adam Ho,
Lisa Engler.
Row 4:
Elena Crnković,
Dmitry Z..
Row 5:
Jeremy Noceda,
Ivo Mynttinen.
Row 6:
Alaina Johnson,
Philip Nordström,
Alona Shostko.

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Wunder - White Christmas ads

(Image credit: Wunder)

As much as the holidays are a time for family, you can’t ignore the endless ads in the run up to Christmas. So Wunder, an independent Canadian creative agency, decided to buy up $10,000 worth of advertising space and fill its with absolutely nothing but plain white space. 

The self-promo campaign, called White Christmas, is across various mediums – including print, digital and radio – and offers respite from a deluge of in-your-face holiday advertising for the locals of Halifax, Nova Scotia. (For some ads that aren’t just plain white, see our great examples of traffic-stopping billboard advertising). What’s particularly interesting about this idea is that it comes from an agency that creates adverts for other people, so it’s definitely a new approach to self-promo.

Wunder - White Christmas ads

Would you recognise this as an ad? (Image credit: Wunder)

What was the thinking behind it? Wunder creative director Stephen Flynn explains, “The first and most striking visual that came up in the concept phase was a giant blank white billboard…We started to think of it kinda like AdBlock but in real life.” 

Getting the White Christmas campaign into physical spaces was easy, but taking it to the radio airwaves was more of a challenge. The local radio station wouldn’t allow the agency to air ‘silence’ so they had to do with a long pause (that’s not really that long). You can watch the campaign come to life and listen to the radio spot in the video below.

With no colour, no slogans and no message, The White Christmas campaign could easily have gone wrong. But the timely release of the ads, coupled with the title – White Christmas – and the plain white colour (which suggests snow) combine for a success story. 

But, it seems another factor might well have had a part to play. “People seem to be really drawn to the absurdity of someone spending money to run a completely blank ad, and they appreciate the bold move,” says Flynn. We are not so 100 per cent convinced, but this case, it definitely works.

Read more: 


With the end of the year quickly approaching, now’s a great time to start reflecting on all of your accomplishments, and the areas you’d like to keep growing in next year—whether it be learning new design skills, landing more projects, or launching your freelance career. To help start you off on the right foot in 2020, we rounded up some of the best advice we heard from designers in our community in 2019.

Throughout the year, we were privileged to hear from an incredible roster of designers who shared their creative insights, inspiration, and small glimpses into their lives and careers. They each had some valuable words of wisdom we thought were worth remembering as we move into 2020. Absorb these tidbits of advice, and get ready to shine even brighter next year.

1. Never stop hunting for your creative voice

“Finding our creative voice takes time, effort, and dedication. It’s easy to glance at someone’s portfolio and think they came out of the gate in perfect form, ready to make top-level work. It’s just not true. What we don’t see are the years that person toiled away, experimenting in form, and evolving their craft—a string of failures to achieve their “10,000 hours” of experience.

The more work we do, the better we get. There is simply no replacement for experience over time… Never stop hunting for your creative voice. Do the goddamn work.”

2. Not everything you make has to be a masterpiece

“Many creatives (and myself included), are deeply influenced by outside forces, which makes it difficult to escape from perfectionism. Striving for perfection is not only a fool’s errand, but it also fuels an unhealthy perspective of your work and causes censorship around process. Reflecting back on this piece of advice has greatly helped me create more, and in turn, create better work by remembering that progress can be ugly at times, and that is absolutely, entirely okay.”

3. Always keep creating new things

“Keep yourself updated. When you don’t advance your knowledge or you get stuck at the same job where projects are no longer challenging, it’s very easy to get stuck and hit creative block.

This happens to me a lot, but I’ve realized that the cure is to always keep creating new things. In my case as an illustrator, I keep trying new styles, perspectives, colors, looking at other illustrators’ work, etc. For that reason, I’m always doing things just for fun, which is the most nutritious food for creativity.”

4. Be a factory, not a warehouse

“My college professor said this and it really stuck with me. It’s a reminder to not be “too precious” about your work and hide it until everything is absolutely perfect (that day will never come). Swallow your pride and put yourself out there and share your work. Keep making things, try new ways of creating, and take risks. It’s better to keep creating and putting yourself out there so you can get honest feedback and move forward.

So, be a factory by continuously creating and putting your work out there. Don’t be a warehouse, storing work in a dark corner that never sees the light of day.”

5. Do not compare

“I got my big break at 28, which is way past most. As difficult as it is, try not to compare your story to someone else’s. Talent is talent and if you work hard, it’s amazing how many good opportunities come your way.”

6. Say no and take personal time

“It’s really easy to get into that routine of saying ‘Yes’ to everything. You take on more than you can handle and you start sacrificing personal time to hit deadlines. Working every hour available has good intentions for the short term but is detrimental to the long term. Communicate where you’re at with people in terms of your schedule and workload. If the project is meant to be, it’ll happen. If not, something will catch you.

Working smart is scary and difficult to do but taking personal time will make you more effective and keeps the creative fire burning. If you are faced with a problem that is taking more than a couple of hours to solve, put down the tools and go indulge in something you enjoy. Come back to the problem and smash it out of the park!”

7. Tell stories and find connections

“This one resonates with me because everything around us is just a depiction of how we look at things. In a way, it’s all about perception and connecting the dots, which is something we need in design every day. My aim is to capture emotions through my work.”

8. Everything is an experiment

“You have a license to try something new. It’s less about the final product and more about the process by which you may discover a different solution or find out something doesn’t work and have to figure out why. I get the sense a lot of people today want dialed-in and specific instructions on how to do something. I want to fumble my way along and be surprised by the outcome.”

9. Be a design chameleon

“This doesn’t mean to position myself as a jack-of-all-trades without a niche, but instead to hone and deepen my skill set to be able to adapt my design style and approach to fit different client needs. As you can probably tell from my work, my bread and butter is a very geometric reductionist style, but this doesn’t necessarily fit every client project. By being flexible and eager to evolve my style, I can open so many more doors to new projects and capabilities.”

10. Do what scares you

“The best things in my life have usually come from taking risks (changing my major in college, making the jump to a new job, taking on projects that I may not feel ready for). I don’t think we’ll ever feel 100% ready to do anything, and we’ll regret not taking the leap more than if we try and fail. My biggest learnings and times of growth have come out of failure, and I wouldn’t be where I am today without those experiences.”

Bonus: Don’t take advice from anybody

“Don’t take advice from anybody. Just do your own thing. Find your own way because ultimately, that’s what you’re going to do. People give advice based on their life experiences and the journey that they’ve had—and that’s not yours. So it doesn’t always make sense, and you can try to force-fit it, but I think ultimately you have to find your own way.”

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Here’s how to host your office’s favorite weekly meeting

Shirley Xiao

Every Thursday at lunch in Indeed’s San Francisco office, I bring my design teammates together to let our imaginations run wild. We use this time to teach one another arts and crafts, watch design videos, or partake in some other creative endeavor. I call it Design Lunch Hour. Attendance is optional, but it’s become a quintessential part of our design team’s culture. And it’s played a big part in fostering our creative community.

Design Lunch Hour is an opportunity for us to get inspired, share our love of creating, and take a break from the daily grind. Read on to learn how it started and get some ideas for launching one in your office.

There’s so much to love about Design Lunch Hour. For one, it’s a chance for each of us to share our passions and skills with a community of likeminded people. As a self-taught designer who never went to art school, I haven’t always had that. Before joining a team of designers at Indeed, I seldom found people who shared my excitement over a design article, the arrival of SF Design Week, or a talk by one of my design heroes.

But that didn’t stop me from looking for creative things to do. When I worked at startups as a solo designer, I found every opportunity to letter on the job. I would also spend hours after working decorating the office, doodling on everything in my path.

So boy was I excited when I joined a whole team of designers at Indeed.

My first step was starting a Slack channel called #designreads. Immediately the reactions and comments started pouring in. Seeing people geek out about design articles with me I knew I’d finally found a community that loved the things I did.

Soon after, I discovered that our Austin office hosted a weekly event where designers watched design videos together. I determined to replicate it in San Francisco, and on October 25, 2017, Design Lunch Hour was born. We kicked off with the famous Netflix series Abstract: the Art of Design, which I’d never found time to watch. We were floored by the talent of the great illustrator Christoph Niemann.

Christoph Niemann sits at a drawing desk in a Berlin park with a film crew setting up behind him.

Christoph Niemann sits at a drawing desk in a Berlin park with a film crew setting up behind him.

Christoph Niemann shares his creative process in Abstract: the Art of Design. Courtesy of Kase Film, Netflix

We slowly progressed from design-specific videos to all forms of art. We touched on cooking (Chef’s Table), snowboarding (Yearning for Turning), and even tidying (Marie Kondo, anyone?) Over time, Design Lunch Hour took on the feel of an art party. Organically, people started to take turns suggesting and leading each week’s activity. We tried therapeutic watercoloring, still-life drawing sessions, knot-tying, stamp carving. Thanks to my fellow creatives, my view of the world of art and design continues to expand.

Over the past two years, Indeed teams from Austin, Seattle, and Tokyo have all asked about our activities. So I’d like to share my ten favorites and hopefully spark some ideas.

A surrealist favorite, this fun drawing game lets a group collaborate on a drawing without seeing the whole picture until it’s finished. Grab a stack of printer paper and fold each sheet into thirds. Get into teams of three and have each collaborator draw one part of a body — the head, torso, or legs — one after the other. See instructions.

Pen sketch of a person walking while talking on a cell phone

Pen sketch of a person walking while talking on a cell phone

This exercise adapted from the IDEO book Thoughtless Acts? asks participants to go out onto the street. In small groups you sit and watch people for 30 minutes. Sketch, photograph, or note interesting behaviors you see people doing. Then regroup and share. You’ll be fascinated by what you find.

Selection of still-life sketches taped next to each other on an office whiteboard

Selection of still-life sketches taped next to each other on an office whiteboard

Grab any objects available, set them in the middle of the table, and have at it! Who knew we had so many talented artists?

Closeup of a person’s hands painting bananas and a pear in watercolors

Closeup of a person’s hands painting bananas and a pear in watercolors

A perennial favorite, watercoloring is by far the most meditative, relaxing exercise we do. That’s why we keep returning to it. All you need is some paint, brushes, foil, and paper. Remember not to rinse your brushes in your drinking water!

Gif of coworkers in a conference room practicing hand-lettering by following along with an instructional video

Gif of coworkers in a conference room practicing hand-lettering by following along with an instructional video

There are so many hand-lettering tutorials out there that it’s easy to get started. To get started, print worksheets and bring in calligraphy brushes.

For some advanced lettering, take a look at the weekly creative prompts artist Lauren Hom sends out. We chose week 47, make a card expressing love for yourself, and indulged in some wonderful self-affirmations.

Montage of people in a conference room applying and showing off temporary tattoos

Montage of people in a conference room applying and showing off temporary tattoos

For those that have always been tempted to get a tattoo, Inkbox is the perfect way to try out different designs. Like a black henna, it lasts on your skin for up to two weeks. I brought two boxes to work and tried my hand at becoming a tattoo artist. This was by far our most popular event.

When you’re always designing on the screen, it’s refreshing to just make things with your hands. Grab some Play-Doh, or in our case EZ Shape Modeling Clay, and let your imagination run wild.

Closeup photo of a hand-lettered father’s day card

Closeup photo of a hand-lettered father’s day card

It’s easy to get caught up in work and forget the little things. It had been ages since I’d designed a personal card for my dad. When a fellow designer brought in postcards, stamps, and markers, I was grateful to have time at work to show some love and appreciation for family.

If you’re feeling inspired, I leave you with three tips I learned along the way for starting your own Design Lunch Hour:

Try everything

Why not? Here’s where to test new skills, subjects, mediums, ideas, and even conference rooms.

Include everyone

We often invite visitors from other offices to join us, and we’ve started to see engineers and others from teams outside of design want to join in. Use polls to gauge interest for different activities and empower anyone with an idea to run their own session.

Show off a little

Hang drawings. Post photos. Share what you’ve created, learned, and watched on social media. Let the world see how amazing, talented, and multidimensional everyone on your team is.

Marker sketch of a llama-like creature with a long horn

Marker sketch of a llama-like creature with a long horn

I think all creatives find activities of their own to stay inspired. It’s how we maintain a fresh eye and keep our problem-solving skills sharp so we can do our best work. Tools and technology are wonderful things but they can’t give you the creative energy a band of open-minded souls will. So give it a try.

  • List of creative exercises for creative teams from the Foursquare design team
  • 28 to Make, 28 daily creative project ideas to get you in the habit of making
  • Draft and Draw, a monthly meeting for drinkers with a drawing problem, featuring a “creative professional who shares the story of coping with their habit.”

Shoutout to the SF design team, thanks for being the best community a designer can ask for. ❤️


A set of interesting looking image transitions including distortion and warp effects made with WebGL.


From our monthly sponsor: Automate manual QA and catch visual bugs with Percy’s all-in-one visual testing and review platform.

Everybody loves images. They are bright and colorful and we can do fun things with them. Even text sometimes strives to be an image:

     | @ @   Woof! 
     |                 _  
     |  _/------____ ((| |))
     |               `--' |   
 ____|_       ___|   |___.' 

Once you want to show more than one image, you can’t help making a transition between them. Or is it just me?

Jokes aside, image transitions are all over the web. They can be powered by CSS, SVG or WebGL. But of course, the most efficient way to work with graphics in the browser is using the Graphics Processor, or GPU. And the the best way to do this is with WebGL, specifically with shaders written in GLSL.

Today we want to show you some interesting image transition experiments that reveal the boundless possibilities of WebGL. These effects were inspired by the countless incredible design examples and effects seen on websites like The Avener and Oversize Studio.


I will be using the Three.js framework for my transitions. It doesn’t really matter what library you use, it could have also been the amazing Pixi.js library, or simply (but not so straightforward) native WebGL. I’ve used native WebGL in my previous experiment, so this time I’m going to use Three.js. It also seems most beginner friendly to me.

Three.js uses concepts like Camera, Scene and Objects. We will create a simple Plane object, add it to Scene and put it in front of the Camera, so that it is the only thing that you can see. There is a template for that kind of object, PlaneBufferGeometry:

To cover the whole screen with a plane you need a little bit of geometry. The Camera has a fov (field of view), and the plane has a size. So with some calculations you can get it to fill your whole screen:

camera.fov = 2*(180/Math.PI)*Math.atan(PlaneSize/(2*CameraDistance));

Looks complicated, but it’s just getting the angle(fov), knowing all the distances here:

That is actually the end of the 3D part, everything else will be happening in 2D.


In case you are not yet familiar with this language, I highly advise you to check out the wonderful Book Of Shaders.

So, we have a plane and we have a fragment shader attached to it that calculates each pixels color. How do we make a transition? The simplest one done with a shader looks like this:

void main() {
  vec4 image1 = texture2D(texture1,uv);
  vec4 image2 = texture2D(texture2,uv);
  gl_FragColor = mix(image1, image2, progress);

Where progress is a number between 0 and 1, indicating the progress of the animation.

With that kind of code you will get a simple fade transition between images. But that’s not that cool, right?

Cool transitions

Usually all transitions are based on changing so called UVs, or the way texture is wrapped on the plane. So for instance, multiplying UV scales the image, adding a number just shifts the image on the plane.

UVs are nothing magical. Think of them as a coordinate system for pixels on a plane:

Let’s start with some basic code:

gl_FragColor = texture2D(texture,uv);

This just shows an image on the screen. Now let’s adjust that code a bit:

gl_FragColor = texture2D(texture,fract(uv   uv));

By taking the fractional part, we make sure that all the values stay between 0 and 1. And if UV was from 0 to 1, doubling it means it will be from 0 to 2, so we should see the fractional part changing from 0 to 1, and from 0 to 1 again!

And that’s what you get: a repeated image. Now let’s try something different: subtracting UV and using the progress for the animation:

gl_FragColor = texture2D(texture, uv - uv * vec2(1.,0) * progress * 0.5);

First, we make sure that we are only changing one axis of UV, by multiplying it with vec2(1.,0). So, when the progress is 0, it should be the default image. Let’s see:

Now we can stretch the image! Let’s combine those two effects into one.

gl_FragColor = texture2D(uTextureOne, uv - fract(uv * vec2(5.,0.)) * progress * 0.1 );

So basically, we do the stretching and repeat it 5 times. We could use any other number as well.

Much better! Next, if we add another image, we get the effect that you can see in demo 7.

Cool isn’t it? Just two simple arithmetic operations, and you get an interesting transition effect.

That’s just one way of changing UVs. Check out all the other demos, and try to guess what’s the math behind them! Try to come up with your own unique animation and share it with me!

References and Credits


There’s a special state every team is trying to achieve. It’s those magic moments when everyone has clarity, goals are being met, and the org is in perfect alignment. Athletes call this being “in the zone.” Techies call this being “in sync.” Psychologists call this “​flow​.”

Psychologist ​Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi​, who pioneered research about the flow state, describes it this way: “A state in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter; the experience is so enjoyable that people will continue to do it even at great cost, for the sheer sake of doing it.”

The ability to get into and remain in flow is absolutely critical for creative teams. This is where the most creative ideas, highest productivity, and greatest sense of work satisfaction exist.

When flow is interrupted, the whole team suffers. Deadlines are missed, clarity is lost, and momentum grinds to a halt. Working with thousands of creative teams, we’ve identified five roadblocks that sabotage creative collaboration. And drawing upon the insights of the experts, we’ve discovered the keys to overcome them:

Roadblock #1: Confusing and vague requests

Creative work typically starts with a request or ​creative brief​ that outlines the requirements of a project. When this request is unclear or incomplete, time is wasted trying to decipher what’s actually being asked. Even worse, the request may be misunderstood completely. Misunderstandings like these are costly, causing teams to waste time and resources doing work that can’t even be used.

The solution:​ Create an official request process. Map out the types of requests your team receives and all the information needed to complete the tasks. Make sure everyone who works with your team understands the new process and knows exactly where to find the relevant request forms. Whether ideas are discussed in meetings or informally in hallways, work shouldn’t begin until a formal request is made. By sticking to the process, you’ll save both yourself and your team some serious headaches.

Further reading: ​Why Won’t People Fill Out My Creative Brief?

Roadblock #2: Endless reviews and iterations

The key to great creative work is receiving and acting on valuable feedback. It’s critical to seek an outside perspective because it will help you cut through personal bias. But when feedback loops are left unchecked, projects can end up in iteration limbo. Vague and conflicting feedback can stall deliverables, introducing unnecessary friction in your organization.

The solution:​ Seek as much clarity as possible from stakeholders throughout the entire project workflow. A well-crafted work intake process is the first step, but the work doesn’t end there. You’ll need to identify your stakeholders and define clear roles and responsibilities to keep projects moving and prevent them from stalling. Specify exactly what you need feedback on and set deadlines for when people need to share their thoughts. Finally, use a ​visual markup tool​ to collect and collaborate around specific, actionable, creative feedback.

Further reading: ​5 Steps to a Stress-Free Design Revision Process

Roadblock #3: Siloed teams

It’s always a struggle to keep a team connected and in a flow, but it’s especially hard during high-growth periods. As organizations expand, silos form and collaboration suffers. Before you know it, messages get lost, it’s not clear who’s working on what, and communication breaks down. The resulting confusion is a momentum killer.

The solution:​ Team leaders need to step up and set the example for others. When teams see management working together, they’ll follow. If possible, bring everyone together in the same space for project kickoffs so assignments are clear and everyone knows who they can turn to for help. Leverage ​work collaboration tools​ to show teams how cross-functional projects and tasks fit together to achieve larger company goals. These tools keep the communication rolling and all project-related details, files, and comments in a single, centralized place for everyone to work around.

Further reading:​​ The “We” in “Teamwork”: How Marketers Can Drive Cross-Team Collaboration

Roadblock #4: Too many tools

Digital transformation has provided teams a tool for every challenge — even some challenges they didn’t know they had. When these tools don’t talk to one another, important information slips through the cracks. Different teams are armed with different data sets, and version control chaos ensues. Not to mention workers may be forced to switch between tabs and copy information back and forth across systems, wasting valuable time, increasing the chances ofhuman error, and hurting creativity by constantly pulling your team out of the zone.

The solution:​ Take a step back and ​evaluate your tech stack​. Is every platform serving its purpose? If not, it could be time to pare down. Next, select a “single source of truth” to centralize as much information as possible and help teams work as one. Finally, integrate systems to automate data transfer and workflows while keeping teams in the tools they love. The ​Wrike Adobe Creative Cloud Extension​ is a great example of integration at work.​ It allows marketers to view creative briefs, leave comments, upload documents, and more in Wrike from directly within the Creative Suite!

Further reading:​​ So Long Silos! 5 Tools Marketers Should Centralize via Work Management

Roadblock #5: Time-consuming and repetitive admin work

There’s a pervasive myth that ​all creative work starts from scratch​. However, “new” work is often built on previous work, which in turn can be quickly revised to meet current needs. Templates,macros, and custom presets are useful creative tools. More and more, creatives use automation to take care of repetitive tasks that suck up time. But when there’s no automation, teams can burn out recreating past work. That leaves them with less time to collaborate and do more impactful work for the business.

The solution:​ Build automation into your processes wherever possible. Create templates for repeatable tasks. Set up custom workflows that automatically assign dates and tasks in your work management system. Use automated notifications to let team members know when a task requires their attention and the ball is in their court. Leveraging technology to handle administrative and low-level tasks frees up your team, which gives them more time to band together to do impactful work.

Further reading: ​How Expert Project Managers Get Powerful Results with Automation

Find your flow at Adobe MAX!

Did you find these five creative collaboration tips helpful? There’s plenty more where these came from! Wrike is taking the stage at Adobe MAX to talk about how creative teams can build a highly collaborative culture across in-house creatives, outside stakeholders, and remote workers. Join us Tuesday, November 5 at 1:15 p.m. to listen in, and be sure to stop our booth at the conference!

Not registered for Adobe MAX? ​It’s not too late — register now!


“TV” has new meaning. No longer are audiences solely watching linear TV. Instead, they are engaged with content across devices and channels, with a growing number using over-the-top (OTT) and connected TV (CTV) as a supplement or replacement to linear television.

According to eMarketer, 57.2% of the U.S. population will watch CTV in 2019, up from 51.7% in 2017. As audiences spend more time with the medium, it creates new opportunities for brands. U.S. advertisers are expected to spend $3.8 billion on OTT this year, and $5 billion in 2020.

But some brands and agencies don’t realize that you can’t serve the same TV commercial you shot six months ago and call it a day. When it comes to developing creative for advanced TV environments, you need to understand what ad formats and features will drive the most engagement and conversation, as well as where the space is heading.

The first step in producing effective creative is recognizing available technical capabilities. In the advanced TV space, advertisers should consider: 

Custom video within in-stream CTV environments

These are the ads most reminiscent of traditional TV commercials. But, unlike traditional TV advertising, you can use advanced digital targeting capabilities to serve ads to a highly specific audience, as well as implement creative features like customized overlays and end cards to drive user action.

Connected TV menu banner placement

Brands can also advertise on high-trafficked parts of CTV platform screens. This is a great way to raise awareness and is especially popular with entertainment brands promoting programming. That said, other verticals can use the tactic, too – especially if they can create a clever tie-in to popular content.

Retargeted ads on second screens using automated content recognition (ACR) technology

Automatic content recognition technology allows you to target mobile device users based on what they are watching, or have watched, on the big screen. These ads can reference your brand, as well as the programming audiences are viewing in their living rooms. Use this tactic to reinforce your television advertising, or as part of a conquesting strategy.

Verticals beyond entertainment also use this tactic. Quick service restaurant (QSR) brands, for example, can target users watching a competitive television ad with mobile ads that tout their brand differentiators and promote online orders or foot traffic with exclusive coupons. 

Advanced TV creative dos (and don’ts)

U.S. cord cutters will increase to 55 million in 2022, from 33 million in 2018. This makes advanced TV a necessity for a growing number of television advertisers. It is the same “lean back environment” of linear: OTT/CTV viewers are relaxed and all-in for a good story. But by combining the inherent powers of the big screen with audience targeting and emerging interactive capabilities, brands can create next-level advertising experiences.

That said, the stakes are high. Uninspired ads are jarring on the big screen, especially when audiences are watching quality, cinematic content. Here’s what you have got to do.    

  • Consider viewer behavior and nuances of the medium. Don’t always assume your “TV ads” will be seen on TV screens. CTV ads have the advantage of playing with the same large landscape that the original ads were shot for in the first place, but OTT connected devices can also include laptops and mobile devices – so make sure you’re adhering to best practices for all screens. Grab the viewer’s attention by front-loading your value proposition and consider more close-ups or larger text treatments.
  • Think creatively and lean into entertainment trends. Consider the content that resonates with your audience as well as if and how your brand ties in. For instance, if I ran marketing for Eggo Waffles, I would take advantage of the connection to “Stranger Things.” The character Eleven is obsessed with them, and for fans, they have become an icon for the show. Eggo could align a smart TV menu takeover with the premiere of the next season. It would be a cheeky way to raise awareness for the brand while connecting with audiences in a novel way.
  • Avoid user fatigue with creative refreshes. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen the same ad over and over on a CTV platform. By the fifth time, I am annoyed and bored – probably not the emotions the advertiser was hoping to elicit. So, refresh your creative. In a perfect world, this means shooting a few versions of your ad. But if that is not possible, you can still tell a sequential story by breaking your video ad into smaller snippets or making simple edits, such as adding overlays or end cards that evolve over time or coincide with current events.    
  • New specs bode well for the future of advanced TV creative. As viewer behavior converges across devices and mediums, a growing number of brands and agencies are becoming screen agnostic. TV and digital teams are strategizing together, looking for ways to integrate mobile, desktop and CTV technology. Technically speaking, it is still the Wild West out there. But changes are imminent. The IAB recently introduced a new spec to replace video player ad-serving interface definition with Secure Interactive Media Interface Definition. This format is designed to deliver interactive ad experiences across mobile, Server-Side Ad Insertion and OTT devices, without the need for a software development kit to maintain. The IAB expects to see industry-wide scale in adoption of SIMID sometime in 2020. In doing so, it should level-set the technological challenges advanced creative producers have faced in the past so they can create customized, interactive experiences for all screens.

Advanced TV is the new frontier of brand storytelling, but many brands are just scratching the surface of what’s possible. By understanding technical possibilities and creative best practices, as well as what is on the horizon, you will create ad experiences that reflect viewer behavior and marry the best of the TV and digital worlds.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.

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It all starts here. Use this guide as a high-level overview of how the Starbucks brand comes to life.


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Siren illustrationOur Philosophy

As we evolve to meet beautifully diverse customers all over the world, our brand has evolved too. Here we introduce a fresh new design system that maintains the core elements of our brand while keeping our customers’ experience central to creative expression.

To achieve this, we’re thoughtfully incorporating beautiful, expressive moments with calm confidence in ways that are optimistic, joyful and recognizably Starbucks. By consistently utilizing the Siren logo, an expanded palette of greens rooted in our iconic green apron and a constrained family of harmonious typefaces, we bring purpose and cohesion to every interaction customers have with our brand.

From farmers, roasters and baristas to writers, designers and illustrators, we believe in the power of both coffee and art to connect people and communities. Our new creative expression marries the artful core of our brand with helping our customers where they are, on their terms.

This brand expression guide should be used in conjunction with other more specific guides around each element of our brand.

© 2019 Starbucks Coffee Company. All rights reserved.


Inspiration can be slippery it’s hard to predict when it will arrive and from where. So when creativity does strike, you want to be ready for it. Part of the artistic process is figuring out a way to turn these mercurial moments into something solid and real. 

Here, successful designers, artists, and writers share their strategies for catching inspiration and building on it, so that an initial spark evolves from an idea into a project or, just as often, a series of creative endeavors. 


1. Pay attention.

It sounds obvious, but it’s one of the most important tenets of continuous output. Inspiration is all around if you know how to look. Start by cultivating a state of mind “where you remain open to ideas from unexpected places,” says Adobe’s Kyle T. Webster, an illustrator who has drawn for The New Yorker, TIME, and The New York Times. The key is to keep one’s eyes open, process stimuli as they come at you, and then shape it into something original.

Webster has trained himself to continuously pay attention even on vacation. During a recent trip to the beach with his family, he stepped on a jagged seashell and cut his foot. It hurt, but also led to a new idea for a children’s book about pain and “all the ways kids hurt themselves when they are very young,” an age where the world is large, overwhelming, and full of “ouch” moments.

2. Write it down.

When inspiration does strike, write it down write it down write it down. The act of recording bridges the gap between the stream-of-conscious chaos that can generate creative ideas and the structure required to turn them into something real. 

“Keep a sketchbook,” says Kelli Anderson, a designer. “Your good ideas aren’t going to come on a schedule,” so make sure you’re prepared to capture them at all times. That way the next time you need a spark, either for your own project or for client work, you’ll have a trove of ideas to sift through. 

It’s the act of recording that’s important here a sketchbook might work for you, it might be more convenient to take notes on your computer or phone, or dictate them on an audio device. Whatever the medium, just make sure it’s accessible and on you, always. 

3. Put a stake in the ground.

Once you have an idea you want to develop, it can help to make the pursuit public, particularly if the project lacks clear-cut deadlines. Emily Spivack is an artist, author, and journalist. Nearly a decade ago, she decided to write a book. Knowing the logistics were going to be complicated, time-consuming, and, at times, discouraging, she started a website announcing her intent to become an author. “That was me putting a stake in the ground,” Spivack says, along with a platform that encouraged forward momentum. While the website was more for herself than anyone else, making her progress public prompted her to take the project more seriously and hold herself accountable. 

4. Create boundaries.

Many creative projects come with built-in deadlines and parameters, particularly if they are for a client. Sometimes onerous, under the right circumstances these constraints can be a boon for creativity: boundaries give you something to work within and against. 

I enjoy a deadline,” says Stevie Remsberg, which is lucky because, as the art production director at New York Magazine, she gets a lot of them. Remsberg also thrives on thinking her way out of boxes: “I think my favorite type of creative work is being confined in what I am allowed to do.” Restrictions, such as having to work in black-and-white or using obscure photographs, can produce unexpected and compelling results. “I love a challenge,” she says.

For personal projects, Remsberg often creates her own boundaries. Recently, she began teaching herself motion graphics in Adobe After Effects. Knowing a blank screen is a recipe for inertia, she gave herself a clear-cut goal animate a spirograph drawing with built-in deadlines.

5. Ask for feedback.

Creativity is often portrayed as a solitary endeavor, in which an artist’s singular vision is the key to a work’s success. But creativity also thrives on collaboration. A sounding board can help you refine your vision, making the end product stronger. 

“Explaining what I’m doing to another human being” is part of Anderson’s process. Typically she tries to boil down the concept into a seven-sentence explanation so she can share it and then gauge people’s reactions. 

Remsberg also relies on feedback to inform how she approaches an assignment. In the beginning, she likes to jump in and move quickly. Early on, she’ll share the initial concept with a coworker. At this point in her career, Remsberg is “able to deal with the criticism.” In the end, negative reactions save her time, allowing her to recalibrate early and often rather than blazing off down a road that leads to a dead end. 

6. Map it out.

Waiting for a creative idea to hit can be like watching a pot boil. But while the initial creative spark might be difficult to add to your calendar, once the project is established, a schedule is your friend.

When Anderson embarks on something new, whether it’s for a client or a self-directed project, she sets a final deadline, and then breaks down the project into stages. “I draw it out visually,” she says, sketching out each phase in proportion to how long it should take. Next, she maps the visual sketch onto an actual calendar, translating periods of time into numerical blocks. Even the best laid plans can go awry, however. “The schedule is just a suggestion,” Anderson says, one she regularly refines. “If you are indulgent and you spend too much time on one part you can oftentimes make it up later at another stage.” 

7. Go down rabbit holes.

Creativity is fueled by curiosity and passion. So follow your interests and before starting something of your own, make sure the idea still genuinely excites you. 

Every month or so, Webster pores over the notes he’s made over the past few weeks to see whether he’s stumbled on anything worth pursuing. Most ideas, while intriguing in the moment, have grown stale. “My hit percentage is low,” he says. But a few still light a spark. These are the ones he invests time into a sense of excitement is a requisite for pursuing something beyond the idea stage. 

Spivack’s work has always been centered around obsessive interests. “Something will strike me, I’ll want to learn more about it, and I’ll go down a rabbit hole,” she says. As she digs deeper, one project often organically leads to the next. Sentimental Value, a collection of stories about vintage and second-hand clothing, began in 2007 when Spivack stumbled on a Playboy Bunny outfit while shopping for shoes on eBay. In addition to vintage high heels, a puff-ball tail, ears, and stockings, the costume came with a black-and-white ID of the woman to whom it once belonged. In contrast to the playful, suggestive outfit, she struck Spivack as understated and serious. 

“There was something in that moment that clicked for me,” Spivack says. What started as a hunt for shoes bloomed into the realization that every listed garment had a history. “What,” she wondered, “are the stories behind all the stuff that is being sold off?” The project began as an online library of people’s stories about the clothes they were selling, and evolved into a collection of the physical items themselves.

Laura Entis

Posts by Laura

Laura Entis is a Brooklyn-based freelance journalist. Her work has appeared in FortuneThe Guardian, and GQ, among other publications.


Just like any other business or product, a podcast’s branding is equally important to attracting and growing your target audience. When searching through the plethora of podcast shows on iTunes, Google, or even social media, remember that your podcast cover art serves as a first impression to potential listeners. In other words, your artwork has a huge impact on whether people will click on your show, or keep scrolling through.

If you’re a podcaster, producer, or graphic designer looking for branding inspiration, you’re in the right place. Today we’re highlighting podcast logo and branding Shots designed by our very own community of Dribbblers. Whether you’re designing art for your own podcast or for a client’s, you’ll find plenty of unique, high-quality artwork here that goes beyond the typical podcast headphones symbol!

Have fun browsing through, and discover some awesome new podcasts while you’re at it!

  1. Skip the Repeat

  2. Test Run

  3. Don't Keep Your Day Job

  4. Better Product season 1 episode art

  5. Kinda Funny Games Daily

  6. Family Style Theology

  7. Creative Course Podast

  8. Wrasslin' Podcast Icon

  9. Pretty Useful Co x Perspective Collective

Row 1:
Mariel Abbene,
Blake Ink,
Andy J. Miller.
Row 2:
Parker McCullough for Innovatemap,
Julian Burford,
Brenton C. Little.
Row 3:
Matt Erickson,
Alex Anderson,
Allie Mounce for Pretty Useful Co..

  1. The Impact

  2. The Nuclear Option

  3. Word Vomit: The Podcast

  4. Podcast Logo

  5. Beercast Alternate

  6. Lovetaps

  7. Share your potential (cover for podcast @aparelhoeletrico )

  8. Link In Bio - Podcast Cover Design

  9. DadJokes show art

Row 1:
Courtney Leonard for Vox Media,
Tierra Connor,
Shelby Reynolds.
Row 2:
Max Waltz,
Lindsay St. Clair.
Row 3:
Thunder Rockets,
Scott Tsuchiyama.

  1. The Creative Punch Podcast

  2. Drunk on Lettering

  3. 9to5Mac Daily Podcast Art

  4. Podcast Cover — In Your Right Mind

  5. Toss Out The Rules

  6. Design Table Sticker Cut Out

  7. Business Logic Podcast

  8. Podcast Cover — Sounds About Write

  9. Musicdive podcast cover

  10. Podcast Cover Art

  11. Podcast

  12. MindbodyGreen Podcast

Row 1:
Katie Cooper,
Jordan Wilson,
Michael Steeber.
Row 2:
Alex Sidun,
Jung Young Lee.
Row 3:
Mercedes Bazan,
Ildar Fatikhov.
Row 4:
Michael Sacca,
Kendrick Kidd,
Brittany Theophilus.

Looking for some custom podcast artwork to brand your show? Hire a freelance designer on Dribbble to bring your vision to life, so you can focus on podcasting while they set your show up for success.

If you haven’t already, check out Dribbble’s very own design podcast, Overtime, where we chat with creatives to go behind the scenes of their work! For a roundup of other design themed podcasts to inspire you, check out our list of 10 podcasts for every kind of designer.

Find more Inspiration stories on our blog Courtside.
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