Amplify Relations

Elizabeth Brass – Time to Nerd Out: Raster vs Vector

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Have you ever zoomed way in on a photograph online and noticed that it was made up of individual squares of color? These squares of color are called pixels. Pixels are the make up of raster based images, or raster graphics. Raster graphics are best used for non-line art images. Examples of these are digitized photographs, scanned artwork, and detailed graphics. Raster graphics can be very rich in detail because each square of color or pixel can be a slightly different color. This can create subtle gradients, much more detailing in shadows and highlights, and can intensify vibrancy.

The downside to raster graphics? Image degradation. Raster graphics are resolution dependent, meaning they are measured by pixels per inch (ppi). Let’s say you have an image that is a 1 by 1 inch square and there are 300 pixels in that area. If you want to blow that same 1 by 1 inch square into a 6 by 6 inch square, there are still only 300 pixels in that image. This means those same 300 pixels have to cover six times more space. This is why sometimes images look jagged, and you can see individual pixels. This degradation is called bitmapping. Bitmapping is the reason that Logos should not be made by raster based software, the most popular being Adobe Photoshop. Raster images can be scaled down more easily, but it will not look as crisp as the original.

So what is the best way to create a logo? Vector based graphics software, the most popular being Adobe Illustrator. Vector graphics are created using lines and points to create shapes. These lines are created and managed using mathematical formulas to create lines, points and shapes. Like numbers, there is no limit to how large or small you can make a vector graphic. It can be made large enough to take up a whole billboard and small enough to but on a business card without ever loosing image quality.

Type is a vector based graphic. That is why you can have one-point font and blow it up to 6400 points and still have crisp edges.

One downside to vector graphics is they can lack detail. If you draw a square and fill it with blue, the whole square is blue, leaving no room for gradients. In order to get a true vector gradient, you would have to create smaller and smaller rectangles at slightly different shades of blue.

Another down side of vector graphics is the limit of effects. They are created using simple lines and points, with no pixels. Therefore, they can’t handle certain styling effects, such as drop shadows or inner glows. It is possible to get raster based effects such as drop shadows on your vector image. This does, however, make the whole file a raster based image. It is still more scalable than a raster based image, but the effect can be bitmapped when blown up.

The last difference between Raster and Vector graphics is file size. Raster images, as I said before, are made up of pixels. If you have an image that is 18x24in and it has a resolution of 300 ppi – that’s 129,600 bits of information that has to be saved. This means files sizes can get huge really fast. Vector graphics on the other hand, only has the points and lines to be saved, witch can mean much smaller file size.

So, if you are looking for rich detail, or lots of fancy effects, than raster is the way to go, but if you are creating a logo that needs to scale to multiple sizes vector is the best option.

Amplify RelationsElizabeth Brass – Time to Nerd Out: Raster vs Vector
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Megan Bedera: Why We’re Giving Back

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Amplify Relations celebrated its birthday last month, and it got us thinking about the future. Bryan and I founded Amplify Relations in 2009 out of necessity during the worst part of the recession, and now we are a growing and thriving business that is creating jobs and generating positive economic impact.

But as we reflected on the future, we wanted to do more. Bryan and I already volunteer in the community; but it occurred to us that if only the two of us increased the hours we give, we would simply be adding a few more a year, or alternatively, we could extend the invitation to volunteer to the entire Amplify Relations team and multiply the number of volunteer hours we can give in the communities where we work. We decided to multiply, so starting in 2016, Amplify Relations will be incentivizing our employees by providing two paid days for volunteering each year with a 501c3 of their choice. Today, that equals 160 hours.

Amplify Relations has barely outgrown the title of “startup”, and we run a lean operation, but this is important to us, and it should be important to you, too. Look for the character of a company through actions, not words. You have a choice when you select a company to work with, and we firmly believe that you get better products from companies that care.

Being a good community partner is part of Amplify Relations core values, and our paid volunteering comes in addition to providing good, high-paying jobs. Since our beginning, we have paid even our lowest paid employees enough that they didn’t need nor qualify for food stamps or government assistance. Amplify Relations employees also receive paid days off for sick or vacation, paid disability to cover time off for surgery or pregnancy, health, dental and vision insurance, and now paid volunteering.

We are truly blessed, and now it’s our turn to pay it forward. Every day the Amplify Relations team works on projects for businesses, governments and political clients that have the potential to change the world, but volunteering is one small action we can take to make a difference in the biggest way, by doing work that directly impacts our communities.

Amplify RelationsMegan Bedera: Why We’re Giving Back
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Bryce Keil: Elevating the Creative Mind

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When last we spoke, we discussed what, in essence, sets good creative apart from bad creative, and the best, most useful steps on how to reach the former. That process is a much simpler affair than what we are about to delve into today, though the two are intrinsically linked. Bear with me–we may get a little sappy.

We are all professionals and as such we constantly strive to better ourselves in our line of work.  It’s important to have our fingers on the pulse at all times but, as a creative team lead, it’s also important to indulge in your ‘out side of work’ self.  It can be easy to write off extra curricular activities as time wasters (and an easy excuse to tell yourself that you need the come-down time), but by being in touch with yourself–you are at your best. Why is this important? That answer is a few fold, one of which we will answer now. When you are at your purest mind, your best ideas flow freely. You gain a certain clarity that allows you to truly step away and ask yourself ‘why’ with some perspective. This will save you and your team time by weeding out ideas that potentially meet the cutting room floor before they have the chance to. For me, it’s always been about feeding the pure artist. As my background is rooted in performance art, my primary insatiable appetite is fed by theater.

Why theater? It’s the most revealing form of art. When an actor is on stage, everything in life is on the floor for the world to see. When he embodies another human being, he forces himself to look at life through a different lens–to experience the world through someone else’s perspective. He begins to strip away everything that he knew previously. To see the world through someone else’s eyes is to have understanding. It takes incredible work to truly grasp another’s human experience. But that’s it. That’s what sets apart a good actor from a serviceable one. As such, the relationship between a performer and an audience member is the most intimate romance, sweetest dance, and darkest secret (I told you we’d get sappy). As the person orchestrating that relationship, all eyes are on him–people hanging on every word.

We’ve now arrived at the second part of the previously aforementioned two-fold answer. This practice, the ability to understand someone else’s perspective, is key to our topic–elevating the creative mind. The above-mentioned relationship is precisely what we do in the office. By getting in touch with something deeper, that’s when we our creative juices are flowing the smoothest. Theater may not be your choice of avenue, but the takeaway from it all is this: stop, think, experience, change your perspective, live in someone else’s world for a moment, orchestrate the relationship between head and heart (and client and product, respectively) and know that, most of all, it takes time. When you can grasp this, no creative problem will seem out of reach.

Amplify RelationsBryce Keil: Elevating the Creative Mind
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Alli Williams: The Essentials of Online Fundraising

iStock_000036916998_LargeRaising money for a cause can be difficult if you don’t have the right tools. The medium of online fundraising is an ever growing area, and there are a few things to keep in mind when embarking on an online fundraising campaign.

The first essential component to an online fundraising campaign is to establish a goal. When donors and organizations have a clear goal in mind, it’s easier to raise funds to meet that goal. Goal setting also gives the organization a quantifiable metric to compare results. What gets measured can always be duplicated or improved, so the efforts for next time can be that much more effective.

Amplify RelationsAlli Williams: The Essentials of Online Fundraising
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Patrick Murphy: I Am Sales and You Can Too (3.5 Great Sales Lessons)

I’ve spent my entire adult life in some form of sales, with products ranging from roses and pianos to politicians and ideas. After twelve years, a lot of folks ask how I’ve been able to sell so many different things as effectively as I do.

Looking back on the last twelve years, it comes down to three lessons I’ve learned across fifteen states and dozens of political and corporate brands.

Amplify RelationsPatrick Murphy: I Am Sales and You Can Too (3.5 Great Sales Lessons)
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Rebecca Jackson: Kids, Fun and Sales – The Art of Managed Childhood Excitement

Children reading a bookWe all have seen the uncontrolled power of childhood excitement, ranging from squeals of joy on Christmas morning to a kicking fit in the toy aisle. Used for good or evil, it’s a powerful force in influencing family decision-making. Our challenge is, how can the PR and Ad industry use that power to drive buying decisions, dinner table conversations or classroom interactions?  Children are no longer bystanders in buying conversations; they are leaders!

Children of all ages love advertising’s bright colors and catchy phrases. The brands children see and know are trusted, like a good friend! Sometimes, the engaging words and the shiny new product can be just too inviting to pass up. We can all relate to the plight of Woody in Disney’s “Toy Story” as Buzz Lightyear arrives on scene!

Amplify RelationsRebecca Jackson: Kids, Fun and Sales – The Art of Managed Childhood Excitement
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We’re Hiring! Full Time Staff Assistant

Amplify Relations is looking for an individual with a positive attitude combined with strong project management, organizational and communication skills to join our team as a full- time Staff Assistant. The Staff Assistant is responsible for coordinating and managing the day-to-day functions of the Amplify Relations office, providing support to Amplify team members, and managing reception responsibilities. They must be able to handle confidential matters, meet deadlines, multitask and work in a very fast-paced, deadline intensive environment.

Responsibilities:

  • Run the front desk, lobby, phone lines and greet visitors
  • Ensure proper maintenance of reception desk, storage areas and cabinets, common areas, conference rooms, kitchen, etc.
  • Complete clerical duties on assigned accounts
  • Assist the Amplify team with administrative tasks including travel arrangements, reports, filing, calendar management etc.
  • Other duties as necessary

Qualifications:

  • BA degree or equivalent work experience
  • A minimum of 1-2 years of prior executive assistant, administrative assistant or facilities coordination level experience
  • Knowledge of modern business procedures, telephone etiquette, and filing
  • Experience working in a PR, marketing, advertising, digital agency environment a plus
  • Strong organizational skills with attention to detail and ability to handle concurrent, multiple job tasks with exceptional follow-through
  • Excellent computer skills including, but not limited to MSWord, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint and internet research
  • Willingness to handle any detail, no matter how small, to ensure that Amplify’s needs are handled smoothly and efficiently

Compensation:

  • $12 per hour
  • Health Benefits: $300 employer contribution to the premium on one of Amplify’s group plans. (Coverage’s 50% to 100% of the premiums depending on the plan your choice and age)
  • Dental & Vision Benefits: 75% employer premium coverage on Amplify groups plan

Send Resumes and Cover Letters To Bryan@amplifyrelations.com

Amplify RelationsWe’re Hiring! Full Time Staff Assistant
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Amplify Relations adopts RISE as its holiday charity

Screen Shot 2015-11-20 at 1.03.03 PMThis holiday season Amplify Relations is adopting the Reno Initiative for Shelter and Equality (RISE) as its holiday charity. RISE, a 501(c)(3), is a volunteer-only organization that works to care for Reno’s most resource deprived and poverty-stricken residents, with a mission to cultivate a greater sense of dignity and humility for all members of our community by encouraging equal access to shelter, knowledge and opportunity. Three Saturdays a month RISE, along with community volunteers, cook and serve meals to the homeless and disadvantaged. They also distribute clothing, blankets, toiletries and other basic necessities.

Amplify RelationsAmplify Relations adopts RISE as its holiday charity
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Elizabeth Brass: The Branded Feeling of Color

Colored pencils arrangement on black background

The Santa Clause we all know today with the bright red outfit and hat with the rosy cheeks was created by the Coca Cola company as part of an advertising campaign to sell more Cokes in the winter time. Before 1939, the big guy sported a much darker red outfit.

Color in advertising has to do with feeling. There are many different ways a graphic designer can portray the feeling of a company, but the strongest way is through the use of color, or lack of color. How a company uses color for that recognition can make a good company grow stronger and make a bad company fail faster.

Amplify RelationsElizabeth Brass: The Branded Feeling of Color
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Allisa Robertson: The (Golden) Rule of Thirds

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Social media is not only a cost effective way to increase brand recognition and drive sales, but, even more so, it is a new market space for businesses that allows companies to reach consumers they may not otherwise connect with. In this day and age if don’t have a social presence, you simply aren’t in the competition.

Amplify RelationsAllisa Robertson: The (Golden) Rule of Thirds
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