Thoughts

The Ember Impact

The Ember Impact🤔

While I was half awake a few nights ago. I was trying to figure out why designs sometimes just seem to fade away. Not because the design is bad either, they just seem to go poof and not for lack of marketing I am talking about the design itself gets forgotten because its “good-enough”. Then I started to think about a camp fire and I started to associate that to a clients design/business – whatever that design may be logo, site, template, mockup, concept work, anything really that you could call art. So sitting awake at four AM on Sunday the ninth I came up with something I am calling “The Ember Impact”.

What is it?

  • Think about your design for a moment, maybe your design is nothing more than your signature or maybe you paid someone to design the best widget on Earth. You slap that thing on everything! Your car, the cat, the kids the design is on everything you do within reason. I know what you’re thinking. “Shut it J! My design is just a logo with three sticks that look like a fishing pole and it’s not like CocaCola or something.🙄”  Even they “reboot” the designs they have from time to time but why? Why do companies do that and even more importantly how can artists plan for this? Can we empower our willing clients to help solve and plan for this? Thus is born  “Ember Effect” “Ember Burn-down” “The Ember Impact” 👈 👍 
  • Think of your hot logo as a roaring fire. If your company is small you have a small campfire. If you’re huge then you’re hosting one heck of a kegger with maybe two bonfires. You get the point right? Bigger the corp. bigger the fire equals more embers.
  • Every fire dies out and all that’s left is the smoldering embers. This is arguably the hottest part of a fire. When we think about this in design terms this is the hottest point of our design. That doesn’t mean it is time to ride the rebranding rollercoaster it just means we have to stoke the embers to get the fire rolling again.
  • If you do not do anything your design will be just fine. Or will it? Less is more blah blah blah. Is it time to stoke the embers and create a fresh design? We certainly do not want our brands to just go bad like an ember loosing its heat. We have to keep that fire roaring for as long as we can. How many embers do you have and what’s the impact?

So how is Ember Impact measured?📏

For the sake of NOT going into some math crazed fog here let’s just stick to the basics of gathering the time it takes to create a design based on hours; we can use something like the PERT (interest calculator for hours work-hours, time, days, ugh…) estimator. We can think about how many embers we have and how many people we have helping pour gas on our fire. Wait! that did not sound good and to much gas can not be a good thing, but you understand and I think we can all attest to debate going into what constitutes what an ember is and who is in charge of it. Putting that debacle aside. Here we go! 🤓

Ember hours = Eh

Optimistic hours = o

Typical hours = t

OMG What just happened hours = p

Eh = (o+4t+p) /6 

This will result in some estimated Ember hours or how long it takes to form your ember / widget / design / something. Why is this important? It is important because we need to know how long something takes to make in order to adjust Ember Impact in the future. So let’s say you have 10 embers and you have a streamlined process that allows you to have 2 people to manage your 10 embers also you are a startup company with huge growth potential. In a years time you start hearing murmur of realigning with something or repainting a thing maybe squeezing down the size of a widget to fit something better. Ready? this is; drumroll… Ember Impact! Well in its early stages thus far. We need to remember a few more variables like people and time so in this case two people and a year. We also have the ember hours per project.

Design change time = c

People working on embers =

Ember hours = eh

e / eh

This will give you estimated time that each person could work on embers. This is more of a “for your information” number. We can do the same estimation with the yearly design change time as we did with the ember hours estimation on new design. Ember Impact is going to effect optimal time or Ember Impact in many different ways. As an example say your design took 10 hours and in 2 years there was a realignment started or the color was bad 🤔. The Ember Impact for this is 10.2 (ten hours to two years).

What does this have to do with anything?

Mostly this is to pry up questions about the ember process over time. Lets keep our embers running long and hot and question things if our fires keep going out. You know your fire is out if it cold! 😋 Not so much that but if things just go forgotten. (don’t forget about your art)

This is what keeps me up at night! 😉

Hopefully this could be of some help or at least the start of an idea to streamline your design process – whatever that may be. Or I may be onto something…

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